Sunday July 1st 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Fifty One
1). Heb 11:22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
a). We had seen how Joseph, by faith, by the faith equated with the salvation of the soul, had ?made mention of the departure of the children of Israel? from Egypt and had given ?instructions concerning his bones? for the time when this departure took place ? and all this he did ?when he was dying?.
b). What we realize then is that Joseph?s faith is not just with regards to things to come, but with regards to his participation in those things, even though they lay beyond his physical death. He was then absolutely certain that the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would raise him from the dead in order to accomplish this.
c). Therefore his ?instructions concerning his bones? give to us both a type, a picture, of that which God will yet future accomplish with regards to Israel in a broad sense and also the certainty of God?s faithfulness to accomplish this within Joseph?s own experience.
d). Those now much loved words spoken by Job could apply equally to Joseph or any of the OT saints who have died without receiving the promises ?
Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
2). The basis for Joseph?s faith concerning his resurrection and his return to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can be found in the purpose of God with respect to Man in a general sense - Ge 1:26 ? Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
a). It is God?s purpose that Man should have dominion, that Man should rule the earth in the place of Satan and his fallen angels and this stated purpose must be fulfilled.
b). If we then fast forward this purpose in a more particular sense to the man through whom God?s purpose is to be accomplished, Abraham, we must call to mind the promise that God gives him in the day that his name changes from Abram to Abraham with respect to God?s purpose - Ge 17:5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 ? "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
c). All the land of Canaan was covenanted to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob ?in their generations? ?as an everlasting possession? and the giving of this land is for the purpose of rulership in the earth as a firstborn son - Ex 19:5 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
d). Now clearly Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never possessed the land in their lifetime ? in fact the scripture plainly records - Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
e). Nor have any of the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, the nation of Israel, possessed the land after the fashion that God has purposed either. And so the fulfillment of God?s purpose and the fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham must still remain yet future.
f). And if we are persuaded that God is faithful, according to the scripture - Nu 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
2Ti 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
g). So, if we are then persuaded that God is faithful then those OT saints who have died in the faith [a group that must include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph] must be raised bodily from the dead and must return to the land along with their descendants who are alive at the time so that they may receive that which God has promised. If they are not raised bodily from the
dead to receive this land as God has promised then God is not faithful ? and we are already persuaded that He is.
h). Here then is the faith of Joseph.
i). Here then is the word of the Lord in confirmation of that faith ?
Eze 37:1 ? The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know." 4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 'Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 "I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD."'" 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. 9 Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live."'" 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' 12 "Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 "Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 "I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD.'"
3). Ex 13:18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt. 19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you."
a). It is intriguing to think that throughout the intervening years between the death of Joseph and the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt Joseph?s bones in his coffin along with his instructions and the swearing
of the oath remained a constant reminder of God?s purpose for the nation of Israel. Even in the darkest hours of their affliction Joseph?s bones proclaimed impending victory. And that which we see in the type will also be true for the antitype
b). And here in Exodus 13 as Moses fulfills the oath made to Joseph we have set out for us the timing of the bodily resurrection of the OT saints so that we may place this within the context of the resurrection and restoration of Israel in that future day that leads into the Millennial Kingdom just as we have seen prophesied in the verses from Ezekiel Chapter 37.
c). What we must be certain of from the outset is that the resurrection of the OT saints, which is synonymous with the resurrection of Israel as a whole, is a completely different event from the resurrection of Christians. We had seen last week from 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 that all the dead will be raised ?each one in his own order? and it is important for us to understand and maintain the integrity of these separate events.
d). To help us to this end the Lord has set in place a specific period of time, recorded through the prophet Daniel, in which He will deal with His people Israel. Israel alone is dealt with in this time and Israel will not be dealt with outside of this time - Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
e). God sets out ?seventy weeks? [literally seventy sevens = 490 years] to deal with Israel ? a time period that begins with ?the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem? and ends with the bringing in of ?everlasting righteousness? ? the millennial Kingdom ? And Israel must pass through every moment of the complete 490 years.
f). The beginning of the time period is recorded in Nehemiah and is seen here in the granting of Nehemiah?s request by king Artaxerxes ?
Ne 2:6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), "How long will your journey be? And when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Furthermore I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah,8 "and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy." And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.
g). Now we will also note in Daniel that there would be 7 weeks and 62 weeks and then Messiah would be ?cut off?. This would bring us to the crucifixion of Christ after a period of 483 years ? leaving 7 years remaining of the full 490 years.
h). And as we know Israel is set aside for the duration of this dispensation, 2000 years, while a Bride is found for God?s Son. This dispensation ends with the resurrection/rapture of the church after a completed period of time previously pictured in Enoch, the 7th from Adam, being taken alive into heaven.
i). It is of course following this event, the rapture of the church, that God will resume His dealings with Israel during the remaining 7 years of Daniel?s 70 weeks. And it is within this timeframe of the final 7 years that Israel will be brought to resurrection and restoration.
j). And these events must follow this sequencing because this is how it is given in the types ? it is only after Enoch has been translated that Noah, the 10th from Adam, passes through the flood and it is only after Ruth has been made known to Boaz on his threshing floor that Boaz redeems the inheritance.
k). And so, from the clear teaching of scripture we can establish that the Lord will only resume His dealings with Israel once He has completed His dealings with the Church. Therefore the resurrection of Christians and the resurrection of OT saints remain 2 entirely separate and distinct events.
4). Isa 26:11 LORD, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see and be ashamed For their envy of people; Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them. 12 ? LORD, You will establish peace for us, For You have also done all our works in us. 13 O LORD our God, masters besides You Have had dominion over us; But by You only we make mention of Your name. 14 They are dead, they will not live; They are deceased, they will not rise. Therefore You have punished
and destroyed them, And made all their memory to perish. 15 You have increased the nation, O LORD, You have increased the nation; You are glorified; You have expanded all the borders of the land. 16 LORD, in trouble they have visited You, They poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them. 17 As a woman with child Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, When she draws near the time of her delivery, So have we been in Your sight, O LORD. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain; We have, as it were, brought forth wind; We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 19 Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead.
a). In our verses here in Isaiah we can see that resurrection for Israel is to follow a time of affliction ? it is then to follow the events of the Tribulation, following Israel crying out to the God of their fathers.
b). And this is exactly what we see with regards to Joseph?s bones. It is following the affliction of the nation by the Assyrian Pharaoh, following the events of Passover, but before Israel leaves Egypt to enter the land that Moses gives his attention to the bones of Joseph.
c). And it will be during that future day, following the persecution by the future Assyrian, Antichrist, a persecution so intense - Mt 24:21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
And following the events of Passover, Israel?s national conversion, but before Israel is restored to the land that Christ will give His attention to the bones of the OT saints.
d). So then it is after Passover, but before the restoration to the land that Israel?s resurrection takes place.
e). And this is exactly what we see within the framework of the 7 feasts given to Israel as a prophetic calendar of the events they are to shortly experience.
f). These feasts follow a chronological progression revealing that which Israel will experience following the time when Christ returns ? and because of this all these feasts await a future fulfillment.
5). Ex 12:6 'Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 'And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
a). Passover is the first of the 7 feasts and looks to the time of Israel?s national conversion when they will look upon the One whom they pierced in the antitype of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers. Now the Lamb has already died and His blood has been shed, but Israel has not yet applied the blood. In this sense the feast was partially fulfilled 2000 years ago Israel having done that seen in Exodus 12:6, but the nation is yet waiting to accomplish that seen in v7.
b). As in the type Passover takes place while Israel is still in Egypt, so in the antitype Israel will experience their national Passover, their national conversion while still scattered amongst the Gentile nations. This is the time when the Jewish people who survive the Tribulation will experience that recorded in - Zec 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
And - Isa 66:8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children.
6). Ex 13:6 "Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 "Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters.
a). Following Israel?s national conversion at Passover comes the Feast of Unleavened Bread which has to do with the removal of sin ?in all your quarters?, literally in all your house, the house of Israel.
b). The nation has been guilty of disobedience and harlotry for centuries and this national sin was climaxed in the crucifying of their Messiah when He appeared to the nation.
c). As a consequence Israel has been unclean for 2000 years because of their contact with the dead body of God?s Son.
d). After 2 days though Israel is going to acknowledge their sins in the presence of the One whom they mistreated and sold into the hands of the Gentiles in the antitype of - Ge 44:16 Then Judah said, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord's slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found."
e). At this point Israel will put sin out of their house.
7). Ex 23:16 "and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.
a). Next is the feast of firstfruits ? The Lord was raised from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits and this will be the day that the OT saints will be raised, when the fruit ?of your labors from the field? are gathered in.
b). We will remember that which we read earlier from Ezekiel ?
Eze 37:12 "Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 "Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 "I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD.'"
c). And as we look at these verses once again we see that after resurrection God says ?I will put my Spirit in you? and then ?I will place you in your own land?.
d). And these two statements also give us our next two feasts.
8). Next in our chronology is the Feast of Pentecost and we will remember the events of this feast recorded in Acts Chapter 2 - Ac 2:1 ? When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place????
14 ? But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
a). Joel?s prophecy began to be fulfilled on the Pentecost following the Lord?s resurrection, but has been held in abeyance for 2000 years awaiting the resurrection of OT saints on firstfruits. Immediately after the resurrection of the OT saints Joel?s prophecy will be fulfilled.
9). Mt 24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and
they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
a). The Feast of Trumpets, which follows after Pentecost has to do with the re-gathering of Israel to the land just as we see here in v31.
10). Le 23:27 "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. 28 "And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 "For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.
a). The Feast of Atonement has to do with a cleansing from the sin that had previously been removed from ?the house? at the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Atonement then is provided for Israel?s sin of crucifying their Messiah.
b). Eze 36:25 ? "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
c). And I wonder if this is also the point of judgment for the nation, because of what we see in v29 and also because of what is recorded in ?
Eze 11:17 "Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."' 18 "And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19 "Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 "that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21 "But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord GOD.
d). What we can know for certain is that judgment takes place following the resurrection of OT saints, but before Israel is placed back in the land ?
Eze 20:34 "I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. 35 "And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. 36 "Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you," says the Lord GOD. 37 "I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 "I will purge the rebels
from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
11). Le 23:33 ? Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.
a). This is the 7th of the 7 Feasts and is a feast to last for 7 days, for a complete period of time and looks forward to the time of rest that will come for the nation during the entire duration of the Millennium following the events of the 6 preceding feasts.
12). And so we can see plainly that the resurrection of OT saints within the 7 Feasts of the Lord occurs at the same point in time as we saw within biblical typology; between Israel?s national conversion and Israel?s restoration.
a). We might also note that, that which is pictured in the first 6 feasts, leading into the 7th, will take place during a relatively short period of time following the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation.
b). We see that the resurrection of OT saints takes place within the timeframe of Daniel?s 70th week; a period of time itself that can only begin after the rapture/resurrection of the Church.
c). Therefore it remains a completely distinct and separate event to that which pertains to the Church although both have to do with judgment and rulership.
d). Now not only do we see all this to be true, but we would also have to note that the type of resurrection experienced by Israel and the OT saints is also different from that experienced by the Christians.
e). But that will have to wait until the next time ? if the Lord is willing.