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Monday, September 8, 2008

The Genesis Prophecies

I cannot emphasize enough how prophecy has been used as a tool for malice.  How many innocent and God-loved Christians were caught up, not because they wanted to be, into some cult or the other!  Why?  Because prophecy and fear are powerful motivators.  ALWAYS keep in mind - God's perfect love casts out fear!!

To that end, I have hoped that you who are trying to find the truth will allow me, in whatever small way I can, to love you as Christ loved me, and provide you with another way to see the scriptures. Not so I can be anything at all.  Name one thing I have asked of you except this: that you spread the gift of Christ to others.  This is the gift I received, and I give it to you.  If you have already received Christ, wonderful!  Please, let us study His word together in hopes that we can mutually come together in peace and grow in the knowledge of Christ.

Keeping in mind my recent posting on scatterings, I would like to take a second look at the prophecies of the book of Genesis.  Much of what HWA taught depended entirely on British-Israelism.  If we understand a few key points of prophecy, we will see the weakness of that theory, and hopefully (and joyfully) break from it.  Let's start at the beginning....

Everyone knows that Genesis 3: 15 is a prophecy of Christ.  In Genesis 4: 1-8 is the story of Cain and Abel.  Most people think this is a great little story, but it is much more - it is a prophecy too! With all due respect to the Jews, for whom I have great respect, Cain, the older brother, represents the Jewish Old Covenant church, and Abel, the younger brother, represents the Christian New Covenant Church (including the Messianic Jews, IMHO).  Cain was a farmer, as Israel was an agrarian nation; Abel was a shepherd, as Christ is the Lamb of God (JOHN 1: 29) and the Great Shepherd (HEB. 13: 20). Cain's sacrifice was perfectly fine in God's eyes but was not accepted because of faithlessness, as the Jews were not accepted because of their faithlessness; Abel's sacrifice was accepted through faith (HEB. 11: 14), as the Christians are accepted through faith.  Cain was jealous of Abel's blessings and set out to kill him, just as the Jews immediately set out to persecute and kill the Christians.
The parallels are simply hard to argue against.  But wait!  There's more...

Noah, that salty sea dog, is also a prophecy.  In his day, he was the preacher of righteousness in a world of evil (2 PET. 2: 5).  Many believe Noah represented Christ, who saves those whom He will from sin, and I don't disagree with that at all.  But Noah was a sign as God promised a remnant would escape from Israel (ISA. 1: 9; 10: 21; 28: 5; EZE. 6: 8; JOE. 2: 32; AMO. 5: 15; etc.)  This is as Paul attests (ROM. 9: 27; 11: 5).  Actually, read the entirety of Romans 9 and 11. What more could you call a "small remnant" if not 8 people saved alive?  And this was a small remnant - that Jesus Christ called only 120 people.  Thank God that small remnant was enhanced by the Apostles who called thousands of Jews!!  Just as Elijah thought he was the only one left, God reserved 7,000 to Himself, so was this early time after Jesus' resurrection.

Now, on to Abraham, the "Father of the Faithful".  We all should understand that Abraham in many ways, too many to list, enacted the part of God (eg. when he [picturing the Father] went to sacrifice his only son Isaac [picturing Christ], and a goat [again picturing Christ in a different respect] was placed in Isaac's stead). Prophecy was extant in his life.  But more specifically, let's look at his sons Ishmael and Isaac.  Galatians 4: 21-31 tells us in some fascinating detail that this was all symbolic of the two Covenants.  It is very important to read and digest this info!

The same thing reoccurs in Jacob and Esau.  This is the third time now that we have two sons, the older being the representative of the Old Covenant church and the younger being the representative of the New Covenant church.  Esau didn't love his birthright - the birthright which indeed belonged to the Jews - and sold it for something temporary and of relatively little value, just as the Jews traded Christ for a thief and a murderer (MATT. 27: 15-26). Jacob supplanted Esau (GEN. 27: 36-37), as the Christians supplanted the Jews.  Once again, the older brother hated the younger and desired to harm him (ACTS 8: 3).

Are we beginning to see how the Jewish experience was pre-planned and prophesied?  All that they did was done as an example for us (I COR. 10: 11).  There is no reason at all to believe the Old Covenant was what God had from the beginning, and intended to last forever for all peoples.

Now, on to what I think is the most significant part of the prophesies of Genesis - Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasseh!
Joseph, as everyone should already know, represents Jesus.  He was the beloved son, one of the sons of Israel, symbolically killed by his brothers in order to save them from death by famine (which is symbolically death from sin) (GEN. 45: 3-8).  Joseph's identity was hidden from his brothers, but Jesus will be revealed to the Jews in His good time.  

Jacob, when blessing the 12 sons in Genesis 49, blessed Joseph far above them all; treating him as a firstborn, and not Reuben, even mentioning "the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel".  Joseph is Jesus Christ!  For hundreds of years, men have tried to find the place where Israel was lost using these prophecies as a guide.  We call this Brittish-Israelism.  Their basis is verse 1, where Jacob says "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days".  They say "The last days; that's now!"  Yet when you read their historses, the "last days" range from the times before Christ all the way to World War II.  For example, they trace the "serpent's trail" of Dan all through Europe according to this "last days" prophecy - but those places were named hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

As for the sons of Joseph, for the fourth time, we have two siblings, Manasseh and Ephraim (GEN. 41: 50-52). Manasseh was the first born, Ephraim the younger.  This is important, since we will see Manasseh does not represent the United States but represents the Old Covenant church and Ephraim does not represent Britain but the New Covenant church.... only this time, there's a twist!
We now go to the prophecies of Israel (GEN. 48: 8-21).  Jacob crossed his arms and blessed the younger brother over the older brother.  Indeed, the New Covenant church has been blessed above the Old Covenant church, though they are the first born, because of the hardness of their hearts.  Manasseh, consisting only of Israel, was to be one great nation, and Ephraim, consisting of all the faithful of the Gentile nations, was to become a great company of nations.  This is not end-time symbolism, but end-of-the-Old Covenant-time symbolism (II COR. 3: 7-18; 5: 17)!! And they were all adopted as sons into the house of Israel, as the New Covenant church is the Spiritual and the true Israel.

But I want you to notice the difference here in this prophecy - these sons come from the man who symbolized Christ - Joseph.  Manasseh is blessed, not cursed like Cain and Ishmael and Esau.  I conclude that in this prophecy, Manasseh, though symbolizing the Jews, actually symbolizes the faithful Jews, that holy remnant saved out by promise, that accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah and does His good and loving will.  Compare this to the Wave Loaves (LEV. 23: 17) ceremony where two loaves baked with grain from the Wave Sheaf ceremony and leaven are waved before God, just as the Wave Sheaf ceremony (LEV. 23: 11-15), which we know to symbolize Christ, was done.

How great is God!  How wonderful are all His works!  Truly, God tells the end from the beginning (ISA. 46: 10)!  Truly British-Israelism is a deception!  Some would call me deceived.  Hey, check out the historical facts behind British-Israelism for yourself and see if it isn't riddled with holes and nonsense.  Some would say I know something.  To that I reply I am nothing and know nothing (I COR. 8: 2).

There are more examples in the Bible of these things that I didn't put here.  See if you can find some.


Seeker Of Truth said...

Great post. Just wanted to point out a typo; Gen. 48, 49 - Jacob/Israel, not Isaac.

Anonymous said...

Good catch, Seeker! Fixed.

In case anyone doesn't know, I typed "Isaac" in almost every instance where I meant to type "Jacob". I am human, after all.