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Prophecies, and the events of today: Which ones are really useful?

Reader comment on item: Pushing for a Ceasefire
in response to reader comment: Continuing Gaza Prophecies

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 12, 2014 at 04:01

Hi, Tovey

Isaiah 61

[1] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
[2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
[3] To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
[4] And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
[5] And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
[6] But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
[7] For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

Yes, this is indeed, if the translation is nearly correct, a foretelling of the "Messianic Age", an age when the wrongs of the Jewish people are righted. Yes, Jesus/ Yeshua did say that passage spoke of him:

Luke 4:

[20] And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
[21] And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

You know that all these things were not fulfilled in Jesus' time of ministry. He did indeed "preach the acceptable year of the Lord"; but "building the old wastes" did not begin in earnest until the Zionist settlers started moving to Israel in the early 20th century. In that sense, Theodor Herzl was something of a modern Haggai, stirring up the people's vision to roll up their slaves and do the will of God.

Was Herzl a last days continuation of this Messianic ministry? I have never heard such talk; but when I read altneuland, I was awestruck at what this one man accomplished, against such spiritual opposition.

So there, you have quite a different interpretation of what Isaiah 61 was foretelling, than the usual interpretations. Most, if not all, of Isaiah 61 has been fulfilled in the physical sense, without the need of a "last battle" a la Zechariah 14. It's consideration about things like these, that make me largely dismiss Isaiah as a prediction of end-times scenarios.

Some Jews are of the opinion that many Christians, especially Evangelicals, want to see this and that happen in Israel, to hasten the "return of Jesus". I think they are right in this. For my own part, I am not hoping for such a hastening; because I am not altogether clear about what the "return of Jesus", if such a thing were to happen as some might imagine it. There are just too many scriptures -- especially in the very scriptures in the NT that talk about Jesus -- to give me pause. Consider these:

1. Jesus said "The kingdom of heaven is within you", and many other things which indicate that this kingdom is now and is to forever be, something that happens inside us, in the invisible realm; not, as Jesus himself said, "by observation"

Luke 17:

[20] And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Suppose some messianic figure were to show up today -- performing wonders, raising the dead, etc., and proclaiming the Kingdom of God on earth. I suppose he might enforce behavior modification with electronic devices, to make mankind live in peace; but this is not the sort of "kingdom within you" that Jesus was talking about. He was talking about a personal relationship of forgiveness and friendship with God, whereby one no longer feared death and could therefore say, as Jesus did,

John 16:

[33] ...I have overcome the world.

and as the Revelation says,

Rev. 12:

[11] And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

These things don't come about by a changing of the guard in Jerusalem, even under miraculous circumstances; and I don't think the appearance of a Messiah, however mighty his countenance, would inspire the inner transformation required for the kingdom to rule in people's lives. If it were able to accomplish this, there would be no need for the scripture:

Pss. 2:

[9] Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

This is why I have largely confined my study of "end times" prophesies to those I already mentioned: Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah, all exilic prophets. They present specific events and timelines, and are useful for trying to understand the events of today.

Submitting....

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