The Battle Over Jerusalem - Prophecy in the News Magazine - Sept 2000


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The Battle Over Jerusalem - Prophecy in the News Magazine - Sept 2000

  1. 1. INSIDE THIS ISSUE The Battle Over Jerusalem ... . . . 3 The Camp David conference is over. Israel and the Palestinians could not reach an agn.>ement. Yassir Ararat threatens to declare a Palestinian State on September 13. Gary Sleannan reminds us of an ancient proph- ecy discovered in the "War Scroll" found in a cave near the Dead Sea. It tells of a battle between the children of light and the children of darkness. It might be important to note that the Camp David debacle occurred during: Israel's historic " Dark Time" and that the len days between the Feast ofTnunpcts (September 29, 2000) and the Day of Atonement are called the "Days of Awe." What will happen next? J. R. Church Honored with a Doctor 01Divinity Degree . ..... 4 On July 21, 2000,1. R. Church delivered the Commencement Address to the graduating class at Immanuel Bible College and Bap. tist Theological Seminary in Sharpsburg, Georgia, just southwest of Atlanta. College president, Dr. James I. Stewart, conferred the Hon· orary Doctor of Divinity degree upon 1. R. in recognition of his lifetime of service in the Gospel ministry. The Hebrew Package . ..... 7 Want to learn more about the Hebrew language? Here is your op· portunityl We are offering a spccial package that includes seven videos on the use of the Hebrew alphabet in the conslrUction of the Page 4 •• . Bible; our book, The Mystery oftire Menorah and the HebrewAlpha- bel; and best of all, a CD·ROM computer program that will teach you J. R. Church Ho'nq,red with a to read and translate the Hebrew language. It is called the Hebrew Doctor of'Di1~inj'tyl! Tutor and actually takes you through a college course. The voice of a Hebrew scholar will teach you. Find out more on page 7. Revealing Revelation (Par-t Two) ... Page 8 ... The P"ophecies of St. John tire Divine .... . . 8 Without a working knowledge of ancient Jewish prophetic teach- Revealing RI,,'elation ings, it is virtually impossible to understand the Book of Revcla- Tile ProplJel..'ies ufSt Joli ~ ,lie DMIJr (P.Jrt Two) tion. As mankind approaches Ihe seventh millennium, it is prudent B y J . R . C hlUrch that we layout various tools of Jewish interpretation and apply them to this final book of the Bible, thus opening up insights that have heretofore not been published in any Christian commentaries. This is the second in a series of articles on Revelation. Isaiah 's Miniature Bible (part Five) ...... . l7 Gary Stearman continues his series in Isaiah's 66 chapters, com- paring them with themes covered in corresponding books of the Bible. The remarkable emerging pattern shows that Israel's chief prophet laid out the Word of God before its writing was fi nished. Countdown to Apocalypse ... .. .. 21 invitation to an Unprecedented Evcnt - 1. R. Church received an invitation from Mikhail Gorbachev to attend the "State of the »Qrld Forum" to be held in New York this month as the "United Nations Millennium Summit of Heads ofState .. gets Wldetway. Will there be an announcement Qf g lobal government in the works? Clinton Plac(:s Clllmp David Summit ."ailureonArafat - and more! 1 Prophecy in Ihe News
  2. 2. By Gary Stearman Among the Dead Sea Scrolls, a document dubbed the "War Scroll" tclls of a future battle between the sons of "light" and the sons of "darkness." 11 is predicted to be an end-time war that will be won by the ap- pearance of Israel 's Messiah. Just how close are we to those grim days? Christians have an intrinsic sense that global crisis carulOt be far in the future. Prophets of both the Old a nd New Testa- ments speak of judg- ment day. Recent dcvel- opments at Camp David aod Jerusalem have re- minded us once again that those prophesied events are very close. In the parade of Jew- ish festiva ls, we find that judgment day is represented with remarkable clarity. This month, we would do well to review these festivals. The Days of Awe Rosh HaShanah (September 29) intro- duccs tcn "Days of Awe," a period that the Jews call Yomim Noraim. These autumn fes- The white dome (left), covering the main hall In Jerusalem's Museum of the Dead Sea tivals mark thc second major grouping of Scrolls, typifies the "sons of light," while the black column (right) stands for the "sons of holy days in the anoual cycle. darkness," two metaphors used in the ''War ScroW' to describe Israel's final battle. Between The spring festivals arc Passover, Unleav- these two monuments stands the Israeli Knessel in the distance-a fitting picture of the ened Bread and Firslfruits. Their combined dilemma now facing Israel over who will control Jerusalem. themes produce a picture of God's grace and sacrifice, in the slaying of the Paschal vant Jews look inward to examine them- lamb and the giving of the bread of life. selves in the light of God's righteousness. T he Dark Time The fall cycle, however, begins with the The prominent themes of this period To bring full dimension to our under- blowing of the shofar in a way that engen- are repentance, j udgment and atonement standing of the "Days of Awe," one must ders foreboding, darkness and fear. "Awe" on the basis of the preceding year's trans· look at the weeks that precede them. Follow- is a term fraught with the exhi larating rami- gresslOns. ing the spring festivals, Pentecost arrives in fications of God's glory. It is perhaps the deepest of ironies that early swnmer. It typifies the work of the Holy On the positive side, it speaks of wonder, during this time, the faithful wish each other Spirit, and the redemption of believers. admiration, respect, veneration and even L'Shanah Tovah - Happy New Year! This Then come the "dog days" of summer, reverence. However, on the negative side, festival introduces the Jewish New Year. when rain ceases; the ground shrinks and it implies dread, terror, surprised astonish- Furthermore, they exhort each other with cracks; water runs low; and vegetation turns ment and amazement. All of these clements the words, "May you be inscribed for a brown. Activity slows and living creatures evoke images of the coming day of judg- good year in the Book of Life!" seek solace from the burning sun. This is ment. [n the days between Rosh HaShanah and the time of late July and early August. This awesome period begins with the two Yom Kippur, the greeting often includes an This period is branded by a fonnal time days of Rosh HaShanah, then cxtends for additional blessing: "May you be inscribed of mourning, which Jews call the "Three eight more to the tenth day - Yom Kippur. and sealed for a good life." As we shall see, Weeks." It is also referred to as " between the These are thcHigh Holy Days, when obser- there is good reason for such greetings. straits," since it is bracketed by two major Prophecy in Ihe News 3
  3. 3. fasts . The fi rst is named after its date, "The Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz." The second is called Tisha B 'Av, which in En- J. R. Church Honored with aDoctor of Divinity Degree glish means "The Ninth of Av." tion of his lifetime of service in the Gos- The three-week period between them is pel ministry. a time of general mourning and solenmity. The college and school of theology No weddings or joyous events are sched- also celebrated its 50th year of training uled then. This also includes celebrative ministers and missiQnaries for service events such as choral or instrumental mu- worldwide. The school has campuses in sic. Those who seriously keep the Jewish several countries, including Korea, India calendar refrain from personal grooming and Nigeria. such as haircuts, attending movies, home Immanuel is a charter member of the remo~eling or buying new clothing. D ur- Georgia Federation of ChI:istian Colleges ing this time, Sabbaths are characterized by and Universities -- a division of the Scripture readings that center upon themes American Federation of Christian Col- of destruction and divine retri bution. leges and Schools. Within the Three Weeks, the final nine On July 21, 1. R. Church delivered the Immanuel is committed to the author- days leading up to Tisha B 'Av. are espe- COllunencement Address to the graduat- ity of the inerrant Word of God; to the cially sci apart as a time of anguish. No ing class at Immanuel Bible College and Premillennial positioll; to genuine Chris- meat or wine is consumed. The seriously Baptist Theological Seminary in Sharps- tian living through the empowennent of observant even shun bathing, shaving and burg, Georgia, just southwest of Atlanta. the Holy Spirit; and to training the indi- laundering clothes - during the heat of sum- College president, Dr. James l. Stewart, vidual for serving God in the ministry. mer! Those observing "between the straits" conferred the Honorary Doctor of Divin- For more information on thcir acadcmic remind themselves of the disasters that have ity Degree upon Rev. Church in recogni- program, call 1-770- 253 - 1671. befaJlen Israel down through the ages. The fast on Tammuz 17 recalls Israel 's factions to find some sort of agreement. Peres, who, as a Nobel Peace laureate and sorrow over the infamous golden calf; and At Clinton's persistent urging, Barak tried former prime minister, was a favorite to win later, the breaching of Jerusalem's walls by everything - in effect, "giving away the the post. As this is Wlitten, the Knesset has an invading army. The next fast, on Av 9, store" in an effort to secure an agreement. narrowly survived a selies of attempts to over- sadly marks the day when both Temples were Virtually the entire territory of Judea and throw the mling Labor Party. On August 2, destroyed - first by the Babylonians in 586 Samaria was offered, if only Arafat would the Knesset ended its summer session and B.C. and later by the Romans in A.D. 70. It not press the issue of Jerusalem . But Arafat won't reconvene until late October. also hearkens back to the defeat of the Bar insisted upon the stipulation that East Jerusa- Kochba rebellion inA. D. 135. The Ninth of lem be made the capital of Palestine. Barak, "Saladin" Comes Home Av is also associated with the expulsion of already in a weakened position because of In stark contrast, Yilssir Arafat arrived in the Jews from England in 1290 and Spain Knesset challenges to his position as prime Gaza to the equivalent of a ticker-tape pa- in 1492. minister, was drreatened wid1 a government rade. He was held alon as a conquering hero Jewish teaching states that the fast of Av 9 shutdown if he conceded to Arafat. who had kept his demands to the end. There conunemorates the incident of the spies in Because of a prior commitment to ap- were Arabic banners everywhere, hailing the wilderness. As recorded in Numbers 13, pear at the conference in Japan, Clinton Arafat as the "new Saladin." And who was Moses sem a reconnaissance team into the was forced to leave the meetings. Hope of Saladin? Promised Land. After forty days, the major- agreement was all but abandoned. Just af- In the twelfth centu ry, he was the sultan ity came back with the faithless report that ter he left, on the 17th of Tammuz (July of Egypt and Syria who conquered the it would be impossible to conquer the Prom- 20), the talks sprang to life. For a brief pe- coastal cities of " Palestine," as it was then ised Land. The people wept and regretted riod it was hoped that some agreement called. Finally, he laid siege to Jerusalem, that they had ever left Egypt. Because of might be reached, but the conference col- itself, conquering (he lan d completely. their lack offaith and resolve, the Lord pun- lapsed. Barak returned home to fa ce a During the Crusades, after a series of battles ished them with a forty-year exile in the Knesset divided by vitriol and disagree- with Richard the Lion-Hearted, he negoti- wilderness - one year for each day that ment. His Labor Party government clung ated a truce, which left him in control of the spies had stayed in the Prontised Land. to existence only by the thinnest of mar- Jerusalem and most of Palestine. He was gins. Days went by, as the religious parties "Saladin the Conqueror." The Dark Time, 2000 continued to call for new elections. Among the ranks o f the PLO, it is clear This year, the " Fast of the Seventeenth of Then, on July 30, almost midway through that they now view Arafat as their conqueror Tammuz" fell on July 20, the day President the Three Weeks, Barak and his supporters in the grand tradition of Saladin. Among Clinton left the Camp David talks for his were deeply embarrassed when the Knesset Arab pundits, there were many proclama- annual meeting with the historic "Group voted 63-57 to elect a new Israeli presi- tions that their time had finally come. PLO Seven" (lately termed 08) - the leaders of dent, Moshe Katsav, an Iranian-born legis- leaders have repeatedly declared their in- the world's largest industrial nations. One lator from the opposition Likud Party. tention to eventually possess all of Jerusa- can only marvel at the "coincidence" that A Knesset member since 1977, he is an lem. As witnessed by their recent heavy this fast fell upon the day of the outspoken opponent of the U.S.-inspired excavations beneath the Temple Mount, they Camp David talks between Vassir Arafat and Labonte movement to attain peace with the believe that their co ntrol of the ancient Ehud Barak. In spite of PLO intransigence, PL O at any price. Temple site is now complete. Can Jerusalem, President Bill Clinton had urged the two H is election defeated -a stunned Shimon then the coastal cities,. be far behind? • 4 Prophecy in the Nfm's
  4. 4. Revealing Revela J. R. Church and Gary Stearman Twelve Studies on Three VHS Video jl'apes This study in the book of Revelation promises 1(1 be one of the most rCl'rsrding series we 'have ever done. We approach the book through the eyes oCthe Jewish sages. Early rabbinical writings add a dimension to John's adven- ture into the future that simply escapes mosl commentaries. Tn our rel'iew ofR(wclation we will follow: • The alphabetic design of each chapter - The Menorah structure of the various sewns in Revelation • The chapler b}' chapter comparisnn ;th John's other masterpiece-his Gospel ( f Gur Savior's first Advent - The tapestry drawn from the liturgy and ritual oflbe High Holy lJays These and much more wiD guide us through each chapter in twelve msian! that cover the entire book. We im'ite you to follow along and review tbislinal book oflbe Bible in an entirely new and refresbing series. Three VHS Videos - (approx. 90 minutes each = 4 112 hours) Ilem # V117 • $49.95 moment a person dies. pages)
  5. 5. Video by Bob Conwke "r BiblicaJ., uplonrs Bob • Cornuke lind his lTien~ , ~arr)' ~ W!'lliams' incredlbleal1epilion , in 0 the blisl.ering..die.sert of Saudi Arabia bastuf1)N up I'hal .m~y scholars Oelien·!o be oni! or"tlie' grutett dis(ovl'ri es in hi(lory...,....!he real Mount Sinal. The video «,lis their amazing'. .. stol'.yofcraWlinjnloforhidden ... mi,lltary"ln~ta laUons. They foull.d dues that confirm the • accurale. ). a' dozen
  6. 6. The Hebrew Package Review by Bob Ulrich About seven years ago, the pieces of a mysterious puzzle started fa lling into place. We learned that the letters of the Hebrew alphabet otlered a key to the divine nature of the Word of God. Each Hebrew letter has a meaning - a piece of the theological puzzle that can open our minds to new, incredible Bible studies. The entire Bible is designed around those twenty-two supernatural letters! Cer- tain chapters, like Psalm 119, are designed to match up with the meanings of the He- brew letters. When we first learned this, we realized that we were on to something too incredible for words - something divinely inspired - something that no Christian theologian had ever written about before. But the rabbis had known about it for centuries! Once we had the key to the puzzle, the new discoveries kept coming. We quickly learned that Genesis was an alphabetic book. So was Leviticus and the other books of Moses. We learned that Jeremiah had home. If you will take just an hour a day to We will also provide you with a one-year designed Lamentations as an alphabetic listen to the interactive lessons and review subscription to our magazine as well as a book. So was Isaiah - as you can see from the flash cards, you could soon know how copy of our book, The Mystery of the Gary Stearman's continuing series each to read and translate the Bible from its na- Menorah and the Hebrew Alphabet. You month in this magazine! tive language of Hebrew. can learn about the spiritual meanings of The entire Bible, all 66 books. are de- The Hebrew Tutor will take you through the Hebrew letters. signed according to the meanings of those a typical, first-year college-level course in What an awesome collection of resource letters in the Hebrew alphabet! Genesis pre- biblical Hebrew. By the time you finish, material: a Hebrew CD-ROM that will teach sents the theme of the first letter of the He- you will be able to read and translate the you the inner workings of the Hebrew lan- brew alphabet. aleph. Exodus presents the entire book of Ruth - all by yoursclf1 Just guage ($49.95 value), our seven-tape video theme of the second Hebrew letter, bejt. This think! You could be the first person in your series on The Mysteries of the Hebrew AI- pattern continues all the way through to church to read and speak Hebrew ! phabel ($99.95 value), a one year subscrip- the book of Revelation! Amazing! In addition to the Hebrew Tutor there are tion to Prophecy in the News ($29.95 value) Our ministry is looking for people who several other attractive parts to our "He- and a copy of our book The Mystery of the are serious about studying God's Word. brew Package." Menorah and the Hebrew Alphabet ($1 1.95 Paul wrote, "Study to show thyself approved We have included our own videotape value). unto God" (II Timothy 2:15). Daniel 12:10 series, "The Mysteries of the Hebrew Al- Your $ 100 gift will enable our ministry says, "the wise shall understand. "Would you phabet." As you view them, you will find to remain on television channels all across like to be considered wise by the Lord? Well, 1lIi1 l1y allla:£illg ui:i!..:uvl:ril:lS that wt: havt: Arnt:rica. Millions of people, many of them here is your opporrunity. You are never too made over the years - among them, a study unsaved, have the opportunity to hear about old to start leaming about Hebrew. in the book of Revelation and its Hebrew Jesus - some for the first time. We have put together a great package of design; a study on the alphabetic design of If you enjoy our television program and products to help you become proficient in the musical scale; and much more! We have would like to continue watching us on The biblical Hebrew. The entire package is also included some amazing studies on Inspiratjonal Network. this is a great way available for a contribution of $ I 00 and Yahweh, the Hebrew nanle of God. 10 help with your support. contains almost $200 worth of unique prod- God gave a letter of His name to Abraham Once you discover these incredible tools ucts. The fi rst item is your own personal and Sarah, and it conveys a crucial mes- you will never look at the Bible the same Hebrew professor, the Hebrew TIIlor. This sage for all believers. There are 28 fQlOda- way again. Interactive CD-ROM for the PC (Windows tional studies in all thai will give you a The Hebrew Package 98) will let you leal1l the Hebrew language terrif ic education into God 's amazing Item # PK2002 - $100.00 contribution at your own pace, from the comfort of your aleph-beir. See our spec/sl sci on psge 51 Prophecy ;'1 the News 7
  7. 7. a..,••••••... IfJI ". T:C(J~ By J. R, Church and Gary Stearman (Part 2) In OUf first installment of this study. we took note that John alluded to certain theo- logical concepts which we feel are neces- sary for a proper und~:rstanding orlhe book of Revelation. After giving a reference to each of these concepts, John reminds us that we can go no further until we have ac- quired a worklltg knowledge of those skills " ... 'which tholl hast see,," (v. 19). Without these concepts, which I consider to be tools of interpretation, it is far morc d ifficult to comprehend the mes- sage of thi s apocalyp- tic book. Among those foun - daiiQi'aioooc.;pii all"d"d to in the open- ing chapter are: I. A chaptcr-by-chaptcr comparison with John's other masterpiece- the Gospel story of our Savior's First Advcm (v. 2); 2. The alphabetic design of each chapter (v. 8); John was perlulps the most mystical of all the New Te5tament writers. His Gospel is not 3. The solid or "spirit" level of Jewish considered "Synoptic" with the other three. It is a rather mysterious pmsentation and relates interpretation (v. 10); more to the Revelation than it does to Matthew, Mark and Luke. In fact" its design helps us to 4. The Jewish concept concerning "the understand the prophecies of John's final book. doy oJthe Lord'" (v. 10); 5. The menorah structure of various sev· John 's Gospel, we are told about the First ens in the book (v. 12); A Duplication of Design Advent of Christ and in the book of Rev- 6. The verbal tapestry drawn from the lit· "Who bare record oj the word oj God, elation, we are IOld about His Second Ad- urgy and ritual of the Jewish Holy Days (v. and of the testimony of JesliS Chrisl. and vent. Together, both books reveal the God- 13); and ... of all things lhal he saw" (v. 2). man, His mission, ministry, and final vic- 7. The most ancient of all divine mes- During our studies in both the Gospel of tory. Onc book is really not complete with- sages, namely the story in the stars - John and Rcvelation, a similarity of design out the other. twelve major constel!ations that make up emerged, which, though quite simple, As we compare each ofthesc chapters in Ihe Jewish Mazzarolh (v. 16). amazed us for never having seen it before. the Gospel of John with its corresponding These seven concepts may not necessar- In fact, to our knowledge, no theologian chapter in the book of Revelation, we will ily be in the order of their importance, but has ever before published this type of com~ note thai somewhere in each chapter, John are listed in the order of their first reference parison of John's first and last works. wi ll mention the same subjcct or theme in chapter one. In our last issue. we imro- In this introduction to the concept, we used in the other book. duced three of these concepts - the alpha- will only review two chapters (I & 19) to For example, in chapter one of each book, betic design of each chapter; the doctrine give you an idea of this remarkable design. John uses the seven lights of the Menorah. concerning "the day of the Lord "; and the We shall cite the rest of our comparisons as in each case a spiritual illumination is com- Menorah structure of various sevens in the we study each succeeding chapter in the mencing. In John's Gospel, we are enlight- book. In Ihis installment, we shall explain book of Revelation in future issues. ened about our Savior's First Coming to how John used the same structural outline The Holy Spirit led John to follow the suffer for our sins. In. the hook of Revela- to write both his Gc,spel and the book of same literary design in writing both his tion, we are enlighte:ned about His prom- Re ve lation . Gospel and the book of Revelation. In ised return to redeem our fallen human race. 8 Prophecy i" the Newt
  8. 8. of God, a lld for the testimony of Jesus "Then the soldiers. when they had cru- Seven Lights in C hapter One Ch rist " (Revelation 1:9). cified Jesus, took his garments, and made to both opening chapters, John displays In the fo llowing verses, Jesus refers to fOllr parts, 10 every soldier a part; and a/so a Menorah design. We are all familiar with Himself as the entire alphabet from which his coat: noll' the coat was withollt seam, the seven-lamp M enorah in Revelation the " Word " is derived - "A Alpha and Q woven from the lOp throughout. one, but John also used seven "lights" in Omega." The terminology may be differ- "They said theref among themselves. ore the opening chapter of his Gospel: ent, but the underlying concept is the same: ut liS not rend it, but cast lots/or it. whose "In h/lll was life; and the fiJe was the "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the it shall be: that the scripture might be ful- /igltt of men. last; and, What thou seest, write in a book. filled, which sailh, They parted my raiment ''And the light shineth in darkness; and and send it IInto the seven churches which among them. and fo r Illy ve.~ture they did the darkness compl'ehended it not. are;nAsia ... "(Revelation 1:11). cast lots. These things therefore the sol- "There was a mall sent from God, whose This is on ly the beginning. The Holy diers did " (John 19:23,24). name was John. Spirit impressed John to use this duplica- John continues the theme in Revelation 19. " Th e same came for a witness, 10 bear tion of design throughout his Gospel and We are told that when Christ returns, He witness of the Light. that all //len through in Revelation. will be wearing His blood-spattered tallit: him might believe. "A nd he was clothed with a veSlllre "He was not thai Light, but was sent to Behold the M an! dipped in blood, .. " (Revelation 19: 13). bear witness of that Light. .In Chapter Nineteen Pilate bad a poster made that declared " That was the true Light, which ligltteth We shall touch upon chapter 19 as our Jesus to be "THE KINGOF71iE J EWS": every man that cometh into the world" final demonstration of this concept before 'li nd Pilate wrote a tille, and pul it on (John 1:4-9). launching into a lengthy review of the the cross, And Ihe wrjting was, JESUS OF The fi rst chapter of Revelation also dem- Bible's final book. The 19th chapter ill each NAZAJl.ETH THE KING OF THE JEWS" onstrates the seven lights of the Menorah : book (John and Revelation) focuses upon (John 19:19). "And I turned 10 see the voice that spake Christ. In Jo hn 's Gospel, Christ wears a John continues this subject in his view with me. And being tllrned, I saw seve" purple robe and a crown of thorns. Pilate of the returning Savior: go/dell calldlesticks ; brings Him forth before the crowd and de- ':And he hath all his vesture alld on his "And in the midst 0/ the seven candle- clares, " .. , Behold the man!" thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, ~·ticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed "Then Pilate therefo re took Jest/s, and AND LORD OF LORDS" (Rev. 19:16). with a garment down to the fOOl, and girt scollrged him. We will give a full cOITlllleniary oillhese abollt the paps wilh a golden girdle. ''A nd the soldiers platted a crown of subjects in futu re studies, but these com- "'His head and his hairs were while like thorns, alld p llt it on his head, and they pllt parisons will suffice to show that John used wool. as white as snow; and his eyes were on him a Pllrple robe. the same subjeCTmaterial as a framework in as a j/ame offire; "And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and the writing of both books. ''A nd his foel like unto fine brass, as if they smote him with their hands. they bllrned in a furnace; and his voice as "Pilate therefore weill forth again. and Levels of J ewish Interpretation the sound of many waters. saith unlO fhem, Behold, I bring him Jorth Since we explored this concept in out 'lind he had in his right hand selle" stars: to yO Il, that ye may know that I fi nd no December 1999 magazine, we shall not of- and Ollt of his mOllth went a sharp failit in him. fer a complete explanation here, but sim- twoedged sword: and his countenance was " Then came Jesus forth, wearing the ply review its main points. Rabbinical as the SlIn shineth in his strength" (Rev- crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And views divide the levels of biblical inler- elation I : 12-16). Pilate saith ulllo them, Behold the man!" pretation into four areas. They are: John used the seven lights of the Menorah (John 19: 1-5). Peshat - the simple level, in the opening chapter of each book - his On the other hand, in the book of Rev- Remez - the hint level,. Gospel and the Revelation. This can be no elation, chapter 19, John turns our atten- Drosh - the regal level and coincidence. Such duplication of design tion toward heaven and presents Christ with Sohd - the secret level. continues to occur chapter after chapter. royal diadems - a series of crowns so be- The first letter in each of these four meth- decked with jewels, it is referred to as "many ods of interpretation - PROS - combine to The Word: A A lph a & Q Omega crowns." It is a royal headdress for the King spell OUI the Hebrew word for Paradise. In In Chapter One of kings! other words, these Jewish levcls of inter- Here is another duplication in John's de- ''A nd [ saw heaven opened, and behold pretation are designed to take the student sign. In his Gospel, Jesus is introduced as a while horse; and he that sat IIpon him back into the Garden - past the flam ing the "Word" of God: was called Faithful and True, and in righ- sword - to reach the tree of life. "In Ihe beginning was rhe JftJrd. and the teousness he doth judge and make war. Word was with God. and the Word was "His eyes were as oj/arne offire. and on Peshat - the Simple Level God" (John 1:1). his head were many crowns; and he had a Peshat refers to the e lementary level - in the opening chapter of Revelation, name written, that no man knew, bill he the plain writing of the Scriptures. This is John informs us that he was incarcerated himself" (Revelation 19: 11,12). the same IlIlo!thod Wlo! caU primary interpre- on the island of Patmos for teaching about tation . We must begin by reading the book! this "Wo rd"; The Vesture of C hrist T here is no excuse why eve!)' Christian "[ John, who also am your brother. and The soldiers divided up Christ's gar- cannot become fa miliar with the Bible in a companion in tribulation, and in the king- ments. There was one garment, ho.'ever, relatively short period of time. Only then dom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in that they did not wish to rip apart - the can the serious srudent of the Word move the isle Ihal is called Patfllos,fol' the word Savior's tallit. Instead, they gambled fo r it: to the second level of biblical interpreta- Prophecy In Ihf! News 9
  9. 9. tion. We must first master the pes/wI or ing and seeing the finger- like radiance of With perfect authority, He opens the sealed simple level of understanding. the sun that announces its imminent ris- book and masterfully launches a sequence ing. Once the sun lifts above the eastern of events that will bring human history to a Remez - the Hint Level horizon, the radiance disappears. It is the momentous climax. Later, He stands before Remez is similar to what wecaillhe prac- radiance or aura that speaks of sohd - the the 144,000 of Israel and a multitude of the tical application of Scripture. It is the hint secret level. It can best be seen if one does redeemed to receive their adulation and level. If I quote a portion of Scripture. but not look directly at it, but rather catches it praise. We behold His majesty, as He min- do not tell you where it is located, you are out of the comer of the eye. isters in the heavenly Templc. The rrum- supposed to know. I don't have to explain Both John 's Gospel and his later work, pets blare, the bowls are poured and Mys- everything to you bf:cause "you can take Revelation, p resent the sohd level. He tery Babylon is destroyed. As the plan draws the hint." You already have a working opcns his Gospel by telling us that Jesus is near to its completion, the Lamb hosts His knowledge of Scriprure. Remez might be the personification of the "H'ord" of God, great Marriage Supper. FimLlly, He is eter- explained as. "a word to the wise is suffi- thaI He is the "Light" that shines in the nally instituted in the New Jerusalcm. In cient." darkness that cannot comprehend it. In this magnificent, sweeping panorama, He T his is also the aJlegorical and philo- Revelation, he presents Christ as the A A/- is the same Lamb first identified and wor- sophica1level. It goes beyond mere elcmen- pha and n Omega. These are teachings that shipped by John the Baptist. tary knowledge and imparts wisdom - the cannot be scientifically explained. They ability to assimilate knowledge and apply are not of this world. However, if you read The Passover Haggadah it to our daily living as we develop integ- the sages of Israel, though they may deny Passover recounts the la~l night ofl srael's rity and character. the Deity of Christ, they go to great lengths bondage in Egypt. Its theme illustrates the The remez level was written for the aris- to discuss these aspects of the Scriptures. transition from bondage to freedom. Cen- tocracy and was higher in its goals and more tral to its observance is a small manual polished in its content. It was the level of Rituals of the Jewish Festivals called the Haggadah, front the Hebrew IOrd the professional - the doctor, lawyer, phi- The next concept needed for a proper in- meaning "to tel!." This reflects the major losopher and teacher. This level did not re- terpretation of the book of Revelation can purpose of the feast . .. to remember the story place the simple pesAial, but rather added a be found in a study of the liturgy in the of the Exodus. The narrative is highly for- philosophical flavoring or seasoning to it. Jewish festivals. There are seven festivals malized and includes Scripture readings, given in Leviticus. They are: blessings and ritualized group participa- Drosh - the Regal Level I. Passover tion directed by the host. The conunentary for the drosh level is 2. Feast of Unleavened Bread Various articles are used in the com- called Midrash. The term comes from the 3. Feast of Firstfruits memoration of the festival. They include process of thrashing grain - separating the 4. Pentecost wine Guice of the grape), matzos (unleav- kernel from the chaff. It is a far more so- 5. The Feast ofTrumpets ened bread), zeroah (a roasted lamb shank phisticated method of interpretation than 6. The Day of Atonement bone), karpas (a green vegetable symbol- the remez level. Remez may be ailegorical, 7. The Feast ofTabernacJes izing re bi rth), charose( (symbol izing mar· but drosh deals with parables or riddles. In writing his Gospel account of the life tar used by the Israelite slaves to make The drosh level of biblical interpretation of Christ, John followed the rituals of the brick), salt Wlller(representing tears), maror is decidedly political as well as prophetic. spring festivals - Passover, Unleavened (bitter herbs) and beitza" (a roasted egg). The Jews have alwa.ys held to the divine Bread and Firstfruits. However, as we shall These articles are used to re-enact the prophecy that they were chosen to produce see ill our continuing study in next month's Exodus. Since Passover also includes the the Messiah - scion of David - who will issue, in giving us the Revelation, John fol- Feast of Unleavened Bread, the matzos plays establish a world kingdom. lowed the rituals of the autumn festivals - a major role in the ceremonies. In Leviticus The concept that Christ would become the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atone- 23:4-8, the festivals of Passover and Un- King of kings is the subject of the dros" ment, and the Feast of Tabernacles. leavened Bread are commanded as holy level ofinterprcliltioll. Therefore, drosll not Three days before Passover, a sacrificial convocations. only represents thc highest fonn of wisdom lamb is chosen and staked out in the front The myriad of detailed observances in or what we might call advanced practical yard of each Jewish home for examination. the two festivals had not yet been fully in- application, but als!) spills over into the It must be a male wi thout blemish. Over stituted. There was only the commandment plain prophetic teachings of Scripture. the next three days the chosen creafUre is to eat unleavened bread and make offer- introduced to all passers-by as the Passover ings by fire fo r seven days. By the first Solrd - the Secret - Level lamb. Being the first in the order of Pass- century, the four cups - vegetables, fruits, The solid level of biblical interpretation over events, we are introduced to Israel's an egg and salt water had been added to goes beyond this realm of existence. It lifts Lamb in John's opening chapter: the festivaL us into the heavenly places to view the "The nexi day John seelh Jesus coming Together with the wine, the unleavened glory aspects of the Scriptures. Solid is nOI IInto him. and saith, Behold the lAmb oJ bread ha s become established among of this world. We call see the solid level in God, which laketh away the .fill oJ the Christians as lhe Lord's Supper, or Com- the story of the flaming sword at the east world" (Jolm 1:29). munion. It almost goes without saying that gale of Eden; Moses' encounter with God Jesus is introduced as the Passover Lamb. in John's Gospel, the bread and wine are atop SiJlai for 40 days; Elijah 's heavenly He is examined for the next three years, major symbols. chariot; and John's translation in the Spirit then sacrificed. As the "Lamb o/God." Jesus (Rcv. I: 10). T he solid level is definitely is the central figure around which all of Preparations for Passover prophetic. The rubbis describe it as one history revolves. In the book of Revela- As Passover approaches, Jews begin in standing in the darkness of the early mom- tion, we see this Lamb at the throne of God. eamest to acquire the neccssary articles of 10 Prophecy In thl! NI!""'~
  10. 10. food and drink for the celebration. There is me: for he was before me" (John I: 14, 15). ':And Jesus answered and said IInto them. a carefully observed checkl ist of items that L the surprisingly terse and compact n Elias tl'lIly shall firST come. and restore all are "kosher " for Passover. narrative of John 's first chapter, John the things. TIle Sabbath before Passover is called the Baptist is prominently featured as the man "But I say IInfo YOII, That Elias is come ·'Great Sabbath."The Scripture reading forthis who authenticates the coming Messiah. already. Gild they knew him 1I0t, bllt have Sabbath includes a prophecy by Malachi: In the Synoptic Gospels, his ministry is dOlle lInto him whatsoever they listed. like- "Behold, I will send my messengel: alld referred to as, " .. . p rwlching Ihe baptism of wise shall also lhe Son a/man suffer o/them. he shalf prepare (he way beJore /lie: and repentance fo r the remi~'sion vfsins " (Luke "Then the disciples understood ,har he the I"ord, whom ye seek. shall suddenly 3:3). But here, to the priests, Levites, Phari- spake IIIItO them ofJohn IheBaptist" (Mat- come to his temple, even the messenger oj sees and other listeners, John announces thew 17:10-13). the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold. the coming of the Lord: With the leaven having been cleansed, he shalf COllie, saith the LORD of hosts. "He said. I am the voice ofone crying in the Passover ceremony now turns to the "Bill who may abide Ihe day of his com- the wilderness, make slraight tire way oj celebration itself. There is the buzz of ac- ing? and who shall stand when he appeareth? the Lord, as said tire prophet E.mias" (JOWl tivity and an air of tension as the moment for he is like a refiner sfire, and like flillers' 1023). arrives in which silence falls, the blessing soap: Furthermore, as already noted, he an- is given, and Israel remembers the great "A lid he shall sit as a refine r alld puri- nounces Christ as the "... Lamb of God, power of God to deliver His people. fier of silver: and he .~h all pUl'ifjl the ~'ons which iuketh away the sin oj the world " of Levi. ami purge them as gold and silvel: (John 1:29). The Four Cu ps fhal they lIIay off r IInto the LORD an of- e His brief appearance does two things that The meal is readied. The Seder plate is fe ring in righteousness" (Malachi 3:1-3). are highly suggestive of the Passover ritual. prepared, along with the unleavened bread Malachi names this mysterious messcn- First, in calling for natio nal repentance, and wine. Hayyim Schauss in his book, The ger to be none other than Elijah : Christ is seeking out and purging the leaven Jewish Festivals, suggests the wine is mixed "Behold. I will send YOIl Elijah the of sin, just as is done in every annual fam- with water. Here, he describes part of the prophet before the coming ofthe great alld ily observance of the ritual. In this same first-cen tury ritual: dreadfill day oJthe Lord" (Malachi 4:5). context, it should also be pointed out that " First a glass of wine mixed with water is Jewish thoughts turn to the awesome, fi- Jesus cleansed the Tcmple (John 2:13) at taken. Then the right hand is washed and nal day of redemption. They believe that the first Passover of His public ministry. all partake of lettuce dipped in a tart liq- before that day is realized, Elijah will come Second, he brings to mind the corning of uid. Then the sacrificial animal is served to announce the "day of the Lord" Elijah. At the Passover table, Elijah is hOIl- and eaten with matzoh and bitter herbs, On the day before Passover, the homes of ored by being given a place setting of his dipped ill charoset, a mixture of ground ob ~ervanc Jews are syscematically given a own. His cup is filled with wine; he is in- nuts and fruits in wine. Then begins the last cleansing, called the "search for leaven" vited, even expected to attend the ritual second part . .. a second glass of di luted (hall/elz). Writing in The Jewish Holidays. (called a Selier, the Hebrew word for "or- wine is drunk." a Gllide and Commentary , Michael der"), in memory of the previously quoted Since the days of our Lord and berore, it Strassfeld describes the process as follows: Old Testamelll prophecy. has been a requirement of Passover that each "The search is conducted at night, since The religious authorities in Jerusalem person who participates in the celebration that is when everyone is at homc. Thcre are began to ask John the Baptist, "Art thou is required to drink ·'four cups," that may bedikal hamelz (search for leaven] kits in- Elias?" (Jolm 1:21). It is clear that they be either kosher wine or kosher grape j uice. cluding a candle, a feather for bl1.lshing the were aware of the ancien! prophccy. In facl, We will demonstrate that each of the four hametz, and a spoon into which the Iwmetz they are recorded asking him this not once, Passovers in the Gospel of John reprcsents is brushed. All of the kit can be burned the but twice. No doubt, they were familia r o ne of tbe four cups on the Passover table! next day with the humfttz. WillIe a candle enough with t.he prophecy to suspect that John's second chapter recounts the epi- is customary. a nashlight can also be used. he was thc promised Elijah. sode of Jesus' fi rst miracle, which also fea- You must search everywhere in the house Thus, John 's Gospel begins with a call to tured water and wine. Thc miracle took where nllmetz migbt ha ve been eaten or purge out the old leaven, just as would be place at a marriage ceremony in Cana of used during the year. The leaven bavi ng donc in preparation for Passover. A lso, Gal ilee. In the well-known account, the been discovered and ritual ly destroyed, the Elijah arrived for the celebration, in keep- wedding party called for wine. Jesus' mother home is now ready for Passover." ing with what has become the traditional infom1ed Him of their request, instructing observance. In Manhew's Gospel, Jesus the servants to do whatever He asked. John Preaches Repentance openly likens John the Baptist to Elijah: Then they brought Him six huge stone In John's Gospel, we see virtually this "Forallthe prophets mId the law proph- watcrpots and filled them with water. Mi- same pattern. First, there are the opening esied IIntil John. raculously, the water became wine! In the pa ssages concerning the incarnat io n o r "And if ye will receive it. this is Elias. process, two prominent scriptural symbols Christ, in which the true "Light" came to which was Jor to come. emerged. Onc, the waterpots, being six in men, only to be rejected: "He thalltath ears to hear. lei him hear" number, remind us of mankind. Created on ',llId the Won/was madeflesh, and dwell (Matthew 11:13- 1:5). the sixth day, man would ever aller be among liS, (and we beheld his glory, the Again in Matth ew I 7: I 0- 13, Jesus linked with this number. Two, the wine is glory as oj the only begotten oj the Po- clearly tells Hi s disciples that John has fu l- symbolic of the blood of the Lamb, by ther.) filII of grace and truth. fi lled the role of Elijah: which sinful mankind is cleansed. This is "Johll bare witness of Irim. alld cried, "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why another reminder of the wine mixed with saying, This was he of whom I spake. He then say the scribes that E lias mllst first water, because OUI of the Savior's riven side that cOllleTh after me is preferred before cOllie? came forth "". blood and water" (Jo hn Prophecy In the Ntm '1 Jt
  11. 11. 19:34). At Passover, four cups are f illed - purpose in existence. Those who believe has already called for a purging out of the one after another - to illustrate the Lord's in evolution out of some primordial stew old leaven in repentance. Jesus now carries method of redemption. see the world as the product of somt: celes- trus theme right into the heart of the Temple Each of the cups, to be consumed at its tial "accident." In all its rituals, Passover ministry and its priesthood. specific time in the Seder, has a specific urges its participants to acknowledge that As He made the pilgrimage on this par- meaning. The most common explanation for life has purpose and is headed toward a fore- ticular Passover, Jesus discovered crooked their meaning is that the Scripture given in ordained prophetic outcome. businessmen within the Temple precincts. Exodus 6:6,7 will be forever remembered: It is extraordinarily striking that John's They were making exorbitant profits by " Wherefore say IInto the children of Is- Gospel begins with a similar recitation. It, selling sacri fi cial animals and changing rael, I am the LORD, and 1 will bring you too, exhorts man to remember that God is money. Weaving a whip of cords, He drove Ollt from under (he burdens of the Egyp- holy and sanctified. the moneychangers and their animals out tians, and I will rid YOII out of their bond- "In the beginning was the Word. and the of the Temple. age, and I will redeem yOIl with a stretched Word was lIIith God, and the Won/was God. Immediately, the Jews demanded to know Ollt arm, and wilh great judgments: " The same was in the beginning wilh under what authority He did this. They ''And I will take YOIl to me for a people, God. asked for a sign. John 2: 19 gives His terse and / will be to YOIl a God: and ye .~;hall "Ailihings were made by him; and lIIith· response: ''Jesus answered and said unto know thar I al/l rhe LORD your God, which alit him was not any thing made that was them. Oestmy this temple, and in three days bringeth yOIl 0111 from under Ihe bllrdens made. I will r(lise it liP," In a prophetic metaphor, of the Egyptialls." "In him was life; and the fife was the Christ referred to His own body. To the Jews, the four cups are reminders light of men " (John 1:1-4). They failed to understand His cryptic of the process of the Israelites being freed These words authoritatively establish an mealling. Naturally, they interpreted the from the Egyptians. Today's Jews also see inunense concept: the incamation of Christ remark in the context of Herod's Temple, a the liberation of modem Ismel as the ulti- took place so that men could also hecome magnificent edifice that had been under mate conclusion of the celebration. Based holy and sanctified creatures. In other words, construction for 46 years. In their reckon- upon the above Scripture, the cups are la- the creation of man, as recounted in this por- ing, it would truly be a miracle if someone beled as follows: tion of the Haggadah , would not be com- could ercct such an edifice in a mere tlu'Ce The first cup is called the Cup of Sancti- plete without the final redemption of man. days - too much of a miracle. They scoffed fication: "/ will bring yOIl ollL" At this point in the Seder, a blessing is at His saying. The second cup is called thc Cup of read and the first cup of wine is consumed: Nevertheless, Jesus had sanctified the Thanksgiving: "I lIIiII rid YOIl Ollt of their "Blessed are You, 0 Hashem, our God, Passover by offering His own body in the bondage." King of the Universe, who has chosen us place of the profane Jdumean structure The trurd cup is called the Cup of Re- from all nations , exalted us above all raised by the Herods. And, as seen in John demption: "I will redeem YOII." tongues, and sanctified us with Hi s com- 2:23, He displayed various signs and won- The fourth cup is called the Cup of mandments. And You, 0 Hashem, our God, ders that spoke of His divine origin: Completion: "/lIIiI/ take YOII to me for a have lovingly given us appointed times for "Now IIIhen he was in Jerusalem at the people." gladness, feasts and seasons for joy, this passover, in the feast day, many believed Feast of Unleavened Bread, memol;am of in his name, when they saw the miracles The First Passover: Sanctification the Exodus (rom Egypt. For You have cho- which he did" (John 2:23). At the beginning of the Passover meal, sen and sanctified us above all, and Thus, at trus first Passover in Jolm's Gos- Kiddush (the sanctification of the day) is Your holy festivals , in gladness a.nd joy pel, the first cup is consumed and the feast recited . The word Kiddush mcans "to sanc- have You granted us as a heritage. Blessed is sanctified. ti fY," and can be interpreted as a command, are You, 0 Hashem, who sanctifies Israel, "SanctifY (cleanse) yourself." It hearkens and the festive seasons." The Afikomen back to the pre-Messianic ministry of John This blessing links lhe creation Qf man Shortly after the taking of the first cup, the Baptist. This was bis message to Israel. with the sanctification of Is rae!, God 's holy comes th e ritual or ceremony of the Then, the first cup of wine is taken. Inter- nation. There are other blessings associated afikomell. Earlier, as the meal was prepared, estingly, the ritual begins by recounting with the first cup, but they are all based on three unbroken pieces of unleavened bread the story of the Creation. God is exalted in tbe sanctity and holiness of Israel and the (matzos) were bound together in a special His majesty and sovereignty: Passover. cloth container cal led the matzoh tash. Now, "The sixth day ... the heavens and the As we look at the four Passovers in the the middle piece is removed from the group earth were finished, and all their array. On Gospel of John, it becomes progressively and broken in two. The smaller half is placed the seventh day God completed His work, clear that each ofthem, in proper order, car- back between the two whole matzos. The which He had done, and He abstained on ries the theme of each of the four cups. larger half is wrapped in a napkin and hid- the seventh day from all His work .... God Among other things, this amazing m lth teUs den - to be recovered and used at the end blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, us once again and for the thousandth time of the Passover meal. because on it He abstained from all His work that the Bible cannot be solely the product Jews teach that matzos are the bread of which God created to make." of human intelligence. It is laid out in large- affliction; tbe food of Egyptian slaves. To IEd. Note: This and all succeeding quo- scale patterns that provide the fOUl1(iation them, the ritual of the afikomen speaks of tations from the Haggadah are from Shaar fo r its teachings and prophecies. the bread of slaves becoming the suste- Press edition of The Passover Haggadah.} The first Passover in John (2: 13-25) tells nance of a free people. Michael Strassfeld Observant Jews are urged to remember of the cleansing of the Temple. As with the writes, "Ma tzoh changes from leI/em oni that those who deny God's literal creation first cup, the theme is cleansing and purifi- (the bread of affliction) to the afikomen, of the heavens and the earth see no real cation, or sanctification. Jolm the Baptist from slave past to Messianic future. All the 12 Prophecy In the News
  12. 12. blows of the taskmasters can be seen on its Partic ipants then rc nect that in every even Moses, in whom ye trust. pockmarked surface; yet fragile as it is, generation, it is one's duty to regard him- "For had ye believed Moses, ye would matzoh survives unbroken (unt il we are self as baving personal ly gone out of Egypt. have believed me: for he wrote of me. ready to break it). Matzoh, in its vcry plain- Before drinking the Cup of Thanksgiving, "811t ifye believe nO! his writings, how ness, is the symbol of change for alL" the foll owing recitation is given: shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47). It is most interesting that the word, itself " Therefore it is our duty to thank, praise, This chapter recounts the story of a son of - afikomen - docs not have a Hebrew pay tribule, glorify, exalt, honor, bless, ex- Israel who was powerless to save himself. orig in. Rather, it is Greek. Jews say the best tol, and acclaim Him who perfonned aU Jesus delivercd him from his bondage, both guess as to its origin is that its name comes these miracles for our fathers and for us. He of the rigorously imposed law of the Phari- from a blurring of the Greek word, brought us forth from slavery to freedom, sees and the consequences of his own sin. epikomios, meaning "the after dish," or from grief to joy, from mourning to fest iv- ''Afterward. Jesus Jindeth him in the "that which comes last." T his is because ity, from darkness to great light, and from temple. and .said IIntO him. Behold. thou the hidden half of the matzoh is not recov- servitude to redemption. Let us, therefore, art made whole: sin no more, fest a worse ered until long after the Passover Seder and recite a new song before Him! Hallelujah! " thing come unto thee" (John 5: 14). the dinner which follows it, are completed. The fifth chapter of John tells of the sec- Likc Israel in the wilderness, this man When the plates are ckared, children search ond Passover in Jesus' public ministry. had lain with an infirmity for 38 years. His for the afikomen in a little game of hide and Here, Christ goes again to Jerusalem and is affliction corresponds to the 38 years Is- seek. The finder knows, that he will receive a at the pool of Bethcsda on the Sabbath. rael languished in the wilderncss aftcr re- reward for it. The lame and blind crowded about the pool jecting the message of Joshua and Caleb at When viewing the Passover for the first in the bclicfthat if they could only get into Kadesh Bamea. Jesus reminded thc man not time, Christians are always struck by the the water when an angel moved it, they to sin again, "lest a worse thing come ... " symbolism of the three matzos (represent- would be healed. infcrring that Israel failed again and again, ing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The Here, we have troubled waters and a man only to find more judgment from God. up per matzoh represents the Father. The who can't cross them to be released from This, and Jesus' declaration of divinity, middle matzoh represents the Son. The his bondage. In a way, he symbolically re- is pcrfectly in keeping with the theme of breaking of this middle matzoh speaks of minds us of Israel before its crossing of the the second Cup o f Thanksgiving: '" will Christ's sacrifice. In I Corinthians 11:24, Red Sea. In bondage to the Egyptians, they rid you out of ... bondage." the Communion service records C hrist's awaited rescue and the subsequent cross- own words: "Take, eat: this is my body ing of troubled waters to freedom. The Third Passover: Redemption which il' broken/or YOII: thi.s do in remem- The lame man in Ihis account was appar- On the Passover related in the sixth chap- bronceofme." Finally, the third matzoh rep- ently 50 crippled that he couldn 't even get ter of John, Jesus is teaching ncar the Sea resents the Holy Spirit. Together, they do to the water without being carried. Jesus of Gali lee. Those who resided furthcr than the work of redemption and dcliverance- asked him whether he desired to be made ) 5 miles from the Temple were not required the vcry subject of the- Passover. whole. Whcn he answered that he could do to make the pilgrimage. Jesus, therefore, ad- But what about tbal name ajikomen, and nothing by himself, Jesus said, " ... Rise, ministered this particular Passover by the sea. the game in which the broken half is " res- take up thy bed alld walk. In this passage, the sea is a lso called urrected" at lhe end of the meal? One can ''A nd immediately the mall was made "Tiberi as," its Gentile designation. We are, hardly resist thinking about the resurrec- whole, and took up his bed, and walked: therefore, given a view of Christ's great lion of Jesus and of His Second Coming. and on the same day was the .sabbath" work of redemption that would encompass Actually, there is no mystery. Any stu- (John H,9). the Gentile world, as well as that ofthe Jews. dent of New Testament Greek can look in a This was no random, indiscriminate ac- Upon this, His third observed Passover, standard lexicon and discover that the word tion on Jesus' part. It was nothing less than Jesus deliberately separates Himself from is clearly presented under the declension a declaration of His lordship over the Sab- Jewry, to initiate the elements that would of verbs meaning, "to come."There, we find bath. In fact, thc rest oflhe chapter declares evcntually become the very core of the re- that OOluoollllv (afikomen) is the Greek word His equality with the God of heaven and demptive process - His body and His that directly translates as " I come! " earth: ", .. My Father worketh hitherto, and blood. His actions would come to cover the How much clearer could it be? The I work " (John 5: 17). entire earth. middle matzoh points to the broken body He a lso equates Himself with God in At this Passover, He miraculously feeds of Christ, resurrected w ith the promise that power: "For as the Father roi.seth lip the 5,000 people, walks on the watcr of the sea He will come again. Hallelujah! dead, alld quickellefh them; even so the Son and delivers His great message: '~I am that quickenetll whom he will" (John 5:2 1). bread of life" (John 6:48). The Second Passover: Thanksgiving Then, Jesus proclaims that His authority It is thus quite remarkable that thc third The second cup of Passover, in a detailed is the same as that of the Father in heaven: cup of Passover (called the Cup ofRcdcmp- recounting of events, celebrates Israel's "For the Father judgeth no mall, bllt hath tion) contains a blessing that speaks of this del iverance from Egypt. The ten plagues committed all judgment unto the Son " great Passover miracle: are recited in great detail, each one repre- (John 5:22). " Blcssed are You, 0 Hashem , our God. sented by a drop of wine splashed on a plat- Following these announcements, John King of the uni verse, who nourishes the ter. T he dayeinu (" It would have been records the words and works of Christ and entire world, in His goodness- with grace, enough ...") is offered as a responsive read- the witness of John the Baptist , He also with kindness and with mercy. He g ives ing. It celebrates God's gracc, saying in ef- speaks ofllie witness of tile heavenly Father nourishment to all flesh, for His ki ndncss fect that if God had only broughllsrael out and the witness of the Scriptures: is cternal. And through His great goodness, of Egypt, it would have been enough, but "Do not think thllt , will accuse YOII to we havc never lacked, and may we ncver He did so much more. the Father: there is olle that acclI.seth yOtl, lack, nourishment, for all eternity. For the Prophecy In the Nel<'s 13
  13. 13. sake of His great Name, because He is God ticipants remember that God is the Re- - the theme of this cup. We have all the who nourishes and sustains all, and ben- deemer; that God wilJ strengthen. bless and clemcnts of human drama - induding be- efits all, and He prepares food for a1 of His sustai.n His pcople. Once again, wc find a trayal, separation, sorrow and death. But it crearures which He has created. Blessed are rema:rkable synchronization between the is a death that is consummated in victory! You, 0 Hashem , who nourishes all." Passover Haggadah and the sixth chapter Ultimately, in the sense of the establish- How amazing that Jesus chose this, His of John, since this is the place where Jesus ment of the Kingdom, Christ will reign be- third Passover, to expound upon the iden- gives the great dissertation in which He tells fore His people on the throne of David. They tical theme - spiritual nourishment. Israel that He is the Bread of Life. As He will relate to Him as King. But in the indi- After His phenomena! feeding of 5,000, began telling them who He was, He knew vidual sense, each of the redeemed will Jesus walked upon and calmed the troubled that many would not accept Him: have a personal relationship with the Lord. waters of Galilee. His disciples had encoun- "Then said they IInlo him. Lord, ever- In the Passover Seder , following the tered a grear wind on the sea while rowing more give LIS this bread. drinking of the third cup, the door is opened toward the sea's northwestern shore. It be- "And Jesus said IInfo them. I a/11 the bread and a separate cup is poured for Elijah. T he came dark and they had rowed over three of fi}?: he Ihal comelh 10 me shall never prophet is welcomed into each Jewish miles, filled with fear that they would not hunger; and he that believeth on me shalf home, with regard to the prophecy that in make their destination. neve,. thirst. the days of Messiah, he will return as a Then Jcsus came across the water - walk- "But I said unto YOII, That ye also have watchman to the House of David. Then the ing! He e1imbed into their boat and imme- seell lI1e, and believe lIot" (John 6:34-36). door is dosed, as the fourth cup is poured. diately they were transported to their des- . The Jews, instead of accepting I-lim, con- T hen the second portion of the Halle! tillation. Again , we are reminded of the tinued to m u rmur and contend among (psalms 115-118) is reci ted. Four times, troubled waters of the Red Sea and the mi- themselves. They desired mere food, not these four psalms repeat the pluase, "Praise raculous crossing made by the Israelites. spiritual wisdom. ye the Lord." In Hebrew, of course, this is The symbols of that first Egyptian Pass- '"Jesus therefore answered and said unto the word "hallelujah." These psalms also over are found interwoven throughout this them. Murmur 1101 among yourselves. feamre the theme of the Lord's persopal, Gospel. "No man can come to me. except the Fa- watchful care and of the coming of the How wonderfully mysterious is the fact Iher which halh sent me draw him: and I Messiah. that Jews often take bits of the afilwmen will raise him up al the last day. At this, His fourth observed Passover, with them after the Passover meal. T hey "It is written ill tlte propltets, And tltey Jesus took the ritual washing of hands that keep them through the year as treasured re- shall be all taught ofGod. EvelY man there- accompanies a nonnal Seder and expanded membrances - sometimes even regarding Jore that hath heard. and hath learned oj it into a foot-washing ceremony. He liter- them as something of a good-luck amulet. the Father, cometh Ullio me. ally acted out the role of a bondservant as The Jews of Morocco carry this idea even "NOlllwt any man halh seen the Falher, He girded Himself with a towel and humbled farther. Hayyim Schauss writes, "These save he which is oJGod. he halh seen the H imsclf before them. The God of the uni- Jews of Morocco carry away with thcm from Falhw: verse even washed the feet of Judas! the Seder a piece of thc afikomen, the maf- "M~rily. verily, I say unlo YOll. He thai Here, He displayed the authcntic picture zoh saved for the end of the meal. They believeth on me hath everlasting life. ofpuTe, self-effacing service. What an ex- carry it as a safeguard on ocean voyages ··I,'lln that bread offife" (John 6:43-48). traordinary example of Christian relation- and throw it into the water in times of storm, Here, during His third observed Passover, ship. Just as stated in the Cup of Comple- claiming that it has powers to calm the sea." Jesus made thc great announcement that tion, He took them " ... fOl" a people." Their action is a symbolic casting of the His body represents the unleavened bread But even as this action was completed, Bread of Life upon troubled watcr. Now, of the festival. Furthennorc, He proclaimed during their evening meal, Jesus sent Ju- where could they have gotten such an idea? H is body to bc the source of tile most im- das on his evil mission. Writing about Pass- Obviously, Christ, as the fulfillment of the pOliant clements of the Passover, tile cup over as it would have been observed in the afikomen, calmed the stonn-tossed sea! and the bread: first century, Hayyim Schauss paints a Before the third cup is consumed, there "Whoso ealeth my flesh. alld drinketh graphic picture: arc. severnl more blessings, concluding with my blood, hath eterllallife: and I will raise "It is, however, not enough just to buy a the one that follows. Like the others, it is him up at Ihe lasl day" (John 6:54). sheep or goat in order to be ready for [Pass- structured around the theme of redemption: Th~ blood of the Passover Lamb is noth- over] eve. The sacrificial animal is not eaten " Fear Hashem, you - His holy ones - ing if it is not the very source of redemp- alone, but in groups that are made up in for there is no deprivation for His reverent tion. In this obscrvancc, we havc the Com- advance, for one man cannot eat an entire ones. Young lions may want and hunger, munion Cup of Redemption. animal and it is forb idden to leave any part but those who seek the Lord wil! not lack of the animal for the next day. So Jews rush any good. Give thanks to God for He is The Fourth Passover: Completion about making arrangements to fonn a group good; His kindness endures forever. You On the eve of His fourth observed Pass- or to become part of one. A group cannot open Your hand and satisfy the desire of over, as given in Jolm 13, Jesus washed the consist of less than ten people, for it takes evcry living thing. Blessed is the man who feet of the disciples. Once again it is aston- at least that many to eat an entire sheep at trusts in Hashem , then the Lord wiU be his ishing to observe the juxtaposition be- one sitting. But some Jews form huge security. I was a youth and also have aged, tween the events of this Passover and those groups, numbering so many that each mem- and [ have not seen a righteous man for- leading up to the drinking of the fourth bercan get no more than a mere taste o f the saken, with his children begging for bread. Passover cup. This is the Cup of Comple- sacrificial animal, a piecc no larger than an Hashem will give might to His people; the tion, in which God reminds the redeemed, olive entirely too small to satisfy one's hun- Lord will bless His people with peace." "I will take you to me for a people." ger. It is customary, then, for such a group to As the third cup is raised to the lips, par- Here we have a statement of relationship slay another aninml, an additional festive 14 Prophecy 1ft {he News
  14. 14. offcring called chagigah. This animal is al- "A new commandmellf T give I/IltO you. lem, Hallelujah!" ways useful. Unlike the official sacrifice, 17wt ye love one ollother; as f have loved The "Cup of Salvations" mentioned in which had to be ealen before dawn, the you. thaI ye also love one another. this recitation is found in the closing verses chagigah may be held for a second day." "By this shall 011 men kllOw thar ye are of Psalm 116 in the context of a restored Latcr, Mr. Schauss adds another interest- my disciples, if ye have love one 10 011- Jerusalem. As the Passover Seder builds to- ing note: " It was customary in those days other" (John 13:34,35). ward its conclusion, this becomes the cen- for two main courses to be served at festive The Haggadah preceding the founh cup tral themc. IT almost goes without saying banquets of the rich, and thcse two courses contains these words, from Psalm I 16: that this cup is the one ultimately taken by were interpreted as reminders of the [pass- " I love Him, for Hashem hears my voice, Christ as He went to the Cross. over] sacrifice and the chagigall, the sec- my supplications. As He has inclined Hjs Fol1owing Hi s reference to the New ond or supplementary sacrifice. Thcse two ear to me, so in my days shall I calt. The Jerusalem in John 14, Jesus continues to courses usually consisted ofa piece of roasted pains of death encircled me; the confines comfon His disciples. Here, we find a record meat on the bone, and a roasted egg." of the grave have found me; trouble and of perhaps the most intimate conversations Judas left the evening gathering after sorrow r would find. Then I would invoke in all Scripture. Jesus has fi nally made it Jesus presented him with the sop: the Name of Hashem: ;Please Lord, save elear to His inner circle that He is about to "Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall my soul: Gracious is the Lord and righteous, die. Amid their flood of anxieties and un- give a sop, when f have dipped it. Alld when our God is merciful. Hashem protects the certainties, He is thei:r pillar of strength. he hall dipped the sop, he gave it (0 Judas simple; I was brought low, but He saved In John 14:6, toThomas, He says, "I am [scoriot, the son oj Simon. me. Return, my soul, to your rest; for the the way." L vcrse 20, to Philip, He says, "I n "And ajier the sop Satan ellfered into Lord has been kind to you. For You have am in my Father. and ye in me, GIld [ ill hill/. Then said Jesus unto him, Thai thou delivered my soul from death, my eyes from you." Fie reassures Judas (not Iscariot) by doest, do quickly. tears, my feet from stumbling. I shall walk saying in verse 26, "But the ComJorler. "Now 110 ilion at tile lable knew for what before Hashem in the lands of the living. I which is fhe Holy Ghost, whom the Father intent he spake this unlo him. have kept faith although I say: ' I suffer ex- will selld in my nome, he shall/each you all "For some of them thollghl, because Ju- ceedingly.' I said in my haste, 'All mankind thillgs, alld bring all things to your remem- das had the bag, that Jeslls had said unto is deceitful.'" brance, whatsoever lhave said Illlfo you." him, Buy those fhings Ihat we have lIeed of In John 14: 1-3, Jesus gives the disciples The entire 15th chapter is a dissertation against the feasf: or. that he should give the first teaching, conceming His plan to take upon relationship. Tn verses I through 11, something to the poor" (John 13:26-29). home the called-out body of believers: Jesus speaks as the "trlle vine." Those in As far as the disciples knew, Judas was "Let nol your heart be trollbled: ye be- relationship with Him are the branches. In sent out to buy provisions for the next day's lieve in God, believe also in me. verses 12- 17, He calls those who believe in sacrifice - the chagigall. And indeed, in "Tn my Fathers house are many mall- Him, ·yriends.·' In verses 18 through 24, He an ironic reversal. that is exactly what he sions: if it were flOt so, I would have told tells believers that the world will hate them, did. For thirty pieces of silver, he treacher- YOlt. I go to prepare a place for YOIl. just as it hated l-lim. Nevertheless, in the ously arranged for Jesus, the sacrificial ''And ifl go alld prepare a placefor )1'011, [ concluding verses (J ohn 15:26,27), He Lamb, to be slain. will come again, and receive )'Ou IIJ110 m)'- gives them this assunmce: self: rhat where I am, there ye may be aIsQ." ·'Bur when the COII~rorter is come, whom The Eschatology of the Fourth Cup All of us, like Abraham, look for "... Q [ will send unto you Irom the rathe/; even tn John 15:13, Jesus says, "Greater love city which hathfollnda/ions, whose builder rhe Spirit of mlth, which proceedelh from hmh 110 111011 than this, that a mall lay dow/! alldmaker is God"(Hcb. II: 10). Here, Jesus the Father. he shalf testifj' oJllle: his life/or his Jriends." This is relationship refers to that city. He is its planner and "A nd ye 01:"0 shall bear willless, becallse in its highest sense. builder. Furthermore, He promises to come ye have been with meJi-01ll the begillllillg." But true relationship between God and and take us home to our eternal dwelling In Chaptcr 16, He continues to leach them His people implies something else. It also place. In Revelation it is called, "New on the dctails of the Comforter's ministry. incorporates the completion and full real- Jerusalem." The Haggadah surrounds the He does this, even while continuing to gen- ization of a long and complex prophetic fourth cup with readings that prophetically tly inform them [hat He will soon depa": plan. As we examine the events of thi s speak of this sublime realization, as the "Nevertheless I tell yOIl fhe 'ruth; II is fourt h Passover, we discover ilto be so im- subject of Jerusalem begins to be heard in expedient/or you that I go away:for ifl go portant in God's plan that five fu ll chapters its celebration : nor (l)vay, the willnof cOllie unro - John 13 through t 7 - are devoted to it! "How can J repay Hashem for all His kind- you; bill if I depart, I will send him unto Here, in a spectacular conclusion to the ness to me? I will raise the Cup of Salva- YOIl" (John 16:7). four Passovers, Jesus teaches a lesson in tions and the Name of Hashem I will in- This chapter concludes <IS He tells His which relationship and His redempti vc plan voke. My vows to Hashem I will pay, in the disciples that He will soon be returning to are beautifully intertw ined. Without a presence, now, of His entire people. Diffi- His heavenly Father. doubt, this is the Cup of Complction. cult in the eyes of Hashem is the death of The Haggadah picks up this note of dis- Following the foot-washing ceremony in His devout ones. Please, Lord - for I am tress, even while amplifying the theme of chapter 13, He reveals Judas (scariot, the your servant, son of your handmaid - You the Lord's ultimate victory over the nations: betrayer, who immediately goes out into have released my bonds. To You I will sacri- " From the straits did I call upon God; He the night. Jesus then announces thai He will fice thanksgiving offerings, and the Name <lnswered me in the broad places of Hashem. soon dcpan, telling the disciples that they of Hashem I w ill invoke. My vows to Hashem is with me, I have no fear; how can cannot follow. Upon this occasion, He givcs Hashem I will pay, in the presence, now, of man affect me? Hoshem is with me through them 1 new commandment. Not surpris- His entire people. 1n the counyards of the my helpers; therefore J can face my foes. It ingly, its theme is relationship; House of Hashem , in your midst, 0 Jerusa- is better to take refuge in Hashem than to Pruphec.y lit /he Nen, I J