Category Archives: Thematic study

Study based on a theme that runs throughout Scripture.

Mark the Servant

This talk was given to a group of Christadelphians last October (PDF). The aim of the talk was to see how Christ is portrayed in the gospel of Mark and what we could learn from him. As an opening reading we read Mark 12:1-12.

Introduction

The gospel of Mark was written before the Roman invasion of Jerusalem, and deals specifically, in the first instance, with the events to happen in that day and age… before the Romans would come to remove the mosaic heavens and earth (as alluded to in the letter to the Hebrews).

Amongst the four Gospels Mark’s stands out as the shortest. As with all Scripture, the scope and purpose is very precise and accurate with no contradictions, and can be summarised in the parable of the Vineyard.

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Melchi-Zedek: King of Rightiousnes

Again, another bible class. It was written and given as a public talk but posted here in case anyone else would care to read it. This subject was a delight to study, especially in such exciting times where prophecy is speedily becoming a reality as we know with all certainty that it will.

Introduction

Melchizedek is explicitly mentioned in three sections of scripture. The historical record of Melchizedek is found in Genesis 14, Then the sweet psalmist of Israel picks up the theme and links it to Christ in the millenium – Psalm 110. And finally, Paul in Hebrews 5 to 7, ties the theme together expounding many parts of these two earlier passages, showing that indeed Jesus was the Christ – the anointed king – foretold by the prophets.

Paul tells us that Melchizedek was:

Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Melchizedek was a man and therefore undoubtedly had parents, probably even children. Paul’s point is that Melchizedek has been made to look like Christ… he is a type of Christ! Hence all the details, or in this case, lack of them, are recorded for that purpose… nothing is left to chance in scripture. I’d like to look at both the prophecy and the exhortation. Continue reading

Virtuous Woman – אשת חיל

Introduction

“A virtuous Woman is a crown crown to her husband” (Prov 12:4)

In summary, the “virtuous” woman represents the multitudinous people taken by the Messiah in marriage as his queen. Those who will with Yashua as he reigns from Zion, from the throne of his father David.

Our subject is taken from proverbs 31. We do not have enough time to look at every verse in detail, that would require many evenings as we shall see. So we will have to suffice with a more thematic approach, just brushing the surface. My aim is to wet your appetite for further personal study. Continue reading

Isaiah 6 – the Seraphim: burning ones (High priest)

In the last post we looked at the throne and the exalting of the saint body to the political rule of the future age. This time we finish our study with a more detailed look at the High priest of our calling who occupies that throne, and the prophetic reason for this vision!

The train or Skirt

The train or skirt filled the temple. This word is used exclusively in two contexts in scripture.

  • The skirt of Israel lifted up as the skirt of a harlot (Lam 1:9, Jer 13:22,26 and Nah 3:5)
  • The rim of the robe of the ephod of the High Priest (Exo 28:33-34, 39:24-26)

This draws our minds to the great contrast between the leaders of the nation at the time and our lord. He is the faithful one the Amen, holy and true are his words. The false leaders of the time spoke smooth things, and committed fornication with the false doctrines and “gods” of the nations around.

Exo 28:33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before Yahweh, and when he cometh out, that he die not.

The word for pomegranate is the word rimon רמון, the same as the place Rimon, in Zechariah 14, “Gevah to Rimon”. This word again comes from the word high, ram רמ, of av’ram אברם. Hence drawing attention to the high or exhaled nature of the pomegranate. It’s used along with other plants that represent the Israelite people in Numbers 13:25: Continue reading

Isaiah 6 – the Seraphim: burning ones (the Throne)

The last post we looked at Yashua as the true high priest, and showed from scripture that this vision has historical and future aspects. This time we will look more into the details of the prophecy and the wonderful vision of the throne.

The exalting of the righteous

Now lets go back to Isaiah 6 and look at some of the details, specifically the throne.

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord (Adonay) sitting upon a throne, high (ram רם) and lifted up (nasa נשא), and his train filled the temple.

The word “high” here is ram רם, it is found in the name av’ram אברם, exalted father whose seed will also be exalted. This links the lord of the throne to the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promises and many of the prophecies of old. One example is Numbers 24:7, we start in verse 5 for context:

Num 24:5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob (the overcomer), and thy tabernacles, O Israel (Prince with Ail)!
6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which Yahweh hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.

Aloes

Young Aloe Vera plants (Psa 1)

Incidentally the word “Aloes” here is the the same as the word Elohim אלוהים or mighty ones, with two letters transposed, showing the identity of this symbol to be the saints. Psalm 1, they plant themselves on the living waters of the temple, soaking up the words of the Father.

Do we delight in soaking up the word, Brethren and Sisters? Do we thirst after it as a deer longing after refreshing waters, the gentle waters of Shiloach in the heat of this world?

Continuing in verse 7:

7 He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher (ram רם) than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted (born up).

What is the nature of this exalting? We are told in the lovely words of Hannah’s prayer.

1 Sam 2:6 Yahweh killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
7 Yahweh taketh away, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up (ram רם).

Hannah recognises the state of Israel and there reliance on Yahweh. He had indeed taken away the land and possessions of those around and given them to the children of Israel. They had followed the lies of Nimrod, sinking into all manor of vile worship, therefore Yahweh had removed them from the land. This is a great lesson to us, those who multiply there talents will be given of the inheritance of those who have not. If we neglect our estate, it will be taken from us and we will be “brought low”.

The word lifteth up is from our root word ram רם and is used of the resurrection and exalting of the meek of the earth.

1Sam 2.8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up (ram רם) the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s, and he hath set the world upon them. (also Psa 113:7-8)

The dust of the seed of Abraham will be raised from there sleep and gathered together a body prepared for the beloved (Heb 10:5). Those who do the works of Abraham will be quickened by the spirit dwelling within them (Rom 8:11). They are as the line Aloes, soaking up the word, upright in there actions and growing in the character of there father … that when there betrothed returns, they will see him as he is (1 John 3:2), and they shall be made like him, not just in mind but in alos in body. Not only that – “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Apoc 3:21). What a privilege …

bearing of the throne

Not only is our lord “high” or exalted as is typified in his father Abraham, he was also “lifted up” or born up. This is the word used of the priests shouldering of the alter, and bearing up the tabernacle as they followed the cloud. We find the same vision in Ezekiel chapter 10, where the throne is born up by the Cheruvim כרובים.

Psa 18:10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of … spirit.

Not only do the saints, the Cheruvim, bear up the throne, they are also filled with the spirit of Yahweh.

1 Sam 4:4 Yahweh which dwelleth between the Cherubim

Notice the word “between”, found in italics in the AV, is not there in the Hebrew: not only is the throne born upon the Cheruvim, as the priests of old; his spirit inhabits the Cherubim themselves, his spirit fills them. If we are to be part of the Cheruvim, then we are filled with his spirit, driven by it. What drives us, where is our focus? Is it the lusts of our bodies … or the wisdom and character of the Father?

For the final part of the series click here.

Isaiah 6 – the Seraphim: burning ones (Mel’chizedek)

Mel’chizedek – King or Righteousness

In the last post, we saw Uzziah lift himself up beyond what Yahweh had given him, as he took upon himself the name and role of Azariah–the hight priest at the time. In the opening verse of Isaiah 6 the spirit contrasts this self appointed Azariah (help of Yah) with the true Mel’chizedek, the true king priest, ordained by the father and sitting on his throne – “Jesus” (Yashua in the Hebrew). We are told this in John 12.

John 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and spake of him (Christ).

Now why would visions given to Isaiah about the impending Assyrio-Babylonian invasion be applied to Christ and his time? The spirit though John and Isaiah is clearly using the prophecy to refer to both times.

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Isaiah 6 – the Seraphim: burning ones (context)

Introducing the vision

In this short overview of Isaiah 6 and the vision of the Seraphim שרפים (the burning ones), we look at: the context the vision was given, the meaning for the people of the time, and the message for us today! Starting with the context then… so why was the book of Isaiah written?

Isa 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amotz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for Yahweh hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Yahweh is pleading with his people, his “children”, as their Father; By this revelation given to Isaiah–just as John received the revelation about his generation, and beyond–open the eyes of the faithful of the inhabitance of Judah an Jerusalem, a message to his servants, to show them things which must shortly come to pass.

One of several phases of the locust

There were to be four successive invasions by the Assyrians, which Joel sees as waves of locusts; a wave in each of the reigns of the kings mentioned here. They came from the north, eating the goodness of the land as they came. By the end, all of the northern tribes of Israel were taken from the land, and only a small remnant of the tribe of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem remained.

Uzziah

Now when we come to Isaiah 6, we find our vision is given around the time of the death of Uzziah king in Judah. In verse one we read:

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also Adonay(my lord) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

How is this vision related to the death of Uzziah?

Uzziah עֻזִּיָּהוּ means “Yahweh is my strength”, and this describes the earlier part of his reign; he grew strong and powerful under the wings of the father. 2 Kings 15 seems to suggest that he changed his name towards the end of his reign. When coronated he was called Uzziah, but by the time of Menachem–the king of Israel and the first Assyrian invasion–he was referred to as Azariah עֲזַרְיָהוּ (which means “Yahweh has helped”). By adding another letter to his name, he now shared the same name as the high priest of the time!

Now why would he do this? Perhaps there is a clue in the first time the word “help”, ezer עזר is used in the psalms,

Ps 20:1 Yahweh hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the Elohim of Jacob defend thee;
2 Send thee help, ezer עזר, from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion

There are several prophecies of the saving of Jerusalem from there enemies by the “help” of Israel; Christ and the saints (Deut 33:7,26, Psa 121). At the time of the barbaric Assyrian invasion, the “day of trouble”, it would seem that Uzziah–now Azeriah–was associating himself with the prophetic Melchizedek, the king priest of Jerusalem, the seed of David. Through him he assumed that the people would be saved, and his “heart was lifted up to destruction” (2 chr 26:16). Taking upon himself the role of the high priest, he tried to offer incense in the temple to Yahweh! lifting himself up beyond that which was given to him, he was smitten with leprosy for the rest of his life, reminding him that all flesh is grass–Yahweh indeed was his strength!

This is a great lesson for us, where is our aim in life? do we strive to set ourselves up, is it our desire to be in the kingdom for Yahweh’s glory, or our own? The saints, symbolised in apocalypse by the 24 elders will “cast their crowns before the throne, saying… thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Apoc 4:10)

Nadab and Abihu: the cleansing work of the Seraphim

Uzziah represents the apostasy of the nation and it’s rulers at the time… flesh is no better now than it was then; our generation is also coming to a time of purging.

Alter of Incense (Timna Park tabernacle reconstruction: Israel)

Uzziah made the same mistake as Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10, when they offered strange fire; incense that Yahweh had not asked for. According to Luke 1:9,10, “the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense”. And “the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before” Yahweh (Apoc 8:4).

Both the prayers of Azeriah and the people were rejected, Isaiah 1 says, “bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me … I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. … And when ye spread forth your hands (in prayer), I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (Isa 1:13, 15).

Fire, coming forth from the faces of the Cherubim burnt up Nadab and Abihu. Yahweh forbade Aaron–their father–to morn … but “let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning, saraph שרף, which Yahweh hath kindled, saraph שרף” (Lev 10:6). Why did Yahweh do this? We are told in verse 3, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified”.

Whirlwind from the north, the vision of the Cherubim (Ezk 1)

Because of the wickedness of the people in turning their back on him and serving Baal, and offering their children to Molech burning them on the hands of the statue outside the gates of Jerusalem (city of peace), the people were to be purged with the burning fire of the Seraphim. In the words of Yahweh through Ezekiel when he, in prophecy, was to cut hairs from his head as a symbol of the people of Israel, “cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn saraph שרף them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel” (Ezek 5:4). And it did, Ezekiel 1 is the vision of Babylonians consuming Jerusalem as a fiery whirlwind (Ezk 43:3).

Choosing to take upon ourselves the name of Yahweh in baptism, to be son’s and daughters of the most high, is a great responsibility. Bringing into disrepute the name of our Father is a very serious thing. Yahweh’s name must be seen as holy at all times!

Next we will look at the vision on the throne, the true king priest–Mel’chizedek

Passover lamb – firstborn priest

Exo 12:1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.

We may read through this quickly and miss the important detail in verse 3. In the Hebrew it is more literally:

… and the men shall take to them a seh שה (small livestock, sheep or goat) for their fathers house, a seh שה for a house

So who which men are these, well they can’t be the fathers, and there is only one man per house fetching the seh שה. The answer appears to be the first born, which were sanctified to Yahweh (Exo 13:2). Later the Levites were sanctified in place of the first born (Num 3:12). It is reasonable then to assume that the role of the first born was the priestly role that the Levites took over.

The anti-type Christ, the first born of the family Yahweh Elohim, our passover lamb, who “by himself purged us from our sins” (Heb 1). As the first born he provided the lamb, himself, he is eaten by the whole family who by him are saved from the destroying angel (Exo 12:4). The covering of his blood protects the entrance to the household and those within – the Ecclesia. And just as the passover of old his bones were not to be broken (Exo 12:46).

A people for his Name

So far in part 1 we looked at why the Name is so important – we must know it to love it. Then in part 2 we delved into the etymology of the name as a normal Hebrew word, to find out what would have conveyed to the children of Israel… the answer is “Cause to breath!”. Then in part 3, we followed Yahweh’s explanation to Moses and see that the name Yahweh is the family name given to a multitude of Elohim (mighty ones).

The question is who is part of this family and what part can we have in this?

Breath of life

We have mentioned before that the Yahweh means “cause to breath!”. We plan to address the concept of “breath” in future word studies, for the moment we will draw attention to the beautiful link to the creating of man. Yahweh formed Adam’s body from the dust and he breathed life into him.

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