Rain for the Remnant; Slaughter for the Shepherds and the Coming Cornerstone

Zechariah 10

Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain— The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man. For the teraphim speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd. “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the male goats; For the LORD of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah, And will make them like His majestic horse in battle. From them will come the cornerstone, From them the tent peg, From them the bow of battle, From them every ruler, all of them together. And they will be as mighty men, Treading down the enemy in the mire of the streets in battle; And they will fight, for the LORD will be with them; And the riders on horses will be put to shame. And I shall strengthen the house of Judah, And I shall save the house of Joseph, And I shall bring them back, Because I have had compassion on them; And they will be as though I had not rejected them, For I am the LORD their God, and I will answer them. And Ephraim will be like a mighty man, And their heart will be glad as if from wine; Indeed, their children will see it and be glad, Their heart will rejoice in the LORD. I will whistle for them to gather them together, For I have redeemed them; And they will be as numerous as they were before.  When I scatter them among the peoples, They will remember Me in far countries, And they with their children will live and come back. I will bring them back from the land of Egypt, And gather them from Assyria; And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, Until no room can be found for them. And He will pass through the sea of distress, And strike the waves in the sea, So that all the depths of the Nile will dry up; And the pride of Assyria will be brought down, And the scepter of Egypt will depart. And I shall strengthen them in the LORD, And in His name they will walk,” declares the LORD.

This passage, standing alone, by itself, on an island, with nothing connecting it to the rest of the content in Zechariah or the sublime string of the Bible, could possibly be referring to a time of future prosperity for the nation of Israel after a terrible tribulation, or actually, just before. (I have to be honest, I can’t figure out what the prophecy pundits believe concerning Israel’s future. Because this could be happening now, according to their dogma or after the tribulation perhaps; they see in the future a literal millenial kingdom–either way there are insurmountable issues with the dogmatic dispensationalist discourse.) Nevertheless Zechariah is not written in chapter and verse and it does mirror much of the major and minor prophets and no where in these prophets does it tell us that Israel is God’s timepiece or prophetic clock. That is imposed on the text by the prophecy pundits because who’s going to buy a book that says, “99 percent of prophecy has been fulfilled?” I have bought one and maybe three other people. It’s not sexy, thinking we are in the middle of a long time of building. But what is sexy is that we were given a task to do by Jesus–make disciples. Zechariah is made up of many prophecies and visions, some of which are contemporary to their culture but all of them are about the coming King. They point to the time of Jesus.

The perilous path of the prophecy pundits is full of road blocks and insurmountable obstacles. Every argument that they make concerning prophecy is not only readily refuted by reading the continuing context, the timing of the fulfillment of prophecy is also readily revealed, in most instances. The prophecy pundits claim, in order to get around the insurmountable obstacles, that “one sentence of prophecy was fulfilled in the first coming and the next will be fulfilled in the second coming.” However the Scripture is to interpret Scripture and the Scripture doesn’t state this but rather the timing is usually given quite clearly. For instance,  Daniel recorded 70 weeks of years, without a hiatus and Jesus came, was cut off, the gospel went to Jerusalem and Judea first and then there was also 42 months of persecution. Zechariah also indicated the timing; Jesus would come to Jerusalem and the temple, riding on a donkey and then many would flock to him but many more would be judged by the curse of the flying scroll. Simply put, the Bible does not tell us that Jesus comes but he is surprised by what he sees so that he delays his judgment and his wrath. Rather the Bible tells us that Jesus comes and most people are surprised by him being humble and mounted on the donkey as a suffering servant. We make the exact same mistake with our Christmas pageants, Easter eggs and knees bent, circling the wagons, eating crustless white-bread and grape juice, cowering in the corner because of the current cultural climate, forgetting or ignoring or not believing that “all authority in heaven and earth” was given to Jesus Christ when he was raised from the dead. We see the cross and resurrection as incomplete. We get stuck in our taught traditions. The worst of which is that God is all but done with the church and is now all but exclusively for ethnic Israel. But the church is true Israel, made up of all nations, first to Jewish people and then to all peoples. The nation of Israel is a small country in the middle east, the majority of whom don’t know Jesus and therefore, based upon the words of Jesus, they don’t know the father. Once again I offer proof, rather than take the prophecy pundits proclamational approach; “For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants…it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants…For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for ‘WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'” Paul wrote this to the Romans, quoting the Old Testament, but also wrote the same sentiment to others.

To the church in Ephesus Paul emphasized; “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”

In each instance (for time’s sake we passed over Galatians), where Paul explains that Israel and the church are one, he quotes the Old Testament. For time’s sake we won’t explore every example because we have seen many in these missives and there are many more and they are easily researched. These missives are less to teach and more to promote self study and self learning based upon utilizing the CAGED method of Biblical hermeneutics. Context, Aspirations of Author, Genre, Explore Examples and Divide Rightly. You can read the Bible and learn from it but like fishing, you’ve got to put time into it. It is our daily bread not our daily crumb.

As the hypocritical protesters and rioters, who say we shouldn’t generalize people, generalize people, the dogmatic dispensationalists also display an ethno-religious preference of Jesus to Jewish people in these “latter days.” Beyond that, they begin with the presupposition that God has two distinct people with two distinct plans. First with Israel, God made an everlasting covenant, which endures forever and that Israel belongs in Israel forever, except for almost 2000 years, but they weren’t too good so God sent Jesus to die on the cross for a church with a minuscule amount of missionaries and a plethora of passive people to rapture and then God will gather Israel to their land, slaughter two thirds of them in a tribulation that makes the holocaust look like a picnic in comparison but saves the rest. Sound confusing and convoluted? That’s because it is. Yet in the text of which they use to describe this future fulfillment, Jesus doesn’t say to come to Jerusalem, he actually says to flee it and flee it fast. Also, he says this to his disciples, specifically, that it will happen in their generation. Ultimately though, I have strayed from the point. But don’t worry, we’re coming back to this.

Look at the cross of Christ. Really look at it from every angle and vantage point. Bask in the glory of the resurrection and understand that Jesus redeemed the world to himself. Love John 3:16 but also love John 3:17. And while it may seem that we are straying from Zechariah, we are seeing what Zechariah saw. We must understand metaphorical meanings and similes, analogies and imagery. Also, a helpful hint, scrolls were not like books are today and especially weren’t like tablets, computers and other modern wonders. They were relatively short and very expensive. Therefore when we see a line or two from the Old Testament in the New, we should thoroughly explore the example. The New Testament writers didn’t rip verses out of context but expected the reader to understand the continuing context, which was already written. I have done a similar thing, for time’s sake. I could quote every Old Testament promise about the nations flocking to the true Israel and the New Testament fulfillment and yet the prophecy pundits can’t quote one Old Testament or New Testament quote which states that God has two distinct plans for two distinct people. It is a presupposition read into the Scripture and a taught tradition. We take a long view and see the sublime string woven throughout the context of the Scriptures, so that while we see that the day of the Lord is not a single day, history does pivot on the cross and resurrection and progresses slowly but exponentially from there, with measurable moments and ebbs and flows. All of this is a bit of housekeeping so that when we read the Bible we will consider the greater context and understand metaphorical meanings, while keeping the sublime string in mind. We all have presuppositions based on traditions and teachings but unless we are learning for ourselves we only know what we have been taught– and what we have been taught may not necessarily be true. Therefore keep an open mind as you read the Bible as I plan to do. Actually, I will approach today’s text with a pre-tribulational, pre-millenial mind set; that God has two distinct people with two distinct plans. Nevertheless, I will keep an open mind and see if this passage fits my pre-tribulational presupposition.

“Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain— The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man. For the teraphim speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.”

“Because” is the watchword, because “because” tells us the why. The people wander like sheep and are afflicted because there is no shepherd. Could this be in a future where the Holy Spirit is removed and the church is gone as well? It could make sense. Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” We could then assume that in the future, with the church gone and the Spirit removed, Israel will be left with no shepherd. However, have we considered the context or the aspirations of the author?

Notice also; “For the teraphim speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain.” We are taught that the tribulation will be horrifying and go from bad to worse. Reasonably then we could place this during the great tribulation, in the not-so-distant future when men will attempt to appease and comfort the people but ultimately they are lying because everything and everyone goes from bad to worse.

Problem: I am using taught traditions and not noticing the context. Also, how could things go from bad to worse if many, or a third, are being saved? In the very beginning of today’s text the Lord says, “Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain— The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.”  This flies in the face of everything that I have assumed. Asking for rain is asking for a blessing and God indicates that he will bless those who ask. Nevertheless, we will continue with my presupposition. How could this be a time of trouble if God is willing to send the rain? Yet God is angry.

“My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the male goats; For the LORD of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah, And will make them like His majestic horse in battle. From them will come the cornerstone, From them the tent peg, From them the bow of battle, From them every ruler, all of them together.”

Here we could be seeing the great tribulation by the mentioning of God’s anger at the shepherds. God pours out his wrath on Israel but when his anger is extinguished, he returns as the coming Cornerstone and tent peg to reign for 1000, literal years. We also notice that the Lord has visited his people and this could be the first coming of Jesus, in a manger, as a little baby boy; how cute. A meek and mild mannered man who didn’t come as a warrior king but a suffering servant. After all, isn’t this why Israel rejected him? But in the second coming he will come as a conquering king. Although there are a few problems with this line of thought, things really heat up as we read more.

“From them the bow of battle, From them every ruler, all of them together. And they will be as mighty men, Treading down the enemy in the mire of the streets in battle; And they will fight, for the LORD will be with them; And the riders on horses will be put to shame. And I shall strengthen the house of Judah, And I shall save the house of Joseph, And I shall bring them back, Because I have had compassion on them; And they will be as though I had not rejected them, For I am the LORD their God, and I will answer them.”

There it is, pretribulational rapture at its best. Notice the watchword “because” because, “because” tells us why God brings Israel back, because he has compassion on them. And since Zechariah was written after the remnant returned, it must be speaking of a future fulfillment. God strengthens the house of Judah and they fight for the Lord. This could not have happened yet because I didn’t witness it. I don’t know what Chanukah is all about anyway.

On second thought, maybe we should take a second look. We have to consider the greater context and in the greater context we see a pitiful people present of a minuscule manner, a tiny remnant returned to build a shabby looking temple with incomplete walls. We also have seen an oracle against Tyre, Sidon and other cities which came to pass before Jesus came as a cute, little, baby boy in a manger. We should also consider the “multitude” in Israel of which we read in the gospel accounts. When Jesus came, it is true, Judea was occupied by Rome. Nevertheless it was full of Jewish people because of, among other things, the Maccabean revolt against Greek culture and the Selucid Empire.

The Maccabees were not Scottish but Jewish people, present midway between Zechariah and Jesus. And many will automatically take exception to the mention of the Maccabees because of, dum da da dum…tradition.  I am not here to debate or defend the “apocryphal” books not contained in the protestant canon of Scripture but found in the Orthodox and Catholic canons of Scripture. I am only pointing out the historicity of what was promised in Zechariah. Tyre and Sidon fell to the Greeks but Judea revolted and was independent between the time of Zechariah and Jesus, however short lived it may have been. Simply because something is not Scripture doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Not only did it happen, Jesus probably celebrated it.

John 10 reads; “At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. [As an aside, Jesus was Jewish! Not only in the spiritual sense but in ethnicity as well.] The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, ‘How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.'”

Dogmatic dispensationalisms should be done away with, concerning this context (remember the anger at the shepherds because there was no one to shepherd) but the context continues. “The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.'”

Jesus then uses rhetorical reasoning quoting their beloved law but for time’s sake, we won’t explore it at this time–I will deal with the Jehovah’s Witnesses later. But this is actually my point, like the LDS and JW’s, prophecy pundits place the proverbial cart before the horse. All of these “religions,” or theologies, begin with a presupposition which is sowed and watered by verses or parts of verses, ripped out of context. Our modern, mega-church pastors are the prime example.

Joel Osteen says that “God loves to laugh.” He gives a twenty six minute sermon on God’s sense of humor and love for everything funny and that we too should laugh. Don’t get me wrong, I was the class clown and love to laugh and I think God laughs a lot. But Joel Osteen used Psalm 2, actually only seven words from Psalm 2, which is the second psalm, and built his entire sermon on what may be the most ripped out-of-context verse in the history of mega-church pastors. God is not laughing joyfully in Psalm 2 but angrily. Notice; “He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury.” Joel Osteen can’t even complete the sentence, much less the verse, much, much less the context, much, much, much less the sublime string. Psalm 2 is about the coming king getting his kingdom and dominion in all the nations.

We don’t know our history, we don’t know our Old Testament and we hardly know our New Testament but rather buy books by the millions telling us how to have our best lives now. But we also ask explanations of what the future holds. We have no need, James tells us. “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

I don’t know about you but as for me; guilty as charged. Thank God for the cross.

While this is slightly ripped out of context it is truthful and an excellent segway into James. James, writing to the scattered Jewish remnant, is not indicating that life is futile or worthless, on the contrary, he is indicating that life should be devoted to the Lord’s will and that no one knows what tomorrow holds. Did anyone see the Coronavirus coming? It’s ironic that people post on YouTube pastors from 12 years ago prophesying about a coming “super-bacterial” infection. Then they claim it is Covid19, which is a virus not a bacteria. If I said that the New York Yankees were going to win the world series and then at some point the New York Mets won the world series and people proclaimed me a prophet, you would think them mad. But both teams play baseball and both have already won the world series. Nevertheless the Mets and Yankees have more in common than bacterium and a virus. Right; same city, different ballparks?

James tells the twelve dispersed tribes; “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”

First, notice the rains and the fact that the day of the Lord was at hand in the days of James. We will come back to this. But I have to address what James said about not complaining about each other. First, consider the context. Second, I take an idealistic approach to the Scriptures and what pertains to the scattered tribes can apply to myself. As far as the mega-church, word of faith, name it and claim it, prosperity-gospel teachers I can complain about them all I want because they are clearly not preaching the true gospel. But what about the dogmatic dispensationalists? Should I remain silent concerning their false teachings? Ask anyone who lost everything to follow Harold Camping. Nevertheless there are in the dispensationalist camp, many who are missionaries to unreached people and even “reached” people, who proclaim the gospel first and foremost and don’t let dubious dogma steer their ship. Most of my friends fit into this category. We can discuss and agree to disagree. There are also those who hold tightly to dispensationalism and do everything that they can to promote it, short of date setting, but also preach the gospel. Can I complain about them? Is this the type of complaining of which James writes? I wouldn’t complain except that we, not me personally but those of us who proclaim partial preterism are deemed heretical. They lump us in with a misinformed fringe but don’t want us to lump them in with the fringe of date-setters in dispensationalism. They call us mockers and scoffers based upon a verse ripped out of context. However, we agree on Jesus being the God of the universe which is of utmost importance. We agree on political issues and concerns. We hate abortion and love life. We agree that the Bible should be taken literally unless otherwise indicated and we agree that the word of faith, mega-church pastors should be silenced. We agree that “social justice” is a misnomer and believe in equality not equity for all. We agree that Covid19 lockdowns are a power grab and a test for a big government take over. We also believe that Jesus will return to earth with true government and true justice but how and when is where we disagree.

My favorite dispensationalist radio program is Understanding the Times with host, Jan Markell. Jan Markell has witnessed to thousands of people over the past two decades through her radio ministry. Her impact for the kingdom cannot be measured by mortal man. Her show is well done, well edited and a pleasure to listen to even if I disagree with her prophetical premises and pretenses. She truly has her hand on the proverbial pulse of American culture but I couldn’t disagree with her more about eschatology.

As far as getting the gospel out, Jan Markell is a blue whale and I am an amoeba. She is a giant and I am a mosquito. Nevertheless I have a challenge for Jan Markell; consider the context. Consider the wording of James, Paul and Peter when they write things like, “for the coming of the Lord is at hand… the Judge is standing right at the door.” What did John intend to indicate, that is, what was his aspiration to his audience when he wrote similar statements to open the book of Revelation? “Near,” “soon,” “at hand,” and the like all give the reader in the first century an absolute indication that as Jesus meant “this generation” when he said “this generation.” Perhaps the church decline in our days is not due to apostasy predicted by ripping verses out of context but because for generations we have promised a rescue that never came and doubled down on dubious dates? We usually hit that at which we aim and if we’re aiming at apostasy, apostasy appears.

I never miss Jan Markell’s radio program–I listen every week. First on satellite radio but when I discovered that I could hear it a day early on YouTube, I made the switch. That is to say, I am a fan of everything she has to say concerning the culture, politics and the lousy mega-church pastors. She admits that she was miraculously healed but also takes aim at the false faith-healers. She has excellent guests but ultimately her show revolves around dubious dogma of the dispensationalist variety. She has stated that she would be willing to have a dual-covenant pastor on her show to have a debate or discussion. While I am certainly not dual-covenant, I want to take the opportunity and offer to go on the radio show to have a cordial conversation about the end times–the mosquito vs. the giant.

While I am an optimist, by definition as a “postmillennialist,” I doubt that I will get that call, and if I did, I doubt I could change her mind even with the overwhelming evidence of exegesis of examples and the sublime string. We hold tightly to our taught traditions and I cannot fathom how difficult it would be to admit that the premise of one’s ministry was misguided for many years. Nevertheless know this; many have been taught the gospel throughout her history on radio and that is what matters most. However the most difficult thing for a person to do is admit when they are wrong. Yet the Bible is a mind changing manuscript– it’s kind of the point.

While I may not be able to change the mind of Jan Markell, or even be given the opportunity, maybe I can help change your mind. Zechariah doesn’t predict the first coming of Jesus in one sentence and then the second coming in another sentence. The proof is in a close consideration of the context and exploring examples. The proof is in the author’s aspirations to his audience and the genre–it is an apocalyptic address like we see in Psalm 18. As in comedy, in prophecy, timing is

Everything

Therefore we look at the words and the way in which the words were used. That is, should we take the words literally? The prophecy pundits would say, “yes.” Let’s do that then; “they will fight, for the LORD will be with them; And the riders on horses will be put to shame.” I realize that someone somewhere may still fight on a horse but this sounds first century to me. Is the use of the word “shepherd” to be taken literally? What about Male goats, are female goats excluded or is this imagery? And we have noticed the rain. Is this literal rain or is it an image of the coming Christ as alluded to by James? We have to jive with the genre. We have to explore examples. We have to see the sublime string and consider the continuing context.

Does Zechariah really skip to and fro from the first century to the 21st century with a hiatus in between? Or does he point to Jesus and the cross, resurrection and curse of the flying scroll in judgment against Jerusalem in the time of the apostles? Notice also that Jesus is the cornerstone and good shephard. These are ways in which Jesus refers to himself in the gospels. Evangelicals love to say that Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic or Lord; we really should take that phrase to heart and understand that Jesus did not lie nor was he crazy when he spoke about himself and his coming during their generation.

Once again I will leave you with the words of Jesus to his disciples, after they asked him about the temple toppling and the signs of his coming in judgment against Jerusalem, just after he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as Zechariah prophesied and overturned the robber’s tables and his words to the high priest. See the sublime string.

“And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He answered and said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.’ And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will mislead many. And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”

“And the high priest stood up and said to Him, ‘Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?’ But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, ‘I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.’ Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, ‘He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses​?'”

Liar, lunatic or Lord? Or should we not take these things literally? Coming on the clouds means a cloud elevator but “you” means someone else? Sorry for the sarcasm but take the following words of Jesus to his generation literally and then rethink what should be taken as literal and what should be taken figuratively: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Oh, and one last thing for today. Grammar: Jesus can’t be speaking of a future, “fig-tree” generation, the grammar doesn’t allow it. Jesus uses the demonstrative pronoun”this” referring to the generation and the “you,” refering to the disciples and not referring to the fig tree, because “you” is the understood subject. Even without any explanation you know this– the definitions of “this” and “that.” And the icing on the cake is that the fig tree is not always Israel as the prophecy pundits proclaim, if it were, they would have to explain Jesus cursing the fig tree, promising that no fruit would ever come from it again. Liar, lunatic or Lord?

Alright, the very last thing for today; Jesus said to his disciples, alone,  “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Remember that the “you” is the disciples alone and according to Luke, only a few of them. Therefore the sentences could read as follows: “Now John, Peter and you other men, learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you, John, Peter and you others know that summer is near; even so you too, John, Peter and you other guys, when you, John, Peter and you other guys, see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, John, Peter and you other guys. this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Liar, lunatic or Lord? Yes Jan Markell, not only do I listen  to your weekly radio program but I also listened to your conference. Yes, we missed it, not the second coming but the curse of the flying scroll; Jacob’s trouble or the great tribulation. Yes, Jan Markell, Jesus has a glorious future planned for all Israel, the native and the alien who has been grafted in. But apostate Israel has been judged already. We don’t tolerate antisemitism of any kind because they are our fathers–those that had the faith of Abraham, that is. I believe that ethnic Israel will come to Christ as the years go by because Paul wrote it in his letter to the Romans, explaining that Israel is the true people of God and that the Jews will return and be grafted back in as Jesus indicated. Liar, lunatic or Lord?

 

 

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