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De. 18:20-22 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Prophets: Prophets were men raised up of God in times of declension and apostasy in Israel.   “They were primarily revivalists and patriots, speaking on behalf of God to theheart and conscience of the nation.” Scofield Bible, p 711.

See “The Prophetical Books,” p 711.

CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF THE PROPHETS (p 712)

ACCORDING TO USSHER

I. Prophets Before the Exile.

(1)    To Nineveh.
Jonah, 862 B.C.

(2)    To the 10 tribes “Israel.”
Amos, 787 B.C.
Hosea, 785-725 B.C.
Obadiah, 887 B.C.
Joel, 800 B.C.

(3)    To Judah.
Isaiah, 760-698 B.C.
Micah, 750-710 B.C.
Nahum, 713 B.C.
Habakkuk, 626 B.C.
Zephaniah, 630 B.C.
Jeremiah, 629-588 B.C.

II. Prophets During the Exile.
Ezekiel, 595-574 B.C.
Daniel, 607-534 B.C.

III. Prophets After the Exile.
Haggai, 520 B.C.
Zechariah, 520-518 B.C.
Malachi, 397 B.C.

Prophecies of coming Messiah. The chain of references concerning the promises & prophecies of Christ: N2 p9.  Isa. 7.10-16 (virgin shall conceive, bear a son, Immanuel).  Isa. 9.1-7 (unto us a child is born, . . . a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace . . . .”). Isa. 11-12 (the second advent). To be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5.2. Zech. 11.12 (Christ betrayed for 30 pieces of Silver);

Malachi prophesies John the Baptist & the Messiah. Mal. 3.1-6.

Hosea 11.1 (Quoted in Mt. 2.15). Isa. 11.1 quoted in Mt. 2.23.

Psa. 22.18 quoted in John 19.24.

Exo. 12.46, Num. 9.12, Psa. 34.20 quoted in John 19.36.

Zach. 12.10 quoted in John 19.37.

            False prophets. Jere. 14.13-22 (the lying prophets). Jere. 13 (very good about false prophets. God tells them not to hearken to false prophets. “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.  What is the chaff to the wheat saith the LORD.”  God says he is against the false prophets.  “for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.” 36c.

The false prophets tell the princes that Jeremiah is worthy to die bc of what he says. Jere. 26.11-19.

King Jehoiamim has Urijay the prophet killed. Jere. 26.20-24.

Ezekiel’s message against the lying prophets. Eze.13 (eg, they prophesied peace when there is no peace.)

Isa. 1: Esp. “I have nourished & brought up children & they have rebelled against me.  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.  Why should ye be striken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.  From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it: but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.  Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” V2-7

Sins of the nation Israel & the coming captivity. Isa. 5. “Therefore my people are gone into captivity bc they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.” 5.13. Woe to them that “join house to house, etc.” (v8), [that are drunkards](11), that draw iniquity w/cords of vanity, and sin as it were w/cart rope . . . (18-19), that call evil good, and good evil . . . (20), that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight (21), that are mighty to drink wine . . . which justify the wicked for reward and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him (22-23).

“Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate.” Isa. 6.11.

N1 p722 (The Gentile nations are permitted to afflict Israel in chastisement for her national sins, ,but invariably and inevitably retribution falls upon them. (See Gen. 14.13, 14; Deut. 30.5-7; Isa. 14.1,2; Joel 3.1-8; Mic. 5.7-9; Mt. 25.31-41.).

Gentiles: The prophets connect the Gentiles w/Christ in a threefold way: see N2 p750.  See Isa. 45.1, the only place where the word “anointed” is applied to a Gentile. N1 p753.

Isaiah: “Isaiah is justly accounted the chief of the writing prophets.  He has the more comprehensive testimony and is distinctively the prophet of redemption.  Nowhere else in in the Scriptures written under the law have we so clear a view of grace.  The New Testament Church does not appear (Eph. 3.3-10), but Messiah in His Person and sufferings, and the blessing of the Gentiles through Him, are in full vision.

“Apart from his testimony to his own time, which includes warnings of coming judgments upon the great nations of that day, the predictive messages of Isaiah cover seven great themes: I. Israel in exile and divine judgment upon Israel’s oppressors.  II. The return from Babylon.  III. The manifestation of Messiah in humiliation (e.g. chap. 53.). IV. The blessing of the Gentiles.  V. The manifestation of Messiah in judgment (“the day of vengeance of our God”). VI. The reign of David’s righteous Branch in the kingdom-age.  VII. The new heavens and the new earth.

“Isaiah is in two chief divisions: I. Looking toward the captivities, 1.1-39.8. Key verses, 1.1, 2. II. Looking beyond the captivities. 40.1-66.24. Key verses, 40.1, 2.  These chief divisions fall into subdivisions, as indicated in the text.

“The events recorded in Isaiah cover a period of 62 years (Ussher).”

“Jeremiah the prophet began his ministry in the 13th yr. of Josiah, about 60 yrs. after Isaiah’s death and continued it until the 11th yr of Zedekiah, king of Judah.  Zephaniah and Habakkuk were contemporaries of his earlier ministry, to its end in the Babylonian captivity.  Jeremiah remained in  the land ministering  to the poor Remnant (2 Ki. 24.14) until they went into Egypt, whither he followed them, and where he died, early in the 70 yrs. captivity.  Jeremiah, prophesying before and during the exile of Judah, connects the pre-exile prophets with Ezekiel and Daniel, prophets of the exile.  Jeremiah’s vision  includes the Babylonian captivity, the return after 70 yrs. the world-wide dispersion, the final regathering, the kingdom-age, the day of judgment on the Gentile powers, and the Remnant.” See p772.

Jeremiah never made a convert.  He was rejected by his people. Jer. 11.18-21; 12.6; 18.18).  He was hated, beaten, put in stocks (20.1-3), imprisoned, charged with being a traitor (37.11-16).  His message broke his own heart (9.1).  He wanted to resign, but God would not let him. (20.9).

Jeremiah was able to keep his spark during the worst time of apostasy and anarchy because he embraced the word of the Lord. 19 times in the book of Jeremiah, it says the word of the Lord came unto him. (1) Jeremiah listened to the word of God. See 2 Tim. 4.3.  Embrace the word of God. (2) He not only listened, he obeyed.  See 1.8, 10, 17-19; 2.1-3; goes to the whole world in 25.15. (3) He engaged the enemy. See Chapter 28.  He did this as his country & brethren apostasized. (4) He prayed for them. C42.  He endeared the people. (5) He envisioned the victory. C23.5-8; C30.8-11.

Jeremiah’s 1st persecution. See Jer. 19.14-20.18. Cf. Jer.32.2.

In Jer. 26.11-24, the priests tell the princes and the people that Jeremiah is worthy to die, but the princes and all the people tell they that he is not worthy to die bc he has spoken in the name of the LORD their God.  Jehoiakim has one prophet killed, Urijah, but Jeremiah is not killed bc the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with him.  See vv 20-24.

Jeremiah’s 2nd persescution. Jer. 32.

            “Ezekiel, like Daniel, was carried away to Babylon in the 1st deportation of Judah (2 Ki. 24.11-16). Like Daniel and the Apostle John, he prophesied out of the land, and his prophecy, like theirs, follows the method of symbol & vision.  Unlike the pre-exilic prophets, whose ministry was primarily to either Judah or the ten-tribe kingdom, Ezekiel is the voice of Jehovah to the ‘whole house of Israel.”

“Broadly, the purpose of his ministry is to keep before the generation born in exile the national sins which had brought Israel so low (e.g. Ezk. 14.23); to sustain the faith of the exiles by predictions of national restoration, of the execution of justice upon their oppressors, and of national glory under the Davidic monarchy.

“Ezerkiel is in 7 great prophetic strains indicated by the expression, ‘The hand of the LORD was upon me’ (Eze. 1.3; 3.14, 22; 8.1; 33.22; 37.1; 40.1).  The minor divisions are indicated by the formula, “And the word of the LORD came unto me.’ These divisions are indicated in the text.”

Daniel:

Daniel is the indispensable introduction to the NT prophecy, the themes of which are, the apostasy of the Church, the manifestation of the man of sin, the great tribulation, the return of the Lord, the resurrections and the judgments.  These, except for the first, are Daniel’s themes also.

But Daniel is distinctively the prophet of the “times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21.24, refs.). His vision sweeps the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its end in catastrophe, and to setting up of the Messianic Kingdom.”

Hosea was a contemporary of Amos in Israel, and of Isaiah and Micah in Judah, and his ministry continued after the first, or Assyrian, captivity of the northern kingdom (2 Ki. 15.29).  His style is abrupt, metaphorical, and figurative.

“Israel is Jehovah’s adulterous wife, repudiated, but ultimately to be purified and restored.  This is Hosea’s distinctive message which may be summed up in his two words, Lo-ammi, “not my people,” and Ammi, “my people.”  Israel is not merely apostate and sinful—that is said also; but her sin takes its character from the exalted relationship into which she has been brought.”

            “Joel, a prophet of Judah, probably exercised his ministry during the reign of Joash (2 Chr. 22 to 24).  In his youth, he may have known Elijah, and he certainly was a contemporary of Elisha.  The plagues of insects, which were the token of the divine chastening, give occasion  for  the unveiling of the coming “day of the LORD (Isa. 2.12, refs.) in its two aspects of judgment on the Gentiles and blessing for Israel.”

N1 p930 to Joel 1.4: “* * * The whole picture is of the end-time of this present age, of the “times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21.24; Rev. 16.14); of the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16.14; 19.11-21); of the regathering of Israel (Rom. 11.26, note), and of kingdom blessing.  It is remarkable that Joel, coming at the very beginning of written prophecy (B.C. 836), gives the fullest view of the consummation of all written prophecy.

“The order of events is: (1) The invasion of Pasaestine from the north by Gentile world powers headed up under the Beast and false prophet (Joel 2.1-10; “Armageddon,” Rev. 16.14, refs.); (2) the Lord’s army and destruction of the invaders )Joel 2.11; Rev. 19.11-21); the repentance of Judah in the land (Joel 2.12-17: Deut. 30.1-9, note); (4) the answer of Jehovah (Joel 2.18-27); (5) the effusionof the Spirit in the (Jewish) “last days” (Joel 2.28, 29); (6) the return of the Lord in glory and the setting up of the kingdom (Joel 2.30-32; Acts 15.15-17) by the regathering of the nation and the judgment of the nations (Joel 3.1-16); (7) full and permanent kingdom blessing (Joel 3.17-21; Zech. 14.1-21; Mt. 25.32, note).

“Amos, Jew, but prophesying (B.C. 776-763) in the northern kingdom (1.1; 7.14, 15), exercised his ministry during the reign of Jeroboam II, an able but idolatrous king who brought his kingdom to the zenith of its power.  Nothing could seem more improbable than the fulfillment of Amos’ warnings; yet within fifty years the kingdom was utterly destroyed.  The vision of Amos is, however, wider than the northern kingdom, including the whole “house of Jacob.”

“ Internal evidence seems to fix the date of Obadiah’s ministry in the reign of the bloody Athaliah (2 Ki. 8.16-26).  If this be true, and if the ministry of Joel was during the reign of Joash, then Obadiah is chronologically first of the writing prophets, and first to use the formula, ‘the day of the LORD.’ (Cf. Joel 1.4, note).”  Deals with the humiliation of Edom, the great sin of Edom, and Edom in the day of the LORD.

“The historical character of the man Jonah is vouched for by Jesus Christ (Mt. 12.39-41), as also that his preservation in the great fish was a “sign” or type of our Lord’s own entombment and resurrection.  Both are miraculous and both are equally credible.  2 Ki. 14.25 records the fulfillment of a prophecy by Jonah.  The man himself was a bigoted Jew, unwilling to testify to a Gentile city, and angry that God spared it.  Typically he foreshadows the nation of Israel out of its own land; a trouble to the Gentiles, yet witnessing to them; cast out by them, but miraculously preserved; in their future deepest distress calling upon Jehovah-Saviour, and finding deliverance, and then becoming missionaries to the Gentiles (Zech. 8.7-23). He typifies Christ as the sent One, raised from the dead, and carrying salvation to the Gentiles.”

“Micah, a cotemporary of Isaiah, prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah over Judah, and of Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea over Israel (2 Ki. 15.23-30; 17.1-6). He was a prophet in Judah (Jer. 26.17-19), but the book called by his name chiefly concerns Samaria.” Micah prophesied during reigns of Jotham, Ahaz & Hezekiam & Pekahiah,Pekah, & Hoshea over Israel. Describes the Assyrian invasion of Israel. 1.6-16.  The coming captivity. Tells reasons for the coming judgments. Also deals w/the kingdom age, the last battle, etc. “Micah 7.7-20 is, primarily, the confession & intercession of the prophet, who identifies himself with Israel.”

“Nahum proprhsied during the reign of Hezekiah, probably about one hundered and fifty years after Jonah.  He has but one subject—the destruction of Nineveh.  According to Diodorus Siculus, the city was destroyed nearly a century later, precisely as here predicted.  The prophecy is one continuous strain which does not yield to analysis.  The moral theme is: the holiness of Jehovah which must deal w/sin & judgment.”

N1 p952: Ninevah  stands in Scripture as the representative of apostate religious Gentiledom, as Babylon represents the confusion into which the Gentile political world-system has fallen (Dan. 2.41-43).  See Isa. 13.1, note. Under the preaching of Jonah, B.C. 852, the city and king had turned to God (Elohim), Jon. 3.3-10.  but in the time of Nahum, more than a century later, the city had wholly apostatized from God.  It is this which distinguished Nineveh from all the other ancient Gentile cities, and which makes her the suited symbol of the present religious Gentile world-system in the last days.  Morally, Nineveh is described in Rom. 1.21-23.  The chief diety of apostate Nineveh was the bull-god, with the face of a man and the wings of a bird: “an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts.

            “The message of Nahum, uttered about one hundred years before the destruction of Nineveh, is, therefore, not a call to repentance, but an unrelieved warning of judgment: ‘He will make an utter end: affliction will not rise up the second time.’ Nahum 1.9; 3.10. For there is no remedy for apostasy but utter judgment, and a new beginning. Cf. Isa. 1.4, 5, 24-28; Heb. 6.4-8; Prov. 29.1.  It is the way of God; apostasy is punished by catastrophic destruction.  Of this the flood and the destruction of Nineveh are witnesses.  The coming destruction of apostate Christendom is foreshadowed by these. (Cf. Dan. 2.34, 35; Lk. 17.26, 27; Rev. 19.17-21.)

“Habakkuk [probably prophesied in the latter days of Josiah. . . .  To him the  character of Jehovah was revealed in terms of the highest spirituality.  He alone of the prophets was more concerned that the holiness of Jehovah should be vindicated than that Israel should escape chastisement.  Written just upon the eve of the captivity, Habakkuk was God’s testimony to Himself as against both idolatry and pantheism.

“The book is in 5 parts: I. Habakkuk’s perplexity in view of the sins of Israel and the silence of God, 1.1-4. Historically this was the time of Jehovah’s forbearance because of Josiah’s repentance (2 Ki. 22.18-20). II. The answer or Jehovah to the prophet’s perplexity, 1.5-11. III. The prophet, thus answered, utters the testimony to Jehovah, 1.12-17; but he will watch for further answers, 2.1.  IV. To the watching prophet comes the response of the ‘vision,’ 2.2-20. V. All ends in Habakkuk’s sublime Psalm of the Kingdom.

“As a whole, the Book of Habakkuk raises and answers the question of God’s consistency with Himself in view of permitted evil.  The prophet thought that the holiness of God forbade him to go on with evil Israel.  The answer of Jehovah announces a Chaldean invasion.  (2.6), and a world-wide dispersion (2.5).  But Jehovah is not mere wrath: “He delighteth in mercy” (Mic. 7.18) and introduces into His answers to the perplexed prophet the great promises, 1.5; 2.3, 4, 14, 20.

            **** [Chap. 1, 2.1-3 is excellent to read to those who mock God and his people concerning God’s judgments of a nation.] “[Zephaniah] a contemporary of Jeremiah, exercised his ministry during the reign of Josiah.  It was a time or revival (2 Ki. 22.), but the captivity was impending, nevertheless, and Zephaniah points out the moral state which, despite the superficial revival under Josiah (Jer. 2.11-13), made it inevitable.

“Zephaniah is in four parts: I. The coming invasion of Nebuchadnezzar a [an adumbration (ie, shadow or faint resemblance)] figure of the day of the LORD, 1.1-2.3. II. Predictions of judgment on certain peoples, 2.4-15.  III. The moral state of Israel for which the captivity was to come, 3.1-7. IV. The judgment of the nations followed by kingdom blessing under Messiah, 3.8-20.”

N1 p959. “[In Zephaniah] the approaching invasion of Nebuchadnezzar is treated as an adumbration of the true day of the LORD in which all earth-judgments will culminate, to be followed by the restoration and blessing of Israel and the nations in the kingdom.  See “Day of the LORD” (Isa. 2.10-22; Rev. 19.11-21); “Israel” (Gen. 12.2,3; Rom. 11.26). Cf. Joel 1. 2.

“Haggai was a prophet of the restored remnant after the 70 yrs. captivity.  The circumstances are detailed in Ezra and Nehemiah.  To hearten, rebuke, and instruct that feeble and divided remnant was the task of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.  The theme of Haggai is the unfinished  temple, and his mission to admonish and encourage the builders.

“The divisions of the book are marked by the formula, “came the word of the LORD by Haggai”: I. The event which drew out the prophecy, 1.1,2. II. The divine displeasure because of the interrupted work, 1.3-15. III. The temples—Solomon’s, the restoration temple, and the kingdom-age temple, 2.1-19. IV. Uncleanness and chastening, 2.10-19. V. The final victory, 2.10-23 (See Rev. 19.17-20; 14.19, 20; Zech. 14.1-3.)”

“Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet to the remnant which returned after the 70 yrs. There is much of symbol in Zechariah, but these difficult passages are readily interpreted in the light of the whole body of related prophecy.  The great Messianic passages are, upon comparison with the other prophecies of the kingdom, perfectly clear.  Both advents of Christ are in Zechariah’s prophecy (Zech. 9.9 with Mt. 21.1-11 and Zech. 14.3,4). More than Haggai or Malachi, Zechariah gives the mind of God about the Gentile world-powers surrounding the restored remnant.  He has given them their authority (Dan. 2.37-40), and will hold them to account; the test, as always, being their treatment of Israel.  See Gen. 15.18, note 3, clause 6; Zech. 2.8.

“Zechariah, therefore, falls into three broad divisions: I. Symbolic visions in the light of the Messianic hope, 1.1-6.15. II. The mission from Babylon, 7., 8.. III. Messiah in the rejection and afterwards in power, 9.-14.

“Malachi[  “The moral state of the time of the return of the remnant is disclosed by the prophet Malachi.” Headnote to Nehemiah.] ‘My messenger,” the last of the prophets to the restored remnant after the 70 yrs. captivity, probably prophesied in the time of confusion during Nehemiah’s absence (Neh. 13.6). the burden of his message is, the love of Jehovah, the sins of the priests and of the people, and the day of the LORD. Malachi, like Zechariah, sees both advents, and predicts two forerunners (Mal. 3.1 and 4.5, 6).  As a whole, Malachi gives the moral judgment of God on the remnant restored by His grace under Ezra and Nehemiah.  He had established His house among them, but their worship was formal and insincere.

The book is in four natural divisions: I. The love of God for Israel, 1.1-5.  II. The sins of the priests  rebuked, 1.6-2.9. III. The sins of the people rebuked, 2.10-3.18.  IV. The day of the LORD, 4.1-6.

 


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