Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dead Sea Scroll Says Messiah to Come, Die, and Rise!!

Years ago I read a book written by Joel Rosenberg, who previously worked as an aide to several U.S. and Israeli leaders. This includes Steve Forbes, former Prime Minister Natan Sharansky and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is also a christian. This impressive resume gave him a unique standpoint from which to view current happenings in the world today, especially in light of the Bible.

The first book I read was "Epicenter". It was so interesting that I also read several of his other books and now follow his blog. Today I received an interesting message from him that I want to share with you. It's not new information, but it is fascinating none the less. Specifically for the Jewish nation, who still live according to the Old Testament laws. Could this be the proof that will eventually lead them to true repentance and a realization of the Christ, and the fact that He is also their Christ, spoken of in their own (OT) bible? I found this post fascinating, and hope you'll take the time to read it. 

Here is the link to Joe's Blog: Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog


Posted: April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

The "Gabriel Revelation" tablet with its owner, David Jeselsohn, who didn't understand its significance when he purchased it. (photo by the NYT)
A respected Israeli scholar and professor at Hebrew University is making an intriguing and compelling case that it is a distinctly Jewish notion to expect the Messiah to come, die as a “suffering servant” as an atonement for sins and the redemption of Israel, and then to rise from the dead on the third day. Based on his many years of research, and fairly recently analyzed archaeological evidence — including a previously unstudied Dead Sea Scroll – the scholar is also arguing that this notion of the Messiah rising on the third day is a pre-Christian concept that dates back to before the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem Ephratah. The case made by Dr. Israel Knohl has attracted significant attention, including a major article in the New York Times and several articles in Biblical Archaeology Review — see here, and here, andhere.
The Times story, which ran under the headline, Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection, begins as follows: “A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days. If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time. The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era — in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.” The tablet  has been named by scholars as “Gabriel’s Revelation” because it suggests that the angel Gabriel was instructed by God to direct that the Messiah be raised from the dead on the third day.
Admittedly, this isn’t news. The stone tablet was discovered about fifteen years ago and is owned by a Israeli-Swiss Jewish man by the name of David Jeselsohn who didn’t understand its significance when he purchased it. The Timesarticle was published in 2008. Dr. Knohl then published a book about all this in 2009 entitled, Messiahs and Resurrection in “The Gabriel Revelation.” That was a follow up to his previous book, The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls (first published in Hebrew in 2000 and then in English in 2002). In the book, Dr. Knohl explains the various Jewish theories about the Messiah, including the idea of a “Messiah son of David” who will be a reigning king on the earth like King David was, and a “Messiah son of Joseph” who will be rejected by his brothers, mistreated, left for dead but will eventually reappear and save not only the nation of Israel but the world like Joseph did in the book of Genesis.
Why do I bring it up now? Because it absolutely fascinates me. I was intrigued with the various stories when they were first published. But in recent days — in part because of Passover and Easter – I began sharing all this with our four sons. Together, we’ve been studying the book of I Corinthians together each morning before school. Last week we just happened to begin studying I Corinithians 15:1-5, which reads, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you,unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve [apostles]. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time….” We studied how the Hebrew Scriptures speak of the Messiah suffering and dying to atone for our sins and how we see these ancient prophecies described in Isaiah 53, in Daniel 9:26 (which says the Messiah will come for atonement, then be “cut off,” and afterwards Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed), and Psalm 22. We also looked carefully at the Gospel accounts to show how Jesus remarkably fulfilled each of these prophecies.
This morning over breakfast, I read excerpts of the Times story to Lynn and the boys, and we discussed why many Jewish people think the idea of a suffering Messiah who dies and rises again on the third day is a Christian idea, when really it is a Jewish idea, as explained with such intriguing research by Dr. Knohl. Unfortunately, I’ve never read Dr. Knohl’s books, only excerpts, but since today is my birthday we’ve ordered both and are eager to read them when they arrive. I’d encourage you to read them, too, or at least to read the articles that I’ve linked here on the blog.
Even more importantly I would ask you to consider today: What if the Gospel story is true ? What if Jesus not only died for our sins but was buried and raised from the dead on the third day, according to the ancient prophecies? Why should that matter? How should you respond? May the Lord bless you as your process these critical questions.(Please click here for a simple, concise summary of the Gospel message, and a clear explanation of how best to respond.)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Struggle

1 Corinthians 3:13-15

"The work of each will become known for the day will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done. If the work which any person has built on this Foundation survives, he will get his reward. But if any person’s work is burned up, he will suffer the loss though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire."

I needed to read this today!

I do a lot of inner reflecting, and what I find in myself is not what I want to see. Though I try, I fall short. When I look back, I realize that I had as much to gain through my service as anyone else...though what I did seemed right at the time. 

The heart is so deceptive. 

Our desires are for ourselves, but we dress it up in pretty papers of righteousness. We truly deceive ourselves!

The beginning of this chapter speaks of how slowly we grow in Christ. I think it’s human nature to rely on ourselves, and it’s hard to give up that control. We get a glimpse of how things could be when we are saved, and we spend the rest of our walk trying to find it again...but it requires letting go! Oddly, we long to be close to God, to follow Him in truth; yet we resist.

So I am encouraged today by what I’ve read. It reminds me that though I may struggle and though I fall, He keeps His promise to me, for He is faithful!

1 Corinthians 3:16,17
"Do you not discern and understand that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you. If anyone does hurt to God’s temple or corrupts it or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, and that you are."


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Signs of the Fall of Empires

I recently read a book by Dr. David Jeremiah named 'What in the World is Going On?' The title alone captivated me because I have thought the same thing! This world doesn't feel like such a safe place to me. I hope for the best but when I look around me - I wonder.

There is an excerpt from this book that outlines the progress of the rise and fall of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history (attributing to them an average lifespan of approximately 200 years). Here is the outline, according to Dr. David Jeremiah.

"From bondage to spiritual faith

From spiritual faith to great courage

From courage to liberty

From liberty to abundance

From abundance to complacency

From complacency to apathy

From apathy to dependence

From dependence, back into bondage."

It makes sense to me because I’ve seen the latter 5 parts of this list following WW1 and WW2. Can we figure out where exactly our nations currently sit in this cycle? What are some of the signs we should look for?

In the book “Family and Civilization” by Dr. Carle Zimmerman, there are 11 symptoms of final decay which were present in the fall of both the Greek and Roman civilizations. Do any of these look familiar to you?

1. No fault divorce

2. Increased disrespect for parents and parenthood

3. Meaningless marriage rites/ceremonies

4. Defamation of past national heroes

5. Acceptance of alternative marriage forms

6. Widespread attitudes of feminism, narcissism, hedonism

7. Propaganda of anti-family sentiment

8. Acceptance of most forms of adultery

9. Rebellious children

10. Increased juvenile delinquency

11. Common acceptance of all forms of sexual perversion.

I have to admit, looking at this list is also a little disconcerting. We currently exhibit all of these symptoms, and I believe many of our world’s nations exhibit these symptoms to some degree.

So then, what in the world is going on? What are your thoughts on it?

Thanks for stopping by!