©June 9, 2012 Revive Israel
Jordan River Immersion
By Eddie Santoro, Asher Intrater
Last year, the Israeli Nature Protection Society opened the baptismal site and nature preserve by the name of Khaser al Yehud, on the Jordan River across from Jericho. The Arabic name means "the crossing of the Jews," referring to the miraculous crossing of the Jordan at the time of Joshua. The site is also the traditional Christian location of the immersion of Yeshua (Jesus) by John the Baptist.
The significance of these two historic events is connected one to the other. As Yeshua fasted 40 days in the wilderness to "complete" the meaning of the 40 years of the wandering of the Jews in the wilderness with Moses, so was He immersed in the same place in the Jordan to "complete" the meaning of the crossing of the river by the Jews with Joshua (Matthew 3:15). The covenantal and spiritual unity of the life of Yeshua and the history of the people of Israel is profound (Matthew 2:15).
Last week, we traveled to Khaser al Yehud. There in the hot desert sun, we had the joy of immersing three new believers from our Jerusalem congregation into the death and resurrection of Yeshua. In addition, several others rededicated their lives through immersion.
Each one had his own personal story but the outstanding truth in each of their lives is that God's love is greater than the power of the enemy. As the last couple came up from the water, and as we stood there marveling and rejoicing in God's grace, suddenly a single white dove flew overhead and circled around us (Matthew 3:16).
Exception to the Rule
After 3,000 years of being a chosen, holy people (Exodus 19:6) but without knowing our own Messiah, we Jews seem to know that we have a special calling but don't know exactly why. In addition, we received God's absolute moral standard in the Torah at Sinai, but have no way of really fulfilling it (Jeremiah 31:32).
Perhaps because of this background, Jews in Israel tend to have a strange psychological syndrome I call "exception to the rule." It goes like this: Rules are important. Everyone has to obey the rules. Anyone who doesn't obey the rules should be rebuked and punished. However, I am a special case because of the importance of my calling. I am an exception to the rules, and they don't really apply to me.
[Perhaps this psychological dysfunction occurs in people of other ethnic and religious backgrounds as well.]
Isaiah 13 and the End Times
The Second Coming of Yeshua is a central event of New Covenant prophecy. It is also central to the Hebrew prophets of the Old Covenant, but is often overlooked because it is called by a different name: "The great and terrible day of YHVH." By re-establishing the connection between these two terms, we will see a better consistency of the prophecies from the Old Covenant to the New. A clearer understanding will emerge about the events of the end times.
- The Book of Revelation describes the Second Coming primarily from the perspective of the spiritual battle between angels and demons (Revelation 12:7, 19:11).
- The Book of Joel describes the perspective primarily on the prayer, repentance and revival leading up to the Second Coming (Joel 1:14; 2:12, 28).
- The Book of Zechariah describes the end times' battle primarily from the perspective of the battle of all the nations against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2, 9; 14:2-3, 12).
- The book of Ezekiel describes restoration in Israel (Ezekiel 36), resurrection of the dead (Ezekiel 37), the great war of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39), and the millennial Temple and kingdom (Ezekiel 40-48).
- In Yeshua's discourse about the end times on the Mount of Olives, He quoted freely from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Zechariah (Matthew 24:29-31).
Isaiah chapter 13 is often overlooked as an end times' prophecy. However, it is also describing the time of the Second Coming:
Isaiah 13:6 – Wail for the day of YHVH is close; it will come as destruction from Shaddai.
Isaiah 13:9 – Behold the day of YHVH is coming; cruel with wrath and anger.
Isaiah 13:13 – …in the anger of YHVH of armies and in the day of His burning wrath
The perspective of Isaiah 13 is the destruction of the forces of "Babylon," quite parallel to the destruction of "Babylon" as described in Revelation 17 – 18. Isaiah describes his prophetic burden against Babel (13:1). [Babel and Babylon are the same in Hebrew.] He describes how the skies will be darkened (13:10). The world will be punished for its evil doing (13:11).
A horrible war will take place with many people killed (13:15). People will flee back to their home countries (13:14). Fire will be poured out as in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (13:19). These events will take place at the same time that Israel is restored as a nation, both spiritually and physically.
Isaiah 14:1 – For YHVH will have mercy on Jacob and choose Israel once again, and set them back in their own land. And the stranger [or, convert, sojourner] will be joined to them and be attached [grafted in] to the house of Jacob.
Parallel to Romans 11, this verse describes not only the restoration of Israel, but also a group of people from the nations of the world who will become spiritual partners with Israel. This can only be the end times' Church coming into its place of partnership with Israel and being "grafted in to the Olive tree" of Israel (Romans 11:17-21).
This restoration of Israel to her calling and the partnership with the international Church will lead to the final defeat of Satan at the Second Coming of Yeshua. Isaiah 14:12 15 – How you have fallen from heaven, Lucifer, son of the morning! You will be brought down to hell to the lower sides of the pit.
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