Monday, 20 June 2016

Old Testament Prophecies and Judaism

I don't think there will be curses coming on nations for not making annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tanbernacles, in the new heavens and new earth. Peter said only righteousness dwells in the new heavens and earth.

Isaiah didn't predict that the sabbath will be observed in the new earth. He predicted that just as the new earth and heavens will be eternal, so the nation of Israel would not meet their demise as a nation while in captivity. And God kept that promise.

Rather than meeting their demise, their ethnicity was preserved, they were restored to their land, the temple was rebuilt, and Levitical worship and sabbath-keeping resumed - even proselytes from many nations became God-fearing and began making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast. All in fulfilment of Prophecy. Acts 2 shows an example of that happening.

I know some of the language of Old Testament Prophecy is very dramatic. It could be that they were foreseeing the ultimate still-future coming of the Lord. Or it could be that they were just using imagery - symbolism, if you like - describing vision, rather than speaking in straight prose - in order to foretell dramatic events which were to take place soon afterwards in Old Covenant times.

But either way, three things are certain:

there indeed was a return to the land and to Levitical worship, soon afterwards, at the return from Babylon;
Two, Messiah, who was to come in that context, has already come. Jesus of Nazareth;

Three, the Apostles taught that there is to be no return to Judaism - the shadow - in future. Jesus is the real thing.

So if any part of those prophecies is still future, it's only the final coming of the Lord.

But as I said, I'm not sure the Prophets really had the ultimate coming of the Lord in view in all of those prophecies. As I said, they might have just been employing imagery to describe dramatic events which occurred before Christ. Other Old Testament prophecies clearly employed that method.

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