The book of Revelation is not that difficult if a person understands how it was written. The first thing to understand is that it was signified by the angel of the Lord for John to share with the Church (Revelation 1: 1). The word signified tell us that it was given to John in symbolism rather than a normal literal writing. These symbols tell us things through word pictures that portray a very true reality. For example in Revelation 5: 6 we see Jesus described as a lamb that was slain that had seven eyes and seven horns which were the seven spirits of God. If this scripture had been intended to be taken literally, then this would be what Jesus really looks like in heaven. Do you believe that this is what Jesus looks like in heaven?
One of the things that concerns me is the many untrue statements and stories that people make up and pass on in order to cause others to believe that Jesus is going to drop out of the sky at any moment or any second. Believe it or not to believe in an eminent return of Christ at any moment has produced a lot of lies that people use to try and convert a lost soul. It seems to be the thinking of some that whatever it takes to get some one saved is ok. This kind of thinking might be all right among the belief of some religions in this world but it is totally unacceptable in Christianity.
Jesus told us that in this world would be tribulation but to be of good cheer for he had overcome the world (John 16: 33). The Bible also speaks of great tribulation but there is no place in scripture that says that there will be a seven-year tribulation period. But it has been invented and added to scripture by men and ignorantly millions believe this message.
Revelation the 20th chapter speaks of a 1st resurrection and the second death. Many people believe that there will be a thousand yrs. between the resurrection of believers and non-believers. However the correct view of this is that the first resurrection is when you are born again from spiritual death. The second resurrection is the bodily resurrection on the last day for both sinner and saint. The first death is being dead in trespasses and sins. The second death is eternal torment in hell.
Once before I wrote a small article about the similarities between the life of Christ and the life of Joseph from Genesis. But the account of Joseph and his life being a shadow of Jesus Christ is only the beginning of the story. Many mistakes have been made in trying to allegorize scriptures and I believe it is because we often try to write into the scripture things that we already believe. The article that I formally wrote about Joseph and Christ was in error because of my belief in Dispensationalism, a doctrine that was promoted by C.I. Scofield, John Darby and Clarence Larkin. After realizing the error of this doctrine I decided to destroy all the work that I had done in error. It has been several years since I destroyed my articles and web site that I used to make people aware of what I thought that I had discovered. I am glad that I destroyed everything that I could in order to make that which was wrong “right” in the eyes of God.
To cut through all the corners, we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ because of the promise that God made with Abraham concerning his seed. His seed being one person Jesus Christ through whom God would bless the whole world. Jesus Christ is the only way into eternal life, there is no other.
The promise actually came to man’s knowledge in the Garden of Eden when God told the Devil that he would bruise the heel of the woman’s seed, speaking of Jesus, but the woman’s seed would crush his head (Gen. 3: 15 NIV). This promise came to us through God speaking to Satan and would become an allegory of the crucifixion and victory of Jesus over sin and death. It is called a Bible shadow, a mystery of something that was to come, that did come. This is the type of teachings that I would like to share with you in this article.
There are two things that stand out in our teaching beginning with Abraham and that is that the last will be first and the first will be last. It began with the birth of Ishmael who was Abraham’s firstborn son. In an attempt to work out God’s promise of a son Abraham and Sarah decided to use a custom that would allow Sarah’s handmaid to bear a child for her. Although the handmaid in reality would be the mother, the child would be Sarah’s by proxy. By all rights Ishmael should have been the rightful heir since he was the firstborn son to Abraham. But it was not God’s plan so in their old age God gave them a son of promise by the name of Isaac. This son would end up becoming the rightful heir and considered the firstborn even though he was born after Ishmael.
It seems unfair but in reality, Abraham’s decision to work the promise out by fleshly reasoning was against God’s promise. It carried a penalty that was painful to all involved. But realize this, that even though Isaac was the promised child, God’s will in these events was fulfilled. A shadow would be created that would show us that the last would be first and that the first would be last concerning God’s birthright.
This shadow would be repeated when Isaac’s sons were born. He had two sons the first that was born was Esau and Jacob would be the second. In the story Esau who should have had the birthright sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of pottage. God held him to it and Jacob became the firstborn or heir making the first to be last and the last to be first. This shadow is important because Jesus told Israel this in the New Testament.
Luke 13: 28: There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29: And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30: And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
This is speaking about salvation, notice in verse 30 that Jesus said there are last and that there are first. This is not saying that all that are last shall be first or is it saying that all that are first would be last. The words of Jesus tell that there are many among the first that will be last and many among the last that will be first.
We see this firstborn issue come up in the lives of Abraham and Isaac. But it will also become an issue in Jacob’s life as well. His firstborn son to his first wife would not become the firstborn or heir of Jacob. But it would go to his second wife Rachel and her firstborn Joseph. When Jacob adopts Joseph’s sons in order to make them part of Israel he also blessed them with the birthright. While blessing the sons of Joseph he crossed his arms and placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head giving him the blessing of the firstborn. Even though Manasseh received a part of the birthright Ephraim Joseph’s youngest son was placed above him, making Ephraim the chief holder of the Birthright.
1st Chronicles 5: 1: Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
2: For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)
The birthright in these cases was a spiritual and not a natural blessing. What is even more disheartening is that most commentaries do not believe the blessing of the birthright to be anymore important than material blessings. But it was much more than that. Hundreds of years later in the writings of Jeremiah God spoke plainly about this matter and repeated the promise to Ephraim.
In Jeremiah 31: 9 …. for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
The mysteries that must be revealed in these facts and promises in Genesis open up and confirm many things that we may wonder at today. The reason I say this is because so many people fail to realize how that the message of salvation to the world was revealed in Genesis. Joseph son of Jacob was so loved by his father that his father made him a coat of many colors. This coat symbolizes the many races and nations of people that one-day, would be saved by Jesus Christ. As the coat represented the glory and love that Jacob had for Joseph it also represents the love and crowning glory of Jesus and his church made up of every race of people on the face of the earth. Remember the children’s church song that says “red and yellow black and white they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” But it also shows that promises made to Joseph and his son Ephraim would be a part of this great promise about the nations in Christ.
I will not attempt to tell you all of the shadows and types that are found in the life of Joseph because there are so many. But I will share a few that may bless you as you read this article. Joseph was rejected by his brothers when he came to them just as the scriptures say that Jesus came unto his own, and his own received him not. Joseph was sold by his brother Judah for pieces of silver and Jesus was sold and betrayed by Judas who was one of his own. He was also sold for pieces of silver. Judah sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver whereas Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Both of these in their own time were the price of a slave. The name Judas pronounced in the Hebrew would be pronounced Judah. Remarkably it is the same name.
After having been betrayed and taken away Joseph being falsely accused was sent to the Kings prison underground. Jesus after being betrayed and crucified ended up in an underground prison called the Tomb.
When Joseph was released from prison Pharaoh made him lord over all the land of Egypt except in the throne, only Pharaoh was greater. After Jesus was resurrected he was made Lord over all the works of God’s hands except in the throne only God the Father was greater. After this Joseph received a Gentile bride. After Jesus was resurrected the door to the Gentiles was opened for salvation and today constitutes the majority of his Church. It is at this point we begin to see the salvation of the Gentiles being manifested.
You see Joseph and his new Egyptian bride gave birth to two sons. The firstborn was Manasseh. His name means “forgetting” for Joseph said he has made me forget all my toil and my father’s house. This is the very feeling that Jesus had as the first believers began to come to him. He suffered the cross for the joy of seeing so many people become members of his family. As Paul and Peter and the other apostles preached the Gentiles were saved in large numbers. To Jesus it was worth it all. Remember that these sons were both Jew and Gentile after the flesh. As the first group of people Jew or Gentile began to come to Jesus all the pain and suffering of his rejection and crucifixion by the so-called people of God was put away in the memory of our Lord.
Then his second child was born and named Ephraim. His name means: to be doubly fruitful. Joseph named him this because God had made him fruitful in the land that he had been sent. This is speaking of Egypt. Joseph was rejected and given to the Gentiles. Jesus was rejected as well and went to the Gentiles and he became doubly fruitful there. Paul’s statement that he made to the Jews well describes this when he told the Jews, That since they counted themselves unworthy of the Gospel that he now turned to the Gentiles. When he did this the Gentiles began to come in. Eventually the Gospel was preached to all the nations that the apostles were able to reach and millions came to believe in Jesus just as they do today.
But what happened to Joseph seems to be so unfair and cruel. Why did God allow all of this to happen to such a faithful person that loved God with his whole heart? To answer this question takes us to the truth about why Jesus was rejected and crucified and as to why he opened the door to the whole world for salvation. We will find this answer in all of the shadows that God was able to give to us through the life of Joseph. These shadows lay out a picture of God’s plan to save the world.
After Joseph is made Lord over Egypt he sets about to solve the huge problem that Egypt was facing. You see there was a terrible drought coming that would mean life or death to millions not only in Egypt but also all the nations around them, including Canaan where Joseph’s family lived. God would use Joseph to make provision for all if they would come to him. The seven years of famine in Joseph’s story represents the set time that God has given to this earth to come to him. From the time of the cross where Jesus made provision for the world to keep them from perishing until the time he returns. It is like a famine in that if you do not come to Jesus during this time you will lose your soul and spend eternity in the lake of fire. God is not willing that any man should perish so he made provision and all we have to do is come to him to get this provision and live forever.
At the end of the famine period Joseph goes before Pharaoh and gives him everything that he has gained for him during this time. Joseph gives him all the land, the people, their animals and possessions as well. When we come to Christ we surrender all to him in order to show our trust in him. The people trusted Joseph and traded everything in exchange for the bread. Christ is the bread of life. All of this represents what Christ is doing with those that come to him during this day of salvation. In the New Testament it says in 1st
Corinthians 15: 24: Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
Before the end is over we see Joseph’s family come to him which reveals that there will be a remnant of Israel saved before Jesus comes back, not after he comes back. How this will take place I do not know. What is glorious to look at is that Pharaoh gave all with Joseph: his Gentile wife, his half Jew and Gentile sons, his Jewish brothers and their families as well as Jacob a special place to live out their days. This is a shadow of Christ with his bride, both Jew and Gentile including the Jews that come to Christ before the famine had come to an end being given a New Heaven and a New Earth to dwell in. All of God’s family from the beginning of creation brought together in Christ to spend eternity with him.
Now that was just a few shadows of Joseph concerning his life a shadow of Christ. Now, let’s go back to Jacob at the time of the adoption and blessing. While the family was all gathered together in Goshen and the tribal heads were receiving their promises Jacob had to do something to make everything right. He had a new daughter-n-law that was a Gentile and her two sons from Joseph who were both Jew and Gentile. Jacob knew that unless he adopted the two sons of Joseph as his own that he could never make them tribal heads in the family of Israel. Joseph could not pass the birthright down because the name of Israel was not upon them, they had to be sons of Israel or Jacob in order to be what God wanted them to be. Had this not happened after Joseph’s death his sons and their families would no longer be a part of Israel.
This act in itself becomes a prophetic shadow of the time that God would adopt both Jew and Gentile into the true Israel of God, God’s family. Just as the promise of Ephraim becoming a multitude of nations was given it was in the crossed-armed blessing of Jacob that it happened. This symbolizes that at the cross the blessing of the firstborn would go to the Gentile nations and would only be a blessing to the Jews themselves in the last days. The first (Jews) would become last when it comes to salvation but the last (the nations) would become first.
When Jacob blessed Joseph he made a strange prophecy concerning him.
Genesis 49: 22: Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
This prophecy reveals a wonderful picture of the salvation of the nations. It portrays Joseph as a fruitful tree being fed by a well of water (the Holy Spirit). He is planted beside a wall and his branches, speaking of his children, reaching over this wall producing fruit on the other side of it. This is speaking volumes concerning the wall of separation between the Jews and Gentiles. It is saying that Joseph’s children will extend beyond this wall to bring forth fruit among the Gentiles. They will do this through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations. Christ provided this by the removal of the wall on the cross.
Ephesians 2: 14: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15: Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16: And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Even though the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile was torn down at the cross without the preaching of the Gospel the nations would not know. So it would take the promise made to Ephraim to completely fulfill this. The branches going over the wall in Genesis 49: 22 are Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Since Jacob placed Ephraim over Manasseh, Ephraim became the main birthright holder. Because of this promise there was a certain amount of confusion within the house of Israel because of the promise of the great King coming out of Judah and the Birthright holder being Joseph’s son Ephraim. Who was to lead Israel? Because of the shadows that God was creating through the lives of his people he does some unexpected things in order to accomplish his purpose. The leader of Israel coming out of the tribe of Levi surely surprised everyone but God qualified him for the job.
The reason he chose Moses for this job was to bring about the many shadows that the law would have in the sacrifices, the tabernacle, the priesthood and many other things in particular the blood offering. Moses was to become a prophet of the work of Christ and became a schoolteacher to bring in the New Covenant with Christ. But after Moses brought the children of Israel to the Promised Land there was another shadow that would appear that would not include Moses. If Moses had led the children of Israel into the Promised Land it would have been a shadow that the Law could cause you to possess the Promised Land. And even though Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it he still would not have led the people into the Promised Land simply because he was not the heir or birthright holder to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
While the children of Israel was in the wilderness following Moses there were two men that stood out who were not from the tribe of Levi, one was Caleb head of the tribe of Judah, the other was Joshua the head of the tribe of Ephraim. These men were absolutely supportive to Moses and faithful to God. Both were qualified to lead Israel, in fact since they were going into the Promised Land you would almost expect the leader that would take them into the land would certainly have to come from the tribe of Judah. It would seem this way especially because of the way people think. The tribe of Judah stood out concerning the promise of the Great King and since Caleb was the leader of the tribe of Judah, he would seem to be a very likely candidate for this task. But that wasn’t God’s plan, instead he chose Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim, the Birthright holder. What is it about this birthright thing and why Joshua?
I will do my best to try and explain this: The firstborn was considered to be the birthright holder or the heir of the father. Normally he would receive a double portion and then as heir he would divide up the inheritance among the rest of the brothers in the family. But how this was to be divided was up to the birthright holder. If he didn’t want to receive a double portion it was in his power to refuse it. But he was the definite heir to the father’s possessions and expected to share. Since Canaan the Promised Land was promised as an inheritance to Abraham then the firstborn or birthright holder was to receive it and share it with the other heirs. So it would be up to Joshua who was the heir to receive the land and divide it as he saw fit. This he would do.
Joshua 1: 3: Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
6: Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
To most people the birthright or firstborn is insignificant but once we understand the purpose of this in scripture it becomes a valuable part of the plan of redemption. Between the time that Israel came into possession of the Promised Land and David became King over Israel many things happened that could cause us to lose our focus on what was taking place. During that time God ruled Israel through the use of Judges. But the time came that the people wanted a king. God surprised everyone again when he gave them a king from the tribe of Benjamin. Saul was the man that was chosen and he failed God and the people miserably. After Saul’s failure Samuel anointed David to become king when David was a young man and through many trials and difficulties he would become king over Israel. He would successfully bring the whole nation of Israel together after many years of division. David would become a shadow of Christ in so many ways and it would be through his lineage that the scepter would come that Jacob promised. Christ would be born through David’s bloodline.
But before this would come to pass Israel would go through many difficulties with serious setbacks. After David’s death his son Solomon became the new king of Israel. He would accomplish many things including building a wonderful temple for God and a glorious palace for himself. In 2nd Chronicles we find a prophetic shadow of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Jesus as King on David’s Throne). It was built probably to glorify Solomon but it pointed to the coming King.
2nd Chronicles 9: 17-19 17: Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
18: And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays:
19: And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom.
The lion was the emblem of Judah and these 12 being on the steps represented Solomon’s authority over all twelve tribes. But in shadow it represents the 12 tribes under the authority of Jesus Christ the King of Kings. Although they did not accept him then a remnant will in the future. Jesus is sitting right now on the throne of David in Heaven reigning over the Kingdom of God in Heaven and Earth. Jesus said that all power in heaven and earth was given unto him.
In the courtyard of the temple was a huge bronze tank like a bowl that held 10,000 gallons of water. It sit upon the backs of 12 bronze Oxen, three facing the north, three facing the south, three facing east and three facing the west (2nd Chronicles 4: 4). An enemy of Israel would eventually steal it but while it stood it was a prophecy concerning the work of Ephraim that would begin during the time of Christ. Ephraim’s ensign was the Ox and was often used in reference to them. These 12 Oxen held up a tank of water that was used to wash the hands and feet of the priests before they entered into the temple to do the work of God. It was called a Sea. The Oxen represented 12 men that would take the cleansing waters of God’s Word to the nations. They would bear the burden of this responsibility of taking the Gospel to the Four Corners of the earth. They would be the ones to divide the inheritance of the promise by sharing Jesus with the world. Their birthright was the privilege of being special ambassadors of the New Covenant and the instrument to the saving of the nations.
The question remains as to how the 12 disciples became God’s chosen ones to start this wonderful work. I will do my best to try and explain this mystery.
After Solomon became king of Israel he served God and God gave him wisdom to make wise judgements. He became well known for this. Yet, with all of his wisdom Solomon had a problem with women. He had lots of wives and concubines, which would cause his downfall. Many of his wives worshipped false gods and convinced him to place some of their idols in the Temple of God. God’s promise of mercy for his father David prevented God from taking away Solomon’s kingdom while he was alive but would bring it to ruin after his death.
After Solomon’s death the nation was divided into two kingdoms, ten nations in the northern part of Israel led by a king out of the tribe of Ephraim named Jeroboam. The southern part of Israel was only two tribes along with the tribe of Levi being led by Rehoboam Solomon’s son. The southern half of the nation was called Judah and the northern half was called Israel as well as Ephraim, these two names were synonyms of each other. Eventually the northern half of the nation would be called Samaria by many people as well as the names of Ephraim and Israel. In studying your Bible this can sometimes lead to confusion so it is important to know this truth.
Jeroboam would lead the people in the northern part of kingdom into idolatry, which would eventually bring about the destruction of their part of the nation of Israel. They would be taken captive by the Assyrians and scattered into the world. The southern part of the nation called Judah served God for a while after Ephraim-Israel had been taken captive and then they fell under God’s judgement as well and were taken captive by the Babylonians. After 70yrs of captivity a remnant returned to the nation of Israel and would grow into a large nation by the time Jesus was born.
At that time there was a small group of people from the northern part of Israel that were actual descendants of what people call the ten lost tribes. Ephraim being scattered into the world gives us the idea that none returned to their homeland, but there were some that made it back, in fact there were some who never left. They lived north of an inhabited area of people called Samaritans that was on the northern border of Judah. Ephraim (ten tribes) lived north of Samaria in a region called Galilee of the Gentiles. Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judah but spent most of his life in the region living in a town called Nazareth that was from that northern region. Matthew quotes Isaiah in the following scriptures.
Matthew 4: 13: And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15: The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16: The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17: From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
In verse 4: 13 and 15 the scriptures say Zabulon and Nephthalim this is the Greek for the Old Testament tribes of Zebulun and Napthali. These two tribes were a part of the ten tribes of Israel that was for the most part gone. But a number of descendants from all 10 tribes still lived there though not near as many as the Jews that had returned to the land of Judah. Judah after the return from the exile even with only a remnant from Babylon had grown into a large number of people. Just think how America has grown in the last 400yrs and that will give you an idea. They had been living in the land of Judah for over 400yrs before Jesus was born.
Even though Jerusalem was in the land of Judah (Judea) and had the largest amount of people Jesus had no intention of beginning his ministry there. We see the reason for this from the prophecies that I have been sharing concerning Ephraim. Jeremiah said this concerning this group of people:
Jeremiah 31: 9: They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
There are many commentaries today that interpret this scripture to be talking about the Jews from Russia returning to the land of Israel. What is interesting is that it is doubtful that you can find one person among all of those thousands that have returned to Israel say that they are from Ephraim. This is not talking about the Jews from Judea but is talking about Israel and Ephraim the northern ten tribes of Israel. The name Israel and Ephraim are synonyms speaking of the same people. In verse 9 above, God said that Ephraim is his firstborn. Well the scriptures say that Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren so we must explain the difference. The firstborn in this scripture about Ephraim is speaking of a promise of being born-again. They would be the first people to become disciples and believers in Jesus and take the Gospel to the world. Jesus was firstborn of many brethren, not in the respect of being born-again, but in the simple fact that he was the heir to all the promises of God. He had the authority to share the inheritance with his brothers, eternal life for one example.
Jesus began his ministry in the land of Israel-Ephraim out of the northern part of the old land of Israel. There was only a remnant of the land that remained and only a remnant of people from the old ten tribes,
But that was enough for God. Not all of the 12 disciples were from this area there was one who was not and he was following Jesus for a different reason. His name was Judas Iscariot. And what we think about his name for the most part might surprise you. You see, Iscariot was not Judas last name, it was given to tell you what city he was from. Just as Jesus of Nazareth didn’t mean that Jesus’ last name was Nazareth but defined were he was from. Judas was the only one of the 12 that was from the southern half of the nation of Israel known as the Land of Judea. He came from a city called Kerioth a small town a few miles south of Hebron and being called Judas Iscariot was simple saying Judas from Kerioth. His father’s name was Simon. So Judas did not fit into the promise of Ephraim being the firstborn of God, he was not a Galilean but was Judean. But he was replaced by a man who was a Galilean just as the rest of the 11 were. His name was Matthias.
The disciples in replacing Judas chose a man that had certain qualifications.
Acts 1: 21: Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22: Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23: And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24: And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25: That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26: And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
How do we know that Matthias was a Galilean like the other apostles? To begin with in verse 26 above we read that Matthias was numbered with the eleven apostles. This makes 12 apostles total. In Acts 2: 14 when Peter is delivering his Gospel message we see that all twelve are standing up with Peter.
Acts 2: 14: But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
In the verses previous to this we read that after the Holy Ghost fell upon them they began to speak in other tongues. While speaking these other tongues they were speaking in the languages of the people from other nations around the Mediterranean Sea. While this was happening the people noticed that the people that were doing this were Galileans. Undoubtedly they knew from the way the apostles dressed and their accent when they spoke. The Galileans had a different accent from Judeans.
Acts 2: 6: Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7: And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
I believe that this confirms that Matthias was a Galilean just as the other 11 apostles were and it is important to know this when it comes to prophecy fulfillment. These men were all descendants of the old ten tribes of Israel known as Ephraim. Ephraim’s promise was to become a multitude of nations. The way this was to happen was through the preaching of the Gospel to the world. Remember the 12 oxen in Solomon’s Temple? They were facing all four points on the compass, set to take cleansing water to the nations.
The birthright of these men was the privilege to be special ambassadors of Christ to take the New Testament (New Covenant) to the nations. They were special because they witnessed his life and resurrection. The Gospel or New Covenant was first confirmed during the ministry of Jesus for 3 ½ yrs. After his death the apostles and other believers continued to confirm the Covenant with Judah for another 3 ½ years (Dan. 9: 27). Then after the stoning of Stephen and the conversion of Paul the focus of their ministry was to the Gentiles. And this is how the prophecies of the birthright were fulfilled and it is why the 12 apostles received the honor that they did. In John’s vision of the Holy City coming out of heaven we see the names of the twelve tribes of Israel on the twelve gates of the city. What is glorious is that we also see the names of the twelve apostles on the twelve foundations of the wall. These men receive as much honor as the twelve tribes of Israel.
10: And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11: Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12: And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14: And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Christ himself established the New Covenant in his blood and through the suffering of his body. After his ascension into Heaven he fulfilled the promises made to David and to Judah. These promises said that David’s seed would reign on the throne forever. The son of David, being Jesus himself, is sitting on the throne of David in Heaven right now, he is seated beside the Father. Peter explains this:
Acts 2: 29: Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30: Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31: He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32: This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34: For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35: Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
What God prophesied to Judah through the mouth of Jacob has come to pass. Remember? Genesis 49: 10: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Do you find it hard to believe that Jesus is King of kings right now?
Psalms 110: 1: The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2: The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Jesus reigns over his Church right now in the midst of his enemies. When he returns his enemies will not be here to oppose him. But, at this present time he is giving his enemies the opportunity to be saved and live forever.
This article was written to show how the birthright joins with the cross. Without Jesus coming, being crucified and risen from the dead there would be no salvation. Without ambassadors taking the message to the world there would be no salvation. These promises are necessary for the saving of the nations. Jesus is the inheritance and the people to share this promise with others are his ambassadors. The 12 apostles were the special ambassadors of the promise but once shared everyone who believes becomes an ambassador as well. We have the faithfulness of Joseph, Jacob’s son, to thank for this, a multitude of nations, a multitude of ambassadors. Can we see the importance of being a witness for Jesus?
I hope that you find this article as interesting as I have enjoyed writing it, God bless you.
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Bible Truth by T Spurgeon
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