Calamity At The Cross
n the process of studying the person and descendants of Edom in the Scriptures, certain passages in the Old Testament recently confirmed something the LORD has now shown me hundreds of times – but one in particular nearly jumped off the page at me. The verse in question is found in the Old Testament book of Obadiah, and right there in the middle of my probe into the Spiritual identity of the mysterious name of Edom, I found a literal reference to the cross of Jesus Christ.
Obviously, there are hundreds of prophecies dealing with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, including descriptions of the LORD’s painful crucifixion, but this one actually has the word “cross” in the verse itself! Repeatedly mentioning a time of great calamity, this verse addresses the decisions made at the place of the cross:
“Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape….” (Obadiah 1:14).
The probe into Obadiah’s amazing work (in conjunction with repetitive mentions of Edom in Malachi), was in connection with my latest effort at identifying the principalities found in prophecy (that research resulted in the new book The Hero of Bethlehem), with a particular emphasis on the allegorical meaning of the name Edom.
I might digress at this point, and mention that those who have been taught the literal, linear approach to prophecy, with their Jewish Supremacist slant – i.e. a 7 year Jewish treaty with the Antichrist, the so called “revived Roman Empire,” and a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, ad nauseum –- would do well to receive the truth about the identity of Edom. This is because the entire “Church” is already thoroughly leavened, and the long prophesied “strong delusion” has already fully enveloped the world.
To put it bluntly, if you’ve bought into the “Euro-Christ” lie (or its recent permutation the Islamic Antichrist), complete with the Rapture Cult/Chosen People based on race fraud, you’ve signed on to “another Gospel” (II Corinthians 11:4), and you’re in the deadliest of Spiritual deceptions. In short, your very soul is in danger of hellfire, and the prophets Malachi and Obadiah prove it.
Since the kingdom of God is a Spiritual place, any theology which positions any flesh and blood in a pre-eminent position (such as the idea that Israel as a physical family has any standing whatsoever under the New Covenant), is pure Antichrist. Thus, when God says in Malachi that He has an everlasting enmity against “Edom,” there is obviously more to the story:
“…And they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation forever” (Malachi 1:4).
The point is, the Scriptures tells us that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34), and since He opened the door of blessing to Jew and Gentile alike through the New Covenant of Jesus Christ, it is Scripturally inconsistent for Him to then harbor a bias against any racially defined group.
To rephrase that thought, if race or ethnic heritage is no longer a factor in those He has chosen, it cannot be a factor in those He has not chosen. Thus, we look for a Spiritual explanation to identify who (or what) is in view, when the LORD refers to the “people” against whom He has indignation “forever.”
We needn’t look far, for the major theme in both Malachi and Obadiah is the identity known as Edom, so a look at the specific history of Edom throughout Scripture clarifies the attributes of this mysterious name.
First and foremost, we see that Edom is the name attached to Esau, the elder son of Isaac – the first born son who traded His Spiritual heritage for the physical comfort of a bowl of soup. Esau cares not for the things of His father Isaac (obviously representing the Father in heaven), and when he forfeits his birthright as the chosen son, he then becomes known as Edom.
Racially speaking, in the Old Testament, after losing his standing as the “seed of Abraham” (Genesis 9:9), Esau plans on murdering Jacob who receives the birthright in his place. In angry defiance, he then marries into numerous Gentile tribes (read Arabs), and his mingled descendants, the Edomites, chart a course of bitterness and envy, as they are no longer the chosen people:
“….shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?….lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled: Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.”
“For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Hebrews 12:9, 15-17).
For those with eyes to see, this is obviously the story of Israel and the Jews. Just as Esau loved the things of this world (as opposed to his Spiritual birthright), so too Israel was lifted up, and reveled in the role of the elect of the LORD. They were born into the position of the chosen people, but their insistence on defying the Father’s will throughout history, characterizes them as the people who continually seek the material things of this world – an earthly kingdom, power, glory, and dominion apart from submission to the LORD:
“Thus was thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou dist prosper into a kingdom.”
“But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown…Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee…and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines [Palestinians], which are ashamed of thy lewd way” (Ezekiel 16:13, 15, 27).
Like most prophecy, there are multiple layers to the predictive patterns – usually one in the shorter term, and the secondary layer in the long term. For instance, there are several literal, historic clashes between the Edomites and the Israelites in the Old Testament. However, when the LORD speaks of the conflict between Esau and Jacob (two physical, literal identities), He is also prophetically addressing the two Spiritual counterparts of Edom and Israel.
In the calamitous time of the New Testament of Jesus Christ, the Jews (physical Israelites) had become Spiritual Edomites, for they had forfeited their birthright. The Christians (physical Gentiles as well as physical Jews), became Spiritual Israelites. Thus, “Edom” is the Christ-rejecting Jews, and “Israel” are those who are born-again. Now, read Obadiah again and think of the Pharisees versus Jesus and His disciples:
“…in the day of their calamity…In the day that thou stoodest on the other side [the other side of salvation], in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces [the Gentiles manipulated by the Pharisees], and foreigners entered into his gates [the gates of New Jerusalem, the Christians], and cast lots upon Jerusalem [Jesus is the cornerstone of New Jerusalem], even thou was as one of them” (Obadiah 1:13, 11).
This speaks of how the Jews repeatedly stirred up the Gentiles against the cross – in dozens of instances in the Gospels and the book of Acts. Not only were the Romans moved by the council of the Pharisees to crucify Christ (note the reference to the casting of lots), but throughout the early church, they were “as one of them” in persecuting the Apostles from town to town.
“Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway [the valley of decision at the cross], to cut off those of his that did escape…” (Obadiah 1:14).
Those who are his references those who were escaping the wrath of God through the grace of Jesus Christ, found in the way of the cross. The reference to the evil attempt to block the effort of those who were escaping is again fulfilled in the New Testament:
“Woe unto you, scribes, and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13).
The LORD says the Jews of Israel, manifesting the Spirit of Edom who rejected his birthright, will be reviled by the nations:
”Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised” (Obadiah 1:2).
As the LORD states His enmity against Spiritual Edom is ongoing, there is even a reference to Israel’s alliance with the ungodly nation of America, as the symbolic eagle, who flys through the heavens:
“Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down” (Obadiah 1:4).
The prophet Malachi also addresses the pride of Edom, which provides us with another link to the identity of the people and nation of Israel, as those whom the LORD views with indignation:
“Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places…” (Malachi 1:4).
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard of how the Jewish people have transformed the Judaean desert into a productive paradise – a modern state excelling in science as well as agriculture – all the while subtly insinuating how the Palestinians previously mismanaged the land’s resources.
“…thus saith the LORD, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them the border of wickedness…” (Malachi 1:4).
In every effort made to engineer a political accommodation between the Jews and the Palestinians, the primary obstacle is one of borders. Whether it’s in Gaza, the West Bank, or the ongoing building of Jewish housing developments in land claimed by their rivals, the issue is always territorial borders.
Through Malachi, the LORD blends the description of Edom with the iniquity of Israel; but as always, He offers a way out through the cross of Jesus Christ:
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to this temple” (Malachi 3:1).
John the Baptist, the messenger preparing the way, announced the arrival of the Holy One of Israel. Those who refused Him, just like Esau before them, forfeited their standing, and were transformed into Spiritual Edomites. Those who hear His voice, have been translated into a reborn, Spiritual Israel.
“But ye are a chosen generation [the chosen people], a royal priesthood, an holy nation…Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them, but the transgressors shall fall therein” (I Peter 2:9, Hosea 14:9).
-- James Lloyd