Cut `Em Off At The Cross Part III
n Cut `Em Off At The Cross, we've been examining the allegorized identity of Edom, who is said to be the party who sought to cut off the escape of those who belong to the LORD. In this little understood sequence of prophetic interactions, we find the LORD revealing His wrath is directed at those who not only refused to enter in to His proscribed redemption, they aggressively blocked other's efforts from escaping his judgment:
"Neither should thou have stood in thecrossway, to cut off those of his that did escape…" (Obadiah 1:14).
The offender in this sequence is plainly identified asEdom, and there is no doubt whatsoever that Edom is the name assumed by Esau, after the notorious first born of Isaac had forfeited his birthright:
"And Esau said to Jacob….what profit shall this birthright be to me?" (Genesis 25:32).
"For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected…[because] for one morsel of meat [he] sold his birthright (Hebrews 12:17,16).
Esau, who was born into the bloodline of Abraham and Isaac, was to be the blessed "seed of Abraham" (Genesis 12:3), but he departed from the ways of his father and, after losing his standing to his brother Jacob, he completely defied his parents and mingled his seed with that of multiple Arab families.
"And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto him the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael…" (Genesis 28:9).
The Canaanites were closely associated with the later Philistines -- now called Palestinians. After this, he further blended his family line with Hittite women, another ethnic lineage associated with the Arabs:
"And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite…" (Genesis 26:33, 34).
Over the centuries these, as well as subsequent acts, plainly showed Esau/Edom's descendants became thoroughly mingled with the Gentile nations. This family line, which became known as the Edomitesand the Idumaeans), emerged as the historic enemies of the Israelites. Through the prophets Obadiah and Malachi, the LORD speaks of the Edomites as the object of His indignation:
"I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste…and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, the people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever" (Malachi 1:3,4).
Centuries later, significant military auxiliaries attached to the Roman legions, were largely comprised of Arab soldiers in service to Rome; and they were specifically identified by the Roman historian Tacitus as being particularly cruel towards the Jews in the siege of Jerusalem:
"Titus Caesar … found in Judaea three legions, the 5th, the 10th, and the 15th. … To these he added the 12th from Syria, and some men belonging to the 18th and 3rd, whom he had withdrawn from Alexandria. This force was accompanied … by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews…" (Cited by Richardson in the Islamic Antichrist).
The well known Jewish historian Flavius Josephusalso confirms the Roman forces, which were engaged in the battle at Jerusalem, were heavily comprised of conscripts from "Syria, Asia Minor, and Arabia."
Predicting the actual events which occurred in the siege lasting from 66 to 70 AD, a horrific conflict in which massive numbers of Jews were slaughtered, the prophecies reproaching the mingled, Arabic Edomites in Obadiah, specifically mentions the violence directed towards the descendants of Jacob:
"For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever" (Obadiah 1:10).
Thus, history conclusively shows Obadiah's prophecies were physically and literally fulfilled when the Jewish state came to its end, and theEdomites were the primary player in service to Rome. However, these prophecies, like so many others, also have another dimension of fulfillment, and they are even more important than those already cited.
The primary problem encountered in deciphering these amazing Scriptures has to do with the issue ofidentity – and, since most of what passes for Christianity during the great falling away from the Gospel which now surrounds us, hardly anyone knows the true depth of what these astonishing Scriptures are telling us. First and foremost, is the issue of identity. When JESUS CHRIST turned the world upside down with His Gospel, He came to redeem the identity stated to be the lost sheep of Israel:
"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24).
What is almost lost to this evil and adulterous generation is the fact that the LORD's work did notintroduce a new body known as the so called "Church," for His miraculous ministry insteadtransformed Israel into a Spiritual entity:
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood…" (I Peter 2:5).
The Apostle Paul also states that under the New Covenant, there are no longer any physical Jews at alland, using the picture of circumcision (a truly peculiar trait identifying Israel), he tells us the only genuine Jews are those who are circumcised in their hearts:
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter…" (Romans 2:28, 29).
This is not a passing figure of speech, but a breathtaking revelation which tells us the house of Israel is to be reckoned as a Spiritual entity, and it is Jesus Christ who has Spiritually transformed us from being physical Jews or Gentiles, into Spiritual Israelites:
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [fit] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:12,13).
Since the true believers in Jesus Christ are now Spiritual Israelites, we conclude the physical Israelites, commonly called Jews, cannot also be Spiritual Israelites, if they are apart from Christ:
"…what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" (II Corinthians 6:14).
In Revelation, we learn of an important prophetic group, who congregate in an institutional construct called a synagogue, who still consider themselves to be Jews when, in fact, they are not:
"I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9).
Thus, those of the nations, also called Gentiles (which would include the Arabs and all the "mingled" people), who are one with Christ, are Spiritual Israelites, and those of the physical people commonly called Jews who are apart from Christ, are now Spiritual Gentiles – or Edomites.
Which begs the question, since most "believers" don't even know their own identity in Christ, how can they be sure they are not serving what the Apostle Paul called "Another Jesus?"
Think about it.
--- James Lloyd
(To Be Continued)
A further look at the issue of just who we are in Christ is seen in the James Lloyd book entitled RECOGNIZING CHRISTIAN IDENTITY.