Month: November 2017

ADDENDUM TO THE NEW BOOK: COMMONWEALTH THEOLOGY

ADDENDUM TO THE NEW BOOK: COMMONWEALTH THEOLOGY

The following is the ADDENDUM to my new book, COMMONWEALTH THEOLOGY…An Introduction.  It will provide some of the flavor of this nearly 450 pp. book with Scripture Reference Index and Proper Name Index (persons).  Some of the subject matter can be found on this site; however, much of the material is brand new–it is, I believe, a great read (no humility here) for those interested in this most vital arena of theology–especially, juxtaposed to both Replacement theologies and Dispensationalism; and, for that matter, so-called Identity theologies.  It will be available on Amazon in both written and electronic formats some time around the end of the year, 2017.

It’s a bit risky reading the ADDENDUM, and not having read the body of the text–but this is simply a flavor of what’s in the body of the text…so here goes….

Sincerely, Doug Krieger

A text on this subject is utterly preliminary—the topic is now just beginning to dawn upon the “children of God who were scattered abroad” (John 11:52) . . . a true awakening of the Spirit in the hearts and minds of believers throughout the world.

At times portions of Scripture, we once read, now suddenly come to life as if we have never read them before.  The Spirit of God seems to be brooding upon the depth of these passages, once hidden, now come alive as we fulfill the prophecy of Judah and Ephraim’s restoration: “In the latter days you will consider it” (Jeremiah 30:24).

Thus, before we can conclude this text, new light shines upon old passages with greater meaning and even profound significance.  Jesus had just performed the astonishing resurrection of Lazarus in John 11:38-44, which gained the attention of multitudes for: “Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him . . . but some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did” (John 11:45-46).

It was at this juncture, just prior to His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday, 10 Nisan, that the plot to kill Jesus was hatched by the “chief priests and the Pharisees” who gathered a council and inquired: “What shall we do?  For this Man works many signs . . . if we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:47-48).

It is here that the most peculiar statements made by Caiaphas, the High Priest, are spoken and later interpreted by John to be profoundly prophetic; to wit, after the aforementioned statements made in the plotting council:

“You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expected for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish” (John 11:49-50).

John then follows this statement of Caiaphas with:

“Now this he did not say on his own authority, but being high priest that year he PROPHESIED that Jesus would die for the nation” (John 11:51).

John alerts us to the fact that the High Priest Caiaphas was literally prophesying—not on his own authority but by the authority vested in him by God Almighty!  Yes, “Jesus would die for the nation” of the Jews, Judea.  Moreover, John expands the prophecy to our amazement by concluding his commentary as follows:

“And, not for that nation only, but also that He would GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE the children of God who were scattered abroad(John 11:52).

Most of us are familiar with this passage concerning the prophecy of Caiaphas; perhaps not realizing that John interpreted his statements as altogether prophetic—that Jesus would die for Israel; and many of us have seen that death not only for the nation of the Jews but for us all . . . but where did we get that impression?

Well, from the passage in John 11:52 which we just read.  But examine the second half of Caiaphas’ prophecy more closely and you will discover that the death of Jesus would “gather together IN ONE the children of God who were scattered abroad.”

One could interpret this to mean only those Jews so scattered abroad; but in the context of John’s belief that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16), the “net” extended far beyond the nation of Judea but to the uttermost parts of that world; yet, “He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” held within it a more powerful restoration between Judah and Ephraim in that “the children of God scattered abroad” could readily entail the same meaning found in James 1:1:  “James a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:  Greetings.”

The recognition by Caiaphas of those “children of God scattered abroad” held within it this most significant understanding: These children of God constituted the very Twelve Tribes of Israel; and, in particular, there had to be an understanding that the “lost sheep of the House of Israel” (the so-called Ten Lost Tribes) were most definitely in view, as well as Jews throughout the known world.

Before we go back into Acts 15 and the Council at Jerusalem convened to determine what this “calling out from among the nations” a “people for His Name” actually meant . . . let us amplify just who were these “children of God scattered abroad” juxtaposed to the “nation only” (i.e., Judah/Judea).

It sure sounds like God’s intention is to GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE the Children of God WITH “that nation”—for Caiaphas prophesied, not on his own authority, but by divine intervention he uttered these words.

Clues abound as Jesus, knowing that He was to lay down His life for the sins of the world, does a most significant and, I believe, prophetic move after the plot to kill Him is hatched:

“Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called EPHRAIM, and there remained with His disciples” (John 11:54).

This rather obscure passage is all the more puzzling in that most of us know that it was from Jericho that Jesus made His initial move into Jerusalem.  Here he met Zacchaeus, who was a “chief tax collector” (Luke 19:1-10), and from thence to “Bethany at the house of Simon the leper” with Lazarus and Mary and the account of Mary anointing the Lord for His burial (Mark 14:3-9); and from thence to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, where Jesus sent two disciples to fetch the donkey, and a colt with her, fulfilling Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9 (Matt. 21:21-25).

The Jericho, Bethany, Bethphage, Jerusalem accounts completely omit the City of Ephraim in the other gospels—but John includes this fascinating account into Jesus’ travels AFTER the prophecy of Caiaphas.  Just prior to Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem from the aforementioned locations, He took the “twelve disciples aside on the road” (“going up to Jerusalem”) and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify . . . And the third day He will rise again” (Matthew 20:17-19).

In 2 Chronicles 13:19 we read of this obscure city/village called Ephrain (“with its villages”) wherein the marginal references to the place is called “Ephron” mentioned in Joshua 15:9.  However, it is the context in which this Ephraim/Ephrain/Ephron is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 13 that discloses its importance to the narrative given in John 11:54 wherein initially Jesus went from Bethany (John 11:1—where the resurrection of Lazarus was performed); the plot hatched (Caiaphas’ prophecies); and then to Ephraim near the wilderness.

As the crow flies, the city of Ephraim was 12 miles due north from Bethany and, likewise, 12 miles southeast to Jericho, with Jericho 12 miles due east of Bethany—forming a perfect equilateral triangle; with Bethany several miles from Jerusalem.  These 36 miles could provide a fascinating link that the Eternal God (360° = 36 as a “resemblance/fractal”) was obviously involved in this triangulation; likewise, Ephraim reflects all the “children of God” to be “GATHERED IN ONE” – Jericho is representative of Babylon the Great and Bethany, the resurrection—the House of Bread (the staff of Life).  Jesus is giving His life for the Oneness of His people (John 17); for the destruction of Babylon the Great; through the Power of His Resurrection (Life from the Dead).

Again, what was going on in 2 Chronicles 13 in the first place?  Why was the City of Ephraim mentioned?  King Rehoboam of Judah (successor to King Solomon, his son) had originally attempted to “lay a heavy yoke” (2 Chron. 10:14) upon the Ten Northern Tribes, now under the kingship of Jeroboam.  King Rehoboam (meaning, “the people are enlarged”) reigned for 17 years after the death of King Solomon’s United Kingdom (2 Chronicles 12:13-16).  The kingdom split—was torn asunder; “and there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days” (2 Chron. 12:15).

Now, after the death of King Rehoboam, his son, in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, King Abijah, became king over Judah (2 Chron. 13:1).  After three years of King Abijah’s reign there was war, once again, between Judah and Israel (2 Chron. 13:2).  This was no meager conflict.  Some 800,000 (Jeroboam’s forces) were pitted against 400,000 of King Abijah’s forces (2 Chron. 13:3).

King Abijah stood upon the promises of the Lord given to King David and told King Jeroboam when he stood upon the “mountains of Ephraim” and declared:

“Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel:  Should you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt?  Yet Jeroboam and son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord . . . and now you think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hand of the sons of David; and you are a great multitude, and with you are the gold calves which Jeroboam made for you as gods” (2 Chron. 13:4-8).

Suffice it to say, some 500,000 Israelites perished in the battle—even with the ambush set by Jeroboam (2 Chron. 13:13-18) “because they [Judah] relied on the LORD God of their fathers” (2 Chron. 13:18).  So great was the victory that “Jeroboam did not recover strength again in the days of Abijah; and the LORD struck him, and he died” (2 Chron. 13:20).

Compare, US deaths from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all three Wars on Terrorism (Persian Gulf War, Iraq War [on-going], and the War in Afghanistan) do not exceed the 500,000 deaths wrought upon Jeroboam’s Israel (viz., all US War dead since World War I total approx. 450,000).

It is here we learn that “Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took cities from him:  Bethel with its villages, Jeshanah with its villages, and Ephrain (i.e., the city of Ephraim) with its villages” (2 Chron. 13:19).  Thus, the City of Ephraim fell under Judah’s jurisdiction.

Somewhat interesting are the meaning of these cities—Bethel (the House of God and where Jacob/Israel saw the vision of the ladder); Jeshanah meaning “old” (“to rebuild it [the tabernacle of David] as in the days of old”—Amos. 9:11) and Ephraim, meaning “expansion.”  Judah had taken cities having profound meaning:  God was after the House of God (Bethel), “as in the days of old” (Jeshanah) and expanding with Ephraim.

The “sons of David” were the beneficiaries of this immediate conquest—Ephraim was now bound with Judah; therefore, is it not a foregone conclusion that Jesus’ visit to a city called Ephraim, as the very Lion of the Tribe of Judah, was a visitation of major prophetic significance, for “He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” upon the mountains of Ephraim (Israel).

This is all the more made plain to us knowing that it was King Abijah of Judah (meaning “Jehovah is Father”) who has embraced both the House of Judah and the house of Ephraim (if we see in King Abijah’s taking of the City of Ephraim in this manner).  Moreover, and even though it was through the rebellion of Jeroboam (Ephraim—a “type” of the Prodigal son) whose name (Jeroboam) means “May the people increase”); surely, it was through Ephraim that we hear in Hosea:

“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered.  And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’ Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel!  Say to your brethren, ‘My people,’ and to your sisters, ‘Mercy is shown.’” (Hosea 1:10-112; 2:1). 

Furthermore, as we revisit Acts 15:14-21 we see that James, the apostle, concludes the Jerusalem Council’s prophetic declaration, giving meaning to the purpose of God’s plan whereby “God at the first visited the Gentiles (i.e., the “nations”) to take out (Greek lambano – Strong’s #2983 and #1537 – “to take out of” – in contrast to asking – to “seize or remove”) of them a people for His name” (Acts 15:14).  James then amplifies this people from among the Nations so taken and/or seized/removed by substantiated the phenomenon in citing the prophets Amos and Obadiah; to wit:

And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:  ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, so that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, even all the Nations (Gentiles) who are called by My name, says he LORD who does all these things” (Acts 15:15-17).

It is here that the prophetic allusions to the “rest of mankind” are juxtaposed to the “Tabernacle of David.”  In other words, we ostensibly have at least four distinct entities.

  • Those of the Nation of Judah for whom Jesus died (John 11:50-51).
  • Those being called out from among the nations as the very “children of God” (those “scattered abroad” as the remnant of Ephraim) – (John 11:52; Acts 15:14-16; Amos 9:11 James 1:1).
  • The “rest of mankind . . . even all the Gentiles (those among the nations) who are called by My name” (likewise a remnant—the remnant of Edom) (Acts 15:17; Amos 9:12; Obadiah 1); and . . .
  • Those of Edom who are NOT the “remnant of Edom” (the rest of mankind) pending the judgment by the One in Whose heart is “the day of vengeance . . . and the year of My redeemed has come” (Isaiah 63:1, 4, Obadiah 1).

It is imperative that we examine “the rest of mankind”—for its “sound” is distinct from the remnant of Ephraim . . . so, it would appear from Amos 9:12:

“That they may possess the remnant of Edom (“Edom” is translated as “mankind” in the LXX or Septuagint—the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures translated by some 70 Jewish scholars commencing in Alexandria, Egypt in the Third Century BCE and completed in 132 BCE), and all the Gentiles (Nations) who are called by My name” (Amos. 9:12).

Obadiah follows Amos and speaks of the coming judgment upon Edom—whereas Amos makes it clear that the LORD shall possess the remnant of Edom, the “rest of mankind.”

“Oh, how Esau (Edomites are of Esau’s linage) shall be searched out!  How his hidden treasures shall be sought after! . . . Will I not in that day, says the LORD, even destroy the wise men from Edom and understanding from the mountains of Esau?  . . . To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau may be cut off by slaughter . . . For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you . . . the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble . . . and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau . . . the South shall possess the mountains of Esau, and the Lowland shall possess Philistia . . . they shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria . . . then deliverers shall come to mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s” (Excerpts from Obadiah 1).

Previously, in chapter 17 we expounded upon the incredible story of the household of Obed-Edom—the “Servant of Edom” and how the Ark of the Covenant blessed his house; and later, Obed-Edom became a gatekeeper and harpist at the Tabernacle of David.  surely, this foresees the “remnant of Edom” who would be joined to Judah-Ephraim.

The “rest of mankind” (Edom) is the remnant above and beyond that of Ephraim; however, the judgment of the nations is of the highest priority in the Day of the LORD—but, again, He will redeem not only His Remnant from among Ephraim (i.e., “all the children of God”) but from Edom, the “rest of mankind”!

Make no mistake about it—first the “Redeemed of the LORD” are taken out and then commences His judgment upon the nations, Edom:

“Go through, go through the gates!  Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway!  Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!  Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world:  Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.’  And they shall call them The Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken” (Isaiah 62:10-12).

AND

Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? —”I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”  Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?  “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me.  For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes, for the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come” (Isaiah 63:1-4).

The “great day of His wrath has come” (Rev. 6:17) upon Edom (aka “mankind”) in that “great and terrible Day of the Lord”—upon the nations—yet has He taken out of the “rest of mankind” (Acts 15:17)—the Remnant of Edom and those of the Remnant of Ephraim to declare His glory!

This spectacular scenario is fraught through and through with divine meaning . . . metaphorical, yes, but literal in its prophetic import.  It is for us to discern the significance of these signs given to us and the salvation of the Lord for the House of Judah, the Remnant of Ephraim—the “gathering together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” and what is known as the “rest of mankind”—”the remnant of Edom” as well as those of Edom who refuse all His beneficence–for the ultimate judgment is coming upon the nations for the sake of His elect, His “called out ones” – His EKKLESIA.

The operative question now is:  What shall we then do?  It is the LORD Himself who brings these things to our consideration and remembrance—it is He who calls out from among the nations a people, who were not a people, but now are the sons of the Living God.  It is He who units the Two Sticks, anoints the Two Witnesses and brings the “sheep of His pasture” into UNITY and the restoration of the BROTHERHOOD.

Let us cooperate with the Lord of Glory in the pursuit of the “gathering together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” and, as well, participate in the redemption of the remnant of Edom—the rest of mankind.  “Lord, give us a vision of what You want in these latter days!”