II Chronicles 31

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Thus in the second half of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 25, Jesus uses this liturgical reading to explain about His coming as the Bridegroom for His Bride. It will either be the best dream or the worst nightmare.

In John 19: 41 we are informed that Jesus was buried in a garden, and a few verses later in 20: 1, Mary Magdalene enters this garden, encountering Jesus, mistaking Him to be the gardener in 20: 15. In 20: 17, we see her clinging to Him as the bride clung to the bridegroom in the garden in the Song of Solomon 3 where he bids her to come into the garden, having gathered his myrrh, etc. Passover was a pilgrim feast and Mary would have heard these very words from the Song of Solomon in the Temple a matter of hours earlier on Saturday.

At the same time as this was taking place, the high priest was entering another garden in the Kidron Valley between the Mt. of Olives and the Temple Mount precisely at sunrise ceremoniously harvesting the first stalks of grain coming out of the earth in the sunrise ritual of the Hebrew Feast of First Fruits the Sunday of Passover Week. Thus Jesus raises from the dead in a garden as the first fruits in direct messianic fulfillment of the meaning of that feast according to 1 Corinthians 15: 20.

What we see in the Song of Solomon is an Old Testament picture of both Harpazo and Resurrection explained most clearly in the Gospels of Matthew and John, which are the two most Hebraic of the Gospels, written to Jewish readers. Thus as in the Song of Solomon, the coming of the Bridegroom to sweep away the Bride will either be the time of her best dream or her worst nightmare. This is the meaning of the Wise and Foolish Virgins…

The indicator of whether or not the bride will be ready for the bridegroom to come will be her capacity to see in the night. A flashlight is useless without batteries as a lamp is useless without oil. As we read in Psalm 119: 105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. In Solomon’s description of the perfect bride in Proverbs 31, the text uses the description of an excellent wife that the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins applies to a faithful Church. In Proverbs 31: 18, her lamp does not go out at night. In the coming season of spiritual darkness at the close of the age, the faithful Church will still be able to see where it is going spiritually. The faithful Church will not have a lamp without oil— that is, a flashlight without batteries…

It is already becoming quite dark spiritually with the moral, spiritual and theological decline of so much of the Church. There is no way those without oil in their lamps will be prepared for the coming darkness and the coming Harpazo. Understanding of Scripture becomes the barometer of faithfulness. The faithful remnant of Laodicea will anoint their eyes that they may see…

But in short, as in the Song of Solomon, the faithful will have oil in their lamps and be ready for the Bridegroom to come… We are, in this regard, reminded of the traditional Pentecostal chorus, “Give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning”. The Bridegroom is coming for His Bride like a thief in the night and the faithful Church will be able to discern the times and, on the basis of the Word of God empowered by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, able to see in the dark. Conversely, those unable to see in the dark will be overtaken by it. The time to accumulate the oil for the lamps is at present. – Jacob Prasch, Harpazo: The Intra-Seal Rapture of the Church

With this first of the week blog, I’m continuing with the reform and revival in Judah under the leadership of King Hezekiah…

Now, when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the Children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities (II Chron 31:1 KJV).

They returned with prosperity now made possible!

And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the Priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the Priests and the Levites for Burnt Offerings and for Peace Offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD. He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the Burnt Offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening Burnt Offerings, and the Burnt Offerings for the Sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set Feasts, as it is written in the Law of the LORD (II Chron 31:2-3 KJV).

Hezekiah’s father Ahaz had thought of this as foolishness, but Hezekiah loved the Law of the LORD. And he did not evade his own responsibilities in the matter of contribution of his portion.

And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the House of God, and in the Law, and in the Commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered (II Chron 31:20-21 KJV).

Hezekiah followed the Law of the LORD and prosperity followed. There was a great revival of worship and true spirituality in Judah.  It was a good time.

We have thought of Your Loving Kindness, O God, in the midst of Your Temple, according to Your Name, O God, so is Your praise unto the ends of the Earth: Your right Hand is full of Righteousness. Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of Your Judgments.  Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.  Mark you well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that you may tell it to the generation following.  For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our Guide even unto death (Psalm 48:9-14 KJV).