Watchmen from Jerusalem, Issue 4, 2009
Over Yom Teruah, the fall feast of the Lord known as Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), large parts of drought-ridden Israel received the blessing of a rainfall that broke seasonal records.
We see this as God's blessing for two reasons. 1) We now have a government much more in line with God's will, and 2) aliyah, Jews immigrating to Israel, increased significantly this past year as planeloads of Jews returned from Western nations, South Africa and even from South America. These encourage us greatly since they are answers to our prayers. As Yeshua taught His disciples
men ought always to pray, and not to faint. (Luke 18:1b) Though the rain brought hope, keep praying! The whole region is desperate for water.
False vs. true interpretation
Early in Church history, the "Church Fathers" started to spiritualize and / or allegorize prophecy. They taught that "Israel" in the Old Testament now meant the Church, because they "knew" God had rejected the Jews forever. This is the heresy of replacement theology, taught in many churches but not in Scripture. It contributes to the spread of anti-Semitism and prevents the Church from seeing that the Jewish people and the land of Israel remain a major part of God's plan.
Chuck challenges churches about this issue by asking,
When we interpret Tanach prophecy, shouldn't we expect a literal fulfillment of prophecy like Yeshua and the New Testament writers did? If Yeshua expected prophecy to be fulfilled literally, then we as His followers who have the mind of Messiah (1 Cor. 2:16) should use His method of interpretation. This is what the NT writers did.
All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,Matt. 1:22-23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,…God with us.
All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,Matt. 21:4-5Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King comes unto you … sitting upon a donkey….
Do you think that I cannot pray to My Father, and He shall give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled…?Matt. 26:53-54a
They said…,John 19:24aLet us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be:that the scripture might be fulfilled…:They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots.
…Yeshua, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said,John 19:28I thirst.
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled,John 19:36-37A bone of Him shall not be broken.And again another scripture says,They shall look on Him whom they pierced.
But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Messiah should suffer, He has fulfilled.Acts 3:18