Character in Context
Episode 43: Isaiah and the Messiah 8–Salvation for the Nations and the Marduk/Nebo Smackdown

Episode 43: Isaiah and the Messiah 8–Salvation for the Nations and the Marduk/Nebo Smackdown

January 17, 2020

Up to this point, things have been pretty grim in Yahweh's disputations with the nations and their gods but now we see a big change. We see a prophesied move of the nations toward faith in the one true God and a growing divide between those who do and do not worship Him. In addition, we are treated to a very humorous caricature of Marduk, the chief God of the city of Babylon, and his son Nebo, the chief god of Borsippa as well as the god of wisdom and scribes.

Next week, our first mention of Babylon--up until now, the nations have been addressed as a monolithic group without any differentiation but now Babylon will be singled out for special attention. 

Thank you for your prayers on behalf of Yael and the Good family. She passed into the arms of our Savior yesterday. For those wanting to help with medical and funeral expenses, here is a link: www.yaelgood.com

Episode 42: Isaiah and the Messiah 7–Cyrus the Messiah?

Episode 42: Isaiah and the Messiah 7–Cyrus the Messiah?

January 10, 2020

Yes, the Bible calls a pagan king a Messiah and how Israel responds to him is a foreshadowing of how they will respond to Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah. Exciting stuff!

Here are the two responsible online articles I referenced https://www.ancient.eu/Cyrus_the_Great/ and https://www.britannica.com/biography/Cyrus-the-Great

For those of you who have been praying for Yael Good, the daughter of my Temple teacher Joseph Good and his wife Debbie, please keep up the good work. Yael's eyes opened yesterday. She is still on life support after falling victim to a particularly nasty strain of the flu while on our in Israel and her heart is still a concern, but there is a glimmer of hope today that it will restart and that she will not need a heart transplant. Anyone wanting to support them

https://yaelgood.com/

Episode 41: The Fruit of the Spirit in Real Life

Episode 41: The Fruit of the Spirit in Real Life

January 3, 2020

I was gone in North Carolina at the Founded in Truth Hannukah Conference all week and so I decided to record on one of my favorite subjects--but don't worry, next week we will get back to Isaiah and the Messiah--King Cyrus is up next and we will explore how he foreshadows the later deliverance through the Messiah and the Greater Exodus.

Episode 40: Hannukah–Truth, Tradition and the Importance of Table Fellowship in God’s Honor

Episode 40: Hannukah–Truth, Tradition and the Importance of Table Fellowship in God’s Honor

December 27, 2019

So, this week we are discussing Hannukah and the unfortunate teachings which have led people to believe that Yeshua/Jesus preached against all traditions. Someone even sent me a post where the poster was telling people that even though Yeshua was clearly at the Feast of Dedication in John 10, it was only to rebuke the people for being there (despite absolutely no textual proof). We will be talking at length about the traditions that Yeshua rebuked, the ones He was neutral about, as well as the ones He Himself kept and promoted. The book I referenced in the teaching is Hollisa Alewine's Truth, Tradition or Tare: Growing in the Word. Dr. Alewine's book should be required reading for those who have been mercilessly pummeled with the teachings telling them that they can't do anything unless it is written in the Torah as it is a breath of fresh air and reason.

I recommend checking out this teaching of Dr Alewine's which sheds a lot of light on the situation with the Pharisees. It will ask you to create an account for access, but the teachings are free https://www.myrevivetv.com/programs/pharisee-friend-or-foe?cid=296422

 

Episode 39: Isaiah and the Messiah Part 6: 44:1-23, Jer 10, Habbakuk 2–and Christmas Trees?

Episode 39: Isaiah and the Messiah Part 6: 44:1-23, Jer 10, Habbakuk 2–and Christmas Trees?

December 20, 2019

It's crazy that this week just happened to be when this section of Scripture fell into place. Isaiah 44 contains the longest and most detailed idol polemic in all of Scripture and provides the context needed to understand Jeremiah 10:1-16 as well as Habbakuk 2 and even helps to understand Psalm 115. This week we are going to read Isaiah as well as portions of Jeremiah, Habbakuk, the Babylonian Erra Epic, Herodotus and Hittite writings in order to understand the ancient idolatrous mindset and why Yahweh was fighting so hard for the hearts and minds of His people in exile. 

Episode 38: Isaiah and the Messiah 5: Isaiah 43

Episode 38: Isaiah and the Messiah 5: Isaiah 43

December 13, 2019

This week, we will be covering Isaiah 43 which marks a dramatic turn in the action. We will be talking about regnal names in the ancient world and the polytheistic Law of Continuity that plagued the ancient world with beliefs that the gods are part of the system, and not outside it--leading pagan people into the belief that their gods could not do anything "outside the box." Yahweh, on the other hand, is telling His people to stop thinking in terms of polytheistic limitations and realize that He is outside the system and can, therefore, do whatever He wants to save them and can use whoever He wants--and no one can stand in His way.

Episode 37: Isaiah and the Messiah 4–Is 42

Episode 37: Isaiah and the Messiah 4–Is 42

December 6, 2019

This week we will be covering Isaiah chapter 42, where we will be introduced to the one whom Rabbi David Kimchi, Abarbanel and two of the Targums identify as the Messiah. This is a clear allusion to Yeshua/Jesus as the idealized version of Israel as servant--neither blind nor deaf nor rebellious nor violent toward the oppressed, but a bringer of the Law to the ends of the earth. Exciting stuff!

Episode 36: Isaiah and the Messiah 3–Isaiah 41

Episode 36: Isaiah and the Messiah 3–Isaiah 41

November 29, 2019

Why is Israel portrayed as holding God's left hand? And what does it have to do with Yeshua/Jesus?

In this week's episode, the comedy-drama really begins in earnest. God demands that the pagan nations and their representative gods come into the courtroom with him and present evidence that they are truly gods--and He presents evidence that it is instead Himself who is the one and only God. We have an idol polemic, a speech of disputation, and a salvation oracle all rolled into one chapter--AND Isaiah's first mention of the only named person (well, he will be named in later chapters, anyway) in all of the Hebrew Scriptures to specifically be called a maschiach--pagan King Cyrus. So now we have seven different characters mentioned--Yahweh, Isaiah, the first and second heavenly council members, Israel the servant, the nations, their gods, and the servant coming from the east. Next week we will have introduced to us one more character who will occur throughout Isaiah 40-55, the one whom the targums, Rabbis David Kimchi and Abarbanel call THE Messiah--but for this week we have quite enough excitement dealing with these new developments in the New Exodus promises of YHWH to His people exiled in the Babylonian Empire. 

Episode 35: Isaiah and the Messiah 2: Idolatry in Ancient Israel and During the Exile

Episode 35: Isaiah and the Messiah 2: Idolatry in Ancient Israel and During the Exile

November 22, 2019

Big thanks to our first podcast supporter! Thanks to ddrjqy! Just this last week I spent a bunch of money on new context books, so I appreciate the support.

This week we're going to explore the ancient Near Eastern world of polytheism and henotheism (the religion of pre-monotheistic Israel) in order to understand why the prophet Isaiah is having so much trouble convincing the exiled Jews that they really can trust God and that the idols of the nations are nothing. What were idols? Were they actually gods? What does it mean for a god to be jealous? Why didn't they believe that God could save them? What are cosmic functions and how did the concept of regional authority work?

This is all incredibly important foundational information for discussing the disputations and idol polemics that we find throughout Isaiah 40-55 and without this knowledge, it is very easy to make some wrong assumptions based on the faulty modern views of paganism put forth by the new age/Wiccan movement.

Episode 34: Isaiah and the Messiah Part 1: Isaiah 40

Episode 34: Isaiah and the Messiah Part 1: Isaiah 40

November 15, 2019

I admit it, I dun lied to you...I said we were going to start the Gospel of Mark this week, but I figured out a while back that so much of Mark depends on Isaiah that I would be having to do too much back and forth so we're going to lay these foundations now instead of haphazardly as we go along. We're going to spend the next few months going through Isaiah 40-56 verse by verse, paying careful attention to the historical, literary and textual context, as well as the Hebrew wording to unravel this beautiful and sometimes very confusing document, which is often used out of context to try to get people to deny faith in the Messiah. This is all in preparation for an intensive study into the Gospel of Mark next year!