Friday, January 25, 2013


 By Nathan Grapes

For years now, I have been challenged to understand the Bible better. I have had many questions about the Bible and didn’t understand many aspects. One of the events that inspired me to know more was a concert at Christmas that my son was in called, “Festival of lessons and Carol's.” The program started out by reading passages in the Bible. The first one was the promise GOD made in

Genesis 3:15.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Later in the program they referred to wise men coming from the east asking where the King of the Jews would be born. They quoted 
Micah 5:2
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times

This is when I began to realize I didn’t know the scriptures. I began an effort to read the Bible, find the prophecy of Jesus the Messiah in the Old Testament and to understand the WORD of Almighty GOD and what he was communicating better. To this day I am a man on a mission to get to know GOD better. It was with this mindset that I found a new study the other day concerning the parable of the wine skins.

The Parable of the Garments Luke 5:36
New Garment = uneducated students
Old Garment = previously educated students
New Patch = a new teaching or interpretation of Torah
Meaning = Previously educated students will reject new teachings.

The Parable of the Wineskins Luke 5:37
New Wineskins = uneducated students
Old Wineskins = previously educated students
New Wine = a new teaching or interpretation of Torah
Old Wine = a previously learned teaching or interpretation of Torah
Meaning = New teaching requires previously uneducated students because previously educated students prefer the Torah they have already learned.

Or to put it another way:

No one takes new teachings and tries to teach them to an already educated student. If he does, he will leave the fresh students untaught, and the previously educated students will reject the new teaching. No one teaches new teaching to old (previously educated) students. If he does, the new teaching will be rejected and the student will be lost. No. Instead, new interpretations of Torah must be taught to new students because no one after receiving old teaching (previous education) wants the new, for he says,
“The old teaching is better.”

I guess the question here is: What kind of wineskin do I want to be? I certainly don’t want to be one like those who believed the world is flat and could not believe anything else. The bottom line is truth is what we should seek, not affirmation of previously understood information, we need to be able to set our understanding aside and test the scriptures if they validate what we know to be true. My Pastor once said you must read scripture through context, context, and context. He was referring to first the
passage, then the book and then the entire Bible, but I have learned being raised a Christian we missed a context in the culture of the Bible, we miss themes, we miss patterns, we miss the context of the whole Bible because we focus on just the “New Testament” writings of Paul and don’t realize he is quoting or referring to Old Testament passages well known by the people of that day. The problem is, as a whole, we don’t know GOD’s Word. We don’t study it. We don’t test what we have been taught by the scriptures.

I will give you an example. Recently I have been reading in Jeremiah chapter 10. Listen to what it says.
Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel. 2 This is what the LORD says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.

What does this sound like to you? To me, it sounds like we have learned a bit from the nations and have
made a Christmas holiday around it. We have added Christian elements and sold this to ourselves as something good. But if we stop for a second we will see GOD says Do not learn the ways of the nations. God does not want us to worship him this way. Why not? you might ask? We have so many ways that we have connected this to his Son and it is the most powerful understanding that we have. The problem here is WE have made it that way. It is OUR understanding, not his. The question is, “How does GOD want to be worshipped?” Well, let’s go back to the beginning.

 Exodus 12:1
“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a] for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest
neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine
the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals
you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the
sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to
take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses
where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire,
along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are
to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in
your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’S Passover.

Why does GOD want us to celebrate Passover? This is because this Feast foreshadowed his coming as the Lamb of GOD that takes away the sins of the world. In other words, this Feast is prophetic to the work he would do. The Feast of unleavened bread follows the Passover and this shows us how GOD took the Sin out of our house (body) and placed it upon him. I guess this is prophetic too. This is followed by First fruits. On the first day of the week after Passover the priests would take a sheaf of grain and wave it before the Lord. Paul says Jesus was the First fruits of fruits. If only this means that First Fruits was prophetic of Jesus’ resurrection (it is). Does that mean Pentecost is prophetic? YES.
How about Feast of Trumpets? YES, he returns at the sound of a trumpet.

1Thessalonians 4:13-18 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

The Day of Atonement is prophetic about us being right with GOD. And the Feast of Tabernacles is prophetic about Jesus coming back to dwell or Tabernacle among us. This is the Millennial Reign of our Lord!
"What do you mean I am wrong, the earth is too flat, God said so!"
Here is the bottom line, if we won’t set aside our preconceptions about the world being flat or about what we learned about Christmas (find that one in the bible) and follow GOD'S word and his holidays how will we get to know what he wants us to know about his coming. Are we not “Grafted into his Bride?” Shouldn’t we be ready to receive him with full lamps ready to go? HE is coming, and he has shown us in his word how to get ready he gave us his instructions and we need to follow HIM.

How are we going to follow his return to Israel if we don’t understand the first and most important part of the WORD which reveals him? If we don't understand that part exactly who will be following him when he does return?

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