by Bill Somers
A while back, one of my email friends in the prophetic realm, Bill Hawkins, sent me the following note:
While listening recently to a message about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead the Lord impressed upon me the following;
1. He was away , across Jordan when the message came that Lazarus was sick.
2. He deliberately stayed away two more days--for a total of four.
3. He then returned to Bethany to Raise the dead (Lazarus) who had been in the grave long enough to see decay. When I got home I began to search out some of the words and their meanings.
Bethany = House of Song--House of Affliction Depending on usage. Across Jordan = The promised land was over Jordan and Jordan means DEATH. Lazarus =A figure representing, or a figure of Come forth = same expression as COME UP HERE
Jesus stayed in the Promised Land for two days , then crossed over Jordan to the House of Song for two days before He called up Lazarus from the dead
2000 years from the Law to Christ--2 days 2000 years from Christ to the Rapture--2 days
A total of 4 days from the announcement of Lazarus death until Jesus went to raise him up.
Lazarus as a figure representing = The dead in Christ
The calling forth =The Rapture
Jordan = Death, conquered as Christ crossed over
Across Jordan =The Promised land, Where Jesus stayed until it was time to bring Lazarus forth. 2 Days=2000 years
Nothing is in the word by chance , but totally by design and this is a forewarning of the time we have and it is short!!!!! Jesus will come soon. The two days are almost up, we must work the works of him who sent us while there still is light.
To which I responded:
"The Lazarus thing is interesting. I have once heard a long teaching on the subject by Art Katz. Lazarus represents Israel. And the four days are the 4000 years Israel has been under the law. The last two days are the 2000 years since Jesus' birth.
The days are now up and we are in the 7th millennium, the day of the Lord."
Now to try and explain what I meant by that short note.
Let me stick this in. The interpretation you have so far is not necessarily wrong. It is good as for as it goes. What I'm offering is just a deeper look at the same material. You conclusions are good and they are exciting. Time is Short. Jesus Is coming SOON. And we must work the works of Him who sent us. Glory to God!
First of all, a matter of direction. Across Jordan. This means crossing into the promised land when you cross from the east to the west bank. John 11:18 says "Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:" So Bethany is part of the Promised land. So when Jesus hears that Lazarus is sick, he is outside of the promised land. He waits two days and then crosses Jordan.
He travels two more days and comes to Bethany. He is travelling westward the whole time.
The Art Katz message was titled Israel and the Church. His text was John 11, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus and Ezekiel 37, the valley of the dry bones. He makes the link between Ezekiel and Jesus in order to make the link between Israel and Lazarus, both of whom are dead at the time. [He does not consider the 4 days.] Ezekiel is called son of man by the Lord in those passages. "And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? " Ezekiel 37:3. Since Jesus often referred to himself as the son of man it is easy to see Ezekiel as of foreshadow of Jesus. Katz, however, sees Jesus in this story as a foreshadow of the Church. His thesis is two fold. One that the end time, apostolic Church will be 'the son of man' who will in some way prophesy over the dead bones of Israel and cause her to live. And two, that Israel will and must come to the point where her only confession is " ..Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts." Ezekiel. 37 11. This is the place of desperation.
I don't see the Church doing this, I see Jesus doing this. The Church is involved prior to this but it is Jesus who will be the salvation of Israel. They will cry "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". They will look upon HIM whom they pierced.
On the other hand, this is an event that must take place for Jesus to return. Matthew 23:39 says "For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." And this cannot take place without the spiritual redemption of the Jews of Israel. [This is one of three requirements for the Second Coming, the others are that the Gospel must be preached to the all the world and that the fullness of the Gentiles must come in.]
So the resurrection of Lazarus speaks of the Resurrection of the dead in Christ and it speaks of the redemption or salvation of Israel. In the very next chapter Jesus returns to Jerusalem and look at what the people say.
"On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (John 12: 13-14)
This is exactly what will happen at the resurrection. When Jesus will return to Jerusalem again! And notice He is still travelling westward. This means he is coming from the East. He will enter Jerusalem by the Eastern Gate. In the bible an east wind usually speaks of Judgment. Jesus, the Judge of all the world will come in from the east.
So the raising of Lazarus represents the redemption of the Jews and this is followed by Jesus entering Jerusalem; which speaks of the Second Coming. [Hosanna, by the way, is a cry for help!]
So why does Lazarus represent Israel? Because he has been dead 4 days. As Peter stresses:
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8
So the 4 days are 4 thousand years. These are the 4 thousand years since Israel came into being. There are 2 days from Adam to Abraham, 2 days from Abraham to Jesus and 2 days from Jesus birth till now. And now is the seventh day. It is not firmly agreed on by all, but the most likely year of Jesus birth is 5 B. C. And the most likely date is on the feast of tabernacles. So the 7th day began this past Sep. 28, 1996. [Or perhaps Sep. 14 which was Jewish New Years.]
So from Abraham till now are 4 days. Lazarus was dead for 4 days. Can we say Israel has been dead 4 thousand years? Yes, because Israel has been under the Law for these 4 thousand years. And we know that the Law, the letter of the law, brings death.
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. Romans 7: 5
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Corinthians 3:6.
Now is the story of Lazarus in John 11, the point when Jesus hears of Lazarus death represents the time when Israel received the law. The sickness brought death to Lazarus, the Law brought death to Israel.
When Jesus crosses the Jordan, two days later is the time of Jesus birth and earthly ministry. Crossing Jordan is entering the promised land, the world. It is the incarnation. As Jordan means death, it speaks of conquering death, which Jesus did on Calvary.
Coming to Bethany after two more days [2 thousand years] speaks of the 7th day. The end time revival. As Bethany means either house of affliction or house of song, it's fitting that in this last day, Jesus arrival in our midst will turn our afflictions into great songs of rejoicing.
Part 2 The Church - this differs from how Art Katz ties in the Church.
Let's look back at John 11. We'll point out a couple things that speak of the Church and it's attitude.
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
Here it makes reference to the incident when Mary anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair,. Mary is a type of the end time Church in this scene. The anointing with ointment and wiping of the feet with her hair symbolize what the Church must go through. The anointing is the acknowledging of the Lordship of Jesus; the wiping with the hair is the humbling of the Church before the throne of God, at His footstool. Her sister/brother relationship with Lazarus parallels that between the Church and Israel. They are of the same family with the same father!
In verse 3 Lazarus' sisters send word to Jesus about his condition. This speaks of the Church interceding for Israel. Later on, in verses 32-35, it is Mary's intercession that finally moves Jesus to tears, and to action. This speaks of the intercession finally breaking through and getting God to move.
"... and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory. Isaiah 46:13
Now let's look at the disciples, an obvious type of the Church. After 2 days, Jesus tells his disciples:
..., Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? John 11:7-8
This tells us that they clearly understood that Jesus is risking death by going back to Judea. Then in verse 16 it says:
Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. John 11:16
Thus they clearly understand that they are also risking or anticipating death. To follow Jesus is to risk or anticipate death.
'Didymus' means twin or double. It speaks of the double mindedness of today's Church. Thomas is not usually the spokesman for Jesus' disciples. And he is usually not so firm and decisive. Here Thomas is clearly speaking out of character! But he is speaking as a type of the end time Church in this case. The allegorical point here is this. The Church's willingness to risk or anticipate death is a crucial element in the second coming of our Lord.
To be the Lord's disciple is to follow in His footsteps, and this means even unto death. Psalm 48 starts out in praise of the Lord and tells of the greatness and beauty of His City, Mount Zion. Not surprisingly, Mt. Zion is a type of the Church. Psalm 48 concludes with this verse: 14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
Art Katz has said that the final issue is the Glory of God.
Paris Reidhead maintains that the purpose of the Church is to give glory to God.
James McKeever teaches that the purpose of man is to glorify God.
Jesus showed some of his disciples that they would by a certain DEATH, give glory to God.
The time is come that the Son of Man should be glorified. The Death of Lazarus was for his raising, for the glory of God.
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? John 11:40
Romans 11 ends with a statement on the Glory of God. Both of these associate the Glory of God with the Resurrection.
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?? Ought not the Church? Luke 24;35
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