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Chapter 4

 

Three Tiers, Many Tears, and One Triumphant Lord:

Israel and You

 

The Jews back to the Lord! Never, decreed the knowledgeable one. Yet he was wrong. Just as that so heavily testified race, the Lord Himself witness, have fallen from their trillion dollar Temple and international Kingdom days, in the power of God, to the declining phases and dis-fosterings of disfaith, as they separated from the Lord, as if a fragment broke away from a space-craft and they were it, so are they to return to the bounty of the Lord, the blessedness and the consummation of the contract. Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 32, Micah 7, Joel 3, Habakkuk 3, Ezekiel 36-37, Jeremiah 30-31, Isaiah 40-55, 61-66, Luke 21, Romans 11 describe these things in intense detail*1A.

Today we will briefly review some of the most obvious points where the Bible affirms their return both to their land and their Lord, and then note our position as Gentiles while these events on the declared divine calendar, the first already accomplished in 1948-1967, are completed.

Do not mistake, the divine calendar is clear (Acts 1:7), but while the date for Christ's death was predicted some 6 centuries before it happened*1, in Daniel 9, and duly fulfilled, the date of the Lord's own return is a carefully guarded secret. As with D-day for the landing in Europe, it is expected; but those who are to be challenged MUST not know, and the Lord has kept this date from all, preferring to charge His people to be READY. He did as we know, however, give a series of signals so sure in their total depiction, that it is quite certain that His return is near (Matthew 24, Luke 21, Revelation). One of these was the repossession of Jerusalem by Israel (Luke 21:24).

When He came the first time, it would have been an amazing privilege to be there; when He comes the second time, it is apparent that the world will be whipped up, like polluted cream, or tainted spray, and His rescue of His believers will be dramatic (Matthew 24:15ff., Revelation 11, I Thessalonians 4). Today, then we look at Israel first, and believers second.

 

The Grand Awakening of Israel (Romans 11)

Romans 11 presents the famous olive tree parable. At first, Israel abides in the tree and the tree in Israel, but it severs from the Saviour, rather dramatically by murdering Him by national authority, and is ripped out or pruned (11:12,17-18). The charge to the covenant people at that time: LACK OF FAITH. Without faith you CANNOT please God (Hebrews 11:6). The Gentiles are then grafted into that tree (not another, the root system is unchanged - 11:19-23), but being multi-national they are en masse charged not to gloat but to seek grace, for Israel fell for a reason: let them not duplicate it.

However in nation after nation they are doing so, and the Gospel having skipped across the globe as it had to do before the Lord would return (Matthew 24:12), we come to the next phase. If the casting away of Israel, says Paul, were the occasion for the reconciliation of the Gentiles, as in masses over the centuries they have come to the Lord, in swathes of souls, even in governments at times, through missionaries, through radio, TV, but always by the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Bible, the word of God: then what would be felt about the RETURN OF ISRAEL! Would it not be like LIFE FROM THE DEAD! Paul exults (11:15).

There is a time (11:25), known to God, when the blindness which has been so much the national heritage of Israel as a nation (unlike the wonderful light which illuminated the hearts of so many Jews in the Church of the first century!), will cease. Paul is keen that we should NOT BE IGNORANT OF THIS FACT (11:25). Just as God undertook to foretell to Israel the scope of His actions, so He has provided vast tracts of truth for the Gentile and all, in the New Testament. Then, says Paul, when this blindness-stoppage happens, then ALL Israel will be saved. Thus the full complement of those to return will come in a sudden unblinkering, and sight will be returned in the nation. It is not stated by any means that ALL of them will come (for example, see Isaiah 59:20, where the Lord relates to those who turn from iniquity); yet it is a movement so vast as to constitute a national event of the first magnitude (cf. Zechariah 13:1).

In this last verse, we find that "a fountain for sin and for uncleanness" will be opened "for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem." It is a vast national movement, literally an awakening from blindness, and metaphorically "life from the dead."  

 

The Two Phase Recovery of Israel (Ezekiel 36-37, Luke 21:24)

In  Ezekiel 36-37, you see that the desolation of poor Israel, like dry bones scattered throughout the lands, will be met by a CALL to bring them back and assemble them. Then in the vision Ezekiel hears the further command that they should live, and the spirit enters them and they do live. This signifies the return of Israel first as a nation (command one), and then the coming mass conversion also to come (command two), and this is made very clear in 37:24-26, in terms of the New Covenant.

Already they have the land and Jerusalem (as foretold in Luke 21:24). As the pressures mount (as in Zechariah 12:1-4), so does the time of the Lord's return grow nearer.

 

The Lord's Action Soon Afterwards (Romans 11, Isaiah 59, Zechariah 14)

Those are the two phases of Israel's return: to the land and then to the LORD. It is a two-tiered thing.

In Romans 11, Paul cites from Isaiah 59, one of the most painful descriptions of utter human corruption and moral desolation, a divine indictment on Israel, but then comes the Lord's intervention and deliverance for Israel, associated with this transforming work of pardon, power and peace in the Messiah, whom now at last they find (as in Zechariah 12:10). In Zechariah 14 and other texts, we learn that the Lord  will act in delivering power as in the days of Pharaoh (cf. Micah 7:15, Deuteronomy 32:36ff., Joel 3, Habakkuk 3),  and then return with all His saints, Himself coming to the Mount of Olives, which will split. Great will be the disease amid those who fought (it sounds like radiation sickness - 14:12) against Him. II Thessalonians 1 shows the burning devastation of the whole antichrist power, as does Revelation 19. 


 

The Gentiles Not So Bright after All -
their Unstarry Sky
(Romans 11)
but for some,  the Inward Lighting
(II Corinthians 4:6)

Fascinating in our reference to Deuteronomy 32 above, is the fact that the Lord intervenes at last for the rebellious nation "when He sees that their power is gone." Here is today's personal message.  Here is the third tier, the Gentile partial parallel.

 It is when the Lord sees that your power is gone, that self-trust, nation-trust, family-trust, culture-trust, personal thrust is no longer the criterion of your life, that He acts. It is then that you lie open to conviction of sin and repentance, to encouragement to faith in the God who made you and the Lord who came not that the world should be judged, but rather saved (John 3:17). This world has declined like the barometer before storm; but the individual, brought to the end, may indeed find the beginning which comes to a life that does not end (John 3:16, Micah 3:7). It is the time of conjunction, restoration, regeneration and relief. It is here that many tears can shine in rest and joy, as Christ is relished. This is however, for Jew as for Gentile, an individual matter.

If you are experiencing such a time, as a Christian, when like Paul in II Corinthians 1, it seems that your power is gone, your nice orderly system is disrupted, your hopes are dashed, then turn as Paul there does, to the Lord, remembering that even he had to be RE-taught not to trust in himself, though he had long known it. Like barnacles on a ship, weighing it down and dirtying it, so sins of temporary aloofness from the Lord may tend to distort and disturb the Christian. Then, like Israel in its coming time, and for people as they first come to the Lord out of darkness, you may be stirred to renewal of life by becoming utterly dependent on Him, once more, rather than on this or that system of thought or action; and relying on Him, find the power to move mountains and live abiding in His goodness and strength. In this, let Israel speak to us all.

If any does not know the Lord, here is the intriguing opportunity to call on His name, remembering this, that "it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

It is empirically as it is historically, for the Lord is one Lord, unchanging, challenging, available on His own terms ALWAYS while this Age of Grace lasts, and it is

bullet

not His desire that any perish,

bullet

any more than that any
in comedy of heart,
fiascos of pseudo-faith, or
bravado of audacity
seek to walk to His throne and bray with falsetto false faith.

His scorn for scoffers (Psalm 2) is great; His rebuke to folly is profound (Proverbs 1): but His availability for sincere entreaty on the basis of the Saviour, defaced but unfazed, is neither reduced by umbrage, for He loves mankind and delights in mercy (Titus 2-3, Micah 7:19ff), nor defiled by disgust (Romans 5:8-10), for He who was able to bear sin, can well embrace the returning to Himself, among sinners!

This fact is continually and by millions over history put to the test and however wanting the sinner may be, the Saviour is never so. His transformative power is to be seen in parallel to the dynamic that delivered from death in that epochal personal breach of the grave, the resurrection itself (Ephesians 1:19). This transmutative power in the life of the individual is to be experienced not once, but it moves as sap in the plant, in the very interstices of character, along the axes of one's vitality, in life and with inward testimony and outward result (cf. Romans 8:15, Matthew 7:16, 15:13, Isaiah 61:3).

The Lord  may chasten for a season, and sorrow may come as one is cleansed, as brass must be made to shine by rubbing, but joy comes in the morning, and the saints of the Lord find in simple practice functional results. Thus,  prayer in faith in the chosen avenue of Christ, the Eternal Word and Saviour, is not to a brass heaven but to the God whose is the beauty of holiness, lover of mercy and seeker of mankind.

It is not to an unhearing power concerned with His own enjoyment of resources, as if capitalising on some gift, for He is the giver; it is unlike the ways of lords of the nations, the cry of man in faith being to the One who is swift to hear, keen to solace, willing to send.

It is superficiality, not smallness that is the barrier; it is proclivity for other options which is the snare. Double-mindedness is a potent device of the devil, deleting the line of faith (James 1:6-8). Fertiliser in soil must be factual, not fictitious, and as James emphasises, nothing fictitious has life for man. It may minister, as in a novel; but what is in itself unreal, fantasy, achieves nothing as an operating tool. On the other hand, the door handle of faith uniformly opens the access to God, once it is known WHO it is, and HOW He died for sin and Rose to Restore to Reality and He is thus trusted.

Faith must not trust in itself, for this is mere subjectivistic illusionism, like the case of the magician bringing rabbits not really out of a hat, but out of his own pre-prepared resources. Using the name of God for one's own enthusiasms and powers is not only experimentally useless, principially contrary, but it is a type of implicit blasphemy. He who seeks to act in the Lord must first believe that He exists, and then that He is a rewarded of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11). The diligence embraces sincerity, keenness, priority past all things to be in, with and for the Lord. It does not imply in any way a perfection in the seeker.

Perfect people do not exist on this earth, nor have they existed other than the Son of God Himself, who being God, did not fail to be in life what He is in reality, whether on earth or otherwise. Until the resurrection, there is no perfection for man; but there is application, transformation, peace, joy and pardon, with the company of God Himself bringing the celestial to the terrestrial, Paul speaking in Ephesians 2:6 of the people of God being made to "sit together,  in the heavenly places in Christ."

Life in Christ, as of a branch in a vine: it does imply a persuasion called faith and a love which will not let the Lord go. It is indissoluble by nature (I Peter 1:3ff., I Thess. 5:9-10, John 6:50ff., 10:9), and only the fraudulent, like 'sports' which revert to the wild stock and are not transformed in the first place, are cut off: as was Judas. But what of the true ?

Even a dog can show you that, the reality of faith and faithfulness; and some dogs seem far wiser than men: for which dog does not know, at least those in the favour of dogness, that the master is right, that he is to be trusted, that his discipline is to be received, his desire understood. Indeed, which among the canine friends does not love the heart that loves, and yearn for the one who loves him. If even some dogs know the meaning of faithfulness to death, how is it that man in his wisdom so soon forgets ? It is not deficit in construction, but constriction of heart; nor is this physiological but spiritual. It is the artificial, the virtual, the appearance that never bothered to be real, to rely, to receive, to rest in the Lord by faith.

The Lord who was defaced, knows the defaced soul; for although His defacement and living amid a lively hatred on the part of the envious and the mockers provided a ludicrous but just commentary upon man, yet His breach of this by endurance, retort and eventual resurrection brings to His ear that empathy always present before, but now equipped with an experience. As one among brethren, His intimate heart is near. He is  as deeply personal and intimate as death, and has borne a grief as grievous as that at the betrayal of love and the departure to devilry of erstwhile professors of piety.

In this state, in man's form, He has died; and beyond its claws, He has been resurrected, for whatever the power of God to pay, it is He and not the devil who plays the tune. Death as Peter remarks in Acts 2, cannot hold Him. It does however provide a measure of love, faithfulness, empathy and depth of understanding of all the ways of man, his needs and his state. None calling on His name in faith is lost (Acts 2:37-38). Like Judas (John 6:70), what is to be lost was a devil already!

These things being near and clear, let us return to the lessons of Israel for the Gentile.

 

Israel and You

 

God chooses His own symbols, and He makes His own history, replete with symbols and substance, interpretation and application. Foolish is the one who refuses instruction. All have sinned, but there is no felicity in adding sin to sin in refusal to listen, to heed, the music that the Lord has played to  rebellious hearts which will not heed.

 

Israel is a SYMBOL of this faithfulness; for although it differs in many ways from the individual soul, there are multiple manners in which it shows the ways of God, and hence is illuminating to the heart of persons on this earth. First, there is the love of God (Deuteronomy 7:6-7): He does not love because He is impressed (Romans 5:6ff.), but because He created, because He IS love, because He delights in mercy. The Son of man CAME to seek and to save the lost (Matthew 18:11). The expedition was an expression of WHO God is and His infinite beauty of holiness.

Having saved many by the products of His passion, providing free redemption, He then provides in  love and mercy the complete constructive surge for His children, one beyond anything merely selfish (Micah 7:19ff.): and there follow what ? Why next in love comes its patience with breach, its entreaties to wisdom and its faithfulness past all understanding, even where various defaults occur in the superficial; and to the grumblers (as in Numbers 11, 14, 16, 21) who mix with the people of the Lord, comes rebuke. Some of these may even repent and finding Him by faith, become members of His family at last!

What then ? There is judgment but there is reluctance for it (as in Exodus 33); there is deliverance when truth calls to power, even if error has crept in (Joshua 6). There is mercy when the heart capitulates to reality and seeks the Lord. If all seems lost, but the heart seeks, then the opportunities come like a merry-go-round, although dizziness does not come to the Lord as it whirls, but rather to man (as in Judges 7), whom God yet is willing to deliver when heart awake, the spirit calls on His name in truth with repentance (as in Judges 8).

There is NO scope for opportunism, as with Judas, a desire to share the knowledge of God with the gain of the carnal heart.

There are things speakable and unspeakable in sin; and as with those who continue to smoke when cancer is already active, a bane for their lungs, so those who continue to play the hypocrite when disaster knocks on the door, as if mere mellow words and brayings will be helpful, find but grief for their double-mindedness. As the athlete must keep to the track, to win, so those who find and know the Lord realise that there is a highway of holiness. You can fall; you can be spiked; but there is ample power to replenish, grace to help and solace for sincerity. This is the love which does not cease, for its point of application is the regenerated heart, and its action is by an open heart-valve where the blood of meaning enters, and the arteries of activity flow and ebb.

Thus to revert to Israel itself, this nation, unlike the saint of God, has fallen and been snipped off NATIONALLY (Romans 11:16-21), a thing out of the question for the individual children of God whose faith is where ? It is in ONE PERSON in ONE LIFETIME, not as with one nation moving over the lives of millions who vary.

But what is to come for Israel ? The faithfulness of God is already seen in her restoration already present in phase one, since 1948, a thing bitterly and fearfully resented in this world which hates the reliability of the procedures of God, being guilty and far from God in guile or folly. Little incites hatred more than aversion from truth and hidden menus to the contrary!

Now comes for Israel, the prophetic  picture impending for phase two. And that ? It is the vast national conversion action, and it is t here  that the resemblance to the life of the individual becomes intense. Indeed, it is the summation of very many conversions, wrought as in other revivals frequent in these last centuries, in different nations on the earth. That for Israel, to come, has highly intense significance as it is predicted and its paths are foretold, the circumstances and the national result in the teeth of the gale of obloquy and invasive detestation on the part of many.

How often we have heard of this hatred in the past quarter century. It is blasted from religious premisses, portrayed in multitudes of maimed children, blown up buses, political fusses, fuses of confusion, propagandas past belief, distortions undisturbable in the minds of prejudice, lusts and greeds masquerading as justice, and insatiable desire.

All this is as it was to be, was predicted to be, and comes in the precise phases outlined in the word of God (Zechariah 12-14, Joel 3, Habakkuk 3, Ezekiel 36-39, Isaiah 59, Romans 11 cf. *1A)

Yet to one and to all, to whosoever calls on the name of the Lord, whether repenting of hatred and lust against life, a nation or a people, of insidious unspirituality or guileful ungodliness, comes the salvation available. It is limited to no one people, and few have suffered as has the Jewish nation of Israel, for its sins.

When then, for this or for that people, or person, provocation becomes pass as mercy operates, and faithfulness is found past all realisation, for God is profound and His mercies do not fail: then the finale of favour is found.

This is the way of the Lord, and many are those who know it because they live it, and in living it they parade the precision of His faithfulness and the empirical truth of His provisions.

No cynicism of those deluded, that words will be adequate when the heart is elsewhere, is even  relevant except for pathology. Such appears to have been the mood of Gehazi, who lied for gian, and whose leprosy speaks of the uselessness of seeking in Christ mere self-advantage. To him,  Elijah's just rebuke is like an atomic blast! (II Kings 5). 

Thus no fallen fickleness of double-tongued, double-mindedness in the hellish works of fallacious theology, putting man's words or traditions into the mouth of the created god-figure who like a doll is invented while truth is circumvented, will avail at all. It acts amiss, merely to gain its just reward. Gehazi remains a striking example!

Christ was defaced, but faith itself  is not defiled. The Word of God living is the very picture of the word written in this, that He does not change, that His mercies do not fail, that those who believe in Him are not ciphers but living letters of testimony to the actual dynamic of the presence of God within them (Colossians 1:27, Philippians 1:25-30, II Corinthians 3:2-3).

The heavens themselves cannot contain bogus belligerence disguised as submission, seeking slaughter, inventing gospels, providing mutant christs from the defiled imagination (II Corinthians 11), as if the crucifixion was not enough! In disgrace, they deface all over again, making what they preach, and preaching what they make, in bogus belligerence, pretending truth.

This is the way of the slithering sects, of the false prophets who abound, and now seek by terror to induce submission to the killing scene, rather than admission of the crucified Saviour. So do they avoid the One abounding in reality, the answer to man, the restoration of reason and the blessed alternative for man, preferring the vomit of virtue and the victory of vice, though delusion may mask as it often does, the horror of their deceitful daubs in misusing the very name of Christ, whether in the false prophet of Islam, or in those almost innumerable others since Christ day, now arising to a cacophonic climax, as He foretold (Matthew 24:24), as Jeremiah predicted (Jeremiah 23:16-20), and Peter (II Peter 2) as no less Paul (I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3-4).

The heart cannot contain the wonder of His salvation not alone because it works, but for this reason, that before it works, HE has worked, crushing the crucifiers while yet willing to forgive even them, by the simple device of arising from death and stamping on it: a broken judgment from which His own substitution in love is the rescuing agent. The animation is love, and not revenge; and the motivation was deliverance, not destruction, even for those whose animus was envy, wilful pride or stark and unremitting hatred.

This is the greatest search and rescue of them all (Luke 15); and back of it all in history, there is the story of the Jews (*1A), a message of mercy, of judgment to hypocrisy, of faithfulness past all loss and of grandeur of conception (Romans 11) which is of the very splendour of God, whose profundity of mind has endued man with life, and whose infinitude of mercy has endured to enable man freely to find Him, to this hour (John 6:37).

With what  indescribable passion, high in mercy, impassible in judgment, tender in eliciting, repeated in appeal, realistic in dimension, relentless in pity, inescapable in truth He has sought for Israel; and it is the same love, there seen in the entire spread of history, which seeks in the domain of man, for it is as Paul in Titus 2-3 tells us, the kindness of God toward MAN which has appeared. Here the truth moves in its own domain, where sentimentality does not cure disease, and indulgence does not remove atrocity of spirit in man. Here the divine payment itself in made, wrought in One being afflicted with our affliction and bearing the sin of all of us who come in faith to receive His gifts in grace. It is He who seeks each one of the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, Colossians 1:19ff.).

There is not only an infallible word, the Bible, but an unfailing love and an inexorable mercy, which does not stop at judgment on His own Son, that many children might be adopted.

Israel is a trumpet, a symphony, a lyre concerto declaring these things, and is a testimony to the truth from the Lord. How He seeks, with what patience, and with what grandeur of conception His love moves, even to those who ... would KILL HIM, if they could only get their hands on Him, which they did ... as do countless thousands of the Gentiles in spirit to this hour, who distort the truth, abort the faith and fight against the Gospel.

Whatever the suffering, it is far better than the everlasting contempt of unrealism, self-induced comas and the pangs of truancy from truth, whether for Jew or for Gentile; for one and all are after the model of the divine creation, in His own image, correlative in communication. Eternal life is no bauble, but the friend of truth, the desire of love, the gift of grace, the profundity of the Lord for the sinners among men (Ephesians 1:11, and Ch. 3).

The concerto, this symphony, this eruption of magnificence has been played to the ear of Israel, but does it not resound from the mountains and echo to the Gentiles (Romans 11); and this in a strangely still effusion, like the roaring of waters which while most audible, yet is moving quietly into the soul... It is put this way, now that, and in every feature of historical fulfilment, it is declared.

God has said; and He does not move. It is of the uttermost mercies, that this is so; for what He gives, what can equal ? and with what He has done, nothing could compare.

 

 

NOTES

 

*1A See on these things: SMR Appendix A (orientation exposition),
With Heart
... Chs. 4-7 (Isaiah exposition),

Reviews

Christ, the Wisdom of God ... Ch.   8, 
DVA   8;  DD 11 (Zechariah and Revelation 6),
Highway of Holiness
Ch.    6,
Heritage of Christians, Exile from this World Ch.   4
(Road-maps and mappers!),
Little Things ... Ch.     10
(God's road map),
Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch.   13
(the UN in this and other matters,  and Israel ... and others! and unity moves), 
Deliverance from Disorientation Ch.   11 (the double mouse-trap),
Regal Rays of Revelation Ch.   1


Red Alerting Reviews

Calibrating Myths ... Ch.   5 with  Sparkling Life ... Ch.   4 
(surveys of some depth, in spiritual reference);

The Christian Pilgrimage Ch.    6 (angelic overview), |
Biblical Blessings Appendix-News
;
and verse in it; 
Israel Blows the Trumpet ...
Ch.   1(Review),
Red Alert
Ch.  10 (Review in broader perspective),
Gracious Goodness ... 
Epilogue (brief coverage in verse: includes history and purpose of Israel in perspective),
 
The Defining Drama
Ch.  10 (and this world and its ways - Middle East solution cannot hope to avoid the divine mandate, realism requiring multiple repentance, not mere diplomatic adventurism),
Galloping Events Chs.   1 and 8 (Micah)


 

Responses


Cascade of Truth ... Ch.   4 (Jewish solution)
Galloping Events Ch.    3 (Jews, gibes and the like: broad biblical survey, including Romans 11, which may be used with survey aspects in ALERT  10, GGEPI
Three Anzas, One Answer Ch.  2 (Swedish frankness on anti-Jewish European feeling, Zionism and racism, US decline),

 

Developments

More Marvels ...   3His Time is Near  Chs.   4,  10, (Zephaniah, God has no favourites to distort, no enemies to impel; failed solutions and divine mercy: focus Israel and the world)
Acme ... 
Ch.  9 (the word and the Word that unites past the scurries of the Age),
News  
4, 6, 9,12, 14, 20, 32, 33, 34, 39, 41, 53 (pan-Islam and Europe at work);
"Comfort Ye, My People"
Ch.   9
(is the World Court caught on the wall ?);
It Bubbles ...     2, 7, 8, 9
 

Great Execrations
Ch.   4 (
Review - its meaning, purpose and historical significance: biblical background and contemporary events, Ezekiel), 
also with Ezekiel, It Bubbles Ch.  1,   10 (incl. land %),
11 (Syria, sin and the Middle East,
% and practicalities, cleavage and realities including UN)


Divine Agenda
Ch.   8 (God's plans and man's - emphasis on Balfour Declaration ),
Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch.  10 (humanism in riot and revolt, unfunded fiasco, while force becomes la mode, Israel being  inconvenient, and meaning nothing: though it is to be found where it IS as God said, it is His)

 

 

*1 See Highway of Holiness Ch. 4.