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ISRAEL - 10 PHASES
A Journey into Gentiles, Jewry,
Grace, Land and Terminology
Peace - At Last
In the Same Place as Always
The title of this Chapter is chosen in order to evoke some of the feelings which must be confronted with facts from the Bible, in order that they be refined into relevant realities. Ideas proliferate about Israel, the Church, the Kingdom of Heaven. That is good in one way, in that it shows interest. However, just as ins science, definitions are crucial for ordered investigation, so in theological teaching, biblical definitions are crucial for understanding. They do not in themselves provide wisdom; but failure to observe them, bids fair to RUIN understanding. When someone speaks, it is crucial to know WHAT HE MEANS.
Thus "Jewry" is a reference which many Gentiles might have it in their hearts to employ, so that it is used here to capture this sort of approach, before annealing it to the truth.
"Gentiles" is used not only because in many translations, the nations are given this term, but because it tends to evoke in Gentiles a sense of unreality. This too can be annealed to fact.
The method chosen to bring to light the many facets of the term "Israel" is to list them one by one, as features, nodes of meaning, so that strung out like clothes on the clothes line, they may be seen one by one as simply parts of a wardrobe, one wardrobe for one series of usages.
'The difficulty for many is enhanced by strong positions taken by some, as if clothes on the line were not too related after all, rather incidental, and by others, to the contrary, as if each item were so much for one person that the distinctions did not matter too much at all. In fact, the meanings are worn at various times for various reasons and have to be seen NOT ONLY as relating to one underlying theme, but having very distinctive deployments, each one, from time to time.
It is too strong to overlook their essential unity, and too wrong to dispense with their particularity. If it were not for the strong emotions and desires evoked in this area, it would not be so difficult, though as with many areas to which man must address himself, it does require careful thinking. Is man to claim it is too hard because he must think and examine evidence ? Scarcely, he has made a specialty of it in order to boast in human racism, as if man were the beginning and the end of all wisdom and understanding, when in fact not only is his deficiency AS A RACE in this area a blatant mixture of overwhelming pride with crass irrationality, made into a tradition, but his abilities to do far better are as strikingly exhibited as the stars in the sky. That, however, is no reason to worship stars or the sky, or the power to see them; or to speak in starry ways of man's most recent efforts, as if he were straining to meet definitions of depravity, and to make it easy for dictionary-makers.
When we go back to the
spine-crushing folly of the exercises in inglorious humanism,
in which man moves
to destroy, among many, each nation the other
while making a braggadocio of exceptional
concerning man's wonderfulness,
glorying for instance as in 'science',
certain aspects of his knowledge,
to which he then bends the knee as if it were
the product of gods,
and not of infants presented to this world
then it is time to return
to God who made the power to think and blink,
as well as to shut the eyes and
ignore Him and His works.
What is the use of telling us where reason is excluded, of the way a world already prepared in its potential and ingredients, to gain reasonableness and law, wonders and wisdom - when used - was there already, when the preparer, the sufficient cause for the preparation and its very existence, is not even noted! As if to avoid the void, which remains a calamity of confusion as basis, everything comes out of the prepared egg, container unit of all that was to be, the systematic singularity, source of all, based squarely on nothing for no reason.
This is the greatest question begging of all time (equal), the power to exist with all these implicit ingredients and to exhibit itself in terms of (alleged) rationality, traceable by the human mind, until all that it contained in power and potential has come out. Something from nowhere is the gift, space and time ex gratia, pressure and explosion a gift, logical procedures traceable by logic as it 'develops', one more systematic inclusion: what is NOT included is any reason for any of the preliminaries. Likewise, the results match nothing rational*1.
It is precisely similar to positing a giant turtle egg out of which it all came: but who made the egg with all its egginess and potent potential for extraordinary results never seen to occur from any part of nature; and indeed who but imagination made the fertile fecundity of an ordered and delimited object set in a situation where all arises, time, space, pressure, compression, expression, reasons for the conjunction and conjugation of all things, causeless, yet capturing causality as its very source*2, and so meaningless. Using logic as if to trace it all, while yet defying it simultaneously constitutes almost the worst self-contradiction imaginable.
Let us then leave this restless, self-worshipping folly, where man puts his highest regard for self-made contradiction instead of toward the adequate causation which he constantly uses anyway, in examining his nebulous and indeed vacuous imaginations, which moreover, given their fallacious arrival from nowhere, might do little better than become unravelled anyway. Such philosophies are in ceaseless contradictions empirically along the REASONED way of this unreason releasing itself for no reason, just as it came from nowhere*2A. It then BECOMES rationally investigable, so that reason meets reason, in our minds, in its dealings. It meets its match, which implies the LOGOS for our minds and for what they examine, equally. It is just that ti is not acknowledged as if Kant were a god, whereas his views are likewise self-contradictory. It is so with anything that removes reality in order to explain it (cf. SMR Ch. 5, Predestination and Freewill, Section IV).
Such is their liability. Let us look at three basic considerations, and their joint conclusion.
Firstly, the eternal-by-nature
source of all that is not in itself eternal,
Secondly, the not-nothing which unleashed into
Thirdly, the adequate,
self-sufficient and everlasting
yes, this One
has a few things to say.
These need attention like all other primary and empirical data. Naturally, when these data are followed to their necessary source (as in SMR), these are explained, removing all the conundrums into which, by contrast, those favouring short-circuit of truth duly enter*2C .This too is empirical, needing to be followed as in all other tests.
Equally naturally this rest to the requirements of causality, thus foundational butt and source for logic, this Originator, eternal since ultimate nothing ever, means ultimate nothing always, this Creator, unconstrained by anything or anyone, since constraint requires a cause, provides grounds for considering His inventions above all else that man in his repetitious imagination constantly invents. Man to his entire detriment - for Israel is not the only race that has suffered for its follies, repetitively loves to treat himself as if he, his race, were the great inventor*3, he himself, and not the Eternal Being who invented for His creation the very capacity to invent! In failing to render to the Eternal Basis and Foundation his regard, respect and to find there his rest, man has been guilty of aggravated assault, first on his Creator, and then on himself, scores of millions of evilly forged deaths even in more recent years, the not so silent attestation of his guilt.
Just as it is not he or any other creation, but the Creator Himself who is the source, sufficient in power, sublime in understanding, exhibiting His power in His works in their overflowing inventories, constantly enthralling, so is His denial logically appalling. Accordingly, man's own inane aspirations from nursery to morgue for his very body, become not merely insensitive, sedated in psyche, but simply lost, like idle bird chatter, but more so, since those who chatter appear to respond to each other to some degree (cf. II Corinthians 10:12, Jude 8, 10, Psalm 73:9, Proverbs 12:19, Isaiah 3:8).
Amongst the results of this biblically defined denial (Romans 1:17ff., Ephesians 2:1-12, 4:17ff.), this ultimate of all revolutions, and zenith of rebellion, there is a further result. It is not only the irrationality of the whole process of deviously divergent thought*4; it is the immorality of thrashing about like a crocodile in captivity, with the angry tail, not only seen in tales of nonsense that founder on their foundation-free arrival, but in tales of woe as man crushes man with the effortless ease of someone swatting a mosquito.
Ten million Mao ? much more for Stalin ? 6 millions and one half million estimated for Hitler, in Jews alone, with many more in heinous crushings of reason in Islamic lands, where the mention of criticism of a given religion can bring a seething hatred that kills and disrupts, disturbs and ruins, denies and defies, condemns and erupts. It is but one of many, with its own version of the Inquisition*5, to add to those other seething ideas that have grasped man's mind and slain his millions. Kill those who criticise ? Why not, it is all part of the passion.
One of the central elements in directed killing has of course for millenia been the Jews. Pogroms in various lands like Russia and Italy, and more broadly in Europe reached their climax in Hitler; but he was following a massive tradition, the coping stone of the arch of the arch-conspiracy to rub out the Jewish race. To be sure, onto Israel as a State was conferred at the first, the direct deposition of deity definitively on earth, as man, the Messiah. This resulted in His removal by murder, as divinely foreseen, to become a sacrifice sufficient for the vast need of man, as both planned and predicted. Thus, long foretold was the devilish discard of Deity, come in the form of Jesus Christ*6, after long and detailed announcement in prophecy, of His coming, and the divine forecast both of His mode and reason for despatch to death, by those to whom He first came, even Israel the nation*7.
Does this excuse their persecution, the anti-Semitism of those whose own sins mount as the volcanoes that drive their fumes upon the earth, into the very skies! There is a certain horror about those who afflict what or those who have already been afflicted, like bullies following up on a caning at some school! God expresses His attention to this, which will come, in Isaiah 51:22-23, and indeed in a preliminary manner, in Obadiah. But for all their failure as a nation in this regard, Jews have been objects both of secular and religious exterminative procedures, now subtler, now brash and rash; for they still REPRESENT the past when the Lord acted to deliver from the ravaged earth after the flood, moving through the patriarchs as recorded in the Bible, in ways both astounding and founded on divine principles.
Now back by divine mercy as abundantly predicted (cf. SMR Chs. 8 -9, It Bubbles ... Ch. 11), they are for that very reason still a spiritual threat to god-makers, who relish neither rationality nor factuality in this field, their nostrums looking to human racism with their own god. This entity of the mind is envisaged by many, one day, to come out of the shadows, amidst the long-time education to prepare, in schools, in dictatorships, with suppression of freedom of speech lest anyone should wake up.
Australia is making forcible preparations for just such a stricture, using newspaper freedom to collide with parliamentary self-regard and sovereignty in all things, as a first cut-out, and much web-work as a parallel smite. Like lopping off a leg, it is necessary if you plan to stop walking. Mere confusion could scarcely compete as ground for such ultimacy of self-regard, to the point of religious concepts, making what reasonable people would think, the criterion for judgment of human utterance in such cases, if the present limits in some things, be followed. This becomes social religion, the ultimate determinant, man himself, as the mood and mode changes, his own god, using politico-speak. We need not then regard too sharply, the faults of Israel in its former day.
Thus Israel at the time of Isaiah, Jeremiah, was becoming captive to such, false prophet captors, social conditioners, reason rejecters, or revelation manufactures (Jeremiah 23 dwells on false prophets then, and to come, as now). THEN, the situation became to the Lord, utterly intolerable. Israel was purged, even exiled. Now the God-rejecting irrationale continues. Even Israel itself becomes a toy, a ploy, a venue, a site, Jerusalem a city for slander, assault, envy, grasping hands, and a country said to occupy an area about one ninth of Victoria, becomes a new vent for volcanic thrust from below. She must be destroyed, annihilated, exterminated, by the non-Jewish: the words of doom have many formats.
Now there is an addition to the profusion of confusion, the calamity of controversy, the seething hatred and the implacable loathing so many have shown, do show who and continue to show. The very name of Israel has become a site for sedition of the divine program. Even the name is seen in its intimate relationship to the human site in the Middle East, now restored as predicted, just as their exile was revoked (Leviticus 26); and it is felt as a threat, this thread of land by the coastline! It becomes sometimes a stimulus for the most potent feelings and an incitement for new devastation, in terms of a further genocidal movement. Indeed, some relics of the volcanic eruption to annihilate or mis-appropriate Israel and its people are appearing nowadays even in this our land, Australia.
An article on anti-semitism appeared just yesterday (September 10), in The Australian, and its impact was considerable, complete with a large cartoon. A movement from tags of hatred, education in odium, insensitive assumptions and vilification by mere reproach, was recommended. In fact, some are found even using the Koran in terms of its references to apes and pigs (Surah 5), repetitively to stick burs, settle slurs on Israel*8.
Never was racism more racist than that devoted to Israel from many parts of the world, this passion based either on nihilism which shudders at any something which arises to condemn its error, or on militant religion which refuses to allow place for a name which has exhibited so often and for so long the power of God both to bless and to curse in predicted ways. It readily incites a grasping desire of the haves (Islam has vast reserves of oil and money and land) to seize what others have built through industry, to make a personal, regional or international appropriation, and not there from this source only, but in many a scheming heart.
To rub it off the map, for many, would almost like rubbing off the map the startling and stark fact that the nation of Israel, site of the greatest event, in empirical terms alone, in world history, with a systematic information background, brings on thoughts of God, the Christian God. After all, in the flesh, Christ Jesus came through Israel.
The lust of thrust to remove memorabilia of any kind is not so small. People seem quite willing to kill for it, and that not concerning Israel, but quite directly, quite often, whether in India or China or the USSR that was, or in Egypt or the Sudan. For this world, it is undoubtedly fashionable in many places, nations, cultures, and some religions. If you cannot answer, you can always remove the speaker; or try. Thus the is but part of a whole.
The name of Israel ? That is assuredly a site for passion, and it is necessary to see what God has to say about it in the Bible, so that not only can the mind of man be cleared, but the heart realise that when the God of the Bible, the founder of Israel, the sender of Jesus the Christ states what is what, and man differs, the outcome has to be calamitous in the end. He has the power. His passion, His, it is to deliver from the folly of mere rebelliousness and return man to His Maker and to His love (Colossians 1:19ff.), the lost spirit of man seized from above out of the swirling, seething waters of confused human passion (Psalm 18:16), and made anew to relish the wonders of His Creator, in concert, not in revolt (cf. I Peter 2).
10 PHASES OF MEANING
and ONE PRINCIPLE
A Journey into
Land and Terminology
with Peace at Last
ASPECTS IN VIEW
1) RELATIVE TO POWER
Divine confrontation according to the word of God is complete and absolute as in Micah 7:15ff., Ezekiel 38-39, Deuteronomy 32, and instructive, both to Israel and to the nations (Ezekiel 39:21-23,28).This occurs from time to time both with Israel (Psalm 106, Ezekiel 20, as in verses 17, 22), and the preceding verses, where mercy repeatedly intervenes, at epochal points especially, where it may not allow mere continuation, but still allays the pain (Numbers 14:1-39, with 39-45), and with other nations, as with Babylon (Isaiah 13), Assyria (Isaiah 37) and the Northern Confederacy of Ezekiel 38. In those cases, confrontation is entire and decisive, as with the host of enemies seeking finally to obliterate Israel, by long continuance of malice, in Micah 7.
It is the same when Christ announces to an Israel, in its authoritative structure, bent on blighting the Messiah, that because it did not recognise its great opportunity, its house will be left to it desolate. That has occurred. It was not to be forever, as Luke 21:24 shows, for there Christ shows it back in its place ,after having long been under the heel of the Gentiles, as has also happened. When it was back, He indicated, the time of the Gentiles would have been fulfilled. Israel had first innings, in one sense, the Gentiles the other: the end events then accrue, in terms of Romans 11:25ff..
Confrontation, mercy, judgments, hope, opportunities, not to be misused are given, and patience is shown; but in all, as in all the words, the matters are wrought as the Lord wills and AS HE SAYS, to the last point. With God, perhaps power is the most impactively obvious feature. Relative to power, what He has said to Israel about the Old and the New Covenant (Genesis 12-17, for example, and Jeremiah 31:31ff.), about their relationship, in mercy or in chiding, in deliverance or in admonition, in entreaty or in its rejection by man: it all proceeds without a twitter or a tweet. Back of the word, is the heart, and in the heart is the vast mercy of which you read in such sites as Ezekiel 33:11,Micah 7:19ff., John 3:15ff..
Wanton displays as in Sodom and Gomorrah, these too, are given the judgment suitable in the end, as you see when Abraham pleaded with God concerning their destruction (Genesis 19).
When it comes to power, as in creation which is simply not being unloaded in new information vistas at present (Genesis 1-3), but was with supreme authority instituted, as in the fields that constitute life, as similarly in salvation, and moreover in repudiation, divine power is a constant, mellowed in gracious majesty, restrained in pity but ready to complete what is in mind (Isaiah 14:27, 44:24 - 45:12).
Israel, then, relative to the power of God, is illustrative in a supreme degree, the power not muzzling the mercy, nor the follies of flesh muzzling the truth: but as He has spoken, so it happens.
Thus, there is no vagueness or uncertainty principle in this (Joel 2:11). Israel is a nation found, incorporated, endued, enabled, used, reproved, recalcitrant, fatefully in breach of covenant despite centuries of mercy, exiled by covenant, returned by mercy, but also by covenant (Ezekiel 36-37, Deuteronomy 32:38-43), and now in place amidst spectacularly unequal foes, kept by the power of God till it repents and returns. Focal is its place as the world waits, some slavering, some praying.
There is no revision.
The power proceeds according to the word.
2) RELATIVE TO LAND
The appointment is by His Majesty who made all land, and the earth, and the heavens; and He will not be made to vary though whole armies be disrupted and many nations be overthrown. That, as shown in the above references, has the eventual result that whole armies of many nations WILL be overthrown. God is not even slightly surprised at this coming confrontation, since He predicted it thousands of years ago, and knowing the case and His own procedures in advance (Isaiah 46:10), He simply carries it through. Even the devil knows that his time is short (Revelation 12:12), and he deceives many where pride is not sufficient by itself!
Relative to the land
as appointed, Israel will have it, since God gave it (cf. Galloping Events
Ch. Ch. 4). The gifts and calling of God are
without repentance (He does not subtract) as in Romans 11:29), that is,
"irrevocable" as it is rendered in the NKIJV.
3) RELATIVE TO RESULTANTS
These all come at the last. One is Jerusalem glorifying the Lord, even Him whom they once crucified (Zechariah 12:10-13:1), and this not with its own glory, for it will be of three, Israel, Assyria (Iran, Iraq) and Egypt. In the interim however, this same "Assyria" will be humbled not only for its self-exaltation (an ancient habit in that land as in Isaiah 36-37), but for its trust in its own strength and idols, such as to this day it has invented and extended, jihads merely an expression of their obeisance to such bodies (Isaiah 30:27, Zechariah 10:8ff.). Egypt also will not escape due measure of reprobation for its wavering, intrigues and evils (Daniel 11:42).
While Israel will not only be delivered but become the seat for the Messiah (Micah 4:1-8), and yet further enlarged, there will be a lovely reality from the Lord, till all tests and vindications of His righteousness finished, He dismisses the very heavens and earth (Matthew 24:35).
4) RELATIVE TO THE GOSPEL
Israel abandoned it, and launched a missive attack on its centre, using wood and nails, in the way foretold (Psalm 22) with the results foretold (Israel's exile - as in Micah 5:1-5) and an eventual restoration, a multi-stage path to final redemption in the land, through the blood of the very One whom they had ventilated with nail-holes. Now it is to be treasured as the expression of His practical desire to provide a substitutionary atonement, once for all (Zechariah 12:10, 13:1). Now as the time comes, Israelis will join with Gentiles, indeed have already joined (though at the personal and not the national level), in actively and with heart, forwarding the Gospel.
5) RELATIVE TO THE NATION
There was scarcely any limit to what God was willing to do for them (cf. Isaiah 7 and the offer to King Ahab), and Jesus the Christ made this dramatically apparent (as seen in Luke 19:42ff.). However they did not ask in faith, but rather sought actively to ruin the transmission centre of mercy, Jesus Christ, and so were dispersed and mocked, with Jerusalem trodden under by the Gentile foot for an Age. For Israel there was then nothing, and their failure to come to the only and final sacrifice, that of Christ, left their temple in foreign and non-Hebraic hands, a special irony since it was PAST its use-by date as an operational religious centre.
If Israel refused to find the very One whom it symbolised (cf. Revelation 21:22, Hebrews 7-10), then what had once been a vast representation touching the Gospel, an advance expression, could be taken over even for idols, things not God (cf. Deuteronomy 32:15-18), and fitting that would be.
If Israel would not turn to Him from whom they had deeply revolved, then the Temple to which they clung as a secondary student to primary school, in so doing defiling the work of Christ by ignoring it, this now obsolete monument could be used by other nations who equally had ignored the Christ. What matters it in the end, WHICH idol you follow, and this exploded into a vast impact, the entire point. It is Christ, and not the temple, who is central; it merely prepared the way. HE IS the way.
However, after a select time which God has statedly kept secret, that the more He might catch unawares those who are wolves in shepherd's clothing, or idolaters of one kind or another, God had prepared a future and a hope for Israel, as Jeremiah was used to declare. Jerusalem, as in Luke 21:44, would be trodden down by Gentiles for a season.
What was that season ? It would proceed UNTIL the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled. It has now been fulfilled. We see for one, Jerusalem, for a second item, the nations, for a third their treading down, as the nations, of the one nation known as Israel, in this, that their capital is so treated, as if Europe trod down London. The specifications are not subject to doubt. We know and perfectly understand each of them, without mystic verbal metamorphosis. Each is definable, as E. J. Young pointed out in a general sense, by what it is and what it is not. Mutually, their aggregate is a harmoniously explicit whole.
What then do we now find ?
The episodes of the finale are now in train. Israel now has the capital city in its power, though it is said that the entire land under its control is a mere one ninth of the State of Victoria. That they could do so much with so little, and keep away multiplied millions of Islamic peoples, many explicitly seeking its destruction, is a further testimony to the reliability and omnipotence of God, who even whille they still have not as a nation returned to Him, has capacity to protect from extinction. In fact, even the disproportion was predicted in Zechariah 12.
The time for
the SPIRITUAL relief of Israel is now drawing near, as the Gentile season packs
its bags (cf. Romans 11:25ff., Luke 21:44).
6) RELATIVE TO CONTINUITY
The discontinuity for Israel was in the disruption of the covenant, the negative conditions for which had been spelled out very completely in Leviticus 26, and the nature of it, in Zechariah 11, where the sale of the Messiah is so scathingly assessed by the Lord! along with the sale price, foretold with the rest of the basic case and the situation.
The continuity, by contrast, has been the restoration of the same race to the same land, albeit nibbled away not a little while they continue in spiritual rebellion against their great Messiah, sent to them, but not received. It is in the same kind of power in their protection as had been used in the Exodus, already often deployed since 1948 (cf. SMR Ch. 9), and to be deployed in an Exodus of grandeur comparable to that from Egypt, as explained in its cause and consequence in the Book of Exodus (Micah 7:15ff. is perfectly explicit about the scale of operations in this parallel).
Thus there is a vast and marked continuity of the power of the Lord in the arrangements to come for the nation, which He rescues from an ardent obliteration, confirming them in their eventual repentance and the continuity of the place of their appointment.
So they continue with the same God, on the same terms of mercy, now culminated in Christ Jesus the Lord, now secured each one in this spiritual realm, by FAITH, through GRACE, the same for one as for all (Galatians 3:22-25).
God has concluded all
under sin, that all who come might be secured in salvation, irrevocable,
unrescindable; for by faith such become the "having been
saved" ones as in Ephesians 2:8, entering by faith (not tasters as in
Hebrews 6) and so numbered among His sheep (John 10:9) to whom He not only gives
eternal life, but exempts from perishing, snatching or any other fiendish
efforts (John 10:27-28).
7) RELATIVE TO THE USE OF THE TERM "ISRAEL"
The use of "Israel" or even "Jew", its norm as with other specific terms concerning entities and identities, is perfectly clear-cut.
Its mixed history, being utterly unique, and its equally unique pattern leading on to its destiny at the hand of deity, enables ready identification as is normal in any clear and competent writing.
You do not need to go
to science (the properly op-called kind cf. Scientific Method...) to have care
in definition - that field is merely a specific application of this principle.
Thus Ezekiel 36ff. traces the entire scope of their specialised history overall,
and nothing else fits it. Thus in reproof, they are multiply rebuked, often
commended, decisively detached, and in joy they are abundantly restored, first
in land and then in spirit.
Almost any term of designation CAN be used in a metaphorical flush, in irony, in reproof, in stinging tirade or caressing transformation: YOU are a rose, says the gallant to his love, but no one is inclined to become confused, as if he were classifying her as a botanical object. The purpose and thrust and context is used to forge a thought; but it is the very clarity of the norm in the term used, which allows it to be tossed about, adorned or stripped in figures and imagery, so that the difference determines the message! In the rose case, it is more than endearment or a sense of being drawn: it carries according to the conditions, possible connotations of beauty, neatness and rarity.
Still the rose is a rose, and the girl is a girl, and the language is used with clarity by good speakers and writers, so that only the distorted can well distort it. Further, since God as as speaker and writer is very clear (even E = MC2 is clear, though to understand it requires relevant knowledge in this case), and it is made clear that this is so, in Proverbs 8:8. People often want to get more out of what He says, than is given; but this is so far from a lack of clarity on His part, simply a lack of self-control on their part.
In this way, from the lips of the apostle Paul, the term "Israel of God" could mean the body which like ancient Israel, now temporarily replaces in with RESPECT to the Gospel (Galatians 6:16). It is all the more likely here since Paul is referring to those who are Christians, whether they be racially Jewish or Gentile. This annuls nothing, but simply as in romance, makes a telling point by the special adaptation of language. While Israel has not yet SPIRITUALLY come back to the Lord, then the showing forth of the praise of God, a special feature and function, becomes a work of the Christian Church, so that it could be called in this datum, "the Israel of God."
It has nothing
whatever to do with a reckless concept that God was removing His many promises
concerning it, any more than the calling of the sweet-heard, a rose,
changes her genes or nature to any extent whatsoever. It is merely a passing
allusion to a special feature which it is desired to focus for a time and
for a purpose.
8) RELATIVE TO THE TERM "JEW"
When Paul speaks of a Jew as being one who is so inwardly (Romans 2:28-29), and not just outwardly, and when John the Baptist speaks of God being able to raise up children of Abraham from stones (Luke 3:8), this is simply figurative speech in its direct intent. That is, there is an ideal, or genuine, or authentic, or true to type sort of entity, be it Jew or child of Abraham, which is defined in terms of what it is meant to be at the spiritual level. It is perhaps rather like someone saying to a laundry, "You call this washing! Washing is what leaves the garment CLEAN!"
This in no way ignores the obvious fact that the genetic progress from Abraham is of a certain kind, or that the Jew may be clear racially but a disgrace, as may those of many other nations, to the very name. Be what you are supposed to be, is the message, and then you will qualify indeed, and not just be an anomaly, finding wrath as others (cf. Ephesians 2:12).
9) RELATIVE TO SPECIALISED REBUKE
This for example may be seen in Ezekiel 34 (where false prophets and pastors are exposed so vastly that the Lord undertakes to come personally and do the guardianship, healing and helping of the sheep in His own BEING, this being the work of the Messiah, who is God as a servant and as such, God the sent (as in Psalm 72, Psalm 2 and Isaiah 40; and specific in Isaiah 48:15ff.). This topic has already been broached.
Here it suffices that such rebuke as that in Ezekiel 34 (cf. Jeremiah 5:30-31) comes irrevocably as it is linked to their false and spurious standing - called by God, and yet a nation acting as a murderer of His incarnate figure, of their Spiritual King. Wirth this phase of divine repudiation, they are displaced temporarily (as a witness to the truth - Isaiah 43:21). This is made eminently clear in Romans 11, in their being cut out of the tree of faith, while Gentiles for a time take their place: this a prelude to their restoration, re-grafting in to the same tree, now with understanding, humbling and happiness.
At the last, they are all, the body of Christ, redeemed from rebellion, for there is none who does not sin: they are from different backgrounds (Ephesians 2:11ff., Romans11), but their sin has been against the same God, requiring in each case the same Lord, the same Saviour, for quite simply, there is no other (Isaiah 43:10-11), nor any other God; but one way suffices for one as for all (Isaiah 44:1-5, John 14:6, Colossians 3:10-11). Then in spiritual terms, they become one in testimony in the multi-faceted but singularly founded Christian Church (I Corinthians 3:10-11, Acts 4:11-12), which is neither a preserve nor a possession for Jew or Gentile, though each has contributed in different ways (cf. Romans 9:1-5, Ephesians 2:12).
Israel has one thing always delightful: the end for many of its people, in two phases: it came first in the glorious adventure of the founding of the Christian Church which, while ordained and sustained by the Lord, yet tested and challenged, the people being enabled to proceed against all threats and persecutions, by the reality of that to which their faith referred. That ? it was the power, the compassion, the healing, the holiness, the beatific reality, the practical pity and the authoritative and never rebutted diction of Jesus Christ. By the Spirit, in His name, they continued (Ephesians 3:16, Romans 5:1-10).
Nevertheless, the rebuke to the nation of Israel was real enough, and has lasted long enough, even though now we are entering that phase when the nations in their bull-like belligerence toward the tiny nation of Israel, are coming to their own separation, in many cases, from this life itself in the engagements to come. Living by the sword has certain penalties!
The second always delightful thing is this: not only did SOME of the Jewish people play the most prominent (but not dominant - cf. Matthew 20:25ff.) roles; but while this constituted even with the thousands added to the Church through them, a part of that Church, a national repentance is to follow! It is explicit, articulate, thorough and traceable (as in Zechariah 12-13), and it will have led to massive results as noted in Ch. 3 to follow.
In the multiplication through the multiplying converts, as in the Book of Acts (following what Jesus BEGAN to do), it is merely one feature. It will continue as it has done, the gates of hell, the marshalls and strategists not prevailing, and it will be suddenly augmented when the NATION, rather than many from its midst as in the day of Paul, becomes lit up with the light of the Lord as we see in the investigation into Isaiah 60-66, in Ch. 3 below.
10) RELATIVE TO THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
As already foreshadowed, therefore, when the Gospel work is completed by the Messiah, they are, as a nation - once called to show forth His praise, now severed in this very thing (Isaiah 43:21, Isaiah 65), displaced. A new international body, the Christians, now have this task till Israel, near the ultimate end of the Gospel Age (as distinct from Israel itself) at last joins them in this, in a greater measure.
This is on the unchanged basis of Jesus the Christ, the predicted Messiah, this same Jesus who was crucified and who rose in resurrected flesh (Luke 24:39).It is He, this same Jesus (cf. Axcts 1:7ff.) who has performed to perfection the appointed task, opening the door to salvation, to faith, for any anywhere, for all who come. For Him, the time is now come near for His return (SMR Ch. 8, Answers to Questions Ch. 5), in terms of biblical data, of which return of Israel to its land is merely one set, and the restoration of Jerusalem after some 1900 years, to this same Israel, another..
Thus these two phases (cf. Romans 9:1-4, Ephesians 2:14ff.) of testimony, the ancient and the more recent, join in an ebullition, an effervescence, a blessed restoration, this time of fellowship. The ONE was used for the place where the Lord would come; the OTHER has been used in extending the application of what was done. Together, at last, they act in the Messiah-an, or Christian grace of Christ.
The Church had a Jewish contribution at the first, in its very foundation (cf. Ephesians 2:19), in apostles and prophets of old; but it is not Israel. Israel will join it at the end; but the Christian Church is still not Israel. Gentile and Jew will in this respect, many from each, have one Lord and one faith (Ephesians 4:4:1ff); but the Gentile is still not the Jew: they merely have this intimate unity in the Lord, at this final time, together. In this case, the past structure is indeed transformed by the new, and past sacrifices are indeed obsolete (as in Hebrews 8:13), but the use of the term Israel is still distinct, and the promises to it are still fulfilled, and to be fulfilled; and the Church is not disembodied without them, or altered with them.
The principles remain clear. By vapid and unwarranted generalisation, without sufficient enquiry at every text in an individual manner, before compilation, there is scope for the usual sorts of confusion which such rush is always inclined to produce. To adhere to the teaching, however, each in its place, and all in their liaisons once justice is done to each, focus on facets, definitions in texts and places in entire integrity of method, reveals the consistent, competent, all-comprising message in general and messages in particular, as given by divine authority; for man shall indeed live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
Because Christ is so great, He is not the less a teacher, but the more clear; and because the Father is so profound, He is not the less alert and aware in all He says, till He passes what no human being as such can pass, to the point of every jot and tittle consigned to fulfilment. To catch the initial data without compromise and with exactitude is therefore not only crucial, but apt and appropriate, as is becoming for the word of the living and changeless God.
As to Jew and Gentile, God has made both sets, will bring unity to both, and in so doing, is indicating that they are very far from being the same, have diverse phases and situations, whether in comparative simplicity or otherwise; and despite the wonder of their unification at last, IN the Church, much as diverged in their preliminary preparation for it, of which there is one Head, one Gospel, always in view, consummated at the last, and to which also near the end of the Age, Israel the nation in large measure comes (Luke 21:24ff., Zechariah 13:1 -14:5).
These things are shown in different ways, and as such appear in Isaiah. Thus the movement to what is beyond-the-superficial, is at times transcending the national, as you see the personal in Jews of faith (as in Isaiah 61:10), and many of different bases, in the same kind of manner (Isaiah 44:1-5, 53:10); and at times, as in that same Chapter, the keynote is the Christian reality, to which Israel as a nation is largely to come. Yet it is this same ISRAEL which SO COMES. It is they who even being led on the way by the Lord in His restoration are still not only blind, but epochally so, categorically so, for they occupy this position pre-eminently as those who had the light and now lack it: "WHO is blind BUT My servant!" the Lord exclaims (Isaiah 42:9), "or deaf as My messenger whom I send!".
There is neither confusion of terms nor displacement of the Gospel, neither mutation nor computation: it remains the same, Christ remains the same, the unification to come remains the same; and words remain the same, in their normal usage, in the clarity with which they may be used in every context with its intimations and subtle or more manifest tones and overtones. Clarity remains the key, and it fits to perfection, in everything opening in harmony. Textual fidelity has in this great rewards!
Remember, words may be turned to metaphor or made a thing of play; but with a good author, the basic meaning ENABLES this, and is not displaced by confusing vocabulary. God IS such a speaker, writer, and His word not only may be relied on as to its patent meaning in defined terms, but must be for clarity, for understanding and to avoid contradiction. It is the same in many fields: those who do not take it as it comes, and seek to put their own ideas and definitions into the subject matter, without knowledge or understanding, simply become confused or perhaps worse, confusing, for some as teachers, confuse others. It reminds in part of the process which Jesus Christ signalised, in His words found in Luke 11:52. The Sadducees made complex what was simple, and not only did not admit people to the kingdom, but hindered those who were entering in.
ONE PRINCIPLE NOT TO AVOID
It is thus recommended that the approach of taking each word of God FIRST in its integrity locally, not like a butcher carving up meat into market-driven pieces, but sensitively, and then continuing to collation, not as driven by theory, but practice, be followed.
Let this, God's word in each place as in all places, SPEAK (the Judge of Gilbert and Sullivan fame had trouble in being HEARD, even WHILE the cast were talking about how important it was that he should speak!). Let its resonances and similar messages then be collated. never, however, form first a generalisation, and then force other parts to meet it. If GOD gives a generalisation, that is His affair (cf. Galatians 6:14); if WE form them in advance of adequate preparation, that is another matter entirely.
Not only is the slighting of the particular a fallacious method in any subject, but that was precisely a major fault of both the Pharisees and Sadducees alike, overwhelming the divine words with flavours of their own additions, or snipping out parts at will. Thus they fell into modelling basic things according to their own traditions, thereby nullifying the word of God as Christ declared (Mark 7:7ff.). Such procedures were submitted to the most intense disapprobation by Jesus Christ, and their practitioners fared no better (Matthew 23). Indeed, His tongue like a whip dispelled all these illusions, as He investigated the palpable fraud to be found in their ways.
DESIRE readily distorts, so that primary concerns
have to be zealous. Psalm 119 remains a beautiful exhortation, a splendid
illustration and a wonder in its literary craft and zealous intensity, and is
most applicable to this field.
In the overall review, then, we all, Jew or Gentile when without Christ, are displaced persons - as sinners. Each is called according to the time and phase in the divinely created and ordered plan, and all were once "strangers" or transients without God (cf. Ezekiel 16:45, Ephesians 2:12). In Christ, the situation changes: instead of being thus by disjunction, from His grace, we become this by disjunction from THIS WORLD, FOR Him! We are strangers in sin, till redeemed in fact and in life; but then we are strangers to the strangulating dynamics of this world, not settling to its addresses, or heeding them, but following the Lord as those who have a city which has foundations not to be ruined by any bomb, mob or philosophy, as seeing Him who is invisible, till the time of our final rescue and deliverance appears.
Thus the biblical use of the terms pilgrims and strangers, to which one refers, concerns those once lost, but now both found, saved, founded and functional for Christ, and hence like athletes, concerned with the special disciplines applicable to good service, and indeed like soldiers whose task requires both training and self-control (cf. II Timothy 2).
Accordingly, in this disestablished and rebel-ruled world, bill-boarding the alternative to the knowledge of God, we have no abiding home, and from it, no spiritual food; but rather as pilgrims, with the glory of the Lord who calls in mind, seek a better and a heavenly kingdom. Unlike all the pagan substitutes for this, it is run from God, this kingdom, by God, for God through the grace of the Gospel TO the ultimate destiny of heavens and earth to be dismissed (Matthews 24:35), for a new creation.
For this, each Christian personally has first been made "a new creation," as in II Corinthians 5:17ff..
In this, there is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one God who from many sources has found those on whom He has placed His mark, with one Gospel and one mercy with many prongs leading to the same place, for the same reason, whatever the forms of folly or treason preceding. These assembled bear the glory of His presence (cf. Revelation 7), where the trial of sin is dismissed in favour of the triumph of grace.
What then ? Throughout is one God with one plan, one grace, one mercy, for one race which through one human pair, showed in one way a defilement from will, that has been transmitted to all, without will (as in Romans 5:12-15), so that in one essential rebellion of heart, all might be condemned for one underlying reason, while many are rescued from this universal spiritual pathology by this same and one God and Creator, now acting as Saviour through redemption.
This leads to the fulfilment of one ultimate purpose by one ultimate means, the Gospel in Christ, so that this present world is displaced by the kingdom of God, the destiny of those who find in Christ Jesus the ONLY Messiah. Here indeed is the kingdom of heaven, however and wherever God secures this for each, grace never stinted, the Gospel never stunted, His love never truncated, despite fallacious human traditions which act as if to do this!
The residual rebellion has its own place, bidden by
its own preference, from the face of God (II Corinthians 4:4), which cannot be
reconstructed by man, try as he will. All this, God in His omniscience has
foreknown, leaving no step of divine salvation untaken, no sacrifice unmade, no
rest withheld where desire moves and His passion for deliverance can come
without trading in truth for profit or force! though many here stumble. Depart
imperial or imperious disputants, for your wares being not wise, create
not a god of your will, but only havoc.
The Divine Drama Ch. 3,
Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 9,
Cascade ... Ch. 6,
Lively Lessons in Spiritual Service Ch. 5,
Dig Deeper ... Ch. 1
See also: TMR Ch. 7, Section E.
See Causes, SMR
Ch. 5, Predestination and
Freewill Section 4,
The Original and Eventual Magnificence Epilogue.
It is systematically impossible to rid reason of causality, all reasons for such action being based on what the opponent is trying to deny. The pursuit of reason's results confirms itself in validation as nothing else does, or even can ( see Afterburner ... Ch. 4, Aspects ... Ch. 6). Positively and negatively causation remains, its results being sustained against all criticism both in terms of the nature of the case, and the nature of the confirmation, as well as in the fertility and productivity of continual resolving power of using the reason we have been given, not to attack it, but to find where it leads (as in SMR) and the Logical Purveyor who applied it in the first place.
See also Gratitude ... Appendix, Aspects... Ch. 6, The Original ... Epilogue, Defamation ... Ch. 3 with Sparkling Life ... 4.
The Original and Eventual Magnificence
See for example:
The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 5, News 74; The Divine Drama Ch. 10, Spiritual Food and Drink Ch. 12, Preface, SMR pp. 158 -166, 106 -109, 234, 236.
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS.
Man invents gods as winds invent waves: they contribute to the base situation and whip up this result. So man made by God, loving to ignore the systematics of logic and form, function and law BY which his body and brain, mind work and his spirit roves, raves or releases reason in apathy or confusion, at times insisting on leaving the gifts by which he operates, and in the operation of which he moves, as if everything came from nothing much, and that from nothing, a flat irrationality, begging of the question and avoidance technique.
Did then fruit trees form when trees without fruit were too useless, did laws formed when lawlessness got nowhere and did information came into blithe existence, with its laws of language, definitional basis and conceptual modes, for lack of anything else to do, or for whatever it is, to do! It is facts, not fiascos, and the former need facing, the latter untracing. When truth must not bite the belligerents into wakefulness, then a nation is doomed. Must this be such a nation ? Laws may soon seek to subdue its spirit into such conformist capitulation.
The pure irrationality of the lack of ANY reality back of pseudo-gods, progressive, processive upgraders which are not really allowed to be there, but merely join in, while man tilts his swollen head at the heavens, and seeks retrospective acknowledgment in effect, this has results. It leads to the sheer vainglorious mess of ludicrous attributions, which start nowhere, have neither the means nor even the existence to start, so that all becomes subject.
Subject to what ? If not, per preference, to God, then to man, and to his gods of various KINDS of illusion. These are creations that cannot create, man destroying reason in order to have what cannot act, perform what has to be, for himself to be. While he is thus inventing myths as prophesied would be the case as the end of the Age of the Gospel drew near (II Timothy 4), that is results without adequate cause, the precise folly of foundation-free universes, he invents gods also, as if results and causes could all be conveniently forgotten, till you come to how it works, and how it came to do what it does not observably do, or show reason for ever doing.
These gods grow in the category of what either cannot be expressed in definable terms, small wonder since creation without Creator gives no scope for this, and non-creation does not give us the material to work with. Nevertheless, such defective divinities, stripped of the ultimate function, are expressed, like process or principle. It is as if ways of action equal getting the things in which the process and action is to occur. It is like studying accounting and disposing affairs, without having any money.
So carried away can false prophets and some philosophers become, that they can reach the point of saying, like brave Schopenhauer, The world is my idea. It is an impactive way of pointing out that you get your own image, though worlds do not leave when all die, since perception does not in fact make them, nor does death destroy them. MAKING, as noted above, is a VERY different thing.
It is still necessary to distinguish between your image and what is there, in this as in other things. The human will is undoubtedly important, but the transition from subjective thought to objective reality is not so readily traversed. Using reason as we have it, and seeing sublimities and horrors, both physically and ethically, morally and aesthetically, we find that all requires cause and having confirmation, its identification, validation and verification. Inventing gods merely bypasses causation, invents cognition, and forges fruition by means never seen, never sufficient, always unconfirmed. The mystery of this omission reeks of rebellion, first against God, then against reason (cf. SMR, TMR, Dizzy Dashes ... and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6).
See What is the Chaff to the Wheat ?
Chs. 3 and
4, SMR Chs. 3 -
Extension, Ephesians 4:17-19,
For the Inquisition, see Ancient Words ... Ch. 14. For Islamic texts re violence in faith areas, see The Defining Drama ... Ch. 6. For an extraordinarily good account of this area, see The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, by Spencer.
For coverage of Islam, see such texts as
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 50ff., 62ff., 829ff. , 1080
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 5;
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4; 3
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
See Divine Agenda Chs. 6
with 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran)
and Highway to Hell - (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the latter two; and in the former, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
cf. Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the Koran's musings);
1493 (esp. Britain and sharia);
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7
BARBLISS 5, Acme ... Ch. 9 , Great Execrations ... Ch. 3, SMR p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7, SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff.
(These latter show this religion, with the other three major conspiracies towards the ultimate - why conspiracies ? It is because men conspire, or breathe plans together for a control, rule or oversight not ordained by God: these are breaths of man, and the breath that matters is that of God, in and by which all scripture is inspired by Him (II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20), in the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the Bible, and sustained and implemented by Him (Matthew 26:54ff.). Other ideas for rule are always unruly, since they always tend to use power for what neither reason nor truth compels.).
PP 8, app., PP 11, 4, 11, 5 (national character and character of Islam).
See also SMR pp. 822ff., 986ff., 1O88D.
See John 1:10-12, Mark 7:26ff., Isaiah 8-9, 42:6.
This was announced as to attitude in Isaiah 49:7, as to mode of sacrificial death in Psalm 22, as to price of betrayal, in Zechariah 11:6-13, as to betrayal as means, in Psalm 35, 41, 69,109. See The Original and Eventual Magnificence ... Ch. 6, Christ Not Culture ... Ch. 6.
Such things are attested in the site, Palestinian Media Watch, which translates certain Palestinian documents,