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CHAPTER 4

NEWS 143

DW TV New Bulletin Feb 7, 2001

Does it take another stephen ?

The Barak loss, the Sharon gain:
Arafat is polite here,
while another Arab leader speaks of Israel as Jekyll and Hyde

 

It was such a little margin, what kept the land intact.

Let us note from Divine Agenda Ch. 8, an earlier reference to this aspect of Jewish history, since the return to Israel of the biblically predestinated and predicted nation, as in Ezekiel 36-37, Zephaniah 3, Isaiah 42, 49, Micah 7 and in many places since Deuteronomy 32 began it, or rather formulated it in the dramatic fashion, which leads us back to its first genesis in Genesis itself (see Galloping Events Ch. 4 for detail on the same).

Thus in SMR pp. 834ff. (cf. *10 on p. 881), we found of Peres, seeking support politically, that this leader failed to gain his objective by just ONE knesset vote. ONE JEW refused the prospect that ANY part of Jerusalem would come to be in ANY WAY dependent on the will of the Arabs. He resigned, thus blocking the opportunity for this direction of flow in the political life of the people at that time. This feeling is not confined to  a minor sector of the Jews. Thus when the father of the current US President, that is, George Bush (senior), as noted on p. 836 SMR, stated that he was opposed to new settlements in the West bank "or in East Jerusalem", Time magazine made the assessment  that "most Israelis would consider East Jerusalem liberated, not occupied. Even the most dovish government would insist on an undivided Jerusalem as the permanent capital of Israel" - April 23, 1990!

 

BUT, you may say, as does one of the author's Chinese acquaintances, with a combination of tone and emphasis which makes one wonder if it was a technique crafted amongst the crafts of the Communists, who might need a sort of verbal front-end loader to remove the onset, at time...
BUT, again you may ask: HOW IS THIS a NARROW MARGIN!

You could even pursue the point. Surely, it might be put, this was something like 60% for Sharon, now associated with the highway symbol for, and idea of NO LEFT TURN ALLOWED, and 40% for Barak. HOW even in Middle East politics, could this possibly be termed a narrow margin.

To be sure, THAT margin is far from narrow. The nearness of what could in considerable degree have pre-empted this result, stands in contrast. Is it then so soon forgotten that President Clinton, as he then was, had a most significant motif, PEACE, and PROSPERITY for Arab demands. Now it would be quite unfair to put this as more than a parody of his INTENTIONS; but it appears reasonably accurate as a summary of his PROPOSALS! These evidently included the following: ALL of Gaza, some 95% of West Bank, measure of control over the Temple Mount, Independent Arab State; and all this in the land given by international mandate, with Britain in occupation, after World War I, as  Jewish homeland; and all that in the circumstance that a huge proportion of this land grant is ALREADY IN Palestinian hands, in Jordan hands, in Moslem hands, in hands not at all, by any stretch of the imagination (which is asked a lot in this arena), friendly to Israel, to the nation, the people and the historic residue back as authorised, predicted and GUARANTEED.

These things we have seen in depth and detail in the three works, IT BUBBLES, IT HOWLS ... HE CALLS, DIVINE AGENDA and GALLOPING EVENTS.
 
 

THE MODERN

It WAS a near thing, the Clinton communication, the US proposal, the capitulation concept, though, again, this was not its billing, but it certainly was its cooing!

If you play tennis, and lose the first two sets, and are held to 40-0 on the deciding game in the 3rd set, then you are exceedingly close to defeat... ONE POINT would be enough to end your tournament. If however you THEN go on and win the next 5 points, win the 3rd, 4th and 5th sets, your victory could be called substantial, it is true. But what is NOT substantial by any means, is the margin by which you were saved from tournament disaster, complete and composed, at an earlier stage!

SO it is here.

NO question, says Sharon, of Jewish settlements being given away, for it was he when in power, who had much to do with the erection of thousands of homes in the remote areas of West Bank, and many by report, are still vacant. One can see the trend!

NO question, he continues by report to declare, of Golan Heights going.

NO question of an Independent Arab State.

He is of the old guard. Israel was by the throat often enough, not only in negotiations, as has been so eloquently exposed by Abba Eban, noted UN orator, but in the whole business of extrication from international exposure to RUIN. It was a wonder how they survived the UN desolation declaration of 1947, which would send them to ruin, a mere splinter of bits somewhere undistinctively in Palestine, with Jerusalem an international city. It is a marvel they continued to exist in 1957 when, after the not notoriously successful British and French action in Egypt, Ben Gurion, PM, was told by Eisenhower, President, that it would be a VERY good idea for Israel to abide by the UN determinations in full.

This required at that time withdrawal from the Gaza strip and the western shore of the Gulf of Eilat. Egypt should take the former, and no provisions or procedures were to be permitted to Israel. In vain did she point out that no such rigour had been required of the Arabs, who for years had violated the UN requirements.
 

In the case of Egypt, this nation's leader "had been violating the agreement for years, by rejecting peace," (Nasser's action, then to come, in 1967 was to be no mean confirmation of this point), "imposing a boycott and blockade in the Suez Canal and the Straits of Eilat,  organizing gangs of saboteurs and murderers whom he sent into Israel."  This is the record of Ben Gurion points made at that time, as on p. 524 of his tome, "ISRAEL: A PERSONAL HISTORY".

"As for Gaza," it continues its account of Ben Gurion's response to the American Ambassador to Israel, " it had never been part of Egypt, and had it not been for the American intervention in 1948, we would have expelled the Egyptians from the Strip."


In view of the UN discrimination noted,

       its failure to make reasonable concessions to Israel which was to be returned into nationhood in Palestine, with express international consent, after World War I, but  now came to be patronised, with a humbling departure from the same, from 1947;

       its failure to make safeguards for Israel, in view of the intensive and extensive provocations in the boycotts and blockades of its access waters, and the resulting military action;

       its unilateral insistences on Israeli compliance without balancing severity elsewhere:

       here was another NARROW escape.


Had Einsenhower and Dulles been less constructive, and the UN belligerence in partisanship been permitted to be as apparently impervious as it had begun to be  (but overall, it constituted a wonderful fulfilment of the international array predicted to assail Israel, in Zechariah 12, so that God shows the intricate intimacy with which He can and does move His will into the complex patterns of events), then Israel might have been forced to face disintegration. Then it might have been obliged to omit the complex international arrangements which helped it to continue after this 1956 war, detected so early by US overflying, and discountenanced by it, so robustly.

Thus, the end of the matter did not so wholly compromise Israel's existence as it came near to doing, and an international force continued until Nasser's pleasure had it removed, so that he could attack Israel, unmolested, in 1967, with results not to his liking.

The point however is this: the UN fostered something close to Arab desires, outraged Israel, but significantly through US mollification - from the Israeli side achieved with great diplomatic skill and tenacity,  but accorded with some fair-mindedness from that country - Israel was not immediately assigned to the ocean bottom.  That, after all, was the concept in those days, of Nasser. The US had in fact agreed to the original requirements on Israel, so that in the initial set-to, its voice was not with Israel either.. That was the diplomatic situation.

Yes, it was a near thing diplomatically for Israel, then, also, and not much less when Nasser rolled up the desert, flush with Russian tanks, the provision of his trusted ally! But again, a near thing, the Israeli planes had skimmed the surface, or nearly so, of the Mediterranean in a pre-dawn raid on Egypt's planes, in order to reduce the terrors of Egypt, no small country compared with minuscule and internationally pilloried Israel. That success possibly turned the course of the war, since it allowed Nasser's tank force to be ruined from the uninterrupted Israeli air attacks, now freed from too much harassment from the largely destroyed air force of Egypt.

Israel won; it is easy to imagine it was easy, never near. It was, however, all near, from 1948 on.
Indeed in 1948, when Israel not even a nation, emerged from the British mandate, to the tender mercies of the Arab Legion, and assorted Moslem allies, it was nearer, far nearer still. The margin was little: very little indeed. But in fact they won - as prophetically scripted (cf. Zechariah 12, 14).
 
 

THE ANCIENT

Narrow margins have been a scheduled part of the history of Israel from earliest times.

Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). The testimony from God came further in 15:18ff., 17:18-21, concerning the land. But what a situation, so that Sarah even laughed at the idea of the man of 100 years being told that it was to be through the line of his own son, who was YET TO COME, that all would come to pass.  Sarah at great age, was to be mother, and Abraham, the centenarian, father. There was LITTLE HOPE of such a son at such an age, but it came precisely as forecast. The prospect appeared less than marginal.

However, it was a miracle, more than a margin.

In the case of Isaac, being conceived as an offering before God intervened to stop this, there was but a ram caught in the thicket to come between, and this was the sacrifice, typifying Christ, and illustrating the point that NO MAN CAN BY ANY MEANS REDEEM HIS BROTHER, but GOD CAN (as Psalm 49 explicitly teaches), a work which thus fell to the Messiah, God as man (Psalm 45, Micah 5, Isaiah 48:16). Isaac was spared, and was indeed irrelevant as a sacrifice;  but the love of his father's heart had to be first to God, and only then could the promises proceed. It was to be a provision via his heir and all that this entailed for the promises of blessing to all peoples through his seed, and the rest. Faith and love in God are not far apart; the one was present, the other was companion. Abraham believed God, and God acted for Abraham, clearing the path, providing the need.

It was only a LITTLE EVENT which was the occasion of the deliverance of Isaac from death, and vain death at that. Abraham, as Hebrews 11 tells us, believed that if necessary, God could raise the dead. This gives some idea of the intensity of his faith. Little though was the event, the ram caught in the thicket, the type of sacrifice, of Christ to come, yet the historian God, had it massively under control! This typifies the situation throughout the whole gamut of operations.

With Joseph, there was only a LITTLE THREAD which connected the famine stricken children of Jacob with the treasures of grain, through God's use of Joseph, stored securely in that land as an eminent official, for their deliverance. GOD who knows all, knew how to use the wicked sale of Joseph into slavery by his brothers, to establish Joseph in Egypt, and then Israel as immigrants for a period, as forecast long before to Abraham, in that land (Genesis 15:13). That tiny thread was the sold life of Joseph, who despite many evils wrought against him, continued, prospered and was in place, in effect  as Grand Vizier when the time came.

Again, on the Exodus advent, it was just a LITTLE TIME which divided the raising up of the divided waters, and then downfall on Pharaoh's troops, Moses and Israel having gone in the interim.

In the Messiah, it was but a LITTLE DISTANCE from DEATH (Matthew 2:16ff.), when Herod acutely and astutely, but vainly sought with tremendously abundant murder at hand, the 'slaughter of the innocents", to kill a potential rival. This that king did, almost as if he were a modern, and translating the detestation of repentance and faith so common now, towards Christ, into effort for the removal of the infant from the globe, he slaughtered many. It was His heart or the sinner's heart, Christ or Herod: the latter preferred himself. Thus, at that time, for Herod  the effort was to remove Christ; but now it is determination to remove the heart from His shepherd's care, that activates so much of the marauding murders, implacable detestations and reckless surges on the surface of this earth.

Again, Christ was only a LITTLE WAY from meaningless murder, when the people of Nazareth felt that dropping over a cliff was the ideal welcome for the Messiah (Luke 4). It was however, necessary, as He said, that He should be killed in Jerusalem (Luke 13:33), which in its Temple typified, illustrated the meaning of what Christ would do, as Hebrews relates and relays. He passed, seemingly effortlessly, through their midst, and was safe.

When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, a ruin predicted by Christ in Matthew 24, so historically notorious was the havoc and catastrophic thoroughness of the deed, that there was LITTLE LEFT, the very site sown with salt. But it continued in its time, till in 1948 the Jews occupied Jerusalem in part, after some 1900 years of waiting for it, and in 1967, they took the rest.

When the Middle Ages provided that pungent combination of rapacity, national thefts from the Jews as from Louis XIV's convenient usages, pogroms, hatred, inquisition and so on, so that it is all but incredible to read of the details provided by Professor Hosmer in his account of it, there was LITTLE CHANCE of their restitution. When Hitler brought the coping stone to this human scavenging into an art form perhaps even outdistancing the merciless nonsense and apostate follies of the inquisition itself, it was only a continuation, a completion. As he managed, contrived by technical means and Teutonic thoroughness, to remove some half of the world's population of the Jews, there was LITTLE GROUND for the Jews to find. Theirs tended to be plots, or mass graves, ashes, or worse, and provided but little territory.

Einstein before Hitler's power, for a time, prevailed, went to the US, and his work helped the labours in New Mexico, in principle, with many contributors, so that the supreme irony of overthrow of the adversary, in part through his victim was felt (cf. Genesis 12:3). But that was later.

In the interim, however, in World War II, it was a narrow margin for the Jews!.

But let us return to an early time.
 
 

EARLY CHURCH TIMES

There is here a very different case, if we go back near to the crucifixion, that national monument of Israel, which Rome in A.D. 70 reversed in style, and Hitler again, in 1940-44. Here it was a particular JEW, CHRIST, born of Mary, of the tribe of Judah, who was Himself maltreated, with vast evils of word and deed wrought belligerently against Him, whose mission was peace, whose offer was ransom, whose coming was from heaven, and whose departure would leave a world to find the price of rejection.

In the very midst of this evil furore, which like other such follies, can be repented of, when the good pleasure of the Lord so acts, there was a further killing. In this second case, the face of the victim shone, we read, like that of an angel. His words were piercing, his knowledge was accurate, his wisdom profound, his grace remarkable, and his closing words based on Christ's:
"Lord, do not charge them with this sin!"

They had just stoned him, on a combination, as with Christ, of misquotation, misunderstanding, miscreancy and mischief. The servant, Christ had said, is not greater than his master; if they do it to Me, they will do it to you (cf. Matthew 10, John 13). So they did.

The case was that of Stephen.

Now Stephen was not even an elder. He was a deacon, amongst those who served in a practical manner in helping the church to cope with its needs. However, he was soon engaged in discussion with enemies of the faith, people who wanted to build up a 'case' against him, so that they made it appear he was assailing Moses, and despising the temple.

Brought to the Council, he launched into an array of Israel's historical pivots, in which the rebellious substitutes for faith came to the fore, and finished, not long before they ensured he WAS finished for this earth, with these words:

       "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do you.

       "Which of the prophets did not your fathers not persecute ? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels, and not kept it."


Stephen was despatched from this so inhospitable world with LITTLE TOOLS, in fact stones.

How could Israel ever come anywhere again, killing Christ, ready to be destroyed, and as if maddened in spirit, now killing the glowingly angelic face of a teacher and martyr with his love that did not cover up, but rather exposed their guilt, if by any means they might repent and understand and be converted, as Christ so often admonished them (cf. Matthew 13:14ff.)! "Lord, do not charge them with this sin!" was his dying expression of his great concern, and great was the need, for great was the depth to which Israel would then sink, and great were the dredges which would increase that depth, and then thrust the people down into it further again, in the millenia to follow.

But Stephen had not blasphemed. It is clear what was the general character of his teaching.

He had rather indicated that Christ fulfilled the temple patterns, was the Messiah for which the religious furnishings were the patterns, was the Prophet (Deuteronomy 18), for whom the nation was to wait, was the Just One, the Lord, God in flesh, the Prince of Peace. He had identified him, and assailed verbally by those who COULD not resist the wisdom or spirit of his utterance, was then murdered judicially, in the pattern which so many other nations, so wrongly, would themselves adopt in turn, against Jewish people.

Yet there was a LARGE CHANGE wrought, and since Paul, then Saul the church persecutor, was the man at whose feet the torn off clothes of Stephen were placed (Acts 7:58), it is not unlikely that the concept of PERSECUTING CHRIST which afflicted Paul, and was charged against Him by the Lord in heaven (Acts 9), before his conversion, had no small beginning in this scene. It was so stark. The angelic face, the beautiful speech, the perspective and the power, the purity and the pardon, all together like a bouquet, a bower of beauty, the precision and the force of it all may indeed have contributed markedly to Paul's conversion.

THEN began a LARGE PROPULSION of the Gospel, this time BY a Jew, in journeyings often as he tells us in I and II Corinthians, with slander, with false report, with shipwrecks often, with lashings from those who assailed him officially, but with ample preaching, so that he was even enabled to turn a two year stint as prisoner in Rome into a wonderful missionary initiative into the city. So the tide began to turn.

The apostles were Jews. The Bible was written by Jews. The Lord came as Jew. The promises concerning the generations for ever, were to a Jew, Abraham, another Isaac, another Jacob, as traced in Galloping Events Ch. 4. The missions arose, until the time should come, as required by Christ, when the whole world would be covered by the gospel report, and then would the end come. That time is exceedingly close, in these terms as in others, for the means of communication multiply, and rise like a vast breaker at the coast, rearing its head to be seen for great distances about (Matthew 24:14).
 
 

BACK TO THE PRESENT ERA

To be sure there are counterattacks as predicted (Matthew 24:11,24), and these we have touched frequently, and recently in Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch. 8. However, the whole battle plan for Jew and Gentile alike has been spelled out with such precision that all these things bring only a smile, though their doom for many is real enough (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).

In all this, we see NO LITTLE LOVE, when we consider Christ the sin-bearer (II Cor. 5:17-21), Stephen in the midst of insensate fury and horrible distortions of justice and truth, crying, Do not lay this sin to their charge! when we look at Paul and his endurings for the gospel's sake (as detailed in I Cor. 4:6ff., II Cor. 4:7ff.). In the latter, we read:

"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed: we are perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed - always carrying about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."

 

So often there are little signals of large events, as missionaries pour out their lives, as reformers pour out their teaching, as Tyndale is killed while he is at labour on New Testament translation for the English, Huss by the erudite nobility of ignorance which masqueraded as a church, the missionaries to the Aucas, so that Elizabeth Elliot might return, after the murder of her husband, and show the love of Christ to the yet loved people who did it! Sagas innumerable unfold, many in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, when the people stood firm on the truth, even as, in parallel with the case of Israel, RELIGIOUS authorities, though  naming the book, yet scarcely living by it, distorted and astray, attacked them, and put them to death.

It is NO LITTLE THING that the Lord has done in showing His faithfulness in the Gospel, using now Jew, now Gentile, while the nation which killed the Lord languishes.

It STILL languishes, despite these amazing predicted victories of 1948, 1967, 1973 and in effect, 1991. It MUST do so until it repents. repentance is NOT A PAYMENT; but it is due. The payment is Christ's; but the reception is to occur in man. Until Israel returns nationally to the Lord, its plight is precisely as the latest news from DW TV news bulletin reports from one participant - without hope. How CAN there be hope when the only God there is, the One whom Abraham worshipped, for whom Moses transcribed and led, present in Christ, burying the sin to be redeemed on the cross, rising with authenticity flags flying in the resurrection, the God of pity and of truth, is not received, His visiting card destroyed, His visitor cut up, His gospel despised; and His ways now again in Orlando, Florida where a new Jewish Christian site is set up, are found not to be desired!

It is a case of profound pity that it is so. The Jews have been recklessly and shamelessly treated by many for millenia. It is not easy for them to return to their own God, when so many falsely claiming to belong to Christ, have used the instruments of torture, and the rapacity of robbery on their goods, all most official, in inquisitions and other terrors, taxing unjustly, tasking and abasing them. But then, it is never easy to forgive, to be forgiven, when the heart is hard and the mind is beset with the irrelevant. After all, DID CHRIST do these things to them, or did they to Him act murderously ? DID CHRIST refuse them, and waylay them, or did their own unrepentant hearts bring them into the bond of the covenant, and worse, prevent them from even tasting the New Covenant, predicted by Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and fulfilled at the appointed time of Daniel's prophecy, by Jesus the Christ!

There is NO HOPE, no not even a NARROW MARGIN for hope, without Christ; but in the meantime, and from time immemorial, Israel has existed with slender things. If its rebukes have been heart breaking, then were not Christ's (Psalm 69, Matthew 27:46)! If He suffered wrongly, have they not suffered from God's own hand, who predicted the gamut of their sufferings way back in Leviticus 26!

But it is all so unnecessary. THEY do not have to come to Gentiles to find Christ.

Are there not Jews who know Him ? But if they should happen in part to come through Gentiles, have Christian people in whose hearts is Christ, done these things to them, or those distorted with rage, poisoned with passion, heretical in doctrine as in the Rome of the Inquisition, and indeed today ?

Israel, it is time, it is high time to repent. Does it take another Stephen to bring it home to the homeland heart ? But Stephen has done it, the record relays it, Paul has made up the gap for the time, and history leaves no more gap for the generous misuse of the time of God, whose are the events of history, and in whom is the massif of mercy.

God does not cease to hold out His love to you, His mercy and His pity, and having shown His faithfulness in a way unique in history, in the last 60 years, He is likewise willing to consummate this. You are to come. He has said so in Zechariah 12 and Ezekiel as has been pointed out in the preceding three volumes. It will happen. Why delay ?

It is not only you, however. The Gentile world is also nearing its extremities, for all its vaunting, much like that of Israel in some former times. Its self-reliance, mixed with the false gods of organic evolution, false christs, make-up philosophies, self-esteem, humanism, secularism and other militancies of the flesh, are pitiable pulp. It is going to the great judgment; and so are you.

The whole elaborate programme is at hand. Your part is nearly finished, in this separate series of dramas. So is that of the Gentiles. Study the tree, and consider Romans 11 as shown in The Biblical Workman Ch. 3, End-note 1, and in Galloping Events Chs.  2,3 .

If then this is the message to Israel, it is the same in substance to the Gentile. Why continue as they have done, in your own time and clime and dramatis personae position!

It is not a little thing to live outside the power and pardon of the living God, whether for Gentile or for Jew. It is the SAME God as that of Moses and Abraham, whose works of prediction are now works in history.

What does Micah 4 say of the time when the Lord will rule on earth, as provide further in
Micah 5-7 ? this.
 

  • "For all people walk each in the name of his god,
  • But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God,
  • Forever and ever."

THIS is what is waiting for you, for those of Israel who will return to the Lord. It is then that there is "hope in your future" (Jeremiah 31:17), in the "new covenant" (Jeremiah 31:31) such that the old things shall not come to mind (Jeremiah 3:16). Indeed, there is then not merely hope, but assured hope. It is necessary to discover this, that HE has been left, but is the same; HE has been faithful in restoring you to your land, and is the same who predicted the Messiah, His date of death (SMR pp. 886ff.), and your current condition of wars and heated exchange, amongst magnificent victories, and incessant turmoil. It is not another God. There is not other.

It is not a little thing to ignore His protestations, depart from His word, scorn His pardon, or perhaps worse, consign it to those who need it, and so become an alternative god in your own eyes, disposing history, altering events, making things as your own mind and mouth proceed, just like the rebels who took Jeremiah with them, and told him, We will do whatever comes out of our own mouths! It sounds so silly, when other people say it ...

Truth is not found by mere speech, but by its basis. The author of speech has left His calling card indelibly on the surface of the earth, in Christ, in the Bible, in history, in science, in verifications innumerable, in provisions unsurpassable, in DNA in speech type symbolism, and making His will known to man, He has spared no way, imagery, hard data, hard passes, cost requirement, testimony, confirmation, demonstration.

It is time, and this, yes it is not at all a little thing, for the margin, though small between passing safely through apposing rocks of sharp edges, when violated makes all the difference: then you are free to be sunk by them. That difference is crucial. The results are vast, so that the stars in their magnitudes are as nothing, the centuries but as a moment. Those things are mere parameters. THIS, it is life.