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JESUS CHRIST: THE FINAL ALIGNMENT
TILL THE END OF THE AGE,
CONSIGNMENT FOR EVER
Matthew 28:18-20, Revelation 22-20
A Continuation of the Considerations on the Great Commission and Revelation associated with the above texts, from Chapter 4 above.
ALIGNMENT ON MATTHEW 28 AND REVELATION 22
In Chapter 4, as we looked at Jesus Christ, the final alignment till the end of the Age, the final consignment for ever, we considered the Great Commission, its parts, its wonder and its gracious totalities. We saw that ALL power was and is given to Jesus Christ, so that the proclamation of the Gospel has to go to ALL nations, until ALL the time till the END of the Age is finished. We also learned that ALL the commandments to which He has given His name are to be DONE, all whatsoever, and that this is to be TAUGHT.
Now subtract what does NOT agree with all the ALLs, and you exclude a great number of religious bodies, once called churches. Some are direct, and some are blatant, for they do not wish to continue with this or that commandment, as if one were to say of the body, I will look after my arms and my neck, but not my feet. The ALL requirements in Christ's great commission relates to a work of the Creator of ALL (John 1:3), and HE has given all, and requires ALL He has said to be DONE. What would one expect in this orphaned world, by its own wish and wilfulness, that we should do half a job, and let cancer devour the skin we did not protect! Do you not look after ALL your skin ?
Or would you put some of your funds into dangerous, even perilous ventures to the point that it could impact seriously on your life, or get you into legal troubles with crooked tricksters ? Probably not ... Certainly not if you risked your entire life's work. If however, as here, it is guaranteed to be a conflict with God, as you so act, then the attitude is the ultimate in deadly dereliction.
It is popular ? yes, as are drugs, speeding, alcoholic stupour and war.; but worse than a gamble. THIS gambolling it not playful, for it is playing the fool with your only life, before the only God. Playing the fool is NOT a game. Nor is life a sport. That is one reason why so many spiritual sportsmen are in traction and in pain of life.
So ALL the commandments are to be TAUGHT and OBEYED. In fact, this alone is so contrary to the spirit of this Age, which has spilled into many churches, or former churches that still retain the name, as if they were still of Christ who INSTRUCTED ALL on Christian duty and obedience and meaning and church conduct, though obedience is mocked, that we are left with a vastly diminished testimony to Christ as Lord.
It is so SIMPLE. COME to Him, be WASHED by Him (Revelation 7:14, Titus 3:5-7), SUBMIT to Him and so be saved, and then OBEY Him out of love (John 14:21-23), and by the Spirit of truth, of God, being empowered DO the mission, the work, fulfil the vocation, living according to Him, until you have finished what you are saved to do, and instructed to achieve; and do it all in LOVE without either emulousness, envy or self-seeking of any kind. Life eternal starts now, and finishes never (Matthew 22:23ff., 25:1ff., John 5:24, 11:26-26).
Revelation lays down the law even more stringently; but it is no different in essence. New christs and a new spirit and new gospels are all OUT (II Corinthians 10:12 -11:1) by means of the simple fact that THIS ONE is IN.
Revelation then, 22:18-20, let us inspect it.
APPROACH TO THE TOPIC OF OBEDIENCE AND DIRECTION
We saw in Chapter 4, then, that
WHAT and WITH WHOM one presents
is the work of Matthew's verses in 28:18-20,
WHAT is NOT to be done, and FOR
WHOM one waits, in His coming as Ruler AND JUDGE (Acts 17:30ff.). It ALL
concerns Jesus Christ, for whom else ? when it was HE
For what beats death, none need fear – except not to find Him!
Now we ponder the negative phase more distinctly, as presented in Revelation 22.
You are instructed not to ADD to the THINGS which appear in Revelation (Revelation 22:18). This is presented as a testimony, an attestation, a revelation and a confirmation. It is ALREADY PERFECT, GRACE ABOUNDING. There is nothing more in detail and coverage to come until the perfect truth of the present becomes the perfect sight of eternity. This is the LAST book to be written by an apostle or one authorised or received by apostles for this purpose; and what it has to say does not alter the GOSPEL (for Paul had already in the much earlier book of Galatians, 1:6-9, made it clear that what had EVEN THEN been preached was the CHANGELESS Gospel, and that accordingly, altering it EVEN THEN led to a curse). The Gospel itself in turn is the good news concerning Christ which includes WHY He came, WHAT He did, WHO He is and WHAT HE covers, commands and undertakes: good news to the lost, grand reality to the seeking and ready realisation of all that man has sought, often wrongly, in instant application by the blood of Christ through faith.
WHAT He has done includes the incarnation, healing, raising of the dead, the bearing of sin in salvation and the resurrection of His body in confirmation: and the attestation of all the things which are to come, even these now almost all been fulfilled. Believing in your HEART that God has raised Him from the dead and CON-fessing Him as Lord is an exhibition of salvation (Romans 10:9); but it is WITHIN. To CONFESS is to attest what is TRUE for you, that He IS your Lord (not an advisor) and to believe in your heart that He was raised from the dead MEANS that you can pray to Him as the all-powerful Lord in whose service you are enlisted and expect an answer (James 1, Psalm 145, John 15, Philippians 4:4-6). It also means that He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to Him, since He is always alive to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25) and is in fact their anchor within the very holy place of God (Hebrews 6:19).
These things being so, it is important to realise that just as HE is LORD and not a suggestion box to the psyche, that HE was objectively crucified and raised from the dead, so He is NOT a free-for-all reconstruction basis for USING HIS NAME for any kind of change of His testimony, truth, commands or predictions, promises or programs. One does not alter one's LORD. In the old days, a servant did not enter the place of his Lord and start telling him how to change his nature, personality or ways. Whatever may have been the case then, as a cultural norm, it is infinitely more the case now as a necessary basis of knowing the Lord: you take Him as He is (He is in fact unchangeable, the same yesterday, today and forever - Hebrews 13:8, John 8:40,45), and do not try to translate Him into some mode, module, angel, spirit or novel Christ (II Corinthians 10-11 gives an example of such fiascos of 'faith' from Paul's own day). If you love Him, this is pure joy.
Faith has an object, changeless Jesus Christ who
died the just for the unjust to bring us to God; and it is not a moving target.
It is man who moves ...
Nowadays we gain news of various odd movements, allegedly of the Spirit, first or second or third blessing or motion and the like, things far from the Bible, and which people like to talk about, with no scriptural ground of any kind. Indeed, movements are founded which try to make people into gods despite such facts as those of Isaiah 43:10-11 and that it is too late to begin to be God when you did not start till our time was invented, and not even at the beginning of that! There is even one spiritual movement which tells us that you do not need to seek God's will because you are already a god and what you say brings into being, whatever matters! Just as the birth of such is not by their option, nor is their death; but they prattle on with meaningless phrases.
The LORD and the LAWS
Just then as He is LORD, so is His word LAW. It is not a law to keep to be saved (Romans 3:23ff.), but it IS LAW in righteousness and truth, and IS to be obeyed, just as you seek to obey traffic (right side or road, or left, as ordained), and medical laws (more fruit and vegetables to a certain level), not in order to be born, but because you were born with a head and a heart. These laws may be good or bad, but HIS laws are vital, as they relate to health and truth and righteousness and above all, the good abiding in the presence and good pleasure of your God, in which is peace and harmony and help and growth and purging and purification! ADD NOTHING! (Proverbs 30:6).
With these things in mind and in view, we move to the region of negativity, for positive reasons.
THE NECESSARY NEGATIVES THAT CONFIRM
THE TRANSLUCENT POSITIVES
As Proverbs 26:2 says, The curse causeless shall not come.
"As the bird
by wandering, as the swallow by flying,
so the curse causeless shall not come".
In the grace of God, the curse is the last resort. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked and appeals in a heart-rending depth for man to avoid this outcome (Ezekiel 33:11):
"Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel:
‘Thus you say,
"If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us,
and we pine away in them, how can we then live?" ’
"Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God,
‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked turn from his way
Turn, turn from your evil ways!
For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ "
He in His wisdom appeals to man as in Proverbs 1:
"Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
'How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at My rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make My words known to you.' "
Here you have an appeal, an offer, a promise. TURN when instructed of error, and there is a promise. Firstly, He, the Lord will pour out His Spirit on you. It will no more depend on the work of your own intellect or your own musings, but a work of spiritual dynamic will bring a perspective and a view, a vision and an understanding to your heart, as from an instructor, and THIS instructor is GOD. You feel perhaps that your life is to inanimate, unspiritual, but look at the second part of this promise. "I will make My words known to you."
He is altogether wise and loving.
Understanding is granted if you so turn in repentance and faith to Him who speaks to you! But alas, we gather that in this instance, the person or body addressed REFUSED the offer, ignored the promise, turned from the opportunity and did carelessly or laxly fail to respond to God in heart and sincerity. It is THEN and ONLY THEN that the result occurs. It is not greatly different if you refuse a necessary operation, or drug dry-out or whatever else may be needed, at the level of physical life itself. The consequences of indifference or rejection are likely to be proportional to the offence: the grave offer of help refused, they come without more ado. Such is the thrust here.
The PALLS - Shrouds for the Rebellious
"Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes ..."
A certain stringency is understandable, and many a father might feel the same. Here is this precious child on which so much for so long has been expended, where the desire of your heart is NOT for YOUR way or will, but for what is sufficient and relevant, right and sound, which relates to what he or she IS and what the child itself NEEDS. It is true that you may be wrong, in some cases about a child; but God is never wrong about His creations.
If therefore the Lord's own offer is refused by one outside His wisdom, received as a gift by gracious promise with salvation from sin, then what is to be expected ? Is it that God will change, that truth will alter, that our design will be transmuted ? Hardly; for we are heavily, complexly, magnificently, continually designed in intermeshing sublimities of intellect and creativity, to become what we are, in simple physiological, psychological, molecular, DNA fact! as shown in our volume, Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny!). Wisdom is not moved by erratic desire on the part of what has been created.
In fact, as to the design which are very functioning so brilliantly attests, it has been pointed out that we have so many residual errors in our transmission of the DNA's vast instruction manual which lies in every nucleated cell in our bodies that the race is relatively quickly acquiring more and more deficiencies, going down towards the out of order mode. That is the way with designs in an environment not particularly friendly to it. Old cars are not different. We are not advancing, but measurably retarding.
Environment has its impact over time. Ours is not ONLY not so friendly, but one where rebellion of soul continues; and in the world where as one whole, despite marvellous residues of delight in fauna and flora, there is a CURSE (Genesis 3, Romans 8:18ff.), it becomes increasingly hostile to our welfare. This world is, with vast aid from mankind the race, moving towards the destiny of vanity, uselessness, inoperability, with military, murderous, pollution-productive and ruthless works mounting like some vast tsunami. Such an escalation is what the Bible teaches (cf. Revelation 6ff., Matthew 24:22,38ff.).
It is in this environment that we must ponder Revelation 22:18ff. in its negativity.
The MAULS - Hands Off
ADD then to this remedial gift, provision and promise of God and you face what is effectively a curse. Add YOUR words to HIS, and that is the result. It is this which is announced just as the text of the Bible ends, with the end of Revelation.
To WHAT must you not add ? It is to THESE THINGS. The topics are here ended, the plans are here complete, the communication is fulfilled. There is nothing more till we who believe in the Lord's Christ are His see God face to face (Revelation 22), and those who do not, and refuse Him, see the consequence, part by part (as when the "books were opened" - Revelation 20:11f.). Then what is inscribed is there, and the grace refused, it is not there. It is so simple.
As to the books, which are not the Book of Life: What is inscribed is there, what has been done; and the grace refused, it is not there, because it was rejected. As to the Book of Life, what is received is recorded, and the Lord's Christ is passport to the presence of God, since He so inscribed it. The books are the record. It is so simple. NO THING is to be added; NO WORD is to be subtracted. This is how it is.
We have already seen that cursed therefore is the one who preaches any other Gospel, as in Galatians 1. Now we find what relates to one who not only DOES NOT ENTER HIMSELF into the will of God, the Gospel of grace and its gifts, but ADDS to it, adds to the spiritual matrix of the things covered in such scope in this book of Revelation. With what result is such action taken ? It lies open to vast evils, so that OTHERS may be DUPED, deceived, misled and though perhaps seeking to enter, yet by this offence turned away. This is indeed the case in Luke 11:52, where the 'lawyers' not only did not enter themselves, but hindered those ready to enter!
This is spiritual manslaughter. The curse does not come for no reason. ADD things to these and God will add the diseases of the Book. There is a parallel. You render yourself open to the media of the malign, like an infestation about to meet its come-uppance. In the final expatiation of judgment on evil, as in the interim there is scope for justice, judgment and the impact of truth.
But what else is the subject of judgment in Revelation 22:18-20. It is this: REMOVING any of the WORDS. Just as what God thinks is given to man (Amos 4:13), so that he might profit and be found, so also, removing what He gives is removing what might profit, help, sustain, deliver and bring blessing to man. Would you be pleased if a nurse you hired to look after your sick child were to remove the contents of an antibiotic capsule, or SOME of it! or if a chemist were to alter the form, formulation or formula by omitting a component of the formula from his dealings! and what if your child died ? You would accept it, ho-hum ? Subtract from these words of God, and HE will subtract, it is declared, your name from the book of life. This is a double negative which does NOT make a positive, unless it be a positively decisive condemnation!
Thus to those who add THINGS or remove WORDS from what is given in this last book of the Bible, there is a virtual curse. On the one hand, there is an opening to a whole spectrum of diseases, to smite the diseased soul that does this sort of thing! Such is for addition in particular; and for subtraction, "God shall take away his part from the Book of Life."
ADDING to the things that God has said is now a virtual cultural norm; and some seem to feel almost compulsive about such nostrums, in this so-called post-Christian Age; though in fact, it is rather spiritually adolescent in its volatility, just as, some might say, spiritually senile in its addictions. Now NOT keeping to the word of God and still having it 'there' in some select sense is part of the game or work of religion; for many who do not quite like to stay with God, are not attracted to being openly divorced.
WHAT HAPPENS AT LAST
WHEN THE HOLOCAUST OF MORALITY
MEETS THE HOLINESS OF GOD
The power of God having been shown in earlier times, when the morals that were according to the mind of Christ, and the Christ who was according to the eternity of deity, were on open display, with the Gospel both the goad and the call to coming to know Him and serve Him who made us, now the aging Age is in recession.
The impotence of moral, financial and intellectual melt-downs of sleaziness, greed and irrationality make their robust entry into the scene, like terrorists determined to kill, through their own bodies, what they invest, infest or seduce. It is as it had to be (II Peter 2, II Timothy 3-4, I Timothy 4, Matthew 24:24), and indeed if in this period, the embers of the sun of the Age glowing in the increasing dusk, if such things had not been so, then the word of God would have been flouted: but now it is being fulfilled. The seduction of spirit, the intemperate anxieties (as foretold in Luke 21:25-26), the 'distress of nations' could not be more obvious.
They scarcely finish one period of worrisome toil and non-cooperation or costly make-shift between alienated peoples before the next is on the agenda.
When the Hutus are not practising genocide on the Tutsis, Russia is not dismantling Georgia, with the normal rapaciousness and swagger in the process which wild ways tend to induce, personal tragedies abounding; when gas is not being turned off to the Ukraine, when Europe is not being similarly threatened, Pakistan is not becoming a lair for nuclear robbery by Taliban or other murderous regimes, China is not seeking to intimidate the remnant who escaped Communism's atheist twistiness in Taiwan, Britain is not suffering racial woes, France is not being menaced by Muslims within, with rampagings; when North Korea is not toying with atomic bombs: then many other little matters like climate change and Aids epidemics are ready for inspection.
They meet: they meditate (as recently in China, where many nations gathered about the financial melt-down), they disagree (as so often in the United Nations), they storm (as with North Korea and Iran), they threaten (as with President Ahmadinajhad), maybe to remove a nation; they invade and devastate a nation just after a non-aggression pact as in World War II; they are riddled with radioactive weapons and send bombers or belligerence or spies or all three to this one or that, depending on mood or feud, as with Russia, to intimidate or intimate their displeasure or potency, like young males ogling girls, but this not for reproduction but for destruction.
They act with all the insouciant rashness of untaught youth, the stressful fractiousness of irritable old age, with the wisdom of doves turned vultures and the harmlessness of serpents sharply aroused. They act as if they thought belligerence benignity, having mixed their categories, but not caring, so long as their dignity, their pride, their passions, their lusts, their stance, their posturings and their cries of this and that remain distinct and defiant on the world stage. This, they seem determined to make into a place of painful drama, of tragedy, acting out an orgy of spending of gifts and graces, wealth and resources, until the pitiable residue writhes its way to judgment.
They MUST integrate, correlate, systematise their international monetary system: such upsets as those which have marked and marred October 2008 must NOT be allowed! we hear, and they meet here and plan to meet there, now to sound distress, then to act. They WILL act; for they MUST, for it is written: if not today, then soon. Thus the international monetary system has to become manipulable, and as so often, the bold measures taken to ensure stability or peace in the midst of unruly spirits, become the very means as with Hitler, for ensuring war and rigidity, so that someone apt for such things, can seize power and some movement can distress men the more as in Revelation 13. Without God ? Not really anything much, though the fires are lurid enough.
So does the curse come, as outlined in Romans, not only in disease, which threatens Africa for example, at times with a severity reminiscent of dissolution, and many in the West with slow ruin, but with changed atmospheric conditions, which they love to argue about, though the Sahara does not seem to care as it has engulfed so much with so little nicety, or the Artic, as it dissolves so much with so little concern about arguments, as waters rage and rise here and there in various lashings as foretold (Luke 21:25), and others encourage sleep, saying as they drone into the sonorous snores, All will be well! all will be well! you'll see! reminding us of Chamberlain before Churchill and the world before the flood.
Detachment is no longer from prejudice, even as a desideratum, so much as from God. Ludicrous imaginings as if the acme of skill in resultant were obtainable by the less than moronic in cause, as if man were made without management, and still could tell us so from validity of the premises lodged within in his perspective (cf. Deity and Design...), while validations and verifications are omitted from serious consideration like clothes in the bikini zone (cf. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ who Answers Riddles, and Where He is, Darkness Departs).
Still man muzzles truth, nuzzles in the bosom of imagination and in another mode, preens his pride for his final and cumulative confrontation with his Maker.
YOUR word ! forget it, he cries. OUR word ? man's word ? its coming, oh it's coming, he cries, as he invents and has company mergers with various gods of convenience and preens himself on his God-given creativity.
Ch. 5 above, with Chs. 1 , 2 and 3 , with SMR pp. 650 -708, and many other reviews present the drift, the dynamic and now the drastic drama of the degeneration in displacement from God, moving from church infested to nation invested, from guile to guilt and from frenzy to pontification. The strands meet, like components of muscle, developing under guidance to one powerful composition.
So it develops, towards the final climaxes as foretold, in detail (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
But that is merely the results of spiritual roistering. The grace, power and love of the Creator-Redeemer continue to call.
In other words, the heart of God seeks that ALL might be reconciled to God (Colossians 1:19ff.), and would have ALL names in His book of life; but while there is a removal of any scope for some because of such things as this, in terms of the addition, or of the subtraction, of not only disbelieving the truth and completeness of the Bible, but acting to compromise it, partially replace it, delete and re-write in its mode as an aim, there are results. The Statement for Seduction, all the deeds and works of flesh, they are on record; and the book reads like an indictment. Strike out mercy and strip down virtue, manufacture mess and rely on yourself! is a refrain in the mêlée. Hence many will not be found written in the Book of Life, when the time comes and the world goes.
It is so grievous that such greatness as man is heir to, should be so summarily and often seductively, frequently with horrendous cruelty, shoved here or there, while humanity is made like an old refrigerator, sunning itself in the spoilage of some tip. Never! they say. Yet alas, it wears not well, these wars of mind, body and spirit, in the very face of a truth wilfully surrendered.
What of the books ? what of the Book of Life, where just as DNA inscribes many conditions for manufacturing each generation of mankind, this inscribes the results for the children of men. There are entries for those for and with Christ, in the Book of life, and for those without Him in the books of assessment. It is either seducer, seducer, or else saved, and kept (I Peter 1:5ff.).
WHO is to be in which ? this was of course determined before time was (Ephesians 1:4), but that is the finale, this is the process! Salvation is the way (Titus 3:3-7), free gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17) the procedure, and sincere entreaty from the Redeemer-Creator the surround! (cf. Matthew 11:28-30).
But what ? even now the verse 17, in Revelation 22, just one earlier than our text, is found declaring:
"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!'
And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come.
Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."
There is always room for repentance, just as there is room for action. If someone wants to turn away from scorning or polluting, to drinking, then the way is open, and that the 'clothes' may be washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14).
God loves. He is always seeking and although in the end, there is a limit ( you could call it a 'fricative' or constitutional limit) imposed by man's finite resources (Isaiah 57:15-16), yet the passion of Christ continues, not to pay for eternal redemption, for that has long been done (Hebrews 9), but to APPLY it to souls (II Peter 3:9), until the curtain falls, the books close and the way is open for glory: or for the dismal infliction of a darkness preferred and THEREFORE inherited (John 3:19).
How great is the grace of God that this call continues, even to this very moment.
For convenience, the news item for
Ch. 5 above is repeated here,
but with an extension: what has happened NOW! The roll-over of ONE DAY has caused much to change. So will it be in THAT day when the Lord returns for His people! (Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 4).The action of Saturday is one thing, and that of Sunday another; and Monday reveals it!
This draws much nearer to the confrontation WITHIN Israel
before the final one from OUTSIDE! (cf. SMR pp. 510ff., It Bubbles ...Ch. 10, Zechariah 12, Micah 7).
The end of the Age ... ? Important here is Luke 21:24-28. Jerusalem from 1967 has no more been trodden down by the Gentiles, a signal of the end of the Age being NEAR, an Age so far over 1900 years long since Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D.. To be sure, Israel allowed the Moslems to have special regard for and access to the Temple Mount in the place where the Mosque is, after 1967; but Jerusalem or any other city, is free when under a given rule, to make what provisions it will.
Haaretz, Satuarday, October 25, 2008
Of much interest then is the new situation where, on Sunday, October 26th., 3008, according at least to arrangements made and reported in Israel's Haaretz, Saturday October 25, 2008, and The Australian of the same date, EITHER a government is formed by Livni, PM designate, or a fresh election will be called. In this, it is estimated, it is likely Netanyahu would win, and his stand is evidently unequivocal on Jerusalem remaining entirely Israel's, not returning territory and not removing settlers, in broad outline.
Meanwhile, reports Haaretz, Shas, a small religious party requiring Jerusalem not to be up for barter, as one formulation expresses it, but to remain entirely of Israel, will NOT co-operate in a government with Livni with her Kadima Party without the assurance that Jerusalem is NOT up for distribution to outsiders in whole or in part! Shas cannot be bought, its Chairman is reported to have declared. Unless this position changes, or others agree to join Livni, with their party or parties, then it appears an election is assured. What in fact transpires is to be measured in this context, most essentially, in the eventuations regarding Jerusalem, with their vast significance!
Haaretz, Monday, October 27, 2008
The following brief note, an extract, is to be found on the Haaretz site
Kadima party chair Tzipi Livni wants new elections held as soon as possible, and to that end, has instructed her party's faction chairman, MK Yoel Hasson, to submit legislation on Monday for the immediate dissolution of the Knesset and for new elections in 90 days - that is, on January 27, 2009.
In this way, the foreign minister hopes to seize the initiative and regain the momentum she lost during her failed efforts to form a government.
In another bid to bolster her position, MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who is close to both Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, plans to urge Olmert to declare himself temporarily incapacitated and to allow Livni to replace him for at least part of the time remaining until the election, to enable her to enter the race from the Prime Minister's Office.
Earlier on Sunday, Livni officially informed President Shimon Peres of her decision to go to elections, declaring: "I refuse to pawn Israel's future for the prime minister's seat."
Her efforts to form a government without going to elections collapsed over the weekend after Shas, the Pensioners Party and United Torah Judaism all refused her final offer. Livni, who called these parties' demands "extortionate," told Peres that she had done everything she could to try to cobble together a parliamentary coalition, and noted that other parties said they also prefer elections.
"If everyone agrees that elections are in order," she told the president, "then we must do it quickly."
"I know that time will not contribute to advancing the coalition negotiations and that time cannot create a solution, but rather only prolong the uncertainty, and that is the basis for my decision," Livni told a press conference in Jerusalem following her announcement to the president.
Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, meanwhile, independently decided on Sunday to explore the possibility of dispersing the Knesset as early as this week.