Posts Tagged ‘GOD’

Throughout the history of the human race, we can find multitudes of ways that Satan has tried to thwart the plan of God. There are the obvious and overt ways that we know in the bible, but what immediately came to mind when I thought about this subject was one way that Satan has tried to thwart the plan of God that is still continuing to this day. The way I am referring to is to sow derision, doubt and conflict within the Body of Christ.

All the different groups or denominations within Christianity, for the most part, are philosophically separated by seemingly insignificant differences. We find these differences begin to crop up in the first few years of The Way1, as the group of people that followed the teachings of Christ were called in the book of Acts. Even in the very infancy of the Church, Satan was able to successfully insert false prophets and start to sow doubt and deception within the Christian movement. Small, subtle changes here and there, a doubt about the real meaning behind this passage or that passage and Satan’s ability to convince scholars and teachers that taking passages out of context is OK all resulted in the beginnings of the division of the Body of Christ. The letters to the Thessalonians and the Corinthians churches were penned by Paul partially to calm them and answer their nervous questions and doubts that were being whispered in their ears by false prophets and those intent in creating discord within their local congregations. Satan was also very successful in his campaign to deceive the early church fathers into questioning the meaning of the scriptures, which allowed them to start creating their own interpretations of the Word, which resulted in a more palatable form of religion for the leaders of Holy Roman Empire. The disgust with the end product of the religious/political superpower that these continued interpretations morphed into resulted in the protestant reformation movement in the sixteenth century.2 Part of the problem that the reformation movement left us with is many of the reformed protestant religious entities that were formed didn’t take the reformation far enough, which has resulted in many of our ‘siblings’ in the Body of Christ still firmly believing in the long time Catholic view of allegorizing the scripture, just as they did in fourth century Constantinople to make the watered-down lessons and commandments of the Word of Our Lord easier for the masses to digest and accept, making them little less rigid, and a lot less ‘black and white’. Therefore many of our brethren teach traditional interpretation instead of what the scripture really says. To do this effectively, they have to do several things. One of the first things that needs to be done is to ignore the fact that the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation is a single, cohesive message system with a single stranded woven web of meaning and purpose about God, his people and his Son. Once this is accomplished, the rest is easy. From that point on, it becomes simple to take and chop the word of Our Lord up into individual sections that don’t relate to each other significantly or not at all to be able to build the traditions and religious philosophy the the church has replaced Israel as God’s chosen people referred to as replacement theology3 that many of our brethren teach weekly from their pulpits as gospel.

This watered-down version of the gospel may pass inspection at the microscopic or planar level, but if you were to get high above it and inspect it from a distance, I believe you would see a nasty conglomeration of square pegs sticking out of round holes and non-matching puzzle pieces, hammered and taped together to form a Picasso style picture instead of a smooth flowing message system that easily fits and continues from end to end, the way the Holy Spirit wrote it and the way the Creator of All Things intended. This form of religious interpretation opens itself up to attack from Satan who can squeeze in between the gaps and cracks and, in my opinion, I’m afraid that is what happened to the early Church when it started using this formula in the fourth century to please the masses.

We as the Body of Christ are much like extremely dysfunctional siblings that are constantly fighting and squabbling over minor issues and irrelevant things to the point that most of our energies are absorbed in this in-fighting instead of taking the Word to the lost of the world. This has to be one of Satan’s more successful campaigns in his plan to thwart the plan of Our Lord.

Jim
02-19-20
1 Acts 9:2 and Acts 19:9, 23

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestant_Reformation

3 http://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

I have a non-traditional view of the scripture (to put it kindly, according to some) and in my mind’s eye, I see God discussing with the others in the Trinity over steaming cups of nectar, his script for our universe before zapping us into existence. We all know what happened…Satan immediately threw a wrench into the works and by appearances this caused the Lord to rewrite the script of the complicated sim game that is our existence and reality1, so to speak, with that in mind, I want to discuss patterns I see.

I look for patterns everywhere, and the bible is no exception as I see them peeking  out at us from the scriptures as I peruse the pages of this awesome book. On my journey through the testaments, I find many patterns from the beginning of the scriptures, to the end. For instance, one pattern that I see is that after the Jews turned chicken and refused to invade Canaan the first time, The Lord sent them wandering for thirty eight years around the Median wilderness before they were allowed to occupy the land. Fast-forward several hundred years and we have the Jewish nation reject God again by rejecting His Son. Thirty eight years after the rejection and crucifixion (see the pattern?), in 70AD, the Roman siege began, causing the destruction of the temple and the horrendous massacre of over a million Jews during this lengthy siege and subsequent occupation of Jerusalem. In my minds eye, I can’t help but wonder if this was simply a modified script from the original one, the original script possibly being one where the Jews accepted him as the Messiah as Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem and thirty eight years later, the chosen people, with Christ as their King, started the rule of the earth from Zion instead of watching it being destroyed, just as they had captured and occupied the promised land so many centuries before.

I also see potential patterns that would have been fulfilled, if they hadn’t been broken. An example of this was Moses and the water from the rock during the wilderness wanderings. If you recall, the Lord asked Moses in Exodus 17 to strike the rock and after he did so, a great volume of water came gushing out to give sustenance to the people and their animals in the Median desert. If you carefully read the second account in Numbers 20, the second time Moses was asked to provide water from the rock the Lord asked him to speak to the rock, but because of the grumbling of the people, Moses became annoyed and frustrated with this ungrateful horde and struck the rock again out of anger at the people. Water did spew forth from the rock, but this wanton act by Moses landed him in the penalty box and prevented him from entering into the Land of Canaan. If  Moses had spoken to the rock, it would have established a pattern relating to the plan of salvation where the first time the Jews struck Christ (as Moses struck the rock the first time as requested). The second time if Moses had spoken to the rock, it would have related to the passage in Hosea 5:15 relating to the second coming where we read of the Children of Israel asking Christ to save them when they acknowledge their offense and Christ returns to rule from Zion as we read in Hosea 5:15…think of who is referred to as the Rock throughout the scriptures…Christ is called the rock. See the potential pattern that never was?

Jim

02-18-20

1 I personally think we are some sort of giant SIM game where our reality is all smoke and mirrors and the real reality is what we refer to as the ‘spirit world’. The apostle Paul supports that view, by the way in Ephesians 6:12

I am fairly certain everyone that has done more than a cursory reading of the bible knows that there are prophecies all through this holy tome. Some events and prophecies in the bible are straight forward and generally self-explanatory…then there are some events or prophecies or things mentioned in the scriptures that appear to have no purpose and are seemingly insignificant in their importance except for historical reference or record-keeping. However, I personally believe everything mentioned in the scriptures is put in there by the Holy Spirit for a purpose, and Peter confirmed that in his second letter…2 Peter 1:20-21: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.(NKJV). I am going to highlight two apparently separate events that occurred centuries apart and demonstrate how one utterly innocuous request and the subsequent ruling, coupled with another almost completely unknown and insignificant event, helped set the stage for the coming Messiah.

The first event we read of has a strange request by five daughters of a cursed Israelite named Zelophehad wandering in the Median wilderness. This odd request is a passage that is easy to pass over without a second glance, but upon inspection, we find that it subtly opened the door to Jesus Christ legally being able to claim ties to David’s Throne, Subsequently we find that the ruling by Moses accepting their request to allow them to inherit their father’s land, opens the door to another almost totally insignificant event that allowed a loop-hole around a curse by God upon King Jehoiachin that has caused some commentators to want to pull their hair out because of the apparent implications of this curse on the royal line of David in regards to the coming Messiah.

The daughters of Zelophehad and Jehoiachin’s curse

I imagine that the events of Zelophehad’s appeal to Moses and Jehoiachin’s curse by the Lord are just a couple of the thousands of strands of prophecy that is woven throughout the bible to form proof of the power and the majesty and of the unmistakable and irrefutable fact the The Lord is the only true God and the Creator of all things.

How do these seemingly unrelated events that happened many centuries apart relate?

Let’s begin with a summary of the wilderness wanderings. At the end of about two weeks travel from the Red Sea, the Israelites were camped in the Median wilderness at the border of Canaan. The Lord had Moses send twelve spies to sneak in to inspect and report on the land. Most of us know that only two of the twelve spies came back without fear of the inhabitants and demonstrated their trust in our Lord by giving a good report and suggested they attack immediately while the other ten spies spread fear and indecision with scary stories of the giant inhabitants of Canaan. We know the rest of the story about how the people swiftly ignored all the miraculous stuff the Lord had just demonstrated a few weeks back and started murmuring against Moses. This, coupled with the evil influence by Korah that roused up the people against God’s plan of invasion, caused the Lord to curse the adults of the congregation, resulting in a relatively short trek through this wilderness to suddenly turn into a 38 year wandering with the intention of making sure all the grumbling adults would die, save for Joshua and Caleb (the two faithful spies). At the end of the thirty eight year wilderness wandering, only the these two adults, as well as the those that were children almost four decades earlier were allowed to enter Canaan, according to the record in Numbers chapter 14. However, if we go back to the early portion of the wanderings, we read in Numbers 26 about an obscure man by the name of  Zelophehad, of the tribe of Manasseh, that had five daughters. Other than the fact he was part of the cursed adult congregation that died many years before they were to win the land of Canaan for the Lord and enter into it to claim it as their own, why would the scriptures highlight this seemingly innocuous man?

To begin with, according to God’s decree in Numbers 26, only each one of the male members (for the census only counted the males of each tribe) of the different tribes of Israel could inherit land but their daughters could not inherit according to the law. Therefore, the daughters of Zelophehad found themselves in a bad situation; their father has five daughters and no son, therefore their family name would pass without inheritance or land grant and die with him. They decided to petition Moses to appeal the law so his namesake would continue within the tribe and his heirs could claim their tribal inheritance. Moses took it to The Lord and The Lord told Moses to grant the tribal exception (Numbers 27: 1-8). Years later, after the Israelites conquered Canaan and the tribes were set to divide the land, the daughters of Zelophehad went before Joshua and reminded him of the exception granted by The Lord through Moses and they received their inheritance which stated as long as they marry within the their tribe, their husband would be adopted into their family as a legal son, and their tribal line and inheritance would be preserved (Joshua 17:3). This seemingly insignificant event however, will have major ramifications several hundreds of years in the future as it helps to fulfill a very significant prophecy first mentioned in Genesis 3: 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”(NKJV).

The second somewhat related event I want to bring to mind is the curse of Jehoiachin (also called Jeconiah and Coniah) by the Lord. Jehoiachin seemed to follow the footsteps of a string of evil kings of Judah, as listed in II Kings chapters 22, 23 & 24 (most of the research I did referred to this king as Jehoiachin, but in this particular translation of the passage below, the Lord uses the name of Coniah). The Lord had all he could take of these evildoers and pronounced a curse on Jehoiachin and his descendants in Jeremiah 22: 24-30 “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; “and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear—the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans. “So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. “But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return. “Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol— A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, And cast into a land which they do not know? O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”(NKJV). This in itself is bad enough, but when you consider the implications of the Lord’s Covenant with David that the Throne of David would be established forever as was written in II Samuel 7:16 “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever”. (NKJV), it seems to throw a wrench into the works. While researching this, I found several discussions pointing to the curse of Jehoiachin as proof the Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah because of the curse, for after the Babylonian captivity, no descendant of David sat upon a Throne of Israel. I also saw many sites with discussions trying to prove that the curse was later lifted and all was forgiven. All of these discussions and all of these websites totally miss the point of the virgin birth that was prophesied in Genesis 3 and the ancestry of Mary (even though it says Joseph)1 laid out in Luke 3 beginning in verse 23.

What ties these two otherwise unrelated events together is the lineage of Mary provided by the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Gospel of Luke. Luke 3:23 states: And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was [the son] of Heli,(KJV). Matthew’s account of the lineage of Jesus say this in chapter 1:16: And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (KJV). Matthew covers the descendants through the legal line, (Joseph’s father Jacob) even though that line was cursed by God after Jehoiachin that no direct descendant would sit upon the Throne, Luke covers the descendancy through the untarnished, royal line from the Messiah’s mother, (Joseph’s adopted father through his marriage to Mary, Heli) back through David, which means God’s promise to David is secure through his mother’s ancestry and legal through his earthly father’s line.

This all sets the stage for the prophecy of Christ to rule on David’s Throne in the end-times. Something I have read all my life and never understood were the direct, simple statements that began and ended Christ’s earthly existence. Matthew 2:1-2 says: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem (I have an interesting theory about these magi, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.(KJV) While Matthew 27:37 states: And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.(KJV). I have read these verses all my life and never understood the simple plain logic that Jesus has yet to fulfill this destiny…to Rule as KING OF THE JEWS.

God Bless…

Jim Bussell

2-15-11 (02-15-20)

1 Mary’s father was Heli, but for the most part, Jewish ancestries only lists male descendants. Joseph was the adopted son of Heli according to Jewish law established with the agreement with the daughters of Zelophehad.

I grew up in a church that taught that the Jews lost their position as the “Children of God” when they arranged and clamored for the death and crucifixion of our Lord. At the time that idea seemed plausible and correct. However, after leaving the faith as a teen and rediscovering the Lord many decades later I began to read the scriptures with a new, fresh perspective. It was after rediscovering the word of God I began to realize that Christ’s crucifixion was in the the works and was part of the plan of salvation from the beginning instead of some knee jerk reaction by the Jewish religious leadership in Jerusalem.

There are several old testament references or illusions to the crucifixion. The first one that comes to mind is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac as an offering on Mount Moriah and there is speculation that the spot the Lord led Abraham to was the same spot that Christ was crucified 800 years later. Also remember reading about the Lord sending fiery serpents amongst the grumbling mass of Jews in the Median wilderness and then giving them a cure, in the form of a brass serpent on a staff raised on high for all to see, and those who looked upon it would be saved? In the book of Psalms,  Psalm 22 implies the Christ was given over to the Gentiles and to whole psalm seems to have been written from the perspective of Christ on the cross.

There are many more references and illusions to the crucifixion from the old testament written centuries before Jesus became man to live among us and they allow us to understand that the capture, trial and crucifixion of our Lord was planned from the beginning and that the Jewish leadership were nothing more than instruments the Lord used to fulfill the prophecy and the plan of salvation.

Now, it is a little more complicated than that, but you get the gist (the above synopsis is sort of the cliff notes version of events).

The Lord from the beginning knew the Jews couldn’t keep the commandments and the law He provided and He also knew that even though they had, from the book of Daniel, the prophecy that foretold the exact day the Christ would present himself as the Messiah to the city of Jerusalem that they were not diligent enough to remember the little details…sort of the “can’t see the forest for the trees” syndrome. The new testament explains to us that the Lord blinded Israel for not paying attention to the prophecy of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as their king. It also explains that they are blinded for certain period of time, and not forever.

What does all this have to do with the holocaust?

Many writings from early church fathers and historians reveal that the early church understood those passages meant the Jews were being punished for certain length of time only and held that view, but beginning in the second century we start to see an antisemitic viewpoint emerge amongst the church leadership. The writings of Justin Martyr show that he was basically so intent on converting the Jews to Christianity that he developed and pushed the propaganda that the Jewish race is sunk because of their actions against Christ when he was crucified. He also tended to twist Paul’s writing to prove that he was also antisemitic, thus solidifying his position. Later church fathers such as Augustine picking up and ran with this antisemitic viewpoint. From this point forward we see a basic Church doctrine of antisemitism.

Even though the Catholic Church (which represented the entirety of the Christian religion at the time) had a basic antisemitic attitude toward the Jews, until the eleventh century the records show that there were understandings and working relationships between the Jewish and Catholic leadership. Remember the crusades? The crusades, which began in the eleventh century, were the turning point that increased antisemitic attitudes and behaviors amongst the Catholic church and it’s leaders, as the crusaders attacked Jews and burned their synagogues around Jerusalem and the middle east, as well as the Muslims and their mosques seemingly without distinction between them which destroyed any relationship the Jews and Christians had prior to these holy war campaigns.

A new Christian movement erupted on the scene in the sixteenth century that was labeled as the Protestant Reformation. This protest against the direction the Church was heading was spearheaded by a Jesuit named Martin Luther who believed the Catholic Church had become too hierarchical and that there was too much of a disparity between the clergy and masses, as well as straying too far from the teachings of the bible. The Protestant movement had a superb opportunity to reverse the centuries old antisemitic direction that was started by Justin and Augustine centuries before, but they did not. Instead the antisemitic, replacement theology concept was carried over from the Catholic Church and unfortunately is one the prevailing teachings among the protestant denominations today.

By the time the twentieth century rolled around the Jews were looked upon and despised as a hateful, reproachful race of people that did not deserve the same consideration as the Caucasians in Europe. The term antisemitism was popularized in the late eighteen hundreds by a German journalist, as rampant hatred toward the Jews as the killers of Christ was evidenced all across the European continent as well as in Russia and the Balkans and this viewpoint helped set the stage for the coming holocaust.

Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany in the early nineteen thirties amid a deep economic depression in Germany. He was raised in the Catholic church and was exposed (as most Christians were) to the idea that the Jews were a bunch of Christ killing thugs. This attitude coupled with fact that the Jewish community and culture afforded the believing Jews a good grasp on economics as well as frugality. Therefore the Jews were known for their ability to save and make money, and often they were seen in the banking industry across Europe. Throw all of this together and it became a recipe for disaster. Hitler noticed that overall the Jews weren’t suffering as badly as others in Germany (because of their dedication to the teachings of the Lord in the Torah) and decided to convince the eager populous that the cause of the poverty and the monetary woes of the German people following the loss of the first world war and the strangling debt load placed upon Germany by the victors was the fault of the Jews. Of course, Hitler was merely using the Jews as scapegoats to direct the anger of the starving German somewhere, and what better direction to point it than a hated, vilified people. To tell the people the real reason for the crumbled economy was that fact that Germany had leaped into a costly world war and was held largely responsible for the costs of that war would not have sat too well with this proud people. His ploy worked and the Jews became even more vilified and were targets of all kinds of retribution, including the decision to rid Europe of the Jewish race once and for all…thus the holocaust began, and before it was over over 6 million Jews were slaughtered across Europe because of their race.

Were the Jews responsible for Christ’s crucifixion? Only as instruments used to carry out the physical act. The bible tells us that Christ died on the cross for a distinct purpose. Simply put, if He hadn’t died, He couldn’t have been resurrected. The death, burial and the resurrection was the reason He died, for the scriptures teaches that without the shedding of innocent blood there can be no forgiveness of sin. So, any person that has ever, or will ever sin is the reason Christ was crucified, not the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.

However, human nature inserted itself into the Church and the desire to place blame with incomplete facts from the scriptures is what ultimately caused the attempted mass genocide of the Jewish race called the holocaust…and their whole premise about the Jews was wrong from the beginning, for the scripture does tell us that after the “Church age” is over and we have been caught up (or raptured), the Lord will deal with the Jews once again as the “Children of God”. The book of Amos is about that…the book of Joel tells the same thing and we find Peter and Paul explaining to us the same idea about the blindness of Israel.

Jim Bussell

02-14-2020

Most of the people I know subscribe to the theory that the Nation of Israel blew it’s chance at the brass ring with the crucifixion of Christ and therefore were cast aside as ‘the Children of God’. I grew up with this belief that we are the new Israel, we are the new children of God. I was taught there probably will be some Jews that accept Christ as the Messiah and will be saved but Israel, collectively as a nation, screwed up big time. I also was taught that Revelation is to be taken allegorically, because of the first verse of Revelation 1: THE Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, (NKJV) The religion of my youth believes that the word signified (using signs) in that first verse means that Revelation is a book of signs and therefore to be taken wholly allegorically. In addition, I was taught that Revelation was basically significant only to the 1st century Christians because it was about the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in 70 AD by the Roman Army under the leadership of Titus 1.

This puts what I was taught into the category of replacement theology even though I had never heard of that term until recently. Apparently, the idea of replacement theology was first espoused by second century church leaders such as Justin Martyr even though the writings of his predecessors inform us that they didn’t subscribe to the theory of replacement theology. By the fourth century, the writings of church leaders such as Augustine (Catholics refer to him as Saint Augustine) imply an increasingly anti-Semitic viewpoint and embraced replacement theology and that viewpoint continued not only with the Catholic church, but also with the reformation movement, so today most of the protestant religions hold this view.2 According to replacement theology, this means that all the blessings and promises God made to Israel throughout the Old Testament and any mention of them in the New Testament are allegorized. To substantiate the theory I was taught as a child that we are the new Israel, verses such as the one below in Galatians are used to offer proof. Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NKJV) They say this means any reference to the heirs of Abraham and Israel now means Christians. So, does this verse prove that replacement theology is in fact correct?

As I was growing up I was taught by my mother to read the bible daily and I was taught the book of Revelation has no bearing in our lives because it only applied to the New Testament Church and the hardships they encountered during and after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Why have it in the scriptures at all, then, I used to wonder? I was also taught that the Old Testament was a ‘good old history’ of a people that blew their chance at the brass ring. Using that philosophy as a benchmark of interpretation of the bible, a lot of pieces just didn’t fit and coalesce with me as I read the scriptures. I also realize using replacement theology forces you to not only allegorize Revelation, but much of the rest of the New Testament as well. Also, because that viewpoint creates disorder in the pattern and orderly nature of the progression of the scriptural nature of our existence as outlined by God (as I now see as I look back), it was explained to me at that time that much of the bible has to taken on faith if it doesn’t make sense to the reader. I therefore equated the religious teachings of my youth to pounding square pegs into round holes to try and make them fit, and when they didn’t fit…”oh well, that’s one you take on faith”. That didn’t really fly with me and the more I asked questions, the screwier the explanations got from the bible school teachers and church leaders to the point I was politely asked to stop asking these questions (you, know, just take it on faith).

It is my opinion, if you really believe in Replacement Theology, you need to tear Romans chapter 11 out of the bible. No, that’s being too generous…you need to tear the rest of the book of Romans out of the bible along with Hebrews and also the reference to Israel’s blindness in Luke 19:42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (NKJV). An explanation of the passage in Luke by Paul, along with additional gems of information, come from Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (NKJV). According to Strongs, the word until in the bible is an interesting word that always means a temporary condition of time, followed by a succeeding  event. That definition, in itself, means that the blindness of Israel is not a permanent condition.

Also, we need to look at the history of the Jews since the destruction of Jerusalem. The fact that there are still Jews existing in the present day to talk about is nothing but miraculous. A quote taken from The Miracle of Jewish History say it very well, Over three hundred years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher of his day, to give him proof of the existence of miracles. Without a moment’s hesitation, Pascal answered, “Why, the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!”3 If Israel has been condemned by God, and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1900 years? Why are they still in existence if their ticket on the train to glory has expired? If you accept the fact that the Jews still survive and are back in the Holy Land is nothing short of miraculous, then how can you accept the theology that Revelation is not about the Jews. I agree it says up front that is a book of signs. It is also a book of specific time periods, specific events and specific locations. If we start allegorizing complete books because they contain signs and symbols, that changes the whole complexity of the books of the prophets in the Old Testament.

Luke 19 tells us God placed blindness up the Israel as a nation because of their lack of attention to prophecy that had been laid out of them four centuries earlier by Gabriel in Daniel 9 when he gave Daniel the exact day the Messiah was to present himself as King in Jerusalem. As I read the history of Israel, I read about how God set them up as his people, performed miracle after miracle in their behalf, and how they continued to turn their backs on him. With Gabriel’s revelation to Daniel, God did everything short of screaming in their ears about preparing for the day of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Some of the Jews were prepared for the day and welcomed him with celebration, but Satan, of course, was hard at work behind the curtain with the Jewish leadership trying to work his wiles to thwart God’s plan and the Jewish religious establishment corporately ignored the prophecy given by Daniel five centuries earlier, thus cascading the nation of Israel down the path it is currently on. I think of the passage in Romans 11 you read earlier where it talks about God casting away his people and explaining that he has blinded them until the fullness of the Gentiles in verse 25. The prophet Hosea gives reference to how they will turn back to the Lord when he says that they will seek his face when they acknowledge their offense in this end-time prophecy, in fact the whole book of Hosea is about this subject. Hosea 5:15 I will return again to My place Till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (NKJV)

I have a personal comparison, (in my mind at least). We have a few simple rules in our house based on morality and respect. Our oldest daughter in her late teens decided she didn’t have to follow our rules. First we talked to her a few times, then the serious punishments started, we took away some liberties, took away her car, and finally we kicked her out, or ‘cast her off’. We didn’t stop loving her and we kept an eye on her from afar to make sure we could be close in case of a catastrophic event. We had friends keeping their eyes on her also just to make sure she remained OK. She eventually got off the drugs, saw the light and asked her mom if she could come back home. Her mom said she could if she was ready to follow the rules. Our daughter acquiesced and asked for forgiveness, demonstrated her sorrow and came home a changed person. So she, in her own way, ‘sought our face and asked our forgiveness’ and we welcomed her back. My wife and I are extremely fallible people with probably more faults than good areas and patience is not one of our points of shining glory, but when it comes to our children, we find the patience. Our Lord’s patience is incredibly infinite as demonstrated by the history of Israel and humanity in general…it would have to be, for him to still accept someone like me after my history of turning my back on Him and his Son and His followers before I asked for salvation a few years ago.

I personally feel that one major reason the US hasn’t been judged by God yet, is our alliance and protection of the Nation of Israel as God decreed in Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”(NKJV) In this time period of Israel’s blindness I kind of see the USA as a sort of thug, hired to help protect his recalcitrant children from the evils of the world “until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in”. As long as we act as the friends and protectors of the miraculous State of Israel, I believe we will be spared judgment. I pray regularly to God, thanking him for giving me the grace I don’t deserve and the mercy He imparts for not giving me what I do deserve. I also pray he do the same for my country.

So what about replacement theology? I think if you accept the Bible as a holy, integrated message system from Our Lord that flows and weaves a history of his grace, redemption and salvation for his children, real and adopted, then Replacement Theology doesn’t hold up. If it’s not an integrated message system, then the veracity of the scriptures start to fall apart. With the same token, if you allow the text to speak to you as Christ and the apostles did (and in my opinion, they are fairly reliable examples), and if you accept the scriptures as the integrated message of Our Lord, then you need to believe that the bible “says what it means and means what it says” and that the blindness of Israel until the ‘fullness of the Gentiles come in’ means exactly that; a specific length of punishment for the first children of Yahweh that will end when Christ comes for the Church, and body of Christ is taken up.

God Bless, Jim

Revised 02-2-20

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_%2870%29

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersessionism

3 excerpt from “History News Network” by Benjamin Blech http://hnn.us/articles/38887.html