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This past week, ending October 31, 1998

v           In the land of Israel,

v           ancient and famous, promised

v           and once opulent, filled with the triumph of the temple, worth untold billions, itself

v           symbolic of the priceless riches of Christ (SMR Ch. 10, pp. 755ff., 1042ff., Biblical Blessings, Chs. 3, 9 and Appendix 1, and Barbs, Arrows and Balms 13), which make the whole world poor by comparison:

v           there is a great deal of dealing going on.

Will the Palestinians, many families voluntarily evacuated in an earlier generation as the Moslem Arabs invaded and sought to extinguish the Jews, all the preponderance of Moslems among whom have MANY other lands in which to share their version of faith: will they indeed set up a State in the slender throat of tiny Israel. ? Will it prosper ?

Israel, that small country is, after all, the sole earthly political repository of the Jews. The offspring of the other sons of Abraham have multitudes of land, of spoil in the form of oil, enough to have helped make the US a debtor, that land once the greatest creditor on earth, and that a mere 20 years ago: they have much land, and the disproportion with the Jews in this ? it is already ludicrous. But no! It must be greater. More of Israel must go. The UN (1947) has made it so, for then even Jerusalem was to be internationalised. This is the word of man, man whose mind is not minding the word of God.

Ask a Briton to internationalise London! Why they found it hard enough to have a Chunnel linking them to the Continent, and any thought of a European Monetary Unit is most offensive to many there.

Still it is decreed, the new moral Moses contingent in the UN has its ideas. It did not get them, to this point, from God. HE has His views. It is a good viewpoint, elevated shall we say, above it all. His view is that HE GAVE this land to the Jew and despite even the murder of His Son, that is the way it is going to be. There will be wars, all predicted in considerable detail (SMR pp. 776ff.). Jerusalem had to be cut into two in this post-Messianic era, this time after the crucifixion (Zechariah 14, cf. 12:10). It was. The Jews had to be eminently and amazingly victorious against a disproportionately numerous enemy: they were (Zechariah 12-14). It is history of the most stupendous, all happening in this generation. The Gentiles had to writhe in their own sins (Matthew 24), moving waywardly ever further from Christ in their political structure and moral norms. This they have obligingly done, likewise, like so many puppets, but punishable puppets, for the divine foreknowledge is no excuse for the human wickedness.

The quarrelling nations have Biblically yet to surge onto Israel in one last (hopeful) rout (cf. SMR pp. 502ff.), where Nasser failed, and the abomination of the 'surprise' attack on the Jewish holy day in 1973, failed, and the 1948 handover to the Arabs, failed. These had to fail, for God had already spoken as we have shown in the places sited above. It could not have been otherwise. The US helped greatly in the 1973 case, with constant, around-the-clock airlifting of armaments for Israel. Now it is not so clearly an advocate of Israel. There is to be a somewhat constrained 'peace' in which Jerusalem ? ...well as to that, its ownership is negotiable, and the West Bank, that tiny enclave and vulnerable throat of the nation...? well it needs slimming. The world has spoken.

A few thousand years before, GOD has spoken. He spoke it into a book over 14 centuries, and into His Son in some 33 years, and what He has in all this said, is final (cf. Galatians 1:1-9, Matthew 5:17-19, Revelation 22:18-20, SMR Appendix D, Biblical Blessings 9 and Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17). We shall see whose word shall stand, that of the world or that of God - that after all is the way HE put it when disciplining the Jews in the 6th century B.C. (Jeremiah 44:28):

  • "All the remnant of Judah, who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there, shall know whose words will stand, Mine or theirs."

Far from avoiding a contest, God seizes the opportunity occasioned by the brazenness of flesh, whether it be Jewish or Gentile (cf. Isaiah 48; A Spiritual Potpourri16). The Jewish time came in the destruction of their city and temple in the 6th century, and later in the final destruction of the temple a few years after the living Temple had been crucified, an event in which it is reported that large numbers of Jews were crucified outside the city, by the Romans, in one of the most tragic ironies of history. But the Gentiles are not the gentlemen! They too have sinned, adorning this, the 20th century in no uncertain manner.

This they have done, not only with wars of the utmost devastation, as if the environment were merely some extra of nil importance, readily duplicable from the enormous resources of 'science', often in effect worshipped, but in fact a mere meagre reflection of man's incompetent puniness when he goes it alone. This is the flow without God, the secular trend in that as in most other fields. They have adorned this century indeed with military wars. Wars, yes, but worse if possible, have been the wars on the word of God wrought in so many major institutions (SMR Ch.9), while the many in large churches often tend to accept these invasions of the word of God from seminaries which they SUPPORT, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

That is, as

1) the Arabs have sought to take away Israel (after all, driving it into the sea was an explicit aim, and Arafat is now giving thought to the possibility of removing the 'destruction of Israel' from the Palestinian charter);

2) those alien from the church have sought to establish a contra-theological State within the church, in which secular psychology, sociology and theology will rule and ruin, dominate and dash, smash and control. They have been extraordinarily successful in much, but not in all (cf. Daniel 12:10, II Thessalonians 2:3, I Timothy 3:1-5, II Peter 2:1-3); nor can they be.

Thus, on the spiritual as on the political front, there is enormous effrontery.

  • God gives it its scope,
  • allowing the testimony of the church (not the building or the financial substitutes for spiritual life, but the people who are indeed of God, because they live in and for Christ - Philippians 1:20-21)
  • to be shown in the crucible of these fires.

As an aircraft is exhibited as to what is in it, what it is made of, when the battle is intense, so the church arises from the smouldering ruins of the ecclesiastical temples which have been invaded, and continues with no less resolve outside the Camp, as did Christ (Hebrews 13:10-12), aloft in heart, not conditioned by destruction, fearless in the faith, active in the field, holding up Christ and Him crucified as to Gospel, showing its truth to those who ask a reason for the faith, its power to those who seek life.

Thus the political and prophesied Jerusalem continues a divinely chosen emblem of His faithfulness and power, as current events show just HOW MUCH it is the case, that Jerusalem shall be a

  • "burdensome stone" to
  • "all the surrounding peoples"

(Zechariah 12:3 - a verse leading on to the large-scale national repentance of the Jews as shown in 12:10).

It cannot be contained and it will not be contained; for God has other plans. THESE are not for the predominance of the Jews, who have been gravely chastened as forecast (see above references to SMR). They are however for the conversion of a large number of them, joining in one body with the Christians who have come to the same (Jewish born) Messiah, the Son of God (cf. Isaiah 65:13-15). They involve a divine rebuke to the assault still to come on Israel, a dramatic protection of the land, of which a foretaste has already been given, indeed an intervention of the most massive proportions (Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 38-39 cf. SMR Appendix A and Chs. 7, Section 2, and 9) and a wonderful combination of Jewish and Gentile believer (Romans 11:25ff.).

   {See further on Palestinian and other aspirations for Israel, and the place of ALL peoples who believe, including those of Israel who come to Him, in the Kingdom of God - for example, in Repent or Perish, Ch. 3, Barbs, Arrows and Balms, Ch. 13, and Bible  BlessingsAppendix 1.)

Man proposes, God disposes. Man is disposed in his many international affairs of the head and the hand, to dispose, but his dispositions are soon disposed of. The intricacies of politics, of American secularist intervention in the affairs of Israel, of a world to be composed and conditioned and controlled as if, by some oversight, God had been forgotten, the Maker of it quite forgotten, the owner qua creator not noticed because of other sundry pre-occupations of busy man: these will not alter anything but perhaps the outcome for the individual lives of those who rebel against the word of God. Seeking on the one hand to control His word , and on the other, the nation which, though still rebellious against Him, will according to plan show a momentous return to the Lord in His time is a worldly affair. It is the sort of affair which ends in disillusion. All defiance of God ends that way. He is to be known in love, not lust.

Re-writing history contrary to prophecy is an expensive business. It has always failed; it tends to sell well but to be very uncreative as far as facts are concerned. God is the God of facts. He makes them, and without Him there would not even be such a thing (cf. SMR Ch.3 and pp. 100-101; That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 5). As in the 1948, 1967, 1973 and 1991 wars, the unexpected may happen; and if it must be unexpected for the word of God to be fulfilled, then unexpected it will be. Whether contrary to trend, or as now conspicuously, according to it, it simply happens.

That, it is only to be expected. It always comes as the case requires. The God who spoke life into being, now so neatly exhibited in the DNA codes, amazingly attesting His speech in directives and devices which construct, but which never exhibit any power to self-write at all: this God will also continue to speak history into being. He is author of the stage and the setting; He is creator of man, and knows him, even to the thoughts of his heart (Jeremiah 17).

It is not so much that man does not matter; after all mankind itself is God's invention, and what a masterful one, with such freedoms provided and liberties in place. It is rather than when man pits his strength, his secular ambitions for the church, the state of Israel which God in His wisdom has been very specific in defining and aligning, or indeed any other thing, places his mouth against the mouth of God and shouts, he is not heard. He makes a noise upon the stage, but in the end, it is buried, noise and nuisance, strut and signature. Tarnished, it collapses; exposed, it is in ruins; hoped for, it is withheld.

Where however man is in fact heard, Jew or Gentile quite indifferently, for it really makes no difference, is in the case that he is of a humble and a contrite heart, and trembles at the word of God; when he looks in faith to the Lord and is saved from his sins and brought back, adopted child, to the Father of lights and perfections through the appointed Mediator: of which category there is here but one, Jesus Christ the righteous. (Cf. Isaiah 66:2, James 1:17, I Timothy 2:5, Acts 3:14-16, Ephesians 1:5-14.)

We are on the brink of a lot of noise, and a lot of burial. If the word of the Lord were followed, as it is not followed, there would be much less noise and much less burial.