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The Australian Dec.11, 1998, p. 9.
West Bank Joys are few. Amidst all but endless strife, strife about Oslo agreements, about failure to keep conditions, rules, about riots, about terrorists, about deaths, about grisly disregard of life and impositions on children, desire for peace and prohibition of peace, desire for security and invasion of security, desire for breathing space in the Jewish allotment called Israel, and desire to breath that space on the part of others, we now find amidst the marvellous handshaking and President Clintonesque intonations, a further blatancy.
While Benjamin Netanyahu requires a "halt to the street violence and a public renunciation by Mr Arafat of plans to unilaterally declare a Palestinian State, Mr Arafat now enunciates something rather different: "We will declare a Palestinian State... with Jerusalem its capital", to the pacific Fatah movement. Perhaps France will declare England to be privileged to participate in a French State, with London the capital. It is at least a variant to find Jerusalem and not just East Jerusalem in this Jules Verne provincialisation of the land God gave to the Jews. Peace ? It is simply unavailable while there is war with God; religion is no more up for grabs than physics, and indeed rather less so! (see News 40). Meta-religion is met with and it is in vain to seek to dismantle what God has decreed. Experiments of this kind litter history; they do little more.
Why is this contretemps so persistent ? It is not merely that the Arabs have mistaken their identity, at the national level - it is not a racial matter, but national. It is that the Jews have their own identity crisis: it has been going for some 2000 years; while the Romans in their church affair and the Moslems, both heavily involved in the area (cf. SMR Ch.10, Appendix 1A, pp. 1026ff., Biblical Blessings, Appendix III, Section II ) make a kind of grand-stand to the calamities of the Middle East. Such is the Biblical picture, and this spiritual TV does not relinquish its hold on history; for what it shows, goes.
Let us review a little here, for the turmoil makes clarity essential, just as does anything of pity and any desire for peace.
In fact, we shall shortly see that not only the Jewish nation, or Arab peoples of Moslem cast, or this or that religion if and where the word of God is ignored, but THE WHOLE EARTH is on collision course with God, and the strangely explicit history of the Jews, is in fact rather a forewarning to all than a wonder, when for one and for all, the principles are seen.
IN TIMES PAST, the Jewish nation provoked God, as we read in the Jewish prophets, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos and Ezekiel for example, by linear progression from folly to folly, many of their leaders progressing from greed to gluttony, oppression to suppression, dimness to blindness in spiritual things.
The fabric of their cloth was fouled and the national whole - over the top of many opportunities to escape (e.g. Jeremiah 17:19ff., 38:14ff.), with repeated offers disregarded with a sort of im-moral rigour - was devastated. The Northern sector, or nation, Israel was depopulated, the South, Judah, given a 70 year sentence in exile (cf. Jeremiah 25, Daniel 9:1ff.). Subsequently (cf. Isaiah 49:7), just as predicted (for God does not disembowel liberty though it be misused), the Jewish nation rejected the Messiah who came on time as predicted (cf. Daniel 9:24ff., SMR pp. 886ff.), the rejection likewise being predicted; and hence (Zechariah 10-12) commenced a new and yet more anguished rigor. Moses had the matter in its place in Deuteronomy 29ff., Leviticus 26. It duly and truly eventuated, fulfilled as the word of God always is.
The Gentile world NOW likewise as one whole, whether clinging to past introductory features of the Gospel instead of the Gospel itself, as is the case with Judaism, or clinging to nearly every other imaginable feature of folly, is disregarding that same God whom the Jewish nation turned from so disastrously for themselves. This the Gentile world does like remorseless mimics, in almost cataleptic fixity, and with an implacable rigour. The events are parallel, from ancient times for the Jewish nation, and now in the aching confusion of this our globe itself.
Just as the Jewish nation found for masses of sad years, a total obliteration of its hub of misuse, Jerusalem with its devastated temple, still surmounted by a Mosque (cf. SMR pp. 822-831), so does our own Gentile world - sprouting temples to made-up gods, inglorious gods, gods newly arising (cf. Deuteronomy 32:17-18) whether without power or without morals, sleeping gods, seeping gods, face obliterative ruin.
Gone is its glamour, while activities, its gyrations of soul rather than realistic movements of peace, depart from the living God; and there is no peace without Him. Forfeited as if by obsession is a peace grounded in grace, founded in Christ Jesus, abounding in power and with a dawning voice of truth suffusing it, inscribed in times past, applied in the present with spiritual vigour.
No, instead, the whole fabric of the Gentile world, where a biologically crammed, subversive suitcase once opened, can terrorise a nation, and where mad zealots of the polluted imagination abound, awaits a destruction as hard to bear as that of the Jew has ever been.
Nor is it merely for thousands of years that this final phase of divine rejection will operate: it is forever. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you, says James. But the world rejecting God, cannot secure Him by force or inveigle Him with false charm.
As millions perish not because God has forgotten to be gracious, but through steadfast rejection of His grace in Christ Jesus, so the form and beauty of the whole, the vast world empire of the Gentiles, continually seeking that final but delusive integration which will be the flash before the explosion, lurches to its lost destiny.
In Ezekiel 14:14, we read of a time - going back to the Jewish focus, to which the present is so apt a parallel - when the whole Jewish cosmos was doomed, though in that case for a season, one later prolonged through more provocation. Yet the principle is the same, and the times of seasons is supplanted by unseasonable end. There, however, even there we read this:
these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it,
they should deliver only their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord."
Pray these men of faith might, but while they should escape, their holiness would not exempt their people from the fruits of their own ravishments and sins. In v.16, we find this:
these three men were in it, " (i.e. in Jerusalem),
"as I live, says the Lord God,
they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate."
Similarly in Jeremiah 15:1, we read:
"Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind could not be towards this people."
Leadership is for leading, and where as here, it is rejected, the deviating find death. Here only those standing alone, each in Christ, will escape. That is the modern parallel. Neither radical seminary, nor Moslem mosque, psychic manipulator nor worshipper at the Temple of Mammon, will escape. An end comes. It was always there in prophecy (cf. Isaiah 24, where in vivid drama touched with sad poignancy, it is unveiled; and Isaiah 2).
The time has long been when each must escape (Hebrews 2:3) from a crooked generation (Acts 2:38-39, Philippians 2:15) so that, like Noah and Daniel, its poisoned mind and matrix should not doom their souls. But it now is this: that the world like a burning meteor approaches its flaming judgment when neither cry nor cavil will deliver it. No more does the British Empire join power with even the form of righteousness. The very form of it is moving like a distant train, all but out of sight, and for many quite out of sight, except in the hearts which God has prepared where its reality is provided.
Righteousness lies broken, injustice and violence rule over vast multitudes (cf. Isaiah 59), for whom folly is prince and carnality king. The kingdom of this world increasingly sulphurous in its glow, attests its underlying fires. It is doomed. Its time is near.
The glory of God is not transferable to another (Isaiah 43:10), and what acts as if to seize it is deluded, for like radioactive dust rather than the beauty of fire, the reality is lost: only the penalty is gained.
God gives through His own glory, His only way - that is, Christ Jesus, and Him crucified, yes rather risen (Romans 8:34) not a captive Christ turned into bread, nor a re-modelled Christ, relegated to some obscurity in the path of the scimitar; for neither papal nor communist nor Moslem arms can secure the Almighty, nor deter the Lord of glory; nor again, can godless powers emanating from the godless glitter of the UN, nor Nazi ones, nor neo-Communist exploitations as in China. Nor is His glory given through fabricated christs, 7th Day Adventist woman-led additives, or JW type reduction-models nor those of any of the sects. All these things in Biblical assessment, as we have often enough seen, are like arsenic lacing aspirin; while those denominations which have moved - and there are many - from their former Biblical base, may think to secure Him in their transgressions, putting their mouth for His, ignoring His zeal for truth (cf. John 12:48-50, Matthew 5:17-20), idly flouting His word. Yet He is not there, where His word is debased by such additives, subtractions and subversions (cf. Jeremiah 23:15-29).
The way of escape is neither a Romanised nor a Communised, nor a subtly devised new Christ, created by the heart (cf. II Corinthians 4; 11): it is the historical Christ who lives for ever, who died once, in whose death lies the way of propitiation, whose word is truth and rules, whose gift by grace is available for each individual person, only entrance into His kingdom where is the beauty of truth in everlasting redemption (John 14:6, Acts 4:11-12, Romans 5:1-11). Here the glory of the Cross is seen, not around necks merely, but in hearts, where His sun has risen, with healing in His wings, a vast dawning that transforms the day of life with no darkness added (cf. Luke 11:34-36).
The Jewish nation in earlier days, was a place where bloomed the national folly, for the nation was doomed till its time of deliverance should come. Its first penalty period of exile of 70 years soon became some 2000; for God is not mocked. It is the Gentile world which has now to escape, or rather those in it. It is not escape merely from the spiritual darkness of some nation, any more, but from the whole globe in its infestation, from the whole concept of the globe, its total cultural calamity, delusive darkness, which long spiritual, will soon have its physical counterpart (cf. Matthew 24:29, Amos 5:18-20). It is the whole orbiting globe, spinning in spiritual subterfuge, alight with fouling fires, unrepentant, unrealistic, forgetting God which is the ground of evacuation. It is Christ's kingdom of heaven which is the required place of arrival, and the transport is by faith, for the gift by grace is available and the hand near which gives. It is nothing less than eternal life in the midst of the pallor of eternal death (Romans 6:23, 10:9).
The WAY of escape never changes: its glory has been seen, full of grace and truth, such as is fitting for the only-begotten Son of the Father (John 1:14-17). It is in HIM that salvation is found (I John 5:11-12 whether by Jew or Gentile. The WORK for the escape is done, finished. HE did it (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9-10). The actual exit, the time for this escape, is now. The door is open, for He has made it so; and it needs to be entered by faith; for without faith you can do nothing but trifle, and trifling with truth is like handling radioactive concentrates with your bare hands.
And as you enter, repent (Luke 13:1-3), and as you repent, receive (John 1:12-14), receiving by faith a ransom for your sins (Galatians 3:10-13) from the love of God, sent in Christ Jesus (John 3:16), where safety and security alike, provide access to the power, the purity and to the peace of God (Ephesians 1:11,17-19).