About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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The Politics Of God And The Bible

 

This book is  being edited and improved.  That being said, the views expressed will not change.  

 

Contents

Preface

1  - Scandal After Scandal

2 -  God, Bible, And Politics

3  - In The Beginning

4  - Kingdom And Nation

5  - Babel

6  - The Coming Of Abraham

7  - Irrevocable Promise

8  - Balaam

9  - The Politics Of War - Part 1

10 - Jacob Becomes Israel

11 - A Community Of People Becomes A Nation

12 - God Watches Over Rebellious Israel

13 - That Divisive Land Issue

14 - A Personal Note

15 - God Curses Babylon

16 - Obstinate Leaders

17 - The Creation Of Wealth

18 - Government On His Shoulders

19 - Jesus Comes To Israel

20 - Gabriel Visits Mary

21 - Jesus Chosen To Be King

22 - Satan Visits Jesus

23 - The Invisible Kingdom

24 - Thy Kingdom Come

25 - Jesus Will Build His Church

26 - Israel Laid Aside But Not Forgotten

27 - The Politics Of Jesus

28 - The Politics Of Ware - Part 2

29 - The Politics Of Paul

30 - Paul And Israel  
31 - Paul And Submission To Civil Authority
32 - Paul And The Day Of Evil

33 - Israel Restored

34 - Nations Rage

 

 

Preface

 

I was raised in a Christian Evangelical church setting which emphasized that God interacts with humanity on an individual level.  The cross of Christ has provided personal salvation for anyone who would trust his life with Jesus.  John 3:16, one of the first verses I had memorized made that clear.   I don't recall hearing much about God interacting with humanity on a national or governmental level.  Maybe I just missed that.  One thing is sure; God does involve Himself with the affairs of men and their nations.  He causes nations and their leaders to both rise and fall because He is the Sovereign Lord (Daniel 2:21, 4:25).  Beyond that, sometimes God forces His will on nations (Ezekiel 38:1 - 6, 39:1 - 6) as He will do when He drags Magog with hooks into a Middle Eastern war.  God is more involved in the affairs of nations than we think.  In the following pages you will get a glimpse into what I understand to be the "Politics of God and the Bible."   

 

 

1 - Scandal After Scandal     

 

On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers collapsed in a huge rubble of, smoke, dust and death.  The United States of America, the land of the brave and the free, had just lost a big chunk of its freedom to terrorists. 

 

In 2002 President George W. Bush, or, Bush

43 as he was sometimes called, linked 911 to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  Then Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations about the Iraqi WMD threat, something I hear he later regretted.  How and where the Bush administration got its information on Iraqi WMD created a debate that exploded far beyond the Washington D.C. beltway.      

 

The political left and the political right argued over Bush's reason for war with Iraq on a daily bases.  Did Iraq really have WMD?  Did it receive secret shipments of sensitive material from Africa to implement its WMD program?  Was their sufficient reason to go to war with Iraq, or did that really matter?  While the media and the politicians debated these questions the CIA supposedly discredited the administration's assertion that Iraq had WMD.  Joseph Wilson, former U.S. diplomat to Africa, was enlisted by the CIA to find out the truth about these secret shipments to Iraq.  Wilson concluded that there was no evidence to support these secret shipments had even taken place.  This apparently frustrated the Bush administration to no end. 

 

Robert Novak, a left-winged CNN commentator and columnist, took offense to an op-ed article written by Wilson in the New York Times.  In retaliation, Novak exposed Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent overseeing Middle Eastern affairs and WMD.  This knowledge was leaked to Novak from somewhere in the White House, affectively ending Plame's career as a CIA secret agent.  The whole scandal broke into a media circus, something I'm sure was great for TV ratings but bad for America's image.          

 

The battle between the left and right raged in the U. S. congress.  CNN, Fox News, and others, reported the daily wars of words over the real reason why America was at war with Iraq. All along Americans were being killed on the battle field, where no WMD were found.  We may never know the real reasons for the war, for the leak of classified information about Valerie Plame, and for many other things.    

 

Despite the best intensions of many, the hallways and offices of the kingdoms of men are filled with lies, deceit, dirty tricks, and men like "Tricky Dick."  As Pat Robertson said after bowing out of the 1988 Presidential race, "Politics is a game of hardball.  It's not a friendly Sunday school picnic softball game."  That's just the way life is in the kingdoms of men.   

 

2 - God, Bible, And Politics   

 

I try to keep informed about the political affaires

because they can be important in light of Biblical prophecy.  In the early 1980's I lived in Vienna , Virginia, a suburb of Washington D.C..  One cannot live in a Washington suburb without feeling the rush of American style politics.  I've seen the stately homes of Georgetown.  I once dinned in an exclusive Georgetown restaurant and could not help but overhear seemingly important men name drop their way through dinner.  Men like JFK, Reagan, Kissinger, and others appeared to be buddies of these apparently important men.  I sat in the Senate Chamber and heard Senator Edward Kennedy expound the virtues of what was then called the "Peace Movement."  I was involved in the re-election campaign of our local Republican candidate for congress in the 1982 mid-term election.  I've felt the exhilaration when crossing the Potomac River.  Seeing the Washington Monument, the Capitol building, and the White House was overwhelming for a young guy from small town Canada.  Then there was the Watergate apartment building.  You can't forget that memorable monument to another scandal in the kingdoms of men.   

 

What I'm about to say in the following pages is not the final word on this issue.  I never claim to have the final word on any issue.  What the Apostle Paul told Timothy, I tell you.  "Consider what I say and the Lord give you the understanding in all things" (2 Timothy 2:7). 

 

Merriam Webster's online dictionary defines "politics" as "The art or science of government … concerned with guiding or influencing government policies … winning or holding control over government …"  Western style politics has certainly become a science, but I wouldn't call it a work of art.  You may or may not be politically inclined, and you certainly don't see the word "politics" in the Bible, but the Bible does address this issue when it speaks of nations, governments, kings, and kingdoms, and especially as it speaks of the Kingdom of God.  You may not have thought about it, but God has His own political agenda.  The following is my attempt to state, at least in part, what I call the "Politics of God and the Bible."     

 

3 - In The Beginning  

The Bible states that God created man (Adam) from the dust of the earth and woman (Eve) from the side of man.  From the intimate union between Adam and Eve family was born.  Family, consisting of one male husband, one female wife, and children, forms the foundation to all human communities.  As families grew into extended families they eventually expanded into tribes, tribes into nations, and nations into empires.  Families, therefore, are the foundation of any nation. 

 

From a Biblical perspective, if families fall apart, as they are presently doing at a sad and rapid pace, nations fall apart.  It's simple common sense that broken families have created much of the violence, crime, and immorality that penetrates our nations.  Our present western world's redefining of family and marriage to include all sorts of unbiblical alternative styles of families is not only destroying the traditional Biblical family, it's destroying our nations.          

 

4 - Kingdom and Nation

The Hebrew word "gowy" is translated into English in the Old Testament as "nation."  This Hebrew word seems to be derived from a root word meaning "a body or a corpse," and when thought of in terms of people, means, "the body politic of a people." 

 

The Hebrew word "mamlakah" is translated into our English Old Testament as "kingdom."  This word means "the domain of a king."  This sets the scene for one major theme of the Bible, that being, God has a kingdom; man has his kingdoms, and they are in continual conflict.        

 

In both the NIV and the KJV Bible the word "kingdom" first appears in Genesis 10:10.  Nimrod was a grandson of Noah.  He was the first man in Biblical history to be a king.  His kingdom was called Babel, otherwise known as Babylon.  In Biblical terms, Babylon is a literal kingdom but it is also symbolized as all kingdoms of men that eventually fall to the judgment of God (Revelation 18).     

 

The second mention of the word "kingdom" in both the NIV and the KJV is found in Genesis 20:9 where Abraham met Abimelech, king of Gerar.  By this time in history man had established small tribal kingdoms with some kind of political systems.  

 

The first mention of the word "nation" in both the NIV and the KJV is found in Genesis 12:2.  It's in reference to Abraham becoming a great nation which we know as Israel.  This is the first mention of Israel in the Bible and unlike other nations; it was born in the mind of God.   

 

The second mention of the word "nation
is found in Genesis 15:14 which predicts conflict between Israel and Egypt.  In Biblical terms, Egypt,
like Babylon, is a literal nation that symbolizes all nations.      

 

So, right in the first book of the Bible we see the beginning of nations and God's involvement in them, which includes the special nation of Israel.                

 

 

5 - Babel

 

In Genesis 10 we read about Nimrod.  He was both a politician and a military leader.  In Genesis 11 we see people relocating across the Middle East in growing numbers.  Genesis 11 is important when it comes to nation building and how God views our nations. 

 

Nimrod decided to build a city with a tower.  The buildings in the city were not made of stone which God created but of bricks that man created.  This is significant in itself because it speaks of a humanistic attempt at nation building. 

 

Why man built this city is stated in Genesis 11:4.  "Let us build ourselves a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so we may make a name for ourselves."

God was not happy with man's building project, and it wasn't because He feared him climbing a tower and jumping into heaven.  As a matter of fact, this tower was probably a place of pagan worship.  God was upset with man's attempt at nation building because He didn't like man's aspirations to make a name for himself in His world. 

 

In Genesis 11:5 God said, "If as one people speaking one language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them."  Note that even God admitted that pretty much anything is possible for man.  We certainly see proof of that today.  In order to slow down the process of man making a name for himself God disrupted his communication by creating many languages.  This separated humanity into distinct cultures that slowed down man's prideful nation building.  To further complicate things, Genesis 11:9 states that God scattered man over the face of the earth.  How He did this, we don't know.  He just did it. 

 

I believe that these new languages and the dispersion of man across the planet created distinct cultural identities that led to civilizations and nations.  We, thus, have the beginning of national and cultural identities which would require political systems.  We also see God's unfavorable response to our nation building, which forms part of His political views.    

 

One thing we should learn from Genesis 11 is that our cultural distinctions came about as a result of humanistic pride.  If man had not been so arrogant, God would not have confused his language and separated him into distinct cultures.  As I see it, the building of nations in Biblical terms is based on prideful sin.  From this point on, the nations of the world are portrayed in the Bible to be in direct opposition to God.  This is fundamental in understanding the politics of God and the Bible.  How you understand this will determine how you live in your nation as a Christian.

 

 

6 - The Calling Of Abraham

 

It's no fluke that what we read in Genesis 12 comes right after Genesis 11.  As I've said earlier, in Genesis 11 God confused man's language that in turn led to nation building.  In Genesis 12 God told Abraham that his family would become a great nation.  The words "great nation" imply that Abraham's family, which would become Israel, would be important among the nations of the world.  Israel's greatness is fundamental to the politics of God and the Bible.  Ignoring this fact will lead to much Biblical misunderstanding.  It's the determining factor to how you view Biblical prophecy.      

 

God agreed with Himself to make Abraham into a great and special nation.  In Genesis 12:2 and 3 He said, "I will make you into a great nation and bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you."  Notice the words "I will."  God, not Abraham, not Israel, and not the church, will make Israel great. 

 

The promise of national greatness, along with other promises, is called the "Abrahamic Covenant."  It should be noted that this covenant was not made between God and Abraham.  God made the covenant with Himself.  It was directed to Abraham, his descendents Israel, and to one special offspring that we know from the New Testament to be Jesus.  It is important to understand that God covenanted with Himself, and not with Abraham.  It is also important to understand that this covenant was directed to, and intended for, three recipients, not one or two recipients as those who believe in Replacement Theology teach.  Many people miss the significance of this, and thus misunderstand Biblical prophetic history.  For a complete understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant click this link.  

http://stevesweetman.com/books2/AbrahamicCov.htm

 

I will address Israel's place in prophetic history as is seen in the Abrahamic Covenant later when I comment on certain New Testament passages.  What I will say now is that there is no Biblical evidence that God has ever changed His mind about what He promised Abraham.  God confirmed all these promises to Isaac, to Jacob, through the Old Testament prophets, and I believe reconfirmed them again in the New Testament.  God has a political agenda for national Israel first, and then for all nations of the world.  This is why the Apostle Paul said, "To the Jew first and then to the Gentile" (Romans 1:16).

 

Among God's plans for Israel was to make it a priestly kingdom that would represent Him to the nations of the world (Exodus 19:6, Isaiah 49:6).  Israel has long since forgotten its God given responsibility to be His representative to the nations, but God hasn't forgotten His call on Israel.  He will remember what He promised Abraham.  "I will make you a great nation."  

 

The first five books of the Bible tell the story of how Abraham became a family, a tribe, and eventually a nation.  Along with this transformation came a political system established by God, which included what has been called the Law of Moses.  These laws consisted of moral, religious, and civil regulations that show us more of God's political strategy for Israel. 

 

The Law of Moses was a covenant, and is sometimes called the "Mosaic Covenant."  The Mosaic Covenant is not an extension of the Abrahamic Covenant.  It's a separate covenant made between God and Israel that Israel agreed to keep (Exodus 19:8, 24:3).  If Israel upheld its covenant responsibilities then God would uphold his side of the covenant by blessing Israel .  This differs from the Abrahamic Covenant where God covenanted with Himself and not Abraham.

 

The Abrahamic Covenant is still in affect.  As far as the history of salvation is concerned, the Mosaic Covenant was cancelled and nailed to the cross with Jesus (Colossians 2:14).  The parts of the Law of Moses that predict future events concerning Israel remain in effect until they are fulfilled.  

 

The establishment of the nation of Israel took place right after God dispersed man throughout the world that eventually created nations.  Once God paved the way for nation building, He provided these nations with an example of what a godly nation should look like.  Therefore, as seen in the Abrahamic Covenant, one way in which God relates to nations is determined by how nations relate to Israel.  This is central to the politics of God and the Bible.    

     

7 -  Irrevocable Promise

 

Before continuing our tour through the Old Testament I want to comment on Romans 11:29 since I just mentioned it in the last section. 

 

A quick reading of the Old Testament will show that Israel spent more time in rebellion against God than in submission to Him.  Israel's relationship with its God was cyclical.  At times the Jews obeyed God and at times, most of the time, they didn't.   

 

Israel 's worst act of rebellion occurred when it rejected their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Was this the straw that broke the camel's back in the mind of God?  How you answer this question will determine how you view prophetic history and your present day political leanings.  Some people believe that Israel's rejection of Jesus angered God so much that He revoked the promises He made to Abraham.  They say God could not tolerate Israel 's disobedience any longer, so in 70 A D He allowed the Roman army to demolish Jerusalem and scatter the Jews across the known world.  From that point on Israel would never have any prophetic and historic significance.  Today, Israel stands among the nations as just another nation.  Those holding to this view say that God has transferred His promises found in the Abrahamic Covenant from Israel to the church.  The church is now God's chosen people.  Old Testament prophetic passages that were directed to Israel are now directed to the church.  From this premise a whole theology of God and His relationship with humanity has been developed.  It's called "Covenant Theology." A sub-category of Covenant Theology is called "Replacement Theology," as in Israel has been replaced by the church.      

 

Did the Apostle Paul believe in Replacement Theology?  I don't think so.  In Romans 11:28 and 29 He says, "As far as the gospel is concerned, they (Jews) are enemies on your account, but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on the account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and His call are irrevocable."  Simply put, Israel became an enemy of the gospel because of its rejection of Jesus.  Therefore, God opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles.  That being said, God could not break the promises He made to Himself that were directed to the patriarchs in the Abrahamic Covenant.  Among other things, He called the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to be a great nation, and that call is irrevocable according to Paul.  Israel still has prophetic and historic significance.  This significance has nothing to do with Israel 's obedience to their God.  It has everything to do with God not breaking His promises that He spoke to Abraham. 

 

Ezekiel 36:22 to 32 confirms this by saying, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name … For I will take you out of the nations.  I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land … You will live in the land I gave your forefathers."  

 God will bring the Jews back to their homeland, not because they deserve it, for they don't.  God will do this for His own name sake, meaning, He can not break a promise that would destroy His credibility.  What He promised Abraham will come about.  This is the politics of God and the Bible.     

 

In closing this section, note the word "election" in Romans 11:28.  It's translated from the Greek word "ekloge."  It's not a political word.  "Ekloge" means "a choice."   Paul uses the word "election" in reference to the Jews in this passage, not the Gentiles.  They were elected, or chosen, by God's sovereign will to be a special nation.  Paul says that God will not revoke His choice in this matter.  Israel was not set aside by God as Replacement Theology states.

  

 

8 - Balaam

 

After 40 years of wandering in the desert because of Israel's rebellion against God, Israelis found themselves on the border of the land God promised them.  Balak, the king of Moab, feared Israel's presence, so he requested a pagan sorcerer named Balaam to curse Israel.  Balak figured that was the only way to get rid of Israel from his doorstep. 

 

Balaam refused to curse Israel.  He spoke five prophetic messages for Balak.  Here's one message.  "I see a people (Israel) who live apart and who do not consider themselves as one of the nations" (Numbers 23:9).

 

Balaam stood on a hill looking down over Israel , a nation of people without land in which to live.  He prophesied to Balak that Israel was a nation set apart, a nation that did not consider itself as one of the rest of the nations.  Balaam's assessment was right.  Israel was created to be a distinct society.  Its existence was to demonstrate to all nations how a nation should live before the Lord God (Exodus 19:6).  Even a pagan sorcerer understood this, and so should we. 

 

It was God's will to have a special nation.  Even though Israel has failed miserably in its responsibility as priest to the nations, Jesus will turn them around at the end of this age.  That's part of God's political agenda.  Zechariah 12:10 says that God Himself will pour out "a spirit of grace and supplication" on Israel.  Israel will finally repent for good and become the nation it was meant to be (Ezekiel 36:22 to 32). 

 

 

9 - The Politics Of War – Part 1

 

As you read the Old Testament you might wonder why a loving and holy God involves Himself in war.  The answer is simple.  In Genesis 11 God dispersed man throughout the world.  This one act of God began the process of nation building by fallen and rebellious man.  In Genesis 12 God began the process of building a nation, that being Israel, who was to represent Him to the new found fallen nations.  By virtue of this fact God put Himself in the midst of the conflict between the nations.  He would defend Israel, as He promised Abraham, which meant being involved in war.  I will speak more about war later.  I only mention it now because we see God involved in war early on in the Biblical account, and that bothers many Christians and non-Christians alike.  

 

It has been said that war is an instrument of peace.  It's sad to say, but there is truth in this statement.  This is quite evident if you study the book of Revelation.  As a matter of fact, if you read Revelation 1:12 to 18 you will see Jesus portrayed as a mighty military general who by the end of Revelation conquers the nations of this world and secures them for Himself.  It's just the politics of God and the Bible.  With that in mind, we must understand that conquering the nations is Jesus' job, not ours.  Christians are not military extremists who become suicide bombers or terrorists.  Our duty as Christians is to peacefully proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the fallen nations.             

 

 

10 - Jacob Becomes Israel

 

Over time Abraham's family became a tribe which transitioned into a nation.  One important event in the process of Israel becoming a nation took place in Genesis 32:28 and 35:10.  In both passages God told Abraham's grandson Jacob that his name would become " Israel ."  The Hebrew word "yisrael" is translated into English as " Israel ."  "Yisrael" is a compound word, consisting of "yisra," meaning "contend or fight," and "el," meaning "God'.  Israel, therefore means, "soldier of God" or something similar.  That is interesting.  The God of love, peace, and holiness, names His chosen nation that was to represent Him to the nations "the soldier of God."  I wouldn't run with that and follow in the steps of religious extremists, but the name "Israel" does tell us something about the politics of God and the Bible. 

 

Israel was to be a nation of priests, representing the rule of God to the nations of the world.  God's rule on earth was to emanate from Israel.  That has never happened, but it will as seen in what we have called the Lord's Prayer.  "Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  This prayer will be answered when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom in Jerusalem.  God's rule will finally emanate from Israel.    

 

God's people today, whether Israeli or Christian, should see themselves as defenders of God's rule of truth.  I will comment on how we defend God later.  It's the defense of God's truth that brings about the conflict between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men.  In today's world, the conflict is escalating.  I would suggest that if there is no conflict, the rule of God is not being proclaimed and defended.   

 

11 - A Community Of Nations Come From Israel  

Genesis 35:11 is prophetic.  God reconfirmed to Jacob that his family would become a great nation.  God also told Jacob that from Israel a community of nations would emerge.  It's my thinking that the community of nations spoken of here is in part prophetic of Gentiles entering the Kingdom of God.  The giving of the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles in Acts 10 began this process, but it didn't end it.  

 

The book of Revelation makes it clear that at some future date the nations of this world will become the nations of God (Revelation 11:15).  These nations will bring their splendor into the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22 and following) that is on the new earth.  After the present heavens and earth flee from the presence of God (Revelation 21:1) and is replaced by new heavens and a new earth, and, once God judges unrepentant sinners at the White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11), Gentile nations will become part of the community of Israel as stated in Genesis 35:11.    

 

12 - God Watches Over Israel

  

In Deuteronomy 2:7 states that God watched
over Israel while it was in the desert.  The trip
through the desert should have taken eleven days according to Deuteronomy 1:2.  It took around forty years because God exiled Israel in the desert for its disobedience. 

 

One thing we need to learn from this passage is
that even though Israel spent more time in rebellion 
against God than submission to Him, God still kept an eye on Israel.  Israel's rebellion did not change that. 

 

Jeremiah 31:36 and 37 confirms this.  "Only if these decrees vanish from my sight, declares the Lord, will the descendents of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.  Only if the heavens can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendents of Israel because of all they have done."  Clearly, God will never reject Israel, despite all its rebellion and disobedience.  The promises God made to Abraham and were reconfirmed to Isaac, Jacob, David, and throughout the prophetic writings of the Old Testament, are fundamental to the politics of God and the Bible.      

  

13 - That Divisive Land Issue

 

Many Bible scholars reject the idea that the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and others, still applies to Israel today.  They say all the promises found in the Abrahamic Covenant have been spiritualized and redirected to the church, and that includes the promise concerning Israel being a nation with a specific portion of land.

 

There is a problem with this thinking.  The Abrahamic Covenant is an eternal covenant, having no end.  God told Abraham in Genesis 17:8 that "The whole land of Canaan , where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendents after you…"  That's just one of many passages that uses the words "eternal," "everlasting," and "forever," in reference to God giving Israel land.  I maintain that forever means forever and eternal means eternal.  
 

It's poor Biblical interpretation to go back to these promises and make them mean something different than what the recipients of the promises understood them to mean.  If we spiritualize these promises and give them to the church, we do just that.  God meant for Abraham to understand land to be land.  That was Abraham's understanding, and it should be ours. 

 

The simple fact is that if Abraham thought land was literal land and God thought land was spiritual land, then God misled Abraham by not correcting his wrong thinking.  If God wanted Abraham to understand the land was spiritual and He did not clarify that, then God was deceptive.  We know that God cannot be deceptive.  The land is literal land.          

 

God's promise of land to Israel has divided both church and political leaders right to this day. The heart of the present day Israeli Palestinian problem stems from the promise of land to Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant.  Most world leaders fail to grasp this, and will be judged by God for their failure. 

 

Joel 3:2 says, "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land."  Notice the words, "my people," "my inheritance," and "my land."  Israel, and its promised land doesn't only belong to Israel, but to God.  I'd be careful what you do with God's people and land.     

The dividing of Israel is one of the key events that will bring this age to a close.  As I write, the primary solution to the Israeli Palestinian problem is to divide the little bit of land that Israel has.  By the way, the land that Israel now possesses is about 75 percent of the land it was promised by the League of Nations in the early 1920's.  It is an even smaller percentage of land that God promised them in Genesis 15:18.    

 

The Abrahamic Covenant states that those who curse Israel will be cursed.  I'd suggest taking land from Israel is a form of cursing Israel.  God takes this issue very seriously, and so should our national leaders.  It's my thinking that the British Empire fell because it failed to allow Jews back into Palestine prior to World War Two, which left many Jews in Germany executed by Hitler's regime.  It was also England's doing that caused Israelis to lose 75 percent of the land promised by the League of Nations.  God will eventually cause any nation to fall if it tampers with His land.  That doesn't sound politically correct these days, but it is the politics of God and the Bible.    

 

14 - A Personal Note

 

I haven't always believed what I'm saying concerning the prophetic and historic significance of Israel.  It has taken me about twenty plus years to arrive at the understanding I'm now presetting about Israel.  My father, who had believed what I'm saying all along, would often tell me about Israel and its place in prophetic history.  I'd answer him by saying, "You know dad, there are other ways of thinking about this."  Dad would hear of no other way of thinking.  Before my father passed away on June 7, 2001, or should I say, relocated his residence to heaven, I began to see things differently.  Soon after my dad's death, I accepted his point of view as being Biblically correct, and it had nothing to do with his passing.  It had everything to do with my study of Scripture from a good hermeneutical perspective.  I never got to share this with my father, and I don't know if he can see me now, but if he can, he is probably thinking, "I told him those things years ago."  I guess some of us are slow to learn.  I say that to say this.  Much thought and Bible study has led me to this place, something that is sadly lacking among Christians today. 

 

                 

15 - God Curses Babylon

 

In many respects, the way in which God deals with the nations of the world is in direct relation to how the nations deal with Israel.  That's based on the Abrahamic Covenant as seen in Genesis 12:1 to 3.  Babylon is one prime example of this.

 

More often than not, as seen in Old Testament times, Israel was in rebellion against its God.  On one such occasion, after a number of attacks on the Jewish homeland, in 586 BC God judged Israel for its unfaithfulness to Him by permitting Babylon to overthrow Israel.  The Babylonian army took thousands of Jews captive to Babylon and destroyed Jerusalem in the process.  God often uses a pagan nation or government to bring judgment on His rebellious people.  We should take note of this.  This is also seen in New Testament times when anti-Christ orientated governments persecute the church to bring a needed purity to it.    

 

It's ironic that God used Babylon to accomplish His will in judging Israel and then turned around and judged Babylon for doing His will.  The conquering of Babylon by Persia was God's judgment on Babylon for its mistreatment of the Jews, something that was God's will.    

 

Despite all of Israel's rebellion God did not forget His promise to Abraham.  He would indeed curse any nation who cursed Israel, even if God used that nation to do His will in judging Israel.  It sounds strange, but that's the politics of God and the Bible.   

 

I'd keep an eye on how your nation treats Israel.  I'd also keep an eye on God's response to your nation.  He may be more involved in your nation than what you think.

 

16 - Obstinate Leaders      

 

Pharaoh was the king of Egypt.  He enslaved Jews for more than four hundred years.  The Exodus account states that God hardened Pharaoh's heart.  He did this by creating all sorts of calamities in Egypt that made Pharaoh very angry at the Jews.  That's how Pharaoh's heart progressively got harder.  God did not reach into Pharaoh's heart and make it hard against his will.  God never overrides a person's will.  Pharaoh had free will.  He hardened his own heart in response to God frustrating him with horrific acts of judgment. 

 

What I learn from this is that God will involve Himself in the political life of men and nations to accomplish His own purpose.  He created circumstances in Egypt to make Pharaoh angry with His people which eventually led to their freedom.  The secular man can't see the Lord working behind the scene in national affairs, but those with Biblical understanding do see.

 

Christians aren't Deists.  A Deist is one who believes that God created all things and then stepped back and let all things evolve.  Christians believe that God involves Himself in the affairs of humanity.  Scripture doesn't teach Deism.  Right now, even though you can't visibly see it, God is actively involved behind the scenes in the affairs of your nation in order to accomplish His purposes in the world.  This is the reason for the rise and fall of Babylon, Persia, Rome, and probably the eventual fall of the nation in which you live.   

 

Israel 's enslavement in Egypt under Pharaoh was a time of refining, purifying, and testing for Jews as seen in  Deuteronomy 4:20.  God created the circumstances for Pharaoh to harden his heart, which in turn caused the Jews great suffering.  Suffering was the purifying agent to get the Jews ready for the Promised Land.  I suggest that God is beginning to do the same today in terms of New Testament Christians.  Christians in the western world need a lot of purifying, and the Lord is creating circumstances by which secular governments are progressively making life harder for Christians.  He is doing the same with Israel today, which by the way, is the reason for the Great Tribulation at the end of this age.  It's called "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7).

 

You may not have voted for the leader of your nation.  You might even despise him or her, and maybe for good reasons, but God has put him or her in authority to fulfill His will, which just might be to test and purify you and your brothers and sisters in the Lord.  His reason might also be to bring your nation down in defeat.   

 

It is important to know that God will use anyone to accomplish His will and that includes the devil himself.  Satan might have thought that he finally got Jesus when he entered the heart of Judas.  Maybe he and his demonic buddies had a wild party the night Judas kissed Jesus.  Can you see satan jumping with ecstatic joy?  Jesus being handed over by Judas and then to the Jews and finally to the Roman soldiers was God's will.  I personally doubt that satan realized he was being used as a tool to do God's will.  While satan was "laughing with delight," as Don McLean sang in the early 1970's, the angels of God might well have been laughing at his ignorant conceit.  I dare say that the leaders who now are making life hard for Christians are in the same boat of ignorance as satan. They are being used by the God they despise to accomplish His purpose.  

 

Does God use ungodly and evil men to accomplish His purpose?  He certainly does.  This is the politics of God and the Bible. 

 

  

17 - The Creation Of Wealth

 

In Deuteronomy 8:10 to 20 Moses reminded Israel to always obey the Lord, especially when it would become wealthy.  The reason for this is simple.  If Israel forgets God, they would claim their wealth was a product of "their own strength" (Deuteronomy 8:17). 

 

God's response to such thinking was clear.  In verse 18 He said, "Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth."  Israel's wealth didn't come from its own ability, but from God's ability.  This is extremely relevant in our once influenced by Christian thought western nations.     

 

The Reformation of the 16th century was lacking in many respects, but there was one important issue that came out of the movement.  Faith, or trust in Jesus alone for salvation, is a fundamental truth that cannot be compromised.  Western nations in the past have been influence by Christian thought because of the Reformation.  Unlike those nations who did not embrace the Reformation, the west has become wealthy.   America is an example of this.  Founded upon, or at least influenced by, Christian values, America has become extremely wealthy.  That is changing.  Like Israel , America is beginning to forget who gave it the ability to produce wealth.  Generally speaking, America no longer attributes its wealth to the Lord, but to its own ability and ingenuity.  I'm sure you've heard of the phrase "American ingenuity."  It makes my point.  So what does all this mean?  

 

Deuteronomy 8:19 and 20 answers this question.  God would destroy Israel, as He destroyed other nations for thinking their wealth was a product of their own ability.  This clearly shows me that God can give nations the ability to create wealth.  If those nations fail to attribute their wealth to the Lord, He can easily take it away.  I suggest that if your nation no longer attributes its wealth to the Lord, you're in for a collapse.  This is the politics of God and the Bible.

  

                  

18 - Government On His Shoulders

 

Isaiah 9:6 and 7 is often read at Christmas.  If you relegate this passage to a simple Christmas reading you've missed the point of the passage.  "For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David's throne and over His kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."  Clearly, there is more to this passage than what you read on a Christmas card.      

 

Note the word "government" in the passage.  It's translated from the Hebrew word "misrah," meaning, "rule, or to have dominion over."  Note also the words "forever" and "David's throne."  The ruler spoken of in this passage will rule in Jerusalem from David's throne, and he will do so forever.   

 

All conservative Bible teachers agree this ruler is the Lord Jesus Christ.  However, the agreements in there.  I believe that this ruler, Jesus, will return to earth and set up His government from what was once David's throne in Jerusalem.  From there He will rule Israel and all nations for a thousand years, but this passage says He will rule forever.  The "forever" part of this passage refers to the rule of Jesus on the new earth as seen in Revelation 21.  Those of the Replacement Theology belief do not believe this. 

 

We now turn to the politics of Jesus and the New Testament.  

 

19 - Jesus Comes To Israel

 

Isaiah 9:6 says, "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given …"  I think the majority of Christians believe the word "us" in this verse refers to them, but that's not the case.  To whom did Isaiah speak these words?  He spoke them to Israel.  Therefore, the word "us" refers to
Israel, not the church.  John 1:11 confirms this. 
"He (Jesus) came to that which was His own (Israel) but His own did not recognize Him."  Matthew 15:24 says, "I (Jesus) was sent only to the lost sheep of  Israel." 

 

Just so you won't think I've fallen off a theological cliff, I realize that Jesus' earthly mission was primarily to the Jews but His death was for all ethnic peoples.  This is important to know because the rejection of Jesus by the Jews opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles as Paul stated in Romans 11:28.  

 

Pilate was right when He called Jesus the King of the Jews (John 19:19).  In the best sense of the word, Jesus was born to be the ultimate political ruler, but He certainly didn't play the part in His human ministry, and there's a specific reason for that.  That being said, He was still Israel 's king, even though His inauguration is yet to come.  You might say that Jesus was a king in exile when He was on earth. 

 

Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the exact representation of God.  That's because He was God in human flesh.  God, and therefore Jesus, has two principle character traits that are relevant to our discussion.  Both God and Jesus are loving and just.  Before God demonstrates His justice in judgment, He always provides a way to escape His judgment because He is loving.  That's the specific reason why King Jesus first came to earth as a humble servant.  In the eyes of the world Jesus was killed as a criminal.  In the eyes of God He was killed as a sacrifice to forgive our sins so we could be reconciled to Him and reside in His Kingdom.   

 

We live in an age which has been called "the age of grace."  God's grace is being extended to all peoples.  It's an invitation to citizenship in the Kingdom of God.  Even though Christians live in a secular nation, our real citizenship is in the invisible Kingdom of God, and this we must never forget.

  

 

20 - Gabriel Visits Mary

 

One day an ordinary girl in an unsavory town named Nazareth was visited by an important angel named Gabriel.  He told Mary that she would have a son, and not by Joseph.  "You (Mary) … will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.  He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end."  This is another passage we read at Christmas, but if you relegate it to Christmas, you miss its meaning. 

 

Gabriel told Mary that her son would be called "the Son of the Most High" because that was the easiest way to tell Mary that her son would be God in human flesh.  Mary would not have understood the doctrine we call the Deity of Christ.

 

Gabriel also said that Jesus would inherit the throne of David and He would rule over the house of Jacob ( Israel ) forever.  That's important because Israel wasn't even a nation at this point in history.  It was a Roman province called Judea .  Gabriel was speaking of a future time in human history, a time that is still yet to come.  

 

We have already noted that the throne of David was once situated in Jerusalem .  Mary was told that Jesus will rule from that throne over Israel , and that He would rule forever.  This tells me that Israel still has eternal significance in the eyes of God.  Nothing in the New Testament era changed that and that includes the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A D as some think. 

 

21 - Jesus Chosen To Be King

 

John the Baptist preached and baptized along the banks of the Jordan River .  His message was simple.  Everyone needed to repent in order to be ready for the Messiah and His kingdom.  Like most things pertaining to God, this confused the civil and religious leaders in Jerusalem .  They sent representatives to ask John if he was the Christ, the king who would deliver Israel from its oppressors, which in that instance was Rome .  John denied being the Christ.   

 

The next day John's cousin Jesus stood among those seeking to be baptized.  As the revelation came to him he announced, "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).  Note that the Lamb of God would not only take away Israel 's sins but the sins of the world.  Only then could God's anointed king be the king of the Jews, and as this announcement implies, "king of the world."   

 

22 - Satan Visits Jesus

 

Soon after Jesus' baptism He went into the desert to prepare Himself by praying and fasting for the tough days ahead of Him.  Unlike most up and coming leaders He didn't head off to Jerusalem to be a guest on a popular talk show to promote Himself.  He didn't meet with supporters and rally the troops.  Instead, He had a meeting with His opposition, that being satan who would attempt to thwart the kingdoms of men becoming the Kingdom of God as they eventually will (Revelation 12:10).

 

Satan tempted Jesus to come over to his side. Each satanic temptation was accompanied by a supporting Scripture.  Jesus refuted each temptation with another Scripture.  This was no friendly theological debate.  It was a battle over the proper understanding of God's Word and how it would be worked out in human history. 

 

Most nations have some kind of constitution that sets forth how that nation should exist.  For example, the American Constitution is the foundation of American society.  Like the battle between Jesus and satan over the original intent of the Old Testament, the battle rages on in the courts, the halls of congress, and the media, over the original intent of the American Constitution.  It's an ever-present tendency to redefine the original intension of any document and make it mean something different than what it was originally intended to mean. In part, this is what was taking place between Jesus and satan.    

 

Despite these attempts to redefine, update, and make the Bible mean something it was never meant to mean, the Bible stands as the constitutional authority for the Kingdom of God .  Any attempt to tamper with, add to, subtract from, or ignore, will only bring God's judgment. 

 

During the temptation satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, as seen in Matthew 4.  He offered Jesus these kingdoms as if they belonged to him and in one sense of the word they did belong to satan.  Jesus would later call satan the prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11).  Jesus refused the offer.  All these kingdoms would eventually be His anyway (Revelation 21:24). 

 

The Bible sets forth God's political agenda for both the kingdoms of men and the Kingdom of God .    

 

23 - The Invisible Kingdom

 

If you study the New Testament you will notice that there are two aspects to the Kingdom of God.  There is the invisible, or spiritual kingdom, and there is the visible, or material kingdom.  They are not two kingdoms, just two aspects of the same kingdom.  First comes the invisible and then comes the visible.  First comes the spiritual and then comes the material. 

 

While on earth, Jesus demonstrated the reality of the invisible Kingdom of God by His presence, His teaching, and His miracles.  Jesus often said, "The Kingdom of God is near you."  The reason for the Kingdom being near to those listening to Him is simple.  Jesus was, and is, the king of God's Kingdom and He was near those to whom He spoke.  The incarnation of Jesus was an expression of the invisible kingdom breaking through into the material world.   

 

Soon after Jesus was tested by satan in the desert He returned to Nazareth where He gave His inaugural speech as the king of this invisible kingdom.  His words are one of my favorite Bible passages.  He entered the synagogue and stood up with a scroll in hand.  He boldly, calmly, yet emphatically proclaimed Himself to be the king of the Jews by reading Isaiah 61:1 and 2.  It states, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and the recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  Jesus then set the scroll down and said, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."  An uneasy calm must have filled the room.  Everyone would have been speechless.  Some were silenced by awe, others by rage.  Jesus had just announced that He was the fulfillment of prophecy.  In fact He was proclaiming that He was the Messiah of Israel that had been predicted for centuries.       

 

I lived in a suburb of Washington D.C.
when Ronald Reagan gave his first inaugural speech as President of the United States.  It was one exciting and exhilarating day.  An actor becomes President of the United States of America was really something.  If given the choice, I would rather have been in Nazareth to hear Jesus' inaugural speech.  A carpenter becomes king of the Jews, and ultimately, king of the universe is simply incredible.  I would have loved to have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room when Jesus said, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."  What powerful words.    

 

It is interesting to note that when Jesus read from Isaiah 61 He stopped reading right in the middle of a sentence.  The last words Jesus read were, "to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."  The rest of the sentence that Jesus did not read says, "and the day of vengeance of our God."  Why didn't Jesus read the whole sentence?  Why didn't He read about God's vengeance?  The answer to this question tells us the nature of Jesus' first earthly ministry.  His time on earth was a demonstration of God's love, grace, and favour to Israel, and ultimately to the world.  As John 3:17 states, "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him."  Jesus didn't come to judge and condemn.  He will do that when He returns to earth a second time.  That's why Jesus didn't finish the sentence.

 

We presently live in the days of the Lord's favour, or as the text states, "the year of the Lord's favour."  We better take advantage of this before this day ends.  

 

 

24 - Thy Kingdom Come

 

How many times have we prayed what we've called "the Lord's prayer?"  De we understand what we pray?  Many don't understand.  The disciples were told to pray, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).  What does this request mean?

 

There are two aspects to the Kingdom of God.  There is the invisible kingdom that exists right now in the heavenly realm, and there is the visible kingdom that will exist on earth at the end of this age. 

 

Jesus asked the disciples to pray that God's kingdom would come.  Has God's kingdom fully come to earth?  The next phrase helps answer this question. "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  God's will is being done right now in heaven, but it isn't being done on earth.  That's why we are to make this request to God.  So, when we pray that God's kingdom would come, we are asking God to end this present age and have Jesus set up the visible Kingdom of God on earth.  Is that what you want?  Do you want your life as you presently know it to end right now?  I have heard people say that they want to go to heaven but they don't want to be on the next boatload that would take them there.   That tells me how anxious, or should I say unanxious, people are to end this age.  Clearly, it is the politics of God and the Bible for God's Kingdom to come to earth in a visible and material way so His will can be done on earth as it is now being done in heaven.    

 

 

24 - Thy Kingdom Come

 

How many times have we prayed what we've called "the Lord's prayer"?  De we understand what we pray?  Many don't.  The disciples were told to pray, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". (Matthew 6:10)  What does this request mean?

 

There are two aspects to the Kingdom of God.  There's the invisible kingdom that exists right now in the heavenly realm, and there's the visible kingdom that will exist on earth at the end of this age. 

 

Jesus prayed, "Your kingdom come". Has God's kingdom fully come to earth?  The next phrase helps answer this question. "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven".  God's will is being done right now in heaven, but it isn't being done on earth.  That's why we are to make this request to God.  So, when we pray "thy kingdom come", we're asking God to end this present age and have Jesus set up the visible Kingdom of God on earth.  Is that what you really want?  Do you want your life as you presently know it to end right now?  We've all heard people say, "I want to go to heaven, but I don't want to be on the next boat to take me there".   That tells me how anxious we are to end this age.  Clearly, it is the politics of God and the Bible for God's Kingdom to come to earth in a visible and material way so His will can be done on earth as it is now being done in heaven.    

 

 

25 - Jesus Will Build His Church

 

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus told Peter and others "that He would build His church and the gates of Hades would not overcome it."  This is one very misunderstood passage.  This misunderstanding has unfortunately shaped much of our thinking concerning church throughout the centuries.    

 

The reason for the misunderstanding is due to the word "church" that appears in our English translations.  The word "church" is translated from the Greek word "ecclesia."  Ecclesia simply means "a group of people who have been set apart for a specific purpose."  That's it.  It's not complicated.  Ecclesia was not a religious word as our English word "church" is.  It was an everyday word, with everyday usage.  An ecclesia could have been a town council, a fishing guild, a ladies sewing group, or any group of people set apart for a specific purpose.    

 

The problem arises when we define church, and in turn ecclesia, in this passage with our modern understanding of church.  The New Testament was written almost two thousand years ago in a language few of us know or understand.  Christians continue to impose 21st century definitions into a 1st century Greek New Testament.  That's bad hermeneutics.  It does great harm to the text and even more harm to the way we think.  This unfortunate misunderstanding of church has been passed down to us through various Christian movements for centuries.  Few have bothered to challenge the status quo on this issue.       

 

When Jesus told Peter, and those standing by, He was going to build His ecclesia, He was not thinking of anything that closely resembles what church looks like in the western world today.  As a matter of fact, Jesus was not speaking Greek when He spoke these words.  He was most likely speaking Aramaic or Hebrew.  The corresponding word He would have spoken in either of these languages speaks to a functioning and supporting community of people, not to an organizational structure.  Jesus' intention was to take people out of the world and set them apart to be a community of people who would do His will in representing the Kingdom of God to the world. 

 

Jesus went on to say that He would give the disciples the "keys to the Kingdom."  They would become the doorkeepers to the Kingdom of God.  They would be responsible to demonstrate and represent the Kingdom of God to the world by what they taught and how they lived.  Jesus would give them authority to open the door to the Kingdom of God to the repentant sinner.  This began to take place when the Holy Spirit came to live in the lives of the believers in Acts 2, uniting them in personal relationships with each other and with Jesus. 

 

We should, therefore, not view church as countless organizations, each having distinct doctrinal differences, real-estate, and ecclesiastical hierarchies. 

Church is simply those people who belong to Jesus and in turn belong to each other in order to do Jesus' will. 

 

There is only one church, one group of people who belong to Jesus.  I suggest that you can substitute the word "church" with the words "those who belong to Jesus" when you read the New Testament.  Take Revelation 3:1 as an example.  The NIV states, "to the angel of the church at Sardis."  You can easily say, "to the angel of those who belong to Jesus at Sardis."   In Revelation 2 and 3 Jesus addresses seven churches, or so our English versions state.  I don't see Jesus addressing seven churches as we understand church today.  I see Him addressing people who belong to Him who reside in seven different cities.  There is only one group of people who belong to Jesus, no matter where we live or how we organize ourselves.  If you can grasp what I just said, and many won't, it will turn your world of church upside down. You'll never be satisfied with the status quo again.      

 

Church is relational.  We are people who Jesus has personally taken from the world.  We now belong to Him and to each other.  Each one of us who belong to Jesus is joined to a few others to carry out His plans on earth.  As one bone is joined to another in a body, so each disciple is joined to another as a bone in the Body of Christ, or, the invisible Kingdom of God .  Christians are the visible expression of an invisible kingdom, breaking through the clouds into the kingdom of men.     

 

God the Father was known to Israel as
Yahweh throughout the Old Testament. 
Yahweh told Abraham that he would become
a great nation.  The nation of Israel in Old 
Testament was intended to reflect the invisible Kingdom of God to the nations of the world.  Israel was God's chosen people, set apart to do His will.  In other words, thinking in terms of New Testament Greek, Israel was "Yahweh's ecclesia."  Thinking in terms of 21st century English, Israel was "Yahweh's church."

 

Jesus came along in Matthew 16:18 and
tells us that He was going to build "His ecclesia," or in my words, "His own ecclesia."  As Yahweh took a people out of the world for His own chosen people, so Jesus would take a people out of the world for His chosen people.  As Yahweh had His ecclesia, Jesus would have His ecclesia. 

 

The bottom line to this is that Jesus was now making a major change in the earthly expression of the invisible Kingdom of God.  A new expression of God's kingdom was now being born, an expression with a much different look and mandate.  The obvious question is, "what happened to Yahweh's ecclesia"?  What happened to Israel?

 

26 - Israel Laid Aside But Not Forgotten

 

Jesus was very upset with the Jewish leaders, as Yahweh often was in the Old Testament.  What Jesus said in Matthew 21:43 is key to this discussion.  Since most, but not all, Israelis rejected Jesus, He told them that the Kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to a people who will produce its fruits.  Simply put, Israel forfeited its responsibilities to represent the invisible Kingdom of God so Jesus gave this responsibility to others, which was His ecclesia.  We, thus, have a transition away from Yahweh's ecclesia, to Jesus' ecclesia; from Yahweh's community of people to Jesus' community of people.  In fact this change brought us into a new era in history.   

 

Theologians have termed the era in which we presently live as "the age of grace."  We now live in an age where Jesus' ecclesia, the church, both teach and live a life that demonstrates God's grace.  Jesus said, "As my Father has sent me, so I send you" (John 20:21).  As Israel was created to represent Yahweh to the nations, so the New Testament church was created to represent Jesus to the nations of the world.  

 

We now turn our attention to the politics of Jesus and His chosen people, the church, with the understanding that Yahweh has not set aside Israel forever.  He will be faithful to Abraham and keep His promises to him.  Israel will come back into the picture at the end of this age, and when it's all over, Jesus' ecclesia the church and Yahweh's ecclesia Israel will co-exist in harmony forever.   

 

27 - The Politics Of Jesus

 

I've just made a distinction between Yahweh's ecclesia and Jesus' ecclesia.  Jesus' ecclesia differs from Yahweh's ecclesia on many fronts.  For example, the Law of Moses was given to Israel to obey.  Jesus was given to Christians to obey.   

 

The Law of Moses commanded Israelis not to kill.  Jesus commanded Christians not to get angry without just cause.  The Law of Moses told Israelis not to commit adultery.  Jesus told Christians not to lust.  Whereas the Law of Moses spoke more or less to outward issues, Jesus spoke to the inward.    

 

In Deuteronomy 13 God told Israel to kill false prophets and those who worship other gods.  Jesus and New Testament texts tells Christians that vengeance and punishment belongs to God (Romans 12:19).   

 

Christians are to live as Jesus lived while He was on earth.  We don't kill the false prophet or those who worship other gods.  We proclaim God's grace as seen in the forgiveness of sins once the sinner repents and hands His life over to Jesus.  As Jesus said in His inaugural address, we proclaim "the day of God's favour."  We live in the era of grace.   

 

Yahweh told Israel to fight its way into the Promised Land.  Christians are not to fight to advance the Kingdom of God.  We are to be people of peace as Jesus was when He was on earth, but not at the expense of truth.  If need be, like Jesus, we die by the sword in the advancement of His Kingdom.   

 

We know how Jesus felt about Roman officials.  In Matthew 20:25 and 26 He said that Gentile rulers lord it over their subject, but that was not to be the case in the Kingdom of God.  Leaders in the Kingdom of God were to be servants.  Paul understood this.  In 2 Corinthians 1:24 he said, "Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy."  There is a major difference between the way national leaders lead and the way those in the Kingdom of God should lead.           

 

When Jesus stood before Pilate He rebuked Pilate for thinking he had authority over Him.  In John 19:11 Jesus told Pilate that he had no authority other than what His Father authorized.  Was Jesus thinking specifically of Pilate when He said this, or was He thinking of political leaders in general?  Jesus was talking specifically to Pilate, so good hermeneutics tells us that Jesus had Pilate in mind when He spoke these words.  That being said, I believe there's sufficient Biblical evidence to say that what Jesus told Pilate also applies to other political leaders, including the one you voted for.  Daniel 2:21 and 4:24 make that clear.       

 

Jesus also told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. If it were, His servants would fight to prevent His arrest (John 18:36).  Christians don't belong to the nations in which they live.  They're citizens of the heavenly kingdom.  For this reason we are passivists when it comes to advancing the Kingdom of God .  We do not use physical force as a means of evangelization.  The so-called holy wars of the 11th and 12th centuries were not holy.  The Crusades throughout the Middle East were in direct opposition to what Jesus told Pilate.  Defending Christian territory from Muslim advancement is acceptable, but let's not call Christian advancement into the Middle East a holy war.  The same is true concerning certain Reformation leaders who used force to subdue their opposition.  Such violence is a disgrace and a blemish on our Christian heritage.  It haunts us to this very day.    

 

Matthew 11:12 in the KJV reads as follows.  "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."  The NIV reads, "from the days of John the Baptist to now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."  These 2 versions seem to differ from each other.    

 

The KJV suggests that violent men use force against
the Kingdom of God, which was seen in the
beheading of John the Baptist and the killing of Jesus.  The RSV Interlinear Greek/English New Testament seems to agree when it translates the expanded form of the Greek word "biazo" as "is forcefully treated," as in, "the Kingdom of God
is being forcefully treated by forceful men."  It's violent men who are doing violence to the Kingdom of God.     

 

The NIV suggests the opposite when it says "the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."  Christians are the ones who are violent in the NIV, not the persecutors of Christians.  Again, this is how the Roman soldiers would have understood this passage when they spread terror in the name of Christ throughout the Middle East in the crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries. 

 

I've heard this passage misused countless times over the years.  People see the words "violence" and "forceful" and believe the gospel of Jesus must advance with military like force and fervor.  Some people have been physically violent while others have been violent in their attitude.  This should never be the case. 

 

In Matthew 11:12 Jesus was saying that

the Kingdom of God was suffering violence
by violent men, and the violence was still taking place as He spoke.  The difference between various versions of Matthew 11:12 is a matter of translating the text.  It's difficult at times not to impose one's theological positions into the translation process.  All that being said, it is the duty of the church to advance God's Kingdom on earth in a way that gives glory to Jesus. 

 

28 - The Politics Of War – Part 2  

 

From a Biblical standpoint it's clear to me that Christians should not use violence to advance or defend the Kingdom of God.  It's not so clear, however, to me that Christians should fight in war, or not fight in war, if called upon to defend their nation.  This issue has been debated for centuries in Christian circles.  I won't end the debate.  In my thinking, the reason for the debate is because the New Testament gives no specific or clear-cut teaching on the subject.  There's no verse that says, "don't fight for your nation."  There's no verse that says, "fight for your nation."  There are passages where one can derive some kind of interpretation that promotes a particular viewpoint, but it's an interpretation.  It's not a statement of fact. 

 

One example of this is when Jesus told people to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar (Luke 20:25).  The context of Jesus' words concerned paying taxes to Caesar.  Paying taxes is the primary statement of fact here.  Some suggest a secondary meaning to Jesus' words is possible.  They say that if Caesar calls you to serve in the military, you serve because serving in the military is something that belongs to Caesar.  That may well be true but the problem with this is that Jesus didn't specifically say that in this passage.  That's only what some think He might have said if asked.  One basic hermeneutical principle states that you cannot argue a point from silence, and this argument is based on silence.      

 

Jesus had conversations with Roman soldiers on many occasions but never told them to leave the army.  Some suggest that's proof Jesus allows military involvement by His followers.  That's speculation too.  The soldiers Jesus encountered weren't necessarily His followers, and they weren't Jews.  They were Romans.  Jesus' ministry was specific to the Jews, not to Gentiles.  He would have had no reason to tell a Roman soldier to leave his post.                                             

 

Another example of a passage used to support Christian involvement in the military is found in 1 Corinthians 7:20.  Paul tells his readers to stay in whatever situation they were in when God called them.  The context of Paul's words concerns marriage.  If you were married when you became a Christian, stay married.  If you were single, stay single.  If you struggle with the sexual pressure of singleness, then get married.  That's not a sin.     

 

Paul did give two other examples of situations to remain in once becoming a Christian.  If you were a slave when you met Christ, don't demand your freedom.  It you are offered your freedom, take it.  If you were uncircumcised, don't get circumcised.  If you were circumcised, stay circumcised.  Beyond these three situations, Paul gave no other examples of situations to stay in once becoming a Christian.  Any situation we might add to Paul's list is speculative on our part.  Would Paul have added military involvement to this list?  I can't say for sure because he never said so.  I know from other passages that there are some occupations that he wouldn't add to his list.  Prostitution is one obvious example. 

 

The Apostle Paul lived much of his post-conversion life surrounded by Roman soldiers.  He preached the gospel to them while in prison or in chains.  We have no record of Paul telling any of these soldiers to leave their post once they began to follow Jesus.  Any reason we might give for this omission is speculative. 

 

In John 18:36 Jesus told Pilate that if His kingdom was of this world, His disciples would fight to prevent His arrest.  Does this imply Jesus is in favor of military involvement by His followers?  He specifically said His disciples would not fight because the kingdom they would be fighting for isn't of this world.  Some suggest that this opens the door for military involvement by Christians because their nation is of this world.  They might have a point.  On the other hand, what Jesus did not say is speculative.

 

I'm sorry to end this section with uncertainty, and with no strong conviction.  I lean towards Christian involvement in the military as being Biblically permissible, but it is a leaning based on no clearly stated mandate.  I wish there was a clear cut statement of fact one way or the other.  I've heard the arguments on both sides of the issue.  Both sides have compelling arguments, but still, I'm not fully convinced of either. 

 

29 - The Politics Of Paul    

     

It's my thinking that as Moses was to Israelis in Old Testament times so Paul is to Christians in New Testament times.  Both men were well educated in all aspects of culture, law, religion, and especially the culture of God.  Both men set forth God's will for His people in the era in which they lived.  When it comes to Paul, I've always said, "If Paul was wrong in what he taught, then we as Christians have a major problem on our hands."  Paul, more than any other New Testament personality, including Jesus, systematically set forth the doctrines of Christ.  Paul's letter to the Romans makes that clear.  Therefore, when it comes to the politics of God and the Bible, one must take Paul's writings into account. 

 

30 - Paul And Israel

 

The Apostle Paul was well educated in Jewish social and religious tradition.  You could not have asked for a more dedicated man to the Jewish cause.  Philippians 3 shows that to be true.  Paul paid a high price to follow Jesus.  Although he forsook Jewish tradition, he did not forsake Yahweh and the truths of the Old Testament as they were meant to be understood.  In light of Paul's association with Jesus, we need to know what he believed concerning the future of Israel.  

 

At the risk of raising more questions, I'll try to make this simple.  For a detailed explanation of Israel in prophetic history, including Paul's teaching, you can read my account entitled "The Abrahamic Covenant" found on my web site.  

 

If you read every passage in Genesis concerning the promises God spoke to Abraham, which we call the Abrahamic Covenant, you will notice that there are three recipients of these promises as seen in the NIV Bible.  They are, Abraham, his descendents, and Abraham's offspring or seed.  This crucial fact is missed by many people, resulting in a misunderstanding of Israel 's place in prophetic history. 

 

With this in mind we turn to Galatians 3:15 to 18, the most debated passage concerning Israel 's future.  Paul made a big deal over the word "seed" that appears in the Abrahamic Covenant in the King James Bible.  The NIV does not use the word "seed" in Genesis.  Paul said the Abrahamic Covenant was directed to Abraham and to "his seed."  He notes the word "seed" is singular, not plural.  He, therefore, concludes that this one "seed," or, this one "descendent," is Jesus.      

 

Based on Paul's assertion that Jesus is the "seed" of Abraham, a theology called "Replacement Theology" emerged in the church centuries ago.  Those holding to this view say the promises spoken to Abraham have been completely fulfilled in the one seed, or, the one descendent, Jesus.   Because of this they conclude that all the promises spoken to Abraham, including promises of land and Israeli nationhood, are now spiritualized and given to the church through Jesus.  They also insist that all the prophetic passages that speak to Israel 's restoration no longer apply to Israel but the church. In short, this doctrine states that the church has replaced Israel as God's chosen people, leaving Israel with no future in God's prophetic scheme of things.  I see this teaching as being very problematic.    

 

Galatians 3 states there are two recipients of the Abrahamic Covenant, Abraham and his seed.  The Genesis account states there are three recipients, Abraham, his descendents, and his seed, or offspring.  This appears to be a discrepancy, but it's not.  Replacement Theology builds its case on the two recipient scenario seen here in Galatians 3.  It ignores the three recipient scenario, or doesn't realize it exists.  Because of this error, Israel , or Abraham's descendents, loses their place in prophetic history in this theological position.     

 

Another important thing to note is that the word "seed" is singular, while the word "descendents" is plural.  This is another overlooked point.  Because "seed" is singular and "descendents" is plural, these two recipients can't be synonymous as Replacement Theology suggests.  The seed is Jesus.  The descendents are Israelis, and according to the Abrahamic Covenant, Israel has an everlasting future, along with Jesus.  It is important to know that the KJV Bible does not clearly make the distinction between the singular word seed and the plural word descendents, and thus I believe the reason for the confusion.  The KJV, unlike the NIV, translates the Genesis account with just 2 recipients instead of 3.  The KJV only uses the word "seed" in connection with the Abrahamic Covenant.  The NIV uses the words "offspring" and "descendents" in connection with the Abrahamic Covenant.  The NIV divides the KJV's "seed" in two - "offspring" (singular) and "descendents (plural).                 

 

Paul addresses just one issue in Galatians 3.  He says salvation comes through trusting Jesus, not through the Law of Moses.  That's his main point in this chapter.  He never intended to address the prophetic and historic significance of Israel in this passage.  The reason why he wrote this letter in the first place was because the Galatians were beginning to replace faith in Jesus with obedience to the Law of Moses.  For this reason, Paul would have had no reason to address the issues of Israel 's place in prophetic history, land issues, or, nationhood.  He does that in Romans 9 through 11. 

 

Those holding to Replacement Theolog
misunderstand Galatians 3, so when they read Romans 9 through 11, they build their theology on this misunderstanding, resulting in even more misunderstanding.  There is no need to interpret Romans 9 through 11 as not referring to Israel.  We should simply accept what Paul says at face value, that being, he is speaking of national Israel , not the church in Romans 9 through 11.      

 

Paul had a deep concern for Israel's future.  In Romans 9:3 he expressed his compassion by saying he was willing to lose his salvation if that could save Israel. 

 

Paul points out in Romans 9, as he did in Galatians 3, that it had always been God's will to provide salvation to both Israelis and Gentiles through faith in Jesus.  In Romans 10:4 he goes as far to say that "Christ is the end of the Law."  Jesus has replaced the Law of Moses for the purpose of salvation and righteousness.   

 

In Romans 11:1 Paul asked the crucial question. "Did God reject His people (Israel)?"  His answer was emphatic.  He said, "By no means."  In verse 7

through 10 he quotes Old Testament passages to show God actually blinded the eyes and understanding of Israel in order for the Gentiles to find faith in Jesus.   Paul then says in verses 25 and 26 that he did not want his readers to be ignorant of the fact that " Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in."  Once the last Gentile finds salvation, then "all Israel will be saved." At this point, Zechariah 12:10 will finally be fulfilled.  God will pour out a spirit of grace and repentance upon Israel , resulting in its salvation.  Clearly, Paul believed Israel has a future.

 

There are three recipients of the Abrahamic Covenant.  They are Abraham, his offspring (seed) Jesus, and his descendents Israel.  Each of these three recipients has a part to play in the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.  What Paul taught in Galatians 3 does not nullify the Genesis account or what he taught in Romans 9 through 11.  Israel has a definite part to play in the politics of God and the Bible.     

 

31 - Paul and Submission To Authority   

 

What Paul wrote in Romans 13:1 to 7 has been taken seriously by those Christians who have lived under, or, who presently live under, a dictatorial regime.  For those of us in the western world, Paul's remarks haven't been taken so seriously, at least not as yet.  That will soon change as our western world governments become more anti-Christ in nature. 

 

In Romans 13:1 Paul told his readers "to submit to the governing authorities," which refers to civil leaders.  In Paul's day these authorities were part of a harsh dictatorial regime.  Paul's instruction to submit would have been hard for his readers to understand.  The authorities to whom Paul's readers were to submit might turn around, slice their heads off, parade their skulls around the city square, and feed their bodies to wild dogs roaming the streets.  Submission to ungodly authority must be included in any discussion concerning the politics of God and the Bible.     

 

Paul based his reason to submit to civil authorities on the fact that "there is no authority except that which God has established."  I know the debate over the word "established."  Did God simply establish the idea of government, or, are all civil authorities placed in power by His sovereign choice?  Because Paul was speaking in the present tense to specific people living in Rome, I believe he understood the authorities in his day were put there by God.  That being said, Paul knew certain Old Testament passages like Deuteronomy 32:8, Genesis 10, Daniel 2:21 and 4:24 that helped form his thinking on this issue.  Deuteronomy 32:8 tells us that God gave the nations their inheritance and set their boundaries.  Daniel 2:21 and 4:24 clearly state that it is God who causes men and nations to both rise and fall.  It is God who installs and dethrones civil authorities.  I believe Paul would tell you and I that the leaders of our nations, for one reason or another, have been set in place by God.  By no means does this suggest these leaders are godly people.       

 

Because God has established civil authorities, in verse 2 Paul says that if you rebel against these authorities, you rebel against that which God has established.  Such rebellion will bring judgment on you by these governing authorities.  In verse 3 he says that "the rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong."  Simply put, if you do good, you won't have to fear punishment by the authorities.  If you do wrong, you will fear being punished.   

 

Paul says that if you want to be free from fearing the authorities, obey them.  That makes sense, but if you were a first century Christian, you might think twice about this and respond by saying, "Okay Paul, I’ll obey Caesar, but I'm still afraid of the guy." 

 

The context of Paul's words concerning fearing authorities is based on the premise that God put those authorities in place to punish those who do wrong.    That's my paraphrase of verse 4.  For this reason, if you obey the authorities, you won't have to fear being punished for unruly behaviour.  It's important to note that the fear Paul speaks of here is in relation to being afraid of being punished for doing wrong.  This fear isn't in reference to being afraid of Caesar slicing your head off for being a Christian. That's another issue. Caesar might still ax your head off, even if you do obey him.  Besides, Jesus told us not to fear men like Caesar.  Such men can only kill you and burn your naked body in the city square.  They can't kill your soul.  So in the long run we must fear God who can burn both soul and body in hell's fire (Matthew 10:28).     

 

In verse 4 Paul tells us that the governing rulers are "God's servants" to do you good, but if you do wrong, be afraid.  Believe it or not, Caesar was God's man to administer justice on His behalf.  A study of the Old Testament shows that God caused Rome to rise to power.  That should have made Christians feel good about Caesar, but I doubt if it did.   Caesar did administer justice, but it was his brand of justice, not God's brand of justice.  Caesar viewed justice and matters of right and wrong differently than God.  That created the problem for Christians back then. 

 

Who ultimately defines what is right and what is wrong?  It's not Caesar.  It's God.  How do we then submit to authorities who refuse to submit to God's authority is the issue at hand?

 

Verse 5 gives us two reasons why we are to submit to civil authorities, as bad as they might be.  The first reason is so we won't be punished for doing wrong.  The second reason is probably more important.  We submit for the sake of our conscience.  Having a clean and undisturbed conscience is vital in our relationship to the state, as it is in all we do.  Concerning our conscience, it must be reformatted by God's Word because the human conscience is sinful and can't always be trusted.  A Biblical based conscience is fundamental to how and when we submit to the state.   

 

To sum up, Paul told us that civil authorities have been established by God to represent Him by enforcing matters of civil justice as defined by Him.  We, therefore, submit to the authorities, even if they are ungodly, in matters pertaining to justice as defined by God. 

 

Since civil authorities have been established by God, they are subject to Him.  If the authorities require us to submit in matters that clearly oppose God, the one they represent and to whom they must submit, we have no choice but to not submit.  Our consciences must be clean and undisturbed in this matter, as Paul's conscience was in Acts 24:17.      

 

Paul knew the authorities of this world were heavily influenced by demons.  He said so in Ephesians 6:10 and following.  Paul himself didn't submit to civil authority in every situation, and he certainly wasn't afraid to stand up to rulers when an injustice was done.  In Acts 16:35 to 37 he withstood unjust authorities.  He and Silas were illegally beaten and imprisoned without a trial.  The authorities wanted to sweep this injustice under the carpet.  They commanded Paul and Silas to secretly leave town so no one would know of the injustice.  In a bold act of defiance, Paul refused to obey.  He didn't immediately leave town as ordered.  He and Silas visited the saints at Lydia's home first.  He eventually did leave town, but at a time of his own choosing.  

 

Paul spent a large portion of his ministry standing up to unjust authorities, and along the way he preached the gospel to them.  Jewish authorities had falsely accused Paul, landing him into a Roman prison.  He was offered freedom by the Roman authorities if he would drop the matter and not pursue justice.  You can call Paul stubborn, or you can call him a man of justice.  Whatever the case, he refused to drop the matter without a legal hearing.  He appealed to Caesar to defend himself and fight this injustice (Acts 25:11).  Paul was respectful to governing authorities, and he did his best to submit, but when it came to matters of injustice as defined by God, he stood firm before the civil authorities.  In fact Paul became God's spokesman to these authorities in these matters.  In other words, the authorities should have listened to Paul and obeyed him.    

   

We submit to ungodly authorities, but when they demand submission in matters that clearly depart from Biblical truth, we peacefully and respectfully decline to submit.  We accept the consequences, no matter how severe they may be.  Like the Apostle Peter, we obey God rather than man (Acts 4:19 - 20).  This issue is fast becoming an issue that Christians will have to address in our anti-Christ western world culture.  More and more our civil authorities want us to join them in their ungodliness.  We just can't do that.   

 

We can't read Romans 13:1 to 7 and formulate our thinking on that passage alone.  We must understand this passage in the context of Paul's life, his ministry, and the rest of his teaching.  We'll do that next.

 

 

32 - Paul And The Day Of Evil

 

In John 14:27 Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives."  The difference between Jesus and national governments in respect to peace is that Jesus gives peace while governments negotiate peace.  Whether it's two warring spouses or two warring nations, the best humanity can do is to negotiate some kind of peace that may or may not produce lasting peace, and, with any negotiations, there is compromise.  Jesus offers us uncompromised peace.   

 

The first century Christians had little or no peace in respect to the kingdoms of men.  For example, the Apostle Paul was in a constant struggle with the Jewish establishment, which led to his struggle with the Roman authorities.  It's sad to say, Paul even struggled with false teachers in the church.  Obviously, the peace Jesus was talking about was inner peace with God, not outer peace with the kingdoms of men.  In John 16:33 Jesus specifically told His followers that they would have trouble in this world.  The idea of coming to Jesus and living happily ever after in this life is simply not Biblical.   

 

Paul told us in Romans 14:17 why Jesus offered inner peace and not outer peace with the kingdoms of men.  He said that "the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."  In other words, the present day Kingdom of God is not material.  It's spiritual.  It can only be accessed by being born into it through our union with the Holy Spirit.  This is what Nicodemus struggled with in John 3.  Being a well educated religious leader, he couldn't get his head around the idea of being born into a spiritual world after having already been born into this material world.      

 

Paul struggled with all sorts of people in all sorts of places yet he understood his ultimate struggle to be with demonic forces in the spiritual world where the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of satan fight for the hearts of men and nations.  Daniel 10 gives us a glimpse into this struggle.  The Prince of Persia and the Prince of Greece are in conflict with the angels of God.  These princes aren't national leaders.  They are demons that were positioned in and over  Persia and Greece to influence those nations towards evil.  Paul states in Ephesians 6:12 that satan's agents are situated in and over the nations of this world.  Therefore, Paul's fight, and our fight too, is ultimately against the covert underworld of these demonic forces.   

 

In Ephesians 6:17 and 18 Paul states our preferred weapons of warfare against these demonic forces.  They aren't guns, missals, or high tech gadgets that the CIA would employ in covert missions.  As weird as it may sound to the CIA and Pentagon, our weapons are praying in the Spirit and properly using God's Word.  Christians certainly do live in another world.  This is why the so-called Christian crusades into the Islamic Middle East in years past weren't Christian.  Muslims still remind us about that to this day.  These wars began as a defensive matter because of Islam's forceful intrusion into the West.        

 

In Ephesians 6:14 and 15 Paul lists our defenses against this satanic world.  In my words they are, upholding God's truth and His standard of righteousness, having real faith, and knowing our salvation is secure.  I suggest that in many parts of Christendom today, including Evangelicalism, we've become slack and have let down our defenses.  For this reason much of Christendom is unable to stand against satanic activity as Paul says we should in Ephesians 6:13.  We are more influenced by the satanic world than we realize.  Many church groups have been deceived by allowing the enemy into their camp, thinking he is their friend.  Biblical truth doesn't matter to the church as it once did.  Upholding Biblical standards of righteousness isn't so important either. What constitutes faith and salvation is now being redefined by many Evangelicals.  In some respects parts of western world Christendom are so far removed from knowing God's will that it actually thinks it is doing His will, when in fact it isn't.

 

Note the word "stand" in Ephesians 6:13.  Paul says that when the evil day of attack comes, we need our defenses in place just to be able to stand against the satanic attack.  Paul isn't suggesting we'll defeat satan and his agents.  He just expects us to stand firm without surrendering.  Only Jesus will defeat satan at the end of this age. 

 

Note also the words "when the day of evil comes" in verse 13.  What day was Paul talking about?  Well, each generation has its own day of evil, yet for those who live at the end of this age, there is a specific day of evil.  That day begins when Jesus opens the seven seals found in Revelation 6.  This unleashes a day of evil we've never seen before.  Demonic forces will infiltrate all aspects of humanity, causing great distress among the kingdoms of men.  That day of evil might well be on our doorstep.  This day of evil is often called the Tribulation or the Great Tribulation.   

 

Paul ends this passage in verse 19 by saying, "pray for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mysteries of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."  Paul was in the midst of the evil day in his life and times.  He represented the Kingdom of God to the satanic influenced kingdoms of men and they refused to hear him.  He needed to be fearless in his mission.    

 

Christians throughout the world today are entering into an evil day.  Like Paul, we need to fearlessly proclaim the gospel of the soon coming material Kingdom of God to earth.  That won't be politically correct, and sooner or later we will pay the price for what we proclaim and how we live.  Like Paul, we may even find ourselves in chains.  The United States of America, Canada, the U. K, Germany, Iran, and all other nations, have a designated satanic prince influencing national affairs.  The conflict between the kingdoms of men and the Kingdom of God is escalating to such a degree that it will bring about the end to this present age.  We should decide in advance to reinforce our defenses, sharpen our spiritual weapons, and prepare to stand firm against what comes our way.  King Jesus will return.  He alone will win the battle, causing the kingdoms of men to become the kingdom of the Lord and His Christ (Revelation 11:15).    

33 - Israel Restored

 

In Deuteronomy 4 we see that Israel was about to enter the Promised Land.  In verses 25 and following God told them that "after … you have lived in the land a long time – and if you become corrupt … I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you … you will quickly perish from the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess … the Lord will scatter you among the peoples.  When you are in distress … in the later days you will return to the Lord your God … He will not forget the covenant He made with your forefathers." 

 

Deuteronomy 29:64 and following says that "the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other.  There among the nations you will find no repose, no resting place…"  Israel did become corrupt and throughout its history Israelis have been scattered throughout the world, the last two of which took place in 70 AD and 135 AD.            

 

Israel was never meant to live apart from
their land and their God forever.  Ezekiel 34:13
says that God "will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land."  These prophecies are now in the process of being fulfilled.  Not understanding the reason for their return to Israel, God has been bringing Jews back to their own land since the last half of the 19 century. 

 

Isaiah 66:8 asks this question. "Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?"  The answer is an emphatic "yes."   On May 14, 1948, the nation of Israel was born again in a day, fulfilling this prediction. 

 

Getting the Jews back to their homeland is only the beginning of God's plan.  His ultimate goal is to bring Israel back to Himself once they are back in their land.  As the Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:46, "first comes the natural and then the spiritual."  The return of the Jews to God will take place after much distress imposed on them by the nations of the world as the Bible predicts.  This too is God's doing.  Zechariah 14:2 and following says that God "will gather all the nations of the world against Jerusalem and fight against it, the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, the women raped …  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations …  On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem.  The Mount of Olives will split in two from east to west … Then the Lord will come and all His holy ones with Him … The Lord will be king over the whole earth."  This horrific battle between Israel and the nations will bring Israel to its knees in repentance. 

 

When Israel finally surrenders to Yahweh, the prophecy of Zechariah 12:10 to 13:1 will be fulfilled.  "I will pour out on the House of David and the inhabitance of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.  They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one who mourns for an only child and grieve bitterly for Him as one who grieves for a firstborn son.  On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great.  On that day a fountain will be open to the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from their sin…"  This Scripture, and others like it, could not have been fulfilled if Israel had not become a nation in 1948.  Now that Israel is a nation, the next step is for God to gather the nations together to mount a massive attack against Israel.  The last step is to bring Israel to its knees, resulting in its repentance and subsequent salvation.  As Romans 11:26 states, "all Israel will be saved."  In other words, all the Jews who have survived the Great Tribulation in Israel will be saved.    

 

Once Jews return to their land, Amos 9:15 becomes important.  "I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them."  God has already planted Jews back in their land.  They will never be kicked out again.  The only thing left is the final great war, Israel's salvation, and the end of this age.          

 

Zechariah spoke to the attacking nations and the last battle.  Zechariah 14:13 states that once the battle is over, those who actually survive the attack will fall under the authority and rule of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This tells us that there will be people from this age living in the thousand year rule of Christ on earth. 

 

I believe we're near the end.  I picture Jesus as having just risen from His throne.  He is standing with hands stretched out, ready to receive the all important scroll of Revelation 6.  Once the scroll is in His hands, He will open its seals.  When that happens, watch out.  When CNN announces "breaking news" that will be the biggest understatement in human history.       

 

Many Christians have a poor mental image of Jesus.  They tend to picture Him as a quiet peaceful man walking the dusty roads of Galilee .  He's not that man.  Revelation 1:7 paints a much different picture of Jesus as He presently exists.  "He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him … all the people of the earth will mourn because of Him."  Verse 13 continues by saying that "among the lampstands was someone like the son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to His feet and with a golden sash around His chest.  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."  

 

It's something few of us like, but war is a fact of life when it comes to the fallen human condition.  This passage in Revelation doesn't portray the mild mannered Jesus who kicked the stones under his feet as He walked the shores of the Jordan River.  This Jesus is a powerful and authoritative man of war.  He is ready to physically enter humanity for the second time.  He will launch the mother of all wars, the final attack on Israel, that will bring all nations and all individuals to their knees.  This may not be the picture you have of Jesus in your mind, but it is the Jesus of the Bible.  This is the politics of God and the Bible.     

                                                    

 

34 - Nations Rage While God Laughs

 

Psalm 2 is important when it comes to the politics of God and the Bible.  Verses 1 and 2 portray the thinking processes of our national leaders as we approach the end of this age.  They will be in a "rage" as they "plot" their strategies of war.  Even though our leaders "plot in vain," as verse 1 states, they still "take their stand and gather together against the Lord and against His anointed one," as verse 2 states.  Revelation 17:14 confirms this when it says that the nations will fight the Lamb but will lose the fight because the Lamb is the Lord of lords.  This arrogance shows the degree of depravity to which humanity sinks.       

 

Verse 3 shows the insane state of our nations at the end of this age.  "Let us break their (Father, Son, and Spirit) chains and throw off their fetters."  National leaders will attempt once and for all to free the world of any hint of a God and submission to Him.  This insanity will end in destruction and bloodshed.  Revelation 14:20 says that "the blood will flow to the horses bridle."        

 

While our national leaders gather to plot their attack, according to verse 4, God sits in the heavens and laughs at them.  Picture this.  Our leaders gather in some exclusive mountain top retreat in the French Alps.  After a long day of strategizing, they spend a relaxing evening cracking off-colored jokes around soothing hot-tubs.  While sipping expensive wine and gulping down cocktails, they fixate their eyes upon voluptuous short skirted waitresses walking back to the bar for their refills.  Little do they realize that while they are laughing with delight, there's a God in heaven laughing at them.  If there was ever a time when God would fall to the floor in hysteric laughter, this would be that time.    

 

I know it's not politically, socially, or even religiously correct these days, but God does get angry, as seen in verse 5.  He will "rebuke the nations in His anger and terrify them in His wrath when He installs His King on Zion."  What the angel told Mary in Luke 1:32 will come to pass.  Jesus will rule from David's throne in Jerusalem.  Hoping to demolish Jerusalem with a couple of 4 megaton nuclear warheads, the nations of the world are stopped dead in their tracks by the one they considered to be just a fake fabrication of history.       

 

Verse 7 says that Jesus will make His laws known to the world once He is installed as king.  After the nations crumble like pathetic wimps, a new world-wide constitution will be implemented.  No longer will nations have "founding fathers."  They'll simply have a "Founding Father."       

 

The Apostle Paul prophesied in Philippians 2:10 about this day.  He said that "every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."  Picture CNN's breaking news flashing across your flat screen TV.  The stock market report is abruptly interrupted.  In real time, and in high definition, the world is in shock as it sees the president of the United States falling to his knees.  In a moment of embarrassing weakness he admits he was wrong.  Jesus Christ, not he, is the ultimate in greatness.  Before he can rise to his feet, CNN broadcasts breaking news from Russia.  The president of Russia is slammed face first to the floor.  In a foggy daze his mental capacities fail him.  Terror, frustration, and anger, accompanies his admission that Jesus Christ is Lord after-all.  After Iranian supreme leader utters unrepeatable obscenities as his limo crashes into a telephone pole, he too makes his confession.  North Korean's dictator reaches for his cell phone.  He's bent on placing the call to finally strike.  His phone is dead.  His nuclear missiles remain motionless.  He points his pistol to his head, makes his confession, then drops to the floor. 

 

There's breaking news all over the planet.  Leaders of all stripes, colors, nationalities, and religious affiliation, fall to their knees in confused astonishment.  News networks around the world can't keep up with what's happening.  Television screens go wacky.  Reporters and camera men fall to their knees.  Microphones and video cameras fly in all direction.  Earthquakes and tsunamis kill millions.  Heart-wrenching screams are heard in every corner of the earth.  All of creation is immobilized as King Jesus lights up the sky with brilliant flashes of electromagnetic energy that plunders the world into a dreaded darkness.           

 

Human history as we know it comes to an end.  God will give His Son the nations of the world as an inheritance, and the ends of the earth for His possession, as stated in Psalm 2:8.   The United States of America,
Russia, Iran, and all other nations, will fall to the ownership of Jesus.  He will rule all nations with
an "iron scepter" as seen in verse 9.  There's no nation-wide election debates on television, no diplomatic haggling, no back room deals, no saying one thing and doing another.  There's zero tolerance.  

 

Jesus will "dash the nations to pieces like pottery" as verse 9 says.  Muslim nations who eagerly waited the Twelfth Imam to rise to power and annihilate Israel and the rest of us infidels will be dashed into thousands of pieces. Whether theocratic, communist, democratic, socialistic, or whatever, all nations will submit to Jesus.            

 

Just to let you know, during the thousand year rule of Christ that follows, nations will still have a measure of free will as seen in Zechariah 14:17.  If a nation chooses not to worship Jesus, there will be consequences.  Jesus will stop rain from falling on that nation.  It's quick, easy, and effective.    

 

The word of the Lord to our nations today is found in verses 10 and 11.  "Be wise, be warned, and serve the Lord with fear and trembling."  We must take this warning seriously.  It's part of the gospel message we should be preaching.

 

Verse 12 says; "kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment."  No nation or individual is exempt from this admonition.  We embrace Jesus or face the consequences.  This isn't a cool portrayal of God in the eyes of the world these days, and that includes the Evangelical Christian world, but it's the Biblical truth.    

 

Psalm 2 ends with "blessed are those who take refuge in Him."  This is the future.  Our only hope of survival, our only refuge, is in the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is an understatement, but those of us who have this hope are blessed beyond measure. 

 

So there you have it.  This written account has been a small glimpse into the "Politics of God and the Bible." More could be said.  It's one topic that threads its way through the Bible.     

 

May a spirit of prophecy rise up among the Lord's people so we can fearlessly and accurately proclaim the whole counsel of God.  Until the invisible Kingdom of God becomes visible here on earth, the battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men escalates on a daily basis.  For those of us who align ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, the battle will only intensify.  Be prepared to stand against the onslaught of satanic attack, because as prophets of God, our warning to the nations will not be tolerated by satanic inspired nations.    

 

As Jesus prepares to open the scrolls of Revelation 6, His Father is sitting back laughing.  The Day of the Lord is at hand.  The angels of God have risen to their feet.  With necks stretched forward, they are intent on watching the drama unfold.  The four living creatures of Revelation are waiting word to pull back the curtains of time.  All creation is eagerly waiting the restoration of all things.  May the Lord's people have the same expectation.  Our redemption is near. "Come soon Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:21).  What the Bible teaches concerning the politics of God certainly concludes in the victory of the Kingdom
of God over the kingdoms of men.                

               

 

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