Tags

, , , , ,

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,  the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts…. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  Yahveh Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.                                                                              Psalm 46.4-6,10,11

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against Yahveh and against his Anointed One.  “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of Yahveh: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,  the ends of the earth your possession.                                                       Psalm 2.1-8

i

Mourning and Resistance

At the heart of modern political and religious life there lies a deception.  Its integration into society has been thorough.  Time has facilitated its acceptance within the cultural landscape.  Criticism of it is only occasional and subdued.  Those who call it into the open are rebuffed, greeted with distrust and irritation.

The great deception is the inversion of a great truth neglected by those who were meant to be its guardians.  Those who have established the deception, falsely usurping claims and titles, are perhaps less culpable than those who, over the centuries, held the truth in their hand but let it fall.  It is an essential part of the climax of the era that this truth will be restored and brought into the consciousness of the world.  It is our obligation to stand in affirmation of it.

Today it is difficult to take stock of the deception or find the platform from which to address it.  Politics has ingested it.  The general discussion has made a home for it.    Even the dialogues of religion, liberal and conservative, have adopted it. The very use of words has become confused.

The prevailing powers have learned that if a tale is spread thoroughly, there is little likelihood of meaningful opposition.  In the shadow of this tale other deceptions follow: the attacks of 9/11 enhanced by a claim that they were perpetrated by Arab terrorists, the attack on Afghanistan “to rout Al Qaeda,” the attack on Iraq“to seize their weapons of mass destruction,” and now the attack on Libya“because Qaddafi fired on his people.”

Where do we find the perspective from which to assess the truth of these events?  Not from within the government itself.

What about the press? They have the capacity and the duty to examine events.  They fought for the truth during the war in Vietnam and the struggle for civil rights.  But when they revealed their capacity to shake up the status quo they alerted the powers to edit their liberties.  Now it seems that only those with proven loyalties are allowed to bring us news from critical theaters of action.

There is broad impetus to self-censorship.  The new “enemy of the state” has no address.  The enemy could be any one and any where.  President Bush made it clear, “If you are not with us, you are against us.”  That warning leaves no room for critical thought or skepticism.  No one wants to share skepticism only to be branded an enemy of society.  People are careful of what they say.  Rules have changed with regard to who may be investigated and who may be detained.  Meanwhile, a sanitized media enables us in the distasteful comfort that the wounds of our victims are far from our consciousness.

What about our religious leaders?  During the sixties and seventies they were vocal participants in the civil rights movement and in the protest against the war, often suffering beatings and imprisonment.  Now we rarely hear them speak.  About what?  How many will even recognize that there are issues?  Our sensitivities have gone dead.  There is no leadership coming from church or synagogue.  The religious establishment is mute.

What remains is the ache of the Palestinian  people imprisoned behind thirty foot walls; the plea of a Rachel Corrie; the witness of the thousands of Afghan women who immolate themselves every year because war, drugs, corruption, and bad laws have made their lives unlivable; the deafening silence of a million souls murdered in Iraq since the beginning of the war, souls which cry out to God.  And, with regard to 9/11, we have the unrecognized voices of isolated scientists, those who measure with precision the extent of the lies disseminated by our government.

Niels Harrit and a group of Danish scientists analyzed debris and found that theWorldTradeCenter’s twin towers and Building #7 were brought down with the help of tons of thermite explosives.  He said of the quandary posed by his discoveries, “You can either speak out or you can live in shame.”

Is there a global conspiracy?  We must weigh the modern  import of the words in the second Psalm:

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against Yahveh    and against his Anointed One.

ii

The dream of the transcendent society 

The great deception subtly distorts the common vision of the central pillar of human history and aspires to usurp for the deceivers a destiny which by right belongs not to a center of national power but to the devoted adherents of all nations.

The idea of human history as the development and maturing of the human person and his social instincts through the course of time has been dominated by the notion of National history, and that is now being translated into the narrative of inevitable Globalism.  The conversation about the intersection of the goals of God and man in history, culturally entertained for centuries, is a mystery unrecognized in the present time.  We find a sense of that great goal remembered, however, in the hymn “Jerusalem” based on a poem of William Blake, a hymn which ranks perhaps as England’s most popular patriotic song:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land. 

That ancient goal of history is nothing less than the realization on earth of the kingdom of heaven.  I quote this old hymn as witness to the fact that historically it has been close to the heart of Western culture for people to know themselves as the people of God and to hope to realize the society of God.  These verses from Blake ostensibly aspire to see an end to the “Satanic Mills” of industrialization and hail Jerusalem as metaphor for an England restored to a more pastoral divine standard.  More extravagantly, the hymn is also popular among the proponents of “English Israel”, those who consider England to be genetically rooted in the lost tribes of Israel, therefore touting a hope to see the people and perhaps the throne of God established on English soil.

Generally in the Western world it has been held that the nations of the earth are mundane and that the true society of God is without connection to the governments of nations but rather founded in the extended transcendent society of those who hold faith in the God of Israel.  For evidence of this we go to the hymn of another great Englishman, John Newton:

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God!
He, whose word cannot be broken,
Form’d thee for His own abode:
On the Rock of ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

See! the streams of living waters,
   Springing from eternal love,
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
   And all fear of want remove.
Who can faint when such a river
   Ever flows their thirst to assuage?
Grace, which, like the Lord, the giver,
   Never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hov’ring,
   See the cloud and fire appear!
For a glory and a cov’ring,
   Showing that the Lord is near;
Thus deriving, from their banner,
   Light by night, and shade by day:
Safe they feed upon the manna
   Which He gives them when they pray.

Bless’d inhabitants of Zion,
   Wash’d in the Redeemer’s blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
   Makes them kings and priests to God.
‘Tis His love His people raises
   Over self to reign as kings,
And as priests, His solemn praises
   Each for a thank-off’ring brings.

Saviour, if of Zion’s city
   I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
   I will glory in Thy name:
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
   All his boasted pomp and show:
Solid joys and lasting treasure,
  None but Zion’s children know.

Here the river which flows through the city ofGod is not the Thames but the Holy Spirit nourishing the souls of those who love God.  The inhabitants of Zion are from all nations, a transcendent society of people who are “washed in the Redeemer’s blood.”  At the end the sharpest difference is drawn between the “worldling” and “Zion’s children.”

Two centuries ago John Newton could speak of Zion without overtones of Zionism, the twentieth century secular movement to establish a homeland for Jews without any specific concern for religious factions or their hopes to realize an Israel of God under the rule of God in the person of his Messiah.

Quite unlike the modern Zionist, John Newton was a Zionist in the ancient tradition beginning with Abraham and Moses: he believed that Zion is the present society of those who give their lives to the God of Zion, and the ultimate domain of that people in the land of promise.  He, a former slave trader, had given his own life to Yahveh, the God of Israel, and to the Messiah of Zion who is Yeshua/Jesus our king.

iii

Heirs of the promises to Abraham… 

The great deception features a slight of hand whereby self-proclaimed representatives of a genetic group insinuate themselves as the unique people of God, thereby claiming to be genetically exclusive heirs to the heart of human history. 

By way of preface it must be affirmed that the God of history acts in history in finite moments and in dealings with real people, prominent among them the historic figure Abraham.  Finding in the spirit of Abraham a unique ground of faith, God promised that he would make him a father of nations, promised that he would bring blessing to his descendants, assured him that out of his descendants would come blessing for all mankind, and even promised the territoryof Canaan as an everlasting possession to him and his seed.[1]

Later, when the descendants of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, had become a million strong and were called before God at Mt.Sinai, there to bind themselves by covenant to God, the second commandment of the covenant included the clause that God held for himself the liberty to bless a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.  It was in this vein that God swore that, if for no other reason than the devotion of the patriarchs, he would never forget the descendants of Jacob.  Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures God asserts that in the end, no matter how much genetic Israel strays from him, there will be a remnant that is able to find him and to know him.[2]

This means that the God of Creation has a special relationship with the children of those people to whom he revealed himself, the people from whom has been born the Messiah of Israel, the Messiah who is the world’s ultimate blessing from the root of Abraham…..

But what is the extent of the genetic prerogative?

At the heart of the modern dilemma consuming the Abrahamic religions and the nations of the world lies the stance taken by the Zionists that they, along purely genetic lines, own the claim to the promises of God to Abraham. 

However, in the very Hebrew Scriptures which make record of God’s promises to Abraham, the recorded history of God’s dealings with the descendants of Abraham reveals that God did not simply sign a quit deed to Abraham and to every descendant who  claims a genetic bond.  The actual history reveals that, just as God intends Israel to be “not one of the nations,” so the land itself is not a normal piece of land.

First, although all the world belongs to God, he has declared his own elaborate vision of the territory of promise: that it is uniquely his own.  God said to Moses on Mt.Sinai:

The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.”                                                                    Leviticus 25.23

In lieu of which, in the next phrase God speaks of “the country that you hold as a possession.”

Second, no accession to this territory has received God’s blessing except as it came explicitly from the hand of God.  In case of point, at first reconnaissance, the people of the Exodus resisted God’s plan for them to move on into the land of promise.   God’s response was to command them to remain forty years in the desert until the next generation was ready to act in faith.  Immediately, without sanction of God or Moses, a large contingent set out to disregard this restriction and wage a campaign of war for the territory of Canaan.  They were swiftly defeated by the armies of the outlying regions.

Abraham himself never tried to conquer land inCanaan, even though it had been promised to him for eternity.  He lived in tents at peace with his neighbors, even making treaties of friendship with local lords.  He, among the few, knew that man’s life is eternal, and that the fulfillment of the promise is to come “in the fullness of time,” and only by the hand of God.

Third, God meticulously gave Moses rules by which to regulate the use of the land, and he has always had the highest expectations of people’s conduct upon the land.  On Mt. Sinai he warned Moses that if people disobeyed his covenant and abused the land, he would chase them from it:

“If in spite of this you still do not listen to me…, then in my anger…I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries…I will lay waste the land,… I will scatter you among the nations…Your land will be laid waste and your cities will lie in ruins…Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away.  But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers…then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob….and with Abraham, and I will remember the land.”                                                   Leviticus 26.27-42, excerpts

Fourth, the promise of the land is not a mere reward of real estate.  The land is the substrate or ground of the greatest promise of history: the rule of God in unity with and in the presence of his human creation.  This piece of land, so battered and arid and contested, is the precious earnest payment toward the coming realization of the kingdom of God in full-fleshed reality on this earth.  That which today is a living transcendent kingdom will someday find its water and its dirt and its stone in the territory of promise.  The land is inseparable from the great historic promise.

There is nothing in Scripture which is so cynical as to promise unconditional access to God or unconditional participation in the people of God apart from the submission of the heart to God.  If God favors genetic Israel it is in bringing to them both blessing and chastisement in order to lead them to the threshold of the universal truth of his being.  No one occupies the ultimate promise of God short of crossing that threshold.  As Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:

He is no Jew who is merely a Jew outwardly, nor is circumcision  something outward in the flesh; he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual not literal – praised by God, not by man.    Romans 2.29

iv

The Great Deception: The City of the World Goes in Masquerade as the City of God 

The great deception sits enshrined in the allowances made by the governments of the world and by the religions of the world such that they recognize national Israel as the Israel of blessing, as heir to the promises of God to Abraham, even though the modern Israeli government is the purely secular fabrication of a group of genetic descendants, without regard for historic covenant or Torah or faith or Messiah.

 Two essential truths measure the falsehood of this deception:

Truth Number One:  The Israel of blessing, heir to the promises of Abraham, can only be a people in covenant relationship [i.e. bound by oath] with the God of Israel, who alone is the source of their blessing.  Just prior to the first sojourn of the children of Yahveh into the land of promise, Moses confirmed in these words the covenant which, since the formative event at Mt. Sinai, had bound the people to their God:

“You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with Yahveh your God, a covenant Yahveh is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob….  Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from Yahveh our God to go and worship the gods of those nations….  When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, ‘I will be safe even though I persist in going my own way.’  This will bring disaster….  Yahveh will never be willing to forgive him…and Yahveh shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law.                   Deuteronomy 29.

In other words, apart from individual submission to the God of Israel,[3] there is no participation in Israel.

Furthermore, the faithful of Israel have always, since the day of Abraham, lived in anticipation of the coming Messiah.  The need for our Messiah, “the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world,” is built into the fabric of transcendent Israel as into the fabric of a sinful world, such that it was part of God’s plan for his people that through the Messiah he would transport them beyond the bounds of the Sinai covenant, as witnessed by Jeremiah:

“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand To lead them out of Egypt, Because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares Yahveh. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares Yahveh.  “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.”         Jeremiah 31.31-33

 We know that from the time that the Holy Spirit came to the first body of believers at Pentecost, the presence of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men has been the seal of their faith and the hallmark of the New Covenant.  As Peter said at the time,

“This is what was spoken of by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”                                                                  Acts 2.16,17,21

There is an essential historical fact which most of the world fails to reckon: The Messiah of Israel has come, and through him that new covenant “with the house of Israel.”  This is the most significant refinement to the nature of transcendent Israel.  Now, in this time, God’s covenant with his people has been sealed through the blood of their king upon a cross, and those who enter into that covenant are not defined by their genetics but by their sharing in the faith of Abraham, by the nature of their spiritual gesture to put aside their own will and seek the presence of the Spirit of God in their lives.[4]

In the celebration with his disciples of that Passover, for which he himself would be the Paschal lamb, Jesus raised the symbolic cup of wine before them and said,

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”                                                                                       Luke 22.20 

In other words, apart from the Messiah of Israel, there is no transcendent Israel.

Truth Number TwoThe enjoyment of the land of promise by the people of God is not ours to claim as our own in this time, nor is it ours to achieve by our own hand.  It is the work of our Messiah, in his time, upon his return, to establish us in Zion, as was clearly understood by Abraham himself:

It was by faith that he [Abraham] sojourned in the promised land, as in a foreign country, residing in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob who were co-heirs with him of  the same promise; he was waiting for the City with its fixed foundations, whose         builder and maker is God….These all died in faith without obtaining the promises; they only saw them far away and hailed them, owning that they were ‘strangers and exiles upon earth.’…That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God; he has prepared a City for them.                                                                 Hebrews 11.9,10,13,16

The Zion of this moment, the Zion in which John Newton and all other children of God rejoice, is the transcendent kingdom of God, lived out in present time and in direct communion with our king, who, by his Spirit, rules within our lives and within history.

 

v

The Usurpers of the Name “Israel” and Their Enablers…

The state of Israel, a recently fabricated political entity, assumes the stance of heir to the Promise, pretends to represent the people of Promise, violently lays claim to the land of Promise, and then receives the acknowledgement and honor of the nations of the earth, most particularly the honor of theUnited States, as in this speech by President Clinton before the Israeli Knesset on October 27, 1994:

“’If you abandon Israel, God will never forgive you’…it is God’s will that Israel, the biblical home of the people of Israel, continue for ever and ever….Your journey is our journey, and America will stand with you now and always.”

All American presidents recite similar oaths of unshakable fealty to secular, Zionist, genetically- defined Israel.  Anyone at all concerned with the opinion of Scripture on this subject will be familiar with John the Baptist.  His credentials are secure.  John the Baptist is famous for having great difficulty with the idea of a genetically defined Israel:

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’  I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham…. I baptize you with water for repentance.  But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”[5]

We find a very similar attitude toward the idea of a secular, nation-state Israel among many devout Jews in the present time.  Great numbers of Jews object to the hold of the Zionists upon the land of promise.  Neturei Karta [meaning “guardians of the city”] is a group of orthodox Jews which numbers itself in the thousands, representing hundreds of thousands of Jews who want the Zionists out of Palestine.  They claim that Judaism and Zionism are mutually contradictory visions of history and of the land of promise.  Members of Neturei Karta hold that diaspora Israel has no right to collect itself as a nation apart from its Messiah.  They hold that there can be no sovereignty of Israel apart from the Lordship of the God of Israel.  They recognize that the promise of God to Abraham is a promise to the transcendent Israel of faith and obedience.

Conversely, while most of the synagogues in this country would claim to seek first a transcendent Israel, virtually all have signs in the front of their sanctuaries with the Israeli flag and the claim “We stand with Israel,” meaning of course the current Israeli government, regardless of its policies.

As for the church in this country, the majority have no belief at all in the divinity of Jesus or in the unique import of the God of Israel.  The broader liberal church, in the name of Tolerance, will not tolerate any in-historical specificity in God which might in and of itself render the worship of other gods nonsensical.  The Catholic church, along with the liberal church, is in service to the broad “ecumenical” agenda of the United Nations and the Temple of Understanding.

The minority in the hierarchical church, the conservatives, who do claim faith in the God of Israel and belief in the divinity of Jesus, have mostly fallen under the spell of an ideology called premillennial dispensationalism, developed by an Irish Anglican priest, Nelson Darby, during the first half of the nineteenth century and fostered through the course of the last century by Americans such as the Chicagoans D.L. Moody and Harry Ironside, as well as by C.I. Scofield and his Scofield Bible, a popular text with ample notes interpreting all passages in terms of this theology.

In the process of perniciously ignoring the incredible unity in the work of God over millennia, these ideologues have divided the era into diverse “dispensations”, in each of which God deals with man differently.  In the process they have justified, to their thinking, a separate divine destiny for Jew and gentile, i.e. for “literal” Israel and “literal” church, most interesting being a rapture [sudden transferal into the heavens] of the gentile church just as the end time war of good and evil has need of martyrs, and, concomitantly, at that same moment the “Jews” [defined genetically] get to have free reign over the land of promise without the meddling of those [now raptured] troublesome gentiles.  In granting divine blessing on the moribund entity, “genetic/nation-state Israel” the dispensationalists create precedent for bestowing authenticity on another moribund and spiritless institution, the hierarchical and official “church.”

The dispensationalists are only making repairs on the exclusionary edifice erected by the emperor Constantine in the fourth century. Constantine, carving the foundation of the next thousand years of Catholicism, did his best to despise all things Jewish and to isolate the being and the message and the Messianic mission of Jesus from both the transcendent and the historical nation, Israel, from its centuries of hope and from its careful cultivation of the messianic expectation.  This is certainly the dark beginning of the Western world’s loss of understanding that Jesus is in fact king upon the historic throne of David. 

Constantine did his best to take the most important event in Jewish history and turn it into a gentile mythology.  At the hand of Constantine and his new hierarchical Roman church, this was nothing less than a cynical rejection of the historic roots of the kingdom of God on earth.

Theodoret’s Ecclesiastical History records The Epistle of the Emperor          Constantine, concerning the matters transacted at the Council [of Nicea],             addressed to those Bishops who were not present:

“It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in    the celebration of this holy festival[6], because, their hands having been stained    with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. … Let us,       then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. … Let us …studiously avoid all contact with that evil way. … For how can they entertain   right views on any point who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being  out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion,  wherever their innate madness carries them. … lest your pure minds should appear to share in the customs of a people so utterly depraved. … Therefore, this  irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord … no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews.”

With such a beginning, it should be no surprise that the church goes along in confused ignorance of its roots.  Now the hierarchical church, having given away the mantel and the responsibility and the honor and the throne and the titles of Israel, has become the enabler of the Zionists who take to themselves all that was promised to a people historically created to be “not one of the nations.”  The Zionists now cash in on it all, in order to become “one of the nations.”… even at the forefront of nations.

Premillennial dispensationalism is the natural mother of a movement known as Christian Zionism.  Premillennial dispensationalism is the ideological core of the conservative religious movement in this country as it supports the nation’s political right in its own service to the ambitions of secular Zionist Israel.[7]

The dispensationalists make the claim that Jesus came as a “candidate” for kingship and, having been rejected by “the Jews,” returned to heaven with his goal of kingship disappointed, until a later time.

In reality, Yeshua,  the long-awaited heir to the throne of David, fully king over transcendent and eternal Israel, went triumphantly to the cross, bearing in his body the shame of the sin of mankind, there to win redemption for his subjects while conquering forever the power of death over them.  As a result he is securely on the throne of heaven, the historic seat of power over those in Israel who love and obey him.

vi

The throne of David and the heir of promise

Jacob spoke prophetically of the line of his son Judah, that from him would come the king who would have a royal claim over the people of all nations:

“The scepter will not depart from Judah nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,      until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”[8]

 Balaam spoke prophetically to Moses of the future appearance of this king:

 “I see him, but not now, I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob,       a scepter will rise out of Israel.”[9]

 God spoke prophetically to King David through Nathan, speaking of a single eternal king to come in the line ofJudah, from the house of David:

 “…Yahveh will build a house for you: When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom….I will establish his throne forever.  I will be his father and he will be my son.  I will never take my love away from him, …I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.”                    I Chronicles 17.10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Psalm 89 calls for the immortal heir and eternal king in the line of David:

…”I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant,     ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’…  I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.”                                                                                         Psalm 89.3,4,29

 Isaiah promised the immortal and eternal king who would reign on David’s throne, a king who would come as healer, savior, Prince of Peace, and Mighty God:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…For to us a child is born,…        and the government will be on 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 and upholding it with justice and righteousness   from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty  will accomplish this.”                                                                          Isaiah 9.2,6,7 

So spoke also Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Zechariah, and many others. 

vii

 The throne of David… the expectation of in-historical fulfillment

 In spite of the desire of many to see the kingship of the Messiah be realized at the end of history, we see clearly in Psalm 2 and in Daniel 2 that by prophesy it is in the time of the kings of earth and in the midst of their struggle for dominion that the Messiah is, as established fact, seated on the throne of power over transcendent Zion, building and sustaining the kingdom which shall, over all others, retain the favor of God.  The witness of the Psalm is as follows:

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against Yahveh    and against his Anointed One…the Lord scoffs at them.  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

Equally in the book of Daniel, in the 5th century B.C., Daniel, standing before Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, by inspiration told the king the content of a great dream and interpreted to him its significance, regarding the appearing of the Lord of history and the kingdom of promise:

“…This was the dream and now we will interpret it to the king. …The God of heaven has given you [Nebuchadnezzar] dominion…After you another kingdom will rise…Next a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.  Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom….In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.  It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”                                                                                                  Daniel 2.36, 37, 39, 40, 44

 

viii

The throne of David…the pattern of ascendancy

Because of his disobedience before God, Saul had the throne of Israel taken from him.  Without ceremony, God informed Saul, through the prophet Samuel, that his right to power was taken from him:

But Samuel said to him, “…You have rejected the word of Yahveh and Yahveh has rejected you as king over Israel….Yahveh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors – to one better than you.  He who is the glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man that he should change his mind.                                                          I Samuel 15.26,28,29

Without delay God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to choose a king from among his sons and to anoint him king.

Then Yahveh said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”  So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.                      I Samuel 16.12,13

In obedience to God Samuel poured the anointing oil on the head of David, the youngest son, by which he was marked as devoted to the throne ofIsrael.  From that moment the right to royal power was in his hand.  David had become the Anointed of God, the Messiah.  But he did not immediately seize power: he waited for Yahveh to establish authority and dominion by his own hand.

When Yeshua came to earth, as John the Baptist anointed his head with the water of baptism, the Spirit of God fell upon Yeshua, and God spoke aloud from heaven words like those spoken into the heart of Samuel:

At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”                                  Matthew 3.16,17

These conjoined phrases are a double allusion to a pair of Messianic prophecies.  As God spoke the phrase “This is my son” he was calling out and marking the messianic fulfillment of the prophetic line in Psalm 2.7 given above,

“He said to me, ‘You are my son’.”  Today I have become your Father.  Ask of me,    and I will make the nations your inheritance…”

As God spoke the remaining phrase, “with him I am well pleased,” he was marking the messianic fulfillment of the prophetic lines of Isaiah 42.1.  [Note also that this moment of “putting my Spirit on him” is the mark of his entry into power]:

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight;            I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.”

These two phrases, here quoted from Matthew, are the words spoken by God during the first outward anointing of Yeshua.  These words could not be spoken by God to anyone other than the Messiah of Israel.  Yeshua did not move aggressively to seize dominion over the nation state and free them from the Romans, but rather remained focused on the first ambition of his power, which was to go to the cross and stand in for the sins of his people, freeing them from the curse of death.

Without throne or other royal paraphernalia, David received a second anointing in the presence of the elders of Israel in the desert town of Hebron, while Jerusalem was still a Jebusite city, before David moved to capture the fortress ofZion.  This anointing functioned as public confirmation of the initial anointing and was coupled with a covenant between ruler and people.

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before Yahveh, and they anointed David king over Israel.                                                                                     II Samuel 5.3  

Soon after the anointing of baptism by John the Baptist and the anointing of the Holy Spirit at the hand of the Father, Jesus, in the presence of disciples, received confirmation of his anointing from the depths of the patriarchal past and from the Father in the heavens.  This confirmation was given again from heaven using the very same words spoken when he was anointed with the Holy Spirit.  The timing of the event of confirmation is measured by Matthew as six days from the day when Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” and Peter replied, “You are the Messiah [the one anointed to be king], the Son of the living God.”

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There he was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus….A bright cloud enveloped them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!”                                              Matthew 17.1-3, 5

 It could not be more clear that God himself has twice proclaimed Yeshua to be the long awaited king over Israel.

 

ix

The throne of David… the ascendancy of the one to whom it belongs

Jesus sealed his covenant with his people in the events of Passover, 30 A.D.  He did so by becoming the Passover lamb of expectation, shedding his blood for his people, standing in for them before God to claim them for himself.  Yeshua’s claim of Lordship, the highest possible claim to his people, was sealed at the cross.

In the hours before this great act of love he entered Jerusalem upon a donkey, the long prophesied gesture of the messianic king coming in peace.  He was greeted openly by the people of Jerusalem as king.  He went to the cross as king of his covenant people, Israel.

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her.  Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: [Zecharaiah]

“Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

 Hosanna to the Son of David!”                                                    Matthew 21.1-9

 …the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices…:  “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.”  …Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”                                              Luke 19.38-40

…the great crowd that had come for the [Passover] Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,  

“Blessed is the King of Israel!”                                                     John 12.12,13

 If any ordinary man were so gathered into his people as king, the world would have no trouble understanding that he was now the acknowledged king of his people.  The truth of the kingship of Yeshua,  so clearly witnessed in the gospel record, so amply prophesied by generations of prophets and kings, is lost to the modern mind for two reasons: first, because so few people give him the rule over the heart by which they may come to know his great power, and, second, because of the perverse misrepresentations of a “church” which in the 4th century married itself to the existing temporal powers, denying the royal  claims even of its own king; an apostate church which for centuries would not even allow its people to possess or read the very Scriptures which are the foundation of faith; an evil hierarchical church which for most of its history has placed its own power and mandate over its adherents well ahead of their freedom to grow in the knowledge of God; a church which has brutally tortured and even murdered those who claimed that faith in God did not necessitate placing the ecclesiastical institution between themselves and the being of God;  a church claiming to conjure the being of God in a cup, claiming that a Pope has the authority of God, and claiming that its priests are “Alter Christus/Another Christ” thus presuming to have the authority to forgive sin! 

It is time for each person to own the truth, time to recognize the extent to which the truth of Jesus our king has been twisted and perverted by the church itself, not only in the centuries during which there was only Catholicism, but also by the churches which are heirs of the Reformation.

After the triumphal entry intoJerusalem, Jesus went up into the temple and drove the beneficiaries of the hierarchical church out of the temple, rebuking them:

Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling.  “It is written,” he said to them, “’My house will be a house of prayer.’ but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”                              Luke 19.45,46

Jesus then gathered his disciples into a second floor room to share in the Passover meal.  He taught them again that he would soon be leaving them, but that he would return in power. He washed their feet to show them that the royal road is the road of serving.  He taught them that he was going to die at the hands of a church which hated him for his challenge to their power. […The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this …and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.  Mark 11.18]  He taught them that just as the king must go to the cross, so the subjects are destined to suffer for the kingdom until the day of glory:

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.                     John 15.18,19

He taught them that in going to join the Father on the throne of heaven he would make possible the presence of the Spirit of God with us who open our hearts to him.

“Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you….When he, the Spirit of truth, comes he will guide you into all truth.”                                                                                                         John 16.7,13

Finally, in the course of the Passover Feast, through the cup of blessing raised at dinner, he portrayed to them the covenant which he was about to seal with his own blood on the cross.

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”                                                   Matthew 26.27,28

 At the end of his instruction, Jesus turned in prayer to God:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus the anointed king whom you have sent.    John 17.1-3

Jesus concluded this great prayer for his people with the plea that we be able to know  him in all his power and glory: 

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.                                                                John 17.24

The church would have you believe that this vision of the glory of our king is to be reserved for the end of time.  They would have you believe that he is not yet king.  The church would have you surround yourself with crucifixes.  They would have you watch him crucified day after day in the mass.  They would have you believe that he was a pitiful “candidate” for kingship and that he failed under the weight of Jewish rejection.  These are lies.  This is not what our king seeks for us!  He asks the Father that through the informing power of his Spirit we will know him in all his royal power and intimate healing love.

The cross is victory for us and the great victory of the love of our God, a love which gives leaven to the entire universe.  As king our Lord went to the cross, standing in for us his people, Israel.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”    John 18.33

Jesus then spoke explicitly to him of our transcendent kingdom:

“My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my subjects would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.  But now my kingdom is from another place.”

 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. 

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king.  In fact for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”           John 18.36,37

For Yeshua, with all the character and being of God himself, it is inconceivable that he would allow himself to be sacrificed under a banner which was in any way hyperbole or falsehood.  The “church” however stands alongside the chief priests in this final account:

Here they crucified him…Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross.  It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.  Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”  Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”                                 John 19.19-23

Near the close of his account, John writes,

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the anointed king, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”  John 20.31

People like to respond that Jesus is only king in some “limited” “Spiritual” or metaphorical sense, since his kingship is noted in terms of “belief” and “having life”.  Such a credo is only evidence that such people are still stuck at the gates of the kingdom and have not yet found the will to open their hearts and discover his searching power and the noble experience of being his subject.  When the king truly begins to rule, then the austere and ponderous reality of the transcendent kingdom becomes overpowering and evident.

x

 The throne of David… the throne in the heavens

The throne of Jesus in the heavens is the seat of power which reaches to the core of life on earth, which reaches into the innermost heart of those who open to him, and this throne is the throne of David.

The people of Israel were created through covenant with God.  The earthly throne, and the earthly rule over Israel, beginning at the hand of the prophet Samuel, are the direct creation of God.  The true exercise of power from the earthly seat of David over Israel has always transpired in the knowledge that its authority, power, and validity lay in the throne of God and nowhere else.

When Solomon succeeded his father David to the throne it was clearly stated that he was being entrusted with the throne over Israel as guardian of a seat whose true locus of power is in heaven in the person and throne of God.  At that time, David said of Solomon,

“Of all my sons – and the Lord has given me many – he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.”   I Chronicles 28.5

Jesus, as he was about to ascend to the throne of God,  made clear to his disciples the true form of his power, that as he sat on the throne in the heavens that power would reach through every turn of life on earth:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”   Matthew 28.18

Jesus, in the apocalyptic vision of Revelation, declared that his power, extending through heaven and earth, encloses within it the power of the Davidic throne, which is his true right and claim:

These are the words of the true Holy One, who holds the key of David, who opens  and none shall shut, who shuts and none shall open.    Revelation 3.7

To John, Jesus also declared repeatedly that, as in his life on earth, so in his universal power, he acts not in any way exclusive of the Father but always in total union with the Father:

“And the conqueror shall sit beside me on my throne as I myself have conquered   and sat down beside my Father on his throne.”                       Revelation 3.21

Between now and eternity there is no mention of any further anointing or coronation or change in the status of Yeshua, only that a day comes when Satan loses his prerogative in this world, and our king assumes the extended exercise of the power which is already in his hands:

Then the seventh angel blew; and loud voices followed in heaven, crying, “The rule of the world has passed to our Lord and his anointed king, and he shall reign forever and ever.”                                                                    Revelation 11.15  

 When he returns to earth in power and glory he has no need to pause for human “coronation.”  The centuries-old truth of his kingship is engraved upon him:

Then I saw heaven open wide – and there was a white horse!  His rider is faithful and true, yea, just are his judgments and his warfare; his eyes are a flame of fire, on his head are many diadems, he bears a written name which none knows but himself.  He is clad in a robe dipped in blood [his name is called THE LOGOS OF GOD], and the troops of heaven follow him on white horses, arrayed in pure white linen.  A sharp sword issues from his lips, wherewith to smite the nations; he will shepherd them with an iron flail, and trample the winepress of the passion of the wrath of God Almighty.         And on his robe, upon his thigh, his name is written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.                                                            Revelation 19.11-16

Between now and eternity it remains fact that Yeshua is on the heavenly throne with the Father, Yeshua and Yahveh bound in one seat of power, as denoted again so clearly at the end of the book of Revelation:

Then he showed me the river of the water of Life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the streets of the City;…the throne of God and the Lamb shall be within it.                         Revelation 21.1, 3

As always, as forever, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

 xi

The heir to the throne of David…the witness of those who saw him on earth 

Simeon watched in Jerusalem for the coming of the anointed one, because it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he “would not die before he should see the Lord’s Messiah..”  Simeon, moved by the Spirit of God, took the infant Yeshua in his arms and sang out to God, saying,

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”                                    Luke 2.28-32

Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, prophetically described Yeshua as the one who would be king upon the throne of David and would bring into history the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham:

 “He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David….            …to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”                     Luke 1.69,72-75

The detailed genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are both meant to document that the one whose profile is the center of Scripture is bound, by both earthly parents, to the lineage of David and destined to sit upon the throne of David.

When Jesus made his triumphal entry intoJerusalem,

…the crowds who went in front of him and who followed behind shouted,             ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed be he who comes in the Lord’s name!        Hosanna in high heaven!’”                                            Mathew 21.9

The priests objected that children and disciples were hailing him as Messiah and heir to the throne of David, and said, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” To which Jesus replied,

“I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”   Luke 19.40

The prophet Amos, in the 8th c. B.C., told Israel that Yahveh was about to punish the nation for its abandonment of its covenant, but he set out a fundamental sequence for the messianic future, recording the words of God declaring that through the coming of the messiah the throne of David would be restored, and that this then would be the foundation from which God would reach out to all nations.

Luke, in the book of Acts quotes James, the brother of Jesus, as he is speaking to an assembly of believers.  James quotes the following passage from the record of the prophet Amos in the process of asserting that Jesus, by his kingship, is accomplishing the long awaited restoration of the royal house of David, and that now on this basis they are reaching out beyond the nation state to the gentiles:

“After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent.  Its ruins I will rebuild             and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name….”  Acts 15.16,17referring to Amos 9.11,12

Clearly the rebuilding of the house of David through the accession to the throne of the ultimate and eternal king is established here in prophecy as the ordained antecedent to the re-engineering of the kingdom by which we of the nations are called to the knowledge of the God of Israel.  It is this intended pattern which our king is calling out just before his ascension:

a.] “Full authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth;  b.] go and make disciples of all nations.”                                                               Matthew 28.18,19

The church’s denial of the kingship of Yeshua has been active since the 4th century and the evil fabrications of Constantine. Constantine did his best to replace the radical king of “a people apart” with a well dressed pantocrator and lord of the status quo, and then made himself the Vicar, the gentile Substitute, for that Lord…and in like manner the line of papal kings who descend from Constantine and usurp royalty.

The dispensationalist abandonment of the Messiah’s kingship has only left room for the fantasy that there might now be an actual Israel of God with a vacant throne, anxiously looking forward to “the one” who might occupy that throne.   In fact the powers of earth are making efficient use of the ignorance and apostasy of the church and are quite busily preparing for just such a day of deception when one of their own will make a great presentation of himself as the long awaited heir to the throne over all creation…which is the essence of the Dan Brown fantasies.  To them, however, will come the rude surprise that the throne of the Israel of God, the only Israel “of promise,” is already occupied.

For us, who have known his power in our lives and who know him as Lord over our historic and transcendent people, we know him and shall always know him as the fulfillment of every hope and as the indomitable Lord of history.

    

                                                        xii

Standing openly in our faith, holding to the one who rules the heart, the one who rules his people

When our king first came to live on earth within the structures of national Israel and imperial Rome, he gave us an example of how the subject of the transcendent kingdom is to live within the fabric of the city of the world.  Not only did he refuse to be intimidated by the evil of their threats to destroy him.  He, for the sake of his people, ran into the breach, seeking the face of the evil, the very power of death, which confronted us, and set himself to suffer in our stead in order that we might go free.  This is the nature of our calling, to follow the example of our king, to discover and name and face the threats laid down by the city of the world as it closes the circle on all who serve the God of history above every other god.  By speaking out, we create space and opportunity for others to know the words and intentions of our God, to discover the One who seeks to know and love each one of us.   By remaining silent, we do nothing but assist the spread of darkness.

The great deception is a wound upon the truth.  The lies fathered by this deception have become a wound upon the victims of their perpetrators, chiefly, at this particular moment, upon the people of Palestine and the people of the Muslim countries attacked by the United States since 9/11/2001.

The great deception is a wound upon the heart of every person who shares John Newton’s love for the Zion from which flows a river of life for all mankind.   That Zion, ruled from the throne of God, is the eternal and transcendent City of God.  That river is the Spirit of God.

Is the world incapable of sensing the gravity of the misrepresentations being spread by the churches, whether Catholic or fundamentalist or liberal?  Are those who adhere to the Messiah of Israel incapable of sensing the gravity of the suffering which is spread around the world in the name of the “security” and “national interest” of the United Statesand Israel?  Let it be known by all people that the Israel of God has no national interest to be defended with armaments of any kind. Nor does it find its security in violent force.  

It is necessary that the people of God claim openly the Messiah of Israel as their king, claiming the transcendent Israel of promise as the kingdomof God.  The silence of the Israel of God only feeds the illusion in the Arab world that the policies of the United States and Israel, generally supported by the Christian and Jewish communities, are somehow an expression of the character of the God of Israel.  This then stands to obstruct their vision of the true being of Yeshua.

The love of God as expressed through Yeshua is the call of God to all mankind to come to him and be his people alone.  We are not called to be Christians.  We are not called to be Jews.  We are not called to be Muslims.  We are called to open our hearts intimately to Yeshua alone.  In the process we are liberated from every false standard and are called to stand in the truth, to claim the transcendent kingdom of God as our own, to discover ourselves as members of the true people of God — true heirs of the promises to Abraham.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me.  The conqueror I will allow to sit beside me on my throne as I myself have conquered and sat down beside my Father on his throne.                                                                                    Revelation 3.19,20,21

*    *    *

Post Script

We have entered a time when the people of the world are compelled by their overlords to accept and live within mythologies.  Through fear of losing social status and economic security, through distraction, through ignorance and apathy, popular acceptance of these mythologies furnishes to government the freedom to carry out in plain view programs to which, normally, outside the mythology, we would object.

For the West, “the great danger of international terror” is the prime mythology of the moment.  It has facilitated our aggression into the Muslim world.  Our government knows the truth of what happened on September 11, 2001.  It could not have been carried out without the cooperation of people at the highest level.  The massive evidence which discredits the official mythology is available for all to consider.

We must observe that until the government of the  United States is ready to cast off this mythology and share the truth with its people, there is no ground for expectation of reasonable honest relations between the government and its people.  Every day in which our leaders rise to perpetuate the mythology is one more day without respect for the people of this country.  Our leaders betray us.

In the same vein let it be remarked that the followers of Yeshua, Jew and gentile, have allowed themselves to be lulled to sleep by the self-serving mythologies of the church and the synagogue.

In the first few centuries of the Christian era, during that short period before the installation of the state-sanctioned hierarchical church, followers of Yeshua greeted each other with the phrase, Jesus is Lord.  For them it was the core assertion that Yeshua is the anointed king, the long awaited Messiah of Israel.  Public identification with this core loyalty cost them their lives: it was an offense to Rome.  Rome needed to preserve the mythology that Israel is nothing more than a genetic group, whose leaders are bound within the sphere of Roman political power. Rome could not tolerate the thought that Israel should be a power outside its control with a king beyond its control, a king who is also God, who holds his people to a call above the call of Roman power.

The radical enthusiasm and power of New Covenant Israel which fully survived the physical destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Rome — this enthusiasm and power enjoyed by Jew and Gentile together in a new Israel of God — this was subsumed and rendered tame by Constantine and his Roman state religion.  Constantine flattered bishops, bought them off with basilicas, made himself the gracious arbiter of their theological differences, and married the filthy whole to the times and practices of his national pagan religion.

The comfort of modern religious life within the status quo is not due to some advanced condition that the modern Rome is more tolerant.  The comfort of the modern religious institution is due to the fact that it has given away the core being and the core assertion of the dissenting kingdom and in its stead has settled into a faith with purely personal dimensions and ramifications.

This private “iPod” sort of faith will never be an offense to Rome.  Under the modern mythology of Tolerance you may believe whatever fantastical thing you want to believe about Jesus or any imaginary God, so long as it has no implications beyond your own personal being, so long as it suggests no political imperative which might be a challenge to the authority ofRome.

But the time of the witness, the time of the martyr, is at hand.  Only a handful of nations stand in the way of the completion of globalization.  Rome will soon raise its standard, claiming authority over the whole earth.  Unless we are ready to give away our humanity, it will be necessary in this time to speak the truth that Rome does not want to hear: We who belong to the Messiah of Israel are the polis of God, true children of Abraham, not one of the nations.  We are the great and eternal political imperative of God.


[1] Genesis 17.1-8

[2] Romans 11.25-32

[3] As, equally, there can be no true Islam apart from submission to the God of Abraham, apart from which Mohammed’s prophetic mission makes no sense at all.

[4] It is the presence of the Spirit of God in the human heart which furnishes the heart with the love of God’s law, thus the fulfillment of the prophecy of  Jeremiah.  The broad provision of the Holy Spirit to the people of God was dependent upon the agency of our king to redeem us at the cross, to rise from the dead, and to return to the Father.  Jesus instructed his disciples beforehand:  “I am going to the Father….I will ask the Father to give you another Helper to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: the world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him, but you know him, because he remains with you and will be within you.  I will not leave you forlorn; I am coming to you.”  John 14.12, 15-18 Moffatt translation.

[5] Matthew 3.8,9,11

[6] It should be noted that the reference here is to Passover.  In the Scriptures we find that God, through Moses, commanded that Passover is one of three festivals to be celebrated forever, but insteadConstantine abandons Passover and fabricates Easter along pagan lines.

[7] Nor is it only the political right in service toIsrael.  Through the power of AIPAC there is little that happens inWashington, right or  left, Senate or House, Executive or Judicial, outside the bounds of their approval.

[8] Genesis 49.10

[9] Numbers 24.17

Advertisements