Uncompromising

In my recent daily Bible reading, I have spent some time in 2 Chronicles 17-20, reading of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.  In a long line of kings of Israel and Judah, a long line of men who failed to follow the Lord, Jehoshaphat did better than most. He sought God, followed His commandments, removed high places and Asherim from Judah. He sought to be like King David, and be a man with a heart for God. He did much good as the king of Judah.

Yet a key passage for me was 2 Chronicles 19:2-3:  And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you. Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.”

What I see here is that God’s standards are uncompromising, and since He is Holy, those standards are of the highest possible order. Even in the case of a good king like Jehoshaphat, a man sincerely trying to seek and obey the Lord, there is a rebuke at the beginning of 2 Chronicles 19 for his actions in militarily supporting Ahab, a wicked king of Israel. Jehoshaphat’s reign was one of reform and turning to the Lord, especially in times of trouble. The Lord delivered Judah for her enemies, but at the end of 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat again displeases God in his alliance with Ahaziah of Israel. God “broke” the ships they readied to go against Tarshish. When Jehoshaphat died, Jehoram succeeded him and killed all his brothers, I assume to secure his throne against possible contenders. Was this the fruit of Jehoshaphat’s wicked alliance with Ahaziah? I think that is a distinct possibility.

One can see in these chapters in 2 Chronicles a man trying to live for the Lord, trying to lead his nation back to the ways of God. Yet he stumbled at times and incurred the Lord’s displeasure. Given how the kings of Judah before and after Jehoshaphat behaved, you would think the Lord would cut him some slack. But God’s standards are uncompromising because He is Holy. We cannot please Him with half measures or going almost all the way for Him. Close might count in horseshoes, but it doesn’t get the job done with the Lord.

Not surprisingly, I find the story of Jehoshaphat points to Christ and our need for Him. Romans 8:1 talks of there being no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He meets the standards that we cannot, that men and women have never been able to meet. Even good men like Jehoshaphat or King David, who was a man after God’s own heart. It is humbling to stand before a God who is Holy, who will not compromise His Holiness and requires holiness from all who stand in His presence. Humbling to know that while we cannot meet His standards, He sent His Son who could and did meet them on our behalf so that we can stand in Christ before the Father and He will not see us but Jesus in us.

As we live in this troubled world it would be great if we could lead like Jehoshaphat, seeking to reform things and turn others back to the Lord as well. But we will fall short in our efforts because of who we are, and due to the fact that only Jesus in His Second Coming can truly make things right and keep them that way. In the meantime, let us be strong, bold and uncompromising in the Lord. Let us be strong and bold in knowing that His grace will overcome our failings.

We can do nothing but bring the news of Jesus to the world that desperately needs it. Nothing but let Him use us for His purposes in obedience to His will. The Lord requires nothing but we behave as faithfully as did His Son as He walked to His death on the Cross. As we cannot walk in such a way, He graciously provided the means for us to walk in Christ instead.

But that is enough for us to do in a situation that requires an uncompromising standard of performance and behavior that we are unable to meet.

 

Anti-Semitism, by any other name…

It is still anti-Semitism, whether you call it; Supersessionism, Replacement Theology, Liberation Theology, or the BDS movement, it is still the unadulterated hatred of the Jewish people because of their race. Anyone who embraces any theology or position that denies Israel’s right of possession of the land which their Nation State now occupies, is denying a literal translation of the Bible, which is frankly a denial of its veracity, and places them outside of a position of true faith in Jesus Christ who is in fact the Word.

Unfortunately these false teachings, false doctrines, and patently unscriptural theologies have plagued the Jews through the “church” for 1900 years. By allegorizing, spiritualizing, and otherwise denying a literal translation of the Scripture, the proponents of this doctrinal error have throughout history promoted anti-Semitism which led to Jewish persecution and extermination from the ghettos in Eastern Europe, to the Spanish Inquisition, and to the Holocaust of World War II.

It is essential that True Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, approach the Word of God with a clear understanding that God breathed His infallible Truth to the writers of the Old and New Testaments (2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 1:19-21), and in doing so has given us the mind of Christ (John 1:1-17, 1 Corinthians 2:16). When Peter teaches in his second epistle that “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” he is telling us to read the Bible literally, interpret the Bible literally, and if we will simply do this we can avoid doctrinal error.

In the book of Genesis 17:7-8 we find God’s promise to Abraham. “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants (Israel) after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” A covenant is a promise, and this promise God made Abraham was not conditional, it is clear in this passage that the covenant is everlasting, that means it will never be canceled.

This passage, in and of itself, is all the evidence we need as Christians that we (the Church) do not replace Israel in God’s plan. God does not change His mind, and He certainly is not a liar. In Leviticus 26:44-45 God says; “Yet for all that, when they (Israel) are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.’” In Psalm 105:7-12 we find these words written; “He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance, when they were few in number, indeed very few, and strangers in it.” Again, God’s promise to Israel is “as an everlasting covenant” and “He remembers His covenant forever.”

For anyone to deny the eternal covenant or promise that God made with Israel you have to ignore the Holy Spirit inspired words of the apostle Paul in the book of Romans. Romans 11:1-2 “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.” And little further down in the passage he writes; “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable“ Romans 11:29. The plain sense understanding of the Scripture is this, the reason that God has not cast away His people (Israel) is that God’s gifts and calling are never rescinded. God does not take back His gifts, He does not break His promises, His word is truth. The nation of Israel is mentioned 71 times in the New Testament and never is represented as the church.

In Ezekiel 37:11-14 we find the Dry Bones Prophecy which is a prophecy about the restoration of Israel at the end of the age. It says; Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’” God clearly says the Jews will be “my people” after the nation is restored.

In the last book of the New Testament, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we find from Revelation 4:2 through chapter 19:3 the future record of God dealing with the nation of Israel and punishing the nations for their persecution of Israel and rejection of God. God is not through with Israel, and the teaching that the Church has permanently replaced Israel as God’s people is a false doctrine. I could write volumes and quote much more Scripture as proof that God’s promise to Israel is eternal, but unless one’s mind is truly open to the Word of God they are going to continue to wallow in the error of the false doctrine which spawns anti-Semitism.

This week it was announced that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has joined the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement and approved divestment from 3 US companies (Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions) doing business in Israel. The stated goal of the BDS movement is to delegitimize the State of Israel and even dehumanize the Jewish people. This movement calls into question Israel’s right to exist and seeks to make them a pariah state. While I view this news as tragic, I am not surprised because they long ago embraced Replacement Theology. So the apostate Presbyterian Church joins the ranks of those who accuse Israel of human rights violations while ignoring the fact that it is the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors who kidnap, torture, abuse, attack, and bomb Israel as they vocalize a desire to wipe her off of the map. This is anti-Semitism in its basest form and in my opinion anyone who is a member of this denomination and does not leave it and denounce this apostasy, in truth has no relationship with Jesus Christ.

The BDS movement is anti-Semitic at its core demonstrating a hatred for the Jews by singling out the nation-state of Israel for supposed human rights violations while ignoring human rights violations documented in other nations, especially those of her Islamic neighbors. The BDS movement has no real desire to help the Arab citizens of Israel or those living in the territories administrated by Israel, but instead desires the destruction of the Jewish state through economic and social warfare. Make no mistake, the anti-Semitic BDS movement isn’t preaching peace but rather hatred. The fact that this movement is growing in intensity in the US and being embraced by so-called “christian” denominations is simply more evidence that this nation and much of its population has turned its back on God.

The knowledge that our government has abandoned Israel and is increasingly persecuting True Christians is telling proof that the US is in desperate need of a spiritual revival. As apostasy grows by leaps and bounds in the “church” which has also turned its back on Israel and Israel’s God, those of us in the True Church must be willing to stand together and with Israel. The Rapture is imminent, the End Times are upon us and;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome