Preparing the Way in Israel Today:
God, and not Democracy, is shaping events.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
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Reading through the various reports, analyses and comments about Israel's recent election and its results in the media, we would be led to think that some kind of collusion or conspiracy among the mass of Israeli voters had somehow brought about the results. For example, as one report put it: "On Tuesday Jan. 22nd, 2013, the Israeli voter told the politicians that it was time for another shake-up, the second in Israel's 63 years of statehood."
But "the Israeli voter" does not speak with one voice; he, or rather they, are in fact a house divided against itself. They do not speak the same thing, and they did not tell the politicians to indulge in any shake-up.
Hello again, this is Paul Billington bringing you this week's edition of the Bible in the News.
As Daniel the prophet told King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon: "the Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will" (Daniel 4:17, and verse 25).
This is the truth that we MUST appreciate. The Democratic system is not an organism; it is not some leviathan such as was depicted by Thomas Hobbes and which he called a "a mortal god" - a gigantic human figure composed of a multitude of human figures. No; a society - whether Gentile or Jewish - is controlled by God for His purposes. Whether it be an emperor such as Nebuchadnezzar, or a democratically elected leader or government - the principle is the same: It is "the most high God (who) rules in the kingdom of men, and it is He who appointeth over it whomsoever he will."
Elected leaders cannot do as they please. They are controlled by circumstances and pressures - by a power that is beyond their ability to circumvent. Though men in power are ignorant of it and unaware of the Hand that guides their destiny, the fact is that all things are brought into subjection to the will of God. As Nebuchadnezzar was brought to realize:
"All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:35).
Now as far as Israel is concerned, God has revealed His purpose in His word - we can learn of this in the Bible. In Acts 1:6 the disciples asked Jesus about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, and in chapter 3:21 we learn that there are times of restitution (or restoration) of all things spoken by the prophets. Events in Israel today must be seen in the light of this, for a process of restoration is being implemented.
John Thomas, writing in his book Elpis Israel (1849) said this:
"The truth is, there are two stages in the restoration of the Jews, the first is before the battle of Armageddon; and the second, after it; but both pre-millennial. God has said, "I will save the tents of Judah first."
He continued to say of the first stage of restoration:
"There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of Jews before the manifestation, which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventual colonization of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him."
It is this "political" phase that we see in the Land today. But this must lead to a second stage. This is clear from what the Prophets foretold - for example, Hosea 3:4-5,
"For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4-5).
Notice: first return, and then seek.
Or again "I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel" (Ezekiel 34:13-14).
Notice: first; gather them from the countries and bring them to their own Land. THEN, feed them upon the mountains of Israel. We see the same process in Ezekiel chapter 37 which speaks of the resurrection of Israel. First that which is natural (the bones come together), then that which is spiritual - The spirit of the Truth is put into them - see verses 12 and 13. This is the process of resurrection as taught in 1 Cor. 15:46, and the same principle applies to the national resurrection of Israel.
What does this mean? It must mean that following a first stage of resurrection - a political and secular stage, there must follow a spiritual (or religious) revival. This is what we see beginning to happen now. Israel is becoming more religious. I would refer you to the article in the current issue of the Bible Magazine (Vol. 26 issue No. 1.) and especially that section of it on page 33. See also the article on pages 34-36.
According to a headline in the Jerusalem Post (Jan. 24, 2013) the incoming Knesset (Parliament) will be more religious. This is what we expect.
Now who can doubt the fact that we are now in "the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets?" We are therefore justified in expecting the return of Jesus Christ at any time, for the words of the apostle Peter were:
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).
What tremendous things we see! It is amazing how God works. Through all the politics and maneuverings of men, the way is being prepared for Christ to come with his saints in order to take direct control of Israel, and then through them of the entire world. Let us not miss the call of the apostle! We should apply his message to the times and circumstances now before us. It is not mere Democracy that is bringing about the current situation - it is the Hand of God. may He strengthen us to respond to it acceptably.
Join us again next week, God willing.
Printed: Saturday, January 26, 2013
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