Schaeffer’s Bare Minimum…Church 5

Francis Schaeffer was a Christian thinker and author whom I have benefitted much from. In the 1980’s I read his book “the Church at The End of the Twentieth Century”and benefitted from the points he raised.

Schaeffer pointed out that if the Church is to thrive in the ever changing world we live in, we must know the distinction between Form and Freedom. What is essential to the structure of the church (Form)? And what in church life is fluid, as regards organization , liturgy, practices, services, etc. ?

Schaeffer taught that the true Church is structured around eight essential, non negotiable norms.

  1. That local congregations, composed of believers, must exist in a region. Of course unbelievers would be welcome to the services, but Schaeffer believed that Church is made up of believers, and should revolve around the need of believers, while at the same time reaching out to unbelievers.

2. That the congregation must meet once a week. Schaeffer went further and insisted that it be on the first day of the week.

3. Churches should be led by Elders and Overseers, men who would take responsibility for the teaching and practice of the church.*

4. Schaeffer taught that Deacons be appointed to care for the physical aspects of the body of believers and their outreach.*

5. The Church must Take discipline seriously. She should exercise church discipline upon herself, in accord with the teaching of the New Testament. In Schaeffer’s view such discipline was essential to keep the Church distinct from the World,”

“The New Testament stresses such purity, for the church is not to be like an ameba so that no one can tell the difference between the church and the world.  There is to be a sharp edge.  There is to be a distinction between one side and the other – between the world and the church, and between those who are in the church and those who are not” (The Church At The End Of The Twentieth Century, 57).”

6. The True Church administers the two ordinances, The Lord’s Supper, and Baptism.

7. That there is a place for form on a wider basis than the local Church. Schaeffer cited Acts 15, and the council in Jerusalem as an example of this. There was submission and assent in the early church, among the churches. 

 I submit this topic for discussion, agreement, disagreement, what have you. Perhaps Schaeffer took for granted as an obvious given, but I would have added, that it is essential form that the Church be centered around the Word of God. The Church is the very pillar and ground of the Truth. Without the Word of God there is no church, and to depart from the Word of God, is to depart from remaining as a church. 

What is the bare minimum, non negotiable characteristic of the True Church?  Can a church ever stop being a church? At what point is a Church no longer a Church? We literally live in times where these are valid and timely issues.

*The standards of I Timothy 3 and Titus 1, should be met by the leadership of said churches.

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The Visible and Invisible Church… church pt 4

The True Church exists in two simultaneous modes; the visible and invisible church.

By the visible church we refer to the local assemblies of God’s people, who believe in Jesus, worship Him, break bread and who observe and propagate the teachings of the Apostles.

The visible church, can be referred to as the churches. They are the witness of God (for better or worse) in every community where they are established. Churches come and they go, they can shine brightly, or they can apostasize, they have differing histories, experiences, expressions of worship, and they can be seen by men.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven” (Matthew 5)

Our local church, ‘Believers in Grace Fellowship’, came into existence in 1982. It was founded by a few couples, (including my wife and I), in my home town of Cedar Rapids , Iowa. We had been in prayer, and seeking the LORD, and had also immersed ourselves in the study of the Pastoral Epistles ( I and 2 Timothy, and Titus), and came to the conviction that we were being called to begin a fellowship. We first met in our home, with about ten people, for worship, prayer, communion and of course Bible preaching and teaching. 

We were merely following a pattern that has been uninterrupted for the past two thousand years, among people on every continent, language, culture, environment, for all of these twenty plus centuries. Millions of people have organized themselves, some in the humblest dwellings, others in more grandiose surroundings, often in very hostile circumstances, and other times in peace and tranquility, in order to form assemblies as visible expressions of the Church.

This is the Visible church, and it is God’s plan, his program for the time being.

What is the invisible Church?  It is the Church (singular), Church with a capitol C. The Invisible Church was founded by Jesus Christ, and built upon the teachings of His Apostles, and it began in Jerusalem, shortly after the Resurrection of Messiah.

The Invisible church doesn’t “come and go”, for it is a fixed reality, and nothing Satan or the Kings of the Earth can ever do will be able to confound it. Jesus said  , “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it…”.

The History of the Church is the history of nonstop assault by the powers of darkness;  persecution, false teaching,rival false churches, false Words, corrupted leadership…it goes on an on, but there is still a real Church and always will be. 

Local churches can ‘come and go’ or they can go bad, succumbing to the Spirit of the Age, or they can be crushed by persecution, but the Church isn’t going anywhere, until God takes her to Heaven to rule with Christ.

Why do some call it ‘the Invisible Church’? This expresses several ideas…

* Most of the Church has gone on into heaven, and is awaiting the completion of the plan of God. We do not see them, but they are there and real. There is a great cloud of witnesses, a good many Martyrs, and Saints of whom the world is not worthy, whom no one on this earth can see. They are the Church, just as well as we on earth are. They believe in Jesus Christ, love God and have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and make up the congregation of the saints.

* The Invisible Church also refers to the fact that only God can see who is really and truly born again.  Only born again, regenerated People make up the church. The Church may be much larger than we thought it was, or it may be much smaller, but God sees who His people are. How many professing Christians are truly saved? How many in History really believed in Jesus? 

* The World cannot ‘see’ the true church, it doesn’t ‘get’ us, because it doesn’t (or won’t) see Jesus, our Lord.

There is a passage in the book of Hebrews about the true nature of the Church, which has always blessed and encouraged me,

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.  ( Hebrews 12:22-24)

We in the church are a part of something much bigger than our little Assemblies. We are in continuity with the Apostles and martyrs through the centuries, and we are part of something that shall never pass away, and that cannot ever be quenched.There are Angels at our Assemblies! The Church we are part of is called ‘the church of the firstborn’ and our fellow members are ‘the spirits of just men made perfect”!  

Most importantly of all, in the church… we come to Jesus…He is there where two or more are gathered in his name. We must never forget that, and lose the sense of mystery and awe of what Church means. Jesus himself is in our Assemblies, and He stands in the congregation and joins in our praises to God, according to the books of Psalms and Hebrews,

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.( Hebrews 2:11-13)

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Finding Church… “There Am I in The Midst of You”…Church part 3

Finding Church…”Where Two or more are gathered in My Name”… Church pt 3

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. ( Matthew 18:19-20)

A good many people have written me over the years , asking me to recommend churches in given areas. They tell me they simply cannot find a church that they can commit to. It is becoming increasingly obvious that finding a church home has become a seriously difficult task.

I am not talking about people merely complaining about the different but trivial styles of worship. The people who have written me with these concerns cannot find a church that is willing to remain true in it’s doctrine, or a church that refuses to be taken up by various religious fads that have swept over the church through the years; ie the Toronto Blessing, Pensacola, Purpose Driven, The Shack, and lately, BLM and other politicized expressions of Marxism.

This is a serious problem. People need to belong to churches, they need a place to call home, a body to worship with, and to sit under teaching which is sound. They also need a place that is safe to bring sinners and new converts into. I get it when people write me and say, “What you are saying about church is true and I agree, but I cannot find a sound church in my area, Pastor Bill”.

This is why a good many Shepherds will be called into judgment. 

They were needed to hold the line, to keep a holy place open as a true refuge, but in the various apostate movements which have swept Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism over the last four decades, so many of these Shepherds have let the flock down. Perhaps they wanted to grow the church, no matter what the means, so they pursued false revival movements. In a good many cases they wanted to reach the youth, so they painted their sanctuaries black , substituted the Hymns for Rock music, and became hipster celebrity Pastors, (selling out the majesty of the gospel in the process). Many of them are just guilty of being ignorant of scripture, and relying on their own personalities to ‘build the church’, as if Church was just another human institution. 

There was a major movement among evangelicals in the 1980’s and 1990s in which highly esteemed Pastors paid lots of church money to consult with secular Marketing gurus in order to learn new ways to “grow the church”.  This became the rage and out of it we got the phenomenon of the “Mega Church”.  The late John Wimber told us that he was a 400 dollar an hour church growth consultant, before he founded the Vineyard Church in the 1970s. One of the highest paid and most renown of these church growth experts was a New Age marketing Guru named Peter Drucker. He took on the Church as a challenge. He had radicalized the growth of corporations and industries, perhaps He could do the same for the Church.

Shame on those false Shepherds, so hungry for fame, “success” and renown that they actually went this way. This is so obviously worldly and demeaning to  the Church ,as though it were a badly run business. The Church in America has undergone radical changes alright, and they aren’t the kind of changes which are spiritually beneficial. 

I said all of that in order to point out, that I get it, that people cannot find churches in some areas. These trends have infected nearly all churches, completely altering the character of a good many of them. 

I know a lot of ‘refugees’ who have had to come out of churches, that they once built, served, grew up in, were saved in, in earlier times. But the church Leadership took it on themselves to just change the church! I know one Pastor who was steeped in these new faddish concepts, who told me, that He stood up before the elders at a church which had hired him and announced, “We are going young!”. I asked him what he meant by that, and he told me, we are going to take out the old organ and the hymns, and bring in younger musicians, more ‘contemporary’ with the times… etc etc. What gave him the right to just change a church? What did he throw out in the interest of “going young”?

I see why people flow out of churches. I see especially how conscientious and devoutly Christian people would leave churches, even if they have no idea where else they would be going. This is heartbreaking, but is happening all over the nation.

There are valid reasons for leaving and invalid reasons. I always advise,”If a church changes to the point where you cannot bring a person to a service, without fearing that the sermon will actually deny or obscure the gospel, you have no business there”. We are called to loyalty to Jesus and to His saving message. Another one is, if the church allows blatant immorality, it is no longer worth supporting. Go through the process of Matthew 18, and try to help the church by calling for accountability, but if they will not deal with sexual sin, it is time to move on.

I believe part of the problem, when people say they can’t find a church, in an area, is because they have too limited a concept of what a church actually is. Maybe you came from a well established evangelical or Pentecostal church which had various programs, support groups a well established hierarchy,(Pastor,Elders, Deacons), but it changed, perhaps it started promoting garbage like “THE SHACK” or false Prophets , or maybe it went “WOKE, and you start hearing sermons about “Social Justice”.  You leave, but can’t find an acceptable version of what you left.

This begs the real question, “What is Church?”. 

I asked the LORD for an answer to the many who have inquired about this, of me over the years, and He clearly gave me a precious scripture as a starting place; 

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.( Malachi 3:16-18)

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The Case For Church; church 2

I have been mulling around several different topics to address on this subject; what is church, what does it mean to be part of a church, how should a healthy church function, God’s power and reality in the church, etc, all of which I intend to get to.

But I wanted to begin by cutting to the chase, I want to make the case for the Church.

Why should Christians be part of a church, and give themselves to that form of the work of God?

It was a given, at one point, in my own experience of being converted in the 1970’s, that a Christian goes to church. They give themselves to God, there, by being a functioning member of a local body of believers. We knew that and never questioned it, as far back as I remember.

Such is not the case currently. A lot has changed since those days, ( including the churches, something I will address also in this series).

Why should a Christian become a member and participate in a Church?

*Christianity is not meant to be personal and hyper individualistic- Jesus taught us to pray this way, “Our Father, who art in Heaven…”, not “My Father…”. Jesus assumes the church would be the context where the Christian life would be lived out. It is still not good for man to be alone. We need each other, in our discipleship, in worship, in our growth in the knowledge of God, Christianity is public, not private. There is no such thing as a “personal relationship with God” in the sense of one living an entirely solitary Christian life with no reference to others.

* Jesus ordained the Church- The Church was a mystery, hidden in the counsels of Godfrom eternity, but revealed in the Last days by the coming and teaching of Jesus. “I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it”, saith the LORD, and therein is the current program of God. Jesus revealed the church, and He is the builder and finisher of it.

* The Church is where Discipleship takes place- God is calling men and women out of this world, to follow Jesus and to become part of His Kingdom.  Who is responsible for the instruction and training of these converts? The Apostle Paul reveals that upon the ascension of Jesus, He “Led captivity captive and gave gifts to men…”,

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:(Ephesians 4:10-13)

It has been through these God given giftings, we are taught, encouraged, exhorted, comforted , and perfected for ministry.

* The Church is to be where the Love of God is on display– All Christians are commanded to love. We are to love everybody whom God has put into our lives. But not everybody is going to allow us to love them, in a visible, meaningful way. The World, for example will not let us love them. But the church is the place where we learn to love, and where the Love of God is put on display. This is the teaching of both Jesus and the Apostle John,

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. ( John 13:34-35)

 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.( I John 4:12)

Notice what the LORD says, that outsiders will know we are followers of Jesus by the love that they see. Notice what John says, that unbelievers cannot see God, but if they see our love, they will ‘see’ God dwelling in us. 

There are many bitter and cynical about church, because of some kind of a rotten experience of lovelessness in those professing to be Christian. But those experiences cannot nullify this point. Personally I have had bad and good experiences in my forty years in church, but I cannot deny the overwhelming and constant experience of love, in the name of Jesus from Christians across the world.

I have been loved, given to, sustained, encouraged, edified and had my feet washed by people who I didn’t even know until I met them, because of Jesus. The Church is amazing, the love in it is a treasure.

I recently heard the testimony of a  man who happened to have lived in Hollywood, whose whole adult life revolved around the “gay” lifestyle. He ran into a couple of Christians, and to make a long story short, he listened to them, and believed in the gospel and was saved. Because of the propaganda he had imbibed upon for so many years, He was afraid to come to church, because he had heard how ‘hateful’ they were to homosexuals. He said He was shocked went he went to church, at the loving and caring reception He received from those whom He had once disdained and considered to be enemies. There is Love in the Church.

* The Church is where the Holy Spirit flourishes-  The Holy Spirit, being God, is everywhere. Having said that, the Church is said to be built up as a Holy Temple, and is called “The Habitation of God” in the Holy Spirit. 

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.( Ephesians 2:21-22)

The Church, (ie redeemed people) is a Holy Temple, and is where the Spirit of God flourishes. Every time we gather in the Assembly, we encounter the Holy Spirit of God . To deny yourself participation in the Church is to put yourself out, away from the Spirit.

* Jesus warned us not to fall away from Assembling

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. ( Hebrews 10:23-25)

Assembling together is a command from our Lord, particularly as we see the Day of the LORD draw near. We need each other, for strength, mutual prayer, accountability.

* The Gifts of the Spirit are for the Church- The book of Hebrews tells us that the church has been given, “The Powers of the Age to Come”. We are the vanguard of the coming age of Messiah. Will there be healing and deliverance in the Millenium? The Church possesses within it the foretaste of those days. 

I bid my readers to not grow cynical about the church, Go there and let someone pray for you, for your healing, your family, your burdens and sorrows. Our God is the living God and is active in His true church. When I began my Christian life, I went to the services of the Church with a tremendous anticipation. Who knows what God will do in our midst? Who knows how He will answer, and speak, how He will touch us? We must prayerfully recover such a faith, for God is there , in the midst of us, in the least and littlest church!

* Others need us as well as we need them-Every believer has a unique measure of the Holy Spirit. There is no ‘clergy class’, only other believers. We must believe in the Priesthood of all believers, and look at church as a Koinonia, a complete giving and recieving. Too many bring a consumerist mindset into the church, “What can me and my family get out of this church?” , rather we should adopt the mindset, where can we serve your work Lord?  

The true Church needs people, but not just warm bodies to fill seats. What the church needs is people who Love the LORD and want to serve Him, and who will work together to further his righteous cause. 

*The Church is the Light- Jesus told us this in the sermon on the mount-“You are the Light of the world”. What does light do? It illuminates and it exposes. What does it mean to walk in the light, as He is in the Light?  

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. ( I John 1:5-7)

Fellowship with one another is only possible in the light. The only precondition for anyone to have fellowship with God himself, is not perfection, but merely the willingness to come into the Light. Light is the emblem of safety, purity, knowledge and even of the glory of God. I stay in church so that I can remain in the Light.

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No Plan B; Church

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

( Matthew 16:18-19)

The Church is God’s idea, and not man’s. He planned it as a part of the larger Salvation and Redemption project, from the foundation of the world. We are currently in the closing days of the “church age”. God’s current program is Church, and there is no “plan B”.

Like her LORD, the Church also is “despised and rejected” in this world, and there is little or no “Beauty that we should desire” her. Flesh and blood cannot reveal the true beauty that is in the church, only the Father in heaven can do this.

In the next few articles I would like to attempt to define church, clear up a few misconceptions about her, and make the case that what it means to be a Christian is to take one’s place in church and support each other in the work of God.

In the passage above, Jesus took his disciples to Caesarea Philipi, one of the darkest and most occult places on the planet. originally it was called “Pan”, and dedicated to the worship of “Pan”, the “All god”, often portrayed as goat headed and cloven footed but upright. Geographically the location was within sight of MT Herman, where it was commonly believed that the Nephillim descended to the earth, in order to intermingle with the human race, and ultimately to become the cause of the flood in the days of Noah. 

The place was also named”Caesar Panii”,  for Caesar, a man who claimed to be “god incarnate”, the “Savior of the world”, and literally was considered to be the personal incarnation of the “Golden Age”.

That was the location Jesus took his disciples, in order to reveal to them a mystery, the Church. 

The Church, ie “the Ecclesia” (the called out ones),  would be established on the massive Rock of revelation. Peter was shown by the Father in Heaven, that Jesus of Nazareth was in truth the long awaited Messiah, and that he was at the same time “The Son of the blessed One”. Jesus is the Son of God. Flesh and blood could not reveal that to Peter or to anyone else, only the Father could show us who Jesus truly is. No one knows the Father but the Son and know one knows the Son except the Father and those whom He shows him to. 

The “Rock” that Jesus would found His church upon, is the Revelation from the Father, as to who Jesus truly is. 

There is a cave at Caserea Philipi called “The Gates of Hell”, which was at the base of MT Herman was believed to be a portal to the underworld. Idolatrous and sexually perverse rites of worship were performed there by the heathen. 

Think about the fact that Jesus chose that very dark spot to announce the formation of his church, and that Hell would not prevail against it.

What is the Church? 

It is an assembly, of those who have been “called out” of this world by Jesus Christ, and who have received a revelation from God as to the person of Jesus Christ. The Church was proclaimed in the very face of demon worship, and was born into a Spiritual warfare that has not ceased since it’s founding, and is promised that she will never be wiped out, until the end.

Jesus is the “Head of the Church” for the church is also called “the Body of Christ”, ie the physical expression of the Messiah , here on earth. He is our head, which we must “Hold to”, and we are the Body through whom he expresses himself on this earth. 

The Church is also called “The Pillar and ground of the Truth”, 

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.( I Timothy 3:15)

This means that her task on this earth is to be the (Ground) support and (pillar) upholding of the Revelation of God in Christ. We are the witness, for the present time, to the Truth of God.

We the Church,  are called to stand in a darkened, Satanic world, and uphold the Truth of God, no matter how much opposition and attack we sustain.

There is no Plan B, this is how the Kingdom of God is going to function until the LORD calls us home (The Rapture and fulness of the Gentiles). 

Our Lord Jesus has been gathering His flock, ever since , out of every people, nation and tongue, across the centuries and around the world. There is no where on this earth, where someone is not offering someone else a piece of bread or a cup of wine and saying “this is my body, this is my blood”… . Everywhere the gospel goes, the Church springs up. Satan is constantly trying to destroy it, but He cannot do so. He may tear it down in one expression but it springs up in another. 

The forms may vary, but the Spiritual principle of the church remains. It is a spiritually given ‘instinct’ for the newly born again to join themselves to a body of people, somehow we know that this new Life we have been given was not meant to be lived on our own. We need each other, and the Spirit leads us to find each other in order to call on the name of the LORD together. 

Jesus assures us that it need not be a huge group of people, nor even a highly developed organized expression of worship, for he told his Little flock “Where two or more are gathered together, there am I in the midst of you”.

What is church? Church is where Jesus is, in the midst of us, and through each of his members, teaching, admonishing, strengthening and washing us.

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Why No One Wants To Be Edom… (other views on Edom’s identity)

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There are various other views on the identity of Edom, which I think would be helpful to discuss.Edom is such an important entity in Prophecy , I think it is important to be clear on who Scripture is talking about.

Orthodox Jews have long believed that Edom is Rome, and by extension, the West. 

For example of Talmudic teaching on the identity of Edom, here is an excerpt from the Midrash Tachuma:

After Hadrian, king of Edom conquered the world, he returned to Rome and said to his officers: “I want you to make me a god, since I have conquered the world.” They said to him: “But you have not yet established your rule over his (God’s) city and his house.” He went, succeeded, destroyed the Temple, exiled Israel, and returned to Rome. He said to them: “I have now destroyed his house and burned his Temple and exiled his people. Make me a god.”

Esau’s name means “Red”, as does the name “Edom”.  King Herod was an ethnic Edomite who arose after the forced conversion of Edom by John Hyrcannus the High Priest during the intertestamental period. Herod was definitely Roman also in outlook and education.  Furthermore Roman armies wore Red tunics, and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 ad, thus Orthodox Judaism considers the scriptures speaking of Edom to refer to the West. 

The Patristic Fathers of the early church held to a kind of replacement theology, and taught typologically that the Church is now Israel, and that the Jews are  the new Edom, as this sermon from Tertullian is a sample of,

[T]hat from Rebekah’s womb two peoples and two clans were about to come forth. They are, of course, the Jews—that is, Israel—and that Gentiles—that is, us…. For indeed, God designed two peoples and two clans to come forth from the womb of one woman, not to separate grace on the basis of the name but on the order of the birth, such that the one who would come forth from the womb first would be subjected to the younger—that is, the later….

And so, although the people or clan of the Jews is anterior in time and older, graced with the first honour in relation to the law, ours is understood accurately as younger in the ages of time. This is so, as in the final lap of our age we have grasped the notion of divine compassion. Without doubt, according to the decree of the divine utterance, the first, the elder people, namely the Jewish, inevitably will serve the younger. The younger people, namely the Christian, will rise above the elder…  https://www.thetorah.com/article/esau-the-ancestor-of-rome

I have seen modern day cultists, such as the black supremacists Hebrew movement, teach that Edom is the white western world.

A number of other cults, (including Some Muslims) teach that the Jews who currently inhabit the State of Israel and have been coming back into the Promised Land since 1948 are not really Jews at all, but that they are Edom. 

No one wants to be Edom. Many people want the name of Edom to be applied to people who they have a grievance against; Jews want Christians and Westerners to be Edom, Liturgical Eastern Christians believe the Jews are Edom, as do many Muslims and cultists. 

I had an interesting post on this very forum, which rightly traced the history of Edom to it’s Geographical location, until the time when Edom was forcibly converted to Judaism, and (somewhat) assimilated into the Jewish world of the inter-testimental period. The writer is definitely correct historically and even ethnically in his making a distinction between Ishmael and Edom and I see where He is coming from, in calling me out for my generalization that the Arab Muslim world is the modern equivalent of Edom.

Yet the Scriptures clearly portray an entity named “Edom” which will be the subject of incredible Divine fury in the last days, so who are they? Jesus Christ himself will return to the earth, first visiting Edom, Teman and Bozrah in Judgment. Who is Scripture talking about when it states, 

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.

Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.( Isaiah 63:1-3)

God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.

And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.

Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.

He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.  ( Habbakuk 3:3-6)

Both of these passages are vivid descriptions of the second coming of Jesus to the earth!

Who Is Edom?

* Note that Geographical references are used; Teman, Bozrah, Mt Seir,  all of these are in the area south of the Dead Sea and Northwest of Arabia, the geographical location of the once Kingdom of Edom

* Who lives there now? Arabs, Moslems… Spiritual children of Ishmael and Edom, if not direct descendants.

* Note that as in Psalm 83 Edom’s allies are listed, and all happen to be Muslim nations.

* Ezekiel 35 and 36 point out that this entity seeks to dispossess the Jews, and to take for themselves the Holy Land and the Holy places within it, whether they be Jewish or Christian, Edom claims them as His own.

* This entity has nurtured an “Everlasting hatred “ against the Jews, which is why Judgment must come upon it. It is a relentless nd unyielding hatred throughout history, and has manifested itself in a willingness to shed innocent blood of Jews.

* Isaiah speaks of the “Controversy of Zion”. Zion , Zionism and the “Zionist Entity” are hated and opposed by Edom and her fellow travelers.

* The tribulation is called “The time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30, a reference to Jacob’s wrestling and trepidation at the advent of Esau.

We are not required to spiritualize Edom, as the Rabbis and the Orthodox Christians do, nor to find direct descendants to identify them ,Biblical prophecy instead refers to regions, and the people who happen to inhabit them in the last days. For example there are numerous prophecies against Philistia in the last days, but there hasn’t been a Philistine people in a couple of millennia. 

But there is a region, which we now call Gaza, it is where the Philistines once had a foothold on the Holy land and menaced Israel, until David subdued them. Furthermore there is an Arab people who have taken on themselves the name, “Palestinians” and claimed an identity which gives them a (false) claim to the Holy Land and allows them to feel justified in waging a terror war against Israel. 

God calls out the geopolitical situation in the last days, and makes plain those nations which He is personally coming to wage war against. Edom happens to be the Muslim/Arab Levant and Middle East. if they aren’t the physical sons of Ishmael and Esau, they are the moral and spiritual sons of those two.

For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.Isaiah 34:5-6)

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Jacob/ Esau and the The Controversy of Zion…

Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.  For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.

When Rebecca had a troubled pregnancy, she sought the LORD for answers and He told her, that “Two Nations are in thy Womb…”. She could have no idea how that would all play out in subsequent history. 

The One child, Esau would become the Father of a powerful Kingdom, called Edom, and they would become the inveterate foes of Israel. That nation would intermingle with her neighbors, the Ammonites, Moabites, and Ishmaelites as well as a host other Arab tribes. They would worship a variety of false “gods” until they would eventually be  united in an Arab based form of paganism, called Islam. Thus the nation of Edom would become the Islamic “Ummah” which would spread across the globe incorporating many other nations. Islam would encode within its tenets the grievances of Ishmael, Esau and Hagar.

Today it is the spiritual  home of 1.7 billion people. 

The second child, Jacob, would  become the 12 tribes of Israel, and would bring to the world the revelation of God through Prophets, Priests and Kings, and the development of the Hebrew Scriptures. Through Him also would the promise of God to Abraham be fulfilled, that he would have a Son who would be a blessing to every family on earth! The Messiah and Savior of the World would come through Jacob, and in spite of so much apostasy and judgment, the Jewish nation would remain intact, and the faith would develop into Christianity, thus out of her other son, people from around the world of every nation and tongue, would embrace the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob.

Rebecca had all of that in her womb,And the children fought in her womb. They were twins but couldn’t have been more distinct.   That fight, in that womb, as recorded in the first book of the Bible, has continued to this very day, and is a portent of the very last conflict before the Millenium. 

Little could she know these things nor could she have had the capacity to grasp that one day every man, woman and child would be affected by that struggle, and would be sucked into it, one way or the other.

The controversy which is engulfing all nations, pulling strong nations such as the USA, Russia,China and Iran into an utter maelstrom in the Middle East, is basically the same issue which the book of Genesis raises in the story of Jacob and Esau.

God chose Jacob, but Isaac chose Esau.  The modern Arab Muslim near eastern world is now Edom.

The Whole world is pulled into the fight between Jacob and Esau, neutrality has become impossible. Most of todays world sides with Edom in the Controversy of Zion, ceding land God gave to Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, to Muslim terrorist states.UNESCO just ceded the very tomb of the Patriarchs to the terror state, in spite of the historic fact that the Patriarchs are Jewish.

This madness will lead to the terrors of Isaiah 34. Those who pass out sweets and rejoice in terror acts against Jewish innocents are now under God’s ban, according to Isaiah 34. They are “dedicated to utter destruction”

For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter...For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.(Isaiah 34:2, 5)

The Arab Muslim World and all nations who side in her hatred and bloodshed against Israel, are set for wrath and destruction at the hands of the LORD, over the controversy of Zion!

We complete our exposition of Isaiah 34;

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.( Isaiah 34:4-8)

The location is given, Idumea, (Edom) just south West of the Dead Sea and the North West of Arabia. Bozrah is the Biblical name for Petra, the rock carved city. It is Payback time for all of those who rejoice in shedding innocent Jewish blood, based upon the :”everlasting hatred”  that Obadiah, Ezekiel and Amos warn about…

Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:

But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.(Amos 1:11-12)

The blood thirsty ones such as ISIS, ISIL, Al Queda, Hezbullah and the rest of the Islamic rabble, are likened  as to sacrificial animals, coming down to Zion, not knowing that they have been fattened for a slaughter, God is a God of righteous vengeance, and the set time is near to execute his wrath.

And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.(Isaiah 34:9-10)

We saw shades of this during the first Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein set alight the oil wells as a military tactic. The oil rich Middle East will be set afire in the day of vengeance and black clouds of pitch will burn to increase the horror of that day.

But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.(Isaiah 34:11)

Part of Esau’s inheritance will be rendered un-inhabitable forever, so great is the destruction coming upon them. The very expression which Jesus cited and applied to  the fires of Hell, “The smoke of their torment” comes from this passage.

They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.(Isaiah 34:12)

The Sheiks,Nobles and all of the religious and political leaders of Edom shall vanish. They are long gone, nowhere to be seen.The fire they have set with their lies and incitements of their own ignorant populations has consumed them in the day of Vengeance.

And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.  The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.(Isaiah 34:13-15) 

`Because of God’s anger, the curse on Creation prevails in Edom, and the only birds or animals are those who dwell in solitary,human-less places. Edom is a place under God’s ban- it is dedicated to utter destruction.

Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.(Isaiah 34:16-17)

Have any of Isaiah’s other prophecies failed? Did Jesus indeed come once ,into history as the “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”?  Did he not successfully bear all of our sin and transgression as Isaiah had predicted?  Surely not one word of Isaiah’s prophecies have failed, for “The Mouth of the Lord hath Spoken it…”.

Even so has God appointed the terrifying end of those on the wrong side of the Controversy of Zion. Wild and lonely beasts shall possess Edom’s land, which shall otherwise be desolated forever, by the Hand of the Holy God who has so decreed.

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Obadiah’s Warning to Edom and to all Nations… Jacob/Esau and Gaza

For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. ( Obadiah 10)

Time and again, the Prophets of the Bible warn Edom, of terrible judgment coming upon them for the violence perpetrated against His brother , Jacob. It is ironic that ‘Hamas’ is a Hebrew word for violence. 

The book of Obadiah is at first a specific warning to Edom, but in verse 15 it extends to the Nations as a whole of the impending judgment upon them for their treatment of Jacob, (ie Israel).

Like it or not, God has a foreign policy for all of the nations , stated clearly in the book of Genesis, chapter 12, and verse three, when He said to Abraham, “I will bless Him that blesses thee, and curse Him that curses thee…”.

Judgment is coming upon Edom and the nations of the world which have delighted in shedding innocent blood , and particularly the blood of Jews. the Prophet Joel echoes Obadiah, when He proclaims, 

But Egypt will be desolate,  Edom a desert waste,  because of violence done to the people of Judah,

    in whose land they shed innocent blood.  Judah will be inhabited foreverand Jerusalem through all generations.Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?

   No, I will not.” (Joel 3:19-21)

Ezekiel also is pointed in his prophecy against MT Seir, (Edom) , whom he indicted for loving to shed the blood of Israel, 

Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it,

And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate.

I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.

Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end:

Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.Ezekiel 35:2-6

Of course it is Islam, the religion which took up the original grievances of Ishmael and Esau against the LORD and the Jews, which has promoted so very much of this violence. Islam has a tenet which insists upon violence against Israel which is called “the Prophecy of the Tree”, 

It is narrated in the hadith that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Hour will not begin until you fight the Jews, until a Jew will hide behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will say: ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allah, here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him – except the gharqad (a kind of thorny trees)  

The demonic “Prophecy of the Tree” anticipated by so many of Esau’s spiritual offspring, is eerily reminiscent of other terrifying experiences in which Eau took advantage of Jacob in the darkest days of previous calamities, such as in the time when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and the nation was taken off into captivity. Edom rejoiced in that day and took no pity on His brother Jacob.

In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;

1Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.(Obadiah 11-14)

The God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob saw this.  Notice the Divine reproof, “You shouldn’t have…” stood by idly, (and gleefully), in the day of their calamity,  nor should you have taken their possessions, nor spoken proudly (gloating?). What else shouldn’t they have done? They shouldn’t have entered into the ruined Jerusalem,  and plundered it in the darkest hour, nor should they have helped the Babylonians by blocking the escape of any fleeing Jews, and they certainly shouldn’t have turned in those whom they did capture,  

But Edom did do all of those low and hateful things, they couldn’t do otherwise because of the deep hatred that they nurtured in their hearts for centuries against Jacob, and Jacob’s God. Edom would do this again and again also, such as when Romans besieged Jerusalem. They would do the same hateful things against God’s people. The same happened in the days of the Muslims and even recently in the time of the Nazi’s. The largest group of Waffen SS  was recruited by the grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who was a personal friend of Hitler. Even today, in our time we hear Edomites such as Mahmoud Abbas, the planner and financier of the slaughter of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team, call for a “Knife Jihad” saying, “We welcome every drop of blood shed in Jerusalem”.  Edom is consumed by something called “The everlasting hatred” and only submission to the God of Jacob can deliver him from it. 

The vision of Joel spreads out to all of the Nations, for in the wrestling of Jacob and Esau the entire world is required to choose a side and identify with one or the other of the twins;

For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.( Obadiah 15-18)

“As ye have done, it shall be done unto thee…” The nations of the world have a choice to make, either blessing or curse, according to their treatment of Israel, God’s prodigal children. It is frightening that as we approach the time of Judgment, the “Day of the LORD” , an irrational Anti-Semitism is sweeping the world and consuming millions of otherwise reasonable people with hatred for the Jews.

“You have drunk upon my Holy Mountain…” the most sensitive piece of real estate on the planet is the 35 acre platform known as the “Temple Mount”. Currently Esau inhabits it, and for the most part the United Nations supports them in their desecration of it. “Drinking on the Holy Mountain “ seems to suggest some kind of religious use of it. Every Friday Hatred spews forth from the Mosque there, in the place that in the time of Solomon God says HE placed his very name forever. God will turn this profane drinking of Edom and the Nations into a “cup of trembling” which they will all, drink deeply to their own destruction.

Zechariah agrees that Jerusalem will be one of the contentious issues of the final Judgment, and Day of the LORD,

The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zechariah 12:1-3)

God will use the Jewish people to execute Judgment upon Edom, and ultimately , Jacob will possess all that the Edomites currently call their own. Currently Edomites are squatters on Zion, the Holy mountain, profaning it every day. They also claim the western coastland of Israel, GAZA, and the fields of Ephraim and Samaria as well as Gilead, the eastern coast of the Jordan River. All of this is Land God bequeathed to the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by an everlasting covenant. It is amazing the Obadiah anticipated those usurpations and specifically assured Jacob that God would cause him to possess them once again.

And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. (Obadiah 18-21)

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Identifying End Time Edom… Jacob/Esau and Gaza pt 3

We have been looking at the prophecies about Jacob and Esau, as the starting point for understanding the current struggle in the Middle East between Israel and her enemies. 

The Bible lays it all out perfectly and everything it says about the very last conflict and deliverance of Israel is being put into motion. 

In the difficult pregnancy of Isaac’s wife, Rebecca, we are told that Esau would become one of two distinct nations, sometimes stronger than his brother Jacob, but would be subservient to Him. 

And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.(Genesis 25:23)

The second prophecy came on the day Esau begged his Father for a Blessing, after learning that Jacob had supplanted him, 

And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.( Genesis 27:39-40)

Edom did indeed become a powerful Kingdom, south of the Dead Sea, and was to become an inveterate rival of Israel and Judah. David and Solomon subdued Edom, but after the break up of the Kingdom, Edom broke away(threw off the yoke of Judah), and actively participated in the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians, and plundered Judah in the aftermath, an event prophesied in Obadiah, as being one of the reasons for the Judgment which will fall upon Edom in the Last days. Eventually Edom came again under the yoke of the Jews, and the nation was forcibly converted to Judaism by John Hyrcannus (intertestimental times), and ceased being an independent Kingdom around that time. So how is it that Edom is prophesied against in the end times, in very specific terms? How does a people who have long been subdued and intermingled, intermarried and which no longer has an identifiable polity show up at the time of the final, Day of the LORD? 

Furthermore who is Edom now? How would we identify Him, and why will the LORD himself visit him in the final hour of judgement? I have already mentioned that there is a world religion which has taken up and codified the grievance of Esau, Hagar and Ismael, nurturing and keeping aflame something God calls the “Everlasting hatred” against the Jews. I speak of ISLAM. In his Prophecy against MT Seir (Esau’s allotted kingdom center), God proclaims doom upon Edom, for the sin of loving bloodshed against his brother (Jacob), 

Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end: 

* Edom can be known today by His perpetual hatred 

* Edom can also be known by his attempted abrogation of the LandGod gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

”Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the Lord was there: (Ezekiel 35:10) 

When Judah went into the Babylonian captivity, his brother Edom gloated, rejoiced and immediately set out to plunder as much of Judah as possible, even coming under Babylonian subjection in doing so.Edom has not been content with his own birthright, but jealousy seeks to take away Jacob’s as well. The modern so called “two State solution” has never been about establishing two states as far as modern Edom is concerned, it has been about ousting Israel, from the “River (Euphrates), to the Sea (Meditteranean) as we hear the modern Edomites chant in current demonstrations around the world. 

* Modern Edom can be known by her insistence that the Holy Places of the Jews belong to Him and not to the Jews. 

Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:( Ezekiel 36:2) 

Who is it that has custody of the holiest site in all of Judaism, the Temple Mount? The Jews? No, Edom does. He abrogated it to himself and to his religion, during the long exile of the children of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. Edom built a shrine to his version of the sacrifice of Isaac (Edom calls it the binding of Ishmael) , ie the “Dome of the Rock”. Edom also built a Mosque there on the temple Mt. called “Al Aqsa” which means “the farthest place”. Islamic scholars believe that it was there that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a horse named ‘barak’ (I know, you can’t make this stuff up), from the farthest place,(Al Aqsa) . Thus Judaism’s holiest site is under the custody of the Waqf, which is a Jordanian religious guardian of Islamic sacred sites. 

Ezekiel’s prophecy has been fulfilled in other startling details as well, through UNESCO, (United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization).. This body assigns “world Heritage sites to Historical and cultural treasures throughout the world. UNESCO went through Judea recently ( the so called West Bank) and proclaimed that the tomb Abraham bought for Sarai, Himself, Isaac, Rebecca , Jacob and Leah, have a Muslim significance, not a Jewish one. They did likewise for Rachel’s tomb, Rachel died in childbirth (Benjamin) outside of Bethlehem and is buried there. According to UNESCO, that too is Muslim and not Jewish! They take the high places into possession and claim them as their own! 

Who is Edom? Who is this entity that the LORD himself is coming to make war upon and to splatter his own garments with their blood? Edom is the Arab Muslim world and all of those who are spiritually in affinity with the grievance of Esau, against Jacob. 

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.  Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.( Isaiah 63:1-3)

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Jacob Have I Loved… Jacob, Esau and Gaza pt 2

Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated… Malachi 1:3

In my previous article I pointed out that the Arab/ Israeli conflict is really a continuation of the wrestlings of Jacob and Esau, and will one day soon, engulf all of the world in their struggle. It is biblical and prophetic and is in Genesis because it is a fundamental and universal conflict which will culminate in Armeggedon.

In this article I would like to clarify a few things, for their is much confusion about the particulars of this subject.

The original conflict in Genesis, when discussing the problems Abraham,Isaac and Jacob had within their own families, centered around issues about Divine Election.

God chose Abraham, not Lot. Abraham was a pagan idolater, and yet God chose Him and called him to leave all to follow God.

God chose Isaac, not Ishmael, Ishmael was born first to Abraham, thus by man’s standards he should have been given preference, but God chose Isaac, and not Ishmael.

God chose Jacob, not Esau. It is not that Jacob was a better person, or that he was more spiritual, Election is solely of grace. God chose Jacob. Isaac chose Esau over Jacob, but God chose Jacob over Esau.

In the Malachi passage above, God is said to have “Loved Jacob:” and “Hated Esau”. This is the language of election, it has nothing to do with whether or not God loved them in the sense we understand love. “Love” and “Hate” have to do with acceptance or rejection for a certain God ordained task. God loved Israel in “setting his love on them”, and not for any other reason.

He chose them because He decided to, He set his love on them in a way he hasn’t done to the Irish, the Norwegians or the Zulus.

The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:  But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.( Deuteronomy 7:7-8)

It would be good to consider exactly what God wa electing this remarkable and miraculous family to do … . Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were chosen to be the human conduit through which he would send the :”seed of the woman” promised in Genesis 3, into this world. They were chosen to be the Messianic line.

It is not that Abraham,Isaac and Jacob were chosen to salvation whilst Ishmael, Esau and Hagar were not. This Divine election is about who would be the ones through whom the Messiah would come into the world. God was not going to bring Messiah through Ishmael or Esau.

Ishmael and Esau and Hagar would have to submit themselves to the revelation given to Isaac and Jacob and eventually through the Jews. That would be humbling and they would have to accept the fact , that, as Jesus told a woman at the well, “Salvation is of the Jews”.

A good many of the descendants of Ishmael and Esau did indeed do so, for at the time of the explosion of Islam, most of the Middle East was either Jewish or Christian or variations of Christian. Even to this day, there are quite a few Arabs, Syrians and Assyrians who hold to some form of Christianity.

But as it turns out, Esau would become restive, and tire of submitting to the Jews, or coming behind in contrast to them. One way that this “restlessness” worked out in History, is the development of a Religion which would codify the grievances of Ishmael, Hagar, and Esau, namely Islam.

Islam is the :”restlessness” of Esau, it is the vindication of the spurned Ishmael. In fact Islam has a feast and a special Mosque to commemorate the sacrifice Abraham made of Ishmael unto God. It nourishes and commemorates every grievance Ishmael and Esau had at being cheated, supplanted and disenfranchised (supposedly) by Israel.

Our God is the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. He is not the God of Ishmael or Esau, they are not Patriarchs, and there is no such thing as Abrahamic religion. The modern moral and spiritual descendants of Esau resent this greatly.They do not want to submit to the Spiritual yoke of the revelation which developed from the seed of Jacob, so they have crafted their own counterfeit to nurse their bitterness.

This has developed into something called,”The Everlasting hatred” . God calls it out in the book of Ezekiel, and it will be the cause of severe judgments…

there is more to come…

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