God's Plan for America--Part 2
Jun 14, 2011
When Israel arrived at Mount Sinai to hear God's voice, they were too fearful to hear more than the Ten Commandments. (See Exodus 20:18-21.) So Moses had to go up the Mount to receive the rest of the Law. The people themselves only heard the summary of the Law, the chapter headings.
This established the pattern for their descendants and for the Church in the Pentecostal Age as well, for it seems that no one has a problem with the Ten Commandments, but the Church is largely ignorant of the rest of the Law. They know what Israel heard, but they do not know what Moses heard. Somehow, when Moses told them what God had said, it did not become a revelation to them, and they forgot it as quickly as he spoke.
If Israel had been willing (and ready) to hear God's voice at that first Pentecost, they would have had the faith to enter the Promised Land the following year. "Faith comes by hearing," Paul says in Rom. 10:17, but one's quantity of faith comes by the amount of revelation one is willing to hear. Lack of faith comes by rejecting all or some portion of the Word of God.
When we compare the Israelites under Moses with the disciples in the upper room in Acts 2, it is clear that the disciples did what their forefathers had failed to do. Hence, it is clear that Israel under Moses would have received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Sinai, if they had been willing and able to do what Jesus' disciples did.
The disciples received "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Eph. 6:17), because they were willing to hear the Word in the upper room. The Israelites under Moses were unable to receive this spiritual weapon, so they were left only with carnal swords by which to conquer the Canaanites.
Israel's failure to hear resulted in a bloodbath when it came time to conquer Canaan. God was still able to use their physical swords to fulfill His promise of giving them the Promised Land as their inheritance; however, this method did not really reflect the heart of God. Their carnal swords were the weapons of choice under the Old Covenant.
Many years later, Jesus (the New Joshua) anticipated a New Covenant method of conquest, using the Sword of the Spirit. This greater weapon was much sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). Carnal swords could only cut the head from the body. The animal sacrifices used a sword to cut apart "joints and marrow." But the Sword of the Spirit could separate "soul and spirit" and was "able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Now THAT is a sharp sword!
It is the weapon of the New Covenant by which the whole world could be conquered. For this reason, Jesus told His disciples in Matt. 28:18-20,
(18) . . . All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
In other words, by the Sword of the Spirit, which they were to be given shortly, the disciples were to conquer not only Canaan, but "all the nations" of the earth. By the Sword of the Spirit, they were to kill the flesh--not the bodies of the sinners. Baptism speaks of death and resurrection. To "kill" by baptism is also to raise them from the dead.
What a vast difference we see between the Old Covenant Joshua and the New Covenant Joshua (Yeshua)! What a vastly different result we see between the carnal sword and the Sword of the Spirit.
As long as the Church took up the Sword of the Spirit, people were ADDED to the Church. But a few centuries later, when they turned the cross into a (carnal) sword and began to kill "sinners and heretics," they fell back into Old Covenant methodology. Such will always be the case when Christians are reduced to a low level of hearing God's voice.
We read of certain individuals throughout the centuries of Church history who genuinely heard God's voice and lived accordingly. Unfortunately, many of them were martyred when faced with the choice of obeying God or men. The Institutional Church (organization) during these years utterly failed to live up to the standards of the New Covenant.
A thousand years later, some broke free and protested some of the abuses going on in the Church. They became known as "Protestants." But it took some centuries for some of them to figure out how to live in accordance with the New Covenant and walk by the Spirit that had been given to them in Acts 2.
When these Christians came to America, they saw how the conquest of the American continent ran directly parallel to Joshua's conquest of Canaan. Some of them lived according to the New Covenant and came to extend the blessings of Abraham to everyone that they met. However, the majority fell far short of this ideal and came to bless themselves with other people's goods and property.
Some came with the Sword of the Spirit, but most came with a physical sword to obtain an inheritance in an Old Covenant fashion.
Such was the result of centuries of Old Covenant life in the Church. The people were truly ignorant of the Scriptures, because for centuries they were banned from reading it. When they went to Church, they participated in rituals and sacraments, but received very little of the Word of God itself. Bible study was left to a few literate priests and theologians. The rest were forbidden to read the Scripture, lest they come to an understanding of the Word that differed from established Church creeds.
And so the European conquest of America was filled with violence and broken treaties. Those who objected on New Covenant grounds were drowned out by the tide of Old Covenant traditions long ingrained into the Christian culture and way of thinking. There were too many who had forgotten the calling of Abraham to be a blessing to all families of the earth. Too many thought that they were to bless only those who were of our own ethnic group, our own religion, or our own club.
And so they justified kidnapping Africans and enslaving them on the grounds that such slavery would make them better off than they were in their home countries. They justified mistreatment of the native Indian tribes on whatever carnal logic suited them. Sometimes the policies were downright genocidal. Other times the policies involved deportation and containment. Very few treaties were actually honored in full.
Even a shallow reading of Scripture would have proven that God does not take broken treaties lightly. Joshua made a treaty with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:15). Though the treaty was made under false pretenses, God still expected Israel to honor it. Years later, when King Saul persecuted these Gibeonites, God sent a three-year famine to Israel on account of his sin (2 Sam. 21:1-2).
Because Saul was a type and shadow of the Church in the Age of Pentecost, this persecution of the Gibeonites is prophetic of what occurred in America. The broken treaties have caused a famine of hearing the Word of God as prophesied in Amos 8:11,
(11) "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord."
In my view, these broken treaties are the main reason for the famine of hearing the word of the Lord in America. In the land of many Bibles, there is very little actual understanding of what is read. We are the children of Saul, and we are paying for the sins of our forefathers to the third and fourth generation.
Even so, God has a plan for America.
This is the second part of a series titled "God's Plan for America." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones