Ishmael and Isaac in the Modern World: Part 2
Aug 19, 2006
When God gave Abram a physical land inheritance (Canaan), it was not intended to be the highest inheritance for His people. Canaan was only a physical type of the real land inheritance, which is our body. The real land inheritance was lost through Adam's sin, when Adam lost the covering of the glory of God.
Yet it pleased God to hand out lesser inheritances in order to teach His people of better things to come. That is why He gave Moses a tabernacle and Solomon a temple. These were not ends in themselves, but prophetic types of the greater temple, made of living stones, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20-22).
God was not truly interested in dwelling in temples made of wood, stone, and metal. He had something better in mind, and He has, since then, upgraded His dwelling place from wood to human flesh. This is the great "mystery," or secret in Scripture--that a righteous God would actually indwell human flesh by His Spirit. This is pictured in the sign of Jonah, whose name means "dove." He represents the Holy Spirit. When he was swallowed by the great fish (symbol of the Church), it prophesied of the coming of the Spirit into human flesh.
The book of Hebrews was written specifically to tell Hebrew Christians that they have "a better covenant established upon better promises" (8:6). In fact, the Old Covenant had been broken and passed away (8:13). This book was written to Hebrews, not merely to non-Hebrews. It is not entitled: "Book of Gentiles." Thus, the U.S. Catholic bishops are simply wrong when they say that Jews have a saving relationship with God based upon the Old Covenant. Hebrews was written to Hebrews to tell them that their Old Covenant had been broken and had passed away. It gave them a new source of hope under a New Covenant with its Mediator, Jesus Christ.
When the Jewish religious leaders (representing the people) rejected Jesus as the Mediator of the New Covenant, they made a legal decision before God and the Divine Court. Legally speaking, they decided to keep Jerusalem under the Old Covenant, rather than put it under the jurisdiction of the New.
They did not understand the full consequences of this decision, of course. All they knew was that they preferred Moses to Jesus and did not believe that Jesus could give them something better. But then came the fly in the ointment. Saul, the main persecutor of Christians, was converted after a profound revelation of Jesus Himself. He escaped and went to Arabia for three years (Gal. 1:17, 18), where he sought God's face and received a whole new understanding of the law and the covenants.
No doubt, he went to the original Mount Sinai, known today as Jabal al-Lawz, located in the old land of Midian on the east side of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is in modern Saudi Arabia, not in the Sinai Peninsula, where the traditional site is located.
What Saul learned there, probably while meditating in the cave where Elijah had once taken shelter (1 Kings 19:9), is recorded for us in Galatians 4:22-31.
" (22) For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by the bondwoman [Hagar], and one by the freewoman [Sarah]. (23) But the son by the bondwoman was born by the flesh [natural childbirth]; and the son by the free woman through the promise [supernatural birth]. (24) This is allegorically speaking; for these women are the two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar."
So Paul makes it clear that the Old Covenant can only bring forth children who are in slavery (to the flesh or carnal mind). Thus, the Old Covenant cannot save anyone from the carnal mind. If Jews remain under the Old Covenant, they will be enslaved forever. Thus, the Church does them no favor by keeping them under the Old Covenant.
" (25) Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. (26) But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother."
Paul makes it very clear that the mother of the true Christian believer is Sarah, the free woman, and that the believer is part of the Isaac company. On the other hand, those who consider the old Jerusalem as their "mother" (i.e., the capital of the Kingdom) are from Hagar and are spiritual Ishmaelites. Judaism itself considers Jerusalem as its mother; true Christianity considers the New Jerusalem as its mother.
Yet we see today many evangelical Christians claiming the old Jerusalem as their mother. This is evident every time they teach that Christ's Kingdom will center in the old Jerusalem, that He will live in a physical temple there, that the Jews are His chosen ones, and that Levitical priests will again offer up animal sacrifices in a rebuilt temple. This shows that much of evangelical and pentecostal Christianity today has renounced Sarah and claimed Hagar, the slave woman, as their mother.
For this reason, in the age to come, they will not inherit the first resurrection, for they are not called to rule and reign with Christ in the Tabernacles Age to come. Their inheritance will be that of the children of Hagar. They will be given a piece of real estate on earth as their inheritance and will serve those who rule with Christ.
When the Jews rejected the Mediator of the New Covenant, they decided to retain Hagar as their mother, instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to move forward into the liberty of the sons of God as children of Sarah. Hagar is Mount Sinai, which is IN ARABIA. It is the inheritance given to the children of Ishmael. Thus, the Jewish leaders put Jerusalem under the jurisdiction of Hagar and Ishmael (Arabs).
As a result of their legal decision made in the Divine Court, God honored that decision. First, He removed the Jews from that land by force, using Rome as His army (Matt. 22:7). A few centuries later, He raised up the Arabs under a new religion (based upon Hagar) to conquer that land and claim it as their rightful inheritance.
So whose land is that little strip called Palestine? It is written in the Divine Court, and ratified by the Jewish leaders in 33 A.D. that this land belongs to Hagar and Ishmael. They decided this when they rejected Jesus and rejected the inheritance of Sarah, the New Jerusalem.
For this reason, the Jews--as legal Ishmaelites of Hagar--had no further right to claim Palestine as theirs. From this standpoint, Zionism is a violation of the divine law. In fact, the present conflict over the land today can be viewed as two forms of Ishmael competing for rulership. The physical Ishmaelites are actually older than the legal Ishmaelites, and so the Arabs have the divine right to rule Palestine from that perspective.
But this is not the whole story yet. We must yet consider the factor of Esau-Edom (Idumea), for he, too, has a legitimate claim to the land.
Likewise, we cannot ignore the claim of Judah itself, although here we must distinguish between the good figs and the evil figs (Jer. 24). As I have shown in the past, the good figs became Christians and adopted a new mother, Sarah. The evil figs retained Hagar as their mother and thus were legally adopted by her as younger "Ishmaelites."
These are the factors that must be known and understood before anyone can have a solid understanding of the Middle East conflict of the past century. We will bring out these other factors shortly.
This is the second part of a series titled "Ishmael and Isaac in the Modern World." To view all parts, click the link below.