Ishmael and Isaac in the Modern World: Part 3
Aug 21, 2006
Regardless of what form they take, Ishmaelites will not rule in the Kingdom of God. Biblically speaking, the sons of Hagar are not ultimate inheritors of the Kingdom. For this reason, Jerusalem will not be the capital of the Kingdom, nor will her children rule the world in the Tabernacles Age to come.
Yet the three main religions of the world: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all think otherwise. I realize, of course, that many individuals within these religions do not focus so much upon Jerusalem, but yet each religion has fought and died and killed in order to gain control over Jerusalem and "set her free."
During the Middle Ages, the Church sent "Crusades" to "liberate Jerusalem from the infidels." When they got control of Jerusalem, the Islamic people sent armies in turn to "liberate Jerusalem from the infidels." God only knows how many people have died trying to liberate Hagar from the competing religion.
More recently, Zionism arose in the late 1800's, which ultimately sent millions of legal Ishmaelites into the area to liberate their mother, Hagar. Yet for all this, Hagar is still not free, not even by the world's definitions. The Zionist Ishmaelites will not rest until the Islamic Ishmaelites are pushed out of Palestine altogether, and the Islamic Ishmaelites want to push the Zionist Ishmaelites into the sea.
Meanwhile, evangelical Christian Ishmaelites have formed an alliance with their Zionist Ishmaelite half-brothers to give them monetary and prayer support. "Pray for the peace of Hagar," is their cry. Well, alright, that's not exactly the wording of their prayer, but that is what they mean. They take the prayer from Psalm 122:6, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," not realizing that God Himself forsook that place as Shiloh in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel (Jer. 7:14; Ezek. 10, 11).
When God forsook Shiloh, He wrote "Ichabod" on that place (1 Sam. 4:22). Ichabod means "the glory has departed." God never returned to Shiloh. And likewise, He will never return to the Old Jerusalem, for He has found resting place in the New Jerusalem and in a new and better temple--our bodies.
So the Church is praying for the wrong Jerusalem. The Hebrew word for Jerusalem is plural, Yerushalyim. The rabbis of the past discussed this plural word, but could never figure out why it was plural. The Apostles knew, however. It was because there were two Jerusalems, the old earthly city and the New City that is heavenly. They are not the same city.
The only way that Hagar will be turned into a freewoman is by casting her out, for it is written in Gen. 21:9, 10,
(9) Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. (10) Therefore she said to Abraham, "Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac."
Paul quotes this in Gal. 4:30, telling us that we are to do the same with Judaism and its mother, Jerusalem. But this has been difficult for Christians to do, not only in the first century but also in the Middle Ages with the Crusades, and now also in the last century. What the Roman Church did in the Middle Ages, the evangelical community now does in the present time. The only difference is that today evangelicals are fighting a proxy war, using the Zionists to bring the world to the point of Armageddon and thus hasten the coming of Christ.
And so Ishmael and his half-brothers are all competing to be the first-born of Hagar in hopes of receiving the birthright. Like Abram prior to Gen. 17, the Church does not yet have the revelation that he will have a son through Sarah who will be the true inheritor of the promises.
The angel pictured Ishmael as a "wild donkey" in Gen. 16:12. A donkey is an unclean animal, yet he is a useful servant. It pictures a man who has the faith of his father, Abram, yet is half-Egyptian like his mother. This is part of the allegory of Israel itself when they came out of Egypt in the days of Moses, for in Hosea 11:1 God says, "out of Egypt I called My son."
In other words, God was Israel's Father, and Egypt was his mother. When Israel was brought forth (born) out of Egypt, he was a wild donkey like Ishmael. And so the law made provision for Israel, so that they could be acceptable to God. This law is written in Exodus 13: 12, 13,
(12) You shall devote to the Lord the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the Lord. (13) But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem.
In other words, every firstborn son of Israel had to be redeemed with a lamb. Why? Because every donkey had to be redeemed. He's calling them all a bunch of donkeys. That is why they had to keep the Passover before they could leave Egypt. Passover redeemed them with a lamb and, by the substitutionary principle, transformed them spiritually into the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3).
The same principle holds true when transitioning from the Old Testament to the New. Judaism in Jesus' day was only a ritual to the unbelieving priests, even though they kept the forms of Passover and all the feasts. If their hearts had been pure before God, they would have recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God, for He fulfilled all the Scriptures.
So the Apostle Paul tells us that Jerusalem is Hagar, and her children are those who remain in Judaism. The book of Hebrews urges them to leave Judaism, saying in 13:13, 14,
" (13) Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. (14) For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
The writer says that Jesus was crucified "outside the camp" (vs. 11) and "outside the gate" (vs. 12). We, too, are to follow Him outside the camp, leaving the old Jerusalem, for "we are seeking the city which is to come." This was not merely an appeal to non-Hebrew people. The book was written specifically to Hebrews. Therefore, it is not appropriate for a Hebrew Christian to try to remain within the camp of the Old Jerusalem.
The early Church in Jerusalem, led by James, was allowed to remain in Jerusalem and worship in the old temple until just before the city was destroyed by the Romans. James, the brother of Jesus, was the head of the Jerusalem Church. He interceded for the people daily so much that Bishop Eusebius, the Church historian of the 4th century, wrote (Book II, 23, ii):
"He used to enter the Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people, so that his knees grew hard like a camel's from his continually bending them in worship of God and beseeching forgiveness for the people."
But around 66 A.D. he was martyred on the temple grounds for his witness of Jesus. Thus ended Jerusalem's last great intercessor, and the city was destroyed a few years later. Eusebius writes again in Book III, 5, ii,
"Furthermore, the members of the Jerusalem church, by means of an oracle given by revelation to acceptable persons there, were ordered to leave the City before the war began and settle in a town in Peraea called Pella. To Pella those who believed in Christ migrated from Jerusalem; and as if holy men had utterly abandoned the royal metropolis of the Jews and the entire Jewish land, the judgment of God at last overtook them . . ."
This was the first time God cast out Hagar. She is now back and must be cast out again.
This is the final part of a series titled "Ishmael and Isaac in the Modern World." To view all parts, click the link below.