How and When to Establish a Christian Nation: Part 4
Dec 27, 2006
Force is never a proper substitute for the Holy Spirit. Force may indeed establish a Christian Nation, just as it has established Muslim nations; but force can never establish the Kingdom of God as God intends it.
Christian Evangelicals and Pentecostals usually support the Zionist ideal of driving out the Palestinians or killing all who refuse to leave. While the Zionists have been unable to achieve this goal, due to international pressures, it has not been for lack of Christian support. This Zionist ideal is based upon the story of Israel's conquest of Canaan in the days of Joshua. If God commanded Israel to destroy all Canaanites who refused to leave in those days, then surely this is a morally acceptable idea in the sight of God today.
Some Christians are a bit uncomfortable with this, but they assuage their consciences with those Old Testament Scriptures, along with a good dose of modern prophecy teaching about God regathering the House of Israel. Even so, most Christians would not actually go there to help kill Palestinians--although I have certainly talked to men who would do so. But though most would not do this directly, they content themselves with merely supporting those Jews who advocate this extermination and displacement policy.
The key, I believe, is to understand WHY the original Kingdom of God (i.e., Israel) was told by God to adopt such a policy. When God led Israel out of Egypt and then organized them into a Kingdom at Mount Sinai, the people were supposed to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. The law was given on the day later called Pentecost. Pentecost was a celebration of the giving of the law. But in those days the people were afraid and refused to hear God's voice (Ex. 20:18-21).
In other words, they refused the Sword of the Spirit because their hearts were hardened. And so the psalmist laments in Psalm 95:7 and 8,
" (7) Today, if you would hear His voice, (8) do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness."
He continues, saying, "they do not know My ways" (vs. 10), and the ultimate consequence is "they shall not enter into My REST."
In other words, the Israel Kingdom was not the ideal model on which to base our moral views. If they had had a heart to hear God's voice, instead of being motivated by fear, they would have received what the 120 disciples had been given in the upper room at the fulfillment of Pentecost in Acts 2. They would have been given the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, the sharp sword coming from one's mouth.
This "sword" was given to the Old Testament prophets, for Hosea 6:5 and 6 says that they used this Sword of the Spirit upon the Israelites themselves:
" (5) Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; and the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. (6) For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."
The Sword of the Spirit is given through God's mercy, because He does not delight in "sacrificing" His people, and He has no delight in the bloodshed caused by physical swords and knives. So He provided the prophets, at least, with a better, sharper sword (Heb. 4:12) that could expose the thoughts and intents of the heart, instead of just exposing bone and marrow.
There is a Hebrew idiom mentioned many times in Scripture, "the edge of the sword." (For example, see Joshua 8:24). The word "edge" is the Hebrew word PEH, which means "mouth." The sharp edge of the sword was literally called a "mouth." This is where the New Testament derives its concept of the sharp sword from the mouth (Rev. 19:5). It is not a sword that kills or sheds blood; it is a sword that exposes the thoughts and intents of the heart by the word of knowledge coming from one's mouth.
This is the sword rejected by Israel at Mount Sinai. Thus, they were left only with physical swords by which to establish that first Kingdom of God. It was the method used in those days as a consequence of the hardness of their hearts. The religious Zionists today still have hardened hearts, and so their method is the same as in the days of Joshua. If they had accepted Christ and had experienced true Pentecost in Acts, their methods would be entirely different.
Jesus was the greater "Joshua" (Yeshua) who will lead us into the true Kingdom of God. Before His ascension, He instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received this Word-Sword. Then, He said in Mark 16:15, they were to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel. They were not to go with physical swords as if to conquer the world by force and bloodshed. They were to "kill" people by BAPTISM, a symbolic death and resurrection.
The Pentecostal Kingdom of God gave Christians the Holy Spirit's sword. This was all that was needed to establish the Kingdom. However, soon after Pentecost, many began to revert back to their carnal methods, and they somehow lost that sharp sword. When Rome fell in the fourth century, Constantine gave the Church the opportunity to actually establish the Kingdom. But because they had lost their spiritual sword, they picked up their carnal swords and began to use force and violence once again, according to the Old Testament pattern.
We understand this, of course, because we see King Saul as a Pentecostal pattern who prophesied of the history of the Church under Pentecost. Knowing this prophetic pattern is one of the great keys to understanding world history and the methods by which we ourselves ought to establish the Kingdom of God today.
If we learn the lesson of Israel and of King Saul, we will not be drawn into the violent methods of modern Zionism, nor will we find ourselves supporting such bloodshed either financially or politically.
The Apostle Paul wrote a number of letters telling Christians to stop Judaizing. The book of Hebrews was written specifically to "Hebrew" people, telling them that the Old Covenant had been replaced by a New Covenant, the old Levitical priesthood had been replaced by a new Melchizedek priesthood, the old temple had been replaced by a New Temple (our bodies), and that the old sacrifices had been replaced by the one enduring Sacrifice of Christ.
Because Pentecost is the transitional feast standing between Passover and Tabernacles, it is the position that gives us the choice of either going forward into Tabernacles or reverting back into Passover. In the particular application at hand, our choice is either to revert back to Old Covenant methods of establishing the Kingdom by force--or by picking up the Sword of the Spirit and moving forward into the Feast of Tabernacles.
King David and Solomon represent two types of Christ as well. David was a man of blood, or bloodshed, and was therefore unable to build the temple of God. Solomon's name means "peaceful," and he was the one chosen to build the temple. These kings were types of Old and New Covenant methods of building the Temple of God. David represented the Old, and Solomon represented the New.
This provides us with the qualifications today of doing the work representing God's heart. Christ is no longer the one showing Himself strong in battle, but is rather the Prince of Peace. His methods have changed, because our hearts have changed. We have decided to wield the sharp Sword of the Spirit and to forsake the dull physical sword of the past.
This is the fourth part of a series titled "How and When to Establish a Christian Nation." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones