God's Promise to Ishmael--Part 4
May 03, 2008
With all the types and shadows in the Old Testament, it would be helpful to step back for a moment and look at the big picture.
Adam and the Last Adam portray the types that contrast the "fallen" nature of Adam with the "righteous nature" of Christ.
Nimrod and Shem (Melchizedek) portray the types that contrast the different methods of rulership utilized by the fallen nature of Adam and the righteous nature of Christ. Nimrod usurps power over men by violent conquest and enslavement, while Shem builds Jerusalem, the "City of Peace." They are the founders of Babylon and Jerusalem, as well as Mystery Babylon and the New Jerusalem.
Ishmael is the type of religious man that has the fallen nature of Adam. Isaac is the type of a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Ishmael is the wild donkey that needs restraint by an Old Covenant and through fear. Isaac is the lamb offered to God on Mount Moriah, and he portrays the lamb-like nature of Christ who loves enough to give his life as a living sacrifice.
Esau and Jacob/Israel portray the types of the unbeliever and the believer who is on his journey to become an overcomer. Esau, the unbeliever, helps to train Jacob by the negative example of violence and force. Jacob, in turn, is the imperfect believer whom God is training to become Israel, the name of the overcomer.
There are many other contrasting characters in the Bible, such as Moses and Pharaoh, Saul and David, David and Absalom, Jeremiah and Hananiah, and (in the New Testament) Jesus and the temple priests. Each of these portrays the contrast between the Adamic nature and the nature of Christ in some manner.
In our current study, we are focusing upon Ishmael, the religious man who uses the violent nature of the fallen Adam in the attempt to establish God's will in the earth. Each of the three main religions represented by Ishmael has the Adamic nature in common, though each manifestation takes a different form.
What do they have in common? They do not recognize God's sovereignty and therefore they rely upon the flesh to accomplish their purposes. Esau, the unbeliever, thought God was either irrelevant or non-existent, so he acted in his own self-interest. Ishmael represents fleshly religion that works with great zeal to bring about God's Kingdom in the earth. When God gives religion some authority in the earth, they do not know how to utilize that authority by the mind of their Sovereign. They fulfill their "duty to God" in a fleshly manner and soon degenerate into violent and bloodthirsty methods of "helping God" to subdue the earth.
In other words, the religious Ishmaels are willing to kill for God in order to subdue man through fear, instead of being willing to give one's own life in order to subdue man through love.
Thus, Ishmael persecuted Isaac in ancient times (Gal. 4:29). In the New Testament, the priests of Judaism persecuted the Christians in their fleshly zeal for God. Later, the Christian Church persecuted "heretics and infidels" in their fleshly zeal for God. And still later, Islam did the same.
Today, all three Ishmaels are reaching a climactic struggle to see who is the strongest, the most violent, the most bloodthirsty of them all. Jewish Zionism has taken Palestine by force and violence, as seen most clearly in the 1940's when they were the terrorists of the day. Christian Zionism has taken their side, thinking that God approves of Jewish terrorism, violence, and force in establishing His Kingdom. And Islam has raised its own fleshly opposition to establish its own terroristic reaction.
None of the above will win in the end. The time is drawing near to "cast out the bondwoman and her son." This means that religions of violence and force are all disqualified from establishing the Kingdom of God and bringing forth the promises of God. Scripture says that the purpose for casting out the bondwoman and her son is to make it clear to the world WHO is actually the child of promise, called to establish the Kingdom. It is Isaac, not Ishmael.
The Isaac company are those who do not follow the violent methods of the Ishmaels. Instead, they know God's sovereignty and believe that God is perfectly capable of fulfilling His purposes without the need for zealous but carnally-minded Ishmaels to assist Him. The Isaac company, then, is willing to WAIT for the appointed time, after the Ishmaels have had their day. In the end, the Isaac company will fulfill the feast of Tabernacles, give birth to the Manchild on the first day of Tabernacles, and will be presented to God as the Sons of God on the eighth day of Tabernacles. Then on that same day of presentation, according to the law, they will be revealed in the earth as the Manifested Sons of God.
I wrote about this in detail in my book, The Rapture in the Light of Tabernacles. So there is no need to repeat it here.
I find it interesting to read reports from various sources how many Muslims are receiving dreams and visions of Jesus Christ, which are causing millions to leave Islam and to turn to Christ. Many report that they are seeing the violent nature of Islam as its zealous but carnal, religious nature is now visible for all to see. All of this violence has made many Muslims sick of their own religion and ripe for a new revelation of Christ.
Dr. Tom White writes: "In Iran, their culture of hate has produced a thirst for love. Iranians are tired of hate. The Iranians I have met are ready and responsive to apostles of love. It would be simple to call for a crocodile hunt in Iran through an armed revolution. Iran has been the leading exporter of terrorism since 1980. Yet as a Christian ministry, we realize another kind of warfare exists as described in Scripture. . .
"Entire families are throwing aside hate and receiving the love of Christ. (Some say there are hundreds of thousands [of Iranian Christians], others say closer to one million.) . . . We continue to find first-generation apostles of love in the middle of this madness.
"This summer  we completed a book called Desperate for God with testimonies from the Iranian underground church. Many believe this to be the fastest growing Muslim-convert-to-Christ church in the world. Those tired of hatred are being driven into the arms of Christ in what could be one of the ripest nations for the gospel on the planet." [from The Voice of the Martyrs, August 2006]
At the present time, Muslims are suffering the most at the violent hands of all three Ishmael-type religious forces. This may be why they are turning to Christ in record numbers. They are seeing that hate may be a religious virtue, but there is something not quite right about it. When they see the love of Christ and are able to read about it in the New Testament, it is obvious to them that Jesus knew what He was talking about. The religious and political leaders have everything to lose by this new message of love, so they remain opposed to it. But the oppressed people themselves find it to be a refreshing drink of water in a dry place.
It may take a little longer for Jews and Christians to come to Christ, because at the present time they have the upper hand in much of the world. But the present war doctrine is providing opportunity for Mystery Babylon to establish legal precedents that will soon be used against Christians in America. In fact, this is already happening, though not yet widespread. We are moving toward the day when it will be unlawful for anyone to convert from the religion of his birth. Such legislation is already in place in much of the world. It will be unlawful to call sin sin or to quote certain New Testament passages. The time to oppose Ishmael-type violence is NOW.
This is the fourth part of a series titled "God's Promise to Ishmael." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones