The Legal Basis of Being Chosen
Feb 08, 2010
The rise and fall of Babylon is prophesied in Scripture. When we see the historic repeats and understand the time cycles involved, it is a testament to the sovereignty of God and the fact that nothing in history occurs outside of God's knowledge and determination.
Israel's first captivity to Babylon occurred in Judges 3, where we read,
(7) And the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth. (8) Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.
Mesopotamia, "land between two rivers," is the land watered by the Tigris and Euphrates. It later took on the name of its dominant city, Babylon. So this was Israel's first captivity to Babylon, and it lasted eight years.
In Chapter 10 of my book, Secrets of Time, I explain how this captivity put Babylon on a long-term Cursed Time cycle. The legal process is as follows:
Israel sinned against God, thus incurring a debt to the law. (All sin is reckoned as a debt in Scripture.) Israel was unable or unwilling to pay the debt, so God brought the nation into the Divine Court for judgment. He found them guilty of idolatry, and because they could not pay, they were SOLD to slavemasters (in this case, Mesopotamia).
This was according to the law found in Exodus 22:3, "He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft."
In biblical law, the one who buys a debtor is a redeemer. In other words, the debtor comes under the authority of the redeemer and must serve him according to the number of years mandated by the court. In return, the redeemer is responsible to pay the debt of the debtor.
It is a good trade-off. The debtor does not have to be put to death for his inability to pay off the debt, while the redeemer can profit from the labor of his newly-purchased slave. The downside, of course, is that the debtor loses his freedom, and on the other side, the redeemer becomes responsible for the debt.
In the case of Israel as a nation, the prophets speak of this situation in terms of God planting a vineyard in the land of Canaan, and the people were responsible to bring forth fruit unto God. This is the parable of the vineyard in Isaiah 5 and again in Matthew 21:33-43.
This parable shows us that God expected Israel to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. However, they failed in this responsibility, refusing to render to God the fruits of His labor. This became a "debt" to the law, and under those circumstances God "sold" Israel to the king of Mesopotamia for eight years.
This "sale" was a merciful act of God, for on a legal level it temporarily relieved Israel of her responsibility to pay off the debt that was owed. It gave time for the nation to repent. It gave them a grace period. Their responsibility to pay the debt was transferred to Babylon for a time, and if the debt remained unpaid, the Babylonians were held accountable--not Israel. After all, Israel was only the slave, and by the law of authority, Babylon was responsible for the debt.
Of course, we know that Babylon cared nothing about the law. From their perspective, they had conquered Israel by their own power and might. They seemed unaware that their conquest made them accountable to God to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. They never dreamed that divine authority came with a divine responsibility.
After eight years, Israel repented and seemed ready to handle the responsibility to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom. So when time ran out for the king of Mesopotamia, God brought judgment upon him and reversed the captivity. Israel was once again set free and regained the responsibility that came with being "chosen."
Being "chosen" brings authority and responsibility as I have just demonstrated. Whenever God sold Israel, it was because they failed in their responsibility, and God held them accountable. Israel experienced six distinct captivities in the book of Judges, and each time they were "sold" into the hands of a different nation.
Being "chosen" is a legal term. It means "the elect." Israel was "elected" by God to rule the world by the Dominion Mandate of Gen. 1:26. But they were also "elected" to bring forth fruit by the Fruitfulness Mandate of Gen. 1:28. These two Mandates--the authority to rule and the responsibility to bring forth fruit (the sons of God)--constitute the Birthright. Whoever holds the Birthright is "chosen."
When God planted His Israelite Vineyard in Canaan, Israel was the chosen people. But when God sold them as slaves to the king of Mesopotamia, they lost their chosen status temporarily, and Mesopotamia became chosen. That is, Mesopotamia was given the Dominion Mandate, and Israel was subordinated to the will of the king of Mesopotamia. Likewise, Mesopotamia became responsible to bring forth the sons of God ("fruit" of the kingdom).
Obviously, Mesopotamia failed, because it was not in the Divine Plan that they should succeed. Nor was it even the Divine Plan that fleshly Israel should succeed. Ultimately, all flesh fails to bring forth the sons of God as God intended from the beginning. But in passing the "chosen" status back and forth among various nations, God gave each of those nations the opportunity to prove itself to be incapable of permanently holding the Birthright. None of them could fulfill its responsibility, though everyone wanted to enjoy its authority over other nations.
Finally, the northern tribes of Israel were sold to the Assyrians (745-721 B.C.), and Judah went into a Babylonian captivity a century later (604 B.C.).
The story becomes more complex at this point, because by this point God had split the tribes into two nations--Israel and Judah. The two Mandates comprising the Birthright were also divided between the two nations. Judah had been given the Dominion Mandate (Gen. 49:10), while Joseph had been given the Fruitfulness Mandate (Gen. 49:22).
After this division between the two Mandates, the Fruitfulness Mandate came to be known as the Birthright. Hence, the term took on a more limited meaning, because it no longer included the Dominion Mandate that had been given to Judah. Hence, we read in 1 Chron. 5:2,
"Though Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came the leader, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph."
When the Kingdom was divided (after the death of Solomon), the tribes of Joseph separated from Judah, causing a further division between the two Mandates of the original Birthright. Both nations eventually went into captivity, Israel to Assyria and Judah to Babylon. Hence, the Birthright went to Assyria, while the Scepter went to Babylon.
From this point on in biblical history, we must follow TWO story lines in order to obtain the complete picture of the Divine Plan and how God intends to "repair the breach" and re-unify the two Mandates under one Head, Jesus Christ.
A big part of the plan is bound up in the fact that Jesus would have to come TWICE. The first time He came of the tribe of Judah and of the seed of David in order to secure His claim to the throne. But a second coming is required in order to secure the Birthright of Joseph. For this reason, Rev. 19:13 says, "And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood." This identifies Him with Joseph, whose robe was dipped in blood (Gen. 37:31).
Coming twice, once through Judah and the second time through Joseph, is the manner in which the two mandates of the original Birthright are reunited. And those who become manifested sons of God are the ones "chosen" to rule with Him.
Dr. Stephen Jones