The historic events occurring in the world today are part of a long chain of events going back to Adam. This means that in order to understand what is happening today, we must go back to the origins and causes of these events in the first chapter of Genesis. Without understanding the link between Genesis and today's events, it is not possible to view the world as God sees it.
Of course, the most basic of all truths is established in Gen. 1:1, where we are told that God was the Creator of all things. If He created all, then He owns all things by right of creation. With ownership comes sovereignty (ultimate dominion) and responsibility for that which He owns. Hence, the Scriptures always give God the credit for the events in history. While He may not have directly caused events to happen, He certainly has the right to take the ultimate responsibility for the events happening.
Man's Use and Abuse of Authority
By right of His sovereignty, He gave man the dominion mandate (Gen. 1:26). This created authority in the earth. Authority is always authorized by a higher power, and in this case man's authority is derived from God's sovereignty. While there are limits to man's authority, the authority as such is real. Hence, man is said to exercise "free will" to do as he chooses, and yet in the end we find that God exercises His own Will to bring man's will into alignment with the divine plan.
Meanwhile, history is the time allotted to man to mature from his natural selfishness of childhood to the full maturity of the Sons of God. Children at first tend to misuse any authority they are given. Likewise, history is the story of mankind abusing authority. Governments everywhere and in every age of history have mistaken authority for license. Men have coveted authority, because they have seen it as a means of accumulating wealth and servants. They have not understood the biblical definition of authority, as Jesus portrayed to us, which is the power to be a more effective servant to others. Men have defined power as the privilege to do what others are not allowed to do. Privilege is the power to abuse others with immunity from the law.
The single most important lesson that most of mankind has yet to learn is that with all authority comes an equal level of responsibility. Carnal man, however, naturally desires authority without such responsibility. God has thus given man authority, and man has abused it for six thousand years. The plots and schemes of carnal men have been focused largely on how to overthrow the previous tyrant, so that they themselves can become the privileged tyrants for a season.
Men read history, and they learn one of two things: either they learn how to be a more successful tyrant, or they are repulsed by what they see and learn not to be a tyrant at all. Either they learn by the examples of past tyrants, or they learn the different way that Jesus Christ manifested in His few years of personal ministry on earth. Which path will you follow: the path of carnal man, or the path of Jesus? The path that a man takes will determine his role in the Kingdom of God. The path of Jesus is a difficult path in the six thousand years of history leading to the first great "rest year," the Creation Sabbath, during which time God sets the earth free of its hard bondage to world tyrants. But the path of Jesus will also lead to being placed in positions of responsibility in the seventh millennium, called by many "The Kingdom Age" or "The Messianic Age." (We generally refer to this age as "The Tabernacles Age.")
Those who rule in The Age to come are the overcomers. They are the ones who have learned to exercise the dominion mandate, not lawlessly, but as under God. They have learned to be obedient and to do only what Jesus would do. In other words, they have learned to overcome the natural desire of the flesh that perceives authority as privilege.
Nimrod and Esau: Rivals in Rebellion
The Scriptures speak of Nimrod in Gen. 10:9, 10, whose name means "we will rebel," as being the first major leader to revolt against God's established government on the earth. He revolted against the authority of Noah and Shem, establishing his own kingdom called Babel. This was the beginnings of Babylon, which ultimately became the symbol of all carnal authority and rebellion against the divine law.
Esau studied Nimrod and coveted his position of privilege. And so, when given the opportunity, Esau killed Nimrod and stole his clothing, the skins that God had given Adam. These skins represented-in the eyes of the people-the divine right to rule. Thus, Esau inherited the authority of Babylon that he coveted, and this became prophetic of the desire of Esau's descendants, the Edomites, to rule the world. The primary difference was that the Edomites had converted to Judaism, and hence they used the Bible to justify their right to rule.
In tracing the history of despotic rule throughout the Bible, we are drawn to the study of Babylon and Edom. In the Old Testament we see the rival city-states as Babylon and Jerusalem. Nimrod was the builder of Babylon, while Shem was the builder of Jerusalem. Shem was the legitimate ruler of the earth, since the dominion mandate was passed to him at the death of his father, Noah. But Nimrod represented those who rebelled against the legitimate rule of Shem, who also appears as Melchizedek to Abram.
Like Nimrod, Esau was ruled by the carnal mind, and so he coveted the position of privilege that Nimrod seemed to enjoy. Both were hunters and it seems that both of their personalities were formed by their talent at hunting. Even as they hunted wild game, they also learned to hunt the souls of men.
Edom, Judah, Jacob, and Joseph
Judah conquered Edom (Idumea) in 126 B.C. and annexed their territory, which bordered them to the south. The Judahites forcibly converted all the Edomites to Judaism, and from that point on, Edom ceased to exist as a distinct nation by the old family name. The importance of this merger cannot be overstressed, because the Old Testament prophets foretold the rise of Edom in the end times and its ultimate destruction at the hands of the House of Joseph.
Some have attempted to argue that the destruction of Edom prophesied in Obadiah has already occurred-that the prophecy was fulfilled in 126 B.C. when Judah conquered Edom. However, a simple reading of Obadiah proves otherwise. Obadiah 10 reads,
10 Because of violence to your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame, and you will be cut off forever.
There was, of course, a partial fulfillment of this in the past, but this did not exhaust the prophecy. In 126 B.C. it was Judah that conquered Edom, not the House of Joseph that was still in exile. Obadiah's prophecy in verse 18 could not be fulfilled until the revealing of the House of Joseph in the latter days. In fact, Judah 's conquest of Edom in 126 B.C. merely set the stage for the events in the latter days, particularly in the 1940's. The spirit of Esau-Edom is seen in the violent methods of Jabotinski, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and all those who participated in the terrorist acts against Jacob, who is represented by Great Britain.
Because Jacob had taken the dominion mandate from Esau in an unlawful manner in Genesis 27, God forced the modern representative of Jacob-Great Britain-to give it back to Esau in 1948. Even though from the beginning God intended for Jacob to receive the promise, this did not give Jacob a license to take it in an unlawful manner. In the same way, in 1948 God intended for Jacob to give it back to Esau, but this did not give Esau a license to take it back in an unlawful manner either. If they had known the plan of God and had believed that God would make it right in His own time, and if they had submitted to the divine plan, there would have been no judgment against them. But they took the birthright from Jacob by violence and force, by murder and terror that they justified under the banner of "freedom fighters." For this reason, Obadiah says, God will bring judgment upon the house of Esau.
Obadiah 15 then shows us that this is an end-time prophecy that was not fulfilled in the Old Testament times:
15 For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.
Obadiah's prophecy against the House of Esau is linked in this verse to "the day of the Lord." Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:2, 3 that "the day of the Lord" had not yet come during the middle of the first century A.D., and that this day would not come until other events had taken place. Thus, it is obvious that Judah 's conquest of Edom in 126 B.C. did not fulfill this prophecy. Further, we read in Obadiah 18,
18 Then the house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of JOSEPH a flame; but the house of Esau will be as stubble, and they will set them on fire and consume them, so that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.
Esau-Edom was consumed by Judah in 126 B.C., and Judah was one of the tribes of Jacob. But Obadiah says that the final fulfillment of this prophecy would come at the hands of Joseph, not Judah. Joseph was the head of the house of Israel, even as Judah was the leading tribe of the house of Judah. The tribes of Joseph were taken to Assyria from 745-721 B.C. and became the "lost tribes of Israel." These people were not Jews. They were Israelites, the inheritors of the birthright. Geographically speaking, I believe that Britain represents Jacob, Europe represents the eleven sons of Jacob, and North America represents Joseph, the son who was "separated from his brethren" (Gen. 49:26).
Even as Joseph became two tribes (Ephraim and Manasseh), so also did North America become two nations: The United States and The Dominion of Canada. The International Peace Arch at the border in Vancouver, B.C. reads, "Children of a Common Mother" and "Brothers Dwelling Together in Unity."
We must conclude, then, that Obadiah's prophecy can be fulfilled only through the tribes of Joseph in the present time-not in Judah 's conquest of Edom in 126 B.C. This will happen in the context of "the day of the Lord."
Israel and the Overcomers
The tribes of Joseph, I believe, are represented in the modern nations of Canada and America. However, this does not mean that these nations are particularly righteous in their present conditions. Nor does it mean that all of their citizens are followers of Jesus Christ. In fact, they are in a rather sorry moral condition as of this writing. In order to truly fulfill their national callings, they must make the Bible their only system of justice, and their judges, administrators, and rulers must have the mind of Christ. Anything short of this will continue the slide into lawlessness, oppression, and bondage.
Just because one may be a direct descendant of Joseph or of Israel does not mean that such a person is qualified to rule in God's Kingdom. The vast majority are not so qualified. Therefore, we ought to study the term " Israel " and view it on a higher level than mere genealogy.
Jacob was the first Israelite. He was not born an Israelite. Israel was the name God gave him at the age of 98 after he had wrestled with the angel in Genesis 32:28. It was more than a name; it was a description of spiritual character. It was a name that reflected the fact that Jacob had finally attained to a more enlightened relationship with God than he had had up to then. It indicated that Jacob had become an overcomer, not just a mere believer.
No one is born an overcomer, for no one is born spiritually mature any more than one is born physically mature. There are individuals from all nations who, like Jacob, were not born Israelites, but who have attained a higher relationship with God through trials and troubles. These are the ones who manifest in their lives what the name " Israel " means. Israel means "God rules." In Dr. Bullinger's notes on Gen. 30:28 he writes:
"Israel = 'God commands, orders, or rules.' Man attempts it but always, in the end, fails. Out of some forty Hebrew names compounded with 'El' or 'Jah', God is always the doer of what the verb means (cp. Dani -el, God judges)."
In other words, in the final analysis, an Israelite is one who bears testimony to the sovereignty of God. As long as we are mere believers in Christ, we are only of Jacob, the "heel-catcher, or supplanter," for in that immature condition we fancy ourselves as ruling in place of God, supplanting God by our authority. As Jacobites, we perceive authority in terms of privilege rather than servanthood.
The name of Jacob describes the believer who is still partially blind, the one who still is motivated by a spirit of antichrist, one who thinks God needs help to accomplish His purposes in the earth. Jacob thought God needed help to obtain the blessing from his father, Isaac, and so he lied to his father to help God fulfill His Word in Genesis 25:23, " the elder shall serve the younger." Jacob had not yet learned to rest in God's sovereignty. He did not yet truly believe that God was able to accomplish His purposes without a little help from man. Jacob believed in God, but he did not really know God. This lack of understanding caused Jacob to be a supplanter, rather than an overcomer. He supplanted Esau, rather than overcoming him with good.
Finally, after losing the wrestling match with the angel, Jacob could only hang on and ask for the blessing. In losing, he won. At that moment, Jacob died, and Israel was born. Jacob now acknowledged that God was indeed sovereign, and that was when he was given a new name that reflected this testimony. This knowledge helped Israel the next day when he faced Esau. He knew that Esau had come with 400 men to kill him. But God intervened, and Esau was (temporarily) reconciled to Jacob. When they met, Jacob told Esau one of the most profound truths in the entire Scripture in Gen. 33:10, " I see your face as one sees the face of God."
When Jacob had a face-to-face encounter with God (through the angel), his eyes were opened, and he was suddenly able to recognize God everywhere, even in his brother who hated him intensely. When we are able to see the face of God in our bitterest foes, knowing that God has raised them up to exercise us and give us opportunity to overcome, then we are not far from being an overcomer. When we can see God's hand in all things and realize that God really is totally sovereign, then we are not far from being an overcomer. When God opens our eyes by hard experiences to see Him even as He hides Himself from the bulk of humanity, so that we see that He is no longer anonymous in world affairs, then we may take the name " Israel."
The physical nations of the lost house of Israel will be remembered soon. They will take their place at the head of the nations, as prophesied. However, this will not happen until the Sons of God are manifested-those who have the character and spiritual maturity of Israel. Without these people to administer the divine law by the mind of Christ, it would not be possible for the nations of Israel to lead the world in righteousness.
Jacob-Israel is the classic overcomer, the pattern for all overcomers after him. No one starts out in life or in their Christian walk as an overcomer. This is something to be learned by obedience and by the revelation of His character. Only by learning to be obedient to God and recognizing His total sovereignty can anyone hope to rule with Christ in The Age to come. Thus, the overcomers will inherit the highest portion of the dominion mandate given to Adam. The overcomers are also those who will fulfill the fruitfulness mandate in the most perfect manner, for they will manifest the character and works of Christ Himself, once they are endowed with the bodily change that is promised to those who attain the first resurrection. They will be Israelites indeed, not because of their genealogy, but by their mature relationship with God.
The manifestation of the sons of God (the overcomers) will cause the national promises to the Israel nations to be fulfilled as well, for the Israelite nations will form the core of the Kingdom of God upon the earth in The Age to come. When other nations see how God has blessed them with Christ-like rulers and judges, they too will join the federation of Kingdom nations until His Kingdom fills the whole earth as the waters cover the sea.
Daniel 2 tells us of the prophetic dream that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was given of the succession of empires that were to rule the earth. The first was Babylon, the head of gold. Next came Medo-Persia, the arms of silver. Third came Greece, the belly and thighs of bronze. Fourth came Rome, the legs of iron, along with its later manifestation of the feet mixed with iron and clay. The fifth kingdom was to be the Stone Kingdom that would crush all of the previous kingdoms in the climax of history. In Daniel 2:34, 35 we read,
34 You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands; and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time; and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
The stone becomes a mountain. A mountain is a kingdom in Bible symbolism. This prophecy foretells the day when the Kingdom of God will fill the whole earth. All nations will be ruled by Jesus Christ and His children, the overcomers, who will administer His laws according to His mind and intent. This is the heritage of the true Israelites, the overcomers, regardless of their genealogy.
God's Promise to Esau Fulfilled in 1948
God (through Isaac) made a promise to Esau that he would one day receive the dominion mandate, because Jacob had stolen it from him (Gen. 27:40). God chose Great Britain to fulfill this prophecy. For this reason, Britain had to come into possession of Palestine in 1917. They had to be in possession of it in order to be able to give it back to Esau. The British government was unaware of the plan of God in this matter, and for this reason they struggled to maintain control of Palestine. Most of their policy makers did not understand that the Jews contained the remnants of Esau and that God now intended to right the wrong that Jacob had perpetrated upon Esau thousands of years ago. This is why God allowed the Zionists to win the struggle in 1948.
The success of the Zionist goal was not because the Zionists were so powerful, but because God gave them the power to accomplish His purpose. The defeat of the British was not because the British were so weak or corrupt, but because they were called to represent Jacob. They were called to right an ancient wrong on behalf of all the Israelite nations. But they did not realize this, because God had blinded their eyes so that they would accomplish God's purposes without realizing what they were doing.
Recall that Isaac was blind when Jacob stole the blessing (Gen. 27:1), and Jacob took advantage of Isaac's blindness. The judgment of the law of God decrees, "an eye for an eye" (Exodus 21:24). Hence, God blinded Jacob's descendants, saying of them in Isaiah 42:18-20,
18 Hear, you deaf! And look, you blind, that you may see. 19 Who is blind but My servant, or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, or so blind as the servant of the Lord? 20 You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; your ears are open, but none hears.
In Isaiah 44:18 the prophet tells us that God Himself blinded Israel, saying,
18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for He [God] has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend.
So God blinded the eyes of Jacob's descendants in order to allow Esau to re-take the blessing by stealth. It was an eye for an eye. God imposed a form of blindness upon them in order to judge Jacob for his deceit. It is a case of mistaken identity caused by blindness. First Jacob was mistaken for being Esau. Now Esau is mistaken for being Jacob.
Without blindness none of this could have happened. The only way that the Zionists representing Esau could re-take dominion over the old land was to take advantage of our blindness and misrepresent themselves as fulfilling the prophecies given to Jacob-Israel. Blindness to the divine law hid from many Christians the judgment of God upon Jacob for his crime against Esau. Blindness to the history of the House of Israel and of the House of Esau-Edom hid from many Christians the true identity of the modern nations in prophecy. All of this was orchestrated by God Himself in order to fulfill the divine plan for the earth.
So God saw to it that the whole world recognized Esau as " Israel," for Israel is the birthright name given to the sons of Joseph. In order for Esau to truly possess the birthright, they had to be given the birthright name, Israel. To accomplish this, God spent many years losing the real Israelites by dispersion. In that way only could carnal men and Christians be blinded and so induced into giving up the birthright. God knew that if it were generally known that Europe and its daughter nations around the world were the true physical descendants of Israel, they would not have given up the birthright. Why? Because so few people understand the divine law and how God would restore the lawful order in the dispute between Jacob and Esau. And so, if God had not "lost" the real tribes of Israel, His purposes never would have been accomplished.
In 1948 God fulfilled this obligation to Esau through their descendants who were absorbed into Judaism. The Jews were unable to take Palestine under the banner of Judah, but they were able to do so under the banner of Esau. God did not owe the bad figs of Judah anything, any more than King David owed Absalom anything for usurping his throne. But God did owe Esau an opportunity to own and use the birthright and the dominion mandate. That is why God did this. But that is also why the Zionists took it by violence and theft. That is the character of Esau.
God had a legal obligation to fulfill toward Esau, lest his descendants would have any legal cause against God and be able to accuse Him of injustice at the Great White Throne. In fact, God even gave Esau the best and most prosperous years in all of history.
And yet, while we may view this as a "bad" thing from the earthly perspective, we can only praise God for His wisdom, justice, and mercy toward all. From the divine perspective, we can see that Zionism, for all its carnality, is fulfilling the plan of God. We can see the face of God in Esau and rejoice, for this is a prime example, not of injustice, but of divine justice, giving Esau what is lawfully due to him. If God is so just as to give even Esau true justice in the divine court, then we can know for certain that He will do what is right for all men, regardless of their condition.
For this reason, we do not hate anyone, nor do we preach hatred at all. Hatred is not a Christian virtue, not even when directed at one's perceived enemies. We simply believe that the time has come when God is opening the eyes of the blind. It is the time when God is revealing His true purposes, including His purpose for the Zionist state. We believe that the fruit of Zionism has been tasted and found to be bitter fruit that is unfit for consumption, even as it was in the days of Jeremiah. But until the fruit was ripe, it was not generally known that it would be so bitter. So it is now possible for men to see what they could not see in past years.
It is unfortunate that the Palestinians and the Arab world in general do not have this revelation, nor do they understand why God allowed Zionists to steal their land and to oppress them with unjust laws designed to encourage them to leave. All they understand is that the Zionists have done them injustice. If they had known the mind of God, they might have submitted to it for a season, knowing that in the end God would reward them for submitting to His judgments.
But like most of the Christian world, they did not know, and there was no one to tell them, even if they could have accepted it. And so, many of them fought back with terrorism and violence of their own, not believing that God was able to rectify the situation without their help. This only made the situation worse, as the Israelis responded by increasing the oppression and the bloodshed. In every new war, the Israelis took more land for themselves and expelled or disenfranchised more Palestinians.
Even so, God has used the Arabs to judge the Israelis, blood for blood, even as the prophecy about Edom in Ez. 35:6 tells us,
6 Therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will give you over to bloodshed [Heb. dam, "blood"], and bloodshed [dam] will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed [dam], therefore bloodshed [dam] will pursue you.
This is a play on words. "Edom" means red, for it comes from the Hebrew word dam, which means blood. This is similar to "Adam," which means ruddy, or reddish. The problem began with Adam, but Edom became the prime inheritor of the carnal man, fallen man, and his lawless ways.
Even as Edom has pursued blood as its national pursuit, so also will others do the same to them. Zionism has pursued blood, not only in its 1940's policy of terrorism to achieve its goals, but also in its religious belief that vengeance is a sacred duty. But the Arab policy in Islamic fundamentalism is the same. Vengeance is a sacred duty before God. Hence, God has placed each side in judgment of the other until the day that the Sons of God are manifested. Only then will all men begin to see that the earth must be ruled by Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, for they will see His character in His Sons.
Vengeance may be a virtue to many people in the religions of Judaism and Islam-and even in various denominations that call themselves Christian-but it is not a Christian virtue. It is not a virtue either in the Old Testament or the New. The law says in Deuteronomy 32:35,
35 Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them. 36 For the Lord will vindicate His people....
In other words, God says to leave vengeance to Him, because only He knows how to avenge with a perfect attitude and with perfect justice and mercy. Man does not know how to do it, because his emotions get in the way, and his heart does not know the end from the beginning. Furthermore, Solomon himself tells us in Prov. 25:21, 22,
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
To put fire on someone's head was not a bad thing in those days. When a family was away from home for any length of time, their fire would be extinguished. When they returned home, the wife often went to their neighbor's house and asked for a few live coals to make it easier to restart the fire. They had no matches in those days. A generous neighbor would heap coals of fire into her clay jar, which she carried on her head back to her home. A bad neighbor might not give her any at all. Solomon relates this to all of one's enemies. Be good to them, and give them more than they request or deserve.
The Apostle Paul quotes both Deuteronomy and Proverbs in Rom. 12:19-21, with comments, showing how far he had progressed from his early views when he had been a Pharisee in good standing.
19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Rabbi Moshe Levinger (Chapter Fourteen) and others like him obviously have a different interpretation of Moses and Solomon. Their traditions of men have nullified the word of God. This is because such people do not believe that doing good to the Palestinians would overcome the evil of Arab terrorism. Perhaps at this point they are right. But if, from the beginning, the Zionists had come to Palestine with proper motives, that area would be quite different today.
The Zionists should have listened to Jesus, for He was the One who gave the law to Moses, and He was the only One who could give an accurate interpretation of the law. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-48,
43 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you 45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In other words, the idea that God allows or even demands that they hate their enemies is absolutely wrong. Such an interpretation of Scripture is not according to the mind of Christ.
Let us then observe what our heavenly Father does, and imitate Him as Jesus says. In so doing, we may be the sons and daughters of our Father who is in heaven. It is by studying the law that we are given the missing revelation of what God is doing in the world today to fulfill prophecy. To understand the full plan of God, one must live by "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). That word begins in Genesis 1:1. But that word does NOT end with Revelation 22:21, for God speaks to each one of us, as we are led by the Holy Spirit. The word continues each day as God speaks to us, and that word gives life.
The Way of True Freedom
Most of humanity has an innate desire to be free. This is, in fact, the most important motive behind all revolutions. Men struggle against bondage with the power of their own flesh. But history has shown that bondage is often like quicksand; the more one struggles, the deeper one sinks. This is because men almost always fail to obtain their freedom through Jesus Christ. Jesus lived under the oppression of the Roman Empire and under the greater oppression of the Jewish leaders in His day. Yet Jesus led no political or military revolutions, but said to the Jews in John 8:32, "the truth shall make you free."
This was a radical departure from the way in which most people believed, both in that day and today. Jesus knew the real causes of the nation's loss of independence and freedom. The book of Jeremiah showed clearly that God had put them into bondage because the people did not believe the truth of His Word. Hence, to fight Rome was to fight God's judgment that He had imposed upon the nation for their disobedience. The only real path to freedom lay in their belief in the truth-the word of Jesus Christ. For this reason Jesus said in John 8:24,
24 I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.
To those who did believe in Him, He said in verses 31 and 32,
31 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
History is full of examples of men who have attempted to gain freedom apart from Christ. None have succeeded. Nimrod thought that freedom meant putting everyone else into bondage to himself, so he formed the original Babylonian Kingdom for that purpose. Though he gained many servants, he himself remained a servant to the bondage of the flesh. Later, Esau wanted to inherit God's Kingdom by the power of his own strength and without submitting to the training of God. But he lost what he desired most and his descendants were finally conquered and absorbed in Jewry.
The Jews themselves wanted to be chosen to rule the world, but most of them desired to do it by the power of military messiahs and by force of arms. They took Joshua and the deliverers in the book of Judges as their examples, not knowing that the physical sword was never God's weapon of choice. If Israel had been willing to hear the Word at Mount Horeb, God would have given them the Sword of the Spirit. But Israel 's heart was hardened, and they could not hear the truth. Jesus-the second Joshua-offered them the Sword of the Spirit a second time. Those individuals who believed in Him were led into the experience of Pentecost, where they were given that sharp two-edged sword that can even divide soul from spirit. The Judean nation itself rejected Jesus and later attempted to gain their freedom by the physical sword. They failed utterly and only brought the iron yoke back upon their heads.
As the centuries passed, even the Church itself set aside their Sword of the Spirit and again took up the physical sword, killing heretics and rebellious infidels in the name of Jesus Christ. In the past century Jewish Zionism arose, and once again we have seen the way of bloodshed preached by both Jews and Christians as the means to establishing the Kingdom of God.
No nation-not even the Israeli state-will know freedom apart from Jesus Christ. More than that, one must give more than lip service to Jesus Christ, as the Church has often done. One must "abide in My word" (John 8:31) and put His words into practice.
The day is coming when every knee will bow to Jesus Christ and swear allegiance to Him as their King (Isaiah 45:23; Phil. 2:10, 11). They will not be compelled to do so by force, as many have envisioned, but out of a heart of love and accompanied by deep repentance. This is the glory of God, that He is able to win the nations to Himself by the power of the Spirit, rather than by force of arms. He is able to cover the earth with His glory, even as the waters cover the sea (Num. 14:16-21).