Dec 072018
 

Two cities dominate the prophetic teaching of Scripture, Babel, afterward called Babylon, built by Nimrod, the rebel, and Salem, afterward called Jerusalem, served by Melchizedek, Priest of the Most High God. As in so many other cases (i.e. Esau before Jacob, Saul before David, Antichrist before Christ) Satan’s city is mentioned before the city of God. The first reference to Jerusalem is found in Genesis 14:18, where it is called Salem.

  • ‘Salem. Called, on the bricks of the ruins of an ancient city in S. of Palestine, Uru-salim = the city of Salim. The Tablets show that Palestine [Israël] was at this time in possesion of Egypt, and the Tablets are letters to the Pharaohs Amenophis III and IV. One is from Ebed-Tob, the successor of Melchizedek. Three times he says “not my father, not my mother installed me in this place but the Mighty King” (cf. Heb. 7:1-4), i.e. he did not inherit by succession, but by the gift and “the arm of the Mighty King (the deity)”‘ — The Companian Bible – www.levendwater.org

Salem is the name given to Jerusalem in Psalm 76:2, and Josephus (Ant. 1.10.2) says, when speaking of Genesis 14: ‘they afterward called Salem, Jerusalem’. Melchizedek was the King-Priest of Salem (Gen. 14), his name meaning ‘King of righteousness’, Adoni-zedek was the King of Jerusalem (Josh. 10:1), his name means ‘Lord of Righteousness’. Adoni-zedek was an Amorite (Josh. 10:5), the city of God having fallen to the evil one in Joshua’s day. When Abraham was called to make the supreme sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah (Gen. 22:2), he was led to the same place that was chosen afterward by Solomon as the site of the temple at Jerusalem (2 Chron. 3:1). These early references to Jerusalem associate the city with the King-Priest and with sacrifice, and in both passages Abraham is blessed. By the time Joshua entered the land, Jerusalem had become one of the cities of the Amorites (Josh. 10:1,5), and the battle and miracle that accompanied the taking of Jerusalem and execution of Adoni-zedek, set forth in symbol the final deliverance in the day of the Lord, While this prophecy is sure, it yet awaits fulfillment but Jerusalem was not then entirely freed from Canaanite, for we read ‘The Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day’ (Josh. 15:63).

By the days of Judges, Jerusalem had become ‘the city of a stranger’ that is not of the children of Israël’ (Jud. 19:10,12). With the advent of David, the type of Christ the King, the restoration of Jerusalem took place. First, we read that David brought the evidence of his victory over Goliath to Jerusalem (1 Sam. 17:54), and then after the death of Saul, David reigned over all Israël and Judah in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:5).

Here in the history of Jerusalem from Melchizedek to David we have an epitome of its fall and rise again.

A  Salem. – Melchizedek. – King of righteousness.

B  Adoni-zedek — Amorite / Canaanite dominion a type of this world.

B  Goliath — one of the giants / Canaanite dominion a type of this world.

A  Jerusalem. – David. – King of Israël.

The history of Jerusalem opens and closes with a Priest and a King of God’s appointing, but the attainment of that goal will not be accomplished without great opposition from the enemy. In the overcoming of Adoni-zedek there is a foreshadowing of the ultimate triumph of the true seed over the evil seed, for all prophecy runs back at last to Genesis 3:15. When David slew Goliath he chose as his weapon a ‘smooth stone out of the brook’, and did so, apparently, because as a shepherd lad he had become skilful with sling and stone. Goliath represented the colossus of Daniel, and the smooth stone foreshadowed ‘the stone cut out without hands, which smote the image’ (Dan. 2:34). If we can but keep these tremendous issues in mind, then the chequered history of Jerusalem will become intelligible and the overthrowing of Babylon at the close of the Apocalypse essential. The usurpation and domination of Jerusalem by Gentile powers characterizes the history of Jerusalem, until, in the language of Zechariah 14:21:

  • ‘There shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts’

and the treading down of the Holy City ceases for ever. Four sieges of Jerusalem stands out in history. Two being recorded as past events in Scripture, one foretold, but unrecorded in Scripture, and one future investment in the last days.

  1. The siege under Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13 to 20:21). Isaiah places this story central in his prophecy as: Assyrian Invasion And Deliverance – Isaiah 36 to 39. This assuring record of deliverance from the Assyrian invader, gives encouragement to believe that in the last days a greater Sennacherib could and would likewise be smitten without hand.
  2. The successive sieges under Nebuchadnezzar: (a) Against Jehoiakim (2 Chron. 36:6,7). (b) Against Jehoiachim (2 Chron. 36:10). (c) Against Zedekiah (2 Chron. 36:11-16).
  3. The destruction of Jerusalem, foretold in Matthew 23:37-39; 24:1,2, which took place under Titus in A.D. 70.
  4. The future investment (besieging) of Jerusalem and its deliverance at the Coming of Christ, when His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4).

Again we pause to exhibit another epitome of the prophetic story of Jerusalem.

A  Sennacherib. – ‘The angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians’.

B  Nebuchadnezzar. — Gentile dominion begins. The test, and sign.

B  Titus. — Gentile dominion continues. The treading down of Jerusalem Luke 21:24.

A  All nations. ‘Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight’.

From this resume it will be seen that Gentile domination of Jerusalem has always been under Divine control. Sennacherib is turned back by God. Nebuchadnezzar is appointed Head of Gold by God. The destruction under Titus was foretold and complete, yet the investment even by all nations will prove ineffective.

The story of Jerusalem cannot be told in these pages, the amount of material is too great. Perhaps no one book provides so clear and varied a light as does the prophecy of Zechariah [www.israeltoday.nl]. The name Jerusalem occurs forty times (the number of testing), and is related to both blessing and judgment. What was foreshadowed in Genesis 14 under the King-Priest, is at last seen to be fulfilled when Israël becomes a kingdom of Priests and the sacred words HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD will no longer be exclusively used on the high priest’s mitre, but: ‘In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be NO MORE THE CANAANITE in the house of the LORD of hosts’ (Zech. 14:20,21).

By Charles H. Welch – Berean Expositor / www.bereanonline.org

[The challenges for Israël in 2019/5779 are many. How do they deal with their many enemies (a) from outside, whether actively hostile nations or (b) the economy, cultural and scientific boycotts that come from mainly western nations or bodies like the UN and EU (c) political opposition against them as a Jewish state or (d) internal political/cultural or religious division. Israël might appear to be in turmoil but it really is a miracle of God’s making and one cannot help being drawn to the scriptures that speak of the reason behind the restoration of this unique people. Either God is responsible — which He is or else Israël is the greatest mistake that has ever taken place — which it is clearly not!!

Time and again the prophet Ezekiel spoke about God’s determination to restore and redeem His people — not because they deserved it BUT, “for His Holy Name sake. “First “… that they might know that He is the Lord” and then, “That the world might know that He is God“. God is opening “blind eyes” in Israël but those who defy Him, God’s glory can only cause blindness to their eyes. The big question is the one the disciples asked for Jesus. “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israël …?” (Ezek. 36:22-23)].

CHURCH and KINGDOM …

The English word ‘church’ has come down to us from the Greek through the Gothic. Walafrid Strabo, who wrote about A.D. 840 gives as the explanation of the word ‘kyrch’ the Greek kuriake, a word that means ‘related to the Lord’, as he kuriake hemera ‘the Lord’s day’. The Scottish word ‘kirk’ retains the sound of the Greek original still. In ordinary parlance, the word church can refer both to the body of worshippers assembled together, or to the building in which they are met, but there is no instance in the New Testament where the word ‘church’ refers to a building. In the ministry of Paul a transition in the usage of the word is observable which is dispensationally important. Before Acts 28 and while the hope of Israël still obtained, the apostle addressed six epistles to different companies of believers. ‘Unto the churches of Galatia’, ‘Unto the church of the Thessalonians’, ‘Unto the church of God which is at Corinth’. Thus five of these early epistles use the word ‘church’ in a local sense. Romans is the exception in this group, this epistle is not addressed to ‘the church which is at Rome’ but ‘To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints’ (Rom. 1:7), the word church being reserved for the last chapter, where it occurs five times.

This prepares the way for the great change which meets us in Ephesians and Colossians. In these great epistles of the Mystery, the word church is not used in the opening salutation, but is invested with new glory, the first occurrence being in Ephesians 1:22,23, ‘The church which is his body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all’. The word translated ‘church’, is with one exception the translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which becomes in English ecclesia and enters into the composition of such words as ecclesiastical etc. The one exception is Acts 19:37, ‘robbers of churches’, which the Revised Version more correctly renders ‘robbers of temples’. Ekklesia occurs in the New Testament 115 times, three of these occurrences being translated ‘assembly’ the rest ‘church’. The Septuagint version uses the word about eighty times, but we will defer their examination until we have finished our survey of the usage of the word in the New Testament.

The following extract from Trench on the Synonyms of the New Testament is of interest:

  • ‘There are words whose history it is peculiarly interesting to watch, as they obtain a deeper meaning, and receive a new consecration, in the Christian Church; which, even while it did not invent, has yet assumed them into its service, and employed them in a far loftier sense than any to which the world had ever put them before. The very word by which the Church is named is itself an example — a more illustrious one could scarcely be found — of this gradual ennobling of a word. For we have it in three distinct stages of meaning — the heathen, the Jewish, and the Christian. In respect of the first, as all know, was the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs. That they were summoned is expressed in the latter part of the word; that they were summoned out of the whole population, a large, but at the same time a select portion of it, including neither the populace, nor strangers, not yet those who had forfeited their civic rights, this is expressed in the first. Both the calling and the calling out, are moments to be remembered, when the word is assumed into a higher Christian sense, for in them the chief part of its peculiar adaptation to its auguster uses lies. It is interesting to observe how, on one occasion in the New Testament the word returns to this its earlier significance (Acts 19:32,39,41)’.

The LXX uses the word ekklesia to translate the Hebrew qahal. Qahal means to call, to assemble, and the noun form means a congregation or assembly. Solomon is called koheleth the Preacher, translated by the LXX ekklesiastes. The earliest known occurrence of the word is found in Job 30:28, ‘I cried in the congregation’. In the books of the law, qahal is rendered by the Greek word sunagoge, showing that the synagogue is the beginning of the New Testament church. Stephen in his speech which ended in his martyrdom referred to the history of Israël, and dwells for considerable length upon the one great leader Moses, saying in Acts 7:38:

  • This is he, that was in the CHURCH in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai’.

The people of Israël, looked upon as ‘a called-out assembly’ were ‘the Church’ of that period.

In the nineteenth chapter of Acts, a reference is made to the Greek usage of the word ekklesia. The concourse of people gathered to the theatre at Ephesus is referred to as an ekklesia, ‘the assembly was confused’ (Acts 19:32). Upon the arrival of the town clerk, he reproved the people for the rashness of their proceedings saying: ‘If ye inquire anything concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly (ekklesia)’ (Acts 19:39), and having thus spoken he dismissed the assembly (Acts 19:41). Here the word is used in its original sense, a called-out people, assembled for a particular purpose. It will be seen, therefore, that it is not enough to point to the word ‘church’ and thereby set aside the distinctive callings of God. The kingdom as announced in Matthew is not to be contrasted with a church, but is in itself to be viewed as a company of called-out ones. The reference to the church in Matthew 16:18 does not look to the subject of subsequent revelation reserved for the prison ministry of the apostle Paul, but to the calling that was announced in the Gospel of the Kingdom. There was a ‘church’ before Pentecost, as Matthew 18:17 makes clear.

In the Prison Epistles the word ekklesia is advanced to its highest conception. It is ‘the body of Christ’, it will be ‘the fulness of Him that filleth all in all’. It will be seen that it is not enough to say: ‘The church began at Pentecost’, we must go further, and define what church is in view. Under the heading ekklesia or ‘called-out company’ we find the following different assemblies, ranging from the nation of Israël separated from all the nations of the earth down to the church to which Philemon acted of host. Before, therefore, we build up any doctrine upon the presence of the word ‘church’ in any passage of Scripture we should consult the context and realize the dispensation in which any particular church finds its calling and sphere.

Ekklesia

  1. The nation of Israël viewed as distinct in their calling to be a kingdom of Priests in the earth (Acts 7:38). In this light it will be perceived that some care must be exercised when we are seeking to differentiate between the Kingdom and the Church.
  2. The Church spoken of as existing in the days of Christ’s earthly ministry before either His sacrificial death, or before the day of Pentecost (Matt. 18:17).
  3. The Church concerning which Christ spoke as future, and built upon the rock, and confession: ‘Thou art the Christ (Messiah) the Son of the living God’ related to Peter with his keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:18).
  4. The Church which was formed in the day of Pentecost, which: (a) partly fulfilled the prophecy of Joël 2:28,29. (b) awaits complete fulfillment until the future day of the Lord. (c) is inseparable from the enduement of spiritual gifts. (d) is inseparable from the kingdom of Israël (Acts 1:6, 2:30,31). (e) is inseparable from baptism for the remission of sins. This Church is related to the dispersion (Jas. 1:1; 5:14).
  5. The Church of God, which Paul persecuted before his conversion in Acts 9 (Gal. 1:13, 1 Cor. 15:9; Phil. 3:6) and which continued to assemble and to grow under his subsequent ministry (1 Cor. 1:2; 11:16; 1 Thess. 2:14; 2 Thess. 1:4).
  6. The Church of God, called in the same chapter, the Church of the living God (1 Tim. 3:5,15) to whom was directed that ministry of re-adjustment which had in view the building up of the body of Christ until all arrived in the unity of the faith, etc. Eph. 4:11-13).
  7. The Church of the One Body, the calling that goes back before the foundation of the world, and ascends to the position ‘far above all’ where Christ sits. This church is entirely disassociated from all previous companies, having no relation with Israël, Abraham or New Covenant, but filling the great dispensational parenthesis of Israël’s blindness, which fell on that nation in Acts 28. The status, calling and constitution of this Church can be gathered by reading Ephesians and Colossians, remembering as the reading progresses, ever to ‘try the things that differ’ (Philip. 1:10).
  8. The seven Churches of Asia (Rev. 1 to 3), one of them namely the Church at Pergamos, will be in the city ‘where Satan’s seat is’ (Rev. 2:13). These seven churches will resume where the Church of Pentecost left off and carry the fulfillment of Joël 2:28,29 through to its end. In these Churches there will be some who who will ‘say they are Jews and are not’ (Rev. 2:9). This company, though enumerated separately, really falls under heading No. 4, but owing to the setting aside of Israël at the coming in of the dispensation of the Mystery, we have listed these Churches separately.

We believe that the earnest student who obeys the injunction of 2 Timothy 2:15 ‘rightly divide the word of truth’ and the sequel in Philippians 1:10 ‘that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ’ is to the same effect as that of 2 Timothy 2:15, ‘approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to ashamed’; and discovers under which of these heads ‘the church’ under examination falls, will have no difficulty in correctly relating any church mentioned in the New Testament with its respective calling and dispensation.

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KINGDOM and CHURCH …

Two very important terms that every student of Dispensational Truth must study are the words ‘kingdom’ and ‘church’, otherwise nothing but confusion must follow the misunderstanding and misuse of these terms. We have given some attention to the word ‘church’ in Part One, we now turn our attention to the term ‘kingdom’.

In the first place let us remember that every word has a ‘pedigree’, it has an environment called its ‘context’, and it has a set of connotations ‘implying certain attributes’. When we hear for the first time that it is proposed to change the word ‘kingdom’ for the word ‘government’, we may feel that there is nothing here for debate, but we have only to consider the pedigree, the context and the connotation, to realize that this translation ultimately robs the Son of God of His Crown rights!

Great Britain, Russia or the United States have a GOVERNMENT, but we have yet to learn that a President has had a coronation, sits on a throne, wields a sceptre or reigns, yet each of these terms is an essential ‘attribute’ of the word we are considering.

First let us discover what the word translated ‘kingdom’ and its variants meant to the Greek himself, and if it be objected that the Greek was outside inspired Scripture let us be modest enough to realize that we are too, when we attempt any translation into our own tongue. For the pedigree of the term we turn to the Lexicon of Liddell and Scott, who had no axe to grind, and who suppressed no essential evidence.

  • Basileia. A kingdom, dominion, hereditary monarchy opposed to Tyrannis, and secondly, a diadem.
  • Basileion. A kingly dwelling, palace, seat of empire, royal city, royal treasury, tiara, diadem.
  • Basileios. A king, prince, lord, frequently with collateral sense of Captain or Judge, later an hereditary king, then the king’s son, prince or any sharing in the government: at Athens, the second of the nine Archons. After the Persian war the King of Persia was called Basileus, so afterward the Roman Emperors.
  • Basileutos. Under monarchical government.
  • Basileuo. To be king, to rule, to be made king, to rule over a people, to be governed or administered, to be of the king’s party.
  • Basilikos. Royal, kingly, like a king, princely.

It will be seen that any translation that removes from the mind the concept ‘ROYAL’ is not ‘LOYAL’ to the testimony of Greek usage.

We, however, have always said that while the testimony of the Greek Lexicon is important, Greek was not the basic language of inspiration. For that we must turn to the Hebrew, and if the Hebrew eliminates the concept ‘royal’ then ‘government’ may be as good as any other translation.

If, in the estimate of the Hebrew, the word ‘government’ would be a good synonym for the word ‘kingdom’, it would help us if there could be produced just ONE example. The fact of the matter is that though there are two Hebrew and two Greek words translated ‘government’ and eleven Hebrew and five Greek words translated ‘governor’ one Chaldee and three Hebrew words translated ‘to govern’, not once does the word ‘king’ or ‘kingdom’ appear. Again we concede that the argument from silence may be misleading, and so we proceed to positive evidence by which we must be bound and by which all unprejudiced translation must be bound likewise. From this testimony there can be no appeal unless we are to join the ranks of those who reject the inspiration of the originals, and if we get as far as that, what does anything matter, ‘Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die!’

The word translated ‘KING’ in the Hebrew Old Testament is the word melek. It occurs 2,520 times, 2,518 times it is translated ‘KING’ and twice ‘ROYAL’, and in no other way. Perhaps we shall find a divergence if we consult the Chaldee equivalent. That word occurs 155 times, 154 times translated ‘KING’, once ‘ROYAL’, and in no other way. This seems convincing enough but we will leave no stone unturned or give any ground for saying that we have only presented selected references. We will have the whole evidence.

  • Melukah – is translated ‘kingdom’ 18, ‘king’s’ 2, ‘royal’ 4. No other way.
  • Malekuth – ’empire’ 1, ‘kingdom’ 49, ‘realm’ 4, ‘reign’ 21, ‘royal’ 14. No other way.
  • Chaldee equivalent – ‘kingdom’ 46, ‘realm’ 3, ‘reign’ 4, ‘kingly’ 1. No other way.
  • Mamlakah – ‘kingdom’ 108, ‘reign’ 2, ‘king’ 1, ‘royal’ 4. No other way.
  • Mamlakuth – ‘kingdom’ 8, ‘reign’ 1. No other way.

With such evidence, counsel could sit down and the jury could return but one verdict. We do not intend to say what that verdict must be, we are lords over no man’s faith, but we are absolutely sure ourselves. We quote salutary words uttered by another:

  • ‘Real conviction concerning great truths can come only when we have made our own personal studies and come to our own independent conclusions’.

We have presented our evidences which have been reached in conformity with Paul’s injunction:

  • ‘Not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual’.

We cannot help feeling glad, however, that when we have arrived at our conclusions we are not found robbing Christ of His Crown, Throne or Royal prerogatives. God will yet say from heaven:

  • ‘Yet have I set My KING upon My holy hill of Zion’.

Basileus occurs 118 times in the New Testament and is always translated ‘king’; Basileia occurs 161 Times, seventy-two of which are used in the phrase ‘the kingdom of heaven’, and thirty-two in the phrase ‘the kingdom of God’, leaving fifty-seven references to include every other mention of a kingdom. Some special variants of the phrase ‘the kingdom of God’ are:

  1. ‘The kingdom of Christ and of God’ (Eph. 5:5).
  2. ‘The kingdom of His dear Son’ (Col. 1:13).
  3. ‘His heavenly kingdom’ (2 Tim. 4:18).
  4. ‘The everlasting kingdom of our Lord’ (2 Petr. 1:11).

The kingdom of God is found seven times in Acts (Acts 1:3; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23 and 31). Once in Acts we have a question as to the restoration of ‘The kingdom again to Israël’ (Acts 1:6). The kingdom of God occurs in Paul’s epistles as follows: once in Romans 14:17, ‘The kingdom of God is not meat and drink’, four times in 1 Corinthians, ‘The kingdom of God is not in word’ (1 Cor. 4:20), ‘shall not inherit the kingdom of God’ (6:9,10), ‘cannot inherit the kingdom of God’ (15:50), once in Galatians, ‘shall not inherit the kingdom of God’ (Gal. 5:21), once in Colossians, ‘my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God’ (Col. 4:11), once in 2 Thessalonians, ‘counted worthy of the kingdom of God’ (2 Thess. 1:5).

We must examine these passages presently, but before doing so, the gospels claim attention owing to the insistent use of the term ‘the kingdom of heaven’ and ‘the kingdom of God’. While we must be prepared to discover a difference between ‘the kingdom of heaven’ and ‘the kingdom of God’, we must not do so to the ignoring of the most evident fact that where Matthew uses the one phrase, Mark or Luke uses the other. Whether Christ spoke to the people in Aramaic we do not know, but there are passages where His actual expressions are recorded, e.g. talitha cumi, which is Aramaic. If Matthew and Luke record the same utterance, then even though Matthew says ‘heaven’ and Luke says ‘God’, that divergence is merely the consequence of translation, and the point of view of the different readers that were visualized. The following list will suffice to show that ‘heaven’, and ‘God’ are used interchangeably at least in some passages.

  • Matt. 4:17 ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’.
  • Mark 1:15 ‘The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye’.
  • Matt. 5:3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’.
  • Luke 6:20 ‘Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God’.
  • Matt. 19:14 ‘Suffer little children … for of such is the kingdom of heaven’.
  • Mark 10:14 ‘Suffer the little children … for of such is the kingdom of God’.
  • Matt. 19:23 ‘A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven’.
  • Luke 18:24 ‘How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God’.
  • Matt. 11:11 ‘He that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater that he’.
  • Luke 7:28 ‘He that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he’.
  • Matt. 13:11 ‘It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven’.
  • Luke 8:10 ‘Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God’.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but is sufficient for the purpose. The Jews used the term ‘heaven’ where we would use the name of ‘God’. We have in the New Testament examples of this usage: Matthew 21:25, Luke 15:21, John 3:27; and such expressions as the ‘fear of heaven’, the ‘service of heaven’, ‘the name of heaven’ (that could be blasphemed) are constantly recurring in Rabbinical literature. Elias Levita said: ‘they call God heaven because heaven is the place of His habitation’, and whether we are satisfied with the explanation offered, the fact is stated ‘they call God heaven’. The expression ‘the kingdom of heaven’ was used in an extremely wide sense by some Rabbinical writers, for ‘the yoke of the kingdom of heaven’ referred to the wearing of phylacteries. This idea, however, need not be imported into the teaching of the New Testament, it only shows how a phrase could be employed and how impossible it would be for a foreigner unassisted to arrive at such a meaning.

While the phrase ‘the kingdom of heaven’ is found only in Matthew, and the parallel passage in Mark and Luke read ‘the kingdom of God’, there are five passages in Matthew where he departs from the normal and uses the phrase ‘the kingdom of God’ (Matt. 6:33, 12:28; 19:24; 21:31 and 43). The word basileuo is used of Archelaus (Matt. 2:22), and also of a ‘nobleman’ (Luke 19:14); it is used also of the reign of death, of sin, and of grace in Romans (Rom. 5:14,17,21; 6:12).

There are seven variants of the phrase ‘the kingdom of’:

  1. The kingdom of heaven. This kingdom will be the fulfillment of the prayer ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven’ (Matt. 6:10). It will be the realization of the promise of Deuteronomy 11:21, ‘the days of heaven upon the earth’. It will be the fulfillment of that which Nebuchadnezzar dimly saw, namely that ‘the heavens do rule’, that ‘the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men’ (Dan. 4:25,26). Upon the evident rejection of Christ (Matt. 11:20-24; 12:6,41,42) He explained to His bewildered disciples the course that the kingdom would take, revealing to them in parable form ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 13:11).
  2. The kingdom of God. This term, as we have seen, may be as limited in scope as the term ‘the kingdom of heaven’, but on the other hand it can be as universal as the sovereignty of God. There is nothing extraordinary about this double usage for we exercise the same discretion in daily conversation. Writing to one person, I might say, ‘I live in London’, but to another I might say ‘I live in England’. There would be no contradiction, the only thing to remember would be that ‘London’ like the kingdom of heaven, is more limited than ‘England’, which is like the kingdom of God. Consequently we shall find the kingdom of God in Paul’s epistles, but to jump to the conclusion that their teaching therefore ‘is all one and the same as that of the Gospels’ would be as foolish as assuming that because I wrote to say that I lived in England, and it was known that a friend in Oxford lived in England, that London and Oxford were all one and the same. There are spheres in the kingdom of God which the kingdom of heaven can never embrace.
  3. The kingdom of their Father. The fact that this passage (Matt. 13:43) does not say the kingdom of the Father, but the kingdom of their father, shows that the emphasis here is on their relationship by new birth (John 3:3). So also ‘My Father’s kingdom’ (Matt. 26:29) is one not so much of sphere and scope but of relationship. The kingdom of the ‘Father’ is not of frequent occurrence.
  4. The kingdom of the Son of Man. ‘The Son of Man coming in His kingdom’ (Matt. 16:28). With this passage should be associated the many references to the Lord as ‘The Son of Man’. Of the eighty-eight occurrences, no less than eighty-four are found in the Gospels. It occurs but once in the epistles, namely in Hebrews 2:6, and is a quotation from Psalm 8. The Lord as the Son of Man will fulfill the prophetic vision of Daniel 7, as He affirmed before the High Priest (Matt. 26:64).
  5. The kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5) and The kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13), together with Paul’s reference to ‘His heavenly kingdom’ (2 Tim. 4:18) show plainly that while the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of Israël must not be confounded with the church, the church is nevertheless a part of that sovereignty that embraces all.
  6. The everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:11). Peter ministered to the circumcision (Gal. 2:8).
  7. The kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15). This will fulfill the promise of Psalm 2, and is far removed from the hope of the church, for it is as ‘Prince of the kings of the earth’ that at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, ‘the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ’. The Stone cut out without hands, not only destroys the Gentile dynasty, but we learn that ‘in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed … it shall stand for ever (or to the ages)’ (Dan. 2:44).

We return now to the references to a kingdom in Paul’s ministry. In Acts 20:25 he summed up his early ministry in the words ‘preaching the kingdom of God’. When he met the elders of the Jews at that fateful all-day conference of Acts 28:23, he testified to the kingdom of God, but with the following limitations; it was that phase of the kingdom of God that was associated with ‘Jesus’, and could be substantiated by Moses and the Prophets. After the dismissal of Israël, at the beginning of the dispensation of the Mystery, Paul preached the kingdom of God as it was associated with ‘the Lord Jesus Christ’, not now with ‘Jesus’, but as the Mystery had by then been revealed, there is significance in the complete omission of any reference to Moses and the Prophets (Acts 28:31).

Twice the apostle tells us what the kingdom of God is NOT. It is not meat and drink but ‘righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost’ (Rom. 14:17). In 1 Corinthians 4:20 he says: ‘for the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power’. Four solemn utterances of the apostle refer to those things which prevent inheritance of the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:5, give a list of fleshly lusts and practices that one can hardly associate with those called ‘saints’, yet these things are written to warn the believer that he may forfeit spheres of glory, even though he will be saved ‘so as by fire’. These passages must be read , not in view of unalterable position of Colossians 1:12 where we have been made meet for the inheritance, but in the light of Colossians 3:24,25 where in the same epistle we read of the ‘reward of the inheritance’ and of its possible forfeiture. With these references we should read 2 Thessalonians 1:5, where the apostle speaks of believers being counted ‘worthy’ of the kingdom of God for which they also suffered. The kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13) is set over against ‘the authority of darkness’, the kingdom of the Son being the antithese of the kingdom of Satan.

For the sake of clarity, we speak of ‘kingdom truth’ as something that is different from ‘church truth’, and no harm will be done, but much help received by observing this distinction, providing we ever remember that all callings — kingdom, church and other companies of the redeemed, whether on earth, in the heavenly city of far above all — must be comprehended in the all-embracive kingdom of God.

By Charles H. Welch – Berean Expositor – London.

Email address: booksatbpt@btinternet.com

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Waarom verkoos koning David Jeruzalem als hoofdstad?

Drieduizend jaar geleden veroverde Koning David Jeruzalem en maakte deze stad tot hoofdstad van Israël. Maar waarom koos de jonge koning niet voor een andere stad? Hebron, Beith El en Sichem waren ook belangrijke steden in het land Kanaän. Maar David verkoos Jeruzalem vanwege haar politieke, economische en strategische betekenis. Dat kun je in de Bijbel tussen de regels door lezen.

Jeruzalem wordt het vaakst in verband gebracht met het offer van Isaak op de berg Moria, dat gelukkig niet doorging (Genesis 22). Maar in deze bijbeltekst wordt over het land Moria gesproken, niet over de berg Moria. Een verband tussen de berg Moria en de Joodse tempel zien we pas later in de Bijbel verschijnen in 2 Kronieken 3:1:

  • Toen begon Salomo met de bouw van de tempel voor de Heer, in Jeruzalem, op de berg Moria, waar zijn vader David een verschijning had gehad, op de dorsvloer van de Jebusiet Ornan die David als bouwplaats had aangewezen’. 

Koning David maakte een wijze keuze toen hij Jeruzalem verkoos. Elke andere hoofdstad zou rivaliteit en strijd hebben gegeven tussen de stammen van Israël, want elke stam zou hebben gewild dat de hoofdstad in het eigen gebied lag. Maar dat heeft David weten te voorkomen.

Hebron lag in het gebied van Juda, Beit El, Shilo en Sichem in het gebied van Efraim. David hield waarschijnlijk rekening met de stammenstrijd uit de tijd van de Rechters. Gideon (Rechters 6), Jefta (11-12), de schanddaad in Gibea (19-21). Jeruzalem was niet omstreden onder Jakobs zonen. Het behoorde tot de Jebusieten, en was dus geen politiek of religieus centrum. Koning David voerde verzoening en eenheid binnen het Joodse volk hoog in het vaandel. Hij wist uit de geschiedenis hoe moeilijk het kan zijn om de stammen als één volk te verenigen.

Ook besefte David dat geen enkele stad kan bestaan zonder natuurlijke waterbronnen, en in de buurt van Jeruzalem zijn twee grote waterbronnen: Gihon en Ein Rogel. Bovendien lag Jeruzalem op heuvels. De stad kon dus beter worden verdedigd dan andere steden in het land. De enige zwakke plek was de noordzijde. In de andere richtingen lagen dalen en andere natuurlijke hindernissen. De historicus Harel Menashe, gespecialiseerd in Bijbelse geografie, schrijft in zijn boek ‘De biografie van het volk aan de hand van de geografie van het land‘, dat de top van een westelijke heuvel in de buurt van de Tempelberg, precies 777meter boven de zeespiegel ligt. Het getal 777 staat volgens de numerologie voor goddelijke volkomenheid en gerechtigheid.

Jeruzalem lag centraal tussen alle stammen van Israël, en toen het land uitéénviel in twee koninkrijken, lag Jeruzalem precies op het grensgebied tussen Juda en Israël. Jeruzalem is dus eeuwenlang neutraal gebied geweest en tot symbool geworden voor de eenheid van de hele natie.

Jeruzalem lag op de zogenaamde Bergstraat van de aartsvaders (JudeaSamaria) en vormde de verbinding tussen het noorden en het zuiden. Bovendien lag Jeruzalem precies tussen de Middellandse Zeekust in het westen en de stammen ten oosten van de rivier de Jordaan.

David bracht de Ark van het Verbond naar de stad. Zo werd Jeruzalem ook het geestelijke centrum voor all stammen. Toen David nog bezig was met de bouw van zijn koninklijke paleis, begon hij al het verlangen te krijgen om een huis te bouwen voor de Ark van het Verbond. Maar zijn zoon Salomo zou tenslotte de Tempel bouwen. Drieduizend jaar later verklaarde de eerste premier van het moderne Israël, David Ben Goerion, op 5 december 1949, dat Jeruzalem de eeuwige hoofdstad van Israël was. Deze keer werd Jeruzalem niet op dezelfde gronden als die van koning David tot hoofdstad gekozen, maar op historische en geestelijke gronden.

Terugblik: December 2018 /Aviel Schneider/ www.israeltoday.co.il 

www.israeltoday.nl

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Een “fantastische” voorstelling van zaken in 2019?

Zeker, maar dat is de gehele schepping, dat is heel het gebeuren met Israël, de maagdelijke geboorte, de wonderen, de opstanding van de Messias Jezus, de hemelvaart, de wederkomst óók.

Vergeten wij niet dat de mensheid anno 2019 meer en meer op het fantastische raakt ingespeeld, dat de geesten meer en meer worden voorbereid op de openbaring van het fantastische. Sommige denken aan ruimtevaarders van andere werelden. Anderen zeggen dat het “materialisaties” van engelen zijn.

Zogenaamde religieus-wetenschappelijke boeken vertellen ons dat de oudtestamentische God, die in wolk en vuurkolom het volk Israël in de woestijn begeleidde een hoog ontwikkelde ruimtevaarder is geweest die Israël verkoos als experimenteel object . . . Het zou echt iets voor de antichrist [anti-Messias] zijn de bijbelverhalen die eeuwenlang als mythen zijn beschouwd, voor “echt” te verklaren, maar dan op de wijze als hierboven geschetst. Dan zou “god” een kosmonaut zijn van een ondenkbaar hoge kosmische beschaving, die met de mensheid “experimenteert” en die door de vrije mens als zijn ergste vijand moet worden beschouwd.

Vanzelfsprekend zijn dit speculatieve veronderstellingen. Ze zeggen niet dat het zo zal gaan, maar dat het zo zou kùnnen gaan, slechts om aan te tonen dat onze “mondige generaties” reeds rijp worden gemaakt voor de grote verleugening, een leugenstelsel dat nog oneindig geraffineerder is dan velen van ons zich kunnen voorstellen.

In het voorgaande is gewezen op oorzaken van fantastische aard, die ertoe kunnen leiden dat de draak en de twee beesten erin zullen slagen de politieke leiders en hun legermachten te mobiliseren tegen God en Zijn Messias. Onze tijd leent zich bij uitstek om dit nog begrijpelijker te maken, en dan in minder fantastische zin. Al is dit “minder” slechts een kwestie van gewenning, want wat wij nù al gewoon vinden was voor enkele decennia ook “fantastisch”.

Het machtigste wapen in de handen van de antichristelijke geest is de bewustzijnsbeïnvloeding en verandering. In Openbaring 16:14 lezen we van “geesten en duivelen” die uitgaan tot de leiders der volken. Door tekenen. Zò machtig zal de betovering, de magie zijn, dat niet alleen de argeloze massa maar ook de “wereldwijde” en cynische leiders onder hun invloed komen. De politieke wereldleider, zoals deze getekend wordt in het beest, “dat was en toch weer is”, zal een indruk van onsterfelijkheid en onoverwinnelijkheid maken. De macht over natuurkrachten, een “geest geven” aan een dood beeld, zal deze indruk nog versterken. Het occultisme wordt op een ongekende wijze verbreid. Para-psychologie, een wetenschap, die tot voor kort bovenzintuiglijke en bovenzinnelijke eigenschappen van de menselijke hersenen bestudeerde en als zodanig als een legitieme wetenschap kon worden aangemerkt, is nu al jaren een object van onderzoek van legerstaven geworden. Zelfs is men in Rusland, China en in de Verenigde Staten doende paranormale begaafdheden aan te leren en paranormale verschijnselen te verbinden aan natuurlijke processen, [[ https://www.scribd.com/user/28277034/Hubert-Luns ]]

Dat klinkt allemaal erg vaag en onwezenlijk, maar het komt concreet neer op het ontwikkelen van mogelijkheden mensen op afstand te beïnvloeden. Misschien is men zelfs al bezig door het “uitzenden” van bepaalde golven, mensen die zij als vijanden beschouwen, waaronder stellig ook gelovigen, te “storen” in de functies van hersenen en centraal zenuwstelsel. In elk geval zijn bepaalde onderzoekingen daarop gericht. Men behoeft ons niet van paranoïde verschijnselen of “doemdenken” te beschuldigen om een en ander vast te stellen. Maar mocht iemand denken dat wij toch nog op “fantastisch” niveau bezig zijn, laten wij dan eens kijken naar de dingen die al overbekend zijn.

De voornaamste vijand waartegen we te strijden hebben is niet meer de politieke, dictatoriale machtsvertoning, maar de stelselmatige en van “boven” geleide manipulaties met het menselijk bewustzijn, bewuste verdraaiing van de werkelijkheid en de bewuste ontkrachting van constante waarden en normen. Uit alle hoeken, uit alle regionen van de maatschappij komen die onreine geesten op ons af.

Er is altijd veel indoctrinatie en misleiding geweest, niet het minst in de Kerk, in de Partij, in de school, op de Universiteit. Maar het was een trage verleugening, voor betrekkelijk weinigen “effectief”. Het bijgeloof als dwaling maar niet als vervalsing van het integrale geloof laten we hier even buiten beschouwing.

In onze dagen met praktisch onbeperkte mediale mogelijkheden als bijvoorbeeld de social media, krant en televisie, is de verleugning en misleiding, de geestelijke chaotische kracht, vrijwel ongelimiteerd. De vroegere traagheid is omgeturnd tot schrikbarende snelheid en opeenvolging van indoctrinatie. De “doelgroep” is niet meer een betrekkelijk kleine groep, maar de “massa”.

De basis van het complot ligt in de gezinnen, de scholen, de vormingsinstituten en de hogescholen en universiteiten. Stelselmatig wordt bijvoorbeeld de jeugd vergiftigd door de zogenaamde “doorbreking van taboes”, door hen soms zelfs te pressen schuttingwoorden te zeggen als “bevrijdend” voor hun “arme, in christelijke garelen geklemde zieltjes”. De jeugd wordt onder het mom van “revolutie” anarchie aangepraat. Ouderlijk gezag en overheidsgezag worden als verouderd en bespottelijk voorgesteld. Veel kinderprogramma’s zijn gevuld met een wereld van gedrochten, supermannen, waarin macht, geweld, toverij verheerlijkt worden.

Voeg daarbij de verderfelijke werking van de overal beoefende sensitivity-training, waarin de persoonlijkheid ondergeschikt wordt gemaakt aan het “groepsbewustzijn”. Zie de verdraaiing van de werkelijkheid tot “waarheid” door eenzijdige belichting van de feiten en ontwikkelingen in de kranten en actualiteitsprogramma’s, bijv. als het gaat om de veelal subjectieve berichtgeving over Israël! Wat weet “men” over het algemeen van openlijk aangeprezen en verkochte “handleidingen” voor chaotisering van onze maatschappij, terroristische aanslagen, mentale revolutie, psychologische “omturningstechnieken”, psychologische en psychiatrische technieken om de mensen zo moe en murw te maken dat zij angstig om een “vader” gaan roepen, een wereldpappa, die orde op zaken moet stellen!

Over drugs hoeft niets meer gezegd te worden in dit verband. Daarom willen wij dit gedeelte besluiten met enkele aspecten die misschien als nog niet zò voor de hand liggend te noemen zijn. De massa is bedrieglijk.

Het indoctrinatie proces is dikwijls niet te herkennen door de slachtoffers en wordt zelfs verhuld door mensen die zelf reeds onbewust geïndoctrineerd zijn! De verandering is subtiel.

Er wordt geleidelijk gewerkt aan het “elastisch” maken van de tolerantie. Ook in de kerken, in christelijke organisaties en in de christelijke gezinnen.

De geliefde van vandaag kan morgen – zonder dat wij het direct beseffen – “omgeturnd” zijn en het niet laten merken. De onderwijzer op school kan dezelfde schijnen als hij altijd was, met hetzelfde woordgebruik en hetzelfde leerprogramma en toch de slang in zijn hart hebben en zijn leerlingen verloederen. De programmeurs van de ziel, de uitdenkers en toepassers van psychotechnieken, staan naakt uitgestald voor de waarachtige gelovigen, maar voor de afgedwaalden, ook bij christelijke mensen, schijnen zij liefdevolle, barmhartige, begrijpende en bewogen lieden, vol van sociale en “evangelische” bewogenheid. En toch zijn velen van hen in hun eenzijdigheid en dùs hun verleugening wolven in schaapshuiden, voorlopers en wegbereiders van de antichrist.

Als wij dit allemaal overwegen zien wij ook wel het grote risico van een paranoïde instelling die overal gevaar ziet, ook waar die niet aanwezig is! Grote nuchterheid is vereist en een waarlijk christelijke tolerantie waar het de vergeving van de naaste betreft. Anderzijds kan en mag er nooit aan de normen getornd worden. Wat de strijd tegen de antichristelijke geest en antichristelijke typen betreft, is het gevaarlijk aan een afstand in de tijd te denken. De getuigende gelovigen staan al in de strijd en zij zijn al aan het front. De toekomst des HEREN is al begonnen en daarmee ook de toekomst van de antichrist.

  • En het beest werd gegrepen, en met hem de valse profeet, die de tekenen in de tegenwoordigheid van hem gedaan had, waardoor hij verleid had, die het merkteken van het beest ontvangen hadden, en die zijn beeld aanbaden. Deze twee zijn levend geworpen in de poel des vuurs, die met sulfer brandt.”

Groter anticlimax is niet denkbaar. In slagorde opgesteld onder leiding van het onoverwinnelijke beest, wordt de gehele strategie van de godsvijanden in één klap omver geworpen.

“En het beest werd gegrepen”. Dat is alles. “Wie kan tegen hem oorlog voeren?”

Welnu, het komt zelfs niet tot oorlog: de onoverwinnelijke wordt eenvoudig gegrepen. Het woord “gegrepen” (betere vertaling dan “genomen”) kan niet duidelijker. De onoverwinnelijke is plotseling als verlamd bij de verschijning van de Christus (Messias) en Zijn hemelse leger. Uit niets blijkt dat hij nog een bevel heeft gegeven om aan te vallen of te verdedigen. Het beest wordt eenvoudig gegrepen alsof hij nooit de hele wereld in zijn macht heeft gehad, alsof het nooit als god in de tempel heeft gezeten en aanbeden werd dè supermens.

Hij wordt gegrepen als de eerste de beste. Tekenend is dat er zelfs niet bij gezegd wordt wie hem grijpt. Overal bij de handelingen in Openbaring horen we over engelen en sterke engelen en machtige engelen, maar juist hier wordt volstaan met een anonieme daad. Er is zelfs geen arrestatie, geen gevangenneming, geen verhoor. Zelfs in de felste oorlogen worden vijandelijke bevelhebbers en hoge officieren, als zij gevangen genomen worden, met onderscheiding behandeld.

Het beest, de koning over de gehele aarde, wordt zonder meer gegrepen en als een ordinaire slang in het vuur geslingerd! (Openbaring 19:20).

Levend wordt hij, met zijn handlanger, de valse profeet, in de poel van vuur geworpen. Zo behandelt men nog geen ongedierte, dat eerst nog gedood wordt, voordat het op de ashoop gegooid wordt, of wordt verbrand.

In deze enkele woorden, “en het beest werd gegrepen”, is de toorn van God over het beest en zijn trawant getekend. Ook de volstrekte onbelangrijkheid van deze meest gevreesde tyran uit de geschiedenis in de ogen van de HERE. Als terloops in een oogwenk, als het Godstijd maar is, worden de aartsvijanden plotseling tot niets!!

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THE UNDERGROUND WITH JOEL RICHARDSON

www.joelstrumpet.com

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Studies: WEG UIT BABYLON

www.weguitbabylon.nl

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Israël DAILY:

iltv.tv

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Vanuit Shomron: wekelijks magazine vanuit Israel …

www.studyhousereshiet.com

[Elske Vahl-Leusink geeft een wekelijkse vlog over een Hebreeuws woord, absoluut warm aanbevolen!]

https://elskevahl.com

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DAGELIJKS NIEUWS uit het MIDDEN OOSTEN: de nieuwsbrief …

www.wimjongman.nl

Zie ook de websites:

www.cidi.nl

https://www.likud.nl

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LANCE LAMBERT MINISTRIES:

www.lancelambert.org

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HADDERECH / DE WEG

www.hadderech.nl

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Shabbatviering met Mark Biltz, uit de State Washington:

zaterdags vanaf 19.00 – 21.15 u.

http://www.elshaddaiministries.us

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Gerard J.C. Plas 

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