Saturday, October 31, 2015

For Our Instruction: The Past, Present and Future of Israel

Promise, conquest and comfort, environment and military, unfaithfulness, and restoration are all part of the history of Israel. Although we do think or associate famine, drought, pestilence and infestation with Israel these too were a part of Israel’s history. Of course, present day Jews look at Israel in the scriptures and draw a straight line, rightly so, to connect themselves between then and now. My purpose here is neither to affirm or deny that connection. The title of this article is not about what it probably conjures up in your mind. This article will not delve into Israel as it exists today or the popular speculations of some Christians concerning OT prophecies in Israel today. It is not a expose or a thrashing of Israel as a people or a sovereign nation. Rather, it is a view of ancient Israel from the time it was a mere promise which God made to one man all the way through a brief period until the fulfillment of that promise, and then, to what befell Israel when it forsook the covenant which God had made with Israel on the basis of that promise and the eventual restoration of Israel. The focus of this article is taken from Romans 15:4 in the New Testament (NT) where the apostle Paul wrote to a young church in Rome about the value of the ancient scriptures.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Government and Church

Summary: This article is about the concept of government as church. Make no mistake about it. This is not to equate or unify the two as one. They each serve a very different purpose, but the different purposes of the same God who is one. There are seven aspects, roles or functions of government which are examined in this article, which are similar to the body of believers, that is, the church. Clearly, the saints in Christ have a model in the scriptures from which they are able to draw and assess those roles and functions in government. Five of these seven are presented here mostly in light of the New Testament (NT) scriptures with the other two viewed in the light of God’s commandment to the nation of Israel in the Tanakh, the Old Testament (OT) scriptures. Government in America is not unique to America and despite its secular nature, it represents a challenge and opportunity for the saints in Christ to understand how government is an active instrument of God. Government, as an instrument of God is quite capable of making manifest the will, love, compassion and justice of God. Yes, it is capable of making manifest the mercy of God among those who know not the love of God in Jesus as Lord and Savior, also.