Basics of Bible Prophecy Fulfillment: Part 3
Feb 20, 2006
What does it mean to be "chosen," or part of God's "elect"? Like any "elected" official, it has to do with who has been given authority to bring the blessings of Abraham to the rest of the world.
The idea of "chosenness" has long been perverted to mean that someone or some nation has the divine right to rule others for their own benefit by the motive of self-interest. Such people invariably end up resorting to violence. No one wants to be ruled by those who hate them or who would oppress or enslave them. And so, when the people of the world perceive such a motive, they naturally resist the authority (or perceived authority) of those who claim to be "chosen." And rightly so. Thus, the so-called "chosen" ones are left with the choice of either not exercising their "rightful" authority at all, or of resorting to violence and war to FORCE the nations to submit to their authority.
Those who use force and violent think of themselves as a privileged people. They violate the most basic tenet of the law, which is impartiality (Ex. 23:1-9; Malachi 2:9; James 2:4). Such people are not truly chosen, because they do not know the difference between being chosen and being a privileged people.
Even a king was not to think of himself as privileged above his brethren (Deut. 17:20), even though he was divinely "chosen" to rule.
Jesus is not the Messiah of the violent ones. He is called the "Prince of Peace." He did not come to overthrow Rome or anyone else. He came to show love to the people and to win their hearts by love. Those who preferred a violent Messiah rejected Him in favor of Barabbas, who was crucified for attempting to overthrow Rome by violence and force.
The Bible tells us that God made a number of Covenants with men throughout history. The first time the word "covenant" is used in the Bible is in Genesis 9, where God made a Covenant with Noah and his family, the birds, cattle, and every beast of the earth (Gen. 9:9, 10). Scripture repeats this a half dozen times. It is the Covenant of the Restoration of All Things. It is unconditional, and it tells us WHAT God's intention is for the earth. It is NOT to destroy the earth, but to restore it.
The second covenant was made with Abraham in Gen. 12:1-4. This covenant tells us WHO was elected to do the job of restoring all things. Abraham's seed was elected to do the job. The problem is, Abraham has many children, so which one was chosen to bless the world? Well, it depends upon one's point of view (and one's religious belief).
In Islam, the chosen one is Ishmael. In the Bible, the chosen one is Isaac. As a Christian, I believe the biblical account, of course. But ultimately, God will decide. World history is nearly at the place today where God's judgment (decision) will be made known to all.
I will say this, however. God will not decide the case according to race or genealogy. He will decide according to one's character. Each religion has a different concept of God's righteousness and justice, and the people hold that concept as the ideal standard of righteousness for mankind as well.
A Jew is not "chosen" if he does not have the character and the love of God in his heart by which he may rule God's creation wisely and judiciously, or if he attempts to rule the world by violence and force. For example, the Zionists are not "chosen," simply because they think they are divinely privileged to perpetrate violence upon the Palestinian people and steal their land by force.
A Christian Zionist is not "chosen" if he thinks and acts in the same manner as a Jewish Zionist.
Neither is a Muslim "chosen" if he resorts to violence and force to extend the authority of Allah to the rest of the earth.
In biblical history, Israel was "chosen," but when they violated these principles, God cast them out of the land. He "unchose" them, because He will not have any tyrants ruling in His Kingdom.
The same happened with Judah many years later.
The third covenant--made with Moses--gave the laws of the Kingdom. It provided the Law defining the justice and standard of righteousness by which the chosen ones were to rule. Those who violated this law were rejected from rulership, regardless of their genealogy.
Thus, Israel was cast out in 721 B.C., and Judah was cast out in 70 A.D. All of them fell from their position, simply because they were not qualified to rule the Kingdom of God.
In the New Testament, God gave a greater measure of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). It was designed to do two things: (1) be a fire in our lives that would burn up the fleshly desires and ambitions, and give us the fruit of the Spirit--the proper character to rule; and (2) to give us the authority by means of the gifts of the Spirit, so that we could exercise spiritual authority. This would give us "practice" in the proper exercise of authority over all men.
But Pentecost itself was a leavened feast (Lev. 23:17). This prophesied the simple fact that unless a person is willing to set foot in the fire of God, the leaven in his life will not cease to grow until the whole lump is leavened. A Pentecostal offering to God is therefore unacceptable to God unless it has been baked in the fire. This is proven by the fact that in all other offerings to God, leaven was forbidden (Lev. 2:11). Only in the Pentecostal offering was it allowed--actually, it was mandated--but it was only acceptable because it had been baked, which stopped the leaven's action.
Those of Pentecost today are of two kinds: "baked" and "unbaked." The "baked" ones are those who have learned obedience to God and have learned how to rule in love, rather than by fear. To put it in more practical terms, they love not only Jews, but Palestinians as well. They have learned to rule and judge the people with impartiality and no favoritism.
These are the true chosen ones.
This is the third part of a series titled "Basics of Bible Prophecy Fulfillment." To view all parts, click the link below.