Here it is, the last month of 2003! So much has happened this year that we can truly say it has been a year of great destiny, yes, even a red-letter year on God’s Great Calendar. Time and events seem to be moving at such a rapid pace that by the time we stop to reflect on one, another is coming to pass before our very eyes. We witnessed our troops go to war, only to discover that it was simply a battle that they won. And the war continues! A kind of war we are not used to, as the forces of terrorism brings a dimension too frightening to comprehend. And yet, we are obliged to face the sad truth, because the word “body-bags” has become a symbol of the sacrifice. In this year, the aftermath of 911 has brought an acceleration of a new bondage to our lives, one that is infringing upon the liberties our forebears fought so hard and gave so much to acquire. Then too, the attack on Christianity and Christian values has picked up tempo, as the forces of wickedness quicken their purpose, and propel all sorts of perverse habits, deeds and legislation to the fore. How sad it is that these forces have been able to sap the courage from the Israelite psyche and through their masterly employment of mind control, replace it with guilt ridden feelings that leads to all sorts of debauchery. It even seems as if the wrath of the Lord was more visible this year, in such things as fires, floods, earthquakes, power outages, and so on.

I am sure that most of us sometimes shut our eyes in prayer and ask something along the lines of, “Oh, Lord God Almighty, why is this happening to us? Why are we suffering such confusion, sadness, depression and sickness? What is the cause of our great failures? Where are our great leaders of yesteryear? What happened to our immense wealth? Why these wars of uncertain purpose? And why are we losing our one time revered place in the world and becoming such a hated people?” Of course, even while we are asking these saddest of all questions, we know the answer, because we failed to follow the simple formula God gave us for prosperity, peace, security and supremacy. He had said, “Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” (Leviticus 26: 2-7, 12)

Think for a moment on the immensity of this promise. We Israelites could have everything, indeed we did at one time, as witnessed by 1 Kings 10 when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon during the early part of his reign. To quote an old Covenant Message article, it was a time when there were no housing problems, no food problems, no high taxes, no rich exploiting the poor, no grafters, no racial problems and no military dictators. It was a time when, not only did Israelites believe in God, they believed God. They believed in the formula God had set down for their comfort and as a result, they became the happiest, healthiest and wealthiest nation the world has ever known. In fact, many of us today can remember better times, when we too lived closer to God’s ways. It’s strange that our brothers and sisters cannot see the correlation between our declining prosperity, peace, security, supremacy and the falling away from God’s Wisdom. Yet, the deception of the canny old devil is a daunting power. And so, just as Solomon was corrupted, through our disobedience, we have become servants to the pangs of strangling debt, excessive taxation, greed, idolatry, graft and sins too sickening and numerous to contemplate. Sadly, instead of the prosperity we once enjoyed, instead of peace throughout the land, instead of an assurance of security within our borders and instead of supremacy in the world order, we have been harvesting confusion, and pestilence, and sorrow, and depression, and cowardice, and failure, and hated rulers, and sickness, and hunger, and war. Add to this our beleaguered lives as a result of centralized forms of government dedicated to one-world control and the picture is complete. I read somewhere that General Robert E. Lee had stated that when too much power was given to a centralized form of government, it would result in a nation being “aggressive at home and despotic [dictatorial or tyrannical] at home.” We don’t have to look beyond the Israel nations of today and their armies around the world to realize how prophetic Lee’s words are.

In contemplating our great predicament, it is interesting to review the curses following the aforementioned blessings outlined in Leviticus 26. Two that caught my eye seemed to sum up our dilemma today, “they that hate you shall reign over you” and “I will break the pride of your power.” Only a blind person could mistake seeing the result of these two curses in main arteries of our society today, like government, finance, communications, the professions, education and medicine. Ironically, the “they” achieved their aims only because Israelites of the last century have been too quick to say, “Let the other guy do it.” Now, our only real hope is that “the big guy will do it”, in the form of Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords.

Still, before we get despondent and down on ourselves, let us remember that it could not have been any other way. God’s Great Week is an unchangeable plan, broken down in seven days of a thousand years each. There are five pinnacle points, that is (1) The Fall of Adam, (2) The Promise-after 2 days (the Covenant with Abraham) (3) Salvation-after 4 days with the Blood of Christ (4) The Kingdom-after 6 days with the return of Christ (5) The Completion-after 7 days when the Kingdom is restored to God the Father. Throughout each day God has seeded major and secondary events and gave us clues through prophecy to understand His Plan. In fact, through prophets like Amos and Paul, He is basically saying, “Look Israel , I have told you everything you need to know. Now pursue it diligently so you will be a beacon of light for your brethren around the world.” Anyway, here we are at the end of the sixth day of God’s Plan, a day in which much has been seeded, among other things, the last great migration of Israelites to the isles, the third overturn of the Throne of David, the commonwealth of nations, the joining of the two sticks, the breaking away of Manasseh into a great nation, the liberation of Jerusalem, the fall of the Babylonian succession of kings and two world wars. Day Six also included two events that explain so much of the predicament of True Israel today. These are “the great falling away” prophesied by the Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2: 3) and the “Esau Dominion” prophesied by Isaac (Genesis 27: 40). So what has taken place in our nations and in the world is only a part of God’s Plan. He is in control and the leash he has around Satan’s neck will be jerked back when He is ready. I suppose this is why I like the wisdom of two small passages of the Book of Esdras, “By measure hath he measured the times, and by number hath he numbered the times, And he will not move or stir them, Until such measures have been fulfilled.”

The only question in many of our minds is, “Why let Satan have so much sway?” I believe it is because God is seeking the strongest and most bountiful seeds for the next stage of His glorious plan? I got thinking of this when I pondered upon British-Israel-World Federation’s 2003 Conference theme, taken from Matthew 24: 13, words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” For these words fits exactly the challenge before us in these very last days. Certainly, for many Christians, Matthew 24 is the most frightening chapter in the Bible, yet, at the same time, it is a welcome moment because it signals the return of our wonderful Lord. And the chapter tells us so much. It’s impossible in this article to go into every passage but let’s examine just a few. Matthew 24: 14 states that the end will come when the Gospel of the Kingdom has been preached in all the world. I think this is one reason God has kept small groups of Israel Truth organizations intact, because the Kingdom message has been our main thrust throughout the past century. Matthew 24: 25 confirms for us everything Jesus told us in Old Testament days, i.e., “Behold, I have told you before.”

24: 30 reveals how He will appear. 24: 32 teaches us the parable of the fig tree, that is, the main evidence that the end is near. We know this as the 1948 establishment of the modern Israeli State , although we see it in a different light than preached by mainstream churches today. 24: 37-38 describes the conditions at the end, that is “As the days of Noe were.” There’s no better description of the modern Israel nations of today. Going on, 24:39-41 reflects on how the wicked will be removed, the prelude to Christ’s Millennium Kingdom here on earth. Finally, the balance of the chapter cautions the faithful to be watchful, outlines rewards for being so and the agony of those cut adrift because of their unbelief. What did Christ say, “But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.” What greater reward could there be?

Fortunately, True Israel still has a major advantage. Because we remain a blessed people, our Israel nations still belong to God Almighty and will be turned toward Him at some point soon. We can’t forget that God concluded His message of Leviticus 26 by saying, “And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God. I am the Lord.”

If you’re like me, Christmas is a special time of the year. Not the paganism that accompanies it and yes, I know that Christ was not born at this time. Yet, when I hear the hymns and carols and see the greater love Christians seem to have for one another at this time of the year, it does something for me. Could this year be different? Could the sorry conditions of the world and in our Israel nations make it easier to reach our brothers and sisters? Might they be more receptive to a truth they may have rejected over and over in the past? I think we must try, as we have never tried before. Time is short! True Israel is deathly sick, just as Lazarus of John 11 was sick, Lazarus being symbolic of Israel, in the same way as the Lazarus of the Rich Man and Lazarus represents Israel. Jesus has been in Heaven with God the Father for two days now, just as he waited two days in the place He was when He was told of Lazarus’ sickness. Lazarus was dead four days when Christ returned to Judea, just as four days elapsed from the Fall of Adam to the first Advent and as four days has elapsed from the Promise to Abraham to the present time. Jesus told us, “I am the way” just as he told Lazarus’ sister, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” Jesus told us, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” just as He told Lazarus’ sister, “he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Paul told us, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout…and the dead in Christ shall rise first,” just as Jesus cried in a loud voice, “Lazarus come forth.” Yes, we must endure to the end, but equally important is that we extend ourselves as never before to be that beacon of light to our brothers and sisters throughout the entire world. We cannot rest until we can say as Paul said, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”