“Shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke, 18: 8)
This most interesting question, asked by our Lord in the parable of the unjust judge, is worthy of careful consideration today by all who profess to believe in God.
The parable of Jesus, and the question at its conclusion, should be of special interest to modern Israel, for it would seem to be peculiarly descriptive of the times in which we live.
In The Complete Bible In Modern English, Ferrar Fenton gives us this version: “He also showed them, by means of a parable, that they ought to persist in prayer, without becoming weary.”
“There was in a town”, He said, “A judge, who neither feared God, nor respected man. And in the same town there was a widow, who kept coming to him, pleading, “Give me justice against my adversary.” He refused, however, for some time. But afterwards he argued thus with himself: Although I neither fear God, nor care for man, yet, because this widow gives me trouble, I will grant her justice; for if I do not, she will distract me at last by her coming.” “Mark, now,” said the Master “What the unjust judge determined. And will not God grant justice to His chosen, who cry to Him day and night, and have pity upon them? HE WILL, I TELL YOU, grant them justice very quickly.
When the Son of Man comes, however, will He find this faith upon the earth?” (Luke 18: 8)
There is but slight difference between the text as given by Ferrar Fenton and that found in the Authorized Version, except that the former adds the word “THIS”, emphasizing the particular kind of faith to which our Lord referred.
The parable of the unjust judge was not spoken to the world in general, but was addressed to the disciples, and was used to illustrate the loving care of God for “His own elect”, or, “His chosen who cry to him” for justice. This parable, with the latter portion of the chapter preceding it, deals with world conditions in the last days, or the “day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
Many startling assertions are being made today concerning the Kingdom of God, and the time of its establishment upon the earth. It is the humble opinion of the writer of these lines that any attempt to fix the date of the coming of our Lord, or the setting up of His kingdom is a mistake, and should not be encouraged by our Israel publications. It was not intended that the people be informed of certain facts or that the wisest of our leaders should know, “The times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.” (Acts 1: 7)
The disciples had asked Jesus the question that is being asked today: “Lord, wilt thou at this, time restore again the kingdom unto Israel?”
It was not for them to know the time of Israel’s restoration, and the answer given to the disciples at that time seems to be the only appropriate answer to the same question today.
In the Olivet discourse Jesus answers similar questions asked by his disciples, emphasizing the impossibility of any man being able to determine and foretell the time of the Lord’s return, and the restoration of the kingdom of Israel.
Peter, James, John and Andrew came to Jesus, privately, asking him to give them some information concerning these final events in world history, information which, perhaps, could not be divulged to the general public. “Tell us”, they said, “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?”
But even these favored few did not get the desired information. He gave them a description of world events covering many centuries of time, and warned them against teachers who would claim to have special knowledge concerning these things, and warned them that such knowledge was forbidden, saying: “But of that day, and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” (Mark 13:1-37.)
The admonition of Jesus to “watch and pray” is of far greater importance to Israel today than to know the exact day and hour of’ the Lord’s coming. If it were possible for man to know the day and hour when he might expect to hear the cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” multitudes would undoubtedly look forward, at least with a curious expectancy, to the coming day, and to make a final preparation for it. But something more than a curious expectancy, or last moment decision to meet him is necessary; a preparation must be made in which a spiritual change comes to the individual watcher, a state of being which is essential to an entrance into the coming kingdom.
Simply being a descendant of Abraham will not prepare a living soul to recognize the coming King of Israel, or to find happiness and peace in his glorious presence. In the parable of the Ten Virgins, I think that Jesus would have His followers to see that something more than the appearance, or outward form is essential. Five of the virgins were foolish, failed to make a proper preparation and were not permitted to enter into the wedding festivities.
Yet these five, to all outward appearances, were the same as their companions. They were dressed as the others were dressed, they carried lamps which seemed to be ready for use, and they were expecting the coming of the Bridegroom, but they lacked the essential oil, the symbol of spirituality, which alone could qualify them to enter the presence of their Lord.
We are admonished by Israel’s coming King: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh.”
To watch and pray as he has commanded is to cultivate a mental and spiritual condition, without which we could not hope to appreciate and enjoy the King and His kingdom, even if we were permitted to enter it.
An alien, or foreigner looks eagerly forward to the day when he will be permitted to become a citizen of America, and, if he is wise, he will begin at once to learn the language, laws and customs of the country, and of the people, for his life is to be made up of and will depend upon, his knowledge and practice of these things. The mere fact of his material presence in the country which he has chosen will not make him a citizen of that country, or enable him to enjoy the many blessings of citizenship.
There must be a mental, and spiritual transformation take place before such a man can receive the advantages of the new country.
This is especially true of those who would enter the kingdom of God and become “fellow citizens with the saints.” A spiritual transformation, so strange and startling in character as to be described by Jesus as being “born again”, seems to be essential for every individual, whether he be Israelite, Jew or Gentile.
This will not be readily understood, or accepted by many persons, more especially those who are of Israel, and, therefore, “Heirs of the promises made unto the fathers.” Nicodemus was such a favored one, being addressed by our Lord as “A master in Israel”, and yet the Lord said to him, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3: 3)
A man may be possessed of a finished education, of wealth and power – he may be “a master in Israel” but without this spiritual transformation, or rebirth, he is “of the earth, earthy,” a materialistic creature, so blind, in a spiritual sense, that he is unable to even see the kingdom of God.
A writer in Destiny Magazine said: “How can they enter the kingdom, unless they first acquire the kingdom mind? How can God give the kingdom to anyone unable to receive it?”
The Gospel of The Kingdom is being proclaimed in many lands today, and many are the able arguments being presented, in a zealous effort to convince the world that we are Israel. The world will never be convinced of this important fact through these human efforts. The heathen, or the nations, will acknowledge God and His chosen people, only after that chosen people have been spiritually transformed by the power of God. (See Ezek. 36: 22 38.)
There is no thought of unkind criticism of the noble work being done by our many Israel societies in this and other countries; I have watched the growth of the Anglo-Israel movement from a few isolated believers to a multitude numbering millions, and feel a personal interest in every part of it, and a justifiable pride in the good work of every individual believer.
It is for this reason that I am seeking to emphasize, at the risk of being misunderstood, the statement that an ever-increasing spirituality is not only important, but also absolutely essential to our successful proclamation of the kingdom message, and to our entrance into the kingdom.
That we are Israel is an incontrovertible fact! That we are His “battle axe, and weapons of war,” we have a right to proclaim, and that God is using us, at home, and on the battle front, to “break in pieces the nations, and to destroy kingdoms”, the world is beginning to realize, and the knowledge of our numbers, wealth and power should make us, not the most proud, but the most humble people of all the earth, bringing us to our knees before God, praying that his Kingdom may come, and His will may be done on earth by all men, and more especially by all who are the family of Israel.