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gods chosen people

Israel and the U.S.: Heading for a diplomatic breakdown

Barry Shaw takes Biden to task for opening consulate in Jerusalem to serve Palestinians

The Biden administration is arrogantly ignoring official Israeli protests against the opening of a U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem to serve non-Israeli Palestinians.

It is more important for the White House to cow to the radical wing of their party than honor the pledge made by previous administrations to an unbreakable bond with Israel.

The Biden administration could easily have catered to Palestinians by opening a consular office in Ramallah. This is where the Palestinian Authority is based. This is where they serve their electorate, whenever they have elections. The last one was in 2006. They were supposed to hold elections every four years, but Palestinian factions have been at war with each other for decades.

That said, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah decided not to help their people – what else is new – and instead play diplomatic football by insisting that the United States must reverse their avowed declaration that Jerusalem is the undivided sovereign capital of the State of Israel. Instead, the Palestinians and the current U.S. administration are determined to drive a wedge, some would say a stake, in the heart of Israel and the so-called "unbreakable bond" of the United States-Israel relationship by insisting that a consulate be located not in Ramallah or Gaza but deep in central Jerusalem.

Biden is weakly, some would say willingly, surrendering to the demands of a non-state entity that uses American taxpayers' money to pay their killers of Jews. Why not? There were no effective protests against this in America. If this fails to extract protest, the opening of an office should be child's play.

You begin to see the gradual erosion of U.S.-Israel relations, one poisonous drip at a time.

On its face it is yet another example of a Democrat machine built entirely on setting back every successful Trump policy no matter the consequences of their reversal. We witness the disasters of every reverse the Democrats have touched since taking power earlier this year.

Border security and legal immigration have been thrown out of the window with an open border policy that will flood their country with over 2 million unverified, unidentifiable, illegal immigrants from Third World countries by the end of this year for the sole purpose of fundamentally and politically changing America.

We see it in the incomprehensible setback of America from being an energy independent nation to one that went begging to OPEC to increase production because Biden inexplicably, in his first act of president, closed the spigot on the XL Keystone pipeline.

We see it in the Marxism of the American economy and the abuse of a bloated government demanding trillions and trillions of dollars for ludicrous projects hidden in what they laughingly call an infrastructure bill. Even people are called "human infrastructure" in America these days.

Tragically, we witnessed the disastrous failure of American military power and diplomacy in the death knell of a failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, perceived internationally as a victory for Islamic terrorism, in which a careless Biden administration left hundreds, maybe thousands, of American citizens trapped behind enemy lines. Meanwhile, Israeli aid agencies have independently and covertly extracted Afghans out of that frightening country.

Now, in their fevered attempt to set back another Trump achievement, they are determined, at any cost, to reverse Trump's establishment of a United States Embassy in Jerusalem by uniquely planting a mini-embassy in Jerusalem explicitly for Palestinians.

There are no examples anywhere in which America, or any other country, has, over the objection of a sovereign state, ignored that nations' sovereign objections by unilaterally opening a facility to serve people of a country or an entity outside such a sovereign state, let alone an entity that regularly practices terrorism in all its forms against Israel.

This constitutes a major diplomatic slap in the face of Israel that will have far reaching and damaging repercussions.

The distrust is already taking form following America's shocking withdrawal from Afghanistan and its weak display over Iran's march to a nuclear weapon capability.

There are certainly people in the Democrat Party and in the Biden administration, as mentioned earlier, who will be salivating to see a deep rift develop between America and Israel.

It seems these people may have their way.

Either the current Israeli government will stand firm and actively prevent the opening of this consulate or, if it supinely accedes to the unilateral decision of the Biden administration, the Israeli government will fall.

Israel's enemies within America may celebrate such an event, but such a celebration will be short-lived because, with the fall of the Israeli government, Israelis will overwhelmingly vote in a more affirmative Zionist government.

Israel has a history of overcoming adversity. It always comes out stronger in the end.

We wish the same will be true for America.

You have today declared the Lord to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. The Lord has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken.”

And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? For You have established for Yourself Your people Israel as Your own people forever, and You, O Lord, have become their God.

O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make You a name by great and terrible things, in driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt?

The Gravity of Apostasy

“Impossible”arrests our attention, abruptly opening a Greek sentence that runs for three verses. The author then builds suspense by withholding the detail of what, precisely, is “impossible”until the middle of verse 6: it is impossible, he finally says, “to restore . . . again to repentance”those who “have fallen away.”But before pronouncing a sober sentence on the spiritual treason from which there is no return, the author lists a series of God’s gracious gifts that compound the gravity of such apostasy. He switches from first- and second-person pronouns of interpersonal conversation (“we”and “you”; 5:11, 12; 6:1, 3) to descriptive third-person pronouns (“those who,—they”) because he is not accusing his hearers of having passed the spiritual point of no return into curse and condemnation (6:8). Yet the privileges once enjoyed by apostates, the horrific evil of their fall away from trust in the Son of God, and their irremediable ruin are not irrelevant to the original audience in their immaturity, nor to anyone who needs stimulus to persevere to the end.

Four Greek participles –“having once been enlightened”(hapax phōtisthentas), “having tasted”(geusamenous), “having become”(genÄ“thentas), and again “having tasted”(geusamenous) – introduce the spiritual privileges enjoyed by those who are members of the visible church. They were “once . . . enlightened”(6:4) when they heard God’s voice speaking good news (3:7; 4:2) of salvation through the apostles (2:3—4). In the work of Justin Martyr and later Fathers, “enlightenment”became a metaphor for baptism; but none of the uses of phōtizō in the NT refer explicitly to baptism (Luke 11:36John 1:91 Cor. 4:5Eph. 1:183:92 Tim. 1:10Rev. 18:121:2322:5). Rather, those who are “enlightened”seem to be those who are exposed to God’s saving light through hearing the gospel proclaimed.

The other participial constructions focus on the primary means of grace, the apostolic word, and the Holy Spirit’s miraculous deeds that confirmed the apostles’ testimony. The pairing of the apostolic word and the Spirit’s confirmatory testimony is repeated twice, first in generalities and then more specifically:

(A) Having tasted the heavenly gift
(B) Having become partners/partakers of the Holy Spirit
(A’) Having tasted the goodness of the word of God
(B’) and the powers/miracles of the age to come

Although “the heavenly gift”could refer to the whole salvation that God bestows by grace, the repetition of “tasted”suggests that the gift coming down from heaven is specifically “the goodness of the word of God.”In Hebrews 12:25, God’s voice speaking to Israel on earth (at Sinai) will be contrasted to his addressing the new covenant church now from heaven. So the good word of God is a gift that now comes from heaven through Christ’s messengers.

We should recall (and God never forgets) how he has turned our hearts toward himself.

Accompanying the apostles’ witness in words was God’s confirming testimony “by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit”(2:4). The word dynameis (plural), translated “miracles”in 2:4, reappears here as “powers,”and in both texts these miracles/powers are connected to the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:17—194:29—3110:38). The link of the Spirit to miracles suggests that his public activity in the Christian community, not his secret regenerating work in human hearts, is in view. The Greek construction translated “have shared in the Holy Spirit”is literally “have become metochoi [companions] of the Holy Spirit.”The apostates had become the Holy Spirit’s companions, like the Messiah’s “companions”in Hebrews 1:9 and 3:14, as members of the Christian community, in which the Spirit attested the gospel through miracles. Perhaps they themselves performed such deeds of power despite their hearts’ alienation from God, as even Judas did (Matt. 10:1—8; cf. 7:21—23).

Willful Rebellion

The ESV’s “and then have fallen away”rightly renders the final participle in the series of participles we looked at in the comment on 6:4—5. Some English versions read “if they fall away,”allowing for the interpretation that for people who had experienced the previous blessings, a fall into apostasy might be purely hypothetical, never actual. But the danger of willful apostasy, from which repentance is impossible, is real. It remains true that no one to whom Christ has given eternal life can be snatched out of his hand (John 10:29—30). But one can be a member of a new covenant congregation, hearing God’s word and seeing his Spirit’s works, yet nevertheless harden one’s heart against God’s voice, as some Israelites did (Heb. 3:1—4:13; cf. Acts 8:1318—242 Pet. 2:1Jude 4).

Our author, like pastors today, does not claim to look into others’ hearts but rather addresses his hearers in terms of their observable profession and behavior, recognizing that appearances may prove, in the end, to be deceiving. Although the author addresses the community as a whole as believers, he hints at his own lack of omniscience–some may not be true believers even through by association they appear to be (3:6, 14; 4:1—2; 6:11). The farmland analogy of verses 7—8 illustrates the distinction between externally experienced blessings and internal heart responses.

The gravity of such resolute rebellion, akin to Judas’s treachery, explains why it places the apostate’s heart beyond the possibility of repentance. God, who sovereignly grants repentance to rebels (Acts 3:2611:18), will not intervene (as he could) to turn around those who have willfully walked away. Such an apostate has identified himself with those who crucified the Son of God and treated him with contempt (Heb. 12:2—313:13; cf. Matt. 27:39—44). Here and in 10:29 our author refers to Jesus as “the Son of God,”reminding us of his divine glory announced in the prologue (Heb. 1:1—4). His dignity underscores the horrific evil of renouncing allegiance to him and siding with his enemies.

The Remnant of Israel

11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a]? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written:

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
   eyes that could not see
   and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”[c]

9 And David says:

“May their table become a snare and a trap,
   a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
   and their backs be bent forever.”[d]

Ingrafted Branches

11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

All Israel Will Be Saved

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[e] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;
   he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is[f] my covenant with them
   when I take away their sins.”[g]

28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now[h] receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

Doxology

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
   How unsearchable his judgments,
   and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
   Or who has been his counselor?”[j]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
   that God should repay them?”[k]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
   To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Psalm 116

1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
   he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
   I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me,
   the anguish of the grave came over me;
   I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
   “Lord, save me!”

5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
   our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
   when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return to your rest, my soul,
   for the Lord has been good to you.

8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
   my eyes from tears,
   my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
   in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
   “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
   “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
   for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
   and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
   in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
   is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
   I serve you just as my mother did;
   you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
   and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
   in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord—
   in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.[a]

 Mens Fall Back Will Be Gods Comes Back

Humble ourselfs in the sight of the Lord we must do everyday 
Which is done, when men, before the Lord, and from their hearts, and in the sincerity of their souls, acknowledge their meanness and unworthiness, their vileness, sinfulness, and wretchedness, and implore the grace and mercy of God in Christ, as did Abraham, Jacob, Job, Isaiah, Paul, and the publican; and when they walk humbly with God, acknowledging they can do nothing without him; owning their dependence on his grace, and ascribing all they have, and are, unto it:

and he shall lift you up;
this is God's usual way to lift up the meek, and exalt those that humble themselves; he lifts them from the dunghill, to set them among princes; he gives them a place, and a name in his house, better than sons and daughters; he adorns them with his grace; he clothes them with the righteousness of his Son, he grants them nearness to himself; and at last will introduce them into his kingdom and glory.

I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty.

On July 1st, 2017, Canada celebrated it’s 150th birthday, or as some people call it, the anniversary of it’s Confederation.  Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  Canada and the United States are close neighbours, geographically as well as being allies and friends.  That said, these are challenging times for our nations.  Both nations were founded by men and women who believed God was Sovereign.  As Canadians and Americans, celebrating with our own distinct patriotic fervor, Canada on July 1st and the U.S. on July 4th, I pray that our two nations will continue to lean on the sovereignty of God.  I hope we will also pray for one another in a spirit of unity and peace throughout the year!

2 Chronicles 7:14  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2  “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

1 Kings 8:28  “Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”

Matthew 6:9-13  “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

Psalm 33: 6-12  “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.  He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.  Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.  For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.  The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.”

Acts 17:26  “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.”

Isaiah 2:4  “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

Psalms 22:27-28  “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.”

Romans 13:1  “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

Jeremiah 29:7  “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

 

Prov. 21:1  “In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.”

1 Peter 2:17  “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”

Job 12:23-24  “He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.  He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste.”

Proverbs 11:14  “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”

Proverbs 14:34  “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.”

Proverbs 9:10  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

1 Peter 2:9  “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Philippians 2:5-11  “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature  God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Psalm 2  “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”  I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.  Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.  You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”  Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.  Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.  Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

 

Daniel 2:44  ““In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”

Matthew 25:32-34  “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

Daniel 7:27  “Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.”

Psalm 47: 2-9  “For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.  He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.  He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.  God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.  Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.  For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.  God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.  The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.”

Psalm 102:15  “The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.”

Isaiah 43:5-10  “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’  Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.  All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble.  Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things?  Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”  “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.  Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Have A Great Friday Work Rest And Pray