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The Watchman's job

Reader comment on item: Tour d'Horizon: ISIS, Iran, Turkey, and the Palestinians
in response to reader comment: A Closer Look at Ezekiel - Footstool Commentaries III

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Feb 14, 2015 at 08:39

Hi, Tovey. I see that you have a long post here. I'll try to do it some justice.

"...are we to infer that any human understanding of one version or another of Scriptural pronouncements will occur as humanly ordained; or do we not instead, look for the LORD's understanding that we are to await His enactments of His will in each and every instance and be prepared to give an account to the furtherance of His Gospel and not those of every other man or woman..."

You seem to be bringing up the matter of "what we should be doing until Messiah comes", to paraphrase a section of the Whole Earth Catalog in the 1970s. You said that we should (1) look for understanding and (2) wait for things to happen.

When I thought about the Whole Earth Catalog, I was reminded of the fact that secular movements, particularly the catch-all "New Age Movement" (which looks forward to the unfolding of the Age of Aquarius) are as adventist as Christian and Jewish Messianics. The main difference is that we have a fairly well-defined person called "Messiah" that we are awaiting, whereas they have no agreement about what, specifically, they are waiting for.

Jesus told us how to "wait":

Luke 12
[35] Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
[36] And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
[37] Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
[38] And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
[39] And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
[40] Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

In reading this, I get the idea that God wants us to live in a state of awareness and expectancy, like a soldier on guard duty. We should deal with Bible prophecies, then, much like a soldier deals with signs that might accompany an attack: unusual sigts, sounds and smells, for instance. The Viet Cong used to keep on the lookout for the smell of after-shave and such things, which American troops occasioned to use, while US troops kept their noses attuned to the smell of opium, which was widely used by the VC. One age-old sign that watchmen have been on the lookout for, is the sudden absence of animal sounds -- often immediately following a cacophany of animal warning calls.

The underlying logic of this "waiting" seems to be that there is great danger to God's people, immediately preceding the coming of Messiah. As believers in Jesus and the NT, we see the coming danger as a widespread apostasy in the church, whereing the great mass of Christians will be led astray by their leaders. The Jewish people have had to deal with not only apostasy, but also flat-out genocide against them. That's because Jews self-identify as an ethnic group, with physical entity to defend. Christians, on the other hand, self-identify as followers of Jesus -- whose main identifying feature was his behavior when under persecution. Because of this, there really isn't any such thing as a "pseudo-Jew": Jews are defined as Jews by their enemies; and if there is any difficulty in identifying, they are given a badge to wear, to make the job easier. Pseudo-Christians, on the other hand, exist in large numbers; and it is only persecution itself that brings out their true identity.

What should Christians be watching out for? They should be watching out for false prophets, especially those calling themselves "Christians", even "Born-Again" Christians. At the same time, Jews need to be on the lookout for those calling for the destruction of Israel. The purpose of the Scriptures in both cases, is to give us a clear picture of what we are looking for. These two groups of enemies are not mutually exclusive, though it may seem so at times.

A good example, is the place of the United States in prophecy. This country presents itself as not only the staunchest supporter of Israel, but also the bastion of "correct" Christianity. The greatest danger to both Christians and Jews, therefore, is a replacement of truly Biblical values among American Christians by carnal look-alikes. Just as American Jews instinctively self-identify as Democrats, actually substituting party affiliation for religious identity, for instance, many US Christians are more Republican than they are Christians. Those two groups have been moving apart in recent years, with a great polarization. Will Democrat Jews find themselves fighting against Christians instead of against the enemies of the Jews? Will Republican Christians find themselves fighting against Israel? Both are distinct possibilities.

That's all I can handle tonight. Good night:-)


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