Prosperity, Eternity (17): In all our Dealings and Giving, think Jerusalem, Israel!
by Eferovo Igho
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In “Essence of Prosperity” we said of our possessions: Let needy Christian brethren among us be lavished of them; let missionaries who have hazarded their lives for God be ‘ravished’ by them; let the persecuted believers be encouraged with them; and let Israel, Jewry (especially the exiles looking forward to go to their home-land, those who have already returned and need integration and sustenance, the survival of the holocaust and the orphans made orphans by countries like Russia) taste of the riches of the Church in this their trying times; and that the eternal destination of the nations after the Judgment of the nations and the separation into sheep nations and goat nations as we see in Matthew 25: 31-46 depends on how they treat Israel when they (Israelites) are in any kind of need.
The rest of this series centered on how to benefit missionaries, all who are hazarding themselves for the gospel, the persecuted believers and the truly needy persons wherever they are. The reward for doing this is nonesuch; and it is eternal. In this particular series, however, we shall center on Israel. And the reward for benefiting Israel is no less enthralling and eternal. So, let’s take Matthew 25:34-46:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
Matthew 25:40 says that ‘In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me’. This is “the reason and basis of the judgment of the nations. God will curse or bless according to how men have dealt with Israel. He will forever respect and fulfill the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:1-3)” and ‘My brethren here refers to “the brethren of Jesus according to the flesh (Matthew 10:6; John 1:11; Romans 9:5)” – Finis Jennings Dake; although we can apply it to the household of faith or the Church by extension.
Isaiah 66:10-23 represents a most interesting and encouraging prop to how we deal with Israel now, and I must crave your indulgence to read it all through carefully before we say very few things:
“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see My glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the Lord. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”
Those verses are talking about the relationship of the saved Gentiles – by grace – with Jerusalem when time as we now know it is over. And that relationship will be partly a factor of the relationship we have with her now. The love God has for Jerusalem, the covenant He has with her, His eternal plan for her, and how that eternal plan incorporates the believers or the brethren of Christ in the spirit, and His command and expectation for us to reach out to Jerusalem in anyway conceivable to ‘assist’ God’s plan for her cannot be all told in several volumes.
We can only say here: May we extend the breast of our consolation today to Israel; may we have a bosom for Jerusalem now, and her own ever flourishing breast of consolation shall be ours throughout eternity. Delight yourself in her today that you will be satisfied with the very abundance of her glory throughout eternity. Pray for Jerusalem and, by extension, Israel; mourn with her; love her; give the gospel to her; and give your substance to her: And you will partake in her overwhelming future blessings. May this hymn of mine drawn from those scriptures above speak further to you and me, as long as we still retain our breath, unto obedience:
REJOICE YOU WITH JERUSALEM
Rejoice you with Jerusalem, all you God’s saints,
That you may suck, be delighted and satisfied,
With breast of her consolations – consolations
And the very abundance of all her glory!
Rejoice you with Jerusalem;
Be glad with her, all you that love her;
Rejoice for joy with her
All you that mourn for her.
Hear now The High and Lofty One, all you His saints:
“See, peace I will extend to her like a river,
And the glory of the Gentiles – the Gentiles
Like a flowing stream”, from now and for evermore.
Rejoice you with Jerusalem, The Lord is There!
For then shall we suck and be borne upon her sides.
As one whom his mother comforts – mother comforts
Will God comfort you and me in Jerusalem.
The Lord shall now bring all Israel for an offering;
Out of all the nations shall He gather them all.
With clean vessels shall they offer – shall they offer
In His own Holy Mountain and City of God.
Even too “it shall come to pass”, says our Lord God,
“From one new moon to another”, He says yet more,
“From one Sabbath to another – to another
Every flesh shall come down to worship before Me”.
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