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Christians should support the Kingdom of God. Fleshly kingdoms or countries of origin may be supported insofar as that support does not conflict with our submission to Jesus Christ. Our allegiance is first to the King of Kings, and secondly to the earthly "kings" who are to rule under Him.
It is obvious that there has always been a conflict in this matter. Men have always attempted to usurp the place of God, thinking of themselves as the highest authority. Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar was of this opinion himself, until God gave him the herbal cure (Dan. 4:33).
Children of the flesh always usurp the place of God in whatever capacity they are able. This is a universal problem, and it will not be fully resolved until the end of time when all is restored "under His feet."
There is a biblical principle that says, "first the natural, then the spiritual" (1 Cor. 15:46). The natural, earthly, or fleshly person is a type that prophesies of something greater (spiritual) that is yet to come. In the Old Testament we see many fleshly types that prophesy, including types of Christ, types of antichrist, types of the church, and types of the flesh.
If we elevate a fleshly type to the position reserved for the antitype, it becomes a usurping antichrist.
Babylonians came to worship Nimrod and his mother/wife, Semiramis, as if he were the promised Messiah--and in doing this, they turned him into an antichrist. Nimrod was a usurper of divine authority.
Israel followed King Saul in his rebellion against God, and in so doing, they supported an antichrist spirit. King Saul himself was a type of the Church under Pentecost, and those who worship the Church before God are supporting an antichrist spirit.
The spirit of antichrist is present whenever men usurp the place of Christ, who alone is the Heir of all things. God said that the heir of Abraham was to come through Sarah, but the son of Hagar disagreed. As a child of the flesh, he resented the child of promise and did what he could to usurp that position.
Likewise, Esau resented the prophecy given before his birth that the elder would serve the younger. He believed that if he was strong enough in his flesh he could overcome the word of God and receive the Birthright and its divine right to rule. Jacob fought against him by fleshly means until he finally learned to function by the Spirit of God. Then he became the first Israelite. As long as he was a carnal usurper, he was unfit to exercise the responsibilities of the Birthright properly.
Absalom, son of David, was not called to rule, and he too resented this. So he usurped the throne of David with the help of David's friend who betrayed him. This was accomplished through the same spirit of antichrist, which means "in place of Christ" in the sense of usurpation.
That story of Absalom was replayed in the New Testament conflict between Jesus and the chief priests and rulers of His day. They recognized Jesus and so usurped His inheritance (Matt. 21:38).
That nation ("fig tree") was fruitless in the sight of God, so Jesus cursed it, saying that it would never bear fruit (Matt. 21:19). It withered by the next day. But Jesus also foretold the day that this "fig tree" Jewish nation would again come to life and bring forth more LEAVES. That is what occurred in 1948.
Christian Zionists today are hopeful that Jesus' prophecy will fail, because they mistake the leaves for fruit. Their hopes will be dashed to the ground when Jerusalem is destroyed (Jer. 19:11) by nuclear war (Isaiah 29:1-6) at the hands of God Himself.
Jerusalem is Hagar, and its "children" are all children of the flesh. They will no more inherit the Kingdom than any other Ishmaelite. The ultimate end of Jerusalem and her "children" is prophesied in the original type of Ishmael, who, along with his mother, were cast out (Gal. 4:30).
Some object, saying, "that is Replacement Theology." No, it is not. The REAL replacement theology is where Christian Zionists believe that Ishmael will replace Isaac, or that Esau will replace Israel, or that Absalom will replace David, or that the evil figs will replace the good figs, or that Hagar will replace Sarah as the "mother" of the Kingdom.
This controversy has gone on for thousands of years, and it will not be resolved by a few weblogs from me. Nonetheless, it is my responsibility as a Bible teacher to clarify the issue so that you, the reader, may decide the truth for yourself. You must decide which side to support. Will you support the fruitless fig tree that Jesus cursed? Or will you support the good figs of Judah, represented by Jesus and His disciples? Do you wish to play the modern role of a Judas or a Paul?
I can tell you Paul's advice. When he was yet known as Saul, he was a child of the flesh who persecuted the Isaac company. He understood by personal experience what it meant to support the temple and Hagar-Jerusalem. But on the Damascus Road, Christ met him and changed his entire life. He was a pattern for all who would come after him, and hence, the Book of Hebrews shows most clearly the pathway from the Old Jerusalem to the New. It shows how to become an Isaac and forsake the Ishmael identity.
Saul was an Ishmael. Paul was an Isaac. That is why he ceased to use his fleshly name when he began his missionary journeys. His new name reflected a new identity in Christ, forsaking his old identity with Jerusalem and Judaism. We may all do the same. No one is stuck being a child of the flesh.
Even the original Ishmael could have complied with the divine plan. If he and his mother had accepted God's order, they could have remained in Abraham's house. They were cast out because they refused to repent and to submit to God's will. Their genealogy could not be changed, of course, but even Ishmael could have become an Israelite in his spiritual experience. He could have done what the New Testament Saul did.
Today, any fleshly Ishmaelite can become an Israelite. So can any Jewish Ishmaelite. So can any child of the flesh, including the ex-Israelites of the dispersion. All of those fleshly types were prophetic allegories revealing the need for a change of heart.
Jacob's heart was changed when he wrestled with the angel. The name Israel did not change his genealogy. When Saul became Paul, his genealogy did not change, but his heart did. It is the same for us today. The true inheritors of the Birthright are the same ones who receive the Scepter of Judah. They are the Isaacs, the Israels, the Davids, the Pauls. Those who support the usurpers that are in conflict with the divine plan will discover that they have joined the losing team.
But God be praised, for our mother is Sarah, and we, like Isaac, are the children of promise. We have found the courage to join David's army instead of joining the majority who followed Absalom. We have found the courage, like Paul, to leave behind the old comrades of Hagar-Jerusalem and to join the ranks of the persecuted, instead of the persecutors. Even today, it is not easy to do this. We must dodge arrows (teachings) shot from the bow of the Ishmaelites. We must stay one step ahead of Saul. We even find ourselves betrayed by Mr. Judas, who thinks he is doing God great service.
In all these things, however, we are more than conquerors. Truth gives us a confidence and an inner peace and rest that is immeasurable. While others may be blind to these things, Christ has healed our blindness, allowing us to see Him and His plan with greater clarity.