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Most of the lessons in the 1990’s were in the prophetic realm of spiritual warfare, which I will reserve for another time. Prophecy reveals how God implements His law in the future, as He judges the nations and restores all things to Himself. Yet there is one very important law that God revealed to me in the 1990’s, which is necessary in bringing the gospel of the Kingdom to the rest of the earth. It is God’s law of impartiality.
True and Impartial Justice
The two main applications of this law are in regard first to impartial divine judgment and secondly in determining who are God’s people. Impartial judgment is set forth in Exodus 23:2-9,
2 You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; 3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.
Absolute impartiality in judgment is the result of God’s nature, which sets the standard for sin and righteousness for men to imitate in the earth. Therefore, impartiality is a law. Under the Old Covenant, impartial judgment is a command to follow; under the New Covenant, it is a promise that God will send the Holy Spirit to write His law in our hearts so that we become impartial.
The opinion of the majority should not determine our judgment when we discern the will of God. “You shall not follow the masses.” Neither shall we show partiality toward the poor, for this violates the rights of the rich. This law rejects the basic principles of modern Socialism, which advocates taxing the rich to give to the poor.
4 If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall restrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him.
God’s law commands us to be impartial toward our enemies. Hatred often blinds men’s eyes and prejudices them to pervert justice. This law rejects the practices of warring nations who think that all is fair in time of war. The soldiers of an enemy nation are its donkeys, so to speak. Soldiers seldom know the real causes of war and the hidden motives of their leaders. All of this should be taken into account in times of war.
6 You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute. 7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty. 8 You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.
God’s law forbids us from false accusation. This also applies to war propaganda. It has been said that truth is the first casualty of war. Those who make war-time decisions are nearly always ignorant of God’s laws, and they justify such propaganda. The same is true in politics, and this is the basis of fake news.
Bribery is a way of life in many countries. Men use positions of authority to sell their services. This is a misuse of authority, and it is a sin.
If men knew the law of God and understood right from wrong (as God sees it), the world would soon be a better place. Of course, knowing the law is not the full answer, for each must also submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit to have the law written on their hearts.
These things I learned early in my journey. It took longer to learn to apply the law of impartiality in determining who are God’s people.
Israel and Judah
There has always been a level of confusion in the church in this matter. In my early life, the church taught me that the Jews were God’s people, i.e., “chosen” on the basis of a genealogical descent from Abraham.
I did not question this until I was 21 years old, when I discovered the difference between Israel and Judah. The original “Jews” were from the tribe of Judah, but the term was not used in Scripture until after Israel had been divided into two nations. The term is used first in 2 Kings 16:6, where the “Jews” (KJV) were fighting the Israel-Syria alliance.
In other words, the nation that was called the House of Judah was fighting against the nation called the House of Israel and Syria.
During the time of the United Kingdom under Saul, David, and Solomon, all of the tribes were Israelites. But after the kingdom was divided, the southern Kingdom of Judah no longer had the legal right to call themselves Israelites, for they were no longer citizens of Israel. Neither could the Israelites legally refer to themselves as Jews, either tribally or nationally.
Once the kingdom was divided, the prophets make a clear distinction between them. It is only occasionally that they include the Jews as Israelites, when they were speaking more generally of the descendants of the man named Israel. Such statements usually come when the prophets speak of the future unification of Israel and Judah under Christ (Hosea 1:11).
When God gave Israel the law at Mount Sinai, He said in Exodus 19:5, 6,
5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…
As early as Exodus 3:7 God had referred to the Israelites as “My people,” but it is plain that this was conditioned upon their faith and obedience. So the blessings of obedience in Leviticus 26:12 promised, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” The implication is that if they did not obey Him, they would not be His people.
At the end of Israel’s forty years in the wilderness, God made a second covenant with them in the plains of Moab (Deuteronomy 29:1). This was different from the first covenant at Mount Sinai in that it was a New Covenant “oath” that God took. Deuteronomy 29:12, 13 says,
12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Whereas the people themselves had vowed to obey God at Mount Sinai in order to become His people, on this occasion God Himself made the vow. Recall that the Israelites in the wilderness had failed to become His people by the power of their own vow. So after forty years God Himself took an oath to make it happen. God promised to do this by the power of His own sovereign will in the same manner as He had sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It is clear that the Israelites had failed to become God’s people through their own vow. Their good intentions failed, because although the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak (Matthew 26:41). Sincerity and good intentions cannot save anyone, no matter how admirable. Salvation comes only through the promise of God (Acts 13:32; Galatians 3:18; 4:23).
Not My People
The Israelites failed continually during their time in the land of Canaan. Finally, God spoke to them through the prophet Hosea, telling them that they were to become Lo-ammi, “not My people” (Hosea 1:9). This was, of course, a temporary condition under the Old Covenant, because God had promised to make them His people (ultimately). Nonetheless, the term, “My people,” obviously applies to those who have New Covenant faith, not merely to those who of a particular genealogy.
When I learned the distinction between Israel and Judah, I continued to think in terms of race or genealogy, since this is how I had been raised to think. But my study of the law ultimately led to a new way of thinking. Being “God’s people,” or “Israel,” or “the seed of Abraham” was not based on biology but upon law. Having studied the law in the 1970’s and learned how the law was spiritual in the 1980’s, I was then prepared in the 1990’s to apply the law impartially.
Abraham’s Household of Faith
In studying the story of Abraham, I took note that he had 318 servants who were sent to make war on the kings of Shinar and to set Lot free (Genesis 14:14). Abraham must have had at least 2,000 people in his household, if we include women, children, and grandparents. Yet at the time, he had no biological sons at all, for this occurred even before the birth of Ishmael. They were simply part of Abraham’s household, and by following him, they showed forth their faith.
Two centuries later, when Jacob took his family to Egypt, he took the entire household with him. These must have numbered at least 10,000, although only 70 were of his immediate family. Hence, when they came out of Egypt 210 years later, the Israelites numbered about six million. Most of them were not biological descendants of Jacob, yet they were associated with the tribes of Israel.
A “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) came out with them, mostly Egyptians, and they too associated themselves with the tribe of their choice and became Israelites. The Apostle Paul refers to the believers as “the household of faith,” (Galatians 6:10) a term synonymous with the household of Abraham.
In the 1990’s I came to see that being an Israelite was not simply based on biology. Even in Judaism, throughout the centuries many foreigners have converted to Judaism and now consider themselves to be Jews. The Khazars, for example, were a Turkish-Mongolian tribe which converted to Judaism about 1400 years ago, according to The Jewish Encyclopedia and many other Jewish historians. Their descendants are from Eastern Europe and constitute the majority of the world’s Jews.
Equal Rights for All Citizens
Paul fought for equal rights for all believers and refused to back down, even when Peter wavered. He understood the law of impartiality very well. Thus, my own understanding shifted as a result of studying God’s law. Deuteronomy 24:17, 18 says,
17 You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge. 18 But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.
The Israelites should have learned their lesson in Egypt about partial judgment, for the Egyptians oppressed them and mistreated them because they were foreigners.
Leviticus 19:33, 34 says,
33 When a foreigner resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 The foreigner who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.
This commands equal rights for all. The second great commandment is that you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The above law includes foreigners in those “neighbors.”
Numbers 15:15, 16 says,
15 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord. 16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.
Anyone can be a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Biological Israelites are not true Israelites in the sight of God until they show New Covenant faith in Christ. Foreigners are not true Israelites in the sight of God until they do the same. Faith is what makes us “fellow citizens with the saints” and “God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19). Baptism is the formal grant of citizenship.
Hence, I learned not to think in terms of Israelite biology but to think in terms of legal citizenship in the Kingdom of God. This has prepared me for the world-wide ministry that is now drawing near.