Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out …from a different perspective
by Elinor Montgomery
In follow-up to the commentary Progressive Liberalism, in NewsnBlues, February 12, 2015, Volume 970, this is an article written on the subject of Liberalism in Biblical prophecy in the book of Obadiah, April 20, 2006. It is interesting to compare our times, with what the prophet foresaw, so clearly describing, possibly as early as 800 B.C., where the world will be today.
April 20, 2006
Obadiah was a prophet whose name meant ‘worship of Yahweh’ and ‘servant of Yahweh’. Unlike the other prophets, the actual precise timing of his ministry cannot be established. It is impossible to place him in relationship to the kings he served, for his ministry superseded the natural judgment upon the nation, Israel, as he would have known it in his day. He prophesied into a broader spiritual judgment upon the disinheritance of Israel throughout the ages, from the time of the three fathers until Judgment Day, the Day of the Lord. Obadiah tells us about the chaff of Israel not only being winnowed and separated, but also being burned away as the stubble for what it is.
If there had been no chaff in Israel, we would not be looking at the beleaguered nation we see today, in tatters before a world warring around her. Nor would we be looking at a church, divided by religion in which liberalism is growing daily with the pervading antichrist spirit now ruling from within. The institutional church simply does not stand on truth like the apostles did, who stood only on a solid rock foundation. It rests on shifting sands, so that we see it here one day, but, like the crumbling temples of religion made by man, it is gone the next. Obadiah tells us what is at the heart of the problem we are facing in both the nation, Israel, and the spiritual nation, Israel and where it all began. We are forced to consider Jacob’s time of trouble and the dark night of his people, along with the judgment spoken on Esau and the Edomites.
It does not take sixty-six books for Obadiah to state his message, which passes down through the annals of time, remaining as relevant for today as it was yesterday. Nothing has changed from the day the son of inheritance by birthright, called Esau, firstborn of the father and a twin of his brother Jacob, made the decision by himself, and without coercion, to reject his birthright for the instant gratification of the flesh. In place of his birthright, he chose a bowl of red stew, one might even say, a tasty morsel befitting the Red Sea judgment. In so doing, he handed over his birthright on a platter to his brother, for he despised it.
Jacob, like Esau, made his own choice for the inheritance, but not without some prodding from his mother, who called him to obey her voice and to do as she said, in order for him to gain the father’s inheritance. His mother, Rebekah, was the bride of Isaac, the son of the crossover blessing, who became the son of Abraham’s inheritance. The voice of the bride, Rebekah, points prophetically to the voice of the bride of Jesus, the true son of inheritance. The voice of this woman will lead many to the adopted sonship of God.
The heart of Jacob had been set on his inheritance from the womb, when his hand took hold of the heel of his brother at birth. This was an act of spiritual significance, pointing to the enmity, which existed between the serpent and the woman whose seed would bruise the head of the seed of the serpent, while his seed would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman (see Genesis 3:15). Jacob wanted to be the one, whose heel would feel that bruising, for he badly wanted the inheritance that goes with the bruising.
At that moment in the history of Israel, the house of God, Jacob took hold of his destiny, which would bring him in line with the seed of the woman who would bruise the head of the serpent. The inheritance would bring with it suffering in the bruising, but also victory in overcoming the beast. These were two brothers born into the inheritance of Israel; one had the advantage of receiving the first-son inheritance, even though being a twin, which made the brothers equal to some degree as sons in the line of Isaac’s inheritance. There was always a dual nature to the inheritance of Abraham before it ever became known as the inheritance of Israel, and that dual nature was such that it would go to the second son rather than the first. Yet, they were born into this world as close as any two brothers ever could be.
They were the choices they made, not the bloodline, which, one day, would separate them dramatically. They would go in two different directions, one, having received the father’s blessing, with the other, having lost it. In later life Jacob would take his family into the Land, while Esau would return to Seir from whence he had come. The outcome of their choices resulted in one son, Esau, being hated by God, while the other son, Jacob, was loved by Him.
The definitive moment in their two lives came with the rejection of the Heavenly Father’s inheritance. This speaks prophetically into the legitimate inheritance being offered to the firstborn, the nation of Israel. She rejected it for the idolatrous religions of the nations that surrounded her, after having been called into covenant with God, to be the light of liberty in His Law while worshiping only Him.
God interfered, in His mercy, in the affairs of man, and, by grace, offered us His Son, along with a second opportunity for a new covenant to be written on men’s hearts. No bloodline or hand-cut stone temple would be necessary for this second-son spiritual inheritance of the house of spiritual Israel. The inheritance crossed over at the cross from a first son ‘land and nation’ inheritance to a second son ‘kingdom and spiritual nation’ inheritance. The cross became the crossroads of history. By accepting the gift of the completed work of Jesus for salvation, every man, woman and child has an opportunity to receive the inheritance of the Father and to enter into His house of Israel to share as a member of His eternal family. When Joshua led Israel into the land, the waters piled up all the way back to Adam (see Joshua 3:16).
Hence, the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, have come under judgment, with the opening words of the book of Obadiah. We move forward in time to the day of the great battle when a messenger has been sent from the Lord declaring the Edomites to be the enemy. Yet, are they not also the brethren of Abraham’s line who have been separated by their choices? They too have been set on high, dwelling in the clefts of the rock, but they always have had a major problem, which was pride. We are looking, no less, at a people, which exalts itself like the eagle, resting among the stars.
Now, Jesus holds the seven stars in His hands, which are the angels of the seven churches (see Revelation 1: 20). Is the Edomite not to be identified with the priesthood of today’s churches? It calls the people under its authority, moving pompously to its elevated platforms, with the should-be priests seated below and forced into looking up to the figurehead of the man-made priesthood. Of such is the Nicolaitan system, which Jesus hated. But there is another diamond of prophecy hidden among these words of Obadiah, which points us to a great nation, symbolized by the eagle, resting among the stars of her flag. This prophecy points us to America, which still has a battle raging within her two nations. It is between the forces of the descendants of Esau, which shun their inheritance by embracing liberalism, and the forces of the descendants of Jacob, which desire the liberty of their national heritage by opposing the liberalism that comes against it.
The Edomites, who disappeared as a nation, resurfaced as the Idumeans located south and east of the Dead Sea. Seir, the capital city, became known as Petra. In Jesus’ time, the Edomites were known as the Idumeans, following the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. Herod the Great, who ruled as a king over Judea under Roman authority in 37 B.C., was an Idumean. He was a type of the Antichrist, who tried to kill Jesus at the time he ordered all the newborn babies of Bethlehem to be killed.
The description, which Obadiah gives of the Edomites, fits perfectly with the description of Lucifer when he fell from the heights. It was the day pride was found in him. Are we not looking here, in the pages of Obadiah, into the future and to an Edomite antichrist spirit, which will rule like Herod over both the nation and the spiritual nation of Israel? Will the modern-day Herod, the Antichrist, not be a man who descends from this unholy Idumean bloodline of Abraham’s own people? Will the brother Jacob not willingly bow to this unholy evil man, as he once bowed centuries before to Esau, when he was reunited with him after they had spent many long working years apart?
How deceived spiritual Israel has become, and how deceived she will be by the offers of a false peace in her time! She will make peace with the enemy in order to become part of the One World Religion, being tolerant of all things and all people, except those who come under the banner of the name of Jesus, standing only on His truth. The bread, which she will eat, most certainly will be the leavened bread of the religious Pharisees, which is anything but the truth. She feeds on the mighty deception of the devil, who would wipe out even the elect, if Jesus were not to return and put an end to it all. Everyone would be eating the red stew of Esau and, in their lack of understanding and deception, would fall into the traps set as the snares of Satan.
Therefore, God warns in His Word strongly, that in all our getting, to get understanding (see Proverbs 4:7). These men of Edom will be so attached to academia that they will appear to be the wise men of the world who have taken the snake by the tail and grasped it firmly in their hands, like the magicians of Pharaoh. How God hates that academic pride of man as much as He hated Esau, and how great will be His judgment upon such men!
Obadiah shows us two brothers here, who are as day is to night. They can be compared to the true church, which stands on its foundation of truth, and the counterfeit institutional church, tied to Rome like its high priest, who stands on the shifting sands of religion. This counterfeit church priesthood will join with the antichrist spirit in the same way that the Judaic priesthood worked in cahoots with Herod. It was this priesthood, which was the link between Herod’s ruler-ship and that of Rome. In the same way, the counterfeit church of institutional Christianity, which was established by Rome, has been the religious glue, over the centuries, which had held the early Roman Empire together with the final coming Revived Roman Empire.
In the days of Jesus, His brothers stood on the other side, as enemies of His mission on earth. In the Day of the Lord, the spiritual Christian brothers of the bride will stand on the other side, as enemies of her mission. They will feed on the red stew of religion, worthy only of the Red Sea judgment. The hordes of Satan will come after her, the one destined to receive the inheritance of Jacob, riding in their army of Satan and belonging to the religious legions of Judaism and Christianity.
The great day of calamity can only be described in terms of the crossroads of history, which occurred when Jesus hung on the cross. Herod, the high priest, and all of the Jews and Romans, who fed on religion knowing nothing about the truth, gazed upon Him, while rejecting, at the same time, the inheritance He offered them from the Father. Worse still, they caused many to stumble and miss the path of Israel at the cross, to take instead the broad road to destruction. Many were they who were the brothers of Jesus, the Jew by bloodline, who failed to receive the inheritance of Israel. Few were they of the bloodline who claimed their inheritance in Him.
It is at the crossroads, where all nations become equal; it is there that the real parting takes place between Esau’s Edomites and Jacob’s two companies of people. Yet, the enemy today will continue to try and circumvent the cross by taking us back to Israel in order to regain the national inheritance that was lost to her forever at the cross, when it rejected Him. Sadly, these are the same brethren who will ultimately be seen bowing before the Antichrist as he sits in the temple, the synagogue of Satan.
The book of Obadiah gives as strong a warning as it possibly can give to the reader. He/she should not be numbered among those who stand at the crossroads and share in the religious cutting-off of anyone, preventing such person from coming through the nighttime of Jacob’s trouble. Those who do not share in Jacob’s struggle with God and man throughout the dark times of man’s wilderness world experience will not be among the victorious. They will not reach the dawn, when it will be time to limp into the kingdom, battle weary and leaning on God. Instead, like the Edomites, they will be delivered over to the judgment, in that great day of distress.
Without the feeding of the opened scroll, which had been sealed, there will be no victory. For this is a message sent by the Lord to the nations, to give the necessary prophetic understanding, sealed to Daniel for this time, and for those who will walk safely with the Lord through the fire judgment. One must go back to Jacob and Esau to see what was basic to the difference between those loved by God and those hated by Him. The stew of religion is at the very heart of the matter, along with the choices we make. Those who have behaved murderously, brother against brother, as Cain came against Abel, and Esau against Jacob, shall have the life they took from their brothers, taken from them in that great and terrible Day of the Lord.
Remember, both brothers had drunk on the Holy Mountain. They both had had the inheritance of Abraham placed within their grasp. We are not talking about people who have never been exposed to the truth and the commandments of God. These are both men of whom it could be said that the living water had been placed right into their mouths, with one swallowing it and the other refusing to swallow. The descendants of Esau refused to drink of the living water, so they dried up like the parched dust of the earth. The time is yet to come when the spiritual nation of Edomites will no longer exist, as God wipes it from the memories of men forever, as though it had never been at all.
To the contrary, the house of Jacob shall possess its rewards, not in this world as rewards equated to a bowl of red stew, but rather in the next world, which is Israel’s eternal dwelling place, the kingdom of God. The tribes of Jacob, in relation to their brother Joseph, can be equated to the church, in relation to Jesus. Joseph provided salvation for his brethren in Egypt, and Jesus provides salvation for His brethren of this world. Unlike the bush of Mount Sinai, which never burned, even though it was ignited by the flames of the fire of God, the house of Esau shall become as stubble, which will burn to an ash when it meets the flame.
The Edomites cannot walk through the fire, to remain unscathed by the flames like the three friends of Daniel could, who had eaten properly and who walked with One, like the Son of God. The house of Esau is as the mighty men of Nebuchadnezzar who, today, could be equated to Satan’s secular academics and religious men, charged to put the Jewish witnesses into the heated-up fire. They, in turn, could be equated to the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day. The judgment of fire is going to fall mightily upon the whole religious harlot of Babylon, its mighty men of valor, who will become as the stubble of Esau before the flames. Not one of this fallen branch of Israel shall remain.
The territories, which had once belonged to Edom, will pass over to spiritual Israel, according to the spiritual tribes of salvation within the nation. Basic to Esau’s problem is the choice, which man first made in the Garden of Creation when Eve rejected the inheritance, which God had planned for man. Adam and Eve rejected the truth of the spoken Word of God for the lure and lies of Satan, foundational to the liberalism of the religious belief systems. Man went for the compromise, thinking he could have it both ways, the knowledge of good and evil at the same time, which is nothing but a concocted stew of religion, brewed and delivered by the wicked one, himself. “Sorry,” said the Lord God of creation, “you can’t have it both ways.”
And from that day forward, Satan chased on the heels of Israel, a nation moving along the way to the crossroads, having gone through the parted seawaters to the cross, ultimately destined for the kingdom. He is always lurking in the shadows on the sideline, just waiting an opportune moment to deceive her. Satan’s antichrist spirit has been ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ with the counterfeit luring the lustful into the nation of Edom.
Obadiah assures us that submitting to the lure will surely lead to self-destruction, and finally back to the dust. There has always been a choice to be made by man between light and dust. Jesus takes all men to the crossroads, where the crossover takes place, and calls us to the light and life in truth. One is free to make the ‘Judas’ choice and depart from Jesus to enter into religious compromise, by choosing to have the knowledge of both good and evil. With this choice, come the dangers that accompany evil, instead of only the safety, which belonged to God’s creation where everything was created good.
Everyone will ultimately make the choice in their lives between the Edomite stew and the heel route of Jacob. The bride’s route is one of suffering for the truth, rejecting the lures of the flesh and the rewards of this world for the treasures of heaven to be found only in the New Jerusalem. The Jerusalem of this world has become nothing but a Sodom, with Satan and his armies receiving a Sodom kind of judgment, as the fire of God comes down on that great and terrible Day of the Lord. It is on that day that the tribes of Jacob will lay claim to the Father’s inheritance, while the Edomites take their place in the fire, to be remembered no more.