Class Notes: 9/20/2009
The cycles of discipline
Last time we started a discussion of the cycles or waves of discipline that God brings on the client nation when believers in the nation fail to persist in the spiritual life of their dispensation.
We have seen that the client nation forms up around what we refer to as the pivot of mature believers who become the target of God's blessing because of their advance in the spiritual life. Their nation receives blessing by association and as a result has prosperity that goes beyond what would normally be expected and cannot be explained or understood apart from the doctrine of the pivot.
As our Lord stated in Luke 21:24;b We are presently living in the church age or the "times of the gentiles which means that all client nations are gentile at this time, but model or pattern for the client nation is Israel so we are looking at how God dealt with Israel as the first client nation.
Just as Israel had responsibilities to God in their dispensation, in the church age, the gentile client nation is responsible to God for the following:
It must evangelize its own population at home.
It must communicate Bible doctrine to the believers in the nation.
It is responsible for the custodianship of Bible doctrine.
It is to provide a safe haven for the Jews.
It is responsible to send out missionaries to evangelize other nations
Last time we concluded a brief study of some of the successive gentile client nations and we concluded that the current client nation to God is the USA.
We see from the example of Israel that when a client nation fails to fulfill it's responsibilities because believers in the nation have had persistent NVTD that he begins to bring discipline on the nation so they will have a change of thinking.
We have seen that the outline of the Five Cycles of Discipline is found in verses 14-39 of Leviticus.
The first cycle of discipline is described in, Lev 26:14-17.
The second cycle of discipline in, Lev 26:18-20.
The third cycle of discipline in, Lev 26:21-22.
The fourth cycle of discipline in, Lev 26:23-26.
The fifth cycle of discipline in, Lev 26:27-38, amplified in Deut 28:15-45;
The cycles of discipline are based on the principle that Jesus Christ controls history directly, indirectly, and permissively.
He controls history directly through the function of His own divine essence.
He controls history indirectly through the function of the laws of divine establishment.
He controls history permissively through permitting nations to use their own volition to destroy themselves.
Last time we finished our discussion of the first cycle or wave of discipline so today we will start with the second cycle.
The Second Cycle of Discipline is described in, Lev 26:18-20.
Lev 26:18, "If after all these things you will not listen to Me, then I will punish you on an intensified basis seven more times for your sins."
The first phrase implies that some believers wake up as a result of the first cycle of discipline indicating that the discipline worked therefore, everything in the first cycle is intensified in the second cycle by a factor of seven.
Lev 26:19, "Then I will also break down (destroy) the arrogance of your power; I will make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze."
Notice that once the first cycle of discipline is administered and if it does not turn around the nation, arrogance sets in. Arrogance is a whole complex of sins and evil.
Today we have the greatest arrogance in places of power. God brings discipline on those in power without the humility to use their power properly.
The sky like iron and the earth like bronze refers to a drought. Drought in agrarian economy as was the case for Israel, means economic disaster, resulting in economic depression and famine.
Lev 26:20, "Then your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce, nor will the trees of the land bear their fruit."
No matter how hard you work, you cannot produce enough food.
The Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written. This was written in during an agricultural economy before the industrial revolution.
So we see that the second cycle of discipline is a depression, bad social life, no national pride, and people working hard for nothing. This is a reference to inflation in the price of the things one needs to live such as food and shelter.
Third Cycle of Discipline is described in Lev 26:21-22.
Lev 26:21, "If therefore you remain hostile to Me (negative volition toward Bible doctrine), and you are not willing to hear Me, I will multiply your epidemics seven times more as your sins deserve." (The word translated "obey" in the NASB is the Hebrew word "shama" also means to listen or to hear.)
God did not speak directly to them but indirectly through His communicators, which at that time were the prophets. In the third cycle, there is the intensification of epidemics and illnesses in the land.
Lev 26:22, "I will send wild animals (criminals) against you and they will rob you of your children; they will destroy your cattle and so reduce your population that your roads will be deserted." With the end of civilization, violence overflows from both animals and people.
In the third cycle, the population is thinned out by violence. Crime gets out of control; commerce is stopped; there are natural disasters.
The Fourth Cycle of Discipline, Lev 26:23-26.
So far nothing but grace warnings have been given, but now God will really judge the nation. There will be great uncontrollable crime, military invasion and partial defeat in battle, disease from overcrowding, a shortage of food causing starvation, and even greater natural disasters.
Examples of this can be found by studying Israel under discipline in 586 B.C., 721 B.C, and 68 A.D.,
Lev 26:23, "And if by these things you will not be corrected by Me, but will continue to be hostile toward Me (NVTD from cosmic involvement in the stages of reversionism),"
Lev 26:24, "Then I will go into opposition toward you (literally: act with hostility toward you), and I will strike you seven times more for your sins." Again, there is the intensification of the characteristics of all the cycles, with something more added, as stated in verse 25.
Lev 26:25, "I will bring the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant, and when you retreat into your cities I will send a plague (epidemic) among you, so that you will be delivered into the hands of your enemies."
One of the great signs of this is the loss of freedom, and it's being replaced with both moral and immoral degeneracy, is when you see the breakdown of divine establishment principles and the military establishment.
The entire book of Numbers is devoted to the description for the mobilization plan for the military in a client nation.
The Jews had to retreat into their fortified cities because their armies could not win in the field. Once they were trapped and surrounded in the overcrowded cities with insufficient food, disease became rampant.
Lev 26:26, "When I cut off your food supply, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out your bread by weight, so that you will eat and never be satisfied."
When an army begins to lose a war on its own soil, the first thing to go is their supply of food. People start to starve, so one of the inevitable results of the fourth cycle of discipline is the beginning of starvation.
Ten women baking bread in one oven means there is food rationing. Therefore, after eating a small piece of bread, you are just as hungry as you were before you ate the meager amount of food.
The Fifth Cycle of Discipline is described in, Lev 26:27-38
At this point, there is nothing to eat. Enemies have taken over the country. People are placed into slavery. Almost everyone is afraid and becomes a coward.
Lev 26:27, "If, in spite of this, you do not listen to Me but continue to be hostile toward Me (toward the message of Bible doctrine),"
The only hope is Bible doctrine; there is no hope beyond Bible doctrine. The only hope for the nation is found in believers with PVD.
Lev 26:28, "Then in My anger I will be hostile toward you (no more grace), and I will punish you seven times more for your sins."
Lev 26:29, "Then you will eat the flesh of your sons, and you will eat the flesh of your daughters."
There is no longer enough food for it even to be rationed, as in the fourth cycle and so some people even resort to eating other people. Cannibalism is the total malfunction of all establishment principles.
One of the strongest of all establishment principles is the family and the love of parents for children. But in those days, some parents actually eat their children.
Josephus documents this type of cannibalism as having occurred among the Jews between 66 and 70 A.D. when they were under the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman army.
Any sense of civility completely departs in the fifth cycle of discipline.
Lev 26:30, "Then I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars, and stack your corpses on the dumb corpses of your idols, for My soul will despise you."
The high places is a reference to the places of worship for the purveyors of false doctrine and the cults, especially the phallic cult.
Lev 26:31, "I will turn your cities into ruins, and lay waste to your sanctuaries; I will take no delight in the fact that you suddenly start offering sacrifices."
Lev 26:32-33, "I will make the land desolate so that your enemies will settle in it, and will be appalled by its condition. You, however, I will scatter among the nations, and I will draw out My sword and pursue you, and your cities will lie in ruins."
At this point, the territory is occupied.
Being scattered among nations means you go into slavery. This happened three times to the Israelite client nations.
Lev 26:34, "Then the land will satisfy its Sabbaths that means that while you are enslaved in the land of your enemies the land will rest and be paid its Sabbaths."
The Jews had ignored seventy Sabbatical years, and therefore the Southern Kingdom had seventy years under slavery.
Lev 26:35, "All the days of its desolation (fifth cycle) it will observe the rest which it did not observe in your sabbatical years while you were living in the land."
Lev 26:36, "As for those of you who survive (the fifth cycle), I will make their right lobes so afraid in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a wind-blown leaf will put them into flight. In fact, when no one is pursuing, they will run as though fleeing from an army, and they will fall even when no one is pursuing."
Lev 26:37, "Furthermore, they will fall over each other as if fleeing from the sword, although no one is pursuing them; consequently, you will have no strength."
No strength means no military establishment that can provide for military victory and therefore no freedom, and no motivation from patriotism.
It's too late in the fifth cycle of discipline, because it takes a long time to train an army.
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