Current Dangers with Leaders in Israel

A Survey of Mission Problems, Methods, and Relationships

By J. Y. YOVAN, Assistant Director, South Central Luzon Mission, Philippines

In such a time as this, when the spirit of nationalism is rampant, we as workers should be particularly careful in all our ut­terances and attitudes. We should not fall into line with the extreme nationalistic emphasis of either Occident or Orient, nor be swayed by regional or tribal partisanship. Politics and intrigue should not find rootage in our hearts. Economic wars, commercial rivalries and envies, should not draw us into taking sides.

The Israel of God today is a blending of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples pro­fessing the third angel's message. In fact, the church of God embraces people of every race and color. When Christ comes to take us home into the city of God, we shall enter and abide in the New Jerusalem as the twelve tribes of Israel. In the description of the Holy City, which has twelve foundations, we are told that it "had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel." Rev. 21 :12.

As the people of God enter the pearly gates, the angelic host knows them only as the nation of the saved, divided into twelve tribal char­acters, according to the book of Revelation; namely, Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. Each of these names represents a distinctive character that goes to make up the twelve divisions of the tribes of Israel. Each of the pearly gates provides an entrance into the district of a tribe. What­ever nationality, tongue, or color may obtain in this present world, is lost there, and gives way to this eternal arrangement. Therefore we should begin here and now to prepare for our future kingdom, putting aside secular favoritisms, sectional leanings, regional par­tisanships, and racial sentiments. We cannot change our color or nationality while on this earth, but we can, by the grace of God, trans­form our characters.

In this time of political, economic, and na­tionalistic wars, and racial hatreds, we must be careful not to offend our fellow men, espe­cially our own brethren in various lands. In these critical days, it is better for our lips to be silent concerning the delicate and sensitive situations, realtionships, and maneuver­ings of nations. Let us bear in mind that our nationality here on earth will be null and void in the coming kingdom. Our racial or national birth here does not matter there. The har­monious districting into twelve foundations, and the permanent classification into twelve tribal divisions, each having a titled gate of its own, depend on the twelve cardinal char­acters, and are not according to dialects, na­tionalities, or races. The twelve tribes of Israel are of one nation, having one language, as well as one law, one principle, and one King and God, which is unlike this present life.

Any laborer in the cause of God who talks disparagingly of others is unfit to be an am­baSsador for Christ. He can create a world of animosities, rivalries, enmities, and jeal­busies among the working force and lay mem­bers. How much trouble he can brew among unbelievers no one can estimate. We as workers, one and all, should be right ensamples to the flock. Although we should take due cognizance of our duties toward governments and their laws, yet there are certain limitations for us to recognize for ourselves.

Extreme Nationalism to Be Avoided

Leaders in Israel should never belittle the ideologies of the various governments. All governments have good as well as evil in them. They are a mixture of good and evil in conse­quence of the fruit that Adam and Eve ate in the beginning. Furthermore, the various forms of governments are in existence only as God has permitted them. We can be loyal to any government, patriots of our own home­lands, and still remain without that extreme nationalism that causes us to despise others who hold different persuasions.

In secular politics, which side becomes vic­tor is not a matter of import so far as our duties and calling are concerned. We ought not to campaign for candidates. Let the poli­ticians do that. Many churches have broken down and become lamed because of party politics.

"Avoid politics; shun contention."—"Testimo­nies," Vol. V, p. 340.

"Again and again Christ had been asked to decide legal and political questions, but He refused to in­terfere in temporal matters. He knew that in the political world there were iniquitous proceedings and great tyranny."—Id., Vol. IX, p. 218.

Let us be alert, lest the devil deceive us. Permit me to repeat: Let us not be chained with any political affiliation, or be concerned with the spirit of nationalistic confederation. Neither should we participate in racial an­tipathies. As leaders of Israel, we ought to be thinking of, promulgating, and promoting the cause of God and the finishing of the gospel. We should always consider our citi­zenry beyond the horizons of mortal sight, within the walls of jasper in the New Jerusalem. We are not of this world, for we are the children of Jehovah, and our inheritance is reserved in the land of Beulah. 1 John 3:1-3.

As tie leaders in Israel, let us covet peace arid 0;00 will toward all men of whatever race, tribe, or nation, to whichever creed, dogma., Or profession they belong. Finally, may we be the means of the salvation of many souls in the future eternal kingdom of our coming King arid Saviour.


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By J. Y. YOVAN, Assistant Director, South Central Luzon Mission, Philippines

February 1941

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