The King who wore Thorns, or the Thorn King?

As I was going through my bloglines this morning, I came across several posts that I wanted to share. One was from Herescope called “Money God”. It examines the connections between economics and politics and explains a further connection with the Church.

Basically we have in today’s Church a social gospel that teaches dominion over the world. Just google “Dominion theology”  and you will get a fair idea about this theology.

At the heart of the prosperity message is the notion that God is there for us to use when we need Him or need something from Him. This is diametrically opposed to the truth. He is not there for us, we are here for Him. Almighty God is not our servant, He is the King and we are His servants. “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). [source]

The article at Herescope goes on to say…

God’s plan for the world has been spelled out: At the predetermined time Jesus will come and set up his Millennial Kingdom. For the first time the Kingdom of God will be literal, material and political. He will rule the world from the throne of David in Jerusalem. Until then His kingdom will be spiritual and in the hearts of His people. We cannot bring this about through political action, and we cannot manipulate God to change His timing. [source]

It’s a good article that gets to the crux of the matter.

Another article that I read was…

The next global crisis: Hungry millions, on the move

Floods in Pakistan, droughts in Russia, rising grain prices. According to award-winning Australian science writer Julian Cribb, these are warning signs of an impending disaster that will dwarf the financial crisis.

In his new book The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do To Avoid It, he warns that looming scarcities of water, land, nutrients, oil and fish will leave us unable to feed ourselves within 50 years.

People don’t understand that famines will impinge on them personally. It will affect the prices they see, the taxes they pay, and they will get flooded with immigrants. Think of the Irish Potato Famine. A quarter of the country departed for Canada and American and Australia. A population that’s starving will move.

In the 1970s, 10 million Bangladeshis went to live in India. If there’s a decent famine on the North China Plain, the Chinese would simply move north into Siberia where there are only 20 million people. But the Russians might have something to say about that.

Now you may wonder about the title of this post. A while ago I came across the passage in the bible found in Judges where it talks about the people crown of thorns wanting a King to rule over them. They first ask for the Olive Tree who says No, he will not rule over Israel. They go on and keep asking for all different trees and then they get to the “Bramble Bush” to rule over them. The “Bramble/Thorn bush” says, Yes, he will rule over them.  I was puzzled about this bramble bush, the thorny bush that was made the King of Israel. I have thought about how this King really did not give shade and refuge to Israel and I also knew that this Thorn King was a type of anti-Christ (see the last quote of this post which goes into more detail).

When I was reading the above two articles I began to see a connection between the political, economic and religious need of the globe and how this influences social teachings within the Church and their eschatological leanings.

The world today is in upheaval. It’s under the curse and it shows. What with the earthquakes and floods leaving millions destitute and need of care. Today, we have a Social Gospel and a very rich Church that’s described as the Laodicean Church in Revelation. Yet this Church is poor and naked, not being rich in Spirit and clothed in righteousness.

The world is not going to get better until it is restored and that is only when Christ Jesus sits on the throne of David in Jerusalem. Yet we have “Dominionists” proclaiming that society should be governed exclusively by the law of God now, even though Jesus has not returned yet and we await His second coming when everything is restored unto Him.

So, in spite of Jesus’ very clear teaching that the Kingdom was not now and was not material, the expectation of His followers did not change. It is against this background that He rode into Jerusalem four days before His crucifixion.

This was evident as they shouted the words of the messianic Psalm: “Hosanna to the Son of David! `Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9; Psalm 118:24-26).
The word “Hosanna” is a composite of two words meaning “save” and “now.” They were literally saying “save (us) now.” If you look at the reference in Psalm 118:24-26, you will notice that the Psalmist said: “Save now, I pray, O Lord.” In the light of the political climate of the time, it becomes clear that they saw Jesus as the King who would save them from the Romans, and that they saw salvation as material and political. This is identical to Liberation Theology and Dominionism of today, that sees salvation in political and material terms. [source]

The Church is not much different to Israel when they asked for a King and got the Thorn King and not the King wearing Thorns.

Jdg 9:14  And all the trees said to the bramble bush, You come, reign over us.
Jdg 9:15  And the bramble bush said to the trees, If you truly anoint me king over you, come seek refuge in my shade. And if not, let fire come out of the bramble bush and burn up the cedars of Lebanon.

In (Jud.9) we have the story of Abimelech, the sinful, proud and wicked illegitimate son of Gideon and his maid servant. Abimelech is very ambitious. He heard about the nation wanting Gideon to become their king and since he is a son of Gideon he wants to become king. Even his name Abimelech carries royalty in it. It was a royal title given to the Philistine kings – (see Gen.20-21-26). It was the title of a Gentile king.

The first thing he did was to murder 70 of his brothers – only Jotham escaped and it was he who preached the parable of the king trees. We see Abimelech’s sin of pride in lusting after political power and what beasts it will turn men into. He is a type of the Beast, the Antichrist, the final world emperor who murders everyone in the world who refuses to worship him – “And cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” – (Rev.13:15). Antichrist will cause the whole world to burn in a fiery Armageddon.

While we rightly call Saul the first king of Israel, Abimelech was the first Israelite to bear the title of King. His royalty was probably not recognized beyond the limits of one tribe – Ephraim.

Abimelech’s coronation shows the truth of (Dan.4:17) “The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever he will and setteth up over it the basest of men.” Even today when a good ruler is in office, people say, God raised him up. Well what about the wicked ruler? Well God raises him to the throne also. The principle is – people get the ruler they deserve. The people in Ephraim wanted this man to rule over them and they got the caliber of man they deserved. They got the Bramble Bush and not the olive tree or the fig tree or the vine. These trees that produce good fruit turned the promotion down but the little, proud bramble bush jumped at the chance. The tree that bore the wicked fruit of thorns was chosen and promoted to the throne. The people of Ephraim became wicked and so they desired a wicked King and God gave them their just desserts. [source]

Which King are you waiting for, the “Thorn King” or the “King who wore Thorns”?

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6 thoughts on “The King who wore Thorns, or the Thorn King?

  1. Whew! Excellent post, Vee. Really comprehensive. I’m on my way to follow those links, too. Thanks!

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    • Thanks Pearl. I really enjoyed this study. But trying to put into words the connections I saw with two seemingly unrelated articles wasn’t easy. I often can see connections but to succinctly explain what I see can sometimes be difficult. 😀

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    • Thanks Leonie, I think that the bramble bush would be an excellent study. I have probably just examined the tip of the iceberg.

      If you come across anything that may be related, please come back and comment. Or you can email me. My email is found on the right sidebar of this blog written in red under the ‘About Me’ section. That goes for anyone who wants to add anything to this, but does not want to comment here. 😀

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    • Thanks Lorrie. I love it when you can connect all the dots, yet it saddens me to think where this is leading.

      Sometimes it’s hard to put into words what you’re actually thinking and how you think this all fits together.

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