Doctrine of Five Cycles of Dicipline

January 15, 2011


The Doctrine of the 5 Cycles of Discipline:

A. Background and Introduction.
1. The dispensation of Israel began with the Exodus in B.C. 1441 and concluded with the birth of our Lord in 4 B.C.
2. Therefore, most of the Old Testament Canon is devoted to the study of Jewish client nations. There were five Jewish client nations in the dispensation of Israel.
a. The Theocratic Kingdom from the Exodus to the time of Samuel, B.C. 1441 – 1020.
b. The United Kingdom from Saul to Rehoboam.,B.C.1020-926.
c. The Northern Kingdom from Jeroboam to Hoshea, B.C.926-721. The fifth cycle of discipline was administered to the Northern Kingdom by Assyria, commanded by Sargon II.
d. The Southern Kingdom from Rehoboam to Zedekiah, B.C. 926 – 586. The fifth cycle of discipline was administered to the Southern Kingdom in 586 by the Chaldeans, commanded by Nebuchadnezzar. Seventy years of captivity or slavery extended from B.C. 586 – 516.
e. The restored nation of Judea from Zerubbabel in B.C. 536 – A.D. 70. The fifth cycle of discipline was administered to Judea by the Romans, first under the command of Vespasian and then by his son, Titus.
3. With the fall of Jerusalem in August of 70 A.D., there are no more Jewish client nations until the Second Advent.
4. In the meantime, we live in the times of the Gentiles. That means only a Gentile client nation can so function before God today.
5. At the present time, we the people of the United States are a Gentile client nation to God.
B. Definition of the Five Cycles of Discipline.
1. There are five cycles of discipline administered to a client nation, Jewish or Gentile.
a. To the Jewish client nations during the dispensation of Israel, the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, and the first forty years of the Church Age, the five cycles did function.
b. To the Gentile client nations beginning with S.P.Q.R. in 70 A.D. and continuing to the present with the U.S.A., these five cycles are still operational.
2. Outline of the Five Cycles of Discipline.
a. The first cycle of discipline, Lev 26:14-17.
b. The second cycle of discipline, Lev 26:18-20.
c. The third cycle of discipline, Lev 26:21-22.
d. The fourth cycle of discipline, Lev 26:23-26.
e. The fifth cycle of discipline, Lev 26:27-38, amplified in Deut 28:49-67.
2. The cycles of discipline are based on the principle that Jesus Christ controls history directly, indirectly, and permissively.
a. He controls history directly through the function of His own divine essence.
b. He controls history indirectly through the function of the laws of divine establishment.
c. He controls history permissively through permitting nations to use their own volition to destroy themselves. For no nation is ever destroyed by an outside power before it is first destroyed from within by its own individual and collective bad decisions. Therefore, no nation is ever destroyed by another nation until it first destroys itself through negative volition.
3. Jesus Christ permits the policy of the angelic conflict (the function of free will) to continue and conclude in human history. Therefore, Satan’s policy of good and evil must exist in every generation; there must be a challenge to your attitude toward doctrine.
4. Because Jesus Christ is righteous and holy, He must judge the nations with cycles of discipline.
5. These cycles of discipline are punitive measures against apostasy, reversionism and evil.
C. The First Cycle of Discipline, Lev 26:14-17.
1. Lev 26:14, “But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all of these mandates,”
a. Obedience in Israel meant the execution of God’s plan for their dispensation. It meant the execution of the three categories of the Mosaic Law. It meant perception of doctrine as it was revealed at that time, first through the Torah and then through the prophets.
b. The mandates refer to the three parts of the Mosaic Law. They are explained further in verse 15.
2. Lev 26:15, “If instead you reject My statutes and your soul despises My ordinances, and you fail to carry out all my commands so breaking My covenant,” The Mosaic Law is divided into three parts.
a. The first part of the Mosaic Law is the decalogue, the freedom code made up of ten commandments. These commandments define freedom in terms of morality, privacy, property, and authority. Freedom without authority is anarchy; authority without freedom is tyranny. The ten commandments also define freedom in terms of relationship with God.
b. The second part is called the ordinances, the spiritual code. It graphically presents soteriology and Christology through the various articles of furniture in the Tabernacle and temples, through the modus operandi of the levitical priesthood, through the function of the holy days, and through the levitical sacrifices. This spiritual code presents the Gospel and Jesus Christ as the God of Israel.
c. The third part is the judgments, an establishment code. It includes explanations related to freedom, privacy, marriage, criminal law, taxation (tithing), military policy and freedom through military victory, diet, health, sanitation, quarantine, free enterprise, and profit motivation. It outlaws violence, terrorism, civil disobedience, and revolution.
3. Lev 26:16, “Then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror [terrorism], epidemic diseases, and fever will destroy your sight and drain your life; also, you will plant your seed in vain because your enemies will devour it.”
a. “Sudden terror” is the function of terrorism as it existed in the ancient world. It is also a reference to violence, unrestrained criminality, and hostility from other nations.
b. Many epidemics have been the beginning of the end of great nations or empires.
c. The last phrase refers to economic disaster and depression. The illustration used refers to an agricultural economy. In our industrial economy, this refers to inability to compete with foreign markets.
4. Lev 26:17, “I will set My face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; consequently, those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you.”
a. In the first cycle, such defeat by enemies refers to only preliminary wars. But before the other cycles of discipline are administered, there is already loss in warfare. (Our loss in warfare began with Korea and Vietnam.)
b The Hebrew word for hate here means hate based on envy. The Jews were the recipients of such fantastic blessings from God that they were envied and then hated.
c. “You will flee when no one is pursuing you” is an idiom saying that the general population becomes cowardly, afraid of war. They have no motivation from patriotism or the spiritual life. Therefore, the population will do anything to avoid a war, even surrendering whatever advantage it has in national and international activity.
D. The Second Cycle of Discipline, Lev 26:18-20.
1. 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.”
a. The first phrase implies that some wake up as a result of the first cycle of discipline.
b. Everything in the first cycle is intensified in the second cycle by seven.
2. 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.”
a. Notice that once the first cycle of discipline is administered and it does not turn around the nation, arrogance sets in. Arrogance is a whole complex of sins and evil.
b. Today we have the greatest arrogance in places of power. God actually punishes such arrogance among those in power without the humility to use their power properly.
c. The sky like iron and the earth like bronze refers to a drought. Drought means economic disaster, resulting in economic depression.
3. 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.”
a. No matter how hard you work, you cannot produce food.
b. The Bible should be interpreted in the time in which it was written. This was written in during an agricultural economy before the industrial revolution.
4. So the second cycle of discipline is a depression, bad social life, no national pride, and people work hard for nothing (inflation).
E. Third Cycle of Discipline, Lev 26:21-22.
1. 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.”
a. God did not speak directly to them but indirectly through His communicators, which at that time were the prophets.
b. In the third cycle, there is the intensification of epidemics and illnesses in the land. In our day, AIDs will break this country if the trend continues, for it is a very serious problem, and may rival the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages.
2. 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.
3. In the third cycle, the population is thinned out by violence. Crime gets out of control; commerce is stopped; there are natural disasters.
F. The Fourth Cycle of Discipline, Lev 26:23-26.
1. So far nothing but grace warnings have been given. Now God will really judge the nation. There will be great uncontrollable crime, military invasion and partial defeat, disease from overcrowding, a shortage of food causing starvation, and even greater natural disasters. Examples can be found by studying Israel in 68 A.D., 586 B.C., and 721 B.C.
2. Lev 26:23, “And if by these things you will not be corrected by Me, but will continue to be hostile toward Me [negative volition from cosmic involvement in the stages of reversionism],”
3. 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.
4. 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.”
a. One of the great signs of loss of freedom, and replacing it with both moral and immoral degeneracy, is when you see the breakdown of the military establishment. The entire book of Numbers is devoted to setting up a mobilization plan for the military.
b. The part of the covenant that was broken was the military part. There was military disaster as a result. Why did the Jews have to retreat into their cities? Because their cities were fortified, and their armies could not win in the field. Once there are overcrowded cities, disease becomes rampant (as illustrated by the Romans when fleeing from Hannibal).
5. 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.”
a. When an army begins to lose a war on its own soil, the first thing to go is food supply. People start to starve, as the south did in the last year of the War between the States. So one of the inevitable results of the fourth cycle of discipline is the beginning of starvation.
b. 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, and even more so.
G. The Fifth Cycle of Discipline, Lev 26:27-38.
1. Now there is nothing to eat. Enemies have taken over the country. People are put into slavery. People are afraid of everything. Everyone has become a coward.
2. 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.
3. 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.”
4. Lev 26:29, “Then you will eat the flesh of your sons, and you will eat the flesh of your daughters.”
a. No longer do you eat bread and rationed food, as in the fourth cycle; now you eat 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, parents will eat their children.
b. This type of cannibalism actually occurred between 66 and 70 A.D. among Jews under the seige of Jerusalem by the Roman army. Josephus documented such things. Civilization suddenly departs in the fifth cycle of discipline.
5. 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 are the meeting places of false doctrine and cults, especially the phallic cult.
6. 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.”
7. 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.”
a. The territory is occupied.
b. Being scattered among nations means you go into slavery. This happened three times to the Jewish people.
8. Lev 26:34, “Then the land will satisfy its Sabbaths . . . , while you are in the land of your enemies; consequently, 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.
9. 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.”
10. 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.” People do die of fright.
11. 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 for freedom, and no patriotic motivation. It’s too late in the fifth cycle of discipline, because it takes a long time to train a military establishment.
12. Lev 26:38, “But you will perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies will devour you.” Enemies of the Jews were those like Assyria, Chaldea, and Rome.
13. Deut 28:49-67 is another horrible description of the fifth cycle of discipline.
14. Isaiah warned the Northern Kingdom and Jeremiah warned the Southern Kingdom during the first administration of the fifth cycle of discipline to each of these nations.
H. Historical Examples of the Administration of the Fifth Cycle of Discipline to Jewish Client Nations.
1. The fifth cycle of discipline was administered to Assyria, Ezek 31:3-14.
2. The fifth cycle of discipline was administered to the Northern Kingdom, Hos 4:1-6, in 721 B.C. Elijah, Elisha, Amos and Hosea all prophesied the coming of the fifth cycle of discipline. 2 Kgs 17 gives the historical account. Isa 28:1-13 gives the prophetical account.
3. The fifth cycle of discipline was administered to the Southern Kingdom in 586 B.C., Jer 50:17, 7:24-29, because they did not listen to the teaching of doctrine, Jer 15:5-6, 13:10-11,17, 17:27, 35:13.
a. The overt manifestation of Jewish reversionism in the Southern Kingdom was idolatry, Jer 2:27-30, 3:9, 7:17-20, 13:10,17:1-4.
b. The duration of the first fifth cycle of discipline to the Southern Kingdom was seventy years, all of their sabbatical years. Cf Ex 23:10-11;Lev 25:3-4, 26:33-36;2 Chr 36:20-21;Jer 25:11-12, 29:10; Dan 9:2, 24-27.
4. The fifth cycle of discipline was administered to Judea in 70 A.D.
a. This was prophesied by our Lord in Lk 21:20-24.
b. They were also warned by the teaching of Paul. The gift of tongues was also a warning to Israel that they were about to lose their status as a priest nation to God.
c. The dispensation of the Church and the completion of the Jewish Age both occur while Israel is out under the fifth cycle of discipline.
5. Grace always precedes the fifth cycle of discipline by the warnings of the first four cycles. In the fifth cycle of discipline, you either are killed or become enslaved.
I. The Fifth Cycle of Discipline to the Northern Kingdom.
1. The Northern Kingdom was established as a result of a revolution, based on jealousy of Judah, the Southern Kingdom, 1 Chr 12:30; Ps 60:7; 2 Sam 19:40-43.
2. Mental attitude sins like jealousy destroy capacity for love. The Northern Kingdom never had the basis to love God because it was founded on jealousy. A kingdom founded on emotional revolt of the soul will inevitably destroy itself. Being built up by emotional revolt, the actual incident that kicked off the revolution was human good when the people complained to Rehoboam with their grievance.
3. The Northern Kingdom began with Jeroboam in 926 B.C. He was in emotional revolt of the soul.
4. Even though the Northern Kingdom had such a bad start, God in His grace tried to stabilize the Northern Kingdom. God provided for the Northern Kingdom special prophets who warned the Northern Kingdom against apostasy and tried to communicate to them the principles of freedom. Four outstanding prophets were involved in this grace push by our Lord.
a. Elijah, c.871-851 B.C.
b. Elisha, c.845 B.C..
c. Amos, 787 B.C.
d. Hosea, c. 746 B.C.
5. Amos warned the Northern Kingdom in 787 B.C. during the reign of Jeroboam II. Hosea warned the Northern Kingdom, c.746 B.C., during the fourth cycle of discipline when Tiglath-PileserIII was the Assyrian king. In addition, Isaiah provided some warning, as in the first part of Isa 28.
6. The fifth cycle of discipline is described in two passages of the Old Testament, so that both the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom had adequate warning about it; Lev 26:27-46; Deut 28:49-67.
7. The historical account of the fifth cycle of discipline to the Northern Kingdom is found in 2 Kg 17:1-12.
8. The prophetical account of the fifth cycle of discipline to the Northern Kingdom is found in Isa 28:1-13 and mentioned in Jer 3:8.
9. Before judgment came to the Northern Kingdom, and during the two years in which the Assyrians were in the Northern Kingdom and even afterward, Jews of the Northern Kingdom fled to the Southern Kingdom and became citizens there, 1 Chr 9:3.
10. Therefore, there is no such thing as the “ten lost tribes.” The ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, from the time of Elijah down to the time when Shalmanezer invaded, constantly fled south. So all the tribes were represented in the Southern Kingdom after the Northern Kingdom fell.
11. The fifth cycle of discipline began in 721 B.C. with the fall of Samaria. The Assyrians’ seige began under Shalmanezer V (who died), and ended when Sargon II defeated the Northern Kingdom in battle, Jer 50:17a.
J. The Fifth Cycle of Discipline to the Southern Kingdom.
1. Deut 28:49-67 was fulfilled.
2. The first administration to the Southern Kingdom of the fifth cycle of discipline is called the Babylonian captivity, Jer 50:17b. The time was 586 B.C. The administrator was the Chaldean Empire under Nebuchadnezzar.
3. The second administration to the Southern Kingdom is the present dispersion, Lk 21:40-25. Its time period is August 70 A.D. to the Second Advent. Its administrator was Rome under Vespasian and Titus.
4. The reason for the fifth cycle of discipline was the rejection of Bible doctrine, Jer 7:24-29, 13:10,11,17, 15:5-6, 17:27, 35:13.
5. The overt cause of the fifth cycle of discipline was apostasy and idolatry (which resulted in rejection of Bible doctrine), Jer 2:27-30, 3:9, 7:17-20, 13:10, 17:1-4.
6. The length of the first administration of the fifth cycle of discipline was seventy years. This was determined on the basis of the Jews having rejected seven Sabbatical years over a period of 490 years, Jer 25:11-12, 29:10; Dan 9:2,24-27.
7. During the present dispersion, there are two substitutes for the nation Israel.
a. The Church Age, where every believer is a priest.
b. The Tribulation, when 144,000 Jews represent the Lord, Rev 7 and 14.
K. Why the cycles of discipline to client nations? Hosea 4:1-6.
1. This passage is addressed to believers. For in the final analysis, it is the believers who are responsible for the rise or fall of a client nation.
2. Hos 4:1, “Hear the word of the Lord, you citizens of Israel [Northern Kingdom] because the Lord has a case [indictment] against the inhabitants of the client nation, because nothing of doctrine is taught, nothing about grace is being applied; there is no knowledge of God in the land.”
a. Just as God had an indictment against the Jewish client nations, so today He has an indictment against a Gentile client nation, the United States of America.
b. “Because nothing of doctrine is taught.” There is no demand for Bible teaching in time of apostasy.
c. As a result, “nothing of grace is being applied.” Grace and doctrine go together. When they are both gone, that is one of the reasons for the five cycles of discipline.
3. Hos 4:2, “Instead, there is lying [dishonesty], deception, homicide, stealing, rape, therefore blood touches blood [idiom for perpetual violence].”
4. Hos 4:3, “Therefore, the land mourns, and all who live in it languish along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air.”
a. “The land mourns” means the people are miserable under the cycles of discipline. No one is enjoying anything or having any fun. Social life, business life, and spiritual life are gone; there is nothing but abject misery.
b. “All who live in it languish” means loss of national courage, patriotism, vitality, and strength.
c. Animals suffer when people suffer. People are viciously cruel under the cycles of discipline.
5. Hos 4:4, “Yet let no one find fault [as in evil activism]; let no one offer criticism, for your citizens are like those who contend with the priests [communicators of doctrine].”
a. Activism is the last thing you need to get into when under the cycles of discipline.
b. Criticism is blaming other groups. It is the believer who must take the responsibility for these things himself. It is negative volition and a shrinking pivot that brings these things.
6. Hos 4:5, “Therefore, you have stumbled in the daylight, and even the prophet will stumble with you in the night darkness; and I will destroy your native country [motherland].”
a. Stumbling in the daylight means cosmic involvement, including crusader arrogance. Daylight means becoming a loser by rejecting Bible doctrine after hearing it, or failing to metabolize gnosis doctrine into epignosis doctrine.
b. “And even the prophet will stumble with you” means prophets become false prophets and they teach false doctrine.
c. Today, hundreds of thousands of pulpits speak of “`peace, peace,’ when there is no peace,” just as they said in Jeremiah’s day, Jer 6:14, 8:11; Ezek 13:10, 16. Today, pastors peddle false doctrine while the United States is declining for lack of pivot.
d. There can be no pivot without the pastor-teacher communicating the mystery doctrine for the Church Age. There can be no pivot without the manufacture of invisible heroes.
7. Hos 4:6, “My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge of doctrine. Because you have rejected the knowledge of doctrine, I will reject you from being My priest nation.”
a. A client nation to God is a priest nation in that it represents God under three factors. The freedom developed in the client nation means:
(1) Freedom for evangelism in the nation.
(2) Freedom to teach doctrine in the nation.
(3) Freedom to send missionaries to other countries to communicate the Gospel, and form the converts into indigenous local churches.
b. Today, the United States is a priest nation. It may not be tomorrow. The only hope for this country resides in your soul. If there is negative volition, we will go down. If there is a surge in positive volition, it could form a large enough pivot to deliver this country.
c. A nation without Bible doctrine is a nation without solutions.
d. As goes the believer, so goes the client nation to God.
8. This prophecy given in Hosea 4 was fulfilled to the Northern Kingdom. What happened to greater nations than we in the past can certainly happen to us tomorrow.