Erev Shabbat Kodesh
...For Hashem's portion is His people;
Jacob is the measure of His inheritance.
He discovered him in a desert land, in
desolation, a howling wilderness;
He encircled him, He granted him discernment,
He preserved him like the pupil of His eye.
He was like an eagle arousing its nest,
hovering over its young,spreading its wings and
taking them, carrying them on its pinions.
Hashem alone guided them,
and no other power was with them.
I realize that what follows is long, but I can't over-emphasize how important it is for you to know and understand this history. What army goes to war without first studying the enemy's tactics and battle strategy? This information is crucial to understanding where we stand today. It is critical to understanding who is friend and who is foe and it is essential to correctly choosing the path that will lead to survival at the End of Days.
Evangelical Christians are fixated on "prophecy." That's because their entire false religion is built on a foundation of misrepresented, mistranslated, and misinterpreted Hebrew prophets. Once they are finished with learning the prophecies they claim predicted JC's first coming, they are on to learning the ones they claim predict his second coming.
The goal of the first is to prove his claims to those they wish to proselytize and the second is in order to bring about his second coming.
Jews tend to wave it all off as an exercise in futility, knowing all the while that JC is not coming back. But, that is a mistake because Jews and Israel are at the core of their efforts on both counts with dire consequences for us.
It is recorded in the Christian Testament that JC undertook certain actions in order "to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet"..."And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet"..."So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets..." There are no less than 157 occurrences of the word "prophet" in the Christian Testament and they occur in every single book. This is a religion obsessed with prophecy.
Unlike Judaism, Christianity holds the prophetic writings as equal in authority to the Five Books of Moses. A Jewish Judge adjudicates according to Torah and Halachah, but never by the recorded prophecies. That was never their intent, nor their place.
Like in times past, the Christian Zionists of today are busy trying to fulfill prophecy and are eager and anxious to involve Jews in it, too. But, if the Jew is smart and sincere in his desire to serve HKB"H, he will distance himself from that and concentrate on his real job - the fulfillment of mitzvot!!
For most of Christian history, if the Church said it, people believed it (or not). But, something earth-shattering and history-changing happened during the Reformation when the Christian Bible was released into the hands of the common people. Until then, no one but the priests were allowed to learn it and even when it was read publicly, if it was, it was in Church Latin, a language few, if any, of the congregants would understand.
This opened the door to the division of Christianity into thousands of sects, denominations and movements over time that would result from the individual interpretation of "Holy Scripture."
But, while this was going on, people began to read prophecies about the End of Days and what needed to happen before JC would come back and seeing that the Jewish return to Eretz Yisrael was a very central event to occur, like any good follower of the original 'fulfiller of prophecy,' they began to look for ways to speed up the process of redemption by "fulfilling prophecy" themselves. In fact, the Zionist movement among the Christians pre-dated the Zionist movement of Theodore Herzl:
...John Owen, a 17th-century English Covenant theologian, for example, wrote: "Moreover, it is granted that there shall be a time and season, during the continuance of the kingdom of the Messiah in this world, wherein the generality of the nation of the Jews, all the world over, shall be called and effectually brought unto the knowledge of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ; with which mercy they shall also receive deliverance from their captivity, restoration unto their own land, with a blessed, flourishing, and happy condition therein." John Gill took a similar position.Ironic that they envision "falling upon each other's necks" with a kiss as this was the event that marked the final meeting between Ya'aqov and Eisav until they meet back up at the End of Days. What is even more ironic is that the Arizal says that JC was actually the reincarnation of Eisav!
Samuel Rutherford, a 17-century Scottish theologian, expressed the ardent spirit of prayer of many of his contemporaries: "O to see the sight, next to Christ's coming in the clouds the most joyful! Our elder brethren the Jews and Christ fall upon each other's necks and kiss each other! They have long been assunder, they will be kind to one another when they meet. O day! O longed-for and lovely day-dawn!" (Source)
Moving forward 200 years...
As the demise of the Ottoman Empire appeared to be approaching, the advocacy of restorationism increased. At the same time, the visit of John Nelson Darby, the founder of a variant of Premillennialism called Dispensationalism to the United States catalyzed a new movement. This was expressed at the Niagara Bible Conference in 1878, which issued a 14-point proclamation... including:All Christian Zionists today hold by this. (If they didn't, they Most are of the opinion that the conversion will come afterwards and that their mission today is to build relationships, break down the walls and barriers that divide us so as to pave the way for that mass conversion, i.e. soften Jewish hearts toward Christianity and thereby, its founder so they will be more receptive when the time comes.
"...that the Lord J*sus will come in person to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord; and that this personal and premillennial advent is the blessed hope set before us in the Gospel for which we should be constantly looking."
...The dispensationalist theology of John Nelson Darby which motivates one stream of American Christian Zionism is often claimed to be a significant awakener of American Christian Zionism. He first distinguished the hopes of the Jews and that of the church and gentiles in a series of 11 evening lectures in Geneva in 1840. His lectures were immediately published in French (L'Attente Actuelle de l'Eglise), English (1841), German and Dutch (1847) and so his teachings began their global journey.
...In 1864, [Charles] Spurgeon wrote:
We look forward, then, for these two things. I am not going to theorize upon which of them will come first — whether they shall be restored first, and converted afterwards — or converted first and then restored. They are to be restored and they are to be converted, too.
The following is so expressive of current sentiment, it could be posted to BIN!
In 1844, George Bush, a professor of Hebrew at New York University and the cousin of an ancestor of the Presidents Bush, published a book titled The Valley of Vision; or, The Dry Bones of Israel Revived. In it he denounced "the thralldom and oppression which has so long ground them (the Jews) to the dust," and called for "elevating" the Jews "to a rank of honorable repute among the nations of the earth" by allowing restoring the Jews to the land of Israel where the bulk would be converted to Christianity. This, according to Bush, would benefit not only the Jews, but all of mankind, forming a "link of communication" between humanity and God. "It will blaze in notoriety ...". "It will flash a splendid demonstration upon all kindreds and tongues of the truth."The FOZ Museum promotes the narrative that were it not for Christian Zionist Friends of Israel, there might not even be an Israel. Like President Trump, he is looking for the proper expression of gratitude, but we'll examine later whether we have Christian Zionists to thank or not.
Meantime, you might find the following to be of interest:
Theodore Herzl’s Christian Mentor
Like a great many of his fellow clergymen and contemporaries, [William Hechler] saw great import in the year 1897. It was a well-known date among students of prophecy based on the rich numerical symbolism found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. While there, he came across Herzl’s book “The Jewish State”, and determined to seek out the author. Here is Herzl’s impression of their first meeting:
“A likeable, sensitive man with the long grey beard of a prophet. He waxed enthusiastic over my solution. He, too, regards my movement as a ‘prophetic crisis’ – one he foretold two years ago. For he had calculated in accordance with a prophecy dating from Omar’s reign (637-638) that after 42 prophetical months, that is, 1,260 years, Palestine would be restored to the Jews. This would make it 1897-1898… Hechler declares my movement to be a ‘Biblical’ one, even though I proceed rationally in all points. He wants to place my tract in the hands of some German princes. He used to be a tutor in the household of the Grand Duke of Baden, he knows the German Kaiser and thinks he can get me an audience.”
Because of his connections, Hechler was able to arrange for Herzl an audience with the German Kaiser, who became very supportive, and who had significant influence with Turkey, then rulers of Palestine. However, the Turkish Sultan would not hear of an independent Jewish state in the Holy Land. Nonetheless, the friendship and partnership between Herzl and Hechler continued to grow.
“He gives me excellent advice”, wrote Herzl of Hechler, “full of unmistakably good will. He is at once clever and mystical and naive. His counsel and precepts have been excellent to date.”
Hechler was even with Herzl to the end, where the Jewish leader bid Hechler to “Greet Palestine for me. I gave my life’s blood for my people”.
Herzl called Hechler a “Christian Zionist”, due to his great love for Jewish people, and determination to see Israel restored once again. Hechler was not only concerned with the prophetic and political ramifications relating to Israel, but was eager to align with God’s heart and plans for the people themselves, that they would be protected from danger and evil, and restored to the land as God ordained in his word.
However, even after their dreams were becoming reality with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 promising to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine under the British Mandate, Hechler was frustrated that many Jewish people were not eager to move there.
...A new understanding of Bible truth and the support of evangelical Christians provided the foundation of the Balfour Declaration. Having just celebrated the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we know it was Martin Luther who made the Bible available to the common man. As everyday believers began to read the scriptures in the 16th Century they saw God’s promises to His ancient people and were envisioned to support the return of the Jews to their promised land.
This became a major prayer focus over the next few centuries as more and more Christians rallied to see an end to the diaspora. Furthermore, preachers like Charles Spurgeon taught on the restoration of Israel. This resulted in the increased influence of Bible-believing Christians in the government, who supported the formation of a Jewish homeland.
...Balfour 100 is a UK Christian coalition established to commemorate the Balfour Declaration. They hosted a Centenary event at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 7 bringing Jews and Christians together. Entitled "Partners In This Great Enterprise," it showed how God used both Christians and Jews to bring about the return of the Jewish people from exile.
“The Balfour Declaration became the title deed for the founding of Modern Israel,” said the organisers. “God’s Hand was in every step of this partnership between Jews and Gentiles.
The Pentecostalization of Christian Zionism
This essay highlights U.S. pentecostals' and charismatics' cultivation of more experiential forms of identification with Jews and with Israel that in turn played a crucial role in the global growth of Christian Zionism. Already at the turn of the twentieth century, key figures experimented with “Judeo-centric” forms of ritual and dress, merging eschatological concerns inherited from nineteenth-century Protestantism with British Israelite ideas equating Anglo-Saxons with the lost tribes of Israel. In subsequent decades these racial notions were pushed to the fringes of the pentecostal movement, but the intense sense of identification with Israel remained. Building on the emergent mythology in the mid-century U.S. of a shared “Judeo-Christian tradition,” adherents increasingly stressed their religious and cultural (as opposed to racial) connections with God's “chosen people.” And by the late twentieth century, the 1960s counterculture, a burgeoning emphasis on the therapeutic, and growing religious diversity all facilitated pentecostals' and charismatics' renewed experimentation with “exotic” Israel-themed rituals. Significantly, believers' appropriation of Jewish-based religious practices and identities transcended nationalistic categories, and reinforced post-American sensibilities in important respects. As such, U.S.-based evangelists and broadcast ministries were able to disseminate pentecostalized expressions of Christian Zionism well beyond North America, and help catalyze a transnational, global movement.Did they do us any favors? Next time, be"H, iy"H...