All Israel, Part 7 – The State of Israel

VI-The State of Israel

The Bible is and must be the starting point in every controversy. So we have up to this point, tried to show from it there is no support for the idea that the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy. There is simply no biblical evidence for it. We have also shown there is no actual people today qualified, according to the Bible, to inherit the ancient land of Canaan. But now, we want to go even further in the matter, and suggest that there is absolutely nothing else about the present state of Israel that lends itself to this notion either. We do this because the present state of Israel is viewed by many people today as a precursor to the notion of prophetic fulfillment. Remember, it is taken as fact, and on nothing more than face value, that Israel’s emergence in the modern world is an incremental stepping stone toward “all Israel” being saved. Since that is the case, it then seems to be reasonable to examine a number of other things about this. We believe that when it is done, it shows there is no logical connection to be made whatsoever, to the popular conception that it is in fact true.

It is our contention, that most Christians give little thought or investigation into the matter, while at the same time adopting the popular opinions. They know little about the background of the situation that would better inform them of it. Ignorance is never bliss, but a well-informed person, will always have a better perspective on any subject, in order to evaluate the things that are said to them. Without this, it is easy to become fodder for those whose desire it is, to manipulate people through public opinion. Since the 1980,s America has invested itself heavily, from an economic, political, and a military standpoint in the Middle East. And rather than solving anything amiss over there, it has sent that entire region into utter chaos. With war raging everywhere in the Middle East, we have even come to the point of seeing the world’s superpowers once again at odds with each other over it, which threatens even worse things to come.

So, what has brought us here to this point, was it terrorism? No, not at all, for September eleventh was not the starting point of our involvement over there. Besides that, although terrorism is irrational behavior, it is but a symptom of something that is far deeper than any superficial reasons that are given for it. No, the real reason is the emergence of the state of Israel in 1948 in the midst of a territory already inhabited by others. We are talking of course, about Palestine. The forced displacement of a large segment of its population by the Jewish state has been the main reason for all the turmoil that has gone on in that region for decades. And our involvement as a nation in support of Israel has been inseparably connected to it. This is why terrorism has become our problem now. It was not before we became actively involved in the affairs of the Middle East, in reference to Israel. The first time American troops set their feet on Middle Eastern soil on behalf of Israel, was following its invasion of Lebanon.[1] And the first terrorist attack against Americans was there in Beirut, and for the very same reason.[2]

So why was America there in the first place? For one thing, there is an overwhelming amount of support for Israel that comes from American Jews. It is also no secret that Jews make up a disproportionate percentage of the power and financial influence that is behind this nation’s international policy. That is certainly true when it comes to Israel. It is also certainly understandable why Jewish Americans of any class would have concern for what happens over there. Israel is a Jewish state after all. There is another factor involved in this too. American companies have had a stake in Middle Eastern oil since long before Israel became a nation. So control over the region serves this purpose as well. Since wealthy American Jews seem to be the primary beneficiaries of oil profits, it only stands to reason, the two interests, oil and Israel would become intertwined with each another.

But it is also just as true, that most Christians, whether they are truly so according to biblical standards, or are merely nominal, give the same amount of overwhelming support for the state of Israel as most Jews. And why is this so? It is primarily out of the religious conviction that Jews are a chosen people, and that they have a right to the land of Israel. Even non Dispensational Christians tend to think like this too. So based on this logic, American Christians have no problem endorsing any sort of military campaign, or policy that is deemed necessary to protect Israel from its neighbors. Many men from Christian families join the military for this very purpose that they might serve America, by serving Israel. Where on earth has this notion come from we ask? It comes from Dispensationalists who have been teaching since 1948 that support for Israel will receive a special national blessing from God. Consequently, they also teach that non support of Israel will receive a national curse. This, they base on God’s word to Abraham (Gen. 12:3).

This makes Christian opinion in support of Israel more than just a political position, which everyone is entitled to have on any given matter. For a Jew to be invested in Israel makes perfect sense, just as it would be for any other ethnic community to feel strongly about an ancestral homeland, real or imagined. But for a Christian to do this concerning Israel, it requires another motivation, one that is religious in nature. In order for a Christian to have the same sort of investment in the ideal of Eretz Israel, as it is called by Jews, they must have in their minds, there is a Scriptural connection between it and the church. Therefore, it has been vitally important to the Jewish lobby of Israel, to convince the American Christian of this connection, and to exploit it. In order to do this, a certain narrative has been constructed to fit that need. Jews have no particular concern for Christians whatsoever, in fact, they hate them as a matter of principle.[3] But Jews do love the support they receive from Christians, when it comes to lobbying the government on behalf of Israel.

It is out of this carefully constructed narrative, that those in power have manipulated Christian opinion into full support for virtually any Middle Eastern proposal that suits Israel’s interest. The people of Israel delight to see America become a target of terrorism. It is the war on terrorism that has brought American led multinational interest into the region. Billions of dollars have been poured into it, including direct military and economic support for Israel. And the news media, run by Jews for the most part, does its duty in propagandizing the situation. When Palestinian teenagers throw rocks at Israeli soldiers, they respond by sending tanks into residential areas to demolish homes and kill untold numbers of men, women and children. Yet, the news media always presents this as a justified retaliation for terrorism. Of course, real terrorism does take place against Israeli citizens by Palestinians. But that is not the point being made here. We are talking about media perception and its effect on American Christians.

To illustrate this point further we draw the reader’s attention to other ways in which this exploitation has taken place in the public perception. When America waged war against Sadaam Hussein in 1990, it was thought of by many Christians as God’s judgement on Babylon. Sadaam Hussein greatly contributed to this by claiming he was the reincarnation of King Nebuchadnezzar. Of course, he meant that in a figurative sense, but the news media did its utmost to play this theme up when he invaded Kuwait. They made no effort to point out the inconsistency of his claim, being an Arab, not a Chaldean. We all remember Hussein lobbing Scud missiles into Israel, as well as other places where coalition troops were stationed. There was much speculation made that perhaps Sadaam Hussein was actually the antichrist, and that this was preparatory to Armageddon. Now, the scenario did not fit the exact Dispensational scheme of expected events. But it didn’t seem to matter whether people were Dispensationalists or not, talk of this nature was going on everywhere in America at the time.

When America was set to invade Afghanistan in 2002, the original name chosen for the action was Operation Infinite Justice. The name was dropped and replaced by the name Operation Enduring Freedom for politically correct reasons. The intent behind the phrase Infinite Justice was made evident in two speeches President Bush made. Bush stated America’s actions against terrorism would be “this crusade.”[4] Needless to say, this language angered Muslims. So the name of the operation was changed in part, for fear that it would incite already angry Muslims around the world to come to the aid of Afghanistan. The meaning of the words Infinite Justice is obvious. They connote a divine action from God against His enemies. This thinking served the interest of Israel and its supporters perfectly. The idea behind it is that America and Israel are linked together as God’s friends, while the Islamic world is His enemy. This plays perfectly into the psuedo-biblical script of both the Zionists and Dispensationalists, who point to the words “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3). For many, this is confirmation of their theory.

There was another more startling, but also equally telling circumstance that happened by the use of certain phraseology in connection to the war on terror. This took place in reference to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. We were informed prior to the invasion, that a military strategy by the name of Shock in Awe, would be used in preparation for it. Use of the phrase Shock and Awe is startling on several different levels. First of all, the very fact the term was used at all by a Government official is remarkable, in that, its use in connection with waging a gratuitous war against another nation that poses no immediate threat, is bellicose. Use of such language is incredibly arrogant, coming from one nation that is intent on invading another. One is reminded of the term Blitzkrieg, that was used by Germany to describe a similar, awe-inspiring action against non belligerent nations in their sights. In the case of Iraq, the pretense for such an action was found to be utterly fraudulent, ie., concerning any supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Second of all, the term Shock and Awe is in reference to a military strategy thought up in 1996 by two gentlemen at the National Defense University of the United States.[5] The technical name for this strategy is Rapid Dominance.[6] It is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming air power combined with a spectacular display of ground force against an enemy. It is designed to instantly paralyze a target nation, sending their defense capability into disarray. The air aspect of this doctrine was tested on Iraq in 1998, when President Clinton ordered four consecutive days of bombing on that nation. The intention of this action was framed as an attempt to degrade, rather than to eliminate. The full effect of Shock and Awe was saved for Iraq in 2003 when we invaded them this time. The startling thing about this term in its public use is, military strategies are not usually announced to the public like this, and certainly not to an enemy that is intent on taking some sort of counter measure. Yet both the public and the enemy were introduced to this term Shock and Awe. It was obviously used for effect. It was used to terrify the enemy into submission, as if having precision guided missiles dropped on them everywhere, all at once was insufficient to do that.

But it was used also in another way, to send a psychological message to the general public of the world. This brings us to the third, and the most startling thing about the phrase Shock and Awe. It is actually a play on the Hebrew word Shekinah, which is a reference to the Divine presence of God that appeared to Israel first at Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:16). Although there was a cloud surrounding it as a sort of shroud, “The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.” (Verse 17). We understand this to mean the visible manifestation of the Divine character. Its presence at the giving of the law to Israel, indicates the absolute perfection of God’s nature, and the eternal justice it inflicts upon every infraction of His law. We are told by the writer of Hebrews the sight of that glory was “terrifying” and “exceedingly” fearful to the Israelites (Heb. 12:18-21). So any reference made to the glory that appeared on Mount Sinai is one of Divine retribution.

This is that same visible presence of God that dwelt above and within the inner sanctuary of Israel’s tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-38; Num. 9:16-18). The word Shekinah does not appear itself in the Hebrew Bible, but is a latter development of the word Shakan, which is used 123 times in the Old Testament. Shekinah refers to the visible presence, or, glory of God that abode with Israel in the tabernacle. God led them in the wilderness with a visible symbol of His presence. He appeared by day as a cloudy pillar, and by night as a fiery light (Num. 9:15-22). When they erected the tabernacle, which was really a portable tent, the Divine glory rested above and within the curtains of the inner sanctuary. The tribes of Israel were situated around the tabernacle according to God’s instruction (verse 23). This was done to give them a sense of His abiding presence in their midst. So the Shekinah glory was a representation of His abiding favor.

A great deal of speculation by conspiracy enthusiasts has been offered concerning the phrase Shock and Awe, and its connection to the word Shekinah. The implication they give is that it has some sort of mystical occult connotation. That might sell conspiracy books, but it is far from the truth, for there is a much simpler connection that fits our assertion here. There has always been an interest in the word Shekinah by those in government. The proof of it is the word appears in a sentence written on the ceiling of the Library of Congress. The phrase reads “The true Shekinah is man” and is a quote taken from an early church father John Chrysostom. Most likely, it was put there originally to reflect the influence of early American Enlightenment humanist philosophy. As already noted, the word Shekinah means a visible manifestation of the Divine presence as described in Jewish Theology.[7] John Crysostom’s words are a quotation of John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” referring to Jesus Christ as the Shekinah glory incarnate in our humanity.

But be that as it may, this word Shekinah, has found its way into war related terminology for a very good reason. The implementation of Shock and Awe against the Middle Eastern enemies of America and Israel, is a matter of Divine retribution. You might call it the terror of the Lord. This is the message intended, not only in the word’s Shock and Awe, but in its close verbal connection to the word Shekinah. And this is very consistent with the grandiose way of thinking that undergirds American exceptionalism. When it is joined to the claim Zionist’s make of having an inherent right to possess the Middle East, this makes for a powerful mixture of hubris indeed. The war strategists of America have no religious interest per se, in the use of such terms, they are simply utilitarian in nature. They recognize the long standing religious beliefs of people in regard to the state of Israel. Therefore, they do not hesitate to take full advantage of it when framing the language used. One interesting side note to this is the very name given to the five hundred pound bombs used in the Middle East. It is called the MOAB, which is an acronym for the mother of all bombs. Once again, biblical imagery is being employed here in connection to war against the enemies of God.

The things we have outlined here are the stuff in which paradigms are formed. The present paradigm of save Israel from its enemies at all costs has come about by interpreting the phrase “all Israel will be saved” to mean the state of Israel. This paradigm has been responsible for an incredible amount of turmoil and bloodshed in the Middle East for decades. It certainly is the reason for our involvement as a nation in all of these troubles. In connection to this, we think it is necessary to look into the situation that has developed, one that draws us as a nation like a magnet, further and further into an abyss. One we might add, that is of our own making. Let us examine the paradigm by which this has come about, giving consideration to a number of questions. What is it made of, what are the elements of which it is comprised? Why have Christians embraced it in this nation? Certainly, false interpretations of Paul’s words in Romans eleven can account for much of this. Also, how has this thinking been used to mold the situation into what it is now? Those are the questions to ask, and we hope, to answer here.

A. The paradigm of cultural superiority

Things rarely ever happen suddenly, although sometimes they do appear that way. The Bible is full of narratives which show sudden, immediate action on the part of God taking place. What is easy to overlook in it however, is that Bible narrative is given in order to highlight such things. The Bible was written over a period of time that cover about fifteen hundred years. Bible history covers in excess of six thousand years. Obviously, a great deal of time and circumstance have occurred within the framework of Bible history that is not recorded, often giving the impression that history is extremely epochal in nature. This is said to highlight the fact that American Christian thinking about Israel did not come about overnight. This is developed perception, one that has been in the making for a long time. This perception is also one that is ready made for Zionist manipulation. It is certainly one that Dispensationalism as a philosophy, as well as a theology, has fit into quite well for more than a hundred years in America.

In order to understand the joint approval of Covenant and Dispensational Christians on this notion, that “all Israel” means the state of Israel, it is necessary to consider early Protestant culture. Long before the days of Dispensationalism, Covenant, or Federal theology as it was called by the Puritans, became the central framework of Christian thinking. The Protestant Reformers recognized that God deals with man, and indeed with all of creation within a covenant framework. The Covenant as it regards man, is either redemptive or retributive in nature. In other words, it has to do with mans relationship to his Creator on the basis of one or the other. As it concerns the rest of creation, it is simply restorative. This means that the effect of mans sin on the cosmos, will one day be done away with as a result of the Covenant of redemption. The way in which this is to be done, has been the substance of debate among Christians, since the days of the Protestant Reformation.

Along with Protestant Covenentalism came the view that it necessarily included mans relationship to God through civil government. Certainly, civil government is an earthly sphere of reference in which God has delegated His authority. This is for the purpose of promoting His glory, and for the preservation of His people as long as they must sojourn here upon earth. It is important to note too, that there is nothing redemptive about this sphere of influence whatsoever, it simply provides a context in which all of God’s decreed purpose is played out in a historical manner. That being said, it is also true that Reformed Covenantalism, tended to join this function of earthly purpose together with the other redemptive part of it. In other words, in order to implement the Covenant purpose of redemption here on earth, provision within the Covenant was made for its application to civil government and society. This idea translated into the concept of many nations having a special covenant relationship to God, based on their acceptance of the Christian faith. This was certainly the idea behind the Pilgrims’ concept of America as the city built upon a hill.

The attempt to establish America as a theocracy came from this idea too. The problem with it however, is that it is based upon a false notion of what Gods kingdom is supposed to look like. Why do we say this? We say it because no one has ever agreed on what a Covenant nation is supposed to look like from the Bible, for there is no plain teaching upon this theme to be found, even though many have entertained the thought anyway. Is it supposed to be theocratic, monarchical, or secular? Is it supposed to be Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or ecumenical? And to get closer to the present, is it a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian nation? The inability to agree on this has led to a multitude of religious and political theories since the Reformation. By the end of the seventeenth century, American society had for the most part rejected theocratic Puritanism. What they rejected was its religious severity upon the populace. The Enlightenment, with its emphasis upon humanism soon replaced the Puritan hope with liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Americans however, had not rejected the Puritan notion that this is a nation in special covenant relationship to God. Sure enough, the redemptive part of the covenant, had been set aside, but it was done in order to embrace an Enlightenment concept of God’s kingdom. Christianity was still the formal structure of God’s kingdom on earth. This is why there was such a unified effort toward the modern missionary movement in the eighteenth century. It was born of the notion that what western Protestant lands possessed, by way of exceptional culture, was worthy of exportation around the world. We do not want to minimize the sincere interest of Christian folk at the time, in bringing the gospel to a lost world. What we do want to focus on is their thinking of western, and certainly American culture, that it is inherently superior to all others. Now, in saying that, we readily agree that all cultures are not created equally. And that any culture blessed with the presence of true Christianity cannot help but be improved, at least from an earthly perspective. Nations who are steeped in false religion are generally backward and corrupt.

When America gained its independence from Britain, it was thought to be a Divine confirmation from God that it was indeed a covenant land. This view came to be known as Manifest Destiny. It viewed God’s providence in bringing the Pilgrims here to escape religious persecution, as a Divine deliverance, much like that of Israel from Egypt. America was the land of liberty, established as that city set upon a hill that Jesus spoke of to His disciples (Matt. 5:14). Manifest Destiny became a doctrine of the early American Christian church. It was the battle cry of the settlers as they went westward across the frontier in conquest of the land. They went forth into the wilderness bringing the gospel with them for the glory of God. But they also went forth to cleanse the land of its pagan inhabitants, in much the same way that Israel of old did to Canaan. Needless to say, the inhabitants were none too pleased with the program, and launched a fierce opposition to it. So Divinely ordered Manifest Destiny gave them the moral right to kill tens of thousands of the native people who were after all, nothing but savages.

Divinely ordered Manifest Destiny according to most Americans was what gave this country its greatness. Through Manifest Destiny, the American ideal took on an almost mythical aura about it. Its culture, its religion, its government, and its freedom were considered by all the manifest favor of God upon it. That was, until war between the states came in the middle of the nineteenth century. But even here, Manifest Destiny was at work. A deeply religious land became divided over the moral issues of states’ rights versus the institution of slavery. Manifest Destiny applied to this too, just as it did to the natives whose land was taken from them. From this it is easy to see how hundreds of thousands of American Christians could slaughter one another on the battlefield. Each one set out to prove who was right in the matter, who would define the American Republic with Manifest Destiny on their side. So here, once again it was indeed a proven doctrine of America, for it resulted in upholding the American principle of liberty, equality, and fraternity through the maintenance of the union.

At the end of the nineteenth century, a new element entered into the American cultural picture, it was Dispensationalism. Here the idea of Jewish exceptionalism was introduced to American Manifest Destiny. It should be noted here too, that when Britain had lost America to its independence, it was at the same time, in its own ascendency as an empire. The turn of the twentieth century marked the peak of worldwide British influence. The sun never set on Great Britain, it was said, because of its many possessions throughout the world. America and Great Britain had a lot in common at the turn of the century. In fact, America and Britain were joined at the hip so to speak through a shared religious history. And whereas, Great Britain had already long before embarked on a course of interest toward the restoration of Israel, now America joined in with them in the widespread acceptance of Dispensationalism.

Throughout the twentieth century, America and Great Britain joined hands together in the implementation of an Anglo-American brand of Manifest Destiny. American and British theology joined hands together in acceptance of Dispensational Eschatology. America and Britain joined hands in successfully fighting two world wars against despotism. America and Britain joined hands in establishing an international forum in the United Nations, whose intention it is to maintain world peace through the promotion of independent democratic movements. And America and Britain joined hands together in supporting the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. With the addition of the Jewish state of Israel, Manifest Destiny took on a Judeo-Christian character to it. This is really what is behind the view that “all Israel” in Paul’s letter to the Romans means the state of Israel. It is the idea that Israel’s rise to nationhood is the inevitable outcome of God’s covenant purpose. The fact that force has been involved in it, and that countless numbers of people have suffered loss of life and property because of it, is merely incidental. Collateral damage is considered merely academic to a far greater purpose.

What is at issue here is the notion of cultural exceptionalism, the idea it is right to forcibly impose one nation’s culture on another nation, as part of some missionary principle. For instance, in England, the missionary movement was inseparably joined with the advance of the empire. So everywhere in the world the British Dragoons went, the Christian missionaries went with them. This recipe not only ensured the spread of the gospel, but it ensured the spread of British culture too. The two went hand in hand together, as a single unified display of the western concept of the words “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). In America there was no such empire at the time to export, until after the first world war. The war provided a context for the use of necessary means, in order to export American culture abroad in the form of democracy. The rationale for American involvement in the war was framed as the need to spread democracy in the world. And Democracy at that time, was clothed in the garb of Christian missions to the world by Woodrow Wilson, the son of a Presbyterian minister.

The spread of democracy by every president since Wilson, has been the reason given for every geopolitical program that America has pursued since then. This is especially true of the support America has given toward the state of Israel. There is little wonder then that this support has been closely tied to the theme of democratic exceptionalism. Everyone is aware of what happened in the holocaust. No one can deny that millions of Jews died in Europe as the result of a fascist tyranny. The allies won the war, and it was defeated. So the natural conclusion to this is, God’s judgement was against this tyranny that was responsible for the holocaust. It is also concluded, God’s favor toward those who suffered in Europe seemed to be at work in bringing about Jewish immigration into Palestine, right after the war. This of course, is what led to Israel becoming a state in 1948. So with all that being said, no one doubts the premise behind the emergence of the state of Israel. This is not under any dispute, but rather taken for granted by almost every American without question. It seems to suit the paradigm of Manifest Destiny quite well too.

After world war two, along with the emergence of a Jewish state in Palestine, the idea of a uniquely Judeo-Christian philosophy began to develop in the west. This term, Judeo-Christian, fools many Christians into thinking it refers to nothing more than historic Christianity, when in fact, it does not. It is an amalgamation of two religious philosophies into one. Now Dispensationalists of all people despise the concept of philosophy when used in reference to religion. For that matter, they don’t even like the word religion. The reason for this being, they believe themselves to be the ultimate purists in reference to Christian faith. Theirs they say is a biblical faith, not a man-made one such as that which proceeds from philosophy. What they don’t understand however, is that even Christianity is philosophical, in that it teaches principles gleaned from necessary consequence in the Bible. There is actually no such thing as a true biblicist, otherwise, there would not be so many different views that claim authenticity based on the Bible. Their affinity for Israel however, insulated them from an otherwise negative reaction to it as a philosophy.

Judeo-Christianity is actually a cultural concept of God and religion. It is the God of America so to speak. The God of America, according to Judeo-Christian philosophy is democratic in His divine attributes. So from this there is the perception that American democratic values are what makes this country great in all its institutions. This in turn makes America exceptional in what it does throughout the world. Judeo-Christianity also blurs the distinction between Judaism and Christianity. It reduces Christianity to simply a religion of morality, while elevating Old Testament law to the level of redemption. How does it do this? It does this in two ways. First, it views Christian salvation as something that is obtained by human free will activity. Hence we see it equated with raising a hand or walking an aisle in popular religion. This is one good reason that Fundamentalism is so blatantly legalistic. Second, it views Old Testament Judaism as a viable belief system which God still blesses, even if faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ is absent. This is why it is so important for Evangelicals to insist the ten commandments be displayed in the courtroom and other government halls.

Judeo-Christian ideology has transferred what is perceived as the exceptional qualitites of each religion over and into the other side. What it did was synergize Judaism and Christianity into a single concept or paradigm that provides a strong political lobby toward Israel. On the basis of Judeo-Christian philosophy, Jewish dreams and aspirations are in the eyes of many American Evangelicals, something not only biblical, but deserving of their support. Since world war two, support for Israel has become a defacto doctrine of the American Christian church. It is popularly believed that Israel is both a religious and a democratic country just like America. This makes it extremely easy for American governments to wage war against various nations in the Middle East on their behalf. There is little to no political backlash against it from most Americans. The polls certainly bear this out time and time again. So military excursions over there are always wrapped in the garb of advancing the cause of freedom and democracy. Judeo-Christian cultural conditioning since the second world war, has shaped the American psyche.

In the mind of most American Christians, support for Israel not only advances the cause of democracy, but the cause of Manifest Destiny too, this time for God’s original chosen people. The Pilgrims’ narrative fits once again in the establishment of Israel. The Jews suffered under religious and ethnic persecution at the hands of an evil government, intent on eradicating them. God then led them from concentration camps by a miraculous deliverance into the promised land. Now God’s people, claiming title to the land through an unconditional promise, are busy evicting the pagan inhabitants from it. By the moral authority invested in them by God, they impose a better religious culture on the land, than that which the backward savages have thus far maintained. American as well as British interest is advanced by this too, in that it shows the Manifest Destiny of a synthesized Judeo-Christian culture, one far superior to that of Islamic Arabs.

It is the goal of American Evangelicals to export Judeo-Christian culture throughout the world. Anyone who listens to the diatribe of Rick Warren should get the picture on this. Others like Tim Keller are out to build Christian culture as a missionary enterprise. And of course, lets not forget John Hagee, the mega-church millionaire who sends his love and support to the Israeli government with candy flavored kisses. Geopolitical support for Israel suits this goal of American Evangelicals perfectly. It is what drive American political interest in the Middle East. So the invasion of Middle Eastern countries is done for benevolent reasons, just as much as the supposed threat of terrorism. America has been safe from foreign invasions for hundreds of years, simply because of natural borders. Couple this with overwhelmingly superior military strength, and it is hard to see how backward people in the Middle East can pose very much of a threat. So the question is, what motivates America to meddle in Middle Eastern affairs like it does? The answer comes back to Israel every time.

Manifest Destiny operates in conjunction with another point of view called the Just War doctrine. This idea says that aggressive action against others, is justified where moral and religious superiority are present. This is the philosophy that is foundational too much of American Evangelical Christianity. It motivates them to take sides with Israel in every instance, without the slightest bit of objectivity involved. Another way to put it is like this. Israel is the good guy. Muslims are the bad guys. If Israel attacks and kills Muslims, this is justified. If Muslims kill Jews, this is bad, and terrorism. Let’s be clear on this. We are not extolling the Muslim religion or terrorism in any way. What we are doing is showing the predisposition of thought involved in Christian support for the nation of Israel, and why it is so. This also explains why Reformed, Covenantal Christian’s throw theology under the bus when it comes to interpreting “all Israel” as the state of Israel in the Middle East.

Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, theology is always behind every philosophy that becomes the cultural norm of a society. We have presented the paradigm by which most Evangelicals in America think in terms of the state of Israel. What should be of concern here to any Reformed biblical Christian is this. How do they connect Romans 11:25-27 to what is commonly perceived today in the church about Israel, is the modern state of Israel a fulfillment of biblical truth, or something altogether different? There are many things about this question which should be a cause of concern for the Christian. The Christian should never allow a popular conception to define what they believe about Scripture. We have considered a number of things which make up popular notions about the exceptional nature of American culture. We have considered Christian tradition in America relative to its culture. Let us now consider a number of things that are popularly taught in most Sunday school classes about Israel.

B. The perception that Israel is a democracy

The perception most Christians have of the state of Israel, are that it is a democratic society, much like America is supposed to be. This belief helps to encourage American Christians to have unquestioned support for Israel. In the first place, democracy has nothing to do with the kingdom of God. This is simply a further transference of the covenant kingdom idea into the political realm. In fact, there is no particular form of government prescribed in Scripture for any nation. The words of Paul in Romans chapter thirteen (verses 1-7) reflect the duty and authority God has delegated to earthly rulers. At the same time, it also reflects the limited nature of that power. As far as the exact way that any government should operate however, that is something completely lacking in Scripture, other than some universal principles related to the second table of the law. Paul states this principle in verses 8-10 of the same chapter. Nevertheless, a democratic society has become the standard by which American Christians judge the character of a nation. And since Israel is an extension of God’s covenant kingdom in the minds of many, it is necessary for it to be democratic too. So, Americans are led to believe this about Israel.

In the second place, this perception, that Israel is a democratic society, is set in contrast to the other societies that surround them in the Middle East, which are considered to be pagan and backward. This antithesis is what pervades the mind of Americans every time they hear of any conflict over there which involves Israel. It also makes it extremely easy for the American public to buy into the notion invading Muslim countries in the Middle East, is somehow justified on this account. America is more righteous than they, because of its supposed democratic institutions. We all remember President Bush telling us on television that terrorists, and by extension, all Muslims, hate us for our freedoms. This sort of mental preconditioning gives immense aid to Israel. It does this when a connection is made from America to their supposedly free and democratic society, which by implication is being threatened by the same people as well.

The reality about the state of Israel is something completely different from what it is perceived to be in the west. In fact, Israel is anything but a free society, it is rather a quasi Marxist, quasi fascist police state.[8] Besides having a communistic style Kibbutz system, Israel is extremely nationalistic for obvious reasons, and as such, is also relatively racist. The first and most egregious example of this are, the deplorable manner in which they treat their Arab citizens. Everyone, no matter who they are in Israel, is required to carry an internal passport, identifying who they are. If someone is caught without their papers, they are subject to jail time. But the restriction of personal freedom for Arabs is especially profound. A 430-mile fence was constructed by the Israeli’s along the west bank, segregating some 23,00 Arab citizens from access within their own country. There are military checkpoints everywhere in Israel, and free movement by its citizens is extremely restricted. Arabs are kept from employment opportunities, from access to medical services, from visiting friends and family, and many other things, simply because of their race.

Now, the Israeli’s would chalk this up to a need for internal security from terrorism. Security is certainly one of the legitimate functions of government. However, any country that needs to do such things within its own borders, against its own citizens, is anything but a free society. It is also anything but a democratic society too, for those who are being discriminated against, obviously have no voice or interest in the franchise. Generally, the reason for this type of a situation will always default back to a government that is morally corrupt, legally unethical, and exists for no other purpose than to serve a favored class of people within the society. So the extreme measures taken to maintain security, serve as an excuse to repress the underlying issues that exist, requiring its need in the first place. The issue here with Israel is the hostile takeover of the land from its previous occupants in 1948.

Discrimination is not reserved for Israeli Arabs either. The Israeli’s discriminate between their own ethnic subdivisions, namely, between the Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews. Internal papers identify which Jewish group it is that holds them. Job opportunities, and access to housing, education and other services of the civil government are doled out according to these distinctions. And this is something that is racially motivated as well. Since the white European Ashkenazi Jews established Israel in 1948, they hold the prime positions of power and influence within Israeli society. Brown skinned Jews are treated in much the same fashion there as in any other predominantly Caucasian nation. Even intermarriage between the two racial groups is frowned upon by the government. It is true, today, there is a more even distribution of these subgroups living within Israel. But that has had little effect on the direction the country has gone in reference to this sort of thing.

There is one more group of people that fare at the bottom of the list in this so-called democratic country. These are Christians. We do not refer to Christians who go there to spend money on site seeing tours, or those who go there to fawn all over them as God’s chosen people in public events like John Haggee does. We are talking about Jewish and Arab Christians that live within the nation of Israel. They are certainly free to live there. But they dare not express their faith in Christ anywhere in public, for it is a crime in Israel to do so. Any Christian caught proselytizing there, faces jail time in this democratically so called, covenant-nation. There are two reasons for this. First, there is a small minority of extremely fundamentalist Hasidic Jews there who will commit acts of violence against non Jews of any kind. The government there, just like in most Muslim nations, tries to placate these types through laws against proselytizing. The second reason is much more fundamental. Most Israeli Jews are atheists. They don’t even practice any sort of religious devotion at all.

This is very reflective of the cultural roots of Israel. What is meant by this is in reference to Eastern Europe. It is no accident that Communism has its roots in Eastern Europe, the same place that Ashkenazi Jews originate from. It is a fact that the Bolshevik revolution was started and funded by wealthy Jewish bankers in the west too.[9] So there appears to be something inherently socialistic and fascistic within Talmudic philosophy concerning the Jewish cultural mind set.[10] Some people say it is part of the Old Testament ideal of racial brotherhood within the social structure of Israel that says each man is his brother’s keeper (Lev. 19:9,10, 23:22, 25:9-13,36,37; Num. 36:1-4; Deut. 24:21). Something else which is added to the philosophy is, a warped perception of the law based authoritarian social structure of ancient Israel. When this idea is taken to an extreme, devoid of any true religious principle such as that found in Christianity, what happens from this is an attempt to construct a political and social paradise on earth. This is especially relevant, given the entire nature of the Jewish concept of Israel. For them, to live in Israel is redemption here on earth.

Modern Israel is a Talmudic, not a biblical nation. The Talmud is a collection of writings on Jewish law, compiled over a long period of time after 70 AD. It essentially replaced the Bible as the chief authority within Judaism. The Talmud is concerned primarily with Jewish society and tradition, rather than religion. We are often told that the Koran contains words of violence and hatred against non Muslims. But few people outside of Judaism are aware the Talmud contains its share of hate speech too.[11] Gentiles are looked upon as legitimate targets for pilfering and confiscation of wealth through usury, something Jews were forbidden to do against each other in the Old Testament (Lev. 25:36,37; Neh. 5:7,10; Ps. 15:5; Prov. 28:8). The Talmud legitimizes any means used whatsoever, in pursuit of the Jewish cause. Violence of the most egregious kind is tolerable in the name of Israel. Dishonesty is allowed where the interests of the state are at issue. We can honestly say that there is nothing much different about Israel, than any other Godless society on earth. Now, this is all pointed out to make it clear there is little about the state of Israel that is like America.

C. The idea that Israel is the holy land

The notion that Israel is a democratic nation has been designed in order to appeal to the ideological sensibility of Americans. It has been previously stated that Zionism is a political movement with a political goal to it. That goal is the control of what was formerly called Palestine. It also includes an extended amount of territory well beyond it. Zionism is also, a pseudo religious movement as well. Jews claim that possession of the land is their national redemption. So this piece of land is considered by Jews as holy land. They say it is theirs by right from God, because He gave it to Abraham as a permanent possession. It should be pointed out too, the people who have been displaced from this land for the last sixty-five years, believe it is holy too, and that it is theirs by right as well. We have already considered the question of land inheritance in the last chapter. But there is something else which needs to be said about this here. This is in reference to the character of the land and its importance, if any to the Christian.

It seems that this is a place throughout history, which has always been considered the holy land. It is the place where the worlds three main religious movements began, and have fought over it for control ever since. But this brings us to the very important question, is true religion about land? This question has been answered in the affirmative, not only by Jews and Muslims, but by Christians in large numbers over the last two thousand years. In fact, most Christian ideology has always been land focused in its thinking. Why do we say this? Every Christian theological position except Amillenialism constructs itself around the concept of land-based Eschatology. Obviously, they are not all the same in the way they do it, but nevertheless, they all focus on land as essential to their particular theological cause. Premillenialism looks to an earthly kingdom when Jesus returns. Postmillenialism looks to the same thing, only that it is here and now. Preterism says that Jesus already returned, and this world is His kingdom. Dispensationalists look to Israel as the earthly kingdom of Jews. Theonomists, Federal Visionists, and New Perspectivists all look to an earthly kingdom here and now, as well as in the future.

The Amillenialist is the only one who denies the expectation of a land-based kingdom in this sinful world. What did Jesus say when He was asked about His kingdom? “Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:33-36). There is no land in this present world that is holy. Nor is the land of the Middle East holy. There is no land that Jesus would have His people fight over in His name. Jesus made no claim of land in this world for Himself or His people. The idea that Israel is a promised land from God to Jews, is nothing but ethnically motivated religious error.

In order to believe that Paul was talking about the state of Israel, as a place where “all Israel will be saved,” one has to disbelieve what the Lord Jesus Christ said about His kingdom. When Jesus appeared before Pilate He was given the opportunity to state His case, to declare Himself in truth. So He was asked by Pilate “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus did not disavow the question Pilate put to Him. “Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37). What Jesus disavowed was any claim to physical territory on behalf of the Jews. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, not a covenant nation, whether it is Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. Religiously motivated attraction to land, government, and culture are the product of sinful, worldly lust. A holy land in the Middle East is not the truth of which Jesus came to “bear witness.”

There has been in times past land in the Middle East that has been designated holy by God (Ex. 3:5, 19:14,15,20,21; Josh. 5:15). What made the land in question holy at particular intervals of time, was God’s immediate visible presence there. The land itself was ordinary land. There was nothing otherwise special about it. Consequently, when Israel sojourned in the land of Canaan, they had the same visible presence of God with them in the tabernacle. The space within the tabernacle was divided by a veil into two sections, the holy place and the most holy place (Ex. 26:33). This distinction was owing to the fact that God’s Shekinah glory dwelt in the latter, while the priest officiated in the former directly adjacent to it. So everywhere that the tabernacle went as Israel journeyed in the wilderness, it was holy ground. Coming to the New Testament, we have an instance before, and an instance after Jesus’ death and resurrection, that this visible presence appeared (Matt. 17:1-6; Mark 9:1-7; Acts 9:1-7). In all of these cases, the visible manifestation of God’s presence was reserved for a privileged number of individuals to see.

The visible presence of God departed from the temple just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem (Ez. 10:18). The removal of that visible glory marked an end to it being a holy place. Outside of the two instances of it recorded in the New Testament, there has never been a place on earth that could be called holy in that sense of the term. The unseen presence of God has of course, never been absented from the world. The Spirit of God was certainly present with His people during and after the captivity (Hag. 2:5). The Lord was present with His people in Judea, in the Person of Jesus Christ, till He ascended to the Father (John 20:17). Now, after the ascension, the Lord abides with His people throughout the world, in the Person of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, 15:26, 16:13; Acts 1:8, 2:17,18,33). The entire world is now sanctified by the Lord’s presence with His people. But it is not that same visible presence spoken of in Scripture that made the place of its appearance holy. Therefore, to say the Middle East, or Palestine, or Jerusalem is holy land is not true according to Scripture. Nor is any other place in the world qualified as well.

This is a point that is vital to understand concerning the popular interpretation of Romans 11:25-27. To say that these verses mean the land of Israel, are to say that it is a holy land. Otherwise, what sense can be made of God re gathering a special covenant people there, for the purpose of a national blessing relative to salvation? Most Christians who buy into the “all Israel” paradigm do not logically think this out, taking it to its natural conclusion. But that’s exactly where it goes. Christian Zionism is a modern day extension of the crusades, just as president Bush haphazardly referred to it in his speech. It may have been an unguarded moment for him when he said that before the world, but it was most assuredly an honest one. It seems the world has its heart set on that piece of real estate in the Middle East, where Jesus told His people that God’s kingdom is not of this present world.

D. The myth of a miraculous rebirth

Since Israel became a state in 1948, a myth has been promoted that says it was the result of a miracle. This myth has been popularized by Dispensationalists since that time in all their prophetic writings. Before saying another word on this, we remind the reader of something already pointed out earlier. There is nothing unusual about a modern state emerging with the name of an ancient civilization. That doesn’t make it miraculous in the sense being ascribed here to Israel. Sadaam Hussein rebuilt the ancient city of Babylon, which was located within the national borders of Iraq. But did that make it miraculous, or, should we say, fulfilling of something said in Scripture? Literalists might think that Babylon will be rebuilt, only to be destroyed by God again (Rev. 14:8, 16:19, 18:2,10,21). But we ask, is Babylon supposed to be the city or empire of Muslim Arabs? Where is that found in Scripture? So when Sadaam Hussein called himself Nebuchadnezzar, he was simply employing Bible imagery in his speech. Furthermore, the name Babylon in Revelation is being used figuratively as well.

The idea behind the concept of the miraculous in the Bible is, when something happens suddenly, or, unexpectedly, that defies nature, something that God has done in reference to His word. Take for instance, the original nation of Israel. There was something miraculous in the establishment of Israel as a nation then, as it concerned God’s express intention. God revealed to Abraham His promise, along with some of the particulars that would accompany its fulfillment. “Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” (Gen. 15:13,14). Now, when it came time to fulfill this word given to Abraham concerning his descendants, God did exactly what he said He would do. Moses was chosen to approach Pharaoh and demand he let the Hebrews go to serve Him (Ex. 3:1-12). Of course, Pharaoh would refuse to do this, and so this is where the judgement spoken of in Genesis fifteen would come in (Ex. 3:7-20). The drama which began through Moses culminated in miraculous signs being executed upon Egypt in the form of ten natural plagues.

God judged Egypt with the plagues, and following the last and most severe one, Pharaoh reluctantly released the Israelites to go into the wilderness (Ex. 12:29-33). Once they were in the wilderness however, Pharaoh had a change of heart toward the Hebrews (Ex. 14:8). So he pursued them with his army to kill or forcibly return them to Egypt as slaves (verse 9). This is where we come to the final, and perhaps, the most spectacular of all the miracles concerning Israel’s deliverance. The Hebrews found themselves face to face with a large body of water called the Red Sea. Here, it seemed that they might perish at the hand of the pursuing army. So what does God do, but part the Sea, allowing the Hebrews to pass through (Ex. 14:21,22). Pharaoh followed them in hot pursuit right into the central part of the Sea where they had just passed, without realizing the folly of what he had just done (verse 23). And so, the story concludes with God closing the Sea upon them (verses 24-28).

We must stop now for a moment to contemplate this amazing event. Before it took place, there was a great deal of revelation given by God in regard to it. The rationale for the miracle God was about to perform was laid out before Moses eyes, and ours in His word for inspection. And it would stand to reason why it must be so. This set of miracles involved Gods Covenant purposes in redemption. This involved not only the Hebrews but the Egyptians too, by way of the judgements. It involved the fulfillment of Gods redemptive purposes through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex. 3:15,16). It would also involve the people of Canaan too, whom they would go in and dispossess (verse 17). We are reminded in this of what God has said many times about how He reveals His will to His people (Num. 12:6; Deut. 34:10; Hos. 12:13; Am. 3:7). God did not act in such a miraculous manner, and for such an important reason without a prophet, a lawgiver, and even a priest present and active in all the drama (Ex. 4:10-17).

Now, we must also stop for a moment and consider the claim that the return of Jews into Israel is the product of God’s miraculous hand. Granted, there is a seeming parallel to the Old Testament story of Jewish oppression under Adolph Hitler in Germany, to Pharaoh and Egypt. In fact, there have been few historical characters like him so capable of filling such a picture. It is also supposed, that world war two and the destruction of Germany, can certainly be compared in some way to the judgement of the plagues God brought upon Egypt. And so, the enormous exodus as it is called, of Jews into Palestine after the war, seems on the surface to be a modern day parallel to the Bible story of Israel and their deliverance into the promised land. But that is as far as anyone can go with the analogy.

To start with, the key phrase in all of this is ‘God’s redemptive purpose.’ The redemptive purpose of God concerning Israel was the sending of the Messiah to the world (John 3:16). Consequently, this purpose was to be the substance of Israel’s faith in God. Naturally, that faith needed a sufficient supply of revelation through the prophetic word to give them assurance of the Abrahamic promise. This is why there is so much revelation surrounding the formation of Israel from the Hebrew people, with their deliverance from Egypt, and their entrance into the promised land. Once the Messiah came, that prophecy was fulfilled. One searches in vain to find any revelation in the New Testament that corresponds to a modern re emergence of ancient Israel. Some interesting parallels are there concerning events in twentieth century Europe, but beyond that, there is nothing inspired or authoritative to consider from Scripture.

Those who look to Paul’s words in Romans eleven, for support of the contention that modern Israel is part of the Messianic promise, overlook that one thing. Without any Scriptural support in the New Testament connecting modern Israel to God’s redemptive purpose, all one can do when considering it, is to fill in the blanks with whatever opinion may come to mind. It is unbiblical to point to the Pentateuch in support of the modern state of Israel. It is unbiblical because the Old Testament cannot be used to affirm an event that happened in 1948 when it was looking ahead to something long ago fulfilled. Since the first century, Jews have rejected Jesus Christ and the New Testament. That is all they have from God today concerning redemption, just as the Old testament was what they had then (Luke 16:31; John 5:39,40). This is why there is no further revelation in the New Testament about the land of Israel.

Christians must also understand the point made here, there is no prophetic basis for the view that modern Israel has any place in the purpose of redemption. There is nothing more for Jesus Christ to fulfill. So all who are saved today must be saved through the gospel. In fact, the context of Paul’s writing in Romans, is about redemption, not about land. Certainly, chapters’ nine through eleven are all about election to salvation, not nationhood. Yes, it is true that Paul spoke of national rejection by God. But he did not speak of national acceptance in its place, when he spoke about both Gentiles and Jews. No, Paul said “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” (Rom. 9:6,7). He made a distinction between the elect, and the non elect Jews in God’s kingdom. Paul was, therefore, talking about the present church age when he concluded with the words “And so all Israel will be saved.” (11:26). We might add, this is an age that remains until the Lord returns.

To this, another objection is raised, wasn’t the rebirth of Israel in 1948 a truly spectacular event? In answer to this, we say, it depends on how one looks at it. You might say, all of the providential events which preceded this one in 1948, were unique in their own way, as they were all things which happened according to God’s decreed will. Miracles in the Bible are quite different. They are something relative to God’s special redemptive purposes. These were all events that happened in the course of time and nature, in other words, they were providential. Yes, God intervened in these things just as He did when He brought Israel into Canaan. And of course, there were providential events in world war two that changed the course of history, like Hitler’s foolish decision to invade Leningrad in the winter. But none of these things were spoken of in Scripture, like the judgements wrought in the ten plagues, or the Red Sea crossing (Gen. 15:14; Ex. 3:19,20, 14:16, 15:1). Those were truly miraculous events.

By a miracle, Israel was able to leave Egypt and journey into the wilderness, but only after God judged Egypt with ten specific plagues (Ps. 78:12,13). They did not however, enter the promised land immediately afterward. This did not happen for another forty years, during which time they wandered in the wilderness all of that time. It was only after another generation of Hebrews had been raised, that they as a nation of people were able to enter Canaan in fulfillment of the promise. This was a period of time in which God performed many miracles on behalf of Israel. The Israelites were accompanied in the wilderness by the cloud and the fire, the visible symbol of the Lord’s presence (Ex. 13:21,22; Ps. 78:14). When the Israelites needed water, God brought it to them by His miraculous hand (Ps. 78:15,16,20). When the Israelites were hungry, God provided them food from heaven (Ps. 78:23-28). When Israel’s enemies attacked them, God gave them the victory (Ex. 17:8-16).

Although Israel’s entrance into Canaan was less climactic than their deliverance from Egypt forty years earlier, nevertheless, it was still an event marked by the miraculous. This is evident in the parallel manner in which both of these events took place. Because of the similarities, in essence, the two events served as bookends to the forty-year period, in which Israel wandered through the wilderness. Their deliverance from Pharaoh’s army was marked by the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. Conversely, their entrance into Canaan though unopposed, was marked by a similar miracle of God parting the Jordan River so they could cross on dry ground (Josh. 3:14-16). This miracle caused terror in the hearts of the inhabitants of Canaan, for it was the true terror of the Lord, and not that of men (Josh. 5:1). When Israel encountered Jericho, the men of that fortified city would not even come out to fight them (Josh. 6:1). So God performed yet, another miracle on behalf of Israel, in that He delivered them into their hand (verse 2). This God did, in a most astounding way (Josh. 6:3-21).

The Passover officially marked the beginning of Israel’s calender as a nation (Ex. 12:1-14). This was the tenth and final plague on Egypt. God passed over every household in the land, killing the first born of every family where no blood was visibly seen on the doorposts. The Jews consider these two miracles, the Passover and the Red Sea crossing as their national redemption. These two great events along with a collection of others are what led to their entrance into the land of Canaan forty years later. Everything that followed really hinged on that one great event of the Exodus from Egypt. So contrast this with the story of Israel’s miraculous rebirth as a nation in 1948. It is said to be the result of the holocaust of Nazi controlled Europe. If a comparison is made of this to the Exodus narrative, there was no deliverance for Jews concerning the holocaust. It is reported that six million Jews died as a result of this. This is twice the calculated number of people than those who left Egypt. So what was this great miracle that happened to them which led to the formation of Israel in 1948? Since we can’t look to Scripture to tell us anything about it, all we can do is examine documented history.

What happened in 1948 itself was nothing more than a formal declaration to the world that Israel was now a state, within British controlled Palestine. Even less climactic than that, was the fact, that this declaration was made by a gang of Jewish hoodlums, who had been engaged in acts of violence within Palestine, since long before the second world war had started. These people were actually the combined efforts of two Jewish organizations, known as the Irgun and Stern gangs. Originally, they were splinter groups of an earlier movement begun in the twenties after world war one, in what was then Palestine. After world war two, these two gangs combined again in a bid to take over Palestine. The full title of this gang relative to the movement was The National Military Organization in the Land of Israel. This name was given to it even though Israel did not exist as a nation. This was a Zionist paramilitary group that operated in Mandatory Palestine between 1931 and 1948. Today we call such groups as this terrorist organizations.[12]

The British empire gained control of the Middle East, as booty from the defeated Ottoman empire of Turkey, after world war one. Even though they were the victors of both wars, Britain was in terrible condition by the end of the second world war. This situation led to the loss of a number of their colonies. Before and during both wars, they had promised a number of their colonies, some form of autonomy within the empire, in exchange for their patriotic support. This is how the various nations of the Middle East became independent. These nations were formed from tribal communities that were formerly part of the Ottoman empire. Because of its deteriorating situation after the second world war, Britain was forced to give up much of their empire to independence movements which they could not control. Palestine was one of those situations.

Fighting between Arabs and Jews had been going on there since long before the second world war. It consisted mostly of the same sort of tit for tat terrorist violence against each side that we see going on in that region today. The Jewish owned media in America today, always frame it as something completely defensive on Israel’s part, while at the same time referring to Arab groups such as the PLO and Hamas as terrorists. But the truth of the matter is, that violence has always been fundamental to the emergence of the modern state of Israel. The Irgun and Stern gangs were in no way any less terroristic, than any Islamic organization is today.[13] After their successful bid to wrest control of Palestine from the British, these two gangs became the IDF. This brings us back to an earlier statement regarding the comparison made between rocks and tanks. In saying this, we do not discount the insane behavior of suicide bombers and other such terrorist activity on the part of Muslims. The conception which Christians have of all this is of God’s chosen people fighting the Canaanite for control of the land, which is their property by inheritance.

There was an attempt before the war by these Zionist gangs, to convince Jews in Europe to emigrate to Palestine. The British authorities had resisted such emigration through legal means, no doubt to curb the violence. After the war however, the British were in no condition to control the situation any longer. Hoards of Jewish emigrants came into Palestine from Europe, and the street fighting began in earnest. Jewish gangs claimed credit for killing the British governor. In fact, they were responsible for many political assassinations against the British authorities. The gangs declared war against the British, and the Palestinian Arabs, in a bid to take the land. The British were forced to leave the problem to the newly formed United Nations, which passed a resolution to partition Palestine. This was done in order to create two separate homelands, one for the Palestinians and one for the Jews.

The Jewish settlers that poured into Palestine in 1948 defied the United Nations resolution and declared the entire region theirs by right, as the new state of Israel. These settlers were primarily from Europe, but many came from other parts of the world. At first, and for many years afterward, most settlers were Ashkenazi Jews, people with no discernable ethnic ties to the region, such as the Arabs. Prior to world war one, there were but a handful of Sephardi Jews that lived there under Ottoman rule. Between 1948 and 1973 Israel engaged in several wars with their neighbors which resulted in a grab for more land, thereby displacing more of its original inhabitants.[14] For many years, they maintained the pretense of negotiating some sort of peaceful solution that would include Palestinian statehood. But all of that eventually came to an end, when a certain deal brokered by the west fell apart. Since that time, there has never been a single word said on their part about anything other than a single Israeli state. So this is the miracle of 1948.

E. The false claim of exclusive title to the land

The fact there is no biblical support for the modern state of Israel, is no deterrent to its supporters, who claim that Jews also have legal title to the land in other ways. This claim is often made by Zionist Christians, as part of an ongoing effort to legitimize Jewish dominance of the land and its native inhabitants. We speak of course, of the Palestinians who have lived in what is now Israel for generations, and who possess legal property titles of their own to it. Between the two world wars, there was an influx of Jews that migrated to Palestine, but they came and purchased land there legally. By 1937, Jews made up approximately a third of the population living there. This sort of an approach if successfully sustained for a period of time, at the very least would have the appearance of credibility toward the establishment of their new society. After 1948 however, civil war raged within Palestine. With the British abandoning it altogether to the United Nations, this left none but the Arabs and the Jews to fight it out. So the newly declared Jewish government merely drove the Arabs off their legally owned property.[15]

It is interesting that none of this history is ever taught in America. We do hear how the very same thing happened to European Jews in Germany. But this is all part of a standard one-sided narrative of the miraculous creation of Israel. It is prepared and passed along for public consumption. The claim of property title to Palestine is made in reference to a letter written by British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild. The letter is supposedly an official declaration of the British government, showing their intent to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. The letter is dated November 2nd, 1917, before the end of world war one. Palestine at that time, was the possession of Ottoman Turkey, who were allied with the Austro-Hungarian empire, which Great Britain was at war with. The context of the correspondence had to do with enlisting the aid of Lord Rothschild, a British Jew, to persuade American Jews to lobby the government, toward joining the war with Great Britain against Germany. The intent was to enable Britain to break the stalemate with Germany on the battlefield, in exchange for the promise of a Jewish homeland. The letter is printed in its entirety here.

Balfour Declaration 1917

November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet. “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,

Arthur James Balfour

It is clear from reading the letter, that the intent of it was not to give the entire territory of Palestine to the Jews, but rather, to divide it between them and the Arabs. It is obvious too, that this was a private letter, and not an official state document by the British government. In fact, by the time this correspondence took place, the British had already promised Arab leaders throughout the Middle East, their independence in exchange for help in the war as well. This is where the famed story of Laurence of Arabia originates. Laurence was a British agent who enlisted the aid of Muslims to fight against the Ottomans in armed revolt. There was an exchange of letters between British and Arab officials that began in July 1915, and ended in January 1916, concerning the future political status of Arab occupied territory. The British promise gave them hope of establishing a renewed Muslim Caliphate, in a unified greater Arabia. After the war however, the British reneged on their promise and divided the entire region up between them and the French, in what became a collection of small nations.

There is nothing unusual about this sort of thing. Nations often make deals and alliances for the sake of expediency during war time, only to modify them later. In this case, the British had essentially promised the same territory to both Arabs and Jews. In fact, the promise to Arabs preceded the date of the so-called Balfour declaration by more than a year. But as we have already shown, there was an active pro-zionist movement well under way in Great Britain by the time world war one started. This movement applied a great deal of pressure on the British authorities concerning their policy in the Middle East. This was a pressure that was not resisted by any means, by those within the government who were supportive of the idea of a renewed Jewish nation state. It is quite clear from what is said in the Balfour letter that British intent behind any future Jewish homeland was to preserve “the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” Judging from this, there appears to be no title given to the state of Israel, to possess the entire territory of Palestine, and certainly not, to subjugate its prior residents under its dominion.

It is also clear that the making of such deals as this by British officials to both these parties, was a prescription for future disaster in the region. A very telling side to this can be seen in a written report submitted to George Rendel, head of the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office of Great Britain, on October 28, 1937.[16] This report involved a conversation which took place between a Col. H.R.P. Dickson, and the Saudi Arabian King, Abd al Aziz ib Sa’ud. The Saudi King expressed his consternation at the prospect of a future Jewish state being established by Britain, in the heart of Arab occupied territory. The report made by this letter is revealing for several reasons. The King described the Arab attitude toward Great Britain as friendly. However, if they should seek to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, that would all change for the worse. The words of this man express a great deal of vitriol against Jews, but for a very interesting reason.

It is commonly reported amongst Christians in America today that Muslim hatred for Jews is a matter of a historical record because of long-standing jealousy within the family of Abraham. This is a reference to the sons of Ishmael from whom Arabs are descended. The reason the Saudi King gave for the animosity is quite different from what might be supposed. The reason given is that Jews are the traditional enemies of both Muslims and Christians, because of their rejection of Jesus. Now, it is not supposed that Muslims believe anything about Jesus that Christians believe, other than He was a Jew who came from Nazareth, and that He was a Prophet of God who founded the Christian church. We, as Christians, believe in Jesus as the Son of God incarnate, who gave His life on Calvary for the sin of the world. And that through faith in Him, His death and resurrection, there is forgiveness of sin with God, and eternal life in glory.

The Saudi King was perplexed that a Christian nation like England would be so interested in promoting the Jewish cause, whom he described as under “God’s condemnation of them for their persecution and rejection of Isa (Jesus Christ).” Although we do not endorse Muslim Theology in any way, yet, truer words have never been spoken than these. God has indeed rejected Israel as a nation for this very reason (Rom. 11:3,8-10). That is not to say that God has not chosen some Jews to eternal salvation in Jesus Christ (Rom. 11:4-7). But the idea that Christians should be confused about this point is something indeed astonishing, even to an outside observer. The absurdity of this notion was certainly apparent to the King of Saudi Arabia in 1937, even if it was, and still is not apparent to Christians living in the west.

F. The state of Israel is not recognized by Orthodox Jews

This brings us to one final thing to consider about the advent of Israel in 1948. Most Christians in America are utterly ignorant of the fact that enormous numbers of Jews in the world do not support the state of Israel, or its policies. Some of these people have recognized many of the things we have highlighted here. Admittedly, criticism by these folk is usually based on humanistic reasons that Christians are uncomfortable with. Still, they deplore the violence that takes place over there on a daily basis. Should Christians deplore this any less? Zionist Christians are always calling for military action on behalf of Israel. They fail to realize, that at least half the population of Israel itself is tired of this, and critical of their own governments behavior toward the Palestinians. Here in the United States, Zionist Jews think nothing of calling anyone critical of Israel anti-Semitic. They even go so far as to call Jews critical of Israel as self-hating Jews. Yet, many American Christians buy into the Zionist philosophy by joining them in the most extreme rhetoric possible.

There is another type of Jew in the west, critical of Israel for entirely different reasons than merely humanistic ones. These are non Zionist Torah believing Jews.[17] Jews of this type comprise a number of sects who are Orthodox in their Judaism, who also place more importance on Scripture than politics. Torah Jews believe God’s kingdom is established on spiritual principles found in the Old Testament. They hope in a future Messianic kingdom, but one that is established on spiritual rather than political grounds. Now, these Jews are blind to Jesus and the gospel too. But they do recognize the renewal of Israel in Scripture is primarily spiritually motivated. There is no re gathering into the land apart from a sincere national repentance of sin and Idolatry. This is what led to Israel’s loss of the land centuries ago. The position they take is important to note in reference to Zionism. The common conception today of the re gathering of Jews into the land, is so they may have this renewal in the future. Scripture places the spiritual renewal of Israel in conjunction with the re gathering (Ez. 36:24-28). Jesus lamented the unwillingness of the Jews in His day to repent (Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 19:41-44).

This is most interesting, because it is not what Zionist Christians think about present Israel. Not surprising at all, is the fact that Dispensationalists are generally of an antinomian spirit in their theological perspective. Because of this, they have little regards for such spiritual exercise as the grace of repentance. Torah Jews are at least not misled by the notion that “all Israel” will be saved nationally, apart from a national repentance of sin toward God. In an article written by the Rev. Steven Sizer,[18] he puts the matter like this. “Repentance is always a condition of return. The assertion therefore that the events subsequent to the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 indicate God’s blessing on the Jewish people is totally without foundation in Scripture.” In other words, any idea of return to the land that precludes national repentance should be rejected. We do not believe that a return to the land such as Old Testament Jews expected is what Scripture envisioned, only that repentance from sin as Rev. Sizer states it is the necessary condition of any sort of blessing from God.

No such repentance has ever been the case with modern Jews. In fact, the entire narrative of the holocaust concerning German anti-Semitism is based on self-righteous indignation of being mistreated in this way. There is no reflection in the narrative made of sin against God. Most Jews as we have pointed out, are atheists and do not believe in any sin on their part that can account for what happened then, or at any time going back to the first century. Of course, we absolutely agree with them that what happened under Nazi Germany, was a horrific display of injustice against these people. Those who suffered were certainly innocent of any wrongdoing against their persecutors. What is at issue here is their lack of spiritual acknowledgment before God, of His righteous anger on them as people for their sin of rejecting His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. To suppose that God blesses such people as this, who will not repent of past sin, and embrace His Son as the Messiah, is absolutely wrongheaded theological thinking.

Once again we can do no better than refer to what Rev. Sizer said in the same article about this. “Jesus predicted that the Temple would be destroyed and the Jews exiled from the land as God’s judgement for their failure to recognise Him as the Messiah (Luke 19:41-44). The repentance required in the terms of Deuteronomy 30 would, from the perspective of the New Covenant, require recognition of Jesus as Messiah as a condition of return. Never therefore can the promise of the land be claimed by those who fail to exercise true faith and faithfulness in the Redeemer provided by the Lord in the Covenant. The Land is never promised to Israel unconditionally, but always requiring repentance, faith and obedience. To affirm that the Land is Israel’s right irrespective of her collective behaviour is to contradict the most basic prophetic lesson of redemptive history in Scripture.”[19]

Torah believing Jews properly understand the reason for the diaspora is that God kicked Israel off the land because of their persistent disobedience toward Him before the world. They can see and understand what the Bible says about why God distributed them around the world, it was in order to teach them a lesson about breaking covenant with Him. Concerning the land, God always made it clear to Israel that they occupied it conditionally, they were but tenants on it. God kicked them off His property, for practicing the same things as the nations they dispossessed when they moved in (Lev. 25:23). So Torah Jews believe it is right for them to live among Gentiles until God performs another great miracle of spiritual renewal among them. If only they understood that God has performed the only miracle He ever will, concerning redemption in His Son Jesus Christ. For this reason, there has never been a need for Jews to return to land in the Middle East. This is what make a Christian interest in national Israel so counterintuitive. The means of their salvation are here in America, and around the world everywhere the gospel is preached in truth.

While Christian Zionists lobby congress to give aid to Israel, many Orthodox Jews are opposed to it’s very existence. They do not support the present state of Israel in the Middle East in any way, shape or fashion for the reasons that have been outlined. It is common for Zionists to accuse Gentiles who deplore the existence of the state of Israel as haters, anti-Semites, or even worse, as terrorists’. Some Orthodox Jews speak of Israel as an illegitimate state, and desire to see it fail. We do not agree with them nor advocate the same thing here. This is simply brought to the readers attention, to show the biblical error involved in assigning to Israel any prophetic significance. Orthodox Torah believing Jews are absolutely right in asserting that the Scripture foresaw the spiritual renewal of Israel as the fulfillment of prophecy (Ez. 36:16-38). For this reason, there is nothing about the current state of Israel that fits this description. For that reason Christians ought to know better than that too.

Sadly however, Orthodox Jews also believe they are justified by conformity to the law, rather than by pure grace alone, through faith in a suffering Savior. There are hundreds of thousands of these Jews living in America today, which the Christian church would do well to consider in their prayers, instead of looking to the land of Israel as some sort of biblical nation. These Jews have at least accepted the notion that salvation is something more spiritual in nature, than simply a political movement. They rightly point to the manner in which Israel came about in 1948, as something that falls far short of any biblical ideal. Israel was founded on pride, rather than humility. Israel was founded on philosophical humanism rather than Scripture. And finally, Israel was founded on violence, rather than the true meaning of the law, which is to love God, and our neighbor as our self (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:34-40).

We close this chapter by noting that the largest number of Jews in the world, either, will not immigrate to Israel, or have left there already having done so. These are people disillusioned by what they have observed of Israel and its history since 1948. How could it not be so? Anyone whose hope is in this sin-corrupted world will always be sadly disappointed by what they find in it. It is doubtful that the violence over there will ever stop too. So if there is a purpose God has in drawing “all Israel” together in the Middle East, in order to save all Jews, it appears to be a program that has failed so far.[20] Perhaps, if there is another terrible event like the holocaust ever to take place again, it might lead many Jews to emigrate there again. But if the first terrible event did not serve the purpose of bringing “all Israel” together by uniting them in the same mind, it is doubtful that any subsequent events like it ever will.

Notes:

[1] Israel has invaded the country of Lebanon five times since the seventies. 1978, 1982, 1993,1996, 2006. In 1958 America sent troops to Lebanon for the first time in order to intervene in a civil war involving the outside influence of Egypt. Since 1948 Israeli occupation of Palestine have created large numbers of Palestinian refugees into neighboring Arab countries, which in turn has led to a great deal of de stabilization in the region. In 1976 the PLO began operations against Israel from neighboring Lebanon. This is what prompted a number of invasions and occupations of Lebanese territory by Israel since that time. In 1982 President Reagan sent troops to Lebanon following the second Israeli invasion and occupation.

[2] The first terrorist attack against Americans in Beirut was in April 1983 at the US embassy, where 63 people were killed. The second attack was in October 1983 at the Marine Barracks, where 241 Marines were killed.

[3] This would be an entirely subjective assertion if not so abundantly proved in Scripture. “Anyone reading the following Scriptures identifying the source of the persecutions of the early church in the book of Acts will be amazed: Acts 9:23; 12: 1-3, 11; 13:4-12; 13:42-50; 14:1-7, 19; 17:5, 13; 18:6; 19:8-9; 19:13-20; 20:3, 19; 21:27; 23:12; 24:27; 25:9; 26:2; or read Matthew 23:29-37. Paul, who understood this the most clearly, having been an instrument of the persecutions and later bearing the brunt of it himself, declared of the Jews “As concerning the gospel they are enemies” in Romans 11, and later referring to them again in Galatians 5, declares, “/ would they were even cut off which trouble you” (State of Israel, an article posted on the AmericanPresbyterianChurchwebsite,p5). http://www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org/

[4] The first time the phrase “this crusade” was used, was at a press conference by President Bush on the White House lawn, upon his arrival there on September 11, 2001. The second time Bush used the term “crusade” was in an address to troops in Alaska on February 16, 2002. It was immediately picked up on by numerous writers such as Alexander Cochburn, who wrote an opinion piece in the September 7, 2002 issue of CounterPunch, entitled The Tenth Crusade. Although Cochburn and others have been critical of Bush in his use of the term crusade, there appears to have been some validity to their criticism. Operation Infinite Justice appears to be not one, but a series of operations that stemmed from the September 11, 2001 attacks. These operations have led to numerous military actions in numerous countries around the world since then.

[5] Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade.

[6] The strategy of Rapid Dominance as defined by Ullman and Wade is “to affect the will, perception, and understanding of the adversary to fight or respond to our strategic policy ends through imposing a regime of Shock and Awe.” (Shock And Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance, A report given to the National Defense University, 1996).

[7] SHEKINAH she-ki’-na (shekhinah, “that which dwells,” from the verb shakhen, or shakhan, “to dwell,” “reside”): This word is not found in the Bible, but there are allusions to it in Isa 60:2; Mt 17:5; Lu 2:9; Ro 9:4. It is first found in the Targums. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Orr 1915). See also SHEKINAH (lit. “the dwelling”): The majestic presence or manifestation of God which has descended to “dwell” among men. (Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906)

[8] “It is the two faces of communism and Nazi-style fascism that rule Israel. Democracy is merely an illusion.” (The Life of an American Jew in Racist Marxist Israel, by Jack Bernstein, p9).

[9] Wall Street And The Bolshevik Revolution, by Antony C. Sutton

[10] “There is a great confusion regarding the relationship of fascism to communism. Fascism is national socialism. Communism is international socialism.” (The Life of an American Jew in Racist Marxist Israel, by Jack Bernstein, p9).

[11] Wherefore do I see every man [geber]15 with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?16 What is meant by ‘wherefore do I see every geber?’ — Raba b. Isaac said in Rab’s name: it refers to Him to whom all geburah17 strength] belongs.18 And what is the meaning of ‘and all faces are turned into paleness?’ — R. Johanan said: [This refers to God’s] heavenly family [I.e., the angels] and his earthly family [I.e., Israel,] when God says, These [the Gentiles] are my handiwork, and so are these [the Jews]; how shall I destroy the former on account of the latter?19 R. Papa said: Thus men say, ‘When the ox runs and falls, the horse is put into his stall.’20 (Sanhedrin 98b, The Babylonian Talmud).

  1. [H].
  2. Jer. XXX, 6.
  3. [H].
  4. I.e., the Almighty himself bewails Israel in the power of the Gentile.
  5. To avenge the wrongs suffered by the Jews. Because the suffering would be so great that even the Almighty would lament it, R. Johanan desired to be spared the Messiah’s coming.
  6. The horse is made to replace it, but when the ox recovers, it is difficult to remove the horse. So the Israelites, having fallen, were replaced in power by the Gentiles: but on their recovery, it will be difficult to remove the Gentiles from their position without inflicting much suffering.

[12] Originally, the Hebrew word Haganah (Defense) was used to describe these paramilitary groups who were active in Palestine before world war two. In fact, Zionist Jews have always framed every military action they have taken against their opponents as defensive. It should be kept in mind that Palestine was under British rule, and as such, was subject to their law. These paramilitary groups were therefore, blatantly illegal. The pretense by which these groups operated, was they were defending the citizens of Israel against foreign enemies in the land, although it did not even exist. For further reading on this see two separate Wikipedia articles entitled Lehi (group), and Irgun. Also, see Jewish Terrorism in Israel in the 20th Century, by Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger at http://www.Academia.edu, and The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict, published by Jews For Justice In The Middle East, found at http://www.ifamericansknew.org.

[13] See an article entitled Zionist Political Violence on Wikipedia. It gives a comprehensive list of specific acts of terrorism by Jewish gangs against Arabs and British officials in Palestine.

[14] 750,000 Arabs residents of Palestine were driven off their land in the 1948 war.

[15] “In March 1953 the Israeli Knesset passed the Land Acquisition Act, which made it legal for Israel to acquire “absentee properties” (land abandoned by Arabs during the 1948 war, some of whom did not leave voluntarily but were expelled by Israeli forces) and properties belonging to “nonabsentee Arabs” if those properties were needed for security or other “developmental projects.”” (Sacred Real Estate — Who Owns the Holy Land? by Shaul Magid who teaches religious studies at Indiana University in Bloomington).

[16] British Foreign Office file 371/20822 E7201/22/31. See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/.

[17] One of several anti Zionist organizations is Neturei Karta, International Jews United Against Zionism. http://www.nkusa.org. All non Zionist Jews are not so militantly opposed to Israel as this group. There are other more moderate Orthodox Jewish sects that oppose the state of Israel in principle, but do not call for its demise.

[18] 4. The Ethical Requirements of the Covenant Relationship (An Alternative Theology of the Holy Land- A Critique of Christian Zionism, Sizer, p7).

[19] Ibid, Sizer, p9.

[20] Dispensationalists actually look forward to Israel’s failure as a nation in their Premillenial theology. For them, this would be the beginning of an advance in their prophetic time clock toward the Millenial kingdom they expect to happen.

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