Deputy Foreign Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely responded saying “Diskin's remarks stem from a deep fear of loss of control of the secular elite in the State of Israel,” Hototvely continued on saying "The Israeli demography of the country is going in the direction of its Jewish identity, which is an integral part very existence," she continued. "Diskin's fear takes him to dark places and creates the delegitimization of an entire community.”
Diskin is certainly not wrong. Religious Zionism is on the rise but Diskin is not the only one bothered by it. Much of the world and especially the Vatican is seething at the notion of the Jews going back to their historical homeland and fulfilling God’s promises. They would like us to believe that the miracle of the Jewish people is no miracle at all. The fact is that the Jews have survived for thousands of years as a scattered people and returned right when many expected it, from the reading of none other than the Bible.
Back in the 1800’s a number of Bible readers could see that there was no doubt that the Jewish people would be going back to their land from the prophecies. What stood in the way back then was the Ottoman Empire. So, you can imagine the excitement when the British took control of the holy land and then the proclamation of the Balfour declaration. Then comes 1948 when the Jews regain their home out of the ashes of the holocaust, all on “purely political principals” as was expected from the prophecies. John Thomas wrote of this in Elpis Israel around 1850:
“There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of Jews before the manifestation (return of Christ), which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventual colonization of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him. They will emigrate thither as agriculturists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth…”
The returning Jews from all over the world, making Aliyah has also been a testament to Gods word. Over decades the words of Isaiah 11:11,12 have been fulfilling, in fact there is still more to come!:
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
Once the a large number of Jews are back in the land nothing settles down, you have the war of ’56 and just to top it off along comes 1967 when the Jews regain Jerusalem and win the war in a mere six days against all odds. This was just in case there were any doubters!
Today our excitement is the rise of Religious Zionism. It is as big a sign as the fall of the Ottoman Empire or the return of the Jews.
This rise in Religious Zionism is something that was expected before the nation was even born by the Bible student and author Graham Pearce. That fact makes it something even more extraordinary. Looking at the prophecies Graham could see that although the people would go back for secular reasons, it would be the turning to God that would bring the northern confederacy in Ezekiel 38 against the nation.
The following is an excerpt from an article written by Graham Pearce in 1948, when he speaks of the “Controversy of Zion,” words that are taken from Isaiah 34:
"Now if God intends to bring the age-long “controversy of Zion” to a head in order to vindicate His name, then at that time “Zion” and “Israel” must be something known and distinct. The passages quoted show that this is so, for their intention is to “defile Zion” etc. Such a situation as these passages describe will require a much more Israelitish character in the land than we now see. Hence it is essential that the nation’s faith in the Promises to the fathers, in Messiah, and the things of the law should be built up to some degree beforehand, and something of a true Israelitish flavour imparted to the nation. This development of a tangible Israelitish policy in the land will stir up anti-semitism among the nations and will provoke a “christian” crusade, thus gathering the nations against Zion.”
If you would like to read the complete article it was republished in the Bible Magazine, Vol 21, Issue number 1, page 22.
To see where the expectation comes from in the scripture you can look at Ezekiel 36:24:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean”
You can also look in Hosea chapter 3 where the process is laid out in verse 3 - 5, the children of Israel 1) return 2) seek the LORD their God and lastly 3) fear the LORD. It is not an overnight turning, it is the process of restoration. As Acts 3:20,21 says:
“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution (RV - restoration) of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
A priest walks past graffiti reading in Hebrew, “false idols will be eliminated”
So when you sit down to have a look at the news and you see the headline “Religious Zionism Taking Over Israel” it screams that Gods plans are right on track. But with the reading of the scriptures comes a distain for the Roman Catholic Church and its idolatry, and this is what a number are now doing in the Israel. All one has to do is read the stories of Elijah and Josiah to be inspired to cleanse the land. In fact this week Israel National news reported the following:
“A representative of the Vatican in Israel on Sunday contacted Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein in a letter demanding he indict Bentzi Gopshtain, director of the Lehava anti-assimilation group, for comments he made on a recent panel on Jewish law.“
The letter comes following a complaint submitted by the Catholic Church in Israel on behalf of the Vatican, which accused Gopshtain of "incitement" to violence - just after the Israel Security Agency (ISA) last Tuesday admitted that Lehava is perfectly legal.
The Vatican's call to arrest Gopshtain focuses on statements made when he took part in a panel debating Jewish law last Tuesday, during which he said he supported burning churches, in an answer he claimed was based on a ruling by the famed 12th century CE Jewish scholar Rambam (Maimonides).
Explaining his comments, Gopshtain said afterwards, "the law is straightforward: Rambam's interpretation is that one must burn idolatry. There’s not a single Rabbi that would deliberate that fact. I expect the government of Israel to carry that out."
In the panel, the Lehava director said he was not afraid of being arrested for his comments. He later elaborated, saying, "I said that for speaking the truth, I am prepared to sit in prison. And I emphasized that I don’t burn and won’t go and burn churches.”
Make no mistake, what we are seeing in the news is nothing short of the “controversy of Zion” and its not going to slow down from here. God has brought His people back to His land and they are turning to Him in droves. Secular Jews like Diskin hate the idea, as does the rest of the unbelieving world, and especially the Vatican. In the same article that we quoted by Graham Pearce he says “The coming world issue is “Christianity against Zionism.”” I think it is fair to say that it has always been an issue but it is going to become the dominant issue.
The Roman Catholic Church has a centuries long history of strong Anti Semitism. The return of the Jews to their ancient land has always been seen as a threat to the Vatican. It was Chaim Weizmann in 1922 before he became Israel’s first prime minister who said “the Vatican is moving Heaven and Earth against us.”
From a theological stand point, the ingathering of God’s ancient people means that God is far from finished with them. Therefore if God has not finished working with Israel, the replacement theology, along with all the so-called ‘church fathers’, are clearly wrong. The problem is a secular Jewish state is hard for them to choke, the idea of a religious state sends tremors to the deepest confines of the Vatican. In case there was any wondering of the Vatican’s position, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal stated that “Israel has nothing to do with the Bible.”
The foundation is now laid for the largest conflict this world has ever seen. The conflict of Ezekiel 38 when the northern confederacy comes against God’s people Israel. It says that “God’s fury comes up in His face (Verse18). The end result will be that God’s land will be cleansed and not only the Vatican but the whole world will know that Israel has everything to do with the Bible and the God of the Bible.
If you wanted any proof that the Bible truly is the word of God, you don’t have to look much father than the Jews themselves. God says the following is Isaiah 43:
“Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.
Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
So if Religious Zionism is taking over the land as Diskin says, in the words of the prophet Amos: “prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”
Thanks for tuning into the Bible in the News, please come back next week for another edition. Take care!