Well, was it God, or wasn’t it?
For behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’” (Jeremiah 30:3)
Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ … Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:17, 19, 20 – emphasis added)
We need to stop vacillating, Christian Zionists! We have to stop obfuscating! For the sake of the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Who we say we wish to be representatives of on this earth, we should make up our minds and determine our position – choosing unequivocally where we stand!
And we need to stop our ears to those of our Christians ‘leaders’ who – when it comes to the people and the land of Israel – keep tying us up in theological knots with their wishy-washy or wobbly interpretations of Scripture, rendering us no good to either God, Israel, or the Church!
The day is beyond critical. We have to resolve what is our position; we have to make up our minds. We have a tremendously important task to fulfill, and it calls for decisiveness, for boldness, and above all for unshakeable conviction that we are rightly positioned on the Word of God.
I challenge everyone who calls him/herself a Christian Zionist to ask: Do you, or do you not, believe that the God of Israel has been behind the following? (Consider carefully before you answer):
# In the more than one hundred years of Jewish immigration, God, in fulfillment of His Word and prophetic promises, has been restoring the Jewish people to the land He gave them.
Do you believe, as confirmation of the above:
# that God used the victorious allied forces in World War 1 to liberate this land from Islamic rule and open it up for the return of the Jews.
# that through the League of Nations, God awarded Great Britain a mandate to restore the land of Israel to the Jewish people.
# that in a Hell-inspired effort to prevent the Jews’ return, Hitler sought to exterminate them and – whether or not it meant to – the Royal Navy assisted him by blockading the land to cut off escape for Europe’s Jews; that Great Britain betrayed its mandate.
# that in 1948, in a narrow window of opportunity, made possible by the world’s brief moment of horror in response to the Holocaust, Israel was reborn as a nation, in a single day, exactly as foretold by the prophet Isaiah and virtually all the other prophets in the Bible; that Israel arose, quite literally, out of the ashes of the Holocaust; that it was a ‘God-thing’ – the Almighty foreknew, foretold and brought about the resurrection of Israel.
# that in its 1947-49 War of Independence, God gave the new Israeli army victory over multiple Arab enemies; that God protected the Jewish people against overwhelming odds, securing their national rebirth.
# that in 1967, Israel miraculously won what became known as the Six Day War, driving Islamic occupiers Jordan and Egypt off the soil of the Holy Land and, after more than 2000 years of Gentile rule, returning this land – including the ancient parts of Jerusalem, together with Mount Moriah, the Mountain of the Lord – to Jewish control; that in this war, it was God who restored to the Jews more of the land He had given them.
Do you believe:
# that for more than 25 years, the Arab states – through war – and the Gentile nations – through diplomacy and pressure – have been trying to wrest back control of these parts of the land, and create in them another Arab state called Palestine; that every attempt – even the many that have had Israel’s active and ready if reluctant participation – has failed to dislodge the Jewish people from their birthright ; that God has kept this land under the administration of the Jewish people; that He has not allowed the restoration of the land to be irrevocably tampered with?
Do you believe:
# that never, not at any point during this more than 130-year process of restoration, has God predicated His work here on a spiritual revival of the Jews; that they were not “godly” when they began to return here in 1882; that they were not “godly” when they battled the British blockade and fought the anti-Semitic actions of the British Mandate; that they were not “godly” when they voted to declare independence in 1948; that the Jews were not in a position of national repentance and turning to God when they won their wars; that God did not demand of them spiritual rebirth and national spiritual revival before He began the process of physical restoration; and that at no point along the way of consolidating this restoration, has God waited for them first to repent from their sins and turn to Him.
Do you believe all of this, or don’t you?
If we believe these things – as many millions of Christians apparently do – then we have to answer another question:
# Should Israel formally claim the lands mandated to her by God as an everlasting inheritance by extending sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Gaza – annexing those lands and making them, by Israeli law, part of the Jewish State?
As a God-fearing Christian who holds – from the Bible – to the beliefs outlined above, do you believe Israel should do this, or don’t you?
I’m not asking whether you think it is a good idea or not in the current geopolitical climate. I am not wondering whether you think you would support the notion if the Israeli government supported it. I am not even considering whether the pro-Israel organisation you support believes this or not.
I am unapologetically confronting you – confronting all of us Christian Zionists – with the pointed question: Do we believe – based on the Word of God, on all that God has foretold, and on all that God has been doing in the last 130 years – that He has restored these territories to the Jews as part of His plan to restore the Kingdom to Israel and to send His Messiah to Jerusalem to reign? And if so, that Israel should extend sovereignty over these lands covenanted to her by God as an everlasting possession?
Do you believe this?
If so, then God has a job for you to do in these critical days.
If not, why not? Have you said, “Yes, I believe this,” to all the questions asked of you above, with the exception of this last one that asks about the lawful inclusion of Gaza, Judea and Samaria into the State of Israel? How do you so clearly see all that God has done up to this point, and yet not see this next step?
If you don’t think you believe that Israel should bring these territories under its full jurisdiction, ask yourself why you don’t. If God restored these lands to the Jews, miraculously, after thousands of years, against all odds and in clear fulfillment of His Word, then why should Israel not extend her sovereignty over this land?
Is it God who has returned the Jews to their land? Yes or no? And is it God Who – through war – has returned the land to the Jews? Yes or no? And was this two-way return the fulfillment of His Word and His promise? Yes or no? Or was it a ‘perhaps’ fulfillment that you want to observe and analyze and ‘pray about’ for a while to see whether or not you are reading it right, lest you be found to be presumptuous?
I put it to you, if you are ambivalent; if you are vacillating; if you are making up solid-sounding ‘Biblical’ arguments about Israel having the right to possess the land but not having the right to live in it (“possession versus domicile,” as it is being packaged) that there is a matter that needs your immediate attention: Do you believe that as Christians we must take God literally at His Word? Do you believe that the Bible alone is the authoritative Word of God?
Could it be, if you are unclear on the issue of Israeli sovereignty, that you are being misled, that you have been left feeling irresolute in your beliefs because you have allowed men whose ‘authority’ and ‘qualification’ is based in their theological degrees or Bible-study prowess to disrupt your understanding and to make you unsure.
Christian Zionist, if you accept this name and what it really stands for, viz. God’s restoration of the Jews to Zion – the land of Israel – and God’s restoration of Zion to the Jewish people, you really had better make up your mind about what you are basing your belief on.
To those who are basing their belief on the literal Word of God and who wholeheartedly embrace the belief that Israel has the God-given right and should annex these lands, may I ask:
Are you declaring it and proclaiming it as your position on the “occupied West Bank,” as the world calls it, but which your belief must absolutely refute?
Are you prepared to take a public stand declaring that you hold to this belief?
If you are a pastor or a minister or the chairman or CEO of a pro-Israel church or ministry or organization, are you prepared to exhort your congregation, fellow ministry workers, members and supporters to take this stand with you? Are you willing to proclaim, or are you perhaps already proclaiming – from your pulpits, in your publications, in letters to the editors of your local news organs – that you believe this? If you are, are you gathering your congregations around you to make yourselves visible to Israel as you stand on her right to claim her God-given inheritance?
For surely, Christian Zionists – if we DO believe all that has been listed above, then we HAVE to believe that Israel should annex these territories, we should make ourselves visible to her so that she can see we believe it, we should call on her to do it, and we should call on our governments to support it.
We should not be swayed by the naysayers. There is a raft of people out there, who do not believe that God has given this land in perpetuity exclusively to the Jewish people, pushing forward a tsunami of arguments that call on Israel to surrender her birthright.
We should not be dissuaded from calling for Israel to annex these lands because of the Arabs who live there, or because of refutable arguments about a demographic time bomb, or because of the global consensus that those lands are illegally occupied by Israel, or because the Israel government says it supports the idea of the two state solution.
Our inheritance is to be salt and light on this earth. And if we believe that God has restored the Jewish people to all of these lands – that it was His sovereign, predestined purpose as is written so clearly in His Word, for them to return and conquer, occupy and settle these lands, then nothing – no argument, no rationale, no plea, no war, should be able to persuade us to back off from, or tone down, professing this belief.
For the truth is that we are sons and daughters of the living God, with authority given by Him to intervene in international affairs (Psalm 149). As believers, with our faith in the immutability of His Word, we need not be afraid to take up a position that is even contrary to “the policies of the democratically-elected government of the State of Israel.”
Moreover, I hold (and may the Lord correct me if I am wrong here) that it is incumbent upon us as believers to go before unbelieving Israel and, proclaiming to her our faith in her God and our belief in the words of her prophets, exhort her to go ahead and possess the land that even she has acknowledged in the past (before the relentless pressures wore away at what faith she had) was miraculously restored to her by HaShem.
The immigration of the Jews from the four corners of the earth, the re-establishment of their national home, the survival, growth and flourishing prosperity of their state, their victories over their enemies and the enlarging of their borders:
Either God is doing this, or He isn’t. If He is, then either we stand with Him, or we don’t. Can we please – together – make up our minds?
Christian Zionists are those who believe that all of this is of the Lord, that the land, in its entirety, belongs exclusively to the Jewish people. They believe that of all the land on earth, Israel is where God has put His name. They believe that God is actively and permanently restoring His people Israel to the land of their inheritance. They believe that Israel has the God-given right – and should use it – to extend sovereignty over all of the territories God has appointed to her. They believe it is Israel’s God-ordained mandate to go forth and fully settle this land, to be its rightful occupiers in the fullest sense of the word.
Can we agree to stand on this, to be visible before Israel on this? She believes she is alone, can we agree to shout out from the nations, in one voice, that she is not?
Please God that we can.