Focus on Zionism
Sooner or later all Bible prophecies must be fulfilled (Isa. 55:10, 11). In our day, angry, but fearful nations of the old autocratic order in Christendom gather themselves together, mustering their supporting institutions to withstand an onslaught. The revolutionary masses with their hard core of anarchists are rising up against their former masters to destroy them. It is the onset of the death-struggle of a worn-out world order. The Bible utters fearful prophetic warnings of the devastations which will sweep over the earth (Psa. 107:21-27; Isa. 34:1, 2, 8; 66:16; Dan. 12:1; Joel 1:15; Zeph. 1:14-16; 3:8, 9; Mal. 4:1), destroying those institutions with which Man has sought so unsuccessfully to govern and control his affairs. Selfishness and suspicion abound on all sides as knowledge increases and a great hail of Truth is sweeping away that "Refuge of Lies" wherein rulers have hidden themselves heretofore (Dan. 12:1, 4; Isa. 28:17).
The present build-up of events in the Middle East, together with the nature and location of Israel's main sworn enemy, Russia (Ezek. 38:14-16; 39:2), and the plotting in the councils of nations for the downfall of the resurgent Jewish State, point forcefully to the imminence of Israel's final, desperate battle in this "time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7; Zech. 14:1, 2).
ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED
God has promised that He will save Israel in the Hour of her greatest distress and that He will break the nations that come against her in that day. Those awesome prophecies from Ezek. 38 and 39 and Zech. 14, long the focus of eschatological studies, emerged from the mists of chronological obscurity in 1948, since prior to that time there was no nation of Israel to be attacked. To a people as scattered as the Jews, there was no common compass point (the North) from which attack could come. But now, with the State of Israel established and Russia declaring herself the implacable enemy of Zionism, these Scriptures, long understood by students of Prophecy, come into clearer focus and should be on the lips of every lover of Zion, both Jew and Gentile. The signs of the times are plain to be seen.
For those among the Jews of the Diaspora who love not Zion but have sought assimilation and found forgetfulness, there can be no awareness of these signs. For them there can only, and justly, be a share in that portion of the Gentile world which they have chosen as their milieu both now and in the hereafter.
This great, unprecedented Time of Trouble (Dan. 12:1) has been building up toward its awful climax since 1914. Yet the eye of Faith sees far beyond the trouble to the time when men will beat their weapons of war into the hardware of Prosperity, and a new World Order will be established wherein the people will learn to do right (Hos. 2:18; Psa. 46:8-10; Isa. 26:9). "All the ends of the Earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Psa. 67:7).
FROM DESPAIR TO PROSPERITY
How can such a transformation be achieved? Since this question is far beyond the wit of Man to answer, again we turn to God's wonderful word, given by the Prophets of old. Firstly, the Jews in their desperation at the height of "Jacob's Trouble", will cry out to God for help. As we have shown from the scriptures, God will hear them and will save them miraculously from seemingly inevitable destruction (Psa. 107:19-21). As they come to see the significance of these things, so their Messiah will be revealed to them (Zech. 12:1-10) in those days when the anarchistic masses have done their work and Christendom is no more (Zech. 12:9, 10).
Next, the New Covenant foretold by Jeremiah (Chapter 31, verses 31-34) will be made between God and the Jewish Nation in the Land of Israel (Isa. 44:23). Under the terms of this Covenant its keepers will be led into the way of prosperity and everlasting life (Ezek. 36:26-28). This will mark the great turning point in the affairs of men, as the "still small voice" of 1 Kings 19:12 begins to be heard and heeded by the whole nation of Israel.
THE PROMISED BLESSING
Finally, the very essence of Zionism will be revealed as the World is directed to look back to that original, oath-bound Covenant which God made with Abraham. Mic. 4:2 will be fulfilled, and the Word of the Law of this New Covenant will be taken from Jerusalem by the Jews to all the Nations of the Earth for their blessing (Isa. 2:2-5; Gen. 22:15-18). Both Jew and Gentile will have been appalled and humbled by their terrible experiences in the Time of Trouble and will earnestly seek righteousness and peace (Zech. 8:20-23; 2:9-13).
As earth's inhabitants come under the terms of the New Covenant and the Curse is repealed, the graves will give up their dead (Ezek. 37; Isa. 38:18; Hos. 13:14) and evil on the earth will begin to be eradicated (Isa. 25:6-9). Thereafter, in a vast work of rehabilitation the nations of the world shall be taught the Truth, and as time progresses under the great Messiah's reign each individual heart will be carefully and accurately tested. All things and all creatures not found to be fully in harmony with God's perfecting laws, will be removed entirely and forever from the land of the living. No Hell of torture; no Limbo of waiting; but simply oblivion, extinction. As it is written, "They shall be as though they had not been" (Obad. 15-17).
But what say the Scriptures of those who learn to love the Lord, who seek righteousness and who gain everlasting life? Such is the beauty of expression with which the Bible describes the eventual conditions of perfected Man, and his home, Earth, that the believing heart is uplifted in joyful praise to God at the glorious prospect. And so we come to see how the fulfilment of Isa. 35 and 65, verse 17, with Psa. 67 and other rich and beautiful promises lies just beyond the dark, evil cloud of trouble which even now is gathering quickly toward the final storm.
Thanks be to God for his precious promises! Reverence for Him is the beginning of wisdom, therefore let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. (Psa. 111:10; Psa. 95:6).
JUDAISM AND YOUTH
Bitter feelings are aroused among the guardians of Judaism by some of the activities of certain Christian missionaries who attempt to convert Jews — especially Jewish youth — to Christianity, or to that version of the Christian faith held by the particular missionary group. Much of Jewish antipathy stems from the use of unreasonable methods, at times even objectionable and iniquitous methods, by some of these groups or their representatives, in seeking to win converts.
Although the success of these proselytizing endeavours is small when compared with the extensive financial and organizational resources devoted to them, Jews complain strongly that they are a serious menace to their youth, and to the unity of Jewish family life which is so closely interwoven with the teachings of Judaism. The question arises — why has Jewish youth become so vulnerable?
THE MORE SERIOUS HAZARD
There is a hazard to youth of all religious persuasions which is much more serious than that of "conversion", about which little is said and even less done. It stems from those educational systems which teach Organic Evolution as opposed to Creation as the origin of species (especially of Man), undermining faith in the Bible by the supplanting of Divinely revealed truth with an unstable theory, a product of human imagination, which has never been substantiated. This position is reinforced by the wider effects of Rationalist thinking which prevails in our day, presenting Biblical truth as allegory, myth, or even as error where it does not conform to current, popular scientific thinking. Young people are thus being educated toward agnosticism or outright atheism.
Judaism is being questioned by Jewish youth regarding its principles, its practices and its relevance today. The evidence suggests that Judaism is hard pressed to answer a call for Spiritual reassurance from that section of its flock which has been taught in modern schools to doubt, to probe and to question basic principles.
True religion blesses man in providing him with (a) a relationship with God, based on experience, (b) arrangements for religious observance in service to and in worship of, God, and (c) hope for a future life free from sin and its effects. The "Judaism" of Moses' day, based on instructions given by God and recorded in the Pentateuch, provided the Jews with all those three things. The Law's arrangements provided a means of annual atonement for the sins of the nation by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrificial animals upon a Propitiatory, the Mercy Seat, in keeping with the requirements of Leviticus 9 and 16. Thus was Israel maintained in that covenant relationship with God, which provided the basis upon which all related religious observances were made acceptable. The strength of Judaism was in the proper observance of these Divinely specified arrangements alone.
For modern Judaism, however, a problem arises in that this Atonement is no longer made in accordance with God's requirements specified in Leviticus. In fact, it has not been possible for real Atonement to be made for nearly 2,000 years, for there has been no High Priest, no altar and no acceptable sacrifice available for the Jew to offer.
Furthermore, the infusion of human intellect into Judaism, especially by means of the Mishnah, has lowered the authority of its teachings, and the Kabbala is at odds with the command from God in Deut. 12:9-12 to ensure that all Israel clearly understood the Law and its implications. With its Divine authority thus vitiated and its message watered down by the teachings of its "wise men," Judaism is no longer the powerful, unifying influence intended by God. Small wonder that today's educated youth feels justified in questioning its relevance to the momentous issues facing the Jews and all mankind. The situation presents a challenge — and one that must be met … but how? The problem, when we first examine it, seems insoluble.
Since the Mosaic Law was given only to the Nation of Israel, and the Covenant at Sinai was solely between God and the House of Jacob ("… you only …", Amos 3:2), neither that Law nor that Covenant can by any means secure peace and prosperity for the whole world of mankind. Even when the Temple stood, no Gentile sacrifice was acceptable upon its altar. No atonement could be made for any nation save the one which God had chosen. Yet Israel, to be fully at peace, must dwell among nations also at peace (Isa. 2:3, 4). The Peace of Jerusalem, long prayed for (Psa. 122:6), necessarily implies World Peace (Psa. 37:11). Where, then, should the attention of the young be directed to give them an objective, a hope of universal peace based on the infallible Word of God, a vision to lift them out of the despairing philosophies of humanism and materialism?
THE SCRIPTURES AGAIN HAVE THE ANSWER
Jeremiah Speaks of a glorious time yet future, when a New Covenant will be made with Israel (Jer. 31:29-34); another Law Covenant (v. 33). By this means will Israel again be received fully into God's favor, and will play a glorious part as Abraham's seed in the blessing of all the families of the Earth (Gen. 12:3; 22:18). And in those days shall the Gentiles, humbled by their harrowing experiences in the coming, unprecedented Time of Trouble (Dan. 12:1), and having exhausted every other means of achieving their desired haven of peace, seek after God in their distress (Psa. 107:23-30).
ZIONISM'S LIVING HOPE
Zionism teaches that peace will be brought to this earth by Messiah (Isa. 9:6, 7). Furthermore, it will be accomplished through the Jewish nation, in the extending of Israel's New Covenant to all nations as they seek the Lord (Isa. 60:1-3; Zech. 8:20-23; Psa. 67), and as they turn to Zion and Jerusalem (Isa. 2:2-4).
Here then, in Zionism correctly presented in its wider application, is Judaism's answer to its young people — in fact to all enquirers. Not in a past of doubt and fumbling opinion; not in a Law no longer able to fulfil its original purpose; not in a maze of Medieval commentaries; but in the peerless truth of Torah and in the prophetic Word of God concerning Zion, being fulfilled in this our day. Let the eyes of the young be opened to God's promises for a glorious future for Israel. Let their hearts be made glad with a living hope for the blessing of all the families of the Earth (Isa. 35)!
Let them see, know, and learn by heart that their participation in these things begins with their acceptance of the infallible Word of God, and that granted this acceptance, their full participation will be a joy unending. When men agree, Conversion is irrelevant, and God has promised that in due time, full agreement among the nations will be reached under the terms of Israel's New Covenant (Isa. 2:4). Until that time, and toward that end, who will convert whom? Assuredly in those days will Israel be the great and successful missionaries — converters of millions! "O house of Jacob, come ye … walk in the sight of the Lord" (Isa. 2:5).
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