Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Targets the New Anti-Semitism
What is the meaning of the Bible promise: "I will bless them that bless thee"?
Saturday, November 13, 2010
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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a great speech on November 9th, speaking out against anti-semitism. He said how "Israel appeared as a light, in a world emerging from deep darkness." Some other highlights of the speech were:
“Let me draw your attention to some particularly disturbing trends. Anti-Semitism has gained a place at our universities, where at times it is not the mob who are removed, but the Jewish students under attack. And, under the shadow of a hateful ideology with global ambitions, one which targets the Jewish homeland as a scapegoat, Jews are savagely attacked around the world, such as, most appallingly, at Mumbai in 2008...”
“But of course we must also combat anti-Semitism beyond our borders, an evolving, global phenomenon. And we must recognize, that while its substance is as crude as ever, its method is now more sophisticated.
“Harnessing disparate anti-Semitic, anti-American and anti-Western ideologies, it targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses, perversely, the language of human rights to do so.
“We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is. Of course, like any country, Israel may be subjected to fair criticism. And like any free country, Israel subjects itself to such criticism — healthy, necessary, democratic debate. But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack — is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand. Demonization, double standards, delegitimization, the three D’s, it is the responsibility of us all to stand up to them.
“And I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum, the easy thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of ‘honest broker.’ There are, after all, a lot more votes, a lot more, in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand. But, as long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the United Nations or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost. And friends, I say this not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob tells us all too well if we listen to it, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are a threat to all of us."
Those that bless Israel will be blessed, those that curse Israel will be cursed. What does this promise principally contain? Is it simply the meaning that down through the ages the enemies of the God's people the Jews will suffer, while those who bless his people will gain benefits? That certainly is the force of the promise: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." There are no time parameters given, it is an eternal promise. There is definitely benefit in the promises to Abraham during our current existence and when one surveys the course of history it is evident that the Jews have outlasted their persecutors. However the blessings of Abraham, focus their substance on the age to come. This is when the land of Israel - the promised land - will be possessed without molestation by the seed of Abraham; first the Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah and King, his saints or sanctified ones who will rule with him, and the subjects of his kingdom - the Jewish people. This is when they will possess the gates of their enemies and have dominion over them. Hebrews 11:39 reinforces the future focus of the promises: "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise." How will the families of the earth be blessed? How will those nations or individuals that bless Israel ultimately be blessed?
First it may be helpful to consider the judgments or the curse, that will come upon those nations that curse. The prophecy of Joel 3 opens with God saying through the prophet how he will gather all nations and bring them forth for judgment. Why does he bring them? Because of how they have treated his heritage Israel. Joel 3:1,2:
"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
The prophecy of Isaiah 60:12 tells how the nations that refuse to serve Christ will be utterly wasted: "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted."
Psalm 2 speaks of how he will rule the nations with a rod of iron: "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision."
It is quite clear from these passages, that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to restore the kingdom to Israel, there will be those nations that will be judged and cursed for cursing Israel, scattering them and parting the land. There will be some nations that will quite quickly submit to the rule of Chirst, one of these is termed "the daughter of Tyre in Psalm 45:"And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour."
The prophecy of Zechariah shows that ultimately many nations will be joined to Yahweh in that day. "And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee." Zechariah 2:11
Those nations that bless Israel now will be more likely to accept the rule of Christ Jesus and will be the first recipients of the blessings that will flow from Zion. Those nations may ultimately obtain more honourable positions in the Empire of Zion's King.
In the prophecy of Isaiah we learn how the ships of Tarshish will play a significant role in helping to bring the Jewish people to their restored homeland. This work is an honour. Indeed, what an honour - to help and build the kingdom of God!
"Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee." Isaiah 60:9
The reason that the daughter of Tyre will bring a gift and the ships of Tarshish will be ready to assist in bringing the Jews back to the land of Israel, is because of the influence of the word of God on their societies in previous generations. The English Bible went out into the English speaking world and helped shape the very foundation of those societies. It carried the message that the Jews must return to the land of Israel from the four corners of the world. This in itself was a fulfillment of prophecy in Jeremiah 31:10:
"Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock."
So the English Bible went out into the isles afar off from Israel, carrying the message of the return of the Jews to the four corners of the world. Many men influenced by the English Bible, wrote of how the Jews had to return to the land of their forefathers. One such writer was Elhanan Winchester who wrote in the year 1800 in his book entitled, "A course of lectures on the prophecies that remain to be fullfilled", that: "Nothing need to be more plainly declared than this : viz. That the Jews shall certainly return to and possess their own land again; notwithstanding their long captivity, and utter dispersion." Another writer, Thomas Newton, in his "Dissertations on the prophecies", published in 1754, wrote: "Our Saviour's words are very memorable: "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." It is still trodden down by the Gentiles, and consequently the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled. When "the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled," then the expression implies that the Jews shall be restored..."
Today the Jews have been restored, although many parts of the city of Jerusalem remain in Gentile hands. This is the work of God. The return of the Jews to the land of Israel is the work of the Almighty. To support this work is to support the work of God toward the establishment of his kingdom. To support this work will bring blessings. The reason today that people such as Stephen Harper support Israel is because of their religious heritage which can be attributed to the influence of the English Bible and those Bible students that wrote concerning the return of the Jews. Today we need to point out these facts concerning the restoration of the Jews to our acquaintances and communities.
Thanks for taking out the time to listen. This has been David Billington with the Bible in the News. Come back next week, God willing to Bibleinthenews.com.
MP3 recordings and PDF files of the powerpoints from the November 2010 prophecy day are available on the Bible Magazine Audio page.
Printed: Saturday, November 13, 2010
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