Israeli Politics and Messianic Ideals
The Likud Party Primary and the Controversy of Zion
Thursday, August 16, 2007
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I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and, although it be that he will tarry, with all this I will wait for him, in every day that he will come. This is article 12 of the 13 articles of the Jewish faith--central to Judaism and something I also personally believe with perfect faith. This is David Billington with this weeks Bible in the News.
Well the coming of the Messiah has been an issue in Israeli politics this week. One of the biggest political parties in Israel, the Likud, just had their primaries to choose a new party leader, who could head the next government. The race was between three people; the well known Benjamin Netanyahu, Moshe Feiglin and Danny Danon. Netanyahu was worried his supporters may not bother to come out and vote as they are less idealistic then Feiglin's. Netanyahu called on his supporters to make sure to vote, he said: "We don't want an inaccurate representation that suggests we advocate... messianic ideals." Is there something wrong with believing in the coming of Messiah? As having that as one of your ideals? The closer someone gets to truth the more they are despised. It's the enmity that God put between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent--or children of the flesh--in the garden of Eden.
Moshe Feiglin does have messianic ideals. He is a religious zionist. He commenced the day of the primary by attempting to pray on the temple mount--something that is forbidden--yes, get this: Jews aren't allowed to pray on the temple mount! Moshe and his entourage then fervently danced and sang: Yibaneh Beit Ha'Mikdash! (Let the temple be built!) Not your average politician.
About 100,000 Likud members had the opportunity to vote; out of those that voted about a quarter of them voted for Moshe and his messianic ideals. While those with Moshe's beliefs may not be the majority they certainly are making their presence felt.
In Israel it is customary for the loser to go the the headquarters of their opponent and congratulate them on their win. Moshe tried to do this but was bared from the building by Netanyahu's security guards. Netanyahu has stated he will try and find ways to remove Moshe and his supporters from the Likud party. This shows just how much Netanyahu despises Moshe Feiglin and his messianic ideals.
There are many in Israel like Netanyahu who have no vision as to why they are in the country. Why after 2000 years the Jews have returned by a great miracle to their ancient home land. These peoples ideology is based on humanism and the "liberty, equality, fraternity" cry of the french revolution, ideologies that are completely opposed to the Bible. A writer by the name of Arthur Hertzberg in a book entitled "The Fate of Zionism" stated, "Today, messianic madness has seized one element of the Jewish people.", and also: "It is even more important within the Jewish community that modern Zionism not be identified as the heir and continuation of the messianic element in classic Jewish religion. If the Zionist endeavor is ever dominated by the notion that Jews have come back to Palestine as a giant step toward the coming of messiah, there can be no peace within the Jewish camp."
The problem is that to these people, the belief in the coming of the Messiah is some far off distant, irrelevant event, with no connection to the re-gathering of the Jews from the four corners of the earth. It is the same problem as at the time of Nehemiah when the Jewish people were taken captive to Babylon. Jeremiah stated the problem in his Lamentations when he penned by the spirit the words: "...she remembereth not her last end; therefore she same down wonderfully..." and: "Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee...". Today it is the same. Those like Netanyahu have forgotten the "last end" of the Jewish people. They have forgotten the promises to Abraham and David, they have forgotten the glorious future God has planned for Israel when: "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." The Jewish people need to refocus their hopes on the promises to Abraham and king David and rid themselves of the myths of the exile. Today the prophets of peace have seen vain and foolish things for the Jewish people. Promises of peace through the madness of the Oslo accords and bringing Arafat back to Israel. Visions of another Arab state on the Biblical heartland of Judah living side by side in peace with Israel--such madness will never bring peace.
In 1947 when Chaim Weizmann addressed the United Nations he quoted from the prophecy of Isaiah at the end of his speech: "The LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnants of His people. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcast of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." Yes, the LORD will set his hand again the second time. Not the third time. This is the second time. The Babylonian exile was the first, this is the second. The time is now. Chaim Weizmann quoted from verses 11 and 12 of Isaiah 11. In the preceding verse 9 we are given more information about the day or time of the second re-gathering of the Jewish people, Isaiah prophesies saying: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." The current re-gathering of the Jewish people which is the "second time" will result in the earth being filled with the knowledge of the LORD, this will be the result of Israel blossoming and budding, and filling the face of the world with fruit.
There may be those that say that it was not God who brought the Jewish back to the land of Israel, but they came back of their own volition. However, the prophet Ezekiel is very clear that the mountains of Israel have been waste for all the centuries of the Jewish dispersion. They are not populated by Jews brought back from being waste, and then destroyed again. At the time of the latter day invasion by Gog they "have always been waste". Ezekiel the prophet, addressing the latter day enemy of Israel called Gog in Ezekiel 38:8 says that: "After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them." The words of Ezekiel are emphatic. There will be no additional re-gatherings and dispersions to the mountains of Israel. They will have been "always waste".
The time of the coming of Messiah will also be a time of great controversy about Zion. The prophet Isaiah declares: "For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion." (Isaiah 34:8) The greater that controversy becomes the closer we are to the re-establishment of the throne of David in Zion. This tells us that we are right at the verge of these great events and the grand climax of history. When the coming of Messiah is an issue in party politics in Israel we know the time is nigh! If I was a Jew sitting in the exile I would be catching the next El Al plane to Ben Gurion airport and setting up on the mountains of Israel. The Messiah won't come to New York City. Hey that El Al flight idea sounds pretty good. Maybe I should check in too. I could handle living in Shilo, Bethel, or Elon Moreh.
This has been Dave Billington with this weeks Bible in the News--we may be broadcasting from Canada, but our heart is in Zion. Come back next week God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com.
Printed: Thursday, August 16, 2007
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