Zionism--A Temporary Success Story
Jun 09, 2010
The Law of Tribulation says that if Israel violated the Covenant, God would put them into captivity, and if they resisted His judgment, He would remove them from the land altogether. Once scattered, the solution to the problem is given in Lev. 26:40-42 (NASB),
(40) If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me-- (42) I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies--or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, (42) then I will remember My covenant with Jacob ... Isaac, and ... Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.
Zionism began largely as a secular political movement back in the early 1900's. In more recent decades, however, it has taken a more religious tone. The educational system in the Israeli state is in the hands of the Orthodox branch, and this tends to make the next generations more religious in their Zionism.
They seem to believe that if they can just make the people more zealous in their Judaism that they will be able to gain the favor of God and prevent disaster. The problem is that the first-century Jews in Jerusalem were even more zealous than they are today, and yet God still did not save them in their war against the Roman army. Many explanations have been offered in various circles, mostly centering on their lack of orthodoxy.
These explanations miss the whole point. The problem was not their lack of zealousness--which manifested as hostility toward the Romans. The problem was their "hostility against Me," as God says. In not knowing who "Me" was, their zealousness only made the problem worse.
The New Testament shows their hostility toward Yeshua-Jesus. The conflict between him and them is well known. My belief is that "Yahweh has become my Yeshua" (Ex. 15:2; Isaiah 12:2), which means that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). Others believe that Jesus was just an agent of Yahweh. But either way, to show hostility to Jesus was showing hostility to Yahweh.
As long as this hostility continues, Zionism will continue moving toward its Day of Disaster. Even Christian Zionism recognizes this, although they assume that the Israeli Jews will turn at the last minute, after all but 144,000 have perished in the disaster. These few survivors, they believe, will repent as they see Jesus coming in the clouds and then rule the world with Him from a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.
There are many incorrect assumptions in their view, I believe, but if we focus upon what Jesus actually prophesied, it is sufficient to see that the "fig tree" nation will never bear the fruit of the Kingdom that God has required from the beginning. Jesus clearly said this in Matt. 21:19. The only way around this is to overwhelm Jesus' words with a host of false assumptions in order to twist the story toward the desired outcome.
Likewise, the Zionist position assumes that God would reverse the captivity prior to their repentance, when the law clearly states otherwise. They were fooled by the "facts on the ground." Prior to 1948 the dominant Christian view was that the Jews would repent first. But when the Israeli state was established in 1948 without repentance, they believed that the Great Tribulation had begun, and that the Jews would repent and accept Christ after 3-1/2 years or perhaps after 7 years. This did not happen; their prophecy failed; so they picked themselves up, dusted off their Zionist view, and went on as if nothing had happened.
They failed to recognize the Edomite factor. That is the key to Zionism. The law forbids Judah from returning to the land (as a nation, not necessarily as individuals) until they repent of their hostility toward Yahweh-Yeshua. But "Edom is in modern Jewry," as the Jewish Encyclopedia has told us. When we look at the prophecy and history of Edom, we see clearly how Zionism was meant to succeed for a time. We see also how God would allow the Zionists to return to Palestine without repenting.
The story goes back to Jacob, who took what he believed to be his, but did so in an unlawful way. He lied to get it (Gen. 27:32). He pretended to be Esau and said to his father, "I am your son, your first-born, Esau."
Though he succeeded, Isaac prophesied to Esau, "when thou shalt have the dominion, you will break his yoke from off your neck" (Gen. 27:40). In other words, Jacob would have to give the dominion back to Esau, in order to allow God to work out His plan in the proper manner.
Years later, the descendants of Esau (known as Edomites or Idumeans) were conquered by Judah in 125 or 126 B.C. All history books acknowledge that from this point on, Edom ceased to be separate from Jewry, because they were converted to Judaism and were absorbed. This meant that all the prophecies of Edom-Idumea were merged with those of Judah.
Judah itself was divided into two groups, or "two baskets of figs," (Jer. 24:1) one good and one evil. The good figs submitted to the law of tribulation, acknowledging their sin and submitting to divine judgment. The evil figs rejected the word and decided to fight. Those same two attitudes were prevalent in Jesus' day. Jesus led the "good figs" faction; while Caiaphas led the "evil figs" faction.
The good figs were persecuted by the evil figs, even as Jeremiah had been persecuted some centuries earlier. The final result was that the hostility of the evil figs came to the surface in 66 A.D., and God raised up the Romans to bring judgment upon Jerusalem. That was the point where God put Judah under the iron yoke of exile. Jesus prophesied this in a parable in Matt. 22, where God sent His servants but they were mistreated and killed. Verse 7 concludes,
(7) But the king [God] was enraged and sent his [Roman] armies, and destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire.
The evil figs of Judah believed that they should be free unconditionally. They were self-righteous and could not see their own hostility toward Yahweh. So when they were exiled, they became bitter against God, thinking that He was unjust. And some of the worst offenders among them were the converted Edomites, as Josephus relates in his books. In the exile, the distinction between the evil figs of Judah and the converted Edomites was lost, and they truly became inseparable as one people.
Malachi 1:1-4 prophesied of Edom's desire to "return" to the land which they believed was rightfully theirs in the beginning. They were the original Zionists in the Old Testament. Verse 4 says, "Edom says, We have been beaten down, but WE WILL RETURN and build up the ruins."
God then responds that Edom will indeed return and build, "but I will tear down." In other words, Edom's Zionism would temporarily succeed for an unknown time period, but in the end, God would tear it all down.
Judah was not allowed to return under their own banner, but Edom had been given a Zionist prophecy in Malachi. It was based on Isaac's prophecy to Esau himself. So the Jewish Zionists were allowed to return and even to claim the Birthright name, Israel. This was on account of Jacob's sin in Genesis 27. But in the end, Edomite Zionism will fail, the evil figs will fail once again to bear fruit, Jerusalem will be destroyed (Jer. 19:11), and the kingdom will be taken from them once again. The divine purpose will be fulfilled in the true Israelites whom God has called to receive the Birthright inheritance.
Dr. Stephen Jones