“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the Earth
be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For
as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.”()
Jewish immigrants have just landed at Ben Gurion Airport from France,
as they first step foot on the soil of their new homeland Israel.
Tomorrow (November 2), some Israelis and friends of the Jewish State
around the world will mark the 94th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration,
which is part of the fulfillment of end-time Biblical prophecy, and the
amazing story of the rebirth of Israel as a nation.
“Thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from
among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from
every side and bring them into their own Land.’” ()
The Balfour declaration (1917), which is named after Arthur James Balfour,
the British Foreign Secretary during the World War 1, influenced the Jewish
communities of the world to believe that Great Britain would support the
creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East.
Balfour sent an official letter declaring support for the establishment of a
Jewish homeland in the area then known as “Palestine” to Baron Walter
Rothschild (the 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish
community, who accepted it on behalf of the Zionist Federation of Great
Britain and Ireland.
The immortal words of the letter said the following:
“His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of
a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to
facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that
nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of
existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political
status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
The Original Letter of the Balfour Declaration
With those words, which were later incorporated into the Sèvres peace treaty
that ended hostilities between Britain and Ottoman Turkey at the conclusion
of the First World War, the Zionist cause took a giant step forward.
Zionism is the belief in the establishment of a national homeland for the
Jewish people in their ancestral Biblical homeland. The word “Zionism”
comes from Zion which is also called Jerusalem.
The letter was also incorporated into the League of Nations Mandate for
Palestine, becoming further enshrined in international law.
In another letter Balfour sent, after WWI ended, he answered some of the
critics of the Declaration who said that it wasn’t right for England to
“impose” Zionism on the local Arab population.
“I do not think that Zionism will hurt the Arabs, but they will never say
they want it,” he said.
“Whatever be the future of Palestine, it is not now an ‘independent
nation’ , nor is it yet on the way to become one. …If Zionism is to influence
the Jewish problem throughout the world Palestine must be made available
for the largest number of Jewish immigrants.”
While few celebrate the anniversary of this important British document, many
Arabs will mark it with deep regret.
Last year on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Islamic Jihad released
a statement saying,
“[We] renew our commitment to our right to recover our entire land without
sacrificing an inch of soil. We reject any solution at the expense of
principles in our conflict with the Zionists, and we consider any recognition
of a “Jewish State” by the Balfour Declaration the most serious trial of our
history and the struggles and sacrifices of our people.”
Sadly, as well, many people who call themselves Christians see no prophetic
significance in the Balfour Declaration or Israel’s becoming a nation in 1948.
Many have even become hostile and are siding with Israel’s enemies.
Today, however, is a day for Believers to stand up and celebrate the
nation of Israel, simply because it is a fulfillment of Bible Prophecy.
Israel’s existence today is proof that the Word of God is alive and true. What
other religious book has prophecies written more than 1500 years ago, that
are being fulfilled today in our generation?
Every day Jewish people from around the world are immigrating back to
their Biblical homeland, Israel.
Less than 24 hours off the plane, these young Jewish immigrants stand
at the Western (Wailing) Wall holding their brand new Israeli citizenship IDs.
United Kingdom: birthplace of Christian Zionism
“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and
from the west I will gather you.” ()
It’s difficult to believe in 2011, but the United Kingdom was the birthplace
of the “Restorationist” movement in the Protestant Church, which was
the forerunner to modern-day Christian Zionism.
Throughout most of the Victorian era (1837-1901), despite commonplace
anti-Semitism among much of the British elite (particularly the military and
diplomatic corps) the prevailing attitude among most British government
officials was that the ‘restoration’ of the Jews to their ancient homeland
was part of the duty of every Christian.
Harvesting grapes in the vineyards of Israel during the 1920s
Today, the last vestiges of this movement can be found in Jerusalem
at Christ Church, the Anglican church just inside the Jaffa Gate to the Old City.
Built in 1849, Christ Church is the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle
East and has kept a lonely vigil, defiantly continuing to carry the torch of
Biblical Zionism that its founders first carried to Jerusalem 150 years
ago; despite the objection of many of their Arab neighbors (including the
Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem) and the head of their own denomination,
the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Christ Church is likely to be one of the few places in Israel that the Balfour
Declaration’s 94th anniversary will be celebrated, or even noticed.
Christ Church, Jerusalem, both a church and a
Messianic congregation meet in the building.
There will be no official events in Israel to mark the anniversary.
Today, most Israeli schoolchildren don’t learn a lot about Lord Balfour
or much else that is of importance to the early Zionist movement. In
fact, it is common for Christian friends of Israel who visit the Holy Land to
find that their knowledge on the subject is vastly superior to Israelis who
grew up here.
Most Israeli teachers are products of the post-Zionist Israeli University
system where the patriotism of earlier generations is viewed as passé.
It should be noted that a lot of the eight million Jews living outside of
Israel are Zionist in theory, as they support Israel financially.
However the true Jewish Zionists are those who immigrate to Israel where
there is a population today of almost six million Jews. In 2010 only 19,000
Jews made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), though that was an increase of
nine percent from 2009.
The Jewish Agency handed out Israeli ID cards to these new Jewish
immigrants from England after a ceremony at the Western (Wailing) Wall.
Everyone is holding up their Citizenship cards.
Jewish Zionism is a fading ideology within Israel, however we see a wonderful
movement of Christians who are standing up and calling themselves Christian
Zionists. They support Israel as a nation, and encourage the Jewish people
to move back to their ancient homeland.
Just as Lord James Balfour and many other British Christians were so
instrumental in getting the Zionist movement started, so too today is the
movement’s future largely depends on the efforts, contributions and
prayers of Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people for the
simple reason that the Bible tells them to.
“I will bless those who bless you.” ()
Bibles For Israel | P.O. Box 8900 | Pueblo, CO 81008
Watchman declaring: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”