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News 34

Religion in Israel


Unity only from a Former Sale#

Adversities and adversatives to come,

in what for the time seems incapable of resolution:

before what will be for many, the holy communion of Christ, taking His own land,

Immanuel, and placing it where it will attest whose it is, amidst the nations, when
earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
(See also News 33 and News 36.)


It is one of His prerogatives to render possible, yes even to perform what to man is without hope. God, the Lord, is like that.

TIME Magazine, this first week of May 1998, has within it

a rather unusually good article on Israel.

It sketches with some depth the various religious and secular groupings (not in breadth, but with some 'nose' for the aromas). The little more than 30% religious Jew estimate, with around 1/3 of that Orthodox; and the resounding increase in secular Jews, following the huge influx from Russia, of returning Jews: both are noted. Tensions are becoming very deep and strong.

Thus, the DESIRE of some of the Orthodox Jews to MAKE people respect the Sabbath on Saturday, itself of course an Old Covenant SIGN for the reverence of the Lord, and have some ideas of things religious, on the one hand; and the ZEST of the secular, to resist this, and to be a democratic republic, is shown as a vigorous conflict. It is seen in something of its uneven, unequal and uneasy match.

The GREATEST DIVISION, it reflects, following an Israeli's viewpoint to that effect, is what ? In modern Israel, it is RELIGIOUS!

There does NOT seem to be any ready resolution, the article continues.
One suggestion it notes from its survey ? It is not CALLED apartheid, but it amounts to separate living for the two groups; another and less constructive suggestion, civil war, is mooted.

There is however a very READY RESOLUTION of this whole affair. Doubtless, this will eventually, and possibly sooner rather than later, occur to many in the nation, to the point of becoming a significant if not indeed a mass movement. It is very simple, very straightforward and very necessary for peace and truth.

It is traced with that quite normal, and entirely supernatural skill which belongs to Deity alone, in the OLD Testament (surely an excellent resource for the Orthodox Jew!). In Zechariah 12:10 we read of it. It concerns SOMEONE whom they had PIERCED, an act of which they are here PREDICTED to REPENT, in a very lively and very personal way, family by family (12:12-13). The PERSON PIERCED, who is the speaker, is the LORD. This SAME LORD is also noted in that 500 B.C. approx. prophecy, to have been SOLD for 30 pieces of silver, and to be coming on the colt of an ass, into Jerusalem, as the Jewish KING, indeed, as one HAVING SALVATION. (Zechariah 11:4-12, 13:6, 9:9).

THAT is the ONLY and the PREPARED resolution of the very UNDERSTANDABLE Jewish tension. It is a DIVINE SOLUTION, and it is THE DIVINE REMEDY for this, as for all the imponderable problems (cf. Isaiah 9:1-7, 11:1-10; The Shadow of a Mighty Rock - SMR, Ch.9, and Balms, Arrows and Balms, Ch.17).

Do not be mistaken. Some people seem almost to love misunderstandings in this sphere, as if to add mayonnaise to salad. The non-Jew world has much to repent of, including much of its treatment of the Jews. The Roman Catholic heresy is exposed in many places, such as in the lives and works of the vastly famous Reformation scholars who peopled England and Europe for hundreds of years; and it is also exposed in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, pp. 946ff., 1036-1088G et al.. England, as some may even recall, is FORMALLY (not formerly, in terms of law) a PROTESTANT country. One could wish it acted more like it. Nevertheless, there it is; at the official level, that is what it is. It has been so for over 400 years.

HENCE the horrendous Roman Catholic Inquisition, which hit the Reformers hard and often as in Italy and Spain, yes and in England, with unremitting cruelty and bloodshed, preying on those not defended in these cases, was not a Christian phenomenon at all. In fact, it ALSO HIT THE JEWS. The account in such a work as THE STORY OF THE JEWS, Ancient, Medieval, Modern, by James K. Hosmer, Professor at Washington University late last century, is almost enough to make the blood curdle, the heart stop and the head reel. Yet it happened in such a style as this, and the exultant St Bartholomew's Day Medal which the Pope had struck in the 16th century, commemorating ... and following unmitigated and incredibly lusty slaughter of thousands in France, is merely a famous illustration.

It is important NOT to engage in racial hatreds, religious prejudice; and hence to uncover the reality that the JEWISH race has had a very hard time, and that without bias, but with terrible truth, the Roman Catholic Religion was ONE of the chief ministers of this evil. When truth falls in the street through fiction-makers masquerading as peaceable, and THAT additional murder is perpetrated, we need no more talk of hatreds (Isaiah 59:14). THAT is hatred itself. It is one contemporary slaughter which is becoming almost as savage as the Inquisition in its former days. The seduction of convenience becomes an altar to pretence, and truth is often despatched as though it were in a society of lies. It is a secular specialty in which the spirit of man, so often willing to swagger as if indomitable in this way or that, finds a current outlet.

To the point therefore: IF the Roman Catholic Church repents, well; and if not, to masquerade suppression of truth as if it were a friend of peace, is mere enormity. Love rejoices in the truth (I Corinthians 13:6); and in all truth, one forgives readily, but does not meddle with the suppression of the truth. Repentance is not another name for a cover-up, but for such a turning from the things in truth done, that Christ, in truth and for truth bearing these evils, is able to purge and to pardon. Love and truth are intimate friends and allies. Psalm 85 is eloquent on this:



And when He did, in incarnation, look what they did to Him, yes Roman Pilate and Jerusalem priests. They have had a fine entourage from many nations ever since.

It is not possible to love if you do not love the truth. God is love; Christ is the truth (I John 4:7-8, John 14:6). People are never helped by guilty cover-ups, but by frank pardon on the basis of truth and mercy.

The truth is here crucial. The Roman Catholic body, as noted in the above reference (SMR where cited), and by the Reformers over hundreds of years, is heretical; and that is precisely one reason why it acted as it did, protecting amidst other claims to power, a worldly domain, which it claimed and had claimed explicitly since the papal Bull, Unam Sanctam in 1302 A.D..

Notwithstanding all this, CHRIST said,


What then do we conclude when this IS their way, when somebody's servants as such, endorse the fighting model for physical expression! In flamboyant contrast, this religion of Rome, for hundreds of years, made fighting part of its formal 'church' program, spiritual mission, in terms of religiously conducted and sanctioned murder. It is nothing to do with Christianity.

THIS is important for the sake of love, to know. Thus the systematically horrible treatment accorded to the Jewish people by this body has nothing whatever to do with the love of Christ. It is true that the Anglican Church in some of its phases, being CAPTIVE to a NATION which RAN it, also erred in this direction at times. It was horribly oppressive to the Scotch Presbyterians, whose nation could respond, understandably but unwisely, too heavily at the political level to this torturously political, ecclesiastical pressure. On the whole, they suffered immensely and intensely, bravely and with often saintly beauty not least in the interest of preserving the church from political, secular or hybrid domination outside the rule of Jesus Christ.

This assault however was not part of the Anglican basic formulations of doctrine, as a Church! Heaven forbid! It was part of the leprosy which results from being run by a governing body which is not AS SUCH, Christian. For that it paid, and so did many others. It continues to pay, in other ways for this national distortion of the Lordship of Christ. It is nevertheless not PART of its doctrinal structure as a church so to act.

The Roman Catholic matter, however, to the point of physical ambition and claim, is extensive, intensive, systematic and incorporated in its own religious doctrine, in terms both of declared world aspiration and of Inquisitorial practice (see SMR pp. 902-905, 923-924, 949-955, 969-970, 1033-1041). It was repeatedly formally authorised by the papacy. It has all the integral presumption and invasive rule of Babylon of old, and is not improved by this fact. (Cf. SMR pp. 728-731, 946ff., 1031C.)

HENCE it is not with Biblical Christianity that the Jews have any historical quarrel: with that form of the Christian faith which is, in short, Christian, Christ-authorised and Christ-governed. NEVER did Christ or the apostles authorise crucifying people, burning them, stealing from the orphans left, as "penalties", releasing souls from purgatory for the sake of money, money for masses and the like. NEVER does the Christian Church, bound to the Bible, do such things (see SMR Appendix D). We are, of course, not speaking of some exemplary perfection in man; but of the principles and normal practice of Bible believing Christians, who would abide in Him and in His words (John 15) as commanded, loving not only in word but in deed (I John 3:18).

It is to this same Christ who HIMSELF WAS CRUCIFIED

rather than become an agent for crucifixion for the benefit of others;

who rather interceded for His enemies, enemies so great that they were slowly killing Him,

and taunting while the blood dripped, and the anguish seared:

than sought or bought or brought down legions of angels to dispense with His vicarious distress:

it is to HIM

that the Jewish people will need to come if they are ever going to resolve even their own internal political and religious problems.

The simple reason is this: the Orthodox Jewish segment, with whom one can have some sympathy in their intense desire to be religiously pleasing, nevertheless have not changed gear with the hill of the A.D. world. The Old Testament had the Christ as its focus, and He has come at the date prescribed (SMR pp. 886ff.). He has done all He had to do, and no-one, with all the motive and desire in the world, has EVER been able to show ONE single failure on His part, from the annals of history, to meet ALL that the Messiah had to do in His earthly life. (With the motives then, and now, that is a monumental testimony! See also SMR Ch.6, and pp. 931ff.- starting back slightly. )

Hence to keep NOT ONLY to the Old Covenant, but to the TRADITIONS added to them in terms of human 'interpretation' or reflection (see Mark 7:7), is unwise.

It is similarly unwise to discount the Lord God who made us, as do so many in the secular category. A nation run on these lines, as increasingly is apparent in America, also fails to be blessed in the rich, deep texture of its national being. Decline comes like rats in the basements of New York sky-scrapers, which, with all else in this present regime, age. It becomes horrid, laughable, ludicrous and like excessive obesity, incapable of cover-up. It blares in the behaviour of misled, mistaught children, erupts in the chilling exploits of ungoverned teens, reeks in the unrelished deeds of many in high authority, as if to shout and taunt: "WE are the generation of the free, who know no freedom from sin."

With the Jewish nation, it is well to be old where age is truth, and it is better also and equally, to be fresh and new, where newness is age-old in its predictions and quality, fulfilling the word of the Lord from of old, as in Jesus Christ.


The same, incidentally, in the more extensive and general sense, applies to the Gentile world. BOTH sides need to come to the place where peace is to be found. It will never be found elsewhere in the Middle East, in the human heart or in the whole world in its government (Isaiah 9:7, Ezekiel 21:26-27). That is what the word of God says; and that is what is going to happen. Actually, the world will tremble as God acts, and Armageddon, itself prescribed for the Middle East, which is earnestly living up to the program! comes to be.

It is better, whether Jew or Gentile, to see the writing on the wall, and read the writing in the BOOK which God has kindly given for our EYES and EARS - in addition to the one He has placed in our nucleated cells throughout our bodies - for us to KNOW and to TEST and to SEE and to REPENT and to BELIEVE and to RECEIVE what GOD HAS PROVIDED. That ? In a word: Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and Him crucified, yes, rather risen bodily from the dead, who provides life, life for evermore.


Before leaving this topic, let us ponder further the state of the case. It is a ground for jubilation, not consternation. The coming renewal and reconciliation is paid for in advance, so that merely its outpouring (Zechariah 12:10) is to be looked for. The payment is past, the procurement is to come on this earth, which will scarcely be able to contain when it arrives, the wonder of this new unity, not in some antichrist without law or love, but in the truth. As Paul put it,

"If their being cast away is the reconciling of the world,

what will be their acceptance, but life from the dead?" - Romans 11:15.

The apostle Paul talks of the making of ONE NEW MAN.


he says, inspired by the God of all truth, peace and comfort,






With what did he begin all this ? With these words:

"At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" - Ephesians 4:12.

YOU, he says to the Gentile church, were OUT OF IT. THEY, the Jews, were up to the neck in it. But you both had to have your eyes opened to the CREATOR in your midst, leaving the torrents of symbols on the one hand, for the reality who at length came, and leaving the cold unbelief, hopeless ignorance, on the other, and meeting where you should meet. In Christ, bringing you BOTH BACK TO GOD.

Thus we see the great apostle to the Gentiles, focussing their divergence and in vision apprehending their coming convergence. As to those to be rescued (cf. Isaiah 66:19) from the Jewish (1) and the Gentile world (2), what is it that had to come ?

·       The one (1) leaving the pedagogic preliminaries, the early forms of tuition by which their thoughts were patterned into the forms and formulae, the realities: these would come to Christ.

·       The other (2), leaving the lax liberties

·       which callow and careless, came to be their lot -

·       either all but formless or else invaded by mere violence or foolish hope, as in the evolutionary follies of Hitler, or the systematic political stereotypes of Stalin - what of these Gentile escapees ?

·       These also, in one common theme by diverse pathways: they likewise would come to Christ.

The two all but opposite thrusts would thus be closed in community in Christ.

Laxity (2) with or without indulged viruses to sap its strength; and legality (1), far removed from its original purpose to prepare for Christ, the predicted Messiah, and adorned with perhaps as much ornamentation as the Gentile world for its part, added in the wild follies of unsuccessful philosophy: these the two extremes. They come together. Now there is in Christ liberty (II Corinthians 3:17), together with inward transformation (3:18), love of truth and obedience to Him and to His word (Luke 14:33, John 14:21-23), with room for growth with an initiative born of the motivating, activating, grooming presence of the One of whom Abraham was called the friend!

What! impossible, you cry! Surely you know little of the Jewish traditionalists on the one hand, or the Gentile world of philosophy on the other, if you even for one moment imagine that ANYTHING or ANYONE (force for a time excepted), could bring them together.

Not so! There is a name above every name. It WILL take THAT name. This one will most readily concede. There is NO OTHER that will do it: and that name? The Lamb, the Messiah, born in due time as predicted, sacrificed to a world not prepared to listen, whether Jewish priest or Roman Governor, pierced à la mode, as prescribed in the book which claims to cover in advance what is to be, so that this is that to which it refers, for in 2000 years there is no other; and NO ONE has done the things required, nor did God predict someone who would appear to do so.

The case is covered. The need is repentance, nor reason. God has spoken, and the case is as clear as if a murder appeared in Court before the very face of the Judge.

It is time to repent, receive, believe and return to the Lord. The world cannot - and of course will not - repent; but many is the thousand of individuals, Jew and Gentile, who have done, who will do so. Small wonder that this Christ said this:

"I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours...

"I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" - from John 17:9-17.

Yet there is not all. Not merely is there this already visible reconciliation of Gentile Christian with Jew. There is also that reconciliation of Jew with Jew. If then one phase of the Jewish people is more weighted with passé legalities of form, of pattern than he should be, faced with the new Covenant of Christ, so often predicted (see No. 17 above); and if another phase is the liberal, the radical, the secular Jew: THIS is no barrier to Christ. THAT, the latter phase, may appear almost at one with the Gentiles, except for a cultural past, and perhaps, a national vision secularised and pragmatised.

Religiously, however, this Jew of liberal religion is as lost as his more rigorous fellow, as indeed is his non-seeing brother Jew. These two - almost a sub-species of Gentile on the one hand, and of 'orthodox' Jew on the other, as surely as they come to Christ - can be reconciled. To each other ? But of course; but equally assuredly NOT by any process of human computation, power broking or harmonious philosophy. We have had about enough of those plagues, which nearly ended the world. Also surely, not few are the Jews who will so come to the peace and unity which is in Christ (Zechariah 12-13, Isaiah 66, Romans 11).

ALL can be, and in significant if not substantial measure, MANY DIVERSIFIED JEWS WILL BE reconciled to that same Messiah, jointly murdered by Jewish power and Gentile law, in Pilate and priests, according to plan, that in Him they should become one new man. For that matter, within Israel, there were thousands of believers in Christ, along with thieves who railed and high priest who failed, on the other. His cry for them, if by any means, they yet might be forgiven, rent the air about them all.

Looking upon this swelling amplitude of convergence to come, Paul has two great exclamations in which we must join in our own understandings.

For who has known the mind of the LORD?
or who has become His counsellor ? Or, who has first given to Him, and it shall be repaid to him?" - Romans 11:33-34.

And not small will be the geological trumpet blast heralding His coming. That, however, is slight compared with the inner peace which will greet Him, on the part of His redeemed, when first He comes, for Jew or Gentile who have come to Him who said,