By John Stembridge
Judaism has always prided itself in believing in only ONE GOD while other religions believe in multiple gods. Observant Jews confirm this by praying the Sh’ma three times each day. This prayer is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut. 6:4,5).
However, this may not be the case for many in Judaism today. In his column “Jewish View” Mordechai Horowitz writes in the April 7, 2000 Jewish Israel Magazine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida: “American Jews in particular have made a god of this belief in removing the divine from the public square. Indeed modern Judaism is often quite aggressive about removing the idea of G-d from their own conception of Jewishness. Often we seem to have created a separation of G-d and Judaism as an essential part of American Jewish identity.”
Some rabbis think that Christianity is a threat to Judaism’s existence. Not so with Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Lapin. The April 24, 2000 Jerusalem Report magazine quotes Rabbi Lapin: “Christianity is not a threat. Secular ideology is.”
“Lapin, who lives on Mercer Island near Seattle, added that the majority of American Jews had abandoned the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, ceased to be guided by Judeo-Christian values and instead embraced ‘ferocious secular liberalism ‘ And these Jews supported abortion, radical homosexual legislation, a weakened military, gun control and church-state separation.”
Is it this new god called “ferocious, secular liberalism” that has caused Israel’s leaders from Likud to Labor to part and give away Judea and Samaria? To a secular person or leader “Holy Places” and Holy Land” are unimportant.
Is that why Israel’s leaders from Dyan to Barak have been selling Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem, the Temple Mount, Samaria, etc., to the Palestinians for America’s billions? Has America’s favor and its money become Israel’s god rather than the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who delivered them from Egypt, Babylon and Russia?
When Israel captured East Jerusalem including the Temple Mount under Moshe Dyan and Uzi Narkis in 1967, the Moslems fled the Mount. The world expected that Israel would allow its own people the freedom to pray on that Holy Mount at the time.
Instead, Moshe Dyan gave the Temple Mount back to the muftis and their followers. Observant Jews could have been praying and worshipping the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the past 33 years from the top of the Mount rather than at the wall at the bottom of the mount.
Can Israel’s leaders continue to abandon its God-given “holy land” and “holy places” without incurring the wrath of the Almighty? Not likely.
In Isaiah 65:11-12, God says: “But you that forsake the Lord and forget my Holy Mountain, who spread a table for the god of Fate and fill bowls of spiced wine in honor of Fortune, I will deliver you to your fate, to execution, because I called and you did not answer. I spoke and you did not listen; and you did what was wrong in my eyes and you chose what was against my will.” (The New English Bible)
Throughout its four thousand year history, Israel has always faced choices and dilemmas in order to live with a holy God under His protection and provision. Today is no exception. Here are just a few of Israel’s present dilemmas. World peace and economic stability depend upon her correct choices in God’s eyes, not America’s or the world’s.
1. How to be a holy people and a holy nation in a secular world.
2. How to make peace with a holy God thereby making peace with her enemies.
3. How to worship God on top of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem instead of at the bottom of the mount at the Western Wall.
4. How to gather Ephraim, the ten lost tribes from the nations, as well as continuing the regathering of Judah and Benjamin as in the past 51 years.
5. How to restore the divine offices of the Prophet, Priest and King.
6. How to restore the Levitical priesthood and the blood atonement for sin as mandated by God in the Torah.
7. How to obtain the ashes of the red heifer for the cleansing of the Temple Mount and the cleansing of the Levitical priests to minister before God in the Levitical order. (Numbers 19) Israel has had nine red heifers. The rabbis teach that when we have the tenth, Messiah will come.
8. How to safely obey the fourth commandment in Hebron by honoring our spiritual fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Israel, at their burial place (presently a hotbed of fanatical Islam).
9. How to reclaim and redeem all of the land given to her by God, which land reaches from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan to Iraq.
10. In short: how to repent of secularism and return to an observant lifestyle.
• To be like other nations living with and serving their gods in the four corners of the earth instead of with her God in the homeland given to her as an inheritance from God forever.
• To give up the Golan Heights in the same manner as it has already parted and divided Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho, The Temple Mount and Samaria – all their inheritance from God — in exchange for billions of American dollars to her and her Arab peace partners.
• Not to search and regather Ephraim, the ten lost tribes diligently as it is Judah and Benjamin.
So far Israel has a peace agreement with Egypt and Jordan. Now, she is in the process of negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority and Syria. Each agreement has been bought and is being sustained by the taxpayers of America.
In order to make peace with Syria, Israel is being asked to give up its most strategic land, the Golan Heights, which was the inheritance of the tribe of Manasseh, called Bashan – Gilead – in the Scriptures (Deut. 3:13). She is also being asked to withdraw from Southern Lebanon, thereby leaving the Lebanon Christians to the mercy of the Hizbullah terrorists sponsored by Syria and Iran. As one Jewish friend said recently, “When Israel withdraws from Lebanon, the Lebanese Christians will be toast in the hands of the Hizbullah.”
In order to make peace with the Palestinian Authority, Israel has already given away the following:
Y Hebron, the burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah and Leah; Bethlehem the burial place of Rachel and the birthplace of David and Yahshua;
Y Jericho the oldest city in the world and the first conquest in the Promised Land;
Y Samaria the home of Ephraim (the northern ten tribes).
Y Then most importantly, the Temple Mount, the most sacred spot to the heart of God in all the earth. In all the negotiations of Israel with its neighbors, the Temple Mount is not even on the negotiating table.
Now, in order to make peace with Syria, Israel is being asked to abandon the Lebanese Christians by withdrawing from Lebanon without first requiring Syria, the original invader to withdraw. In addition, Israel is being asked to give up its most strategic land, the Golan Heights, the inheritance of the tribe Manasseh.
What about Israel’s policy of exchanging its holy places and land for America’s billions and a meaningless peace agreement on paper? If America should experience an economic collapse, would that abort the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, as well as with Syria and the Palestinians? Will the American tax payers have enough billions to buy off Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, etc., etc.?
Israel’s main dilemma is how to make peace with a holy God. How to be a holy people and a holy nation in the midst of a secular and ungodly generation. But to a secular government and its leaders, this holy land and its holy places are unimportant and are expendable when the choice is between America’s billions and God’s will.
What does God say about the holy land that Israel is willing to give away for American favor, rather than God’s favor?
“Then will the Lord be jealous for HIS LAND and pity HIS PEOPLE” (Joel 2:18).
“. . . So shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion, and for the hill thereof” (Isaiah 31:4).
“Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD … to the mountains … and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and a derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
“Prophecy therefore concerning the land of Israel . . . But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: . . .
“Yes, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men. . . Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more. . .”
Israel’s Secular Leaders Judged.
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. . .
“Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I am sanctified in you before their eyes.
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. . .
“Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. . .
“And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 36:4-38).
After God’s judgment, Jerusalem and Israel will be clean and holy even as refined silver and gold. All who survive will be holy before Him. No more golden calves or idols of silver and gold in the Diaspora or the land.
“In that day shall there be [written] upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD and every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts; and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite [Heb. Merchant] in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 14:20-21).
Once one understands God’s order of world redemption, it can direct one’s prayers, work and giving toward God’s imminent fulfillment of salvation for Israel, the Arab and Gentile nations of the world, or at the least the number of each that are destined for salvation.
Another miracle will take place concerning the divisions among the Jewish people: “. . . Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim” (Isaiah 11:13b).
Ephraim represent the Jewish people who did not retain their Jewish identity by sowing their seed among all the other nations. In Genesis 49:10, Israel prophesied over Ephraim, Joseph’s youngest son: “Ephraim . . . hath mixed himself among the people.”
Judah represents the Jewish people who have endeavored to keep the Sabbath, Kosher, the Feasts of the Lord and all His Statutes throughout every generation.
This division is represented in Israel today between the secular and the religious. The religious seek to keep Kosher, the Sabbath, the Feasts and the Statutes of the Lord. This causes tremendous problems for those who are unobservant even to their cars being stoned by the observant when they drive on the Sabbath.
However, the prophecy in Isaiah 11:13b says: “. . . Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.” This means that the wall between the two houses of Israel will fall in this hour. The two houses will become echad (one). Not only will Israel become one, Ishmael, the Church, and the Goyim (Gentile nations) will all become one with Israel under the reign of the Messiah. This is known as the Messianic Age when there will be universal justice and peace. (Read Ezekiel 37:15-28 and Isaiah 2:1-4.)
“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).
“At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all nations shall be gathered unto it . . . . ” (Jeremiah 3:17,18).
This promise speaks directly to present day Israel. Since the present regathering, Israel is divided into two groups: the secular and the religious. This division has been so severe over the years, many have thought that civil war within Israel is imminent. Others have thought that in order to prevent such a war Israel should be divided into two states: one secular and the other religious.
However, according to Jeremiah 3:18, God will call Israel and Judah TOGETHER out of the North to the land of Israel. In Ezekiel 37:22 & 25, God says further that after He brings them back from all nations that He will: “Make them one nation in the land upon the Mountains of Israel; and one King shall be King to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: neither shall they defile themselves anymore with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions . . . .” -
Editor’s note: Next time, we hope to print Part II of this article, “Christianity’s Dilemmas and Sins”.
Author’s (JS) note: i.e., removing God from government, education, media, industry, commerce, labor, management, entertainment, finance, etc., God must be kept in a box; He must not be allowed to speak to national or public issues.
The Hebrew gives two Babylonian names of star deities. Description eludes to the worldly and unbelieving who have no regard for God, but for riches and human affairs as governed by chance.