“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.” (Isaiah 66:8)
Today, 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.'” (Ezekiel 37:21)
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.
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.” (Isaiah 43:5–6)
It’s difficult to believe in 2013, 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.
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.
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 just over six million Jews, just under half of the world’s estimated 14 million Jews. In 2013, however, only 16,968 Jews made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), an increase of 2.5% from 2012.
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.