Darwin’s Deception

Darwin’s Deception

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                        “In the beginning God created the heavens

                         and the earth.”

                                                            Genesis 1:1

 

                        “By faith we understand that the worlds were

                         framed by the word of God, so that the things

                         seen were not made of things that are visible.”

                                                            Hebrews 11:3

Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle in 1831 to the Galapagos Islands was a dark day for the human race because he consequently made assertions that effectively deny the existence of God as Creator and that have paved the way for Fascists to justify their programs of extermination on a scale never seen before. The world he wrote of in his books, “The Origin of the Species” and “The Descent of Man” is that of brutality and disregard for human life. Darwin was indeed a radical racist and described black people, Indians, South American people, Aborigines, Eskimos and Maoris as inferior to white Europeans and in fact as savages. He did this routinely and indeed he had to because his misguided theory of evolution demanded that “the best of us” emerge from the vast pool of evolving human beings. For him evolution was ongoing and thus must be seen in the human race. Consequently the European branch of humanity was the most developed leaving other peoples inferior, unequal to them and expendable. Here is Darwin in his own words:

“The western nations of Europe now so immeasurably

surpass their former savage progenitors that they stand

at the summit of civilization. The civilized races of man

will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage

races through the world…” Charles Darwin

Adolf Hitler became an enthusiastic supporter of Darwin’s evil ideas and simply applied them with fanatical zeal. The German Arian race was therefore at the very top of the evolutionary process and the other nations particularly black people; Gypsies and Indian people were near the bottom. The Jews were at the very bottom; they had not evolved enough and were a threat to the survival of the best or the fittest amongst us! It was for this reason that the Nazi regime banned intermarriage, as this would weaken the gene pool of the more greatly evolved Germans. Welcome to the world of brutality and barbarism! It is of course necessary to take note of the fact that Islamic theology asserts, to this day, that Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs and in the 1930s many Islamic leaders made common cause with Hitler.

Richard Weikart in his book, “From Darwinism to Hitler” demonstrates:

That many leading Darwinian biologists and social

  thinkers in Germany overturned the traditional Judeo-

  Christian and enlightenment ethics, especially the view

  that human life is sacred. Many of these thinkers

 supported moral relativism, yet simultaneously exalted

  evolutionary fitness to the highest arbiter of morality.

  Darwinism played a key role in the rise of eugenics, but

  also euthanasia, infanticide, abortion and racial exterm-

  ination. This was especially important in Germany since

  Hitler built his view of ethics on Darwinian principles

  and not Nihilism.”

Of course some would consider this to be an extreme view of Darwin’s misguided thinking but in fact Darwin’s deception took hold of many British leaders and adventurers so that even Cecil John Rhodes, a great admirer of Darwin and well respected everywhere, because he digested Darwin’s writings, considered black people, Indians and others within the reach of the British Empire to be inferior savages that could with impunity be exterminated like unwanted pests! Consider his words below:

 “I contend that we are the finest in the world and that the

 more we inhabit it the better for the human race. It is our

 duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more

 territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before

 our eyes that more territory simply means more of the

 Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most human,

 most honorable race the world possesses..”

 Cecil John Rhodes

Darwin’s deceptive writings brought misery and murder to Australasia in that his writings, as substantiated by the “Melbourne Review”, were used to justify the genocide that was applied to the indigenous Australian people known as the Aboriginal people. These people were mercilessly slaughtered because they were considered to be mere underdeveloped savages. So, the paper wrote:

“The inexorable law of natural selection justifies the extermin-

   ating the inferior Australian and Maori races. The world is a

   better place for it since failure to do so would be promoting

   the non-survival of the fittest, protecting the propagation of

   the imprudent, the diseased, the defective and the criminal.”

The same is true of the slave trade in America in that when Darwin’s book “The Origin of the Species” was published in 1859 it reached America’s shores pretty quickly and at a time when the issue of slavery was just about to spark a civil war. The slave traders of the time defended their business by referring to Darwin and so for them black people were not really human but commodities to be bought and sold in the market place. In fact when brought over on slave ships black people were not listed as human beings but merely as cargo and in many instances they were thrown overboard in storms and thus jettisoned to save the ship from sinking. This is the brutality of Darwin’s world; a brutality that has left millions dead and six million Jews mercilessly slaughtered. Even Stalin, like all communists, embraced Darwinism enthusiastically because it validated his idea that the existence of God was a myth and consequently human life had no real dignity and could be exterminated and he set about murdering more people than Hitler! Again welcome to the world of the survival of the fittest! Of Stalin Michael Flannery writes:

“Biographically speaking, reading Darwin’s Origin was seminal in Stalin’s own march toward a godless communism.”

And then in “Landmarks in the Life of Stalin” (1940) Yaroslavsky writes about the influence Darwin had on young Joseph Stalin and Francis B. Randall, in “Stalin’s Russia” (1965) states:

“He remained all his life an admirer of Darwin, whose

theories had been so exciting and controversial in

Stalin’s youth. Darwin had taught him that all things

move progressively forward in an evolutionary

determinism.”

People who take Darwin seriously must become racists and fascists and they cannot become selective believers in his racist theories. Humankind, at different stages of evolution, comes from apes and this must be reflected in its evolving progression. Darwin believed this, wrote about it and thereby removed dignity from the human race and the idea that all men are equal and accountable to God and that they, albeit imperfectly, reflect the image of God. The “Grand Apartheid” government of South Africa was heavily influenced by the Nazis and took on board the notion that black people were underdeveloped and inferior to Europeans. They effectively embraced “The Fuhrer Principle” of racial superiority that was reinforced by Darwinism and consequently they introduced “bantu education” which was a dumbed down educational system designed to meet the inferior minds of black people. Darwin’s theory of evolution, by rejecting the God of the Bible, made gods out of human beings and these, with the greatest power and weapons available to them, became tyrants and were consequently able to subdue others and even exterminate them.

Darwin’s journey that led him to reject the notion that the God of the Bible created all things and set them in order began with his desire to become an Anglican Minister. He lived in the 19th Century that is considered by Christian historians to be the “Golden Age” of British Christianity; and indeed it was. The Wesleyan Revival of the previous century had greatly impacted the nation, even the Anglican Church out of which it came. The churches and chapels throughout the land were generally well-attended and great Christian missionaries; movements and preachers arose within the nation. William Booth (1829-1912) founded the Salvation Army; George Muller of Bristol (1805-1898) did remarkable work amongst the orphans and founded 124 schools. The London Missionary Society, The China Inland Mission and the Baptist Missionary Society sent people like David Livingstone (1813-1873), C. T. Studd (1860-1931) and William Carey (1761-1834) to the ends of the earth.  In Britain itself powerful preachers like Bishop Ryle of Liverpool (1816-1900), Charles Haddon Spurgeon of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London (1834-1892), Professor Jacob Janeway of the Scottish National Church and Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) were greatly impacting the nation and even in government evangelical Christians like Lord Shaftesbury (1801-1885) were exercising huge influence in the affairs of state. Christianity was at this time very well respected in society, in the universities and amongst the political establishment.

This climate made it unpopular to express views that would appear to dismantle Christianity and challenge its very foundations and Darwin well knew this. Though he set out to become a Christian preacher Darwin had no personal relationship with the God of the Bible and thus he did not know Christ and was not “regenerate” as the New Testament teaches (Titus 2:4-5). This fact greatly precluded him from understanding the Bible and he therefore came to conclusions about God that were nothing short of a betrayal of his own biblical ignorance. The Bible affirms that the natural man, without living faith, is incapable of subjecting himself to the Word of God because his mind is filled with dark imaginations (Romans 8:7; Ephesians 4:17-18). Of God then Darwin wrote the following:

“But I had gradually come by the time to see that the Old

Testament from its manifestly false history of the world,

with the Tower of Babel, Rainbow as a sign etc, etc., and

from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful

tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books

of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.”

Darwin- His private autobiography

Darwin was careful not to make public statements like this as he needed the respect and esteem of his peers but in his “private writings” he displayed a total rejection of the God of the Bible thinking Him to be nothing other than a tyrant! The Old Testament no where puts forth God in this light and in fact it was the validating truth that undergirded Jesus’ ministry (Deuteronomy 8:3;Matthew 4:4) and by which He demonstrated, in His life and person, what God is really like (John 1:18). Darwin was a man without living faith trying to understand holy things of which he knew precious little. His wife to be, Emmy Wedgwood, was duly alarmed by his opinions, as she, being a devout Christian, knew that by expressing them he was challenging the very foundations of the Christian faith. She consequently wrote to him and challenged him about them.

“I implore you to read the parting words of our Savior to

His apostles, beginning at the 13th chapter of the Gospel

according to John.”

Darwin for his part, not willing to lose her, essentially side-stepped her in his reply and really did not address the issues at hand. The truth then is that Darwin’s struggle was a spiritual one, as he did not want to be accountable to God for his actions and subsequently set out to cast off His shackles (Psalm 2:1-6)! Darwin did not rage against God, he planned against Him. A comment in Scientific America acknowledges this when it states:

“By dissociating intellect and morality from God’s power of

creation and attributing them instead to self evolving forces,

Darwin undermined the very foundations of a society shaped

by the Anglican Church, with its hopes of eternal life and the

omnipresent threat of punishment.”

As a divinity student he first attended Edinburgh University and it was there that he came into contact with some fellow radicals, who like him had no living faith in Christ and who also questioned the validity of the biblical record. Two of these were Richard Carlile and the Rev. Robert Taylor. Robert Taylor was so outspoken on these matters that he was actually imprisoned for blasphemy. Darwin found common cause with them and later abandoned his attempt to enter the Anglican ministry and instead took up his studies at Cambridge University in 1828 where he changed course and studied natural history and sciences. Here, by virtue of his studies and his investigative voyage on the Beagle in 1831 to South America, he eventually concluded that the species “were not to be attributed to God’s endless creativity but were the product of a blind, mechanical process that altered them over the course of millions of years.” Though sometimes claiming in public to be agnostic in private for him, God was not present at the dawn of creation and in fact never existed and the record contained in the Bible of His creative actions was false. Darwinism is not compatible with Christianity. Christopher Marty comments:

Charles Darwin’s “theory of evolution still clashes with the

creationist beliefs of some organized religions. For him

personally it meant the end of his belief in creation by God.”

 By contrast the Bible everywhere claims to be wholly inspired or God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Even Jesus, speaking of the Old Testament stated that it was absolutely true (John 17:17). In fact Jesus fully endorsed the biblical record of creation because He referred to Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-6), the flood of Genesis 6 and Noah’s epic voyage in an Ark (Luke 17:26-27), Jonah’s journey in the belly of a whale (Matthew 12:40) and much more. If Jesus lied about all of this then what else did He lie about and truly, if He did, then Darwin is right! How is it possible that the Man who has most influenced the world for good, and more so than any other, is in fact a fraud and a liar? But Darwin is wrong because Jesus, the greatest man that ever lived, was absolutely right. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ created the universe and He did this through Christ by His word (Hebrews 1:1-4; Colossians 1:15-17). When we add to this the fact that in the Bible God everywhere presents Himself as the Creator of the heavens and earth then the idea that we are the product of random selection or choice and that we evolved from apes and monkeys is absolutely absurd. No, God made us within our species and humankind is the masterpiece of His creative work because it is endowed with a free will and is not bound, like the animal kingdom, to instinct. We believe then in micro-evolution, adaptation within the species, but not in macro-evolution, adaptation from the species.

In addition, if God is to be God, then it matters not whether He created everything in one day, seven days, seven thousand days or seventy million years because if He cannot create everything in one day then He is not God! In fact He chose to create everything in seven days and because He is God I believe it, and so did Jesus and His followers. Indeed the complex nature of our beings makes it impossible to believe that it all came together by accident. Just the amazing make up of the eye with its cornea, retina, lens, perfect balance and connection to the brain to process images and all this times two is beyond the boundaries of chance. Darwin himself could not explain this and admitted that it would be absurd to attribute all of this to haphazard events that began in a primeval mud pool with a single genetic amoeba. He therefore wrote:

“To suppose that the eye, with all its imitable contrivances

   for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting

   different amounts of light and for the correction of spherical

   and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural

   selection seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree

   possible.”

No wonder he exclaimed, “The intricacies of the human eye give me cold shudders”, and yet for all this he asserted that it all came about because of chance or random selection. Since the 19th Century medical science has made startling discoveries about the human body and its amazing abilities that Darwin knew nothing of. The Bible correctly attributes this to God.

“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my

   mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and

   wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that

   my soul knows very well.”

 Psalm 139:13-14

Darwin planned against the existence of God because he did not want to be accountable to Him. In fact, if the truth be told, he knew that God existed but did what every sinner in need of the love and grace of God does; he rejected this knowledge, removed God from creation and ended up honoring creation more than he did God. This is a common problem amongst men and Paul knew it and wrote of it:

 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes

are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are

made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are

without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did

glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in

their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the

glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like

corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and

creeping things.”    Romans 1:20-23

This passage fully describes Darwin’s position in that his problem was not physical or scientific but in fact spiritual. He knew that God existed and that he, Darwin, is and would be accountable to Him for his actions and therefore he deliberately suppressed this knowledge and contrived a theory to ease his conscience. The absurdity of his theory is seen in the fact that having removed God from creation he was left with no explanation as to how everything, including the whole universe, came about from nothing. Nothing is not the atmosphere or air that we breath since this contains atomic elements. Nothing is really beyond our ability to comprehend it as it resides outside of our universe and so it can best be described as a total void. This nothing, we are to believe, went off with a bang and produced all the foundational elements required to build the universe and to sustain life upon the earth. Quite frankly it takes more faith to believe in this than to believe that God created all things and was responsible for the “bang”.

In the 1980s the “Venus Probe”, a satellite that was sent to investigate Venus, accidentally recorded, what is called, the “ripples of the universe.” That is, the speed with which the universe is expanding through nothing! It even sent back a computer image of the universe, which looked like an egg traveling through nothing. The mystery that this provoked is, who or what is accelerating the universe in this way? Actually the universe needs to expand at a remarkable speed in order for life to be sustained on earth! In short, to use scientific language, what gives “the bang” the power of continuous acceleration? The answer is; God by Jesus Christ.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over

   all creation. For by Him all things were created that are

   in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible,

   whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.

   All things were created through Him and for Him. And He

   is before all things and in Him all things consist.”

  Colossians 1:15-17

 In the end Darwinists are not going to admit that they are wrong; this will never happen. Not even if they are presented with infallible truth and proof concerning intelligent design will they agree that they are wrong. A few years ago two Darwinists were debating two Creationists on this issue and, not realizing that their microphones were live, the one Darwinist was heard saying to the other just before the debate began, “Whatever happens tonight do not concede to intelligent design.” In other words the debate was not concerned with truth but with stubbornly holding to evolution and the rejection of God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. According to the Bible, this is the definition of a fool (Psalm 14:1).

Malcolm Hedding

 

 

                         

The Politics of Hatred and Betrayal

The Politics of Hatred and Betrayal

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An overview of the historical issues that have brought South Africans to where they are today

 

“You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy

than you will through acts of retribution.”

Nelson Mandela

 

A few weeks ago my wife and I were watching the submissions being made by South African citizens to Members of Parliament concerning the proposed ANC legislation that would give the government the right to change the constitution and thereby seize or expropriate white owned land without compensation. To be honest the language being employed by many of the black people making their submissions was absolutely shocking, totally racist and filled with hate. To be sure if a white person ever spoke like this in a public forum he or she would be instantly condemned and possibly even prosecuted. But, hiding behind the “victim of apartheid” shield these bigots were allowed to get away with it. Also, the threats they made of taking matters into their own hands were alarming and should not be passed off as rhetoric especially since it is now a proven fact that since 1994 some four thousand white South African farmers have been brutally killed by black criminals. This is no isolated occurrence as some have glibly asserted, no it is a coordinated initiative driven by revenge and hatred to slay innocent people. All of this has been made more alarming by the fact that senior ANC politicians, including the erstwhile President Jacob Zuma, went from rally to rally all around the country since 1994 singing songs that called for the slaughter of the Boers (Afrikaner farmers). “With our machine guns we will kill the Boer” they sang and no one stepped in to stop this rabble rousing that coming from government leaders seemed to give license to the average listener to go out and do just that. All that Nelson Mandela had stood for had been betrayed by irresponsible leaders who could not and cannot “hold a candle” to him. The question is, how did we get to this and what are the historical roots that have brought South Africans to this crisis point in their history? Well for your consideration here they are. Please read this document in its entirety as, if you do, a picture will emerge, as it did with me when I researched the content, that will surprise you.

 

The Way Station
The early sea faring adventurers of the 15th and 16th centuries were Portuguese. Two famous names come to mind in this respect being Vasco da Gama and Bartholomew Dias. These two adventurers rounded the Cape of Storms (later called the Cape of Good Hope) and to prove it erected stone crosses some of which can still be seen today. They ignited the thought that indeed a way to the east could be found via the tip of Africa and the Cape of Storms and so in the 17th century the Dutch East India Company picked up the challenge and in 1652 Jan van Riebeek, sailing on his flagship the Dromedaris, landed at the Cape of Storms. Here they established a way station for ships traveling to India and beyond. For him, and those with him, there was no intention to establish a new colony but with the passing of time and the arrival of more ships a settlement was established in order to replenish the ships and an impressive fort was built to protect the route from other would be sea faring nations like England for instance. To facilitate the expansion of the way station land was actually bought from the Hottentot and Koi people who were indigenous to the region and inevitably a certain amount of racial intermingling took place that led to the birthing of what is today called the Cape Coloured People. Also, with the shipping demand more land was needed and so the arriving Europeans eventually, by overwhelming technology and military strength, just took the land from the indigenous peoples and a colony was truly established. Added to this was the arrival of the French Huguenots who were fleeing the persecution that had broken out against them in France on St. Bartholomew’s Day. They brought with them the grape cultivars that laid the foundations of South Africa’s modern day and magnificent wine farms. Today in a beautiful town called Franschhoek (a corner of France) one can see an impressive monument to their achievements, which also records, sadly, the agenda of the Dutch colonists to force them to assimilate into the Dutch community at the Cape. They were thus forced to speak Dutch and speaking French was forbidden. This racial pressure was successful and so today the Huguenots are recognized only by their names; the Dupree’s, the Rossouw’s and the Fourie’s etc.

 

Competitive Interests
The growing Dutch colony at the Cape demanded a governor of which Simon van der Stel was the most famous and with government administration came magnificent Dutch Gabled homes the most impressive of which being those on the wine fields around Stellenbosch and Groot Constantia, a very beautiful homestead and winery nestled south of Cape Town near Constantia Neck. However, competing commercial interests and the rise of England as a maritime power meant that the British were not going to allow the Dutch to milk the lucrative eastern markets. Therefore in the late 18th century and early 19th century the English literally squeezed the Dutch East India Company out of business and invaded the Cape Colony. Cape Town was now becoming a thriving town and the British, not satisfied with a “small town colony”, decided to expand up the eastern coast and subsequently in 1820 hundreds of British settlers landed on the coast in what became known as the Eastern Cape and founded an outpost called Grahamstown and beyond including Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay. This brought the British settler initiative into contact and conflict with the indigenous Xhosa people and so the so-called Kaffir Wars (Wars with the black infidels) broke out. To this day the Anglican Church in Grahamstown records in its sanctuary the British soldiers and people who died in these wars. In short the colonial power set out to seize land from the Xhosa people and by virtue of their superior civilization, as they saw it, and military strength they thought that they were entitled to it. The Xhosa people were in the end subjugated and while vast tracks of lands were still left under their tribal authority the coastal regions were developed and new cities like King William’s Town and East London were built. The seeds of bitterness and hatred had been planted and they would in the end produce from the Xhosa people one of South Africa’s greatest sons, Nelson Mandela. He, knowing full well the injustice that had visited his people, freed himself from the hatred and bitterness that could have so easily entangled his life and was thus able to also free his people from their long journey of servitude under white domination. Mandela was a God given gift to South Africa.

Still thirsting for more adventure and discovery, on Christmas Day in 1835 Henry Francis Fynn dropped anchor off the coast some 500 miles east of Grahamstown and founded what today is called the city of Durban. He named the new settler port after the Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Benjamin D’ Urban. This new colonial region would be called Natal but once again this colonial adventure would collide with the indigenous black people. In this case a proud warlike people called the Zulus. While some attempts were made to purchase land from the Zulu King Dingane the ever-expanding new settlement needed more and more land, which in the end provoked a frontier war with the Zulus in 1879. This war saw the Zulu Impis (Warriors) achieve some spectacular victories over the British troops stationed at Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Intombe but in the end the superior weapons of the British overwhelmed the Zulu army and the King Cetshwayo was forced to surrender and cede territory to the British Crown. With Zulu power broken the new Natal colony spread in land and with the passing of time towns like Pietermariztburg, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Greytown and Harrismith emerged; all linked together by roads and a railway line and supported by schools, hospitals and governing infrastructure. The black man became a defeated second class citizen whose lot in life was to now serve the interests of the colonial power and, if the truth be told, the British generally held the African people in disdain and contempt and years later in 1910 this would be clearly demonstrated.

 

The New Exodus
After three decades of enduring British colonial rule in the Cape Colony the Dutch settlers decided to trek north in 1835 in search of new lands where they could again be self governing and free. They therefore put together a train of ox drawn wagons and began a new exodus that would take them into the hinterland. This would be a courageous journey fraught with great difficulty as they would have to find a way through high mountain regions and all the while make sure that they could defend and sustain themselves. They were also a “godsdienstig” (Godly Christian) people and were by now an emerging nation group with a new language called Afrikaans. Their epic journey would henceforth be called The Great Trek but it would also sow the seeds of racial hatred and bitterness that would in the end destroy their national aspirations forever and, like the Xhosa and Zulu people of old, they would end up humiliated and stripped of all power.

The route of the Great Trek was through the Hottentots Holland Mountain range and then north east towards the interior and the Drakensberg Mountains. Once well beyond the Hottentots Holland Mountain range the leaders of the Great Trek made a fateful decision that would forever deeply impact the Afrikaner people. It was thus decided that a significant part of the wagon train, under the leadership of Andries Pretorious and Piet Retief, would break off from the main group and make an explorative detour into the Natal colonial region in the hope of establishing a Boer homeland there. In the main they would seek to avoid the British colonial authorities in their attempt to scout out the land. Unfortunately this brought them into the Zulu territory ruled by Dingane the Zulu King. In need of an agreement upon which the Zulu King would cede land to them and give them supplies to sustain their people they formed a protective laager at a river where they could protect themselves if needs be. Andries Pretorious stayed with the wagons while Piet Retief led a delegation to the Royal Zulu Kraal (Palace) where having arrived unarmed, in order to demonstrate their peaceful intentions, they met with Dingane requesting a land agreement, food and the right of peaceful passage through his royal lands. Dingane, already worried by Trekker incursions into his territory near the Drakensberg Mountains, received them well, prepared a feast in their honor and then had them brutally murdered. When news of this reached the wagon train they knew that within a short time the whole Zulu army would attack them. This attack came on the 16th of December. Being only 475 people they had little hope of survival but also being people of faith they gathered together in prayer by which they promised God that if they survived they would honor Him all the days of their lives by keeping the Christian Sabbath and by building a monument to His glory. They fulfilled this promise on the 16th December in 1949 when the Voortrekker Monument was officially inaugurated.

Early in the morning of the 16th of December they heard the battle chanting of the approaching Zulu army and a little later the battle was engaged. With women and children loading weapons the Boer Voortrekkers were not only able to withstand the Zulu army but they inflicted on them a devastating defeat. Thousands of Impis were killed and so much so that the river that formed a half moon protective barrier to the wagons became blood red. It was thus later called Blood River and the tragic events of that day would henceforth be known as the Battle of Blood River. The Zulu King Dingane withdrew his warriors from the battle and sent word that the wagons could leave and would not be attacked. Slowly but surely the laager was broken up and the wagons, filled with watchful and thankful hearts to the God of the Bible, began to take their journey to the north.

There is no doubt that Dingane’s willful betrayal and treachery was shameful and I have yet to hear any black South African acknowledge it and repent of it. This murderous act would in the decades to come fill the Afrikaner heart with a relentless bitterness and hatred toward the African people. Consequently, as time passed, they not only built an imposing monument that to this day dominates the skyline of a city called Pretoria but they also named the city after the brave and surviving Voortrekker leader of the Blood River Battle, Andries Pretorious. They emblazoned the monuments “inner sanctuary” with motifs from the epic battle at Blood River and they also proclaimed a day of remembrance, which they arrogantly called Dingane’s Day. That is, quite literally meaning, “The day when Dingane met his Moses!” Recognizing the unsuitability of this designation it was eventually changed to “The Day of the Covenant”, then “The Day of the Vow” and finally the “Day of Reconciliation”. The fact that God delivered them from such a peril of epic biblical proportions left them with the mistaken idea that God had uniquely sanctified their mission which henceforth included separating themselves completely from the African people in such a way that the Africans would be robbed of their human dignity and subjected to appalling suffering. Sadly the day of their greatest victory also became the day of their greatest failure since it laid the foundations for their defeat in the new century to come.

 

Two New Nation States
The Great Trek ended in two regions of Southern Africa. The one being a land mass a little north west of the British colony of Natal and the other almost due north of Natal on the other side of a huge river called the Vaal or Grey River. The Boer Trekkers crossed this river and founded a state in 1853 called “The Transvaal Republic.” This republic’s first President was Paul Kruger. The other Boer state, named the Orange Free State, just north west of Natal was also founded at about the same time and it elected a leader called President Steyn. It is a fact that these two new states were not founded on any land belonging to the African people (See note 1). No major wars in this regard were ever fought with the African people although there were African tribes further north of the two Boer Republics and these were the Pede, Tswana and Matabele peoples. The latter actually being Zulus that had split from the main tribe down south and had relocated in a region that would, with the passing of time, become known as Rhodesia and now called Zimbabwe. It is true that from time to time these republics had on going skirmishes with the Zulus just south of them and with the Basuto and Swazis just east of them but generally they were free from serious conflict with other tribes and in fact they were fully recognized by the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, England and the United States. Then the unthinkable happened in that in the Transvaal Republic the world’s biggest gold deposits were found and in the Orange Free State Republic the world’s biggest diamond deposits were found. This quickly got the attention of the other colonial powers and chiefly that of the one nearest to the action, Great Britain.

 

The Short Lived Freedom
The discovery of gold and diamonds in the two Boer Republics led to a “gold and diamond rush.” This essentially meant that thousands of people from the two British controlled colonies began to pour into the two Boer Republics. This alarmed the governments of these two nations and accordingly they viewed these people as “Uitlanders” or foreigners and thus refused to let them vote in elections or take prominent positions in civil life. This greatly annoyed the British colonial authorities who, if the truth really be known, were looking for a pretext to get at the emerging wealth of the two Boer Republics. Seizing on a particular situation in this regard an impasse was reached and subsequently in 1877 by special warrant the British government attempted to annex the Transvaal Republic. This was to a degree resisted by Paul Kruger who twice visited London in an attempt to resolve the matter peacefully, sadly to no avail. Subsequently tensions rose between the two entities finally reaching breaking point on the 16th of December in 1880 when the First Boer War broke out. It did not last long as in March1881 it came to an end, remarkably with a Boer victory. The pride of the British Empire being dented it was determined to reignite the conflict at some later point and did!

Again, citing the mistreatment of British colonial nationals, the British colonial leaders in cooperation with London engineered the so-called Jameson Raid at the end of 1895. The raid was a botched affair but it put the two Boer Republics on notice that war with England was inevitable. The Boers being well armed struck the British army on the 11th October in 1899 with impressive victories at Magersfontein, Colenso and Stormberg and so the 2nd Boer War or Anglo Boer War began. It would be the dawn of a new era of war for no longer would the opposing armies square off in colorful battle regalia with no real element of surprise as to the hour of engagement. Now trenches, machine guns, heavy artillery, commando unit tactics, snipers and concentration camps would all be employed for the first time. This would in fact be a precursor to the Great War that broke out in Europe in 1914.Though eventually totally out gunned and overwhelmed by the number of British soldiers facing off against them, the combined Boer armies of the two Boer republics only lost 6189 combatants whereas the British army lost 22092! Sadly however the British army took 26370 Boer women and children captive and sent them to some 100 concentration camps throughout the country where in appalling conditions they starved them to death. It was in fact a British nurse called Emily Hobhouse who became the whistle blower in this respect. When news of this atrocity reached London it provoked outrage and to its great shame the British government was forced to acknowledge, albeit reluctantly, this terrible crime against the Boer people.

Today the ANC government of South Africa is equally and shamefully responsible for a similar crime being perpetrated against the white farmers of South Africa. Under their watch some 4000 white farmers, mainly Afrikaans speaking, have been brutally murdered. This is a fact now verified by a number independent investigations and this crime will come back to haunt the ANC. They cannot continue to “sweep this matter under the carpet” like the British first attempted to do. It just goes to show that racism is no respecter of persons and if we are driven by hatred and lust for revenge we become like our erstwhile oppressors.

So it was then that on the 31st of May in 1902 the Boers surrendered and signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. The Two Boer Republics were dissolved, Paul Kruger fled to Europe where he died and the Transvaal and Orange Free State were annexed by the British and thus, together with the Cape and Natal colonies, became subject to Queen Victoria’s reign. The Boer War also left some 24000 civilians dead and many of these were black people who, for various reasons, became embroiled in this “all white shoot out.” The Afrikaner people were left humiliated and disinvested of the right to determine their own future. Consequently, given all that had happened to them, including the loss of their women and children, they allowed their hearts to be furthered infested with a deep hatred of the British people. This hatred and resentment would in just over thirty-six years drive some of them into the arms of the Nazis!

 

The Union of South Africa
In July of 1996 Nelson Mandela, the first truly democratically elected President of South Africa, undertook an official visit to the United Kingdom. While addressing the British Parliament he made the claim that Britain had indeed laid the foundations stones upon which the Apartheid state had been built. Though many expressed shock and disdain at this comment the question is, was it true? Indeed he was right and the events of 1910 prove it. The British were the undisputed victors of the Anglo Boer War meaning that all the colonies, including those of the two erstwhile Boer Republics, were now under British sovereignty. Their next step would demonstrate their true intentions and agenda and thus in 1910 they approved and gave birth to a new nation called The Union of South Africa. The flag of this new nation said it all in that it was emblazoned with orange, white and blue, symbols of the Dutch origins of the people, and an insert in the middle was made up of a Union Jack flanked on one side by the flags of the two erstwhile Boer Republics. In other words this would be a white dominated country and the flag had nothing in it that gave reference and recognition to the vast black majority who at that time numbered about 19 million people. The symbols of the flag gave notice then that the black people of the country were irrelevant and would be excluded from power in a democratic system that, though built on the Westminster model, would be a limited democracy serving the interests of three million whites only.  The majority black peoples would be left disenfranchised and subjugated. This was Britain’s chosen system of government for a nation that would now become a fully-fledged member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The “Scramble for Africa” by the European colonial nations had nothing to do with the welfare of the indigenous people living on the continent but everything to do with the vast mineral wealth that lay under their ancient tribal lands. Indeed, Nelson Mandela was absolutely right! The suffering of the black people would now continue and become even more intense.

 

The Second World War
Given Britain’s commitment to the perpetuation of white power on the sub continent, some of the most well known Boer Generals, who fought against the British in the Anglo Boer War, now became enthusiastic supporters of Britain’s policies in the region. For them this was the only means to secure the interests and well being of the Afrikaner volk (people). General Louis Botha and General Jan Smuts were two of these amongst others. The latter, as leader of the South African Party, eventually became Prime Minister of the newly formed Union of South Africa and consequently by the outbreak of both World Wars actively encouraged South Africans to volunteer, sign up and go to war against the Germans on behalf of Britain. Thousands of South Africans did, including my father and two of his siblings. Jan Smuts, in fact a brilliant man, actually became a personal friend of the British Royal Family, was part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that pursued the war against the Nazis and was one of the founders of the United Nations. However, for many Afrikaners at home, especially those of the provinces of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, he and Louis Botha were traitors and they set about to finding a way to unseat and defeat them. This “way” consisted of four components: First they would organize politically by forming the Purified Nationalist Party. Second they would establish a Boer militia called “Die Ossewa Brandwag” (The Wagon Fire Watch). Third, given their hatred for the British, they would actively align themselves with Nazi Germany and four, they would find a means to ignite Afrikaner nationalism. In addition a highly secretive and well organized body was formed called “Die Broederbond” (The Fellowship of the Brothers) in order to be the real power and protectors of all things pertaining to the Afrikaner people and their destiny. No Afrikaans leader came to power in the government, in commerce or even in the world of sports without the approval of the Broederbond.

The Ossewa Brandwag, founded in 1939 at Bloemfontein, had an emblem that was in all respects similar to that of the Nazis and they essentially began to sabotage the war effort in South Africa by assaulting or killing men who had volunteered to sign up, by demolishing military installations and by disabling military equipment. They had “insiders” everywhere and their impact was not insignificant. Many men were killed or badly assaulted, planes were damaged beyond repair as was other military equipment. They were well organized with strong leaders and the Smuts government responded aggressively by rounding them up and placing them in a concentration camp at Koffiefontein. Some of these imprisoned, Nazi sympathizing leaders, would eventually become Prime Minister (John Vorster) and cabinet members of a new nationalist government that would sweep to power in 1948. In one of their publications called  “The Observation Post” they wrote, “Mein Kampf shows the way to greatness in South Africa” and a Nazi publication of the time noted that the Ossewa Brandwag was founded on the “Fuhrer Principle.” That is, the principle of racial purity.

In order to reignite the desire for independent sovereignty and the means to determine their own destiny free from the British Commonwealth of Nations the newly formed so called Purified National Party under D. F. Malan, together with other nationalists, took advantage of the centenary celebrations of the conclusion of the Great Trek in 1938 by organizing “Another Great Trek”. This Trek, replete with replica wagons, would wind its way through the country ending in Pretoria at the Voortrekker Monument. Its impact on the Afrikaner people was huge and being the white majority in 1948 they easily defeated the Smuts government and took over the reigns of power. The jubilation that swept through the Afrikaner community was huge as now they were on the verge of forming a new Afrikaner Republic; only this time it would embrace all four provinces. The majority black population had much to fear.

 

The Apartheid Government
After assuming the reigns of power the Nationalist Party, heavily influenced by the “Fuhrer’s Principle”, began to formulate its philosophy of governance and with it what “Nuremberg” style laws it would now adopt, not against the Jews but against the black majority in the country. Sadly, and to the shame of the Dutch Reformed Church of the day, some of these “new racial architects” were Christian ministers! The apparent mastermind of what would eventually be called  “Grand Apartheid” was a Dutch Reformed Minister by the name of Du Toit and the first Prime Minister of the incoming Nationalist Party was another Dutch Reformed Church Minister by the name of D. F. Malan. For them the Afrikaner Volk (people) was the ” New Israel of God” having a divine destiny confirmed by their exodus from the Cape Colony and the favor of God bestowed upon them at the “Battle of Blood River.” Incorrectly invoking portions of scripture from the Old Testament, which in context referred to the nation of Israel only, they demanded that the Afrikaner people, and indeed the English speaking white race amongst them, should keep themselves apart from the infidel (Kaffir) black majority people. Consequently they set about passing laws that imposed upon the black people of the country burdens of great pain and suffering. The most notable of these were: “The Influx Control Act” that restricted the movement of black people in their own country. The so-called “Pass Law Act” that enabled the police to immediately determine whether a black person was legally in an area or not. This was a type of identity document that had to be on the holder’s person at all times. The black population called this a “Dom Pass”, meaning a stupid document. The “Job Reservation Act” that ensured that only white people could occupy places of management and be employed in many trade and high-end professions. The black people would have to be content with the “lower end” professions, which usually meant that they would give their labor to the cities, suburbs, mines, industrial concerns and farms of the nation. The “Bantu Education Act” that asserted that black people were less intelligent than white people and therefore that they should receive a “dumbed down” education to suit their inferior minds. The ” Mixed Marriage Act” that made it a crime to marry across the racial lines and the “Reservation of Separate Amenities Act” of 1953 that designated beaches, parks, buses, hospitals, schools, benches and toilets for white use only. With these draconian laws in place the Nationalists could now allow black shanty-towns (locations) to spring up like satellites orbiting the well manicured towns and cities of their white overlords. The most well known of these was Soweto but there many others by the name Umlazi, Mamelodi, Payneville, Daveyton, Kwa Thema, khayehalitsha, Kwa Mashu, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Langa etc. These were deliberately left in shocking conditions because they initially desired them to be so in order to encourage the black people living there to leave for their tribal homelands. All those living in “The Location” had to carry their “Dom Pass” and so, like shadows, they would emerge in the early mornings to their places of work in the white only cities and towns and in the evenings they would return to their ghettos again. Even the public benches in the cities had emblazoned upon them the words “Whites Only.” I well remember that in the evening at about 6pm a siren went off thus announcing that all black people had to leave the area except for those whose Pass restrictions authorized them to stay. The white towns and cities were “white by night” and police vans would patrol these areas in order to ensure that this would be the case. Grand Apartheid had arrived!

 

Bantustans
The first batch of National Party Prime Ministers were fanatically committed to the idea of Afrikaner supremacy. D. F Malan immediately began to lay the ground work for a policy that would constrict blacks to only 13% of the land mass of the country by having the so called “Bantu Authorities Act” passed in 1951.That is, black people were going to be forcibly removed from much of the country and deposited in Homelands according to their language and tribal affiliation. Even black people who did own land, like those of Sofia Town, would in the end be upended by land confiscation and sent to a Location or to a Homeland. Malan stepped down in 1954 and was followed by J. G Strijdom who was actually called, “The Lion of the North” because he was so single minded on building an Afrikaner kingdom that would tolerate English speakers and totally exclude the black people from any part in it. He was thus determined to, not only follow through on the Bantustan policy but also to remove South Africa from the British Commonwealth of Nations and declare it to be in essence an Afrikaner Republic. Dr Hendrik Verwoerd became Prime Minister in 1958 and he was able to achieve the Afrikaner dream of establishing a new republic in that on the 31st of May 1961 the South African Parliament finally took South Africa out of the British Commonwealth thereby abolishing the Union of South Africa and establishing the Republic of South Africa, which actually remains until today. The date was highly significant in that it was on this very day in 1902 that the two Boer states surrendered to the British and signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. The Afrikaner had finally prevailed at the expense of the black majority people of the nation who, within a few short years, would be subjected to unbelievable pain and suffering by mass forced removals. Verwoerd was in fact assassinated in the very halls of the Parliament in 1966 by a Coloured man called Demitri Tsafendas and was replaced by, the Neo Nazi and Ossewa Brandwag member, Advocate John Vorster. It was John Vorster who fully implemented the Bantustan Policy and consequently had hundreds of thousands of black people loaded up on trucks and sent to the homelands. These homelands became known as the TBVC states in that they were made up of four new black states called the Transkei, the Ciskei, Venda and Bophuthatswana. These were totally non viable as they had no industrialized economies and were ruled by “puppet leaders” the most well known of which were Kaiser Matanzima, Bantu Holomisa and Lucas Mangope. They were heavily subsidized by the Nationalist Government that considered this a small price to pay for the privilege of having an all white republic.

Most white people had no idea of the huge suffering that was being inflicted on the black people of the country as the isolation between the two segments of society was so complete that they lived in a type of political bubble and were subjected every evening at 6:55 to a brain washing radio broadcast called “Current Affairs.” Prime Minister John Vorster had a brother called the Rev. Koot Vorster who was also the Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church. He was theologically and ideologically totally committed to the idea of a white only state and so the country was run by a “prince and a prophet”. I know this because I once attended a lecture presented by Koot Vorster.

 

Revolt and Liberation
The black peoples dis-enfranchised, dis-invested of owning property in their own country and restricted from traveling freely throughout the land began to organize in a way that they could resist the government and so the ANC ( African National Congress) was actually established in 1912 in Bloemfontein in order to challenge the newly formed government of the Union of South Africa about the dis-enfranchisement of the black population in the country. At their 1955 congress they unveiled the “Freedom Charter” that to this day constitutes the democratic vision that they have for the country. However, the Sharpeville Massacre of 69 black people by the South African Police on the 21st March in 1960, who were peacefully protesting against the Pass Laws of the country, shocked the country and many overseas nations and galvanized the ANC into action. The brutality of the apartheid government had been laid bare for all to see and so the ANC decided to take a more aggressive approach in their resistance to the apartheid government. This aggressive approach meant that they would now, because they were banned, open up a front organization called the United Democratic Front and they set up a military wing based in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique called Umkhonto we Sizwe, meaning “The Spear of the Nation.” Initially Umkhonto we Sizwe targeted military or police installations but sadly they also launched a terror campaign against civilians in which South Africans of all racial groups were killed and wounded. The most notable attacks in this regard were the Church Street bombing in Pretoria, the Magoo Bar bombing in Durban, the Standard Bank bombing in Roodeport, the Johannesburg Railway Station bombing and the Amanzimtoti Shopping Mall bombing. Also, the English speaking papers, notably the Rand Daily Mail, and to a lessor degree the Sunday Times and The Star, began to expose the awful crimes of the National Party government which provoked the government to secretly fund, with tax payers’ money, a new English speaking daily called, “The Citizen.” A prominent cabinet minister called Connie Mulder was entrusted by John Vorster’s government to initiate this instrument of brain washing and deception. Fortunately good journalism by the other English speaking papers exposed this sinister initiative and so “Muldergate” or “The Information Scandal” broke out leaving the government highly embarrassed and with “egg on its face”.

Nelson Mandela, born in the Eastern Cape in 1918 and well educated, became an active member of the ANC, first in the youth league and then in its decision making structures and finally he became its recognized leader. He in 1964 was put on trial for treason together with what was called “The Rivonia Seven.” Facing the death penalty he made a final statement where he declared: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. Consequently Mandela was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison, a sentence he would begin at the maximum security prison situated on Robben Island off the coast from Cape Town. His image, all references to him and any news about him was banned by the government. It was as if he had passed into oblivion but the wider world launched and sustained a “Free Mandela” campaign to the annoyance of the South African government.

In 1976 the Soweto Riots broke out when the Nationalist government decreed that all black children should no longer be tutored in the language of their birth but in fact in Afrikaans. This crazy act of stupidity enraged the black people, it was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and so the young people began to protest. A young black student, called Hector Peterson, while walking across a playing field was gunned down by the police. This outrageous act of murder turned the protest into a riot that quickly spread all over the country and became an uprising. Young black people everywhere stood up and revolted against the all white government. Of course the government reacted with overwhelming force in an attempt to put it down but this was a major turning point in the country and it sparked the beginning of the end of the Apartheid Government. For the next decade and more the only way in which the government could preserve their all white republic was by placing what was called “a ring of steel” around the African townships. Even the military was called in to enforce this and many township dwellers were killed and perceived trouble makers were taken hostage and murdered. The testimonies to these crimes at the post apartheid “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” were heartbreaking and shocking.

In 1978, mainly because of the Information Scandal, John Vorster stepped down as Prime Minister and was replaced by P. W. Botha who took the title of President. He had been the Minister of Defense under Vorster and was also considered a hardliner. However, by now some of the Cabinet Ministers in his government were beginning to question the viability of the all white government given the desperate security problems in the country and the worsening economic situation, because of the sanctions being leveled against the nation by the international community. In short they knew that the “New Afrikaner Republic” was a lost cause and something had to be done to save the country from a massive catastrophe that would involve a huge amount of bloodshed. In 1989 F. W. de Klerk, supported by Botha’s cabinet, removed Botha from power and immediately called for a referendum among the white community only whereby they would say yes or no to a proposal that would give the government permission to hand over power to a black majority administration to be led by none other than Nelson Mandela. The vote was an overwhelming “yes” and so on the 11th February 1990 Nelson Mandela walked to freedom after being in prison for 27 long years and, after a long and sometimes arduous constitutional conference, a deal was struck that resulted in all South Africans, regardless of colour or creed voting into power, on the 27th April 1994, the very first democratically elected government. Nelson Mandela rightly so became the nation’s first President. The long dark night of racial prejudice, hatred and betrayal was over but the carnage left behind by all of this would now have to be removed and sorted out. Winning the peace can sometimes be more difficult than winning the war! South Africans today are facing this challenge and it may turn out to be more dangerous than we think. That is, do we sort out the carnage of our history by renewed violence, expulsions and anger and bitterness or is there a better way?

 

Conclusions
The historical overview I have given above, though not comprehensive, is nevertheless well researched and accurate. It faithfully documents our journey as a people and as one reads it a picture clearly emerges as to where real blame lies and who then should shoulder it and do something right to rectify it. I believe that it is precisely for this reason that history is so important as it shows us where we truly come from, who we are and what events brought us to where we are today. Without a working knowledge of it we shall come to the wrong conclusions and take decisions that will only perpetuate the hatred and distrust between our peoples. The facts of history are the facts and we cannot change them but we can honestly square up to them, acknowledge the place, by virtue of our ancestors, where they have put us so that we can do the right and appropriate thing to right the wrongs of the past. I then wish to draw your attention to the following:

1.    There is no doubt that the arrival of the Dutch and British colonial powers at the tip of Southern Africa was a dark day for the indigenous people of the sub continent. As a consequence they would journey through a dark tunnel of intense pain and suffering for some 340 years. Yes, the colonial powers brought a more advanced civilization and sophistication to the region and thus built cities, towns, schools, hospitals, enterprise, roads and railways but the price for all of this was paid in the currency of black labor, disenfranchisement, dispossession of land, subjugation, humiliation, forced removals and much sorrow.

2.    The British government was deeply involved in this dark saga and most certainly, as Nelson Mandela pointed out, was responsible for laying the foundations in the country of white supremacy leading ultimately to the Grand Apartheid regime. It was the British who defeated the Xhosa people, the Zulus and the two Boer Republics and therefore had control of all four provinces that embodied the nation and yet they chose to form a new union in 1910 that totally excluded the majority black population from voting and from the powers of government. It was this reality that enticed Jan Smuts and Louie Botha, the two Boer Generals, to support the British concept of empire. The British government, in my view, has yet to make proper restitution in this regard and should be held accountable for its crimes.

3.    The Afrikaner people, deceived by their political and religious leaders, considered themselves a nation entrusted with a special divine mission. A mission that called them to preserve their racial purity at the expense of the black people. Grand Apartheid, imposed upon the country in1948, was a crime of huge proportions. It dehumanized millions of people and inflicted great horrors upon them. The statistics alone demonstrate that their forced removal policy in the end dislocated millions of people from their homes and families. The truth is God heard their cry and sent them a deliverer in the person of Nelson Mandela but the Afrikaner people bear a huge weight of guilt for the brutality that they visited upon the indigenous people of the country.

4.    The English speaking white South Africans by and large came to the country, mainly in 1820, seeking to escape poverty in England and with the hope of beginning a new life with better prospects for their children. They therefore happily went along with the notion of the greater glory of the British Empire. They may not have understood its implications completely but they happily complied with its dictates. The same is true of their place in the Union of South Africa and the Apartheid State that replaced it in 1948. The English ” went along for the ride” because it greatly benefited them. Indeed the English speaking component of the country was always in the opposition seats in Parliament and did in many cases challenge the Afrikaner majority members as did their press but, given that they had control of the major commercial enterprises of the country, they could have used their economic strength to challenge and cripple the Nationalist Government. Sadly they didn’t and consequently thereby share much of the blame as well for the horrors that descended upon the black majority population.

5.    The treachery of the Zulus in murdering Piet Retief and the Boer leaders accompanying him when he went in peace to meet with Dingane was a crime that hugely impacted the Afrikaner people. I have yet to hear any African leader express remorse in this regard. This awful event may well pale into insignificance in the light of what the Afrikaner did to the black population of the country but it should be acknowledged and repented of. The interests of healing and nation building demand it.

6.    The “land question” is a huge issue that must be faced and dealt with. The fact that the government of the Union of South Africa and that of Apartheid regime squeezed the majority black population into 13% of the land mass of the country is totally unacceptable. This then is today a complicated matter because it is true:

·               That the early Dutch settlers legally bought land in the Cape Town region of the country from the Hottentot and Koi people.

·               That the British settlers also legally purchased land in the Eastern Cape and at Port Natal from the indigenous black population.

·               That the two Boer Republics were in the most part situated on land that was not the possession of the black people. Some in recent years have attempted to deny this but it is indeed true.

·               That colonial expansion ended up provoking conflict and war with the indigenous black tribes and with the two Boer Republics. This in turn led to land invasions and the subsequent disinvestment of the black people of their territory and in many cases herded them into shanty towns.

·               That most countries of the world including America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Europe and the Middle East have witnessed the same type of conflict and migration of peoples. The answer to unravelling the problems left behind by this reality is not a simple one as, for instance, one cannot hand back the cities of New York, Miami and Philadelphia in the United States to the indigenous Indian people. The same is true of the Maori and Aboriginal people of Australia and New Zealand. One cannot “unscramble scrambled eggs” and if one attempts to do so the nation will be handed over to anarchy and chaos and everyone will be the losers. A better way, and indeed a just way, has to be found in sorting out the debris of the past and this is especially true of South Africa.

·               That we have a generation today, black, white, Indian and Coloured, who have had nothing to do with where they were born and with the legacy that their forefathers left them.

A Proposed Solution
In my view the only way forward would be the following:

1.    The country was in recent years saved from a bloodbath because of the goodwill of its leaders and because it convened two important gatherings. The first was the “Congress for a Democratic South Africa” (CODESA) where the logistics of the hand over of power from a white minority government to a black majority government were hammered out coupled with the drawing up of a new fully democratic constitution. The second was the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” that brought to light all the crimes and perpetrators thereof relating to the years of the Black People’s subjugation and disenfranchisement. This conference laid bare the horrors of the Apartheid regime and had a strong element of healing and forgiveness built into it. This was quite remarkable and without precedent and was a tribute to the vast reservoir of goodwill that does exist between the nation’s eleven tribes!

2.    In my view a third conference needs to be urgently convened called, ” The Renewal and Restitution Conference”. This conference should of course include the government but also the major leaders of all the segments of South Africa’s society. It should fully examine where and how land can and should be expropriated without compensation and it should strongly resist the “willy nilly” invasion of land just because white people own it. The historical facts in this regard must be taken into consideration especially where land was legally purchased and settled upon.

3.    The Conference on Renewal and Restitution should impose upon the white population a “Land Restitution Tax” of 2% of their gross monthly salary for five years. All white South Africans should pay this additional tax whether they live in or outside of the country. The money in this regard should be levied by SARS (South African Revenue Services) and administered willingly and without compensation by an independent financial organization like Sanlam etc. This will ensure that every Rand is accounted for and that the money is deployed with maximum benefit to the black population. That is, it should be used for projects related to black upliftment, the improvement of black townships, education and medical facilities. It should also be deployed in empowering blacks economically by helping them to acquire property and thereby obtain a greater stake in land ownership.

This tax is the very least that the white community can do to help put right the injustices of the past and if it hurts to pay the tax well this is nothing compared to the hurt that was visited upon our black South African compatriots for over three hundred years.

4.    In addition the murder of 4000 white Afrikaner farmers has to be urgently addressed by the government and brought to an end by all means possible. This may include calling out the army to defend these people but this can no longer be ignored or passed off as random acts of burglary. Also political leaders must henceforth control their language and not incite their hearers to violent action in the name of political rhetoric. If they persist in this regard they should be vigorously prosecuted by law enforcement agencies.

5.    Finally the Voortrekker Monument should be turned into a symbol of hope and reconciliation.  That is, its outside walls so strong and high should by night be illuminated with the colors of the new South African flag and the conference on Renewal and Restitution should conclude with a unique and fully televised and internet streamed event in its 20,000 seater amphitheater.

 

Final Considerations
While the colonial involvement in the nation was hugely problematic for the black population of the country it remains true that by it many sincere, godly Christian missionaries came to the country. It was these missionaries who largely at first brought caring communities, schools and hospitals to the region and even Nelson Mandela was educated in a Methodist school as were many others. These servants of God did not bring a colonial religion to the country but a Jewish one centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Their work was amazing and by it many great black Christian leaders were raised up and gifted to the nation. Even to this day we are grateful for the role that Archbishop Desmond Tutu played in challenging the apartheid regime and bringing healing to the nation by his involvement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Nicholas Bhengu, called the Black Billy Graham of South Africa, was another great healing evangelist who gave oversight to some 2500 churches of the Assemblies of God of Southern Africa. And then there was Michael Cassidy, an Anglican Lay preacher and founder of Africa Enterprise, who constantly fought against institutionalized racism together with many other white preachers including the Rev. Beyers Naude of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Indeed for many black people in the very dark days of apartheid it was the hope of the Gospel of Jesus that gave them the courage to keep going on. The same is true today and it is the Church of Jesus Christ that must now arise in the nation to demonstrate powerfully that God loves all people in the same way and receives them into His kingdom without reference to their race, creed or status in life. In Christ we are all one and united in love. My dear friend Angus Buchan is also a God given gift to the nation as his huge gatherings and national prayer meetings, on a scale never seen anywhere before, should be supported by all South Africans. South Africa can once again astonish the world with its capacity to solve besetting and overwhelming problems because the deep waters of suffering and hurt can become redemptive if we are all willing to pay the price that love and restitution demands. This payment is now overdue!

Malcolm Hedding


Notes:

1.    “ The reason for the strangely empty parts of the country the Boers saw in the 1830s and 1840s was the Mfecane (“The crushing”, the scattering), the most violent and bloody episode in South African history. King Shaka, South Africa’s greatest soldier, had from about 1818 transformed the Zulu nation and, by using new techniques, forged a frighteningly powerful and aggressive Zulu army. It invaded and conquered other Bantu tribes far and wide, with great bloodshed, scattering them to the ends of the country, sometimes indeed beyond it. The Matabele occupation of what is now southern Zimbabwe was a consequence. The Zulus dispossessed other tribes of their lands.”

Andrew Kenny, 6 September 2018. Contracted           columnist to the Institute of Race Relations.

estiny free from the British Commonwealth of Nations the newly formed so called Purified National Party under D. F. Malan, together with other nationalists, took advantage of the centenary celebrations of the conclusion of the Great Trek in 1938 by organizing “Another Great Trek”. This Trek, replete with replica wagons, would wind its way through the country ending in Pretoria at the Voortrekker Monument. Its impact on the Afrikaner people was huge and being the white majority in 1948 they easily defeated the Smuts government and took over the reigns of power. The jubilation that swept through the Afrikaner community was huge as now they were on the verge of forming a new Afrikaner Republic; only this time it would embrace all four provinces. The majority black population had much to fear.

The Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles

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            “And they found written in the Law, which the Lord had

             commanded Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell          

             in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and that

             they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and

             in Jerusalem saying, “Go out to the mountains, and bring

             olive branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees

             to make booths as it is written.”

                                                                        Nehemiah 8:14-15

The yearly celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three great annual and biblically required festivals; the other two being Passover and Pentecost. These biblical Feasts have great significance in that they all speak of the glorious redemptive plan of God. Passover teaches us about the Door to the Kingdom of God in that we can only be saved from our sins by the spilt blood of a lamb. This serves as a glorious picture of the death of Christ. Pentecost reminds us of the Power of the Kingdom of God. That is, the giving of the word of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon blood washed believers on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4)

The Feast Tabernacles is a picture of the Triumph of the Kingdom of God since it reminds us that all of life is to be lived under the protection and sovereignty of God. The Israelites coming out of Egypt were required to build leafy booths and to live in them for eight days. These were very fragile and could not protect one from the harsh desert conditions. The lesson was clear; God would protect and care for them. We have to learn this lesson as well as so often, as Jesus pointed out, we are consumed with anxiety and worry about so many of life’s issues. Our Father in Heaven cares for us and watches over us every day because we are part of His Kingdom! How easily we forget this. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Jesus underlined this when on the Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, as He watched the water libation service in the temple, He cried out that if we believe in and follow Him a river of God’s love, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will flow out of our lives bringing joy and blessing to our lives. This is the triumph of the Kingdom of God in our personal lives and we should be living in it! (John 7:37-39)

The Feast of Tabernacles also points us to the future when, by the second coming of Jesus, the world will finally be subjected to the Kingdom of God. That is, Jesus will reign over the nations from Jerusalem and peace will for the first time envelop the world. War will be a thing of the past and for a thousand years the nations will live in the very light of the glory of God. What a day that will be and to celebrate it the nations will ascend every year to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  (Zechariah 14:16-19) We await then a glorious fulfillment of this great Feast and our annual celebration of it is a prophetic picture pointing to the coming Triumph of the Kingdom of God.

In fact this day is fast approaching and the restoration of Israel in our time is evidence of it. It is worth noting then that the Feast of Tabernacles is a joyful celebration and those living in the Kingdom of God are actually commanded to be joyful. All this reminds us that serving Jesus brings much joy to our lives and this Joy is supernatural and powerful. Paul noted this when he wrote:

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,  but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy  Spirit.”   Romans 14:17

Those celebrating the Kingdom of God at the Feast of Tabernacles carry a Lulav, which amounts to four species of plants. These tell us that we are all at different spiritual growth levels in that some are weak, others are strong, some are complacent and yet others are discouraged. God loves us all and desires that we should all celebrate His love with much joy at the Feast Tabernacles!

Malcolm Hedding

Yom Kippur 2018

Yom Kippur 2018

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                        “So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place,

                         because of the uncleanness of the children of

                         Israel, and because of their transgressions, for

                         all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabern-

                         acle of meeting which remains among them in

                         the midst of their uncleanness.”

                                                            Leviticus 16:16

 

                        “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost

                         those who come to God through Him, since He

                         always lives to make intercession for them. For

                         such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy,

                         harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and

                         has become higher than the heavens…”

                                                            Hebrews 7:25-26

 Yom Kippur is the Great Day of Atonement. It is an awesome day in which nothing moves, cities and their commerce come to a complete standstill in Israel and even the roads, just the day before congested and given to gridlock, are empty. It’s as if all of creation is holding its breath since this is the Day when sinners, living under the wrath of God, can be freed from it. It requires introspection, fasting and prayer and the courage to acknowledge one’s sins and cast one’s self upon the grace of God. Only God’s unmerited favor can save us from His anger and a lost eternity.

In days of old the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies on this day and there before the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant he would present the blood of the Lord’s Goat.  Around his one foot a rope was tied in case He was struck down dead and thus he could be pulled out by it. On the fringe of his High Priestly Garments were little bells, which, when the power and glory of God came down upon the High Priest, would tinkle together as a sign that God had accepted the atoning sacrifice made on behalf of His people (Exodus 28:31-36). It was a sound of joy and the whole nation would listen intently for it. If heard they knew that their sins were again overlooked (Romans 3:23-25)(Acts 17:30) and not attributed to them. They were free from the wrath of God! According to Jewish legend a ribbon dipped in the blood of the atoning goat was attached to the outer structure of the Temple for all to see and so when the atoning sacrifice had been approved and accepted by God it turned white as snow. This is a reminder of what the Prophet Isaiah had stated in chapter one and verse eighteen of his oracle:

 

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord,

                         though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white

                         as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be

                         as wool.”

 The Scapegoat was at the same time brought before the High Priest who confessed the sins of the nation over it and then sent it away into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:20-22). This goat was called the Azazel, which also means “The one who opposes.” So, the Scapegoat not only carried the sins of the people away into the wilderness of forgetfulness but it also symbolized release from the Devil and his demons. What an amazing picture of God’s perfect deliverance in Christ Jesus.

The Day of Yom Kippur reminds us of the gravity of sin, the great price that Jesus paid to release us from its grip and the joy of being reconciled to God. The Scapegoat also symbolizes our complete deliverance from inbred sin and from the Devil. This is exactly what Jesus came to do (Acts 10:38). This is a Day that reminds us of God’s mercy and love and just how undeserving of these we are. It teaches us to fear God and live righteously before Him since Jesus, taking our place on the cross, spilt His blood to save us from the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 1:10). A great price was paid for our redemption and we should never forget it (1 Peter 1:18-19). This is precisely why we take the sacrament of Communion regularly. We surely must remember what Jesus did for us on the cross and thus Yom Kippur is an awesome reminder of the reverence we should hold in our hearts for God’s great redemptive act in Christ.

Malcolm Hedding.

The Ten Days of Awe

The Ten Days of Awe

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                        “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh

                         month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a

                         Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy

                         Convocation.”

                                                                        Leviticus 23:24

 

                        “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the

                         Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for

                         you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering

                         made by fire to the Lord.”

                                                                        Leviticus 23:27

             

                         “I, therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to

                         walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

                         with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering,

                         bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep

                         the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

                       

                                                                        Ephesians 4:1-3

 

Days of Reflection

 Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement, there are ten days. These are meant to be days of personal reflection, repentance and prayer and they are to fill us with a healthy fear of God. Therefore they are also called the Ten Terrible Days. Not only are we to awaken to righteousness and zeal as we hear the trumpet blast at Rosh Hashanah but we are also to think most seriously about our relationship with God and with one another.

Reconciliation and Unity

The message of the Bible is about reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). That is, reconciliation with God and with our fellow man. Sin alienates and divides people and thereby births conflicts, wars, murders, outbursts of anger and all manner of hatred between people, families and races (Galatians 5:19-21). Those who come to God by faith in what He has done for them in Christ, the Messiah, have this cycle of alienation and hatred broken in their lives. For the people of God to live in schism and disunity constitutes a denial of the very essence of what it means to be a Christian (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). This should not happen and we should do everything to preserve the unity of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6). In the end contentious people should be rejected and removed from the community of faith after having been appropriately warned (Titus 3:10). All of this dear friends is very serious business and we would do well to think deeply about it.

Humility and Grace

When living in Jerusalem a very dear friend of mine, and a beloved Rabbi of blessed memory, asked to see me during the Ten Days of Awe. He had promised to do something for me and had forgotten. While praying and reflecting upon his life he was convicted of this and felt that he had to ask my forgiveness and so it was that he came to my office and apologized for his lapse in memory, asked for my forgiveness and promised to rectify the matter; which he did. I was greatly moved by this and cannot help but wonder what would happen to the body of Christ if we all acted in this way. The Ten Days of Awe therefore enable us to take hold of the grace of God and to be the people that Jesus wants us to be (Ephesians 4:31-32). Five is the number of grace in the bible and so the Ten Days of Awe, two fives, remind us of the amazing, blessed and abundant grace of God that has come to our lives by Christ Jesus. We need to think about this and respond appropriately. This period reminds us of these wonderful things and challenges us to be all that God, by Christ Jesus, wants us to be.

Indeed the Ten Days of Awe help us to focus on what it means to truly be a child of God; just as Passover or Easter enable us to see more clearly what Jesus did for us on the cross. We need these times to refresh our souls and draw closer to God.

Malcolm Hedding

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

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                        “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, speak to

                         the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month,

                         on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath

                         rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy convo-

                         cation.”

                                                                        Leviticus 23:23-24

                         “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of

                         Christ, that each one may receive the things done in

                         the body, according to what he has done, whether

                         good or bad.”

 

                                                                        2 Corinthians 5:10

Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, is the Jewish New Year and as such is a proscribed biblical celebration. It is also known as the Feast of Trumpets because it constitutes a clarion call to the believers to take stock of their lives always remembering that God Himself is weighing them in His scales to determine how pleasing they are to Him. If we live for Him, in all that we say and do (1 Corinthians 10:31), we shall have a sweet year and so at this annual celebration apples and honey are eaten in the hope that we will all have a good inscription or assessment. Paul echoed the same sentiments when he stated that we should make it our constant aim to be pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 1:10) (Hebrews 13:20-21).

There is no doubt that believers who are not pleasing to the Lord have limitations put on their lives and actions. For instance Paul says that if we live lives that are not clean and holy and consistent with what Jesus did for us on the cross and then, we take Communion without making the appropriate corrections, we can bring weakness, sickness and even death to our lives (1 Corinthians 11:23-31)! We are thus called upon to carefully examine or judge ourselves before sharing in the Lord’s Supper. This is the meaning and message of Rosh Hashanah and we would do well to embrace it. Of course this is not about works in terms of salvation but about the love for Christ that should flow out of our lives because of His death, burial and resurrection on our behalf. Jesus Himself stated that He cannot endure lukewarm Christians and that those Christians who are in this state should make some hard decisions (Revelation 3:16). Repentance is the only remedy!

Rosh Hashanah is therefore followed by the Ten Days of Awe wherein the believer should embrace with joy the blessedness of repentance. That is, godly repentance that truly and joyfully turns him away from everything that displeases God in his life (2 Corinthians 7:10). Paul writes in his Ephesian letter that Christ followers should awaken from their spiritual sleep and eagerly embrace the blessings of God (Ephesians 5:13-15). We should all heed these exhortations because it is so easy to slip into a spiritual routine that can make us deaf to the voice and presence of God.

Rosh Hashanah is therefore also a picture of that great final Day of Judgment that awaits all of us for we shall all stand before God one day to give an account of our lives (Romans 14:10-12). On that Day we shall not be able to hide anything or make any excuses since everything about us will be laid bare before Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. That Day will determine our place of standing in heaven and we should all live our lives in the light of it. Rosh Hashanah is a timely reminder of all these things and we should heed its message. May you have a good inscription!

Shana Tova,

Malcolm Hedding.

Israel in the New Testament

Israel in the New Testament

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            For many “there is the settled conviction that the Israel of the

            Old Testament has been ‘replaced’ or ‘fulfilled’ in the Church

            of the New…but the Jewish nation as a whole is no longer

            God’s chosen people and must be regarded, treated and judged

            like any other. The Jews as such no longer have a place in the

             plans and purposes of God…I believe that Israel has a future in

            God’s purposes; that He has not finished with Israel; that neither

            the people nor the place have been left behind in God’s purposes.”

 

                                                                        David Pawson

Today old and yet false theological schemes are emerging that challenge the biblical credentials underpinning Israel’s modern day restoration. The recent 70th year celebrations of Israel’s independence coupled with the democratic decision of the American people to move their embassy to Jerusalem has ignited intense debate in the wider Church about these things and consequently these false teachings are being asserted again. They all have one thing in common and that is that Israel’s modern day restoration enjoys no biblical significance and is nothing more than a political coincidence. The teachings of which I write are the following:

Replacement Theology

Fulfillment Theology…and,

Dominion Theology

In the first the Church is now the sole expression of the purpose of God on earth and as such is the “New Israel of God.” The Jewish people, having failed God, have forfeited the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant and especially those that promise them everlasting possession of the land of Canaan for the purpose of world redemption.

In the second Jesus in His own life and body fulfills all the promises that God made to the Jewish people in the Abrahamic Covenant including those that have to do with bequeathing to the Jewish people the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession.

In the last of these, that is Dominion Theology, the Church is destined to take dominion over the world and set up a type of global expression of Christendom. Once this has been achieved, in that the seven mountains of human activity have been Christianized, Jesus will come again. In other words the Church ushers in the Millennium before Jesus comes and therefore there is no need for a restored Jewish state in the land of Canaan to do so. Only a restored Church can accomplish this and thus this false teaching asserts that a new type of empowered Christian is going to emerge who will bring the Kingdom of God to the world in a new and dynamic manner. Consequently, once again, Israel’s modern day restoration is irrelevant and therefore enjoys no biblical credentials. Dominion Theology is nothing more than the emergence of an old teaching called Post-Millennialism.

Those holding to these theological positions constantly claim that the New Testament does not support a restoration of the Jewish people to the land of Canaan. In fact for them the New Testament does just the opposite in that it teaches that in the light of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection men everywhere should now repent regardless of ethnicity, race, position or gender. This of course is true but only partly so! Indeed a careful examination of the pages of the New Testament will reveal a different story. A story that will confirm that no part of the Abrahamic Covenant has been abolished or adjusted and that God still remains faithful to all the promises He ever made to the Jewish people in it. This in turn means that Israel’s modern day restoration enjoys significant and amazing support from the New Testament scriptures. Consider the following:

 

  1. The Abrahamic Covenant

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac,

 and he who had received the promises offered up his only

 begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall

 be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up,

 even from the dead, from which he also received him in a

 figurative sense.”

                                    Hebrews 11:17-19

 “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He

 could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying,

 “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply

 you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the

 promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath

 for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God,

 determining to show more abundantly the immutability of His

 counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things

 in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong

 consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope

 that is set before us.”

                                    Hebrews 6:13-18

It is the Abrahamic Covenant that promises the Jewish people the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession for the purpose of world redemption (Genesis 13:14-15; Genesis 17:7-8; Psalm 105:7-12). The Covenant was conditional upon Abraham’s obedience and was certainly “cut” with him by God in an unconditional manner. That is, God alone undertook to fulfill all the promises and obligations in it (Genesis 15:12-21). Indeed Abraham, having been put to the test, gave full obedience to the command of God that required that he, Abraham, should sacrifice Isaac upon whose existence all the promises of land, of a coming Messiah and of global salvation (blessing) rested (Genesis 22:1-2).

 

Abraham believed that God would still fulfill these even if Isaac were taken from him leaving him with no heir. Because he demonstrated unswerving faith in the promises of God, God considered Abraham His friend (2 Chronicles 20:7) and swore by Himself and by His word that He would be faithful just as Abraham His friend had been faithful! Theirs was a true friendship based on the fact that God does not lie. Those espousing the errors outlined above believe that God did in fact lie and has broken His friendship with Abraham by dishonoring His promises that He made to him. In fact the truth is just the opposite because God remains faithful to all His promises to the Jewish people because of His friendship with their Fathers, which includes Abraham! Paul picks up on this in Romans 11 when he makes a remarkable statement that goes like this:

Concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your sake, but

             concerning the election (that is, God’s call over their lives)

             they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and

             the calling of God are irrevocable (that is cannot be changed

             or removed in any way).”

                                                Romans 11:28-29

In Galatians 3 Paul recognizes that while the Abrahamic Covenant has many parts actually as a Covenant it cannot in any way be annulled. It is one Covenant and no part of it can be changed because God is faithful and a true friend to Abraham.

“Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a

             man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds

             to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made.

             He does not say, “And to seeds” as of many but as of one, “And

             to your Seed”, who is Christ.”

                                                Galatians 3:15-16

For Paul then the Abrahamic Covenant cannot be adjusted in any way (‘no one annuls or adds to it”) but this is exactly what the preachers of these false teachings do. They adjust (add) things that the very nature of the Covenant precludes one from doing. Here Paul is referring to that part of the Abrahamic Covenant that promises that salvation would come to the world through one individual (seed) and not by the giving of the Law given to the many (seeds). In this vain, Luke admits that the many holy men of God who came to Israel, to fulfill their ministries, did so because of the promises that God made to the Jewish people in Abraham. So, John the Baptist came into the world precisely because God remembered His people and His promises to them in Abraham and this too was true of Christ. Speaking of whom he records Mary’s Song as follows:

“He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has

             sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remem-

             brance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and

             to his seed forever.”

                                                Luke 1:53-55

And then of John the Baptist he records Zacharias’ Prophetic word as follows:

“That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand

             of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers

 and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore

 to our father Abraham: to grant us that we being delivered from

 the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness

 and righteousness before Him all the days of our lives.”

                                                Luke 1:71-75

So, it is clear from these passages that the apostolic writers recognized that in the Abrahamic Covenant God made promises to the people of Israel that embodied land, deliverance, the coming of a herald to the nation and the arrival of a Messiah. In short in sending John and Jesus to the people of Israel God honored the promises that He had made to His friend Abraham.

In Galatians 3 Paul firmly entrenches the unshakable nature of the Abrahamic Covenant because for him:

It promised salvation in Christ and not by means of the Law (Galatians 3:16).

It is everlasting and cannot be annulled (Galatians 3:15).

It is, by virtue of being in Christ, the means to receive the promised Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:14)…and,

It is, by virtue of being in Christ, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (Galatians 3:29).

It is to be noted that in Galatians 3 Paul is seeking to combat those who were seeking to destabilize the Church by insisting that aspects of the Law had to be observed in order to be saved (Galatians 2:11-21). These people were called “Judaizes”. Paul is thus demonstrating that 430 years before the Law was given on Mt. Sinai God promised in the Abrahamic Covenant that salvation would come to the world through a “Seed” (Christ) who by His death on the cross would save us from the curse of sin (Galatians 3:13). The Law, writes Paul, serves as a  “tutor to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3:24). Paul is definitely not here debunking the other parts of the Abrahamic Covenant that bequeath to the Jewish people the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession as some erroneously assert. He was only dealing with the issues surrounding the Law and Grace.

  1. Jesus

 Jesus, recognizing the call of God over the nation of Israel, said:

“Salvation is of the Jews.” John 4:22

 This is an amazing statement in that in reality Jesus is the only Savior and yet He recognized that the Jewish people, in their historical journey, undergirded only by the Abrahamic Covenant, are the custodians of redemptive truth. Even Jesus needed their historical journey because by it the Word of God was produced that gave Him context and credentials for His redeeming work. That is, “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Paul reinforced the same truth in Romans 9:1-5.

Jesus knew then that the Abrahamic Covenant had made promises to the many (the Jews) and promises to the One who would bring blessing (salvation) to the world, that is, Himself. There is no other way to interpret this statement and to therefore assert that somehow God held true to all His undertakings to Abraham for 2000 years until Jesus came, and then broke them is ludicrous but this is precisely what these three false teachings claim.

It follows then that the modern day restoration of Israel is in fact no coincidence but the outflow of God’s word to “the fathers.” Also, the fact that salvation is of the Jews; means that their existence, revelation, land and Messiah are testimony to the irrevocable call that God placed over their national destiny for the blessing of the world. This call has nothing to do with racial superiority but rather with blessing (salvation) for the nations and yet the nations, and even segments of the Church, resist this call and thereby in fact resist the purpose of God. This was true of old and it is true today. Israel exists only for the blessing of the nations; even the Arabic speaking nations! If only they would recognize it.

It is also worth noting that Jesus foresaw an end-time return of the Jews to Jerusalem (Luke 21:24) and, in response to a question put to Him by His Disciples, affirmed that a day would come, known only to the Father, when the “kingdom would be restored to Israel” (Acts 1:6). This clearly implies a restoration of the Jews to Canaan with Jerusalem as their Capital!

 3.Romans 9, 10 and 11

             “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ

             for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,

             who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the

             glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the service

             of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and

             from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is

             over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

                                                            Romans 9:3-5

 It must be, and should be noted, that according to Paul the “Israelites” remain the recipients of “the covenants” and “the promises” and Paul is confirming this to Christians who come from a Gentile background. If this be true then who are we to assert that this is actually not true since he writes this after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? The false theological systems, mentioned at the beginning of this paper, actually claim that by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ the promises made to Israel in the covenants and especially in the Abrahamic Covenant have been altered, changed or abolished. Paul uses the present continuous tense in this passage meaning that all the covenants and promises related to Israel remain intact.

Actually the very fact that Paul dedicates an extensive part of his Roman Epistle to the question of Israel is highly significant in that this alone proves that the Jewish people take and hold a unique place before God in terms of His plan for the salvation of the world. If they were like any other nation, as is asserted by these false teachings, why would he bother for certainly he does not write about Australians or Canadians in this way. What is it about the Jewish people that demands a unique explanation? The answer is the following:

They are, “beloved of God”, even in their unsaved state “for the sake of the Fathers(Romans 11:28b). That is, God has remembered all the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and will not renege on them. Indeed He will not go back on His “election” of them. Meaning that though unsaved they remain “elected” in the sense that they carry the redemptive purpose of God in their national destiny.

They are, “enemies of the Gospel for your sake” (Romans 11:28a). This is a remarkable statement in that it acknowledges that Jewish unbelief has enabled the Gentile world to hear the Gospel. No other nation on the earth is an enemy of the gospel for our sake and this underlines the fact that even in their unbelief the Jews are a blessing to the world!

They are, not cast away from the promises of God because they “stumbled” over Christ and so they have not been disinvested from anything that God said to them. Paul writes:

“I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall (be dis-

             inherited of God’s promises to them)? Certainly not! But

             through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has

             come to the Gentiles.”

            Romans 11:11

 In fact their “fall” is “riches for the world” (Romans 11:12). Again, if God has no other destiny for them as a nation then why would Paul write in these terms and indeed he goes on to declare that their recovery, spiritually speaking, will mean for the Gentile world “life from the dead” (Romans 11:15). That is, the literal resurrection of the dead for Gentile Christians. Jesus is not coming again until the full restoration process now unfolding in Israel will be completed. Peter agrees fully with Paul on this as, when preaching to the “men of Israel”, he said:

            “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be

             blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the

             presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who

             was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until

             the times of the restoration of all things, which God has spoken

             by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

                                                Acts 3:19-21

 They are, to be dealt with by kindness and appreciation. Paul warns that if Gentile Christians despise unsaved Jews and deal with them arrogantly and wickedly God is watching and will in the end even remove them from the olive tree of salvation! This is serious business and it is here that vast segments of the Church have failed and have sinned before God and continue to. This reality only pertains to the Jewish people and no other nation and this in turn indicates that as a nation they stand in a unique place before God. We should read the following words of Paul very carefully:

“And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being

             a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them

             became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do

             not boast against the branches. But if you boast, remember that

             you do not support the tree, but the root supports you. You will

             say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”

             Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you

             stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if god did not

             spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.”

                                                Romans 11:17-21

 The historical record of Christian Anti-Semitism is wicked, awful and overwhelming and much of it has been driven by the three false theological systems mentioned above. These false teachings all have one thing in common; they disinvest the Jewish people of their unique national destiny and consequently assert that there is no biblical significance to their modern day restoration. The New Testament refutes these false claims everywhere. And so, finally:

They are, the recipients of a destiny given to them in Abraham that is “irrevocable(Romans 11:29). The word “irrevocable” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: “That which is unable to be changed or reversed.” Paul here affirms that when God called forth the Jewish people in Abraham He made promises to them that He would never, in any way, go back on. How strange it is then that so-called Christian theologians have no understanding of what the word “irrevocable” means. Actually they have the same problem with understanding the word “everlasting” found in the pages of Genesis.  This theological ineptitude has robbed the Church of truth, displeased God and brought much misery to the Jewish people. If only we had properly read the New Testament after all, as concerning the Jews, “we share in their spiritual things (Romans 15:27)!

 Important Summary

 It is important to note then that any careful and honest examination of Romans 9,10 and 11 will reveal that unbelieving Israel enjoys a relationship with the God of the Bible that, while not saving, is real and unique and that no other nation on earth enjoys. According to Paul unbelieving Israel is “beloved for the sake of the fathers”, has not been rejected or “cast away”, enjoys a calling that is “irrevocable” and those who mistreat or despise her could be removed from the olive tree of salvation. This is New Testament theology and consequently two questions have to be asked:

  1. On what biblical grounds does unbelieving Israel enjoy these blessings? The answer is, and can only be, the Abrahamic Covenant…and,
  2. What other nation currently on the earth enjoys such blessings and protections? The answer is, none!

Malcolm Hedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israel at 70

Israel at 70

Blog

“In Israel in order to be a realist you must believe in

                                                            miracles.”

                                                     David Ben Gurion

 

            “Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances

             of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, and

             its waters roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): If those ordinances

             depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also

             cease from being a nation before Me forever.”

                                                            Jeremiah 31:35

 

            “I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the

             waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink

             wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat  fruit from them.

             I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up

             From the land I have given them.” Says the Lord your God.”

                                                            Amos 9:14-15

70 years ago, as a consequence of the United Nations partition vote, Israel came into existence as a nation with international approval and legitimacy. Though resisted at the time by five Arab armies that attacked her, she bravely withstood this unprovoked act of aggression and emerged proud and stronger than ever. Israel’s arrival in 1948 on the stage of the world was against the tide of history and in every respect a living miracle that has continued to unfold before our very eyes. There is in fact no explanation for Israel’s survival other than that the God of Israel and of the Bible has been, is and will be, behind it. In the end, because of His remarkable intervention in this regard all nations will come to know that He alone is the Lord of heaven and earth.

For some, even and sadly in the church, this miracle enjoys no biblical significance just as there were those who claimed this when the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile to rebuild their state some 500 years before Christ. They too shouted out in resistance and attempted to wage war against the returning exiles on the grounds that such a return was unjust and a violation of their concept of social justice (Nehemiah 4:1-14). Nothing has changed! They failed then and they will fail now.

Scripture clearly affirms that Israel will exist as a nation before God just so long as the sun, moon and stars are in the skies above us and it further states that a return of the Jews, to the very land of their forefathers, will take place one day wherein they will never be plucked up or removed from the land again (Amos 9:14-15). Quite clearly the prophet Amos is not speaking about their return from Babylon as they were indeed plucked up again and exiled in 70 AD. No, this amazing prophetic statement   by Amos has only found fulfillment in our day! We rejoice in the inspiration and remarkable accuracy of the Bible.

Of a truth all of this happened because of God’s faithfulness to His covenant made with Abraham some 4000 years ago. This covenant, having many parts, including that of a coming Messiah, guarantees that the land of Canaan is the everlasting possession of the Jewish people (Genesis 17:7-8; Psalm 105:7-12). According to Paul, and the writer of the book of Hebrews, this covenant can never be annulled or adjusted (Galatians 3:15; Hebrews 6:13-18). Because of these faithful undertakings God has always restored His people to His land that He, in His desire to bless the world, bequeathed to them. In short, we serve a faithful God Who has demonstrated in Israel’s restoration that He can be trusted because His mighty deeds are validated by scripture and confirmed in the earth. Most of all they are to be seen especially in His kindness to the Jewish people. Truly, the time to favor Zion has come (Psalm 102:12-15).

My friends, Israel will not be dismantled though many have tried and still will attempt to do so because the God of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps as He watches over her (Psalm 121:4). They who would attempt to remove Israel from the earth in the name of their false gods will first have to remove the God of the Bible from His glorious throne! In the end, though great nations attempt to dismantle Israel, they will rupture themselves and, as in the past, vanish into oblivion (Zechariah 12:1-3).

So then, a people who have experienced such destruction and loss through the centuries can rightly rejoice on the 70th year of their restored and glorious third commonwealth. We rejoice with them and we bless and pray for them because their existence has only been for the blessing of the world and still will be, even for those who have been most set against them. This is a day of great rejoicing since it comes on the heels of a glorious jubilee year that has witnessed the decision to return the USA Embassy to Jerusalem. By the way this is only the beginning since our eyes will yet behold great and wonderful things in Zion as Israel moves closer and closer to the amazing destiny that God has for her. Blessed be the God of Israel!

Malcolm Hedding

Peddlers of Deception / The Social Justice Issue

Peddlers of Deception / The Social Justice Issue

Blog

 

                                “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives

                                 of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down

                                 to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there

                                 on account of My people Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations;

                                 they have also divided up My land.

                                                                                                Joel 3:1-2

                               

 

                “The Arabs have taken into their own hands the Final Solution of the Jewish problem.

                 The problem will be solved only in blood and fire. The Jews will be driven out.”

                                                                                Jamal Al-Husseini, May 1948

 

A new initiative

Segments and leaders of the evangelical church are being drawn away from the traditional and mainstream position on Israel by an initiative that claims to take the high moral ground by proclaiming a commitment to social justice. This invariably means that Israel constitutes an occupying oppressive regime and that the Palestinians are the ones requiring social justice. To bolster this narrative images of the defensive barrier wall are displayed to achieve maximum propaganda effect. After all images like this return our thoughts to the Berlin Wall, the Belfast Wall and the walls of one type or another put in place by the Apartheid regime. One has to admit that the imagery is powerful and it takes well informed minds to counter them. The lack of such information has duped many evangelicals; some of them very well known. This new initiative, designed to discredit pro-Israel evangelicals breeds on ignorance and in fact on lies! It also seeks to smear Christian Zionists as uncompassionate Palestinian and Arab haters. This is just not true! David Solway observes that, “The usual understanding of Israel as an aggressive, colonial, apartheid state robbing the Palestinians of their heritage is quite possibly the greatest political scam of modern times. It is the outcome of a mixture of historical amnesia, ideological prejudice and reflex hostility, which keep it mind-proof.” Those promoting this scam are peddlers of deception!

An old story

Newt Gingrich, an erstwhile Republican Party candidate for the US Presidency and an astute historian, recently shocked the media world when he stated that the Palestinians were an “invented people.” However, being the respected historian that he is, no one was able to challenge him; not even the liberal anti-Israel academic world! His facts were “water-tight!” This is just a reality. This however does not mean that he was demeaning the people who now claim a Palestinian national identity. It simply means that he told the truth and, as we found out, the truth hurts. Social justice must be built on the truth. This is why it was necessary to dismantle the Apartheid regime since the awful oppressive record of the white minority government of South Africa was true. It could not be disputed; but in the Middle East we have a claim to land by a people that were in fact invented and indeed never did have a history of national statehood in Palestine. The people who do are the Jews and their claim has a four thousand year history!! Isn’t that amazing; but you would never believe it if you listened to the narrative projected by the new peddlers of deception. When we “sell the truth” we will, in the end, fall.

At the beginning of the 20th Century and up until 1948 all peoples living in British Mandated Palestine were designated “Palestinian”, even Jews! I have personally seen many identity documents testifying to this. It is a fact. This means that there never was a Palestinian People, as we know them today. The truth is the new Palestinian people were invented by the PLO as a tool to further their struggle to completely destroy the State of Israel. Yasser Arafat, probably the most famous Palestinian, was in fact an Egyptian! This “invention” took root in 1964 at a time when the PLO and its various partners had everything they say they want now; even the Old City of Jerusalem, and yet they drew up a charter having “destruction clauses” that essentially called for the removal of Jewish sovereignty over all the remaining areas of the region. This they called the “Phased Plan” for the total destruction of Israel. Note; they drew up a charter calling for the destruction of Israel and not a constitution calling for Palestinian statehood even though they possessed Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (The West Bank). In short they created a people group as part of their strategy to destabilize all of Israel and, as they put it then, “to drive the Jews into the sea.” This is the truth and social justice activists must take this into consideration.  This in turn means that the Palestinians never actually existed as a state and therefore Israel has never occupied their so-called territory. Israel’s claim to all the territory west of the Jordan River is also legal under international law as it was verified by the League of Nations in 1922 under the San Remo Agreement and thereafter confirmed by the United Nations in 1948. This too is the truth.

This of course brings us to the Oslo initiatives of the 1990s. The fact that Israel, by a process of negotiation, agreed to cede territory to the Palestinians changed the equation but it did mean that Israel, that had a right to the land by international law, was demonstrating a commitment to social justice by agreeing to give it away. It also meant that if she remained on it after the Oslo Accords having been signed she would be designated an occupier.   However, it also meant that the Palestinians, through their leadership, would have to be honest peace partners and disavow violence and thus remove the destruction clauses from their charter. This they have never done. Thus up until the Oslo Accords Israel was not an occupying force. As we all know the Oslo agreements were hammered out between the Israeli leadership headed up by Yitzhak Rabin and the PLO leadership headed up by Yasser Arafat. The truth is, Arafat was a dishonest peace partner; he never intended to keep his side of the agreements and even said so in Johannesburg  in 1994; just five months after he had  shaken the hands of Bill Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin on the lawns of the White House. All the while Israel, by September 2000, had fully withdrawn from the Palestinian territories in compliance with the Oslo dictates and yet the Palestinians began an Intifada (uprising) in September of that year on the grounds that Ariel Sharon, the then housing Minister, could not visit the Temple Mount. Years later Arafat’s wife Sulha admitted that the Intifada was strategically planned because her husband was not prepared to give away, as she put it, “The Palestinian inheritance.”

Arafat therefore, and by implication the Palestinians, did not negotiate in good faith. Thus, in what way do they now cry out for social justice? In the end, as it has always been, the Palestinian form of social justice is the complete destruction of Israel. This is the old story that never changes and, if you doubt it, just take a look at the school books given to their children and listen to the sermons preached by their Muslim clerics every Friday. Palestinian Media Watch will be more than willing to give you unedited copies of these. Golda Meir was right when she stated in 1957 that, “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel.”

So, given the duplicity that was employed under the Oslo agreements, it is clear that those who require justice, given the painful concessions that they made up until September 2000, are the Israelis! They made ridiculous agreements in their pursuit of peace including being willing to hand over the Temple Mount to the Palestinians, arming them with weapons and offering them 97% of the West Bank and, if this was not enough, they unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and were rewarded with 12,000 missiles launched against their southern towns and villages.  You talk of social justice; well surely the displaced people of Gush Katif would like to receive it! But sadly this narrative is denied, distorted and conveniently ignored because of an old hatred coupled to a militant Islamic religious ideology that cannot abide the existence of a Jewish State in the region. And this too is the truth!

The fact is; the Palestinian leadership has time and time again robbed their people of justice and should be held accountable. By now they could have had a state with significant parts of Jerusalem as its capital but they do not; all because they could not embrace social justice, courage and honesty.

The new reality

That a people now exist called Palestinians is a reality. Three generations have brought this people to a place of viable existence. No one can or should deny it. This means that at least two generations have been trapped in the never ending cycle of violence and intrigue and yet it will surprise many to learn that today Palestinians on the West Bank enjoy a higher standard of living, education and economic prosperity than their counterparts in the region. Consequently, the gross domestic product of their region is in strong positive territory and expected to grow even more during the years to come. Why is this? Because their economy is intertwined with one of the most successful economies in the world today; that of Israel’s. Given the chaos of the so-called “Arab Spring” the West Bank is an island of prosperity. Sounds like economic justice to me!

Sadly at a political level the plotting and hatred continues unabated and so Mahmoud Abbas has recently cemented his relationship, and therefore that of the destiny of his people, with Hamas. There must be no mistake about the significance of this in that it puts the Palestinians on a collision course with Israel because it affirms their commitment, as it always has been, to annihilate Israel. The Israelis must respond, and have, by tightening security to protect their citizens from harm. At a joint statement after their meeting Abbas and Mashaal of Hamas said, “We are determined to resist the enemy and achieve our national goals.”  So, once again there will be no social justice for the Palestinians as the Israeli pullout from Gaza demonstrated. Hamas did not see this as a token of goodwill and an opportunity to build a new economic and social order for their people but rather as an act of weakness and immediately set about building assault tunnels and launching missile attacks in their thousands against the southern villages of Israel. Is this social justice? Jihad against Israel will continue and the Palestinian people will pay the price in having to be continuously subjected to checkpoints, searches, general security measures and barrier walls. We should all weep over this human tragedy and truly Jesus does weep at the checkpoint but not for reasons espoused by some evangelical leaders today! If you ask the attendees at the “Christ at the Check Point Conference” or the Sabeel movement, “Who is responsible for Palestinian suffering?” their answer will be Israel but the facts tell a different story. But this “different story” will never be heard because it is not politically correct to tell it. The peddlers of deception will make sure of it.

The need for compassion

So, where should the church be in all of this? The answer lies in first getting hold of the truth and the facts surrounding the big picture. I have very briefly given these above. When we do this we are better enabled to put forward the call for social justice. Social justice will take hold when leaders are transparent, honest and really committed to peace. What does the history of this conflict tell us? I will leave my readers to answer that question. No wonder Paul exhorted us to place leaders at the very top of the prayer list. Secondly, we need to recognize that there is a small picture that begs for our attention as well. That is, that real men, women, boys and girls are trapped in this conflict on both sides and they need help, care, love and compassion. In Jesus’ day whole communities of one type or another were caught in the conflict that Rome brought to the region. Jesus, almost exclusively ignored the conflict but instead healed the sick, fed the hungry, loved the stranger (even the Roman one) and lifted up the broken-hearted. He blessed the children, sat with sinners and taught the multitudes about God. Scripture affirms that He moved from one check point to another as He traveled from the Galilee to Jerusalem and never said a word about them! He knew that the big picture was in the hands of the Father as it is today.

So, our hearts should break as we witness ordinary Palestinian people grappling with the trauma of having to live “caged in” behind walls and impeded on a daily basis by security checks etc. We should also weep for Jewish families that have had their children and loved ones brutally murdered and torn from them. This is no way to live and these images, projected in a way that divorces them from the bigger picture, can turn anyone into a radical activist and they do; on both sides of the divide. A distorted image is no foundation upon which to build social justice. The Second Intifada was given momentum because video footage appeared to show a twelve-year-old boy being shot by Israeli troops. The fact is the video was distorted and edited to make it look like this and a French journalist who witnessed the whole thing later testified in a French court that the boy was in fact killed by Palestinian gunfire. He fled to France because his life had been threatened if he dared to tell the truth. So, once again, the peddlers of deception pushed home their false narrative.

Thus, while some evangelicals gather  to reinforce their distorted narrative and lay blame for everything at Israel’s door let us ask them how many millions of Shekels they have invested in the social upliftment of Palestinians? I am the erstwhile leader of one of the biggest Christian Zionist organizations in the world. I therefore know for a fact that considerable amounts of money were constantly invested in Palestinian communities. In fact the organization I led distributed its social welfare relief into the region strictly according to its population demographics and still does. We cared for everyone just as Jesus did. This is social justice on the move!  It is not selective but gives “voice” to the biblical truth that Jesus loves all people the same. He has no favorites. Compassion is not endless words and an attempt to win an ideological battle. The truth is the truth and it must be well understood and embraced but compassion reaches to the heart and says, because God loves you I will help you. One cannot be unmoved by the tears that flow down children’s faces or by the distress that comes to mothers and fathers trying to get by in a world that traps them in endless discouragement.

The Christian message demands that we hold to the truth, that which is biblical and historical, and that we bring to all the peoples of the Middle East a message of love and hope. When we do this we will be mediators of social justice.

 

Malcolm Hedding.

Peddlers of Deception / Fulfillment Theology

Peddlers of Deception / Fulfillment Theology

Blog

 

                                “Cultivate the habit of reading prophecy with a single eye to the

                                 literal meaning of its proper names. Cast aside the old traditional

                                 idea that Jacob, and Israel, and Judah, and Jerusalem, and Zion

                                 must always mean the Gentile Church, and that the predictions

                                 about the second Advent are to be taken spiritually, and the

                                 first Advent literally. Be just, and honest, and fair. If you expect

                                 the Jews to take the 53rd of Isaiah literally, be sure you take the

                                 54th, 60th, and 62nd literally also.”

                                                                                Bishop J. C. Ryle-Liverpool 1867

 

In recent years a new form of Replacement Theology has arrived on the Christian scene called Fulfillment Theology. Like Replacement Theology it ends up contending that, since the time of Jesus, the Jews no longer enjoy a god-given national destiny in the land of Canaan. This time around it is not the Church that replaces Israel and takes over all her promises in scripture but in fact Jesus. He fulfills in His life and redemptive work all the promises that God ever made to the Jews; even the promise that Canaan would be the everlasting possession of the Jewish people! Jesus is the Promised Land. This allows the proponents of this theory to distance themselves from the awful evil deeds and anti-Semitic positions that those espousing Replacement Theology have been guilty of throughout the centuries. However, they end up believing the same thing and thus peddling the same deception.

Here for example is what Dr. Gary Burge of Wheaton College says in his book, “Jesus and the Land”:

“Jesus does not envision a restoration of Israel per se but instead sees Himself as embracing the drama of Jerusalem within His own life….In some manner, the initial restoration of Israel has already begun inasmuch as Christ, the new temple, the New Israel, has been resurrected. This theological agenda is called John’s messianic replacement (or fulfillment) motif…The replacement motif threads its way through the gospel as a controlling idea in the so-called Book of Signs (John 1-12).”

God and Israel’s modern day restoration.

Much of the above is backed up by scripture but falsely so! Therefore, it always comes down to the same thing and that is; to find a way to disinvest the Jews of any divine action or biblical significance in Israel’s modern day restoration. Once this position has been taken Israel can be viewed as any other nation state entangled in an internal and regional conflict. This usually means that any people can lay claim to the Holy Land, and they do, and Israel is constantly portrayed as an occupying bully robbing other peoples of their land and refusing to hand over to them the old biblical city of Jerusalem. The fact that the Jews have a three thousand year unbroken relationship with Jerusalem is routinely ignored and discarded.

Today many Christians back this thesis and even some evangelicals are beginning to abandon their traditional pro-Israel biblical position in favor of Fulfillment Theology. Also the fact that some leading Christian academics and Ministers have thrown their weight behind it is giving added momentum to its dissemination and acceptance. Nevertheless it remains a flawed theological thesis and those who propagate it are peddlers of deception.

Jesus and Fulfillment

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18

When Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law He meant just that! That is, He would perfectly fulfill in His life the moral demands of the Law on behalf of a fallen world. He would thus prove to be a perfect man and would give His life on the cross so as to remove the curse of the Law from our lives (Galatians 3:13). Jesus thus saves us by the power of a perfect and thus indestructible life (Hebrews 7:16). So, in Matthew five, six and seven He was not talking about the Covenant that God made with Abraham but about the Covenant that God made with Moses. The context of these chapters overwhelmingly proves this. Jesus was expounding the inward nature of the Law and our failure to keep it. He would thus fulfill the demands of it by living in us! This is the very essence of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-35; Romans 8:3-4). This, and only this, is what He fulfills. To suggest then that He was in some way by this statement debunking the Abrahamic Covenant and assuming that in His person only its promises would now be fulfilled is a giant leap into mere speculation and error.

Moses and Fulfillment

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear.” Deuteronomy 18:15

 Moses, referring to Jesus, said that God would raise up a Prophet like unto himself. Again Moses was the great Lawgiver of Israel and this coming Prophet (Messiah) would be like Moses unique and “one of a kind.” He would fulfill the obligations of the Law on behalf of a fallen world. Moses was not undermining the promises given to Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant by this statement. No to the contrary he was in fact giving it “executive authority.” Abraham’s Covenant is God’s decision to save the world (Galatians 3:8) but Moses’ Covenant is God’s decision to teach the world that it needs to be saved (Romans 3:20). Moses empowers Abraham! That is, the world must be convicted of sin (Moses) before it can be saved from sin (Jesus). The Apostle John put it this way…”For the Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

The fact that Jesus’ life then was in some measure a re-enactment of Moses’ life does not imply that God has torn up His covenant with Abraham. This is a leap of total presumption and those who make it are not on “biblical territory”. Rather it implies that God is going to “tear up sin” in our lives and that Israel would identify the Prophet who would do this by His likeness to Moses! Therefore the nation of Israel has no excuse for not recognizing Him. So, Jesus:

  1. Was born under the Law  (Galatians 4:4).
  2. Lived under the Law (John 1:14-18).
  • Was circumcised according to the Law (Luke 2:25-2).
  • Was taught by the word of the Law (Luke 2:46).
  • Was for forty days in the wilderness proved by the Law (Luke 4:1-13).
  • Went up to a mountain to deliver the Law (Matthew 5:1-2).
  • Died to fulfill the demands of the Law on behalf of all people (Romans 8:3-4).

This proved that Jesus was Moses’ successor but He did not abolish, in any way, the promises of God made to Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant. These promises set aside the Jewish people as the “vehicle of world redemption” (Romans 3:1-2; 9:1-5) and they designate Canaan as the everlasting possession of the people of Israel (Genesis 17:7-8). Indeed the writer of the book of Hebrews holds up the Abrahamic Covenant, and God’s faithfulness to it, as proof that He can be trusted and will not fail believers in Jesus who have been saved by the New Covenant (Hebrews 6:13-20).  The writer makes these statements years after Israel’s rejection of Jesus’ Messianic credentials. This is important to note because those espousing Fulfillment or Replacement Theology assert that Israel forfeited the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant because of their rejection of Jesus. To suggest then that these promises have been somehow abolished or are fulfilled by Jesus is just not true. The Hebrew Prophets clearly “see” a day of restoration for the Jewish people that goes beyond their return from Babylon (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 2:1-4; Zechariah 14). It is passages like the one in Amos that confound “fulfillment proponents” and lead some of them to state that these scriptures need to be “de-zionized!” That is, altered or removed from the Bible because they predict a future and final return of the Jews to the land of Canaan by which they will never be plucked up again and exiled. Clearly Amos, and for that matter Isaiah and Zechariah, is writing of a day far beyond that of 520 BC because the Jews were exiled again in 70 AD and were plucked up again.

Paul and Fulfillment

“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” Galatians 3:16

In Galatians three Paul is not arguing for or suggesting that the Abrahamic Covenant has been reconstructed or entirely fulfilled in Jesus. Indeed then he is not referring to a re-arrangement of the covenant made with Abraham but to an aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant that was enshrined in it when God first made it with Abraham two thousand years before. That is, while the Covenant has clear promises to Abraham’s descendants (plural) (Genesis 17:7) it also holds a promise in a descendant (singular) (Genesis 22:18). In other words, from the very beginning a promise of land and purpose is given to the descendants of Abraham but, at the same time, a promise of salvation and reconciliation with God is given through a descendant; Jesus! The two promises are mutually interdependent. That is, the one cannot do without the other in that the coming of the “Seed” is totally dependent upon the return of the “seeds” to the land of Canaan and Bethlehem in particular in 520 BC. Therefore the gospel of Luke teaches us that Jesus and John the Baptist came into the world because of God’s faithfulness to the Abrahamic Covenant (Luke 1:54-55; 71-75).

The real point that Paul was making is that salvation is not received by attempting to keep the Law as the Law was only given to convict of sin (Galatians 2:16; 3:24). Only those who exercise living faith in the finished redeeming work of the “seed” can experience salvation. This promise was made 430 years before the Law was given (Galatians 3:17-18). Paul was not tampering with the Abrahamic Covenant and suggesting that it has been reconstructed or abolished; actually he affirms that in no way can it be annulled and this is why it enjoys an authority that he appeals to(Galatians 3:15).

It must be remembered that the promise that a Seed, as of one, would save the world was made two thousand years before Jesus came. If this was the full extent of the promises in the Abrahamic Covenant then God would never have led the “seeds” out of Egypt into the Promised Land. The peddlers of deception are constantly seeking to undermine the Abrahamic Covenant by the contextual abuse of Galatians 3:16. That is, they seek to eradicate the eternal promises in the covenant made to Abraham’s descendants and, if they can succeed in this then they can invalidate Israel’s modern day restoration by asserting that it enjoys no biblical significance.  One cannot and should not read Galatians three like that. This is the absurd position of those who hold to fulfillment theology. The Bible itself debunks this nonsense. It is a false theology just like its sister called Replacement Theology.

Conclusion

In Paul’s time there was only one cannon of scripture, the Hebrew Scriptures or, what many call the Old Testament. It was to these scriptures that Paul was chiefly referring when he wrote, “all scripture is inspired and given of God” etc. (2Timothy 3:16). The same goes for Peter when he wrote that scripture is given by holy men who were “moved by the Holy Spirit” (2Peter 1:21). In other words the New Testament, though equally inspired, is in fact, a faithful exposition of the Old Testament scriptures. When we realize this we honor all of scripture and recognize that no “prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation.” Those who seek to disinvest the Jewish people of a biblical significance to their modern day return to Zion are in essence seeking to re-write great God-given covenants that God bequeathed to Israel. They are thereby ‘playing with fire” and placing themselves in conflict with the purpose of God. In all of this it is good to remember that we can do nothing against the truth. (2 Corinthians 13:8) This should make us all tremble!

 

Malcolm Hedding.