Declaration of Independence

Arno Froese

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob” (Ezekiel 28:25). 

We take note of the last sentence: “…their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.” This is significant, because the name Jacob identifies Israel in the flesh. For that reason, this and multiple other promises cannot be transferred to the Church. Why Jacob? According to Unger’s Bible Dictionary, the word Jacob in English can be translated “supplanter.” Abraham Meister states it is based on the root word “deceiver” or “supplanter.” This is confirmed by Jacob’s twin brother Esau, who complained to his father, “Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing…” (Genesis 27:36). This really clarifies the direct meaning of the name Jacob.

Jacob—Israel
After Jacob had escaped from his brother and dwelled with his uncle Laban, he became a wealthy man. On his way back home, he receives a message that Esau is going to meet him with 400 men. Jacob acted cleverly to appease Esau his brother, but finally we read these five words in Genesis 32:24a: “And Jacob was left alone…” He was separated from his 11 sons, wives, and all his possessions; Jacob was alone. Next we read: “…there wrestled a man with him…” This man was a heavenly identity, with whom Jacob pleaded: “…I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:26b). Then this man asked a simple question: “What is thy name?” to which he answered: “Jacob.” That’s a confession—“supplanter.” In answer the man said, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).

“…No more Jacob,” yet, reading our Bible, we continue to find the name Jacob over 280 times in the Old and New Testament. What does this mean? That the old flesh and blood nature will continue. This old flesh and blood nature of the Jewish people, who kept their identity for millennia, will continue even after a 2000-year absence from the land. That’s why we read, “…land that I have given to my servant Jacob.”

Theological Errors
Church fathers and great theologians have often made the error of confusing the old and the new nature: the Jews as a flesh and blood people, and the Jews as the object of God’s special attention.

Margin notes in many old Bibles (and new ones as well) will refer to blessings given in the Old Testament as being applicable to the Church. Subsequently, many reject the Jews’ return to the land of Israel as being part of the fulfillment of prophecy. Their argument is simple: the Jews are unbelievers, and prophecies can only be fulfilled when they call upon the name of the Lord. But such is not the case; the Jews are returning to the land of Israel in unbelief. Even the father of modern Zionism, Theodore Herzl, was a self-proclaimed atheist. Herzl wrote, “Matters of faith were once and for all excluded from public influence…” A large, if not the largest, percentage of the Jewish community, represented by the Zionist Congress, were not religiously motivated.

Declaration of Independence
The 37 members of the Moetzet HaAm (People’s Council) originated overwhelmingly from the communist Soviet Union. According to Wikipedia, one member was born in Israel, three in Germany, one in Denmark, and one in Yemen. When it came to whether the document should mention the name of God, there was a diverse range of opinions:

[A] major issue was over the inclusion of God in the last section of the document, with the draft using the phrase “and placing our trust in the Almighty.” The two rabbis, Shapira and Yehuda Leib Maimon, argued for its inclusion, saying that it could not be omitted, with Shapira supporting the wording "God of Israel” or “the Almighty and Redeemer of Israel.” It was strongly opposed by Zisling, a member of the secularist Mapam. In the end the phrase “Rock of Israel” was used, which could be interpreted as either referring to God, or the land of Eretz Israel, Ben-Gurion saying, “Each of us, in his own way, believes in the ‘Rock of Israel’ as he conceives it.”

When it came to the vote, we read the following:

On 12 May the Minhelet HaAm was convened to vote on declaring independence. Three of the members were missing; Yehuda Leib Maimon and Yitzhak Gruenbaum were stuck in besieged Jerusalem, while Yitzhak-Meir Levin was in the United States.

The meeting started at 1:45 and ended after midnight. The decision was between accepting the American proposal for a truce, or declaring independence. The latter option was put to a vote, with six of the ten members present supporting it:

• For: David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett (Mapai), Peretz Bernstein (General Zionists), Haim-Moshe Shapira (Hapoel HaMizrachi), Mordechai Bentov, Aharon Zisling (Mapam).

• Against: Eliezer Kaplan, David Remez (Mapai), Pinchas Rosen (New Aliyah Party), Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit (Sephardim and Oriental Communities).

Chaim Weizmann, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and soon to be the first President of Israel, endorsed the decision, after reportedly asking, “What are they waiting for, the idiots?”

Under the sub-headline “Proclamation Ceremony,” Wikipedia continues:

The ceremony to proclaim independence was to be held in the Tel Aviv Museum (today known as Independence Hall) but was not widely publicized as it was feared that the British Authorities might attempt to prevent it or that the Arab armies might invade earlier than expected. An invitation was sent out by messenger on the morning of 14 May telling recipients to arrive at 15:30 and to keep the event a secret. The event was to start at 16:00 (a time chosen so as not to breach the sabbath), and was to be broadcast live as the first transmission of the new radio station Kol Yisrael.

The final draft of the declaration was typed at the JNF building following its approval earlier in the day. Ze'ev Sharef, who had remained at the building in order to deliver the text, had forgotten to arrange transport for himself. Ultimately, he had to flag down a passing car and ask the driver (who was driving a borrowed car without a license) to take him to the ceremony. Sharef's request was initially refused but he managed to persuade the driver to take him. The car was stopped by a policeman for speeding while driving across the city though a ticket was not issued after it was explained that he was delaying the declaration of independence. Sharef arrived at the museum at 15:59.

At 16:00, Ben-Gurion opened the ceremony by banging his gavel on the table, prompting a spontaneous rendition of Hatikvah, soon to be Israel's national anthem, from the 250 guests. On the wall behind the podium hung a picture of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and two flags, later to become the official flag of Israel.

Thus we see, the founding of the state of Israel was virtually impossible, extremely difficult, and—above all—life-threatening.

Fortunately, Wikipedia states:

The Soviet Union was the first nation to fully recognize Israel de jure on 17 May 1948, followed by Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Ireland and South Africa. The United States extended official recognition after the first Israeli election, as President Truman promised, on 31 January 1949.

Biblical Chronology
These few citations suffice to show that the Jews came back to the land of Israel in unbelief.

The prophet Ezekiel forsaw these events. Thus, he begins chapter 36 with these words: “Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession” (verses 1-2). God speaks the prophetic Word to the topographical land of Israel: “Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about” (verse 4). Why does He not mention the people? Because the land must first be prepared for the coming of the people, as we can read in verse 8: “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.”

Jews coming to Israel experience a change. Those who were persecuted, defamed, rejected and often killed—became fierce warriors, second to none in the world. This is part of the change of heart and spirit, as recorded in verses 25-26: “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” This transformation takes place when a Jew returns to the Promised Land. He receives a new heart and a new spirit. Thus, Israel today as a nation is unbelievably successful and is becoming a world leader culturally, technology and militarily—and that is only the beginning.

My Spirit
Israel is well-established, virtually ready to meet any challenge; yet there is one thing lacking: the most important issue, namely the Spirit of God. That, however, will also take place as recorded in verse 27: “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

When will that happen? When the Church is complete; when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Then Romans 11:25-26 will be fulfilled: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Midnight Call - 05/2017 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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