This is the fourth in a series of articles on the history of Judeo-Christian millennialism in which a common belief by Jews and Christians in a future Millennial Kingdom fostered periods of cooperation with world-changing results.
The most consequential fruit of Judeo-Christian millennialism was Anglo-Zionism, a political phenomenon with a parallel theological justification called British Israelism (which asserted that the bloodline of the British monarchy was a continuation of the ancient Judean monarchy – the truth or falsehood of which mattered far less than that the Brits believed it to be true). The two terms – Anglo-Zionism and British Israelism – describe the same relationship in political and theological terms respectively. That relationship was an engine of growth and power behind the British Empire for five centuries ending with the liberation of the Holy Land in 1917, at which time a corrupted House of Judah began to restructure its long partnership with the House of Israel (Christendom) and in 1948 claimed Israel for itself as an exclusively Jewish state.
This only proved that the longed-for final millennium – the thousand-year Day of the Lord – had not yet come, or it would have looked like THIS: "On that day the Root of Jesse [Jesus Christ] will … raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will collect the scattered of Judah [House of Judah] from the four corners of the earth. Then the jealousy of Ephraim [House of Israel] will depart, and the adversaries of Judah will be cut off. Ephraim will no longer envy Judah, nor will Judah harass Ephraim." (Isaiah 11:10-13)
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And THIS: "And you, son of man, take a single stick and write on it: 'Belonging to Judah and to the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick and write on it: 'Belonging to Joseph – the stick of Ephraim – and to all the house of Israel associated with him.' Then join them together into one stick, so that they become one in your hand. … I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one king [Jesus Christ] will rule over all of them." (Ezekiel 37:16-22)
And THIS in Hosea 1:6-11: "Gomer … gave birth to a daughter, and the LORD said to Hosea, 'Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I should ever forgive them. Yet I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will save them.' … [Then] Gomer conceived and gave birth to a son. And the LORD said, 'Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people, and I am not your God. Yet … it will happen that in the very place [Israel] where it was said to them, 'You [the House of Israel] are not My people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God' [Christians]. Then the people of Judah and of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one leader, and will go up out of the land. For great will be the day of Jezreel" (aka Migiddo, aka Armageddon).
Per the curse placed on the House of Judah in Matthew 23:37-39, the actual Millennial Kingdom cannot begin until after the Jews collectively admit He is the Christ, a still-future event prophesied in Romans 11:25-29 and in Zechariah 12:10-11: "Then I will pour out on the house of David and on the people of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look on Me, the One they have pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the wailing in Jerusalem will be as great as the wailing of Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo [aka Jezreel, aka Armageddon]."
The Age of the Gentiles will end with the second coming of Christ, which will be His (perceived) first coming to the Jews, and it will all happen in the context of the end times prophecies that are beginning to unfold before our eyes.
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Among the prophetic elements still unfulfilled today is the rebuilding of the Temple – an item seemingly imminent because Israel has only just now seated its first political administration controlled by Orthodox Jews eager to reclaim control of the Temple Mount. And, of course, Israel generally and the Temple specifically will feature in the all-important "Abomination of Desolation" event revealing the end-times antichrist, whose counterfeit-messianic kingdom will operate from Jerusalem.
Zionism – the process of the formal restoration of the Jews to Israel – is itself the prerequisite for these prophecies to be fulfilled. And "Christian Zionism" – defined by endorsement of the Judean claim of ownership of the Holy Land – plays a big part in the geopolitical survival of Israel in this period.
But, long before the name "Zion" was ever uttered in the Bible, there was Shiloh – the original home of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy Land, where God met with the Hebrews at the Tabernacle He had designed, not the human-desired Temple that supplanted it, when the people were self-governed under His law and not ruled by a human-demanded monarchy.
Importantly, Shiloh was the Ephramite equivalent of Judean Jerusalem – both being alternate centers of political power over the 12-tribe Hebrew nation. Shiloh is as indelible a symbol of the House of Israel as Jerusalem is a symbol of the House of Judah. And that fact grants enormous import to Jacob's Prophecy of Shiloh in Genesis 49:10: "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and the allegiance of the nations is his." In other words the House of Judah would hold power until Christ, the conquering king, comes, symbolized by Shiloh of the House of Israel (Christianity).
Now, this creates a bit of confusion because, while Christianity obviously began with Christ's first advent, the "allegiance of the nations" will not be His until the second advent, when He truly looks the part of the conquering King of Kings (Revelation 19:11-16). And because of this confusion, the doctrine of British Israelism was able not just to thrive in real life but to deeply infuse British identity even down to its mythology: best represented in Tolkien's incomparable Christian allegory "The Lord of the Rings," built around the central theme of the throne-preserving Steward of Gondor awaiting the Return of the King in the context of Evil Sauron's War of Armegeddon, ending the era of Middle Earth.
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Having learned these things, I do not consider myself a Christian Zionist, but a Shilohist with a claim to a place in the Holy Land no less legitimate than that of the Jews, whom I view as peers. There is no good reason millennialist Christians should not already be there as stakeholders, not guests: an acknowledgment of the partnership that made national Israel's reincarnation possible, and a unity-building affirmation of the prophecy of the eventual two-house reconciliation. And, frankly, where the security and future of Israel is concerned, philo-Semite conservative Christians would be far more reliable partners – especially to the current conservative government – than the anti-Torah Jews-in-name-only of America.
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