Written by Vladimir Moss



     This year, 2017, marks the one hundredth anniversary both of the Balfour declaration and of the October Russian revolution. The real significance of the Balfour Declaration, and its relationship to the Russian revolution, was concealed in its timing. Divine Providence drew the attention of all those with eyes to see to this sign of the times when, in one column of newsprint in the London Times for November 9, 1917, there appeared two articles, the one announcing the outbreak of revolution in Petrograd, and the other – the promise of a homeland for the Jews in Palestine (the Balfour declaration).

     This showed that the two events were different aspects - the internationalist-atheist and nationalist-theist aspects respectively, - of a single event, the Jewish revolution. In fact, both the Bolshevik and the Zionist revolutionaries came from the same region of Western Russia, often from the same families. Thus Weizmann’s own mother was able to witness Chaim’s triumph in Zionist Jerusalem, and that of another son – in Bolshevik Moscow…[1] As M. Heifetz pointed out, “a part of the Jewish generation goes along the path of Herzl and Zhabotinsky. The other part, unable to withstand the temptation, fills up the band of Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin...”[2]

     Since 1917, the history of the Jews has been to the highest degree eventful and stormy for the Jews both inside and outside their homeland/state of Israel, which was promised to them in 1917 and became a reality in 1948. The question posed here is: what is the destiny of the Jews? As a framework for our discussion we shall take the intriguing article by an anonymous author entitled “How to Understand the Jews as Being a Chosen People”[3], together with the still-unfulfilled prophecies of the destiny of the Jews that are contained in Holy Scripture.


     The central thought of the article’s author, an Orthodox Christian, is that whereas “Christians are the chosen nation of God, holy, redeemed by the Lord”, and although the Jews, as a nation, have fallen away from their spiritual calling, nevertheless “the covenant concluded with them carnally, that is by descent from Abraham, could not be annulled even in the face of spiritual apostasy”. That covenant consists essentially in the promise of survival. Since in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (Galatians 3.28), the Jews would not have survived as a truly separate nation if they had believed in Christ and joined the chosen nation of God, which is the Church. However, “the covenant with the Jewish people made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is never revoked, and therefore, in remaining a ‘special, different’ people, since they did not accept Christianity, they repudiated their being the chosen people of God”. But at the same time they guaranteed their survival as a nation.

     “Thus, it may be that the very preservation until now of the Jewish people is a result not of their being ‘chosen’, but as a result of their apostasy…” For the covenant was not only with Abraham’s son through Sarah, Isaac, but also with his son through Hagar, Ishmael. To Isaac and his Seed – by which, as St. Paul explains in Galatians, is meant Christ and the Christian, is promised salvation. But to Ishmael and his seed is promised survival. And spiritually speaking, the Jews who reject Christ are of the seed of Abraham through Ishmael, not Isaac.

     The Lord said on the eve of His Passion: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Unless a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12.24). These words are applicable, first of all, to Christ, Who died in order to rise again, and to individual Christians, who must die to their egoism in order to live spiritually. But it also applies to nations…

     The Jews killed Christ because they saw in Him a threat to their national survival. As the chief priests said: “If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation” (John 12.48). For they had plans to rebel against Rome.

     However, Christ rejected such mistaken zealotry. He recognized the authority of Rome over Israel politically, insisting that His Kingdom was universalist, not nationalist in essence, and even “not of this world”. Knowing this, and knowing that the people were ready to follow Him if given the chance, Caiaphas insisted: “It is expedient for us that one man [Christ] should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not” (John 12.50).

     And indeed, as the Evangelist John points out, Christ did die for the nation. He died so that the chosen nation of God, the Christians, should not die spiritually, but live eternally. That nation would include both Jews and Gentiles, but it would not consist of nations in the ordinary, worldly sense of the word, being a “peculiar” nation of a quite different kind.

     But Caiaphas was right also in his own terms. For if the Jews were to survive as a distinct nation in the worldly sense, they had to be united around a nationalist creed that put the nation above every other value, even loyalty to the God of Israel. Christ with His universalist vision was an obstacle on that path, and so He had to be killed.

     So, having killed Christ, the Jews have miraculously survived as a nation in spite of the most terrible catastrophes that would have destroyed any other nation. In spite of the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century; in spite of being exiled from Babylonia in the eleventh century, and England in the thirteenth century, and Spain in the fifteenth century; in spite of the Nazi holocaust in the first half of the twentieth century; and in spite of the uncompromising hostility and overwhelming numerical superiority of the Arabs in the second half of the twentieth century, they have survived, and not only survived, but even prospered. And prospered mightily: the Rothschild century has turned into the Rockefeller century, and now in the twenty-first century the Jews rule the world as never before.

     Since the two peoples of the covenant come from the same father, there is a family likeness between them, their destinies in history are intertwined, and the transition of individuals and groups from one people to the other is easier than to any third category or people outside the covenant (pagans or atheists). Thus the conversion of the Arabs, the original physical Ishmaelites, to Orthodox Christianity in the early Christian centuries (before Mohammed) is an example of transition from the spiritual category of unbelieving Ishmael to the spiritual category of believing Israel. Again, while the Jews have never converted en masse to Christianity, there have been individual conversions throughout the centuries.

     More common, alas, has been the reverse movement, the falling away of Christians into various forms of Judaizing heresy. We see this already in the Early Church – St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians is essentially a tract against the Judaizing of Christianity – and explicitly or implicitly Judaizing movements in Christianity have appeared many times since then.Islam, for example, contains many Judaizing elements. In fact,when Christians fall away from the True Faith, if they do not become complete pagans or atheists, they usually acquire traits of Judaism; for, as an anonymous Russian Christian writes, “Christianity without Christ reverts to Judaism”.

     We see this, for example, in Roman Catholicism: at the time of the falling away of the Roman Church in the eleventh century, the Romans adopted wafers – that is, unleavened bread (azymes) - in the liturgy instead of the leavened bread of the Orthodox – a relapse from the New Testament to the Old. Thus St. Nicetas Stethatos, a monk of the Studite monastery in Constantinople, wrote to the Latins: “Those who still participate in the feast of unleavened bread are under the shadow of the law and consume the feast of the Jews, not the spiritual and living food of God… How can you enter into communion with Christ, the living God, while eating the dead unleavened dough of the shadow of the law and not the yeast of the new covenant…?”

     The same Judaizing process is still more evident in Protestantism. Thus the Protestants adopted as their Old Testament Bible, not the Septuagint until then in use throughout the whole of Christendom, but the Massoretic text of the Jewish rabbis. Again, the Protestants’ chapel worship is similar to the Jews’ synagogue worship: in both we find the exaltation of Scripture reading and study above liturgical worship (although this is more principled in Protestantism – in Judaism it is necessitated by the destruction of the Temple in which alone, according to the Law, liturgical worship can take place). Again, the relationship between Church and State in many Calvinist communities was modeled on the Old Testament Israel in the period of Moses and the Judges. Thus A.P. Lopukhin writes: "On examining the structure of the Mosaic State, one is involuntarily struck by its similarity to the organization of the state structure in the United States of Northern America." "The tribes in their administrative independence correspond exactly to the states, each of which is a democratic republic." The Senate and Congress "correspond exactly to the two higher groups of representatives in the Mosaic State - the 12 and 70 elders." "After settling in Palestine, the Israelites first (in the time of the Judges) established a union republic, in which the independence of the separate tribes was carried through to the extent of independent states." Indeed, for the Pilgrim Fathers, their colonization of America was like Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land. Just as the Canaanites had to be driven out from the Promised Land, so did the Red Indians from America. And just as Church and State were organically one in Joshua’s Israel, so it was in the Pilgrim Fathers’ America.

     Protestantism, especially in America, also acquired the distinctly Judaist trait of the deification of materialism, the pursuit of material prosperity, not simply for its own sake, but as a proof that God is with you. “This Jewish materialistic approach,” writes the anonymous Russian Christian, “openly or more subtly, under the appearance of various social theories and philosophical systems, encroaches upon the consciousness of Christians, breaking down the Christian nations. In particular the penetration into the Christian consciousness of this Judaist idea explains many heresies, the rise of Islam, the substitution of Christianity with humanism, altruism, Marxism and separatist nationalism. Nationalism, which at times takes on an anti-Semitic character, at other times ends up in union with Judaism; in any event it is the reverse side of Jewish philosophy. A nation is truly attractive only in that part of it which is Christian. On the other hand, separatist nationalism, that is the extolling of a nation because it is a particular nation, refers back to the incorrect and prideful Jewish understanding of their chosenness, when they boast, ‘We are the children of Abraham’.

     “This activity of Judaist philosophy is responsible for the striving towards the worldly in Christian societies, the wasting of spiritual talents for the worldly, that is, the burying of them, which explains the direction of present-day civilization towards ‘progress’, the ruining of our planet, modern pagan art, and so on.

     “Thus the Jews may obtain supremacy, resulting from the breakdown of the Christian peoples, that is, from an open or subtle falling away from Christianity, which can be viewed as a direct influence of Jewish philosophy. In the end they will bring forth from their midst the Antichrist, their messiah, upon whom they hope…”

     In still more recent times, Western Christianity as a whole has adopted another, still more fundamental trait of Judaism: its adogmatic character, making it, like Judaism, a religion, not so much of faith, as of works. Thus L.A. Tikhomirov writes: “It is now already for nineteen centuries that we have been hearing from Jewish thinkers that the religious essence of Israel consists not in a concept about God, but in the fulfilment of the Law. Above were cited such witnesses from Judas Galevy. The very authoritative Ilya del Medigo (15th century) in his notable Test of Faith says that ‘Judaism is founded not on religious dogma, but on religious acts’.

     “But religious acts are, in essence, those that are prescribed by the Law. That means: if you want to be moral, carry out the Law. M. Mendelsohn formulates the idea of Jewry in the same way: ‘Judaism is not a revealed religion, but a revealed Law. It does not say ‘you must believe’, but ‘you must act’. In this constitution given by God the State and religion are one. The relationships of man to God and society are merged. It is not lack of faith or heresy that attracts punishment, but the violation of the civil order. Judaism gives not obligatory dogmas and recognizes the freedom of inner conviction.’

     “Christianity says: you must believe in such-and-such a truth and on the basis of that you must do such-and-such. New [i.e. Talmudic] Judaism says: you can believe as you like, but you have to do such-and-such. But this is a point of view that annihilates man as a moral personality…”

     Of course, the works prescribed by Talmudic Judaism are very different from those prescribed by Christ: the one kind enslaves and debases while the other liberates and exalts. However, in the last resort works without faith, according the Gospel, are useless; for works are only valuable as the expression of faith, faith in the truth – it is the truth that sets man free (John 8.32). So contemporary Christians’ adoption of the Jewish ethic of works, and loss of zeal for dogmatic truth, is a kind of slow but steady spiritual suicide…

     The logical conclusion of the apostasy of the Christian world and its reversion to Judaism will be the appearance of “the man of sin”, the Antichrist (II Thessalonians 2.3). He will become the king of the Jews, will rebuild the Temple and reintroduce the Mosaic Law and Temple worship, with the worship of himself as Messiah and God as its centre and culminating point. But he will be destroyed by Christ at His Second Coming.

     And so Judaism will finally acquire a positive dogma, that the Antichrist is God, to supplement its negative dogma, that Jesus Christ is not God; and the Christian world, the spiritual Israel, will finally dissolve into the carnal Israel – with the exception of a heroic remnant.

     Although the spiritual Israel is blessed, while the carnal Israel is accursed, an important promise is given to the carnal Israel: it will live in accordance with Abraham’s petition: “Let this Ishmael live before Thee” (Genesis 17.18). This life cannot be spiritual, because that is promised only to the spiritual Israel. So it must be carnal – physical survival and worldly power. At the same time, St. Ambrose admits the possibility that Abraham’s powerful petition could win spiritual life for some of the Jews – but only, of course, if they cease to belong to the carnal Israel and join the spiritual Israel through faith in Christ. For “it is the attribute of the righteous man [Abraham] to intercede even for sinners; therefore, let the Jews believe this too, because Abraham stands surety even for them, provided they will believe…”[4]

     The promise of physical life and prosperity has certainly been fulfilled in the extraordinary tenacity of the Jewish race, its survival in the face of huge obstacles to the present day, and - since its gradual emancipation from the ghetto in the nineteenth century, - its domination of world politics and business in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. However, the successes of the Jews in worldly terms have been so great that many Evangelical Protestants have been tempted to ascribe it, not to God’s promise to Ishmael, but to his promise to Isaac. Reversing the interpretation of the Apostle Paul, they have made of the carnal Israel “the chosen people”, “the blessed seed” - and this in spite of the fact that this “chosen people” not only does not believe in Christ, but has been the foremost enemy of those who do believe in Christ for the last two thousand years! In fact, “it may be,” as the anonymous Russian writer has suggested, “that the very preservation up until now of the Jewish people is a result not of their being ‘chosen’, but as a result of their apostasy”. For, having renounced their birthright, the Kingdom of God, they have received a “mess of pottage” instead – the promise of physical survival and worldly power. “If the Jews, having repented of the crime committed on Golgotha, would have become Christian, then they would have made up the foundation of a new spiritual nation, the nation of Christians. Would they have begun to strive in this case to preserve their nationality and government? Would they not have dispersed among other nations as the missionaries of Christianity just as the Apostles? Would they not have been strangers in a foreign land, not having a fatherland, like unto Abraham, but in this case with a higher spiritual meaning? All this happened with the Jews, that is, they became wanderers, not in a positive spiritual sense, but due to a curse, that is, not of their own will, but due to the will of chastising Providence since they did not fulfil that which God intended for them. Would they not have been exterminated en masse during persecutions as the main preachers of Christianity? Would they not have been assimilated among other peoples, so that the very name ‘Jew’, ‘Hebrew’, as a national name, would have disappeared and would have only remained in the remembrance of grateful nations as the glorious name of their enlighteners? Yes, and the very Promised Land and Jerusalem were given to the Hebrews not as a worldly fatherland, for which they are now striving, but as a prefiguration of the Heavenly Kingdom and the Heavenly Jerusalem, as a token of which Abraham and through him all the Hebrew nation coming out of Haran, renounced their earthly fatherland. For this reason the very significance of Jerusalem and the idea as a prefiguring would have passed away for the Jews, as soon as the Kingdom of God and the Heavenly Jerusalem would have become obtainable for them and would have become for them, as they are now for us, Christian holy places.”

     By elevating the carnal Israel into the spiritual Israel, the Protestants fill up a major emotional gap in their world-view; for, having rejected both the concept of the Church, and the reality of it in the Orthodox Church, they have to find a substitute for it somewhere else. And so we have the paradoxical sight of the State of Israel, one of the main persecutors of Christianity in the contemporary world, which is based on the rabidly anti-Christian Talmud, which forbids conversions of Jews to Christianity, and which has driven out the majority of the Orthodox Christian population, being ardently supported by the Evangelical Protestants of the Anglo-Saxon countries. There have even been several attempts by Evangelicals to blow up the mosque of the Dome of the Rock, in order to make it possible for the Jews to build their Temple again – the Temple of the Antichrist! 

     Before dismissing the Evangelicals’ delusion out of hand, we need to study their arguments in favour of it. One of the most important of these is that Israel’s success has been prophesied and blessed by God in the Abrahamic Covenant. In particular, they argue that God promised to the descendants of Abraham the whole land of Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates, which promise has been almost fulfilled since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, and that this would be their heritage forever (Genesis 13.15, 15.18).

     In reply to this argument, we may note the following:-

1. God’s prophecies are never fulfilled approximately, but always exactly. The prophecy of the Jews’ winning control of the whole area from the Nile to the Euphrates was fulfilled exactly in the time of Kings David and Solomon (II Kings 8.3, II Chronicles 9.26). But the modern-day Jews have not emulated this feat: in 1967 they very briefly reached the Suez Canal, but not the Nile, and have never reached the Euphrates.

2. Even if the boundaries of the State of Israel were to extend this far at some point in the future, this would still be an achievement of the carnal Israel (unless the State of Israel would have become officially Christian by that time), and therefore would not be something to rejoice in as if it were blessed by God, but rather to be bemoaned as an extension of the kingdom of the Antichrist.

3. According to St. Philaret of Moscow, the Hebrew word translated as forever (I will give it to thee and to thy seed forever” (13.15)) can mean no more than an indefinite period of time. Even if we accept St. John Chrysostom’s interpretation, that it means in perpetuity, this can only mean until the end of the world. For it is only “the meek” – that is, the Christians - who “will inherit the earth” in the age to come…


   Nevertheless, we cannot deny that the re-establishment of the State of Israel nearly two thousand years after its destruction is a miracle which defies a purely naturalistic explanation. Thiswas admitted even by that determinedly secular and non-nationalist Jew, Sir Isaiah Berlin. In 1953 he wrote that the existence of the State of Israel overturns all materialist theories of history“because it shows the power of ideas, and not merely of economic and social pressures. It upsets materialist theories of history according to which environment, or economic factors, or the collision of classes is mainly responsible for what happens. It upsets the various doctrines in accordance with which Israel could not have arisen at all; the doctrines which the German Marxists and Russian Bundists used to adduce in order to prove the impossibility of a Jewish State, and all the various doctrines about the inevitable assimilation of the Jews, advanced by both Jews and Gentiles on the basis of some set of cut and dried premises, or historical theory, or sociological law or system. Nor did the empiricists in the foreign offices of the Great Powers do much better. Very few of the chancelleries of Europe or America seriously believed in the possibility of the rise of even a short-lived ‘independent State of Israel’. Very few believed that it would ever have the fighting strength, the unity of spirit which would enable it to triumph over so many obstacles. A great many of the prophets were I the grip of various obsolete theories of how nations rise and fall, or simply of powerful prejudice and emotion; and on the whole they tended to discount too much the sheer power of human idealism and human will-power.

     “Israel is not a large-scale experiment. It occupies a very small portion of the earth’s surface; the number of persons comprising its population is relatively small. But its career confutes a number of deterministic theories of human behavior, those offered both by materialism and by the fashionable brands of anti-materialism. And that, I will not deny, is a source of great satisfaction to those who have always believed such theories to be false in principle, but have never before, perhaps, found evidence quite so vivid and quite so convincing of their hollowness. Israel remains a living witness to the triumph of human idealism and will-power over the allegedly inexorable law of human evolution. And this seems to me to be to the eternal credit of the entire human race…”[5]

     In other words, the existence of the State of Israel is a miracle. And yet Berlin is wrong to locate this miracle in the human spirit alone, or even primarily there. The existence of the modern State of Israel is a miracle of God.

     Even while admitting that its re-establishment was brought about by evil men with the devil’s help – for it is the work of the carnal, not of the spiritual Israel, – we must nevertheless admit that it has been allowed by God and even prophesied by Him. Nor, as we shall see now, are the Evangelicals wrong in claiming that these prophecies do not speak only of demonic events, such as the enthronement of the Antichrist, but also of supremely positive ones, such as the conversion of the Jews to Christ.

     Some Orthodox Christians reject the Evangelical interpretation of some of these passages on the grounds that all the as-yet-unfulfilled Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel in fact refer to the New Testament Israel, the Church. However, it is impossible to allegorize these prophecies to such an extent that all references to the race of the Jews and to the physical land of Israel are excluded. In any case, even if, as I shall argue, some of these prophecies do refer to the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and their conversion to Holy Orthodoxy, they do not justify the Evangelicals’ positive attitude to the carnal Israel that remains unrepentant and unbelieving. There are several Old Testament prophecies that speak of the return of the Jews to Israel after a long “captivity” (e.g. Jeremiah 3.16-18; Zephaniah 3.10-13, 18-20; Joel 3; Zechariah 12-14). Some interpreters have understood these prophecies allegorically, as referring to the New Testament Church of the Gentiles; others, as referring to other historical events, both in the past and in the future. However, a close examination of these texts makes it impossible to understand them in any other way than as referring to some future event that has not yet taken place involving the gathering of the Jews from many foreign lands back into Israel, where they undergo, first, a crushing military defeat from a northern power, and then a spiritual revival during which they return to Christ and enter His Church.

      Perhaps the most striking and detailed of these prophecies is that of the holy Prophet Ezekiel. In chapter 36 he describes how the Jews will be gathered back into the land of Israel, and there converted and baptized: “For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you [baptism], and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses… And you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (36.24-25, 28). Then comes the famous vision of the dry bones (ch. 37), which is an allegorical description of the resurrection of the Jews to true faith when they appeared to be completely devoid of it. Then comes the invasion of Israel by Gog and Magog led by “the prince of Rosh” (ch. 38), and the description of how the Jews will spend seven months clearing up after the destruction of the invaders (ch. 39). And then the Prophet says: “All the nations shall know that the house of Israel was led captive because of their sins, because they rebelled against Me, and I turned My face from them, and delivered them into the hands of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I deal with them, and I turned My face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Now will I turn back captivity in Jacob, and will have mercy on the house of Israel, and will be jealous for the sake of My holy name” (39.23-25).

      The fact that the “Rosh” of Ezekiel’s prophecy is spelt, in the Greek of the Septuagint, in exactly the same way as the ancient word for “Russia” (RwV), has led many people to identify Gog and Magog with Russia and its allies. This supposition is strengthened by the fact that Gog and Magog are said to come from the extreme north, which can only mean Russia, and in the last times. Thus St. Ignaty Brianchaninov writes: “In the 38th and 39th chapters of the Prophet Ezekiel is described the power and numerousness of a northern people called Ross; this people must attain a huge level of material development before the end of the world, and by its end will bring to an end the history of the wandering of the human race on earth. A reference is made to these chapters of Ezekiel in the 20th chapter of the Apocalypse…”[6]

      Again, in chapters 12 and 13 of the Prophet Zechariah we see how the Jews, at the height of a disastrous war, come to a profound repentance for their apostasy from Christ: “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and compassion; and they shall look on Me Whom they pierced” (i.e. the Crucified Christ), “and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns over a first-born” (12.10). “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness [baptism]” (13.1). In chapter 14 a great disaster overtakes the people, and “half the city shall go into captivity” (14.2). But the Lord will fight for Israel, and finally, after a great war, “it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (14.16).

      Now the mention of the feast of Tabernacles may lead to the thought that this is a Judaic feast, and so the context is the whole world going up to Jerusalem to pray at the Judaic feast – perhaps even to worship the Antichrist! However, in the context of the prophecy it is much more natural to interpret this as being a true, Christian feast, probably the Christian fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles…[7]

      New Testament confirmation of this miraculous return of the Jews to Israel and then their conversion to Christ is to be found in the holy Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (11.15, 25-27):“For if their [the Jews’] being cast away is the reconciling of the world [the Gentiles’ conversion], what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?... For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved.”

      Origen explains this passage well: “Now indeed, until all the Gentiles come to salvation, the riches of God are concentrated in the multitude of [Gentile] believers, but as long as Israel remains in its unbelief it will not be possible to say that the fullness of the Lord’s portion has been attained. The people of Israel are still missing from the complete picture. But when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and Israel comes to salvation at the end of time, then it will be the people which, although it existed long ago, will come at the last and complete the fullness of the Lord’s portion and inheritance.”[8] For, as St. Cyril of Alexandria says, “Although it was rejected, Israel will also be saved eventually… Israel will be saved in its own time and will be called at the end, after the calling of the Gentiles.”[9] 

      What does “all Israel” mean? Blessed Theodoret of Cyr writes: “’All Israel’ means all those who believe, whether Jews… or Gentiles.”[10] So when “the fullness of the Gentiles” has been gathered into the granary of the Church, and then “the fullness of the Jews”, we will be able to say that “all Israel” has been saved – that is, the whole of “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6.16), the Church of Christ. For, as Holy New Hieromartyr Mark (Novoselov) writes, “if the rejection of the Apostle Paul’s fellow-countrymen was, in his words, ‘the reconciliation of the world [with God], what will be their acceptance if not life from the dead’ (Romans 11.15).”[11]

      Lev Alexandrovich Tikhomirov agrees with this interpretation, linking it with certain verses from the Book of Revelation: “Is this conversion of the Jews that salvation of ‘all Israel’ that the Apostle Paul foretold? In the Apocalypse it is said that the saved will come ‘of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie’. But not the whole of the ‘synagogue’ will come, but only ‘of the synagogue’, that is, a part of it. But even here, where the Apostle Paul says that ‘the whole of Israel will be saved’, he means only a part: ‘for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel… They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed’ (Romans 9.6, 8).

     “The opinion is widespread among us that the conversion of the Jews will take place at the very appearance of the Saviour, when they shall cry out: ‘Blessed is He That cometh in the name of the Lord’ [cf. Matthew 23.39]. But this is not evident from the Apocalypse. But if the Philadelphian conversion will bring ‘all Israel’ that is to be saved to Christ, then this will, of course, be a great event, fully explaining the rejoicing of the Heavens. Israel is a chosen people with whom it will not be possible to find a comparison when he begins to do the work of God. The Jews will, of course, multiply the forces of Christianity for the resistance against the Antichrist. ‘If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world,’ says the Apostle Paul, ‘what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?’ (Romans 11.15).”[12]

      As indicated above, another New Testament confirmation of the Old Testament prophecies is to be found in the book of Revelation (3.8):“Behold, says the Lord to the Angel of the Church of Philadelphia, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and make obeisance before they feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”

      St. Mark comments on this: “[St. John] with complete clarity speaks about the conversion of the God-fighting people to the Church of Christ, when she, few in numbers and powerless from an external point of view, but powerful with an inner strength and faithfulness to her Lord (Revelation 3.8) will draw to herself the ‘remnant’ of the God-fighting tribe.

      “Gazing with the eye of faith at what the Lord has done before our eyes, and applying the ear of our heart and mind to the events of our days, comparing what we have seen and heard with the declarations of the Word of God, I cannot but feel that a great, wonderful and joyous mystery of God’s economy is coming towards us: the Judaizing haters and persecutors of the Church of God, who are striving to subdue and annihilate her, by the wise permission of Providence will draw her to purification and strengthening, so as ‘to present her as a glorious Church, having no spot or wrinkleor any such thing, but so that she should be holy and blameless’ (Ephesians 6.27).

      “And in His time, known only to the One Lord of time, this… ‘synagogue of Satan’ will bow before the pure Bride of Christ, conquered by her holiness and blamelessness and, perhaps, frightened by the image of the Antichrist…”

     Another important witness is Revelation 7.4:“And I heard the number of those who were sealed; and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”This sealing,” writes Archbishop Averky of Syracuse and Jordanville, “will begin with the Israelites, who before the end of the world will be converted to Christ, as St. Paul predicts (Romans 9.27, 11.26). In each of the twelve tribes there will be twelve thousand sealed, and 144,000 in all. Of these tribes only the tribe of Dan is not mentioned, because from it, according to tradition, will come the Antichrist. In place of the tribe of Dan is mentioned the priestly tribe of Levi which previously had not entered into the twelve tribes. Such a limited number is mentioned, perhaps, in order to show how small is the number of the sons of Israel who are saved in comparison with the uncountable multitude of those who have loved the Lord Jesus Christ from among all the other formerly pagan people of the earth.”[13] 


     So the carnal Israel can and will be saved. But only, it must be emphasized again, by ceasing to be the carnal Israel and becoming part of the spiritual, the Church of Christ. For the carnal and the spiritual Israels, though related through their common father, Abraham, and constantly intertwined in history, are mutually incompatible, eternal enemies, as were Jacob and Esau…       

     We are now in a better position to understand the relationship between the two “great nations” who come from Abraham and who are given promises in the Abrahamic Covenant.

     For clarity’s sake we shall refer to two covenants, or promises, the one referring to the spiritual Israel and the other to the carnal Israel. The two covenants are both complementary and contrary to each other. The spiritual Israel is promised spiritual blessings: salvation and the Kingdom of Heaven, while the carnal Israel is promised carnal blessings: survival and the kingdom of this world; for this is what the Jews confessed that they belonged to when they declared to the ruler of this world: “We have no other king than Caesar” (John 19, 15). And so it has turned out in history: the children of the spiritual Israel, consisting of people from many nations, both Jews and Gentiles, have been given salvation in Christ, while the children of the carnal Israel, having lost salvation, have nevertheless survived many centuries of oppression and humiliation, and have achieved worldly power – and power over the spiritual Israel, too, in places like Israel and Soviet Russia.

     The worldly power of the carnal Israel is destined to reach its peak at the end of the world, in the time of the Jewish Antichrist. At the same time, however, - or perhaps before – the spiritual Israel will achieve her greatest victory – the conversion of many, perhaps most of the children of the carnal Israel to Christ.

     Since the carnal Israel was promised physical life and power, it is no wonder that since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and especially since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, it has regained power over the land of Israel, driving out most of the Christians in the process, and may well recapture all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates, as was promised in the Abrahamic Covenant. But it is important to understand that such a re-conquest, if it takes place, will not be by virtue of the Jews being the chosen people, as they and their Evangelical allies believe, but by virtue of the exact opposite: of their being the accursed people. For of the two covenant peoples the people that is carnal is given physical gifts that are appropriate to its carnal desires.

     As for the spiritual Israel, the meek and the righteous Israel, “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6.16), it is not in this age that she will inherit the earth, as was promised by God. It will be given to her only after this present world has perished in its present form, and has been renewed and transformed into the conditions of the original Paradise. For “we, according to the promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (II Peter 3.13). That is the Promised Land of the Saints. Moreover, since corruptible “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom” (I Corinthians 15.50), they will receive it, not in corruptible bodies, but in that “earth”, the incorruptible bodies of the resurrection, that they will inherit at the Second Coming…

      Finally, a discussion of the destiny of Israel would be incomplete without returning to the destiny of that other country whose fall in 1917 coincided exactly with the rise of Israel to worldly power and statehood - Russia. For most of the last thousand years Tsarist Russia had been the leading national expression and protector of the spiritual Israel, the Church of Christ. But in 1917 Russia fell – and the main agents of her fall were precisely the Jews, who rose to power as the Orthodox Russians fell from it.

      At the time of writing, it looks as if Putin’s neo-Soviet Russia may well be that Gog and Magog from the extreme north that destroys the State of Israel before being destroyed itself, as Ezekiel says, “on the mountains of Israel”.

      If so, then, as the prophecies also appear to indicate, Russia and Israel will serve each for the other’s resurrection from the dead… St. Seraphim of Sarov prophesied that at the end of the world there would be only two important nations: the Russians and the Jews, and that the Antichrist would be a Jew born in Russia. How fitting, then, if the Russian nation which has suffered most from the antichristian Jews in the terrible Russian-Jewish revolution, should finally convert them to Christianity, so that the former bitter enemies, reconciled in the Body of Christ, “the Israel of God”, should fight together against the Russian-Jewish Antichrist!


November 15/28, 2017.



[1] Weitzmann, Trial and Error: The Autobiography of Chaim Weitzmann, New York: Harper, 1949.

[2] Heifetz, “Nashi Obschie Uroki”, 22, 1980, N 14, p. 162; in Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Dvesti Let Vmeste, Moscow, 2001, p. 112.

[3] Orthodox Life, vol. 41, no. 4, July-August, 1991, pp. 36-41.

[4]St. Ambrose, On Abraham, 88.

[5] Berlin, “The Origins of Israel”, in The Power of Ideas, London: Chatto & Windus, 2000, p. 161.

[6] Brianchaninov, letter to N.N. Muraviev-Karsky, May 14, 1863.

[7] David Baron, Zechariah, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1988, chapter 20.

[8] Origen, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.

[9] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Explanation of the Letter to the Romans, P.G. 74: 849.

[10] Blessed Theodoret of Cyr, Interpretation of the Letter to the Romans, P.G. 82: 180.

[11] Hieromartyr Mark, Pisma k Druziam (Letters to Friends), Moscow, 1994, p. 125. See also pp. 103-104.

[12] Tikhomirov, Religioznie-Filosofskie Osnovy Istorii (The Religious-Philosophical Foundations of History), Moscow, 1997, p. 570.

[13]Archbishop Averky, Rukovodstvo k izucheniu Sviaschennago Pisania Novago Zaveta (Guide to the Study of the Sacred Scriptures of the New Testament),Jordanville, N.Y. Holy Trinity Monastery, 1987, pp. 406-407.

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