This is the official website of the Original Gospel Movement, or Makuya of Christ, featuring "Light of Life", lectures by Ikuro Teshima, and testimonies of spiritual conversion.

Israel in the Divine History

Ikuro Teshima

It is generally believed that history is a record of battles in which the weak fall prey to the strong, or a chronicle of conquerors and the conquered. Is history a mere record of accidents, or does it have its aim? Some think from the viewpoint of dialectical materialism that history proceeds in a zigzag way to a goal, which to them is an establishment of a communistic society. Others hold a view that a welfare of the world can be achieved by human efforts. What is the aim of world history? No one seems to be able to answer this question.

By reading the Holy Scriptures with an open mind, however, we can see that the course of history lies in the hand of God; the Bible reveals the aim and the direction of history toward the fulfillment of His Providence on this earth.

First He chose Abraham as the ancestor of the sanctified people and bestowed upon him a blessing. The Lord promised him, “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” One thousand years later, at the time of the King David, this promise seemed to have been fulfilled, but soon the misfortune of ruin befell the people of Israel because of their wickedness. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other great prophets rebuked their sins, and at the same time assured that, though the nation might be conquered by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, God’s providence would not be changed and the land would for ever belong to Israel. These prophets continued to advocate the physical and spiritual reconstruction of Jerusalem as well as the restoration of the nation as a whole.

The majority of the people of Israel were dispersed throughout the world by a series of misfortunes that had taken place: the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, the invasions by the Greeks and the Romans, which culminated in the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. Over nineteen hundred years they had to live in exile, but never they have forgotten their yearnings toward the land. The Psalm 137 is one of the most touching psalms that express their deepest emotions toward their homeland.

By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and
wept when we remembered Zion.
There on the willows
we hung up our harps.
For there those who carried us off
demanded music and singing,
and our captors called on us to be merry:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
How could we sing the LORD’S song
in a foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand wither away,
let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy.

The Bible clearly prophesied that Israel would eventually return to their own land and play a vital part in the unfolding of God’s providence upon this earth. People of the Old and the New Testaments believed that the words of the Lord would not pass away unfulfilled, even if heaven and earth might vanish.

Jesus Christ, who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, said that the destruction of the City was not eternal but temporal; she would only be trodden underfoot by foreigners until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)

Now that the City is restored to Israel, I believe that the times of the Gentiles spoken by Jesus are already fulfilled. I see in the restoration of Old Jerusalem to Israel an important step forward in the progress of the history of God’s redemption. Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

All great thinkers from Augustine to Heschel saw the works of God in human history and unanimously asserted that God’s revelation works at the decisive moments of history. Hegel writes, “The whole of history originates in Messiah and aims at Him. Therefore, the appearance of the sons of God is the axis for history to revolve.”

Some thirty years ago, I was surprised to see big shoals of salmon and trout swimming upward in the Horonai River of Sakhalin. The river was so filled with the fish going upward, it looked as if the stream was reversed. But it was only a temporary phenomenon: fish cannot change the current of the stream.

In like manner, man cannot change the current of world history. At one time Napoleon or Hitler seemed to turn the world history, but once defeated, they lost war after war until they ended in misery. Great as he looks, man is nothing but a checker in the hand of God. The story of the world drama is being written by God, not by man; it is written in Heaven and is performed upon earth.

When the news of the liberation of the whole Jerusalem reached us, our hearts leaped for joy, our blood stirred within us. The joy was unspeakable; it was the “resonance” of our blood. When we twice invited General Uzi Narkiss, Liberator of Jerusalem, to our annual conferences, our people extended the most enthusiastic welcome; clapping hands we wholeheartedly supported his statement, “Jerusalem should never be conquered again.”

In 1968, and again in 1971, we demonstrated in front of the United Nations headquarters and presented an appeal for the sake of Israel to then UN General Secretary U Thant.

We are often asked why we feel such affection for the State of Israel. “Why you Japanese love Jews?” was the constant question we hear both from Jews and non-Jews. Our zealous gesture toward Israel seems to go beyond their comprehension. Our deep attachment to the Land of Israel stems from our passionate love for the Bible.

It is found that the blood types of the Japanese are closest to those of the inhabitants in Palestine. Maybe on this ground of “blood relationship” the Makuya people feel such a special love and affinity toward Israel. Through God’s mercy we have enjoyed genuine and cordial friendship with the Jewish people. No words can adequately express our gratitude for the kindness we have received from the people all over Israel.

Small as its geographical territory is, Israel occupies the foremost place in the eyes of God. We wish to encourage and console the people who have been dispersed and homeless for two thousand years; we wish to show that there is a people who rejoices in the restoration of Jerusalem and cares for the welfare of future Israel.

For the past twelve years, over 150 Makuya young men and women have been sent to Kibbutz Heftsi-Bah and other kibbutzim to study the Hebrew language and the Biblical background, Jewish history and their aspirations, idealistic communal living and the pioneering spirit that turns desert and swamps into fertile land. About 800* Makuya people have visited Eretz Israel on seven different occasions. And this March, 1973, the Makuya is sending 400 people for its eighth pilgrimage to the Holy Land to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Independence of the State of Israel.

Not all understand our fervent love toward Israel: some criticize that we are too Jewish; some call us “Judeo-Christians.” But, in actuality, Judaism and Christianity were not two different religions in the beginning, but two branches of one root – the religion of the Bible. As Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel once said, “Different are the languages of prayer, but the tears are the same. We have a vision in common of Him in whose compassion all men’s prayer meet.”

He also said, “In the words of the prophet Malachi ‘From the rising of the sun to its setting My name is great among the nations. In every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.’ (Malachi 1 :11) It seems to me that the prophet proclaims that men all over the world, though they confess different conceptions of God, are really worshipping One God, the Father of all men, though they may not even be aware of it.”

It is the presence of this One God — the God of Abraham, of Issac, and of Jacob — a “Shechinah and Hitlahabut” that we the Makuya group endeavour to experience in our daily lives. Through the deeper knowledge of Judaism we believe that we can come to the full comprehension of the Bible messages. Thus, our actions are not motivated by any political ideologies, but by our religious convictions in the God of Israel and His Words.

Note: Over 1,100 students and 9,000 pilgrims as of November 2016
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