Zvi Oct/Nov 1992
During the recent election campaign here in Israel, the various candidates and parties were engaged in a battle of prestige. Of course, everyone wanted to be prime minister, but, as we say, two kings cannot wear the same crown.
It was not a clean campaign, and, in addition to the usual name calling, there were many false declarations made by the various candidates on their own behalf. One candidate in particular, a rabbi running on the ticket of an ultra-Orthodox religious party, placed an ad in the newspapers stating, “God will judge those who do not give their votes to our political party!” A few days later the same candidate ran another ad stating, “If you vote for our party, you will earn a place in the Garden of Eden. It will be your passport to paradise!”
These statements were very disturbing to me, and the Lord gave me the courage to go to the headquarters of this party to discuss their campaign advertising. As soon as they saw that I was not wearing a hat or a beard, they became suspicious and asked, “Who are you and what do you want here?” I replied, “Your newspaper ad states that you have the power to send people to paradise if they vote for your party. I want to know who gave you this power and if you are sure you can fulfill what you have promised. As far as I know, God Himself is the only one who has the authority to send a person to paradise. Has He given you a power of attorney to act on His behalf?”
These people were sure that I was crazy, and they called over one of their “fighters” to set me straight. He was very self-assured and demanded to know why I was attacking them. I responded, “I have not come here to fight against you, but I would like to know why you are using God’s name in this election. The Ten Commandments state, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ thy God in vain; for the Lᴏʀᴅ will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain’ (Ex. 20:7). Therefore, I have come to ask why you made the irrational decision to misuse His name in this dirty election campaign. In Leviticus 11:44–45 the Lord clearly stated His desire for His Chosen People: ‘Ye shall be holy; for I am holy … I am the Lᴏʀᴅ who bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.’”
By now their curiosity was aroused, and they asked what political party I represented. “I do not represent any party,” I replied. “But I noticed that all of your campaign ads contain the name of God, and, as a believer in God according to the Holy Scriptures, I consider your statements blasphemous. I know what the Lord expects of us as His Chosen People—I know what we can do and what we cannot do—and I could not rest until I came here and clarified for you your obligations before the Lord. If I had not come to you, I would have been guilty before Him. This is not a question of which political party is best, but of our great responsibility to God. He has instructed us to go to all nations and preach the gospel of the Lord. Instead, you are misusing His name when He has clearly told us not to do so; neither are we to give false testimony (Ex. 20:7, 16).”
The man then asked, “Do you know the Talmud?” I answered, “I try the best I can to keep the Law of the Lord, but I do not follow your false beliefs.” He then asked, “Do you know about the 613 Oral Laws?” I replied, “It is impossible to keep the Ten Commandments, so how do you expect a person to keep 613 Laws?” By now he was frustrated and said, “Let’s get down to the bottom line. What is your faith? In what do you believe?” I said, “I have been waiting for you to ask that question, and thank the Lord the time has now come. I assure you that no one sent me to you; I came on my own. I am sure that your bold claims and intimidating statements have kept others from confronting you before and telling you to stop these tactics. Well, I am here to do just that! And the only reason I am here is because I believe in the Lord—not according to your false traditions but according to the Scriptures. Now you are trying to draw others into your trap, and it is my duty, before God, to try and stop you. I did not come here to threaten you, as your rabbi has done by telling people that if they do not vote for your party God will judge them.”
The man then changed the subject and asked what I thought about the coming of the Messiah, since that was a major theme of this party’s election campaign. I opened my Bible, read Isaiah 53, and asked, “Do you think we should be looking for the Messiah to come or to return?” “What do you think?” he asked in return, and I replied, “I don’t have to think. I know, because it is written right here in the Bible, which was inspired by the Holy Spirit. I have no right to add or detract one word from this book, and it is clear from the Scriptures that the Messiah has already come once and that one day soon He will come again. As you pray on Yom Kippur, ‘Forever, O Lᴏʀᴅ, thy word is settled in heaven’ (Ps. 119:89; cf. Isa. 40:8).”
Before I left, they gave me the opportunity to give my testimony and tell them how I came to believe in the Lord Jesus as my Savior and Israel’s Messiah. Of course, everything I told them was backed up by Scripture. Please pray with me that I will have further opportunities to speak with these people and that they will see the danger in taking the Lord’s name in vain.