Posted in eschatology, israel, jews, replacement theology, temple

Messianic return from Jewish point of view

A Haaretz (Israel daily newspaper) article today. It is interesting to read of Messianic prophecy from the point of view of a person who does not believe the New Testament, but should have a better grasp of eschatology than is evidenced in this article. It is rife with errors but also contains some truth.

Why do many Christians believe Jesus will appear after Jews rebuild the temple?
“These are the same Zionist evangelicals who oppose any peace agreement in which Israel will cede parts of the homeland, and who customarily make donations to various right-wing associations in Israel. For them, Israeli sovereignty over the Holy Land is fraught with redemptive meaning. Only the continuing and eternal covenant between the Jewish people and its God in heaven can lend a messianic significance to its deeds on earth.”

“It was such a frame of mind that prompted the well-known evangelical preacher Jerry Falwell to assert, back in 1988, that “the most important date we should remember [since the Ascension] is May 14, 1948.” The reason is because, in his view, the creation of the State of Israel “is the greatest single sign indicating the imminent return of Jesus Christ.”

“But there’s a snag. Two months ago we celebrated the 65th anniversary of Israel’s creation, and for some reason Jesus has not yet appeared.”

Oh, but He will. They should know better than anyone about the Lord’s plans mean nothing in man’s scale of time. He sent the Jews into a 70 year exile. They wandered 40 years in the desert. A Jubilee Year comes around once every 50. They spent 400 years waiting for a prophet to speak (Malachi to John the Baptist). The Egyptian captivity was 400 years. And they scoff at 65?

Yes, they scoff.

The article calls the 15-million seller book The Late great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey (an eschatological view of the run up to the Tribulation and the last 7 years of punishment upon the Jews) as a “mythical best seller.” The article repeats the old chestnut that John Darby started the notion of the rapture, even though Paul taught it and the earliest church fathers believed it.

The article goes on,

“The relationship between Christian evangelicals and Temple activists is warmer today than ever. It is a strange alliance, in which each side is using the other to further its own redemptive goals, knowing full well that the other has a completely alternative, indeed opposite, picture of the way redemption will look.”

Why can’t they see the clear and plain truth in the bible? That the rapture will sweep the church from the earth and that those who remain will be left to deal with God’s anger on His unbelieving people, the Jews? Because they can’t. Paul explained it all in Romans 11. Opening that wonderful chapter, Paul said,

“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” (Romans 11:1-2)

That should silence the replacement theologians who said that the Jews are done and the church is all that God cares about now. Paul goes on to explain the program and plan of God in the Age of Grace that we are in now:

“What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”” (Romans 11:7-8).

The Jews rejected Jesus when He appeared. Originally the Jews were supposed to be the Light to the world and instruct the Gentiles about God. But they clung to the law, turned insular, and then used the law for their own gain, coasting on the covenant promise and failing to share the Light with the pagans.

Jesus charged them: “You that make your boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonor you God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you.” (Romans 2:23-24).

“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, see, we turn to the Gentiles. For so has the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 13:45-47)

Paul explains that the Gentiles are grafted in so as to make Israel jealous.

“So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.” (Romans 11:11).

Paul says it again, explaining the ‘mystery of Israel’s salvation’.

“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:d a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” Romans 11:25).

They have been partially hardened. The most difficult mission group to reach is the Jew, because they have been made hard of heart and blind so that they cannot see. That is why we wind up with articles that state the redemption plan between the Jew and the Christian are opposite. They aren’t , but the hardened Jew see it that way.

All Israel will be saved. Jesus preserves a remnant throughout the Tribulation. He uses the Jew once again as His light to bring salvation, supernaturally sealing 144,000 Jews to witness for Him, 12,000 from each tribe. (Revelation 7:6-8).

He will punish His people, that is what the Tribulation is all about. It is called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Yet in the end, all Israel will be saved! (Isaiah 53)

“I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.” (Ezekiel 39:29)

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10)

The LORD is grace and mercy. He loves His people. Punishes for idolatry, yes. He does this because He is holy. Even though punishment tough, He will not break His promise to His covenant people the Israelites. He will be as overjoyed as anyone on earth or in heaven when His people cry out to Him as Messiah.

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.” (Zechariah 14:9)

Posted in amillennialism, israel, peace process, replacement theology

Two State Solution is dead, in comes the One State Solution

By the time of the Tribulation, the bible shows us, world hatred of Israel and His People will be an an all-time high. ‘Higher than WWII and the Holocaust?’ you ask. Yes. That’s because the Tribulation will be a time when evil is allowed to prevail.

“He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” (Revelation 13:7) and of course this verse refers to the antichrist.

The run-up to that time will be similar to the Holocaust, where hate rises incrementally, slowly at first but then rapidly. As in the years and days prior to WWII, there were attitudes preached and promoted, laws passed, and doctrines set which cultivated hatred against Jews. It is the same now. ‘But surely Evangelical Christians who know the bible and understand how important Israel is to God and the world will not abandon her?!’ you may wonder. Yes, they will. It is happening now. Here’s why.

Part of the problem in evangelical circles is the acceptance of amillennialism and Replacement Theology. Before WWII, it took years for anti-Semitism to come to full fruition so evilly that it caused the historical actions that now draw a gasp that they even occurred. The anti-Semitism was there, bubbling and percolating until it burst full force like pus from a boil.

Replacement theology teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. People who believe in Replacement Theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, that the covenant is either fulfilled or abandoned, and that God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.

This is a dangerous belief, because it unhinges our actions from the covenant which God told to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:3). Israel is the world’s fulcrum. If there is no Israel, there is no cause and effect, it becomes a flat playing field.

Amillennialism is just as devastating a doctrine to hold, both for Israel and for the Nations, because it leads to the same outcome: a disbelief that God means what he says and that Israel no longer matters. Amillennialism is the name given to the belief that there will not be a literal 1000-year reign of Christ. Though many, many scriptures speak of this earthly reign in specific and dimensional terms, amillennialists say that it won’t happen, or is happening now, of has happened in the past, or is a spiritual event, not a physical one. In sum, it is a belief that the Kingdom is figurative.

What these dangerous doctrines add up to is a vacuum in the plan of God where He blanketed the world with His demonstration of love for His chosen people and the warnings that come with harming them. People groups en masse are withdrawing their belief in these things and therefore support for Israel erodes. Nature abhors a vacuum and satan is only too happy to fill it with hatred. Look at the Tribulation time, when evil is allowed to prevail: satan comes at them full bore. Revelation 12:13-17 shows us the moment that satan is banished from heaven. In his anger, for he knows he has but a little time, he persecutes Israel, and failing that, he turns his evil anger on Christians. (Revelation 12:13-17).

Let’s take a look at the world today and do a barometer check for love of or hatred of Israel.

You know that for many years, the peace process in the Middle East hinged on instituting a Two State Solution. This means that attempts were made to diplomatically enact a state whereby the “Palestinians” and the Israelis could live side by side in peace in a mututally acknowledged state. The two-state solution envisages the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel.

You know that recently it has been reluctantly acknowledged that the Two State solution has failed. It is diplomatically and in all other ways defunct because in general the whole peace process is dead.

Now here is an axiom. I made this up. Because we are in the last days of the last days, because evil is rising and will be allowed to come to complete fruition, things are not going to get better. When one thing passes away, a worse thing will replace it. That is my axiom.

And we have an example of that: the Two State Solution has passed away, and now we have calls for a ONE-State solution. Here are a few examples from the last two weeks:

‘One-state solution’ campaign promoted in West Bank
“A recently launched campaign in the West Bank calls on Palestinians and Israelis to desert the two-state solution and form one democratic state in its place. This coordinated effort comes in wake of the negotiation freeze between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A group by the name of Takamul (“Integration”) seems to be the campaign’s chief sponsor. Posters calling for “one democratic state for five million Arabs and six million Jews” were hung in Palestinian cities across the West Bank.”

Christ at the Checkpoint” conference is a misguided attempt to defend Palestinians
“Certain segments of evangelical Christianity are being drawn away from the movement’s traditional support for Israel by those claiming the moral high ground in advocating for “social justice.” Many of these liberal, anti-Israel Evangelicals are showing up at the “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference in Bethlehem this week. They invariably view Israel as an occupying power oppressing the Palestinians. They use Israel’s security “Wall” as a prominent symbol of the “injustices” being committed against the Palestinians. One has to admit that the imagery is powerful and it takes well informed minds to counter them.”

“The lack of information has started to dupe many Evangelicals, who are being shamed into abandoning Israel because they are supposedly uncompassionate and blocking peace. Indeed, this new initiative aims to totally discredit pro-Israel Evangelicals with clever lies and distortions. As David Solway recently observed in this paper, “The usual understanding of Israel as an aggressive, colonial, apartheid state robbing the Palestinians of their heritage is quite possibly the greatest political scam of modern times. It is the outcome of a mixture of historical amnesia, ideological prejudice and reflex hostility, which keep it mind-proof.”

The above excerpt from the Jerusalem Post refers to a conference being held in Bethlehem right now which targets Christian evangelicals, and proposes a one state solution.

Harvard to host conference of hate
“Harvard University is going to be hosting a conference entitled “One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One State Solution,” scheduled to take place March 3-4. According to the “Vision and Goals” of the conference, as outlined by its website:“To date, the only Israel/Palestine solution that has received a fair rehearsal in mainstream forums has been the two-state solution. Our conference will help to expand the range of academic debate on this issue. Thus, our main goal is to educate ourselves and others about the possible contours of a one-state solution and the challenges that stand in the way of its realization.”

The conference was sold out.

And this from Ammon News (Jordan)

A Declaration from Beit Sahour calls for One-State Solution
(Beit Sahour is a town near Bethlehem, Israel, and is reputed to be close to the place where, according to the New Testament, an angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.)

“If a two-state solution is not workable or achievable, the logical conclusion would inevitably lead to a one-state solution. The general view in the Middle East is that the relentless proliferation of settlements throughout the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 has made the very concept of creating a viable Palestinian state, let alone one with East Jerusalem as its capital, unrealistic if not far-fetched.”

The article continues, and get this–

“Declaration from Beit Sahour:
“A group of pro-peace activists based in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank in conjunction with a number of international activists the most prominent of whom is Roger Higginson, a London based international negotiator and a member of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICHAD) are promoting a one-state for two nations. Their collaborations resulted in a “Declaration from Beit Sahour” which calls for a one-state solution. Beit Sahour is a Palestinian Christian town close to Bethlehem. Higginson is a firm believer in a single state for all the inhabitants of historical Palestine. Higginson believes a single state should not represent a threat to the Jewish citizens of Israel. Both communities lived in peace in the past, and there is no inherent reason why they cannot do so again today.”

Do you see the progression here? Israel is surrounded on all sides spiritually and geographically. It is dealing with external pressure from the ancient enemy to dismantle their state. And make no mistake, a “One State Solution” is really a call for the dismantling of Israel. Israel is dealing with attacks at their most supportive base: Christian Evangelicals, targeting them both in the US and within their own borders. This widening gap between Jews and Christians in politics, geography and belief will come to fruition in the Tribulation- a lonely and alone Israeli State…

“For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.” (Zechariah 11:16).

That ‘Worthless Shepherd’ is the antichrist. (Zechariah 11:17). The conditions upon which those conditions will be fulfilled are rapidly coming together. When Israel cannot trust the American president nor count on support from Christian Evangelicals, when Israeli postmen refuse to deliver New Testaments, where the population of the very town where the Angels announced Jesus’ birth turns against its own heritage and homeland, you know that their last bastion of support is almost eroded.

This is because it must be so. As Israel faces an increasingly hostile world, she will be forced to stop looking around her for support, and instead look UP. (Zechariah 12:10). And God will show Himself holy to the world, defend His nation and His people, and amillennialists and replacement theologians will see just how wrong they were.

“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. … Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”’ (Ezekiel 38:18, 23)

Praise God for His faithfulness! His Covenant lasts forever! His Kingdom will come!