CHRISTIAN ZIONISM’S ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Christian Zionists must believe the Gospel does not apply to everyone, are embarrassed by it, and would rather not mention it in certain circles.
They must think unsaved Jews are saved by osmosis through their “chosen people” status and connection claim to the ancient patriarchs, even though John the Immerser called out their forebears on this false claim two thousand years ago:
“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:8-10]
John warned them that the nation was about to go up in flames but some paid him no heed. The destruction of what was left of the nation from its glories of a millennium past was still forty years off. Nevertheless, the axe was already laid at the root of the trees and about to strike. This forty year period was the exact time frame we see throughout the book of Judges when the Lord was continually bringing judgment upon His wayward people who refused His leadership and preferred the rebellion of sin.
THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH
John was the first Hebrew prophet in over four hundred years. For over four centuries there was no prophetic voice in the land of Judea. In one sense then, the people thereof and especially the religious leaders thereof cannot be blamed for being completely clueless of the prophetic word. By that time they had built up their own version of the way things ought to be without the help, guidance, or direction of God, and indeed did so in actual rebellion against Him. The things of God and the ways of God became absolutely foreign to them in that interim.
As a result, when John the Immerser suddenly burst forth upon the scene he looked nothing like what they were familiar with. He appeared strange and different, and his incredibly powerful voice and manner was unlike anything they had ever heard or seen. They had no frame of reference. To that point, they had been like know-it-all ignorant teenagers devoid of real living experiences from which to base their rebellious beliefs, and instinctively felt that total rejection was in order, which is what the majority did. Most of the Jewish religious leaders rejected John outright and no doubt had a behind-the-scenes hand in his death. Even though they were great recognized religious leaders, their status meant nothing in spiritual terms. He demanded that they must repent:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance…” [Matthew 3:7-8]
Why do Christian Zionists seemingly never tell unsaved Jews to repent? Why do Christian Zionists often accept unsaved Jews exactly as they are? Why do they even esteem them highly and insist they are “God’s chosen people” when the New Covenant Scriptures say no such thing? Why do they believe unsaved Jews need not convert to Messiah? Is this how they show the love of God?
MESSIAH JESUS: THE BÊTE NOIRE OF ORTHODOX JUDAISM
All Christians are commanded by the Lord to know the Gospel and teach the Gospel, and there is nothing in the Gospel that says one can be saved from sin through righteous works or making ancestral claims. Such beliefs are actually revolting in the eyes of a holy God and show a complete contempt for the great price the Lord made on our behalf. If people can be saved without the Lord’s great suffering and death on the cross then why did He have to die? Is there a double standard at work here? Can some be saved without His sacrifice? Whoever makes their personal salvation contingent not on the Blood of the Lamb but on righteous works will eventually have a very rude awakening.
Until that day, however, many unbelievers double down on their hatred and rejection of the Lord, blaming Him for exposing them for what they are. The combination of their great conviction of sin juxtaposing with their own high-minded and prideful perception of themselves causes a maelstrom of contrary stubbornness and results in an inability to change. It is the act of a person clutching on to his claim to fame and faux right standing, and refusing to surrender to someone whom he insists is inferior and an imposter. The inevitable outcome is that one sees himself as better and greater than the Lord Jesus, which can only result in self-worship.
PAUL TELLS IT LIKE IT IS
Christian Zionists are seemingly clueless regarding the teachings of the apostle Paul on this subject, who paid a great price to tell his countrymen the truth. Everywhere he went in the beginning years of his ministry he attempted to reach them first. Some Jews were overjoyed to hear him lay out all the prophetic scriptures before them and prove his case that the Lord Jesus is without doubt the Messiah they had all been waiting for. They accepted this truth with open arms. They repented of their sins, just like those three thousand Jews back on that great day of Pentecost. They were baptized in the name of Messiah Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were still Jews. Paul was still a Jew.
But those Jews who rejected Paul’s teachings, as their associates had rejected John the Immerser and the Lord Himself, were Paul’s greatest enemies. They put out a contract on him early on. Their only answer was murder. There were no greater persecutors than unsaved Jews. But unlike many Christian Zionists, John, the Lord, Paul, and so many others continually showed the great love of God by always trying to reach them. Jesus died for them. What more could He give? Paul was willing to lose his soul for them:
I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel… [Romans 9:1-6]
Thus, many Christian Zionists have failed in showing the love of God by refusing to preach repentance for unsaved Jews, some of whom would readily accept salvation as they always have. The only reason for this must be a different agenda than the one true Gospel of the Lord. It is this different agenda, like so many others, that has “crept in unnoticed” and become surreptitiously established:
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. [Jude 1:4-5]
Jude wrote the above not too long before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. He goes on to remind his readers of what was soon coming by speaking of other fiery judgments of the past and refers to similar equivalents to that which has occurred in Christian Zionism. He then exhorts his readers to follow the real Gospel and not be deceived by those with an alternative agenda:
…They speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. [Jude 1:12-13;16-21]
THE TENDER MERCY OF OUR GOD
Eternal life cannot be earned. None of us is worthy through our own efforts. Until we are born again we remain unregenerate spiritually, regardless of any high standing or great achievements. It is only the grace of the Lord that saves us activated by our faith. Without the shed blood of our Savior there is no salvation. Our salvation then, whether we are Jew or Gentile, is solely an act of undeserved mercy from a compassionate God driven by His great love for all. There is no substitute. There is no other Way.
It’s time that Christian Zionists return to the heart of the Gospel and make a greater effort at evangelizing the unsaved Jews they claim to care so much about.
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. [Hebrews 2:2-4] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on February 20, 2018, in Teaching and tagged Christian Zionism, Jesus is the Messiah, John the Immerser, Lord Jesus, Love is the Fulfillment of the Law, Mercy, Salvation in Jesus, The Prophetic Word, Yehoshua HaMashiach, YHWH-Salvation. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.
Your comments of Christian Zionism are correct! Zionism was never accepted by the early Church fathers. Polycarp, Iranaeas, Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, Athanasius, and Augustine considered any Jewish content, or feature attributed to the Kingdom of God to be heresy of the most deplorable sort. The N.T. Church has always denounced Christian Zionism as heresy.
Thanks for your comment, Roger. I would first like to list a definition of terms.
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, “Zionism is the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, advocated, from its inception, tangible as well as spiritual aims… The term “Zionism” was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum.”
Wikipedia says this: “Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel (roughly corresponding to Canaan, the Holy Land, or the region of Palestine).”
Thus, a Christian Zionist is one who supports Zionism.
Since my article is founded on a New Covenant perspective, I am only interested here in discussing the issue as it relates to the New Covenant writings. From that perspective we must always acknowledge the fact that the original Community of the Lord beginning from the Day of Pentecost until seven to ten years later was composed only of those who were descended in some way from Abraham or who had previously converted and joined the nation of Israel. The Lord Jesus was fully a member of the tribe of Judah, for example. All the original apostles were Israelites (Paul’s term), as were the 120 and 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost. We would term the early Church of that time today as a 100% Jewish movement. There were no Gentiles until several years later. This historical occurrence is listed in Acts 10 with the salvation of the Gentile Cornelius.
There was an obvious divide between Jewish believers and Jewish non-believers and the divide existed before any Gentiles became a part of the Community. The word used for the Lord’s Community in Greek is Ekklesia. The Hebrew word was most likely Qahal. These were translated as “Church.”
For historical perspective, of the original tribes of Israel, the majority were removed from the land seven centuries before the Lord’s arrival. The majority of the remaining three tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi were deported to Babylon in the sixth century BC but allowed to return after 70 years. Most of the time after this, these tribes existed under the authority of greater world powers. The southern kingdom of Judah eventually became Judea prior to the first century AD. Thus, not much was left of the original. What was left was destroyed by the Romans, as predicted by the Lord, in 70AD. The final rebellion came in 132-135 AD with the Bar Kochba Revolt. After that the land of Israel/Judea as a homeland for Jews ceased to exist. There were attempts since then to return and rebuild but they never came to fruition until 1948.
From a New Covenant perspective, the Lord Jesus is the Messiah and the King of kings and there is no reference to a future “Zionism” movement. In reality, many Jewish authorities were against Zionism in the beginning and many remain that way today. Regardless of differences of opinion among Jews and Christians on this subject, the main priority is that everyone get right with God and receive His salvation. All real Christians agree on this.
The Lord Jesus said His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom and would go to the ends of the earth. The Lord’s kingdom is thus not based on geography and never has been. His people are of all nationalities and races, and His kingdom is to exist in all countries all over the world because He wants to reach all people for salvation. His Community is thus composed, according to the New Covenant writers, of both Jews and Gentiles. The apostle Paul said this:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29]
Thank you for your comments, brother.
In fact, the entire epistle of St.Paul to the Galatians deals with the whole matter of Christian Zionist’s infiltrating the Church there.
Actually, they were not Christian Zionists according to the modern definition, but those who insisted on mandating practices that the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 never mandated for Gentiles. They were attempting to add components that would cause a lessening of spiritual freedom. Paul gave a powerful response against their efforts. Thanks again.
The Galatian Church were in immanent danger of being corrupted by Jewish legalism. There were Jews there who were telling the Galatian Gentiles that features of the Old Testament were still in force. They argued that the Jews were still the chosen people of God, that there were both present and future Jewish features to the Kingdom of God, and that the Christians were obliged to undergo circumcision, observe certain Old Testament feast days, and acknowledge Jewish impact and importance in the Kingdom of God. We still have those kind of people in the Church today called “Christian Zionists”!
I know that the Lord is protecting and blessing the nation of Israel because of His covenant with Israel through Abraham and David. But the Jewish people need a relationship with Jesus Christ just like everybody else for them to have a relationship with our heavenly Father.
I was hitchhiking in Montana back in 2004 and this Jewish man from Israel picked me up and gave me a ride from Helena to Garrison, MT. We had a great talk. I did tell him that the term “Christ-killer” used by anti-Semites to describe Jews for probably hundreds of years was false. I told him that I was a Christ-killer and that everybody on this planet that had ever lived was a Christ-killer. My sins/our sins nailed Christ to the cross, so we all killed Christ.
(My guess is that the reason many Christian Zionists are hesitant to tell Jewish people they need to repent and turn to Jesus like everybody else is because of the horrible persecution of Jews throughout the centuries by Christians and non-Christians.)
We had really great fellowship. So we were talking and then I asked an incredibly stupid question. I asked, “Have you heard of the miracles of Israel’s 1967 and 1973 Wars?”
He exclaimed, “Of course, I have heard of the miracles of the 1967 and 1973 Wars!” It was pretty funny. (It would be like asking a Russian if he spoke Russian.)
I later sent him a copy of my first book; he sent me this letter:
A Letter from Israel
To the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world
By Tim Shey
Death and Resurrection
Alpha and Omega
You shall know the truth
Offering for our sin
Friend of thieves and outcasts
Adam’s curse is broken
The truth shall set you free
One death for so many
Not a single bone was broken
Enemy is vanquished
Early you shall seek Me
No more tears and weeping
Today is now eternal
Leviticus 17: 11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
Isaiah 53: 5: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Revelation 1: 5: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”
Thanks Tim. Great comment!
While it is true that unbelieving Jews have suffered persecution at the hands of Unreal Christians, and this has caused many to reject any form of Christianity, many people have suffered religious persecution the world over by any number of false religions. But no group has suffered from religious persecution as much as real Christians. And no group has as its Lord and Master one who suffered persecution to the point of a violent undeserved death. While it is true that He died for our sins in the attempt to restore us all to right relationship with Him and we are each responsible for our sins, and that means we are each responsible for Him having to go to the cross, there was without doubt a certain contingent responsible for his death at that time. It didn’t happen in a vacuum. That contingent wanted Him dead for a reason and it must be identified. It was the same contingent that was responsible for the early persecution of believers. One must ask the question why they did what they did.
Regarding the original covenant with Abraham, the Lord Jesus instituted a New Covenant in which there was no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile. “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6).
Blessings to you my friend.
I’ve not heard of “Christian Zionism.” This is very interesting to me. I cannot imagine that those who claim to be Christians would not understand that all must come to God through Christ. Thanks for your post; you have encouraged me to dig deeper. God bless you!
Thanks Lynn. Many Christian Zionists are very well meaning and I understand their reticence to invoke the Gospel and thus cause even more relational problems between Jews and Christians that they are trying to resolve. They have formed many groups, some with huge numbers of members, for the sake of fellowship over their common Zionism cause, and they don’t want to preach the Gospel because it will likely dissolve said groups. Yet, the number one priority for every Christian is the following:
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. [1Corinthians 1:21-24]
We must ask, therefore, what the underlying reason for the movement is if it tends to shun the Gospel and not seek the salvation of unsaved Jews. Now, there is a growing movement of Messianic believers in Israel, and they preach the Lord Jesus and witness about Him every day. Many of these Messianic believers are Jews. They are having an impact, even to the point of receiving a level of persecution. I pray and hope that their work continues and I believe it will. Wouldn’t it be great if a Great Awakening came to Israel and the nation turned to the Lord Jesus?
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Yes! My husband and I are involved in supporting Messianic believers in Israel. So important! 🙂
Thank you Lynn. I certainly agree. Be Blessed!
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Excellent. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.”
No doubt the writer of this proverb experienced repentance thoroughly. Thank you again.
Thank you, Gary.
this is a very unbalanced article, which lacks research and presents a poor exegesis of the scriptures. I’m not a Zionist, but this type of amature handling of the scriptures is exactly why we ended up with the Holocaust. You sound just like Martin Luther here. The fact that Jesus is the savior of all men does not invalidate covenant promises that God has made to national Israel, and this is clearly illustrated by Paul, whom you quote liberally here, and yet fail to quote him on that important point. There are no covenants that God ever made with the nations. All the promises of God that exist for non-Jews are by virtue of the suffering and chastisements of His chosen people, and we are not to be triumphant over their suffering, but support them through it. This post has a horrible, dogmatic tone. I do agree with your assessment that the concept of “bilateral ecclesiology”, which you don’t name but speak to, is false. However, Paul describes the situation as a mystery that will be resolved at the end of days. It’s best that you not try to “de-mystify” it with your own brand of hate-speech. It’s unbecoming.
Okay David. You have been coming here and reading my posts for a long time. You have liked many of my posts. Your have made positive comments on my posts. I do not recall you ever making a negative comment. You can clearly see that many people have not only liked this particular post but have supported me in so many others. My readers are very diverse, from different backgrounds, well read and intelligent, and when you make these completely unfounded charges it is no reflection on me alone but on the thousands of readers and subscribers on this site. By calling me all these names and attempting to malign my knowledge, intelligence, and character, you are doing the same to them. I am not going to go line by line and attempt to answer each one of your charges because there is no point to it. Suffice it to say you think I am a moron and your opinion will not change.
There is an infection with a faux understanding that complicates and obfuscates the New Covenant Scriptures and New Covenant itself, which is otherwise very simple: One either accepts the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus for the payment of one’s sins or one does not. One either accepts the Lord Jesus as the one and only Messiah or one does not. Regardless of any other “mystery,” that is not a mystery.
Starting from the very beginning of the Lord’s ministry, that was the choice. That was still the choice after the resurrection. It was still the choice at Pentecost. It was the same choice throughout the entire history of the early Church, much of which was recorded in the Book of Acts. And it is the same choice now.
Regardless of what terminology we are going to use regarding whatever levels of history going all the way back to Abraham, whether Yahwists, Israelites, Judahites, Judeans, etc, and attempting to be as respectful as possible of terminology used at different times and eras, the New Covenant Scriptures primarily use the term Ioudaios to refer to Judeans and it has been translated in most versions as Jews. So for the sake of eliminating any confusion and to show the exact distinction that the apostle Paul used as translated and that which Christians are familiar with, let’s use the terms Jew and Gentile as referenced in Scripture. According to that distinction, every single one of the 120 in the Upper Room, including all the apostles and Mary, the Lord’s mother, were Jews. Every single member of the early Community of the Lord for somewhere in the range of seven to ten years until the Gentile Cornelius in Acts 10 were Jews including Hellenistic Jews. The entire movement was a Jewish movement. There were Jews who accepted the Lord Jesus as Messiah and Savior and Jews who did not. The same dynamic is in play throughout the Book of Acts and all through Paul’s writings. The Lord went to the Jew first and then the Gentiles. Paul started out going to the Jew first and then the Gentiles. I honor the Jews just as the Lord honored the Jews. To do otherwise is asinine.
Now, where is the hate speech for Jews? I am not going to sit back and have you throw these ridiculous wild accusations at me when I am one of a minority of Christians who have always supported this truth. I got very heavily into the Jewish Roots Movement in the early 1980s, David, close to its very beginning. That was 35 years ago. I had a great interest in looking fully into the Jewish/Hebrew background of the Lord and the early Church. I bought books. I attended seminars and conferences. I read the writings of and attended lectures by Roy Blizzard and Dwight Pryor and David Bivin and others. Dwight Pryor was a friend. I am currently subscribed to the Jerusalem Perspective, which is a great site and resource, and try to keep track of all the new work David Bivin and his group are doing. I still have all my books from back then and many teaching series on tape. I started getting into Messianic music from that time and own recordings by the group Lamb and one of my favorite songs by them is “Sacrifice Lamb.” Others thought I was a little off for getting into all that and wondered how I could believe all that “Jewish stuff” and listen to “that music.” In all of my writings I honor the Jewish perspective, Jewish roots, the fact that salvation is of the Jews, and that the Messiah Himself is Jewish in this respect.
It is certainly true that many Christians historically have tried to eliminate all things Jewish from Christianity and that started early on, even to the point of removing the Lord’s great Name, the Name above every name, from water baptism, while I have done just the opposite. It is not my fault that unbelieving Jews, as opposed to believing Jews, have rejected the Messiah. That is historical fact and it continues to be historical fact. If persecution keeps people from accepting the Lord Jesus, then what about all the persecution suffered by Jewish believers?
The Lord obviously loves all unbelievers and gave His life so they can be saved from sin and He wants everyone, including unbelieving Jews, to be restored to right relationship with Him. I am eternally grateful that He loved me before I ever loved Him or I would never have been saved. I was raised a Christian but never had a true born again experience until someone loved me enough to witness to me and tell me all about the love of the Lord and that I could have a close relationship with Him. The Lord saved me from my sins and I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I am eternally grateful and thank the Lord every day for this otherwise impossible occurrence. I will not let you destroy the great salvation He gave me and my ongoing walk with Him by making me out to be some kind of idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I suppose you qualify yourself to do this because you are so brilliant? Maybe I and my readers are not anywhere near as knowledgeable and intelligent as you, but we know this: The Lord Jesus Messiah gave His life so we can be set free from sin and live. Anyone with a measurable IQ understands that.
Since you have accused me of hate speech then you are going to have to accuse the Lord Jesus of hate speech which is absolutely ludicrous. So who is the real hater, David? This site is visited and read by a great many loving Christians from all backgrounds and we support each other. We certainly do not agree on everything and sometimes people call me out on something but we usually always work it out because we believe in love first and also in dialogue. But no one has ever attacked this site and attacked me personally the way Christian Zionists have or the way you have, even though you say you are not a Zionist. No one. It is not even close.
I have been here for almost seven years and 99% of the time it has been a wonderful experience engaging with many wonderful people. There are people who subscribe to this site and read my posts faithfully who do not necessarily believe all that I believe but they remain faithful anyway and I remain faithful to them. We love each other. They don’t call me names and make ridiculous false accusations. They don’t malign my character. To do such is a complete violation of the Golden Rule, one of the two great commandments as referenced by the Lord. I NEVER do this to anyone on any other site if I don’t see everything the way they may see it. Love must always come first and we must be willing to understand that maybe we don’t know everything and try to be humble about it. It also includes trying to maintain fellowship with fellow Christian believers who have given their entire lives to the Lord Jesus. Is not the Lord trying to create ONE loving and connected family? How is that ever going to happen if Christians major on division and hate and name-calling and try to ruin reputations and engage in the destruction of what could otherwise be loving fellowship regardless of not believing everything exactly the same? You will notice that I never named any names in the article but only referenced issues.
I wish you nothing but love, David, and extend the right hand of fellowship to you if you want it and I forgive you for your false charges made against me, but I will not stand for this. Everybody needs to get right with the Lord Jesus, both Jew and Gentile, today and always. It was that way in the very beginning and it remains that way now. I would hope that we can at least agree on that.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—for He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”—giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. [2Corinthians 5:18-6:10]
Blessings to you.
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I’m sorry you felt attacked by me. I was not attacking you personally or calling you names. I was calling you out for an aggressive, attacking, unfounded approach to a subject that I don’t think you represented in a proper light, or with scriptural balance, as I stated. There was zero character assassination in my comments. As you said, I have supported many of the things you’ve written in the time I’ve followed you, and have agreed heartily with you at times and have said so. In this case, I feel you are completely out of line with your take on this issue, both scripturally and in your tone. So if you are going to thank me for my support when I agree, you should take me seriously when I take issue, because I’m not on here to make enemies or attack people. I do apologize if I came across in a way that offended you in this manner. I own my part, but I was not intending my comments to be personal. I was attacking the write-up.
Thanks David. I accept your apology, as it is. But you can’t have it both ways. You made some very serious charges that you are not withdrawing. My article will lead to a Jewish Holocaust? Are you serious?
I have written books. I have written very long articles. But this venue does not allow for that. Articles must be presented in somewhat reduced formats and the points therein cannot be fully expostulated. That I must use a style to drive the point home is not unlike spoken methods. I knew this subject would be a tough one but felt it was time to begin addressing it.
There is a problem in the Zionist movement. This problem did not exist so much in the early Messianic movement which strove to reach unsaved Jews more so than in other ministries, precisely because much if not most of it was driven by formerly unsaved Jews. I remember groups such as Jews for Jesus being castigated as engaging in an incorrect evangelizing activity. I knew nothing about their inner workings in particular but only know many of those early Messianic groups were attempting to reach, purely out of love, unsaved Jews.
I am associated with Messianic ministries in Israel. I have met and corresponded with some key people in that area. Some, if not most of these, are Jews who have accepted the Lord. I receive ministry mail keeping me abreast of what goes on there. In the last two decades or so, a very recent time, we have seen the establishment of Messianic communities and ministries in Jerusalem and other locations. I remember when the first Messianic ministry was established in Nazareth not too many years ago, the first one since the first century. That’s a pretty big occurrence! All of these ministries are trying to reach unsaved Jews and are succeeding. They have also received their share of persecution, some of it severe.
The main point I am making in this article is that we should do no different than the Lord Jesus did, or Paul, or Peter, or the other apostles, or the early Church, in trying to reach everybody with the Gospel message, including unsaved Jews. If we differ on anything else I said or the way I said it, that is beyond the point. I did not write the article to be offensive but I think we both know the Gospel itself is offensive. If my post appears “dogmatic” or “horrible” or “poor” or “unbalanced” or “amateurish” or the other negative things you said, it is only you so far who saw it that way. I am not discounting your opinion but only defending myself against false charges.
What I really think is going on here is that I hit a nerve and that nerve involves trying to reach unsaved Jews with the Gospel and not allowing them to think differently of themselves by being above and beyond the Gospel. The better person you should argue with on this are formerly unsaved Jews who have received the Lord’s salvation and are actively involved in attempting to reach other unsaved Jews. The first time I was witnessed to I considered the people doing the witnessing as beneath me and not as intelligent or knowledgeable as I was and that I was above them. I was initially very nice and polite but took it as offensive when they continued. I later got a second chance but in the interim the Lord had to do some serious humbling of me to prepare me for the Gospel seed.
One’s heart of stone must be changed to a heart more tender in order to receive the Gospel. One must break up the fallow ground of one’s heart. One’s heart must be circumcised. This is OT Scripture as well but obviously still applies. Once a person or group of persons has so castigated the Lord Jesus that they have no respect for Him whatsoever and refuse to consider His teachings it proves their heart has become hardened. But it is hardened by their own choices and actions through their own unbelief.
It was Paul himself who said that some of the branches of the olive tree were broken off because of unbelief, and that a “partial hardening” (NASV) had happened to Israel at that time. This word is from the Greek porosis and means “a covering with a callous, or figurative blindness.” It also means “obtuseness of intellectual discernment or mental dullness.” Paul was in no way saying that no more Jews would be saved or that it was no longer possible for Jews to be saved until some non-defined “last time.” There was an ongoing process begun by the Lord to reach all Jews with the Gospel.
Paul said only some branches were broken off, not all, and that is evident because so many Jews, perhaps hundreds of thousands, were accepting the Lord Jesus. Paul had been having success at many of the synagogues he visited where he preached and ministered. Some Jews believed. Some did not. Gentiles had already been coming in throughout this time. There is nothing in the New Covenant Scriptures that says anything has changed since then. We are still operating by the same rules.
There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written. For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Romans 2:9-29]
Blessings to you.
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I also want you to understand that I completely believe you to be sincere in your statements here, and that you in no way wish to be needlessly offensive or in any way anti-semitic. I understand. I’m trying to point out something that I think you’ve overlooked, is all. But perhaps we will not agree.
I will also add that I think you have a view of the gospel that drips with Replacement Theology, but I wonder if you see that. I don’t view the gospel of the kingdom the way you frame it in your reply to me. I agree with some things you said, but disagree with many other. Perhaps a more constructive approach for both of us, as experienced bloggers who have been friendly to one another, is to engage in a civil literary debate. I will allow you to set the rules of the engagement and decide upon the specific topic if you agree. We could make this a series. I believe I could offer some balance and perspective that may be thought-provoking, and perhaps you would learn, in a peaceful way, why your post brought forth a strong reaction from me.
Thank you for the invitation, David, but I am not interested in a debate. I have been around a long time, have heard all the different arguments and messages, and have decided years ago to limit myself to studying the New Covenant Scriptures. I have very little time and what time I do have is dedicated to ongoing projects and earning a living. I have included your responses here and anyone reading this may go check out your site if they wish. Blessings to you.