26 Comments

Israel and the Church: (Part 1)


I’ve been doing a lot of reading this week on the topic of Israel, the Church, and Christian Zionism. One book in particular, Christian Zionism; Road – Map to Armageddon by Stephen Sizer, has been very interesting due not only to the author’s research but to the numerous quotes contained in the book from a number of Christian Zionists. Here are 3 picked at random, 

Because the jewish people does in some mysterious way bear God’s name and witness…Christianity was clearly not designed to replace Judaism, instead….there was a continuing covenant with the jewish people…Christians need to lean from observant jews.  (Dr. Margaret  Brearley, Jerusalem in Judaism and for Christian Zionists)

Trying to convert jews is a waste of time…jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced by Christianity. (John Hagee, Houston Chronicle, 30 April 1988)

The Church has sought to settle itself here; but it has no place on the earth . . [Though] making a most constructive parenthesis, it forms no part of the regular order of God’s earthly plans, but is merely an interruption of them to give a fuller character and meaning to the Jews. (John Nelson Darby, The character of office in the present dispensation)

(My intention is to include more quotes in part 2)

There have also been a number of articles I’ve read as well. Adrian Birks has written a paper, Israel and the Church – Fulfillment of Promise, in which he explores Dispensational Zionism, Classical Zionism, and Fulfillment Theology. If you are not already aware of the differences in the three perspectives, perhaps this small series will be of some benefit.

 Israel and the Church (Part 1)

…there is considerable diversity regarding the place of ethnic Israel in Christian theology. We will explore this diversity using the three categories of dispensational Zionism, classical Zionism, and Fulfilment Theology accepting that there is a range of views even under these headings. 

Dispensational Zionism

Dispensationalism as a system began in the UK with J.N. Darby in the 19th Century although was popularised in the US early in the 20th Century by Cyrus Scofield and his Reference Bible. Under this system there are seven ages or ‘dispensations’ where God relates to humanity in a different way after the previous way had failed. Thus concerning Israel and the Church, David Pawson explains “[the sixth age] is referred to as ‘the church age’ (from the first coming of Jesus to the second, and mainly gentile) and [the seventh age is] the ‘kingdom age’ (the thousand years of his ‘millennial’ reign, after his second coming and mainly Jewish.” He continues that “[Darby] made a division between Israel and the church. That is, he saw no continuity between the physical people of God (all Jewish) and the spiritual people of God (some Jews but mostly Gentiles). Believing their separateness would extend into eternity, when the Jews would inhabit the new earth and Christians the new heaven, he called them respectively God’s ‘earthly’ and ‘heavenly’ peoples.”15

Modern writers like John Hagee continue this idea drawing a parallel from the promise of Abraham:

the church is the stars in the sky and Israel is the sand on the shore, since “stars are heavenly, not earthly. They represent the church, spiritual Israel. The ‘sand of the shore’ on the other hand, is earthly and represents an earthly kingdom with a literal Jerusalem as the capital city. Both stars and sand exist at the same time, and neither ever replaces the other. Just so, the nation of Israel and spiritual Israel, the church, exist at the same time and do not replace each other.”16

(This interpretation is despite explicit Biblical evidence to the contrary! See Neh 9:23.)

This understanding of the millennial age, which follows the rapture of the church into heaven and when Jesus will reign on the earth from Jerusalem as King of the Jews, means that the unfulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament made to the ancient Israelites are interpreted quite literally and remain in force for their Jewish descendants today.

Such literal fulfillment is very apparent from the numerous Zionist writers who make bold and extremely dogmatic claims about OT prophecies being worked out in contemporary events. For instance, Derek Prince writes, concerning Jeremiah 16:15-16

‘I will send many fishermen … and afterward I will send for many hunters’: “All this was exactly fulfilled in the years following 1933. First, God sent ‘fishermen’… who warned the Jews of Germany… After that, in fulfilment of his prophetic warning, God released the ‘hunters’ – the Nazis.”18 And again of Isaiah 43:5-6 ‘… I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth’

Prince makes the claim that,

“[the ‘north’ is] the western half of the former Soviet Union [and the ‘south’ is] the eastern half of Africa. In the years since 1989 there has been a dramatic fulfillment of these particular prophecies. By the end of 1991, almost 400,000 Jews had returned to Israel from the former Soviet Union and 20,000 from Ethiopia.”19

Similarly Lance Lambert asserts that the promise in Ezekiel 36:8-9 ‘But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home…. and you shall be tilled and sown’, has,

“come to pass in our own day: the Lord had spoken it and the Lord has done it” since “the land has been tilled again, and vineyards, orchards and gardens have once more been planted.” 20

Such speculative dogmatism is rife among dispensationalists who do not even qualify their assertions with a ‘might it be that this fulfills that’. Such authoritarian claims have done little to help the dialogue on Israel since to question their opinion is tantamount to heresy and anti-Semitism.21

This literal fulfillment of Scripture in ethnic Israel has resulted in Christian Zionists investing huge amounts of energy and finance into supporting Israel supposedly in order that they may speed the end of the age (and the battle of Armageddon!), the return of Christ and the new heavens and earth. Some of this support seems extremely misguided, if not downright foolish, and, as Sizer points out, could be a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”22 For instance, at the inaugural event of Christians United for Israel, and before four US Senators and the Israeli Ambassador to the US, John Hagee declared,

The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive attack against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which would lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and the Second Coming of Christ.”23   

Such talk is inflammatory to say the least and while it might please militant Jews, the alignment with the broader Zionist agenda is a substantial hindrance to the evangelisation of Arabic peoples. As David Wagner points out:

[through television and radio broadcasts] Christianity is projected into a predominantly Muslim world as a Western, Zionist religious movement rather than an indigenous Arab religious community that predates the arrival of Islam. When the identity of Christianity becomes that of a Western, Zionist fundamentalism, local Palestinian Christians (and other Middle Eastern Christians) find their identity and historic continuity under suspicion.”24 

Thus, extreme forms of Christian Zionism emphasize a particular understanding of OT prophecies and promises for Israel while riding roughshod over the great commission to ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations …’ (Mt 28:19)

In addition and perhaps most fundamentally, little or no allowance seems to be made by dispensationalists for how the NT reinterprets the OT which is surely a guiding hermeneutical principle for Christians.

For example, Prince writes

“We are left with only two possible conclusions: either these [OT] predictions are to be fulfilled in the destiny of Israel, or God has uttered prophecies that will never be fulfilled.”25

Prince, and many Zionists like him, leaves no room for interpreting the OT in the way that the NT writers seem to do so. Repeatedly the patterns and types of the OT are seen in the NT to be fulfilled in Christ and in the Church: the Passover sacrifice, the Law, the temple, the city, the priesthood, the children of Abraham, the ‘people belonging to God’, one could go on and on. Even if one concedes at this point that there may be some continued fulfillment in ethnic Israel as believed by non-dispensational Zionists, the NT sees the primary fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant in and through the Church.

It is my belief that the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant in Israel and through the Mosaic Law was ‘but a shadow of the heavenly things’ (Heb 8:5 10:1) which has been ‘rendered obsolete’ (Heb 8:13). It is worth noting at this point that many Zionists are confusing in their terminology since they refer to the Abrahamic Covenant as ‘the Old Covenant’ whereas the Bible uses this to denote the Mosaic Covenant.26

It may now be apparent that this view inevitably results in a positive view of Israel and often a negative, or at least critical, view of the church.This is not at all surprising since at the heart of the dispensational system is the view that each age comes to an end because it fails to deliver what God had hoped. Only in the final Millennium, the Kingdom (Jewish) Age, will people relate to God in the way he intended they should. Thus writings by dispensationalists are generally pessimistic about the future of this age (See for instance, the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye) and critical of the church in general, making little of Paul’s theology in Romans and Ephesians of the equality and unity of Jews and gentiles in one magnificent community of God.

Some have gone so far as to extend the dual fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant (physical Israel, spiritual Church) to the point where Judaism stands alongside Christianity as an equally valid means of being ‘saved’, albeit only for the Jews.27

Krister Stendahl makes the claim that in Romans 11,

“Paul’s reference to God’s mysterious plan [in 11:25] is an affirmation of a God-willed coexistence between Judaism and Christianity in which the missionary urge to convert Israel is held in check.”28

In fact, I believe Paul’s point to be the very opposite: Judaism has failed as a means of gaining righteousness which can only be obtained, by Jew and Gentile alike, through faith in Christ. Thus Tom Wright concludes,

“The irony [of the two covenant idea] is that the late twentieth century, in order to avoid anti-Semitism, has advocated a position (the non-evangelisation of the Jews) which Paul regards precisely as anti-Semitic.”29 

Finally, it must be noted that a new group of dispensationalists, calling themselves ‘progressive dispensationalists’, has arisen in more recent years who have distanced themselves from a number of aspects of popular and traditional dispensationalism and are gaining a wide following.30 Grudem notes a number of key distinctions made by progressive dispensationalists:

“They would not see the church as a parenthesis … but as the first step towards the establishment of the Kingdom of God… God does not have two separate purposes for Israel and the church… [they] would see no distinction between Israel and the church in the future eternal state… [and] the church will reign with Christ in glorified bodies on earth during the millennium.”31

However, it is difficult to see how they avoid separate purposes for Church and Israel since they maintain that the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning Israel will be fulfilled in both ethnic Israel and in the church in quite different ways.32 In practice this progressive position is not far removed from classical Zionism which we will now explore.

To be continued..

26 comments on “Israel and the Church: (Part 1)

  1. As I see the situation in the Middle East, the problem isn’t Zionism. The people of Israel have a right to a land. The problem is Christian Zionism. Israel is allowed, even to the point of being absolved from wrongdoing based on the dispensational belief structure.

    Recently, I’ve been forwarded information suggesting that Christian Palestinians are not saved because they dare oppose the nation of Israel and it’s rights as ‘God’s chosen people’.

    I don’t know when someone needs to take a serious look at their theology, but when someone prefers an unsaved anyone over one of their brothers in Christ, I’d say that was the time.

    • Recently, I’ve been forwarded information suggesting that Christian Palestinians are not saved because they dare oppose the nation of Israel and it’s rights as ‘God’s chosen people’.

      That is heart breaking.. 😦

      Did that ridiculous suggestion come from a ministry here in America?

    • Steve and PJ, though I’m very sad to hear about this suggestion coming from this fellow from England, I’m not all that surprised. I’ll share real quick what I experienced just last week on Facebook. I’m a member of a group called “Christians United for Peace” (CUFP), an open group. One of our Palestinian sisters in Christ, who is also a member of that group, asked me to join another group, “Palestinian Christians,” in order to help them out as they were facing opposition.

      When I joined, I couldn’t believe what I saw. They had been flooded by Christian Zionists, a number of whom openly admitted that they HAD BEEN SENT there by John Hagee’s ministry, “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI)! They were viciously attacking the Palestinian Christians in that group, telling them they were actually Muslims masquerading as Christians, that they worship a different Jesus, that they were on their way to hell, that they didn’t belong in Israel, that they were “Jew-haters”, “anti-semitic,” and a bunch of other names that I better not repeat here. It was just about the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. I jumped in to some of the discussions, and tried to reason with them, but they were absolutely militant and very much out of control, and there were too many of them. I have to say, though, that a lot of the Palestinian believers in that group are quite resilient. That, at least, was good to see.

  2. No, it was actually an English guy, but his ideas have been enthusiastically embraced by the Pre Trib Research Center. I’ll email you some stuff.

  3. I wonder what Christian Zionist do with Matthew 21:43 (Jesus speaking) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Read the parable right before Jesus spoke this)

    This nation consist of both Jews and Gentiles as Peter stated in 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation……

  4. Great article PJ, I think that I have come to a point where I would find nailing jello to the wall a pleasurable experience compared to debating a dispensationalist. Without a doubt , one of the best days of my life was when I finally kissed my misguided notions of dispensationalism goodbye, and …. the scriptures finally started making sense to me. What a lot of damage that scoundrel Darby is responsible for heh.
    Of course , all this is just another diversion from the glorious truth that its all about Christ, that He is the new covenant that all believers are grafted in to, jew or gentile. How simple is that to comprehend, except of course , if you are a dispensationalist.

    • Without a doubt , one of the best days of my life was when I finally kissed my misguided notions of dispensationalism goodbye, and …. the scriptures finally started making sense to me.

      ray, you make such an important point! Like you, once i began to honestly look (admittedly with some fear) at what i had been taught and believed for over 25 years (dispensationalism) and realized i could no longer adhere to the teachings, scriptures which had puzzled me for years, made sense.

      Hallelujah!

  5. This really does lay it all out. “Christian Zionism” represents the fruition of the dispensationalist heresy and constitutes a widespread falling away from the faith of our fathers and the gospel of Christ. Here is something only introduced a few decades ago which is pointing believers, not to Christ, but to the Antichrist. The great deceiver will sit in the temple of God and desecrate it with the full approval of the “church”. It is presented as a sort of synergy between an earthly kingdom and a heavenly kingdom.

    But the scriptures present a completely different picture. They present a virtual war between the heavenly Kingdom and the earthly kingdom. The ONLY way around this clear teaching of scripture of course is to pull out of context and conveniently patch together a small handful of scriptures to forge the chiliastic doctrine of “millennial reign”. The whole Darby formula is an exercise in “Bible code” interpretation that is not that far afield from what Harold Camping is engaging in, and just as diabolical. All of this flies in the face of the clear teaching of scripture regarding the decadence and hopelessness of the physical realm versus the permanence and glory of the spiritual realm.

    The hope of the Jews as presented in scripture is that their eyes will be opened and that they will recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah and thus find their way to the Heavenly Kingdom. The hope of the Jews is NOT that they will end up in some second class 1000 year kingdom on this earth under a “Jesus” who corresponds precisely to the “Jesus” they were expecting IN THEIR BLINDNESS at His first coming. That WILL happen, of course, but the “Jesus” who will fulfill that expectation will be the Antichrist and the kingdom that will fulfill that expectation will be cut short long before 1000 years pass.

    The New Testament Apostles lovingly confronted the Jews over their false “earthly kingdom” expectations regarding the Messiah. Much of the church today instead panders to those false exceptions and attempts to reinforce them. That is a twisting of the Gospel in our day that is destroying not only the hope of the Jews, but the hope of the Gentiles as well.

    • The hope of the Jews as presented in scripture is that their eyes will be opened and that they will recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah and thus find their way to the Heavenly Kingdom.

      Amen George. Even at the onset of the movement, Christian Zionists were more intent in getting the Jewish people into the land then into the Kingdom of God.

  6. Brother Miller thank you for doing this series. I am just starting to find out about Christian Zionism and it’s many errors. Please continue because I am learning!

    God Bless……

    • brdavision, im so glad this first part blessed you! I plan on posting part 2 later today.. (my grand-daughter graduates today, so it may be in the evening)

      Under the tab, ‘ologies’ at the top of the page, i’ve tried to collect the links to other very good teachings and articles on Christian Zionism and/or dispensationalism. If time allows maybe you’d like to check out a few.

  7. Thanks for the link to the site on 70 questions dispensationalist can’t answer.I found some of these questions very interesting.The author of this site makes some good points.

    • I would be really cautious with what is taught on that site. While they certainly make some good points in regard to dispensationalism, they are way off the track doctrinally on other points. For example (and this is ONLY one example), they teach that the second coming of the Lord happened “invisibly” as a spiritual coming and that there will be no future coming of the Lord for His Church (“World Without End”). Many of their listed questions are designed to cast doubt upon historic Christian teaching (which, of course, dispensationalism is not). The doctrine of the *future* *physical* second coming of our Lord has been taught from the earliest days of the Church beginning with Justin Martyr, thus demonstrating that the earliest church did *not* believe that the second coming of Jesus occurred during apostolic times. So while there is value to their critique of dispensationalism, there is also poison in the honey. Beware!

  8. Just wanted to say thanks for your stance against the errors of dispensationalism, and that it is encouraging to me to see a gradual rise in the number of Christian bloggers becoming aware of this theology.

    I don’t know if it’s permitted to leave a link or not, but a great resource I’ve come across to aid those who find themselves becoming aware of the errors of dispensational premillennialism, is the website of Kim Riddlebarger (co-host of White Horse Inn). http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com

    To be honest I personally found it a little overwhelming when I woke up to the errors of this theology, especially when I became aware of just how huge a standing it has in modern Christian thinking, and I needed simple and sound assurance of Scriptural truth on the matter. This I found in huge amounts from Riddlebarger, who freely offers a series of lectures based on the teachings of his book “A Case for Amillennialism”. Well worth dropping by for a strong dose of clarity, common sense, and sound scriptural exogesis.

    God bless you and prosper your ministry my brother,

    John.

  9. All of my friends are Christians.
    None of them care about Israel, (as a whole, in their life).
    They care about America and pray (here and there) for the peace of Israel.
    Not everyone that supports Israel (with moral support) is under disp. theory, they just morally support it because they feel it is the right thing to do–end of story.

  10. To David Ben Moshe: You are correct. This is what we are arguing.The nation of Israel today has humanitarian rights as all others do. We are to seek that all nations are decent towards one another and are to pray for all men per 1 Timothy 2:1, but to say that natural Israel is God’s chosen special people, while they reject Jesus is a down right lie. No one outside of Christ is in covenant with God.

    To George Mitchell: I appreciate the advice, but if you would click my name you would go to my web site and see that I have a huge site, blog, Facebook fan Page, one can follow me on Vodpod, etc…and you will see that I do not teach that Christ has come back yet and while reading thru the 70 questions at work the other day, I told my helper that some of the questions towards the end spoke as if Christ has already returned.

    But this is where we use discernment in all that we read. We do not necessarily throw out all the parts of what someone has written just because they err in certain areas. If we did that then we would never read anyone.

  11. At the end of the day one would hope that after reviewing, discussing and listening to different perspectives that simple truth that cannot be argued would rise to bring understanding. But as is common among men, when truth becomes too painfully obvious to accept one denies the evidence by arguing with another to avoid what should be considered a blessing.

    Dispensational views are fundamentally wrong because they rely upon the false foundation that true Israel is a matter of bloodlines rather than the blood of Jesus Christ. As a result, since the foundation is a lie, the teaching will lead to another lie and on it goes.

    A-millennial teaching is also built upon suspect evidence since the Word of God has become secondary to the wit and imagination of men. While dispensation teachers pick and choose text to support their point of view and in many cases ignore the written word, the same can be said for the Post Millennium thought.

    But rather than coming together to fairly and honestly examine all text, both sides attack one another’s position to justify their own. To demonstrate by scripture that a particular view is in error is a good thing for all, but to ignore the mote in thine own eye does not make a case for truth. And further, there are many teachings within both the Pre and Post millennium camp that are sound doctrine but they are buried beneath the overall vision of each chosen view.

    If the end result of a teaching is in error, then one must be willing to go back and reevaluate the entire study and be willing to find the foundation that took the doctrine in the wrong direction. I suggest that one investigate the Book of Daniel once again to determine where a specific error may be found.

    For example, I do not care what an early writer had to say about the prophecies of Daniel since the book itself says in chapter 12 that the vision is shut up and sealed up until the time of the end. Therefore, any explanation of Daniel’s visions are at best conjecture and speculation and one’s understanding of the prophecy will not become evident until the events described are seen by those living at that time.

    Second, Daniel does offer a small clue as to when one may know that the book is unsealed for those living at the time when the prophet describes events taking place in the “LATTER DAYS” (Daniel 2:28 & 10:14). This specific phrase is also used in the Book of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Hosea and each tell a very specific story. To understand Daniel, one must understand the meaning of the phrase the latter days or latter years and determine how the events described fit into his prophecies.

    While some in the dispensation state that the person who causes the sacrifices and oblations to cease is the anti-Christ, other views claim it was Jesus Christ who stopped the sacrifices and oblations when He rose from the dead (Daniel 9:27). But Daniel also writes in chapter 11:31 that the anti-Christ will take away the daily sacrifice and place the abomination that maketh desolate. Does this mean that the dispensation teaching is correct? No. But this illustrates that there are merits to both the Pre and Post positions that could reveal the whole vision if brought together for examination.

    But of course this will never happen for two very important reasons: one, the arrogance and disrespect of men towards God’s Word will prevent a fair examination because few will trust what His Book says. And two, the heart. The common motive behind both doctrines is fear. The dispensation crowd created a teaching that removes them from the discomfort of tribulation, persecution, suffering, loss, death and witnessing. The Post Millennium also conveniently moves past those undesirable prophecies to avoid having to deal with them.

    And last, too many people do not have a loving relationship with God because if they did they would not fear what is coming. Too many Christians love what God has and can do for them, but do not know Him at all. If they did, they would pray as Jesus Christ did in John 17:15 that they would remain in this world. Why? So that they can appreciate God’s work in their lives, So they can serve Him by reaching others with the truth and third, by being willing to be the example when God is glorified.

    • While some in the dispensation state that the person who causes the sacrifices and oblations to cease is the anti-Christ, other views claim it was Jesus Christ who stopped the sacrifices and oblations when He rose from the dead (Daniel 9:27). But Daniel also writes in chapter 11:31 that the anti-Christ will take away the daily sacrifice and place the abomination that maketh desolate.

      You know Dave, i was only recently thinking about what one dispensational doctrine led to my taking a serious look at all dispensationalist teachings: and then i remembered, it was this one concerning a future rebuilt temple with re-instituted daily sacrifices, and desecration. Even as one who had for 25 years honestly believed them-self a dispensationalist, i could never quite accept it as scriptural.

      In fact the more i prayerfully studied the topic the more convinced i became that it just isn’t there.

      A couple years ago i posted about it here: A future rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem (research)

  12. I am very impressed with this website and enjoy reading the many comments.

    I have read Stephen Sizer’s books and strongly recommend them. I also recommend another book—“Rapture, the end times error that leaves the Bible behind,” by David Currie. It is one that I have read three times and will continue to re-read for the rest of my life. He was raised on dispensationalism and left it. He knows the Bible inside and out as well as history. I can’t recommend this book enough.

    I worry about how American foreign policy in the Middle East is being driven by Christian Zionists. It seems that anyone who wants to run for President has to first make a trip to Israel to get the blessing of the Likud Party. Then it’s an invitation to AIPAC to get financial help.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation Mary, i’ll check it out!

      I worry about how American foreign policy in the Middle East is being driven by Christian Zionists. It seems that anyone who wants to run for President has to first make a trip to Israel to get the blessing of the Likud Party. Then it’s an invitation to AIPAC to get financial help.

      Mary, i don’t believe there is any doubt that M.E. American foreign policy has been and continues to be heavily influenced by a particular political segment within Israeli government, and their counter-parts here in America, Political Christian Zionists.

      If there was ever any doubt just look at the current President’s decision to attempt an even-handed stance in dealing with Israel and the Palestinians. He and his administration have been accused of being anti-Israel, ‘throwing Israel under the bus’, etc etc etc…..

      What is especially interesting is that nearly all of these accusations did not come from American Jews, who from my understanding only want to see peace between Israel and their neighbors in the M.E., but from American Christian Zionists and the politicians they have influence with.

      I had to smile at your statement,

      It seems that anyone who wants to run for President has to first make a trip to Israel to get the blessing of the Likud Party.

      not because its funny but because i’ve had similar thoughts. Its strange isn’t it…that influences outside the United States play such a HUGE role in who sits in the White House.

  13. Thanks for posting this, PJ. I look forward to reading the other parts (I realize Part 2 is already posted, but I haven’t read it yet). I definitely learned a few things from this post. Darby’s quote at the beginning was new to me. What a statement he made (!), that “The Church has sought to settle itself here; but it has no place on the earth… it forms no part of the regular order of God’s earthly plans.” Knowing that his teachings are foundational to the dispensationalist teaching which is so popular today, it’s no wonder that those who make accusations about “replacement theology” are so willing to speak condescendingly about the Church.

    This statement also jolted me a bit: “Under this system [dispensationalism] there are seven ages or ‘dispensations’ where God relates to humanity in a different way after the previous way had failed.” Perhaps I should have known this, but I didn’t quite realize that dispensationalism teaches that not only was this Church age unforeseen in the Old Testament, but it’s also doomed to fail. My mind is starting to spin with the implications of that belief, and the author did touch on some of them briefly. Personally, I no longer believe that Scripture speaks of this present Church age (or New Covenant age, or Kingdom age) coming to an end.

    And I’d like to say a huge ‘amen’ to this statement made by the author:

    [L]ittle or no allowance seems to be made by dispensationalists for how the NT reinterprets the OT, which is surely a guiding hermeneutical principle for Christians… Repeatedly the patterns and types of the OT are seen in the NT to be fulfilled in Christ and in the Church: the Passover sacrifice, the Law, the temple, the city, the priesthood, the children of Abraham, the ‘people belonging to God’, one could go on and on.”

  14. They had been flooded by Christian Zionists, a number of whom openly admitted that they HAD BEEN SENT there by John Hagee’s ministry, “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI)! They were viciously attacking the Palestinian Christians in that group, telling them they were actually Muslims masquerading as Christians, that they worship a different Jesus, that they were on their way to hell, that they didn’t belong in Israel, that they were “Jew-haters”, “anti-semitic,” and a bunch of other names that I better not repeat here. It was just about the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.

    Adam, that is so sad. 😦

    It doesn’t surprise me though because Christian Zionists, especially political Christian Zionists, must demonize Palestinian Christians in order to support the false doctrines they adhere to concerning the modern day state of Israel and the Church.

    One of the most shocking things i’ve read concerning Christian Zionist groups or/and organizations (like CUFI) who make frequent trips to Israel was the fact that they never (and i mean NEVER!) show support for, visit, or even acknowledge the existence of Palestinian Christians.

    The principle motivation among Christian zionists for visiting the Holy Land is to bring a ‘blessing’ to the jewish people, especially the settlers reclaiming Judea and Samaria. They seek to show solidarity with the State of Israel and ‘witness’ the literal fulfillment of prophecy. The presence of an indigenous Palestinian Christian community is an unwelcome complication, either demonized as Muslim fundamentalists or cast as recent economic ‘migrants’, drawn by the wealth of Israel. (Cragg, The Arab Christian, p.28)

  15. David Pawson is NOT a dispensationalist, so the quotations under “Dispensational Zionism” are not something he believes in 🙂

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