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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas): An Example of Dispensational Theology & Christian Zionism’s Influence upon American Politics


From Nathan Pitchford’s articleThe Threat of Christian Zionism

If the phenomenal success of the bestselling Left Behind series indicates anything about the prevailing eschatological mindset across a wide swath of the evangelical landscape in modern America, then we would do well to pause and consider. Where is this fascination with the sensational, and frequently outright bizarre, interpretation of the significance of current events coming from? What is driving the obsession to see end-time prophetic events transpiring in every headline? What connection does this mindset have with the implacable opposition to any measure taken for peace in the Middle East which would leave the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, or any part of Jerusalem outside of the complete control of the modern state of Israel?

More importantly, what ideologies, theological convictions, or ways of understanding the bible lie beneath these phenomena, and how much of an impact are they having on the theological moorings of the Church today?

I suspect that the impact is significant enough to warrant a strong warning statement about the movement known as Christian Zionism, and the hyper-Dispensationalism which drives it, from the leaders of the evangelical Church. Unfortunately, however, it has not received the united front of resistance with which other threats to the health of the Church have been met with…

Is this because many Evangelical leaders share enough theological convictions in common with the more extreme examples of the movement that they are loathe to give a clear denunciation? Or do they simply not perceive the errors as being a significant or widespread enough a danger to warrant the time and effort of a thoroughgoing rebuttal? Whatever the reason, there seems to be a general lack of attentiveness to a very rampant problem in Evangelicalism. Perhaps it is time to make clear just what Christian Zionism is (as well as all its theological bedfellows), what convictions are driving it, and what results it is tending towards in the thoughts and practice of the contemporary believer.

Simply speaking, Christian Zionism is support for the Jewish movement to regain possession of their ancient homeland, which derives from a Christian theology and understanding of the Bible. In the most basic of terms, this Christian theological support comes from a literalistic reading of such passages as Genesis 13:14-15, where God promises to Abraham, “All the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your seed forever”. When this motif is conflated with such passages as Genesis 12:3 [spoken to Abraham], “And I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse the one who curses you…”; the obvious implication is that, anyone who fails to support modern Israel in all her struggles with her various enemies, or anyone who approves of a treaty by which the boundaries first promised to Abraham are divided between Israel and her neighbors, will be under God’s curse, and the object of his eschatological judgment.

The glaring problem with this simplistic reasoning, of course, is that it fails to take into account the biblical qualification as to who is intended by Abraham’s “Seed,” and what is indicated by the land which he was promised (for the former, see Galatians 3:16; 3:28-29; Romans 4:11-17; for the latter, see Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 11:9-10; 12:22-24).

…….

The Christian Zionist movement is also dangerous for another reason: not only does it involve one’s understanding of a large percentage of the scriptures, but it also affects a large percentage of American Christianity. This is not a fringe movement, even in its more extreme varieties, but is embraced by a wide selection of Christians from various denominations within Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism.

Nor is it just in vogue among the influential masses, but it also has a voice among the religiously and politically powerful.

Christian Zionists not only have a great capacity to influence the thinking of the Church, they also have a significant pull in Washington D.C. And if the decisions for which they are lobbying are supported by a faulty premise, there may well be unwise and uninformed choices made in politics on an international level, and with disastrous results. There is a tragic possibility that many of the war prophecies which the Christian Zionists are awaiting may prove to be self-fulfilling, as the contingency which predicts them obstinately opposes any Middle East peace treaties which involve any compromise, with a voice powerful enough to be heard in Washington and Jerusalem.

From today’s headlines we have this example of Dispensationalism & Christian Zionism’s influence upon American politics;

Louie Gohmert Cites Bible As Foreign Policy Guide On Israel: ‘The Bible Is Accurate’

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) took to the House floor Wednesday for a speech on the Obama administration’s Israel policy, using the Bible for guidance.

“There are many who have been aware of Scripture, and it has often been a guide in our relations with Israel,” Gohmert said. “Some of us believe that the Bible is accurate. Certainly, so many prophesies have been fulfilled, and if that is true, this administration, unless they can find a verse that accurately says that those who betray Israel will be blessed, then this country is being dug in a deeper hole by this administration, and its betrayals of Israel’s trust and Israel’s friendship.”

Gohmert accused President Barack Obama of pursuing policies not in Israel’s best interest. He mentioned the administration’s support for Israel signing an international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and quoted Genesis 12, implying the consequences of “betraying” Israel.

“It seems appropriate … ‘I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee,’” Gohmert said. “It was no accident that just minutes after Israel became a nation, the United States … became the first nation in the world to recognize what was prophesized throughout the Old Testament about Israel returning after its absence.” Source

Returning to Nathan Pitchford’s message,  The Threat of Christian Zionism

What Are the Driving Factors Behind Christian Zionism?

The answer to the question, “What factors drive the beliefs and activities of the Christian Zionists?” has a theological and a psychological side. Theologically, the whole impetus of the movement derives from the one true sine qua non of Dispensational theology: the belief in two distinct peoples of God, ethnic Israel and the Church.

If believing Gentiles have been grafted into the good olive tree which springs from the root of the patriarchs (Romans 11:13-24), so that they are now Abraham’s seed (Romans 4:11, 16-17; Galatians 3:6-7), heirs of the promises made to Abraham (Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 3:6), one body in which there is no further distinction between Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:11-21; Galatians 3:28), then the modern state of Israel has no more divine right to extend its political influence than any other of its neighbor states. The disputes between her and her enemies should be resolved by the Christian virtues of equity, justice, etc., that ought to characterize all the nations which God has made and placed within their respective boundaries. The various states of the Middle East will finally be judged on the basis of their cruelty, pride, and so on, Israel as well as Palestine, Jordan, and all the rest; and any nation involved in arbitration between them would do well to consider the various dynamics of the current situation without resorting to the idea that one of them possesses a divinely-written title to all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates.

But if one of those nations does in fact possess that divine right, then one’s obligation is simply to drive all other nations out, so that the divinely appointed possessor might have unswayed dominion. So then, one’s theology has a necessary impact on the questions surrounding the Middle East tensions: Is God starting to fulfill his old promise to curse all who are opposed to Abraham’s ethnic descendants, and to drive all the nations except Israel out of their promised land? If so, then to support any peace treaty in the Middle East which leaves any nation but Israel in the Middle East would be to struggle against God himself, and would be tantamount to siding with the Canaanites when Joshua first crossed the Jordan. Are the Christian Zionists then the derided and misunderstood Rahab of our times, seeing God’s purpose and casting in their lot with God’s people?

On the other hand, if God is fulfilling his promise made to Abraham by calling out persons from every nation to be his children by faith, and preparing them to inherit, not just the promised land, but the whole earth, and the New Jerusalem of which they are citizens even now (Matthew 5:5; Galatians 4:25-26; Revelation 21:1-4), then one can best throw in his lot with God’s people by laboring to bring children of every nationality in to his kingdom, which has now exploded beyond the bounds of the Middle East, and soon promises to change the entire world, when the redemption of God reaches its consummation.

Although ethnic Israel still retains a special place in God’s redemptive design, being the nation to whom he first gave his grace and promise and covenant, and though we might with firm biblical conviction labor to see the ethnic Jewish people enjoy the blessings that God has irrevocably covenanted to give them, and continues to give to a remnant of grace within their ranks (Romans 11); yet, it would be a tragic step backwards to labor to reserve for them all the old shadow-blessings of a typical strip of this still-cursed earth, when the remnant of grace has entered into the true inheritance of Christ, and awaits an entire new and glorious earth, that “city which has foundations” (Hebrews 11:10, 14-16), which all of Abraham’s true seed by faith will inherit.

The practical outworkings of this two-people theology have an immense psychological effect among those committed to laboring for God’s redemptive ends. According to Dispensational theology, God’s last prophetic purposes will revert back to the political and geographical designs he has for his earthly people, national Israel. The end of the world will come about with the fulfillment of a host of prophecies relative to the modern state of Israel, and if one has a discerning eye, he can see how God is already setting the stage to fulfill these prophecies. Since all Christians are aware that this world does not constitute the end of all God’s redemptive designs, but that a new and much better world is coming; and since they are all vexed with the trouble and vanity of the modern world, and long to see their inheritance arrive; they will naturally be interested in doing whatever they can to “wait for and hasten the appearing of the day of God” [2 Peter 3:12].

So then, if one’s eschatology involves a reversion to a geo-political program for a national people of God, then seeing that earthly end coming to fruition will constitute the fuel and motivation for a sincere Christian’s strivings to labor for the Lord, and enter into his rest.

The Dispensational idea of an imminent rapture of the Church also plays into this motivation to be absorbed in the political situation in the Middle East, as a sign of the end times. Since an imminent event cannot be preceded by signs, many Christian Zionists introduce the technical distinction that none of the prophecies of the end times can be fulfilled until after the Church has been raptured. This means that, as the stage for the fulfillment of end-time events is set more minutely, and the forces which will lead to the Apocalypse begin to appear on the scene, the likelihood of an approaching rapture becomes increasingly greater, since none of the things that are presumably about to happen possibly can happen with the Church still on the earth.

For instance, consider the following statement by John Hagee:

“In May 1948 Israel was reborn. How many of you were alive on May 15, 1948? It was the most important prophetic day of the 20th century. Why? Because Jesus said in Matthew 24:32 `when you see the fig tree–national Israel–begin to bloom again, know that my coming is nigh at the door. Behold, one generation will not pass away until all things are fulfilled.’ We are racing towards the end of time. We are not living in the last days. We’re not living in the last hours. We’re living in the last minutes of the dispensation of grace. In 1967 the six-day war united Jerusalem under Jewish control. Why is that important? Because the gospel of Luke says when Jerusalem is no longer trodden down by the gentiles, then shall the end come. The Bible says when the Lord builds up Jerusalem, when he builds up Zion, he will appear in all of his glory. So the Bible is screaming, when you see Jerusalem united, when you see it beautified, when you see it built up, the Messiah is coming. And when you see these signs in the heavens and the sun, the moon and the stars and the waves of the oceans that are roaring, what did God say? He said `Lift up your heads and rejoice! Your redemption draws nigh.’ I want you to do it, Cornerstone. Rejoice! The King of Glory is on the way!”  (source)

This belief system can have both a positive and a negative effect on the believer’s practice, both of which possess a very destructive potential.

Positively, there is the tendency to become obsessed with “headline exegesis,” searching for prophetic relevance in every current event and situation in the world. This very real effect has consumed thousands upon thousands of professing believers, has served to distract them from the true matters of living a Christian life of sobriety and moderation, and has no doubt damaged the reputableness and power of their testimony with the world, as well, which tends to see them as conspiracy-theorists and nuts, but not primarily a peculiar people marked by their godliness and devotion to Christ.

Negatively, there is an even greater danger of failing to labor toward seeing those things fulfilled which truly must take place before the coming again of Christ. If the eternal state will be inhabited by representatives of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation (Revelation 5:9), and if the gospel will be proclaimed in all the world before the end comes (Matthew 24:14), then it is a most pressing task for modern Christians to finish the Great Commission by targeting and evangelizing the remaining unreached people groups of the world. Although they do not know the day or the hour of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36), they may know the signs of the times, so that the day will not overtake them as a thief, like it will overtake the rest of the sleeping world (1 Thessalonians 5:1-8). Therefore, a Christian with a proper eschatological motivation will be laboring to spread the gospel to every people group under heaven, and doing so as a way of hastening the Lord’s coming (from a human point of view). But when the doctrine of a rapture which has been imminent from the apostles’ generation enters the picture, then the literal possibility of the gospel first having an impact upon every people group is precluded; and so the Great Commission loses its character as a finishable task which will conclude at the dawn of the new era of eternity, and becomes something we engage in in the meantime, and not necessarily among the unreached peoples most specifically, while our eyes are straining toward the Middle East for our hopes of the end of our labor.

What Are the Potential Results of Christian Zionism?

First, a fervent adherence to the ideologies of Christian Zionism may very possibly lead to outright heresy and anti-christian doctrine. Consider once again John Hagee, perhaps the most outstanding representative of influential Christian Zionists. In his controversial book, In Defense of Israel, Hagee made several statements that clearly denied that Jesus came to be the Messiah, and that the Jewish people had rejected him as the Messiah. For example:

If God intended for Jesus to be the Messiah of Israel, why didn’t he authorize Jesus to use supernatural signs to prove he was God’s Messiah, just as Moses had done? (p. 137) Jesus refused to produce a sign … because it was not the Father’s will, nor his, to be Messiah. (p 138) If Jesus wanted to be Messiah, why did he repeatedly tell his disciples and followers to “tell no one” about his supernatural accomplishments? (p. 139) The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews. (p. 140) They wanted him to be their Messiah, but he flatly refused. (p. 141) He refused to be their Messiah, choosing instead to be the Savior of the world (p. 143) Jesus rejected to the last detail the role of Messiah in word or deed (p. 145)

Consider also the text of a commercial Hagee produced to advertise his book:

This book will expose the sins of the fathers and the vicious abuse of the Jewish people. In Defense of Israel will shake Christian theology. It scripturally proves that the Jewish people as a whole did not reject Jesus as Messiah. It will also prove that Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah. It will prove that there was a Calvary conspiracy between Rome, the high priest, and Herod to execute Jesus as an insurrectionist too dangerous to live. Since Jesus refused by word and deed to claim to be the Messiah, how can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered? Read this shocking expose, In Defense of Israel.

Second, and conversely, not only does the extreme ideology of Christian Zionism offer a free acquittal to unbelieving Jews, falsely guaranteeing them a hope of salvation to a glorious earthly kingdom in spite of their rejection of Jesus as the suffering Messiah, it also obscures the true riches that ought to be proclaimed among them, in the free gospel offer of grace in Jesus Christ. The New Testament teaching is that all who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles, are heirs of every promise made to the fathers (Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 2:12-13, 3:6) and possessors of every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), the one to whom all the promises were made (Galatians 3:16), and in whom they all find their fulfillment (2 Corinthians 1:20). Christian Zionism teaches them that, if they accept Christ now, they become a part of a different body (the Church) which is not in continuity with their own heritage and which does not guarantee the fulfillment of the promises made to their fathers. To accept Christ is to denounce the Abrahamic promise, for from the point at which they accept him, they become a part of God’s spiritual people, which does not inherit the physical promises. If they reject him, then, although they forfeit their spiritual inheritance, at least they are still properly considered ethnic Jews, in God’s sight, and so they can still hope to possess their land in peace and fruitfulness. Although most Christian Zionists would no doubt say that it would be of benefit for any modern Jew to embrace Christ, do not their own actions undermine the genuineness of their claim? If they are expending so much effort and energy to see that the modern state of Israel retains hold of her land, are they not saying in effect, “Do not give up your place in God’s eschatological program as an ethnic Jew! If you become part of the Church, where there is no Jew or Greek, you will be raptured away, and the land will not be yours in the millennial kingdom – but it is an invaluably great thing for the land to remain yours, and hence we are spending so much effort to keep it in Israeli hands.” How much better than this false dichotomy is the true gospel that says, “You will certify yourselves to be genuine Jews and Abraham’s seed indeed, and you will be given the full and eternal possession of every blessing ever made to the fathers, if you only embrace the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, who came once to suffer and fulfill every promise, and is coming again to bring his inheritance with him”!

Third, as we have already noted, the ideology of Christian Zionism carries the very real danger of distracting believers from their true and most pressing tasks as Christians on this earth, whether it be spreading the gospel throughout the nations or just living lives of simplicity, hope, and virtue before the watching world, by focusing their attention on a divine agenda which, by their own confession, has nothing to do with themselves as part of the Church, but only serves to indicate the approximate time when God may snatch them up to be out of the way of what he has begun to do again with his other people.

Fourth, the impact that Christian Zionists have on international politics may bring about some very tragic results in the diplomacy of the Middle East, including very real bloodshed and bereavement which might have been avoided if the idea of Israel’s divine entitlement to the land had been abandoned (or rather, if it had been put in its proper perspective as that which guarantees that all of Abraham’s true children will inherit the new earth through much meekness and patient endurance). This effect of a wrong ideology, having such a vast and widespread capacity to do much harm, has no doubt been grossly underestimated by a great many Christian theologians who disagree with the basic premises underlying the Christian Zionist movement.

Conclusion

The Christian Zionist movement is the result of an aberrant theology, and is dangerous on several fronts: it tends to distract and confuse true believers in a vast segment of worldwide evangelicalism; it tends to obscure the true message of the gospel from the Jewish people, by presenting to them a false dichotomy which demands that they forfeit the Abrahamic promises if they should come to Christ (who actually fulfills them – tragic irony!); it tends towards greater doctrinal confusion and heresy, which has been seen even in the most respected and influential leaders of the movement, and not just on the radical fringe; and it tends to work against the preservation of peace in the Middle East, by obstinately refusing any sort of compromise. Any movement that has such a destructive potential, and that has in fact already had many such harmful effects, is no small issue. Perhaps it is time for the leaders of the worldwide Church to present a united front of opposition to a very widespread and alarming threat.

4 comments on “Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas): An Example of Dispensational Theology & Christian Zionism’s Influence upon American Politics

  1. At the heart of Zionism is self righteousness and the overt suggestion that you are on God’s side. And when you believe and operate from that perspective then it creates a space in which everything Israel does is approved by God. And although men like Hagee state it openly, much of evangelicalism seems to believe that unbelieving Jews who are antagonistic toward Christ are still favored by God. And the entire theological construct is as most other forms of error that are an amalgam of certain Old Testament passages and certain New Testament passages.
    And that theology provides an atmosphere of illogical competitiveness which not only suggests that Israel has carte blanche with God but that America is “blessed” economically because of its support of Israel. To champion a cause is a thrilling mainstay of the fallen American mindset, and Israel along with a created narrative scratches that mindset just where it itches. It is quite amazing that the same men who hook their wagons to the “reformers” reject their view of Israel and the Jews. Jesus said there will be no sign given except that which mirrors Jonah’s experience and yet how many evangelicals believe that 1948 was THE sign of all signs?

    It is interesting to note that after 1948 the evangelical community taught with conviction that within 40 years ( a generation) Christ would return. And after 40 years had passed self proclaimed prophetic experts began to create new theories. Next year’s blood moons is the latest fad. But it is all just conjecture and fleshly titillation. Perhaps Jesus will return next year. But when will we know people really believe Jesus is coming back at a certain year? When believers are literally consumed with Christ in such a way that the secular news cannot help but report the odd and curious way millions of people are emptying their bank accounts, praying for hours each day, and flooding the streets with their witness. And when church houses are having prayer services throughout the week and preachers are losing weight and looking somewhat spent because they are fasting often and praying into the night watches then we might believe that at least they believe Jesus is coming soon.

    Until then prophecy is little more evangelical water cooler noise which has as much affect upon our lives as guessing who will win the Super Bowl this year.

    • Jesus said there will be no sign given except that which mirrors Jonah’s experience and yet how many evangelicals believe that 1948 was THE sign of all signs?

      This is a mystery to me as well. If you ask one who believes this was ‘the sign to end all signs’ where in the word it can be found, they are unable to point to one single statement by Jesus or any of the writers in the new testament, to confirm it. What they will do is lift verses from the old testament, out of context, pertaining to promises of restoration, during the numerous times the Jews were exiled for disobedience and idolatry, and ‘plunk’ them down as pertaining to today–to the 20th-21st century and modern day Israel. What they fail to ever mention is that even God’s promises of restoration came with strict conditions. Mainly the condition of covenant fidelity.

      ..In the old testament this theme of covenant fidelity runs through-out, from Judges to 2Kings and the Prophets. When Israel neglects the covenant, and instead thinks the land is a private acquisition NOT linked to true worship and ethics, it loses it’s privileges of residency. Or as Leviticus put it, ‘the land will vomit you out’. – (Burge, Jesus and the Land)

      Christian Zionists who see Israel’s restoration as “the sign to end all signs” MUST be able to square this teaching with the intentionally secular nature of today’s modern Israel. But they cannot. Why? because it would reveal many of their doctrinal beliefs concerning modern-day Israel, are seriously flawed.

      While they (only) quote from the old testament and Prophets, out of context, they fail to see or point out what else these same Prophets had to say concerning the people and the land;

      Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance. – Micah 2

      Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land? You rely on your sword, you do detestable things, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?’

      “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague. I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end, and the mountains of Israel will become desolate so that no one will cross them. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolate waste because of all the detestable things they have done.’ – Ezekiel 33

      Should these warnings under the old covenant be applied to the people of modern-day Israel? In the face of Israel’s present policies of demolishing thousand’s of Palestinian villages [many which had stood for 100’s of years] and displacing millions of people, while continuing their expansionist policies (illegal settlements) and promoting racism and apartheid, they should pray they do not still apply!

      For if they do, as i’ve asked before, what would be prevent our seeing another future exile brought about by God’s judgment?

      Is Israel (the Jews) continuing in blindness even today…my answer is yes, in part, for there are a portion, a remnant who believe Jesus is the Son of God. There was and always has been a remnant. And here is where i may get slammed, but its my opinion that Christian Zionism has GREATLY helped to keep many Jews blinded. They are responsible in that they confirm the idea that Jews (lost Jews) don’t ‘need’ to come to Christ…that they are ‘fine’ right where they are–as blind ‘keepers of the land’. Again, may get slammed, but what i see is not a love for the Jewish people emanating from Christian Zionism, but a love for the land. I use to believe it was the people themselves they had made idols…but not any more. They idolize an ‘imaginary’ idealistic idea concerning the land itself; Israel.

  2. I’m struggling to put my thoughts together. I’ll try and see how it unfolds.

    First to the verses about Abram/Abraham:

    Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3 ESV)

    This has to do with the spirit man. Anyone running afoul of this, dishonoring the Faith Abram/Abraham was living by, is akin to the idea that no one can say Jesus is the Christ but by the Spirit of God and:

    … every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:3 ESV)

    These following verses seem to be glossed over when the Christian Zionists put forth the ideas that they do about present day Jews as the post lays out:

    If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exodus 12:48, 49 ESV)

    We see this reiterated here:

    Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in offering a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. And if a stranger is sojourning with you, or anyone is living permanently among you, and he wishes to offer a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord, he shall do as you do. For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.” (Numbers 15:13-16 ESV)

    We learn how to interpret this odd inclusive language this way:

    We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:1-7 ESV)

    So we learn that what was written for the Jewish people before the resurrection of their True Messiah was written for “instructive” purposes. This guy is that famous Jew, the Apostle Paul, writing those things.

    He continues with these words so we can put the right exegesis on what was written and hopefully use this “new” yet age old understanding to clear up any doubts about True Evangelism and “who” God had and continues to have in mind to adopt as His people out of the present evil world to the end of time:

    For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” (Romans 15:8-12 ESV)

    Why don’t we see more inclusiveness come from Israel? I have an entirely different point of view. It really starts at the heart of the question why we see from the beginning there in Exodus 12 and Numbers 15 God including “other” people, strangers and sojourners along with the twelve tribes of Israel?

    That’s for another comment, maybe after this one?

    What I want to say is the one verse quoted in the article ( waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:12 ESV) ) has a far more constraining purpose than the author has applied to it.

    For me, the present Church, it seems, is about to explode on the world scene with both God’s Grace and Power provoking both Jews and Gentiles to an earnest jealousy for God’s blessings because we have gotten these immature eschatological theologies out of our systematic theology and are now gripped firmly the idea of Christ through His Church giving a correct evangelism and defense of the True Gospel of the Kingdom message like this one given by the Apostle Paul to King Aggripa, here:

    “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles— to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. (Acts 26:12-20 ESV)

    I believe as more and more True Believers of the Grace and Faith received defend the Truth that way as Paul before King Agrippa did Jews and Gentiles won’t have any desire for Christian Zionist tripe or the purveyors of it like John Hagee and others!

    • Wonderful comment Michael! Truly….

      You even quoted a couple of verses i was trying to recall earlier, but couldn’t, when typing out my own comment–the one’s found in Exodus and Numbers concerning the stranger. There are others as well, in which God tells Israel how they are to treat and/or respond to strangers.

      I believe as more and more True Believers of the Grace and Faith received defend the Truth that way as Paul before King Agrippa did Jews and Gentiles won’t have any desire for Christian Zionist tripe or the purveyors of it like John Hagee and others!

      Pray you are right Michael. In my heart (and spirit) i have sensed that more and more Christians who have been longtime followers of Christian Zionism, may be having their eyes opened to the truth: which is, any theology which purposefully keeps the Gospel from any one ethnic group–in this case Jews, based on some perverted doctrine, is not of God but is instead, “born” from the pit of hell itself.

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