19 Comments

Saddest Statement I’ve ever Read


Perhaps you won’t see the same degree of tragedy in this statement that I did…but if you have a desire to see all come to Christ, this should at least give you pause.

In a recent article posted at Charisma concerning John Hagee (who, the article claimed was “arguably the face of Christian Zionism today”) and his work through CUFI (Christians United for Israel), was a quote made by  former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.

Fleischer, who serves  on the Republican Jewish Coalition board and is a close friend of Hagee, recently served as master of ceremonies at a dinner given to honor John Hagee;

“Before CUFI, there was nothing to give American evangelicals a national voice for Israel,” Hagee told JNS.org in an exclusive sit-down interview on the eve of a major dinner with Jewish leaders in his honor on Nov. 7 in New York.

When questioned by a representative from JNS news service about the lingering skepticism some Jews still have concerning John Hagee and his organization, Ari Fleischer (Quote; who has worked in the south for many years for and with evangelical Christians) responded with,

All the years I’ve spent with evangelicals, I never once had anybody trying to convince me of anything or make me think differently about my beliefs.”

See: Why Christian Zionism Grows Despite Critics

Friends, this is the legacy of Christian Zionism. And sadly, that of many American Evangelicals.

If Ari Fleischer leaves this world in the same spiritual state of unbelief he is in now, is that what he’ll say when it’s found his name is not recorded in The Book of Life….”I was in their presence for years, BUT I never ONCE had any one of them present Jesus and the Gospel to me…or attempt to convince me?”

If so, what a tragedy….

19 comments on “Saddest Statement I’ve ever Read

  1. For me, what makes that reality profound and a sad admission of one’s own interpretation of God’s Will for the Jew today is this cutting Word by the Jew Jesus restored to His Ministry after he denied Him Thrice:

    Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
    20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
    21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
    22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
    23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
    24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
    25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
    26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

    What one has to keep in mind here is where those words were spoken and to “who” Peter was speaking and saying of their “righteousness” that it is “wickedness” and their souls are subject to being “… destroyed from the people”. Remember Saul of Tarsus claimed his own blamelessness “according” to the very same Law of Righteousness Ari Fleischer holds Faith in too!

    Saul of Tarsus most likely was there to hear Peter’s words and if not, he surely heard about them and the miracle that preceded them?

    • Michael, that passage (Acts 3:19-26) really does speak so very well to this subject. Verses 22-23 declare that those who don’t listen to the words of Jesus were to be destroyed from among God’s people. Verses 25-26 declare that all the families of the earth were to be blessed through Jesus and His salvation/redemption, and that He was first sent to the Jewish people so that they could experience this blessing. Verses 19-21 and verse 24 declare that all the prophets (who were Jewish) foretold the blessings which are found in Christ, available to Jews and non-Jews alike. In light of what this passage says, it’s beyond absurd for anyone to say that they love the Jewish people, but yet intentionally withhold the gospel from them.

  2. Even Paul realized the devil could get some evangelicals to add the Old Testament covenant with the New Testament. He warned us about it. But who could have imagined that evangelicals could claim the New Covenant excludes the Jews and that the Abrahamic Covenant without the cross and resurrection was sufficient? It is an incredible deception and as you say immensely sad.

  3. It’s because much of evangelicalism thinks Jesus is a terrible messiah. And so we hear a watered down gospel, one that preaches a mere financial calculation of sin and grace, and Jesus as the mechanism. At least the zionists are vocal at how Jesus failed his mission, as if the cross, resurrection, ascension, and inclusion(salvation) of the gentiles was a plan B.

    Look at their Left Behind science fiction, their god, at the heart, is one of ruthless, uncompromising wrath, and Jesus is just some sort of window dressing. They dont believe that the slain lamb is really at the center of the throne. No wonder they dont preach the Messiah to Jews, they’re ashamed of such a revelation.

    • They dont believe that the slain lamb is really at the center of the throne.

      I’m beginning to believe you’re right Cal. He is sure NOT at the center of their theology.

    • Often Jesus really is not the center. If you check out the home page of this site (www.biblicalzionist.com/) and scroll down toward the bottom, you’ll see these words prominently featured:

      “Israel is the ‘Center of Gravity’ around which all of Bible Prophecy revolves.”

      I would agree with this statement if Jesus was shown to be true Israel, because He is true Israel. Unfortunately, what is meant by this statement is national Israel, that political nation in the Middle East.

      By the way, I personally know the creator of that website (he belongs to the church I grew up in), and I consider him to be a friend and a fantastic person, although we have strong differences when it comes to Israel and eschatology. That statement on his site just illustrates so well, to me, where Christian Zionism gets off track.

    • Adam, i see that statement, or something similar, at so many Christian websites- especially prophecy websites. No matter how many times i see it, it still blows my mind that people believe it.

      I would agree with this statement if Jesus was shown to be true Israel, because He is true Israel. Unfortunately, what is meant by this statement is national Israel, that political nation in the Middle East.

      Yes. It’s as though Jesus is an after-thought on many of these websites.

  4. It seems that withholding the gospel from the Jewish people is the natural result of teaching and believing that the Jews, as a race, are God’s chosen people. After all, Scripture speaks of God’s chosen people as being in the light, having been delivered out of darkness, a special and holy people who have obtained God’s mercy, etc. (See I Peter 2:4-10). Of course, Scripture says that these things are true of those who are in Christ, whether they are Jewish or non-Jewish, and that these things are not true of those who are outside of Christ.

    Saying that all Jews are God’s chosen people implies that the Jewish people are all set. They’re exactly where they need to be, and they have exactly what they need to have. There’s no reason for them to change positions, experience fundamental change, or pledge their loyalty to anyone else.

    So, for those Christians who refer to all Jews as the chosen people of God, why should they evangelize them? It would be inconsistent to do so, and folks like Hagee choose not to. As incredibly misguided as they are, at least they’re being consistent in this. It sure is very sad, though.

    • Amen, exactly. When one fails to understand who the people of God are today, the rest of their theology is skewed. The Jews WERE chosen—chosen to be light-bearers to the world. They failed to do so. The Church (those in Christ) have been given the position of taking the light of the Gospel to the world for the last 2000 years, so in essence are now God’s chosen light-bearers.

      And lost Jews, like all lost people, are in need of being presented with the saving Gospel.

    • Amen Adam. I’ve had people try to tell me Hagee is a ‘fringe’ preacher and he doesn’t represent true dispensationalism but I say Hagee has taken dispensationalism to it’s logical conclusion. If God is going to provide some future salvation event for Israel why evangalize them now

    • Exactly. And how are Jewish believers in Jesus today, and over the last 2000 years, explained?

    • Good point, Steve, about John Hagee not really being on the fringe, and how he takes dispensationalism to its logical conclusion.

      PJ, I’ve had that same question, especially in reference to how Romans 11:25 (“…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in…”) is so often interpreted. What I generally hear is that God has kept the Jewish people blind to the gospel for the last 2000 years, and that He’s going to suddenly open up the floodgates on the final generation of Jews (the 1/3 that wasn’t slaughtered) in the final moments of history, and save them all in a moment. That’s not what I believe at all, but following this train of thought, in the meantime this belief seems to have implications for sharing the gospel with Jews. As Steve said, several leaders within the Christian Zionism/dispensationalist world(s) seem to have concluded, to one extent or another, “why bother doing it at all?”

      Whatever reasons people have for withholding the gospel from Jews, or for believing that God has kept this race of people in blindness, you’re right – they don’t have much of an answer for why there are Jewish believers in Christ in this generation and in every previous generation for the last 2000 years.

      Come to think of it, does Hagee ever talk about Jewish believers in Christ? Maybe he does, but I just can’t recall it at the moment.

    • Hi Adam, it’s interesting that you brought up romans 11:25. Recently i’ve been following a study on romans at Messianic Good News, written by Peter Cohen.

      Just today i received the links to chapters 9-15!

      This is what he had to say concerning verses 25-27 (by the way, his entire study on romans is very good)

      RO 11:VERSES 25-27 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

      “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

      RO 11:27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

      The mystery which Paul did not want them to be ignorant of is the mystery of God’s election through faith in Jesus Christ – the mystery by which all nations would be blessed through him, the mystery of how many gentiles would be included among God’s holy, chosen covenant nation – and the mystery also by which many proud, self-righteous, unbelieving Jews would be cut off while they persist in their unbelief.

      EPH 3:2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

      EPH 3:7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

      There are some teachers, in fact a growing number, who demonstrate that they are ignorant of this mystery that in Christ – there is one new man, and they still teach that the church and Israel are two separate peoples of God each belonging to a different and unique dispensation. They also imply that the church itself is the mystery not spoken of in the Scriptures – and that God will again, in the future deal with Israel after he has finished dealing with the church. (Such doctrine, which I believe to be heresy, is referred to a “Dispensationalism”.)

      We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ and not essentially by election. God’s righteousness and faithfulness has been revealed through his dealing with Israel, whether through the exiles and cutting off of many due to the unbelief and sin – or by his kindness in leading them to repentance and salvation.

      There arises confusion of we were to imagine that salvation could ever be through election alone.

      For as Paul goes on to say, some are chosen through their relationship with the patriarchs, but their pride in being God’s chosen has blinded many to the truth through which they have become enemies of the gospel – even on account of God’s mercy being shown to those who were formerly not of the chosen people. But their election does not ensure their salvation – for how can they escape God’s wrath while they remain enemies of the gospel? They too must hear the gospel and repent and believe.

      For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will (Hebrews 2:2-4).

      Source (chapter 11)

      What I generally hear is that God has kept the Jewish people blind to the gospel for the last 2000 years, and that He’s going to suddenly open up the floodgates on the final generation of Jews (the 1/3 that wasn’t slaughtered) in the final moments of history, and save them all in a moment. That’s not what I believe at all, but following this train of thought, in the meantime this belief seems to have implications for sharing the gospel with Jews. As Steve said, several leaders within the Christian Zionism/dispensationalist world(s) seem to have concluded, to one extent or another, “why bother doing it at all?”

      I believe as Peter Cohen that this is why dispensationalism is heresy…as is Christian Zionism. Any (ANY!) theology or form of eschatology which promotes the keeping of the gospel from anyone is heresy. It goes totally against God’s Word and who we (as Christians) are…light-bearers. Jesus said, ‘go into all the world….’. He didn’t say to only take the gospel to everyone BUT the Jews, because He had another plan for them which would be revealed in the last days. That’s man teachings.

      As i told Michael, i plan on posting a snippet or two from this entire study on romans from Messianic Good News in the coming week. I’m hoping it will promote a discussion on this point you brought out, and others which so many of us have confused with the teachings of dispensationalism. If you get the time, check out the entire study…

      HERE and HERE

      Come to think of it, does Hagee ever talk about Jewish believers in Christ? Maybe he does, but I just can’t recall it at the moment.

      He might, but i can honestly say i have never read anything in which he’s even mentioned them, or heard him speak about them. Sadly. I know i’ve read that during his many yearly trips to Israel he does not make visiting them (Jewish believers) part of his agenda. I read that in a post made by a (Jewish) believer in Christ who lives with their family inside Israel.

    • PJ, thanks for highlighting this material from Messianic Good News, and for the links. There is some good stuff in there for sure. That was an interesting point Kevin Daly made about the stumbling stone also tripping up non-Jewish believers who “profess a salvation of the Jews independent of their coming to the cross…” Regarding Romans 11:26, I also see the importance of making a distinction between “in this manner” versus “at that time.”

      I’m not sure what he meant, in regard to Romans 11:25, when he said, “Two things will persist until Israel has fully accomplished her mission.” Was he speaking of a past mission? A future mission? I can’t tell. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe that Israel experiencing “a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in” was to last only throughout Jesus’ own generation (in the first century), in line with Jesus’ many pronouncements of judgment upon that particular generation. Some translations, including Young’s Literal Translation, use the phrase “fullness of the Gentiles” rather than “the full number of the Gentiles.” There’s quite a difference in how those two phrases can be understood.

      This portion of Romans 11 is certainly not the easiest Scripture passage to interpret and understand, but it’s worth continuing to study.

    • I’m not sure what he meant, in regard to Romans 11:25, when he said, “Two things will persist until Israel has fully accomplished her mission.” Was he speaking of a past mission? A future mission? I can’t tell.

      Aha! Funny you’d point that out, for i didn’t understand what he meant either…actually thought of asking you about it.🙂

      The last few days i’ve been ill with a ‘bug’ so haven’t been on line or reading, so i want to reread this portion of his study again.

      This portion of Romans 11 is certainly not the easiest Scripture passage to interpret and understand, but it’s worth continuing to study.

      You’re certainly right about it being difficult!

  5. I wanted to add this for it touches specifically on the question of “all Israel” in verse 26:

    “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved …” (Romans 11:25-26)

    Two things will persist until Israel has fully accomplished her mission:

    (i) the hardness in part of the natural stock, and

    (ii) God’s mercy to those cut off branches who repent. [31a]

    Paul adapts a prophecy of Isaiah to confirm this: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob” (Romans 11:26). While Isaiah prophesied that ‘the Redeemer shall come to Zion,’[32] Paul now speaks of the continuing outward spreading of salvation from Zion. While at his coming, the Redeemer was received by ‘those in Jacob who repent of their sins,’ [32a] the Gospel will henceforth become the cause of the repentance (i.e. “will turn godlessness away from Jacob”).

    “And so … ” (οὕτω in the Greek), meaning ‘in this manner’ and not ‘at that time’, “all Israel will be saved.” I.e. as the result of the processes that Paul has so carefully described, and not subsequent to them, all those destined for salvation will be brought in. [32b]

    “All Israel” is simply the sum and product of the various processes described in relation to the Olive Tree, namely

    (i) those natural branches that remained faithful,

    (ii) Gentiles grafted into the covenant nation and

    (iii) cut off branches that were provoked to jealousy and grafted back in again.

    This includes faithful men and women of all generations to whom the Gospel is preached.

    The above is also from Messianic Good News, written by Kevin Daly: All Israel will be saved – Understanding Romans 9-11

    Those that follow the teachings of Christian Zionism and dispensationalism, please take special note:

    “And so … ” (οὕτω in the Greek), meaning ‘in this manner’ and not ‘at that time’, “all Israel will be saved.”……

    “All Israel” is simply the sum and product of the various processes described in relation to the Olive Tree, namely (i) those natural branches that remained faithful, (ii) Gentiles grafted into the covenant nation and (iii) cut off branches that were provoked to jealousy and grafted back in again. This includes faithful men and women of all generations to whom the Gospel is preached.

    And:

    “…the Gospel will henceforth become the cause of the repentance”

    “In a further irony the same ‘stumbling stone’ is now tripping up Gentile believers who profess a salvation of the Jews independent of their coming to the Cross, and thus seek a vindication of the Jews at the expense of God’s righteousness”

    “All Israel” is made up of ALL believers in Christ–both Jews and Gentiles: it is THE CHURCH. It does not mean “all those in the state or land of Israel” will, at some point in the future, be saved.

    And, it is only through repentance, and turning by faith to Christ, that any of the original branches have hope of being grafted back in. And this can only be brought about by taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them…not by withholding it from them.

  6. Adam, after rereading the portion of the study concerning Romans 11: 25, im still stumped. ahaha.

    I located a study written by Sam Storms on the same topic. I confess, after reading his thoughts on that verse and ones directly prior and afterward, im more confused then ever.

    Check it out if you get the time, and perhaps you can explain what Storms is saying… i would GREATLY appreciate it.

    This is actually a two-part message titled, Romans 11 and the Future of Israel.

    Part one: And Part two (examines verses 25-27)

    Perhaps i’ve overdosed on cold meds, because i still didn’t know what his thoughts on verse 25 were after reading through the entire paper.🙂

    • PJ, I have now browsed or skimmed through both parts of Sam Storms’ study on Romans 11. I didn’t find it easy to follow either, and I felt he was repeating himself a lot and that the article(s) could have been much shorter. It seemed like a complicated piece, or that Storms took a complicated approach to it, or both. My head was spinning at times.

      He begins by discussing the idea of a future continuance of Jews coming to salvation, as if there was to be a long time period when Jews weren’t being saved and then the door would be open to Jews again. I don’t understand how anyone begins to think that way. The early church was nearly 100% Jewish, and soon the church reached a threshold (with Cornelius, Philip in Samaria, and Paul’s first missionary journey) where non-Jews began to be added to the church as well. From the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry until now, any Jew and any non-Jew who calls upon Christ can be saved. That was Sam’s conclusion as well.

      He also discussed the idea of a future national conversion of Israel, and rejected that notion.

      Having read the whole thing, I’m with you: I can’t quite tell either what his thoughts are on verse 25. I do, however, very much agree with Storms’ words here on verses 26-27:

      “But what about the Old Testament confirmation of this truth which Paul cites in vv. 26-27? In these verses Paul combines Isaiah 59:20,21, and Jeremiah 31:33-34 (and possibly alludes to Isaiah 27:9 and Psalm 14:7). Although many have simply assumed this is a reference to the second coming of Christ, it seems more likely that Paul has in view the work of Messiah at his first advent. The future tense in the passage (“the Deliverer will come . . . will remove”) is future from the perspective of the Old Testament prophet who is speaking and not necessarily from the perspective of Paul in the first century. It was by virtue of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection that the New Covenant has been inaugurated and the foundation laid for the removal of ungodliness from Jacob (i.e., from elect Israel). The forgiveness of sins is available to both ethnic Gentiles and Jews because of what Jesus did at his first coming when he ratified the New Covenant in his blood (see especially Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 8:6-13; 9:15; 10:11-18).”

      OK, I’ll move on to the stand-alone post you created yesterday on this topic…

    • Thanks for taking the time to look at Storms study Adam. I am glad to hear it wasn’t only me which found it difficult to grasp. aha!

      The portion you quoted? I don’t even recall reading that! My brain must have been numb by the time i got to it.🙂

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