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Why evangelicals should think twice about equating modern Israel with Israel of the Bible


Steve Lumbley (Apostasy Watch) posted this both at Facebook and at his website. I found it very interesting, but that could be because until last year, questions concerning modern-day Israel plagued me. They no longer do, as I can no longer equate the modern State called Israel today, with the Israel of the Bible. The author of this message brings forth one of the reasons I found also during my studies. Adam, at Pursuing Truth, if I’m not mistaken, has at least one or more posts on the topic (of modern-day Israel–who, what, etc) as well. If anyone is interested I’ll be happy to locate them for you. 

From the website of BEN IRWIN

The other day, I raised a question for evangelicals who think standing with Israel means supporting them no matter what. How do you reconcile a “never criticize Israel” mentality with the overwhelming witness of the biblical prophets?

If you’ve been told that unconditional support for Israel is the only “biblical” position, that the modern-day state enjoys the same kind of “most favored nation” status with God as ancient Israel did, then here’s another question. If Israel today is entitled to the covenant blessings spoken by the Old Testament, what about their covenant obligations?

The Bible never spoke of Israel’s covenant blessings apart from their obligations. It’s no use trying to have one without the other. And at least one of these obligations poses a bit of a problem for the modern state of Israel, if it is indeed the same nation as the one in the Bible.

Ancient Israel was not supposed to have a standing army. They weren’t supposed to stockpile weapons. There were no taxes to fund a permanent military. Israel’s rulers were forbidden from amassing large numbers of horses (Deuteronomy 17:16-17)—which was about as close as you could get to an arms race in the ancient Near East. Israel’s king was not supposed to make foreign military alliances. God stipulated that Israel should remain militarily weak so they would learn to trust him for protection.

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22 comments on “Why evangelicals should think twice about equating modern Israel with Israel of the Bible

  1. This is fantastic! Thanks for the post.

    • Hi Ricardo! good to hear from you. Happy to read you liked this…me too.

      The author confirms my own conclusions

    • I’m usually around! Just don’t always comment. Busy busy busy at school. Please pray I can maintain my perfect 4.0GPA for this last semester. I’ll graduate after this and then, I think, law school?

    • Law School…that is wonderful Ricardo! Yes i will continue to remember you in prayer.

    • By the way, military might as another form of idolatry. Never thought of that before. Very powerful to learn, but seems obvious now. Observations like that really change what our focus should be on– not on depending on our own strength, but depending on God’s strength, knowing that “all things work together for good” for the Elect, no matter what happens.

    • Amen! Believe the post below this one gives a take on that very subject. Check it out if time allows.

      Just finished a very interesting book “Jesus and the Holy City: New Testament Perspectives on Jerusalem by P.W.L. Walker. The degree to which Nationalism played such a huge part in the rejection of Jesus is amazing. Though i was already aware of this, i had no idea just how deeply it ran in Jerusalem 2000 yrs ago. What is astounding is this same type of military might – Nationalism is the power behind today’s Zionism within the State of Israel today. If you ever come upon this book Ricardo, snatch it up….

    • Adam, again thank you so much for going to the trouble (and time) to add these links. I only pray some new readers will benefit from your excellent messages!!

      I knew there were a number of related posts at your blog, but didn’t know where to begin to point people, aha.

      Folks, hope you will take advantage of Adam’s links; the teachings are so much needed in today’s American Churches and Adam is a very good teacher: easy to understand and always welcomes questions.

  2. Second Peter 2:l3: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. Anf through covetousnes shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

    And in verses 9 and 10, we are seeing how many in churches are taking things into their own hands, lifting themselves up, through the flesh (weaponry, war): “The Lord knowether how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished; But chiefly ‘them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”

    We are witnessing a brand of christianity that’s taken things into their own hands, and are interfering in God’s plans, through politics, pressure, theatrics, disobedience to their administration and President’s policy. They think by defying their leaders (who God placed) they will be Israel’s saviors. They try to trick and cajole and distort, lie, cheat and play games, not knowing they’re playing games with innocent people’s lives, in the Middle East. We will all be judged for this some day.

    A christian believer in the true Jesus Christ should never want to take sides in any foreign domestic quarrels. We are to pray, asking God to protect the innocent, those that are His, and those that are not yet His.

    If Israel really believes that U.S. christians are their friends, they will be in for a nasty disappointment. The only reason these groups who butter them up and show allegiance is for the oil, the corn and the wine, and for standing in the Holy of Holies, professing themselves as God. Yet, God the father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Everlasting Father, the Son, the Alpha and Omega, the Morning Star, Savior, Bridegroom, never mentions the Bride of Christ having a responsibility, as an army, to physically fight for Israel. The Body of Christ should have no fight in any worldly affairs.

    • We are witnessing a brand of christianity that’s taken things into their own hands, and are interfering in God’s plans, through politics, pressure, theatrics, disobedience to their administration and President’s policy. They think by defying their leaders (who God placed) they will be Israel’s saviors. They try to trick and cajole and distort, lie, cheat and play games, not knowing they’re playing games with innocent people’s lives, in the Middle East. We will all be judged for this some day.

      I agree Marie. Some months back i read an article written by Gary Burge. He brought up many of the same points you have in the above quote. I was struck by (believe) his closing line, so copied and emailed it to myself—i did not want to forget it for it echoed my own thoughts for the past couple years; guess you could say it was a confirmation. What he wrote was,

      “… if Christian Zionists (their preachers, academics, and writers) do not stop supporting and encouraging provocations, they will be complicit in what may erupt”

      He is correct as are you. Those who have demeaned, debased, and degraded the Church, and placed the well being of a secular State over the very body of Jesus Christ will indeed answer for it one day. Their leaders are the blind leading the blind…for all involved are deceived.

  3. PJ,

    have you seen this? See at the bottom of this comment the link to the youtube video of a 25 year old Jewish girl sharing her perspective on Israel and the conflict she is experiencing with the Palestinian people.

    I’m not taking sides and find your article very powerful and persuasive that present day Israel is not like Israel in the Old Testament. Those issue Erwin raises are quite eye opening.

    This short 10 minute plus youtube video however is equally persuasive to me at least. It establishes for me why I don’t trust the news media because of their clear bias in reporting.

    I have first hand personal knowledge just how biased the international news and national news is at times after a member of my Church in Guatemala was elevated to the Presidency in 1981-82. What the news media then as well as now was and still is reporting about him is despicable and unfair and outright deceitful.

    Here’s the video link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4oaZJvWtIA

    • Michael, the problem lies in i could post a dozen clips (from reliable people/sources) which say the opposite. That’s why we as Christians cannot become actively involved in the war.

      I post quite a bit on what is occurring in Palestine, simply because for every one blog like mine which shares inside stories from Gaza, or reports on the Palestinian people, there are at least 500 blogs which post nothing but pro-Israel articles, Zionist Christian material, and middle-east (Christian) warmongering. This is a theological problem for the Church. Simply because many Christians in the west (the number is shrinking though) believe the Zionist State of Israel is equated to the Israel of the bible. I do not believe this to be the case….and i believe scripture can support this.

    • You need to let the Word of God persuade you in the truth! Do we please men or God? The Word of God is there to either debunk any man’s false doctrine or to confirm it! All praise and glory to God our Father and LORD Jesus Christ our Saviour!

  4. Thank you everyone for comments here and Adam’s site, with eye-opening information.

    It always comes back to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Adam was neither Jewish nor gentile, just the first man that the Father created in His image. We have progressed through these dispensations until the day of the Lord’s return, when He establishes His Kingdom for the 1,000 year-reign, and then forward to reigning forever and ever in the New Jerusalem. God’s salvation plan for the whole world did start with Israel’s seed, and I can’t try to understand why specifically Abraham was the one to seek God and trust Him. It could have been a heathen from any other continent in the world, or any other quarter, but, it was Abram. I guess is was faith. From Abraham’s seed to us now, it was faith, and the Jews are now jealous of gentiles who will can them back to the Son of God, God in flesh, who they rejected; now they can receive Him, just like gentiles did. Those pastors who tell them they don’t need the Savior, but can receive eternal life without Jesus Christ are lying to them.

    Why was Jerusalem created, picked as the eternal City for mankind, I always wondered and don’t know why. But, we will not be put in boxes, or in categories, but all be One, if we accept Him and are parts of His Body.

    Rev. 22: “And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bear 12 manner of fruits; and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”.

    Praise God! “Healing of the nations” – no distinctions, just ALL nations. No exceptional nation, no powerful military nation, no weak nation, no descriptions of what nations’ sins are, just all Nations, cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb.

    • God in flesh, who they rejected; now they can receive Him, just like gentiles did. Those pastors who tell them they don’t need the Savior, but can receive eternal life without Jesus Christ are lying to them.

      Yes they are. Many of the Zionist Christian organizations go out of their way NOT to share the saving Gospel with lost Jews. And they have no problem admitting this is true (CUFI, is one). They do not seem to understand while they pour millions into “standing” with the secular state/government, those they refuse to evangelize in Israel are daily, going out into eternity lost forever.

  5. PJ and all interested,

    The purpose of the link to the Jewish girl in her home sharing her perspective was to give another view and perspective that you don’t hear much about these days. I have personally been to Israel and have experienced hostile emotions towards me just for being from the United States visiting Israel. In fact on one sightseeing day visiting historical Bibical sites with my Jewish friend and guide I was stopped from entering Jericho just because my guide was Jewish and I was an U.S. Citizen from the United States. He said, I, by myself, had a better chance of coming out that city alive but with both of us together going there we surely would not! The True Christian Church in the United States needs to come to grips with the fact that we too are being hated like Jews in Israel and people are scheming up ways to hurt us and destroy us and our message in the world, too.

    I’ve been going over some youtube history of Judaism over the last couple of centuries and reading histories that go way back to the time of the Prophets of the Old Testament, reading about things century by century and for sure, in one sense, it is odd that God picked Abram and then carried his posterity the way He did seeing some of the reasons God gives for doing that was for His sake and His Glory not theirs, the Jews. There are historical truths that help put all this into perspective and those truths tend to cloud our ability to see straight, orthodoxically. We, the Church, must keep in mind that the Jewish people from the beginning in the days of Moses were set as an example to the nations of the fallen human nature and God’s desire to exercise His Mercy and Grace to that fallen human nature. What Israel does is help us see clearly our role and responsibilities as the Truth bearers to the entire world of nations not just to that one providential nation now being looked upon with such disdain and hatred as the nation of Israel is in these modern times is being looked at and beheld.

    Why should we expect less character from the Palestinians and more character from the Jews of present day Israel?

    The Scriptures teach us why we should hold them in highter regard and to a higher standard then the Palestinians or other Arabs. Just consider this, the following verses were to be upheld by this stiffnecked and stubborn people:::>

    Deu 4:1 “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
    Deu 4:2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.
    Deu 4:3 Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal-peor, for the LORD your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor.
    Deu 4:4 But you who held fast to the LORD your God are all alive today.
    Deu 4:5 See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
    Deu 4:6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
    Deu 4:7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?
    Deu 4:8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?
    Deu 4:9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—
    Deu 4:10 how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’
    Deu 4:11 And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom.

    Today the Church is suppose to be the beacon of TRUTH, a city set on a hill; and what we should all agree to is Israel failed to become what she was called to become to the world. Now the torch is passed to the Body of that great Jew, Jesus :::>

    1Ti 3:14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that,
    1Ti 3:15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
    1Ti 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

    • We, the Church, must keep in mind that the Jewish people from the beginning in the days of Moses were set as an example to the nations……

      Michael, i agree, old testament Israel was chosen to be a light to ALL nations, ultimately bring those in these nations to God. As man will do, they failed to do this, so God sent His Son Jesus to fulfill all the OT covenants. Which He did.

      Many believe those who reside in Israel today, are an extension of OT Israel. I don’t. There are many scriptural reasons why i do not believe they are. The short message i posted (and linked to) was one of those biblical reasons.

  6. PJ

    Just to digress into current news, did you happen to see the bit today about the 21 Coptic Christians kidnapped from Libya who were simultaneously beheaded by cohorts of ISIS? I watched the gory video and was impressed with their message against Jews and Christians and “Rome”! What does that tell you? What it tells me is we better start taking the book of the Revelation more in stride and prepare for the worst possible scenario. If you study the rise of Mohammed and Islam then, after his death, you see that Muslims killed more people than any other religious group, killing not only Christians, but Hindus and Buddists and those who would not convert to Islam! Also, Muslims are responsible for the slavery of more white people than any Black chieftan during the African slave trades combined!

    And even just in the last 24 hours a man opened fire on a cafe in Demark and then after that at a Jewish Synagogue killing people at both places in the name of Allah and Islam! The one shooting at the cafe was purportedly to kill a cartoonist who drew a caricature of Mohammed being a dog who was present at the cafe at the time of the shooting. The other was at the Jewish Synagogue simply just to kill Jews. One man died at that shooting.

    It seems to me there has been a shift in the created heavens and it appears to me in the spiritual realm these days the devils are agitated against the Work of Christ in the world moreso now than before?

    After all Jesus did pray this and then said something very profound afterwards:::>

    Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
    Joh 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
    Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
    Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
    Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

    Could it be True Christians are now starting to rise up in the Name of the Lord and are now exercising their authority binding the work of the devils who from the created heavens have been unchecked in their spiritual warfare of wickedness against the souls of man? Let’s hope so. In any event, once the Devil is knocked down to the earth never to rise up again, we should expect more and more people coming unhinged from reality and do as their father the Devil does, which is:::> kill, steal and destroy!

    Mat 24:22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

    and

    Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
    Rev 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
    Rev 12:12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
    Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

    • I just posted 2 news items concerning the death of the Egyptian Coptic Christians. You might want to check them out Michael. The second article appears to confirm what many experts have recently been claiming; Many of the ‘higher-up’ ISIS members are not Muslims.

      As far as which religious group killed more people, that i don’t know. I don’t ever recall reading (an exact) number of how many were killed by the Crusades/RCC, etc etc… Guess the really important point is, sadly millions have died in the name of (many) religions; including Christianity.

      In any event, once the Devil is knocked down to the earth never to rise up again, we should expect more and more people coming unhinged from reality and do as their father the Devil does, which is:::> kill, steal and destroy!

      I believe this is occurring now.

    • Michael, as I have responded to your above point elsewhere, I believe that this savagery is rooted, not in Islam, but in theocracy. Islam has an inherent extreme tendency toward theocracy. To the degree than most of the few non-theocratic Islamic countries lean strongly toward theocracy even though they are not outright theocracies. Similarly in the case of Christianity, oppression and brutality are associated with theocratic implementations of Christianity. Fortunately Christianity is not nearly as prone to theocracy. But the vast majority of Muslims in non-theocratic societies are as horrified at these atrocities as we are. And, actually, the same is true of many Muslims in theocratic societies. I am certainly not attempting to defend Islam on a theological level, but I do think we have to be extremely careful not to stereotype Muslims based on a relatively few theocratic extremists. If you read the Quran as I have, you will find no justification whatsoever for the type of behavior exhibited by ISIS or other Islamic extremist groups. For that you have to go to the Hadiths which are the Islamic equivalent of the writings of the church fathers in Christianity. The Hadiths do present a problem on this level, but many Muslim scholars contest their interpretations and even authenticity. One thing I can tell you is that large numbers of Muslims from all over the world are moving to the US. And while a few of them do indeed pose a threat, most of them are a mission field on our doorstep. Many of them are confused by and fed up with a lot of the things they are seeing in the Islamic world and by showing them Christ’s love and witnessing to them in the way we live our lives, I am confident that many of them can be won to Christ. But that has to come not through our fleshly efforts, our job is simply to reveal to them the good news, the Holy Spirit will do the rest. And those who choose to reject Christ and remain Muslims will for the most part be no more dangerous than our local Jewish population.

    • The Word of God is very clear. Those that believe that Jesus is the Son of God and keep and do His commandments, repent, be water baptised and be filled with the Holy Spirit and endure to the end, will be saved. Those that do not believe are condemned already! There is no such thing in the Word of God as to co-existing with other religions. As Christians, we are to live in peace with everyone as best we can, mind our own business, but still be the light to the world. Witness the Word of God when and where God wills us to do it. All praise and glory to God our Father and to our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ!

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