CUFI’s Replacement Theology (Replacing Jesus)


For several years now I’ve been receiving email updates from CUFI (Christians United for Israel), not because I’m a fan but simply to remain aware of what is coming out of this organization. Yesterday’s email was a head-scratcher.

CUFI was founded in 2006 by John Hagee, the well-known mega-church pastor in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee and his Executive Director, David Brog, are fond of attaching the “replacement theology” label to those who fail to give unconditional support to the nation of Israel. Hagee defines “replacement theology” as believing that “the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.” Accurate or not, he adds that adherents believe “God has replaced Israel with the church” (Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World, 2006, pp. 72, 165).

Check out the email/infomercial CUFI sent out yesterday and see if you don’t observe a different “replacement theology,” one that assigns the role of “light unto the nations” solely to the nation of Israel and not rightfully to Jesus:

God Commanded the Children of Israel to Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Show everyone who enters  your home that you Stand with Israel! Receive this beautiful custom made in Israel CUFI Mezuzah and special CUFI Mezuzah scroll for a gift of $36 or more.
Dear Friend, Isaiah 49:6 tells us that the Jewish people will be a light unto the nations and a brief look at Israel’s humanitarian actions around the world prove the truth of this prophecy!Israel is a light unto the nations… Israel is the world’s first responder to natural catastrophes and humanitarian crises. Over the last few years, Israel has sent humanitarian, medical, recovery, and security teams to Haiti, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, India, the Philippines, and even to the USA after Hurricane Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, the floods in Colorado and tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Israel a light unto the nations… Israeli innovation is saving and improving lives around the world. The list of Israel’s technological advances is endless, but among the many: An Israeli bandage that stops intense bleeding has saved the lives of American troops in Iraq as well as Congresswoman Giffords. An Israeli baby breathing monitor has protected over 600,000 babies from SIDS. And a new Israeli medical device can detect an oncoming heart attack

Israel a light unto the nations… While Christians are being attacked and murdered throughout the Middle East, Israel is the only country where the Christian population is safe and flourishing. Israel’s Christian population has increased from 34,000 in 1948 to 140,000 today. The truth is that the safest and freest Christians in the Middle East are the Christian citizens of the Jewish state.

In order to constantly remind us that Israel is a light unto the nations, we have designed a second mezuzah to add to our CUFI collection. A “mezuzah” is a small box that Jewish families affix on their doors reminding them of the Lord’s presence in their lives.

The new CUFI mezuzah is not only a daily reminder that Israel is still a light unto the nations, but it is also a public declaration that your home stands with Israel and the Jewish people. We encourage you to mount a CUFI mezuzah on the entry and interior doors of your home as well as selected rooms within your home. We also have a special blessing for children if you choose to place them on the doorposts of your children’s rooms.

Every symbol on this custom-made mezuzah has special significance. The seven branch menorah is the official emblem of the State of Israel. The torch illustrates that Israel is a light unto the nations. The American and Israeli flags symbolize the importance of the US-Israel relationship.

May God Bless You and The Ones that You Love,

Pastor John Hagee
National Chairman
Christians United for Israel
David Brog
Executive Director
Christians United for Israel
For an additional $14 gift, you can become a “Watchman” member of CUFI. Watchman membership benefits include a personalized CUFI membership card, a CUFI membership pin, a personalized membership certificate, Because I am a Christian I stand with Israel Luggage tag, a CUFI car magnet, a 10% discount on registration for all CUFI events and a subscription to The Torch- CUFI’s quarterly magazine.

CUFI’s letter references Isaiah 49:6 as Biblical evidence that “the Jewish people” and Israel are “a light unto the nations.” (In CUFI’s language, “the Jewish people” and Israel seem to be used interchangeably, as if there are no non-Jews living in Israel.) Seven times in this letter, CUFI’s followers are told that Israel is the world’s light:

“Isaiah 49:6 tells us that the Jewish people will be a light unto the nations and a brief look at Israel’s humanitarian actions around the world prove the truth of this prophecy!” (1x); “Israel is a light unto the nations” (3x); “In order to constantly remind us that Israel is a light unto the nations…” (1x); “The new CUFI mezuzah is not only a daily reminder that Israel is still a light unto the nations…” (1x); “The torch illustrates that Israel is a light unto the nations” (1x).

I won’t deny that Israel has done some humanitarian deeds in its history. However, the role of “light to the nations” belongs to Jesus, and there was zero acknowledgement of this in CUFI’s letter. Jesus spoke this very thing concerning Himself and His disciples:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12; see also John 9:5).

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14).

Isaiah 49:6 was likewise a prophecy about Jesus, His role in bringing Jacob back to His Father, and the light of His salvation for the whole world:

And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; Yet surely my just reward is with the Lord, and my work with my God.’ And now the Lord says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength), indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:3-6).

If this was about national Israel, how could Israel bring Jacob (itself) back to God? How could Israel “raise up the tribes of Jacob” and “restore the preserved ones of Israel” (itself)? This would be God’s doing, not Israel’s own doing. As I wrote in a March 2014 post (“Why I Stand With Israel“), 

Albert Barnes (1834), Adam Clarke (1831), John Gill (1746), The Geneva Study Bible (1599), Jamieson/Faussett/Brown (1882), Matthew Henry (1708), The Pulpit Commentary (1880′s), and John Wesley (1754) all stand in agreement that Isaiah was speaking here of Jesus, and that Isaiah referred to Jesus as “Israel.” See their commentaries on verse 3verse 4verse 5, and verse 6.

CUFI’s exaltation of modern, political Israel amounts to blatant idolatry and pushing Jesus to the side, even replacing Him. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament bear witness that Jesus is the light that the world needs.

Related post: “Why I Abandoned Replacement Theology

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Why I Embrace Christian Zionism


There was a time when I was a stranger to Christian Zionism. I was on the outside, I was in the darkness, and I was very much missing out on the blessings found in Christian Zionism. Then God, in His mercy, added me to the family, and to the number of those who have embraced Christian Zionism for the last 2000 years. I haven’t been the same since!

The author of Hebrews described this great transformation about 1950 years ago to his audience at the time, members of the early church:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24).

I am a Christian Zionist because I am a Christian who has been brought to the heavenly Mount Zion, the one that is connected to the heavenly Jerusalem, to Jesus as our Mediator, to the body of Christ, and to the new covenant. This Zionism is glorious, and it’s all about the blessings and promises found in Jesus.

At the same time, I’m not a Christian Zionist. It all depends upon the definition, and one’s covenant perspective. I’m not a Christian Zionist if one goes by the following definitions:

[1] Zionists seek to support, facilitate and advance the return of the Jewish people and sovereignty to their native homeland–the land of Israel. Christians who see the regathering of the Jewish people in their land, as well as the establishment of the sovereign nation of Israel in 1948, as the literal fulfillment of biblical prophecy are known as “Christian Zionists”. Christian Zionists see the Jewish people as the “apple of God’s eye”–His Chosen people, and hold firm that God’s promises, established in the Abrahamic Covenant, remain in effect today.

Christian Zionists are “Biblical advocates” for the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Furthermore, they stand in firm, diametrical opposition to land concessions of any sort which involve the forfeiture of the holy land of Israel as it is a sacred manifestation of the promises of God to the people He calls the “apple of His eye”. Christian Zionists also seek to stand with Israel, showing her unconditional support, solidarity and love whilst praying for her spiritual return to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who “foreknew” her.

Mikael Knighton, Christians Standing With Israel, 2007 (Source)

[2] “Zionism [is] the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel… Jews of all persuasions, left and right, religious and secular, joined to form the Zionist movement and worked together toward these goals. Disagreements led to rifts, but ultimately, the common goal of a Jewish state in its ancient homeland was attained. The term “Zionism” was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum.” (Jewish Virtual Library).

If Zionism is the belief in the Jewish people’s right to return to their homeland, then a Christian Zionist should simply be defined as a Christian who supports the Jewish people’s right to return to their homeland… The actual theology of Christian Zionism, also known as Biblical Zionism, supports the right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland on scriptural grounds… Christian Zionism is confirmed throughout the Hebrew Scriptures… Christian Zionism differs with Replacement Theology which teaches that the special relationship that Israel had with her God in terms of her national destiny and her national homeland has been lost because of her rejection of Jesus as Messiah, and therefore the Church has become the new Israel.

Rev. Malcolm Hedding, Vice-chairman of the Board, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, “Christian Zionism 101 – Giving Definition to the Movement.” (Source)

[3] “Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy.”

Wikipedia, March 2014 (Source)

John Hagee, the founder of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), is recognized as a well-known leader in this movement known as Christian Zionism. CUFI’s theme verse is Isaiah 62:1. “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, til her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.” (Source) It doesn’t take much digging around to understand how Hagee interprets this verse and applies it to the present day. Shhh – don’t tell him that righteousness and salvation have been shining out from Jesus and His church like a blazing torch for the last 2000 years!

Earthly or Heavenly Zion?

You may have already noticed how incredibly preoccupied the Christian Zionist movement is with earthly Zion (Israel). This movement is heavily invested in political/earthly Israel, political/earthly Jerusalem, and the old covenant. This is essentially where this movement goes off track.

Did you notice the very first word in the passage from Hebrews early in this post? It’s a mere conjunction, but it’s very important. It’s the word “but.”

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…”

Through a basic language rule, we know that the author of Hebrews is contrasting something he said earlier. Let’s take a look at the previous few verses:

For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling” (Hebrews 12:18-21).

What did he describe here? He described the scene at Mount Sinai where the law code and the old covenant was given to the people of Israel through Moses. The following contrast is shown:

Mount Sinai = physical (able to be touched), earthly, old covenant… Mount Zion = spiritual (not able to be touched), heavenly, new covenant…

In light of this passage, how does the Christian Zionist movement align itself? Where does it stand in light of what Paul says in Galatians 4:21-31?

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.” Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

The Christian Zionist movement has hijacked both terms that it carries, “Christian” and “Zionism.” For decades it has tried to tell the world that Christians are obsessed with a certain land, a certain country, a certain city, a certain race of people, and a Zion that is of this world. It has suppressed new covenant truths, such as God not showing favoritism to one race over others (e.g. Romans 10:12), and has promoted and financially supported injustice and ethnic cleansing, all in the name of Christianity and before the eyes of a watching world.

Biblical Zionism, according to Galatians 4 and Hebrews 12, is aligned with heavenly Jerusalem, Jesus as our Mediator, His church, His shed blood, transformed hearts, freedom, God’s promises, and the new covenant.

This is the Christian Zionism that I embrace.

Psalm 33:12 and God’s Chosen Nation


Psalm 33:12 and God’s Chosen Nation

by Adam Maarschalk (December 3, 2010)

Psalm 33:12 is a familiar verse to many people. In the United States, it’s often cited in patriotic sermons or at political events along with a declaration that the US is a Christian nation. This is how the verse reads (see here for its context):

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!”

When studying Scripture, it’s important to consider the original intent of the author—as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit—and who was in his original audience (a study method known as “exegesis”). It’s also good to then consider the meaning and application of a given text to one’s own life and time (known as “hermeneutics”). With this in mind, and given your overall knowledge of Scripture, which of these combinations do you believe to be correct for Psalm 33:12?

ORIGINAL AUDIENCE: PRESENTLY APPLIED TO:
Ancient Israel The modern-day nation of Israel and/or the Jewish people
Ancient Israel The nation of Israel, in the future
Ancient Israel The United States of America, at least ideally
Ancient Israel The Church, the body of Christ

I will assume that there is no disagreement regarding the original audience of this Psalm of David, but if there is please do feel free to express your understanding in the Comments section below. Were you surprised to see option #2 listed above? I was certainly surprised the other day when I saw that a fairly well-known pastor and author proposed this as the primary meaning of Psalm 33:12. This is what prompted me to write this post actually. This assertion was made by Pastor Happy Caldwell, founder of Agape Church, a mega church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Caldwell is also an Executive Board Member with Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the influential pro-Israel organization founded by John Hagee. Caldwell wrote the following in the November 23, 2010 CUFI Weekly Update:

The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: And the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance”.

In this Scripture we see the “future” of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people.  God calls those things that be not as though they were.  He speaks the end results from the beginning. (Job 42:12) (Ecclesiastes 7:8) (Isaiah 46:9, 10)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end”.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

As we pray for Israel today, let us remember God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Let us stand together with the Nation of Israel and thank God for the “expected end” . . . which is total peace, prosperity and victory.

The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.”

In other words, according to Caldwell, this passage (Psalm 33:11-12), which was written roughly 3000 years ago, is not presently being fulfilled, but it will be fulfilled one day for the geopolitical nation of Israel. To be fair, it’s not clear whether or not Caldwell believes this was once fulfilled in ancient Israel prior to the destruction of that nation in 70 AD. Caldwell also asserts that “God’s chosen people” is made up of the citizens of the nation of Israel (In his mind, does this include the Palestinians, since out of Israel’s population of about 7.6 million people nearly 2 million are non-Jewish?). It’s also clear that Caldwell makes a direct association between the modern nation of Israel and God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We’ll discuss shortly why all these assertions are highly problematic.

The “biblecc” website is one I’ve found to be helpful in that it provides parallel commentaries for any given Scripture passage (as well as parallel translations). Their entry for Psalm 33:12 includes commentary from Albert Barnes (1834), Adam Clarke (1831), John Gill (1746-63), Charles Spurgeon – The Treasury of David (1869-85), the Geneva Study Bible, and Matthew Henry. The comments at the end of Albert Barnes’ entry are notable (emphasis added):

“And the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance – Chosen to be “His;” or, His portion. The primary reference here is undoubtedly to the Hebrew people, called his “inheritance:” Deuteronomy 4:20Deuteronomy 9:26Deuteronomy 32:9Psalm 74:2Psalm 78:62Psalm 78:71; or “heritage,” Psalm 94:5Jeremiah 12:7,Jeremiah 12:9; but what is here affirmed of that people is true also of all other people who worship the true God.”

Barnes points to nine Old Testament passages where the term “inheritance” or “heritage” is used as a reference to the ancient nation of Israel. Is he correct in saying that “what is here affirmed of that people is true also of all other people who worship the true God”? Does the New Testament bear this out?

It certainly does. God’s major announcement in Exodus 19 regarding His chosen people finds its New Testament equivalent in I Peter 2, and a comparison of these two passages is very revealing. The following is an excerpt from a post I wrote in September titled, “Who Are God’s Chosen People and Why Are They Chosen?”

God has only ever had one chosen people, and no one (regardless of race) is part of God’s chosen people if they are outside of Christ. God’s chosen people in Old Testament times were chosen for the same purpose as God’s chosen people at this time. Compare what was spoken by Moses to “the people of Israel” (Exodus 19:3) to what has been spoken to the Church through Peter. The parallel language is unmistakable, and I have letter-coded the parallels (A, B, and C):

[1] To ancient national Israel: “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be [A]MY TREASURED POSSESSION among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to Me [B] A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS and a [C] HOLY NATION…” (Exodus 19:5-6).

[2] To the Church: “But you are a chosen race, [B] A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a [C] HOLY NATION, a people [A] FOR HIS OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people…” (I Peter 2:9-10).

Can there be any question that the Church is chosen for the same purpose that the nation of Israel was once chosen? …Israel has never ceased to exist. The body of Christ today IS Israel in every true sense (see, for example, Romans 9:6-8 and Galatians 6:16). Outside of Christ there is no Israel (as God’s people), despite the fact that a secular, political nation in the Middle East happens to bear that name today. Romans 9:6-8 is most profound on this point (parenthetical notes are mine): “…For not all who are descended from [natural] Israel belong to [spiritual] Israel, and not all are [spiritual] children of Abraham because they are his [physical] offspring…it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” See this article for an excellent explanation of Galatians 6:16’s use of the phrase “the Israel of God” to refer to the Church: http://www.bible-researcher.com/gal6-16.html. Furthermore, we who are in Christ are spiritual Jews, so to speak: “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter…” (Romans 2:28-29; see also Philippians 3:3).

Galatians 3:16 further points out that all the promises were made to Abraham and his offspring, “referring to One, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ.” In the same chapter, Paul says, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29). Does Paul leave any room for those who are outside of Christ to be heirs of the promises? No, he doesn’t, not even for unbelieving Jews. Nor did Jesus (see, for example, John 8:31-47), nor does the New Testament in any place.

Today many teach that the Jews (meaning all ethnic Jews) are God’s chosen people. I believe this is classic false teaching. I Peter 2:9-10, already quoted here, makes it explicitly clear why God’s chosen people, the body of Christ (believing Jews and Gentiles), are chosen. His people have been called out of darkness and now have the privilege of proclaiming His excellencies to those who are still in darkness. Unbelieving Jews remain in darkness, and cannot possibly carry out any such calling. For those who teach that all ethnic Jews are God’s chosen people, the question remains: What are they (allegedly) chosen for at this present time?

It’s for these same reasons that America cannot qualify as God’s chosen heritage, the nation spoken of in Psalm 33:12. The majority of people in America remain in darkness, just like the majority of Jews, and they don’t know the excellencies of Christ’s salvation, let alone have the ability to proclaim them. This calling belongs exclusively to those who are in Christ. Why do we look elsewhere, whether to America or to the nation of Israel, to find some group to fulfill it? Likewise, for Happy Caldwell to speak of Psalm 33:12 as awaiting a future fulfillment for a geopolitical nation is for him to effectively deny that God has had a chosen people for the last 2000 years walking in holiness as His special possession and proclaiming the gospel to those walking in darkness.

CUFI ornament depicting Israeli and US flag

SOURCE

In another excerpt from the Sept. 2010 post on God’s chosen people, we saw a quick rundown on what the New Testament has to say about God’s chosen people and why they are chosen:

[1] “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14; see verses 1-13 for context).

[2] “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you” (John 15:16).

[3] “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19).

[4] “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him…” (Ephesians 1:3-4; see also verses 5-14 for an even fuller description of what belongs to God’s chosen people).

[5] See also Ephesians 2:11-22 [The word “chosen” is not used, but this passage speaks of God bringing those who were far off (Gentiles) “near by the blood of Christ,” creating “one new man”, “one body,” and breaking down the wall of hostility that separated them (us) from the “the commonwealth of Israel” and “the covenants of promise.”]

[6] “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…” (Colossians 3:11-12).

[7] “As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (I Peter 2:4-10).

Clearly God’s chosen people, according to these passages, are strictly those who belong to Christ. It’s all about bearing spiritual fruit, not being of this world, having every single spiritual blessing, being holy and blameless, being God’s own special possession, proclaiming His excellencies to those who are in darkness, receiving mercy, etc.

Again, these things aren’t true and can’t be true for unbelieving Jews, unbelieving Americans, unbelievers in any location, or for any geopolitical nation as a whole. Yet they are true for the Church. For those who are in Christ, let us rejoice that we are blessed to be part of that nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He has chosen as His heritage.

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All posts on the subject of Christian Zionism can be found here.

A Night to Honor Israel – And to Dishonor Jesus and His Church


A Night to Honor Israel – And to Dishonor Jesus and His Church

by Adam Maarschalk (May 23, 2010)

Last Tuesday night (May 18th) a friend and I headed out for what I thought was one of CUFI’s “A Night to Honor Israel” events. On the way there we imagined ourselves in the midst of several thousand fans waving Israeli and American flags. The crowd would be bleeding with unquestioning support for the nation of Israel and all her political policies. It turns out that the flags weren’t there, and neither were the thousands, but the unquestioning support certainly was. And the political nation of Israel was most definitely honored above all else, including Jesus, who didn’t receive one single mention the entire evening. What my friend and I ended up attending was more like a regional information meeting led by John T. Somerville, the Central Regional Coordinator for CUFI (Christians United for Israel). CUFI is a large organization which was founded in 2006 by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee.

The event was held at Living Word Christian Center, the premier “health and wealth” (prosperity gospel) church in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. LWCC is pastored by Mac Hammond, who is also on the Executive Board of CUFI and is their Region 8 Director (for Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin). The church draws speakers like Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar (yes, that’s his real last name), and Jesse Duplantis, as evidenced by this poster near the entrance to the massive lobby:

The Ahmadinejad bashing began almost right away, my first clue that this evening’s focus would be as much political as anything else. The speaker, John Somerville, listed off the evils of Iran, giving special attention to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s various meetings with foreign diplomats. We were told that each and every time he meets with national leaders he tries to sell them his “let’s wipe Israel off the map” agenda (I certainly acknowledge this agenda as evil). Somerville then predictably invoked Zechariah 2:8, which reads: “…for he who touches you [Jerusalem] touches the apple of His [God’s] eye.” Somerville declared, his voice rising, that the nation of Israel always has been and always will be the apple of God’s eye, His most precious possession. Those who would oppose Israel in any way will incur God’s wrath. As proof of this transgression on the part of national leaders, Somerville put up this ingenious slide picture of different leaders putting a finger up in the air:

Political leaders allegedly “sticking their fingers in God’s eye”

Never mind how easy it was to locate a picture of John Hagee with his own finger extended upward…

If Somerville is correct in his interpretation of Zech. 2:8 (and Hagee as well, for he teaches the same thing), who was the apple of God’s eye from 70 AD until 1948 when there was no nation of Israel? Did nearly 19 centuries pass without God having a special possession to call His own? This time period covers much of the present church age, so what is the Church in God’s eyes? Chopped liver? On the other hand, this is the testimony of the New Testament regarding the Church, which is made up of believing Jews and Gentiles alike: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9).

Somerville, on Tuesday night, voiced his disagreement with the apostle Peter, by announcing numerous times that the Jews are God’s chosen people. He never did clarify what they are presently chosen for, but one curious thing to note was that whenever this phrase appeared in one of his slides it was always capitalized (“Chosen People”). This made me wonder something. If he were to acknowledge that the body of Christ is God’s chosen people (he did not), would capital letters again be used? Somehow I doubt it. His main proof text for his assertion that the Jews are God’s chosen people was Isaiah 65:9. This verse reads, “I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of My mountains; My chosen shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there.”

Ah, this verse appears to speak of the land. So is this a clue as to why Somerville believes the Jewish people are presently chosen? “Israel is the only piece of real estate that God calls His own,” Somerville thundered next. And God has given the land of modern Israel (and more) to the Jewish people forever, we were repeatedly told, so woe to anyone who would get in the way of them possessing it. This apparently includes the Palestinian people who happened to be born there, and whose ancestors had lived there and cultivated the land for a long time. Apparently we can chalk it up to mere collateral damage that around 70,000 Palestinian men, women, and children were slaughtered in 1948; around 700,000 made homeless that same year; and 4 million or so have been dispossessed of their land ever since. The land in red on the map below, we were told, rightfully belongs to the Jewish people. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was “the high-water mark of the British Empire,” Somerville added. Transjordan made up 77% of the (partially) resulting British Mandate, but the British “gave it away in violation of Genesis 12:3 [see below] and Joel 3:2.” The British soon lost their vast empire, according to Somerville, as a direct result of leaving most of “the Promised Land” in the hands of the Arabs:

Somerville emphasized that when God said the land belonged to Israel forever, He meant it. We will address this question in depth in future posts. For now, let us take note that the covenant of fleshly circumcision was also said to be forever/eternal/perpetual [see, for example, Genesis 17:9-14, and note the language used]. The same was said regarding numerous temple-based rituals [Exodus 28:43, 29:28, 31:16-17, 40:15; Leviticus 3:17, 6:18, 22, 7:34, 36]. How does the New Testament deal with the non-land covenants/statutes which were said to be eternal? Should the “eternal” land promises be dealt with in a different manner? If so, why? Were they ever said to be conditional? Are we not heirs of a better “land” under the New Covenant? The land promise was first articulated to Abraham, but what city did he look forward to possessing (hint –> Hebrews 11:10-16)? All of this and more we will deal with later, Lord willing.

Somerville made it very clear that two big “no nos” are [1] attempting to divide the land of Israel and/or Jerusalem, and [2] preventing the Jewish people from coming back to the land God promised them (for which Britain was especially guilty, he said). We were taken to Joel 3:1-2, “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of My people and My heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up My land.”[1] This text, we were told, is proof positive that America is in deep danger because of President Obama’s lack of pro-Israel policies and his non-red carpet treatment of Benjamin Netanyahu in recent months.

Apologies for the blurry photo. It says: “… …” (Zech. 2:8). Is the US sticking its finger in God’s eye? Is the US being brought under the judgment of God? Is there still time and any hope for our nation?

All night long, the only verses referenced or quoted were from the Old Testament. This was no surprise to me, for the New Testament has much to say in direct response to the many false doctrines of Christian Zionism. Those who belong to Christ today are in the New Covenant, but one wouldn’t have known it from being present at this event. Somerville almost broke from this pattern, though, by going to Matthew 25:40. This verse flashed briefly on the screen in front of us before he decided to skip it, but I took note of what was highlighted in that verse. It’s from the famous Sheep and the Goats passage: “And the King will answer them, Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.” I’m all too familiar with how John Hagee treats this passage, so I will go ahead and assume that Somerville (as a key representative of his organization) would have treated it the same. In addition to seeing this as a future judgement, they see Christ’s brothers in this passage as the Jewish people, simply because Jesus was an ethnic Jew. Therefore, God will one day judge all people based on how they related to the Jewish people. What is John Hagee’s creepy application of this passage (Matthew 25:31-46)?

It is important to be right on the Israel question when you consider that being wrong brings you under the curse of God and headed for eternal, everlasting fire with the devil and his angels. Israel is not a “take it or leave it” subject. It is a life and death matter-eternal life!

However, Jesus didn’t consider His true brothers to be those who happened to share His same ethnicity, nor even those who happened to be born of His mother:

Then His mother and His brothers came to Him, but they could not reach Him because of the crowd. And He was told, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” But He answered them, “My mother and My brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:19-21).

Somerville apparently believes that all nations are in some sort of a covenant with God today, saying that they are all duty-bound to honor the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 12:3– “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.” Somerville’s immediate application of this verse was to instruct us to all “go find a Jew tonight and bless him,” and God would then be obligated to bless us in return. I’m not sure if he expected us to go out knocking on doors, asking people if they were Jewish, but it was 9:30 pm by the time we got out of there and…well, I guess I failed to receive my guaranteed blessing that night. On a related note, CUFI’s purpose was expressed on another slide: “to fulfill God’s Biblical Mandate to bless Abraham’s descendants.” Clearly we were meant to understand that it’s Abraham’s physical descendants who we are to go out of our way to bless. How does this idea stand up, though, to the scrutiny of the New Testament?

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:9-10).

The apostle Paul actually cites Genesis 12:3 in Galatians 3:8. Let’s see what he, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had to say on the matter. First, he said that by this promise “the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham” (this also agrees with Peter’s interpretation in Acts 3:25-26). Then Paul goes on to state something which John Hagee and others in this movement very badly need to embrace as truth: “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to One, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ” (Gal. 3:16). Going on a little bit further, we come to even more truth regarding those who are counted as Abraham’s offspring today: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:28-29).

In Christ, there are no benefits that God grants to males which He will not also grant to females, and there are no benefits or promises that He grants to ethnic Jews which He will not also grant to ethnic non-Jews who trust in Christ. All of God’s promises are accessible only through faith (Romans 4:13-18). “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him” (Romans 10:12). “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Galatians 6:15; see also Gal. 5:6 and John 8:39-47).

The saddest part of the evening occurred when Somerville turned the microphone over to a Jewish community leader (a Rabbi?) who was clearly not a follower of Christ. This man, who didn’t hear a trace of the gospel that evening, emphasized the common ground between Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists, much to the delight of the crowd. It only got worse when he proceeded to define what a “righteous Christian” is: one who [1] does what is right regarding the nation of Israel and the Jewish people [2] rejects “replacement theology,” and [3] believes that all the promises God gave to Abraham apply today to his physical descendants, the Jewish race. Unbelievably, this definition of a “righteous Christian” received applause from the crowd, even though it was implied that all Christians who fail to meet these three criteria are unrighteous. The Biblical definition of righteousness has everything to do with Jesus and His work on the cross. It’s impossible to be a genuine follower of Christ without being made righteous, and to be without righteousness is to be without Christ. The deceived supporters of CUFI fell for the lies spoken by a man who has no hope of ever being found righteous unless God draws him to Himself and he places his trust in Christ for salvation. Tragically, that hope was kept hidden from him that night.

We were pushed hard to join more than 175,000 other Christians in signing “The Israel Pledge.” In fact, the crowd was asked to repeat this pledge out loud together (my friend and I remained silent, although we could certainly agree with point #2):

The Israel Pledge We believe that the Jewish people have a right to live in their ancient land of Israel, and that the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of this historic right. We maintain that there is no excuse for acts of terrorism against Israel and that Israel has the same right as every other nation to defend her citizens from such violent attacks.

We pledge to stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel and to speak out on their behalf whenever and wherever necessary until the attacks stop and they are finally living in peace and security with their neighbors.

A few days ago, Jews for Jesus’ founder Moishe Rosen passed away. He left behind a heartfelt letter in which he expressed his concerns regarding certain trends today:

As I go, one of the things that concerns me deeply is how much misunderstanding there is among believers. I never thought I would live to see the day when those who know the Lord and are born again were supporting the efforts of rabbis who, frankly, not only don’t know Christ, but don’t want to know Him.

To be an honest ministry, it can only come from the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit can only indwell those who have the new birth and are born again. Therefore, I would urge you to think very seriously before you support any “ministry” that involves Jewish people and doesn’t actually bring the gospel to the Jews… Within Judaism today, there is no salvation because Christ has no place within Judaism.

Source: http://jewsforjesus.org/(HT: PJ Miller)

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All posts on the subject of Christian Zionism can be found here.


[1] In a future post I hope to interact with Joel 3:1-2, which is often used today by Christian Zionists to say that God will judge all nations in the future based on how much or how little favor they granted to the nation of Israel which was founded in 1948. Briefly, though, it may be of interest to note that both John Wesley and Matthew Henry saw in this passage a two-fold application: [1] to the time period following Judah’s defeat at the hand of the Babylonians in 586 BC, and [2] to the Church in this present age, in terms of God ultimately vindicating His people who experience persecution and martyrdom for their faith.

“With God On Our Side”: A Documentary on Christian Zionism


FILM REVIEW: “With God On Our Side” (includes video previews)

by Adam Maarschalk: April 29, 2010

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him” (Romans 10:12).

In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 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. 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” (Ephesians 3:4-6).

For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your children will be reckoned.’ In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring” (Romans 9:6-8).

These three passages are only a sampling of New Testament passages demonstrating that “the playing field” is leveled because of Christ’s work on the cross, and that in the kingdom of God ethnic descent counts for absolutely nothing. Saving faith in Christ is required to have any stake whatsoever in the promises of God (see especially Galatians 3:7-9, 16, 29; Romans  4:13-16, 22-25; Galatians 5:6, 6:15-16). How does this New Covenant truth play out, though, in 21st century American Christianity? Do we believe it? Do we teach it? Do we practice it? Or do we teach instead that God favors one ethnic group over all others, and that He holds out promises for that one ethnic group which He withholds from others? The sad fact is that there is a popular movement which indeed strongly advocates this type of partiality and favoritism. This movement is known as Christian Zionism, an offshoot of Dispensationalism, the school of thought invented by John Nelson Darby in the 1830’s and popularized by the 1909 publishing of the Scofield Reference Bible.

Are there significant implications for supporting Christian Zionism? Porter Speakman Jr. believes so. Speakman is the director of a brand new documentary titled “With God On Our Side” (not to be confused with a 2004 documentary by the same name highlighting “the rise of the religious right in America”). It was released by Rooftop Productions on April 8, 2010. The following is the film’s synopsis:

With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole.

This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.

I watched this documentary last weekend, and highly recommend it for anyone who has any interest at all in the present Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and especially for those who have theological convictions regarding modern day Israel and/or the Jewish people. My brief review of this film will follow shortly, but first I’d like to highlight the five official (short) video clips posted on Vimeo to promote the film. They don’t do justice to the excellent content of the film itself, but they are a good introduction:

[1]

This first video is the official trailer of “With God On Our Side.” It includes brief testimony from Salim Munayer, a Palestinian Christian who lived in the region when Israel became a nation in 1948. Salim helped to found Musalaha, a non-profit organization “that works toward reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians based on the Biblical principles of peace, justice, and love.”  This trailer also includes footage from certain Palestinian areas, and speaks briefly of the more than 3 million Palestinian refugees who today make up the largest refugee population in the world. The viewer is also given a couple of brief glances at a “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI) rally led by pastor John Hagee of San Antonio, Texas.

[2]

In this second video clip, Gary Burge (Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, and a student living in Beirut when the Lebanon civil war broke out in the 1970’s) speaks on Biblical justice and kingdom values. Examples would be the truths Jesus articulated in the Sermon on the Mount, and His actions toward the people who were marginalized in the Israel of His day. Gary asks whether or not evangelical Christians today are promoting and applying these values equally toward all peoples in the Middle East, regardless of their background.

[3]

In this third video clip, Salim Munayer, who is also a leader on faculty at Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine, tells of a popular US Christian radio anchor interviewed some time ago on Israeli TV. This Christian leader cited the book of Joshua in making his case that the Jews should destroy the population of Lebanon. The point of this Palestinian believer is that many American Christian leaders are being perceived in the Middle East as warmongers, as desiring to be rich but not caring for the poor, as standing for power and not peace/justice, as hating Muslims, as being one-sided regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, etc. He points out that certain Christian spokespersons in America (especially from the Christian Zionist camp) are heard loudly in the Middle East, and their statements are immediately translated into Arabic on a regular basis. Their teachings and political opinions are hindering the ministry of believers in that region.

[4]

In this fourth video clip, a Christian British journalist speaks of the unjust accusation of anti-semitism which is often leveled at those who attempt to tell the “Palestinian narrative,” or who advocate equality between the Jewish and Palestinian communities. I might add that I’ve also personally heard this charge applied unfairly to those who simply question or reject the teachings of dispensationalism and/or Christian Zionism, which happen to be fairly new doctrines in Church history. Another term which is hastily applied to those who don’t believe that the Jewish people hold a special status in New Covenant Christianity is “replacement theology.”

Photo Credits: All photos in this post are sourced from the “We Love Israel” page on Facebook.

[5]

In this fifth video clip, Stephen Sizer (a pastor at Christ Church in Surrey, England; also an author, theologian, and an international speaker specializing in topics relating to the land of Israel) speaks of the danger of simplistic answers regarding the Israeli/Palestinian situation. These dangers include making one group or the other “the bad guys,” or demonizing a whole group of people, leading to a justification of the abuse of civilians in order to advance a certain cause. He compares some of the arguments which are being advanced today to the arguments which allowed for the ethnic cleansing of North America’s indigenous people in generations past.

A Brief Review of “With God On Our Side”

One of the features of this film which I greatly appreciated was the space given to Palestinian Christians to share their stories and their perspectives. They are often a forgotten voice in the present conflict. The same is unfortunately true in the world of Christian Zionism, where even Jewish unbelievers are among the favored ones, but our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters are too often sidelined. One man shared what he saw firsthand in 1948 when Israel became a nation, when his own family members were made homeless along with nearly 700,000 other people. He doesn’t share these details with bitterness. Instead, he expresses how he loved the Jewish people prior to 1948, and by the grace of God continues to love them post-1948. Upon watching the film, one gets the sense that there are so many similar stories which could and should be told.

Another helpful feature of the film is an informative section devoted to the history of the land/region of Palestine during the last several centuries. The film’s very informative official site provides some of these same details, minus the attractive graphics presented in the film. One learns about the Ottoman Empire, its fall around the time of World War I, the famous Balfour Declaration of 1917, and British-controlled Palestine during the “British Mandate,” all prior to 1948. As the film site states,

The status of the populations between Arabs and Jews living in the land of Palestine before 1948 is one that is continuing to be debated. While researching for this film, we came across various population numbers and statistics. We have tried to take numbers that most accurately indicated the realities on the ground at that time. The two main things that can be said with little doubt, no matter what numbers you use is that, one, the land of Palestine was not empty when Jews began immigrating back in the late 19th century. Two, there was a majority Arab population and minority Jewish communities living in the land of Palestine before 1948.

Jewish immigration to Palestine grew, especially during and after WW2 and the Holocaust, which saw the systematic murder of over 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazis. As Jewish immigration grew, tensions between the two communities mounted. However, before that, Arabs and Jews lived together peacefully. It is true that there was Arab migration into the area as Jewish immigration and opportunities arose; however, the idea that Arabs only started to populate the area when Jews made it prosperous is a myth.

Speaking of myths, some of the theology characteristic of Christian Zionism is discussed throughout the film, but especially during the last half hour (the film is 82 minutes long). The film is not one-sided in this regard, though. Christian Zionists, John Hagee being one of them, are given numerous opportunities to express their views without interruption. In some cases, their views are then refuted by featured speakers in this documentary. In other cases, their specific points are not so thoroughly addressed, though I found myself wishing that they would have been.

The video footage alone makes this film worth viewing. It was fascinating to see the way of life of both Jews and Palestinians in villages, cities, and marketplaces. To be sure, there were heartbreaking moments as well. The suffering and injustices are incredible, and too many are needlessly being made victims, and much more could be said on this. The viewer learns of some disturbing details behind the push to locate settlers in disputed areas, including massive financial support from Christian organizations in America which is enabling certain aggressive activities to continue and increase. Is God on one side of the present conflict, but not on the other? Christian Zionists say “yes,” but does the Bible agree? Emphatically, I must say “no.”

It’s my conviction that it’s impossible to make a responsible case from within the pages of the New Testament that God maintains any promises for the Jewish people which are not available for all who trust in Christ, not even promises regarding the land of Israel. In fact, unbelieving Jews (and Gentiles) are entirely outside of God’s covenant and promises, for these promises are only accessible through faith. Nor do I believe that any promises await any future fulfillment exclusively or primarily for the Jewish people, for there really is no Jew or Gentile in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). I realize that the statements I’ve just made are a huge can of worms for a lot of people. Good! Let us all dig deep on these things for ourselves, and not just blindly follow popular teachers and teachings.

When time allows, I hope to write much more extensively on this very subject, for there are so many things to consider. In the meantime, for anyone who is interested, one excellent resource is  a series of presentations based on Stephen Sizer’s book, “Zion’s Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel, and the Church.” Sizer has kindly made this series available online for free (the book is available for purchase here). I have read portions of this series and what I’ve read so far is thorough, well-thought-out, and simply an excellent study. I plan to do a lot of interaction with Sizer’s writings once I do write  further on this subject here at this blog. The following are some of the questions I wish to tackle at that time (feel free, though, to discuss them even now):

-According to the New Testament, who are God’s chosen people today? Does God have one chosen people, or two?

-Are all Jews part of God’s chosen people, as is taught in many Christian circles, or only those Jews who have put their faith in Christ (alongside of all non-Jews who have done the same)?

-Do Jewish Christians (known as “Messianic Jews”) have a higher place in the kingdom of God than non-Jewish followers of Christ? Does Scripture say that this will ever be the case?

-Does Genesis 12:3 mandate that Christians show favoritism toward the modern nation of Israel, the policies of that nation, and/or toward the Jewish people as a whole? Does Genesis 12:3 have anything at all to do with the modern, geopolitical nation of Israel? How about Zechariah 2:8, where Jerusalem is said to be “the apple of God’s eye”?

-Do the Jewish people have a divine right to the land of Israel? Is this idea affirmed anywhere in the New Testament? If yes, where? If no, why not?

-How do the inspired authors of the New Testament apply Old Testament passages which were originally addressed to “the house of Israel”? Are they applied in the NT to the Jewish people as a race, or to the Church (which is made up of believing Jews and Gentiles, with no distinction)? Are they ever spiritualized in any way by the authors of the NT?

-Were the promises given to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament conditional or unconditional? Do they apply to the modern, political nation of Israel? If so, to whom were they applied from 70 AD to 1948 when there was no established nation known as Israel?

-The land promises in the OT were said to be eternal/everlasting/perpetual, as was the covenant of fleshly circumcision, and as were also numerous temple-based rituals. How does the NT deal with the non-land covenants/statutes which were said to be eternal? Should the eternal land promises be dealt with in a different manner? If so, why?

-How does the New Testament speak of earthly Jerusalem in comparison to heavenly Jerusalem, and what are the implications of this contrast?

-Has the New Covenant (promised, for example, in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36) fully arrived yet? Or is its full arrival awaiting the future salvation of the entire nation of Israel (or all  surviving Jews) at the Second Coming of Christ? This is what dispensationalism teaches.

-Are you sure that what you have been taught regarding the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, and other related issues resembles what has been taught throughout Church history, especially prior to the advent of dispensationalism (the school of thought developed by John Nelson Darby in the 1830’s)?

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With God On Our Side” is available for purchase on Amazon.com, where several helpful reviews of the film can also be seen.

All posts on the subject of Christian Zionism can be found here.