Christian Zionism | Stephen Sizer

Dear Reggie, Thanks for your heart for the Jews and for the longing in your heart to stand with them in the future. I believe it will be very necessary to prepare the church for the coming events. To have a look on the “other side,” I am going to send you this site [of Stephen Sizer]. I was in contact with him and I did read his books, I suggest to you to read his presentations and you also can download the books and read them. It is important, I believe. What I did find out in the past is one thing: there will not be another Holy Covenant; this is not possible, but what I believe is that the Jews will try to build a temple by their hands and this will be the point where God will let the enemy in. But nevertheless, the christians / Church will come to that point to stand with them and preach to them and love them! That’s true and there will be no rapture as the dispensationalists are teaching. Reggie, please read this. I believe it is very important. And then please let us pray for a coming to Germany! Blessings and in HIS hands

Dear sister, I’m aware of Sizer and Webber and a number of others who are having great impact on the evangelical world. Not only is their critique of modern dispensationalism compelling, they bring sophisticated arguments against the prophetic significance of the modern state of Israel. They are the exegetical “big guns” behind the new trend of “Zionism bashing,” which is becoming increasingly prevalent among many evangelicals. It is the beginning of a turning tide of opinion and sentiment. The errors of one untenable extreme are used to drive many into another error far worse than the first.

We are dealing here with mystery divinely ordained to test hearts. There is error and extremes on both sides. It will take great grace to escape error to one side or the other.

It just happens that yesterday I was in a store called “Half Price Books” here in Texas and came across Sizer’s book and bought it. So I see your email as providential. I will give it a thorough examination. I can only imagine the difficulty that this has made for you. I believe it will take a miracle to escape the coming deception.

As to the question of “another” holy covenant, I would say this: There has only ever been one holy covenant. It was made with the Jews and the Jews alone. We have been “grafted in among them” to partake of their covenants and promises through the Jewish Messiah. That covenant still stands with Israel, despite their unbelief, as witnessed by the abiding curse for its non- fulfillment.

Through its fulfillment in Christ, the first covenant becomes the ‘second’ and ‘everlasting’ covenant spoken of in the prophets. In a way of speaking the second covenant is the first covenant fulfilled. The flesh can no longer abort the promise, since all the requirements of the first covenant are fulfilled in Christ’s atonement and in the believer through the Spirit. The fulfilled covenant can no longer curse but only bless the doer, which is Christ both for the believer, and in the believer.

This cancels nothing of the righteousness that all the prophets said would come to the penitent remnant at the end of Jacob’s trouble. Although the everlasting covenant of an ‘everlasting righteousness’ has been extended through the gospel to all nations, still, Israel remains “under” the conditional side of the covenant, and hence under its abiding curse, until the veil is taken away.

So the “everlasting covenant” is essentially “the covenant of regeneration.” The saints and prophets, such as Jeremiah and David, were no strangers to the circumcision of the heart and the law in the heart, but the promise of the new heart anticipated the time when, not a mere remnant, but “all” the surviving remnant of Israel would be irrevocably righteous forever (Isa 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Zeph 3:13), and so inherit the Land forever, without the abiding threat of further exile through Israel’s habitual tendency to back slide.

Through the mystery of the gospel, this grace (the salvation of the coming day) has appeared to all men in unexpected advance of THAT DAY. This is the revelation of the one new man through the mystery of Christ in you (even you gentiles), but this takes nothing from the promise that the gospel will yet be revealed to the beleaguered remnant at the end of Jacob’s trouble. That will be the time of the “restitution of all things spoken by all the prophets since the world began.” To conceive of that restoration as NOT including God’s covenant promise to ‘post-tribulational Israel would have been unthinkable, as it surely was to Paul. Instead, the church, for the larger part, continues to “boast against the branches” to this day, even while Jerusalem trembles (Isa 34:8; Zech 12:2), threatening the “literal” fulfillment of all unfulfilled prophecy that has been denied for most of church history.

So despite Jewish unbelief concerning Christ, the covenant places and institutions are still divinely regarded as “holy”. Therefore, when we speak of the rage of the Antichrist against the “holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30), we are speaking of Satan’s hatred of Jewish election and right to the Land on the basis of divine predestination. We are NOT suggesting that Jewish worship counts for anything apart from faith in Christ. Manifestly, it does not. Otherwise, their worship would be acceptable. That it is NOT acceptable is shown by the fact that Israel’s greatest discipline and judgment comes at the very time their religious self assurance is reaching its heights.

Still, the presumption of the nations under Antichrist is none the less counted as the ultimate effrontery against the God of the covenant, since when the nations “come down” to ‘divide’ and ‘part’ the land (Joel 3:2; Dan 11:39), God’s fury comes up in His face (Ezek 38:18). With this act of consummate effrontery, the nations have crossed the final boundary of divine patience (Isa 24:5). This is significant to observe.

The issue of the Land will test every heart. Not because the Land is anything in and of itself, but because it concerns what God has spoken, and therefore raises the question of divine election, particularly since the Jews that are in the Land are not yet obedient to God through faith in the Messiah’s blood. Why then should unbelieving Jews be entitled to the Land any more than the Palestinians or any other people? The answer is that God has given the Land unconditionally apart from works on the basis of future grace. This exposes each person’s view of the nature of grace, which is precisely the point of divine testing.

Therefore, Jewish unbelief does not make void the ordinances of God. The sacrifice and the ‘holy place’ is holy, not in the sense of efficacy for atonement, but in the sense of ‘set apart’ according to divine institution. However, all such ordinances of the law avail nothing for those who wait on ‘that altar’ (Heb 13:10) with unbelieving hands.

Although these things are difficult, so much depends on taking to heart the Lord’s clear command to go to Daniel and “understand” (Mt 24:15). Jesus prescribes this as the only safe-guard against the unparalleled deception. “Be on guard. Behold, I have foretold you all things” (Mk 13:23).

Your friend in Christ, Reggie


Followup:

Reggie,
I have made some comments and raised some questions. They are in blue italics. You can share with others as you feel lead. In Christ’s Name

Dear sister, I’m aware of Sizer and Webber and a number of others who are having great impact on the evangelical world. Not only is their critique of modern dispensationalism compelling, they bring sophisticated arguments against the prophetic significance of the modern state of Israel. They are the exegetical “big guns” behind the new trend of “Zionism bashing,” which is becoming increasingly prevalent among many evangelicals. It is the beginning of a turning tide of opinion and sentiment. The errors of one untenable extreme are used to drive many into another error far worse than the first.

We are dealing here with mystery divinely ordained to test hearts. There is error and extremes on both sides. It will take great grace to escape error to one side or the other.

It just happens that yesterday I was in a store called “Half Price Books” here in Texas and came across Sizer’s book and bought it. So I see your email as providential. I will give it a thorough examination. I can only imagine the difficulty that this has made for you. I believe it will take a miracle to escape the coming deception. (Is this what Solomon in Eccl. was warning us not to do, even if they are half priced, and use and rely on the one & only book)?

I appreciate your point, and your heart here, but since we’ve had a little exchange over this before, let me explain my thought on this. The books and web sites that were recommended to my attention are some that were put in the hands of these people by friends. It is often only afterwards that these false teachers are found out and exposed. Francis Schaffer once said, “Christian apologetics is an enterprise of compassion.” We are told to instruct those that oppose themselves in patient hope that God will give repentance and recovery to the truth. There is hope of that here, because I took the time to learn a little (not exhaustively) about the opposing view, simply because the scripture also tells us that to answer a matter before it is heard is a shame and a folly (somewhere in Proverbs). Paul tells us heresies must come so that the “approved” may be manifest (2Tim 2:15). It also says, “the righteous studies to answer”. Now I know that doesn’t mean study many books, but it does mean to look for ways to help people that have been infected with dangerous lies that do injury to the cause of Christ. So I take pains only for their sake to know what has troubled them. I’m secure in what God has shown me, but not so secure that I don’t try to give due hearing to brothers like you who God puts in my way. I’m not trying to master all the issues. Each has their part and calling. My only concern is to know a little of what is directly opposing some of the things that I see as particularly menacing to the church. I can’t cover all the bases. My part extends no further than what God has entrusted in the area of my own sense of stewardship and responsibility. I’m certainly no debater. In fact, I’m terrible at that, but these gainsayers must be answered. I’m only trying to be a servant to whosoever will before God answers these foul spirits (that’s what’s behind these doctrines of demons) in a terrible and final way.

As to the question of “another” holy covenant, I would say this: There has only ever been one holy covenant. It was made with the Jews and the Jews alone. We have been “grafted in among them” to partake of their covenants and promises through the Jewish Messiah. That covenant still stands with Israel, despite their unbelief, as witnessed by the abiding curse for its non- fulfillment.

Through its fulfillment in Christ, the first covenant becomes the ‘second’ and ‘everlasting’ covenant spoken of in the prophets. In a way of speaking the second covenant is the first covenant fulfilled. (Question -Is this proper wording? I believe I under stand your point. There will be a New Covenant with the house of Israel & Judah).

Agreed. But the new covenant and the everlasting covenant of Old Testament promise doesn’t just come into existence at the future day of the Lord. The book of Hebrews shows that its origins reach back into eternity past in the eternal counsel of the Godhead. I believe it has always stood with those who had the new heart and spirit. That didn’t begin at Pentecost. Paul understood that the promise takes in all the seed of the Spirit (“the remnant according to the election of grace”) who went before and looks on ahead to the day when “all Israel” will be righteous in the Land, so that every Jewish survivor of the last tribulation, and all the children born to them thereafter, will ever again fail of the everlasting righteousness promised in the NC (compare Dan 9:24 with Jer 31:34; 32:40). The promise of eternal inheritance can never be guaranteed of secure continuance until every Jew living on earth at that time (“from least to the greatest”) will know Him. It will be end of covenant jeopardy, because the fear of God will be “put” in every Jewish heart, so that the back sliding heart of unbelief has been permanently replaced with a heart of flesh. Manifestly, something has been broken that stays broken until the time of the second resurrection.

The flesh can no longer abort the promise, since all the requirements of the first covenant are fulfilled in Christ’s atonement and in the believer through the Spirit. The fulfilled covenant can no longer curse but only bless the doer, which is Christ both for the believer, and in the believer. (But is it still a curse to the nonbeliever and the false prophets)?

Agreed. The flesh (not the body) remains ‘under’ the law. The motions of the flesh still reap the fruits of the curse..

This cancels nothing of the righteousness that all the prophets said would come to the penitent remnant at the end of Jacob’s trouble. Although the everlasting covenant of an ‘everlasting righteousness’ has been extended through the gospel to all nations, still, Israel remains “under” the conditional side of the covenant, and hence under its abiding curse, until the veil is taken away. (And that will be when Jer 31:31 , Eze 37:26 & Hebrews 8:1-13 will be completed.)

That’s right.

So the “everlasting covenant” is essentially “the covenant of regeneration.” The saints and prophets, such as Jeremiah and David, were no strangers to the circumcision of the heart and the law in the heart, but the promise of the new heart anticipated the time when, not a mere remnant, but “all” the surviving remnant of Israel would be irrevocably righteous forever (Isa 54:13; 59:21; 60:21; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Zeph 3:13), and so inherit the Land forever, without the abiding threat of further exile through Israel’s habitual tendency to back slide.

Through the mystery of the gospel, this grace (the salvation of the coming day) has appeared to all men in unexpected advance of THAT DAY. This is the revelation of the one new man through the mystery of Christ in you (even you gentiles), but this takes nothing from the promise that the gospel will yet be revealed to the beleaguered remnant at the end of Jacob’s trouble. (this is the point of Jer 31:31 & Eze 37:26). That will be the time of the “restitution of all things spoken by all the prophets since the world began.” To conceive of that restoration as NOT including God’s covenant promise to ‘post-tribulational Israel would have been unthinkable, as it surely was to Paul. Instead, the church, for the larger part, continues to “boast against the branches” to this day, (and this is why the rebellion of the church and the falling away) even while Jerusalem trembles (Isa 34:8; Zech 12:2), threatening the “literal” fulfillment of all unfulfilled prophecy that has been denied for most of church history. (Have the False Prophets done their job well!?)

I especially appreciate your ability to see the relationship between the church’s arrogance against the branches and the great falling away. There’s a connection. This what the coming “controversy of Zion” is all about. The church has already paid, and will pay a yet more terrific price for its carelessness of Paul’s warning in Ro 11:25. However, I want to add that if we see better than another, this owes to nothing in us more than others. While there is sufficient clarity in scripture to make our ignorance of the truth reprehensible from the standpoint of divine claim and justice, still, any ability to see what God has also deliberately hidden from the wisdom of this age, is all of grace and nothing of ourselves. The only One who has made any to differ is God (1Cor 4:7). This keeps us from the pride that stands in judgment from the standpoint of our humanity. It is only mercy that the elect are not taken away with the same deception that comes to the ‘earth dwellers’, since it is only grace that we are counted worthy to escape the same.

So despite Jewish unbelief concerning Christ, the covenant places and institutions are still divinely regarded as “holy”. Therefore, when we speak of the rage of the Antichrist (antichrists) against the “holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30), we are speaking of Satan’s hatred of Jewish election and right to the Land on the basis of divine predestination. We are NOT suggesting that Jewish worship counts for anything apart from faith in Christ. Manifestly, it does not. Otherwise, their worship would be acceptable. That it is NOT acceptable is shown by the fact that Israel’s greatest discipline and judgment comes at the very time their religious self assurance is reaching its heights.

Still, the presumption of the nations under Antichrist (False Prophet) is none the less counted as the ultimate effrontery against the God of the covenant, since when the nations (here is your antichrists) “come down” to ‘divide’ and ‘part’ the land (Joel 3:2; Dan 11:39), God’s fury comes up in His face (Ezek 38:18). With this act of consummate effrontery, the nations have crossed the final boundary of divine patience (Isa 24:5). This is significant to observe. (Is this the valley of– decision, Jehoshaphat, Hinnom, Hamon Gog, vision, & of slaughter)?

Yes, to all of the above. This is the final preparation for “the great day of God almighty” spoken of in Rev 16:14. It is the day of the Lord, which culminates at Jerusalem and the surrounding region that answers to the names you mention here. I also know a little of your burden that people not think of the coming Antichrist as only one individual. While I believe that only one individual is the final embodiment of the mystery of iniquity (Paul’s “man of sin”) by means of a death and resurrection that accomplishes the full manifestation of Satan in the flesh, I also recognize that there is another of equal satanic power and authority called the false prophet, and that all the natural “children of wrath” that pass on into final reprobation, are of that same spirit and mystery (many antichrists), which has been at work since the beginning, and which, since the advent of Jesus, takes the form of the denial of His full deity. Therefore, when I use the term Antichrist, I’m most often using it as shorthand for a far more extensive subject.

The issue of the Land will test every heart. Not because the Land is anything in and of itself, but because it concerns what God has spoken, and therefore raises the question of divine election, particularly since the Jews that are in the Land are not yet obedient to God through faith in the Messiah’s blood. Why then should unbelieving Jews be entitled to the Land any more than the Palestinians or any other people? The answer is that God has given the Land unconditionally apart from works on the basis of future grace. This exposes each person’s view of the nature of grace, which is precisely the point of divine testing.

Therefore, Jewish unbelief does not make void the ordinances of God. The sacrifice and the ‘holy place’ is holy, not in the sense of efficacy for atonement, but in the sense of ‘set apart’ according to divine institution. However, all such ordinances of the law avail nothing for those who wait on ‘that altar’ (Heb 13:10) with unbelieving hands.

Although these things are difficult, so much depends on taking to heart the Lord’s clear command to go to Daniel and “understand” (Mt 24:15). Jesus prescribes this as the only safe-guard against the unparalleled deception. “Be on guard. Stay away from those False Prophets with itchy ear and the garbage they write, (Eccles. 12:12) Behold, I have foretold you all things” (Mk 13:23). And part of this understanding in Daniel includes 12:11-13. It is going to be rough on the remaining Church / Christians, especially for a few days.

I’d like to know more of what you have in mind here concerning the extension of days? I have my tentative view and I know of others whose view are not so tentative. There is one more point that I seldom see made, and that is this: Whatever the meaning, it is clear from this that Daniel understood these days to be quite literal. This is overlooked by those who want to spiritualize everything that gets in the way of their presuppositions.

In brotherly love, Reggie

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