Category Archives: Israel and the Church

The Synagogue of Satan and The Church of Pride

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Now who exactly is Jesus addressing here in these passages? I’m not sure, but it could be either of three possible kinds of claims to Jewish identity, or some combination of them. First, there is the reprehensible but less fatal error of expecting that native Jewish identity and heritage gives the natural born Jew special covenant rights and favor over other gentile brethren. This is in manifest contradiction to the “mystery” that Paul proclaimed among the gentiles. (This propensity is currently making a come back).

However, it appears that the Lord is here denouncing something that is much more pernicious. All error is costly but not all error is fatal; this is fatal. It is more than pride of ethnic identity. It is the really Satanic presupposition that there is something good in man (Mt 19:17; Ro 7:18). It is the principle of all works religion that looks for something in the power of the creature on which it can base its hope of salvation or even a prideful distinction above others that permits judgment of others (Lk18:9; 1Cor 4:7). It is simply trust in the flesh. So the “Synagogue of Satan,” is, in one form or another, really just “the church of pride.” […] Continue reading

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Israel’s ‘Divine Right’ to the Land

[…] The issue of Jewish right to the Land and the city of Jerusalem will be the great stumbling block of the last days leading to the time of the unequaled tribulation (Jer 30:7; (Dan 12:1; Mt 24:21). The offense that the Land belongs to the Jews by divine right will be magnified as the world finds greater and greater fault with a people who dig themselves an ever deepening hole by their desperate struggle to secure peace by the arm of the flesh. They will incur the wrath and disdain of many nations, particularly those Islamic nations that particularly despise the covenant that grants the Land to a people of no special regard (Ps 83: Ezek 35:5; 36:5; 38:2-3, 5-6).

In my view, Piper’s view undermines this basic conviction of scripture concerning the relationship of the Jew to the Land. Furthermore, it opens the way for the church to turn its head away from the growing chorus of anti Zionism. The outcry against the “Zionist state” is not merely a protest against Israeli politics, it is a disdain for the covenant of election. The new anti Zionism masks the old anti-Semitism. But it ends in the same blood. It is really the secret envy that exists in every natural heart against the sovereignty of a divine election that has nothing to do with human merit.

Jews in unbelief do what unbelievers do. Get used to it! […] Continue reading

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Role of the Mystery as an Instrument of Judgement

You know, Phil. It’s not that there’s not a beauty and glorious saving power in Christ apart from the context that the mystery provides. The gospel is still a revelation to the heart, even if it is not fully appreciated … Continue reading

Posted in Israel and the Church, The Messianic Secret | Leave a comment

Make it plain upon the tables, that all who read may run…

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Here’s what I do:

I simply begin with people’s familiarity with the story of Bethlehem and show them the prophecy in Mic 5:2, pointing out the antiquity of the prophecy (8th century contemporary of Isaiah). I then point out the next verse (Mic 5:3), which shows the “giving up” of Israel, pointing out the causal connection between the “therefore” of verse 3 and the “giving up” of the nation to the smiting of the ruler in verse 1 – Mic 5:1 (obviously the ruler from Bethelehem of verse 2 – Mic 5:2). I make much of the fact that the “giving up” of Israel is never permanent, but only UNTIL the time of Zion’s travail, pointing out that this is OT language for the travail and subsequent birth of the nation which follows the unequaled travail of “Jacob’s trouble” (Isa 66:8; Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1). I then ask if they’ve ever heard of the “great tribulation” (many have through everything from the “Left Behind” series to the History Channel. I sometimes mention the view of many Rabbis who spoke of “the messianic woes” or “footsteps of the Messiah” in reference to this fearful time.

(After this simple foundation, the way is made for almost any point of importance. In other words, it is a convenient grid to build on, as it opens up many of the great questions and issues of the mystery of the faith in its full reach to the end of the age). […] Continue reading

Posted in Apocalyptic Evangelism, Bible Study, Israel and the Church, Jacob's Trouble, The Everlasting Covenant | 1 Comment

The Tragic Cost of Replacement Theology

[…] Until recently, the church has, for the larger part, retired in defeat from Jewish evangelism. Yet nothing else is more calculated to prepare and deepen the church in its own faith than its encounter with the formidable Jew, the beloved enemy “for your sakes”. The Jew forces the church to do its homework. The challenge of outreach and witness to the Jew is calculated to deepen the church’s appreciation for the mystery of the faith as nothing else. If the church resigns its calling to go to the Jew first, it surrenders a key component in God’s larger strategy in the evangelism of the nations. Hence, the church that is ineffectual towards Israel is ineffectual in a crucial aspect of its mission, which must be accomplished in order for Christ to return.

Israel is God’s self appointed mission impossible. History has an appointment to keep. The glory of God is demonstrated in His ability to finally bring the very same people that He first brought out of Egypt into the Land to stay (see Num 14:11-21; Dan 2:44. Compare the phrase “other people in Lev 20:24, 26 with Dan 2:44). The divine conquest of Jewish unbelief will be the like the parting of the Red Sea. The birthing of Israel ‘in one day’ (Isa 66:8; Zech 3:9) will be a monument to irresistible grace, comparable to Paul’s sovereign divine arrest on the Damascus road (Gal 1:15-16; w/ Ps 102:13; 110:3). Only this will be public in the sight of all nations. Indeed God has bound the destiny of all nations to the fall and rising again of Israel. If the church knew this, as it once did, it could never pray for the kingdom to come on earth without this consciousness. It would see Israel’s salvation as a special object of its corporate travail (in analogy to Paul’s travail for his Galatians; Gal 4:19 w/ Isa 66:8; Rev 12:2). […] Continue reading

Posted in Bible Study, Israel and the Church, Jacob's Trouble, Opposing Views, Preterism, The Day of the Lord, The Everlasting Covenant | Leave a comment