Jesus’ Throne – World Update

Jesus’ Throne – World Update

Bible Blog Prayer Uncategorized


“But know this, that in the last days perilous
times will come…..”
2 Timothy 3:1


“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks
For if they did not escape who refused Him
who spoke on earth, much more shall we not
escape if we turn away from Him who speaks
from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth;
but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once
more I shake not only the earth but also heaven.”
Hebrews 12:25-26

Events in Israel this week and the downing of the Malaysian airliner over the separatist Ukraine have brought the world to a new place of danger and chaos. Paul was thus right when he wrote that the Spirit of a God warns that in the latter days fierce times would befall the world. These days are upon us and we should all tremble because God is shaking all things so that, in the end, only those things that are built upon His purpose and word will survive. More upheavals are on the way.

Scripture affirms that Jesus will remain at the right hand of glory until his enemies become His footstool. (Matthew 22:44) This means that God will now bring evil out into the open like a festering sore and then He will crush it. Just think; Israel most certainly has a right to defend itself in the face of a sustained missile attack from a Muslim group that is totally dedicated to her destruction. Yet the world constantly pressurizes her to show restraint so that this group, that uses its people, women and children, as human shields, can survive to fight another day with even more sophisticated weaponry supplied by Iran. Everyone knows this but they turn a blind eye and demand that Israel be lenient and show restraint. This is absurd, wicked and revealing in that it demonstrates the anti-Jewish attitudes in the world but, more telling; the commitment of global leaders to evil all in the name of appeasement and political correctness. All couched in political double speak and deception. The mainstream media is a player in this hatred of all things Israeli. Their reporting on the conflict with Hamas is appalling and loaded against Israel. They are coming to Jesus’ footstool.

Then there’s Iran, rushing undeterred toward a nuclear ability and once again, the average Joe knows it but apparently not our leaders and politicians in the West. They run around the world with no moral compass, look evil in the face and do nothing. Actually they give time and space for Iran to race towards nuclear armament and once again, we all knew this would happen. So, they have extended a deadline that Iran was supposed to meet and all the time the Iranian centrifuges continue to spin. They too are coming to Jesus’ footstool.

The Church at large too is plunging toward wickedness and evil as it embraces sexual lifestyles that are clearly prohibited by scripture and thereby it gives support to an agenda that undermines marriage and the family; the bedrock of society for thousands of years. Paul again warned that in the last days evil people in the Church will arise who, amongst other things, will seek to discredit marriage (1Timothy 4:1-3). These days are here and they are more evident in the light that many historical church movements are aligning themselves with a radical Islamic agenda for the destruction of Israel. This is a harlot church and it is everywhere. Jesus warned about this “prostitute” in His Revelation and thereby urges the true people of God to come out of her (Revelation 18:4). Truly this gospel denying harlot church is also on its way to Jesus’ footstool.

In the end it is time for each of us to awake from our spiritual slumber and:
1. Preach the true Gospel that calls upon all people everywhere to repent and make Jesus Lord of their lives since He is the only way of salvation.

2. Live holy lives that reflect the image of Christ.

3. Gather with believers in local churches that truly reflect biblical values.

4. Stand with Israel and shield the Jewish people everywhere from anti-Semitism….and,

5. Start praying with real biblical credentials.

These are days of great shaking and they will continue. However a Church that stays true to Jesus will not come to His footstool, but to His throne! (Revelation 3:21-22) This is His promise and we must embrace it no matter the cost.

May God help us to do so.

Malcolm hedding.

Special Statement on UN Resolution

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On November 29th the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state of the United Nations. This decision gave increased credibility and leverage to the Palestinians in their future negotiations to make this a reality and so the consequences of this decision will be far reaching. It will not escape the astute observer of these things that this decision by the world community to disinvest Israel of her land and Capital took place on the 29th November; for it was on this date 65 years ago that this same body recognized the existence of Israel as a nation state. Now this world forum is seeking to give added strength to a people who through their leaders have waged a relentless war of terror against the Jewish people. This war is not for a state of their own but for the removal of the Jewish State in its entirety. This is not a radical right wing position but rather one that is based on the track record, charter, declarations and deeds of the Palestinian Authority.

Their unaltered charter, in violation of the Oslo Accords, continues to call for Israel’s destruction; their school text books do the same and incite hatred of the Jews, their public statements in Arabic over the years, as monitored by Palestinians Media Watch and MEMRI, have called for Israel’s destruction and removal and in April 1994 in Johannesburg after Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, Yasser Arafat assured a Muslim audience that the PLO had not moved away from the 1964 Phased Plan for the destruction of Israel. Faced with an unprecedented offer of peace from the Israeli government a few years later, that included most of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, he rejected it and provoked a second Intifada. This Intifada deliberately targeted and killed hundreds of Israeli citizens including school children of all ages. Sadly, much of the Western media excused these atrocities and thereby found a way to always blame Israel for them! At no time has Israel ever gone after civilians in an attempt to protect herself from this unrelenting and sustained conflict. Yasser Arafat was not a freedom fighter but a terrorist and indeed the father of modern day terrorism and now his Holocaust denying successor Mahmoud Abbas has been rewarded with statehood by the international community. This is a disgrace and more of a commentary on the evil that lurks in the corridors of the United Nations than anything else. Thankfully Canada and the United States of America called it for what it was and rejected the motion.

The recent war with Hamas in Gaza is part of the same conflict. Having pulled out of Gaza in 2005 with good intentions Israel was rewarded with over 12000 missiles that have rained down on her southern towns and villages. No nation would accept this without a permanent holt to this aggression but once again, by the pressure of the international community, Israel has been bullied into pulling back from a total defeat of these terrorists and this by an Islamist in Egypt who certainly fully supports Hamas and seeks only by this move to consolidate his power base before moving on to deal with Israel in the future! It is a sad day when international politicians of all stripes can no longer discern between good and evil and thus, in the near future, there will be a campaign to rehabilitate Hamas and give it legitimacy!! These calls are already being heard.

We are therefore witnessing the rise of global anti-Semitism and with it a sustained attack against Israel. This attack has been pursued through two strategies: First, that of conflict and terrorism and second, by litigation, the smear of Apartheid leveled against Israel and campaigns to disinvest boycott and sanction Israel. Sadly, many main line churches have given their support to this attack. We are looking at warfare and “lawfare” against Israel and now this will escalate! The goal is to discredit Israel, delegitimize Israel and finally dismantle Israel. The Israelis are putting a brave face on the UN decision but nevertheless it is a serious development and the future will demonstrate how this will be played out. The UN decision of the 29th November has put “the wind at the back” of Israel’s enemies and they will now take full advantage of this. For the present we thank God for the USA and Canada that have stood firm in their support of Israel but we must know that the enemies of Israel will do all that they can to corrupt and break the unshakable relationship that exists between the USA, Canada and Israel.

Seventy years ago thirteen million Jews were threatened in Europe and six million were exterminated while much of the world watched silently. This must not happen again. Now is the time for Christians everywhere to stand up and be counted. We must do all that we can to befriend the Jewish people and Israel. We all have a sphere of influence that we can tap into.

The following words are by Canada’s Foreign Minister, John Baird, please note them carefully:

“In choosing not to stand idly by as the age-old hatred of the Jewish
people has been transferred to the “collective Jew”, I have been speaking
up against the new anti-Semitism that is so pervasive today in the world.
It targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, as the source
of injustice and conflict in the world. It is perversely couched in the language
of human rights. Just as conventional ant-Semitism denied Jews the right to
live as equal members of humanity, the new anti-Semitism denies the State
of Israel the right to live as an equal member of the international community.
Worse still, when this new anti-Semitism expresses itself in the call for the
destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, it is no longer hate speech,
it is incitement to genocide. And we have to name it for what it is.”

The dangers are clear and we must rise to meet them, just as John Baird does, knowing all the time that in the end the battle is the Lord’s and He will not fail His people.

Thus prayer and intercession must be the power behind all that we do.

Malcolm Hedding.

A Refutation of the Film “With God On Our Side”

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“Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by
day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a
light by night, Who disturbs the sea and its waves
roar (The Lord of Hosts is His name): If those
ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord,
then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a
nation before me forever.”

Jeremiah 31:35-36

The Movie “With God on Our Side” is supposed to be a refutation of the biblical position held by Christian Zionists. It is not! In actual fact it is very weak theologically and thus puts up no real theological defense of their position other than to accuse those of holding a differing view of subscribing to dual covenant theology. The weakness of this is self evident because great Christian leaders through the centuries have held Christian Zionist views and yet they were in no way dual covenant by belief. This type of presentation is just arrogance which flows out of the theological insecurity of their position and yet it deceives many because it is coupled with a strong emotional argument.  If the truth be told they couldn’t even give a reasonable theological answer to Genesis 12:3!

More troubling still, is the fact that the makers of this movie are guilty of misrepresentation and lying! Not only do I testify to this but so do Pastor George Morrison and Pastor John Hagee. They approached us on the understanding that they were doing a totally different type of production. Given that they were Christians and represented respected churches and Christian organizations I believed them and granted them an interview. Naturally, if I had known their real purpose, I would never have done so. Christians do not lie to one another and should not in any circumstances.  (Colossians 3:9)This is the clear teaching of scripture and yet the producers of this movie lied knowingly and without hesitation. This is morally reprehensible; a contradiction of scripture and it totally undermines their so called claim to be people of love, mercy and compassion. A claim that Stephen Sizer himself makes at the end! Jesus said that we shall “know them by their fruit” and not by their grand theological positions! There is no such thing as a “white lie” and scripture teaches that lying is not a small matter as those who do so will not” inherit the kingdom of God.” (Revelation 21:8)

The Exposition of Scripture

The early church had no Canon of the New Testament and did not for the first two hundred years of its existence. When Paul writes to Timothy that “all scripture is inspired and given of God” he was referring to the Hebrew Scriptures or what we call the Old Testament! (2Timoth 3:16) Also when Jesus stated that “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17) He was doing the same thing. The New Testament is not a filter of the Old Testament but a faithful exposition of it!! Thus the early church did not subscribe to “Fulfillment Theology” which is just “Replacement Theology” by another name.  It thus did not teach that Jesus was in fact the land of Israel and that the Abrahamic Covenant had been abolished or reconstructed so as to disinvest the Jews of a national destiny in it and yet; the movie makes the outrageous claim that Biblical Judaism was never really about land but about ethics! Anyone who reads the Old Testament will know that this is just nonsense!! It is thus clear from the writings of the early Church, and those of its leaders that were close to the Apostles, that the premillenial view of history was embraced and with it a national restoration of the Jewish people to the land of their forefathers. Please note that I did not write that a pre-tribulation rapture view of eschatology was the pre-millennial view of the early Church. So, Christians who believe in a national destiny of the Jewish people in the land of Canaan are not compromising on the nature of the Gospel and they are most certainly in step with much of the early Church and with great Christian leaders through history in this regard.

The Battle Ground
The battle ground in this debate is none other than the Abrahamic Covenant. The people who produced “With God on Our Side” want you to believe that this covenant has been abolished or reconstructed to mean something else. There is no proof of this in the Bible! In fact it is the New Testament scriptures, which we believe to be fully inspired, that entirely validates the Abrahamic Covenant and holds it up as proof of God’s faithfulness to His people. This Covenant has many aspects:

1. It is the one of the first proclamations of the Gospel. (Galatians 3:8)

2. It bequeaths to the Jewish people (seed as in plural) the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. (Genesis 17:7-8; Psalm 105:7-12)

3. It promises a unique blessing of salvation for the world through the seed(singular) of Israel  (Genesis 22:16-19)…and;

4. It gives a stern warning and blessing to those who respond to it. (Genesis 12:3)

When Abraham believed what God was saying to him through this covenant it was accounted to him as righteousness.  (Genesis 15:6)That is, he was saved by faith since the covenant, apart from all its other aspects, focused on Jesus!!! This is precisely the point that Paul was making in Galatians three. His readers were in danger of returning to Law as a means of salvation since they were being deceived by what theologians call “Judaizers.” (Galatians 3:1-9) Paul was not reconstructing the Abrahamic Covenant when he wrote to the Galatian believers but merely pointing out that the Law which was given 400 years later did not nullify the promise in this Covenant that God would save the world through the saving work of the “Seed”; Jesus. (Galatians 3:15-16) Salvation is only by faith in His finished work. (Galatians 3:17-18) This was his point and it provoked the question, “Then why did God give us the Law?” Paul answers this by saying, “As a teacher to lead us to Christ.” (Galatians 3:24) That is the Law convicts us of sin. (Romans 3:20) This and this alone is the context of Galatians three. Indeed Paul goes on to validate and confirm the efficacy of the Abrahamic Covenant by stating that if you “belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s children according to the promise”. (Galatians 3:29) Paul was expounding the Abrahamic Covenant as it was originally given and he was not changing it!

Note: To use Galatians three as a means to somehow invalidate the Abrahamic Covenant and debunk it is nothing short of presumption and an argument from silence!!! Yet, this is what the producers of the movie” With God on Our Side” set out to achieve in order to biblically delegitimize Israel’s modern day restoration. There is no doubt that they are accusing God of lying since this Covenant is sworn to, by God Himself (Hebrews 6:13-20), to be everlasting in all its aspects, and indeed it was the reason that John the Baptist and Jesus came! (Luke 1:54-55; 72-75) Not one passage in the New Testament disqualifies it or suggests that it is obsolete.

The Conditional Nature of the Abrahamic Covenant
The Abrahamic Covenant is conditional and unconditional! Herein lays the theological confusion and this is why the issue is so complex leaving the average Christian vulnerable to the error projected by “With God on Our Side.” That is, the promise that the Land of Canaan would be the everlasting possession of the Jewish people is a fact and unalterable but the domicile of the Jewish people upon the land so promised to them is conditional upon their obedience to God and reconciled relationship with Him. (Deuteronomy 28) Failure at the latter will result in warning, correction, judgment and exile.  This is the mission and ministry of the Major and Minor Prophets. History clearly affirms this truth. So, the land is theirs forever but their privilege of living upon it is conditional upon their righteousness! In other words; a Holyland is for a holy people!  This also means that they should be a people who love the stranger in it and deal with him justly and compassionately. (Exodus 22:21)This was the true message being conveyed to Joshua by the Angel of the Lord as he prepared to lead Israel into the Promised Land. (Joshua 5:13-15) God is indeed on His own side and that is the side of His grace, love and mercy but also the side of His holiness and righteousness. The real truth about the movie, “With God on Our Side” is that the producers think that God is on their side!! They actually say as much since they accuse Christian Zionists of being guilty of dual covenant theology, they delegitimize Israel’s biblical credentials and those that are international. Finkelstein asserts that Israel has nothing to negotiate over since she doesn’t have anything to start with! By this sweeping generalization he contradicts the Bible and international law. The latter has been well established by Alan Dershowitz, one of America’s most respected and renowned legal practitioners, who also helped craft Resolution 242 of the United Nations.

The Challenges of Israel’s Restoration Today

There is no doubt that many passages of scripture speak of a future and final and glorious restoration of Israel.(Amos 9:13-15; Zechariah 12:1-14; Psalm2; Isaiah 2:1-4; Ezekiel 36-39) Many of these remarkable passages await fulfillment and their context is literal. Just as an aside; we are not literalists or spiritualists but contextualists! In other words; we allow the Word of God to retain its own authority and this we acknowledge by the context. If the passage is literal in context we interpret it as such and if it is spiritual or figurative we interpret as such. For example when Jesus said that He was a “door” or a “vine” we know that He is speaking figuratively but when He enters into a discussion about the future restoration of Israel in Acts 1:6-7 or Luke 21:24 we know that the context is literal and must be expounded as such. By the way the former passage is totally ignored by the producers of “With God on Our Side” because it undoes their thesis! Theirs is, “waffle Iron theology”; meaning that what fits into their scheme they accept but what contradicts their thesis they ignore or cut off like batter on the side of a waffle iron! In fact one of their ardent supporters Naim Ateek has noted the “embarrassing scriptures’ of the Old Testament that contradict his thesis and he has thus suggested that these passages have to be “dezionized” as he puts it. For the unsuspecting reader this means, “rewritten!”

Israel’s modern day restoration is not because of some prophetic expectation or longing for Armageddon, as the producers of this movie assert, but because of God’s faithfulness to His covenant that He made with Abraham 4000 years ago. However having said this, it is worth noting that all the passages of the Bible relating to the Second Coming of Jesus are in the context of a restored Jewish nation in Canaan. Nevertheless, essentially the Abrahamic Covenant has nothing to do with prophecy but rather with God’s faithfulness to His promises. He is not a liar and when He says “everlasting” He means it. (Numbers 23:19) Also, the challenge of this restoration unfolding before us is that Israel remains in disobedience to Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord God of Heaven has promised to change this! (Zechariah 12:10-14; Romans 11:25-26) This does mean that she can expect trouble and difficulties but still her modern day recovery from the nations is a miracle and scripture clearly affirms that her latter day restoration will be in two stages; first, a return to the Land and second; a return to the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:24-28) It also states that there will be a return to Canaan that will be final resulting in the nation never being uprooted again. (Amos 9:14-15)This process has never been fulfilled and is unfolding before us today and therefore since, a Holyland is for a holy people, we have no expectation or desire to support a “greater Israel thesis.” I do not know the full spiritual state of the nation and will thus not try to be god in this process by claiming that I do. All I know is that God, by His promise to Abraham, is fulfilling His word by restoring the Jews to part of their ancient homeland and this does place upon Israel the obligation to act justly and righteously with all those under her sovereignty. Also, we have not and are not pressurizing Israel (or the US government for that matter), in any way to grab land or extend her borders toward a greater Israel in the region. This is ridiculous to say the least. Not even Israelis want this! Also we believe that no one; be they Jew or Gentile can be saved by any means other than by exercising faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. A national destiny for the Jewish people in Canaan does not, and never will, presuppose a different way of salvation. After all this great salvation in Jesus is theirs! (Romans 15:27)

The Palestinians
“With God on Our Side” has one glaring deficiency in that it totally ignores Palestinian terrorism against Israel and its root causes. It’s the “elephant in the room.” Why would they do this? Because they do not want to acknowledge the truth and they are driven by such an anti-Israel position that by ignoring it they condone it. They give it a pass! But, I have in my possession the official Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement that goes back decades and which has been embraced by all the Palestinian Resistance organizations such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Fatah, the PLO, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade and many more. This “charter” is clear that Palestinian resistance against Israel is rooted in a radical Islamic theology that perceives the state of Israel as an affront to Islam since it has been “built” on land that once belonged to the Dar Al Salem (the House of Islam). This land, according to this theology, can never be occupied again by infidels or those who are not in submission to Islam since it remains the property of Islam until “doomsday.” The Islamic Resistance Covenant then makes the following statement; “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered; it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until judgement Day.”
The Jewish state must therefore be dismantled and all of the above groups still recognize and support this covenant. Yasser Arafat affirmed his commitment to the total destruction of Israel in 1994 in Johannesburg, just a few months after he shook the hands of Yitzhak Rabin on the lawns of the White House. Moreover, Palestinian Media Watch has confirmed year after year that in Arabic this agenda for the removal of Israel altogether is constantly asserted. Just last month a prominent Palestinian Islamic cleric in Jerusalem made the same call and even called the Jews the “sons of apes and pigs.” When he was called out about it he stated that it was only theological rhetoric! Just imagine what would happen if Israelis called Palestinians apes and pigs! The media would go ballistic equating them to the Third Reich!

This is undoubtedly the major issue surrounding this conflict and it is worth noting that; when the Palestinians had everything they say that they want now from 1948 to 1967 they did not establish a state but an organization dedicated to the total destruction of Israel. This too, “With God on Our Side” deliberately glosses over.

The Palestinian Church is small and struggling and definitely needs our help and prayers. The bigger picture all around them of radical Islamic goals, as described above is intimidating and has placed them under huge pressure. They are truly “between the “tyre and the tube” and consequently many have left for more friendly shores. As the erstwhile leader of a huge Christian Zionist ministry in Israel we actually have invested millions of Shekels in the social improvement of the Palestinian communities and we have helped this vital expression of the Church of Jesus. We cannot do otherwise and we are not unmindful of our biblical obligations in this regard. The presentation by “With God on Our Side” suggests that if you are a Christian Zionist then you hate Arabs and Palestinians. This too is just nonsense but no doubt the gullible and unsuspecting will believe it.

The Wall of Discontent
Here too “With God on Our Side” resorts to half truths and blatant lies about the purpose and need for the controversial barrier fence. It was erected, in the middle of the Second Intifada as an instrument to stop terror. This it did with remarkable effectiveness since, before its erection; Israelis were being blown up in buses, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and public squares in their hundreds. The wall/fence put an end to this and it was not allowed to be placed on the so called “Green Line” as the international community stated that this would constitute a de facto delineation of a future Palestinian State. I well remember reading all the back and forth about this. Naturally, “With God on Our Side” conveniently ignores this “little detail.”

The Unfounded Conclusions of With God on Our Side
The movie presupposes:

1. That all Christian Zionists subscribe to the “greater Israel thesis.” They do not!

2. That all Christian Zionists are Dispensationalists. They are not!

3. That Christian Zionists love Jews but hate Palestinians. They do not!

4. That Christian Zionists are “dual covenant” (believing in two ways of salvation). They do not!

5. That Christian Zionism goes back to John Nelson Darby in Scotland in 1830. It does not!

6. That Christian Zionists want to trigger “Armageddon”. They do not!

7. That Jesus taught “Fulfillment theology.” He did not!

8. That the modern state of Israel has no international legitimacy. It does!

9. That radical Islamic theology has no influence on the conflict. It does!

10. That the Abrahamic Covenant has in part been abolished. It has not!

11. That biblical Judaism was never about land but ethics. It was not!
12. That the Jews of today are somehow not the Jews of the past. They are!
13. That only those people holding the views put forth by, “With God on Our Side”, are compassionate and full of love. They are not!

House Cleaning
Having said all of this it is clear that many Christian Zionists need to clean up their act. “With God on Our Side” gives us an opportunity to recognize that some of things that have been projected in it do apply to some Christian Zionists. For instance there are most certainly those who have wandered off into dual covenant theology and who have become troublesome and a nuisance to churches with their crazy new found Jewish Roots ministry.  Too often their theological ignorance leads the unsuspecting into legalism! They need to read Paul over and over again. Moreover, I have certainly met those whose only engagement with Israel is, not because they really care about the Jews but rather, because the Jews fulfill their prophetic charts and expectations. The pre-tribulation rapture teaching is also a serious problem as it attacks the nature of the atonement and that of the Church. It did come out of Closed Brethren Movement of Scotland in 1830 and it has impacted large segments of the evangelical Church.

Christian Zionists must also be clear about the need to “do good to the household of faith” and therefore they must seek a new engagement with the Palestinian Church. The Palestinian Church also needs our prayers as they face challenges that are huge and the greater conflict around them, driven by Islamic radicalism, has made their lives extremely difficult. Walls and checkpoints put in place by Israel also contribute to their daily hardships and are not the answer in the long run. Therefore, we should all be concerned about the pursuit of a peaceful resolution to this conflict. ‘With God on Our Side” is so distorted and biased that sadly it will not now or in the future make this contribution because for them it’s all Israel’s fault. How narrow minded can one get!

Malcolm Hedding.

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©Malcolm Hedding Ministries

Playing with Matches

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World Council of ChurchesA recent article, featured in the Jerusalem Post, written by Abraham Cooper and Yitzchak Adlerstein, reported on how there is an attempt to undermine evangelical support for Israel by pro-Palestinian agenda groups including evangelicals. Sadly, organizations like the World Council of Churches and some prominent evangelical Christians have joined this “band-wagon.” Not only do they rewrite history in collaboration with their Palestinian friends but, embarrassed by the Word of God itself, they have called for the “dezionisation” of scripture. Theirs is what I call a “Waffle Iron Theology” meaning that those parts of the Bible that contradict their narrative they want expunged from it just as one cuts the batter,  that doesn’t fit in, away from the waffle machine. In short they are playing with matches and those that play with matches should not be surprised if they start a fire! In this game “extreme Palestinian political ambitions are often cloaked in theological garb” as the authors of the article state. They are right! Scripture is twisted and denied in an attempt to overcome its very clear statements about the land of Israel and the return of the Jews to it. These people will never be convinced by a balanced, biblical exposition of scripture. They have made their minds up and will definitely not be confused with facts.

Jesus

In their deluded world Jesus is a Palestinian Freedom Fighter and thus they divorce Him entirely from His Jewish context and roots. He was of course nothing of the sort and He came to Israel because of God’s faithfulness to the Abrahamic Covenant. (Luke 1:46-55) It is this Covenant that is at the crux of the issue, and therefore, they have tried every trick, in their theological box of matches, to try and burn it up. Their problem is even more compounded because the New Testament everywhere fully affirms the Abrahamic Covenant and no where changes or abolishes it. Indeed it is held up to wavering believers as a sure example of God’s faithfulness in the Book of Hebrews. (Hebrews 6:13-20) Paul establishes it in Galatians three and ends the chapter by saying that “if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s children according to the promise (covenant)”. (Galatians 3:29) Jesus was always the object of the Covenant but His people were always the context and platform out of which He came. For precisely this reason God promised the land of Canaan to them as an everlasting possession.  (Genesis 17:7-8)This really “sticks up the nose” of the “matchstick players.” They would much rather expunge the Abrahamic Covenant from scripture for this would free them from their problem and empower them to continue their real agenda which is the extermination of all of Israel! After all Palestinian school books teach this!

The God factor

Christian and Muslim clericsThe conflict in the region is really not about so called social justice. I wish it was but sadly it is not. It has everything to do with the dismantling of the Jewish State that is an affront to Islam! This is the truth! It takes many twists and turns and new strategies are embraced all the time in the pursuit of this one agenda. Christians, without a proper biblical grounding, fall for this intrigue all the time and sadly have no fear of God. Now this is not to say that everything that Israel does is right and certainly the indiscriminate killing of civilians by Palestinian terrorists is routinely ignored by these Christians. It’s all Israel’s fault and they are deaf and blind to anything else. They travel to Iran to meet with Muslim Clerics and there, as they do everywhere, they declare biblical Christian Zionism to be sin. When you have no case biblically name calling and smearing is always the position opted for! However, great Christians who have had a profound impact upon our world have held Christian Zionist views through the centuries because they were, in the first instance honoring God! Theirs was a biblical position first, then secondly a question of living in the fear of God and thirdly a recognition of Israel’s unique place in redemption history. History is filled with the wreckage of people who played with matches on this issue and then were burned by the fire they ignited! It will not be different now.

No amount of trickery, debunking of the scriptures or rewriting of history will change the outcome. The Jews have returned to Canaan to stay! That’s it and Christians, if they want to be honest influencers should quit the blame game and encourage both parties to settle their differences within this context!

Malcolm Hedding.

Understanding Church Movements and their views of Scripture

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Church movements throughout the years have all approached the Bible differently and this in turn has greatly impacted their life and practice in the world and relationship to Israel and the Jews. While the following models presented are general in presentation they do nevertheless faithfully define these movements and thereby help us to better understand the theological factors that motivate their actions.

The Aerial View
These movements look at the Bible as if it were a sphere. They see method in its pages and embrace the principle. In other words they see a temple in the Hebrew Scriptures, take the principle, and build churches that are in like fashion divided up into two sections. I.e.: A holy place for the congregation and a holy of holies for the Ministers or Priests. They do the same with candles, incense, vestments and “methods” of the New Testament Scriptures like elders, deacons etc.

  1. As regards Jesus death they stress His passion and sacrifice and call on their people to follow His example in sacrificial living etc.
  2. As regards eternity there is very little preaching on the reality of hell. The impression is very often left that all people, who live decently, will go to heaven.
  3. The dangers in this tradition are lack of true evangelical zeal, compromise and Laodiceanism (the lukewarm church).
  4. The Jews are mostly in reflection. That is, their symbols and stories adorn stained glass windows and furnishings.
  5. Their historic engagement is in the arena of social issues relating to justice and righteousness on earth.

The Segment View
For folks in this tradition the Bible is indeed like a sphere but they remove a segment of it. They see principles and embrace method. Much like removing a piece of cake from the whole. It is on this segment that they concentrate. They mainly emphasize the book of Acts as a resource and are reactionary to the wider Church in the world. That is, they are “ purists” in that they believe that they are rebuilding a New Testament Church. Their approach to other expressions of the Church is very often summed in one phrase, “Come out of them my people.”

  1. As regards the death of Jesus it was a passionate expiation of sin and they spend much time preaching on hell and the consequences of sin.
  2. The danger is that very often they are authoritarian in character, have cultic tendencies and fall into the trap of Nicolatianism (power over the laity).
  3. For them the Jews are in history. They are a biblically outdated people with no further role to play in world events.
  4. The historical engagement of this part of the church has been evangelism, as in the house church movement in the United Kingdom of the 80s and 90s. They are isolationists with a heavy emphasis upon a heavenly kingdom. They sometimes even frown upon Christians who vote in national elections. In short they have abandoned the world and its suffering completely. After all it is passing away!

The Linear View
Christians in this tradition see time and purpose. For them the Bible is like a long line of events, beginning at the Book of Genesis, that are broken up into dispensations of time. History is thus dispensational in that the dispensations of time reflect a different aspect of heavenly purpose. These dispensations of time are ages and there are five of these in sequence. That is, ages of innocence, conscience, law, grace and fulfillment.

Those who hold to this tradition have embraced Darbyism, though many who hold to this view of the Bible wouldn’t know it. In America it is called Scofieldism.

  1. As regards the death of Jesus, it is a passionate rescue plan and as a consequence there is much preaching on end time events.
  2. The dangers in this tradition are tunnel vision, the devaluation of Biblical truth and very hardened eschatological views. They easily birth false apostles and do not engage the world compassionately.
  3. For them the Jews are a prophetic sign and they have no real concern or interest in them other than their capacity to fulfill end time expectations.
  4. They engage the world evangelistically with much emphasis on the “lateness of the hour.”

The Legal View
This view sees action and consequence. That is, all have sinned and therefore fall short of the glory of God or; the wage that sin pays is death. The Bible is thus a book of “The Covenant.” Salvation through all of time has only been by grace on the grounds of Jesus Finished work on the cross. The promise of the Son that He would die for the sins of the world was given, before time began, and thus, theologically, He died before the foundation of the world. The various Covenants of the Bible reinforce the Abrahamic Covenant which is God’s great decision to save the world and constitutes the first proclamation of the Gospel. (Galaltians3:8) The God of the Bible thus enters into a relationship with humankind based on legal undertakings that are set out and enforced in the covenants.

  1. As regards Jesus death it is a passionate act of propitiation. He, on the cross, satisfied the demands of God’s character that is reflected in the moral or majestic law (Ten Commandments). Jesus was born under the law, lived perfectly under the law, was condemned under the law and died under the law.
  2. The dangers are that one’s expression of faith becomes too technical and doctrinal losing warmth, love and compassion. Since this view recognizes the role that Israel plays in God’s plan of world redemption it can produce warped theological views and sometimes Israel can supplant the place that Jesus should occupy in believer’s lives.
  3. Jews and Israel occupy a central role in this theological position since they are the custodians of the oracles of God and Gentiles share in their spiritual things.
  4. The historical engagement of this part of the Church is seen in philo-Semitism and world evangelism.

Conclusion
This is a general but fairly true definition of Church groups. There is something good and bad in all of them and it is for us to think about them and construct our view accordingly.

I leave you with this challenge.

Malcolm Hedding