The Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration

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Tomorrow the United Kingdom and Israel, and many more people all around the world, will celebrate the issuing of the Balfour Declaration on the 2nd November 1917. This declaration undoubtedly paved the way for the establishment of the modern day state of Israel in 1948 and so consequently some have called it Israel’s birth certificate. The Balfour Declaration came about because of a process, wrought by God Himself, whereby great Christian leaders of Britain, over a period of some two hundred and fifty years, had not only by their preaching brought millions into the Kingdom of God but they had also prophetically spoken of the soon coming restoration of the Jews to their ancient homeland. Their voice had reached into the very halls of British political power and consequently when Chaim Weizmann requested that Britain should look favorably upon the establishment of a Jewish homeland in what was then known as Palestine the response was positive.

There are of course some Christians, who will not be celebrating tomorrow because they have fallen victim to the theological error of Replacement Theology. They see absolutely no biblical significance in the Balfour Declaration and the restoration of Israel and in fact greatly lament these things. In this they are certainly allies with all those who seek to dismantle the Jewish State. For them the great Christian leaders, who paved the way for this declaration to be issued, were deceived! In this regard they are speaking about:

  • John and Charles Wesley
  • Bishop Ryle
  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Now just think of it: These four mighty preachers, who led multiple thousands to Christ and who greatly impacted all the corners of the world, were in fact given to deception when they proclaimed the biblical truth of Israel’s coming national restoration! I think not. They knew full well that God is faithful to His promises made to the Jewish people in the Abrahamic Covenant, which promises He has never altered or reneged on, and that when He said the land of Canaan would be given to the Jews as an everlasting possession He meant it (Genesis 17:7-8). These “nay sayers” assert that Israel’s many sins have disinherited her of these promises and now they are a forsaken people as regards their national destiny. They are wrong, indeed very wrong because the Prophet Jeremiah states:

“For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by His God, the Lord of hosts, though their land was filled with sin. -Jeremiah 51:5

The God of the Bible has corrected and judged His people Israel but He has never forsaken them and withdrawn His promises to them. He will honor all that He has said in His word and the Balfour Declaration is evidence of this. The God of the Bible acts in history through godly men that will pursue His purpose for their generation (Acts 13:36) and this is precisely why the Balfour Declaration was forthcoming. We rightly then rejoice in it for herein we do see the goodness and faithfulness of God. May God be praised!

Malcolm Hedding.

Yom Kippur / September 27

Yom Kippur / September 27

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                        “So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place,

                         because of the uncleanness of the children of

                         Israel, and because of their transgressions, for

                         all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabern-

                         acle of meeting which remains among them in

                         the midst of their uncleanness.”

                                                            Leviticus 16:16

 

                        “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost

                         those who come to God through Him, since He

                         always lives to make intercession for them. For

                         such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy,

                         harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and

                         has become higher than the heavens…”

                                                            Hebrews 7:25-26

 

Yom Kippur is the Great Day of Atonement. It is an awesome day in which nothing moves, cities and their commerce come to a complete standstill in Israel and even the roads, just the day before congested and given to gridlock, are empty. It’s as if all of creation is holding its breath since this is the Day when sinners, living under the wrath of God, can be freed from it. It requires introspection, fasting and prayer and the courage to acknowledge one’s sins and cast one’s self upon the grace of God. Only God’s unmerited favor can save us from His anger and a lost eternity.

In days of old the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies on this day and there before the Mercy Seat on the Ark present the blood of the Lord’s Goat.  Around his one foot a rope was tied in case He was struck down dead and thus could be pulled out. On the fringe of his High Priestly garments were little bells, which used to tinkle together when the atoning sacrifice was accepted because the power of God’s anointing and love would come upon him. It was a sound of joy and the whole nation would listen intently for it. If heard they knew that their sins were again overlooked (Romans 3:23-25)(Acts 17:30) and not attributed to them. They were free from the wrath of God!

The Scapegoat was at the same time brought before the High Priest who confessed the sins of the nation over it and then sent it away into the wilderness. This goat was called the Azazel, which also means “The one who opposes.” So, the Scapegoat not only carried the sins of the people away into the wilderness of forgetfulness but it also symbolized release from the Devil and his demons. What an amazing picture of God’s perfect deliverance in Christ Jesus.

The Day of Yom Kippur reminds us of the gravity of sin, the great price that Jesus paid to release us from its grip and the joy of being reconciled to God. The Scapegoat also symbolizes our complete deliverance from inbred sin and from the Devil. This is exactly what Jesus came to do (Acts 10:38). This is a Day that reminds us of God’s mercy and love and just how undeserving of these we are. It teaches us to fear God and live righteously before Him since Jesus, taking our place on the cross, spilt His blood to save us from the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 1:10). A great price was paid for our redemption and we should never forget it (1 Peter 1:18-19). This is precisely why we take the sacrament of Communion regularly. We surely must remember what Jesus did for us on the cross and thus Yom Kippur is an awesome reminder of the reverence we should hold in our hearts for it.

Malcolm Hedding.

Rosh Hashanah – September 19th

Rosh Hashanah – September 19th

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                        “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, speak to

                         the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month,

                         on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath

                         rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy convo-

                         cation.”

                                                                        Leviticus 23:23-24

 

                        “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of

                         Christ, that each one may receive the things done in

                         the body, according to what he has done, whether

                         good or bad.”

 

                                                                        2 Corinthians 5:10

 

 

Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, is the Jewish New Year and as such is a proscribed biblical celebration. It is also known as the Feast of Trumpets because it constitutes a clarion call to the believers to take stock of their lives always remembering that God Himself is weighing them in His scales to determine how pleasing they are to Him. If we live for Him, in all that we say and do (1 Corinthians 10:31), we shall have a sweet year and so at this annual celebration apples and honey are eaten in the hope that we will all have a good inscription or assessment. Paul echoed the same sentiments when he stated that we should make it our constant aim to be pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 1:10) (Hebrews 13:20-21).

 

There is no doubt that believers who are not pleasing to the Lord have limitations put on their lives and actions. For instance Paul says that if we live lives that are not clean and holy and consistent with what Jesus did for us on the cross and then, we take Communion without making the appropriate corrections, we can bring weakness, sickness and even death to our lives (1 Corinthians 11:23-31)! We are thus called upon to carefully examine or judge ourselves before sharing in the Lord’s Supper. This is the meaning and message of Rosh Hashanah and we would do well to embrace it. Of course this is not about works in terms of salvation but about the love for Christ that should flow out of our lives because of His death, burial and resurrection on our behalf. Jesus Himself stated that He cannot endure lukewarm Christians and that those Christians who are in this state should make some hard decisions (Revelation 3:16). Repentance is the only remedy!

 

Rosh Hashanah is therefore followed by the Ten Days of Awe wherein the believer should embrace with joy the blessedness of repentance. That is, godly repentance that truly and joyfully turns him away from everything that displeases God in his life (2 Corinthians 7:10). Paul writes in his Ephesian letter that Christ followers should awaken from their spiritual sleep and eagerly embrace the blessings of God (Ephesians 5:13-15). We should all heed these exhortations because it is so easy to slip into a spiritual routine that can make us deaf to the voice and presence of God.

 

Rosh Hashanah is therefore also a picture of that great final Day of Judgment that awaits all of us for we shall all stand before God one day to give an account of our lives (Romans 14:10-12). On that Day we shall not be able to hide anything or make any excuses since everything about us will be laid bare before Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. That Day will determine our place of standing in heaven and we should all live our lives in the light of it. Rosh Hashanah is a timely reminder of all these things and we should heed its message. May you have a good inscription!

 

Shana Tova,

Malcolm Hedding

Pretextology

Pretextology

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                           Dismantling Replacement Theology One Step At A  Time

 

                        “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars

                         in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land

                         I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.”

                                                                        Exodus 32:13

 

                        “The characteristics of Bishop Ryle’s method and style

                         are obvious. He is pre-eminently and always scriptural

                         and expository. He never starts with a theory into which

                         he tries to fit various scriptures. He always starts with

                         the Word and expounds it. It is exposition at its very

                         best and highest. It is always clear and logical and invar-

                         iably leads to a clear enunciation of doctrine. It is strong

                         virile and entirely free from the sentimentality that is

                         often described as ‘devotional.”

                                                                        Martin Lloyd-Jones

 

                        “I believe that the Jews shall ultimately be gathered again

                         as a separate nation, restored to their own land, and

                         converted to the faith of Christ…”

                                                                        Bishop Ryle of Liverpool

                                                                                    1816-1900

The Leaven of Error

 

There are certain teachings that have infiltrated the Church through the centuries, and even today are widely accepted, that have no biblical backing whatsoever. An example of this is the doctrine of infant baptism. There is not one verse in the entire Bible that validates this practice and yet it is practiced in many churches. This is just the truth and even the great Church Father Tertullian recognized this and condemned the dogma and practice as unbiblical.  In the same way the teaching of Replacement Theology, and for that matter Fulfillment Theology, is not found anywhere in the Bible. This doctrine, again widely accepted by many in the Church today, has no biblical backing whatsoever. It rests on the premise that the Abrahamic Covenant, which vouches safe Israel’s everlasting possession of the land of Canaan (Genesis 17:7-8; Genesis 13:15-18; Psalm 105:7-12), has been adjusted or abolished and consequently Israel’s modern day restoration is debunked as having no biblical credentials. There is absolutely no statement in the entire Bible, and especially in the New Testament, that supports this notion; absolutely none! And yet many in the Church believe it. (4) See footnote

 

Those who claim this position put forth very weak arguments that constantly take scripture out of context and thereby distort it and turn it into a pretext. This is what I call “pretextology”. In other words pretextology is that teaching that, having no biblical basis, is imposed upon scripture.

 

Having said this, it must be acknowledged that pretextology or replacement theology has been embraced by segments of the wider Church because it does contain an element of truth in that, as we all do, it affirms that no one can obtain salvation apart from exercising faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross (John 14:6; Romans 1:16, Acts 4:12). It thereafter goes astray in that it seeks to undermine and deny the integrity and efficacy of the Abrahamic Covenant that bequeaths to the Jewish people the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession; even though this Covenant is in all respects everlasting and was made by God with Abraham in such a way that it was unconditional. (5) See footnote. For pretextologists then, the modern day state of Israel is nothing more than an accident of history and thus holds no biblical significance.

 

The Abrahamic Covenant

 

So then, in terms of the Abrahamic Covenant; the Bible, always in context, vouches for its efficacy and integrity. These are bound up with the character of God so that if it fails or is adjusted or abolished in any way then God’s character is brought into question. That is, He is unfaithful and unreliable! This is a very serious accusation to place at God’s door but this is an accusation that exponents of Replacement Theology constantly make. It must be remembered that, while the Abrahamic Covenant has many aspects to it, it is essentially only one Covenant and therefore if one part fails all the parts fail. The same is true of the Mosaic Covenant or Ten Commandments; if you break one you have broken them all because it is one Covenant. (James 2:10-11) The aspects or clauses of the Abrahamic Covenant may be listed as the following:

 

  • God will make Israel a great nation,
  • God will bless Israel
  • God will make Israel a blessing,
  • God will curse those who curse Israel,
  • God will bless those who bless Israel,
  • God will give the nation of Israel the land of Canaan forever and,
  • God will give to the world a Savior or Seed who will save it from its sins.

(Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 17:7-8, Genesis 22:18)

 

New Testament Validation of the Abrahamic Covenant

 

So, the context of Hebrews chapter six is that of Jewish believers in Jesus who were, for whatever reason, tempted to doubt the faithfulness of God to them as expressed in the New Covenant. The writer then assures them of God’s faithfulness by holding up before them His faithfulness to the Abrahamic Covenant. In other words they can trust God to fulfill all His promises to them in the New Covenant because He has kept and will keep all His promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant. These promises He made unconditionally to Abraham and swore to them by His word and character. He affirmed that they were everlasting and could then not be altered or revoked (Genesis 17:7-8; Romans 11:29). This, and this alone, is the contextual argument of the chapter; an argument that the writer makes years after Israel’s rejection of Jesus’ Messianic credentials. Those discounting the promises made to Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant are actually accusing the writer of Hebrews of deception and God of lying since He has in reality abandoned crucial aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant and has in effect then not been faithful to it. This of course is not true!

 

“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs

                         of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an

 oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible

                         for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have

                         fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”

                                                                        Hebrews 6:17-18

 

The Galatian and Roman Letters in Context

 

So, the context of Galatians 3:16, as I recently pointed out in an earlier article, has to do with the conflict between Law and Grace that erupted in the early Church. Paul’s very strong argument is that 430 years before the Law was given at Sinai God promised in the Abrahamic Covenant that an individual would come (a Seed) and He would save the world from sin. In other words if He, the Seed, saves us by His finished work on the cross then the Law does not save anyone but it is our teacher to bring us to the Savior or Seed of promise (Galatians 3:24)(Romans 3:20). In context, Paul is not discussing the other aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant at all and indeed he tells us that he can appeal to the authority of this Covenant because as a whole it “cannot be annulled” (Galatians 3:17). Indeed Paul compares the Abrahamic Covenant to a human contract that is binding between two entities once it has been signed but affirms that the Abrahamic Covenant is more significant because it is bound to the character of God Himself. This is exactly what the writer of Hebrews does. But, our pretextologists contradict this by asserting, without any biblical grounds, that the other aspects of the Covenant have been annulled. Where did they get this from? From their own imaginations! They are attempting to impose a dogma on the Bible that doesn’t exist. They are pretextologists!

 

“Now to Abraham and his Seed (Jesus) were the promises

                         made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of

                         one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.”

                                                                        Galatians 3:16

 

Pretextologists further distort the meaning of Galatians 3:16 by falsely asserting from it that God in fact made no promises to the descendants of Abraham save the one that has to do with the coming of a “seed” or Messiah. In other words, they assert that 4000 years ago when God entered into a Covenant with Abraham He only promised them a Savior and nothing more! This is not only absurd but it is just plain nonsense for God did indeed also promise to the descendants (seeds) of Abraham that the land of Canaan would be their everlasting possession. A simple reading of scripture confirms it. Note: Genesis 13:14-18; Genesis 17:7-8 and Psalm 105:7-12. And, by the way, what is wrong with these people that they just cannot understand the word, “everlasting?”

 

So once more, if they cannot win the contextual argument then they “cherry pick” scriptures, again out of context, in order to debunk the promises of God in the Abrahamic Covenant. It is worth noting that without any biblical authority they are the sole arbitrators as to which of the promises in the Abrahamic Covenant are in and which are out! One of these pretextologists recently wrote that Romans 4:13 is proof that God has broken His solemn undertakings in the Abrahamic Covenant because Abraham was called to be the heir of the world which, in his view, goes beyond any promises of land made to the Jews. Once again the context of Romans 4 is about the conflict between Law and Grace and has nothing to do with the other promises that God made in the same Covenant to the Jewish people. In fact the Covenant, in its original form, states that God’s purpose is indeed to reach the peoples of the world, “In you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).  We then agree that Abraham is the father of many nations and the “heir of the world” by the promises contained in this aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant. There is nothing new about this and we believe it but it does not remove or change any part of the original Covenant that also bequeaths to the Jewish people the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession.  However, in the context of Romans 4, this promise was made to Abraham on condition that he receive it by faith and not by the works of the Law. In other words, it was only Abraham’s believing faith that brought him into right standing with God and not the works of the Law. This is Paul’s punch line and to then suggest that he is debunking the other promises in the Covenant is again pretextology at work. Here below is the verse in question:

 

“For the promise that he would be the heir of

                         the world was not to Abraham or to his seed

                         through the law, but through the righteousness

                         of faith.”

                                                            Romans 4:13

 

The Attempt to Discredit Christian Zionists

 

Another weak theological position is the idea that if you believe in the integrity of the Abrahamic Covenant, including of course the promises of the land of Canaan to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession, then you are somehow undermining the Gospel and preaching the Gospel of Zionism. This is just nonsense as if it were true then some of the greatest preachers, Church leaders and evangelists of history must be guilty of this! For instance the Wesley brothers believed in the integrity and efficacy of the Abrahamic Covenant but they in no way were compromising or weak on the nature and content of the Gospel. They preached it faithfully, as do many Christian Zionists, and so they were totally committed to the truth of the Gospel that teaches us that we are only saved by faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. To assert otherwise, as the pretextologists frequently insinuate, is to indulge in mischief and deception. One of these pretextologists recently asserted that he was challenging biblical Christian Zionists because his only concern was that of preserving the truth and purity of the Gospel. The insinuation behind this comment is clear; that is, if you believe that the Abrahamic Covenant is still intact in all aspects, including that of a promise of land to the Jewish people then you are a preacher of a false Gospel! This is also absurd because he would then have to lay this accusation against vast segments of the Church world-wide and against great preachers like Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Jack Hayford of the Four Square Church, Derek Prince, Robert Murray McCheyne, Angus Buchan, David Pawson, Franklin Graham and Reinhard Bonnke, who, by the way, has led one hundred million people from all over the world to Christ. Once again this pretextologist routinely lifts texts out of the Bible that in context have no application whatsoever to the various aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant. By this practice he routinely seeks to nullify these aspects and thus claims that Israel’s modern day restoration is a political accident that enjoys no biblical justification. In other words he is imposing upon the text an interpretation that is nothing more than a pretext. This is the habit of all those espousing pretextology.

 

Paul’s Defense of the Truth

 

Further more, it must be underlined that Paul was not a theological innovator and he did not anywhere advocate for the adjustment or annulment of any part of the Abrahamic Covenant. Paul’s dramatic conversion on the road Damascus opened his spiritual eyes to the fact that salvation can only be received by exercising faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. He, a man who had dedicated his whole life to keeping the Law (Philippians 3:1-6), realized that Abraham and David were not saved by the Law but by faith in God (Romans 4). The Law could only convict of sin and nothing more (Romans 3:20). To reach the Gentile world with the Gospel he realized that he had to counter the belief that Law keeping was the way to the righteousness of God. Thus in writing the book of Romans he sets out its theme by stating that in the Gospel of Jesus alone, for Jew and Gentile, is the way to the righteousness of God (Romans 1:16-17). Actually, in almost all of his epistles he stresses this truth time and time again and to prove it he relies heavily upon that part of the Abrahamic Covenant that promises salvation in the coming of a redeeming Seed. To construe from this then that the other parts of the Abrahamic Covenant have therefore been abolished is nothing short of presumption because this is nowhere stated. In fact, when writing about the people of Israel in Romans eleven, he stated that God would indeed fulfill all his promises to them because, “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (cannot be altered, taken back or changed) (Romans 11:29) and that they are beloved of God “for the sake of the Fathers” (Romans 11:28). The God of the Bible clearly has a relationship with unsaved Israel that He definitely does not have with other nations! Indeed Paul warns his readers that if they as Christians despise the Jewish branches that have been cut out of the Olive Tree because of their unbelief they will incur the displeasure of God (Romans 11:17-21). The Bible makes no statement like this concerning any other nation or people group.

 

The Restoration of all Things

 

The truth is, once making a promise God never goes back on it! In the end the Jewish people, through a process of restoration, will be grafted back into their own spiritual tree (Romans 11:24) and “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25-26). Jesus spoke of their regathering to Jerusalem (Luke 21:24) and Zechariah states that, having been regathered to Jerusalem, they will “look upon Him who they have pierced and mourn for Him” (Zechariah 12:10-11). Ezekiel tells us that their final regathering will be in unbelief and then, once in the land of promise and of their forefathers, they will receive a new heart and a new spirit, a reference to the New Covenant, and consequently they will live in the land forever (Ezekiel 36:24-28). One pretextologist recently stated that God would not deal with an unbelieving Jewish state. He knows “not the scriptures or the power thereof” (Mark 12:24) because this is precisely what God says He will do! The Jews will come back to the land in unbelief and then the God of the Bible, who has never broken His Covenant with them, will redeem and transform them in Christ. (2) See footnote

 

If all of these glorious things happen to the Jewish people in the great city of Jerusalem, including the Old City, then surely it is God Himself who will bring them back and plant them again in Zion? Yes it is, and His basis alone for doing so is a Covenant that He termed to be everlasting and that He made with Abraham four thousand years ago (Genesis 13:14-18). All of Jewish history testifies to this truth, as does Israel’s modern day restoration and Paul confirms that one day the “Deliverer”, Jesus, will finally come “out of Zion” (Romans 11:25-26). This affirms that He will again arise out of and from amongst His own people in Jerusalem meaning that their embracing of Him will bring Him back a second time to the Mt. of Olives. With this Jesus Himself agrees! (Matthew 23:37-39)(3) See footnote.

 

Defending the Truth

 

The conclusion to all of this is that there is no verse or passage of scripture that teaches that the Abrahamic Covenant has been partly or wholly abolished. This Covenant, with all its promises and undertakings, remains entirely intact and this in turn means that Israel’s modern day restoration is not a political accident but indeed evidence of God’s faithfulness to a Covenant that He made with Abraham four thousand years ago. It also means that, as a people, Israel is on a collision course with the “Seed’ (singular) of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 22:18) or with the Prophet “like unto Moses” of the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). This is the promised Messiah and the One who saves apart from the Law. It is He, who by the New Covenant, died for the sins of His people Israel and for those of the world and by Whom then all the families of the earth have been, are being and will be blessed. So then, Israel’s role in redemptive history has been, and is, to birth God’s redemptive initiative and purpose into the world. She is the vehicle of world redemption or the platform upon which the God of the Bible has built His engagement with the humanity (Romans 9:1-5). Jesus underlined this truth when He said that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22) and John the Apostle recognized this truth in the vision of the pregnant woman clothed with the sun, moon and twelve stars recorded in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation.

 

This vision given to John is a reference to Genesis 37 where Joseph has a dream wherein his mother and father are the sun and moon and he and his brothers are the twelve stars. In other words, the pregnant woman of Revelation twelve is none other than Israel; a truth confirmed by the fact that she gives birth to a “Male child” who is destined to rule the nations with a “rod of iron” (Revelation 12:1-5). This is without doubt Jesus and so most definitely the woman is not the Church but Israel. It is Israel that births God’s purpose into the world and so the woman, Israel, brought Jesus into the world and He brought the Church into existence; not the other way around.

 

The Ultimate Goal

 

The goal of Israel’s role in history is to bring forth a Bride for Christ the Messiah (Revelation 19:5-9). This Bride is the real Israel of God comprising all those, whether they be Jew or Gentile, who have exercised saving faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross (Romans 1:16)(Galatians 5:16). These all are a part of Paul’s Olive Tree in Romans eleven and they are designated a “new man” by scripture (Ephesians 2:14-18). This under-lines the fact that all those who are a part of this Bride of Christ are freed from all prejudice and this in turn means that in this body there is no racial, gender, economic, religious or cultural discrimination (Galatians 3:26-29). It is a people freed from all hatred and prejudice and they will be married to Jesus at His second coming. Their great privilege will be to reign with Christ as joint-heirs for all eternity (Romans 8:17-17)(Revelation 3:21).

 

When that day dawns, as it surely will, the peculiar role of Israel in world redemption will come to an end but it will be eternally recorded because the foundations and gates of the eternal and glorious city of God, the New Jerusalem, will be inscribed with the names of the twelve Apostles and the twelve tribes of Israel; all of whom are Jewish (Revelation (Revelation 21:10-14). Above all, the city will have a great King who is none other than Jesus the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and the great Son of David (Revelation 22:16).

 

The Evils of Pretextology

 

Replacement theology or Pretextology has historically unleashed an avalanche of evil upon the Jewish people culminating in the Holocaust. Sam Clarke writes, “(The).. Application of this theology ranges from a subtle way of reading and misinterpreting Scripture to a vicious form of anti-Semitism that has been responsible for the murder of millions of Jews.” Bishop Ryle wrote, “What I protest against is, the habit of allegorizing plain sayings of the Word of God concerning the future history of the nation of Israel, and explaining away the fullness of their contents in order to accommodate them to the Gentile Church. I believe the habit to be unwarranted by anything in Scripture, and to draw after it a long train of evil consequences.”

 

It is no coincidence then that those Church movements that have embraced Pretextology have been most responsible for anti-Semitism through the centuries. Martin Luther, whose life and times we will again celebrate this year, subscribed to this theology and became an anti-Semite (1) See footnote. A well-known Anglican cleric aggressively pursued this theology for years and finally he went too far and the Anglican Bishop, under whom he served, accused him of anti-Semitism and placed him under discipline. Is it not interesting that those churches that have not embraced pretextology have no record of anti-Semitism? Even the apartheid government of South Africa was galvanized from this false teaching! Dutch Reformed Ministers, the most famous of which being the Rev. Dutoit, who was the architect of “Grand Apartheid” and the Rev. D. F. Malan, the first apartheid Prime Minister of South Africa, used Replacement Theology as the foundation upon which to build their ruthless ideology of racial discrimination.

 

Jesus said that we would know the validity and truth of certain teachings by the fruit they produced (Matthew 7:17-20) and in this case the fruit speaks so loudly that we cannot hear the preaching of those who advocate for such a misguided theology. Selah.

 

Malcolm Hedding

 

 Footnotes

 

  • In 1543 Martin Luther published a pamphlet entitled “On Jews and Their Lies.” Europe was rife with anti-Jewish sentiment. Luther added fuel to the fire by asking the question, “What shall we do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews?” He recommended that houses of Jews be “razed and destroyed”, and their religious books burned. This pamphlet and later his anti-Semitic writings, “Annuls of the Jews”, paved the way theologically for Hitler and the Nazis. (The Holy One of Israel by Sam Clarke)

 

  • It is important to note that at Sinai, and through the Mosaic Covenant, God brought the Jewish people into a special relationship with Himself (Exodus 19:1-8)(Deuteronomy 26:16-19). They were thus to reflect to the nations the light that they had received. All of this was based on faith and not on Law keeping, a fact established by Deuteronomy 30:13-14 and confirmed by Paul in Romans 10:6-9. This in turn meant that they were to be a holy and royal nation and that they were to live on the land bequeathed to them as an everlasting possession in righteousness and holiness. In short only a holy people could live on a holy land! Failure to live in a reconciled relationship with God would remove from them the privilege of living on the land of Canaan but it would not remove from them the possession of it. They land would always and forever be theirs, by the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant, but their right of domicile would not. This is then the story of the Major and Minor Prophets who held the people of Israel to account for their sin and rebellion against God. The result was two exiles but there was always a promise of restoration and redemption (Obadiah 17)(Amos 9:14-15)(Deuteronomy 30:1-6).

 

So then, the undertakings and promises of God in the Abrahamic Covenant were unconditional but the promises and undertakings of God in the Mosaic Covenant were conditional upon Israel’s obedience and faithfulness to them. Failure to understand this makes it difficult to understand how these great Covenants are interconnected and therefore to be understood.

 

 

  1. There is absolutely no doubt that for the first two centuries of the present

Church era up until the Church Father Tertullian, the only eschatological

view and teaching of the early Church was that of a coming, as they put it,

“Jewish Kingdom.”  That is, the end time events would be characterized by a

return of the Jews to the land of Canaan, their spiritual recovery, the reign of

Antichrist, the visible return of Jesus to the Mount of Olives and the ushering-

ing in of the Messianic Age.   All the early Church writers beginning with

Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna and the disciple of John the Apostle,

wrote of this. There is not one writer of this period that expounds the errors

of Pretextology  or Replacement Theology, not one!   The eschatological

commentator Peters writes:

 

‘Andrew, Peter, Philip, Thomas, James, John, Matthew, Aristio, John the

Presbyter-all these are cited by Papias, who according to Irenaeus,

was one of John’s hearers, and intimate with Polycarp. Now this

reference to the apostles agrees with the facts that we have proven:

that the disciples of Jesus did hold the Jewish views of the Messianic

reign in the first part of this century and that, instead of discarding

them, they linked them with the Sec. Advent. Next Clement of Rome,

who existed about A.D. 40-100, Barnabas about A.D. 40-100, Hermas

from A.D. 40-140, Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, died under Trajan,

about A.D. 50-115, Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, a disciple of the

Apostle John, who lived about A.D. 70-167 and Papias, Bishop of

Hierapolis lived between A.D. 80-163.”

 

On the other hand Pretextology or Replacement Theology had its beginnings

with a Church Father called Origen who, coming from the Alexandrian School

of Theology, propagated the allegorical method of interpreting the Bible and

thereby discounted the promises made to the Jewish people in the Abra-

hamic Covenant and transferred them to the Church. Augustine, A.D.185-

254, a man of great intellect, embodied these views in his famous work called

“The City of God.” This work rejected the notion of a “Jewish Kingdom” and

introduced a whole new theory about the Millennium called Amillennialism.

Dwight Pentecost writes:

 

“Thus Augustine made several important assertions which molded

eschatological thinking: (1) He denied that the millennium would

follow the second advent, (2) he held that the millennium would fall

in the inter-advent period, and (3) he taught that the church is the

kingdom and there would be no literal fulfillment of the promises

made to Israel….”

 

The views of Origen and Augustine have been adopted by many parts of the

Church until today because Martin Luther’s Reformation, consumed with

establishing the truth that we are put right with God by exercising faith alone

in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, failed to reform this misguided

teaching which contradicted that of the Apostles and early Church leaders.

Again, it is those holding to Pretextology who have, through the centuries,

despised the Jews, persecuted the Jews, exiled them, murdered them in

pogroms and crusades and gassed them in industrialized killing facilities.

 

It was only in 1965 that the Catholic Church finally did away with “The

Teaching of Contempt” that for centuries had echoed the words of

Augustine who stated “it was the will of God to keep a remnant of

the Jews alive in a degraded state as living witnesses of the Christian

truth.”

 

  1. Bishop Ryle has made the following observations:

 

“I believe it is high time for the Church to awake out of its sleep about Old

Testament prophecy. From the time of the old Fathers, Jerome and Origen,

down to the present day, men have gone on in a pernicious habit of

“spiritualizing” the words of the Prophets, until their true meaning has been

well nigh buried. It is high time to lay aside traditional methods of interpreta-

tion, and to give up our blind obedience to the opinions of such writers as

Pool, Henry, Scott, and Clarke, upon unfulfilled prophecy. It is high time to

fall back on the good old principle that Scripture generally means what it

seems to mean…”

 

“It is high time for Christians to interpret unfulfilled prophecy by the light of

prophecies already fulfilled. The curses on the Jews were brought to pass

literally: -so also will be the blessings. The scattering was literal: – so also will

be the gathering. The pulling down of Zion was literal: – so also will be the

building up. The rejection of Israel was literal:-so also will be the

restoration.”

 

  1. Indeed God made (cut) the Abrahamic Covenant in such a way with Abraham

that He alone passed through the sacrificial offerings and then He required of

Abraham that, as a demonstration of his commitment and obedience, he

should sacrifice his only son Isaac on an altar at Mt. Moriah (Genesis 15:17;

Genesis 22:1-3; Genesis 22:15-18). Abraham faithfully obeyed this require-

ment and thus, from that day forward, the Covenant would be uncondition-

ally fulfilled by God Himself; a promise that He has never faltered on. Daniel

Lee writes:

“Most modern evangelicals classify the Abrahamic Covenant

as unconditional. But the label is ambiguous. A review of the

covenant passages strongly suggests that the blessings prom-

ised to Abraham were conditioned on his obedience-making

the covenant in this sense conditional. On the other hand,

once Abraham obeyed God’s commands, the covenant became

prophetically guaranteed-and is, in this sense, unconditional.”

(Daniel Lee-Quodlibet Journal: Volume 6 number 3, July-September 2004.

Issn: 1526-6575)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The House that Fell

The House that Fell

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            “If the peoples of Europe in the seventh and eighth centuries,

             and on up to and including the seventeenth century, had not

             possessed a military equality with, and gradually a growing

             superiority over the Mohammedans, who invaded Europe,

             Europe would at this moment be Mohammedan and the

             Christian religion would be exterminated. Wherever the

             Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the

             Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christ-

             ianity has ultimately disappeared…”

 

             Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America

 

            “The trouble is not that Islam has been violent, it has always

             been violent. It has a consistent record of violence that goes

             back over a thousand years. If history is any guide it will go

             on being violent a thousand years from now, if the world

             continues to be plagued by its savage barbarism for that long.

             Complaining that Islam is violent, that it is abusive, totalitarian

             and rejects co-existence on equal terms is as much as complain-

             ing that the rain is wet.”

                                                            Daniel Greenfield

 

            “The Arab regimes are a noxious brew of theocratic tyrannies,

             military dictatorships and/or nepotistic monarchies.”

                                                            Martin Sherman

 

According to Islamic theology the world is divided into two parts; the House of Peace and the House of War or the Dar al Salaam and the Dar al Harb. Those living in the “House of Peace” are under Sharia Law, which is Islamic rule; they enjoy the most advanced civilization on earth and consequently live in paradise. Theirs is by far a superior religion and culture to any other and those outside of it are inferior infidels or kaffirs that by Jihad, the waging of holy war, have to be overcome and brought into submission to Islam and thereby into the magnificent House of Peace.

There is just one small problem to all of this in that that those living in the House of Peace everywhere are in revolt and consequently overwhelmed by the brutality of war and barbarism and are in fact tearing one another apart. Those that can are attempting to escape paradise by fleeing to the “Crusader West!  Martin Sherman writes, ”Across virtually the entire Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean in the West to the Persian Gulf in the East; from the Sahara desert in the South to the upper reaches of the Euphrates in the North, naked violence engulfs entire countries-Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya. Others-like Lebanon and Egypt-are perennially on the cusp of its eruption; and in others (like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia), it lurks, simmering just below the surface, constrained only by the iron grip of police-state tyranny.” To be blunt those living in paradise quickly discovered that this meant the removal of their freedoms and human rights and their subjugation under the heel of despots, murderers and thugs who, in the name of Islam, have robbed them of their human dignity and perpetuated this never ending cycle of abuse by handing over power to their sons or “friends.”

In other words, there is no “bright shining city on a hill” in the Islamic world giving credibility to their utopian claims. The house has fallen; it is split open and thereby laid bare for all to see the truth. No wonder the Islamic block has been desperately trying to get a resolution passed in the United Nations that, if passed, will make it a crime to criticize Islam. They knew all along how bad things were and wanted to cover it all up and then the arrival of ISIS made it all quite embarrassing. Too bad that Twitter, Face Book and text messaging came along in the “nick of time” as well to reveal the truth!

And, what may we ask of the so-called moderate Islamic movement that was fêted, entertained and heavily promoted by the Obama Administration called, “The Muslim Brotherhood?” This “moderate” expression of Islam has relentlessly embarked upon a murdering rampage against the Coptic Christians of Egypt. They have burned Churches down to the ground and literally hacked the Christian worshipers in them to death. Is anyone taking notice and, more important still, is Islam really a religion of peace? If murdering Christians is what moderate Muslims are committed to doing then how can we believe that Islam is really a religion of peace? Muslims, to be sure, have some explaining to do.

Now, of course, as war and conflict engulfs the Muslim world of the Middle East it will all be blamed on Israel and in particular its top secret Shark that now swims free in the Red Sea gathering vital intelligence for the Zionist entity and on its Eagle that embarks on reconnaissance flights over the region likewise gathering sensitive information for its Israeli handlers!

The real truth is that, the peoples of the region are tired of the theocratic rule of Islam that has only kept them poor, enslaved, illiterate and subjugated even though the region enjoys fabulous oil wealth. By the way, where has all this wealth gone? The answer is simple; into the pockets of the ruling elite! Is it not incredible that Israel’s Gross Domestic Product or National Economic Output is bigger than that of most nations in the region combined? Could this have something to do with democracy and freedom? What do you think? And, while talking about Israel, one thing that has emerged by this widespread upheaval in the region is that Israel is not the real Apartheid State in the Middle East but the Arab nations are! In the House of Peace there has been no democracy, no freedom of religion, no equality under the law for minorities, no freedom of press, no equal rights for women, no independent judiciary and no freedom of speech. I grew up in a country like this, it was called South Africa!! Thank God this house also fell because a house built on oppression and human rights abuses must eventually implode. South Africa did just this just as the House of Islam is today. For sure the only “shining city on a hill” in the Middle East is Israel. Of course to concede this is definitely not politically correct. A few Arab journalists who recently did were relieved of their positions and strongly warned not to stray again into such nonsense.

It therefore appears that the truth is finally out and not because of the West or because of the European Union or the United Nations (They were far too busy passing resolutions against Israel and designating the Old City of Jerusalem an Islamic site) but because men and women, mostly young at that, on the “main street” of the Islamic world have decided that enough is enough. No one really knows how all of this will turn out but we can only hope that once the dust of this many-sided conflict in the Middle East has settled that the “house” that emerges will be a kind, compassionate and peaceful one where everyone is free and protected by a truly democratic system guarded and watched over by an independent judiciary. Actually, much like Israel. Oops, I shouldn’t have stated that. But come to think of it; Israel, having built such a house in only a few years, could be well placed to give some good advice to the Islamic world on nation building and financial prosperity. Just a thought.

Malcolm Hedding

Galatians 3:16

Galatians 3:16

Blog

                 “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made,
                  He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of
                  one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” – Galatians 3:16

 

                  “Also I give to you and your descendants (seeds) after
                   you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land
                   of Canaan as an everlasting possession; and I will be
                   their God.” – Genesis 17:8

Those who see no biblical significance in Israel’s modern day restoration believe that Israel, by virtue of her rejection of Jesus, has forfeited the promises pertaining to Canaan made to her by God in the Abrahamic Covenant. For them all these promises are now fulfilled in the person of Christ and, as proof of their position, they routinely quote Galatians 3:16 and then go on to build a whole theological system that violates the context of this passage and the wider body of scripture.

 

The truth is:

1. Galatians 3:16 is not in context dealing with God’s promise of the land of Canaan to the Jewish people. It is in fact dealing with the great question of Paul’s day, and indeed of ours, which is, are we saved by attempting to keep the Law or by exercising faith in Jesus’ once for all finished work on the cross? Paul is advocating for the latter.

2. Galatians 3:16 as quoted by Paul is only referring to one aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant and thereby it does not negate the others. So, in this regard it is referring to Genesis 22, where, after Abraham’s obedience to God is confirmed by his willingness to give up his only son Isaac, God promises him that the blessing of salvation will come to the world through one person, “a seed”, and consequently the Law that came 430 years later does not negate this promise (Galatians 3:17). This in no way means that the promises to Israel, “the seeds”, have been removed as some assert and Galatians 3:16 is definitely not advocating for this. Indeed Paul in this very same passage confirms that the Abrahamic Covenant, in all its aspects, cannot be annulled. The writer of the book of Hebrews, writing to Jews, states that it is impossible for God to ever annul the Abrahamic Covenant because God cannot lie and has confirmed it by His oath and character (Hebrews 6:13-18).

3. Galatians 3:16 is therefore no grounds whatsoever to assert that the promises in the Abrahamic Covenant giving Israel everlasting possession of Canaan have been removed. This is no where stated in the text and it is not the context under discussion. This means that Israel’s modern day restoration is evidence of God’s faithfulness to His covenant made with Abraham and has biblical credentials. It is therefore not an accident of history.

4. Galatians 3:16 is indeed a promise, given 4000 years ago, that a Redeemer will come and by His sacrificial work, mirrored in Isaac’s sacrifice or binding, will save those who trust in Him. Salvation is not brought to us by the Law, which came to the world by the “seeds” (people of Israel), but by exercising faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. This is Paul’s point.

5. Galatians 3:16 therefore constitutes a promise that was given in a body of promises that made up the Abrahamic Covenant. None of these promises have failed or will fail because in essence it is one Covenant. If one part fails then all the parts fail. James applies the same principle to the Mosaic Covenant (James 2:10). So, Israel journeyed to the promised land from Egypt, was exiled twice and has returned twice to the promised land because of God’s faithfulness to this Covenant. History is thus a testimony to its efficacy. God has been faithful to the “seeds.” The assertion then that part of the covenant has been annulled is just nonsense.

6. Galatians 3:16 is in every way a prophetic promise that “a seed” or Savior would come into the world to redeem it from sin. This coming Messiah is served by the “seeds” or people of Israel since He arises out of and from them. Jesus acknowledged this when He said that, “Salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). Was He by this statement negating His saving work? Definitely not! He was merely asserting the context and world out of which He arose and all because of the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. This context or “world of His brethren” will shortly, by their present restoration to Jerusalem, provide Him with a platform to again return to the world so as to rule it with a “rod of iron.”

7. Galatians 3:16 does not contradict an amazing body of prophetic literature referring to Israel in the Bible that has yet to be fulfilled. These clearly foresee a time when Israel will be restored to the land of Canaan never to be uprooted or exiled again (Amos 9:13-15). The Jewish people were uprooted in 586 BC and 70 AD and now I believe that they have returned never to be removed from the land again. The Prophet Obadiah speaks of a restoration of the Jews to Canaan whereby, for the first time in history, they will possess al the land promised to them (Obadiah 17). Ezekiel also speaks of a day when Israel will return to the land in unbelief and thereafter be redeemed by the reception of a new heart of flesh and consequently she will live in the land forever (Ezekiel 36:24-28). The Prophet Jeremiah goes a step further by declaring that as long as the luminaries are in place just so long will Israel exist as a nation before God. Notice that the Prophet is not referring to a dispersed people in exile but to the people of Israel regathered in nationhood (Jeremiah 31:35-47). All of these prophetic statements pertaining to Israel’s future are the outflow of God’s promises to the Jewish people embodied in the Abrahamic Covenant. They will not fail and those who assert that Galatians 3:16 negates them are just plain wrong.

All of this brings into focus the following question, ” Was Paul a theological innovator or Bible expositor?” The well known Christological  theologian, James Denney, says that the answer lies in the latter. Paul was no innovator but rather a faithful expounder of biblical truth. He did not change the clear and simple meaning of scripture and certainly did not give himself to innovation when dealing with the Abrahamic Covenant when he penned the words of Galatians 3:16. The Abrahamic Covenant has therefore not been adjusted or abolished in any way and those quoting Galatians 3:16 in order to claim this are not rightly dividing the word of God.

Malcolm Hedding

Israel Update – A Prophecy of the End

Israel Update – A Prophecy of the End

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                                                “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great

                                                 prince who stands watch over the sons of your

                                                 people; and there shall be a time of trouble,

                                                 such as never was since there was a nation,

                                                 even to that time. And at that time your

                                                 people shall be delivered, every one who is

                                                 found written in the book. And many of those

                                                 who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,

                                                 some to everlasting life, some to shame and

                                                 everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall

                                                 shine like the brightness of the firmament, and

                                                 those who turn many to righteousness like the

                                                 stars forever and ever.”

                                                                                Daniel 12:1-3

 

Daniel eleven and twelve are the foundation upon which Jesus built His Olivet Discourse. This is not surprising as it was part of the embodiment of scripture that Jesus knew and hence He quoted from it.  Like Ezekiel’s prophetic vision concerning Gog of Magog and his evil allies, Daniel also envisions in these final two chapters of his oracle a major clash between competing nations with Israel caught in the middle of it. Therefore, the “Abomination of Desolation” is mentioned in chapter eleven of Daniel’s oracle (11:31) and in the context of a coming king from the east who will collide with the king of the South and of the North. In Daniel’s time this was a Seleucid being the name of a dynasty that sprung up from one of Alexander’s Generals after his death. This Seleucid, by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes, placed a statue of Zeus in Temple of Jerusalem as a symbol that Greece’s pagan gods were superior to the God of the Jews. (Note Zechariah 9:13) In fact Zeus, called Jupiter, by the Romans, was the god worshipped by the pagans of Pergamos (part of modern day Turkey), mentioned in the second chapter of John’s Revelation (Revelation 2:13).  The citizens of Pergamos built a huge altar/throne to Zeus, which today can be seen in Berlin, but Jesus refers to it as the, “Throne of Satan.” Zeus or Jupiter embodies everything that is set against the God of the Bible and he is in fact the Devil himself and for centuries he has sought to usurp the God of Israel by enthroning himself on His holy altar site in Jerusalem; the Temple mount! Thus, up until today Zeus has gained a foothold on the Temple Mount four times; in 168 BC, in 70 AD, in 135 AD and in the 10th century AD. In terms of the year 135 AD the Romans completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem, renamed it Aelia Capitalonia and built a shrine to Jupiter on the holy Temple Mount. According to Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, Jupiter will once more seek to get a foothold on the Temple Mount and again commit the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15). Paul also made mention of this (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

 

In essence this is an attempt to bring in a global religion by which the world can be unified in obedience to a new world political order. The world will be brought under satanic rule for a short period and this does not bode well for Jews and Christians everywhere (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). John’s Revelation warns of this at great length (Revelation 13).  We must wake up as the signs of this approaching day are everywhere. In fact this new satanic reality is just about to overtake us as global events in this regard are surging ahead at a pace that very few have the insight to cope with and understand. No wonder the Bible warns that deception will be greatest threat to God’s people at this time. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10) Huge economic, political and cultural upheavals are just around the corner, meaning that all the things we thought were stable and normal to us will be shaken and removed. This too the Bible warns about in Hebrews 12:26-29:

                “but now He has promised saying, yet once more I shake not

                                 only the earth, but also heaven. Now this, yet once more,

                                 indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as

                                 of things that are made, that the things which cannot be

                                 shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom

                                which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve

                                 God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

 

At the center of this coming storm is, and will be, the tiny nation of Israel. A small people with a very big God will once again be challenged by Zeus and his dark hordes. It is here that Daniel, in his twelfth chapter, tells us that something unique and unprecedented in history will take place. We should note the following:

  1. The God of Israel will set the pace and times of history and not Zeus. (Daniel 12:1a)

That is, at the time of huge global change, plunging the nations toward satanic rule, Michael the great Archangel will stand up. Michael is the Archangel of War and his chief role before the God of the Bible is to defend Israel. When nation after nation has declared its opposition to Israel Michael will “take his stand”; an action by which God is saying, “Enough is enough!” This day is fast approaching

 

  1. The God of Israel will bring nations to a time of trouble never known or seen before. (Daniel 12:1b)

Jesus Himself warned of this coming day (Matthew 24:21) and I believe this day is rushing toward us; especially because, according to Jesus, the restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem after two thousand years of dispersion, is a sign of the approaching end (Luke 21:24).

 

  1. The God of Israel will deliver His people. (Daniel 12:1c)

Israel will be snatched out of this time of great international distress and she will be delivered. This is not simply national/political deliverance but spiritual deliverance. She will recognize her Messiah, mourn for Him as one mourns over the death of a first-born and she will embrace Him.  (Zechariah 12:10) All those entered into God’s great book of life will be saved! Great trial and adversity will drive Israel to the King of Kings even though on her holy mount in Jerusalem Zeus will proclaim himself once more to be god! Elijah’s contest with the Baal priests is looming again. Only this time it will be even more dramatic. Jesus told us that Elijah is coming again and, as in days of old, will restore all things. (Mark 9:12-13)

 

  1. The God of Israel will resurrect His family and damn His enemies. (Daniel 12:2)

The salvation and deliverance of Israel will trigger the resurrection of the dead; meaning that in the end, some will be resurrected to life everlasting and others will be resurrected to everlasting damnation. Jesus Himself spoke of this coming day as recorded in John’s Gospel (John 5:25-30). The difference between eternal life and eternal death is what we do with Jesus. We should mark this well.

 

  1. The God of Israel designates the wise. (Daniel 12:3)

The “wise” are those who live to show others the way to life, by their walking and talking. There is nothing more important and more urgent in life. Jesus said that He was, “The way, the truth and the life” and that “no one could come to the Father but by Him.” (John 14:6) We have a little time and we must now be about our father’s business. Those who embark on this holy calling will, “Shine like the brightness of the firmament.”

My friends this is Daniel’s picture of the times now just ahead of us. You must prepare more than ever for them but most of all you must keep your eyes on Jesus, “The author and finisher of our faith.”

 

Malcolm Hedding

 

Behold the Bridegroom Comes

Behold the Bridegroom Comes

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                        “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore

                         let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put

                         on the armor of light.”

                                                                        Romans 13:12

                        “And at midnight a cry was heard, “Behold the bride-

                         groom is coming; go out to meet him!

                                                                        Matthew 25:6

 

Jesus, in His Olivet Discourse, spoke of signs heralding His coming that would be evident in the world, the Church and Israel. Israel is the unique validation sign entity because her restoration, spoken of by all the Prophets and Jesus Himself, is unusual and very specific. We have lived through this “unusual” phenomenon!

 

  1. The Signs of Israel

These can be divided up into three areas:

 

  • Restoration

This is both physical and spiritual (Ezekiel 36:24-28). The arrival of Israel on the world scene in 1948 and the return of Jerusalem to her sovereignty in 1967 were unprecedented in world history. But Jesus spoke of it making Him a true Prophet! (Luke 21:24) Since then a new breed of Christian has been raised up by God to demonstrate His love and comfort for Zion. We are part of this miracle. The promise of scripture is that a spiritual restoration will follow this physical restoration. It is this “spiritual restoration” that will usher in the return of Christ! (Matthew 23:39)(Acts 3:17-21)

 

  • Archaeology

In recent days some amazing archaeological finds have been made. These include the discovery of what is believed to be part of the Urim and Thummin (Exodus 28:30). This sardonyx gemstone was kept in the High Priests garments of glory and beauty. In this case the stone is a perfect hemisphere with a Hebrew inscription embedded in it. This is amazing, as we have no technology available to do this! The stone was examined by Professor Moshe Sharon of the Hebrew University and he states that it goes back a thousand years before Christ. Its significance lies in the fact that it validates the ancient and biblical attachment of the Jewish people to the land of Canaan and the Temple Mount; a fact that UNESCO has recently attempted to deny.

 

In addition a gold bell that was attached to the fringes of the High Priest’s garments was also found near the Temple Mount and so was the outer wall of Jerusalem that the Roman’s breached when they destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. How astonishing, in that, at a time when the United Nations is attempting to deny any Jewish relationship with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the God of the Bible confounds these anti-Semites by proving them wrong. He does this by the discovery of small but significant things, like the bell that was attached to garment of the High Priest, and his Urim and Thummin.

 

  • Conflict

The decline of America’s interests in the Middle East and the insertion of Russia’s military power into the region are nothing short of astonishing. The Bible clearly speaks of and warns of this in the book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38:1-8). Indeed, reports have just confirmed that Russia is now establishing a naval and military base in Libya and is strengthening ties with President Erdogan of Turkey. Truly, the latter-day picture painted for us by the Prophet Ezekiel appears to be forming. We must watch and pray.

 

  1. The Salvation of Israel

While in Israel this time I was called to a meeting with an ultra Orthodox Rabbi who told me an amazing story. He said that hundreds of spiritual leaders like him believe that Jesus is the Messiah but they are waiting for the right time to declare it. He told me much more that I cannot repeat, but it is amazing and affirms the words of the Prophet Zechariah as recorded in his twelfth chapter (Zechariah 12:10-14). We live in amazing times!

 

  1. The Meaning and Warning of Israel

 

  • Jesus is at the door!
  • Jesus is calling His Church to repent, follow Him and embrace its first love (Revelation 2:4-5). We must become a people of prayer.
  • Jesus is highlighting the parable of the Ten Virgins, recorded in Matthew 25. This is no time for the followers of Jesus to become lazy and spiritually inactive. Remember Jesus is coming, “when you think not.”
  • Jesus will defend Israel! (Zechariah 12:8-9) The conflict in the Middle East is becoming more desperate with every passing day and now we are witnessing other regional powers like Iran, Turkey and Russia getting involved. All of these would love to see Israel dismantled and removed from the Middle East. Israel, though strong, is certainly not strong enough to take on these emerging threats. That which began with God in 1948 will now have to end with God and it will. Of this you can be sure.                                                                     

 

Malcolm Hedding

A Word of Encouragement

A Word of Encouragement

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On the morning of the 20th October at 4:30 I was awakened suddenly and experienced these words flooding my mind and heart. I cannot quite describe it as it was as if I was detached from them and was gazing at them as they rolled by in front of me. Still more amazing was the fact that they were etched on my memory immediately meaning that I could write them down some hours later word for word. That evening at the final plenary event of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, I declared them over the assembled delegates. Scripture states that a prophetic word should be tested so I share this with you for your testing. I personally believe that Jesus gave me these prophetic insights. So, here they are:

“I say unto you, a great darkness, indeed a thick and heavy darkness, is coming upon the earth …….but, I will give you light, a light that will penetrate the darkness and overcome it. Be not afraid because this will be an hour of testing for many in My Church, and even one of persecution, but be faithful in your sufferings for I have overcome the world. Truly those whom I call to walk this road share in the fellowship of My sufferings,. This My people is a privilege!

Moreover, a great light will come from My throne upon Israel. Those who have despised My people will be put to shame, says the Lord. But you will rejoice because you have been faithful to me for them. Therefore, for you who have borne My name, a great joy will flood your hearts, indeed a joy that will rise up within you like a great tidal wave. It will be your strength, it will give you courage and it will fill your hearts with peace.

Above all know this, I am coming quickly, yes I am coming quickly and my reward is with Me and therefore hold fast what you have. Moreover, lift up your heads heavenward for I stand at heaven’s door and shortly it will open and I will come forth with great glory and, as My feet stand upon the Mount of Olives, I tell you, My glory will fill the whole earth.

Go forth then with joy and have in your hearts this blessed hope!

 

Malcolm Hedding

The Politics of Evil – UNESCO Resolution

The Politics of Evil – UNESCO Resolution

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“And it shall happen in that day that I will make
Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all
  who would heave it away will surely be cut in
  pieces, though all nations of the earth are
  gathered against it.” – Zechariah 12:3

 

This week UNESCO decided to rewrite history and thereby assert that the Temple Mount and Western Wall in a Jerusalem have no significance for Israel and the Jewish people. Indeed, according to UNESCO, these are Muslim heritage sites only. This is a day of great shame for the world, and especially for the western nations, that quietly abstained at large from voting while this fiasco was played out. The truth is, this is not only antisemitism in bold display but in fact the demonstration of evil. To think that a people who have had an unbroken relationship with Jerusalem, and particularly with the Temple Mount, for three thousand years can be disinvested of these by a United Nations agency is breathtaking. It is unbridled hatred on display, and in fact the same sort of hatred that was nurtured and unleashed by the Nazis!

There can be no other conclusion, as the decision was so utterly ridiculous, that the reason for it can only lie in the perpetual hatred that this United Nations agency has for Israel and her people. Ignoring all historical facts they went ahead and unashamedly laid bare their racism and hatred for all to see. For sure this also says a lot about the United Nations because it brings into question its sense of judgement and fairness that it is supposed to dispense on behalf of the nations. For some years now the UN has been under suspicion because it routinely sanctions Israel more than it does any other nation in the world. The UNESCO vote proves that the UN is riddled with the evil of antisemitism. It’s time for this monster to be shut down as it can no longer with any sense of fairness and decency further the interests of peace in the world. Indeed, a decision like the one coming out of UNESCO only ferments conflict and war.

The Bible warns that a day will come when the nations of the world will endeavor to wrestle Jerusalem from Jewish control. The vote by UNESCO does just this. The Bible also warns that those who attempt this are inviting the anger of God and He will see to it that they rupture themselves. That is, their heavy lifting days will be over indicating that they will be weakened, lose their influence and be rendered powerless.

The days of UNESCO are numbered.

Malcolm Hedding