The Error and Deception of Replacement Theology

The Error and Deception of Replacement Theology

Bible Church Israel

I write this document on the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht in Germany. A devilish night when the Nazis and their sympathizers throughout Germany destroyed and burned down synagogues, vandalized Jewish property and assaulted Jews at will. The question must be asked, “What was the Church doing!” the answer is; Nothing!  And then the next question is, “Why?” The answer is simple; because Replacement Theology, strongly advocated for by Martin Luther and other clerics of the time, had not only disinvested the Jews of the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant bur had called for them to be despised and rejected as a people. In fact, Luther’s teachings in his book, “On the Jews and their lies”(1543) had encouraged German Christians to do everything possible to see that the Jews were plundered and banished from society.


Having stated this I wish my readers to note that the views expressed in this document are not isolated but in many respects are mainstream as they have been held by great Christian leaders and denominational leaders through the centuries such as the Puritans, John and Charles Wesley, Bishop Ryle of Liverpool, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Billy Graham, Jack Hayford, Derek Prince, David Pawson, Lance Lambert, Reinhard Bonnke, Angus Buchan and many more.


                                                               The Bible


“Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”                                                             

 Genesis 12:1-3


“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also, I give to you and your descendants 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 17:7-8

“He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance.”

                                                            Psalms 105: 7-11


“Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”

                                                            Romans 11:28-29


“And this I say that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.”

                                                            Galatians 3:17

“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 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 that is set before us.”

                                                            Hebrews 6: 13-18



Replacement theology is the idea that the Jewish people, because of their rejection of Jesus’ messianic credentials, have forfeited the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant and consequently they no longer have a national destiny in the land that God promised them as an everlasting possession. The Church is now the new Israel of God, and their only hope is to believe in Jesus and join the Church.

This effectively means that their modern-day restoration holds no biblical significance, is nothing more than an accident of history and at best the result of colonialism and the conflict around it. Israel is merely a political entity, and its existence has the potential to engulf the whole world in a catastrophic war. Many preachers constantly assert this, and I have just read an article by one such preacher wherein, writing of Israel’s war with Hamas, he boldly discounted any biblical significance to Israel’s restoration in our time on the grounds that Jesus in Himself is the fulfillment of all the promises that God ever made to the Jewish people in Abraham including that of the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. He has no biblical basis upon which to make such an outrageous claim!

Naturally then, replacement theology is highly deceptive because to a certain degree it is right in that the Gospel of Jesus is the only way of salvation, and this is true for Jews and Gentiles alike (Romans 1:16). However, it is a serious error in that nowhere in the Bible is it ever stated that the Abrahamic Covenant with its promise to Abraham, and his descendants in their generations, that the land of Canaan is theirs as an everlasting possession, has in any way been altered, abolished or changed. On the contrary, the New Testament repeatedly affirms that all the promises made to Abraham and the fathers are irrevocable and cannot in any way be annulled because God does not lie!

Why would this be so! Because the Jewish people are, by the promises in the Abrahamic Covenant, set aside by God Himself as the vehicle of world redemption (John 4:22) (Romans 9:1-5) (Romans 15:27). That is, the means by which God reveals Himself to the world, brings His purpose into the world and in the end consummates it. Even their unbelief is a blessing as it serves the nations of the world with the Gospel (Romans 11:15, 28). Therefore, though being enemies of God then, they remain” beloved for the sake of the fathers” and indeed, their rejection of Jesus as the “chief cornerstone” is the “day the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:22-24).  Furthermore, Paul affirms that in the end their rejection of Jesus messianic credentials will only be partial and, when swept away, will pave the way for Him to return to Jerusalem as He promised (Romans 11:25-26) (Matthew 23:37-39). It is this mystery that still evades the wider Church and has been at the root of antisemitism through the centuries, which included the Holocaust, and now this deceptive teaching perpetrates another great evil by disconnecting the Church from its biblical responsibilities to Israel at a time when the Jews again are facing another attempt at to annihilate them. Haman, the Amalekite, is at work again and an” Esther Church” is needed to save them!


The Abrahamic Covenant

This Covenant is first announced in Genesis 12, and then its terms are laid out in chapters 15, 17 and 22, and promised to Abraham’s children in their descendants and in their generations. It is an everlasting Covenant since it constitutes God’s decision to save the world through the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross (Galatians 3:8). God will thereby reconcile the world to Himself by giving those who receive Christ Jesus by faith, the gift of eternal life. For this reason, it had to be an everlasting covenant in all respects. It places Abraham and his children at the very center of this covenant as they will become the means by which God mediates to the world the knowledge of Himself, the coming of Christ, the good news of the gift of eternal life and the second coming of Jesus. Also, and this is very important, it therefore shackles God’s redemptive work in Christ to the historical journey of the Jewish people and galvanizes them into a nation by giving them the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. In fact, Peter in his powerful sermon recorded in the third chapter of Acts, not only affirms that the Jews were called to deliver the death of Christ to the world (Acts 3:18) but that all these things were done to fulfill the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant (Acts 3:25). Jesus affirmed, as did Paul, that they would return to Jerusalem at the very end of the age to facilitate His second coming (Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25-26). The “Deliverer comes out of Zion or Jerusalem, or the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-11).

The Abrahamic Covenant, by virtue of the fact that it had to be eternal or everlasting, meant that God alone would have to undertake to keep its components and thus when made with Abraham he was put to sleep and not allowed to actually make it, or cut it with God. God Himself and alone, without Abraham’s participation, made it by a blood ceremony and oath to Abraham. This is recorded in Genesis 15:7-21. It is thus unconditional and everlasting and at its very root is the promise that the land of Canaan will be the possession of Abraham and his descendants in their generations (Genesis 15:7-9).

In all then these are the five crucial and eternal components of the Abrahamic Covenant:

  1. An eternal promise of land (Genesis 17:7-8)
  2. An eternal mission (Genesis 12:1-3)
  3. A journey of suffering and conflict (Genesis 15: 9-12;17)
  4. A promise of a coming Messiah who would die for the sins of the world (Genesis 22:6-10)
  5. A promise of blessing and cursing (Genesis 12:3).

Again, it is important to note that this is an everlasting unconditional covenant rooted in God’s grace alone because it chiefly embodies God’s plan of world redemption by which whoever believes in the promised Messiah will receive eternal life (Galatians 3:8). Paul affirms this in Galatians 3: 9, 14, and 29. That is, if we are of faith, then we are blessed with believing Abraham; if we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is because of what God promised to Abraham and, if we are Christ’s, then we are in fact Abraham’s children according to the promise that God made to him in the covenant. In other words, the covenant is fully intact and effective until this very day because God does not lie and by it has fulfilled His promise to bless all the families of the earth.

It is also important to note that it is in fact one covenant not five covenants! This means that if one part fails then all the parts fail.  James upholds this principle in his epistle when he states that if you break one of the Ten Commandments then you have broken them all (James 2:10). This means that if the part of the Abrahamic Covenant that promises land to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession fails, then all the parts fail, even that part which promises you eternal life through Christ’s once for all death on the cross. God has indeed lied to you, and you are truly still in your sins, without hope and lost! This is precisely why the restoration of Israel in our time is not a political accident but the manifestation of God’s faithfulness to His covenant made with Abraham 4000 years ago. It is the ongoing journey of Israel to mediate God’s redemptive plan to the world and this will finally be seen in the return of Christ to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 23:39) (Romans 11:25-26) (Zechariah 12:10).  The Disciples knew all of this, and consequently they enquired of Jesus when He would restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). He never denied that such a restoration would take place but rather asserted that, because of Israel’s rejection of His messianic credentials and unbelief, the gospel would now go to the nations until the fulness of the Gentiles have come in.  Then all Israel would be saved, and the Messiah would come out of Jerusalem! Replacement Theology denies all of this, attacks the Abrahamic Covenant, declares God to be a liar and disconnects the Church from its biblical responsibilities to Israel.

Replacement Theology drives the Church to stand by once again in silence and do nothing while the Jews are again being murdered incinerated, raped and literally burned in ovens. Just as it did on Kristallnacht 85 years ago. It is a deception that attacks the very heart of scripture and God knew that this would happen because the call of God over Israel was to penetrate a wicked and evil world, dominated by the Devil, with the light of His good news in Christ. Their journey is not over as they have now returned to their promised homeland to birth the final and great event of world redemption, the return of Christ. This will finally bring real peace to the whole world but, thanks to Replacement Theology, the Church is generally blinded to this fact and has far too often, as history undeniably proves, sided with the Devil in his plan to exterminate the Jews. It was for this reason that God said that He would bless those who bless her and curse him who curses her.  Many “hims” have risen up in the Church to curse the Jews and thereby to deny the   everlasting Abrahamic Covenant that God made with them; sadly, even today!


Important Passages of scripture

There are a few passages of scripture that those espousing Replacement Theology refer to in an attempt to prove their thesis. These are as follows:

Galatians 3:16

“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.”

This verse is written in the context of a discussion wherein Paul is asserting that salvation is not to be found by keeping the Law, as some in his day were asserting, but rather by faith in a Seed, Messiah Jesus, who was promised in one of the five vital components in the Abrahamic Covenant. This promise is found in Genesis 22, where we have the record of Abraham being called to sacrifice his unique and only son Isaac. This is a picture of Jesus’ death and because Abraham was faithful in doing so God promised that another Isaac would come into the world who would, by the sacrifice of His perfect life, atone for the sins of the world (John 8:56). This passage is in no way removing the promise made to Abraham and his descendants in the covenant by which the land of Canaan is bequeathed to them as an everlasting possession. It is simply asserting the one that promises the coming of Christ as the way of salvation.

Galatians 6:15-16

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but

  a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy

  be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”

This verse is referring to the fact that saved Jews and Gentiles are together part of God’s spiritual Olive Tree which is Israel because it is a Jewish tree with Jewish roots that goes back thousands of years.  They take their identity from Christ alone and thus are a “one new man”, or new creation (Ephesians 2:14-18). Paul writes extensively about this in Romans eleven verses seventeen to twenty-four. This is the same chapter where he also asserts that all the promises made to the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob remain intact because the “gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). In fact, in verse 28 he has the audacity to suggest that the unbelieving and Christ rejecting Jews are still the elect of God! The question we must ask then is, “In what sense?” He is clearly referring to the fact that while they are enemies of God by their rejection of Christ or unbelief, they nevertheless have not forfeited the promises that God made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant. In short, they were elected in Abraham to be the vehicle of world redemption. God is not a liar, and He made an unconditional covenant with them through their fathers that in the end He will honor in all respects. This He has sworn to by His word and character; two immutable things by which it is impossible for God to lie!


Things to ponder:

In the end then those who teach Replacement Theology have to answer:

  1. Why has Israel re-emerged on the stage of history again never to be exiled again as God said that she would (Amos 9:14-15)?
  2. Why have the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem just as Jesus said they would (Luke 21:24)?
  3. Why did Jesus say that His second coming is dependent upon a welcome from the Jewish people living in Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39)?
  4. Why does scripture teach that an awful judgement is about to fall upon the nations on the coming Great Day of the Lord because they have embraced antisemitism and attempted to disinvest the Jews of the land that God bequeathed to them in the Abraham Covenant by constantly attempting to divide it (Joel 3:1-3)?
  5. Why does God promise to defend the “political accident” of the restored nation of Israel when all nations will in the end gather against it (Zechariah 12:1-3)?
  6. Why does God promise a unique outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Jerusalem and beyond by which He will remove Jewish unbelief in Jesus’ messianic credentials (Zechariah 12:10-14)?
  7. Why are the foundations and gates of the coming new Jerusalem emblazoned with the names of the Twelve Apostles and the Twelve Tribes of the children of Israel (Revelation 21:12-14)?


Final Considerations

The Charters of Hamas, Islamic Jihad the PLO, Hezbollah and that of Iran call for the total destruction of the nation of Israel and the murder of the Jewish people everywhere.  In other words, they are driven by the same devilish evil spirit that drove the Nazis in their desire to bring about the “final solution”. They say it clearly and repeatedly and even boast about it and make videos depicting it and yet the world still supports them and rallies to their cause across the nations as we have now seen in the capitals of the world.  They openly call for the extermination of the Jewish people just as the masses did in Germany 85 years ago. Nothing has changed and the same Devil sensing his coming defeat in the unfolding restoration of Israel in the holy land is mobilizing people everywhere to hate the Jews and their state. The cry is the same everywhere, “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free!” They mean exactly what they say and the barbaric attack on Israel on October the 7th,  in the name of Islam, proves it. Sadly, Christian Ministers, Priests and Pastors excuse these goals and the atrocities committed by these peoples and all too often stand with them, just as they stood with the Nazis in the Second World War. They see no biblical reason why they should stand by and support the Jews. Why is this? Because of Replacement Theology! But God is watching, and He will intervene because Israel remains “beloved for the sake of the fathers,” and this means that God is watching over His Covenant with Abraham to fulfill it. Blessed are they who bless what God is doing in the earth by blessing Israel!

Malcolm Hedding

The Outstretched arm of God

The Outstretched arm of God

Church Israel
Dear Friends,
 “So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.” Deuteronomy 26:8
Israel is presently in a state of shock and mourning but at the same time she has had to pick herself up and wage another war for her very survival. It is truly heartbreaking to watch this saga unfold, and we weep with her as we seek to do all that we can to stand beside her.
A chosen people
From the time that God called her into existence through the mission and call that God gave to Israel in Abraham she has endured one attempt after the other to exterminate her. This began in Egypt as the very same Nazi demonic spirit inspired Pharaoh to destroy her. The attempt to murder the Jews has persisted through history and we all know it. The truth is the Jews everywhere are targeted for destruction because they carry in their historical journey God’s plan to bless the nations and save them from sin, the Devil and destruction. Jesus knew this when He proclaimed that, ” Salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22). Paul acknowledged the same truth in his Roman epistle when he reminded his readers that everything we have and hold dear in terms of our salvation comes from the Jews (Romans 9:1-5).
In other words, the nation of Israel, by the call of God over her, is the vehicle of world redemption which challenges and reverses the strategy of the Devil to destroy forever the peoples of the world. It is this chosen call from heaven that has plunged the Jews and Israel into terrible conflict, and we are called to stand by and help her. By doing this we affirm and acknowledge her mission and the redemptive plan of God that flows through her to the world.
A set apart people
The enemies of the Jews and of Israel have always set aside special days of rampage by which to destroy them. Haman and his accomplices did this in Esther’s time as did the Nazi’s when they unleashed a specific night in Germany by which to assault Jews, kill them, burn their synagogues, and destroy their businesses. This has been called Kristalnaght.
This same demonic spirit has set aside the 13th October 2023, this very day as I write to you, as another day when Muslims are called to rise up all over the world, and in Israel, to attack and kill Jews!! This alone together with the awful events that have unfolded in the south of Israel should stir into action all good-minded people everywhere, and especially Christians. This wickedness has become so evident and manifest that it cannot be justified or just ignored. No one can sit on the fence in this matter and truly for the wider Church in the world a day of reckoning has come!! It can stand by and watch the Jews be murdered again, as it did 80 years ago or come to their defense and aid!
This day arrived in Germany on Kristalnaght 80 years ago and history affirms that by and large the Christian world failed to discern between good and evil and rather chose to stand on the sidelines and let the Jews die! History has condemned them for it and it will do the same again if we fail today.
A delivered people
In all of Israel’s journey God has nevertheless defended and ultimately delivered His people by “His outstretched arm” and in these days “the new Nazis” of our time who have ruthlessly set out to murder the children of Israel literally in the south of Israel will be destroyed again. About this you must have no doubt. In striking out at Israel, in such a barbaric manner Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran have struck out at the God of Israel and He will destroy them. Just as He ultimately did to Pharoah, the Babylonians, Haman and the Nazis. The “writing is on the wall” again and Hamas has been found wanting and will be brought down and must be, even for the sake of the nations.
Final thoughts
Israel today is a broken-hearted nation as are Jews everywhere. God has always allowed these awful things to happen in her long journey that spans 4000 years beginning with her bondage in Egypt. Some of this has mystery in it but one thing is sure, all of it is a lesson in the nature of evil and of the existence of the Devil and of the total depravity of the human condition. For this reason, the book of Revelation, in its twelfth chapter, pictures Israel in a life and death struggle with the Devil because she carries in her long historical journey the saving plan of God for the salvation of the world. Paul tells us that even her rejection of Jesus is for the blessing of the nations and that she remains “beloved for the sake of the fathers.” In the light of this I urge you to be very careful as to how you will respond to this conflict today. The God of Israel is watching!!
In the light of all this please pray:
  1.  That God will comfort His people and use us to do it.
  2. That God will bind up the broken-hearted in Israel.
  3. That God will deliver Israel again by His outstretched arm.
  4. That God will protect her young people on the field of battle and give them supernatural strength.
  5. That God will help the leaders of Israel to have wisdom beyond themselves.
  6. That the Church, unlike in the Nazi era, will stand up in support of Israel….and,
  7. Through it all, as in the past, the redemptive purpose of God for her, the Palestinians and the nations will be furthered through this conflict.
May God, by Jesus Christ, be with you all!
Malcolm Hedding
The Battle for Israel

The Battle for Israel

Bible Church Israel

Dear Friends,

At the root of the real battle for Israel is the fact that nations, peoples and entities of all types are in rebellion against the God of the Bible. This rebellion is wicked and evil and is designed to destroy God and His redemptive purpose in the earth. These evil entities are fueled by the Devil and his unseen demonic powers with whom they willingly co-operate.

Unable to attack God they resort to the next and only option and that is to ruthlessly attack the people who are named by Him. This is so because He reveals Himself to the world through them as the God of Israel. That is, to put it another way, the God of the Jews! This is the clear teaching of Psalm 83:

“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold your peace, and do not be still,
O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult, and those who hate
You have lifted up their head. They take crafty counsel against Your
people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They
have said, “Come, let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name
of Israel may be remembered no more.”

In these last few days we have witnessed the pure evil and wickedness of Hamas who in the name of their Muslim religion, and shouting “Allah is Great”, massacred 1200 Jews on one day.

Just yesterday we learned that Israel’s army discovered a Kibbutz in the south of the country where two hundred men, women and children were murdered. They were gunned down in cold blood, the young women were immobilized by being shot in the legs and then they were raped and killed. In addition they found forty infants, a good number of which had been beheaded and dismembered. Such evil, as the President of Israel stated, was last seen in the Holocaust! The same devils have infested these Islamic entities , including Iran, with the intention of liquidating Israel, the Jews everywhere and even the Christians. In fact, just two days ago a Hamas leader in Gaza actually affirmed this.

However, the truth is, that according to Psalm 83, in attacking Israel in this most barbaric and evil manner they have in fact attacked the God of Israel, the God of the Bible. His anger is aroused and, as the psalmist said, He will now arise, He will not be silent and He will not be still. His enemies will be scattered! In fact He will arise through the very people that they hoped to massacre and He will humiliate and destroy them just as He did in the Six Day War of 1967.

The days ahead will be tough and we must arise to and join the battle against this evil entity by taking a place of intercession on behalf of Israel and we must do all that we can to comfort them in practical ways. Now is the time to act. Eighty years ago the Church was silent as the Nazis murdered the Jews but things are different now as the Lord has raised up a spiritual army in the nations, numbering in the millions, who will come to their aid and are.

Cheryl and I are still in Israel and I can tell you that the nation is united, demonstrated by the formation of a unity government and 850,000 young men and women who have responded to the call to take up arms and defend their people. There is apprehension in the air as everyone awaits Israel’s assault against Gaza by which Hamas, and all its fellow islamists, will be eliminated. It is similar to the apprehension that was felt in England, America and beyond when thousands of young people stormed the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944 in order to deal with exactly the same evil entity. The God of Israel helped them and He will do the same today. Of this you can be sure! Please join the battle for Israel.

Malcolm Hedding

The Harlot Church

The Harlot Church

Blog Church

The Book of Revelation foresees a day when parts of the believing Church would be wholly corrupted and deceived and, without even knowing it, serve the interests of the powers of darkness. Jesus Himself warned that a day would come when religious people would persecute true believers and thereby believe that they are doing the work of God! This was the “harlot Church” of His day! Its origins were biblical, its heritage was faithful, its place in the world was significant and powerful but it fell prey to leaders who no longer honored God, His word and His ways and thus it became a harlot. The Prophets everywhere warned that a day would come when the people of God would commit spiritual adultery.

The Presbyterian Church of the USA is just such a Church! Its latest vote to disinvest from Israel is appalling as it furthers the agenda of militant Islam! There is just no doubt about this. The Palestinian Unity Government is undergirded by mission statements, be they Fatah (PLO) or Hamas, which call for the total destruction of Israel. They have waged a relentless war in this regard and have launched wave upon wave of terrorist attacks against Israel in order to achieve their goal. A goal by the way that they assert and affirm every day in Arabic! Their latest atrocity is the kidnapping of three Israeli children; but ignoring all of this, the Presbyterian Church of the USA votes to disinvest from Israel as a sign of their outrage at the country; the only true democracy in the Middle East and upholder of values and norms that most western nations cherish!!

More important still is the fact that this takes place in the context of the Middle East where Islamic movements are showing the true face of Islam as they move through the region murdering hundreds of thousands of people who get in their way; just as they did in South Sudan where they murdered two million Christians. Where was the Presbyterian Church then? The Presbyterian Church should be ashamed of itself and those who belong to it should really consider their ongoing affiliation with a Church like this. Some already are.

This however is what happens when Replacement Theology is embraced and followed through on; the Jews always become the target of a church that cannot accept that God is not finished with His ancient people and will still honor all His promises to them unconditionally vouched safe in the Abrahamic Covenant. Christian anti-Semitism is “the child” of this deviant belief system and always has been. In like manner the Apartheid system of government, launched by the Nationalist government in South Africa in 1948, was in fact built on a weird form of Christian replacement theology. Only this time, the Jews were not the target but black people and the system was fully embraced and endorsed by the Dutch Reformed Church. Thank God it later repented!

Israel cannot, in any shape or form, be likened to the brutality of the Palestinian terror machine. There is no equivalence in this matter and the country is a shining light of multi-party democracy and civilized governance in a “sea” of Islamic chaos and brutality. David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, recently acknowledged this. Recent polls (6/24) reveal that the majority of Palestinians support the Hamas agenda for the total destruction of Israel. The Presbyterian Church also supports this by siding with the disinvestment campaign against the Jewish State. It’s all part of a sinister plan to discredit Israel, delegitimize Israel and dismantle Israel. For Presbyterians everywhere this is a sad day indeed.

Malcolm Hedding.

Passover and Easter Update 2014

Passover and Easter Update 2014

Blog Church Israel Jesus

This year, as in some previous years, Passover and Easter fall in the same week. Their connection is not just one that has to do with our annual calendars but they mirror each other, though separated by thousands of years in terms of their historical context. The one took place 3300 years ago in Egypt and the other 2000 years ago in Jerusalem. What they both have in common is:

1.    The condemnation of the world.
Without the vicarious suffering of another the world, including all of Israel in Egypt, would fall prey to death at the hands of the Angel of Death. Death is more than just our physical expiration; it is being separated from God for all eternity.  We are all a people condemned to die because of our sins.

2.    The marvelous grace of God.
That which saves us from death is not our good works or efforts but the grace of God alone. The Jews in Egypt were as much at risk as the Egyptians were as the Angel of Death approached. Their only hope was the blood of a lamb that had to be appropriated on the door posts and lintels of their homes. In like manner only the blood of the Lamb of God, applied to the doorposts of our hearts can save us from death. God’s grace is wonderful and frees us from a “works based” attempt to please Him. By grace we have been saved!

3.    The changing of our circumstances.
The Israelites of old had to be dressed and ready to leave Egypt in haste. They would now be a changed people who would find their new life in God who came down to deliver them by His mighty hand. They would never be the same again. In like manner we leave the world (Egypt) and follow Christ Who has transformed us, changed our hearts and made us “new creatures.”

4.    The pursuit of the enemy.
Though redeemed and brought under God’s protection the Israelites were relentlessly pursued by the Egyptians at many levels and not just physically. It’s one thing to come out of Egypt but it’s entirely another to get Egypt out of your heart! For forty years and more the Israelites battled and struggled with the latter. We too have been saved from sin but it takes a lifetime to get sin out of our hearts! In both cases however the enemy has been defeated. “The horse and rider has been thrown into the sea!”

5.    The care, provision and protection of God.
The Exodus story serves as a marvelous lesson about the love that God has for His people. Those redeemed by the blood of a lamb are God’s precious people a holy nation and a royal priesthood. He watches over them day and night. Likewise the Church is  also deemed a holy nation and a royal priesthood and Jesus said “Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the age.” The lesson is clear; those that are blood bought” enjoy God’s presence and cannot be separated from Him.

6.    The hope of a promised land.
The Israelites went out of Egypt with the sure assurance that they would inherit a land of milk and honey; and they did. We too have gone out of the Egypt of sin looking for a city that has “foundations whose architect and builder is God.” God desires to dwell forever with His children and indeed He will. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you may be also.”

Isn’t it amazing how Passover and Easter reflect each other? The truth is, they do reflect each other and are really one and the same! Just this week, as Passover was beginning, a radical Nazi attacked two Jewish centers in America. Shouting “Heil Hitler” he opened fire at will and indiscriminately at Jews but in fact killed three Christians! This tragedy speaks to us in many ways but powerfully it reminds us that Jews and Christians belong together and in the end that which will finally unite them will be the blood of a Lamb! What a wonderful Day that will be!

May you celebrate a blessed Passover and Easter.

Malcolm Hedding

Holy Convocations – May 16th

Holy Convocations – May 16th

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“And the scripture, foreseeing that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith,
preached the gospel to Abraham before-
hand, saying, “In you all the nations shall
be blessed.”

Galatians 3:8

In recent years a number church convocations have come to conclusions that are unbiblical but widely believed in Christian circles. The first was the special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Catholic Bishops convened in 2010. Speaking of Israel’s place among the nations they concluded that, “the Abrahamic Covenant has been annulled.” By doing this they can remove Israel’s divine right to the land of Canaan and to Jerusalem. Naturally, if this be true, then Israel enjoys no biblical significance, her modern day restoration is an accident of history and she takes her place amongst the nations of the earth like any other. God has no more purpose for her than He does for Zambia or Switzerland!

The second convocation was that of the Lausanne Conference of Evangelicals that gathered in Cape Town also in 2010. They agreed entirely with the Bishops of Rome in that their pre-conference statement noted that… “we strongly believe that the separate and privileged place given to Jewish people today or to the modern Israeli state in certain forms of dispensationalism or Christian Zionism, should be challenged, inasmuch as they deny the essential oneness of the people of God in Christ.” Thankfully, after this convocation and because of much pressure, they altered this statement to reflect a more open and neutral view on the matter. However, it is to be noted that to believe in a national destiny for the Jewish people in the land of Canaan does not in any way deny the “essential oneness of the people of God in Christ” because we believe that all people be they Jew or Gentile can only be saved by appropriating by faith the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

The third convocation is the one just recently held by the Church of Scotland in 2013. This convocation not only stated that Israel’s modern day restoration has no biblical significance but it went on to cast doubt on the historical veracity of the Abrahamic Covenant thus implying that at no time in history did it guarantee Canaan as a homeland for the Jewish people! This abuse of scripture by this gathering of so called learned clergy is breathtaking to say the least; especially in the light of Genesis 17:7-8 and Psalm 105:7-12.

Once again, simply put, this means that for these church movements Israel’s modern day restoration enjoys no biblical significance whatsoever. Christians can and should ignore it and move on to more important spiritual things. The Catholic Bishops were at least honest in that they recognized that to hold their position on Israel they have to define the “battle ground.” That is, they must declare the Abrahamic Covenant entirely obsolete and abolished by God Himself. There is just one problem for them in this regard and that is that scripture nowhere says it. It is an argument from silence and wishful thinking!

In fact, if anything, the New Testament scriptures everywhere affirm the ongoing efficacy of this covenant even going so far as to declare that it cannot be annulled (Galatians3:17), that it constitutes an example to believers of God’s truthfulness and unswerving faithfulness (Hebrews6:13-20) and that the finished work of Jesus on the cross was to make good its promises (Galatians3:9; 13-14;). Indeed, if we are Christ’s we are “Abraham’s children according to the promise (covenant).” (Galatians3:29)

Moreover, I know of no Christian Zionist who affords a privileged place to Jews or Israel. If anything, the call of God over the Jewish people was never a “privileged place” but a place of servant hood, suffering and rejection for the sake of the world! As a gentile believer in Christ Jesus I would not want their role in history, but truly I have been eternally enriched by it because “salvation is of the Jews”, “we share in their spiritual things” and from them “Christ came who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”

To assert then that, since Jesus’ coming, the Abrahamic Covenant has been abolished or somehow reconstructed is quite frankly theological ineptitude! The scriptures nowhere support this theory. In fact, if accepted, these convocations are guilty of the very theological position that they claim to be against! That is, they are guilty of being dispensationalists because they endorse the movement of one plan of God to another throughout history. This is classic dispensationalism! We reject dispensationalism in all its forms because there has only and forever been one plan of God for the salvation of the whole world (Revelation13:8). This plan was unveiled and promised in the Abrahamic Covenant which, according to Paul was the first and foundational proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus. (Galatians3:8) The fact that this saving initiative also promised land as an everlasting possession to the Jewish people (Genesis17:8-9) has always “stuck in the throat” of many people and groups. (Nehemiah2:19-20; 4:1-3; 6:1-2)

The fact is; all nations are blessed and saved by faith in the finished work of Jesus because of the peculiar servant role that Israel has played out on their behalf. A calling that Paul admits is irrevocable! (Romans11:29) For this role or call to be removed the Abrahamic Covenant has to be removed but, if that ever happens and it will not, God’s decision to save the world also has to be removed! It is worthy of note that, years after Israel’s rejection of Jesus’ Messianic credentials, the writer of the book of Hebrews holds up the Abrahamic Covenant to wavering  Jewish believers as an example of God’s faithfulness to his word, character and promises. Apparently he was wrong!

The Lausanne Conference, the Catholic Bishops and the Church of Scotland are not only guilty of dispensationalism but of also casting doubt over the character of God in that He has lied! But God is not a man that He should lie. (Numbers 23:19) (Titus 1:2) They have thereby disqualified themselves from participating in one of the most remarkable acts of God in history and have failed to “rightly divide” the word of God. One wonders whether the pressure of having to be politically correct has caused them to do this?

It needs to be borne in mind that the position held by Christian Zionists today was also held by great Christian leaders throughout history including the Wesley’s, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Bishop Ryle of Liverpool, Professor Jacob Janeway of the Scottish National Church, Robert Murray McCheyne, Sir Isaac Newton, the early church leaders, as reflected by the documents of the early church, and many thousands more down to the present time.

That we are, and all should be, concerned about issues of justice and righteousness in the Middle East and elsewhere is a given. We should be committed to the “whole counsel of God” and are. However, I want to know why these church convocations have abandoned the people of South Sudan where two million Christians, in the last decade and more, were killed at the hands of Muslims and why they have said and done nothing about the “forgotten war” in central Africa that has thus far claimed the lives of four million people? And, what of the thousands of Christians who are being murdered across the Middle East and Africa today by Muslims not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Muslims that are being murdered by their fellow Muslims in Libya, Syria and Iraq? Obviously righteousness and justice for these convocations is a matter of “special selection.” Or, are these people left without hope because, in most cases, they are African?

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.

Praying together for our nation and leaders

Blog Church Prayer

1Timothy 2:1-7

Praying for our national/political leaders is the number one issue for Christians! You would not think so if one listened to the prayers of God’s people today and yet issues of great national concern are handled by such leaders and even the lives of millions of people are affected by their decisions. This is not a small matter! Generally Christians are profoundly ignorant of the spiritual principles that are involved in this matter and if not ignorant they are confused. That is, many have concluded that their citizenship is in Heaven and therefore we can abandon the world to its own devices! This view crippled the voice of the Church in the Holocaust and six million Jews were murdered and some 53 million people died in the wider conflict of the Second World War! We live under this cloud to our shame.

Sadly many Christians think that the President of a nation should be a preacher like person and at the very least a committed Christian. This is also a delusion and not necessarily biblical. For sure the Bible calls leaders the “servants of God” but not in a Christian way. They are set in place to bring order, law, peace and justice to a people and to, at the very least, acknowledge the involvement of God in the affairs of men. (Romans 13:1-7) The American nation was founded by men like this who were not really “born again” believers but who certainly acknowledged the crucial hand of God in the affairs of men. (Proverbs14:34) To this day the One Dollar note proclaims, “In God we Trust.” America’s prosperity and power has more to do with this than we think. (Psalm 33:12) Its future however does not look good as the Democratic Party has abandoned God, betrayed Israel and the Jewish people and has embraced a culture of chaos that dismembers the family as we know it and celebrates the murder of millions of unborn children all in the name of women having the right to determine what they do with their bodies! God is watching! More troubling still is that millions of Americans think that this is “progressive”, as they put it and so fifty percent of the nation supports this platform. It’s nothing of the sort but merely the moral break-down of the nation and, as Lance Lambert put it recently, the rapid paganization of the State. It’s not new but as old as Sodom and Gomorrah! America is in decline because it is in conflict with the God who made her great.

In short she needs the gift of repentance!

So these principles apply to leaders and nations:

1.    God raises up leaders and puts them down. (Daniel 2:21)

2.    The spiritual state of the nation is measured by its attempt to honor the Ten Commandments. (2Chronicles 7:17-18) These Commandments are written and stamped on the hearts of men even if they do not have access to them as a written code. Their conscience reminds them of them and when they respond accordingly the blessing of God falls upon them. (Romans 2:12-16) As a consequence God establishes peace in a nation and prospers it and enables the Gospel to be freely preached (This is God’s “common grace” at work in a nation-see Matthew 5:45). Make no mistake these Commandments civilized the Western World and made it great (Genesis 35:11; 17:5-6) but today they are being removed from the public domain and the halls of government. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”  It is no coincidence then that many of the great halls pertaining to America’s public and political life were emblazoned with this moral code! The trampling on this code goes hand in hand with America’s plunge into darkness and away from God.  It is to be noted that America’s Founding Fathers saw themselves as a covenant people whose values were based on those of Moses. The word Federal actually comes from the Latin word Foedus which means covenant! So, in 1636 for instance, John Cotton presented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a legal code taken directly from the book of Deuteronomy. This foundation became the bedrock upon which America was built and it was no coincidence that the constitution was signed under the now famous Liberty Bell that has upon it an inscription from Moses that states; “…..Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.” (Leviticus 25:10)

3.    God gives peace, power and prosperity to nations that embrace the yardstick of Moses and He thus gives opportunity for the Gospel of Jesus to be proclaimed. Consider the following:

“Our modern world defined God as a “religious complex” and laughed at
the Ten Commandments as OLD FASHIONED. Then, through the laughter,
came the shattering thunder of World War. And now a blood-drenched,
bitter world-no longer laughing-cries for a way out. There is but one way
out. It existed before it was engraven upon Tablets of Stone. It will exist
when stone has crumbled. The Ten Commandments are not rules to obey
as a personal favor to God. They are fundamental principles without which
mankind cannot live together.”
(America’s Prophet by Bruce Feiler)

Israel was forged into a nation and given real freedom when God gave her moral laws by which
to live. This concept or idea governed the lives and thinking of America’s Founding Fathers.

4.    When nations abandon this moral code they move to a point of inviting the judgment of God to fall upon them. (Isaiah 24:4-6) This judgment is progressive and cataclysmic. Progressive because it is recognized in the proliferation of sexual perversion, the worship of creation, natural and national disasters and the type of leaders that it gets. God has handed over the nation to its perversions by removing what we call the “gates of consciousness” from its peoples. The consequence is that perversion becomes acceptable, celebrated and approved but actually all this is evidence of the judgment of God. (Romans 1:18-32) It is cataclysmic because the nation is finally overtaken by disaster. Before this point is reached the “spiritual gatekeepers” (Prophets) speak out and begin to warn the nation and its leaders. (Isaiah 14:32)(Jeremiah 7:25)

5.    Somewhere in the progressive phase of God’s judgment, that we already see “burning in America”, the nation reaches a point of no return. It deserves a terrifying judgment and only God’s grace and mercy can avert it. We are now fast approaching this point! (Jeremiah 18:1-10)

6.    A nation’s attitude to Israel and Jerusalem in particular plays a major role in its blessing or cursing. This includes attempts to divide the land of Israel. (Genesis 12:1-3)(Zechariah12:1-9)(Joel 3:1-3)

7.    The Church of the living God must “stand in the gap” and call out to God for mercy. (2Chronicles 7:14) We are, I believe, challenged by the God of heaven to take this position today! We must listen, learn, repent and act!

God says, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” (Ezekiel 22:30)

Rightly do we gather here today to pray and call out to God for mercy. We must ourselves repent of our wickedness, slothfulness and sin and humble ourselves before the throne of Heaven. November the 8th will not be the choice of men through a ballot box but the choice of God determined by what He knows about the nation. We should expect the worst or ………………?

Malcolm Hedding.

Note: Readers of this article will be interested to know that two proposals were put forward in 1776 in terms of what the Great Seal of America should be. One of these proposed by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson was that of an engraving of Moses leading the children of Israel out of bondage and through the Red Sea to freedom. Freedom came from the moral Law of Moses!

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.


©Malcolm Hedding Ministries

Christian Zionism and Social Justice

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A new initiative

Segments and leaders of the evangelical church are being drawn away from the traditional and mainstream position on Israel by an initiative that claims to take the high moral ground by proclaiming a commitment to social justice. This invariably means that Israel constitutes an occupying oppressive regime and that the Palestinians are the ones requiring social justice. To bolster this narrative images of the defensive barrier wall are displayed to achieve maximum propaganda effect. After all images like this return our thoughts to the Berlin Wall, the Belfast Wall and the walls of one type or another put in place by the Apartheid regime. One has to admit that the imagery is powerful and it takes well informed minds to counter them. The lack of such information has duped many evangelicals; some of them very well known. This new initiative, designed to discredit pro-Israel evangelicals breeds on ignorance and in fact on lies! It also seeks to smear Christian Zionists as uncompassionate Palestinian and Arab haters. This is just not true! David Solway observes that, “The usual understanding of Israel as an aggressive, colonial, apartheid state robbing the Palestinians of their heritage is quite possibly the greatest political scam of modern times. It is the outcome of a mixture of historical amnesia, ideological prejudice and reflex hostility, which keep it mind-proof.”

An old story

Newt Gingrich, a Republican Party candidate for the US Presidency recently shocked the media world when he stated that the Palestinians were an “invented people.” However, being the astute and very well qualified historian that he is, no one was able to challenge him; not even the liberal anti-Israel academic world! His facts were “water-tight!” This is just a reality. This however does not mean that he was demeaning the people who now claim a Palestinian national identity. It simply means that he told the truth and, as we found out, the truth hurts! Social justice must be built on the truth. This is why it was necessary to dismantle the Apartheid regime since the awful record of white minority government and oppression was true. It could not be disputed; but in the Middle East we have a claim to land by a people that were in fact invented and indeed never did have a history of national statehood! The people who do are the Jews and their claim has a four thousand year history!! Isn’t that amazing; but you would never believe it if you listened to the narrative projected by the “new initiative people.” When we “sell the truth” we will, in the end, fall. The book of Proverbs declares, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it…” (Proverbs 23:23) Social justice is placed in jeopardy when the truth is “sold.”

At the beginning of the 20th Century and up until 1948 all peoples living in British Mandated Palestine were designated “Palestinian”, even Jews! I have personally seen many identity documents testifying to this. It is a fact! This means that there never was a Palestinian People as we know them today. The truth is the new Palestinian people were invented by the PLO as a tool to further their struggle to completely destroy the State of Israel. Yasser Arafat, probably the most famous Palestinian, was in fact an Egyptian! This “invention” took root in 1964 at a time when the PLO and its various partners had everything they say they want now; even the Old City of Jerusalem, and yet they drew up a charter that called for the destruction and removal of Jewish sovereignty over all the remaining areas of the region. This they called the “Phased Plan” for the removal of the State of Israel. Note; they drew up a charter calling for the destruction of Israel and not a constitution calling for Palestinian statehood! In short they created a people group as part of their strategy to destabilize all of Israel and, as they put it then, “drive the Jews into the sea.” This is the truth and social justice must take this into consideration. This in turn means that the Palestinians never existed before as a state and therefore Israel has never occupied their so called territory. Israel’s claim to all the territory west of the Jordan River is also legal under international law as it was verified by the League of Nations in 1922 and thereafter confirmed by the United Nations. This too is the truth! How embarrassing to the “new boys club!”

This of course brings us to the Oslo initiative of the 1990s. The fact that Israel, by a process of negotiation, agreed to cede territory to the Palestinians changed the equation but it did mean that Israel, that had a right to the land by international law, was demonstrating a commitment to social justice by agreeing to give it away. It also meant that if she remained on it after the agreements she would be an occupier. However, it also meant that the Palestinians, through their leadership, would have to be honest peace partners and disavow violence. Thus up until the Oslo Accords Israel was not an occupying force. As we all know the Oslo agreements were hammered out between the Israeli leadership headed up by Yitzhak Rabin and the PLO leadership headed up by Yasser Arafat. The truth is Arafat was a dishonest broker and peace partner; he never intended to keep his side of the agreements and even said so in Johannesburg in 1994 just five months after he had shaken the hands of Bill Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin on the lawns of the White House. All the while Israel, by September 2000, had fully withdrawn from the Palestinian territories in compliance with the Oslo dictates.

Arafat therefore, and by implication the Palestinians, did not negotiate in good faith. Thus, in what way do they now cry out for social justice? In the end, as it has always been, the Palestinian form of social justice is the complete and utter destruction of Israel. This is the old story that never changes and, if you doubt it, just take a look at the school books given to their children and listen to the sermons preached by their clerics. Palestinian Media Watch will be more than willing to give you unedited copies of these! Golda Meir was right when she stated in 1957 that, “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel.”

Moreover, consider the recent Palestinian alliance with Hamas and who can doubt the truth? So, given the duplicity that was employed under the Oslo agreements, it is clear that those who require justice, given the painful concessions that they made up until September 2000, are the Israelis! They made ridiculous agreements in their pursuit of peace including being willing to hand over the Temple Mount to the Palestinians, arming them and offering them 97% of the West Bank and, if this was not enough, they unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and were rewarded with 12,000 missiles! You talk of social justice; well surely the displaced Gush Katif people would like to receive it! But sadly this narrative is denied, distorted and conveniently ignored because of an old hatred and ideology that cannot abide the existence of a Jewish State in the region. And this too is the truth!

The fact is; the Palestinian leadership has time and time again robbed their people of justice and should be held accountable. By now they could have had a state with significant parts of Jerusalem as its capital but they do not; all because they could not embrace social justice, courage and honesty.

The new reality

That a people now exist called Palestinians is a reality. Three generations have brought this people to a place of viable existence. No one can or should deny it. This means that at least two generations have been trapped in the never ending cycle of violence and intrigue and yet it will surprise many to learn that today Palestinians on the West Bank enjoy a higher standard of living, education and economic prosperity than their counterparts in the region and thus the gross domestic product of their region is in strong positive territory and expected to grow even more during the next fiscal year. Why is this? Because their economy is intertwined with one of the most successful economies in the world today; that of Israel’s. Given the chaos of the so called “Arab Spring” the West Bank is an island of prosperity! Sounds like economic justice to me or am I mistaken?

Sadly at a political level the plotting and hatred continues unabated and so Mahmoud Abbas, as noted, has recently cemented his relationship, and therefore that of his people, with Hamas. There must be no mistake about the significance of this in that it puts the Palestinians on a collision course with Israel. Since this partnership affirms their commitment, as it always was, to annihilate Israel the Israelis must tighten security to protect their citizens from harm. At a joint statement after their meeting Abbas and Mashaal of Hamas said, “We are determined to resist the enemy and achieve our national goals.” So, once again there will be no social justice for the Palestinians as the Israeli pullout from Gaza demonstrated. Hamas did not see this as a token of goodwill and an opportunity to build a new economic and social order for their people but rather as an act of weakness and immediately set about launching missile attacks in their thousands against the southern villages of Israel. Is this social justice? Jihad against Israel will continue and the Palestinian people will pay the price in having to be continuously subjected to checkpoints, searches, general security measures and barrier walls. We should all weep over this human tragedy and truly Jesus does weep at the checkpoint but not for reasons espoused by some evangelical leaders today! If you ask the attendees at the “Christ at the Check Point Conference” who is responsible for Palestinian suffering their answer will be Israel but the facts tell a different story. But this “different story” will never be heard because it is not politically correct to tell it.

The need for compassion

So, where should the church be in all of this? The answer lies in first getting hold of the truth and the facts surrounding the big picture. I have very briefly given these above. When we do this we are better enabled to put forward the call for social justice as we can get a comprehensive perspective of the issues. Social justice will take hold when leaders are transparent, honest and really committed to peace. What does the history of this conflict tell us? I will leave my readers to answer that question. No wonder Paul exhorted us to place leaders at the very top of the prayer priority list. Secondly, we need to recognize that there is a small picture that begs for our attention as well. That is, that real men, women, boys and girls are trapped in this conflict on both sides and they need help, care, love and compassion. In Jesus’ day whole communities of one type or another were caught in the conflict that Rome brought to the region. Jesus, almost exclusively ignored the conflict but healed the sick, fed the hungry, loved the stranger (even the Roman one) and lifted up the broken-hearted. He blessed the children, sat with sinners and taught the multitudes about God. Scripture affirms that He moved from one check point to another as He travelled from the Galilee to Jerusalem and never said a word about them! He knew that the big picture was in the hands of the Father as it is today.

So, our hearts should break as we witness ordinary Palestinian people recalling the trauma of having to live caged in behind walls and impeded on a daily basis by security checks etc. We should also weep for Jewish families that have had their children brutally murdered and torn from them. This is no way to live and these images, projected in a way that divorces them from the bigger picture, can turn anyone into a radical activist and they do; on both sides of the divide. A distorted image is no foundation upon which to build social justice.

Thus, while some evangelicals gather to reinforce their distorted narrative and lay blame for everything at Israel’s door let us ask them how many millions of Shekels they have invested in the social upliftment of Palestinians? Good question. I am the erstwhile leader of one of the biggest Christian Zionist organizations in the world. I therefore know for a fact that considerable amounts of money were constantly invested in Palestinian communities. In fact the organization distributed its social welfare relief into the region strictly according to its population demographics. We cared for everyone just as Jesus did and still do. This is social justice on the move! It is not selective but gives “voice” to the biblical truth that Jesus loves all people the same. He has no favorites. Compassion is not endless words and an attempt to win an ideological battle. The truth is the truth but compassion reaches to the heart and says because God loves you I will help you. One cannot be unmoved by the tears that flow down children’s faces or by the distress that comes to mothers and fathers trying to get by in a world that traps them in endless discouragement.

The Christian message demands that we hold to the truth, that which is biblical and historical, and that we bring to all the peoples of the Middle East a message of love and hope. When we do this we will be mediators of social justice.

Malcolm Hedding.