I asked a good friend of mine who is a strong supporter of Israel what exactly it is that He expects the Lord wants to do through Israel that He is not able to do through the church. The question presupposes a given among Christian Zionists: that there still exists a covenant relationship between the Jews of today and the Lord on the basis of the Lord’s covenant with Abraham.  This covenant or aspects of this covenant are carried through time by a genetic linkage of modern day Jews to father Abraham. But since a covenant implies that the Lord will do certain things on His part and the other party will do certain things on their part the question then remains (even if you assume that this is an unconditional covenant, that is God will do His part even if Israel does not do its part of the covenant):  What is it that the Lord wants to do for national Israel or through national Israel that He cannot do through the church or for the church?

This answers vary. Israel must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Why?  The Antichrist must make a pact with the Jews. Why? Israel must possess the promised land that God promised to Abraham. Why?

The problems that the church faces today is similar to the problem that the early New Testament church faced with the Christian Zionists who were in control of the Jerusalem church under the leadership of James the brother of Jesus. The Jerusalem church was causing the emerging international church major problems by their insistence that the Jews and their laws were still the centrality of what the Lord was doing. Paul vehemently opposed this. They wanted all the new Gentile converts to be circumcised and keep the other laws. To counter this Paul pleaded with the church in Galatia (5:2-4), “If you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you…You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ, you have fallen away from grace.”

And I am not talking about a small faction here. The entire apostolic leadership centered in Jerusalem was caught up in this bizarre idea of what constituted the gospel, including Peter. In Antioch gentile Christians and Jewish Christians were worshipping together in the same fellowship and were eating together which was against Jewish law. Peter who was ministering in Antioch at the time was eating with Gentiles until news of this reached James and the other apostles in Jerusalem. Paul tells us in Gal.2:11-14 what happened, “But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood self-condemned; for until certain people came from James he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came he drew back for fear of the circumcision faction. And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy so that even Barnabas was led astray…” In fact after this incident Barnabas refused to travel with Paul anymore…he decided James and the other apostles were right and Paul was wrong.

After their severe disagreements with Paul they decided on a compromise. He can go preach to the gentiles but they would only preach to the Jews (Gal. 2:9). Imagine this, the whole apostolic leadership in Jerusalem ignoring the Lords instructions to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, decide no, they only see a vision for the Jews, let Paul go and do that if he feels so strongly about it. They did however have a final word of admonition to the new Gentile Christians: “don’t eat things offered to idols or strangled or meat with blood and avoid fornication”. In other words, eat Kosher and don’t fornicate. And with that sage apostolic advice they washed their hands of the Gentile church and got back to their Jesus for Jews program.

Years later in about 56 AD Paul arrives back in Jerusalem to have a last meeting with the elders in Jerusalem. This is recorded in Acts 21.  When the church started out there in Jerusalem some twenty years before the new Christians were being killed, persecuted, beaten. But now things had drastically changed. Paul was taken to meet with James and the other apostles and they rejoiced to hear of what the Lord had done through him among the Gentiles, but they just had to make their point about what the Lord was doing in Jerusalem…
“ You see brother how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews and they are all zealous for the law” (Acts 21:20) The beatings and persecution had stopped. Why? Because the Jerusalem church was zealous to keep the law, so no more problems with the Sanhedrin.  But there was a bit of a PR problem for the church leaders.  They were on very good relations with the Sanhedrin and wanted to keep it this way and especially not cause problems with their thousands of new Messianic Jewish.  But Paul had been causing PR problems and they wanted to dispel those rumours and so they had a special request of him:
“ They (the Jewish believers) have been told about you that you teach all the Jews living among the Gentiles to forsake Moses and that you tell them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs. What then is to be done?...” Please Paul help us out a bit here. So they asked him to go to the Temple for seven days to go through a right of purification. This will help them a lot since Paul had been eating and living with unclean Gentiles he really needed a right of purification. Paul agreed for the sake of harmony…and the rest is history. He was recognized in the Temple and attacked, he appealed to Rome and was then deported to Rome for trial where he was eventually martyred.

What is the point in this?  The entire church in Jerusalem and its apostolic leadership were caught up in Christian Zionism.  This resulted in fatal errors of teaching and errors in a vision of who and what the church is what is mission is and how God is going to do that mission in the earth. They believe the Jews were central to the plans of God on earth. They believed the Jews covenantal relationship with God based on their race was still in effect after the death of Christ on the cross.

The evangelical church and its dynamic leaders of today are all into this vision of Christian Zionism just like the Jerusalem Church. No they are not advocating circumcision or food laws etc.  But they do believe and preach and practice the central tenets of what the Jerusalem church taught and believed: that the Jews are the central focus of what God intends to do on the earth. How?

Many of the common accepted teachings of the evangelical church assume this central tenet. Why the Rapture? Because the church is God’s plan “B” after the Jews rejected their Messiah the Lord turned to the Gentiles. But when the Jews are ready to accept the Messiah then the Lord takes the church out of the way in the Rapture so that He can get back to His first plan. 

What about Armageddon and the Jews. The central idea here is that the Antichrist takes over the world, but God finally defeats the forces of Satan in the great end times battle with Israel on one side and Satan on the other and Jesus and the armies of heaven fight for Israel to defeat Satan.  But isn’t the Church supposed to be so powerful according to Jesus that not even the gates of hell can withstand it? Apparently not because according to them the Church must beat a quick retreat into heaven to be protected from the Antichrist.  The Church in fact is defeated by Satan because it is unable to bring the Kingdom of God on the earth since Antichrist’s kingdom rules in the end over all the earth. The Kingdom of course can only be brought onto the earth by the Jews.  The idea here is that 144,000 Jews preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom are able to defeat Satan without the Holy Spirit (having been withdrawn from the earth by the Rapture) and doing in 3,5 years what the Church has not been able to do with the Holy Spirit in 2000 years! And why must the Jews rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? Because these preachers teach us that in “the Millennium” the temple sacrifices will be restored along with the feasts of Israel etc. Again, back to the law, back to the Jews as central to God’s plan even in the Millennium.

These teachings are as deeply steeped in doctrinal error as James, the Apostles and the Jerusalem Church were in their Zionist errors. Here is the real gospel:

the only children of Abraham that have any participation in the blessings of Abraham are those of faith.
God is no respecter of persons, we are saved and blessed by grace through faith, not by race.
The Church is the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, the Temple of God on earth and the army of God to do His great works on earh.
The Promised land is not a dusty piece of dry real estate in Palestine but the whole earth will be filled with the glory of God.
The righteous are not going to be taken out of the earth but the meek will inherit the earth.

Back to my friend the evangelical Zionist. Nothing of the above arguments above have any impact on him. Like blind Isaac who gave the birthright blessing to Jacob when he pretended to be Esau, so Esau today, pretending to be Jacob wants to steal the birthright blessing from the Church. And the Church and its leaders are blind to this deception.  John Hagee wants you to pray for Israel to be successful in slaughtering Arabs by the millions. Benny Hinn will sell you a nice Jewish prayer shawl, oil from the Mount of Olives and will send all your prayer requests to Jerusalem to be prayed over there in God’s holy city. Surely God is more inclined to hear prayers from Jerusalem? Brother Benny hopes you believe that nonsense and that you send a few dollars with your prayer request.

God’s solution to Christian Zionism in the 21st Century is the same as His solution was in the 1st Century.  Destroy Jerusalem! That ended Jewish fables in the early Church and it will end Jewish fables in the 21st Century Church.      

Back to Top