Skip to comments.The Battle of Gog and Magog: Prophetic Deja Vu
Posted on 10/24/2007 8:18:14 AM PDT by topcat54
An article is circulating around the Internet that carries the title “Israel Warns World War III May be Biblical War of Gog and Magog.” It is written by Ezra HaLevi and was published in Israel National News.1 The article begins with the following prophetic claims, not unlike so many evangelical and fundamentalist end-time assurances about the end:
US President George W. Bush said a nuclear Iran would mean World War III. Israeli newscasts featured Gog & Magog maps of the likely alignment of nations in that potential conflict. Channel 2 and Channel 10 TV showed the world map, sketching the basic alignment of the two opposing axes in a coming world war, in a manner evoking associations of the Gog and Magog prophecy for many viewers. The prophecy of Gog and Magog refers to a great world war centered on the Holy Land and Jerusalem and first appears in the book of Yechezkel (Ezekiel). On one side were Israel, the United States, Britain, France and Germany. On the other were Iran, Russia, China, Syria and North Korea.
M. R. DeHaan, writing in 1951, identified “the sign of Gog and Magog” to be one of the “three most outstanding signs of the coming of Christ.”2 In 1972, Carl Johnson wrote Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These.3 His chapter on “When Russia Invades the Middle East” includes a lengthy quotation from a message Jack Van Impe gave at Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio, sometime in 1969. Like so many who claim to know what’s on the prophetic horizon, Van Impe made his case for an imminent war with Russia on what the newspapers of 1969 were reporting. This war was so close, he charged, “that the stage is being set for what could explode into World War III at any moment.”4 In 1971, Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, followed a similar prophetic script:
Ezekiel tells us that Gog, the nation that will lead all of the other powers of darkness against Israel, will come out of the north. Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn’t seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become Cummunistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits the description of Gog perfectly.5
This familiar interpretation of Ezekiel 38 and 39 has been written about, talked about, and repeated so often that it has become an unquestioned tenet of prophetic orthodoxy. The question is, does the Bible teach it?
Ezekiel 38 and 39 has been interpreted in various ways over the centuries. The most popular view is to see the prophecy as a depiction of a future battle that includes an alliance of nations led by modern-day Russia in an attack on Israel. Chuck Missler writes in his book Prophecy 20/20 that “the apparent use of nuclear weapons has made this passage [Ezekiel 38 and 39] appear remarkably timely, and some suspect that it may be on our horizon.”6 Prophecy writers for nearly 2000 years have made similar claims, of course without the reference to “nuclear weapons.” In the fourth and fifth centuries, Gog was thought to refer to the Goths and Moors. In the seventh century, it was the Huns. By the eighth century, the Islamic empire was making a name for itself, so it was a logical candidate. By the tenth century, the Hungarians briefly replaced Islam. But by the sixteenth century, the Turks and Saracens seemed to fit the Gog and Magog profile with the Papacy thrown in for added prophetic juice. In the seventeenth century, Spain and Rome were the end-time bad guys.7 In the nineteenth century, Napoleon was Gog leading the forces of Magog-France.8 For most of the twentieth century, Communist Russia was the logical pick with its military aspirations, its atheistic founding, and its designation of being “far north” of Israel. In a word, identifying Gog and Magog with a specific nation or group of nations in the past is legion.9
As the above brief study shows, when the headlines change, the interpretation of the Bible changes. The failed interpretive history of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is prime evidence that modern-day prophecy writers are not “profiling the future through the lens of Scripture” but through the ever-changing headlines of the evening news.10
A lot has to be read into the Bible in order to make Ezekiel 38 and 39 fit modern-day military realities that include jet planes, “missiles,” and “atomic and explosive” weaponry. Those who claim to interpret the Bible literally have a problem on their hands.
The battle in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is clearly an ancient one or at least one fought with ancient weapons. All the soldiers are riding horses (38:4, 15; 39:20). These horse soldiers are “wielding swords” (38:4), carrying “bows and arrows, war clubs and spears” (39:3, 9). The weapons are made of wood (39:10), and it is these abandoned weapons that serve as fuel for “seven years” (39:9). Tim LaHaye describes a highly technological future when the antichrist rises to power to rule the world. “A wave of technological innovation is sweeping the planet. . . . The future wave has already begun. We cannot stop it. . . . [T]he Antichrist will use some of this technology to control the world.”11 How does this assessment of the near prophetic future square with a supposed tribulation period when Israelites “take wood from the field” and “gather firewood from the forests”? (39:10). There is nothing in the context that would lead the reader to conclude that horses, war clubs, swords, bows and arrows, and spears mean anything other than horses, war clubs, swords, bows and arrows, and spears. And what is the Russian air force after? Gold, silver, cattle, and goods (38:12–13). In what modern war can anyone remember armies going after cattle? How much cattle does Israel have? Certainly not enough to feed the Russians! The latest claim is that Israel will discover oil, and this is what will attract the nations to Israel. Where in the Bible do we find this claim?12
Chuck Missler attempts to get around the description of ancient war implements by claiming that the various Hebrew words “is simply 2,500-year-old language that could be describing a mechanized force.”13 The word translated “horse,” “actually means leaper” that “can also mean bird, or even chariot-rider.” He tells us that the Hebrew word translated “sword” “has become a generic term for any weapon or destroying instrument.” In a similar way, “arrow” means “piercer” and “is occasionally used for thunderbolt” and could be “translated today as a missile.” We are to believe that “‘Bow’ is what launches the [missile].”14 Is Missler trying to tell us that when Ezekiel wrote “bow” and “arrow” he really meant a launching pad for a missile? To follow his interpretive methodology requires us to believe that the meaning of the Bible has been inaccessible to the people of God for nearly 2500 years. Missler, like nearly all end-time prognosticators, breaks all the rules of exegesis.
2. M. R. DeHaan, Signs of the Times and other Prophetic Messages (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1951), 74.
3. Carl G. Johnson, Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972).
4. Jack Van Impe, The Coming War With Russia (Old Time Gospel Hour Press, n.d.). The quotation is taken from a message that Van Impe gave at Canton Baptist Temple, Canton, Ohio. The talk was recorded and available on a as an LP. Quoted in Johnson, Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These, 82–83.
5. From an address that Ronald Reagan gave at a dinner with California legislators in 1971. Quoted in Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern Culture (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1992), 162.
6. Chuck Missler, Prophecy 20/20: Profiling the Future Through the Lens of Scripture (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 155.
7. Francis X. Gumerlock, The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2000), 68.
8. T.R., “Commentary on Ezekiel’s Prophecy of Gog and Magog,” The Gentleman’s Magazine (October 1816), 307.
10. Gary DeMar, Islam and Russia in Prophecy: The Problem of Interpreting the Bible Through the Lens of History (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2005).
11. Tim LaHaye, “The Coming Wave,” in Ed Hindson and Lee Fredrickson, Future Wave: End Times, Prophecy, and the Technological Explosion (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001), 7–8.
12. This claim will be discussed in a later chapter.
13. Missler, Prophecy 20/20, 165.
14. Missler, Prophecy 20/20, 165.
"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22)
I rarely find such postings by such sources, persuasions the least bit worth my bother.
They clearly are not students of the Bible nor of history.
As far as I can tell, their minds have been darkened by too much selective perception, if not willful blindness.
But I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your ping.
It remains to be seen whether this is to be one of the Gog/Magog Biblically predicted wars, or not. Quite a number think so. I haven’t studied it that closely.
I am utterly convinced that whatever next war occurs there . . . will only ALL THE MORE fulfill Biblical prophecy and set up the Anti-Christ to rule the world as so clearly predicted for our era in so many prophetic Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments.
Well, that’s one perspective.
"all" -- he can't possibly mean "all". He must be writing "allegorically" because Missler doesn't come close to the number of rules that Gary breaks in his interpretations of endtime events.
I think that the article on the internet is a valid article by a real Jew who clearly has a first person interest in what happens to Israel.
TC nor DeMar are in that same boat, so they wouldn’t be as sensitive to it as those who actually are watching forces mass against them.
Is it strange that these threatened Jews would turn to the bible?
Besides, the article quoted above (I’ve seen it), clearly says “evoking associations.” In other words, they look at this current configuration of forces, and they automatically go to the Ezekiel passages because they see some associations.
Makes perfect sense to me.
Does this include the predicted utter destruction of 2/3 of the unbelieving Jews living in Israel during the futurist dispensationalists "great tribulation"?
I CERTAINLY CONCUR
about the original Israeli article.
The rock throwers and naysayers are the ones I find utterly without a shred of an argument.
Sure he does, because Missler approaches every text from his predetermined dispensational theological perspective rather than purely from the Word of God.
Nuclear bombs, indeed.
It seems that many Biblical prophecies about the “last days”, or “end times”, or the “day of Jacob’s trouble” were inspired by God to be written in such a way as to lend them to current events interpretation of almost every generation since their writing.
It is not wrong for those who belong to Jesus Christ to be looking for His return, and for signs of the times, when the Lord Jesus himself gave clear instructions to do just that.
It is also not wrong for the old Testament prophetic words to be viewed in light of today’s events when Jesus himself quoted Daniel as a warning to the Jews of his day (and to those who would read His words in every generation since) about the coming destruction of Jerusalem when every stone of the then standing Temple would be thrown down....
God would not have us ignorant of the “end times” events which must happen before The Messiah returns as the Lion of Judah in all of His righteous and Kingly glory destroying the enemies of God’s people and setting up His earthly Kingdom rule.....but would have us prayerfully study HIS WORD and ask HIS HOLY SPIRIT to help us understand and see what the words of Ezekiel 38 and 39, for instance, mean for us today.
If we continue to study His Word with prayer and thanksgiving that it is God’s provision to nourish us and give us a lamp for our paths, especially in what seems to many to be a time of darkening skies with increasing frequency of “birth pangs” as Jesus Christ Himself told us would occur as we move towards the “last days”....God will see to it that we are not taken by surprise by any of these current events.
One tiny note - back in the 1970’s “Rosh” in Ezekiel 38 and 39 was deemed to be “Russia”....but it was not called Russia back in the 70’s - it was called the USSR, the Soviet Union.
Since the 1970’s “Russia” has fit the name of “Rosh” more closely only since the disolution of the old Soviet Union. And only THIS YEAR, in the past several months, has RUSSIA emerged as the openly oil revenue fueled aggressive military (rebuilding) power that could be involved as the “Rosh” of Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Does this mean Ezekiel’s “Rosh” is describing our current modern day “Russia”? I don’t know. I do know that for the first time in my lifetime there is a nation CALLED RUSSIA by the world and by itself which is now a true military threat to join the coalition of nations who shall, some day, sweep down over the land of Israel, from what is indicated in Ezekiel 38, 39....to this generation!
Again, I do not believe anyone can be dogmatic about what exactly Ezekiel 38 and 39 mean TODAY as God’s living word to our generation.
I do believe and know that God’s word is TRUTH and cannot err, and that the One who created our minds and our intellects and constantly encourages us to seek wisdom from Our Heavenly Father, and to not be ignorant, would have us study these ancient prophetic yet timely (for every generation) words penned by Ezekiel but inspired by God Himself....to receive encouragement, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for this very month and year and time in which we live.
The article is posted below. F15 posted it as a thread about a week ago.
It doesn’t mention dispensationalism at all.
(IsraelNN.com) US President George W. Bush said a nuclear Iran would mean World War III. Israeli newscasts featured Gog & Magog maps of the likely alignment of nations in that potential conflict.
Channel 2 and Channel 10 TV showed the world map, sketching the basic alignment of the two opposing axes in a coming world war, in a manner evoking associations of the Gog and Magog prophecy for many viewers. The prophecy of Gog and Magog refers to a great world war centered on the Holy Land and Jerusalem and first appears in the book of Yechezkel (Ezekiel).
On one side were Israel, the United States, Britain, France and Germany. On the other were Iran, Russia, China, Syria and North Korea.
US President Bush said Wednesday during a press conference that Iran attaining nuclear weapons raises the risk of “World War III.”
“If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it’d be a dangerous threat to world peace,” Bush said. “So I told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested [in preventing a nuclear Iran] I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Iran Tuesday and slammed the USs refusal to rule out the use of force against Irans nuclear project. “Not only should we reject the use of force, but also the mention of force as a possibility,” he said.
Russia has blocked tougher UN sanctions in the UN Security Council, where it has veto power. The Russian president asserts that there is no evidence Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons rather than a peaceful nuclear power program.
Israels Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called for a new Security Council resolution against Iran at a press conference following her meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Wednesday. “I do believe there is a need for another Security Council resolution, she told reporters. In the past, the need to get everybody on board - including Russia and China - led to some compromises on the nature of the sanctions. I hope this will not be the case this time.”
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced Wednesday a sudden trip to Moscow Thursday morning, where he will meet with Putin about Iran. Other topics of discussion will reportedly be Russias continued supply of weapons to Syria, which have then made their way into the hands of various terrorist groups based there as well.
Conclusively??!! I doubt it.
Ellis H. Skolfield is a conservative author and Bible teacher who received his theological training at Columbia Bible College, Columbia, South Carolina in the early 50s. He has written five books on Bible Prophecy, one on Multiple Personality Disorder and two on church ordinances. Better known in Africa than in the United States, Skolfield is now 78 and supposedly retired, but he still holds prophecy seminars in his home for church leaders, missionaries and Bible teachers.Dispensationalism is a form of MPD/schizophrenia when it comes to the people of God.
It doesnt mention dispensationalism at all.
If, as many dispensationalist believe, the Bible has predicted that 2/3 of the unbelieving Jews will be killed in the futurists "great tribulation", and this "great tribulation" is imminent as the futurists continually tell us, then isnt Iran possibly doing Gods will and our interference, or any countrys interference, could be viewed as a (futile) attempt to thwart Gods will?
What exactly are you defending? Either you believe it will "literally" happen as envisioned by the likes of the pop dispensationalists from Jack Van Impe to John Hagee to Chuck Missler, or its all just smoke and mirrors from a crowd that has been consistently wrong with their predictions
“Dispensation” is a New Testament word.
Folks don’t have to mention
eras, dispensations, major time periods
to get some things right about those realities.
The puzzle pieces are largely in place. That’s undeniable . . . except, perhaps, by the brain dead and willfully blind.
I don’t know Hebrew, but my understanding is “Rosh” means “chief” or “head” (as in Rosh Hashanah = “head of the year”).
Personally, I don’t know how one could interpret it to mean Russia.
Dispensationalism is a form of MPD/schizophrenia when it comes to the people of God.
= = =
Taking Scripture at face value . . . that it says what it means and means what it says . . .
now qualifies one for
a lay person’s diagnosis of
Part of me would like to get a button . . .
“I’M A TopCat DECLARED MPD . . . STAND CLEAR”
As it is . . . I’ll go on believing that Scripture is accurate and TC is not.
So, you do accept the dispensationalist theory that 2/3 of the unbelieving Jews living in Israel during the "great tribulation" will perish in the clash.
Interesting. I suspect it must create some tension between ones politics and theology.
You brought dispensationism up in your #10, AND it could be read as suggesting that this author were some kind of dispensationalist.
If you read the article, it makes perfect sense.
“WWIII is being discussed ref. the Mideast.
“The US with others is on one side, and Russia with others is on the other side.
“Some are looking for parallels in the Ezekiel passages on God Magog.”
That’s the article.
What’s your beef with it?
Well, to be technically correct, oijkonomiva is a NT word. Mainly it refers to the stewardship of a household. It hardly has the meaning ascribed by modern dispensationalists, i.e., 7/10/12/??? time periods in history.
And about 3,000,000,000 of the rest of the world's population...
TC WEBSTER is now the full name?
Or is this just another example of the rubber dictionary phenomena?
Did you run out of local brick walls to play Don Quixote with?
I’m sure there are some other prime candidates around some where.
But, please, wear a helmet!
IIRC, I contributed toward the Temple when I was in Israel in 1973.
I think God knows the hearts of those who contribute. I’m an unabashed supporter of Israel even though I know they will be deluded for 3.5 years by the AntiChrist.
More correctly ... EVERY Greek word translated into English has an English word representing it. :>)
It refers to the style, or ordering of the economy of the steward of the household.
Therefore, when referring to the “dispensation of grace” it would refer to that economy....as in “the dispensation of the fullness of times.”
I wonder if we could get a bulk discount on helmets. You know of a good source?
Are these two "dispensations" or one?
It seems that in at least two instances, the word is referring particularly to Pauls ministry, and not to times and seasons in general (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 3:2).
Is there anything in the Bible to indicate that "dispensation" was intended to connote what modern-day dispensationalists have come to believe? I submit there is no pattern in the Bible that would lead a person to such a conclusion. Its just bad exegesis of the text containing the word.
It's got to be tough on Catholics, and those others who do NOT rightly divide the word of Truth, as well as unblievers, when they flip on the tv...
Who can watch the news and not see that we are right on the edge, wondering who's going to push the button first...
They claim that Jesus showed up in 70 AD as the spiritual portion of His 2nd coming...And, he now reigns on the earth (from heaven) with an iron fist...
And, we are living in His prophesied (millenial) Kingdom with the Catholic church of course, as his Bride...
What sane person can look around and NOT see that THIS is NOT the Kingdom of Heaven on earth...
Even the Lord's Prayer confirms this; Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth, As It Is In Heaven...What fool could believe this is how we will live in Heaven???
And then you pick up the word of God (which none of them do) and read Ezekial, Isaiah, Zachariah and the other Minor Prophets, WoW...
Anyone can see this is going to blow up whether you're a Christian or an atheist...It's a fine time to be a Christian...And to think we will be the first generation to see Jesus in the flesh...
The Error Of Replacement Theology
By Clarence H. Wagner, Jr.
Perhaps you have heard of the term Replacement Theology. However, if you look it up in a dictionary of Church history, you will not find it listed as a systematic study. Rather, it is a doctrinal teaching that originated in the early Church. It became the fertile soil from which Christian anti-Semitism grew and has infected the Church for nearly 1,900 years.
What Is Replacement Theology?
Replacement Theology was introduced to the Church shortly after Gentile leadership took over from Jewish leadership. What are its premises?
Israel (the Jewish people and the land) has been replaced by the Christian Church in the purposes of God, or, more precisely, the Church is the historic continuation of Israel to the exclusion of the former.
The Jewish people are now no longer a “chosen people.” In fact, they are no different from any other group, such as the English, Spanish, or Africans.
Apart from repentance, the new birth, and incorporation into the Church, the Jewish people have no future, no hope, and no calling in the plan of God. The same is true for every other nation and group.
Since Pentecost of Acts 2, the term “Israel,” as found in the Bible, now refers to the Church.
The promises, covenants and blessings ascribed to Israel in the Bible have been taken away from the Jews and given to the Church, which has superseded them. However, the Jews are subject to the curses found in the Bible, as a result of their rejection of Christ.
How Do Replacement Theologians Argue Their Case? They Say:
To be a son of Abraham is to have faith in Jesus Christ. For them, Galatians 3:29 shows that sonship to Abraham is seen only in spiritual, not national terms: “And if you be Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Rebuttal: While this is a wonderful inclusionary promise for Gentiles, this verse does not exclude the Jewish people from their original covenant, promise and blessing as the natural seed of Abraham. This verse simply joins us Gentile Christians to what God had already started with Israel.
The promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham was only a “starter.” The real Promised Land is the whole world. They use Romans 4:13 to claim it will be the Church that inherits the world, not Israel. “For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
Rebuttal: Where does this verse exclude Abraham and His natural prodigy, the Jews? It simply says that through the law, they would not inherit the world, but this would be acquired through faith. This is also true of the Church.
The nation of Israel was only the seed of the future Church, which would arise and incorporate people of all nations (Mal. 1:11): “For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, My Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place, incense shall be offered to My Name, and a pure offering for My Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts.”
Rebuttal: This is great, and shows that the Jewish people and Israel fulfilled one of their callings to be “a light to the nations,” so that God’s Word has gone around the world. It does not suggest God’s dealing with Israel was negated because His Name spread around the world.
Jesus taught that the Jews would lose their spiritual privileges, and be replaced by another people (Matt. 21:43): “Therefore I am saying to you, ‘The kingdom of God will be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it.’”
Rebuttal: In this passage, Jesus was talking about the priests and Pharisees, who failed as leaders of the people. This passage is not talking about the Jewish people or nation of Israel. See Teaching Letter #770008, “Did God Break His Covenant With the Jews?”
A true Jew is anyone born of the Spirit, whether he is racially Gentile or Jewish (Rom. 2:28-29): “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
Rebuttal: This argument does not support the notion that the Church replaced Israel. Rather, it simply reinforces what had been said throughout the Hebrew Scriptures [the Old Testament], and it certainly qualifies the spiritual qualifications for Jews or anyone who professes to be a follower of the God of Israel.
Paul shows that the Church is really the same “olive tree” as was Israel, and the Church is now the tree. Therefore, to distinguish between Israel and the Church is, strictly speaking, false. Indeed, people of Jewish origin need to be grafted back into the Church (Rom 11:17-23).
Rebuttal: This claim is the most outrageous because this passage clearly shows that we Gentiles are the “wild olive branches,” who get our life from being grafted into the olive tree. The tree represents the covenants, promises and hopes of Israel (Eph. 2:12), rooted in the Messiah and fed by the sap, which represents the Holy Spirit, giving life to the Jews (the “natural branches”) and Gentile alike. We Gentiles are told to remember that the olive tree holds us up and NOT to be arrogant or boast against the “natural branches” because they can be grafted in again. The olive tree is NOT the Church. We are simply grafted into God’s plan that preceded us for over 2,000 years.
All the promises made to Israel in the Old Testament, unless they were historically fulfilled before the coming of Jesus Christ, are now the property of the Christian Church. These promises should not be interpreted literally or carnally, but spiritually and symbolically, so that references to Israel, Jerusalem, Zion and the Temple, when they are prophetic, really refer to the Church (II Cor. 1:20). “For all the promises of God in Him (Jesus) are Yea, and in Him, Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” Therefore, they teach that the New Testament needs to be taught figuratively, not literally.
Rebuttal: Later, in this Teaching Letter, we will look at the fact that the New Testament references to Israel clearly pertain to Israel, not the Church. Therefore, no promise to Israel and the Jewish people in the Bible is figurative, nor can they be relegated to the Church alone. The promises and covenants are literal, many of them are everlasting, and we Christians can participate in them as part of our rebirth, not in that we took them over to the exclusion of Israel. The New Testament speaks of the Church’s relationship to Israel and her covenants as being “grafted in” (Rom. 11:17), “brought near” (Eph. 2:13), “Abraham’s offspring (by faith)” (Rom. 4:16), and “partakers” (Rom. 15:27), NOT as usurpers of the covenant and a replacer of physical Israel. We Gentile Christians joined into what God had been doing in Israel, and God did not break His covenant promises with Israel (Rom. 11:29).
How Did The Position Of The Early Church Fathers Affect The Church?
Let us look at a brief history of the first four centuries of Christianity, which established a “legacy of hatred” towards the Jewish people, which was against the clear teaching of the New Testament.
(For a complete history of Christian anti-Semitism, send the equivalent of US $1 to your nearest BFP National Office and ask for a copy of the Israel Teaching Letter (#779806), “Where Was Love and Mercy,” or download a copy from our Bridges for Peace website, found under the Israel Teaching Letters button at http://www.bridgesforpeace.com/. This teaching is also a chapter of my book, Lessons From the Land of the Bible with 13 other great teachings including “Lessons from the Olive Tree,” which can be ordered from your nearest BFP national office.)
In the first century AD, the church was well-connected to its Jewish roots, and Jesus did not intend for it to be any other way. After all, Jesus is Jewish and the basis of His teaching is consistent with the Hebrew Scriptures. In Matthew 5:17-18 He states: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Before the First Jewish Revolt in AD 66, Christianity was basically a sect of Judaism, as were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes.
Separation between Judaism and Christianity began as a result of religious and social differences. According to David Rausch in his book, A Legacy of Hatred, there were several contributing factors: 1) the Roman intrusion into Judea, and the widespread acceptance of Christianity by the Gentiles, complicated the history of Jewish Christianity; 2) the Roman wars against the Jews not only destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem, but also resulted in Jerusalem’s relinquishing her position as a center of Christian faith in the Roman world; and, 3) the rapid acceptance of Christianity among the Gentiles led to an early conflict between the Church and Synagogue. Paul’s missionary journeys brought the Christian faith to the Gentile world, and as their numbers grew, so did their influence, which ultimately disconnected Christianity from its Jewish roots.
Many Gentile Christians interpreted the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem as a sign that God had abandoned Judaism, and that He had provided the Gentiles freedom to develop their own Christian theology in a setting free from Jerusalem’s influence. Could it be He was showing us that Temple worship was no longer necessary as His Holy Spirit now resides in us (I Cor. 6:19), not in the Holy of Holies? After the Second Jewish Revolt (AD 133-135) put down by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, theological and political power moved from Jewish Christian leaders to centers of Gentile Christian leadership such as Alexandria, Rome, and Antioch. It is important to understand this change, because it influenced the early Church Fathers to make anti-Jewish statements as Christianity began to disconnect itself from its Jewish roots.
As the Church spread far and wide within the Roman Empire, and its membership grew increasingly non-Jewish, Greek and Roman thought began to creep in and completely change the orientation of Biblical interpretation through a Greek mindset, rather than a Jewish or Hebraic mindset. This would later result in many heresies, some of which the Church is still practicing today.
Once Christianity and Judaism began to take separate paths, the chasm became wider and wider. Judaism was considered a legal religion under Roman law, while Christianity, a new religion, was illegal. As Christianity grew, the Romans tried to suppress it. In an attempt to alleviate this persecution, Christian apologists tried in vain to convince Rome that Christianity was an extension of Judaism. However, Rome was not convinced. The resulting persecutions and frustration of the Christians bred an animosity towards the Jewish community, which was free to worship without persecution. Later, when the Church became the religion of the state, it would pass laws against the Jews in retribution.
The antagonism of the early Christians towards the Jews was reflected in the writings of the early Church Fathers. For example, Justin Martyr (c. AD 160) in speaking to a Jew said: “The Scriptures are not yours, but ours.” Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon (c. AD 177) declared: “Jews are disinherited from the grace of God.” Tertullian (AD 160-230), in his treatise, “Against the Jews,” announced that God had rejected the Jews in favor of the Christians.
In the early 4th century, Eusebius wrote that the promises of the Hebrew Scriptures were for Christians and not the Jews, and the curses were for the Jews. He argued that the Church was the continuation of the Old Testament and thus superseded Judaism. The young Church declared itself to be the true Israel, or “Israel according to the Spirit,” heir to the divine promises. They found it essential to discredit the “Israel according to the flesh” to prove that God had cast away His people and transferred His love to the Christians.
At the beginning of the 4th century, a monumental event occurred for the Church, which placed “the Church Triumphant” over “Vanquished Israel.” In AD 306, Constantine became the first Christian Roman Emperor. At first, he had a rather pluralistic view and accorded Jews the same religious rights as Christians. However, in AD 321, he made Christianity the official religion of the Empire to the exclusion of all other religions. This signaled the end of the persecution of Christians, but the beginning of discrimination and persecution of the Jewish people.
Already at the Church Council in Elvira (Spain) in AD 305, declarations were made to keep Jews and Christians apart, including ordering Christians not to share meals with Jews, not to marry Jews, not to use Jews to bless their fields, and not to observe the Jewish Sabbath.
Imperial Rome, in AD 313, issued the Edict of Milan, which granted favor to Christianity, while outlawing synagogues. Then, in AD 315, another edict allowed the burning of Jews if they were convicted of breaking the laws. As Christianity was becoming the religion of the state, further laws were passed against the Jews:
The ancient privileges granted to the Jews were withdrawn.
Rabbinical jurisdiction was abolished or severely curtailed.
Proselytism to Judaism was prohibited and made punishable by death.
Jews were excluded from holding high office or a military career.
These and other restrictions were confirmed over and over again by various Church Councils for the next 1,000 years.
In AD 321, Constantine decreed all business should cease on “the honored day of the sun.” By substituting Sunday for Saturday as the day for Christian worship/rest, he further advanced the split. This Jewish Shabbat/Christian Sunday controversy also came up at the first real ecumenical Council of Nicea (AD 325), which concluded Sunday to be the Christian day of rest, although it was debated for long after that. Overnight, Christianity was given the power of the Imperial State, and the emperors began to translate the concepts and claims of the Christian theologians against the Jews and Judaism into practice. Instead of the Church taking this opportunity to spread its Gospel message in love, it truly became the Church Triumphant, ready to vanquish its foes.
After 321, the writings of the Church Fathers changed in character. No longer was it on the defensive and apologetic, but aggressive, directing its venom at everyone “outside of the flock,” in particular the Jewish people who could be found in almost every community and nation. During this period, we find more examples of anti-Jewish bias in Church literature written by church leaders:
Hilary of Poitiers (AD 291-371) wrote: “Jews are a perverse people accursed by God forever.”
Gregory of Nyssa (died AD 394), Bishop of Cappadocia: “the Jews are a brood of vipers, haters of goodness...”
St. Jerome (AD 347-407) describes the Jews as “... serpents, wearing the image of Judas, their psalms and prayers are the braying of donkeys.”
At the end of the 4th century, the Bishop of Antioch, John Chrysostom (Golden Tongued), the great orator, wrote a series of eight sermons against the Jews. He had seen Christians talking with Jewish people, taking oaths in front of the Ark, and some were keeping the Jewish feasts. He wanted this to stop. In an effort to bring his people back to what he called, “the true faith,” the Jews became the whipping boy for his sermon series. To quote him, “the synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater; it is also a den of robbers and a lodging for wild beasts. No Jew adores God... Jews are inveterate murderers, possessed by the devil, their debauchery and drunkenness gives them the manners of the pig. They kill and maim one another...” One can easily see that a Judeo-Christian who wanted to hold on to his heritage, or a Gentile Christian who wanted to learn more about the parent faith of Christianity, would have found it extremely difficult under this pressure. Chrysostom further sought to separate Christianity totally from Judaism. He wrote in his 4th Discourse, “I have said enough against those who say they are on our side, but are eager to follow the Jewish rites... it is against the Jews that I wish to draw up my battle... Jews are abandoned by God and for the crime of deicide, there is no expiation possible.”
Chrysostom was known for his fiery preaching against what he saw as threats to his flock, including wealth, entertainment, privilege and outward adornment. However, his preaching against the Jewish community, which he believed had a negative influence on Christians, is inexcusable and blatantly anti-Semitic in its content. Another unfortunate contribution Chrysostom made to Christian anti-Semitism was to hold the whole Jewish people culpable for the killing of Christ.
In the fifth century, the burning question was: If the Jews and Judaism were cursed by God, then how can you explain their existence?
Augustine tackled this issue in his “Sermon Against the Jews.” He asserted that even though the Jews deserved the most severe punishment for having put Jesus to death, they have been kept alive by Divine Providence to serve, together with their Scriptures, as witnesses to the truth of Christianity. Their existence was further justified by the service they rendered to the Christian truth, in attesting through their humiliation, the triumph of the Church over the Synagogue. They were to be a “Witness people” - slaves and servants who should be humbled.
The monarchs of the Holy Roman Empire thus regarded the Jews as serfs of the chamber (servi camerae), and utilized them as slave librarians to maintain Hebrew writings. They also utilized the services of Jews in another enterprise - usury, or money-lending. The loaning of money was necessary to a growing economy. However, usury was considered to endanger the eternal salvation of the Christian, and was thus forbidden. So, the church endorsed the practice of lending by Jews, for according to their reasoning, their Jewish souls were lost in any case. Much later, the Jewish people were utilized by the Western countries as trade agents in commerce, and thus we see how the Jewish people found their way into the fields of banking and commerce.
So, by the Middle Ages, the ideological arsenal of Christian anti-Semitism was completely established. This was further manifested in a variety of precedent-setting events within the Church, such as Patriarch Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, expelling the Jews and giving their property to a Christian mob. From a social standpoint, the deterioration of the Jewish position in society was only beginning its decline. During this early period, the virulent judeo- phobia was primarily limited to the clergy who were always trying to keep their flocks away from the Jews. However, later, the rank and file, growing middle class would be the main source of anti-Semitic activity.
The result of these anti-Jewish teachings continued onwards throughout Church history, manifesting itself in such events and actions as the Crusades, the accusation of communion host desecration and blood libel by the Jews, the forced wearing of distinguishing marks to ostracize them, the Inquisition, the displacement of whole Jewish communities by exile or separate ghettoes, the destruction of synagogues and Jewish books, physical persecution and execution, the Pogroms. Ultimately, the seeds of destruction grew to epic proportions, culminating in the Holocaust, which occurred in “Christian” Europe.
Had the Church understood the clear message of being grafted into the Olive Tree from the beginning, then the sad legacy of anti-Semitic hatred from the Church may have been avoided. The error of Replacement Theology is like a cancer in the Church that has not only caused it to violate God’s Word concerning the Jewish people and Israel, but it made us into instruments of hate, not love in God’s Name.
Is the New Testament anti-Semitic? Was it Intended That the Church Treat the Jewish People with Contempt?
While the New Testament has been used by Gentile anti-Semites, even within the Church, the writers of the New Testament were Jewish, and therefore their arguments, even critical ones, were from the vantage point of being an intra-communal debate, not inter-communal accusation. Even where the criticism is harsh, it is directed towards a particular group or sect of Jews because of their practices, which needed correcting. For example, even though Yeshua spoke harshly to the Pharisees, He nevertheless said of them, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach” (Matt: 23:2-3). He was distressed that they were “missing the mark” in their self-righteousness, which is something all of us need to be careful of doing.
The clear teaching of the New Testament is that the Church was and is to love and honour the Jewish people. In Ephesians 2:11-18, we are told that “by the blood of Messiah,” we Gentiles are “made near” to the commonwealth of Israel, the covenants, promises and hopes given to Israel. In Romans 11:11-12, 25, we are told that “blindness in part” has come to the Jews so that the message would be forced out into the nations. Nevertheless, we are told that a time would come when “all Israel would be saved” (v. 26), because the gifts and callings of God towards Israel and the Jewish people were given without repentance (v. 29). God’s relationship with Israel and the Jewish people is everlasting.
We Gentile Christians are told that the Jews are “beloved for the sake of the Patriarchs” (Rom. 11:28). They are a chosen people who fulfilled their calling and brought the Gospel to the world. They were chosen to:
Be obedient to God’s Word and demonstrate to the world as “a light to the nations.”
Hear God’s Word and record it - the Bible.
Be the human channel for the Messiah.
The Jewish people have fulfilled their role. The promise to the world through Abraham was that, “in you will all the nations on the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). They were to be a light unto the nations and, while they made mistakes as we all do, they did demonstrate the power of God on earth, they did hear God’s Word and record it so that we have the Bible, and they were the human channel for the Messiah, who was born, ministered, died, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and will return to Jerusalem, Israel, in a day yet to come.
God made an everlasting covenant between the land of Israel and the Jewish people that must be fulfilled and completed or His Word, the Bible, will be proven a lie, which it is not. God will never forget or annul His ancient people. If God will not fulfil His promises to Israel, what guarantee do we have that He will fulfil His promises to the Church? (See Jeremiah 31:35-37).
Are Jews, Jews, and is Israel, Israel in the New Testament? Do They Still Have a Covenant with God?
ABSOLUTELY. THE BIBLE IS CLEAR ON THIS.
The Jews are Israelites, not Gentiles (Rom. 9:4).
To Israel still belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises (Rom. 9:4).
The gifts and calling of God for Israel are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).
There are 77 references to Israel in the NT and none of them refer to the Church. Try replacing the words, “the Church,” where Israel is mentioned and the passage is rendered unreadable and silly, e.g., Rom. 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” If you put “the Church” where Israel is mentioned, then it is redundant. The Church is the body of saved believers, so how could Paul’s prayer be for the Church to be saved?
Psalm 105 has a seven-fold affirmation of God’s promises of Canaan to Abraham. This is an everlasting promise, as was Genesis 12:1-3.
Jeremiah 31:35-37 speaks of the everlasting nature of God’s promises to and for Israel, the Jewish people, which is as sure as the sun that shines by day and the moon and stars that glow in the night.
The end-time prophecies, which speak of the return of the House of Jacob to their land (Israel) and its restoration, have overwhelmingly been fulfilled in Israel and the Jewish people in the past 120 years. (See, Isa. 11:11-12; Eze. 37:1-14; Eze. 36; Eze. 35:1, Isa. 43:5,6; Jer. 16:14-16; Isa. 60:9-11; Isa. 49:22-23, etc.).
The Gospel and Yeshua came “to the Jews first, then the Greek” (Rom. 2:9,10; Matt:10:5-7;15:24). There is a distinction in roles between the two. Galatians 3:28 says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is speaking of everyone’s standing before God as equals, because we are all sinners saved by God’s grace and the atoning work on the Cross. Nevertheless, our roles here on earth are definitely distinct; e.g., men and women, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, etc. all have distinct roles to play. Likewise, Jews and Gentiles have distinct roles to play.
What is the Role of the Church?
“On this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it” (Matt. 16:18). The Church is built on the testimony and understanding of Peter, who is Jewish. Ephesians 2:11-14 indicates that Israel and the Jews (we) were chosen, but Gentiles (you) were also included.
The Church is related to Israel and partakers of the covenants, promises, and hopes, but we have not been called to usurp them. Our relationship is as “grafted in” (Rom. 11:17); “brought near” (Eph 2:13); “Abraham’s offspring” (by faith) (Rom. 4:16); “heirs” to Abraham’s promise as adopted sons (Gal. 3:29) and “partakers” (Rom 15:27).
To the world, the Church is called to preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20); to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mk. 12:30-31).
To the Jewish people, we are called to show God’s love “for the sake of the Patriarchs” (Rom. 11:28), for without them we would not have had God’s Word or our Saviour who was a Jew from Israel. We are to show God’s mercy (Rom. 11:31). We are to give our material gifts to help them (Rom. 15:27). We are to pray for them and for Israel (Ps. 122:6). We are to be watchman on the walls to protect them (Isa. 62:6,7). We are to help with the aliyah (immigration) to Israel and the building up of Zion (Isa. 60:9-11; Jer. 16:14-16; Isa. 49:22-23).
According to Romans 11, we are two distinct groups, both grafted into the same tree, which are the covenants and promises given to Israel; grounded in the same root, the Messiah; drinking of the same sap, God’s Holy Spirit. We do not hold up the tree, but the tree us, and we are forbidden from boasting against or being arrogant to God’s covenant people the Jews (Rom. 11:17-18).
What Happens When the Church Replaces Israel?
The Church becomes arrogant and self-centred.
It boasts against the Jews and Israel.
It devalues the role of Israel or has no role for Israel at all.
These attitudes result in anti-Semitism in word and deed.
Without a place for Israel and the Jewish people today, you cannot explain the Bible prophecies, especially the very specific ones being fulfilled in Israel today.
Many New Testament passages do not make sense when the Jewish people are replaced by the Church.
You can lose the significance of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, for today. Many Christians boast of being a New Testament (NT) Christian or a NT Church as in the Book of Acts. However, the Bible of the early Church was not the New Testament, which did not get codified until the 4th century, but rather the Hebrew Scriptures.
You can lose the Hebraic/Judaic contextualization of the New Testament, which teaches us more about Yeshua and how to become better disciples.
The Church loses out on the opportunity to participate in God’s plan and prophecy for the Church, Israel and the world today.
What Happens When the Church Relates to Israel?
The Church takes its proper role in God’s redemptive plan for the world, appreciating God’s ongoing covenant relationship and love for Israel and the Jewish people.
We can see the consistency of God’s redemptive plan from Genesis to Revelation as an ongoing complementary process, not as disconnected snapshots.
We show love and honour for God’s covenant people, not contempt.
We value the Old and New Testaments as equally inspired and significant for the Church today.
Bible prophecy makes sense for today and offers opportunities for involvement in God’s plan for Israel.
We become better disciples of Yeshua as we are able to appreciate the Hebraic/Judaic roots that fill in the definitions, concepts, words and events in the New Testament that are otherwise obscured. Why? Many were not explained by the Jewish writers of the New Testament, because they did not feel the need to fill in all the details that were already explained in the Old Testament.
Had the Church understood this very clear message from the beginning, then the sad legacy of anti-Semitic hatred from the Church may have been avoided. The error of Replacement Theology is like a cancer in the Church that has not only caused it to violate God’s Word concerning the Jewish people and Israel, but it made us into instruments of hate, not love in God’s Name. Yet, it is not too late to change our ways and rightly relate to the Jewish people and Israel today. Through Bridges for Peace you can read, study and learn more, and also give to demonstrate God’s exhortation to us to bless His Covenant People, whom He still loves. Not only do we need to learn and do for ourselves, but we need to teach others so as to counteract the historical error that has been fostered in the Church for nearly 2,000 years.
Thank God, He is a God of mercy, redemption and second chances.
(The above was borrowed from “Bridges for Peace”, May 9, 2002 edition.)
1) Gerhard Falk, The Jew in Christian Theology, (MacFarland: Jefferson, NC, 1992).
2) Leopold Lucas, The Conflict Between Christianity and Judaism, (Aris & Phillips, Warminster, UK: 1993).
3) The New International Study Bible, (The Zondervan Corporation: Grand Rapids, MI, 1985).
4) The New Scofield Reference Bible, Authorized King James Version, (Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 1967).
5) Keith Parker, Is the Church the “New Israel?”, (Prayer for Israel: Golant, UK).
6) James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue, (Atheneum, New York, 1974).
7) David Rausch, The Legacy of Hatred, (Moody Press: Chicago, IL, 1984)
8) Marcel Simon, Verus Israel, (Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 1986).
9) Clarence H. Wagner, Jr., Lessons from the Land of the Bible, (Bridges for Peace: Jerusalem, Israel, 1998).
10) Eds. C. Roth and G. Wigoder, Encyclopedia Judaica, (Keter Publishing House, Ltd.: Jerusalem, Israel, 1972).
11) A. Lukyn Williams, Adversus Judaeos, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1935).
12) Robert Louis Wilken, John Chrysostom and the Jews, (University of California Press: Berkeley, 1983).
For most of the twentieth century, Communist Russia was the logical pick with its military aspirations, its atheistic founding, and its designation of being "far north" of Israel. In a word, identifying Gog and Magog with a specific nation or group of nations in the past is legion.
As the above brief study shows, when the headlines change, the interpretation of the Bible changes. The failed interpretive history of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is prime evidence that modern-day prophecy writers are not "profiling the future through the lens of Scripture" but through the ever-changing headlines of the evening news.
Amen. How much clearer does it need to be?
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." -- Rev. 14:6-7
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." -- Rev. 14:6-7
Quite clearly lots of folks picked the wrong year...But it's interesting to read why they came to those conclusions...At least they did not say that Jesus has come already...
Of course we know that no one knows the day nor the hour of Jesus' return...BUT, we are supposed to know the 'times' and the season...
But just think, if He doesn't come back for another 1000 years or so, what will it be like??? If we have world wide nuclear war, there won't be much to come back to...The earth could actually be thrown out of it's orbit and we'd all be dead anyway...
Some scientists say that by 2050, the rate of the population will grow exponentially to the point that there won't be enough room (or food) on the earth for everyone...
Jesus needs to come back NOW, while He's got something to come back to...
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Article 2 years old - but at end it lists some apostate churches teaching end times demonic lie
No Understanding of Bible Prophecy
World Watch Daily ^ | 12/29/2005 | Bill Koenig
Note from Bill:
Today there are approximately 100 million American church members who have very little to no understanding of Bible prophecy. These church members are from replacement theology churches that don’t teach Bible prophecy and who look at prophetic scriptures as allegorical and not literal. Consequently, they do not understand the importance of Israel to the God of Israel or God’s redemptive plan for Israel and the nations. (To Read “The Error of Replacement Theology” - By Clarence H. Wagner Jr. click here.)
These church members also have no understanding of the biblical significance of what is transpiring today in Israel, Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and in other Middle East nations. They are also not aware of the significance of the formation of the European Union, new ID technologies and much more.
I have shared the biblical significance of our times with some of these people and almost all of them can’t process the information mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And due to fear they do not want to hear more. They also have no point of reference in which to start if they had interest.
The good news is those who understand Bible prophecy are fully aware of the significance of Israel, God’s time clock, and are watching the times with great interest and expectancy.
We will continue to post articles under Update and Commentary and under the Error Exposed category under Page Two News to inform you of the official church positions, their recent statements calling on Israel to leave her land, and writings and statements that speak against pro-Israel Christians.
Below is a list of the 25 largest churches in America. The churches that are highlighted in bold are confirmed replacement theology churches. We are still attempting to confirm a few of the smaller church positions.
U.S. Membership Denominational Ranking: Largest 25 Denominations/Communions —2004 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches
1. The Roman Catholic Church - 66,407,105 2. Southern Baptist Convention - 16, 427, 736 3. The United Methodist Church - 8,251,042 4. The Church of God in Christ - 5,499,875 5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 5,410,544 6. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - 5,038,006 7. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. - 5,000,000 8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. - 3,500,000 9. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - 3,407,329 10. Assemblies of God - 2,687,366 11. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod - 2,512,714 12. African Methodist Episcopal Church - 2,500,000 13. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America - 2,500,000 14. Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. - 2,500,000 15. The Episcopal Church - 2,333,628 16. Churches of Christ, Corsicana, Texas - 1,500,000 17. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - 1,500,000 18. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. - 1,500,000 19. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. - 1,484,291 20. African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church - 1,430,795 21. United Church of Christ - 1,330,985 22. Baptist Bible Fellowship International - 1,200,000 23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, Joplin, Mo. - 1,071,616 24. Jehovah’s Witnesses - 1,022,397 25. Church of God, Cleveland, Tenn., - 944,857
The economy of FDR, the revolutionary era economy, and the economy of the antebellum south would all signify an style and ordering of an era.
Of course, Paul's Ephesians 1:
3 Blessed [is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 according as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love, 5 having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6
to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved, 7 in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace, 8 in which He did abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself, 10 in regard to the dispensation (ECONOMY) of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him;
11 in whom also we did obtain an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of Him who the all things is working according to the counsel of His will, 12 for our being to the praise of His glory, [even] those who did first hope in the Christ, 13 in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth -- the good news of your salvation -- in whom also having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, 14 which is an earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.
A few months before Kaduri died at the age of 108, he surprised his followers when he told them that he met the Messiah. Kaduri gave a message in his synagogue on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, teaching how to recognize the Messiah. He also mentioned that the Messiah would appear to Israel after Ariel Sharons death. (The former prime minister is still in a coma after suffering a massive stroke more than a year ago.)
In the consummated new heavens and new earth there will be no sin, suffering, or death.
Even the futurist millennium still has all three.
Only a theologian who fundamentally misunderstands the nature of Gods covenant with His people and who continues to divide the people of God along racial lines would make such a preposterous statement.
“IIRC, I contributed toward the Temple when I was in Israel in 1973.”
The physical temple was destroyed in 70 AD (and there’s no mention of a third, future temple in the NT) for very good reason: Christ is the Temple.