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On Jews and Credit Card Identity Theft
In Defense of the Faith
Friday, May 11, 2018
Alf Cengia

On Jews and Credit Card Identity Theft - I know that's a weird title to an article. But stay with me. This is more about the Jews than credit cards.

Imagine that someone steals your credit card. You get statements from your bank detailing purchases you never made. Someone has taken over your identity. You are still responsible to pay for the goods bought in your name. However, you never get to enjoy them.

This is what the Church has done to Israel! It has taken its identity and biblical blessings, but none of the curses resulting from disobedience. I think the credit card analogy is a good one. But isn't my creation. I stole it from the Introduction of Barry Horner's new book "Eternal Israel."

Some time back in 2010 I read Horner's "Future Israel- Why Christian Anti-Judaism must be Challenged." Upon discovering that he'd written a follow-up, I decided to brush up on the first. There is so much there I'd forgotten and needed to reacquaint myself with.

Much of what follows is unashamedly borrowed from Barry Horner's materials. Incidentally, he has graciously allowed his first book to be downloaded in PDF format for free. All Christians who love God's Word and Israel ought to read it, and its sequel "Eternal Israel."

Dr. Horner writes:

I strongly believe that a true child of God will have a distinct, persistent (though often anguished) love for the Jewish people notwithstanding their unbelief.  ~ Future Israel

I heartily agree. Taken at face value Scripture reveals God's love for Israel and His intention to restore the nation. If for no other reason, this is why we ought to be Christian Zionists.

It has become fashionable among some to deny that the church teaches Replacement Theology (or Supersessionism). Sometimes they'll appeal to the allegedly softer "Fulfillment Theology" etc. In reality this absorbs Israel into the church and denies that its specific prophetic promises are still valid as a nation.

A classic example of Supersessionism is New Progressive Covenantalism's insistence that "all of the covenants find their fulfillment, telos, and terminus in Christ." They reject the dispensational understanding of the land promise to national Israel apart from Gentile Christians.

Some Supersessionists have been starkly candid:

The church, then, as the people of the New Covenant has taken the place of Israel, and national Israel is nothing other than an empty shell from which the pearl has been removed and which has lost its function in the history of redemption. ~ Herman Ridderbos

In contrast to Ridderbos and others, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) and J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) recognized that national Israel's promises were still waiting to be fulfilled as laid out in Scripture. Both men were born from early Puritan heritage, yet were able to think for themselves in matters of Scripture regarding Israel.

J. C. Ryle noted:

It is high time for Christians to interpret unfulfilled prophecy by the light of prophecies already fulfilled. The curses of the Jews were brought to pass literally: so also will be the blessings. The scattering was literal: so also will be the gathering. The pulling down of Zion was literal: so also will be the building up. The rejection of Israel was literal: so also will be the restoration. ~ Are You Ready For the End Time?

If God's Word is trustworthy for us, then it also remains faithful regarding Israel!

In a 1958 Banner of Truth magazine issue, a writer extolled T. V. Moore's masterly commentary on Zechariah. He praised Moore's exposition on various topics including the calling of the Gentiles, punishment of the Jews, and the victory of the Church!

Where do we see the Church in Zechariah 12 -14? How ironic, then, when Moore informs us that the closing chapters of Zechariah, referring to events not yet accomplished, are "notoriously difficult." They're only difficult if one replaces the most important piece of the alleged Jigsaw Puzzle!

Horatius Bonar has the solution:

I believe that God's purpose regarding our world can only be understood by understanding God's purpose as to Israel. I believe that all human calculations as to the earth's future, whether political or scientific, or philosophical or religious, must be failures, if not taking for their data or basis God's great purpose regarding the latter-day standing of Israel... "The Jew" The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy (cited in Future Israel p 10)

Given this, and recalling that Ryle and Bonar lived prior the establishment of modern Israel, we ought to note the following remarkable statement by Ryle:

I might show you by scriptural evidence that the Jews will probably first be gathered in an unconverted state, though, humbled, and will afterwards be taught to look to Him whom they have pierced [Zech 12:10-14], through much tribulation.

Dr. Andy Woods of Spirit and Truth briefly talks about Israel's gathering in unbelief HERE.

As an aside, there's a connection between Zech 12:10 and Matt 24:29-30. The gathering of the elect (v 31) is also Israel according to the Old Testament promises. Some say it is the church because Israel is never mentioned as the elect in the New Testament. Yet Paul refers to them as such in Romans 11:28. See also Hos 5:15 and Matt 23:39.

To properly understand God's prophetic plan, and the conditions of the Lord's premillennial return, we must keep Israel and the church distinct. Might the church be missing the very signs of Christ's soon coming by denying that the events occurring in the Middle East today cannot have prophetic significance?

Tragically, certain Christian theologians perpetuate the idea that the creation of modern Israel had nothing to do with God - moreover that it fostered the current Middle East conflict!

What grieves me more is the obsession of some Christians to unfairly castigate the Jews and Israel. Some of it is surely demonic! Olivier Melnick rightfully calls it a virus - one that is spreading to the United States via the Christ at the Checkpoint organizers.

I'm grateful for Barry Horner's efforts. He has a genuine love for the Lord and the Jews. His latest book Eternal Israel is a welcome update to the first. Go read it.

Keep your eyes on Israel and the Middle East. Perhaps it's time for the culturally compromising church to wake up. Could the Lord come sooner than we suspect?

So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Rev 3:3


Further reading:

Who was Horatius Bonar?

Who was J. C. Ryle?

Series on Replacement Theology

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Tribulation is Coming

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