Friday, September 2, 2011

Does Historic Premillennialism trump Dispensationalism?

As mentioned previously, I’ve listened to a 2009 lecture delivered by Gary Hoag to a Denver Seminary audience. It was based on Craig Blomberg’s manuscript (Dr Blomberg being ill at the time). The title of the talk was “Inappropriately Privileging Israel: Why Historic Premillennialism Trumps Dispensationalism".

You can listen to it HERE

Dr Blomberg co-edited “A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to "Left Behind" Eschatology”. The book received strong criticism by reviewer Erik Swanson for improperly engaging DP:

Not only does this book misunderstand DP, but the authors misrepresent DP as well. They (mis)represent DP as simply a popular movement, fueled by popular culture and imagination, not backed by solid exegesis and theology.”

I bring this up again because I sympathize with Erik Swanson’s frustration. That same approach characterizes the lecture. If you’re going to legitimately challenge another system, you should accurately interact with its beliefs and strengths; otherwise you’re just knocking down straw men.

Firstly, as an ex-posttribber, I’m unimpressed by the “academic & exegesis” vs the “comfortable populist” inferences that Dr Blomberg draws when he compares posttribulationism with pretribulationism. It smacks of elitism. Also, note that apantesis isn’t a magic gotcha word. Kevin Zuber has a study on it HERE, or refer to his essay in “Dispensationalism – tomorrow & beyond” (p 343). And a comparison of tereo ek in Rev 3:10 and John 17:15 isn’t helpful to post-trib either - read Richard Mayhue’s essay HERE.

Lastly, Erik Swanson answered Dr Blomberg’s wrath of God points in the review above. In fact at one stage Dr Blomberg states the church must go through the Tribulation and endure persecution and martyrdom then later claims tereo ek in Rev 3:10 means protection within!

Contrary to Dr Blomberg, Jerry Falwell’s “brand of dispensationalism” is not representative. That “America doesn’t exist to support a distinctively Jewish state in Israel” may well be true. Mature dispie scholars would vouch for the wisdom of a “separation between church and state”. But why raise that issue?

Many “religious organizations” routinely lobby the US government for political and monetary aid for other countries. Palestinian aid is sought out by certain “Christian” groups (e.g. Sabeel). And people like Stephen Sizer and Gary Burge, and organizations such as the World Council of Churches and National Council of Churches have sought the boycotting of Israeli products. What do we make of church groups who vie to influence government decisions on pro-life, gay marriage etc? Wouldn’t these activities cross over the "separation between church & state" guidelines? Why is support for Israel singled out?

I’m not sure why he even mentions Two Covenant Theology. Even if one or two “popular” dispies may hold to it; it is not the correct dispensational view. There is only ONE way to be saved and that is by grace through faith. Note Tony Garland’s article HERE and this ESSAY

He uses the term “the shifting sands of dispensationalism”. Disp was formalized in the 19th century when theologians began to take a literal approach to the OT. Since then it has gone through further refinements and developments. Covenant Theology (which isn’t that much older) has also evolved and changed. The same is true of Reformed Theology. In fact if one carefully looks at a Who’s Who of HP from the Early Church Fathers to date, one will see changes in modern day HP.

Dr Blomberg chides outright replacement theology by pointing to sufficient OT evidence indicating that national Israel has some future in the Millennium. He even points out that RT has led to anti-Semitism. This is an important admission which I’ll explore in a later post. He affirms that George Ladd is a scholar who overshadows the rest and, like Dr Ladd, he fails to see a necessity for either a Temple, or national Israel in Palestine prior to the Millennium. He punctuates that point several times.

Note here that people like J C Ryle, Horatius Bonar, Renald Showers, Arnold Fruchtenbaum etc have shown “biblically” that Israel must, once again, be a nation prior to the Millennium. Dr Fruchtenbaum identifies several OT verses pointing to a gathering into the land in unbelief in “Footsteps of the Messiah”.

Contra-arguments to Gen 12:1-3 are typically raised by proponents of replacement theology and Dr Blomberg does the same. They argue that the church, as Abraham’s spiritual heir, is the ultimate recipient of these verses and not a prophetically irrelevant Israel in a state of unbelief. In a lengthy process of circular reasoning they insert the church and remove Israel. (Acts 3:13, 25-26; Rom 11:25-29)

His comments on Ezekiel’s Temple (ET) confuse me. I’m not aware of any dispies who teach that ET is premillennial. I don’t see how you can merge ET into the New Jerusalem or why you’d want to in the first place. If you’re able to recognize clear OT Scripture to confirm a future for Israel then surely you can use that same “exegesis” on a literal comparison of the differences between ET and the New Jerusalem.

Even when he acknowledges OT prophecies regarding Israel in their land during the Millennium he attempts to apply the NT to make the Gentile church share the same territorial benefits, which he then extends to all the earth (Matt 5:5). He appears to have a problem with a uniquely Holy Land with a Jewish flavor and any type of Temple. This isn’t just replacement theology; it is absorption theology or a sort of socialist theocracy where whatever national Israel owns, so must the Gentile church.

While he briefly addresses the excesses of those who are pro-Palestinian and those who are pro-Israel, it’s quite obvious that Christian Zionism and national Israel are his primary targets. His language implies that Israel oppresses Palestinian Muslims and Christians; hence he lectures against blindly supporting Israel.

Yet a fact-check will show that Palestinians and Christians living in Israel fare much better than in Israel’s Muslim-dominated neighboring countries! He seems unaware of the dynamics driving the Arab-Israeli conflict and the existential threat to Israel. Aside from theological considerations, there are legitimate reasons for supporting Israel even if it is secular and imperfect.

But that he promotes blatant replacement theologians like Gary Burge and Colin Chapman as the “best guides” to refer to theologically ultimately explains his position on Israel both biblically and from a secular viewpoint. Burge and Chapman re-interpret the OT via the NT. These men have also written glowing reviews for anti-Israel activist and revisionist
Stephen Sizer’s book “Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon?”

Dr Paul Wilkinson has written about Sizer and his supporters HERE. I also recommend his book “For Zion’s Sake”. A more balanced approach to Sizer’s book is Dr Michael Rydelnik’s “Understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict – What The Headlines Haven’t Told You”.

Keeping the terms “academic” & “exegesis” in mind, read Barry Horner’s (Future Israel) response to Gary Burge. Many points that Dr Horner raises about Dr Burge re NT authorship etc are a concern.

Based on Dr Blomberg’s lecture and his advocacy of Gary Burge’s theology, even if I were to revert to posttribulationism, I could never consider myself an HP. It’s not about rapture timing, though Dr Blomberg clings to that distinction. It’s about God’s faithfulness to His word. It’s about taking the clear OT references to Israel’s future literally. On this basis, Dr Blomberg’s lecture fails to live up to its objective.

I’ll explore Dr Burge’s stance on Israel in a later post.


M.Bracy Yiapan said...

If you're interested in Jewish issues, which I presume you are, you should read the Talmud. You can do this online. The Talmud is the orthodox Jews' true Bible. They consider it superior to the Torah (first five OT books). You will be amazed at what you read in the Talmud! I believe it is the reason for the anti-semitism that developed in Europe and the hatred of the Muslims. Here's one little quote from it: "If a Jew is tempted to do evil, he should go to another city where he is not known and do his evil there."
Modern ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel have been following the custom of men's spending all day studying the Talmud (and Torah) while their wives do the work. They've also been drawing welfare checks and avoiding military duty, while their wives have large numbers of children. Oh, the Talmud also says that Mary was a prostitute, (which is why she was pregnant). You should read it.

Alf Cengia said...


You don’t state whether you’re a Christian. Do you believe that Mary was a prostitute or raped by Roman soldier, as an upcoming film suggests? If that were the case then the Jewish authorities would have been able to produce a body as proof that Christ wasn’t resurrected thus quelling the early Christian movement. The fact that 10 of the 12 apostles were martyred for their faith (without recanting and saving themselves) would also suggest that they hadn’t removed the body.

I’m aware of the Talmud and have consulted it when researching rabbinic thoughts on eschatology. Are you aware of the teachings of the Hadiths which observant Muslims hold as sacred as the Qu’ran?

I’m not compelled to agree with your reason for Jewish persecution. Many of the Jewish Holocaust victims were, in fact, Christian. That didn’t save them. They were killed because of who they were, not their behavior. Talmudic observing Jews are in the minority anyway. You might find the following illuminating: David Turner’s “When Your Face Was Your Destiny”; Joel Elkes’ “A Son’s Holocaust Memoir” and “Those Who Forget The Past – The Question of Anti-Semitism” compiled by Ron Rosenbaum. You might find Michael Rydelnik’s “They Called Me Christ Killer” revealing also:

Jewish persecution defies simplistic explanations.

Islamist extremism has historically targeted non-Muslims, whether they’re Hindus, Buddhists, atheists or animists – let alone Jews. You can safely burn the Tanakh is public but not a Qu’ran. You can depict Moses in a cartoon without repercussions, but not Muhammad.

Finally, Israel and the Jewish race are far from perfect – and neither are other nations and races. But, if you’re a Christian, you should understand that the Old Testament has a specific future for them despite their sins – which has been the subject of my recent posts. It’s a matter of God’s word and faithfulness, not Israel’s.

M.Bracy Yiapan said...

I was too verbose in my last post, so I've cut in in two and here's the rest!
Here are few more Talmud excerpts, which will probably surprise you:
BT Kiddushin 66c: “The best of the gentiles: kill him; the best of snakes: smash its skull; the best of women: is filled with witchcraft.” The uncensored version of this text appears in Tractate Soferim (New York, M. Higer, 1937), 15:7, p. 282.

“The more possessions the more worry; the more wives, the more witchcraft.”
 —Hillel, first century, Mishnah Abot 2:7.

—Rabbi Ezra Basri, Chief Justice, District Court, Jerusalem, “

Whosoever disobeys the rabbis deserves death and will be boiled in hot excrement in hell.
 —BT Erubin 21b.

“...Jesus shares his place in the Netherworld (hell) with Titus and Balaam, the notorious arch enemies of the Jewish people. Whereas Titus is punished for the destruction of the Temple by being burned to ashes, reassembled, and burned over and over again, and whereas Balaam is castigated by sitting in hot semen, Jesus’ fate consists of sitting forever in boiling excrement.”
—Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud p. 13. BT Gittin 57a.

Only Jews are human. Non-Jews are not human.
—BT Bava Metzia 114b. BT Kerithoth 6b and 58a.

Regarding a Jew stealing from a non-Jew, the act is permitted. 
— BT Sanhedrin 57a.

Jews may use lies ("subterfuges") to circumvent a gentile.
—BT Baba Kamma 113a.
There's a lot that's plain obscene. It bears no resemblance to scripture.

Now today, I think that very few Jews know the Talmud. But the pride-driven ultra-orthodox are reviving it. I think a conflict with the Muslims is inevitable. (No, I haven't read the Hadith book.)

In order to recall the name of a book, I looked up Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Yiddish author who was a favorite of mine in my 20's. Here's one of Wikipedia's sentences: "His themes of witchcraft, mystery and legend draw on traditional sources, but they are contrasted with a modern and ironic consciousness. They are also concerned with the bizarre and the grotesque." If you read his novel "The Family Moskat", you'll get an inside look at a 19th century Jewish family in Poland. It's in English

Alf Cengia said...

I’m happy to hear that you’re a Christian. Not so happy about your attitude towards the Jews.

A study of the history of persecution against the Jews doesn’t gel with the excuse you’ve outlined above. From the beginning, Muhammad’s war was against the infidel –whether Jew, Christian or otherwise. See and and

Spend some time on the Answering Islam website researching Hadith sayings and Sharia Law and you’ll find ideological matches to your references in the Talmud. See also and search the site for more information.

I’m aware of the “Ashkenazis” etc. Read the Fruchtenbaum bio mentioned above. In fact I sat at three lectures given by Messianic Jew Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum where he gave examples of the Talmud and why Jesus locked horns with the Pharisees. On that note you might also find Messianic Jew Dr Michael Rydelnik’s “The Messianic Hope” of value. He talks about the Talmud, Rashi and the Zohar and he analyses Rashi’s influence over current Christian hermeneutics.

It’s illogical to me that anyone should use Talmudic references to excuse why Jews have been persecuted by Muslims when Muslims adopt many of the same practices. Doesn’t it seem contrary that Muslims haven’t likewise been persecuted for Sharia? History reveals a number of excuses for persecuting and killing Jews. Any justification would do. Nothing has changed. To blame Jews for tainting moral values via Hollywood and adversely affecting economies via banking smacks of anti-Semitism. The reality is that if the Hollywood Jews and the banking Jews had not been there, someone else would have done exactly the same thing.

Read Wilfred Hahn’s article on page 12

I’m now located in America. But I can tell you that Australian society is more secular and pro-homosexual than the US. In fact pro-homosexuality and liberal theology has been adopted in many Aussie churches across the map. So if churches are going that way, how does one justify pointing the finger at Israel? The motivation for doing so is to support the contention that a sinful unbelieving Israel has no rights to the land and has its roots in supercessionism. Given that no one else is without sin and most of the Palestinians are unbelievers then logic would follow no one else has either.

Alf Cengia said...

People like Craig Blomberg, Stephen Sizer, Alistair Donaldson, Colin Chapman, Gary Burge et al, habitually accuse dispensationalists of “revering” Israel. To support this they cherry pick quotes from people like John Hagee as if they represented all dispensationalists. They also present a one-sided view of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

But in case you’ve missed this from my posts, please let me clarify. Israel is a sinful nation whose greatest sin is rejection of her Messiah.

Yet dispensationalists recognize that the New Covenant was made with Israel and it included giving it a new heart, salvation and the land promises. We recognize Israel’s sins – in fact Messianic Jew David Baron notes these in his book “Israel in the Plan of God”. It is Israel’s redemption and God’s faithfulness that we rejoice over because it mirror’s our own.

The promises of Israel’s restoration are not annulled anywhere in the NT – especially in Romans 11:26-29.
Read Jeremiah 31 very carefully (see also Ezekiel 26:16-38). God’s promises cannot be abrogated without calling God’s character into question.

M.Bracy Yiapan said...

I read Jeremiah, although I lack the time and interest to follow up on all your links and arguments. We’re both probably set in our positions. But I must dispute your belief that if the Jews in Hollywood hadn’t drug it into the sewer, we others would have. Sadly, too few Christians have ventured into the world of stage and screen, but that may be changing. Those who have don’t blaspheme as the Jews do! (I think of directors Frank Capra, Bruno Heller, Cameron Crowe, Steve Carell, Russell Crowe.)

Jews actually worship themselves rather than God. There’s a whole network of atheist synagogues!
You must read about the (unbelieving) Jews outside of scripture. Try the Jewish owned NYTimes: poor little “Israeli Girl, 8, at Center of Tension Over Religious Extremism”
“Ultra-Orthodox Shun Their Own for Reporting Child Sex Abuse”

In the Bible you’ll find the Lord saying that “the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to a people who would produce its fruit”, etc. Mat. 21. Peter purposely called us gentiles a “chosen people, a holy nation, now the people of God, ” 2Peter2.

I’m wondering if you believe that God will sovereignly change the Jews’ hearts someday to make them all believe. I, being an Arminian, don’t. Nor do I believe that Christ will someday reign on earth for a mere 1000 years. Nor do I think God owns the cattle on just 1000 hills, or keeps his covenant of love to only 1000 generations of believers. We could go on and on, but I need to concentrate on my other debate, which is with my Mormon friend. I’d appreciate prayer.

Alf Cengia said...

Sorry I took so long to respond.

I think you’re taking a myopic and unfair view of the Jews. I wonder why? I belong to a race of people which are historically infamous for engaging in criminal activities across several continents. In fact my racial group more generally holds to a religious conviction that would not be considered Christian by many. However, the criminals aren’t representative of my race and neither do I receive any personal condemnation for it. You’re tainting the whole race (past, present and future) over what you perceive some are doing.

You may dispute what I said about Hollywood and the Jews but I can think of Australian film & TV media companies (I’m sure there are European counterparts) that aren’t controlled by Jews and which produce “unchristian” content. The Jewish race has experienced (and is experiencing) persecution from people who have no idea about the Talmud. Jews are persecuted because they are Jews. In fact most media content is anti-Jewish/Israel.

Talking about atheist synagogues won’t do when many so-called Christian churches are marrying same sex partners, denying the Crucifixion, apostatizing and preaching evolution. Note this. I can cite many examples. What is missing in the narrative are the growing Messianic missionaries that are witnessing in the West, Israel and to the Muslims.

You wanted me to pray for your friend and I did. I fully sympathize. My mother prayed for me all the years I was involved in the new age. But how do you then - being an Arminian and not believing that God can sovereignly change Israel’s heart – justify praying for someone who has the free will to rebel? How does that work? BTW, I’m not a Calvinist either.

Alf Cengia said...

When you read Jeremiah did you consider these? Is God lying? Can you trust a God that changes His mind after such an iron-clad promise?

"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: "If this fixed order departs From before Me," declares the LORD, "Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the LORD, "If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done," declares the LORD. Jer 31:31-37)

For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. Rom 11:25

If God can harden hearts, He can also do the opposite.

Alf Cengia said...

Read Ezekiel 36:16-38 carefully. The following verses in particular:

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. "I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD," declares the Lord GOD, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. "You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. Eze 36:22-28

What about these?

"Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit. "I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land Which I have given them," Says the LORD your God. Amo 9:14-15

Long after Matt 21...

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; Act 1:6-7

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins." In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Rom 11:26-29

Alf Cengia said...

Given the implication of God’s direct statements above, we can’t simply assume verses such as Matt 21:43 & 2 Peter 2 teach replacement theology or that a future Israel cannot be redeemed In “Has the Church replaced Israel” (p 142), Mike Vlach argues that Matt 21 means that Jesus’ rejection applied to the current nation but that it does not - in fact cannot - be an eternal rejection.

Jesus’ reign doesn’t end with the Millennium. Eph 2:4-7 refers to “ages to come” which fits the scheme of a Millennium prior to an Eternal State...where Jesus still reigns. Isaiah 65 (and elsewhere in the OT) describes an idyllic existence where death still occurs. A thorough treatment of the Kingdom of God is Alva McClain’s book “The Greatness of the Kingdom”. He considers the OT texts in conjunction with the NT. A face-value reading of Revelation teaches that Jesus comes (Rev 19); Satan is incarcerated for a thousand years Rev 20; then released for a short time, and finally the Eternal State.

Most of the “1000” passages in the OT are literal numbers save for Psalm 50:10. It seems odd to single that one verse out as support. Most, if not all, the numbers in Revelation are also literal. There were 7 messages to 7 literal churches and 7 literal seals, trumpets and vials. The 42 months literally equate to three-and-a-half Jewish years (1,260 days). There is no reason to take the numbers symbolically. The 1000 yrs is given six times in Rev 20. If the apostle wanted to convey 1000 yrs – how else would he have expressed it? You might argue for an extended Millennium but Revelation plainly draws a distinction between the present state, a future Millennium and the Eternal State.

I highly commend Matt Waymeyer’s “Revelation 20 and the Millennial Debate.” You can download his sermon on the subject at Lynda O’s site Thy Kingdom Come

Alf Cengia said...

What, then, is the true and only cause? In a word, it is Satan. The solution is to be found in Revelation 12. Satan hates the nation through whom has come so much blessing to the world, especially the Savior. First, the dragon is incensed against the child of the woman (Jesus Christ), then he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed, Israel. Moreover, when Satan is angry against Israel, it always culminates in defiance against the Lord Jesus Christ. The two are inseparable.

Charles Feinberg ~ The Cause of Anti-Semitism

M.Bracy Yiapan said...

I slid into this blog sideways from some search I’d done without ever having read your thorough exposition. If I had, I doubt that I’d have ever tackled such a debate. Your mind is surely made up.
You should understand that I have to generalize in talking about the Jews. And those who believe are not Jews anymore. I still have some hope for my daughter-in-law (and her family), although they’re quite smug, typically lib-dem and anti-christ. I worry about the two grandkids. I’ve had other Jewish friends, having grown up in SoCal. What does it mean to be anti-semitic? To want them killed? Or just to want them thwarted? I find that using that epithet is a bit like calling all who oppose Obama racists. Remember, the Jews at Jesus’ trial asked to have his blood be upon them and on their children.
Their accomplishments are almost incredible, considering that they’ve been in rebellion against God since that time. But they think they’re the chosen race because they’re so superior, and inculcate that into every child. When you compare their Nobel prizes with the Arabs’ it’s quite amazing. But the Koran is actually way less vile than the Talmud.
The Koran says Jesus is a great prophet who was virgin born, worked miracles, etc. The Muslims just can’t accept that God could have a “son”, which they say, must be the result of copulation.
The Talmud, on the other hand, says Jesus was a bastard and a pervert and blasphemer, etc. I can’t bear to go on. I still say you should read the Talmud (more than a few verses). When I did years ago, it opened my eyes. But again, I realize that few of today’s Jews know the Talmud--except for the growing ranks of the ultra-orthodox in Israel! I have a feeling many nominal Jews will soon decide to divorce themselves from this rabble and embrace Christ as lord and savior. That could be the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31.
Anyway, this will be my last post on this subject. I listened to all 66 minutes of the talk by Craig Blomberg(’s friend) and am proud to say that it describes me quite well. Sometimes I got lost by the pre-post-a-millennial terminology and don’t know which one I should claim. I just know I don’t believe in any literal 1000 year reign, or any future “tribulation” or worse yet a “rapture”! What a fairy tale! But since I take scripture literally when it’s meant to be taken literally, and Rev. begins by saying it was about things that “were soon to take place”, I ascribe it to the first century and the Roman persecutions that slammed the church. And such tribulation is often repeated when the Word is introduced to a new country, such as China. Then it’s eventually accepted and considered normal practice. The same occurred across Europe in the 2nd through 9th centuries. You might read the great Bede on this.
The theme of finality shows up often in the NT, as in Hebrews 1:2 “ these last days God has spoken to us by his Son.”
2Peter1:20 “...He was revealed in these last times for your sake.”
God bless

Alf Cengia said...

Marcia, it’s not a contest over whether the Qur’an or Hadith are viler than the Talmud. Why make it so? What really matters is what God says He will accomplish for Israel (and us) regardless of how wicked they may be compared to other races. It’s really all about trusting His word. I know the types of Jews you refer to but I also know those who have accepted Christ. You prefer to concentrate on the worst examples of the race. You can do that with any ethnic group.

Jews don’t cease to be Jews once they believe. The early church members were Jews and always considered themselves Jews. Gentiles are never referred to as spiritual Israel.

In your opinion, which portions of the texts cited in Jer 31, Ezekiel, Amos and Acts that refer to Israel’s full national redemption are meant to be taken literally or not - those that suit your presuppositions? What exegesis can you offer for allegorizing select portions text? Unfortunately, HPs such as Ladd and Blomberg have also been silent on problem texts, which is why HP does not trump dispensationalism.

The disciples thought Christ could come at any time and for them that coming was imminent; which is why they thought they were in the last days. I don’t have one of those guide books that specify which verses can be taken literally and which are figurative. So, I’m presuming the following is literal:

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. Mat 24:21-22

Since we know the world has seen far worse times after 70 AD, I assume Jesus wasn’t exaggerating and this event is still future. Regarding the expression “soon to take place” – which Revelation events took place? Historicists differ hopelessly when allegorizing those events that have allegedly occurred. A similar expression was used by Jesus in Revelation for His second coming (Rev 3:11). If He came in 70 AD, the early church fathers missed it because they were still expecting the event to occur.


My mind is made up regarding Israel’s redemption because Scripture plainly teaches it. Yours is also made up, yet you show no scriptural back up aside from some proof texts.

There will be a rapture because we are told so; even though its timing is debatable. Regarding your rapture “fantasy” remark; if you take the time to visit someone’s blog and drop opinion bombs, you should at least be ready to defend your comments biblically.

Alf Cengia said...

I pray you take a look at some of these examples of Jewish Christians. Especially Dr Rydelnik's testimony,

Jewish Voice

Ariel Ministries

Messianic Fellowship

Oliver Melnick

Michael Rydelnick

Michael Rydelnick ~ my search for Messiah

M.Bracy Yiapan said...

Paul, you remember, touted his Jewish credentials, but in Corinth and elsewhere he had to battle "the Jews" and often go into hiding "for fear of the Jews". He didn't seem to count himself as one. In Corinth, 'he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads!"... From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'

As for the "end times" mentioned in the NT, the writers weren't mistaken, as is often charged! They understood that they were witnessing the end of the old covenant and the beginning of the new one. It happened over a period of years in history. The Romans' destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in A.D.70, was surely what Jesus was referring to when he predicted that all those stones would be torn down in the disciples' lifetime. And Christ warned people about it so that they could flee in time. Luke makes it clear that "the abomination of desolation" would be the heathen Romans' army encircling the holy city Jerusalem. The holocaust was terrible. Read Josephus.

For more on this, I recommend "Paradise Restored" by David Chilton (and other preterist writers).

Alf Cengia said...

Paul did say that in Acts 18:6 yet also note Gal 1:15-16. He was speaking of that generation. He also defended Israel’s future in Romans. Again, I remind you of what God promised Israel in Jer 31 and ask you whether He was being non-literal or if He can change His mind after such a vow. If you think so, please advise why and think about the implications.

Again, was Jesus being figurative in Matt 24:21-22? How many Jews lost their lives in 70AD compared to the Holocaust?

The abomination of desolation did not occur in 70 AD as preterists claim. I refer you to 2 Thess 2:3-4. That did not occur in 70 AD. Note also Matt 24:15; Dan 9:27; 11:31 and 12:11.

Abomination of Desolation

Notes on preterism

Historical Problems for a 70 AD Fulfillment

Culver on Daniel

The Olivet Discourse was a response to the disciples’ questions which involved the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem and the end of the age. Read Dr Fruchtenbaum’s discussion on the subject

Preterism answered by Scripture

Do you interpret the Bible literally?

Alf Cengia said...

"And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen" (Romans 16:20)
A Problem for Preterists

Alf Cengia said...

Where is the Promise of His Coming?

J-Victus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alf Cengia said...

Here's the problem:

That the Talmud contains vile things isn't the real issue. So what? What is an issue is the real reason why Jews are hated. Is it really because they're a vile ethnic group who follow a vile Talmud? Is that really why Islamists still persecute and kill them along with most other non-Muslims? See the logic?

Anti-Semites will find any excuse to hate Jews and Israel. In fact, I've spoken to a substantial amount of Jew haters who have no idea about the Talmud. The fact that Jews and/or Israel are often hated by the same people who are liberal or licentious in their morality should tell one something. I've been writing a weekly column on the Middle East for a few years now. As part of my brief I look at attitudes towards the Jews in the Middle East and Europe. The Talmud doesn't play a role.

My article is essentially about HP versus CD and what Scripture says about Israel as a future distinct nation redeemed by God. It seems that many HP adherents have swallowed the Stephen Sizer and Gary Burge Kool-Aid. Craig Blomberg is one of them. In fact Blomberg's hermeneutics - to borrow his own term - rest upon shifting sands.

You'll not find much about the Talmud on Sizer's blog and neither will you find much about Islamist oppression of its own people and non-Muslims. His narrative is about stolen land and anti-Zionism.

Alf Cengia said...

BTW, I note that one Edward Miller has posted at your site. Is he the same Edward Miller who has written the following one-sided comment about Israel's incursion into Lebanon?

A dangerous attitude pervasive in Washington is that acting as Israel's errand boy in the Mideast carries little or no risk. Experience suggests otherwise...During Israel's 1982 genocidal War in Lebanon, while she was butchering some 30,000 Palestinian refugees, destroying Beirut and forcing that city's half a million citizens to flee to the suburbs, Israel's Washington lobbyist talked President Reagan into joining the slaughter. Reagan obliged by ordering his battleship, the USS New Jersey, sitting off Lebanon's coast, to hurl shells into those towns around Beirut to which the refugees were fleeing. The Lebanese did not forget this little gesture and not long after, on October 23, 1983, 264 US Marines in our security force paid with their lives for Reagan's act when a car bomb exploded next to their barracks.

Of course we don't trust the Jewish version because of the Talmud - right?

Israel & Lebanon

1982 War

The Myth of the “War Criminal” Sharon

Alf Cengia said...

J-Victus removed his comment and links to his blog on his profile after I responded to him. That blog was a meeting place for anti-Zionist sympathizers.

Alf Cengia said...

For the record:

J-Victus said...

J-Victus removed his comment and links to his blog on his profile after I responded to him. That blog was a meeting place for anti-Zionist sympathizers
Not sure why I ever did that, Perhaps I was not as confident in my piece as I am now. The reason the Talmud is so important in this discussion is that it undergirds the reason the Jews were cast out of Israel by the second century: they clung to the teachings of the Pharisees
(Says Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, once president of the Jewish Theological Seminary: "Pharisaism became Talmudism, Talmudism became Medieval Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became Modern Rabbinism. But throughout these changes of name, inevitable adaptation of custom, and a­djustment of Law, the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered.")

Anyways, yes, Jew-hating is terrible and anyone who blames the Jews as a whole for the filth in the Talmud or the viciousness of the IDF is a maniac and tainting the legitimate criticism with unjustified ethnic bigotry.

I wish I could remember exactly what I wrote on this wall years ago, but I'll loop it around to the original topic, eschatology. Even if the Dispensational Premillennialist position is correct, that is still no reason to support the Israeli government and its actions. Just because something is prophesied to happen doesn't mean we must actively support it. Should we have cheered on Christ's execution, though it was prophesied? That the Jews will (and have) return to Israel is indeed a prophecy. But they are still illegitimately holding the land. They cannot have a Biblically legitimate claim to the land until they are obedient. All throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites are admonished to obey their God, lest he cast them out from the land that they have an eternal, but conditional, claim to. Consider:

“You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.” (Leviticus 20:22)

“But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments … but break My covenant … I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste … You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.” (Leviticus 26: 14, 15, 32-33, 28)

“Therefore Yahweh was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone…. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.” (2 Kings 17:18, 23)

“And I said, after [Israel] had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.” (Jeremiah 3: 7-8)

What could be more disobedient than rejecting their Messiah? It was the reason they were cast out of the land, as testimony to the justice of God and the authenticity of Christ's ministry (him having predicted their exile). One day, the Jews will accept their Messiah, and then they will dwell there in peace, but not before. Only strife can, and only strife will, persist while they hold the land without fulfilling the conditions God gave them, and surely an essential step in that is to shed the burden of the casuistry and narcissism of the Talmud, written by the intellectual descendants of Christ's worst enemies.

Blessings, J-Victus

Alf Cengia said...

J Victus, thanks for commenting.

Have you ever read the Hamas charter? Have you listened to what Iran and Turkey say about Israel? Do you really think it has anything to do with the Talmud or the alleged IDF maniacal viciousness? Do you know what Nakba really means and how and why it began?

Have you ever considered why Christians flee from other Middle East nations? Why do they flee to Israel rather than Islamic regimes?

Why do many Palestinian Christians refer to Jesus as Palestinian rather than a Jew? Do you really think they avoid the word Jew because of Israel's oppression?

Spend some time reading at the CAMERA website and see someone else's point of view:

God has always punished Israel for disobedience. He has also brought Israel back from exile while it was still in disobedience. In fact it's hard to find a time when Israel perfectly obeyed God. No nation has.

The Bible clearly teaches that Israel will be finally placed in its land forever (Amos 9:14-15). The land belongs to God and He has clearly given it to Israel. Among many other verses read Jer chap 31 and Ezekiel 36.

God has gathered Israel unbelief in preparation for wrath with the purpose of refinement – Eze 20:33-38 and compare Isa 1:22, 25, 48:10; Jer 6:27-30, 9:7; Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2-3 and Zeph 2:1-2. In Zech chaps 12 to 14, God gathers the nations against Israel to judge them and then He judges those same nations. The process will redeem Israel.

Finally, Israel isn't perfect. But it isn't the monster as portrayed by the UN and BDS activists. An honest look at its neighbors places it well above them regarding human rights. See CAMERA. And notably these other nations also deny Christ! So if it's a matter of obedience, NO nation deserves to be in the land currently. But there's much more to it than that. It all boils down to believing what God has said.

J-Victus said...
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J-Victus said...

I disagree with nothing you said, and acknowledge that Christians are safer in Israel than any of the Muslim nations. The Jews have a perpetual, but conditional claim to that land. And so they have returned to the Holy Land, as prophesied (though it was no miracle, as a look at the compositions of the armed forces in the 1947-8 War shows that while it is true that five separate armies attack Israel, the Israelis had over twice as many troops in total). But they have returned in disobedience, without accepting their Messiah. This is why there is constant strife. One day, they will fulfill Paul's promise in Romans 11 and they will be there in peace and legitimately:
“For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”

But to repeat, just because their return is prophesied does not mean we have to support the Israeli government with billions of dollars in aid (I oppose aid to Muslim countries as well), and a diplomatic shield in the UN (one may complain about how the GA chastises Israel, but that is irrelevant as long as a UNSC veto exists). The State of Israel is an apostate entity created by atheistic Jews. Interestingly, those Haredi Jewish communities that most stringently follow the Talmud would agree with me, as the Talmud states that the Jews cannot have a legitimate State in the Holy Land until the Messiah comes (though some have now accepted the de facto existence of the Jewish State), the only difference being that you and I recognize that their Messiah is Jesus, whom their intellectual ancestors so bitterly rejected.

As you say, and as God said, He is judging Israel for its disbelief using its neighbors. The only way out is to obey, reject the misanthropic literature of the Talmud, written by those who are to blame for the exile in the first place, and accept Christ. This will happen in its own time. If pointing out that the current Jewish possession of the land is Biblically illegitimate (albeit prophesied), while asserting how it can be made legitimate, makes me an anti-Zionist, then I guess I am that. I would like to be a fervent Zionist, and would much prefer them to turn away from the modern-day Pharisees, the Rabbis. Christ warned his Jewish contemporaries as much:
===Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them: “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
And they reasoned among themselves, saying: “It is because we have taken no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them: “Oh, you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?... How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.====

The Jews have suffered terribly for following the the teachings of the Pharisees. They must throw off the yoke of that absurd and evil tradition if they are ever to have peace. And they will. Paul has made that clear.

In the mean time, the secular State of Israel does not require nor does it deserve the aid of the United States taxpayer (again, nor does any Muslim country, or any country really). Israel has dozens of nuclear weapons and the ability to use them against the most of the Eastern Hemisphere even if all of Israel is afire. The leaders of Israel's enemies are violent radicals, but they are not suicidal (their foot soldiers may be, but not them), and have the same urge to self-preserve as we all do. No nation-state will dare to attack Israel as long as their second-strike capability remains intact.


Alf Cengia said...

J-Victus, let me be blunt here. I'm tired hearing about the Talmud. Whenever someone mentions it I know where the conversation is headed. People tell me that obedience to the Talmud is a reason why Jews have been persecuted through the centuries.

Nakba didn't happen because of the Talmud. That Holocaust survivor who was recently killed in France wasn't killed because of the Talmud. It was plain old hatred of the Jew.

It would be a great idea to stop funding to Israel and the Palestinians. But for different reasons you might have. Funding to Israel carries strings and baggage. Funding to the Palestinians supports terrorism.

Again, obedience to God promised enjoyment of the land. Disobedience didn't always mean dispossession. God promised (as per verses cited earlier and others) that Israel would be in possession of the land in preparation for eventual judgment (see Zechariah). This fact alone supports the legitimacy of Israel in the land, quite aside from all the secular reasons.

The whole point of my original post is that people like Blomberg and Burge bear false witness to an admittedly imperfect nation by unfairly demonizing it. Moreover they deny clear biblical promises that Israel will be restored to God.

You seem to think that modern Israel is an oppressive apartheid state undeserving of support. As I said above, it isn't perfect and it is in unbelief but its Human Rights scores well above surrounding nations. Sadly the Palestinian church spreads anti-Israel propaganda. See the links I provided in previous response and below.

Deconstructing apartheid:

J-Victus said...
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J-Victus said...

That's fine to be sick of it, but the fact is, as Rabbi Michael Rodkinson once put it, the matter is "an interesting one to every Christian, What is the Talmud? … [It] is the written form of that which, in the time of Jesus, was called the Traditions of the Elders, and to which he makes frequent allusions." Were the Jews not crushed by the armies of Rome and exiled for clinging to it and rejecting their Messiah, as Christ foretold in the Olivet Discourse? The answer is, of course, yes.

You needn't reference individual incidents of Jewish persecution as if I deny it. I acknowledge and condemn it in no uncertain terms. Most Jews probably have no idea about the filth in the Talmud. So to hold them responsible for it would be ludicrous. But it was not I scattered the Jews among the nations. I also acknowledge that their ingathering is a fulfillment of prophecy. However, their strife will continue until they accept Christ. Surely you do not deny this.

You may support Israeli state if you wish, I will not.

But I see this conversation heading no where at this point so I bid you farewell. Blessings

Alf Cengia said...

Glad you see this conversation not going anywhere.

And since this is my blog, I reserve the right to respond.

The Talmud isn't the issue because it doesn't drive anti-Semitism. It is just another excuse to attack the Jew like the "Protocols" etc. Wake up.

Yes, Israel is bad. But it isn't as bad on Human Rights issues as some would have it. It is far far better than many other nations! Just on that point it ought to be supported.

Now pay close attention:

Israel denies its savior and will be judged. Most other nations also deny the LORD as well. God decides the possession of the land and the punishment. He has also used other nations to punish Israel...and then God punished them as well.

I will honor God's word regarding Israel as per Gen 12:3 and a bunch of other texts in the OT. Especially Gen 12:3.