Thursday, July 26, 2012


Preceptaustin has posted one of David Baron’s fine works. I have his book “Zechariah – A Commentary On His Visions and Prophecies” and “Israel In The Plan of God”. Both are highly recommended.

Introductory comments: David Baron (bio) (1857-1926) was a Jewish believer who wrote extensively about the Nation of Israel many many years before dispensational teaching became popular and most importantly many years before Israel became a nation. Minor corrections in grammar have been made to the original manuscript. In addition many Scripture references (NAS unless otherwise designated) have been added (as well as links to notes on those passages) where appropriate to allow the reader to examine the original Biblical text. In May 14, 1948 (read how the Arab nations attempted to destroy the new about odds stacked against you! Clearly God was behind the scene/seen! As an aside the United States recognized Israel as a nation 11 minutes after Israel was reborn! Ever wonder why the US is so blessed? see Ge 12:3) Israel again became a nation in one day (cp Isa 66:8) after almost 2000 years without a homeland!

Why is it important to understand the "Jewish Problem" from a Biblical perspective? Because Israel and the city of Jerusalem continue to be at the center of the world's attention, hardly a day going by when newspaper headlines do not have some mention of this tiny nation. Indeed, Israel and Jerusalem will continue to be "a cup that causes reeling" to all the world until the triumphant Second Coming of Christ (Zech 12:1, 2, 3, Zech 14:1-2, 3, 4, 5-9). It therefore behooves all Christians to be familiar with the Scriptural texts that deal with Israel's past, present and future. This little booklet by David Baron presents an(?) will done Old Testament summary of God's plan for Israel.

If you are like many Christians, and are somewhat perplexed about what will happen to Israel, Jerusalem and the Jews in the End Times, this short book, although written in 1891, will give you a good overview on a timely subject which is ever near and dear to God's heart as shown by His comforting words to the chosen people in exile for their disobedience...
keep reading

Note that at the end of the article, Preceptaustin has posted an audio commentary by Tony Garland. The writer describes Tony this way:

“For this reason, the commentary by Dr Anthony Garland is highly recommended as one of the best I have ever encountered on the "Jewish Problem." Garland is conservative and approaches the Scriptures from a literalist perspective, but he is "fair and balanced" and presents his exposition in an intellectually honest manner.” (Emphasis mine)

Tony is, indeed, a fine scholar and I think his work on Revelation rivals the thoroughness of Robert L Thomas’s 2 Volume Exegetical Commentary. But I wouldn’t use the term literalist. That word is often used disparagingly of the dispensationalist hermeneutic. See the Expanded Contents of Tony’s A Testimony of Jesus Christ for articles addressing the interpretation of Revelation.

Incidentally, Tony is currently working on the book of Daniel. Please pray for God’s blessing on his work.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Convert or Else

Lately I’ve had some conversations with several self-professed Christians regarding Israel, and Jews in general. I’m sorry to call a spade a spade but the word that strongly impresses itself in my mind as a result of some of these dialogues is “anti-Semitism”. It is plainly that because some of these “Christians” have a disposition for finding any excuse to deride the Jews as a race; even to the point in denying scriptural references about Israel’s future in God’s stated plan.

Anyway, I would love to get some comments from the usual Israeli-sin-stalking pundits regarding the following news item, given that I don’t see it covered on any of their websites:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Dozens of Gaza Christians staged a rare public protest Monday, claiming two congregants were forcibly converted to Islam and were being held against their will. The small but noisy demonstration showed the increasingly desperate situation facing the tiny minority. Protesters banged on a church bell and chanted, “With our spirit, with our blood we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Jesus.” See Gaza Christians protest over forced conversions

One other thing – please note that forced conversion and intolerance to religious plurality is sanctioned in various Islamic literature. For example:

f1.3 Someone raised among Muslims who denies the obligatoriness of the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan, the pilgrimage, or the unlawfulness of wine and adultery, or denies something else upon which there is scholarly consensus (ijma`, def:b7) and which is necessarily known as being of the religion (N: necessarily known meaning things that any Muslim would know about if asked) thereby becomes an unbeliever (kafir0 and is executed for his unbelief (O: if he does not admit he is mistaken and acknowledge the Obligatoriness or unlawfulness of that which there is scholarly consensus upon. As for if he denies the obligatoriness of something there is not consensus upon, then he is not adjudged an unbeliever). See Reliance of the Traveller and Tools for the Worshipper (p 46)

According to Wiki:

“The book was translated by the American Muslim scholar Nuh Ha Mim Keller in 1991 and became the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by Al-Azhar.”

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Rev 3:10 bombshell?

The PreWrath Resource Institute has published a pamphlet touted to be the primary tool of “Operation Expose the Truth”. There appears to be some sort urgency to wrest the pretribulational support away from Rev 3:10. The booklet isn’t available to read on their website. You either have to buy a download or wait for one of your prewrath friends to slip you a copy from the bulk purchases they are encouraged to buy and distribute.

One of the surprises is that Dr David G Winfrey, a former pretribulationist who had argued for Rev 3:10 as support, has now done a Rosenthal and changed his mind. I was a posttribber once and now I’m not. C’est la vie!

Please note that I’m not attacking prewrath; I’m responding to the pamphlet. If you’re going to regularly critique another system – expect an occasional response.

I’d anticipated that Dr Cooper was going to adopt Bob Gundry’s tactic in “The Church and the Tribulation (pp 53-61)” and argue that Rev 3:10 meant preservation within the “tribulation”. I was wrong.

The 28 page pamphlet (two of which are bibliography) spends about 17 pages covering what pretribulationists have said about Rev 3:10 in the past. It’s not a word-dense document and can be read in a quick sitting. The inference is that, whereas pretribbers had at one time confidently pointed to the verse as a proof text, they’re not so sure now.

According to Dr Cooper it gets worse when on page 18 he cites John Niemelä who “concludes that the verse has nothing to do with the traditional definition of a pretrib rapture at all.” Dr Niemelä told a colleague (Tim): “I no longer believe that
Revelation 3:10b is a Rapture passage, but it still has relevance to the Rapture.” Note that it is germane to the issue to read his conclusion. I encourage people to read Dr Niemelä’s paper for themselves: Part 1 & Part 2

What follows on the next few pages of the pamphlet is a discussion of Dr Niemelä’s arguments regarding the Greek punctuation of Rev 3:9-10. Dr Niemelä contends that the expression in Rev 3:10a “because you have kept my command to persevere” belongs to v 9. The rest of v 10 then stands on its own. In other words it would read thus:

9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie-- indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you because you have kept My command to persevere. 10 I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Rev 3:9-10

I have no qualifications to make any judgment on the grammar and pretrib doesn’t need that argument for support anyway. But the real surprise comes on page 26 where Dr Cooper agrees with Dr Niemelä’s punctuation theory. Of course, Dr Cooper hastens to add that Rev 3:10 is not a proof text for pretrib but immediately asserts that it’s a rapture verse for prewrath! No explanation forthcoming. Frankly, I was surprised at the anticlimax.

The prewrath view is that the hour of testing isn’t the full seven year period. It’s the Day of the Lord which follows after the great tribulation. To arrive at this position proponents must insist that the 4th seal (one quarter of the population killed) and Matthew 24:21-22 (the worst time there ever was or ever will be) don’t qualify as a period of testing or God's wrath. Accordingly, the real testing occurs after the “shortened” great tribulation (the DotL), which must, somehow, be a worse time than the worst time.

I’ve never taken Rev 3:10 as an absolute proof for pretrib; however I do think it strongly supports it. But what I’ve read in this PRI pamphlet has done the opposite of what it was designed to do – if anything it has reinforced the pretribulational position on Rev 3:10 for me.

What Israel Means to God ~ Feinberg

We often hear people speak of what God means to Israel, and this is eminently Scriptural. In his closing address to his people, Moses had been constrained of the Spirit of God to say: “ The eternal God is thy dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms ” ( Deut 33:27 ). In the prayer of Moses found in the ninetieth Psalm, we find these words: “ Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place In all generations ” ( Ps 90:1 ). So we could multiply Scriptures to show what God means to Israel.

But how many have ever heard what Israel means to God?...
keep reading

I especially like this:

But God has used Israel, furthermore, to manifest His faithfulness to His promises. Many delight to think of the promise in Rom 11:29 : “ For the gifts and the calling of God are not repented of. ” But they forget that this refers primarily to Israel, for the apostle declares in the preceding verse: “ As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers ’ sake. ” In fact, the main design of the three chapters on Israel in the Epistle to the Romans-chapters 9 , 10 , and 11 -is to show that, in spite of the fact that God has placed both Jew and Gentile in the same need of salvation and has placed salvation on a basis where it is free to both, yet God has abrogated none of His precious promises to Israel. If one is in doubt as to the reality of these promises, he needs only to begin with Genesis and will find them all along the way through the Old Testament, particularly in the prophecies of the prophetic books. It seems, from our limited human standpoint, that God has ample ground for annulling every promise He has made to Israel because of their disobedience, but God is faithful to all His unconditional promises. With what confidence, then, is the child of God today to look to his heavenly Father in all that He has promised to His believing children. If God has kept and is keeping faith with Israel in all that has been promised them, then there need be no fear that God will fail to bring to blessed fruition all that He has ever spoken of regarding anyone. Israel, as it were, serves as a test case in the matter: since God has manifested His faithfulness with them, then He can be trusted by all.