Tag Archives: Jewish Doctrine

Bill Lockwood: True Religion Results in Free-Will Giving: Not Jizya or Socialistic Forcible Taxation & Redistribution

by Bill Lockwood

By speaking of the reign of Solomon (970-931 B.C.), which was a foreshadowing of Christ’s kingdom, the Psalmist in chapter 72 depicts the expansive coming reign as being from “sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth” (72:8). During this reign of the Messiah the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts (10).

Charles Spurgeon, the matchless commentator on the Psalms, observed at these verses,

…true religion leads to generous giving; we are not taxed in Christ’s dominions, but we are delighted to offer freely to him… This free-will offering is all Christ and his church desire; they want to forced levies and distraints [to seize by distress], let all men give of their own free will, kings as well as commoners; …

Free will offerings. This is the only giving known in the New Testament. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let each man do according as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly, nor of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” For this reason, Paul writes the letter and encourages by persuasion the churches to freely give. How beautiful is this precedent compared to other systems and man-made religions and systems!

Compare Giving to Islamic Jizya

Mohammed absolutely established that people of other religious persuasions must pay a poll tax to Muslims called the jizya. This was specifically that they might recognize they were inferior to Muslims. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Koran 9:29).

From the religionofpeace.com website:

Traditionally the collection of the jizya occurs at a ceremony that is designed to emphasize the subordinate status of the non-Muslim, where the subject is often struck in a humiliating fashion. M.A. Khan recounts that some Islamic clerics encouraged tax collectors to spit into the mouths of Hindu dhimmis during the process. He also quotes the popular Sufi teacher, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi:

The honor of Islam lies in insulting the unbelief and the unbelievers (kafirs). One who respects kafirs dishonors Muslims… The real purpose of levying the Jizya on them is to humiliate them… [and] they remain terrified and trembling.

The jizya (or extortion) is one of the main cornerstones of the entire system of Islam. It institutionalizes forever the fact that, in the eyes of Muslims, non-Muslims have an inferior status in Muslim nations.

Another example is this that there is no way to live peaceably with Islam. Where it has dominated a culture, it has exacted a forcible toll on all non-Muslim peoples throughout the centuries—without exception. As it develops and engulfs a culture, Islam is designed to extinguish all Kafir civilizations. It is but a reflection of Mohammed himself who did not stop the conquering of Arabia until 100% of his demands were met.

This is just one example that demonstrates that Islam is not a religion of God, depending upon thoughtful reasoning and persuasion by argumentation; but a man-made totalitarian system relying solely upon force. When one comes out of the dank dungeon of Islam, and stands upon the mountaintops of Christianity, he is able to breathe the clean fresh air of a religion of the heart whose founder, Jesus Christ, never used violence or force to subjugate man, but died on the cross for the sins of the world.

Compare Giving to Socialism or Social Justice

Social Justice is not simply doing humanitarian acts of kindness as Buckley and Dobson suppose in Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross. “The Social Gospel asks Christians to be concerned and invested in the world around them” (p. 42). The authors suggest that the entire issue is about whether first to give a tract or a sandwich to those in need? (p. 43) This is ignorance as to what is social justice or socialism.

The great author and thinker Thomas Sowell explains: “Central to the concept of social justice is the notion that individuals are entitled to some share in the wealth produced by society, and irrespective of any individual contributions made or not made to the production of that wealth.” (A Conflict of Visions, 216)

But if all people in society are entitled to a share in that which I produce, how shall this be enforced? For this reason, socialism by definition implies the “expansion of the government domain to produce social results to which particular individuals are morally entitled.”

So states The National Association of Scholars. The term “social justice”, or socialism, they explain, is today understood to mean the “advocacy of egalitarian access to income through state-sponsored redistribution.”

But state-sponsored redistribution of my production begins with theft. Forcible removing from me of the fruits of my own production to give to others. This is not even remotely associated with the free-will giving taught by Christianity. If it is, why must there be a gigantic state to enforce it?

The French writer, Frederic Bastiat was correct therefore to explain socialism as plunder.

See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. . . It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder. (Bastiat, The Law, p. 17).

That the above has already occurred in America is obvious. The evil is already upon us. A gigantic welfare state.  Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul summarizes it well.

From lower-income Americans who rely on food stamps, public housing, and other government programs, to middle-class Americans who live in homes they could not afford without assistance from federal agencies like Fannies Mae and Freddie Mac, to college students reliant on government-subsidized student loans, to senior citizens reliant on Social Security and Medicare, to billionaire CEOs whose companies rely on bailouts, subsidies, laws and regulations written to benefit politically-powerful businesses, and government contracts, most Americans are reliant on at least one federal program. (Dec. 31, 2018. Ronpaulinstitute.org)

Make no mistake. The Welfare State is nothing akin to the free-will giving of Christianity. Once again, instead of relying on force to confiscate and redistribute, the early church in the book of Acts willingly and freely gave of their possessions to assist others (Acts 2:43-47; 5:1-4). There is a world of difference between the Bible and the systems of man.

Bill Lockwood: Problems in Zion — Premillennialism

by Bill Lockwood

Timothy P. Weber, in his even-handed review of the history of Zionism, or Dispensational Premillenialism (On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend, 2004) exposes the many contradictions of the system. Beginning with the inception of modern dispensational premillennialism by the “disgruntled” Irish Anglican priest John Nelson Darby in the 19th century (1830’s) through the current Messianic Jewish movement, Weber historically exposes the many flaws, contradictions and changing currents within the premillennial fold. Such is to be expected in an unscriptural doctrinal setting. The following are some of the points made by Weber.

Varieties of Premillennialism

First, there are countless varieties of the Premillennial doctrine, most of which contradict one another. Through this contradiction, however, all varieties share one basic flaw—crass materialistic concepts of the kingdom of God.

This materialistic view, with predictions of a new Judaized state in the future complete with animal sacrifices and legalistic practices, is featured in the NT as the primary reason for the Jewish rejection of the Messiah. Caiaphas counseled the murder of Christ to his fellow Sanhedrists on the grounds that if Christ were not taken out of the way, “the the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” (John 11:47-51).

Nevertheless, this materialism is the primary ingredient of all the flavors of Premillennial thought; from the Shakers (19th century) to the Mormons (whose ‘inspired’ writings included the fulfillment of the scheme in the state of Missouri) to the 7th Day Adventist Movement began by William Miller and continued by Ellen G. White to the popular Left Behind brand now current in denominationalism; and all of the rest.

Weber highlights this materialistic concept for us. “Because of their basic hermeneutical decision that all earthly prophecies belonged to Israel and not the church, dispensationalists believed that the ‘saints’ referred to a newly restored nation of Israel that would be regathered in Palestine” (70).

Note carefully: Weber is explaining that it is the false presumption that the entire OT prophetic program referred to physical Israel which is the base of Premillennialism.  That the kingdom of God is a political entity with physical boundaries—as Judaism at the time of Christ believed—has even caused many prominent dispensationalists, such as James Gray, C.I. Scofield and others to reject our “democratic government” while declaring favor for a “monarchy” (p. 84) Many wearing the name of Christ have not moved much further in spiritual thinking than Caiaphas.

Hijacking Conservatism

If materialism lies at the heart of Premillennialism, very close to it is the supplanting of missionary work with a political program that regards international meddling as part of the gospel. This is what Weber calls the “Hijacking of Conservatism” by Zionism. Simple Constitutional conservative values are ignored.

While many American evangelicals remain politically conservative on a social scale, their belief-system drives them to support America’s much “unconstitutional meddling” in the political affairs of foreign nations. Thus, the Constitution of the United States is thrown behind the Zionist backs.

Tied to this is the falsely-labeled missionary effort of the evangelical world. Converting individuals to Jesus Christ is the biblical idea of missions. It is very different however, among Zionists.

For example, foreign “intermeddling,” flying beneath the banner of evangelism, was the planting of an “American colony” in Jerusalem, Israel in 1881. No ordinary missionary movement this, it was an actual “American colony” led by the Spafford family (p. 106-08) and supported by such evangelical preachers as William Blackstone.

“By the 1930’s the colony ceased being primarily a religious community and started operating more like a family business” (109). The primary aim, of course, was the effort, not to convert Jews to Christ, but to “relocate in order to be present when God’s promises to Israel were fulfilled.”

To say the least, it is a skewed vision of the word of God that transforms evangelism into nothing more than a sitting in the hills waiting for the Lord to bless Israel.

This fostering of the political state of Israel is the hallmark of Zionist “evangelism.” In 1917 British forces were poised to capture Jerusalem in armed conflict.  Lord Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, wrote to Lord James Rothschild, a leader in the International Zionist Movement.

“His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best efforts to facilitate the achievement of this object …”

Foreign interference was in full swing. Five weeks after the Balfour Declaration, Jerusalem was surrendered by the Turks to British forces.  Thus began a career of national intermeddling in the Middle East which is being happily continued by the American government with full backing of evangelicals. Constitutional it is not. Evangelistic it is not. But it does demonstrate how conservatism, which at one time was marked by non-interventionism, has been hijacked and now fits an internationalist mold.

As presented by Weber, the history of “evangelical missionary intermeddling” is rife with similar examples. The Likud Party in Israel recognized evangelical preachers such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson with awards all the while laboring to outlaw missionary work (245).

The tragic irony in all of this is that evangelicals demonstrate a complete lack of interest in Palestinian Christians but seem more interested simply in removing them from their ancestral territory (246).  Evangelicals show more interest in political and physical wars with Palestinians over who owns the Temple Mount than in spiritual teaching (250); or more interest in how the state of Israel is partitioned (168) than in law and justice as we know in America.

These are just a few items among dozens more that could be mentioned. If one wishes to know where conservatives lost their way, look no further than the seeming complete takeover of the Evangelical churches by Zionists.

Gathered in Belief or Unbelief?

Another of the many self-inflicted confusions of Zionism is the question as to whether fleshly Israel should be gathered back to Palestine only after belief in Christ or would their reconstitution to a state be accomplished before the nation believes? Gathered in belief or unbelief? Converted to Christ, then gathered? Or, gathered, then converted?

Historically, reaching back to its inception with John Nelson Darby, dispensationalism believed the Bible to be clear to teach that Jews would be converted first, then gathered to Israel. But this changed in the 20th century.

Weber explains:

In the nineteenth century, dispensationalists overwhelmingly believed that the final restoration would not occur until after the second coming, when Jews who survived the great tribulation would accept Jesus Christ …and would return to the Promised Land… for a thousand years. After the founding of Zionism, however, dispensationalists were faced with the possibility that significant numbers of Jews might return to Palestine prior to Christ’s return and without faith in Christ. (p. 168)

Zionism was organized in the 1890’s and came to full flower immediately after World War I. This question is not merely academic. First, it involves the trustworthiness of common-stock Premillennial interpretation of OT prophecies. Specifically, should we place any confidence in the interpretive keys that Zionists utilize in examining the Old Testament? Witnessing the many and vast confusions on this topic, particularly their contradictions as to whether Jews would be gathered in belief or unbelief, the answer is a resounding “NO.”

For example, the Weekly Evangel, a dispensationalist paper, editorialized in 1940 that of a truth “God swore that Israel would be re-gathered in her own land, unconverted, in the latter days. Ezekiel 36:24-38.”  Note carefully that the writer felt certain that Ezekiel 36 teaches a re-gathering while in unbelief.

Yet, as Weber points out, only one year later the editors took the opposite position and cited Luke 21:24 to establish the point!

We have all been thrilled to watch the rebuilding of Palestine and the return of many Jews to that land through the efforts of Zionism. … God’s Word teaches that ‘Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’ Luke 21:24. Not until Christ returns will the Jewish nation go to Palestine as a whole, nor will the Jews get full sovereignty over the land.

Something is vastly wrong with the entire interpretation system when it pits one passage against another. It needs to be realized that the political movement of Zionism, not Scripture, caused millennialists to change their mind!

Second, and more importantly, evangelical support today for the state of Israel is somehow thought to be the mandate from prophecy. Yet, Israel has not accepted Christ. Premillennial preachers, however, unanimously tell us that when Christ comes again all the Jews will accept Christ and be re-gathered to their ancient homeland. If that is so, then supporting the state of Israel while in their current state of repudiation of Christ has nothing at all to do with prophecy! In other words, if prophecy says that Christ is going to convert all Jews when He returns and then gather them in Palestine, then supporting Israel today has nothing to do with fulfilling prophecy.

Arno C. Gaebelein, one of the leading exponents of Premillennialism in the 1940’s, saw this problem. He insisted that the political movement of Zionism was not the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Unwilling however, to relinquish his doctrine, Gaebelein would say only that the current Zionist movement was somehow a “first step” in that direction. (Weber, p. 169).

Based upon Gaebelein’s “first step” concept, let’s pose this question for Premillennialists. If Christ is to return literally to the earth, convert the Jews, and re-gather them to Palestine—according to prophecy—how will any man or even nation of people possibly “assist” the Lord’s future judgment by political brokering today?  To suggest such is haughtiness in the extreme. Just as well assist the Lord on the throne of judgment.

Premillennialism is false doctrine. Let members of the Lord’s church beware!

 

Premillennial Textual Problems in Revelation

Premillennial Textual Problems in Revelation

by Bill Lockwood

The Issue Defined

The word “Premillennial” has two components: (1) Pre; meaning “before” and (2) Millennial; meaning 1,000 years. It suggests that Christ will return to the earth just prior to a 1,000 year reign. It contains several ideas. According to Ernest Kevan in Baker’s Dictionary of Theology (352) it is “held that the OT prophets predicted the re-establishment of David’s kingdom and that Christ intended to bring this about. It is alleged, however, that because the Jews refused his person and work he postponed the establishment of his kingdom until the time of his return. Meanwhile, it is argued, the Lord gathered together ‘the church’ as a kind of interim measure.”

This theory includes that in the future the Jews will return to the land of Israel; that Jesus will establish a physical kingdom after fighting physical battles and that these events have been in the immediate future since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. It is good to be reminded that Premillennialism is not the common doctrine of the early church (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Part IV, p. 861.

Problems with Premillennialism

The entire theory is freighted with Jewish doctrine and ideas that flatly contradict Scripture as a whole. In the following we are only examining textual problems associated with the book of Revelation. Not included here is the multitude of theological errors posed by premillennialism. What textual problems are there?

(1) Premillennial theorists uniformly remove chapters 4-19 from the immediate context of the book of Revelation. No justification, textual or otherwise, is ever offered for this maneuver. John Hagee does this (Four Blood Moons, 91; see also Mark Hitchcock, Blood Moons Rising, 19; and John Walvoord, Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis, p. 102, 171-72, 178). This is totally arbitrary and reflects merely the whim of the theorist. It substitutes fanciful unfounded caprice for sober exegesis.

(2) Premillennial writers universally insist upon the rule that all passages in the Bible must be literally understood. The late John Walvoord of Dallas Theological Seminary, for example, pronounces that “The study of these [biblical prophecies, bl] demonstrates that when prophecy is fulfilled, it is fulfilled literally” (Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis, 21). Walvoord is one of the premier leaders in the premillennial school. All others dutifully follow this capricious rule. Mark Hitchcock, for instance, insists upon this throughout Blood Moons Rising (p. 31, 45, 48, 71, 106, et. al.). However, no Bible passage states that this is the manner in which prophecies are to be understood. This is unreasonable. The Bible itself tells us that prophets spoke in various times and in various manners (Heb. 1:1,2). God did not reveal His message in one way. All prophecy should be interpreted in the same manner (literal) only if all prophecy was spoken in the same manner! But this is to contradict the Bible itself. The result of this “rule” ends in fantastic unfounded theories.

(3) Premillennialists use fanciful interpretations of the text as a template for the rest of the Bible. Again, no justification for this—only the unbending will of the future theorist. Mark Hitchcock announces: “Using Revelation as a framework, a Bible student is able to harmonize the hundreds of other biblical passages that speak of the seven-year tribulation into a clear model of the next time period for planet earth. With such a template to guide us, we can see that already God is preparing or setting the stage of the world in which the great drama of the tribulation will unfold.” (Blood Moons Rising, quoting another with approval, p. 19).  Again, this is fanciful and arbitrary. The common and well-grounded method of interpretation of Bible material is that “the Bible is to be interpreted in the same manner … by the same principles” of other books (Milton Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics, 173). It seems too simplistic to point out that words are to be understood in their primary meaning unless the nature of the literature demands differently. And this is precisely what Revelation tells us: that the message is in “signs and symbols” (Rev. 1:1-3). Why then insist upon using Revelation as a “template” of literal meaning and force other Bible passages within its mold? It can only be to uphold false theories.

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