Tag Archives: The Holy Bible

Bill Lockwood: Mixing Politics and Religion

by Bill Lockwood

In a letter to his wife Abigail in May, 1780, John Adams famously wrote:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

To John Adams the most important element of life was family. His continual service to the nation included that he was a delegate to the Continental Congress, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, an official Minister to England on behalf of the United States, and the second President of the United States. But this service he considered a “necessary evil” in order that he might enjoy pleasures of family and that his own future generations might enjoy the same.

In our modern era where warnings against “mixing politics and religion” are memorized and repeated without any real deep thought as to why or even what this means, Adams teaches us a few things about it. His keen mind was able to probe the issues of life and distill the principles and realities involved.

In analyzing what Adams meant when he said “I must study politics that my sons may have liberty to study …”, note the following.

What is Politics?

First, what is Politics? Politics simply means the management or administration of society. The word “politics’ is from the Greek word ‘politika’ meaning the “affairs of a city.” It is “the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group” (Wikepedia). Frequently the word “politics” is used negatively, such as in “play politics.” The root idea of the word, however, refers to principles by which people are to be governed.

The question now becomes, by what set of principles shall we govern society? Shall we use biblical principles or humanistic ones? Shall we use God-inspired principles upon which to base human laws, or shall we simply drift off into allowing people to do “what every man thinks is right in his own eyes?” The only issue in our society therefore is whether or not we plan to manage ourselves according to Christian principles.

This applies to a wide variety of social levels: the workplace, the office, the team, the church, or cities and nations; there is even “international politics.” All policies that are adopted in these various groups are called “public policies” precisely because those policies effect others. Once again, these policies will either reflect Christianity or humanism (non-religion).

These facts being so, whence comes the idea that Christian people should remain free from “politics?” Is it somehow inconsistent with biblical values that Christians should not influence public policy?

Freedom Politics is Pro-Family

Returning to Adams’ quote above, note that he was interested in freedom for his family. He wanted to construct a society along Christian principles that by this framework of freedom his family in future generations might continue to enjoy liberty. Specifically, limited government would allow personal freedom to flourish while at the same time curtail dictatorships or top-down controls that destroy freedom.

A sidebar note: Many confuse Roman Catholicism with New Testament Christianity. Not only were the colonists almost 95% Protestant in their belief-systems, but were afraid of Catholicism. The reason for this is clear. Roman Catholicism is an unbiblical political system that was constructed through the centuries to mimic Old World kingdoms such as the Roman. It too, therefore, is dictatorial and stifles freedom. Its record as a tyrannical power is matched only by other forms of government absolutisms.

Adams was well-aware of all of this. This is why that during the tumultuous formation of the United States he felt that he needed to invest time in order to create a political landscape such that allowed freedom to ring—but this was in order that his children might be able to enjoy more pleasurable pursuits. The political machinery of a nation is a direct reflection of religious values and presuppositions that underlie the society. For future family freedom, Christian politics was necessary.

Politics was not just one “hobby” that Adams chose among others he might have chosen, even though that is the casual way people view politics today. Adams showed this by couching it in his word “must.” In other words, politics was his “duty.” It functioned as an obligation. Political freedom is foundational to other freedoms.

To illustrate, Adams used “war.” Those who enjoy freedom and liberty rely on the sacrifices of untold thousands who study war and become warriors. A warriors’ occupation is not like playing sports, or collecting old cars or antiques. Without a fight for freedom, there would be no games to play or antiques to collect. Someone must do this business of war if we are to have pleasures of life. If we were all running for our lives from enemy soldiers, who cares about playing games?

So also is managing people by politics. It is foundational to freedom at large. For this reason, Cicero, the ancient Roman statesman at the time of Julius Caesar, observed: “For there is really no occupation in which human virtue approaches more closely the august function of the gods than that of founding states or preserving those already in existence.”

So exactly. Christians, being correctly informed, can change the character of the political landscape. By bringing the moral standards of Christ into the civic arena, society itself is transformed. The gospel of Christ not only changes lives and hearts of men, but the course of civil government. Why should Christians not be involved in politics?

Bill Lockwood: The Bible and Illegal Immigration

The Bible and Illegal Immigration  “…those that you let remain of them be as pricks in your eyes, and as thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell… “

by Bill Lockwood

As illegal immigration assists dragging our culture downward into a more godless, violent and confused society, it is shocking that many preachers, who should be reflecting biblical values, have taken the position that somehow the liberal multicultural goal of open borders is beneficial for evangelism. People are becoming confused as to whether or not America should even have boundaries and borders and whether it is godly to protect those borders.

First, God Himself established borders of nations. In Acts 17:26 Paul, speaking to Greeks in Athens, stated that “God has made of one, every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth; having determined their appointed seasons, and bounds of their habitation.

Note the several elements of the passage. (1) God has made of every nation one—or He made from one every nation of mankind. This is in direct opposition to the then current Greek belief that their own origin was superior to other races. (2) God determined their appointed times, that is, their divinely appointed periods. Nations do not rise and fall without God. It is not a survival of the fittest. (3) Boundaries of nations are divinely fixed. However modern man wishes to understand the providence of God, Paul plainly states that God has a hand in national boundaries.

The classic Old Testament text on this subject is Deut. 32:8. “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance; When he separated the children of men …” The last comment, about “separating” the children of men refers to God’s division between peoples at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:8).

Second, God demanded that Israel respect borders of other nations. As Israel came out of Egypt, the people were to by-pass some of the nations respecting their borders because God had given them that territory. One of those nations was Edom. “I have given Mt. Seir to Esau for a possession,” said the Lord, therefore, Israel was not to enter it (Deut. 2:5). He said the same regarding the country of Moab.

Later (Num. 20), when Israel, under the leadership of Moses, applied to Edom to pass through its territory on their way toward Canaan, Edom said no. After a second application and refusal Israel turned to go another way. A nation has the right to determine who comes into its territory and even God’s selected leader Moses could not violate that right.

On the other hand, God had prior appointed that the territory of the Amorite and Canaanite (Palestine) would be given to Israel (see Deut. 1). This was a divine judgment upon those Canaanite nations (see Gen. 15:15-16) because of their extreme wickedness including child sacrifice.

Consider also the fact that at one point in Genesis history Abraham, God’s chosen, immigrated to Egypt (Gen. 12). Abraham, however, lied about the status of his wife Sarah at one of the checkpoints. When his lie was discovered by the Egyptians he was deported! God did not step in and demand that Abraham and his family be protected at the expense of the Egyptian government.

Third, once settled in Canaan, the Israelites were sternly warned on multiple occasions to “drive the Canaanites out.” Even forty years previously, when Israel was still at Mt. Sinai, God had promised to drive out the inhabitants of the land (Exod. 33:2). Once Joshua took the leadership and conquered most of Canaan, he commanded the cooperation of the Israelites in “driving out” the Canaanites (e.g. Joshua 17:17-19).

The stated reason for driving out the nations that formerly inhabited Israel was to preserve the culture of Israel. The word “culture” itself refers to the religious presuppositions that lie beneath a society.

When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then ye shall drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places [of idol worship], and ye shall take possession of the land …” (Num. 33:51,52)

Moses continued. “But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall those that you let remain of them be as pricks in your eyes, and as thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell” (v. 55). That Israel did not drive out the Canaanite people from Israel is the theme of the book of Judges (see chapter 1). The rest of the book shows perfectly well what occurs when a culture is not preserved.

As one professor wisely told me, “marriage is not a reformatory school”—so also “open borders is not a missionary program.” It is a recipe for the disintegration and complete annihilation of what is left of America’s Christian culture.

After Israel’s settlement in Canaan each tribe had a sovereign boundary that was detailed in the sacred record (Joshua 15). Not only was tribal territory to be respected in Israel, but private property was considered sacred and one of the sins that was prosecuted was “moving boundary markers” of someone’s property—which is the same as stealing private land. In no text in Holy Writ does anyone find the concept that people are not to own private property or that there is no such thing as Israelite tribal territory or national boundaries.

Fourth, God forbade Israelites from making any personal and marital contracts with the pagan people that formerly inhabited the land. Deuteronomy 7:1-5 is emphatic. If individual Israelites mixed in marriage relationships with the idolaters and pagans known as the Canaanites, the pure religion of Israel would be eroded.

You shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; neither shalt thou make marriages with them; … for he will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods …” For this reason, God instructed, “You shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.”

God strictly warned the Israelites again through Joshua, the next generation leader: “For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, The Lord will not continue to drive them out, but they will become a share and a trap for you; a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes until you perish from the land” (Joshua 23:12,13).

The point here is not to recommend an induction program for those seeking citizenship in the United States, but to point out that biblically speaking, the concept of sovereign borders is paramount in Old Testament Israel. The idea therefore that America should have no borders, and thereby no border enforcement, is certainly not biblical. There is nothing ungodly about having borders or boundaries around a nation and having boundaries implies that those whose boundaries they are have the right to manage them. Less than this is confusion on the face of the deep.

John Locke pointed out that unless society can provide a code of fixed and enforceable laws, man might as well stayed in the jungle (Skousen, 5,000 Year Leap, 244).

To this end it is that men give up all their natural power to the society they enter into, and the community put the legislative power into such hands as they think fit, with this trust, that they shall be governed by declared laws, or else their peace, quiet, and property will still be at the same uncertainty as it was in the state of Nature.

Is America a sovereign nation? Many on the left apparently disdain that idea and are pushing for open borders. That may be their preference, but don’t come to the Bible with such an agenda.

The New Birth

The New Birth “Not even this great ruler of the Jews could enter the kingdom of God but by a New Birth!

by Bill Lockwood

One of most powerful interviews in the NT is that of Jesus by Nicodemus recorded in John 3. In it the terms of entrance into the kingdom of God are explained. “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus was going against scholarly public opinion of that day by coming to Jesus. Their disposition was flat rejection. Not interested in considering the Lord’s teaching, the Sanhedrin council, of which Nicodemus was a member, instead plotted to murder Christ. For that reason, Nicodemus was a “secret disciple” (7:51,52).

Prominent in Jesus’ teaching to Nicodemus was that noted above: The New Birth—without which no one would see the Kingdom of God (3:3). Not even this great ruler of the Jews could enter the kingdom of God but by a New Birth! Do not miss the point that one is not saved simply by being a faithful Jew. The kingdom cannot be a Jewish entity. Imagine the shock Nicodemus experienced. Jews supposed they would be members of the Messiah’s kingdom by virtue of natural birth. This is wrong. “How could this be?” asked Nicodemus.

Baptism

Jesus explains: The New Birth consists of “water and spirit” (3:5). One birth, two elements. The fact is given in v. 3. The details in v. 5. Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit. A person is led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:12) into a New Birth. The Spirit speaks to us through His word. Water refers to the water of baptism. Richard Hooker (1533-1600), one of the “divines” if the Church of England, wrote a three-volume study. In it he stated: “Of all the ancient writers there is not one to be named who ever expounded the text otherwise than implying water baptism.”

Another Church of England leader of 1638, John Boys, expanded: “ …Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine, Cyril, Beda, Theophylact … Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Ambrose, Basil, Gregory …” all understood the text as referring to water baptism as essential to entrance into the Kingdom of God.

How then do many moderns seek to explain the passage as having nothing to do with the essentiality of water baptism? Henry Alford, Greek scholar and Bible translator of yesteryear, puts it succinctly: “All attempts to get rid of baptism in this passage have sprung from doctrinal prejudices by which views of expositors have been warped.” Examples of these abound.

Not

It is NOT: “Water—which is Spirit” (John Calvin). It is NOT: “Water alone” which equals infant baptism or “baptismal regeneration” as taught by the Catholic Church. Baptism, “merely as a rite, apart from the operation of the spirit, does not impart new life” (Vincent, Word Studies, II, 92).

Neither is it that “water” represents physical birth and “spirit” represents “spiritual birth.” Many modern day Baptists have sought refuge in this to avoid the implication of water baptism. They suggest that Jesus in essence answers Nicodemus this way when asked about the New Birth: “One must be born of his mother in natural birth THEN he may be born again by the Spirit.”

Several things need be said here: (1) The form of the expression “water and spirit” makes water and spirit inseparable. One birth—two elements. So states Greek scholar B.F. Westcott, one of translators of the ASV. (2) This overlooks that the whole expression ‘water and Spirit’ defines the manner in which one is born again. G.R. Beasley-Murray, a modern-day Baptist, notes that “suggestions like these do not do justice to the text and have not commended themselves to scholarly opinion.” (3) A parallel is found in John 4:24 where we are commanded to “worship in spirit and truth.” One preposition governs both nouns—spirit and truth. One worship; Two aspects. So also here in John 3:5.

One cannot enter into the kingdom of God but by a spiritual birth (led by the Spirit) through water baptism. Strange ideas to Nicodemus who supposed that traditional Judaism was the door into the Messianic kingdom. Strange ideas to denominations today who seek to avoid water baptism as essential to salvation.

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

by Bill Lockwood

It is surprising to see the number of Christian people who, apparently from lack of informative study, would suggest that the “God” of the Bible and the “God” of Islam are one and the same. One of the basic concepts of biblical Christianity is “The Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:18-20) (The Trinity) which Islam refers to as blasphemy. That Jesus Christ is Deity (Col. 2:9) and equal to the personage of the Father (John 10:30) and worthy of our worship is also a core Christian concept. But this too Islam declares to be rank blasphemy. But these comparisons only touch the hem of the garment regarding the differences.

The chief attribute of God is “love” (1 John 4:8). But this characteristic is completely lacking in the Islamic description of God. Again, the capricious nature of Allah is set forth in the Koran compared to the one true God who “cannot lie” (Tit. 1:2). “But of a God of infinite Holiness and of infinite Love, Muhammad had no idea whatever” writes Islamic scholar William Tisdall (Religion of the Crescent). Can it be that Allah and God are one and the same?

Character of God

From the fact that “God is Love” flows also the fact that God is our Father and man has been created “in His image” (Gen. 1:27). But in the ninety-nine Titles or “Names of God” repeated by Muslims the name of Father is not one of them. “Not only so, but the very application of this term to God in any sense seems to the Muhammadan mind to be the most utter blasphemy.” Instead, Muhammad’s conception of God was altogether a Deistic one. Being created “in the image of God” man has an affinity with and to God. But there is not the slightest approach to any kinship between man and God in Islamic theology. No sympathy with man and no possibility of it.

Paganistic Concept of God

It is so well documented that in “Pre-Islamic” Arabia “Allah” was regarded as a pagan name for a peculiar pagan Arabian deity that to note all references would be a large task. But they include Encyclopedia Brittanica, I:643; Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Houtsma, I:302; Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Gibb, I:406; Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Lewis, III:1093. “Allah is a pre-Islamic name … corresponding to the Babylonian Bel” (Encyclopedia of Religion, eds. Meagre, O’Brien, Aherne, 1979, I:117).

According to Middle East scholar E.M. Wherry, whose translation of the Koran is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, like the worship of Baal, was an astral religion in that it involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Witness the Islamic crescent-moon symbol. Alfred Guilluame, another Arabian scholar, explains that in Arabia the sun god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god and one of the names by which he was known was “Allah” (Islam, 7). This moon god was married to the sun god by which three daughters were produced—Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat. These too were viewed as on top of the pantheon of Arabian deities. Could it possibly be that Christians who worship the God of the Bible and Muslims who worship Allah honor the same deity?

For those who are in doubt regarding this, examine Surah 53 of the Koran where the original text reads of three daughters of Allah: “These are exalted females, and verily their intercession is to be hoped for.” These, of course, are the much-discussed “Satanic verses.” Impeccable Muslim sources (al-Tabari; Waqidi) verify the original reading. Later, Muhammed changed the verses and declared that “Satan” had put the original ones in his mouth.

It is sad that Christians are the only ones who insist upon being ill-informed on this subject. “…though the liberal Muslim may admit that Christians or Jews call upon Allah, he could never speak of the Allah of the Christians or Allah of the Jews” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. Hastings). The spirit of compromise unfortunately is alive in the Christian world.

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Eclipsing the Blood Moons

Eclipsing the Blood Moons: Part I

by Bill Lockwood

Extremely popular is the so-called “Blood Moon” theory taught by numerous so-called prophecy teachers, not the least of which is John Hagee of San Antonio. Astronomical charts show that four lunar eclipses will occur between 2014 to 2015. Sometimes the full lunar eclipse takes on a red or orange appearance. This is what Hagee calls “the blood moon.”

Hagee explains in a chart that the four “blood moons” include 1) Passover, April 15, 2014; 2) Feast of Tabernacles, Oct.8, 2014; 3) Passover, April 4, 2015; 4) Feast of Tabernacles, Sep. 28, 2015. (Four Blood Moons, 224-25). Hagee insists that “something is about to occur” in favor of the Jewish people at the fourth blood moon—the end of September, 2015. “These occurrences are not coincidental! This is the hand of God orchestrating the signs in the heavens. The final Four Blood Moons are signaling that something big is coming … something that will change the world forever” (p. 237).

What Shall We Say to These Things?

Those casting these ominous horoscopes for the world are afflicted by a particular theory which is responsible for their preachments. That theory is known as Premillennialism. Though there are minor variations given by different promoters, the scheme runs something like this. (1) The OT predicted that Jesus would establish an earthly kingdom in which the Messiah would reign from Jerusalem. (2) When the Jews rejected Jesus he postponed those prophetic forecasts until He comes a second time. (3) Current conditions in the world show that that time is near upon us. (4) That saints are to be “raptured” to heaven at the beginning of a “Tribulation” period in which unprecedented wars upon the earth will occur. (5) At the height of this period Jesus will return and fight the “Battle of Armageddon.” (6) At the conclusion of these events Jesus will reign in Jerusalem during the Millennium.

In reality the entire fabric of Millennialism is entirely unscriptural. The theory is the same Jewish system of infidelity which interprets the entire corpus of Scripture after the manner of those who crucified Christ (1 Thess.2:14-16). Premillennialism is Jewish Doctrine. The ancient Jews rejected the Messiah of OT prophecy because they had interpreted its predictions in a naturalistic, literal manner. When Christ did not promise to be a military leader, making headquarters in Jerusalem, bringing Gentiles into their service, re-vitalizing their temple worship, and re-instituting David’s throne, they nationally repudiated him. He did not meet their expectations.

Judaism’s unbelief, throughout the centuries, has influenced Christianity to an astounding degree. This is particularly the case here. First, millennial doctrines themselves are Jewish misinterpretations. Eminent German church historian, August Neander, writes, “The idea of a millennial reign proceeded from Judaism. For among the Jews the representation was current, that the Messiah would reign a thousand years on earth, and then bring to a close the present terrestrial system. This calculation was arrived at, by a literal interpretation of Psalm 110:4 ‘a thousand years are in thy sight as one day.’ It was further argued that the World was created in six days, so it would last six thousand years, the seventh would e a period of repose, a Sabbath on earth to be followed by the destruction of the world” (History of Christian Dogmas, vol. 1, p. 248).

The classic work on Systematic Theology by the Presbyterian scholar Charles Hodge, substantiates this further. He offered the following as the number one objection to Premillennialism: “It is a JEWISH DOCTRINE. The principles adopted by its advocates in the interpretation of prophecy are the SAME as those adopted by the Jews at the time of Christ; and they have led substantially to the same conclusions.” Christ “disappointed these expectations: and the principles of prophetic interpretation on which those expectations were founded were proved to be incorrect” (Vol. 3, p. 862).

Ernest F. Kevan in Baker’s Dictionary of Theology (p. 532), argues the same point. “It is held that the OT prophets predicted the re-establishment of David’s kingdom and that Christ himself 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 basic fallacy of a materialistic view of the Christ’s kingdom is shared by Hagee and others of his premillennial tribe. The entire premise of the Blood Moon Theology is that past and future eclipses of the moon somehow coincide with the OT Jewish calendar and will be aligned with Jewish feast days and that “something big” will transpire in human history when this occurs.

But there is not one passage in all of the Bible that validates the idea that the OT Jewish feasts should be used as a timetable to determine anything future. Blood Moon Theology is without one shred of scriptural support. Furthermore, the NT shows us clearly that the OT law system was nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ (Col. 2:14-16). And just so that no one is confused on the subject of the moon, inspired Paul even mentions “feast days, new moons and Sabbath days” as things of the past.

The “Blood Moon” theory taught by John Hagee and other self-proclaimed “prophecy experts” informs us that “something big” is about to occur in behalf of the Jewish people in September, 2015.  This calculation is arrived at by studying the timing of the lunar eclipses during the past two years and noting their alignment with the Jewish Feasts of Tabernacles and Passover. The Blood Moon Theory, however, is totally without merit.

Postponement Theology

As an adjunct of Premillennial doctrine, the Blood Moon Fantasy is a “re-packaging” of the same old theories that have over and again been weighed in the balances and found wanting precisely because they lack biblical foundation. Premillennialism a Jewish doctrine and thereby shares the basic unbelief of the Jews. This fact alone should eliminate it from sober-minded Christians. For example, popular prophecy writer Hal Lindsey shows us that the entire millennial scheme boils down to whether the OT prophecies have been fulfilled.
“Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah. Had the people received Him, He would have fulfilled the kingly prophecies in their day … But when the Jewish nation rejected Christ, the fulfillment of His kingship was postponed until the final culmination of world history” (There’s a New World Coming, 30).

John Walvoord agrees. “As late as Acts 1:6, the disciples were still looking for a literal kingdom. While refused revelation concerning the ‘time’ of the kingdom, their hope is not denied, spiritualized, or transferred to the church. The kingdom hope is postponed and the new age of which they never dreamed was interposed, but the promises continued undimmed” (The Millennial Kingdom, 206-07).

Few writers have been so forthcoming. This basic tenet, however, is shared by premillennialists one and all. The prophesied kingdom of the OT was to be Jewish and promises relating to it have yet to be fulfilled.
Taking the cue from Walvoord [the kingdom hope was not ‘transferred’ to the church], the current assault against a NT fulfillment of OT prophecies is harangued as Replacement Theology. Dave Reagan of Lamb & Lion Ministries can hardly contain himself on this point. He equates this “theology” with “God invalidating His promises to the Jews” (The Jewish People: Rejected or Beloved?, 18).

So, per these writers, Jesus came “to fulfill the law and the prophets” (Matt. 5:17) but unexpectedly, the Jews rejected Him. The Lord’s intentions were thwarted and He “postponed” or pigeon-holed these plans until the future. Inspired testimony, however, shows us that the Jews never did properly understand their prophecies. Paul put it this way while in the synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia. “For they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them in condemning Him” (Acts 13:27).

Here the Jewish unbelief in Christ is shown to be grounded in the manner in which they misunderstood the voices of all of their prophets! They insisted that the terms of the OT predictions called for a physical revitalization of the Jewish state. It therefore comes with poor grace that the common thread of current prophecy writers like Lindsey, Walvoord, and Reagan is the adoption of Jewish, not apostolic, methods of interpretation.

The New Covenant

For instance, Reagan refuses the inspired explanation of Jeremiah’s New Covenant (31:31-34) which is given in Hebrews 8:6-13. “And the New Covenant, promised to the Jews in the Old Testament … and which went into effect at the death of Jesus, has been expanded to include believing Gentiles. But it remains as a promise to Israel and will not be fulfilled until the Jews turn their hearts to God and receive His Son as their Messiah” (Ibid., 17). Again, on p. 157-59 Reagan suggests that this New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is “an unconditional eternal covenant between God and Israel…Although it was made specifically with Israel, it was extended at the Cross to be made available to any person who places is or her faith in Jesus …”

Reagan here wants it both ways. The New Covenant was made “specifically” with fleshly Israel. It will not be fulfilled until Christ comes back. But it is available from the Cross to Gentiles also who God apparently allows to horn in on Jewish promises. God did not intend Gentiles—only Jews. But God changed His mind at the Cross to allow non-Jews. But it will not be “fulfilled” until Christ returns! Who cannot see the blatant contradiction here?
What is the problem? Reagan refuses to allow the NT to interpret the passage. The “Israel of God” is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:16) and the New Covenant was always intended to be inclusive of non-Jews (Heb. 8). When Jeremiah originally stated the NC would be with “the house of Israel and the house of Judah” he intended it to be in a spiritual sense.

This is why Walvoord explains the millennial belief as not merely a construct of what may occur in the future, but the ultimate determining factor in biblical interpretation. “It is not too much to say that millennialism is a determining factor in Biblical interpretation of comparable importance to the doctrines of verbal inspiration, the deity of Christ, substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection” (Ibid., 16). The entire framework of the Premillennial structure, of which The Blood Moon Scheme functions as a room in the house, revamps the manner in which one looks at the Bible as a whole. As yesteryear scholar pointed out, the Premillennial edifice is the “offspring of rabbinical artifices” (Patrick Fairbairn, Typology of Scripture, I, 123). How strange that Blood Moons and Premillennialism should commend itself to Christian interpreters!

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