Iran to Another Prophecy Conference
Fear mongering is a lucrative money maker in Evangelicalism. With the invention of Dispensationalism in the 19th century (a notorious century for cult formations [e.g. Mormons; JWs; Seventh Day Adventists; Christian Science; etc.]), came the sensationalizing of eschatology. Instead of Christianity being about Christ and His church, a third party appeared on the scene…ethnic Israel. Of course, bad Bible interpretation was the root cause of this new weed in the garden.
Dispensationalism has some variants in it, which have produced factions in the system, but the main thrust of the position is that “Israel” means the Jews, rather than meaning, “God’s chosen people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9; 7:9).” Despite the Apostle Paul’s argument in Romans 9:6, that not all Israel (Jewish people) is Israel (the church), and his clear allusion to the church being the Israel of God (Gal 6:16), Dispensationalists have retro-fitted a number of covenants, applying to Jewish people, only.
In bizarre form for Christians, Dispensationalists talk and write, almost mystically about God’s plan of salvation for the Jews. They refer, in exclusive terms, to the Jews being God’s chosen people. Setting aside typology from the Old Testament, and missing Isaiah’s allusion to Christ being the Israel of God (Is 49:3), there is an awkward inclusion of unbelieving Jews into God’s plan of salvation. Thus, the misconstrued conclusion, “all Israel (Jews) will be saved.”
Bible interpretation that has two people of God, under two different covenants, and two ways of salvation is the root behind today’s Jewish-centered eschatology. Long before the mythical rapture theory is to be enacted, Dispensationalists practically rapture the church out of God’s plan of salvation!
The prominence of the Gentile inclusion (Acts 15) is dismissed, as an after thought of the Almighty. Is God the God of the Jews only? It seems as if some Dispensationalists wish it were so. When the United Nations permitted the formation of an ethnic, Israeli state in May 1948, the Dispensationalists self-justified their theological system, using eschatology (the study of end things).
According to Dispensational eschatology, Israel, the new secular nation state, was necessary in God’s prophetic plan for the end of the world. How else would the Temple in Jerusalem be built, so that Antichrist could defile it? Also a re-gathered priesthood would prepare to offer up animal sacrifices, for the atonement of sins for the Jewish salvation (the second way of salvation).
As the secular nation state of Israel has grown prosperous and powerful in the politics of the Middle East, it has been aided, in part by the advocacy of Christian Zionists, some from the likes of Dispensationalists. Despite their hatred of Jesus Messiah, the Jews had a friend in the Dispensationalists, typically comprised of conservative Evangelicals.
As the Israelis opened the door to tourism for Dispensationalists, the Dispensationalists wrote the sacred book of prophetic speculation, to glorify the position of the Jews. Every event in the Middle East became a new sign of Christ’s coming again. In truth, Jesus Christ is coming again (Rev 19:11–21), to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5), but no one knows when, except God Himself (Mt 24:36). Also, in truth, every event in human history, since the Second Advent was prophetically announced, and then affirmed by Jesus, serves as a sign.
In one sense, Jesus Christ has come again with the sending of His Spirit (Jn 14:26; 15:26), which means that every born again soul serves as a sign that God is gathering His elect, that is, their souls in the present time (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). When Christ comes, bodily, a second time, He will raise His elect, redeemed people from every nation to life (Jn 5:25–29). This will include the conjoining of the glorified body and soul, of those who died in Christ, both Jew and Gentile (Rom 8:30).
The reprobate (Rom 9:22), both Jew and Gentile, will be raised body and soul to just judgment (Jn 5:25–29; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11). The soul will be summoned from hell, and it will be conjoined with an imperishable body, for an eternity of torment in the lake of fire (Rev 20:14–15).
The next end times frenzy, born of current events in the Middle East, will surely be the inspiration for a new flurry of end times prophecies. New books and “must attend” prophecy conferences will once again be all the rage. The spiritual immaturity of conservative Evangelicals, under the influence of Dispensationalism, is profound. Every wind of prophetic doctrine blows through the church, and we are off to the end times races again (ad nauseam).
Might you be interested, in being delivered from Dispensational drama and speculative eschatology? It is as simple as correcting your Bible interpretation. Instead of two different people of God, see that Jew and Gentile are one people in Christ (Gal 3:28). Instead of seeing two covenants (or five or seven!), recognize there is only one eternal covenant of grace (Heb 13:20). God has made one unconditional agreement to save, by Himself and for Himself, the one elect people of God (Eph 1:4–5; 1 Pet 2:9).
Finally, instead of getting excited about a rebuilt Temple, and animal sacrifices for the forgiveness of Jewish sins…look to Jesus Christ, alone (Heb 12:2). He is our great high priest (Heb 4:14; 9:11), who offered Himself (Heb 7:27; 9:14), as the Lamb of God for the one time (Jn 1:29), once for all His people sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 2:24).
Friend, there are no more sacrifices for sins. Christians are believer priests who offer up the sacrifices of praise, through one Mediator (1 Tim 2:5), who is Himself the Temple of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:20–22). You must be fitted into Christ, the Cornerstone (Is 28:16), as a living stone, whether you are a Jew or Gentile (1 Pet 2:4–5).
As you look for King Jesus’ second coming (Mt 24–25; Mk 13; Lk 21), it is wise to prepare as a bride on her wedding day. She is cleaned up, specially dressed and adorned in the white robe of purity, holiness, and godliness. Allowing yourself to be a victim of speculative fear mongers, who are glad to take your money, is a sure sign of spiritual immaturity. Do not be the one who has to confess again this time, “Iran again…to yet another prophecy conference.”
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 5, 2022