| Re: |
I found a couple of articles by Stephen Sizer that were biblically correct as far as the "one new man", that scripture teaches us about. Apart from that, I don't know anything about that man. I neither endorse nor defend him as I don't have any information on Him except that some have railed at him being anti-semitic, which I have taken note of.
Regarding modern day Israel: Obviously, God allowed the nation of Israel to be created, but what myself and other brothers and sisters have been doing is trying to "rightly divide" the truth and understand from scripture whether this indeed has a place in biblical prophecy and the heart of God.
I have already said, and I will say it again as many times as I have to that I don't deny their right to exist. I don't deny anyone's right to exist. My only interest is a biblical one. I don't align myself with any people group or nations or militaries in this world. I also do not align myself with anti-semitic, anti-muslims or anti-anything except of course anti-christ.
I am pro Jesus and am only interested in the generation I am part of from a biblical perspective. As Oracio and Proudpapa and others have already intimated, it is patently unfair to accuse those who don't believe in dispensationalism to be anti-semitic. I trust you agree.
| 2015/10/31 15:27|
| Re: |
I was looking for some debates between Stephen Sizer and Jacob Prasch on Youtube. I could only find Jacob's challenge to him for a debate but I could not find the actual debate. Don't know if it ever happened or not. If you could provide me the text of Stephen's speech in Iran, I would be happy to review it and point out anti-semitic remarks, if I see them.
We have to be careful with guilt by association. The Army Chaplain that ministered to the prisoners of Nuremburg, Hitler's top generals, admirals and other leaders received thousands of letters accusing him of being a Jew hater. It seems that he led about 8 people to the Lord.
You can read about "Henry Gerecke – Chaplain to Nazi war criminals" and determine for yourself if he was a Jew Hater. http://www.messianicgoodnews.org/henry-gerecke-chaplain-to-nazi-war-criminals/
With that said, I am still not defending Stephen Sizer against accusations made in SI. I still want to read some content of him being anti-semitic. So, I am searching on my own, but if you do have the content of his speech in Iran, I would read it and give you my thoughts.
In the meantime, I am going to listen to a rather long debate that I found and hoping that in a 1 hour and 26 minutes debate I will be able to spot what you and others are stating about Stephen Sizer.
I am currently listening to "Has the Church Replaced Israel - Calvin Smith vs Stephen Sizer"
If Stephen Sizer expresses anti-semitism, I will gladly report to you that I did recognize it and it was unmistakeable. So you won't have to take my word for it, if for some reason you don't like my conclusion, here is what I will now listen to. Surely, in this debate, he will expose himself. I do not and will never side with anyone that wishes hurt for anyone else. That includes Israel or the Palestinians. Jesus will always be the only answer for sin.
| 2015/10/31 16:04|
| 2015/10/31 16:40||Profile|
| Re: |
Interesting to see this narrowpath.
No true Christian would stand before unbelievers and false religious people and denounce their brothers in the Lord, even if they disagree with them on issues like this. Sizer and his like are men who speaks with fork tongue! This just shows he is not a true christian. Maybe he would better spending his energy confronting the hypocrisy and immorality within the church he belongs to.
| 2015/10/31 17:06||Profile|
| Re: |
Ok, Dave and Narrowpath, I sincerely am taking note of what you say and will listen to the video that you posted, narrowpath.
I just listened to the opening remarks of Calvin Smith and Stephen Sizer. I pretty much got all of Stephen Sizer's opening remarks. Here they are. So far, I don't see anything anti-semitic but there is still 1 hour and 6 minutes left. I have no commentary in here and Mr. Sizer asks 3 questions. I think this was a good presentation on his part. Let's see how the rest goes...
Who are God's "chosen people"?
The assumption that the Jewish people are God's chosen people is deeply ingrained in Church life and to question it sounds heretical or anti-semitic. And yet, both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures insist that membership of God's people is open to all races on the basis of grace through faith.
For example, Psalm 87:4-6
"I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah."
Isaiah 56 seems to anticipate and repudiate the rise of an exclusive, Israeli nationalisism.
"Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." (Isa 56:6-7)
In the Hebrew scriptures, "God's people", "Israel", was an inclusive term not a racial designation. "Yes, the majority were Jews, obviously, but other races were welcome on the same basis of faith. In the New Testament the word "Chosen" was only used of Jesus and the followers of Jesus, Jews or Gentiles.
"Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect (other translations: use "chosen") of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;" (Col 3:12)
Paul is talking about Jews and Gentiles that believe in Jesus.
2nd Question: What is the significance of the Promise Land?
"Contrary to popular assumptions the scriptures insist that the land belongs to God and residence is always conditional."
"The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me." (Lev 25:23)
"The scriptures insist the land was open to all God's people on the basis of faith not race."
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Heb 11:8-10)
"Abraham was not looking for an earthly home, he was looking for an heavenly city. And then Hebrews 11 concludes by saying: That they were commended for their faith and none of them received what was promised because God had planned something "better for us" (NT Saints) so that together with they (Hebrew Saints) we would all be made perfect. That is, one people of God, not two. So, the land was only ever intended to be a temporary residence, yes God may have plans for the Jewish people today in the land, but I don't find that explicit in the New Testament."
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Heb 11:39-40)
3rd Question: Does God have a separate plan for Israel apart from the Church?
"Many believe and Calvin has expressed it eloquently that God has a continuiing covenant with Israel separate from the Church and that is often based on Romans 9-11. But, if we go back in Paul's logic in Romans and begin in chapter 2, he defines a Jew who is not a Jew outwardly, where circumcision is of the flesh, but one is a Jew who is one inwardly and circumcision is of the heart. So, Paul has already defined what a Jew is, early on in Romans 2. When you get to Romans 9, he limits what he means by Israel, Romans 9:6-8. Paul is narrowing down his definition of Israel. He is saying not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor, because they are descendants are they Abraham's children, on the contrary, it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." (Rom 9:6-8)
Galatians 4, Gentile believers are the children of Sarah, like Isaac, and those who reject Jesus (of Jewish origin) are the children of Hagar, Paul says.
In Phillipians 3,
"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." (Php 3:3)
Paul explicitly identifies the Church as the "true circumcision". He is using language of circumcision to refer to Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus. Now, I would argue that this is entirely consistent with an inclusive people of God which I have already summarized. Of course, I agree with Calvin that God has not rejected the Jewish people, His covenant purpose with them, as with every other race is that they may be saved.
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." (Rom 10:1)
To create one people for Himself made up of Jews and Gentiles.
"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain ONE NEW MAN, so making peace;" (Eph 2:15)
His covenant purposes are fulfilled in them (Jews) and in us through Jesus. Very explicitly, Ephesians 2, he is talking to Gentiles (uncirmcumsized), separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in the commonwealth of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise, having no hope...have now been made nigh by the blood of Christ...Who hath made both one (people)...for He Himself is our Peace."
"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (Eph 2:12-14)
His purpose is to create one new people (one new man) out of the two thus making peace reconciling both through the cross.
To summarize: In the New Testament, it explicitly states that the promises made to Abraham were fulfilled in Jesus Christ and those who acknowledge Him, irrespective of their origins. God's blessings are by grace through faith not works nor race.
Let me conclude with Galatians 3:16:
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Then, he goes on in verses 28 and 29,
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal 3:28-29)
If you belong to Christ you are Abraham's seed.
"I take that as a promise that applies to me as well as my Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ. We are heirs according to the promises made to Abraham through Christ alone. So, it is not an understatement to state that what is at stake is our understanding of the Gospel, the Centrality of the Cross, the Unity of the Church, does God have two people or one, and the nature of our missionary mandate not the least of which is to the Jewish people."
| 2015/10/31 17:46|
| Re: |
I do believe that God, who still has an everlasting covenant with Israel will work with the present day, secular state of Israel consisting of mostly unconverted Jews to bring about His Kingdom on Earth with Jerusalem at the present location will be the capital. Jew and Gentile will share the millennial blessings together. Of course there are many more events that in the process like the great tribulation, rapture and resurrection of the dead, and Christ's return in glory as the Messiah.
As to John Wesley's interpretation, I think in his day and age the geo-political scene has not been set yet so that he would be able to see that. Only after the Zionist movement, WWII and the holocaust was the church able to understand the significance and fulfillment of bible prophecies concerning Israel to a greater degree and it is still unfolding as we follow the events in the Middle East. One day in the future we will look back towards today and wonder why we did not understand the events of 2015.
Leave Wesley alone, he has done us much good. Many men of God in the 18th and 19th century could not see it either.
| 2015/10/31 18:09||Profile|
| Re: |
"Sizer and his like are men who speaks with fork tongue! This just shows he is not a true christian. Maybe he would better spending his energy confronting the hypocrisy and immorality within the church he belongs to"
| 2015/10/31 18:13|
| Re: For Oracio|
"I was referring to having a certain type of sentiment in which one is quick to call Christians Jew haters on account of disagreeing with their view on the Jew and Gentile issue; a sentiment that has no patience for those that disagree even if they disagree respectfully or civilly. I am convinced that that type of sentiment does indeed stem from a certain form of racism, especially if said persons happen to be Jewish themselves. Those that hold to this form of racism basically try to cover themselves by quickly accusing others of being Jew haters for disagreeing. I don't think it's that difficult for us to see this type of sentiment/racism here as of late."
Doc: I agree with this and some of the replies here have been overboard. Yet from my experience, anyone who as any views about a future for Israel as a redeemed nation are many times quickly labelled as "Zionists." The scriptures speak in many places of a return of Jews to the ancient land and this is going to have to happen in some way and in some fashion by those Christians today who believe it are almost automatically labelled as carnal Zionists. And then usually comes a small lecture to the effect that it is not the natural seed who count but the true descendants of Abraham are the children of faith. As if that fact is not known by those who believe Israel has a future. The term Zionist to describe other Christians is almost always used in a deragatory manner as if to plunge the knife in and turn it a little bit. If the scriptures speak of a return to the land then to believe that is not to automatically have thrown in with a supposed Israeli police apartheid state etc. My contention is if you want to see apartheid like police states then look at the Muslim nations surrounding Israel. Yet Israel the "Zionists" are always singled out. Having said that, some of the replies here have been overboard in my opinion but at the same time critics of Zionism rarely if ever make note of some of the reasons political Zionism came about. Anti-semitism even from the church played a part in the rise of modern Zionism yet it is rarely acknowledged. Enough of this but I think the way the term Zionist is many times used against other Christians ought to be reconsidered.
"Sorry, maybe I should have been more clear. Our view is that there are not two separate peoples of God with two separate plans but only one people of God made up of Jew and Gentile both in this age and in the age to come. We do not believe that Scripture teaches that there is a separate plan for ethnic Israel, even if said plan includes Gentiles. Again, we believe that Scripture teaches only one plan for one people of God, namely spiritual Israel which is made up of both Jew and Gentile. Hope that helps to clarify things a bit."
Doc: I am not a dispensational or pre-trib believer yet I guess I may suffer from guilt by association because I often am automatically placed in the dispensational camp because I believe Israel has a future. To believe this is not necessarily to embrace Darbyism and all that comes with it. I believe there always has and always will be ONE group of God's people and there are NOT two plans - one for Israel and one for the church. This a major error in my opinion and has had dramatic negative results in understanding prophecy and the inheritance of the saints in Christ. I believe there is one plan for the people of God that includes Jews and Gentiles of course but don't believe that since there is "no Jew or Gentile in Christ" and because the promises were fulfilled in Christ that this nullifies or spiritualizes a future for a redeemed Israel living in the land. Because there is said to be no Jew or Gentile in Christ has led to over spiritualization and allegorization of many prophecies. I don't buy into the notion that believing that a literal Israel will live in a literal land someday as a belieiving nation somehow sets up walls and divisions again when this is part of the original covenants that Gentiles were allowed to become part of and participate in. It's the Jew who was first entrusted with the oracles of God (Rom 3:1-2, Romans 9:4). That does not make me one who embraces a belief that God has two separate plans for two separate peoples. That is anathema to the whole drama of redemption in my opinion. There is a large group of believers in the world today who are pre-mill who are not dispensational but yet because they are pre-mill their position is usually confused with Darbyism and dispensationalism.
Well, it's mighy late and I got up from sleep for a while. I hope I haven't rambled here as I just thought I would take some time to fashion at least some kind of reply.
| 2015/11/1 3:58||Profile|
| Re: |
It was clearly brought out that Christian Zionism can be used in a pejorative way, and yet it was also brought out that there are many levels of Christian Zionism and not all of them used pejoratively or at least meant "pejoratively". Calvin Smith then said he believed in a Jewish homeland and he believes it for theological reasons, "so, I guess technically, I am a Christian Zionist." They both admitted there are extremes on both sides and there are many definitions on both sides both polemic and pejorative and Calvin even admitted that he is guilty of polemics and pejorative stances, sometimes.
Steven Sizer says he does not deny them a homeland. (Read about his burden later on in this post).
Steven Sizer said "the extremes of Christian Zionism are not necessarily the norm in Britain but that he was dealing primarily with American Christian Zionism, people like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell (now deceased), Oral Roberts (now deceased), Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and John Hagee. Hagee for example, who is pastor of a 20,000 member church in San Antonio, Texas, piped into 99 million homes weekly, said "the United States must join Israel in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill Bible prophecy and speed the return of Christ." This is one of the most influential Christian leaders in America calling on America to bomb Iran. I see that as provocative and anathema in terms of the fact that Jesus has called us to be peacemakers not widowmakers."
(I posted this before regarding Hagee: http://www.messianicgoodnews.org/in-defence-of-the-gospel-a-response-to-john-hagees-in-defense-of-israel/)
Steven Sizer says that his burden "is with those elements within Christian Zionism that are treating the Jews as a 3rd act in a 4 act play."
Calvin Smith said, "You know, I have no problems with that and I think there are extremes of Christian Zionism". (He got a wrong impression reading Steven's blog and was glad that he actually met Steven and spoke with him.)
Calvin Smitth, then went on to say, "I do not think for example it was acceptable to talk about Christian Zionism, in for example, a country like Iran. I think there are certain settings where you should not talk about Christians to non-Christians." Calvin Smith's impression is that Steven is saying this about all Christians and generalizing but Steven quickly corrected him that he does not say that and specifically spoke about extreme Christian Zionism in Iran. He also said, and Calvin was quite surprised and happy to hear it that Steven has critiqued the President of Iran and and said Ahmadinejad has made provocative statements. He said, "the irony is, outside of Israel the largest community of Jewish people in the Middle East is in Iran and they have been there for thousands of years and they are not all queuing up to leave." Steven said, he is just agreeing with Calvin that "we should not use generalizations to describe Americans or Christian Zionists and the same applies to the Iranian people. He indicated that "there is as much disagreement amongst Iranians with Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guard as there would be in Syria or in Britain. Iranians need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and I have been instrumental in getting Scripture into Iran and working with the Church there to support the Church which is suffering deeply. I recognize that."
The moderator asked him, "just as you have listed people in America that you totally disagree with what they are saying, would you also totally disagree with what is being said by the President of Iran?"
Steven Sizer: "Of course I would. I have critiqued him and as a result of that I no longer get invited back on certain programs."
Calvin Smith was pleasantly astonished and said, "That is good to hear, I did not know that. That is really good to hear."
Steven Sizer: "I will go anywhere to share the Gospel with anyone that will listen."
Calvin Smith had this to say about extreme Christian Zionists: "They are guilty of Israeliolatry, a worship of Israel rather than Jesus. I think that is a very real danger. He doesn't think the extreme Christian Zionists have as much political clout in America as people assume." He knows many people certainly think that and it is only his opinion.
Steven Sizer said this: "My burden is that we are heading for an apocalyptic situation in the Middle East. My burden is for the Jewish people in Israel as well as the Palestinians. Nuclear, Biological, Chemical weapons are no respecter of race. The Middle East is too small an area for it to get out of hand."
Steven also said there are things happening on both sides in Israel with the Jewish people and Palestinians that are creating a very dangerous and unstable situation as much for Israelis as it is for Palestinians and therefore, "My burden is, how can we diffuse that, how can we find a way forward that will see Jews and Palestinians living, God-willing side by side in peace? It has happened in the past and it can happen again as it has here in Europe, but we have to hold both (sides) together in our prayers and our actions.
In closing Calvin Smith said "It was a pleasure to meet you, it really has and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I know some people on the pro-Israel side have criticized you but I see you as a genuine brother in Christ, I just disagree with a lot of the things that you say and I would like to dialogue with you some more."
They both were asked to give our their websites:
This was an excellent debate, very civil and very informative and extremely enlightening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd1Lve39Bvg
Except for Steven Sizer's theological intro that I posted earlier, you should listen to this debate (don't take my word for it) as I only wrote in this post some non-theological highlights that have seems to cause a lot of controversy.
What I take away from this debate:
There are extremes on both sides that are definitely hateful. As Christians, we should not associate with any of these groups, calling each other terrible names and that we can have a good dialogue on SI regarding the scriptures without closing off discussion, by getting emotional and taking sides against one another.
Another thing that this debate brought out for me is that (and I have been a Christian now for just shy of 40 years) a real apocalyptic culture has been created in the United States and we have exported it around the world where people seem to be on edge all of the time, wasting precious energy and resources getting "ready" for persecution and the end times.
I know people that will not have children out of fear for the days they are living in. People that will not get married, people spending vast amounts of money to make sure their bug-out shelter is stocked. I know young people (Christians) that have a fatalistic, pessimisitic and cynical attitude about their future and the day they are living in. We have done this to them. Our generation. We need to change this.
I just want to say that we all need to refocus our spiritual eyes and heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, and "occupy till He comes". There are people dying everyday without a Savior but so many of us are too busy with the coming apocalypse on our minds. If the American Church would just refocus on Jesus Christ instead of geo-politics, I think then you would see the revival that you long so much for. I am of the opinion that many Christians are walking in fear and trepidation today, because of all the apocalyptic rhetoric and that they are unknowingly taking sides against people that need a Savior. I have had to correct many things in my heart and am very thankful for this video and other resources that I have been looking at lately. We must love the muslim, the Jew, the Hispanic and remember that the spirit of Anti-christ is always trying to set men against men. We have been fed this slogan, "No peace till Jesus Christ comes back" with regard to the Jewish people and Palestinians, and then we just believe that there won't be even though, we know that when Jesus comes into one's heart, He does make peace and more than than He makes the Jew and Gentile, ONE NEW MAN. Should we just give up and resign ourselves to NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) warfare in the Mideast or should we do everything to bring about a peaceful resolution. What if all the extreme apocalyptic Christian Zionists, spent all their energy in the pursuit of peace rather than war? Something to thing about. It goes without saying that we also appear pretty "kooky" to the world, obsessed with end-time scenarios, and the world is not blind, they sense fear on Christians, and not peace.
In conclusion, we should believe the best about each other, not assuming each other is "extreme" and continue to try to have good dialogues regarding the Scriptures and pray for peace amongst the Israelis and Palestinians.
| 2015/11/1 9:44|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: |
Docs, thank you for that clarification. Unfortunately I don't have time right now to get into the particulars of our disagreements on this issue.
Julius21, thank you for that last post and also for all the resources you have shared. I started listening to the debate last night but was only able to watch about the first 22 minutes because it was late and I was too sleepy. I hope to finish it soon. So far it looks very good. I also checked out www.messianicgoodnews.org and found it to be very refreshing in terms of hearing from Jewish brethren and seeing this issue from a very biblical perspective.
| 2015/11/1 10:51||Profile|