Teaching: The Spirit of Truth vs the Spirit of Error Regarding Israel
1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Bible prophecy can often be very divisive, especially prophecy about the nation of Israel and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I am what is now referred to as a Christian Zionist. I believe that the everlasting covenant established by the God of Israel with Abrahan, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants is still in effect. At the heart of this everlasting covenant is the land of Israel. As a Christian Zionist, I believe that the existence of the modern nation of Israel is a direct fulfillment of Genesis 17:7,8 and many, many other scriptures. My belief is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Genesis 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. (8) And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
In opposition to my belief in the scriptures is what is now known as Replacement Theology. This system of belief generally believes, that because Israel rejected Jesus Christ, the everlasting covenant no longer is in effect with national Israel. The New Covenant and the Church have replaced Israel, and God has no future prophetic plan for the nation of Israel. Because of this belief system, the Old Testament promises to Israel are no longer valid and most the scriptures that deal directly with Israel are now spiritualized to have some implication for the church.
These two views of Bible prophecy are now starting to openly clash as many leaders of the Replacement Theology camp are vocally attacking Christian Zionists for supporting Israel. Many denominations such as the Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopal and Catholics have made position statements that the existence of modern Israel has no connection whatsoever with the Bible. A good example of this is a position paper called THE JERUSALEM DECLARATION ON CHRISTIAN ZIONISM (Statement by the Patriarch and Local Heads of Churches In Jerusalem.) This declaration was signed by representatives from the Lutheran, Episcopal. Syrian Orthodox and Catholic Church. The following is a typical statement from those who reject Christian Zionism.
“Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel. The Christian Zionist programme provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today. We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation … We call upon all people to reject the narrow world view of Christian Zionism and other ideologies that privilege one people at the expense of others.”
In my book As America Has Done to Israel, I go into detail about Replacement Theology and Christian Zionism. I also show why the everlasting covenant with Israel is still in effect.
There is now a militancy arising from the Replacement Theology camp against the Christian Zionists. Through the years, I have received severe criticism from the Replacement Theology adherents. Lately the attack against Israel has become more vicious and frequent. They are organizing against Israel and are directly supporting the Palestinian position against Israel.
Both the Christian Zionists and Replacement Theology adherents believe their doctrine is correct. Both sides say they believe the Bible and base their beliefs on the Bible. All can quote scriptures to justify their beliefs. The Bible gives us a very simple method to test which doctrine is true.
The epistle of 1 John clearly tells us the method to determine of someone was from God regarding the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The test was whether Jesus Christ literally came in the flesh. Those that believed He did were of God.
1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
Conversely, those that did not believe that He came in the flesh were not of God, but were of the spirit of antichrist. This is a very simple test that revolved around the literalness of Bible prophecy.
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
This was aimed at the gnostics which believe that Jesus Christ was just a spirit being that did not have a body, but notice that it was the literal interpretation of the Bible that is what the Apostle John was defending. There was much more than the Lord Jesus came in the flesh because if He was merely a man, He could not redeem mankind. EVERYTHING about the first coming of the Lord Jesus was LITERAL. This is what John is driving at in showing who is from God and who is manifesting the spirit of antichrist. It was over the literalness of Christ’s first coming according to the Bible.
There is really no scripture about Christ’s first coming that was not literal. The following are just a few verses to show the Old Testament scriptures prophesying the Lord’s coming as a man were all literal. There is no spiritualizing the first coming of the Lord Jesus. It is all literal!
Isaiah 7:14 He was born of a virgin
Micah 5:2 He was born in Bethlehem
Isaiah 9:1,2 His ministry would be from the Galilee
Isaiah 42:6,7 His healing ministry opened the physical eyes of the blind
Zechariah 9:9 He presented Himself to Israel as King riding on a donkey.
Isaiah 53:9 He was sinless
Isaiah 53:10 He was made an offering for sin
Psalm 22:14-17 He died on the cross as described in these verses.
Psalm 16:10 Jesus Christ bodily rose from the dead.
The above verses show what it means that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Any denial of these verses means that this person is of the spirit of antichrist and not of God. For example, how can someone deny the virgin birth, and yet “confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh”? He had to be born from a virgin, so He could be the sinless Son of God to redeem mankind? To deny He was born from a virgin was to deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh.
Now let us look at the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
By applying the test for His first coming, we can determine whether a doctrine of His Second Coming is from God or the spirit of the antichrist. The test is centered on the literalness of His coming. The Old Testament was literal about His first coming, so what changed about the literalness of His Second Coming? Can the first coming of Jesus Christ be literal, and yet, somehow the Second Coming is now switched to being spiritualized? Jesus Christ is coming the second time literally just as His first coming was.
Luke 21:24 Jesus Christ stated that the destruction of Jerusalem and dispersion of the Jews was temporary.
Zechariah 14:3,4 Jerusalem will be the literal location of His Second Coming.
Zechariah 12:6 Jerusalem will be the capital of a Jewish state.
Zechariah 12:6 Israel will be a great military power.
Ezekiel 36:16-24 God will restored the Jews back to Israel in unbelief before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Romans 11:26,27 At the Second Coming all Israel will be saved.
Ezekiel 36:8-15 The land of Israel will be greatly blessed.
Ezekiel 38:8 The Jews will be restored to Israel from all nations in the latter-day.
Daniel 7:13,14 Jesus Christ will return with the “Clouds of Heaven,” His church to establish a kingdom on earth.
Revelation 19:5-9 After the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, His bride will return with Him to Jerusalem.
Revelation 20:3-5 His kingdom will last of 1000 years.
Revelation 19:11-15 He is returning bodily.
Zechariah 14:12 When Jesus Christ returns, He will annihilate the armies gathered to destroy the Jews and Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 43:7 He will rule on the throne of David from His temple on Mount Zion.
There are many more scriptures but the ones posted above show what is needed to believe in the literal Second Coming of Jesus Christ. An integral part of Christ’s Second Coming is the restoration of the nation of Israel as He is returning to Jerusalem, and all of Israel will call upon Him as their Savior! This is the time when all Israel and not the church will be saved. How is it possible to spiritualize Romans 11:25-28?
Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26-27) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (28) As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
The First and Second Coming of Jesus Christ together:
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
Based on Replacement Theology, is one suppose to believe that verse nine is literal, while the following verse is now spiritualized to mean something else? That Ephraim and Jerusalem now mean the church? The Lord Jesus came literally to Jerusalem in verse 9, but somehow Jerusalem in verse 10 is not to be understood literally? These two verses together show the fallacy of Replacement Theology. They both are literal.
Any person that tampers with the literalness of Christ’s Second Coming is playing with spiritual fire and is falling under the danger being condemned as being from the spirit of antichrist. How can someone claim to being led by the Holy Spirit and deny the literalness of Christ’s Second Coming, and in many cases actively hinder the fulfillment of God’s prophetic word? How can someone claim Jesus Christ as his Savior, and yet refuse to see the connection between the everlasting covenant and modern Israel?
The nation of Israel was twice destroyed in 600 BC and 70 AD. The second dispersion lasted for 1900 years, but now Jerusalem is once again the capital of Israel. They speak Hebrew which had been an extinct language. They even have shekels once again for money. The unbelief of Replacement Theology is very, very powerful. With Israel once again a nation, it takes a greater unbelief to deny Israel, then it does to believe the nation is the fulfillment of prophecy and covenant.
The Lord Jesus stated the coming destruction of Jerusalem, in His day, was only temporary until the “times of the Gentiles were fulfilled”. Current events are indicating that the “times of the Gentiles” are coming to an end.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Just as apostates in the Apostle John’s day refused to believe the literalness of Christ’s first coming, now in our day there are huge numbers of people who refuse to believe in the literalness of Christ’s Second Coming. These people are in great spiritual danger. They share the same unbelief as Muslims as they refuse to believe the Bible. The Muslims reject modern Israel as does Replacement Theology. Because of this unbelief, God is in the process of merging these two groups. This can clearly be seen in the rhetoric and actions in many of the Replacement Theology camp. They and Muslims both use the very same rhetoric and arguments against Israel. They both are actively trying to delegitimize Israel.
Islam is being led by the spirit of antichirst, and now many of the Replacement Theology camp have merged with them. They face the same judgment as Islam. Whoever interferes with God’s prophetic plan for Israel faces judgment from the Holy God of Israel. The reason for this is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is directly tied to the nation of Israel. He is returning to Jerusalem!
Obadiah 1:15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done (To Israel), it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
There are many believers in Replacement Theology who are not haters of Israel. Although, it appears that the majority of the leaders of this theology are. I am appealing to you to renounce this doctrine and break free of the spirit of error which is leading it. The spirit of error did not believe in the literal first coming of the Lord Jesus and once again it is manifesting itself about His Second Coming. The spiritual delusion of Replacement Theology is getting stronger as God is merging it with Islam. You do not want to be on the wrong side of God’s prophetic word regarding the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now is the time to repent of this false doctrine and come out from its spiritual delusion. It is time to be under the blessings of following the truth of God’s prophetic word.
Notice the Apostle John said that “we” are of the truth and those that know God hear “us“. Knowing the truth and being of God was anchored in 1 John 4:2 and literally believing in the first coming of Jesus Christ. This was the Spirit of Truth. Today, nothing has changed. This is exactly what is needed to be of the Spirit of Truth and looking for the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Which spirit are you following: the Spirit of Truth or the spirit of error?
1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.