Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv, as the capital of Israel seems to me to be an act of monumental folly, guaranteed to provoke a huge backlash and wave of anger across the Middle East. It will be sure to add to the ranks of Islamist terrorists. It will alienate still further some of the US’s supposed allies (such as Turkey). And it will increase the influence of Iran throughout the Middle East. In other words, it will have precisely the opposite effect of the stated goals of the United States in the Middle East.

What is interesting about this decision is that it is clearly influenced by two main things. Firstly, there is the huge sway that Israel has over the United States and its foreign policy. But secondly, it is because much of Trump’s support base are premillennial Christians who see the Jewish people as God’s chosen people, and the rebirth of Israel as the fulfilment of biblical prophecy. Even now, I expect that huge numbers of Christians in the US are turning to Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 to try to work out what comes next. Who is Gog in all this?

It is this second issue that I want to pick up on, basically because it is the driver for the first. So let me begin by stating this to all those who believe that Jews, by reason of their being descendants of Abraham, are God’s covenant people: They are not.

The New Testament makes it clear that even within Israel of old, there were two types of people. Though they were all physical descendants of Abraham, not all were his spiritual descendants. Here is the Apostle Paul:

“But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.’ This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: ‘About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son'” (Romans 9:6).

What is he saying? That although Israel was God’s covenant nation, and all the people within it were part of that covenant, not all of them were ultimately God’s people. What was the difference between those who were God’s people and those who weren’t? Very simply, it was faith. Faith in God’s promises. Faith in the coming seed of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head. Faith that through this seed, God would bless all nations.

In other words, Abraham, who believed these covenant promises and it was counted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3) had two types of offspring — those who also believed God’s promises and those who didn’t.

And so when we get to the fulfilment of those promises – the Coming of the Messiah into the world – there were again those two types of Abraham’s physical descendants. Those who accepted that this was the Messiah God had promised to Abraham, and those who didn’t. Jesus was very explicit about this:

“They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.’ They said to him, ‘We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father — even God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me'” (John 8:39-45).

And then later on in the same discourse:

“Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, “He is our God.” But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.’ So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:54-59).

“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” This is the nub of it. Abraham believed in God’s Messiah. He rejoiced in it and had he been alive when Jesus came into the world, he would have rejoiced all the more. And he would have proclaimed that this was the One whom God had told him about. All who were truly Abraham’s children — after the Spirit and not the flesh — also rejoiced in it.

But the unbelieving sons of Abraham – sons after the flesh but not after the Spirit – rejected Jesus. And so in accordance with the principle of lex tallonis — an eye for an eye — Jesus rejected them:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matthew 37-39).

This was confirmed when the Roman armies came and destroyed Jerusalem in AD70.

And so Abraham’s children according to the flesh are not in any way God’s covenant people. God’s covenant people are Abraham’s offspring according to the Spirit — that is those who believe what Abraham believed. That is Christians.

Abraham’s offspring according to the flesh can become God’s covenant people, but — just like everyone else — this can only happen if and when they accept the Messiah that God sent 2,000 years ago. Again, Jesus is explicit on this point:

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”

Whether you accept his teaching or reject it, this is Jesus clearly saying that there is one way and one way alone to come to God. It is by faith in him as the Messiah, the Christ of God, the Lamb slain. There is no other way he says, and so the idea that those Jews who continue to reject the King that God sent to them are somehow God’s covenant people is refuted clearly by Jesus himself.

Which is why I’m baffled as to why millions of Christians, particularly dispensationalists in the US, seem to have persuaded themselves that the Jews are still “the people of God” or “God’s chosen people”. Nay, nay and thrice nay. Their situation is absolutely no different from that of the atheist, the Buddhist, the Muslim and so on. They don’t have a free pass to eternal life because they are descended from Abraham. Jesus made that so, so clear. Like everyone else, they must repent and believe the Gospel.

According to Jesus, those who do not accept him as the Saviour of the World are:

“condemned already because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:18).

But thanks be to God, the reverse is also true. When the atheist (such as I once was) or the Buddhist or the Muslim or the Jew comes to believe in Jesus as is Saviour; as the Saviour of the World; as the One whom Abraham looked forward to with rejoicing, then they shall be grafted into God’s covenant and be granted eternal life. And there shall be much rejoicing in Heaven.

5 thoughts on “The Unbiblical Teaching That Has Driven Donald Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

  1. Hi Rob: Thanks for explaining your understanding of the book of Revelation. That will help me to understand all of your Biblical views. While your description of salvation is faultless, I am unable to believe that The Great Tribulation as described with half the world dead, a Beast, a false prophet, an army of 200 million from the east etc. has all occurred. For clarification, do you believe that Revelation and Gen. 1-12 are all metaphor? thanks, wayne

    1. Hi Wayne,

      The Beast is described in Revelation 17 as having seven heads. It tells us that: “the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, *one is*, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while.” The key here is *one is*. He is there when John is writing. Who is he talking about? Well, on the assumption that he was writing before AD70 (and there is only one reference for it being written afterwards, from St. Iraneaeus), he would have been writing this in the early AD60s, just before the great persecution of Christians which lasted from November AD64 to Spring AD68 (42 months), under the reign of Nero Caesar. Nero was the 6th of the Caesars and he was alive when John was writing. And the numerical value of the Hebrew letters in Neron Kesar (Nero Caesar) is 666.

      The False Prophet is the apostate nation of Israel at that time. Whereas the first beast comes from the sea (which is always a scriptural reference to the gentiles), the second comes from “the Land”, which is always in scripture referring to “the Land of Israel”. Israel is called the False Prophet in contrast to Jesus the true Prophet (foretold in Deuteronomy 18). Whereas Jesus came as a prophet from God telling the truth, Israel (its leaders and much of what Jesus called that wicked and adulterous generation) rejected him and aligned with Rome to have him put to death.

      As for the army of 200 million, this is a complete mistranslation. The phrase used in the Greek is “Two myriads of myriads”. It is the same expression used in Psalm 68:17, where it says, “The chariots of God are twice ten thousand [double myriads], thousands upon thousands”. John therefore meant to signify to his hearers that though the army is a Pagan one, it was still *God’s army* coming to judge. Just as Nebuchadnezzar’s army was *God’s army* judging apostate Israel centuries before, so it is here.

      And this is the key. Too many people come to Revelation and read it with current world events in mind. It is not meant to be read like that. Revelation contains more references and allusions to other parts of Scripture than any other book. We are meant to read it and think back to those references to get its proper meaning, and allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.

      Just to give one example, in the description of the fall of Babylon, John tells us “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.” He then says “Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls!”
      If you look carefully back through Scripture, you will find all those things associated with the Tabernacle, Temple and Priesthood of Israel. In other words, we don’t need to speculate about what it might mean in a modern context (i.e. will Babylon be rebuilt and sell all these things); Scripture tells us where we find these things. And just in case we still didn’t get it, John tells us that “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.” Where have we heard similar language before? In Matthew 23, when Jesus the true prophet is clearly prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem: “Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, *so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth*, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

      And finally to your question about whether I believe Revelation and Genesis 1-12 are all metaphor? No. I am a creationist and I take Genesis 1-12 literally. That being said, it is also laced with symbolism which carries through the whole Bible. As for Revelation, again it is both. It does indeed describe real life events (the period of persecution/tribulation of Christians under Nero, which lasted 42 months, and then the Jewish rebellion against Rome and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70, which again lasted for 42 months). But it is done so with a vast amount of symbolism and, as I said earlier, it is saturated with allusions and references from the rest of Scripture.

      Best wishes,

      Rob

  2. If being a Zionist means that I believe that the Jews have a right to have Jerusalem as their capital, then I am a Zionist. I think that this tribe on their tiny piece of land have a better claim, after 3500 years of history , than say the Danes [an equal size group] to Copenhagen. Appeasing angry Muslims has never been beneficial, so you can be sure that the goal of world domination and the death of all infidels will not change no matter what city is their capital. If you do not see the Jews in Jerusalem during the tribulation, then reread Revelation. They will be there whether you or the Dispensationalists are correct. Is Trump hatred or anti-Semitism clouding your understanding of Romans 11? Is your blog written for people like Gordon Hionides?

    1. Hi Wayne,

      “Is Trump hatred or anti-Semitism clouding your understanding of Romans 11?”

      What Trump hatred are you talking about? The man is an oaf and a fool, as displayed on his Twitter account on a regular basis, but I bear no hatred towards him. On the contrary, I wish him well.

      As for the anti-Semitism, where did you see that in the piece? Seriously, where? It wasn’t actually there, was it, for the simple reason that I am not an anti-Semite.

      The piece was about the physical descendants of Abraham not being God’s covenant people anymore, and the claim was backed up by words from Jesus and Paul. Was Jesus an anti-Semite when he said that the people standing in front of him had the devil as their father?

      And of course I ended the piece by expressing my hope that the Jews (along with atheists, Buddhists, Muslims etc) would become part of the covenant by accepting Christ as their saviour. Is that anti-Semitic to hope that? And yes, I believe that Romans 11 teaches that at a certain point in time, God will graft the Jews as a people back in, as I believe he will do with all nations. Do you think I’m being anti-Semitic to believe that?

      As for re-reading Revelation, I would urge you to do the same thing. The tribulation spoken of is nothing to do with some future tribulation in our time. It’s talking about the tribulation that occured at the end of the AD 60s, which is why John points out several times in the first few chapters that it was “at the door”, “about to happen” and that “the time was at hand”. It is also why when he writes to the seven churches (none of which exist any longer), he tells them he is “your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom”. Odd thing to tell them if he was referring to a tribulation in a couple of thousand years time.

      Best wishes,

      Rob

  3. I’ll be brief. The Jerusalem ‘thing’ comes from the Zionists . They are not a true representation of The Jews..But they can use any criticism and throw the ADL at you. Typically deceitful. Their power is behind Israel who in turn controls the USA and the UK. They own the media so all news, fake and fiction is delivered by them. They are also Satanists and worship Lucifer. They run airport security. They control the technology that they call National Security. They control the central banks. They did 9/11. They want us little people to squabble and fight amongst ourselves as they have planned all the major wars of the last 100 years. Most decent people are their victims one way or another. Don’t fall for it. There is only good and evil. The evil have been identified thanks to the internet. They have been hidden for over 100 years. I would hope that God would say ‘we are making progress’.. Have faith.

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