Why are the calvinists jealous of Israel and the Church?
I decided to sit down and do some real thinking recently. My mind was chewing over just why it is that calvinists struggle so hard to write Israel out of the Bible and out of God’s prophetic timeline. You see, they are great believers in Covenant Theology (espoused by traditional calvinists), or the more extreme view, New Covenant Theology (espoused by the more radical new calvinists of today). Covenant Theology basically teaches that while Israel was God’s nation under the old covenant; the Church has taken over that role under the new covenant, and that this will be until the end of time as we know it. This generally won’t include any future millennial reign of Christ; they therefore often call this belief “amillennial”.
The Bible has much prophecy concerning the future of Israel, so much, in fact, that any group that tries to openly deny any future for Israel would become a target for genuine fundamentalist Christians who would logically (and correctly) accuse them of denying the truth of God’s word. So, in order to keep from tarnishing their false image of being seen as fundamentalist evangelicals, calvinists have to somehow convince the genuine Church that they (the calvinists) support a future for the nation of Israel (when, in actual fact, they don’t!). However, what they don’t like to have to admit is that when they teach about future prophecy for Israel, they don’t actually mean Israel at all. What they really believe is that the Church (more specifically the election according to calvinism) will have taken over the role of Israel, including its responsibilities and privileges. Thus, to the calvinist, Israel has a place on the future prophetic timeline, yet in name only, for behind that name “Israel” is not the nation of Israel at all, but the calvinist or reform church instead. So why do the calvinists desire so much to be Israel when so much of the Bible actually teaches that Israel itself will one day be restored to God’s favour as per the eternal covenant that God originally made with Abraham?
Romans 11 is an interesting chapter that on its own defines the timeline of Israel during the Church period. God has not cast His people Israel aside, but has blinded the majority (clearly from being able to see the light of the gospel). The passage pictures Israel as the natural branches on the olive tree which have been pruned off because of their unbelief in Christ. Wild olive branches (the Gentile Church) were grafted on in place of Israel. But one day, when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, Israel (the natural olive branches) will be grafted back onto their olive tree and so all Israel shall be saved.
Romans 11:24-27 – 24For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree? 25For 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. 26And 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: 27For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Note that the part-blindness of Israel will happen until “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in“. That word “fulness” is pleroma, a Greek word which derives from the completion of the ship’s manifest before the ship could sail. Primarily, pleroma occurred when everyone who was to sail in that ship was on board. This included sailors, oarsmen, soldiers, and passengers (if any). It could also include merchandise carried by the ship. It signifies that which fills or that with which a thing is filled; everything that should be there is there; the quota is complete. Therefore, what this passage teaches is that the part-blindness of Israel will occur until the full complement of the Gentile Church is on board. That is, Israel may only be unblinded when the Gentile ship has its full manifest on board and is thus commencing its voyage. This is the picture clearly meant here by the Greek terminology used.
And so all Israel shall be saved, but only after the fulness of the Gentiles has come in! The Church will be completed, its full manifest will be present, before Israel may be saved. Please note that point very well, for if the Church is completed before Israel is saved, then how may the Church continue after that day? Clearly, if the Church is completed, then no further ministry may exist for the Church on earth. What would be the purpose of further ministry when it is pleroma (already fulfilled)? It is abundantly clear, therefore, that the time of ministry of the Church has been completed; the time has arrived for the recommencement of Israel’s ministry to the world. Therefore, it is scripturally impossible for the Church to continue carrying out its ministry once Israel has been “grafted” back onto her prophetic timeline. Thus scripturally the Church can not also be Israel!
And this ministry of Israel will be for that final week of years foretold by Daniel back in Daniel 9:24-27. Seventy weeks of years were determined upon Israel; each week of years is 7 years, with the Messiah being crucified (“cut off”) after 69 weeks of years. The timeline from Daniel’s prophecy (the decree of Artaxerxes I in 458-457 BC commanding that a group led by Ezra return) to Jesus’ ministry before the crucifixion does account for around 483 years, although the actual date of the crucifixion is not defined clearly in history. (Also, while some may note that the years back then had 360 days, not 365¼ as we have it today, the Jews added extra months every few years to keep the year in line with the seasons. Thus effectively we may assume the average year back then to be as it is now: 365¼ days.)
Daniel 9:24-27 – 24Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Note that after the Messiah was crucified, one week of years remained on the prophetic timeline. But, because Israel rejected their Messiah, they were removed from that timeline (the Rapture) with one week of years yet to fulfill before the end.
See Daniel 9:24 – Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
At the end of that seventy weeks (490 years) the transgression of Israel, the end of her sins, her reconciliation and her everlasting righteousness, will all come to be. This world as we know it will continue until that time arrives. It is the Rapture of the Church (with the fulness of the Gentiles) that will effectively commence the last seven years of Israel’s timeline! (And that final seven years will end with Armageddon and the second coming of Christ.) Until that time, though, the Church has taken over Israel’s role as a royal priesthood to the nations. The timeline for Israel has effectively stopped ticking; it will only recommence counting down that final seven years when the Church has been completed and removed from God’s timeline of ministry. (Israel will not recommence before the fulfillment of the Church! The Church will not continue past the recommencement of Israel as God’s people!)
Note also that in that final seven year period (which is the final week of years in Israel’s timeline), a prince (or ruler) of the people who destroyed the temple (the Romans in 70 AD) will confirm a covenant with Israel for one week (7 years). In the middle of that 70th week he will cause sacrifices to cease and create an abomination in place of those sacrifices. Jesus told the Jews of His day that (as part of the process of the end coming upon them), when they saw the abomination as spoken of by Daniel, they should then flee to the mountains for safety.
Matthew 24:14-16 – 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Revelation talks about the same event, noting that placing Israel under God’s protection at that time in the wilderness will be for 3½ years (“a time, and times, and half a time”).
Revelation 12:14 – And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
(Much of this is covered in The Rapture and A Special Report on Daniel 9:24-27.)
When Israel comes back (in her own right) onto God’s prophetic timeline (and it will happen as prophesied!), the time of the Church will be over, completed! The Church will never take over Israel’s final week of years, will never usurp Israel’s responsibilities to finally claim God to be their God and they to be His people (Ezekiel 37:24-27). All prophecy points to an actual Israel coming back onto that timeline; there is no room for any of the Church to steal from Israel that which is her right and hers alone!
Calvinists, of course, will cry out that they actually acknowledge Israel’s future as prophesied, yet they also teach that the Church will go through the tribulation. Note MacArthur’s teaching that the taking of the mark of the beast will not necessarily mean you cannot be saved!
“Now, the question is, if you’re living in the Tribulation period, and you take this mark, in other words, you identify with the beast’s empire, will you still be able to be redeemed? And I think the answer to that is yes.”
The Bible clearly states clearly that any one taking the mark of the beast will “be tormented with fire and brimstone”. It sure doesn’t sound like redemption to me!
Revelation 14:9-11 – 9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
MacArthur also teaches (from the same document) that, while Jews will be saved, vast numbers of Gentiles will also be saved.
“You’re gonna have the Jews redeemed. You’re gonna have, according to Revelation chapter 7, “An innumerable number of Gentiles redeemed, so many they can’t even be counted across the face of the earth.””
However, Revelation 7:9 does not mention “Gentiles” although it may be assumed that Gentiles will be among that great multitude (just as it may be assumed that Jews will be among that completed Gentile Church in the yet-to-occur rapture). This great multitude in Revelation 7:9 is in heaven because they have been martyred for their beliefs, as a result of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists from all 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:3-8). While many of their converts may be Gentiles, they will come as Israel, just as currently Jews may become Christians and therefore come as the Church today. It is clear that Jewish converts today would become part of the Church and would be taken in the Rapture along with the rest of the Church. It is therefore reasonable to assume that just as Israel is mostly blinded spiritually today, the Gentiles are likewise going to be mostly blinded in this time when Israel herself will be redeemed, in that last week of years on her timeline. Thus, it is very logical that most of this great multitude of martyrs in heaven will be of Israel. The palms in their hands (Revelation 7:9) is also generally accepted to be a very Jewish custom depicting worship, as shown to Jesus on Palm Sunday.
Note that Israel will be scattered among all nations of the world because of their sin.
Deuteronomy 4:27 – And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.
They will be gathered back from those nations when God reverses their captivity.
Deuteronomy 30:3 – That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.
So, why would the taking the mark of the beast be relevant for MacArthur’s church members if the Church were to be raptured before the tribulation in order to make way for Israel to return to the prophetic timeline? Calvinists say that Israel will indeed go through the tribulation, yet won’t mention their teaching that the Church now represents Israel, especially in future prophecy. That is, when Israel is mentioned in Revelation, for example, it is the Church itself that will actually be involved with end-times tribulation and prophecy, according to calvinists! So, when calvinists such as MacArthur teach about Israel in the tribulation, they actually mean the Church that has assumed the role of Israel in the tribulation of the end times.
And the new calvinists of today take an even harder line on this; instead of the Church taking over the role of Israel in prophecy, the Church (under the new covenant) completely replaces Israel which has been discarded, along with the old covenant that God had with Israel. This is New Covenant Theology that believes that there is no old covenant remaining in existence; thus Israel’s old covenant with God has been dissolved in favour of the Church which is under the new covenant. The old is out; the new is in! Israel in Revelation is the Church! When you read “Israel”, instead read “Church”!
Yet still the calvinists may be heard to claim that Israel remains God’s people, and that all God’s prophecies regarding Israel will be carried out. But, always keep in mind that when calvinists talk about Israel’s future, they actually mean the future of the Church! To them, they (the calvinist election) are Israel, along with the special status that God has covenanted eternally to give to His nation Israel. This is the key to this discussion: that what the calvinists really desire is to have for themselves that special status that Israel still has with God in the future. To put it simply, the calvinists are jealous of the special status that God has eternally promised to His covenanted nation of Israel!
When I considered all this, plus the general arrogance of most calvinists who like to assume that they are the only true church and that others (even evangelical fundamentalists) are somehow a lesser breed of Christian, I realized that all of this is indicative of a poor self-esteem. (Yes, I have studied psychology at university level.) It’s as if they cannot bear to co-exist with others who might consider them as equals, for most calvinists themselves do not like to see other (non-calvinist) Christians as perhaps equals. For many calvinists, in fact, if you do not believe in their doctrine of unconditional election, then you cannot be one of that election; therefore you are lost in your sins. If you were truly of that unconditional election, they say, you would have the illumination of God in your life to know that unconditional election is true. Therefore, to not believe in unconditional election is to define yourself as one of the non-elect! (Note, though, that election does exist, but it is conditional upon God’s foreknowledge of all decisions of mankind to receive Christ as Saviour – 1 Peter 1:2.)
God has given many great and precious promises to both Israel and the Church. Many promises are given to both groups, yet some are specific to one or the other. Yet, there is no implication of one group receiving promises of lesser worth than the other. One is that Israel is the elect nation of God, often also pictured as the wife of God who played the harlot such that He gave them a bill of divorce; the other is that the Church is the bride of Christ. Israel will inherit her land while the Church will receive her special inheritance in heaven. Why should there be any desire to want what the other has? Such a desire could only stem from a lack of satisfaction with that which one already has. How could anyone (no matter whether Church or Israel) ever be dissatisfied with the eternal provision of sovereign God?
So, for what reason would the calvinists desire to be Israel if they already had a perfectly fulfilling future of their own as the Church? No reason at all that I can think of, other than perhaps they have serious doubts about being partakers of the exceeding great and precious promises made to the Church! For what other reason can there be for desiring the status of Israel if they already have their own perfect status with God? Therefore, to desire the status of Israel can logically only be because they do not have such a status already, even the equivalent status of being of the Church, the bride of Christ!
Therefore, I can see no other reason for the calvinists’ obsession with wanting to be Israel, other than Israel has something they don’t have, yet desire very much. All their actions point to the calvinists being jealous of the status God has given Israel because it is something they do not have themselves. That is, they do not have such status even as the Church, for if they were of the true Church, they would rejoice to see Israel return to God in her own right as the elect nation of God. But they don’t! Just as satan was jealous of the status God gave to His special creation in His own image, man, calvinists are jealous of the status God has given to Israel, seemingly for no other reason than that He loved her more than the others. And that consequently he must have loved Israel more than He loved the calvinists!
Likewise, the non-acceptance by most calvinists of non-calvinist Christians as equals in Christ has to be seen as a fear that those who claim to be accepted by God (by choice) may actually inherit the promises that they (calvinists) are not assured of in their own minds. After all, calvinists cannot know if they are of the elect of God until they persevere to the end. Like Calvin who taught that God gave a temporary faith (calling it “an inferior operation of the Spirit”) to some who would never enter heaven, calvinists today cannot be certain that they will indeed persevere to the end. For there is always that fear that they might fall away before the end and therefore were never “regenerated” in the first place; they might yet be condemned to hell after once believing that they might have been saved!
“According to Piper, a once-professing Christian who does not faithfully persevere until the end demonstrates that he was mistaken about his election and was never a true believer in the first place.” (Wikipedia)
Piper says – “For these five reasons I conclude that, if a person falls away and re-crucifies the Son of God, he has never been justified. His faith was not a saving faith.”
“I’ll be very personal, to give it it’s sharpest point. If in the coming years I commit apostasy and fall away from Christ, it will not be because I have not tasted of the word of God and the Spirit of God and the miracles of God. I have drunk of his word. The Spirit has touched me. I have seen his miracles and I have been his instrument for a few.”
“But if, over the next ten or twenty years, John Piper begins to cool off spiritually and lose interest in spiritual things and become more fascinated with making money and writing Christless books — if I buy the lie that a new wife would be exhilarating and that the children can fend for themselves and that the church of Christ is a drag and that the incarnation is a myth and that there is one life to live, so let us eat, drink, and be merry — if that happens, then know that the truth is this: John Piper was mightily deceived in the first fifty years of his life.”
“His faith was an alien vestige of his father’s joy. His fidelity to his wife was a temporary passion and compliance with social pressure. His fatherhood was the outworking of natural instincts. His preaching was driven by the love of words and crowds. His writing was a love affair with fame. And his praying was the deepest delusion of all — an attempt to get God to supply the resources of his vanity.”
Many years ago I witnessed to a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses about my assurance of entering heaven as one of the redeemed. They returned twice to discuss this (quite seriously, I felt). They appeared to have a desperate desire to know that they were accepted by their god, yet they couldn’t have this assurance until they stood before him after death. Apparently, they were hungry for such teaching; however, not long after that, they told me they were not permitted to visit me anymore and we were put on the list of people the JWs weren’t allowed to contact! All this because of a desire to have the assurance that others appeared to have!
It could be said that these people showed some definite desire (even envy) for something we as Christians appeared to have, which they lacked. Now it’s not wrong to feel that way; if people never felt like there was something they were missing out on (that they had observed in another person’s life), then evangelism would suffer. It’s the feeling that something’s missing in your life that leads people to seek God through Christ. Many calvinists do behave as if they lack assurance that they are of the “unconditional election” of God.
So, ask yourself the question: if you were not part of a group with special status from God (such as Israel or the Church), and you desired such status, what would you do to overcome this deficiency in your life? Well,
(a) You could act as though that special status were irrelevant to you; that is, you don’t care. At least, you try to pretend that you don’t care!
or (b) You could go on the warpath against those who have such status; that is, if you can’t have it, then neither should they. This is why people who cannot bat all the time in cricket, yet own the bat and ball, sometimes walk away, taking their bat and ball with them. If they cannot have what they want, then no-one else should, either.
or (c) You could act as though you do have such status; that is, try to convince others that you are really the one who has the real status, and that the others are not quite up to your level.
Point (c) does appear to explain quite well the behavior of many calvinists. They do not seem to feel comfortable with sharing the Christian stage with other Christian groups, even those whom they should supposedly be most comfortable with, the Biblical fundamentalists. Like large companies that prefer being a monopoly (it removes the stress of competition), calvinism appears to be most comfortable in an environment where they do not have to compete with either Israel or the Church. They appear to be more comfortable when they have a clear majority of support, often being antagonistic toward any who might seriously oppose their beliefs. Instead of defending their beliefs with logic, patience, and most of all, Scriptural truth, they will often become accusatory or arrogant, even derogatory or sarcastic toward any whom they cannot overrule satisfactorily. As a last resort, they will often just go silent, ignoring any opposition as if it might be below their dignity to do so. (To me, though, it is clear that the main reason they go silent and refuse to answer is that they simply haven’t any answer to give!)
So, I put forward (in my thinking) a proposal that suggested that the real source of calvinism was satan, and that calvinism was a doctrine of devils. I asked myself: if satan were behind the doctrines of calvinism, then what would I expect him to do? And I saw that, because it was reasonable to accept that satan would be jealous of the status God had given to mankind in general, then satan would also be jealous of those two special elect groups of God: Israel and the Church. Both Israel and the Church have a relationship with God which satan and his demons recognize and desire, yet cannot have, ever. Satan knows that Israel and the Church will live in God’s presence for eternity while satan and his demons will be condemned to hell for all their efforts. This, clearly, has to be a bone of contention for satan and his demons!
Satan has always desired world dominion, yet he can only have this through mankind, for only man alone was given dominion (by God) over the whole earth (Genesis 1:28). Satan has absolutely no authority on this earth without man. Man has dominion; satan does not have dominion. Therefore, satan needs mankind in order to assume his preferred status of controlling the world (1 John 5:19). Satan cannot afford to get rid of man because, without man, satan would have no dominion at all; at least in the current scenario he has some dominion through any and every man that he controls to some degree. The Bible makes it clear that satan rebelled against God because he desired to have some of the glory of God, yet once he tried to appropriate that glory, he lost his status as the covering angel in heaven, possibly the most powerful angel God created. Being banished from God’s presence, satan and his demons have declared war upon God and His people, Israel and the Church. Satan hates Israel and he hates the Church because these two groups of God’s people have, and will have forever, that which satan has always wanted but can never have.
Wherever we see such a desire as satan’s to have special status with God, we can also see that such a desire can only spring from one who does not have such status with God! For why would one desire to have that status so much if he already had such status in his possession? One with such an unrequited, unsatisfied desire for belonging cannot easily accept those who do belong. Such dissatisfied shut-out beings dislike co-existing or sharing with those who do belong. They would greatly prefer to be the ones who belong, with the genuine ones taking a lesser role or being pushed out altogether.
Here is where the logic really falls into place, for the calvinists treat Israel and the Church as if they (and not the calvinists) are somehow lesser in the eyes of God. Calvinists are often guilty of belittling genuine people of God as having lesser acceptance with God; seemingly it makes calvinists look and feel better if their “competition” is demonstrated to be “incompetent”.
True Christians have no need to be jealous of Israel, nor do they have any need to be jealous of the ministry status of other Christians. The calvinists would have us believe that they are the privileged keepers of the sovereignty of God, yet all of this appears to stem from hearts that know that they, in fact, do not have such a privileged position! If the calvinists are to demonstrate that they do have status with God as His people, then they will need to show a lot more acceptance of those who are definitely God’s people, Israel and the Church.
In particular, they have to accept the truth of God’s word that His people Israel will take their place one day for that final seven years without the overruling nor overseeing by others who call themselves the church. However, the calvinists, with so many non-scriptural beliefs, are unlikely to readily accept the truth of God’s word without the approval of its calvinist teachers. They teach a false gospel (see The False Calvinist Gospel) and a salvation of works (MacArthur teaches Works Salvation), and they are unable to believe in Christ until after they are born again (John 3:3).
Thus, until the evidence shows otherwise, my conclusion can only be that calvinism is a cult of satan, clearly demonstrated by its jealous opposition to Israel and the Church, and its non-scriptural beliefs, both providing evidence of where it comes from, the pits of hell. While this statement may shock some who might even believe that calvinism is the gospel, I challenge any who may have disputes concerning my statements to objectively research and test everything I say against the truth of the Scriptures. Do not ask Calvin, Pink, Sproul, Piper, MacArthur, etc, for these are but mere men with limitations in thinking as I also have. Instead ask God through His word and by the illumination of His Holy Spirit to reveal to you His truth so that you may believe His truth without any of man’s commandments being taught as the doctrines of God.
Matthew 15:9 – But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
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