ARTICLES AND COMMENTARY

IN THE NEWS

LGBT Marriage Redefiners Introduce the “Throuple” – a Three-Woman “Marriage →

February 18, 2015

What is the next marriage redefinition? It’s called a ‘throuple’, and in Massachusetts, a lesbian throuple is awaiting their first born child. Three married lesbians are the throuple who have made news with their newest ‘version of perversion’ of marriage. … This is exactly what the most die-hard conservatives warned about when same-sex marriage became a discussion.
- NowTheEndBegins & National Review

Drones could be used to seek out arteries to prevent heart attacks →

February 18, 2015

Scientists have carried out trials using microscopic drones that could be used to seek and repair damaged arteries, preventing heart attacks and strokes. Researchers have completed the first successful tests of nanoparticles – which are targeted to go where they are needed – in mice, and hope to soon to conduct the first patient trials.
- The Telegraph

British Boy Survived Three Failed Abortion Attempts, Now 11 Years Old →

February 14, 2015

A baby in the U.K. survived three failed abortion attempts and was born alive at 24 weeks into the pregnancy. The baby boy was born at a local hospital after his mother changed her mind about the late-term abortion. Only coming to light in 2005, two years after the failed abortions, the baby boy is healthy and is one of the few survivors of an abortion and premature birth to remain alive. His story has been documented recently in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- LifeNews

Obama adviser John Podesta’s biggest regret: Keeping America in dark about UFOs →

February 13, 2015

Outgoing senior Obama adviser John Podesta reflected on his latest White House stint Friday, listing his favorite moments and biggest regrets from the past year. Chief among them: depriving the American people of the truth about UFOs.
- Yahoo News

The bullet that can change direction mid-air (video) →

January 29, 2015

The United States Department of Defense has successfully tested a bullet that can change direction after it has been fired, apparently using fins built into the shell to direct it in the air and account for wind and targets moving. (The article at The Independent.)
- CNN / YouTube & The Independent

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ARTICLES AND COMMENTARY

The Errors of Replacement Theology, Part 1 - (Print)

Editor’s Note: Much of the anti-Semitism in the world today can be traced to a concept called “Replacement Theology”. This principle presents the thesis that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Replacement Theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian Church, not in Israel.

Aurelius Augustinus, the bishop of Hippo (354–430), better known as Saint Augustine, was a leader of the Church during the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Under his influence, Christianity embraced a doctrine of anti–Semitism.

From Augustine teachings, the Church came to a view that the Jews were a lost race without hope of redemption. The Church determined that Israel had forfeited her covenants by rejecting Christ. This concept produced a dramatic shift in early Church politics, worldviews, and eschatology.

The leaders of the Church of Rome began to teach that all the future messianic promises of natural Israel were transferred to the new spiritual Israel—the Church.

What follows is Part One of a two part series on the errors of Replacement Theology. The author, Dr. William Welty, is the Executive Director of the ISV foundation and also serves as Research Analyst in Advanced Communication Technologies and Adjunct Professor of Middle Eastern Studies on the faculty of Koinonia Institute.

All Biblical citations are taken from the International Standard Version (ISV) translation of the Bible.


Introduction

Conservative, evangelical Christian tradition teaches that Jesus the Messiah will one day establish a worldwide empire with Jerusalem as the international federal district, or capital city, of the entire earth. This restored and expanded national Israel will serve as the Messiah’s seat of power for a period of one thousand years. The technical term of theology that is traditionally used to describe this hegemony over the earth is the Millennium, a term that descends from the Latin word meaning one thousand, a direct reference to a specific time period mentioned in Revelation 20:1–10. The establishment of Messiah’s rule over the earth is clearly stated by the larger context of this passage from the book of Revelation as occurring subsequent to his coming. That’s why this view of the rule of the Messiah is called Pre-Millennialism.

But some Christian groups claim that since the only reference to a specific duration for the rule of Messiah as lasting 1,000 years is contained in Revelation 20:1–10, and since the book consists of apocalyptic symbols, the reference to a reign lasting for exactly ten centuries must also be symbolic. Those who believe that the Millennium will be of an indefinite, or non-ending, duration are called A-Millennialists. This group also considers the rule of Jesus from Jerusalem as the capital city of the earth to be symbolic.

A third view of the Millennial reign of the Messiah, one which today seems to be held only by theonomists and other aberrant Christian groups, holds the view that the world will gradually be conquered by the Gospel, after which time Jesus will return to assume the reins of world hegemony. This view is called Post-Millennialism.

The Pre-Millennia view of the rule of Jesus the Messiah over the earth with Jerusalem as his capital city fits the natural context of the book of Revelation. Accordingly, we endorse that view.

The Rise of Replacement Theology: A Consequence of Rejecting Pre-Millennialism

But one of the consequences of rejecting a Pre-Millennial view of end time events has been the rise of Replacement Theology, which claims that God is finished with his dealings with Israel. The erroneous doctrine of Replacement Theology springs from the false view that the existence of modern Israel was not brought about in 1948 as part of a divine plan for Israel. Replacement Theology traditionally has been embraced by groups such as the Anglican Church. Certain anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian, and anti-Israel groups that claim to be Christian are also known to embrace this view of modern Israel.

In the Bible, the prophetic books of Daniel and the Revelation to John consist primarily of apocalyptic literature. This literary genre arose to popularity and prominence during the time period between the close of the Hebrew Scripture canon in the mid-fifth century BC and the completion of the New Testament canon in the mid-first century AD. While it’s true that end-time prophecies address the entire non-believing inhabitants of the earth, a restored Israel and its enemies are the primary focus of the Bible’s prophecies regarding end time events. Apocalyptic literature discusses how God is going to defeat Israel’s enemies and fulfill the promises made to Israel about the reign of Messiah HaNaggid, the Messiah-Prince of Israel, over all of the earth.

Is the United States or any other nation Israel? No. Irrespective of what you may think of the uniquely American doctrines of manifest destiny and American exceptionalism, the United States of America is not Israel.

Is the United States or any other non-Muslim nation state an enemy of Israel? No. Not at present, at least, despite what some perceive as the best efforts of the currently sitting President of the United States to change that status.

Therefore from the standpoint of apocalyptic literature, all nations other than Israel and its enemies are notmentioned by name in biblical prophecy for the same reason that Australia, Costa Rica, Nauru, New Zealand, the United States of America, or even Zimbabwe are not mentioned: these nations are not* the focus of end time events.

Romans 9–11: The Apostle Paul’s Refutation of Replacement Theology

The Apostle Paul answers the errors of Replacement Theology in the ninth through the eleventh chapters of his letter to the Christians who were living in Rome. He writes in Romans 9:4–5 that to the Israelis alone:

4 … belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To the Israelis belong the patriarchs, and from them, the Messiah descended, who is God over all, the one who is forever blessed. Amen.

In the post-Crucifixion world of the first century, A.D., the Apostle Paul reminds us that God’s plan for Israel has never been abandoned. Paul informs us in Romans 9:6–8:

6 Now it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all Israelis truly belong to Israel, 7 and not all of Abraham’s descendants are his true descendants. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you.” 8 That is, it is not merely the children born through natural descent who were regarded as God’s children, but it is the children born through the promise who were regarded as descendants.

His comments in Romans 9:7 that “not all of Abraham’s descendants are his true descendants” serve as a reminder that there is more to being Jewish than merely being a descendant of Abraham. It will be this truth that forms the basis for the salvation of the non-Jews to whom Paul directed the majority of his evangelistic efforts. Paul also reminds us that God is righteous to take this posture with respect to belief in him. In Romans 9:14–16, he writes:

14 What can we say, then? God is not unrighteous, is he? Of course not! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will be merciful to the person I want to be merciful to, and I will be kind to the person I want to be kind to.” 16 Therefore, God’s choice does not depend on a person’s will or effort, but on God himself, who shows mercy.

God’s willingness to base salvation on the requirement to believe stands opposed to being related to Abraham. In Romans 9:23–26, the Apostle Paul asks the following not-so-rhetorical question:

Can’t he also reveal his glorious riches to the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for glory— including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but from the gentiles as well? As the Scripture says in Hosea,

“Those who are not my people
I will call my people,
and the one who was not loved
I will call my loved one.
In the very place where it was told them,
‘You are not my people,’
they will be called children of the living God.”


(The second part of this article will appear in next week’s issue of eNews)

About the Holy Bible: International Standard Version

The ISV, version 2.0, build 2015.02.09, produced by the ISV Foundation of Bellflower, California was produced by a team of conservative professional biblical and lay scholars drawn from the international Christian community. It is published in a variety of formats, including Amazon Kindle® and Barnes and Noble Nook® editions, Microsoft Word® and Adobe Acrobat® PDF formats, and in HTML format for use by webmasters. Visit http://isv.org to learn more.

 

Israel Calling for European Jews to Return - (Print)

Israel Calling for European Jews to Return

“My righteousness is brought near and it’s not far off, and my salvation won’t delay. I’ll grant salvation in Zion, and to Israel, my glory.” (Isaiah 46:13, ISV)

Benjamin Netanyahu issued the call for all of Europe’s Jews to make Aliyah and come home to Israel. Aliyah, literally, “going up,” originally referred to the fact that God commanded Jewish men to “go up” to Jerusalem to celebrate the three holidays of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot; in modern times, an invitation to come up to the bimah to read from the Torah. The most well-known context refers to immigrating or “going up” to the Land of Israel.

It echoes the phrase “next year in Jerusalem” recited at the end of the Passover (Pesach) Seder. In Hebrew, it is “le-shanah ha-ba’ah be-Yerushalayim,” expressing the hope that that by next Passover the Mashiach will come, gathering all Jews to Jerusalem.

The Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved $46 million to finance the arrival of thousands of Jewish people expected to emigrate from Europe, following a number of anti-Semitic attacks on the continent in recent months.

Announced just hours after a gunman in Copenhagen, Denmark, fatally shot a man outside a synagogue as part of twin terrorist attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was ready to welcome Jews “home.”

“I would like to say to all of Europe’s Jews, and Jews everywhere, Israel is the home of every Jew,” he said in a Facebook post:

Again hit the terror of radical Islam in Europe, this time in Denmark. We send our condolences to the people and to the Jewish community in Denmark. European Jews were murdered on American soil again just for being Jews and this is expected to continue attacks and murderous anti-Semitism attacks also included.

The Jews are entitled to protection in each country and State, but we say to our brothers and sisters to Jews: Israel is your home. We are calling for the integration of immigrants from Europe. I would like to say to all European Jews and Jews everywhere: Israel is the home of every Jew.

Today we have confirmed in the Government program to encourage immigrant from France, Belgium and Ukraine totaling 180 million. We further more programs. The Jews of Europe, to the Jews of the world, I say: Israel awaits you with open arms.

[Translation from the original Hebrew.]

While anti-Semitism has been on the rise throughout the world, two European countries, France and Belgium, have been the target of anti-Semitic attacks in recent months.

In Paris last month, four Jewish men were killed inside a kosher supermarket by an Islamist gunman, while four people were killed at a Jewish museum in Brussels in May, 2014.

“This wave of attacks is expected to continue,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.”

Under Israeli law, Jewish immigrants to Israel are entitled to financial support. The plan, approved by the Israeli government will finance the arrival of what the government believes will be the immigrations of thousands of Jews from Ukraine, France, and Belgium.

However, Netanyahu’s comments were met with anger by Copenhagen’s chief rabbi, 31-year-old Jair Melchior.

“People from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel, because of Zionism, but not because of terrorism,” Melchior told the Associated Press. “If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island.”

The Bible clearly declares in the last days that all Israel will be regathered in their biblical homeland, and today’s announcement helps in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. For almost 2000 years this seemed utterly impossible, and yet in modern times we can see these prophecies being fulfilled in real-time.

When the state of Israel was established in 1948, there were only 806,000 residents in Israel, but since its creation Israel has seen 3,152,146 people make Aliyah into the country, bringing the total population of Jews and non-Jews up to 8,252,500 as of Rosh Hashanah 2014.

The words of Ezekiel 36:24 are coming into clear focus:

“I’m going to remove you from the nations, gather you from all of the territories, and bring you all back to your own land.” (ISV)

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Another Gospel - (Print)

Stories of the Prophets

In Galatians, a letter written about the so-called Judaizers in the early church, the Apostle Paul says,

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of the Messiah and, instead, are following a different gospel, 7 not that another one really exists. To be sure, there are certain people who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel about the Messiah. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that person be condemned! 9 What we have told you in the past I am now telling you again: If anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that person be condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of people or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be the Messiah’s servant.

— Galatians 1:6–10 (ISV)

In one of the strongest statements in the Word of God outside of the teaching of Jesus Himself, Paul insists that the name Christ is not enough. The Judaizers had a gospel, but it was “another gospel.” Just as the worshipers of the golden calf had another god—another god under the name* God—here is another Christ* under the name Christ and another gospel under the name gospel. Paul confronted the churches of Galatia and said, “Because this ‘gospel’ is ‘another gospel,’ it is no gospel.

While this passage Paul wrote was in regard to the Judaizers that took a legalistic view of the New Testament, these verses also hold true for some of the Bible translations now on the market.

There are a number of Bible translations on the market; some of them are listed below:

Bible
Versions

(This newsletter uses the ISV. — ed)

However, there are some translations that call themselves such only by the greatest stretch of the imagination. They cannot be classified even as a paraphrase.

A Bible for Muslims

One translation comes to mind. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Mission Frontiers are translating the New Testament in a way they claim Muslims can understand.

Many Christians are calling it a perversion.

While this effort first came to light a few years ago, it has again come into the news with tracts starting to appear that are “Muslim friendly”.

Some examples:

Frontiers and SIL have also produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ, an Arabic translation that removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.”

The verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, “Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit” instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

The Rev. Bassam Madany, an Arab-American who runs Middle East Resources, calls the standard Bible translations “a western imperialistic attempt that’s inspired by cultural anthropology, and not by biblical theology.”

Part of the rationale for doing these various translations comes from the premise that Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God. As stated by Mission Frontiers:

From a Muslim’s perspective, the premise that Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God— the God of Abraham—is so central to Islamic theology that unqualified rejection of it would, for many, be tantamount to a repudiation of faith.

Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, says,

… [F]or many denominations, the validity of baptism depends on the words used: ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ No euphemisms, no nicknames: for example, trial balloons aiming to portray a more gender-neutral God have already been burst: the use of ‘Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier’ in baptism has been rejected by the Catholic Church, if not others.

Pamela Geller sums up the debate succinctly:

Instead of Christians bending over backward to appease Muslims, “it is Islamic authorities who should be excising the Quran and Hadith of the ideology that calls for jihad, genocide, subjugation and oppression of women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and all non-Muslims,”.

A “Gay-Friendly” Bible?

Another affront to the inerrancy of the Bible is the Queen James Version (QJV) of the Bible, a homosexual-friendly work.

The editors have the tagline, “You can’t choose your sexuality, but you can choose Jesus. Now you can choose a Bible, too!”

In their words, the editors chose that name because, “The obvious gay link to King James, known amongst friends and courtiers as “Queen James” because of his many gay lovers.”

Their rationale for this translation is:

The Bible is the word of God translated by man. This (saying nothing countless translations and the evolution of language itself) means the Bible can be interpreted in different ways, leading to what we call “interpretive ambiguity.” In editing The Queen James Bible we were faced with the decision to modify existing interpretively ambiguous language, or simply to delete it.

Some examples of the changes made to the Bible

Genesis 19:5:

They called out to Lot and asked, “Where are the men who came to visit you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” (ISV)

Has been changed to:

And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may rape and humiliate them. (QJV)

Their reason for the change? They state:

We side with most Bible scholars who understand the story of Sodom and Gomorra to be about bullying strangers. Strangers were not well-treated or well-regarded at the time of Bible (We contend that saying “most” Bible Scholars take this view is incorrect – ed.).

They also single out the Book of Leviticus for the largest changes because it is an “outdated moral code”.

Two passages in Leviticus are highlighted on their website:

You are not to have sexual relations[a] with a male as you would with a woman. It’s detestable.” — Leviticus 18:22 (ISV)

This was changed to:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination. (QJV)

Leviticus 20:13 was changed from:

If a man has sexual relations with another male as he would with a woman, both have committed a repulsive act. They are certainly to be put to death. (ISV)

To:

If a man also lie with mankind in the temple of Molech, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (QJV)

This verse, pointing to idolatry (the temple of Molech) as the sin rather than homosexuality.

(For a complete rendering of the rationale for this translation, go to the Queen James Bible website.)

A Gender-Neutral Bible Translation

There are other translations whose editor’s state they want to get rid of the “outdated language” of other translations.

Some of the guidelines for a gender-neutral Bible translation were stated by the NIV Committee on Bible Translation in 1992:

Authors of Biblical books, even while writing Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit, unconsciously reflected in many ways, the particular cultures in which they wrote. Hence in the manner in which they articulate the Word of God, they sometimes offend modern sensibilities. At such times, translators can and may use non-offending renderings so as not to hinder the message of the Spirit; and

The patriarchalism (like other social patterns) of the ancient cultures in which the Biblical books were composed is pervasively reflected in forms of expression that appear, in the modern context, to deny the common human dignity of all hearers and readers. For these forms, alternative modes of expression can and may be used, though care must be taken not to distort the intent of the original text.

The Damage of Some Translations

What have been the results of the proliferation of English Bible translations? Earl Radmacher and Zane Hodges had named five “present-day problems” in regard to some of the English Bible translations out in print. The problems are these:

The translations that play fast and loose with the original available autographs also add to a decrease in biblical literacy. Based on what you hear coming from many “Bible-believing Christians”, it seems as if the impact has been profound.

One example is found in the variants in The Lord’s Prayer. In the paraphrase book The Message it reads:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best –
As above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

With publishers putting out translations that have these types of variations in it, no wonder people doubt the divine inspiration of the Bible.

The translations highlighted above were written with an agenda; not to accurately translate the Word of God, but to pander to a target audience. The 17th Century Puritan Church leader Richard Baxter was very clear on the subject:

I like to hear a man dwell much on the same essentials of Christianity. For we have but one God, and one Christ, and one faith to preach; and I will not preach another Gospel to please men with variety, as if our Saviour and our Gospel were grown stale.

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