Podcast Episode 52

Katy Smith —  April 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

Ron Cantor and the Maoz Media team bring you the 52nd episode of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast!

It’s the week of Passover and Ron is alone at his kitchen table with a special weekend episode.  What are the exciting news from Tiferet Yeshua?  How can you see Israel bloom, where Yeshua walked and where He is walking today?  What was the major headline of the holiday? Tune in to find out!

Ron also brings a special teaching, “Yeshua Rose from the Dead on a Jewish Holiday.”

SHOW NOTES:

This broadcast of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast is brought to you by Maoz Israel Ministries and Congregation Tiferet Yeshua

Maoz Israel Report

Messiah’s Mandate

Contact Ron: ron@cantorlink.com
Ron on Twitter: @ronscantor

Maoz on Twitter: @maozisrael

We would like to extend an apology to Mr. Salim Munayer.  We have been alerted that from a previous podcast one could have concluded that we did not believe Salim’s story of his family’s expulsion from their home.  We, of course, believe his story, however, we do maintain, that a correct context for the story should be present in the article – one that will display the full picture of what had happened.

Ron CantorBy Ron Cantor

FROM JERUSALEM TO THE NATIONS OR FROM THE WORLD TO MARS?

Welcome to Part Eight of our critique of Replacement/Fulfillment Theology as taught by Dr. Gary Burge of Wheaton College. We are examining statements Dr. Burge made in his talk at Christ at the Checkpoint.

Dr. Gary Burge: “When Jesus says in the upper Room, ‘This is My New Covenant,’ does this sweep up all that has gone before and bring it to fulfillment?”

NO! That is ridiculous. There are still so many prophecies to be fulfilled. If all is fulfilled, why return to heaven? Why not stay and usher in the millennial kingdom? In the book of Matthew, Yeshua Himself prophesies of more to come – the destruction of Jerusalem and His Second Coming. They may say, yes, but that is in the New Testament. I would say:

    1. No, it was before his words in the Upper Room, before His death and resurrection. So it is just as a prophecy from Jeremiah or Ezekiel.

 

    1. What Yeshua said is only expounding on Daniel and Zechariah. He is revealing more, but His basis is the Old Covenant prophets.

 

    1. I would argue the same about Paul’s post-resurrection prophecies, especially II Thess. 2 (regarding the antichrist and the Temple). He is simply expounding on Daniel 9. You cannot separate the New Covenant prophecies from the Old Covenant ones.

 

Dr. Gary Burge speaks of the fact that in the New Covenant the Abrahamic Covenant becomes what it was intended for—a vehicle of redemption for the whole world.

Amen! In the sense that God said to Abraham, “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you,” (Gen. 12:3) and “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations,” (Gen. 17:4) and “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18) Yes, that is the greatest fulfillment of the covenant – that it would lead to the salvation of all who would be believe, Jew and Gentile. This is the One New Man.

But it doesn’t mean that once this promise is fulfilled, the other promises in the covenant are canceled. If anything, the fact that through Abraham’s seed came the Messiah, and thus fulfilled the three promises above, should strengthen the claim that all the rest of the promises are also valid—such as the promise of the Land to Israel. Israel in the Land today testifies that the Gospel is for the nations! Hallelujah! If Israel does not to return to the land, as promised, then all of God’s promises are called into question.

Dr. Gary Burge: “Those who attach themselves to Christ are Abraham’s Children.”

Again, amen! But Abraham has two sets of children. One after the flesh and one in the Spirit. The promises to Abraham refer to two groups. His natural descendants (Gen. 12:2, 22:17) and those who would believe from the nations (Gen. 12:3, 17:4, 22:18).

Just as a man may have spiritual sons and natural sons, so does Abraham. And what if some of those natural sons fall away? Are they not still his sons? Does he not still love them as the father of the prodigal son did? In fact, he would hope that his spiritual sons (the Gentile believers) would reach out to his lost natural sons (Rom. 11:11), not claim that they have replaced them (Rom. 11:19).

Dr. Gary Burge: Jesus is the one recipient of the Abrahamic Blessing (Gal. 3:14) and “the Holy Land is now the whole world and is no longer the privilege of an ethnic few. In a word the New Testament is globalizing the blessing of Abraham; earlier it had been tribal and local, now it is global and universal.”

Where in the New Testament does it say that the Holy Land is now the whole world? Burge continues to err because of one problem. He cannot see God’s grace to ethnic Israel in the New Testament. Naturally, because he cannot see this, he must come up with concepts not found in the Bible to support his claim.

But there is no hint in the New Covenant that the Land of Israel is now the world—and instead of belonging to the Jews, it belongs to all believers.

What then do we do with Isaiah 2, which speaks of the word going forth from physical Jerusalem to the nations? Does that now mean it goes forth from the world to Mars and Jupiter? Or how do we interpret Zechariah 14 that speaks of all nations coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? Why can’t the Bible just mean what it says?

Ron Cantor is the Executive Pastor of Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. For more information go to www.ReachTelAviv.org.

By Dale L.

Spring cleaning turned most Jewish homes upside down.

What’s so Jewish about ridding a place of dust and clutter? The story of Passover was originally lived by freed slaves who began a trek to the Promised Land and is told to all their generations. A key theme of their story is cleanliness.

What makes a speck of dust so intolerable at this time? The Almighty alone offered hope for deliverance from the grit and sweat of bricklaying. His light has no darkness. His blessings add no curses. His pleasure is only in what is true, good, and beautiful. Our sincere desire to welcome his presence is shown by preparing a place that is as pristine as possible.

Ordinarily, our home, belongings, and bodies get comfortable with a degree of earthiness that normally wouldn’t offend anyone. However, Passover warrants all possible efforts to speak of a fresh new start. In the most intimate illustration, the washing of feet made Yeshua’s disciples sense how much they were cared for.

The One who fleshed out their Salvation embraced their human condition with joy on which they later reflected. Though the custom of washing feet was the same when Abraham greeted quests in Mamre, the Son of David left that table to face death as the only one qualified to complete their redemption. Testimonies of that Passover are still spread around the globe for all who seek evidence of their Creator’s love.

May the descendants of the freed Tribes of Israel enjoy their obedient efforts to remember the Passover story with a clean house, as well as to be a light to a world, which may have never had a greater need to know, that our One Lord offers hope for a fresh start.

Happy Passover!

Ron CantorBy Ron Cantor

BURGE’S STRUGGLE WITH GOD’S FAVOR ON ISRAEL

I am continuing  my critique of Dr. Gary Burge’s ‘Fulfillment/Replacement Theology’… In Part Seven of this series we respond to questions from Dr. Burge, regarding whether or not God can bestow favor on unbelieving Israel.

The third question Dr. Burge asks is the ‘thorniest’ of them all…

Dr. Gary Burge: “Does this mean that the Jewish State of Israel then possesses not only political significance, but theological significance as well?…Is there a covenant benefit that can be made today through Abraham on behalf of the modern state of Israel?”  
 

This is why Burge constantly stumbles. He assumes, that if God blesses Israel in one way, He must extend all New Covenant blessings upon Israel—even in unbelief. Or he is thinking that the Abrahamic covenant—which doesn’t mention eternal life, as John chapter three does—guarantees the Jew everlasting life simply for being circumcised, despite unbelief?

It would appear, he thinks those who believe in natural Israel’s resurrection (Ez. 37), believe that along with the return to the Land, salvation is bestowed upon a Messiah-rejecting Israel. He argues passionately against a point that, as I mentioned before, no one is making among us, the Messianic Believers – to make his point: Israel cannot belong to the Jews. If indeed we believed this (that Jews obtain salvation through Abraham), why then have so many Messianic Jews moved from more comfortable nations, with better security, to Israel, if not to reach out people?

Moody Bible Institute’s Professor of Jewish Studies, Michael Rydelnik, agrees that Burge teaches, that “we [Messianic Jews and Christian Zionists] who believe that God will be faithful to His covenant promises to Israel also hold to a Dual Covenant Theology,” meaning, Jews go to Heaven based on Arbaham or Moses, not Yeshua.  Rydelnik continues, “I and multiple others have told him this is not what we believe. Nevertheless, he keeps repeating this. I cannot begin to know why he persists in this allegation.”

Well, one reason could be that Dr. Burge’s motive is not theological at all—but political. In my opinion, he wants to delegitimize Israel in favor of the Palestinians.  What other reason could there be for repeating something that is false—something that multiple theologians have pointed is not the Messianic or Christian Zionist position?

My question to Dr. Burge is: Can’t God be faithful to His covenant to Israel in her pre-belief state?

Moreover, can’t God bestow His blessings on Israel on behalf of the remnant of Jews who do believe? As Dan Juster pointed out in his presentation after Dr. Burge, unbelieving Israel is still set apart on account of the faith of the believing remnant. According to Ezekiel 36, as we return, we shall believe. He says in v. 24 that we will be gathered back to the Land of Israel, and then in v. 25ff he speaks about having a new heart, being cleansed of sin, etc. Does not the resurrection of the Messianic Movement—which came almost simultaneity with the resurrected nation of Israel—mean anything to Burge?

So, in answer to his question, yes, Israel has theological significance today, just as she always has had. Romans 11:29 states that God’s call on Israel is irrevocable.

Dr. Gary Burge: “The New Testament understands that the Abrahamic Covenant has come to fulfillment in Christ.”
 

These are two separate covenants. One made by God to Israel. The other by God through Yeshua to all who would believe—Jew and Gentile. Cannot God be faithful to one, and still honor the other? Even as Moses did not nullify Abraham, neither does Yeshua nullify Abraham.

The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. (Gal. 3:17)
 

Burge cannot see how secular Israel’s restoration could be a part of God’s redemption plan. His conscience is offended by the idea that God could bless those who do not profess explicit faith in Yeshua. And this offense is often, if not always, the root of replacement theology. “Its not fair that God is still blessing the Jews!” Replacement theology solves this by declaring, “We are the New Israel.” But Burge does see the arrogance in such a theology. He therefore embraces a ‘Fulfillment’ Theology, which  he claims doesn’t teach replacement (although it clearly does!), saying that all the promises of the Old Covenant have been fulfilled in Messiah’s first coming. We will deal with this in a later blog.

Dr. Gary Burge: “Israel’s restoration will not be found outside of Christ.”
 

Amen! But according to the prophets, it includes the reestablishment of the secular state. And according to Ezekiel, as noted before, the physical state comes just before the spiritual revival (36:24-28). The vision in chapter 37 comes to the prophet in two stages. First, flesh coming on dry bones—symbolizing the regathering of Israel to the nation (which is only partial because they still are lifeless)—and then, the four winds filling the bodies with life—symbolizing the revival after returning to the Land. Sadly, Burge misses this, because he doesn’t regard Old Covenant prophecy as relevant—all was fulfilled in Yeshua, he believes.

Burge does believe in a future Jewish revival, but only because it is reaffirmed in the New Covenant (Rom. 11:25-26). He cannot take Ezekiel at his word (Ez. 36:24) unless Paul backs him up. But the Jewish prophets are just as much Scripture as Romans and Galatians.

I don’t know why he must conclude that the coming of the Jewish Messiah to the world sets aside God’s promise through Abraham to the Hebrew people. They are not mutually exclusive. Could it be that his anti-Israel political agenda has blinded him to God’s calling on the nation? He must reason, “How could God bless a nation that displaces Palestinian and bulldozes their homes?” Of course, he would need to then ignore Israel’s cries for peace with her Arab neighbors from 1948 to the present— and the fact that they have always been answered with war.

Ron Cantor is the Executive Pastor of Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. For more information go to www.ReachTelAviv.org.

No Podcast April 7, 2014

admin —  April 7, 2014 — Leave a comment

Dear Podcast listeners and subscribers,

There will be no podcast today due to the absence of our recording technician, who is touring Israel as a sound engineering assistant to Stephen Curtis Chapman, and due to other prior commitments of our hosts.

We will be back with another Podcast after Passover.

Ron CantorBy Ron Cantor

CAN GOD LIE?

This is part six in a series we are doing on Replacement Theology. We are going through a lecture from Dr. Gary Burge, Professor of the New Testament at Wheaton College. I want reiterate what we said in part one—that we are not seeking to insult Dr. Burge. In fact, I found his demeanor honoring and humble. We are seeking to simply answer the question: Are the promises of Abraham to natural Israel – those of the Land of Israel – still valid under the New Testament, or, as Dr. Burge maintains, have these promises been fulfilled in Yeshua and therefore are no longer binding?

In blogs six and seven I want to examine several statements and questions that Dr. Burge made and hold them up against the Bible. Some of the passages we have used before… but that’s a good thing, because repetition of key passages will help you remember them and thus you will be able to give an answer when challenged.

===========

Dr. Burge: “If someone has a Jewish linage and does not share the faith of Abraham, much less faith in Christ, are they entitled to benefits [from the Abrahamic covenant]?”

The answer is yes, as Paul makes this clear in Romans three:

What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Rom. 3:1-4a)

 

The covenants and promises of God are still in affect, despite Israel’s unbelief. This passage comes right after Paul tells the Romans that circumcision is of no value; but he is speaking in regards to salvation. The cutting of one’s flesh cannot save one’s soul. But then, to be clear, he says that there is much advantage in being a Jew and that there is ‘profit [in] circumcision’ to the Jew in connection with God’s covenant with Abraham—not a salvific covenant (a covenant that promises eternal life), but a covenant connected to the Land of Israel and favor in this life.

Dr. Burge uses the word entitled. He seems to be saying, Can these Jews make a demand on God, despite their rejection of His Messiah? I would not use the word entitled. Rather, I would say, The grace of God is still upon the Jewish people because of God’s faithfulness to His promises, His plan for world redemption, and for the sake of the patriarchs.

Indeed, the founders of the state of Israel were not seeking to make a claim on God—many were atheists coming out of the Holocaust and others were socialists. Still, God raised up Israel despite their lack of faith, without them even knowing, that it was He who was backing them.

But even if Burge were correct—that Jews who do not believe are not entitled to the Land of Israel—that would only mean that we who do believe, Messianic Jews, are entitled to the Land. (Although he does make his position clearer later: all Land Promises have been fulfilled in Messiah.)

Dr. Burge: [Are] the Land Promises given to Abraham and his descendants still enforced today?

It all depends on how you interpret the word everlasting. Traditionally, it means, forever. God tells Abraham it is a Brit Olam—an everlasting covenant.

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Gen. 17:7-8)
 

The real question is, can God lie? And we know the answer to that.

…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began… (Titus 1:2)
 

If we cannot trust God that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, then how can we know that we are truly going to heaven? Or to put it another way—is it possible that God remains faithful to unbelieving Israel as a sign to those of us who believe that He will be faithful to us as well? If God can hold up His promise to those who have rejected Him, how much more will He make good on His promise of eternal life to us who believe?

And beyond that, how do we know we are saved? Is it by our great amount of good deeds or is it through faith in Yeshua—despite our utter failure to keep God’s law? God gave us eternal life as a free gift—surely He can give a temporal land to a people group for His own purposes.

YOU CANNOT INTERPRET THE NEW COVENANT WITHOUT THE OLD COVENANT

Dan Juster, in his sharing in response to Dr. Burge, wisely points out that you cannot interpret the New Covenant apart from the Old Covenant. So much of Paul’s teaching is an explanation of the Old Covenant. If you are to say that the Land Promises have been fulfilled in Messiah or that they are cancelled out by the New Covenant, then you have to cut out large sections of the Scriptures… and to be clear, the early believers only had the Old Covenant Scriptures for several decades as spiritual food, until the New Covenant was written. There isn’t even a hint in the New Covenant that the apostles felt that the Land Promises were fulfilled and thus, not longer valid. This is a conjecture theology—guesswork at best.

Ron CantorBy Ron Cantor

IS THE TORAH OBSOLETE?

Moving on, Dr. Burge then points to Hebrews 8:13 to show that the New Testament cancels out the old.

By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. (Heb. 8:13)

 

What does this mean? First, we are speaking not of the Abrahamic Covenant (the first Land promises), but the Law of Moses. Secondly, the writer refers to that which is obsolete as something outdated that will soon disappear. Are the Ten Commandments outdated? Have they disappeared? I say no. So much of civil law today finds its rooting in the Ten Commandments.

Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and 7th president of the United Sates: “That book (the Bible), sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests.” (Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, pg. 519)

Noah Webster said, “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” (Citizen’s Rulebook, p. 8)

 

Before the New Testament was written Paul said referring to the Old Covenant, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living.” (2 Tim. 3:16) So, if the Old Covenant still has relevance today, what was obsolete and soon disappearing?

Most scholars agree that the Book of Hebrews was written around 64 CE. If that is true, then this is just six years before the destruction of the Temple and thus, the sacrificial system. In context, Chapter eight of Hebrews is clearly making the case that the ministry of Messiah, as the High Priest and mediator, is superior to the ministry of human Cohanim, Temple priests. It is a comparison between the heavenly tabernacle and the earthly Temple, which “will soon disappear.” It is not a repudiation of all that is written before Messiah. And most certainly, it is not a declaration that God’s promises to Israel through prophets are irrelevant in light of the New Covenant.

How ironic that Burge points to the writer of Hebrews’ usage of the famous passage in Jeremiah, promising to Israel a New Covenant, to prove that it was the Mosaic Law that was discarded. In that passage, God does not say that the New will supersede the Old, but that in the New, “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts.” (Jer. 31:33 CJB) The Old is not trashed in the New, but rather we are empowered to live out God’s commands.

SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM, NOT THE ENTIRE OLD COVENANT

In 70 CE the Temple was destroyed and sacrifices ceased. Why? Because “it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” (Heb. 10:4) God did not do away with the Torah, but only the sacrificial system, as Yeshua’s ministry is superior. We read in Acts 21, more than twenty years after the Yeshua movement began, that Jewish believers are honoring the Torah—and it is portrayed as a good thing!

On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah. (Acts 21:20 CJB)

 

Conclusion: Hebrews 8:13 is not referring to the Abrahamic Covenant or the Mosaic Covenant as a whole, but saying that in light of Yeshua’s sacrifice, there is no longer a need for Temple ministry. Furthermore, to imply that Hebrews 8:13 is saying that the God—who cannot lie—will not fulfill that which he promised to Israel, is to change the very nature of God as a faithful Father.

If we come to that conclusion, then none of us are safe. If God can break His so clearly expressed promise to return Israel to her land, then He can break any promise to you!

Fortunately, He is faithful to both you and Israel.

Ron CantorBy Ron Cantor

CAN GOD BLESS AN UNBELIEVING ISRAEL?

Dr. Burge shifts gears. He wants to establish that the coming of Messiah was decisive, meaning that only in Him can one now enjoy God’s favor and blessing. What Burge fails to comprehend is that just breathing is a result of the grace of God. Waking up in the morning is due to God’s mercy. Every human is blessed in some way by God—outside of explicit faith in Yeshua.

God’s promise to never again flood the world is enjoyed by the most despicable heathens alive. God’s grace on the unbeliever is undeniable. And if that is true, why then, for His own reasons and purposes, can God not put his favor upon (still) unbelieving Israel?

OH, THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES…

When in Romans eleven Paul outlines God’s plan to reattach the Jewish branches en masse to the olive tree in the last days (as Hosea predicted 3:4-5), he gets so excited at the wisdom of God’s plan—to use Israel to reach the nations, and then the nations to, in turn, reach Israel by “provoking her to jealousy” (v. 11) – so that Israel “too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to [the Gentiles],” (v. 31)—resulting in “greater riches” (v.12) and “life from the dead” (v. 15) for the world, that he has to stop and simply praise God!

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom andknowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen. (v. 33-36)
 

Those who embrace Replacement Theology miss out on Paul’s joy here. It is a marvelous and yet mysterious plan. Paul would say to both Augustine and all those who have believed that the Church has replaced Israel before and after him:

For, brothers, I want you to understand this truth which God formerly concealed but has now revealed, so that you won’t imagine you know more than you actually do. It is that stoniness, to a degree, has come upon Israel, until the Gentile world enters in its fullness; and that it is in this way that all Israel will be saved. (Rom. 11:25-26a)

Burge seems to acquiesce to the fact that Paul does promise future blessing to natural Israel—but only after the Second Coming, when they embrace Yeshua. And even then, he claims all the Land promises have been fulfilled in the Church.

THE BURDEN IS ON REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY

They often ask, “Where does the New Testament affirm that the Land is still promised?” But they have the question backwards. The burden of proof is on them to show where the New Testament repudiates God’s promise to restore the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. The status quo as the New Testament narrative begins is that the prophets predict Israel’s restoration to her land. Show me where it is explicitly written that God has changed his mind?

Peter in his sermon in Acts three affirms the Abrahamic Covenant—without qualifications, such as taking away the land—to his yet unbelieving audience:

You are the sons of the prophets; and you are included in the covenant which God made with our fathers when he said to Abraham, ‘By your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed.’ So it is to you first that God has sent his servant whom he has raised up, so that he might bless you by turning each one of you from your evil ways. (Acts 3:25-26)

 

However the most powerful passage that confirms God is still faithful to Israel comes just after Paul tells Gentile believers that there is absolutely no value in circumcision. Many have taken his words in Romans 2 as a denunciation of Judaism, Jewish circumcision and the physical Covenant of Abraham. But if they would just keep reading four verses into the next chapter, they would see that the Covenant of Abraham to natural Israel is still very much in tact:

What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. (Rom. 3:1-4a CJB)

 

It is as if Paul wrote these very words for people like Dr. Burge, who might not be able to understand how God could bless natural Israel in her unfaithful state.

Ron Cantor is the Executive Pastor of Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. For more information go to www.ReachTelAviv.org.

Podcast Episode 51

admin —  March 31, 2014 — Leave a comment
Play

Ron Cantor and the Maoz Media team bring you the 51st episode of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast!

Ron Cantor and Tal Guiness are back in our Tel Aviv studio together with Avi the Technician, discussing major headlines from Israel.  Why is Avi getting a robot vacuum cleaner? Is former Prime Minister Olmert going to jail? How many prisoners PA demands Israel to release for continuation of peace talks? Why do Palestinians need to keep Israel as the enemy? Tune in to find out!

At the end of the podcast stay tuned for the song For You So Loved by Judah & Jennifer Morrison from the album Let Us Return.

 

SHOW NOTES:

This broadcast of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast is brought to you by Maoz Israel Ministries and Congregation Tiferet Yeshua

Maoz Israel Report

Messiah’s Mandate

Contact Ron: ron@cantorlink.com
Ron on Twitter: @ronscantor

Maoz on Twitter: @maozisrael

Was Peter a Palestinian?: http://messiahsmandate.org/was-peter-a-palestinian/

Ron CantorBy Ron Cantor

IS MESSIANIC THEOLOGY DUAL COVENANT THEOLOGY? NO.

After examining Supersessionism/Replacement Theology, Burge now comes to a similar dilemma as St. Augustine. He must answer what he sees as a difficult question. In light of how anti-Semeitc Replacement Theology has been, how can Christians do theology, and still honor Israel?

He gives us two choices:

  1. Christianity that honors Israel, but does away with the Abrahamic Covenant (Land promises) to ethnic Israel. In this version of Replacement Theology, Burge holds out hope for revival in Israel, but only after the return of the Messiah—which is not in line with the Prophets, such as Hosea 3:4-5, which predicts Israel returning to her Messiah in the “last days”.
  2. Embrace a Dual Covenant Theology (which he misrepresents as that of God still honoring his promises to Abraham and his descendants, when in fact Dual Covenant teaches that Jews can obtain salvation through the Old Covenant—without Yeshua).
  3.  

I see several problems with this.

  1. He assumes there are only two options. Maybe there is a third option! A theology that says God can honor both the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant—that in the New Covenant era God is saving Jews and Gentiles even while there is still grace upon unbelieving Israel. (Romans 11:28-29)
  2. The Abrahamic Covenant is not salvific. The idea that Jews can obtain salvation through Abraham apart from Yeshua is flawed in every way. As I said in the introduction, no one in our movement teaches this! It is like saying, “I can prove to you that two plus two equals five by proving that two plus two doesn’t equal six.” No one is claiming that it does!
  3.  

However, Burge makes a major mistake in his exegesis, by hypothesizing a) if Dual Covenant theology is not Biblical, than b) the Abrahamic Covenant has changed dramatically! Why does A have to lead to B?

If not for the word ‘possible’ at 29:33 in the video, he seems to be making a case that God’s faithfulness to the Abrahamic Covenant regarding natural Israel is in fact equal to Dual Covenant Theology—which he has already defined incorrectly. And from this false supposition (that God’s honoring of the Abrahamic Covenant to Abraham’s physical seed, is in fact Dual Covenant Theology) he shares several problems. But since his assumption is flawed, the problems not real problems.

Burge says that “the New Testament does not imagine that Judaism is unaffected by the coming of Christ.” Who argues that it does?

Note: This appears to be a debating tactic of Burge, which he employs throughout his talk. He makes an outrageous claim, to say, ‘well, if this isn’t true then…’ in order to arrive at his conclusion. For example, he makes the point about the New Testament not imagining Judaism would be unaffected by it, to claim that the Abrahamic Covenant to natural Israel is now null and void or fulfilled in Yeshua. What does one have to do with the other? Or, because Dual Covenant Theology is unbiblical, the Abrahamic Covenant must change. To the unlearned, it makes sense, but it seems quite manipulative—whether on purpose or not, I don’t know.

Of course, Judaism is affected by the New Covenant, but that doesn’t have to lead, as Burge surmises, to the conclusion that the Church is the new spiritual Israel—in place of the old, natural Israel. There is not one verse in the New Testament that clearly states, God is no longer working through ethnic Israel and her promises are transferred to the Church. That is like me telling my wife that I met someone new. I am not really committing adultery, because when I made my covenant, I was actually looking forward to this other women. But that is exactly how Burge presents God to Israel.

Let’s be clear, the New Testament, while showing that tens of thousands of Jews did embrace Yeshua (Acts 21:20), also shows strong resistance to the message from the Sanhedrin, and Rabbinical/Pharisaical Judaism seems to win out (at least for now) as the dominant Judaism over Messianic Judaism. Burge struggles greatly with the idea that God could be faithful to his promises to Israel without reference to Yeshua (see 29:40 in video). But if he just reads Romans 3:1-4, his question would be answered, for Paul claims that even if Israel does not believe, God will still be faithful because that’s who He is.

Dr. Burge goes on to discuss the “problem with this view and why it is rarely embraced”… what view? The view that God is faithful to His promises to Israel despite her unbelief or Dual Covenant theology. By now Burge has skillfully taken out the word ‘possible’ and woven the two views together, so that in order to believe what Paul says in Rom. 3:1-4 or 11:29 (God is faithful to unbelieving Israel), you must also be Dual Covenant. It is brilliant as a debate strategy, but it is not fair to the Scriptures.

So to review, this is Burge’s Theory:

In order to believe that God is faithful to Israel, while still in unbelief, regarding His Old Covenant Promises…

  1. You must embrace his version of the Dual Covenant theory… (Which in the actual theory, Jews obtain salvation through law-keeping—a theory we reject.)
  2. And the problem with that is that Yeshua is no longer central…
  3. Therefore there is no way that the Land of Israel belongs to unbelieving Jews.
  4.  

He doesn’t actually say number three, but that is his clear hypothesis.

So what do we do with this?

For I will take you (Israel) from among the nations,
gather you from all the countries,
and return you to your own soil.
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness
and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit inside you;
I will take the stony heart out of your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put my Spirit inside you
and cause you to live by my laws,
respect my rulings and obey them.
You will live in the land I gave to your ancestors.
You will be my people,
and I will be your God. (Ez. 36:24-28)
 

This is one of scores of passages that predict the Jewish return to the Land of Israel. Yet, it also predicts revival among the returnees.

Ron Cantor is the Executive Pastor of Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. For more information go to www.ReachTelAviv.org.