“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
– John 19:30
Well, the long knives are out for me, once again.
I’m being labeled as an apostate by a blogger who compares himself with the prophet Ezekiel. In addition, the accusations he makes against me are being reported by the owner of the Christian Research Network, which describes itself as “a hub for conservative news and information on current issues in the Church and around the world” and where I am labeled as a “false teacher.”
My offense, apparently, is in not believing Jesus’ work in building His Kingdom on Earth is all over, done, complete, finished.
Jesus’ work clearly did not end when he uttered three famous works in John 19:30 on the cross: “It is finished.” Clearly, His work on the cross was finished. But Jesus and all the prophets from Creation forward laid out God’s plan of restoring the entire Earth that has been ongoing since that day Jesus gave up His life for our redemption from sin.
No. 1: He was resurrected three days later.
No. 2: He spent 40 days with His disciples, teaching them, introducing them to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, assigning them their life’s work and preparing them for the Kingdom to come.
No. 3: As Jesus explained in John 14:2-3, He then went “to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
No. 4: Jesus will be coming back to Earth to set up His Kingdom on the throne of David in Jerusalem where He will, at last, fulfill His destiny as “King of Kings” and restore the Earth as all the prophets foretold. (Acts 3)
Joseph Farah’s groundbreaking book, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” compiles a complete scriptural picture of the Coming Kingdom of a fully restored Earth – the destiny of all true believers.
I don’t believe Jesus has been on vacation since His resurrection.
I believe Scripture indicates he has been our intercessor and Redeemer ever since. His work is not finished. I believe that place He is preparing for His children is right here on Earth, in a restored, Eden-like world where we will be with Him as He rules and reigns from Jerusalem.
It’s not heretical to believe that, because it is all supported by Scripture. I think it’s foolish to dismiss that the Bible means exactly what it says.
Is Jesus coming back?
If you believe it, then clearly His work is not finished. Believing that in no way diminishes His sacrificial atonement for our sins on the cross nor His resurrection.
That I should even have to make this point in defending myself from charges of heresy is somewhat shocking.
I also observe there is a stench of anti-Semitism at the very core of this accusation.
The attacks on me were over a column I wrote recently about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu citing Scripture in which he referenced his nation’s role in fulfilling it – namely Isaiah 49:6: “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”
“Joseph Farah is the publisher of the popular news website World Net Daily (sic). He is also as you might guess an ardent Zionist. After reading this recent column I have to wonder – is he ignorant, is he pandering to his Jewish friends or is he purposely deceiving gullible Christians?
“Isaiah 49 is universally understood to be a Messianic prophecy. It is about the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. It is about a spiritual light, a spiritual restoration and a spiritual salvation. One thing that Isaiah 49 is NOT about is the modern geopolitical state of Israel.
“In changing the meaning of Isaiah 49, Joseph Farah follows the lead of Jewish Rabbi’s (sic) who deny the Lordship of Christ. In order to deceive the people into rejecting Jesus they change the subject of these prophecies from Christ to the nation of Israel. Thus in this case the ‘light to the gentiles and salvation to the whole earth’ become the duty and purpose of the modern Zionist state, not Christ who they insist has not yet.”
In other words, the accuser has a beef with the modern state of Israel. He doesn’t believe that the Jewish state, rising from the dead as prophesied after nearly 2,000 years, is a manifestation of God’s plan for the redemption of Israel and the whole world. He apparently believes, though I am not trying to put words in his mouth, that Jesus has forsaken the Jews by being a light to the gentiles.
Rather than just say he disagrees with me, he attempts to distort my words.
I, too, believe Isaiah 49 is a messianic prophecy about Jesus. But it’s not only that. Read the plain words, again. It speaks of this Redeemer raising up the tribes of Jacob (another name for Israel), and “to restore the preserved of Israel.” Therefore, Israel shares a role – and always has – in being a light to the gentiles. If, nothing else, it is through Israel that the Messiah came. And it is through Israel that He will come again – setting up His throne in the midst of Jerusalem.
If that be heresy or apostasy, let me be judged accordingly.