I recently was contacted by a Jewish gentleman from Israel. He had been reading a written debate that I had engaged in with Dr. Lloyd Olson. The Jewish gentleman took issue with a lot of what I had written, and contacted me. What follows below is most of that exchange. I have omitted his name for privacy sake. I think that this exchange gives some interesting insight into what some Jews are thinking today.
Mr. …, thanks for contacting me,, although of course, I strongly disagree with virtually everything you wrote.
You ask: “What scriptures have you produced that in the last days Israel would be destroyed?”
Response by Don K.: Mr. …., it appears that you have not even read my material. What did Isaiah 65:13f say? YHVH said to and about Old Covenant Israel: “I will slay you.” Now, Mr. Mendson, what does slay mean? And, He said He would slay Israel and create a New People, with a New Name.
=Ben: Slay in that context means Divine rejection, removal from existence as stated in Psalm 78:67,68 with reference to Israel being rejected by God. Israel, the Kingdom of the North. But Judah was reconfirmed as the remnant to stay forever
as that Lamp promised to David according to I Kings 11:36. And this “New People with a New Name” is “Replacement Theology.” Therefore, Antisemitism.
Response by Don K.: You comment is self contradictory. First, you admit that slay means removal from existence, and then you condemn it as Replacement Theology. This is a logical contradiction.
I agree with your comment concerning Judah, to a certain extent. YHWH could not destroy them until the coming of the Messiah. However, “the scepter shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh comes.” The Rabbis sometimes called this one of the most troubling verses in the Torah, and for good reason.
The nationalistic form of the Ten Tribes was “caused to cease” (Hosea 1:5f; Amos 5:1f), never to rise again. However, God promised to restore Israel and Judah, under the Messiah. But, that restoration would not be nationalistic, for Jerusalem would no longer be the center of worship (Jeremiah 3:14f; Malachi 1:12f, etc.) The New Covenant would be with both houses (Jeremiah 31), but, it would be a covenant different in nature from the Old. Since the Covenant would be different, this demands that the nation itself would be different– it would in fact be a New People!
Just as there was to be a remnant of Judah, there was to be a remnant of Israel (Isaiah 10:20f; 65:8f). Furthermore, Paul said that the promise of the salvation of the remnant was being fulfilled in his day, in the first century, and that YHVH would finish that work shortly (Romans 9:28f).
Daniel 9 said the city and sanctuary would be destroyed until the “full end” i.e the consummation.
=Ben: According to Daniel 9, it was not the Sanctuary that was destroyed but the sanctity of the Santuary with the erection of the abomination of desolation by that people (the Greeks) of a leader (Antiochus) who was to come for that purpose. (Dan. 9:26)
Response: No, that is not what that text says. It says, “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” There is not one word said about the sanctity of the sanctuary. You are guilty of changing the wording of the text.
Daniel 9 is not about Antiochus Epiphanes. Jesus applied Daniel’s prophecy to the events to be fulfilled in his generation (Matthew 24:15-34). It is therefore, not correct to say that Daniel predicted the Antiochan situation. In point of fact, Antiochus did not do what Daniel 9 predicted. He did not destroy the city and the sanctuary.
Daniel 12 said He would completely shatter the power of Israel.
God said He would break the bond between Judah and Israel.
=Ben: This is a reference indeed to the final and complete removal of Israel the Ten Tribes from existence, with the breaking of the bond between Judah and Israel. To understand it thouroughly, you must be acquainted with the concept of Messiah ben Joseph versus Messiah ben David, being MBJ Israel and MBD Judah.
Response by Don K.: You position here creates two messiahs, and I find no support for that in scripture.
Second, your application is misplaced. You say that Daniel 12 / Zechariah 10f speaks of the removal of the ten tribes. But, chronologically, they had already been physically removed long before Daniel was written! Thus, your argument is anachronistic and misguided. Both Daniel and Zechariah were written long after the removal of the ten tribes, but, foretold the removal of the covenantal bond between Judah and Israel– Zechariah 13-14
I have repeatedly addressed the reality that Isaiah said God would slay Israel at the time of the destruction of the “heaven and earth.” And Mr. Olson, and now you, completely ignore what the text says. I can only offer what the text says.
=Ben: This is pretty much the same as saying nothing, because then, there is nothing to be destroyed but, since eternity belongs to God only.
In regard to the last days. I believe that you are assuming too much. The term “last days” does not refer to the last days of earth or time. Furthermore, the N. T. writers affirm that the end of the age, and the last days, were present in the first century (1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 1:1; 9:26f).
The time had been shortened– 2000 years ago, (1 Corinthians 7:28f).
=Ben: On the contrary, I thought the assumption was yours. I always had in mind that any reference to the last days was a reference to the last days of a definite generation.
Response by Don K.: Perhaps we have some agreement here!
I do not believe that the term last days refers in any way to the last days of human history, or time.
I do agree that it referred “to the last days of a definite generation.”
But, this is what makes it so important.
The Old Testament foretold the out pouring of the Spirit in the last days.
It foretold the establishment of the kingdom in the last days.
The Old Testament foretold that establishment of the New Covenant in the last days.
It foretold the salvation of the remnant in the last days.
It foretold the resurrection and salvation in the last days.
These were all God’s promises to Old Covenant Israel / Judah.
What makes these promises so significant is the undeniable fact that the New Testament writers were virtually all Jews, longing for the fulfillment of the Old Covenant promises made to Israel and Judah!
Peter said that Joel’s promise of the out pouring of the Spirit was being fulfilled on Pentecost.
Peter said that the Old Covenant prophets– “all who have ever written, spoke of these days” (Acts 3:24f)– those were his first century days.
Peter was looking for the New Heaven and Earth promised by Isaiah 65-66.
Paul said that he preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets. This falsifies your somewhat incredible view stated below that Paul was somehow a liar, who did not preach the truth. He said that he got his gospel directly from Jesus, through the Spirit, not from man. His gospel was the proclamation of nothing but what the prophets foretold (Romans 16:25-26). Your claim that his doctrine was false has not merit.
Since all of the NT writers say emphatically that they were living in the days foretold by the Old Covenant prophets, and that the end had drawn near, and was coming very quickly, there is no room- or justification– for a future fulfillment of those prophecies.
THe Lord was coming “in a very, very little while” (literal rendering of Hebrews 10:37).
Christ’s parousia “has drawn near” (James 5:8-9). James wrote that 2000 years ago.
The end had drawn near when they wrote (1 Peter 4:7).
I ask kindly, why will you not accept their inspired testimony?
=Ben: I do, to a certain extent, as I agree that the expression last days was then a reference to that generation of First the Century.
Israel has nothing whatsoever to do with the promise of Genesis 8:20f. Israel is not in the text or context. The world could survive without Israel as a people.
=Ben: If the world would survive without Israel as a People, Jesus would not have told the Samaritan woman that salvation is of the Jews. Salvation of Mankind as a people, as Israel is held as the pledge to guarantee God’s promise to Noah that He would never allow universal destruction. (Gen. 8:21)
Response by Don K.: This is an illogical argument. It assumes that the people must continue to exist, instead of the salvation established in Christ– the penultimate “Jew” continuing! Jesus was, and is, the salvation that continues. It is not the earthly bloodline of Abraham that is necessary to continue, it is the everliving Jesus, the Messiah!
YHVH does affirm in the text that He would not judge the world “as I have done.” But, with your view of things, this is a profound promise that the earth will not be destroyed? What then of the doctrine of the end of time and the destruction of the earth? If you hold on the one hand that Genesis 8:20f promises that the earth will never be destroyed, and then on the other hand say that the earth will one day be destroyed, that is a contradiction in terms. Furthermore, if you affirm that the material cosmos will in fact be destroyed one day, what becomes of your view that Israel can never be destroyed…unless creation is destroyed? That is speaking in contradictory terms.
=Ben: No sir, that is speaking in metaphorical terms. Of course everything but God will come to a end some day. But when, thrillions of light years ahead? This to us might as well be enternal.
Response by Don K.: The fact is that there is not a Jew on the face of the earth that can prove that he is of the blood line of Abraham. You may not be aware of it, but, even Jewish historians and anthropologists openly admit that there is no race of Israelites descended from Abraham today. Are you even aware of this devastating fact? I will be happy to provide documentation of this if you are willing to actually read it.
=Ben: Sir, I have heard that before. I consider this attempt to discard the Jewish People from the Abrahamic election as “Replacement Theology,” an item in the make of the NT. Mind you that “Replacement Theology” has been identified as a form of Antisemitism.
Response by Don K.: I very often find that when someone cannot answer the truth of the scriptures concerning Israel, that they resort to name calling, especially “replacement theology” and anti-semitism.
In point of fact, you did not address my argument. Here it is again: “There is not a Jew on the face of the earth that can prove that he is of the blood line of Abraham. You may not be aware of it, but, even Jewish historians and anthropologists openly admit that there is no race of Israelites descended from Abraham today.”
Can you produce the genealogies to verify the identity and bloodline of a single Jews today? No, you cannot do so.
Incidentally, was Isaiah “anti-semitic” when he predicted the destruction of Old Covenant Israel, and the creation of a New People with a New Name? Did Isaiah hold to a “Replacement Theology” that you speak so disparagingly of, when he foretold that New People with a New Name? Was Daniel anti-semitic, when he foretold the full end of the city and holy people? Was Malachi anti-semitic when he predicted that YHVH would leave them “neither root or branch?” Furthermore, was Jesus himself anti-semitic when he predicted–as the fulfillment of Daniel, Isaiah, etc., the complete desolation of the city and temple, with the coming abomination of desolation, for his generation?
I say as kindly as possible that I fail to see how anyone–especially those who claim to love and follow Jesus as Messiah– can support a nation that is essentially atheistic, and that hates the very name of Jesus! They openly persecute Christians. They forbid anyone from sharing Jesus in Israel. They persecute Palestinian Christians! How can we say they are God’s people, whey they are persecuting God’s people? Take another look at Revelation 2:9f; 3:9f!
=Ben: That’s where you are terribly mistaken. First of all, Jesus was not the Messiah, whose meaning in Greek is “Christ,” and the first one who started preaching that Jesus was Christ was Paul. Read Acts 11:26. And that was about 30 years after Jesus had been gone. It means that Paul was the one to fabricate the idea.
Response to Don K.: No, I am not mistaken on this. Jesus claimed to be the son of God, one with the Father, worthy of honor as the Father, and the Jews well understood that he was not simply saying that he was like them, and (ostensibly) believed the same things. They fully understood that he made himself equal with God (John 5:19f; 8:51-58; 10:32-38). Furthermore, when Caiaphas asked him if he was Messiah, the Son of God, he said, “It is as you said”. Your claim that Paul was the first to call him messiah is simply at odds with the Scriptures. Before Paul called Jesus the Messiah, John said that he wrote his gospel “that you might believe that he is the Christ, the son of the living God.” (John 20:30-31)– and, Paul said that he and John preached the same message!
And to say that the Jewish People is essencially atheistic could hardly be considered even close to the Truth. If it were not for us the Jews, the rest of the world would still be in the cave worshipping the stone and the fire or even a block of wood in the shape of a demon. We are the ones who brought the correct conception of a Monotheistic God to Humanity.
Response by Don K.: Virtually all sources say that the majority of Jews in Israel today are atheists, agnostics, and most assuredly unbelievers, especially of Jesus.
Make no mistake, I have the most profound love for what God did through Israel of old! They most assuredly were God’s people, chos
en by grace– not by race, to bless the world. And that blessing has come in the person of my savior, Jesus, the Messiah!
en by grace– not by race, to bless the world. And that blessing has come in the person of my savior, Jesus, the Messiah!
But, as YHVH Himself noted, He would only be with them until He had performed all of His words to them (Genesis 28:15f). He has fulfilled those promises, and created a New Man in Christ.
We do not hate Jesus. You have been totally misinformed. How could we hate a fellow Jew who came to confirm Judaism to the letter according to Matthew 5:17-19? What seems to you that some Jews hate Jesus, Christians are to blame for using his name to persecute and kill Jews throughout History. Never in he History of the world there was an institution that has killed more Jews than Christianity through pogroms, Crusades, Inquisition and last but not least, the Holocaust.
Response by Don K.: Re: Matthew 5:17-18– you will note that Jesus did say that Torah would pass when it was all fulfilled! And when did Jesus say all would be fulfilled? Read Luke 21:22!
Lamentably, you speak some truth here on one issue. It is one of the saddest commentaries on history, and an indictments of “Christianity” that some have killed Jews in the name of Jesus! I fully concur that those pogroms were wrong, dead wrong, and were a perversion of the spirit of Christ! There is no justification in the word of God for such horrendous actions.
To say the Jewish People openly persecute Christians is a lie bordering on Antisemitism. Perhaps the opposite is still true. I live in Israel, and hold almost every Saturday Biblical discussions with Christians, especially “Messianic Jews” and “Jehovah Witnesses.” Many avoid them and ask the Government to forbid missionary activities because they lack knowledge of the enemy’s territory. But I invite them as I invite you right now to continue this study with me.
No one in Israel persecute “Palestinian” Christians. The plight of the “Palestinian” people is due to their own brothers, the other Arabic countries who forced them to leave Israel and return later when they pushed the Jews into sea. I personally tell you that the Jews are way too merciful. They should have paid them with the same coin and pushed them into the desert instead, since they failed to push us into the sea. They forced the “Palestinians” into refugee camps and now refuse to use their petrol dollars to help them out. But to pay the families of those who are ready to turn themselves into suicide bombers to kill innocent Jews in Israel, they have the money.
Response by Don K.: There is more than enough blame to go around on this issue! I agree that the Palestinian authorities should be using their petrol dollars to help their people. No doubt. It is my conviction that the leaders among the radical Islamic groups and Palestinian groups are actually willing to allow their own people to suffer, all the while pointing the finger at Israel, when they could in fact alleviate a lot of that suffering! This is not a part of our discussion.
Likewise, there is undoubtely a lot that the Jewish authorities could do to be more tolerant. It only fosters more hatred, more animosity to oppress the Palestinians more and more.
The fact is that there is no question that the official policy of Israel that they do not allow proselying by Christians, and that is indisputable.
If you refuse to agree that the Jewish People are God’s People, there is just one thing you can do: Burn your Bible, because you can’t change what it’s written. They are not persecuting “God’s people.” This is another attempt of yours to stick your Replacement Theology where you will never be able to, as long as you will be dealing with someone like me who knows the roots of Christianity.
What about Revelation 2:9: and 3:9? Because it talks about synagogue of Satan? The Synagogue of Satan is Christianity who worships a man as if he was God. Besides, we Jews do not believe in Satan. Satan is for those who believe in it. Therefore, the right term is not synagogue of Satan but church of Satan. And last but not least, read I John 2:18,19. It says in there that the antichrists are supposed to come out from the ranks of Christianity. I mean, from the church of Satan.
Response by Don K.: Once again, you throw around the term replacement theology and anti-semitism, without offering any proof of any kind other than your presuppositions. This is not convincing in any way. As a matter of fact, your claims in regard to Revelation reveal your inability to deal with the actual text. And yet, you say it is I who is rejecting the Bible!
The Greek of Revelation 2 / is not “church” it is synagogue. You have inserted a totally foreign word, and perverted the text, to support your own view.
You position really backfires on your badly. Jesus– Messiah– was addressing the churches of Asia, being persecuted. He was not addressing blood Jews who rejected him, and calling them his churches, bearers of his candlesticks!
Writing to those churches, his followers, he said that they were being persecuted by, “those who say they are Jews, but are not, for they are liars.” Christians were being persecuted by those who claimed to be Jews! You have it totally backward and distort the text.
By the way, do you agree with Mr. Lloyd Olson (interjected note: I had a written debate with Lloyd Olson, that is now archived on this website. This is the debate that I am referring to here. Don K.)that now, the True Jew is any person that is circumcised in the heart by faith in Christ? Yes or No? I would truly like to know.
=Ben: I not only disagree but also charge him with being a defender of “Replacement Theology” and an antisemite. Therefore, NO! I do not agree with him. Jesus never proclaimed himself Christ but he was proclaimed as such by the Antichrist Paul.
Response by Don K: Once again, this is a false accusation, without any merit whatsoever. It is based on presuppostions, and not the text.
Paul was raised as a Jew “a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee of the strictest sect”.
He originally persecuted Jesus.
He met Jesus, and became the follower of the one he had formerly persecuted.
He said that he still preached nothing but the hope of Israel. He never abandoned the prophetic hope of Israel– he saw it fulfilled in Jesus!
He said that he was preaching– revealed through the Spirit– the true hope of Israel.
He said he was preaching the true hope of Israel from the prophetic scriptures.
Only a presuppositional theology would say that Paul was anti-christ. He proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God, maker of the atonement, Messiah, fulfiller of Israel’s hope. Peter agreed with Paul. John agreed with Paul, James agreed with Paul.
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God!
Well, I think that covers about ever point that you made. Thanks for the correspondence.
For His Truth, and in His Grace,
Don K. Preston
Don K. Preston