The Christian and Jewish faith communities are waiting for the appearance of the Messiah. But is it the same Messiah or is there a difference, as is the case between the God of the Bible and the Allah of the Koran? The relatively new dispensationalism provides an answer.
Inhalt / Content
- 1 Is universality (Catholicism) possible?
- 2 Is Jesus Christ the Messiah of all?
- 3 Different visions of the future
- 4 “Newfangled” Dispensationalism
- 5 The Israel of God is the church
- 6 Messiah is not the same as Messiah
- 7 The Messiah Roman Catholic Church
- 8 It is better to look at Rome than at Jerusalem
Is universality (Catholicism) possible?
Christians are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. The (Orthodox) Jewish communities are also waiting for a coming Messiah. Since both faiths also share Abraham as a common forefather based on their common history, then the matter is actually “scratched”. The “Abrahamic” faith also includes Islam and you already have the common denominator for the ecumenism of the three major monotheistic religions.
Whether it is “the” common God or “any” common God obviously seems irrelevant here. According to the definition of some Protestant liberal theologians, every person can put together their own personal God as needed (Info).
Just a quick comparison between the God of the Bible and the Allah of the Koran is enough to see the big difference. The God of the Bible has an only begotten Son. The Allah of the Quran has no son. Jesus Christ died on the cross for all people. In the Koran, Jesus (Isa) did not even die (Info). Although someone was crucified, it was a double. The Bible describes a possibility of salvation through the grace of God based on faith (righteousness of faith). The Quran describes salvation through a good life and good deeds (works righteousness).
Just one point from the list was enough to realize that the God of the Bible and the Allah of the Koran cannot be one and the same God.
Is Jesus Christ the Messiah of all?
It is not so easy to compare Christianity with Judaism, especially when the latter is also influenced by Hellenism. But here too there are fundamental differences, especially when it comes to Jesus Christ. The New Testament states clearly that Jesus Christ plays not just one role, but “the” essential role (John 14:6). And for all people.
Different visions of the future
A key difference from the Bible’s predictions and the visions of the future in the Jewish faith concerns the expected events in the future. This includes the changes in society as well as the expected return of the Messiah. This is where so-called dispensationalism comes into play. Unfortunately, around 90 percent of evangelical churches have incorporated this dispensationalism into their teachings. The origin of this future variant can be found on the “Christian” side of the Roman Catholic Church.
A variant of the tales of the Talmud that was adopted and changed in the 16th century. The Jesuit Francisco Ribera and the Jesuit Robert Cardinal Bellarmine laid the foundation for this. They also shaped the so-called futurism, in which the prophecy in Daniel 9:27 describes a future Antichrist. In the run-up to the upcoming tribulation period, the Christian community had already been taken to heaven in a “pre-rapture”. The final appearance of Jesus Christ will drive out the Antichrist from the “Temple of God” (Jerusalem). Afterwards, a 1000-year kingdom of peace will reign on earth.
However, the Bible tells a completely different version (Info).
With this story, Ribera and Bellarmine killed two birds with one stone. The Catholic Church, recognized by the reformers as the “son of perdition,” should be taken out of the firing line. In addition, the history of dispensationalism is compatible with the future version of the Jewish faith.
Dr. Cornelis P. Venema, president and professor of doctrinal studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary and associate pastor of Redeemer URC in Dyer, Indiana, wrote the following on the subject of biblical Israel (Source):
Christians and Israel “two pairs of boots”
“Although premillennial dispensationalism is a relatively new viewpoint in the history of Christian theology, its position on God’s special purpose for Israel has shaped, even dominated, recent debates among evangelical Christians on the relationship between the church and Israel.
In classic dispensationalism, God has two distinct peoples: an earthly people, Israel, and a heavenly people, the church. According to dispensationalism, God administers the course of the history of redemption by means of seven successive dispensations or redemptive economies. During each dispensation, God tests human beings by a distinct revelation of His will. Among these seven dispensations, the three most important are the dispensation of law, the dispensation of the gospel, and the dispensation of the kingdom.”“
Pre-rapture of the Christian community
Dr. Cornelis P. Venema explains:
“However, when Christ returns at any moment to “rapture” the church prior to a seven-year period of great tribulation, He will resume God’s special program for Israel. This tribulation period will be a prelude to the commencement of the future dispensation of a one thousand-year kingdom upon the earth. For dispensationalism, the millennium marks the period during which God’s promises to Israel, His earthly people, will receive a distinct, literal fulfillment. Only at the end of the dispensation of the millennial kingdom will Christ finally vanquish all of His enemies and introduce the final state.”
The Traditional View – One People of God
On this Dr. Cornelis P. Venema:
“Contrary to dispensationalism’s sharp demarcation between God’s two peoples, Israel and the church, historic Reformed theology insists on the unity of God’s redemptive program throughout history. When Adam, the covenant head and representative of the human race, fell into sin, all human beings as his posterity became liable to condemnation and death (Rom. 5:12–21). By virtue of Adam’s sin and its implications for the entire human race, all people became subject to the curse of the law and heirs of a sinfully corrupt nature.“
“According to the traditional Reformed interpretation of Scripture, God initiated the covenant of grace after the fall in order to restore His chosen people to communion and fellowship with Himself. While the covenant of grace is administered diversely throughout the course of the history of redemption, it remains one in substance from the time of its formal ratification with Abraham until the coming of Christ in the fullness of time. In all of the various administrations of the covenant of grace, God redeems His people through faith in Jesus Christ, the one Mediator of the covenant of grace, through whom believers receive the gift of eternal life and restored communion with the living God“
The Israel of God is the church
It is obvious that there is no difference between the New Testament “people of God” and “Israel”. One means the other. The theologian and author of numerous books, Michael Marlowe, also came to this conclusion (Source):
“The proper interpretation and translation of the last phrase in Galatians 6:16 has become a matter of controversy in the past century or so. Formerly it was not a matter of controversy. With few exceptions, “The Israel of God” was understood as a name for the Church here“
Owen Palmer Robertson, US theologian and Bible teacher, including at Westminster Theological Seminary, also came to this conclusion in his book “The Israel of God” (2000).:
“The identification of a distinct people who would be the recipients of God redemptive blessings and yet a separate existence from the Church of Jesus Christ leads, creates insurmountable theological problems. Jesus Christ has only one body and only one bride, one people, whom he calls his own, which is the true Israel of God. This one people consists of Jews and Greeks who believe that Jesus is the promised one Savior is.“
Messiah is not the same as Messiah
The Messiah expected by the Jewish communities in the future will once again raise Israel above all nations, as God originally intended in the Old Testament. But ancient Israel completely “screwed up” its actual task as a role model for all heathen peoples. Jesus Christ was not and is not recognized as the Messiah announced in Daniel 9 and Isaiah 53.
Therefore, the Jesus Christ of the Bible cannot be the same Messiah as described in the Talmud. In the Babylonian Talmud, Jesus Christ is called by His name in several places, but with such “verbal attacks” that are not repeated here.
This makes it clear that the expected Messiah of the Jewish communities cannot be the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. This applies to the Orthodox Jews as well as to the so-called Messianic Jews.
This is also confirmed by Gershom Scholem, professor of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in “The Messianic Idea in Judaism” (1971):
“Judaism, in all its forms and expressions, has always maintained a conception of redemption: an event that occurs publicly on the scene of history and within society. It is an event that takes place in the visible world and that cannot be imagined without a visible manifestation. Christianity, in contrast, sees salvation as an event in a spiritual and invisible sphere, an occurrence reflected in the soul – in the personal world of the individual, producing an inner change and requiring no correspondence with anything in the external world.“
The Messiah Roman Catholic Church
The God of the Bible is not the Allah of the Koran and Jesus Christ is not the Messiah expected by the Jewish communities. Now we are left with the view of another large faith that is far removed from the Gospel, the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had a clear statement on this in May 2001. The “Pronouncement of the Apostolic See 152” with the title “The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible” contains the following statement (Source):
“Jewish messianic expectation is not in vain. It can become for us Christians a powerful stimulant to keep alive the eschatological dimension of our faith. Like them, we too live in expectation. The difference is that for us the One who is come will have the traits of the Jesus who has already come and is already present and active among us.“
This is strong tobacco. The Church of Rome is expecting a Messiah, but he will NOT be Jesus Christ. This will only have a similar character and this is also compatible with the expectation according to the Babylonian Talmud. According to the Catholic Church’s self-image, Jesus Christ has long since been realized in the church itself (Arrogance – Info).
It is better to look at Rome than at Jerusalem
The evangelical world in particular is watching the events in Israel with excitement. Having succumbed to the error of dispensationalism, they soon expect their (false) belief to be realized. All eyes should not be directed towards Jerusalem, but rather towards Rome with great suspicion. The Church of Rome, on the other hand, is keeping a low profile because this institution probably knows exactly what is going on.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Bible verses from King James Version