A Subtle Deception

by | Sep 30, 2007 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Jesus is the only way. There is no Plan B for Jesus.
Almost all evangelical Christians I know love Israel. We respect the heritage of Jewish people, we adamantly support Israel’s right to exist as a nation, and we believe Israelis have a right to defend their democracy from terrorists. We also honor Jews for preserving the Old Testament, and many of us make pilgrimages to Israel to enrich our faith. In both a historic and a spiritual sense, Israel is at the core of Christianity.
Yet I am concerned that some recent teaching about Israel has become unbalanced and unhealthy. Some misguided Christians, for example, insist that churches must celebrate Jewish feasts and observe a kosher diet in order to be in true fellowship with God.
Others require the use of Jewish prayer shawls or Hebrew-style music during worship. And recently a charismatic preacher suggested that God demands special financial offerings to be made during a Jewish holiday to secure God’s blessing.
These teachings usually begin as innocent fads. But before you know it, someone writes a book or airs his views on Christian television. Then everyone jumps on the bandwagon.
Of course there is rich prophetic meaning in prayer shawls, Passover seders, shofars, the Day of Atonement and many other Jewish traditions found in Scripture. But we must remember that these things are meant to point to Jesus Christ. He must be our focus. If we allow traditions or rituals to replace Him, then we are guilty of idolatry.
What troubles me even more is a doctrine that is slowly making its way through our ranks called “dual covenant theology.” Its proponents suggest that Jews—because of their ethnic heritage—do not need to believe in Jesus Christ in order to obtain salvation. In other words, Jews have their own separate track to heaven because they are God’s chosen people—and they get a special ticket.
Dual covenant theology is doubly dangerous because it is rooted in human sympathy. Christians who feel sorry for Jews, mostly because of the horrible treatment they endured during the Holocaust, can’t see how they could deserve God’s judgment. The reasoning goes something like this: “Jews have suffered enough. I don’t think a loving God could ever send a Jew to hell.”
One of the earliest proponents of this philosophy was actually a Jewish rabbi from Italy, Elijah Benamozegh, who taught that Jews and Christians can work as “religious partners in telling the world that God is One.” He believed Jews should aim to be good Jews by following Old Testament laws; meanwhile, he proposed, gentiles should become Christians.
It might sound compassionate to offer Jews this unique privilege, but dual covenant theology is really just another warmed-over version of the ancient heresy of universalism. It’s a first step toward embracing the idea that everyone will eventually find salvation, regardless of his religious beliefs. And it is absolutely at odds with the core message of the gospel—which tells us that all people, Jew and gentile alike, can find salvation only through Jesus the Messiah.
The apostle Paul, a former rabbi himself, certainly did not teach that there were separate paths to heaven for Jews and gentiles. In fact, he angered many Jews when he taught that they had been cut off from the blessings of Abraham because they rejected Jesus. Paul argued that a true Jew is one who trusts in Christ alone—not in keeping laws, observing Sabbaths, making sacrifices or being circumcised (see Rom. 2:25-29).
Paul was not ashamed of the fact that the gospel is exclusive. The New Testament tells us plainly that every man and woman—no matter their ethnic background—must stand before Calvary’s cross to obtain forgiveness and eternal life. We have no right to change the rules, no matter how much sympathy we feel.
Jesus is the only way. There is no Plan B for Jews. To suggest that a Jew is given some type of free backstage pass to heaven is the most blatant form of deception. If we truly love Israel and want God’s blessings for the Jewish people, we will unapologetically tell them the truth and urge them to believe it.


J. Lee Grady is the editor of Charisma. Check out his weekly online column at fireinmybones.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Prophetic Words: End of Year Prophecies to Guide You into 2023

Prophetic Words: End of Year Prophecies to Guide You into 2023

Chris Reed's Prophetic Word Over China: Unprecedented mass protests are unfolding right now across China. The country is seeing the largest pushback in decades, following their "zero COVID strategy" still in place today. China's Communist Party has continued to...

Declaring a Great Awakening Among Prodigals

Declaring a Great Awakening Among Prodigals

Read Time: 1 Minute 23 Seconds It’s a shocking statistic! More than 80 and up to 90% of children who grow up in church are leaving the church once they reach 18. Sadly, only 40% return, according to Focus on the Family. I believe, with prayer, we can defy those...

Bible Verse of the Day, Dec. 8th: Advent Season, Isaiah 11:1-10

Bible Verse of the Day, Dec. 8th: Advent Season, Isaiah 11:1-10

Isaiah 11:1-10 And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the...

Marilyn Hickey: God Can Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Marilyn Hickey: God Can Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Read Time: 2 Minutes 2 Seconds Have you ever broken a bone? If so, you know what it’s like to go through a painful healing process. Consider what that might feel like in the spiritual realm. Sometimes we can get broken in various ways in life, but God wants to “set”...

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

Read Time: 1 Minute 59 Seconds Bishop J. Drew Sheard and the General Board of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ announced Tuesday the death of one of its most beloved leaders, Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Hutchins was 65....

RECENT ARTICLES

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

They are saying the charismatic movement is divisive. Whenever people get involved in the "new emphasis," there are disruptions in the status quo. Red flags go up. Lines are drawn. I would ask: What...
Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Read Time: 6 Minutes, 42 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? Could these gods actually be the unseen movers and catalysts of what's happening in America and the world today? Could they lie behind the current...

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Read Time: 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Most made-for-TV Christmas movies are like eggnog and sugar cookies—way too sweet, yet extremely addictive for a lot of viewers. But these Hallmark-style movies—the ones with predictable love stories that always end with jingling bells...

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 1 Minute 51 Seconds At a recent gathering where a member was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you, TURN and see; embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Read Time: 2 Minutes 25 Seconds If you search the phrase, “where does life come from?” the first explanation reads: “The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event—and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past.” The...

Raise Your Praise!

Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and principalities that come against you, in addition to the challenges...

Pin It on Pinterest