by Al Benson Jr.
In the previous installment I noted that dispensationalism seemed to be the theological arm of “reconstruction” in the South after the War of Northern Aggression was over and the “reconstruction” of the South was supposedly ended. We know “reconstruction” didn’t really end because they told us it did. And as dispensationalism was the theology that neutralized the South so it was also the theology that sought to make national Israel equal to or superior to the Christian church. It’s adherents are still doing this today
Evangelist John L. Bray has conducted Bible conferences on prophecy in the United States over the years. Back in 1983 he authored a small book (80 pages) called Israel In Bible Prophecy which has gone through several printings. Pastor Bray observed, on page 30, that “A number of authors credit J. N. Darby of the beginning Plymouth Brethren movement with the origin of this ‘futurism’ which has gained such a foothold in conservative circles during these last 150 years or so. Hoeever, little notice has been paid to the Catholic Jesuit priest Emmanuel Lacunza and his book, The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty (published in English in 1827 in London) with its possible influence on Darby and the translator of the book from Spanish, Rev. Edward Irving…It had been written by Lacunza under the assumed name of Rabbi Juan Josaphat Ben Ezra as a supposedly converted Jew. The main emphasis of Lacunza in this book was the return of Christ to set up a millenial earthly kingdom…following the return of Christ to earth It was in the days following the publication of this book that the system of a futuristic restoration of the Jews to Palestine and their national conversion at the second coming of Christ to earth began to be emphasized and spread abroad everywhere. Rev. Bray told us on page 28 that: “(Lacunza was the one who influenced many toward a revived belief in an earthly Jewish future kingdom following the second coming of Christ;…).
In his Death of the Church Victorious Ovid E. Need Jr has told us a bit more about this Lacunza. On page 86 he said: “In Lacunza’s new dispensation to come, the Lord might still work among the Gentiles, but he will do that work through a renewed national Israel. The victory of Christ seems to have no part in Lacunza’s system of future events. The system, ‘both centering in and radiating out from the Jewish people,’ revolves everything around a renewed national Israel.”
On page 87 he continued: “Despite the Lord’s all Scripture (i.e., law, prophets and the psalms, Luke 24:44ff.) pointed to himself and his redemptive work, Irving, with Lacunza’s support, contended that a glorified national Israel was the theme of all prophecy, and not Christ. He maintained that a restored Jewish nation alone would satisfy the desires and needs of the world. In other words, the work of Christ was not finished at his first advent. Christ’s work must yet be completed;” And apparently, if we believe these people, (and I don’t) then Christ’s work simply cannot be completed without the help of national Israel!
Can you begin to see where the pioneers of dispensationalism are trying to take us? Away from Christ and to natiional Israel!
And this is where dispensationalism continues to try to take us. Years ago I picked up a used book at a book sale in Illinois. It was Jerry Falwell and The Jews and it is a perfect example of where dispensationalism has been taking us. The book was written by Merrill Simon, who is Jewish and in it he quotes Falwell in many places. Falwell is the ultimate dispensationalist. He is a orime example of where dispensationalism is headed. Falwell has said: “God chose the Jewish people to bear His name, to show forth His glory, and to be the channel through whom He would perform His will on this earth.” Falwell also stated that God has never abandoned His people…Neither Christianity nor Judaism is superior to the other. In my opinion, both are dependent on the other…Although I believe that at the present time God’s vehicle for world evangelism is the Church, Israel is yet to play a vital role among the nations. Israel is moving to the front and center of God’s prophetic stage. I believe the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) either ended with the taking of old Jerusalem in 1967, or will end in the not too distant future.”
Do you get the feeling here that the Christian Church will at some point be replaced by natiional Israel? That’s where all this is going, whether Falwell even realizes it or not.
And while Falwell stated that God never abandoned His people, the question arises–at the time of Christ’s first coming, did Israel abandon Him?
As my family and I were moving through our devotions in the evenings and reading from the Gospels I began to notice that ust about all the opposition the Lord got to His message seemed to be coming from the Jewish religious establishment–the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. The common people heard Him gladly for the most part, but what I call the Zionists of His day, opposed His teaching early and often He had a vision for the Kingdom of God that in no way squared with what they believed. Their vision for the future included them as rulers of the world and they were not about to surrender that vision. Today the dispensationalists are trying to restore that vision for them, with the Christian Church being far back in the pack as “Plan B” if that.
And a final thought. With a critical national election coming up which may decide whether this country will go totally socialist or not, how many millions of Christians will not even bother to vote? How many have been neutralized to the point that they think any such activity is “of the world” and so they will not even go and cast a vote to try to preserve our history, heritage and our culture because they have been taught that none of this makes any difference. The sad legacy of dispensationalism and its effect on Christians today may enable the socialists and deep state operatives to take over the country because Christians just couldn’t be bothered to do anything to prevent it.