Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Biblical Zionism Counterfeited

Monday, February 12, 2018

Biblical Zionism Counterfeited

Chapter Six
Biblical Zionism Counterfeited

          Zechariah 2:6-9 begins with the “alas, alas, come forth” call of the Messiah to the Jews to regather themselves in Israel.  This call happens at the beginning of the Kingdom Age.  It is important to understand that this is a Kingdom Age call because the Antichrist will counterfeit this at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.  The theological position known as Amillennialism pre-programs professing (but still lost) Christianity for the coming of the great Deceiver.  Whatever God plans, Satan counterfeits

6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. 7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me” (Zechariah 2:6-9).

          The Antichrist will rise to power at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.  The Antichrist will present himself as the Messiah of Israel through a false peace pact with Israel.  He will impersonate the true Messiah by regathering the Jews to the land of Israel near the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.  We must remember that the Antichrist is Satan’s counterfeit Messiah presented to the Jews as their theology falsely views Him and why they rejected Jesus at the first advent.  The corrupted Jewish priesthood, and most of the Jews that the priesthood had corrupted, wanted only a conquering King, not a suffering Saviour.  The corrupted, apostate Church wants only the suffering Saviour and does not want the conquering King.  The Jesus of Zechariah is not the Jesus of apostate Christianity and Replacement Theology.  We see this counterfeit Messiah in Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 6:1-2.  All the prophetic books are Messianic in scope.  However, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelations are primarily Messianic. 

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the midst of the week {three and a half years} he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27).

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:1-2).

          Many people will be confused and deceived because of the false end-time view known as AmillennialismAmillennialists believe that there will be no literal reign of Christ on Earth.  They believe the Church will usher in a utopian kingdom on earth through what is known as Kingdom Constructionism.  In other words, Ecumenical Christianity will be so effective in its dialogue that peace on earth will be accomplished and poverty will end through the redistribution of wealth. 

Three Theological Positions on the Millennium

          The word Millennium means a thousand-year period.  Another word for it is Chiliasm coming from the Greek word CHILIAS meaning one-thousand.  Chiliasm refers specifically to the teaching that Jesus Christ will reign on earth for one thousand years after His second coming.  This is essentially the meaning of the first theological position on the Millennium called Premillennialism.  This is Biblical Millennialism.
          Premillennialism is the outcome of literal interpretation of prophecy resulting in what is known as Dispensationalism.  Dispensationalism sees the Church Age (the sixth Dispensation) coming to a catastrophic end due to the judgment of God upon the earth.  Premillennialists see the redeemed (the saved of the Church Age) removed (raptured) from the earth prior to the judgments (tribulation) beginning.  Almost all historians of early church history agree that Premillennialism was the view held by those of the Apostolic Age.

          Premillennialism also distinguishes between God’s dealings with the Church and Israel in end time prophecies.  It holds to the regathering and restoration of the literal nation of Israel at the beginning of the theocratic Millennial Kingdom under Jesus Christ.

          A second theological position is known as Amillennialism. Central to this position is the denial of the literal reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth. There are two central divisions in this position.  There are those who believe the prophecies relating to the millennium are being fulfilled presently on earth as Christianity subdues the world and ushers in a utopian society (this is the Augustinian position of Amillennialism).

          Then, there are those who believe the saints in heaven are fulfilling the prophecies about the millennium during this period (proposal by Kliefoth).  This requires the spiritualization (allegory) of these prophecies in that they cannot apply to people living on earth.  These two Amillennial positions require an allegorical interpretation of Scripture.  In both cases, they believe the eternal state will happen immediately after the second coming of Christ.  Many do not believe in a literal second coming or an eternal state.  Theological liberals commonly hold this position.

          The third major theological position is known as Postmillennialism.  This position was first proposed by the English Unitarian, Daniel Whitby (1638-1726).  Much of this position is the direct result of the interpretation of the purpose and work of Christ from the Unitarian perspective of salvation and the Church.

          Postmillennialists believe the Church Age will end with the whole earth turning to Christianity (at least their concept of Christianity).  They believe that once this is accomplished, then Christ will return.  Post means after, therefore Postmillennialism means Christ will return after the Millennium, not before it.  This not only requires the allegorical interpretation of prophecy, it requires the rejection of many portions of Scripture regarding the Millennial Kingdom (such as Revelation 20:1-7).

In the middle of all this theological deception and confusion we find the Deceiver lying in wait to deceive.  Fitting right in with Amillennial views, it seems apparent that the Antichrist will make a “covenant” of peace “with many” nations at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.  If we understand the “bow” of Revelation 6:2 to represent the power to project missiles over a long distance, we can understand what he may use to procure this peace treaty (“covenant”).  It is also apparent from Matthew 24:5 that he will not come in his own name but pretending to possess power and authority from God.  He will come disguised as God’s Christ and offering a pseudo-peace.  This fact is primary to revealing the Antichrist.

1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they {according to Daniel 9:24, this is particularly the Jews, although it includes all unbelievers of the prophetic Word of God} shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief {the Church is excluded from the Tribulation}” (I Thessalonians 5:1-4).

“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).

“I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43).

          The opposite is the false peace offered by the rider on the white horse.  Matthew 24:6-7 is speaking about the seventieth week of Daniel just prior to the coming of Messiah to establish the Kingdom Age. 

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:5-6).

          As soon as the Antichrist has deceived the world into thinking he is the great peacemaker that the Amillennialists are looking for, he will turn to his real agenda; DESTRUCTION (compare I Thessalonians 5:1-4).  Just as soon as the utopian liberals begin to believe that Ecumenicism will usher in the utopian kingdom of socialism and world peace, “the sudden destruction cometh on them . . . and they shall not escape.”

          Each of these four horsemen of Revelation 6:1-8 offers an illusion of Christ.  They will offer one thing but give another.  Part of the effectiveness of the delusions is that the “delusion” of these four horsemen is probably the fulfillment of II Thessalonians 2:1-12.

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thessalonians 2:1-12).

          The “lie” is that this Antichrist is Christ.  Daniel 11:21-23 adds more to this whole pattern:

21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people” (Daniel 11:21-23).

          The above verses certainly describe the actions of present day world politics, “vile” people, given “honour” or leadership by the populace, by using “flatteries” and “deceitfulness.”  Modern politics is built upon this foundation of deceit.  They use polls to find out what the majority wants and then tell them what they want to hear just to get their following (at least until they are elected).  It is little wonder that the Antichrist will be able to step into that system and be accepted with open arms.  Currently, the best politician is always the best deceiver.  He will come proposing to establish the Kingdom of God on earth knowing full well it is really the Tribulation time. The “rider on the white horse” represents this aspect of the character of the Antichrist.

          Under the counterfeit promise of peace, the Antichrist will bring war (“white horse”).  Under a flag of truce, the Antichrist will conquer the trusting and unsuspecting (“red horse”).  Under the promise of prosperity and re-distribution of wealth, the Antichrist will bring famine (“black horse”).  And under the promise of the great life under the Great Society, will instead come the final awakening to his reality, DEATH (eternal death).

          Daniel 9:24 gives us six reasons for the “times of the Gentiles” and the “seventy-weeks” of years that define the literal chastisement of God on a literal nation of Israel.  

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people {the Jews, not the Church} and upon thy holy city {Jerusalem, not the Church}”

(1) “to finish {restrict or restrain} the transgression” {Israel’s spiritual revolt against God, the goal of this 70 years of chastisement is to bring the nation of Israel to repentance and acceptance of the Messiah and His finished work of redemption}
(2) “to make an end of sins” {to seal up the sins of Israel like a criminal in a prison cell.  This keeps God’s Name from being blasphemed in that without the chastisement God would be viewed as being acceptable with Israel’s great compromises}
(3) “to make reconciliation for iniquity;” - “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” Isaiah 53:6).  Although Jesus has propitiated the wrath of God for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2), this statement is specific to the national sins of the nation of Israel in her failure to keep (righteously enforce) the statutes and judgments of the Mosaic Covenant. 
(4) “to bring in everlasting righteousness;” this is the Kingdom Age rule of the “rod of iron” of Jesus and His new priesthood of all faithful Church Age believers.  The first generation of the Kingdom Age will begin with only “born again” people.  The restored nation of Israel will be comprised of only saved Jews regathered to the Promised Land.  Righteousness and justice will be enforced like an unbending “rod of iron.” 

33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel {Kingdom Age}; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law {Mosaic Covenant} in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

(5) “to seal up the vision and prophecy;” to make an end to the prophecy of the “times of the Gentiles” in the chastisement of the nation of Israel due to her refusal to hear the prophets of God and repent and keep the Mosaic Covenant. 

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part {this was due the hardness of their own unrepentant hearts, some Jews got saved and accepted Jesus as LORD and Saviour} is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved {the nation of saved Jews that begins the Kingdom Age}: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer {the physical presence of King Jesus in sovereign power}, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins {nation sins}” (Romans 11:25-27)

(6) “to anoint the most Holy;” Jesus anoints of the “most Holy Place” by His presence there.  Jesus’s presence will “anoint” “the most Holy” as the Shekinah of God in the Temple of the Millennial Kingdom.  The “most Holy” place is the “most Holy” because of the abiding presence of Jesus.  God gives two prophetic chapters of Scripture in Ezekiel chapter forty-one and forty-two to tells us that the Kingdom Age Temple will be a literal Temple constructed with exacting detail and specific measurements.  These exacting details and specific measurements are intended to eliminate any possibility for someone to allegorize the text into something mystical. 
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and {plus}threescore and two weeks {7 + 62 = 69 or 483 years}: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times {Jacob’s troubles or the seventieth week of years = the Tribulation}. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off {the first advent and the crucifixion}, but not for himself {vicarious sacrifice}: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:25-27).

1. The prophecy has to do with Daniel’s people - Israel and the city of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24).  The true Church is not included because she is already in Heaven. 
2. The time specified in the prophecy is seventy weeks (of years) as specified in verse twenty-four.  This period is then divided into three lesser periods:

A. A period of seven (7) weeks (of years) or 49 years (vs. 25)
B. A period of sixty-two (62) weeks (of years) or 434 years (vs. 25)
C. A period of one (1) week (of years) or 7 years (vs. 27)

3. The beginning of this time-period of seventy weeks of years is fixed at “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (verse 25).
4. The end of the seven weeks of years and the sixty-two weeks of years - 49 plus 434 years (483 years) will be some event in the life of Messiah, the Prince of Israel (verse 25).  This is what we know as Palm Sunday.
5. After sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) Messiah will be cut off and Jerusalem will be destroyed by the people of another prince who is yet to come (verse 26).  This is the crucifixion and the Roman destruction of the Temple in the Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
6. After these important events, we come to the last or seventieth week of (7) years, the beginning of which will be marked by the covenant or treaty, which the coming prince (Antichrist) will make with national Israel, the promised duration of this treaty is originally for seven years (see verse 27).
7. In the midst of the seven years (the Tribulation) the treaty will be broken, and the coming prince will cause the Jewish sacrifices to cease and his wrath to fall on national Israel.  This condition will prevail for the remainder of the week, or the last 31/2 years of the Tribulation - see verse 27.
8. With the completion of the seventy weeks of years (490 years) a time of great blessing will be ushered in for Israel (verse 24 – the Kingdom Age).
Zechariah 2:8 says, “for he that toucheth you {the nation of Israel} toucheth the apple of his {God’s} eye.”  The intent here seems to mean that any person that sets out to injure or harm the nation of Israel must see himself as trying to harm God Himself.  Such as person that succeeds in touching Israel to harm her will ultimate be held accountable by God Himself in that such ill determinations are viewed by God as attempting to thwart God’s plans for Israel. 

Some commentaries say that the pronoun “his” in the phrase “toucheth the apple of his eye” is referring to someone that touches Israel to harm her is actually harming himself.  However, the phrase must be understood from the context of a previous statement from Deuteronomy 32:9-10 where the pronoun is clearly God.

9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 10 He {God} found him {Jacob or Israel} in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he {God} led him {Jacob or Israel} about, he {God} instructed him {Jacob or Israel}, he {God} kept him {Jacob or Israel} as the apple of his {God’s} eye” (Deuteronomy 32:9-10).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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