Knowing Our Prophetic Roots in Zion and That There's More To Come
Updated And Expanded November 2020
"Oh that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Israel rejoice and be glad!" Psalm53,6
"All thy works praise thee o Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power." Psalm145,10-11
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to the salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first and also for the Greek." Romans1,16
Zion Pentecost Mission seeks to be a source of inspiration for all peoples concerned about:
1. the future salvation of Israel when God, amidst the advance of nations against his people, pours out a “spirit of grace and prayer” and Israel looks upon “the one they have pierced.” (Zechariah 12,10, cf Rev. 1,7).
God is preparing his first people to look upon Christ in faith, for salvation, not for negative judgment (Romans9-11).
This is also shown by Revelation 11 which prophesies two Jewish witnesses- with faith in Jesus- testifying about salvation in Jerusalem to their own people.
God has been re-gathering the nation of Israel, from their many exiles throughout sacred history (including but not limited to the Assyrian, 722BC, and Babylonian, 586BC, and 134AD, the ltter after an unfulfilled messianic uprising against the Roman empire. This fulfills Jeremiah 16,15: “I shall bring them back to the very soil I gave their ancestors."
ZPM wants to educate the mainstream body of Christ that God has not forgotten Israel- because her call and election are irrevocable (Romans 11,29).
2. the need for us Christians in the mainstream body (ie non Jewish, or 'gentile' Christians) to protect our own salvation from apostasy, and or complacency, by knowing more about the unfulfilled prophetic promises to Israel and to ourselves.
ZPM WANTS TO REVEAL THE LIFE OF GOD COMING FROM THE ROOT
ZPM in no way wants to be critical of the mainstream body of Christ, but how healthy can our gentile branches be if we do not realize that we get life from the root of the tree which is Israel? Romans11,18. We the branches share the root of their patrimony- their promises, their blessings, their scriptures. We are discovering that there is much supernatural life in understanding these particular promises, blessings and scriptures. One discovers an expanded vista of present and future revelation and understanding, namely an all encompassing, past, present, and future scriptural-prophetic view that blesses us with a greater faith strength and greater protection for our salvation, and a further readiness for God's revelations to be seen and shared as part of preaching of our whole gospel message.
MORE THAN ‘LORD LORD’
Another way describe this protection of our salvation would be to consider what Christ meant by “not everyone who has cried ‘Lord, Lord’ will be saved.” (Mt. 7,21, Lk. 6,4)
Could it be that faith for some of us in the mainstream body of Christ has become too easy, too simple, to the point where we think “Lord, Lord” and and occasional visit to church is going to sustain our salvation?
SAMARITAN WOMAN SIMILAR TO MANY CHRISTIANS TODAY
Meanwhile, God is pouring great grace upon the mainstream body to put aside any and all of the Anti-Semitism that has plagued Christianity and learn more about our faith’s sustaining Zion root because “salvation is from the Jews” (Jn.4.22). We non Jewish Christians are sort of like the Samaritan women before Jesus. We worship God, yes, but we may not know and understand enough about Him and our Zion base to do so in Spirit and in truth.
To know more about our particular Messiah from this Zion base- aka the Hebrew scritural roots perspective- helps us to live and worship according to the Lord's ways, aware not only of His gospel salvation promises to us as individuals but also aware of the gospel fullness of salvation promised to His first people, and his and our Kingdom reign from physical Israel and from the New Jerusalem thereafter.
PRESENT HUNGER FOR SPIRIT AND TRUTH AND FULLNESS OF REVELATION
At the time Christ brought the kingdom the first time and was rejected, you could say most of Israel had the the biblical truth as revealed by God up to that time, but not the Spirit. (Cf. Ez11,19)
During 2000 years of Christianity it's fair to say that at Pentecost the 3000 people baptized had the fullness Spirit, and some of the Hebrew scripture and proto New Testament biblical truth. It also worth noting that in the first days and years this new resurrectional faith was lived by the “Nazarenes” -by messianic Jews, and what we now call "Christianity" was a fledgling sect of Judaism.
Now after 100 or so years from the rebirth of the second Pentecost based gospel movement, and some 60-70 years after Israel was reborn in a day in 1948 (cf Isaiah66,8), there is a hunger for both the fullness of the truth and the fullness of the Spirit, and the fullness of biblical revelation. This hunger can joyfully be satisfied by knowing more about our root sustenance, the source of our salvation, which is from the Jews. Again, we're like the Samaritan woman- we have been told salvation is of the Jews, and we now know there is something more to this, but we need further study, acceptance and elaboration for this resonant eternal truth to come alive in our lived expression of our faith.
This hunger for the fullness of truth and the Spirit and revelation is today expressed among the mainstream body studying the Hebrew Biblical- Messianic-kingdom-temple-Jerusalem perspective, which defined the primitive church of the Apostles Paul and Peter (See Acts2,46; 5,42). Some churches of late celebrate some of the seven festivals of the Jews as part of their worship- not because any Christian has to- but because many Christian folks long to know more about their complete bible and faith heritage. Many bible students are going back to the unfulfilled promises to Israel and to gentile Christians. Many ordinary Christians are also seeing the entire Word- the “old” and the “new” come alive for the first time, and gaining a new appreciation for the promised kingdom of God.
Isaiah prophesied at Isaiah2,3 about this hunger for the fullness that all the world would one day possess: "Many peoples will come and say, 'Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob. He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths. The law [the word, the teaching] will go out of Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' "
It is this hunger to 'go up' to the Lord God of Israel, go up to the messiah of the Jews and messiah of all, and that he, Jesus, would teach us the fullness of his ways and paths, that ZPM is hoping to celebrate and satisfy with its Word based teaching.
ZECHARIAH PROPHECY OF PRESENT HUNGER
In the book of the prophet Zechariah this hunger is presented in biblical prophecy as the very interesting situation of non Jews in the last days seeking out the wisdom and the knowledge of a dispersed Jew coming back to Israel. Zechariah 8 is full of promises that are coming true today. This is showing us that God has taken back Jesus’ curse of the fig tree-Israel (Mt. 21,19), and that there is a vital interchange between New Testament prophecies and the as yet the unfulfilled prophecies of the Hebrew scriptures.
For example, Zechariah 8,15 prophesies: “I have changed my mind and intend to treat Jerusalem and the house of Judah well. Do not be afraid.” Likewise, Ezekiel 36,4ff God speaks of his jealousy for Israel by bringing her back, protecting her, and making her fruitful again. Both these prophecies have been seen by all in the last 120 years. Indeed God rescued his people through the regathering and the fulfillment of Zionism (Ez. 36,8-12), and made them a nation again in 1948.
We non Jews have seen what is happening, seen Hebrew scripture prophecies come true right before our eyes and we want to be part of it! We want to understand it and we seek more of the abundant gospel life it is giving us. We are begining to appreciate more and more of what Jesus meant when he told the Samaritan woman that "salvation is from the Jews." (John4,22)
ZPM CATCHES THE SLEEVE OF THE EXILED JEW GOING BACK TO ISRAEL
We have seen the coming salvation of Israel, and at ZPM we are enthusiastic to know more. Zechariah 8,23: “In those days, ten men from nations of every language will take a Jew by the sleeve and say: “We want to go with you, since we have learned that God is with you.”
ZPM is for the ten people, the ten non Jews, the mainstream body if Christ, who want, and need, to learn more about the Jewish heritage of salvation, and that God is still with them, as well as with us.
This isn’t an academic or bible debate to keep a flock or make a flock, or any sort of religious quibbling, or going back to the law in the Hebrew scriptures. It’s a mission to avoid superficial, potentially apostate, and unhealthy, rootless and out of context explanations of the salvation message. It bears stating the obvious- this message of the prophetic scriptural unity between the two testaments, is not some new and fleeting itching ears religious philosophy, but basic and essential biblical revelation that is capable of being understood by the entire body of Christ.
How can we Christians profess to know so much about our beloved scriptures, and then explain away all the unfinished promises to Israel as a nation formed by the Word of God and faith?
3. Following Yeshua ha Mashiach, Jesus Christ-Messiah of Israel, more closely- while still maintaining our freedom and joy.
ZPM SEEKS TO INSPIRE NEW DISCIPLESHIP CONFIDENCE
Christ gave us (through faith) the Spirit to fulfill the new covenant of Ezekiel 36,25ff whereby God’s active demand to live according to his ways are possible. Ezekiel36,27: “I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws, and respect and practice my judgments.”
This is cause for rejoicing! We can thus bear good fruit (Mt. 3,10). We can be taught all things by the Holy Spirit (John14,26). In this "Zion" upward faith pursuit, we overcome the world! (cf 1John5,4)
This is not to put ourselves under any external law, or worse, any man-centered church laws. It is living the new law of grace, “the law of Christ” within us (Galatians 6,2). Christ is our example. He showed us how to follow the Father closely- to pray about everything, to discern every spirit, according to the Word, so as to meet every faith challenge.
NEW COVENANT- GOD’S LAWS ON OUR HEARTS- NOT A BREAK FROM ISRAEL
Hebrews 8,10: “This is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel, when those days have come, the Lord declares: In their minds I shall plant my laws writing them on their hearts. Then I shall be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Yes this is the challenge for the House of Israel and all of us who have faith. We have sinned but now by faith we live in the new state of redemption, and with his laws written on our circumcised hearts we can fully be God’s people, who do our faith. Again this living and fullness of faith needs to be taught in a time when the “Lord, Lord” may not be enough to get into the kingdom of God (Matthew7,21).
In others words, ZPM is for those among the mainstream body who want to come up a little higher, not out of our present congregation, but more aware of who they are and where their salvation came from. We all can do this because we have great confidence in the living God of Israel, whose Holy Spirit lives in us, empowering us to seek and follow God in all circumstances.
This would be the highest freedom, away from a man-centered, truncated gospel that robs God’s people of their new found freedom and the fullness of faith by merely teaching a narrowed down biblical revelation administered by narrow business model corporate systems and release us toward the fullness of a worldwide, all encompassing Zion faith that calls all, all the Holy ones, to the salvation of the kingdom reign from Jerusalem, a faith that explains the fullness of the scriptures from the prophetic birth of Jesus in Bethlehem all the way to the final harvest birth of the woman clothed with the sun of all God's people who have made it through the wilderness prior to our full protection and reign with Jesus our one messiah and king (cf Rev. 12,6).
4. About the present new things of faith (some of which are old) and the last and future things of faith.
MAINSTREAM CHRISTIANITY TRYING NEW FOOD ON GOD’S TIMETABLE
Imagine if you and I went to our favorite restaurant with our favorite people after Sunday services, and everybody always ate their old stand by favorites, say chicken fried steak, which was good and filled us up.
But then that restaurant began to serve other dishes alongside the chicken fried steak, perhaps of greater nutritional value. Now before we would eat this “new” food, we would want the waitress and the chef and the newspaper and the internet and Emeril and Martha to tell us why it was better for us.
And it might take a long time before we would even try that present new food, and some more time to get used to it, and realize it truly was better for us. No sense jumping into every fad, or new fangled thing, itching ears type of thing.
It might take us seventy years- or more- to take note that there’s been some superficiality, dare I say over gentilization, of sloganeering, and secular and cultural encroachment, and over comfort, in the mainstream church. How did we get so far from “salvation comes from the Jews” and the fire and prophecy of Jesus and the Hebrew prophets, so far from Pentecost and the 'maranatha' that ends Revelation?
It might take seventy years to realize the prophetic future importance of Israel’s ongoing re-gathering, of Revelation's prophecies about Jewish witnesses to the Jewish people (Revelation11), about reigning and ruling from Jerusalem forever alongside our Jewish brothers and sisters.
It took Israel seventy years to come out of Babylon in 520 BC, and it may take us at least that to fully plumb what Jesus meant when he said to the Samaritan women “we [Jews] worship what we do know; for salvation is from the Jews.”
But wouldn’t this be time well spent? Wouldn't this prophetic rightly refocus us back to the scriptural roots of both the Hebrew and the new Testament scriptures, back to the fact and biblical reality that salvation is from the Jews and thereby be the most effective means for all Christianity to "come out of Babylon", out of a worldly, non Word based, lukewarm and materialistic faith as Revelation18,4 exhorts us all? (cf Rev.3,15-17)
JEWISH BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE AND GOD’S PROPHETIC TIMETABLE FOR ISRAEL AND KINGDOM WOULD SOBER UP THE CHURCH
Now we put things into our own stomach on our own timetable, but we should digest the word, every word of it, on God's prophetic timetable.
And ever since 1948- when the fig tree of Israel budded and became a nation again (Matthew24,32-33)- God’s timetable for these present and future prophecies is speeding up, such as: the present winnowing-apostasy of the mainstream body of Christ (2Thessalonians2,3; 1Timothy4,1 cf Zechariah13,8), the readiness and future rapture of the well prepared bride church (1Thessalonians4,17), the seven year tribulation of Israel and the appearance of a final antichrist (Daniel9,24-27; 2Thessalonians2,7-10), the final Armageddon battle of the gentile nations against Israel and judgment on them when Christ comes with all his Holy ones (Zechariah14,5; Revelation16,14; 19,19-21), a millenial reign of all the Holy Ones of all time, both Jews and gentiles (Revelation20,1-6), the great white throne judgment of folks who rejected the gospel and thus are judged on their misdeeds (Revelation20,11ff) and the upcoming descent of heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation21,1ff).
This speeding up of endtime revelation is exciting. But since our understanding of the importance of the unfinished biblical prophecies to Israel, and us, by and large only began to speed up in the last decades of the prior millenium, and Israel only became a nation in 1948, we may not have the luxury of unlimited time to get up to gospel speed on these exciting and important topics.
We are well aware that the history of Christianity is littered with prophets who predicted the day and the hour of Christ's return, and make no pretense to set up any ourselves. But perhaps we all can agree that we must redeem the time (Ephesians5,16)- use the time we have left wisely- to preach the whole gospel- including the prophetic importance of Israel and realize that there's more prophetic blessings to come for all God's people.
As we redeem the time, we do remember Noah. Nobody in Noah’s day thought preparing for the flood was a worthy matter, except him. And his timely and patient preparation turned out to be salvation for those on the boat, and a lesson for us. We shouldn't let our premillennial faith in the rapture slow us down or make us now or make us complacent. Likewise we shouldn't expect it will easier for gentile folks to become Christians in the seven year tribulation than it is now, or that planting gospel seeds with Jewish folks is not necessary now because they will hear the gospel in that same tribulation.
We don't know a timetable but at least when we do our gospel part with dispatch. And so we acknowledge with gratitude and love the fullness of our scriptural revelation and our Jewish biblical roots, and our mutual future in Israel, and their bible roots food becoming part of our faith diet. In this we are honoring God’s full word within its cultural and historical context as well as His prophetic timetable.
This is all simply to say it serves us all to get up to speed on these matters.
I don’t know about you, but I’m trusting that the future of Israel and the last things of judgement and the kingdom of God are very important to God, and as a follower of Jesus, the messiah of Israel, I want to know, by faith, as much as possible about these matters, whether I’m Jewish or not. I want to digest enough of this present “new” prophetic food that I have enough sense to know for myself what is holy and what is profane, what’s real prophecy about the Kingdom of God, and what's biblical restoration for all God's people, and thereby be able to realize that we the Christian faithful are all not just going to heaven.
Mutual Gentile And Jewish Future Victories
Much of our Christianity has failed to see, or proclaim, that our Christian victories in the endtime are mutual ones with our Jewish brothers and sisters, such as our mutual victory over the antichrist (Revelation19,20), and the shared millennial reign of faithful Jews and gentiles (Revelation17,14 and 19,14; Zechariah14,5), and our mutual victory over Gog and Magog at the end of the millennial (Revelation20,7-10).
Legacy Of Non Biblical Replacement Theology
Moreover, much of Christianity has been prone throughout its history to the biblically erroneous idea that Israel lost its eternal election by God. No! No way! In the latter half of the 20th century, with some post Holocaust soul searching, there has also been some bible searching and considerable biblical clarification of God's ongoing care for Israel (eg. CCC 674 p.176 1997, likely inspired by Walter Kasper) and softening of this long accepted biblical confusion and error. But as anyone who has ever tried to spread the gospel knows- old religious prejuidices, ideas and doctrines don't dissapear overnight, nor do they always go away peacefully way even when official teaching clarifies, changes, or softens them.
Bible scholar Elmer Josephson taught wisely and with conviction about this subject of election (Israel: God's Key To World Redemption, Bible Light, 1974 p. 7-8ff). He taught what the fullness of scripture teaches that there are two elects now, Israel and the church. In the prior centuries prior to Israel becoming a nation in 1948 much of the church didn't study the bible prophecies about Israel and thereby presumed that Israel's partial hardening against the faith was permanent, and that it replaced Israel, and thus the church inherited the eternal national promises made to it in both the Hebrew scriptures as well as the New Testament.
This is the recently debunked notion of "Replacement Theology", but the Apostle Paul taught better in Romans 11,25-29:
"I do not want you [gentiles] to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.' 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
We Christians don't replace those who are still elected by God!
Legacy Of Augustine's Non Biblical Novelty Of Church As Spiritual Kingdom Of God
This longstanding replacement of Israel assumption was a tragic and historical biblical error and part and parcel of a related and equally unbiblical error, still made and defended by many Christians in our modern day: the Christian church was, or is, the spiritual Kingdom of God. And as such it enjoyed, or still enjoys, the right to act accordingly. This is an idea that just doesn't hold water as if Christianity or any "Christian" could at any time just drop the unmistakable promises in both testaments of a literal kingdom of God administered by our Lord Jesus, king of the Jews from Israel. This spiritualizing-allegorizing of the literal kingdom of God added biblical insult to biblical injury, and thereby rendered all such literal biblical prophecies in both testaments at best questionalble, or hopelessly confusing, or optional, or transferred to the church, if not void altogether.
The literal kingdom of God for Israel and bible based Christians is the ultimate high point promise of all prophecy in both testaments and clearly and specifically was incorporated as part of the New Covenant in Revelation20,1-6. This kingdom takes place from physical Israel and occurs in historic time, post Armageddon, according to Revelation17,4; Revelation19,14 and 19,20 and Zechariah14,5.
Zechariah Unites Endtime Prophecies Of Literal Kingdom In Both Testaments
Yes Jesus will arive a second time as both messiah and High priest of Israel, and literally serve in both these offices for all those who have now heard and accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it is He alone that fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah6,12-13.
At verse 13 we read "It is he who will build the Temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two."
Now this prophecy of a High priest-messiah figure never materialized in the post Babylonian period but it does fit the person of the crucified and now risen one, Jesus, who we Christians presently know and worship. This post Babylonian exile period was a difficult and strange one that saw a rebuilt temple 520BCff but no king in Israel and no messiah, and not much more prophecy at all. Then followed with the successive occupations of the gentile empires (Greek Alexander the Great in 329BC etc etc) up to life and death of Jesus as the largely rejected in 33AD, after which the Roman occupiers destroyed the Temple in 70AD, and in 134BC ran off Judah's last revolutionaries after the failure of Simon Bar Kochba as messiah and kingdom bringer.
This entire period from 520BC to 134 AD never saw any Davidic King reigning in His kingdom, never saw the final messiah who vindicated Israel and never saw the dramatic entrance of God's Spirit into the Temple that was protrayed when God arrived in the first, or 'Solomon's' Temple (2Chronicles7,1ff).
But in this same crucial prophetic book, Zechariah prophesied well beyond this strange and difficult and long time between the Temple destruction and forced exile into Babylon in 586 and the failure of the Bar Kochba revolution and subsequent exile in 134AD. It predicts the Zionism that brought Israel back to the land in the early and middle twentieth century, glory to God!
In His prophesy at Zechariah12,8, the prophet places us very close to the end times and the coming literal millennial kingdom where Jesus will rule as king wherein Israel will never be exiled again. Zechariah prophesies that God "will pour out a spirit of grace and supplication and Israel will look upon the one they have pierced." We believe this will happen in our own present days as the times of the gentiles are winding down (Luke21,24), or just after the rapture of the born again faithful (1Thessalonians4,17), or sometime during the seven year tribulation that precedes Armageddon.
Just Because Israel Missed Their Messiah First Time Doesn't Wipe Out Our Mutual Prophetic Roots And Destiny In Zion
That is, even though Israel missed their messiah-king the first time, they will now- in the latter days- as a reunited nation since 1948- be able to see Jesus as He is, as both the final sacrifice and the final redeemer-king of their nation and people, and the only one who can save them as they face Armageddon per Zechariah14,2-3: This 'pierced one' is the same Lord God of Israel who "will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle." This is endtime biblical Zionism, ie justice and fulfillment of promises in both Testaments! This same Lord is also the Lord God of Zechariah14,5 who will have come down to fight this battle with "all his holy ones," all the saints, all the faithful of both the Abrahamic and New Testament Covenants! (I will address this question of how the Hebrew saints who died before the incarnation are saved in a future teaching).
Thereby our one Lord Jesus will institute the kingdom of God in historical time and vindicate his shed blood, His nation, and all the faithful, both Jew and gentile. As to reigning, Zechariah14,9 says "The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name." Praise His Name, the Name of Jesus! His role as great and last high priest (at present a heavenly role per Hebrews 4 and 7) and His being the object of universal worship will also be supernaturally be revealed in historical time per Zechariah14,16: "Then the survivors of all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles." This is glorious universal Zionism that calls all the world to worship as one!
His reign and worship will teach us for one thousand years all that He is, and show His love and protection as the Lord God of Israel and all nations too.
As great High priest and king only the risen Jesus unifies the two principal offices of the nation of Israel, the High priesthood and the Davidic kingship. This was the aforesaid revelation propehsied in Zechariah6,13, and of Psalm110,1-2 (King) and 4 (High Priest forever). As to his kingship- at John18,37- Jesus admitted as much, even before His resurrection, in repsonse to Pilate's question if he was just that.
Initial Christianity Respected Literal Millennial Kingdom From Isreal
The first students of the bible in the church for the first 400 years much respected the unifinished literal aspects of the millennial kingdom, the 1000 year reign of Jesus, Israel's King, from Jerusalem citing the clear teaching of Revelation 20. But then Augustine, the man of the world, turned prelate (with the help from Ambrose of Milan) and no slouch when it came to making his influence felt in theology, came up with his novel idea that the literal kingdom of redeemed Christians and Jews of both testaments of the bible was really only a spiritual, and the church already was that spiritual kingdom.
Here's how it happened. With the fall of the Roman Empire in 410AD Augustine saw the need to defend the church against the pagan charge that this fall was the fault of Christians. Ever zealous to defend the church (over scripture), he came up with a Christian philosophy of History, namely the non biblical idea of the church as the 'city of God,' even the spiritual kingdom of God! By so doing, he forever inserted non biblical Christian philosophies and confusion into the church. This has proven a poor substitute for the literal biblical prophesies and facts subsequent to such prophecies that truly define world history.
By doing so Christianity, in effect, appropriated unto itself Israel's precious national idea of a literal kingdom reign of redemption- and peace in Israel as governed by its messiah.
This biblical promise of this kingdom- in every way first and foremost belonged to Israel- and Augustine if effect appropriated it, and in so doing also took Christianity's eyes away from the many unfinished literal prophecies of the Hebrew scripture to both Israel and the church.
History tells us that what tipped Augustine between a literal millennial, primarily for Israel, or his new fangled figurative millennial for the church as spiritual kingdom of God in history was a certain early gnostic Cerinthus, who was unjustly opposed by a later 3rd century Roman Prelate, Caius, who wrongly said Cerinthus authored Revelation (refuted by Cauis' Roman contemporary Hippolitus) and thought Cerinthus believed the millennial would be a time of marriage festivals (Eusebius Ecc. History 3,28,2; "Cerinthus" Wikipedia; christianhistoryinstitute.org/article/augustines-millenial-views).
This alleged fleshiness of millenium proponents is a common and timeless straw man argument yet it apparently had something to do with Augustine's novel and strange idea of religuishing a literal millennial for God's people from Israel!
Augustine's novel teaching effectively marginalized the church's two potential rivals on the future world stage: Firstly, as mentioned, it stole the thunder of a literal kingdom of God prophesied for a resurgent Israel- born in a day (Isaiah66,8)- in the latter days. This removed Israel as biblically front and center- and thus Israel as cornerstone of world and salvation history- and replaced this with the philosophical and pious idea of the church as the spiritual kingdom of God. In effect, this false doctrine also meant that the Roman church was the gateway for any personal salvation of Jews, rather than a still elect covenanted people worthy of God's future attention in and of themselves; Secondly, it (church as Spiritual kingdom of God) minimized any sustained resurge of the falling Roman empire- without the church in charge- since if the Roman state church was the rightful ruler of the Spiritual kingdom of God what or who could or would want to prevent it from becoming the Holy Roman Empire, a true state religion and religious empire, in which it calls all the shots. This doctrine of church as Spiritual Kingdom and later Holy Roman Empire is likely the source of the RCC's non biblical confidence in itself and its Tradition regardless of the whole Word of God.
Whereas, Jesus told his supporters and fellow Jews to pay their taxes to Rome, to secular governments, ie to stay separated in holiness from them, from the nations, Matthew22,21, which was to be and still is a lesson for the gentile church "for salvation is from the Jews" (John4,22). He never planned that the church would become the Roman state religion, and then Roman based worldwide Holy Roman Empire, church and state all in one. This is to say we Christians were to stay loyal only to Jesus alone as king, not to any state religion or political-religious empire. Paul and John the Revelator taught the same thing: 2Corinthians6,17: "Wherefore come out from among them. Be ye separate..."; Revelation18,4: "Come out of her..." ie Babylonian religious-political empire and or its worldly customs.
In fact, our real NT biblical roots and tradition are refelcted in 1Peter chapters 1 and 2 which remind us Christian gentiles, mere gentiles, are one with our brother and sister fulfilled Jewish Christians- fellow sojourners and strangers of the "dispersion" (ESV, NB Jewish terms explaining Jewish based biblical concepts explaining who we all are as Christians) in exile, in Babylon, ie among his chosen tribes, in the world, sharing the same faith as God's mutual blessed elect.
Thus, we gentiles are so blessed as to share in our one royal (1Peter2,5 and 9) good news, God made, universal, Jew and gentile priesthood (fulfilling Exodus19,6), those made holy, and humble and worthy by the blood of the lamb who would inherit the earth, and live under our real king and real Lord, Jesus, ruling messiah of the Jews and of all nations, ruling from Israel no less!
Oh glory! 2Peter2,10 We [gentiles] who were "no people" are now God's people [along with our Jewish brothers and sisters in the faith!].
What And Where Are Our Roots Are Not
These are our biblical roots not in the Roman state religion, and empire, and territorial and hierarchical bishops, but the Lord's fellow sojourners, grafted into his tribes, all holy priests, offering 'spiritual sacrifices' by faith, acceptable by his shed blood to our Lord Jesus!
Anglican scholar Allen Brent in 1999 writes a book, "The Imperial Cult As Development of Chruch Order" (Brill). He posits that since both the church and the Roman empire- lived in the same social-political-religious-cultural matrix- that right from the start they each tried to "take over and refashion conditions of the jurisdiction of each other's social and political existence." (p.10) In other words, the empire and the church right from the start were in a battle of gamesmanship with each other's strengths and weaknesses, each trying to further its own cause.
Applying Brill's insight, we can see that many in the early church likely looked with envy on the territorial and hierarchical order and unified political and tax prowess of the Roman Empire, while the empire and the Imperial Caesars must have marvelled at the church's unified devotion to the one God of the bible. I have not read Brents' book in its entirety, only certain initial chapters on books.google.com- please forgive me- it retails for $257, and only slightly less used. But to my mind this borrowing from or gaming of the empire by the church is most easily seen by the monarchic sense of territorial and hierachical bishops and the enforced control and unity of the same.
The ambition of both church and empire to use the other party's strengths is also is clearly evident in the processional aspect (Brent p. 73) of Ignatius' martyrific trek from Antioch to his death in Rome, about which he purportedly wrote seven letters, six to important churches on his way from his home church in Antioch, and one letter to the great Jewish believer and man of God Polycarp who was also martyred about fifty years after Ignatius.
As a faithful Christian I am thankful to the martyrs past present and future in the body of Christ. So Thank you Ignatius for your faith example and service. But like John Calvin- no uncharitable hot head- I don't think he wrote these letters. He perhaps inspired them, but they read to me as doctrinaire with very little Holy Ghost Inspiration. They read like later catechisms espousing hierarchy, and read like African Bishop Cyprian who wrote in the middle of the 3rd century "The Church is the people united to its Priests, the flock adhering to its shepherd." (Epist.66,8)
The author of these letters portrays Ignatius not so much as a holy individual from Antioch but more like a monarchical supervisory bishop, a dignitary orchestrating a procession, visiting and teaching the provincial churches, not a local managing pastor about to take leave of His earthly existance. The point of view of the letters seems to be that the Bishop of Antioch must be fully recognized and teach all the churches on the way to Rome from Antioch before he dies. Thus, he ends his life, but not before a hierarchical pastoral sweep and doctrinaire flourish for the sake of lasting church order and posterity. The tacit idea seems to be as John the Revelator's words and Jesus words are for seven church of Asia Minor, so Ignatius' seven letters for the same Asia Minor (except the biblical church faithful of all time catholics too have never let go of the precious innerrant words of Revelation).
Jacob Latham writes a book that like Brent also opens wide our understanding of religions in the Greco Roman world: "Imperial Cult And Pompa Circensis" "Performance, Memory, And Processions In Ancient Rome" Cambridge c. 4 2016 p.106, accessed via google.com As far as I know, again I have only read relevant parts, Latham was not talking about Ignatius or his letters in this book but he talks about the Circus Parade into the forum as "performed theology", (p.45). The subjects of these processions varied- from devotees of the traditional Roman gods, the Imperial Ceasars, or others. As Marshall McLuhan knew the medium is the message, and medium of spectacle and sight in Greco Roman processions is where the power of them resided. The letters attrbuted to Ignatius about his travel to Rome seem to be like the next best thing to such a procession, ie the written chronicle of a rich story of performative theology, ie saint making, and memory making, doctrine making via Roman Tradition making, with a capital "T." Section 81 of the C.C.C 1997 in relevant part teaches that "Holy Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God..." and Section 82 reads in its relevant part "Both scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."
The letters have three main Traditional themes:
1. routine catechetical matters about unity and in the bishop and obedience to the Bishop;
2. receiving delgations often headed by Bishops from the various churches who travel to pay Ignatius a sort of homage
as if he is then and there supervising them (which is a much later reality);
3. Over the top honors for all the bishops, such as in the letter to the Magnesians: the Bishop presides in the "place of God and the presbyters in the place of the council of the Apostles..." (6,1)
Likewise the good folks of Ephesus were "obliged to look upon the bishop as the Lord himself." (6,1 B. Erhman trans., Harvard Press as found in "The New Testament And Other Early Christian Writings" 2nd Ed. Oxford, 2004.
This doctrinal hierarchy of Christendom is sourced at Ignatius' letters, which became the defining Tradition of Roman Catholicism and much of all Christianity which became almost solely focused on the office of ruling pastor, to the exclusion of prophets, apostles, evangelists and all deacons who alss have legitimate offices in the church. (Ephesians4,10)
But with the explosion of good bible teaching in the last 100 years, we are all more aware of our Jewish roots and all that the bible says and doesn't say and many modern Christians are now slowly but surely recognizing that this type of Western religious hierarchy and Tradition does not fit the governance pattern of our Eastern conciliar Prophet, Savior, Lord and King, Jesus ha Mashiach, King of the Jews, who chose a group of 12 Jewish Apostles, twelve brothers, to lead his Church."
Matthew23,1 "Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:"
v. 8 "But you are not to be called 'rabbi' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father' for you have one Father and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher'; for you have one teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant." Matthew23,8-10 NIV stdy '95
At Mark7,13 (about honoring father and mother as opposed to extra vows, extra offerings, Corban, to the temple that violated commandment to honor father and mother), Jesus tells us that such non biblical religious teachings nullify the Word of God, ie nullify the ever living and active, eternal prophetic Word of God of both testaments, which is our true and precious heritage as Christians (who received our salvation from the Jews per John4,22):
"Thus you nullify the Eord of God by your tradition, that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."
Better the brotherly church governance rules and values of a Eastern prophet and servant King from our bible, from the roots of our entire bible, than Tradition as if made canonical by Western hierarchical religious and political organizations, that took Christianity away from its Word based roots and toward new and non biblical traditions of men.
Our ever living Judeo Christian roots faith roots are best found and are most clearly seen in the prophetic goodnews of both testaments of the bible, especially the goodnews of the literal promise of the Kingdom of God from Israel, to be enjoyed by all the 'Holy Ones" from the one people of God, faithful Jew and Gentile!
Alfred Loisy In Late 19th Century Sets The Record Straight As To Jesus Biblical Expectation Of Literal Millennial Kingdom Administered From Rome
It wasn't until the late 19th century that bible scholar Alfred Loisy debunked this non biblical idea of church as the spiritual kingdom of God current since 410 AD. Loisy had plainly read the New Testament and saw that Jesus expected, and taught, a soon arriving literal kingdom from Israel (see HCBD, Achtemeir ed. "Kingdom of God" and Loisy is supposed to have dryly remarked. "Jesus expected the kingdom and what he got was the church.")
So after replacement theology and it's legacy of the church as spiritual kingdom, the legacy of church as spiritual kingdom was the Holy Roman Empire administered by the church. Despite these unbilical legacies many Christians with the rise of dispensationalism (God deals in different ways with different people groups at different times of sacred history according to the fullness of his sovereign Word) in the last approximately 200 years have now come back to believing the specific literal millennial prophecy of Revelation 20,1-6- which is expressed in many ways throughout the entire scriptures. This millennial reign was delayed by Jesus' surprising death and surprising delay in freeing Israel from so many foreign occupiers, yet it is to be literally fulfilled in historical time, as a fulfilled literal prophecy that is unmistakably tied to physical Israel and to Jesus Himself as Israel's national messiah who will returm to save his first and still elect people, Israel, and everybody else of faith too.
Therefore, ZPM wants to inspire such bible based prophecy and be a part in teaching the mainstream body of Christ about the immense prophetic role that Israel plays in our shared future. Our teaching is for people who want to get biblically rooted again in a holy Zion based prophetic biblical faith- like in the Book of Acts and on the day of Pentecost, and get back to the initial gospel proclamation and devoted unified worship and fellowship as in Jerusalem post Pentecost- and according to the entire Book of Revelation which reveals that so many of the literal prophetic events of the entire bible are yet to come true.
LOVE ISRAEL BECAUSE FUTURE OF CHURCH TOO IS ALSO REIGN FROM ZION
Part of this interest in the root among the branches is an amazing love for Israel after we, the branches, realize that God still loves them, the root (Romans 11,12), and that political Zionism saved them in 1948 and Jesus' Zionism will save them in the end! Yes we at ZPM love Israel and we love Zion. We will love them and stand by them as God gives them a second shot at salvation. Zechariah12,10: "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look upon me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child."
When Israel turns in salvation their faith will be capped off with our mutual Jewish and gentile reign with Jesus for a 1000 years (Revelation20,1-6). As you might have gathered by now there are two contrasting endpoints of humanity's redemption. Christendom, seeks its redemption in heaven (CCC 769 "The Church receives its perfection in heaven." LG 48) based on Augustine's doctrine of church as spiritual Kingdom of God (City of God 18 and 51, church on a heavenly pilgrimage, n. 180 of CCC 769ff footnote 180, p. 202). Whereas, the Jewish and Gentile faithful receive the fulfillment of our redemption, of our Zion pilgrimage, in the millennial rule from Zion as lead by Jesus, Lord of Lord, king of kings, savior of all, vindicator of physical Israel as promsied to Abraham in Genesis12 and vindicator of our word based-covenatal faith, and vindicator of his own precious shed blood.
This is bible theology for all faithful Christians and new food on God's timetable for all Christians, including our beloved neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christendom.
PSALM 87,5 PROPHESIES THAT GOD’S FINAL CHURCH- JEW AND GENTILE- IS BORN IN ZION WHICH ON FINAL PENTECOST
We also love Zion because it is the birthplace of our strongest and biblically defensible faith, not a brand named faith, not a business model, not a corporatist conquering faith of Nicolaitanism (Revelation2,6 and 15) unto less knowledge and less freedom, and less faith, but an ample all encompassing biblical faith, a Zion Pentecost (as in the fullness of the first Pentecost, not a brand name) Faith that opens our minds and spirits to the prophetic fullness of God's Word.
Unless we are born there in Zion according to the prophecy of Psalm87,5, the same place as the first Pentecost, we may not be ready to accept and understand the unbreakable connection between biblical Christianity, physical Israel, and the final, saved body of Christ which will include faithful Jews and a myriad of faithful gentiles.
For by faith in Christ we are ingrafted into the one olive tree (Romans 11,17, another symbol of Israel). Thus, we should all be ready to be born there, into great strength, and ready to actually go home to Zion, our final kingdom home, as well as home of the remnant of faithful Israel.
Psalm 87,5-6 “But of Zion it will be said, ‘Everyone was born there,’ her guarantee is the Most High. Yahweh in the register of his peoples will note against each, “Born there’, princes [non Jews] no less than native born; all make their home in you.” KJ
This faith birth in Zion is the final feast of Weeks Shu ‘vot, or Pentecost, the celebration of the end of God’s earthly harvest when all who have faith, Jew and Gentile, will bring the best of ourselves, as living offerings, as first fruits (cf Romans 11,16), to Zion and we will receive our final infilling of the Spirit, and protection of Jesus, with whom we will reign and rule, as Jesus vindicates his own shed blood that is the salvation of all humanity and the redemption of the earth!.
Yes the messianic movement of Yeshua was born at Pentecost in Jerusalem, and it will culminate with a final Pentecost, a final harvest birth (Revelation12,14 born from above through Mother Zion protected in the pre kingdom wilderness) when the truth and the Spirit will be fully realized in all believers, to the Jew first and then to the gentile.
ZPM seeks this final Zion Pentecost, brought by Jesus who will return again not just to judge the world, but to also reap the Hebrew and Christian saints of all time and those faithful Jews and gentiles of the tribulation harvest and so celebrate his earthly millennial rule from Zion. He will arrive for this judgment and celebration with his called, chosen, and faitfhul followers of Revelation17,14 and Revelation19,14, including those he raptured just prior to a seven year final tribulation 1Thessalonians4,17.
Revelation17,14: "They [Babylon's kings, and the antichrist beast] will make war against the lamb, but the lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings- and with him will be his called, chosen, and faithful followers."
ZECHARIAH AGAIN- CONNECTED TO ZION BY PENTECOST
I was connected to physical Israel when I was first baptized in water and then in the Spirit, One baptism. It was then I became a “Zionist”, just as the millennial saints will literally be "Zionists" when Jesus descends upon Jerusalem and measures (ie judges) who is within “the wall of fire,” within the Glory of God, who will receive the final blessings of a final Pentecost. Zechariah 2,4-5: "Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it, declares the Lord, and I will be its glory within."
Oh glory! the promises of Zionism will expand to the nations, through Israel and particularly Judah, both of which belong firstly to Jesus and His first people, Zechariah2,10-11:
"Shout and be glad O daughter of Zion. For I am coming and I will live among you [Israel], declares the Lord. 11 Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you [Israel] and you will know that the Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land [ed. because his own shed blood bought it!] and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."
WITHIN THE WALLS OF ZION AT FINAL PENTECOST
Those within the wall of fire- those within the saving faith of Jesus- will be His millenial harvest, and will receive an eternal measure of God’s life and strength, another measure of power, a third baptism, a Pentecost fullness of baptism, an eternal fullness of His salvation fire, and thereby partake of eternity reigning with the messiah of Israel from Zion! It will also be another birth, into the final body of Christ, from a woman clothed with the sun, Israel, from above, our faith home and final home (Revelation12,1ff).
ZPM is for those who by faith in Jesus, messiah of Israel, have made their present faith home in Zion, who seek and receive the fullness of their one baptism (Adult water and Spirit), and their new begining and eternal Pentecost.
It is for those who want their own lives and their one church to begin again as in the book of Acts chapter 2, to begin again at the first Pentecost, as it points to our eternal, universal salvation, of Israel and all the nations, at the point where the church has the strength to give good gospel witness to all the world and to Israel as well, all the while following Jesus more closely in this present age, looking for and hungering for that final and eternal Pentecost, which will be the reign and rule with Jesus for a thousand years from Zion on earth when the Lord appears with “all the Holy ones with him” (Zechariah 14,5).
Glory! His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Oh the glorious beauty and wisdom of God's eternal gospel (John14,6), proclaimed to the Jew first then to the Greek, to save and redeem all humanity, and prepare every tribe and nation for the Kingdom of God- literally and eternally based in Zion.
May 2008, updated October 2020.