“The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.” (Joel 3:16-17 NIV)
We may have heard of cases where, figuratively, the tail wags the dog. Prominent Christian teaching on the end times gives two major examples of how theology (the tail), or one’s view of God, wags our doctrine on last things.
A century and a half ago, Dispensational theology was quickly growing in legitimacy among conservative British Bible scholars. Seeing the Bible in terms of “dispensations” of 1000-year increments seemed to be a valid explanation of God’s workings (dispensations) in history. As a theology, it offered a step forward in presenting a more literal understanding of Scripture. However, as an explanation for the end times, it fell far short in the accuracy department. The tail wagged the dog of Bible interpretation and out came Pre-tribulational Rapture (PTR) doctrine. PTR dogma fits the Dispensational grid, yet, it does not stand up to objective scrutiny. (See a more detailed treatment of this in “Lifesaver: Rescuing God’s People from the PTR Ship”.)
What Dispensationalism could not overcome was Christianity’s long-standing antipathy (veiled hatred) for the Jewish people. With all its advances in promoting Zionism (the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland), PTR continues to make harsh false distinctions between the Church and Jews. For example, it is commonly taught the Church escapes suffering in the rapture while Jews remain to endure Antichrist’s persecution. Where is the love?
Moses rejected the pleasures of Egypt’s palace to participate in the suffering of God’s people (Hebrews 11:24-26). Do we hear today of an eagerness to follow Moses’ lauded example and participate in Israel’s suffering?
Does God show favoritism? Would Jesus, the King of the Jews, celebrate in heaven with Christian saints while his fellow Judahites cry out to God for help?
This superior attitude has been around for nearly two millennia, or from the time Gentile Christians forgot the earliest church was exclusively Jewish. PTR’s position of consigning the Jew to another holocaust is nothing more than Antisemitism. The proliferation of this teaching in books such as the “Left Behind Series” paints our God to be unsympathetic to the Jews. But the above Scripture as well as others (Isaiah 40:1-2, Acts 1:6) confirms the Lord is all about restoration. Our God will not harboring his anger forever.
Worse on the Antisemite spectrum is Amillennialism, another popular end times’ view among Christians. It has been wagging the dog since the 4th century. We will see next how Amillennialism has formed an anti-Israel, Pro-Hezbollah, Pro-Hamas god of gold.