Tag Archives: Palestine

Messianic Good News (and the Perils of Dispensationalism)



Yesterday I returned from Johannesburg, South Africa, where I was attending the Messianic Good News Conference,’Israel in the Last Days

Messianic Good News was founded in 1950 for the purpose of proclaiming the good news of salvation in Jesus the Messiah to Jews and Gentiles primarily through the written format. They publish and distribute tracts and books for outreach as well as the quarterly, “Messianic Good News,” through which we aim to encourage and equip readers with a deeper understanding of the faith. The ministry originated in Hamburg, Germany in the late 1800’s with the conversion of a young Jew named Arnold Frank. Frank had a burden to share the good news of salvation with the many Jewish emigrants who were passing through Germany hoping to find a better life in the new world. He published and distributed gospel literature and he also responded to their dire physical needs by organising a soup kitchen, a hospital staffed with compassionate Christian nurses and the Mission House, “Jerusalem” to accommodate and disciple the many young Jewish enquirers who were responding to the gospel.

In 1938, at the age of 79 he was forced to flee to Ireland to escape arrest by the Nazis. The mission property was confiscated but Frank continued to minister in Ireland for a further 26 years until his death at the age of 106. Although the Nazis tried to destroy the work he had dedicated his life to, his legacy lives on through the labours of those whom he led to the Saviour.

One of those young men was John Düring, who fled to South Africa in 1938. In 1950, Düring, with Frank’s support and blessing, established the “Good News Missionary Society” primarily as a literary outreach to Jewish people. Düring established a strong witness to the Jewish people through the excellent literature produced by the society. In 2000 the society was renamed “Messianic Good News” and continues to publish and distribute literature proclaiming the good news about the Messiah. They have an office in Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as in America and their literature is also translated into Spanish and German.

It was heartening to meet many Messianic believers at the conference with a passion for the gospel, with a love for Jewish people and a desire to introduce Jesus to them, while at the same time repudiating the false gospel of dispensationalism and Christian Zionism.

One of the speakers at the conference was Kevin Daly, In his talk entitled, ‘The Good News to Israel and the Nations’ he exposed the dangers of dispensational teaching that insists God has a separate plan for the Jewish people apart from the Church. Daly illustrated this error with a quote from ‘Hebrew Roots’ teacher Jacob Prasch. Prasch uses the story of Rachel and Leah from Genesis to teach that Jesus did not desire the Church as his bride.

“Jacob came for a bride from his own people. He desired Rachel, but he did not get Rachel at first, but Leah. After he learned to love Leah as much as he did Rachel, he got Rachel as well. In the beginning Leah had all the babies, her womb was most fruitful. But then Rachel conceives. Israel shall be a fruitful vine. Jesus came for Israel. He wanted to marry Israel, but He did not get Israel. He ends up with the bride He did not desire at first, the Gentile church. After He learns to love the Gentile church, then He gets Israel. In the beginning, the church has all the babies. But in the end, Israel becomes a fruitful vine.” Jacob Prasch

You can read the context for this erroneous theology here. Daly highlights the dangers of this false teaching,

“The Gentile Church was unforeseen, and somewhat of a disappointment and a second prize. Because of God’s failure to get the Bride he always wanted, he extended his favour to the Gentiles. By contrast, Jesus taught that flesh gives birth to flesh and counts for nothing. The NT states clearly concerning the unbelieving Jews: “They stumble because they disobey the message – which is also what they were destined for.” (1 Peter 2:8)

Does God’s plan depend on Man, or does Man depend on God’s Plan? The God-centred view is that God’s purposes prevail and unfaithful individuals disqualify themselves from participation. The humanistic, Judo-centric view which Prasch advocates is that God’s purpose was unfortunately frustrated by the non-participation of the Jews. The NT states further that salvation was always part of the Plan contained in the Abrahamic promise, and presents the Church as the fulfilment of God’s “eternal purpose”. The true worshipper, and the type that God desires, is the one that worships Him ‘in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:23-24).” (Kevin Daly)

I’ll share more about the conference in later postings.

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Bethlehem Christmas Project


Every December, the Bethlehem Christmas Project brings together, American, Israeli, and Palestinian followers of Christ to deliver gifts to orphans, children with special needs, and children suffering from post-traumatic stress in Bethlehem. The gifts we deliver include clothing, educational games, and toys. After nearly a year in production, the project recently released it’s 2nd film.

You can view the six-minute film here to learn more about the project’s vision and work.

We hope you will support us as we deliver Christmas gifts to children who are very much in need. The project delivers gifts to Christians and Muslims alike as we are here to serve all those who are in need. Please help make our project possible by visiting our donations page.

Our team of thirteen individuals from the U.S. will leave to Bethlehem on December 5th. We will be updating our website daily until we return on the 13th. Please pray for us and be sure to sign-up to our blog to receive our updates.

The video about the Bethlehem Christmas Project is also viewable on YouTube

You can also follow us on Twitter

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Annapolis: Optimism vs. Pessimism

“Do you know the definition of a pessimist?” asks Afif Safieh, head of the PLO Delegation to the USA. He answers with a bitter smile: “an optimist with information.” In an interview with Akiva Eldar published in Ha`aretz back in September 2007, Afif said, “My message to the American society as a Palestinian diplomat is not `give up a friend` but `add a friend.` I don`t have a problem with the commitment to Israel`s existence; I`m just asking my American friends if you are also committed to Israel`s territorial expansion? Do your interests include the Israeli occupation in the territories? For this is it worth it for you to fight with the entire Arab world? I`m saying to my American friends that the U.S. is a wonderful society, pluralistic, and a nation of nations. It absorbed eight million Muslims, of them four million who are Arabs and 400,000 Palestinians… Public opinion polls show that 60 percent of Americans would like to see a more balanced policy toward us… and 70 percent support a solution of two states.”

More…

Published in Sojourners Magazine, January 2008

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