Tag Archives: Prasch

An Open Letter to Jacob Prasch

Dear Jacob,

I have read with sadness your comments about me on your website. In obedience to
our Lord’s instructions in Matthew 18, I am willing to meet with you privately or with a mediator and seek reconciliation as brothers in Christ.

I realise you are disappointed at not being able to debate me on television. I was willing to do so until I read what you had written about me, especially the imprecatory associations with Menelaus. That was also the legal advice I received.

Through an intermediary I merely requested a postponement of the debate. Without knowing my reasons, rather prematurely you wrote, “I have nothing to say to such an utterly contemptible servant of hell, and I am not interested in hearing anything from him. He is of his father the devil.”

In response to my attempt to make contact with you, you wrote, “It is too late for that. That twisted snake should not have agreed to the television debate to begin with if he was going to run scared or back down.”

I suggest this is not especially edifying language and indeed may undermine the credibility of your ministry. I have recently debated both Geoffrey Smith of Christian Friends of Israel and David Pawson both on Premier Radio. Both conversations were constructive and honouring to the Lord.

I readily concede that you will not be happy with my critique of your interpretation of the relationship of Israel and the Church. However, on this occasion, the only one I can think of, I have not slandered you, questioned your motives or denigrated you personally.

Initially you were critical of me for being an Anglican. I am guilty as charged. In my defence I am part of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans committed to reforming the church on biblical grounds.

More recently you have criticised me for visiting Iran and for sharing a platform with an IRA member. You are wrong to assume that in doing so I am in agreement with the policies or actions of the Iranian government or the IRA. On the contrary I have made my own views plain through my writings, website and lectures, on the illegitimacy of the use of violence as a means of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Jesus himself was accused of being “a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ (Luke 7:34). As one myself, I am grateful to know him as my friend, and desire to share that friendship with those who at present are outside his family, even at the expense of being maligned or misunderstood by others.

As Paul says in Romans 10, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:13-15)

I believe I have been ‘sent’ as I know you do too. We have clearly been sent to different people. We stand or fall before our Sovereign Lord to whom we are accountable not each other.

Like you, I care passionately for the Jewish people and pray for a secure Israel, as well as the fulfilment of the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians to an independent, sovereign and democratic state. I believe justice for Palestinians will bring peace for Israel, reconciliation with their neighbours and the marginalisation of extremists.

So Jacob, thank you for reading thus far. I repeat, I am willing to meet privately or with a mediator as our Lord instructed. While I may disagree with you theologically in the future, I will continue to pray for you and ask God’s blessing on your ministry.

Yours in Yeshua,
Stephen

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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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