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The Reformation, Eschatology, and Israel

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
October 21, 2023 1:00 am

The Reformation, Eschatology, and Israel

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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October 21, 2023 1:00 am

GUEST: MIKE GENDRON, founder/evangelist, Proclaiming the Gospel

In your church this past Sunday, did your pastor mention or pray for the situation in Israel, in light of the murderous incursion by the radical Islamic group Hamas into Israel on October 7 where they barbarically slaughtered over 1300 civilian Jews (some of which were Americans) and took hostage over 200 more?

If not, why not? Let’s hope it’s not because they have believed the lie that Israel is an “apartheid” state, the oppressor of “occupied” Palestine. More likely, they have been taught that the church, made up of Gentiles and some Jews, has replaced ethnic Israel in God’s eyes. And so, ho hum about what is happening in Israel. The war might as well be taking place between Peru and Ecuador.

Now why would they think Israel is just another nation after reading all of God’s promises in Scripture regarding the future blessing and salvation of the Jewish people, despite their current rebellion against God? Romans 11:1 says, “God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!”

One of the reasons there is indifference amongst Christians toward Israel is the longstanding influence of the Roman Catholic Church’s “amillennial” eschatology, which viewed the Roman church to have replaced Israel as God’s favored entity. And while the Protestant Reformation emerged from the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500s and clarified long-obscured and key doctrines like justification by faith. Leading Reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox held to the view that the church has replaced Israel.

This weekend on The Christian Worldview, Mike Gendron, founder and evangelist with Proclaiming the Gospel ministry, joins us to first explain historical aspects and important doctrines of the Reformation, but how the eschatology was a poor interpretation of Scripture.
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The Reformation, Eschatology, and Israel. That is the topic we'll discuss today on the Christian Real View Radio Program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host. The Christian Real View is a listener-supported radio ministry. You can connect with us by visiting our website, thechristianrealview.org, calling toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. So in your church this past Sunday, did your pastor mention or pray for the situation in Israel in light of the murderous incursion by the radical Islamic group Hamas into Israel on October 7, where they barbarically slaughtered over 1,300 civilian Jews, some of which were Americans, and took hostage over 200 more? If they didn't mention a word about Israel, why not? Let's hope it's not because they have believed the lie that Israel is a, quote, apartheid state, the oppressor of, quote, occupied Palestine.

Remember that what's happening right now is in a greater context of one of the greatest crimes against humanity, which is an apartheid regime. The Israeli government is what has fueled this. It's Israel that is occupying the Palestinians, not the other way around.

And it's basically like living, Alex, in an open-air prison. I think Hamas mainly attacked military establishments, many military installations. Palestinians are leading a freedom movement.

The apartheid state of Israel, which has no legitimate reason for existing. More likely than any of those lies, too many pastors today have been taught that the church, made up of Gentiles and some Jews, has replaced Israel in God's eyes. And so ho-hum about what is happening in Israel.

The war might as well be taking place between Peru and Ecuador. Why would Christians think Israel is just another nation after reading all of God's promises in scripture regarding the future blessing and salvation of the Jewish people prior to Christ's return, even despite the Jews' current rebellion against God? Romans 11, 1 says, referring to the Jews, God has not rejected his people, has he?

May it never be! One of the reasons there is indifference amongst Christians toward Israel is the long-standing influence of the Roman Catholic Church's Amillennial eschatology, which viewed the Roman Church to have replaced Israel as God's favored entity. And while the Protestant Reformation emerged from the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500s and clarified long-obscured and important doctrines like justification by faith, leading Reformers like Martin Luther held to the view that the Church has replaced Israel. This weekend on the Christian Real View, Mike Gendron, founder and evangelist with Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry, joins us to first explain historical aspects and important doctrines of the Reformation, but how the eschatology was a poor interpretation of scripture.

Mike, thank you for coming on the Christian Real View radio program today. I want to start with a quote from one of your recent newsletters on the Reformation, and you say this, on October 31, 1517, so that's 506 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany. It was a 16th century version of a provocative blog post that was intended to invite discussion, which it did. Luther became the center of a great controversy when his theses were copied and distributed throughout Europe. Luther's initial protest exposed the popes, the Roman Catholic popes' abominable practice of selling salvation from purgatory's fire for the price of indulgences.

Two days later, Catholics would be observing All Souls Day in the castle church, which had over 1,900 relics of dead saints on display. Indulgences for the remission of sins were granted if they viewed the relics and confessed their sins to a priest. The diabolical lies of purgatory and indulgences are linked to the first lie of Satan in the Garden of Eden when he promised Eve she would not die if she disobeyed God. I'd like you to explain, Mike, this beginning of the Reformation and how the idea, this false doctrine of purgatory and indulgences for getting your dead loved ones out of purgatory, mythical place, were linked to the first lie of Satan telling Eve if you eat the fruit, you will not die.

It's really amazing as I have been studying this. I think the Lord really revealed it to me. I was studying 1 Timothy chapter 4, where Paul says, In latter times some will depart from the faith and follow doctrines of demons. And as I looked at Genesis 3, I saw the first lie of Satan was to deceive Eve into believing that she would not die if she broke God's command. As I put the two together, I thought venial sins is the Catholic Church telling its people that they surely shall not die if they commit a venial sin.

And so this perpetuates the first lie of Satan in the Garden. The Catholic Church has made this an official dogma. And so when you have a venial sin that doesn't cause death in the eternal lake of fire, then the Catholic Church had to create a place where Catholics would go when they died to suffer for their venial sins. So they created a place called purgatory. And in purgatory, the Catholic Church teaches that the fire will purge away their venial sins. The Catholic Church also came up with another way to get them out of purgatory, and they created another lie called indulgences. And indulgences, according to the Catholic Church, is the remission of temporal punishment for sin. And so I call this the trilogy of deception. It started in the Garden with a lie of venial sins.

You surely shall not die. And they created a place called purgatory for Catholics to suffer and then a way to get them out by remitting temporal punishment for sin. And so this is really what sparked the Reformation, the selling of God's grace through indulgences. And so we can look back to the first lie in the Garden to see where the Roman Catholic Church came up with this trilogy of deception. Are indulgences still something that the Roman Catholic Church practices today?

Most definitely. Whenever a Catholic dies, their family will come together and they'll approach the priest and they'll buy Mass cards. And a Mass card is something that they put the name of their loved one on. They give the priest a certain amount of money. The priest then takes the Mass card and he lays it on the altar so that when he offers the sacrifice of the Eucharist, that is said to reduce the time of suffering for the Catholic that is in purgatory. So no priest will tell you how many Masses must be said before the loved one is removed from purgatory, nor will they tell you how long you have to suffer for each venial sin. And so we talk a lot about the bondage of religion, David, and in Roman Catholicism, Catholics are in bondage to religion, not only in this life, but also in the next life, because they're utterly dependent upon the priesthood in this life to hear their confession, to absolve their sin, to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, to present Jesus in the form of the Eucharist. And then after all this is said and done, when they die, they're still dependent upon the priest to get them out of this fictitious place called purgatory.

And they don't need to rely on that at all. What Christ did for us on the cross paid for all our sins. No money gets us bought to heaven. Mike Gendron with us today here on The Christian Real View, the founder and an evangelist for a ministry called Proclaiming the Gospel. We have it linked at our website, thechristianrealview.org. Now in the Reformation, Mike, there were five solas, is what they're called. Those are the distinctives of what the Reformers believed and taught.

So as they tried to reform and come out of the Roman Catholic Church, here are the summary of what they believed. Sola Scriptura, which is—I'm quoting from your article here—declares Scripture is the highest source of authority in faith and practice. Number two, the second sola, Mike, is sola fide, that affirms that justification is through faith alone in Jesus Christ. The third sola is sola gratia, that affirms that sinners are saved by the gift of God's grace alone.

Again, quoting from your article here. Number four, sola Christo emphasizes the exclusivity of Christ's role in salvation. And number five, the fifth sola is soli Deo gloria, declares that God alone is to receive all glory and praise and honor. How was each one of them a response to errant doctrines in the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church?

And what would you say to the person who says, well, the Bible never says faith alone or grace alone, never uses that word alone in Scripture. But what happened is the Roman Catholic Church was teaching a plan of salvation that said you are saved by grace plus merit, faith plus works, Christ plus other mediators. And it was according to Scripture plus tradition, and glory was going not only to God, but to Mary and the saints. And so as the Reformers began reading the Scriptures, they recognized that the plan of salvation in the Catholic Church was diametrically opposed to the biblical plan. And when you look at sola scriptura, that's the content of our salvation.

And Paul describes the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15 verses one to four, he says it is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus according to the Scripture. So the content of our salvation is fully found in Scripture alone. And then we look at sola gradia, that's the means of salvation. The only way God saves sinners is by his grace. And Paul said in Romans 11 6, if it is by grace, it is not of works. Otherwise, grace is not grace. So the Catholic Church, if you look at paragraph 2027 of the Catechism, it tells Catholics that they must merit all the graces necessary for salvation. So how do you merit the unmerited favor of God?

Sola gradia. And then you go to sola fide, that's the instrument of salvation. That is the instrument God uses to bring those who are dead in our sin to life in Christ by faith alone. Solus Christus, that's Christ alone, is the mediator of our salvation. The Roman Catholic Church had many mediators.

They had the priesthood. They also had Mary as a co-mediatrix and the Catholic Church was denying that Christ is the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. He's God's perfect man and man's perfect God. And so when you look at Christ alone, we see throughout Scripture that there's no other name given among men by which we are to be saved, Acts 4-12. And Jesus said, I am the way and no one comes to the Father except through me. And so we see clearly from Scripture that it must be Christ alone. And it's Christ's righteousness alone. In fact, that's our only passport into heaven, the righteousness of Christ. And it's given freely to those who trust in Him.

It's given as a gift, as we see in Romans 5-17. And then you look at Solideo Gloria, God is the provider of salvation. And so rather than the salvation be dispensed through the sacraments of the Catholic Church, this last soli was showing that God alone is the provider. Salvation comes from God, not through any other mediators.

Mike Gendron with us today on the Christian Real View. Mike, I know probably in your many discussions with Roman Catholics, because you were a former Roman Catholic, I believe for the first 35 years of your life, and I know sometimes when I've talked to them, or maybe even listeners today, maybe you're even Roman Catholic listening today, that Roman Catholics seem to have a whole different vocabulary for what some of the terms you just use actually mean, whether it's faith, grace, and works. In other words, they'd say, no, we believe in grace. And yeah, we are saved by faith. We don't believe that we're saved by our works.

No, we don't believe in all that. Because they have a completely different definition of those words. So how do you have a discussion when what you mean by faith, grace, and works is not what a Roman Catholic means by the very same words? Yeah, that's a good question. I've already shared with you the definition of grace by the Catholic Church.

It's something they must merit. So when we witness to Roman Catholics, we have to make sure that we're giving them the biblical definition of these words. And works oftentimes are confused when you deal with Roman Catholics who believe that they are necessary for justification. In fact, Catholics believe they're justified by faith plus works.

And they always point to James chapter 2, where James is dealing with two different kinds of faith. He's dealing with a living, enduring faith that comes from God. And that faith will always produce evidence in the form of works. So I think a good way to look at faith, it's the root.

And works would be the fruit. So James is saying, if the root is dead, then there will be no evidence, there will be no fruit. And so he says, faith without works is dead. That means you don't have saving faith from God. Your faith is spurious, it's dead. And there's no evidence that you've been converted.

We need to explain that to Roman Catholics that James is not sharing how to be justified. He's contrasting living faith that produces works and dead faith that does not produce any works. When I see someone at church who claims to be a Christian, and there's no evidence of a transformed life, I would ask him to do what the Apostle Paul exhorted us to do in 2 Corinthians 13.5. Examine yourself to make sure you're in the faith.

Test yourselves. And so that's why we see these exhortations in Scripture. Anybody can profess to be a Christian, but we have to make sure that there's evidence for that saving faith. That's well explained, Mike, just like Ephesians 2, verses 8 through 10 say that we're saved by grace through faith, but we're created in Christ Jesus for good works. So we're not saved by good works.

We're saved for good works. As we take our first break, just want to mention two resources for you that go with our topic today. One is the DVD entitled Luther, The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer.

This is done through Media Gratae. It's an excellent film, 91 minutes. Also, we have a DVD of two presentations by our guest, Mike Gendron, on God's faithfulness to Israel and Satan in Bible prophecy. We're going to be getting more to this in the program today. You can order these resources at our website, thechristianrealview.org, or just give us a call at 1-888-646-2233. You are listening to the Christian Real View Radio Program.

I'm David Wheaton. When Jesus is laying out the Holy Spirit's job description in John 16, and he says it's to your advantage that I go, think about that for just a second. Jesus, the Christ, tells his disciples, it's actually advantageous that I go. And they're thinking, what? We don't want you to go.

Who could be better for us? What does he then explain? That was Pastor Costi Hinn, who was raised in and then saved from the distortions of the Holy Spirit that are so prevalent today. Costi's new book, Knowing the Spirit, Who He Is, What He Does, and How He Can Transform Your Christian Life, graciously clarifies truth from error and is available for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. To order this 261-page softcover book that retails for $19.99, go to thechristianrealview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Scripture commands that children are to be brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Offering biblically sound resources for children is one of our top ministry priorities. At our store at thechristianrealview.org, you will find carefully selected children's Bibles and books, along with video and audio resources. Check out the Bible infographics for kids books, Little Pilgrim's Progress, and the popular Adam Raccoon set. Theo is a 15-episode video series addressing key doctrines of the faith that is a must-see for children and adults. Satan and the world are bent on capturing the heart and mind of your child.

Instead, get sound resources that will train them up in the way they should go. Browse an order at thechristianrealview.org or give us a call for recommendations at 1-888-646-2233. That's 1-888-646-2233 or thechristianrealview.org.

Welcome back to the Christian Real View, I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, thechristianrealview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic today is the Reformation, Eschatology, and Israel, and our guest is Mike Gendron, founder and evangelist for Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry. Mike, you write in your article, you say, the Reformers established the Word of God as the supreme authority for faith. They made the Bible available to people in their own language. Soon, people discovered they could be saved by reading the Bible unaided by priests and sacraments.

The truth was setting them free from religious bondage. This caused the pope to put a stop to this mass exodus by once again putting the Bible—imagine this—on their list of forbidden books. You also say that the Reformation re-established the Lord Jesus Christ as the only head of the church which he purchased with his own blood, and additionally the Reformers rejected the pope as the head of the church. One more thing was the recovery of the most important doctrine that would be justification, which Rome had distorted and in so doing given its people a false hope. Virtually every doctrinal error you write that has surfaced in the Roman Catholic Church has been as a result of undermining the authority, the reliability, and sufficiency of Scripture. Wherever Scripture is not the supreme authority, Christ will be dishonored, because man's ideas will just come in, man's false teachings will come in, his gospel will be distorted, faith will be misplaced, put on something other than Christ's work, and the church will be ineffective and men will steal the glory from God. The idea of the authority of Scripture, the exclusivity of Jesus Christ, and justification by faith, which is the gospel, why are those—and this is not just for the Roman Catholic Church but just in broader life, in Christianity—why are these always the pivotal and the priority issues?

Quite frankly, it's because they're the most important issues. Scripture must always be our supreme authority. We must always test the uninspired words of men with the inspired Word of God. We know there's no higher authority than Almighty God, and he's revealed himself through his inspired Word.

So by default, that should be everyone's supreme authority. Christ is our all-sufficient Savior. You know, David, the reason people don't have assurance of salvation is because they're trusting what they must do rather than what Christ has done.

The last words of Christ before he gave up his spirit was, it is finished. In other words, he accomplished everything necessary to save sinners completely and forever. By trusting Christ alone, we can have the assurance of eternal life, because he canceled the eternal sin debt. We see that in Colossians 2, 13, and 14. We also see that he gives us his perfect righteousness that he earned by obeying the law perfectly and living a sinless life. So he gives that as a gift, which is why 2 Corinthians 5, 21 is so important. He that is Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him. And so the gospel is the summation of the all-sufficient work of Christ. It must remain pure.

It must remain exclusive. And justification is the core of the gospel. It's the hinge that opens and closes the gates of heaven. The Reformers said if you get justification wrong, you get the gospel wrong. And if you get justification wrong, you cannot be right with God.

It might be good to just look at a couple of ways that the Catholic Church opposes the biblical doctrine of justification. When we look at justification, it declares the inflexible righteousness of God as the judge who must punish every sin that's ever been committed. And the only way a condemned sinner can be justified is through faith in the sin-bearing, substitutionary death and resurrection of Christ alone who satisfied divine justice. So when we look at biblical justification, it is the change of one's legal status before God, whereby a condemned sinner has been acquitted and declared righteous.

But Rome says no, that's not true. Justification changes the inner man, not his legal status. We know from the Bible that justification is instantaneous, but Rome once again says no, it's a process. The Bible says justification is by faith, but Rome says no, justification is by the sacrament of baptism. The Bible teaches that justification is permanent and it's never lost by sin.

The legal status of a justified man is as unchangeable as the righteousness of Christ. But Rome says no, justification is temporal, it can be lost by sin, then it has to be regained through the sacrament of penance. And so we see so many different ways that the Catholic Church has denied biblical justification. The Bible says God justifies the ungodly, Romans 4-5. But Rome teaches final justification is for those who become righteous. And lastly, David, the Bible teaches justification is the imputation of Christ's completed righteousness. But Rome says no, justification is the infusion of righteousness which renews the interior man. So I think you and your listeners can see that Rome is confusing justification with sanctification. Yeah, I've heard one person say that the Roman Catholic religion teaches that you work your life on sanctification and hopefully at the end you'll be justified, whereas the biblical route is God justifies the repentant sinner who puts his faith in Christ, and then the rest of your life is spent on sanctification. You've been talking about a lot of important doctrinal distinctions that were made clear, that weren't invented by the Reformers, those who came out of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s and 1600s. There's biblical clarity on these doctrines.

They were rediscovered, basically, by some men, and then it began to explode across the continent of Europe, and then it was exported across the ocean to the United States of America. And so these doctrines that you've been discussing, Mike, as part of the Protestant Reformation, Protestant protesting against the Catholic Church, which was the dominant church at the time, Reformation, they were reforming, trying to reform out of that, that's why it's called the Protestant Reformation. Talk about the impact of the Reformation that it had on Western civilization, by that I mean Western Europe, Britain and the British colonies back in the day, and then even over here in North America and South America, and also the broader world.

How significant was what happened when Luther first nailed those 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany? How that just wasn't a religious movement, but it was that, but it was far greater than that. Number one, I think the Reformation really gave people freedom. They were no longer under the control of a religious hierarchy. Before the Reformation, if you were excommunicated from the Catholic Church, you had no hope of going to heaven.

And so they had this overwhelming control over all the people. So the Reformation took power away from the priesthood and the papacy. It also created what we call is the Protestant work ethic, which really helped shape Europe and America. But I think more than ever, it really helped people be educated not only with scripture, but also as the schools were being established, more and more times people were studying the Bible. You got to remember that the Bible was on the list of forbidden books. Before that it was in Latin.

It was in a language that the common people could not access. And you talked about a while ago how the reformers rediscovered what had been hidden for up to 900 years. And so the Protestant Reformation put the Bible back in the hands of the people and it set them free. We read in 2 Timothy 2, 24 to 26 that we are to pray for those in opposition to the gospel that God would grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth so they can escape the snare of the devil that holds them captive to do his will. And Jesus addressed this in John 8.

He said, a true disciple of mine is one who will abide in my word. Then they will know the truth and the truth will set them free. It will set them free from religious deception and from the power of sin. So keep in mind, David, most of the people had no access to the truth that was set them free until the Reformation where the Bible was placed back in the hands of the people. Mike Gendron is our guest today on The Christian Real View. He is the founder and evangelist for Proclaiming the Gospel. Proclaimingthegospel.org is their website.

It's also linked at our website thechristianrealview.org. Mike, let's transition now to discuss who the reformers were and what were their views about eschatology, the end times, because they differed quite a bit from what you and I would understand the Bible to teach about what is coming in the future and the significance of the Jewish people. The prominent reformers would be Luther, Calvin, Zwingling, and Knox. And what's really interesting is the reformers majored on soteriology.

They wanted to get justification right and make it known to the people. Obviously, that may be the most important doctrine to consider because it determines where a person will spend eternity. But we've got to keep in mind that they came out of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church's eschatology was that of all millennialism. And that simply means that the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ will not return to the earth until the whole world has become Roman Catholic.

And so the reformers never really addressed the issue of eschatology. And so many of them, in fact, probably all of them, came away with an all millennial point of view. And that's why you see many of our reformed theologians today, they still carry the eschatology of the Roman Catholic Church, that of all millennialism. And so I think we have to make people aware that throughout the Old Testament, the prophets were foretelling that Christ would rule and reign from the throne of David for 1000 years on this earth.

And so we do look forward to the millennial period where Christ will receive all glory and honor and praise as he rules just as the prophets told me that he would. I want to read a couple paragraphs from the website gotquestions.org. They're a good resource for just getting a general idea of common questions about the faith. I looked up dispensationalism versus covenant theology.

And here's what they said, just a couple sentences here. Dispensationalism is a theological system that emphasizes the literal interpretation of Bible prophecy, organizes a distinction between Israel and the church, and organizes the Bible into different dispensations or administrations. Covenant theology looks at the scriptures through the grid of a covenant. Covenant theology defines two overriding covenants, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

The important thing to keep in mind is that all of the various covenants described in scripture, the ones made with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and the new covenant, are outworkings of either the covenant of works or the covenant of grace. So perhaps you could explain the difference between dispensational interpretation of scripture and covenantal interpretation of scripture, because that is the dividing line between how those on one side or the other will view eschatology, the end times, and specifically will view Israel. Whereas covenant theologians, those who ascribe to that, will see as the church has replaced national ethnic Israel, whereas those who ascribe to a more dispensational interpretation of scripture like you and I do, will see, no, there is still—God has not canceled his promises for Israel. There is future purpose and plan for the Jewish people in the churches distinct from Israel. We'll talk about the conflict going on in Israel in just a moment, but explain sort of the two ways of interpreting scripture and then how did the Reformers—and these were very, very intelligent, biblically centered people—and then you fast forward to today, many of the Bible preachers that we appreciate, someone like R.C. Sproul or Sinclair Ferguson or Vody Bockham or Derek Thomas and so forth, they're really sound preachers, but they have a completely amillennial, more covenantal view of eschatology, and they don't see that future importance for the Jewish people.

How does that take place? I just don't understand, and a lot of people dismiss it as not being important, but I think it's very important because if you look at even the book of Zechariah, that book alone, you see that there is a future, a glorious future for Israel. In fact, the covenants are all fulfilled in the millennial period. We have the Abrahamic covenant where Israel's perpetuity as a great nation in possession of land and source of all blessings is seen in Genesis 12. That's fulfilled, and the Davidic covenant is fulfilled in the millennium.

As the son of David, Jesus will reign as king in his everlasting kingdom from David's throne. We see that in 2 Samuel 7, and then the new covenant. All Israel will be saved as they receive God's Spirit, new hearts, and a forgiveness of sin. You know, David, it's important, I think, to realize that the last verse of Matthew 23, Jesus wept over Israel, and he said, you will not see me speaking to the Jews.

You will not see me again until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And we see that during the tribulation period, that two-thirds of the Jewish population will be killed, and only one-third will remain. And that remnant will look upon the Lord as he appears, and then all Israel will be saved.

And we cannot deny that. It's scripture. And so I really wish these amillennial people would look at the promises of a millennial period when Jesus reigns and he comes to save the remnant after the tribulation period. So we can talk a little bit more about Daniel in the 70 weeks for the Jews, but it all started in 445 BC when there was a decree to restore Jerusalem. We see that in Nehemiah 2 verses 1 to 8. And then there was actual prediction of when Jesus would come in to Jerusalem riding on a donkey, because the prophecy was 69 weeks of years, which turns out to be 173,880 days.

So the Jews could have known the exact day. And in that 70 weeks, we see the Messiah is presented, and then he's cut off. And that is the beginning of the church age after Jesus died and was raised from the dead. In Acts 2, we see the beginning of the church age.

That's lasting now for 2,000 years. When the rapture of the church takes place, then we turn to the 70th week of Daniel, which happens to be the tribulation period. And initially there will be a false peace that initiates the tribulation. Antichrist will confirm a covenant with Israel for one week.

God calls it a covenant of death because they have made lies, their refuge, and taken shelter in falsehood. And when we see the tribulation period, we have to look at the purpose of the tribulation is to bring about a worldwide revival. God will seal 144,000 Jews from the 12 tribes for their protection and service.

There will be two witnesses proclaiming the glorious gospel of the kingdom. And we also see that the tribulation is used by God to break the stubborn power and will of Israel. After the last three and a half years of the tribulation, God will shatter the power of his people. We see that in Daniel 12.7. And this will purge out the rebellious Jews and prepare the remnant for the coming of the Messiah and the fulfillment of the covenants.

And so you can see how all this fits together, David, as pieces to a puzzle. The tribulation and then the millennial reign of Christ. The only people entering into the millennial period will be believers. We see Jesus separating the sheep from the goats at the end of Matthew 25. And it's these sheep that enter into the millennial period where Jesus rules and reigns and fulfills the covenant promises.

Well, you just gave us a clear lesson there on eschatology, according to what Scripture says. And just to think about what's going on in Israel right now, where the war, they were attacked and brutally massacred civilians by Hamas of Jewish people. And now there's a lot of upheaval in the Middle East. There's, I think, a really significant chance for escalation here to go beyond just Israel versus Hamas, but then Hezbollah and Iran and America, Russia. To look at this right now and then to know what Scripture says, and we're not going to set any dates here to know exactly what's going to be the next move on the chessboard. You were just on a trip. You were leading a group, actually, over to Israel.

I believe Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, and Athens, a place where so much of the Scripture took place. What are some of the key observations that you have right now, Mike, on what is taking place in Israel? Mike will answer that question after this short break for some ministry announcements. Just a reminder, we have two DVDs that go with today's program. The first is titled Luther, The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer.

This is a 91-minute DVD. Also available are two presentations by Mike Gendron. God's faithfulness to Israel is one, and Satan and Bible prophecy is the other.

Just get in contact with us the usual ways through our website or by giving us a call. Much more coming up on The Christian Real View. I'm David Wheaton. God's truth is enduringly true throughout all the generations. It transcends culture. The Church is always going to be an embattled people. If it's swimming with the tide, it's not being the Church of Jesus Christ.

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I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website thechristianrealview.org where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic today is the Reformation, Eschatology, and Israel, and our guest is Mike Gendron, founder and evangelist for Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry. Mike, as we watch what is happening in Israel, what are some of your key observations about what is taking place? Ever since then, since that first Saturday bombing, we've seen the great evils that were perpetuated by Hamas or evidence that mankind is hopelessly lost because this is pure satanic in its orientation.

We know that Satan hates the Jewish people and he has made so many of these Arab people pawns that are trying to drive Israel into the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestinian nation that keeps being referred to by the liberal news media, many people don't know that the Palestinians didn't even exist in history until the last 70 or 80 years. They've never had a language.

They've never had a culture. They've never had a homeland. All these people that are fighting for this piece of land are Arabs. They're misplaced Arabs and so many people around the world are giving them so much sympathy because the Palestinians are saying that the land belongs to them. Well, David, we know that the title to the land was given by God to the Jewish people for perpetuity. We see that in Genesis 17, that the title deed for the land is given to the Jewish people. Most people don't know is that whenever a land is conquered in the name of Mohammed, then that land remains to the enemies of the Jewish people, the Muslims. You have this battle for this tiny strip of land that will never be settled until the Prince of Peace returns.

This is an ongoing struggle and we know it's not going to end until the Lord Jesus comes, the Prince of Peace to settle it all once and for all. Mike, we see blatant anti-Semitism all over the world. Actually, one of the men we've talked about today important in the Reformation was Martin Luther, who later in his life was considered to be anti-Semitic. He wrote a book called On the Jews and Their Lies. It says this, and God questions Luther's many written contributions to the Christian faith and to stand for biblical authority are of monumental importance. As early as 1516, the year before the Reformation started, Luther wrote positively of the Jews, where he said many people are proud with marvelous stupidity when they call the Jews dogs, evildoers, and whatever they like, while they too and equally do not realize who or what they are in the sight of God. Later in his life, just skipping ahead here, he wrote in this book in 1543, he makes outlandish—according to the godquestions.org statements regarding the Jews, calling them, quote, a base whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth, unquote. So that's what people look to and say, oh, this is an anti-Semitic person. God questions, goes on to say about this, it's impossible to know what was in Luther's heart when he penned these awful things. Was he truly a Jew-hater, or was his passion for the truth of Scripture and for Jesus Christ, who was rejected by the Jews, so overwhelming that he felt compelled to condemn the Christ's rejecters to whoredom in the same vein as the prophet Hosea, who compared the Jews of his time, who rejected their God, to whores and prostitutes? Whatever his motivation, it's clear that Luther's writings were used as Nazi propaganda, and to this day, there is this notion that Martin Luther, yeah, he got doctrines of Scripture right, but he was an anti-Semite.

What do you know about that, Mike? Well, I can tell you that the Roman Catholic Church has been against the Jews for many, many hundreds of years, and that's the influence Martin Luther came out of. The Catholic Church believes that they replaced Israel as God's chosen people.

In fact, in 1948, when Israel was gathered together, the Jews were gathered together to become a sovereign nation again, it took the Vatican over 60 years to recognize Israel as a sovereign, independent nation. The Catholic Church was hoping it would go away because they believe they've replaced Israel as God's chosen people. And so the Catholic Church was anti-Semitic, and the influence of Luther coming out of the Catholic Church, I think, is what caused him to write the things that he wrote. Remember, the Reformers only began the Reformation. We've talked about how the Reformers brought a wrong view of eschatology because the Catholic Church had a wrong view. Well, now we see Luther was anti-Semite because the Catholic Church was anti-Semitic.

Final question for you, Mike. As we come up to October 31st, which the world considers Halloween, hardly anyone anymore, it seems like, remembers that on October 31st, 1517 is the start of the Reformation, when Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. From Britannica, they say, Halloween is a contraction of All Hallows' Eve.

Interesting link here. It's a holiday observed on October 31st, the evening before All Saints' Day. The celebration marks the day before the Roman Catholic Feast of All Saints and initiates a season of All Hallowed Tide, which lasts three days and concludes with All Souls' Day. The evening before All Saints' Day became a holy or hallowed eve and thus Halloween.

By the end of the Middle Ages, the secular and the sacred days had merged. The Reformation, which we've been talking about, essentially put an end to the religious holiday among Protestants, although in Britain, especially Halloween, continued to be celebrated as a secular holiday. So as we come near the end of October, and as our country and many Christians celebrate Halloween for some unknown reason, what is your charge for Christians and their families to remember the Reformation, to celebrate that day and what that started in not only the church, but also just the world, the impact of the Reformation, instead of reveling in this dark holiday called Halloween? The reason Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis on October 31st, it was very strategic because the next day was All Saints' Day and Catholics would be going in to venerate over 1900 relics of dead saints. And so this is necromancy. And the following day was All Souls' Day.

And so you can see how it all fits together. He was nailing his 95 Thesis showing that it is wrong to practice indulgences as remission of temporal punishment by viewing the bones and fragments of dead people. That's how Halloween got started. And what I would recommend for Christians to do is to realize that just as the devil uses Santa Claus to obscure the celebration of the birth of Christ and the Easter Bunny to obscure the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, the devil is also using Halloween to obscure the importance of the Reformation. And so as Christians, we should remember what the Reformation accomplished and what God accomplished through men that suffered even to the point of death to preserve the gospel. We must remember the Reformation because the Reformers earnestly contended for the gospel so that the next generation would be able to have it. And we need to have the same courage, the same conviction, and the same boldness to seek the approval of Christ over the approval of men. You know, Paul addressed that in Galatians 1 verse 10.

So many people today want to seek the approval of men rather than the approval of Christ. And so let's emulate the Reformers. Let's put this day aside to celebrate what God did through Martin Luther and the other Reformers. And keep in mind that Martin Luther didn't take any credit for the Reformation.

He said he did nothing. The Word of God did everything. So let's be reminded to emulate the Reformers with their boldness and courage as we see the great apostasy predicted that the end times would be a falling away from the faith.

It's because we're not fighting for the purity and the exclusivity of the gospel as the Reformers did. Thank you, Mike, for your commitment to the Word of God and the Son of God and the gospel. Thank you for your courage to speak clearly about this. We wish all of God's best and grace to you and Jane in proclaiming the gospel ministry. Thank you for coming on The Christian Worldview. Well, thank you, David. It's always a privilege to glorify our great God and Savior, also to ratify the saints. And hopefully if there's any unbelievers listening that they too would recognize that the gospel is the power of God and the salvation for all who believe it. So thank you for having me.

I really love Mike Gendron. God has built into him a rock solid faith that accurately handles the word of truth. We are out of time today, but just a reminder, you can order the DVDs that go with today's program, Luther, the life and legacy of the German reformer or Mike's presentation on God's faithfulness to Israel.

Just get in contact with us the usual ways. Thank you for joining us today on The Christian Worldview. Until next time, work biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of The Christian Worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out what must I do to be saved, go to thechristianworldview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Worldview is a listener-supported, non-profit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Worldview partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit thechristianworldview.org, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to The Christian Worldview.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-21 04:00:35 / 2023-10-21 04:19:15 / 19

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