As a taster for my new book on the use and abuse of the Bible in relation to Israel and the Church, I plan to highlight examples of eccentric interpretation that lead, at best, to dubious theology, and at worst, to heresy.
Jacob Prasch is a good example. Described as an “authentic Messianic teacher” on the anonymous Seismic Shock blog, 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 here.
Here’s another example from John Wilkinson, Founder and Director of the Mildmay Mission
“ … the Jewish nation as such is shunted to a siding until the times of the Gentiles run out, to allow the express train to pass, stopping here and there to pick up the Church, and then the Jewish nation will take her place on the main line of the Divine Plan, stop at all stations and take on the world.” (Israel my Glory, 1893, p.134).
As Kevin Daly observes, “In other words what Jesus failed to do by pouring out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Jews will succeed in doing much better once the church is taken out of the way.” Gilbert Bilezikian rightly characterizes this theology as turning the Church into the ‘concubine of Christ‘.
David Brickner, revives J.N. Darby’s eccentric dispensational scheme, suggesting the last two thousand years history of the Church is merely ‘a parenthesis’ to God’s future plans for the Jews, who remain his ‘chosen people’. (see Future Hope, p. 18, 130; J. N. Darby, ‘The Character of Office in The Present Dispensation’ Collected Writings., Eccl. I, Vol. I, p. 94).
By contrast, the Apostle Paul describes the extent of Jesus’ love for the Church in Ephesians 5:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Jesus himself said, ” Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:13-14).
Just before he washed his disciples feet, the Apostle John writes so movingly, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” (John 13:1)
Why was Jesus willing to die? The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 that Jesus died to reconcile both Jews and Gentiles to God the Father.
“His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:15-18)
The Lord Jesus has broken down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles who recognise him as their Lord and Saviour. It is tragic when some of his followers, Like Prasch, it seems want to focus on that barrier.
Perhaps just as revealing, is the fact that the anonymous author of Seismic Shock, who calls himself the Maverick, regards Prasch as an “authentic Messianic teacher”. He must therefore be a Messianic believer himself (i.e. a Jew who believes in Jesus). No secular Jew would describe a Christian leader in this way. If true, I find this very, very sad, that so-called followers of Jesus would choose to use an anonymous blog to to discredit other followers of Jesus in this way. The Apostle Paul insists,
“Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
It seems sad that their love of Zionism appears greater than their love of Jesus.
For further examples of wacky theology see: