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Mark Dankof on Modern Zionism and Biblical Authority: A Clarification

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Pastor Mark Dankof, whose presentation on the Church of Smyrna in John’s Apocalypse instructs a segment of the Believing Remnant of the Confessing Church of Christ at the LMS-USA national conference.

 

A Protestant evangelical reader has asked me to respond with my understanding of the Old Testament and issues of authenticity and historical accuracy, along with my understanding of the relationship between the Old Testament and the New.  Alexander Metzentsev, an Orthodox Christian in Europe, also wrote for my take on these matters. My synopsis is a brief one to the first reader, who was prompted to write by his reading of the Christian Research Institute article entitled, “Killing the Canaanites.” I have also sent my brief summation to the latter.

Here is a summary of my thoughts:

 

1) Theories on the non-historicity of the OT and the NT accounts range from the Graf-Wellhausen JEDP theory to the Deutero-Isaiah theory, and Rudolf Bultmann’s “demythologization” of the NT narrative which debunks the miraculous, including denial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a time/space event in history. Attempts to debunk the OT must of necessity cast aspersion on the NT, even if unintended. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale demonstrate this in their volume on the NT and its copious use of the OT. The Westminister Theological Seminary in Philadelphia graciously offers an online PDF file on the Carson-Beale perspective.

 

Several examples in a sea of them will suffice. Where does Matthew derive his genealogy of Jesus Christ from in chapter 1? The genealogy is an absolute symmetry of 14+14+14 (42)/Abraham to David, David to the Babylonian Exile/the Exile to Christ. In Hebrews 11, the laundry list of OT figures is presented, including Moses and the absolute historicity of the Exodus narrative. In terms of Joshua and the destruction of Canaanites, that is clearly revisited by Stephen in his speech of Acts 7-8 before martyrdom at the hands of a Jewish mob. That event is clearly understood by him as historical, and best understood today in the context of the Christian Research Institute article you [the first reader] sent, or the discussion of Gleason Archer of that event in his Introduction to the Old Testament or his subsequently published Bible Difficulties.

To understand the Enlightenment or Post-Enlightenment background of the Higher Biblical critics and their reliance on such methodologies as Redaction Criticism and Form Criticism in particular, I recommend Google search for good explanatory articles on the bigger picture and the chief culprits.

 

2) A cursory look at the canonical book listings for the Roman, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant traditions will reveal the 39 Old Testament Books as included. Why?

 

3) Why do the Apostolic writers of the NT and Jesus Christ constantly reference these books, the events recorded, and the key individuals in question?

 

4) In the case of Joshua and the destruction of the Canaanites, is there a Biblical Typology of Christ being conveyed? (“Salvation,” comprehensive judgment of unrepentant evildoers, the Righteous Warrior restoring the fortunes of God’s repentant people who had come out of desert and exile? Revelation 19?) The obvious utilization of Christological Typology with Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Cyrus the Great, et.al., is obvious, without denying the fact that they were sinful, flawed people. The Bible speaks in complete candor about it all, including the sordid history of ancient Israel and Judah throughout the Old Testament which culminated in the judgment of the former at the hands of the Assyrians in 722 B. C. and the experience of the latter in the Babylonian Empire and Temple Destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B. C. Jeremiah had prophesied of this event, and predicted its duration exactly (Jeremiah 25 and 29).  Daniel’s pivotal Prophecy of 70 Weeks in chapter 9 (70 x 7=490) is intertwined with all of this as well.  See my own position on the 70 Weeks, one written at Westminster and the other delivered years later at a public theological seminar in the Midwest.  The latter includes a chart for anyone’s understanding of that chapter and the controversy that surrounds its interpretation.

5) Finally, the late Reformed Baptist evangelical pastor, Dale Crowley, Jr., whom I worked with in his final years of activism, shared my belief that a) the Modern Zionist State of Israel is related neither to the Old Testament entity or the New Testament confession that the Israel of God today is the believing Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even further, we both came to understand that the Zionist enterprise is inextricably linked to the New World Order, the appearance of Anti Christ, and the overarching eschatological deception of those who confuse the Synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9; 3:9) with the Confessing Church (Galatians 6:16/I Peter 2:9 and Peter’s quote of Exodus 19:5-6); Romans 2:28-29). In his view and mine, the Apostle John’s reference to the “sealing” of the 144,000 “of all the tribes of the children of Israel” is a spiritual sealing of the New Testament’s Israel of God denoted by the apocalyptic number of 12 Tribes x 12 Apostles x 1000 as the number for absolute perfection to equal 144,000 as perfection multiplied for an eternal lifetime in the Kingdom of God in Christ. Unbelievers, of course, and the Beast and False Prophet, are destined for the eternal Lake of Fire, where the Canaanites disposed of by Joshua’s army will presumably be in perpetual residence as well.

At the same time, Pastor Crowley and I would both remind readers of the Apostle Paul of the truth of Romans 9: 4-6, which affirms Israel’s pivotal role in Biblical and Redemptive History alongside its paradoxical rejection of Christ with all of the eternal consequences for those who persist (John 8: 48-58) in the Satanically deceptive notion of temporal and eternal security for those of Judah who claim Abraham as father, while concurrently demanding perpetual possession of all of the covenant promises of the Old Testament including physical land and Temple worship in Jerusalem despite rejection of true belief in both the Father and the Son.  The destruction of the Temple by Titus and the Romans in A. D. 70, prophesied by Christ in the Olivet Discourse, is a prototype of the False Israel of Modern Zionism and its impending judgment in history for following the same poisonous potion 2000 years later.

 

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Mary and Dale Crowley in the twilight.  They now reside with Christ in the Kingdom of God.

 

(See Dale Crowley on the 7 Israels in Scripture, pages 21-25 in On the Wrong Side of Just About Everything, But Right About It All.)

 

I penned his memorial for the American Free Press and Christian News.

 

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Shelley and Pat Buchanan with Mary and Dale Crowley.

 

I also looked up online Dale Crowley and the 7 Israels that emerge from over 2500 references to Israel in the Old and New Testament.  Pastor Crowley’s discussion would remove a great deal of confusion over the use of the term, when the context of its use in various places in the Biblical narrative is understood both linguistically, historically, and with proper application of textual criticism of Biblical texts.

The final point is this: The proper application of good hermeneutics to Scripture enables us to affirm their inspiration and reliability, including the discussions and narratives of individuals and historical events contained therein, while making sound judgments and conclusions about the eschatologically deceptive and evil character of the modern Zionist State and the ideology it affirms, based on the Biblical witness. We do not need to travel the road of Higher Biblical Criticism or the unsustainable position of denying the place of the Old Testament as part of the Word of God when properly understood. 

 

We are likely living in the “days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37). And so we cling to God’s Word as the ancient Church of Smyrna in Asia Minor did, knowing that the endurance of the believer to the end, and the assurance of the Second Coming of the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David” (Revelation 5:5), will sustain us in a hostile world of tribulation, death, deception, hatred, lawlessness, and love growing cold (Matthew 24).

 

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The Island of Patmos in an Aegean Sunset.

 

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify my own views and beliefs on the subjects at hand. Thanks for the invitation. You may quote this communication if desired.

 

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John on Patmos Pens The Apocalypse: Exiled Because of Resistance to the Emperor Worship Cultus of Domitian (A. D. 81-96).

 

And one additional recommendation for your readers: Dr. O.T. Allis of the Westminster/Princeton evangelical tradition would affirm my position from a far more erudite work than my summary here. If you can get Prophecy and The Church (1945), you’ll be in possession of what is still likely to be the best refutation of Dispensationalism ever written by one who believed in the complete authenticity of the Scriptures.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Mark (Dankof)
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St. Polycarp of Smyrna, rejecting Emperor Worship and the Synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9) for Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ Only, Forever and Ever.

 

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