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There is No Biblical Prophesy Here, Just the Right Thing to Do

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is not about fulfilling a prophecy​​. It's the right thing to do.

I am not in the evangelical camp that thinks Israel still has a special role to play in the Bible. The Israelites of the Old Testament were superceded by the church in the New Testament. Christians are now God's people and faith in Christ is what gains one admission into God's eternal kingdom. I do not believe the modern nation-state of Israel has any Biblical role to play, though I recognize and embrace the historicity of the Kingdom of David, the role the Romans played in changing the name from Judea to Palestine, and that the Jews legitimately have a several thousand year old claim to set up shop in the area on which the modern nation-state exists.

Now, this is not some line of faith or matter of doctrine. There are plenty of Christians who believe Israel has some special role to play still in Biblical, theological terms. I'm just not one of them. This is not like gay marriage or the trinity where there is two thousand years of consistent doctrine setting the parameters by which one might be legitimately considered a heretic for embrace of one and rejection of the other. This is a matter of Biblical interpretation that does not affect one's salvation.

I say that to say I do not view Donald Trump as fulfilling some prophesy or helping bring about the second coming through moving America's Embassy to Jerusalem. I believe it was just the right thing to do.

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The United States should have its capital in the capital city of a country. Our treatment of Israel was an exception to that rule. It was a gross injustice to the Jewish people and President Trump remedied it. He did what other Presidents claimed a willingness to do, but never did. He did what other politicians claimed they wanted done, but then howled in protest when he did it.

President Trump made the right decision and he should be applauded for it.

Right or wrong from a biblical or political perspective, this decision has consequences. I had a couple of Iranians-by-origin, thrown out by the revolution in 1979, over for a meal on Sunday, and I asked them about the Iranian deal, which is not the same as the embassy re-siting, but similar. They felt that it was a unilateral decision that could hurt Iran and could undermine the sense of American alliances. I had to agree on those points. H owever, I would put my marginal heft behind Israel and Trump's foreign policy before I would support the mullahs who are terrorizing good Iranians, and threatening Israel. The good Iranian people need to stand up and take back their country from the zealots. Israel, meanwhile, needs and deserves our support.

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I agree with you Erick. I think this is a case of American centric thinking. God is not waiting for America to move it's embassy before he unleashes the end times.

If I recall the event that will cause the end times is the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. Which isn't happening any time soon. And trump has not promised.

In the grand scheme of things moving the embassy forfeits a bargaining chip with Israel and might upset the arab states for awhile. I think the move is more an admission that the two state solution is dead rather than the end times being near.

As I've been saying quite a lot these days, this whole subject of Israel's "right" to Jerusalem should never have come to be a political issue; it's simply and clearly a Biblical issue. A higher power than any of us surveyed and mapped out that piece of land (and much more around it than they are utilizing today) many, many years ago. And whether the US symbolically situates an office there or not, it doesn't change the ownership of that land in God's Eyes one bit. As far as a role yet left to play by the Jewish people in the end times, it's actually more of a role that they will be swept up in. On top of their eons-long refusal to accept Jesus as their Messiah, their last prophesied action will be to embrace the antichrist and thus, the time of Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) will be the unfortunate outcome. But, out of them, a remnant of "new believers" will survive the tribulation and walk straight into the millennium, because they are God's own created race and He will never completely give up on them! This is all in the Bible plain as day. We either accept the Word as God's Truth or we don't. And THAT'S the most important decision we have to make in this lifetime!

Trump followed through on this where others made it political.

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The "bargaining chip" line has never made any sense to me. What do Palestinians give us that we need them to continue giving us and need to hold leverage over them? What do the nearby nations give us? (except Saudi Arabia, which is my suspicion on why we've been holding off, and why it appears the administration talked with them first). If anything, the option to move the embassy OUT of Jerusalem is a bargaining chip to use. The status quo, without using an ultimatum, can't be a bargaining chip. A possible change in the status quo if other agreements are made can be a bargaining chip.

The movement of the embassy is a step toward the end times, but the size of the step is still unknown. Jerusalem is still a divided city. Gaza has been a thorn in Israels side since they took the bounty and did not destroy it as God commanded. The new Israel is now seventy years old, after being out of existence as an independent country since Masada./ In hind sight Christ could not return under the Ottoman Empire. From the time of Christ many nations have risen and fallen. Christianity spread through the Roman empire, and subsequent countries. The United States was found with some religious freedom, so we would not be controlled by what some would consider false doctrine.. The Old Testament is a lot of history and prophecy, but the Ten Commandments and Proverbs are still good lessons. To me the lesson of the New Testament, is do what is right because it is right, not because of a law. As Europe became more secular, the Us was the one to hold to Christian principles for a longer time. We are now becoming more secular.

it looks like you meant to say the US should have its EMBASSY in another nation's capital

Whether you believe in the prophesy, doesn't matter, it is being fulfilled. The prophecy doesn't reveal who, what and where, just that it will be. Ramsey who was working on a different level than Father, God, he is so awesome in that he uses anyone to fulfil his promises. I think that’s why we have so many denominations in the Christian Faith: too many men want to specify in their own sanctimonious minds, the way how they believe it shall be done instead of that is or it shall be. Bottom line is doesn’t matter, just that it’s being fulfilled and many, many prayers are being answered,

I'm not a pre-tribber. I don't have the Left Behind series of books sitting in my collection of hundreds of Biblical titles. I don't think America as a nation plays prominently in the future of God's final redemptive history. In the vein, I also don't think that moving the American embassy to Jerusalem is a prophetic event, though I do think it to be a wise, good-willed gesture.

That said, I do firmly believe national Israel plays an important role as God continues to move His world toward it's eschatological conclusion. If Jews and Gentiles were rolled into one, then many of Paul's statements make no sense, such as, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew and also to the Gentile."

Now that can be construed as Paul simply pointing out the fact that God historically revealed Jesus to the Jews before sending His Spirit to the Gentiles in Acts 10. But that doesn't account for Paul's own personal agenda which was always to take the Gospel first to the Jewish people in the synagogues whenever he reached into a new city--and this after Paul was appointed as the 'Apostle to the Gentiles.'

Too many of Paul's writings focus on the Jewish law and people. Too much of John's vision of Heaven is focused on the tribes and the 'Woman' Israel. Too many promises of the Old Covenant remain unfulfilled. With all of those factors, it requires far too much allegorizing of Scripture to make the church = Israel.

Likewise, if the Church is the same as Israel, then when Jesus returns, where will He arrive? If the Church is allegorically Israel, then Jerusalem must be allegorized as well. How does that play out when Paul says,

"Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;"

Now either Jesus returns after the "lawless one" establishes himself in a physical temple in Jerusalem or this is entirely allegorical. If it's allegorical, then it seems highly unlikely that these "events" described by Paul can keep the Thessalonians from being "shaken from their composure" if those events aren't concrete, definable occurrences. So if Jesus returns to the temple, in Jerusalem, in Israel, then God must have SOME type of plan that includes modern-day Israel at some level.

I'm not saying I have it all figured out, as I don't. But I do think that the second coming is real and will occur in actual time/space in the location specified by Scripture, which is Jerusalem.

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@ewerickson:

Out of curiosity what Theological views do you believe are closest to being correct. I was baptized in and still attend a church that holds to typically Dispensational teachings, but my own theological views have shifted.

My Hermeneutics and view of the Old Testament and the Laws found there are basically the same as New Covenant Theology.

The main place I break from NCT is my view of Soteriology. Most of the people I've come across in the NCT camp are Calvinist, but I'm at least as Arminian in my view of salvation as the typical General Baptist and possibly even more so as I'm a bit wishy washy on Eternal Security (I don't think you can backslide out of your salvation, but I do think it's probably possible to lose it through a conscious choice to stop following Christ or an outright refusal to repent when legitimately confronted with sin by another Christian.

I'm probably most unsure of my views on Eschatology. In my most recent read through of the Gospels, I became convinced that a Pre-Tribulation Rapture doesn't fit with what Christ taught about the end times, as the judgement of non-believers seems to be portrayed as immediately following the return of Christ for the church, but other than that, I'm still wrestling with scripture over it. Currently I'm leaning Amillennial, I think Sam Storms was able to satisfactorily answer my major objection related to the chaining of Satan for 1000 years in Revelation 20 (Here: https://youtu.be/ws0vbT4Yu2s?t=1h37m59s ) and Post-Millennial views don't seem to match the reality of the last two millennia of history.

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The Church has not "superseded" or replaced Israel. That nation and people still have a role to play during the seven year Tribulation period still to come ("Daniel's seventieth week") when the 144,000 Jewish witnesses (12,000 from each tribe) will evangelize the entire remaining (post-Rapture) global population. That will be the completion of Israel's divine evangelical mission. Ironically, the heresy of Israel having been "replaced" by the Church has been a source of great anti-Semitism and vicious persecution of Jews in the two millennia since the Romans destroyed their country and scattered them worldwide. It's frankly shocking that you, Erick, could espouse such a heresy.

Here's what I don't get about Erik E and others in Washington like him: why the arrogance?

I'm often critical of Trump, but my reaction to this latest move is, "meh". It will either work out well or it won't. Everything I can see about that situation tells me that things can backfire, and we very well might be in a situation where absolutely nothing is going to save the region from vast amounts of bloodshed. Or maybe it will be a good thing.

So why is Erik and so many others so sure this is the right thing to do? Are they prepared to admit they were wrong if it all goes South?

What I definitely do NOT see from any of the pundits is why they think this is a better thing, save obvious partisan appeals to "the previous guy did it the other way and he's a lousy so and so".

The Republicans and Trump are setting themselves up to absolutely OWN whatever happens in the Middle East in the next five years. Odds are that situation is going to be terrible no matter what ANYBODY does.

Why the arrogance?

That's a great presentation moderated by Piper. I used that to begin a teaching series on Eschatology several years ago. Well worth the time to watch. Interestingly, I really don't fall in line with any of them completely, but their positions are well presented.

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After reading through the entire Bible every year for 20 plus years, each time through my theology is more of the reformed camp and my eschatology more preterist and less dispensational.

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Every time I re-read the Bible, I realize that the whole underlying theme is how God has been, and will be throughout Armageddon, steadily dealing with the fallen angelic entities who desperately tried to destroy humanity from the point of our creation. When God informed them that a Redeemer would come out of His creation of mankind to make it right, they then set about trying to corrupt our DNA by coming to earth and adding their inhuman "seed" to the mix. (Genesis 6) Thus, the flood, and all the wars that God directed the Hebrews to go into and clean out every person from. And that evil realm is still trying to destroy us today. That's of course why Paul stated that our fight is really with principalities and powers, not each other, but Satan keeps trying to disguise that fact and keep us at each other's throats...so that we don't realize the truth and turn our cross-hairs on him. If we Christians could all at least agree on that much, we might actually be able to work together on a real game-changing cause down here - resisting the true enemy (James 4:7).

@JASmius

Most people would consider my views to be Supersessionist/Replacement Theology, but I would say that this is a mis-characterization of what I, and many but not necessarily everyone in this camp believer. I don't think that the Church replaced Israel, rather I believe that the ancient Jewish people weren't actually Israel. Rather Jesus Christ is Israel, the Law and Prophesies of the Old Covenant find their fulfillment in him and I can only claim to be part of Israel because I have been grafted into Christ.

Russell Moore explained this much more eloquently than I can:

"The church is not Israel, at least not in a direct, unmediated sense. The remnant of Israel-a biological descendant of Abraham, a circumcised Jewish firstborn son who is approved of by God for his obedience to the covenant-receives all of the promises due to him.

Israel is Jesus of Nazareth, who, as promised to Israel, is raised from the dead and marked out with the Spirit (Ezek 37:13-14; Rom 1:2-4). All the promises of God “find their Yes in him” (2 Cor 1:20), as Paul puts it, and this yes establishes a Jew like Paul with Gentiles like the Corinthians “in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor 1:21-22). The Spirit guarantees what? It guarantees that all who share the Spirit of Christ are “joint heirs with Christ” of his promised inheritance (Rom 8:17 NKJV)."

Also as I said above, my most recent read through of the Gospels has convinced me that a Pre-Tribulation rapture of the church is not supported therein. One of the more convincing passages to me is the Parable of the 10 Wise and 10 Foolish Virgins found in Matthew 25:1-13. Look especially at verses 10-12:

"“When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived. Then those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.
“Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’
“But he replied, ‘I assure you: I do not know you!’

From this parable we see that Jesus will come unexpectedly for the Church, take them into the wedding fest, and then shut the door. This seems to indicate that once the Church is Raptured from the earth, no one else will be able to enter into the Kingdom, which would preclude people being saved after the Rapture of the Church, as taught in Dispensational Theology.

@JaneKMiller:

"Here's what I don't get about Erik E and others in Washington like him: why the arrogance?"

Not sure if this is what you intended to say, but it read like you were saying that Erick is located in Washington, and wanted to point out that he is located in Atlanta and that if I'm not mistaken he has turned down better paying jobs in NYC and DC to stay there.

I also don't see this particular article as being very critical of Trump, rather it focuses solely on how he doesn't view the embassy move as having Eschatological significance.

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