In this final edition on Christian Zionist myths, we will investigate the claims made by Zionist pastor John Hagee. Hagee is an arch-Zionist who believes that Jesus was actually not the Messiah. After this, we will conclude the series on Christian Zionism. We will discuss how Christian Zionism continues to influence the contemporary political discourse and foreign policy. Finally, we will end with an appeal for Christians to return to traditional Christian beliefs and to turn their political energies away from Israel and back to their own people.
Was Jesus the Messiah?
It is unbelievable that this topic needs to be addressed. Throughout the history of the Christian Church, acceptance of the belief that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah was considered a sine qua non of the faith. Even the vast majority of Christian Zionists in history would have accepted this article of faith without the least bit of hesitation. This has changed for megachurch apostate John Hagee. Hagee is a Zionist conman par excellence who has raised millions of dollars to be given to the state of Israel. He is the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and spends his time clamoring for war in support of the Zionist state. Israel has been known to support Zionists (Christian or otherwise) who do their bidding, and Hagee is certainly no exception. He has his own private Lear jet, as well as an 8,000-acre luxury ranch with his own mansion. The man lives in extravagance because he has sold his soul for the purpose of defending the anti-Christian state of Israel.
Hagee wrote a book in 2007 called In Defense of Israel. In this book, Hagee makes the audacious claim that Jesus Christ actually did not claim to be the Messiah1 that had been promised to Israel. In order to support this appalling claim, he relentlessly twists the Scriptures to try to justify his apostate interpretations. Hagee tries to redefine the Messiah as a purely political deliverer. But the plain fact is that Jesus did claim to be the Messiah and defended this claim against the rabbinical authorities who persecuted Him.
The Gospels clearly present the fact that Jesus was the Messiah. When Andrew found Jesus, he ran to tell his brother Simon Peter: “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41). Jesus is also identified as the Messiah when conversing with the woman at the well. “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He’” (John 4:25-26). Both of these passages directly confirm the fact that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, and thus Jesus is identified with “Messiah the Prince” of Daniel 9. These passages also translate Jesus’s common title, “Christ,” from the Hebrew word for Messiah. Therefore, all references to Jesus as the Christ in the New Testament confirm that He is the Messiah. Simon Peter confesses: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus prayed that His people would know him as Jesus Christ (John 17:3). Jesus is also identified as the Christ during the Passion narrative (Luke 24:26, 46). All these fortify His status as the Messiah.
Contrary to Hagee’s claim that Christ refused to confirm Himself as the Messiah, Christ directly affirmed His identity when challenged by His enemies. “Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’” (Mark 14:61-62). Again, this is confirmed when the Jews were questioning Jesus. “So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep” (John 10:24-26).
The apostles continues to identify Jesus as the Christ after the Gospels record the resurrection. During Peter’s address at Pentecost, he tells his audience, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). Likewise, the apostle John considers the question of Jesus’s identity as the Christ come in the flesh as absolutely essential to the faith. He writes, “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). The fact is that Jesus’s identity as Messiah is among the clearest and most unambiguous messages conveyed by the New Testament. Its truth is absolutely essential to orthodox Christianity. If this belief is given up, Christianity itself becomes meaningless.
Given the clear testimony of Scriptures which clearly identify Christ as the Messiah, it is incredible that a supposed pastor like John Hagee could publicly deny this. After understanding John Hagee’s corrupt character and Zionist idolatry of Israel, it becomes apparent that this idolatry blinds him to clear truths taught in the Bible. Hagee has made a reputation as a supporter of the state of Israel no matter the circumstances. By his unwavering support for a state that opposes Christian teaching and openly mocks Christ, Hagee demonstrates how steeped he has become in idolatry. While Hagee represents an extreme in the Zionist position, his popularity in evangelical circles demonstrates that this idolatry of the Israeli state is becoming ever more prevalent, which corresponds to the modern apostasy of Christians from the truth.
Conclusions on Christian Zionism
Many dispensationalists teach that Christ offered the people of Israel a physical, earthly kingdom and temporal deliverance from the Romans during His earthly ministry. They teach that because the people of Israel rejected this earthly kingdom, Christ died on the Cross and ushered in the church age as a “parenthesis” in history, unknown to the Old Testament prophets.2 This view is directly contradicted by what we read of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowd tries to make Jesus their king by force, but He hides to avoid such a coronation (John 6:15). The belief that the Jews are the physical people of God, the Church being only His “spiritual” people, has developed into the political system known as Christian Zionism. Many Christian Zionists even believe that the creation of the state of Israel in Palestine was a partial fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse! Christian support for the state of Israel is due to the fact that most Christians are ignorant of the Khazar origins of modern Jews and of the nature of the Abrahamic covenant.
The seed of Abraham spoken of in Genesis 12 are Abraham’s spiritual seed by faith (Galatians 3:29). It is thus a serious error to conclude that the state of Israel (or any political state) must be supported because of the text. The seed of Abraham and the Church are one and the same. Yet because of this unwavering support for Israel, many people believe that Israel has been a consistent ally of American interests, rather than a country that cynically uses American foreign aid and military support to secure its own expansion while imperiling American interests. It is precisely because America supports illicit Israeli expansion that countries in the Middle East have grown to hate us. Americans are hated not because we are rich or free, but because we have provided weapons and money to a wicked state who has run various Middle-Eastern peoples out of their homes and burned their settlements (or at the very least, threatened to do so). The Israel lobby has successfully lobbied for unquestioned support from America for Israeli interests, while at the same time tarring those who want to secure American borders from foreign interests as “racists” or “extremists.”
In addition to being a political liability, Zionism has also proved to lend itself towards religious syncretism. Many falsely assume that the religion of Judaism is simply in continuity with the teachings of the Old Testament. The reality is that Judaism arose out of a conscious rejection of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus stated unequivocally that to reject Him was to reject Moses and the prophets, since they spoke of Him. For this reason, the primary source of revelation in Judaism is not the Old Testament, but rather the rabbinical Talmud. Many Christian Zionist scholars are aware of the role of the Talmud within Judaism, but are either ignorant or possibly even apathetic about the blasphemies against Christ and the faith found therein.
We are in a dark period in the history of Christianity. The former Christian consensus on doctrine and morals has been shattered, and one of the only things on which many Christians do agree is the necessity of supporting Israeli or Jewish interests because they are “God’s chosen people.” I believe that God is judging the Church and Christendom for our religious syncretism by trying to artificially create concord between Christ and Belial (2 Cor. 6:14-18). We live in a period of unparalleled apostasy and immorality, and the only way out of this abyss is to rediscover the truth that we, as Christians, are God’s chosen people, and that Judaism is consequentially a false religion based upon the rejection of Christ and His Church. We are not being genuinely caring when we obscure the truth in order to make people feel more comfortable. Although the traditional Christian teaching on the exclusivity of the Christian faith is unpopular, we are called by God to be faithful in season and out of season (Romans 3:4; 2 Timothy 4:2). To deny the truth so that our enemies won’t hate us is an act of fear and cowardice. Christ has promised that the gates of Hell itself will eventually fall against the onslaught of the Church (Matthew 16:18). Having this hope, there is no reason why fear should rule the day. It is long past time for Christians to stop worrying about who we will offend and to preach the truth of Christ without fear.
- You can see Hagee himself say so in this promotional advertisement. In the book Hagee makes the following claims. “If God intended for Jesus to be the Messiah of Israel, why didn’t he authorize Jesus to use supernatural signs to prove he was God’s Messiah, just as Moses had done?” (p. 137). “Jesus refused to produce a sign . . . because it was not the Father’s will, nor his, to be Messiah” (p 138). “If Jesus wanted to be Messiah, why did he repeatedly tell his disciples and followers to ‘tell no one’ about his supernatural accomplishments?” (p. 139). “The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews” (p. 140). “They wanted him to be their Messiah, but he flatly refused” (p. 141). “He refused to be their Messiah, choosing instead to be the Savior of the world” (p. 143). “Jesus rejected to the last detail the role of Messiah in word or deed” (p. 145). ↩
- The Gentiles coming into the Church was predicted by the Old Testament prophets via the New Covenant: see Jer. 31:31 (cf. Heb. 8:8-13; 12:24); 32:37-40; Ezek. 16:60-62; 37:26; Isa. 19:23-25; 55:3; 56:3-8. The New Covenant, including its central theme of Gentile salvation, was certainly not a “parenthesis” unknown to the Old Testament prophets! ↩