Shalom Friends and Fellow Warriors,
It is with great soberness that I send you this urgent OIT ALERT. As many of you now we have been called to sound the trumpet and issue a clarion call to the Body of Messiah in this late hour. I have been deeply troubled the last decade about the rise of a false teaching in the Word of Faith circles (and others) concerning Israel’s salvation. I have been in correspondence for several years about this issue with a dear friend named Don Geraci who is a seasoned minister in NYC and was one of the people with us when the shofar was sounded at the false messiah’s headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. Not only did that rabbi die 60 seconds later, but the thrust of our ministry and Don’s since then has been that to warn the Body of Messiah in the same prophetic vein.
I asked Don to write a article for our subscription base of readers about this heresy that is coming forth into full view with the release of John Hagee’s new book this fall. I believe it is very important that each of you read this article below and take to heart what is being said for all those who love and support Israel. Though I love and respect John Hagee for many years…I can no longer endorse his ministry and others associated with him with such a deceptive teaching now coming to the forefront. Myself and others we know who are involved in ministry for Israel are drawing a line in the sand and may this powerful article below shed light into just how serious this heresy alert is. Continue to stand with us in prayer that this wind of false doctrine will be evaporated from the Body in this late hour and feel free to contact Don Geraci if you have more questions about his research.
May you be refreshed as you labor to sound the trumpet also in this hour…
In His service for your faith,
Scott and Dalit
“The Mystery of Lawlessness and The Hagee Heresy”
by: Don Geraci
In his book, The Mystery of Lawlessness, Scott Holtz blew the trumpet prophetically sounding an alarm regarding the coming delusion among many believers in the Body of Christ during these last days. The Hagee Heresy, in which John Hagee, Director of Christians United for Israel, claims in his new book, ‘In Defense of Israel’, that Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah, proves that this delusion has indeed come to pass.
John Hagee has made the following, documented claims in his book:
- The Jewish people, as a whole did not reject Jesus as Messiah
- Jesus did not come to Earth to be the Messiah
- Jesus refused by word and deed to be the Messiah
- The Jews cannot be blamed for not accepting what was never offered.
Hagee’s shocking claims cannot be dismissed as an unusual aberration or an inconsequential declaration. Rather, it is a wake-up call to the Church signalling that the trumpet must be sounded by true, prophetic voices in this critical hour regarding the spirit of antichrist that is alive and growing in our midst. Christians must resolve to proclaim the full gospel and unashamedly speak forth and lift up the Name of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the World to Israel and the Jewish people, to all Gentiles and also within the Body of Christ and our ministries. The Word of God admonishes us in this very regard.
I want to address four questions:
- How could the Hagee Heresy happen?
- What does this heresy mean for individual believers and for the Body of Christ?
- What can be done to safeguard believers from such an antichrist heresy?
- How can we rise up victoriously against this subtle, demonic onslaught of heresy?
We will look to God’s Word – particularly, 2 Thess. 2:1-12 and 1 John 4:1-6 – for the answers to these questions.
Let me first mention that I have long recognized the serious theological minefields of John Hagee’s ‘Bless Israel’ ministry as well as many other Christian evangelical ministries that claim to ‘bless Israel’ and ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’. Upon close scrutiny, you will find that these ministries are neither gospel-centered nor Christ-focused.
As a Gentile believer in Jesus, when I became a born-again believer, it was JESUS who gave me a burden, love and call to Israel and the Jewish people. In my evangelistic ministry ‘to the Jew first’ for the past 15 years in Brooklyn, America’s largest Jewish community, I have observed the increase and popularity of many of these non-evangelistic, ‘Peacenik’ ministries. Unfortunately many Christians believe that they are engaging in gospel witness to Jewish people and fostering the cause of the salvation of Israel through their involvement in these Peacenik ministries.
Here is the crux of the issue: ‘blessing Israel’ and ‘praying for the peace of Jerusalem’ MUST be a gospel-centered message incorporating both the Abrahamic and New Covenants, as well as all the biblical covenants. Israel and the Jewish people cannot be blessed outside of faith in God – i.e. Jesus. Yes, Israel has numerous promises from God in His Word to inherit the Land of Israel in these last days. But Israel’s blessing in the Abrahamic Covenant cannot be fulfilled apart from her acceptance of the New Covenant. And to pray for the peace of Jerusalem relates directly to Israel’s and the Jewish people’s acknowledging Jesus as the Prince of Peace – their Messiah.
Thus, it logically follows that we must preach the gospel to Jewish people. These ministries purport to ‘bless Israel’ by appealing solely to the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant with little or no consideration of the claims of the New Covenant. Yet throughout the Old Testament, it was clear that Israel could never attain victory over her enemies apart from her turning to God. The same applies to modern Israel. Until they turn to God – i.e. Jesus – they will never be victorious. God will preserve Israel from destruction by her enemies but He cannot ‘bless’ Israel while she remains idolatrous and does not turn in faith to Jesus.
They also claim to serve as ‘Watchmen for Israel’ for the Body of Christ, instructing them how to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ without mention of and incorporation of the gospel and the necessary biblical requirement for repentance and faith in God – i.e. Jesus. True, biblical watchmen in the Old Testament always preached repentance (Ezek. 33:1-9). The New Testament corollary is the same – i.e. repentance and faith in Jesus, the Messiah.
The fact is that Israel and the Jewish people cannot now – nor could she in her past, as the Scriptures attest – be truly blessed of God nor can they attain any measure of true, lasting peace outside of faith in the one, true God. And God’s Name is Jesus. Jesus IS God.
A favorite passage used by the Peacenik Movement is Isaiah 40:1: “Comfort, comfort my people…”. Yet if you read further into the Isaiah passage, you will see that the context of that statement to comfort Israel is made with the understanding that ‘her sin has been paid for’ (Is. 40:2) and that ”the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind together will see it.” (Is. 40:5). That is speaking of repentance and faith in Jesus, their Messiah, who atoned once and for all for their sins – as well as for the sins of the whole world. Now more than ever, we must proclaim the gospel ‘to the Jew first and also to the Gentile’. Any other ‘gospel’ is really no gospel at all (Gal. 1:6-7).
With the intensifying influence of the spirit of antichrist in our world, Israel and the Jewish people desperately need the gospel for their salvation. And the Body of Messiah is being warned that they must preach the gospel for their ultimate sanctification in the faith and to prepare to meet her Bridegroom! The Bridegroom – Jesus – is preparing to return for a pure, spotless Bride – the Church. His Bride must express her love for Him openly and be unashamed to identify Him as her beloved Bridegroom. Consider this: would any Bridegroom want to marry a Bride who is ashamed to even acknowledge Him??? And Jesus Himself warned, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory…” (Lk. 9:26)
# 1 – How Could the Hagee Heresy Happen?
We must cite 2 Thess. 2:1-12. Scott warned us of this phenomenom that would occur WITHIN the Body of Christ.
“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ… the secret power of lawlessness is already at work… They perish because they refuse to love the truth so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth…”.
(2 Thess. 2: 1, 7,10 -12)
I have observed in both Hagee’s ministry to Israel and the other Peacenik ministries a marked tendency NOT to present the full gospel message. At the same time, there is a disturbing and deft pattern of avoidance of even the mention of the Name ‘Jesus’ in most of their literature and suggested prayers. Could it be ‘fear of the Jews’ or ‘getting thrown out of the synagogue’? Certainly that was a pattern in the gospels and the Book of Acts. Yet we must ask the question, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10). We must ask ourselves the hard question: am I a pleaser of men…or a servant of Christ?
The gospel is an offense to the unbeliever. That certainly rings true in Jewish evangelism. But it is the only way for the Jewish people (and Gentiles) to achieve genuine peace with God and one another. Part of the armor of God is “having our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Eph. 6:15). Jesus wept over Jerusalem bemoaning to His kinsmen in the flesh, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:42). Paul said, “I want to know Messiah and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings.” (Phil.3:10). Proclaiming the gospel will result in you experiencing rejection, opposition and even persecution. But it will enable you to participate in the sufferings of Christ and the result is that you will know the Messiah and draw closer to Him. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first…”If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18, 20). This is especially so in Jewish evangelistic ministry.
The gospel brings conviction but results in salvation. Do not allow the fear of rejection or fear of man to intimidate you from bringing the gospel to Israel and the Jewish people. We cannot withhold the gospel from Israel and the Jewish people!
To most Christians, this fact of avoidance of mention of the Name of Jesus escapes their notice or perhaps may seem of minor importance or little consequence. Yet the refusal to proclaim the gospel truth – and the name of Jesus – will result in a powerful, God-induced delusion that causes you to believe a lie. Some may say that these leaders will confess Jesus and proclaim the gospel privately and in the secure confines of their own Christian assemblies (and outside of the listening audience of unsaved Jewish people!). But notice that Hagee’s actual claims are in fact delusional. He is believing a lie. And as a noted televangelist he preaches to his church and a nationwide audience every Sunday! His specific claims are shocking, but they should come as no surprise to us in light of the warning in 2 Thess. 2.
The New Testament repeatedly warns us of this danger of heresy in the last days:
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times, some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons…Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Tim. 4:1;16).
See also Mt. 24:11; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2:1-2.
The fact that John Hagee is a major evangelical Christian leader should not take us by surprise either. After all, a primary target of the Old Testament prophets’ messages was the religious leaders of their time – not the unregenerate masses. The prophets continually indicted these religious leaders as false shepherds whose words were neither from the Lord nor from God’s Word but rather originated from their own imaginations. They warned that these false shepherds were responsible for leading the sheep astray. Ironically, Hagee preached against the false doctrine of ‘Replacement Theology’. And now he has, in effect, promoted another form of Replacement Theology – i.e. replacing Jesus as the Messiah! We must be so careful and discerning of what we hear these days – even from ‘religious leaders’. And we must be careful lest we fall into the same trap!
To answer the next three questions, we must look to 1 John 4:1-3:
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is the One who is in you than the One who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; This is how we can recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”
(1 John 4:1-6)
# 2 – What Does the Hagee Heresy Mean for Individual Believers and for the Body of Christ?
We must test the ‘spirits’. Not every ‘spirit’ is from God. In fact, there are many false ‘spirits’ circulating in the Body of Christ that camouflage themselves as biblical truth. And that means every ‘spirit’ – even from evangelical leaders in the religious establishment. There are false prophets in the ‘religious leadership’ – i.e. Body of Christ. The Bible tells us so! Remember…we must watch our doctrine closely. Persevering in this regard will save both yourself and your hearers. The Hagee Heresy is clear evidence of this reality. I daresay that Hagee’s salvation and the salvation of many of his devoted followers hangs in the balance depending on whether they advocate or renounce the Hagee Heresy. We must be extra vigilant and so diligent to accurately discern the truth of God’s Word in this late hour!
# 3 – What Can We Do to Safeguard Ourselves from Such an Antichrist Heresy?
Looking to 1 John 4, we are instructed as to how to recognize the ‘Spirit’ of God (as opposed to ‘spirits’. Note the small ‘s’ in spirits – there are many ‘spirits’ floating around these days that are not originating from the ‘Spirit’ of God). Here is the litmus test for determining the Spirit of God:
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”
In this late hour, we must openly and publicly acknowledge Jesus Christ as Jesus the Messiah. We do not have an option. Jesus is God who came in the flesh – that is, Immanuel (Is. 7:14; Matt 1:23). Conversely, every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus as God is NOT the Spirit of God. Hagee’s ministry to Israel and many other similar Peacenik ministries contain this common, dangerous feature – they fail to acknowledge or mention Jesus. Recognize that ‘spirit’ and avoid it like the plague! It is the spirit of antichrist, or anti-messiah. Isn’t that exactly what the Hagee Heresy is teaching – that Jesus is not the Messiah (i.e. the Christ)?
The Hagee Heresy should not be a major revelation to us. God warned us it would happen. So we must take careful heed to God’s Word. The spirit of the antichrist is not just referring to that individual who will surface in the Tribulation. The ‘spirit’ of antichrist is already among us in the world. It’s not to come – it’s already here! And it involves that same spirit of delusion that is mentioned in 2 Thess. 2 and is termed as the mystery of lawlessness. The Hagee Heresy proves this to be so!
# 4 – How Can We Rise Up Victoriously Against This Subtle, Demonic Onslaught?
Simple and direct: preach and proclaim the gospel ‘to the Jew first and also to the Gentile’ (Rom. 1:16). Boldly speak the name, Jesus, from your lips and do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord (2 Tim. 1:8).
We are from God and have overcome them because greater is the One who is in you than he who is in the world – and that happens to be the following verse in the 1 John 4:1-3 passage!. Not only is this an offensive weapon, but as I John 4:2 reminds us, it is a necessary defensive weapon against the spirit of antichrist in this late hour.
This can help us understand what happened in the Hagee Heresy. If John Hagee had proclaimed the full gospel message and boldly spoke forth the Name of Jesus as the Prince of Peace, this heresy would never have occurred. Our adherence to this rule will determine our ability to rise up and be victorious in our walk with the Lord in these last days. The spirit of antichrist is alive and growing. Do not fall prey to it! We CAN recognize and discern the Spirit of God and the spirit of falsehood. Make Jesus, His name and His gospel the cornerstone of your life, speech and doctrine. Beware of anyone – yes, even reputed ‘religious leaders’ – who do not follow this rule of Scripture. Otherwise, you are in danger of being be turned over, like Hagee, to a powerful delusion to believe a lie. Discern false spirits and false prophets. Follow the Spirit of God. “And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor. 3:17). Hallelujah – there is liberty in the Spirit of God!
A final word…
We must pray for John Hagee – that he be rescued and delivered from the spirit of delusion and antichrist that has caused him to fall prey to this heresy and spirit of antichrist. Pray that he would retract, renounce and repent of his heretical beliefs.
However, at the same time, I believe that the Lord allowed the Hagee Heresy to occur as a ‘trumpet call” to the Body of Christ that whoever does not acknowledge Jesus as God and Messiah will be prone to tragically follow in Hagee’s footsteps. It will be part of the ‘falling away’ of many believers mentioned in Matt. 24:10-11.
Let it be a wake-up call and warning to ALL of us – and especially the many Peacenik ministries currently in the Body of Christ – that you if you ignore or withhold the name of Jesus and acknowledgment of His Name – that you do so to your own peril and the Body’s detriment. Such ‘false prophets’ will fall prey to the same spirit of delusion and subsequent fall from grace that is happening to John Hagee. It is the spirit of antichrist and Hagee proved that all too well in his statements.
All believers and evangelical Christian leaders must acknowledge Jesus and proclaim Him as God in the flesh in every publication, doctrinal statement and proclamation in public and private ministry – both to the Christian community and unsaved Jewish community – from this moment forward. Instead of succumbing to the ‘Peacenik’ Movement, speak up for the Prince of Peace and his gospel! Renounce and repent of any past equivocations, come clean, forgiven and renewed in the blood of Jesus and press onward.
We can rise victoriously above the Mystery of Lawlessness and the Hagee Heresy!
If we are to be true, biblical ‘Watchmen for Israel’, then we can settle for nothing less than the FULL gospel truth.
Listen to the cry of Paul’s heart in the Book of Romans:
“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.”
Jesus – the Name above ALL Names – must be publicly and privately acknowledged and confessed as God and Messiah. We must rise up in this hour as warriors in the Spirit who pray for Israel’s salvation, evangelize ‘to the Jew first and also to the Gentile’, unabashedly declare Jesus’ name in public and private and unashamedly proclaim the full gospel to both Jew and Gentile. The salvation, blessing and peace of Israel and the Jewish people depend on it. And the Jesus, the Bridegroom, is demanding it from the Church, His Bride, in this late hour before that final trumpet sounds and He returns.
‘Blow the trumpet in Zion’ and declare that Jesus is both Messiah and God!
He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the ‘Spirit of God’ is saying to the Church at this hour!
In Service to Yeshua (Jesus),
The Jewish Messiah
Savior of the Nations,
03 Dec 2007 04:52 pm Admin 15 comments