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Salvation without conversion
Christians have listened for many years to the preaching of John Hagee, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.
Hagee attended Trinity University on a football scholarship, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree before earning his master's at North Texas State University. He also studied at Southwestern Bible College and was granted an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University. A number of people consider Hagee's teachings to be thoroughly biblical. We would disagree with Hagee, however, on the following points.
Hagee is recognized as a fierce foe of anti-Semitism. An outspoken supporter of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the nation Israel, he has been given the "Humanitarian of the Year" award by the San Antonio B'nai B'rith Council. Hagee has also been bestowed the "ZOA Israel Service Award" by the Zionist Organization in Dallas and honored with the "Henrietta Szold Award" by the Texas Southern Region of Hadassah.
While his bold stance against anti-Semitism is certainly praiseworthy, Hagee's zealousness for the Jewish people and their cause has led him to commit a most serious doctrinal error -- salvation for the Jews without conversion to Christianity.
One newspaper account puts it this way: Trying to convert Jews is a "waste of time," he [Hagee] said. . . . Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha'i, needs to believe in Jesus, he says. But not Jews. Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced with Christianity, he says.
The reluctant Messiah
In Hagee's theology, the Jews can hardly be faulted for not flocking to Christianity since it was supposedly Jesus who declined their request for Him to be their Messiah.
"The [Jewish] people wanted Him to be their Messiah, but He absolutely refused," writes Hagee. "The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah, it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews!"
Suffice it to say, Jesus' explicit claim to be the Messiah (or Christ) during His trial before the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish tribunal (Matt. 26:64), flatly contradicts Hagee's assertion. In that same passage, Jesus called Himself the "Son of Man," an unmistakable reference to the Book of Daniel (7:13) which alludes to the Messiah.
Jesus also applied the same title to Himself in revealing His identity to "a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council" (John 3:1, 14-15), as well as to the crowd who questioned His authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10). Furthermore, in response to Jesus' question, "Who do you say I am?" (Matt. 16:15), Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah]" (v. 16). Surely, had the Jewish apostle been wrong, Jesus would have corrected him at that moment; instead, Peter received the Lord's blessing (v. 17).16 Jesus, however, instructed Peter, along with several others, not to reveal His messianic identity until due time (v. 20). He did so to avoid the prevalent misconceptions about the title, which had by then become largely understood in political terms17 -- something wholly inappropriate for Jesus' mission at that time -- though Jesus did, on occasion, give public indications of His messiahship (cf. Luke 4:17-21; 20:41-44). Indeed,
Hagee's view is made especially ironic by the fact that Jesus Himself said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus' own people rejected Him, and not the other way around (John 1:11; Mark 12:1-12). source - Jesus Is Saviour
In Defense of Israel
In researching Hagee's book "In Defense of Israel", many statements are discovered that do not agree with the Bible. In a quote from Kevin Geoffrey: "I am prepared to throw his baby out with his bath water based solely on the content of pages 132-143. Why?
Because by Hagee's own confession, the "Jesus issue" appears to be the crux of the book. This is what he says, "This book will expose the sins of the fathers and the vicious abuse of the Jewish people. 'In Defense of Israel' will shake Christian theology. It scripturally proves that the Jewish people as a whole did not reject Jesus as Messiah. It will also prove that Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah. It will prove that there was a 'Calvary conspiracy' between Rome, the high priest, and Herod to execute Jesus as an insurrectionist too dangerous to live.
Since Jesus refused by word and deed to claim to be the Messiah, how can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered?"2 Now those of us who have read our Bibles know that there must be blood shed for the remission of sin. This is not man's idea, this is God's provision for mankind to have fellowship with Him as well as gain everlasting life. This pattern was shown in the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness when God established the system of community living for the Children of Israel. God gave the "Ten Commandments" on Mount Sinai. He established the Mosaic Law, as it is known today, and gave His people the "house rules" for dwelling together in community life with both God and man. God instituted the sacrificial system whereby there was provision for the "covering of sin" until the final atonement would be made by Messiah Yeshua. (Exodus 29; Leviticus chapters 4, 5, 6 & 7)
These "house rules" were given to the Children of Israel and to us today to live by but not as a means to salvation. They would be the arrow that would point us towards the Messiah Yeshua, and our need for His final sacrifice of atonement for sin, once and for all, on the Roman cross. It was there that He was crucified, slain on Passover as the Passover Lamb, for both the Jewish people and the people of the whole world.
As Yeshua said to Nicodemus, the Jewish teacher, and a high ranking member of The Sanhedrin, who came to Yeshua the Messiah at night in the famous 3rd chapter of John, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." This was said by Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, to a Jewish scholar of that time, who was living within the context of Jewish life. If this passage did not include the Jewish people, then it did not include any of us at all. source - Bet Shalom Fresno
Read the archives:
John Hagee and Dual Covenant Theology Telling The Jews They Don't Need Jesus
"But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. " Matthew 15:24
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. " John 14:6
AN OPEN INVITATION TO PASTOR HAGEE: We have done our level best to quote your words accurately and directly through newspaper interviews you have given, video you have starred in, and in speeches you have given in Israel. We even published your denial of Dual Covenant Theology as you wrote it, complete and unedited.
If you take issue with any part of this article, we invite you to call in to our radio show, and we can discuss it openly, honestly and fairly. You may also email us here to set up a meeting. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
Dual Covenant Theology explained
For those of you who don't know, this is what Dual Covenant Theology is:
"Dual-covenant theology is a Liberal Christian view that holds that Jews may simply keep the Law of Moses, because of the "everlasting covenant" (Genesis 17:13) between Abraham and God expressed in the Hebrew Bible, whereas Gentiles (those not Jews or Jewish proselytes) must convert to Christianity or alternatively accept the Seven Laws of Noah. Many forms of Christianity, especially Conservative Protestants, consider this view to be heresy." source - Wikipedia
John Hagee may reject the term Dual Covenant Theology, but he absolutely subscibes to the idea of it
Does John Hagee teach Dual Covenant Theology?
Yes, he does.
How do I know this? A friend of mine who lives in Israel met with Pastor Hagee and his staff including Cheryl Morrison, a key Director in CUFI - Christians United For Israel. At this meeting, attended by over 5,000, she was told by both Pastor Hagee and Cheryl Morrison that "Jews are saved by the Abrahamic covenant" He told them, in effect, that they do not need Jesus because they have God's promised to Abraham.
This is a fact, this happened a few weeks ago. This is not something I "found on the Internet", this is a real-life story that happened to someone I am personal friends with. Needless to say, when she told me this I was floored. I had been sharing the Gospel with her for well over a year, and now here she was telling me that John Hagee and CUFI assured her that all she needed to get to Heaven was the Abrahamic Covenant.
It broke my heart.
Let me be crystal clear before we go any further. When evidence of this heresey was first presented to me, the FIRST thing I did was to contact John Hagee Ministries in Austin, Texas, to discuss this with them. I called and asked to speak with someone regarding Mr. Hagee's position on how salvation for the Jews is obtained. After listening to several nervous-sounding administration officials tell me they could not help me, I was finally put in contact with one Velvet Ridings, who told me that she is the Administrative Director for Christians United for Israel. (story continued after the video)
THE VIDEO THAT JOHN HAGEE DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE!
You will notice that clicking on the video below brings up an offical YouYube notice that the video has been terminated from the NTEB YouTube channel. This was done at the offical request of the people at John Hagee Ministries. Why would they do this?
They did it because in the video, which is a commerical for Hagee's book, "In Defense Of Israel", John Hagee asserts that "Jesus did not come to the earth to be the Messiah". Yes, that's right, John Hagee said that, and John Hagee believes that. But when the book was published, there was such an outcry against his obviously heretical position, that Hagee was forced to re-write his book, and claim that he was "misinterpreted", and that he "used the wrong words" to get his point across.
At the same time he released his book, he also made a television commerical that ran on TBN, with him looking into the camera and saying the very things that he claims people have "misinterpreted" from his book. Maybe you can "misinterpret" a book from the way you read it, but him doing a TV commercial saying exactly what he denies is said is pretty powerful stuff. Things like this are usually referred to as the "smoking gun".
John Hagee Ministries Attacks NTEB In Attempt To Silence Video
Here now is the commercial of John Hagee saying that "Jesus did not come to the earth to be the Messiah." This action taken by John Hagee Ministries, petitioning YouTube to remove this video, has resulted in the permanent deletion of the NTEB YouTube channel.
John Hagee in his own words
"Jesus did not come to the earth to be the Messiah" - from John Hagee's book, 'In Defense of Israel"
"The Jewish people have a relationship to God through the law of God as given through Moses," Hagee said. "I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption. "The law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation. And God has not," said Hagee, giving hisinterpretation of Romans 11:25. "Paul abandoned the idea (of Jews knowing Christ). In the book of Romans, he said, `I am now going to go to the Gentiles from this time forward.' Judaism doesn't need Christianity to explain its existence. But Christianity has to have Judaism to explain its existence." Houston Chronicle
"I'm not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith," he said. "There is nothing in the `night to honor Israel' that does that." In fact, trying to convert Jews is a "waste of time," he said. "The Jewish person who has his roots in Judaism is not going to convert to Christianity. There is no form of Christian evangelism that has failed so miserably as evangelizing the Jewish people. They (already) have a faith structure." Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha'i, needs to believe in Jesus, he says. But not Jews. Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced by Christianity, he says. Houston Chronicle
"This book will expose the sins of the fathers and the vicious abuse of the Jewish people. 'In Defense of Israel' will shake Christian theology. It scripturally proves that the Jewish people as a whole did not reject Jesus as Messiah. It will also prove that Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah. It will prove that there was a 'Calvary conspiracy' between Rome, the high priest, and Herod to execute Jesus as an insurrectionist too dangerous to live. Since Jesus refused by word and deed to claim to be the Messiah, how can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered?" - from John Hagee's book, 'In Defense of Israel"
(continued...) I asked Ms. Ridings point blank if John Hagee taught Dual Covenant theology. She asked me what I meant by that, and I said "does Mr. Hagee tell the Jews that because of the Abrahamic Covenant they don't need Jesus?" Well, she heemed and hawed, and after awhile said that she wanted to send me the official document prepared by John Hagee Ministires to deny the claim that he teaches a Dual Covenant theology. After I read it I called her back but she was never again available, and messages left on her machine were not returned. Here is what she sent me:
John Hagee's Official Denial of Dual Covenant theology
"In response to concerns regarding unsubstantiated rumors that I believe in Dual Covenant. I am not now nor have I ever been Dual Covenant! I have been preaching the gospel for more than half a century. Almost every Sunday for over 52 years, I have stood in front of Christian audiences to clearly proclaim the glory of our Lord, Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ. For more than 30 years, these weekly sermons have been beamed to millions around the world on Christian television.
I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to learn that some people are interpreting my unconditional love and support of the Jewish people through numerous Night to Honor Israel celebrations as a rejection of this most fundamental Christian belief that Jesus came to earth as the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Given my long years of preaching the gospel to so many, it simply never occurred to me that anyone would question my belief in the fundamentals of the faith.
Over the centuries, Christians have been quick to condemn the Jews for their faith and this destructive approach has led to replacement theology and the viewpoint of some that God has rejected and broken covenant with the Jewish people. These ideas, in turn, opened the door to a vicious Christian anti-Semitism that led to the Crusades, the Inquisition, countless pogroms, and ultimately the Holocaust.
I have challenged this misconception by highlighting a distinction that has been long recognized in Christian theology between the role Jesus played in His first coming and the role He will play in His second coming. Jesus came the first time as the suffering Messiah, as exemplified by His persecution, rejection and crucifixion. Jesus will come back as the reigning Messiah, who will rule the world from His throne in Jerusalem as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Most Christians believe that the suffering Messiah was clearly foreshadowed in the writings of the Hebrew prophets. God could have sent His Son to earth as the reigning Messiah; instead He chose to send Him as the suffering Messiah who submitted to the Cross for our redemption and I thank Him every day that He did. However, I also regret daily that this divine move has led so many of the fallen humans it saved to denigrate and persecute the Jewish people from whom our Lord sprang. Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns. I pray that we can focus on the fact that we, as Christians, must shift from condemning the Jews for what they missed to thanking them for what they gave."
Blessings to you and those you love, Pastor John Hagee
But what is he really saying?
Now, I'll grant you that John Hagee rejects the label of Dual Covenant Theology, and that he does not acknowledge that what he teaches is that. But as this article has shown, for all practical purposes he does indeed hold to the position that there is one path of salvation for the Jews - Abraham, and that there is another path for all gentiles - Jesus. He has said exactly this in the interview with the Houston Chronicle, and in his writing and teachings on the subject. In fact, he has held to this position for over 30 years. If NTEB was brought into a court of law tomorrow, and asked to prove from Pastor Hagee's own words that he teaches a Dual Covenant postion, it would be remarkably easy to do.
What his official denial letter is really about, is his position about what he preaches to gentile Christian believers. It IS true that for 52 years he has stood in the pulpit and preached Jesus. I don't deny that for one second. But what this article is about is the fact that while he preaches Jesus to the gentiles, he says something that is polar opposite to Jews in Israel. He tells the Jews that all they need is Abraham, not Jesus. No where in his entire denial letter does he say that Jews must receive Jesus as Saviour to go to Heaven. Instead he rambles on and on about all the "work" he has done for the Christian church. Well, Mr. Hagee, we are not asking you about the Christian church, we have asked you about the Jews. And you have not replied. In fact, Mr. Morgenstern, who identified himself as the official CUFI spokesperson in Israel, assured me that "CUFI has nothing to do with the bible, and does not discuss biblical things ever." So by that admission, I would have to come to the conclusion that CUFI is a humanitarian organization, like the United Way, and not a group proclaiming Jesus to a lost and dying world.
When I spoke on the phone with Velvet Ridings from CUFI, and Ari Morgenstern from CUFI, as well as other administrative people from his San Antonio office, I asked them to just verify for me one thing, and that one thing was this: I asked to just confirm for me that without salvation in Jesus Christ, that ALL people - Jew and gentile - are eternally lost and headed for the Devil's Hell. Not a single one of them would tell me that that was Pastor Hagee's position. Not one. If they had, I would not have been able to truthfully publish this article.
We feel that the first hand testimony presented here, along with the numerous quotes from interviews and videos that Mr. Hagee has put out, more than creates a true and accurate picture of what he and CUFI tell the Jews when they are in Israel.
No wonder he's so popular over there.
John Hagee's book vs. The King James Authorized Version 1611 Holy Bible
SCORE:HAGEE - 0 HOLY BIBLE - 100%
HAGEE: "The sovereign purpose for Jesus' life was to be a light to the Gentiles" (p. 133) BIBLE: Matthew 15:24-- "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
HAGEE: "there is not one verse of Scripture in the New Testament that says Jesus came to be the Messiah…" (p. 136) BIBLE: John 4:25-26-- "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. " Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am [he]."
HAGEE: "The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews." (p. 140) "He refused to be their Messiah, choosing instead to be the Savior of the world." (p 143) BIBLE: Acts 2:36--(Peter, addressing the assembled masses of Jewish people on the Feast of Shavuot in Jerusalem in the passage of Acts 2) "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."
HAGEE: "Jesus refused to produce a sign … because it was not the Father's will, nor his, to be Messiah. (p. 138). BIBLE: Luke 11:29--(Yeshua/Jesus was rebuking not refusing) "And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet." source - Bet Shalom Fresno
Jan Markell: Literally Loving The Jews To Death - Part 1.
Jan Markell: Literally Loving The Jews To Death - Part 2.