Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Hagee Puzzle

Hagee Says He Is Going To Rewrite The Controversial Chapter

You can read Hagee’s letter at Christians United For Isreal

The part that is interesting is where Hagee says, “I was surprised to learn that some people were interpreting my words as a rejection of this most fundamental Christian belief that Jesus came to earth as the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures. I have been preaching the gospel for half a century.”

Here are some quotes from Hagee's controversial chapter:

Pg. 135-136 “Five major points must now be made that are crucial to understanding that the Jews did not reject Jesus as Messiah.”

1. Jesus had to live to be the Messiah

2. If it was God’s will for Jesus to die from the beginning. . .

3. If it was Jesus intention to be obedient unto death. . .

4. If there is not one verse of Scripture in the New Testament that says Jesus came to be the Messiah. . .

5. And if Jesus refused by his words or actions to claim to be the Messiah to the Jews, then how can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered?

Pg. 137 “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?”

Pg. 138 “When Jesus went on trial, Herod “had desired for a long time to see Him…and he hoped to see some miracle [sign] done by Him” (Luke 23:8). Jesus refused to produce a sign for the national leadership of Israel in an attempt to prove he was the Messiah because it was not the Father’s will, nor his, to be Messiah.”

Pg. 139 “If Jesus wanted to be Messiah, why did he repeatedly tell his disciples and followers to “tell no one” about his supernatural accomplishments?”

Pg. 140 “The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews.”

Pg. 141 “He performed these miracles to minister to the needs of people; they were not intended to be a demonstration of supernatural signs to prove he was the Messiah.”

Pg. 141 “Even after his resurrection and his repeated denials that he would not be the Messiah until they saw him hanging from a Roman cross. Even after his resurrection and his repeated denials that he would not be the Messiah, his disciples were still hanging on to the last thread of hope that he would now smash Rome (Acts 1:6). They wanted him to be their Messiah, but he flatly refused.”

Hagee also said in his latest letter, “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.”

But this controversy over Jesus and Jewish salvation is not new.

1. Christian Research Institute exposed some of Hagee’s teaching (STATEMENT DH005 JOHN HAGEE ) and in it this same topic of Jewish salvation was an issue. Notice that this first reference is from a Houston newspaper reporter who interviewed Hagee in 1988.

Salvation Without Conversion?

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 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 . . .9 (9 Julia Duin, “San Antonio Fundamentalist Battles Anti-Semitism,” The Houston Chronicle, 30 April 1988, 1. )

Hagee also affirms: “If God blinded the Jewish people to the identity of Jesus as Messiah, how could He send them to hell for not seeing what he had forbidden them to see?”11 He continues, “All people will gain entrance into heaven through Christ. The question is one of timing.” 12

**Notice the source for these two quotes: 11 John Hagee, personal faxed correspondence to CRI, 18 October 1994, 3.12 Ibid., 6.

The CRI article also brings out the Messiah issue.

The Reluctant MessiahIn 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!”15

14Hagee, Should Christians Support Israel?, 61 (emphasis in original).15Ibid., 67-68 passim; cf. 69, 72.

See http://www.equip.org/site/c.muI1LaMNJrE/b.2871113/k.B45A/DH005.htm

2. Personal Freedom Outreach has also written about concerns of John Hagee’s teaching.



In response to a direct inquiry by PFO director M. Kurt Goedelman to Hagee, Goedelman received a puzzling response. Hagee claimed in a carefully nuanced letter dated June 18, 1998, that the Houston Chronicle had distorted what he said and went on further to assert, “I have not or never have been dual covenant in my preaching.”In this, Hagee is being less than honest and playing word games. As this article will demonstrate, Hagee’s true view is a muddled form of the “Two Covenant” or “Dual Covenant” theory, even though he would deny the label. http://www.pfo.org/jonhagee.htm

3. A Jerusalem Post article “Fallwell: Jews can get to heaven,” dated March 1, 2006 had this to say:

An evangelical pastor and an Orthodox rabbi, both from Texas, have apparently persuaded leading Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell that Jews can get to heaven without being converted to Christianity.Televangelist John Hagee and Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, whose Cornerstone Church and Rodfei Sholom congregations are based in San Antonio, told The Jerusalem Post that Falwell had adopted Hagee's innovative belief in what Christians refer to as "dual covenant" theology.This creed, which runs counter to mainstream evangelism, maintains that the Jewish people has a special relationship to God through the revelation at Sinai and therefore does not need "to go through Christ or the Cross" to get to heaven.Scheinberg said this has been Hagee's position for the 25 years the two have worked together on behalf of Israel and that Falwell had also come to accept it. Falwell sent a representative to the San Antonio launch of Christians United for Israel in early February, as did popular televangelist Pat Robertson.


So, Rabbi Scheinberg said that Hagee has had this view for 25 years.

4. The very next day the Jerusalem Post ran another article, Hagee, Falwell deny endorsing ‘dual covenant’”

Pastors John Hagee and Jerry Falwell have both denied a report in The Jerusalem Post earlier this week that they embrace the "dual covenant" theology, which holds that Jews are saved through a special relationship with God and so need not become Christians to get to heaven.

In a statement to the Post, the Texas-based televangelist Hagee said that neither he nor Southern Baptist pastor Falwell "believe or teach Dual Covenant."

Hagee added that he had "made it a practice for 25 years not to target Jews for conversion" at any "Night to Honor Israel" events. If Jews "inquire about our faith at a later time, we give them a full scriptural presentation of redemption."But he (Hagee) stressed: "I have been on record all 54 years of my ministry as being opposed to dual covenant theology... I simply cannot alter my deeply held belief in the exclusivity of salvation through the Gospel of Christ for the sake of political or theological expediency. Like the Apostle Paul, I pray daily for the salvation of everyone, including the Jewish people."


5. I was doing a little further research into John Hagee’s book, In Defense of Israel, and found a ministry called, The Mike Corley Program. You can find it at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Mike_Corley_Program/ and you can visit his blog at http://theexpositor.wordpress.com/ .

Here are the programs that deal with Hagee:

The Mike Corley Program: The John Hagee Controversy (11-14-2007) Mike examines claims that the Texas based pastor stated that Jews are not required to go through Jesus Christ for salvation and that Jesus did not claim to be Messiah.

John Hagee Controversy-His Response and Ours (11-17-2007) Pastor John Hagee responds to the controversy involving his comments concerning Jesus as Messiah, and Mike offers his response as well.

Listeners Respond to Hagee Issue (11-20-2007)Mike shares some the many emails from listeners regarding Pastor John Hagee's statements on Jesus as Messiah.

Hagee responded to Mike Corely concerning the latest controversy regarding the messiah in Hagee’s book, In Defense of Israel.

John Hagee Responds to Controversy November 16, 2007 by theexpositor

Pastor John Hagee has responded to my (Mike Corely) request for his reaction to the controversy involving his comments about Jesus as Messiah.Again, I (Grace Media International and WQBC) have had a working relationship with John Hagee Ministries for the last four years. We contacted our representative with the ministry earlier this week and asked if Pastor Hagee would like to repsond to the issue. Yesterday, I received the following:

(the bold font is my [Kendall's] emphasis )

Below is Hagee's response to Mike Corely:

Many Christians have constructed a catch 22 concerning Jesus as Messiah. The catch 22 is this:

“Jesus came to be Messiah but because the Jews rejected Him as Messiah He had to go to the cross, hence the Jews are the Christ Killers.”

Fact: According to Webster’s Dictionary the word “Messiah” means “the expected king who delivers from oppressors.” A Messiah is one who rules and reigns over a given people.

Fact: The God of the Bible is absolutely sovereign! That means He is in control of everything in heaven and on earth all the time. If God is not sovereign; He can’t be God.

Question: What was God’s Sovereign will for Jesus Christ from the foundations of the earth?

Revelation 13:8 reads that Jesus Christ was the “Lamb of God slain from the foundations of the world.” This verse says it was God’s Sovereign plan for Jesus to die as Savior before the world was created in Genesis 1:1.

Most people confuse the role of “Messiah” and “Savior.” To be Messiah you must live. To rule and reign you must live. Jesus came to die and be the Savior of every person on earth.

THERE IS NO DUAL COVENANT! The Bible says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Jesus Himself stated in Mark 14:8, Luke 24:46 and Mark 10:33-34 that He had come to die for the sins of the world as Savior. Again, you must live to be Messiah. You cannot be both Messiah and Savior!

John the Baptist introduced Jesus as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The only thing a lamb can do is to be slaughtered as a sin offering.

Fact: Jesus claimed to be Savior several times in the Bible. He never claimed to be Messiah to the Jewish people. In John 4 Jesus told the woman at the well, a Gentile, who He was, knowing the Jews and Samaritans had nothing to do with each other. I go into this in great detail in my latest book, “In Defense of Israel.”

Fact: Jesus repeatedly in His ministry told His Disciples and followers to “tell no one” about His supernatural accomplishments. If Jesus wanted to be Messiah by popular demand, He would have wanted His supernatural exploits to be told by everyone to spread His popularity.

Sixty-four times in the four Gospels Jesus instructed those who were excited about His being the Messiah to “tell no one.” He refused the role. He never promised to be Messiah. The Jews did not reject Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who refused to be the reigning Messiah because it was God’s Sovereign will for Him to die on the cross.

Fact: Bible proof that Jesus did not come to be Messiah is found in Matthew 26:26-30 where Jesus, a Jewish Rabbi, was celebrating Passover with His 12 Disciples in what Christians call “The Lord’s Supper.”

In the Passover there are five cups of wine that Jesus and His Disciples would drink together. These five cups have been and still are celebrated by observant Jews who keep the Passover.
The fifth cup is the Messiah’s Cup. Luke 26:28, Jesus claims to be the Savior of the world by saying, “For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sin.”

In the next verse, Luke 26:29, Jesus rejects the Messiah’s Cup saying, “But I say unto you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

Jesus rejected the Messiah’s Cup because He knew He was about to die. He promised His Disciples that He would drink the Messiah’s Cup when He returns to earth the second time as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Fact: If an Almighty and Sovereign God sent His Son into the world the first time to be Messiah…God failed! The truth is, God cannot fail…never.Jesus was sent to the earth the first time to die as the Lamb of God.

I trust this simple explanation will clarify any concerns you might have concerning Jesus the Messiah and Jesus the Savior. Let us prepare for the soon coming of King Jesus, our Deliverer and Lord of Lords. It will be very soon!



Well, how are we to understand Hagee’s statements in this November statement?

Hagee said, "Jesus Himself stated in Mark 14:8, Luke 24:46 and Mark 10:33-34 that He had come to die for the sins of the world as Savior. Again, you must live to be Messiah. You cannot be both Messiah and Savior! " Remember the recent December statement: “I was surprised to learn that some people were interpreting my words as a rejection of this most fundamental Christian belief that Jesus came to earth as the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures.”

Are you confused as to what Mr. Hagee’s beliefs are regarding Jewish salvation (see the above sources: CRI, PFO, The Houston Chronicles, The Jerusalem Post or his books Jerusalem Countdown or In Defense of Israel )?

I think it is time for John Hagee to state what he believes about the salvation of Jews from the time of Jesus Christ until the Second Coming. Does a Jew have to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, in order to be saved? And could Mr. Hagee please state what he meant by, “The message of the gospel was from Israel, not to Israel!” (P. 134)?