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Sunday, June 5, 2011

John Hagee Responds - JESUS: MESSIAH OR SAVIOR?

Repost from November 19, 2007


Screenshot: Rev. John HageeImage by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr
The below italicized statement below is from John Hagee in response to my "open letter" I emailed to him about a month ago. Interesting stuff. I will attempt to respond to each of his points respectfully, soundly, and Biblically. Give me your thoughts.

JESUS: MESSIAH OR SAVIOR?
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."

I'm not sure where he got this statement. Perhaps it's inferred from his viewpoint of other Christians, but I have never thought this. Jesus went to the cross because it was foreordained for Him to go.

From Genesis 3:15, God promised a Savior to the World.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring10 and gher offspring;
hhe shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

10 Hebrew seed; so throughout Genesis
g Isai. 7:14; Mic. 5:3; Matt. 1:23, 25; Luke 1:34, 35; Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:15
h Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:1-3, 10
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton
13 Behold, bmy servant shall act wisely;1
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
c his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so dshall he sprinkle2 many nations;
e kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
f for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
53 g Who has believed what they heard from us?3
And to whom has hthe arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
i and like a root out of dry ground;
j he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 k He was despised and rejected4 by men;
a man of sorrows,5 and acquainted with6 grief;7
and as one from whom men hide their faces8
he was despised, and lwe esteemed him not.
4 m Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
n smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 o But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
p and with his stripes we are healed.

b See ch. 42:1
1 Or shall prosper
c [ch. 53:2, 3]
d Lev. 4:6, 17
2 Or startle
e ch. 49:7, 23
f Cited Rom. 15:21; [Rom. 16:25]
g Cited John 12:38; Rom. 10:16
3 Or Who has believed what we have heard?
h See ch. 51:9
i ch. 11:1
j [ch. 52:14]
k ch. 49:7; [Ps. 22:6; Mark 9:12]
4 Or forsaken
5 Or pains; also verse 4
6 Or and knowing
7 Or sickness; also verse 4
8 Or as one who hides his face from us
l [John 1:10, 11]
m [Matt. 8:17]
n Ps. 69:26
o [Rom. 4:25]
p Cited 1 Pet. 2:24
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton

I could post all of Psalm 22, but I'll leave that to you to search. In short, Psalm 22 shows that Jesus fulfilled scripture when He was on the cross. I have never believed that Jesus went to the cross because He was rejected as Messiah. He was Messiah, and was rejected, but the Isaiah passage predicts that He would be rejected.
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.
Ok, on some of these points, I agree. Hagee recognizes that Jesus was foreordained to die as Savior. I have posted verses that agree with this statement. However, is Hagee denying the resurrection here? Jesus did live. Maybe my eyes are glazed over when I read the Gospel accounts of the empty tomb, and the dead coming out of their tombs and appearing to people. I don't know. I must be reading it wrong. Jesus says in Matthew 28:18, that all authority had been given him in Heaven and in Earth. This indicates a rule and reign. If Jesus was not reigning as the promised Messiah, He would not have this authority. Hagee must deny that the very word "Christ" means "Messiah". What does Peter say?

13 xNow when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say yJohn the Baptist, others say zElijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, a “You are bthe Christ, cthe Son of dthe living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, e “Blessed are you, fSimon Bar-Jonah! For gflesh and blood has not revealed this to you, hbut my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, iyou are Peter, and jon this rock1 I will build my church, and kthe gates of lhell2 shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you mthe keys of the kingdom of heaven, and nwhatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed3 in heaven.” 20 oThen he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
x For ver. 13-16, see Mark 8:27-29; Luke 9:18-20
y ch. 14:2; Mark 6:14; Luke 9:7
z Mark 6:15; Luke 9:8; [ch. 17:10; Mark 9:11; John 1:21]
a John 11:27
b See ch. 1:17
c See ch. 14:33
d Deut. 5:26; Josh. 3:10; Ps. 42:2; Jer. 10:10; Dan. 6:20; Hos. 1:10; Acts 14:15; 2 Cor. 3:3; 1 Tim. 4:10
e [ch. 13:16]
f [John 1:42; 21:15-17]
g 1 Cor. 15:50; Gal. 1:16; Eph. 6:12; Heb. 2:14
h 1 Cor. 2:10; 12:3; [ch. 11:25; John 6:45]
i [ch. 10:2; John 1:42]
j Eph. 2:20; Rev. 21:14; [ch. 7:24]
1 Peter sounds like the Greek word for rock
k Job 38:17; Isai. 38:10
l See ch. 11:23
2 Greek the gates of Hades
m [Isai. 22:22; Rev. 1:18; 3:7]
n [ch. 18:18; John 20:23]
3 Or shall have been bound … shall have been loosed
o Mark 8:30; Luke 9:21; [ch. 17:9]; See ch. 12:16
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton
Interesting. Peter acknowledges Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). Jesus says not to tell anyone yet. Why? The Holy Spirit reveals that Jesus is the Christ. Not flesh and blood. That means signs, wonders, and physical kingdoms mean nothing when it comes to Jesus being the Messiah. Here is what Strong's has on the word used for "Christ".
5547 Χριστός [Christos /khris·tos/] adj. From 5548; TDNT 9:493; TDNTA 1322; GK 5986; 569 occurrences; AV translates as “Christ” 569 times. 1 Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God. 2 anointed. Additional Information: Christ = “anointed”.

adj adj: adjective
TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
TDNTA Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume
GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger
AV Authorized Version
Strong, J. 1996. The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the test of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) . Woodside Bible Fellowship.: Ontario
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!
In the Luke passage, Jesus claims to be the Christ again. Jesus is talking about having to die in these passages. Not about being the Savior, but He does mention being the Christ (Messiah). As far as the Dual Covenant issue,

31 o “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make pa new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when qI took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, rthough I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 sBut this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it ton their hearts. uAnd I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ vfor they shall all know me, wfrom the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For xI will forgive their iniquity, and yI will remember their sin no more.”
o ver. 31-34, cited Heb. 8:8-12
p Luke 22:20; 2 Cor. 3:6
q [Deut. 1:31]
r See ch. 3:14
s ch. 32:40; Ezek. 37:26; Cited Heb. 10:16
t Ps. 37:31; 2 Cor. 3:3
u Hos. 2:23; Zech. 8:8; 13:9; Rev. 21:7; See ch. 30:22
v Isai. 54:13
w See ch. 6:13
x ch. 33:8; 36:3; 50:20; Mic. 7:18; Acts 10:43; Rom. 11:27; Cited Heb. 10:17
y Isai. 43:25
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton

The fulfillment:
28 For sno one is a Jew twho is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one uinwardly, and vcircumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. wHis praise is not from man but from God.
s ch. 9:6-8; [Gal. 6:15]
t [ver. 17]
u See 1 Pet. 3:4
v [Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; Acts 7:51; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11]
w 2 Cor. 10:18; 1 Thess. 2:4; [Gal. 1:10]
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton
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!

As for the rest of this, I'm not completely sure where Hagee is getting his doctrine. I believe it to be from the Jewish theology itself. What he is stating appears to be exactly the same reasons that the Jewish people overall reject Jesus as the Messiah to this day. There is good news. Jewish people are accepting Jesus as the Messiah. They are believing that Jesus died for their sins. They are coming to repentance. Romans 11 suggests that one day there will be a massive repentance of Jews. It's not that there's Christianity and then Judaism. There's not the Church and then Israel. Salvation is from the Jews because it is from Jesus Christ (the Messiah), the son of David, who has all authority in Heaven and on Earth, and rules with an iron scepter (Psalm 2), until all the enemies are put as a footstool at his feet, when He will come to judge the nations in righteousness and truth. I, too, look forward to Jesus' return, but I already recognize Him as Messiah. Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world. The Jews did not recognize this. Hagee does not see this. He is blinded by non-Biblical theology. It's like dispensationalism, you must look for it in order to see it. He looked for a way to prove that Jesus was not the Messiah, and so he found it. He missed it. He's looking for a conquering king, but only found the suffering servant. Jesus is both. He holds the keys to death and hades. Satan does not have these. Satan has very little power except what God gives him. Let us forever look to Jesus our Messiah, making Him our joy and our treasure. Amen!