Sundown tonight marks the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This biblical holiday commemorates the day that the High Priest was to enter the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a goat on the Mercy Seat, the covering of the Ark of the Covenant. But there is a problem, the Ark of the Covenant is no longer resident among the Jewish people. The Temple has been destroyed. The priests are gone. Sacrifices can no longer be offered on behalf of the people.
How then can the sins of the Chosen People be covered?
His Own Words
How is it that the Christian world allows a man to claim to be a minister of the Gospel, and yet deny that Jesus is the Messiah of the Jewish people? John Hagee claims that Jews don’t need to believe in Jesus as their Messiah because He never offered Himself to them as such. Friends, that is heresy. It is openly taught by a man who leads a congregation of 20,000 active members in San Antonio, Texas. He sells thousands of sensationally unbiblical books each year. Over the years, this man collected tens of millions of dollars from Christians in the United States, people who want to be a blessing to the Jewish people. Unfortunately, they are not the blessing they think they are. Their money, given in good faith, is distributed through Christians United for Israel to Jews (Hagee’s friends) who are openly hostile to the idea of Jews believing in Jesus.
According to most authorities, the writer of the three Epistles of John is none other than the beloved disciple of Messiah Jesus, the Apostle John. John had seen it all. He was present when John the Baptist identified Yeshua as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. From that point on, John followed Jesus throughout the entirety of His earthly ministry. Jesus discipled him personally. He was at the foot of the Cross when Yeshua gave him charge over Mary, His mother. One of the first to look into the empty tomb, John saw His resurrected Lord later that same day in Jerusalem. From the Law, Prophets, and the Writings Jesus showed John and the others why He had to be crucified and die, be buried in a rich man’s tomb, and be resurrected again on the third day. John was also there when Jesus ascended to heaven so that the Holy Spirit could be sent back on Shavuot (Pentecost) to inform his mind and inflame his heart for a ministry that would extend from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and out to the entire world.
First John was written to identify false teachers who were harming the Church. John encouraged true believers to test the teaching of “wannabe” spiritual leaders that were leading Messiah’s flock astray. The Apostle’s words still ring true today, in the 21st Century. They are both a warning and a rebuke to the false prophets of our age, those who seek to establish a position of authority over the sheep that belong to God alone.
Late in life, John wrote: “Beloved, 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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this, we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” – 1 John 4:1-6
While the Temple is destroyed and the Ark of the Covenant no longer exists, Blood is still required to cover the sins of sinners, be they Jews or Gentiles. From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, throughout the Jewish world people are contemplating their personal sin. The redemptive story of Yom Kippur is connected to the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s only Son, the perfect and permanent sin sacrifice. Jesus gave Himself as the only sacrifice now accepted by God for the sins of the world’s people, including the Jewish people. Without their personal belief in the redemptive work of Messiah Jesus, Jewish people die in their sin. They are separated from God forever. The Bible is very clear on this matter.
Take A Stand
Why do people listen to Hagee and others like him? Why does the Church put up with such nonsense? It is because most have become so desensitized to false teaching, that they don’t recognize it for what it is. Those of us who have been taught how to read and interpret the Scriptures accurately need to make a stand. We should follow the example of the Apostle John, who late in the 1st Century, said: “this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” John told the truth, identifying false prophets for what they were.
False prophets are among us today. It is time for the Church to confront false teachers and call them out for the lies they spread. They damage that which Jesus paid for at such a high cost on the cross. They lead believers astray and embolden scoffers to attack the integrity of the Word of God.
**This article was originally posted on Yom Kippur 2014