How To Recognize Messianic Zionism

April 15, 2012

[In this illuminating essay, Charles E. Carlson lists several warning signals to help you recognize the Zionist wolf when it sneaks into your church. mw]

The Messianic Movement Smuggles Zionism into the Mainline Church

Charles E. Carlson Apr 5, 2012

Stealing Easter from Jesus
The Messianic Movement that is growing inside America’s mainline churches could be called the second generation of Christian Zionism.  Its leaders are not the arrogant celebrity types, like John Hagee, who have become an embarrassment to traditional church-goers.  The crass first generation of Christian Zionists, used by Israel’s Likud Party to mobilize pro-Israel zealots and force the U.S. Congress into serving the Israel’s interests, is in its last stage of usefulness; its mission for Israel has been accomplished.

The “Messianic movement” is wooing mainline churches with a velvet glove.  Caesar Aharon, author of Judaizing Elements in the Messianic Movement, wrote almost 15 years ago about the danger of Jewish corruption inside the churches and recorded a valuable program about it.  Trained as a Conservative Jew, Aharon followed Jesus without Jewish reservations or Old Testament trappings.

Aharon asserted that Messianic Churches always consisted of one or a few Jews on the inside, administering and preaching in the churches, which were attended and supported by seeking Christians spirited away from other denominations.  We wrote about one such church  a few weeks ago—the McLean Bible Church.2

Mainline, orthodox, or traditional Christian by any label, need to watch for warning signs of Messianic Zionist influence.

1) Jewish “Passover” or “Seder dinners,” on Christian Good Friday. 

2) Sponsored Tours to Israel.  Most are Zionist propaganda sessions and not Christian;  Less than 10% of tour takers ever meet a Palestinian while in Israel.

3) Recognizes Jewish holidays, such as Hanukkah at Christmas time, or the feast of Purim in February?

4) Special prayers for Israel as a state, or for “the peace of Israel?”

There is little if any connection between the mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the strictly Jewish celebration of Passover.  But a connection is manufactured by so-called “Judeo-Christian” groups, including Chosen People Ministries and Jews for Jesus, for Zionist purposes.  An increasing number of mainline churches have allowed Messianic organizations to organize Seder dinners on Good Friday, promoting the false impression that Jesus observed Passover as part of his mission. The result is to turn Good Friday into a celebration of an old Hebrew tradition that had nothing to do with Jesus’ mission on earth.  Passover celebrations are being conducted in many churches on Friday, April 6, 2012.3

Jesus Last Supper, when he washed the feet of those he was to leave behind to do his mission, took place on a Thursday before Passover; Passover is a Jewish celebration observing events in the time of Moses, including the seven plagues on the Egyptians.  Therefore Passover is not relevant to Easter even though it occurs about the same dates.  It is a diversion from Jesus’ New Covenant of love and peace.

The Jewish Seder dinner apparently got its foot in the Mainline church door years ago. Some mainline churches observe an abbreviated Passover dinner at regular communing service on Maundy Thursday, which coincides with the day of the week of Jesus’ Last Supper.  Zionism has a way of getting one foot in the door, and staying.

But Seder is a racial, strictly Jewish, celebration commemorating God’s “passing over” the Israelite children when, according to the book of Exodus, He sent terrible plagues on the people to impress the Pharaoh of His power.  While the Seder seems to stress God’s gift of freedom to the ancient Israelites, it also celebrates the slaughter of all the firstborn of Egypt and a God of wrath. Seder is about power.  By contrast, Jesus Last Supper was about humbleness and service.

What does this event have to do with Jesus sacrifice for us on the cross?  The Zionists suggest Jesus was a sacrificial lamb and Jews devour an entire lamb at the Seder and that constitutes a connection..  This is indeed questionable symbolism, since those who celebrate Seder rejected Jesus, who came as the Prince of Peace, bringing a new covenant.  How unlike the old, bloody one the Jews and Messianic Christians celebrate on Purim and Passover.

It needs to be noted that there were no Jews or Judea at the time of Moses, and the habit of calling everyone from Moses to Jesus a “Jew” is a confusing.  The misuse of the modern Jew words has allowed Zionists to claim genetic kinship with any biblical character they may choose, even Jesus!  Moses was an Israelite; Benjamin Netanyahu is an Israeli. They are not brothers from the same tribe, as the Messianic Christian would have us believe.

Christian Zionists cheat with the Bible to falsely connect Good Friday to a Seder dinner.  Jesus ate his last meal with his immediate followers the day before  the passover, and Jesus had a very different agenda.  He came to Jerusalem not to celebrate the festival, but in order to give up his life as a sacrifice, his trip planned to coincide with the date when the maximum number of fallen, “lost sheep of the house of Israel” would be in town for the feasting.

It is clear, if you believe the words written in the Book of John, that Jesus was hanging on the cross at the time the corrupted Israelites were eating their ceremonial passover dinner on Friday.  They were not celebrating Jesus, but denying him.  We will examine a clear example where a modern, Zionist bible contradicts Jesus’ “red letter” words.

The result of accepting the notion that the Last Supper was a Seder is, first, that it leads to an easy suggestion that present day Israel is the fulfillment of Biblical prophesy, Oh yes, Jesus too.  Second, it leads to a foot in the door for those who want to reject  some of what Jesus, and later his disciples and apostles, taught.  Wherever Jesus’ words contradict the Messianic view of prophesy and the agenda of the present day State of Israel, messianics will say political Israel was there first.

The Talmud, not the Bible, describes in many rules how the celebration of Seder is to be carried out.  Should churches carry out Talmudic rules?  Among these Seder rules are that each participant will drink four cups of wine.3  That sounds like a party!  Good Friday was not a party.

Seder is a celebration of what Jews believe God did for the ancient Israelites in the time of Moses and all the plagues.  In contrast, the Last Supper was the final session of a three year training course, at which Jesus told of his own imminent death, demonstrated his humble commitment to servitude by washing feet, explained to his followers that they must accept his promise of the exchange of their own lives for his promise of everlasting life, and prepared them to see him crucified the next day.  Jesus last supper was a final training class, as clearly show in the account of it in all four Gospels.

The only similarity between Jesus’ Last Supper and the Seder dinner is the presence of food.  The two events may have occurred during the same season, but there is no connection that justifies diluting the major Christian holiday of Easter with a passover diversion.

Those who instigate or officiate over Seder dinners in Christian churches, are usually Jewish; and the dinners are often organized by Jews for Jesus or Chosen People Ministries.  They make an emotional comparisons of Jesus and the passover lamb and portray Passover as a “type of Jesus.”  They go so far as to compare eating the sacrificed lamb to our Communion with Jesus.

This conflation between Jesus and Passover diminishes the Christian story and focuses on a Jewish savior, Moses story.  This is a most familiar pattern. The Seder dinner works to dilute Jesus’ words, especially in re Zionist friendly Scofield Reference Bible.  An example of bible distortion is found in John’s account of the Good Friday events the day after the Last Supper.4

Jesus is being privately tried by Pilate, who tells Jesus, “Thine own nation and the chief priest have delivered thee unto me, What hast thou done?”  “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world…” 

But the Scofield footnote to verse 36 nullifies Jesus’ spoken words by stating:  “the verse is erroneously taken to mean Christ was disavowing that His kingdom would be establish on earth.  Apart from the incompatibility of such a view with the entire testimony of Scripture…etc “

We do not need to read further.  The Zionist answer to words spoken by Jesus himself are that Jesus could not have meant what he said.  The Scofield note says Jesus’ words have to be wrong because they are “incompatible” with the interpretation of those who wrote the notes to the Scofield Reference Bible.

Who then is God, Jesus or the Christian Zionist editors of the Scofield Bible’s footnotes?  What happened to the “infallibility of Scripture” that all the Christian Zionists I have met say they stand on?

Jesus told his disciples clearly that their job was to carry forward his Kingdom on earth after he was to be gone, and that he would guide them through his always present spirit, and that he would be in a better place preparing an eternal and spiritual home for them.  Is that not evangelical Christianity?

But it is not Christian Zionism, because it provides no special route or second chance for Zionist Jews, who must come to Christ just like everyone else, or be left out. There is no rapture in Jesus final dinner plan.  There is no easy path.  There is only the Strait Gate, which is rejected by Zionists.

I received an invitation from an Arab Christian pastor that is a perfect example of what is appropriate on Good Friday, it is all about Jesus and nothing else.

You are Invited to the Passion of the Christ memorial service on Good Friday at 7:30PM at the First Arabic Baptist Church, Phoenix, AZ. Come experience that night of passion as we celebrate the washing of the feet, and the Lords supper with English and Arabic song and scriptural reading of that event. See you there. (Pastor Jamal)

My Conclusion:
The last supper may have occurred during the season of the Passover, but so did Jesus’ death, and there is no connection that justifies diluting the Easter season with a strictly Jewish Passover diversion.  Please encourage your church to stop doing so!

1 Aharon, Caesar, “Judaizing Elements in the Messianic Movement:”
2 Carlson Vigil for Peace at the McLean Bible Church,
3 Seder rules:
4 Scofield, C. I ,Scofield Reference Bible, 1967 Edition, John:  18: 35, Page 1153,

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