Fourth Revised Edition
Tools To Investigate the Whole and the Sum of the Parts
of Israel Only Ideology
by Mark Mountjoy
Since the advent of the resurgence of Preterism, on one hand, there was shock and dismay, and revulsion against its claims, mainly by traditionalists and those simply steeped in Futurist thinking. Or surprise, resonance, and preoccupation by those who recognized within it a large kernel of truth and different trends emerged—Full Preterism, Partial Preterism, Preterist Idealism, Redirectionalism, and Atavism—each as different as anything you might find on the shelf in the Marketplace of ideas.
But recently an even newer phenomenon has emerged, repudiating the Bible as a book of truth and even threatening to sabotage the little credibility that was being accrued by Preterists due to both time and familiarity.
This newcomer and spoiler styles itself "Israel Only" and the purpose of this research is to examine, from a bird's eye view, a panoramic perspective from up close; separating parts, the dynamics that make this ideology tick.
Our aim is to grasp what the sum and what the parts tell us about the overarching claims of this aggressive belief and to be able to disable or dismantle it—either from the direction of its individual claims or from the sum of its total implications.
Our method of research is to examine some of Israel Only's key claims; search to discover the validity (truthfulness of falsity) of the claim to see whether it is approved or disapproved. We also want to discover the source or sources of Israel Only premises—within the Preterist cosmos, or to understand if or otherwise its predecessor (Full Preterist) ideology are feeding into it a life and beingness which it would not otherwise have.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts—normally—but in Israel Only ideology, it turns out, the parts are much greater than the whole and, because of this, we will demonstrate, the entire theory explodes once the entirety of what it alleges and advocates is seen for what it is and compared objectively to truthful standards rather than willful thinking.
I.O. relies heavily on the errors and presuppositions of its mother ideology and, deprived of it, cannot exist or persist. It seems therefore wise and prudent to dissect it and address it from three angles: Historically, chronologically, and cumulatively.
A Historical Examination
We need to first look to verify the narrative and the direction ancient Israel onlyism took. In this regard, there are mainly two narratives: Jewish nationalism, with its main advantage of being the original custodians of the Old Testament, and the natural heirs who could expect to be entitled to attain the promises found therein.
As far as the New Testament is concerned, the Jews had their boast in being the progeny of Abraham as a credential; but they also had the Temple and the Law (John 8:29; Acts 6:11-14). The second narrative is the Good News message (John 1:17). Does this Good News coincide with the Jewish nationalist message or does it diverge from it and how?—is the question that will ultimately put the Israel Only idea on the spot or exonerate it as reiterating exactly what Jesus and the Apostles stood for.
Whatever became of that?
Here's what: The Bible says that those who had a zeal, had it, "but not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2) for "for being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3) and "but they have not all obeyed the Gospel" (Romans 10:16; Ephesians 2:2 cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8) and they were condemned: Matthew 7:15-27. We need to see the error of the original Israel exclusivists of New Testament time and reject it. And we need to hear what Jesus says and do what he bids us (Luke 6:46 and John 14:15). And so the first-century Jewish exclusivist message was an error and a calculated distraction as well.
Israel Only chronology copy-cats Full Preterism's timeline to a "t" and here immediate problems and issues are apparent. The difficulties arise just as soon as ancient source-stories about the continuity of Judæa's quest to realize her apocalyptic and messianic ambitions come into play. Impossible calendrical feats exist unresolved (just as in Full Preterism) and a look into Daniel 2 and 7, or 11 and 12 along with the timeline of events stretching from the Pentecost A.D.33 to the Passover A.D.136 disappearance of the Jewish State from existence poses serious challenges to the assumptions that undergird a theory of nationalist exclusivity; mainly because each national attempt in that direction was met with enigmatic, inexplicable and catastrophic failure in a century of hopes and endeavors, trials, and errors.1
If the Jews of antiquity believed in "Israel only" it was based upon a supposed superiority of the Law of and their race. On these grounds, ancient Jewish nationalists believed a guarantee of entitlement to the kingdom of God was theirs either as a gift from above or else they needed to aggressively seize and take it by the force of arms.
We know from history that they acted on that belief, but whatever became of those efforts in antiquity? In fact, Israel's efforts toward national glory based off of Old Testament promises ended each time as a string of train-wreaks from start to finish.
How does this bode well for making Israel Only the newest sacrosanct interpretation at this late date?
A Cumulative Purview
The cumultive purview looks not at the parts, but at the sum. And it does this to weigh and discern exactly what Israel Only is as a finished 'product'—a sort of fruit inspection if you like.
Here the A.D.33 day of Pentecost, the message of the Apostle Peter and the other eleven Apostles to the Jews and the Gentile proselytes—and the Apostle Peter's later induction of the Roman centurion, Cornelius, and his family into the faith, plus all of the Apostle Paul's field efforts to win bonafide Jews, Herodians, Romans, Greeks, Barbarians and Scythians (to the milestone date of A.D.66) reveal that cumulative outreach efforts in the Gospel evangelism was definitely toward inclusion, but outside of it, exclusion.
But, Israel Onlyist has to spend almost all their time and energy artfully denying what is patently evident here: That genuine non-Israelites were being grafted into the natural Olive Tree of the House of Judah and House of Israel (Romans 11:11-32 cf. Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 3:10-11). Going by the beat of their own drum, but not by the facts of the New Testament or Jewish salvation history, Israel Onlyists walk a path where the line between personal opinion and accepted historical facts is quite blurry.
A look at the A.D.66-70 efforts of Judæa are also quite revealing: Was its nascent nationalism, exceptionalism and secession attempts a stellar success or a singular failure? Israel Onlyists, tell us plainly, Whatever became of that? When the Jerusalem Church refugees fled to Pella, what significance can be attached to their abandonment of the nationalist cause and the struggle of Judæa to survive? By leaving the Zealots to fight their own fight, the Christians demonstrated by their abandonment where they stood on the issues that already had divided them all the way back to the time of Cornelius' induction into the early Christian movement (Acts 11:1-3 cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:16). We also learn that the Jewish Christian refugees returned and doubled down on their outreach to Gentiles (according to multiple reports in Jewish history).2
How does a renewed and greatly expanded mission to Gentiles correspond with Israel Only suppositions, rhetoric, and conclusions? They either agree or disagree with recorded history and disinterested chronicles, but be sure of this: To disagree is to ignore facts; it is also to prefer a contrivance, a private interpolation, and a brazenly biased outcome founded upon unspoken psychological needs and wants.
Jewish nationalism revived and did not end in A.D.70 as Israel Onlyists would like to imagine. Ancient Israel onlyism got its last shot at success when one Simon Bar Kokhba arose in the third decade of the second century. Repeating the mantra of the Israel onlyists of failed Jewish efforts in the first century and in the 115-117 Kitos Diaspora revolts, Bar Kokhba's charisma, strategy, and forceful personality gained him even the support he needed from sympathetic Gentiles in his bid against Roman rule in the A.N.E.3
But how did that work out?
How did Israel onlyism (with plenty of Gentile help, to boot) put deluded Gentiles directly into harm's way and, at the very same time, placed all those who were involved on the wrong side of history?4
Why, if it was basically right, did it end in the alleged death of four billion Jews and Gentiles? That's what history tells us of the cumulative climax of this indigenous Israel onlyism!
Finally, we would be remiss to fail to apprise you of the fact that Israel Only savants don't believe the Bible anyway. Hear their own say it with his own pen:-
"If you believe there was a literal first man named Adam formed from dirt and lived 950 years, who had a wife formed from one of his ribs who was deceived by a talking snake, and that over a million people departed Egypt and roamed around Egypt and Arabia for forty years without leaving a single trace, then you believe in a fairytale.
If you believe that there was a great flood and Noah saved all the animals in a ship that took a hundred years to make (in a desert), that Enoch levitated into the clouds, that a pole turned into a snake, that Joshua made the sun stop for an hour, that a single man killed an entire army with the jawbone of a donkey, that a donkey spoke then you believe in a fairytale.
If you believe that three men were consumed in a burning furnace and came out unscathed, there was a person (Jonah) who lived in a fish for three days, that a man (Daniel) was supernaturally protected from being eaten by lions, that water was made into wine, that Jesus passed through people invisibly, that dead people were brought back to life, that five thousand people were fed from five loaves of bread, that Jesus walked on water, calmed a storm with a word, raised back to life after being dead for three days and then levitated into the clouds. . .you believe a fairytale."5
Now, the fact that they do not believe the Bible, but get a kick out of arguing about the Bible and defending a view that one would think can only add up if the Bible were true, these people follow in the footsteps of their ancient Jewish predecessors who also stood in doubt about Bible history (2 Peter 3:4-5 cf. Wars 4.6.3:386).
So what this tells us, right away is this: that I.O. today, like the disbelieving and insolent nationalists of old, are walking after their own ungodly lusts!6
So what is important for us to know and hold onto is the promise of Revelation 21:6 and 22:17; it stands for all who are willing and persuaded to believe and to receive—why? Because being thirsty is a requirement that crosses racial, ethnic, social, and economic lines! Therefore, these precious promises—Acts 4:12 and Acts 10:34-35 and 43 and Colossians 3:10-11—apply to all not only a select few!
We conclude from this study that Israel Only (in its ancient nativist sense) was a consummate disaster and its modern notional child is a discombobulated ideological mutant and it is, academically, without depth and essentially and fundamentally unsubstantial.7
Remember, cumulatively, you are speaking, not with a person who even believes the Bible is the Word of God, but someone who DOES NOT believe the Bible is the truth, but wants to contend, argue and wrestle about words, promises and notions, in spite of thinking the Scriptures are without foundation and, basically, worthless.
Aims Reached and Recommendations For Action and Further Study
We reached our aim and found the results we needed to know about the attitude and intricacies and the shape and scope of Israel Only idealism. Because virtually the entire Bible is denigrated as a litany of lore, myth, and fairy tales we have no choice but to see the Israel Only effort as an attempt to grasp at what they see as the broken shards of the Biblical epitome and to attract, attack and destroy Christians by stabbing us in the heart in order to wound or fatally injure our sense of salvation, direction, meaning, comfort, hope, and destiny—out of a barely concealed cloak of maliciousness, calculated deceit, guile, and disregard.
Consequently, we conclude that today's Israel Onlyism is merely an intellectual hobby, a distraction rather than a serious discipline; it is not an ideology with insights to offer, nor can it present any broadly valid literary or interpretive contributions to edify either the Body of Christ or a spiritually hungry and searching world.
1 The Masada suicide disaster and the greater national suicidal adventure embraced by Bar Kokhba resonates loud and clear as signals to everyone with eyes to see that God Most High was not supportive of the Law, the Temple, DNA, traditions, national sovereignty or military and political ambitions of ancient sectarian and Rabbinic exclusivists. But as is clear from the history of the times, the one thing God protected and preserved was the Gospel, the New Testament and the Church, a true message embraced by a mixed multitude beholden to the Ultimate Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus.
2 Solomon Grayzel, A History of the Jews, pp. 198-200. See also, Gedaliah Alon, The Jews in Their Land in the Talmudic Age, p. 295 and Ibid., pp.305-306, The Magnus Press, the Hebrew University, 1984.
3 According to Yadin, Gentiles joined in out of a desire for loot. Yadin: 1971, p. 21.
4 Ancient Jewish exclusivism put Jews and Gentiles at odds with the mandate of the Gospel that there is no other name under heaven, given among men can anyone be saved (Acts 4:12). NOt only is Jesus the only way, but salvation is not about blood, the will of the flesh, or the will of man, but of God, and ALL nations shall serve and obey him (Daniel 7:27; John 1:12-13 cf. Acts 13:46).
5 A quote from Michael Bradley, a vocal Israel Only savant. Source: Natural Israel Only Salvationism is a FALSE GOSPEL, A private Facebook group (Emphasis mine, MEM).
6 Once a Christian realizes that behind the smokescreen of exegetical pretense lies a hardened heart of unbelief, you will not be seduced into thinking a clarification of proof about the universal invitation of the Gospel sway these people, but will result in redoubled efforts to convince you the Bible is a book packed with unfounded Jewish myths and folklore from antiquity.
Not only this, but also Israel Onlyists are anti-praeternaturalists, and they want to make you doubt that every story in the Bible is true. If they can succeed in doing this the domino effect against your faith in God stands in jeopardy. Should you fall Israel Only savants can rejoice over yet another conquest against unwavering belief in God. Proceed with caution and beware!
Anti-praeternaturalism is a hallmark of atheism and Scientism, but is itself anti-scientific (i.e., it is against what can be observed and studied)!
7 In a certain sense, Israel Only ideology is just like a hook: It is designed to catch your attention and passions only to blow itself into smithereens leaving you badly injured with a Bible to be entirely suspicious and distrustful of. Israel Only is not a path or gateway into a more trusting and intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ your High Priest, God and Savior. Instead, it is a way to separate you from him through preoccupation with pointless and unprovable contentions about who can or cannot be a child of God. If the Bible is not even true, any discussion about what it is or isn't is a moot point! Do not fall for it! Presently Israel Onlyist savants proudly travel the same road the Zealots of old traveled and we cannot help but believe that, in the end, they will come to an identical spiritually terrifying destination: The blackness of darkness forever (Jude 13).
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING TO BECOME FAMILIAR AND GROUNDED IN ACTUAL JEWISH SALVATION HISTORY AND PAST SEMITIC NOTIONAL ERRORS . . .
Doron Mendels, The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992
Nachman Ben-Yehuda, The Masada Myth, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1995
Yehoshafat Harkabi, The Bar Kokhba Syndrome, Rossel Books, 1983
James D.G. Dunn, Jews, and Christians, the Parting of the Ways A.D.70 TO 135, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992
Solomon Grayzel, A History of the Jews, A Meridian Book, 1968
Quantum Entanglement: Spooky Action at a Distance
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