Apostasy Watch

Hagee's "simple" explanation confirms his heretical views


Pastor John Hagee is apparently getting some heat for his recent heretical statement that Jesus did not come to earth to be the Jewish Messiah. One of our readers emailed him with her concerns and received this response from his ministry.

Hagee's approach is exactly what I expected. He claims not to be teaching a dual covenant belief system but rather that Jesus role as savior of the world was separate from his role as Messiah of the Jews. We will show from a biblical standpoint that this argument is manifestly untrue and that Hagee is still being deceitful in his selective interpretation of scripture.

Let's start with Hagee's straw man argument that Christian have constructed a "catch 22" regarding Jesus as Messiah.

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." 

In my 40+ years of exposure to protestant Christianity, I have never heard this taught by anyone at anytime. The idea that Christ went to the cross because the Jews rejected him as Messiah may have been popular at some point in the distant past but it has never been a part of true Christianity.  I am not aware of any reputable church, denomination, or ministry that teaches such nonsense. It may well be that many Jewish people believe this is what Christianity teaches but to say that many Christians believe this is like saying that the racial views of white supremacists are shared by many white people. It is a fringe view at best that is just not true for the vast majority of professing Christians.

This is called a 'straw man' argument and is typical of false teachers. Having begun with a false premise (the straw man) Hagee will now proceed to use the word of God to tear it down. All of the scriptures he will use are true and you will be forced to agree with them. But don't be distracted by this rhetorical sleight of hand. The fact remains that he has begun with a false premise.

Hagee's next step in his defense of heresy is even more enlightening.

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.

A man of Hagee's religious credentials should know that the first rule of Biblical interpretation is to let the Bible interpret the Bible. So why do you suppose he goes to Webster's dictionary for the definition of the word Messiah? Because if he uses the Bible definition of Messiah his argument is immediately destroyed. Is anyone else beginning to smell a rat here?  It seems clear from the first three lines of his defense that Hagee has an agenda that does not include being true to scripture. Let's see how the Bible defines the word Messiah

The word Messiah is the Hebrew word mashiyach (mä·shē'·akh). It means simply, anointed, or anointed one. Since it is a Hebrew word it appears primarily in the Old Testament. The Greek form of the word is Messias and it appears in the New Testament only twice (John 1:41 & John 4:25) The Greek equivalent word for Messiah is Christos, translated as Christ and meaning anointed or anointed one.

The word mashiyach is translated by the King James translators as Messiah only twice (Daniel 9:25&26) but it is translated as anointed 37 times starting with:

Leviticus 4:3
If the priest that is anointed (mashiyach) do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.

In this case the term refers to the High Priest who makes atonement for the people.

Here is another use of mashiyach as anointed.

1Sam 24:10
Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD'S anointed (mashiyach).

Here, the word refers to the king of Israel as David calls Saul the Lords mashiyach.

Here is another popular passage of scripture that incorporates the Hebrew word mashiyach

1Ch 16:22
Saying, Touch not mine anointed (mashiyach), and do my prophets no harm

In this case the word referred to Abraham as the patriarch of the Hebrew people. So you can see that the word Messiah as it is used in scripture does not mean simply "the expected king who delivers from oppressors". Nor does it follow that a Messiah must be one who rules and reigns over a specific geographic region or people in the natural earthly sense.

Now let's look at the two places where the word mashiyach is translated as Messiah.

Dan 9:25
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah (mashiyach)  the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Dan 9:26
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah (mashiyach) be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

By avoiding the use of these scriptures Hagee is engaging in open deceit. These prophetic scriptures from the great Hebrew prophet Daniel refer specifically to the coming prince, the Messiah, and the only person who could possibly have filled this role is Jesus of Nazareth. Hagee is aware of this because he teaches this very prophecy as it relates to the tribulation period. The prophecy tells us not only the timing of the tribulation period but it also foretold the coming of the Messiah. The religious leaders of Jesus day knew this prophecy and should have known that Jesus was the fulfillment of it.

Dan 9:25
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

The weeks prophesied here are not literal weeks but weeks of years. From the time the command was given by Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem (see Ezra 1) until the time of Christ's (Messiah the Prince) crucifixion was exactly 483 years.  [Seven weeks (7x7 = 49 years) and threescore (60x7 = 420 years) and two weeks (7x2 = 14 years)] 

And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one (mashiyach) be cut off, and shall have nothing……..: Dan 9:26 ASV

This prophecy can point to one person and one person only and that is Jesus Christ and it clearly states that He is Messiah

What about the New testament use of the term Messias?

John 1:41-42
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

This scripture alone should put an end to Hagee's obfuscation since it clearly says that Andrew and Peter had found the Messiah and that the interpretation of the word messias in Christ.

Some (but not all) of the Jews of Jesus day refused to acknowledge Him as Messiah because they were looking for an earthly king to free them from the bondage of Rome and establish a Jewish hegemony over the nations of the world. The fact that they mis-interpreted scripture as many of them still do today does not preclude the fact that Jesus did come as Messiah and as such He established a kingdom upon the earth.

John 18:36-37
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

The kingdom Jesus established was not the kingdom the Jews were looking for. His kingdom is in this world but it is not of this world. He is in fact Messiah over that kingdom.

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."

Here, Hagee refers to another clear proof that Jesus was Messiah but then interprets the passage thought the prism of his own heretical ideas.

John 4:25
The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

How much clearer could that be? Jesus said plainly that He was the promised Messiah. What Hagee is trying to do here is claim that Jesus revealed His messiah-ship to this woman because she was not Jewish but a Samaritan. The absurdity of this position is mind boggling. Hagee wants you to believe that Jesus is Messiah to the gentile world but not to the Jews!

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!  

Mr. Hagee, if you believe that to be true why do you refuse to evangelize the Jewish people?  Is Jesus the savior of all the people of the world or just those who don't happen to have Jewish blood?

This is the crux of the matter right here. Hagee claims not to teach a dual covenant theology but he practices a dual covenant belief system by his actions toward the Jews. His statement that Jesus cannot be both Messiah and savior is simply false as we have already proven from Daniels prophecy.

John 10:24-25
Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ (anointed one), tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

Is that clear enough for you Mr. Hagee? The Jews asked Jesus if he was the anointed one (messiah) and he said yes he was. How about Jesus answer to Pilate?

Mat 27:11
And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The disciples certainly claimed that Jesus was Messiah.

Acts 2:36
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ (anointed one).

Now, let's continue to deconstruct Hagee's false arguments in defense of Talmudic Judaism.

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. 

No John, it seems only you and your Jewish friends have confused the role of savior and Messiah. The fact is that Jesus does live and he does reign in the kingdom He established. If you were a true disciple of Christ you would know that and you would have no problem understanding His Messianic rulership over that kingdom.

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 [sic], 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 [sic], 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.  

In this section Hagee uses another deceitful tactic to confuse undiscerning Christians. He mixes the word of God with the traditions of men just as his pharisaical predecessors did (see Mark 7:13). The idea of five cups (most Passover Seders use 4 cups) is not "Bible proof" at all  but a Jewish  tradition that is found nowhere in scripture. This idea comes from the Jewish Talmud (oral history and decrees from Jewish Rabbi's) which observant Jews place on par with the written word of God. It is simply a man made tradition and should in no way be used to prove that Jesus rejected his role as Messiah.

Again, lets allow scripture interpret scripture rather than adding to it the traditions of men.
(I will assume that Hagee's citation of Luke 26:28-29 is a simple transcription error since Luke contains only 24 books. It is clear that the passage he intends is found in Matthew 26:28-29.)

Mat 26:28
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it


Nowhere in scripture is there any reference to 5 cups in the Passover. Every scriptural reference to this event (Mat 26:28, Mark 14:23, and Luke 22:20) uses the term the cup. The passage in Luke seems to indicate two separate acts since the first occurs during the supper (Luke 22:17) and then another after the supper (Luke 22:20). Even with this however it is a stretch, and adding to scripture to say that there were 5 cups and the one that Jesus refused was the "Messiah" cup.

So, why did Jesus refuse the cup? There is no scriptural basis to believe that Jesus declined to drink of the cup because he was refusing to be the Messiah. There is a scriptural basis however for believing that his refusal was based on the fact that he need all his physical senses to sustain him in the ordeal He was about to endure.

Immediately after the Passover, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Do you remember what happened there?

Mark 14:32 & 37
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. ............And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

Jesus knew he had a job to do. In order to fulfill his destiny he needed all his faculties. As He prayed, the others, after a full meal and a little wine, fell asleep. Jesus, although he was fully God was also fully human. As such he would have known that wine would have made him sleepy just like the others. Here was a case where Jesus denied a desire of his flesh in order to carry out God's perfect will.

This is further confirmed when, on the cross, Jesus was offered a mixture of wine and gall (or myrrh) to drink (Mat 27:34). This concoction was offered to the condemned as a way to dull the excruciating pain of crucifixion. Jesus refused it, again because he needed to have complete use of his senses in order to endure what His Father had set before Him.

In attempting to explain his heretical stance John Hagee has only dug himself a deeper hole. His explanation clarifies the fact that his book In Defense of Israel should be titled In Defense of Talmudic Judaism. In writing this book, John Hagee has put himself outside orthodox Christianity and has aligned himself with those who deny the Lord Jesus Christ. The words of Paul to Titus are as true today as they were when he wrote them

Titus 1:10-11 & 13-14
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake

This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Steve Lumbley 2007
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