I was very excited to read Pastor Ray Bentley’s new book The Holy Land Key, written with Genevieve Gillespie. I love Ray's tender heart for the Lord, fellow believers and the lost. I share his love for the Jewish people and have a keen interest in Biblical prophecy.
My excitement came to a halt when I started reading The Holy Land Key. Overall I found the book hard to read because it was very disjointed. It didn’t flow and the material was not clearly presented. There were a number of times in the middle of a chapter I had to look at the title to remind myself what the book was supposed to be about.
In the introduction, Ray stated, “It is important to read prophecy carefully, to handle its interpretation with great care, and to anchor all our conclusions in God’s Word”. So far so good, if that aim was achieved. Where this book was out in left field is in the rest of that statement, “but we also want to explore some new territories in Scripture that have prophetic significance.” Some of those “new territories” weren’t exactly grounded in Scripture.
The new territories were where The Holy Land Key got off track. The most egregious example is “what God has written in the heavens and what the Bible says about these heavenly revelations.” The three chapters devoted to the signs in the heavens smacked of new age astrology with Bible verses tacked on. Other things I took issue with: 1) A principal of Biblical interpretation from 1 Corinthians 15:46, “However the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” This scripture was taken out of context and specifically addresses resurrection. 2) In speaking about Jews, Christians, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, Ray stated, “These descendants of Jesus…” To be more specific some of the people may be descendants of Abraham, but not Jesus. 3) A number of his sources of interpretation include non-Biblical sources and languages. 4) A quote from a former PLO member Tass Saada who is now a Christian, “He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, and Jacob!” While Ishmael is a physical descendant of Abraham, he was not the child of promise, Isaac was. But praise God that through Abraham, all nations will be blessed. Not only are Jews His chosen people, but so are those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m in agreement with Ray on many things including the fact that Israel and the Jews were and remain God’s chosen people. What God has promised, He will fulfill. I do believe that the Jews returning to the land is a fulfillment of Scripture taking place before our eyes.
But in good conscience I can’t recommend The Holy Land Key. I don’t think it was clear, well-written, or backed up with the infallible Word of God. I’m most concerned about the left turn into “astrology” and the non-Biblical sources used to document his interpretations.
I would like to thank Blogging for Books for the opportunity to read The Holy Land Key in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.