Time To Face Reality: Replacement Theology Is True!
Posted by Job on September 29, 2007
I am concerned with the full – throated denunciations of replacement theology by evangelical and liberal Christians. The reason is that doing so almost inevitably leads down the path that starts with de – emphasizing important and fundamental Christian doctrine and ends with dual covenant theology. Why are we so afraid of causing offense to our Jewish friends on this matter? We should respect their feelings, but we cannot allow our doctrines to be governed by said feelings. And moreover, why are do we give any more considerations to the feelings of Jews than we do Muslims, Hindus, wiccans, etc.? Do we feel that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and eternal life or don’t we? Thus, if Judaism will not result in the salvation of a person from an eternity in the lake of fire, then what profit is there in it? In what way is it superior to satanism or witchcraft?
There is a point to my absurd reductionism here. One of the things that began to turn me away from the ministry of John Hagee was when he started having Orthodox rabbis on his show, and they would actually discuss things concerning God and scripture. Of course, Jesus Christ was never mentioned. Hagee knew perfectly well that the rabbis that he was putting on his TV show will go to the lake of fire for eternity unless he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. Would Hagee have put a Muslim or Mormon on his show and talk about scripture with them? After all, you can talk about Jesus Christ in front of a Mormon or Muslim all you want and they won’t get the least bit offended! Of course not! Now as it was from Hagee that I first learned of the term “replacement theology” and how awful it was – responsible for the Holocaust he claims – and now I am wondering if it is all a scam. After all, has Hagee had Messianic Jewish rabbis on his show? Gary Hedrick, one of the most prominent Messianic Jews in this country, is right in Hagee’s San Antonio. If he has, I never saw them, and the answer is almost certainly no because affiliating with Messianic Jews would end Hagee’s political relationships with AIPAC and similar concerns in America and Israel that he has used to become quite influential.
But wait, you say, Jews and Christians worship the same God, so my comparison with Muslims, Mormons, and certainly satanists is wrong. No we don’t. The only way that you worship God is in spirit and in truth (John 4:22-24), which means that God can only be worshiped in the manner that He tells us to. When Christ spoke those words to the Samaritan woman, he was summarizing the commandments given to the Jews in the Torah where God commanded that their worship of Him not emulate the practices of pagan religions, so Christ did not give a new revelation in this regards: it is integral to Judaism (Christians, regrettably, have been more than willing to syncretize our worship with pagan and humanistic beliefs and practices unfortunately). So what did God say in John 14:6? “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” In this dispensation, the only way to worship God is to acknowledge Jesus Christ as God and worship the Father through Him with the Holy Spirit as the Intercessor. Now of course, the Jews were doing this in the Old Testament, but had no knowledge of it. But when that knowledge was revealed to them, they rejected it. As such, since they refuse to worship Jesus Christ as God, then they are not worshiping the true God. Christians that pretend otherwise, quite frankly, are either dual covenant theologists or are giving silent assent to what they know to be a lie. The New Testament, especially Hebrews and Romans, states repeatedly that there is no profit to the religion of the Jews without Christ.
Ah, but Christianity came from Judaism so we have to respect it, they say! As a matter of fact, it is becoming quite fashionable in recent times to say that Jesus Christ never intended to start a new religion. Well, that line of thinking actually helps replacement theology, because Jesus Christ explicitly stated that His purpose was to fulfill the law and that the Jews should forsake what they were practicing before and to follow Him, for He alone was the way. Even after the term “Christian” was first applied to the largely Gentile church at Antioch, it was not applied to Jews that believed upon the resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach. Rather, they were called “the way” or “Nazarenes.” During the early part of Christ’s ministry, He tried to convince the Jews that the kingdom at heaven was at hand and to follow Him. It was only after He was rejected by Jews that He laid the foundation for the church (Himself) by intensively training and teaching the apostles.
Christ obviously tried to replace the Judaism of the day with worship that acknowledged Him as the Son of God but was rejected, see John 5:18 “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” After the Jews rejected the Stone, Christ built the church to take on the role that the Jews rejected. By virtue of the church doing what the Jews would not do, their entering the Promised Land when the Jews forbeared as their forefathers did when they left Egypt and as a result all save Joshua and Caleb died in the wilderness (a remnant that pretty much represents the Messianic Jews of today), clearly the church assumed the role that was originally intended for Israel, and in real spiritual terms replaced Israel. The church is now the vehicle by which God’s Will is done and His Presence made known upon the earth. Claiming otherwise is to deny the entirety of the New Testament.
Now this is where I part ways with Hank Hanegraaf and a great many other Christians that deeply resent Jews and in particular the nation of Israel, and as such have to basically declare Revelation to be mere political resistance literature to justify their antipathy (completely ignoring that Revelation expounds upon Matthew 24 and the endtimes teachings of Paul, Jude, and the other epistles from John). First, you have Romans 11:1-2a. “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.” And even more so, you have what makes my comparisons with Judaism and other religions extremely problematic superficially. Romans 3:1-4 reads “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
Yes, the Mosaic covenant is broken and done away with. Not that you would ever know that from listening to John Hagee, who not only preaches the false prosperity doctrine based on it, but actually claims that Christians will be cursed under the terms of the old covenant for not tithing. But the covenant with Abraham is still in effect! Genesis 12:1-3 reads “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Now please realize that the portion in bold has already been fulfilled by way of Jesus Christ, the one who brought salvation to every nation, was a descendant of Abraham. But the rest? It is still very much in effect.
So, did I bring a curse upon myself by saying that Jews do not worship the same God as we do and there is no difference between being a Jew and a satanist? How did I avoid transgressing Romans 3:1-4? Simple. My former statement was confirmed in Romans 2:16-29. Please notice such excerpts from that passage as “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written” and “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” As for my latter statement, I limited its terms to eternal salvation only.
But even as the church is incontrovertibly the spiritual and true descendants of Abraham, it is equally incontrovertible that because of God’s unconditional covenant with that same Abraham that in a natural sense his descendants are God’s chosen, elect people. This was demonstrated by the fact that God, even after their breaking the covenant and taking away the natural monarchy (the spiritual Davidic monarch, the true monarch, is Jesus Christ), God still restored them to their land. Some would say that the chosen status was entirely transferred to Jesus Christ, who became the personification of Israel. As such, those who are saved are in Christ and therefore are spiritually “living in Israel.” I do not disagree. But the problem is that a spiritual single reference interpretation does not solve the problem of Romans 3:1-4. There has to be a dual reference interpretation: one that applies naturally to the Jews and spiritually to the church. That certain Christians are unwilling to do that and in the course of doing so reject Revelation (and with it not only the long line of prior prophetic and eschatological passages that serve as the foundation of Revelation, but also the warnings to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 and virtually everything straightforward that we know about the final resurrection and judgment) is not replacement theology. Rather, it is simply rejecting parts of scripture that they find disagreeable. The re – establishment of Israel proves that Romans 3:1-4 is true and that Genesis 12:1-3 is still in effect.
That isn’t a problem with me, because if Romans 3:1-4 and Genesis 12:1-3 are true, then it means that John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-10 are true too, and therefore that I am going to be with God for eternity rather than in the lake of fire. But it is a problem for a great many professed Christians who root for the collapse of the state of Israel (starting with its self – immolation by way of making a peace deal with Palestine) because to them that would prove that Genesis 12:1-3 has been transferred away from the Jews and to them. Why? Simple jealousy. They cannot stand being second place in any context. It doesn’t matter that their being second place is only for a time so that the very same God that they are trusting for their salvation based on His Word can keep the promise that He made with Abraham and thereby be true to that very same Word. But regardless of what they tell themselves in their rebellious hearts, Genesis 12:1-3 is still true. Because of Genesis 12:1-3, God is not through dealing with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. Because of the promise to Abraham, the Jews and Israel are still going to be the central characters and have the leading role as the last days of history play out.
What will that role be? The end will not come until Israel, as a nation, undoes the wrong that they committed about 2000 years ago by accepting Jesus Christ as their Messiah and their God. Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Messianic Jew Randy Weiss of Crosstalk.org theorizes that this will happen when the entire nation of Israel in unison cries out to God in to save them from the armies that come against them during Armaggeddon. According to Weiss, the whole nation will be screaming “God save us!”, at which time Jesus Christ will return and do just that. At that time will be impossible to deny, for the Hebrew Name of Jesus, Y’shua, means “God saves.” How will they be forced to acknowledge that it is the Christian Jesus Christ rather than the Messiah that rabbinic Judaism teaches that they are still awaiting? Well, “and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him” would tend to mean that the wounds in His side and hands, the same ones that doubting Thomas said that he had to see and touch before he would believe, will still be there. In that respect, just as Judas Iscariot was the prototype for the members of his nation that rejected Christ and will eternally perish up until that day, Thomas was the prototype for the members of the Jewish nation that have been predestined by God to survive the great tribulation, see Jesus Christ on that day, repent, and be saved: those that will never believe unless they see (John 4:48) what the church believed without seeing and are called blessed because of it.
Why must history play out in this fashion? Think not of it in terms of the Jews being so special. (Which is not to say that the Jews AREN’T special; they just are, OK, so you just have to accept that and if you cannot well then it is on your head.) Instead, it is all about GOD. It is all about GOD being glorified for His Great Name’s sake. Please recall when Moses made his intercession for the children of Israel after they sinned in the desert. What did Moses say? Think of destroying Your nation would mean for YOUR NAME; how it would be viewed by Egypt and the other nations of the world. Does God need vindication, acknowledgment, and glorification from whom He desires to seek it? No. But does He WANT and DESERVE it? Of course He does. So for the sake of His Own Name and His Own Son, God is not going to countenance corporate rejection by His own elect nation, the very nation that He chose to bear His Name (1 Kings 8:29). If you want to say “Well now the church is God’s nation that carries His Name” … well OK then why didn’t God just destroy Israel in the desert? After all, He would have still had Moses to carry on the promise to Abraham through.
Whether their number will be great or small, Israel will as a nation accept Jesus Christ before the nations of the world so that God will be glorified. And it is because of that, the Will and Glory of God, that the church HAD to replace Israel spiritually but CANNOT replace Israel naturally.