Replacement Theology - History
Written by: Unknown Posted on: 11/10/2007
Opinions: "The viewpoint which is held by the vast majority of Christians today and which was the only viewpoint until the 19th century has no historical basis, while your view point which is barely two centuries old is valid historically speaking...... I'm confused!".
Also: "my opinion is the opinion of most Arab Christians most of them are Orthodox or Catholic, and you know what the Orthodox and Catholic teach regarding Israel and the Jews - they teach what you call 'replacement theology'".
Response: While this common opinion only gets to show support to one of the most evil ideas that was promoted throughout the centuries, yet I doubt that many Christians even realizes how evil it is. However, we do need to hold responsible the silence of many who witness and ignore this issue.
Indeed many Catholic teachings confuse between what the disciples and the first believers have always taught, and what many church fathers in the Catholic Church wanted to promote, some misguided church fathers dropped what the Apostles Peter, Paul, Timothy, and John taught to follow Saint Augustine and his errors. It was Augustine around A.D. 400 who ultimately articulated the idea, principally in his well-known work, The City of God.
Augustine admitted that at one time he had espoused the prominent doctrine of "Chiliasm" the sound biblical truth that was taught by the apostles, the belief in a future millennium, in which the Church and redeemed Israel will be blessed by the personal return and reign of Christ on the earth. However, he had since come to what he calls "more satisfactory" view that the Church has replaced Israel forever. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in fulfillment of prophecy, and the Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. The question would be which of Augustine views is more sound the previous views he espoused? Or his newer one? In other words, which doctrine is more sound, the original one, or the one that has been used longer? One would think that the original supersedes, it is closer to what the apostles taught and to what their master Jesus Christ taught as well.
The other question would be on what basis did Augustine abandon the earlier apostolic views? These questions are difficult to answer by Replacement Theology supporters. In fact they would support other views held by certain cults like Islam rather then cling to what the Apostles taught, since Islam and Arab Christians would agree on their position towards Israel. One thing is clear, it is not a conviction that depends on research and study of scripture, but a state of heart plagued with centuries of dependence on tradition that is clouded with half-truths, taught from father to son, in the pulpits, and even in school classrooms. This twisted history and media rhetoric put thick scales in Middle Eastern eyes, a corrupt history that can be matched with Nazi Germany, and ironically speaks to Israel, as they are the Nazis themselves. Arab students are never taught Jewish history, they really hardly ever look at scripture for themselves, programmed by repetition of old propaganda and repeated lies to the point that they end up believing that they have divine truth.
One would think that the Palestinians who live in the midst of the conflict would be the experts on the situation, but in reality the opposite is true; their schools are infested with one sided half truths, their mosques preach hatred from the pulpit, and their priests call out for the destruction of Israel, Christian and Muslim alike in Israel are all part of this brain wash. They have listened for so long to repeated propaganda lies, that these lies were recorded by repetition into their minds as truth.
They have chose to live in isolation from the Jew, the Jew on the other hand is so afraid of the Arab that he too is isolated. You have barb-wired Jewish settlements on the hilltops, and Arab villages in the valleys, and no one intermingles with no one.
The Arab Christians on the other hand are unaware of their blinded stand against the Jew, they stand with Muslims on the same path of struggle, they are unaware, or maybe look the other way at much of the evidence of repeated history, that Islam hold an "extreme" position and a different form of Replacement Theology than their "Christian" brothers, this 'Replacement' does not only exclude Israel from the land, but the Christians as well, as Islam has no problem using anyone to oppose an arch enemy until they reach to power, then any other theology that could challenge theirs, must be eliminated as well including the ones who supported them all along. Just like the beast mentioned in Revelations uses the whore, then turns on her to destroy her.
This, has been proven throughout history, but the only way Arab Christians can see it, is to study hundreds of historical events from time immemorial showing the atrocities committed by Muslims toward the Christian, they overlook the 1.5 million Armenian Christians slaughtered, the Sudan Muslims killing and destroying one million Christians and annihilating almost all Nubian Christians, and the forced conversions of almost every Christian nation on the East.
During the last seven years alone in the country of Sudan. The Muslim terror has become fiercest since the coming power of dictator General Haasan El-Bashi. The Muslims attacked Christian villages. The young between the ages of 13 and 20 were shot without judgment. UN reports say that others were burned alive in their huts. Many churches were closed or destroyed. Sudan is forcibly Islamized. Males get circumcised. Leaders of animist tribes were invited by the authorities to a "conference," and then they were shot. Crucifixion and stoning of Christians and torture with red-hot iron bars is a horrifying reality, that accompanied with mass expulsions and starvation with a silent world who have not shed a tear or raised a voice. The Muslim oil to the West has become more valuable then Christian blood far away in Africa.
Only future can show that history usually repeats itself that Islam was able to conquer, not Jewish communities only, but entire Christian nations as well. Little is remembered by Christian Arabs that Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and even many parts of Saudi Arabia, was Christian. The Jews eventually were destroyed or exiled, and the Christians put to the Islamic sharp sword, given the choices of Shahadatan or death. The East was lost to Islam, due to their weakness and alternative beliefs by saints, substituting apostolic teachings to a world full of icons, lukewarm faith, and lack of adherence to scripture, and unfortunately, even my plea would be viewed as a divisive betrayal scheme based on the old principle of "divide and conquer". The Middle East is plagued with supposed conspiracy theories that everything evil must have been generated by Zionist ideas, the same errors promoted in Communist and Nazi systems, is sadly being promoted in the East as well.
Regardless that in 4,000 years of history, the Jews have not occupied anybody else's land nor enslaved or "ethnically cleansed" any nation on earth, yet they are the most despised people ever. Where are the Arab and Muslim outcry for mass murder of Muslim Curds in Iraq, the occupation of Lebanon by Syria, the destruction of Sudan's Christians, or the 1.5 million Armenians butchered by Muslim Turkey? Do we hear a peep? No wonder Jesus said of Israel: "Ye shall be hated of all nations,". This "Nation" could only mean Israel. Jesus sadly told his Jewish disciples in Israel, and so it has come about (Matt. 24:9).
Even the ones who are not traditionalist Christians who are eager for some enlightenment, approach scripture, and instead of accepting its simple truths that were written to peasants and shepherds, they instead totally trust the supposed "enlightened ones", in order to escape the clear and simple statements presented in scripture concerning all these obvious verses that God in simple language supports a Jewish return, they would solicit the aid of these "enlightened ones" who would force certain interpretations by excluding verses without looking at the whole context of scripture, and as we should see, the context of a certain passage is ignored by this school of thought and not encouraged to see even the whole context of the main theme of scripture.
The end results of these interpretations are a perfect harmony with whatever tickles the ears of Yasser Arafat, Hanan Ashrawi, George Habbash, and the rest of the corrupt political spectrum of the Palestinian Authorities.
The whole theme of Scripture is the story of the fallen man, who is in need of redemption with a loving creator that sends His son through a chosen nation "Israel" whom He had promised with an everlasting covenant, that by them a redeemer would come, for some of them who would betray Him, yet in the end He will come back to them, as He remembers His "eternal" covenant, and rescues them in Jerusalem from the Gentile world that attacks His beloved chosen people from every nation and from every side. Instead, it becomes an Ecumenical movement uniting the good, bad, and the ugly to look at only "Christ" and ignore almost everything else. In reality, it is the Ecumenical Movement that is of recent origin and the one behind the vale of Satan riding all the way to Mystery Babylon on a back of the demonic beast of world alliance.
Unfortunately, Satan is always at work as The Lord told us, to deceive even "The very elect", and "
Christendom" canonized Augustine's evil ideas by establishing him as an official saint, and theologians throughout the Roman Empire accepted his false doctrine.
The Chiliasts were branded as holding "aberrant and heretical views", and Augustinian Replacement Theology with other false theologies became the "cornerstone" of the Roman Catholic concepts. In the later developments in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the European Reformation and the Anglican split, Replacement Theology continued essentially untouched. It was an important part of the standard Christian view of Israel, the world, and prophecy. This view which "evolved" had no basis in what the Apostles taught, on the contrary, instead of being Biblical became anti-Biblical as cursing Israel in reality is cursing God's chosen people since Roman persecution, the Holocaust, and the Russian Pogroms and the inquisitions used this type of theology in order to destroy the Jew. How can anyone claim Biblical Christianity and support this view and not seeing the dangers?
Worse then this, the effect of all of this on Christian attitudes about Israel was devastating. In actuality, Replacement Theology disenfranchised Israel from having a continuing covenant relationship with God. Instead of looking at Jerusalem as the "City of the Great King," in which Christ will reign for a thousand years upon His return, they saw Jerusalem's perpetual desolation as much as a confirmation of Christianity as the destruction of Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea was a confirmation of Moses.
The Marcion heresy expressed the extreme form of this view. Marcion proposed that the Old Testament be abandoned, a thing that many Arab Christians stand for, but that was unacceptable to the Church and a better way to de-Judaise the Hebrew Scriptures was to Christianize the Hebrew Scriptures so as to spiritualize the text and read New Testament concepts into the text. That view is still prevalent today.
The Bible, however, is consistent, and the great truths of Scripture are consistent throughout Scripture. This one reference does not give us license to use this title for the Church, nor to see the Jewish People as abandoned by God.
To argue that we should follow what certain "Church Fathers" teach would be in contradiction to what Replacement Theology advocates teach themselves, since the promoters of this view would insist to tell a Jews to ignore many errors of there fathers the Rabbis and seek the Word of God the original Hebrew Prophets.
Replacement Theology's misguided approach to the Bible not only led millions of Christians astray over the years but it has, in addition, birthed evil of the most horrific proportions. Replacement Theology played a role in the persecution of Jews by the church through the centuries, including the Holocaust." (quote by Malcolm Hedding), since all the promises and blessings and Israel's entire inheritance, now belongs to the Church while
Israel gets to keep the curses.
This false interpretation instituted originally by Rome, was a great stumbling block to the Jews as it prevents them from recognizing their own Messiah,.
"Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people. " Isaiah 57:14b.
God has in no way either rejected or replaced Israel and the Jewish people. His covenant with them is unconditional and non- transferable. God's covenants and promises were never based on Israel's good behavior, but were based on God's faithfulness toward His people. Although the Jewish people have suffered the consequences of breaking God's Laws, just as all do, they have not been replaced or rejected. The scriptures make that quite clear:
REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY - THE OPINION OF THE MASSES
Opinion: "What I believe in is what all Christians believed in until the 19th century and what the majority of Christians believe in today!
This form of opinion rooted in blindness more than facts is glad to pick up any heresies, errors, clutter, evil, or false doctrine that crept up throughout the centuries. It forgets that reformation was necessary to keep Christians on track and to protect the believers of many false teachings promoted by these "Church Fathers". In this common opinion even Martin Luther would be wrong since he went against what Church Fathers promoted in the Roman Catholic Church.
Replacement Theology is still the majority view among professing Christian theologians, but Premillennialism is by and large considered a legitimate and vocal minority, at least in Evangelical Protestant circles.
Such organizations as the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches which include both Protestant and Catholic elements have, for the last half-century, taken positions favoring the Arab and Moslem enemies of Israel. It is with considerable reluctance that the Vatican has recognized Israel, and the Church's primary interest is in asserting its influence in maintaining its Holy Places in Jerusalem. Similarly, the World Council of Churches has consistently pled the cause of Palestinians against the claims of Israel.
Thus, Christianity has, because of its differing theological views about the future of Israel, had a divided attitude about Zionism and the revived State of Israel.
Already in Numbers, chap. 14, the option of replacement theology is presented and flatly rejected.
The option was that God would kill all the Israelites because of their sinfulness, and He would start all over again from the beginning. He would not reject the IDEA of a chosen people, but He would destroy the people descended from Abraham and start a new people from Moses. This new start with one individual is rejected. God listened to Moses prayer for His sinful people. God the Father has surely listened also to the prayer of Jesus.
REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY - WHO IS A JEW?
The very verse that Anti-Zionists and Replacement Theology advocates use and love to quote to prove their point that God had no more plans for the Jew, that God replaced them by others, this very verse in reality backfires:
"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." Romans 2:28,29.
While this verse never stated that God is done with the Jew or replaced them, yet I wonder why can't Replacement Theology advocates change their title from being called Christians to Spiritual Jews? At lease that is exactly what this verse that they advocate calls for? Especially when it is a New Testament verse intended for Christ's followers?
If this verse meant that we are a new breed of faith, the question would be is how could a one God dictate more then one faith?
God has one and only one faith He has called us for. That is of being Spiritual Jews or Jews at "heart" AND "spirit" as the Bible puts it in this verse.
It is quite clear from this verse that Paul was telling Christ's followers who were Jews, that what mattered to God is not being circumcised in the flesh, but seeking the heart and the spirit of God, to know the heart of God and follow His ways in obedience to His Word, To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your might, this is the first commandment.
From the Bible, it is clear what title God wants us to be labeled as, it is crystal clear that "spiritual" Jew is what God is after "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit.".
To many, that sounds like a detested title, but to God, He chose the title of "Jew" for Christ, the apostles, the prophets before them, and His followers as well. Today's title as Christians is no where to be found in scripture, and I agree that we are to follow Christ, yet the Bible states that we are to be followers of the Messiah who came for the Jew first, then to the Gentile. I am by no means forcing that we cannot use "Christians" as title, but argue the point that the "Church" has not replaced the Jew.
For how long will we deny God His ways?
Replacement Theology advocates will try to persuade people that now they are God's chosen, since they are the ones after God's heart, not these abandoned divorced Jews in the flesh. Instead of loving these Jews by heart and spirit until death, witnessing to them by God's truth, and setting the perfect example to them to find their Messiah, instead of all that we are called to think that God is done with them, and a new era of the faith have begun; a Christian era with Mary's, icons, and Crystal Cathedrals. There is no need for God to fulfill His plans for Jerusalem, or establish David's seat on Zion. These verses too will be ignored, and hardly ever read. For how long?
What happened to the God who said: "I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem"?
It is clear then that Israel will be first in unbelief and in her land when Gentile rule is finished as the following verse shows:
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. (Rom 11:25-26)
Isn't this the will of God who clearly dictated:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3).
Can we make Zion and Jerusalem replaced by the Vatican, and the seat of Christ now is in Rome lead by His Vicar, the Pontiff's Maximus?
Where are all the verses about Rome?
This is what we are lead to believe, but does it square with the scripture?
In reality nothing changed in the Christian world from the Jewish era, the same verse Replacement Theology advocates use regarding the "fleshly circumcised" Jew and the "Spiritual Jew" fits on them, as from time immemorial we have had "fleshly Christians" (Christians by tradition) and "Spiritual Christians" (Christians who follow scripture). In fact their were many wars between the two with millions of casualties on the "Spiritual" Christians.
Christians who claim to be Christians and hate Jews at the same time, are in contradiction of their faith, Nazis, KKK, Replacement Theology advocates, Anti-Zionists and whatever faith that is anti Jew in reality are not following the prescription set by God.
In fact anti-Israel advocates will not be able to even enjoy heaven which it's twelve gates have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
How will we ever get healed?
How is it that we are so blind?
Where are the verses that say "we the Spiritual Jew have replaced God's plan for the circumcised Jew?"
Doesn't God have plans for them?
Doesn't God have hundreds of verses describing their plan to become Spiritual Jews as well?
Hasn't God supplied us with ample amount of scripture to show that He still loves the Jew and has a plan for them?
How could we then be so bent on isolating the vast amount of scripture by taking one verse or
two, twist them to something else, and shed this sinister interpretation as a light on all scripture?
Why would God choose the word JEW if God all of the sudden abandoned and divorced them forever?
By studying scripture and awareness of the cults, one could see that the most dangerous method that "disguised believers" use by isolating few verses and derive mountains of new invented theology.
Today we have The Faith Theology, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Modern Day Prophets Movement, The Mother Mary cult, The Goddess Cult, David Koresh, The Hour of Power, and many many others. They are springing up every day fulfilling what the Bible predicted that in the later times, many false prophets will arise and deceive many. The same tactics used by such cults are being used by Replacement Theology advocates.
From Mat 8, one can see that Christ will rule the earth were all believers Jew and Gentile will be with him while the rest of the unbelieving world will be cast out. The believers will rule the world and Christ will have His seat. The Subjects of the kingdom are by no means the Jews of Israel, but all the unbelievers in the world as described in Matt 13:38: "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one".
The good seed are the "Children of The Kingdom" from the "field" which is "the world".
While the Kingdom of Heaven has nothing to do with regathering the children of Jacob (Israel) yet they attempt to match them since both gatherings are from the east and the west.
This kingdom will come as Zecharia predicted in his vision of the messianic era, foretold that in the end of days,
"It shall come to pass that every one that is left of all nations that came against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:16-21)
They are getting ready several thousand Christians go up annually to Jerusalem to worship the King, in 1996, during the Jewish Succoth more than 5000 such pilgrims participated, from more than 100 gentile nations.
In light of many interpretations to do away with Israel, Replacement Theology advocates prefer to interpret the prophecies of Israel's return were fulfilled already after the Jews came from the Babylonian captivity. Studying Joel chapter 3, facts are that:
- The Jews were never disbursed throughout every nation until the Diaspora.
- Currently and since the early twentieth century they have been brought back to Israel from every corner of the glob, and almost half of the world's Jews are in Israel.
- Jerusalem today is Israel's capital " I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem", what is left of this strange godly declaration is that on Christ's second coming, there will be a judgment of the nations for disbursing the Jews and for DIVIDING Israel with her enemies.
On page 124 of "Whose Promised Land", by Colin Chapman the author emphasize on the title "The Meek...will inherit the Earth", the author forces a re-translation to one of the meanings for the Greek word (ge'en) to "land". Even if this is accepted it still not specific of Israel, and while it is obvious that this re-translation is intended to make the Bible fit the Replacement Theology doctrine, however, this is invalid in light of the rest of scripture which clearly make Israel a non-Gentile rule of the land , especially when there will be a rule of the whole world from Israel at the time of Messiah's rule. Other attempts are made by the author to discredit the "Israel" rule
REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY - WHO IS "ISRAEL OF GOD"?
The Replacement Theology opinion expressed in Maseehi's website as well as Al-Bushra and Al-Sabeel often refers to the term "Israel of God" which is only found in Galatians 6:16, where Paul writes: "Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule even to the Israel of God". From this verse, it is argued that Paul, writing to the churches in Galatia, was saying that the Church could now take upon itself a title that had solely belonged to the Jewish people which is contrary to what Paul was saying, when clearly Paul wrote in the previous verse
"Neither circumcision, nor un-circumcision means anything, what counts is a new creation".
As to which group this might apply, there are possibly five candidates mentioned by Paul in this letter:
Gentile Christians tempted to desert to a different gospel(l:6ff)
the Church of God (1:13)
the Gentiles to whom Paul was called to preach (2:7)
the Jewish circumcision believers(2:11-13), and
the Jewish circumcision party (2:11-13).
By process of elimination, the "Israel of God" cannot refer to the Gentile believers, tempted by the circumcision party, because it is to them that Paul is warning about being pressured to be circumcised, the "you" in (6:11,12,13).
So Paul is not calling them the "Israel of God" as they must be a different group to these "foolish Galatians". Nor is he referring to the circumcision party themselves. He has already addressed them as "those who want to make a good impression" (6:12). We can rule out the Gentiles to whom Paul goes with the Gospel. Circumcision is of no relevance to them. Does, therefore, "even the "Israel of God" mean "the Church of God", the title that Paul employed in 1:13?
Remember that the letter is written "to the churches in Galatia", made up of Jewish and Gentile believers. But the whole thrust of the letter is to expose the folly within the Church. (3:1) of the Galatian Christians being persuaded by the Judaising party (2:12) that they should be circumcised. In order to be righteous(6:12-13).
Why then expose their folly, and then confuse the whole situation by calling the Gentile dominated church in Galatia "the Israel of God"?
He was condemning Israel as being "in slavery with her children". Why confuse the church that he labored so hard for (4:11), by trading one clear collective noun "Israel", that of a distinctive ethnic group of people, for the Christian Church, which is distinctly not the nation of Israel?
There is one other problem in transferring Israel's title upon the Church from this passage and it is the word "even". "...even to the Israel of God." (6:16)
The Greek word is "kai" and is usually translated "and". Thus it would read,
"Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule...(eg, all you Gentiles who resist the pressure to be circumcised to obtain righteous) and to the Israel of God", a different group top those targeted by the circumcision party. This is how the AV, RV, Douay, NEB, and NASB translate "kai".
We have seen that Paul addresses Gentiles in this passage as "you". We dismiss the title in question as referring to "the Church" for the above reasons. Believing Jews needed to hear this rule also since they had already been circumcised and might also be tempted to see that it provided for them a righteousness based on the Jewish law. It makes much more sense, therefore, to see that Paul refers to them in 6:16 as "the Israel of God" who are the believing remnant of Israel, to which Peter and Barnabas belonged (1:11-13) and who themselves had been led astray (2:11-13). They were "of Israel" and also "of God".
This is the only reference to this title, and a basic rule of sound exegesis is that doctrine is developed, not from a single text (as this is) but from the broad teaching of Scripture.
If we were to try replacing the term "Israel" anywhere else in the New Testament by the term "Church", the context would make no sense.
The Amplified Bible cross references this verse with Psalm 125:5, "Peace be upon Israel". Again, to replace the term "Israel" in the Hebrew Scriptures (sometimes known as the Old Testament) with "The Church "makes nonsense in almost every context.
Thus by calling the Church the "Israel of God", we might infer that God is now working only with the Church and that we can replace Israel and say that all the promises that relate to Israel now belong to the Church. How can we understand Ezekiel 36:8-12 where we read:
"But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel....Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people, Israel" (vv. 8, 12).
Is this not clearly a prophecy on Israel? Wasn't Israel's land replenished? Aren't the Jews walking on her and enjoying one of the best cultivated lands in the Middle East? What Church mountains will shoot forth branches and have men walk upon her including the church?
Part of Christianity has expressed delight with the modern Israel, while part has been very negative toward Israel's very existence.
The word "Israel" or "Israelites" occurs about 75 times in the New Testament. In at least 70 of these occurrences the name Israel is used in precisely the same way as it was in the Old Testament. This includes nine distinct quotations of Old Testament Scriptures. In every one of these New Testament quotations, the meaning of the name Israel is exactly the same as it was in the Old Testament.
In perhaps four instances in the New Testament, the apostle Paul uses "Israel" in a special, restricted sense to denote only those Israelites who have continued in the faith of their forefather Abraham and for this reason have acknowledged Jesus as their messiah (see Romans 9:6-8), but never once in the New testament is Israel used as a synonym for the Church as a whole. In Romans 11:25-26 Paul sums up his analysis of the relationship between Israel and the Gentiles in one comprehensive statement: "Hardening in part has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved."
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