Replacement Theology: What We Should Know – Part 2

Gabe Morris | Jan 1, 2017 | Psalms 94:14 | None

SUGAR LAND BIBLE CHURCH

Gabe Morris  1-1-2017

Replacement Theology: What we Should Know, Part 2, Psalm 94:14

Good morning.  Happy New Year, 2017, can anybody believe that?  Praise the Lord.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Christmas week, and a wonderful start to the new year. I am filling in for Andy because he’s teaching the Word of God in sunny Florida this morning and he sends his love.  He says Happy New Year.

I’m honored to be delivering the first sermon of 2017, New Year’s Day Sermon…what an honor!  No pressure, right?  On that note shall we pray.  Lord, we love You for all that You have done for us in 2016 and what You will do for us in 2017.  You are Almighty God and we acknowledge our continued dependence on  You.  Thank You that You have already spoken in Your Word concerning Israel and the church.  And may You ready our hearts and our minds to be alert and receive what you have for us this morning.  Thank  You for this opportunity to teach Your Word; use me as You see fit and may we bless and magnify You.  And we pray these things in  Your Son’s name, and God’s people said… Amen.

So by way of review in our last session we covered Part 1 of Replacement Theology: What we Should Know, and we asked the three pertinent questions, the first one being what is Replacement Theology and we defined it as the idea that the Gentile church has permanently replaced the nation of Israel.  And it is the view that Israel, because of her rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, recorded in the Gospels, their promises from God have been revoked and permanently transferred to the church, now called the new Israel.  The church, in the replacement theology view we’re called the new Israel, or the true Israel.  And this view is also called Supersessionism or fulfillness theology, we fulfill Israel.

We also asked the question, when?  When did the church begin to sway in this direction of replacement theology?  And we’ve got to remember the church was born in the first century and surprisingly we discovered that the idea of replacement theology reared its head in the mid-second century.  And I think Paul, in Acts, warned the church of incorrect doctrine coming into the church.  Paul in Acts 20:29 said this, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; [30] and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

So Paul was referring to false teachers who will be distorting God’s Word which will arise from our own ranks.  So this is an internal issue, replacement theology, it’s a family issue; false teachers will come from our own.

The third question was why? In other words, what contributed to the rise of replacement theology and learned this was due to several factors, one being the strained relationship between the Jews and the church which was severe the Gentile church in the second century became more and more Gentile over time and completely and utterly disowned the Jewish people.  And this created a seemingly unrepairable chasm between the two groups.  And with this bitter feud going on drew a second factor and that was a perceived anti-Semitism in the Bible.  Those with an anti-Semitic mindset naturally read things into the Bible that were foreign.  And so suddenly books like the Book of John, for instance, all of a sudden was not an evangelistic book to the world; it became a polemic towards the Jews.  Notable Church Fathers, early writers like Ignatius, Antioch, Origen of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, all renown Church Fathers began to dispense literature that spewed replacement ideas and anti-Semitic things, hate toward God’s elect and the people of Israel.

And then in addition to that, the third factor, and that was allegorizing the Scripture, coming out of the liberal Christian schools, like Alexandria where scholars… Pastor Andy calls it using their sanctified imagination to interpret Scripture.  And the allegorizing of Scripture is when the reader takes words and phrases of God and replaces them with a supposedly more spiritual meaning.  It’s going out of one’s way to fine a hidden meaning in the text—allegorizing, rather than taking the normal literal sense of words and phrases, the opposite of literal interpretation.

Literal interpretation takes in account the grammatical factor of interpretation, the historical factor of interpretation.  In other words, when the Old Testament and New Testament use the term “Israel” in every single instance the Bible means Israel!  And when the New Testament uses the term “church” in every instance it means church.  And by the way, there is zero reference to the church in the Old Testament, and only Jesus introduces this new entity called the church in the New Testament.  And I believe this is the crux of the issue, the very center of the issue, how we approach and interpret Scripture.  Basic Bible study methods go a long ways.  And this is why we have so many denominations in the church today, because of how we approach Scripture.

And with regard to allegorizing Scripture there’s no boundaries or safeguards for the interpreter.  More importantly it erases original authorial intent and places that authority on the interpreter.  And then a final factor was Rome’s conversion to Christianity by way of Constantine’s reign and rule and decrees.  This opened the floodgate for a dominant Gentile church, not only who harbored hatred for the Jews they practiced it as well.

The oppression of the Jews from the mid-second century through Constantine’s reign and beyond is clearly documented.  And these factors here were the perfect environment for replacement theology in German and to flourish.  And here we are in the 21st century, in 2017, and replacement theology is still alive and well. Supersessionism is still alive and well.

So as we continue with this study of replacement theology I came to realize this was no easy task.  There’s a significant amount of material in dealing with a subject like this and so in this session together we will continue to ask the questions: what were the effects of replacement theology? Why is it so dangerous for the church?  And then does the Bible support replacement theology?  So this is the direction we will be headed.

So let’s begin.  What were the effects of replacement theology?  Well, for starters it affected the nation of Israel, the Jewish people, in the form of continual oppression, persecution, anti-Semitism, and things of that nature.  The church, since the second century has embraced, fully embraced this idea that God has replaced Israel and as a result Israel has had a long and horrific history.

Here’s a short list, just a short one of atrocities done to the Jewish people throughout history which many scholars would agree, they would agree it was a result of replacement theology.  Let me just go through a few of them.  AD 323 Constantine created “hostile policies towards the Jews” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, s/v/ “Constantine I.” 4:236)

In 329 the death penalty was ordained for those who embraced the Jewish faith.  The same year the death penalty for the marrying of Christian and Jews.  In 379, fourth century, later fourth century, Theodosius I declared marriage between Jew and Christian was regarded as adultery.  In the 6th century Emperor Justinian I made a law forcing Jewish people to occupy the most disliked occupations.  In 589 forced baptisms into Christianity.  In the seventh century Frankish ruler Dagobert decreed “that the entire Jewish population of the Frankish empire must embrace Christianity or be treated as enemies and be put to death.  Seventh century, laws passed in Spain oppressing the Jews.  The Crusades, in the Middle Ages, from 1096-1272, nine crusades altogether, western Europe Christians went down to the Middle East to try to regain control of the Holy Land, from the Arab Muslims.

And why so many crusades? Well, there were three groups contributing to the Crusades, there was the Jewish people who wanted control of Jerusalem, the site in which King Solomon erected the temple of God, right?  Then you have the Christian, or the Catholic who wanted it because that’s the place where Christ was crucified and rose again.  And then you had the Muslims who believed that Jerusalem was the spot where Mohammed ascended into heaven.

And so here is David on the Crusades, Quote, Regarding the Crusades, although their major purpose was to free the Holy Land of its Muslim rulers the hatred of the Jews that had been instilled in the people of Europe by the church encouraged the Crusaders to slaughter Jews along the way.  Further, Pope Urban had given the Crusade as a guarantee of absolution of crimes committed in the Crusader cause.  The Crusader shout “God willed it” soon became trans [can’t understand word] into “kill the Jew and save your soul.”

He goes on and he says, “the atrocities committed in the name of Jesus were beyond imagination.  For example, after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem on July 15, 1099, Jews were herded into their synagogues, exits were blocked, and the synagogues were surrounded by soldiers who sang Fairest Lord Jesus while the burned the building.   Thousands and thousands of Jews were killed, displaced, homes burned, looted and destroyed.

They were also oppressed by artistic expressions.  With replacement in the church rampant what other way to express hatred to the Jews through art and sculpture, paintings, picture books.  This is a sculpture of Ecclesia and Synagoga, two females representing the church, which is on the left, and Israel, on the right.  This is the typical medieval motif of that time, erected all over Europe.  Notice Ecclesia, the church proudly triumphant and pronounced with a crown on her head and her staff signifying authority.  And notice the challis in her hand representing the Eucharist.

There’s Synagoga to the right representing Israel, a defeated woman with no crown, blinded, holding a broken staff, and in the other hand holding the Law of Moses.  In other sculptures this  is Synagoga, the Law is slipping away from her hand, again a broken staff she’s holding, and this time she’s blinded by a serpent.  And notice the crown at her feet, signifying defeat.

These were two sculptures and a drawing called the [can’t understand words, sounds like Judem Sow].  The Judem Sow is German which means Jews Sow, or Jews Pig. And in Judem Sow is a depiction of a female sow and the Jews under the sow, display them nursing from the sow and eating its excrement.  Another rendition of the Judem Sow having intercourse with the animal.  There were erected for the sole purpose of mocking the Jews and they’re still displayed on churches today, almost all in Europe.  The top Judem Sow there is proudly displayed at the church at Wittenberg where Martin Luther preached.

How else were the Israelites affected?  Remember the black plague, also known as the Bubonic plague?  This is Regan’s assessment, he called it The Black  Plague Myths.  The black plague in the middle of the 14th century killed approximately one-third of the population of Europe.  At the time it was not known how the illness spread, but stories and rumors circulated that Jews had poisoned the wealth.  Although the accusation was totally unfounded many Christians believed the myth.  One reason it was easy to believe it because the Jews were not impacted by the plague as much as were the Gentiles.  But this was due to the sanitary laws of the Bible which the Jews carefully followed.  This accusation led to severe consequences for Jews.  More than sixty Jewish communities were burned to the ground with all their occupants killed.  And in some places they were tortured and burned in bonfires.

Now remember this was the church doing this, whose doctrines were already riddled with replacement theology, the idea that God cast off His people.  By the way, two great books on replacement theology, one is called The Coming Apocalypse by Renald Showers,  and the other is Has the Church Replaced Israel by Michael Vlach.  Very good books.

And how about the holocaust, World War II?  I’m sure we’re all aware of the horrors and the atrocities done in World War II.  Some might argue that that wasn’t replacement theology; that was just pure evil, pure anti-Semitism.  I would say that’s not entirely true.  In fact, some scholars say that the holocaust was not rooted in Hitler, rather they were rooted in a Church Father, a prominent Church Father, his name was Martin Luther.  Now to Luther’s credit in his early years he was more optimistic towards the Jews, he loved the Jews, earlier in his life, writing things like, “Many of them will become genuine Christians and turn again to the faith of their fathers, the prophets and the patriarchs.” [H. Kung, Judaism: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, trans. J. Bowden (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 181.]  This was written in 1523.

But later in his life, from 1530 onward Luther’s view changed drastically.  He wrote some of the most [can’t understand word] and anti-Semitic words, one coming from his infamous tract Concerning the Jews and Their Lies, written in 1543.  You can find this in Google if you wish, Concerning the Jews and Their Lies.

Clearly Luther was anti-Semitic.  But the question is where did that anti-Semitism come from?  It came from the idea that God cast off Israel and the Church is taking Israel’s place.

Listen to Martin Luther’s words yourself.  He says: “Listen, Jew, are you aware that Jerusalem and your sovereignty, together with your temple and priesthood, have been destroyed for over 1,460 years?…”  He’s talking about the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70.  He says, “his work of wrath is proof that the Jews, surely rejected by God, are no longer his people,” do you see that? “and neither is he any longer their God.”  [Luther’s Works, 47:138-139; WA Weimarer Ausgabe (D. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesammtausgabe), 53:418.]

Luther went on and on in regard to the physical descendants of Abraham. He said this: “Therefore the Jews have lost this promise,” talking about the covenantal promises given by God, “no matter how much they boast of their father Abraham…They are no longer the people of God…Thus all the Gentiles who are Christians are the true Israelites and new Jews, born of Christ, the noblest Jews.” [Luther’s Works, 35:287-288; WA Weimarer Ausgabe (D. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesammtausgabe), 11?:400.]  Those are astounding words for such a renowned Church Father, don’t you think.  And do you think his words had an impact on future generations?  Future Christian generations?

A prominent American historian, Lucy Dewidoctch said this: “The line of ‘anti-Semitic descent ‘from Luther to Hitler is ‘easy to draw’,” she says, close quote.  The War Against the Jews, Lucy Dawidowicz.  Now please don’t get me wrong, Martin Luther is considered one of the greatest heroes of our faith, right? Contributing to the pillars of our faith, “faith alone in Christ alone.”  But in this area of the Jewish people and Israel he had it abysmally wrong.  If you read Martin Luther’s tract concerning the Jews and their lies and compare it to what Hitler did to the Jews you will see striking similarities.  His intense hatred for the Jews was unprecedented.

This is an except concerning the Jews and their lives or a few excerpts.  He says, “Set fire to their synagogues and schools.”  Did not Hitler do that?  During the Kristallnach of 1938 where Hitler burned thousands of synagogues… thousands!  Hitler also said, “Break into their houses and let the houses be raised and destroyed.”   That sounds familiar.  “Take away their prayer books.  Forbid their rabbis to teach.  Abolish their [can’t understand word] to travel.  Prohibit their usury.  Force Jewish girls and boys to work.  He not only did all those things, he went above and beyond what Luther had said.

Hitler, in his famous book, Mein Kampf calls Luther one of the greatest voyeurs of the world.  Here is Hitler in his own words and he said this in a Christian gathering in Berlin, 1924.  He said, “I believe that today I am acting in accordance with the will of Almighty God as I announce the most important work that Christians could undertake — and that is to be against the Jews and get rid of them once and for all…Martin Luther has been the greatest encouragement of my life. Luther was a great man. He was a giant. With one blow he heralded the coming of the new dawn and the new age. He saw clearly that the Jews need to be destroyed, and we’re only beginning to see that we need to carry this work on.”  [Luther’s Works, 35:287-288; WA Weimarer Ausgabe (D. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesammtausgabe), 11?:400.]

Ideas have consequences.  Another effect of replacement theology was on the church, more specifically two areas of replacement theology affected in the church was in the area of doctrine, and that was ecclesiology and eschatology.  Let’s take, for example, the doctrine of ecclesiology.  That’s just a fancy word for saying the study of the church.  And because replacement theology, the idea that the church supersedes Israel, church doctrines took a drastic turn.  In Roman Catholicism, for example, because the church was the new Israel, the new Israel of God, they began erroneously [can’t understand word]  to individuals the role of priests, just like the Old Testament.  Not only priests but the multilayering or top heavy layering of leaders, that consisted of bishops, metropolitan bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and the Pope.  And forget what the New Testament says about the original leaders of the church, made up of elders and deacons.  Right?  Forget all that, we the church are the new Israel, therefore we must assume the role, or the roles of Israel.  They were blurring the distinction and functions of the church.

Here’s another example, since God commanded Israel to offer sacrifices in the Old Testament, right, the church too continued these sacrifices with the distorted view of communion, on where the bread and the cup were believed to become, in real time, in reality, the actual body and blood of our Lord and Savior.  This practice is known as transubstantiation.

This is our history and so why is this a problem for the church, this transubstantiation?  Because this view is in direct contradiction of Christ’s cry on the cross; “It is finished” John 19:30 says that.  And the book of Hebrews states that Jesus does not need to offer up sacrifices anymore because He died once and for all when He offered Himself up, Hebrews 7:27, [who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”]

The Lord’s Table, as we celebrated this morning rather than an institution it’s a ceremony ordained by Christ Himself.  He said remember, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” not to sacrifice Me all over again, and again, and again.  [1 Corinthians 11:24, “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”]

Another way it affected the church was by the impact of the Reformation.  The results with the continued trajectory of replacement theology through church history, the Reformation.  Yes, the Reformation had its benefits, right, releasing the grip of the Catholic Church on the pulpit and on the Bible.  The Protestant movement came from the Reformation, a great thing.  But it did nothing  in regards to the attitudes toward the Jewish people.  As far as the Reformers are concerned Israel was already abandoned by God and never to be restored.  They were labelled also as wanderers of the earth.  Replacement theology can be also seen running through the reference notes of the Bible, the Geneva Bible, 1557, had such a tremendous impact on the translation of the King James Bible in 1611.

I got a question: was Isaiah an Old Testament prophet to the nation of Israel or to the church?  Israel.  Did the church exist in Israel’s time?  Absolutely not.  Then why does the King James Bible of 1611, in chapter 43 of Isaiah, where God begins His address and says, “But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel,” why do the reference notes of Isaiah 43:1 have these words circled in red, “The LORD comforted the church with His promises.”

[Isaiah 43:1, “But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!’” NASB]  This is clearly an attempt to usurp authorial intent and impose replacement theology on the  [can’t understand word].

Replacement theology affected many Christian universities and seminaries.  In 2002 two men, by the name of Ollie White and Warren Gage, two faculty members of Knox Theological Seminary posted a letter on the seminary’s website it was entitled: An open letter to the evangelicals and other interested parties concerning this: the people of God, the land of Israel and the impartiality of the gospel.   This letter, by the way, was endorsed by well-known scholars like R. C. Sproul and Bruce Waltke.  This Regan’s critique of this letter: The document begins by denouncing those who teach that the Bible’s promises concerning the land of Israel are being fulfilled today in a special region or Holy land, actually set apart by God for one ethnic group alone.  It then proceeds to proclaim that the promises made to Abraham do not apply to any particular ethnic group but to the church of Jesus Christ, the true Israel.   And then it goes on to specifically deny the Jews claim on the land in the Middle East by asserting this, (quote) “The entitlement of any one ethnic or religious group to territory in the Middle East, called the Holy Land, cannot be supported by Scripture.”  This is our seminaries at work.

Ideas have consequences.  You think in the seminaries and universities as they continually promote these ideas, wouldn’t that have a tremendous effect on future Christian generations, particularly in Ecclesiology, on how the church views its purpose and its function.  It already has.

There is an anti-Zionist] movement in our day that’s sweeping the churches and seminaries.  Scholar Paul Wilkinson classifies it as Christian Palestinianism.  By the way, we have an excellent video called Christian Palestinianism in our church library exposing that issue and its root in replacement theology.  I highly recommend it.  But Christian Palestinianism is essentially the polar opposite of Christian Zionism.  It’s anti-Zion.  And in a nutshell this is what Christian Palestinianism is:  They believe the Bible is Christian, not Jewish.  The church is the new Israel.  Concerning the land they believe the land is considered to be Palestine, not Israel.  Concerning the holocaust it should be resented, not remembered.  1948, the day that Israel, after 2,000 years became a recognized state, that was a catastrophe, not a miracle.   Concerning the Jews they are illegal occupiers in their own land.  Concerning Bible prophecy, concerning Israel prophecy, that’s simply a moral manifesto philosophy, nothing important, like prophecy.  And Jesus Christ, He was a Palestinian.  That’s Christian Palestinianism.

That said, as modern churches and seminaries embrace these ideas lock, stock and barrel, what then does the purpose of the church become?  It’s ecclesiastical duty in the world today; is it to equip the saints, preach the gospel, promote the name of Jesus Christ, make disciples of the nation?  Or is it to create unholy alliances and unions with both political and ecumenical entities to advance an agenda that ultimately desires to strip Israel of what’s rightfully theirs.  And they’re doing it in the name of peace, peace in the Middle East.  That’s what Christian Palestinianism seeks to do.

Enter Steven Sizer.  Steven Sizer is a British Anglican vicar who is considered a champion of the Christian Palestinian movement.  This is an anti-Zionistic movement.  He has devoted his life to ridding the world of Christian Zionism.  Of course, Christian Zionism is the biblical idea that supports the national movement establishment and the protection of the Jewish people to their land.  That’s Zionism for you.  And, that Jesus Christ, in the flesh, will reign in the Jewish land, in Israel, for a thousand years.  That’s Zionism. Do you believe that?  Then  you’re a Christian Zionist.

But Steven Sizer rejects this idea, Zionism, so much so that he wrote and published his doctoral dissertation dedicated to the rejection of this idea of Zionism, in his book, Christian Zionism, Road-map back to Armageddon?  This book has been endorsed by people like Hank Hanegraaff, John Stott, Emergent Church leader Tony Campolo.  In it is a diatribe; it’s a condemnation of Bible believing Christians who take God’s Word at face value, literalists.  This is an individual who condemns those who believes in [can’t understand word] as racist.  He believes that Israel is to blame for 9/11.  This is not a joke, by the way.  This man believes that modern Israel is an apartheid faith and believes that there’s no biblical connection of justification for Israel owning the land that  God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  And he strongly opposed a document adopted in 2009 called The Kairos-Palestine document, and this document declared this, quote: “That the Israelite occupation of Palestinian land is sin against God and humanity.”  He also says this: “Christian Palestinianism is an anti.. no, is not an anti-Semitic [can’t understand word].

But there’s a huge problem for these people, for Christian Palestinianism.  Did you know that the Bible, the word “Zion” appears in the Bible at least 163 times.  In various contexts it means the hilltops of Jerusalem; a fortified stronghold of David, or the City of David.  It’s used incorporate, the Temple Mount.  It has an extended meaning, to mean all of Jerusalem.  It’s metaphorically used as Israel and all its inhabitants.  That’s in the Bible.

Psalm 129:5-8 says this, “May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward; [6] Let them be like grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up;  [7] With which the reaper does not fill his hand, or the binder of sheaves his bosom;  [8] Nor do those who pass by say, ‘The blessing of the LORD be upon you;” yet strangely in his dissertation Sizer fails to mention or even engage these verses of Christian Zionism.

In regard to the Promised Land, or the promise to Abraham and his descendants there are least 170 irrefutable land passages that reference God, giving the land, promising the land to the offspring of Abraham, an unconditional covenant.  Fifty-five times God promises the land with an oath.  Twelve times God’s promise of land was “everlasting.”  And Sizer fails to engage or exegete these passages in his dissertation.  You can’t find it.  170 passages, let’s go through them one by one, ready?  [Laughter]

Here are just a few.  Genesis 17:8 says, “The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”  Genesis 48:3-4, “Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty … said to me … ‘I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’”  Exodus 6:8, “And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession …”

This is what Psalm 105:8 says, “He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,  [9] The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. [10] Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, [11] Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.”

Amos 9:11-15 says, “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins. [14]  “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit.  [15] I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land Which I have given them,’ Says the LORD your God.”

So for a person like Sizer, a Christian Palestinian, for a person who embraces replacement theology what do  you do with all these passages?  What do you do with them?  This is what you do?  [He’s tearing up paper]  You get rid of them, you chuck it, you toss it.  Or equally you spiritualize it.  We’ve already established how spiritualizing discards original meaning, right?  Authorial intent?  They might as well just tear the Bible down right through the middle and get rid of the Old Testament.

This is the words of Philip [can’t understand word], a Christian Palestinian who lives in Israel. He notes that Christian Palestinianism or Christian Palestinians, he said this, quote: “They do not use the Old Testament as a source of their theology, and that some writers still use the Old Testament but selectively.  And he characterizes these people as all using a spiritual hermeneutic— translation: they replace Israel with the church.  To them when the Bible refers to Israel it no longer means Israel.  And so what happens to the prophetic utterances and eschatological passages concerning Israel and the Promised Land, the millennial kingdom, and things like that.  What happens?  What do you do with Israel?  The land?  What do you do with prophecy?  It’s transferred to the “new Israel” or it’s spiritualized away.

And this brings us to our third part in answering the question, what are the effects of replacement theology.  There was a continual persecution of anti-Semitism; replacement theology distorted, ecclesiology of the church, and it affected the eschatology of the church, how the church views the last days.  And one person who had tremendous impact on church eschatology, hands down, has to be Augustine.  It was Augustine of Hippo, he had a tremendous influence on church doctrine, doctrines like hamartiology, the doctrine of sin; grace, predestination, and supersessionism.

This is one Catholic cardinal, Cardinal Martini, he said: “Augustine introduced a negative element into the judgment of the Jews.  He did so by advancing the theory of substitution whereby the new Israel of the church became a substitute of ancient Israel.

Here is Augustine’s words, he said:  “For we hold with firm heart the grace of God which had been given us, we are Israel, the seed of Abraham.  Let therefore no Christian consider himself alien to the name of Israel.”  You see, Augustine, like many others before and after him, with the replacement theology hermeneutic concluded that national Israel, a pre-figure spiritual Israel which was the church.   You say what is pre-figure?   Again we find ourselves back to square one, the crux of the issue; that’s interpretation.  Pre-figured or better known as typology, is a very fascinating and complex illegitimate method of interpretation.  When using typology you should be very careful.  Typology simply seeks to find harmony between the Old and the New Testaments.  It’s when an element of the Old Testament is known as a type or a shadow, finds its reality in the New Testament.  It’s called an anti-type; the reality in the New Testament is called an anti-type. That’s called typology, the method of interpretation.

And we get this idea from Scripture.  Jesus said in John 5:39 that Scripture testifies of Him. [John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;”]  A typological example would be something like this: In the Old Testament the Israelites were commanded to kill Passover lamb every year, right?  And in the New Testament there came a final Lamb that took away all sin, that was the Lamb of God, John 1:29 says that.      [John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”]  The lambs were the type or the shadow and Christ was the antitype, the reality.

Melchizedek was considered a type and Christ was considered his antitype, the reality.  Melchizedek looked forward to Christ; it was a signpost pointing towards the greater person, a greater event, a superior thing to come.  And the reason I say that you should be careful when interpreting types is because one could easily go overboard.  Types and antitypes, as a rule of thumb, should naturally flow out of Scripture, not forced out (or forced in for that matter).

And because replacement theologians are into the practice of allegorizing Scripture, doctrine as a result tends to go away or go astray.  That said, the method of interpretation implemented by replacement theologians… it’s such an important aspect, very important, and we will address that in a later session.

But many will agree Augustine had the greatest impact on eschatology, specifically in the doctrine of amillennialism.  Amillennialism is the idea that there’s no millennium, “a” being the negation, no one thousand years.  Now it’s not a mystery that the original end times view of the church was called chiliasm.  Now remember the replacement theology reared its head mid second century so what was the view between the first century and then was a thing called chiliasm.  You say chiliasm is the Greek word for one thousand; that’s all it means, one thousand.  And when one adopted chiliasm he basically embraced that Jesus in the flesh will return to earth, physical earth, in a physical Second Coming, establish God’s reign on an earthly and political kingdom, and administer that kingdom for one thousand years.  That was chiliasm.  Today we know that as premillennialism.  You’re sitting in a premillennial church.  And chiliasm was rejected by Augustine and the church, flat out, because it was seen as too Jewish.  Remember the tensions between the church and the Jews, one of the factors that gave rise to replacement theology.  The Gentile church encouraged believers to reject chiliasm.  It was so bad that the book of Revelation was removed from the canon in the fourth century; that’s how bad it got.

And you say why?  Because Revelation 20 talks about a thousand years a handful of times.  Satan is bound for a thousand years.  Christ reigns for a thousand years; it actually says a thousand years.  But a martyred church is seen reigning with Christ for a thousand years.  Satan is released after the thousand  years, and things of that nature.  So chiliasm was considered Jewish.  Why Jewish?  Because the Old Testament is full of teachings concerning the kingdom.  It’s full of them.   And the book of Revelation was just a piece of putting together the prophetic puzzle.

Isaiah 2:2-4 says, “Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. [3] And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.’  For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

Zechariah 14:9 says, “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.”  “only one!”   Ezekiel 47:13 says, “Thus says the LORD, ‘This shall be the boundary by which you shall divide the land for an inheritance.”  Ezekiel 48, God explains the division of the land with very geographically detailed language.

So how does this relate to Augustine?  Augustine adopted allegorization which naturally affected his eschatology and also in that day physical aspect of the kingdom was too carnal for many, it was Gnostic baggage, if I could call it that.  The carnal was bad and the spiritual was superior.  So in his mind, in Augustine’s mind, in order for him to accept the kingdom of God as good theology he had to spiritualize it.  And so he gave it another meaning.  And according to him the spiritual kingdom of God began on the day of Pentecost.  See how they transferred that?

And so what did Augustine do with millennial passages?  He allegorized them labeling the kingdom aspect as present.  We know that as “kingdom now” theology.  Thus amillennialism was born; no future millennial kingdom in which God rules or will manifest itself.  Sorry Jews, no inheritance.  Rather, the Messianic kingdom of God is Christ’s universal church here on earth.  Congratulations folks, you’re reigning with Christ today.  And this age, according to Augustine, history itself will end with the eternal state.

And I chuckle every time Andy says that joke, if this is the kingdom I must be living in the ghetto section.  That’s true because there is no kingdom conditions, there are no kingdom conditions.  And so the kingdom, that’s another problem for kingdom now believers.

So if this is the first time  you’re hearing about all this prophecy stuff, end times stuff, I want to say good for you, that is a wonderful thing.  Did you know that the Bible, in Revelation 19:10 says, “…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  I would also like to say those who are unfamiliar with prophecy out there is this: stay tuned, because we have a senior pastor who is dedicated, he’s passionate about teaching the Word of God, teaching and equipping the saints under his care.  And like Ed said, he’s going to start his kingdom series on Wednesday, Wednesday nights.  I’m excited for this and I hope you are too.

The nature of prophecy when understood correctly not only gives you on a silver platter what God will do in the end for humanity and for Israel, it has a propensity of promoting growth and purity, hope and perseverance.  The doctrine of replacement theology fueled the onslaught of anti-Semitism and the oppression of the Jewish people, changed the direction of the church, its function, ecclesiastically and eschatologically.

And this brings us to our next question, what is the danger of replacement theology?  In recent news we’ve probably heard Obama was found in cahoots with the U.N. official.  In this article, he has said to be initiating, standing behind, and even coordinating the wording of the U.N. resolution 2324.   Israel, in this resolution, is to (quote) “immediately and completely cease all sediment activities in the occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem because of their illegality.  And this resolution calls it a flagrant violation.  And of course Obama, the administration abstained on a vote, essentially giving it a free ride.

So according to world powers and the Obama administration Israel cannot build in their own land.  I like how Governor Mike Huckabee summed it up; if you haven’t seen that I recommend you take a listen.  He said this in a Fox News interview concerning the very issue.  He said, quote, “This resolution says to Israel you don’t deserve to be a nation with secure borders of have any security.  This is incredible and I will not use the word settlement because it conjures up this picture that Israelites are throwing tents in somebody else’s yard.  That’s not true.  They are building neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria for the growing number of people who are coming there, and they’re doing it in the territory that was given to them by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and it has been their homeland for four thousand years.”  Close quote

Huckabee called this dangerous… dangerous!  He called a two-state solution dangerous; it’s just making tiny little Israel even tinier, back to 1967 borders, to satisfy those who say that Israel’s land is not Israel’s.  This is absurd people, this is dangerous, what Obama did, because it puts us, the church, in a precarious position with God, and our country.  Did not God promise Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you”?  The book of Joel, God speaks of a coming judgment of the nation.  Why a judgment?  Because the nation’s treatment towards His covenant people and a failure to recognize God’s sovereignty over that land and that people.

He says in Joel 3:1-2, he says this, God is speaking,, “For behold, in those days and at that time,” God is speaking, of course, of a future time, “when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,  [2] I will gather all the nations,” does “all nations” include the U.S. (that’s if the U.S. exists in that time, “And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.  Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.”

So you’re saying the idea of replacement theology is what made Obama turn against Israel?  Yes… YES!  Why would I say that?  Well, didn’t Obama or Senator Obama sit under this guy?  Jeremiah Wright?  This is a man who embraces black liberation theology. He asserted Israel as guilty of ethnic cleansing and terrorism. He supports Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the nation of Islam.  Wright views Israel and her policies as apartheid and he believes the land of Israel is not the Jewish people’s but (quote) “somebody else’s country.”  Of course he’s referring to the Palestinians.  He believes that Israel illegally occupies Israel.   And he believes that Zionism is a sin and a crime against humanity.

Does this sound familiar?  In addition, Obama has encouraged, supported and advised by many well-known evangelical leaders, this of course is Rick Warren at Obama’s presidential inauguration giving the invocation.  In that prayer one of the names Warren prays to is Isa, and Isa is an Islamic understanding of Jesus.  And to a Muslim Jesus is not God, that’s their understanding, but a prophet of Islam.

Warren is also a champion of Chrislam; Chrislam is the attempt to syncretize Christianity with Islam.  He believes God and Allah are the same and that Christianity and Islam are compatible.  That’s all I’ve got to say about that!

On the bottom left is a megachurch pastor, Bill Hybel; Hybel regularly travels throughout the world giving speeches on foreign affairs, many times painting Israel as an aggressor, as an occupier.  See how the purpose of the church changes?  He and his wife, his wife on the left, are two influential champions of the Christian Palestinian movement; they’re big.  In 2011 Hybel’s wife was named to Obama’s  Faith Advisory Board.  In that picture she’s giving a speech in the… it’s called Christ at the Checkpoint Conference.  And their mission (Christ at the Checkpoint) is to challenge evangelicals to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Israel/Palestine by engaging with the teaching of Jesus on the teachings of the kingdom of God.

And this is the objective of Christ at the Checkpoint.  The aim of Christ at the Checkpoint is to provide an opportunity for evangelical Christians to prayerfully seek a proper awareness of the issues of peace, justice and reconciliation.  See how the function of the church changes?

This is two points on their manifesto.  Christ at the checkpoint, they have about twelve, these are two.  Number one, the kingdom of God has come!  Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice, and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.  Well, I didn’t know that was a function off the church?  Number five, any exclusive claim to the land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of Scripture.  That’s Lynne Hybels, that’s our government’s Faith Advisory Board at work.  Ideas have consequences and far reaching implications, not only for the church but for the secular world as well.  It’s dangerous; it has the potential of horrible things.  It’s anti-Semitic; anti-Semitism, the definition of anti-Semitism is an expression of hostility and prejudice toward the Jewish people.  Those who want Israel out of their own land, who desire Israel to be unprotected, unable to defend themselves.  That sounds a little hostile to me.  It’s anti-Semitic. I would say it’s anti-God.  It’s going against the decrees of God and what He already said in His Word.

That’s a lot of info; what I want to do next is engage the replacement theologian’s arguments, I want to look at with you Scripture references that replace theologians say support their argument.  How are they getting these ideas?  Does the Bible support replacement theology?  Does it support the church becoming Israel?  What about Galatians 6:16, where Paul acknowledges an Israel of God?  [Galatians 6:16, “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”]

We’re going to interpret and evaluate other prominent passages, like that.  If you want to know more about that, you’re going to have to wait till part 3.  Is that okay?  If replacement theology is true, and God can renege and retract His promises of not abandoning His people, remember Psalm 94:14, our opening passage, God reminded the people of Israel this: “For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.”  If God can retract that then how is any reasonable person to treat the promises of God in the New Testament?  What about those He promised with eternal salvation to those who believe on His name?  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  Everlasting life!

If God promises everlasting life in the Old Testament, if that’s no good then what I do with this everlasting life promise?  Do you see the danger in that?  Do you see how this causes one’s theology to crumble?  It’s an attack on the very character of God.  The glorious truth is God cannot lie; He cannot!  He cannot renege on His promises.  He’s unable to!  Once His Word goes forth it can’t come back to Him void.  If it did He would [can’t understand word].

So there’s good news, right?   Those who might not know God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God sent His Son in the world to die for us!  Why did He do that?  Because we are unable to save ourselves; you are unable to save yourself.  And the only way that we can save ourselves is by one condition, that’s to believe on Jesus Christ.  Believe what Christ has done for you on the cross; you trust Him to save you.  And you can bank on it because he’s a promise-keeping God, a covenant-keeping God.  All you do is believe.  That’s it!

For those of you who are doing that or on the fence of doing that I encourage  you to do that today; square that away with God and if you did that you become a child of God, your eternal security is good, it’s good!  You’re never to face the wrath or judgment of God, ever, because Jesus took your place.  That’s good news, Amen.   If you need more information on that I’m available to talk.  All you do is believe, Amen.  Shall we pray.  God, thank You that you are a faithful God and at times man can be faithless, but You remain faithful.  Thank You for what Your Word teaches and that You will not cast off Your people, Israel, nor cast off those who put their faith in You.  We bless You, we bless Your holy name, and continue to bless us in the year 2017.  May we do everything for Your glory, and it’s in Jesus’ name we pray.  And God’s people said….