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What is replacement theology?
Replacement theology (supersessionism) basically teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Supporters of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.
Replacement theology teaches that the church is Israel and the Promises given to Israel were primarily for the church. This movement is incurring the wrath of God, as it increasingly condemns the nation of Israel as illegitimate, which is natural for people who believe the church has replaced Israel. Even among those who still hold to Israel to one degree or another, there seems to be a tendency for yanking Old Testament Promises out of the Bible and, many times out of context and extensively applying them to modern church situations. The tendency of this movement is to choose those “good” Promises like healing, prosperity, victory), and totally ignore the “bad: ones that they do not like (punishment for rebellion, keeping the feasts and sacrifices).
The church did NOT yet exist when any of those Promises were given . . . and they were NOT given to Israel as a "type" of the church until the church could inherit them. The Old Testament Promises were given to Israel, and they apply to Israel. True, many of those Promises also apply to the church in general, and many of them apply to all nations in general, BUT, many of them apply only to Israel. We have got to stop supposing that just because some “teacher” of the Word says the Bible, tells us that something is ours, that it is. We are to check out everything that we hear or read (including me) with the Bible . . . to make sure it is so! We must understand the situation and context in which the Promises were given . . . Promises of blessing and/or cursing, of redemption and salvation before we can understand the Promises themselves.
Israel and the church are totally different is clearly taught in the New Testament. Biblically speaking, the church is completely different and distinct from Israel, and the two are never to be confused or used interchangeably. We are taught from Scripture that the church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the day of Pentecost and will continue until it is taken to Heaven at the Rapture (Eph.1:9-11; 1 Thes,4:13-18). 1 Cor. 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: (KJV) . . . The Jews, the Gentiles and the church are all different entities.
The church has NO relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, Promises, and warnings are valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God's program during these past 2000 years of dispersion . . . but she is NOT forgotten by God who loves her!
After the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18), God will restore Israel as the primary focus of His plan. The first event after the Rapture is the Tribulation (Revelation chapters 6-19). The world (the nations, all Gentiles) will be judged for rejecting Christ, while Israel is prepared through the trials of the Great Tribulation for the Second Coming of the Messiah. Then, when Christ does return to the Earth, at the end of the Tribulation (Rev.19:11-21), Israel will be ready to receive Him. The remnant of Israel which survives the Tribulation will be saved, and the Lord will establish His Kingdom on this Earth with Jerusalem as its capital (Jer.3:17). With Christ reigning as King, Israel will be the leading nation, and representatives from all nations will come to Jerusalem to honor and worship the King . . . Jesus Christ. The church will return with Christ and will reign with Him for a literal thousand years (Rev.20:1-5).
The belief of "replacement theology" teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God's plans, prophecies, and blessings. The roles of Israel and the church are foundational to the events of the end times. What you believe about replacement theology largely governs what one believes about the rapture, the tribulation, and the millennial kingdom, not to mention the role of the church in modern society.
Replacement theology is NOT based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. The church is not a punishment on Israel for their failure to spread the Gospel as they should have, it is God's way to draw the Jews to Him (Rom.11:11).
Daniel 9:20-27 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (KJV) . . . This Passage makes it clear that God's plan for Israel is to last seventy "weeks" or 490 years, starting at the time of a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Verses 25 and 26 suggest a significant event at the sixty-nine "week" mark . . . the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. It also allows for a break, before the arrival of the seventieth week . . . this space of time has been established as the church age. As this prophecy is for Daniel's people (vs. 24), the church era is NOT mentioned. Instead, the prophecy skips ahead to the last "week" . . . the Tribulation. Before the Tribulation the Rapture takes place, which results in the removal of the church, and the re-establishing of God's work with Israel.
The problem with replacement theology is that it relies on the judgment and effort of man instead of the Word and power of God. Two hundred years ago, the idea of a restored Jewish state was incredible. Today, the Jewish state is a fact. Having such gracious proof of God's sovereignty, we should be greatly encouraged to read the Bible. God has given the church specific blessings and responsibilities. We should concentrate on these and reject the fictional interpretations of replacement theology.
Promises made to Israel are still going to be kept in the future. We can be sure that all God has said is true and will take place, because of His character and consistency. The Church does not replace Israel and should not expect a symbolic fulfillment of the Promises of the Old Covenant As one reads Scripture, it is necessary to keep Israel and the Church separate.
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