Replacement theology

I have heard differing commentaries on this subject. The main concept is that what is commonly referred to as the "church" will replace the Jewish people and Israel as God's chosen people and thereby inheritors of the land and other promises made to Abraham and his descendants. Some make very strong arguments, referencing different Biblical passages. The problem is not so much their theology on its face, but several underlying points which cannot be reconciled with Scriptures. I will attempt to go over a variety of these points.

First, some basics; God made a promise to Abraham that all the land from the Nile to the river Euphrates will belong to him and his descendants. This is eventually continued down through Jacob (renamed by God "Israel"), then through Moses, David et al. In the end the Son of God, the Messiah will rule as its divine King. The basic argument for replacement theology is that due to their disobedience the Israelites, ergo the Jews, have been disinherited, "divorced" by God as His "wife" or "bride". A place which Biblically the Israelites held.

Part 1

In the book of Romans, primarily Chapter 11, Rav Sha'ul (Paul who was a Jewish Rabbi "Rav" trained by the famous Rabbi, Gamliel), explains in great detail how the Gentile believers were not to feel special OR that they had somehow replaced Israel, but were in essence "grafted into" the Covenants God had made with the Hebrew Patriarchs i.e. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon et al. The Gentiles believers (of which this author is one) then become a party to the inheritance promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. The Book of Romans is really quite explicit and detailed in this "grafted in" analogy. Part of the letter was in response to the return of the Jewish believers back to Rome after they had been thrown out. 

 

However, a Biblical preacher from a well known Christian denomination proposed the idea that God attempted to disinherit the Jewish people at large.  He stated that only a small "remnant" would be left to then become "Christians" by believing in Jesus Christ. The main problem with that is, the belief in Jesus as the Christ is not a Gentile belief. It was started by the belief in the Jewish Messiah (Jesus / Yeshua).  This was written about and taught by Jewish Disciples (Talmidim) and spread to the Gentile world. The spreading of the faith by a Jewish Rabbi, Rav Sha'ul who was also called  "Paul". The faith of which I am one, "Christianity" was, has and always will be a Jewish concept, teaching and belief system. Even the "church" world is modeled after the ancient synagogue system. Jesus, who was known then by the Hebrew version of His name "Yeshua" (meaning God's Salvation), was and still is Jewish. Judaism today is what developed from Pharasaic Judaism and teachings. It is commonly and loosely referred to as "Rabbinic" Judaism. 

At the time of Jesus' first coming, it is true the nation of Israel did not accept Him as their Messiah. However, it is stated in the book of John, how God has blinded His people.

 

He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” (John12:40) 

 

John was not making up this commentary, he was directly quoting the ancient Hebrew book of Isaiah

 

They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, And their hearts, so that they cannot understand. (Isaiah 44:18)

The Bible clearly shows and confirms God has deliberately blinded His people from belief and understanding. For the preacher to claim that, as a result of the lack of belief, God then just as deliberately disinherits His people, would make God not a loving father figure but very mean, vengeful, cynical and malicious entity. Not much different from the pantheon of gods of the pagan world. Is that the way of God? The very premise the preacher was making was blatantly misguided and false on it Biblical foundations. One really must think these through to their logical conclusions and not simply rely on their own prejudice to interpret the Bible, (and anything else for that matter).

Consider Romans

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion,  And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-26)

 

Always look to the Bible to interpret itself. It clearly states the reason God blinded them in part, was for the purpose of bringing the Gentiles into the Covenants He had made with His people. This was so all people could be "one" people in Him. God didn't blind His people so He could have a reason to "kick them aside" but to allow for those who were not of the bloodline to become a part of the Covenants He had lovingly made with His people. This way ALL who believed would be His people. This is the Biblical concept and teaching of "one new man" and of "Grafted in".

Part 2

Another aspect of replacement theology stems from the same underlying idea, the Jews / Israelites had abrogated the original covenants with God and as a result became disinherited and God had to replace them with the "Gentile Church" through Jesus. The problem with this is God would then have fallen into one or both of two situations.

 

1) God made a mistake in choosing the Jews in the first place, as they were unable to keep their end of the agreements. Does God make mistakes? If yes, then this argument has merit, if no, then this concept is ridiculous on its face. God did not replace His people for breaching their part of the Covenants. The Jews were not "Plan A" and if that didn't work, the Gentiles were "Plan B". God was not a failure or planning on failure by having a backup plan. As Einstein stated "God does not play dice", in that God does not rely on chance and hope for the best. Now some may argue it was their free will. Yes, to a point this is true, however, if it was their free will and God had to resort to a plan-B, this would mean God did not know this ahead of time. The Son of God did not come merely to rule the earth, but to resolve a heavenly battle as well. There is a bigger picture happening than what we see is happening here on earth. Within the context of their exercise of free will, it is written, as shown that God actually caused them (the Jews / Israelites) to be blind and deaf to a point and only for a time, until the fullness of the Gentile (believers).

 

2) The second situation, in addition to the first makes God a blatant liar.

2) The second situation, in addition to the first makes God a blatant liar.

Jeremiah 31:31“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

 

Note, no where does it say God would replace His people because of their sins. Quite the contrary, God will forgive all their sins and make a new covenant with His people Israel. God never says He will replace His people with the "Gentiles" (the Bible uses the term "goyim" trans. "nations" referencing all who were not of the nation of Israel).

Again, on the contrary, the Scriptures states repeatedly God is bringing the Gentiles into His covenants with His people, Israel. That chapter continues as God reinforces this point. Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The Lord (YHVH) of hosts is His name): “If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the Lord, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.”Thus says the Lord: “If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the Lord. The Lord clearly states there is no chance of His, EVER casting off the seed of Israel (the Jews) as a people or as a nation for "all that they have done". It does not say He will save a remnant to be with the Gentiles in the future. He promises He will forgive them and they will never depart fromHim.

In the book of Jeremiah 16:19, God consoles His people with the following: O Lord, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, The Gentiles shall come to You From the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things.” Will a man make gods for himself, Which are not gods? “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know My hand and My might; And they shall know that My name is the Lord (YHVH). The Gentiles don't come "teaching" the Jews about their Messiah, but just the opposite, theycome asking to be taught about the Jewish Messiah, "Jesus / Yeshua". The Gentiles come seeking knowledge, wisdom, understanding about the one commonly called "Christ"; which in Hebrew is "Moshiach" / "Messiah" (meaning "anointed"). He IS God's Anointed, the Son of God, the "Word (of God)" made flesh. He was, is and always will be the Jewish Messiah.To be honest, if it wasn't for the Jews and the Tanak or Old Testament, Jesus would be nothing more than a raving mad man from the middle east. It's from the Old Testament Jesus is identified as the Messiah or "Christ". Jesus confirms this with His statement in the book of John 5:36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish the very works that I do bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you thinkyou have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. Jesus clearly states the Scriptures are not about eternal life but about Him, through whom we achieve eternal life.

All of the teachings of the Old Testament, the "tanak" (an acronym for "Torah", Neviim, Ketuvim", TNK, Tanak), speak of Jesus Messiah in some form. Jesus regularly quoted them even whiledying on the cross. Psalm 22 is an easy example: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" One should read the entire psalm, Another striking example is Isaiah 53, the entire chapter is so Messianic and descriptive of Jesus / Yeshua, it is banned in some synagogues, removed from some Jewish copies of the Bible, (note: not all, just in some locations). The reason, it speaks too clearly of Jesus as the prophetic suffering Messiah. At no time does God ever replace His people. He does threaten Moses with the possibility but Moses, as an early type for the Messiah, pleads on behalf of Israel, to spare His people so God would not be seen as a malicious and spiteful deity. Moses even goes so far as to offer himself in place of the Israelites. This is the pattern for the future Messiah. In the Torah, God through Moses, says He will one day raise up another prophet "like Moses". This happens in the person of Jesus / Yeshua who, as with Moses actually gives His life for His people.

All of the teachings of the Old Testament, the "tanak" (an acronym for "Torah", Neviim, Ketuvim", TNK, Tanak), speak of Jesus Messiah in some form. Jesus regularly quoted them even whiledying on the cross. Psalm 22 is an easy example: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" One should read the entire psalm, Another striking example is Isaiah 53, the entire chapter is so Messianic and descriptive of Jesus / Yeshua, it is banned in some synagogues, removed from some Jewish copies of the Bible, (note: not all, just in some locations). The reason, it speaks too clearly of Jesus as the prophetic suffering Messiah. At no time does God ever replace His people. He does threaten Moses with the possibility but Moses, as an early type for the Messiah, pleads on behalf of Israel, to spare His people so God would not be seen as a malicious and spiteful deity. Moses even goes so far as to offer himself in place of the Israelites. This is the pattern for the future Messiah. In the Torah, God through Moses, says He will one day raise up another prophet "like Moses". This happens in the person of Jesus / Yeshua who, as with Moses actually gives His life for His people.

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