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I write this document on the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht in Germany. A devilish night when the Nazis and their sympathizers throughout Germany destroyed and burned down synagogues, vandalized Jewish property and assaulted Jews at will. The question must be asked, “What was the Church doing!” the answer is; Nothing! And then the next question is, “Why?” The answer is simple; because Replacement Theology, strongly advocated for by Martin Luther and other clerics of the time, had not only disinvested the Jews of the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant bur had called for them to be despised and rejected as a people. In fact, Luther’s teachings in his book, “On the Jews and their lies”(1543) had encouraged German Christians to do everything possible to see that the Jews were plundered and banished from society.
Having stated this I wish my readers to note that the views expressed in this document are not isolated but in many respects are mainstream as they have been held by great Christian leaders and denominational leaders through the centuries such as the Puritans, John and Charles Wesley, Bishop Ryle of Liverpool, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Billy Graham, Jack Hayford, Derek Prince, David Pawson, Lance Lambert, Reinhard Bonnke, Angus Buchan and many more.
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also, I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
“He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance.”
Psalms 105: 7-11
“Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”
“And this I say that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.”
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope that is set before us.”
Hebrews 6: 13-18
Replacement theology is the idea that the Jewish people, because of their rejection of Jesus’ messianic credentials, have forfeited the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant and consequently they no longer have a national destiny in the land that God promised them as an everlasting possession. The Church is now the new Israel of God, and their only hope is to believe in Jesus and join the Church.
This effectively means that their modern-day restoration holds no biblical significance, is nothing more than an accident of history and at best the result of colonialism and the conflict around it. Israel is merely a political entity, and its existence has the potential to engulf the whole world in a catastrophic war. Many preachers constantly assert this, and I have just read an article by one such preacher wherein, writing of Israel’s war with Hamas, he boldly discounted any biblical significance to Israel’s restoration in our time on the grounds that Jesus in Himself is the fulfillment of all the promises that God ever made to the Jewish people in Abraham including that of the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. He has no biblical basis upon which to make such an outrageous claim!
Naturally then, replacement theology is highly deceptive because to a certain degree it is right in that the Gospel of Jesus is the only way of salvation, and this is true for Jews and Gentiles alike (Romans 1:16). However, it is a serious error in that nowhere in the Bible is it ever stated that the Abrahamic Covenant with its promise to Abraham, and his descendants in their generations, that the land of Canaan is theirs as an everlasting possession, has in any way been altered, abolished or changed. On the contrary, the New Testament repeatedly affirms that all the promises made to Abraham and the fathers are irrevocable and cannot in any way be annulled because God does not lie!
Why would this be so! Because the Jewish people are, by the promises in the Abrahamic Covenant, set aside by God Himself as the vehicle of world redemption (John 4:22) (Romans 9:1-5) (Romans 15:27). That is, the means by which God reveals Himself to the world, brings His purpose into the world and in the end consummates it. Even their unbelief is a blessing as it serves the nations of the world with the Gospel (Romans 11:15, 28). Therefore, though being enemies of God then, they remain” beloved for the sake of the fathers” and indeed, their rejection of Jesus as the “chief cornerstone” is the “day the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:22-24). Furthermore, Paul affirms that in the end their rejection of Jesus messianic credentials will only be partial and, when swept away, will pave the way for Him to return to Jerusalem as He promised (Romans 11:25-26) (Matthew 23:37-39). It is this mystery that still evades the wider Church and has been at the root of antisemitism through the centuries, which included the Holocaust, and now this deceptive teaching perpetrates another great evil by disconnecting the Church from its biblical responsibilities to Israel at a time when the Jews again are facing another attempt at to annihilate them. Haman, the Amalekite, is at work again and an” Esther Church” is needed to save them!
The Abrahamic Covenant
This Covenant is first announced in Genesis 12, and then its terms are laid out in chapters 15, 17 and 22, and promised to Abraham’s children in their descendants and in their generations. It is an everlasting Covenant since it constitutes God’s decision to save the world through the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross (Galatians 3:8). God will thereby reconcile the world to Himself by giving those who receive Christ Jesus by faith, the gift of eternal life. For this reason, it had to be an everlasting covenant in all respects. It places Abraham and his children at the very center of this covenant as they will become the means by which God mediates to the world the knowledge of Himself, the coming of Christ, the good news of the gift of eternal life and the second coming of Jesus. Also, and this is very important, it therefore shackles God’s redemptive work in Christ to the historical journey of the Jewish people and galvanizes them into a nation by giving them the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. In fact, Peter in his powerful sermon recorded in the third chapter of Acts, not only affirms that the Jews were called to deliver the death of Christ to the world (Acts 3:18) but that all these things were done to fulfill the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant (Acts 3:25). Jesus affirmed, as did Paul, that they would return to Jerusalem at the very end of the age to facilitate His second coming (Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25-26). The “Deliverer comes out of Zion or Jerusalem, or the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-11).
The Abrahamic Covenant, by virtue of the fact that it had to be eternal or everlasting, meant that God alone would have to undertake to keep its components and thus when made with Abraham he was put to sleep and not allowed to actually make it, or cut it with God. God Himself and alone, without Abraham’s participation, made it by a blood ceremony and oath to Abraham. This is recorded in Genesis 15:7-21. It is thus unconditional and everlasting and at its very root is the promise that the land of Canaan will be the possession of Abraham and his descendants in their generations (Genesis 15:7-9).
In all then these are the five crucial and eternal components of the Abrahamic Covenant:
- An eternal promise of land (Genesis 17:7-8)
- An eternal mission (Genesis 12:1-3)
- A journey of suffering and conflict (Genesis 15: 9-12;17)
- A promise of a coming Messiah who would die for the sins of the world (Genesis 22:6-10)
- A promise of blessing and cursing (Genesis 12:3).
Again, it is important to note that this is an everlasting unconditional covenant rooted in God’s grace alone because it chiefly embodies God’s plan of world redemption by which whoever believes in the promised Messiah will receive eternal life (Galatians 3:8). Paul affirms this in Galatians 3: 9, 14, and 29. That is, if we are of faith, then we are blessed with believing Abraham; if we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is because of what God promised to Abraham and, if we are Christ’s, then we are in fact Abraham’s children according to the promise that God made to him in the covenant. In other words, the covenant is fully intact and effective until this very day because God does not lie and by it has fulfilled His promise to bless all the families of the earth.
It is also important to note that it is in fact one covenant not five covenants! This means that if one part fails then all the parts fail. James upholds this principle in his epistle when he states that if you break one of the Ten Commandments then you have broken them all (James 2:10). This means that if the part of the Abrahamic Covenant that promises land to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession fails, then all the parts fail, even that part which promises you eternal life through Christ’s once for all death on the cross. God has indeed lied to you, and you are truly still in your sins, without hope and lost! This is precisely why the restoration of Israel in our time is not a political accident but the manifestation of God’s faithfulness to His covenant made with Abraham 4000 years ago. It is the ongoing journey of Israel to mediate God’s redemptive plan to the world and this will finally be seen in the return of Christ to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 23:39) (Romans 11:25-26) (Zechariah 12:10). The Disciples knew all of this, and consequently they enquired of Jesus when He would restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). He never denied that such a restoration would take place but rather asserted that, because of Israel’s rejection of His messianic credentials and unbelief, the gospel would now go to the nations until the fulness of the Gentiles have come in. Then all Israel would be saved, and the Messiah would come out of Jerusalem! Replacement Theology denies all of this, attacks the Abrahamic Covenant, declares God to be a liar and disconnects the Church from its biblical responsibilities to Israel.
Replacement Theology drives the Church to stand by once again in silence and do nothing while the Jews are again being murdered incinerated, raped and literally burned in ovens. Just as it did on Kristallnacht 85 years ago. It is a deception that attacks the very heart of scripture and God knew that this would happen because the call of God over Israel was to penetrate a wicked and evil world, dominated by the Devil, with the light of His good news in Christ. Their journey is not over as they have now returned to their promised homeland to birth the final and great event of world redemption, the return of Christ. This will finally bring real peace to the whole world but, thanks to Replacement Theology, the Church is generally blinded to this fact and has far too often, as history undeniably proves, sided with the Devil in his plan to exterminate the Jews. It was for this reason that God said that He would bless those who bless her and curse him who curses her. Many “hims” have risen up in the Church to curse the Jews and thereby to deny the everlasting Abrahamic Covenant that God made with them; sadly, even today!
Important Passages of scripture
There are a few passages of scripture that those espousing Replacement Theology refer to in an attempt to prove their thesis. These are as follows:
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And
to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.”
This verse is written in the context of a discussion wherein Paul is asserting that salvation is not to be found by keeping the Law, as some in his day were asserting, but rather by faith in a Seed, Messiah Jesus, who was promised in one of the five vital components in the Abrahamic Covenant. This promise is found in Genesis 22, where we have the record of Abraham being called to sacrifice his unique and only son Isaac. This is a picture of Jesus’ death and because Abraham was faithful in doing so God promised that another Isaac would come into the world who would, by the sacrifice of His perfect life, atone for the sins of the world (John 8:56). This passage is in no way removing the promise made to Abraham and his descendants in the covenant by which the land of Canaan is bequeathed to them as an everlasting possession. It is simply asserting the one that promises the coming of Christ as the way of salvation.
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but
a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy
be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”
This verse is referring to the fact that saved Jews and Gentiles are together part of God’s spiritual Olive Tree which is Israel because it is a Jewish tree with Jewish roots that goes back thousands of years. They take their identity from Christ alone and thus are a “one new man”, or new creation (Ephesians 2:14-18). Paul writes extensively about this in Romans eleven verses seventeen to twenty-four. This is the same chapter where he also asserts that all the promises made to the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob remain intact because the “gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). In fact, in verse 28 he has the audacity to suggest that the unbelieving and Christ rejecting Jews are still the elect of God! The question we must ask then is, “In what sense?” He is clearly referring to the fact that while they are enemies of God by their rejection of Christ or unbelief, they nevertheless have not forfeited the promises that God made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant. In short, they were elected in Abraham to be the vehicle of world redemption. God is not a liar, and He made an unconditional covenant with them through their fathers that in the end He will honor in all respects. This He has sworn to by His word and character; two immutable things by which it is impossible for God to lie!
Things to ponder:
In the end then those who teach Replacement Theology have to answer:
- Why has Israel re-emerged on the stage of history again never to be exiled again as God said that she would (Amos 9:14-15)?
- Why have the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem just as Jesus said they would (Luke 21:24)?
- Why did Jesus say that His second coming is dependent upon a welcome from the Jewish people living in Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39)?
- Why does scripture teach that an awful judgement is about to fall upon the nations on the coming Great Day of the Lord because they have embraced antisemitism and attempted to disinvest the Jews of the land that God bequeathed to them in the Abraham Covenant by constantly attempting to divide it (Joel 3:1-3)?
- Why does God promise to defend the “political accident” of the restored nation of Israel when all nations will in the end gather against it (Zechariah 12:1-3)?
- Why does God promise a unique outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Jerusalem and beyond by which He will remove Jewish unbelief in Jesus’ messianic credentials (Zechariah 12:10-14)?
- Why are the foundations and gates of the coming new Jerusalem emblazoned with the names of the Twelve Apostles and the Twelve Tribes of the children of Israel (Revelation 21:12-14)?
The Charters of Hamas, Islamic Jihad the PLO, Hezbollah and that of Iran call for the total destruction of the nation of Israel and the murder of the Jewish people everywhere. In other words, they are driven by the same devilish evil spirit that drove the Nazis in their desire to bring about the “final solution”. They say it clearly and repeatedly and even boast about it and make videos depicting it and yet the world still supports them and rallies to their cause across the nations as we have now seen in the capitals of the world. They openly call for the extermination of the Jewish people just as the masses did in Germany 85 years ago. Nothing has changed and the same Devil sensing his coming defeat in the unfolding restoration of Israel in the holy land is mobilizing people everywhere to hate the Jews and their state. The cry is the same everywhere, “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free!” They mean exactly what they say and the barbaric attack on Israel on October the 7th, in the name of Islam, proves it. Sadly, Christian Ministers, Priests and Pastors excuse these goals and the atrocities committed by these peoples and all too often stand with them, just as they stood with the Nazis in the Second World War. They see no biblical reason why they should stand by and support the Jews. Why is this? Because of Replacement Theology! But God is watching, and He will intervene because Israel remains “beloved for the sake of the fathers,” and this means that God is watching over His Covenant with Abraham to fulfill it. Blessed are they who bless what God is doing in the earth by blessing Israel!