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APOSTASY - DECEPTION WITHIN THE CHURCH
REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY

Replacement theology is also known as covenant theology or supersessionism.  This is a Christian doctrine which asserts that the New Covenant, through Jesus Christ, supersedes the Old Covenant, which was made exclusively with the Jewish people.

 

Replacement theology is a theological view on the current status of the church in relation to the Jewish people and Judaism. It holds the view that the Christian Church has replaced the Israelites as the definitive people of God or it holds the view that the New Covenant has replaced or superseded the Mosaic covenant. This view directly contrasts with dual-covenant (or dispensationalist) theology which holds that the Mosaic covenant remains valid for Jews and Christians have been grafted in and adopted.

Replacement theology is an abomination. It is unbiblical and has resulted in violent antisemitism, which in turn has resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews.

What is replacement theology / supersessionism?

Are Israel and the church the same thing? Does God still have a plan for Israel?

The Error of Replacement Theology

The Evil of Replacement Theology

Why Replacement Theology MUST be Refuted:

God’s covenant with the Jews is eternal (unbreakable)

Jews still have much advantage with God

Replacement Theology has led to rampant antisemitism

Replacement Theology forces a twisted and ‘spiritualized’ interpretation of the NT

Christians and Jews are distinct people groups in the NT

God promises to save a remnant (Links to Salvation of the Jewish Remnant)

Is Israel Still The Promised Land in the New Testament?

(Ron Cantor | Messiah's Mandate | Reach Tel Aviv)

I've heared many teachers say that nowhere in the New Covenant does God reaffirm His covenant with the Jewish people regarding the land of israel. But is it true? We take a closer look at the New Covenant to find out! Free book at: http://roncan.net/15Facts

Who taught the Christian Church to despise the Jewish people? Find out with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.

What is replacement theology / supersessionism?

https://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

Replacement theology (also known as supersessionism) essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents 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. Among the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel are the church has replaced Israel (replacement theology), the church is an expansion of Israel (covenant theology), or the church is completely different and distinct from Israel (dispensationalism/premillennialism).

Replacement theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian church, not in Israel. The prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are spiritualized or allegorized into promises of God’s blessing for the church. Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2,000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1,900 years?

The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. Biblically speaking, the church is distinct from Israel, and the terms church and Israel 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 (Ephesians 1:9–111 Thessalonians 4:13–17). The church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings of the Mosaic Covenant were valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God’s program during these past 2,000 years of dispersion (see Romans 11).

Contrary to replacement theology, dispensationalism teaches that, after the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18), God will restore Israel as the primary focus of His plan. The first event at this time is the tribulation (Revelation chapters 6–19). The world 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, Israel will be ready to receive Him. The remnant of Israel who survive the tribulation will be saved, and the Lord will establish His kingdom on this earth with Jerusalem as its capital. 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 (Revelation 20:1–5).

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament support a premillennial/dispensational understanding of God’s plan for Israel. The strongest support for premillennialism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1–7, where it says six times that Christ’s kingdom will last 1,000 years. After the tribulation the Lord will return and establish His kingdom with the nation of Israel, Christ will reign over the whole earth, and Israel will be the leader of the nations. The church will reign with Him for a literal thousand years. The church has not replaced Israel in God’s plan. While God may be focusing His attention primarily on the church in this dispensation of grace, God has not forgotten Israel and will one day restore Israel to His intended role as the nation He has chosen (Romans 11).

 

Are Israel and the church the same thing? Does God still have a plan for Israel?

https://www.gotquestions.org/Israel-church.html

 

This topic is one of the more controversial in the Church today, and it has significant implications regarding the way we interpret Scripture, especially concerning the end times. More importantly, it has great significance in that it affects the way we understand the very nature and character of God Himself.

Romans 11:16-36 records the illustration of the olive tree. This passage speaks of Israel the (“natural” branches) being broken off from the olive tree, and the Church (“wild” branches or shoots) being grafted into the olive tree. Since Israel is referred to as branches, as well as the Church, it stands to reason that neither group is the “whole tree,” so to speak; rather, the whole tree represents God’s workings with mankind as a whole. Therefore, God’s program with Israel and God’s program with the Church are part of the outworking of His purpose among men in general. Of course, this is not intended to mean that either program is of little significance. As many commentators have noted, more space is given in the Bible regarding God’s programs with Israel and with the Church than any of God’s other dealings!

In Genesis 12, God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation (the Jews), the Jews would possess a land, that nation would be blessed above all other nations, and all other nations would be blessed from Israel. So, from the beginning God revealed that Israel would be His chosen people on the earth, but that His blessing would not be limited to them exclusively. Galatians 3:14 identifies the nature of the blessing to come to all the other nations: “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” All the nations of the world were blessed by Israel, through whom the Savior of the world came.

God’s plan of redemption is built upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David and Abraham. But Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient for the sins of the entire world, not just the Jews! Galatians 3:6-8 states, “Consider Abraham: ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’” Finally, Galatians 3:29 says, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” In other words, in Christ, believers are counted righteous by faith in the same way that Abraham was (Galatians 3:6-8). If we are in Christ, then we are partakers of the blessing of Israel and all nations in the redemptive work of Christ. Believers become the spiritual descendants of Abraham. Believers do not become physical Jews, but they may enjoy the same type of blessings and privileges as the Jews.

Now, this does not contradict or nullify the revelation given in the Old Testament. God’s promises in the Old Testament are still valid, and God’s relationship with Israel as a chosen people points to the work of Christ as a Redeemer of the whole world. The Mosaic Law is still mandatory for all Jews who have not yet accepted Christ as their Messiah. Jesus did what they could not do—fulfill the Law in all its details (Matthew 5:17). As New Testament believers, we are no longer under the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13), because Christ has taken that curse upon Himself on the cross. The Law served two purposes: to reveal sin and mankind’s inability (on his own merit) to do anything about it, and to point us to Christ, who fulfills the Law. His death on the cross completely satisfies God’s righteous requirement of perfection.

God’s unconditional promises are not invalidated by the unfaithfulness of man. Nothing we do is ever a surprise to God, and He does not need to adjust His plans according to the way we behave. No, God is sovereign over all things—past, present and future—and what He has foreordained for both Israel and the Church will come to pass, regardless of circumstances. Romans 3:3-4 explains that Israel’s unbelief would not nullify His promises concerning them: “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: ‘So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.’"

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.

Romans 11:11-Israel’s Rejection Not Final

 

Ro 11:11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

 

25 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. 26 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;
27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

 

28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 

 

The Error of Replacement Theology - Has the Church replaced Israel? By Dr. David R. Reagan

https://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-error-of-replacement-theology/

 

The argument that the Church is the fulfillment of all the Bible’s kingdom prophecies is not the only error of Amillennialism. An equally serious one is the assertion that the Church has replaced Israel. This is called Replacement Theology.

The argument usually goes like this: “Since the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, God rejected them. He poured out His wrath upon them, scattered them all over the earth, and transferred the promises made to them to ‘Spiritual Israel,’ the Church. God has no purpose left for the Jews. The re-establishment of modern day Israel is, therefore, merely an accident of history with no spiritual meaning.”

 

This viewpoint is held by most of the old mainline, liberal denominations like the Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians. It is also held by some conservative groups like the Churches of Christ and the Church of God of Anderson, Indiana. Advocates of the view can even be found among Southern Baptists, although most Baptists would reject it.

I would contend that the view is thoroughly unbiblical.

The Jews’ Position with God

There is no doubt that God poured out His wrath on the Jewish people in the First Century in response to their rejection of His Son, Jesus, as their Messiah. And there is no doubt they have remained under the discipline of God to this day. But that does not mean they have been rejected by God.

God loves the Jewish people, even in their rebellion. In the everlasting Abrahamic Covenant, God told Abraham that He would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse them (Genesis 12:3). In like manner, He told the prophet Zechariah that he who touches Israel, “touches the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).

Isaiah proclaimed that God could never forget Israel because He has them “inscribed on the palms of His hands” (Isaiah 49:14-16). Jeremiah stated that the Jewish people would exist as a nation forever (Jeremiah 31:36). And prophet after prophet asserted that in the end times, a great remnant of the Jews will be saved when they accept Jesus as their Messiah (Isaiah 10:20-22Jeremiah 31:1-731-34Ezekiel 6:8-10Daniel 12:1Hosea 2:14-20Joel 2:31-32Micah 7:18-20Zephaniah 3:12-13; and Zechariah 12:10).

Paul’s Viewpoint

“But,” say the Amillennialists, “all these promises were annulled by the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as their Messiah.” This assertion explains why chapters 9 through 11 of Romans have been the most ignored and despised chapters of the New Testament throughout Church history. Often, these chapters are simply dismissed as an “irrelevant parenthesis” in the book of Romans.

But the truth is that they are anything but that. In these chapters Paul uses the Jewish people as the quintessential example of God’s grace. Despite their history of rebellion against God’s will, and their continuing rebellion, Paul teaches that God still loves them, still has a purpose for them, and is still determined to bring a great remnant of them to salvation in Jesus.

In fact, Paul repudiates Replacement Theology before he even gets to these chapters. He begins chapter 3 with two rhetorical questions:

  1. Do Jews have any advantage with God?

  2. Has their unbelief nullified the faithfulness of God?

 

Historically the Church has answered the first question with a “No!” despite the fact that Romans 1:16 says pointedly that the Gospel is God’s power of salvation for “the Jew first.”

With regard to the second question, the Church has consistently answered with a resounding “Yes!” arguing that God has “washed His hands of the Jews” because of their unbelief.

But how does the Apostle Paul answer these questions? He responds in exactly the opposite way. He declares that the Jews do have an advantage because “they were entrusted with the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2). This is a reference to the fact that every book of the Bible (yes, I would include the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts) was written by a Jew. With regard to the second question as to whether or not God has rejected the Jews, Paul responds with great emotion, “May it never be!” (Romans 3:4).

The Truth of Romans 9-11

Paul returns to this theme in chapters 9-11. He begins by talking about how important the Jews have been in God’s redemptive history, and how important they continue to be (Romans 9:3-4):

“…my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises…”

Note that Paul is talking about physical Jews, not spiritual ones, and note that he refers to the continuing validity of God’s promises to them. In Romans 9:27 he refers to the Old Testament promise that God will one day save a great remnant of the Jews, specifically quoting Isaiah 10:22.

He begins chapter 11 with another rhetorical question: “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?” For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has answered this question with a dogmatic “Yes!” When the Reformation occurred, the resulting Protestant churches joined in the chorus. But Paul answers it by saying, “May it never be …God has not rejected His people whom He forenew” (Romans 11:1-2).

Again, he affirms that a remnant will be saved (Romans 11:5) by grace after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” to the Church (Romans 11:25). Then, as Paul considers the stubbornness of his brethren in contrast to the patient, lovingkindness of God toward them, he cries out from his heart, “Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33).

God’s Plan for Israel

It is only when you understand how much God loves the Jewish people and how determined He is to bring a great remnant to salvation, that you can begin to understand what is going on in the Middle East today. The Bible clearly reveals that the 20th Century regathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth back to their homeland is a supernatural act of God that is the first step in bringing about the salvation of a remnant (Isaiah 11: 10-12).

Specifically, the Scriptures teach that once the Jews are regathered in unbelief and their nation is re-established, God will bring all the nations of the earth against them over the issue of who is going to control Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3). The hatred of the Jews and the opposition to their state will climax during the last half of the Tribulation when the Antichrist will turn against them and attempt to annihilate them from the face of the earth (Revelation 12:12-17). During this terrible period of three and a half years, the Antichrist will succeed in killing two-thirds of the Jewish people (Zechariah 13:8).

That’s the bad news. But the incredibly good news is that those remaining will be brought to the end of themselves, and in their total desperation, they will turn their hearts toward God. At that moment, Jesus will appear in the heavens, and the Jewish remnant “will look upon Him whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only Son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first born” (Zechariah 12:10). They will call upon the name of the Lord (Joel 2:31-32), and they will cry out, “Baruch Haba Bashem Adonai!” meaning, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 23:38-39).

God’s Amazing Grace

When I first started preaching about God’s love for the Jewish people and His determination to pursue them until a great remnant repents and accepts His Son as their Messiah, my wife said to me, “You make me want to be a Jew.”

“No,” I responded, “you don’t want to be a Jew because the overwhelming odds are that if you were a Jew, you would have a spiritual veil over your eyes (2 Corinthians 3:14), and you would refuse to acknowledge Jesus as your Messiah.”

And then I made a point to her that I encouraged her never to forget: “Ann, God is not doing one thing for the Jewish people that He is not willing to do for all of us.”

Keep in mind, the Jewish people are God’s Chosen People (Deuteronomy 7:6). That does not mean they are saved. Rather, it means they were called by God to be witnesses of Him (Isaiah 43:10-12). Accordingly, when you study their history, you can come to an understanding of what it means to have a relationship with God. Their history shows that when you are faithful, God blesses. When you rebel, He disciplines. And when you repent, He forgives and forgets and starts blessing again (read the book of Judges).

Currently, the Jewish people are under discipline. They have been for two thousand years. But one day soon their eyes will be opened to the reality of Jesus as their Messiah. When that happens, they will be overcome with grief, they will be swept by repentance, and a great remnant will be saved by grace through faith.

God’s continuing love for the Jews despite their persistent spiritual rebellion is a great demonstration of the meaning of grace — second only to the Cross itself. People often say to me, “How could God possibly be behind the worldwide regathering of the Jewish people when they are still caught up in unbelief? The only thing they deserve is death.”

But that is exactly the point. The only thing any of us deserve is death. But “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

We can thank God that those of us who have put our faith in Jesus will never receive what we deserve. Praise God for His amazing grace! And praise Jesus for His willingness to suffer and die so that we might be reconciled to the Father.

 

The Evil of Replacement Theology - The Historical Abuse of the Jews by the Church  By Dr. David R. Reagan

https://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-evil-of-replacement-theology/

I. Introduction

I was raised in a militantly Amillennial church. By that I mean that you could be disfellowshipped from the church for having any other prophetic viewpoint.

We seldom ever heard any preaching about end time Bible prophecy. The classic sermon within our denomination was one that boldly stated, “There is not one verse in the Bible that even implies that Jesus will ever put His feet on this earth again!”

 

A Shocking Discovery

So, you can imagine how shocked I was at age 12 when I was thumbing though the Bible and discovered Zechariah 14. It was very simple to understand. It said that the Messiah would return to the Mount of Olives, that the mount would split in half when His feet touched it, that He would speak a supernatural word that would destroy all the armies around Jerusalem, and that on that day He would become “king over all the earth.”

I had always been taught that the Bible meant what it said, so I found this passage to be very confusing, since my pastor had taught that Jesus was never returning to this earth. So, I decided to confront my pastor with it, and I did so in fear and trembling.

I’ll never forget that encounter. I reminded him of what he had been teaching, and then I asked him to tell me the meaning of Zechariah 14:1-9. He pulled out his Bible and read the passage and then seemed to sit there and study it quietly for an eternity. Finally, he looked up, pointed his finger in my face, and said, “Son, I don’t know what this passage means, but I can guarantee you one thing — it doesn’t mean what it says!”

Well, that was hard for me to swallow. Again, I had been taught that the Bible meant what it said. And being a stubborn Irishman, I decided to seek other opinions. One preacher explained to me that all Old Testament prophecies had been fulfilled. “I have no idea when or where this prophecy was fulfilled,” he said, “but I can guarantee you one thing, it has been fulfilled, because all the prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus.”

When I was about 18 years old, a preacher came to town who was a graduate of a seminary. He repeated the same old claim about there not being a single verse in the Bible that implies that Jesus will ever put His feet on this earth again. After his sermon, I confronted him with Zechariah 14. He didn’t even blink. He knew the passage by heart. He just blurted out, “Apocalyptic!” I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t know if that was a theory or a disease. But he was a seminary graduate, so I accepted his explanation.

When I started preaching in my early 20s, I would confidently proclaim that Jesus was never going to put His foot on this earth again. Once, a little old lady in tennis shoes came up to me afterwards and asked, “What about Zechariah 14?” I snapped, “Apocalyptic!” It scared her to death, and she turned and ran. I didn’t know what I was talking about, and neither did she.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had been introduced to the allegorical interpretation of Scripture. The official position of my church was that everything in the Bible means exactly what it says unless it is talking about the Second Coming of Jesus, in which case it never means what it says!

Discovery of Replacement Theology and Deliverance From It

I was also introduced to Replacement Theology, although no one in our denomination really knew what that was. You will find it hard to believe how I was confronted with this unbiblical concept. I was taught that it was sinful to pray the Lord’s prayer! When I asked why, I was told, “The Lord’s prayer is irrelevant to modern day Christians because it has already been answered. The prayer makes the plea, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ and the kingdom has already come in the form of the Church.”

Another way in which I was subjected to the attitude of Replacement Theology was through the teaching that all of the Old Testament had been nailed to the Cross and was therefore irrelevant to Christianity. We called ourselves “A New Testament Church,” and when the minister told us to be sure and bring our Bibles to church, we knew he meant our New Testaments. Many of us did not even own a complete Bible.

The beginning of my liberation from these viewpoints occurred when I was about 30 years old. I started reading the Minor Prophets, and I was captivated by them. Their messages seemed so relevant to modern day problems. And, once again, it was the book of Zechariah that proved to be my turning point. After reading it through from start to finish for the first time in my life, I was impacted by the fact that it is full of Messianic prophecies about the First Coming, and that every one of them meant what they said. It suddenly dawned on me that if the First Coming prophecies in this “apocalyptic” book meant what they said, then the Second Coming prophecies must mean what they say.

My study of Bible prophecy since that time has convinced me that the twisting of scriptures through spiritualization is a terrible abuse of God’s Word. It has led Christians to reject the Genesis account of creation as well as the promises of God for the future.

From the beginning to the end of the Bible we need to interpret God’s Word for its plain sense meaning. The failure to do so will produce tragic doctrines like Replacement Theology.

II. The Root of the Problem

I’d like to get into the topic of Replacement Theology by going to the root of it. And that is Satan’s hatred of the Jewish people. Satan hates the Jews with a passion for several reasons:

  1. God chose them to be His witness to the world.

  2. Through them God gave the world the Bible.

  3. Through them God gave the world the Messiah.

  4. God has promised that He will save a great remnant of them.

  5. God has promised that through that remnant He will bless all the nations of the world during the Millennial reign of Jesus.

 

Satan is determined to destroy every Jew on planet earth so that God cannot keep His promises to them.

III. Supersessionism

Part of Satan’s strategy has been to infect the Church with what was historically called Supersessionism. This is the idea that God has replaced the Jews with the Church. It’s only in the 20th Century that this concept came to be known as Replacement Theology.

There are two basic kinds of Supersessionism. The first type is called “Economic Supersessionism.” I prefer to call it “Historical Supersessionism.” This is the more moderate form of the theology. It argues that it was God’s plan from the beginning for Israel’s role as the people of God to expire with the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Church. Or, to put it another way, it was God’s plan for the people of God to morph from an ethnic group into a universal group.

An example of this viewpoint among the early Church Fathers can be found in the writings of Melito of Sardis (died c. 180). He wrote:

 

The people [Israel] was precious before the church arose, and the law was marvelous before the gospel was elucidated. But when the church arose and the gospel took precedence, the model was made void, conceding its power to the reality…The people [Israel] was made void when the church arose.

A modern representative of this school of thought is Karl Barth (1886-1968). He stated:

The first Israel, constituted on the basis of physical descent from Abraham, has fulfilled its mission now that the Savior of the world has sprung from it and its Messiah has appeared. Its members can only accept this fact with gratitude, and in confirmation of their own deepest election and calling, attach themselves to the people of this Savior, their own King, whose members the Gentiles are now called to be as well. Its [Israel’s] mission as a natural community has now run its course and cannot be continued or repeated.

The far more common type of Supersessionism, and the type that has characterized the Church almost from its beginning, is called Punitive Supersessionism. It emphasizes Israel’s disobedience to God and their subsequent justifiable punishment by God and their displacement as the people of God.

To put it another way, “The Chosen People of Israel have been replaced by the Church because the Jewish nation acted wickedly and has forfeited the right to be the people of God.”

Anti-Semitism

It is this viewpoint that early on caused the Church to be infected with a virulent form of anti-Semitism. You see, for almost 2,000 years the Church at large, both Catholic and Protestant, has maintained that due to the fact that the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, God poured out His wrath on them in 70 AD, destroying their nation and their Temple, and in the process, He washed His hands of them, leaving them with no purpose whatsoever as a nation.

In short, because of their continuing disobedience and their rejection of Jesus, God has replaced Israel with the Church, transferring the blessings promised to Israel to the Church.

Today this is called Replacement Theology, and those who still believe in it — the majority of professing Christians — consider modern day Israel to be an accident of history, with no spiritual significance whatsoever. Accordingly, they would deny that God has any special plans for the Jewish people in the end times. Again, to them, the regathering of the Jews and the re-establishment of Israel are simply accidents of history, with no spiritual significance.

Let me give you a graphic example of what I am talking about. Consider the following statement that was made by one of Christendom’s best known spokesmen:

I think it is problematic to relate prophecy to current events unfolding in the nation-state of Israel. There may be some relationship, of course. Only God knows. But the secular state of Israel created in 1948 is not, in my understanding, identical with the Jewish people as God’s chosen and called-out covenant people.

I strongly support Israel because it is a haven for persecuted Jews — not because I think it fulfills biblical prophecy. I also support a Palestinian state both from historical and prudential considerations. Given the state of affairs in the Middle East, a Palestinian state is the only practicable solution for peace.

And who wrote these words? Chuck Colson!

IV. The Roots of Replacement Theology

As I said before, the roots of Replacement Theology and its fruit of Anti-Semitism go back to the very beginning of Christianity.

 

As I’m sure all of you are well aware, the Church began as a Jewish institution. It was founded in Judea by Jews who were followers of a Jewish Messiah, and all its founding documents were written by Jews.

A Jewish-Christian Symbol

The Jewish nature of the early church is attested to by this symbol. It is the oldest Christian symbol that has ever been found. It is carved into artifacts found in Jerusalem that date back to the First Century.

Jewish-Christian symbol.jpg

As you can see, it shows the fish, the symbol of the Church, emerging from Jewish roots, represented by the Menorah and the Star of David. The fish became a symbol for Christians because the word for fish in Greek is ICTHUS — an acronym for Jesus Christ, God’s Son and Savior.

The Gentilization of the Church

Now, as the Church began to spread beyond its Judean origin, and as it embraced more and more Gentiles, it quickly lost touch with its Jewish roots. This process was accelerated by the destruction of the mother church in Jerusalem during the Second Jewish Revolt against the Romans that ended in 136 AD.

Another key to the Gentilizing of the Church was the development of an allegorical hermeneutical approach to the Scriptures that enabled the Church to appropriate Israel’s promises for itself. Thus Tertullian, writing in the 3rd Century, was able to argue that the promise of Genesis 25:21-25 that “the older will serve the younger” (speaking, of course of Esau and Jacob), was really a prophecy that Israel would become subservient to the Church!

V. The Evolution of Replacement Theology and Anti-Semitism

As a result of these historical developments, Christian apologists, starting as early as the Second Century, began to turn against the Jews, characterizing them as “Christ Killers.” Consider the following examples:

The Epistle of Barnabas (100 AD) — This writing was a contender for inclusion in the Bible. It is a good demonstration of how profoundly Greek methods of interpretation had already impacted Christians. The writer insisted that the Old Testament was never meant to be read literally, but was to be interpreted allegorically.

The writer argued that “only the Christian could make sense of the Bible.” The “carnal Jews,” with their “earthly mind-set,” had failed to recognize the hidden message of their own Scriptures, and as a result, had eternally forfeited their entitlement to the covenant promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 50-117) — He said that “those who partake of the Passover are partakers with those who killed Jesus.”

 

Justin Martyr (100-165) — He claimed God’s covenant with Israel was no longer valid and that the Gentiles had replaced the Jews. Additionally, he was the first to identify the Church as “the true spiritual Israel.” And he declared that the plight of the Jews — their exile and persecution — had happened “in fairness and justice” because they had “slain the Just One.”

 

Melito of Sardis (died c. 180) — Also focused on deicide when he proclaimed, “The King of Israel slain with Israel’s right hand! Alas for the new wickedness of the new murder.”

Irenaeus (130-202) — He was a student of Polycarp who, in turn, was a disciple of the Apostle John. He declared that “the house of Jacob and the people of Israel are disinherited from the grace of God.” And he argued this because they “have rejected the Son of God ” and “they slew Him.”

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215) — Claimed that Israel “denied the Lord” and thus “forfeited the place of the true Israel.”

Hippolytus of Rome (170-235) — He is considered by many to be the most important theologian of the 3rd Century. He was a student of Irenaeus. He declared that the Jews had been darkened in the eyes of their souls “with a darkness utter and everlasting.” He further stated that they were destined to be “slaves to the nations, not for four hundred years as in Egypt, nor seventy as in Babylon, but… always.”

Tertullian of Carthage (155-230) — He blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus and argued they had been rejected by God.

Cyprian of Carthage (c. 200-258) — He was a student of Tertullian. He wrote:

I have endeavored to show that the Jews…departed from God and lost God’s favor… while the Christians succeeded to their place, deserving well of the Lord by faith, and coming out of all nations and from the whole world.

He added:

We Christians when we pray, say “Our Father” because He has begun to be ours, and has ceased to be the Father of the Jews, who have forsaken Him.

Origen of Alexandria (185-254) — He was responsible for much Anti-Semitism, all of which was based on his assertion that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus. In one of his treatises he wrote:

We say with confidence that they [the Jews] will never be restored to their former condition. For they committed a crime of the most unhallowed kind, in conspiring against the Savior of the human race… It accordingly behoved that city where Jesus underwent these sufferings to perish utterly, and the Jewish nation to be overthrown, and the invitation of happiness offered them by God to pass to others — the Christians…

The Council of Elvira (305) — This was an ecclesiastical synod of Spanish clerics that was held in what is now known as the city of Granada, located in southern Spain. The council voted to prohibit Christians from sharing a meal with a Jew, marrying a Jew, blessing a Jew or observing the Sabbath.

VI. The Turning Point for Christianity

We come now to a great turning point in the history of Christianity — namely, Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in 306 AD and his ultimate adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 321 AD.

As we have seen, by the beginning of the 4th Century, Replacement Theology and its virulent anti-Semitism had become entrenched in Christian thought. And when Christianity was given the approval of the Empire overnight, the emperors began to enact into law the concepts and claims of the Christian theologians against the Jews and Judaism.

In the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, favor was granted to Christianity while synagogues were outlawed. Another edict, issued in 315 AD, authorized the burning of Jews if they were convicted of breaking the laws.

As the Church became increasingly dominant, further laws were passed that severely curtailed rabbinical jurisdiction, prohibited conversion to Judaism, and excluded Jews from holding high office or serving in the military. As Clarence Wagner has summed it up, “Instead of the Church taking this opportunity to spread its Gospel message in love, it truly became the Church Triumphant, ready to vanquish its foes.”

The Council of Nicea (325 AD) — The first ecumenical council of the Church. It was held in what is modern day Turkey, and it was convened and presided over by Emperor Constantine. This is the historic Council that settled the Christological issue of the nature of the Son of God and his relationship to God the Father. Regarding the Jews, the Council changed the celebration of the Resurrection from the Jewish Feast of First Fruits to Easter in an attempt to disassociate it from Jewish feasts. The Council stated:

 

For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people…

In addition to calling them “odious people,” the Council also referred to the Jews as “polluted wretches,” “a most hostile rabble,” and “parricides.”

Eusebuis of Caesarea (c. 265-339) — He taught that the promises of Scripture were meant for the Gentiles and the curses were for the Jews. He asserted that the Church was the “true Israel.”

Hilary of Poitiers (c. 300-c. 368) — This French bishop was granted sainthood by the Church. He wrote, “Jews are a perverse people accursed by God forever.”

John Chrysostom (349-407) — He was the Archbishop of Constantinople. He was nicknamed “The Golden Tongue” for his powerful preaching. He presented eight sermons against the Jews. Here is some of what he had to say:

The synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater, it is also a den of robbers and a lodging place for wild beasts…Jews are inveterate murderers possessed by the Devil. Their debauchery and drunkenness gives them the manners of a pig… This is why I hate the Jews.

 

He proceeded to deny that Jews could ever receive forgiveness. He claimed it was a Christian duty to hate Jews. And he claimed that Jews worshiped Satan.

And this man was canonized as a Saint!

Saint Jerome (347-420) — The renowned translator of the Bible into Latin. He described the Jews as “…serpents, wearing the image of Judas. Their psalms and prayers are the braying of donkeys…They are incapable of understanding Scripture.”

Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (c. 340-397) — He is the one who converted Saint Augustine. Regarding the Jews, he wrote:

The Jews are the most worthless of all men. They are lecherous, greedy, rapacious. They are perfidious murderers of Christ. They worship the Devil. Their religion is a sickness. The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ, and for killing God there is no expiation possible, no indulgence or pardon. Christians may never cease vengeance, and the Jew must live in servitude forever. God always hated the Jews. It is essential that all Christians hate them.

Saint Augustine (354-430) — He is considered the greatest of all the Church Fathers in terms of the overall impact of his theology on the Church. With regard to the Jews, he simply endorsed what had been written before him.

His only new contribution was his answer to a the frequently asked question, “Why has God allowed the Jews to continue to exist?” His answer was that although the Jews deserve death, they are destined to wander the earth to witness the victory of the Church over the Synagogue.

But in terms of Replacement Theology, he provided another cornerstone with his development of Amillennialism and his contention that the millennial kingdom had begun with the coming of Jesus and that the Roman Church was the fulfillment of the kingdom promises that were made to Israel.

VII. The Middle Ages (5th to 15th Centuries)

So, by the mid-5th Century, Replacement theology and Amillennialism had become entrenched as doctrines of the Church, and the Jews had been demonized, condemned, and ostracized to the point that the Church had become a Gentile organization that was off-limits to the very people who founded it!

These views were reinforced by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) who was the most important medieval Catholic theologian. He argued that because of their sin of deicide, the Jews were destined to “perpetual slavery.” He further argued that:

  1. Jews should be compelled to work rather than live in idleness and grow rich by usury.

  2. Jews should be forced to wear a distinctive badge in order to distinguish them from Christians.

  3. Jews and heretics could be legitimately killed after a second warning.

 

To illustrate how severe the rejection of Jews had become by the Middle Ages, consider the oath that the Church in Constantinople required a Jew to take in order to become a Christian:

I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms, unleavened breads and sacrifice of lambs of the Hebrews, and all other feasts of the Hebrews, sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, sanctifications, and propitiations, and fasts, and new moons, and Sabbaths, and superstitions, and hymns and chants and observances and synagogues, and the food and drink of the Hebrews;

In one word, I renounce absolutely everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom…And if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition, or shall be found eating with Jews . . then let the trembling of Cain and the leprosy of Gehazi cleave to me…and may I be anathema in the world to come, and may my soul be set down with Satan and the devils.

A similar Visigoth oath from the 7th century required a Jewish covert to “renounce every rite and observance of the Jewish religion” and contained a promise that the person would “never return to the vomit of Jewish superstition.”

Even the so-called “friends of the Jews” held them in low esteem. Consider, for example, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Peter the Venerable (c.1092-1156), and Pope Innocent III (c.1160-1216). All three spoke out against murderous attacks on the Jewish people.

 

Yet, Bernard of Clairvaux characterized the Jews in his writings as “more than bestial,” “an evil seed,” and “a race who have not God for their father, but are of the devil…”

Peter the Venerable, a contemporary of Bernard, was known as the meekest of men and a model of Christian charity. Yet, he said of the Jews: “I doubt whether a Jew can be really human.” He further referred to them as “monstrous animals” and “brute beasts.”

 

And Pope Innocent III argued that the Jews should not be killed because they should be left to wander the earth “until their countenance be filled with shame.”

Again, by the beginning of the Middle Ages in the 5th Century, two erroneous concepts about the Jews had become firmly established in Church doctrine:

  1. The Jews should be considered “Christ Killers” and should be mistreated accordingly.

  2. The Church has replaced Israel, and God has no future purpose for the Jews.

 

These concepts were reinforced throughout the Middle Ages by:

  1. The Crusades

  2. Artistic Expressions

  3. Blood libels

  4. Black Plague myths

  5. Distinguishing marks

  6. Relegation to ghettos

  7. Pogroms

  8. The Inquisition

 

Let me comment briefly on each of these.

 

Crusades — Regarding the Crusades (11th – 13th Centuries), 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 Crusaders a guarantee of absolution for crimes committed in the Crusader cause. The Crusader shout, “God wills it!” soon became transmuted into “Kill a Jew and save your soul!”

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 they burned the buildings to the ground.

Artistic Expressions — Since the literacy rate in the Middle Ages was probably only around 25%, the most important mode of communication to the common people was through various forms of art. These took the form of dehumanized portrayals of Jews in paintings, picture books, picture Bibles, sculptures, and dramas.

One of the most vivid, abominable and obscene pictures was one called “The Jewish Sow.” It appeared throughout Europe in the Middle Ages in many different forms. It depicted Jews nursing on pigs and eating their excrement. This horrid scene was painted on church walls, featured in stained glass windows and portrayed in statuary.

A more sophisticated portrayal of Replacement Theology was to be found in a very popular image called “Ecclesia versus Synagoga,” or the Church versus the Synagogue. It personified the Church and the Synagogue as rival queens. The Jewish queen was shown blindfolded, bareheaded and downcast. In one hand she holds a broken staff. In the other she clutches the tablets of the law which are about to slip from her hand. The Church queen is depicted as triumphant, wearing a crown, with a cross in one hand and a chalice in the other. These statues were often found at the portals of cathedrals. They clearly communicated the idea that the Jews had been cast aside to make way for a new people of God.

Another type of artistic expression that was very popular was the drama. Miracle plays and passion plays abounded during the Middle Ages, and they were used to cultivate hatred toward the Jewish people. Jews were depicted as demons who knew full well that Christ was the Son of God. In each play, as Christ carried the cross, he was tortured by bloodthirsty, cursing devils with hooked noses, horns and tails. The Jews were made to seem as evil as Christ was divine.

Bible story books and picture Bibles, like the Holkham Bible produced in London in the 14th Century always portrayed the Jews as evil agents of the Devil.

Blood Libels — Throughout the Middle Ages, professing Christians spread myths which helped to heighten popular hatred and fear of the Jewish people. As a result, it became commonplace among Christian groups to think of Jews as agents of Satan. One of the most popular anti- Jewish myths that gained widespread acceptance was the notion that Jews murdered Christians each year around the time of Passover in order to get blood needed to perform satanic rites. This became known as the charge of ritual murder or “blood libel.” Another common myth that circulated during these years was that Jews would steal the wafers used in communion and stab them with knives, thus killing Christ once again!

The most notorious blood libel of the Middle Ages occurred in 1493 when a two year old boy named Simon disappeared in Trento, Italy. His father blamed the Jewish community and 15 Jews were charged with ritual murder and burned at the stake. This emotional story spread quickly throughout Europe and inspired many charges of ritual murder against Jews.

Black Plague Myths — The Black Plague in the middle of the fourteenth 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 wells. Although the accusation was totally unfounded, many Christians believed the myth. One reason it was easy to believe is 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, Jews were tortured and burned to death in bonfires.

Distinguishing Marks — The Fourth Lateran Council headed by Pope Innocent III ruled in 1215 that Jews must wear distinguishable dress and a colored badge of identification. This became common practice throughout Europe.

Relegation to Ghettos — In the 11th Century large cities throughout Europe began to herd Jews into designated areas within the cities called ghettos. This action was motivated, of course, by hatred of the Jews. Considering them to be “vermin,” it was decided that they should be cut off from the rest of the population.

Pogroms — Massive violent attacks against Jewish communities broke out in the 11th and 12th Centuries in France, Germany and England. The Black Plague in the 14th Century provoked additional pogroms throughout Europe. During these pogroms, Jews were murdered, synagogues were destroyed and Torah scrolls were burned.

The Inquisition — It started in 12th Century France and persisted into the 14th Century. It was originally launched to counter heresy within the Catholic Church, but in 1242 it veered off course by condemning the Talmud, resulting in the burning of thousands of Jewish books. In 1288, the Inquisition produced the first mass burning of Jews at the stake in France.

VIII. The Impact of the Reformation

Unfortunately, the Reformation produced no changes in attitudes toward the Jews. Replacement Theology is contained throughout the reference notes of the Geneva Bible, published in 1557, and it is reflected in the chapter headings of the King James Bible, published in 1611. For example, in Isaiah 43 God addresses His promises to “O Jacob” and “O Israel,” but the King James chapter heading reads: “God comforteth the Church with His promises.”

Actually, the Reformation seemed to get off to a good start regarding attitudes toward the Jews. That’s because Martin Luther interjected a breath of fresh air when he took a firm stand against the Church’s mistreatment of the Jewish people. In an essay he wrote in 1523 entitled, “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” he surveyed medieval anti-Semitism and proclaimed: “If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian.” He sincerely believed that the Jewish people would convert en masse to Christianity once they were presented with a Gospel that was free of “papal paganism.” He concluded his treatise with these words:

Therefore, I would request and advise that one deal gently with them and instruct them from Scripture; then some of them may come along. Instead of this we are trying only to drive them by force, slandering them…So long as we thus treat them like dogs, how can we expect to work any good among them? Again, when we forbid them to labor and do business and have any human fellowship with us, thereby forcing them into usury, how is that supposed to do them any good? If we really want to help them, we must be guided in our dealings with them not by papal law but by the law of Christian love…If some of them should prove stiff-necked, what of it? After all, we ourselves are not all good Christians either.

Unfortunately this biblical attitude did not last long. Luther became disillusioned and irritated with the Jews when they continued to resist his reformed Gospel. In 1526 he complained of the Jews’ stubbornness, and by the 1530s he was endorsing the common medieval stereotypes of the Jews, referring to them as “iron-hearted” and “stubborn as the Devil.”

By the end of his life, Luther had turned against the Jews with a vengeance. In 1543 he wrote a pamphlet entitled “Concerning the Jews and Their Lies.” The document was an anti-Semitic diatribe that served to summarize the Jewish hatred that had been accumulating for the past thousand years. In it, he referred to the Jews as:

  • “A miserable and accursed people”

  • “Stupid fools”

  • “Miserable, blind and senseless”

  • “Thieves and robbers”

  • “The great vermin of humanity”

  • “Lazy rogues”

  • “Blind and venomous”

 

Having dehumanized and demonized them, Luther then proceeded to make some startling proposals for dealing with them:

  1. Their synagogues and schools be burned.

  2. Their houses should be destroyed.

  3. Their Talmudic writings should be confiscated.

  4. Their Rabbis should be forbidden to teach.

  5. Their money should be taken from them.

  6. They should be compelled into forced labor.

 

IX. The Impact on Nazism

Needless to say, the Nazis gleefully quoted Luther as they rose to power and launched the Holocaust. In fact, Hitler referred to Luther in his book, Mein Kampf, as a “great warrior, a true statesman, and a great reformer.”

In 1924 at a Christian gathering in Berlin, Hitler spoke to thousands and received a standing ovation when he made the following proclamation: “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.”

Hitler then proceeded to talk about the influence of Luther on his life:

 

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.

 

At the Nuremberg trials after World War II, the Nazi leader, Julius Streicher, defended himself by saying, “I have never said anything that Martin Luther did not say.”

The terrible truth that Christians do not like to face, and which many are unaware of, is that the Holocaust was the product of 1,900 years of virulent Christian anti- Semitism.

And the Jews are fully aware of this fact. Thus, Eliezer Berkovits, a renowned Orthodox rabbi wrote in 1984 that the Holocaust was due to the “moral bankruptcy of Christian civilization and the spiritual bankruptcy of the Christian religion.” He further observed that “a straight line leads from the first act of oppression against the Jews and Judaism in the Fourth Century to the Holocaust in the 20th.”

 

X. The New Anti-Semitism

Speaking of the Holocaust, the horror of it tended to mute virulent anti-Semitism among Christian leaders after World War II. But in reality, it continues in a new form called “Anti-Zionism.”

Anti-Zionism is just anti-Semitism in new, sophisticated clothes. Whereas anti-Semitism sought to drive out the Jews from the lands where they lived, anti-Zionism refuses to accept their right to live in their own land.

Knox Seminary Document

A good example of the new form of anti-Semitism can be found in a document issued by James Kennedy’s Knox Theological Seminary in 2002. It was entitled, “An Open Letter to Evangelicals Concerning Israel.” It has since been endorsed by hundreds of theologians and pastors, including such luminaries a R. C. Sproul.

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,’ perpetually 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” (emphasis added).

The document then specifically denies the Jew’s claim on any land in the Middle East by asserting: “The entitlement of any one ethnic or religious group to territory in the Middle East called the ‘Holy Land’ cannot be supported by Scripture.” Then, incredibly, the document asserts that “In fact, the land promises specific to Israel in the Old Testament were fulfilled under Joshua.”

 

Adding salt to the wounds, the document concludes with the following observation:

The present secular state of Israel…is not an authentic or prophetic realization of the Messianic kingdom of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, a day should not be anticipated in which Christ’s kingdom will manifest Jewish distinctives, whether by its location in ‘the land,’ by its constituency, or by its ceremonial institutions and practices.

Despite these statements, when the anti-Zionists are accused of being anti-Semitic, they deny the accusation vehemently. Here’s how Dennis Prager, radio host and political commentator, has replied to their denials in his book, Why the Jews?:

 

The contention that anti-Zionists are not enemies of Jews, despite the advocacy of policies that would lead to the mass murder of Jews, is, to put it as generously as possible, disingenuous. If anti-Zionism realized its goal, another Jewish holocaust would take place…Therefore attempts to draw distinctions between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are simply meant to fool the naive.

 

Christian Palestinianism

In recent years a new form of this anti-Zionism has raised its ugly head in the form of the Christian Palestinian Movement that Dr. Paul Wilkinson has spoken about several times.

James Showers, Director of The Friends of Israel, has defined the movement in the following words:

 

Christian Palestinianism claims modern Israel has no biblical connection with or justification for owning the Promised Land; therefore, it concludes, Israel has become an apartheid state, occupying territory belonging to the Palestinian Arabs.

 

The Movement’s most prominent leaders over the past few years are the following:

 

Stephen Sizer — Anglican vicar of Christ Church in Surrey, England.

Gary Burge — Ordained Presbyterian minister and professor of New Testament at Wheaton College.

Donald E. Wagner — Ordained Presbyterian minister and director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois.

John Stott — The late theologian and rector emeritus of All Souls Church in London.

Hank Hanegraaff — President of the Christian Research Institute and host of the “Bible Answer Man” radio program.

Tony Campolo — Baptist minister, author, and professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University in Pennsylvania.

Lynne Hybels — Wife of Willow Creek Church senior pastor and founder, Bill Hybels.

Naim Ateek — Founder of Sabeel, the Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology center in Jerusalem.

Mitri Raheb — Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem.

 

Stephen Sizer is the recognized champion of the Christian Palestinian Movement. He has denounced Israel as an “apartheid state” which he claims is guilty of ethnic cleansing, and he has demonized Christians who support Israel as “heretical Armageddonites” whose interpretation of the Bible “provides a theological endorsement for racial segregation, apartheid and war.”

 

One of the movement’s greatest propaganda tools is the Kairos Palestine Document adopted in 2009. It declares “that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity…” And it further asserts “that any theology, seemingly based on the Bible or on faith or on history, that legitimizes the occupation, is far from Christian teachings, because it calls for violence and holy war in the name of God Almighty…” That’s a mouthful when you consider the fact that it is Muslims, not Christians, who are calling for Holy War in the name of God.

The proponents of the movement hold Christian Zionists in open contempt. John Stott denounced Christian Zionism as “biblically anathema to the Christian faith.” Hank Hanegraaff wrote, “Christian Zionist beliefs and behaviors are the antithesis of biblical Christianity.”

One British journalist, Alan Hart, who supports the Christian Palestinian Movement, went so far as to state on his website:

 

It’s time to give Israel’s hardcore Zionists their real name. They are the New Nazis…If Europeans and Americans don’t stop the New Nazis, it’s likely their endgame will be the extermination of millions of Palestinians.

And so you have it — an overview of the sad and sordid history of Christian anti-Semitism rooted in Replacement Theology and continuing to this day under the guise of anti-Zionism.

XI. The Response of Scripture

What does the Word of God have to say about all this?

Anti-Semitism — To begin with, it strongly repudiates anti-Semitism. Consider these words from Psalm 129:

5) 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…

8) Nor do those who pass by say, “The blessing of the Lord be upon you…”

 

Deicide — With regard to the allegation that the Jews are “Christ killers,” the Word clearly identifies who murdered Jesus and makes it plain that the Jews were not exclusively responsible. You will find the identity of those responsible in Acts 4:27:

 

For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant, Jesus, whom You did anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel.

Notice who is listed here as those responsible for the death of Jesus: Romans, Jews and Gentiles. And someone else not named — You and Me! Yes, all of us are responsible for the death of Jesus, for all of us are sinners (Romans 3:23), and Jesus died for all sinners (1 Corinthians 15:3).

Land Promise — Regarding the idea that God has already fulfilled the land promises to the Jews during the time of Joshua, it is interesting to note that long after Joshua, King David wrote in Psalm 105 that the land promise is everlasting in nature and is yet to be fulfilled. The fact of the matter is that the Jews have never occupied all the land that was promised to them in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 15:18-21). Under Joshua, they were given only the land that was promised to Moses.

Rejection — Concerning the claim that the Jews have been rejected by God, there are a couple of biblical principles that need to be kept in mind. First, the Bible affirms that the Jews were called as God’s Chosen People to be witnesses of what it means to have a relationship with Him (Isaiah 43:10-12). And the Bible makes it clear that this calling is “irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).

You can find the calling in Isaiah 43, beginning with verse 10:

10) “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

11) “I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me.

12) “…So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord…

 

The everlasting nature of this call is emphasized in Romans 11 beginning with verse 28:

28) From the standpoint of the gospel they [the Jews] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;

29) for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

 

Replacement — In direct contradiction of Replacement Theology, the Bible teaches that the Jews have never been replaced with the Church by God because of their unbelief. In Romans 3 Paul asserts point blank that their rejection of Jesus has not nullified God’s faithfulness to the promises He has made to them:

1) What advantage has the Jew? [The Church: “None!”]

2) Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.

3) What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? [The Church: “Yes!”]

4) May it never be! Rather, let God be found true though every man be found a liar…

 

Paul makes the same point again in Romans 11:1 where he asks: “God has not rejected His people, has He?” The Church’s response for 2,000 years has been “Yes!” But Paul’s response is exactly the opposite: “May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew…”

 

Discipline — It is true that the Jewish people are currently under discipline because of their rejection of their Messiah. Over and over in their Scriptures the prophets said they would be disciplined if they were unfaithful, but always the promise was made that they would be preserved. An example of this type of prophetic statement can be found in Jeremiah 30:11 —

“For I am with you,” declares the Lord, “to save you; for I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, only I will not destroy you completely. But I will chasten you justly, and will by no means leave you unpunished.”

 

Preservation — God has preserved them in His grace because He loves them. In Zechariah 2:8 God proclaims that the Jewish people are “the apple of His eye,” and He warns against anyone trying to harm them.

 

Salvation — Another reason they have been preserved is because God is determined to bring a great remnant to salvation (Isaiah 10:20-22). This promise is made repeatedly throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and is confirmed by Paul in the New Testament in Romans 9-11. The salvation of this remnant is described in detail in Zechariah 12:10 where it says that at the end of the Tribulation the remaining Jews will come to the end of themselves and will turn their hearts to God in repentance and accept Yeshua as their Messiah.

 

Primacy — That believing remnant will go into the Millennium in the flesh and will comprise the nation of Israel to whom God will fulfill all the promises He has made to the Jews (Isaiah 60-62). During the Millennium the nation of Israel will be the prime nation in the world through whom God will bless all the other nations (Zechariah 8:22-23).

In summary, the Word of God makes it clear that Israel definitely has a role and a future in the end times.

XII. The Perseverance of Anti-Semitism

There can be no doubt that a perversion of Christianity called Replacement Theology has been the source of most anti- Semitism in the Western world. Throughout northern Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, anti-Semitism has been promoted by Islam. The Qu’ran calls Jews “the children of monkeys and pigs.”

But there are anti-Semites in this world who are neither Christian or Muslim and who have never even met a Jew. For example, a few years ago several of the top ten best selling books in Japan were virulently anti-Semitic, blaming all the problems of Japan on an “international Jewish conspiracy.”

Why is anti-Semitism so widespread, so persistent, so virulent, and so irrational? It’s because, as I asserted at the beginning, it is fundamentally a supernatural phenomenon.

I want to end as I began, emphasizing that Satan hates the Jews with a passion. He hates them because God provided both the Bible and the Messiah through them. He hates them because God called them to be His Chosen People. He hates them because God has promised to save a great remnant of them. He hates them because God loves them.

The result is that he works overtime to plant seeds of hatred in people’s hearts toward the Jews. He is determined to destroy every Jew on planet earth so that God cannot keep His promise to save a great remnant. He tried to annihilate them in the Holocaust. He failed. He will try to destroy them once again during the last half of the Tribulation. He will fail again.

XIII. Conclusion

In conclusion, Replacement Theology is an abomination. It is unbiblical, and it has resulted in virulent anti-Semitism that has in turn resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews.

There is no reason for the Church to be covetous of the promises that God has made to the Jewish people. He has also made some glorious promises to the Church, one of which is the Rapture. Additionally we have been promised that we will reign with him over all the nations of the world during his Millennial kingdom. And we have been promised that we will live with Him eternally on a New Earth in a New Jerusalem in new, Glorified Bodies.

It is no wonder that Paul wrote: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has the mind of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

God’s Sovereignty

One of the fundamental underlying messages of this presentation is that God is in control. He is on His throne. He is sovereign. And He has the wisdom and the power to orchestrate all the evil of Man and Satan to the triumph of His Son in history.

 

God has already proved this point with His response to the Cross. He took the most dastardly act in the history of Mankind and transformed it into the most glorious through the resurrection of His Son.

Satan’s Frustration

Satan has got to be the most frustrated character in all the universe. And just as he was frustrated in murdering God’s Son, He will be frustrated in murdering God’s Chosen People.

For a great remnant of the Jewish people is going to live to the end of the Tribulation. They will be brought to the end of themselves.

Israel’s Salvation

And when Jesus appears in His Second Coming,

“…they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10)

 

They will receive Yeshua as their Messiah, and they will cry out “Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai.” (Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!) What a glorious day that will be. What glory it will bring to the name of God.

Meanwhile, as we await that day, let us meet each new day with the cry of “Maranatha! Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!”

 

(See article for references)

 
 

God’s covenant with the Jews is eternal (unbreakable)

Genesis 17:3-8 – The Sign of the Covenant

Ge 17:3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 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. 8 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.”

Psalm 105:8 – The Eternal Faithfulness of the Lord

Ps 105:8 He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,

 

1 Chronicles 16:13-19 – David’s Song of Thanksgiving

1Ch 16:13 O seed of Israel His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!

14 He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth.
15 Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
16 The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac,
17 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel for an everlasting covenant,
18 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance,”
19 When you were few in number, Indeed very few, and strangers in it.

Jeremiah 31:35-37 – A New Covenant

Jer 31:35 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 of hosts is His name):
36 “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.”

37 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.

  • Have you seen the sun, moon or stars today? If so, you can know that the nation Israel still has a place in God’s plan because this passage clearly states that so long as the sun keeps coming up God will never reject the Jewish people (‘descendants of Israel’) – no matter what they do.

 

Romans 11:1-2 – Israel’s Rejection Not Total

Ro 11:1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. 

Jeremiah 30, 31, and 33

Jeremiah 30, 31, and 33: This prediction of the New Covenant promises a restoration of the Jews in the land of Israel that includes spiritual blessings and physical blessings which will never end once started. Note that the New Covenant that God promises in these passages is a covenant with the Jewish people, not the Gentile nations, something the apostle Paul was anxious that Gentile Christians not forget (Romans 11) – it is God’s amazing mercy to now ‘graft’ Gentiles into this salvation promised to the Jews, but Gentile Christians do not replace the Jews! 

 

Do Jews have any advantage with God?

  • Historically the Church has answered the first question with a “No!” Paul, however, answers it by saying: 

    • Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

    • Romans 3:1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.

 

  • God’s promises to the Jews are not contingent on their obedience, but rather the eternal promises of God, based on God’s character.

    • Deuteronomy 4:1 (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.

    • Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.

    • Romans 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

      • Here Paul declares that the covenants and the promises still belong to Israel – present tense! Paul said this during the Church Age! Thus, based on this passage alone Replacement Theology is refuted – God has not cut the Jewish people out of the covenant He made with them, nor is He planning to give the blessings He promised to the Jews to the Church instead (though, of course, the Church will certainly share in many of the blessings that God will give the Jews).

    • Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 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. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Replacement Theology Has Led to Rampant Antisemitism

https://christinprophecy.org/articles/anti-semitism/

The Holocaust was the product of 1,900 years of virulent Christian antisemitism. The roots of Replacement Theology and its fruit of antisemitism go back to the very beginning of Christianity. This is ironic when you consider the fact that the Church began as a Jewish institution. It was founded in Judea by Jews who were followers of a Jewish Messiah, and all its founding documents were written by Jews.

 

But the distinctive Jewish flavor of early Christianity was not to last long. As the Church began to spread beyond Judea, its message was embraced by more and more Gentiles who had no interest in maintaining contact with the Church’s Jewish roots. Even worse, the new Gentile leaders began to turn against the Jews by characterizing them as “Christ killers.”

Consider the following examples:

  • Ignatius of Antioch (ca 50-117 AD) 

    • Taught that those who partake of the Passover are partakers with those who killed Jesus.

  • Justin Martyr (100-106 AD) 

    • Claimed God’s covenant with Israel was no longer valid and that the Gentiles had replaced the Jews.

  • Irenaeus (ca 130-202 AD) 

    • Declared the Jews were disinherited from the grace of God.

  • Tertullian (ca 155-230 AD) 

    • Blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus and argued they had been rejected by God.

  • Origen (185-254 AD) 

    • He was responsible for much antisemitism, all of which was based on his assertion that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus.

  • The Council of Elvira (305 AD in Spain) 

    • Prohibited Christians from sharing a meal with a Jew, marrying a Jew, blessing a Jew or observing the Sabbath.

  • The Council of Nicea (325 AD in Turkey) 

    • Changed the celebration of the Resurrection from the Jewish Feast of First Fruits to Easter in an attempt to disassociate it from Jewish feasts. The Council stated: “For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people…”

  • Eusebius (ca 275-339 AD) 

    • Taught that the promises of Scripture were meant for the Gentiles and the curses were meant for the Jews. Asserted that the Church was the “true Israel.”

  • John Chrysostom (349-407 AD) 

    • Preached a series of sermons against the Jews in which he stated, “The synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater, it is also a den of robbers and lodging place for wild beasts… Jews are inveterate murderers possessed by the Devil. Their debauchery and drunkenness gives the manners of a pig.” He denied that Jews could ever receive forgiveness. He claimed it was a Christian duty to hate Jews. He claimed that Jews worshiped Satan. And this man was canonized a saint!

  • Jerome (ca 347-420 AD) 

    • Described the Jews as “… serpents wearing the image of Judas. Their psalms and prayers are the braying of donkeys… They are incapable of understanding Scripture…”

  • St. Augustine (354-430 AD) 

    • Asserted that the Jews deserved death but were destined to wander the earth to witness the victory of the Church over the synagogue.”

 

The Middle Ages

By the Middle Ages, two erroneous concepts had become established Church doctrine:

  • The Jews should be considered “Christ killers” and should be mistreated accordingly.

  • The Church has replaced Israel, and God has no future purpose for the Jews.

These concepts were reinforced throughout the Middle Ages through the Crusades, the Inquisition, passion plays, the black plague epidemic, and blood libels.

In 1095 Pope Urban II called for a crusade to rid the Holy Land of its Muslim rulers. Although the prime goal of the crusade was to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, Jews were a second target. The accumulated hatreds and fears resulting from charges of deicide (the murder of God) exploded with this call to arms. The abbot of Cluny asked why Christians should travel to “the ends of the world to fight the Saracens, when we permit among us other infidels a thousand times more guilty toward Christ than the Mohammedans?” Religious passion, greed, and the vulnerability of Jews led to the rise of violent mobs who murdered thousands of Jews to the cry of “Conversion or death!” This behavior continued for eight additional crusades until the 9th in 1272.

Passion plays abounded during the Middle Ages, and they were used to cultivate hatred toward the Jewish people. Jews were depicted as demons who knew full well that Christ was the son of God. In each play, as Christ carried the cross, he was tortured by bloodthirsty, cursing devils with hooked noses, horns and tails. The Jews were made to seem as evil as Christ was divine.

 

Throughout the Middle Ages, professing Christians spread myths which helped to heighten popular hatred and fear of the Jewish people. As a result, it became commonplace among Christian groups to think of Jews as agents of Satan. One of the most popular anti-Jewish myths that gained widespread acceptance was the notion that Jews murdered Christians each year around the time of Passover in order to get blood needed to perform satanic rites. This became known as the charge of ritual murder or “blood libel.” Another common myth that circulated during these years was that Jews would steal the wafers used in communion and stab them with knives, thus killing Christ once again!

The Black Plague in the middle of the fourteenth 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 wells. Although the accusation was totally unfounded, many Christians believed the myth. One reason it was easy to believe is 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, Jews were tortured and burned to death in bonfires.

In 1478, Pope Sixtus IV granted the monarchs of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, the right to establish a special inquisition in Spain to deal with baptized Jews who were suspected of remaining faithful to Judaism. Thousands were burned at the stake by order of the Spanish Inquisition. In 1492, King Ferdinand decided that all Spanish Jews should be banned from Spain. It was feared that Jews were a danger to Christianity. Approximately 150,000 Jews were forced to leave Spain.

 

 

The Impact of the Reformation

Unfortunately, the Reformation produced no changes in attitude. In fact, the hatred of the Jews was reinforced and intensified by the writings of Martin Luther, the very man who launched the Reformation. Initially, Luther was sympathetic toward the Jews because he believed their rejection of the Gospel was due to their recognition of the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church. But when they continued to reject the Gospel, Luther turned on them with a vengeance.

In 1543 he wrote a pamphlet entitled “Concerning The Jews and Their Lies.” The document was an antisemitic diatribe. In it, he referred to the Jews as:

  • “A miserable and accursed people”

  • “Stupid fools”

  • “Miserable, blind and senseless”

  • “Thieves and robbers”

  • “The great vermin of humanity”

  • “Lazy rogues”

  • “Blind and venomous”

 

Having dehumanized and demonized them, Luther then proceeded to make some startling proposals for dealing with them:

  • Their synagogues and schools should be burned.

  • Their houses should be destroyed.

  • Their Talmudic writings should be confiscated.

  • Their Rabbis should be forbidden to teach.

  • Their money should be taken from them.

  • They should be compelled into forced labor.

 

Needless to say, the Nazis gleefully quoted Luther as they rose to power and launched the Holocaust. In his book Mein Kampf, published in 1925, Adolf Hitler referred to Martin Luther as “a great warrior, a true statesmen, and a great reformer.” Keep in mind that Hitler was a professed Christian.

In 1924 at a Christian gathering in Berlin, Hitler spoke to thousands and received a standing ovation when he made the following proclamation: “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.”

 

Hitler then proceeded to talk about the influence of Luther on his life: 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.

 

At the Nuremberg trials after World War II, the Nazi leader, Julius Streicher, defended himself by saying, “I have never said anything that Martin Luther did not say.”

The terrible truth that Christians do not like to face, and which many are unaware of, is that the Holocaust was the product of 1,900 years of virulent Christian antisemitism.

 

 

The New Antisemitism

https://www.newantisemitism.com/

The horror of the Holocaust tended to mute the most radical forms of antisemitism among Christian leaders. But in reality, antisemitism continues today in a new sophisticated form called anti-Zionism. Whereas antisemitism sought to drive out the Jews from the lands where they lived, anti-Zionism refuses to accept their right to live in their own land.

A good example of the new antisemitism can be found in a document issued by Dr. James Kennedy’s Knox Theological Seminary in 2002. It took the form of an open letter to Evangelicals concerning the land of Israel. It has since been endorsed by hundreds of theologians and pastors, including such luminaries as R. C. Sproul.

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,’ perpetually 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”.

 

The document then specifically denies the Jew’s claim on any land in the Middle East: “The entitlement of any one ethnic or religious group to territory in the Middle East called the ‘Holy Land’ cannot be supported by Scripture.” Then, incredibly, the document asserts that “the land promises specific to Israel in the Old Testament were fulfilled under Joshua.”

Adding salt to the wounds, the document concludes with the following observation:

The present secular state of Israel… is not an authentic or prophetic realization of the Messianic kingdom of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, a day should not be anticipated in which Christ’s kingdom will manifest Jewish distinctives, whether by its location in ‘the land,’ by its constituency, or by its ceremonial institutions and practices.

And so you have it — an overview of the sad and sordid history of Christian antisemitism that is rooted in Replacement Theology and which continues to this day under the guise of anti-Zionism.

 

Replacement Theology forces a twisted and ‘spiritualized’ interpretation of the NT

Replacement theology is unbiblical and forces a twisted and ‘spiritualized’ interpretation onto huge chunks of prophetic Scripture. Hundreds of passages are affected.  For Replacement theology to qualify as a biblical doctrine there needs to be "positively, passages which clearly teach it and negatively, no passages which actually exclude it." On both counts, Replacement theology fails.

Antisemitism.jpg
 

Christians and Jews are distinct people groups

Nowhere in the entire Bible are Christians said to have replaced the Jewish people. Replacement theologians call the Church the ‘new Israel,’ because in their theology the Church has replaced the Jewish people. The New Testament, however, never once uses the term ‘Israel’ to refer to someone who is not an ethnic Jew. Thus by very definition, calling the Church the ‘new Israel’ is unbiblical since it’s not actually in the Bible. Let me repeat this: nowhere in the entire Bible is it ever stated that the Church is the ‘new Israel,’ and nowhere in the entire Bible are Christians said to have replaced the Jewish people

The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. Biblically speaking, the church is distinct from Israel, and the terms church and Israel 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.

  • Ephesians 1:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory

  • Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

  • The church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings of the Mosaic Covenant were valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God’s program during these past 2,000 years of dispersion (see Romans 11).

  • The NT distinguishes between Jews and Christians

    • Matthew 19:28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 

    • Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

    • Romans 11:25 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. 26 And so all Israel will be saved

 

  • Replacing the words ‘the Church’ wherever Israel is mentioned in the NT makes things become silly and nonsensical. The term ‘Israel’ is used seventy-three times in the New Testament and always refers to ethnic Jews. The vast majority of these refer to national, ethnic Israel while a few refer specifically to Jewish believers, rather than all Jews in general (for example, Gal 6:16). Try replacing the words ‘the Church’ wherever Israel is mentioned in the New Testament and things become silly and nonsensical. 

 

  • 1 Corinthians 10:18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

    • If you put ‘the Church’ where Israel is mentioned in this passage, the whole thing becomes nonsensical: have sacrifices ever been a part of Church practice? Are there altars for offering sacrifices in churches? Of course not! Paul is clearly here talking about the Jewish people when he says ‘Israel,’ and the same is true everywhere else in the New Testament wherever the word ‘Israel’ is used. 

 

  • Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 

    • If you put "the Church" where Israel is mentioned, then it is redundant. The Church is the body of saved believers, so how could Paul's prayer be for the Church to be saved?

 

  • In the Book of Acts, both Peter and Paul keep referring to their fellow Jewish people as “Israelites” and admonishes them to accept Jesus.  

    • But if the Church is the “new Israel” calling “Israelites” to repentance is redundant.

 

  • In Acts 2, Paul calls for his hearers to repent and accept Jesus.

    • Listen to how he addresses them, “Men of Israel” and “Men and brethren”. Is he speaking to Jewish people or Church people?

  • The New Testament consistently refers to national Israel as ‘Israel’ even after the establishment of the church (Acts 3:12; 4:10; 5:21, 31, 35; 21:28), while all the time maintaining a distinction between Israel and the Church.

    • In Acts, both Israel and the Church exist simultaneously – ‘Israel’ is used twenty times and ekklesia (church) nineteen times, yet the two groups are always kept distinct.

    • Acts 13:26 “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 

 

  • Ephesians 2:11–18 is the summation of the relationship that must exist between the Jewish people and the Gentiles.

    • Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

 

  • The Gentile Church, “the Uncircumcision”—who “have now been brought near by the blood of Christ”(v.13)—does not replace “what is called the Circumcision” (v.11). Messiah, our peace, has made the Jew and the Gentile one. He has broken down the middle wall of separation to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, that He might reconcile them both to Himself in one body through the cross. Through Yeshua, we both have access by one Spirit to the Father (vv.14–18).

 

  • The Church’s identity with God must not cause us to overlook His continuing plan for Israel. The existence of the Church does not negate the existence and purpose of Israel. The Church’s identity does not depend on a denial of original Israel, but it is established in Messiah and is intertwined with Israel. The Church does not replace Israel; they are joined to Israel and the two become one.

 

  • The Jewish people can only be restored and redeemed—not replaced. There are promises in the New Testament to the Jewish people that are not equaled by any other nation or people. 

    • Romans 11:25 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. 26 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;
27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

 

  • Jews are Jews, Israel is still Israel, and the Church is the Church. The Jewish people are forever God’s covenant people, and through them, all nations have been blessed. Has Israel been replaced? 

    • Romans 11:1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! … 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. … 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. …26 And so all Israel will be saved, … 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” … 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. ….33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

 

Modern day fulfillment of promises to Israel

https://christinprophecy.org/articles/israel-as-proof-of-gods-existence/

The Old Testament clearly states repeatedly that at the end of the Age God will bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel (this has already happened) and raise them to a position of tremendous blessing and honor and prosperity among the nations (this has not yet happened), as His special possession on the earth forever. 

  • Replacement theology says that God no longer has a covenant with the Jewish people and that Israel no longer has a unique part to play in God’s future plans for the earth. It cannot explain the continued existence of the Jewish people, nor the miraculous rebirth of the state of Israel in 1948.

  • Prophecy has proved the fallibility of Replacement Theology in history. End-time prophecies, which are being fulfilled at an ever-increasing pace, continue to give overwhelming support for the complete deliverance of the Jewish people, restoration of the Jewish people to their Land, and a restored relationship to their Lord.

    • See below for the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies about Israel

  • According to Replacement theology God is finished with the Jews (as of the New Testament). Thus, people who believe Replacement theology cannot give glory to God for the many astounding miracles that have occurred in the past century with respect to the rebirth of the modern state of Israel because, according to their theology, God wouldn’t do that for the Jews. 

 

When God makes a promise he cannot lie – so we know the promises he made to the Jews and to the Christian church will be fulfilled. 

  • Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 

  • Heb 6:17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 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 set before us.

 

If you are Christian, and replacement theology is true

and He is done with the Jew,

what makes you think he isn't through

with me and you.

There is no reason for the church to be covetous of the promises that God has made to the Jewish people. He has also made some glorious promises to the church:

  • Rapture

  • We will reign with him over all the nations of the world during his Millennial Kingdom

  • We will live with him eternally on a new earth, in a new Jerusalem, in new glorified bodies

  • 1Co 2 9 But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

 

The coming 7-year tribulation is for the salvation of the Jewish nation.

 

Zec 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 

 

1/3 of the Jewish people will be brought through the tribulation and saved

Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the Lord, 

“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it:
9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name, And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”

 

The Jewish people will receive Yeshua as their messiah and they will cry out "Burach Haba B'Shem Adonai" (blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord).

Lk 13:35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

Christians have been grafted into the Holy Vine to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and so be saved.

 

Israel as Proof of God’s Existence - Israel in Bible Prophecy

https://christinprophecy.org/articles/israel-as-proof-of-gods-existence/

Fulfilled Bible Prophecy

One of the most decisive evidences of God’s existence can be found in Bible prophecy. I’m speaking of the fact that the Bible is full of hundreds of precise prophecies that have been fulfilled in detail in history.  In fulfilled Bible prophecy we find what I would call “conclusive evidence” that God exists and that the Bible is the Word of God. Just consider for a moment the fact that no other book in the world contains fulfilled prophecies. There is not a single fulfilled prophecy in the Koran, the Hindu Vedras, the book of Mormon or the nonsensical, obfuscated ramblings of Nostradamus. In contrast, the Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled prophecies concerning persons, cities, nations and empires.

Israel in Bible Prophecy

 

Let’s consider some Bible prophecies that were written thousands of years ago that have been definitely fulfilled in the modern history of the Jewish people. These are prophetic fulfillments that cannot be discarded. As one person has put it, they have the thumbprint of God on them.

Dispersion Worldwide

The first one I would point to is the dispersion of the Jewish people worldwide. Thirty-four hundred years ago, as the Jewish people prepared to enter their Promised Land after their 40-year journey from Egypt, their leader, Moses, warned them to be faithful to God. He told them that if they were unfaithful, God would place curses upon them, and that if they refused to repent, His ultimate curse would be their expulsion from their homeland and their worldwide dispersion.

Deuteronomy 28:58-64

58) If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the LORD your God,

59) then the LORD will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses.

60) He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid …

63) It shall come about that … you will be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it.

64) Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known.

 

In this Scripture passage we have a very precise prophecy with a known date. Its fulfillment began in 70 AD when God allowed the Romans to destroy the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple because the Jews had rejected their Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth. The dispersion of the Jews from their homeland was accelerated after the Second Jewish Revolt that lasted from 132 to 136 AD.

 

By the beginning of the 20th century, there were only 40,000 Jews left in the land of Israel. All the rest had been scattered throughout the world, with Jews existing on every continent. No group of people in all of history had been so widely dispersed.

And so we have a precise prophecy with a precise fulfillment.

The Persecution of the Jews

 

The second prophecy I would point to is one that said that after their dispersion, the Jews would be persecuted wherever they went. Let’s return to Deuteronomy and pick up reading where we left off:

Deuteronomy 28:65-67

65) Among those nations [where the Jews will be scattered] you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul.

66) So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life.

67) In the morning you shall say, “Would that it were evening!” And at evening you shall say, “Would that it were morning!” because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see.

 

This is a graphic description of exactly what happened to the Jewish people after they were dispersed from their homeland. Everywhere they went, they were harassed, persecuted and targeted for annihilation — a process that climaxed with the Holocaust during World War II when 6 million Jews were exterminated. Again, we have a precise prophecy with a precise fulfillment.

 

The Desolation of the Land

The third prophecy I would like to emphasize is one that stated that the Jewish homeland would become a desolation after the Jews were ejected from it. Let’s return to Moses’ words in Deuteronomy, looking this time at chapter 29:

Deuteronomy 29:22-27

22) Now the generation to come … and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it, will say,

23) “All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah … which the LORD overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.”

24) All the nations will say, “Why has the LORD done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?”

25) Then men will say, “Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.

26) “They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them.

27) “Therefore, the anger of the LORD burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book …

 

Again, we find a very detailed and graphic prophecy that was spoken 1500 years before it began to be fulfilled when the Jews were forcefully expelled from their land, beginning in 70 AD. By the beginning of the 20th Century the Jewish homeland was a complete desolation. Nearly all the trees had been cut down. Only 17,000 remained. All the previously cultivated valleys had become malaria-infested swamp lands.

 

Mark Twain, who visited the land in 1866, described it with these words in his book, Innocents Abroad:

“It is a blistering, naked, treeless land.”

“Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land.”

“Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes … It is desolate and unlovely.”

 

Again, we have a precise prophecy with a precise fulfillment.

The Preservation of the People

The fourth prophecy I would like to single out is the preservation of the Jewish people. The Hebrew prophets were very precise about this. They made it clear that despite the dispersion of the Jews and their persecution wherever they went, God would supernaturally preserve them as a nation.

Consider this symbolic prophecy of Isaiah who wrote 2,700 years ago, 700 years before the birth of Jesus:

Isaiah 49:14-16

14) But Zion [the Jewish people] said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”

15) [God responds] “Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.

16) “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands …”

 

Speaking more specifically in literal language, Isaiah wrote these words about the preservation of the Jews:

 

Isaiah 41:10-11

10) “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

11) “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.”

Likewise, the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote 75 years after Isaiah, declared that God would preserve the Jewish people:

 

Jeremiah 30:11

“For I am with you,” declares the LORD, “to save you;
For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you,
Only I will not destroy you completely.
But I will chasten you justly
And will by no means leave you unpunished.”

A more graphic prophecy by Jeremiah concerning the preservation of the Jews can be found in Jeremiah 31:

 

Jeremiah 31:35-37

35) Thus says the LORD,
Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:

36) “If this fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the LORD,
“Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever.”

37) Thus says the LORD,
“If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done,” declares the LORD.

So, when will the Jewish people cease to exist? When the sun stops coming up and going down, when the seasons of the year cease to come, and only after all the heavens and the depths of the oceans have been explored. In short, the Jewish people are here to stay.

Do I need to inform you that these prophecies have been fulfilled? Despite their dispersion, their persecution and the murderous pogroms leading up to the Holocaust, 6 million Jews live in Israel today, with another 7 million in other countries.

One of my spiritual mentors when I was in my 20’s was a man named Carl Ketcherside. I heard him in a question and answer session one time when he was asked, “What do you think is the greatest evidence that the Bible came from God?” His answer: “The Yellow Pages of the phone book.” When the questioner asked what he meant, Carl said, “Look at the names of the banks, the names of the department stores, the names of lawyers and doctors and accountants. You will see one Jewish name after another. God promised He would preserve the Jewish people, and He has.” It’s another example of precise prophecies being precisely fulfilled.

The Regathering of the Jewish People

The fifth prophecy I would point to is the one that states that the Jewish people will one day be regathered from their worldwide dispersion back to their homeland. This is one of the most prolific prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures, repeated over and over again. For example, consider the words of Isaiah which were written 700 years before the time of Jesus:

Isaiah 11:11-12

11) Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand
The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath,
And from the islands of the sea.

12) And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.

This great regathering began 2,600 years later in the 1890s. It was sparked by a booklet which was written by Theodor Herzl. He advocated that the time had come for the Jewish people to return to their homeland. The booklet captured the imagination of Jews worldwide, and they began to return to their homeland, which was then called Palestine. At that time there were only 40,000 Jews in the land. The gradual return became an overwhelming surge after World War II, and today over 6 million Jews have returned to their homeland. Once again, we have a precise prophecy with a precise fulfillment.

 

And Jeremiah emphasizes this fulfillment in a startling statement:

 

Jeremiah 16:14-15

14) “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’

15) but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.”

 

This is an incredible statement. Jeremiah is saying here that one day the Jewish people will look back on the history of their nation and will conclude that the greatest miracle in their history was their regathering from the four corners of the world — a miracle greater than their deliverance from Egyptian captivity!

 

The Reoccupation of Jerusalem

 

The sixth prophecy I want to identify is the one that states that when the Jewish people return to their homeland, they will reoccupy the city of Jerusalem, the ancient capital of their nation. The Jews were dispossessed of their beloved capital city when the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD and took them into captivity. They briefly reoccupied the city during the Second Jewish Revolt that began in 132 AD, but after that, the city was never under their control again for century after century. Even after they declared the re-establishment of their state in 1948, they were unable to conquer the city in the War of Independence that followed. But Bible prophecies had made it plain that the day would come when the city would be theirs once again. The prophet Zechariah spoke of that time:

 

Zechariah 8:4-8

4) Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age.

5) “And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets …”

7) Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west;

8) “and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.”

These words were written 500 years before the time of Jesus, and they were written after the Jews had returned from Babylonian captivity and had resettled themselves in Jerusalem. So, this is a prophecy about a future resettlement in the city. Again, in the 12th chapter of Zechariah, the prophet spoke of the Jews being back in the city of Jerusalem in the end times:

 

Zechariah 12:2-3

2) “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.

3) “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”

Jesus Himself affirmed this prophecy in about 30 AD when He said:

Luke 21:24

“… and they [the Jewish people] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

In other words, Jesus said the Jews would be taken into captivity to all the nations of the world and Jerusalem would remain under Gentile control until the time comes for the domination of the Gentiles to end.

The first step in the fulfillment of this prophecy came on June 7, 1967 at the end of the Six Day War when the Jews conquered the city of Jerusalem and reoccupied it with sovereignty over it, for the first time in 1,897 years.

 

It is no wonder that on that day, the chief rabbi of the Israeli army, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, came to the Western Wall, blew a shofar, and then proclaimed: “We have taken the City of God. We are entering the Messianic era for the Jewish people.” He said that because he knew that the prophecies say that when the Jews are back in their land and in their city, the Messiah will come. Once again, we have precise prophecies being precisely fulfilled.

The Reclamation of the Land

The seventh and final prophecy I would like to highlight is the reclamation of the land. As I have already pointed out, the land became a desolation when the Jews were dispersed from it, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. But the Bible also contains prophecies about what will happen to the land when the Jews return. Here’s one from Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 36:24 & 33-35

24) “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land …”

33) Thus says the Lord GOD, “… I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt.

34) “The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by.

35) “They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.'”

In other words, God promised that when the Jews returned to the land, it would be reclaimed from being a wasteland and would become like the Garden of Eden. And that is exactly what has happened. The swamps were drained. Trees were planted. Water was conserved and channeled carefully to the agricultural regions. The result was that by 1950 the land had been reclaimed, and by the end of the 20th Century, Israel had become the bread basket of the Middle East, growing every kind of crop imaginable. During the 20th Century the Jews planted 250 million trees, and Israel ended the century as the only nation in the world with more trees than at the beginning of the century.

Coincidence or Providence?

I could continue by giving you examples of many other specific prophecies concerning the Jewish people that have been precisely fulfilled in history, but I think these seven should be sufficient. So, what are you going to do with this evidence? Dismiss it as a coincidence? Or, recognize it for what it is — and that is proof positive that God exists, that He has supernatural knowledge of the future, that He has the wisdom to proclaim the future, and He has the power to see to it that what He proclaims comes true.

God Himself points to fulfilled prophecy as proof of His existence:

Isaiah 46:9-11

9) “… For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,

10) “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure,’

11) “Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”

The Atheist’s Problem

Any fair-minded person should be willing to admit that the Jews in Bible prophecy are absolute proof of God’s existence. The problem the Atheist has in accepting the existence of God is that he knows the moment he acknowledges God’s existence, it will mean that he is responsible to God, and the Atheist does not want to be responsible to anyone except himself.

C.S. Lewis summed up the Atheist’s problem very well when he wrote: “An Atheist cannot find God for the same reason that a burglar cannot find a policeman.” Think about that profound statement for a moment. Why can’t a burglar find a policeman? Because he doesn’t want to find one!

Thus, in Jeremiah 29:13 we find God saying, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

 

 

Conclusion

The attitude of Mankind today is summed up in Romans 1 where it says that:

Romans 1:18-25

18) [Men] suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19) because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

21) For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22) Professing to be wise, they became fools,

23) and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24) Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

25) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

What more can be said? God exists. He reigns, and He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of Man and Satan to the triumph of His Son.

And thus, I cry out from the depths of my heart, “Maranatha! Maranatha! Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

 
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