Replacement Theology (Spiritual Israel)?
What does this term mean? When checking the word "Theology" the definition is given: "The study of theistic [knowledge from or of God] (esp. Christian) religion"; with variations on that theme. Theism, specifically: "belief in a God supernaturally revealed to humankind, who created and intervenes in the Universe, and who relates personally to living creatures" (Oxford English Reference Dictionary).
From the above we have the key words and phrases:
"Theo" = God, in this case the one true God; Isa. 44:6 & 45:5.
"Theism", knowledge from God, supernaturally revealed to humankind.
Who relates to His living creatures, (wishes to).
So, in short, God the Creator of all wishes to relate and communicate with His created human beings. What you may say is the problem? That is described in Genesis, when the entity called Satan misquoted what God had said to Adam regarding one tree in Eden! See: Eve and Adam.
To begin to understand why Satan would misquote God, Who had created him earlier, one needs to know a little about the history of Satan: See: Satan's Origins; and Satan's Motivation:
So, we see that Satan's desire is to mislead people (lie to them), on any subject, but particularly in relation to God's message to His created beings as He has given it in the Bible! The Bible is Almighty God's information to humans who will look at it, to find out what is true! It may not seem so to people when they first start to read it, but if their hearts are directed to Him to request in prayer His Truth, He will by His Holy Spirit give that Truth and understanding of it, see: Understanding Scripture:
Many people have said to the writers, "why has God made this process so complicated"? The fact is that He hasn't, Satan has, by the use of that most valued facility we all possess, free will! Yes, Satan has free will, and he used it to rebel against His Creator, and as seen in the above Links, he fell from his position as "anointed Cherub that covered", to that of "adversary" in opposition to God, and now wishes to unseat Almighty God in such a way as to be acceptable to all Heavenly Creation!
The first assault by Satan in this current Creation in the Garden of Eden produced the ‘Fall’ of Eve and Adam, and introduced death into the world as a consequence! God however has made a way out of that death trap by virtue of His promise embodied in Gen. 3:15! This is the promise of Messiah Christ Jesus given at that early stage of the entry of death into this present world. All that is needed is for a person to accept Jesus into their lives in the knowledge of His death and resurrection, which becomes theirs vicariously from that moment on, and they are sealed in Heaven, awaiting the completion.
What then is the problem if Salvation is so complete and completed in Jesus Christ? The answer to that is that Satan has not yet been "bound" or "destroyed" and will not be until the appointed times, and is as Peter describes on the rampage to distort truth and to destroy, 1Peter 5:8. He has that mandate up to the time when he will attempt to destroy Israel, which if he succeeded would prove God a liar, as He has stated specifically that Israel (the Jewish people not the erroneously named “spiritual Israel”; see next paragraph) will never be destroyed; Jer. 31:35-37!
There are Church groups on Earth; many of which are well known denominations such as Baptist, Evangelical, Methodist etc.; who teach that "Christians are the new or spiritual Israel". To some extent, it is what the Pastor believes, and the congregation many times will follow what they say without checking for themselves what the Bible says! This leads to enormous error in many people’s understanding and also knocks on into much of their understanding of Israel and God’s dealing with them as His “First born son”, see: "Israel; My Firstborn son".
Where this gross error is taught by male and female Pastors, Vicars etc.; the congregations must do their own research and study; and not be controlled by the Pastors etc. Most of the Bible up to the end of Acts, mainly concerns Israel (the Jews). From Acts 28:28 up to the beginning of Revelation, concerns “The Body of Christ”, not His “First born son”!
Satan's main tool in his attempts to confuse and delude people on Earth is the Bible itself and peoples interpretation of it! As is well known, and quoted above he was successful in Eden, and even attempted to use Scripture against the Lord Himself just after His water Baptism.
People will say that the question arises "who is to say your interpretation is the right one"?
This is easily answered to someone who is sincere in the question. Firstly, the statements made by Almighty God regarding Israel in the Old Testament (O.T.) must be accepted; especially all references to Israel's continuation (Jer. 31:31-37), and all related Scriptures! If that is disputed, then that person or group does not accept the infallibility of God's statements, and no further discussion will help! God's infallibility (as opposed to that of the R.C. Pope), is beyond dispute, and therefore is a sure foundation for further study of Scripture.
The writers have had the experience of an apparently sincere Christian wanting to know Truth of prophecy from O.T., but when it conflicted with his and his group's teaching he rejected the Truth; for that of the comfort of the group's fellowship. This is having dire consequences for his wife and children!
This leads us to the main point of this paper, Satan's on-going attempts to eliminate the Jewish people Israel. Until a certain point in the future when certain Nations are gathered against Israel and Jerusalem (see: www.revelationsmessage.co.uk), he will use all methods available to him to diminish Israel in the eyes of the world. One of his most successful strategies so far, is to convince many parts of Christendom that they are the "new Israel" and that all the blessings and promises that are contained in Scripture apply to them, and not Israel! This leads to enormous distortions of Scriptural understanding and teaching, leaving many people (and teachers) confused and disillusioned as they try to reconcile Scripture, which conflicts with their Bible interpretations, with themselves as "the new Israel or spiritual Israel"! The simple fact is that nearly all of the Bible up to Acts 28:28 applies to Israel, (see: "Israel; My Firstborn son") and on from there to the beginning of Revelation applies to Gentiles and Jews, with Gentiles "first priority"!
Israel are yet to be re-adopted by God (Hos. 1-2), and their future is to be glorious as a "Kingdom of Priests" to the world. Before that they must endure more persecution; See: Israel - Prophecy - The Last Days.
The roots of Replacement Theology go back to the early Church, and became the seed bed of 'Christian anti-Semitism' to quote C.H. Wagner. The so-called Church Fathers (all Gentiles) are initially responsible for this. The teaching that 'the Church had replaced Israel' has become pernicious, and in part is responsible for the Nazi Holocaust! The Pogroms of the last 2000 years are also of the same root! The declaration of Justin Martyr (AD 160) to a Jew "the Scriptures are not yours, but ours", together with others of his near contemporary's, give the total anti-God and anti-Christ flavour of this Satanic and erroneous teaching since the formation of the Gentile Church!
The Roman Church, under Constantine and Helena his mother, solidified this Satanic error, and developed it to the point (together with many other well-known deliberate miss-teachings) that even Martin Luther did not differentiate between the Pharisees and Israel, which differentiation is critical to true understanding of our Lord's ministry and mission to His people, in the Gospels! See: Bible Text Corruption:
The lesson is clear! Do not take the Bible in small parts! Know its total content and purpose! Check what your Bible teachers and leaders are saying and teaching, against what the Bible says (the Word from God)!
This negation of Israel in the teachings of some groups who refer to themselves as "spiritual Israel" can have serious consequences for them in the future, as usually the same groups have a prejudice against Israel, which in some cases could make them subject to the "judgement of Sheep and Goats", see: Sheep and Goat Judgement. That is not to say that all people in those groups are lost; but there is the constant danger of that and of further Satanic infiltration and wrong teaching by their leaders!
This substitution of the Church for that of Israel in the minds and teaching of these groups is a successful strategy at present of Satan, and stops them from understanding what is prophesied in the Bible for Israel and the world; and from understanding the News regarding particularly Israel and the Middle East, which currently is looking very pertinent to Revelation 13 (13th March 2014)!
It is easy to see how "Replacement Theology" can blind people to what is happening in the world and lead them into wrong understanding and conclusions. One of the marks they display is an arrogance and deafness to the Truth. The Truth is that Israel means Israel, when the Bible says such, and NOT THE CHURCH. Israel has a glorious future on Earth during the Kingdom of God on Earth, called by some Christians "the Millennial".
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