Replacement theology versus Realization theology

ShotgunBill's picture

Replacement Theology vs Realization Theology, and the Bible

...and how a pair of eternally significant New Testament events served to shape the world as we know it today.

Let's set the stage for number one. Jesus had been arrested in the garden, condemned by a sordid and utterly dishonest application of lies and innuendo from craven witnesses, and for all intents and purposes sentenced to death by Israel's high priest and national representative as directed toward the things of God. In other words, Caiaphas represented all of Israel in his post as High Priest.

And yet, at the most dangerous point of Jesus' interaction with the high priest, our Lord refused to back down. He said, to the assembled posse of Jewish priests, elders and would-be murderers,

“...Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Matt 26:64.

What an incredible declaration! What an outstanding demonstration of the power of love, when set against all the powers of evil...

Shortly thereafter, Jesus is brought before the procurator Pontius Pilate (who would commit suicide on his return to Rome some time later), who in truth, made some serious efforts to deliver Jesus from the will of His enemies, although to no avail.

So in disgust Pilate literally washed his hands of the affair (yet at the same time, having Jesus scourged, showing no mercy at all in that regard).

“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: SEE YE TO IT”. Matt 27:24.

And of all the many responses that could have been given to Pilate's challenge, the people brashly and stupidly entered into a covenant with God, a covenant that would hound the Jews even to this very day.

“Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children”. Matt 27:25. My Word! What colossal effrontery! What unbridled foolishness!! Words to adequately portray this horror evade me...and the sorrow? Impossible to articulate...

And for our next eternally significant event, number two. Let's look again at Jesus and Pilate, but from a different perspective. Here, having been delivered to the governor, Jesus refuses to speak to Pilate, a refusal to which Pilate responded,

“...Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? John 19:10.

Jesus replied with a truth and power that has never been matched in all the annals of mankind. In some ways, it is a mystery.

“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin”. John 19:11.

So who is the “he” that delivered Jesus to Pilate, to death? Who is it that for eternity would bear the greater sin? For indeed, could a greater sin than delivering Jesus to death, be imagined, or contemplated? Must we blame God? Or was some other higher agency responsible for delivering Jesus to His death?

Well, the Bible always answers the question...and in this case, answers it without contradiction. For out the mouth of Pilate himself, would the truth slither forth. Pilate said to Jesus, “Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me...” John 18:35.

It was here that Pilate let slip the truth of the Jewish priests' and leaders' culpability and guilt in Jesus' death.

We've all read the gospels, so we know what Jesus had done...and we can also know what Pilate did, for in fact, Jesus Himself prophesied of this very thing. Consequently, between the chief priests and Pilate, that prophesy was totally fulfilled. Here is Jesus' prophetic foretelling of His own death,

“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated and spitted upon”. Luke 18:31-32.

Matthew gives us another, very clear statement in this regard as well, for,

“When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate.” Matt 27:1-2.

It's clear from the above, even to the unlearned, that the “He” that delivered Jesus to death, was Israel. For it was the chief priests and elders of the people that did this deed. Israel delivered to the cross, the very Son of God, their own savior, refused, beaten, spit upon and hanged as a criminal.

We mentioned covenant earlier. We were speaking of when the Jews answering Pilate, went on to say, “His blood be upon us, and our children”.

This is a covenant. This says in fact and effect, “If you will kill Jesus...we will take the blame, and even allow the blame (and the blood) to rest upon us and our children”.

A covenant requires two sides. The one here is, “Kill Jesus”...and the other is,”... if you will do that, then we agree to allow you to put His blood upon us and upon our children.” Can anything be sadder? Why would the Jews so quickly imperil their own children? Was the death of the Savior so important to them, that they would place this curse, a curse that rules to this day, upon themselves and upon their very children? Remember, God visits the punishment for the sins and iniquity of the one generation, to other generations following...

And when some time later, God kept that covenant with the Jews, they couldn't whine and complain fast enough. For in Acts chapter five, when the Jews were distressed at the way the gospel was being preached in the name of Jesus, with healings and miracles...and at how many people were believing on the name of the Lord, they had this to say, speaking to the apostles after their having been arrested and miraculously released from prison,

“...the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? And, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us”. Acts 5:28-29.

Indeed, “This Man's” blood would come upon their heads, even to the total destruction of Jerusalem, and the Temple, with over one million killed and taken into vile captivity...And even now the Jews are persecuted and harried across the planet. Even the Holocaust wasn't enough to satisfy the non-Jewish world's blood lust for Jews, so that even today, the blood of Jesus Christ and their ill-conceived covenant with God, leading to His death on the cross, is as effective as it was that day 2,000 years ago.

As John put it, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” John 1:11. But oh my! What a costly way to refuse Him.

And that brings us to the crux of this discussion. And let's enter more fully upon it with the following verse from Paul...

“And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” Gal 6:16.

To whom is Paul referring? Is he praying here for the peace of national Israel? Is he talking about the Israel who refused to accept their leader? Who clamored successfully for His execution? Who said to the sword-wielders, “His blood be upon us, and upon our children”? Is that for whom Paul is asking peace and mercy?

Is Paul praying for the peace and mercy of the people who would literally hound him to death? For of the Jews five times Paul was scourged, each time being whipped almost to death. Three times these same people motivated or actively engaged in whipping Paul with the rods of the magisterial fasces (slender rods of bamboo-like construction)? Really, can you envisage Paul praying for the mercy and peace of the Anti-Christ?

When Paul was so gravely endangered at Ephesus by Demetrius and the silversmiths' guild, the Jews even set forth one of their own, Alexander...who they sent out into the melee in order to, a) disavow any possible connection in the peoples' mind between Christianity and the Jews, and b) in order to do another evil to their worst enemy, the apostle Paul.

Paul referred back to this little evil party in his second letter to Timothy, with,

“Alexander did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words”...2 Tim. 4:14-15. Was Paul asking for mercy and peace upon Alexander and the Jews, who are obviously obstructing the gospel, who are in fact Anti-Christian?

It is pejoratively called “Replacement theology”. To speak of anything in a pejorative manner is to insult it, it is to put it down, to bring doubt upon it. And that is what we must endure if we do indeed believe the Bible. I heard, not so long ago, a well known and famous preacher proclaiming that those who preach and teach replacement theology are, well, not to put too fine a point on it, hell-bound.

So what is replacement theology? It is the biblical idea that God's historical promises to Israel have and are being fulfilled in and by the church. It is the idea that since Jesus came for the salvation of all mankind, that believing Jews are added into the church...and that the Church is now the very fulfillment of God's eternal purpose.

It is that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, but that all are found guilty of sin, and all are in need of salvation.

“...for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one...” Romans 3:9-10. Sin makes us all equal in the eyes of God. Salvation makes us all one, Jew and Gentile, one in Jesus Christ, in the Church.

The genesis of this idea, of this opposition to the biblical plain speaking in this regard, is that the church is but a mere “parenthetic insertion” or 'parenthesis' in God's plan and that Israel still takes precedence in all that God does (millions are going to owe a very sad debt to John Nelson Darby and the Brethren movement at judgment, for this is of their doing).

Such an idea, such a doctrine is absolutely critical, most emphatically necessary for the common modern doctrines of the rapture, of the building of another temple of God in Jerusalem (in fact, the Church is today the very temple of God...and none on earth will ever be built again, that could possibly bear the stamp of God's approval or imprimatur). If the so called 'replacement theology' is in fact truth (and it is)...all their end times theories, all the books, all the debates, the rapture, the great tribulation, all the, well all of everything that passes today for end times truth, is lost. Also, the very idea that the Anti-Christ is the beast of Revelation is an utter, evil fabrication...it cannot be even poorly substantiated by scripture.

Paul puts all that to shame, reveals it for what it truly is, grave error. He puts to shame this theory that the church is but an interloper in God's plan and purpose, that national Israel is still the heart of God's love today (make no mistake about it, Israel was God's chosen people...and still is today, but only insofar as the Jews have come to accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah).

Paul says, defining God's heart for both Jew and Gentile (while speaking to the Gentile Christians at Ephesus),

“That at that time ye 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...But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath broken down the middle was of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the LAW of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain (two) ONE NEW MAN, so making peace; and that he might reconcile BOTH (Jew and Gentile) unto God IN ONE BODY BY THE CROSS, HAVING slain THE ENMITY thereby...” Eph 2; 12-16.

It isn't, it has never been, to take Gentiles and make them into Jews, whereby they then can come to belong to the Church, the body of Christ. It has ever been God's intention to take Jews, and make them into Christians, so that they too become members of the Church, the body of Christ. There is only one single entity on earth today, to which God gives His entire drive and energy. And that is the Church. There is only the singular name of Jesus Christ, through which we can come to eternal life, and by which we are bonded and sealed into His body, the Church.

Yes, Jesus came to His own and they received him not...and for those who continue to refuse Him, God has made a way for them to come into right relationship with Him as well, if they but will come to Jesus in repentance and belief, and that is,

“And they also (the Jews), if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.” Romans 11:23.

In other words, the door is open, and all Jews (whether actual or assumed) are welcome to come into salvation if they DO NOT continue in their unbelief and maintain their anti-Christian positions before God.

Anti-Christian? Certainly. Let's let scripture define the terms Anti-Christ, and the spirit of Anti-Christ and see where Israel sits in juxtaposition thereof.

The phrase “The Anti-Christ” does not exist in the Bible (on the other hand, neither does “The Great Tribulation”). But yes, there certainly is an Anti-Christ, and there certainly is a great tribulation. But what is required of anyone being 'anti' anything? It is required that there be some similarity, in being, in power, in might and in purpose...but in that being, producing an opposite-ness from the real therein.

Satan was a Son of God (Job 1:6). Satan allowed himself to be lifted up with ambition and evil (Isaiah 14:12-13...Rev. 12:4 and 9). Satan corrupted God's plan in the Garden of Eden. Satan is powerful. Satan does miracles. Satan rules over his own kingdom. Satan pursues an eternal plan, but is predestined to failure in that plan. In all that he is, in the very essence of his being, in everything he does, he does so in opposition to everything that Jesus represents and is. And in that he, Satan, is the most powerful proponent and champion of opposition to Jesus Christ in the universe, Satan is then “THE Anti-Christ.”

All of what Satan is and does, are ALWAYS in total opposition to that which Jesus is and does. And that's why Jesus would say, in speaking of Satan, that,

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if Satan cast our Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then HIS KINGDOM stand?” Matt 12:25-26.

Yes, Satan has a kingdom. The phrase “Satan's Kingdom” does not occur in scripture, but we see from the above that it is nevertheless horrifyingly real. Yes, Satan has an eternal purpose. Yes, Satan is THE ANTI-CHRIST.

So let's ask the bible to define for us, all things Anti-Christ and Anti-Christian.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Anti-Christ shall come, even now are there
many Anti-Christs; whereby we know it is the last time.” 1 John 2:18.

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ ? He is Anti-Christ, that denieth the Father and the Son”. 1 John 22.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come is come in the flesh is and this is that spirit of Anti-Christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” 1 John 4:3.

And finally, from Second John, verse 7, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Anti-Christ.”

Five times only. Five times throughout the entirety of the Bible, is 'Anti-Christ' mentioned or named. And note carefully that Anti-Christ is not only those who DENY that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, but it is also those who do not actively CONFESS that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. He who doesn't confess that Jesus is Lord, is the Christ, the Son of God...is Anti-Christ.

And who, in all the world, are most famous for their unbending denial of Jesus as the Son of God? Yes, it is national Israel. For He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. The occasional Jew, the rare child of Israel may come to know Jesus through repentance and belief. But do you see, world-wide, a large existing church of Christian Jews, that is, Jews who are Christian, and not Anti-Christian? There was such in the earliest days of the church, right after Jesus died. But in the course of time, and in God's plan, Israel became fully incorporated into the Church.

And into the Church God has poured all of His energy, all of His plan, all of His purpose.

For Israel did stumble at that stumbling block, that stone of offense. For they even to this day do not fully appreciate just what 'covenant' with God amounts to.

You see, God made a promise to Israel, a promise that the church being here today, on this earth, has fully proved and validated. That promise was,

“The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me: unto him ye shall hearken.” Deut 18:15, going on to say,

“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my word which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him” him.” Deut 18:19.

Peter, under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit quoted this passage shortly after the birth of the Church of Jesus Christ, in Acts chapter three,

“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that EVERY SOUL which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people” Acts 3:22-23.

How could the Jews, whose long and vast experience in covenant and failure to do their covenant part, NOT know that their refusal to accept and believe in Jesus Christ, how their continued existence as Anti-Christian, would result in their being utterly destroyed from 'among the people'?

Jesus prophesied of this very fact, of Anti-Christian Israel being cut off, of being destroyed from among the people with,

“Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matt. 21:43.

Paul agreed with this, speaking to the assembled Jewish leaders in Rome,

“Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it”. Acts 28:28.

On the mount, God spoke to Moses and by extension to the children of His chosen people, encouraging them to hear Moses and to obey all that he said.

In these last days, God has spoken again to Israel (the Church) from the mount. For from out of the cloud that enveloped Jesus, Peter, James and John, God said, “This is my beloved Son, HEAR YE HIM”. Yes, God speaks through Jesus, and to both the Church, and to the Israel that has become the church and who accept Him.

But as usual Israel rebelled from God's speaking through Moses, and continues to rebel against God speaking to us today by His Son, Jesus Christ...They did then, and they do today, follow their own uncircumcised minds and will, for as Paul says,

“For finding fault with them, he saith, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah, NOT according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” Hebrews 8:8-9.

The Jews refused to meet their portion of the Sinai covenant, yet all the while thinking they might still inherit the promises (still confessing to do so unto this very day), God's portion of the covenant. But God REGARDED THEM NOT, and Israel was set aside, given to follow their own minds and hearts into sin and degradation. Of all the human conditions one might find himself in...to be disregarded by God must be among the most horrible.

And yet, as a nation, Israel still rebels, still refuses the Son of God, sent to them from the Father Himself. They have refused the New Covenant, the covenant that locates God's law, God's will, not in the law, but in our own hearts through the indwelling person of the Holy Spirit.

So that today, national Israel's promise is not such as Christians have...for Israel is the bondwoman,

“Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman.” Gal 4:30.

And speaking now to us, Paul goes on to say,

“So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” Gal 4:31. And if our Christian legacy will be eternal life, what will be that of those who cannot be heirs of the same?

National Israel is NOT God's chosen people today. Yes, some of them come into salvation, but as a nation, as a people, they have refused him sent to them by God, and as such, reside in the world in the seat and position of Anti-Christ.

“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28-29.

And so, that portion of Jews who are not 'destroyed from among the people', those who embrace, accept and love Jesus Christ the Son of God, now comprise that Israel of which Paul says,

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Romans 11:26.

This then, is the Israel upon which Paul prayed for peace and mercy, in Galatians 6:16.

For this salvation, this life, this blessing, lies in Jesus Christ alone...and the invitation rings out to the Jews every single day.

Be saved...

Israel has not been 'replaced' by the church. What is pejoratively called “replacement theology” to those who disdain and refuse to acknowledge the Christ-hood of Jesus Christ, should be called “realization theology”, for Israel has been “realized” by the church, in that God has made the two, of Gentile and Jew, the singular recipient of His salvation, His presence, His blessing, His plan and purpose.

I am and remain sincerely yours in Jesus Christ,

Shotgun Bill

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