The Replacement Theology Bait & Switch

Since the creation of the world, God’s Word has been distorted and twisted.  As one line in Don Francisco’s song Adam, Where are You proclaims, “But the master of deception now begins with his dissection of the Word”

This is a re-post from a pastor friend, Steve Meyer.  His blog is Reaching Higher With Meyer

If you saw the word “Israel” in a sentence, but then someone tells you to replace the word with the word “church” in your mind every time you see it, isn’t that an attempt to change the meaning of the sentence?

Here’s a simple example:

“I am going to Israel on Sunday.”

If I wrote this straightforward sentence and you did the word replacement in your mind like I described above (Israel –> church), do you think the intended meaning would change?  Am I going to travel to the nation of Israel on Sunday, or actually am I just going to church on Sunday?

Wouldn’t confusion be the result of allegorizing literally written words?  Why would I write the statement one way and then subsequently make you change what it means in your mind…actually overriding the written words?  And if I am the writer of the sentence and I didn’t want you to do this replacement, but someone else came along and told you to do it anyway, you think intended meaning would potentially get messed up?

Remember, the Lord is ultimately the writer of the Bible…so it’s written perfectly!

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.  But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Pet 19-21)

Thus does Replacement theology (also called Supersessionism, Fulfillment or Expansion Theology)…a false teaching running rampant in “Christian” circles today.  Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, Preterism, Dominion Theology, Kingdom Now Theology fall into this camp as well…that is, dispensing of God’s literal future promises to Israel.

Look at the New Covenant for example – who is this covenant made with?  What do you do with this passage…perhaps replace some words?  If you think Israel is not part of God’s future and glorious plan – that is exactly what you wrongly do with it.

Look at the actual text:

Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel [bold mine] and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days [bold ed.], says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more (Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:8-12).

By the way, for those who think the fulfillment of this happened in the past with Israel…can you tell me exactly when it literally occurred?  It never did!  It is dishonest to even try to say that it did.

Israel only became a nation again in 1948.  It would have had to be fulfilled post that date, May 14, 1948, because it was not previous to the Babylonian destruction of Israel in 586 B.C.  The OT writers make that crystal clear, post-destruction, that they are awaiting the fulfillment of the New Covenant which God made with His people in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (see the book of Daniel chapter 9 for details, written somewhere between 540 and 530 B.C.).

Additionally, the nation NEVER possessed the full allotment of land promised to her by the Lord (Gen 15:18-21), as per the Abrahamic Covenant.  The Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant will be fulfilled simultaneously (see Rev 20).  Look at a map and plainly see that Israel NEVER possessed her Promised Land…

If you attempt to assert the New Covenant is already fulfilled, you are proving the point of this post.  You are spiritualizing words in order to assert a position that the biblical text does not support.
[Furthermore] you are going against the literal words and promise of God.  And that goes directly against another strong and literal promise made to Israel by the Lord in Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Be very careful how you handle God’s Word. Your eternity is on the line!  Don’t get duped like many do in a bait-and-switch scenario.  The Lord would never play this game with us…NEVER!  Can you imagine if God did that with our Savior; gave us One and then swapped Him out with another?  May it never be…and it will NOT occur!!!

Deuteronomy 4:2
“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it”

Proverbs 30:6, Rev 22:15
“Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” “Outside [of the New Heaven and Earth] are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”

Revelation 22:18-19
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”

So you might ask…how does the Church fit into the New Covenant then? Great question!  Ephesians 1:13-14 has the perfect answer…

Ephesians 1:13-14
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Those saved in the Church Age have a down payment.  They are partaking in advance of blessings to come upon the future fulfillment of the New Covenant.  True Christ-follower’s have a guaranteed pledge of our inheritance, with a view towards the complete redemption of God’s own possession.  This is based on the authority of the full canon of Scripture.

The literal fulfillment of the New Covenant will occur at the 2nd Coming of Christ, when His Kingdom will literally be set up on earth (see Rev 20).  “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne” (Matt 25:41).

Now, to the extent of the Holy Spirit ruling and reigning in the Church Age saints’ personal temple…that is a spiritual blessing beyond comprehension.  But to set up God’s Kingdom in a mystical sense and forgo a literal one, this based conceptually on the Spirit’s indwelling, especially when both the Old and New Testaments promise a literal Kingdom on earth.

And the true Christ-follower should be wrestling with this, as this is one of the specific roles of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-14) with whom he or she is indwelled.  True children of God are actually sealed by the Spirit of God for the day of the Lord’s redemption (Eph 4:30); which is actually when the New Covenant will be fulfilled.

Add in this fact: every single promise about Christ’s 1st coming was literally fulfilled.  So why then would a person spiritualize any of God’s promises about His 2nd Coming and allegorize a literally described future Kingdom to come on earth?  On what basis would you even do it?  And honestly, why would you do such a thing, and by what authority?

Spiritualizing Scripture is very dangerous, with catastrophic results if you are doing so in error.  The last exhortation in God’s Word warns specifically against this.  Please be very, very careful!

And lastly, and maybe most importantly, this is what God directly says about this matter, through very possibly the greatest Christian that ever lived.  By the way, the apostle Paul was also Jewish…

Israel Is Not Cast Away (Rom 11:1-27)
I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?  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.  Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?  “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.”  But what is the divine response to him?  “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”  In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

What then?  What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”
And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
“Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they?  May it never be!  But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.  Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!  But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.  For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?  If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.  You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”  Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.  Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.  And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
“This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

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