John R. Houk
April 28, 2012
One of the greatest Biblical errors committed by Christians in history is to call the Jews Christ-killers. And then use the “Christ-killer” appellation as an excuse to persecute Jews to the point of death. The “Christ-killer” thinking then led to Replacement Theology in which Christians are viewed as a replacement of Jews as God’s Chosen People.
Question: “What is replacement theology / supersessionism?”
Answer: 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. All the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel can be divided into two camps: either the church is a continuation of Israel (replacement/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. So, 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 2000 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 1900 years? (What is replacement theology/supersessionism? GotQuestions.org. READ THE REST)
The Church does not replace the Jews or Israel! In reality the Church is engrafted into Israel in adoption because of the Blood of Christ. The Blood of Christ enables Jews and Gentiles jointly to be a New Creation in Christ Jesus. Even in the engrafting the Jews still have a special place in the mind of God because of the Promise to Abraham. The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb are promised to be the eternal heads of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22: 28-30 NKJV)
The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb are Jews before the Resurrection and as Jewish-Christians still celebrated Jewish festivals and I have no doubt were dedicated to the Law at least as much as Christ was the fulfillment of the Law. In my mind then there is still a special place for the sons of Abraham through Isaac the child of Promise in the flesh through Jacob who is also Israel. God’s Word there is no difference between the Jews and the Gentiles who are believers in Christ, but still the Promises and Covenants of God came through the Jews first and enables the Gentiles as the sons of Promise by faith like Abraham to be engrafted spiritually into Israel by adoption through faith in the Blood of Christ.
So knowing the Jews will always be an apple in God’s eye let’s get some understanding about Jews and Gentiles in the Christian perspective as laid out by revelation by the Apostle Paul.
Israel’s Rejection of Christ
9 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[a] 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.
Israel’s Rejection and God’s Purpose
6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”[b] 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”[c]
10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.”[d] 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”[e]
Israel’s Rejection and God’s Justice
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”[f] 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”[h]
26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”[i]
27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:[j]
“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
The remnant will be saved.
28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”[k]
29 And as Isaiah said before:
Present Condition of Israel
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.[n] 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.[o] For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
Paul tells in Romans 9 the Jews are in trouble for rejecting Christ as Savior; however he also tells us that the Jews will be restored when the time arises that Jesus is no longer a stumbling block to their faith. Paul also warns the Gentiles that have become Christians that if there is a rejection of Christ and the Christ-life the Resurrection brings to Gentile believers God will have no difficulty in removing their stature in the Kingdom of God as well.
In my view it is Paul’s sadness that so many Jews rejected the Gospel of Jesus yet Paul also warns that Gentile Christians need to view the Jews with the respect that the Covenants of Promise that has come to believing Gentiles should not disdain the Jews. Do not disdain the Jews because there is a time that a full restoration of their place as the Chosen People will happen because that is as much a Promise as it is that the Gentile nations of the world have Deliverance by faith in Christ from the Kingdom of darkness.
Therefore the historical path that Christian leaders pursued as labeling Jews as Christ-killers is a huge error. It was the same error Jewish leaders did to the Early Church in the persecution of Christians. Paul’s pre-Christian job was to persecute Christians that often resulted in the death of Christians. God took the Executive manager placed in charge by Jewish authorities to exterminate Christians and opened his blind eyes. The Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself to Paul and gave Paul an understanding of Scriptures that point toward Jesus as the Messiah (the Christ). The Lord Jesus got Paul’s attention supernaturally on the road to Damascus and made His point by blinding Paul. Jesus drove the point home for Paul by leading him to the person Jesus assigned to pray for Paul that his eyes should be opened. And Bam! Paul went from a persecutor of Christians to an Apostle to Gentiles bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Jew first and then the Gentiles.
You should note that the Romans chapters 10 – 12 should be read in the context of following chapter nine. In Chapter Ten Christians find the Roman Road to Salvation in Romans 10: 9-10. The context is Salvation by faith in Christ and to lead a Christ-like life and so do not be as Jews persecuting Christians by reversing that by being Christians persecuting Jews. I am ashamed to write that history shows that Christian leadership failed that lesson in Europe where Christianity took hold mightily. Jews were persecuted from the time that Constantine the Great established Christianity as the religion of the State in which Christianity had a political foundation to depend on to send out missionaries that Christianized polytheistic Europeans that eventually resulted in the Christianizing of Europe from the Atlantic in the West to Russia in the East and the Nordic nations of in the North to North Africa along the Mediterranean in the South.
The tormenting of Jews in European areas last from their expulsion from Israel between 70 – 135 AD through the Holocaust that killed SIX MILLION Jews until 1948 when Jews re-found their homeland in an independent Israel.
Now the Promise was given to Abraham. The beginning of that Promise begins with Isaac for through Isaac the seed of Promise begins that leads to Israel, an Israel nation and the Messiah in Jesus Christ the son of Mary in the flesh and the Son of God from the Spirit. Thus making the perfect man that is sinless because of being fully human and fully God. The sinlessness of Jesus made Him the Blood Sacrifice that Redeems humanity from the authority given to Satan through Adam’s rebellion. Isaac was the first child of Promise and Jesus became the ultimate seed of Abraham as the promise that brings blessings to all nations and people that believe Jesus is the Risen Savior from death to life sitting at the right Hand of the Father ever interceding for the Saints (Believers) in Christ.
Jesus is and will be the fulfillment that in Abraham’s seed the families of the earth will be blessed. When people curse Israel then they are cursing God in Jesus who is the Promise of Abraham to bless the families of the earth. Christians should especially no better than to do anything that is a curse to Israel!
12 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh.[a] And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12: 1-7 NKJV Bold Emphasis Mine)
I believe one of the reasons the USA has become such a powerful nation in the 20th and 21st century is that as a nation we have blessed Israel. Frankly I can’t see forcing Israel to allow the creation of Jew-hating Muslims on their border as a blessing. Furthermore I cannot see allowing nations to have the capacity to destroy Israel as a blessing either (e.g. a nuclear Iran). These are policies that must be reversed to continue to receive blessing for blessing Israel.
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”[a]) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”[b] (Romans 4: 13-18 NKJV Bold Emphasis Mine)
The Abrahamic Covenant is a promise of land for Jews and Salvation for the world through the Jews. All who disagree are disagreeing with God.
The Abrahamic Covenant
By Malcolm Hedding
Posted on: Wed, 29 Feb 2012
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12: 1-3
The Abrahamic Covenant is a God-given promise that has influenced the very course of human history. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Galatians, was clear that it could never be annulled (Galatians 3:17). Many preachers have tried to annul it in some form or fashion, in an attempt to deny the Jewish people a national destiny in their ancient homeland of Canaan. That God would displace peoples in order to restore Jewish national sovereignty offends them, since they regard this as unjust. But God does not see the world as we see it and therefore He harmonizes His judgment of peoples with the return of His people to the Promised Land.
Thus He only brought His people into Canaan four hundred years after the Exodus, when the wickedness of the nations living there was “ripe” for judgment (Deuteronomy 9:4-5). This idea of God judging people and nation groups is rejected by many theologians today. Michael Pryor, an Anglican minister, so fully rejected this notion that he referred to Joshua as “the patron saint of ethnic cleansing.” This ignores the fact that a loving God, who does not change, called for the judgment that Israel’s possession of the land brought on the peoples who were already living there.
The Abrahamic Covenant is also everywhere affirmed as an everlasting Covenant (Genesis 17:7-8; Psalm 105:9-12). Most theologians agree that it was unconditional, but if it were not it was conditional upon Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. This he completely fulfilled and thus God affirmed that henceforth He would keep the terms of the Covenant; a fact that David acknowledged in the Psalms. Note the words of Genesis 22:15-18:
“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son – blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’”
So this forever settles the debate! The Abrahamic Covenant is everlasting, cannot be changed and even the New Testament scriptures affirm this (Hebrews 6:13-20). Why is it so hard for Christian leaders to get this? Especially since the fruit of seeking to reconstruct it has been rotten to say the least. It has brought arrogance and prejudice against the Jews, taken the Church down a pathway to anti-Semitism and birthed pogroms, expulsions, persecutions, Apartheid and the Holocaust. This is undeniable! Worst of all, those who deny the everlasting nature of the Covenant accuse God of lying!
Because they cannot accept that God has returned Israel to Canaan in our time, they concoct elaborate theories all designed to undermine the truth of the Abrahamic Covenant. So Catholic and Protestant prelates declare that the Abrahamic Covenant has been abolished, and even Evangelicals are constructing elaborate theological theories to disavow the efficacy of this everlasting promise. Some Palestinian Christians have called for the Bible to be “de-Zionized!” Those who affirm its efficacy are smeared as working against peace in the Middle East. They are called hateful warmongers always advancing the Zionist plots of the Jews!
So, what is the Abrahamic Covenant?
A. It is the watershed of redemption history in that it constitutes God’s decision to save the world from sin (Galatians 3:8).
B. It has many aspects or facets, like a diamond;
(1) A promise of custodianship
That is, it will be through an ethnic group called Israel that God will bless the world. This nation will exist as long as the stars are in the sky above us! (Genesis 12:1-3; John 4:22; Romans 3:1; 9:1-5; Jeremiah31:35-37)
(2) A promise of land
Those who “mess” with this land and seek to disinvest the Jewish people of it can expect divine judgment (Genesis 17:7-8; Joel 3:1-3). This promise, in spite of Israel’s disobedience, has been fulfilled time and time again through the course of history.
(3) A promise of a saving Messiah
In Genesis 22 we have the story of the “binding of Isaac”, which Christians view as a foreshadowing of the death of Jesus (Hebrews 11:17-19). The Abrahamic Covenant always held a promise to the descendants of Israel and to the “seed” – Jesus (Genesis 22:17-18). To believe in the one does not deny the other. In Galatians three, Paul was pointing to the “one” – Jesus – and was not denying the promises to the “many” – the people of Israel. Manipulators of the Word of God, anti-Semites and Replacement adherents emphasize one aspect of the promise and claim the promises to the many have been abolished. They have absolutely no biblical grounds for doing this.
(4) A promise of blessing (Genesis 12:1-3)
That is, God has promised to bless those who defend Israel’s existence, recognizing the unique role she is playing out for the sake of the world. This does not mean “blind support of Israel,” but it does mean standing against those who seek her liquidation and deny her claim to the Promised Land. Israel’s servant purpose on behalf of the world was not finished with the coming of Jesus in the first century. She will yet mediate, in its fullness, the final great covenant of redemption history to the world; the Davidic Covenant (Ezekiel 37:24-28; Revelation 22:12-17).
(5) A promise of cursing (Genesis 12:1-3)
All the nations who resisted the plan of God for world redemption through the Jews have become the wreckage of history. We would do well to learn from this as it is the same as resisting God Himself (Psalm 83). The Book of Esther is a stark reminder of this as, if Haman had destroyed the Jews, Jesus would never have come. The same is true of the Egyptians in Moses’ day and all the other ant-Semites of history, including the wicked thugs of the Third Reich and their children today, the radical Islamic jihadists. A rude and humbling awakening is awaiting our world (Psalm 2).
(6) A promise of salvation (Galatians 3:8)
Israel’s ultimate and great purpose given to her in the Abrahamic Covenant was to mediate eternal life to the world through her great son Jesus Christ. We owe her a great debt of gratitude and our God-given role is to appreciate her, pray for her and provoke her to jealousy (Romans 11). God loves all people the same but He did make Israel His servant to the nations; a role that she has ultimately and uniquely carried out.
C. This Covenant has been uniquely validated by the return of the Jews to Canaan in our day and by a living Church that is found in almost every tribe and nation (Revelation 5:9-10). This return of the Jews is no coincidence and is quite remarkable. As in the past, it has aroused the anger of the surrounding peoples. Even some in the Church are angry, and yet Scripture everywhere gives testimony to this return (Luke 21:24).
Jeremiah gives testimony to a return from the “north country” that will surpass that of the Exodus (Jeremiah 16:14-15). We have witnessed this in that well over a million Jews have returned to Zion from the former Soviet Union.
Israel will be judged and corrected but the nations will be made a full end of before the age closes (Jeremiah 30:11). Israel will not be uprooted ever again (Amos 9: 13-15); she will be redeemed and all nations will flow toward Jerusalem to acknowledge her role in history and rejoice in her God! (Isaiah 2:1-4; Zechariah 14:16-19; Revelation 21:22-27)
In the end, Israel will radiate all the truths and promises God made through her to a fallen world (Isaiah 62:11-12; Romans 11:25-26). All of this will happen because of a promise that God made with the man Abraham 4000 years ago. What an incredible God we serve!
Rev. Hedding is vice chairman of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem; www.icej.org
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was founded in 1980 as an evangelical response for the need to comfort Zion according to the command of the scripture found in Isaiah 40:1-2; “Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem…”
PO Box 1192, Jerusalem, 91010, Israel
Tel +972 2 539 9700
©International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
John R. Houk
© May 2, 2011
In the YouTube videos is part 1 and 2 of a sermon by Frank Turek of a five part break down on YouTube. It is entitled, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist Show”.
Part 1 and 2 Turek discusses Abraham and faith. Part 1 Abraham’s time life is told when God Almighty instructed Abraham to take the only son by his legitimate wife Sarah to be sacrificed to God. Thus Abraham embarks on a journey to Mt Moriah with Isaac and a couple of servants.
Just as a side-note Mohammed words recorded in the Quran plagiarizes this moment and has Ishmael on this journey of faith. You can tell it’s plagiarized by the fact that Isaac was a young teenager by this time and Ishmael had long been banished from Abraham’s tribal family along with Ishmael’s mother the Egyptian handmaid to Sarah which was Hagar.
In case you have not read your Bible in awhile, just as Abraham was to kill Isaac in sacrifice, God Almighty spoke up audibly telling Abraham to hold up. Abraham had proven his undying faith and because of this all the nations of the world would be blessed in Abraham through the son of promise Isaac’s descendants. Christians know those descendants as those that led to Jesus’ birth. By faith in Jesus’ death on the Cross and the Lord’s bodily Resurrection to life and re-glorification of His entire Godly attributes all who believe will have life in Christ in this walk on earth and in the future; the full redemption of spirit, soul (mind attributes) and body (which is clothed in glory rather than man-made clothing). The blessing of Redemption to those who Believe transcends the blessings promised only to the Hebrew Tribes of Israel thus by extension to all humanity who believe.
This transcending beyond the 12 Tribes of Israel is not a replacement. Rather the transcending of blessings is an engrafted adoption into the Tribe of Judah by the Blood of Jesus that mystically joins Believers to the Body of Christ. For clarity’s sake there is no Christian Gentile replacement but rather a joining of Christian Believers to Judah enabling all that Believe to be sons of Abraham and also inheritors of the blessings of Abraham.