Blasphemous and Dangerous
Replacement Theology [ ‘RT’ ] is the belief that the “church” replaces Israel in God’s purposes and affections. Chuck Cohen Investigates …… Part 3
Why Replacement Theology is blasphemous
Replacement Theology is blasphemous because this teaching distorts and lies about God, His Word, even His very nature. In essence it implies that the God who has revealed Himself through His written Word – and His Son, the Living Word – that this God either does not keep His Word, or He is not really omniscient, since He seems not to have known the future, or if He is omniscient and does know the future, then He broke His everlasting covenant commitment to Israel – His nation and people (for example Jer. 31:3, 35-37).
Some believers seem to think that since God created man with free-will, He cannot know the future. Yet prophecy, which gives proof that the Bible is the Word of God, is God specifically declaring the future before it happens – in spite of the reality of man’s free will. While some prophetic events depend on man’s response to God’s warnings, like the city of Nineveh which repented after hearing a prophetic word from Jonah, many other prophecies are predicated on His will and foreknowledge and power – without man’s free will influencing it.
Ezekiel 37 is an excellent example, as dead, dry Jewish bones in a grave do not possess any free will! Other prophetic declarations take people’s decisions into account. Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 present Israel with a choice – blessings or curses: blessings if they follow and obey God and His law; curses/judgments if they do their own thing and throw out or ignore God and His Word.
Yet a crucial issue is how RT adherents dare to ignore – or misinterpret – the following verses, which are only a few of the many statements our God makes about His covenant-love relationship with Israel.
Numbers 23:19-21 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor the son of man, that He should repent [i.e., change His mind]: has He said, and shall He not do it? Has He spoken, and shall He not make it good? Behold, I [Balaam] have received a command to bless. He has blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor seen perverseness in Israel. YHWH his God is with him and the shout of a king is among them.”
But RT devotees teach that God did “reverse” His blessings, despite the clear warning from Paul that gentile believers should not be arrogant against unsaved Jews (Rom. 11:18-24).
Deuteronomy 7:6-9 “For you are a holy people to YHWH your God. YHWH your God has chosen you to be a special people [Heb: segullah – a special treasured possession] to Himself, above all people that are on the face of the earth. YHWH did not set His love upon you, or choose you, because you were more in number than any people – for you were the fewest – but because YHWH loved you, and because He would keep His oath which He had sworn to your fathers [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob], YHWH has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from…Egypt. Know therefore that YHWH your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations [Hebraic idiom basically meaning ‘forever’].”
Jeremiah 31:3 “From afar, YHWH has appeared to me, saying, ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness [Heb. chesed] have I drawn you’.” [chesed is God’s love based on His commitment to His own covenants. ‘Covenant-love’ is a more literal way to translate chesed.]
Jeremiah 31:35-37 “Thus says YHWH, 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 – YHWH of hosts is His name: If these ordinances depart from before Me… then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me …If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says YHWH.”
Malachi 3:6 “For I am YHWH, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
Add to these few examples the truth that more than 200 times in the Tanach God promises to give the land of Israel to the people of Israel. This includes about forty times when He swears to do this – and even a few times swearing an oath.
Has this God changed His mind because many of the Jewish leaders incited rejection of Yeshua?
Saying that God has rejected the Jews because they rejected and had Jesus their Messiah crucified, has been the spark igniting the Church’s Jew-hatred for almost 2,000 years. Yet it is based on a lie, as we have just seen NT proof that not all Israel rejected Yeshua. The good news is not even proclaimed to the gentiles until the events in Acts 10. In the first nine chapters of the book of Acts only Jewish believers in Yeshua were called the “Church”.
There is also the inconvenient NT truth which states that Israel’s national rejection of Yeshua as their Messiah and King was foreordained (Luke 24:27; Acts 3:18; 10:42). So their blindness leading to their rejection of Yeshua was prophesied and necessary for both Jews and Gentiles to be saved. After all, He came to die for the sins of all humanity (Mark 10:45; John 10:17-18).
Replacement believers’ thinking is based on two major misconceptions of God’s nature. The first is that God does not really know the future, because they think the Jewish leadership’s rejection of His Son was apparently not foreseen by Him. Otherwise how can those great and precious promises God made to the physical seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be explained? Yet scripture declares God as the Aleph and Tav, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, knowing the end from the beginning.
Isaiah 44:6-8 “Thus says YHWH, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, YHWH of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; beside Me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? …Fear not, neither be afraid: have not I told you from that time, and have declared it? You [the children of Israel] are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? There is no God; I know not any.”
Isaiah 48:9-12 “For My name’s sake will I defer My anger, and for My praise will I refrain that I do not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, even for My own sake, will I do it: for how should My name be polluted? I will not give My glory to another. Hearken to me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, I also am the last.”
Before we were born and had any chance to make any free-will decisions, God had already written our names in the Lamb’s book of life. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Messiah: according as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him. In love, having predestined us for the adoption of children by Yeshua the Messiah to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” (Eph. 1:3-5)
The second major misconception is that God changed His mind about His covenant commitments to Israel based on their “free-will” rejection of His Son. Yet we have just seen that Messiah’s rejection by most of His people was ordained (Luke 9:22; 20:17; Acts 2:23, etc.). As it was part of God’s plan to save the gentiles, the religious leaders’ rejection of Messiah did not surprise Heaven.
Chuck & Karen Cohen Intercessors For Israel – www.ifi.org.il
This exploration continues next month in Part 4
For interested readers, this is a useful resource further exploring some of the questions Chuck Cohen opens in this series: https://christian-publications-int.com/default-29.html?ID=90