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The Way of Cain - Page 50

New teachings in the Christian Church- Where are They Leading Us?

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APPENDIX C: Replacement Theology

An important aspect of the Latter Rain, and all of the Kingdom/Dominion type theologies (including Roman Catholicism), is they have decided that whenever the Bible says ''Israel'' it ''really means'' the church: they believe Israel has been permanantly set aside by God and its place has been given to the church, which has inherited every promise God made to Israel as a nation.

Incompatible with Literal Interpretation.

There are several results to this theology. First of all, it is not biblical, so one has to depart from the Bible to support it or ''spiritualize'' the plain meaning of the Bible to mean something else. You cannot believe in replacement theology and literal interpretation of the Bible: they are opposed.

Scriptures ''Spiritualized''.

When the scriptures are spiritualized to support replacement theology, the Old Testament and the New lose their distinctions, and the Bible becomes a confusing jumble of impossible symbolism with no central, guiding purpose- an unfinished story that just stops unresolved right in the middle- no wonder they feel a need for present day prophets and seers. One is required to believe utter absurdities, like that we are currently in the Millenial Kingdom and Satan is bound (Rev 20:2).

When the Bible is read in its normal sense, however, the scriptures come together into a complete story that flows beautifully and makes sense.

Yes, Israel rejected their Messiah when He came, but that is not the end of their story! The story has yet to come to the beautiful and appropriate end God has determined from the beginning: full reconciliation and the promised earthly kingdom for Israel.

What the Scriptures Actually Teach.

The nation of Israel rejected their Messiah when He came (as we can be sure any other nation in their place would have done, just as any of us would have committed the same sin as Adam and Eve if we had been in the garden). As a result, God turned His grace to the Gentiles. The day is coming, however, when in a time of affliction the nation of Israel will realize this was a mistake, and that Jesus was their Messiah after all. They will call on Him to forgive and return to them. He has promised that at that time, He will certainly do so, and it is then that He will literally fulfill all of the promises made to them concerning the kingdom promised. This is what the Bible teaches, this was prophesied long before Jesus came the first time, and Satan understands this. This is what motivates him to try to destroy the nation of Israel before this prophecy can be fulfilled, just as he tried futilely to destroy them before Christ's first coming could be fulfilled.

Follow these prophetic scriptures:

Dt 4:30-31, ''When you [Israel] are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.''

Zec 12:10, ''And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.''

Matt 23:37-39, ''O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, `blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'''

Acts 3:12, 19-21 ''When Peter saw this, he replied to the people, ''Men of Israel ...Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.''

Hosea 5:15- 6:3 ''I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. 'Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.'''

Hosea 3:5, 14:4, ''Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days. ...I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them.''

Rom 11:25-26, ''For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written...''

When Israel comes to the place where they call on Christ to return to them, in the fulness of time, Christ will return to His people. Then, and only then, will ''the kingdom of this world ..become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ'' (Rev 11:15), and all of the kingdom promises will be fulfilled, literally. The lion will lie down with the lamb, they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and Christ (not the church in His place) will rule on earth for 1,000 years (Isa 2:2-4, 11:1-9, 65:17-25, Micah 4:1-5, Ps 72, Jer 31:31-34, Rev 20:1-6, etc., etc.)

Our God is a faithful God. He will be faithful to complete His plan for His people, Israel. We cannot rush this or force it into happening just because we want to see the ''Kingdom Now''. It will happen only in God's timing. The idea that the church can perform actions that will ''bring back the King,'' as Jack Hayford said, is replacement theology and is incompatible with the Bible.

Anti-Semitism.

Another result of this unbiblical theology is anti-Semitism and persecution of the Jewish people. The Catholic church holds to replacement theology and many of the denominations that separated from it during the reformation failed to correct this error. We can see where this led in history.

Roman Catholics were taught they had replaced the Jews as God's chosen people. The land of Israel, promised by God to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, now belonged to ''Christian'' Rome. She became the ''new Zion,'' the ''Eternal City,'' and ''The Holy City,'' titles which God had given to Jerusalem alone. Papal armies fought to expand ''the Kingdom of God''... From the time the Popes ruled Rome, the Jews' plight - in the name of Jesus Christ the Jew - was far more grievous than it had ever been at the hands of pagan rulers... Accused of causing the Black Death, Jews were rounded up and hanged, burned, and drowned by the thousands in revenge.'' (Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, p 265, 267)

We have been ''grafted into the vine'' (Ro 11), but that does not mean we can wrest from Israel the kingdom which God promised them, or usurp their place in God's plan. What arrogance that would be!

Christians, of all people, should be aware that ''he who touches [Israel], touches the apple of His eye,'' (Zec 2:8), and have nothing to do with replacement theology, otherwise we find ourselves opposing God Himself.

Confusion of Purpose.

A third result of replacement theology is a faulty understanding of the different roles and purposes for Israel and the church. We need to ''rightly divide the word of truth'' (2Tim 2:15, KJV). Not all scriptures given to Israel apply to the church.

For instance, the prophecy of Joel 2:21-3:2, esp vs 2:28 is used by this movement to justify the 'restoration' of prophets, new revelation, and the seeking of signs and wonders, but it was given very specifically to Israel in relation to the time God restores them to Himself. It is clearly addressed to Israel several times. It is not for the church.

Another good example is a scripture we often hear applied to America-

[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2Chron 7:14

This scripture was given to Israel in connection to the dedication of their original temple. Israel is the only people who belong to God as a nation. As a nation, they are God's people and are called by His name. The whole world can know this because it is recorded clearly in the scriptures.

America may have had much Christian influence at her founding, but she is not and has never been ''called by God's name'' as a nation, by God. America is not Israel. Though this promise has a general application to all nations, it would still only concern a nation repenting as a nation, not God's people within a nation repenting- we cannot repent vicariously for the rest of the nation.

This error has led to much loss of heart to people who have been crying out to God to heal our land and wonder why it is not happening. It has also led many into false doctrines as they imagine something must be missing that is keeping God from answering these prayers- so, they are trying out paganistic doctrines like casting out territorial demons or praying on high places, in an attempt to find something that will make God answer this prayer as they feel He should.

A scripture that is more fitting for the situation is Ezekiel 14:13-20:

''Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it, and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,'' declares the Lord God...they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.''

According to this scripture, the Christians within America cannot deliver America. This nation has committed gross sin and when confronted numerous times over numerous years, has refused to repent. A righteous God must judge.

Because the scriptures have been spiritualized and we have a faulty understanding of God's purpose, we spend a lot of time praying outside of God's will. We are expecting God to clean up and ''Christianize'' our present world when He has told us to expect ''perilous times'' in the last days. I am not saying that we should not pray that the people of our nation would repent and turn to God, we should. However, if we are praying this and it does not happen, perhaps that is because it is not God's purpose for that to happen right now. He is in control; we need to trust Him and accept His will. The church's purpose is to preach the gospel and disciple those who believe. We need to return to the simplicity of this.

Much confusion, anguish, and temptation to seek unbiblical solutions could be avoided if we would just understand that Israel is Israel, and the church is the church. One will never replace the other. We have separate roles and separate purposes in God's plan.

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