Page 1 of 3 Re-placement or In-placement Theology All over the world the Holy Spirit is stirring the hearts of Christians to discover the Jewish roots of their faith, and to understand the proper Biblical relationship that the church is to have with the Jewish people. As this work of the Holy Spirit continues,we come face to face with various kinds of "theologies" and attitudes that seek to minize the profound importance of this restoration. There are those who, because of their ignorance, offhandedly dismiss it as life of the believer. There are also those who seek to prevent this restoration completely by proclaiming a doctrine that historically has been used to keep the church in an adversarial and prosecutorial role in relationship to the Jewish people. This doctrine has historically been known as "Replacement Theology," or "Supersessionism." Replacement Theology Replacement Theology teaches that the church has replaced the Jewish people in the purposes of God. It boldly declares that the church is now the "new Israel," that God has rejected and is punishing the Jewish people because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, and that there is no future for the Jewish people or the land of Israel. Through this doctrine, Christians are taught that God has finished His dealings with natural Israel (both the land and the people), and that He is now concerned only with the church. At best, Christians have been taught that the Jewish people and the nation of Israel are to be viewed like any other nation on the earth, with no Biblical or prophetic significance. At worst, Christians have been taught that it was their responsibility to persecute the Jews, as a testimony to the wrath of God that will fall upon all who reject Christ. Replacement theology teaches that the church is now to be thought of as the "new" or "spiritual" Israel. Christians are taught to believe that they have inherited all of the promises of blessings made to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel. The church, as the "new Israel," has replaced natural Israel and is now the beneficiary of all that God promised the Jewish people. When the Bible speaks of God's blessing the Jewish people, He really means the Gentile church. When God speaks of blessing the land or the city of Jerusalem, He is actually speaking spiritually to the church. Thee church is now the land or the city, or anyone of anything else for which are promises of blessing. Oddly enough, when God speaks of judgment instead of blessing, replacement theology quickly reverses itself and declares that God is directing His curses or judgment toward the Jewish people or to the land of Israel. Amazingly then, all the blessings are for the church, and all the curses are for the Jews! A Basis for Persecution of the Jews This theology has been the root cause of centuries of Christian persecution of the Jewish people. It has bred innumemble insidious doctrines that have manifested themselves in the worst kinds of hatred and evil. Jews have been castigated as the most malevolent of all men who were forever cursed and were to be continually punished for "killing Christ." This perverse "doctrine of demons" (as the Apostle Paul so aptly named such malignancies) infected the church with pride and arrogance, ripped her from her Biblical relationship with and responsibilities toward the Jewish people, and then turned her into a murderous, vicious, hateful persecutor of those to whom she was originally sent to be a testimony of God's love, grace, and power. How different history would have been had the church discerned the spirit which propagated this great lie and rejected it before it could have its disastrous effects. The ultimate fruit of Replacement Theology was manifest in the Holocaust. The spiritual roots of the Holocaust can be seen in the ways in which this demonic theology allowed the church to take one of two basic positions in relation to the Jewish people: ignore them or persecute them. The vast majority of the church simply ignored the plight of the Jewish people, as the Nazi death machine sought to fulfill Satan's plan for genocide. These attitudes continue today. Where is the outcry of the church on behalf of the international Jewish community and the nation of Israel? Do you believe that the Bible promises the land to the Jews? Do you believe that their regathering is part of the fulfillment of prophecy? If you believe it, are you doing anything about it? Tragic Consequences for the Church Torn from her "anointed roots" of faith (Romans 11: 17), the church descended into the spiritual darkness of hierarchical sacrementalism, imperialistic motivations, and camal power politics. Instead of taking the gospel of salvation in the name of Jesus to all the nations of the earth, the church began to sweep pagans into her organizational web, taking the power of the sword of steel rather than the sword of the spirit as the legitimizer of her actions. No longer capable of imparting Biblical faith, the only authentic, Page 2 of 3 legitimate legacy of the church (i.e. the preaching of the Word of God which creates faith in the heart of the hearer-Romans 10:17), she illicitly substituted humanly-devised forms and rituals for the supenatural reality of the "new birth" (John 3:3,7; 1 Peter 1:23). Pagans were baptized not because they had a true spiritual rebirth, but because it became the way into the politically and socially accepted religion. The Lord Jesus ceased to be the of the church, and usurper, the devil himself, became the illegitimate head the now perverted "Christendom." Since Satan was a murderer from the beginning, Christendom did not give a second thought to shedding the blood of all those who dared stand in way of world domination. This grotesque perversion persecuted and murdered not only the Jews, but also all who oppose it, as Foxes Book of Martyrs so vividly attests. Christian Witness Perverted The once pure church of Jesus Christ was completely TRANSFIGURED into an unrecognizable murderer would stop at nothing to accomplish the goals of her master. Knowing God's plan to use the church to provoke Israel to jealousy, the devil succeeded in so distorting the "faith once delivered to the saints," that the Jewish people were only too glad to reject such an idol worshiping, blood- shedding abomination. "How could anything that evil and malignant come from the God of Israel?", they reasoned. "How could the Jesus they claim to believe in be our Messiah? Whatever He is, whoever He was, He is not the promised Messiah, for certainly our Messiah could not or would not, inflame His followers with such hatred and evil?"The plan of the devil had succeeded: A perverted church persecuting the Jews in the name of Jesus - Jesus, the name in which the Jewish nation must believe before He can return to destroy the devil. A master stroke of evil genius! The Jewish people could never come to faith in the one whose supposed followers persecuted and killed them. Time for Favor But ... God said in Psalm 102:13-16 that there would come an appointed time when He would arise and have mercy upon Zion, when His servants would feel pity for Zion's stones and compassion for her dust. This is the hour that God is arising! He is working in the hearts of believers all over the world. He is restoring the church to the proper New Testament understanding of her "grafted in" position. He is restoring the church to a recognition of her Jewish roots. He is stirring believers around the world to bring outpourings of love, support and testimony to Israel. For the first time since the early first century the Jewish people will experience the "true church," demonstrating the kind of love and power that will provoke them to faith. The truth, which always brings freedom, is that the church has been in-grafted into relationship with Israel and has never replaced Israel. Because Satan has seen the power that God would release by the creation of a new supernatural relationship between Jews and Gentiles, he has vigorously and thus far successfully, opposed the fulfillment of this Biblical plan. In these days, God is restoring to the church an understanding that they have been grafted into lsrael's olive tree and are partaking of the rich root of the faith of the patriarchs. In the realization that the church is sharing this "root," new relationships and new dynamics of communication and understanding are beginning to take place. God has always intended that there be a flow of communication, testimony, and love between the "cultivated" and "wild" branches as a demonstration of His kingdom. He will yet bring to pass such interactions and relationships. There is coming a day in which the church around the world will see and understand its proper relationship with the Jewish people and will act to establish lines of communication and interplay in which the true testimony of Messiah will be demonstrated and understood. Jesus, who has been so maligned and distorted by the wiles of the devil, will be seen and understood for who he really is. The reconciliation of the church to her Jewish roots will eventuate in the establishment of worldwide interaction between Christians and Jews. These international dialogues will continually break down barriers of distortion and establish bridges of relationship. What God intended for the church and Israel in the beginning will come to pass at the end. Gentile believers, the grafted-in wild branches, will be in a relationship with the Jewish people that is free of religious and racial prejudice, where true dialogue and sharing can take place. The ultimate fruit of an "in-placement theology" will be the creation of a spiritual environment where the true testimony of Jesus and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit can take place. Instead of hatred and conflict -there can be love and dialogue. Instead of murder and mayhem, there can be mutually beneficial and fruitful harmony. Instead of a satanically-inspired history of percecusion and death, there will arise a divinely-inspired and empowered future filled with the demonstration of the power and fruit of the Holy Spirit. Page 3 of 3 In-placment Theology Many Christians do not like the idea of Gentile believers calling themselves "Spiritual Jews." This, however, is an accurate appellation. For Jewish believers, the difficulty with this terminology is that the history of those who called themselves "spiritual Jews" has been one of "replace and persecute," not "in-place and relate." For Gentile believers, it is a lack of true understanding oftentimes coupled with traces of anti-Semitism. In the past those who called themselves "spiritual Jews" did it with the false claim that they were the "new" or "spiritual" Israel that had replaced the rejected natural Jewish people. This was the seed that produced the fruit of 1800 years of persecution, hatred and death. If only they had rightly understood that they were in fact "spiritual Jews," but in the biblical sense. They were grafted-in alongside the natural branches, and together should have been worshiping the God of Israel, partaking of the covenants, and enjoying citizenship in the commonwealth of Israel. Then they would also understood that their position had been given to by the Lord, so they could partake of Israel's rich spiritual heritage and provoke the Jewish people to spiritual jealousy through their love and the supernatural demonstration the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. God uses the concept of being "grafted in" to illustrate close relationship that Gentile believers were to continually maintain with the Jewish people. This ongoing relationship was to be cultivated so that the Jewish people could be recipients of a loving testimony to the truthfulness of the messianic claims of Jesus, as the church demonstrated the love and the power of the Holy Spirit. Because the church grew arrogant against the branches and was severed from the roots of faith, it was unable to maintain a testimony of the power of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit's power began to diminish, the church increasingly turned to false doctrines and traditions to justify its power. It is sad that many denominations still have the same theological rationalizations" for their own lack of power. As God restores believers to their Biblical relationship with Jewish people, no doubt there will be a concurrent increase in the demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. God intends to provoke the Jewish people to spiritual jealousy by the demonstration of the love and power of the Holy Spirit in the church. This is going to happen because it is His plan and intention. To quote the ancient rabbis, let us earnestly pray for this to "happen speedily in our days."
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