But there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, time-and-history, real though it is, is finite and mortal. It started with the beginning of mortality and it will end with the end of this mortal world. And then, remember that while the Supralapsarian plan was before time-and-history, some of its realities and features have invaded time-and-history. There is much — so very much — that could be said about that, but we are opening too many gates, so I am going to limit it to this conclusion: The Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, which was planned from before the world was, has been brought into this world of time-and-history in the fullness of times, at the appointed time, to carry out the great commission that can only be carried out by those who have been born to God. This program of God was witnessed at many times and in many ways. I will cite only a few.
A. In the Garden, after the Fall, God promised the Seed of the Woman who would come and destroy the Devil and deliver the Children of Eve through the blood sacrifice and not by works.
B. In Cain and Able it was shown that this blood sacrifice and the deliverance it would bring would only have efficacy to those who would see their need and accept it as God’s gracious provision.
C. In Genesis 12:3 and 7, the program of God was for the children of the promise. Isaac was not the seed or the Child, but was only a type. Galatians 3:15-18 tells us the truth about the two covenants and the people of them: “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” The Covenant of Promise for the Promised Body, the Church, was made 430 years before the Law was given and Sinai and the nation of Israel was born. When that conditional Covenant of the Flesh came along it had nothing whatsoever to do with, and no alterations to make to, the Covenant of Promise that had been signed, sealed, delivered and confirmed in Christ 430 years earlier. The nation of Israel was a temporal body, destined to fail and ordained for a temporal purpose. Galatians 3:24 tells us what that purpose was. It was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. In other words, it taught the world that no religious people, no matter how committed and zealous, had any eternal inheritance on the account of their nationality, and that they could not earn any inheritance under the terms and conditions of the law. But with the Promised Seed under the New Covenant, it was different. They had an eternal inheritance promised to them by faith and by grace. Verses 26 through 29 tell us about them: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (made in Genesis 12:3 and 7).”
D. In the two sons of Judah, in Genesis 38:29-30, this primacy of the Spiritual Children is prefigured prophetically. One child started to be born first and the midwife tied a scarlet thread around his finger to identity which one had the birth right. Then the other pulled him back and came out ahead of him. The midwife experienced some reverential fear at this point and named the one that came out first Pharez, which means a breach, because he had crowded ahead of his brother and made a breach in the birth process. Then the one which started to be born first and came out last was named Zarah, which means the Rising of Light. Thus the Church, the Promised Seed started to emerge in Genesis 12:3 and 7 when the Covenant of Promise was made and confirmed. But then it withdrew while the parenthetical operation of the natural seed came on, ran it course and disappeared into the darkness of unbelief and rejection. Then that which started to emerge first, which had the scarlet thread and testimony of redemption by the blood of Christ, came on last and permanently forever. Christ is the First and the Last.
E. In the two sons of Joseph, we have a very interesting prophesy about this matter of the people of God from eternity past. Nothing is more revealing, more definitive and more effective in banishing the misguided concepts of Christian Zionism, Premillennialism, Dispensationalism, and whatever else one might include under the banner of Materialistic Theology, than the story of Joseph's two sons and Israel's blessing of them. The name Ephraim means to be fruitful, it means fruitfulness, it means to bless, to be blessed, to cause to be blessed, to cause to be fruitful, and to grow and move ahead. The name Manasseh, on the other hand, means to cause to forget, or the process of causing to forget. Joseph got word that Jacob was near death so he took his two sons to see their grandfather. When Jacob heard that Joseph was coming he used what strength he had to get himself up on the bed so he could talk to him in a presentable way. In order to keep from falling over, he had to lean on his cane while sitting on the bed. But he was determined to talk to Joseph before he died. Jacob had Rachel on his mind, he was thinking about the child of the promise, he was thinking about Ephrath near Bethlehem, (and of course, the name Ephrath, which means to be fruitful, was very close to the name Ephraim, both being from the same primitive root). He discussed with him how Rachel had died and he had buried her there. Then he said to Joseph, "Your two sons, which were born to you here in Egypt are mine; I need them." And while it is a bit obscure and we will not take the time now to really develop it, Jacob seems to be saying, "I need to put them in the twelve tribes, I need them in the genealogy, I need them for an inheritance." It is a far-reaching study which develops later on in the book of Exodus. Dan was taken out of the Twelve Tribes and Ephraim and Manasseh were put in the place of Joseph and Dan. (Why Ephraim was taken out and why Joseph was put back in the genealogy in the book of Revelation is fascinating. None of that is by chance. I do not want to pique your curiosity and then leave you hanging but we cannot get off on that now or we will never get through this article.) I will leave it by simply telling you that this is what Jacob was alluding to when he told Joseph, "I need these sons, they must be in the twelve tribes, they must have an inheritance and they have to be called the Children of Israel — my sons. The rest of the children you have can be called your sons but these two sons are mine." Jacob did not see the two sons when he said that but he had it on his mind and it was an urgent matter to him to get it said. But then he did see them and asked who they were. When he discovered that these were the very two sons he had been talking about, he told Joseph to bring them up to him so he could bless them. Genesis 48:10 tells us that Israel could hardly see. His eyes were dim and he was nearly blind. Take note of the fact that it was Jacob who was talking to Joseph in verse 2. But now, as he prepares to bless the two sons, it is Israel who speaks. (This becomes important in a discussion that we are going to have shortly, so keep that in the back of your mind.) Because Israel could hardly see, he got them up close to him and the Bible says he guided his hands wittingly. He knew exactly what he was doing when he put his right hand on the head of Ephraim. Joseph had tried to set it up otherwise. When he took them out from between his knees, he had Ephraim in his right hand and held him up to Israel's left hand and he had Manasseh in his left hand and held him up to Israel's right hand. But verse 14 says that Israel looked carefully to see what he was doing and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, "for Manasseh was the first born," in verse 14. In other words, it is giving us an explanation of why he put his hand on the head of Ephraim. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim to bless him because Manasseh was the first born.
Hopefully by this time, you will get the point without my having to belabor it. This is a testimony of the Covenant of Promise. As with Abel, Jacob and Zarah, the first born in the natural situation is again being rejected. So then, Israel gave his blessing and it included both a blessing for the nation, but also the Messianic promise of Christ and the Church, that great innumerable multitude from all nations in the midst of the earth. The term nations being the same as the term Gentiles is one of the ways of identifying the Church in prophecy. When Joseph saw what was going on, he tried to pull his father’s hand off of Ephraim's head and put it on Manasseh's head. "You’re making a big mistake," he told Israel, "You've got the wrong one, Manasseh is the first born; bless him first." But Israel refused to have his hand moved. "I am not making a mistake," he told Joseph, "I know exactly what I'm doing. I am not leaving Manasseh without a blessing. Manasseh shall be great and he shall be a great nation. [There, in prophetic language, is the natural promise for the natural nation of Israel.] But Ephraim shall be greater and he shall become a multitude of nations.” Properly understood this is the promise for Christ and the Church and this blessing is set in front of Manasseh and the nation. Verse 20, "And he blessed them saying, ‘In thee shall Israel bless saying God make thee as Ephraim and God make thee as Manasseh and he set Ephraim above Manasseh.’” In the natural order, people would have said. “God make thee as Manasseh and God make thee as Ephraim,” because Manasseh was the first born. The point here is Israel’s proverb reversed that natural order of things and put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh which is putting Christ, the Church, and the New Covenant ahead of the natural Israel and the Old Covenant prospect. Then Israel said to Joseph, "I am dying, but God will remember His promise, He will bring these people out of this land when His time has come." And He said moreover, "Joseph, I wanted to tell you that I have given you a portion above that which has been given to your brothers.” Now remember that Judah was one of the brothers over whom God through Israel gave Joseph a greater blessing than. That comes out clearly in Genesis 49:22-26: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” Like Zarah and like Ephraim, Joseph was not in the natural genealogy of Jesus the Jew in the Old Covenant. But he was in the spiritual lineage of the Second Adam and of the Covenant of Promise, eternal in nature, far superior in prospect, and existent from the beginning. The Virgin Birth is here predicted — the blessing of the breasts and of the womb; the Incarnation is here — the blessing of heaven above; and the Resurrection is here — the blessing of the earth beneath. I would love to get off into these subjects, but we simply cannot do it now.
I told you earlier that I would prove from the Scriptures that there never was a natural people or a natural nation of Israel as the people of God in the Supralapsarian Sovereign program for an eternal family of God born to Him through the Cross and the Resurrection, the Covenant of Promise and for Christ and the Church. I am going to do that now by taking you to some things in Jeremiah 31. Those of you who are good Bible students will recognize immediately that Jeremiah chapter 31 is one of the great chapters of the Old Testament in predicting the New Testament prospect. But it is also a chapter where many people, many Christian Zionists, feel they find great support for the doctrine that God will regather the nation into its homeland in the later days. This they think they find in the early verses of chapter 31, but I want to point out to you that this chapter starts out by the Lord saying this: "The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an ever lasting love.” We will mention briefly without taking the time to examine closely Hosea's prophecy where God said; “When Israel was a child then I loved him and out of Egypt have I called my son.” (Hosea 11:1) In the Gospel of St. Matthew 2:13-16, Joseph took Christ the Child into Egypt to hide from Herod who was trying to kill him. When he heard that Herod was dead he brought Him back by the way of the sea to the land of Nazareth, so that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” The bringing of Christ back from Egypt after the death of Herod was the fulfillment of Hosea's prophecy. The point is that the True Israel all along from the beginning is Christ. Christ is the only True Prince of God, and all other uses of the term Israel are types to call attention to that fact. We see that testimony when Jacob was converted and when he turned from the natural to the spiritual. But it was only a prophetic testimony. Surely no one is so far out of it as to suppose that the man Jacob was the Prince of God!
Well, at any rate, this should be the key that the 31st chapter of Jeremiah is a New Testament prophecy. Then it talks about gathering them from every nation where they have been scattered and this gives fuel to the speculation that this is a latter-day prophecy of the regathering of the nation of Israel. But I will show you something here that points up the fallacy of that exegesis. In verse 8 we read, “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” Pay close attention to what is being said here. In this passage we have Ephraim, Zion, Jehovah, the Remnant, the Rivers of Water (The Gospel), Holiness, and Israel on one side. On the other side we have Manasseh, Sinai and Jacob. It was Israel the Price of God, not Jacob the Supplanter, who gave Ephraim the blessing. Manasseh was Joseph’s first born, but here Ephraim is the Lord's firstborn. Obviously, then, in the New Covenant of Promise, there is no Manasseh and there never was. Remember that the name Manasseh means to forget, forgetting, or to cause to forget. What this is telling us is that just as there is and was no Manasseh, so there is no natural Israel; there is no covenant here being made to the nation, of which Manasseh is the type. “He shall be great and shall be a great nation,” is a promise that was fulfilled in the Old Covenant under the Law in the Infralapsarian, time-and-history program. But from the beginning of Genesis, in all the types at which we have looked, the Covenant of Promise, Christ and the Church, was first and last. In the New Covenant prophesied here in this 31st chapter of Jeremiah, there is no promise to the nation being made. And the point is stronger still — there is no Manasseh; Ephraim is the Lord’s first born. It is a New Testament prophecy altogether.
And so there you have it, declared plainly from the Scriptures. In the Supralapsarian, Sovereign plan of God, there never was a natural seed and a natural nation of Israel. There is a Nation, a people of Christ, the True Israel (Matt 2:15), but it is not the Jews or the natural seed. Galatians 6:15-16, tells us who it is. It is the Church, the Bride of Christ, the Flesh and Bone of Christ, those who are born out of the bowels of God, by His incorruptible sperm that lives and abides forever (I Pet 1:23). That is what God wanted from before the worlds were made and it is what the whole thing has been all about. In that plan, worked out in the councils of God before the world was and when the names of the elect were written in the book of life (Rev 13:8), there simply never was anything about the natural seed, which of course, if one understands eternal life and the new birth, there obviously could not have been.
Getting back, then, to Replacement Theology, please tell me how we of the Historic, Orthodox Church are substituting in the Church when She has always had the position of the People of God and the Body of Christ? And how can we be replacing natural Israel, who has never been in that position, but more than that, in God’s Sovereign, Supralapsarian program, has never existed at all? Ephraim is the Lord’s First Born; there was no one before Ephraim in the Supralapsarian, Sovereign plan of God, which puts Manasseh in the land of forgetfulness as his name implies.
F. In Galatians 4, the Apostle shows clearly that in the Covenant of Promise, the natural children of Israel where never the people of God and had no inheritance in the Covenant of Promise on account of their nationality or the ordinances of the Law. Mysteries of truth in the Old Testament about Christ and the Church were hidden from ancients according to Ephesians 3:1-5. St. Paul and others of the Apostles (particularly St. Peter, in I Peter 1) had these mysteries revealed to them. But, as witnessed by the confusion that exists in fundamental Christianity 2,000 years later, it is still difficult for some Bible students to get hold of these great truths. For that reason, the revelation of the mystery that God gave to St. Paul had a number of ways of manifesting itself. One of the ways was to call up the Old Testament Scriptures and show that the truth was there all along. Men could not see it until the mystery was revealed. Even so, they knew that it meant something that they did not understand, and now in the light of the New Testament and the events of recent years, they could see very plainly what it meant. St. Paul turns the tables on the Zionists in Galatia. “Very well,” he says, “you want to talk about the Old Testament and the Covenant of the Law, and you are so desirous to bring it the nation of Israel and the old covenant back someday in all if its ugliness and ignominy — let us talk about it. It is amazing to me how you always want to talk about the Law, never about the Gospel, but you pay no attention at all to what the Law is saying or what the things that you read here mean.” The Apostle then gives them a case in point, and one which bears directly on the issue being dealt with here. The story is about the time in Genesis 21:8-13, when Sarah caught Ishmael making fun of Isaac. I will cite those verses now. “And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abrahams sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.”
Did they hear what this says, the apostle wanted to know? It says that Abraham had two sons. Ishmael was the son of the bondwoman Hagar and Isaac was the son of the free woman Sarah. The son of the bondwoman was envious against the son of the free woman and persecuted him. This is how it is today. No one persecutes the Gospel to the Nations more than Christian Zionism. They demean the Church, minimize the importance of the Cross, call the present Kingdom to which God has called us for service either non-existent or unimportant by contrast, and advance the heretical notion that the nation of Israel means more to God than the Body of Christ, which He purchased with His own blood. In natural terms, Ishmael was the father of some of the Arabs and Isaac was the father of the Israelites. But the truth being prophetically portrayed in Genesis 21 had nothing to do with their natural and physical properties. It had to do with the program of God and how the spiritual seed had a greater prospect than the natural seed. These two sons were allegorical in this passage.
I am sure you all know what an allegory is. It is a situation where two or more objects, whether people animals or things, have principle meanings in the situation at hand that have nothing to do with their natural properties. A case in point would be the elephant and the donkey at election time. A donkey is a little animal that eats grass in the field and an elephant is a big animal that eats grass in the field. But that is not being portrayed when we see them struggling with each other in a cartoon at election time. The elephant represent the Republicans and the donkey represents the Democrats. The meaning of the cartoon is that it is election time and the Democrats and the Republicans are at it again. It has nothing at all to do with donkeys and elephants.
In Genesis 21:8-13, Ishmael is the nation of Israel and the Covenant of the Law. Isaac is the Church and the Covenant of Faith. This passage has nothing to do with the literal offspring of either of these two men. It has to do with the future of the Covenant of the Law and the Covenant of Faith and the natural seed as opposed to the spiritual seed, or in other words the Children of the Promise in Galatians 3:29.
Some humanistic Old Jews of the Church, in order to try to mislead people concerning the allegorical teachings of the Bible, have said that this is not a true allegory and that there is not a true allegory in the Bible. This is not only false, but it is a specious claim made deliberately to protect sectarian bias. Anyone who has enough education to know what an allegory is knows it. This is exactly what an allegory is. There is not a better example of an allegory that one could think of. It is exactly, precisely and completely an allegory and fully captures the meaning of an allegory. It is a situation where two men, whose natural properties are one thing, figuratively represent something that has nothing literally to do with either of them. That is an allegory and you have my permission and encouragement to totally ignore anyone who tries to tell you differently. He that tells you different is not interested in truth or your wellbeing; he is struggling for survival in a desperate attempt to salvage his Old Testament doctrine which has taken a direct hit in this passage and is sinking fast.
So here in Galatians 4, we have an allegory, “for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Not only does Ishmael represent the nation of Israel and the Covenant of the Law, but we are further told by the Apostle that the natural seed are still in bondage. They have never been delivered and they are not going to be delivered by Christ and the New Covenant. That is because, as we saw in Galatians 3:14-18, that the nation and the Covenant of the Law was no part at all of the Covenant of Promise made to Abraham. Their only chance to be delivered was to meet the conditions of the Law and to keep the Covenant and to accept the Messiah and His Kingdom. They did not do it and the Kingdom was taken from them. Their house, as the Prophet predicted in Daniel 9:27, was made desolate by the Messiah Prince, (and incidentally, if you go back and read Daniel 9:25-27 you will see for yourself that the Messiah is the only prince identified in those few verses) and desolations were determined upon them by God until the consummation of the ages which is, of course, the end of the world.
But what about the time of the nation after the time of the Gentiles has been fulfilled? There is no time of the nation after the time of the Gentiles. The time of the nation has come and long since gone, and it is not coming back. The attempt to establish a future for the nation of Israel as God’s kingdom people in this world from Romans 11:26-27 is not only poor exegesis of Romans chapters 9, 1 and 11, but it is theological dishonesty born of sectarian bias. What price glory, my dear misguided friends; what price glory? It is unfortunate that many have been so badly misled on this, but there is no time like the present to get the thinking straightened out. The time of the Gentiles does not reach fulfillment until the Second Coming of Christ which, according to 14 specific Scriptures in the letters to the Church, is the end of the world.
And so we see that Jerusalem, which now exists on this earth, is in bondage with her children. Those children are the natural seed, or in other words the Jews or the Israelites. “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Gal 4:26) This makes reference to the New Covenant, the New Birth, the Heavenly Sanctuary, the Heavenly City and the other possessions of the New Creation. You have probably heard it said that there is no spiritual application and meaning to the name Jerusalem. This is just some more of the litany of Jewish gobbledygook. This verse teaches otherwise, along with Hebrews 12:22-24, which says: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem [did you hear that — the heavenly Jerusalem] and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
My brothers and sisters, please be clear on this point because it is an important matter to you. There is a Heavenly Jerusalem where Christ is and everyone that belongs to Christ is a part of it. Pay no attention to the Christian Zionists who would try to rob you of that possession in order to protect their Jewish fables. “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” (Gal 4:26-28)
In the Old Testament times we were like Sarah before the birth of Isaac. We were barren and our prospect was bleak. But our time has come. God has rejected the Nation and has come to the nations. He has rejected the Covenant of the Flesh and of works and has brought deliverance to us freely by faith and through grace. We who wept before are rejoicing now. There are many more of us than there ever were of the natural seed and our Covenant and the Life in the Kingdom that it gives us is forever. Just as Isaac who prophetically represented Christ (who was the True Seed of Abraham in whom the Covenant was confirmed), so we also are the children, not of the Old Covenant of the Law and the Flesh which has eternally passed from prominence, but of the Covenant of Promise, made to Abraham in Genesis 12:2, 7, and which is forever — “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29)
Thus we see that in the Supralapsarian plan of God (as is has worked out in time-and-history through Christ, the Cross, the New Birth and the Church) there was only one body from eternity past, and that is the Church. Those who believe that the Church is the Kingdom of God in this world and the only people of God that there is or ever was, are not Replacement Theologians. There is nothing and no one to replace. The Church was written in heaven before the world began. As to sovereignty and Supralapsarianism, it is the Christian Zionist who is the Replacement Theologian because he is trying to replace the Church, the body of Christ, the Pillar and Ground of Truth, the Bride of Christ which He loved from eternity and purchased with His own blood, those who are Bone of God’s Bone and Flesh of God’s Flesh, those who are born to Him through the Gospel, the Cross, and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost — trying to replace that glorious Bride of Christ, I say, with a group of People who are…well, we will let Christ and his disciples tell us who they are:
John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
John 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
John 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
John 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
That is what Jesus had to say to the darlings of the Christian Zionists in His time. Here He speaks again to the same gang:
Matt 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Matt 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Matt 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Matt 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Matt 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Matt 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Matt 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
The Martyr Stephen said to the heartthrobs of the Christian Zionists in Acts 7:
Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
St. Peter says this to the men of Jerusalem, in Acts 2:
Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Notice if you will that it was not the Romans that He was addressing when he told them that they had taken Christ with wicked hands and crucified him. It was the men of Israel.
Then St. Paul says of the Jews, the stars of the Christian Zionist fictitious historical drama, in I Thessalonians 2:
I Thess 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
I Thess 2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
I Thess 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
While the Christian Zionist is teaching that these are still the chosen people of God, St. Paul agrees with Jesus that these are children of hell and that “wrath has come on them to the uttermost!”
These are the ones with whom the Christian Zionists want to replace the Church as God’s chosen people in time-and-history. I can already hear the howls, the hisses, the tearing of Old Testament religious garments, and sputtering for words angry enough and venomous enough to suitably condemn me. But before you let yourself be intimidated by that Pharisaical display of hatred and murderous scheming, just go quietly back and read Jeremiah 31:8-9; Galatians 3:14-18; Ephesians 3:1-6, 3:21; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; and Revelation 13:8 (which are only a few of the many), and then ask yourself: “Who were the Children of God in the Eternal Covenant of Promise from the beginning?”
As to the various meanings and understandings of the phrase, “Replacement Theology”:
1. It is a pejorative term devised by the Christian Zionist as a talking point to their constituencies in order to shore up their slipping popularity in the evangelical world. By it, they hope to trivialize, marginalize, and demonize all who are not in agreement with their Old Testament, Materialistic Theology.
2. As to the strictly Infralapsarian program of God in working out the plan of redemption in time-and-history, Israel was replaced, by Jesus Christ the King, with the Church as His body and His Kingdom People. Even though they were used by God to bring the Messiah into the world as a Man, and even thought there were glories to the Old Testament as the Apostles says in II Corinthians 3, their inevitable failure to understand the spirit of the Law and to accept the King and His Kingdom resulted in God desolating their house, taking the Kingdom from them, and casting them away. Just because the offer was real did not mean that it could have been done. But that was not a sovereignty matter. It is a time-and-history thing in which the offer was indeed real and the failure was also real. As Jesus told them, “If you had known what I was offering you and if you would have come to the party, it could have been much different.” But they did not do it, and so Jesus, in time-and-history and in the Infralapsarian plan as a reaction to their rejection, changed the covenant from a kingdom that was of this world with a natural, Adamic citizenry to a Kingdom that was no longer of this world and gave the Kingdom to the Church, Children of the Last Adam, and Citizens of the New Creation.
3. As to the Supralapsarian, Sovereign Plan of God from before the world was, the Church is, always has been, and always will be, the Chosen People of God. While individual Jews may come to Christ and be saved, just as any other (and, as Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 tells us, the plan of God in casting them aside had the hopeful consequence of causing exactly that to happen), Israel as a national entity was never a part of God’s sovereign plan for a family and never will be. They were never replaced by the church and they will never replace the church.
I trust that this will give you a frame of reference with which to understand and properly relate to the term, Replacement Theology. Is it exhaustive? No, there are chapters, even books that could be written on the subject. But it is accurate as far as it goes and it is comprehensive enough to deliver you from the bewilderment and uneasiness that many are expressing to me when they ask about the term. And it is to address that need that I have set these thoughts in order.
God’s Point of View ©2016
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