I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly NOT!!! – Romans 11:1
It seems there are still many people in the Body of Messiah in the nations who do not know about Replacement Theology, so lets take a closer look at the serious error that is rampant in the Western church, and over the last 2000 years has cost the lives of millions of Jewish people, mainly at the hands of people who considered themselves to be Christians.
In the opening verse the Apostle Paul is very clear that God has not finished with or cast away the Jewish people. Other Bible versions say God Forbid or May it Never Be, so why do many Seminaries and Bible Colleges still teach Replacement Theology today? This is an extremely important issue that must be confronted and hopefully corrected, if the Church is to fulfill its call to “Provoke the Jewish people to jealousy” (Romans 11:11) and to “hasten the day of the Lord’s return” (2 Peter 3:12) by standing with and praying for Israel’s full restoration, which is the key to the return of Yeshua, and the re-establishment of the Kingdom of God in Jerusalem (Acts 3:21).
History of the Church: The New Convenant came into being, and what we call “The Church” today was born immediately after the death and resurrection of Yeshua. It was not called Church at that time. The first New Covenant disciples were all Jewish and saw themselves as a offshoot of Judaism, not a new religion. Sometimes they were referred to as “The Way” and some time later were called the Ecclesia, a Greek word which means “Called Out Ones”. For the first 100 years the majority of Believers were Jewish, but as the apostles and disciples obeyed the last instruction they were given by Yeshua to go and make disciples in all of the nations, Yeshua’s Body began to fill up with non-Jews from the Middle East and Europe.
Most non-Jewish believers understood that they were now grafted into Israel (Romans 11:11) and had become citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:11-19). They had begun to attend their local synagogue (there were no churches in those days). Thus were learning and adopting Biblical Jewish customs, and were celebrating the Feasts of the LORD. At this time Israel was under Roman occupation and there were 2 main revolts, or wars that were carried out by Jewish zealots against the Roman Empire. Because of these revolts anyone considered to be Jewish or associated with Jews, were persecuted by the Roman Empire.
Non-Jews were not always accepted by the non-Messianic Jews, and were often ejected from the synagogue because they were seen as unclean, as were many Messianic Jews ejected because of their faith in Yeshua. Both the Jewish and the non Jewish Believers found themselves rejected by the Jews and the Romans. This caused a large number of Jewish disciples to leave the faith, and it gave birth to a hatred for Israel and anything Jewish amongst the non-Jewish Believers. By the end of the 2nd Century the Ecclesia was predominantly non-Jewish, and the 2nd and 3rd generation of Believers were almost totally disconnected from the roots of the Olive Tree.
Most of the men who are seen as the Church Fathers were previously disciples of Plato, Socrates and other Greek philosophers – Ignatius, Origen, Justyn Martyr, Marcion and John Crystostom. They began to teach what we today call Replacement Theology – that because the majority of the Jewish people rejected Yeshua, God had rejected them and now the Church was the true Israel or the New Israel of God. They left the curses for the Jews and took the blessings and promises for the New Israel. They taught that the Torah was superceded by the New Testament laws and that the Sabbath, the Feasts and the commandments were now obsolete.
Most of these so-called Church Fathers were nasty, rabid anti-Semites. They hated the Jewish people with a vengeance. Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch, said, “Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner… Not in relaxation nor eating food prepared the day before, not finding delight in dancing and clapping which have no sense.” Justyn Martyr stated in his letter to a Greek Jew named Trypho: “God gave the Jews the Torah as punishment for their exceptional wickedness and because of His special hatred of the Jewish people. We too would observe your Sabbath days and Festivals if we were not aware of the reason they were imposed upon you, namely because of your wickedness and hard hearts.” Marcion taught that the Jesus of the New Testament had defeated and even unseated the evil God of the Jews. John Chrystostom (4th Century) delivered a series of sermons in Antioch against the Jewish people. His name meant ‘Golden Mouth’, but his sermons were filled with hateful anti-Jewish venom. He singled out Torah observance and keeping the Feasts of the LORD as a disease in Christianity.
The Roman Emperor Constantine had supposedly converted to Christianity, while continuing to worship the Sun god until he died. He made the already Biblically apostate Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. He said Let us have nothing to do with the detestable Jewish rabble. The Council of Nicea in the year 325 defined the future course of the Church. Legislation was introduced that prohibited Christians from following the Torah and observing the Sabbath and the Festivals, including the Passover and threw everything Jewish out of Christianity.
The Lord had seen it coming when he warned about the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matt 7:15). These men, who have been called the Church Fathers, were in fact the wolves that Yeshua had warned about. After 400 years of anti-Semitism in the Church, the divorce between Israel and the Church was complete, and Replacement Theology was now the foundation of the faith, and the Church stumbled blindly into the 1000 year Dark Ages. The Reformation led by German monk Martin Luther failed to address the error of Replacement Theology, and he became one of the worst anti-Semites of the last 2000 years. Luther’s sermons and letters against the Jewish people fueled the Nazi Holocaust, which claimed the lives of more than 6 million Jewish men, women and children.
Hatred of Israel and the Jewish people is once again happening all over the Western world fueled by the lies of the news media (just like in the days of the Nazis), and more shockingly it is in the Church, fueled by Replacement Theology. The Catholic Church and much of the Protestant denominations are still heavily under the influence of theology and doctrine that has come down through the last 2000 years of Christianity. The sad truth is that Jews were safer in Muslim communities than they were in Christian communities. There is an excellent book on this subject by Dr. Michael Brown – Our Hands are Stained With Blood.
Time is short and we are rapidly approaching the end of this age. The Spirit of the LORD is moving in the Church around the world, waking those who are truly seeking Him to the heresy of Replacement Theology. I have been told by many people who love Israel that the church they attend teaches that Israel has nothing to do with God. They tell me that their pastors are such ‘lovely men of God’, but I disagree. Anyone who does not have a love for God’s land and God’s first born people the Jews, is affected by the lies of Replacement Theology, and thus are opposing all that GOD is doing in our time to bring forth His Kingdom on the Earth. It is time to cease tolerating deception and to speak up and confront these modern day wolves in sheep’s clothing. We are here to encourage and assist you to do this.
This article originally appeared on Out of Zion, February, 26, 2016.