If you are browsing the internet reading about Biblical end-times prophecy, you are bound to become confused if you do not already have a firmly-grounded belief that the Bible is literally true. You will find websites using scriptures to support all kinds of opposing viewpoints and they can all be very convincing – if, that is, you are open to the idea that the Bible means something different than what it actually says. One of these doctrines being peddled is the concept of replacement theology.
Replacement theology teaches that Israel in Biblical end-times prophecy has been replaced by the church (the church meaning Christians everywhere). The argument goes that since Israel broke the covenant with God, and subsequently rejected their Messiah, that God is done with them. Therefore everywhere the scriptures refer to Israel in the end times they actually refer to God’s people, who are now the church. Needless to say this theology promotes anti-Semitism among believers. In fact Martin Luther himself (the primary figure associated with the Protestant reformation) is guilty of strong anti-Semitic sentiment, and had a significant influence upon the development of this viewpoint.
Luther blamed the Jews for killing Christ. That is of course ridiculous and reflects a flawed concept of the power of God (and/or who Christ really is). Jesus himself said that No man takes my life from me, I lay it down freely. If you want to blame somebody for killing Jesus take a good look in the mirror. It was our sin that required his unfathomable sacrifice.
The replacement theology folks usually also teach that there is no rapture, no millennial reign of Christ, and that the anti-Christ is not a literal person. This is because those things just don’t fit with the idea that Israel is not literally present in end-times prophecy. So they conveniently do away with them in the same way that they do away with Israel. That is, they say these things have a symbolic spiritual meaning in scripture and not a literal meaning. In other words, the Bible does not really means what it says – it means something else – and thank goodness these people are here to tell us what it really means.
I have seen one such website that claims to show pictures of the anti-Christ, and when you follow the links it shows pictures of the pope! The real scary thing is, that website actually makes a pretty convincing argument that the pope is the anti-Christ! It just goes to show you how misled you can be if you allow yourself to entertain ideas that are founded upon passages of scripture meaning something different than what they say. You can now support any crazy idea you care to come up with, and make a convincing case for it. No wonder so many people have been seduced by the teachings of cults.
Replacement theology had a lot more merit before Israel became a nation again in 1948. A ragtag little Israeli army that had only a few guns (and fewer bullets) defeated the entire well-equipped modern military forces of virtually every surrounding nation in its war of independence. We are talking about fighting tanks and artillery units with rifles here! And they won. Not only then, but in several large-scale wars since then, where Israel was outnumbered on all sides every time. These victories are obvious miracles and God is certainly fighting for modern-day Israel.
In fact there is no reason for Israel to exist at all right now, if replacement theology is true. No other nation has ever been completely dispersed and then later reformed again back in their original homeland. This happened 1800 years later for Israel, which is absolutely impossible if it were not of divine intent. The awful truth is, replacement theology is really an excuse for allowing the ugly head of anti-Semitism to intrude into the church. Racial hatred lies at its heart.
I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.
If the Bible does not mean what it actually says, it will mean whatever you want it to. How then can a universal truth which is based on a symbolic representation be evidentially supported? What makes one spiritual interpretation any more valid than any other one?
Especially when there are so many of them out there which all contradict each other, in addition to starkly contradicting the literal interpretation of the Bible. There are dozens of these kinds of teachings all over the place. Yet there in the middle of them all stands the Bible, which has no conflicts in its own literal teaching. God’s own words to us, among which is a statement that He is not a God of confusion. These words tell us that He will always bring a remnant back to the land he promised to Abraham’s children, and that they will be there in the end times playing a center-stage role.
Don’t bet against Israel or the Bible.