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Re-Placement Or In-Placement Theology

Dr. Howard Morgan

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 minimize the profound importance of this restoration. There are those who, because of their ignorance, off-handedly dismiss it as irrelevant to the everyday 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 persecutorial role in relationship to the Jewish people. This doctrine has historically been known as "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 only concerned 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 on all who reject Christ. This 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, because the Church is now the land or the city, or anyone or anything else for which there are promises of blessing. Oddly enough when God speaks of judgment instead of blessing, this theology quickly reverses itself and declares that God is speaking to the Jewish people, or the land of Israel. Therefore all the blessings are for the Church, and all the curses for the Jews.

This theology has been the root cause of centuries of Christian persecution of the Jewish people. It has bred innumerable insidious doctrines that have manifested themselves in the worst kinds of hatred and evil. Jews were 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 and responsibilities to 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.

Torn from her "anointed roots" of faith (Rom. 11:17), the Church descended into the spiritual darkness of hierarchical sacramentalism, imperialistic motivations, and carnal 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 of sacramental rituals, 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, legitimate legacy of the Church (i.e. preaching the word of god which creates faith in the heart of the hearer - Rom. 10:17), she illicitly substituted humanly devised forms and rituals for the supernatural reality of the "new birth" (John 3:3,7 & 1 Peter 1:23). Pagans were baptized not because they had a true spiritual re-birth, but because it became the way into the politically and socially accepted religion.

The Lord Jesus ceased to be the head of the Church, and the usurper, the devil himself, became the illegitimate head of the now perverted "Christian Church." This counterfeit Church had as its goal what satan has always wanted, the worship of those who were created to worship the one true god. Since satan was a murderer from the beginning, this "Church" did not give a second thought to shedding the blood of all those who dared stand in her way of world domination. Not only did this grotesque perversion persecute the Jews, but all who dared oppose it were murdered, as Foxes book of martyrs so vividly attests.

The once pure Church of Jesus Christ was completely transfigured into an unrecognizable murderer who would stop at nothing to accomplish the goals of her satanic master. The devil, knowing God's plan to use the Church to provoke Israel to jealousy, had thus far succeeded in so distorting the "faith once delivered to the saints," that the Jewish people were only too glad to reject such an idol worshipping, 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 the Jewish nation must believe in before He can return to destroy the devil. A master stroke of evil genius! The Jewish people would never come to faith in the one whose supposed followers persecuted and killed them.

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 in history, 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 NOT replaced Israel. Because satan saw 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 of this divine relationship. Gentile believers are understanding that they have been grafted into Israel'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, new dynamics of communication and understanding are able 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 her 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 world wide 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 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 persecution and death, there will arise a divinely inspired and empowered future filled with the demonstration of the power and fruit of the Holy Spirit.

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 just ignored the plight of the Jewish people, as the Nazi death machine sought to fulfill satan’s plan to kill them all. These attitudes continue today. Where is the outcry of the Church on behalf of national 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?

While many Christians do not like the idea of gentile believers calling themselves "spiritual Jews," I believe that this 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 often times coupled with traces of anti-semitism. In the past those who called themselves "spiritual Jews" did it with the erroneous under-standing that they were the "new" or "spiritual" Israel, having rejected and replaced the 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 true biblical sense. They were grafted-in along side the natural branches, and together should have worshipped the god of Israel, partaking of the covenants, and enjoying citizenship in the common-wealth of Israel. Then they would have also understood that their position had been given to them 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 of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

God uses the concept of being "grafted in" to illustrate the 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 receive 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, she was unable to maintain a testimony of the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s power began to wane in the Church and the Church turned to false doctrines and traditions to justify its powerlessness. It is sad that today many denominations have the same "theological rationalizations" for their own lack of power.

As God restores believers to their Biblical relationship with the Jewish people, I believe that 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 and faith in Jesus by the demonstration of the love and power of the Holy Spirit in the Church. This is going to happen because it is God’s plan and intention. To quote the ancient rabbis, let us pray earnestly for this to "happen speedily in our days."

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