Is Replacement Theology heretical
Maybe I’ve been living under a theological rock, but there’s been this debate/argument/accusation/refutation/fleeing/running away from the charge of “Replacement Theology”, as if it is akin to being a Satanist, anarchist or even a heretic. But as a believer who actually interprets prophecy as being fulfilled, I am used to the label ‘heretic’. Though the more I think about ‘replacement theology’ as something equated to anti-Semitism, the more I realize there may not be a better term to describe the new covenant the Savior won for us.
Isn’t replacement theology proven in the reality that our old sinful nature was replaced with the glory of God, and not just a matter of our wretched sinful man being cleaned up, re-purposed and civilized and now just needs to try really hard?
Here’s what Yeshua said. For those of you who grew up in Rio Linda, Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus.
Mar 12:8 ”And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
Mar 12:9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others”. Then, someday 2000 years later, he will bring those wicked tenants back, reform them and again put them in charge as fulfilled tenants!
No? It doesn’t read that way? Ok, so that last sentence isn’t part of the verse. I added that for comedic absurdity.
He was going to replace them! Not fulfill them. Here’s what Yahweh said in:
Isa 3:16 The LORD said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet,
Isa 3:17 therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will lay bare their secret parts.
Isa 3:18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents;
Isa 3:19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves;
Isa 3:20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets;
Isa 3:21 the signet rings and nose rings;
Isa 3:22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags;
Isa 3:23 the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.
Isa 3:24 Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.
Notice there is no mention of God redeeming those former items, polishing them up and praying over them and making use of them in the new kingdom? Nope. He replaces them.
Here’s what Paul wrote about Replacement theology:
1Co 15:46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.1Co 15:42 … What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1Co 15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
1Co 15:49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Paul clearly reveals there is a principle involved with the kingdom; God creates a visible, real example of a spiritual reality that will occur at a later time in their history. I am going to show that this principle is demonstrated in numerous facets of Scripture.
God replaced Jacobs name with Israel. He did not redeem his name, or fulfill his name.
Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah. How were these names fulfilled? They weren’t. They were replaced with a new name.
Jesus even went so far in His teachings to say this:
Joh 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Jesus did not say, “from now on I am fulfilling the name ‘servants’ to now mean friends”. No, it was a total name replacement. Paul, in his writings, understood this new replacement concept; Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
Paul did not write “He has purified and fulfilled the dominion of darkness to become an acceptable vessel for his use, and has fulfilled us into this newly remodeled, formerly dark kingdom” No, he wrote that God replaced it.
Rom 1:25 “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” Paul did not write “who fulfilled the truth of God for the lie”. No, these 1st century Jews exchanged/replaced the truth of god for the lie. So, we see even in the smallest of expressions and figures of speech, the thread of replacement theology.
Replacement theology has only been demonized by the church simply to protect the misunderstood future blessings of National Israel. This misunderstanding of the physical kingdom vs spiritual kingdom goes unnoticed mainly by futurist Zionists. Zionists are the ones who want to continue to live in a fantasy that Jesus will split that eastern sky and set up a physical reign in Jerusalem. That can’t happen in their world if Jews are no longer God’s really, really, real first true love. They can’t comprehend God putting away His first wife, even one that cheated on him with every yahoo in town.
None of these Zionists would stand for that kind of unfaithfulness in their own marriage, but they think God would? None of them would divorce an unfaithful spouse, remarry a faithful loving spouse with the intent of someday remarrying the first spouse. If we can comprehend that type of dysfunctional behavior, why would we think Yahweh couldn’t? Aren’t we made in his image? Didn’t Paul say we have the mind of Christ? Are we not on the same wave length as the Father when it comes to sin? Do we know something God doesn’t know?
This entire argument of villainizing believers who see Replacement Theology as a theme demonstrated throughout Scripture, is only being pushed as a narrative by those wanting to live in a fantasy that keeps National Israel as the favored child. The Christian Church is now seen as the “ugly-red-headed-buck-toothed-step-child” that Yahweh can’t wait to move past and once again return to the unfaithful, covenant-breaking, prostitute of the Old Testament.
I think this ideology borders on mental illness. Think about it: how sane would a new, second wife appear if the husband came home one day and found all the marriage photos from the husbands first marriage distributed all over the house? There’s the honeymoon photos by the nightstand. Wedding photos on the fireplace mantle. Vacation photos on the dining room wall. How many of you 2nd wives would do that? That behavior would make you clinically crazy. Didn’t your husband engage in replacement theology when he divorced his first wife and replaced her with you? I would say the only family members who cling to fulfillment theology, in a marital context, are the discontent and angry spawn of the first marriage. Someday they still want dad to remarry mom and get rid of this new wife.
Exactly the behavior of the Jews and Zionists. They don’t recognize the new covenant wife. They don’t recognize Christians as Spiritual Isaac, Mount Zion, the new covenant, the new vineyard tenants, or any other contrast laid out in scripture. And John Hagee sycophants ignorantly follow in lock-step to this poor understanding.
Instead of parsing out just this minute portion of replacement theology to defend the Jews, Zionists must be consistent in their total rejection of replacement theology to protect the (quote) ‘Jewish Nation’. But doing this strips Scripture of its authority and message; that Yahweh practiced replacement all through Scripture.
Talk about replacement theology; even Paul’s name underwent a replacement. Even his mode of receiving instruction was replaced, not fulfilled.
Gal 1:11-12 But I make known to you, brothers, the gospel preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but through the revelation of Jesus Christ. (the former means of understanding was replaced)
Keeping in mind Paul’s explanation of the ‘natural first’ then the ‘spiritual second’, Here are some examples of God induced replacement theology;
- God used Yeshua’s physical resurrection as a type and shadow of our spiritual resurrection
- The Temple replaced for the presence of God in believer’s hearts
- The 40-year Exodus replaced for the 1st century transition period
- The Law replaced for Grace
- Ishmael replaced for Isaac
- Esau replaced for Jacob
- The Lamb replaced for Christ
- The high priest replaced for Christ and us
- Melchizedek replaced for Christ
- Moses replaced for Christ
- The feasts of harvest replaced for Pentecost
- OT Shadow of Death (Passover) replaced for NT Passover
- Those slain in the desert replaced for those brought into the kingdom
- The Old Covenant law of death with replaced with the New Covenant Grace
I know some will argue that this process could be called fulfilled theology, which is a much kinder, gentler, more politically correct name. But Yeshua Dayyan acting as judge in 70 a.d., did not send the Jews to their room, he didn’t ground them and take away their electronics for a week. Nor did he spank them. No, He judged them, he killed them. He put them away as He did Ishmael. No fulfilment theology there, as that group of people were not re-shaped, ironed and pressed and made into the people of Yahweh. They were totally replaced.
About Jesus acting as judge: Here’s what Jesus said in;
Mat 23:34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
Mat 23:35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
This is not Yeshua quoting from Isaiah, this is the Savior speaking as Yahweh. He is expressing His deity as Godhead. He said: “I send you prophets and wise men and scribes” then goes on to predict what these wicked leaders will do.
So, “fulfillment theology”? Sure, that’s probable as a definition, but what really happens throughout scripture is God showing Himself through a physical example, that at some point gets replaced by a spiritual fulfillment. So yes, fulfillment is the result after replacement occurs.
None of these examples I gave you were somehow morphed into something spiritual, by utilizing the pre-existing physical parts. The spiritual kingdom was not created from existing rubble from the temple. Jesus did not become our sacrifice by Yahweh changing the atomic structure of a lamb, thereby altering its state in order to preserve this flawed “fulfilled theology”.
I use the expression “fulfilled” all the time, but more and more I am convinced we have been brow-beat into submission by the mainstream church, attempting to change and abandon what I see as replacement theology. We have retreated and allowed the terms to be re-defined in order to get along. “Gee, can’t we all just get along?”
So, we deflect the charge of Replacement theology as heretical and try to compromise with our confused brethren. But they are the ones who demonize this phrase for only one purpose; to save the future outcome of the Jews.
Which is ironic because Paul, more of a Jew than anyone living today, wrote in;
Rom 2:28-29 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
So, looks like to me that Fulfillment theology is only valid in that The Spiritual Jew has become fulfilled in the body of Christ. And only through belief in Christ can one become a true Jew. That’s how the Kingdom was fulfilled: with spiritual Jews.
So, as the classic rock band Argent once sang, hold your head up high! Call it what it is. Replacement theology. Let’s take it back. I remember the band U2 performed “Helter Skelter in concert and lead singer Bono would intro the song by saying “This is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles, well we’re stealin’ it back.”
So, in the spirit of hermeneutical contrast/comparison; We are U2 and the Zionists are Charles Manson and replacement theology is now Helter Skelter.
Go ahead and start sharing from this perspective and study it out yourself. You will probably begin to find more examples of this replacement aspect in Scripture and add them to your arsenal of verses to prove this out.
Let’s start defending it. Stop acquiescing, doing the crab walk, making excuses, being politically correct, apologetic. There’s nothing wrong with God replacing an inherently flawed, purposely planned obsolescent covenant system.
In order for the Zionists to prove a fulfilled covenant kingdom instead of a Replacement covenant Kingdom, the Zionist would have to find all the verses where God intended to merely re-form, re-shape, re-morph, re-constitute all the particles of the Old System. But that can’t be done. The evidence is overwhelming in favor of Yahweh totally replacing every physical visual representation of a coming new covenant with a spiritual new creation, not derived from anything existing from the old order. You know, new wine in old wineskins and all that…
Now I do understand that Christ fulfilled the entire law and fulfilled all the prophecies. In that aspect, I’m on board. But that’s not what we are battling right now. The naysayers have purposely created this narrative to drive the conversation. This is how I battle it. Sadly, these same accusers would admit that in every instance mentioned in this article, ‘replacement’ was exactly what happened in the salvific history of God. But they just can’t get beyond themselves to incorporate that into the whole picture. Therefore, they have chosen to blindly throw out the baby with the bathwater simply to hold on to this fictional hope of Jews forever being God’s holy and true people. So sad.