To believe God has rejected Israel is to deny reality
Replacement theology is the belief that the Jewish rejection of Jesus resulted in God rejecting Israel, in favor of the church. The church is the new Israel and the old Israel is simply cursed. All of the promises in the Old Testament to Israel are now to the Church, while the curses remain the property of the Jewish people.
This became official church doctrine by the fourth century, but was popular by the year 150 through the writing of Justin Martyr, where he referred to the church as the "true Israel." Shockingly, the root of this demonic doctrine began to grow a mere 19 years after the resurrection. (Read more about that here). It is why Paul wrote such a strong caution in Romans 11, warning them of the consequences of turning against Israel.
"For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God—severity toward those who fell, but goodness toward you, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off" (Rom. 11:21-22).
In 130, Emperor Hadrian went on a demonic rampage against the Jews. They were exiled from Jerusalem, forbidden to enter under threat of death. The name was changed from Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina, to honor Jupiter. Judea was renamed Palestine. He wanted to rid the land of every last vestige of Jewishness.
For the next 1,818 years, the Jews wandered the globe without a nation. Having passed through persecutions, the Inquisition, pogroms, the Crusades and ultimately, the Holocaust, indeed, one could have made a strong case that the Jewish people were cursed—that God was finished with them.
The Comeback Kid
However, we have seen so many prophecies fulfilled in the last 150 years regarding the Jews, that one must be blind, dumb or intellectually dishonest to believe that God has replaced Israel with the Church or that Israel is forever cursed.
Here we are, nearly 2,000 years later, with Israel restored and Jerusalem as her capital. You really have to disconnect yourself from modern history to still embrace replacement theology. That would mean that by massive coincidence, Israel was rebirthed in 1948, Jerusalem was restored through the miraculous victory in the Six-Day-War, millions of Jewish exiles came back to Zion just as the prophets predicted, and all this while being the most persecuted people in world history, having suffered 52 attempted genocides.
No nation has ever lost her geographical homeland for more than a short time and remained an identifiable people. Israel wandered for two millennia and survived! Only God could have done that. The very fact that these Jewish fingers can type on this keyboard is proof that God has been faithful to His promises.
Let's just look at a few of the dozens of prophecies regarding Israel's restoration and see if they've come to pass: "For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all countries and will bring you into your own land" (Ezek. 36:24).
Immigration of Jewish people, en masse, began in 1882. Since then, millions of Jews have made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel): "Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, 'Give them up," and to the south, 'Do not keep them back. Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth" (Isa. 43:5-6).
From the East, they came back from Yemen, Iran and Iraq. From the South, they returned from Egypt, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. From the West, they poured in from former Nazi-occupied Europe, Morocco, Algeria and the Americas. From the North ... we will get there. "Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she brought forth her sons" (Isa. 66:8).
In one day, May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation. This year marks her 7oth anniversary. Never has a "dead" nation come back to life after 2,000 years of exile: "Thus says the Lord of Hosts: I will deliver My people from the eastern lands and from the western lands" (Zech. 8:7).
Jerusalem was restored in 1967. According to this prophecy, God would be the one who does this. I understand that some don't like the idea of a restored Jewish Jerusalem, certainly not the U.N. But, "Shall the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?'" (Isa. 45:9). (The answer, by the way, is no.)
Therefore, surely the days are coming, says the Lord, that it will no longer be said, "As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt," but, "As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands wherever He had driven them." And I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers (Jer. 16:14-15).
In 1991, the Iron Curtain came down and over 1,000,000 Russian-speaking Jews poured into Israel from "the land of the north."
"[After I bring you back] I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean. From all your filthiness and from all your idols, I will cleanse you. Also, I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them (Ezek. 36:25-27).
For the children of Israel will remain many days without a king and without a prince, without a sacrifice and without a standing stone, and without an ephod and teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come in fear to the Lord and to His goodness in the latter days (Hos. 3:4-5).
The prophets predicted that after Israel went through a long season without a government or temple, and after God brought them back to their own country, they would have a spiritual awakening and embrace the Messiah (David was long dead and buried, but as Peter tells us in Acts 2:29 and following, prophecies about David after his death refer to Yeshua.) Today, there are more Jewish believers in Jesus than ever before, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. In Israel, there are over 150 Messianic congregations and growing.
You're Not Dumb!
Come on. These are just a few of the prophecies regarding Israel that have come to pass. I did not even mention Isaiah 35:1, which speaks of the desert blossoming like a rose (Israel exports roses from the Negev Desert). Nor did I mention Genesis 12:3, which tells us that Israel will be a blessing to the world (you can't use your iPhone, instant messaging or go to the doctor without encountering Israeli technology). Clearly, you can see with your own eyes that God is not finished with Israel.
Yes, in the Middle Ages, it did look like much of replacement theology was right. But God cannot lie or break a promise, and for 2,000 years, He watched over His word and now He is bringing the prophecies to pass.
In the Hebrew language, the number 18 means life. It was exactly 1,818 years from the time Hadrian changed the name of Jerusalem until the time of her rebirth. Coincidence? I think not.
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