Welcome to Inside Israel, where “J” , a Messianic believer (one who is Jewish and also believes and has received Jesus as their Savior) sends us a letter. Today, the title says much. J is nervous to share what God laid on her heart. I pray that we are able to receive it in the Spirit that it was sent! God bless you and as always, thank you for praying for Israel and for J!
I greet you in The Name of The Lord, Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. I also greet you from this city… Jerusalem… a city with eternal significance, the weight of which I feel day in and day out. What a privilege to live here, and what a responsibility! Above all, I am responsible to God, Who put His Name here, but no more then each of you are responsible to Him…for He called each of us to ‘Follow’ and to ‘Know’ Him. Wow!
I had a disturbing encounter recently, and one that I ‘began’ to write about in my head (usually on the bus!) since it happened, but only now, as I am reading this morning, do I feel that I can, and need to, write about it on ‘paper’.
The position of ‘replacement theology’ came up again. It has been awhile since I thought about it, actually forgetting that it was there. I went to The Lord and His Word. For those of you who don’t know (and I know from letters that some don’t), replacement theology basically says that the nation/people ‘Israel’ has been replaced by the Church because of the sins of Israel. All of the promises to Israel are now promises to the Church. Israel is eternally cursed unless they turn and accept Jesus (I do not dispute that…only the METHOD, by the way).
This made perfect sense. For two thousand years (what a LONG TIME!) Israel was in exile, cast off and chased and without a country. There WAS no ‘Israel’. (I actually had someone say to me once ‘You are Jewish? I didn’t think there were anymore Jews!’) What WAS the Church to think? What must it have been like in the hundreds of years preceding our time to read the promises to Israel…to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the first covenant…and there WAS no Israel. How would you deal with that theologically?
And so, theologies grew.
In looking back, I am thankful that The Lord frustrated my deep desire to ‘go to Bible school’ because He knew that I am lazy by nature and that if I had had the richness of such an experience I would have neglected the path HE had for me. He called me instead into ‘His Bible school’ (just like all of you)…rising early, spending long hours in His Word and on my knees with only One Teacher. I remember the GREAT direction given by my first Pastor to ‘ALWAYS weigh EVERYTHING by the FULL counsel of the whole Word of God.’ Sometimes I would take two pages and write ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ when I was trying to understand where The Lord stood on something. Doing that often brought me to my knees crying out ‘Oh Lord! Your ways are so much higher then mine and Your thoughts so much higher then mine! I do not know where you stand, so lead me in Your path!’
Also, years ago, I went through a very difficult time (back some 20 years ago or more) when my world was turned upside down and I was in great fear as to if I were even His. At that time He taught me a great and precious lesson; I laid myself out before Him and asked Him to deal death to ANYTHING that I believed as truth that WASN’T Truth. Since then I have prayed that often; ‘Lord, if I hold dearly a stand as truth but it ISN’T True, PLEASE DRIVE IT FROM ME AND CORRECT ME!’ I pray that now too as I share this.
Now…I am sure that I STILL hold opinions and views that He will need to adjust or obliterate… but I trust Him that His work in me is not yet finished and that in His mercy He has heard my prayer. TRUTH is so important…TRUTH is His Name!
So…what happened when I was reminded about ‘replacement theology’?
It isn’t ‘easy’ living here. We do many things wrong as a nation. We are not saved yet, as a people. The world hates us. It is harder for me to be reminded that part of the body also feels that we are illegitimate before The Lord.
BUT, THE WORD! As I was reading just now and felt that it was ‘time to write this’, I read in Jer 33:23-26 (but indeed Jer 31,32, 33 etc restate the same thing over and over)
“…Have you not considered what these people have spoken, saying, The two families which The Lord has chosen (speaking of Judah and Israel), He has also cast them off? Thus they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them, ‘Thus says The Lord; ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and I will have mercy on them.’”
‘Well, Lord, this is just ONE scripture’, but, no…it isn’t. Immediately Romans 11 came into my head. I turned to Luke, where I am now in the New Covenant, but as I began reading another scripture came to me…Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and saying ‘You will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of The Lord’.” I prayed ‘Blessed is HE Who comes in The Name of The Lord’…and I asked Him again; ‘Lord? Is replacement theology right? Am I off base? Correct me Lord, if I am believing something that is not Your Truth, correct me in Your mercy’. Then I felt to come and write, even in the midst of my time before Him.
Because it is His very NATURE that is at the core of the issue; If he will also cast off the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob forever because of their (awful!) sins,… then what about the sins committed under the Second Covenant?? I am reminded that Paul brings that up in Rom 11:20 when He says “Do not be haughty, but fear, for if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either…” Back in Jer 32:39 The Lord addresses that fact that He will bring the people back to the land still unsaved saying ‘THEN I WILL GIVE THEM ONE HEART AND ONE WAY THAT THEY MAY FEAR ME FOREVER’ (this is AFTER coming back). I grow impatient; ‘Lord! We seem so far from you as a people and a nation! How and when will you turn our heart!? Am I believing a lie?’ But He says He WILL do it… In Jer, in Zech, in Romans and in so many other places…over and over His promises ring True and promise to come to pass…as they have in the past so they will in the future!
I am sticking my neck out by writing this. I know that I am out of my territory. I am NOT ‘a preacher’…I am an observer. Most people like my ‘bus writing’ best…and I do too. They are ‘easy’ to write. But I feel pressed in my heart to write this. Perhaps some of you know people who withstand your stand with Israel and stand firmly in replacement theology…or perhaps you yourself are unsure. DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I WRITE! (or anyone else). READ THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF…ALL OF THEM, for they are ALL ‘HIM’. Remember, the ONLY ‘Bible’ that The Lord Himself had, and preached out of was the First Covenant…LIKEWISE…THE APOSTLES! That was what they read and that was what they referred to when they spoke of ‘scriptures’ and ‘written Word’…they did not yet have any other. I encourage you, and myself, read the WHOLE counsel of The Word. “That I may KNOW HIM, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable to His death.”
“In the beginning…GOD…”! is how it begins…and it ends with “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. AMEN”!