Part 20 of 24
"Replacement theology" is the erroneous view that the New Testament church replaces and/or supersedes the nation Israel. This view says the church is the new and true spiritual Israel and that Israel will not literally
experience its prophesied restoration to the long promised eternal kingdom on the New Earth.
We as believers should never buy into this false concept that has permeated much of the church since the days of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Augustine of Hippo, et al (~100 - 400AD). Replacement
theology is an established fundamental doctrine of the Catholic Church as seen here below.
"... In fact, from the beginning of his ministry, the Lord Jesus instituted the Twelve (apostles) as THE SEEDS OF THE NEW ISRAEL and the beginning of the Sacred Hierarchy (of the Roman church)." (Excerpt,
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #877, parenthesis added)
This dangerous false concept is also prevalent among many in the Protestant church-at-large, particularly among the Charismatics and Pentecostals. It's also known as "dominion theology." It teaches that Israel has no further
place in God's plans and that when Israel came into judgment for rejecting the Messiah, they were cut off forever and the promises that had been made to her then came to belong to the Church. Yet Paul tells us Israel is
blinded only for a limited time. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, (only) until the fulness of
the Gentiles be come in." (Rom 11:25 (KJV)
From their position, "dominion theology" is belief in a "covenant theology." But dominion theology goes beyond traditional covenant theology, teaching that the church is to be governed by the same laws, is subject to the same
curses, and is promised the same blessings as Israel. As a result, it makes no distinction between the church and Israel (i.e., the church has become "spiritual Israel"). Because they do not follow Paul's admonition to
"rightly divide" the Bible they perpetuate this confused teaching. Paul clearly teaches us what applies to "the body of Christ" versus that which applies to national Israel only.
Since 75% of the Bible concerns Israel, thus many then suffer by having to spiritualize most of the Bible. They presume that the promised blessings that belong to Israel now belong to the church as the spiritual Israel.
Sadly, this lie then serves to condemn and/or destroy the faith of many believers. Many believers today listen to these lies and proceed to claim Israel's promises... but they soon find it doesn't work for them. Some of
these are self-condemned, being told it didn't work only because they did not have enough faith. This is a treacherous falsehood being perpetrated by Satan through the deceived leaders of the church today.
Such "dominionist" theology essentially negates God's promised restoration of literal Israel in the "kingdom" on the New Earth, wherein the faithful of Israel will reign over "the land" and the whole earth. This was God's
promise to Abraham's familial "seed," the children of Israel, as an everlasting inheritance.
So they essentially say, "When the Bible says Israel, it means the church to day." No! The Bible means what it says, literally. Once we abandon the literal interpretation of the Bible in favor of spiritualizing the Bible we
open ourselves to any idea that may arise popularly; we've then departed from the Word of God.
William R Newell, the former assistant superintendent of Moody Bible Institute, under R.A. Torrey, wrote this below. Consider his words regarding the New Jerusalem as a literal City on the New Earth.
1. The New Jerusalem is a literal city because of the literalness of its description. If gold does not mean gold, nor pearls - pearls, nor precious stones - stones, nor exact measurements - real dimensions, then the
Bible means nothing accurate nor reliable. There is no one on earth who can assure your heart concerning the meaning of these "symbols" - if they are symbols! Nowhere in God's Word, for instance, is there any account of the
"symbolism" of precious stones. Twelve such stones are found in the high priest's 'four-square' breastplate (Exo 28:15-21): sardius, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, jacinth, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, jasper.
No one doubts that these were literal stones; but to deny that they are literal stones in Revelation, and to admit them in Exodus as literal, is not only absurd, but unbelieving.
2. A second reason to consider the city a literal one is that child-like faith in reading the account always regards it as such. As the little girl asked her mother concerning the preacher who said that our Lord's words in
John 14, "I will come again," did not mean that He would come back in person: "Mamma, if Jesus did not mean what He said, why didn't He say what He meant?"
3. Abraham and the patriarchs "looked for a city," not a state of mind! The sublime faith of Abraham led him to leave a city in the most remarkable civilization known on earth, and become a stranger and pilgrim of
the earth, caring only for a cave in which to bury his dead; "for he looked for the city that has the foundations, whose architect and maker is God." Abraham will be satisfied with nothing short of a place, such as he looked
4. In all other parts of the Bible, simple faith in God's statements is asked from man; why not then in Revelation 21, of all places, here at the end of God's book! "Wherefore do questionings arise in your hearts the Lord
asked, when He presented Himself in a risen body in the Upper Room (Luke 24:38)?" But if reasonings and doubts of the reality and literalness of His body were excluded then, when the human mind would naturally be astonished,
how much less can questionings and doubts be admitted as to the literalness of the marvelous city of Revelation 21, which is to be the eternal home of our Lord's risen body, and that of His (kingdom) saints in glorified bodies?
5. If the New Jerusalem is not to be taken literally, we cannot claim that the Millennial Jerusalem of Ezekiel 20, 40, 48 and Zechariah 14 can be literal. But to deny these is to abandon faith in the accuracy of
6. In this book of the Revelation the former Jerusalem is literal (11: 8); and also "Babylon, the Great" (8:10). Indeed both Jerusalem (the 'great city'), and Babylon, were the objects of the last fearful earthquake
(the former partial, the latter final) of Revelation 16:19. Just so also, as the old earth which disappeared was literal, and the new earth which takes its place is literal and substantial, so also must the New Jerusalem
7. The unfolding of divine things in the Bible is precisely contrary to the idea that in order to have spirituality, material things must be left behind. The old Manichaean heresy (to which Augustine subscribed) governs
millions who call themselves Christian; though it is a Satanic lie, and pagan, and utterly anti-biblical. The Bible leads on to a literal and blessed home of the redeemed (of that age), possessed of bodies like Christ's body - real
and holy, incorruptible, immortal."
It is true that we as members of "the body of Christ" are a heavenly, heaven-bound people, having an invisible spiritual union with the Lord as our eternal reality in "heavenly places" (Eph 1:3). However, this doesn't
negate the Lord's promises for His earthly people, the believers of Israel. One of the greatest of the Lord's promises concerns the literal restoration, and their inheritance of, the eternal, physical, "kingdom of God" on the New
Earth, in which the faithful of Israel will "co-reign" with Christ (Rev 5:10, 20:6) over the Gentiles.
Now with the foregoing aside, let us proceed to discuss the Father's house. Jesus of Nazareth came to earth the 1st time saying "I must be about my Father's business" (Luke 2:49b).
In the parable below Jesus is seen metaphorically as "a certain nobleman" who distributed all that He had to His servants, expecting them to produce a gain for Him by investing all that He had given them. As noted in the
parable the "certain nobleman" returned as Christ will ultimately return, with "the kingdom" - for the faithful of Israel.
"... A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. (Luke 19:12). "And it came to pass, that when he was returned, Having Received The Kingdom, then he commanded these
servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading (investing)." (Luke 19:15)
Then in Luke 19:16-19 Jesus went on to say the faithful believers of Israel will become the literal local governors and mayors of "the Kingdom," which will be worldwide (cf., Matthew 25:23).
In John 14:1-3 (below) Jesus was speaking to "the twelve" Apostles, who He sent exclusively to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt 10:5-6) with the "gospel of the kingdom." Jesus was speaking again concerning His
going and His returning to the believers of Israel, with "the Kingdom" that includes the "Father's house." The "Father's house" concerns the literal physical "house of God" to come to the New Earth with "the Kingdom."
"1Let not your heart be troubled: ye (Israel) believe in God, believe also in me. In My Father's House Are Many Mansions (Gk., mone, abodes, residences) 2If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to
prepare (make ready) a place for you. 3And if I GO and prepare (make ready) a place for you, I Will Come Again, and Receive You Unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3)
His disciples that, "In my Father's house (household) are many mansions (abodes or dwelling places)" (John 14:2). Also in the "Fathers house" will be the "throne of David" (Psalm 132:11) for Jesus Himself and the "twelve thrones" of
authority for "the twelve" Apostles.
"Jesus said unto Them (The Twelve), Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man ( Jesus in His resurrected humanity) shall sit in the throne of his glory, Ye Also
Shall Sit Upon Twelve Thrones, judging THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL." (Matt 19:28).
The dead faithful of Israel are destined to be resurrected to serve the Lord in the Father's House. Contrary to then common belief, their spirits will not remain in heaven forever. They will come to earth with Him and receive
their new spirit-bodies. Jesus' words, "Thy kingdom come... in earth" was as God promised Abraham and his seed as "an everlasting inheritance" (Gen 17:8, 48:4); to be "heirs of the world" (Rom 14:3). The centerpiece of "the
Kingdom of God" is to be the "Holy City," the "New Jerusalem"; it will come down from heaven to the New Earth and be the eternal command center of the Lord over "the heavens and the earth."
These scriptures describe the role of the resurrected believers of Israel in "ruling and reigning" in the Millennial kingdom.
* The resurrected believers of Israel will co-rule as kings (Job 36:7).
* The resurrected believers of Israel will be judges, officers, and magistrates (Psalm 149, Isa 60:17).
* The resurrected believers of Israel will be teachers: (Psalm 37:29-31, Jeremiah 3:15).
* The resurrected believers of Israel Tribulation martyrs will serve in God's Temple: (Rev 5:10, 20:6).
The New Jerusalem will be the center of worship for "all nations" during "the Feast of Tabernacles," which is also known as the "Feast of Ingathering" (Lev 23:34 http://www.ucg.org/bible/1/LEV/23/34 - v34
<http://www.ucg.org/bible/1/LEV/23/34> ; Exodus 23:16) during the Millennium.
"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations (Gentiles) which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of
Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will NOT come up and enter in,
they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do NOT come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations
that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:16-19) By contrast, Christ's mainly Gentile "church, which is the body of Christ" looks for Christ's coming at the Rapture to bring them "with Him" to dwell
"eternal in the heavens" (2Cor 5:1).
"For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the
working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, Eternal In The Heavens."(2 Corinthians 5:1)
Jesus spoke of the physical Temple in His day, Herod's Temple, as the "My Father's house." This is where Jesus purged the Temple of the money changers. "passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem" (John
2:16); "(saying)...make not My Father's House an house of merchandise." (John 2:13). This was a sort of replica of Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple. It was a literal Temple and built in ancient Jerusalem, on
the Temple Mount, also known as Mount Zion. The Temple proper consisted of its "Outer Court," "Holy Place" and "the Holiest of All," This main building was between the outer altar, where most sacrifices were made, and inside at
the far end of the building was the "Holy of Holies," It originally containing "the Ark of the Covenant." The "Holy Place" contained a number of sacred ritual objects including the seven branched "candlestick," the "altar
for incense," also called the "Golden Altar," and there was the "table of the showbread."
"The Temple" refers to a complex with two courts surrounding the Temple proper. The "Inner Court" (1 Kings 6:36), or "Court of the Priests" (2 Chr. 4:9), was separated from the space beyond by a wall of three courses of
"hewn stone," surmounted by "cedar beams" (1 Kings 6:36). It contained the "Altar of burnt-offering" (2 Chr. 15:8), the "Brazen Sea laver" (4:2-5, 10) and ten other lavers (1 Kings 7:38, 39). A "brazen altar" of sacrifice stood
before the Temple (2 Kings 16:14), its dimensions were 20 Hebrew cubits square (34 feet) and 10 cubits (17 feet) high (2 Chr. 4:1). These were used daily to make sacrifices for the sins and to make offerings for the people
as were prescribed in detail by the Lord through instruction He gave to Moses.
Then the "Great Court" surrounded the whole Temple (2 Chr. 4:9). It was here that people assembled to worship (Jeremiah 19:14; 26:2). The Temple also included a huge complex of abutting structures, with massive walls in which
were "chambers" (dwelling places). Didn't Jesus say "In My Father's house are many mansions (abodes)?"
In the "New Jerusalem" of the Millennium there will be daily sacrifice (cf. Eze 43:5-11), but not to pay for sins because Jesus Christ has already given His life as the "One" perfect sacrifice - the "Lamb of God" "without spot
and blemish." Jesus as "The Lamb of God" fully satisfied God's righteous demand to take away all the sins of all believers for eternity. So, these Millennial sacrifices are only to remind the believers of the reality of
Christ as Savior, and to also to point the unsaved born during of the
Millennium to Christ. Isaiah is prophetic of these sacrifices in the
Millennium. "Even them will I (The Lord) bring to my holy mountain (Zion),
and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their
(Old Testament) sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house
shall be called an house of prayer for ALL people." (Isaiah 56:7)
In likeness to the original Temple's servants, I believe the "1st
resurrection" (Rev 20:6) kingdom believers will be the servants of God as
"priests of God" (ibid). They will have glorified spirit-bodies such as
Jesus had after His resurrection, and they shall "reign with Him" on earth
(Rev 20:6, 5:10) and occupy their abodes ("chambers" Ex 40:44-48) in the
final Temple of the "New Jerusalem." Even the first Temple was an imperfect
metaphor as it was a "figure of the true" (Heb 9:24) Temple of the New
Jerusalem. Only believers will enter the Kingdom's New Jerusalem, having
believed the Kingdom gospel of Christ's one sacrifice at the cross.
Solomon's Temple was built with "chambers" in the massive walls of the
Temple as dwellings to house the priests and servants of God. These "abodes"
specifically included "a bed, a table, a stool and a candlestick." "Let us
make A LITTLE CHAMBER, I pray thee, ON THE WALL; and let us set for him
there a bed, a table, a stool, and a candlestick..." (2 Kings 4:10a). In
John 14:2 Jesus referenced the eternal Temple, where the word "mansions" is
better is translated "abodes, dwelling places," as were these "chambers" in
God really does mean what He says. The Lord's appointed prophet of Israel, Ezekiel, described the Millennial Temple complex, in 40:44-48, with its "chambers" or apartments for "the singers" and "priests." Those who have
discovered the key to interpreting God's Word properly understand the Bible in a normal/literal way. They will see that the Ezekiel 40-48 description of the Millennial Temple is not a burden, but a delight in truth. What joy the
whole Bible brings us when we realize that God did not give us any portion of His Word to confuse us, but rather to enlighten us.
"15And without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect
toward the north. And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house. And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the
priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the Lord to minister unto him. So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad,
foursquare; and the altar that was before the house. And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was
three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side." (Ezekiel 40:44-48) "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among
them." (Rev. 7:15)
Thus, the elements of the literal Old Testament physical Temple were "Figures of the True" (KJV) Temple in the kingdom on the New Earth.
"For Christ (the Messiah) has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, Only a Copy and Pattern and Type Of The True One, but [He has entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the [very] presence of
God on our behalf." (Hebrews 9:24 AMP)
The Lord is preparing a Temple of priestly service and authority for the resurrected faithful of Israel who will ultimately co-rule with Him "over the nations" (Rev 2:26, 20:6, 5:10) on earth in His eternal Kingdom. They
shall "bless," teach, and lead "all the families (nations) of the earth" (Gen 12:3).
Similarly, the Lord will by then have already set in authority those of "the body of Christ" who will dwell with Him "eternal in the heavens" (2Cor 5:1) Recovery of the heavens will have begun with the Rapture of the believers
"saved by grace though faith (alone)" (Eph 2:8-9) several years before the Millennial Kingdom. Only some those of the church who have learned to endure with Him in this life will "reign with Him" in the heavens. Paul writes, "If
we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him...(2 Tim 2:12a). All of the saved are eternally saved and secure, even if they do not reign in heaven. Again, let me make clear that every believer who has received Christ as
Savior is eternally saved, while only some will "reign with Him" in heaven. The "hope" (expectation) of ALL the members of "the Church, which is His body" is seen by those who "love His appearing" at the Rapture. Paul wrote
that "ALL them that love His appearing," who will receive the "crown of righteousness," which is Christ's righteousness.
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I (Paul) have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of
Righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, BUT to ALL Them also THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING (manifestation)." (2 Tim. 4:6-8)
The Rapture of "the body of Christ" will be immediately followed by the "Judgment Seat of Christ" (1 Cor 3:9-15). What is being judged is not our sin - our sins were dealt with once and for all time by "the blood of
Christ." What will be judged is how, after our salvation, we've proceeded to walk with the Lord - did we build upon the foundation of Christ's salvation with that which endures, such as incorruptible gold, silver, precious
stones), or did we squander our time laboring in self-loving self-serving works, which are likened to "wood, hay, stubble"? The "gold" speaks of Christ's "divine life" within us, and the "silver" speaks of His redemptive
work for us, and these should result in our lives being transformed by His Spirit into the "precious stone" of His living temple, building up "the church, which is His body."
The judgment of believers at the "Judgment Seat of Christ" has the outcome not of life or death; but some will be "saved; yet so as by fire." I believe the rewards to be gained include positions and assignments in the Lord's
heavenly government where some will co-rule with Christ in the heavens.