Exposing Replacement Theology
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD, November 10, 2015
Replacement Theology is the opposite of Dispensational Theology. Whereas Dispensational Theology teaches that the O. T. prophecies about national Israel were ultimately to be fulfilled literally to believing Hebrews, Replacement Theology teaches that God completely abandoned national Israel after it rejected Christ and replaced many of the O. T. promises with spiritual fulfillment by the Church.
The following texts are either completely ignored or interpreted differently by replacement theology.
GENESIS 12:1-4 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 12:4 So Abram departed …
Dispensational Theology teaches that the Abrahamic Covenant had but one condition – “Get thee out” which Abram fulfilled – “so he departed.” Therefore God unconditionally promised (“and I will”) to (1) make a great nation from Abraham, (2) make Abraham’s name great, (3) bless those who bless Abraham and (4) bless all nations through Abraham’s seed (Christ).
Replacement Theology teaches that this covenant was only made with Abraham and Christ; it was not made with Isaac and Jacob.
This is easy to disprove with any good exhaustive concordance and a computer search of the words, “Abraham + Isaac + Jacob” in the same verse. Many texts reveal that God considered His covenant with Abraham to be the same as His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. See Exodus 2:24, Lev 26:42 and 2 Kings 13:23.
GENESIS 13:15-17 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
While Dispensationalists teach that God will literally give the land of Canaan forever, Replacement Theology teaches that God’s promise here was conditional and the land of Israel is no longer important.
15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
15:8 “Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land …
Dispensationalists teach that God’s promise of the land to national Israel was unconditional because God alone walked among the cut covenant. This was part of Abraham’s great faith which was accounted to him for righteousness in 15:6. God would be a liar if this clear prophecy failed.
Replacement Theology often uses 15:6 but either ignores its context or calls it a conditional covenant.
EXODUS 19:5-6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Dispensationalists interpret Exodus 19:5-6 as the conditional for national Israel to live under the jurisdiction of the Law. It is not the same as the Abrahamic Covenant. It did not apply to Gentiles. It was totally conditional and applied only to national Israel until Christ would come (Gal 3:10, 19; Heb 7:18-19; 8:13).
Replacement Theology quotes Exodus 19:5-6 to prove that the Abrahamic Covenant was conditional. They ignore the literal text itself.
DEUTERONOMY 9:4-6 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiff-necked people. Compare Ezekiel 36:22-26.
Dispensationalists interpret this literally. God did not promise or give the land of Canaan to Israel because of its own righteousness. Also, God did not bring Judah back from captivity the first time because of its own righteousness. And, God has not brought Israel back into the land in 1948 because of its righteousness! 1948 is not a fulfillment of prophecy. God is merely setting the stage for its later repentance.
2 SAMUEL 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
Dispensationalists interpret this as a reference to the Messianic Kingdom on Earth as in Revelation 20. David’s house is also mentioned in Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Hos 3:5; Amos 9:11; Zech 12:7, 10, 12; 13:1.
ISAIAH 1:26 [Jerusalem] will “again be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”
ISAIAH 2:2 [Jerusalem temple] And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
ISA 2:3 [Gentiles go to worship in the temple] And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
ISA 11:1 [Jesus will rule] “a rod out of the stem of Jesse, Branch
ISA 11:4 [Jesus will judge]
ISA 11:6 [Animals] will be tame and live together
ISA 24:23 the LORD will rule from Jerusalem, Zion
ISA 25:8 death swallowed up; tears wiped away
ISA 49:16 God will not forget Israel; it is graven on His palms
ISA 51:2-3 the wilderness of Israel will be like Eden
ISA 54:3 Israel’s seed will inherit the land of the Gentiles
ISA 60-66 MESSIANIC REIGN ON EARTH
Dispensationalists interpret these text literally for national Israel because there are no conditional “if” clauses controlling these them. Replacement theology either ignores them or interprets a few of them spiritually for the Church (as they choose).
Dispensationalists admit that there are many conditional “if” clauses in prophecies, but teach that they only delay the fulfillment and do not cancel the unconditional prophecies. They interpret the above texts unconditionally and literally for national Israel. God would not need to rule “with a rod of iron” in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Replacement Theology either ignores these texts, calls them unconditional or re-interprets a few of them spiritually as they choose.
JEREMIAH 14: 7, 21 Do not forsake us “for thy name’s sake; remember your covenant with us.”
JER 23:3 [God will gather the remnant.]
JER 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
JER 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
JER 24:7 [Israel is called God’s people.]
JER 30:3 For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.”
JER 30:7 “the time of Jacob’s trouble”
JER 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
JER 30:11 God will never “make a full end” of Israel.
Dispensationalists interpret these texts literally for national Israel. Replacement Theology either ignores them, calls them unconditional or re-interprets a few of them spiritually as they choose.
JEREMIAH 31:33 / HEBREWS 8:10
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
Dispensationalists teach that both the Old and New Covenants were primarily made with the two “houses” of Israel – northern Israel and southern Judah. The Church is a spiritual “house” but it is not a literal king’s ruling “house” like David’s. The Church exists because it partakes of the overflow blessings rejected by national Israel (Romans 11).
Replacement Theology interprets Jeremiah 31 as literal Israel but interprets the same text in Hebrews 8 as spiritual Israel, the Church.
Jeremiah 31:35-37 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
Dispensationalists interpret this literally. Even though national Israel sins, it will still not be cast off forever – temporarily, but not forever. God’s promise is as sure as the existence of the sun, moon and stars. This s repeated in Jeremiah 33:20-26. National Israel shall never cease to be a “nation” before God.
Replacement Theology has serious hermeneutic problems (principles of interpretation) when they reinterpret literal prophecies to O.T. Israel as spiritual prophecies to the Church which they call spiritual Israel. Secondary applications cannot and do not replace the original context.
EZEKIEL 11:17-20 [A remnant will return to Israel before it believes.]
EZE 16:60-62 God will remember His covenant with Israel and will again establish them.
EZE 20:44 God deals with Israel “for my name’s sale” (because of His unconditional promises) and not because of its actions.
EZE 36:23-24 Gather “into your own land.”
EZE 36:25-26 Cleanse Israel and give them a new heart.
EZE 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
EZE 37:24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
EZE 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince forever.
EZEKIEL 36:21-25 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Dispensationalists interpret Ezekiel 36:21-25 to prove that Israel will return to its land in unbelief and not because of its own righteousness. God will bring them back because of His unconditional oath and they will not be cleansed until after they return. Replacement Theology ignores texts like this and mock Dispensationalists by pointing out that Israel retuned in unbelief.
DANIEL 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Dan 7:35 … and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Dan 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Dan 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Dispensationalists do not see the Church in Daniel; it is about national Israel (9:24). The stone hits the image on its feet which represent a weakened Roman Empire confederation. They interpret the stone as the literal Messianic Kingdom of Christ on Earth in fulfillment of the O. T. prophets as seen in Revelation 20. All kingdoms, include the stone kingdom, are literal.
Replacement Theology interprets stone of Daniel 2 as the Church which came in the first century. This is wrong because the Church came during the time of the iron legs when Rome was strongest. strongest and did not peak until AD 180. Rome was not in an iron-clay weakened confederation in AD 70 and will not be until a future Antichrist reestablishes it in the future.
DANIEL 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Dispensationalists interpret this as a literal Messianic Kingdom on earth per Revelation 20. The O. T. does not promise heaven for O.T. believers. Replacement Theology says there will be no future literal Messianic Kingdom on earth because all saints go to heaven.
DANIEL 9:17 [Daniel’s prayer for restoration of the Temple.]
DAN 9:19 [Daniel’s prayer for people of Jerusalem.]
Dispensationalists teach that Daniel 9:17, 19 prove that the context for 9:24-27 is national Israel and not the church. Replacement Theology ignores the context of Daniel 9:1-26 and interprets 9:27 as a reference to the Church.
DANIEL 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. [Compare 8:11-14.]
Dispensationalists also use Daniel 9:24 as an extremely important text to prove that Daniel is about national Israel and not the church. Replacement Theology ignores this context.
DANIEL 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
DANIEL 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Dispensationalists interpret Daniel 9:26-27 in order: (1) death of Messiah (v26), (2) AD 70 destruction of the Temple (v26), (3) (he) Antichrist makes a 7 year covenant with Israel (v27) and (4) a future temple is desecrated. Replacement Theology makes the order out of sequence and (he) Messiah desecrates the temple of God with abominations.
JOEL 3:1-14 [After the scattered of Israel return, God will gather all nations.]
JOEL 3:15 [Signs in the sun, moon and stars.]
JOEL 3:16 [Heavens and earth shake.]
JOEL 3:17 Know that God dwells in Zion, Jerusalem.
JOEL 3:18 [Wine, milk; fountains out of the Temple.]
JOEL 3:19 Egypt and Edom shall be desolate.
JOEL 3:20 ‘But Judah shall dwell forever and Jerusalem from generation to generation.”
Dispensational Theology admits that a secondary fulfillment of this occurred in Acts 2, but adds that a primary final fulfillment is yet future as seen in Revelation 6. Replacement Theology teaches that the secondary fulfillment in Acts 2 is the only one.
AMOS 9:8-15 Israel would be destroyed from “the face of the earth.” “A few would be sifted among all nations. Israelites who do not believe this prophecy will be killed. The “tabernacle of David” will be raised and rebuilt “as in the days of old.” Israel shall rule all nations. The land shall be incredibly fertile. Israel will return and rebuild the cities. Israel will “no more be pulled up out of its land.”
Dispensationalists admit that a secondary fulfillment is seen in Acts 15 but teaches that a final literal fulfillment is future as in Revelation 20. Since there are no conditional “if” clauses controlling these texts, they are not conditional. The spiritual secondary application does not annul an unconditional promise of God.
MICAH 4:1 In the last days God will establish his throne in Jerusalem and other nations will come to it.
MIC 4:2 JERUSALEM is the focus of worship in the last days.
MIC 4:3 JUDGMENT from Jerusalem; no war on earth
MIC 4:7 YAHWEH will rule from Jerusalem forever
MIC 5:3-4 MESSIAH from Bethlehem will “give up” Zion until a time of his choosing
MIC 5:5-7 When last-day Assyria invades Israel, 7 shepherds will defend it and conquer Assyria and Iraq.
MIC 5:8-9 Scattered Israelites among the Gentiles will devastate them.
Dispensationalists interpret these texts literally for national Israel. Replacement Theology interprets Micah 5:2 literally but either ignores the other texts, calls them unconditional or re-interprets a few of them spiritually as they choose.
ZECHARIAH 9:9 literal Zion, Jerusalem, King rides on the foal of an ass.
ZECH 10:6-12 Judah and Ephraim are to be restored.
ZECH 12:1-2 Jerusalem to be under siege.
ZECH 12:6-9 God will destroy all nations which come against Judah.
ZECH 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
ZECH 13:1 [Israel will accept Jesus of David as Messiah.]
ZECH 13:2 God will cause prophets and unclean spirits to leave.
[ZECH 13:7 Messiah and His followers will be treated as false prophets. 13:9 persecution purifies.]
ZECH 14:2 All nations invade Israel and carry half into captivity.
ZECH 14:3 YAHWEH will intervene for Israel.
ZECH 14:4 YAHWEH will stand upon the Mount of Olives and split it.
ZECH 14:5 The inhabitants of Jerusalem will flee to the mountains.
ZECH 14:8 Living waters will flow from Jerusalem.
ZECH 14:9 YAHWEH will be king of all the earth.
ZECH 14:10 The land will become a plain.
ZECH 14:12-13 The invaders will die.
ZECH 14:16 The remnant of the Gentiles will worship in Jerusalem.
Dispensationalists interpret Zechariah’s last chapters literally and unconditionally because they are not in the context of conditional texts. (1) Christ will literally stand upon the Mount of Olives, (2) Israel will literally return in unbelief, (3) God will intervene, (4) Israel will be converted and (5) all nations will come to Jerusalem during the Messianic Kingdom
Replacement Theology must ignore most O. T. prophecies except those they very selectively choose to reinterpret spiritually.
MATTHEW 19:28 (Luke 22:30) That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Dispensationalists interpret this literally as something which must be literally fulfilled in the future. Replacement Theology has yet to address this text adequately.
MATTHEW 21:43 The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Dispensationalists do not dispute that the church is a spiritual nation (1 Pet 2:9-10) and the spiritual kingdom of God. It disagrees that the Church is called Israel or the Israel of God. See on Matthew 23:38-39 and Galatians 6:16.
Mt 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Mt 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Dispensationalists point out that, after Jesus had proclaimed the desolation of Judah, He said that it would eventually welcome him in repentance. This will happen in Revelation 20.
JOHN 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world : if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Dispensationalists point out that Jesus said “Now is my kingdom not from hence.” It was not the time then. The literal physical Messianic kingdom was “now” not of this earth. Someday it will be as promised to the prophets and in Revelation 20.
ACTS 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
ACTS 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Dispensational Theology likes these texts. Jesus did not tell His disciples that they were wrong and there would be no literal Messianic Kingdom. Replacement Theology does not deal with this text.
ACTS 26:6-7 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Paul did not disavow either the existence of the 12 tribes of Israel or the promises God had made to them.
ROMANS 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. [There is always a distinction between literal believing Jews and believing Greeks.]
Replacement Theology teaches that God permanently rejected Israel after Israel reject Christ. If that were true –if God’s obligations to Israel have ended– then why is He still giving them preferential treatment
ROMANS 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Dispensationalists point out that Paul’s audience is Jews since 2:17 and not Gentiles. He is saying that the “true” Jew among other Jews is the Christian who has been spiritually circumcised.
Replacement Theology takes this verse out of context to prove that all Christians are spiritual Jews, or Israelites.
ROMANS 4:16 Abraham is the father of all.’ Christians are called the children of Abraham by faith; believers are not called Jews, Hebrews or Israelites. Only believing Jews (Israelites) are called (true) Israel.
ROMANS 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites …
Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Rom 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Dispensationalists point out that, like Romans 2:28-29, Paul is only discussing fellow Israelites and not Gentiles. Those Israelites among Israelites who are true spiritual Israelites are children of the promise. For example, Even though both Isaac and Ishmael were the physical seed of Abraham, only Isaac was the seed of promise. The same was true of Jacob and Esau (9:10-13).
Replacement Theologians interpret this as proving that Christians are spiritual Israelites. The text does not say that.
Rom 11:25 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, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
God’s original plan was for Israel to accept its Messiah and convert the Gentiles. The plan has been reversed. (11:1-24). When the Gentiles reach their fullness (either by evangelizing the Hebrews? or by desecrating the temple in Rev 11:1-2?) every true (believing) Israelite will be saved (11:25). Notice there is still a distinction between Israelites and Gentiles in these texts. “Them” of 11:27 and “they” of 11:28 are Israelites, not Gentiles. God cannot and will annul his promises made to Israel (that He would save the faithful among them) (11:29).
GALATIANS 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Dispensationalists point out that Abraham and Isaac were not Israelites; they were Abrahamites, the children of Abraham. Christians do not become Israelites; they become Abrahamites, heirs of the promises God made to Abraham.
Replacement Theologians seriously err here. They twist the texts to say that Christians are spiritual Israelites (only the children of Jacob?).
GALATIANS 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
This was covered in Genesis 12:1-4. It is absurd to teach that the Abrahamic covenant was not made with Isaac and Jacob and every believing Israelite. When the promises were made to Abraham, Israel did not exist.
GALAIANS 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26 calls believers the children of God, not the children of Israel.
GALATIANS 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
This does not mean that there are no literal physical differences between Jews and Greeks, free and slave, and male and female. We are all equal because we are all saved by grace through faith alone. God sees us as His children regardless of our race, status of bondage or sex. Paul was not declaring that there is no longer a physical distinction between Jews and Greeks. He was declaring that God does not favor Jews over Greeks, or free over slaves or males over females.
This does not mean that men are no longer the head of the household or that women can be ordained to preach. Neither does it mean that slave owners should release their slaves or that slaves should rebel from fellow Christian slave-owners. And it does not mean that we no longer have a principle (like the law) guiding our life (3:25) (Rom 8:3).
Replacement Theology attempts to use Galatians 3:28 to prove that God does not treat Israelites differently than Gentiles because Israelites no longer exist in God’s plan and His promises to national Israel are null and void.
In reality, the context is not about Israel but Abraham who was still uncircumcised Abram, a Gentile, when he received God’s covenant promises. The question has been “How will God justify the heathen?” (3:8) and the answer is “The same way he justifies the Hebrew.”
GALATIANS 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
“When God promised Abram in Genesis 12:3 (Gal 3:8) “in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed,” He was not annulling he differences between Israelites and Gentiles; rather He was teaching that both would be justified by faith alone.
GALATIANS 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
As far as salvation is concerned, fleshly circumcision means nothing. God never did justify Israelites because they had been circumcised. Without a doubt Ishmael and Esau were most likely circumcised but they were not counted in the holy lineage of Jesus and their descendants were not called Israelites.
GALATIANS 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Dispensational Theology teaches that Paul is listed two different groups in the church at Galatia just as he had been doing throughout the epistle – Gentile Christians and Hebrew Christians. See 3:8, 13-14, and 26. “He is a Jew” in Romans 2:29 only refers to believing Jews among other Jews (2:17-29) and “they are not all Israel which are of Israel” in Romans 9:6 only refers to believing Israelites among other Israelites (9:1-13). In the same manner “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:6 only refers to believing Israelites in the Church of Galatia.
Replacement Theology uses Galatians 6:16 as their strongest text to prove that Christians are called Israel. However the book of Revelation clearly distinguishes between Israel and Gentles dramatically in chapter 7.
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Both Israelites and Gentiles are Christians and one in the body of Christ. As discussed at Galatians 3:28, this does not mean Israelites are no longer Israelites, Gentiles are no longer Gentiles, men are no longer men and slaves are no longer slaves. It means that, since it is now clear that everybody is saved by grace through faith alone (2:8) there is no longer a need for artificial temporary barriers between believers. Although he has no superior plan of salvation, the Hebrew partakes in blessings not available to the Gentile believer (Rom 3:1-2). There will be an eternal distinction between Israelites and Hebrews; even the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev 21:12). This would be illogical if God had replaced Israel with the Church throughout eternity. Whether the Gentile believer likes it or not, our transcendent God still says “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” concerning Israel.
2 THESSALONIANS 2:3-4
2 Thess 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2 Thess 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Dispensational Theology literally interprets these texts as teaching that a future antichrist will sit in a rebuilt literal temple of God. Thessalonians is not apocalyptic literature which often speaks in symbolism. God literally means what He literally inspired to be written. Since the church “assembly” is never called a temple or building (only individuals), a literal interpretation is necessary. Besides, God will not allow Satan to sit beside the Holy Spirit within believers (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19).
Replacement Theology teaches that “temple” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 refers to individual believers. They ignore the consequences of teaching that believers can be indwelt by the Antichrist and make God’s Word incomprehensible to the average person.
HEBREWS 8:7-13 This post-Calvary repetition of Jeremiah 31:31-36 says that the New Covenant is primary for the “house of Israel” and the “house of Judah.” See notes at Jeremiah 31:31-36. Hebrews is not apocalyptic and the text should be interpreted literally.
JAMES 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greeting.
This does not prove that the church is Israel. It shows that James, like Peter, and unlike Paul, felt inadequate to minister to Gentiles. His compromise in Acts 15 to require Jewish Christians to keep the whole law was wrong.
1 PETER 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
1 PET 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Although Peter calls believers a “spiritual house” in 2:5 and “an holy nation” in 2:10, he never calls them “spiritual Israel” or the “Israel of God.”
REVELATION 7:4-8 [During the great tribulation 12,000 from each tribe of Israel is sealed.]
REV 7:9-10 [During the great tribulation a “great multitude which no man can number” of Gentiles and unsealed Hebrews are saved.] See also Revelation 14:1-4.
Dispensational Theology interprets Revelation 7:4-10 literally. God knows where His people are. Even today DNA evidence going back only 3-4 generations can pinpoint pockets of Hebrews. After listing 12 tribes one at a time, it is absurd to teach that God was not serious and Israelites are no longer involved in God’s plan after Israel rejected Christ.
Replacement Theology teaches that Revelation 7 is not about Israelites but is purely spiritualized.
Rev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
Dispensational Theology literally interprets this a an end-time event during which a literal new Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt.
Replacement Theology teaches that the 1260 days, 42 months and 3 ½ times of Daniel were fulfilled literally but those same terms are not to be understood literally in Revelation.
REVELATION 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Dispensational Theology interprets this literally. The woman is Israel who will flee and hide from Antichrist for 1260 days during the Great Tribulation. Replacement Theology interprets this symbolically or spiritually.
REVELATION 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Dispensational Theology interprets this literally as describing the last battle of the great tribulation.
Rev 20:2 [Satan was bound 1000 years.]
Rev 20:3 [Satan would be loosed after 1000 years.]
Rev 20:4 [Saints rule and judge 1000 years.] See Matt 19:28
Rev 20:5 [2nd part of lst resurrection after 1000 years]
Rev 20:6 [1st resurrection; 1000 years]
Rev 20:7 [Satan is released after 1000 years.]
Rev 20:8 [Battle of Gog and Magog]
Rev 20:9 [Battle at the beloved city on earth.]
Dispensational Theology interprets the 1000 year Messianic reign of Christ on Earth literally. God does not repeat something six times, He seriously wants our attention —and it is not to be understood as zero times. (What kind of hermeneutic is that?) The Messianic kingdom will be a literal 1000 years on Earth following the Second Coming of Christ for the tribulation saints in Revelation 19. Matthew 19:28 will be literally fulfilled and the 12 Apostles will literally sit on 12 thrones judging the earth.
Replacement Theology is amillennial –there is no literal reign of Messiah on Earth. All of the O. T. prophecies of a Messianic reign on earth were conditional and were forfeited when Israel rejected its Messiah. Only bits and pieces of the O. T. prophecies remain to be reinterpreted by the Church, which is spiritual Church,
REVELATION 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
REV 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Dispensational Theology points out that Israel did not lose significance after it rejected Christ because God’s oath on His name guaranteed an eventual literal full restoration (Eze 36:22-26). Even in eternity one must enter the heavenly Jerusalem through the gates of the twelve tribes of Israel which sit on the foundation of the twelve Apostles. Even though salvation has always been by grace through faith alone, since Abraham it has always been offered first to the literal believing seed of Israel (Acts 1:8; Rom 1:16).
Replacement Theology fails miserably to deal with God’s unconditional promises made to the believing seed of literal Israel. It would prefer the names of the twelve tribes of Israel not be on the gates of heavenly Jerusalem for eternity.
I have attempted to list every text which is used by both Dispensational Theologians and Replacement Theologians in order to show the clear contrast. If this study has been a blessing to you, please let me know. I am willing to have an open dialog on this topic or any other topic at any time. Brothers and sisters in Christ need the challenge in order to grow spiritually.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
316 Aonia Rd
Washington, Ga 30673