Replacement Theology
by Anonymous, 1989

      There is a lot of confusion going around these days about  God's
      promises,  even  among  our  own ranks here at (unnamed organization).
      I'd like to take this opportunity to dispel a little of the confusion.

      There is a powerful movement afoot called  Replacement  Theology
      which states that the church is Israel and the promises given to
      Israel  were  primarily  for  the  church.   This  movement   is
      incurring  the  wrath  of  God,  as it increasingly condemns the
      nation of Israel as illegitimate, which is natural for folks who
      believe  the  church  has replaced Israel.  Even among those who
      still hold to Israel to one degree or another, there seems to be
      a propensity for yanking Old Testament promises out of the Bible
      -- and, I might add, out  of  context  --  and  indiscriminately
      applying  them  to modern church situations.  The tendency is to
      select those promises which fit church theology  (like  healing,
      prosperity,  victory)  and  ignore  those  which  do  not  (like
      punishment for rebellion, keeping of  feasts,  sacrifices).   To
      set  the  record  straight:   the  church did not yet exist when
      those promises were given, and they were not given to Israel  as
      a  "type"  of  the  church until the church should inherit them.
      The Old Testament promises were given to Israel, and they  apply
      to  Israel.   Many of them ALSO apply to the church in a general
      way, and many of them apply to all nations in a general way, and
      many of them apply only to Israel.  We have got to quit assuming
      that just because some teacher of the Word says the  Bible  says
      something is ours, that it is.  We must understand the situation
      and context in which the promises  were  given  --  promises  of
      blessing  and/or  cursing, of redemption, et-cetera -- before we
      can understand the promises themselves.

      Let's take as an example 2 Chronicles 7:14.  Most  people  today
      are  familiar  with  that  verse,  but  unfortunately  the  vast
      majority of the church in America seems to have gotten the  idea
      somewhere -- not from God -- that the promise is to America.  It
      most assuredly is not.  Let us read the passage in  its  context
      (2 Chronicles 7:11-20):

            Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and  the
            king's  palace,  and successfully completed all that
            he had planned on doing in the house of the Lord and
            in his palace.  Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at
            night and said to him, "I have  heard  your  prayer,
            and  have chosen this place for Myself as a house of
            sacrifice.  If I shut up the heavens so  that  there
            is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the
            land, or if I send pestilence among My  people,  and
            My  people  who  are called by My Name [over whom My
            Name is called] humble themselves and pray, and seek
            My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will
            hear from heaven, and will forgive  their  sin,  and
            will heal their land.  Now My eyes shall be open and
            My ears attentive the prayer of this place.  For now
            I  have  chosen  and  consecrated this house that My
            Name may be there forever, and My eyes and My  heart
            will be there perpetually."

      The context here is the completion and dedication of the  temple
      in   Israel.    Note  God's  promise  concerning  "this  house".
      Speaking to Israel, the Lord promised to forgive the nation  and
      heal  the land if the nation would repent.  The entire nation is
      called "My people".  Israel  is  called  by  God's  Name.   This
      promise  was  NOT given to Japan, Albania, or the United States,
      none of which is a nation "called by My  Name".   Unfortunately,
      we  in  western  society  have  twisted  the meaning for our own
      supposed benefit to allegedly  say,  "If  My  people  which  are
      called  by  My Name (the Christians within the country) ..." But
      it does not say that.  Now the promise CAN  apply  to  a  nation
      other  than  Israel  in  a general way:  certainly if any nation
      (America included) will repent, God will restore the nation  and
      forgive  the  sin and heal the land.  The key is the distinction
      between who is Israel and who is not.  If the church is  Israel,
      then  one can truly say, "If the believers will repent and pray,
      I'll restore their land." But believers have  already  repented,
      or  else  they  wouldn't be believers!  The confusion comes from
      erroneously assuming the church is  modern  "spiritual  Israel",
      having  replaced  national  Israel.   It  does  not  say "If the
      Christians will pray and intercede and repent".  Repent of what?
      The believers are already the righteousness of God in Jesus, and
      it's not for the righteousness of the believing 1% that  America
      will  be judged, but for the sin of the wicked 99% who refuse to
      repent.  The promise concerns  a  NATION  repenting,  not  God's
      people WITHIN A NATION repenting and praying.  We are the temple
      of the Holy Spirit, it is true,  but  our  repentance  does  not
      nullify  the  justice and righteousness of God.  He cannot leave
      America unjudged and remain a righteous judge!

      Elsewhere in the Bible we find the answer to how God deals  with
      a  wicked  nation where a few people are righteous.  This is one
      of those passages the modern  Word  of  Faith  and  Kingdom  Now
      people  like  to  avoid,  because  it  pretty well debunks their
      misinterpretation of  2  Chronicles  7:14.   This  is  found  in
      Ezekiel  14:13-20, and it is one of those places which speaks of
      all nations in general (starting with verse  21  --  not  quoted
      here -- the Lord starts to apply it directly to Israel):

            "Son of  man,  if  a  country  sins  against  Me  by
            committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand
            against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine
            against  it, and cut off from it both man and beast,
            even though these three men, Noah, Daniel,  and  Job
            were  in  its midst, by their own righteousness they
            could only deliver themselves,"  declares  the  Lord
            God.   "If  I  were  to  cause  wild  beasts to pass
            through the land, and they bereave of children,  and
            it became desolate so that no one would pass through
            it because of the beasts,  though  these  three  men
            were  in  its  midst,  as I live," declares the Lord
            God, "they could not deliver either  their  sons  or
            their daughters.  They alone would be delivered, but
            the country would be desolate.  Or if I should bring
            a sword on that country and say, 'Let the sword pass
            through the country and cut off man and  beast  from
            it,'  even though these three men were in its midst,
            as I live," declares the Lord God, "they  could  not
            deliver  either  their  sons or their daughters, but
            they alone would be delivered.  Or if I should  send
            a  plague against that country and pour out My wrath
            in blood on it, to cut off man and  beast  from  it,
            even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in its midst,
            as I live," declares the Lord God, "they  could  not
            deliver  either  their  son or their daughter.  They
            would   deliver    only    themselves    by    their

      Can our righteousness deliver America?  What does God say  about
      it?   The  only  people who will be delivered are the righteous,
      and we've got to quit praying out of God's will and  asking  Him
      to  deliver  the  wicked, because He is a righteous and just God
      and He will judge sin.  The smart  thing  is  to  get  your  sin
      judged  on  the  cross  so  you're  free of it and you don't get
      judged yourself.  We need to pray for people to get  saved,  and
      for  wisdom for our leaders, and whatever else the Word tells us
      to do.  But know this:  God is about to judge this  nation.   It
      is His will to do so, indeed, He MUST do so.  It is NOT His will
      that any perish, but that all be saved.  Nevertheless, Scripture
      is clear that God hates sin, and He will destroy the nation that
      continues to sin.  He will also leave a righteous remnant.

      The next time you hear someone quoting 2  Chronicles  7:14  over
      America  and admonishing you to pray for restoration of America,
      just remember God  isn't  going  to  restore  America.   God  is
      restoring  Israel now, and human government is coming to an end,
      because the Messiah is about to return as King of kings and Lord
      of  lords;  and soon the Word will be fulfilled which says, "The
      kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord  and
      He  shall  reign  forever  and  ever."  Why  should  God put off
      Messiah's return so Americans could enjoy a few  more  years  of
      materialism  and  debauchery?   We need to get in on what God is
      doing, not try to make Him conform to American Christianity  and
      an American Jesus.