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Replacement Theology and Two Coming Kingdoms
Jun 10th, 2017
Commentary
Art Sadlier
Categories: Printed Newsletter

Replacement theology essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people and God no longer has future plans for the nation of Israel. Different views of the relationship between the church and Israel are:

1 - The church has replaced Israel, which is called Replacement theology. 2 - The church is an expansion of Israel, which is called Covenant theology. 3 - The church is completely different and distinct from Israel, which is called dispensationalism/premillennialism.

Replacement theology teaches that the church is the replacement of Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Church, not in Israel. The prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are spiritualized or allegorized into promises of God’s blessing for the church. You have to do intellectual hand-springs to believe that.

Serious problems exist with this view. For example, the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and in particular with the restoration of the state of Israel. If Israel has been rejected by God and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we account for the survival of the Jewish people over the past 2,000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel has been miraculously restored as a nation in the 20th century after not existing as a nation for 1,900 years? Such a thing has never happened in all of history.

The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. The terms church and Israel are never confused or used interchangeably. We are taught from Scripture that the church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the day of Pentecost and will continue on earth until it is taken to heaven at the rapture.

Replacement theology has some close cousins.

One is “Christian Dominionism.” It teaches that God desires Christians to rise to power through public office so that His Word might then govern the nation.

Kingdom Now” proponents believe that God lost control over the world to Satan when Adam and Eve sinned. Since then, this theology teaches, God has been trying to re-establish control over the world by seeking a special group of people, known variously as "covenant people" - "overcomers" or "Joel's army,” and that through these people, social institutions (including governments and laws) would be brought under God's authority. They believe that since believers are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit that indwelt Jesus, we have all authority in heaven and on the earth. We have the power to believe for and to speak into existence things that are not and thus we can bring about the Kingdom Age.

These are all close cousins. Replacement theology has long dominated the Mainline Protestant Churches and the Roman Catholic Church.

The basic idea of replacement theology began with the concept that the Catholic Church had replaced Israel and that the “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth” was the portion of the church. Since its early days the Catholic Church has sought to rule over the kings of the earth. Kings, politicians and leaders have bowed before the pope to kiss his ring, seek his blessing and in earlier days to pledge allegiance to him.

This occurred for much of western European history as the Pope, using a forged document called the “Donation of Constantine” claimed that he had the authority to appoint and depose kings and would excommunicate those who did not obey him. Today world leaders still go to the pope for his blessing and to kiss his ring. This includes many evangelicals.

In Revelation 17 we read about the final attempt by the Roman Church to rule over the nations and bring the whole world in subjection to Antichrist.

Calvin taught that believers are responsible for social transformation and his followers began to believe that they had a cultural mandate to transform society as well as an evangelistic one. One Calvinist pastor, Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) lived this out, entered politics and became Prime Minister of the Netherlands and brought about positive changes in society.

In recent years this false concept has swept into evangelicalism. Today a group called the “New Apostolic Reformation” (NAR) has widely advocated this theology in the Charismatic Movement.

Today these false teachers promote the idea that all churches should come together to bring about this kingdom. The concept is that if we can make a perfect world, Christ will come and rule over it. In this way they think that they can bring back the King. The only problem is that the Bible teaches the exact opposite. Only Christ can bring about the kingdom and it can never happen by human effort. The Bible teaches that these attempts will end in a union of churches which will produce what the Bible calls a harlot or a false church claiming identity with Christ.

The teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation has greatly impacted evangelical churches with the error of Dominion Theology. Though many would not endorse much of their doctrine, yet they are impacted by their Dominion Theology. They dominate TV and impact believers.

The key verses they use to support their erroneous teaching are Genesis 1:26, 28, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth..... And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Those who are committed to Dominion Theology claim erroneously, that these verses give man legal authority over the whole earth. All that these verses do is give man administrative rule over the animals and plants that God created. Man is to be a steward of God’s creation, not the owner.

God’s original purpose was a theocratic kingdom in which Adam would have dominion over the earth as God’s governor. Adam rebelled and the theocratic kingdom was lost. Attempts were made to recover the theocratic Kingdom but Israel and her kings rebelled and the attempt failed. Again it failed because man failed.

Someday Christ will come and restore the theocratic kingdom. The God-man will sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem and govern the earth. It will be in God’s own time, He will bind Satan and set His Son on the throne of David in Jerusalem to rule the world with a rod of iron. He will restore the earth to its original created condition, with righteousness covering the earth as the waters cover the sea.

How foolish for replacement theologians to believe they can improve on God’s design and purposes. They are deceived and are carrying out Satan’s plan to usurp the God of heaven.

Dominion Theology is based on three errors.

1 – Satan usurped man’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve.

The truth is that Adam was made a governor of the earth on God’s behalf but he rebelled against God and lost his position. Satan was given by God a limited kingdom in this world.

We read about it in Luke 4:5-6, “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”

God has allowed Satan 2,000 years to this point, to show that he can rule the earth. He has failed and will fail (man cannot save himself let alone rule the world in which he lives). It is Christ who will come and destroy this world system and restore the kingdom of heaven on this earth.

2 – The Church is God’s tool to regain from Satan the control of the earth.

It is Christ who will come and destroy this world system and restore the kingdom of heaven on this earth. The church has never been commissioned to do this. The churchs commission is found in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” That is the only mission of the church relating to this world.

3 – Jesus cannot and will not return until the Church has regained dominion by taking control over the earth’s governments and social institutions.

Jesus said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19). We are obviously not called to change the world; we are called out of the world to proclaim the gospel that calls others out of the world. When Christ comes He will destroy this present evil world before restoring the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Many, including the Religious Right, are partnering with “NAR” and “Word of Faith” in order to win the culture wars. The misconception is that we need to rescue society from moral decline. That is a totally unbiblical concept. The world is a sinking ship and we are to rescue the passengers, not the ship. Our task is to preach the gospel that saves the soul. Even if we could transform the culture and bring moral reformation to men and women, that would not keep them out of hell. It is ultimately a waste of time and a distraction from salvation. Only Jesus Christ can bring about a world filled with righteousness.

When men and women are saved, they are to become salt and light in the world. Their transformed lives will have convicting influence on those around them. I repeat; our calling is to save men out of the world, not to save the world. This world is a sinking ship.

When the Antichrist shows up on the world scene, the followers of the New Apostolic  Reformation, Word of Faith, New Evangelicals, New Agers, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists will have been well prepared to embrace his message of pagan spirituality and ecumenism which will be promoted by signs and wonders, as described in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

New Apostolic Reformation teaches that the primary purpose of the Church is to take back dominion of the earth from Satan and to build and establish a physical Kingdom of God on earth. This is basic replacement theology.

They are committed to reclaiming what they refer to as the seven mountains. The seven mountains are Arts and Entertainment, Business, Family, Government, Media, Religion and Education. These have fallen into Satan's domain and must be reclaimed for God in order to bring about the kingdom of God on earth, they say. What they are unknowingly aspiring to build is not kingdom of God but the kingdom of Antichrist. The seven mountains do not in any way represent the kingdom of God and they never will.

The seven mountains are not of the Father. They are of the world and they will pass away. God has a program for establishing His kingdom in this world and it involves the destruction of this world system. At the end of the tribulation period, the present world will be destroyed, including the seven mountains and the unsaved removed from the earth.

This destruction involves the purging of the world by fire and the coming of Christ to rule a purified world from the throne of David. The tribulation period is about destroying the kingdoms of this world. That destruction is consummated in Revelation 19 as Christ returns to the earth. We read in 1 John 2:16-17, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

This erroneous theology is helping to set the stage for the program of world government advocated by men like David Rockefeller who said, “Would that I had the power to bring to your minds the vision as it unfolds before me! I see all denominational emphasis set aside. I see the church molding the thought of the world as it has never done before, leading in all great movements as it should. I see it literally establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.” David Rockefeller is talking about Kingdom Now theology.

This theology promotes a social gospel and social justice instead of biblical evangelization of the lost. Social justice is a code word for socialism which is the essence of the social gospel. They are supposedly committed to creating a society that will bring equity and fairness to the people of the whole world.

They are deceived in believing this concept and are fanatically committed to it. This concept seems good, but it can only be accomplished by Jesus Christ when He comes to set up His kingdom. Socialism has never brought good to men anywhere at any time; in fact it has always been a curse on men, enslaving them and leaving them in hunger and poverty.

The believer has been called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ which brings salvation to the soul and gives the followers of Christ a new life and a new destiny in a new kingdom. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).

Much of evangelicalism is drifting into this false teaching and they are unwittingly involved in laying the ground work for the coming program of social justice and socialism that Antichrist will introduce. They are also participating in the establishment of the world church that will go hand in hand with the kingdom of Antichrist.

This theology teaches that the Great Commission is not primarily about biblical evangelism and discipleship but about awakening Christians to their need to take back dominion over the earth and establish God’s Kingdom on earth. This teaching turns the biblical concept of the church upside down. Apart from individual salvation, everything else we may do for this world is without eternal value. Who is it that would encourage men and women to abandon the gospel?

Unregenerate people are lost people, no matter what kind of a world they live in. That does not mean we are not to love people and seek to help them, but we must not lose sight of the fact that man’s basic need is salvation. We are to impact the world by being salt and light in the world, convicting men of sin and bringing them into the kingdom of God's dear Son through faith in Christ. God has a time and a program to rescue this world and bring His blessings upon it and that time is when Christ returns to this earth.

Members and leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation promote pagan spirituality. Their promotion of contemplative meditation allows them to receive new messages, supposedly from God. They claim these messages are equal to the Word of God, and this sets them free to teach and promote whatever they want apart from the Word of God. They are consequently receiving direction from a source other than the Word of God. These communications are from the enemies of God’s Word, demon spirits.

The New Apostolic Reformation along with the new age movement believes in spiritual evolution. Spiritual evolution is a common belief within Fabian socialism, the Emergent Church, the communitarian church growth movement and the New Age movement. It will play a major role in bringing many of the world’s religions together as one. They proclaim the age old lie of Satan, “Ye shall be as gods.”

Contemplative Meditation is consistent with the New Age movement, declaring that man needs to tap into his “Christ Consciousness.” That men need to recognize the god within. When enough people do that the world will take a new evolutionary leap forward into a glorious new ear.

New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) leaders use traditional terms deceptively. We must watch for the development of new terms and redefinition of old terms with new shades of meaning that are utilized in an attempt to accommodate the various types of Kingdom Now theologies.

The NAR belief system is not based on studying the Bible in context through exegesis but rather on a commitment to interpreting the Bible through personal opinions, feelings, desires, and experiences also known as the practice of isogesis.

Exegesis is the method of studying the scriptures by using scripture to interpret scripture.

Isogesis involves the fragmenting of verses of scripture and changing their meaning which robs the scripture of its authority and it becomes a tool to advance the ideas of men. Modern translations facilitate this kind of interpretation.

The source of NAR is the Latter Day Rain movement which morphed into the Word of Faith movement and is now known as the New Apostolic Reformation. These false teachers are very prominent on TV and pretend to be evangelicals. They are deceiving multitudes of unstable souls.

Remember our authority is the Word of God and not man’s interpretations. God has spoken in His Word and He holds us accountable for what He has said. You will not be able to plead that you were deceived because obedience to the revealed Word will bring right understanding. Disobedience to the Word brings blindness to its meaning.

Matthew 13:12-16, “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2).

When those who claim to be God’s people begin to compromise with the world, they begin to love the world. They begin to seek to rescue the world and it’s culture and they forsake their divine mandate. Nowhere in the epistles do we find the idea that the church is to rescue the world.

I repeat: The divine mandate for the church is to preach the gospel. When the gospel is preached and propagated, individuals are confronted about their sin and are challenged to repent. When individuals are converted, their lives are to become salt and light in the world along with other believers. The lives of believers are to impact the world about sin and bring conviction on sinners. An assault on society for their sins is no substitute for holy living. We are to preach against sin because God hates sin, not to bring about social transformation.

In the early centuries of the church age, the believers were separated from Rome. They made no effort to change or influence Rome, even as Rome sought to wipe them out. They simply preached the gospel and multitudes were saved. In a sense, the church eventually conquered Rome by the sheer numbers of converts.

The church then gave up her separation and began to seek to influence both the culture and the government. It was through this process that Rome finally conquered the church through a union of church and state.

Our mandate as Disciples of Christ is to preach the gospel, not to seek to change the culture.

In 1948 the church repeated this fatal error in the birth of New Evangelicalism. From the beginning of New Evangelicalism, men who were at that time fundamentalists, abandoned separation from the world and began trying to influence and change the culture as a means of evangelism. This has been a disaster as the church has sought to infiltrate instead of separate. As a result, the church has been changed by the world. The effort by evangelicals to influence and change the world goes on today, and it will never work. The more involved the church becomes in the world, the more the church becomes like the world and the more the church becomes like the world the less influence the church has upon the world.

Look into many evangelical churches today and you will hear and see the world. Today in New Evangelical churches it’s all about making people feel good about themselves and about fulfilling their personal fleshly dreams. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves….” (2 Timothy 3:2).

Dominion Theology is a perversion of the purpose the church; it replaces the preaching of the gospel with another gospel, the social gospel.

While seeking to transform the world sounds good, it is contrary to what scripture teaches will actually happen in the world. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”(Matthew 24:9-12).

One of the most troublesome errors of replacement theology is the teaching that the church has replaced Israel and that God is finished with Israel. The prophetic scriptures are denied and they teach that the end time prophecies were fulfilled in 70 AD. They teach that Armageddon is the ongoing battle between the forces of light and darkness, that Antichrist is a spirit and not a person. They teach that we are in the Tribulation but at the same time we are in the Millennium. The drive is to deny what the scriptures really teach about the last days. Satan does not want Christians or the unsaved to know what is coming and how near it is.

This movement has swept over the church leaving the Bible’s teaching greatly discredited. Those who refuse to accept their teaching are considered narrow-minded, militant fundamentalists who refuse to get on board. Those who refuse to catch the wave of the mighty revival that is supposedly moving the world to unity and peace; are rejected. Many of the leaders of this new movement are joining hands with the pope in his quest to unite all religions in a new reformation.

Many professing Christian leaders no longer believe in the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ on the cross, they believe that is archaic and barbaric. They hold the view that Christianity must be reinvented for modern times.

Other steps toward the great apostasy

In the preceding paragraphs we have attempted to detail how replacement theology has sought to eliminate God’s purpose and program for Israel. The subtle intention is also to change the purpose of the Lord for the church. The goal is to change the purpose of God for the church from salvation from this wicked world system, to making this evil world a comfortable home for believers. The goal is to create a utopia in this world outside of the purpose and plan of God. Nothing could be farther from the purpose of God in the gospel.

This has been Satan’s plan since his fall from grace. He has attempted to carry this agenda forward through the nations ever since the tower of Babel. He will continue until his final defeat at Armageddon.

Replacement theology has sought to misdirect people from the gospel of salvation from sin. It is through the gospel we are born again and made ready for life in God’s coming kingdom. It is vain to try to save this present world for we know it will be burned up in God’s wrath against its sinful condition.

Replacement theology is promoting Satan’s plan to bring about a kingdom in this world where he can send his man, Antichrist to set God aside and rule this world for Satan. His agenda is found in Isaiah 14:13-14, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Now we will look at the same plan and program of Satan through which he moves toward the same goal from a slightly different perspective. We will look at the attempts by Emergent Church leaders to change the meaning and purpose of the gospel and to lead evangelicals astray.

They attempt to use the gospel to bring everyone on earth into the church and ultimately into the coming world kingdom. They are attempting to unify the world and bring about the kingdom. They are deceived into believing they are bringing the kingdom of God on earth when they working to bring about the kingdom of Antichrist.

Emergent pastor Brian McLaren has stated, “The idea of God sending His Son to a violent death is false advertising for God, and he has rejected the doctrine of hell.”

McLaren who was listed by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential men in evangelicalism, made the following statement.

Sadly, for centuries at a time in too many places to count, the Christian religion has downplayed, misconstrued, or forgotten the secret message of Jesus entirely. Instead of being about the kingdom of God coming to earth, the Christian religion has to often been preoccupied with abandoning or escaping the earth and going to heaven. We have betrayed the message that the kingdom of God is available for all, beginning with the least and the last and the lost…and have instead believed and taught that the kingdom of God is available for the elite, beginning with the correct and the clean and the powerful.”

This is the propagation of universal salvation and the idea that we are here as believers to heal the world and make it a better place to live. Actually the kingdom of God will not come to the earth until the judgment of God falls upon the earth during the tribulation period and then Christ will come and set up His kingdom of heaven on earth.

McLaren’s ideas are the logical extension of Dominion Theology and its counterparts. While many have written McLaren off, his ideas are spreading over the church.

The propagation of universal salvation is spreading like wild fire and it is coming from all directions. I believe this will be the final stage in the great apostasy that will bring about the coming world church. We are witnessing frantic efforts to unify the world in a kingdom which will satisfy the fleshly desires of man and remove the restrictions of God places on man.

Listen to Pope Francis promotion of universal salvation as he declares, “The Lord has redeemed all of us with the blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics, even atheists.” Francis is striving to produce a one world church in union with the Church of Rome. He is promoting universalism as a vehicle to bring it about.

The author of the popular book and movie “The Shack” has just released a book in which he unabashedly promotes universal salvation.

Billy Graham has also advanced the one world agenda of universalism. Graham has changed his beliefs during the latter years of his ministry. He has stated that, “I used to believe that pagans in far countries were lost if they did not have the gospel preached to them, I no longer believe that.” He went on to state, “The body of Christ comes from all faiths and Christian groups around the world or outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not. They are members of the body of Christ.” That is apostasy. That is universal salvation upon which the coming world church will be built. The stage is now set for the rapture and the universal salvation that will facilitate forming of the harlot.

Progressives see Christianity as a world religion no different than any other religious system. Whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam or Christianity they’re about advancing the revelation Jesus started 2,000 years ago. The view is that one does not need to become a Christian or to change his religious practices: one just needs to add Jesus to his spiritual equation.

We also see this apostasy showing up in Evangelical missions. In the May/June 2000 edition of the Watchman’s Trumpet we have an explanation what the new missiology entails. “Messianic Muslims” who continue to read the Koran, visit the Mosque and say their daily prayers but accept Christ as their Saviour are the products of this strategy, which is being adopted by some missions including YWAM.

That is the foundation on which the harlot church of Antichrist will be founded and the stage is now set to bring this about. The only thing that must happen now is the rapture of the church and the removal of the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Trump of God is about to sound. Are you ready, waiting, watching and longing to go home?

There are two coming kingdoms, one which the believer will not see, Satan’s kingdom of Antichrist and the kingdom of heaven on earth which only the believer will see.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). Those days are upon us. Sound doctrine is rapidly vanishing from the earth.

I can look back nearly eighty years and see the awful apostasy that has swept over the church. My mind goes to the words of Jesus in Luke 18:8, “….Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” My mind goes back to the first time I read that verse. I can remember thinking the Lord’s coming must be great way off because sound doctrine and committed Christians are everywhere.

I have watched sound doctrine and deep commitment to God’s Word slip away one inch at a time. Today the faith, that body of truth that makes up true Christianity, has almost vanished from the earth. Just a remnant remains.

I think of the words of Paul in Ephesians 6:13, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”          

Art Sadlier


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