(Originally Three People)
“Well,” I stated as we pulled up
to the church that evening, “look at that: We’re the only ones here except for
the Pastor and his family and David and his wife.”
climbed out of the car and headed for the church.
evening, Amos,” Pastor greeted us as he opened the door.
evening,” I replied.
David stated. “Mr. Short-hand.”
guess that’s my conference name now, eh?” I asked.
it fits, don’t it?” David asked.
talked for several minutes, while others began arriving. Then, as six o’clock
neared, the pianist began the prelude.
evening,” Pastor Mast opened the service. “Let’s open with a word of prayer.”
bowed his head.
we thank You for this day and for the safety we’ve had today. We thank You for
allowing us to meet here tonight, and we pray You will bless this service. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
carried on much the same as the morning, and then Peter Burkholder stood up to
good evening again,” Peter began. “Let’s take our Bibles to 1st
Corinthians 10:32. 1st Corinthians 10:32:
“‘Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor
to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:’
topic tonight is ‘Three People’,” Peter announced. “Today in the Church, there
is another theological view called Replacement
Theology. This theological position often trails along with these twisted
views of eschatology that we’ve been looking at.
Theology states that the Church has replaced Israel, and all the promises of
blessing made to Israel are now for the Church.
theologians will take you to Matthew 23:38 for example and tell you, ‘Jesus
told the Jews their house is left desolate. You see? That means that Israel is
done!’ Or they’ll tell you that all denunciations
of the Pharisees and rulers of Israel is automatically a denunciation of all of Israel. They will take you to
Matthew 21:31, where Jesus tells the Pharisees that the publicans and harlots
enter the kingdom of God before them. Or they will take you to Matthew 21:43
where Jesus says, ‘Therefore say I unto
you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing
forth the fruits thereof’ and say this proves God is done with Israel. Or,
they’ll even take you to Romans 11:17-36 where Paul discusses being grafted in,
and they’ll say, “You see? We have been grafted in! The Bible literally says
we’re the spiritual Israel.’”
we are literally the spiritual Israel,” Peter replied. “I have heard people say
it, perhaps not in that simple of language, but that’s the basic point of what
they say. And then they’ll say, ‘God’s Words—not mine.’
let’s take a look at the Bible and see what ‘God’s Words’ really say,” Peter
begin here in 1st Corinthians. Paul says, ‘Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the
church of God:’. Offend ‘neither…the Jews,
nor…the Gentiles’—if you’re not a
Jew you’re a Gentile—nor…the church of God.’ Now, you’d have to be blind
to not see these three divisions: Jews, Gentiles, and church of God. Paul didn’t say, ‘the Church and the
unsaved’; he said ‘Jews…Gentiles…church of God’. Sounds like Israel and the
Church are two separate people to me.”
over to Genesis 17,” Peter continued. “Here God talks to Abram, changes his
name to Abraham, and promises to give him a son. Then in verse seven, God says,
‘And I will establish my covenant
between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an
everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.’
Verse thirteen, ‘He that is born in thy
house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my
covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.’ And verse
nineteen, ‘And God said, Sarah thy wife
shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will
establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his
seed after him.’ ‘Everlasting covenant’. Folks, everlasting means everlasting;
not ‘I’m establishing this covenant with you until I DECIDE WHEN TO QUIT IT!’
turn to Exodus 3:15,” Peter stated. “‘And
God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel,
The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God
of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is
my memorial unto all generations.’ If this is God’s Name forever and His memorial unto all generations, I’d guess that God’s
Name is still ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’.
to Psalm 105:10,” Peter stated. “Here
David writes, ‘And confirmed the same
unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:’.
I’m just skipping around, giving you a sample. David describes the covenant God
made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (who is Israel,
you know) as an everlasting covenant.
It isn’t very everlasting if God now
gives the promises to the Church.
by the way,” Peter began, “have you ever noticed Replacement theologians always
want to take the blessing and never the curses? Just a thought.”
back to Ezra 3:11,” Peter resumed. “Ezra 3:11, ‘And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the
LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward
Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the
LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.’ God’s
‘mercy endureth forever toward Israel?’ How does this work?
about Nehemiah 9:31? Here Nehemiah says, ‘Nevertheless
for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake
them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.’ If God hadn’t
forsaken them then, why would He forsake them now?
say, ‘Well, yes, but they’ve rejected the Messiah.’ So what? They had to reject Jesus in order for Him to
die, as Daniel 9:26 and Isaiah 53 state. Replacement theologians apparently
forgot that small, insignificant detail.”
rippled across the room.
take a look at Jeremiah 31 and then we’ll close,” Peter stated. “Jeremiah 31.
First the prophet starts off with recording what God says; starting in verse
three: ‘The LORD hath appeared of old
unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’ Oops! There’s that word everlasting again!. ‘Everlasting love’;
interesting. God then goes on to describe the restoration of Israel from verse
four to verse seven. Then, all of a sudden, God declares—well, some people
think Satan brought Israel back in ’48. Satan wouldn’t have anything good to do
with Israel, as far as that goes, but at any rate—God says, He will bring them back. ‘He that
scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.’ God scattered Israel, as Deuteronomy 28
says, and now, God says, HE will
we continue on in this chapter,” Peter continued, “you’ll see God describes a
spiritual restoration; that is, He will restore Israel’s spiritual condition to
holiness to the Lord. Oh, by the way:
Guess what? God speaks of two restorations,
a physical, and a spiritual, and then guess
what? He splits it into two separate parts! WOW! Maybe those ‘wicked’
dispensationalists are right after all!”
congregation broke into applause.
a story told,” Peter continued, “about this chapter. The story is that a
preacher was trying to reach the Jews in the area, so he advertised his next
sermon would be ‘How to Destroy the Jews’. Well, come Sunday, the Church was
crowded: Muslims, Calvinists, Catholics, Protestants, Replacement theologians,
etc. And there on the front row, where most people don’t sit, were rabbis, and
Jewish reporters, and the Anti-Defamation League and finally, when the pastor
got up to preach, he said, ‘Take your Bibles and turn to Jeremiah 31:35-37,’
and began reading. When he got done reading, one rabbi nudged a friend of his
and said, ‘I think it’s going to be okay.’”
conclusion,” Peter stated, “most of you here probably just watch movies;
Antoine and I have worked on a couple of films, and here’s something to think
about: In any type of drama, whether film or theatrical, you can only do one
scene at a time. And sometimes you have to have an actor step away in order for
another actor to take over. Then, when the second one has his part done, the
first one comes back to work.
same is true here: God, the Director of the film of life, has sent Israel
back-stage while the Church carries out her job, and then, when God’s ready, He
will send the Church back-stage and Israel will return to the front.
let’s remember Jeremiah 31:35-37,” Peter concluded:
“‘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 for ever.
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.’”