Israel, Gaza and Replacement Theology

As Israel’s operation to route out Hamas’ vast network of terror tunnels, rockets and weapons caches hidden all throughout Gaza grinds on, few are surprised by the typical line-up of leftists and Muslim groups who have used the occasion to vent their deeply biased anti-Israel views. But in this round of conflict, there is a growing number of evangelicals who are also raising their voices in protest. Although some of these voices are extreme in their condemnation of Israel, many others have at least sought to cast themselves as taking a middle-of-the-road position, essentially arguing that as Christians, we should not take sides. Brian Zahnd, a Christian pastor and author took to Twitter to express his opinion that, “Christians rooting for one side to ‘win’ in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have missed Jesus’ message and need to rethink (repent).” Others have expressed that God loves the Palestinian child as much as the Jewish child, and so forth. Of course this is absolutely true! Jesus is passionate in His love for all peoples. Does this really mean however that Christians who take a firm stance against Hamas, with its clearly stated goals of committing another Holocaust, must repent? In a sane world, wouldn’t it be simple common sense for Christians to pray that the IDF defeats Hamas as soundly as possible with minimal Palestinian civilian causalities? I would argue that that the answer is an unequivocal yes. I would even go so far as to say that any informed, objective, and compassionate analysis of the present situation actually demands that Christians stand firmly and loudly against Hamas. For in doing so, we find ourselves standing not only with Israel, but with the Palestinian people as well. Yet many are those Christians who disagree. What then is the common denominator among those who seem so biased against Israel? In my own personal observation, I have found that there is almost universally an underlying theological bias. Among those who refuse to support Israel’s self-defense there is an open embrace of Replacement Theology as well as a rejection of, or a very low view of the prophetic portions of Scripture.

After his Tweet concerning the need for Christians to repent of their support for Israel, it came as no surprise that Zahnd went on Tweet a belittling comment concerning the Book of Revelation: “So you’re saying we can’t use the strange and violent imagery of Revelation to completely overrule the Sermon on the Mount?” Of course this is a straw man argument. No one is trying to “over-rule” any of Jesus’ words. Quite the contrary. There is no need to pit one portion of God’s word against another. Beyond the “strange and violent” Book of Revelation, roughly one third of the Bible consists of prophecy, including Jesus’ final sermon, the Olivet Discourse. I quote Zahnd simply to highlight the disdain for portions of the Word of God that this pastor must embrace in order to support His own political bias (* See my update/note at the bottom of this article). The symbiotic relationship between anti-Israel sentiment and an anti-prophecy theological stance is common to observe among the growing evangelical left.

In a recent article featured in WND, Dr. Michael Brown discussed Stephen Sizer, a well-known Anglican vicar and author. Sizer openly espouses both Replacement Theology and Preterism (the view that most biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled in the past). In August 2013, sitting before a crowded church, in speaking of Christians or Messianic Jewish believers who support Israel, Sizer said, “they’ve repudiated Jesus, they’ve repudiated the Bible, and they are an abomination.” Few will deny that such comments are highly inflammatory, divisive, and extreme. Unfortunately, Sizer is far from alone is his extremist rhetoric.

Carl Medearis, another author and popular voice among the growing anti-Israel segment of evangelicalism, also has used the present conflict to essentially come out of the closet with both barrels blazing to denounce Israel. On his Facebook page, Medearis expressed his inability to hide his anti-Israel animus any longer:

You can’t imagine how many “friends” warn me not to talk about this or I might get in trouble. Wow. Enough. This secular mostly godless nation called Israel is NOT the people of God and I do not support them and their war machine. How’s that for direct? Who’s brave enough to tell the truth and not worried about pleasing man?

Just to repeat: Carl does not “support them” (Israelis) or their “‘war machine.” On Twitter he took to attacking those Christians who disagree with his stance, stating, “The sad heresy called ‘Christian Zionism’ takes much of the blame for arming the Israeli army who are killing citizens.” Again, why such abusive and inflammatory language? Impossible is the notion to Medearis that informed, thinking, level-headed Christians could ever simply support Israel’s present operation to destroy Hamas without primarily being driven by their theology. Look again at his words; a text-book case of transference. It is Medearis who is using his theological bias to justify his demonization of the Israeli Defense Forces and ultimately the Israeli people. In Medearis’ estimation, Israel’s “Defense Forces” are actually a, “war machine” that he refuses to support. Why is this so deeply racist? As so many have correctly stated, if Hamas were to lay down their arms, there would be peace. If Israel were to lay down its arms, their would be a genocide. Whether one intends such sentiments or not, saying that you do not support Israel is simply a roundabout way of saying that you support the death of millions of Jews. This is precisely how the Israelis hear it. Just die, you Jews. What kind of unimaginable insensitivity has come over some Christians?

Back on Twitter, Medearis went on to encourage his followers to read Ephesians 3:10-11, where they will supposedly find, “More clear biblical evidence that it is the believers who are the new Israel, not the current state called ‘Israel.’” What is so disturbing about this comment is the fact that Medearis placed the word “Israel” in quotation marks. This is a critical point. If the Church is, “the true Israel,” as Medearis has expressed, then what are we to make of the present State of Israel? If they are merely a people and a nation who have been rejected and dissolved by God, then who are they, and should we not also reject them? This is precisely where the profoundly dangerous logic of Replacement Theology has repeatedly led the Church throughout history. Once Replacement Theology is embraced, it almost universally leads to the disenfranchise not merely of the Jewish State, but of the very people themselves. It is precisely this theology that has led to millions of deaths at the hands of professing Christians throughout history. Yet while most Jews are acutely aware of this, far too many Christians seem to be oblivious. In reading Medearis’ comment, I was immediately reminded of the words of Albertus Pieters, who in his work, Abraham’s Seed, (often cited by other Replacement Theologians), made the following horrific statement:

“God willed that after the institution of the New Covenant there should no longer be any Jewish people in the world—yet here they are! That is a fact—a very sad fact brought about by their wicked rebellion against God; but is it not monstrous to hold that by reason of this wickedness the said undesired and undesirable group are now heirs to the many and exceedingly precious promises of God?”

As disgusting as this is, it is only a very small step away from Medearis’ comment. Placing Israel in quotation marks is to say they are not truly entitled to bearing their own name. The Jews have become a non people. When one surveys Church history, pogram after pogrom, massacre after massacre, were carried out by Christians who had arrived precisely at Medearis’ conclusion, and then sought to finish what God had started. Modern Replacement Theologians such as Medearis may not have the gall to seek to finish to elimination of the Jewish people themselves, but they seem all too eager to outsource the job to Hamas.

If the Church ever desires to fulfill our mandate to preach the Gospel “first” (Greek: proton: first, especially) to the Jew (Rom. 1:16), then it is high time that we get our theology of Israel right. The first 1900 years of the Church’s history have been one continuous, colossal failure. The hour is much later than most think, and its high time that we grow up as His Body. I am extending the invitation to Carl Medearis publicly to engage in a dialogue on these matters.

In conclusion, for the past few weeks, I have searched for a single well-known minister or ministry who espouses Replacement Theology or has a low view of biblical prophecy who has been openly and vocally standing with Israel in the present operation against the genocidal terror organization Hamas. I am not saying that none exist, as I am sure some do, but I have yet to find one. It is imperative that informed, thinking and compassionate Christians today reject Replacement Theology that has consistently produced hatred and persecution of the Jewish people—bad fruit—for the past 1900 years. No doubt, most of the inhabitants of The State of Israel today are far from God, but as the controversy of Zion and the rage of Satan spreads throughout the nations, let all Christians who value all of God’s Word stand against the rising tide of global Jew-hatred, as we fervently bear witness of their need to come to Yeshua their Messiah—the only true Hope of Israel.

Further reading: N.T. Wright’s Perversion of Biblical Hope

*Update: Pastor Brian Zahnd, who I quote at the beginning of the article has not surprisingly taken issue with my comment that he shows disdain for certain portion of God’s Word. Zahnd feels as though I have misrepresented his views. In fairness to Zahnd, I wanted to note his protest. While it is certainly possible that in calling the Book of Revelation “strange and violent” (which portions of it certainly are) and saying that we should not use it to override Jesus’ words elsewhere, he could have simply been making a comment regarding allowing clear passages to guide our understanding of those that are not clear (a principle I agree with). In context however, it is very difficult not to see in his words as showing a measure of disdain for the Book of Revelation, particularly its violent elements. In light of the larger conversation wherein he was expressing himself, this is certainly how it comes across. Of course, we all sometimes express ourselves in ways we wish we hadn’t, and my desire is certainly not to judge Zahnd’s motives. I generally like to give others the benefit of the doubt. Thus I will allow those who read his comments to decide for themselves.

  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 13:24h, 03 August

    I fully support Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself, and I see the existence and survival of the state of Israel as a huge prophetic sign. However, in the interests of genuine dialogue, I think it’s also important to acknowledge that the current secular state of Israel is not identical with Israel as the chosen people of God (the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob). There is ample prophetic reason to believe that Israel will yet go through much tribulation before she comes to her senses and cries out “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”. Yet we as Christians are called upon to love and pray for Israel in her broken state. (Are we any better?)

  • Debra Allard
    Posted at 13:41h, 03 August

    Thank you, Joel. This explains the positions of many churches right now. What about Christians who back Israel because they are God’s chosen people, but find themselves in a church adhering to Replacement Theology? Should we leave that church? There is persecution on this topic alone. Is it right for us to remain in a church that not only doesn’t back Israel, but also urges them to give up land? I truly beg for a reply

  • Kathy
    Posted at 13:57h, 03 August

    Very true, Joel. Thanks for the spot-on commentary.

  • Joel
    Posted at 14:52h, 03 August

    The present State of Israel is not the restored “Nation of Israel,” but to say they are not “the chosen people of God” or “the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob” is simply not true and cannot be defended biblically. Paul made it clear several times that God has not rejected His people. If He has not rejected them, then they are still His people. This is not to say they are all saved. Far from it. But the corporate calling and election of the Jewish people remains.

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 17:05h, 03 August

    Thank you for some sanity Joel, if Mr sizer and friends dont come to line themselves up with righteousness, they may well hear ‘depart from me i never knew you’, from the one they claim to serve.

    I listened to Melanie Phililps a few weeks ago, on radio 4s ‘Moral Maze’, along with another left wing priest Mr Giles Fraser, (also a Guardian columnist).

    Melanie almost bust a blood vessel, when mr fraser fully agreed with the comments: Hamas rockets can be justified because it is a just resistance, but Israels rockets are terrorism! Mind bending Logic, from a so called man of the cloth.

  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 17:25h, 03 August

    Joel, to be clear, I believe that the present State of Israel could only exist by God’s sovereign dealings and has a significant prophetic purpose. My previous comment was not intended as an attack on the State of Israel. However as a modern secular democracy, the state of Israel includes many who are not Jews, and there are many Jews who do not live in the state of Israel. Some of your opponents may see these facts as reasons to deny that the current State of Israel has any more significance to God than any other nation. That is emphatically NOT my position. But it is true that the New Testament writers, writing in a time when there was no state of Israel, by and large used the term Israel to denote the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob – including those who were dispersed among the nations. For this reason, some may take issue with a simple identification of the current State of Israel with the Biblical “people of Israel”. They may also (rightly) argue that the current state of Israel is by and large unredeemed. I think it can be helpful to acknowledge some of these nuances. It helps to keep discussions from becoming unnecessarily over-heated. Having said that, I agree with the main lines of your position. Thank you for writing.

  • Joel
    Posted at 18:26h, 03 August


    I fully understand your comments. Certainly the present State of Israel does not represent the full Nation of Israel, but it is quite biblical to refer to them by this name. The present day state of Israel is little different than the Israel of Jesus’ day. Most were unbelievers, many were dispersed. Yet the NT constantly uses the name Israel to refer to the largely unredeemed nation at the time. An excellent simple to read book on the issue is Israel in the NT by David Pawson. I hope this is helpful.

  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 19:30h, 03 August


    Thanks, I’ll look it up.

  • Doug Hanley
    Posted at 21:16h, 03 August

    Many will say Lord Lord.

  • Dan
    Posted at 22:19h, 03 August

    I recommend that he reads the Sermon on the Mount again…the woes are incredibly harsh and some of Jesus’ hard sayings. Perhaps this applies to the Replacement Theology Crowd:

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

  • Emily
    Posted at 22:43h, 03 August

    As always, great writing Joel. I wish more people in my church community thought this way. I hope God will lead me to like-minded people when it comes to prophecy and end times for support and strength.

  • Nelson
    Posted at 00:39h, 04 August


    I definitely see the relationship between the theology/eschatology of these men and their anti-Israel and/or anti-sematic positions. I agree this is a major part of what is occurring, but I think there is yet another factor.

    The nations are becoming drunk with the wine of the Harlot (Rev. 17:2) and it is clouding their thinking. The economic power of the Saudi’s has bought the media and those wishing to please men not God follow the teaching of the media which is pro-Islam/anti-Israel. No rational human being would deny Israel the right to defend itself. But “drunkards” would.

  • Jeanne
    Posted at 00:57h, 04 August

    FTA: “Whether one intends such sentiments or not, saying that you do not support Israel is simply a roundabout way of saying that you support the death of millions of Jews. This is precisely how the Israelis hear it. Just die, you Jews. What kind of unimaginable insensitivity has come over some Christians?

    I certainly cannot judge the hearts of individuals like Brian Zahnd, Stephen Sizer, or Carl Medearis. However, I can’t help but wonder what Christ will say to them when they stand before Him, and they have not repented of these views. And frankly, it also makes me wonder if they will be so deluded when the Anti-Christ appears on the scene that they will actually end up embracing him. How can one support the deaths of millions of Jews and truly be in Christ? How can this be anything except the spirit of anti-Christ, because that’s exactly what he will try to accomplish?

    As for what kind of insensitivity has come over some “Christians”, I think it is a lie from Satan, a deception. And we know that the time of the end will be one of massive deception. Am I correct?

  • shawn
    Posted at 03:31h, 04 August

    Hi guys, for me the issue of Christians supporting Israel isn’t that complicated.
    Isaiah 49:15-16
    15“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
    Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
    16See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.

  • Henry
    Posted at 05:51h, 04 August

    I live in a fairly religious part of Manitoba, Canada. In the last two issues of our weekly newspaper there have been 2 letters written to the editor that have shown much disdain for Israel, even going so far as calling the rockets that Hamas fires into Israel an “irritant” and not a reason for retaliation(and neither letter denouncing Hamas. One letter chastised Christians for supporting Israel and recommended that we(Christians) change our views on what Jesus and Paul taught(the Replacement Theology was not mentioned but certainly came to my mind).
    In my personal experience, I have found that very few Christians have any clue(and very little interest) on matters of eschatology. It’s as if all they need to know is that a rapture is soon going to happen and 7 bad years will follow. I honestly think many will be surprised when they will see the abomination that Daniel speaks of. It will be too real and not ‘sci-fi’ enough for them. Very few know how much prophecy is in the minor prophets and other OT books on the matter. But they instinctively know Revelation speaks on the subject with weird and impossible-to-understand imagery. Anyone else see their local areas in the same light?

  • Simon
    Posted at 11:56h, 04 August

    Hamas don’t even have lying signs and wonders fuelled by Satan’s power and see how many Christians jump against Israel.

    Hitler was a warm up for antichrist and too many Christians who should have known better jumped on the Antisemetic bandwagon through activity or passivity. Hamas is just another contemporary, more globally orientated version of the same and just as before, Christians who have far more access to the scriptures along with the benefit of Holocaust hindsight are lining up criticise Israel.

    Time for Christians to stop pretending that a quarter of the bible is meaningless imagery and that a nation called Israel filled with Jews which just happens to exist 1850 years later in the exact same spot is just a random anomaly with no connection to biblical prophecy or Jesus’ return.

  • good4u
    Posted at 12:36h, 04 August

    Henry, my man, you are singing my tune! But I’m singing a different verse, indeed, evangelicals in the USA are deeply rooted in the deception of both replacement theology and dispensationlism. This is a very, very hard nut to crack, meanwhile, biblical eschatology of the coming birth pains are written on the proverbial walls and most (except the devoted prophecy geeks who read this blog and other like-minded web sites) understand the looming crisis that is coming shortly.

    Truly, it will take an act of God to begin waking up the churches from spiritual sleepiness and a very, hard and smarting reality check from Him to accomplish such a feat. Personally, I believe it will be before this current US President leaves office.


  • Steve
    Posted at 14:21h, 04 August

    Don’t forget we serve a big JEWISH God people! Like Joel said, stand up for Israel and against darkness when the conversation turns. Say it loud and proud! I like the song, “Never Bow Down”, by Third Day- as my mantra for these times. Go IDF! Peace in the Lord! 🙂

  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 15:03h, 04 August

    Time for a bit of personal disclosure here. My personal position is quite strongly pro-Israel but my wife and I are in a church whose leaders appear to hold to Replacement Theology (though I draw this conclusion by inference only; this position is never explicitly stated). It’s a wonderful church in many other ways, with a genuine love for Jesus and people, and we are convinced that for the time being God wants us to stay there. The church has a strong focus on evangelism and is currently involved in an outreach to an area of our city with a high Muslim population. Many of the people in the church are in their 20s and 30s and quite idealistic. I do not hide my pro-Israel convictions but at the same time I try to express them in ways that leaves the door open for dialogue with our leaders (who are good, loving, sincere men, even if they have a blind spot in this area), in the hope that their hearts may be won to a genuine love for Israel and a passion to see her saved. So if I appear to be playing both sides of the fence, that is probably a reflection of my desire to take an approach that builds bridges rather than walls wherever possible. So far, most of our young friends at church avoid this topic like the plague. So if any of you are so inclined, please pray for us.

  • Kathy
    Posted at 16:46h, 04 August


    you seem to write clearly, may I suggest that you write a letter to the editor to counter all these anti-Israel know-it-alls with some sound truth. I bet they would publish it. Remember, “for zion’s sake we are not silent.”

  • Vernon
    Posted at 18:53h, 04 August


    I was lectured just last week by a relative of mine on this matter. He is an Adventist and he is adamant that God has washed his hands of Israel.He mentioned something about a 2300 year prophecy – a reference I found in Daniel 8:14. He didn’t explain how that fit into biblical prophecy, but as far as he’s concerned, Hamas is giving Israel what they deserve.

  • Henry
    Posted at 22:32h, 04 August


    A response to those letters was sent a few days ago, so it’ll be in the next issue. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Ray
    Posted at 23:20h, 04 August

    A few quick comments on your post Joel. I don’t think I hold to “Replacement Theology” – my view on that issue is more complicated. But I don’t think Replacement Theology is the real problem here.

    First, I have never heard of the pastors/theologians cited. Are they somehow important voices in the “twitterverse”? The one exception of course is N.T. Wright, but that is just a link to an earlier post.

    Second, I wonder if the driving factor for the “evangelical left” is not theology at all (i.e. Replacement Theology) but simply enamourment with left-of-center politics. I have in mind particularly the view that “everything is fair if you can claim that you are oppressed in some way.” (A view very different from that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by the way.) The Palestinians have had honorary “oppressed” status conferred on them by the left. And so everything the Palestinians do gets excused and (conversely) everything Israel does – even in self defensive – gets cast in a negative light. I think you are giving people too much theological credit to think this is driven by theology.

    Third, one should not have to see modern-day Israel as a fulfillment of prophecy to support their right to self-defense. All governments have a fundamental responsibility to protect their citizens – that is an obligation imposed upon them by God. Israel is surrounded by enemies and living in dangerous times. They have been attacked by a neighbor whose government has vowed to destroy them and their citizens. Again, Israel does not “have” to be a fulfillment of prophecy to be in the right here and to deserve our support. Nor do they have to be somehow perfect in all their actions – there is much to criticize in any nation, Israel included.

    Fourth, I don’t think it is fair make a direct arrow from “Replacement Theology” to antisemitism and then genocide. It would be more correct to say that those evils are linked with not taking the Bible seriously – particularly the commands to “love your neighbor” and “love your enemies.”

  • Nelson
    Posted at 00:50h, 05 August


    Just to be clear to your relative regarding Daniel’s 2300 evenings and mornings, it is written in those exact words to avoid just such an error. Evenings and mornings are days not years. Then you might say, if this causes you to question what you’ve been told about Daniel, would you like to see some scriptures that show God’s plan for Israel in the end times?

    I think the Daniel passage is a door to open scripture to him. If it were me, I’d pray then give it a try. Hope that helps. I have already prayed for you relative.

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:34h, 05 August


    Briefly, the direct line from Replacement Theology to anti-Semitism is beyond demonstrable in example after example throughout history. This isn’t to say it always leads here, of course no. But in nearly every example where it did, this was the theological foundation.

  • Vernon
    Posted at 11:59h, 05 August

    Thank you Nelson. I will certainly give that a try!

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 18:26h, 05 August

    I find it interesting. In Acts chapter 14, these words are found, “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness”.

    The “He” (it should have been capitalized) is none other than God, and He gave every descendant of Adam & Eve free will so that those who lived before us could choose what the relationship would be like between creator & created. The same offer is made today.

    Therefore, wouldn’t God know who is in right relationship with Him, and who is working on it, regardless if they never saw the inside of a synagogue, temple, or church?

    After all, the interaction between Abraham and God is meant to influence all, and not just those who have heard of Samuel, Isaiah, Elisha, Haggai, and others.

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 18:46h, 05 August

    sorry its me again, just a last thought.

    Listening to an old CD last night, i was reminded of a scripture that i cant see how any replacement theologian can gainsay:

    ” 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. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an EVERLASTING POSSESSION, and I will be their God.” Gen17:7-8

    Everlasting in this instant has to be without end, i think this is the foundation of all the prophets.

  • Howard Bass
    Posted at 19:26h, 05 August

    The modern State of Israel is the Israel of God in the making. It seems that God is using Israel, the natural brethren of Jesus and the nation through whom He came in the flesh, as a sword to bring division within the household and among the nations, just as Jesus Himself came to bring division within households and family relationships. Who is on the Lord’s side?

    Mt 10:34-39 (Mic 7:1-10) Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword . . . .

    Zech 10:4-5 From him (Judah) comes the cornerstone; from him the tent peg; from him the battle bow; from him every ruler together. They shall be like mighty men, who tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in battle. They shall fight because YHVH is with them, and the riders on horses shall be put to shame.

    The question of whether the present re-established homeland for the Jewish people is of God, or merely of man, is not dissimilar to the question put to Jesus: Tell us plainly whether you be the Messiah, the Son of God!? One’s response and answer to that question will pierce even to the division of soul and spirit, and will have its consequences affecting our personal and church relationships, and of sifting between sheep and goat nations. The Holy Spirit is working to bring to pass all that is written in the Law and the Prophets,not to mention in the New Testament, too.

  • Philip
    Posted at 00:54h, 06 August


    I would say replacement theology taught to undiscerning ears can open one up to leftist thought regarding Israel. If you are being taught Israel has no place in God’s plan any more, it is easier to buy into the “plight” of the “Palestinian” people. Replacement theology does not, by itself, promote anti-semitism, but it does open the door. It seems anti-semitism just becomes the default where no concern for Israel exists. There is no middle ground.

  • Rich
    Posted at 15:14h, 06 August

    I can’t see where anyone has addressed your question directly, as most probably feel that is a decision that only you can make. You can see from some of the comments that others have similar situations of being in churches that either follow replacement theology or simply ignore the whole topic because they don’t want to rock the boat. I have been looking for a few years for a church that “fits” me as far as respecting the permanence and importance of God’s promises to Israel. When I find one it unfortunately comes with other attachments that I don’t agree with, such as the current earth being burned up and physically destroyed, or if you are influenced by Holy Spirit then you speak in tongues, period. I’ll keep searching, but for now I make due with a generic Christianity that allows latitude and supplement it with personal study.

  • Greg
    Posted at 15:20h, 06 August

    Adventists are by definition replacement theologists by their distinctive views regarding “keeping” the sabbath, the “investigative judgement” (2300 years) and their “spirit of prophecy”, a female false prophet. In their exclusiveness they believe they are “the remnant” and replace not just Israel but are the true “church” doing the replacing!

    They teach that the Jews got what they deserved in the First Century when God poured out His wrath in 70 AD on Israel and Jerusalem. They believe the Jews have been set aside as God’s Chosen People, and that the Church has replaced them, inheriting all the promises that were made to them in the Hebrew Scriptures.
    The amazing thing is that these anti-Semitic views are expressed very strongly by two SDA spokesmen who happen to be Jews — Doug Batchelor and Steve Wohlberg!

    In a book entitled Exploding the Israel Deception, Steve Wohlberg asserts that the book of Revelation must be read with “Middle East symbolism glasses” and not with “literal Middle East glasses.”13 When read with symbolism glasses, Wohlberg asserts that we will understand that the prophecies apply to spiritual Israel (the Church) and not to literal Israel. The booklet concludes with a remarkable paragraph:14

    “If you have been led to believe that the prophecies in the book of Revelation apply to an Israel in the flesh, these lies must be unmasked. If you have been taught that Revelation’s statements about Jerusalem, Mount Sion (sic), the temple, God, Magog, Babylon, and the Euphrates River apply to those literal places in the Middle East, these errors must be shattered. If you have accepted the idea that the Antichrist will one day walk into a rebuilt Jewish temple during a final seven-year period of tribulation, this false theory needs to be blown up. If sincere people have convinced you that Armageddon centers around Russian, China, and the modern State of Israel, then someone must push the button which reads: “Destroy Global Delusions.” It is now time to flee from all frogs and fables!”

    This paragraph unmasks the fundamental problem with SDA prophetic interpretation. They take a symbolic rather than a literal approach. Instead of accepting the prophecies to mean what they say, they spiritualize them, making them say whatever they desire for them to mean. They ignore the fact that the First Coming prophecies meant exactly what they said. Why then do not the Second Coming prophecies mean what they say?

  • Greg
    Posted at 15:53h, 06 August

    My dad has slid down the slippery slope of replacement theology all the the way to now being a holocaust denier. This from someone who has visited concentration camps in Europe and had accepted the evidence before deciding to believe the “revised history” being pushed these days. Those within closed indoctrination centers, AKA denominations, that inherently believe in and support replacement theology spawn members that justify their existence and exclusivity by glomming on to news sources and info that supports their belief. Each feeds the other. Allegorizing the bible is also fuel for this fire. It’s an evolving, dark cycle that is very difficult to break or even discern at times. It’s extremely disconcerting to see your loved ones become so deceived.

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:49h, 06 August


    If we say that the Church is the new or true Israel, this is Replacement Theology. If Israel is no longer Israel, this is Replacement Theology.

    Of course the Lord is making one new man, comprised of both Jews and Gentiles.

    As for your comments concerning Israel targeting innocent civilians etc., I would suggest that you have largely been duped by the Hamas propaganda machine. Sadly many Christians who have not heard the other side have believed what much of what the mainstream media has reported. Two of the schools allegedly hit by Israel have now been shown to have been hit by Hamas. The problem is not Israel. The problem is Hamas. Palestinians and Israelis are all victims of Hamas.

  • Steve
    Posted at 22:50h, 06 August

    I agree with Rich. I go to a Pre-Trib church when I believe the Bible teaches Pre-Wrath. When it comes up I share what I believe, and they pretty well except me-we just agree to disagree. 🙂 Reading Rev 2-3, about the seven churches might help. Sometimes the choice is made for us, because there is just no other choice around…
    Yeah, SDA are weird birds! Are they a cult? If not, they are pretty close, and the Book of Galatians seems to be written to them. Hang in there brother about your Dad-maybe God will grant him repentance!

  • Troy
    Posted at 10:04h, 07 August

    @ Jake

    I think that God Himself takes issue with this. It has been around a long time. Revelation 2:9, Revelation 3:9 both make it very clear that God will bring those who have committed identity theft to justice. Also, I am not clear about what this passage in Isaiah means but it has some resounding similarities to the replacement theologians mantra. Read Isaiah 66:5: Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: “Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name’s sake have said, “Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy; but it is they who will be put to shame.” This is in context of the New Heavens and New Earth that is centered on Israel’s Messiah. This has striking similarities to the “inside” teachings of Calvinists. (See verses 66:7-9)

    The replacement theologian teach that Jacob has now become “Esau” and Esau has now become “Jacob”. This is simply ridiculous. If you look at Obadiah 1:17-21 you will see that these so called theologian are quite myoptic in their understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Read Isaiah 60:14 also and see what will happen to those who think they are now Israel. This IS a serious issue from God’s perspective. He makes that clear.




  • Dirk
    Posted at 13:38h, 07 August

    The problem with Gaza is that even if we take Gaza’s argument at face value, which is that Israel is an occupier and is ruling over “Palestine” unlawfully, then by their very own words, then “Palestinians” would simply be rebelling over an Israeli state in authority (factual authority, legal or otherwise is unimportant). What does the bible say concerning rebels and rebellion?

    “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. ”

    “God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.”

    It is not our place to rebel against those who God has placed in authority over us. Firing missiles into the israeli civilian populace is open rebellion when the one firing rockets claims that Israel is an occupier. Firing missiles into the Israeli civilian populace is an act of war when the one firing rockets claims that Israel is a foreign nation.

    Israel has been put in authority over the land to the land in the eyes of God and the Palestinians are rebelling against this concept and in doing so, are reaping what they deserve. The international legality of Israel’s rule is an artificial concept put in place by human minds with high-minded ideas about “International law.” What is reality today is that God has put Israel in authority over the glorious land. Rebelling against that is going to cause suffering, even upon children and innocents.

    Israel has God’s deed on the land, the Lord holds a security interest in the land by virtue of His holiness and justness, and the deed has legal priority over all competing claims (yes, that includes you, “Palestine”).

  • Paul Walmsley
    Posted at 15:44h, 07 August

    In discussions with other believers, I came across this. I would like to see his points dispassionately criticized so that I can gain a better understanding myself.
    Many thanks.

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 17:16h, 07 August

    News out today that the infamous george galloway has declared Bradford
    city an Israeli free zone,

    “We don’t want any Israeli goods; we don’t want any Israeli services; we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college.

    “We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so.

    “We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel – and you have to do the same.”

    What a really lovely man. some have laughed this off as a rant, i think
    it is in fact very sinister, he is blatantly whipping up antisemitism
    in his community. As the only MP in his party, we can use this to hopefully have him removed from parliament. Letters and phone calls will abound.

  • Joel
    Posted at 18:04h, 09 August


    First, various UN schools and clinics were being used to store weapons, launch rockets, or even to house terror tunnels. So as far as the world should be concerned, UNWRA is complicit in terrorism. Why would we trust them? But very briefly, just a few examples to show that it was not likely Israel who hit the schools. In light of the long history of Pallywood scams, anyone who takes these reports uncritically is either being duped or is doing so because they have a bias against Israel. What benefit does it to Israel to bomb a school? Who does it truly benefit? Only Hamas. If it was Israel, then why did the school refuse to allow anyone to investigate the shrapnel and damage? What were they hiding? A few links:

  • shawn
    Posted at 23:57h, 09 August

    In a briefing on July 29, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Hamas rockets fell on civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip. He cited an accidental Hamas missile strike on Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and the Shati refugee camp just outside the city.

    “A short while ago Al Shifa Hospital and Al Shati Refugee Camp were struck by failed rocket attacks launched by Gaza terrorists,” the military said.

  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 02:44h, 10 August


    Even though only a remnant of Israelis are walking actively with God, Israel as a nation may still be considered to have a key role in God’s prophetic purposes.

    What was the percentage of Israelites walking with God in the days of Elijah and Elisha? A tiny minority, yet God continued to deal with this nation as a chosen people.

    This is not to deny that God’s purpose is to create one new man out of the two (Jews and Gentiles), yet this will not extinguish the unique calling of Israel. God will be faithful to his promises. This people will be a light to the nations.

    Check out my recent blog

  • Joel
    Posted at 11:16h, 11 August


    One, if you take the time to work though the info, then it is obviously not Israelis bombs, but Hamas. To say this isn’t the case is to betray a determination that it was Israel.

    To accept info from UNWRA is to accept info from those who clearly have been complicit with Hamas. If there was a terror tunnel in the basement of UNWRA school, did the UNWRA workers not know about it? Its a large construction project to kill people and they do not report it. That is complicity, And that is but one example of many.

    You also continue to make assumptions. No one ever said Israel is right on all matters and no one is bringing theology into this. This is very simple common sense (and a bit of a broader source of info than the mainstream media). Who benefits if Israelis bomb hospitals? Hamas always benefits from Palestinian lives.
    Which side has a moral foundation? The Israelis make every effort to avoid loss of innocent lives. Why would they bomb a hospital, bring in hundreds of tons of humanitarian supplies and then purposefully bomb a hospital. Hamas literally shells the hospitals that Israel set up to serve wounded Palestinians. No one says a word. Not only does it not benefit Israel to kill innocents, but this is simply not who the Israelis are by and large as a people. Yet this is precisely who Hamas is. Its evil barbarism versus a largely restrained and ethical people. And the Palestinian people are caught in the middle. Unless one acknowledges the media bias against Israel, the rush to judgment, the bizarre caricatures of Israelis, then there really is no discussion here.

  • Gary Chappelle
    Posted at 14:39h, 11 August

    Around 500 BC, after the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity, the term “Israelite” and “Jew” became synonymous. However, the Northern 10 tribes (the Kingdom of Israel) never returned to the land after their captivity by the Assyrians.

    So the land of Israel today is mostly inhabited by the people from the tribe of Judah, the Benjamites, and scattered peoples from other tribes and nations

    They are God’s chosen people, even though they only represent a small portion of the total nation of Israel, and even though they are basically a secular government.

    All of the prophets point to the day when the Messiah returns to gather the scattered people of Israel from the four corners of the earth, and return them to the land of Israel to rejoin their brothers of Judah.

    That is what the Wedding Feast of the Lamb pictures in Revelation, the Bridegroom returning to once again marry his bride (Israel as all 12 tribes under one king just as it was under David).

    There is much more we could cover here…

    For instance, why did Jesus Christ (Yeshua) come the first time and why did He have to die? And what did He mean when He said He was sent unto the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel? But for now, I will end my response.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:27h, 11 August

    Sorry Jake,

    Not going to let someone with a racist agenda here. This is not an issue of simply disagreeing, it is a matter of being dishonest and irrationally anti-Semitic. That was your last post. Some follow up reading:

  • Lory McGuire
    Posted at 05:45h, 12 August

    Thank you Joel for the work and research that you do. This was insightful and I appreciate it.

  • Rob
    Posted at 15:25h, 12 August

    Thanks for remaining scholarly towards a very painful issue. I do pray for the Hamas…that they either repent of their sin against humanity or be eliminated. Unfortunately this barbaric spirit has infested other organisations throughout the world. That is the reason we offer such a prayer during our daily prayer meeting.

  • Mark Johnston
    Posted at 01:35h, 13 August

    Hi Joel
    I have a question for you. What is the significance of the proclamation of a caliphate in relation to Islamic end time theology. Do they have any set belief re the setting up of a caliphate preceeding the coming of their Mahdi.Also do you see any chance of this joker in ISIS being accepted by the muslim world as their legitimate head. Thanks Mark.

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:11h, 13 August

    Hi Mark,

    The Mahdi is understood as being a Caliph. For now, they are simply looking to establish the Caliphate more firmly. I think the Mahdi is expected soon, but so long as they are busy successfully establishing their authority, there is really no need to worry about that. In other words, they are accomplishing what the Mahdi is supposed to do, so why worry about him for now. I personally suspect that Caliph Ibrahim will eventually be killed. I also suspect there will be some significant wars in the region in the next season. Iran and Turkey, perhaps in two separate wars. Sorry so brief. I hope this has helped.

  • Mark Johnston
    Posted at 02:43h, 13 August

    Thanks joel. God bless.

  • Jean
    Posted at 21:36h, 03 September

    Hi Joel,

    I have followed your site now a few months and love your insight.

    As an intercessor for Israel I was really interested in this prophetic warning for Israel and its insight. I wondered what you thought.

    In Him,


  • Kathy
    Posted at 15:14h, 04 September

    Hello Jean,

    I read the blogspot you posted and I think he is way off. He essentially slandered Israel as being at fault for the miseries of the Palestinians. Is it not possible that the Palestinians make their own misery? I would question that blogger: I would ask, “who started the recent war that claimed so many Palestinian lives? Who was given Gaza by the Israelis, then turned it into a terror state for the purpose of terrorizing the very people who had tried to benefit you? The list of proofs that Israel is not the oppressor could go on and on. People also conveniently forget that Israel won the so-called West bank (Judea and Samaria) in a defensive war. It was Israel that turned portions of it over to the Palestinian Authority for self rule. If Israel wants to build on land that is historically part of Israel, and was secured through warfare forced upon them then, for Pete’s sake, why shouldn’t they? It is ridiculous for the EU, the UN and the US to condemn Israel for building up their communities. Why aren’t they expending that energy condemning Hamas for their tunneling activity, huh? This blogger is smoking something!

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