In Gary DeMar’s book, 10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed, Chapter 6 is devoted to debunking the idea that he, and other traditionalists, are teaching Replacement Theology. By Replacement Theology I mean the idea that there is no prophetic significance to the nation of Israel. That the Christian Church replaces Israel, and God isn’t interested in the land of Canaan, and Jerusalem.
He actually does clear up some of the confusion regarding the idea of Replacement Theology. What DeMar says is that that there is no prophetic significance to the nation of Israel. That the Christian Church is Israel, and God isn’t interested in the land of Canaan, and Jerusalem… It’s just not called “Replacement Theology”!
To be fair he claims, biblically, that believing Jews are a part of the Christian Church. In this he is absolutely correct. Unfortunately he fails to note that this is only for the Church age. After the Church is raptured, along with the believing Jews, God will revert to dealing with the nations through Israel. He will turn back the clock to the last seven years of the age of Israel.
Unfortunately many Dispensationalists have stated that the age of Israel was characterized by Works Salvation, or Salvation through keeping the law. Once again DeMar is correct, that this is a false teaching that has been perpetrated by many Dispensationalists.
Where he is wrong is that he denies the fact that the Temple will be rebuilt, and that the sacrificial system will be reinstated during the millennial reign of Christ, and he denies the millennial reign of Christ. He denies the significance of Jerusalem, claiming that “Jesus is our Jerusalem”.
It seems counter-intuitive that the Sacrificial system could be reinstated, after Christ already went to the cross, and became our perfect Sacrifice. What further need could there be for more sacrifices?
His error is that he doesn’t believe the bible, at least not the whole bible. If the bible teaches that there will be sacrifices during the reign of Christ, then it is the Christian’s duty to believe it. Nothing more! By refusing to believe this plain teaching of Scripture, he is forced to invent a false system of Scripture interpretation! Well, OK. He didn’t actually invent this system, he borrowed it from another who didn’t believe the whole bible either!
Hebrews states that “It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin”. This means that it was always impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin. “Impossible” is always impossible. If it was ever possible, at any time, then the writer of Hebrews could not say that it is impossible.
Given the fact that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin, why did God institute the sacrificial system to begin with? It was to point to the one future sacrifice that actually could take away sin, the cross of Christ.
So, what purpose could the reinstatement of the sacrificial system fill once Christ is physically ruling the earth from Jerusalem? Remember that the bible predicts the reestablishment of Garden-of-Eden conditions throughout the earth. The lion will lie down with the lamb, and they will eat grass together. Children will play with adders (poisonous snakes), and old men and women will become very, very old. A person who dies at 100 years will be considered a youth. Some people will likely live throughout the entire millennial reign, even longer than Methuselah!
In these conditions, death will be extremely rare. So rare that telling people that Christ died for their sins will have very little meaning. They, mostly, won’t know what death is! Sin will be punished severely, so there will be very little sin. Jesus will be there, in Jerusalem, and you could go and look on His scars, but it won’t mean a lot without a personal knowledge of death.
This is why the sacrificial system will be reinstated; to show the world what Jesus has done for them. Very ugly sacrifices, in a very beautiful world, will remind humanity of just how ugly sin is, and just how seriously God views rebellion.
6Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. Isaiah 56:6-7
Jesus did quote this verse when he was cleansing the Temple, but that does not mean it was completely fulfilled at that time. God never changes, and His purposes always remain the same, so He can quote virtually any passage in almost any context, and still be correct. From the beginning He intended that the Temple would be a house of prayer for all people, and it will be, when it is rebuilt for the fourth time! That is the context of this whole passage… the return of Christ.
15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.
17 For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. Jeremiah 33:15-18
The Branch is Jesus Christ. This is speaking of His return, and rule, not of His first coming. Judah, as a nation, has never been saved, and Jerusalem has never been safe. Jerusalem has never been called “ The Lord our righteousness”, but she will be when Jesus returns!
See also Zechariah 14:16-21, and Isaiah 60:7.
DeMar,says that God has something better than this in store, and so He won’t reinstate the sacrificial system. Unfortunately, if that were so, it would make God a liar! And that, my friends, is exactly what Satan wants you to believe! So, who is behind Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, and Preterism? These philosophies all deny the literal, earthly reign of Jesus Christ. While Satan may not have originated them, he is certainly using them to his own advantage!
DeMar says that the Jews will be saved, but not 100%, and they don’t have to go back to the land. That is not what these passages say. Like Rick Warren, Rob Bell, and other Emergent leaders, DeMar has a very low view of biblical prophecy.
Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:Romans 9:27
And so allIsrael shallbesaved: as it is written, There shallcome out of Sion the Deliverer, and shallturn away ungodliness from Jacob: Romans 11:26
The bible does indeed teach that at one time all Israel shall be saved. They will be a remnant, but every one of them on the earth at that time, will be saved. This is the only way we can harmonize all of the Scriptures. The only way that both Romans 9:27, and 11:26 can both be true is if all the unbelievers of Israel die during the Tribulation. Then those who are left will be 100% saved. God will not allow unbelievers to go from the Tribulation into the millennial reign, not only for the family of Israel, but for all families on the earth.
DeMar’s eschatology is a denial of a multitude of End Times Scriptures. In their place he inserts his own reasoning, plus the reasoning of church leaders like Augustine and Calvin.
As he says “A seismic shift in prophetic beliefs is taking place around the world because Christians, some for the first time, are willing to question their beliefs based on what the Bible actually says. ” There is nothing wrong with what DeMar says here, but what he does is to dismiss large sections of Scripture. The “seismic shift” he speaks of is actually a shift away from the literal understanding of the Word of God! He is correct that people are questioning their beliefs, but this is not because of what the bible says, but because of their experiences, and their earth-bound focus!