Jeff: But let’s just start with this. You know how many times is Israel mentioned in the Bible?
Peter: Israel was mentioned in the Bible over 2300 times and all of the times that it’s used, starting back in Genesis chapter 32 when Jacob wrestles with this messenger of God that later he says was God himself, his name is changed from Jacob to Israel, which really means someone who persists with God, someone who who struggles with God, wrestles with God and prevails. And it’s really an honored name and then from that point on, the genetic descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which we would know as the Jewish people, have been known as Israel. And the Bible continues that usage consistently throughout the Old Testament and throughout the New Testament as well. Israel is never used as a name for people other than the Jewish people. So this is really an important understanding to begin with.
Jeff: That’s incredible and I want to ask this question. It’s I think a little bit tongue-in-cheek and I know what you’re going to say but of all of the times that Israel is mentioned in the Bible -, Old Testament, New Testament – how many times do you think that God actually meant Israel?
Peter: Like 100 percent. It’s a funny thing but because of replacement theology we Christians have spiritualized that term and applied it to the church and left the Jewish people out and the roots of this go way back centuries and only now God is beginning to change that mindset by releasing new revelation. And really this revelation for the church is triggered by the fact that God chose in our day to bring the people of Israel back to the land he promised them. We’re the first generation in 2000 years to actually see this as an earthly reality what God promised millennia ago. Now is an everyday reality for us just by picking up the newspapers.
Jeff: It’s amazing to watch. I’m only in my 50s so you know Israel was well established when I came along but even seeing what’s happened since the time that I was born until now just is absolutely incredible to me. And so I ask you that question about how many times does God actually mean Israel because we know that there’s this deception out there this teaching out there that says that once we get to Yeshua, once we get to Jesus and the new covenant that you know God no longer means Israel, he means the church. So just kind of give us a little bit of an aerial view of what is replacement theology and and how do we get here, where does it start and how do we get to where we are today,
Peter: The basic theological belief or stance of replacement theology is that because of the failure of the Jewish people to recognize and to accept and to trust in Jesus, God has rejected them and basically broken the covenant that he made with the fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and replaced the people of Israel in his redemptive plan with another body called the church. And usually when we say the church, throughout the history of the church, it has come to mean the gentile church, the church without the Jews. And so we say the church or people who believe in Jesus have basically replaced Israel in God’s plan. God no longer has a plan for Israel. Israel, the people of Israel, the Jewish people don’t figure as a people in God’s salvation plan for the world because now it’s up to the church. And we carry the destiny and the will of God into the future to the return. And this replacement basically causes us to divide the Bible in two. And it goes back even further than the Protestant reformers, goes all the way back to even predates the catholic church, the roots of this are very very deep. That’s why this change is so significant for the church today.
Jeff: And so what you just described could almost be construed as as anti-semitic in a lot of ways. But what happens to the relationship between Jews and Christians when when this gets sort of misunderstood.
Peter: Faith in Jesus really began with the Jews. They were the only ones with the scriptures. Then along came Jesus himself a Jew and the apostles who wrote the New Testament all of them Jews and the apostle Paul also a Jew. And there was a big change 2000 years ago and the door was opened to the gentile world and really that’s the message of the apostle Paul. That once what had purely been the inheritance of the Jewish people, the people of Israel, now was going to be offered by faith to the gentile world.