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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Has God Replaced Israel with the Church?

Jonathan Bernis - Has God Replaced Israel with the Church?

Jonathan Bernis - Has God Replaced Israel with the Church?
TOPICS: Israel, Church, Antisemitism, Judaism, Jews, Christianity, Replacement Theology

Did you know that Jesus was Jewish? You might be asking, "What does that mean for your christian faith"? Watch today and discover how understanding the Jewish roots of your faith, and your connection to Israel and the Jewish people can transform your life and the way you read the bible.

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to "Jewish Voice". I'm so glad you're with us today! I'm Jonathan Bernis. Well, today we're gonna be talking about a topic that you already might have signed on the dotted line for. Others of you will find this completely new. We're talking about God's everlasting covenant with the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Today they're known as the Jewish people. In times of old, they were the Hebrews, the Israelites. They're the same people, and God has declared that he will begin the work that he'd begun with them through Abraham. Ezra, there is such an attack on the Jewish people today, not in the form of what we experienced in the last generation, the holocaust, but a spiritual attack seeking to eliminate the Jewish people from their right to their land.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And from their identity.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, and in some cases, their right to even exist, right? I mean, there's multiple Arab leaders, I'm sorry to say... We love the Arab people worldwide. God loves the Arab people. Unfortunately, there's leaders in some of these nations who have actually pledged to, "Drive the Jewish people into the heart of the sea" - to wipe the nation of Israel off the map, but millions of Jewish people as well. And Jonathan, in the natural it doesn't make any sense, so there must be a spiritual dynamic to this.

Jonathan Bernis: It is spiritual. There's no question about it. Since the time of Abraham, there have been organized efforts to destroy the Jewish people. I don't even know where to begin, Ezra, but we could talk about Purim.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Which is not a major Jewish holiday, but it's a holiday that we're commanded to celebrate. We wear costumes and we remember God delivering us from a very evil man, actually an antichrist, named Haman.

Ezra Benjamin: And this whole story is in the Book of Esther.

Jonathan Bernis: It's the Book of Esther, and I encourage you to read it because I think it's prophetic, also. You have this hand of the king, Haman, that for some reason decides his mission is to destroy the Jewish people. He gets into a tassel with a Jew named Mordecai, and instead of just being vindictive against Mordecai, he wants to destroy the Jewish people.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. We see it again in the story of Hanukkah, right? Several hundred years before, Yeshua, Jesus is born and his ministry on earth occurs. We see this attempt to... well, a successful attempt to desecrate the temple, to bring pig and pig's blood into the temple in Jerusalem. The temple is destroyed. It's rendered unclean for Jewish worship, for the sacrificial system, and again, another miraculous deliverance. But it's this idea that we need to wipe out the Jewish people. We need to wipe out their system of worship, we need to wipe out Jerusalem, and it would be better if the Jewish people just didn't exist.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, two more ancient examples. You have Pharaoh, the story of the children of Israel in Egypt. They were invited there because of Joseph, who was administrating the Pharaoh's distribution of grain in a time of a famine. All of his brothers move there and they lived in great prosperity until another Pharaoh came along, and what do you have? Anti-semitism. Destroy the Jewish people. They became slaves as Hebrews. And eventually, you have the first... You have all the male children put to death.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. You see the progression. We need to do something about the Jewish people. Let's oppress them. And then, it ends in, you know what? It would be better if we'd just cut them off.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, a final solution.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Then, you have another example - Herod. Herod, another antichrist - now, maybe not. I believe in the antichrist that will come in the future, but these are foreshadows. These are antichrists, and what happens with Herod? He gets wind of the prophecy in the air that a redeemer is coming.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: A Messiah. Summons the sages of Israel and they identify the location from the prophecy in Micah 5:2, Bethlehem. So, he sends his armies to destroy all male children two years and under.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Wiped them out.

Ezra Benjamin: And Mary and Joseph actually have to take Jesus and flee to Egypt to prevent the infanticide of Jesus himself.

Jonathan Bernis: We overlook that this is a massacre.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: This is anti-semitism and the history of anti-semitism is ages old and it's not logical.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: There's scholars that would tell you that anti-semitism is illogical, but it's not illogical. It's logical when you understand, Ezra, that the roots of anti-semitism are spiritual. Only when you understand that there is a literal Satan, the devil, the enemy of God, the enemy of the people of God, the enemy of the promises of God, do you then understand anti-semitism.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: The roots of it are evil.

Ezra Benjamin: We gave some great Old Testament examples, culminating in, you know, the attempted murder of Jesus as a child under Herod, but what's really unfortunate and where we're really going to focus the rest of our time today is since the time of Jesus and those first century believers, and then the eventual transition in the church from being a predominately Jewish believer composed church to predominately gentile or non-Jewish composed church, unfortunately, Jonathan, some of these types of antichrists and attempted massacres of Jewish people, or successful massacres of Jewish people, have happened under the banner of Christianity.

Jonathan Bernis: Which is the saddest reality of all. We have a 2.000-year legacy of anti-semitism, of hatred, of atrocities committed in the name of Jesus Christ, and that's why there's this tension.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: This great tension between Judaism and Christianity, and Jews towards Christians, because in the name of Christ and Christianity you have the crusades, you have the Spanish Inquisition, you have the pogroms, you have the holocaust, in the name of Christ and Christianity, and that is so very sad, but it's a reality. And I'm not saying that they were true Christians.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: But they were Bible believers, as they understood it, carrying out what they believed was the will of God. It's sad.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, it's absolutely diabolical. But, I think - let's rewind here, right? Because the examples we gave of a type of an antichrist, and then, this attempted destruction of the Jewish people, I understand it from one sense that the enemy, the devil, was trying to prevent the birth of the Messiah, who we understand from Genesis 3 is going to come through the line of Israel, through the seed, right? Of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But now Jesus is born, Jesus dies, Jesus is resurrected. The church, the body of believers, Jew and gentile, is born and grows throughout the earth. So, didn't the devil already miss his chance? Why are we seeing even stronger attempts to wipe out the Jewish people now if Jesus has already come?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, I think that's the big question. And yes, the enemy tried to keep the Messiah from coming, but when he fails, not only does that anti-semitism, that effort to destroy the people of Israel intensify, but it comes predominately through the organized Christian church, and there's reasons for that. There's reasons theologically that the church turns, the gentile church turns on Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Beginning with their own survival because the Jewish community was under the persecution of Rome and the retribution of Rome. But it doesn't answer the real issue, because the real issue is spiritual.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: And I'll answer the question with a question, which by the way is a very Jewish thing. What is it that Satan knows about the Jewish people that many Christians don't understand? And I believe that the answer to that is that the Jewish people play a role, a key role, in what has to happen to fulfill God's plan of redemption.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow!

Jonathan Bernis: In other words, the Jewish people had to survive. They had to survive in the story of Esther. They had to survive through the story of Hanukkah, with the Syrian army and Antiochus Epiphanes, seeking to destroy the Jewish people. Without Hanukkah, the victory of Hanukkah, you have no Christmas.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Right? But they also have to survive in after Jesus comes, resurrects, and ascends, because God's plan of redemption is not finished. And I would throw this out, that the Jewish people, the people of Israel, the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, play as an important role in what's ahead, still ahead, as they played with the Messiah coming. They had to survive as the cradle for Messiah to be born, but they also have to survive for the plan of God, which means that Yeshua returns and ultimately establishes his kingdom and destroys Satan himself.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow!

Jonathan Bernis: And that's what we're trying to help Christians to understand here at Jewish Voice. One of the three parts of our mission statement, Ezra, is that we are engaging the church.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Concerning Israel and the Jewish people, and it's from a very unique perspective, which is what is the Christian's role to help Israel fulfill their role to bring about God's plan of redemption for the world? Hey, we've got to take a short break. You may be looking for a way to make your charitable giving really count. We need your help. I want you to know that this ministry is making a real difference in the lives of Jewish people and their neighbors in some of the most difficult, remote places on earth. Please, consider what you can do today to provide medical care, clean water, and of course, most importantly, the good news of the gospel. We want God's plan of redemption to be fulfilled, and you can be part of it. Please watch this short message to learn how you can get involved.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back to the program. Before we get into our discussion - we're gonna talk about something called, "Replacement theology," and you need to know about this - I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who are supporting Jewish Voice. Honestly, we could not do this work without you. You're making a real difference in the lives of so many. I'm talking about Jewish people and their neighbors. So, thank you again for your generous giving, and especially for joining Jewish Voice as a monthly shalom partner. Your ongoing support of this ministry is so valued. Ezra, we want to shift into replacement theology. Explain that to us a little bit and let's look at the theology.

Ezra Benjamin: In a nutshell, Jonathan, it's this idea that has unfortunately permeated a lot of Christian theology. Not just in the United States, we see it in Ethiopia, we see it in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, we see it the world over - this idea that because of Israel's disobedience, God has said, "I'm done with Israel," and that the church is in essence the new Israel. The church inherits all the blessings of Israel that we see in the old and New Testament, and Israel gets to keep the curses. That the church has replaced Israel entirely. God's...You know, Israel's in the past, the church is the future.

Jonathan Bernis: I think a lot of people watching, Ezra, have never heard the term, "Replacement theology".

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Certainly not the theological term, "Supersessionism," but it really does affect the way we read scripture. There's a random replacement of Israel as the church. So, we read "Israel," in the Old Testament. Israel is blessed. "Israel, you are forever my child". And instantly, that's translated to mean the church.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And in some cases, it's appropriate to, I think to include the church, but simply scratching off Israel and replacing it with the church is a random spiritualization that's dangerous.

Ezra Benjamin: Absolutely. We see - you know, I'm thinking of Romans 9, 10, and 11, Jonathan. We talk about it. You teach on it so much all around the world and this idea of the olive tree, right? And the natural branches and the wild branches. And Paul does not say that because of Israel's disobedience, God grabbed the olive tree by the roots, and threw it into the fire, and Chucked it out and burned it. He says branches were cut off so that the wild branches, gentile believers, can be grafted in, but the roots and the tree itself remain the same. The root and the tree is Israel.

Jonathan Bernis: I'm sure that many that are watching have heard of the term and have actually tried - they love the Jewish people. I know that many of you watching love the Jewish people, but you have brothers and sisters in the faith that disagree with you. I want to help defend this argument against replacement theology.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Just, there's so many scriptures.

Ezra Benjamin: There are. Jonathan, you know, one of the things I just want to say to our audience - you know, our job here isn't to say there are secret things hidden in the Word of God that nobody knows and we know. Our job, Jonathan, is to share the things that are very clear in the Word of God that maybe aren't being taught, that leave you at a disadvantage because of ignorance, and the enemy can take advantage of that ignorance. We don't want you to exist there anymore. We're gonna look at what...

Jonathan Bernis: So, let's look at a couple. In Jeremiah 31, and we'll put this on the screen, beginning in verse 30, "Behold, days are coming - it is a declaration of Adonai," which means the Lord, "When I will make a new covenant". Hebrew, "Brit chadasha with the house of Israel and the house of Judah". This is a time when the kingdoms were split, so it's all the children of Israel. Verse 31, "Not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt". That, of course, is the mosaic covenant. "For they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them". It is a declaration of Adonai. "But this covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days". It is a declaration of Adonai". Look at this. "I will put my Torah within them," or my law within them. "Yes, I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people". And then, I want to jump down to verse 33. "No longer will they teach his neighbor or each his brother, saying: "Know Adonai," for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest". It is a declaration of Adonai. "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Praise God for that! So, that's the promise of a new covenant! That's the promise of Jesus, Yeshua, forgiving sin, but I want you to see what it says. It says, "I will make a new covenant, even though they've been disobedient".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Replacement theology teaches because of their disobedience, God said, "Enough of you. You've crossed the line. I'm done with you. I'm going to a new people," where God's word says, "Even though they've been disobedient, I'm going to give them a new covenant, I'm going to give them a better covenant, and I'm going to, in this covenant, be their God. They'll be my people, they'll know me, and I'll remove their sins".

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: Wow!

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, such an important truth. And as you read, "I'll make a new covenant with the house of Israel".

Jonathan Bernis: Huge difference.

Ezra Benjamin: "And with the house of Judah". It doesn't say, "Behold, the days are coming when I'll reject Israel and make a new covenant with the nations". Now, the nations, we understand very clearly, old and New Testament alike, are invited into that covenant, into the family of faith, the household of God, into those covenant promises and blessings - but the new covenant is first with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, and it's with the full knowledge, declared knowledge, "They have been disobedient to me".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: "I'm not going to remove the candlestick from them, I'm going to give them a better covenant".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And let me give you one more. If you don't think that that covers it, in the same chapter, Jeremiah 31, in verse 34, let's look there. "Thus sayeth Adonai," the Lord, "Who gives the sun as a light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar, Adonai-tzva'ot is his name". It give us a great Hebrew name of God. "Only if this fixed order" - this is what I want to highlight now, verse 35. "Only if this fixed order departs from before me" - it is a declaration of the Lord, Adonai - "Then also might Israel's offspring cease from being a nation before me - for all time". Thus says Adonai: "Only if heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then also I will cast off the offspring of Israel - for all they have done". It is a declaration of Adonai". Replacement theology says that the Jewish people are cast off and replaced with another. God's word says, "If the sun's shining by day, the moon and stars by night, they declare that I continue to stand with Israel, I continue in my covenant with Israel, and they will not cease as a nation before me". Amen!

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. So powerful, so clear. But our audience may be asking at home, "Okay, that's great. I see the proof text in the Old Testament". It's in the New Testament, too, isn't it? I'm thinking of that same passage, Romans 9, 10, and 11, specifically chapter 11:1. Paul says, "Has God rejected his people"? I think he's getting at the heart at what some of the Roman believers, even church congregational leaders, were asking - so, where's Israel in all of this if all of these gentiles are coming to faith? Has God rejected his people? By no means. May it never be.

Jonathan Bernis: He actually says it twice there.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: "Has God rejected his people"? Some translations say, "God forbid, may it never be so". Simply, "No". And then, he asked it a second time. "I say again, has God rejected his people? By no means". And then, he points to himself. "I'm an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin". Ezra, I've talked to some people who have said, "Well, that's the church".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It so permeates the thinking. Well, of course, God hasn't rejected his people. He hasn't rejected the church. But, Paul's pointing to himself as a Jew and he's just said, "I would give up my eternity," in Romans 9, "For my own people, the people of Israel". There's so many scriptures that clearly point out that replacement theology is wrong and God isn't finished with the Jewish people. We need to take a short break so we can share some information about the resources that we're making available this week. Also, would you please consider joining me as a shalom partner today? "Shalom" means peace, and we want Jewish people and their neighbors to find peace. Your monthly support will make all the difference in the world for those in need. It will transform their lives. After this short message, Ezra and I will be back to come into agreement with you for your needs because God answers prayer. Don't go away, we'll be right back.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, we always love to take a moment and pray for those watching today, and let me just say this to you. Because God has made eternal promises to the Jewish people, even though we've gone astray, even though we've been disobedient, even though we've turned our back on him, his promises remain. And because that's true, it's true for you. Hold onto those promises God has made you, and we just bless you right now in the name of Jesus, in the name of Yeshua. Lord, would you remind those watching today of the promises you've made to them and their families - in the scriptures, in the things you've spoken to them by your spirit? And we trust you and your covenant-keeping faithfulness to bring those things to pass in their lives, in our lives, speedily and soon. Lord, we cast our anxieties upon you because you care for us and you're able to bear the burden of the things which concern us today, so we just bless those watching. In Yeshua's name, amen.

Jonathan Bernis: Amen. Amen. Hey, if you'd like more information about our ministry, you can log on to our website. It's JewishVoice.TV. You can also send us your prayer requests right on the website. We have a team here, a dedicated team at Jewish Voice, that's committed to praying for your requests by name. We believe in the power of prayer. We care about you because God cares about you, and he loves you. As we close our program today, I want to remind you, as I always do with Ezra - Psalm 122:6 says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love thee". So, if you want to prosper, pray for Israel and the Jewish people. Well, until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis and Ezra Benjamin, saying shalom and God bless you.
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