I hold to my own refinement of protestant theology which I call Whole Bible Christianity, that in some ways parallels Messianic Judaism but with an emphasis on reintroducing the Two House teaching to modern Christians. The Two House teaching unifies the Old and New Testaments of the Bible without the need of creative interpretations or spiritualizing the text. It also corrects the error of supersecessionism, or “replacement theology” which is the root of antisemitism in Christianity: http://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-evil-of-replacement-theology/
I first learned about replacement theology in 1995 or 96 from an elderly Jewish woman who introduced herself as a close relative of Stephen Spielberg (his mother Leah Adler, I think), who called me on the phone one day to ask my position on it. My recent co-authorship of The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party with Orthodox Jewish researcher Kevin E. Abrams had understandingly become a topic of interest in the Jewish community and she had somehow found my phone number.
I was still pretty much a baby Christian at that time and I was too embarrassed to admit to her that I really didn’t know what replacement theology was. She was a very sweet person who was audibly nervous in talking with me and I’m afraid my hedging on the topic (to hide my ignorance) left her with the false perception that I was sympathetic to that view, which clearly distressed her. I’ve always regretted that but had no way to rectify it.
I think the average American Christian today is as ignorant of replacement theology and its role in antisemitism as I was in 1995, and even less aware of the Two House teaching that corrects it.
Replacement theology is simply the belief that when Jesus came as Messiah and was rejected by the Jews, Christians replaced them as God’s “chosen people.” The doctrine is rooted in a failure to recognize God’s separate relationship with the two houses of the Hebrews established when Jacob married two wives: Leah and Rachel, and had a total of twelve children by them and their handmaidens.
We must first understand the meaning of “chosen people.” Abraham was chosen by God to be the patriarch of a new family line among humanity through which God would guide the world away from wickedness toward righteousness. By blessing them when they were obedient and punishing them when they were disobedient, He used the chosen people as a living example for the world of what to do and what not to do to please Him. For example, the substitution of a lamb for Isaac set a new standard for the world that God could not be worshipped through human sacrifice. Whenever the Hebrews fell back into that sin, God punished them so terribly that the entire world was shocked by the example.
“And [King Manasseh] made his son pass through the fire [as a sacrifice to Molech]…And the LORD spake…saying, ‘Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations…Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle…and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down’ ” (2 Kings 6-13). Today, the rejection of human sacrifice is considered a universal human value and such practices are limited to shadowy satanic cults, a complete reversal from the age of Abraham. The Mosaic law served the same purpose of guiding the spiritual evolution of the world, readying humanity for the New Covenant in Christ.
The “chosen people” also suffered a serious consequence when they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, but the consequence was NOT replacement by the Christians. Paul makes this clear in Romans 11: “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! …. From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
God’s promises are unbreakable, and this is the key to understanding the two houses and the true relationship of Christians and Jews. He gave a set of promises to Abraham that were held as a package by Isaac and Jacob, but were divided between the children of Jacob’s two wives: Leah and Rachel (Ruth 4:11). Leah’s house became the House and eventual Kingdom of Judah. Rachel’s house became the House and eventual Kingdom of Israel. Under Solomon, David’s united kingdom was split asunder, with Judah and Benjamin (plus Levites) forming the Kingdom of Judah while the other ten tribes under Ephraim (aka Israel – Jeremiah 31:9) formed the northern Kingdom of Israel (though some members of each tribe could always be found in both kingdoms). During a subsequent war, the Judeans were first called “Jews” (2 Kings 16:6) and that has ever since distinguished the House of Judah from the House of Israel.
The House and Kingdom of Israel fell into idolatry from Day One and was eventually “divorced” by God and sent away (Jeremiah 3:8), but God had a plan for their restoration that included the death and resurrection of a Savior, Yeshua Ha’Maschiach — Jesus Christ, who offered the gift of salvation first to the House of Israel (Matthew 15:24), then to the House of Judah (Matthew 23:37-39), and then to the Gentiles (John 4, Galatians 2:8). These few threads are an accurate representation of a fascinating and comprehensive tapestry of doctrine that spans the entire breadth of scripture [See Romans 11, Hosea 1-3, Jeremiah 2-3, Ezekiel 37:15-23].
It is the House of Judah which resides in Israel today, a blend of secularized ethnic Jews motivated by political Zionism and religious Jews motivated by the spiritual Zionism rooted in the promise of Genesis 17:8: “And I will give unto thee…all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” The House of Judah is both the “wife” never divorced by God (Hosea 1-3) – (and thus still subject to the Mosaic Law pending the second coming of Christ) – and the “son” of God (Hosea 1-3) described in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) as the elder brother, jealous of the younger brother (Romans 11:11).
It is the House of Israel (the divorced wife sent away into the wilderness and the prodigal son who squandered his inheritance and lived among the Gentiles) that was redeemed by accepting Christ, “As indeed he says in Hosea [1-3], “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved’” (Romans 9:25). Not just Hebrews, but every Gentile who has been “grafted in,” for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
The reconciliation of these two houses is a central theme of end-time prophecy. “And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, And those who harass Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, And Judah will not harass Ephraim” (Isaiah 11:12-13). The reconciliation will only be completed in the Millennial Kingdom that begins with the second coming of Christ but it has already begun.
This ingathering phenomenon of the two houses, which is known today as “Zionism,” was begun in Jerusalem as a ministry to Jews by British Christians of the House of Israel decades before it became a formal political campaign of the House of Judah under Theodor Herzl in 1897. It began under Queen Victoria, who (rightly or wrongly) believed the British monarchy was descended from Judean royalty – during the rise of the Christian movement called British Israelism which peaked with the British liberation of the Holy Land from the Ottoman Empire in 1917 and the issuance of the Balfour Declaration inviting Jews back to Israel that same year.
The first agents of what later became known as “Zionism” were Anglican Christians of the 1830s who built the first protestant church in the middle east (in the model of a synagogue), where I am now composing this letter.
I am publishing this letter to challenge Christian believers to reject “replacement theology” and embrace their identity as wild olive branches grafted into the Hebrew root that is common to both Christians and Jews. That is the true solution to antisemitism reflecting the mind and heart of God.