Tag Archives: Jesus

Flat Earth: “The Way Out”…

Escape…

It is one of the most powerful themes which resonates throughout the tapestry of human experience, it permeates the spectrum of recorded literature, religious attention, political ideology, spiritual reflection…

From ancient mythology and oral traditions, down to present-day pop culture, this broader motif comes back again, and again, and again…

There certainly seems to be something about the human condition which instinctively recognizes an underlying, incessant, pull…

To escape, to surpass, to emerge, to exit…

Not only in the context of individual people’s specific circumstances, whether embedded in real history, or just a work of fiction, but, in the broadest sense. Somehow, our individual experiences which innately reject confinement, resist restriction, abhor oppression, these seem to connect us all to the larger, human story. A larger quest. A deeper need.

And of course, the Flat Earth topic is fascinating in how it serves to bring particular facet of our human nature into such sharper focus.

Is at least part of the reason why so many people have such a violent and repulsive reaction to the idea of an enclosed world? Does it perhaps have to do with even more than just all the propaganda and programming, all the humanistic pride invested in our perceived scientific understanding, and actually connect to soomething on a more sub-conscious, even spiritual level..?

Is it possible that the fraudulent invention of a massive, virtually infinite, deep space cosmology, was ultimately easy enough to pass off, because deep-down, we hate the idea of there being walls of any kind? Hate even the suggestion of limitation?
And how does the recognition of the Earth and cosmos itself being a much more confined, finite thing, relate to all the other forms of restriction, oppression, and control being perpertrated upon humanity by this ever-encroaching system being built all around us…?

What do these “Elite”, really know..?

What are they hiding? What are they seeking to accomplish?
Is it more land? Far off somewhere across an icy, infintie plain?

Is it the Firmament? Do they hope to finally break through to waters above?

Do they intend to use secret technology to create some kind of inter-dimensional portal, effectively hopping the wall by defying the laws of time and space..?
What are they doing? What is going on? And what does it mean for us? Are we trapped? Is there some realistic dream of ascension? Can we too transcend whatever limits exist in the cosmos, and ourselves one day soar into the heavens, whatever that actually means…?

What IS on the other side…..???

These are of course the sorts of questions which are inevitably raised when one comes face to face with the prospect of an enclosed world cosmology. The Question of the Creator, the Builder, the Designer. The Question of what it’s all for, what we’re all “in here” to do…

Some people want to merely focus on the Flat Earth itself, as some kind of unifying principle, some kind of banner under which everyone should be content to find community and common ground, and while I very much appreciate these sentiments to a certain degree, ultimately I find myself reflecting upon the fact that way back in the earlier stages of history, when virtually ALL cultures and peoples believed in an enclosed world, this commonality did not by itself translate into the absence of all the same ills we tire of today. It did not mean the absence of tyranny, the absence of empire, the absence oppression, or war, or plunder. It did not prevent mankind from splitting into endless factions based on the struggle for power and resources. It did not bring peace…

And interestingly enough, in virtually all of these ancient cultures which shared the broader belief in an enclosed cosmology, there was one singular perspective which set itself out as distinct from the rest…

The majority of these ancient kingdoms and cultures held some form of the view that civilization itself was initiated and guided by an array of advanced beings who descended from the heavens above. The Annunaki, the “gods”, the Watchers, the serpent-kings… They were described by many names, but in every case they were revered as the ones who held the keys for mankind to learn the secrets necessary to perfect himself, and one day ascend back to where these magnificent creatures originated from…

But then in the midst of all these traditions, there was one which stood apart.
In the conviction of this small, isolated line of people, the only being worth trusting was the Creator Himself. The Eternal one. The God who made everything, even the host of angelic creatures, in both the heavens, and below.

And this God, this Creator who claimed to stand above all other figures of worship, had a most singularly unique appraisal of the condition of man…

Unlike the teachings of all the other so-called “gods”, this message did not claim that humans could one day climb the ladder of progress to the eventuality of a long-sought quantum leap in consciousness. There was no cyclical wheel of birth, death, and rebirth, no mountain of pious works to hope to accomplish, no secret rituals to learn and unlock the mysteries thereof..

You see, among all these centers of civilization and alleged progress, was a universal sense of longing, a striving, a recognition of the underlying need to break free. To escape… And these false, finite, fallen “gods” provided an endless array of ways by which men and woman sought to enlist the assistence of these beings, in the quest for enlightenment, for ascension.

Countless generations in times past devoted themselves to the worship of these idols, in the hope of finding that elusive way out, through magical arts, through arduous pilgrimages, through the building of elaborate temples and monolithic structures, even through the sacrifice of their own children. Yet the longing endured, the key to this prison of humanity never being attained…

Mankind could never escape his own self, his own internal nature, and this is what sets the God of Abraham apart from all others. The God of the Bible, in contrast, tells us the unwelcome news that no matter what mystical secrets we might try to seek out, no matter what spiritual disciplines we might apply, no matter what towers we build, no matter what machines we might construct, there is simply, no way out.

No way out, on our own, because ultimately that which imprisons us is not the lack of some secret knowledge, or third-eye activation, or our “ego”, or even the physical universe itself, but rather, our own rebellious souls.

The reality of the sinful condition of man, as taught in the Bible, is unlike anything else, in any other philosophy, theology, or cosmology. It is the prison which we are by far most hesitant to acknowledge, and as such we prefer to instead pound against ever other type of wall imaginable, in our ceaseless quest to break free from the feeling of bondage. We continue turning to idols, appealing to dreams of progress, of eventually conquering the universe, whether in the context of materialistic space-travel, or transcending the physical altogether and achieving “pure consciousness”…

But Jesus…

Jesus, as the central figure of the Bible, (in both the Old and New Testament..) stands alone. As the pivotal piece of the Biblical message, which proclaims first a finite, fixed, enclosed, immovable Earth, and then us, fallen humanity, finite, enclosed, imprisoned in our sin, only Jesus provides a way of escape. A way out…
There is an irony in the comparison of both enclosed, Flat Earth cosmology, and Big-Bang Copernican cosmology, in the sense that in BOTH paradigms, one can set out to study and understand everything in the cosmos from the Earth, to the Sun, moon and stars, and yet, never take the time to intently study the reality of their own heart. Never stop and take stock of their own life, their own state, their own innermost being…

This is what I challenge EVERYONE to do, above all else. Before seeking to comprehend the amazing reality of the earth, or the heavens, to simply get honest with yourself. To ask yourself if perhaps indeed this prison of sin in your own life, as the Bible describes, might indeed be some of the most powerful evidence of all that what the Bible says is really true.

Because the most beautiful news in the entire World, is that Jesus broke down the prison door. He laid down His own life, in order to become the Door, the Gate, the Portal, to Everything that humanity has hungered to get back to since the Beginning… He is the only way out. The only bridge between Heaven and Earth, between death and life, the only opening the impervious Firmament seperating us from the Creator Himself, through which we can freely walk through and enter into the Kingdom of the Father.

Many people out there are under the impression that the Bible is simply another tool of control by the lying, murderous, “Elites”, but yet, if you dare to open up the Bible yourself, and read what it itself says, I am convinced that you will quickly begin to see how utterly false this claim really is. Those who seek to control humanity and break through the barriers apart from God, are only kidding themselves. In their futility they insist upon creating their own door, to eternity, to godhood. But you and I can make that same mistake.

I pray that there are at least a small few of you out there, who hear this, and recongize that there is something resoundingly true about what I am saying, and if so, that you would seek the One who holds the Key. That you would seek Jesus. Ask Him. Cry out to Him. He will hear you. He always does. He’s right there waiting.

The “Barren Land”…

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places* seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’” Luke 11:24 (*sometimes translated “arid places“)

“…But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” Psalm 68:6

“And in the columns of heaven I beheld fires, which descended without number, but neither on high, nor into the deep. Over these fountains also I perceived a place which had neither the firmament of heaven above it, nor the solid ground underneath it; neither was there water above it; nor anything on wing; but the spot was desolate.
And there I beheld seven stars, like great blazing mountains, and like spirits entreating me. Then the angel said, This place, until the consummation of heaven and earth, will be the prison of the stars, and the host of heaven. The stars which roll over fire are those which transgressed the commandment of God before their time arrived; for they came not in their proper season. Therefore was He offended with them, and bound them, until the period of the consummation of their crimes in the secret year.” 1 Enoch 18:13-16

(another version says ” And beyond that abyss I saw a place which had no firmament of the heaven above, and no firmly founded earth beneath it: there was no water upon it, and no birds, but it was a waste and horrible place.”)

I have for a while now been a fan of Round Saturn’s Eye and his videos, (and continue to be, finding validity in both his personal testimony and confession of the Gospel), and there is one theme that pops up very frequently in his material, which just recently became a lot more clear to me.

He is constantly mentioning this idea/imagery of the “barren land“. He talks about it again and again and again and again, often times when breaking down the embedded symbolism in some commercial or movie or Olympic ceremony, or whatever, whenever some kind of desert-looking, salt-flats type of scenery is being shown. And it’s amazing how often this occurs, these shots of very Luciferian and nephilim related themes, constantly being filmed with a backdrop of this barren, desert landscape. And after a while, I was really starting to wonder, what is the deal with this “barren land” stuff, what is that supposed to symbolize?

Well recently when I was reading back through the chapters of 1 Enoch, (in the interest of seeing more of what it has to say regarding flat Earth ideas or “Enochian cosmology” etc.), I was reading that portion in the 18th chapter, where it is talking about when Enoch is being shown the place where the fallen Watchers are to be imprisoned until the Day of Judgement (“until the period of the consummation of their crimes in the secret year…”)

Suddenly the light bulb clicked on. I immediately thought of that verse where Jesus casts the evil spirit out of the mute man, and then uses the parable of tying up a strong man in a house, to explain about how demons leave a person, and then “travel through arid places”, before coming back to the cleaned “house” (person), this time bringing along seven more spirits more evil than itself.

That verse has always been one of those ones that just made very little sense to me, where eventually you just shrug your shoulders and move on, figuring that well, Jesus obviously knows what he’s talking about, so, okay!

I had always been really confused by what “arid places” could mean, or why Jesus would say it like that, if he was describing sort of how a demon would just “fly around in the air” after being cast out. Were demons bound to dry air? Were they somehow pulled towards the desert? Hmmmm. Of course, that’s not what any of us who believe in the reality of demonic spirits would realistically think, because we logically we understand that these spirits are bound within a certain dimensional barrier somehow. They don’t literally fly through the physical air molecules like a mist, prowling for people to inhabit.

But here again, this “barren land” realization is part of a larger theme I’ve been exploring lately, involving this broader question of there being “places” in a dimensional sense.

Most of us who believe in some form of spirituality are probably already likely to believe in this already, on some conceptual level at least. I’d say that I more or less always did, but I suppose it is only now that I am beginning to stretch my imagination further, in pondering just how much this dimensional aspect may permeate our reality, our entire universe…

We tend to think of other “dimensions” as being a fairly ethereal thing. At least I’d say I did. But maybe now that I’ve been taking a much more serious look into things like the concept of the “firmament”, or the idea of the stars themselves being both a physical aspect of our Created world, and also, somehow, attached to luminous, angelic beings. The “multidimensional universe”… This concept has taken such a hold of me. My whole comprehension of the distinctions between what we call “physical”, and what we call “spirit”, seems so much more complex, and yet, so much simpler at the same time now.

In the Book of Enoch, he basically describes being taken up into the heavens, where he talks about walls being built of “crystal stones”, and “portals” (basically doorways) and rings and pillars of fire, etc. He sees mountains made of gems and fountains in the deep, etc., and He sees the very throne of God. The “desolate place” where the Watchers and spirits are imprisoned, is described as having no water in it, as well as no water OVER it either. I find that very interesting. It propels this notion that the firmament over our own place of existence does indeed have water OVER it. This actually makes a lot of sense, when we think about the Great Flood and other things, and I have also wondered if the “sea of glass” or “sea of crystal” described in Revelation and elsewhere, doesn’t in fact pertain to something going on at the top of firmament…(!?) It’s very weird, but also very thrilling too, to start thinking of all these possibilities in a more literal, yet “multi-dimensional” way.

I suppose the reason this would be of any real practical significance for us, at least while we’re still on this side of eternity, is when considered in the context of all that is progressing in the World right now, in terms of things like CERN, and the Luciferian agenda, etc. The Bible speaks of a time where the events are so incredible, amazing, and terrifying, that men essentially become paralyzed with fear.
I do believe that part of keeping our Faith in the times ahead, involves taking a deep look at the scriptures and at least being willing to keep an open mind towards a broader cosmology that might be a far cry from the traditional modernistic, dichotomous mentality that mainstream Evangelicalism has held, particularly in the last century or two. We need to be in such a place as to not be surprised or overwhelmed by whatever crazy or mind-blowing things may transpire in the coming times. We should be able to stand firm, and unmoved, even if we WERE to witness things as fantastic and frightening as the spiritual veil being torn, and entities from the dimensional realm of the “barren land” being unleashed upon our own plane of earthly existence for a short time.

I do believe this is what they have been conspiring FOR, all these millennia. It was the Bible prophecies will take place, when it speaks of Apollo, or Abaddon, coming up out the Abyss, out of the “pit”, with his hordes. It a very real place, this desolate land…

It’s gonna get weird, folks. But we should not be shocked or dismayed by any of it. The scriptures tell us who the victor is, who is the King over heaven and earth, death and hades, over every dimension, every creature, every spirit. We know Who will judge all, when the Books are opened, and the dead are raised, and we look forward to that Day…

It’s ALL From the SAME Source…

I realize I’ve been a bit sparse on writing my own blog posts as of late, (mostly just been posting videos and reblogs if anything), but I’ve been taking a slight break I suppose, as well as last week I spent a couple of days putting together the “CERN Rock” vid. I’m starting to work on making a ‘part II’ video this week, to focus on the topic of the “adiabatic quantum computer” and it’s connection to CERN, the Mark of Beast, etc., but in the mean time I thought I’d write a little something about an interesting documentary I watched over the weekend.

sourcefamily“The Source Family” tells the story of an L.A.-based cult centered around a man named Jim Baker in the late sixties, early 70’s, a cult which had it’s beginnings in the natural foods restaurant known as the “Source Restaurant which Baker owned, but eventually progressed into a full-on every-hippie-cliché-imaginable, New Age guru/messiah-worshipping, polygamous sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll commune.

Rather than trying to retell the progression of the rise and fall of “Father Yod’s” (as he came to call himself) Aquarian community, (which anyone I’m sure can google/wiki for themselves) I simply wanted to speak to the amazing proliferation of occult symbolism and connections which were prevalent throughout the documentary, and make a simple point about how this connects to the broader topic of NWO-type “Luciferian globalism” and Illuminati-esque occult “stuff”…

Right off the bat, no one could miss the glaring use of the “Great Seal” with the “All-seeing Eye” as the central image on the Source Restaurant’s sign on Sunset Blvd. This alone speaks volumes really. This is in the sixties after all, for a raw-food restaurant full of meditating hippies… Doesn’t get much more “anti-establishment” than that! Interestingly enough though, beyond just the prevalent use of the “Illuminati eye”, there are many shots in the film which also show signs made depicting the other side of the “Great Seal”, the one with the eagle holding the 13 arrows and everything. Apparently “Father Yod” understood these two images to be very powerful occult talismans indeed.

And “Father Yod”, (or “Ya-Ho-Wa” as he also blasphemously named himself), was no amateur dabbler when it came to the occult. One “Aquarian” tells of how the first time he met Father Yod, when he was touched on the shoulder, his “Kundalini” energy shot straight up his spine. Another woman tells of how “Yod” was determined to take all the “best” practices from all sorts of different mystical schools and traditions, and would take his “spiritual children” to learn at the feet of other “masters”, one of whom they mention by name is the famous author and Freemason, Manly P. Hall

0976082292Throughout the film, there is an absolute proliferation of pentagrams and hexagrams, pyramids, eyes and ankhs, often being incorporated into the album cover-art for the rock band that Father Yod and some of the cult-members formed. You see Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalah and Freemasonry all being thrown into a big groovy, psychedelic mix. Then, after the “Family” had left the restaurant business altogether, and moved to a more remote residence away from their Manson-family-fearing neighbors, and “Father Yod” had made the move to start taking on dozens of the women as “wives” (basically he was having sex with all of them, even ones very young) they talk about how he really started getting into the “dark stuff” when he began getting into ritual sex magic as taken from the teaching of the “Order of the Golden Dawn”…

Aleister_Crowley_1310Anyone who has studied the figure of Aleister Crowley and the occult orders he created should understand just how truly deep into the “dark side” one is venturing when they start incorporating rituals taught by Crowley. “Crowleyian magik” involves things so debased I wouldn’t begin to try and describe them here. But, it is all a rather poignant example which serves to illustrate just where all these dabblings with trying to “expand the mind” and reach “enlightment” by way of meditation and altered states of consciousness ultimately leads.

In the course of following the various angles and agendas of the “shadow government”, one comes along many, many other like-minded individuals, often doing great research, who get sucked into the New Age themselves. This is no accident really, with the many “Truther”/conspiracy authors and researchers out there such as David Icke, David Wilcock, Michael Tsarion, Jordan Maxwell, (and many others) who are all communicating with the “other side”, and very much in contact with the SAME entities and powers who were leading and influencing Crowley, “Father Yod”, and yes, the “Luciferian elites” who are so despised by most “freedom-loving Truthers”…

It’s really NOT difficult to piece together friends, how all these esoteric branches are really just growing from the same Luciferian tree. They all make the same empty promises of “enlightenment”, “expanded consciousness”, in essence, becoming a god yourself. But in the end, they all lead to the same dead-end, the same used-up, disillusioned fate. Crowley died a penniless, haunted drug addict. “Father Yod” took a Kamikaze flight off a Hawaiian cliff in a hang-glider, hoping to sever ties with this world after realizing that in fact he was NOT God, but only a man… He landed safely, but still died somewhat mysteriously a few days later.

Jim Baker was truly worshipped by his “family”, not because people are simply horribly stupid and naïve, but because they really are hungry for Love, for a Father, and for a spiritual experience that feels real and alive, and not just dry, dead religion. Satan is good as offering counterfeits which can seem like the real deal. He is the source of countless false forms of spirituality and experience, on BOTH the “establishment” side, (the Bohemian-Grovers, the Vatican crypts, the well-healed secret societies…) AND the free-spirit, “anything goes”, a-la-carte New Age philosophy “Light” side…

Only JESUS can satisfy that inner hunger for Love, meaning, forgiveness, belonging and purpose. Only He can give us true freedom, and true Hope in the face of all the oppression, lies and death going on in the world today. All Satan has in the end are million different empty counterfeits. Only the true Christ, who died for our sins, can bring us back to the TRUE Source of all things….

Tin Foil Closets…

tin-foil-closet

I had a pretty decent thanksgiving weekend. Good food. Relaxation. Time with the wife and kids. Typical fare.

Of course, one of the things that goes along with Thanksgiving is the prerequisite phone calls and interactions with the grandparents/extended family. That’s another piece of the fine print related to parenting that nobody bothers to point out when you’re expecting your first child, the way that it will inevitably altar the dynamics of how your own parents relate to you, and reveal expectations you never would have anticipated.

For me, the semi-annual interactions with my parents, the obligatory reports of “yep, the kids are doing well”, discussions/comparisons of the weather in our separate locations, the attempts to explain just exactly what my wife does at her new job in terms that my parents can understand, all of it, eventually only serves to remind me of just how disconnected I am from them in the things I really think about and wrestle with on a regular basis. Especially when I turn around and engage with something like this little ol’ blog I got going here. Worlds apart. And that, I suppose, is largely a reason why I started this cathartic endeavor in the first place, and if I’m honest with myself, a good measure of the reason why I still blog anonymously (although there are others too…)

Currently my kids are pretty much obsessed with this video game called “Minecraft”. The gameplay cycles through periods of day and night, and so during the day, the player roams around the digital world mining for materials and building their houses and so on. During the night, however, the “mobs” come out, which are various digital monsters like zombies and arrow-shooting skeletons and giant spiders, all of which of course, are trying to get you. As the player is busily going about their world collecting and mining and building, after a while, you start to notice a subtle change in the hue of the digital sky, and you can look over and actually see the digital sun starting to set over the digital horizon. This lets you know that you better hurry and finish up whatever you’re doing pretty quick, and start thinking about hustling it over to wherever your safe haven is. Getting caught out in the middle of the forest, when the darkness descends, is not ideal…

Anyhow, this quirky aspect of a popular game sometimes feels like the perfect analogy for where I feel as though I have now spent a good portion of my adult life. A more or less permanent state of feeling like I’m stuck in the twilight moments, peering over at the vanishing sun, wondering just how much time is left before it slips out of view altogether. My parents, my siblings, the various people I knew growing up and going to church and school, by enlarge, cannot relate. I have ventured to attempt a conversation or two about 9/11 or the New World Order, but in hindsight, they were horribly ill-timed, and feebly transitioned into, and, yeah. Only wound up making me feel foolish in the end, as though I had only served to make the whole thing sound every bit as insane as they were already predisposed to think.

Overall, I have to admit that I think I carry a lot of internal guilt over the whole thing with my family. For the most part, they are all Christians, and it’s not that they don’t technically believe in a literal second-coming of Christ, or a literal anti-Christ, etc., it’s just… I don’t know. I don’t know if a lot of it has to do with the indifference that stems from the pre-Trib attitude that thinks “Well, we’re gonna get whisked away before anything seriously bad starts to happen anyway”, or if it comes from being embedded in the “corporate church culture”, or just a deeply-ingrained faith in the concept that overall America is “Blessed by God” and that despite all the stuff going wrong, we nevertheless are very privileged to be born into this country that is still so much better than the rest of the world…

In any case, there is a definite barrier there, in the minds of those who knew me as a young child, that despite all the “research” I have done into various issues and current events, despite all the digging into the scriptures to see for myself what God has to say about things, despite all the amazing conversations and insights I have gleaned from interacting with other like-minded folks who do see and understand what is happening in the world today, despite it all, I am still at a loss when it comes to even mustering the courage anymore to try and speak about any of the stuff I write about here, to the people I have known my whole life. I hate that feeling. I could more openly and boldly talk about all things eschatological and diabolical with a thousand different strangers, than I could with my own father, mother, sister, or brother.

The hardest part about it all, is that I struggle with wondering how much of their difficulty in hearing such things from me, connects to the ways in which I know my own life was not much of a good witness or testimony for Christ at all for a number of years.

Well… I really don’t want to sound too negative, or griping like I don’t have a massive amount of things to be thankful and praise God for, because I absolutely do. HE is the one who has been amazingly faithful, throughout all of my faithlessness and failings. HE is the one who reveals all mysteries, and shines light in the dark places. HE is the One who I know will ultimately show us the way to safe havens and “clefts in the rock” as the twilight eventually gives way to the fullness of night.

Thank you Jesus for your love, your Light, your sacrifice. Help me find the courage to reach out to and speak boldly to those in my own family who feel both so close, and at the same time still so far away…

Replacement, or Fulfillment…?

cross_temple“Replacement theology”. This is a charge leveled by proponents of Christian Zionism towards those who would dare question the dispensationalist teaching which asserts that Israel is “God’s chosen nation”, and that the most important aspect of this chosen status is the fact that “God promised them the Land”.

The New Testament of the Bible, from beginning to end, endeavors to explain how the mission of Jesus Christ was for God to take on human form, and die in the place of fallen sinful humanity, and rise again, in order that we might have the ability to experience new, resurrected Life ourselves, along with Christ in His Kingdom, if we put our faith in Him. This applies to every man, woman and child on the face of the earth, regardless of race, gender, nationality or age. However, this amazing and profound proclamation is rendered insufficient, and irrelevant, by those who still prefer to cling to concepts of “redemption”, “Messiah”, “kingdom” and “inheritance” which are earthly, and not eternal. This is what “Zionism” is all about, and the reason that “Dual-Covenant theology” was invented.

In the Bible, “Mount Zion” is the mountain of God, the “New Jerusalem”, a city “built not by human hands. (Heb 12:22/23, Heb 11:10, Acts 7:48/49, 2 Cor 5:1)

In this light, “Political Zionism” can really be seen as nothing short of trying to create “heaven on earth”.  This is the theology of “Dominionism”, the aim of bringing into being the occult axiom of “As Above, So Below“.

But getting back to “Replacement Theology”, the accusation which alleges that Christians who deny the existence of any “dual-covenant” are guilty of a most hideous and offensive error, because they are supposedly saying that the Church “replaced” Israel. This is simply a straw man argument, an attempt to discredit the opposing side by means of reframing the entire topic in a way that the Bible itself does not do. It is not a question of “replacing or not replacing”, it is a matter of “fulfilling or not fulfilling”…

The Old Testament is full of things which the New Testament declares to have been “shadows” of realities that are in fact eternal in nature, various forms of prophetic symbolism which in every single case were fulfilled by the Christ and His victory over death. (Hebrews 10)

Did the cross “replace” the sacrifices made on the altar of the Temple, or did it fulfill what was prophesied by the fact of what the sacrifices could never achieve themselves?

Did Christ’s teachings “replace” the Law, or did they fulfill the Law?

Did Jesus “replace” the Sacrifice God called Abraham to make of his son Isaac, or did He fulfill what was prophesied by the ram caught in the thicket?

Did John the Baptist “replace” the prophet Elijah, or did he fulfill what was prophesied about the “Elijah that is to come”?

Did Jesus “replace” Melchizedek, or did he fulfill what was prophesied through the person of Melchizedek and the type of priesthood he held?

Did Jesus’ resurrection “replace” Jonah being spat out of the whale, or Joseph being brought out of the Egyptian prison cell, or did it fulfill what was prophesied through their lives?

Did Jesus “replace” the Ark which saved Noah and his family from the Flood, or did He fulfill what was prophesied and portrayed, as the only way to be saved from eternal death and separation from God…?

The Law. The Prophets. The Patriarchs. The Temple. The Sacrifices. The Priesthood. The festivals. The Sabbaths. The food regulations. The New Moon celebrations. The rite of circumcision. The judges. The Israelite monarchy.

Practically everything which combines into all that can be considered that which constitutes “Israel”, serves a single, profound purpose. “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Col. 2:17)

This was the teaching which infuriated the scribes and Pharisees to the point of screaming and gnashing their teeth in rage, and prompted the Pharisees to hunt down and kill the followers of Jesus for decades after His resurrection and ascension. This is the teaching which still flies in the face of modern Judaism (i.e. the Talmudic Rabbinic tradition, the ancestor of Pharisaical Judaism) to this very day. The whole notion of “dual covenant theology” is contradictory to the teachings of Jesus, the content of everything the N.T. writers said, and contrary to very heart of God. The only way Christians can swayed by the false teachings of modern prophecy “scholars” who cite singular, out-of-context verses like “Israel is the apple of His eye” is if they do not bother to stop and read the scriptures, in their entirety, for themselves. This is what false teaching has always relied upon, from the very beginning, and so it is now.

God of course is still in control. The things going on today in the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still part and parcel to God’s prophetic master plan. 1948 was not necessarily the glorious recreation of the “Promised Kingdom” as Zionists claim it to be, but it didn’t catch God off guard either! The point is that through it all, we must never allow ourselves to get fooled by people who would seek to confuse the “copies and shadows of what it is heaven” with the realities themselves. (Heb 8:5)

The Church is not a “replacement” for Israel, because “Israel”, in the temporal, earthly sense, was a “shadow of what was to come”, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Was Melchizedek an Angel…?

melchizedek_abraham1A few weeks ago I was reading through the book of Hebrews and something jumped out at me that I had not ever noticed before. Hebrews has long been a very treasured piece of scripture to me, having been used by God many times in the past to get me to understand aspects of the Gospel that I didn’t quite grasp. Anyhow, as I was reading through it again recently, I was suddenly struck by several things that the author has to say when talking about Jesus being “a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”.

In chapter 7 it says: “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.” (verses 1-3)

It’s funny how you can read  stuff over and over again, and never notice things about what you’re reading.  But there in verse 3, it says “he remains a priest forever”, and the crazy part is, he’s actually about Melchizedek there.  Of course, the verses are talking about Jesus too, how his priesthood is different from the Levitical priesthood, as it says: “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office, but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”(7:23-25)

I was actually pretty blown away by what I was reading.  Essentially what it says is that Jesus has a priesthood that is comparable to the one of Melchizedek, because he doesn’t die, and so can serve as a priest forever.  Now, this is easy enough to understand when we are thinking about the Resurrected Jesus, but never before had I thought about exactly how that was supposed to work when talking about Melchizedek!  I had heard of the idea that perhaps Melchizedek was an example of an Old Testament “Christophany”, the suggestion that maybe Melchizedek in fact was an appearance of the pre-incarnate Jesus, but as I examined the text more closely, I had to conclude that this would seem highly unlikely.

What we see is Jesus being compared to Melchizedek, or more specifically, we see their type of priesthoods being compared, i.e. they both have “eternal priesthoods”.  The very use of the phrase “in the order of” virtually necessitates the fact that we are talking about two, separate people here, and not two manifestations of the same individual.  Also, more specifically in chapt. 7 verse 2 it says, “resembling the Son of God” (when mentioning Melchizedek).  Why would it make any sense for the author to make such a statement, if the person he was talking about was the Son of God anyway?  Of course the Son of God would resemble the Son of God.  That hardly seems like it would be something worthy of explanation.  But we can clearly see that the two beings are being talked about as having similar characteristics, but yet are not the same person.

So, we are left with some rather bizarre details about Melchizedek that require explanation.  One of the other descriptions that really struck me was where it talks about Melchizedek beingWithout father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life.”

Now, at face value, it would seem rather obvious what that would be a description of.  That is the description of an immortal being.  When you take those statements, and try to figure out a way to apply them so as to be a description of a regular human (to try and explain Melchizedek as not being the pre-incarnate Christ, but just a “godly king” who lived in Canaan, which is the other main theory) things start to get very convoluted indeed.  For many years I guess I had always just assumed that the term “without genealogy” simply meant that ndore337o one knew who this Melchizedek guy was descended from, and the significance of that had something to do with how his priesthood was being emphasized as different from the Levitical priesthood, etc.  But when you stop and think about that, through the lens of how things tended to operate back in the O.T. days, such an idea is really quite a stretch.  Knowing one’s genealogy was something of vast importance in the culture of that time, and anyone who has spent much time at all reading the Old Testament realizes this, as you read account after account of “So-and-so, who was the son of So-and-so, who was the son of So-and-so, etc., etc.!”  Everybody knew their ancestry back then, unless I suppose you were the rare case of an individual who born to a woman who didn’t know who the father was, or was orphaned as an infant or something.  But then, what are the odds that such an individual would go on to become a king?  That seems like even more of a stretch.  If anyone was particularly fixated on knowing their genealogy, it was the kings and queens of old.  Not to mention, at this point in history, there isn’t even all much genealogy to keep track of.  Abraham was only ten generations removed from Noah himself!  Meaning that the ancestry of everyone on the planet at that time only went back that far.  I would venture to say that most folks at that time could trace their lineage back to Ham, Shem or Japheth, no problem…

But beyond all this, it says, “Without father or mother“, and then also, “without beginning of days or end of life“….

Why would you use such descriptions to describe a mortal man who simply had an unknown ancestral line?  You just wouldn’t.  That’s my point.

When you look back to Genesis to see what it says about when Abraham met this Melchizedek guy, you don’t find a lot of details.  In fact, the writer of the book of Hebrews seems to have an understanding of who the guy was that goes beyond the meager description provided in the Old Testament text.  And it’s interesting to me, that the first two chapters of the book of Hebrews, start out by launching into comparing and contrasting Jesus with the angels.  So, essentially what you are left with is the idea that Jesus’ priesthood is almost a combination of both the Aaronic/Levitical priesthoods, and that his priesthood is ultimately the totally superior one.  Like the Levitical priests, he brought a sacrifice, but it was not an animal sacrifice, which was never sufficient to forgive sins, but He sacrificed Himself.  But, unlike the Levitical priests, who were mortal and thus constantly had to be replaced because they kept dying,  Jesus lives forever and thus can stand as our mediator in Heaven forever, because He has eternal life…

So74ed886383798662d0f3ce433296c33b, if Melchizedek was an angel, what would that mean?  Why would he have been hanging around Canaan and talking a tenth of the plunder from Abraham, etc.?  How could an angel be regarded as a “priest of God”?  What the heck is “Salem” anyway?

I can only speculate at this point, but I’m inclined to think that perhaps it ties in somehow with this whole “divine council” idea. If there is indeed some real weight behind this concept, and that after the tower of Babel incident, God allowed the various angelic “council-members” to have more direct assignment over each of the separated people/language groups, then we might suppose that God would have set aside a particular angelic “council member” or “tribal deity”, if you will, for the nation that He was intending to create for Himself later down the road through Abraham. If that were the case, and Melchizedek was indeed that being, then he could almost be understood as a type of “place-holder” for the Messiah, the true King and Priest who was to come. This is what makes the most sense to me anyhow, and seems to make sense alongside other instances in scripture, for example in Daniel chapter 10 where it refers to the various “princes”, who are in fact angelic beings who have some kind of jurisdiction over different kingdoms.

The other thing that is kind of a weird sidenote, is that nowadays, if you go and google “Melchizedek”, you get inundated with just tons of New Age and Kabbalistic stuff. (sort of similar to if you search for info on Enoch or anything else that has a large degree of angelic connection). If Melchizedek was in fact an angel, then it wouldn’t be at all surprising that an ancient occult system such as Kabbalah would have a fair amount of twisted teaching surrounding the identity of this being, and it would make more sense, in comparison to if Melchizedek had just been an ordinary human.

Overall, I’m not necessarily totally convinced one way or the other, and I suppose it’s not something that perhaps even makes a great deal of difference, doctrinally speaking in the end, but if nothing else, realizing that I could have been reading about an ancient angelic figure all this time and not ever realized it, just goes to underscore how strong this tendency sometimes is, to read the Bible through our own preconceived lenses, and miss what is often right in front of our noses…

Israel and the millennial reign of Christ…

The following is from a biblical Q & A site.  I stumbled across it, and found myself clicking on the question “What is the purpose of the thousand-year reign of Christ?”, mainly because, well, I have been wondering about that very question myself for some time now.  As I read through the answers provided, it made me begin to suspect perhaps there is a connection between my ongoing, unanswered questions surrounding the millenium, and my own views regarding the whole debate surrounding things like “Replacement theology”, the fulfillment of Covenants, the true identity of Israel, etc…  But anyhow, first, here is the Q & A, then I’ll say my piece afterwards…

Question: “What is the purpose of the thousand-year reign of Christ?”

Answer: The Millennium (also known as the millennial Kingdom) is the 1000-year reign of Jesus after the Tribulation and before all the people of the world are sent to heaven or hell. Jesus will reign as King over Israel as well as all the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:4; 42:1). The world will live in peace (Isaiah 11:6-9; 32:18), Satan will be bound (Revelation 20:1-3) and, at the beginning, everyone will worship God (Isaiah 2:2-3). The purpose of the 1000-year reign is to fulfill promises God made to the world that cannot be fulfilled while Satan is free and humans have political authority. Some of these promises, called covenants, were given specifically to Israel. Others were given to Jesus, the nations of the world, and creation. All of these will be fulfilled during Jesus’ 1000-year reign.

The Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:1-10)
God has already fulfilled the personal aspects of the Abrahamic covenant; Abraham did go to the Promised Land, he did have many descendants, and he is the forefather of many nations. Several hundred years after Abraham, Joshua led the Israelites to claim ownership of the Promised Land. But Israel has never possessed the specific boundaries that God promised in Genesis 15:18-20 and Numbers 34:1-12. Not even Solomon ruled over this particular area (1 Kings 4:21-24). Although he did reign from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates, he did not hold the area from Mount Hor to Hazarenan (Numbers 34:7-9)—into present-day Lebanon and Syria. In addition, the covenant God made with Abraham was that he and his descendants would have the land for eternity (Genesis 13:15; 17:8; Ezekiel 16:60). The current Israeli state may be a step in this direction, but they still do not possess the boundaries God laid out.

The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7)
God’s covenant with David was that his line would never die out and that David’s heir would sit on the throne of Israel forever (2 Samuel 7:16). Biblical scholars agree that Jesus is the fulfillment of this covenant—one of the reasons His genealogy is given for both His step-father (Matthew 1:1-17) and His mother (Luke 3:23-38). The Jews understood this when they laid down palm branches and their cloaks as Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-17). They expected Him to be a military/political leader that would liberate them from the Romans and make Israel a great nation again. But they didn’t understand the nature of Jesus’ work at the time was for the New Covenant, not the Davidic Covenant. The 1000-year reign will be the beginning of Jesus’ eternal reign over Israel and the earth (Revelation 20:4, 6).

The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
The work of the New Covenant—Jesus’ death and resurrection to reconcile hearts to God—has been accomplished. But we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment. Jeremiah 31:33 says, “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Ezekiel 36:28 gives more specifics: “You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” Isaiah 59:20-21 explains that this covenant is possible because of the Redeemer, and the reconciliation He provides will last forever. This covenant does not mean that every Jew will be saved. But it does mean that Israel as a nation will worship their Messiah. The Old Testament prophets who spoke of this covenant, including Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and Ezekiel, all wrote that it will be fulfilled in the future. From their time on, Israel has yet to be an independent nation that worshiped its Messiah (Romans 9-11). They will be in the 1000-year reign.

Other Promises
Those are the covenants God made with Israel that are to be fulfilled in Jesus’ 1000-year reign, but the Bible lists other promises that will be fulfilled. God promised Jesus He will make His enemies a footstool, and that Jesus’ followers will worship Him freely (Psalm 100). God promised the nations of the world that they would live in peace with Jesus as their ruler (Daniel 7:11-14). And He promised creation that the curse would be lifted (Romans 8:18-23), animals and the earth would be restored to peace and prosperity (Isaiah 11:6-9; 32:13-15), and people would be freed from disease (Ezekiel 34:16). These, too, will be fulfilled during the 1000-year reign.

The main purpose of Jesus’ 1000-year reign is to fulfill the prophecies given to Israel and the promises made to Jesus, the nations, and the earth. God’s covenants were voluntary and one-sided. He promised He would bless Israel and restore the world in specific ways, and He will.

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Alright, so according to this, the purpose of the Millenium period has a whole lot to do with God fulfilling promises made to Israel, i.e., the Jewish people, and more specifically those people in the context of being a Jewish nation/state.  Of course, many, many Christians are quite fixated on all that pertains to the modern state of Israel, because of the pervasiveness of the kinds of covenant interpretations we see being articulated above.   In fact, I was raised with more or less that type of perspective,  a perspective which comprises the main driving force behind so much of the current political support of the people, government and military of modern Israel by “evangelicals”… 

But I was forced to stop and re-examine this perspective, after I finally just sat down one day and read through the entire book of Hebrews.  Suddenly I found myself being unable to ignore what felt like a good number of inconsistencies within the whole mindset that there is a “duality” amongst all these covenants, the idea that God’s promises to “Israel” are simultaneously addressing eternal/spiritual issues (for the gentiles) as well as earthly/temporal/political ones (for the Jewish people).   What I find in the book of Hebrews, and many other places, really doesn’t seem to back this idea at all.  Now, I am very much aware that the term “replacement theology” tends to carry a lot of pejorative baggage in such circles of eschatological perspective.   But the fact remains that nowhere in the New Testament have I ever found any of the biblical authors (who almost all had a Jewish heritage, although yes, I know that people question whether Luke was, but regardless) giving so much as a hint that they were looking forward to some future time when Jesus would be hailed as a political ruler of Israel as a political entity… 

I find these verses in Hebrews to be particularly explicit…

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.  (Hebrews 3 – 4:8)

I suppose many people who hold a firm stance against the supposed ignorance of “replacement theology” might respond by saying “Well, the book of Hebrews was written to the Hebrews, of course!  So you’re misapplying everything the author is saying here…”   But I’m sorry, when you stop and actually read through the content of what is being said, that falls apart pretty quick…  I began the quotation from where I did because we can clearly see who the author is addressing: “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus…”  (Who are “those who share in the heavenly calling”? That is everyone who believes in Jesus!)  But if that is not enough to convince someone that the message here is not for Jewish Christians alone, then you only have to keep reading, because in the following passages we see the author arguing strongly AGAINST the idea that going in and taking physical possession of the “Promised Land” amounts to the achievement of God’s “rest”.  He says: “since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it“, and later “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience”.

So when the writer of Hebrews is urging his readers to “make every effort to enter that rest”, is he advocating that these Jewish believers in Yeshua strive on towards the goal of establishing an earthly government which encompasses all the original boundary lines promised to Abraham?  I certainly don’t find it to say anything like that…  But maybe that is where the millennial component comes in for many people, because they believe is that only Jesus’ return will be enough to establish that true Israelite nation? I don’ t know…   I must confess I still don’t quite know what exactly to think about the millennium, but what I do know is that explanations like the ones above just don’t quite seem to fit.  The issue of modern-day “evangelical” support for the (political) nation of Israel, to the point of almost absolute blind allegiance, feels more than a little suspect to me.  But then, if to the inconsistencies I’ve just mentioned, we add more considerations, such as a look into the origins and significance of the symbol refered to as the “Star of David”, or the curious amount of involvement on the part of families such as the Rockefellers (ever taken a look at the Israeli Supreme Court building…?) we find even more reason to give some serious pause…

Personally, I really kind of chafe at the term “replacement theology”, because I honestly find it to be a rather misrepresentative term in the first place, a “straw-man” argument if you will…  When I read through the Old and New testaments now, and see the “common thread” that strings it all together, that common thread is FAITH.  (that’s actually what Hebrews is all about really…)  Did God EVER really consider “His people” to be everyone with a Jewish heritage, regardless of whether they put their faith in Him, or say, in Molech or Baal or just themselves?  No!  That’s what Hebrews says very explicitly.  I mean, this was undoubtedly a super controversial book when it came out!  Not just this book, but the whole New Testament, the whole Gospel itself.  It was offensive for Jews to hear someone saying “Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”  The author is simply showing that rebellion against God = no entering the rest.  He is pointing to moments in Jewish history which show that the promises to Abraham were never about taking possession of a piece of land, but about entering into His “Rest” with a capital R…  Just like so much else in Jewish history (such as being delivered from slavery in Egypt) the historical event of entering the physical land of Canaan was really itself through divine orchestration an allegory of the grander conclusion, the eventual establishing of Christ on the throne, where He actually WILL rule over not jus the original boundaries promised to Abraham, but indeed the whole earth.  That’s what really puzzles me about the whole argument against “replacement theology”, because it seems to wholly ignore the fact that before Jesus came, it was Faith in God that counted, just same as it was after He died and rose again!   It always had been faith which defined a “true Israelite”, not one’s ancestry, a fact which is further illuminated by the realization when we stop and remember that non-Jewish people were allowed to become “citizens” of Israel from the very beginning, so long as they worshipped God and agreed to follow His commands… 

Didn’t Jesus Himself look a bunch of Pharisees in the eye and make this same, controversial point?

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendantsand have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

Jesus says to them, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants”, but then also, “If you were Abraham’s children then you would do what Abraham did”.  Hmmmm… How can a group of people be physically descended from Abraham, but not one of his “children”…?  Wouldn’t that mean that the Abrahamic covenant, and thus all the promises regarding “Israel”,  was actually speaking to “children of faith” all along…???  If so, then we couldn’t really say that some new definition was “replacing” a previous one, but rather, Jesus was simply reaffirming the correct way to understand these things, as all being fulfilled in Himself.  We certainly don’t dismiss Christ’s work on Calvary as being some form of “replacement theology”, as some new reinterpretation of the sacrificial system of the temple, but rather we understand the cross to be the true fulfillment of those things.  The same thing goes for things like the Passover and the High Priest and so much more.  It was always all about Jesus, and will all be completely fulfilled when He comes and sets up His kingdom on Earth.   I still have my own questions about exactly what the “purpose” of the Millenium is (basically my main “sticking point” revolves around the question of why God doesn’t just go ahead and finish Satan off entirely after His return, but no matter…), that is one of those things where if I never “figure it out”, it really doesn’t matter all that much, because it’s going to happen anyways, and God’s purposes for everything are all going to be revealed in their due time.  But for me, I personally find the questions which seek to understand what “Israel” is all about to have a much more direct impact on our lives today, not to mention the possibility of some pretty serious implications in the near future if we were to be confused on the matter….