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(Isaiah 2:3)

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The Model for the Messianic Community

What the First Century Messianic Community Looked Like
and Why We Should Look the Same Today

What did Messiah Yeshua expect His Body and Bride to look like,
and how close have we come to His expectations?

MRav Dr. Ari Levitt
ThM, ThD, DMin, MA, MBA, ND

Read it as a flip book

Back to Appendix F

Appendix G.
A Brief Overview of Replacement Theology

For those who are not familiar with the term, “Replacement Theology” is the heretical teaching that God, Who cannot lie and Who never changes, has arbitrarily cancelled the “everlasting covenants” that He made with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov, and with “their descendants forever,” and has transferred those promises to the Gentile “church.” This is a lie straight from the pit of Hell that is, or at least it should be, particularly detestable to all Believers in Israel’s Messiah because it makes God a liar, and makes the Bible just another book of legends and fables.

When God selected Avraham to be the one through whom He would work out His plan of redemption, He made a series of “everlasting covenants” with Avraham, his son Yitzchak, and grandson Ya'akov. These unconditional covenants include these provisions:

I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed. … To your descendants I will give this land. … (Genesis 12:1-7)

This divine land grant includes all the land from the border of the Nile River in Egypt to the border of the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq.

The angel of ADONAI[1] called to Avraham a second time out of heaven. He said, “I have sworn by myself — says ADONAI — that because you have done this, because you haven’t withheld your son, your only son, I will most certainly bless you; and I will most certainly increase your descendants to as many as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the cities of their enemies, and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed — because you obeyed my order.” (Genesis 22:15-18)

God later confirmed that covenant to Avraham’s son Yitzchak …

“But my covenant I establish with Yitzchak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time in the next year.” (Gen. 17:21)

A famine came over the land, not the same as the first famine, which had taken place when Avraham was alive. Yitz'chak went to G'rar, to Avimelekh king of the P'lishtim. ADONAI appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down into Egypt, but live where I tell you. Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, because I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants. I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Avraham your father — I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, I will give all these lands to your descendants, and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will bless themselves. All this is because Avraham heeded what I said and did what I told him to do - he followed my mitzvot, my regulations and my teachings." (Gen 26:1-5)

… and to his grandson Ya`akov, whom God later named Yisrael (Gen. 32:28).

Ya'akov went out from Be'er-Sheva and traveled toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed the night there, because the sun had set. He took a stone from the place, put it under his head and lay down there to sleep. He dreamt that there before him was a ladder resting on the ground with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of ADONAI were going up and down on it. Then suddenly ADONAI was standing there next to him; and he said, “I am ADONAI, the God of Avraham your [grand]father and the God of Yitz'chak. The land on which you are lying I will give to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the grains of dust on the earth. You will expand to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. By you and your descendants all the families of the earth will be blessed. Look, I am with you. I will guard you wherever you go, and I will bring you back into this land, because I won't leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:10-15)

After Ya'akov arrived from Paddan-Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Ya'akov, but you will be called Ya'akov no longer; your name will be Isra'el.” Thus he named him Isra'el. God further said to him, “I am El Shaddai.[2] Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed a group of nations, will come from you; kings will be descended from you. Moreover, the land which I gave to Avraham and Yitz'chak I will give to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.” (Genesis 35:9-12)

God later made specific provisions that Gentiles could also participate in these covenants, but only by becoming part of the holy community of Israel, that is, a full citizen in good standing of the Commonwealth of Israel.

If a foreigner stays with you in your land, do not do him wrong. Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you[3] - you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am ADONAI your God. Don’t be dishonest when measuring length, weight or capacity. Rather, use an honest balance-scale, honest weights, an honest bushel dry-measure and an honest gallon liquid-measure; I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Observe all my regulations and rulings, and do them; I am ADONAI. (Leviticus 19:33-37)

ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, “This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb: no foreigner is to eat it. But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it. Neither a traveler nor a hired servant may eat it. It is to be eaten in one house. You are not to take any of the meat outside the house, and you are not to break any of its bones. The whole community of Isra'el is to keep it. If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe ADONAI’s Pesach, all his males must be circumcised.[4] Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land. But no uncircumcised person is to eat it. The same teaching is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you.” (Exodus 12:43-49)

Until several years after the Ruach HaKodesh came at Pentecost, the only way for a Gentile to enter into fellowship with the Messianic Community was to be circumcised and “convert” to Judaism. Apparently some “converts” felt that since they had been required to be circumcised, then all gentiles should be required to receive circumcision as well. Very probably some Messianic Believers who were Pharisees felt that the Gentiles should also be required to obey not just the written Torah, but the Oral Tradition as well. However, the Shliachim [Apostles] (who were all Messianic Jewish Rabbis) deliberated the issue and came to the conclusion (through the guidance of Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit]) that since the act of circumcision did not play a role in the salvation process (as evidenced by the fact that Ruach HaKodesh had already indwelt hundreds of uncircumcised Gentiles), it would no longer be a required part of the “conversion” process. They also ruled that it would be too great a “culture shock” for a new convert from paganism to Messianic Judaism to be required to immediately fully Torah-observant to be accepted into the holy community.

They therefore arrived at an acceptable compromise position. If the newly-converted pagans would refrain from those activities that the Jews considered particularly reprehensible (abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality), there could be immediate fellowship while the Gentiles gradually were taught to walk Biblical halakah (according to the teachings of Moses as recorded in the Tanakh [the Hebrew Bible], not according to the oral traditions) as they participated in synagogue life and learned how to live a fully Torah-observant Jewish lifestyle (Acts 15:1-29, with particular attention to v.21).

This continued to be the pattern for the Messianic Community until approximately 311 CE when Emperor Constantine decided to make “Christianity” the official religion of the Roman Empire, forcibly uniting “church” and state. Everybody who was then born into the empire was also born into the “church.” Retaining his title of Pontifex Maximus as head of the Babylonian Mystery Religion in Rome, he also claimed the right to be the “head” of the “church.”

Because everyone born in the Empire was also born into the “church,” Gentiles soon became the “ethnic majority” in the “church.” In 325 Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, which none of the Jewish bishops were invited to attend, at which the “church’s” new “official position” on the “church’s” relationship to the Jews was published over Constantine’s signature:

“We ought not therefore to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Savior has shown us another way. And consequently in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Savior, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence as their delusion may urge them? It would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people as the Jews. It is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord.” [The Nicaean and Post-Nicaean Fathers, p. 54]

The “adopted” children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya`akov had effectively stolen the birthright of the natural-born children, and had now driven the natural-born children out of the Messianic Community. It was the Council of Nicaea which took their birthright from Israel and gave it to the Gentile “church.” In 325 CE the “church replaced Israel in God’s plan” — but God had nothing whatsoever to do with it!

Replacement theology is particularly detestable to Jews because it is the theology that many government and religious leaders have used for over 1,700 years to excuse their attempts to exterminate the “Jewish vermin” from the earth. It is the excuse for every atrocity that has been committed against the Jewish people from the Inquisition to Hitler’s “final solution.” It says that God, Who hates divorce, has divorced His bride and married another. (Isaiah 49:18; Isaiah 61:10; Isaiah 62:5; Psalm 60:5; Psalm 108:6; Psalm 127:2; the entire book of Hosea)

The large portion of “the Church” that either supports or actively promotes the concept of Replacement Theology needs to stop and consider that if God can arbitrarily cancel His covenants with Israel, He can just as easily cancel any “covenants” or “promises” that He might have made with “the Church” [though a careful study of the Scriptures will reveal that He has never made a covenant with anything called “the Church”], and “the Church” would therefore have absolutely no assurance of salvation.

To Appendix H


 1. Whenever the phrase “the Angel of ADONAI” appears in Scripture with the definite article the, it is never referring to a created angelic being, but rather always refers to HaShem Himself. [RETURN]

 2. Ed Shadai: The Almighty [RETURN]

 3. That is, the foreigner (gentile) living within and identifying with the Commonwealth of Israel is expected to conduct himself and be treated exactly as the native-born Commonwealth citizens. [RETURN]

 4. At the direction of Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), the Jerusalem Council removed the requirement for gentiles to be circumcised to become citizens of the Commonwealth. See Acts 15:13-21. [RETURN]

Reformatted with some revisions and additional footnotes on 07 November 2019.

Page last updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2022 12:55 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)