I committed my life to the Lord as a 29-year-old teacher in September 1986. I was immediately thrown in the deep end by my headmaster and was required to teach Bible Education to the students at the start of 1987. The assignment was difficult as I would be teaching students who came from strong Christian families and were well-grounded in scripture. I committed my teaching to the Lord, and was open to what the Lord brought my way. In my preparations, I received substantial material from different sources on pre-millennial end-times theology, so I included that in my Bible Education classes. I was extremely surprised to find a number of the committed Christians in the classes knew nothing about end-times prophecies and the return of Jesus to establish His Kingdom. They were perplexed as to how their teacher, a baby Christian, could be teaching a topic they knew nothing about! Time and experience have revealed to me the answer to that question – the cause of the large gap in the understanding of scripture by my students, was due to a major division in the Church.
So, what is the division? This is best explained by my experiences in Israel. The Lord has blessed me with three trips to Israel, the first a standard 10-day tour, the second a month sabbatical, touring the country and absorbing as much scriptural knowledge as possible. The third was in 2011, through the Lord’s urging I moved to live in Israel, arriving in Jerusalem a month before the autumn feasts. This meant I was able to take part in the Feast of Tabernacle conference, which celebrates the bond Christianity has with the nation of Israel through our Jewish Messiah. The final day is a walk-through of Jerusalem, with people carrying banners and flags from all over the world, showing their love and support for Israel. The Jews line the streets and cheer as the procession passes, overjoyed to see enthusiastic worldwide support for their much vilified and maligned nation.
The Feast of Tabernacles conference confirmed my belief in the great importance of the Church to support Israel. You can then imagine my surprise when in March of 2012, I heard of the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference. This conference was in support of the Palestinians and was held at a hotel in Bethlehem that was close to the Israeli checkpoint into the Palestinian held area. It was there that Churches met from all over the world to support the Palestinians and degrade Israel as an apartheid nation that oppressed the Palestinians.
This new revelation was extremely puzzling to me, how could the Church be so divided on this issue? Over time the Lord revealed the answer to me, it is a doctrine called replacement theology, which came into being because of a rise in anti-Semitism in the early Church at the time of Emperor Constantine. The doctrine holds that God has rejected Israel and replaced the Jews in His plan for mankind. The Church is incorrectly believed to be the new Israel. The term Supersessionism is often used as the proponents teach that the Church has superseded Israel. Those who hold to replacement theology believe that all the promises made by God to the Jews now belong to the Church. This rejection of the Jews has provided ethical problems within the Church throughout history, becoming the seed for all forms of anti-Semitism. Which explains why church leaders could meet in Palestinian controlled Bethlehem and support a cause which seeks the annihilation of the nation of Israel.
Because replacement theology holds that the Church is the new Israel, the proponents reject pre-millennialism, the belief that Jesus is going to fulfill the covenant promise that God made to Israel and establish a millennial kingdom, ruling over Israel from the throne of David in Jerusalem. They instead believe that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual and not earthly in nature, that the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of mankind is building the kingdom, and will continue till Jesus returns to establish the new Heaven and the new Earth. Replacement theology has over time spawned a variety of eschatological (end times) beliefs, such as Post-millennialism, Preterism, Historicism, and Idealism. A consequence of the large number of eschatological theories is that they cause controversy in churches with believers holding to different theories. The result is that many evangelical churches will not teach end times prophecy because of the arguments the different end times theories cause – end times prophecy is therefore seen as divisive. Satan, through an anti-Semitic doctrine, has effectively silenced prophecy in the majority of churches, which means 28% of scripture is ignored. Evangelical churches focus on salvation, the full Gospel message is neglected. Scripture is clear that true discipleship includes an understanding of the conclusion of the Gospel message, which includes the rapture, the Tribulation, and the return of Jesus to establish His Kingdom. To be an eternally minded servant of God, the believer must be looking to the Kingdom’s rewards. A believer who understands end times prophecy is more likely to be eternally minded, understanding that this life is temporal, and as a consequence have a selfless devotion to the Lord, which brings eternal rewards.
The reason why several Christians in my Bible Education classes back in 1987, new nothing of biblical end times prophecy, was because of the direct, or indirect influence of replacement theology on their churches. This needs correction, and the Lord had a plan for my life in this regard. Back In 2011, after the Christ at the CheckPoint seminar, the Lord led me to write a book called the Tapestry of Israel. The foundation of the book was based on an assignment I did for my theological studies, on God’s fingerprint in history. The Tapestry of Israel explores several trends or “threads,” that make up the history of this ancient nation. The threads give important evidence of God’s hand on the nation, and that He has a plan and purpose for Israel’s future.
For the last nine years, through the Lord’s guidance, I have continued to experience first hand the state of the Church today, and I have become convinced that the Lord Jesus is not going to return for a Church that is so badly contaminated by man’s wisdom. The Lord is going to draw a line in the sand and define His true Church, much like Obadiah’s warning to the Edomites (Obadiah 11), churches are going to be held accountable for the choices they make. Because so many churches are directly or indirectly influenced by replacement theology, doors are closed to the extremely important message of sound scriptural based end times prophecy. Because of the need for believers to be exposed to this important knowledge, I have been motivated to start the website “Sound the Warning.” The site will consist of several presentations on important information that has been either forgotten, neglected, or ignored by the majority of churches. “Sound the Warning” is a source of information for eternally minded believers, who are wanting to be aware of the deceptions of the enemy and who are seeking a closer relationship with their Messiah, Yeshua.
~ Neil Taylor