I believe in a replacement theology of sorts, or rather an addition theology.:
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
The Nation of Israel today only has half of the recipe, and those of you who spend your days trying to convince us not to keep God's 4th commandment only have the other half.
Much fuss has been made in our Jewish evangelism circles regarding "replacement" theology, the idea that the church has "replaced" the Jewish people in the plan of God. Some have even accused all who think New Covenant believers are "Spiritual Israel" as being guilty of this "replacement theology", that is, of replacing the Jewish people with the church. Charges have been made that this idea of "Spiritual Israel" leads to anti-semitism.Klett expresses a reasonable version of Reformed Israelology. I can agree with most of what he has written on the subject.
Ironically my first exposure to the idea of all believers being spiritually Israel came about through involvement in "Messianic Judaism"! Way back in 1975 I attended a seminar by Manny Brotman, president of the "Messianic Jewish Movement International" on "How to Share the Messiah". In the seminar notes I read: "When a Gentile asks the Messiah into his heart and life, he is accepting the Jewish Messiah, the Jewish Bible, and the Jewish blood of atonement and could be considered a proselyte to biblical Judaism and a child of Abraham by faith!" Isn't this essentially a statement of the "Spiritual Israel" idea?
NOT REPLACEMENT...EXPANSION! by Rev. Fred Klett
So we seem to be agreeing to a certain point. Obviously where we differ is the extent to which the practices of old Israel may legitimately be brought into the new Israel.
While some folks here have tried to deny there is a distinction in the Bible between moral and ceremonial law, I think this is very much a minority position. Most new covenant believers recognize this distinction. So it it not hard, for example, to recognize things like bestiality, incest, and homosexuality as all being sin simply because they are issue of the moral law, not the ceremonial. No need for them to be explicitly reiterated in the NT (although homosexuality and incest certainly are) because they are part of the eternal moral law of God, binding on all men in all ages.
Again, where we differ is on this nagging matter of the ceremonial laws and how they may or may not apply to the church as parts of religious worship.
Let me make it clear that we are not speaking about Jewish followers of Christ retaining their cultural heritage and family customs. No one is opposed to that, any more than we would oppose Italians who come to Christ continuing to enjoy uniquely Italian customs. As long as they are not forbidden in the Word of God, we are permitted as individuals to enjoy those customs and traditions. If you want to blow a horn on the new moon, go right ahead.
The problem comes when some folks try to introduce these Jewish customs and traditions into the church as normative ways of worshipping God. Then things get sticky. It must legitimately be asked, where has God called for this sort of culturally limited worship patterns in the universal church of God? Why are we not to take, for example, the book of Hebrews as teaching these patterns as being part of the old covenant that was declared "decayed and passing away"?
Some folks are insisting that the biblical pattern is for the church to observe new moons and feast days, just without the sacrifices and levitical trappings. I assume that is the reason for quoting Revelation, "who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus."
In my estimation, and in my reading of the church fathers, the difficulty here is in further subdividing the ceremonial law into another two categories; those non-moral laws which expired in Jesus' day and those which did not.
Do the commandments of God which you are to keep (according to Revelation) include sacrificing animals or being careful about the way you shave or about the sort of material you have in your clothing? If not, why not? You can brush off my list of questions, but you have yet to paint a bright line for stating clearly what goes and what stays. You may think you know that in your head, but until you can articulate it from Scripture it merely remains a tradition of men. As I said earlier no one is obligated to keep your traditions.
I personally have yet to see a good argument from Scripture for this further subdivision of the ceremonial law. I would be more than happy to rearrange my views based on sound reasoning from the Bible. Right now the overall language of Galatians and Hebrews leads me to believe that all the ceremonial law was expired in the transition from old covenant to new covenant.