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EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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THE REPLACEMENT PRINCIPLE

By Steve Van Nattan

Exposing problems and danger without
empowering the hearer is ungodly.

 

 



 

What this article is NOT.....

This article is not about "Replacement Theology." That is a discussion of the Old and New Covenant. The promoters of this teaching claim that Jesus brought the New Covenant to replace the Old, the Church replaces Israel, and the Jews have nothing to look forward to from God. God threw the Jews away. All the prophecies in the Old Testament which have not been fulfilled for Israel will be fulfilled for the Church.

On the contrary: A faithful Bible believer KNOWS that Jesus will come back to set up his Kingdom on earth, and he will rule from Jerusalem, and Israel will be restored, on Christ's terms, as a physical nation with Christ as their Messiah. And, God does not need the permission of a Reformed theologian to keep his promises to Israel and Abraham.

What we want to talk about in the following article is the fact, not the possibility, that when God takes something away from his children, he replaces it with something better.

Becoming a Christian will not take all the burdens away at once. But, when you live the life of Christ, the burdens become challenges to move on to victory and prosper in your mind and spirit. And, God gives you new power, and new resources, to be more than conquerors in Christ.

This truth should totally change how we raise our kids, how pastors lead churches, and how we treat people around us on a day to day basis. This is the Replacement Theology of a loving God with his children.

 

Lesson One- NEVER BELIEVE A MESSAGE, PREDICTION, OR PROPHECY THAT DOES NOT EMPOWER YOU

Psalms 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

The revelator, King David, tells us how God jerked him out of the Slough of Despond and set his feet on a rock. Even better, God went beyond taking care of his feet, his standing, and he put a new song in David's mouth. Our God is the God who does not only save souls..... he also gives us a new song. Jesus said this another way:

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The new birth is not merely insurance against damnation and eternity in Hell. The life Christ gives us is a combination of destruction and replacement. The old nature is put to death, and the new life is abundant. This is what I mean by the Replacement Principle. Any born again parent or pastor or employer who is truly born again has NO excuse for ignoring the Replacement Principle with his kids, church members, or employees. When you take a bad thing out of the experience of those God has given you, do you replace it with something better and rewarding? If not, you are a not like Christ.

In about 1979 I asked my kids to consider putting the TV away for six weeks to see how life might be different without it. My wife at once started reading to the kids every evening. I also started playing on the floor with my kids almost every evening. This went on for six weeks, and at the end of that time, I asked my kids if they wanted the TV back.

I must make clear that we previously had closely controlled TV watching, and my wife of I were watching with the kids in order to change channels if grubby programs came on. What we watched could easily have been said to be largely educational, and the kids often learned new things. In spite of this supervision, the kids said they loved listening to Mom read to them, and they said they did not want the TV back. This was in spite of the one thing they loved about TV. When a commercial came on, I would do a running commentary on the product that was dripping with sarcasm and satire. The kids would come tumbling down the stairs to hear me lampoon any commercial that came on. Their favorite was the Oscar Meyer Weiner commercial. The line went, "At Oscar Meyer we use the best cuts of meat." My comment was, "Right, the nose, the tail, the ears, and the utter..... anything that hangs off the outside of the animal."

The one thing that my son Mike got from the TV was the day we hauled the thing to the municipal dump to toss it away. I told Mike we would see an implosion, which is very hard to do in everyday life. The reason is that the old TVs long ago had a huge vacuum tube to project the image on the screen. Mike threw a rock at the TV screen, and the rock bounced off. He tried again, throwing it harder, and the rock broke the screen. A puff of visible vapor burst out the hole and was instantly sucked back inside the tube. An implosion! One last science lesson from TV.

My wife kept on reading to the kids, and I went to the library and checked out documentary 16 millimeter movies usually used in public schools, and I used the church movie projector to show them to the family. In the video days I rented or bought old comedy films from the silent movie era. This went on for years until we entered the computer era in the 1990s. We allowed some comic movies sometimes, like Harold Lloyd, so the kids got to see some movies from the era when Hollywood controlled itself a lot better. Harold Lloyd in The Freshman.

God took Israel out of Egypt. The Jews soon forgot how horribly the Egyptians treated them and whined that they missed leeks and garlics of Egypt. God had replaced the leeks and garlics of Egypt and had given them manna-- angels' food. He also gave them quail to eat with the manna.

Psalms 78:19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
21 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;
22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:
23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,
24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.
26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.
27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:

They had quail, which is usually considered a luxury like lobster in the Middle East. But they whined at the replacement of God. Be very careful about whining at God for his replacements in your life. You may be prevented by God from crossing Jordan into the Promised Land of Christian victory.

For the record, crossing Jordan and going into Canaan is not a picture of going to Heaven. It is a picture of escaping from the bondage of Egypt and entering the land of Promise, or, leaving the bondage of the sinful world and the old life and entering into Christian victory. Remember that the next time you hear a Christian song that makes crossing Jordan all about going to Heaven. Canaan, to Israel, was a replacement for Egypt and the slavery they suffered there.

HERE ARE THE PALERMO BROTHERS (Edee and Jeanne) GETTING IT STRAIGHT FOR YOU

 

Joshua 20:1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,
2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.
5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.
6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

Pastor, is your local church a city or refuge for the believers? There are Black churches in the inner cities of America that are open 24/7 for the believers. This is because these cities are so treacherous and filled with evil and sin. Every local church must be a place of retreat where the believers can escape from the social set and amusements of the world.

In a church I pastored in the California desert we converted a social hall into a real living room. On Friday night people would come and play games, talk, catch up on the news, and generally let their hair down in a setting where the salt of the earth was dominating. We had people from the community come just to escape and have relief from some wicked setting they had to endure. We welcomed them.

I do not do a lot of hammering on you the reader about being faithful at church attendance. A true Bible believer should have an instinct to be with other saints regularly. But, I will talk about this now. If you are troubled during the work week with fellow employees who are wicked and filthy mouthed, and if you are struggling with family members who are rebels against the Gospel and even mock at your faith, are you then finding the refuge of the local church and the people of God? If not, it is no wonder you find your Christian life riddled with loser moments. Do you have a brother or sister in Christ who would meet for coffee with you at some cafe? So, why don't you call them, and meet them for a visit and charge your spiritual batteries?

You see, Christ knew that his people would need the place of refuge as a replacement for the old life of the world with all its darkness. Like the city of refuge in the book of Joshua, God has given you the Church as your refuge. This Church is also referred to in the Bible as "the Body of Christ." So, when you are with the saints as they gather here or there, you are as close to Christ as you can get.

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

 

My wife and I were missionaries in Ethiopia in the 1970s. I had grown up on the missionfield in Kenya and Tanzania, so I had somewhat of an advantage as a new missionary in that I had seen many of the struggles and problems of missionary life as a kid. After a few months in the country I saw that a problem existed in the mission in some area of the work. I do not even remember what it was now, but I went to the Field Director, John Cumbers, and I spilled my story of concern over the problem.

John Cumbers listened well, and after I was done speaking, he said, "You are right. That is a serious problem and needs to be dealt with. Have you got any suggestions what I should do about it?" That hit me like a load of bricks. It did not occur to me that my job was to come up with a solution to the problem. I thought that was what leaders did during the day to kill time..... fix problems. John was very patient with me, and he asked me to take some time to consider what the solution might be the next time I brought him a problem.

I learned an important lesson that day. John did not get upset with me, but he did show me how to be a more useful member of the team, and I have never forgotten that lesson. When you go to your pastor, teacher, or your boss at work, and you unload your opinion of some problem of failure in the system, STOP, stand still, and consider what you are doing. Are you helping the leader lead his way out of something that is really a bad situation? If not, you are doing him no good...... just giving him another problem to mull over as he tries to go to sleep tonight. Leaders are not empowered with genius by divine right or because they have some special mental ability to fix things. Leaders need followers who empower the leader and can suggest changes that work. This is a classic case of the principle of replacement.

 

 

Lesson Two- YOU ARE NOT YOUR CONDITION

So, what is the condition of the born again believer?

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

God tells you that you are not your condition as a sinner who is still becoming like Jesus. You will never be sinlessly perfect, but God WANTS you to consider yourself victorious. Every step forward puts the ghosts of the past farther and farther behind you. The choice is yours to leave them behind under the Blood of Jesus, or you can dig them up over and over and linger in defeat.

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Just walk in the direction of progress where you are in Christ. Do NOT go back and have an autopsy on the old man you once were. Confess sin as quickly as God shows it to you, and get back to the mindset of victory. EXPECT to have victory. Where is the mind of the mature Bible believer?

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Whatever your condition WAS, do not let it come home and mess with your mind.

And, if you are physically handicapped, do not let that define you.

Will Pardee jumped into the Muskegon River one day into his old swimming hole. But, the hole had silted in, and he hit bottom head first and came away paralyzed from the neck down. After getting home from the hospital, and ending up in a wheel chair, Will was depressed and at loose ends. His handicap was defining him. His good wife decided Will needed to do something, and she got him a drawing board and put a pencil in his mouth. The end of the story was that Will left his handicap behind as a definition of who he was. He did not try to sell his drawings through some agency for handicapped people. Will and his wife went to art shows in parks around western Michigan, and his art came into demand for its own sake, and Will was well known and defined by people by his artistic skills.

What defines YOU? Is something ugly defining you? Ask God for a replacement.

 

Lesson Three- ARE YOU LIVING IN A PRISON OF YOUR MIND?

The world's definition of salvation, being when you learn to love yourself, is not the Bible believer's definition, but being free from the prison of a sinful mind IS a worthy objective of a Christian. Jesus said he came to free people:

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Truth frees people from prison of self-condemnation. Being forgiven by Christ of sin and death opens the windows of Heaven, and it also opens the mind to unlimited possibilities. Most people these days are prisoners of technology, their own limitations, and they are too whipped to find their way home. Home is Jesus, and only in him will you escape the prison of YOUR mind.

The Christian mind is at war with Satan and the rest of humanity. Do you only have a Christian mind when you are sitting in the pew Sunday morning? The rest of the week do you act and talk just like the Atheists all around you? If this is you, you are a prisoner of a sick mind. The only way to have the mind of Christ is to find out what Christ wants you to accomplish, suffer, and change, and then do it.

Here is a healthy mind according to the Word of God:

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

Lesson Four- DO YOU USE THE REPLACEMENT PRINCIPLE
WITH PEOPLE YOU CARE FOR?

Fathers-

You outlaw rock music in your home played by your kids. They now have to give up their passion for a big chunk of their youthful culture. To convince them you need to deprive them of rock music, you take them to hear a talk by some godly expert on music who exposes the Satanic and mind warping aspect of rock music.

Your kid finally realizes you are right, and he unloads all his DVDs of rock, and he cleanses his life of he stuff. You are overjoyed with the results.

Now, let me ask you a question, Dad. What did you give him that was an upgrade from rock music to something acceptable, a new song?

Let us review the theme text for this article:

Psalms 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

God took David out of he mud and set his feet on the rock. But, God did not stop there. He also put a new song in David's mouth. We do not know what the old song was because David did not want to talk about it. Was it the Philistine version of rock or country music or rap? Whatever it was, David sure liked the new music better.

So, what are the upgrades for rock music? I will make a few suggestions, and you take it from there. You will need to visit the following links to see what I have found.

CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY SINGING "GOD"

FELIX HELL FROM GERMANY INTRODUCES THE PIPE ORDER.
When he plays, crank up the volume until that kid of yours ribs rattle. If this works, you MUST take the kid to a live pipe organ concert, and please make sure it is a Bach concert. Research proves that Bach turns on men for some reason.

MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLAN..El Cascabel. (Little Bells)
Again, if your kid takes a liking to this, fined a Maricachi concert to take him to.

THE BIG SING AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

THE RUSSIAN ARMY CHOIR SINGING KALINKA

ANDY STEWART SINGING THE SONG HE COMPOSED

POWER IN THE BLOOD BY THE SONS OF THE SAN JUAQUIN

AUTHENTIC AND CLEAN COWBOY MUSIC

When I was in my teens, while living in the USA on furlough from the mission work in Africa, my Dad had made it very clear that he had no tolerance for popular music. It gave him flash backs to his own days before he was born again as a young man. So, I needed something to replace popular music. I hit on polka music. It was lively but did not have the vulgarity. Dad did not have any particular love for polka music, but he decided to let me listen to it as a replacement. This worked pretty well, especially when we found out that Mennonites in Minnesota loved polka music from the old country, Germany. Polkas by Myron Floren

Another replacement possibility when a teen ager lets you pluck him out of the mud is to start a diversion that he can make into a hobby that will last for life. Examples are fishing, golf, and auto mechanics. But, YOU Dad, must lead the way so that you bond closer through the transition from mud to beach sand or end wrenches. There is nothing more relaxing and distracting than pier fishing at high tide at night. And, the skills that can be learned keep coming and coming as you meet more experienced old timers who are there.

 

Church Leaders-

The most grievous failure in regard to replacement is with some of you pastors. You teach that God lifts the sinner from the miry clay and sets his feet upon a rock, but you fail to emphasize the new song. I will give you an example of this from real life.

Back during the 1970s pastors all over America were very troubled, to the point of ranting and raving, over two things in church women..... pant suits and high hem lines. All sorts of subtle comments were made in sermons in the hope that the women would catch on and lower their skirt line, while the women in pant suits were targeted for the sin of women wearing men's attire. Fundamental Baptists were not so subtle. These preachers raved right out and attacked women viciously for any violations perceived.

Christian colleges and Bible institutes had the same problem. Rules were made, with specific methods for determining what was offensive, and enforcement often became vicious. I saw this at Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music where I was Dean of Men and teaching. The problem is, the enforcement techniques we set in place totally failed because the men teachers did not want to hand out a green card or red card because that implied they were looking at the girls' legs. One teacher in a Christian college made a rule that any girls sitting in the front row of his classes had to bring a lap rug.

The problem with this whole mess was that pant suits, which were cursed as manish, were the replacement solution. The pant suit was NOT manish. It was very feminine, and any man wearing a pant suit in the 1970s was a queer, and there were a few around. But, the pant suit was condemned because it had pant legs. You never heard a preacher admit that women all around the world had worn garments with pant legs and were considered feminine, especially in India and the Middle East, and this was going on clear back in the day of the Old Testament. The law quoted was:

Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

If you find a culture where a woman wears a garment with a pant leg, look at the men, and you will never see them wearing the same garment as the women. THAT is the point. And, the pant suits of the 70s were not manish.

Back to the subject at hand. Pastors, when you take something away from your people, you need to stop, face yourself, and ask a couple of questions?

1. Are you making a new church law that cannot be LITERALLY proven necessary by the Bible. Stay in context, sir. Do not grab an obscure text and twist it to your own devices like the Jehovah's Witnesses do. Are you just making this law to keep up with some other famous preacher in a huge church in Chattanooga or Bob Jones University?

2. Can you enforce the law and keep your sanctification? In other words, are you going to have to be a brutish cuss in order to enforce the law? The risk of making laws and standards for other people is that you will get ahead of God, and those people will end up living in torment instead of victory.

3. Will your people adopt the new law and think they became holy by keeping the law instead of living by faith? "Be here every time the doors are open." That is NOT taught in the Bible. Furthermore, thousands of Fundamental Christians believe that obeying that law makes them real Christians, and they judge anyone who breaks your law as unsaved. I am talking about what I have seen and heard from some of your members. Works salvation is the risk you run when you hand the saints a law code instead of teaching them to examine themselves and let the Holy Ghost apply the Word. Do you even trust the Holy Ghost to apply the sermons you preach? I determined to do this in the first church I pastored. Four churches and 45 years later I can say that I have seen many many times when church members made huge life changing decisions all on their own with the Holy Spirit using the sermons he gave me. I taught, and then I got out of the way. It takes faith, sir, but you will NEVER see permanent results in lives until you learn that.

4. Finally, if you are taking away something in the saints' lives, what are you replacing it with? Oh, you will tell me that they should be satisfied to just sbumit to their pastor and please him. Bah. You lazy lush. God put a new song in David's heart, and he gave you blessings after you confessed faith in Jesus Christ. YOU, sir, need to do some hard thinking, and come up with a replacement when you take things away from the saints.

Example: You teach against the use of alcoholic beverages, right? So, what about something fun and satisfying in replacement of booze? Take some saint who has had a battle with booze out for coffee, but not to an ordinary restaurant. Go to a coffee specialty shop, and order Yergachafe coffee from Ethiopia, or Kenya AA coffee. Splurge, and order Blue Mountain from Jamaica. Show your brother what really good coffee tastes like. Later, buy some green unroasted coffee beans online, and learn to roast them yourself. Then, once you have mastered it, invite your brother over to join the fun and roast some coffee. Too much trouble? You, sir, are worthless as tits on a boar hog.

Here is my online tutorial on coffee.

I had a young man in the church I pastored in California who was struggling to escape from booze. He would jump on his motorcycle Saturday night, ride to a bar, drink himself drunk in fast order, and ride the motorcycle home. Sunday morning he was in church, and he looked totally whipped. His mother had a long face also. I knew what had happened. Monday morning he would be at my kitchen table moaning and groaning and confessing sin. I finally told him that when he was tempted on Saturday night, call me, and we would go shoot pool at the KOA Camp Ground nearby. There was no booze there. He did that, and it worked. It made my Saturday night very late because I was also finishing up my sermon then, but it was worth the pain to see the young man get victory.

You see, I had to give of myself and my time to give that man victory and a replacement. Preacher, if you do not want to be inconvenienced and be part of the replacement, stop making your stupid laws for the saints. Jesus didn't have to help Peter catch a boat load of fish that morning by the lake. But, Jesus wanted to add some value to the life of Peter for following Jesus so faithfully.

 

Christian Employers-

You have a fine business, and you follow biblical principles of honesty and fairness with your customers. Is it a service, or is it a brick and mortar on the street. Maybe you have a technology operation. Well, if you have done well, you have a work force, large or small, which functions like clock work, and all your operations are manned by contented people who are competent and conscientious. The question is, what have those employees received back from YOU for the sacrifices they make? You pay them. So what? So does the Mafia and the Medellin.

Every time you hire a new employee, he comes with his own notions and experiences, and some of his ideas and skills do not work or fit well with your company. So, you help him, with Christian patience, to learn your way of doing things. He wants to keep the job, so he makes the changes, and all is well. What did you give him to replace his zeal for his own way of doing things?

I am not going to try to dream up any examples of this for you. I wish I could, but I am not running your company. It is up to you to stop, face yourself, and do some hard thinking about how you have dealt with your people. If God gave you a new song, like he did David, how about finding ways to make your employees feel like their job is a new song? It will not take long for you to think of ways to add something to their work day, or their life culture, that feels like a new song, but you have to WANT to do this, and do it on purpose.

 

Bible Teachers in Christian Collages and Bible Institutes

Do I have to explain this to you? You are a teacher. You could have written this article better than I have. Get alone, and ask yourself who you have helped and been used to lift out of the mud who is not singing a new song. What could you do to replace the things they gave up or changed because you taught them? It is not about you, friend, it is about Jesus Christ. The blessing of seeing someone make serious changes in their life, to the glory of God, is not the end of you responsibility. So, finish your good work that you started please, to the glory of God.

 

PARTING SHOT

God has lifted us out of the miry clay and set us on the rock. He has put a new song in our mouth, even praise to God. Someone in your life needs more than that lift out or the mud. They need a new song. Your kid, your spouse, your friend in the Church family, or someone who has benefited from knowing and living with you. See if you can add that song now, and make a happy camper sing.

Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

 

 

SEND MAIL What is your situation? Can I help?

 

 

LINK

HERE IS A GOOD SHORT MESSAGE ON THE PRINCIPLE OF REPLACEMENT
Disclaimer the Bible translation used. Check the King James Bible for each Bible text to get the meaning correct.

 

 

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