The Council of Nicaea was convened in 325 AD by the Emperor Constantine. We have already discussed the fact that Constantine was Pontifex Maximus of the pagan religions of Rome but he feared that all the controversies going on in the Church was going to tear his empire apart. So, he made an alliance between church and state and called for Christian bishops to get together and once and for all settle these issues. By the time this council got together, anti-Semitism was rampant and not one bishop who attended was Jewish. Whether they were not invited or they chose not to attend is still unclear. Passover was still celebrated by some Gentile Christians, but by this time the majority of the people wanted to have “their” Passover at a different time than the Jewish Passover. At the Council, the bishops decided to move the Passover to the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover. After this, the name was changed form the very distasteful and Jewish Passover to Easter, named after a pagan goddess. This was easily accepted by a church that was increasingly pagan. They also ruled that Sunday, the day of the invincible sun of Mithraism, was now the Christian day of worship, replacing the biblical Sabbath. These and other ecclesiastical rulings were backed up by Constantine and the state and military power could be used if need be. Only churches who had worldly wealth sent representatives to the council, poor churches were not represented. Some bishops were overwhelmed by the majesty of the court of Constantine and went so far as to say the Constantine was “an angel” and “a sacred being” and would rule in Heaven with the Son of God. This council laid the groundwork for the anti-Semitic rulings that would come in later councils which said that a Christian was forbidden to celebrate Passover with the Jews and that Christians were forbidden to keep the Sabbath. The Council of Nicaea fixed the dates of their holy days according to their pagan calendar, not the Jewish calendar. There were many other things that they did and if you want to know more look up the Council of Nicaea and do a study. The point is, this council brought forth Replacement Theology and believed that God had rejected the Jews and the promises God made to the Jews now belonged to the Christian church. Constantine merges elements of sun worship, Mithraism, Gentile Christianity, Saturnalia, Dionysus and Bacchus cults, emperor worship and all the other pagan gods and mystery religions into a state sanctioned religion. Anyone coming out of these false religions would now feel right at home in Christianity. This was the expedient thing to do in order to consolidate his empire. He has been heralded as a Christian, but he murdered his son, wife, nephew and his father within years of this council and didn’t even accept Christianity until right before he died. The hostile attitude he had with his own family can readily be seen in his hostile attitude toward anyone who did not see things his way, especially the Jews. This council tried to wipe out the last remaining traces of Judaism and Torah observance in the new church. This idea was picked on by later councils. In conclusion, after all that Solomon had experienced, he said in Ecc 12.13-14 that a person needs to fear God and keep his commandments because this applies to every person. God was going to bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. In John 21.22 Peter was told not to worry about what others were doing, Peter’s calling was to follow the Lord, and so is ours. We can’t change Replacement Theology, but we can stand against it and raise our voice. Rather than be warriors against all this, we need to follow the commandments and follow Yeshua (1 Cor 11.1-2). Lead your families and the biggest thing you can do is learn the Scriptures for yourself and walk in what you learn. People are going to come against you and criticize you and try to get you to doubt what you have learned, but don’t let that get to you. That is why you should know the Scriptures for yourself and part of that is to find yourself a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Test them to make sure and do your own research. Salvation is understood as having two aspects. National salvation is when we are delivered from our enemies as far as a nation goes. Personal salvation is by faith (emunah) based on Da’at (knowledge) of the Scriptures. Faith without mitzvoth (commands of God) is dead. The Torah is the only place to find the mitzvoth and the mitzvoth are unchangeable. In other words, you can’t change the Sabbath to another day. There are mitzvoth that no longer apply or don’t apply to you at all (you may not be woman, a priest or you don’t live in the land-1 Cor 7.17-19). Anyone who is of the Faith is to be Torah observant, but righteousness is by faith, not in works of the Torah. Torah is a guide to how the righteous are to think, act and walk. Anything that gets away from that is Replacement Theology. We have the same capabilities to repeat the same errors we have talked about, nobody is above that. That’s why he gave the Torah. It is a standard, a guide for everyone. If the Church Fathers followed the Torah, none of this would have ever happened. Being Torah observant does not diminish faith, it establishes it. From this study, you know where to start and what to work on. We started this study by saying the religion of the False Messiah will be Christian Replacement Theology. How else could the elect even come close to being deceived. Believers are not going to accept Islam or any other religion. But this guy will come and claim to be “Jesus” and will enter Jerusalem and the Temple. The Abomination of Desolation will be set up, which we believe is a crucifix and the false prophet will be proclaiming him as the Messiah. We also believe this False Prophet will be a pope, or at least a high ranking member of the apostate church. Remember, the False Messiah will come out of Europe and Christianity is still a main religion there. The religion that is behind the False Messiah will be anti-Torah (lawless) and he will try to change the Torah commands (you are not under the Law) and the festival times (Dan 7.25). He will be an imposter that the Jews will reject by the middle of the Tribulation (Nisan 10) and they will flee to the Jordanian and Moabite wilderness for the remaining three and a half years of the Tribulation (Rev 12.14). The Lord will protect them from the False Messiah just like he did with Pharaoh. The groundwork for the religion of the False Messiah has already been laid and it is waiting for him to be revealed. True believers will never be caught up in these lies and that is why we need to be immersed in the truth and to avoid further involvement in Replacement Theology wherever we find it. If you are not sure if you have been a participant in replacement theology, please take some time and ask yourself the following questions:
A BASIC REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY SELF-TEST
(1) Do you believe that God has fundamentally replaced the Old Covenant with the New Covenant?
(2) Do you believe that God replaced Israel with the Church and manifests his will through it?
(3) Do you believe God replaced the animal korbanot (offerings) with the sacrifice of Yeshua?
(4) Do you believe that the Old Testament was replaced by the New Testament as the primary teaching text of the believer?
(5) Do you believe that the teachings of the Book of Galatians have justified the replacement of the Torah?
(6) Do you believe that preachers and teachers of the Church have replaced the prophets and teachers of Israel?
(7) Do you believe that church theologians have the authority to replace written commandments in the Torah, Gospels and Epistles?
(8) Do you believe that the Messiah replaced the Law of Moses with the “Law of Christ?”
(9) Do you believe that the grace of God has replaced the Law of God?
(10) Do you believe that the first day of the week (Sunday) has replaced the seventh day of the week Sabbath (Saturday)?
(11) Do you believe that Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day and other Church festivals have replaced the Festivals of God found in Leviticus 23?
A “YES” TO ANY ONE QUESTION MEANS THAT YOU ARE STILL A PARTICIPANT IN REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY
Replacement Theology tape series, Hatikva Ministries