The Coming Apocalypse: A study of Replacement Theology vs. God’s Faithfulness in the End-Times by Renald Showers
In the Western world at least, in which racism is one of the few forbidden sins, the recent rise in anti-Semitism is perplexing. How can civilized, educated, tolerant and pluralistic people despise a race of people solely because of their ethical lineage? But for those who understand the biblical teaching concerning Israel there is no surprise. Unfortunately due to myriad of reasons from biblical illiteracy, to the popularity of Replacement Theology, to lack of interest in prophetic teaching, to an unwillingness to wade through massive tomes on the subject, the average Christian has little understanding of Israel’s past, present or future.
Enter Dr. Showers’ highly readable yet concise overview of Israel’s God-ordained role throughout biblical times, today and as related to end times. Showers aptly demonstrates that Israel has been, and remains, at the core of God’s plans for mankind.
The Coming Apocalypse begins with a clear and forcible challenge to the doctrine of Replacement Theology—the idea that God is forever finished with Israel as a nation and has replaced Israel with the church. The roots of Replacement Theology, or supersecessionism, can be traced to anti-Semitism that originated as early as the second century. Church Fathers from Justin Martyr to Origen to Augustine propagated a hatred for the Jews that paved the way for the development of unbiblical understandings of ecclesiology and eschatology. Concerning ecclesiology, the church began to mimic the Old Testament priesthood and systems of worship. And with Augustine’s City of God the church became the equivalent of the Kingdom of God on earth today. As for eschatology, Premillennialism, which was the predominant view of the church for the first three centuries, was replaced with Amillennialism, which denies a future kingdom on earth in which Christ will administer God’s rule for a thousand years.
At the time of the Protestant Reformation, many biblical doctrines were restored such as justification by faith alone and the final authority of Scripture, but the Reformers left standing Roman Catholic theology dealing with the church and end times. And, sadly, many of the Reformers accepted and spread Rome’s anti-Semitism, chief of which was Martin Luther. Thus, the persecution of the Jews by the church which began with Constantine continued throughout the Middle Ages, right through modern times. Showers, however, does more than document and lament the church’s persecution of the Jews. He clearly shows from Romans 11 that Replacement Theology is unbiblical and God still has a unique relationship and a plan for the nation of Israel.
In chapter three Showers presents a solid defense of Israel’s rightful ownership of the Promised Land. God, through the Abrahamic Covenant, gave Israel the land permanently; however, the land has often been occupied and controlled by Gentiles. Adding to the problem is the Islamic teaching “that once Muslim forces have subjugated an area of the world to Islamic rule, that area belongs irrevocably to Allah forever. If a non-Muslim force should succeed in removing Islamic rule from that area, Allah is dishonored. Thus, for the sake of Allah, the non-Muslims must be eliminated and Islamic rule restored at any cost.” Given this background the tensions between modern Israel and the Islamic world come into focus. The question is, “Who rightly holds the title deed?” Here Showers presents the evidence as found in Scripture, principally the Old Testament, to prove Israel’s permanent ownership of the land.
The last chapter very clearly lays out the eschatological events as related to Israel. Showers examines the nations as found in Scripture that will be involved in the final attempt to destroy Israel and then identifies which peoples occupy those lands today. What is most interesting is to discover that all the modern occupiers of these lands are Muslim people or rapidly becoming predominately Muslim, including Russia. Showers works through the pertinent passages on this subject and determines that the Ezekiel 38, 39 invasion of Israel must take place during the Tribulation just prior to the midpoint. Therefore, the events leading up to the Tribulation, the unveiling of the Antichrist and the invasion of Israel are being shaped by the ancient Jewish/Islamic tension.
This little book provides an excellent resource for anyone interested in the nation of Israel’s part in history and the coming apocalypse.