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The True Seed of Abraham: Jesus or Israel?

I was enjoying a friendly discussion with a Christian at a local coffee hangout.  This well-learned and articulate believer quickly let me know that she holds ot the Reformed position – another way of telling me she believes the Church has replaced Israel. We engaged in a friendly conversation for a brief period. One statement she shared has stuck with me when I asked, “What do you do with all the prophecies made concerning Israel in the millennial kingdom after the Second Coming?” and she replied, “All those prophecies are fulfilled in Christ.”

Galatians 3:16-17 is one of the major passages that is used by replacement theologians to support the idea Jesus has become the “greater Israel” and all those who follow Jesus are now the true Israel.  Some Christians might call themselves “spiritual Jews.” I usually cringe when I hear my fellow Gentile believers make this statement and beg them not to tell any Jewish people.

Imagine if God chose to work with Africa as His chosen nation and in the New Testament age, Africa was replaced by the Church.  Then we would experience Christians telling others, “We are the new Africa.  We are ‘spiritual blacks.'” That is how ridiculous it sounds when Christians make statements that have no roots in the Word of God but are based on misguided theology or by people who have not dealt in depth with the passages they use to broadcast their beliefs.

Galatians 3:16-17  says:

The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.

From  Galatians 3:16-17 we are to conclude, according to replacement theologians, that the Abrahamic promises were not spoken to the nation of Israel, but God’s commitment to Israel find their fulfillment in the one true seed of Abraham – the Messiah Jesus – rather than the nation.

Seed of Abraham

Since believers belong to Jesus, then Christians are the true seed of Abraham through the one true seed-Jesus of Nazareth.  If one reads this passage without asking questions or checking out the surrounding context of Galatians 3, I can understand this conclusion.  However, upon deeper investigation, the student of the Bible discovers Paul’s intention was not to teach that the Church has replaced Israel or that Jesus is the true Israel. (more…)

Just Published! Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity

Today ScriptureSolutions  published a new booklet written by Louis Lapides. This brief  book can be found for Kindle at Amazon.

Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity

Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity by Louis Lapides

It came to no surprise to me that when I first became a Jewish follower of Yeshua, I was going to have a cultural crisis trying to fit into a Gentile Church.  I lasted a few months before I started asking inevitable questions, “I’m Jewish. Jesus is Jewish. His first followers were Jewish. The New Testament was written by Jews and a lot of the concepts they discussed have a powerful Hebraic background.  Then why is Christianity so “not-Jewish”?

Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity provides the reader with some of the findings I came upon as searched for answers to my questions. For me a lot of the issues were resolved when I studied the origin of most of the terminology used by Christians when describing their beliefs and practices.  When I was growing up attending Hebrew school in preparation for my Bar Mitzvah I never expected that Rabbi Printz would tell me that the mass practiced by the Catholic Church across the street from our temple was actually based in the Jewish Passover.  Nor was I told that baptism has it’s origins in the Jewish practice of immersion or mikveh used when Gentiles would turn from their paganism and convert to Judaism.

Attending a church for me at age 23 was a shocker as I describe in my opening chapter.  Here is a sample section from that chapter that will give you an idea of what Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity is all about.

Here’s a shocker . . . Jewish people don’t feel at ease in a Christian church. The first time I attended a Protestant congregation, a Southern Baptist one, I couldn’t avert my eyes from the 10-foot tall stained glass mosaic of Jesus looming behind the pastor. I imagined for a few moments the man from Galilee was about to step out of the window, float over to my pew and ask whether I noticed the “Jews Not Welcome” sign at the church’s front door. “Of course,” I would respond, “But Jesus, aren’t you . . . .?”

(more…)

The Seed of Abraham and the Middle East Part 3

Christians are confused about the place of Israel in the New Testament.  Some believers are not sure if  God has a plan for Israel as He did in the Jewish Scriptures. Others think the only plan God has for Jewish people is their salvation and nothing further.  Still some Christians do not think Israel is a legitimate entity, having been replaced by the Church aka replacement theology.

Fact it, Christians are confused because their pastors are confused and pastors are confused about Israel because their seminary professors are confused.

God’s Promises to Israel Are Not Cast Aside in the Face of Israel’s Unfaithfulness

The assumption of many anti-Christian Zionist advocates is that Christians who believe God has promised the Jewish people the land of Israel as their homeland also maintain the government of Israel can do no wrong. As one anti-Zionist advocate told me,  Israel seems to think since God gave them the Ten Commandments they can now make up any law they want  . . . . Most of this comes from fear which they need not have since American is their number one protector and God is also on their side, according to Christian Zionism (paraphrased).

It is the belief of anti-Christian Zionists since I believe God promised the Jewish people the land of Israel that no matter what they do, God will always back Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The nation is still accountable to God.

When the Bible student reads through the Jewish Scriptures, he discovers the Lord God of Israel never ignored the sins of Israel. Even in the face of the Lord’s  commitment to give the title deed of Israel to the Jewish people, He also removed the people of Israel from the land on many occasions due to their transgressions.  In spite of the Assyrian Captivity in 721 B.C.,  the Babylonian Captivity in 586 B.C. and the conquest of Jerusalem and Israel in 70 A.D. by the Romans, there is no place in the First nor the Second Covenants of the Bible where the God of Israel revokes His promise to the Hebrews to give them the land and to expand the nation as stated in the covenant He made with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,

and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

will be blessed through you. ” (more…)

The Truth about the Kairos Palestine Document

In the 60 Minutes report “Christians in the Holy Land” in March 2012, CBS correspondent Bob Simon attempted painted Palestinian Christian leaders with as non-violent brush towards Israel especially the Israel Defense Force (IDF).  Simon’s goal was to pin a “I support Martin Luther King” button on Palestinian Christians and  portray Israelis as evil ” segregationists” standing in the way of Palestinian civil rights. Nothing could be further from the truth once we delve outside the small box of  the 60 Minutes report.

Here are the words from the 60 Minutes transcript:

In 2009, this group of Christian activists did something unprecedented. They published a document called Kairos, criticizing Islamic extremism and advocating non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation which they called a sin against God. It was endorsed by the leaders of 13 Christian denominations including Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican.

The CBS correspondent continued to explore the Kairos Palestine Document by interviewing Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem:

Mitri Raheb: They [the Israelis] are fearful of this document because they are afraid this might influence the Christian world

Reverend Raheb, who helped write the document, says it’s anything but anti-Semitic.

Mitri Raheb: This document is– doesn’t ask for violent. It doesn’t ask for revenge. The most powerful thing in this document actually is that asking for hope and love and faith.

But is this document merely asking for “hope and love and faith”? How much do we as Christians in the Western World know about the Kairos Palestine Document? (more…)

The Book James Cameron Does Not Want You to Read

James Cameron is best known for his films Titanic and the Terminator series. Cameron is somewhat of an entrepreneur.  He seems to always find himself in the middle of some edgy project beyond his movie making. Camerons’ latest endeavor is launching a meteor mining company with Ross Perot and Google Founder Larry Page.  Sometimes I wonder if Cameron really believes what he said when he received the Oscar for Titanic, “I’m the King of the World.”

Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was putting together a documentary in March 2007 intended to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. According to the Discovery Channel description of the show we learn,

Since the 1970s, hundreds of tombs and thousands of ossuaries (limestone bone boxes) have been discovered in the Jerusalem area. These ossuaries served as coffins in first-century Jerusalem. One of these tombs was found to contain ten ossuaries. Six of the ossuaries in this tomb have inscriptions on them. As it turns out, every inscription in this particular tomb relates to the Gospels. In the feature documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus a case is made that the 2,000-year-old “Tomb of the Ten Ossuaries” belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth.

In other words, the “King of the World” has found the tomb of the King of Kings – Jesus of Nazareth, thus proving the resurrection never took place.  Now that the invincible James Cameron has successfully destroyed Christianity he can get back to making inane anti-U.S. military films like Avatar.

When I first watched The Lost Tomb of Jesus I was surprised at how naive viewers were in even considering the validity of the documentary.  In response, I started to do my own research about the Talpiot Tomb, where the alleged bones of Jesus have been hidden for 2000 years just waiting for Cameron and his camera crew to come along and expose Christianity to be founded on a lie.


In 2007 I wrote a short booklet in which I examined  the “proofs” offered by James Cameron and writer Simcha Jacobovici, an Israeli-born filmmaker. To give you an example of the content of my book entitled, “Burying the Jesus Family Tomb Controversy,” here is the opening chapter:

The Lost Tomb of Jesus, a documentary recently aired on the Discovery Channel, claims an ancient tomb discovered in Jerusalem may have held the bones of Jesus. The project’s producer, James Cameron, commented that the implications of such a find could drastically change the sacred faith of Christianity.

If Jesus’ bones really are among those found in the tomb’s ossuaries ¾ limestone bone boxes ¾ believers around the world have a major problem with their faith. His resurrection would be proven false, and Christians could no longer attest to the fact that they have been born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. As the apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 15:7: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the New International Version).

TV host Ted Koppel interviewed several religious scholars immediately after the feature ended. He asked a priest on the panel, “What if Jesus’ bones are in the box?” The priest responded that it would not affect his faith. “My faith would go on,” he said.

While watching the panel discussions, I asked myself, “What is my faith in? If there is no resurrection, am I going to continue in the faith? Faith in what, assuming the resurrection — the foundation of our faith — has been ripped away?”

As I considered my own questions in the days that followed, a member of my church admitted to me, “Well, if Jesus’ bones are in the box, we have to close down this congregation.” This believer grasped the implications of the claims made by Cameron and his team.

If Jesus had an ossuary, it would contradict the major tenet of the New Testament faith: that Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4). “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3).

The New Testament is built on the veracity of the resurrection of Yeshua. It is neither an option nor a hypothesis; it is the bedrock of our beliefs. In answer to my own questions, if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, my life and faith are in ruins!

Unfortunately, many spirit-filled and active believers have chosen to ignore the documentary, feeling they do not want to increase the ratings of the show or to lend credibility to the program. However, this attitude robs us of an opportunity to share the reliability of our faith with others. Since the show aired, I have encountered many secular individuals who watched the program and had serious questions about what it all means.

After prayerfully pondering the Discovery Channel documentary, I wrote this brief booklet “Burying the Jesus Family Tomb Controversy” to equip my fellow Christians and interested seekers with a response to Cameron’s fictitious documentary . This booklet addresses the fallacy of Cameron’s documentary — and others like it — that dispute the life, death, and resurrection of Yeshua, our Lord Jesus the Messiah. I trust that my words will strengthen your faith, and give you the confidence to talk to any who may have questions about this controversial documentary.

I want to give you a copy of this booklet – for free. All I ask is that you become a subscriber to the ScriptureSolutions blog and I will send you the booklet. For the first fifty people who sign up as subscribers to ScriptureSolutions, the booklet is yours.  No strings attached. ScriptureSolutions is not a non-profit organization so I can’t even accept a donation even if you wanted to offer one. I’d rather you give the gift to your congregation.

To receive your free copy of Burying the Jesus Family Tomb Controversy, please click here and subscribe to the blog. You can also go to the Subscribe Now widget on the left side of this page.

 

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