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Who is the Seed of Abraham? CATC2012 Part Two

It was 1970 and I was twenty three. I had just entered Dallas Baptist University as a religion major. I had been following Jesus as my Messiah and Lord for about a year and was anxious to start Bible College and pursue a path to seminary for ministry training. I couldn’t wait to learn more of the Bible and gain a deeper knowledge of God’s dealings with and promises for the people of Israel.

Boy was I surprised!  I enrolled in one theology class and an additional seminar in biblical interpretation (aka hermeneutics). As I soon discovered my professors held to a theological system called “amillennialism.” They believed the messianic kingdom promised by the Hebrew prophets to Israel had arrived on earth and was here in its fullest form in the Church.  I couldn’t believe my ears.

I raised my hand in my hermeneutics class, “Professor, have you been to downtown Dallas lately?  The last time I was there I observed strip clubs and several ‘ladies of the night’ out on the streets selling their talents. And not only that, according to the Dallas Morning News, there are a rash of homicides in Dallas.  Isn’t it also true that this is the city in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated? I am not buying your teaching that the kingdom of God is here on earth right now especially in Dallas.  Furthermore, several churches in downtown Dallas are still practicing racial segregation. Where is the kingdom of God?  Certainly not in the church and not here in Big ‘D’!”

My professor was shocked by my outspokenness. Perhaps he’s never met a Jewish person who was courageous enough to challenge his beliefs.

The professor continued to argue the kingdom of God is realized in its fullest in the church. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, “Do you mean to tell me that churches where racial segregation is still practiced here in Texas and where antisemitism still exists is a manifestation of God’s promised kingdom?  According to Revelation 20:2 the devil is supposed to be thrown into a pit and bound for a thousand years with the result that justice and righteousness will rule the earth under the rule of the Messiah. Either the thousand years are up and Satan is on the loose or he’s a Houdini and escaped his shackles. I still don’t get it. Maybe the kingdom of God is here, but God forgot to include Dallas.”

 

I was getting upset.  These Christians were living in a dream world if they thought we were living in the kingdom of God on earth as described in the fourth chapter of prophet Micah:

 

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

I boldly declared, “If we are in the kingdom of God right now, then where are the promised fulfilled to Israel? Only three years ago the Six Day War was fought in the holy land, and Israel is still surrounded by her enemies. Where are God’s promises to the Jewish people to have the Messiah ruling His kingdom from a throne in Jerusalem? Professor, you are ignoring the prophetic message that Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel and all the Hebrew prophets uttered to the Jewish people throughout the centuries.”

With even more boldness [or chutzpah) my Bible teacher said, “The church is Israel, Louis. Christians are the true seed of Abraham. The church has replaced Israel as God’s chosen people. God is finished with Israel as a nation and only works with them on an individual basis regarding personal salvation. He will offer Israel a chance to accept Jesus when He returns. The Lord does not deal with Israel as a nation anymore.  We as Christians are the true Jews. We are spiritual Jews.”

I was ready to plotz.   I was not about to let my professor’s last statement go unanswered, “You’re telling me you’re Jewish. You’re about as Jewish as a ham sandwich on Wonder bread with mayonnaise.  With all due respect professor, but you’re making God out to be a liar. He promised Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 to make him a great nation, to give him the land of Israel and to bless the world through him as the father of many nations as described in Micah 4:1-4.  Now you’re telling me Jews are no longer Jews, but Christians are the true Jews.  God lied to Abraham and everyone else in the Bible. The word church or ekklesia is not even in the Jewish Bible.  Is this what Christianity teaches . . . that God pulled off a bait-and-switch regarding His promises to Israel? (more…)

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