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Is Jesus “Messiah ben Joseph” of Jewish mysticism?

November 23, 2015

confused-about-two-messiahsWhen I was a “Messianic Jew”, like many of my Messianic and “Hebrew Roots” coreligionists, more than anything I longed for Jewish “proofs” to support my faith in and worship of Jesus. At one point in my messianic blogging career, I remember writing a post on Messiah ben Yosef. I scoured for anything I could find in rabbinic literature about this mystical figure, all in my effort to prove that the rabbis actually believed in Jesus and even wrote about him extensively, they were just blind to him! However, I must admit today that I was not very honest in my quest. You see, dear readers, dishonesty and obfuscation are two ingredients that are absolutely necessary when one is out to employ Judaism and Jewish sources antithetical to everything Christianity stands for to uphold many of the core doctrines of Jesus-worship that make up the core of Christianity. Read more…

Article: Worshiping Jesus, worshiping idol

November 19, 2015

White-JESUS-IS-MY-IDOL-Long-Sleeve-ShirtsThe following article is no longer published online. It was written by a person named Michael many years ago. I found it and reproduced it here.

The question is: what exactly constitutes idolatry?

Idolatry, one of the worst biblical sins, can take on many forms. In the Ten Commandments, it is touched upon briefly in the nature of a physical image:

Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: [5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy G-d [am] a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; [6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.  (KJV)

But is carving an image the only form of idolatry? Read more…

Why is Judaism “truth” to me?

November 5, 2015

sddrI recently received an email from a person, a Christian who has finally come to the fork in the road of his faith. He expressed to me his deep desire to get to the truth, to make a decision about which faith is true – is it Judaism, the faith of the Jewish people, or is it Christianity, the religion he has lived and breathed most of his life. He has been strongly leaning toward Judaism as being the world view with the keys to humanity’s purpose, meaning and its source of divine revelation. He asked me to give him my understanding as to why I consider Judaism to be truth.

Here’s my answer: Read more…

Should Messianic Jews be allowed to make aliyah into Israel?

September 22, 2015

jesus-worshipFrom a recent messianic blog post titled Let Messianic Jews Make Aliyah To Israel

…… Messianic Jews desperately need the same protections as any other Jews for we, too, are in danger of being targeted and killed. To deny them entrance to their homeland, is tantamount to reaching the shores of a safe haven in a ship filled with those who paid all they had in order to escape the Nazi concentration camps only to be turned away by those countries and sent back to suffer that eventual fate.

I, too, am a Messianic believer and have lived in Israel for more than 20 years.  I am a homeowner, beloved and respected in my neighbourhood.  I am a career person who has been gainfully employed in the field of education almost since my arrival to the land.  In fact, I have been a member of a kibbutz and graciously accepted by those living there.  I have contributed in many significant ways to the economy and social fabric of this society, and I am able to have done so simply because I immigrated at a time when Google nor Nefesh b’Nefesh existed.  Today, I would also be locked out…..

It is time for the doors to be opened and welcoming to all Jews regardless of their opinions and views, so long as they are willing to live as law-abiding citizens with respect and deference to others and to their government.  It is time to put aside this particular phobia and accept the fact that Jews do not come in one size and shape.  Among the Jews in the Land are those who are Buddhists, Scientologists, and even Jews who don’t believe in the existence of any God and reject or even abhor religion and Jewish observance.  All are afforded the right to live here and the protection which comes with that right…

My reply: Read more…

How the New Testament authors created the anti-Jewish myth

August 17, 2015

new-testmanet-jews-killed-jesusThe Jewish concept of Messiah was not rich enough in associations for non-Jews to power a Gentile religion. The word was retained in translation, but it needed and received a new mythical content. Jesus gained universal significance as the hero of a salvation myth at the expense of losing his Jewishness. But the cosmic struggle envisaged by the myth needed to be embodied in the details of the story.

If the divine Christ defeated cosmic enemies, the human Jesus must have had to face human enemies. Of course, he did, in the shape of the Romans. Why did the mythicized version of his story not cast the Romans as his primary enemies? A precritical or fundamentalist Christian might reply that historically it was in fact the Jews who encompassed his death because his religious claims challenged theirs. We have seen good reason to disbelieve this explanation. Read more…

Are Jews not living up to your expectations?

July 22, 2015

The fellows who say to you, “I expect more of the Jews,” don’t believe them. They expect less. What they’re really saying is, “Okay, we know you’re a bunch of ravenous bastards, and given half the chance you’d eat up half the world, let alone poor Palestine. We know all these things about you, and so we’re going to get you now. And how? Every time you make a move, we’re going to say, ‘But we expect more of Jews, Jews are supposed to behave better.’ ”

Jews are supposed to behave better? After all that has happened? I would have thought that it was the non-Jews whose behavior could stand a little improvement. Why are we the only people who belong to this wonderful exclusive moral club that’s behaving badly? -Philip Roth, The Counterlife, pages 178-179

If you believe in Jesus, you believe in Replacement Theology

July 14, 2015

man-bowing-before-jesusReplacement Theology, or “Supersessionism”, is a nearly two thousand years old Christian view that G-d has replaced the Jewish people as His sole chosen people with the new people, more worthy people, people who submitted themselves to Jesus. The Church is the new people, the “Israel of G-d”, to quote Paul. Most Christians in the world, from across all of the tens of thousands of Christian denominations, readily agree with and approve of such an understanding. Some of their Protestant co-coreligionists, however, especially those in the Evangelical Dispensationalist circles and in the Messianic Movement (including the so called “Hebrew Roots”), proclaim their vehement rejection of the idea that Israel was replaced by the Christian Church. I will, however, demonstrate in this post that the Replacement Theology is inseparable from any version of Christianity, no matter how friendly to either Jewish people or to their faith, Judaism. In fact, I will demonstrate that it’s virtually impossible to be a worshiper of Jesus and not subscribe to at least some version of Christian Supersessionism.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)

“I will build my church”, proclaims the Gospel of Matthew in the name of Jesus, promising the eternality and the indestructibility of the “body of Christ”. The promises are only for those who steadfastly believe in Jesus and join with their fellow believers in worshiping Christ as god, proclaiming his message to the “lost”. Reading the New Testament it becomes readily apparent that its authors firmly held that the future belongs only to those who acknowledge Jesus as “lord”, those whom Jesus “bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). The future, whether one was born a Jew or Gentile, belongs to the “Ekklesia”. To join this “Ekklesia” one too must believe in Jesus as the savior of the world or be left out. As John 3:18 warns, “whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Which brings us to Israel. “Israel is still chosen”, proclaims an ardent Evangelical supporter of the modern Jewish nation. His fellow “messianic Jew” heartily agrees: “the Jewish people will never cease to exist and they have a bright future”. And both of them say that they reject Replacement Theology as “satanic” and both angrily chide their fellow “supersessionist” Christians as in error. And yet both of them still uphold Replacement Theology, all while denouncing the very idea! How so?

You see, dear reader, both of these supposed opponents of Supersessionism firmly believe that the Jewish people as a whole will not inherit the Kingdom of G-d unless they too become part of the “Body of Christ”. Unless Jews submit to Jesus and worship him as divine, unless Israel becomes part of the “Ekklesia”, they cannot fulfill their role in the world, since Christianity believes that everything is centered on Jesus. As Paul wrote in Colossians 3:11 “Christ is all and in all.” Unless the Jewish people become Christians (or “messianics”), unless they first become “messianic Jews” and get “saved”, they are “incomplete” and “spiritually dead”. Only when the “unbelieving” Jews finally repent of their obstinate rejection of Jesus and become spiritual brothers with Gentile Christians, when they bow their heads to Jesus (or Yeshua) in worship as to god, when they too join Jesus’ church (or ekklesia), only then they will truly be the “Israel of G-d”.

With this in mind, we can draw the following conclusion: according to all versions of Christianity, including those streams which insist on their rejection of Replacement Theology, the Jewish people, no matter how much they may love and seek to serve their G-d, will not please their G-d unless they become part of new Israel as Christianity imagines it will one day be. This Christian “Israel of G-d” is a new “born-again” type of people that views the New Testament as the “word of G-d”, reads Paul and worships Jesus. This “Israel” will supposedly include within its number not just Jews but like-minded Gentile Christians as well. Even for those Dispensationlists who insist that Church is never Israel, whatever the future “Jewish” Israel will turn one to be, it still must be very much a Christian one. Messianics, in turn, reject that Israel will embrace what they term “Gentile Christianity”, but still predict that Jews will become “saved” through Jesus, becoming part of the “body of Christ”. In their version of Israel, the so called “remnant Israel” will be one that embraces “Yeshua” and will be composed of only “completed Messianic Jews”.

By insisting that the future of the Jewish people can only be found in some Christian or “messianic” (that is with Jesus at its core) version of Israel and not as the Jewish people themselves have always held it to be, Christians of all stripes replace the Israel of the Jewish people with another “Israel”, one centered squarely on Jesus and him alone. In other words, all Christians subscribe to a version of Replacement Theology because they simply cannot imagine a glorious future for a Jewish nation that rejects Jesus. Yes, worshipers of Jesus cannot fathom any future Israel that continues to view their precious “savior” as a false messiah, false god and an idol! And that’s why all Christians replace and believe in another, very different Israel – their own.


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