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Good enough for Hitler, but not for Israel

February 28th, 2014

“For the furnaces in Germany we were Jewish. But for Israeli citizenship we’re not?”

These are the words of Renata Kaufman as reported in an article by Shalom Yerushalmi in the February 21st edition of the Israeli newspaper, Maariv.  According to his article, Mrs. Kaufman has been refused citizenship by Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, even though she is a Holocaust survivor.

The reason?  She believes in Yeshua (Jesus) as her Messiah and Lord.  Mr. Yerushalmi reports, “When Kaufman decided to make aliyah, she was told by the Jewish Agency that she’s not Jewish—that she’s Messianic and a traitor.”  This, then, is the so-called pluralism I once heard touted by Benjamin Netanyahu at a Walk With Israel event.

Mrs. Kaufman became a believer in Yeshua after the war, but there were a number of Jewish believers during the war who perished.  They perished because they were Jewish.  Hitler had no problem understanding this, so why does Israel’s Ministry of the Interior?

Here is an interesting question:  why is it that you can believe in Buddha, or Vishna or even not believe in anything at all, and still be Jewish; but if you believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and have Yeshua as the Messiah you are not?  What if faith in Yeshua is the real Jewish faith?  What if believing in Yeshua is exactly what God wants, and the enemy (Satan) is doing everything he can to keep Jews from believing?  What if?

Please contact us and let us tell you why we believe that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Following God, Israel, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Identity, Messiah, Personal Stories, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Call On Me!

October 28th, 2013

“Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

This verse of Scripture had a profound impact on my early walk with God.

First of all, if God will answer me, it means He can hear me.  This made God very real and approachable to me.  I can have a conversation with Him.  I can ask questions and He will answer.

Secondly, He is asking me to call on Him and to look to Him for answers.  This is an outright invitation to engage in a relationship with Him.  To me the way one calls on God is to pray to Him.

Last, but not least, this verse says my prayers will be answered and He will reveal to me things that I do not know.  That’s very exciting!

This image of God makes it very easy to see Him as a Father.  He is someone you can look up to and to whom you can go for answers.

God wants us to come to Him with the things we do not know; to seek Him in prayer when we need answers.  He promises to reveal the answers to us.

How often do we try to figure things out on our own, believing we know better?  We only turn to the instructions as a last resort.  Usually this is after we have exhausted all other means and ways.

Why not ask the question first?  It is so simple: stop and think, pray and wait, expecting an answer.

Do you have unanswered questions about the Messiah?  Have you ever thought about asking God?  When you pray, do you have an expectation of an answer?

If you are reading this, I would suggest that you are being led to investigate the claims of the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).  Do you have unanswered questions about Him?  Have you ever prayed to God to reveal to you His truth about Yeshua?

We here at New Covenant Forum would like to hear from you with this or any other questions you might have about Yeshua or the Holy Scriptures.

All you need to do is contact us.

Contributed by Alan Friesner: a Jewish believer in Yeshua on the staff of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Alan Friesner, Following God, Jesus and Jews, Personal Stories, Some Words and Thoughts, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

Doughnut Dilemma

October 22nd, 2013

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  (Romans 15:13)

I recently put this comment on my Facebook Status:

It’s interesting how, when you bring doughnuts to a gathering people invariably say no; and yet somehow those doughnuts disappear by the end of the evening. Hmmmmm.

Got a lot of likes on this one, and a few interesting comments.

One person pointed out that they eat the doughnut hole because it has no calories.  Problem is that you have to get through the doughnut to get to the hole, don’t you?

Another said that he breaks the doughnut into pieces to allow the calories to leak out.  Ok, that’s just a rationalistic – ok maybe irationalistic – excuse.

The real problem with a doughnut is that it is a lot of fat that, once your done with it, leaves you with nothing.  I kind of think that is life without God.  We fill our lives with fat, but have nothing in the end. To coin a phrase I heard on an episode of the BBC show Blackadder, life without God is like a broken pencil – pointless. (Sure I’m mixing my metaphors, but it’s a great line so I needed to add it!)

If we want to have real life, we need to have a right relationship with God, and that can happen through our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).  Life with God through Yeshua is like a cream filled doughnut: delectable.

If you don’t agree with me, you can say so.  Better yet, lets get together for a doughnut – a cream-filled one I think.

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Following God, Messiah, Personal Stories, Some Words and Thoughts, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

Still a Jew … and more!

April 20th, 2013

I remember a conversation with my mother in my mid-twenties.  At that time, I was heavily influenced by New Age thought and Eastern philosophies.  I did not then believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – I thought he was an anachronism of ancient Jewish mythology.  I remember saying to my mother that I didn’t feel that I was Jewish, since I didn’t believe in God.

I was born to Jewish parents, and I grew up going weekly to our Conservative synagogue and to cheder (which was a kind of Jewish version of Christian Sunday School). I felt that believing in God was integral to Jewish identity.  Such an assumption seemed to me to be written all over the pages of the Hebrew Scripture.  As I didn’t believe in the God of the Scriptures, I felt it inappropriate to say I was Jewish.

My mother’s response was memorable:  “You can’t stop being Jewish!  If Hitler were alive today, you would still end up in the concentration camp.”

As I recall, we let the subject drop.  I continued to estrange myself from Israel’s God.  I still went to the synagogue, if more irregularly.  I still felt a connection with the people I claimed to be estranged from – after all, I still thought like a Jew, expressed myself as a Jew, liked the same Jewish foods, was concerned for the same Jewish homeland and was proud of the same Jewish success stories.  I don’t have to like “Seinfeld” to be proud of Jerry, or like the “Hanukkah Song” to be proud of Adam.

Then came the day when I believed again in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  It was through the witness of a Christian friend (now my wife) that I returned to Him, as she responded to my questions about her faith.  I asked those questions for the purpose of proving how smart my belief system was and how foolish Christianity and the Judaism that preceded it was.  Her answers, however, were compelling.

I began to look once more to the Scriptures I read as a child.  Not just the stories of the heroes of the Bible – Noah, the Patriarchs, Moses, Kings David and Solomon – but to the meatier parts as well.  I confess that I also read the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament); not to find Yeshua (Jesus) – after all, I was Jewish – but to understand the faith my friend was sharing.

One day, and despite my best efforts to the contrary, I found myself as a confirmed believer in the God of my forefathers.  I knew that He was real, both as the creator of the universe and as an influence in my life.  I believed in the Lord as I had never done before, and I considered myself Jewish again.  This was a good three years before I came to believe that Yeshua was Messiah and Lord.

Nevertheless, reading the words of the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) and the B’rit Hadashah, I couldn’t help but see the Jewishness of the latter and the consistency it brought to the former – something that rabbinic Judaism does not seem able to do.  I could read the plain meaning of the Tanakh, and see the inevitability of Yeshua being the Divine Messiah promised by Moses and the Prophets.

When I became a believer in Yeshua, I not only believed in God like never before, I also felt more Jewish that I ever did before.  I recognized my place, both within the Body of Believers in Messiah, and within the body of Israel.

When my parents found out about my new-found belief, the words of my mother came in handy once again, but this time from my own mouth.

My mother claimed that, “now that I believed in Jesus, I was no longer Jewish.”

I was conscious of the irony when I said, “If Hitler were alive today, I would still end up in the concentration camp.”

I did not come to faith in Yeshua to feel more Jewish.  I came to faith because, once I recognized that the God of Israel was the Lord of my life, I felt the need to understand His truth.  His truth led me to Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).  In believing in Him I come to follow the biblical faith – the faith intended by God for all the world, Jew and Gentile alike.

I’m still Jewish.  More than that, however, I am the Lord’s.  Do you want to be the same?  Contact us.

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Following God, Jewish Identity, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, Knowing God, Messiah, Personal Stories, The Bible, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

Thanks for trying!

January 3rd, 2013

As someone who grew up in a small Jewish Community, I spent most of my time with people who were not Jewish.  The neighbourhood kids I played with and my schoolmates were, for the most part, Gentiles.  Now many of them were not kids that went to church or had a religious upbringing.  I cannot help but think, however, that some of the hundreds of kids I went to school with were bona fide, dyed-in-the-wool, born-again believers in Jesus Christ.

Yet not once do I recall any one during my public school or high school days trying to share the Gospel with me.  Oh, we recited the “Lord’s Prayer” in junior public school (I didn’t know then that the prayer was straight out of the New Testament – Matthew 6:9-13), and I remember singing Christmas carols, but not one person ever tried to explain to me what it all meant; who Jesus was, and how he died on the cross for my sins.  I probably wouldn’t have believed them, but that’s a moot point – no one tried.

The same can be said about my university experience, except with one exception.  At a dorm party I spent a lot of time talking to a girl who shared the Gospel with me, and tried to show me that Jesus was my Jewish saviour.  I can’t remember what her name was and only vaguely recall what she looked like.  In response I was incredibly cynical, certainly arrogant and quite possibly rude.  To her credit, she was perseverant.

I can’t say that what she said at the time left any impression upon me (only  God can say for sure), but now that I am a believer in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and vocationally involved in sharing the Gospel with others, especially among my Jewish people, I can’t help but wish that I could meet her again.  I would like to thank her for caring enough to take the time to share such a momentous message with a tough nut like me.   I can’t help but think that she prayed for me afterward.

Still, the nagging question is why did not more people take the time to tell me the Gospel?   When it is a matter of eternal life or death – at least to those of us who believe – what can be said about those who cannot be bothered to pass the message along?

Was it because I was Jewish?  So what?  I still need Yeshua, the one who said to Jewish people, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Too many people avoid sharing the Gospel with anyone, but this is even more true with Jewish people.  Whether it’s because they think Jews won’t believe, or don’t need to believe, or, God forbid, don’t deserve to believe – and such anti-Semitism does still exist in the church, unscriptural though it is – many refuse to fulfill our God-given calling to preach the Gospel to the world when it comes to the Jewish people.

So I am grateful to those who do.  Thank you for taking a chance on your Jewish friend or acquaintance.  Thank you for offering to share with your Jewish workmate or classmate.   Many won’t thank you for doing it, and you might occasionally be belittled or ridicule; but know that you have sowed seed, or watered and nurtured.  Though you don’t see the harvest, that doesn’t mean that your efforts won’t bare fruit.

I can’t help but wonder if that young lady in university, going home that night, ever thought it possible that the difficult Jew she spoke with could ever become a true believer in Christ.  As Jesus once said, “with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)”

If you would like to more about how you can share the Gospel with your Jewish friend or acquaintance, please contact us.

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Evangelism, Goyim for God, Jewish Identity, Jews and Christianity, Personal Stories, Serving God, This, That, The Other Thing | 1 Comment »

A Hanukkah Encounter with Jesus

December 14th, 2012

JOHN 10:22-42

At that time the Feast of Dedication [Hanukkah] took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.

Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”

The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken– do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.

Speaks for itself, really.

Posted in Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Personal Stories, The Bible | No Comments »

The High Holidays are passed us now, but …

October 3rd, 2012

The High Holidays are passed us now, and we are now celebrating Sukkoth (The Feast of Booths).  But I came across this story about Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) written by Ehud Neeman in the September 21st, 2012 edition of the Israeli journal Makor Rishon.  It tells the story of Franz Rosenzweig, a Jew who almost “converted” to Christianity in the late 18th Century, but did not do so in the end.  Yom Kippur apparently played a big part in this decision.

Neeman relates that Rosenzweig saw something lacking in Judaism; something that he thought Christianity offered.  What he concluded, presumably because of the Yom Kippur tradition, was that Christianity needed a mediator, Jesus, while Judaism did not.  Thus we can see, says Neeman, “Yom Kippur’s unique quality of being able to return lost sons to their father in Heaven.”

Part of what Rosenzweig was looking for was a Judaism connected with history, which he saw in Christianity.  But after his Yom Kippur experience, Neeman asserts that Rosenzweig felt that this need for a mediator actually makes Judaism more connected than Christianity – how we are not told in the article.

I remember the first Yom Kippur service I attended after becoming a believer in Yeshua (Jesus).  I remember the sadness it gave me that my people were seeking atonement in a way unsanctioned by God and insufficient for its purpose.  I mourned for my people Israel who were led astray by a tradition that tore them away from their Messiah and their only true means of atonement.

So, what is the difference between Franz Rosenzweig and Daniel Muller when it come to this varied response to Yom Kippur?  Why should Yom Kippur lead one back to the rabbinic traditions and the other away?

I think Neeman offers the answer when he writes in his article:

 “Christianity needs a mediator – a conclusion he [Rosenzweig] reached when thinking of Jesus as the Son of God, the only one through whom man can reach God. Judaism, on the other hand, does not require a mediator – the God of history has called his people to himself and they are his, directly.”

This comment indicates a misunderstanding of both Judaism and Christianity.  Judaism, as handed down by the sages is a far cry from the biblical relationship described in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures). 

Since the time they came out of Egypt and met God on Mount Sinai, Israel’s relationship to God has been mediated. First there was the mediation of Moses, which they requested themselves (Exodus 20:19).  Later, mediation came by the priesthood as “the priest shall make atonement for him [the repentant transgressor] as touching his sin that he hath sinned, and he shall be forgiven. (Leviticus 4:35 Jewish Publication Society)” 

Mediation is part of the historical context of biblical Judaism.  In fact, the true mediation for atonement was the blood of the atoning sacrifice.  “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life” (Leviticus 17:11 JPS).

A mediated atonement was essential to Jewish faith up until the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., some forty years after Messiah Yeshua ministered here on earth.  But the Jewish people have grave misunderstandings of who Yeshua is, and therefore misunderstand Christianity. 

He is not, as some suggest, simply a man who is worshipped as a God – that is reprehensible for Christians today, as it would have been to the many Jewish believers of the 1st Century.  He also is not one of three Gods that Christians worship – we recognize the oneness of God found in the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) just as do our Jewish counterparts.

No, Yeshua is God come in human form (as he did to Abraham in Genesis 18 and to Jacob in Genesis 32:24-32) to be the ultimate atonement for sins as promised in Isaiah 53:12.  The mediation of Yeshua, therefore is historically planted in the Judaism of the Tanakh.  It comes about as fulfillment of God’s promises and is borne out by his followers who recognized this historicity and even died to proclaim it. 

Does this not make more sense of why God would allow his temple to be destroyed?  It was no longer needed.  He has made a new Temple as He tabernacles within the hearts of His people, in fulfillment of His promise of a New Covenant that we find in Jeremiah 31:31-34; a New Covenant, by the way, that God promised to be unlike the one He made with Israel on Mount Sinai.

Rosenzweig (and Neeman) had it wrong!  Not only is Christianity grounded in history, it is grounded in the very promises of God historically given to the people of Israel.  The Judaism of the rabbis, sadly, has taken us away from our biblical faith and the precedents found there pointing to our Messiah, and they lead us to precedents and traditions made by man and set up to refute the Messiah of history, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).

Oh, if only Franz Rosenzweig would have taken the time to explore these things more closely.  Oh, if only he would have come to know Messiah Yeshua as I have – to experience His grace and His presence.  Then, I believe, the following Yom Kippur would have confirmed his faith in Yeshua, and made him feel blessed in the atonement to eternal life he found in Him.

May your name be firmly written in the Book of Life forever as you come to accept on your behalf the once-for-all atoning sacrifice, Yeshua HaMashiach.  He is our 24/7 Yom Kippur.

We would love for you to contact us and let us know what you think of this article.

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, New Covenant, Personal Stories, Salvation | No Comments »

I Might As Well

September 25th, 2012

I stopped by to wish a Jewish shopkeeper I know a Happy New Year .  I had not seen him in many months.   At first he wanted to know why I was there.  I quickly asserted it was not to do business but rather to say hello and that I had been thinking of him whenever I passed his way. I further went on to wish him and his family a “Happy and Healthy” New Year.  He expressed how he was glad to see me.

He went on to ask me where I went to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year), and I shared that I had been at my brother’s house the first night and stayed home the second.  He said that he did the first night at his house and the second at his sister’s.  We continued with more small talk: how I had been, how business was and a few other topics we had shared in the past.

He also told me that he observed only the first day and opened his business on the second, since he had to serve his customers.  We discussed the issue of closing for the Sabbath.   When I had owned my shop, I had discussed this many times in the past with my Jewish customers.  He said he had had this argument many times, but noted that his competitors were open and therefore he needed to be.    Besides, when was he going to be open if he always closed?

Then he asked me,” so are you fasting for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)?”  I responded “I am not sure, but most likely not”.  I went on to ask if he was?  He said yes, so I asked him why?  He responded that he was going to Schsl (synagogue) all day, so he might as well.

When I asked him where he goes he named the synagogue.  He said he went there because his wife was converted there, he was married there and he was a member.  He needed to get back to work so he wished me “an easy fast” (yet another tradition) and I went on my way.

From our conversation I began to understand his observance of Judaism.  I knew he had a strong Jewish identity from past conversations.  I think his relationship with God was quite clear. He went to synagogue on Yom Kippur because “it’s was what you do when you call yourself a Jew.”

As I left his store, it occurred to me that I used to be just like him before I knew Yeshua (Jesus). My practice of Judaism was one of tradition or “that is what we do.”  That’s what my Bubbe (Grandmother) would answer me whenever I asked her “why do we do this?”

I am so grateful the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16) has been fulfilled by Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ).  Besides, it is not even possible to celebrate the Holy Day biblically, without a Temple and High Priest; and the rabbinic substitutions have no biblical mandate. 

Mostly, I am grateful for Yeshua (Jesus) in my life as the one time eternal atonement for my sin.  All I have to do is what is commanded: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” 

I ask you, are you going to spend another year in tradition?  Maybe this year, you can check out the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament) and check out the claims of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).  He is the greatest rabbi of all times.  He is the Messiah of Israel.  He is the means of our atonement (our Kippur).   

We at New Covenant Forum would be glad to give you a free copy of the B’rit Hadashah (in almost any language) and discuss our eternal atonement in Yeshua.

May your name be inscribed and sealed  in the Book of Life forever!

Contributed by Alan Friesner: a Jewish believer in Yeshua on the staff of New Covenant Forum.

 

Posted in Alan Friesner, Atonement, Jewish festivals, Jewish Identity, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Personal Stories, Uncategorized | No Comments »

What does Christianity have to do with Judaism?

September 22nd, 2012

What does Christianity have to do with Judaism? It seems like everyone is asking the same thing these days.

First, I got the question from an older lady at church. She didn’t get why I’m interested in Jewish history, traditions and culture. From the way she talked it was like we’d been reading 2 different books – even though I’m sure her Bible and mine say the same thing. But while mine opens up awesome historic writings jammed with deeper Hebrew meanings, it sounded like her Bible reads generically. Either that or she’s managed to skim over all the parts about the origins of our faith … or how early believers would have viewed prophecies and events … or how much the Feasts tell us about the Messiah. I guess she missed the part about God’s covenant with Israel too. 

So to her the question made sense. Clearly she didn’t get the connection.

She’s not the only one. Although it’s exciting to see more and more believers waking up to the huge debt of gratitude we owe Jewish people today, at the same time—for some unknown reason—just as many Christians seem totally unaware. If you walked up to them in church and asked them, they’d probably stare at you with a blank expression. What does Christianity have to do with Judaism?

So it’s no surprise then that Jewish people are asking the same thing.  

Astonishment is a normal first reaction when I ask these friends more about their history, faith and how they observe it. They’re usually skeptical to some extent. But even then my Jewish friends are pretty good about helping me dig deeper. Maybe they’re waiting for me to slip up and give them a clue as to why a Christian is interested to begin with. After all, where’s the connection?   

One man I met was more direct than most. He was a Jewish leader new to our town and my plan was to meet and let him know about strong (non-Jewish) future friends and supporters here in the community. But it turned out he had no interest. Our coffee meeting turned into a cross-examination with him determined to uncover my dark motives in connecting with Jewish people at all.  

Christianity should have nothing to do with Judaism, from his perspective.

So with Christian and Jewish friends asking the same question and with all the different reactions I’ve seen on this heated topic, I’ve asked myself the same question more than once. Really, what does Christianity have to do with Judaism? And why do I even care?

But somehow just asking the question helps me refocus. Without Judaism, I wouldn’t be a Christian because there’d be no such thing. We wouldn’t have Scriptures or any of those powerful prophetic promises. We wouldn’t know about miraculous fulfillments in and around Israel. God wouldn’t have shown His undeniable covenant with one tiny nation. We wouldn’t have seen the proof of His faithfulness. There’d be no understanding of good versus evil because we’d have no moral absolutes handed down through Moses. And in a world with no sense of evil, where would any of us be?

But for me it gets even more personal than that.  

Without Israel, I wouldn’t have a Jewish Messiah.

Contributed by Shari Menzel, a Gentile believer in Jesus with a great heart for the Jewish people.

Posted in A Gentile perspective, Goyim for God, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Identity, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, Personal Stories, Shari Menzel, The Bible, This, That, The Other Thing | 2 Comments »

Seeking Honestly is the Best Policy!

August 1st, 2012

“I love them that love me, and those that seek me earnestly shall find me.”
(Proverbs 8:17; Jewish Pulication Society)

I was walking along Queen Street in the midst of the packed crowd at the Beaches Jazz Festival.  Along with a colleague and some volunteers I was wearing a blue shirt that says, “Jesus Loves You,” in the midst of a Star of David. 

A woman passed by – looked at us – and said, “That’s disgusting!”

I am sure it was only meant as a pot shot, and she was taken aback when I turned to ask her, “Why?” 

She looked a little startled, but could only restate her objection, “That’s disgusting!”  I asked her why once more and she responded in the same manner.

Finally, I smiled and said, “You don’t know why, do you?”  She could make no response and turned away, with, “that’s disgusting,” still on her face.

This is not an uncommon interaction.  The truth is that most of my Jewish people, when confronted with the Gospel, respond negatively – not because they have knowledge of the Gospel (very few do) – but because they have been indoctrinated against the Gospel.  The reaction is a knee-jerk one, and not one that comes from an honest look at the facts, biblical or otherwise.

There is a social contract among the wider Jewish community that Jews cannot consider Yeshua (Jesus), that Yeshua is not for Jews, and that for a Jew to believe in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) is to turn one’s back on Judaism. 

There are all kinds of religious, social and historical reasons that can be discussed as to why this is the case, but they all boil down to one thing: the Jewish people do not give the Gospel message a fair shake.  When pressed for details, many Jews who claim to have looked into the Gospel and rejected it will have to admit that their search generally consisted of prejudiced rabbinic responses and, perhaps, a smattering of liberal “Christian” scholars that themselves do not believe in the Gospel as presented in Scriptures, but are acceptable to rabbinic sensibilities.  Such research can hardly be considered honest.

We here at New Covenant Forum want to help the Jewish people to take an honest look at the message of Yeshua as both Messiah (Saviour) and Adonai (Lord).  We simply have a message to pass on that we believe in with all our hearts, whether we are Jew or Gentile.  We wish for this message to be heard and considered honestly.

To my fellow Jews, I wish to say that – though I don’t agree with the rabbis – we do not ask you to ignore them.  We merely wish you to hear the message we believe we have from God and consider it in an unbiased and honest manner.  Listen to your rabbi, to be sure, but please also listen to us.  Pray and ask God to reveal to you His truth, and then be willing to believe and follow that truth, whatever it may be.

If you would like more information, you can check our website out or contact us.  We also have the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) and the B’rit Hadashah (New Covenant or Testament) that we would be happy to send you free of charge.

Honesty is the best policy – especially when it comes to seeking God.

“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29:13; Jewish Publication Society)

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Evangelism, Following God, Jewish Identity, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, New Covenant, Personal Stories | No Comments »

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