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Psalm 63 in song

March 15th, 2014

Here is a song from Daniel Muller, inspired by the 63rd psalm entitled, “All My Days”

Posted in Daniel Muller, Knowing God, The Bible, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

Israel in God’s Hands

February 10th, 2014

Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar– the LORD of hosts is his name: “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.”
(Jeremiah 31:35-36)

There is a great amount of to do, especially among evangelical Christians, regarding the issues of Israel’s borders.  Concern over negotiations that might return Israel to its pre-1967 borders, concern over possible anti-Israel actions by Iran and many other worries lead to a sense that Israel is imperilled.

From a human perspective, of course, all of these concerns would seem valid.  Israel does have many enemies, and their position certainly seems precarious.  From a spiritual perspective, however, I feel these concerns are misplaced.

In this passage from Jeremiah, God promises a perpetual existence for Israel.  Now He is talking about the People of Israel – the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – not the State of Israel.  These things should not be confused.

The truth is that God has his watch care over Israel so that they will never disappear from the face of the earth.  We know from Scriptures (e.g. Zechariah 12:10, 13:1; Romans 11:25-26) that one day the Jewish people will come to faith in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) and be saved.

With regard to the State of Israel, they can take or give away nothing that God hasn’t already ordained to be taken or given away.  Israel is in the hands of God, and there is nothing that would make their citizens (whether Jewish or not) safer than the acknowledgment of that fact.

Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6), by all means, keeping in mind that the psalmist was talking in the context of piety and devotion as he made pilgrimage to the Temple.  Let us not get all worked up, however, on the issues of politics and geography.  Let us support Israel to the extent that it does right.  Let us not be blind, however to its secular and often ungodly character, especially with reference to its treatment of our brother and sister believers in the Lord Yeshua.

Israel is in God’s hands.  That’s the best place to be.

Feel free to comment or to contact us for more information.

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

Posted in Daniel Muller, Israel, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Messiah, Some Words and Thoughts, This, That, The Other Thing, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Honest Questions for Honest Science

February 7th, 2014

I have an honest question for all you budding (or not so budding) scientists, science teachers and just general science buffs out there.

Could you please respond and tell us when it is that the theory of evolution was proven?  Can you tell us what date the clinching evidence was produced, or at what point there was sufficient repeatable results to evidence the hypothesis of evolution as fact?  Can you please tell us when there has been an observable instance of genetic migration from one species to another (as opposed to change within a species, which is well documented)?

If you have this information, why not let us know about it?  If evolution is proven we’d seriously like to know how?

If not, then why is it being touted as truth in our schools and on our media?  Why is there no honest debate about evolution vs. intelligent design (let alone creationism)?

It’s a matter of honest science, is it not?

Posted in Daniel Muller, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

Hanukkah Posts Past

November 28th, 2013

Here are nine Hanukkah posts from the past that might interest you.  Nine messages representing nine candles on the Hanukkiah or Hanukkah Menorah:

  1. The Real Shammas of Hanukkah
  2. Hanukkah: a time to think of Jesus
  3. A Hanukkah Encounter with Jesus
  4. Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication
  5. A Message of Hanukkah (Dedication)
  6. Hanukkah: More than a Festival of Lights
  7. Light and Darkness at Hanukkah
  8. Twas the night before Hanukkah
  9. What does Hanukkah have to do with Jesus?

 

 

Posted in Anonymous, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, This, That, The Other Thing | 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 »

Coming Out!

January 22nd, 2013

But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And [Adam] said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
(Genesis 3:9-10)

The story of the Fall of Man is a familiar one to those who have any familiarity with the Scriptures.  Adam and Eve were dwelling in the garden made for them, Eden, when the chief of the fallen angels, Satan, tempted our first parents to disobey God and eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil – in defiance of the one commandment God had given them.  As a result their eyes were opened to sin and, as we are told, “the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7). 

In other words, sin had brought a separation between them – they found the need to cover up.  Even more tragically, their sin also brought about a separation from God so that they, “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God” (Genesis 3:8; see also Isaiah 59:2).  God, of course, knew where they were, but he nevertheless calls out, “Where are you?”

Adam had two choices: continue to hide, or come out and confess.  It is clear from our passage that he decided on the latter.  Although much of the rest of the chapter deals with the consequences of this first of mankind’s rebellion against God’s rule, it also points out the importance of response. 

We cannot know what God would have done if Adam and Eve had continued their defiance in hiding.  As creator God had every right to destroy them and wipe them off the face of the earth, but he did not.  Adam and Eve were tempted to act rebelliously, but they were not rebellious in their hearts and so they answered God when he called.

God is calling out to you: “Where are you?”  We have all gone astray and turned away from Him (Isaiah 53:6), but he is ready to restore us if we answer his call.  In fact, he came to earth in the form of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) to once again walk with us, and to call out to us to come to Him.  And upon dying on the cross, he gave us the means to be reconciled with God, if we would but come to Him in faith through Messiah’s (Christ’s) sacrifice.

Will you come out from hiding and answer God’s call as our first parents did?  Will you confess your sins, and be restored to him through faith in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ)?  If you do then you can recite the prayer on this link.  Or you can contact us to learn more.

May the Lord shine His face upon you and be gracious unto you. (Numbers 6:25)

 

Posted in Daniel Muller, Following God, Messiah, Salvation, The Bible, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

Who really cares?

January 21st, 2013

Now that the winter hostilities against Israel seem to have died down and a cease-fire put in place, at least for the time being, life for the rest of us goes back to normal.  The world keeps spinning and the media is on to the next thing.  

But what’s going on behind the scenes? I’m not talking about Israel’s enemies stirring up trouble so dependably … No, this is about Israel’s friends who don’t stop what they’re doing either.  

As a Christian tuned in to this subject for 20 years, I’ve seen so many doing so much. But it’s occurred to me recently that, being in different social circles, you might not even know they’re there.      

We’ve heard of those righteous Gentiles doing what any decent human would do to defend other humans … but do we realize how unrecognized they probably were while their lives and stresses were happening? And on that same note, how many other heroes are doing big things we don’t even know about now?

These are your friends defending Israel online or off: dedicated bloggers, teachers, writers and tweeters. People living regular lives to all appearances but at the same time using their free time to stand up for truth.   

I wish I could introduce you to Betty-Lou or to Gail, just two of my many friends hard at work in this arena. Betty-Lou is relentless, getting the other side of the story out there one email after another … while Gail teaches workshops and teaches others to teach workshops on the subject. Warriors, both of them.  

Then there are high-visibility friends like best-selling author Joel Rosenberg who wrote about 9/11 before it happened; Mitch Glaser of Chosen People Ministries putting the truth out there with passion; Dean Bye at Return Ministries working to enable Jews making aliyah; … or our own Daniel Muller here at New Covenant Forum, bridging the gap between our two faiths.  

There are too many to be listing all, but they’re out there. Watching Israel’s back and caring about her people worldwide.  

So today, no matter how quiet things seem – and how loud the silence gets – I wanted you to know you have friends.

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

Posted in A Gentile perspective, Israel, Jews and Christianity, Shari Menzel, This, That, The Other Thing, Zionism and Israel | 1 Comment »

The Wrong Jewish Experts

January 9th, 2013

The “Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies” sends a regular media report of Israeli articles dealing with Christian issues of relevance to believers in Yeshua (Jesus).  Recently it reported this:

HaMekomon Petah Tikva, December 26, 2012
In a short snippet addressed to children, Itzik the Clown explains what Christmas is: “During Christmas the Christian faith marks the birth of Jesus.” He adds that “today, Christmas is the most popular and most beloved holiday in the Western world. It is celebrated by religious and secular alike. Those who believe pray a special prayer in church, called Midnight Mass.” In his final message to the children, Itzik the Clown writes that “we [Israelis] who live in a land that is sacred to all religions must learn about those who live in our midst. This is how we will learn to respect one another and live peaceful and quiet lives. The religious wars caused lots of problems, and that’s why we need to respect one another.”

Itzik the Clown, a popular Israeli radio and TV celebrity, is genuinely trying to foster a spirit of peace, and for that he should be lauded.  Sadly, this article also highlights some of the ignorance of Christianity that the non-believing Jewish community often exhibits.

While Christmas is an important religious day for most Christians, it is not so for all.  This is especially true for many Jewish believers who do not observe the day (while many Jewish believers do).  It is also important to recognize that, while Christianity is the most popular holiday, especially to the secular world, from a religious perspective it is Easter that is of greatest importance.

The most egregious mistake in this article, to my mind, is when he says that, “those who believe pray a special prayer in church, called Midnight Mass.”

  1. Midnight Mass is a service, not a special prayer.
  2. Only Catholics celebrate Midnight Mass.   There are a great many believers outside the Catholic faith that celebrate in a variety of ways.
  3. Most believing Christians honour the Messiah’s birth throughout the day, and not just at church.

I suppose the error is trifling, but it highlights an important point.  Most of what Jewish people understand about Christianity comes from Jews who have no idea what Christianity is about, not just in Israel but everywhere.  And so Jews believe that:

  1. Christians worship three gods (which we don’t – there is only One – click here for more).
  2. The New Testament writers were anti-Semitic (which they weren’t – see this recent article).
  3. That baptism makes you a Christian (which it doesn’t – faith does).
  4. That the Pope speaks for all Christians (which he doesn’t – only for Roman Catholics)

These are just a few of the many misunderstandings of Christian belief that my Jewish people get hold of and believe, simply because Jewish “experts” who are not Christians say so.  It is amazing to me how man Jewish people go to such sources for their information, rather than to the people who do know: Christians.

If you are a Jewish person who doesn’t believe in Jesus and you are reading this, ask yourself this question:  am I rejecting Jesus because I know what faith in Jesus is really all about, or because people who don’t know Jesus are telling me not to?

Why don’t you speak to Jews who believe in Jesus and find out what we really believe and why we believe it?  Get the information to make your decision about Jesus from a knowledgeable source.  We are here to answer your questions about what faith in Yeshua is all about, honestly and without pressure, so that you can make an informed decision.  Contact us!

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

Posted in Daniel Muller, Evangelism, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, Knowing God, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

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