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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 »

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 »

Isaiah’s Afflicted Angel

January 24th, 2014

I will make mention of the mercies of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us; and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His compassions, and according to the multitude of His mercies.  For He said: ‘Surely, they are My people, children that will not deal falsely’; so He was their Saviour.  In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
(Isaiah 63:7-9; Jewish Publication Society, 1917)

This is a picture of God’s relationship with Israel.  Is it not a fitting picture of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)?  He is the fulfillment of God’s love to His people.

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Some Words and Thoughts | No Comments »

Are you good enough for God?

January 22nd, 2014

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
(Isaiah 59:1-2)

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
(Ecclesiastes 7:20) 

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(Isaiah 64:6)

Are you sure you are going to have eternal life with God?  If so, and if the Words of God quoted above is true, then on what basis to you believe this?  There is a way to be sure!  Contact us and find out.

Posted in Anonymous, Following God, Salvation, Some Words and Thoughts | No Comments »

Why won’t you listen?!

January 20th, 2014

I don’t know how many times I have to say it: I don’t believe in three gods.  No one who is a Christian believes in three gods.  Every true believer can say, along with every Jew the Shema: Here O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One (Deuteronomy 6:4).  Neither do we believe that a man became God – that is sacrilegious.

Where do you get these ideas?  From those who do not understand themselves what Christians (whether Jewish or Gentile) believe.  Why not get the truth about the Christian faith from those who understand it: Christians (whether Jewish or Gentile)?  Or from the source, the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament)?  We’d be happy to send you a copy.

Is it possible that the you are told not to interact with us, because there is truth in what we say?  You won’t know till you check it out.

Contact us!

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

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jews and Christianity, New Covenant, Things Doctrinal and Theological | No Comments »

Days of the Maccabees

December 2nd, 2013

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The week Yeshua (Jesus) was in Jerusalem, prior to his crucifixions, his disciples asked him when he would set up God’s eternal kingdom (Read Matthew 24).  They did not yet understand that he had come, not as the victorious Messiah son of David as promised in passages like Isaiah 9:6-7, but as the Suffering Servant Messiah son of Joseph, as promised in passages like Isaiah 53.

Yeshua warned them that, like the days of Noah, people will not be prepared for its coming (Matthew 24:37).  That is an interesting statement.  After all, Noah was 120 years building the ark, and in that time he surely proclaimed the truth of what God was doing.  The fact is, they just didn’t want to hear it.  The truth is that in the “days of Noah” there were two kinds of people.  God’s people, of whom there were eight, and the people who spurned God and wanted nothing to do with His ways.

This stark contrast is very obvious in the story of Hanukkah.  In those “days of the Maccabees” there were two types of Jews in Israel: Jews like the Maccabees who wanted to follow God, and Jews who wanted to follow the Greek ideals of the empire begun by Alexander the Great.  It was the latter who backed the evil incursions of the Seleucid King, Antiochus Epiphanes, which instigated the Maccabean rebellion and victory that our Hanukkah celebrations commemorate.

The name Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘dedication.’  It is a fitting name, since the festival encapsulates the dedication and faithfulness of God’s people in the face of great persecution, as well as the dedication of God to His faithful people.

Are we not living in “days of the Maccabees” now?  Do not the words of the Apostle Paul, quoted in the passage above, ring true with regard to the world we live in today?  We live in a very pagan world, where the idea of a God who created and loves is unpopular and often denigrated.  His expectations are spurned and ignored.

Like those days, God’s people are called to be perseverant in their dedication and faithfulness to Him.  Why?  We do so because he continues to be dedicated and faithful to His followers.   Time and again He has shown his faithfulness, just as He did for the Maccabees and their followers – the followers of God.

No greater evidence is there than His faithfulness on the Cross.  He promised a deliverer in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) and He provided that deliver as we see evidenced in the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament).  That deliver is Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).

Don’t take my word for it.  Read the Tanakh and the B’rit Hadashah and see if it is not so.  We would be happy to send you both.  Just contact us; we would also be happy to answer any of your questions.

Hag Hanukkah Sameach!

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

Posted in Daniel Muller, Evangelism, Following God, Israel, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jews and Jesus, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Serving God, The Bible | 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 »

Hanukkah with Thanksgiving

November 28th, 2013

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.” (John 10:27-30)

These words were spoken by Yeshua (Jesus) in the Temple in Jerusalem during the Feast of Dedication – what we call Hanukkah.  Today is the first day of Hanukkah.  It is also the day when our American friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving.

Both of these holidays are intended to be centered around family festivities – the family coming together to celebrate God’s provision.  At Thanksgiving we celebrate God’s providing us not only with food and shelter as he did our early forebears who came to dwell here, but also to celebrate the land of freedom for which both the U.S. and Canada are renowned; freedom of conscience, of religion, of expression and many other freedoms.  At Hanukkah, we celebrate God’s victory for his people Israel over the Syrian Greeks, and his provision in enabling the people to rededicate themselves to Him.

Yeshua, in the passage above, reminds us of God’s dedication to us, especially as we dedicate ourselves to Him.  We are his sheep, and we are called on to listen to Him.  Yeshua was our Messiah, God come in human form to provide the means for eternal life He promised us through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and so we are called on to follow Him.

To not believe in God, is to celebrate Thanksgiving meaninglessly.  It is as foolish as talking on the phone when no one is on the other end.  We may celebrate all the trappings, but the reason for our joy is gone and the holiday serves no true purpose.

To not believe in Yeshua, is to celebrate Hanukkah meaninglessly.  Because, though God is dedicated to us, he only provides the reason for our joy through our dedication to Him – and that is by faith in the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua.  We may celebrate with all the trappings, but the holiday serves no true purpose.

This year, let us all celebrate Hanukkah with thanksgiving for the joy of eternal life vouchsafed by God through our faith in Messiah Yeshua.

Posted in Anonymous, Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, New Covenant, Salvation, The Bible | No Comments »

Have you kissed the Son?

November 26th, 2013

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalms 2:12; English Standard Version)

Do homage in purity, lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way, when suddenly His wrath is kindled. Happy are all they that take refuge in Him. (Psalms 2:12; Jewish Publication Society)

A quick perusal of this verse in the two versions will show that there is some disagreement here.  But, why?

The phrase under debate is the Hebrew words that can be transliterated in English as neeshku-var.  The Hebrew word nshk, can mean “kiss” or “paying homage.”  Var is the Aramaic word for “son.”  So why has the JPS translated it, “do homage in purity?”

Although this is the tradition of some Medieval Jewish sages, there are notable exceptions, such as Ibn Ezra, and the Radak.  The Zohar also speaks of this verse, understanding the word as son.  More importantly, the Talmud recognizes this psalm as Messianic, and speaking in relationship to both Messiah son of Joseph (i.e. Yeshua or Jesus), and Messiah son of David (b. Sukkah 52a).

Already in Psalm 2 we are asked why the world rebels against the Lord and His Anointed (v.1). Later in the psalm God calls this anointed his Son whom He has begotten (v. 7).  So in the words of Michael Brown, to whom I am indebted for the information in this article*, “Why then should it be considered odd that the psalm would close with a twofold admonition, namely, to ‘serve the Lord with fear’ and ‘kiss the son?’”

Where traditional Jewish interpreters vary, they are required to say that the word as written is not quite correct, and that it represents a different word (like the Hebrew word for “purity” which is very similar).  As demonstrated above, however, that is not necessary.

Who is right?  Those who take the words as they are written and translate them within the context of the Psalm; or those who –  disregarding what is written both in the Scriptural text and even, at times, in rabbinic tradition – translate according to their own idea of what they want Scripture to say.

Sadly, many (happily not all) passages in Scripture that point to Yeshua as Messiah are treated this way. Still, more Jewish people are coming to “kiss the Son” today than since the time of Yeshua.  Why not listen to God and do the same?

Please contact us for more information, or you can click here.

* For a more detailed discussion on this passage, read “Answering Jewish Objections of Jesus: Volume Three – Messianic Prophecy Objections,” by Michael Brown.  2003.  Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI

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

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Following God, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jewish Tradition, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Talmud vs. Tanakh, The Bible, Things Doctrinal and Theological | No Comments »

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