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Up or Under

December 29th, 2011

The following is exerpted from the Christian Zionism section of the Caspari Media Review of December 29, 2011 and cites a December 20th article in the Jerusalem Post:

Andrew Tucker, Executive Director of Christians for Israel International, contributed a piece to the Jerusalem Post: “Christians worldwide are gearing up to celebrate Christmas. Christmas trees are being erected, presents purchased and the turkeys prepared for the oven. Millions of church services will be held on December 25 to mark the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The tragedy is, most of us have no idea why. We have forgotten that Jesus was a Jew – he came to this world as a Jew, lived as a Jew, died as a Jew, and will (we believe) come back a Jew. Most Christians have no idea that today’s Jews are descendants of Jesus’ friends and brethren. In fact, we have forgotten (if we ever knew) that the very reason Jesus came was to fulfill God’s promises to Abraham – to bless the Jewish people, and though them to bless all nations. We have made Jesus into a sort of Disneyland figure, conveniently cut off from his Hebrew roots and the people he so loved, among whom he dwelled, and for whom he gave his life. As my friend Willem Glashouwer puts it – we Christians cut the root, and stole the fruit. … There is something deeply wrong with Western Christianity today, and it has to do with Israel. It is no wonder the churches in the West are dying out. So long as the church fails to recognize that its own identity – its genesis and its destiny – are bound up with the restoration of the Jewish people (yes, the literal Israel), we will continue to miss the mark, and we will fail to be relevant. This requires nothing less than a fundamental paradigm shift in the mentality of most Christian leaders. … The church in Europe bears a special responsibility in this regard. It was in Christian Europe that six million Jews were slaughtered. Hitler was able to cite Luther, and he did so without hesitation. Confronted by the harsh reality of the Holocaust, there was a measure of repentance and new insight in the mid-20th century, but the tide seems to have turned again. Sadly, Christians who love and support Israel are today a small force in Europe. That is not likely to change. … All is not doom and gloom. A growing movement of Christians worldwide are coming to the realization that something has to change. Most of them are not in the West, but in the developing continents like Africa and Asia. Last month, for example, Christians for Israel organized a series of conferences in Uganda, South Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana at which thousands of black Christians embraced the message that the church has not replaced Israel. … Many African pastors and Christian leaders – free of the historical and theological shackles that continue to bind their European counterparts – pledged to reject all forms of ‘replacement theology’ and to embrace Israel as the apple of God’s eye. Similar groups are springing up all over the world. I believe there is a hidden army of Christians who are rediscovering their true identity as Gentiles grafted onto the Jewish olive tree. These Christians feel themselves more and more isolated, and uncomfortable in the traditional churches. And they are increasingly marginalized and misunderstood. Christians who dare to support the Jewish people and the restoration of Israel need to brace themselves for stormy weather. But we have no choice. It is up or under.

If you are a believer in Yeshua, and you want to know how you can help let the Jewish people know about their Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), then click here or feel free to contact us for more information.

Posted in Jesus and Israel, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, Miscellaneous Authors, This, That, The Other Thing, Zionism and Israel | No Comments »

A Prophet Like Moshe

May 24th, 2011

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers – it is to him you shall listen. (Deuteronomy 18:15)”

What a promise for the Jewish people to look forward to and to wait for with eager anticipation.  Who would it be?  When would the Promised One arise so that he could be heard, listened to and obeyed?

At their inception as a nation, the people of Israel could affirm that they had great patriarchs like Avraham (Abraham), Yitzak (Isaac) and Yakov (Jacob).  These forefathers were friends of God, communicators with the Almighty and mediators of a wonderful covenant of blessing for God’s chosen people.

Then came Moshe!  Coming from the priestly tribe of Levi, he was a prophet to the people, telling them the words of the Lord.  He was God’s deliverer for Israel.  With God’s help he lead them out of slavery in Egypt.  He then led the nation of Israel to Mount Sinai and wrote down for them the very words of God – the Torah.

And those words included the passage above from Deuteronomy 18:15.

How would this be?  Was there going to be a passing of the torch to Moshe’s descendants, as there was  with Avraham, Yitzak and Yakov?  Moshe, Gershom and Shebuel and so on, down the family line, was not what God had planned.  Gershom would believe in the Lord and serve the Lord, but not be the commencement of a prophetic dynasty.

If not Moshe’s sons, then perhaps his chosen successor – Yehoshua ben Nun (Joshua son of Nun) for the next prophet?    Yehoshua was a warrior given the task of bringing the new nation into their land of promise; of conquering their enemies and establishing the land as the possession and inheritance of Israel.  He was a soldier and a leader, but not the promised prophet.

Perhaps all the prophets of succeeding generations from the time of the Judges to and through the time of the Kings were what this promise encompassed?  They were “from their countrymen.”  Some were significant individuals on the canvas of history, some not so much, but none of them were like Moshe.

So if there is no genetic dynasty, no successive ruler and no spiritual lineage that fulfills the meaning and context of who this great prophet is … then who is this prophet?  Who is the One to come who should be listened too? 

I know!  Yeshua HaMashiach (Messiah Jesus)! 

How could I say that?

Well, Moshe and Yeshua were both delivered from death as infants.  Both had wilderness experiences.  Both were mediators of covenants – one the Mosaic covenant given on Sinai; the other the New Covenant written on the heart, as it is written:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, …  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)”

When the Jewish people entreated the Lord not to overwhelm them with thunder, lightning, fire, light, smoke and glory, God gave them Moses to speak on His behalf.  But in the fullness of time God sent His only Son, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ), to live with them and speak to them in love and truth and gently invite them to,

 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)”

Yeshua offers salvation, peace, forgiveness, joy, eternal life and love.  Moshe said to listen to Him.  Will you?

Want to know more?  Contact us and we will be happy to help.

Contributed by Miriam Cannon, a friend of New Covenant Forum and of the Jewish people.

Posted in Following God, Goyim for God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Identity, Jews and Jesus, Knowing God, Messiah in the Tanach, Miscellaneous Authors, New Covenant, The Bible | No Comments »

The Gospel Message: Telling it like it is!

May 17th, 2010

“We were on the beach on New Year’s Eve. One of us was preaching the Gospel using puppets. A Jewish man came up to us and was lecturing us about the merits of Rationalism. A crowd gathered. We were surrounded by what seemed like a dozen Jewish people. One of us attempted to speak, but hecklers and the shouting of the crowd silenced him. At once a tall Jewish man silenced the crowd and in a loud voice said: “I don’t agree with them, but let us hear what they have to say.” That gave one of us an opportunity and he began preaching the Gospel for several minutes and people listened. Then a man stormed the meeting and threatened to beat us all up. A few gathered around the man and he was quickly silenced and we continued presenting the Gospel.”

This report was dated the summer of 1963. The Gospel Preachers worked for an organization called the South African Jews Society. These people understood that Gospel Proclamation is not a right to be earned – it is a responsibility to be discharged. Love does not keep silent – love is audible, seen, and courageous.

We all are afraid of being vulnerable, of rejection, of being labeled as religious bigots. A Rabbi once claimed that those who tell Jews the Gospel are no better than Spiritual Nazis. Some shun these discomforts in the name of love. Too many of us keep silent in the face of our obligation to have an audible love that speaks of God’s salvation in Messiah. Silence cares more about self and your own sensibilities than another’s salvation. I say that it is a badge of honor to bear the reproach of Messiah. Scripture says: For Zion’s sake I will not be silent Get up on a high mountain and say – Behold your God!

In Canada we have economic stability, universal health care, powerful neighbors, and low crime. But in Canada the public square is naked – people of religious conviction are marginalized. The public religion is pluralism. The status quo is worshiped. Religious tolerance has deteriorated into a shrill insistence that anyone who challenges another’s belief is intolerant. There is little patience in Canada for the concept of absolute truth, yet high praise for the blurring of distinction.

Pluralism should mean that we recognize the rights of people to believe differently. We can co-exist peacefully and still debate religious ideals and values. In Canada, we have decided to tolerate what God has decided not to tolerate – for our own sake, not for His. This kind of conformity counteracts the message of the Gospel and the preaching of the Gospel and I believe that God’s people need to counter it.

Missionary work among the Jewish people is something that brings workers into confrontation with the Jewish people and with Jewish culture. We are told: “You can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus,” “You are destroying Jewish values,” “You are finishing what Hitler started”.

It is easy to marginalize direct evangelism in Canada by claiming that it is inappropriate, offensive, and insensitive to our mindset. If there were a better way to evangelize we would do it, but the direct approach is the most honorable, is transparent and is the way of integrity. The direct method keeps us honest and honours the message. I don’t consider myself an offensive person, but I am a Jew for Jesus. That says it all. And that offends people.

All who labor for the gospel among my people need friends. A friend is more than someone who will send money or lend a hand or stand up for you. A friend is more than someone who will nurse you in sickness. A friend is more than a comrade or a companion or one with a shared interest.

A friend says, “Do you see what I see?” Do you see the same truth? Do you care about the same truth? Friends stand side by side and look ahead and their eyes are fixed on the same truth. The condition of friendship is that you want something else. Friendship must be about something. We need friends to care with us that the Gospel is for the Jews!

Contributed by Andrew Barron, Director of Jews for Jesus Canada

Posted in Evangelism, Goyim for God, Jesus and Jews, Jews and Jesus, Miscellaneous Authors, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

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