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Future Shock?

October 26th, 2015

Scared of the future?  Read what Jesus said:

“So I tell you, don’t worry about the things you need to live–what you will eat, drink, or wear. Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what you put on it. Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Don’t you know you are worth much more than they are? You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it. And why do you worry about clothes? Look at the wildflowers in the field. See how they grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that even Solomon, the great and rich king, was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. If God makes what grows in the field so beautiful, what do you think he will do for you? It’s just grass–one day it’s alive, and the next day someone throws it into a fire. But God cares enough to make it beautiful. Surely he will do much more for you. Your faith is so small! “Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ That’s what those people who don’t know God are always thinking about. Don’t worry, because your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. What you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what he wants you to do. Then he will give you all these other things you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Tomorrow will have its own worries.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

To those who believed in him he said:

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Believe in Yeshua!  Contact us to learn more.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Following God, Messiah, New Covenant, Some Words and Thoughts, The Bible | No Comments »

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 »

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 »

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 »

The Right Kind of Judaism?

November 18th, 2013

But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deuteronomy 30:14)

God was telling the people of Israel that they did not need a lot of rules in order to relate to Him.  They only needed the Law that he gave them.  Yet centuries later, the religious leaders of Israel began heaping all kinds of rules and regulations and calling them Laws.  God sought a circumcised heart (Deuteronomy 10:16) – a people after His own heart like King David was (1 Samuel 13:14), but instead we had rules piled upon us to become a burden (Luke 11:46).

If the Judaism of the rabbis (i.e. Talmudic Judaism) is the correct form of Judaism, then why didn’t the Lord return the nation to the Land of Israel in the 10th or 11th Century C.E., when rabbinic Judaism was in its golden age and supposedly every Jew knew the Talmud-Torah? Why did he wait till the time when most Jews were secular; yet more Jews were believing in Yeshua (Jesus) than ever before? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

God told us through the prophet Zechariah:

They [will] look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10)

Jewish people are coming to know Yeshua as their Messiah and Lord, just as God promised.  Why shouldn’t you?  Contact us to learn more.

We would love to send you the book, “Twelve Sons of Israel,” about 12 rabbis who came to faith in Yeshua.  Just ask for it when you contact us.

Posted in Anonymous, Following God, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Some Words and Thoughts, Talmud vs. Tanakh | No Comments »

Flesh and Blood Yeshua (Jesus)

October 24th, 2013

“This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:50-51)

This is one of the verses that rabbis love to tout to demonstrate the terrible nature of Christian thought, as if Christianity were promoting cannibalism.  Indeed, Yeshua (Jesus) is responding here to the offense his Jewish listeners took when he spoke of this a few verses earlier (see John 6:.25-59 for the whole story).

But to take offense, is to lack understanding of the fact that Yeshua is speaking of spiritual things, not literal things.  The same confusion occurs in the 3rd chapter of John, when a Jewish priest by the name of Nicodemus is told that to see the kingdom of God he must be born again.  Nicodemus takes him literally, and asks how a man is to re-enter his mother’s womb to be reborn.  He doesn’t get that Yeshua is talking of a spiritual regeneration – reborn in his relationship with God (see John 3:1-21).

In chapter 4 we see the same thing, this time when Yeshua is speaking to a Samaritan woman.  He promises her living water that would permanently quench her thirst and she asks him for it assuming it was a physical thing – like Yeshua was some sort of snake-oil salesman.  But Yeshua was talking spiritually; that in having a right relationship with God through him, we can have eternal life.

And in our passage above, Yeshua is speaking spiritually once again.  It was, after all, his finger at Mount Sinai that put the law on the tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18); and it is by Yeshua’s finger again that, in the New Covenant promised by God through the prophet Jeremiah, the same law is written in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34).  So when he speaks of partaking of his flesh and blood, he is talking about our partaking spiritually in his act of sacrifice on the cross that would bring atonement for our sins and enable us to enter into that New Covenant.

Many turned away because they misunderstood Yeshua.  Many turn away today for the same reason.  Don’t misunderstand the Word of God.  It is a spiritual book seeking to give you life eternal.

If you would like to know more about what Jesus truly taught, feel free to contact us.  We would be happy to send you a copy of the B’rit Hadashah (New Covenant or New Testament) to read, and we are always ready to help you to understand it.

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

Posted in Daniel Muller, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, New Covenant, Salvation, Some Words and Thoughts | 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 »

Yom Kippur Opportunity

September 13th, 2013

This evening is Yom Kippur.  What an opportune time for us to draw near to God and let His Spirit move in our hearts!

We tend to be so slow in recognizing our indebtedness to our Heavenly Father, Creator of the universe (melech ha-olam – king of the universe); slow in humbling ourselves before Him and confessing our sins and seeking forgiveness.  This is the one time of year in the Jewish calendar when we are more aware of this need in our lives.

In fact, this self-examination is prescribed for us both biblically and traditionally.  Moses described the Day of Atonement in Leviticus chapters 16 and 23. The high priest represented the people to God.  He alone could enter the holiest place in the tabernacle, and only once a year.  Even then he had to first offer a perfect animal sacrifice for his own sin, and then he and his priests offered sacrifices for the people, so their sins would be ‘covered’.  Since the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in the first century, we have replaced these animal sacrifices with our mitzvot, our good deeds.

In contrast, when our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) came, He replaced these repetitive animal sacrifices by the costly sacrifice of Himself.  He knew that when the Temple was destroyed we would have no need to re-institute the animal sacrifices. The new covenant that God promised for us so long ago through His prophet Jeremiah came into effect (Jeremiah 31:31-34).  He set aside the first covenant so He could establish the second (Hebrews 10:9)

Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world, is the only One who could take our place and be sacrificed for us, since He alone was without sin.  Now His is the only acceptable sacrifice to God which allows us to enter His holy Presence.

The Bible is an accurate record of the history of our people and of God’s intervention in our lives.  He loves us so much that He gave His only Son so that we can come to Him and find joy in His Presence now and forever.

If you find this teaching questionable, or confusing, or interesting enough to pursue, why not contact Daniel or Alan at newcovenantforum.org?  They’d be happy to discuss it with you and answer your questions.

Contributed by Cynthia Sugar, a Jewish believer in Jesus.

Posted in Atonement, Cynthia Sugar, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Messiah, New Covenant, Salvation | No Comments »

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