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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 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 Bible at its Word

August 23rd, 2013

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile].” (Romans 1:16)

If a person believes in Jesus as proclaimed in the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament), that person can then read the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) at its word.  The two parts of the Bible are seen to be complimentary, cohesive, consistent and correct.  The Word of God, taken at its word, then becomes a testimony to its own miraculous existence and, consequently, to the glory of God: to His wonderful plans, promises and faithfulness.

If a person will not believe in Jesus as presented in the B’rit Hadashah, then one must read into the Tanakh in order to make it work (as the sages and rabbis have done).  Then the Hebrew Scriptures cannot be taken at its word: they are seen to be confusing and, in many places, untrue.  The Word of God becomes full of contradiction and inconsistencies that testify to its being not of God but of humanity and, therefore, mundane – no different than any other religious book proclaiming truth.  The Scriptures then contain no or, at best, questionable testimony to the truth of God.

It would seem to me that the existence of the miracle trumps the assumption of the mundane.  That is why I know that the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation is true and can be taken at its word.

“For in it [the Gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17)

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

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Knowing God, Some Words and Thoughts, The Bible | 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 »

Don’t Be Blinded!

April 5th, 2013

“Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, ‘You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.’”(Matthew 24:1-2)

Yeshua (Jesus) is here speaking about the events that would occur in 40 years: the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  He had just finished condemning the Jewish religious leaders in Matthew 23 where he calls them blind guides.  It is passages like these that cause many Jewish leaders today to call the Gospel of Matthew anti-Semitic.

Let us consider the source and the result, however.  Matthew, a Jewish disciple of Yeshua is writing about what his Jewish rabbi said.  This rabbis is, among other things, a prophet.  That Yeshua is truly a prophet we can determine by the result that what he said came to pass.  Consider how often the prophets condemned the Israelite leaders, both kings and priests, because they were disobedient to God (see also Is the New Testament Anti-Semitic?).

Yeshua was not happy about that which was to take place; indeed he had just lamented over Israel and their inability to see the deliverance he brought for them (Matthew 23:37).  He knew God’s will, and declared it, just as the prophets of old.

The truth is that if Yeshua was a prophet as promised in the Torah (Deuteronomy 18:18), then he was also the Messiah and he was also God.

  • He was the Messiah as promised by Hebrew Scriptures (Isaiah 9:1-6; Isaiah 53),
    • and as a prophet of God he proclaimed this to be so (John 4:25-26).
  • He was God, as the prophets proclaimed he would be (Isaiah 9:6; Jeremiah 23:6; Malachi 3:1),
    • and as a prophet of God he proclaimed this to be so (Mark 3:11-12; Luke 4:41; John 1:49-51, 8:58 (claiming God’s name given to Moses in Exodus 3:14).

If what he said about the temple was true, then why should it surprise us that all the rest is true.  And if Israel had been blinded by their leaders before about the nature of God and His plans, why should we not be prepared for the same today?

Don’t be blinded by the traditions of men and be destroyed.  Come to the Word of God and the Son of God and be saved for eternal life!

“Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”(Matthew 15:14)

Please contact us for more information!

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

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, The Bible | No Comments »

PASSOVER: Clean Home and Clean Heart

March 27th, 2013

There’s something so attractive about ‘clean’!  It feels so good to be welcomed into a home that is warm, inviting and clean. It’s so invigorating to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

The town where I live has been known for its clean water, apparently among the best in Canada. Recently for the first time, we’ve had chlorine added – permanently. It’s been a disappointing change. Now pure, clean water has become a precious commodity. Of course, there are places in this world where people are sick and dying from lack of a clean water supply. So this morning I’ve been reflecting on how grateful I am for clean air, clean water, clean clothes, a clean home – and most of all a clean heart.

A clean heart?  What is that supposed to mean?

In Exodus, Moses passes on God’s instructions for the Passover:  “Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory” (Exodus 13:7). To this day Jewish homes are cleansed of all leavened products in preparation for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Why? Leaven is a symbol of sin. (See article “Why Matzah?”)

As we begin to know the Lord by studying His Word, we see that He is always more concerned about the inside of a person’s life and heart than what is apparent on the outside. When God was about to choose a king for Israel, He said to the prophet Samuel, “…Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature … For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God was seeking a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). God chose David as King, and David reigned for a long time (2 Samuel 5:4-5).

Only God knows our hearts, and He wants to be with those whose hearts are clean (1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 17:10). King David wrote, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully”  (Psalm 24:3,4).

But who has never sinned against God?  Who has never chosen his own way over God’s way? Not a single person is righteous, for we have all turned to our own way (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 53:6). Even what we consider to be righteous deeds are unclean to the Lord by His standards, unless our hearts are pure before Him (Isaiah 64:6).

So who then can stand before God?

That is the amazing beauty of the Passover!

God Himself made a way for us to be acceptable in His sight. In the Exodus from Egypt, the lamb was His Passover (Exodus 12:11). Only the lamb could appease God at that time. The blood of the lamb diverted God’s wrath away from those who applied the blood to the entrance of their homes and kept them sheltered by the blood until morning (Exodus 12:7,13,22,23). Those who didn’t, lost their firstborn on that terrible night.

And now we have the perspective of history unfolded. The Passover lamb was a picture foreshadowing the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Our prophet Isaiah described this Lamb of God, our Messiah, hundreds of years before Jesus came into this world (Isaiah 53:3-11). Now our Passover has been sacrificed for us, once forever, to cleanse us always from sin, guilt and shame to serve the living God (I Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 9:14; 10:14)!

Our Lamb of God is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah,  the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 5:5; 22:16). He who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood is coming again. Then every eye shall see Him, every knee shall bow before Him, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Revelation 1:5-7; Philippians 2:9-11).

In the meantime, let’s give praise to God for our Passover Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, who alone can make our hearts clean (Revelation 13:8). Hallelujah, what a Saviour – what a Messiah!

Contributed by Cynthia Sugar, a Jewish believer in Jesus.

Posted in Cynthia Sugar, Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Salvation, The Bible | No Comments »

Coming Out of the Bushes

February 13th, 2013

But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he 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)

In Genesis Chapter 3, which relates the fall of Adam and Eve, three things are obvious:

  1. Through the temptation of the serpent, our first parents rebelled against God by eating the fruit forbidden to them – breaking the only rule that was given them to obey.
  2. By eating of the fruit of the tree of good and evil, the relationship between each other and between them and God seemed irrevocably disjointed.
  3. Though they deserved the death promised to them by God for their disobedience, they did not die.  God was gracious to them so that, even though there were consequences for their actions, they were not utterly destroyed.

The Genesis 3 account is one, therefore, of both regret and hope.  Regret at paradise lost, and hope for a future promised.  For here in Genesis 3 we have the first of the messianic promises found in the Word of God when the Lord  curses Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”  (Genesis 3:15).

This was fulfilled with the coming of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).  When he was hung upon the cross, sinless though he was, Satan bruised the heel of the offspring of Eve.  And when he died upon that cross, the offspring bruised his head.

There is one element of this story that is often overlooked, but is implicitly obvious from our passage above.  When God came to call Adam and Eve out, Adam came out of the bushes.

You see they had hid themselves from God in fear.  When God called Adam out, he might have tried to hide further but he did not.  He came forward and confessed – not a great confession – but a start.

God is calling us to come out of the bushes; to recognize our rebelliousness against him.  He has also given us a means to reconcile ourselves to Him: Yeshua (Jesus).

Come out of the bushes!  Perhaps you’re not sure of the consequences.  That’s ok – come out!  It’s a start.

Contact us to find out more.

 

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Following God, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Some Words and Thoughts, The Bible | 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 »

Anti-Missionaries Miss the Point

January 18th, 2013

There is a lawsuit in the Israeli courts against the Israel Army Radio, filed by the anti-missionary organization Yad L’Achim.  Apparently, the IAR refused to air a Yad L’Achim sponsored commercial telling people not to be deceived into believing in Jesus.  IAR did not air this because it felt it was considered controversial by the general public, and that it was offensive to some.

This is how a Yad L’Achim spokeman represented their position:

Christian mission is based on deceit. Its emissaries do not present themselves as Christian but as Messianic Jews, who represent a Judaism that believes in Jesus as the Messiah. Those ‘Messianic Jews’ hide their connection to a sub-stream of Protestant Christianity. Some of the leaders of the Messianic congregations have been ordained, some are Gentiles, and some are converted Jews.” Though their behavior is Jewish, “their theology is Christian.

Yad L’Achim’s lawyer used the persecution card, saying:

All through the exile Jews were forced – sometimes through torture – to convert to Christianity. Other Jews, including entire communities, forfeited their lives by refusing to convert. How can it not be permitted, in the State of Israel, to air an ad that warns against missionary activity?

In other words, since Jews were forced to convert to Christianity in a time gone by, people should not be given the chance to voluntarily hear the Gospel now.  For more about that, see our recent article, “Is the New Testament Anti-Semetic?”

In the end, all of Yad L’Achim’s rhetoric points to one thing: anti-missionaries don’t get the point.  They don’t understand what Christianity is all about, and how those Jews who believe in Yeshua (Jesus) view their faith in him.

For us, faith in Yeshua is the biblical faith.  It is the continuation of the work of God that was begun in Genesis and which will find its final fulfillment in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament).  This continuity is clearly visible with a simple reading of the whole of Scriptures. 

Both the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) and the B’rit Hadashah are wrapped up in the history, the culture and the religious beliefs  of the Jewish people.  It represents God’s dealings with them and, through them, with every nation of the world.  To say that faith in Yeshua is the biblical faith is to say also that faith in Yeshua is the biblical Jewish faith (as opposed to the faith of the rabbis, or rabbinic Judaism).

That is what Jews and Gentiles who put their faith in Yeshua believe.  Whether we call ourselves Christians, or Believers in Jesus, or Messianics – that is our belief.  As Israel is ostensibly a pluralistic country, those who believe should have a right to express that belief, with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).  Yad L’Achim, Jews for Judaism and organizations like them want to keep that message from you.  You can heed their voice or no.

If you would like a chance to hear the message, why not contact us.  We would be happy to send you the Scriptures so you can consider these things for yourself.  If you have any questions, we would be happy to help you out – and by all means ask your rabbi too, or even Yad L’Achim if you wish.

As one follower of Yeshua put it:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17; quoting at the end from Habakkuk 2:4)

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

 

Posted in Daniel Muller, Evangelism, Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Identity, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, The Bible | No Comments »

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