Tag Archives: Jewish

One Law

The traditional Gentile Christian says that we are no longer under the Law. Or sometimes they say the Law was never intended for us to begin with. They can’t seem to get their story straight. It’s pick-and-choose. Don’t worry about the Law of Moses – that was given only to the Israelites. Oh, but don’t kill anyone. That’s not right. Keep the 10 Commandments. Those were intended for everyone. Oh, well, except the sabbath day; don’t worry about that one. You know what though? You really shouldn’t get a tattoo or cut yourself. Only rebellious people do that. Oh, and if you commit homosexuality, you’re a reprobate. That’s an abomination. What? So is eating pig? Well, Deuteronomy doesn’t count anymore. Setting up a Christmas tree in your house is okay though. (I know that originated with fertility worship, but God shouldn’t care as long as we use the tree to worship Him.) Forget about the feast days. Yeah, He says they’re perpetual, but since they’ve been fulfilled, it would be sacrilege to keep them anymore. Oh, but you had better pay your tithes!!!!!

No wonder atheists and Jews think we’re crazy.

The Jews that I talk to say that the Law of Moses was never intended for Gentiles at all. But let’s see what their own Torah has to say about that:

“Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 24:22

“One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.” Exodus 12:49

“One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.” Numbers 15:16

“Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.” Deuteronomy 27:26

The above passage is interesting in that it specifically doesn’t mention foreigners. However, it is referring to a future event, one that actually takes place in Joshua 8, after the fall of Jericho and Ai. Read the whole chapter, but take special note of the last verse:

“There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them” Joshua 8:35

Why would it be a sin for a Gentile to disobey Hebrew Laws? Because they are first and foremost Yahweh’s Laws. They are the very definition of righteousness itself.

Psalm 119:142: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”

Psalm 119:172: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.”

And the righteousness of God did not morph somehow with the coming of Christ: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4

Could our Father be any more clear? All of these apologetics you’ve been reading your whole life are merely that – man’s method of explaining away the things they don’t understand.

We seem to think that God and His righteousness and His Law are three separate things, but they aren’t. Since Jesus is the Word made flesh, we should realize that the Torah and the Messiah are inseparable. All of the following verses relate to the pre-incarnate Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Read the whole chapter to see what I’m talking about.

Food for thought – how would you suggest that a Messianic Jew live? Should he throw out the perpetual commandments? What does “perpetual” mean to you?

What if you are among the ten lost tribes? What if you are Hebrew and you don’t know it? Most of us probably are: Genesis 48:19. What then?

What about an adopted child? Is he excluded from the laws of the family, or is he treated as a natural-born son? Galatians 3:29

Listen, if you really want to know what’s going on, read the entire Bible. Let it challenge your misconceptions, then dig until you find the answers. Then read it again. You will understand more the next time through, and expose the next layer of misconception. Rinse and repeat – it’s an incredible journey!

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Conversations

I have had a few really great conversations this week on other blogs, and I thought it would be interesting to share them here.

Note, the following blog posts do not necessarily reflect my opinion. A couple of these conversations were interesting because I disagreed with the author. However, in each instance, the author engaged me with respect, and we had intelligent, enlightening interactions with one another.

I believe it’s important to read and consider things that we may not necessarily agree with. How will we know what we really believe about an issue if we’ve only ever heard one side?

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” I Thessalonians 5:21

The Church Got it Wrong, by William Bouker

“The church would have us believe that the Law of Moses somehow became void.”

Interesting reading. The church definitely needs to see this. You will need to read the comments if you want to know where I stand.

The God of Slavery, by KIA

The God of slavery…again? by KIA

This blogger has written a series of posts about the immorality of slavery, what the Bible says about it, and the Christian response. I think it’s a topic we need to seriously consider. I think we need to read our Bibles to see what it really says instead of merely defending what we think it says. In my opinion, the topic of slavery foreshadows Christ. You will see what I mean if you read through the comments. (My comments are on the second link. I included the first link for context.)

Jesus and His Eternal Rest, by PreacherWin

When I first read this post, I agreed with almost every single word, but I misunderstood the author’s perspective. The conversation that ensued was quite interesting, to be sure! My last comment, however, was never approved for posting. I am assuming that the writer just hasn’t been on his blog lately, or that he wanted the last word. It is his blog, after all. Anyway, here is my last comment for you all to read, just in case it never shows up on his page. Note, you may want to read his article first, the comment section next, and finally my last comment, which follows:

Edited: He responded! I just hadn’t waited long enough, lol. So I’m going to delete my comment from this post. If you want to read the conversation, hop on over to his blog!

A Jewish Quote that Accidentally Proved Jesus as Messiah

Let me take a moment and be completely, painfully honest with you. I grew up in church and was saved at a very young age, so I didn’t have the advantage of the proof of a changed life. I spent 15-20 years  doubting my salvation. I cried myself to sleep many a night because I knew this is the one thing I had to get right. I am not alone in this. All over the internet, all over my hometown, I am surrounded by others who are doubting or who have doubted.

This is not something we discuss openly because there is an “Emperor’s New Clothes” mindset going on here. If we admit to our doubt, we fear that others will suspect we’ve never actually encountered the real God. However, God knows how human we are. How often we forget or doubt Him. He is well acquainted with the nature of His people. Read Exodus if you want to observe a nation who constantly doubted and forgot God in spite of having witnessed the 10 plagues and having walked through the Red Sea.

Most of my studies are motivated by one thing: proving to myself that the Word of God is true, and that Jesus is who He claimed to be. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s wrong to look into these things, to use your brain instead of your heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

How many Jews and Muslims would come to Christ if they would investigate instead of believing what mommy and daddy taught them? Instead of believing the rabbis and the imams? It may seem to you that I am kicking against tradition here. Let me clarify that for you: I am kicking AND screaming. I will not be guilty of believing what I’ve been told merely out of respect for a religious denomination or leader. That is not placing your faith in Jesus Christ. That is placing your faith in religion.

There is only one standard for my faith, and that is the revealed Word of the Living God. This Word has proven its faithfulness to me, over and over again, and Jesus is the Word made flesh. I’m not just being sappy here or placing my belief in something I cannot prove. The Word is historically, scientifically, and prophetically accurate. I challenge you to look into it. See if it’s true.

In case you’re one of those who feels guilty for having occasional doubts, let me encourage you. There’s nothing wrong with seeking proof: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” Luke 1:1-4

Here is the wonderful thing about being human: doubting leads to seeking, and seeking will lead you to the proof you are looking for. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

The articles that I’ve been posting recently are an effort to share with you some of the things I have learned about the Word. I want you to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind. Here’s the irony: some of the greatest proofs lie in what the Jews reject about their Messiah and what Christianity has forgotten about Him.

Point Four glances backwards at previous posts, especially point Three. Here is point Four: Messiah is not a contrivance of the Jews any more than Jesus is an invention of the Christians. This is more proof that He is, in fact, Messiah. The Jews don’t understand Christianity, and Christians don’t understand Jewishness, but if either party would look into what the other believes and why, they would find a perfect fulfillment of Scriptures, a perfect harmony between the Testaments that only God could be responsible for, especially since Jews and Christians don’t understand each other.

Now, take a look at this quote:

When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them; they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: “Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come!” ( LeMann’s Jesus Before the Sanhedrin, page 30.)

LeMann also tells us that in AD 11, the Sanhedrin lost the judicial power to issue capital punishment. The Roman Empire took it upon themselves to try capital offenders. This event is a fulfillment of Genesis 49:10: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

If you want more proof that the loss of the scepter refers to this event, or that Shiloh refers to the Messiah, or even more details surrounding the quote, I recommend Josh McDowell’s book The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It is more than 700 pages long and filled with scholarly evidence that Jesus is the Christ. If you have it already, you can find this topic on pages 195-197.

Here’s my point: Jesus was alive and walking among the Jewish people when this event occurred. God had kept His promise to Judah and had sent the promised Redeemer at the appointed time. If Messiah had not showed up on time, then God would have been guilty of lying to them. If He could lie about one thing, who is to say that He couldn’t lie about everything? Why even believe in a Messiah at all if He did not arrive when prophesied?

If Jesus were not the Messiah, then it is too late. There will not be another one. I find it strange that the Jewish nation would more easily believe that God had failed in keeping His promise to them, rather than accept Yeshua as Messiah.

Let me just remind you that Jewish rejection of the Messiah is also a fulfillment of prophecy. It’s a prophecy they do not want to fulfill, but they are doing it in spite of themselves. More proof for the accuracy of the Scriptures? Assuredly so.

Here’s what Jews have failed to understand: Messiah had to have shown up before the scepter departed from Judah. That means He has been here already. If the Jewish nation would look into this more deeply, they would realize that Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies concerning Messiah ben Joseph. (Prophecies concerning Messiah ben David will be fulfilled at the return of Christ.)

Here’s what the Christians have failed to understand: The significance of Genesis 49:10 is absolute proof and should be very helpful for winning Jews, agnostics, and atheists. For instance, if Jesus as Messiah was a set-up, how could the conspirators have controlled what Rome was doing to the Jewish nation in AD 11, or even what the Sanhedrin would say concerning the Messiah? Jesus just happened to be alive already when that event took place and when those words were uttered? How much “coincidence” is needed before it begins to be a body of evidence?

sackcloth-and-ashes

Jewish Belief and the Sonship of the Messiah

ancient-hebrew-nameA couple of weeks ago, someone asked me why I am so interested in studying Jewish beliefs. I am pretty terrible at organizing my thoughts into words unless I have had time to think and write, so after some consideration, this is my reply.

This is a pretty important question, considering the fact that I almost always bring up some aspect of Jewish belief or understanding during our Sunday School lessons. The ladies in the class always respectfully listen to me ramble on, even if they are not interested or do not know how it applies to them.

I have come up with six reasons that I pursue this kind of knowledge. This post contains the first one:

The Christian faith is an extension of the Jewish faith. It is what the Jewish faith would have become if they had believed on Jesus as their Messiah. That is, if they had believed the report that the Father gave of the Son. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” I John 5:10. This verse is not saying anything new. It is saying that God testified of His Son already, and that some people reject Him.

The Jews say they believe their own writings, that of the Old Testament. However, they do not believe it when it speaks of the Son. I spoke before about Isaiah 53, and how the Jewish rabbis knew this passage referred to the Messiah, that is, until Jesus came and fulfilled it. Then they changed their minds. Look into it, and you will be amazed by what you discover. This is why I love studying what they believed then, and what they believe now. It is so revealing!

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53

I have so many things to say about this passage. I will try to be brief.

First of all, I believe John is thinking about Isaiah 53:1 specifically when talks about those who do not believe the record of the Son. Do you see how similar the passages are? He explains that when you deny the Son, you are calling God a liar. You have not believed His report. To see specific references to the Father/Son relationship, see Psalm 2:7, Proverbs 30:4, Isaiah 9:6 (Remember the verse in Genesis 1 about seed bearing fruit after its kind? You can’t be God without having come from God. If the son mentioned in Isaiah is also the everlasting Father, he must be the seed of the everlasting Father – that is, His son.) Isaiah 7:14 (Born of a virgin. Who then, is His Father, if not God? Immanuel means “God with us.” A virgin gives birth to God. Messiah has to be the son of God.)

I Chronicles 17:13-14: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.” – The record God gave of His Son.

New favorite chapter, Psalm 89. Here are verses 26-29, but this whole chapter is full of Messianic prophecy:

“He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.” – The record God gave of His Son.

Second, the arm of Yahweh is a person. That is evident from reading Isaiah 53. It is also an extension of Yahweh Himself, naturally. Also, if you look at the photo I have used in this post, you will see the Ancient and modern Hebrew spellings of God’s name (read right to left). Arm, which, as a function of the Hebrew alphabet, often denotes work being done, spirit or worshiping man, which can also mean behold, or look, tent peg, which often denotes hooking something together (it is also the Hebrew symbol for “and”), and spirit or worshiping man. Do you see how the arm of Yahweh hooks us to Himself, and that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves – nothing we have to do to earn salvation, aside from standing back in amazement as He completes the plan of salvation? Also, you can easily see in the written Hebrew language the foreshadowing of the way Christ wrought salvation – hand, nail, worshiping men. “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” Exodus 14:13. See also 2 Chronicles 20:17. (Look into the ancient Hebrew letters and their meanings. Every word has meaning and is written using letters that reveal that meaning.) Also, do you know that Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) is the same as the word salvation? Yeshua is literally the salvation of Yahweh. Now that you know, read Jonah 2 all the way through. Do you see it? I almost fell out of my chair the first time I read Jonah after learning the meaning of Jesus’ name and the meaning of the word LORD (in all caps) in the King James Version – Yahweh. These are things I never knew before looking into the Hebrew language. Is my excitement showing?

Third, it is foretold in Isaiah 53 that the Messiah would be rejected. Psalm 118:22 says “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” This is interesting, because Psalm 118 is part of the Hallel. Wikipedia says “Hallel (Hebrew: הלל‎‎, “Praise”) is a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113-118, which is used for praise and thanksgiving that is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays.” They may already have been singing the hallel as they traveled to Jerusalem, bringing their lambs into the city in preparation of the Passover feast. It’s where we get our word “hallelujah,” “jah” being short for Yahweh or Jehovah. Here’s where it gets really interesting: just 4 verses later, in 118:26 we read “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.” This is the passage the Jewish people cried out when they hailed Jesus as their king, the Messiah, choosing as a nation the lamb that would be rejected and slain only 4 days later.

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” Exodus 12:3-7

During those 4 days, He was daily examined by the scribes and Pharisees, and the high priest. The entire Passover feast and everything surrounding it, including lamb selection day, foreshadowed the last week of Jesus life. By the way, Hosanna means “save now” (Matthew 21:9). Jesus rose from the grave on the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23), becoming the firstfruits of the resurrection (I Corinthians 15). He was first, and we will follow. Do you see why I love studying this stuff? How it sheds so much light on Jesus our Messiah? I am trying to give you the references for everything, but please look these things up for yourselves! Why would we not want to know everything He has revealed to us about Himself? He is amazing! On top of that, there is zero probability that all of this could have happened by chance. God gave a record of His son. We should be able to give that record to men seeking Him. Sharing personal testimony is fantastic, but this stuff is irrefutable proof.

Fourth, the Jewish idea of being “cut off” is to die relatively young and without children (according to the forums that I read). Isaiah 53 tells us that the Messiah would be cut off (also see Daniel 9:26), yet “he shall see his seed…” That’s us. We are the seed. This proves that he would be resurrected from the grave after having died. The Jewish concept of being cut off is everywhere in the scriptures. Now aware of the idea, I am seeing some very interesting things as I read back through the Bible, shedding light on even more verses that I could not fully comprehend until I understood this concept.

Earlier, I said, “The Christian faith is an extension of the Jewish faith. It is what the Jewish faith would have become if they had believed on Jesus as their Messiah.”

Hopefully, they would also have listened to Him as He preached against the Talmud, or oral law – the doctrine of the Pharisees. (I couldn’t figure out how many individual regulations the Talmud contains, but according to Wikipedia, “The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is over 6,200 pages long.”) To give you an idea at how out-of-hand these rules have become, look here. You can easily see that they stretch the scriptures to say something they do not mean, and then invent extra regulations, and regulations for those regulations, etc. I also found some strange rules last year when I was researching how they prepare for the days of unleavened bread. Here is what Yeshua Messiah has to say about this issue:

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:6-9

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:4