Ten Days of Repentance

In these High Holy Days, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish people observe the creation of the earth (year 5778), birthday of Adam and Eve, and a solemn time of repentance when every soul confesses their sins and is judged by YHWH.

The usual greeting at this time is Shanah tovah um’tukah (May you have a good and sweet new year), or in Yddish, Gut yontif (Wishing you a good holiday).

It is traditional to eat honey in hope of a sweet New Year, and pomegranates which represent the Law of Moses.

Though the fruit varies in size a pomegranate averages 613 seeds representing the 613 statutes of Mosaic law.

Christians believe that the Law has been nailed to the Cross. How, then, do they witness to one of Jewish faith?

Tom Cantor, a Messianic Rabbi, has spent millions of his own dollars in an organized outreach to Jewish neighborhoods in Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Miami.

This summer, Cantor’s ministry sent mission teams to northern Baltimore — home of one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States. Dating from the 1830’s, it has grown into a tightly knit community that is very resistant to Christian outreach.

Members of Cantor’s team were met with great hostility. They received a lot of insults, threats and even physical assault.

However, there was some fertile ground as several teams were actually welcomed into people’s homes to share the Gospel.

What is it that a Jewish person is most curious with regards to the Christian faith? Refer to Matthew 16:13 when Yeshua asked his disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is? In northern Baltimore, as an example, you might hear one of two answers:

He is God of the Gentiles.

— or —

He was a prophet of the sect of the Nazarenes.

“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

Israel is waiting for the seed of Abraham … the Son of David … the fulfillment of Jehovah’s promise. If a Christian wants to witness to a Jewish person they would be well advised to begin with the Book of Hebrews.

Incidentally, as I have noted before, Martin Luther disputed Hebrews because it was too Jewish. The greatest sin of the Reformation was that it attempted to strip Jesus of his Jewishness.

It is not unusual for an Orthodox Jew to see Jesus as a Gentile. No, in order to open the eyes of Israel, Yeshua must be presented as heir to the throne of David.

The coming of the Son of David is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Christians argue about the Book of Daniel, 70 weeks, Dispensationalism — do you know what Dispensationalism teaches? — the rapture of the church and the Great Tribulation where the Jewish people (save for a remnant) will be exterminated.

Christian, you preach that G-d is love, but in Jewish ears it sounds like holocaust. It is a most offensive message.

Jesus must be presented as the Jewish messiah — David’s descendant. The whole of Jewish prophecy rests on the fulfillment of that one essential fact.

Jehovah spoke to David through Nathan the prophet:

Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16).

That is the Davidic Covenant that the LORD made with King David. What is not understood in Israel, or even agreed upon within the Church, is that Jesus Christ is currently sitting on David’s throne.

The sons of Abraham expected — and some Protestants anticipate — an earthly kingdom; but what did Jesus say?

My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).

Where did David see the throne of Mashiac? Peter (quoting Psalm 110:1) on the Day of Pentecost:

For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand’ …” (Acts 2:34).

David saw Messiah reigning in Heaven from whence he will return on the last day (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54) to raise up all who believe — both Jew and Gentile. In this way, wrote Paul, all of Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26).

The last day is a concept that throws a monkey wrench into Dispensational theology, but this is what Jesus taught. In fact, Yeshua HaMashiach taught the Gospel from the Tanakh (Old Covenant).

If you have a heart for the sons of Abraham you might begin with our instructional template (click on EMET tab) which highlights Old Testament scripture as it relates to the Jewish messiah — the Son of David.

May this New Year be sweet, healthy and happy, and may the scales fall from Jacob’s eyes.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

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Yom Hashoah

tatoo

Chip owned the local deli in my neighborhood. He made the best sandwiches. Sometimes he would even slip in a piece of bacon. When he layered on the condiments you might catch a glimpse of the mark upon his left arm. As he rang up the sale and bagged your order it was clearly visible. It would never go away — nor the memories that haunted him night and day.

Auschwitz was the only concentration camp where prisoners received a tattoo. So many thousands died there that it became impossible to maintain identification records. The SS began tattooing prisoners in 1941 except those who were sent directly to the gas chambers.

Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) falls on the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. That corresponds to Monday, April 24, 2017.

Please take a moment to remember.

[Yad Vashem –The World Holocaust Remembrance Center]

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Not a Christmas Message

Editor: If Christians were Christians there would still be anti-Semitism, but point taken.

On Christmas Eve last year, David Lazarus posted an article at Israel Today regarding a declaration from 25 Orthodox Rabbis “welcoming the carpenter from Nazareth back into the Jewish fold”.

What these esteemed religious teachers had to say is very encouraging. Interestingly, the Pharisees accused Jesus and his disciples of breaking the Law of Moses (specifically, observing the Sabbath). This makes the following statement even more significant:

Jesus brought a double goodness to the world. On the one hand he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically … and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah (and) he removed idols from the nations.

After nearly two millennia of mutual hostility and alienation, we Orthodox Rabbis who lead communities, institutions and seminaries in Israel, the United States and Europe … seek to do the will of our Father in Heaven by accepting the hand offered to us by our Christian brothers and sisters.

As did Maimonides and Yehudah Halevi, we acknowledge that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations. In separating Judaism and Christianity, G-d willed a separation between partners with significant theological differences, not a separation between enemies.

What we understand about the complex relationship between Jews and Gentiles with regards to the person of Jesus Christ is that religious Israel never denied Jesus, in the sense of his personage, but only questioned his authority:

After their return to Jerusalem, Jesus was walking in the temple courts, and the chief priests, scribes, and elders came up to Him asking, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You the authority to do them?” Mark 11:27-28

The religious leaders did not even deny the miracles that Jesus performed, but blasphemed the Holy Spirit by saying that it was not by the power of G-d’s spirit that Jesus cast out demons, but by the will of Beelzebul (Matthew 12:23-24).

The most rabid atheists I know do not deny the person of Jesus Christ. Some will even say he was a wise man but, like Israel, they reject any claims of his Divine nature. Oh, how many times have I heard it said that Jesus is the G-d of the Gentiles?

No prophet is accepted in his own country (Luke 4:24).

So, this statement by 25 Orthodox Rabbis is quite revealing of how G-d’s spirit is moving over the land of Israel. In his article, Lazarus quoted Rabbi Eugene Korn ( Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation):

This proclamation’s breakthrough is that influential Orthodox rabbis across all centers of Jewish life have finally acknowledged that … Christianity and Judaism have much in common spiritually and practically. Given our toxic history, this is unprecedented in Orthodoxy.

Last Christmas, Rabbi David Wolpe wrote an article for Time magazine. Titled, A Jewish View of Christmas, Wolpe reminisced about his mentor Elieser Slomovic who lost many family members in the Holocaust.

Slomovic was able to escape the horror of WWII, and made his way to America where he thought he might be killed for being a Jew. Christians need to understand the historical fear and suspicion that the Jewish people feel towards them. It is a difficult hurdle to cross when, for 2000 years, and with the blessing of the Church, Jews have been condemned as being the killers of Jesus.

Who killed Jesus?

No man takes (my life) from me; I am laying it down of my own will, for I am authorized to lay it down, and I am authorized to receive it again; this commandment I have received from my Father (John 10:18).

Rabbi Slomovic, haunted by fear and the horrors of anti-Semitism, was somewhat reluctant to accept an invitation to an inter-faith dinner. When he arrived at the affair, Wolpe recalled that Slomovic tried to keep a low profile, but the Rabbi cried when the host pastor delivered the blessing:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, Hamotzi lechem min haaretz.

Wolpe commented:

Elieser got tears in his eyes. That a Christian would pay tribute to Jesus’ Jewish origins and begin with a Hebrew blessing was something he never thought to hear in his lifetime. America really was different.

In closing, the 25 Rabbis noted the G-d willed separation between Jews and Christians. From Paul’s letter to the Romans we learn there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, but that Israel has been hardened until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete.

The Rabbis’ declaration is a sign from G-d that the Holy Spirit is softening the heart of Israel — that the redemptive hand of the LORD is moving over His people. With regard to the fullness of the Gentiles I would only recite Paul’s warning that you not be conceited for Jesus is the root, Israel is the tree, and you are a grafted branch.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, Hamotzi lechem min haaretz. Blessed are you O Lord our G-d, Sovereign of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

G-d’s will be done until that glorious day when all of Israel shall be saved. That is a joyful message for any season.

Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate