Posts Tagged ‘anti-semitism’

Hanukkah Word: Anti-semitism

“I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

Many years ago I was listening to a Messianic Jew and non-Jew discuss the Biblical roots of the Christian faith on a talk radio show. A woman called in and said, “If I had know Jesus was Jewish, I would not have become a Christian.” Anti-semitism.

When our family began celebrating the Feasts of the LORD in Leviticus 23 along with Purim and Hanukkah, we were asked if we were becoming ‘Jewish’. What is wrong with becoming ‘Jewish’ when all of our Scriptures were written by Jews (aka physical descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob) and our Savior is Jewish? Anti-semitism.

In the past few years I hear many say that we shouldn’t listen to the rabbis, the sages, the Jews, because they added to the Torah, the created the Talmud, they don’t know Messiah. I often wonder if these same people realize where these Jewish men came up with all of their rules and regulations. It was their heart to obey God even in the smallest ‘jot and tittle’ and so they spent hours and days, months and years, studying the commandments of the LORD and outlining the best ways they could understand for obedience. Their intention was not to add burdens upon the people even though that is what many of their ideas became when others made them equal to commandments. They were just men trying to obey the God of Israel to the best intent of their heart and mind. We can learn a lot from those who went before us and we should. Rather than calling everything that has bound the Jewish people together for millennia ‘manmade traditions’, we should seek to understand their reasonings. With the Spirit of God in our lives, we should be able to discern which traditions nullify God’s Word and which traditions do not (Mark 7). When we as non-Jewish believers put as many years into study and obedience to the best intent of our new hearts and minds, perhaps then we can make judgmental assumptions. Otherwise it’s anti-semitism.

Anti-semitism is a lurking disease in the darkness of this world, but when it appears in the hearts of those who carry the Light of Messiah Yeshua, it needs to be dealt with however subtle it may appear to be. It is anti-semitism to believe that the myriads of Christian denominations, Hebrew Roots groups, Torah Observant groups and the plethora of other religious delineations have more understanding than the Jewish people from whom God chose to bring salvation. The Word says they have a veil over their eyes. It needs to be removed, not judged. It is anti-semitism to read a Hebrew Bible, written by Jewish people over many centuries, and not love those same people who gave their lives to protect it so they could be the light to the nations they were called to be. Anti-semitism in the heart of Antiochus Ephiphanes led to the near destruction of the Jewish people, their Torah and their Temple. But our great God, Yahweh Elohim, by empowering a mighty deliverer, Judah Maccabee, along with a small army of courageous, spiritual men, gave His people victory over anti-semitism and restored them to their Land, their Biblical ways and even their traditions.

Let’s remember that God says curses and blessings come from how we treat the ancestors as well as the brothers and sisters of Yeshua. They were human like each of us desiring to obey the commandments of God through the grace and mercy of salvation.

“Indeed, if someone gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little [Jewish] ones because he is my disciple — yes! — I tell you, he will certainly not lose his reward!” (Matthew 10:42).

Modern Maccabean Revolt

“What has been will be again; what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

In the days of Judah Maccabee, there was an attack on the Jewish people by the Greeks.   Not just on the Jewish people themselves, but on everything the God of Israel had given them and promised them in the Scriptures.  Everything … Jewish.

Historically, every king, emperor or leader who has done these things has been considered an enemy to Israel and the Jewish people.   The Pharaoh of Egypt, Haman in Persia, Caligula and Nero of Rome, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martin of the Spanish Inquisitions,  and all the way to Hitler of the modern era set themselves up as gods and tried to snuff out the lives of God’s chosen people.  Yet, there is still one more man of lawlessness to come, the one prophesied about in Daniel, spoken of by Yeshua, and explained by Paul. 

“The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. … And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him” (Daniel 9:26-27).

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16).

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Today, the same deceptive battle rages.  It could be called the modern Maccabean revolt because it is a rebellion against modern-day Greek and Roman ideologies that have created a religious system contrary to Biblical commands. This system teaches that the Torah is nullified, the Temple is unnecessary, the Levitical priesthood is obsolete, the dietary laws are cancelled, circumcision is legalism, the Sabbath is changed, and the Jewish people are rejected by God.   Everything … Jewish.

These unBiblical doctrines transform the God of the Holy Scriptures into an institutionally designed god.   Jesus is misrepresented as a Greek-based Roman triune godhead rather than the King of the Jews, the Messiah of Israel. Many who could come to know Yeshua are driven away from a deeper walk of faith with God through these false and misguided teachings.  Those who represent these teachings are not giving the world the good news of salvation; they are twisting the truth and giving the father of lies a platform on which to present his message of lawlessness.  This is nothing more than the work of the Adversary, the antichrist, or man of lawlessness prophesied by Daniel, Yeshua, and Paul.

There is nothing new under the heavens.  There will always be lawless men who want to destroy the Jewish people along with their Biblical heritage.  There will also be men and women, Jews and gentiles,  like Judah Maccabee and his father, who fight against such destruction and assimilation.  They will place a Hanukkah menorah in their window to show the Jewish people they stand with them and the God of Israel.  They will light the eight festive candles each night to proclaim to the world that they, along with the Jewish people, will never assimilate into a Hellenized Roman religious system that advances the coming man of lawlessness. 

The ancient Greeks didn’t win against the small Maccabean army; Antiochus Epiphanes didn’t destroy the Jews or the Torah they guarded for centuries. The modern-day Greeks won’t win against a royal priesthood that has begun to stand against the lies and deceptions established over the centuries by the church and church fathers.    The modern-day Romans in Vatican City can’t stop the Torah from coming from Zion and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  The battle is the LORD’s and when Messiah of Israel returns all things will be restored and re-dedicated hanukkah to the LORD: the Torah’s teachings and instructions, the eternal Levitical priesthood, the seventh-day Sabbath as the covenant sign between God and His people, circumcision for entrance into the Sanctuary, and the Temple as envisioned by Ezekiel with a dedicated altar of sacrifice.  Everything … Jewish. 

©2013 Tentstake Ministries, chapter from Journey with Jeremiah on amazon.com

The Cast of Purim

JacobJemimaPurim

The Cast of Purim

“Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, instructing them to observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and the fifteenth day, every year, [to commemorate] the days on which the Jews obtained rest from their enemies and the month which for them was turned from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; they were to make them days of celebrating and rejoicing, sending portions [of food] to each other and giving gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:20-22).

Purim is a memorial to the deliverance of the Jewish people from near  destruction while they were in exile in Persia (modern-day Iran).  During the reign of Ahasuerus (aka King Xerxes), a wicked anti-semitic man named Haman came to power.  He wanted all Jews in the kingdom destroyed because they had customs that wouldn’t allow them to obey the king’s laws.  Purim or ‘lots’ were cast to choose the day of their annihilation.  A Jew named Mordecai along with his niece who had become Queen interceded for the Jewish people and their destruction was averted. 

Purim celebrations are joyous and center around audience-participation melodramas.  There are groggers or noisemakers used to either cheer for the heroes or drown out the name of the villain, Haman.  Cookies, called Hamantashen, are made to look like Haman’s tricorn hat.  Children dress in the costumes of their favorite Purim character.  Food is collected and put in baskets to give to the poor, the widow and the fatherless.

Within the account of Purim there are an array of characters.  As you read one or two specific verses from the megillah or scroll of Esther about each of them,  watch how power corrupts, faith overcomes and truth is revealed.  More importantly, watch God work His hand of protection for the Jewish people, for without it, they would have been destroyed.  As some have said, without Purim, there would have been no Jewish people.  If there had been no Jewish people, there would have been no salvation named Yeshua from the Tribe of Judah.

In these last days, the Jewish people and the nation of Israel are under great attack from the nations around the world.  As global events continue to unfold, everyone will have to  choose a side:  Israel and God’s people or the international community.  As you read the account of Esther, check your own heart regarding the Jewish people.  Are you rebellious Queen Vashti,  transformed King Ahasuerus, faithful Queen Esther, discerning Mordecai, vindictive Zeresh, or anti-semitic Haman? 

Vashti

The queen to Ahasuerus disobeyed the king’s command and lost her position in the kingdom.

“Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she” (Esther 1:19).

Hadassah (Esther)

Hadassah in Hebrew means ‘myrtle’ while her Persian name means ‘hidden.’  She was ‘hidden’ in the king’s palace and became an intercessor for the lives of the Jewish people.

“Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai … who had a cousin named Hadassah. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died” (Esther 2:4-5).

Ahasuerus

The king of Persia also known as King Xerxes.

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on Esther’s head and made her queen instead of Vashti”

(Esther 2:17).

Mordecai

Hadassah’s uncle from the Tribe of Benjamin who remained faithful to the King and Queen of Persia.  His name means ‘warrior.’

“During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai” (Esther 2:21-22).

Haman

The king’s right-hand man who descended from Amalek, who was to be destroyed by King Saul.   Haman had an anti-semitic heart.

“Then Haman said to King Ahusuerus, “There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business” (Esther 3:8-9).

Haman’s Wife

A jealous woman who wanted her husband to rise to power in the kingdom.

“His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows built, seventy-five feet high, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then go with the king to the dinner and be happy” (Esther 5:14).

The Decree of Destruction

“Letters were sent by courier to all the royal provinces “to destroy, kill and exterminate all Jews, from young to old, including small children and women, on a specific day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to seize their goods as plunder” (Esther 3:13).

For Such a Time as This

“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”  (Esther 4:12-14).

The King

“Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended” (Esther 6:10).

The Queen

“Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king” (Esther 7:3-4).

The Jews

“The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies” (Esther 8:11).

Purim

Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:20-22).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries, chapter from Journey with Jeremiah on amazon.com

Yes, the Jews Need Yeshua

The first time I heard someone state, “The Jews don’t need Yeshua, they have Torah,” a dagger stabbed my heart.  For it is only through the blood of the greatest Jew who ever lived that has redeemed me from a life of sin, given me abundant life now and the hope of an eternity in God’s Kingdom.  A statement like this is anti-semitic and a doctrine of demons.  It is a heresy that eventually leads to a denial of Yeshua as the promised Seed to redeem this dying world.  This is what the Adversary desires; the removal of Yeshua from the good news of victory over sin and death!

No one is justified before God by keeping Torah.  It doesn’t matter if the Jewish people guard it, read it, obey it, preach it, put it in an Ark in their synagogue or hide it in a closet,  they will never be set free from the ‘law of sin and death’ without Yeshua.  It doesn’t matter if a non-Jew suddenly sees the value in obeying God’s instructions, they will never be redeemed without Yeshua.

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the Torah” (Romans 3:28).

“Even so, we have come to realize that a person is not declared righteous by God on the ground of his observance of Torah commands, but through the Messiah Yeshua’s trusting faithfulness. Therefore, we too have put our trust in Messiah Yeshua and become faithful to him, in order that we might be declared righteous on the ground of the Messiah’s trusting faithfulness and not on the ground of our observance of Torah  commands. For on the ground of observance of Torah commands, no one will be declared righteous” (Galatians 2:16).

The man who made this statement explained his reasoning as follows: “Torah is Yeshua; Yeshua is Torah, therefore, the Jews have Yeshua already.”  If Torah were enough to deliver Isra’el and the world from eternal spiritual death, there would have been no need for the Living Torah, Yeshua, to come into the world.

 Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as Deliverer of the world” (1 John 4:14).

The Jewish people do have Torah.  It doesn’t matter if they are Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed or Secular.  The Torah is rooted in their identity as one of the tribes of Isra’el.  They understand what is required by HaShem regarding worship and Temple practices.   They know that without a Temple they cannot offer the daily sacrifices.  They are quite aware that if there were a high priest, there is nowhere for him to offer blood for himself and Isra’el on the Day of Atonement.  They have no way to atone for their sins, release their guilt, have fellowship with HaShem and live at peace with Him.  Their very knowledge of Torah shows them everyday they need salvation (yeshua). 

Years ago I had an encounter with Orthodox Jewish woman.  As we began talking about about her faith in HaShem, she began to cry.  Through her tears she told me she had nowhere to go to atone for her sin.  Year after year, they kept piling up until they were a burden she could no longer carry. “There is no Temple and I have no atonement for my sins.  What do I do? Where do I go?  Can you tell me?”  I don’t think she expected to hear the good news that I had to share with her!

I told her about Yeshua.  I told her how he is the one HaShem sent into the world to take away her sins.  She took my hands in hers, looked deeply into my eyes and asked for more.  I explained that Yeshua, as G-d’s lamb, became the bridge for her to know HaShem.  I asked her if she knew the song “Lamb of God” and I began to sing:

Lamb of God Your mercy I have seen
Lamb of God Your blood has washed me clean
And now I can praise You all my days
For through You I am of God, Lamb of God

Lamb of God in silence You were led
Lamb of God in innocence You bled
And now I can praise You all my days
For through You I am of God, Lamb of God

Lamb of God You were laid then in a grave
Lamb of God by those You came to save
And now I can praise You all my days
For through You I am of God, Lamb of God

Lamb of God it happened as You said
Lamb of God You rose up from the dead
And now I can praise You all my days
For through You I am of God, Lamb of God

Lamb of God Your mercy I have seen
Lamb of God your blood has washed me clean
And now I can praise You all my days
For through You I am of God, Lamb of God

And now I can praise You all my days
For through You I am of God, Lamb of God

As I sang, she cried.  She completely understood she had atonement for her sins and forgiveness through the blood of Yeshua.  She was set free from her sins and accepted him as her Savior.  Her tears kept flowing as she hugged and thanked me.

She went home and shared her new understanding of Yeshua with her husband, an Orthodox Rabbi.   He became so angry that he told her she could no longer meet with the person who had introduced us nor return to the church.  She was deeply grieved because of his reaction, but obeyed her husband.  In spite of him, she lives free from sin because Yeshua became her substitute lamb sacrifice for all her sins forever.

Another time, on the Day of Atonement, I received a phone call from a Jewish woman in the town where I lived.   She was part of a Reformed Jewish synagogue.  She explained she called me because she he did not have atonement for her sins and didn’t know what to do.  She thought because I had faith in God and loved the Jewish people, I could pray for her sins to be forgiven so she would be set free from her guilt.  I shared Yeshua with her and explained that he is the mediator she is looking for to restore her relationship with HaShem.  As I prayed for her to see him as her Messiah, she cried.  However, the veil still remains over her eyes.  Recently, I heard that one of her grown daughters accepted Yeshua as Messiah.

“He [Yeshua] said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el” (Matthew 15:24).

Yeshua wept over Jerusalem and his own Jewish brothers and sisters who couldn’t see him as their personal deliverer.  He longed to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks, but just like they rejected the prophets, they rejected him. Their Temple would remain desolate, forsaken and not saved until they welcomed him back (Luke 13:34-35). He mentioned nothing about Torah.

If the Jewish people have Torah and do not need him, he will never return.  It is his brothers and sisters who will be desperate for deliverance that they, not the gentiles, welcome him back.

“For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39).

 

Yeshua said that whenever someone gives a cup of water to one of  the least of his brothers and sisters, we have given it to him (Matthew 10:42, 25:40).   Who was he talking about?  The church didn’t exist at this time.  Who would be his brothers and sisters if not those from the tribe of Judah?

The Jewish people have protected the Torah for millennia; many times at the cost of their homes, families and lives.  It is because of their faithfulness that all the world has the Scriptures.  Now, certain gentiles who now ‘walk in Torah’  believe all the prophecies about Messiah’s descent from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Judah and King David are not for his brothers and sisters because they have Torah?  Refraining from giving Yeshua’s family living water from the well of salvation is akin to allowing them to die from spiritual thirst.

“There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!” (Acts 4:12).

The good news for the Jewish people is the Messiah has come.  They do have a High Priest.  His name is Yeshua (Hebrews 4:14-16).  They have a Temple.  His name is Yeshua (Mark 14:58, John 2:19).  They have an offering for sin, guilt, purification and shalom with God.  His name is Yeshua, the Lamb of God (John 1:29).  He did not put the blood of animals on the mercy seat between the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant, but His own.  He did not have to enter the Holy of Holies every year on the Day of Atonement because he ascended to his Father and entered the eternal Tabernacle (Hebrews 9:11-14).

Just as gentiles are freed  from the ‘law of sin and death’ through faith in Yeshua’s death and resurrection, so are the Jewish people who call on his name.  Abraham understood about the ‘Seed’ and waited for the promise (Romans 4:13).  King David knew about the ‘Seed’ and waited in faith for the coming – 43 times he writes in the Psalms about his coming salvation (yeshua).    The prophets of Israel knew about the ‘Seed’ and proclaimed him to Isra’el (Isaiah 53).  The woman at the well in Samaria (descendants of Levites) met Yeshua and told her whole village the Messiah had come (John 4).   Many believed her testimony and put their faith in Yeshua because ‘salvation comes from the Jews.’  The disciples knew the truth about Yeshua and preached a the message of salvation to their Jewish brothers and sisters.

Not every Jewish person will receive the good news that they have atonement through the Lamb of God.   Not every Jewish person will see the substitute sacrifice of the ram in the binding of Isaac as being Yeshua.  Not every Jewish person will see Yeshua as the living, walking, breathing Torah and receive his offer of salvation.  Their minds are veiled when they read Torah and can only be removed by Messiah Yeshua (2 Corinthians 3:14).  They may have Torah, but they need Yeshua.

Sadly, however, many Jews will reject Yeshua and embrace the anti-Messiah because of a great deception. He will bring peace to Isra’el.   He will allow the Temple to be restored.  He will allow the sacrifices command in Torah.  He will set himself up in the Temple and proclaim himself to be HaShem.  The brothers and sisters of Yeshua will worship a false messiah until they realize their grievous error.  They will cry out for Yeshua and he will return to Jerusalem.  They will look on the one they pierced and mourn (Zechariah 12:10).  Corporately, the House of Judah along with the House of Israel will unite and receive Yeshua as their salvation.

Before that day comes, there are millions of Jewish individuals who desire to be set free from the ‘law of sin and death.’   They want and need atonement.  Their sins accumulate day after day with no sacrifice, no redemption.   They long for peace with their Creator.

Sha’ul  was willing to give up his own salvation for the sake of his Jewish brothers and sisters.  He never asked anyone else to do that;  however, he called the nations to make the Jew envious for their own Jewish Messiah.  We are to tell them they do have a High Priest.  They do have a sacrifice and they do have a coming King.   If we neglect our responsibility to the Jewish people, we sin and live in direct disobedience to God and His Torah.   We forsake the very lost sheep that need their Shepherd.  As long as we fall into the heresy and doctrine of demons that the Jews don’t need Yeshua because they have Torah, we curse Judah and  Yeshua’s brothers and sisters to eternal separation from God.

“For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation [Yeshua] to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).

©2012 Tent Stake Ministries