Posts Tagged ‘anti-semitism’

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 gentile discuss the Biblical roots of the Christian faith on a talk radio show. A woman called in and stated, “If I had known 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 and our Savior is Jewish? What’s wrong with looking ‘Jewish’ when Sha’ul commended the Thessalonians for being imitators of those Jewish congregations that are united in Messiah Yeshua (1 Thessalonians 2:14).

Anti-semitism.

In the past few years I hear many say that we shouldn’t listen to the rabbis, the sages or the Jewish people because they added to Torah, they created the Talmud, and they don’t know Messiah. I often wonder if these same people realize from where these Jewish men developed their rules and regulations. They had a heart to obey Adonai even in the smallest ‘jot and tittle’ so they spent hours, days, months, and years studying God’s commandments. Their intention was not to add burdens, but to honor God. Unfortunately, when their rules were considered equal to God’s commandments, they did become burdensome. But, they were just men trying to obey Adonai to the best intent of their heart, mind, and soul.

Anti-semitism.

Anti-semitism is a disease lurking in the darkness of this world, but when it appears in the lives of those who carry the Light of 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 greater understanding of the God of Israel than the Jewish people (John 4:22).

The Word of God says the Jewish people have a veil over their eyes (2 Corinthians 3:14-16). It needs to be removed, not judged. The only One who can remove the veil is Yeshua. For those who know his salvation, it is anti-semitism to keep that salvation from even one of ‘lost sheep of the House of Israel.’

Without the Jewish people, there would be no covenants, no promises, no Word of God written on pages between leather covers or on iPhones. To read the Bible and not love the people who wrote it and gave their lives to protect it is: anti-semitism.

Anti-semitism

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, Adonai Elohim, empowered a mighty deliverer. Judah Maccabee, along with a small army of courageous, spiritual men, brought his brothers and sisters victory over anti-semitism and restored them to their Land, their Biblical traditions, and their Temple.

Anti-semitism in the heart of Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites, led to the near destruction of the Jewish people and their culture. But our great God, Yahweh Elohim, through the faithfulness of the humble Persian Queen Esther, along with everyone in the city of Susa who prayed and fasted for three days and nights, gave His people victory over death and anti-semitism. He eventually returned them to their Land where Nehemiah and Ezra rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and the restored the Temple.

Anti-semitism in the hearts of those who claim to follow Yeshua will bring about the same desire for the destruction of God’s people. Never forget “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10:31).

©2016 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.  

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 commanded them and promised them in the Scriptures. Everything –– Jewish.

Every king, emperor or leader throughout history who has done anti-semitic things has been considered an enemy to Israel and the Jewish people: Pharaoh of Egypt, Haman in Persia, Caligula and Nero of Rome, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martin of the Spanish Inquisitions, and Hitler. Each of these leaders set themselves up as gods and tried to snuff out the lives of God’s chosen people. There is still one more evil leader to come: the ‘man of lawlessness’ who will oppose every that is of God. Everything ––– Jewish.

“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 battle rages and could be called the modern Maccabean revolt. Since the first century, Greek and Roman ideologies have created a religious system contrary to Biblical commands. This system teaches the Torah is nullified, the Temple is unnecessary, the Levitical priesthood is obsolete, the dietary laws are cancelled, circumcision is unnecessary, the Sabbath is changed, and the Jewish people are rejected by God. Everything –– Jewish.

These doctrines transform the worship of the God of Israel into an institutionally designed church-god. Jesus is misrepresented as part of a Greek-based three-in-one godhead rather than the King of the Jews, the Messiah of Israel. Many who could come to accept Yeshua are driven away through these false and misguided teachings. Those who present these teachings are not giving the lost and dying world the good news of salvation; they are twisting the truth and giving the father of lies a platform on which to proclaim his message of lawlessness. These subversive doctrines are the work of the Adversary, the antichrist, the ‘man of lawlessness’ prophesied by Daniel, Yeshua, and Paul.

According to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9, there is nothing new under the sun. There will always be lawless men who want to destroy the Jewish people and their Biblical heritage. There will also be men and women, Jews and gentiles, like Judah Maccabee and his father, who will fight against such destruction and assimilation. They will place a Hanukkah menorah in their window to show they stand with the Jewish people and the God of Israel. They will light the eight candles on the hanukkiah each night to proclaim to the world that they will never assimilate into a Hellenized Roman religious system that advances the theology of the ‘man of lawlessness.’

The Syrians didn’t win the war against the small Maccabean army; Antiochus Epiphanes didn’t destroy the Jews or the Torah. Modern-day Christiandom won’t have victory over the remnant royal priesthood that stands against the lies and deceptions established through centuries of anti-semitic church fathers. The modern-day Romans in Vatican City won’t stop the “Torah from coming out of Zion and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4:2). The battle is Yeshua’s and he stands on the Mount of Olives and returns to Jerusalem as High Priest, everything Biblical will be restored: the Torah, the Levitical priesthood, the Altar of Sacrifice, circumcision to enter the Sanctuary, and the Temple described by the prophet Ezekiel. Everything –– Jewish.

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.

What does it profit a man?

“What good will it do someone if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life?” (Matthew 16:26)

Thoughts on Yom Rishon, the first day of the week: What does it profit a man to know all 619 Torah commandments, but neglect the widow and the fatherless? What does it profit a man to know all the pagan roots of the holidays, but neglect the hearts and souls of the those who are lost and dying? What does it profit a man to know all the shadows and realities of the Biblical appointed times, but still judge the Jewish people who have guarded them for centuries with their lives? What does it profit a man to question everything ever written in Scripture, every prophet, every disciple, every apostle, but never actually put their faith in Yeshua who is the Word of Life? What does it profit a man to become part of the commonwealth of Israel, but never enter the Kingdom of God through the Spirit and water?

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

The Feast of Lots – 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).

King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther

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

Purim celebrations are joyous with melodramas and audience participation. Groggers or noisemakers are used to drown out the name of Haman while the audience cheers for Mordecai and ‘ohhhs’ and ‘ahhhs’ for Queen Esther. Cookies called Hamantaschen are baked to look like Haman’s tricorn hat. Food is collected and put in baskets to give to the poor, the widow and the fatherless. Children dress in the costumes of their favorite Purim character.

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. Without the Jewish people, there would have been no 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, each person 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 thoughts about the Jewish people. Are you rebellious Queen Vashti, faithful Queen Esther, discerning Mordecai, transformed King Ahasuerus, vindictive Zeresh, or anti-semitic Haman? 

Vashti

The queen who disobeyed King Ahasuerus’ command and lost her royal 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).

Esther (Hadassah)

Hadassah means ‘myrtle’ in Hebrew while in Persian, Esther means ‘star’ and comes from the root for ‘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 who was also known as King Xerxes who makes rash decisions and then has to face the consequences.

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 God and honored King Ahasuerus. Mordecai 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 Ahasuerus’ right-hand man who descended from Amalek. His ancestors were to be destroyed by King Saul, except he disobeyed God and allowed some Amalekites to live. Just like his ancestors, 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

Zeresh, Haman’s jealous wife, wanted her husband to rise to power in the kingdom, but she also understood the favor of God on the Jewish people.

“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” – A Prophetic Vision

“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 Queen – The Bride of Messiah

The Bride petitions the King for the lives of God’s Chosen People.

“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 King – Messiah Yeshua

The King rewards the Bride because of her faithful and courageous stand for his chosen people.

”That same day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Esther the queen. Also Mordecai appeared before the king, for Esther had revealed his relationship to her” (Esther 8:1).

Mordecai – The Warrior

The warrior who fought for the lives of the chosen people is rewarded with a signet ring, the seal of the King, and dressed in royal robes.

“The king removed his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s house. Meanwhile, Mordecai left the king’s presence arrayed in royal blue and white, wearing a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan shouted for joy” (Esther 8:2, 15).  

The Jews – The Kingdom

The Jews celebrate Mordecai’s decree that freed them from certain death, keeping alive the nation of Israel.

“For the Jews, all was light, gladness, joy and honor. In every province and city where the king’s order and decree arrived, the Jews had gladness and joy, a feast and a holiday. Many from the peoples of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews had overcome them” (Esther 8:16-17).

Haman – The Adversary

Haman builds a gallows 75 feet high in order to kill Mordecai, his sworn enemy. The word 75 in Hebrew is abos and means ‘to feed,’ ‘fatten’ or ‘food for livestock.’ The actual Hebrew letters that make up 75 are ayin and hey. The Hebrew letter pictures for these two letters mean ‘window’ and ‘reveal.’ The numerical meaning of 75 could mean ‘seeing and revealing’ the Adversary’s true desire: to destroy the Jewish people so Yeshua would not be born; and to destroy the nation of Israel in our day so he cannot return and end the rule of the ‘god of this world.’

“Haman had just fallen on the couch where Ester was, when the king returned from the palace garden to the wine banquet. He shouted, “Is he even going to rape the queen here in the palace, before my very eyes?” The moment these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Harvonah, one of the king’s attendants, said, “Look! The gallows seventy-five feet high that Haman made for Mordekhai, who spoke only good for the king, is standing at Haman’s house.” The king said, “Hang him on it.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordekhai” (Esther 7:8-10).

Yeshua and Purim

“After this, there was a Judean festival; and Yeshua went up to Yerushalayim. In Yerushalayim, by the Sheep Gate, is a pool called in Aramaic, Beit-Zata, in which lay a crowd of invalids — blind, lame, crippled. Now that day was Shabbat, so the Judeans said to the man who had been healed, ‘It’s Shabbat! It’s against Torah for you to carry your mat!’” (John 5:1-3, 9-10)

In John chapter 5, Yeshua goes to Jerusalem and celebrates an unnamed Biblical festival. In Bethesda, meaning ‘House of Mercy,’ he heals a crippled man on the Sabbath. The only Biblical festival to occur on a Sabbath during the years of Yeshua’s ministry was Purim in 28 CE. It is believed by scholars that the Spirit of God left out the specific name of the feast in the Gospel because references to God is not found in the book of Esther.  

There is, however, the alef and the tav found throughout the book of Esther.  In Revelation 22:13, Yeshua says that he is the ‘beginning and the end, “the alef and the tav.”  He would not have used the Greek letters ‘alpha’ and ‘omega’ because he spoke Hebrew.   The Hebrew letters alef and tav make the word ‘et’ and are sprinkled throughout the sentences in the Hebrew Scriptures.  They do not have a specific meaning like ‘the’ or ‘and’ though they sometimes modify a noun.  Until Yeshua explains those letters as a ‘sign’ of himself in Revelation, a reader of the Hebrew language couldn’t ‘see’ him in passages like Esther 4:7 and 9:29. Though the name of God is not found in Esther, Yeshua, who is the alef and the tav, is.

Purim – Victory over Anti-semitism and Death

“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).

The day of ‘lots’ became an annual memorial to the Jews’ victory over anti-semitism and Purim has been observed from the days of Persia through the days of Yeshua until today.  Each of us has to choose whether we want to be like the warrior Mordecai who stood for the God of Israel, like Queen Esther who was willing to lay down her life for the Jewish people or like King Ahasuerus whose life was transformed by the faithful Jews in his life. Or, we can be like Haman who desired to destroy the nation of people from whom salvation would come.

 For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.   For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.