Antisemitism…in the Name of Jesus?

Throughout history, Christians have persecuted Jews in the name of Jesus.  For example, around 1095 AD, Crusaders were sent by Pope Urban II to recapture Jerusalem from the Muslims. On their zealous march toward Jerusalem, however, the tide turned in Germany when the perceptions of Jews became negative and Jews were offered the option of conversion to Christianity or death.  Thousands of Jews perished.

In the mid-1200’s, Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition to combat heresy of a French religious sect.  However, just as the case in the Crusades, the Jews were wrongly associated in the conflict and became victims of the burning of holy books and mass burning at the stake.

We all know what the Jews endured during the Holocaust, when over 6 million Jews were murdered.  This, too, was in the name of Christianity, as Nazism was legitimized by various Christian churches, and recognized by the Vatican.

These were horrible atrocities carried out against the Jewish people.  To be sure, there has been (and will be) retribution toward those who wish to destroy God’s chosen people.

However, principles of God’s Word clearly teach us that He will use even Israel’s enemies to bring about discipline to His people when they fail to live righteously.  It is in that discipline that the Lord draws His people to Himself.  (See Principles with Implications)

It is vitally important that we understand God’s principles regarding Israel and our relationship to them.  Yes, God will draw His chosen ones to Himself…but His plan of redemption extends to all!

This same message is being proclaimed by Jews, to Jews…in Israel!  Check out this One for Israel video:

Jewish Believers in Yeshua Persecuted by Orthodox Jewish Rabbis

Jews being persecuted.  Nothing new…right?  They’ve been persecuted throughout history and, in various ways and to some degree, they continue to be persecuted today.  But what if I told you persecution was coming from other Jews.  Would that sadden you?  It happens to be true…and it saddens me too.

In Israel, while there is freedom of religion, it is not a popular thing for Jews to believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah.  It is viewed as heresy, particularly among Orthodox Jews, and definitely frowned upon.  Furthermore, Jews or non-Jews who proselytize often find themselves in hot water among Orthodox and Ultra-orthodox Jewish leaders.  (Read more about that here.)

However, One for Israel is a ministry made up of Israeli Jewish believers in Yeshua who are called to take the message of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) to their own people.  Boy, does that have the rabbis in a tizzy!

I realize there is much debate in Christian circles about whether or not Christians should attempt to evangelize Jews.  Frankly, I’m not of the stripe to stand on the street corners of Jerusalem preaching fire and brimstone.  But, I do believe there are those called specifically by God to reach out (appropriately) to the Jewish people with the message of salvation in Yeshua.  I also believe we cannot ignore the admonition of Romans 11:14 to move (or “provoke,” in some translations) the Jews to jealousy for their Messiah.  That means that our lives should “preach the message of Messiah,” and we may use words if necessary.

But here’s the deal.  Eitan Bar, one of the founders of One for Israel, is literally being attacked by the rabbis.  I’ll let him tell his story…

 

Let’s pray for Eitan, his family, and the other staff members at One for Israel.  Pray for their protection, for boldness to minister as the Lord leads, and for many to come to salvation in Yeshua.  Pray, also, for the rabbis…that somehow their eyes will be opened, just as Saul’s eyes were opened when he persecuted Christians.  When the Lord finally got Saul’s attention, his life was dramatically changed, and the Lord used him to write almost half of the New Testament (as Paul, the apostle).  Perhaps the Lord has a mission for these Christian persecutors as well!  Pray, my friends!

Does John Hagee Deny Jesus as Messiah?

Hi friends!  I have prayed long and hard about this post, and want to share it only with the sensitivity God’s Word encourages.  I share it because it carries tremendous importance in our understanding of God’s plan…which I will explain.  Please proceed prayerfully.

As many of you know, John Hagee is founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), and he is a tremendous supporter of the state of Israel.  I’m not sure I have ever been to Israel that I haven’t run into CUFI-sponsored tours.  John Hagee and his ministry have taken literally tens of thousands of people to the Holy Land.  In addition, CUFI is one of the largest pro-Israel organizations on the planet.  Kudos to them!

However, while I have always appreciated his zeal for encouraging people (primarily Christians) to love Israel, I have personally never been a big follower of Hagee and CUFI, primarily because of doctrinal issues in which I disagree.

Two of those issues have recently come to light:  Hagee’s seeming denial of Jesus as the Messiah, and his stance that Jews don’t need the Messiah as they may be saved by following Mosaic law.

Eitan Bar, an Israeli Messianic Jew, born in Tel Aviv, has responded clearly to those issues from a Biblical position.  With a BA in Biblical studies from Israel College of the Bible, an MA in Theology from Liberty University, and now a doctoral student at Dallas Theological Seminary, Eitan has the cultural and spiritual background and Biblical knowledge to authoratatively state an opposing case.

This is important because the way we view Israel and the Jewish people is vitally important.  We will all take the “Israel Test” at some point!  (ie – do we stand with or against them, and do we “move them to jealousy” for the Messiah, as Romans 11:14 commands?)  Our understanding of God’s covenants with His people is vital to understanding our role as Christians.

Thus, please take a few moments to hear John Hagee’s words, then read Eitan Bar’s grace-filled response.  Here is my favorite Eitan Bar quote: “Please don’t love us (Jewish people) more than you love your Jewish Messiah!”  The article will elaborate!

See the video and read the article here: Pastor John Hagee (CUFI), Let My People Go!!

PS: This is not intended to be a slug in the face to John Hagee.  I don’t doubt his salvation, nor do I question his love for Israel.  Nor do I believe Christians should “pound Yeshua into the Jews.”  But woe to us as Christians if we deny that Jesus is the Messiah, rather than moving our Jewish friends to jealousy for Him!  Now is a great time to pray for that!

Jewish Police Officer Finds Messiah

Jew First

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.
~Romans 1:16

Though God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, do you realize salvation was for the Jew first?  As Gentiles, God’s grace reached out to us when God preached the gospel to Abraham, then promised that all the families of the earth would be blessed (with salvation) through Abraham and his descendants! (Galatians 3:8, Genesis 12:3)

Unfortunately, a veil covers the eyes of the Jewish people and can only be removed when a person turns to the Lord.  (2 Corinthians 3:12-16)  Hear the testimony of this Jew whose eyes were unveiled when He turned to the Messiah.  Enjoy!