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!

 

 

Jerusalem: A Cup of Reeling

Zech 12 2-3

We’re a week beyond President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Not since President Harry Truman became the first to recognize Israel as a newborn nation in 1948 has a President so solidly and profoundly declared America’s position regarding Israel.  Praise God for the stand taken by the American administration.

However, on Wednesday, Muslim leaders declared East Jerusalem the capital of “Palestine.”

Could it be that we have now stepped into a whole new dimension when it comes to God’s plan for the last days?  We are living in the time of the Gentiles…that time between the “cutting off of the Messiah” (Daniel 9:26), when God pressed the pause button on His plan for the Jewish people; and the rapture, when God will release that pause button to complete His plan for the Jews.  (See God’s Prophetic Pause, or check out Week 2 of the Bible Study, Looking for the Blessed Hope)

We are obviously talking about end times outlined in the Bible, and as we consider the ongoing battle over Jerusalem, particularly in light of announcements by President Trump, and then by Muslim leaders, we come face-to-face with Zechariah 12:2-3 (above).  The prophet Zechariah prophesied that, in the end:

  • Jerusalem will cause reeling (“stumbling” or “trembling” in other translations) to all the people around.
  • Jerusalem will become a heavy stone (“burdensome”) for all the people.
  • All who lift that heavy stone will be severely injured.
  • All the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

The end-time battle over Jerusalem is just beginning, and people (nations) are going to get injured!

But I’m reminded of something else.  We (followers of Jesus) are called to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.  Isaiah 62 commands that we not be silent, but rather take no rest for ourselves, and give Him no rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth!  Jerusalem WILL ultimately become a praise in the earth when every knee bows and every tongue confesses and gives praise to the Lord!  (Philippians 2:9-11Romans 14:11)

Surely, we are approaching the time when Jerusalem will become more and more a burdensome, heavy stone which causes injury to those who try to move her.  That battle will last into and throughout the Tribulation…after Christ followers have been taken in the rapture!  So, believers, as long as we are on planet Earth, our job is to give the Lord no rest in our prayers on Israel’s behalf!

Now, a final thought.  Ezekiel 36-37 describes God’s preparation of the land and the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.  That prophecy, highlighted by Israel’s new birth as a nation in 1948, is happening PHYSICALLY, as Jews continue to return to their land.

However, Ezekiel 36:27 and Ezekiel 37:14 describe a SPIRITUAL rebirth.  With the exception of relatively few Jews who have met Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, that spiritual new birth is still  to come.  It will come after God resumes His plan for the Jews…during the Tribulation.

So, we’re seeing prophecy fulfilled right before our very eyes!  Jerusalem will become a larger and more burdensome cup of reeling, and people and nations will injure themselves messing with God’s people and the Holy City He gave them.  Our job, Christian friends, is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Pray for the Prince of Peace to rule and reign in the hearts of those who will believe.  Our job is to take no rest, and give the Lord no rest, until He completes His work with His people and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Then, and only then, have we fulfilled the responsibility we have been given!  Pray on, dear friends!