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  • Messiah To Be God-Divine | Menorah Ministries

    Messiah To Be God-Divine The LORD our Righteousness Jeremiah 23:5-6 Shows That the Messiah Was to be God Himself ​ Buried within the pages of the book of Jeremiah lies one of the most precious and revealing prophecies of the Messiah (see Vocabulary p.6) to be found within the bounds of the Hebrew scriptures. In it, we see revealed that the Messiah, the Branch whom God was going to raise to fill the throne of David, would be given the name of the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, YHWH Tsidkenu ( hÛfwhºy Un×"q:dic ) As we will see below, this phraseology points us to the divine nature of the Messiah, specifically that He was to be YHWH- hÛfwhy Himself. Below, this shall be briefly explored, and some of the more common Jewish objections to this proposition will be examined. Let us look at the passage in question , “The days are coming,” says Adonai (Lord God) when I will raise a righteous Branch for David. He will reign as king and succeed, he will do what is just and right in the land. In his days Y’hudah (Judah) will be saved, Isra’el will live in safety, and the name given to him will be Adonai Tzidkenu [Adonai our righteousness]. Jeremiah 23:5-6 CJB From what is said in this passage, we see that this portion is specifically Messianic in content. This is seen both from the term "Branch" (tsemach - xamØec ), and from the Davidic ancestry of the King who was to be raised up. The name "Branch" is almost universally accepted as Messianic, both by Jews and Christians alike. This term is a metaphor, literally meaning "shoot" or "sprout", and signifies the new life that Messiah was to bring to the Davidic monarchy, which was presumed dead. Further, the implications of the name were that Messiah would bring new life to all mankind, not just to His people Israel. This description as "Branch" appears several times in the Hebrew scriptures. It appears in Isaiah 4:2, where the Messiah's presence in the coming Kingdom is described as "beautiful" and "glorious". In Isaiah 11:1, the Branch is said to come from the "stem of Jesse" and is filled with the Spirit of God. In Jeremiah 33:15, the Branch again is said to come from the royal line of David. Yet, this same Branch from the royal line is termed God's servant in Zechariah 3:8 and is described as a man who will carry out God's work in Zechariah 6:12. The rabbis recognized that Branch was a name for the Messiah. R. Y'hoshu'a notes this as a name for Messiah from Zechariah 6:121 . Rav Huna also refers to this as a Messianic name 2 , with Buber concurring in his commentary notes on that statement 3 . Likewise, the instances in Jewish rabbinical literature in which the Messiah is explicitly understood to be descended from David are too numerous to list more than a sampling here. Moses Maimonides pointed to the statements of Numbers 24:17 when he wrote, "And there he says: 'I see him but not now', this refers to David; 'I behold him but not nigh', this refers to King Messiah; 'A star shall step forth out of Jacob', this refers to David; 'and a scepter shall rise out of Israel', this refers to King Messiah."4 Rav Y'huda taught that the Messiah would be "another David", and that the Messiah and the first David would rule as King and viceroy, respectively5 . The Aramaic Targum of Jonathan b. Uzziel likewise interprets Jeremiah 23:5 specifically in the sense of the Messiah's descent from David, even translating "branch" as "Messiah"6 . Levey notes that in his Targum, Jonathan expands the name "LORD our righteousness" to read "may vindication be accomplished for us by the Lord in His day", a paraphrasical explanation of "YHWH Tsidkenu— hÛfwhºy Un×"q:dic " which the commentator felt impelled to explain because of the Messianic idea contained in the verse7 . Thus, the interpretation of Jeremiah 23:5-6 as Messianic would seem to rest on a solid Biblical foundation, and is also supported by the understanding of Jewish traditional theology. Most interesting to our point here is that many of the rabbis recognized that the Messiah would be God. R. Abba bar Kahana explicitly stated that the Messiah's name would be "LORD-God (Adonai)", and quotes Jeremiah 23:6 as evidence 8 . Smith remarks that the Jewish teachers frequently interpreted this name in Jeremiah 23:6 as a personal name of the Messiah (rather than as a title for Israel or Jerusalem) in the Targumim, Midrashim, and Talmud 9 . In the Peshikta Rabbah, we find the statement, "You find that at the beginning of the creation of the world King Messiah was born [and] that he emerged in the thought [of God] even before the world was created..."10 The sentiment that the Messiah, or His name, was pre-existent as a thought or word of God is found widely across the rabbinical literature. In many cases, the statements imply a pre-existence of the Messiah, which, if one understands the Hebrew scriptures correctly, therefore implies the deity of the Messiah, as the Tanakh is quite explicit in stating that before God created the world, nothing else existed with Him. The Genesis Rabbah explains the Messiah as being one of six things preceding the creation of the world, with the Messiah being cast as one of these which arose in the thought of God11 . In this same work, R. Shim'on ben Laqish explicitly states that the "spirit of God" mentioned in Genesis 1:2 as hovering over the face of the waters is the spirit of King Messiah, and appeals to Isaiah 11:2 ("And the spirit of the Lord will rest upon him") for support12 . The Babylonian Talmud likewise records that it was taught that the name of the Messiah was one of seven things created before the world, and that his name would endure forever, relying upon Psalm 72:17 for support13 . The First Book of Enoch reiterates that the Messiah (there called the "Son of Man") was hidden in God from the beginning, before the creation, and even that the kings and rulers of the earth worship the Son of Man, setting their hopes in him and petitioning for mercy at his hands14 , something directed appropriately only to God. Perhaps most explicitly of all is the statement found in R. Simeon b. Yochai's comments on the Zohar, "There is a perfect Man, who is an Angel. This Angel is Metatron, the Keeper of Israel; He is a man in the image of the Holy One, blessed be He, who is an Emanation from Him; yea, He is Jehovah; of Him cannot be said, He is created, formed or made; but He is the Emanation from God. This agrees exactly with what is written, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Of xamØec dÙiwfd:l , David's Branch, that though He shall be a perfect man, yet He is ‘The Lord our Righteousness.’"15 Throughout the Targumim, we see the Lord and His name being referred to with the term Memra" (Aramaic for "word"), which has been attributed to the discomfort of the Targumists with the many places where the Lord appears to be dealing with Himself in a uniplural sense (ex. Exodus 17:16) or where there seemed to be anthropomorphic references to God (ex. Deuteronomy 30:8, Jeremiah 30:11). In Ezekiel 34:24, as in other passages, where the prophet says, "...I the LORD have spoken it", Jonathan renders, "I, the Lord, have decreed this by my Memra". Elsewhere, the Memra which appears in the Targumic commentaries appears to take on distinct functions itself. For example, in Genesis 19:24, the Hebrew text says, "The LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven." Grammatically, the Hebrew here seems to indicate that two separate Jehovah's are fulfilling two distinct roles. The Targum of Jonathan at this verse substitutes "The Memra of the LORD" for the first of the two Jehovah's in the verse, indicating the Targumist's understanding that the two actors described with the name "YHWH" were distinct in person from each other, yet intimately connected in essence, hence his use of the Memra, or Word. In many other places, the Memra of the LORD in the Targumim takes on personality and characteristics of God Himself, indicating the understanding of the Targumists that the Memra could be equated WITH God, while yet dealt with as a separate personality. At various points, the Memra is praised and prayed to as God16 , it speaks to men17 , it is to be trusted in with the same sense as trusting in God Himself 18 , it is an active agent in creation19 , and is even said to be God20 . This all would seem to indicate a view of the Memra of the Lord as an hypostatic agent of the Lord, whereby the Lord's word takes on separate and distinct function while yet retaining the essential character and being of the Lord Himself21 . From this, we can see in the literature both that the Messiah was pre-existent before creation as a thought or word of God, and that the idea of hypostasis of aspects of the Lord's personality was a known quantity in Judaism. This concept seems to be explored by Baron in his analysis of Zechariah. He notes, "Perhaps in no other single book in the Old Testament is Messiah's Divinity so clearly taught as in Zechariah. In the second chapter (8-11) the prophet calls Him Who is to come and dwell in the midst of Zion, Whom the Jews always understood to be the Messiah, by the name Jehovah. This passage must be a very difficult one to the Jew or Unitarian, for here the prophet represents two Persons, both of Whom he calls by the Divine title Jehovah, though One is sent by the Other to accomplish some mission on the earth."22 . We note, of course, that there are several other portions of the Hebrew scriptures where God appears to have a uniplural nature, with multiple persons yet each with the same revealed essence. The angel of the LORD which appears to Hagar is a distinct personality from the invisible LORD, yet is identified with Him and addressed as the LORD (Genesis 16:7-13). Manoah, the father of Samson, dealt with the angel of the LORD, and stated that he had seen God (Judges 13:22). Both of these would be impossible in light of the narrative in Exodus 33:18-23 (where it is said that no man can see God and live) unless what they were seeing was the hypostasis of God's Word, manifested in the flesh as a theophany. Further, we see in Isaiah 48:12-16 that the LORD is speaking, yet says that "the Lord GOD, and his Spirit" had sent him, which implies three different personalities of God in action in this passage. Also, in Zechariah 3:1-5, the angel of the LORD commands that Joshua the high priest be clothed with clean garments, saying "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee...." (v.4), which is forgiveness and cleansing from sin which only God can give. Thus, the uniplurality of God appears on numerous occasions in the Hebrew Scriptures, and is often intimately connected with the manifestation of divine hypostasis in the form of the angel of the LORD, who is from God and yet is God, a messenger who yet is of the essence of the author of the message, treated as God Himself. It is in Jeremiah 23:5-6 that we see these two concepts, pre-existent Messiah and divine hypostasis, united into one person who was to be God incarnated into the flesh, a physical manifestation of the Word of God, just as is taught in the Brit Chadassah-New Testament in John 1:1,14. In this passage, we see the King being raised up, the Branch identified by both Jew and Christian as the Messiah, given the name "Jehovah our Righteousness, hÛfwhºy Un×"q:dic ", a name which firmly teaches that the Messiah would manifest the divine trait of righteousness, both in His actions as ruler and in His own intrinsic character. Yet, because of the understanding derived from Hebrew scriptures themselves (and recognized on numerous occasions by the rabbis as well as by Christian theologians) that the name and character of the Messiah would be pre-existent and divine, we can understand that Jeremiah 23:5-6 is teaching that the name of the Messiah was to be "YHWH Tsidkenu, hÛfwhºy Un×"q:dic ". As Laetsch has stated, the name given is itself a statement of the Messiah's nature and essence23 . Rabbinical Objection #1 - Is a divine title applied to Jerusalem in Jeremiah 33:16, and why shouldn't Jeremiah 23:6 be understood as referring to Jerusalem, in parallel with 33:16? This objection refers to the fact that, in Jeremiah 33:16, Jerusalem will be called "the LORD our righteousness, hÛfwhºy Un×"q:dic ", in language that roughly parallels that of Jeremiah 23:6. Because of this, it is supposed either that Jerusalem is also being spoken of in 23:6, or else that the Christian understanding of 23:6 as predicting a divine Messiah is incorrect since the parallel would suggest that Jerusalem also be a divine Messiah, an obvious illogic. Dealing with the first objection, we see that the reason for viewing the name given in 23:6 as not speaking of Jerusalem but rather the Messiah, and 33:16 as what Jerusalem will be called, has to do with the simple grammar of the verses. In the Hebrew of 23:5-6, the emphasis of these verses centers upon the Branch introduced in v. 5. The "days" mentioned in v. 6 are "in his days wyfmæy:B , a masculine possessive construction, and "he" is the one being called "YHWH tsidkenu hÛfwhºy Un×"q:dic . Yet, in 33:16, the emphasis upon reaching that verse moves from the Branch and to Jerusalem, with "she" being the one called "YHWH hÛfwhºy “ and instead of "in his days", we find the more neutral "in those days" {yÜimæYaB , which again shifts emphasis away from the Branch. The other angle of this argument, that the Christian argument taken to its logical conclusion would propose a literal divine Jerusalem, fails to take an important consideration into account. While both the Messiah in 23:6 and Jerusalem 33:16 are referred to with "YHWH tsidkenu hÛfwhºy Un× " q:dic " .“ , we see that there is a very important difference. In 23:6, the Branch is said to be called “by the name yÙim:$-håzºw ” of the Lord our Righteousness. This word, "name", is a translation of the Hebrew word "shem" ( {"$ ). Shem has a much more full and complex meaning than the simple word "name" in English implies. Shem refers to the very character and essence of the one bearing the name. As Kaiser tells us, "This noun appears 864 times, but less that 90 times in the plural. No certain etymology has been established for this root. Two earlier conjectures are now rejected: Redslob (Zeit. deut. morgenlandische Gesellschaft 1872: 751-56) sought to derive it from the root for shem {"$ "to be high" and thus "monument" (Genesis 11:4), "excellence" or "majesty" (Psalm 54:1 [H3]), while others have regarded it as a shortened form of shema' ( Ùam:$ . ……. "The concept of personal names in the OT often include existence, character, and reputation (I Samuel 25:25). Often the plural form of shem tOêm"$ is rendered as "persons," (e.g. Numbers 1:2,18,20; 3:40,43; 26:55). Further "to cut off the name" was equal to liquidating the person himself (Deuteronomy 7:24, 9:14; I Samuel 24:21 [H 22] etc.). the name chosen for a child was often descriptive of the parents' wishes or expectations for the personality that was to mature. This is particularly evident in the renaming process, e.g. Jacob becoming Israel (Genesis 35:10)..... "In some passages shem Yahweh y Ùim:$-hÛfwhºy , Name of God, is so inextricably bound up with the being of God, that it functions almost like an appearance of Yahweh (Exodus 23:20-21; Isaiah 30:27). Cf. the tabernacling of the Name at various spots almost like a Christophany (Exodus 20:24; Deuteronomy 12:5; II Samuel 7:13, etc.). "The name of God also signifies the whole self-disclosure of God in His holiness and truth (Psalm 22:22 [H 23]). This Name can be "walked in," i.e. people are to live according to its teachings (Micah 4:5)."24 Shem {"$ engenders the whole gamut of reputation and renown which a person or thing being "named" has, it's character, what is known of it, it's essential being. The fact that in Jeremiah 23:6 it is said of the Branch that "this is his name whereby he shall be called..." is very enlightening. What is essentially being said here is that this Branch, this Messiah who was to be raised up, was going to be invested with the full body of God's revealed character and reputation. This contrasts with the statement in 33:16 about Jerusalem, where (despite the italicized added word in the KJV) the word shem {"$ is NOT used. Jerusalem, unlike the Branch in 23:6, would not be invested with the essential reputation and character of God Almighty, though it would still be called after God, and would bask in His care and concern. Rabbinical Objection #2 - Many names for Israelites in the Hebrew scriptures contain the name Jehovah, so this means that Christians consider these people to be the Messiah too, or perhaps deity as well, right? This objection relies upon the modern sense of the term "name", which in most Western societies today means little more than just the word used to distinguish one person from another. Thus, it is assumed that when speaking of the theological importance of "name" (shem, {"$ ), that the importance rests upon whether the word used as the name contains the same letters as the word used to refer to Jehovah, hÛfwhºy . This ignores the theological emphasis on "renown" or "reputation" which is engendered in shem, {"$ . Further, we should note that none of these Israelites or others in the Hebrew scriptures whose names contain the word Jehovah, hÛfwhºy , are specifically said to be given the name, shem, {"$of Jehovah, hÛfwhºy . They are not invested with his repute and renown the way the Branch is in Jeremiah 23:6. Further, it should be noted that when a person in the Hebrew Scriptures has a name which contains the word Jehovah, the full tetragrammaton is never included in the name. Most often, the name takes the shorted form "Jah/Yah", such as appears in names like "Isaiah" or "Zechariah", or some other shortened form of the name, such as in "Joshua" or "Jehoshaphat". Nowhere, however, are all four letters of the tetragrammaton (YHWH, hÛfwhºy ) found together in that form in a name given to a human being or other created creature. Rabbinical Objection #3 - At various places in the Tanakh/|anaT, Old Testament, objects such as altars, etc. are "named", using the word shem/ {"$ . Does this mean that Christians believe these object to be divine, because they are named using the Divine name? This objection ignores now the other pertinent reason as to why Christians interpret Jeremiah 23:5-6 in a divinely Messianic sense. This is because of the fact that in v.5, the person of the Branch, the Messiah, had been specifically introduced. Because the Messiah is elsewhere alluded to in the Hebrew Scriptures, Tanakh/ |anaT , as "the LORD" (Psalm 110:1) and as the "son of God" (Psalm 2:7,12; Proverbs 30:4), there is a fundamental difference between a Messiah who is given the shem/ {"$ name of Jehovah and an inanimate object which is given the same. This is not to say, however, that objects given the shem/ {"$ , name of Jehovah are not imparted at least vicariously with the renown and reputation of God, at least in the sense of their symbolizing His character, etc. A good example of this would be in Exodus 17:15, where after the defeat of the Amalekites, Moses builds an altar and "names" (with shem) it Jehovah-nissi Sén úhÛfwhºy , meaning "Jehovah is my banner". The altar was meant to symbolize the great victory wrought by God for Israel, and thus both His great power and saving ability. However, the full implications of shem, {"$ go beyond (but will still yet include) this sort of symbolic attribution when the term is applied to a figure which is elsewhere in the Tanakh imbued with traits fitting to God Himself. Further, as a personality, the Messiah would be able to manifest in a very real and concrete way the full meaning of the shem of Jehovah as our righteousness, whereas the naming of an altar would be unable to extend to that level. Also, the names of the altars and other inanimate objects such as Jehovah-nissi, Sén úhÛfwhºy , Jehovah-yireh, hÕe):réy úhØfwhºy (Genesis 22:14, meaning "Jehovah will provide"), and so forth all depict the objects named (and thus, their builders) as passive. God is acting upon the builders of those altars for a visible testimony of God's activity. God is providing, God is the banner acting as a shield and rallying point. Yet, in Jeremiah 23:6, the Branch is given the name "Jehovah our righteousness", which is not an activity of God, but an essential trait. God is completely holy and righteous (see I Samuel 2:2, Isaiah 6:1-6, etc.), and the Messiah He sent with the shem, {"$ , name of "Jehovah our righteousness" would fulfill this true and complete righteousness. Thus, one set of "names" depict the one named as a passive agent, while the other depicts an active, personal being. ​ In conclusion , we can see that Jeremiah 23:5-6 shows us a messianic Branch who was to be a divine hypostasis of God Himself, and who was to manifest to His people the full account of righteousness, a trait inherent to God alone. This is seen in the systematic theological construct built up involving the Biblical teaching of the messianic nature of the Branch, and the appearance of divine theophanies and uniplurality in the Hebrew scriptures which imply the incarnation of God in the likeness of man to fulfill this messianic role. This view is supported from the teachings of the Tanakh, |anaT , Jewish Scriptures and in its parts, was recognized at various times in the Jewish theological writings of 2nd Temple and post-2nd Temple Judaism. End Notes (1) - Lam. Rab.. 1:51; Y. Ber. 5a (2) - Midrash Mishle, ed. S. Buber, p.87 (3) - Midrash Mishle, ed. S. Buber, p.87 (4) - Maimonides, Yad haHazaqa, Shoftim, Kilkhot M'lakhim 11 (5) - B. Sanh. 98b (6) - Targum Jonathan on the Prophets, Jer. 23:5 (7) - S.H. Levey, The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation, n. #82, p. 156 (8) - Lam. Rab. 1:51 (9) - J.E. Smith, What The Bible Says About The Promised Messiah, p. 347, n. 18 (10) - Pes. Rab., ed. M. Friedmann, p. 152b (11) - Gen. Rab. 1:4 (12) - Gen. Rab. 2:4 (13) - B. Pes. 54a; B. Ned. 39a (14) - I Enoch 62:7-9 (15) - The Propositions of the Zohar, cap. xxxviii, Amsterdam ed. - emphasis mine (16) - Jerusalem Targum, Genesis 16:13, "And Hagar praised and prayed in the name of the Memra Of YHWH who had revealed Himself to her..." (17) - Jerusalem Targum, Exodus 3:14, "And the Memra of YHWH said to Moses: "I am He who said unto the world 'Be!' and it was: and who in the future shall say to it 'Be!' and it shall be." And He said: "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'I Am' has sent me to you." (18) - Targum on Psalm 62:8 [H 9], "Trust in the Memra of Yah at all times, O people of the house of Israel! Pour out before Him the sighings of your heart; Say, God is our trust forever." (19) - Targum Jonathan, Genesis 1:27, "And the Memra of YHWH created man in his likeness, in the likeness of YHWH, YHWH created, male and female created He them." (20) - Targum Onkelos, Genesis 28:20-21, "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If the Memra of YHWH will be my support, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Memra of YHWH be my God." (21) - Similar to the orthodox Christian principle of the Trinity, with its three distinct personalities of God which yet share the one, united, divine nature and essence. (22) - D. Baron, Rays of Messiah's Glory: Christ in the Old Testament, p. 77ff, n.1 (23) - T. Laetsch, Bible Commentary: Jeremiah, p. 195 (24) - W.C. Kaiser, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, eds. R.L. Harris, G.L. Archer, and B.K. Waltke, Vol. II, pp. 934-935 Vocabulary: Brit Hadashah—New Testament 27 books Messiah — xyÙi$fm ; means "Anointed One," the name given to the promised Deliverer who would some day come to the people of Israel as their great Savior and Redeemer , “anointed ” as Prophet , Priest , and King by God Himself. Midrashim— ancient Rabbinical expositions of Holy Writ. The term Midrash (of which Midrashim is the plural form) occurs twice in the He brew Bible (2 Chron. Xiii. 22, and xxiv. 27); and in both passages it is represented in the Anglican version by the word "story," while the more correct translation, "commentary," is relegated to the margin. "Legendary exposition" best expresses the full meaning of the word Midrash. The Midrashim, for the most part, originated in a praiseworthy desire to familiarize the people with Holy Writ, which had, in consequence of changes in the vernacular, become to them, in the course of time, almost a dead letter. These Midrashim have little or nothing to do with the Halachoth or legal decisions of the Talmud, except in aim, which is that of illustration and explanation. They are not literal interpretations, but figurative and allegorical, and as such enigmatic. They are, however, to be received as utterances of the sages, and some even regard them of as binding obligation as the law of Moses itself. The following are fairly representative extracts. Moses Maimonides—Name at birth: Moshe ben Maimon; regarded by many as the greatest Jewish philosopher ever. As a doctor, rabbi, religious scholar, mathematician, astronomer, and commentator on the art of medicine, his influence has spanned centuries and cultures. He was born in Spain and educated by his father, a Jewish judge. Eventually settling in Cairo, he became court physician to two viziers of Egypt, Saladin and el Fadil, and chief rabbi of the city’s Jewish community. His Guide of the Perplexed(1190) used philosophical reasoning to argue that the Bible and Jewish faith did not conflict with Artistotle ‘s popular system of thought. Today, Maimonides’ “Thirteen Principles of Faith” are still recited in synagogues. His works continue to be studied by Jewish scholars, including Commentary on the Mishnah (1168), nicknamed “The Luminary,” and Mishneh Torah (1180), 14 volumes of biblical and rabbinic law, coded and compiled. His nickname, Rambam, is an acronym for Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon… Scholars disagree on his birth year. Recent research points to 1138, not the more frequently cited 1135… He was multilingual and wrote most of his works in Arabic… Hospitals in such cities as Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco and Montreal bear his name… His tomb in the Galilean city of Tiberias has attracted tourists for centuries… Paraphrasical—rewritten in the reader's own words. Righteousness — be in the right, be right, have a just case , what is right, just, normal; rightness, justness, of weights and measures. Talmud—normally refers to the collection of writings named specifically the Babylonian Talmud, although there is also an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud , or Palestinian Talmud. When referring to post-biblical periods, namely those of the creation of the Talmud, the Talmudic academies and the Babylonian exilarchate ( head of the Jewish community in Babylonia in talmudic and medieval times), Jewish sources use the term "Babylonia" from a strictly Jewish point of view, [1] still using this name after it had become obsolete in geopolitical terms. The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (Hebrew: 200 CE), a written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism's Oral Torah (Talmud translates literally as "instruction" in Hebrew); and the Gemara (500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic (the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah , from approximately 10-220 CE.) writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible . The term "Talmud" may refer to either the Gemara (the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah ) alone, or the Mishnah and Gemara together. The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Tannaitic Hebrew and Aramaic , and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of pre- Christian Era rabbis on a variety of subjects, including Halakha (law), Jewish ethics , philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law , and is widely quoted in rabbinic literature . Targumim—spoken paraphrases, explanations and expansions of the Jewish scriptures that a Rabbi would give in the common language of the listeners, which during the time of this practice was commonly, but not exclusively, Aramaic . This had become necessary near the end of the last century before the Christian era, as the common language was in transition and Hebrew was used for little more than schooling and worship. Tanakh—Old Testament 39 books Uniplural—A uniplural noun can be used to indicate an object in the singular or plural sense. Example: The word sheep can be used to describe one sheep or many sheep. This article is drawn upon: -The LORD our Righteousness —Jeremiah 23:5-6 Shows That the Messiah Was to be God Himself and used by permission of the author Timothy W. Dunkin. -Multiple general Jewish texts and resources -Experience of Menorah’s staff For Further Information: ​ Return to The Real Jesus Page ​ Return To Menorah's Web Page

  • About Our Logo | Menorah Ministries

    The M e n o r a h and the S h e e p Our logo is very special and unique as it represents the lost sheep of Israel making tishuvah (repentance from one's own ways, path, and sin) and turning to follow God's way! The 7 branch Biblical Menorah is the symbol of that correct way. The Tabernacle's menorah (Exodus 25:31-37 ) was a constant testimony to the priests that they must not walk in the light of man's wisdom or human nature but that they could fulfill the service of God only as they walk in the light provided by Him. The seven-post menorah was both a light and a light bearer, a symbol of faith and hope The menorah is a symbol of the true Church (Body of Messiah) as a light bearer in the world. Our Lord (Yeshua) Jesus said: You are the light of the world… Matthew 5:15 Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps (lights) shining... Luke 12:35 You appear as lights in the world… Philippians 2:15 Believers in Jesus the Messiah are to reflect His light, even as He was and is the Light. The menorah is a perfect, fitting and divine symbol of our Lord. He was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man… John 1:9 David in Psalm 36:9 says, In thy light shall we see light Whether it is direct light from Jesus, or diffused light through the Christian, all light is given to us for perception. In Jesus the Messiah's light, we shall truly see light! Menorah - Menorah Ministries - is a witness for God's salvation and the light of Jesus Christ. We are called to be a true and faithful witness for Him .....first for the Jews, then for the Gentiles. Romans 1:16-17 As Believers in Messiah Yeshua we have the joy of celebrating our Biblical Jewish roots in our Savior. With a servant's heart, we strive to proclaim God's love, redemption and salvation in Messiah Jesus. John 3:16 Psalm 2:1-12 Romans 11:17-21 Ephesians 2:8-9 Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Ministry Publications - In addition to our multiple types of literature and tracts for presenting the Gospel, we minister to Christians by publishing The Menorah Light periodical and a frequent Mission Report. These are sent free to Christians who take an interest in our ministry. They contain useful information on the Jewish roots of Christianity, our ministry news and inspiring instructional articles. Building A Reputation For responsible Evangelism and ministry * References Gladly Provided * To Return to G entile Christian Convert To Judaism Web Page To Return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Planned Giving | Menorah Ministries

    We appreciate your consideration in planning your giving through your estate planning, gifting to the Lord’s Gospel work beyond your earthly life. God bless and keep you! Please consult your legal and tax professionals and call us at any time. 303-355-2009 Giving Through Securities What are the Advantages of Making a Gift of Securities? · You avoid all capital gains tax when y ou contribute long-term appreciated securities to Menorah Ministries. · You receive a charitable income tax deduction equal to the securities' fair market value if they have been held longer than one year. -The fair market value can be deducted against up to 30% of your adjusted gross income and any excess deductions can be carried forward into as many as five additional tax years. Giving Through Real Estate By using real estate to fund a gift, you may be able to make a gift to Chosen People Ministries of a size that would otherwise not have been possible. Whether it is a house, farm, vacation home, office building or plot of undeveloped land, your property can be a very helpful gift for you and for Menorah Ministries. A real estate gift can provide you with a combination of advantages and tax savings. Some of the benefits of a real estate gift accepted by Menorah Ministries include: · An immediate charitable income tax deduction in the year you make the gift. · Avoiding capital gains taxes at the time of the transfer. · The opportunity to live in your home or use the property for the rest of your life. · Knowing that the property will be excluded from any estate and inheritance taxes. Because each property and gift plan is unique, any real estate gift will require careful consideration by your legal and tax advisers. They can explain how advantageous a real estate gift can be. Giving Through Life Insurance Life Insurance, Retirement and Savings Accounts How to Give When Your Needs Change Life insurance, pension plans, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, and savings accounts are convenient gift options that people often overlook. Giving Memorial Gifts Endowments and Memorials: The Gifts that Endure Menorah Ministries is an organization dedicated to bringing the Gospel to Jewish people. What better way to pay tribute to someone that has touched your life and who loved the Lord and the Jewish people than through a memorial gift to Menorah Ministries? ​ Memorial gifts are very flexible. Every gift outlined in this web site can be made in memory of a loved one. Giving Through Wills and Bequests A bequest is one of the most meaningful legacies you can provide for your family, friends, and Menorah Ministries. Your bequest helps ensure that your wishes for the future of Jewish evangelism will be honored. We have been able to sustain many of today's outreach programs due to the generosity and vision of our former supporters. ​ If you are planning to write your will, or if you already have one, you may want to consider these common ways to make a bequest: ​ Specific Dollar Amount "I give, devise and bequeath to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224, $____________ ." Percentage of Your Estate "I give, devise and bequeath to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224, ___________% of my estate." ​ Residue of Your Estate A residuary bequest to Menorah Ministries directs that all the residue, or a percentage of the residue, of your estate be paid to the ministry after all debts, taxes, expenses, and all other bequests have been paid. "All the residue of my estate, including, without limitation, real and personal property, I give, devise and bequeath to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224." Specific Asset from your Estate "I give, devise and bequeath _______ (insert a description of the asset here, such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, real estate, works of art or antiques) to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224." Contingent Bequests You can name Menorah Ministries to receive all or some of your estate if your primary heirs predecease you. You might do this to protect your estate from expensive litigation or from ultimate distribution to the state or unintended beneficiaries. "If _____________ (insert the name of your heir) predecease me or disclaims any interest in ____________ (describe the asset or portion of your estate here), I give such property to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224." ​ Giving Through Trusts Trusts are formal legal arrangements designating a trustee to receive and hold legal title to property and administer the property according to your instructions. Trusts can arrange for any financial or administrative function. Trusts can be very simple, or they can be as complex as necessary to meet your various financial, charitable and personal goals. Retirement account assets, if left to anyone other than a spouse, may be subject to very high taxation. By designating Menorah Ministries as recipient of any benefits remaining in your retirement plan, or by using them during your lifetime to be used in the Lord’s work is important to think about. ​ To return to Donation Support Page To return to Menorah's Resource Website ​

  • Jesus The Center of the Old Testament | Menorah Ministries

    Jesus Christ The center of the Old Testament by Armand J. Boehme -Everything in RED are Old Testament books/prophets- Jesus said that Moses had written of Him (John 5:46). Jesus said that all of the Old Testament Scriptures “testify of Me” (John 5:39). Before His ascension, Jesus again taught His disciples everything “in all the Scriptures” that spoke of Him (Luke 24:27). Jesus' exposition of all the things “in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and the Psalms” that spoke of Him, and his saving work was a Bible class that assisted the disciples in their ability to understand and comprehend how the Old Testament Scriptures spoke of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Christ also taught them the need to evangelize the world with the gospel message of salvation from sin in Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44-48). Here follows some glimpses of the portrayal of Christ in the Old Testament: Genesis proclaims Jesus the “Seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:22-23), our Creator God (Genesis 1-3; John 1:1-5), the Descendant of Abraham in Whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 22:18; Acts 3:24-26; Galatians 3:8-9, 27-29). It is Christ Who passes through the sundered parts of the animals and brings down on Himself the curse of death in order to pay for the broken promises of sinful human beings (Genesis 15:7-21; Galatians 3:10-14). For God to die He needed to become a human being. Thus, the incarnation of Christ, His birth, the shedding of His blood, and His sacrificial testamentary death are here prophesied (Luke 1:26-33; 2:25-35; Hebrews 9:11-28). Jesus is the only Son Who like Abra-ham’s son is a willing sacrifice, and Who carried the wood of the sacrifice (the cross) on His back, and Who unlike Abraham’s son truly dies as the sacrificial Lamb provided by God (Genesis 22:1-19; John 1:29; 19:17-19). Exodus portrays Christ “the Passover Lamb” (Exodus 12; I Corinthians 5:7). Leviticus reveals Christ our “Great High Priest” (Leviticus 8-10; Hebrews 1:17-2:6; 4:15-16), Who is the “Atoning Sacrifice” (Leviticus 16 & 23:26-32; Hebrews 9) for our sin. Numbers speaks in prophecy about the Christ Who will be “lifted up on the cross” like the “Brass Serpent” was lifted up in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-15). Deuteronomy proclaims Jesus Christ as the “Prophet like unto Moses” (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 6:14; Acts 3:17-26). Joshua preaches Jesus, the “Captain of our Salvation.” (Joshua 5:13-15; Hebrews 2:10 KJV) Who will lead us into the Promised Land of heaven. Judges reveals Christ our Judge & Deliverer (Judges 2:16-19; John 5:21-23 & Acts 10:42-43). Judges also reveals Christ as the Angel of the Lord present with His people (Judges 2:1-5; 6; 13; Acts 7:30-34). Ruth proclaims the Kinsman-Redeemer of all the world, Who is a descendant of a Gentile woman (Ruth 4; Matthew 1:1-6 – note also here the tie to Rahab the harlot in Joshua 2 & 6:22-25. She is Boaz’s mother & great great grandmother of David.). I Samuel speaks of Jesus the King anointed by the Holy Spirit (I Samuel 10 & 16; Matthew 3:13-17). II Samuel reveals that Christ the Messianic King will be a descendant of David. He is our Rock, Deliverer, Horn of Salvation & Savior (II Samuel 7 & 22; Matthew 21:1-11; Luke 1:30-25; 68-75; 2:10-14; Matthew 7:24-25; I Corinthians 10:4). I Kings speaks in prophesy of Jesus as the kingly descendant of Solomon the Temple-Builder Who has an eternal Kingdom (I Kings 2:45; 8:1-26; John 2:13-22), and of John the Baptist as the Second Elijah Who will come (I Kings 17-22; Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 11:7-15). Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36). Their prophetic work pointed to the Messiah they appeared with on this holy mountain. II Kings portrays Christ as the Prophet Who having completed His work ascends into heaven (II Kings 2:1-14; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11). The Messiah’s work of saving even Gentiles is seen in the healing and conversion of the Gentile soldier Naaman (II Kings 5:1-19; Matthew 8:5-13; John 3:16; Acts 10; Romans 3:9-4:25; 15:7-13). I Chronicles shows the Messiah to be the promised Descendant of David Who would have an eternal throne (I Chronicles 17; Luke 1:30-33). II Chronicles proclaims Jesus Christ as the faithful kingly descendant of David in contrast to the imperfect kings who sat on Judah’s throne. Unlike Joash who was murdered because of his sins (II Chronicles 24:23-25), Jesus the King dies bearing our sins, and His death saves sinners from their sins (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; Luke 23:6-12, 36-38; John 18:33-19:22). We also see mourning like the mourning at Jesus’ death (II Chronicles 35:23-25; Luke 23:48; Zechariah 12:10-14). Ezra in speaking about the temple rebuilt in Jerusalem, reveals Christ our Messiah. Just as the physical temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt so the Temple of Christ’s body died and was “rebuilt” (resurrected) (Ezra 5 & 6; John 1:14; 2:18-22). Nehemiah speaks of the Christ as the Savior God Who is merciful and kind (Nehemiah 9:3). Just as Jerusalem and its walls were rebuilt under Nehemiah, so Christ rebuilds lives broken by sin. Mary Magdalene & Paul are notable examples (Nehemiah 9:31; Luke 8:2; John 20:1-2, 11-18; Acts 9). Esther is someone who puts her life on the line to protect and preserve the lives of the Jewish people. So, Christ laid down His life for all people – Jew and Gentile alike (Luke 2:29-35; Romans 9:22-33). Wicked Haman plotted to wipe every Jew from the face of the earth. This would have destroyed God’s plan of salvation for salvation was to come from the Jews in Jesus Christ (John 4:22). Thus, working through Esther & Mordecai, God delivered the Jews to bring salvation to all (John 3:16). Job speaks of the Messiah Who is our living Redeemer, the One Who is able to raise us from the dead (Job 19:23-27; John 11:1-44; Galatians 3:13-14; I Peter 1:18-21; Revelation 5:1-14). In the sufferings of Job we also see the sufferings of Christ. The Psalms proclaim Christ as our Good Shepherd (Psalm 23; John 10:1-18), the Crucified and pierced One for Whose robe lots were cast, the One Who cried out “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22; Mark 15:34; John 19:24, 33-37). He is the Priest like Melchizidek (Psalm 110; Hebrews 5:1-12; 6:17-8:2), the One who like David was betrayed by His good friend Ahithophel – so Jesus was betrayed by His friend Judas. Just as Ahithophel hanged himself when his plans came to naught, so Judas hanged him-self in despair over his sin (II Samuel 15:10-17:23; Psalm 49:1-9; Matthew 26:47-50; 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-20). Jesus is prophesied to be the Messiah Who would rise, Whose body would see neither corruption nor decay (Psalm 16:5-11; Acts 2:25-33; 13:26-39). Jesus is the Lord’s Anointed against Whom the heathen would rage (Psalm 2; 132:10-18; Acts 4:24-28). Proverbs proclaims Christ the Messiah as Wisdom personified (Proverbs 8:1-9:10; Matthew 13:54; Luke 2:40-52; I Corinthians 1:17-3:20). Ecclesiastes reminds all that life is vanity, and that life is empty without God/Christ in one’s life. All need to heed God’s wise words that tell us to “Fear God and keep His commandments” for God will judge all human works (Ecclesiastes 12:1-14). Jesus was the only one to perfectly “fear God and keep His commandments,” for He lived sinlessly under the Law “fulfilling all righteous-ness” (Matthew 3:15; I Peter 2:19-25; 3:18). He will judge all people’s secret deeds with righteousness and truth (Matthew 10:26-27; Mark 4:22; John 5:30; 17:17; 21:25). The Song of Solomon reveals Christ as the Husband to His Bride the Church. It also reveals the blessedness that should exist in the love of husbands and wives which is to reflect the perfect love Christ has for His Bride the Church (Ephesians 5:21-33; I Corinthians 13). Isaiah is often described as the Gospel of the Old Testament because it prophetically reveals so much about Christ – His Virgin Birth as Immanuel the God Who is with us (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23); His being God’s Son, the kingly Prince of Peace Who sits on David’s eternal throne (Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33; 2:14). Jesus is seen as the Stone of stumbling and the Rock of offense (Isaiah 8:13-15; Matthew 21:42-44; Romans 9:32-33; I Peter 2:7-8). Jesus' ministry in Zebulun & Naphtali are prophesied in Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:12-16. Jesus is described as the Root of Jesse Who will be anointed by the Holy Spirit and will save even Gentiles (Isaiah 11:1-16; Matthew 3:13-17; Romans 15:12; Revelation 5:5; 22:16). We see Christ as our Suffering Servant, the Man of Sorrows Who carries our sins and sorrows and is acquainted with our grief's, the One by Whose stripes we are healed (Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 26-28; Acts 8:30-40). Jesus is the Light to enlighten the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; Luke 2:27-32; Acts 13:46-49). Jeremiah reveals Christ as the Righteous Branch, the Lord our Righteousness, Who will pardon sinners from their sins (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:14-15; Matthew 5:6; Luke 23:47; Romans 5:18-19; I John 2:1-2). Lamentations reveals the Christ Who weeps over Jerusalem as Jeremiah wept for that same city (Lamentations 3:48-49; Matthew 23:37-38). It is only by God’s abundant mercies in Christ that come to us new every morning that we are redeemed rather than being consumed in our sins (Lamentations 3:22-26, 58; Ephesians 2:4-7; Hebrews 4:14-16). Ezekiel reveals Christ as the true Shepherd Who will feed His flock (Ezekiel 34:11-31; John 10:1-18). Our resurrection from the dead is seen in the resurrection of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-14; I Thessalonians 4:16-17. Ezekiel reveals the loving God Who performs heart surgery on sinners – removing from them the dead stony heart of sinful unbelief, and giving sinners a living heart that beats with the joy of faith in the Messiah (Ezekiel 36:24-28; II Corinthians 3:2-3). Daniel reveals Jesus as the Son of Man Who rules with the power of the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 12:40; 16:13-16; 17:9, 22-23). This title, “son of man” is also used to refer to the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:17). This phrase is also used to identify the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:3, 9, 11, 16). These references point to Christ’s prophetic office (Ezekiel 36:25-28; Romans 2:29; II Corinthians 3:2-3), and to Him being the Son of Man (Matthew 8:20; 12:8, 32, 40; 16:13). Just as God delivered His servants Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego from the fiery furnace to we are delivered from the fires of hell by the grace of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (Daniel 3; Revelation 20:14-15). Hosea refers to Jesus as the beloved Son Who is called out of Egypt (Numbers 24:8-9; Hosea 11:1; Mat-thew 2:13-15). Christ’s redemption of His Bride the Church is seen in Hosea’s redemption of his faithless wife, Gomer (Hosea 1-3; Ephesians 5:21-33). Joel speaks about the promise of the Messiah to send the Holy Spirit in His fullness to His Church (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:1-21) Amos speaks of the Messiah Who raises up the fallen Tabernacle of David and Who brings Gentiles to His Church (Amos 9:11-15; Acts 15:13-18). Obadiah points us to the deliverance and salvation God provides on Mount Zion through the kingly Messiah (Obadiah 17 & 21; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 21-22). Jonah points to the Messiah Who dies, rests in the tomb for three days and then rises again (Jonah 1:17-2:10; Matthew 12:39-41). Jonah also proclaims the Messiah Who is the Savior of all, even terrible Gentile sinners like the Assyrians, the Samaritan woman, Roman soldiers, and even of publicans and tax collectors (Jonah 3 & 4; Luke 7:1-10, 34, 39-50; 15:1-2; John 4). Micah prophesies about the Savior’s birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-11). Micah also portrays the Messiah as a God of mercy Who in compassion pardons the iniquity of sinners (Micah 7:18-19; Romans 15:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 5:1-2). Nahum speaks about the beauty of the feet of those who bring the Gospel of peace in Christ to the nations (Nahum 1:15; Acts 10:36; Romans 10:15). Habakkuk is known as the prophet of the Reformation for he speaks emphatically about justification by grace through faith in the coming Messiah (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:37-39). Zephaniah speaks about the Christ Who comes to judge the living and the dead and encourages the meek to seek the righteousness that can only be found in the Messiah (Zephaniah 2:3; Matthew 5:6; 6:33). Haggai speaks about the Messiah as the Desire of the nations Who will come and fill the rebuilt temple with His glory (Haggai 2:7; Luke 2:25-35). Zerubbabel, a descendant of David who rules as governor, is described as the signet ring, the seal of God to reassure His people that the promises about the kingly Messiah and Descendant of David’s Descendant Who is to come are still in effect and that all those promises will come to pass (Haggai 2:20-23; Matthew 1:12-13; Luke 1:67-79). Zechariah is the most Messianically dense book in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit led Zechariah to provide a “Reader’s Digest” condensed summary of all previous Old Testament prophecy which then is seen fulfilled in the New Testament books. Christ’s work as the High Priest Who cleanses His penitent people from the filthy robes of their sins and dresses them in His righteous white robes is seen in the cleansing of Joshua the High Priest (Zechariah 3:1-10; Revelation 4:4; 7:9-17). Jesus is again described as the Servant Branch (3:8) and as the Stone (3:9). The Messiah is the Branch, a kingly priest Who will build a temple (6:9-15; John 2:19-21). The Messiah’s fountain for cleansing from sin is seen when Jesus side is pierced by the spear and out comes blood and water (Zechariah 13:1; John 19:34-35). We receive cleansing from sin in the waters of Baptism and in the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38; Colossians 2:11-14; Matthew 6:26-28; I John 5:6-9) Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday is prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 (cf. Matthew 21:1-5). The Messiah will be a Man of peace Who rules as a King (Zechariah 9:10; Luke 2:14; John 14:27; 16:32-33). The shed blood of the Messiah will free sinners who are imprisoned by their sins (Zechariah 9:11-12; I John 1:7). Jesus is prophesied to be the Cornerstone (Zechariah 10:4; Matthew 21:42; I Peter 2:6-8). The betrayal price paid to Judas was 30 pieces of silver – Zechariah speaks of them and of the potter’s field in 11:12-13. The Holy Spirit combined this prophecy with God’s command to Jeremiah to buy some of the “potter’s field” (Jeremiah 19:1; 32:6-10) and these prophecies come to fulfillment in Matthew 27:3-10. The impartation of the Holy Spirit on Christ at His Baptism, His being pierced on the cross, and the great mourning at His death are seen in Zechariah 12:10-14; Matthew 3:13-17; John 19:33-37; and Luke 23:48. Jesus is the Shepherd Who is stricken, and the sheep are scattered at His death (Zechariah 13:7-9; John 10:11; Matthew 26:31 & 56). The Messiah will be the King of all the earth (Zechariah 14:9; I Timothy 1:17; Revelation 19:16). Malachi proclaims the coming of the Second Elijah, John the Baptist, the messenger who prepares the way before the Messiah (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 11:7-15). Malachi also proclaims the Christ Who is the Sun of Righteousness Who arises with spiritual healing in His wings Malachi 4:2;( Matthew 17:1-2; Acts 26:12-18; Revelation 1:16; 21:23; 22:5 Romans 1:16-17; 3:21-26; I Corinthians 1:30; II Corinthians 5:21). Luther and Althaus on the Christological nature of the Old Testament: “There are some who have little regard for the Old Testament. They think of it as a book that was given to the Jewish people only and is now out of date, containing only stories of past times. They think they have enough in the New Testament…But Christ says in John 5[:39], ‘Search the Scriptures, for it is they that bear witness to me.’ St. Paul bids Timothy attend to the reading of the Scriptures [I Tim. 4:13], and in Romans 1 [:2] he declares that the gospel was promised by God in the Scriptures, while in I Corinthians 15 he says that in accordance with the Scriptures Christ came of the seed of David, died, and was raised from the dead. St. Peter, too, points us back, more than once, to the Scriptures. They do this in order to teach us that the Scriptures of the Old Testament are not to be despised, but diligently read. For they themselves base the New Testament upon them mightily, proving it by the Old Testament and appealing to it…The ground and proof of the New Testament is surely not to be despised, and therefore the Old Testament is to be highly regarded. And what is in the New Testament but a public preaching and proclamation of Christ, set forth through the sayings of the Old Testament and fulfilled through Christ?” “In order that those who are not more familiar with it may have instruction and guidance for reading the Old Testament with profit, I have prepared this preface to the best of the ability God has given me…Here [in the Old Testament] you will find the swaddling clothes and the manger in which Christ lies, and to which the angel points the shepherds [Luke 2:12]. Simple and lowly are these swaddling cloths, but dear is the treasure, Christ, who lies in them.” [Luther's Works – Vol-ume 35 - Word and Sacrament I (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960), pp. 235-236] “It [the Old Testament] not only offers to lead men to Christ but is itself already filled with Him. This is true first because Christ is always present in the God of the Old Testament, in his activity and promises, and in his relationship to the godly…These promises, ultimately, are all promises of Christ. The God who speaks in them is the God who is already at work fulfilling them and saving the world through Christ…Christ is promised in the prophets, in the Psalms, and in the well-known Messianic passages of the historical books-but also in many places beyond these…Like the prophets, the Psalms are filled with prophecies of Christ, his person, his suffering, his death and resurrection, his ruling as king, the gospel, the kingdom, and Christianity, or the church. Not only the Psalms, however, are to be interpreted in a Christological and prophetic sense but also much in the historical accounts of the Old Testament and in the books of Moses…[for] he ‘prophecies powerfully of Jesus Christ our Lord’…the Old Testament [also] offers figures of Christ and of his church.” [Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther, trans. Robert C. Schultz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), pp. 93-95.] ​ ​ To Return To Menorah's Web Page Return To The Real Jesus Page

  • The Trinity | Menorah Ministries

    See Below four Trinity Articles ​ ​ #1 #1 #3 #4 #2 The Trinity Easy As 1,2,3 So how can we be s o sure that the appearance of Yeshua does not contradict the Old Testament insistence that only God should be worshipped? Does explaining the trinity tie you in knots? An English preacher called David Pawson rightly noticed that we often feel awkward and embarrassed about the inexplicable trinity. How can God be three and one at the same time? “We don’t know!” We have to admit. There are metaphors of clover leaves having three parts to the one leaf... of water, ice and steam all being H2O... of the ability to be a mother, daughter and wife simultaneously, but none of these analogies really do justice to the mysterious Godhead we claim to know and love. But, insists Pawson, the trinity is one of the greatest truths we have to share, because by it we alone, of all faiths, can declare the truth that God IS love! In order to love, we need an object of affection, but since God is Father, Son and Spirit, he was already living in loving unity long before he created the world! In himself, God’s very essence is love with no need of outside intervention. We could say that a singular God could be loving in nature, but to say that he IS love is a unique privilege of those who believe that he can give and receive love in and of himself. They're all there, the entire time, all through the Tenach The word “trinity” cannot be found in the Bible, but the truth is that the three of them have been there together all the way along. Genesis tells us that God created the heavens and the earth by his word. John 1 tells us that the Word is Yeshua - that he was with God and was God from the get go, right there at creation. We also see the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, hovering over the waters in the second verse of the Bible. Not sure about this? The first words of the Bible in Hebrew are: בראשית ברא אלוהים In the beginning, God created (or “in the beginning, created God...” , because that’s the way Hebrew sentences are structured). The word for God is Elohim. This word Elohim, very interestingly, is plural. Still not convinced? The decision to create humanity is made. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”, says the plural God, in plural. There is no getting away from it this time. The Hebrew is very clear. Later on we see hints of Yeshua appearing as "The Angel of the Lord", which could simply be one of God's many angels, except that those who encounter this one a) identify him as The Lord himself, and b) worship him. There is no way that a regular angel of God - even a top level angel - would accept worship that belongs to God alone. If you want to see what I mean, see what happens when "The Angel of the Lord" turns up to visit Hagar in Genesis 16 and 21, Abraham in chapter 18, and the One who stops him killing Isaac in 22:11, look at the interaction between Samson's parents and the Angel of the Lord in Judges 13, and consider who the fourth person was in the firey furnace that Daniel's three friends were rescued from. As you ponder the texts and the dialogues, look carefully at the way people address this angel, at the way he refers to himself, and you will see that there is something divine going on here. This angel speaks as if he is God, and people speak as if they have encountered God. Because he is. And they have. We also learn of the third person, the Holy Spirit, very much active in his own right in the Tenach - falling upon and anointing people with power to prophesy and act to accomplish God's will. He empowers the artisans who make the tabernacle, falls upon Saul in 1 Samuel 10, and is spoken of by David in the Psalms and the prophets (The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me... Isaiah 61). He appears many times throughout the Scriptures, helping and enabling people to do the will of God. We even see all three of them together in this verse: "Come ye near unto Me, hear ye this: From the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord GOD has sent me, and His Spirit." Isaiah 48:16 There they all are - all three of them together. The Lord God (Father), the One who he sent, who was with him from the beginning (Yeshua) and His Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament. God repeatedly promises that he would come and live among them, in words that bewilder the mind if you are not ready to accept the deity of Yeshua. He says, Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion,for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. Zechariah 2:10-11 Yes, it was always God's intention to come and live among us as Yeshua. And you can see the sameness yet separateness in these verses - he speaks as God himself, yet tells us that the Lord of Hosts has sent him. We also see the God's Son mentioned several times in the Tenach: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, andyou perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:2 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know! Proverbs 30:4 and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. Daniel 7:13 Incomprehensible, but true! So, although this idea seems alien to most Jewish people (and frankly, rather bewildering to most believers) a careful study of the Scriptures shows us that Yeshua did not suddenly appear two thousand years ago. As he says of himself; "Before Abraham was, I AM" John 8:58 One of the hardest things for Jewish people to deal when it comes to Yeshua is the idea that he could be God in human form. The trinity just sounds like straight up polytheistic idol-worship to Jewish ears. Monotheism was the defining difference between the faith of Abraham and all the pagan worshippers surrounding him in the Mesopotamian basin. Every Jewish person knows that their God is one, and squirms inside when they see a church cluttered with images that seem like idols - the holy child in the arms of Mary, Yeshua on the cross... it might be like you, or I am going into a place of worship with star signs of the Zodiac all over the walls. Their resistance comes from their understanding of the scriptures that God is a jealous God, and that they must never bow the knee to any other. For further information contact: To Return To The Real Jesus Web Page To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE The Trinity Is Jewish #2 ​ The Trinity Is Jewish By Rachmiel Frydland ​ Most modern Jewish people seem to have made their "peace" with Jesus of Nazareth. Some consider Him to be a great, Jew, or even the greatest Jew who ever lived. Some of our Jewish leaders, as Dr.Heinrich Graetz and Dr. Joseph Klausner, compliment Him on His teaching. Some admire His parables and purity, as Moses Montefiore; and Some as Sholem Asch and others, even consider Him to be the Messiah of the Gentiles. Today we often meet Jewish people who acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah for Jew and Gentile alike; and some are even willing to share these convictions with other Jewish people. What then holds such Jewish people back from joining with us and accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? The hindrance some have expressed to the writer of this article is the reluctance to accept the fact that Jesus is supernatural. Moreover, from childhood we have been inculcated with Maimonides' Thirteen Principles one of which is: I firmly believe that the Creator, blessed be his name, is One: that there is no oneness in any form like his; & that he alone was, is, & ever will be our God . ​ We have been thus brought up to think that if we believe that God is One, then this idea excludes any idea of God manifesting Himself through Jesus the Messiah. This Christian concept of God's triunity seemed to us to be a Gentile and pagan idea. NOT SO! Christians, as well as Jewish people, must believe in One God. There is no other. The God of Abraham. Isaac and Jacob is the God of the Jewish people and of the Christians. The Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament are authoritative for the Jew and for the Christian. In them is found the confession that is authoritative for all of us. ​ Hear. O Israel. the LORD our God, the LORD IS ONE. Deuteronomy 6:4 ​ TRIUNITY IN TANAKH (Old Testament) ​ While it is universally admitted by both Jews and Christians that God is One and that there is no one beside Him, we are also compelled to acknowledge that the triunity of God is clearly taught in the Torah, the Prophets, and in the Writings --- that is in the whole Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament, & the New Testament. Not only in the Tanakh but also in the Talmudical & Rabbinical writings this concept is well known. Space does not permit us to present proofs from all the sources in this short article. Here we present just a few challenging proofs: ​ THE TORAH: When God (Elohim) create the world He wanted to make absolutely clear to His creation that He is not some abstract mathematical unitarian principle with no analogy in all creation, as some of our philosophers tried to present Him under Aristotelian influence. Instead we read in the holy Torah these words: And (Elohim) said. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, & over all the earth. Genesis 1:26 Elohim made man, a being composed of a triunity --- body, soul and spirit, in the image of God; and to make this more clear God reveals Himself in His plural form of Elohim and says, "Let us make man." Even those of our rabbis who do not accept as yet the triunity of God, realize that this verse is clear support for such teaching. Thus in Midrash Rabbah on Genesis we find the following comments on the verse: Rabbi Samuel bar Nahman in the name of Rabbi Jonathan said, that at the time when Moses wrote the Torah; writing a portion of it daily, when he came to this Verse which says, "And Elohim said let us make man in our image after our likeness," Moses said, Master of the Universe why do you give herewith an excuse to the sectarians (who believe in the triunity of God). God answered Moses, You write and whoever wants to err let him err. But surely God did not make Moses to write the whole Scriptures in order to make people err. but rather to show them the right way and the right revelation, namely that the One God is a triune God who calls Himself Elohim and who says. Let us make man. ​ THE PROPHETS: There are many Scr ipture verses which show clearly that God manifested Himself also as the Word by which He created heaven and earth and by which He leads and directs creation. He also manifested Himself as the Ruakh Hakodesh, the Holy Spirit, who inspired the prophets of God and who did mighty miracles through the great judges of Israel, Gideon, Samson, and David. We want to point out one Scripture which compels us to admit the triunity of God. Isaiah the prophet speaks in the name of God and says: Come near unto me. hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning: from the time that it was,there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Isaiah 48:16 Here God calls the people to come to Him, but He is sent by the Lord GOD and His Spirit. Exactly the same teaching as we have found in the Torah. we find also in the teachings of God's prophets. How else can it be? The same God who commanded Moses to manifest His triunitarian nature commands also the Hebrew Prophets to do the same. THE WRITINGS: Very clearly we find the same teaching about God in the Psalms and in the other writings of the Hebrew Scriptures. We read in Psalm 2 where the Holy Spirit, the Ruakh Hakodesh, speaks through David and says: I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee. Psalm 2:7 Here is the Holy Spirit speaking through David and instructing David, that the LORD, which is in Hebrew the ineffable name of Jehovah (which we pronounce as Adonai, has a Son who is begotten of God in a most supernatural way. Maybe King David himself did not well understand the words that he was commanded to write by the Holy Spirit; but as Moses and Isaiah, he obeyed. Be wrote this down for us so that there be no misunderstanding. God who is almighty manifests Himself as a triunity, leaving us no doubt as to His nature. ​ IS TRINITY JEWISH? ​ But is such a concept Jewish? Is it not some Gentile or pagan concept that has somehow crept into our Holy Scriptures as some extreme liberalists would like to tell us? No, this was and still is a Jewish conception of God creating and dealing with His creation and His people Israel in a triune way. This quotation bears it out: Exodus 19 starts with the words, "In the third month." This is explained by the words of Proverbs 22:20, "Have I not written to thee excellent (Hebrew, threefold) things in counsels and knowledge." On this Rabbi Joshua bar Nehemiah said that this is the Torah whose letters are threefold, alf, bet, g(i)ml, and everything is a Trinity: The Torah is Trinitarian, for it is composed of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. The Mishna (talmudical learning) is a trinity composed of Talmud (learning) halakhot (daily Jewish laws) and haggadot (historical items). The mediator consisted of a trinity of Miriam, Moses, & Aaron. Prayers are a trinity of morning, afternoon, and evening prayers. Israel is a trinity consisting of priests, Levites and Israelites. The name Moses in Hebrew consists of three letters. He is of the tribe of Levi, which again is in the Hebrew three letters. from the seed of the Patriarchs who are a trinity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; in the third month which is Sivan, after Nisan & Iyar on mount Sin whose letters are three as it is written. "And they rested in the wilderness of Sin.".(Midrash Tanhuma on Exodus 19) ​ If, according to our rabbis', God has made everything and arranged everything in a Trinitarian way. then it must also be Jewish and biblical to know that God, Himself is a Trinity. This He is and has manifested Himself as the Savior, Messiah, and Son of God in the person of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah. He then sent down the Holy Spirit, the Ruakh Hakodesh, on the Disciples in the third month, of the Feast of Shavuot, the feast of perfection, celebrated after counting seven times seven. ​ TRINITY AND COMMON SENSE ​ But. can three be one? Does not common-sense rebel against such a statement? Must we not state categorically that God is either One or Three? Not so. As a matter of fact everything you come in contact with is not a mathematical concept of one, but usually an item composed of a trinity. The ancient Greek philosopher reasoned out the theory of atoms by simply watching a black cow, eating green grass, and then giving white milk. All things are composed of millions and billions of atoms; but the atom itself is a trinity of a proton, electron and nucleus. Perhaps we could best express it in the words of Dr. Henry Heydt: ​ In Romans 1:20 Paul uses the creation of the cosmos as demonstrating this Godhead (theiotes]. The universe ... is an absolute triunity of space, time, and matter. Each of these in turn is an absolute triunity. Space consists of length, breadth, and depth or height: time is future, present, and past; matter is energy, motion, and phenomena. Here we have not merely an illustration of three in one --- as in the case of light, heat, and ultra-violet rays of the sunbeam, or the manifestation of H2O as liquid, ice, and steam --- but an absolute trinity composed of three absolute triunities. ​ WHAT IS THE MEANING TO YOU? ​ We now have only to answer the question. "What does it all matter?" The answer is that it matters very much. It proves the truth of God's Word. The most important thing is, what the Jewish Messiah Jesus (Yeshua) said, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." ​ Do you want peace in your heart & peace with your Creator? Receive this gift of God; confess your sins and believe in God's Son, the Korban (sacrifice) for your sins. Then you will be saved & have perfect peace in your heart. "But as many as received him to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12) Reprinted by permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach For further information contact: To Return To The Real Jesus Web Page To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE In Light ofTanakh The Trinity # 3 In Light of Tanakh The Trinity By Milton B. Lindberg Hear, O Israel (Shema Yisrael): The Lord our God (Adonai Eloheinu), the Lord is one (Adonai Ehad). Deuteronomy (Devarim) 6:4 Upon the rock of this declaration rests the second of the Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith: "I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is a Unity, and that there is no unity in any manner like unto His, and that He alone is our God who was, is, and will be." ​ From where, then, comes the doctrine of the Trinity? A large part of the world, though professing to worship the God who is revealed in the writings of Moses and the prophets, nevertheless believes in God as a Trinity. ​ Although it may be granted that the Christian's New Testament teaches that the term God may be applied to God the Father, to God the Son, and to God the Holy Spirit, the Christian should cease to claim that he worships the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Moses and the prophets, the God of the Torah, the Neviim, and the Ketuvim, unless there is found in the Tenach (Old Testament), indisputable evidence that God exists in more than one personality. ​ The first words of the Torah declare: "In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens (hashamayim) and the earth." It must be admitted that the word for God here is in the plural form, even as is the word for heavens, and that it is the same as used in the first commandment: "You shall have no other gods (Elohim) before me" (Exodus 20:3). Likewise in Deuteronomy 13:2 (v. 6 in Hebrew text): "If he (a false prophet) says, 'Let us follow other gods. '" Elohim is invariably a plural form. Additionally, when speaking of the act of creation performed in the beginning by Elohim the Triune God, Moses used a verb in the singular number, bara (created). ​ It is reasoned by some that the plural Elohim is the "plural of majesty," used to ascribe majesty to one who is nevertheless a single individual, and that therefore the use of the singular verb would be entirely reasonable. But a singular verb is not invariably used with the plural Elohim. Readers familiar with the Hebrew text can check the plural verbs used in Genesis 20:13 and in Genesis 35:7. Plural adjectives are also used to describe this Elohim. For examples see Deuteronomy 4:7, Elohim krovim (God is near), and Joshua 24:19, Elohim kedoshim (a holy God). ​ The plurality of the name Elohim leads naturally to a consideration of the fact that other plural words are also used in referring to God. In Genesis 1 :26 God said: "Let us make man in our image." In Genesis 3:22 God said: "The man has now become like one of us." And in Genesis 11:7 God said: "Come, let us go down and confuse their language." To whom, and of whom is God speaking with the use of these plural pronouns? ​ We have seen in Genesis 1: 1 that Elohim (plural) created the heavens and the earth; and in the next verse we read: "And the Spirit of God (Ruah Elohim) was hovering over the waters." Was it speaking for himself and his Spirit that God (Elohim) said in verse 26: "Let us make man in our image?" Is this why Solomon said: Remember your Creator (plural, in the literal translation of Ecclesiastes 12:1)? ​ In Proverbs 30:4 the challenging question is presented to mankind: "Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his Son? Tell me if you know!" Does God have a Son? ​ In Psalm 2 we have a prophetic picture which should be read in its entirety. In it is described (vv. 2 and 3) the time when the nations will declare themselves against God, and against his Anointed One (Mashiho, from which our English word Messiah comes). God says in verse 6 that he will nevertheless establish this Messiah as his King on Zion, his holy hill. ​ In verse 7 Messiah steps forward to declare the decree by which his coronation shall be accomplished saying: "I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: "He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations (goyim) your inheritance. '" ​ Furthermore, in Psalm 2:11-12 we are solemnly instructed: "Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son (nashqu bar), lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." ​ The Hebrew for "kiss the Son" is nashqu bar. Even if this is translated, as some would have it, "Do homage in purity," the homage is to the Lord of verse 11 and to the Son of verse 7. The Tanakh clearly indicates that there is a divine personality who is called the Son of God, who is worthy of homage, and if we put our trust in him, we are blessed. ​ In Psalm 110 , the one who is in a future day to rule in Zion is addressed as a divine personality by another who is also deity. "The Lord says to my Lord," writes David the psalmist, "sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies" (psalm 110:1-2). ​ Here is one who is "the Lord" speaking to David's Lord and telling him to sit at his right hand until the time comes for him to rule in the midst of some who are now his enemies. Surely the psalm is speaking of two divine personalities, one whom is yet to be Israel's King! "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth" (Zechariah 14:9). "At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts" (Jeremiah 3: 17). ​ Does the Tanakh indicate how a divine eternal personality can be a Son? Is this not a great problem, since being a son suggests the idea of generation and birth? The divine solution: deity becomes a Son by way of incarnation, God taking upon himself humanity. ​ Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever" (Isaiah 9:6-7b). ​ "Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign (no ordinary birth, but something so unusual, remarkable, and miraculous as to constitute a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:13-14). Immanuel means "God with us," deity incarnate, dwelling with men! ​ Who are the three divine personalities Isaiah 48:11-18 (Yeshaiah Hanavii speaks about? "Listen to me, 0 Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. (Only God is eternal.) My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens (the Creator is speaking); ... And now the Sovereign Lord (one divine personality) has sent me (the speaker is eternal and the Creator, and therefore a second divine personality), with his Spirit (a third divine personality). ​ "This is what the Lord says -- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. (This divine personality, the sent one, calls himself the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; and he says that he and God's Spirit have been sent by the Sovereign Lord.) If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” ​ Not only has Israel failed to listen to him, but mankind generally has failed to heed the Redeemer; and until men turn to him wholeheartedly, there will be no peace. ​ Many Jewish people express the lament that if there is a God, he seems to have forgotten the Jews; but Israel’s long night of suffering is not without purpose. God permits her hardship in order that Israel may be brought to acknowledge her rejection of her God and return to him. In Micah 5:2 (verse 1 in Hebrew text) we read: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” ​ Thus we have corroboration of other predictions already considered concerning Messiah: 1) that he was to appear in human form; 2) that he was to be rejected (see Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22); 3) that he was to be born in Bethlehem (and every year the world celebrates the birth which took place there more than nineteen hundred years ago, before the dispersion of the Jewish nation); 4) this one is to be Israel’s King; and 5) that he is deity, for his “origins are from of old, from ancient times.” ​ But if three divine personalities are revealed in the Tanakh, why does Moses speak of God as one? The second of the Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith says: “The Creator, blessed be His name, is a Unity, and there is no unity in any manner like unto His.” ​ The Hebrew word Maimonides used in the Principles of Faith for unity is the word yahid. The word yahid carries the thought of absolute oneness rather than unity. True, yahid always means oneness in the absolute sense. But the appeal of every honest seeker after truth is not to the Thirteen Principles of Faith, but to the Holy Scriptures, the Tanakh. The seventh of those Principles states: “I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace be to him, was true, and that he was the chief of the prophets, both of those that preached and of those that followed him.” ​ Therefore, to Moses we turn in Deuteronomy (Humesh Devarim) 6:4, and read: “Shema Yisrael (Hear, 0 Israel): Adonai Eloheinu (the Lord our God or Gods), Adonai ehad (the Lord a unity; not yahid, an absolute one, an only, but ehad). Ehad is the word that Moses also uses in Genesis 2:24, when he says: And they (husband and wife) will become one flesh (basar ehad). Ehad is the word that God uses when he tells Ezekiel: Join them together into one stick so that they (the two sticks for Israel and Judah) will become one (ehad) in your hand (Ezekiel 37: 17). ​ Truly, “there is no unity in any manner like unto His,” for the unity which is God’s transcends all other unity. So unique is his unity, that the virgin born son, Immanuel, of whom we read in a former paragraph, is by the same prophet (Isaiah) called the Mighty God and Everlasting Father. So completely are the divine and timeless eternal personalities joined, that although one of them appeared in time as an incarnate Son, yet, being equally and eternally self-existent with the Father, he is said to exist eternally as the Son. At the same time he was, is, and ever will be one with the mighty God, the everlasting Father. ​ Is it not also a remarkable fact that the eternal one’s appearance in time nineteen hundred [plus] years ago marks the focal point of all history, so that all the world reckons time as either before or after his coming, B.C. or A.D.? Jewish people may prefer the designations B.C.E. (before the common era) and C.E. (the common era), but the dividing point between the eras is the same. ​ The careful and honest inquirer therefore comes to the conclusion that the Tenach teaches the Trinity as well as the Unity of God. ​ God declared unto Moses: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19). ​ “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let ‘him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God (Eloheinu), for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7). Used for educational purposes from AMF International (Life In Messiah International) ​ For further information contact: To Return To The Real Jesus Web Page To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE #4 ​ T H E T R I N I T Y b y Dave Hunt ​ Many Christians are at a loss to understand, much less to defend, the "Trinity" when that word is not even found in the Bible. To deal with that issue, we must begin with God, as the Bible itself does. ​ There are two general concepts of God: (1) pantheism/naturalism, that the universe itself is God; and (2) supernaturalism, that the Creator is distinct from His creation. Within these are two more opposing views: (1) polytheism, that there are many gods; and (2) monotheism, that there is only one true God. ​ Monotheism itself is divided into two rival beliefs: (1) that God is a single being; and (2) that God has always existed in three persons who are separate and distinct yet one. Obviously, Christians are the only ones who hold the latter view--and even some who call themselves Christians reject it. Yet it is the only logically and philosophically coherent view of God possible. ​ Pantheism has the same fatal flaws as atheism. If everything is God, to be God has lost all meaning and so nothing is God. The problems with polytheism are equally obvious. There is no real God who is in charge, so the many gods fight wars and steal one another's wives. There's no basis for morals, truth or peace in heaven or earth. Polytheism's basic problem is: diversity without unity. ​ The belief that God is a single being is held by both Muslims and Jews, who insist that Allah and Jehovah are single entities. It is also held by pseudo-Christian cults such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons - - - and by various aberrant Christian groups who also deny the deity of Christ. Some Pentecostals claim that God is a single being and that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are God's three "titles" or "offices." Here we have unity without diversity. ​ That God must have both unity and diversity is clear. The Allah of Islam (like the Jehovah of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Jews), for instance, is incomplete in himself, unable to experience love, fellowship and communion before creating beings with whom he could have these experiences. The Bible says that "God is love." But the God of Islam and Judaism could not be love in and of himself-- or whom could he love when he was alone before creation? ​ This belief that God is a single entity (Unitarianism) and not three persons existing eternally in one God (Trinitarianism) was first formulated in the early church around 220 A.D. by a Libyan theologian named Sabellius. He attempted to retain Biblical language concerning Father, Son and Holy Spirit without acknowledging the triune nature of God. Sabellius claimed that God existed as a single being, who manifested Himself in three activities, modes or aspects: as Father in the creation, as Son in redemption, and as Holy Spirit in prophecy and sanctification. This heresy, though condemned by the vast majority of Christians, survives to this day. ​ The Bible presents a God who did not need to create any beings to experience love , communion and fellowship. ​ This God is complete in Himself, being three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, separate and distinct yet at the same time eternally One God. They loved and communed and fellowshipped with each other and took counsel together before the universe, angels or man were brought into existence. Isaiah "heard the voice of the LORD [in eternity past] saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" (Is 6:8) . Moses revealed the same counseling together of the Godhead: "And God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness" ; and again, "[L]et us go down and there confound their language" (Genesis 1:26; 1 1:7). Who is this "us" if God is a single entity? Why does God say, "the man is become as one of us"? (Genesis 3:22) ​ Moreover, if God is a single being, then why is the plural Hebrew noun Elohim (literally "Gods") used for God repeatedly? In fact, this plural noun is in the center of Israel's famous confession of the oneness of God! The Shema declares, "Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4 Mark 12:29). In the Hebrew it reads, "Jehovah our Elohim (gods) is one [echad] Jehovah." The Hebrew word echad allows for a unity of more than one. For example, it is used in Genesis 2:24 where man and woman become one flesh; in Exodus 36:13 when the various parts "became one tabernacle"; in 2 Samuel 2:25 when many soldiers "became one troop"; and elsewhere. Nor is the word Elohim the only way in which God's plurality is presented. For example, Ecclesiastes 12:1:"Remember now thy creator [lit. "Creators"]"; and Isaiah 54:5: "For thy Maker is thine husband [lit. "Makers, husbands"]" Unitarianism has no explanation for this consistent presentation of God’s plurality all through the Old Testament. Although the word "trinity" does not occur in the Bible, the concept is clearly there, providing the unity and diversity that makes possible the love, fellowship and communion within the Godhead. Truly the Trinitarian God is love--and He alone. ​ Jesus said, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand" (John 3:35). God's love is not just toward mankind but first of all among the three Persons of the Godhead. And three Persons they must be. Father, Son and Holy Spirit can't be mere offices, titles or modes in which God manifests Himself, for such cannot love, consult and fellowship together. Not only is the Son presented as a person, but so are the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Bible presents each as having His own personality: each wills, acts, loves, cares, can be grieved or become angry. "Offices" or "titles" don't do that! Unitarianism isn't Biblical--and it robs the Godhead of the necessary qualities of true Deity. ​ Godhead? Is that a Biblical term? Yes, indeed. It occurs three times in the King James New Testament in Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9. In contrast to theos, which is used consistently throughout the New Testament for "God," three different but related Greek words occur in these verses (theios, theiotes, theotes) which the King James translators carefully designated by the special word, Godhead. That very term indicates a plurality of being. Paul wrote, "[I]n him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col 2.9). Did he simply mean that in Christ dwelt all the fullness of Himself? That would be like saying that in me dwells all the fullness of me. Well, of course it does--- so why say it, and what does it really mean? Nothing! ​ Does it simply mean that in Christ dwells all the fullness of Deity, as some non-KJV translations render it? That, too, would be redundant--or it would detract from the deity of Christ. For if Christ is intrinsically God, then what is the point of saying that "in Him dwells all the fullness of Deity"? Of course it does! But if Christ is the Son and there are two other persons in the Godhead, then it does mean something. It means that just as Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God, so, when the Son became man, He brought that fullness of the Godhead with Him into flesh. ​ In Romans 1:20 Paul argues that God's "eternal power and Godhead" are seen in the creation He made. God's eternal power--but His Godhead? Yes, as Dr. Wood pointed out years ago in The Secret of the Universe, the triune nature of God is stamped on His creation. The cosmos is divided into three: space, matter and time. Each of these is divided into three. Space, for instance, is composed of length, breadth and width, each separate and distinct in itself, yet the three are one. Length, breadth and width are not three spaces, but three dimensions comprising one space. Run enough lines lengthwise and you take in the whole. But so it is with the width and height. Each is separate and yet distinct, each is all of space--just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, yet each is God. ​ Time also is a trinity: past, present and future-- two invisible and one visible. Each is separate and distinct, yet each is the whole. Man himself is a triunity of spirit, soul and body, two of which are invisible, one visible. Many more details could be given of the Godhead's triunity reflected in the universe. It can hardly be coincidence. ​ The Hebrew word Elohim (Gods) occurs about 2,500 times in the Old Testament, while the singular form occurs only 250 times and most of those designate false gods. Genesis 1:1 reads, "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth" ; i.e., literally, "GODS created the heaven and the earth." Though a single noun is available, yet the plural form is consistently used for God. And in violation of grammatical rules, with few exceptions, singular verbs and pronouns are used with this plural noun. Why? ​ At the burning bush it was Elohim (Gods) who spoke to Moses. Yet Elohim did not say, "We are that we are," but "I AM THAT I AM" (Exodus 3:14). One cannot escape the fact that all through the Bible God is presented as a plurality and yet as one, as having both diversity and unity. This is unknown among all the world's religions! To reject the Trinity is to reject the unique God of the Bible. ​ The New Testament presents three Persons who are distinct, yet each is recognized as God. At the same time we have repeatedly the clear statement that there is only one true God. Christ prays to the Father. Is He praying to Himself? "[T]he Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" (I John 4:14). Did He send Himself'? Worse yet, did one "office" pray to and send a "title"? Father, Son and Holy Spirit have distinct functions, yet each works only in conjunction with the others. Christ said, "[T]he words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself [on my own initiative]: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 14:10) ; "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter .... Even the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16-17). Throughout the New Testament Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separately honored and act as God, yet only in concert with one another. ​ The Old Testament also presents three Persons in the Godhead interacting. For example: "Hearken unto me, 0 Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens-from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me" (Isaiah 48:12-16) . The One speaking through Isaiah refers to Himself as "the first and the last" and the Creator of all, so He must be God. But he speaks of two others in the same passage who must also be God: "the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me." Jesus presented a similar passage to the Pharisees (Matthew 22:41-46) when He asked them who the Messiah was, and they said, "The Son of David." He then quoted Psalm 110:1: "The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool." Then Jesus asked them, "If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?" (Matthew 22:45). The Pharisees were speechless. Unitarianism cannot explain these two "Lords." ​ It is a mystery how God can exist in three Persons yet be one God; but it is also a mystery how God could have no beginning and create everything out of nothing. We can't understand what a human soul or spirit is. Nor can we explain love or beauty or justice. It is beyond human capacity to comprehend the full nature of God's being. But neither can we understand what it means for us or anything else to exist-- nor is can we comprehend what space is or what time is or matter. For every door science opens, there are ten more unopened doors on the other side. The more we learn, the more rapidly the unknown expands before us like receding images in a hall of mirrors. The Jehovah's Witnesses and other Unitarians argue that because the Trinity can't be understood it can't be. But the fact that it is beyond human comprehension is no reason for rejecting what the Bible presents so consistently to us. ​ God is telling us about Himself so that we may believe in and know Him. We dare not reject what He says or lower it to the level of our finite minds. Written primarily to respond to teachings of The United Pentecostal Church. Also see Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist, Chapter 18 ​ For more information contact: The Berean Call For further information contact: To Return To The Real Jesus Web Page To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE ​ The Trinity by Dave Hunt

  • Biblical Jesus Is God | Menorah Ministries

    Jesus Christ is God There is only one God Sh'ma, Yisra'el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, Isra'el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one] D'varim/Deuteronomy 6:4 -Old Testament Passages (Adonai=Ahdohni/Lord God) -Yesha'yahu/Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign: the young woman will become pregnant, bear a son and name him 'Immanu El [God is with us]. . -Yesha'yahu/Isaiah 9:6 - For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo'etz El Gibbor Avi-'Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace], -Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 23:5-6 - "The days are coming," says ADONAI when I will raise a righteous Branch for David. He will reign as king and succeed, he will do what is just and right in the land. In his days Y'hudah will be saved, Isra'el will live in safety, and the name given to him will be ADONAI Tzidkenu [ADONAI our righteousness]. -Mikhah/Micah 5:2 - But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat, so small among the clans of Y'hudah, out of you will come forth to me the future ruler of Isra'el, whose origins are far in the past, back in ancient times. -Mal'akhi/Malachi 3:1-2 - "Look! I am sending my messenger to clear the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple. Yes, the messenger of the covenant, in whom you take such delight - look! -----Here he comes," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. But who can endure the day when he comes? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like the soap maker’s lye. -Tehillah/Psalm 2:11-12- Serve ADONAI with fear; rejoice, but with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and you perish along the way, when suddenly his anger blazes. How blessed are all who take refuge in him. -Tehillah/Psalm 45:1, 6-7 - For the leader. Set to "Lilies." By the descendants of Korach. A maskil. A lovesong: My heart is stirred by a noble theme; I address my verses to the king; My tongue is the pen of an expert scribe. ...Your throne, God, will last forever and ever; you rule your kingdom with a scepter of equity. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy in preference to your companions. -Tehillah/Psalm 110:1-3 - A psalm of David: ADONAI says to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool." ADONAI will send your powerful scepter out from Tziyon, so that you will rule over your enemies around you. On the day your forces mobilize, your people willingly offer themselves in holy splendors from the womb of the dawn; the dew of your youth is yours. New Testament Passages -Mattityahu/Matthew 1:23- "The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him `Immanu El."a (The name means, "God is with us.") -Mark 2:5-11- Seeing their trust, Yeshua said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Some Torah-teachers sitting there thought to themselves, "How can this fellow say such a thing? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins except God?" But immediately Yeshua, perceiving in his spirit what they were thinking, said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier to say to the paralyzed man? `Your sins are forgiven'? or `Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk'? But look! I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." He then said to the paralytic, "I say to you: get up, pick up your stretcher and go home!" -Luke 5:20-24- When Yeshua saw their trust, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." The Torah-teachers and the P'rushim began thinking, "Who is this fellow that speaks such blasphemies? Who can forgive sin except God?" But Yeshua, knowing what they were think ing, answered, "Why are you turning over such thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier to say? `Your sins are forgiven you'? or `Get up and walk'? But look! I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." He then said to the paralytic, "I say to you: get up, pick up your mattress and go home!" -Yochanan/John 1:1-3, 14 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being. -Yochanan/John 1:18- No one has ever seen God; but the only and unique Son, who is identical with God and is at the Father's side -- he has made him known. -Yochanan/John 5:17-26- But he answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I too am working." This answer made the Judeans all the more intent on killing him -- not only was he breaking Shabbat; but also, by saying that God was his own Father, he was claiming equality with God. Therefore, Yeshua said this to them: "Yes, indeed! I tell you that the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; whatever the Father does, the Son does too. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does; and he will show him even greater things than these, so that you will be amazed. Just as the Father raises the dead and makes them alive, so too the Son makes alive anyone he wants. The Father does not judge anyone but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever fails to honor the Son is not honoring the Father who sent him. Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent me has eternal life -- that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life! Yes, indeed! I tell you that there is coming a time -- in fact, it's already here -- when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will come to life. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has given the Son life to have in himself. -Yochanan/John 8:57-59- "Why, you're not yet fifty years old," the Judeans replied, "and you have seen Avraham?" Yeshua said to them, "Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!" At this, they picked up stones to throw at him; but Yeshua was hidden and left the Temple grounds. -Yochanan/John 10:28-39- and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father's hands. I and the Father are one." Once again the Judeans picked up rocks in order to stone him. Yeshua answered them, "You have seen me do many good deeds that reflect the Father's power; for which one of these deeds are you stoning me?" The Judeans replied, "We are not stoning you for any good deed, but for blasphemy -- because you, who are only a man, are making yourself out to be God [Hebrew: Elohim]." Yeshua answered them, "Isn't it written in your Torah, `I have said, "You people are Elohim' "?h If he called `elohim' the people to whom the word of Elohim was addressed (and the Tanakh cannot be broken), then are you telling the one whom the Father set apart as holy and sent into the world, `You are committing blasphemy,' just because I said, `I am a son of Elohim'? "If I am not doing deeds that reflect my Father's power, don't trust me. But if I am, then, even if you don't trust me, trust the deeds; so that you may understand once and for all that the Father is united with me, and I am united with the Father." One more time they tried to arrest him, but he slipped out of their hands. -Yochanan/John 20:27-28- "Then he said to T'oma, "Put your finger here, look at my hands, take your hand and put it into my side. Don't be lacking in trust, but have trust!" T'oma answered him, "My Lord and my God!" -Romans 9:5- "...the Patriarchs are theirs; and from them, as far as his physical descent is concerned, came the Messiah, who is over all. Praised be ADONAI forever! Amen. Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen" -Philippians 2:5-8- Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua: Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being, he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death - death on a stake as a criminal! -Colossians 1:15-16- He is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation, because in connection with him were created all things - in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities - they have all been created through him and for him. -Colossians 2:8-10- Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah. For in him, bodily, lives the fullness of all that God is. And it is in union with him that you have been made full - he is the head of every rule and authority. -1 Timothy 1:16-17- But this is precisely why I received mercy - so that in me, as the number one sinner, Yeshua the Messiah might demonstrate how very patient he is, as an example to those who would later come to trust in him and thereby have eternal life. So to the King - eternal, imperishable and invisible, the only God there is - let there be honor and glory for ever and ever! Amen. -1 Timothy 2:3-4- This is what God, our Deliverer, regards as good; this is what meets his approval. He wants all humanity to be delivered and come to full knowledge of the truth. -1 Timothy 3:16- Great beyond all question is the formerly hidden truth underlying our faith: He was manifested physically and proved righteous spiritually, seen by angels and proclaimed among the nations, trusted throughout the world and raised up in glory to heaven. -1 Timothy 6:14-16- to obey your commission spotlessly and irreproachably until our Lord Yeshua the Messiah appears. His appearing will be brought about in its own time by the blessed and sole Sovereign, who is King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal, who dwells in unapproachable light that no human being has ever seen or can see - to him be honor and eternal power. Amen. -Titus 1:3- but made public this word of his in its own season through a proclamation with which I have been entrusted by order of God, our Deliverer. -Titus 2:10- or pilfering. On the contrary, they should demonstrate complete faithfulness always, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Deliverer more attractive. -Titus 2:13- while continuing to expect the blessed fulfillment of our certain hope, which is the appearing of the Sh'khinah of our great God and the appearing of our Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah. -Messianic Jews/Hebrews 1:1-3- In days gone by, God spoke in many and varied ways to the Fathers through the prophets. But now, in the acharit-hayamim, he has spoken to us through his Son, to whom he has given ownership of everything and through whom he created the universe. This Son is the radiance of the Sh'khinah, the very expression of God's essence, upholding all that exists by his powerful word; and after he had, through himself, made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of HaG'dulah BaM'romim. -Messianic Jews/Hebrews 1:8- but to the Son, he says, "Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; you rule your Kingdom with a scepter of equity; -Y'hudah/Jude 24-25- Now, to the one who can keep you from falling and set you without defect and full of joy in the presence of his Sh'khinah to God alone, our Deliverer, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen -Revelation 21:6-7- And he said to me, "It is done! I am the 'A' and the 'Z,' the Beginning and the End. To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life. He who wins the victory will receive these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. To Return To: Flag Of Palestine-Israel page To Return To: Understanding Bible Prophecy page To Return To: Israel Tours Detail page To Return To: THE REAL YESHUA/JESUS PAGE To Return To: MENORAH'S HOME PAGE

  • Jewish Holy Feasts & the Gospel Charts | Menorah Ministries B e g i n n i n g s When the early ministry of Jesus was finished there remained as the fruits of his teaching a number of Jews who were convinced that he was their expected Messiah. Between these Jewish believers distributed among the towns and villages of Israel, little or no connection at first existed. Their life remained unaltered; they worshipped in the synagogues with their fellow Jews, and were distinguished only by their adherence to the Galilean Wonder-Worker, whose claims they no doubt pressed as occasion offered. The driving force of the future Nazarene sect was concentrated in a small body of the Messiah's most intimate friends and some members of his family, who, according to the account in Acts, took up residence in Jerusalem in anticipation of his speedy and glorious return. This was the fundamental and the inspiration of their teaching--the resurrection and ascension of the Messiah and his coming again in due season to re-establish the kingdom of God and of Israel. This was their belief, and the power of it, that invested the original community of humble persons with dignity and confidence of the Gospel, the Good News! Selected notes from The History of Jewish Christianity, Hugh Schonfield 5 out of 5 stars AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL WORK ON THE EARLY "MESSIANIC" MOVEMENT These days, if Hugh Schonfield is remembered, it's as the author of The Passover Plot: Special 40th Anniversary Edi-tion (1965), a somewhat lurid tale of Jesus deliberately attempting to fulfill the Messianic prophecies and convince people he was the Messiah; only the "plot" failed, when a soldier stuck a spear into his side while on the cross. But believe it or not, in his earlier days, Schonfield (1901-1988)---who was Jewish---was a "Jewish Christian"; what would nowadays be termed a "Messianic Jew" (or formerly, a "Hebrew Christian"). All of Schonfield's earlier works re-flect this orientation (e.g., The Authentic New Testament, The Bible Was Right: New Light on the New Testament, An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew's GospelSaints Against Caesar: The Rise and Reactions of the First Christian Communi-ty, The Jew of Tarsus,: An unorthodox portrait of Paul, etc.). Much of Schonfield's earlier work (such as the book on Paul) are forgettable, nowadays; but his "History of Jewish Christianity" is a real diamond, and it's wonderful to see it back in print, in ANY form. The importance of this book is even recognized by modern evangelical Messianic Jews (who are utterly repulsed by Schonfield's later books). Schon-field notes that "A few Christian scholars who have been at pains to study the subject have deplored the lack of any text book to which the student could turn ... Clearly, then, the gap is there to be filled." Schonfield's book fills this gap admirably---at least, through the 1936 date of its publication. The book begins with a survey of Jesus' disciples themselves (Schonfield notes, for example, that "Paul himself re-mained an observant Jew to the end of his life"), and continues through the New Testament period, as well as the later writings professing to be Biblical, but not included in any Biblical canon, the Bible, and Talmudic works (the collection of ancient Jewish writings that forms the basis of Jewish religious law, consisting of the early scriptural interpretations). However, with the rise of the Roman Empire, Schonfield notes that "Jewish Christianity never regained its position of authority in the affairs of the Church." He notes that from this point, the Christian Church's position towards Jews in Europe "was less by reason and charity and more by compulsion, intimidation and active violence." Many Jews (such as the Marranos in Spain) were "forcibly" converted. Nevertheless, Schonfield notes that "sincere Jewish Christians ... must always be distinguished from Christianized Jews." There were even Jewish mystics such as Jacob Frank (Schonfield says that "Undoubtedly there is a place in the Christian Church for the Jewish mystic") and the Chassidic movement, whom he treats sympathetically. Most modern readers, however, will be most interested in his account of the earliest "missions to the Jews" among Protestants ("The debt of Jewish Christianity to the modern Protestant missions is indeed an overwhelming one"), as well as the rise of voluntary Jewish conversions beginning in the 19th century, and the later formation of associations such as the "Beni Abraham association," the "Hebrew Christian Prayer Union," and the "Israelites of the New Cove-nant," as well as the formation of worshipping congregations under men like Joseph Rabinowitz. For persons interested in Messianic Judaism, the history of the Christian Church, or even the history of Jews, this book---though old---is fascinating reading, and very helpful. Highly recommended! Steven H Pr opp To Return To Jews Gentiles and the church by Dave Hunt Web Page To return to Jews -Gentiles & the Church Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Messiah to Be Final Sacrifice | Menorah Ministries

    Since the whole concept of a dying Messiah is so foreign to modern Judaism, although it was once part of Judaism, there is a question that must be answered: Why did the Messiah have to die? In the course of answering this question, a second one arises: What is the means of redemption? If there is one theme that seems to go throughout all of the Scriptures, it is the theme of redemption by blood. According to the Old Testament Redemption became necessary when sin entered the human sphere and separated man from God. When Adam and Eve committed that first act of disobedience, sin entered and separated them from God. From that point on, the means of bridging the separation of man from God was the means of blood. In the history of God's dealing with His people, the means of redemption was always by blood. The redemptive element of blood begins to come into the theme of Scripture at the same time that sin does, for until sin came, no blood was necessary. We read that just as soon as man was expelled from the Garden of Eden: "Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21). The skins were animal skins. The nakedness, that the element of sin now revealed, needed to be covered. But the covering required the death of several animals and so, for the first time in history, blood was shed. This provides the root meaning of the Hebrew word for atonement, which is "a covering." As biblical history develops in the Book of Genesis, we find that all those with whom God was pleased came to Him by means of blood. Noah immediately offered up blood sacrifices when he left the ark. He was followed by other great men in Jewish history -Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - all of whom were careful to approach God by means of blood. The redemptive element of blood ran through the entire Law with its 613 commandments. A great summary statement for the entire Law was to be found in the third book of Moses, Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life. (ASV) It can easily be said that all of the Law revolves around this one statement. There are commandments which God gave in the Law that were to be obeyed. Disobedience was sin. If disobedience did take place, the means of atonement for the sin was blood. The principle stood throughout the remainder of Old Testament history, but it was a burden to the individual. These blood sacrifices had to be repeated year in, and year out, and they had to be done in the Temple at Jerusalem. It was Isaiah the Prophet who first provided the hope that the day would come when the burden would be lifted. In Isaiah 53, God declared that the Suffering Servant, the Messiah, would be the sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53:10-11). The point of Isaiah 53 is basically this: The animal sacrifices under the Mosaic Law were intended to be of temporary duration, a temporary measure only. God's intent was for there to be one final blood sacrifice, and that would be the sacrifice of the Messiah Himself. This, then, was the reason Messiah had to die: to provide the blood sacrifice for sin once and for all. No longer would the Jews be burdened with the yearly sacrifices. All a person would need to do is to accept the Messiah's death on his behalf and his sins would be forgiven. Messiah had to die to prove that atonement for blood was the means of redemption. According to the New Testament The Book of Hebrews was written by a Messianic Jew to a group of Jewish Messianic assemblies in Israel. It picks up the theme of Leviticus and the prophecy of Isaiah to show the superiority of the sacrifice of the Messiah. A number of passages bring these things out. Notice carefully how the author definitely has two things in the back of his mind: 1. The Book of Leviticus with animal sacrifices. 2. Isaiah 53 with the Messiah being the final sacrifice. In Hebrews 2:16-18 we read as follows: For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham. Wherefore it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted. (ASV) This passage makes the point that Messiah came as a Jew and underwent all the problems that a Jew had to go through in order that He might become a merciful and sympathetic high priest. The reason Messiah came as a Jew was so that He, too, would live under the Law and take upon Himself the burden of the Law. He could clearly sympathize with the Jewish state under the Law. There are many advantages in the priesthood that we have through Messiah Yeshua. First, since Jesus by virtue of His resurrection now lives forever, we never have an interrupted priesthood. Second, since this is Messiah's blood - innocent blood - this was a one-time shedding. So another clear advantage over the Mosaic Law is that the sacrifice of the Messiah does not need to be repeated - it was "once and for all." The third advantage lies in the fact that whereas in the Old Testament system the earthly priest had to atone for his own sins, this was not the case with our Messiah - since our Messiah is a sinless Messiah. Unlike the animal sacrifices, the sacrifice of Jesus was to bring eternal redemption rather than temporary atonement. This is the fourth distinction between the two priesthood systems. Furthermore, even after the animal sacrifice, the Jew was still conscious of his sins. Faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, however, brings a complete cleansing of the conscience of sins. This is the fifth contrast. But the sacrifice of Jesus was once and for all and it never needed to be repeated. Acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus does not bring temporary atonement but permanent forgiveness. By accepting the substitutionary death of Jesus for his sins, one is not continually reminded of those sins, but one receives a complete cleansing. By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." And every priest indeed standeth day by day ministering and offering often times the same sacrifices, for which can never take away sins: but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; henceforth electing till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. (ASV-Hebrews 10:10-14) This passage again points out how the high priest had to sacrifice day in and day out, and his work was never done. The high priest is viewed as standing to indicate this unfinished ministry. But Jesus, who offered Himself as a sacrifice "once and for all," is viewed as sitting at "the right hand of God," thus showing that His work is complete. Furthermore, the animal sacrifices provided a yearly atonement but never permanently took away sins. But those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus are perfected forever; their sins are permanently removed. As to the question, "Why did the Messiah have to die?" according to the new Testament, the reason is twofold: 1. To fulfill all Old Testament prophecies and requirements. 2. To bring in a permanent atonement rather than a temporary one. Conclusion The conclusion of both the Old and New Testaments is that the means of redemption was by blood, and the permanent blood sacrifice was to be the Messiah Himself. That is why the Messiah had to die according to the Old Testament. That is why Jesus did die according to the New Testament. Who killed Jesus was never the issue as far as the New Testament was concerned, for the Messiah had to die. It only became an issue years later because of anti-Semites seeking excuses to persecute the Jews. The only issue of the new Testament itself is whether one will accept the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus for himself or not. ​ He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11 (ASV) ​ ​ To Return To Who Is Jesus-Yeshus Web Page To Return To Menorah's Web Page

  • When Was Jesus Born? | Menorah Ministries

    When Was Jesus Born? First Census, Quirinius nd Archaelogy The matter of Luke's Census is resolved with archeology [The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (1996) by Gary Habermas, pp. 171-173]... Luke's Census In Luke 2.1-5 we read that Caesar Augustus decreed that the Roman Empire should be taxed and that everyone had to return to his own city to pay taxes. So Joseph and Mary returned to Bethlehem and there Jesus was born. Several questions have been raised in the context of this taxation [1. See Bruce, Christian Origins, p. 192, for example]. Even if such a taxation actually did occur, would every person have to return to his home? Was Quirinius really the governor of Syria at this time (as in v.2)? Archeology has had a bearing on the answers to these questions. It has been established that the taking of a census was quite common at about the time of Christ. An ancient Latin inscription called the Titulus Venetus indicates that a census took place in Syria and Judea about AD 5-6 and that this was typical of those held throughout the Roman Empire from the time of Augustus (23 BC-AD 14) until at least the third century AD. Indications are that this census took place every fourteen years. Other such evidence indicates that these procedures were widespread [2. Ibid., pp. 193-194]. Concerning persons returning to their home city for the taxation-census, an Egyptian papyrus dating from AD 104 reports just such a practice. This rule was enforced, as well [3. Ibid. p. 194]. The question concerning Quirinius also involves the date of the census described in Luke 2. It is known that Quirinius was made governor of Syria by Augustus in AD 6. Archaeologist Sir William Ramsay discovered several inscriptions that indicated that Quirinius was governor of Syria on two occasions, the first time several years prior to this date [4. Robert Boyd, Tells, Tombs, and Treasure (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 175]. Within the cycle of taxation-censuses mentioned above, an earlier taxation would be dated from 10-4 BC [5. Cf. Bruce, Christian Origins, pp. 193-194 with Boyd, Tells, p. 175. Bruce prefers the date 10-9 BC for the empire-wide census, with that which took place in Judea occurring a few years later. Boyd places the date of the earlier census 6-5 BC, which coincides closely with the accepted dates for Jesus' birth]. Another possibility is Bruce's suggestion that the Greek in Luke 2.2 is equally translatable as "This enrollment (census) was before that made when Quirinius was governor of Syria" [6. Bruce, Christian Origins, p. 192]. This would mean that Luke was dating the taxation-census before Quirinius took over the governorship of Syria. Either possibility answers the question raised above [7. While ruling out the two-date approach to the governorship of Quirinius, Sherwin-White basically vindicates Luke's account, while still finding more problems that does Bruce (pp. 162-171)]. Therefore, while some questions have been raised concerning the events recorded in Luke 2.1-5, archaeology has provided some unexpected and supportive answers. Additionally, while supplying the background behind these events, archaeology also assists us in establishing several facts. (1) A taxation-census was a fairly common procedure in the Roman Empire and it did occur in Judea, in particular. (2) Persons were required to return to their home city in order to fulfill the requirements of the process. (3) These procedures were apparently employed during the reign of Augustus (37 BC-AD 14), placing it well within the general time frame of Jesus' birth. (4) The date of the specific taxation recounted by Luke could very possibly have been 6-5 BC, which would also be of service in attempting to find a more exact date for Jesus' birth. Herod the Great died in 4 B.C. and Jesus was born before then (Matt. 2.19). Luke was a very reliable historian, proven trustworthy over and over again. (And in Acts 5, Luke shows that he was well aware of the census under Quirinius in 6 AD which makes it very doubtful that he would have been confused about the census he describes in Luke 2.) For More Information: ​ Return to Who Is Yeshua-Jesus Page Return to Biblical-Traditional Jewish Feasts Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts | Menorah Ministries

    Biblical - Traditional Jewish Feasts Biblica l: Shabbat Sabbath Passover (Unleavened Bread) Pesach The Messiah In The Passover Passover and the Messiah Yeshua-Jesus Firstfruits Feast of Firstfruits Pentecost Shavuot-Feast of Pentecost Trumpets Rosh Hashanah-The New Year Yom Kippur Yom Kippur: Feast or Fast? Day of Atonement Tabernacles Sukkot-Tabernacles Non-Biblical/Traditional: Chanukah Feast of Lights/Feast of Rededication Purim Purim - The Lesson Of Purim- Esther ​ The 9th of Av A day of fasting commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples ​ Jewish Holidays Shabbat and Holiday Readings 9/22-4/23 Shabbat and Holiday Readings 4/23-12/23 ​ 8 Year Jewish Holy Days 2020-2028 ​ Shabbat or Sabbath The first three verses in Leviticus 23, which precede the list of appointed feasts, show the importance of what can be called the most important day of the sacred calendar, the Sabbath. Contrary to popular notions, the Sabbath was a day of delight. If you take the Sabbath from a Jew, you are robbing him of a precious jewel. The Sabbath was one of God's most precious gifts to Israel. It refers back to God's act of creation before man sinned. "God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done". Genesis 2:3 & Leviticus 23:1-44. That rest was the Lord's own refreshing rest, made known to man, to be shared in by man newly created. The eye of God rested on His holy creation, and was refreshed. (It is a Jewish remark that "whoever does any work on the Sabbath denies the work of creation."! Hebrew Sabbath, day of holiness and rest observed by Jew from sunset on Friday to nightfall of the following day. The time division follows the biblical story of creation: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5). Weekly observance begins with candle lighting Friday evening before sunset & ends Saturday at nightfall. In Jewish homes the woman of the house lights white Sabbath candles before sunset on Friday evening and pronounces a benediction. The Sabbath meal that follows is preceded by the Kiddush (blessing of sanctification). Shabbat Shalom! How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbat, Yom Shekulo Shabbat! Reprinted for educational purposes from: ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, introduction Chosen People Ministries.​ Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Shabbat Pesach Passover, Four More Questions by Rachmiel Frydland ​ ​ The Passover table was prepared and set for the Seder. In the center was the five branched candlestick with the holiday lights over which the blessings were pronounced by the mother of the household. The father had been busy for the last twenty-four hours removing the leaven and cleaning ritually in boiling water some of the utensils that had to be used all year round and on Passover. The special utensils, kept only for these eight days of Passover, were taken out from hiding. The matzo was purchased and brought into the house along with the wine for this special season. Now it was time to prepare the ceremonial platter where the various additional items are placed into their proper place arranged in two triangular patterns: first the roasted shank bone, symbol of the roasted Passover lamb, is placed on the right. Opposite it, on the left, is the egg, roasted whole and symbolic of the Passover and the new life and resurrection. The bitter herbs are placed somewhat below and centered between the shankbone and the egg, to remind us of the bitter life which our ancestors endured in Egypt. The next triangle consists of the haroseth, made of grated nuts and apples with a dash of wine to produce the color of mortar as it is written: "And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar" (Exodus 1: 14). This item is placed on the lower right. Opposite it on the left is the vegetable called karpos, usually a stalk of petersilia or carrot to remind us of the low fare given to our ancestors in Egypt. It also is a symbol of the hyssop used for the sprinkling of the blood of the Passover lamb. Then centered below them are the grated bitter herbs to complete the second triangle. There is also a seventh item outside the large platter. This is a dish of salt water to remind us of tears shed in Egypt and of the crossing of the salted Red Sea. ​ The Four Questions The four questions are to be asked by the youngest son as it is written: "And it shall be when thy son asketh thee ... What is this?" (Exodus 13:14). The four questions which are really four responses to one question are: Why is this night different from all other nights? (1) Any other night we may eat either leavened or unleavened bread, but on this night only unleavened bread (2) Any other night we may eat any herbs, but this night only bitter herbs (3) Any other night we do not dip even once, but on this night twice (the bitter herbs in the haroseth and the vegetable in the salt water) (4) Any other night we eat either sitting or leaning (on cushions) but on this night we all lean. This is an opportune time for the father to begin the chanting of the Haggadah, the great story of the exodus from Egypt and the many miracles which accompanied it. He performs actions symbolic of God's great miracles. At the recital of the ten plagues that God brought upon the Egyptians the wine in the cup is diminished. This shows God's compassion on the very enemies of God and His people. Every person drinks four cups of wine during the Seder to symbolize the four "I wills" of redemption found in Exodus 6:6-7. The wine must be red to symbolize blood. ​ The Broken Matzo Early in the ceremony the father uncovers the three matzot which lie in front of him in a three-pocketed napkin. He takes out the middle matzo, breaks it in half, takes the larger half and wraps it in a napkin and hides it somewhere under his cushion. One of the children will try to steal it away and claim a price if successful. Otherwise it will lie there "buried" until the service is over. Then it will be taken out and broken into small pieces and distributed to the members of the family. This, too, is a symbol of the Passover of which everyone was to participate. This matzo, since it had been broken, has become the aphikomen, a word apparently derived from the Greek, meaning, "I arrive," or "I come to." (not epikomen which means dessert). ​ Four More Questions The following questions are not in the Hagadah but should be asked nevertheless: 1. Why do we place three matzot in one napkin? The usual explanation is that they represent the threefold division in Israel: Priests, Levites and Israelites. But the Priests and Levites are of the same tribe and the whole people of Israel are called a kingdom of priests in Exodus 19:6! 2. Why is the middle matzo broken in the course of the Seder? Why is the larger half hidden away, buried under the cushion, taken out later and eaten by all in memory of the Passover lamb? 3. What is our pesach today? Is it the roasted shank bone, the Zero'ah? It can hardly be so, for its blood was not sprinkled on the doorposts of the houses as prescribed in the Torah. It was not roasted whole either. Is it then the roasted egg on the Passover platter? An egg is surely not a sacrifice. Why are we advised to have wine red as blood on Passover? What or Whom does this represent? 4. What is the meaning of the verses we recite from Psalm 118:22-23: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. “Who is the "Stone" and who are the "Builders?" ​ Our Answer Jewish believers in the Messiah are convinced that there is a connection in the Passover Seder with the Last Supper of our Messiah. Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth, Yeshua HaNotzree, who claimed to be Messiah, sat down with His disciples to celebrate the Passover Seder after accomplishing His teaching and healing ministries. On the table were probably the three matzot and red wine. When the time came to break the matzo and drink the wine, the Lord Yeshua gave the following explanation as we read in the Brit Hadashah (New Covenant): He took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave it unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20). From this we can make the following inferences: 1. The three matzot may represent the triune nature of God: The Unity, His Shechinah, and the One who is concealed from most of the people, as we pray "Behold I am prepared and ready to fulfill the commandment of the first (second, third, fourth) cup. In the name of the Holy Unity, blessed be He and His Shechinah, through Him who is hidden and concealed." 2. The middle matzo represents the One whose body was broken and given for us. It was hidden and buried, and then resurrected with the promise of aphikomen. I have come already and am coming again. ​ 3. The late Professor Solomon Birnbaum had the opinion that it was no longer possible for our people to offer the Passover lamb since the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. However, seeing the followers of Jesus of Nazareth celebrate Passover with matzo and wine to represent the sacrifice of Messiah, the Jewish leaders "incorporated it into the religion of the people ... [for it] completely answered the purpose." In other words, some of our ceremonies at the Seder Table are adapted from the practices by which the followers of Yeshua commemorated His sacrificial death. A Jewish believer, referring to Yeshua, declared: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29). He is our Passover sacrifice. 4. He, the Messiah, is the Stone, the Rock of Israel. Him, many of our builders, or leaders, rejected, and He has become the headstone, the most important Jew in the history of our people. But one day our people will accept Him, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." How about you? ​ Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. ​ Reprinted with permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach ​ Return to B iblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE It was no coincidence that Jesus chose the Passover now celebrated as communion, the Lord's supper. For the story of the Passover lamb, Jesus the Messiah could best communicate the course he would be taking over the confusing hours that were to follow. PASSOVER - Pesakh - Hag HaMatzot The number four plays a significant role in Judaism. There are the four species of vegetables for Sukkot; four kingdoms in the book of Daniel; four Torah portions in the tefillin;* four Matriarchs. At Passover, we find this number in abundance. In the course of the Seder we have four sons, four cups of wine, four expressions of redemption (Exodus 6:6-7) and perhaps the most famous"Four" of all--the Four Questions. As the Seder developed over the centuries, the Four Questions underwent many changes and were altered as different situations arose. 1. For example, originally one question dealt with why we ate roasted meat. ​ 2. After the destruction of the Temple, that question was deleted and one about reclining was substituted. Today, the Four Questions (phrased as observations) are asked by the youngest child in the family: Why is this night different from all other nights? 1. On all other nights, we may eat either chometz* or matzoh; on this night, only matzoh. 2. On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables; on this night, we must eat maror. 3. On all other nights, we do not dip even once; on this night we dip twice. 4. On all other nights, we may eat either sitting or reclining; on this night, we all recline. The father then explains the Passover story. There are other questions that the rabbis could have chosen as well. In the spirit of rabbinical adaptation, here are some additional questions that both children and adults might ponder. (* This and all other italicized Hebrew terms will be listed in a glossary at the end of this article.) Why do we place three matzot together in one napkin? There are any number of traditions about this. One tradition holds that they represent the three classes of people in ancient Israel: the Priests, the Levites, and the Israelites. Another tradition teaches that they symbolize the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yet another explanation is that it is a depiction of the "Three Crowns": the crown of learning, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship. 3 And a fourth option is that two of the matzot stand for the two weekly loaves of Exodus 16:22, and the third matzoh represents the special Passover bread called the "bread of affliction." 4 And if those are not enough to keep one's imagination running, here's another. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Sperling suggested that the three matzot stand for the three "measures of the fine meal" which Sarah prepared for Abraham's angelic guests (Genesis 18). The reason for this interpretation lies in the rabbinic tradition that this event occurred on the night of Passover. Out of all these explanations, how can we decide which is the right one, or is there yet another? Why is the middle matzoh, the afikoman, broken in the course of the Seder? Are we breaking the Levites, or Isaac, or the crown of learning, or one of the guests' cakes, or the bread of affliction? Or are we symbolizing the parting of the Red Sea (another explanation)? 6 If any of these explanations are correct, why is the matzoh hidden away, buried under a cushion, and then taken out and eaten by all, as the Sephardic ritual puts it, "in memory of the Passover lamb?" Where is our pesach, our Passover sacrifice, today? The Torah prescribes that a lamb is to be sacrificed and eaten every Passover as a memorial of the first Passover lambs which were killed (Deuteronomy 16:1-8). In reply, it is said that without a Temple we can have no sacrifices - yet some have advocated that the sacrifice still be made in Jerusalem even without a Temple. 7 Since the Passover sacrifice, like others, involved the forgiveness of sins, it is important that we do the right thing. Some feel that the pesach had nothing to do with forgiveness. But in Exodus Rabbah 15:12 we read, "I will have pity on you, through the blood of the Passover and the blood of circumcision, and I will forgive you." Again, Numbers Rabbah 13:20 cites Numbers 7:46, which deals with the sin offering, and then adds, "This was in allusion to the Paschal sacrifice." Clearly the rabbis of this time period regarded the pesach as effecting atonement, and Leviticus 17:11 confirms that "it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul."' Today, however, we have only a shankbone, the zeroah, as a reminder of the Passover sacrifice, and roasted egg, the chaggigah, in memory of the festival offerings. But nowhere did God say that we could dispense with sacrifice. So, where is our pesach today? The answers to these questions can be found by examining how and why the Seder observance changed dramatically in the first century. The Seder celebrated by Jesus and his disciples The "Last Supper" was a Passover meal and seems to have followed much the same order as we find in the Mishnah. In the New Testament accounts, we find reference to the First Cup, also known as the Cup of Blessing (Luke 22:17); to the breaking of the matzoh (Luke 22:19); to the Third Cup, the Cup of Redemption (Luke 22:20): to reclining (Luke 22:14): to the charoseth or the maror (Matthew 26:23), and to the Hallel (Matthew 26:30). In particular, the matzoh and the Third Cup are given special significance by Jesus: And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Luke 22:19-20. The Passover Lamb The early Jewish believers in Jesus considered him the fulfillment of the Passover lambs that were yearly sacrificed. Thus Paul, a Jewish Christian who had studied under Rabbi Gamaliel. wrote, "Messiah, our pesach, has been sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7). John in his gospel noted that Jesus died at the same time that the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple (see John 19:14) and that like the Passover lambs, none of his bones were broken (the others being crucified had their leg bones broken by the Romans - John 19:32, 33, 36). The idea behind all this was that just as the Israelites were redeemed from Egyptian slavery by an unblemished lamb, now men could be freed from slavery to sin by the Messiah, the Lamb of God. The cessation of the Temple sacrifices The first Christians were considered a part of the Jewish community until the end of the first century when they were expelled by the synagogue. Until the temple was destroyed, these Messianic Jews worshipped regularly with those Jews who didn't believe in the Messiah. In fact, there were entire congregations that worshipped Yeshua and they continued in their observance of the regular Jewish festivals. In such a setting, much interchange of ideas was possible. Jesus declared over the matzoh, "This is my body." Since the Jewish believers of that time saw Jesus as the Passover lamb, it followed that they would see the matzoh as symbolic of Jesus, the Passover lamb. In turn, with the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of sacrifices, the larger Jewish community might well have adopted the idea that the matzoh commemorated the lamb, even if they discounted the messianic symbolism. The Afikoman Ceremony As mentioned earlier, the significance of the middle matzoh and the ceremony connected with it is shrouded in mystery. The derivation of the word afikoman itself sheds some light. The word is usually traced to the Greek epikomion ("dessert") or epikomioi ("revelry").9 But Dr. David Daube, professor of civil law at Oxford University, derives it from aphikomenos, "the one who has arrived."10 This mystery clears further when one considers the striking parallels between what is done to the middle matzoh (afikoman) and what happened to Jesus. The afikoman is broken, wrapped in linen cloth, hidden and later brought back. Similarly, after his death, Jesus was wrapped in linen, buried, and resurrected three days later. Is it possible that the current Ashkenazic practice of having children steal the afikoman is a rabbinical refutation of the resurrection, implying that grave-snatchers emptied the tomb? These factors strongly suggest that the afikoman ceremony was adopted from the Jewish Christians by the larger Jewish community which also adopted the use of the three matzot. Jewish Christians contend that these three matzot represent the triune nature of God, and that the afikoman which is broken, buried and brought back dramatically represents Jesus the Messiah. THE QUESTION THEN REMAINS: WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO CONVINCE YOU? FOOTNOTES: 1. Daube, David, The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism (University of London, 1956), p. 187. 2. Klein, Mordell, ed., Passover (Leon Amiel, 1973), p. 69. 3. Rosen, Ceil and Moishe, Christ in the Passover (Moody Press, 1978), p. 70. 4. Klein, p. 53. 5. Sperling, Rabbi Abraham Isaac, Reasons for Jewish Customs & Traditions, (Bloch Publishing Co., 1968), p.m 189. 6. Ibid. 7. Klein, p. 28. 8. Morris, Leon, The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (Eerdmans, Third ed., 1965), pp. 137-732. 9. Gaster, Theodor Herzel, Passover: Its History and Traditions (Abelard-Schuman, 1958), p. 64. 10. Daube, "He That Cometh" (London Diocesan Council for Christian-Jewish Jewish Understanding, no date). ​ GLOSSARY OF HEBREW TERMS USED chaggigah-roasted egg representing the festival offering; also symbolic of mourning for destruction of the Temple. Charoseth-mixture of apples, cinnamon, nuts and wine representing the mortar of Egypt. Chometz-any fermented product of grain, all leavening agents; hence, that which makes "sour." Maror-bitter herbs, usually ground horse-radish. Matzoh-literally "without leaven"; a flat wafer of unleavened bread ( plural matzot). Pesach-the holiday of Passover; the Paschal lamb. Tefillin-phylacteries consisting of inscriptions on parchment encased in two small leather cubicles attached to the arm and head when at prayer. Zeroah-literally "arm"; the roasted shank bone on the seder plate representative of the Paschal sacrifice. ​ References & Quoted Material a. Passover article written by Rich Robinson, Jews for Jesus, ISSUES vol. 3:2 b. The Messianic Passover Haggadah, Lederer Foundation, 1989 ​ Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE ​ ​ The Messiah in the Passover P A S S O V E R & M E S S I A H YESHUA-J E S U S Pesach The story of the Egyptian Passover is found in Exodus 12. The student of the Scriptures should not let the familiarity of this passage keep him or her from continuing to study it over and over again. ​ Passover, a Sacrifice. The Passover was a sacrifice. Modern theologians dispute this but without any basis. It was an unusual sacrifice. In many respects, it differed from the later sacrifices of the Law, but in some aspects it was similar to what later became the sin offering, combined with the peace offering. It is very important to realize its sacrificial aspect. The proofs of its sacrificial characteristics are clear and abundant. The details of the selection of the lamb, "year old males without defect" (Exodus 12:5 ), the method of sprinkling the blood with hyssop (Exodus 12:22 ), and the disposal of the remains of the meal (Exodus 12:10 ), all testify to its sacrificial character. ln fact, Moses himself says, "It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord" (Exodus 12:27 ). The purpose of this sacrifice was that the blood of the Passover lamb would be sprinkled on the doorposts and the lintels of the Jewish homes, so that the homes would be protected from the destroying angel. It is impossible for any theologian who takes the Scriptures seriously to come to any other conclusion. Exodus 12:13 says, "The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." Whether or not one believes in the doctrine of substitution, an objective reader of Exodus 12 must admit that the doctrine is there. The lamb without blemish was carefully chosen and kept four days. Then the head of the family, Who was the representative, slew the lamb. When he sprinkled the blood of the lamb upon the doorposts and lintels, he confessed that the family stood imperil of the death angel. He and his family accepted God's means of safety. The result was that he and his family was delivered from bondage. In other words, the Passover is a gospel before the gospel. The Passover was not only a sacrifice, it was a festive meal. It later became the basis of what is known in the Law as the "peace offering." The peace offering was not an offering for peace; it was a meal eaten together by people who were at peace with one another. Later, in the temple days, the peace offering was shared with the priests, who represented God, and the offerer. It became a feast between God and man. The peace offering always followed the sin offering. It is a picture of our fellowship with our Lord. All of this is typified by the peaceful fellowship which the one who partakes of the Passover meal experiences. "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, & the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from every sin"(1 John 1:7 ). The Passover feast looked forward to "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29 ). "Christ, our Passover lamb, [who] has been sacrificed" (I Corinthians 5:1 ), becomes "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27 ). Passover, a Commemoration All over the world, the Egyptian Passover is remembered each year in Jewish homes. "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord.....a lasting ordinance" (Exodus 12:14 ). It was celebrated for the first time before deliverance was accomplished. A new calendar was reckoned from it. "This month is to be for you the first month" (Exodus 12:2 ). The month of the Exodus, from then on, would be the first of the year. The Passover, a sacrifice; the Passover, a feast; the Passover, a memorial; all became the Passover, a prophecy. "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:1 ). For us, the past is crowned with His sacrifice. For us, we have fed on the bread of God, and we now live in communion with Him. For us, the memorial of deliverance is celebrated at His table. Here we now eat of the sacrifice as God spoke to the Israelites, "with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand" (Exodus .12:11). We look forward, by His grace, to the time when we all eat with Him in His kingdom. The past, the present, and the future are filled with our Passover Lamb. P R A I S E G O D ! For further information contact: ​ Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE T he Feast Of Firs t Frui ts T HE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS was the third feast Israel celebrated during the passover festival. Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you a nd you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest, He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath' Leviticus 23:10-11 Passover week, in the days of the Temple, originally consisted of three events: (1) the Passover lamb slain on the fourteenth of Nisan, (2) the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning on the fifteenth of Nisan, and (3) the Offering of Firstfruits on the sixteenth of Nisan. The Sadducees at the time of our Lord disagreed with this chronology. Some modem Commentators also disagree. The difference is due to a misunderstanding of the words "on the day after the Sabbath" (Leviticus 23: 11). The word "Sabbath" not only refers to the seventh day of the week; it also clearly refers to the day of the festivals themselves (see Leviticus 23:24-25, 32, 39). The Sadducees, however, believed that the first sheaf was always offered on the day following the weekly Sabbath of the Passover week. The testimony of Josephus proves beyond a doubt that the word "Sabbath" in this instance is the fifteenth of Nisan, on whatever day of the week it fell. But on the second day of unleavened bread which is the Sixteen day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, X, 5.) Firstfruits: The Temple Service The Feast of Firstfruits was not just a harvest festival it was an acknowledgment of God's bounty and providence to Israel. The order of service for the presentation of the firstfruits during temple days is fascinating and instructive. Remember, the day began at sundown. Alfred Edersheim details the order of service: Already, on the fourteenth of Nisan, the spot whence the first sheaf was to. be reaped had been marked out by delegates from the Sanhedrin, by tying together in bundles, while still standing the barley that was to be cut down. Though, for obvious reasons, it was customary to choose for this purpose the sheltered Ashes Valley across Kedron, there was no restriction on that point provided the barley had grown in an ordinary field in Palestine itself, and not in garden or orchard land and that the soil had not been manured nor yet artificially watered. When the time for cutting the sheaf had arrived, that is, on the evening of the fifteenth of Nisan (even though it were a Sabbath), just as the sun went down, three men, each with a sickle and basket formally set to work. But in order clearly to bring out all that was distinctive in the ceremony, they first asked of the bystanders three times .each of these questions: "Has the sun gone down?" With this sickle?" "Into this basket?" "On this Sabbath (or first passover day)?" and lastly, "Shall I reap?" Having each time been answered in the affirmative, they cut down barley to the amount of one ephah, or ten omers, or three seahs, which is equal to about three pecks and three pints of our English measure. ·The ears were brought into the court of the Temple and thrashed out with canes or stalks, so as not to injure the corn; then “parched on a pan perforated with holes, so that each grain might be touched by the fire, and finally exposed to the wind. The corn thus prepared was ground in a barley mill which left the hulls whole. According to some the flour was always successively passed through thirteen sieves, each closer than the other. The statement of a rival authority, however, seems more rational-that it was only done till the flour was sufficiently fine, which was ascertained by one of the Gizbarim (treasurers) plunging his hands into it, the sifting process being continued so long as any of the flour adhered to the hands. Though one ephah, or ten omers, of barley was cut down, only one corner of flour, or about 5.1 pints of our measure, was offered in the Temple on the second paschal, or sixteenth day of Nisan.? (Edersheim, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, pp. 223·224.) By the consecration of the firstfruits, the people of Israel joyfully proclaimed that they not only offered the firstfruits to the Lord, but that the whole harvest belonged to Him. Firstfruits: Its New Testament Fulfillment The New Testament tells of another harvest. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. I Corinthians 15:20·23 "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." We rejoice in the fact of our Lord's resurrection. He is risen from the dead. There is a vast difference between the teaching of the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body. Paganism gladly accepts the truth of the immortality of the soul, but that is not our hope. Our hope is not in an immortal, disembodied soul. It is in the resurrection of the body. Our Lord really died; His body was buried; He rose from the dead. The body of our Lord, which was resurrected, was the same body that died for us. Since He is the firstfruits of the harvest, so also is the harvest: "But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him" (I Corinthians 15:23). This truth gives us abundant comfort. We should be clear in our thinking about the meaning of the word ‘resurrection" as it applies to the Lord Jesus Christ and as it will apply to believers. It means more than to reanimate, to resuscitate, or to reinvigorate. There were several resurrections before our Lord rose from the dead. In. the Old Testament, the Lord heard Elijah's prayer and raised the widow s son from the dead (1 Kings 17:17.23). In the New Testament, our Lord raised from the dead the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8:41·56), the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11·15), and Lazarus (John 11:43.44). There is a remarkable study in contrasts concerning these three resurrections found in the New Testament. The body of each was in a different condition. The girl appeared to be sleeping; the young man was being carried to his grave, decay already begun in the warm climate; Lazarus had been dead four days and decay was advanced. Our Lord used a different method in each case: He took the little girl by her hand; He didn't touch the body of the young man, He touched the bier which was bearing him to the grave; and He cried to Lazarus with a loud voice. His care for each was different: He fed the girl; He gave the son to his mother; and He had Lazarus released from his grave clothes. Here the contrasts end. The comparisons are equally vivid: they were all dead, they were all raised from the dead, it was our Lord who raised them, and they all died again. Our Lord’s resurrection was different. He rose to die no more! "Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him." The contrasts and comparisons between our Lord's resurrection and that of Lazarus are especially instructive. The stone had to be rolled away to let Lazarus come out of the tomb. The angel rolled the stone away from our Lord's tomb, not to let the Lord out, but to permit the disciples to enter: Lazarus "came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face" (John 11:44), and the disciples had to take off the grave clothes and let him go. How different it was with the resurrection of our Lord! He is the Prince of Life. It was utterly impossible that He should be holden of death. He arose. And although His body had been bound by grave clothes, neither the grave clothes, nor the walls of the tomb, nor the walls of the room could confine His glorious body. It is His resurrection that comforts us in our sorrow. "Because He lives, we too shall live." It was "after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, [when] Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb" (Matthew 28: 1) and learned that the Lord Jesus Christ had indeed been raised from the dead and become the firstfruits of those who belong to Him. The firstfruits were representative of the entire harvest. There is yet to be another harvest: "Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him" (1 Corinthians 15:23). Our faith in the future is not in philosophical vagaries concerning the "immortality of the soul." It is firmly embedded in the fact of our Lord's resurrection. The resurrection of the believer is not patterned after that of Lazarus. We shall be raised in our Lord's likeness. It is human for us to wonder about the resurrection body of our loved ones. With what body will they be raised? He is the firstfruits. Like Him, the resurrection bodies of our loved ones (and ours too) will be the same bodies that were buried in the grave, but with splendid differences. They will be our loved ones; we shall see and recognize them. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. ​ Reprinted for educational purposes ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 3 Chosen People Ministries And other publication sources. Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE ​ "The LORD said to Moses, From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two· tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD. Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings-an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering arid two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest. On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live." (Leviticus 23:9, 15-21). THE FEAST OF PENTECOST , climaxed the glad season of Israel's grain harvest. The beginning of the grain harvest was marked by the sacrifice, at the sanctuary, of the omer, the first sheaf of the newly cut barley; fifty days later, at the close of the harvest period, two loaves of bread, baked from the wheat of the new crop, were offered as a sacrifice. This bread offering was called the firstfruits of wheat harvest and the festival was therefore also called Yom ha-Bikkurim; the day of offering the first loaves of the new crop to God. Schauss, Hayyim, Thejewish Festivals, pp. 86-87 The first omer, which was offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the sixteenth of Nisan, was of the sheaf as it was reaped from the newly grown plants, as described in Leviticus 23:15·21: "From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of the new grain to the LORD. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two- tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD. Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings-an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. The priest is to wave the two lambs before the LORD as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the LORD for the priest. On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live." Pentecost and the Giving if the Law The day after the Sabbath the sheaf of the first grain (Leviticus 23:10) was offered on the sixteenth of Nisan. From that date, fifty days were counted and usually the sixth day of the Hebrew month Sivan is proclaimed as Shavuot (a Hebrew word meaning "weeks") or Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. This chronology is fascinating because it is the basis of the rabbinic reason why Judaism now celebrates the giving of the Law on the Day of Pentecost. Dr. Alfred Edersheim gives insight to this reasoning: The "feast of unleavened bread" may be said not to have quite passed till fifty days after its commencement, when it merged in that of Pentecost, or "of Weeks." According to unanimous Jewish tradition, which was universally received at the time of Christ, the day of Pentecost was the anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, which the Feast of Weeks was intended to commemorate. Thus, as the dedication of the harvest, commencing with the presentation of the first omer on the Passover, was completed in the thank offering of the two wave loaves at Pentecost, so the memorial of Israel's deliverance appropriately terminated in that of the giving of the Law, just as, making the highest application of it, the Passover sacrifice of the Lord Jesus may be said to have been completed in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Jewish tradition has it, that on the second of the third month, of Sivan, Moses had ascended the mount, that he communicated with the people on the third, reascended the mount on the fourth, and that then the people sanctified themselves on the fourth, fifth, and sixth of Sivan, on which latter day the Ten Commandments were actually given them. Accordingly, the days before Pentecost were always reckoned as the first, second, third, etc., since the presentation of the omer. Thus Maimonides beautifully observes: 'just as one who is expecting the most faithful of his friends is wont to count the days and hours to his arrival, so we also count from the omer of the day of our Exodus from Egypt to that of the giving of the Law, which was the object of our Exodus, as it is said: 'I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto Myself.' And because this great manifestation did not last more than one day, therefore we annually commemorate it only one day." Edersheim, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, pp. 225·226. We can see that, even though Scriptures do not say that Pentecost is the actual anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai, there is compelling evidence that indicates that "when the day of Pentecost came" as described in Acts 2:1, God's revelation on Mt. Sinai was probably in the minds of the apostles when suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:2). A modern Orthodox Hebraist scholar describes the giving of the Law: The Revelation on Mt. Sinai Dawn of the sixth day of Sivan, in the year 2448 after the creation of the world ... thunder and lightning rent the air, and the sound of the shofar was heard growing strangely louder and louder. All the people in the camp of Israel trembled. Then all was quiet again. The air was very still. Not a sound was to be heard. No bird twittered, no donkey brayed, no ox lowed. Every living thing held its breath. Even the angels interrupted their heavenly praises. Everybody and everything kept silent ... waiting .... Suddenly God's mighty words were heard from one corner of the earth to the other: "I AM GOD THY GOD!" One after another, God proclaimed the Ten Commandments. (Mindel, Nissan, Complete Festival Series, P: 167.) Pentecost: Its Old Testament Offerings On Pentecost, many different offerings were presented in the Temple. After the regular morning sacrifice, there was a burnt offering of "seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams (Leviticus 23:18). This was followed by a meal offering and a drink offering. After that, there was a sin offering of one kid, and then the climactic offering of the day, a "fellowship" or "peace" offering of "two lambs, each a year old" waved before the Lord, together with the two loaves which had been baked with leaven. (See Leviticus 23: 17,19). This peace offering was not offered on the altar; it was given to the priest. It could not be placed on the altar, because the loaves were baked with leaven. It is highly significant that the sin offering preceded the peace offering. We will never understand the meaning of the peace offering until we grasp this truth. The sin offering came first, then the peace offering. The peace offering was not an offering for peace. It is a heartfelt thank offering of one who has peace with his Lord. It is a sacramental meal where God, who is represented by the priest, eats a meal together with His children, who have already been cleansed from their sin. It should be observed that the two loaves, together with the two lambs which were offered at Pentecost, were the only public peace offerings that were celebrated by Israel. The peace offering of Pentecost was a feast of fellowship and peace between God and His redeemed people. Pentecost: Its New Testament Fulfillment Messiah Jesus’ coming to provide such. See: Jeremiah 31-31 Ezekiel 36:26 Romans 3:20 6:14-15 8:8-11 and Hebrews 9:15 , 7:22 Ephesians 2:8-9 13-14 Matthew 5:17 Luke:22:20 Was Pentecost, like Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, also prophetic? The New Testament is abundantly clear that it was. Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled the type of the passover lamb at Calvary, when the corn of wheat was planted in the ground, rose from the dead and became the "firstfruits," fulfilling the type of the wave sheaf on the "day after the Sabbath." Then fifty days were counted, and when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting (Acts 2: 1-2). If Jewish tradition connected the "feast of firstfruits" with the "mount that might be touched," and the "voice of words which they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them anymore," we have in this respect also "come unto Mount Zion," and to the better things of the new covenant. To us the Day of Pentecost is, indeed, the "feast of firstfruits," and that of the giving of the better law, "written not in tables of stone, but on the fleshy tables of the heart," "with the Spirit of the living God." For, as the worshipers were in the Temple, probably just as they were offering the wave lambs and the wave bread, the multitude heard that "sound from heaven, as of a mighty rushing wind," which drew them to the house where the apostles were gathered, there to hear "every man in his own language" [proclaiming] "the wonderful works of God." And on that Pentecost day, from the harvest of firstfruits, not less than three thousand souls added to the Church were presented as a wave offering to the Lord. The cloven tongues of fire and the apostolic gifts of that day of firstfruits have, indeed, long since disappeared. But the mighty rushing sound of the Presence and Power of the Holy Ghost has gone forth into all the world. 'Edersheim, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, P: 231 ​ How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Sabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat! - The Messianic Age Day of Total Shabbat - Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come. Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day. Reprinted for educational purposes from: ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 4 Chosen People Ministries And other publication sources. ​ Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Shavuot-Feast of Pentecost Rosh Hashanah New Year’s Day _ Feast of Trumpets _ NEW YEAR'S DAY for the Jews is not a holiday, it is a holy day, often called, together with the Day of Atonement, the "days of awe." It is celebrated on the first and second days of Tishri. It is not a time of frivolity but of introspection and prayer. It is a solemn day when Jews believe that all people stand before the Creator. The Orthodox Jew does not come to this season unprepared. He knows the New Year is approaching. During the preceding month, the month of Elul, which to the modern Jew is the last month of the year according to the civil calendar, the approach of Rosh Hashanah is heralded by the sounding of the shofar in the synagogue. All year long the shofar, which is usually a ram's horn, lies hidden, probably in the holy ark in the synagogue. It is not sounded on the Sabbath. However, on the first day of Elul, it is taken from its hiding place to play a prominent role as Israel's days of awe approach. The sounding of the shofar reaches its crescendo on Rosh Hashanah, when it is sounded after the reading of the Law. The Sacrifice of Isaac The reading of the Law on the second day's service is the story of the sacrifice of Isaac. The rabbis believe that the sacrifice of Isaac, when a ram was offered in his stead, took place on New Year's Day. Because of this belief, this story, together with that of Isaac's birth, is the basis of the liturgy of the second day's service in the synagogue. Because of this, there is no Bible story more familiar to the Orthodox Jew than the story of Abraham offering up Isaac. It abounds in spiritual truth. This story is found in Genesis, chapter 22. It is helpful to study it together with Psalm 22 and Luke 22:42·44. It is the story of Abraham's faithfulness: Some time later God tested Abraham (Genesis 22:1). We should realize that God did not tempt Abraham, as the Authorized Version states; God tested Abraham. When Satan tempts, he tries to defeat us. When God tests, He provides victory. Nor does God test everyone. C. H. Mackintosh writes concerning Abraham's test: However, it is well to see that God confers a signal honor upon us when He thus tests our hearts. We never read that the Lord did tempt Lot. No, Sodom tempted Lot. He never reached a sufficiently high elevation to warrant his being tried by the hand of Jehovah. It was too plainly manifested that there was plenty between his heart and the Lord, and it did not, therefore, require the furnace to bring that out. Sodom would have held out no temptation whatever to Abraham. This was made manifest in his interview with Sodom's king, in chapter 14. God knew well that Abraham loved Him far better than Sodom; but He would make it manifest that he loved Him better than anyone or anything, by laying His hand upon the nearest and dearest object, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac."! 'Mackintosh, C. H., Notes on Genesis, pp. 225·226; Genesis to Deuteronomy, pp. For many long years Abraham waited for his promised seed. Finally, the Lord gave him a son by Sarah and then commanded him to cast out Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman. That in itself was enough to test any man. It was a test of faith. But Abraham believed God and obeyed Him. Isaac's birth was in a very real sense miraculous. He was the seed of Abraham, born after his mother was past the age of childbearing (Genesis 18:11). Perhaps Abraham even thought that Isaac was the Messiah. (This is one of the reasons why Jewish couples earnestly desire their firstborn to be a son. They hope he may be the Messiah.) But the promised Messiah was not only to be the seed of Abraham, but also the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15). Thus we see Jesus, born of a virgin, Mary, who was herself of the seed of Abraham. Isaac grew into young manhood. Josephus says that Isaac was twenty-seven years old when his father was told to sacrifice him. The Scriptures don't give his exact age, however, but he had grown strong enough to carry the wood that covered the altar that was large enough to bear his body. Thus, he was not a young weakling. Abraham Believed God It was when Abraham's only son, the heir to the Abrahamic covenant, the son of promise whom he greatly loved, blossomed into manhood that God ordered Abraham to offer him up as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. This command did not come from within Abraham, it was not suggested by the human sacrifices of the Canaanites, nor did it come from Satan. It came from the one true God, who was proving Abraham's faith! The final issue dearly showed that God wasn't interested in the death of Isaac. Rather, He wanted Abraham's complete surrender. You and I know the outcome of Abraham's deep trial. At the time, Abraham did not. He drank the dregs of the bitterness of his sorrow. Imagine the pain these words must have brought to Abraham: Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love (Genesis 22:2). He laid the wood on his son (verse 6). He told Isaac, God Himself will provide the lamb (verse 8). Then he "bound his son Isaac" and "took the knife to slay his son" (verses 9-10). Luther remarked that it must have seemed as if God's promise would fail, or that this command came from Satan, not from God. How beautifully Paul describes Abraham's faith in Romans 4:20-21. Yet he did not waver through unbelief, [he] was strengthened in his faith, [he was] fully persuaded. But the letter to the Hebrews shows the basic reasoning of Abraham, that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. (Hebrews 11:19) Abraham's answer to his great trial was he believed God. Four centuries before any of the written Word came into existence, God spoke to him, and Abraham implicitly put his trust in God's Word. God commanded Abraham to leave his kindred, Abraham obeyed; God promised him a seed, Abraham believed. For long years Abraham waited for God to fulfill His promise. Finally, Isaac was born. God had fulfilled His promise. The same God who fulfilled His promise now demanded that Abraham offer Isaac, his beloved son, as a sacrifice. Abraham believed God and showed his faith by his works. He knew that God honored His Word. As previously mentioned, it is very possible that he even thought that Isaac was the promised Seed of the woman of Genesis 3:15, the Messiah. In any event, Abraham knew that Isaac was his own promised seed. God had said that in his seed all peoples on earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Abraham believed and obeyed God. The key to Abraham's obedience was that he actually believed in the resurrection. If Isaac was the Messiah and the Messiah had to die, then it was necessary for God to raise Him from the dead! By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice, He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death" (Hebrews 11: 1 7-19). Abraham actually expected God to raise up Isaac from the dead! Enemies of the gospel complain that the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone is amoral. Even some well· meaning friends of the gospel frequently teach a "faith-plus works" salvation. They complain that if righteousness is by faith alone, apart from works of the Law, then a man who is saved by faith could still commit heinous crimes. This could not be if he has the faith of Abraham. Abraham's faith resulted in acts of obedience. Romans 4:20·24 says: Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness-for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Abraham's trial stands out in history like a mountain peak whose height only one other Climber has been called upon to scale: "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). Abraham is a beautiful type of God the Father. Just as Abraham had an only son, whom he loved, so did God and He gave His only begotten Son to be slain for us. God stayed the hand of Abraham before Isaac could be sacrificed. When the Lord Jesus Christ was on the cross upon which He was to be sacrificed, God did not stay His hand! Isaiah 53:10-11 says: Yet it was the LORD'S will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand. After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge My righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. Two thousand years after Abraham, One stood in the Temple that crowned Mount Moriah and said, Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad. (John 8:56). We believe that it was when Abraham received his son figuratively speaking ... back from death (Hebrews 11:19) that this prophetic rejoicing took place. It is no wonder that Abraham called this place Jehovah-jireh, which means the LORD will provide (Genesis 22:14). Some erroneously interpret this name to mean that God will provide for all our needs. This is a comforting truth, but it is not the one taught in the name Jehovah-jireh. The reason for this name is given in Genesis 22:14: On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." What was it that Abraham saw after he had received Isaac as if from the dead? Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son (Genesis 22:13). Years later, John the Baptist exclaimed in joy when he saw Jesus, the Messiah, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world ! (John 1:29). Thus, we see another truth in the offering up of Isaac. It is a type of God's provision of a sacrifice. But our Lord Jesus Christ did what Isaac could not do-He became our Sacrifice for sin. Abraham was not the only one whose faith was tested on Mount Moriah. Isaac was a grown man and could easily have resisted his aged father, but he was obedient. We have mentioned that he was not an infant. It takes strength to climb mountains; it takes greater strength to climb mountains carrying wood. How much wood Isaac carried, we do not know, but it was sufficient to bear his body. Think for a moment of the important effect of this event upon Isaac. From the account in Genesis 22, it seems as if Isaac was ignorant of the fact that he was to be offered up as a sacrifice. Imagine then how he felt when he was actually tied to the altar and watched as his father reached for his knife! Two thousand years later, One also bore the wood of sacrifice, but He knew what He was doing. He had been born for this very purpose. The Scriptures do not tell us how Isaac acted when he was bound to the altar. We have seen him as a robust youth who, as previously mentioned, could have resisted Abraham if he so desired. But he didn't resist. When he allowed himself to be bound and laid upon the altar, he fully entered into the spirit of Abraham; he joined in Abraham's faith. In so doing, he showed himself to be the heir to the promises. How much was the behavior of Isaac like our Lord, who was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth (Isaiah 53:7). In both Psalm 22 and Luke 22:42-44 we see parallels between the story of Isaac in Genesis 22 and the sacrifice of our Lord. As Isaac lay on the altar and saw the hand of Abraham upraised, certainly he could have wondered, "Father, why have you forsaken me?" But the record is silent. The whole picture given of Isaac shows him in the same attitude as our Lord in Gethsemane, Not as I will, but as You will. (Matthew 26:39). The timing of Isaac's sacrifice is also symbolic. When God commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac, he obeyed; and in Abraham's heart, Isaac was dead from that moment on. We should realize that Abraham did not know for sure that God would also provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13), although he had faith in God's goodness. It was three days later that Isaac was offered, and it was on this third day that Isaac was returned to his father. To some this may seem to be an unimportant detail, but as we saw in Hebrews, chapter 11, Abraham, "figuratively speaking, did receive Isaac back from death." Isaac is clearly a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, who rose on the third day, having yielded up His spirit to the Father. Thus the Father also received His Son on the third day. God not only "provided a way out" for Abraham; He also provided the lamb for the sacrifice. Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:13). And thus God the Father has provided us a way of escape from the penalty of sin: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23). This is why the shofar is sounded on Rosh Hashanah. How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat! - The Messianic Age Day of Total Shabbat - Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come. Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day. ​ Reprinted for educational purposes from: ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 7 Chosen People Ministries . And other publication sources. ​ Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE YOM KIPPUR: FEAST OR FAST? By Rachmiel Frydland According to Jewish tradition and the Talmud (Tractate Ta'anith 26b), Yom Kippur has been one of the great Jewish Feasts celebrated annually. In ancient times the people would joyfully dress in white, anticipating their purification from sin. It was only once a year, on this day, that would allow the High Priest to enter behind the veil into the innermost court f the tabernacle. And this could be done only after sacrificial blood had been shed to cover his own transgressions as well as those of the Jewish nation. In the Holy of Holies, he could then approach the mercy seat and receive assurance, that God had sanctified the sacrifice for sin. We read in the Hebrew Scriptures: And there shall be no man in a tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the Holy Place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household and for all the congregation of Israel. And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times and, cleanse it, and hallow it; from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. For on that day shall the Priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. Leviticus 16:17-19,30 CHANGING ATTITUDES: From Faith To Fear If Yom Kippur was at one time one of the most significant feasts, why is it still not so today? For what reason are the ten days between Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) called the Tamim Nora'im (Ten Days of Fear)? Why do Jewish people now spend time fasting, weeping and pleading before God instead of rejoicing at His compassion as their forefathers once did? The Talmud states that toward the end of the Second Temple period, certain distressing signs began to appear: Our Rabbis taught: At first they used to bind a shining crimson strip of cloth on the outside door of the Temple. If the strip of cloth turned into the white color, they would rejoice; if it did not turn white they were full of sorrow and shame. (Tractate Yoma 67a) Hence, the problem: The people began to realize more and more that the sacrifice of Yom Kippur did not have the power to cleanse their sinful hearts. They no longer experienced the release of sin's heavy burden that the Psalmist King David wrote about: Blessed ("Happy" in Hebrew) is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed (Happy) is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is not deceit. Psalm 32:1,2 It seemed that God no longer found the sacrifice acceptable. However, God will never go back on His word. He has not canceled out the Torah principle of atonement for sin by blood. Leviticus 17:11 states: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Jewish people who observe Yom Kippur will take either a rooster for a male or a hen for a female and turn it about the head. They hope to obtain pardon as, they recite: "This is my substitute. This is in exchange for me. This chicken will die instead of me, so I may obtain life instead of it." Also a part of the Yom Kippur prayer is these words: "And may the diminishing of my blood and fat as a result of the Yom Kippur fast be accepted by God as though I would have offered it upon the altar of God in Jerusalem." ​ Something is missing. The people are left with apprehension and serious doubts as to whether God had indeed accepted their sacrifice. The rest of the day is spent in sorrow and fasting. If they knew beyond a shadow of doubt that they were forgiven, there would be no further need for tears. Instead, the hearts would be overflowing with joy for answered prayer. Jewish tradition has also taught us that the reason for using a ram's horn or shofar on the Ten Days of Fear and on Yom Kippur is to remind God of Isaac's willingness to be a sacrifice when his father Abraham bound him to the altar an Mount Moriah. As we read the account in the Tanakh (Genesis 22), we realize that God honored the faith of Abraham and the obedience of Isaac. Abraham said, "God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." They both rejoiced for a ram was found in a near by thicket! God wanted to spare Isaac's life; He still has the same desire for each of us today. Blood must be shed before there can be remission of sins, yet animal sacrifice is no longer pleasing to the Lord. Since God is faithful to His word and will not leave us without help, who will be our sacrificial lamb? THE VOICE OF ISAIAH The prophet Isaiah speaks of the one who will give his life for us in chapter 53:7-10: "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from, prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand." ​ THE NEW COVENANT ​ About 2,000 years ago, while our Jewish people were under Roman domination, Yeshua HaNotzree (Jesus of Nazareth) came to the people claiming He was the Messiah, the one sent by God to provide salvation. The moment Yeshua died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:50-51) The earth quaked beneath men's feet. The Talmud says that forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the gates opened of themselves. This event is of utmost importance because it establishes Yeshua as being the new High Priest and Lamb of God. No longer must there be an annual offering for sin on our behalf; instead, He has made restitution for us once and for all. It is now possible for each of us to have direct access to God through the blood of Yeshua HaMoshiach. One of the early Jewish followers of Messiah has expressed it in this way: "But Messiah being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the, ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh) offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:11-14 ​ In the same chapter, he further describes the holy place as being heaven itself where God dwells. Messiah is now at the right hand of God and continually makes intercession for us. The Lord has made a new covenant with the house of Israel. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:10, 12; Jeremiah 31:30-33 The choice is now left to each of us: Should we follow after sacrifices no longer prescribed by God or follow Yeshua HaMashiach, the eternal Yom Kippur Lamb and High Priest? Here is the account of a Jewish man, one of the earliest and closest believers in Messiah, who still celebrated Yom Kippur in the traditional manner of having a feast of true simcha and gratitude: "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before t e creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake." I Peter 1:18-20 ​ Yeshua invites you to receive Him and the new life He has to offer you. We encourage you to search your own heart and ask yourself, "Where is my atonement of sins? Is it in prayer and fasting alone? Is animal sacrifice sufficient? Or is it true that the blood of Yeshua the Messiah cleanses from all sin?" Once you discover God's Lamb, He will give you His joy and peace which passes all understanding as your Yom Kippur fast truly becomes your Yom Kippur feast. How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. ​ Reprinted with permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE ​ Succot, The Feast Of Tabernacles "The Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work." Leviticus 23:33·36 THE MOST JOYFUL of Israel's festivals was the Feast of Tabernacles. It came at the end of the harvest when the hearts of the people were naturally gladdened, The crops had been reaped. As they looked around them, they remembered that six months before, at Passover time they had dedicated the entire harvest to the Lord by the offering of firstfruits, and now not only were their barns full, their heats were overflowing with joy and thanksgiving. But that was not all. As they looked around on the goodly land, the fruits of which had just enriched the they remembered that by interposition the Lord their God had brought them to this land and had given it to them, and that He ever claimed it as peculiarly His own. For the land was strictly connected with the history of the people; and both the land and the history were linked with the mission of Israel. If the beginning of the harvest had pointed back to the birth of Israel in their Exodus from Egypt, and forward to the true Passover· sacrifice in the future; if the corn harvest was connected with the giving of the law on Mount Sinai in the past, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; the harvest thanksgiving of the Feast of Tabernacles reminded Israel, on the one hand, of their dwelling in booths in the wilderness, while on the other hand, it pointed to the final harvest when Israel's mission should be completed, and all nations gathered unto the Lord. ('Edersheirn, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, pp. 232·233). The Feast of Tabernacles is two weeks after Rosh Hashanah. It is always on the same day of the week as New Year's Day. A pious Jew began his preparation for the festival as soon as the Day of Atonement was over. He had only five days to erect a sukkah, a booth in which he and his family would dwell during the feast. The Feast of Booths Historically, Tabernacles looked backward to the Exodus when Israel lived in booths. "Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God" (Leviticus 23:42-43). Each family built a sukkah, which was actually a temporary outdoor structure. It had a twofold purpose: to remind the Jews of their Exodus and to indicate the transitoriness of human life. The roof was made of slats placed closely to one another so that the shade inside the sukkah was greater than the light. The roof had to rest on the walls; it could not be fastened. It was then thatched with green branches, and the entire room, walls, and ceiling decorated with flowers and fruit. Every male who attends an Orthodox synagogue during Tabernacles (Sukkot) carries with him what is called "the four species": an etrog, which is a citron, in his left hand; the lulav, a palm branch, in his right hand; two myrtle twigs and two willow branches are bound to the palm branch. The Scriptures state, "On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God forseven days" (Leviticus 23:40). Sukkot not only looked back into history, it also looked forward into the future when Cod's promise to Abraham will be fulfilled, when all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3). The Feast of Tabernacles was the last of the three festivals when all adult men of ancient Israel thronged Jerusalem. "Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you" (Deuteronomy 16: 16·17). The Mishnah gives us a vivid picture of these pilgrimages. From all over the land, all roads were thronged with gaily clad people keeping the holy days. Everybody carried his offering to the Lord. There were olives, dates, pomegranates, wheat, barley, and perhaps a pigeon or turtledove. The rich brought more, the poor less. Those who could, brought their offering in carts, heavily laden with gifts; the poor carried theirs in wicker baskets; but each brought a gift in proportion to the way the Lord God blessed him. As the pilgrims journeyed, they sang the songs of Zion, the psalms. On one side of the road, a family would sing from Psalm 121: I lift up my eyes to the hills. Across the road, the response would come: Where does my help come from? And all together: My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. Others would sing: I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.' Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel (Psalm 122:1·4). It was Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. The tribes of Israel, their hearts with praise to the Lord, were going up to Jerusalem to render unto Him honor and praise and glory. Every Sukkot service in the Temple. not only looked backward in history, it looked forward in prophecy. God had spoken to Abram from Ur of the Chaldees and promised him, All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3), and the temple service proclaimed this truth. The services of the week were elaborate; in all there were seventy bullocks that were sacrificed. According to the Talmud, there were seventy nations in the world, and a bullock was slain each year during the Feast of Tabernacles for each of them. The ancient rabbis realized a wonderful truth about the prophetic message of Sukkot: Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14: 16). The seventh and last day of the feast is a very special day. It is called Hoshana Rabba, "the great Hoshanah." !n the synagogue during the morning service after seven circuits are made around the altar with the lulav (palm branches, they are beaten on the floor of the synagogue floor or its furniture while the worshipers are chanting, the voice announcing the coming of the Messiah is heard. Succot (anonymous publication by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations Rabbinical Council of America) p. 10. This beating of the branches is work which is illegal on the Sabbath. It is for this reason that "the calendar was fixed in such a way that the New Year would not occur on a Sunday so that Hoshana Rabba should not fall on the Sabbath which would cause the taking of the willow to be cancelled. The Encyclopedia Judaica, “Hoshana Rabba,” vol. 8, p. 1027 How Jesus Kept the Feast One of the ceremonies of the Sukkot service was the libation of water procession each morning. Abraham Millgram aptly describes this ceremony: The water was brought in a golden flask from the fountain of Siloam and poured by the officiating kohen into the basin near the altar. This was the most joyous of the temple ceremonies. The Mishnah says that "he who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of water-drawing has never seen rejoicing in his life" (Sukkah 5:1). The ceremony was accompanied by a torch-light procession, dances, singing and chanting by the Levitical choir of the fifteen pilgrim psalms, the songs of ascents (Psalms 120-134), to the accompaniment of musical instruments. It was a symbolic act performed in compliance with the prophetic verse, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" ' (Isaiah 12:3).4 Millgram, Abraham, Jewish Worship, p. 204. Picture this scene from the life of Jesus: It was Hashana Rabba, on the last and greatest day of the Feast. See the crowds in the temple courts, watch the white-robed priests as they climb the steep ascent from Siloam to the Temple. They are carrying a golden vase of the water they just drew with joy from the well of Siloam. The water was poured into the basin near the altar. Then, as the priest stood with his empty flask, a Man who had been watching cried with a loud voice: If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (John 7:37-38). These were strange words to say, anywhere, at any time. But in the Temple on Hoshana Rabba, they were not just strange, they were audacious. The entire libation-of-water ceremony celebrated God's provision of life-giving water to the Israelites when they were dying of thirst in the wilderness. "If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink." Our Lord was claiming that the miracle in the wilderness, when the rock gushed forth water 'pointed to Himself! This is one of the messages of John’s Gospel where we also find our Lord claiming to be the fulfillment of other incidents under the Law: Jacob’s ladder, the brazen serpent in the wilderness, and the manna: There is a future Feast of Tabernacles that is described in the New Testament: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with ,them, and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new! Then He Said, write this down for these words are trustworthy and true." He Said to me: "It is 'done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. (Revelation 21:3-6). Christ our Passover became Christ the Firstfruits from the dead. At Pentecost, the firstfruits of Israel's ripened harvest were presented to the Lord. The first sheaves were reaped from Israel. But Israel did not keep the harvest to herself. The gospel, which was to the Jew first, has been proclaimed to the uttermost parts of the. earth. It has been a long time since Pentecost, and we longingly listen for the sound of the trumpet, the return of our Lord. Then after that we look for Israel's Day of Atonement and the nations of our Lord keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm, branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’ (Revelation 7 :9-1 0). It's Hoshana Rabba, the great day of the feast! How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat! - The Messianic Age Day of Total Shabbat - Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come. Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day. ​ Reprinted for educational purposes from: ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 11 Chosen People Ministries And other publication sources. ​ Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Chanukah, Feast of Lights/Rededication Chanukah, while not being a feast given by God in Scripture, is mentioned in the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament): Then came Chanukah in Yerushalayim/Jerusalem. It was winter, and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s (Solomon's) Colonnade. Yochanan/John 10:22-23 This Feast of Lights/Rededication is historically a time to rededicate oneself to God and His purposes. Many Messianic Jews and Gentiles see this feast time, rather than the modern day of Christmas, as a unique factual Bible time event of miraculous deliverance to be a more fitting time to remember the birth of the Messiah, the Light which came into the world. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it. Yochanan/John 1:4–5 THE STORY Under Syrian rule. It was in the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, nearly twenty two centuries ago (165 b.c.e./c.e.), that the events took place which we commemorate each year at Chanukah time. The Jewish people had returned to the land of Israel from the Babylonian Exile, and had rebuilt the Holy Temple. But they remained subject to the domination of imperial powers, first, the Persian Empire, then later, the conquering armies of Alexander the Great. Upon the death of Alexander, his vast kingdom was divided among his generals. After a power struggle which engulfed all the nations of the Middle East, Israel found itself under the sway of the Seleucid Dynasty, Greek kings who reigned from Syria. The 'Madman Though at first, the rule of the Seleucids was rather mild and uneventful in Israel, there soon arose a new king, Antiochus IV, who was to wage a bloody war upon the Jews, a war which would threaten not just their physical lives, but their very spiritual existence. Over the years of Greek domination, many Jews had begun to accept the Greek culture and its self-serving pleasure oriented, pagan/false god way of life. These Jewish Hellenists became willing pawns in Antiochus' scheme to obliterate every trace of the Jewish religion. The Holy Temple was invaded, desecrated, and robbed of all its treasures. Vast numbers of innocent people were massacred and the survivors were heavily taxed. Antiochus placed an idol of Zeus on the holy altar and forced the Jews to bow before it under penalty of death. And he forbid the Jewish people to observe their most sacred traditions, such as the Sabbath and the rite of circumcision. Antiochus went so far as to proclaim himself a god, taking the name 'Antiochus Epiphanes' --the Divine. But even his own followers mocked him as 'Antiochus Epimanes' --the madman. The Turning Point In every city and town, altars were erected with statues of the Greek gods and goddesses. Soldiers rounded up the Jews and forcibly compelled them to make offerings and engage in other immoral acts customary to the Greeks. As Antiochus' troops tightened their grip on the nation, the Jews seemed incapable of resistance. It was in the small village of Modi'in, a few miles west of Jerusalem, that a single act of heroism turned the tide of Israel's struggle and altered her destiny for all time. Mattityahu (Matthew), patriarch of the priestly Hasmonean clan, stepped forward to challenge the Greek soldiers and those who complied passively to their demands. Backed by his five sons, he attacked the troops, slew the idolaters, and destroyed the idol. With a cry of 'All who are with God, follow me!' he and a courageous circle of partisans retreated to the hills, where they gathered forces to overthrow the oppression of Antiochus and those working with him (even many Jews). Guerrilla Warfare The army of Mattityahu, now under the command of his son Yehuda (Judah) Maccabee, grew daily in numbers and in strength. With the Biblical slogan, Who is like unto You, 0 God, emblazoned on their shields, they would swoop down upon the Syrian troops under cover of darkness and scatter the oppressors, then return to their encampments in the hills. Only six thousand strong, they defeated a heavily armed battalion of forty-seven thousand Syrians. Enraged, Antiochus sent an even larger army against them, and in the miraculous, decisive battle at Bet Tzur, the Jewish forces emerged victorious. From there, they proceeded on to Jerusalem, where they liberated the city and reclaimed the Holy Temple. They cleared the Sanctuary of the idols, rebuilt the altar, and prepared to resume the Divine Service. A central part of the daily service in the Temple was the kindling of the brilliant lights of the Menorah. Now, as Jewish legend has it, with the Temple about to be rededicated; only one small cruse of the pure, sacred olive oil was found. It was only one day's supply and they knew it would take more than a week for the special process required to prepare more oil. Undaunted, in joy and with thanksgiving, the Maccabees lit the lamps of the Menorah with the small amount of oil, and dedicated the Holy Temple anew. And miraculously, as if in confirmation of the power of their faith, the oil did not burn out —and the flames shone brightly for eight full days. The following year, Jewish Sages officially proclaimed the festival of Chanukah as a celebration lasting eight days, in perpetual commemoration of this victory over religious persecution. Chanukah Traditional Kindling Blessings * This 9 post ‘Chanukiah’ is not the biblical 7 post Menorah, Sh’mot/Exodus 25:31-37 1 Bah-rookh Ah-tah Adonai Eh-loh-hay-noo Meh-lehkh Hah-ohlahm Ah-shehr Keh-deh-shah-noo Beh-mehtzoo-tahv Veh-tzeh-vah-noo Leh-had-leehk Nehr Shehl Khah-noo-kah. Blessed are You Adonai our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and allowed us to kindle the lights of Khanukah. 2 Bah-rookh Ah-tah Adonai Eh-loh-hay-noo Meh-lehkh Hah-ohlahm Sheh-ah-sah Neh-seem Lah-ah-voh-tay-noo. Bah-yah-meem Hah-hah-eem Bahzeh-mahn Hah-zeh. Blessed are you Adonai our God, King of the universe, who did miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season. The following blessing is said traditionally only on the first evening: 3 Bah-rookh Ah-tah Adonai Eh-loh-hay-noo Meh-lehkh Hah-ohlahm Sheh-heh-kheh-yah-noo Veh-keh-yeh-mah-noo Veh-heh-gee-ahnu Lehz-mahn Hah-zeh. Blessed are You Adonai our God King of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season. After kindling the lights recite: We kindle these lights to commemorate the saving acts, miracles and wonders which You have performed for our forefathers, in those days at this time, through Your holy Cohanim/Priests. Throughout the eight days of Chanukah, Lessons For Today The Chanukah lights are more than simply a reminder of God's deliverance and miracles in days gone by. They provide inspiration for us, in our times, to enrich our lives with the Light of Messiah Yeshua and in remembering the greatest miracle of all, His birth! In ancient times, the Jewish people rededicated the Temple with the Menorah. Today, we rededicate ourselves to the Lord and to the salvation of this world. For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. Romans 1:16 Chanukah Festivities - Foods, Games, Fellowship THE KHANUKAH DREIDEL The Origin of the Dreidel The Syrians decreed that the teaching or studying of Torah was a crime punishable by death or imprisonment. But the children defiantly studied in secret; and when Syrian patrols were spotted, they would pretend to be playing an innocent game of dreidel. Playing Dreidel The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, also called a svivon in Hebrew. On each side is a Hebrew letter: 'Nun' 'Gimel' 'Hay' and 'Shin'. The letters stand for the phrase "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham" --a great miracle happened there. It is traditionally used to play a lively Chanukah game. Each player places some raisins, candies, or nuts into a kitty, and the players take turns spinning the dreidel. Nun means nothing --you win nothing, you lose nothing. Gimel means you take all. Hay means you win half of what is in the kitty. Shin means you lose, and must put more into the kitty. Thank God for sending Yeshua/Jesus .... but when the appointed time arrived, God sent forth his Son. He was born from a woman, born into a culture in which legalistic perversion of the Torah was the norm, so that he might redeem… Galatians 4:4, 5a ​ How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat! - The Messianic Age Day of Total Shabbat - Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come. Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day. ​ Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE ​ By Rachmiel Frydland PURIM is a Persian word meaning 'lots." Several hundred years before the Christian Era, Haman, a Persian Jew-hater, persuaded Ahasuerus (Xerxes), king of Persia, to have all the Jews in the king's realm destroyed. The Persians of that day, including Haman, were fire-worshippers. Their religion was founded by Zoroaster, an ancient philosopher who taught that there were two gods who ruled the world in opposition to each other, Ormuzd, the good or positive god, and Ahriman, the bad or wicked god. The Jews living among the Persians could not accept this religion for they believed in one God only, Jehovah, who created the day as well as the night, the good as well as the evil. As the prophet Isaiah said in the name of the Lord: I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things. Isaiah 45:7 Therefore the Jewish people in King Ahasuerus' realm could not accept the Persian religion. Haman ACCUSES THE JEWS Haman, a court favorite of King Ahasuerus, was jealous of Mordecai, a Jew, and presented a reasonable case against the Jews to the king. The kingdom of Persia had been kind to the Jews, and after the Babylonian captivity of seventy years, had given them permission to return to their ancestral land. Should not the Jews now show their gratitude to the king by accepting the religion, the laws and the customs of their benefactors? Haman's petition to King Ahasuerus against the Jews was presented in clear words which could not be contradicted: And Haman said unto King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws:therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed(Esther 3:8,9) HAMAN'S MISCALCULATION The Persian king, a pagan, agreed. But Haman did not know the God of the Jews, Who long ago declared that the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the Jewish people) could not be exterminated. God, Who is not dead but is living forevermore, decreed an everlasting blessing upon Abraham and his seed, saying, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 12:2,3 Moreover, God confirmed His decree with an oath: And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou best done this thing, and best not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou best obeyed my voice. Genesis 22:15-18 How foolish of the Human's and the Hitlers to trust in a lot and ignore the Lord Who has decreed blessings upon the seed of Abraham! Haman put his trust in purim lots), but he forgot Pesach (Passover) when mighty Egypt paid a heavy penalty for its oppression of Israel. Let this be a warning to all would be Jew-haters - in Russia, in Europe, in Asia, and in the world everywhere. God is on the side of His people. By blessing them, they who bless bring a blessing on themselves. By the same token, they who curse the Jews, bring a curse upon themselves. ISRAEL'S SALVATION, In ancient Persia Israel's salvation came through a humble man named Mordecai, who was related to Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia. He and his people were destined to die by royal edict. Nevertheless, Mordecai was able to inspire his people to repent in sackcloth, in fasting and prayer. Even Queen Esther joined her people in this act of humility before the Lord. God heard and answered. Mordecai was exalted and his people honored by the king while Haman was hanged and the Jew-haters were abased. This was one of many episodes in God's dealing with His people. The Jews were saved physically at this point in their history. The time of their full salvation, and the complete fulfillment of God's prophecies given to Abraham, was drawing nigh. It happened five hundred years later with the coming of adon Yeshua HaMashiach, (the Lord Jesus, the Messiah). He was the greater Mordecai. Condemned to die for His people, Jesus the Messiah became the supreme sacrifice of atonement for the sins of Jew and Gentile alike. In Him were truly fulfilled the prophecies of old, "In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12, 22) Today we see millions of people in all parts of the earth who have received these blessings through Abraham's seed, the Messiah, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL SALVATION? You ask, "What salvation did Messiah bring? There are still wars and hatreds among men." The answer is that salvation is two-fold. There is the physical salvation, as it happened at Purim long ago, and spiritual salvation - redemption of a person's soul. Physical salvation is of value in God's sight only when joined with spiritual salvation, as expressed in the Book of Tehiliim (Psalms): They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him. (For the redemption of their soul is precious .... Psalms 49:6-8 The same thought is found in the Brit Hadasha (New Testament) in the words of the Messiah: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36 According to the Word of God we need spiritual salvation, and it should be explained clearly. Spiritual salvation is: Salvation from sin. Disobedience to God by the first man, Adam, and by his descendants, broke the oneness, the fellowship between God and man, as the Word of God says: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 Jesus, the Messiah, became the sacrifice for our sins, and by believing in Him, our sins are forgiven. This is not a figment of our imagination but is based squarely on the Hebrew Scriptures, as Isaiah's prophecies about Him state: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 Peace and restored fellowship and oneness with God. Do you have perfect peace in your heart? If you do not, it is because of this lack of oneness and fellowship between you and God, the result of unforgiven sin. To have peace in your heart, you need the forgiveness of sins only possible through faith in Messiah Jesus. Everlasting life with God. Death is not our destiny and is not our end. Job says: For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Job 19:25,26 Job, the sufferer, knew that after this life there awaited him everlasting life with God. He knew about his Redeemer who is alive, and who would bring him into oneness and fellowship with God forever. Our appeal to you is to accept your Messiah now. Your celebration of Purim will be a true one and a spiritual one. It will be not only a celebration of the physical deliverance, which is temporary, but also a spiritual one that will last forever. A Drink From The Fountain Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Messiah Jesus unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:20-26 How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. ​ Reprinted with permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach ​ Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Purim, The Lesson of Purim Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Return to Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE

  • How To Be Born Again | Menorah Ministries

    How To Be Born Again A man named Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Perhaps he was afraid of criticism or he had a desire for a private conversation, or maybe he wanted to know more before committing himself to Jesus Christ. In any event, he came and asked Jesus some questions. ​ Jesus looked at him and said, “Nicodemus, you need to be born again” (Cf. John 3:5). In fact, He said, “Verily, verily” —and any time Jesus used that expression, He meant that what was to follow was very important. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you … you must be born again” (John 3:5,7). ​ Have you been born again? Call it conversion, call it commitment, call it repentance, call it being saved, but has it happened to you? Does Christ live in your heart? Do you know it? Many people have thought a long time about religion and Christianity and yet have never made a commitment. Are you committed to Jesus Christ? ​ Nicodemus must have been stunned when Jesus said, “You must be born again.” It wouldn’t seem shocking if Christ had said that to Zacchaeus the tax collector or to the thief on the cross or to the woman caught in adultery. But Nicodemus was one of the great religious leaders of his time. Still, he was searching for reality. ​ You may go to church, but perhaps you are still searching. There is an empty place in your heart, and something inside tells you that you’re not really right with God. Nicodemus fasted two days a week. He spent two hours every day in prayer. He tithed. Why did Jesus say that Nicodemus must be born again? Because He could read the heart of Nicodemus. Jesus saw that Nicodemus had covered himself with religion but had not yet found fellowship with God. ​ The Root of Our Problems ​ What causes all of our troubles in the world—lying and cheating and hate and prejudice and social inequality and war? Jesus said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man” (Matthew 15:18). He said the problem is in our hearts; our hearts need to be changed. ​ Psychologists, sociologists and psychiatrists all recognize that there is something wrong with humankind. Many words in Scripture describe it. Among them is the word transgression: “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, KJV). What law? The Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments. Have you ever broken one of those Commandments? Then you are guilty of having broken them all (James 2:10). ​ The word sin carries with it the idea of missing the mark, coming short of our duty, failure to do what we ought to do. The Bible says, “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17, KJV). And yet before we can get to heaven, we must have righteousness. God says, “Be perfect as I am perfect, holy as I am holy” (Matthew 5:48, 1 Peter 1:16). ​ Where are we going to get that perfection? We don’t have it now, yet we can’t get to heaven if we don’t have it. That is why Christ died on the cross; He shed His blood and rose again to provide righteousness for us. ​ Another word is iniquity, which means to turn aside from the straight path. Isaiah said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). The Bible says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin … thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Every person needs a radical change . We need to have our sins forgiven; we need to be clothed in the righteousness of God. To find fulfillment in this life we need to find something to commit ourselves to. Are you a committed person? What are you committed to? Why don’t you make Christ your cause and follow Him? He will never let you down. ​ The New Birth ​ Some people ask the question: What is new birth? Nicodemus asked that question too: “How can a man be born when he is old?” He wanted to understand it. ​ I was born and reared on a dairy farm. How can a black cow eat green grass and produce white milk and yellow butter? I don’t understand that. I might say, “Because I don’t understand it, I’m never going to drink milk again.” And you’d say, “You’re crazy.” ​ I don’t understand it, but I accept it by faith. Nicodemus could see only the physical and the material, but Jesus was talking about the spiritual. ​ How is the new birth accomplished? We cannot inherit new birth. The Bible says that those who are born again “were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). Our fathers and mothers may be the greatest born-again Christians in the world, but that doesn’t make us born-again Christians, too. Many people have the idea that because they were born into a Christian home, they are automatically Christians. They’re not. ​ We cannot work our way to God, either. The Bible says that salvation comes “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). ​ Nor is reformation enough. We can say, “I am going to turn over a new leaf,” or “I am going to make New Year’s resolutions.” But Isaiah said that in the sight of God “all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). ​ Some of us have changed on the outside to conform to certain social standards or behavior that is expected of us in our churches, but down inside we have never been changed. That is what Jesus was talking to Nicodemus about. He said, “Nicodemus, you need changing inside,” and only the Holy Spirit can do that. Being born from above is a supernatural act of God. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin; He disturbs us because we have sinned against God. And then the Holy Spirit regenerates us. That is when we are born again. The Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts to help us in our daily lives. The Spirit of God gives us assurance, gives us joy, produces fruit in our lives and teaches us the Scriptures. ​ Some people try to imitate Christ. They think that all we have to do is try to follow Jesus and try to do the things He did, and we will get into heaven. But we can’t do it. We may know the religious songs. We may even say prayers. But if we haven’t been to the foot of the cross, we haven’t been born again. That is the message Jesus is trying to teach us. To be born again means that “[God] will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4); we have “passed from death into life” (John 5:24). The new birth brings about a change in our philosophy and manner of living. ​ The Mystery ​ There is a mystery to the new birth. Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes” (John 3:8). But you can see the result. Jesus did not attempt to explain the new birth to Nicodemus; our finite minds cannot understand the infinite. We come by simple childlike faith, and we put our faith in Jesus Christ. When we do, we are born again. ​ Are you sure of your salvation? ​ It happens this way. First we have to hear the Word of God. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). That is the first step. “It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). It sounds foolish that words from a Bible have the power to penetrate our hearts and change our lives, but they do, because they are God’s holy words. ​ Then there is the work of the Holy Spirit. He convicts: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). He changes us. He changes our wills, our affections, our objectives for living, our disposition. He gives us a new purpose and new goals. “Old things pass away, and everything becomes new” (Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17). Then He indwells us: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Does God the Holy Spirit live in you? ​ Jesus Christ says that we must be born again. How do we become born again? By repenting of sin. That means we are willing to change our way of living. We say to God, “I’m a sinner, and I’m sorry. ” It’s simple and childlike. Then by faith we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master and Savior. We are willing to follow Him in a new life of obedience, in which the Holy Spirit helps us as we read the Bible and pray and witness. ​ If there is a doubt in your mind about whether you have been born again, I hope you will settle it now, because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Now is the accepted time; … [today] is the day of salvation.” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201 Local: 704-401-2432 Toll Free: 1-877-247-2426 HERE IS A SUGGESTED PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to purchase a place in heaven for me. Lord Jesus, come into my life; take control of my life; forgive my sins and save me. I repent of my sins and now place my trust in you for my salvation. I accept the free gift of eternal life. If this prayer is the sincere desire of your heart, look at what Jesus promises to those who believe in Him. Most assuredly, I say to you ... he who believes in Me has everlasting life. John 6:47 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. John 1:12 WELCOME to God's Family! ​ To return to How Catholics May Know They Go To Heaven page ​ To return to Atheism Web Page ​ To Return To The Real Yeshua-Jesus Return to: L'Chaim - To Life! Page. ​ To Return Menorah Evangelism Tracts ​ To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Is There No God | Menorah Ministries

    Is There No God? Atheism The issue isn’t the existence of God. ​ * If the atheist is wrong and there is a Creator, then he was wrong. He gambled and he lost. No big deal. The real gamble is that there’s no hell. That’s what makes the player sweat just a little. “What if?” is the deep and nagging doubt. He believes it’s worth the excitement of the game. Yet atheism isn’t a mind game; it is intellectual suicide. We know that there are six bullets that aim right into the brain of humanity To be an atheist is to play Russian roulette with all barrels loaded. An atheist can’t win. Of course, he feels and acts like a big player, until the trigger is pulled: 1. Creation. ​ Could you believe that the book you are holding came into being without an author? There was nothing. No paper, no ink. No cardboard. No editor. No author. There was nothing, and then a Big Bang changed everything. Time (the magic ingredient) produced a book with a cover, binding, coherent words, page numbers, and chapters, all in perfect order. Such thoughts are truly insane. You cannot have order without intelligence creating order. And there cannot be an ordered creation without an intelligent Creator. ​ 2. The God-given conscience. All sane people have a conscience. It comes with the package. It is an inbuilt judge in the courtroom of the mind. It makes moral judgments, even when its voice is not wanted, and its voice only addresses that which is moral. It doesn’t speak when my tie doesn’t match my shirt. But it does speak when I steal a tie from a store. Why is that? Where did the conscience come from? Why do all civilizations have the knowledge that it’s wrong to lie, kill, steal, etc.? Our social surroundings may shape the conscience, but they don’t create it. It is the inner light that God has given to every one of us, and it leaves us without excuse for our sin. ​ 3. The unchanging testimony of Holy Scripture. Do what they will to the testimony of Scripture—paint it as an ancient and archaic book, say it is full of mistakes, that it has been changed down through the ages, that it says that the earth is flat—but it remains the unchanging Word of the Living God. It is His Book, and it is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Refuse its wisdom, and you walk in darkness at your own peril. ​ 4. The true and faithful testimony of the genuine Christian. These are not people who believe in God. Rather, they are sinners who have come to know Him. The Christian is called to testify as a witness to the truth. As in a court of law, the judge doesn’t want poetic or flowery speech. He simply wants to hear what the witness has seen and heard. It is then up to the jury to believe or not believe his testimony. The atheist chooses not to believe the testimony of the Christian, and in doing so, accuses him of bearing false witness. But why would a Christian lie? Why would he want to be found a liar, when the Book in which he sincerely believes warns that all liars will be cast into the lake of fire? ​ 5. The witness of Jesus Christ. The True and Faithful Witness, before Whom every knee shall bow. The challenge to any atheist is to read the testimony of Scripture. Any honest skeptic will have no choice but to come to the conclusion that “never a man spoke like this Man.” He claimed to be God in human form. He claimed to have the power to raise all of humanity at the resurrection of the dead, with His lone voice. He claimed to be pre-existent, and that He came down to this earth to do the will of God. To make such claims, He could only have been a simpleton (that doesn’t match His matchless words), a liar (that doesn’t match His impeccable moral teaching), insane (then billions down through the ages have followed the teachings of a madman), or He was who He said He was. ​ 6. The Spirit of Almighty God God watches every thought and every deed and will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or evil. No one will get away with a thing. No murderer will go unpunished. No rapist will get away with rape. Perfect justice will be done. But the justice of Almighty God is so thorough He will see to it that thieves, liars, fornicators, blasphemers, adulterers, and all who have transgressed the moral Law (the Ten Commandments) will get equity—that which is due to them. ​ * 1st page from Ray Comfort’s book, You Can Lead An Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think. ​ ​ To Return To Atheism Web Page To Return To Menorah's Evangelism Tracts To Return To Menorah's Web Page To Go To God Taking Human Form Web Page ​

  • Get Out of Jail Free Card | Menorah Ministries

    Your loving Creator, God, the one that gives you each breath, did not create you for Hell but to live eternally in Heaven! This is the best news a human heart can hear! God himself came to earth to purchase a place in heaven for you… it cost Him his life! ‘The wages of our sin is death (eternal separation from God) but the FREE GIFT from God is eternal life, ‘paid in full’ by Jesus Himself! Romans 6:22-23; 5:8-10; Acts 3:19! Adam and Eve had to leave God’s presence in the Garden of Eden for only one sin. God takes sin very seriously. He gave the 10 Commandments. If you have ever told one lie, the 9th Commandment makes you a liar. Ever stolen one thing, the 8th Commandment makes you a thief. You then have broken two out of ten. Our sin leaves us guilty before a Holy and Righteous God. By repenting of our sin and trusting what HE Jesus did on the Cross to rescue us, we can receive His Free Gift! It is like using your ‘Get out of Hell Free card’, except it was extremely costly for God! Receive God’s Free Gift of Love today, don’t put it off because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Need more information ​ Return to ​ Return To Menorah's Web Page

  • GodTaking Human Form | Menorah Ministries

    Theophany and a Christophany. A Theophany is an appearance of God. A Christophany is a pre-incarnate appearance of Messiah-Christ in the Tanakh-Old Testament. The God of the Tanakh-Old Testament is not and cannot be any different from the God of the New Testament. First let’s look at the Oneness and The Plurality of God. ​ The Tanakh-Old Testament indicates that this one God did not act alone in either creation or redemption. There was Another with Him who, by definition, would have to be a part of this one God. It is easy to find God’s Co-creator in the book of Genesis: ​ Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” . Here He is called “Elohim,” the plural of “El” or “Eloha,” the word for God. Why is the word plural? Critics would say it is “the plural of majesty,” similar to the “editorial we” when a royal person speaks in the plural. But “the plural of majesty” was unknown in Scripture. Furthermore, the plural pronoun is used for God: "Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves” in verse 26. And when God created man in His image, He did not create a single individual, but a family (Adam = mankind) to mirror the divine image. Some argue that God is speaking in the plural with the heavenly court in mind-the angels: “Let us make.” But angels did not “make” man, and man is not made in their image. God also uses the plural pronoun in Genesis 3:22; 11:6-7, and Isaiah 6:8. God appears in the Tanakh-Old Testament in different ways: 1. As an angel of the LORD* Acts 7:30-32 “After forty more years, an angel appeared to him in the desert near Mount Sinai in the flames of a burning thorn bush. When Moses saw this, he was amazed at the sight; and as he approached to get a better look, there came the voice of the LORD, 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' But Moses trembled with fear and didn't dare to look. The angel of the LORD* appeared to him in a fire blazing from the middle of a bush. He looked and saw that although the bush was flaming with fire, yet the bush was not being burned up.” Exodus 3:2 He made Himself lower than Moses in order to speak to him. At the same time He insisted upon His divinity: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” . (v. 5) Was He foreshadowing a future time when He would humble Himself to enter human flesh? When Hagar fled from her mistress, Sarah, The angel of the LORD found her by a spring in the desert,” and appeared to her. But he is also the LORD Himself: “So she named the LordI who had spoken with her El Ro'i [God of seeing],” because she said, "Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?" Genesis 16:7, 13 God told Abraham to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22), but at the crucial moment “the angel of the LORD” called from heaven reversing the command (v. 11). In His second speech He says, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this...I will surely bless you” (vv. 15-17). Once again the LORD’s messenger is identified as the LORD. When Jacob blessed his grandsons, he recognized the Angel as God: “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has led me all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads" . Genesis 48:15-16 Judges 2:1 Now the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bokhim and said, "I brought you up out of Egypt, led you to the land I swore to your fathers and said, 'I will never break my covenant with you.’” During the exodus from Egypt “the angel of God” traveled with Israel in the pillar of cloud, separating Israel from the Egyptians. Exodus 14:19 The next morning it was ”the LORD” who looked down from the cloud and troubled the Egyptians (v. 24). God’s angel, traveling with Israel in the cloud, was the LORD. God tells more about this angel in Exodus 23: “Behold, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him. . . . My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites,” etc. (vv. 20-23). This angel is distinct from God -- he is sent by God. The distinction is further emphasized in God’s pronouncement after the golden calf incident: “I will send an angel before you... but I will not go with you”. Exodus. 33:2-3 But this “angel of the LORD” is also God. Judges 13:20-21 . As the “flame went up toward the sky from the altar, the angel of the LORD went up in the flame from the altar. When Manoach and his wife saw it, they fell to the ground on their faces. Then Manoach realized it had been the angel of the LORD, That they had seen God and lived.” 2. Apparently in physical form . Genesis 3:8 “They heard the voice of the LORD, God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, so the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD, God, among the trees in the garden.” Genesis 18 On one occasion Abraham looked up and saw three men standing by. The text indicates that one was the LORD and the other two were angels. They took on physical bodies, feeling the heat of the day, needing their dusty feet to be washed, and eating an unkosher dinner of veal, bread, curds, and milk. Afterward the LORD walked with Abraham down the dusty road toward Sodom, professing to be on a mission to investigate for Himself whether conditions there were as bad as He had heard. He let Abraham bargain with Him about the fate of the city. Almighty God condescended to come down to earth as a man and dialog with his friend Abraham! Exodus 24:9-11 “Moses, Aaron, Nadav, Avihu and seventy of the leaders went up; and they saw the God of Isra'el. Under his feet was something like a sapphire stone pavement as clear as the sky itself. He did not reach out his hand against these notables of Isra'el; on the contrary, they saw God, even as they were eating and drinking.” In Joshua’s encounter with the LORD outside of Jericho, there are two Persons mentioned. “As commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Joshua 5:14 The commander of the army is presumably second in command to the LORD of the army. But in his instructions to Joshua regarding the conquest of Jericho, this commander of the army himself is called “the LORD.” “And the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have given into your hand Jericho,’” . Joshua 6:22ff So again there is the LORD on earth speaking to Joshua in behalf of the LORD in heaven. 3. In visions and dreams Numbers 12:6-8 He said, "Listen to what I say: when there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. But it isn't that way with my servant Moses. He is the only one who is faithful in my entire household. With him I speak face to face and clearly, not in riddles; he sees the image of the LORD. So why weren't you afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” 4. In a cloud and a column of smoke Exodus 13:21 “the LORD went ahead of them in a column of cloud during the daytime to lead them on their way, and at night in a column of fire to give them light; thus they could travel both by day and by night.” Exodus 14:19-20 “Next, the angel of God, who was going ahead of the camp of Isra'el, moved away and went behind them; and the column of cloud moved away from in front of them and stood behind them. It stationed itself between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Isra'el - there was cloud and darkness here, but light by night there; so that the one did not come near the other all night long.” Exodus 34:5-6 “Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His Name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God....’”. In the Bible God defines Himself by His great acts. He alone is the Creator. For says the LORD, who formed the earth and made it: “I am the LORD, and there is no other” . Isaiah 45:18 Remember …. He alone is the Redeemer. Would God Become a Man? In the Old Testament we have seen God becoming a man. Scripture tells us God will take on humanity before His birth at Bethlehem! Micah 5:2 says: “But you, Bethlehem near Efrat, so small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come forth to me the future ruler of Isra'el, whose origins are far in the past, back in ancient times.” Jesus told His opponents that He had known Abraham, “Abraham, your father, was glad that he would see my day; then he saw it and was overjoyed." "Why, you're not yet fifty years old," the Judeans replied, "and you have seen Abraham?" Yeshua-Jesus said to them, "Yes, indeed! Before Abraham came into being, I AM!" John 8:56-58 Isaiah predicted in explicit terms that God would be born in human flesh. “Therefore the LORD himself will give you people a sign: the young woman [virgin] will become pregnant, bear a son and name him 'Immanu El [God is with us]”. (7:14) Matthew applies this text to Yeshua-Jesus: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means `ADONAI saves,'] because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 The name of this child means God dwelling with humanity -- “God with us.” Isaiah’s prophecy of a child called Emmanuel, then, had a local application of deliverance and judgment, but became a type of a greater Child who would bring salvation to believers and judgment to unbelievers. Isaiah describes this Child as follows: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. Isaiah. 9:6 Isaiah explains what “mighty God” (“El Gibbor” in Hebrew) means, since he is the only one who uses the term. It occurs just a few verses later: “A remnant will return . . . to the mighty God” (10:21)! The term definitely means God Himself. Isaiah goes on to explain the expression “wonderful Counselor” -- “the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel” . (28:29) The other expressions, “Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,” are equally divine. The text continues by saying that His government will have no end. It is indisputable that the passage is referring to God -- the God who would be born as a son to the human race! We have reviewed some Tanakh-Old Testament passages which reveal a second Person called God and Yahweh- hwhy who appeared in ancient times to His people as “the angel of the LORD,” as God in human form, and as God to be born a son to humanity. It is clear that the one God of the Shema includes a second Person whom we know as Yeshua Hamashiakh, Jesus Christ. "Sh'ma, Yisra'el! The LORD Eloheinu, The LORD echad [Hear, Isra'el! The LORD our God, The LORD is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4 The Shema itself tells us that there are two divine Persons, “The LORD our God” and “the LORD”? The Shema tells us that these two are one? The Hebrew word one (echad) is related to the verb yachad which means to unite. God, here, is a unity of two Beings in one. Two because God is love and love cannot exist alone. One because love unites Them in character, mind, and purpose. Clearly the plurality of God is visible and seen as a united single being. What difference does it make if Jesus is God or not? And how could He be God when the Bible says “The LORD our God, the LORD is one” ? Deuteronomy 6:4 If we believe that the Father, Son, and also the Holy Spirit are God, do we then worship three Gods? No, the Godhead is a unity of three Persons who are one in character and purpose, cemented together by love. Out of this love relationship all things animate and inanimate were created. Three gods would have to be lesser, rival gods, competing with each other for dominance. Their massive conflicts, as described in heathen pantheons, would place the whole cosmos in jeopardy. The security of the universe depends on the unity of the Godhead. See: trinity.html But why must Jesus be God? Why couldn’t God create a savior to redeem us? First, because the task was so huge that only God could accomplish it. “I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior”. Isaiah 43:11 Only the Creator Himself has power to re-create human beings in His image. Second, a created being has only one life to give. His life would not have sufficient value to redeem the millions of lost humanity. Only the life of the Creator Himself had sufficient value to redeem His creation. Third, only one equal with the Torah-law could meet the demands of the law. The law is an expression of the character of God and His instructions. Only God could satisfy His own requirements. Fourth, God was not willing to send a substitute. He would not stand aside and watch someone else suffer to vindicate His name. He chose to become personally involved in the struggle to save His lost family. Philippians 2:5-11 How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. ​ For More Information: Return to Who Is Yeshua-Jesus Page Return to Biblical-Traditional Jewish Feasts Page Return to Menorah's Web Page

  • HowaCatholicMayKnowTheyGoToHeavenSpanish | Menorah Ministries

    Cómo un católico puede SABER que irá al cielo cuando muera Por Albert H. Monacelli How a Catholic may KNOW that He will go to Heaven when He dies (Spanish) Mi esposa Jane murió en 1978. Ella nació una católica romana y se murió así. Unos meses antes de su muerte ocurrió algo en su vida que le aseguró que cuando dejó este mundo irá inmediatamente en la presencia bienvenida de Jesúcristo. Como resultado, salió de este mundo en gran paz. Y fui tan determinado como ella de su destino. Se espera que, después de leer este testimonio, el lector mueva a beneficiarse de la experiencia de Jane. Hacía unos pocos años que un obispo católico murió del cáncer terminal. Cada día por varios meses, su chofer lo conducía acerca de su diócesis. Después de la muerte del obispo, una declaración del chofer apareció en la prensa que parecía bastante significante. Dijo que durante su enfermedad el obispo era constantemente preocupado de lo que le sucedería a él después de su muerte. Confía en que Dios recordara que había dedicado toda su vida a Su servicio. El obispo, obviamente, no estaba seguro su destino eterno. Recuerdo de una declaración que se me la dijo un día por un sacerdote católico. Dijo que él estaría satisfecho a meterse a duras penas en el Purgatorio cuando muriera y trabajar duramente desde allí hacia el cielo, presumiblemente por el sufrimiento. Me pregunto por cúan sorprendido ese sacerdote podría estar un día para descubrir que no hay ningún Purgatorio excepto en la tradición provocada por el hombre. No se menciona del Purgatorio en la Biblia. Lo que dice la Biblia al Purgatorio es el siguiente: “Y de la manera que está establecido á los hombres que mueran una vez, y después el juicio” (Hebreos 9:27). Entonces sería o en la victoria o en la derrota. No va a ser “prórroga” como en el baloncesto. Se empezó a usar el término “purgatorio” en el 6 de marzo de 1254 por el Papa Inocencio IV en una carta a la delegación apostólica en Grecia, doce siglos después de la muerte de Jesúcristo y sus apóstoles. No hay nada en la Biblia, la palabra de Dios, que dice que un hombre puede mejorar su condición espiritual después de la muerte ni por el sufrimiento en otro lugar ni por la oración y la intercesión de otros ni por cualquier otro método. Podemos creer que si estas cosas eran posibles la Biblia no sería tan silenciosa con respecto a ellas. Después de todo, la Biblia es la palabra inspirada de Dios escrita para nuestra instrucción, la amonestación y el consuelo. Es el pleno registro de los tratos de Dios con la humanidad y podemos estar muy seguros de que no omite nada importante. Verdaderamente cualquier precepto no enunciado en la Biblia, especialmente si no está aún mencionado, no es nada más que una regulación creada por el hombre o una tradición humana. También Jesúcristo tenía un punto negativo de vista de las regulaciones y tradiciones humanas (Mateo 15:7, 9; Marcos 7:13; Colosenses 2:8). Es digno de mencionar que la noticia antes mencionada se apareció en el periódico diocesano del obispo. Parece indicaruna prevalencia de temor e incertidumbre con respecto a la muerte. ¡No debe ser! La Biblia habla frecuente y claramente en cuanto a la salvación y la vida eterna y cómo se puede obtenerlas aquí en la tierra. Se puede morir en esta vida sabiendo que está con destino al cielo. Las Sagradas Escrituras son la Voz de Dios por escrito y la Iglesia católica las reconoce así. Así que, en 1965 cuando se ensamblaron todos los obispos juntos en el Consejo de Vaticano II, lanzaron una Constitución dogmática sobre la revelación divina que contiene lo siguiente: “la palabra de Dios es la Sagrada Escritura” y declaró que todas las partes de la Biblia, “tienen Dios como su autor.” En 1943, el Papa Pío XII en su encíclica Espíritu Divino de Afflante, hablando de la Biblia, dijo que “los fieles....tienen un deber serio de usar con una actitud piadosa de este tesoro.” La iglesia decía que se obligaran los católicos a leer la palabra de Dios, como a se le refiere la Biblia. Anteriormente el Papa Benedicto XV dijo, “la responsabilidad de nuestra oficina apostó impulsa a promover el estudio de la Sagrada escritura... deberemos...nunca desistir de exhortar a los fieles para leer diariamente los evangelios, las leyes y las epístolas, a fin de reunir allí alimentos para sus ignorancia de la Biblia significa la ignorancia de Cristo.” El Evangelio de San Lucas, capítulo 11, versículo 52, dice el siguiente: “¡Ay de vosotros, doctores de la ley! que habéis quitado la llave de la ciencia; vosotros mismos no entrasteis, y á los que entraban impedisteis.” ¿Por qué, entonces, tales exhortaciones papales a leer la Biblia no llegan hacia abajo a la tropa y evidentemente no tienen ningún impacto en los seminarios? Al parecer no viajan a continuación desde el obispo. Cuando me interesé en la Biblia en 1976 y fui a mi pastor por una consulta, tiró la toalla y dijo, “yo no puedo ayudarle. No nos enseñó la Biblia en el seminario.” Me sorpresó mucho. Nadie le enseñó al pastor del rebaño la palabra de Dios. Pero Jesús dijo “Que no con pan solo vivirá el hombre, mas con toda palabra de Dios” (Lucas 4:4). Cuando yo hablaba con una paciente en un asilo de ancianos en Fort Lauderdale desde hacía unos pocos años, empecé una conversación con una mujer visitando a otro paciente en la cama siguiente. Ella era una mujer inteligente y tenía cerca de 40 años. Me encontré a pedirle si ella lee la Biblia. Siguió la indignación instantánea y con un toque de ira en su voz dijo, “¡yo soy católica! ¡No leo la Biblia!" Lloró mi espíritu. Con mi experiencia católica estaba seguro de que la mujer hablaba por parte de millones de católicos. Pero permítame continuar otra vez mi historia personal. En 1969, me jubilé de una firma de abogados en la ciudad de Nueva York, y me mudé a Florida para comenzar una vida de ocio y relajación. Un año después, mientras que nosotros visitábamos en Washington, D.C., me di cuenta que mi vida necesitaba una nueva dirección y que sin un cambio significativo yo estaba en camino al infierno. Me conmovió la experiencia tanto que me fui inmediatamente a la confesión para saldar cuentas con Dios. Y en aquella ocasión, como en la mejor manera que sabía, he intentado entregar mi vida a El con un compromiso real del corazón. De hecho he prometido a Dios que iría a misa y comulgar cada día el resto de mi vida. Y para unos seis años lo hice así fielmente, siete días a la semana, generalmente cumpliendo la misa como un acólito. En los años siguientes de este compromiso renovado pasé gran parte de mi tiempo estudiando teología católica, liturgia, las vidas de Santos, etc., guiado por listas obtenidas de seminarios de lectura. Pero éstas me no llevaron más cerca de conocer a Dios. De hecho, el estudio sólo me frustró la búsqueda de la verdadera importancia de lo que se necesita para cambiar mi vida. En 1976 me puse interesado en la Biblia por la primera vez. Mi estudio inicial de la Biblia empezó a abrirme los ojos. Comencé a entender el sentido de Jesúcristo cuando le dijo a Nicodemo que tenemos que nacer de nuevo y lo que es nacido de la carne, carne es; y lo que es nacido del Espíritu (Santo), espíritu es. (Juan 3:6). Fue en este momento, habiendo entendido la verdad de Dios por primera vez, que le había entregado mi vida a El. La Biblia dice que esta decisión me hizo una nueva criatura en Cristo...De modo que si alguno está en Cristo, nueva criatura es: las cosas viejas pasaron; he aquí todas son hechas nuevas (2 Corintios 5:17). Me acontecí a Dios como mi padre. Vine destinado para el cielo según las escrituras. También he descubierto cómo muy simple y seguro es alcanzar la vida eterna mientras que se vive en la tierra, y que es un regalo de Dios. Jesús la compró para nosotros cuando murió en la cruz. La Biblia afirma esta verdad en Efesios 2:8-9: Porque por gracia sois salvos por la fe; y esto no de vosotros, pues es don de Dios: no por obras, para que nadie se gloríe. John L. McKenzie, S.J., quizás uno de los eruditos bíblicos más hábiles del catolicismo estadounidense, en su diccionario de la Biblia, lo dice así: “Es un principio de teología del Nuevo Testamento que las obras del hombre son totalmente ineficaces para lograr la rectitud que guarda” (página 942). Lo que nos dicen la palabra de Dios y el padre McKenzie es que las cosas que hacemos (asistir la Iglesia, la confesión, la comunión, la oración) son obras, y que nuestras obras nunca se suponen a traernos a Dios ni tampoco llevarnos al cielo. Tal vez mi descubrimiento más interesante fue que la Biblia nos asegura de nuestra salvación de aquí y de ahora. Como el apóstol Juan dice en su primera epístola: Estas cosas he escrito á vosotros que creéis en el nombre del Hijo de Dios, para que sepáis que tenéis vida eterna, y para que creáis en el nombre del Hijo de Dios. (1 Juan 5:13). Este versículo claramente nos da la garantía. Jane siempre ha sido meticulosamente una católica leal. Nunca falló una misa en los domingos ni días santos de obligación. Confesaba y comunicaba a menudo, leía de su libro de oraciones cada día para sus familiares y amigos difuntos. Ella nunca dudaba de lo que aprendió desde la cuna: que la iglesia católica era la verdadera iglesia. En los últimos tres años de su vida, Jane fue parcialmente paralizada y postrada en la cama. Con frecuencia en la mañana veíamos el “700 Club” juntos delante de la televisión, y en varias ocasiones recitábamos la oración de salvación con Pat Robertson, el presentador. La Biblia nos dice que si un individuo reza la oración de su corazón y confiesa que cree y ha aceptado a Jesúcristo como su Señor, es renacido espiritualmente. El es “nacido otra vez.” La experiencia se conoce comúnmente como el nuevo nacimiento. Hasta ese momento, no se considera a un cristiano por normas bíblicas. No importa cuantas veces se asiste la Iglesia ni cuantas obras buenas se hacen. Jane repetía la oración de salvación, pero parecía reticente o no podía declarar que ella había aceptado a Jesús como su Señor. Dios da la fe para creer, pero El también requiere de cada uno de nosotros responda con una respuesta positiva a su oferta y se realice por declarar a Jesúcristo como su Señor. Presumiblemente temía que ella pudiera ser tomada a sí misma de la Iglesia Católica. Un día se determinó a hacer la declaración a su hijo la próxima vez que le llamara. Para ayudarle, escribí a una declaración simple de fe y cuando le llamó su hijo yo puse el documento en su regazo. Sin ninguna explicación previa, ella soltó, “He aceptado a Jesúcristo en mi corazón como mi Señor.” E inmediatamente ella comenzó a llorar. Después de unos minutos, le dijo, “yo no puedo hablar más porque yo estoy llorando” y colgó. Esa declaración simple de su nueva fe le había tan conmovido hasta las lágrimas que ella no pudo continuar su conversación. La mayoría de los católicos creen que merecen la salvación o el favor de Dios cuando reciben el bautismo o confirmación. Como los otros niños católicos Jane fue bautizada y confirmada, pero no crearon obviamente en una regeneración de su corazón. Tenía que seguir en el camino bíblico en cuanto a la salvación y cuando lo hizo, sabía que ella había experimentado el nuevo nacimiento. Es la palabra de Dios, fue testiguado por el Espíritu Santo, que aseguró su aceptación de Dios a través de Jesúcristo; y, como resultado, irá al cielo. La necesidad absoluta del nuevo nacimiento está fuera de duda. Cristo dijo en los versículos 3-7 del capítulo 3 del Evangelio de Juan: Respondió Jesús, y díjole: De cierto, de cierto te digo, que el que no naciere otra vez, no puede ver el reino de Dios. Dícele Nicodemo: ¿Cómo puede el hombre nacer siendo viejo? ¿puede entrar otra vez en el vientre de su madre, y nacer? Respondió Jesús: De cierto, de cierto te digo, que el que no naciere de agua y del Espíritu, no puede entrar en el reino de Dios. Lo que es nacido de la carne, carne es; y lo que es nacido del Espíritu, espíritu es. No te maravilles de que te dije: Os es necesario nacer otra vez. La declaración de Cristo es clara. Es incondicional. No admite ninguna excepción ni modificación. Interponer alternativa es significar que Jesús no quisiera decir lo que dijo y era necesario que los hombres le corrigieran a él. Cualquiera iglesia que no enseña el nuevo nacimiento (considerado tan vital en el Nuevo Testamento) lidera a su pueblo en la condenación eterna. Jesús avisó contra…Invalidando la palabra de Dios con vuestra tradición (leyes y reglas hechas por la iglesia) (Marcos 7:13). También dijo que cualquiera que se enseña de las doctrinas de los mandamientos de los hombres es hipócrita y le adora en vano (Mateo 15:7, 9). Lo absurdo es la manipulación con la palabra de Dios. En Isaías 40:8 el Espíritu Santo se trasladó al profeta para decir la palabra del Dios nuestro permanece para siempre. Y Jesúcristo dijo que el cielo y la tierra pasarán, mas mis palabras no pasarán (Mateo 24:35). ¡Cúan carente de sabiduría, cúan tonto, cúan trágico, de rechazar la forma segura de Dios cuando la vida eterna es en juego! El método de salvación se establece en Romanos 10:9-10: Que si confesares con tu boca al Señor Jesús, y creyeres en tu corazón que Dios le levantó de los muertos, serás salvo. Porque con el corazón se cree para justicia; mas con la boca se hace confesión para salud. Cúan simple y fácilmente Dios nos ha facilitado la salvación. Cúan trágico que tan pocos enseñaban a aprovecharse de él. ¿Cómo obtenemos la vida eterna? Por creer en Cristo. Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado á su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna (Juan 3: 16). Pero ¿qué significa el Nuevo Testamento por “creer”? Significa algo más que el mero asentimiento mental, más de la boquilla. Se cree en el corazón sin duda, y se debe actuar en tal creencia por confiar en Dios para la salvación. La fe es actuar en la creencia intelectual y confiar en Cristo como su Salvador. Como el profesor difunto de la Biblia E.W. Kenyon dijo: “el creer exige la acción y crea la acción. El asentimiento mental admira, admite, pero no actúa.” Si la programación de la aerolínea dice que su vuelo va a Tulsa, no tendrá ninguna duda al respecto. Cree Vd. en su corazón, tiene fe en la programación y actúa en esa fe por embarcar en el avión. Por lo tanto, se tiene que hacer más que sólo creer en la mente. Se debe de confiar en Cristo. Jesús dijo (Juan 16:7-9) que después de su muerte, el Espíritu Santo condenaría o convencería al mundo de tres cosas, y una era el “pecado.” ¿Cúal pecado? El pecado de no creer en Jesús. Según la palabra de Dios, es el pecado de la incredulidad en Cristo que envía al hombre al infierno. Por tan buena y ejemplar que sea la vida de un hombre, no puede alcanzar al cielo si él no hace a Jesúcristo el Señor de su vida. Que siempre recordemos una verdad fundamental y de suma importancia: el cristianismo es una creencia en Cristo y es un compromiso a Cristo. No es una iglesia ni es un credo ni es una religión. La religión se refiere a los actos hacia afuera y formas de culto. El cristianismo es un modo de vivir. Es conocer a Jesúcristo y tener un encuentro personal y una relación con él. El es la única manera al cielo. La Biblia dice que él es el único mediador entre Dios y el hombre (1 Timoteo 2:5). Nadie, ni de un Santo, puede realizar este papel. Jesús lo hizo claro cuando dijo, Yo soy el camino, y la verdad, y la vida: nadie viene al Padre, sino por mí. (John 14:6). Si su iglesia no enseña el nuevo nacimiento enunciado por Jesús mismo, parece ser que le incumbe como un ser humano racional para examinar las escrituras por sí mismo. Está muy claro que el bautismo y la confirmación por sí mismos no constituyen el renacimiento espiritual. Si Vd. no le ha cometido su vida a Cristo por creer en él y confesarle como Señor, los rituales no tienen sentido verdadero. Qué diferencia hace cuando Jesús entra en la vida, como tantos pueden testificar. En algunos casos, uno de los esposos ha observado un cambio en el otro y consecuentemente quiere tener lo que el otro tiene. Vidas vacías han sido llenadas. Muchos han descubierto que el alcohol, los toxicómanos, y la búsqueda de éxito mundano no traen ninguna satisfacción duradera. Jesús ha sido llamado la respuesta a todos los problemas. De hecho se puede decir con seguridad que no hay ninguna hombre ni mujer que vive que no ha experimentado una vaciedad que sólo Jesús puede llenar. ¿Está Vd. tentado a pensar que no es suficientemente malo para ir al infierno? Ese es uno de los pensamientos más inteligentes y engañosos que el diablo ha plantado en la mente humana. Pero la Biblia suministra la respuesta correcta. Jesús dijo que él no nos juzgará en el último día, sino su palabra. En pocas palabras, si desobedecemos su precepto que nos debemos de nacer de nuevo, no habrá ninguna necesidad de que él nos juzgue. Su palabra nos juzga y la sentencia va a ser automática. Nos enviaríamos a nosotros mismos al infierno. Leer a Juan 12:48. Que recordemos la advertencia de Jesús que está estrecha es la puerta, y angosto el camino que lleva á la vida, y pocos son los que la hallan (Mateo 7:14). ¿No se consternaría a averiguar que su propia Iglesia no enseña la doctrina de salvación que Jesúcristo mismo dijo que era una necesidad absoluta? ¿Y lo mismo ante las advertencias en la palabra de Dios como ésta: ¿Cómo escaparemos nosotros, si tuviéremos en poco una salud tan grande? La cual, habiendo comenzado á ser publicada por el Señor, ha sido confirmada hasta nosotros por los que oyeron; testificando juntamente con ellos Dios, con señales y milagros, y diversas maravillas, y repartimientos del Espíritu Santo según su voluntad (Hebreos 2:3-4)? Puede haber alguna duda que estemos flirteando con la muerte eterna cuando nos negamos a preferir la palabra de Dios sobre la de los hombres, especialmente en cuanto a una doctrina tan importante como el mismo mensaje del evangelio que Jesúcristo enseñó. ¿Cuando Dios nos dirige tan claramente, atrevemos a seguir cualquier otro? Las escrituras que preceden no son las palabras ni de un hombre ni de una iglesia. El autor es Dios. Por lo demás, la lectura de este folleto es advertencia amplia a usted, si fuera necesario. Usted no puede ser considerado a ser ignorante en cuanto a este asunto. Antes de Vd. se han fijado las escrituras pertinentes. Seguramente Vd. no permitirá que la tradición bíblica, le lleve al infierno. ¿En cualquier caso, cúal posibilidad tiene que perder por atender la palabra de Dios y hacer que Jesús sea el Señor de su vida? Permíteme hacer una pausa aquí para hacerle dos preguntas importantes: 1. ¿Ha llegado Vd. al lugar en tu vida espiritual donde puede decir que sabe con certidumbre que si muriera hoy, iría al cielo? 2. Supongamos que Vd. fuera a morir hoy y se presentaría antes de Dios y él fuera a preguntarle, “¿por qué debo permitir que entre Vd. en mi cielo?” ¿Qué diría Vd.? ¿Cómo respondió Vd. a estas preguntas? ¿Especialmente a la segunda pregunta? ¿Qué diría Vd. si Dios le preguntara? Si no está seguro de su respuesta o le gustaría hacer una confesión sincera de su propio pecado, cesa de lo que está haciendo, pida al Señor que le perdone y El le conceda su regalo de la vida eterna. Le invito a orar a Dios con estas palabras: “Dios, tu Palabra (Romanos 10:13) dice que todo aquel que invocare el nombre del Señor, será salvo. En conformidad, ahora te clamo en el nombre de Jesús como mi Señor y Salvador. Tu Palabra dice: que si confesares con tu boca al Señor Jesús, y creyeres en tu corazón que Dios le levantó de los muertos, serás salvo. Porque con el corazón se cree para justicia; mas con la boca se hace confesión para salud (Romanos 10: 9-10). Creo en mi corazón que Jesúcristo es el hijo de Dios y que él murió en la cruz por mis pecados y fue enterrado. Creo en mi corazón que al tercer día Dios lo resucitó de entre los muertos para mi justificación. Querido Dios, me arrepiento de todos mis pecados, y pido tu perdón en nombre de Jesús. Y, aquí y ahora, recibo y reconozco a Jesús como mi Salvador personal, y pido que él entre en mi corazón y sea el Señor de mi vida. Amen. Si Vd. acaba de orar al Señor y fue sincero en su confesión de su pecado y el deseo de que Jesús sea su Salvador y Señor, acaba de dar el paso más importante en su vida. Sin embargo, este primer paso tiene que ser seguido por otros pasos. Dios quiere que crezca en su andar con él. Lo que usted acaba de hacer significa que hubo nacido de nuevo, un evento que nunca se repite. Sin embargo, su crecimiento espiritual es un proceso—el proceso de convertirse en la persona que Dios ha diseñado que sea. Su madurez espiritual continúa hasta que se forme plenamente en Jesúcristo. Pablo escribió (Filipenses 2:12) que estamos ocupándonos en [nuestra] salvación con temor y temblor. No estaba hablando sobre cómo se entra en el Reino de Dios por buenas obras. La Biblia nunca nos dice por buenas obras que podemos trabajar de nuestra manera en las buenas gracias de Dios. Habla sobre el proceso a través del cual cada uno de nosotros se mueve mientras que crecemos en Cristo. Hay varios pasos básicos que se debe seguir para crecer como un cristiano. 1) Orar diariamente y orar regularmente. Esto va a ser la expresión más básica de su vida, una conversación con su padre celestial. No sería natural en primer lugar, sino que se pondrá más fácil cuando Vd. se haga una parte de su vida. 2) La lectura de la Biblia. Esto va de mano en mano con sus tiempos de oración personal. La lectura de la Biblia es absolutamente fundamental para nuestras vidas. Por cuanto como la medida en que es la palabra de Dios, sabemos que mediante de la lectura de la palabra de Dios nuestra fe en él va creciendo y, en el tiempo, estableciendo el estándar para nuestras vidas. Sólo podrá conocer de la voluntad de Dios para su vida mediante la lectura de su palabra. 3) Los pasos uno y dos no tendrá ningún significado a menos que empiece a poner en práctica esas cosas que pertenecen a lo que le habla el Señor a usted. Se utiliza el término "en Cristo" 87 veces en el Nuevo Testamento. ¿Por qué ha aparecido tan menudo? Los escritores de la Biblia nos dicen que, para estar en Cristo, significa esencialmente “estar” con él, caminar con él y quizás más importante aún, obedecerle. Una vida de obediencia a él asegura nuestro crecimiento como un cristiano. Jesús lo ha dicho las palabras siguientes, si me amáis, guardad mis mandamientos (Juan 14:15). 4) Los tres pasos descritos anteriormente comenzará a producir algo más. Si Vd. es fiel a todo en rezar, leer su Biblia y obedecer las palabras de nuestro Señor, su vida comenzará a reflejar la vida de Jesús, el Salvador y Señor. En Juan 15:1 Jesús se refiere a sí mismo como la vid y los que le siguen como las ramas. Si nos quedamos adjuntos daremos frutos y nuestras vidas serán un testimonio a los que nos ven y nos conocen. Se debe agregar otra palabra aquí. Tan importante como dar testimonio al Señor a través de sus acciones y el comportamiento, también necesita reforzar ese testigo con su conversación. Se puede interpretar mal fácilmente las acciones. Hablar de Jesús debe venir tan naturalmente como contarles a otros sobre la persona que le ama. Dios le dará las palabras adecuadas y le dirigirá a las personas adecuadas como usted le compromete. Finalmente, si está serio de creer en Dios e identificar de sí mismo como su seguidor, tendrá que comenzar una de las partes más difíciles de la vida cristiana: confiar en Dios para todos los detalles de su vida. Esto va a ser un gran quehacer porque hasta ahora ha confiado en casi todo el mundo, incluso a si mismo, pero no el Señor. La Biblia está llena de ilustraciones de personas que se confiaban (o se faltan de confiar) en Dios con sus vidas. Esto no significa que usted pone su mente en punto muerto y nunca piensa por sí mismo sino significa que ya ha puesto su vida en las manos de su creador, es necesario vivir ese compromiso diariamente por confiar en él con su vida y todos sus detalles. La Biblia contiene muchos ejemplos de cómo Dios bendice y ayuda a los que confían en Él y que obedecen sus mandamientos. Mientras no se gana la vida eterna a través de la obediencia, le placemos y le honramos a Dios por la vida según su palabra. El crecimiento y la obediencia son socios perfectos en la experiencia de maduración espiritual. Estos son los pasos básicos que se debe tomar para empezar a crecer como un cristiano. Hay mucho que aprender y mucho que disfrutar como iniciar su vida nueva en Cristo. Sin embargo, su crecimiento supone casi que otros cristianos le ayudarán a crecer. Estamos hablando de los que le conocen y aman a Jesúcristo, y ellos mismos crecen. Dios se hizo claro que necesitamos a otros creyentes que nos ayuden a madurar. Si no tiene tales amigos, necesita encontrar a uno. Si no tiene ni un amigo así, pida al Señor para ayudarle y empiece Vd. a buscar. Dios contesta las oraciones. Que Dios le bendiga ricamente. EL PRÓLOGO DEL EVANGELIO DE JUAN En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios. Este era en el principio con Dios. Todas las cosas por él fueron hechas; y sin él nada de lo que es hecho, fué hecho. En él estaba la vida, y la vida era la luz de los hombres. Y la luz en las tinieblas resplandece; mas las tinieblas no la comprendieron. Fué un hombre enviado de Dios, el cual se llamaba Juan. Este vino por testimonio, para que diese testimonio de la luz, para que todos creyesen por él. No era él la luz, sino para que diese testimonio de la luz. Aquel era la luz verdadera, que alumbra á todo hombre que viene á este mundo. En el mundo estaba, y el mundo fué hecho por él; y el mundo no le conoció. A lo suyo vino, y los suyos no le recibieron. Mas á todos los que le recibieron, dióles potestad de ser hechos hijos de Dios, á los que creen en su nombre: Los cuales no son engendrados de sangre, ni de voluntad de carne, ni de voluntad de varón, mas de Dios. Y aquel Verbo fué hecho carne, y habitó entre nosotros (y vimos su gloria, gloria como del unigénito del Padre), lleno de gracia y de verdad. Sobre el autor: El Sr. Monacelli ejerció la abogacía en Nueva York hasta 1969, cuando se jubiló y se mudó a Florida. Ahora vive en Nueva Jersey. Posee títulos de la Universidad del Notre Dame y de la escuela de derecho de la Universidad de Georgetown. Sirvió dos términos como el Presidente de la Asociación de Notre Dame. Evangelism Explosion International, Inc. P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33307 Menorá -Los ministerios de Menorá - Teléfono: 303-355-2009 fax: 303-339-0365 Correo electrónico: página: L’Chaim - para la vida!

  • Resurrection of Jesus | Menorah Ministries

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  • Is Jesus the Father & Holy Spirit | Menorah Ministries

    Is Jesus the Father and the Holy Spirit? “Jesus Only-Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit” ????? Modalism first surfaced in the third century in the writings of Sabella's and Paul of Samosata. This heretical view denies there are three distinct persons in God, claiming instead there is only one being who manifests Himself in three different modes. Modern Oneness Pentecostals garner support for their modalistic view by interpreting Matthew28:19 in conjunction with Acts 2:38. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus instructed the disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (emphasis added).1 In Acts 2:38, however, Peter instructed his listeners: “Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (emphasis added). Oneness Pentecostals2 conclude that Jesus Himself must be the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, because they claim that “Jesus” is the “one name that refers to three titles of one God.”3 They then assert that the apostles correctly fulfilled Christ’s command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19) by baptizing converts in the name of Jesus only (Acts 2:38;8:16;10:48); hence, a Trinitarian baptism is invalid. The phrase “in the name of Jesus” must be pronounced over the person being baptized. It is difficult to know where to begin in evaluating Oneness Pentecostal hermeneutics. It is certainly not like looking through a telescope at a single hermeneutic problem, but more like looking into a kaleidoscope, for there are many interrelated hermeneutic problems that, when combined, only serve to distort biblical Christianity (2 Pet.3:16). In what follows, I demonstrate that Oneness Pentecostals are “serial offenders” where it concerns violating some of the fundamental rules of hermeneutics. Holding Illegitimate Preunderstandings. A theological “preunderstanding” is a doctrinal opinion one has previously formed. The danger for Bible interpreters is that their interpretations easily can be biased by their theological preunderstandings. Oneness Pentecostals unfortunately approach the whole of Scripture with the preunderstanding of the Oneness doctrine, and it distorts their view of many Scripture verses, including Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38. The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy provides this helpful corrective: “We affirm that any preunderstandings which the interpreter brings to Scripture should be in harmony with scriptural teaching and subject to correction by it. We deny that Scripture should be required to fit alien preunderstandings, inconsistent with itself.”4 The point of this affirmation is to avoid interpreting Scripture through an alien grid or filter that obscures or negates its true message. To avoid misinterpreting Scripture, interpreters must be careful to examine their presuppositions in the light of Scripture. Only those preunderstandings that are compatible with Scripture are legitimate. Inappropriately Cross-Referencing Verses. It is inappropriate to draw theological conclusions from cross-referenced verses without giving due consideration to what other explicit and clear verses reveal on the matter. For example, Isaiah 14:12 identifies Lucifer as the “morning star.” Revelation 22:16 identifies Jesus as the “morning star.” Ignoring other relevant verses, one inappropriately could conclude that Jesus is the Devil. Oneness Pentecostals are guilty of inappropriate cross-referencing in their treatment of Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38. One must recognize that the theological inferences one draws from comparing cross references are legitimate only to the extent that they reflect the teachings of explicit and clear Scripture verses on the matter.5 This is precisely where Oneness Pentecostals go wrong. Not Interpreting Difficult Verses in Light of Clear Verses. It is common sense that one must interpret difficult verses in light of the clear verses of Scripture. Martin Luther expressed this principle with the words, Scriptura sui ipsius interpres—Latin for “Scripture is its own expositor.” The Westminster Confession of Faith perhaps put it best: “When there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture… it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.”6 Contrary to the Oneness preunderstanding of modalism, many clear Scripture verses indicate that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct persons. We know the Father is a person because He engages in I-Thou (direct, interpersonal, mutual, reciprocal, and loving)7 relations with the other persons in the Trinity (John 3:35), and has the attributes of personality: intellect (Matt. 6:8), emotions (Gen. 6:6; Ps. 86:15), and will (Matt. 12:50). The Son likewise engages in I-Thou relations (John 11:41-42), and possesses intellect (John 2:24–25), emotions (Matt. 9:36; John 11:35), and will (Luke 22:42). The Holy Spirit also engages in I-Thou relations (Acts 8:29), and possesses intellect (Rom. 8:27; 1Cor. 2:10–11), emotions (Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30), and will (1Cor. 12:11). Scripture, moreover, affirms that these persons are distinct from each other. We know Jesus is not the Father because the Father sent the Son (John 3:16–17). The Father and Son love each other (John 3:35) and speak to each other (John 11:41–42). The Father knows the Son and the Son knows the Father (Matt. 11:27). Jesus is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). They are two distinct witnesses (John 5:31,32,37). We also know Jesus is not the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is another comforter (John 14:16). Jesus sent the Holy Spirit (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus (Luke 3:22) and seeks to glorify Jesus (John 16:13–14). What all this means is that however one reconciles Matthew 28:19 with Acts 2:38, it is not an option to say Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for clear verses in Scripture render such a view impossible. As the Reformers put it in their principle, analogia scriptura, if an interpretation of a particular verse contradicts a truth taught elsewhere in Scripture, the interpretation of that verse cannot be correct. Ignoring Context. In the broader context of the New Testament, Jesus considers the Father as someone other than Himself hundreds of times. In fact, the New Testament describes the Father and Son as distinct from each other within the very same verse dozens of times (e.g., Rom. 15:6; 2 Cor. 1:4; Gal. 1:2, 3).8 This broad context alone sets the interpretive parameters beyond which one is not free to go, effectively prohibiting anyone from claiming that Jesus is the Father. In terms of immediate context, Matthew’s gospel is solidly Trinitarian. There is one God (Matt. 4:10;16:16;22:32,37). The Father is God (6:6,9,14–15;10:32–33;11:25), Jesus is God (1:23;9:6;11:27;12:8;16:27;19:28;25:31;26:64), and the Holy Spirit is God (1:18,20;10:20;12:18,28,32). Within the unity of the one God are three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (28:19). All three persons of the Trinity, moreover, were present (and distinct from each other) at Jesus’ baptism (3:16–17). In view of this, it makes good sense that Jesus, before ascending into heaven, would instruct the disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for each played a pivotal role in human salvation. The context of Acts 2 is different. Here, baptism “in the name of Jesus” makes good sense because the Jews—“men of Judea” (v.14), “men of Israel” (v.22)—to whom Peter was preaching had rejected Christ as the Messiah. It is logical that Peter would call on them to repent of their rejection of Jesus the Messiah (vv.22–37) then invite them to identify with Him publicly via baptism (v.38). Using Faulty Exegesis. Proper exegesis of Matthew 28:19 reveals two pivotal facts about the nature of God: (1) The singular form of “name” indicates that God is one, and that His nature is singular (one divine essence); and (2) Within the unity of this one God are three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, something given strong emphasis in the original Greek with the three recurring definite articles before Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.9 Word studies also reveal that the phrase “in the name of” often meant “by the authority of” in biblical times. Acts2:38 thus indicates that the Jews to whom Peter was speaking were to be baptized according to the authority of Jesus. The verse does not mean that the words “in the name of Jesus” must be pronounced liturgically over each person being baptized. If Acts 2:38 were intended to be a precise baptismal formula, one must ask why this formula is never repeated in exactly the same way throughout the rest of Acts or the New Testament. In different verses, people are exhorted to be baptized “on [Greek: epi] the name of…” (Acts2 :38), “into [Greek: eis] the name of…” (Acts 8:16), or “in [Greek: en] the name of…” Jesus Christ (Acts 10:48). Such variations militate against an unbending baptismal formula. It is entirely possible that being baptized in the authority of Jesus essentially amounts to being baptized by the baptism authorized by Jesus—one in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). A.T. Robertson comments: “In Acts the full name of the Trinity does not occur in baptism as in Matthew 28:19, but this does not show that it was not used. The name of Jesus Christ is the distinctive one in Christian baptism and really involves the Father and the Spirit.”10 In keeping with this, some scholars have suggested that Acts 2:38 may contain what is called asynecdoche of the part—a figure of speech in which the part stands for the whole. Such figures of speech were common in biblical times. For example, the term face can refer to a whole person (1 Kings 10:24; Job 11:19), field can represent a whole country (1 Sam. 27:7), and day can refer to an indefinite time period (Ps. 18:18).11 ​ It may be, then, that “the apostles indeed did use the full formula [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit], but simply referred to the act of baptism by the shorter phrase ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’…in common with the wider practice of that day of being baptized ‘in the name’ of one’s spiritual teacher, as John’s disciples were ([Acts] 19:3).”12 Whether or not this is so, the hermeneutic principles summarized above decisively debunk the Oneness view that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Scripture consistently testifies that Jesus is the second person of the blessed Trinity, the eternal Son of the eternal Father, and the blessed One who came to earth to reveal the Father to humankind (John 1:1,14,18; cf.14:9–14). — Ron Rhodes NOTES 1. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible. 2. Oneness Pentecostalism, distinct from mainstream Pentecostalism, is similar to other cults in its denial of the Trinity. It is different from other cults, however, in its strong insistence on the absolute deity of Jesus Christ, holding that Jesus is the one true God who manifests himself in three modes. 3. Brent Graves, The God of Two Testaments (Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 2000), 297. 4. Norman Geisler, Explaining Hermeneutics (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 14–15. 5. Gregory Boyd, Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 85. Note that while Boyd offers sound arguments against Oneness Pentecostalism in this book, he elsewhere expresses belief in open theism, an unorthodox view. 6. Westminster Confession of Faith, 1:9. 7. Jewish existentialist Martin Buber (1878–1965), in his book I and Thou (1923), made the phrase “I-Thou” famous, distinguishing this type of relationship from an “I-It” relationship. In this article, I use the term in a simple, nonformal sense to speak of direct, interpersonal, mutual, reciprocal, and loving relationships between persons. 8. Boyd, 68. 9. Daniel Wallace, The Basics of New Testament Syntax (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 94. 10. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Logos Software, emphasis added. 11. See original Hebrew. 12. Jerome Smith, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Logos Software, insert added This article first appeared in the Practical Hermeneutics column of the Christian Research Journal, volume31, number 2 (2008). For further information: Dating of Matthew 28:19 and the Trinity ​ To return to The Real Jesus Page To return to Menorah's Home Page ​

  • Can a Christian Convert to be Jewish | Menorah Ministries

    C O N V E R T ? .... CAN A GENTILE CHRISTIAN BECOME A JEW? ...... R E A L L Y ?! ​ To return To Jews Gentiles and the Church Web Site To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE Can A Gentile Christian 'Convert' (become a Jew) To Judaism & Remain A Christian To Convert or Not to Concert, That is the Question The Messianic Movement and A Messianic Gentile In A Messianic Jewish Congregation

  • Who is the Jewish Messiah | Menorah Ministries

    Who Is The Jewish Messiah? ​ The common 20th century view of Messiah amongst religiously oriented Jews is someone who will usher in the coveted peace on earth that mankind has longed for since ancient times. Many religious Jews agree that when the Messiah comes, "the lion will lie down with the lamb" and peace will rule. Yet, since that day seems no nearer today than it did 4,000 years ago at the time of Abraham, many Jews have abandoned all hope of a coming Messiah, or of the rule of peace on earth. What the majority of Jewish people do not realize, however, is that the common 20th century Jewish view of Messiah is not the "traditional Jewish view." The 20th century religious Jewish view of Messiah-as-King who will establish peace on earth now, while it reflects an important part of the traditional view, overlooks an equally important part - the role of Messiah-as-Servant. This "oversight" was largely a backlash to the growing number of Jews and Gentiles who had concluded that the Suffering Servant spoken of in the Hebrew Scriptures was Yeshua (Jesus), the Jew who suffered a humiliating death after claiming to be Messiah. Ignoring the servant-atoning role of Messiah was then a Medieval reaction to those masses of people who were proclaiming that Yeshua was the fulfillment of Scripture. In all fairness, it must be pointed out that rabbinic motivation for adopting the newer view was reasonable. Anti-semitism posed a constant threat to the nation of Israel, especially following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. Jewish leaders, therefore, needed to find ways of keeping Diaspora Jews unified. One way was to reinforce the belief that Yeshua was the "Christian Messiah," not the Jewish one. To do this they often overreacted and distorted the picture of the Messiah in a way that was inconsistent with the picture of the Messiah presented by the the biblical prophets. Ironically, the majority of rabbis have done a great disservice to the very people whom they wished to preserve. By eliminating a cornerstone of Jewish thought - the Servant Messiah - they have not helped the many Jewish people today who are disillusioned, secularized or otherwise alienated from the very spiritual beliefs that the nation of Israel held for more than 2,000 years. By removing the concept of the Suffering Messiah who brings personal peace to those who embrace Him, they have helped blind them to the hope that lies in Messiah Yeshua. In addition to overlooking an important aspect of the Messiah's atoning role on earth, most in modern Jewish rabbinical studies overlook the genealogy factor. Biblical Judaism teaches that Messiah's lineage will be a key criterion for his identification. Modern Judaism downplays this, perhaps because Jewish records were destroyed in 70 A.D. along with the Second Temple. Therefore, one must conclude that either Messiah came before the Temple was destroyed or else physical proof of his genealogy is unnecessary because he will be recognizable in other ways; or, worse still, that He will not come. Most rabbis, if they still believe in the biblical concept of Messiah, opt for the explanation that the genealogical proof is unnecessary since the Messiah will be identified in other ways. Believers, on the other hand, place great importance upon the royal lineage that the Messiah is to possess, and the evidence of such. Not only is the genealogical evidence necessary to identify the Messiah, but it exists biblically. By tracing the Messiah's lineage and the key roles assigned to him by God throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, it becomes clear that Yeshua met at least two key Messianic criteria. 1. First, He came from the right "kingly roots" second, 2. He fulfilled the role of the "atoning servant." What The Rabbis Know About The Messiah by Rachmiel Frydland Reprinted With Permission of the Messianic Literature Outreach For further information contact To return to 54 Reasons Jesus = Messiah page To return to Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Biblical Discussion Articles To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE

  • The Virgin Birth of Jesus | Menorah Ministries

    Isaiah 7:1-17 Virgin Birth of Yeshua the Messiah, God’s True Hope and Deliverance by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum* CHAPTERS 7-12 of Isaiah constitute a single unit, sometimes referred to as "The Book of Immanuel" because the name "Immanuel" appears three times in the Hebrew text (7:4;8:8,10). The first prophecy which we will look at within this section of Scripture deals with the birth of Immanuel. In the Bible, when parents name a child, the meaning of the name shows the thinking of the parents. When God names the child, as here, the name shows the very nature of the child. Immanuel means "with us, God." The character of the child will be "God among us." The Controversy As mentioned in our discussion of Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:3-14 is a prophecy concerning the virgin conception and birth of the Messiah. This is perhaps the most controversial of the messianic prophecies and therefore requires a closer textual analysis than others. The exact meaning of this passage is disputed by rabbis, liberal theologians and even by some evangelical theologians. The passage talks of "a sign: The virgin will be with child.. " There are two areas of controversy here: 1. The sign Since the context of the chapter requires a short range prophecy - giving a sign to King Ahaz - how can this be applied to the birth of a child some 700 years later, as claimed in Matthew 1:22-23? 2. The Hebrew word “Almah" Does it really mean a virgin, or simply a young unmarried woman? We will deal with both of these contentious issues before proceeding to discuss the passage itself. Hermeneutics Since Isaiah 7:13-14 requires an immediate sign to King Ahaz, many Evangelicals have taken this verse to be an example of "double fulfillment." This principle states that a prophecy may have more than one fulfillment. This verse may, accordingly, be both a sign for King Ahaz and the sign in Matthew 1:22-23 for the birth of Jesus. This author does not accept the principle of double fulfillment either here or in any other place in the Bible. If this principle were true, there would be no real need for the virgin birth at all. There is another, better principle of biblical interpretation which is "Double Reference." This principle states that one block of Scripture dealing with one person, one event, one time, may be followed by another block of Scripture dealing with a different person, place and time, without making any clear distinction between the two blocks or indicating that there is a gap of time between the two blocks. The fact of a gap of time is known only from other Scriptures. There are, therefore, two separate prophecies side-by-side each having their own fulfillment, but with only one fulfillment per prophecy. "Double Fulfillment" states that one prophecy can have two fulfillments. "Double Reference" states that the one piece of Scripture actually contains two prophecies, each having its own fulfillment. As will be explained later, Isaiah 7:3-17 contains two quite separate prophecies with different purposes, and having different fulfillments at different times. The Hebrew Word Almah The major debate, of course, is over the exact meaning of the Hebrew word almah, translated here as virgin. In describing a young woman, there are three Hebrew words which Isaiah could have used: 1. Na’a’rah Na'a'rah means "damsel" and can refer to either a virgin (as in I Kings 1:2), or a non-virgin (as in Ruth 2:6). 2. Betulah This is commonly considered to mean a virgin, exclusively. It is argued that if Isaiah had really meant to say a virgin, then he would have used this word. It is true that this word is often used to mean virgin, but not always. For example: i. In Joel 1:8 it is used in reference to a widow. ii. In Genesis 24:6, because the word does not exclusively mean "virgin" the writer adds the phrase "had never known a man" in order to clarify what he means. iii. Again in Judges 2:12 the phrase "had not known a man" has to be added to give the precise meaning. 3. Almah Almah means "a virgin," "a young virgin," a "virgin of marriageable age." This word is used seven times in the Hebrew Scriptures and not once is it used to describe a married woman; this point is not debated. i. Genesis 24:43. In contrast to 24:6 mentioned above, verse 43 requires no additional qualifying remarks since the one word alone is sufficient to mean "virgin." Furthermore, it is used of Rebekah who was obviously a virgin at the time of her marriage to Isaac. ii. Exodus 2:8. Used in reference to Moses' sister Miriam, who was a virgin. iii. Psalm 68:25. Used in reference to the royal procession of virgins. Since the King in this context is God Himself, absolute virginity is required; it is unthinkable that God would allow unchaste, unmarried women in His procession. iv. Song of Songs 1:3. The context here is purity in marriage. v. Song of Songs 6:8. The word is used here in contrast to wives and concubines who would obviously be non-virgins. vi. Proverbs 30:18-19. The word is used in verse 19 in contrast to an adulteress in verse 20. vii. Isaiah 7:14. Since all of the above six verses mean "a virgin," what reason is there for making Isaiah 7:14 the only exception? Since everyone agrees that almah means an unmarried woman, if the woman in Isaiah 7:14 were a non-virgin, then God would be promising a sign involving fornication and illegitimacy. It is unthinkable that God would sanction sin, and in any case, what would be so unusual about an illegitimate baby that could possibly constitute a sign? As far as ancient Jewish writers were concerned, there was no argument about Isaiah 7:4 predicting a virgin birth. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures made about 200 b.c.e./b.c., 200 years before the issue of Jesus' Messiahship ever arose. The Jews who made this translation, living much closer to the times of Isaiah than we do today, translated Isaiah 7:14 using the Greek word parthenos which very clearly and exclusively means a virgin. There can therefore be no doubt that the unique event which God is promising as a sign, is the miraculous conception of a son by a girl who is still a virgin. The Threat to the House of David - 7:1-2 At this point in history there was an empire arising which was threatening the smaller kingdoms of the Middle East - the Assyrian Empire. Among these smaller kingdoms was Syria (or Aram), the northern Kingdom of Israel (or Ephraim), and the southern Kingdom of Judah. The kings of Israel and Syria joined forces against their common enemy (verses I-2), but still did not have enough military might to withstand an Assyrian attack. They invited Judah to join forces with them, but Ahaz, King of Judah, refused. Israel and Syria then conspired, not only to dethrone Ahaz, when they might have succeeded, but to depose the entire House of David. This is the emphasis in verse 2. They would then establish a new dynasty in Judah more favorable to an alliance against Assyria. This, then, is a direct attack upon God's eternal covenant with David. It is therefore doomed to failure. (The Davidic Covenant is discussed under I Chronicles 17:10b-14 in the section on The Writings.) The Message to Ahaz - 7:3-9 Ahaz is not a worshipper of the one true God, but has fallen into idolatry and is very much afraid of the approaching attack (verse 2). In verses 3-9 God gives a message to Ahaz. In verse 3, Isaiah is commissioned to meet with Ahaz, who is inspecting water supplies in preparation for a siege. Isaiah is also to take his son with him. His son is called Shear-Jashub, meaning "a remnant will return." The reason for taking his son is not explained until verses 15-16. In verses 4-6 the message is given, describing the plot and telling Ahaz not to be afraid. The plot consists of overthrowing Ahaz and replacing him with the son of Tabeel. Isaiah was a master of the Hebrew language and loved playing word games. He does so here in verse 6. Tabeel means "God is good." By altering the vowel pattern very slightly, Isaiah changes this to mean "good for nothing." The one that means "God is good" will prove to be "good for nothing." Because of the Davidic Covenant, no conspiracy against the House of David can ever succeed. God clearly states this in verse 7, and in verses 8-9 God will judge the two kings involved in the conspiracy. The Signs of Deliverance - 7:10-17 The Offer of a Sign - 7:10-11 Ahaz, however, is an idolater who does not trust in God and has made his own arrangements. He has sent letters and gifts to the Assyrian Emperor, asking for assistance in his defense against these two kings. He has greater faith in the Assyrian Empire than in the God of Israel. So, in verse 10, God speaks a second time. He offers Ahaz a sign - whatever it takes to convince Ahaz not to fear, not to trust the Assyrians, but to trust in God. Whatever it takes, let him ask for it and God will do it for him. The word for "sign" does not of itself mean a miracle; it could be a miraculous or a natural sign. Within this context, however, it is clear that it will take a miracle to convince Ahaz. God offers him a sign anywhere he wants - in heaven, on earth, under the earth -whatever it takes to convince him. The Rejection of the Offer - 7:12 In response, the idolatrous Ahaz suddenly becomes very spiritual. In verse 12 he refuses to "test" God or "tempt" Him. This is a reference to Deuteronomy 6:16, but he misapplies it. Nevertheless, it is evident that even in idolatry, Ahaz was not ignorant of the true God! Deuteronomy 6:16 warns against asking for a sign, but here God is offering a sign and Ahaz is invited to respond. Ahaz does not want a sign, lest it come to pass, and he be forced to abandon his alliance with Assyria. Then come the crucial verses, 13 and 14. The Sign to the House of David - 7:13-14 In verse 13, Isaiah turns from addressing Ahaz as an individual and addresses the entire House of David. The English language does not distinguish between "you" addressed to one person and "you" addressed to many people. In Hebrew there is a difference, and there is a clear change between the singular "you" of verses 9,11,16,17 and the plural "you" of verses 13-14. The sign therefore is not just for Ahaz, but for the whole House of David. This becomes clearer if we state the passage again with the singular [s] and plural [pl] words indicated: 7:9 . . .and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you [s] will not believe, you [s] surely shall not last.""' 10 Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 "Ask a sign for yourself [s] from the LORD your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven." 12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!" 13 Then he said, "Listen now, 0 house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you [pl] to try the patience of men, that you [pl] will try the patience of my God as well? 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you [pl] a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. 15 "He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. 16 "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you [s] dread will be forsaken. "The LORD will bring on you [s], on your people, and on your father's house such days as have never come since the day that Ephraim separated from Judah, the king of Assyria." (NASB, with comments added) In verse 14, the Hebrew word for "behold" is a word which draws attention to an event which could be past, present or future. However, grammatically, whenever "behold" is used with the Hebrew present participle, it always refers to a future event. That is the case here. Not only is the birth future, but the very conception is future. This is not referring to a pregnant woman about to give birth. The text specifically says "the virgin" (the NIV and NKJV are correct at this point; the NASB like most translations says "a virgin," which is quite wrong). According to the rules of Hebrew grammar, when finding the use of a definite article (the), the reader should look for a reference in the immediate previous context. Having followed the passage from chapter 7:1, there has been no mention of any woman. Having failed with the immediate context, the second rule is the "principle of previous reference," something which has been dealt with much earlier and is common knowledge among the people. Where in Jewish Scripture or tradition is there any concept of "the virgin giving birth to a son"? The only possible reference is to Genesis 3:15. Contrary to the biblical norm, the Messiah would be reckoned after the Seed of the Woman. Why? Because He would have no human father; His would be a virgin conception and birth. The key point of this should not be missed. God is promising that the House of David cannot be deposed or lose its identity until the birth of a virgin-born son. Again, this requires that Messiah be born prior to the destruction of the Temple and its genealogical records in 70 A.D. The Sign to Ahaz - 7:15-17 Having concluded that Isaiah 7:12-14 is a long range prophecy concerning the birth of Messiah, that still leaves a problem. What about Ahaz? An event 700 years in the future is of little significance to him. There is however a second sign in verses 15-17, and this time it is specifically for Ahaz. The "you" in verse 16 is again singular, meaning Ahaz. Before Isaiah's son is old enough to make moral distinctions between right and wrong, the kings of Israel and Syria will be deposed and their threat removed. This was fulfilled within three years. Isaiah again uses the definite article before the term "boy." This time there is another boy mentioned in the context: Isaiah's son. The boy of verse 16 cannot be the son of verse 14 but refers back to Isaiah's son in verse 3. Why else was Isaiah commanded to take him? Summary of Isaiah 7:1-17 In Isaiah chapter 7, King Ahaz, the King of Judah, is under threat of attack. This threat is not only to him personally but to the whole House of David. Through the Prophet Isaiah, God tells King Ahaz to be at peace and to be unafraid. Two reasons are given, two signs which guarantee God's promise of security. The first sign, in verses 13 and 14, is that no attempt to destroy the House of David will succeed until the birth of a virgin-born son. The term "virgin" is required both by the Hebrew vocabulary and the context. The second sign, in verses 15 and 16, is given to Ahaz personally. God promises that the attack upon him by Israel and Syria will not succeed, and before Isaiah's son, Shear-Jashub, reaches an age of moral maturity, the two enemy kings will cease to exist. Isaiah 7:14 teaches that: Messiah would be born of a girl who is still a virgin; the explanation of Genesis 3:15 Messiah will be the God-Man. Messiah will be a king. Messiah must be born prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E./A.D. ​ *Used for educational purposed in line with goals of the author and Ariel Ministries from Messianic Christology, 1978 © For more information contact the author or Menorah hrwnm –Menorah Ministries - See Also Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Biblical Discussion Articles To Return To The Real Yeshua-Jesus To Return to Menorah Ministries Home Page

  • False Religions | Menorah Ministries

    Truth vs. Error 7 Biblical Fundamentals Compared to 13 False World Faith Religions ​ TRUTH.... "They received the Wor d with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11 Armstrongism vs. The Bible Christian Science vs. The Bible Eastern Mystism vs. The Bible Freemasonry vs The Bible Islam vs The Bible Jehovah Witness vs. The Bible Mormonism vs. The Bible - Mormon brother letter from a brother -Mormon Rebuttal and Response to Such -The Bible vs Joseph Smith Video -The Bible vs the Book of Morman New Apostolic Church vs. The Bible Roman Catholic vs Biblical Christianity Spiritualism vs. The Bible The Way International vs. The Bible Unification Church vs. The Bible Unity vs. The Bible World Mission Society Church of God - Biblical Answers To the World Mission Society Church of God - Encountering the Cult of Ahnsahnghong ​ Other Information: False and 'Near Christian' Religions Islam and Why All Religions Cannot Be True Suggested(recommended) Reading The Bible! The Real Yeshua/Jesus Biblical--Historical! ​ To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • RefugeeIssuesPalestinianIsraeliConflict | Menorah Ministries

    REFUGEE ISSUES In The Palestinian—Israeli Conf lict Not Changed Since B'resheet/Genesis 16:12 and 25:23 ​ See 11 Sections Below: - Understanding The Roots Of The Problem - The Birth Of Israel - An Arab Voice - A Global Issue -The loophole in 1948 - Restitution vs Resettlement - The Penalty Of Aggression - Is Israel Guilty Of Ethnic Cleansing? - Transfer Not A Solution - URWA Caring For Refugees For Years And Still Counting - Legal Aspects Of The Palestinian Refugee Question __Understanding The Roots Of The Problem__ ​ Refugees Forever Wars produce refugees. The humanitarian imperative is obviously to settle refugees as quickly and as safely as possible. And yet, in the case of the 650,000 Palestinian Arabs who left Israel before and during the War of independence in 1948, the international community has colluded with the Arab world in doing the exact opposite: For the past half century, there has been a deliberate refusal to resettle Palestinian refugees within the Arab world. Instead, the Palestinian and Arab leadership have condemned these people and their descendants to poverty and misery in the UNRWA-run camps that offer little hope of a better life. This sore and tragic problem can and must be solved, because the longer it takes to arrive at a solution, the more its alarming dimensions will multiply. In this booklet, compiled and written by Eliyahu Tal, the facts—as opposed to the myths - behind the creation of the Palestinian refugee question; the fate of the Arab world's Jewish communities following Israel's creation; and comparisons with other world conflicts that spawned refugee problems, are presented in a clear and concise manner. There is a consensus, spreading from the Israeli Right to the Left, that there can be no right of return to their 1948 homes for Palestinian refugees, even in the context of a full peace accord between Israel and the Arab world. First and foremost, such a return would threaten the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, as within the space of one generation, the Jewish majority within Israel would be lost. As Tal points out, Israel has changed over the last half century. The villages to which these refugees demand to return no longer exist. In the present war in which we find ourselves against the Palestinians, brought about in no small part by their refusal to accept that there can be no right of return, it is important for all to understand the roots of this issue and the justness of Israel's stance. We at The Jerusalem Post consider the publication of this supplement our contribution towards finding a solution. DAVID RADLER __The Birth Of Israel__ ​ In order to understand the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is necessary to review the events that led up to it. The concept of a homeland for the Jews was advocated by the Zionist Movement in the 19th century - although the return to the Promised Land was a 2000-year-old dream. Dr. Theodor Herzl translated the Zionist Movement's concept into a political program, namely a Jewish State. This was supported by the famous Balfour Declaration of 1917. International recognition was assured by the League of Nations in the Treaty of San Remo in 1920. Following the defeat of Germany and her allies in WWI, Turkey lost her empire. Its vast domains were divided in order to create the new states of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Palestine, on both sides of the Jordan, was entrusted to Britain for the establishment of the Jewish National Home. Although the original area designated National Home was considerably reduced by the British in 1922 in order to provide for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - the Jews nevertheless succeeded in developing the small area left to them into a flourishing enterprise, literally causing the desert to bloom. With the benefit of hindsight, it is instructive to compare Arab gains from the Allied victory in WWI with those of the Jews. On the one hand, five independent newly- born states on an enormous area, as against the promise of a National Home on a very small area. The growth of the Jewish population in Palestine was resented by the Arabs who expressed their hostility by fomenting bloody riots in 1920, 1929, 1933 and 1936-39. The most tragic was the massacre of the ancient Jewish community of Hebron in 1929. In order to resolve the conflict, on November 29, 1947 the UN voted in favor of a Partition Plan which provided for two independent states, one Jewish, one Arab, while Jerusalem would be internationalized. Although there was hesitation among the Jewish public, it was decided to accept the Plan, notwithstanding that the area allotted to the Jewish State was, once again, considerably reduced. The Arabs rejected the plan outright. Contemptuous of the will of the world, bands of Palestinian Arabs, aided by irregular volunteers from neighboring countries, attacked Jewish communities and clashed with the Hagana defense force. With the termination of the UN Mandate on May 14, 1948 the British forces had withdrawn from Palestine. Regular troops of the armies of Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon invaded the country, along with volunteer detachments from Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Yemen. "The Arabs intend to conduct a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades," declared Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, on the BBC, May 15, 1948. Despite the fierce resistance of the nascent Israel Defense Force, the Arabs made significant headway in their assault. Egyptian troops reached the Jerusalem suburb of Talpiot, and, advancing along the coast, were stopped 40 km. short of Tel Aviv. In the North, the Syrians took Kibbutz Mishmar Hayarden, only 25 km. from Tiberias. Jordan captured the Old City of Jerusalem and destroyed its 58 synagogues. They also took Gush Etzion, the resort hotel of Kalia (and the kibbutz next to it on the Dead Sea) and the Monastery of Latrun on the Tel Aviv- Jerusalem road. The Latrun stronghold - as well as the bitter fighting at the nearby Castel fort and Arab villages - frustrated Israeli attempts to break the six month siege on Jerusalem. The Jewish casualty toll in the 1948 war was far greater than that of the Arabs. Estimated at 3.2%, it is among the highest casualty rate of any recorded conflict. Israel and the Axis of Evil One and a half million Jews fought with the Allies against Germany, Italy and Japan in WWII. Among them were over 30,000 Jewish volunteers from tiny Palestine. In the cemeteries of Normandy, Stalingrad and El-Alamein, one can see tombs engraved with the Magen David but none with the Islamic Crescent. The Arab world stood aloof. Moreover, leaders like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the ruler of Iraq sided with the Nazis. Some Western democracies, while misjudging Israel's present struggle, seem to have forgotten these facts. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ _An Arab Voice_ ​ Edward Sa'id, an eminent Arabist at Columbia University and one of the outstanding spokesmen for the Palestinian cause, expresses his views. "The by now notorious peace process has finally come down to the one issue that has been at the core of Palestinian depredations since 1948: the fate of the refugees. That the Palestinians have endured decades of dispossession and raw agonies rarely endured by other peoples -particularly because these agonies have either been ignored or denied, and even more poignantly, because the perpetrators of this tragedy are celebrated for social and political achievements that make no mention at all of where those achievements actually began - is of course the locus of "the Palestinian problem," but it has been pushed very far down the agenda of negotiations until finally now, it has popped up to the surface. "Along with [the original displacement of the 1948 war] went the scandalously poor treatment of the refugees themselves. It is still the case, for example, that the 40,000-50,000 Palestinian refugees resident in Egypt must report to a local police station every month; vocational, educational, and social opportunities are curtailed; and a general sense of not belonging adheres to them, despite their Arab nationality and language. "In Lebanon the situation is even more dire. Almost 400,000 Palestinian refugees have had to endure not only the massacres of Sabra, Shatila, Tel al-Za'atar, Dbayyeh, and elsewhere, but have remained confined in hideous quarantine for almost two generations. They have no legal right to work in at least 60 occupations; they are not adequately covered by medical insurance; they cannot travel and return; they are the objects of suspicion and dislike. In part, they have inherited the mantle of opprobrium draped round them by the PLO's presence (and since 1982 its unlamented absence) there, and thus they remain in the eyes of many ordinary Lebanese a sort of house enemy to be warded off and/or punished from time to time. "A similar situation exists in kind, if not in degree, in Syria. As for Jordan, although it was - to its credit - the only country where Palestinians were given naturalized status, a visible fault line exists between the disadvantaged majority of that very large community and the Jordanian establishment for reasons that scarcely need to be spelled out. I might add, however, that for most of these situations where Palestinian refugees exist in large groups within one or another Arab country - all of them the direct consequence of 1948 - no simple, much less elegant or just, solution exists in the foreseeable future. It is also worth mentioning, or rather asking, why it is that a destiny of confinement and isolation has been imposed on a people who quite naturally fled to neighboring countries when driven from their own, countries that everyone believed would welcome and sustain them. More or less the opposite occurred: except in Jordan, no welcome was given them - another unpleasant consequence of the original dispossession. What of Yasser Arafat's leadership? "Arafat survives inside the Palestinian territories today for two main reasons: one, he is needed by the international supporters of the peace process, Israel, the US and the EU chief among them. He is needed to sign, and that, after all, is what he is good for. The second reason is that because he is a master at corrupting even the best of his people, he has bought off or threatened all organized opposition (there are always individuals who cannot be co-opted) and therefore removed them as a threat. The rest of the population is too uncertain and discouraged to do much. The Authority employs about 140,000 people; multiply that by five or six (the number of dependents of each employee) and you get close to a million people whose livelihood hangs by the string offered by Yasser Arafat. Much as he is disliked, disrespected, and feared, he will remain so long as he has this leverage over an enormous number of people, who will not jeopardize their future just because they are ruled by a corrupt, inefficient, and stupid dictatorship which cannot even deliver the essential services for daily civil life like water, health, electricity, food, etc. "That leaves the Palestinian Diaspora, which produced Arafat in the first place: It was from Kuwait and Cairo that he emerged to challenge Shukairy and Haj Amin. A new leadership will almost certainly appear from the Palestinians who live elsewhere: they are a majority, none of them feels that Arafat represents them, all of them regard the Authority as without real legitimacy, and they are the ones with the most to gain from the right of return, on which Arafat and his men are going to be forced to back down. "Palestinian leadership has selfishly put its own self-interest, overinflated squadrons of security guards, commercial monopolies, unseemly persistence in power, lawless despotism, anti-democratic greed and cruelty, before the collective Palestinian good. Until now, it has connived with Israel to let the refugee issue slither down the pole; but now that the final status era is upon us all, there's no more room down there. And so, as I said above, we're back to the basic, the irreconcilable, the irremediably interlocked contradiction between Palestinian and Israeli nationalism." (From the introduction to Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, Pluto Press, London, 2001) Award-winning Columbia University professor Edward Sa'id has published several books on the Palestinians and the Middle East. The Difference Between Yasser Arafat Now and Anwar Sadat Then After losing three wars, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt came to the painful conclusion that Israel could not be beaten on the battlefield. He therefore made the courageous and historic trip to Jerusalem. Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, after intensive negotiations, reached the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab state, known as the Camp David Accord. This was brokered by US President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Another US President, Bill Clinton, made even greater efforts to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but to no avail. Arafat spurned the far- reaching concessions offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, choosing instead the path of terrorism and initiating the latest intifada in August 2000. Had Arafat inherited only a part of Sadat's wisdom and vision, there would probably have been a viable and flourishing Palestinian state today. Instead, there are thousands of bereaved families and no end in sight for a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ __A Global Issue__ The Palestinians are neither the first nor the last population to become refugees. This condition is the inevitable outcome of tragic conflict - and the 20th century alone saw refugees on an epic scale due to its numerous conflicts. Tribal feuds, ethnic and religious clashes and full-scale wars have always resulted in the forced displacement of populations, usually as the only alternative to violent death. The more bitter and drawn out the fighting, the more numerous and scarred the refugees left amid the ruins. ​ Unique about the Palestinian refugee problem is that it has been allowed - even forced - to continue and to grow. Every other major refugee group has been resettled within a generation. Of the approximately 135 million refugees created over the last century, only the Palestinians have retained this dismal, nation less status. Thus, while a few decades ago they constituted less than 5% of the total number of refugees, they are today the biggest refugee group, at 17% of some 24 million worldwide. International attempts to solve refugee crises have met with mixed results. To a limited degree, international intervention forces in the Balkans and Rwanda have restored refugees to their place of origin. In most cases, however, they have successfully settled elsewhere in their homelands, or found haven in other countries. After World War II, for example, the US stepped in to contain Europe's economic tailspin, its Marshal Aid Plan resurrecting Germany's industry and allowing for the absorption of German refugees. German towns which had been conquered were renamed (Danzig became Gdansk, Konigsberg became Kaliningrad, etc.) to ensure that those who had left accepted their new reality. As Pakistan broke off from India, Muslims crossed to the latter and Hindus to the former in a voluntary population transfer which, with the exception of Kashmir, proved largely successful. This method was first tested in 1922, when the League of Nations - predecessor to the UN -decreed that a territorial war between Turkey and Greece in Asia Minor be settled by having the sides exchange nationals and finalize their border. Israel - tiny, arid, and practically devoid of natural resources - has done its utmost to take in and rehabilitate refugees, multiplying its population by eight between 1948 and 2000. Many of these new arrivals were Jews who had survived the horrors of the Holocaust. Another 800,000 had fled anti-Israel hostility in their native Arab countries, where their property, valued at tens of billions of dollars, was confiscated. How can it be, then, that the Palestinian refugees have been denied resettlement? Is this a tragic oversight, or devious design? And who is to blame? In 1947, while Britain was disengaging from Palestine, it was also withdrawing from India, leading to the birth of independent Pakistani and Indian states. Whereas the Arab- Israeli conflict created hundreds of thousands of refugees, the Indians and Pakistanis wisely agreed to transfer millions of their people across the border in order to defuse ethnic and religious tensions. India sent Muslims to Pakistan, which in turn sent Hindus to India. Both states granted citizenship to these refugees. The much smaller - and perhaps even more easily solvable - problem of Arab refugees is a sad paradox, in that it has cost the Western world so many billions of dollars in humanitarian aid that only perpetuates the refugees' plight, and has monopolized its media attention for over half a century, when alternatives in refugee transfers such as the one between India and Pakistan have proven effective. Excerpted from The Arabs in History (Oxford University Press) - Prof. Bernard Lewis, leading expert on Islamic and Middle Eastern history. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ __ The Loopholes in 1948__ When Claiming the right of return, the Arabs consistently wave UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 1948 as their banner. The major issues: "Who is a refugee? What are refugees entitled to? Where may they return to and under what conditions?" require clarification before the true meaning of 194 is defined. Let's hear what international jurists have to say Ruth Lapidoth is Professor of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. She was also a fellow at the US Institute of Peace in 1990-1991. "Certainly many of those who fled their homes during the 1948 war are refugees. But the greater Palestinian refugee problem must be viewed from the perspective of international law. "The 1951-1967 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees makes no mention of descendants - so the status is not inherited. Moreover, the convention ceases to apply to a person who, inter alia, has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality." By this definition, the number of Palestinians who qualify for refugee status would be well below 500,000 - considerably diminishing the dimensions of the issue. Moreover, the right of return in the 1966 International Covenant "is intended to apply to individuals asserting an individual right. There was no intention here to address the claims of masses of people who have been displaced as a byproduct of war or by political transfers of territory or population..." One also has to observe that humanitarian law conventions (such as the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the protection of Victims of War) do not recognize the right of return. First rejected, later reclaimed It should be noted that at the UN General Assembly of 11 December 1948 - Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen - voted against 194, but later decided to embrace the resolution as recognition of a wholesale inalienable right of repatriation. But there is no recognition of any "right," rather a suggestion that refugees "should" be "permitted" to return. Moreover, that permission is subject to two conditions: that the refugee wishes to return; and that he/she wishes to live in peace with his neighbors. The Palestinians have linked their demand for return to a claim for self-determination. A situation where returning Palestinian refugees have the right to external self-determination would mean the end of the very existence of the State of Israel. It should also be noted that the UN General Assembly has suggested resettlement as an alternative to repatriation. Prof. Efraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King's College, University of London, maintains that: "It was in the late 1960s that the Arabs began to transform it [194] into the cornerstone of a spurious legal claim to a 'right of return.' But 194 in no way establishes any such right. Additionally, the very notion of such a 'right' contradicts the essence of international law and behavior." 242, 338, 194: confusing numbers Since these often-quoted numbers confuse the layman we see fit to briefly dwell on them. "The foremost document used by the Palestinians to substantiate their call for Israel's complete withdrawal from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is [UN] Security Council Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 (echoed six years later by Resolution 338). This resolution does not demand Israel's complete evacuation of these territories but rather its withdrawal 'from territories occupied in the recent conflict.' "The absence of the definite article 'the' from the text is anything but accidental. Issued a mere six months after Israel's astounding triumph over the concerted pan- Arab attempt to obliterate it, the resolution reflected the keen international awareness of the existential threat posed by the pre-1967 borders, memorably described by the then-Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban, as 'Auschwitz borders.' "Nor does the resolution make any mention of the creation of a Palestinian state. To the contrary, since the Palestinians were widely viewed at the time as refugees rather than a cohesive nation deserving its own state, it was assumed that those territories that would be evacuated by Israel would return to their pre-1967 Arab occupiers; Gaza to Egypt, and the West Bank to Jordan. All the resolution had to say about the Palestinians was to affirm the necessity 'for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.' "All this, of course, is water under the bridge. Egypt and Jordan have long washed their hands of these territories." These territories are generally termed "occupied" by harsh Israeli rule. They are, in fact, "disputed" territories - the final say and borders of which will be drawn following peaceful negotiations. This unorthodox view has been recently voiced by US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and others. No right, no return Major-General (ret.) Shlomo Gazit, former head of IDF Intelligence, and member of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. explains: "Regardless of the conditions that led Palestinians to uproot or flee their homes in 1948 and 1967, and regardless of the parties who were responsible for the creation of that tragedy, one cannot help but feel deep empathy for their suffering. "Moreover, there is no choice - the only way to guarantee calm and stability in our region is to resolve the refugee problem and do so as soon as possible. However, that empathy, which most citizens of Israel share, is not enough to warrant the return of the refugees to Israeli "Israel's position on that matter has to be clear: It does not recognize a 'right,' it does not recognize 'responsibility' and it will not allow the return of refugees into its territory. "Even more importantly, it does not establish a 'right' at all, let alone an eternal and unconditional one. As opposed to UN Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions have no binding international standing. They are merely recommendations. "Placing the blame for creating the problem on Israel has no international basis and the mere Palestinian request that Israel recognize such responsibility is Palestinian insolence. The 1948 war was a result of a clear Palestinian initiative to prevent the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state with the goal of annihilating the Jewish community. That thrust was joined in May 1948 by Arab armies who invaded Palestine. "All the Jewish settlements occupied by Arabs, without exception, were destroyed, and their residents - including women, elderly people, and children - were murdered or taken prisoner. What is Israel requested to take responsibility for - defending itself, winning the battle?" David Ben-Gurion, who agreed to the 1947 Partition Plan despite the significant territorial loss involved, declared "We won't accept the refugees. Not one refugee - just as our men who were killed in the Arab war against us will not rise up from the dead." What Resolution 1948 really means Resolution 194 was originally destined to be the cornerstone of a peace process. It consists of 15 paragraphs, the first of which calls for the establishment of a reconciliation committee composed of representatives from the US, Britain and Turkey. The Jews accepted it, the Arabs rejected it. Years later the Arabs drew out paragraph 11 of Resolution 194, the one dealing with the subject of refugees. This was a ploy of diplomacy, picking the cherry from the cake, as it were. Tragically, even Palestinian infants suckle, together with their mothers' milk, a poisonous hatred against Israel. Thus, the stipulation in 194 that the right of return is confined only to refugees "wishing to live in peace with their neighbors" appears far-fetched when the abyss of hatred and suspicion between the two peoples is widening. When Sari Nusseiba and other moderates, as a gesture, agree to "relinquish the right of return," while naturally they expect compensation, what needs to be absolutely clear is that in fact they relinquish nothing because there is no right of return. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ __Restitution vs. Resettlement__ The Palestinians have an excellent case for suing for reparations - that is, if they were suing the Arab states whose advancing armies created the vast majority of Palestinian refugees in 1948. Instead, they are claiming exorbitant sums from Israel. Payment for pain the sky is the limit McMaster University economics Professor Atif Kubursi, for example, claims that Israel is directly responsible for compensation for Arab losses in real estate, moveable property, lost opportunities, and psychological damage stemming from the 1948 war. In a lengthy study supported by charts he arrives at the astronomic sum of $281 billion. To lend credence to his study Kubursi adds detailed lists of lost Arab livestock and crops. Should he wish to weigh these small losses against the Palestinian systematic pilfering and plunder of Israeli farmers, Kubursi would soon find his fledgling state well in the red. So, too, if he were to put the 1,284 Palestinian vehicles he claims were lost in 1948 against the 30,000 Israeli vehicles stolen by Palestinians in each of the past several years. Fellow Arab academics, Yusuf Massad and Rashid Khalidi, use similar tactics in drawing up wildly imaginative figures for Israel's "debt" in terms of today's dollars. Not only is this preposterous, it is as if Japan were demanding compensation from the US and the countries it had attacked early in WWII. Massad, assistant professor at Columbia proposes the "German model" of restitution and speaks of $253 billion (at the rate of 1994) to be paid by Israel. Khalidi maintains "that the refugee issue is so central to the national narrative of the Palestinians that any approach which tries to sweep history under the rug will fail entirely." He calls on the Israeli government to pay reparations rather than compensation - because the former assumes responsibility. Khalidi's solution covers reparation payments for all those not allowed to return, and compensation for those who lost property in 1948. These sums, for property losses alone, range from $92 billion to $147 billion at 1948 prices. In addition to the above, he comes up with a reparation figure of $20,000 per person for an arbitrary 2 million refugees, totaling $40 billion. When it comes to Arab claims, the sky appears to be the limit. These Arab claims are disproportionate when compared with the reparation payments for the devastation of a continent and the toll of millions of lives, levied by the Allies on Germany and its partners in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. Germany had to pay 132 billion gold Deutsch Marks; and sums varying from 125 million pounds sterling to $360 million were imposed on Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy and Romania for being on the side of the aggressor. Return of the Sheikh? Certainly there was Palestinian property appropriated, destroyed, lost, or unclaimed. But, in negotiating this thorny issue, both sides will have to face a reality much changed since the events of 1948. Implementing the "right of return" today would mean dismantling and destroying the elaborate infrastructure built over the past 50 years, which includes housing for millions of Jews - as well as hospitals, universities, and industrial areas that have benefitted Jew and Arab alike. Anyone expecting Israel to undo all that is asking the state to start all over again. Take, for example, the return to Sheikh Munis, a village within the boundaries of Tel Aviv. The campus of the Tel Aviv University now occupies this site. To raze this institution of higher learning and make the land available to the families of the refugees of that village who demand the "right of return" would be unthinkable today. That is merely one of innumerable instances throughout Israel. Most Palestinians recognize that this is not feasible and suggest that Israel swap land for those locations that were abandoned in 1948. This is obviously an attempt to use demographic pressure to destroy Israel. The essence of the Zionist idea was to establish a Jewish state, in which a clear Jewish majority was guaranteed. The influx of Palestinian refugees, and the high natural growth of that population, would guarantee the loss of Israel's Jewish majority within the space of two generations, at most. A study by Professor Arnon Soffer of Haifa University estimates that by 2020 the population covering the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean will comprise 42% Jews and 58% Moslems and others. Professor Sergio de la Pergula of the Hebrew University forecasts an Arab majority as early as 2010. Because of the enmity for Israel on which the Palestinians have been raised, their entry into Israel en masse would create an immediate terrorist threat - it would be an act of national suicide. Some argue that all the refugees do not really mean to realize "the right of return" in practice, they just want the Israeli recognition of it. But the moment Israel recognizes this "right," it will lose control of its borders, because the Palestinian refugee will be the one who decides today or in the future whether to actualize that "right." Besides the political motive, the economic incentive is enough to inspire Palestinian refugees - or other Arabs claiming to be Palestinian refugees—to flood into Israel. After all, who wouldn't prefer to live in a country where the per capita income is 15 times higher than in the Arab states? Arab demands - how far and how much But even such arbitrary use of economic factors and creative assumptions regarding Arab wealth in Palestine before Israel's establishment cannot top the gumption of the Arab states. When, after the breakdown of the Camp David talks in July 2000, US President Bill Clinton floated the idea of establishing a reparations fund to be supported by the US, Europe, and Japan, several Arab states hurried to demand compensation for the years they have "hosted" Palestinian refugees. Lebanon's claim is said to amount to $7 billion. Jordan's formula is based on an annual payment of $2 billion for "hosting" the largest number of refugees since 1947. Syria is sure to follow suit. These claims are an ugly exercise, nothing short of extortion. Going from the ridiculous to the grotesque and malicious, Palestinian leaders and academics have used the Holocaust - when not denying it—as a model for the reparations they hope to receive from Israel. To put hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of whom fled from their homes because of the exhortations of their fellow Arabs, on the scale opposite 6 million slaughtered European Jews is downright atrocious. Who owned the land? Before the termination of the British Mandate in 1948, 8.6% was owned by Jews and 3.3% by Arabs within the Green Line. Another 16.9% was owned by those Arabs termed refugees. Plus 71.2% was State-owned land, mostly barren state owned land. -Kubursi, Yussuf Massad Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return, Plato Press, London, 2001 Arab states hold the key At the negotiations held in Taba on January 22, 2001, it was stipulated by the Palestinians that Israel is solely to blame for the creation of the refugee problem. They advocated that the "right of return" be implemented under the supervision of a special international committee including representatives of Arab states. (The Palestinians, mindful of the disproportionate sway of the Arab-Islamic bloc in the UN, have always held to a strategy of internationalizing the Arab-Israeli conflict.) There is an alternative - settlement and freedom in Arab lands. Before the Palestinians initiated hostilities in September 2000, they had attained a reasonable standard of living that approached or even exceeded that of many sovereign Arab states, thanks to the Israeli policy of allowing them freedom of movement and the opportunity to work in Israel - rights that most Arab states have withheld from their homeless brethren. The Palestinians would be best served by absorption into surrounding Arab countries. They share the same language, religion and culture. In fact, seventy percent of Palestinians are third generation offspring of immigration from these countries due to economic considerations. However, not only do the 22 Arab countries have no interest in aiding the Palestinians, they prefer to wield them as a political weapon against Israel. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ __The Penalty of Aggression__ The Arab lobby has always blamed Israel for the Palestinian problem. ​ The blame game The Palestinian refugees are victims, yes - but not of Israel. Rather, they are the victims of wars launched - ostensibly for them - by the Arab states, but for which they pay the price. They are the victims, effectively, of Arab aggression against Israel. "Had the Palestinians accepted the UN [partition] resolution instead of waging an aggressive war, there would have been no refugees.... The initial refugee problem of 1948 was exacerbated when Egypt and Syria launched the Six Day War.... Never before in history have those who lost wars of aggression been deemed equal partners in the negotiation, and for good reason," writes legal expert Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University. The "good reason," of course, is that aggressors should not have incentives for perpetrating acts of aggression. Dershowitz notes the unabated hostility toward Israel demonstrated by Palestinians over the years, as exemplified by their conspicuous support for Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. "Over the course of the conflict the Palestinians ... continue to play the violence card as part of their negotiating strategy. Indeed, the major bargaining chip they bring to the table is the threat of renewed violence if they don't get their way. Another chip has been the one- sided refusal of the UN to condemn them for their aggression and terrorism. "There must be a price paid for starting and losing wars... Aggressors should be made to absorb refugees created by their aggression." Prelude to World War II: The Sudetenland In the ill-fated Munich Pact signed with Hitler in 1938, Britain's Chamberlain surrendered to Germany's demand to annex the Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia, inhabited by Germans for centuries. The Nazis soon occupied the whole country, and then invaded Poland. Liberated by the Allies in 1945, the Czechs regained the Sudetenland, expelling 2.5 million of its ethnic Germans to Germany as authorized at the Potsdam Conference. There is a parallel between the German Sudets and the Palestinian refugees - except that the latter refuse to accept the universal code that aggressors must pay for their acts. A final agreement between the Germans and the Czechs was signed in December 1946, recognizing that the German Sudets were expelled on the understanding that they were pro-Nazi and, as such, enemies of the Czechs. Both sides agreed that the German Sudets would receive neither compensation nor apology. During the ensuing Cold War, the descendants of these Germans demanded to return to their "ancestral homeland" - but in vain. Another example of international justice following WWII is the decision arrived at by Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam Conference. The three agreed that Germany should compensate Poland for attacking and ravaging the country, by ceding sizable territory to it. A "cooperation and good neighborhood" agreement was signed by the Republic of Poland and the Federal Government of Germany, denying the right of return to the millions of German refugees who had fled with the retreating Nazi army. It was also agreed that no restitution would be paid for abandoned properties. Where is the German PLO? The line between past and present was drawn, and Stettin, once the proud capital of Teutonic Pomerania, became the major Polish city of the region. And of course, there has never been a Teutonic PLO, or "Pomeranian Liberation Organization." The only existing PLO is the Palestinian Liberation Organization, founded in Cairo in 1964 with pan-Arab support. The code of penalty for aggression has been applied not only to mighty Germany but also to smaller countries who had gotten on the wrong bandwagon, such as Finland and Hungary. Finland - In 1939 the Soviet Union invaded the small Finnish democracy. Despite courageous resistance, the Finns were defeated and forced to cede the Isthmus of Karelia to the Russians. In an attempt to recover lost territory, the Finns joined with the Germans, who invaded Russia in 1941. Joint Finnish/German forces recaptured the isthmus. However, at the Paris Conference in 1947, Finland was forced to relinquish Karelia (which comprised one-eighth of its total area) and to pay the Russians a considerable war indemnity. Moreover, 400,000 refugees were reabsorbed into Finland, without any international financial aid. Hungary - The principle of penalty for aggression was also applied to Hungary who, during part of World War I fought on the side of Germany as a member of the dual Austro- Hungarian Monarchy. The war lost, sizeable Hungarian territories were ceded to Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. In World War II, Hungary once again chose the wrong side and fought with the Axis Powers. She was ultimately overrun by the Russians, and at the Treaty of Paris, was ordered to pay $3 billion in reparations to the Soviet Union. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ __Is Israel Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing?__ Arab spokesmen, fluent in the use of standard cliches, attribute the refugee problem to a program of 'ethnic cleansing' by the Jewish leadership. This is palpably false. It was first and foremost at the urging of their leaders that the largest number of Arab refugees fled, with the promise of a swift victory over the weak Zionist enemy and an imminent return to their homes. Rumors of atrocities, highlighted by the tragic Deir Yassin episode, fanned a country-wide panic. Many Arabs did not heed the warnings to flee andstayed on, a wise decision they never regretted. There is peace between the Arab and Jewish communities in downtown Haifa today because of this choice, as is the case in nearby Acre. In Jaffa, a considerable number of Arabs remained to live under the joint Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality. Although the Hassan Beq mosque was used asa sniper's nest against Jewish passersby in 1948, it still stands as a Muslim landmark in Tel Aviv. Many of these Arab villages have developed into thriving townships. This applies even more dramatically to East Jerusalem, where the Arab population had increased from some 50,000 in 1948 to over 230,000 by the year 2000. It is true that some villages, mainly those who laid siege to Jerusalem, were destroyed and their inhabitants expelled. Their number was grossly inflated to a count of 400, according to Benny Morris, a forerunner of the school of "new historians" of Zionism. There is substantial evidence to corroborate these facts in the following citations: Citations from Arab leaders: "We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down." Iraqi prime minister Nuri Said, Sir Am Nakbah (The Secret Behind the Disaster) by Nimr el-Hawari, Nazareth, 1952 "Azzam Pasha assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade ... and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean ... " - Habib Issa, secretary-general of the Arab League (Azzam Pasha's successor), Al Hoda, June 8, 1951 It is of summary importance to point out that while Jordan's British trained, fully equipped Arab legion was able to pummel Jewish Jerusalem with in excess of 10,000 artillery shells, the Hagana had to make do with scant and often makeshift weapons. "As early as the first months of 1948, the Arab League issued orders exhorting the people to seek a temporary refuge in neighboring countries, later to return to their abodes … and obtain their share of abandoned Jewish property." - Bulletin of The Research Group for European Migration Problems, 1957 "The Arab states succeeded in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity. They did not recognize them as a unified people until the states of the world did so, and this is regrettable." - Abu Mazen from the official journal of the PLO, Falastin el-Thawra (What We Have Learned and What We Should Do), Beirut, March 1976 Leading American and British sources confirm the real cause of the flight: Citations from the international media: "The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by order of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city.... By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa." - Time Magazine, May 3, 1948, page 25 "[The Arabs of Haifa] fled in spite of the fact that the Jewish authorities guaranteed their safety and rights as citizens of Israel." - Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee, New York Herald Tribune, June 30, 1949 "Israelis argue that the Arab states encouraged the Palestinians to flee. And, in fact, Arabs still living in Israel recall being urged to evacuate Haifa by Arab military commanders who wanted to bomb the city." Newsweek, January 20, 1963 Citations from British military sources: Highly credible are the comments of the British commander of the Arab Legion, who, having bombarded Jewish Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, cannot be suspected of a pro-Zionist attitude: "The Arab civilians panicked and fled ignominiously. Villages were frequently abandoned before they were threatened by the progress of war." - General John Glubb "Pasha," The London Daily Mail, August 12, 1948 "Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe." - Haifa District HQ of the British Police, April 26, 1948, (quoted in Battleground by Samuel Katz). For decades, April 6, 1948 has been commemorated in the Arab world as "Deir Yassin Day," through sermons in mosques and lessons in schools, on stamps and posters, in books and songs. On that day, Deir Yassin, an Arab village at the entrance to Jerusalem, was captured by the Irgun Tzva'i Le'umi (known as the Irgun), defending the besieged Holy City. Arab leaders spread word that Jewish terrorists had stormed the peaceful village, raping the women and ultimately killing over 500 residents. There was even talk of aerial bombardment and tanks. The effect was double- edged. Actually, it was a standard battle that took a tragic turn. The village harbored Arab guerrillas who had long exploited their strategic position, attacking Jewish mountain convoys trying to break the three-month siege of Jerusalem. Iraqi irregulars dressed as women During the house-to-house fighting women and children were mistakenly killed. Among the Arab fighters were Iraqi irregulars who were dressed as women. Years later, Palestinian researchers at Bir-Zeit University found that the death toll was 107. Murder and rape have always been an athema to Israel's military. Israel has never denied its role in the Deir Yassin massacre nor reserved remorse. Nonetheless, the Arab world refused to accept that what happened on April 6, 1948 was the exception, not the rule, and Deir Yassin became a crucial factor in creating, and a tool in fanning, anti-Israeli hatred for generations. An Arab revenge attack was quick to follow. Four days after Deir Yassin, the Jewish convoy on its way to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed. Seventy-seven people were killed, including doctors, nurses, patients, and the hospital director. Another 23 medical personnel were wounded. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ __Transfer: Not a Solution__ There is a difference between voluntary and involuntary transfer. A number of historic precedents point to transfer as a viable solution to territorial dispute, provided it is carried out by mutual consent. In an effort to end the Balkan Wars at the beginning of the 19th century, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey agreed to exchange their minority populations in the Treaties of San Stephano (1878), Constantinople (1913) and Neuilly (1919). However, the major exchange of population (transfer) took place between Greece and Turkey in order that a permanent border could be set between the longtime enemies. Endorsed by the Treaty of Lausanne (1922) and drawn up by the League of Nations, the transfer agreement fixed the terms by which the international community could restore ties with Turkey, which had been defeated in WWI. One of the major signatories was Elefterios Venizelos, Greece's elder statesman, six times the country's prime minister. Altogether 1.25 million Greeks from Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace were transferred to Greece, and nearly 500,000 Turks, primarily from Macedonia and Epirus, were transferred to Turkey. This project was organized and supervised by the celebrated Norwegian Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen, winner of the 1922 Nobel Prize for his humanitarian activities. Grasimos Apostolatos, former minister in the Greek government, presently head of The Society for the Study of Greek History, admits in his Annual Report (Athens, 2001) that the project of transferring some 1.25 million Greeks to their ancestral homeland was a painful one, but only such a radical solution could end the conflict. It took a few years for the integration of the displaced persons into the local economy, but the ultimate result was positive, and Greece emerged from the experience stronger and more prosperous. Henry Morgenthau, the first president of the Refugee Settlement Committee, described the arrival in Salonica of a boatload of Greek refugees from Turkey. "I saw 7000 people crowded in a ship that would have been taxed with a normal capacity of 2000. They were packed like sardines upon the deck - a squirming, writhing mass of human misery." (This has an eerie parallel with the arrival of ships to Israel, bearing waves of Holocaust survivors, including the famous "Exodus," prevented from docking by the British.) The India-Pakistan venture The largest population transfer yet was effected when Pakistan split from India on August 15, 1947. Eight million Hindus and six million Muslims were involved, and perhaps a million died in a painful but necessary operation that had broad international support. Despite the enormous number of refugees and the relative poverty of both nations, no international relief organizations were established to aid in the resettlement. (It was a grave historical error that the area of Kashmir, in dispute today, was overlooked, thus leaving a festering wound in the relations between the two countries.) The refugees resettled, and a new generation grew up considering itself native to its new home - both Indians and Pakistanis having made the pragmatic decision to start afresh. Pakistan's President, Gen. Pervez Musharaf, was one such refugee, having been born in New Delhi and transferred to Pakistan at the age of four, along with his family. The idea of "transfer" had been nurtured by leading statesmen even before 1942. Many Western and Arab leaders alike favored transferring the Arab population of Palestine to neighboring states. In 1927, Iraq's King Faisal I spoke of "Muslim Arab peasants from Syria and Palestine" coming to cultivate the vast expanses of unoccupied Iraqi land. By 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt told his Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau Jr., "I would provide land for the Arabs in some other part of the Middle East... There are lots of places to which you could move the Arabs." In 1945, Herbert Hoover proposed the recovery of some 3 million acres of land in Iraq for the resettlement of the Arabs of Mandatory Western Palestine. "Palestine itself," he wrote, "could be turned over to Jewish immigrants in search of a homeland." In 1947, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Sa'id suggested exchanging the Jewish population of Baghdad for an equal number of Israeli Arabs. Not a viable solution In view of the conditions presently prevailing in the region, voluntary transfer by mutual consent is not a viable solution in the foreseeable future for several reasons: 􀁺 The Arab states categorically oppose the idea of absorbing the refugees despite the wide spaces of their domain. 􀁺 A considerable number of refugees insist on returning to their ancestral homes, be it in Jaffa, Haifa, Safed or Tiberias. 􀁺 The term "transfer" has acquired a negative connotation and the international community will not support it. 􀁺 It has absolutely no chance of UN support, unlike the Greek-Turkish project which was endorsed by the League of Nations. 􀁺 A vast majority of Israelis reject the idea. - The Jerusalem Post, November 20, 2001, Moshe Kohn, quoting International Proposals to transfer Arabs from Palestine 1895/1947, Ktav 1988 - Valuing Palestinian Losses in Today's Dollars, Atif Kubursi - Palestine Refugees and The Right of Return (Pluto Press, London, 2001) ​ __UNRWA: Caring for Refugees for Years and Still Counting__ UNRWA, the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was created in 1949 to help individuals (along with their spouses and dependants) whose homes were in Palestine from June 1, 1946 to May 15, 1948 and who lost both their homes and their livelihoods as a result of the conflict. According to UNRWA figures, at the time of its inception the refugees numbered some 726,000. Later, those displaced as a result of the Six Day War and their dependants were also declared eligible for UNRWA aid, as were inhabitants of "frontier villages" in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes affected by the war. In UNRWA camps, refugees seldom die Because no one wants to lose UNRWA benefits, deaths often go unreported in their camps. In 1961, UNRWA director, Dr. John H. Davis, admitted that his statistical report of the number of refugees was inaccurate, due to the many unreported deaths and the growing number of forged cards granting access to UNRWA benefits and services. UNRWA Commissioner- General Peter Hansen has recently acknowledged that deaths in the camps may not be reported as assiduously as births. In 1960, US Congressmen visiting Jordan cited official estimates of forged UNRWA cards at over 150,000. Furthermore, the more refugees, the more justification there is for the work of the 22,000 Palestinian UNRWA employees. It is one of the ironies of the problem that as the number of "refugees" has increased through falsehood, their plight has become all the more real. Just how many refugees are there? The first serious assessment of the number of refugees based on demographic data was carried out by Dr. Walter Pinner. (How Many Arab Refugees?, London, 1960). Out of 1,282,000 - the total Arab population of Mandatory Palestine in April 1948, 548,600 were counted as refugees. At UN sessions the Arabs repeatedly inflated the figures. Lebanon spoke of over a million, (UN DOC/ASP/SA). Morocco gave a more "accurate" figure of 1,120,000. Swept up by an Oriental imagination, the Palestinian Emil Houry came up with 2 million. Palestinian sources, with an obvious interest in increasing the potential benefits of a future settlement and increasing Israel's supposed responsibility for the refugee problem, have consistently inflated their figures. The highest figure was that quoted in 1998, when Salman Abu Sitta—the most vaunted of Palestinian researchers - attempted to add credence to a grossly exaggerated study by claiming that there were exactly 7,778,186 Palestinians, an amazing 5,325,000 of whom he called refugees. Figures on this scale are commonly bandied about when discussing the need for a just solution to the Palestinian problem, but they are false: UNRWA - while admitting that its own figures are inflated - recognizes some 3.8 million Palestinians today. Not far off is the day when the number of refugees claimed will be the same as the number of Palestinians. According to their definition, nearly every Palestinian can be considered a refugee in one way or another. So there will be no escape from the need to negotiate who is a refugee, and who was uprooted from his home, yet still lives in his homeland. For example, those who fled the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbieh and now live in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis have been counted twice. So, too, have the Palestinians living in Detroit or in the Persian Gulf states. UNRWA's budget is almost a third of that of the UN High Commission for Refugees, which is the global relief agency. And this is the situation despite the fact that Palestinians constitute only 17% of the world's 24 million refugees. Somehow, the efforts of UN workers to aid displaced Palestinians have mushroomed into a $330 million-a-year project that actually perpetuates the refugee problem. UNRWA services UNRWA has provided the Palestinians with benefits exceeding those of all other refugees. These include medical and educational training, community centers for women, youth clubs and other social benefits. However, the term "camps" is misleading. Palestinian refugees do not live in tents as the term implies, but in houses in neighborhoods where conditions are superior to those of the poor neighborhoods of modern metropolis. A good idea gone bad Dependence on benefits that encourage unprecedented population growth, combined with a dearth of jobs, has created a restless and unruly young populace. The camps are infested with gangs, violence and drug trafficking. Even Palestinian police are afraid to enter them, whether Jenin or Ein al-Hilweh in Lebanon. The New York Times has described the refugee camps as paramilitary training grounds where 25,000 children from 8 to 16 years old are taught to make fire bombs. The camps serve as arms depots, factories for the manufacture of mortars, missiles and bombs, and asylum for fleeing terrorists. The shocking images of jubilant Palestinians celebrating the disaster on September 11, 2001 in the refugee camps are symptomatic of the violent society that, due to its refugee status, is becoming increasingly more desperate. Who foots the bill? Who funds these refugee villages? Most of UNRWA's work is covered by voluntary contributions from donor states. UNRWA's biggest donors are the US, the European Commission, the UK, Sweden and Canada. Not surprisingly, the contributions of Arab states make up only a tiny percentage of the UNRWA budget. Although it provides important humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, UNRWA ultimately serves as a fig leaf for an Arab world that has deliberately ignored or exploited the plight of these refugees. - The Face of Defeat (Quartet Books, London) Report to the Senate, April 20, 1960 - Alexander Safian, PhD, CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) - The New York Times, August 2, 2000 This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ Understanding the Roots of the Problemss The Birth of Israel The Loopholes in 1948 An Arab Voice Restitution vs. Resettlement The Global Issue The Penalty of Agression Is Israel Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing? Transfer: Not a Solution UNRWA: Caring for Refugees for Years and Still Counting Legal Aspects of the Palestinian Question Legal Aspects Of The Palestinian Refugee Question ​ Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Jerusalem Letter / Viewpoints No. 485 24 Elul 5762/ 1 September 2002 ​ Ruth Lapidoth The Beginning of the Refugee Problem / Who is a Refugee? / Do Refugees Have a Right to Return to Israel? / The Impact of UN General Assembly Resolution 194/ After 1967/ The Refugee Question in Arab-Israeli Agreements / A Right to Compensation? Until September 2000, hopes were high that soon an agreement on the final status of the West Bank and Gaza would pave the way for peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians. These hopes have unfortunately been shattered, as Palestinians violently attacked Israelis in both the administered territories and in Israel proper, provoking violent reactions by Israel. One could wonder what purpose there is in analyzing legal issues related to a peaceful settlement when violence is the order of the day. If we nevertheless examine some of the legal issues, it is because we have not yet lost hope that sooner or later the guns will be silenced and the parties will return to the negotiating table. The underlying conflict is mainly of a political nature. However, for several reasons it should also be analyzed from a legal perspective. First, some of the questions involved are overwhelmingly of a legal nature. Second, the parties base their claims on legal arguments. And, third, if and when a compromise is reached, it will be drafted in legal terms and be included in a legal text. This is also true of the question of Palestinian refugees. The Beginning of the Refugee Problem The plight of the refugees is a serious human problem. During the 1947-48 period, many Arabs "left, ran away, or were expelled."1 At the same time, Jews escaped from Arab countries. While the Jews were integrated into the countries to which they fled, the Arabs were on purpose denied integration in most Arab countries (except Jordan) in order to prevent any possible accommodation with Israel. The refugees have been receiving support and assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), established by the UN General Assembly in 1949. 2 According to various estimates, the number of refugees in 1949 was between 538,000 (Israeli sources), 720,000 (UN estimates), and 850,000 (Palestinian sources). By 2001, the number of refugees registered with and supported by UNRWA had grown to about 3.5 million, since also children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are registered. Another reason for this increase is the fact that UNRWA does not systematically delete all deceased persons from its registry. According to UNRWA, in 2000 there were about 550,000 refugees in the West Bank, some 800,000 in the Gaza Strip, 1,500,000 in Jordan, 350,000 in Lebanon, and 350,000 as well in Syria. Only part of them have lived in refugee camps. The situation of the refugees has been particularly severe in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon.3 The plight of the refugees raises at least three legal questions: 1. Who should be considered to be a refugee? 2. Do the Palestinian refugees have a right to return to Israel? 3. Do they have a right to compensation? Who is a Refugee? The question arises whether all those registered with UNRWA should be considered as refugees. The 1951-1967 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees4 has adopted the following definition: ...[A]ny person who: (2) owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it… There is no mention in this definition of descendents. Moreover, the convention ceases to apply to a person who, inter alia, "has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality.” 5 Under this definition, the number of Palestinians qualifying for refugee status would be well below half a million. However, the Arab states managed to exclude the Palestinians from that definition, by introducing the following provision into the 1951-1967 Refugees Convention: This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection and assistance...6 In no official document have the Palestinian refugees been defined, and UNRWA has been adopting varying definitions, such as: ​ A Palestinian refugee is a person whose normal residence was Palestine for a minimum of two years preceding the conflict in 1948, and who, as a result of this conflict, lost both his home and his means of livelihood and took refuge in one of the countries where UNRWA provides relief. Refugees within this definition and the direct descendants of such refugees are eligible for Agency assistance if they are: registered with UNRWA; living in the area of UNRWA operations; and in need.7 This is a very broad definition under which the number of refugees constantly increases. It may be appropriate for UNRWA purposes in order to decide who qualifies for assistance, but it is hardly suitable for other purposes. It follows that the parties should agree on a more suitable definition. Do Refugees Have a Right to Return to Israel? Another legal controversy concerns the question whether the refugees, whatever their definition, have a right to return to Israel. We will discuss this subject from three points of view: general international law, the most relevant UN resolutions, and various agreements between Israel and its neighbors. Several international human rights treaties deal with freedom of movement, including the right of return.8 The most universal provision is included in the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which says: "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country."9 The question arises, who has the right of return, or: what kind of relationship must exist between the state and the person who wishes to return? A comparison of the various texts and a look at the discussions which took place before the a dop tion of these texts lead to the conclusion that the right of return is probably reserved only for nationals of the state. 10 Even the right of nationals is not an absolute one, but it may be limited on condition that the reasons for the denial or limitation are not arbitrary. Moreover, according to Stig Jagerskiold, the right of return or the right to enter one's country in the 1966 International Covenant is intended to apply to individuals asserting an individual right. There was no intention here to address the claims of masses of people who have been displaced as a by-product of war or by political transfers of territory or population, such as the relocation of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe during and after the Second World War, the flight of the Palestinians from what became Israel, or the movement of Jews from the Arab countries. 11 In the context of general international law one also has to observe that humanitarian law conventions (such as the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War) do not recognize a right of return. The Impact of UN General Assembly Resolution 1948 The first major UN resolution that refers to the Palestinian refugees is Resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, adopted by the General Assembly.12 This resolution established a Conciliation Commission for Palestine and instructed it to "take steps to assist the Governments and authorities concerned to achieve a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them." Paragraph 11 deals with the refugees: The General Assembly...resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.. . Though the Arab states originally rejected the resolution, they later relied on it heavily and have considered it as recognition of a wholesale right of repatriation. This interpretation, however, does not seem warranted: the paragraph does not recognize any "right," but recommends that the refugees "should" be "permitted" to return. Moreover, that permission is subject to two conditions - that the refugee wishes to return, and that he wishes to live at peace with his neighbors. The violence that erupted in September 2000 forecloses any hope for a peaceful co-existence between Israelis and masses of returning refugees. Moreover, the Palestinians have linked the request for return to a claim for self-determination. If returning refugees had a right to external self-determination, this would mean the end of the very existence of the State of Israel. Under the 1948 resolution, the return should take place only "at the earliest practicable date." The use of the term "should" with regard to the permission to return underlines that this is only a recommendation - it is hortatory.13 One should also remember that under the UN Charter the General Assembly is not authorized to adopt binding resolutions, except in budgetary matters and with regard to its own internal rules and regulations. Finally, the reference to principles of international law or equity refers only to compensation for property and does not seem to refer to permission to return. It should also be borne in mind that the provision concerning the refugees is but one element of the resolution that foresaw "a final settlement of all questions outstanding between" the parties, whereas the Arab states have always insisted on its implementation (in accordance with the interpretation favorable to them) independently of all other matters. In this context one should bear in mind that the General Assembly has also recommended the "reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement' (emphasis added, R.L.).14 ​ After 1967 As a result of the Six-Day War in 1967, there were about 200,000 Palestinian displaced persons (i.e., persons who had to leave their home and move to another place in the same state). These were dealt with by Security Council Resolution 237 of 4 June 1967,15 which called upon the government of Israel "to facilitate the return of those inhabitants [of the areas where military operations have taken place] who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities." The resolution does not speak of a "right" of return and, like most Security Council resolutions, it is in the nature of a recommendation. Nevertheless, Israel has agreed to their return in various agreements, to be studied later. Some 30 percent of the displaced persons of 1967 had already been counted as refugees of 1948.16 Of great importance in the Arab-Israel peace process is Security Council Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967.17 In its second paragraph, the Council "Affirms further the necessity...(b) for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem." The Council did not propose a specific solution, nor did it limit the provision to Arab refugees, probably because the right to compensation of Jewish refugees from Arab lands also deserves a "just settlement." There is no basis for the Arab claim that Resolution 242 incorporates the solution recommended by General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948 analyzed above. The Refugee Question in Arab-Israeli Agreements Turning now to agreements between Israel and its neighbors, we find that already in the Framework for Peace in the Middle East agreed at Camp David in 1978 by Egypt and Israel,18 the refugee problem was tackled: It was agreed that a "continuing committee" including representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians should "decide by agreement on the modalities of admission of persons displaced from the West Bank and Gaza in 1967" (Article A, 3). Similarly, it was agreed that "Egypt and Israel will work with each other and with other interested parties to establish agreed procedures for a prompt, just and permanent implementation of the resolution of the refugee problem" (Article A, 4). In the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 between Israel and the Palestinians, 19 again it was agreed that the modalities of admission of persons displaced in 1967 should be decided by agreement in a "continuing committee" (Article XII). The issue of refugees should be negotiated in the framework of the permanent status negotiations (Article V, 3). The 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip20 adopted similar provisions (Articles XXXVII, 2 and XXXI, 5). Somewhat more detailed is the relevant provision (Article 8) in the Treaty of Peace between Israel and Jordan of 1994.21 As to the displaced persons, they are the object of a text similar to the above ones. As to the refugees, the peace treaty mentions the need to solve their problem both in the framework of the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees established after the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, and in conjunction with the permanent status negotiations. The treaty also mentions "United Nations programs and other agreed international economic programs concerning refugees and displaced persons, including assistance to their settlement. "22 None of the agreements between Israel and Egypt, the Palestinians, and Jordan, respectively, has granted the refugees a right of return into Israel. This short survey has shown that neither under the general international conventions, nor under the major UN resolutions, nor under the relevant agreements between the parties, do the Palestinian refugees have a right to return to Israel. In 2000 there were about 3.8 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA. If Israel were to allow all of them to return to its territory, this would be an act of suicide on its part, and no state can be expected to destroy itself. On the other hand, at least some of the refugees would object to and try to delegitimize any agreement that did not grant a wholesale right of return.23 Moreover, they threaten those who would like to settle for a different solution. It seems to be a vicious circle. The solution may include a right to return to the new Palestinian homeland, settlement and integration in various other states (Arab and non-Arab), and possible return to Israel if compelling humanitarian reasons are involved, such as family unification.24 A Right to Compensation? The third legal problem pertaining to refugees is the question of whether they have a right to compensation for their lost property, and to a subsidy for their rehabilitation, i.e., integration or resettlement or return, respectively.25 General international law recognizes the obligation to pay compensation in case of confiscation of property belonging to foreigners. There is, however, disagreement about the amount that should be paid. In this case, two experts have suggested a standard of "adequate compensation," taking into account the value of the property and the specific needs of the respective refugee.26 If a definitive solution to the problem is sought, one should consider paying - either by law or ex gratia - not only compensation for lost property but also a reasonable subsidy for rehabilitation, and perhaps also compensation to the host country, where the refugee has lived and where he should settle. Since Israel had not started the 1947-48 war but was attacked by the Arabs, it is not responsible for the creation of the refugee problem. Hence it is not under an obligation to recruit the necessary sums. Preferably an international fund should be established for that purpose, to which other countries as well as Israel would contribute. The difficulty is the enormous sums which would be needed .27 It is advisable to resort to a lump sum arrangement which would settle all financial claims between the parties and preclude any further claims. A way would have to be found in order that the arrangement would bind not only Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but also all the refugees. To conclude our discussion of the refugee problem, it is recommended that the parties agree on a reasonable definition of the refugees and not automatically adopt the one used by UNRWA. The refugees do not have a right of return to Israel, neither under general nor special international law; the adequate solution seems to be return to the Palestinian homeland, resettlement and absorption in other countries (preferably according to the wishes of each refugee), and some may be allowed to return to Israel. A prompt and adequate solution will also involve the payment of compensation for lost property and a subsidy for rehabilitation. * * * Notes 1. Eyal Benvenisti and Eyal Zamir, "Private Claims to Property Rights in the Future Israeli-Palestinian Settlement," American Journal of International Law 89 (1995):297. 2. UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, adopted at the 273rd plenary meeting. 3. Yitzhak Ravid, The Palestinian Refugees (Ramat Gan, 2001), pp. 1-12 (Hebrew). 4. UN Treaty Series, vol. 189, no. 2545 (1954), pp. 152-156, article 1A (2). 5. Ibid., Article 1 C (3). 6. Ibid., Article 1 D. 7. Don Peretz, Palestinians, Refugees, and the Middle East Peace Process (Washington, D.C., 1993), pp.11-12. 8. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13 (2); the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 12 (4); the 1963 Protocol IV to the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 3 (2); the 1969 American Convention of Human Rights, Article 22 (5); the 1981 9. Banjul Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, Article 12 (2) - see Basic Documents on Human Rights, Sir Ian Brownlie, ed., 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1992), pp. 21, 125, 347, 495, 551; for additional examples, see Paul Sieghart, The International Law of Human Rights (Oxford, 1985), pp. 174-178. 10. Paul Sieghart, The International Law of Human Rights, p. 179; Geoffrey R. Watson, The Oslo Accords: International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreements (Oxford, 2000), p. 283; Ruth Lapidoth, "The Right of Return in International Law, with Special Reference to the Palestinian Refugees," Israel Yearbook on Human Rights 16 (1986), pp. 107-108. Some experts are of the opinion that the right of return applies also to "permanent legal residents" - see, e.g., the discussion that took place in the sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, as reported in the Report by Chairman-Rapporteur Mr. Asbjorn Eide, UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/45, of 28 August 1991, p. 5. The Human Rights Committee established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has adopted an interpretation according to which the right of return belongs also to a person who has "close and enduring connections" to a certain country - UN Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev. 1/Add. 9, 2 November 1999, pp. 5-6. 11. Stig Jagerskiold, "The Freedom of Movement," The International Bill of Rights, Louis Henkin, ed. (New York, 1981), p. 180. For a different opinion, see Geoffrey Watson, Oslo Accords, p.283. 12. GAOR, 3rd session, part 1,1948, Resolutions, pp. 21-24. 13. Geoffrey Watson, Oslo Accords, p. 281. 14. UN General Assembly Resolution 393 (V) , 2 December 1950, adopted at the 315th plenary meeting. See also the second paragraph of UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III), 11 December 1948, and Resolution 513 (VI), 26 January 1952, adopted at the 365th plenary meeting: 15. SCOR, 22nd year, Resolutions and Decisions, 1967, p. 5. 16. Salim Tamari, 'The Future of Palestinian Refugees in the Peace Negotiations," Palestine-Israel Journal 2 (1995):12. 17. SCOR, 22nd year, Resolutions and Decisions, pp. 8-9. For its legislative history, see, e.g., Arthur Lall, The U.N. and the Middle East Crisis 1967 (New York, 1968). For an analysis, see, e.g., Adnan Abu Odeh, Nabil Elaraby, Meir Rosenne, Dennis Ross, Eugene Rostow, Vernon Turner, articles in UN Security Council Resolution 242: The Building Block of Peacemaking (Washington, D.C., 1993); Ruth Lapidoth, "Security Council Resolution 242 at Twenty Five," Israel Law Review 26 (1992):295-318. 18. UN Treaty Series, vol. 1138 (1987), no. 17853, pp. 39-45. 19. International Legal Materials 32 (1993), pp. 1525-1544. On this declaration, see, e.g., Joel Singer, "The Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements," Justice (Tel Aviv), no. 1 (1994):4-21; Eyal Benvenisti, "The Israel-Palestinian Declaration of Principles: A Framework for Future Settlement," European Journal of International Law 4 (1993):542-554; Antonio Cassese, "The Israel-PLO Agreement and Self-Determination," ibid., pp. 564-571; Raja Shihadeh, "Can the Declaration of Principles Bring About a 'Just and Lasting Peace'?" ibid., pp. 555-563; Karin Calvo-Goller, "Le regime d'autonomie prevu par la declaration de principles du 13 Septembre 1993," Annuaire Francais de Droit International 39 (1993):435; K.W. Meighan, 'The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles: Prelude to a Peace?" Virginia Journal of International Law 34 (1994):435-468. 20. Articles 1, 3, 4, 7, 13 and Annex I of the Declaration of Principles. Excerpts of the 1995 agreement were published in International Legal Materials 36 (1997), p. 551. For the full text, see Kitvei Amana (Israel's publication of treaties), vol. 33, no. 1071, pp. 1-400. For commentaries, see Joel Singer, "The West Bank and Gaza Strip: Phase Two," Justice, no. 7 (1995):1-12; Rotem M. Giladi, "The Practice and Case Law of Israel tn Matters Related to International Law," Israel Law Review 29 (1995):506-534; Raja Shihadeh, From Occupation to Interim Accords: Israel and the Palestinian Territories (London, 1997), pp. 31-72; Geoffrey Watson, Oslo Accords. 21. International Legal Materials 34 (1995), pp. 43-66. 22. Article 8, para. 2 (c), pp. 49-50. 23. Salim Tamari, "The Future of Palestinian Refugees," pp. 11-12. 24. For possible solutions, see Geoffrey Watson, Oslo Accords, pp. 286-290; Donna E. Arzt, Refugees Into Citizens: Palestinians and the End of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York, 1997); Joseph Alpher and Khalil Shikaki, The Palestinian Refugee Problem and the Right of Return, Harvard University, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; Working Paper no. 98-7 (Cambridge, MA, 1998). 25. Geoffrey Watson, Oslo Accords, pp. 286-290; Eyal Benvenisti and Eyal Zamir, "Private Claims." 26. Ibid., pp. 331 and 338. However, Resolution 194 (III) spoke only of compensation for property. 27. Yltzhak Ravid, The Palestinian Refugees, pp. 36-40. * * * Ruth Lapidoth is a Fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Professor at the Law School of the College of Management as well as Greenblatt Professor Emeritus of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Lapidoth's areas of expertise include Public International Law, Law of the Sea, the Arab-Israeli conflict and its resolution, and specifically the juridical status of Jerusalem, and autonomy. Her books include The Arab-Israel Conflict and Its Resolution: Selected Documents (1992), The Jerusalem Question and Its Resolution: Selected Documents (1994), Autonomy: Flexible Solutions to Ethnic Conflicts (1997), and The Old City of Jerusalem (2002). This Jerusalem Viewpoints is based on a more comprehensive study, "Israel and the Palestinians: Some Legal Issues," that originally appeared in Die Friedens-Warte (Journal of International Peace and Organization), 76:2-3 (2001 ):211-240. ​ The Jerusalem Letter and Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints are published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 13 Tel-Hai St., Jerusalem, Israel; Tel. 972-2-5619281, Fax. 972-2-5619112, Internet: . In U.S.A.: Center for Jewish Community Studies,1515 Locust St., Suite 703, Philadelphia, PA 19102; Tel. (215) 772-0564, Fax. (215) 772-0566. ©Copyright. All rights reserved. ISSN: 0792-7304. The opinions expressed by the authors of Viewpoints do not necessarily reflect those of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. ​ To return to Menorah's Web Page To return to ISRAEL The Land-Nation-People-God’s Plan Web Page ​ ​

  • Pretribulation The Rapture | Menorah Ministries

    PRETRIBULATIONAL POSITION ‘RAPTURE’ OF THE CHURCH I. THE EVENTS OF THE RAPTURE: THE PROMISE TO RETURN FOR THE CHURCH …...John 14:1-3 THE PROGRAM OF THE RAPTURE …..I Thessalonians 4:13-18 vs 13-15 no soul sleep, no cessation of spirit-soul activity, only physical activity. Dead and living Believers benefit from the Rapture and share in such. vs 16-17 spells out the chronology sequence of the Rapture, in 7 stages. 1. the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven 2. with a shout. A command for the resurrection and translation to occur by Jesus. 3. with the voice of the archangel. Repeat of the command by the sub-commander. 4. with a the thrump of God, Triggers the actual Rapture to get into motion. 5. the dead in Christ rise first. To those only baptized in H. S., Acts 2, the Church. 6. the living in Christ rise second and join with the dead ones. “to be Caught up” 7. both meet the Lord in the air The ‘Change’ in the ‘Nature’ of the bodies: I Corinthians 15: Nature 35-49, Change 50-58 II. THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE: In no Biblical passage which discussed the Tribulation is the Church mentioned. The fact that saints are found in the Tribulation does not prove that the Church is there any more than the existence of saints in the Old Testament proves that the Church was there. And clearly the OT saints are not apart of the Church as seen in Acts. Saints in the Tribulation are never called the Church. However, the Church is evident in Revelation 1-3 and 19-22 and not in 6-18 dealing with the events of the Tribulation. The following passages all state that the Church will be removed before the wrath, or the Day of the Lord, or the Tribulation begins: A Pretribulational Rapture Luke 21:34-37 I Thessalonians 1:9-10 I Thessalonians 5:10 Revelation 3:10 These following Scriptures all state that the coming of the Messiah for the Believer (The Church) is imminent, at any time or moment. John 21:20-23 Romans 13:11-12 James 5:7-9 Revelation 22:20 Note: imminency does not mean ‘soon’ but only means that nothing else must precede it and that it could at any time happen, come, occur. When Before? The Rapture “precedes” the Tribulation but it does not “begin” the Tribulation. The Seven-Year covenant does. The Rapture merely comes some time before this, perhaps even many years. Then comes the immediate Judgment Seat of the Messiah Romans 14:10-12 II Corinthians 5:10 I Corinthians 3:10-15 Rewards: I Corinthians 9:24-25 I Thessalonians 2:19 II Timothy 4:7-8 James 1:12 Revelation 2:10 I Peter 5:2-4 Purpose: determining degree of authority in the Messianic Kingdom, only the Eternal Order. All are equal there. Parable: Luke 19:11-27 Reference: The Footsteps of the Messiah Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum Arial Ministries pp. 142-160 To Return to Menorah's Web Page To Return to To Life - L'Chaim Find Eternal Life Web Page

  • Yeshua Jesus In Bible Prophecy | Menorah Ministries

    Yeshua-Jesus Prophecy The Whole History of Salvation in the Light of the Tehillim-Psalms ​ Yeshua said to them, "This is what I meant when I was still with you and told you that everything written about me in the Torah of Moshe, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled. Luke 24:44 The Messiah Was Despised: But I am a worm, not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. Tehillah/Psalm 22:6 You know how I am insulted, shamed and disgraced; before you stand all my foes. Insults have broken my heart to the point that I could die. I hoped that someone would show compassion, but nobody did; and that there would be comforters, but I found none. They put poison in my food; in my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink. Tehillah 69:19-22 Was Rejected: The very rock that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone! Tehillah/Psalm 118:22 Was Mocked: All who see me jeer at me; they sneer and shake their heads: "He committed himself to ADONAI,so let him rescue him! Let him set him free if he takes such delight in him!" Tehillah/Psalm 22:7-8 Your enemies, ADONAI, have flung their taunts, flung them in the footsteps of your anointed one. Blessed be ADONAI forever. Amen. Amen. Tehillah/Psalm 89:51-52 Was Whipped: The plowmen plowed on my back; wounding me with long furrows. Tehillah/Psalm 129:3 Was Derided: I am estranged from my brothers, an alien to my mother's children, Insults have broken My heart to the point that I could die. I hoped that someone would show compassion, but nobody did; and that there would be comforters, but I found none. Tehillah/Psalm 69:8, 20 Was Impaled On A Stake-Cross: My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me? Why so far from helping me, so far from my anguished cries? My God, by day I call to you, but you don't answer; likewise at night, but I get no relief. /Psalm 22:1-2 I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart has become like wax it melts inside me; my mouth is as dry as a fragment of a pot, my tongue sticks to my palate; you lay me down in the dust of death. Dogs are all around me, a pack of villains closes in on me like a lion [at] my hands and feet. I can count every one of my bones, while they gaze at me and gloat. Tehillah/Psalm 22:14-17 Was Thirsty: my mouth is as dry as a fragment of a pot, my tongue sticks to my palate… Tehillah/Psalm 22:15 Was Given Wine Mixed With Gall While On The Stake-Cross: in my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink. Tehillah/Psalm 69:21b Lots Were Casted For His garments: They divide my garments among themselves; for my clothing they throw dice. Tehillah 22:18/Psalm His Bones were Not Broken: He protects all his bones; not one of them gets broken. Tehillah/Psalm 34:20 He Rose From The Dead: for you will not abandon me to Sh'ol, you will not let your faithful one see the Abyss. Tehillah/Psalm 16:10 He Ascended To Heaven: After you went up into the heights, you led captivity captive, Our God is a God who saves; from ADONAI [God] Adonai [the Lord] comes escape from death. Tehillah/Psalm 68:18a, 20 He Is At The Right Hand Of Adonai-God: Adonai says to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool." Tehillah/Psalm 110:1 Help the man at your right hand, the son of man you made strong for yourself. Tehillah/Psalm 80:17 He Is The High Priest: "You are a cohen forever, to be compared with Malki-Tzedek." Tehillah/Psalm 110:4 He Will Judge The Nations: You said, "I made a covenant with the one I chose, I swore to my servant David, 'I will establish your dynasty forever, build up your throne through all generations.'" (Selah) Tehillah/Psalm 89:3-4 His reign Is Eternal: I have sworn by my holiness once and for all; I will not lie to David, his dynasty will last forever, his throne like the sun before me. It will be established forever, like the moon, which remains a faithful witness in the sky." Tehillah/Psalm 89:35-37 He Is The Son Of God: "I will proclaim the decree: ADONAI said to me, 'You are my son; today I became your father. Tehillah/Psalm 2:7 He Spoke In Parables: I will speak to you in parables and explain mysteries from days of old. Tehillah/Psalm 78:2 He Calmed The Storm: You control the raging of the sea; when its waves rear up, you calm them. Tehillah/Psalm 89:9 The People Sang Hosanna To Him: Please, ADONAI! Save us! Please, ADONAI! Rescue us! Blessed is he who comes in the name of ADONAI. We bless you from the house of ADONAI. Tehillah 118:25-26 He Is Blessed For Ever: I address my verses to the king; My tongue is the pen of an expert scribe. You are the most handsome of men; gracious speech flows from your lips. For God has blessed you forever. Tehillah/Psalm 45:1b-2 Your throne, God, will last forever and ever; you rule your kingdom with a scepter of equity. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy in preference to your companions Tehillah/Psalm 45:6-7 I will make your name known through all generations; thus the peoples will praise you forever and ever. Tehillah/Psalm 45:17 He Will Come In His Glory In The Last Days: The nations will fear the name of Adonai and all the kings on earth your glory, when Adonai has rebuilt Tziyon, and shows himself in his glory, ….from heaven Adonai surveys the earth …. to proclaim the name of Adonai in Tziyon and his praise in Yerushalayim when peoples and kingdoms have been gathered together to serve Adonai. …. God, your years last through all generations; …. In the beginning, you laid the foundations of the earth; heaven is the work of your hands. …. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. Tehillah/Psalm 102:15-27 Ref. The Messiah in the Old Testament, Risto Santala, p.110b Keren Ahvah Meshhiit , Jerusalem 1992 All Scripture from The Complete Jewish Bible How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. For further information contact ​ Return To Bible Torah Prophecy God's Instructions Page ​ Return To The Real Yeshua-Jesus Page To Return To L'Chaim - To Life! Page ​ To return to Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Biblical Discussion Articles ​ To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Donation | Menorah Ministries

    Thank you for your prayer and support, God bless and keep you. To make a donation by bank account or Credit card For planned giving to Menorah Ministries We appreciate your consideration in planning your giving through your estate planning. To Return to Menorah's Web page

  • Torah, Talmud, Midrash Discussion | Menorah Ministries

    TORAH - TALMUD - MIDRASH BIBLICAL DISCUSSION ARTICLES ​ ​ ~ Is The Torah for Today? ~Who Is The Jewish Messiah? ~Yeshua In the Tenach..The Name of JESUS In the Old Testament ~ How Did Daniel Decipher It? ~Our Tragic Mistake... Messiah's Mistaken Identity ~Messianic Rabbinic Dialogue of Yeshua Jesus ~When Talmud Is Right Who Is the Jewish Messiah? ~The Rabbis Speak About the Messiah ~Messiah Promised "In the Beginning" To Eve ~Messiah Promised to Noah's Son - Shem ~Messiah Out of The Seed of The Patriarchs ~Judah Named Successor to Messianic Promise ~Moses Called as Prophet and Priest but Not Messiah ~Messiah: A Branch from Jesse ~Messiah Is Son of David and Son of God ~Messiah Of the Linage of Solomon and Hezekiah ~Messiah To Descend From Jehoiachin and Zerubbabel ~ Messiah After the Order of Melchizedek ~ Messiah To Be The Final Sacrifice ~The Suffering Messiah Ben Joseph ~The Exalted Messiah Ben David ~Messiahs Of the Wrong Seed ~The Seed of Messiah ~Yeshua Is the Messiah! ~Why Messianic Jews For further information please contact: To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Yeshua-Jesus Name Study | Menorah Ministries

    Yeshua-Jesus Name Study To Return To Menorah's Web Page ​ To Return To The Real Jesus Web Page

  • The Modern Birth Of Israel | Menorah Ministries

    The Birth Of Israel In Modern Times The Impossibility …..But For God…. The concept of a homeland for the Jews was advocated by the Zionist Movement in the 19th century – although the return to the Promised Land was a 2000-year-old dream. Dr. Theodor Herzl translated the Zionist Movement's concept into a political program, namely a Jewish State. This was supported by the famous Balfour Declaration of 1917. International recognition was assured by the League of Nations in the Treaty of San Remo in 1920. Following the defeat of Germany and her allies in WWI, Turkey lost her empire. Its vast domains were divided in order to create the new states of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Palestine, on both sides of the Jordan, was entrusted to Britain for the establishment of the Jewish National Home. Although the original area designated National Home was considerably reduced by the British in 1922 in order to provide for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - the Jews nevertheless succeeded in developing the small area left to them into a flourishing enterprise, literally causing the desert to bloom. With the benefit of hindsight, it is instructive to compare Arab gains from the Allied victory in WWI with those of the Jews. On the one hand, five independent newly- born states on an enormous area, as against the promise of a National Home on a very small area. The growth of the Jewish population in Palestine was resented by the Arabs who expressed their hostility by fomenting bloody riots in 1920, 1929, 1933 and 1936-39. The most tragic was the massacre of the ancient Jewish community of Hebron in 1929. In order to resolve the conflict, on November 29, 1947 the UN voted in favor of a Partition Plan which provided for two independent states, one Jewish, one Arab, while Jerusalem would be internationalized. Although there was hesitation among the Jewish public, it was decided to accept the Plan, notwithstanding that the area allotted to the Jewish State was, once again, considerably reduced. The Arabs rejected the plan outright. Contemptuous of the will of the world, bands of Palestinian Arabs, aided by irregular volunteers from neighboring countries, attacked Jewish communities and clashed with the Hagana defense force. With the termination of the UN Mandate on May 14, 1948 the British forces had withdrawn from Palestine. Regular troops of the armies of Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon invaded the country, along with volunteer detachments from Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Yemen. "The Arabs intend to conduct a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades," declared Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, on the BBC, May 15, 1948. Despite the fierce resistance of the nascent Israel Defense Force, the Arabs made significant headway in their assault. Egyptian troops reached the Jerusalem suburb of Talpiot, and, advancing along the coast, were stopped 40 km. short of Tel Aviv. In the North, the Syrians took Kibbutz Mishmar Hayarden, only 25 km. from Tiberias. Jordan captured the Old City of Jerusalem and destroyed its 58 synagogues. They also took Gush Etzion, the resort hotel of Kalia (and the kibbutz next to it on the Dead Sea) and the Monastery of Latrun on the Tel Aviv- Jerusalem road. The Latrun stronghold - as well as the bitter fighting at the nearby Castel fort and Arab villages - frustrated Israeli attempts to break the six month siege on Jerusalem. The Jewish casualty toll in the 1948 war was far greater than that of the Arabs. Estimated at 3.2%, it is among the highest casualty rate of any recorded conflict. Israel and the Axis of Evil One and a half million Jews fought with the Allies against Germany, Italy and Japan in WWII. Among them were over 30,000 Jewish volunteers from tiny Palestine. In the cemeteries of Normandy, Stalingrad and El-Alamein, one can see tombs engraved with the Magen David but none with the Islamic Crescent. The Arab world stood aloof. Moreover, leaders like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the ruler of Iraq sided with the Nazis. Some Western democracies, while misjudging Israel's present struggle, seem to have forgotten these facts. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post 1-15-2003 approximately, and is reproduced solely for educational purposes. ​ To return to Psalm 122:6 Page To return to Menorah's Web Page To return to Flag of Palestine To return to the Israel Page....The Land Nation People God’s Plan Time of the Rapture page

  • The Sign of the Virgin | Menorah Ministries

    THE SIGN OF THE VIRGIN The Controversy Isaiah 7:13-14 is a prophecy concerning the virgin conception and the birth of the Messiah. This is perhaps the most controversial of the messianic prophecies and therefore requires a closer textual analysis than others. The exact meaning of this passage is disputed by rabbis, liberal theologians and even by some evangelical theologians. The passage talks of "a sign: The virgin will be with child..." There are two areas of controversy here: 1. The sign: Since the context of the chapter requires a short range prophecy - giving a sign to King Ahaz - how can this be applied to the birth of a child some 700 years later, as claimed in Matthew 1:22-23? 2. The Hebrew word "Almah": Does it really mean a virgin, or simply a young unmarried woman? We will deal with both of these contentious issues before proceeding to discuss the passage itself. Hermeneutics Since Isaiah 7:13-14 requires an immediate sign to King Ahaz, many Evangelicals have taken this verse to be an example of "double fulfillment." This principle states that a prophecy may have more than one fulfillment. This verse may, accordingly, be both a sign for King Ahaz and the sign in Matthew 1:22-23 for the birth of Jesus. We do not accept the principle of double fulfillment either here or in any other place in the Bible. If this principle were true, there would be no real need for the virgin birth at all. There is another, better principle of biblical interpretation which is "double reference." This principle states that one block of Scripture dealing with one person, one event, one time, may be followed by another block of Scripture dealing with a different person, place and time, without making any clear distinction between the two blocks or indicating that there is a gap of time between the two blocks. The act of a gap of time is known only from other Scriptures. There are, therefore, two separate prophecies side-by-side each having their own fulfillment, but with only one fulfillment per prophecy. "Double Fulfillment" states that one prophecy can have two fulfillments. "Double Reference" states that the one piece of Scripture actually contains two prophecies, each having its own fulfillment. Isaiah 7:13-17 contains two quite separate prophecies with different purposes, and having different fulfillments at different times. The Hebrew Word Almah The major debate, of course, is over the exact meaning of the Hebrew word almah, translated here as virgin. In describing a young woman, there are three Hebrew words which Isaiah could have used: 1. Na'a'rah Na'a'rah means "damsel" and can refer to either a virgin (as in I Kings 1:2), or a non-virgin (as in Ruth 2:6). 2. Betulah This is commonly considered to mean a virgin, exclusively. It is argued that if Isaiah had really meant to say a virgin, then he would have used this word. It is true that this word is often used to mean virgin, but not always. For example: a. In Joel 1:8 it is used in reference to a widow. b. In Genesis 24:16, because the word does not exclusively mean "virgin" the writer adds the phrase "had never known a man" in order to clarify what he means. c. Again in Judges 21:12 the phrase "had not known a man" has to be added to give the precise meaning. 3. Almah Almah means "a virgin," "a young virgin," a "virgin of marriageable age." This word is used seven times in the Hebrew Scriptures and not once is it used to describe a married woman; this point is not debated. a. Genesis 24:43. In contrast to 24:16 mentioned above, verse 43 requires no additional qualifying remarks since the one word alone is sufficient to mean "virgin." Furthermore, it is used of Rebekah who was obviously a virgin at the time of her marriage to Isaac. b. Exodus 2:8. Used in reference to Moses' sister Miriam, who was a virgin. c. Psalm 68:25. Used in reference to the royal procession of virgins. Since the King in this context is God Himself, absolute virginity is required; it is unthinkable that God would allow unchaste, unmarried women in His procession. d. Song of Songs 1:3. The context here is purity in marriage. e. Song of Songs 6:8. The word is used here in contrast to wives and concubines who would obviously be non-virgins. f. Proverbs 30:18-19. The word is used in verse 19 in contrast to an adulteress in verse 20. g. Isaiah 7:14. Since all of the above six verses mean "a virgin," what reason is there for making Isaiah 7:14 the only exception? Since everyone agrees that almah means an unmarried woman, if the woman in Isaiah 7:14 were a non-virgin, then God would be promising a sign involving fornication and illegitimacy. It is unthinkable that God would sanction sin, and in any case, what would be so unusual about an illegitimate baby that could possibly constitute a sign? As far as ancient Jewish writers were concerned, there was no argument about Isaiah 7:14 predicting a virgin birth. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures made about 200 B.C., 200 years before the issue of Jesus' Messiahship ever arose. The Jews who made this translation, living much closer to the times of Isaiah than we do today, translated Isaiah 7:14 using the Greek word parthenos which very clearly and exclusively means a virgin. There can therefore be no doubt that the unique event which God is promising as a sign is the miraculous conception of a son by a girl who is still a virgin. ​ Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NASB) To Return To Menorah's Web Page To Return To To Life - L'Chaim Find Eternal Life Web Page To Return To Who Is Yeshua Jesus Web Page

  • Rabbi Asher Levy | Menorah Ministries

    Rabbi Asher Levy ​ I was a Jewish Rabbi for 35 years. Born in Yugoslavia, I was brought up in a very orthodox Jewish home. I was taught to say formal prayers and wear phylacteries as prescribed for every pious Jew (Deuteronomy 6: 8; 11: 18). At the age of 15 I went to the theological school for Rabbis where I studied the Old Testament and Talmudic commentaries and six years later I was ordained as Rabbi in Romania. Afterwards I served in Belgium, England and California. ​ Outwardly I was happy and successful in my ministry but in my heart I was restless and discontented because I suffered much as a result of the emptiness of life in general. Six years ago I met a Jewish man with whom I discussed this matter. I did not know that he was a believer in Jesus Christ. His advice was: "Read Isaiah 53." I then read this well-known chapter concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which says that He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities. I felt urged further to examine the Hebrew Scriptures and found these words written by the same prophet: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6, 7). I also read: Hear ye now, O House of David; is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son. and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7 :13, 14). "Immanuel" means "God with us”. ​ This proved to me that Jesus was and is the Messiah in Whom all the prophecies were fulfilled. Meanwhile I had found a clear portrait of the Messiah in a small book which I had the privilege of getting into my hands. It was my first introduction to the New Testament. I started reading it like any other book, from the beginning: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David son of Abraham," and found to my amazement that I was reading a Jewish book about a Jew. By reading it carefully I came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was a Jew of the race of Abraham and David; that He was born of a Jewish virgin in the Jewish town of Bethlehem; of a Jewish tribe, the tribe of Judah. ​ Because He knew the Law and the Prophets I followed Him on His journeys through the Holy Land, listened to His beautiful sayings and teaching, observed and admired His compassion and healings. It became my spiritual food. His promise of forgiveness of sins and eternal life lo those who believe in Him. drew me till I trusted Him as my Messiah and my personal savior. ​ I want to confirm the fact that my heart does not condemn me for my new belief, because I feel that I am still a Jew and shall always be a Jew. I have not renounced our inheritance of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Like Paul I can say after my acceptance of Christ as my Savior: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. (I Corinthians 11:22) Thus I repeat with pride the word of Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first. and also to the Greek. ​ The brilliant example of the great apostle Paul influenced me very much and gave me the courage to accept the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior. Paul first was a zealous persecutor of Christ and then became His most faithful follower. He was a disciple of that great doctor of the Law, Raban Gamaliel, at whose feet he sat. It is believed that Raban Gamaliel became a follower of Christ before Paul did. The Bible tells us that some wanted to kill Peter and the other apostles because they were preaching Christ so boldly. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the Law, had a reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; and said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do as touching these men. . . And now I say unto you, refrain from these men and let them alone, for if this counsel or this work be of men it will come to naught, but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found even to fight against God (Acts 5:34, 35, 38, 39). ​ It is two thousand years since the lowly Galilean, Jesus, traversed the hills and dales of Palestine, and He is still Master of the world. His Gospel is still preached. and Christ's name as Messiah of Israel is still proclaimed. And His message is still repeated everywhere: For God so loved. the world, that He gave his only begotten Son. that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16. Hear, O Israel! ​ For further information contact: To Return To Dr. Rabbi Max Wertheimer Testimony Page To Return To: Salvation Testimonies Page To Return To: L'Chaim -To Life! Page To Return To: Menorah's Web Page

  • QuestionairForPalestinianAdvocates | Menorah Ministries

    THE BEST EXPLANATION IS MANY TIMES THE SIMPLEST An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates By Yashiko Sagamori If you are so sure that "Palestine”, the country, goes back through most of recorded history, I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about Palestine: 1. When was it founded and by whom? 2. What were its borders? 3. What was its capital? 4. What were its major cities? 5. What constituted the basis of its economy? 6. What was its form of government? 7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat? 8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation? 9. What was the language of Palestine? 10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine? 11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date. 12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur? You are lamenting the "low sinking" of a "once proud" nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of? And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War? I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won't work here. The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve THEIR evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza, respectively? The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called "Palestinians" have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel, and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation"-- or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled. In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East. Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 60 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel's ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning? Can this story be presented any more clearly or simply? ADONAI-Tzva'ot (the Lord of the Heavenly armies) says, 'When that time comes, ten men will take hold - speaking all the languages of the nations - will grab hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, "We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you."'" Z’kharyah/Zechariah 8:23 To return to the Israel Page....The Land Nation People God’s Plan ​ To Return To Flag Of Palestine Web Page To Return To Menorah's Web Page

  • Jews Gentiles and the Church | Menorah Ministries

    JEWS, GENTILES & THE CHURCH by Dave Hunt Before the cross of Christ, mankind was divided into two groups: Jews and Gentiles. The Old and New Testaments both make very clear what caused this distinction: it was the covenants God had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and with their descendants through Moses. These covenants were for Israel alone and separated her from all other nations on the face of the earth, making God's "chosen people" absolutely unique. Israel was segregated from other peoples by the Mosaic law and by her special relationship with the One who calls Himself "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." The important distinction between Jews and Gentiles is maintained consistently throughout the Bible: " shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth" (Exodus 33:16); "...for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people that ye should be mine" (Lev. 20:26); "And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his ... own people forever" (II Chronicles 17:21-22); ... "ye (Gentiles) were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God ..." (Ephesians 2:11-12). After the cross a new entity came into existence -- the church that Jesus Christ promised He would build (Matthew 16:18). As a result, there are now three divisions of mankind: Jews, Gentiles and the church. Paul tells us that we are to "Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God" (I Corinthians 10:32). It is absolutely essential to understand that these three groups exist side- by-side in today’s world, to distinguish between them, and to recognize that God deals with each differently. Essential also is an understanding that the church was created through offering to both Jews and Gentiles a "new covenant" relationship with God. This did not bring Gentiles under the Jewish Mosaic Law (as some erroneously teach), but delivered from it those coming into the church, both Jews and Gentiles. Paul explains that Gentiles who were "aliens ... of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise" have been "made nigh(to God) by the blood of Christ." God has "broken down the middle wall of partition(between Jew and Gentile); having abolished in his flesh the (Mosaic) law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain(Jew and Gentile) one new man" (Ephesians 2:11- 22). These Scriptures (and many others) make it clear that the church did not replace Israel but came into existence as a new and third entity comprised of both Jews and Gentiles and distinct from each. As surely as Gentiles continue to exist outside the church, so does Israel with all of God's promises and plans for her remaining in full force. God also has unique plans for the church different from those for either Israel or the Gentile nations. A major error of Deconstructionists such as North, Rushdoony, DeMar and Bahnsen (an error that is also taught by Jay Grimstead's Coalition on Revival) is their claim that the Law of Moses was for all mankind; and that it provides the moral basis both for the civil government of Romans 13:1-10 and for the conduct of Christians today. On the contrary, the law which unsaved civil magistrates enforce under Romans 13 could not be the Mosaic Law, because that was given exclusively to the Jews. It is rather the moral law that Romans 2:1-29 says is written by God in every human conscience. That the Mosaic law was never intended for Gentiles and is not applicable to the church is clear from many Scriptures in addition to those quoted above, such as: "For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them ... (and) hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law" (Deuteronomy 4:7- 8); "He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them" (Psalms 147:19-20) As already noted, the Mosaic "law of commandments" that distinguished Israel from the rest of the world was "abolished" by the cross of Christ in the process of creating the church out of Jews and Gentiles who have been made into "one new man." Failure to accept the above teaching of Scripture leads to grievous errors which plagued the early church and are being revived today. Foremost, of course, is legalism -- the idea that to be a Christian one must obey the laws of Moses. This causes confusion both as to justification and sanctification: the means of being delivered from sin's future penalty, and from its present power in our lives. The Scripture makes it clear that neither of these involves keeping the law. The suggestion of "Judaizers", that the church was under the Mosaic Law, was rejected as heresy by the apostles and elders when they met in Jerusalem specifically to consider this subject shortly after Pentecost (Acts 15:19). Paul thoroughly refuted the Judaizers' teaching in his Epistle to the Galatians. Certainly, through keeping the law "there shall no flesh be justified" (Romans 3:20). Justification comes as a free gift of God's grace through the finished work of Christ. Nor can one be sanctified (i.e., gain the victory over the practice of sin) by keeping the law, because of the weakness of human flesh. The good news is that "what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh," God accomplished through "sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin" (Romans 8:1-4). The New Testament presents to the Christian a much higher standard of moral and ethical conduct than that of the Mosaic Law. And we are empowered to live this higher standard because Christ Himself, by the Holy Spirit, has come to indwell our hearts and to live through us a supernatural life pleasing to God. The glorious result is the death of self and a new life of faith (Galatians 2:20) that produces the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). There are many serious consequences to the growing delusion that the church is Israel. Christ said that those who "call themselves Jews and are not" are in fact "the synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9;3:9)! Some of those who teach this lie are brilliant, such as Greg Bahnsen, who holds his doctorate in philosophy from USC. Yet the errors they make are so elementary as to betray a basic anti-Jewish sentiment, which they deny, but which seems to have blinded them to the obvious. Bahnsen, for example, quotes Ps. 89:34 ("My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.") to prove his contention that "God's covenant is one unchanging moral code through Old & New Testaments" (By This Standard, p. 44). Yet Psalm 89 has nothing whatsoever to do with a moral code but is all about the covenant God made with David that "His seed shall endure forever, & his throne as the sun before me" (v. 36). This is the covenant the angel Gabriel reaffirmed in telling Mary that the One conceived in her of the Holy Spirit would reign on the throne of His father David, a covenant which Bahnsen perversely claims is no longer in force in spite of the very verse he misapplies declaring that it is! Bahnsen habitually quotes Jesus' statement, "... one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law ..." to support his contention that the church is under the Mosaic Law, but deliberately leaves out the rest of the sentence. Far from teaching that the law would always be in force, Christ declared that it would pass away when it was fulfilled, and that He had come to fulfill it: "I am not come to destroy [the law], but to fulfill [it]. ... one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5:17-18). His life, death, burial and resurrection accomplished this fulfillment and made possible the new covenant relationship with God whereby those in the church are "justified by faith without the deeds of law" (Romans 3:21-30). Does this "make void the law"? No, it "establish[es] the law" (v.31) as that which made, Israel unique, was the barrier between Jew and Gentile, is still applicable to Jews, but for those now in the church, both Jews and Gentiles, has been fulfilled and abolished in Christ. Those who teach that the church is Israel go on to claim that the church is heir to all of the promises given to Israel. This is as ludicrous as claiming that "the land of Israel" is now "the land of the church." Clearly the church has no relationship to the land God gave to Israel. Hear God's promise: "... though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee ... He that scattered Israel will gather him ... they shall come and sing in the height of Zion ... they shall not sorrow any more at all" (Jeremiah 30:10-11;31:3-14; etc.). The preservation of the Israelis as an identifiable people, in spite of the proverbial "wandering Jews" 2500-year Diaspora from the promised land, and the establishment of Israel in 1948, constitute irrefutable proof for the existence of the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" and the validity of His Holy Word. Therefore, to insist that Israel no longer has any claim to her ancient homeland, and that her return thereto is a mere coincidence, denies one of the most persuasive arguments for belief in God and the Gospel, dishonors Him and His Word, and is not only illogical but evil! My language may seem strong, but it is justified in view of the monstrous errors that grow from this one delusion, as well as by the severity of Christ's "synagogue of Satan" indictment. It may seem innocent enough to claim for the church II Chronicles 7:14, but this Scripture that has become such a popular favorite simply does not apply to the church. While Christians may make spiritual applications to themselves from God's admonition to Israel to "humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked way," the "land" He promised to heal as a result was Israel and only Israel, not the United States or any other country. Gary North's latest book, When Justice is Aborted, begins with God's promise to Joshua that He would help him to conquer the land of Canaan--then, in a typical Reconstruction/Kingdom/ Dominion misapplication of Scripture, on that basis justifies a Christian takeover of the world. The Forceful Men organization, co-directed by muscleman John Jacobs, recently sponsored a large conference in Phoenix featuring leading charismatic speakers, who promoted the same error. God's exhortation to Joshua to "go in and possess the land [of Canaan] was presented as inspiration and justification for a "Joshua generation" of macho-minded Christians taking over America and the world. In fact, Joshua himself had no authority from God to take over any land outside of the prescribed boundaries specifically given to Israel. (Genesis 15:18-21; Numbers 34:1-12; etc.) The Second Coming of Christ becomes clouded in confusion if we fail to remember that the Lord comes in a different and specific manner for "Jews, Gentiles and the church of God." For His bride He comes secretly to "rapture" her to His Father's house of many mansions where He has prepared an eternal dwelling place for her. For Israel, in the midst of God's judgment for her rejection of her Messiah, surrounded by the armies of the world and about to be destroyed, He comes visibly in power to rescue her, judge her Gentile enemies, and to establish the Millennial kingdom with headquarters in Jerusalem. May God help us to "love His appearing" and to witness with a clear voice concerning these soon coming events Reprinted with permission of the Berean Call Ministry For further information contact: To return to Underatanding Bible Prophecy page To return to How Catholics May Know They Go To Heaven page To return to Who Is Yeshua-Jesus Web Page To return to MENORAH'S JEWS, GENTILES & THE CHURCH WEB PAGE To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE

  • Psalm 122:6 Song | Menorah Ministries

    Psalm 122:6 Song Pray for the peace of Jerusalem… May they prosper who love you! Psalms 122:6 Aaronic Blessing Song Numbers 6:24-26 Web Page Psalm 122:6 Song Go aaoronic

  • Estate Planning Giving | Menorah Ministries

    We appreciate your consideration in planning your giving through your estate planning, gifting to the Lord’s Gospel work beyond your earthly life. God bless and keep you! Please consult your legal and tax professionals and call us at any time. 303-355-2009 Giving Through Securities What are the Advantages of Making a Gift of Securities? · You avoid all capital gains tax when you contribute long-term appreciated securities to Menorah Ministries. · You receive a charitable income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the securities if they have been held longer than one year. The fair market value can be deducted against up to 30% of your adjusted gross income and any excess deductions can be carried forward into as many as five additional tax years. Giving Through Real Estate By using real estate to fund a gift, you may be able to make a gift to Chosen People Ministries of a size which would otherwise not have been possible. Whether it is a house, farm, vacation home, office building or plot of undeveloped land, your property can be a very helpful gift for you and for Menorah Ministries. A real estate gift can provide you with a combination of advantages and tax savings. Some of the benefits of a real estate gift accepted by Menorah Ministries include: · An immediate charitable income tax deduction in the year you make the gift. · Avoiding capital gains taxes at the time of the transfer. · The opportunity to live in your home or use the property for the rest of your life. · Knowing that the property will be excluded from any estate and inheritance taxes. Because each property and gift plan is unique, any real estate gift will require careful consideration by your legal and tax advisers. They can explain how advantageous a real estate gift can be. Giving Through Life Insurance, Retirement and Savings Accounts How to Give When Your Needs Change Life insurance, pension plans, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, and savings accounts are convenient gift options that people often overlook. ​ Giving Memorial Gifts Endowments and Memorials: The Gifts that Endure Menorah Ministries is an organization dedicated to bringing the Gospel to Jewish people. What better way to pay tribute to someone that has touched your life and who loved the Lord and the Jewish people than through a memorial gift to Menorah Ministries? ​ Memorial gifts are very flexible. Every gift outlined in this web site can be made in memory of a loved one. ​ Giving Through Wills and Bequests ​ A bequest is one of the most meaningful legacies you can provide for your family, friends, and Menorah Ministries. Your bequest helps ensure that your wishes for the future of Jewish evangelism will be honored. We have been able to sustain many of today's outreach programs due to the generosity and vision of our former supporters. ​ If you are planning to write your will, or if you already have one, you may want to consider these common ways to make a bequest: ​ Specific Dollar Amount "I give, devise and bequeath to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224, $____________ ." ​ Percentage of Your Estate "I give, devise and bequeath to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224, ___________% of my estate." ​ Residue of Your Estate A residuary bequest to Menorah Ministries directs that all the residue, or a percentage of the residue, of your estate be paid to the ministry after all debts, taxes, expenses, and all other bequests have been paid. "All the residue of my estate, including, without limitation, real and personal property, I give, devise and bequeath to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224." Specific Asset from your Estate "I give, devise and bequeath _______ (insert a description of the asset here, such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, real estate, works of art or antiques) to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224." ​ Contingent Bequests You can name Menorah Ministries to receive all or some of your estate if your primary heirs predecease you. You might do this to protect your estate from expensive litigation or from ultimate distribution to the state or unintended beneficiaries. ​ "If _____________ (insert the name of your heir) predecease me or disclaims any interest in ____________ (describe the asset or portion of your estate here), I give such property to Menorah Ministries, 393 S. Ivy St. Denver CO 80224." ​ Giving Through Trusts Trusts are formal legal arrangements designating a trustee to receive and hold legal title to property and administer the property according to your instructions. Trusts can arrange for any financial or administrative function. Trusts can be very simple, or they can be as complex as necessary to meet your various financial, charitable and personal goals. Retirement account assets , if left to anyone other than a spouse, may be subject to very high taxation. By designating Menorah Ministries as recipient of any remaining in your retirement plan, or by using them during your lifetime to be used in the Lord’s work is important to think about, as a saving tax benefit. ​ Thank you for your prayerful and kind consideration, may the Lord Bless you and keep you. Numbers 24:4-6 To return to Be Involved Support Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Christian Convertornot,thatisthequestion | Menorah Ministries

    To Convert or Not To Convert, That Is The Question by Chaim Urbach DEFINING THE ISSUES: ​ The question "Should Gentile believers convert to Judaism?" sounds at first blush, well, so academic. You might picture a roomful of Messianic mavens, arguing over finer points of Messianic Halachah. Conversion of Gentile believers to Judaism is by no means an ivory-tower issue— it often comes connected with tremendous emotional and spiritual freight. All of us know Gentile believers who have struggled with this issue. Much rides on a balanced understanding of Scripture, which will steer us through this potential minefield. ​ Let us define the issues. In this article I take for granted two basic assumptions: ​ 1. Conversion of Gentile believers cannot be mandatory, either for the sake of relationship with the Lord or fellowship with fellow believers. Acts 15 (1, 20) and the rest of the New Testament (e.g. Gal. 5:4) clearly base our spiritual life on Yeshua's atonement alone. ​ 2. A Gentile believer should not convert to rabbinic tradition. According to tradition, a bona fide conversion demands that potential converts renounce their previous faith completely. Maurice Lamm, a distinguished professor of rabbinics at Yeshivah University, describes the convert as "a newborn child, not only in spiritual-emotional terms, but also in legal and technical terms." Can a believer, invalidate his new birth, and renounce his Messiah by submitting to such a conversion? Even in the rare cases where the converting rabbi did not require a renunciation, the conversion is no more justified. Whether or not this is acknowledged, a believer adopts a belief system that defines itself by the rejection of Yeshua. ​ The issue under the microscope in this article is this, "Should it be possible for willing Gentile believers to identify more closely with the Jewish people by voluntarily converting to Messianic Judaism." 2 ​ CONVERSIONS TO JUDAISM ARE UNNECESSARY FOR FELLOWSHIP… Acts 15:1-28 I Corinthians 9:19-23: ​ The ruling of the council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-28) made it clear that Gentile believers were excused from taking on the entire yoke of Torah (i.e., conversion) but instead were prohibited from four things: food offered to idols, fornication, meat strangled and blood (Acts 15:20, 29). Yet, it has been argued that the ruling actually encouraged Gentile believers towards a more Torah-observant lifestyle and left room for voluntary conversion. For instance, Patrice Fischer states that the majority of Gentile believers at this point were Jews in all but name. 3 "These G-d fearers were every bit as Jewishly observant as their Jewish friends.... Their lifestyle already identified them as Jews, even if the final ritual of formal conversion had not yet taken place....." The purpose of the four prohibitions according to Fischer was "to delineate more fully their [the Gentile believers'] already fully Jewish commitment". 4 There are two major problems with this reconstruction. The Gentile believers in the new congregations, even at this early date (Acts 13-14) came from diverse backgrounds. Some were indeed Torah-observant God-fearers--participating in the local synagogues (Acts 13:26, 50; 17:14, 17), praying during traditional prayer times (e.g. Cornelius praying at 3 p.m., Acts 10:3) and keeping many of the commandments of Torah. Yet, many (even a majority) of the other new Gentile believers were saved out of rank paganism (Acts 14:13; 17:34; 18:11; 19:19). The ruling of the council at Jerusalem had to be directed to meet the needs of the entire spectrum of new Gentile believers, not just the minority who were more observant God-fearers. ​ Secondly, the context of Acts 10-15 defines the ruling in Acts 15 as strongly related to the social interaction between Jews and Gentiles--both fellowship and outreach--not one of greater identification. The four prohibitions mentioned in Acts 15 certainly point us in that direction. 5 The first pair of prohibitions--avoiding food offered to idols and fornication--was associated with festivals (often orgies), held in honor of the gods (e.g. I Corinthians 8:7, 10; Numbers 25:1-3). The second pair--the prohibitions against eating flesh from animals that were killed by strangulation and drinking blood--was based on laws of Kashrut spelled out in the Torah (in this case Leviticus 17:10-14). An observant Jew would be repulsed by and consider unclean anyone who transgressed all of these prohibitions-- those dealing with Kashrut as well as idolatry/fornication. For instance, Peter had to overcome his deeply-ingrained squeamishness towards coming into Cornelius' house, thereby putting himself at the risk of becoming (tameh) ritually unclean (Acts 10:28; 11:3). ​ Outside the book of Acts, only the prohibition against fornication (Acts 15:20, 29), is repeated again (Romans 13:13; I Corinthians 6:18; 7:2; 10:8; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:13; Colossians 3:5 etc.). Where ritual matters are mentioned (I Corinthians 10; 27-30; Romans 14:1-6, 10-14; Colossians 2:16), they are presented as matters where the believer has freedom of choice. For instance, eating food offered to idols is spiritually neutral unless it takes place as part of idol worship, or unless they significantly undermine the faith of another believer. 6 One has to conclude that the other requirements were not (are not) absolute requirements for Gentile believers. Rather, they were issued to remove potential hindrances to fellowship between Jewish and Gentile believers. While Acts 15 did not explicitly forbid Gentiles from converting to Judaism, discouraging conversions certainly was a given at the council. ​ CONVERSIONS TO JUDAISM ARE UNNECESSARY FOR IDENTIFICATION… I Corinthians 9:19-23: ​ Does identifying with someone require our changing our identity through conversion? Arnold Fruchtenbaum argues that Scripture provides a different kind of a model for identification. (I Corinthians 9:19-23). 7 The biblical means of identification is by acculturation [i.e. adopting cultural norms]. To become as [italic his] one is not to become one. This little word is forgotten or ignored by the adherents of conversion to Judaism, who use this very same text to prove that their way of identification is by conversion. ​ Fruchtenbaum goes on to show that using this logic, Jewish believers should convert and become Gentiles in order to more effectively share Yeshua with Gentile friends. This is the farthest thing from Paul's mind in this passage. The underlying principle is our need to restrict our freedom for the sake of others by adopting their cultural norms. For instance, we find Paul's approach to sharing Yeshua varied as his audience changed. In the synagogue of Psidian Antioch, he shared Yeshua through the Tanakh (Acts 13:15); in Lystra, he began by referring to the true God versus Zeus and Hermes (Acts 14:15) and in Athens, he referred to their customs (altar to the unknown God) and their poets (Acts 17:23, 28). The same principle was applied sharing meals with Gentiles. From his instructions to the Corinthian believers we see that he was willing to temporarily lay aside his convictions about kashrut in order to share a meal with Gentiles (I Corinthians 10:27; Galatians 2:11-14). Paul identified with his Gentile audiences but remained a Torah-observant Jew (Acts 21:21). ​ Finally, when we see individuals in Scripture who underwent conversions, they are not presented as "Jews" but retain their former identify (e.g. Ruth the Moabitess, Rahab the prostitute, Nicholas the proselyte etc.). ​ DOES SCRIPTURE PERMIT VOLUNTARY CONVERSIONS… I Corinthians 7:18-24? ​ Does the New Covenant speak to those who wish to convert voluntarily? David Stern, in his Jewish New Testament Commentary affirms that it does. 8: .... if a Gentile Christian wants to identify fully with the Jewish people, the New Testament in principle would permit him to become a Jew. Stern, then states that practical considerations would make these conversations difficult at best. Does in fact the New Testament permit a Gentile believer to do so? Unlike Acts 15 where the issue is dealt with implicitly, in I Corinthians 7 it is addressed explicitly and forcefully. This chapter discusses different aspects of marriage for believers. Flowing out of this discussion about marriage, Paul lays down a basic principle (1 Corinthians 7:17), which is then repeated twice (7:20, 24). 1 Corinthians 7:17 .....each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This principle is illustrated by two examples-- circumcision and slavery. What did Paul mean by the principle and how does circumcision fits into it? ​ The believers in Corinth did not understand that their relationship to Messiah was compatible with whatever social position or occupation they were in at the time they came to faith. 9 Much of what he tells them is colored by his conviction that the Lord's coming is imminent and the then-raging persecution of believers (7:26, 26, 31). In view of that reality, believers' attention needs to be more sharply focused on furthering the Kingdom of Heaven. As Stern points out, his concern is that Gentile believers at Corinth should not waste precious resources in the effort to change their circumstances". 10 Remaining in our assignment is the appropriate response in view of the Lord's imminent coming. ​ Paul uses two different words "called" and "assigned", to define believers' relationship to the Lord. Our call refers to our salvation, whereas the second term refers to our assigned task within the kingdom of God. Grammatically, the terms "called" and "assigned" are the same type of clause (Hosea meaning "as") governed by the same subject-- the Lord. 11 The thought is the same in both-- our salvation and our place of service were given to us by the Lord and are under His control. There are times when believers feel that the only way they can serve the Lord effectively is in a role other that the one they are in. His message to all of us is clear but often challenging-- "Remain faithful in the role assigned to you." The Lord may lead a believer into a different assignment, but until there is a re-assignment, he or she must remain and serve faithfully. ​ Paul illustrates the principle, by referring to circumcision. For the Gentile majority in the Corinthian congregation, circumcision probably meant little. 12 But for a Jew, Paul's statement that "circumcision is nothing" would have provoked outrage. Circumcision was a sign of the covenant and the relationship with God. The fact that Paul, a Torah-observant Jew, would make such an extreme statement puts his case in neon lights. For a believer, circumcision, uncircumcision, one's marital status, or whether one is free or enslaved-- none of those matter as far as our salvation is concerned. Yet, while circumcision (i.e. conversion) is irrelevant as far as salvation is concerned, that does not mean that it is a matter of personal discretion. 3 ​ It is true that Paul does not condemn circumcision of Gentile believers with the same degree of passion as he did with the Galatian believers. The stakes were far higher there but that does not mean that he makes allowance for it here. When we view this verse (7:18), we most often focus on part b, "was a man uncircumcised," yet this verse comprises a couplet. It forbids Gentile men from becoming circumcised and Jewish men from seeking to become "uncircumcised." Becoming uncircumcised is not as far fetched as it sounds. From the time of the Maccabees on, there were Jews who underwent a surgical procedure called “epipasm” that made them appear to be uncircumcised. 14 Paul would have viewed either branch of the pair (7:18a or 7:18b) as equally unacceptable. Just as a Jewish believer should not undergo epipasm, neither should a Gentile believer undergo circumcision. ​ For the second illustration, slavery, Paul adds an exception--a believer in bondage may become free if the Lord gives him or her the means to do so. The same applies to the question of marriage, where a believer has some measure of individual freedom. Yet, there is no such exception given in the case of conversion because of what it represents, regardless of an individual's inner motivation, or whether this is a "deep longing." 15 A Gentile believer who wants to convert for the "right reasons" is not free to do so. Conversion of a Gentile believer makes a clear public statement-- Yeshua's sacrifice is not sufficient (Gal. 5:2-6; 6:15).16 Stern argues that Paul's words should not be construed as an absolute prohibition, but rather offered in the vein of a rabbi discouraging a Gentile from converting out of convenience or based on transitory emotion. 17 There are two basic observations to make on this score. There is no clear consensus on just when rabbinic tradition began to discourage potential converts. If anything, the evidence favors the view that during the first century the rabbis welcomed proselytes is obvious that proselytism was widespread among the ordinary people....the near pride in which the rabbis took in the claim that some of their greatest figures weredescended from proselytes point to an openhanded policy toward their acceptance.... 18 ​ The more germane issue is the fact that Paul applies his apostolic authority in this case, as he does later in the epistle (I Corinthians 14:33, 37) and elsewhere. What he is saying is not a suggestion, to be followed or ignored. Rather, it is a principle to be followed universally. In the letter to the Galatian believers (5:6; 6:15), the circumcision of Gentiles is clearly forbidden. There is no reason to assume that prohibition has been modified, despite the fact that Paul's tone here is not polemical (I Corinthians 7:19-20). ​ SCRIPTURE HAS NO MODELS FOR THE CONVERSION OF GENTILE BELIEVERS: ​ The Tanakh makes provision for Gentiles to convert to Judaism-- Rahab, Ruth, and foreigners who were circumcised as a prerequisite for celebrating the Passover (Exodus 12:48). These, examples cannot be applied to Gentile believers who are fellow-heirs of salvation (Ephesians 3:16). In the New Testament, we find the example of Timothy being circumcised (Acts 16:1-3). Can that be used as a valid model for conversion of Gentile believers as John Fischer claims? 19 ​ In the first century, since receiving circumcision indicated one's obligation and intention to keep the Law of Moses, Rav Shaul's circumcision of Timothy may be regarded as the conversion of the non-Jew to Judaism. Thus we may have a precedent in the B'rit Hadasha for such a modern-day practice. ​ In considering Timothy's example, two issues present themselves: was Timothy considered a Gentile in the eyes of the Jewish community? Directly connected is another question-- why was he circumcised? In this narrative, Luke attached an explanatory note suggesting that Paul had Timothy circumcised "because of the Jews....[who] knew that his father was a Greek," (Acts 16:3). What precisely did Luke mean by this comment? ​ If Timothy was considered a Gentile like his father, circumcision would have been a non-issue. Timothy would have been welcomed as another God-fearing Gentile (Acts 13:26; 13:50; 17:14, 17) wherever he and Paul traveled. The fact that it was an issue at all reflects the sentiment among the Jewish people that Timothy should have been circumcised but had not been because of his Greek father. Timothy was considered to be a Jew, albeit a "bad Jew" because he had not been circumcised in compliance with the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis. 17:10) and the Torah (Leviticus 12:2-3).20 ​ Circumcising Timothy was done to facilitate the spread of the Gospel, based on Paul's stated principle that we should do everything possible to eliminate barriers to the Gospel (I Corinthians 9:20-22). The Message of the Gospel should be the only stumbling block presented (I Corinthians 1:23). Yet, this action was not undertaken merely for the sake of expedience. Longenecker explains the relationship between expedience (for the sake of sharing the Gospel) and principle (living a Torah-observant lifestyle). ​ But while Paul stoutly resisted any imposition of circumcision and the [Torah] upon his Gentile converts, he himself continued to live as an observant Jew and urged his converts to express their [faith] through the cultural forms they had inherited.... Therefore, it was both proper and [italics mine] expedient for Paul to circumcise him.....21 ​ The false teachers who dogged Paul's trail attempted to spread rumors that he had taught Jewish believers to discontinue their adherence to the Torah (including circumcision of their sons). The leadership at Jerusalem encouraged Paul to squelch publicly those rumors (Acts 21:21). ​ Unlike Timothy, Titus provides us with a clear model of how circumcision impacted a Gentile believer in the New Covenant. Titus was unambiguously a Gentile ("a Greek," Galatians 2:3). Paul took him to Jerusalem as part of a trip to meet with the pillars of the congregation (i.e. apostles). As we read between the lines, a battle had been brewing between Paul and the "false brethren" who insisted that Gentiles should be circumcised. 22 Titus was a very visible point man around which the battle swirled-- if he would be compelled to be circumcised, then all Gentile believers should be pressured to do the same. For Paul, giving in on this issue was tantamount to his declaring that the message of the Gospel was insufficient to save, and for that reason, he dug in his heels-- Titus would not be circumcised (Galatians 2:3-5). 23 ​ PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS: ​ 1. Part of the underlying message Scripture conveys to Gentile believers and indeed to all of us is this-- "Learn to be content with who you are (Psalms 139:13-14), regardless of “deep longings” to the contrary." The Lord's choosing us and selecting an assignment for us is a choice blessing (I Corinthians 7:18). ​ 2. Conversion of Gentile believers conveys the wrong message to Gentile believers in a Messianic Jewish congregation-- "You are a second-class citizen unless you become Jewish," (i.e. convert). It makes a mockery of the principle of unity in diversity (Ephesians 2:12-19). ​ 3. Conversion of Gentile believers to Messianic Judaism is unacceptable (invalid) among Jewish people here and abroad (especially in Israel). It is strictly an "in-house" exercise and what's worse, it re-enforces the perception in the Jewish community that we as a movement are "na-arish"-- we cannot be taken seriously. While rejection by the Jewish community is part of our cost of discipleship, our rejection should be for Yeshua's sake only. ​ 4. The nuances of the conversion of Gentile believers would be lost on the rest of the Body of Messiah, who would view this as a re-occurrence of the Galatian heresy. We cannot delineate theology on the basis of whether it is understood by other believers. Yet alienating fellow believers elsewhere for the sake of a practice that is questionable at best, unnecessarily squanders precious goodwill we have earned among other believers. CONCLUSIONS: 1. Conversion of Gentile believers is not necessary for the sake of fellowship with Jewish believers or more effective sharing of Yeshua with the Jewish community (Acts 1:1-28; I Corinthians 9:19-23). 2. Conversion of Gentile believers violates the scriptural principle of accepting our God-given identity (I Corinthians 7:18-20). 3. There are no scriptural examples that can be applied to believers today (Acts 16:1-3). 4. Conversion of Gentile believers works against the principle of unity in diversity among believers in and out of Messianic Jewish congregations (Ephesians 2:12-19). It also promotes confusion in how the Jewish community and the church view who we are. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chaim Urbach was born in Israel and has been a believer since age 13. He has considerable experience in Jewish evangelism and the Messianic Jewish movement. Chaim and his family reside in Denver, Colorado and he is the Messianic leader of Congregation Yeshuat Tsion, P.O. Box 22272 Denver, CO 80222-0272 Mr. Urbach can also be reached via e-mail: ENDNOTES: (NOTE THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN KESHER ) A Journal of Messianic Judaism, ISSUE 6, 1998.) 1 Becoming a Jew, (Middle Village, NY: Jonathan David Publishers, 1991), pp. 73-74. 2 Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism, Summer 1997, "Halachah in Action," the editors, pp. 91-95. 3 "Modern-Day G-d-Fearers: A Biblical Role Model For Gentile Participation in Messianic Congregations," a paper available through Menorah Ministries, Clearwater, FL, no date, p. 7, 8. 4 "Modern-Day G-d-Fearers," p. 7. 5 It is possible that the four prohibitions were an abbreviated form of the Noahide laws-- seven rules for Gentiles expanded the covenant with Noah in Gen. 9:1-17-- practicing justice, avoiding blasphemy, idolatry, adultery, bloodshed, robbery, flesh and blood from a live animal (Sanh. 56a) 6 See Craig Blomberg, I Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994, p. 193 on vv. 14-22. 7 Hebrew Christianity: Its theology, history & philosophy (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1992), p.113. 8 Clarksville, MF: JNP, 1992, p. 562. 9 Simon J. Kistemaker, I Corinthians, NTC, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), pp. 230; (7:5)see Gordon D. Fee's discussion in The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987, pp. 280-283. 10 JNTC, p. 456. 11 I Corinthians, Hans Conzelman, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975), p. 125. 12 Fee p. 313. 13 Conzelman, p. 126. 14 Blomberg, pp. 145-146. 15 Fischer, "Halacha in action," p. 93. 16 Fee, p. 311-312. 17 NTC, pp. 562. 18 Encyc. Jud. 13:1183. Also see Ben Zion Bokser, "Witness and Mission in Judaism," in Issues in Jewish-Christian Dialogue: Jewish Perspectives on Covenant, Mission and Witness (New York: Paulist Press, 1979), p. 134; Lawrence H. Schiffman, Who was a Jew: Rabbinic and Halachic Perspectives on the Jewish Christian Schism, (Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1985), pp. 20-21. 19 John Fischer, "Halacha in Action," p. 93. 20 While Scripture traces a person's line through the father, rabbinic tradition early on (e.g. M Kiddushin 3:12) ruled in favor of matrilineal descent. For an overview of the issue as it related to Timothy refer to Stern, pp. 281-282. 21 Longenecker, Acts, EBC, Zondervan, 1995, p. 25. 22 This seems to be an earlier occasion that the one described in Acts 15. 23 The view that Titus was not compelled but underwent circumcision voluntarily does violence to the grammatical context. Richard N. Longenecker, in Galatians, (Waco: Word, 1990), p. 50 points out that Paul went out of his way to emphasize that he would not give the legalists any quarter. To have Titus circumcised forany reason would have defeated his purpose. For More Information: ​ Return to Convert? .... Can A Gentile Christian Become A Jew? ...... Really?! To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE

  • Time of the Rapture | Menorah Ministries

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  • CanAJewStopBeingJewishIfBelieveInJesus | Menorah Ministries

    Ask Re’uben Does a Jew stop being Jewish when they believe in Jesus? S H A L O M ! _______ A MESSIANIC JEWISH SCRIPTURAL VIEW _______ ​ Biblical Question: ​ T. H. from Denver asks: ​ Dear Pastor Reuben, Recently I was told by a rabbi and several other people that I was no longer a Jew because of my having accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as Lord & Savior. As a Believer in Jesus as Messiah I know they are wrong but, can you help me? ​ Pastor Reuben's Answer: ​ Dear T.H., shalom, ​ First let us understand that people are born by the flesh into one cultural ethnic group or another due to no choice of their own. Second, a spiritual faith system is something a person chooses for themselves. A Jew does not give up their Jewish Heritage, culture and identity when they accept the Messiah Jesus. Rather, they gain important Jewish values; atonement as described by Moses, Israel's promised Messiah, and a personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So they do not give up; they gain. They do not lose their Jewishness, they intensify it in a Biblical way. They become a Messianic Jew, a Jewish follower of the Jewish Messiah promised by the Jewish Scriptures. Remember the Jewishness of the Biblical faith. (see John 4:22; Romans 9:4-5; and 11:11-27; Acts 26:6-7) The authors of Scripture were Jewish, as were Jesus and the apostles. And they all, including the "Jew of Jews" Paul, retained their Jewishness. (Acts 2:26, 3:1, 21:21-26, 22:3; 28:17; I Cor. 7:18) ​ This does not mean that a Gentile becomes a Jew when he believes in Jesus, but neither does a Jew stop being Jewish when he accepts the Messiah. ​ Source and reference: The Bible (Old & New Covenants) The Olive Tree Connection by Dr. John Fischer. Jews & Jesus by Zola Levitt In His service, ​ Pastor Reuben ​ Questions are welcome from ALL readers at ALL levels and Forums, from everyone. Questions of general interest will be considered for inclusions in this column. Those of a more personal nature will be keep confidential and we will answer via e-mail; always state your name, email address and your comment/question in as brief & precise manner as possible. ​ To submit a question, etc. please address it to ask.....ask......ask To return to ..... Ask Pastor ReubenBiblical Answers To Asked Questions..... To return to To Life L'Chaim Find Eternal Life Main Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • How Catholics May Know They Go To Heaven | Menorah Ministries

    My wife Jane died in 1978. She was born a Roman Catholic and died one. A few months before her death something happened in her life that assured her that when she left this world she would go immediately into the welcoming presence of Jesus. As a result, she departed in great peace. And I was just as certain as she of her destination. It is hoped that in reading this episode, the reader will be moved to profit from Jane's experience. A few years ago, a Catholic bishop was dying of terminal cancer. Each day for a number of months, his chauffeur would drive him about his diocese. After the bishop's death, a statement by that chauffeur appeared in the press which seemed quite significant. He said that the bishop during his illness was constantly worrying about what would happen to him upon his death. He hoped that God would remember that he had devoted his whole life to His service. The bishop, obviously, was not at all sure of his eternal destination. I recall a statement made to me one day by a Catholic priest. He said that he would be satisfied to squeeze into purgatory when he died, and work his way up from there to heaven, presumably by suffering. I wonder how surprised that priest might be one day to discover that there is no purgatory except in man-made tradition. There is no mention of one in the Bible. What the Bible does say in this connection is this: And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment {Hebrews 9:27). It will then be either victory or defeat. No "overtime" period as in basketball. The term "purgatory" was coined on March 6, 1254 by Pope Innocent IV in a letter to the apostolic delegate in Greece, twelve centuries after the death of Jesus and His apostles. There is nothing in the Bible, the Word of God, that says that a man can improve his spiritual status after death either by suffering in another place, by the prayers and intercession of others or by any other means. We can believe that if these things were possible the Bible would not be so thunderously silent regarding them. The Bible is, after all, the inspired Word of God written for our instruction, admonition and comfort. It is the plenary record of God's dealings with mankind, and we may be quite sure that it does not omit anything important. Indeed, any precept not set forth in the Bible, especially if not even mentioned, is nothing more than a man-made regulation or tradition. And Jesus took a very negative view of man-made regulations and traditions. (See Matthew 15:7,9; Mark 7:13 and Colossians 2:8) It is noteworthy that the news item mentioned above appeared in the bishop's own diocesan newspaper. This would seem to indicate a prevalence of fear and uncertainty regarding death. This should not be! The Bible speaks often and clearly on salvation and eternal life, and how it may be secured here on earth. One can depart this life knowing that he is heaven-bound. Holy Scripture is the voice of God reduced to writing, and the Catholic Church fully recognizes that. Thus, in 1965, when all of the bishops were assembled together at the Vatican II Council, they issued a Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation which contained the following: "Sacred Scripture is the Word of God" and stated that all parts of the Bible, "have God as their author." In 1943, Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu, speaking of the Bible, said that "the faithful.. .have a serious duty to make continual and holy use of this treasure." The church was saying that Catholics are obliged to read the Word of God, as the Bible is commonly called. Earlier Pope Benedict XV had said, "The responsibility of our apostolic office impels me ... to promote the study of Holy Scripture ... We shall ... never desist from urging the faithful to read daily the Gospels, the Acts and the Epistles so as to gather thence food for their souls ... Ignorance of the Bible means ignorance of Christ." The Living Bible paraphrases the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 11, verse 52, in the following pungent, Significant language: Woe to you experts in religion! For you hide the truth from the people. You won't accept it for yourselves, and you prevent others from having a chance to believe it. Why, then, do such Papal exhortations to read the Bible fail to reach down to the rank and file and evidently go unheeded in seminaries? They apparently do not travel below the bishop. When I became interested in the Bible in 1976 and went to my pastor for counsel, he threw up his hands and said, "I can't help you. They didn't teach us the Bible in seminary." It was quite a surprise. The shepherd of the flock was not taught the Word of God. Yet Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God Luke 4:4. A few years ago while speaking to a patient in a Fort Lauderdale nursing home, I got into conversation with a woman visiting at the next bed. She was an intelligent-looking woman of about 40. I found myself asking her if she read the Bible. Instant indignation ensued. With a touch of anger in her voice she said, "I am a Catholic! I don't read the Bible!" It grieved my spirit. With my Catholic background I was sure that the woman was speaking for many millions of Catholics. But let me get back to our personal history. In 1969, I retired from a New York City law firm, and we moved to Florida to begin a life of leisure and relaxation. A year later, while we were visiting in Washington, D.C., I felt that my life was in need of new direction and that without significant change I was on course to hell. So moved was I that I immediately went to confession to square myself with God. And on that occasion, as best I knew how, I tried to turn my life over to Him with a real commitment of the heart. Indeed I promised God that I would go to Mass and receive communion every day the rest of my life. And for about six years I did just that, faithfully, seven days a week, usually serving the Mass as an acolyte. In the years following this renewed commitment I spent much of my time studying Catholic theology, liturgy, the lives of saints, etc., guided by reading lists obtained from seminaries. But these led me no closer to knowing God. In fact the study only frustrated my search for the real significance of what was needed to change my life. In 1976, I became interested in the Bible for the first time. My initial study of the Bible began to open my eyes. I started to understand what Jesus meant when He told Nicodemus that we have to be born again, and That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the (Holy) Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). It was at this time, having understood the truth of God for the first time, that I turned my life over to Him. The Bible told me that in doing this I would be made a new creature in Christ...all things become new(II Corinthians 5:17). I acknowledged God as my Father. I became heaven-bound according to Scripture. I also discovered how very simple and certain it is to achieve eternal life while still on earth, and that it is a free gift from God. Jesus purchased it for us when He died on the cross, The Bible states this truth in Ephesians 2:8,9: For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. John L. McKenzie, S.J., perhaps one of American Catholicism's ablest biblical scholars, in his Dictionary of the Bible, says it this way: "It is a principle of New Testament theology that the works of man are totally ineffective to achieve the righteousness which saves" (page 942). What the Word of God and Father McKenzie are telling us is that the things we do (going to church, confession, communion, prayer) are works, and that our works were never meant to bring us to God, or get us to heaven. Perhaps my most exciting discovery was that the Bible assures us of our salvation, here and now. As the Apostle John said in his first epistle: These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life I John 5: 13. This verse clearly gives us that assurance. Jane had always been a meticulously loyal Catholic. She never missed a Mass on Sundays or on holy days of obligation, she confessed and communicated often, she read out of her prayer book each day for deceased friends and relatives. She never doubted what she learned from the cradle: that hers was the true church. In the last three years of her life, Jane was partially paralyzed and bedridden. Frequently in the morning we would watch the "700 Club" together on television, and on several occasions we recited the salvation prayer with Pat Robertson, the host. The Bible tells us that if anyone prays such a prayer, from his heart, and confesses that he believes and has accepted Jesus as Lord, he becomes spiritually reborn. He is "born again." The experience is commonly referred to as the new birth. Up to that point, one cannot be considered a Christian by biblical standards no matter how much church-going, or how many so­ called good works he does. Jane repeated the salvation prayer, but seemed reluctant or unable to declare that she had accepted Jesus as her Lord. God gives the faith to believe but He also requires each of us to make a positive response to His offer and that is done by declaring Jesus as our Lord. Presumably she feared that she might be taking herself out of the Catholic Church. One day she volunteered to make the declaration to her son the next time he called. To help her, I wrote out a simple statement of faith and when her son called, I placed the paper on her lap. With no prior explanation, she blurted out, "I have accepted Jesus in my heart as my Lord." And immediately she began to cry. After a few minutes she said, "I can't talk any longer, I'm crying" and hung up. That simple statement of her new faith had so moved her to tears that she was unable to continue her conversation. Most Catholics believe that they merit salvation or God's favor when they receive baptism or confirmation. Like other Catholic children Jane was baptized and confirmed but it obviously did not work a regeneration of her heart. She had to follow the biblical way to salvation, and when she did, she knew that she had experienced the new birth. It was the Word of God, witnessed to by the Holy Spirit, that assured her of God's acceptance through Jesus Christ and that as a result she would go to heaven. The absolute necessity of the new birth is beyond doubt. Jesus said in Chapter 3 verses 3-7 of the Gospel of John: Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ... except a man be born of water and of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit (Holy Spirit) is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you, you must be born again. Jesus' statement is clear. It is unconditional. It admits of no exception or modification. To interpose an alternative is to signify that Jesus didn't mean what He said and it was necessary for men to correct Him. Any church which does not teach the new birth (considered so vital in the New Testament) may well be leading its unsuspecting people into eternal damnation. Jesus warned against ..... making the word of God of none effect through your tradition (church-made laws and regulations) (Mark 7: 13). He also said that those who were teaching for doctrines the commandments of men were hypocrites and they worshiped Him in vain Matthew 15:7,9. How absurd it is to tamper with the Word of God. In Isaiah 40:8 the Holy Spirit moved the prophet to say that the Word of our God shall stand forever. And Jesus said that Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:35). How lacking in wisdom, how foolish, how tragic, to reject God's sure way when eternal life is at stake! The salvation method is set forth in Romans 10:9-10: .. .if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. (Catholic edition of the Revised -Standard Version). How simple and easy God has made salvation for us. How tragic that so few are being taught to avail themselves of it. How do we obtain this eternal life? By believing in Christ. God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16. But what does the New Testament mean by "believing?" It means more than mere mental assent, more than lip service. One must believe in one's heart and without doubt, and one must act upon such-belief by trusting God for salvation. Faith is acting on one's intellectual belief and trusting Christ as one's Savior. As the late Bible teacher E. W. Kenyon put it: "Believing demands action, creates action. Mental assent admires, admits, but does not act." If the airline schedule says your flight goes to Tulsa, you have no doubt about it. You believe it in your heart, you have faith in the schedule, and you act upon that faith by boarding the plane. Thus, one has to do more than just believe in his head. He must trust Christ. Jesus said (John 16:7-9) that after His death the Holy Spirit would convict or convince the world of three things, and one of them was "sin." What sin? The sin of not believing in Jesus. According to the Word of God, it is the sin of unbelief in Christ that sends man to hell. No matter how good and exemplary a life a man may lead, he will still miss heaven if he does not make Jesus the Lord of his life. Let us always remember one vital, all-important truth: Christianity is a belief in and commitment to Christ. It is not a church, it is not a creed, it is not in a religion. Religion is concerned with the outward acts and forms of worship. Christianity is a way of life. It is knowing Jesus and having a personal encounter and relationship with Him. He· is the only way to heaven. The Bible says that He is the only mediator between God and man(I Timothy 2:5). No one else, not even a saint, can fill this role. Jesus made it clear when He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father but by me (John 14::6). If your church doesn't teach the new birth enunciated by Jesus Himself, then it would seem to be incumbent upon you as a rational human being to examine the Scriptures for yourself. It is very clear that baptism and confirmation by themselves do not constitute spiritual rebirth. If you have not committed your life to Christ by believing in Him and confessing Him as Lord, the rituals are meaningless. What a difference it makes when Jesus enters one's life, as so many can testify. In some cases, a wife or husband has observed a change in the other and wants to have what the other has. Empty lives have been filled. Many have discovered that alcohol; drugs, striving for worldly success provide no lasting satisfaction. Jesus has been called the answer to all problems. Indeed one could safely venture to say that there is no man or woman living who has not experienced a void that only Jesus can fill. Are you tempted to think that you are not bad enough to go to hell? That is one of the cleverest and most deceptive thoughts ever planted in the human mind by the devil. But the Bible supplies the correct answer. For Jesus said it will not be He who will judge us on the last day but His Word. In short, if we disobey His precept that we must be born again, there will be no need for Him to judge us. His Word will do the judging and the judgment will of course be automatic. We would be sending ourselves to hell. See John 12:48. And let us remember the warning from Jesus that strait (narrow) is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7.:14). Should one not be concerned to find that one's own church is not teaching the salvation doctrine which Jesus Christ Himself said was an absolute necessity? And that in the face of warnings in the Word of God such as this one: ... how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first to us by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles .. Hebrews 2:3,4 Can there be any doubt that we are flirting with eternal death when we refuse to prefer the Word of God over the word of men, especially on so important a doctrine as the Gospel message itself which Jesus Christ taught. When God directs us so clearly, dare we follow any other? The foregoing Scriptures are not the words of a man or of a church. The author is God. Incidentally, the reading of this booklet is ample warning to you, if any were needed. You cannot be considered to be in ignorance. The pertinent scriptures have been set before you. Surely you will not let unscriptural, anti-scriptural, tradition take you to hell. In any event, what does one stand to lose by heeding God's Word and making Jesus Lord of one's life? Let me pause here to ask you two important questions: No. 1. Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you can say you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven? No. 2. Suppose that you were to die today and stand before God and He were to say to you, 'Why should I let you into my heaven?" What would you say? How did you answer these questions? Especially the second one? What would you say if God asked you that question? If you are not sure of your answer or would like to make a sincere confession of your own sin, stop what you are doing, ask the Lord to forgive you and grant you His gift of eternal life. I invite you to pray to God with these words: God. your Word (Romans 10:13) says that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Accordingly, I now call upon You in Jesus' name as my Lord and Savior. Your Word states: if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified. and he confesses with his lips and so is saved Romans 10:9,10. I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for my sins and was buried. I believe in my heart that on the third day God raised Him from the dead for my justification. Dear God, I repent of all my sins, and I ask your forgiveness in Jesus' name. And, here and now, I receive and acknowledge Jesus as my personal Savior, and I ask you to come into my heart and be the Lord of my life. Amen. If you have just prayed to the Lord and were sincere in your confession of your sin and desire that Jesus be your Savior and Lord, you have just taken the most important step in your life. However, this first step needs to be followed by other steps. God wants you to grow in your walk with Him. What you have just done means that you have been born again, an event never to be repeated. Your spiritual growth however is a process - the process of becoming the person God has designed you to be. Your spiritual maturity continues until you are fully formed in Jesus Christ. Paul wrote (Philippians 2:12) that we are to continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling . He was not talking about entering the Kingdom of God by good works. The Bible never tells us that by good works we can work our way into the good graces of God. He does talk about the process through which each of us moves as we grow in Christ. There are several basic steps which you must take to grow as a Christian. 1) Pray daily and pray regularly. This is to be the most basic expression of your life, a conversation with your Heavenly Father. It might not be natural at first, but will become so as you make it a part of your life. 2) Bible reading. This goes hand in hand with your times of personal prayer. Bible reading is absolutely central to our lives. Inasmuch as it is the Word of God, we know that by reading God's Word our faith in Him will grow and, in time, establish the standard for our lives. You can only know of God's desire for your life by reading His Word. 3) Steps one and two will have no meaning unless you begin to put into effect those things about which the Lord speaks to you. The term "in Christ" is used His times in the New Testament. Why so often? The writers of the Bible are telling us that to be in Christ means essentially to "be" with Him, to walk with Him, and perhaps more importantly, to "obey" Him. Living a life of obedience to Him insures our growth as a Christian. Jesus said so in so many words, If you love me, you will obey what I command John 14:15. 4) The three steps outlined above will begin to produce something more. If you are at all faithful in praying, reading your Bible and obeying the words of our Lord, your life will begin to reflect the life of Jesus, your Savior and Lord. In John 15:1 Jesus refers to Himself as the vine and those who follow Him as the branches. If we stay attached we will bear fruit and our lives will be a testimony to those who see and know us. Another word must be added here. As important as it is for you to give witness to your Lord through your actions and behavior, you also need to back up that witness with your conversation. Actions can too easily be misinterpreted. Speaking about Jesus should come as naturally as telling others about a person you love. God will give you the right words and will direct you to the right people as you commit yourself to Him. F i n a l l y, if you are serious about believing in God and identifying yourself as His follower, you will need to begin one of the most difficult parts of a Christian life: trusting God for every detail of your life. This will take some doing because until now you have trusted almost everyone else, including yourself, but not the Lord. The Bible is full of illustrations of people who trusted (or failed to trust) God with their lives. This does not mean that you put your mind into neutral and never think for yourself. It means that since you have placed your life in the hands of your creator, you need to live out that commitment daily by trusting Him with your life and all its details. The Bible contains many examples of how God blesses and helps those who put their trust in Him and who obey His commandments. While we do not earn eternal life through obedience, we please and honor. God by living according to His Word. Growth and obedience are perfect partners in the spiritual maturing experience. These are the basic steps you need to take to begin to grow as a Christian. There is much to learn, and much to enjoy as you start your new life in Christ. Your growth, however, almost presupposes other Christians will help you grow. We're talking about those who know and love Jesus Christ, and are themselves growing. God has made it clear that we need other believers to help us mature. If you are not in such a relationship with other believers, you need to find one. If you have no such friends, ask the Lord to help you and start looking. God answers prayer. May God richly bless you. THE PROLOGUE TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. . He came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which Iighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. About the author: Mr. Monacelli practiced law in New York City until 1969 when he retired and moved to Florida. He now lives in New Jersey. He holds degrees from the University of Norte Dame and from the Georgetown University Law School. He served two terms as president of the Norte Dame Association. Evangelism Explosion International, Inc. P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33307 ​ Return to Jesus The Center of the Old Testament page ​ Return to Messiah to Be Final Sacrifice page Return to L'Chaim - To Life! Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Atheism | Menorah Ministries

    MENORAH Evangelism Tracts ​ Atheism ​ For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique (begotten) Son. Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked. For everyone who does evil things hates the light and avoids it, so that his actions won’t be exposed. But everyone who does what is true comes to the light, so that all may see that his actions are accomplished through God. Yochanan/John 3:16-21 ​ How to Be Born Again C.S. Lewis on Reasoning to Atheism Is There No God? God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists God-Man concept in the Tanakh/O.T. ​ For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. 17 For in it is revealed how God makes people righteous in his sight; and from beginning to end it is through trust — as the Tanakh (OT) puts it, “But the person who is righteous will live his life by trust.” Romans 1:16-17 ​ To return to Menorah's Evangelism Tract Page ​ To Return To Menorah's Web Page

  • B.C.E vs C.E. What does it Mean | Menorah Ministries

    Ask Pastor Reuben What does B.C.E. & C.E. mean and why does the Jewish community use them rather than B.C. & A.D. S H A L O M ! _______ A MESSIANIC JEWISH SCRIPTURAL VIEW ______ Biblical Question: ​ Our Question: ​ Bev from California asks: ​ Dear Pastor Reuben, ​ I am confused as to why the Jewish people and a lot of people dealing with the Bible and Israel date history using B.C.E. and C.E. rather than the most common used B.C. and A.D. Is there a Jewish reason? Pastor Reuben's Answer: ​ Dear Bev, shalom, This is a fast but pointed answer Bev, but I know you can quickly get more information by looking at the local public library. Research on our calendar's development, ok.? So, a simple help will do from me. B.C., meaning "before Christ," & A.D., meaning "in the year of our Lord", are abbreviations primarily used/developed by Christians. Their use implies the acceptance of Jesus Christ as divine, a concept rejected by traditional rabbinic Judaism. Hence, in Jewish scholarship B.C.E., meaning "before the Common Era," & C.E., meaning the "Common Era," were introduced to draw a distinction between Christian and Jewish belief. ​ God bless you ! ​ Pastor Reuben Questions are welcome from ALL readers at ALL levels and Forums, from everyone. Questions of general interest will be considered for inclusions in this column. Those of a more personal nature will be keep confidential and we will answer via e-mail; always state your name, email address and your comment/question in as brief & precise manner as possible. ​ To submit a question, etc. please address it to ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask..... ​ To return to ..... Ask Pastor Reuben Biblical Answers To Asked Questions.... . To return to To Life L'Chaim Find Ete rnal Life Page To return to Menorah's Web Page Return to Israel Gods Plan Page

  • The Shoah/Holocaust | Menorah Ministries

    SHOAH ....HOLOCAUST AWARENESS AND TESTIMONIES - 2 Articles - I Escaped Fro m The Nazis by Rachmiel Frydland It was on the 28th of August 1939 that I came to know the possibility of war. I decided to stay in Warsaw. Supplies soon ran low and from September lst there was nothing to buy. Other young Hebrew Christians and myself lived on what little we had for ten days. Then we were called up to help defend Warsaw. Three of us went and were accepted. As I did not want to shoot, I asked for physical work and received it. They were hard days. Though we were near the front and were being bombarded day and night, we all survived. One of us was seriously injured, but recovered after a few weeks in the hospital. ​ THE GERMANS ARRIVE The Germans entered Warsaw toward the end of September, and soon there was famine in the city. One of the Hebrew Christians stood in the line to receive some hot soup which the German Army was distributing to the hungry Polish population in Warsaw, but he was recognized to be Jewish, was beaten up and thrown out of the line hungry. I decided to leave for a village near Plock, which meant 75 miles on foot. Jews were not permitted to use any public conveyances. As I was leaving Warsaw the Germans stopped me. One looked me straight in the face and said with a rough voice: "Are you a Jew?" I did not answer him. Upon this he hit me and pushed me to the other side of the road, where I was handed a spade and had to work with all my strength, though I had nothing to eat all day. Toward the evening they took us to a camp where I sat down and wept. I do not really know why. Some Jews tried to comfort me, so I wiped my tears away and told them of my faith. A little later I felt moved to leave the camp and in the sight of all I did so. No one challenged me. I went on my way and slept in the open. The next day I found something to buy; great was my joy when I went into a shop and found that there was bread on sale there. How fresh and appetizing it was! After three days I reached Plock and was received by the brethren with open arms. ​ TRIUMPHANT FAITH In the summer of 1940,er of 1940 I was going from our village to Chelm. On the way some drunken German soldiers fell on me and beat me with a stick until I fell senseless. They left me, and with my last powers I dragged myself, bleeding, to Chelm. The doctor said he did not know whether I would recover, as my wounds were probably infected and I might die of blood-poisoning. To his great surprise I recovered after a week, though I suffered a lot and could not eat for some time, for when I did, I vomited blood. I earned my living by working from time to time for farmers. At first I had not much work, but soon I became known as an honest worker. Then, except on Sundays, I was kept working hard at every kind of farm work from sunrise to sunset and had no time for spiritual things. Oh! if I could only have foreseen what would happen, surely I would not have eaten or worked but would have done something to help those that were to pass through such misery. GOD STRONGER THAN MAN In the winter of 1941-42 there was not much work on the farms. The bigger cities had Ghettoes where a certain slum district in the town was given up to the Jews and surrounded by a wall and barbed wire. We in the villages were forbidden to leave the village on pain of death. However, many times I risked my life for my parents to go to the nearby town and bring home the necessities for our lives. Being so faithful to them, my mother first got interested and began to read my Yiddish New Testament secretly. The Jews in the surrounding villages respected my faith and witness. THE GAS CHAMBERS It was the time when train load after train load of Jews were being taken to the gas chambers and crematoria only about twelve miles from our village. We knew what awaited us. In danger of death I went from time to time on Sundays to Chelm to have communion with the brethren there. I spent a few months in a slave labor camp working hard, but this gave me a chance to witness to Jews there. On August 30th, 1942, I received the order to go to the gas chambers. I did not go, but stayed at home and awaited the mercy of the Lord. On September 24th the village mayor came and told me, while I was at work (helping one of the peasants cutting wood), that he had received orders to hand me over to the Gestapo. He gave me permission to say good-bye to my parents who were in tears, especially my mother. The man who led me had pity on me and hinted that I should escape. I did so and fled to the woods. My sister was in hiding in the village, but my parents went when they were called to go. At this time two Jewesses joined us; they had escaped from the train that was taking them to a death camp. Then three young Jews joined us in the woods. They shared with us in the reading of the Bible, in song and praise. ​ SNOW AND DEATH On November 24th our fortunes changed. My sister, who was in the village, was killed. We hid ourselves in the high grass that grew in the wood. They discovered and took away all our food, but our lives were spared. That night heavy snow fell some three feet deep. We had to go and get some food. Alas! when we reached the road leading to the village, the police were there. What were we to do? There were shouts of "Stop! stop!" and shots. For quite a time I did not know what I was doing and where I was running, nor what was happening. I did not think; I just ran and ran as shots whistled over my head and around my ears. At last there was silence; no one was pursuing me any longer. I flopped on to a tree trunk; I could neither speak or pray. My sweat chilled me. I gathered some sticks, made a fire and gradually recovered my senses. No one was near to comfort me; only the flame of my little fire broke the darkness around. My whole being seemed to cry aloud, "Why are we so persecuted?" The coming of morning brought no news, but I was convinced that my companions lived no more. What was there left for me? I would have sought the police that they might kill me too, but I had not yet recovered enough strength to go and find them. But there still remained the Lord, the same yesterday and today. He began to speak to me with His soft voice. "You have enough of My grace. Had not job enough; had not Paul enough?" I became silent to hear what the Lord had to say to me, and He said much. For a time I continued to weep, but then the victory! I stayed where I was and decided to live as long as the Lord would allow me to live and work for Him. I said, "If I am not necessary to God, surely He would have taken me away; but if God wants me to live for Him, should I not bow to His almighty will?" I bowed my knees and was cured. There I was, alone in this cruel world, alone in those woods with the wild goats and swine. I could no longer stay there. but there or elsewhere I was not alone, for He had promised to be with me always; how true this became to me, especially in those days when it seemed that no one remained. ​ LIFE SPARED I started on my way to Warsaw but was caught. I was not killed but put into a camp where there were some 5,000 Jews. I was there eight days but not in vain. Some believed my testimony and I soon had a circle of sympathizers. At the end of the eight days the camp was surrounded by black uniformed S.S. guards armed with machine guns, but God led me out, for I jumped over the well from which both the peasants and the Camp drew water. Once again I tried to go to Warsaw. This time I got to Chelm safely; here brethren helped me to get a railway ticket for Warsaw. I arrived there on December 20th, 1942. I returned to Chelm for Christmas, but was caught again on Christmas Day as I was going from our village to Chelm. Approaching the town, I stopped and told my captor that I was not going to move until I prayed. His protests and threats had no effect on me as I knew that only a few hundred yards further were the Gestapo quarters. I knelt and prayed, yielding my life to God. When I arose my captor began to talk to me softly and finally let me go free. I returned to Warsaw, where I stayed awaiting the Grace of God. THE WARSAW GHETTO From time to time I went around the walls of the ghetto thinking of the possibility of getting inside. One of the places where I was permitted to spend a night or two in hiding was in the shop of a Christian undertaker. With another Jewish Christian boy we put chips in one of the unfinished coffins and thus spent the night. (Alas, this boy, too, was later caught and killed). Here in the spring of 1943 1 became acquainted with Jews who worked outside the Ghetto for a German firm adjacent to this Christian undertaker. As they had a special permit for ten to leave and enter the Ghetto, one Friday they took me in with them instead of the tenth who did not leave the Ghetto on that day. Thus a week before the liquidation of the Ghetto I was able to get inside for the weekend. I met some of our precious Jewish believers. They told me their miraculous stories. Some had already died of starvation or were imprison- ed and tortured to death. Stasiek Eizenberg, a young man who accepted his Messiah immediately before the war, had received special permission for a Polish Pastor, Mr. Krakiewiczm, to enter the Ghetto and baptize him there. He was later imprisoned for being late to work and as he was awaiting death, he wrote a verse of his favorite hymn on the wall. It so happened that the German officer came in on that day and asked his Polish interpreter to translate all the inscriptions of the victims. When they came to his hymn and the officer heard the words (it was a Polish hymn translated from the German) he stopped and demanded that the one who wrote it should confess, otherwise all would be guilty. Stasiek confessed. The officer went away, but in a few hours Stasiek Eizenberg was released. As the Jewish believers were now awaiting definite extermination, I tried to comfort them as best as I could. They insisted that I leave the Ghetto, for God who preserved me until now would keep me to the end of the war, and then I would be able to tell the Christians of those woes. I left the Ghetto and was probably one of the last to leave before the liquidation began. Time dragged on slowly. I had to learn to trust the Lord for each minute. Whether spending the night with a Christian family who risked their lives to take in a Jew for the night, or in a coffin in the shop of a Christian undertaker, or in some barn, there was the same assurance that the Lord wanted me to live and as long as He wanted it, I was ready. FREEDOM ALAS! Finally the hour came, and I was no more hunted and condemned to die just because I was a Jew. However my heart longed for freedom and fellowship with others who believed that Jesus was their own personal Messiah and Saviour. God granted me the desire of my heart and helped me to leave Poland and get to England. Later God opened for me the way into the USA and afterwards I went to Israel and spent four years there among my own brethren. There I married a Jewish believer in the Messiah. She also suffered under the Nazi occupation, in France. We have four children, two girls and two boys, whom we have brought up in the faith of God and the Messiah. We trust that you, too, know sins forgiven and peace in all circumstances through the Messiah of Israel, the Lord Jesus (Read Isaiah 53 and Romans 8-1 1). Reprinted with permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. ​ To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE ​ 6 Million Tragedy by Rachmiel Frydland ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ MORE THAN FORTY years have passed since the perversity of men contrived to kill, murder, and exterminate God's chosen people, the Jews. Hitler and his associates, like Haman of old, devised a way to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women. Esther 3:13 Haman's design failed completely. Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the very day when all the Jews were to have been exterminated. Hitler had a similar end to that of Haman, except that he committed suicide along with the cohorts who were close to him. Jewish people could have established a festival in memory of the victory over Hitler. They would only have to decide what delicacy to eat. Potato latkes are eaten on Hanukah in memory of the victory over Antiochus Epiphanes, and hamentashen on Purim in memory of Haman's downfall. Yet, there are no joyful celebrations over Hitler's defeat. On the eve of Israel's independence celebrations, there is a memorial service commemorating the six million Jews who were exterminated under the Hitler regime. There are no joyous celebrations over Hitler's defeat because about one third of the Jewish population was wiped out in the course of World War II! THE GREATNESS OF THE TRAGEDY There is a Jewish saying based on the Talmud: "Whosoever destroys one life in Israel is as he would destroy the whole world, and whosoever preserves one life in Israel is as he would preserve the whole world" (Talmud, Sanhedrin 38a). Since Jewish people consider tradition and Talmud to be inspired, the next step is to blame God Himself for this tragedy. This feeling is expressed in strong words by Richard L. Rubinstein in his book entitled, After Auschwitz: How can Jews believe in an omnipotent, beneficent God after Auschwitz? Traditional Jewish theology maintains that God is the ultimate; omnipotent actor in the historical drama. It has interpreted every major catastrophe in Jewish history as God's punishment of a sinful Israel. I fail to see how this position can be maintained without regarding Hitler and the SS as instruments of God's will. The agony of European Jewry cannot be likened to the testing of Job. To see any purpose in the death camps, the traditional believer is forced to regard the most demonic, antihuman explosion in all history as a meaningful expression, of God's purposes. The idea is simply too obscene to me to accept. THE DOUBLE TRAGEDY Thus, the tragedy is double. First, there is the physical and mental damage that was done to those who perished and those who survived the horrible death camps. Then, there is the mental and spiritual pain of those who identify themselves with the perishing Jews of World War II. Many of our people have failed to look into God's Word to find out what God wants to say through these fearful events. From the Hebrew Scriptures we present some of the things God says: 1. The Deceitful Heart Here is the first thing we could learn from this tragedy. The prophet Jeremiah records in God's Word: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9. Similar words are found in the Brit Hadasha (New Testament): From whence come wars and fighting's among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? James 4:1 The liberal world, of which our people are prominent spokesmen, maintained that the world is getting better and better and soon liberal men would be able to bring about a happy world. But, they ignored God's Word which states that man's heart is wicked, deceitful, and capable of every crime and cruelty. Have we learned our lesson? 2. The Neglect of God's Word We know that great honor belongs to the Jewish people. From them God raised lawgivers, wise men, psalmists, and prophets who presented God's Word to the world by the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit. The Brit Hadasha (New Testament) expresses it so beautifully: What advantage then hath the Jew? ... Much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. (Romans 3:1-2 While due honor is given to the Jewish people, the prophets also place upon them special responsibility as recorded in God's words through the prophet Amos: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities" (Amos 3:2). Instead of heeding God's Word to instruct our sons and daughters in the living Word of God, the very Book which justifies our existence as a people and a nation, we sent them to colleges and universities to instruct them in secular topics. Our religious Jewish people send their children to the Yeshivot. There, too, they are taught the words of men, the Talmud, because it is maintained that the study of the Talmud is more important than the study of the Tanakh (Old Covenant Scriptures). As a result Christians have been translating the Hebrew Bible into hundreds of languages, while we who gave the Bible to the world are standing on the sidelines. 3. The Rejected Redeemer In this respect also great glory belongs to the Jewish people. The following is a quotation from the writing of the great Jew, the Apostle Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul, in which he says of the Jewish people: I say the truth in Messiah, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites: to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Messiah came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen Romans 9:1-5 Jesus the Messiah and Redeemer is ours; He is of our flesh and blood. We should join the Apostle in celebrating not only a simhat-torah (rejoicing of the Law) but also a continuous celebration of simhat-moshiach, as he admonishes believers in the city of Philippi: "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice" (Philippians 4:4). Instead we are still looking for someone else. Many times we thought that "someone else" had come and we were ready to follow him, but we paid dearly for our mistakes. From the time of the false messiah Bar Kosiba, killed in 135 A.D., to Sabbatai Zvi (died 1676) and his followers, large crowds of Jewish people, sometimes even the majority, would commit their lives to encourage these so-called "messiah-heroes" who brought woe and destruction to our people. Jesus Himself foreseeing that this would happen, expressed these words: I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. John 5:43 The rabbis, writing in the Talmud, knew that Messiah was to be rejected, would suffer, and die. However, instead of applying these prophecies to Jesus, they posited two Messiahs: Messiah ben Joseph to suffer, be rejected and be pierced through in accordance with the prophecies of Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12:10, and, Messiah ben David to fight God's wars, defeat the pagans, and restore Israel. But God's Word speaks of one Messiah to be despised and rejected and then exalted. Other Jewish people, after disappointments with false messiahs, put forth a hypothesis that Messiah is not to be a person but an ideal. For many years our people hoped that social changes in the East and the promise of full quality was the redemption of which the prophets spoke. What a great disappointment! God's Word speaks of the only person Who can claim messiahship - a man of the household of David, born in Bethlehem in a supernatural way. THE ANSWER TO MEN’S' TRAGEDY If the Jewish people had a prophet today or if we would heed the words of God's prophets of old, we would cry out as did Hosea: "Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up" (Hosea 6:1). God has already started to heal us. He is beginning to bind up our wounds. With these acts of mercy and restoration, God wants to woo us again to Himself. At the same time God's Word extends to us a warning in the words of the Apostle Paul: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4 Here is the answer for us as a special people of God and for you and me as individuals. What has happened cannot be changed. God's Word says that we have failed - not God. Herein are set forth some of the mistakes we have made. Are we ready to correct them? If so, then we should acknowledge before God that we, too, have sinned, and being God's chosen people, a greater responsibility rests on us than on others. We must return to the Holy Scripture and seek the answer there. If we will sincerely seek, then it will become clear that our greatest mistake was and is that we have not accepted our own Messiah and Redeemer who still calls to us. Are you willing to receive Him? 0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth,till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Brit Hadasha, Matthew 23:37-39) WRITE M.L.O. below for the booklet "Messiah in the TENACH." It will be sent to you free. Reprinted with permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected? In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. ​ To return to MENORAH'S HOME PAGE

  • Gog and Magog | Menorah Ministries

    Ask Re’uben What is this Gog and Magog stuff.... who & why?? S H A L O M ! _______________ A MESSIANIC JEWISH SCRIPTURAL VIEW _______________ Biblical Question: ​ What is this Gog and Magog stuff.... who & why?? ​ Our Question: ​ Frank. from Savannah, GA asks: ​ Dear Pastor Reuben, ​ I am really getting confused. What and/or should I say is Ezekiel talking about in chapter 38, 39. Just what does it mean? Is Russia really the invaders of my home land Israel in the last days? Many of my friends tell me I am not to read these "mysterious" scriptures nor try to figure them out. Why? ​ Are these important to understand and if so why? Your help and recommendations of further reading would be appreciated. ​ Frank B. ​ Pastor Reuben's Answer: ​ Dear Frank, shalom, YES, these Scriptures are important to us and it is good to seek understanding. While many, especially in the Jewish community, would say to not read or seek to understand, I do believe God gave the Scriptures for our edification, peace, direction, help, understanding of His plan and love. And, most of all, to assure us and the world of His redemption/salvation plan in His Messiah. ​ G O G and M A G O G ---- Ezekiel's vision concerning an attack upon Israel by a violent enemy, Gog and Magog, occupies two chapters (38-39). The prophet foretells the utter destruction of Gog, whose weapons will provide Israel with fuel for seven years and whose corpses will require seven months to bury; then the entire world will acknowledge the power and majesty of the true God. "On that day, when Gog invades the land of Israel....mountains shall be torn apart, and cliffs shall topple over....I will overwhelm him with utter panic...O Gog, I will strike your bow from your left hand and will make your arrows drop out of your right hand. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and your hordes....I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel..." ​ Traditionally interpreted, this vision refers to a distant future, at the end of days, in which God will eventually defeat the enemies of Israel in the land of Israel. Gog and Magog are spoken of in connection with the Messianic Era: "Then Gog & Magog will hear about the descendant of David & the excellence of his people and country & the abundance of their wealth... He will gather people from various nations...notorious sinners marked for perdition...On that day four types of misfortune will descend upon them. Then the spirit of prophecy will descend upon all Israel, young and old. This blessed period will last until the end of time....." Recommended further reading: The Footsteps of the Messiah, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. ​ May the Lord bless and keep you Frank. ​ Thank you for your sincere question. (Yeshua = Salvation = Jesus) ​ Questions are welcome from ALL readers at ALL levels and Forums, from everyone. Questions of general interest will be considered for inclusions in this column. Those of a more personal nature will be keep confidential and we will answer via e-mail; always state your name, email address and your comment/question in as brief & precise manner as possible. ​ To submit a question, etc. please address it to ​ ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask To return to ..... Ask Pastor Reuben Biblica l Answers To Asked Questions..... To return to To Life L'Chaim Find Eternal Life Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • How We Got The New Testament | Menorah Ministries

    How We Got The ​ New Testament Jesus severely rebuked the Pharisees for setting aside the word of God for the teaching of men (Matthew 15:6). They are by no means unique; throughout the ages traditionalists have wanted to elevate human tradition to God's word. Jesus also severely rebuked the Sadducees in Matthew 22:23-33 and Mark 12:18-27. They believed all the Old Testament except the Torah was just human tradition. Jesus told them they did not know the scriptures nor the power of God. How did we get the New Testament? What of the claim that it too is just human tradition? We will look at that question and the very foundation of our faith. THE FOUNDATION OF OUR FAITH The center of our faith is Jesus Christ; but some would like to think we do not reliably know what He taught. Ephesians 2:20 says, "[God's household is] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." It is interesting what is absent from the Early Church: there is no debate about what is scripture. It was not an issue until after Marcion the Gnostic began writing his own scripture and rejecting most of the Bible. Diocletian also ordered the burning of all Christian books, and Christians needed to know which were God's Word and worth risking death. ​ SCRIPTURE'S CLAIM OF AUTHORITY ​ 2 Tim 3:16 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," Peter in 2 Peter 3:15-16 says some people distort Paul's letters, just like they do the other scriptures. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 that "we" are entrusted with the gospel. 1 Thessalonians 2:13: "... you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God... " 2 Peter 1:20-21: "Above all, [that's very high] you must understand that no prophecy of scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." ​ THREE TESTS FOR SCRIPTURE ​ In trying to recreate how the early church recognized what was scripture, we see three tests. 1. Authorship: Was the author an eyewitness or a "secretary" for an eyewitness? See Luke 1:1-3, John 19:35, 1 John 1:1-4, 2 Peter 1:16-18, 1 Corinthians 9:1-2, 5, and 1 Corinthians 15:7-9. 2. Truth: Does the book contradict what the Bible says anywhere else? If so, throw it out. See Hebrews 6:18, John 10:35, 17:17, John 17:8, Proverbs 30:5, Numbers 23:19, and Psalms 119:42-43, 86, 137-142, 151, 160. 3. Widespread Confirmation: Did Christians every-where generally accept the book as scripture? ​ WHO WROTE WHAT ​ Matthew - Matthew the apostle Mark - John Mark, (Acts 15:37, 2 Timothy 4:11) and Peter's interpreter Luke and Acts - Paul's companion John and Revelation - John the apostle 1, 2 and 3 John - John the apostle Romans and Philemon - Paul the apostle Hebrews - unknown today (knew Timothy, Hebrews 13:23) James - the Lord's half-brother 1 and 2 Peter - Peter the apostle ​ SO WHAT ABOUT HEBREWS? ​ True or false: The Book of Hebrews could not have been evaluated by the authorship test. Today we do not know the author of Hebrews. However, the original readers of Hebrews knew the author, as can been seen by Hebrews 13:18, 23. Thus the correct answer is false. This highlights an important fact: we are dependent on the judgment of the early (130 A.D.) Church. So who do we think wrote Hebrews? Clement of Rome (97 A.D.) alludes to it nine times, so it must have been written before then. Best guesses are Barnabas and Apollos. Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, and Augustine believed it was written by Paul in Hebrew. Tertullian stated it was written by Barnabas. In fact in the Codex Claremontanus, Hebrews is called "Epistle of Barnabas." (Barnabas was called an apostle in Acts 14:4,14) Martin Luther guessed the author was Apollos. ​ WHAT ABOUT JAMES? ​ James was not James the disciple but Jesus' half-brother. He was an apostle based on these verses: • Called an apostle by Paul: Galatians 1:19 • Like Paul, Jesus appeared just to him: 1 Corinthians 15:7 • Pillar of the Church: Galatians 2:9 ​ WHAT ABOUT JUDE? ​ We do not know as much about Jude the Lord's brother as James. While it is easy to prove Jude was an apostle, because an apostle's teachings are God's direct word, and Jude is in the Bible, that is a circular argument. He was certainly an eyewitness, but we rely on the judgment of the early church Fathers to recognize that it belonged in the Bible. ​ DID THEY INCLUDE THE RIGHT BOOKS? ​ The previous discussion does not "prove with certainty" we have the right books, but it gives us good reasons to trust that God knew and made sure Christians got the right books. Almost every other book written at that time totally fails these three tests: authorship, truth, and widespread confirmation. The two that are closest are First Clement and The Gospel of Thomas. ​ First Clement , written 97 A.D., is an excellent book to read that some in Antioch and Alexandria thought should be scripture. Its problem is that Clement was not an eye-witness but was in the next generation. It also has a few small errors (i.e. phoenixes do not really live in Arabia). Whether or not the Apostle Thomas wrote a gospel we may never know until heaven. A book called the Gospel of Thomas was circulated among Gnostics (only), but Gnostics often altered their scriptures and not surprisingly, their Gospel of Thomas teaches Gnosticism and contradicts the Bible. ​ INFALLIBLE PRESERVATION OF THE BIBLE ​ It would do no good for God to accurately give us what was correctly recognized as His Word, if as Mohammed has accused, He failed to ensure its preservation. A God who would do such a thing is not the God who wrote Jeremiah 1:12, Luke 21:33, and Isaiah 55:11. (Also, if He allowed His Bible to be corrupted, then why would He preserve the Quran?) Faith in God's watching His word is an adequate answer, and it is the only answer we had until the mid-twentieth century. Now however, with early manuscripts and Carbon-14 dating, we have documents that prove historically the reliability of today's scripture. They are: • John Rylands Manuscript: part of John 130 A.D. • Bodmer II Papyrii: most of John 150-200 A.D. • Chester Beatty Papyrii: most of the N. T. 200 A.D. • 10,000 Greek, 14,000 other manuscripts after that. ​ For more on its accuracy and reliability, read F. F. Bruce's Book, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? ​ FALSE BELIEFS ABOUT SCRIPTURE ​ Christian liberalism : It is not all the word of God but contains the word of God. The parts we accept become God's word for us. Rev. Moon: It was fine 2,000 years ago, but we need something more advanced today Mohammed: It was originally ok, but it was totally corrupted later. Mormonism: The official teaching of the church leader today has priority over scripture. ​ Culture and the Bible ​ What in the Bible is merely cultural and for that time? An "easy" answer is that if you do not like a verse, then it must be cultural! Christ's servants must not settle for "easy" answers. A few things in the Bible are indisputably for that time, because the Bible says so. Examples are 1 Corinthians 7:25-26 and Acts 10:9-18. To call anything cultural in the Bible, there have to be verses saying or implying so. Otherwise, we have an "easy" answer. ​ To Be Obeyed ​ The Bible may be talked about, speculated about, but it was really written to be obeyed. See John 14:23, 24 and Psalms 119:4-5, 17, 67, 101, 134,167,168 among others. The Bible never tells us to do evil or unwise things. What if the Bible said for you to do something you thought was not the best? What would you do? After prayer and discussion with other Christians, would you trust God's judgment more or your own judgment? ​ We are indebted to the early Church and the early Church fathers, not for deciding, but for recognizing the New Testament. ​ We have solid reasons to believe it was : a) meant to be taken as scripture b) given accurately, c) the right books were included, and d) preserved reliably. ​ PEOPLE MUST CHOOSE IF THEY WILL OBEY GOD AND HIS WORD. ​ FOR MORE INFORMATION : ​ To return to B I B L E..... T O R A H " God's Instructions To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • Jeff Swank Testimony | Menorah Ministries

    ​ ​ Salvation Testimony of Jeff Swank It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I may learn your statutes. Psalms 119:71 Born in a small town with 2 brothers and a sister I spent my growing up totally involved with athletics. At age 15 my then focus shifted to alcohol, promiscuity and all that accompanies that lifestyle. Although still active in sports throughout high school there was a large void in my life that I kept trying to fill. B y the time I was 20 years old, getting drunk, into trouble and a promiscuous lifestyle was my world. (There is a way that seems right to man but, in the end, leads to death) A move to Colorado would surely change my "luck". In 1984 I did this and God put me on a collision course with Jesus Christ! ​ After being hired by a Christian man in the business of property management, I worked hard and moved up the responsibility ladder quickly in a little over two years. But my alcohol addiction and sinful lifestyle continued. ​ On August 17, 1987 I suffered a Cerebral Hematoma. Only by God's grace did I survive this and the emergency brain operation. ​ While recovering in the hospital a phone call from a Christian uncle about Jesus Christ, an odd visit from a Christian lady I barely knew (who prayed fervently for me in my room), and a Bible from my boss, set the stage for God's amazing grace once again. ​ Upon release from the hospital, I had some physical disabilities that reminded me of my brush with death. ​ Then, on October 29th, 1987 my boss presented the Gospel to me And lead me in a prayer of forgiveness and acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!! At the moment I prayed I knew something dramatic had just occurred. My life changed drastically soon after this and my new life as a "new creation" started to sweep to the sin of alcohol abuse, promiscuity out of my life. My hunger was now God's word. ​ In fact, the Lord has seen fit to allow me to work full-time as a missionary for a wonderful ministry named MENORAH -Menorah Ministries- from 1994-2005. He has shown me that He can radically change a person through Jesus Christ! To Him be all the praise. I am also very thankful for a Christian grandmother who faithfully prayed for me and a boss who prayed and showed this love for me by being bold enough to share the Good News of Jesus with me. God used these people and others to carry out His divine plan. ​ To Return To: Salvation Testimonies Page To Return To: L'Chaim -To Life! Page To Return To: MENORAH' S HOME PAGE

  • For the Rapture of the Bride He Comes | Menorah Ministries

    Ask Pastor Reuben "For His bride He comes secretly to "rapture"" and I wanted to ask when do you think this will occur? S H A L O M ! ______ A MESSIANIC JEWISH SCRIPTURAL VIEW ______ Biblical Question: ​ In the last paragraph I read "For His bride He comes secretly to "rapture"" and I wanted to ask when do you think this will occur? ​ Our Question: ​ Dear Pastor Reuben, ​ I was reading your page on "JEWS, GENTILES & THE CHURCH" and I have a question that I will not linger on by replying to any answer you give me unless directly requested to do so. In the last paragraph I read "For His bride He comes secretly to "rapture"" and I wanted to ask when do you think this will occur? Thanks, Roger ​ Pastor Reuben's Answer: ​ Shalom Roger, ​ The Believers’ Hope The imminent return of the Lord! ​ The early Believers stood firm that Jesus could come at any moment. Today many have lost that urgent sense of expectation—and the fire, passion, and motivation such a hope inspires. But He is coming, and we can renew our strength, witness and excitement for the future! Yochanan/John 14:1-3 Mattityahu/Matthew 24:44 Luke 12:35-40 I Thessalonians 4:16-18; 5:9-11 A Believer’s Hope The imminent coming in the air to take all Believers to join Him, then His subsequent (unknown time frame) physical return to the Mount of Olives. Z’kharyah/Zechariah 14 (especially verse 5) Often I discuss the coming of the Lord Jesus for us and frequently with Christians tired of the changing world moving away from the real God. They are tired as many I talk to state, “things are so depressive, so bad politically, financially and morally”. Even in the Church things are moving away from the Bible. Some say, too flippantly I think, that they really want the Lord to return. Others say they pray for His coming, to be today if not sooner! Yes He will soon come for us but “at any moment”. So the question now is “are our attitudes and actions reflecting our unconscious answer that we are willing to leave this earth right now...or is there something standing between us and our Lord at the moment?” Now I am increasingly hoping for His coming for His Body of Messiah, the Church. Come Lord Yeshua/Jesus! I believe there is no condition that must be met before He will do just that: no revealing of the Anti-Christ, 7 year signed peace treaty with Israel primarily, nor the start or finish of the Tribulation is needed. Yes, like those near Him during His first coming who were told He would return for them, I too look daily as the times are heatedly getting worse all around us. Are you? Are you ready? Really? Ready? As a full time minister and missionary I think our opportunities to share the Gospel hope ( ) has never been keener, more listenable. Not that most people have changed their hearts toward God but in that more are seeing that they and the human race have not been able to change the world into a better place. Things are not getting better. So how close are we? No one knows nor can tell of Jesus’ coming for the Believers, the real Christians, the Messianic Body of Believers (Jews and Gentiles) in Him, The Church. Yes we can tell that He will come to set up an earthly 1,000 year Kingdom and rule Himself after the end of the 7 year period where the Anti-Christ rules after brokering a 7 year so called peace agreement. But that coming of Christ is not the coming the early Believers nor am I excitedly looking to! I see the coming changing times as what the Lord Biblically warned us about and told us to look for and that such would usher in His advent/coming/return for His talmidim/disciples. In the twinkling of an eye, so fast will be our leaving into His presence. At the start of this brief and inadequate article on the imminent return and taking of the Believer both dead and then alive on earth to be with Him eternally, I give some Scripture references. Please take time to prayerfully read them. If you are not sure if He came today that you would be taken, ask for the forgiveness of your sins and for Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. That is all it takes for an honest heart to come home to God and live eternally in His glory. This is not just an offer to escape the present troubles as it is the very same offer that was initiated 2000 + years ago. John chapter 3 ends with, Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to God's wrath. To disobey is to reject Jesus’ freedom free-gift atoning offer from our sin and certain eternal death that He paid for by His own sacrificial death. Yes there is true hope, one way, God’s way! I pray for the Believers especially to be refreshed in remembering this thoroughly Biblical prophecy and real lasting hope. God’s sovereign plan for His followers should today until Jesus comes, renew our love and commitment to the Lord. Let’s look up for our redeemer to come. Let’s be changed in the way we think, speak and live. His future is our promised hope. Thank you for your support and prayers. Menorah wants to continue until we join the Lord to be a faithful resource and referral ministry about the Messiah, helping others to know Him, the Bible, Biblical Jewish roots of Christianity, Israel, Jesus (Yeshua), and God's plan of eternal redemption/salvation. God bless and keep you, ​ Pastor Re’uben ​ Questions are welcome from ALL readers at ALL levels and Forums, from everyone. Questions of general interest will be considered for inclusions in this column. Those of a more personal nature will be keep confidential and we will answer via e-mail; always state your name, email address and your comment/question in as brief & precise manner as possible. ​ To submit a question, etc. please address it to ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask ​ To Return To Jews, Gentiles and The Church ​ To Go To Menorah's Theme Song Web Page ​ To return to ..... Ask Pastor Reuben Biblical Answers To Asked Questions..... To return to To Life L'Chaim Find Eternal Life Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

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  • DoesGoDHearPrayerOfSinnersAndUnbelievers | Menorah Ministries

    Ask Pastor Reuben Does God hear/answer the prayers of a sinner/unbeliever? S H A L O M ! ______ A MESSIANIC JEWISH SCRIPTURAL VIEW ______ Biblical Question: ​ Dear Pastor Reuben, ​ Does God hear/answer the prayers of a sinner/unbeliever? I appreciate your thoughts on this. Blessings, Daniel Pastor Reuben's Answer: ​ Shalom Daniel Answer: John 9:31 declares, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.” It has also been said that “the only prayer that God hears from a sinner is the prayer for salvation.” As a result, some believe that God does not hear and/or will never answer the prayers of an unbeliever. In context, though, John 9:31 is saying that God does not perform miracles through an unbeliever. Some have interpreted this passage to mean that God does not hear the prayers of unbelievers excepting one for salvation. Others argue that believers who pray while living in sin are not heard by God until they repent. But it is clear God hears all prayers , though He only answers according to His will. This is true whether the person is a devout believer, a "sinning" believer, or not a believer. First John 5:14-15 tells us that God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will. This principle, perhaps, applies to unbelievers. If an unbeliever asks a prayer of God that is according to His will, nothing prevents God from answering such a prayer—according to His will. Some Scriptures describe God hearing and answering the prayers of unbelievers. In most of these cases, prayer was involved. In one or two, God responded to the cry of the heart (it is not stated whether that cry was directed toward God). In some of these cases, the prayer seems to be combined with repentance. But in other cases, the prayer was simply for an earthly need or blessing, and God responded either out of compassion or in response to the genuine seeking or the faith of the person. Here are some passages dealing with prayer by an unbeliever: The people of Nineveh prayed that Nineveh might be spared (Jonah 3:5-10 ). God answered this prayer and did not destroy the city of Nineveh as He had threatened. Hagar asked God to protect her son Ishmael (Genesis 21:14-19 ). God not only protected Ishmael, God blessed him exceedingly. In 1 Kings 21:17-29 , especially verses 27-29, Ahab fasts and mourns over Elijah's prophecy concerning his posterity . God responds by not bringing about the calamity in Ahab's time. The Gentile woman from the Tyre and Sidon area prayed that Jesus would deliver her daughter from a demon (Mark 7:24-30 ). Jesus cast the demon out of the woman’s daughter. Cornelius , the Roman centurion in Acts 10 , had the apostle Peter sent to him in response to Cornelius being a righteous man. Acts 10:2 tells us that Cornelius “prayed to God regularly.” God does make promises that are applicable to all (saved and unsaved alike) such as Jeremiah 29:13 : “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” This was the case for Cornelius in Acts 10:1-6 . But there are many promises that, according to the context of the passages, are for Christians alone. ​ Because Christians have received Jesus as the Savior, they are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16 ). We are told that when we ask for anything according to God's will, He hears and gives us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15 ). There are many other promises for Christians concerning prayer (Matthew 21:22 ; John 14:13 , 15:7 ). So, yes, there are instances in which God does not answer the prayers of an unbeliever. At the same time, in His grace and mercy, God can intervene in the lives of unbelievers in response to their prayers. ​ Conclusion: While many of the teachings regarding prayer in the Bible are written to believers, God hears the prayers of all, responds to those who seek Him with all their heart, and calls believers especially to boldly come to Him with their prayers. He promises to both hear and answer according to His perfect will. ​ Hope I have been of some help. God bless you, ​ Pastor Reuben Drebenstedt, director Menorah-Menorah Ministries - ​ Questions are welcome from ALL readers at ALL levels and Forums, from everyone. Questions of general interest will be considered for inclusions in this column. Those of a more personal nature will be keep confidential and we will answer via e-mail; always state your name, email address and your comment/question in as brief & precise manner as possible. ​ To submit a question, etc. please address it to ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask......ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask.....ask To return to ..... Ask Pastor Reuben Biblical Answers To Asked Questions..... To return to To Life L'Chaim Find Life Page To return to Menorah's Web Page

  • The Real Jesus | Menorah Ministries

    Father & Holy Spirit =Jesus The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets Christ–Center of the O.T. The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets The Messiah in the Prophets 54 Reasons Jesus = Messiah Virgin-Birth of Jesus Messiah's Geneological Chart Messiah's Geneological Chart Messiah's Geneological Chart Resurrection of Jesus He is the visible image of the invisible God He is supreme over all creation, because in connection with him were created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities they have all been created through him and for him. He existed before all things, and he holds everything together. Colossians 1:15-17 Jesus the Soul Sheperd Video Yeshua Jesus Is The Messiah Jesus Was A Jew Isaiah 53 Jesus Name Study Messiah is God-Divine Father-Holy Spirit-Jesus Biblical Jesus Is God Virgin-Birth of Jesus The Sign of the Virgin When Was Jesus Born? Jesus Claim To Be God God Taking Human Form Who Is The Jewish Messiah Resurrection of Jesus 54 Reasons = Messiah Messiah's Geneology Jesus in the Prophets Messiah proclaimed to Israel The Trinity Jesus is in all of the Bible Jesus–Center of O.T. Jesus' Return for the Church Messiah to = Last Sacrifice Yeshua-Jesus in Torah Talmud Midrash Biblical Discussion Return to To Life L'Chaim Eternal Life Web Page Return To How Catholics May Know They Go To Heaven page Return to Menorahs Web Page Return To Israel Tours Detail page