A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Messianic Jews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Messianic Jews. Show all posts

November 21, 2023

The Cost of Being A Jew Today

Before I get to the point of this post, I want to share a particular testimony ... There are times I discern something in my spirit so strongly and unexpectedly, that I know without a doubt, that it is coming from God. Somehow, I know that the thoughts I am experiencing are not my thoughts, and their sudden emergence is either from God or Satan. This happened to me in 2015 during a visit to #Holocaust Museum Houston. My husband and I had visited the much larger national #Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. in 2012, and it was a specific story that drew us to its counterpart in Houston.

The pictures and possessions of the children and parents and grandparents who were incinerated in the ovens broke my heart, and my emotions were overwhelmed as I noticed how many of the photos [of those who survived] were donated by their descendants who were part of the huge Jewish population in Houston -- and I recognized some of the names of college friends from my days as a University of Texas student, making it even more personal. But it was the little known WWII story that had compelled Mark and me to make the trip to this honored Museum.

There was to be a rededication of a WWII Danish rescue boat, named #Hanne Frankwhat the Houston Chronicle called "a rare World War II artifact that was part of an even rarer effort". The article when on to report ... "While the Nazis were marching across Europe, the Danes made a remarkable decision. They were going to make sure the German war machine did not take Danish Jews to concentration camps. Denmark was the only country to make a nationwide effort to save their Jewish population with fisherman ferrying more than 7,200 Jews to safety in Sweden.' They never considered themselves heroes,' said Consul Anna Thomsen Holliday of Denmark. 'They were just doing what was right.' " I invite you to read the entire #article for a detailed picture of what this boat meant to the community. 

It was this exhibit and its story that preceded the strong prompting that my spirit received. I found myself approaching the docent at the Museum. I told her, "This is going to sound strange to you, but if you would consider it, I would like to leave our name and phone number, because I believe there will soon come a time when we Christians will once again need to protect Jews -- only it will happen here in our own country". Well, you can imagine that she looked at me like I was a lunatic, and stammered some polite response, but took down our information. Once again, God had called us to be #Watchmen on the Wall; to warn of some impending event that He wanted His people to be made aware of.  As I look back at that moment 8 years ago, no events were in sight, yet like the Danish boatmen in WWII, Mark and I just wanted to make ourselves available to "do what is right".

Today, my prompting no longer seems so crazy or impossible. The rise in anti-Semitism around the world is climbing at an alarming rate. As the American Church, there are many Christians who automatically assumed that the nations of the world would rally around Israel in her time of need. And Christians assumed they knew who Israel was, but I invite you to read a couple of recent posts I've written about the #history of Israel in the Middle East, and the reality of #who Israel is today.  Above all, I urge you to read and study your Bible! I am amazed at how little Western Christians know the Biblical Truth about God's chosen people, and the near total lack of understanding [by Christians] of spiritual Israel versus worldly Israel.

Mark and I have been blessed that God has led us to people who have deep connections with #Messianic Jews and their faith organizations in Israel. So, we have been able to get their perspective on the war in Israel and how this minority population of Believers in Jesus [as the Messiah] are faring in the midst of rising persecution. I'd like to share the thoughts of one of the Messianic ministers in Israel [in his own words]. Rather than relying on the news media and social media to tell you what the reality is for a believing Jew in Israel, let Youval Yanay of #Revive Israel share his truth .... 

"The Word of God describes a great war that will break out in the last days, a war in which all nations will gather, lay siege, and attack Jerusalem and Judah. This war will be an intense and cruel war, the mountains will be filled with the bodies of the dead, and cruel acts will take place in the cities (Ezekiel 30-30, Zechariah 12, 14, Revelation 16:14-16, Revelation 19:19-21, and more).

Over the years, when I read these prophecies, such a war seemed unimaginable. After all, while we have many enemies, there are so many countries that would never attack Israel. Following World War II and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, countries throughout the West became loyal friends of the State of Israel whom we believed would never turn against us.

Today, we see something different, a wave of anti-Semitism spreading like fire throughout the entire world, even in countries once considered loyal friends of Israel. 

In the well-known and esteemed Harvard University, where many world leaders are shaped and educated, the slogan #“From the river to the sea” has emerged as a prominent rallying cry in today’s protests against Israel. It is prominently displayed throughout this university campus. But what does this slogan signify? It refers to the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. For anyone familiar with the map of the Middle East, this slogan implies Israel ceases to exist, conveying a message for the destruction of Israel.

Will this wave of anti-Semitism calm once the war ends as has happened in the past? Maybe this time something different is happening before our eyes. For every nation to engage in an attack against Israel, there must be widespread hatred toward Israel, compelling them to attack. It will include leaders from every nation, people of culture, intellectuals, and academics with educated and influential leaders leading their nations to war against Israel. The present circumstance doesn’t currently exist, but are we witnessing the initial stages of a process that could give rise to such a situation? Is this a seed of hate that, when cultivated and matured, may lead to decisions triggering the prophesied great war at the end of days?

Before World War II, anti-Semitism was widely tolerated in Western societies. While not everyone was anti-Semitic, there were varying degrees of anti-Semitism. Some wanted to see the destruction of Jews while others didn’t like them, or just found them unpleasant. 

World War II, and the shock of what happened during the Holocaust, delegitimized anti-Semitism. For several decades, it became much more difficult to publicly express anti-Semitic tendencies and be considered a member of culture. For several decades, anti-Semitism was marginalized. It didn’t disappear but was pushed to the margins. It was a golden age that allowed for the rapid growth of the American Jewish community, and its unprecedented prosperity, and an era that allowed some communities in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Argentina to exist with a sense of security.

A few years ago it became clear that this era was coming to an end. The Second World War, a vivid and recent memory for the preceding generation, has become in this generation a historical event that is far away. Demographic, ideological, and geopolitical changes allowed anti-Semitism to rise. First, hesitantly, and now suddenly in capital cities throughout Western Europe. You have to rub your eyes to really believe what you are seeing: Jewish homes in Paris marked with the Star of David and respected academics expressing satisfaction with the brutal murder of Jews.

Is this something that will pass until another time or is it here to stay—setting the anti-Semitism bar to a new and higher level? If so, how high will this bar be? Is it now, once again, possible to express anti-Semitic ideas and still be considered an educated person of culture, just as it was before World War II? Are we standing at the beginning of the great war at the end of time (Mark 13:33)?  

Maybe, maybe not. We need to be careful to make such predictions. Our part is to pray, study, read the Word, and be busy with what God has prepared for us:  Draw near to Him, long for His presence, listen to Him, and obey His commandments as we leave our old selves behind, conform to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29) and proclaim His Kingdom (Acts 1:8).

When we do these things, we prepare ourselves, our family, and our community for whatever is to come. In peace or war, we have nothing to fear, our strength is in the faithfulness and love of Jesus"....

You have just heard the heart of a faithful Messianic Jewish man, who is not even respected in his own nation of Israel. He is hated by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community; despised by the majority of his fellow countrymen, who are secular; and discounted by the political non-religious leaders of his government. But he knows the Bible and the prophecies of the End Times, and he understands what is coming; he recognizes it because the warnings are in his DNA. 

I pray that we have not yet reached the level of Satan's hate that will come against the Jews and Christians. I pray that mankind might yet turn back from evil and seek the Most High God and His forgiveness. But, I'll be honest, I see the prophecies unfolding rather quickly and like Youval, I am trying to prepare family and friends for whatever may come, while remaining strong in obedience and faithfulness to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And I pray that my prompting of 8 years ago -- to make ourselves available to harbor Jews during another holocaust and persecution --  will not be necessary. May the Lord protect His #Jewish remnant until all who will call upon His Name are identified and fall to their knees and worship Him.

 #Holocaustmuseumhouston #Holocaustmemorialmuseum #hannefrank #watchmanonthewall #historyofisrael #biblicalhistoryofisrael #messianicjews #reviveisrael #fromtherivertothesea #jewishremnant #godsisrael 

Zechariah 14:2-3    For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured and the houses plundered and the women ravished; and half of the city will be exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.


September 16, 2017

The Anti-Christ Spirit in Israel Targets Jewish Messianic Believers

   The other day I read, with much astonishment, an article at World Net Daily which shouted the headline, Sanhedrin Bans All Messianic Jewish Marriages in Israel.  I knew that Orthodox Jews were unfriendly towards Messianic Jews, reviling them for their faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah.  And I knew that the court system in Israel was becoming increasingly hostile to Messianic Jews, but I wanted to understand why this latest assault against the Messianic faith was taking place.
     According to the article, Israel’s religious establishment is taking its persecution of Messianic Jewish believers in Jesus to a new level. "A rabbinic court, or Sanhedrin, has ruled that a Jew who believes in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah is no longer considered a Jew for purposes of marriage in Israel. This makes it impossible for two Messianic Jews to get married inside the country".
     First of all, this brings up thoughts of the Sanhedrin at the time of Jesus; and secondly, I wondered what purpose it serves this religious court to ban these marriages.  The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported the same understanding of the new ruling ... "Judges say the couple are not Jews but converts to Christianity, and must either renounce their new religion or marry as Christians".  In other words, this couple would have to renounce Jesus Christ as their Savior and deny any faith in Him as the Son of God in order to have a state-recognized Jewish wedding ceremony in Israel.
     But Messianic Jews are Jews, and faith in Jesus does not change that, although it looks as if the modern-day Sanhedrin wants to change their legal status.  To deny a Jewish couple the rites and observances of a traditional Jewish wedding seems excessive and indefensible. According to the website Judaism 101, "A Jew is any person whose mother was a Jew or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to Judaism".  Furthermore, according to the website, "A person born to non-Jewish parents who has not undergone the formal process of conversion but who believes everything that Orthodox Jews believe and observes every law and custom of Judaism is still a non-Jew, even in the eyes of the most liberal movements of Judaism. And a person born to a Jewish mother who is an atheist and never practices the Jewish religion is still a Jew, even in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox. In this sense, Judaism is more like a nationality than like other religions, and being Jewish is like a citizenship".
     So, let me get this straight.  You can be born to a Jewish mother and be an atheist, and still be a Jew.  But if your mother is Jewish and you believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, then you are treated as if you are a non-Jew. But here's what I didn't know:  ALL marriages in Israel are controlled by religious authorities, whether Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or any other faith. This is according to laws handed down under the Ottoman Empire, and retained by the British Mandate when Israel became a nation in 1948.  But it gets even more interesting... according to halacha, which is the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the Written and Oral Torah, this Jewish couple would be seen as Jewish, because even Jews who convert to another religion can still be considered Jewish. So, why is this modern-day Sanhedrin so hell-bent on denying them a Jewish wedding, and denying them their rights as Jewish citizens of Israel?
     Dr. Michael Brown, a Messianic Jewish scholar and author, is quoted as saying, "In the eyes of most Orthodox Jews, Messianic Jews are heretics and idolaters, unworthy of being part of the larger Jewish community, even though they would consider us still Jews,” Brown told WND. “Many of them want to keep us out of Israel entirely, so refusing to grant two Messianic Jews an official rabbinic wedding is in keeping with their hostility toward us.”  Dr. Brown goes on to point out that this ruling is in keeping with the persecution against Jews and believers in Jesus that the Bible tells us will come in the End Times.
     Then there is Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat, who is founder of the Tel Aviv-based Messiah of Israel Ministries. He grew up an Orthodox Jew, and his grandfather, Rabbi Pinchas Porat, was a Holocaust survivor who later became one of the heads of the Sanhedrin in Israel.  Rabbi Porat laments this decision because it will deprive people of retirement, medical and other benefits that come with a state-recognized marriage. He said Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders are celebrating this move because they have long been “furious” about Jews coming to Jesus Christ.
     Sound familiar?  This is the same anti-Christ spirit that the Bible portrays among the members of the Sanhedrin that sought to kill Jesus.  Before I go any further, I do not want this to be interpreted as hating or blaming the Jews for Jesus's crucifixion.  On the contrary, I do not blame the Jews in Judah who were blinded by an anti-Christ spirit sent by Satan.  Instead, I agree with Romans 11 which declares that God is not through with Israel, and that the fullness of Israel involves the full number of Jews being Saved by faith in Jesus as their Messiah, so that they will operate in full power and full character as God's Chosen People, and they will enter into their full purpose of leading the world to Christ.  I celebrate the Jewish roots of my faith, embrace my Messianic brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray for the day that all Jews and Christians join together in praising Yeshua as the Son of G-d.
     That being said, I also recognize that the Enemy has sought to keep many peoples of the earth, especially the orthodox among YHWH's chosen people, blinded to the truth of Jesus Christ.  And now that same Anti-Christ spirit of old is attempting to destroy the identity of Messianic Jews by using the Sanhedrin to declare them no longer Jews, but Christians.
     According to Rabbi Porat, this couple will now be required to leave Israel, get married, return and apply for this certification of marriage to the Ministry of Interior.  “The ministry, of course, will delay the certification and legitimization of their marriage for up to as many as five to seven years,” he noted. “While they are waiting, by design, the Ministry is going to make this process as difficult as possible because the ultimate goal is for the Messianic believers to vacate Israel all together.”
     Can you see how this would serve the purpose of Satan?  If he can get the Israeli government to forbid Jewish believers in Jesus Christ to marry, and ultimately force them to leave the country, then Romans 11 will be more difficult to achieve.  But I am here to tell you that there is an increasing number of Jews coming to faith in Jesus, and that is precisely why this orthodox rabbinic council in Tel Aviv is setting up roadblocks.
     Rabbi Porat puts it all in perspective ... "“What is the true motivation behind this new law? Jews to leave, get out of Israel and go preach your Jesus elsewhere,” he said. “They have no problem with all manner of sin including a gay pride parade in the main streets of Israel, which is a total abomination to the word of God. Not one rabbi comes out against this, but yet [they] will do all manner of gymnastics to go after Messianic Jews! God forbid they should be allowed to live in Israel! There is a huge, unreported spiritual revival in Israel that the rabbis are apoplectic over. They deem the rise of believers in Yeshua as a danger to their futures, just as 2,000 years ago. Nothing changes.”
     But there is one more aspect of this situation that I found fascinating.  Lion & Lamb Ministries points out that on October 13, 2004, the Sanhedrin Council of the Jewish nation was reconstituted for the first time in 1,600 years. The ceremony took place in the Israeli town of Tiberias, located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. This was the site of the council’s last meeting in the year 425 AD. This incredible development, largely ignored by the press, appears to be one more step toward the construction of a Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Since that time, there have been several attempts by Jewish religious leaders to ascend to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where they hoped to pray and investigate clues pertaining to the location of the Second Temple, the one destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.  Speculation has persisted that these attempts are all in preparation for the building of a Third Temple.
     It is interesting to consider that while the Sadducees of the Bible are believed to have become extinct sometime after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Pharisees are believed to have changed and become the basis of Rabbinic Judaism today.  Remember, the Pharisees in the Bible adhered to Jewish law and kept away from the Romans and secular authorities. They were the authorities that compiled the Mishnah and Gemorrah (the two parts of the Talmud) and thus they are the direct ancestors of Jewish law and practice today.  So, it appears that the current Orthodox stream of Judaism in Israel and elsewhere, is a continuation of the Pharisees’ interpretation of Judaism.
     If the modern Sanhedrin has the building of a Third Temple in mind, then we know they are still awaiting the Messiah, and would resent the Messianic Jews who believe He has already come!  But "resent" is probably too mild a word.  This latest ruling that declares that the marriage ceremony of two Messianic Jews will not be recognized by the State amounts to nothing less than persecution.  We are reminded of Jesus's words in Matthew 10:  Beware of men [whose nature is to act in opposition to God], for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles ... And you will be hated by everyone because of [your association with] My name.  Note that these were His Jewish Disciples; and He is warning them that their fellow Jews would persecute them because of their faith in Him.
     All of this amounts to a spirit of fear [sent by God's Adversary] among the Jewish religious leaders, causing them to come against a sect of "Jesus-Believers" who are upsetting their power base and blaspheming G-d with their words and faith.  Doesn't sound much different than what happened more than a couple centuries ago, does it?  But this time, the outcome will be different, and I pray that the scales will be removed from the eyes of these religious men, and they will at last recognize their Messiah.  It's been a long time coming, and I hope He doesn't tarry too much longer.

John 1:12-13   "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God".