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Monday, 18 December 2017
Yom Sheini, 30 Kislev 5778
Hanukkah

 



 







Starting January 2012, In the Rabbis Dust will be posted here in audio format. Look out for it soon!

 

 

 

Newsletters

Reaching you with the
Messiah's good news

 

 



 



 

 




“Jews don’t believe in Jesus.”

Answer: “That is a serious misconception as well as a gross overstatement. Jews have always believed in Jesus. In fact, in the beginning, it was only Jews who believed in him, and today, there are probably more Jewish believers in Jesus than ever before.”

 

 “I was born a Jew and I will die a Jew!”

Answer: “You’re absolutely right! You were born a Jew, and whether you believe in Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Sigmund Freud, or Rev. Moon, you’ll always be a Jew. The question is, Will you be a faithful Jew in God’s sight? That’s what really matters. You must never forget that as a Jew you have a special calling and responsibility. Will you fulfill the purpose for which God made you? Being a Jew is no small thing.  Will you live and die in right relationship with God? Will you love Him with all your heart and soul and strength? And if what we’re telling you about Jesus being the Jewish Messiah is really true (and we’re quite sure it is), will you be a faithful Jew who follows your Messiah or an unfaithful Jew who rejects him?”

 

 “A person is either Jewish or Christian. I’m Jewish.”

Answer: “You’re mixing apples with oranges. People are born Jewish or Gentile, but in order to become a Christian (or, Messianic) you must be born anew. This new birth comes through putting your faith in Jesus the Messiah. Your sins are forgiven, you receive a new heart, and you become a follower of the Messiah. That’s what it means to be Christian or Messianic. But no one is born Christian. That’s where the misconception lies. Nor is Christianity (or Messianic Judaism) merely another religion. Rather, it speaks of a living relationship between God and His people b both Jews and Gentiles through the Messiah. Through physical birth you are either Jew or Gentile; through spiritual birth you become a follower of Jesus the Messiah.”  

 

“Doesn’t belief in Jesus mean that you’re no longer Jewish? As I understand it, belief in Jesus and Jewishness in any form are incompatible.”

Answer: “You have unknowingly repeated one of the great lies of the Inquisition, namely, that one can be faithful to Jesus only by totally repudiating one’s Jewishness. To the contrary, everything about belief in Jesus was and is Jewish, in the purest and most biblical sense of the word.”

 

 “The Messianic Judaism, or Hebrew Christianity thing is just one big deception, designed to lure unsuspecting Jews into Christianity. Half of the people involved aren’t even Jewish. Those that are Jewish were mostly Christian ministers who changed their names to sound more authentic.”

Answer: “Maybe your bad experience with a Messianic Jew has given you a wrong impression of the whole. Is it possible that you have misjudged our hearts and motives without knowing the facts? Most Jews who have come to know Jesus as Messiah have experienced a deep reawakening of their Jewishness. Many have recovered aspects of the biblical Jewish lifestyle, while others have made aliyah (i.e., emigrated to Israel) for life. In fact, their children now attend Israeli schools and fight in the Israeli army. It is because these people have so deeply recovered their Jewishness that some of them have changed their names e.g., from Martin to Moishe. Others changed their names so as to refute the lie of past ‘Christian’ anti-Semitism which said, ‘You can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus.’ As for the Gentile Believers who have joined Messianic Jewish Congregations, they have done so out of love for Israel and Jewish life. Is this wrong?”

 

 “You have your religion and I have mine. Jesus is for the Gentiles, and if he helps them, great. In fact, Judaism teaches that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come. But for us, the Jewish People, we have the Torah. That is our portion.”

Answer: “What an insult to the Gentiles! If Jesus did not fulfill biblical prophecy, if He is not the promised Messiah of Israel, if He was not born of a virgin, if He did not die for the sins of the world and rise from the dead, if He is not coming back as King of all kings to rule and reign here forever then He is the Messiah and Savior of nobody. He is a false prophet and the writers of the New Testament were either deceivers or deceived. But if he did do all these things, then he is the Messiah and Savior of everyone both Jew and Gentile. As for the Torah, it remains our portion, but it is only through the Messiah that we can truly interpret it and live it out.”

 

 “The fundamental problem with Christianity is that it is not Judaism. Therefore all your so-called ‘proofs’ from the Hebrew Scriptures are meaningless. They are simply your interpretation, not ours.”

Answer: “Is it possible that it is you who are not getting the point? Who says that Judaism is the faith that is in harmony with the Hebrew Scriptures? Who says that ‘Christianity’ (or, ‘Messianic Judaism’) is not for Jews? Who says that ‘your’ interpretation is right? If Jesus is indeed the successor of Moses and the prophets, the Messiah spoken of in our Hebrew Scriptures, then the faith that acknowledges him is the proper faith for those who claim to adhere to those Scriptures. It’s that simple. Of course, much that has been called ‘Christianity’ through the years has hardly been either Christian or biblical let alone Jewish. But there is an authentic ‘Christianity’ that is thoroughly biblical and I kid you not amazingly ‘Jewish.’ It is the right faith meaning ‘right’ in the sight of God for you and for every Jew without exception.”

 

 “If Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, why don’t more Jews believe in Him?”

Answer: “Actually, there are multiplied tens of thousands of Jews who have believed and do believe in Him. The problem is that most Jews have not bothered to check into the facts about Jesus, and the only ‘Jesus’ most of them know is either the baby Jesus of Christmas, an emaciated figure hanging on a cross in churches, or the Jesus of the Crusades and Inquisitions. The question is: Why don’t you believe that Jesus is the Messiah? Do you really know who He is?”

 

 “I won’t betray my ancestors! I won’t forsake the faith of my fathers!”

Answer: “That is a noble sentiment and God appreciates the fact that you honor the memory of your forefathers. But the Torah is very clear: When we have to choose between loyalty to our families and loyalty to God, we must choose to be loyal to Him no matter what the consequences. If we really love our family and our heritage, then the noblest thing we can possibly do is be faithful to God and His Messiah at any cost. In the end, we will be the shining lights in our family history. And when you say, ‘I can’t forsake the faith of my fathers,’ I remind you: Abraham did!”

 

 “What happens to Jews who do not believe in Jesus especially those who never heard about Him? What happened to my wonderful Jewish grandmother who never hurt anyone her entire life? Is she in Hell?”

Answer: “These are not questions to be answered lightly, as if Heaven and Hell were mere figures of speech. And, to be perfectly frank, we’re not just talking about your grandmother. We’re talking about my grandmother too! Still, the bottom line is this: While I don’t know your grandmother and I am certainly not her judge, I do know that countless millions of Jews and Gentiles have lived lives that have displeased God (and this includes at least some of our grandmothers), countless millions of people have condemned their souls through their words and deeds, and countless millions of people will be pronounced guilty on Judgment Day. It wouldn’t be fair to you if I failed to warn you in advance. Of course, I will be the first to say that the New Testament does not explicitly address the issue of what happens to those who never heard the message of forgiveness of sins through Jesus. But of this much we can be sure: God is both a compassionate and righteous Judge, there are consequences to breaking His commandments, His standards are high, and if we reject His ordained means of atonement, we are in trouble.”

 

 “What would happen to a Nazi murderer who believed in Jesus before he died? Would he go to Heaven, while the Jewish men, women and children he killed, many of whom were God-fearing people, would go to Hell?”

Answer: “Based on the teaching of the Hebrew Bible, if the Nazi could truly repent before he died, then God would accept him as righteous. But merely ‘believing’ without true repentance is meaningless. As for the Jews killed by that Nazi, if they died in right relationship with God, then they would go to heaven; if they died out of favor with Him, they would perish. One thing is very important to remember: The fact that these Jews died in the Holocaust does not necessarily make them ‘saints’ (even though we often speak of the six million Jewish ‘martyrs’ of the Holocaust). Our people were indiscriminately exterminated by the Nazis simply because of their ethnic background even if they were total atheists or God-haters. Their tragic suffering in the Holocaust did not, in and of itself, transform them into godly people. To the contrary, many actually lost their faith during that time, while a large number of secular and irreligious Jews became overtly hostile to God.”

 

 “No religious or educated Jew would ever believe in Jesus.”

Answer: “That is an absolute falsehood. There have been prominent Rabbis along with brilliant Jewish scholars who have become Believers in Jesus, but you rarely hear about them, because they are generally discredited by their own People once they prove unshakable in their faith. Whereas they were revered as saintly giants before they believed, they were reviled as ignorant sinners after they believe. The fact is that Jews who were more religious than you and more highly educated than you do believe Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah.”

 

 “Those educated or religious Jews in the past who did convert to Christianity did so for monetary gain or because of social pressure. It had nothing whatsoever to do with intellectual arguments or honest theological convictions.”

Answer: “Were the shoe on the other foot, and were I making such statements about the motivations of secular Jews who became traditional, I would be labeled anti-Semitic! No doubt, Christianity, along with every other major religion (including Judaism!), has had its share of ‘convenience conversions.’ These counterfeit conversions, however, in no way diminish or negate the fact that there have been highly educated or very religious Jews who have followed Jesus unflinchingly, even though it cost them their reputations, their livelihoods, their careers and even their inheritances. There have been many such Jews throughout history and to this very day.”

 

 “Those religious Jews who became followers of Jesus always had the tendency to stray. If you study their lives, you’ll see that most of them threw out their traditional values and beliefs before they ever considered nonsense like Christianity.”

Answer: “Who told you that? How many of these people have you interviewed? Are you aware that many of the religious Jews who put their faith in Jesus were absolutely shocked to learn that He was the Messiah? They were living traditional lifestyles and were very much against anything Christian, but they couldn’t resist the truth of the Scriptures, in spite of the consequences of believing. As for those religious Jews who did begin to question their traditions before believing in Jesus, there is nothing illogical about this. They found problems with their spiritual foundations and sought the truth elsewhere.”

 

 “Missionaries like you target the sick, the elderly, the ignorant, and the young and uninformed.”

Answer: “Actually, we don’t target any one group in particular although many of us are especially interested in having exchanges with Rabbis and religious Jews whenever we have the opportunity, and we especially appreciate interaction with well-informed Jews. We won’t, however, withhold the Good News about the Messiah from anyone, young or old, healthy or sick. Everyone should know about the mercy of God that is available through repentance and faith. As for those who have lived their entire lives without the knowledge of the Messiah and now are nearing death through sickness or old age, isn’t it only fair to reach out to them? This is the time that many of them are finally doing some serious thinking about the meaning of life and their whole relationship with God. Is it right to neglect them?”

 

 “I’m not a very religious person, but I’m certainly not a bad person. I’m basically a normal, middle-of-the-road, good person.”

Answer: “By whose standards? Did you know that the Hebrew Bible does not even recognize a ‘not too good and not too bad’ class of people? You are either a sinner or you are righteous, a servant of the Lord or a transgressor.”

 

“If Jesus really is the Messiah, why are there so many objections?”

Answer: “The number of objections that exist is not important, since there are solid answers to each and every objection, and actually, there are far more arguments for the Messiahship of Jesus than against it. In fact, it would take hundreds of books to document the various proofs. But even if there were more Jewish arguments against Jesus than for Him (and there are not), what would that prove? Most Jews today don’t even take the Ten Commandments seriously. Do their objections disprove the truth of the Bible or God’s Law?”

 

 “Be honest. Christianity simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t produce what it promises. Deep down, you know what I’m saying is true.”

Answer: “Actually, the reverse is true. To speak personally, I am overflowing with almost indescribable blessing since I found new life through Jesus, and I can give you innumerable proofs that he is the true Messiah, that He is alive today, and that He is at work in the Earth and in my life. Could it be your tradition that cannot produce intimacy with God and the assurance that your sins are forgiven? Could it be that, deep down, you know what I’m saying is true? In fact, I would like to ask you a question: What is the clear evidence of the presence of the living God in your life?”

 

 “You missionaries always use the same old arguments and proofs. Your faith can’t be very deep!”

Answer: “To be perfectly honest, I’ve been a getting a little bored with the standard arguments of the anti-missionaries. New or old, however, truth is truth. We don’t need to come up with some novel, new proofs for the Messiahship of Jesus any more than we need to come up with novel, new proofs for the existence of God. What you need to do is carefully examine the evidence. I think you’ll discover that there is a lot more to our position than you ever imagined, and as we continue to study and tap into the rich mine of biblical truth, we are more than happy to provide you with further arguments and proofs. For now, I’ve provided you some real food for thought. Read, study, reflect, and pray. As the Messiah said to our Jewish forefathers who believed in Him, ‘If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ (John 8:31-32) It’s time for you to experience that freedom for yourself.”