Contending for the Jewish Faith
Everyone knows that the Jewish people are a race, but what constitutes being a Jew spiritually? There is no consensus among the Jews themselves (religious or otherwise) regarding their beliefs, so who gets to decide the matter? A prominent rabbi in the US presumes his definition of Judaism is authentic and indignantly declares that anyone who comes to believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as Messiah doesn’t remain a Jew. Oh yeah?
Have you noticed how many nominal Christian leaders cozy up to Jewish rabbis, honoring them as authoritative religious teachers of the Jews? Have you noticed how Jesus didn’t do that with the religious Jewish leaders of His day? On the contrary, He confronted them on being hypocrites and negaters of God’s Laws and ways, which they presumed to uphold. He was the Light that exposed all lies in darkness.
How is that that those who represent Him today act so differently?
The simple answer is that they don’t represent Him. In fact, the nominal Christians and their religious works have nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Along with their Jewish counterparts, they’re part of the worldwide religious rackets that seek control, each of their own fiefdoms. By honoring each other, they support their aims. They even honor Muslim leaders and the Islamic religion, though it seeks their subjugation and destruction, all to protect their own turf. They are all one, secretly (and not so secretly) coveting complete control, serving the lusts of the flesh in their corrupt and unregenerate natures.
The one and only thing these religious leaders and their works can’t and won’t countenance is the Light, the reality of Jesus Christ and His Presence speaking the truth to them. That they unanimously fight, but in vain. The Truth always prevails. He has come to reclaim all turf, because all is His, paid for by His blood, to be redeemed from the enemy.
In November 2013 Paul responded to Rabbi David Wolpe and the remarks he made about a speech former President George W. Bush made to the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute.
This letter was sent to David Wolpe’s attention at his synagogue’s website:
“And [Abraham] believed in YHWH. And He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6 MKJV).
In an article in Israel Today about former President George W. Bush giving a speech to a Jewish Messianic group, you’re quoted as tweeting:
“‘Jewish Christians’ makes as much sense as ‘Christian Muslims.’ Have the courage to say who you are.”
Not quoted in the article but on your Twitter page, you add this:
“… it is fundamentally dishonest to pretend you can believe in Jesus and still be Jewish.”
I understand this sentiment, being a Jew of similar age, brought up in a mixed neighborhood of Jews and Gentiles with each having very separate inbred cultures. At that time, the idea of a Jew believing in Jesus (which to our minds meant becoming a Gentile) was as foreign as changing one’s skin color, and equally impossible.
But you’re speaking of something different – of believing that Jesus is the Messiah, which is the very essence of being a Jew, because Jesus IS the Messiah. (See Why Jews Should and Will Believe in Jesus.) It was Jews who first believed in Him and brought the Good News of His salvation to the world.
You’re not that different from the Messianics George Bush spoke to, whom you condemn. You’re all members of organized religious works conceived and formed by men. Moses and the prophets who wrote the Tanakh were never sectarian or registered with the government as “religious entities.” They were strictly on God’s side and proved it by their actions, even against their own brethren.
Exodus 32:26-29 ESV
(26) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him.
(27) And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’”
(28) And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell.
(29) And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that He might bestow a blessing upon you this day.”
But you’re not about to rock your boat or get off your gravy train over something as trivial as the truth.
You’re “infuriated” with President Bush choosing to raise money for this mixed Jewish religious group, but who made you spokesman for the Jews? You aren’t speaking for God or His people, but for yourself and your competing religious affiliation. Instead of umbrage, how about offering substance? You don’t have any, however, because you’re dead wrong.
Being a Jew isn’t about blood or circumcision; it’s all about genuine faith in God, which is marked by hearing and obeying His Voice, as did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and all the prophets and saints (those dedicated to Him in holiness by His grace and power).
Believing in Jesus is the very essence of being a Jew as defined by God, because Jesus walked as God on earth, proving it by His life, death, and resurrection.
What is a Jew, after all? Aside from genetic arguments of bloodlines, which are beside the point, a Jew is one who believes in God and walks with Him as Abraham did. Blood has nothing to do with it, or religious affiliation. If either of those decided the matter, then Esau, the son of Isaac and Rebecca, would have been a Jew, and the religious arrangement of the sons of Dan, who gathered under their self-chosen priest (Judges 18), would have been acceptable to God.
But Esau’s people were called Edomites, the enemies of Israel. And in the day when the children of Dan had their own separate priest, it’s written that the House of God was in Shiloh, not with them. What good is being a Jew without God?
You’re doing the same thing as the Danites, worshipping in a house set up by men outside of God, and you have the chutzpah to be outraged at George Bush for raising money for the Messianics? You’re no better than the Messianics, and more wrong because you deny the Messiah.
If Jesus Christ weren’t the Messiah, then you’d be right that Jews shouldn’t believe in Him. But because Yeshua is the Mashiach, the Son of God spoken of prophetically in the Tanakh, you’re wrong, and doubly wrong by presumptuously teaching error in the Name of God. He’ll call you into account for this, you can be sure. He is doing so now.
How do I know Jesus is the Messiah? By having met Him, as did Saul of Tarsus, who was knowledgeable in the Scriptures and observant of the Law of Moses, unlike me at the time I was called. Jesus Christ is the God of Abraham, just as proclaimed by the Jewish worshippers who saw Him after His resurrection. He is the One Who came in the flesh and fulfilled the prophecies of Israel’s prophets. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and He saw and was glad” (John 8:56 MKJV).
The problem for you, David, is that you believe in false Judaism, an unholy conglomeration of religious and cultural traditions inherited by those with a shared history of having been persecuted (see Israel, the Explanation for the Horrendous Contradictions You Suffer). Your Judaism and that of your peers and competitors (such as the Orthodox) have nothing to do with the faith of the fathers and very little to do with the Bible. You compare your religion to false Christianity, another unholy mishmash loosely based on the Bible, which also lacks God’s approval and presence.
According to your definitions of religious Judaism and Christianity, you’re right that a Jew is no longer a Jew when becoming a nominal Christian. But since both are separated from the Root of True Faith, what does it matter?
The truth isn’t far away from those given grace from God to believe. Whether Jew or Gentile, all must come to God in order to be born again from above and become wholly new creatures, receiving the new heart promised by God (Ezekiel 11 & 36). Then His Law is written within (Jeremiah 31). This is the glorious mission fulfilled by Jesus Christ in those who believe in Him. This is true Judaism and true Christianity, which are one and the same.
John 3:5-11 MKJV
(5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
(6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(7) Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.
(8) The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
(9) Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
(10) Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you a teacher of Israel and do not know these things?
(11) Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak what we know and testify what we have seen. And you do not receive our witness.”
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that outwardly in flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart; in spirit and not in letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29 MKJV).
Read more in our section, Israel and the Jew.