The End of HistoryMessiah Conspiracy
CHAPTER 15Messianic Jewish Faith in Jesus
I dont think there are many Jewsfanatics and ill-informed exceptedwho are not fascinated by the Person and Teaching of Jesus. Perhaps much more so than many Gentiles and so-called Christians. I might add that the approach of Jews to Christianity can only be made via the Message of Jesus....There is now a growing sense of inquiry here [in Israel], concerning the things of Jesus and Christianity. The reasons being that prejudices are dying down....there is a growing tendency within Christendom to make room for the rise of the Antichrist. He will be an imitator of Christ, of Jesus, whose teachings he will twist and pervert.1
Israeli professor of Jewish studies, David Flusser
In the Diaspora Jesus looked alien to the Jew, an outsider, an interloper. But in Israel he is seen as the Jew from Nazareth, a native of this country, a Sabra, with claims to the land as strong as any. He cannot be brushed aside as a foreign influence....When the Jews left their land two thousand years ago, the land was holy for them alone; when they returned, the land was holy also to more than half of the world. The land had become sanctified in the meantime to millions and millions of non-Jews. The same applies to the Bible which had been a book holy to the Jews alone and which has become a holy book for millions of non-Jews. Both the Book and the Land have become sanctified to the world and this was not the work of the Diaspora Jews who, in spite of the injunction, did not become a light to the Gentiles, but was the work rather of a single Jew and his band of Jewish followers, all of them Sabras. They were all born and bred in the Land, which is in this sense the most fruitful land on earth.2
English scholar and professor, Ferdynand Zweig
If youre a Jew who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah, youve returned to Judaism, to the kind of Judaism the Bible teaches. You havent converted to another religion. If you are a Gentile believer you have come to the faith of Abraham through the Messiah.3
Second generation Messianic Jewess, Ruth Fleischer, Ph.D.
MESSIANIC JEWISH FAITH IN JESUS
As we saw in chapters 5 and will see in chapter 27,4 much
ancient rabbinic commentary agrees with Christian interpretation involving the Messiah and end time prophecy! Why then have the religious leaders of Israel and their rabbinical successors, to this day, fought so hard to maintain a distance from Jesus as Messiah? Answer: The religious leaders of Jesus day (Caiaphas and Annas, mentioned in John 11) were corrupt,5 as we read in our earlier Messiah Conspiracy chapters. They wanted to control the power and wealth of Israel for themselves. Talmudic and modern rabbinic sources speak of the corruption of these first century religious leaders, as we documented earlier in our chapter 4.
RABBIS CONSPIRED TO COVER UP AN HONEST
LOOK AT THE MESSIAHSHIP OF JESUS
As previously documented in our chapters dealing with the Messiah Conspiracy, the rabbis at Yavne created a rigid, normative Judaism as distant as possible from its Messianic inspiration. As a result, for 2000 years, Jews who have expressed any interest in Jesus were branded as ignorant, deviant, heretics, or traitors. However, modern Messianic Jews, like their ancient counterparts, are neither misinformed nor deviant. They are the most courageous and bold sector of the Jewish community because they investigate the Bible for themselves and make their own decisions. They have the courage to believe and proclaim their views, even if it puts them at odds with their fellow Jews. These are the qualities of true heroes. I will believe the truth and tell others even if my leader (the rabbi) disagrees and tells me otherwise. I will do what the Bible and God tells me, not what man says. Psalms 118:8 states: It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man (NASB).
IN OUR CENTURY, MORE JEWS ARE REALIZING THE MESSIAHSHIP OF JESUS THAN IN ANY OTHER PERIOD!
The Messianic Jewish movement lay virtually dormant until the middle of the twentieth century, when end time prophecy began to become reality. In 1948, Israel was born, and in 1967, against all odds, Israel was victorious in a war against five Arab nations.
The miracle of the Six Day War, and the return of Old Jerusalem to Jewish hands, enabled born-again Gentile Christians to show the Jews that the Messianic prophecies were being fulfilled. They were also able to show Gods true love for the Jewish people through their caring in the Messiah.6
We began to see movements such as Jews for Jesus and Messianic synagogues popping up all over the world (for a short list of these, see our Vol. II, chapter 19, Messianic SynagoguesHow to Get There). At last, Jews are returning to the pre-Yavnean Judaism which existed before the destruction of the Temple in the days of Jesus. They are returning to the only Judaism which can fill their hearts with Gods forgiveness; they are beginning to appreciate the true Judaism of the Scriptures, which was penned by the ancient Hebrew prophets, from Moses to Malachi, under the direct inspiration of God. This is the Judaism in which Jesus believed and which He partially fulfilled in His First Coming;7 the Judaism8 that the Gentile followers of Jesus accept when they accept the Messiah Jesus.
While the present return of Jews to their Messiah is unprecedented, a steady stream of Jewish people have been coming to know Him since the turn of the century.
THE JEWISH RECLAMATION OF JESUSA HISTORY OF THE MODERN MESSIANIC JEWISH MOVEMENT
Oppressed by the rabbis and the ecumenical church, Jewish believers lost their autonomy in the Middle Ages when the last Messianic congregations disappeared. However, as previously mentioned, the true Christian carried the message of the Jewishness of the Messiah forward.
The ancient seed of Abraham would have to wait for a more fertile soil to take root. This time arrived at the end of the nineteenth century. After centuries of living in Europe, millions of Jews, seeking security and a better life, began emigrating to America. This New World became a new promised land for four million Jews who came to the United States at the turn of the century.
In the 1880s, Arno C. Gaebelian and Ernest Stoeter established The Hope of Israel, a Messianic missionary outreach. An article published in their quarterly, Our Hope, entitled, Christian Judaism, proclaimed: ...Christian Judaism was not a nineteenth century invention, but was as old as the days of the apostles, yea as old as the Psalms of David and the prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah. Its roots lie in the oath-bound covenants of God with Abraham.... 9
In 1901, a group of Jewish believers met together in Boston to talk about forming an organization. The Hebrew Christian Alliance of America was created in 1915. By 1932, the Alliance had branches in a number of American cities and in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In 1954, the Hebrew Christian Alliance organized the World Congress of Hebrew Christians. This was the largest gathering of Jews who believed in Jesus since the first and second centuries. Representatives came from Europe, Australia, South Africa and Canada.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Messianic Judaism became a household word. Many people were familiar with the movement. Throughout the 80s and into the 90s, this movement has grown to worldwide proportions, with thousands of congregations. Nearly every major U.S. city has its own congregation, advertised in the religious sections of major newspapers.10
Sherry Sussman (right), a Messianic Jew in Israel,
celebrates Hanukkah with her friend in Jerusalem.
The Reverend William Hechler, Chaplain of the English Embassy here, came to see me. A sympathetic, gentle fellow, with the long grey beard of a prophet. He is enthusiastic about my solution of the Jewish Question. He also considers my movement a prophetic turning-pointwhich he had foretold two years before. From a prophecy....11 Theodor Herzl, founder of modern political
Zionism, quoted from his private diary
Theodore Herzl, founder of modern political Zionism.
FAMOUS JEWS ASSOCIATED WITH ISRAEL AND HER FOUNDINGDID THEY HAVE AN INTEREST IN JESUS?
Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) grew up in Budapest, Hungary. He was the founder of political Zionism and the father of the State of Israel. Chaplain William H. Hechler (a true evangelical born-again Christian), author of The Restoration of the Jews to Palestine, was Theodor Herzls best friend. In 1994, Professor Popkin told me that Herzl died in the arms of Hechler. Dr. Arthur Kac documents the following concerning Reverend Hechler and Theodor Herzl: The remarkable story of William H. Hechlers Zionist activities is recounted in The Prince and Prophet by Claude Duvernoy, translated from the French by Jack Joffe, and published by Christian Action for Israel, Box 3367, Jerusalem. Hechler, a British clergyman, was born to missionary parents in India in 1845. The Grand Duke Frederick of Baden, Germany, appointed him as his private chaplain and tutor to his two sons. During his chaplaincy at the British Embassy in Vienna, Hechler met Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, whom he introduced to many leading political and ecclesiastical persons, including the Grand Duke, who subsequently became Kaiser Wilhelm II. For nine years Hechler played a most significant role in Herzls preoccupation with Zionism. In times of despondency and disillusionment Herzl was spurred on by this dedicated evangelical Christian. God chose you, he would say to Herzl. Your people will get its promised land. God is with you. Based on his studies in the book of Daniel, Hechler predicted in 1895 that 1897 would be a fateful year in Jewish history. As we know, the First Zionist Congress was convened in 1897. To the German-Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, Hechler said in 1913: Your fatherland will soon be given back to you. For a serious crisis will occur, whose deep meaning is the liberation of your Messianic Jerusalem from the yoke of the nations...We are moving towards a world war... Shortly before his death, he said this to the family of the Zionist leader Nathan Sokolov: Part of European Jewry is going to be sacrificed for the resurrection of your biblical fatherland. 12
Some speculate that Herzl, influenced by his friend William Hechler, may have died a secret believer in Jesus as Messiah. Herzl once said, But I think that he wants to convert me.13
Herzl certainly was interested in the Messiah. This we know
from his dreams as he wrote: One night I had a wonderful dream: King Messiah came, and he was old and glorious. He lifted me in his arms, and he soared with me on the wings of the wind. On one of the clouds, full of splendor, we met the figure of Moses....and the Messiah called to Moses: For this child I have prayed! Then he turned to me: Go and announce to the Jews that I will soon come and perform great miracles for my people and for the whole world! I woke up, and it was a dream. I kept this dream a secret and did not dare to tell it to anybody.14
The twenty-sixth Zionist Congress in session at
Binyanei Ha Oma, an auditorium in Jerusalem, January 1964.
the Christian Zionist Congress held in Jerusalem in 1988.
The great Albert Einstein,15 father of the theory of relativity, revolutionized our understanding of the atom. He was invited by Israel to be their President and was also partly responsible, along with Professor Yahuda, for bringing Newtons prophetical biblical writings to the public eye, through certain letters he wrote in the 1940s.
I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. 16 Albert Einstein, October 26, 1929
Einstein remembered on Israeli currency and stamp
David Ben-Gurion, the legendary Zionist leader and the first Prime Minister of Israel, was said to have had a tremendous interest in Jesus. In 1971, Reverend George Lauderdale, a friend of mine, was personally invited to Israel by Ben-Gurion to discuss the subject of prophecy. The Reverend gave the Prime Minister a special edition of the Amplified Bible with fulfilled prophecy footnotes. George told me how happy Ben-Gurion was and how much he enjoyed receiving the Bible and reading the notes relating to Israel and Jesus fulfilled prophecy!
More recently, the Israeli newspaper, Maariv, mentioned Ben-Gurions fascination with Jesus. It said, The subject of Jesus was always interesting to him. The same article also had the famous Israeli author, Sholem Asch, quoting Ben-Gurion: Anyone who hates the Jews, also hates Jesus Christ.17
While we can only venture a guess that Ben-Gurion was a secret believer, some people seem to think so. My Israeli friend, Yossi Oveda, told me that Ben-Gurion read the New Testament and Hal Lindseys book, The Late Great Planet Earth, just before his death.
Maariv article, dated April 21, 1989, entitled Sholem Asch in the Eye of the Storm, featuring a letter of sympathy from Ben-Gurion to Asch. In the photo, Asch is second from the left. Courtesy of Maariv.
Ben-Gurions desk, exactly as it appeared at the time of his death. Notice, lying on the chair to the right of his desk, his copy of The Late Great Planet Earth, the best-selling Christian book on Bible prophecy.18
David Ben-Gurions personal Bible, including the New
Testament, sits atop his desk at his home in Israel.
A closer look reveals the words Brit Ha Dasha
(hvdj tyrb), the New Testament in Hebrew.
When I visited Ben-Gurions home in Kibbutz Sdeh-Boker, I photographed these two books in his library, which we pictured previously. The Bible on his desk is one volume containing both the Old and New Testaments. The most worn book in his library, Hal Lindseys The Late Great Planet Earth, is lying beside his desk.
I gave this picture to Hal a few years ago and he mentioned this fact in his 1989 book, Road to Holocaust. Hal wrote: In writing The Late Great Planet Earth, I had the Jews constantly in mind. I prayerfully and deliberately sought to present my prophetic case in such a way that it would especially appeal to them. It has been published in more than fifty foreign editions and has been instrumental all around the world in bringing tens of thousands of Jews to faith in Jesus as their Messiah. I run into them everywhere. They continue to write me from virtually every part of the world. The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, was reading it shortly before he died. Since everything in his room has been kept the way it was when he died, a copy of The Late Great Planet Earth remains on his desk. A friend of mine who is one of Israels top military commanders passed out hundreds of copies of the Hebrew translation of The Late Great Planet Earth to the Israeli Defense Forces, even though he personally hasnt as yet believed in Jesus as the Messiah.19
David Ben-Gurion in his library, at his
home in Sdeh-Boker, May 14, 1968.
Entrance to Ben-Gurions home in Kibbutz Sdeh-Boker.
My friend, Grant Livingston, told me of the testimony of Golda Meirs radiologist, Dr. Larry Samuels.20 He was treating her just before her death from cancer. Grant said: ...he was her doctor administering radiology to her at Hadassah Hospital in 1977. Dr. Samuels said Golda had prayed with him to receive Christ [Messiah Jesus].21
We all think about what is really important and true when we know we are going to die. The Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, knew she was dying of cancer! Her doctor was a believer in Jesus and, according to his testimony, she died a true believer in Jesus as Messiah, although it was never shouted from the rooftops or made public in the world press.
Golda Meir receives a bouquet of flowers from school children
at Lod Airport, upon her return from the U.S., October 7, 1969.
We have written confirmation from evangelist Grant Livingston that Golda Meir died a fulfilled Messianic Jewess. An Israeli postage stamp celebrates a beloved former Prime Minister, Golda Meir (1898-1978).
HOW MANY MESSIANIC JEWS ARE THERE?
A 1989 article by Susan Birnbaum entitled, The Numbers of Messianic Jews is Said to be Growing, reports: Some 350,000 Jews already believe in Jesus as their saviour, and the number may swell to half a million by the year 2000....The results were reported by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York....Barret writes that of the 350,000 Jews...about 140,000 have continued to identify as Jews and have chosen to affiliate with Messianic synagogues.... 22
The article maintains that within ten years, another one hundred and fifty thousand Jews will accept Jesus as Messiah, and that approximately fifteen thousand Jews every year are coming to faith in Jesus. These Jews are not being duped or fooled, they are carefully studying and asking and observing end time Bible prophecies. They look at the current political situation and circumstances and compare them to the predictions of the Bible. Once they put two and two together, they make the wise and necessary decisionone which will determine their forgiveness and eternal future. Remember Daniels words: ...the wise [studied] shall understand (Daniel 12:10 KJV; [ ] mine).
An Orthodox Jew at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem asked Hal Lindsey, the author of one of the most popular books on the end time events, The Late Great Planet Earth, How long before the end and the Coming of the Messiah? Of course, we as honest Christian Zionists, do not know the exact time, as Jesus said (Matt. 24:36). We only know that it is very close, as He indicated in Luke 21:28.
The thriving Messianic movement produces a large volume of literature. These Messianic materials vastly surpass the anti-Messianic and anti-Christian polemics in quality. The proof is in the reading! I have touched on some of this literature in my book.23
The Messianic materials present the truth about the Messiah, unencumbered by rabbinical camouflage. They also attempt to answer the onslaught of recent polemics from rabbis who fear the truth and are trying to invent new interpretations that would divert Jews away from an interest in Jesus. As in times of old, the contemporary Messianic movement provokes the hostility of the Orthodox Jews and their secular allies.
ISRAEL AND ITS RESPONSE TO CLAIMS THAT JESUS IS MESSIAHWHAT DO THE PROS AND CONS SAY?
Jewish distrustmisunderstanding and anger against Jews and Evangelical Christians who love Jews and are intent on sharing the good newsis rampant. This is reflected in the large number of books, pamphlets, and posters being circulated, some of which are pictured here. To illustrate our point, I have used excerpts from these publications throughout this book under the heading, Modern Rabbinic Comment/Refutation.
For those interested in Messianic Judaism, there is a host of materials and books, whose scholarship regarding Messianic prophecy and future events promised in the Bible far exceeds the anti-missionary books we have pictured.
This picture was taken seconds before police destroyed the signs of ultra-Orthodox Jews who were trying to cause trouble and protesting against Messianic Jews during the Feast of Sukkot March in Jerusalem. This march is held annually on the Feast of Tabernacles (see Zech. 14), always with thousands of Evangelical Christians in support of Israel.
THE SUPREME COURTTHE SANHEDRIN OF OLD?
The pressure of the Orthodox Jews on contemporary Messianic Jews is unrelenting. One of the major battle in the war is the law. The Ministry of Interior, which is in charge of granting Israeli citizenship to new immigrants, has always been controlled by a religious partya major coalition partner in all Israeli governments. Since citizenship is based on the Law of Return, which makes Jewish immigrants automatically eligible, the Orthodox have an exclusive say in defining who is a Jew. They occasionally use this power to block the immigration of Messianic Jews.
One such case involved Gary and Shirley Beresford. When this Messianic couple wanted to become Israeli citizens, they were told they were not Jewish because they believe in Jesus. The Beresfords sued the Ministry of Interior in the Supreme Court. However, they knew their chances were not good because the Supreme Court, under intense pressure from the Orthodox Jews, ruled against somewhat similar requests in the past. Even so, Gary and Shirley were brave enough to challenge the Orthodox status quo. When the court ruled against them in September 1992, they realized the rulings of Yavne could not be bent.
Even though it appears they lost, God used the Beresfords in a supernatural, miraculous way. The intense publicity surrounding the case reopened the debate (within the media and academia) concerning the Messianic identity of Jesus, which had been silenced at Yavne.24 One day, Yavne will be but straw and hay as Jesus fulfillment of Jewish prophecy becomes more widely known! Even now, many Jews are realizing Jesus is the Messiah, to the dismay of many rabbis who endorse Yavne and the controversial decision made there. The Beresfords plan to appealpray for them!
A LIBERAL FEMINIST, PNINA PELI, IS UPSET THAT ISRAELI COURTS STILL CONSIDER WHETHER
BELIEVERS ARE PART OF TRUE JUDAISM
The very presence of Messianic Jews has tested the limits of tolerance in the liberal elements of Israeli society. Surprisingly, even some liberals seem to think that the message of Jesus should not be shared. An article by one Pnina Peli makes this point: After years of surreptitious operations in various places throughout Israel, they have come out into the open to practice their missionary work, as announced in an article by Haim Shapiro in The Jerusalem Post. It is their claim that the followers of Jesus were mistaken in negating the relevance and spiritual importance of Tora. They contend that...a Jew who continues to follow the precepts of Judaism (Shabbat, kashrut, etc.) and accepts the Messiahship of Jesus...are the true believers.
Hebrew-Christian groups lure new believers from among Israelis into their fold by bringing them the good news that as Christians they will actually become better Jews.
This distorted version of Who is a Jew? has at least twice been the subject of costly, highly publicized legal battles in Israeli courtrooms at the behest of those who feel it is fitting for the state to acknowledge that Christianity is, after all, also true Judaism.
According to the Hebrew Christian quarterly, there are such Messianic groups actively operating in Jerusalem, Rehovot and Haifa....Hebrew Christians, Messianic Jews, and Jews for Jesus are outstanding examples of groups intent on fudging the historical lines separating Christianity from Judaism. Such attempts have often aroused sharp opposition in Jewish, as well as in Christian circles.
Faith in Jesus, states the Rev. Ole Kvarme, of the Caspari Institute in Jerusalem, is not something that turns a Jew into a non-Jew. 25
Pelis comments are nothing short of astonishing. They imply that sharing the Gospel somehow contaminates Judaism. She claims: Such attitudes demonstrate little respect for the basic integrity of Judaism....26 That old Yavnean paranoia strikes again.
PELI IS UPSET AT THE RAPID GROWTH
OF MESSIANIC JUDAISM WITHIN ISRAEL
Peli grudgingly describes the growth of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel: By their own admission, there has been a significant growth in the number of Hebrew Christians operating in Israel in the past few years as hundreds of Israelis have been drawn into their ranks. Though some of their leaders, like Menahem Benhayim, now function openly....27
PELI SHAMES CHRISTIANS FOR BEING ZIONIST,
TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MIDDLE AGES,
AND HOLDING A ZIONIST CONFERENCE
Peli admits that many Israeli Messianic Jews are sharing the Gospel with fellow Israelis. However, she argues that they do it under cover and that Messianic Judaism is unpopular28 among Israelis.
Peli wraps up her article by insinuating that Evangelical Christians should be ashamed to express their love for Jews, hold Christian Zionist meetings or wear Jewish artifacts. She lambasts the Reverend Van der Hoeven, head of the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and one of Israels best friends, for telling the truth that those who harmed Jews in the Middle Ages were not true Christians29 (see chapters 10 and 1230).
Peli concludes with what appears to be extreme bitterness: To claim, as did Van Der Hoeven in a radio interview with Avraham Ben-Melech, broadcast on Kol Israel prior to the Christian Zionist Congress, that those who have done harm to the Jewish people were not the real Christians is not convincing enough. Such an argument rejects the accountability of Christians for acts committed in the name of Christianity and is a theological and historical cop-out of the first order.
Nor should Christians express their love of Judaism and the Jewish people by taking over cherished and unique Jewish symbols, such as the menora or, for that matter, by holding a Christian Zionist Congress.31
David Krivine, a writer for the Jerusalem Post editorial staff, countered what we believe is Pelis narrow-mindedness, in his article, Market-place of Ideas.
JERUSALEM POST STAFF WRITER, KRIVINE,
EXPOSES THAT THE MINDLESS FRINGE, INCLUDING
PELI, WANTS TO SLAM THE DOOR ON DEMOCRACY
Krivine made eight important points: It follows according to Pnina Peli (Doubting the Blessings of Christian Zionism, the Jerusalem Post, September 20) that the Christian Zionists are acting in their own self-interest. That is correct, too, though one should insert a rider: their own spiritual self-interest. The Christian hope is that one day the Jews will of their own accord recognize that Jesus was the Messiah.
That hope can be said to serve their spiritual self-interest,
because they believe that only after the Jews make their act of
contrition can the world be redeemed....The message of the Christians to the Jews gets through here and thereit cannot be bottled up completely; and this is what drives bigots of Jewish orthodoxy out of their wits. WHY SHOULD the utterance by foreigners of heretical ideas be so repugnant? The problem here is not the Christian Zionists; it is the Jewish bigots. The great majority have never met a missionary in their lives....They visualize these evangelists as satanic creatures
who lure people into their fold, who harbour ulterior motives, who enhance themselves at our expenseto quote Pnina Pelis article.
Missionaries are in fact ordinary human beings....Everybody is selling ideologiesthe communists, the liberals, the feminists, the Quakers, the spiritualists, the Zionists, the vegetarians, the Seventh Day Adventists, the ecologists, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals....The world is a market-place of ideas: that is what makes life interesting. Peli wants to slam the door on all that; an attitude that I did not believe could exist among Jews in this day and age (except among a small mindless fringe) until orthodox fundamentalism exploded recently into political activity....Democracy means letting people talk, even missionaries, and letting people listen, even Jews. Out of the exchange of ideas comes progress. The International Christian Embassy is a participant in this exchange of ideas. It extends the hand of friendship to the Jews.
The anti-missionary society Yad laAhim rejects this friendship; it prefers the hostility with which it is familiar. It likes to be rejected by humanity at large; anti-Semitism serves the Orthodox purpose.
The Jew then remains cornered in his ghetto, frozen in his own past, isolated from the worlda puppet in the hands of his rabbinical masters.32
MENAHEM BENHAYIM PUTS PELI IN HER PLACE, AS ONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO TAKE OUR FREEDOM FROM US
Menahem Benhayim, a Jewish believer in Jesus, to whom Peli33 referred in her article, responded in his article Hebrew Christians. Among his wise words we read: Sir,Pnina Peli...expresses her viewpoint on Christian Zionism....Mrs. Peli expresses her abhorrence for the open sharing of their faith by Jewish believers in Jesus. Israel, however, is not a rabbinic theocracy....The fact that some of us are pursuing a return to the Jewish roots of a faith that was born among Jews in the Land of Israel is no doubt shocking to many Jews and Christians; but either the words of our national hymn about being a free people in our land include even such offbeat and heretical Jews as we are reputed to be, or we are still strapped by Galut prejudices and stereotypes.34
BACK IN THE U.S., RABBI SPIVAK IS UPSET WITH
JEWS FOR JESUS USE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT
There have been articles of discouragement and dishonesty about Messianic Jews in U.S. newspapers. The Jerusalem Times/Jewish Press article, The Mask is Off, contained the following: They stand there with a smile painted on their faces, offering you salvation if youll only take the little flyer theyre handing out. What good people! Oh yes, what evil could possibly lurk in the heart of the missionary? What evil?
We want to clarify that the rabbi infers that Jews for Jesus are evil without any foundation, excepting his possible prejudice. It is not the claim of Jews for Jesus that if someone will only take the little flyer that salvation is assured! Asking Jesus into the heart is the real issue, if He is Messiah, this rabbi, in his sarcasm, is obviously quite misinformed.
The article continued: Jews for J..., champions of democracy! Lovers of the First Amendment....who demand from the Supreme Court their right to spread their poison in public places....35
The right was not demanded, as public evangelism has always been legal, it was merely defended against its opponents who desired we be stripped of it.
Rabbi Spivak threatened Jews for Jesus by saying that when they returned to Grand Central Station, he and EMES would be there as well. The same paper warned Jews to stay away from two Messianic conferences and one interdenominational national gathering.
RABBI ECKSTEIN CLAIMS TO BE A FRIEND OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS, BUT CALLS MESSIANIC JEWS A CURSEWHO IS REALLY BEING DECEPTIVE?
Rabbi Eckstein....has worked for over a decade to break down the walls of fear and ignorance that separate Christians and Jews. In their place, he has built bridges of understanding between the communities....Yechiel Eckstein is an Orthodox rabbi, whose message of reconciliation and role as liaison have been heartily endorsed by Christian and Jewish leaders around the world.36 So reads the biographical description on the J-card of one of his audio cassette tapes.
What troubles us is the claim of a bridge being built between two communities. A growing number of Christians are becoming aware of what Eckstein is really trying to do. He is not building bridges and breaking down walls, but rather is erecting walls and trying to break down bridges built between the Evangelicals and the Orthodox.
The main bridge of which I speak is Messianic Judaism and Jews for Jesus, which this rabbi opposes. He attempts to build the wall by saying, We Jews have our own interpretation to these Messianic prophecies and we find Messianic Judaism deceptive. What he fails to realize is that Messianic Jews and Evangelical Christians are the strongest bridge between the Jews and Christians. Would Rabbi Eckstein think so? We will let him answer in his own words. Read a few pages of his book, What Christians Should Know About Jews and Judaism. There he says: Messianic Jews, or Hebrew Christians as they are sometimes known (the terms are used here interchangeably)....believe in Jesus as the Christ, while maintaining selective portions of Jewish law and tradition....Messianic Judaism is an anathema [curse] to the overwhelming number of Jews. Whether or not it comprises normative, genuine Christianity is, essentially, a matter for Christians to decide....they ought to abandon and denounce the overly zealous and deceptive means usually employed by various Hebrew Christian groups.37
ECKSTEIN BRAGS ABOUT INCITING THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY TO ATTACK THE SLAVIC GOSPEL GROUP FOR SHARING JESUS WITH RUSSIAN JEWS
The Jerusalem Post provides further evidence of Rabbi Ecksteins deception: Eckstein admitted that discussing Christian missionary work with evangelicals is a delicate issue. We cant start out by demanding that they stop proselytizing; that would mean asking evangelicals to stop being evangelicals....In Chicago, I got the Christian community to attack a deceptive attempt by the Slavic Gospel group to convert Russian Jewish immigrants....It took over 50 years of dialogue with liberal Protestants...before they reached the point where they have no active missionary work aimed at Jews.
Eckstein has no contact with evangelicals who actively seek to convert Jews, or with the so-called Messianic Jews (those who profess to be Jews while accepting Jesus as the Messiah).
He says that a clash between the Jewish community and the evangelicals may be looming over the moral America debate.
They are trying to reverse the growing incidence of violence, drugs, abortion and the general breakdown of the family. And they are consistently opposed by certain Jewish defence organizations or Jews in leading roles in the American Civil Liberties Union. 38
Geoffrey Wigoder, in an article entitled, Evangelical Challenge, says of Eckstein: ...he feels that certain Israel-oriented Jewish groups have gone too far in giving legitimation to missionizing Hebrew-Christian groups on the basis of their pro-Israel activities....39
ON THE ONE HAND, RABBI ECKSTEIN TELLS EVANGELICALS HE IS THEIR FRIEND, WHILE ON THE OTHER, HE TAKES THEIR MONEY AND TRIES TO
SILENCE THEIR MESSAGE TO JEWS ABOUT JESUS
The 1987 article, Dialogue with Evangelicals, also mentioned: Eckstein is a former national co-director of inter-religious affairs for the Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith. Four years ago he founded the Holyland Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Jews provided about 65 per cent of the funds for his organization, while Christians supply the rest.40
We have a question. Should Christians support (give credence and respect to) one Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein? Should they supply thirty-five percent of the funds needed to fuel his organization? In our opinion, it is clear that Rabbi Eckstein is not a friend of the evangelical community, as he likes to portray and think of himself. He is clearly against their efforts to bring the message of salvation through Jesus (who we believe is the Jewish Messiah) to all people, which includes the Jews. He would like Jews exempted and left out of all this, and yet Jesus: ...told his disciples, I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of thisthat I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matt. 28:18-19 The Living Bible).
Jesus also said: ...when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection. It was not long afterwards that he rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after him (Acts 1:8-9 The Living Bible).
Concerning the message of Jesus to the Jews, the apostle Paul said: ...for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16 NASB).
FINALLY IN THE 90S, THERE ARE SOME COURAGEOUS RABBIS READY FOR DIALOGUE AND TO REALISTICALLY ACCEPT THE MESSIANIC JEWS FOR WHO THEY ARE!
In answer to the question, Do Christians see Rabbi Eckstein as a bridge builder and wall breaker?responsible Evangelical Christians say no. Rather, many evangelicals endorse Paul Libermans book, The Fig Tree Blossoms, as a true reconciler and bridge builder. Read his book; it is a much more honest attempt at bridge building.
Lately, there has been some encouragement coming from courageous rabbis. Rabbi Edward Maline from Florida, invited local Messianic Jews to a debate. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported: What may be an unprecedented event in South Floridaa meeting in a synagogue between Jews and Jewish-born Christianswill take place at Broward Countys oldest temple on Sunday morning.
Messianic Judaism...will be the topic at the Breakfast with the Rabbi session at Temple Emanu-El. Doing a dialogue-style session with Rabbi Edward Maline, will be Neil Lash, host of a local TV show and founder of the messianic Temple Aron Kodesh. Both congregations are in Lauderdale Lakes....[Rabbi Maline said] The way I look at it, they exist, theyre here in the community, so lets hear them....well understand each other only through dialogue. 42
RABBI MALINE WANTED TO TALK TO THE MESSIANIC JEWS RATHER THAN ABOUT THEMAGREEING THAT THEIR FAITH WAS A JEWISH SECT IN THE FIRST CENTURY
In a companion article written after the debate took place entitled, Messianics Welcomed at Temple, the secular newspaper noted: The rare event occurred over coffee and bagels on Sunday as Jewish-born Christians, who call themselves messianic Jews, took part in Breakfast with the Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El, Lauderdale Lakes. They compared notes, argued and swapped business cards.... This is all to the good, said Rabbi Edward Maline of Temple Emanu-El when it was all over. [Messianics] are part of the real world. Instead of talking about each other, we should talk to each other.
Local leader Neil Lash, Malines messianic guest, even called it unprecedented....The event drew 150 people, most from Temple Emanu-El; about 25 were from Aron Kodesh; a dozen were from a class in Jewish history taught by Maline at Florida Atlantic University. There were also a few area church members....The rabbi agreed with messianics that Christianity was a Jewish sect in the first century....[the rabbi told one man] Religion is supposed to be a source of reconciliation and unity....Temple Emanu-El members were positive about the exchange, and about their synagogues part in it.
We have a real neat temple, said Fern Walker, who had come with her husband, Randall. Any kind of dialogue is beneficial. Jesus was a good man, a good rabbi, a social reformer.
Ben Baena, a Jewish-born Christian on vacation from Bridgeport, Conn., was effusive. This was monumental. It brought a tear to my eye. This gives me credibility with other Jews, who say we wouldnt be allowed into a temple.
Even the rabbis wife, Marilyn Maline, was enthusiastic. A lot was accomplished here. It opened our ears, for the first time, to what the other side was saying. We learned to look at their faith in an intellectual light, rather than emotional. This is new meat for us. 43
MOST AMERICAN RABBIS, FOLLOWING THE ATTITUDE OF ECKSTEIN, DO NOT GIVE MESSIANIC JEWS AN AUDIENCE, FOR FEAR OF JEWISH
QUESTIONS OF LEGITIMACY!
We now see a stark contrast to Rabbi Ecksteins intolerable statement: Messianic Judaism is an anathema [curse]....44
Rabbi Edward Maline was truly kind, honest, open to dialogue and invited the Messianic Jews to his synagogue to speak with him. After the meeting, many Messianic Jews showed inquisitive members of the congregation Bible verses which support Messianic Judaism. The Messianic guests, Neil and Jaime Lash, reported in their newsletter Love Song to the Messiah: In the days that followed, we received calls from Jewish people asking questions and looking for information. One personal letter that Neil received led to an interesting phone conversation about the supernatural, the Jew, and God today.45
We now see one reason why so many rabbis, such as Eckstein, remain hostile in their attitudes and comments to true open-minded dialogue and acceptance of Messianic Jews. They are afraid the non-believing Jews will start to ask questions. Could Jesus really be the Messiah of the Jews?
We recovered one of the posters, which were plastered on a few of the bulletin boards at the Hebrew University, before it was removed by the university staff. It was hand drawn, apparently by another American studying there. This Lone Ranger attempt to damage the reputation of Jews for Jesus failed, like so many others. We
reproduced this poster to illustrate the hate and frustration apparent in the will of the opposition to drive a wedge between Jews for Jesus and Evangelical Christians.
What do we as believers have to say about the hate directed at us (for sharing the Gospel with the Jews) and the misrepresentation of our faith? Before we answer that, lets look at the many secular articles in Israeli newspapers regarding the Israelis appreciation of the believers Zionism.
Israeli newspapers print favorable articles on Messianic Jews. In this article, our friend, Mino Kalesher, an Israeli born citizen, was interviewed regarding his faith. Minos father, Zvi, a Holocaust survivor, is also a Messianic Jew. Illustration courtesy of Col Hyer, Jerusalem.
Even the Hebrew University shows interest in Messianic Jews
(Yehudim Meshihim) and especially Israeli Messianic Jews. They interviewed Yakov Damkani, one of the leading Israeli believers, for a full page article and published this photo I shot during the Feast of Tabernacles March in their monthly newspaper, P-Haeton (_wtah p). Illustration courtesy of P-Haeton.
The Jerusalem Post interviews David Stern,
an Israeli Messianic Jew.
Now we can reply to the question, What do we as believers have to say about the hate directed at us and the misrepresentation of our faith? We must not let those few minority groups intimidate us. Remember, Jesus said: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matt. 5:10-12 KJV).
We must push on to inform as many Jews as possible, so that they too will have a fair hearing of the Gospel, that Jesus is the Messiah and redeemer for all those who accept His gift of life into their heart. Remember, Paul taught all who truly believe in the New Testament: ...to the Jew first.... The Bible teaches that there are gifts for those that share. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy (I Thes. 2:19-20 KJV).
You might say, to call yourself a Christian or a believer in Jesus and not share the good news of Jesus, which He commanded of all who believe, is the epitome of hypocrisy! Listen to Daniels words in his Old Testament book, chapter 12, verses 2 and 3. Read them now. He speaks of a resurrection of those who have turned many to righteousness (the only way to be righteous is to be forgiven through the Messiah). In this resurrection they will shine as the stars of Heaven forever (John 6).
What more incentive do we as believers need to encourage us to share the gift of living forever with our friends, with those in Gods eternal kingdom on Earth (see our chapters 29-30), who otherwise may never know?! Those of our beloved Jewish friends, many of whom have not yet realized that Jesus is their Messiah and Savior, are at your mercy! Tell them. Dont forget the New Testament incidents between the Pharisees and the apostles in Acts 5.46
1 Arthur W. Kac, The Messiahship of Jesus, p. 41. [ ] mine.
2 Ibid, p. 63. Zweig is a well-known English scholar. He served several years as visiting professor in labor relations and sociology at the Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities.
3 Ruth Fleischer, Ph.D., The Reemergence of Messianic Judaism. Tape 30 CF179. Grantham, PA: The Messiah Conference at Messiah College, © 1993. This audio tape is available through Manna Conference Taping, Inc., 1704 Valencia N.E., Albuquerque, NM, USA 87110.
4 The last two pages of this chapter illustrate a remarkable parallel of the projected events of the end times between the rabbinical writings and the New Testament words of Jesus.
5 See our rabbinical references, both ancient and modern, which prove this, in chapter 4.
6 Isnt it interesting that Einstein once wrote: ...Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitlers campaign....I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly. Arthur W. Kac, The Messiahship of Jesus, pp. 36-37. Kacs source was The Evening Sun, Baltimore, April 13, 1979.
7 When Jesus returns, He will fulfill the kingly prophecies of the Messiah, which He promised to do in His Second Coming, as taught in the New Testament in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Revelation and portions of Pauls epistles.
8 The word Judaism comes from Judah in the Old Testament, one of the twelve sons of Israel, and is connected with praising God. When Leah, Jacobs wife, gave birth to her son, Judah, she said: ...Now will I praise the Lord.... (Gen. 29:35 KJV). Thus, the word Judaism, in reality, is a very broad generic term that does not necessarily describe only todays Jewish culture, it describes a true biblical faith as well, which includes that of Christians who fundamentally believe the Old and New Testament in their praise to the God of Israel through His Messiah Jesus.
9 David A. Rausch, Messianic Judaism: Its History, Theology, and Polity. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, © 1982, p. 56.
10 For a more comprehensive history, see Robert I. Winer, The Calling: The History of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America 1915-1980.
11 Regina Sharif, Non-Jewish Zionism, p. 71.
12 Arthur W. Kac, The Messiahship of Jesus, p. 299.
13 Claude Duvernoy, The Prince and the Prophet. Jerusalem: Claude Duvernoy, 1979, p. 50.
14 Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts, p. 273. Patais sources were Reuben Brainin, Hayye Herzl, pp. 17-18; Joseph Patai, Herzls School Years, pp. 58-59.
15 Einstein was an ardent Zionist, whom we appreciate. In his book, Cosmic Religion with other Opinions and Aphorisms, he said: In view of the present situation of world Jewry, it is now more than ever necessary to preserve the Jewish community in a vital form. This end can best be attained by the colonization of Palestine, a work in which world Jewry is united, and by the fostering of the Jewish spiritual tradition. The publication of my book in the language of our fathers fills me with particular delight....The rebuilding of Palestine as the Jewish National Home differs fundamentally from all other Jewish activities of our time....In recent years large and valuable stretches of Palestinian land have become the property of the Jewish people. Jewish hands are reclaiming more and more neglected and waste lands and transforming them into fertile fields and orchards. Albert Einstein, Cosmic Religion with other Opinions and Aphorisms. New York: Covici, Friede Inc., © 1931, pp. 76-78.
16 Arthur W. Kac, The Messiahship of Jesus, p. 36. Kacs source was The Saturday Evening Post, Oct. 26, 1929.
17 Nahaman Tamid, Sholem Asch in the Eye of the Storm, Maariv, April 21, 1989.
18 Photo of The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey and C.C. Carlson, reproduced by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
19 Hal Lindsey, The Road To Holocaust, p. 195.
20 The Interpreter, a newsletter distributed by Dr. Arthur W. Kac, featured an article entitled, Golda Meir and the Christian Professor from America. The article stated: For twelve months Professor Larry Samuels maintained a warm personal relationship with Mrs. Meir, which went far beyond the provision of diagnosis and nuclear drugs to the 80 year old mother of Israel. He became part of the family circle around Mrs. Meir who, in her final illness, found this completely dedicated, spiritual physician from America a tower of strength and hope and more than that, a friend and comforter. Often he would pray and read Scripture with Golda at her own request, or at the request of the family....Professor Samuels may be a Swedish-American, and may have all the gentle manner and informality of a Midwestern Yankee, but he is no less convinced that his roots, like those of every living Christian, are deeply embedded in the Holy Land. Golda Meir was for him, not merely a redoubtable public figure among the leaders of a spunky little Middle Eastern country. She was part of a people and land intimately linked to the personal faith and experience of folk for whom the Scriptures are the living Word of God. He declares without hesitation, It is in our unity with the Jewish people, in our oneness, that we are grafted on to the root of Jesse. If we reject the very roots upon which we grow, then were cutting off our lifeblood, for our true roots are right here in this land, no matter where we may live. As Golda Meirs body lay in state in the Knesset Plaza, and endless lines of Israelis filed past the bier throughout the day and night in a chilly Jerusalem December rain, Professor Samuels confided to a group of Christian friends: I really feel that if I should die this moment, my whole reason for going to medical school, my whole reason for studying nuclear medicine, my whole reason for following the Lord and coming to Jerusalem, would have been fulfilled. I am personally encouraging Christians to speak out, to organize their support, and not only by means of prayer, but also by applying political pressure. One Christian I spoke to recently is sending out a thousand letters to political figures, challenging them: Stand up for Israels rights and freedom! The reservoir of Christian backing for Israel is being tapped more and more as the Spirit of God moves over the people of America. It is part of a general spiritual revival, with a substantial number of those who are renewed spiritually coming to believe in the fulfillment of the Biblical promises for Israel. Meanwhile, here in Jerusalem we have organized a Christian prayer team to intercede daily with God for the patients and for the work of the Hospital. We have seen the Lord move in power through his Holy Spirit. As long as the Lord is my partner, giving me supernatural supervision, Jerusalem will be my home. Dr. Larry Samuels, Golda Meir and the Christian Professor from America, The Interpreter, Vol. XXXVII, No. 1, Winter 1995. Available through The Interpreter, POB 110, Lutherville, MD, USA 21093-0110.
21 [ ] mine.
22 Susan Birnbaum, The Numbers of Messianic Jews is Said to be Growing, Jewish Echo, Glasgow, Scotland, Apr. 14, 1989, © used by permission.
23 Other books are available through specialized publishing houses and many can be found at the week-long Messiah Conference, at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. This annual conference is held around the Fourth of July and is open to Jews and Christians who love the Jewish people. The conference draws participants from around the world, including Israel, England, South America, and of course, the U.S. For information on attending, write to the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, POB 417, Wynwood, PA, USA 19046. Tel. (610) 896-5812 or (800) 225-MJAA.
24 See Gary Beresford and Shirley Beresford, The Unpromised Land: The Struggle of Messianic Jews. Baltimore, MD: Lederer Messianic Publications, ©1994, pp. 133, 160, 164.
25 Pnina Peli, Doubting the Blessings of Christian Zionism, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 20, 1985, © used by permission.
28 In our opinion, this is a false assumption on her part. We have met many Israelis who are very open and interested in Messianic Judaism.
29 Many Jews are unaware of this fact and should be informed.
30 In these chapters we show the difference between Christian Zionists of the past and certain Christians of the Middle Ages who persecuted Jews and Protestants.
32 David Krivine, Market-place of Ideas, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 1, 1985, © used by permission.
33 Just who is this Pnina Peli? Barbara Livingston told me personally that Peli was a recent feminist immigrant to Israel seeking to annoy Jewish believers in Jesus there!
34 Menahem Benhayim, Hebrew Christians, Jerusalem Post, Fri., July 3, 1987, p. 22, © used by permission.
35 Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, The Mask is Off, Jerusalem Times/Jewish Press, Fri., July 3, 1987, p. 22. In this article, J..., refers to Jesus. We surmise that Rabbi Spivak harbors such contempt for Jesus and Christians that he cannot even write His name.
36 Selections from Ask the Rabbi, by Yechiel Eckstein. Holyland Fellowship of Christians and Jews, © 1988, used by permission. This audio tape is available through HFCJ, 36 South Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL, USA 60603.
37 Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, What Christians Should Know About Jews and Judaism, pp. 294-295, 299. [ ] mine.
38 Charles Hoffman, Dialogue with Evangelicals, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 8, 1987, © used by permission. Rabbi Eckstein seems to us to generalize and include most Jews with the liberal political camp, in opposition to Christian Evangelicals. We would here like to emphasize that a growing number of Jews are becoming politically conservative. Eckstein does not speak for all Jews, especially after the era of the 80s with Jesse Jacksons anti-Semitic remarks and President Reagans strong support of Israel. Many Jews are joining the conservative, moral viewpoints for which the true evangelical stands. To illustrate our point, we will quote from Jerry Falwells article entitled, Jewish Fear of Fundamentalist Activism Exaggerated. Rabbi Aryeh Spero of Agudas Achim Congregation of Canton, Ohio, stated in this article: The Conservative agenda, finding both Jewish and Christian adherents, cannot be construed as an advancement of one religion over another....As euthanasia is viewed by many Secularists as a form of murder, so too is feticide, abortion. These issues and many others are not, as the committee would have us believe, inclusively religious, but more the traditional split between political Conservatives versus political Liberals. The committee is actually guilty of using religion. It is exploiting an age-old fear of religious ulterior motives, as a means to frighten Jews from Conservatism into their political party. As a Rabbi I am offended by their exploitation of religion for their secular political purpose. Jerry Falwell, Jewish Fear of Fundamentalist Activism Exaggerated, The Fundamentalist Journal, Oct. 1986, © used by permission. We note that it is not Jews with whom evangelicals are upset concerning the ACLU, as implied by Rabbi Eckstein, but rather a hidden goal apparently voiced by its founder, Roger Baldwin, who has stated from the beginning: ...I am for Socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property...Communism is the goal. Baldwins quote is cited from Dr. D. James Kennedys letter to me of July 13, 1993. Concerning the mention of abortion by Rabbi Eckstein, he should note that many Jewish defense organizations are presently working in Israel to curb abortion until their pro-life laws are enactedlaws that will have the potential to save up to 40,000 Israeli babies a year.
39 Geoffrey Wigoder, Evangelical Challenge, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 1984, © used by permission.
40 Charles Hoffman, Dialogue with Evangelicals, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 8, 1987. Bold mine.
41 All includes Israel. Bold mine.
42 James D. Davis, Messianic Judaism, Topic of Discussion, The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Dec. 4, 1992, © used by permission. [ ] mine.
43 James D. Davis, Messianics Welcomed at Temple, The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Dec. 4, 1992, © used by permission.
44 [ ] mine.
45 Neil and Jaime Lash, Love Song to the Messiah, Jan. 1993. Messianic newsletter available through LSM, POB 4386, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA 33338-4386. Tel. (305) 733-0656.
46 The Pharisees said: ...Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine....Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:28-29 KJV). Tell your orthodox friends that the New Testament Rabbi Gamaliel gave your predecessors advice which was well worth taking. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, held in 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 ye intend to do as touching these men....Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 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 KJV).