How Can we Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.45.44 PMPsalm 122 urges us to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”, or more literally, to ask about shalom for Jerusalem. What does it mean? Is it talking here about the need to pray for the city itself - for the dirt and stones, or for spiritual salvation, as true peace starts within? Or a bit of both? Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about the significant city, and some suggestions about how we can pray today.

Holocaust Survivors Hear Handel's Messiah

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Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 12.35.33 PMLast night, bus loads of Holocaust survivors came to hear a stirring performance of Handel's Messiah at the Or Akiva Cultural Center, close to Caesarea in Israel, but not as they might have heard it before... this version was all in Hebrew.

Even though many Israelis know English very well, hearing something in its original Hebrew sounds very different; "When you know the meaning of the words in another language it's not the same as when hearing in your own language," said music conductor Monika Vasques. "It touches much more the heart." And it certainly did touch many hearts in that packed auditorium; hearts and lives that have lived through hell heard words of comfort and redemption in the Messiah.

Was Jesus a False Prophet? Do His Followers Worship 3 gods?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 1.06.03 PMThe rabbis claim that Jesus was a false prophet who incited the people of Israel and lead them astray into idolatry. They base this on what is written in Deuteronomy 18:20: “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.” This verse says that a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods should be put to death, and that such prophet is considered a false prophet. Rabbi Menashe Yisrael, while referring to this verse, claims that Jesus, “Deteriorated to idolatry, bewitched, incited and caused Israel to sin.”

 

The early rabbinical literature painted a picture in which the disciples of Jesus worshiped three different gods, and therefore today, they accuse Jesus, his disciples, and us, of believing in three gods. But anyone who will read the New Testament for themselves will come to the conclusion that the truth is quite the opposite, as we explain here.

Messiah: Suffering Servant or Victorious King?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.24.52 PMIn order to dismiss the possibility that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, who suffered and died as a sacrifice for our sins, rabbis of our time try to claim that the Messiah was never supposed to suffer or to die at all, but rather that the Messiah was to be a King who would come to save and conquer. See for example the words of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who declared that when the Messiah comes, he will wipe out all the Arabs: “With one ‘poof’ he will blow them all away, who are the nations of the world? What are they? When the our righteous Messiah comes he will not be afraid of anyone. And will send all these Arabs to hell.”

 

But is the Messiah supposed to be a suffering son of Joseph, or a reigning son of David? Why is the concept of Messiah so confused in Judaism? Why there are so many different ideas of who the Messiah is in Judaism? Here are some answers.

Jesus vs Moses

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Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 11.13.53 AMAn honorable place is reserved for Moses in the history of the people of Israel. And even though he was never a Rabbi, he received the nickname “Our Rabbi Moses”. He is the one who gave the Law to our people, performed miracles and even prophesied about the coming of the Messiah. On top of that, he spoke with God face to face. But for one reason or another, there are those who try to propagate the idea, that we, the believers in Jesus, reject Moses. They claim “we believe in Moses, not in Jesus”. But there is a problem with this idea that you are forced to believe in either one or the other; we, the Messianic Jews, do not reject Moses when we follow Jesus, and as we will show you, the Bible doesn’t force this choice, and neither do the Sages.

Jesus and Moses do not compete against each other, on the contrary, Moses points to the Messiah - to Jesus.

 

The Date of the Messiah's Coming

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Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 3.23.13 PMThe ninth chapter of the book of Daniel contains one of the most important prophecies in the Old Testament. The prophecy predicts the exact time at which the Messiah will appear in the world.

 

 

During the first year of Darius’ reign, Daniel discovered some interesting information, while he was reading the sacred Jewish books, the Bible - or as much of it as had been written by that time. Daniel read that God declared through the prophet Jeremiah that the Babylonian exile would last 70 years.This information was of great value, especially for Daniel, because he was reading it in 538 BC. And since the Babylonian exile began in 605 BC, that meant it was soon coming to an end. So Daniel chose to come before God in prayer, repentance and fasting. And God sent the angel Gabriel to tell him some very specific details about what would happen, and when the Messiah would come.

If Jesus is the Messiah - How come no Rabbi believes in Him?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 3.03.22 PMIf Jesus is indeed the Messiah, how come no Rabbis believe in him?

 

The truth is, that this statement is completely wrong. Among the Jews who came to faith in Jesus, there were many great rabbis. But you have probably never heard of them, since the Jewish community casts them out and slanders them as soon as it comes to light that they believe in Jesus. As long as these rabbis were a part of the Jewish community, they were considered righteous and well-respected, but as soon as their faith in Jesus the Messiah became known, they were despised and considered traitors; sinners, fools and gentiles. Here are just a few of them - if you thought that there are no rabbis who believe in Jesus, you are in for a surprise!

The Old Testament vs. the New Testament?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.23.10 PMThe rabbis may claim that they observe the “Law”, but the truth is that they never observed the Law of Moses. They don’t even try to. What they call “The Law” is actually the teachings and traditions invented by the Sages, many thousands of years after Moses. See for example the foreword by the famous Orthodox author and lawyer, Chaim Schimmel, in his book “The Oral Law”, which says: “The Jews never followed the literal words of the Pentateuch, but rather the rabbis' traditions, while believing that God gave an additional Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai, the “Oral Law”. However, this doesn’t stop certain rabbis from accusing us, the Messianic Jews, of abolishing the Law... while they observe it, so they claim. But this is far from the truth, as we shall see.

Isn't God Having a Son a Pagan Idea?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 3.54.22 PMMany accuse us, the Messianic Jews, of making a human, Jesus, into God.

 

See for example the words of Rabbi Daniel Asor, who writes: “The Old Testament denies pagan idolatry which revolves around human gods, a man-god.” But there is a lack of understanding (or maybe a lack of desire to understand) what we really believe. Do we believe that a man can suddenly become God? Or that a certain man in history was "promoted" and became God? The answer to both these questions is NO! But, can God reveal Himself to humanity in any way He may choose? And if He created us in His image, and according to His likeness, would it be inappropriate that at some point of time in history, He would want to reveal Himself to us in human form? Is this concept even biblical? And what about Jews who lived before the time of Jesus, did they believe that God can reveal Himself as a human? Did they expect the Messiah to be the “Son of God’? The answer to these questions is YES!

Rosh Chodesh - Celebrating the New Moon

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 1.24.42 PMAccording to the Bible, we are just about to enter “The first day of the first month” - the Biblical start of the year!

This year it will fall on 21st March, which is a new moon and therefore the beginning of a new Jewish month. Exodus 12:1-2 says, “The
Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.” Yes, as far as God is concerned, the new year is at the beginning of this lunar month which starts on Friday night at sundown. There is no big shindig prescribed for the first day of the year in the Bible - rather God asks that the beginning of each month, each new moon, is celebrated. This is called “Rosh Chodesh”, or “head of the month”. It’s interesting that the word for month, “chodesh”, is from the root word for new: “chadash”. Our God is a God of multiple new beginnings, new seasons, and fresh starts.

Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 5.28.34 PMThe story of Jesus' resurrection from the dead is one of the greatest miracles and wonders that has ever happened in history. Or, it is the most sophisticated fraud that ever took place in history that has deceived millions of people. At least that is what Rabbi Tovia Singer thinks, as he claims: “Jesus never rose from the dead.

We will prove otherwise.

What is the Purpose of the Torah (Law)?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 11.06.19 AMRabbi Yaakov Ades writes: “The more we know about the value of the Law and of our soul, the more strength we will have to strive and overcome in the work of the LORD. Therefore, we need to know the great value of the Law and the commandments. The Vilna Gaon explains, that the entire purpose of creation, the giving of the Law and the choosing of the people of Israel is that we connect to the LORD, blessed is He, and the Law is the medium, and is the most important in the world, and the entire world is nothing compared to studying the law, and compared to keeping a commandment, as nothing compares to the Law.” (Yeshiva.org.il)

 

We have no doubt that the biblical Law is the word of God, but from the rabbi’s words, and from what the rabbis have been saying for thousands of years, they seem to have got the impression that the commandments of the Torah (Law), are THE most important and central thing to God. But would God agree that the commandments are the main point of these first five books?

 

We Can't be Jews and Believe in Jesus? Oh Really?!

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.36.47 AMThe rabbis claim that it is not possible to be Jewish and believe in Jesus. See for example the words of Rabbi Aaron Moss from Chabad movement, who answered the question, "Can a Jew believe in Jesus?" in the following way: “A Jew can believe in Jesus, in the same way that a vegetarian can enjoy a steak”… Also, in his response regarding the Messianic Jewish movement he wrote: “This is a movement of non-Jews, who pretend to be Jews” How? “By presenting themselves with Jewish names.” These are weak and manipulative arguments, and we will show you why they are very much mistaken.

Aren't There Contradictions in the New Testament?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.21.16 AMA New Testament scholar is someone who has invested many years of his life, in academic study, learning the ancient Greek language, ancient texts, the history of the second Temple period, and so forth, in order to specialize and obtain as wide a perspective as possible about the cultural, historical, religious and political background. Or in other words, the context in which the text was written. When someone tries to step into the shoes of such a scholar without having the necessary background or knowledge on these subjects, he might embarrass himself with questions that can’t be answered, not because they don’t exist, but simply because he doesn’t have the tools to find them himself. But we are here to help!

Is the New Testament an Anti-Semitic Book?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.23.10 AMOn the website kipa.co.il, Rabbi Eyal Moshe calls to burn every book related to the New Testament. Rabbi Daniel Asor claims: “The New Testament is clearly an anti-Semitic book with libels against the Jews.”

There is no doubt that many gentiles have done horrible things to our people in the name of Jesus or in the name of the New Testament. But does this mean that the New Testament was the cause, or was it just used as an excuse? Is the New Testament itself really anti-Semitic?

Was Jesus an Anti-Semite?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.35.15 AMJesus was an anti-Semite, preached against the Old Testament and founded a new religion… These are typical claims uttered by those who oppose the messianic faith and Jesus. In his book, Rabbi Asor repeats the claim several times - that Jesus and his disciples were anti-Semites. But was Jesus really an anti-Semite? If so, what about the rebukes and angry prophecies by the Old Testament Prophets? Were they anti-Semites too? And what about a Jewish-Israeli reporter who criticizes Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Rentgen? Is he being anti-Semitic? Or is anyone who disagrees with the rabbis automatically labelled “anti-Semitic”?

What's the Deal With Jesus Anyway?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 3.18.46 PMThere are rabbis who blame us for grazing in foreign fields, but they are forgetting that Jesus was a Jew who was born in Israel. Don’t you think it's strange, that 2,000 years after Jesus walked in the land of Israel, that we, and the entire world, still speak of him?

 

Jesus divided history into two: The era before his came, and the era after, as you acknowledge every time you write the date. Jesus never wrote a book, but there have been more books written about him than any person the world has ever known. There was no social networking, YouTube or internet 2,000 years ago. And yet Jesus is the most viral thing in world. What is it about Him that captured our hearts and the hearts of many others?

 

Can Prayer Replace Sacrifice?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.10.23 PMThat blood sacrifice is necessary in order to atone for sin is one of the main, and most prominent principles in the Law of Moses. Leviticus 17:11 says: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.”

 

Due to this, we witness the rooster ritual on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) among devout Orthodox Jewish people, who swing a chicken over their heads as a nod to the Old Testament requirements for sacrifice. But since the destruction of the second temple, the ability to offer proper sacrifices no longer exists. Therefore, we are dependant on the ultimate and once-for-all atoning sacrifice of the Messiah, as the foretold by the prophet Isaiah.

Virgin Birth: Fairytale or Biblical Prophecy?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 11.01.21 AMThe New Testament tells us that, according to the Old Testament prophecy, Jesus was born through a supernatural birth - his mother was a virgin. This is based on the verse Isaiah 7:14 where it says: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.'" Rabbi Josef Mizrachi tried to challenge the New Testament’s claim, saying: “Never in history did anyone interpret the word ‘alma’ as virgin.” The truth is that many Jewish scholars, including Rashi, interpreted the word alma as virgin several times, as we will explain. But the Rabbis say that the concept of the "Virgin Birth" is pure paganism. Do they consider God unable to cause a virgin woman to conceive a child by means other than intercourse?

Isn't the Messiah Supposed to Bring World Peace?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 3.33.43 PMRabbi Tovia Singer claims: “If Jesus was the Messiah, you would have known that from reading the newspapers, because the front page would be about peace instead of wars. But since Jesus’ time until this day, more than 120 million people have died in wars.” Rabbi Joseph Mizrachi added that when the Messiah comes, “there will be no more wars in the world. Everyone will live in peace; “The wolf will live with the lamb”.

 

Indeed, there are those who raise the question and ask us, if Jesus is really the Messiah, why are there so many wars and suffering in the world? Isn’t he supposed to bring world peace?

 

I MET MESSIAH - by ONE FOR ISRAEL

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ONE FOR ISRAEL is a ministry-initiative of native-born Israels (Jews & Arabs one in Christ!) on the forefront of high-tech evangelism, proclaiming salvation in Jesus to Israel, raising up leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to transform Israel with the gospel of Messiah! ONE FOR ISRAEL is perhaps the only place in the middle east where true peace can be found - in Jesus!

2000 years have passed since the first Jewish followers of Yeshua proclaimed the gospel in Jerusalem. The gospel went forth from Zion to Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. Our generation has seen not only the prophetic rebirth of the modern state of Israel but also the miraculous spiritual re-birth of thousands of Israelis who have recognized the ONE of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote. The circle has been completed, and the good news of Messiah is being proclaimed once again from Zion. One For Israel is reaching and discipling the current and next generation of followers of Messiah. Using innovative methods and technologies, we are sending God’s Word out again from Zion throughout the world proclaiming the gospel of Messiah.

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