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?

 

Graduation Speech for Israel College of the Bible

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Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.42.38 AMThis year's graduation ceremony was particularly special, as it marked 25 years since the founding of Israel College of the Bible. Here is a translation of the address originally given in Hebrew by Dr Erez Soref, President of One For Israel.

 

As a friend once said in a similar situation, “Victory is in the air, and the victory is the Lord’s”. This is a day of happiness, and a milestone in the lives of our graduates, for Israel College of the Bible, and also for the body of Messiah in Israel.

 

What can we as the body of Messiah in Israel, in all our diversity, offer to Israeli society? Quality of life? Hope for a better financial situation? Freedom from problems? No - none of these things. The truth is that what we have to offer to those around us in Israel is not an idea, but a person; the Messiah himself.

The Druze: Key People in Israel

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Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 11.36.13 AMHopefully most people know that 20% of Israel’s population is Arab, both Muslim and Christian. But there are other ethnic minorities living in Israel who also need Yeshua!

 

One of those minority groups has been in the headlines lately, due to peril at Israel’s northern border with Syria. There are approximately 130,000 Druze people living in Israel today and many more in surrounding countries, and each and every one of them is precious to God.

In fact, the Druze are very important people in Israel, and we'd like to show you why.

 

Jewish and Arab Pastors Celebrate Together

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Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 12.07.47 PMIt is only by God's supernatural grace, in the name of Yeshua, that both Arab and Jew can find salvation, hope and unity in the conundrum here in the Middle East.... but the good news is that this is exactly what is happening here at One For Israel!

Jesus vs. Yeshua?

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Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.15.42 PM“And you shall call his name...” announced the angel Gabriel, “Jesus”.

No he didn’t. He said “Yeshua”. But then again, Gabriel wasn’t really called Gabriel either - in Hebrew it sounds different: “Gav-ree-el”. Mighty one of the Lord. But at least Gabriel sounds a BIT like Gav-ree-el. It’s at least recognisable! How in the world did Yeshua, the actual Hebrew name for our Lord and Messiah, turn into Jesus? It sounds nothing like Yeshua! And does it really matter what we call him?

Millenials for Israel?

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Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 9.17.06 PMBy Arlie Francis

"Correctly understanding God’s irrevocable promises made to Abraham and his physical descendants through Isaac and Jacob is a key principle for unlocking what the rest of the Bible teaches”, writes Arlie Francis from Disciple Daily [1], who shares his perspective on the challenge that lies before the younger generation in this guest blog.

 

The Feast Of Shavuot

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ruthWhat do a harvest festival, 49 days, and a passionate love story have in common?

Shavuot means 'weeks'. God said, "Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the LORD your God has given you" (Deuteronomy 16:9-10). Offerings of barley and wheat are made, and the 'seven species': pomegranate, grapes, olives, wheat, barley, figs and date honey are celebrated. It's a thankgiving time for the goodness of the land. It's a time of 'bikurim' or firstfruits. It's the time that the Torah was given to Israel and they agreed to follow it, making them a covenant community, and it's also the time that the church or body of Messiah was born at Pentecost. New birth... First fruits.

Traditionally, the book of Ruth is read during the feast, because the story is set at the time of the barley harvest, and Shavuot occurs between the barley and wheat harvests. Also, it is in the instructions for how to celebrate Shavuot that God includes this commandment: “when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23:22). This was the set up for the love story. Well - part of the love story...

The Myth of Moses' Million Eye-Witnesses

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Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.24.15 PMRabbi Amnon Yitzhak states that Jesus is not the Messiah based on the following claim: “I am a rational person, so I say wait a minute, if the Lord, blessed He, gave [the covenant of the Law] to the people of Israel, witnessed by millions, and let’s say that he decided to then say: I’m really fed up with you, I don’t want you anymore, now I choose Jesus and whoever follows him. That is possible, right? Why would you do it the first time in such a public way but this time do it in secret, like a thief whispering to him behind the mountain? If you want to declare and announce [a new covenant], then it should be done in public, at the very least as public as it was the first time.”


The rabbis think this is a very strong argument. But there are a few gaping holes in this line of thinking...

Is Jesus Just a Copy of Eastern Religion?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 1.04.34 PMRabbi Daniel Asor claims that the story of Jesus is a copy of Eastern stories of pagan idols such as those found in Hinduism. The rabbi attempts to prove this by presenting “similarities” between Jesus and various idols or characters from Eastern religions. In order to do so, the rabbi quotes some out-dated ideas from about two hundred years ago, but he’s unable to quote even one single modern source. Why not, you wonder? Because there are no such sources. Today, informed scholars understand that these ideas do not hold water. These ideas, which appeared in the 19th century were refuted long ago, some even by Jewish biblical researchers and historians due to several archaeological findings, such as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the caves of Qumran.

Does the New Testament Twist the Old Testament?

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 11.03.57 AMOne of the original ways certain rabbis are now attacking the New Testament is by referring back to old claims of biblical criticism from the seventeenth century. These claims have long since been refuted, due to discoveries in archaeology and historical research developments, but that doesn’t seem to trouble some rabbis in their quest to discredit the teachings of Jesus. Here are a few examples of their criticisms along with the refutations:

 

The Talmud Shoots Itself in the Foot

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Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 3.22.20 PMTo this day, when the rabbis are asked about Jesus, they always refer to a story tractate Sota 47 in the Jerusalem Talmud, where it is says that Jesus was a disciple of the President of the Sanhedrin, Joshua ben Perahiah. The story is about how Jesus was a bad, lustful, unkind yeshiva student who fell into idol worship and led others astray. But there are a number of reasons why we can be certain that this story has been fabricated - including an embarrassing oxymoron. The Talmud really shot itself in the foot when trying to put the dirt on Jesus.

 

Brainwashed?

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Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 2.15.22 PMAt times it seems that there is only a remnant of Jews who believe in the Messiahship of Jesus, and we are often accused of being brainwashed.

 

But the number or the general consensus have never been a good indication. Especially not during the time of the Old Testament. See for example God’s answer to the Prophet Elijah, after he complained that the people of Israel didn’t really follow him: “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal” (1 Kings 19:18). There was a remnant of the people of Israel that truly followed God.

Today is no different.
Almost all of us Jews being told from childhood that Jesus is "A gentile for gentile.” Why is this? Who is really being brainwashed?

The Crucifixion Foretold by Zechariah

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Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 12.04.11 PMWe are all very familiar with the famous icon of “the Crucified Jesus”, probably mostly recognized as the symbol of Christianity. But what if we told you that this image of the pierced Messiah is actually a biblical Jewish concept? And what if we told you that there is a prophecy in the Old Testament describing it?

Does God Care for Man-Made Traditions?

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Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.42.55 AMRabbi Daniel Asor accuses Jesus of coming to sow hatred and cause war and division in the world. The rabbi says: “Even according to his own words, Jesus didn’t come to bring peace… but the sword. “Don’t think that I have come to bring peace to the world, but a sword…” Jesus didn’t come to give love to the world; he came to rob it.”

 

Let’s look at what Rabbi Asor’s accusation, at the context in which Jesus said those words, and what he really meant when he said them.

 

Are there Mistakes in the Geneology of Jesus?

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Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 10.41.10 AMOne of the ways that some modern rabbis to try to contradict the Messiahship of Jesus is to claim that there are contradictions between the two different genealogies given about his ancestry.

 

For two thousand years there has been no documentation of the lineages of the house of Israel, which makes it easier for modern Rabbis to attack something that even the Sages didn't. But let's look carefully at the accusations made, and if there is any truth to them.

 

Here, Near and Far - the Principle of Firstfruits

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Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.05.23 PMBy Dr. Erez Soref

As we trace from Jacob to Jesus we can see a Biblical emphasis on their parting words. Jesus’ last instruction to his disciples is often referred to as the “Great Commission”; he charged them with the daunting task of letting the whole world know about the Good News, starting in Jerusalem.

If this task seems a little horrifying in its scope, I hope to encourage you with a few words about God’s principles that each one of us can apply.

Playing With Fire

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lag_bomerOn Wednesday night in Israel people up and down the country lit bonfires to celebrate “Lag B’Omer”. This is not a Biblical holiday, mind you. In fact it is quite the opposite. During this time of counting the days between Passover and Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks) some events transpired in Jewish history back in the late first century and early second century after Yeshua which gave rise to this tradition... but it flies in the face of God's intentions for his people.

Cultivating Messianic Businesses in Israel

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Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 3.08.59 PMIsrael has been called the “Start-up Nation” after the book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer which tracks the country’s astonishing economic growth. Israel now has more high-tech start-ups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other country in the world, and Messianic believers are also keen to contribute and to play their part in the success of their nation. To this end, the “Firstfruits” center for economic advancement encouraging entrepreneurship has been established specifically to help Messianic believers get their business ideas off the ground. Firstfruits are currently holding a business forum from April 27th - May 1st, with over 100 Jewish and Arab participants from congregations from all over Israel, and inviting investors and business people from the nations to come and see what God is doing.

Why Should a Jew Want to Believe in Jesus?

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Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.44.20 AMBy Mottel Baleston

If you’re reading this, at some point you’ve come across the growing trend of a few brave souls within our Jewish community willing to say two things you rarely ever heard more than 50 years ago:

1. “I’m Jewish and I believe that Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah”

2. “I’m proud to be Jewish and didn’t stop being Jewish when I came to believe in Jesus”

Now, because I’ve recently turned 60 I can offer you some historical perspective from my experience growing up in the New York City Jewish community, with all four of my Grandparents from traditional Jewish homes in Europe.

Here’s the main point: There have always been Jewish people who were attracted to Jesus.

On Whom Can Israel Depend?

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cropsIt will soon be the Feast of Shavuot, which is the Feast of Weeks, and there is much hanging in the balance at the moment. Between the festivals of Passover and Shavuot, the weather can be very changeable, and has a huge impact on the destiny of the famous seven species of crops that God promises to the people of Israel. It would have been tempting for ancient Israel to revert to praying to idols to control the forces of nature during this time to get the ideal conditions for good crops. Today, we are also in a season of great trouble in the Middle East, which will most likely have alarming ramifications for Israel, also raising the question - on whom will Israel depend?

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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