This past week I have read great articles exposing the truth via The Olive Branch Report. The truth is what we all seek because we understand that God desires for us to discern the truth from deception, it is His desire because to be true disciples of our Messiah we must know the truth that leads to freedom.
I too want to expose our readers to the truth and sometimes the truth hurts, it convicts and exposes things inside us we would rather deny.
The truth I speak of today is the Jewishness of the bible. Many would agree that the Old Testament is the Jewish portion of the bible, whereupon the New Testament is the Christian portion. Well nothing could be further from the TRUTH. In fact the entire bible is a Jewish book, written by Jews, about a Jewish King, a Jewish Messiah for the purpose of a bringing all nations under one God, a triune God at that.
All of the authors of the bible, guided by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) were Jewish, except Luke. The prophets were Jewish, the Judges were Jewish, the parents of Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) were Jewish and the human parents of Yeshua were Jewish. Rabbi Sha’ul, AKA Saul of Tarsus, AKA Paul was also Jewish. These are not opinions; these are facts, just read your bible. However when you read your bible please know that it has been translated to meet the needs of a particular culture or language. So some translations are different, although sometimes minor, some translations have led to transforming the bible from a Jewish book to a Christian book. If one really wants to understand the bible then going back to the original language is the best way to fully comprehend Gods Word.
Rabbi Sha’ul was a Pharisee, a Jewish scholar of Torah, and a great persecutor of “The Way”, what the first believers in Yeshua the Messiah were called. It was Rabbi Sha’ul that sat and watched as Stephen spoke boldly to a group of Pharisees about the history of the Jews leading up to the death, burial and resurrection of our LORD.
Rabbi Sha’ul sat and listened and then watched as Stephen was stoned to death. Most of us are familiar with the transformation of Rabbi Sha’ul, from persecutor of The Way to the great Apostle to the gentiles after his Damascus Road experience. But did you know that in every town Rabbi Sha’ul visited he went to the Jews first and then approached the gentiles with his message of the good news. That is because Rabbi Sha’ul understood the importance of Jewish believers in Messiah, which was believed to hasten the return of the Messiah. The book of Romans, Sha’uls 5th book is by far the best place to turn in seeking the truth about the role of the Jews and the role of the gentiles.
One of the most misconstrued and least taught scriptures in the church today are chapters 9-11 of Romans. I will point to a couple of scriptures that will hopefully help make my point. Romans 9:1-4 reveals Sha’uls true heart and God’s true heart regarding Israel and the Jewish people.
I am speaking the truth-as one who belongs to the Messiah. I do not lie; and also bearing witness is my conscience, governed by the Ruach HaKodesh: my grief is so great, the pain in my heart so constant, that I could wish myself actually under God’s curse and separated from the Messiah, if it would help my brothers, and my own flesh and blood, the people of Isra’el!
This is one of the greatest portions in all of scripture. Here is a man so dedicated to the Messiah, so dedicated to teaching the truth and bringing the Good News to both Jew and Gentile, he would actually give up his eternity with Yeshua, his Messiah if only his Jewish brethren would come to accept Yeshua as a nation. Sha’ul who poured his heart out and risked his life for the sake of the gospel is willing to be eternally separated from God for the sole sake of all Israel. What a powerful and telling portion of scripture. Would you be willing to do this?
Sha’ul understood that although the Jews as a nation rejected Yeshua, that this was only for a season. At the time of Sha’uls death there were an estimated 100,000 Jewish believers in Yeshua. Still the nation of Israel did not receive Him.
However it was incumbent on the disciples to follow the great commission and that included all the nations. Just as Abraham was father of all the nations, Yeshua would be LORD of all the nations. But it was the Jews that were to carry the message, they were to be a kingdom of Priests. Peter was first to reach out to the gentiles following his vision described in Acts chapter 10. It was then that Peter realized that gentiles can also be filled with the Holy Spirit. He reported this to the council and they too were amazed. This is the same council that in Acts chapter 15 Sha’ul appeared and made the case that gentiles would not need to become Jews in order for them to accept and worship Yeshua alongside the Jewish believers. So gentiles could remain gentiles, would not have to convert and could remain within their culture but still enter into an intimate relationship with the King of the Jews.
This brings me to my main point; why then did Jews starting mainly in the 4th century have to deny their Jewishness and all things Jewish to worship the King of the Jews. Yes after Christianity became a national religion under Constantine, Jews were no longer a valid people group. Jews were seen as less than Gentiles, both in number of believers but more importantly as citizens, as a culture. Jews had to completely deny their Jewish culture, traditions, families, foods and all aspects of being a Jew to be accepted as a believer of Yeshua. The bible had become a Christian book, the Torah became a thing of the past, and Israel lost its position as the nation God called His. They had simply been replaced and the future was even worse for Jews. For the past 2000 years anti-semitism became the rule and being a Jewish believer became almost impossible, unless one was willing to lie and convert.
The Jewishness of the bible had been lost. But this was not meant to be. Sha’ul tells us in very clear terms what the role of the gentiles was to be and in Romans 11:26 declared “all Israel will be saved.” In Romans chapter 11 Sha’ul describes the role of the gentiles; to provoke the Jews to jealousy for their Messiah. He further points out that the “spirit of dullness” upon Israel is but temporary and that if the gentiles come into their fullness then Israel would come to believe. Sha’ul also describes the Olive Branch analogy to the Romans, that gentiles are grafted in branches, the root of which is the patriarchs of Judaism, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He warns the gentiles not to boast, telling them that if God cut off the original branches He will certainly cut the grafted branches off as well. The reason for the branches being cut off according to Sha’ul was lack of trust. If the nation of Israel would come to trust, they will be grafted back into the Olive Tree once again. So what is this fullness? It is simply this, the church must come back to the Jewish roots of the bible, to an understanding of the Jewishness of scripture and their need to bring the good news back to the Jews, and thus hasten the return of the Messiah.
What has happened over the past 2000 years has created a schism between Jew and gentile, between Jew and Christians. This needs to be corrected and it is the churches responsibility to speak the truth and follow the Word of God. Jews need Yeshua, and sharing the Good News as Jewish in its message is how Sha’ul intended and what I now cry out for as well. God has never ended His relationship with the Jewish people, has never broken His covenants with the Jewish people and never will. That is the truth. I pray you read this with an open mind and help to bring about change, not as I desire but as God desires. Amen and God bless.
Ephesians 4:4-6 reminds us of how God intended for His followers to be:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as when you were called you were called to one hope. And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all.”
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