January 13, 2009

  • An Ephraimite Speaks Out Regarding Messianic Jewish Bias Against ‘Ephraimites’

    An Ephraimite Speaks Out Regarding Messianic Jewish Bias Against ‘Ephraimites’

     by Aviel E. Rodriguez

     

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    The Sad truth is that, generally, people tend to evaluate and judge matters on a very superficial level… all too often, on the basis of appearances and emotions. As a matter of fact, ‘Madison Avenue’ has counted upon this particular human proclivity for decades with respect to their prime target… i.e., ‘the American Consumer’. Yes, the public’s inclination to ’superficially appraise’ things has enabled Madison Avenue to rake in decades of massive revenues. Revenues obtained by their alluring and seductive promises to endow the consumer with  some sort of power, sex-appeal, security, love, acceptance… or whatever; and all by means of the product that they happen to be advertising. 

     

    Madison Avenue counts on the ‘passive mentality’ of the American Consumer to accept their claims as authoritative. However, what if Madison Avenue had to suddenly deal with a vast new breed of ‘knowledgable’ American Consumers? I believe that then the chances of maintaining the status quo would be greatly diminished.  Their profits would take a sharp dive in very short order.  Nonetheless, let us in additon consider- in relation to this illustration- that though a manufacturer’s intentions and advertising might be sincere his product, nevertheless, may be faulty and lacking in its promised results.

     

    You may be wondering what does any of this have to do with the topic of ‘Messianic Jewish Bias Against ’Ephraimites’? Well, there is a slogan that’s popular in Messianic circles today. It is, essentially, propagated as “Jew and Gentile… One in Messiah… One new man.” It is definitely promoted from the pulpits; and often advertised on televison by a particular Messianic ministry.

     

    Please understand that I wholeheartedly believe that my Messianic Jewish brethren have the very best of hopes and sincere intentions when they go about promotiing this slogan; and of course, that the slogan is rooted in Scripture:

    For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

    Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace… (Eph. 2:14-15)

    However, they consistently fail to notice that the Apostle Paul prefaced that statement by declaring to his hearers that they were once “Gentiles” (strangers to the covenants and the commonwealth of Israel); and concluded in declaring that they were now full-fledged citizens in the ‘Israel of God’. This is an ‘Ephraimite’ perspective.

     

    Unfortunately, Messianic Judaism’s promotion of the “one new man” Gospel truth has been tinged by an essential ’Dispensational‘ belief, namely, that the Church and Israel are two separate entities. Consequently, Messianic Judaism’s ’interpretation’ and subsequent pronouncement of this particular Gospel truth becomes– due their interpolation vis-a-vis Dispensationalism– fraught with what I’ve come to call “Messianic double-speak”. In a nutshell, despite the pronouncement that “Jew and Gentile are one in Messiah…one new man”… nevertheless, in the same breath- so to speak- they’ll declare that the Jewish people are God’s ‘Chosen People’; but, Gentile Believers are part of Christ’s “Called-Out Assembly”…??? Moreover, many Messianic Jews rejoice in declaring that Yeshua actually made them more ‘Jewish’ (“Completed Jews”) after coming to faith in him. On the other hand, they say that Gentile Believers should not seek to become ‘Jewish’; but rather, be content with that identity which they were born into. Thus, logic dictates that all things being equal (i.e., one new man) that the “Gentile Believers” should, therefore, somehow, be able to joyfully proclaim the following: ”Yeshua has actually made us more ‘Gentile’ (strangers/aliens to the covenants & the commonwealth of Israel) than ever!” I think that you would agree with me in saying that… that does not compute!   

     

    Please take a moment to consider the following verses of Scripture; and then read on…

     

    “…for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1Sam. 16:7)

    “Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

    O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.” (Isaiah 63:16-17)

     

                                                               

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    I now address myself, specifically, to those who have this yearning to see the ‘one new man in Messiah’ promise truly be fufilled in our day. That unquenchable desire to be united with your brother, Judah, in the quest of “Kiddush Hashem” (the Sanctification of the Name) is not a coincidence nor an accident. It’s been put in your heart by the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) for a reason… a very prophetic reason. Though our Messianic Jewish brethren can’t seem to recognize us as ‘Ephraim’; nevertheless, YHWH knows all the places to which Abraham’s seed were driven to.  He knows who Abraham’s seed are; and He hears their hearts cry (Jer. 31:18-19).  Therefore, I believe that our Messianic-Jewish brethren’s dismissive attitude towards the “Ephraimite/Two House” teaching is something that- for the most part- is rooted in emotional and ‘superficial assessments’ by them; as well as, a presumed authoritative position on their part. Nonetheless, I believe that a sincere, objective, and diligent study of the ”Two-House” teaching will continue to result in thousands upon thousands of non-Jewish Messianics becoming ‘knowledgable’ adherents to the Ephraimite position and understanding.  

     

    I am not seeking to divide brethren… i.e., to divide the non-Jewish Messianics (aka Christian Zionists) from their Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters.  God forbid!  Rather, I am seeking to awaken them both; and to enhance their unity!  However, there exists an emotionally charged postulate (even if only implied)… i.e., that ‘Messianic-Judah knows best’; and this continues to hold many Zionist Christians [i.e., dormant Ephraimites] in a passive state.  They’re unwilling to provoke Messianic-Judah’s ire by questioning his particular slant on the ’one new man’ motto… which, simultaneously, placates and anesthetizes other dormant Ephraimites into accepting “one-ness” while, pardoxically, branding themselves with the stigma of “gentile” (i.e., one who is “of the nations… an alien to the covenants” and, therefore, “not of Israel!”). 

     

    Unfortunately, just like many passive-minded American consumers, it would appear that many Christian Zionists (“dormant Ephraimites”) find it much simpler to accept the status quo of misconceptions, misperceptions, and misinterpretations that are leveled against ‘Ephraimites’ by Messianic Judaism- than to sincerely and diligently pray about, investigate, and study the matter for themselves.  Instead, they continue to neglect and ignore their promised heritage as full-fledged born-again Israelites… available to them through the New/Renewed Covenant in Yeshua’s blood! [Jeremiah 31:31]

     

    Sadly, these Christian Zionists are like the woman in the following parable: 

     

    There was a young Gentile woman named Ruth Smith.  She married her beloved Jewish fiancée, named Boaz Goldberg.  In this story, it happens that the young Jewish man had been alienated from his family for many years prior to their meeting.  After several years of married bliss, it happened that one day a distant relative of his contacted him to inform him that his Orthodox Jewish family desired to be reconciled with him.  After all that time, the announcement came at long last as a hopeful promise for a joyful reunion with his parents and brethren.  So he and Mrs. Goldberg promptly packed their bags and were on the next flight out to see his family… the Goldbergs.  Now, his wife was very happy and excited in knowing how her husband longed to be reconciled to his blood relatives.  Moreover, she recognized that she, too, was now a member of the family.  She, too, was a ‘Goldberg’; and so, she was very excited about meeting her kin.

     

    They arrived at the Goldberg family home and Boaz took a deep breath as they stepped upon the porch and approached the door.  Ruth lovingly glanced at her husband and gave him her full love and support- for they were one.  He knocked, and the door opened.  There stood the entire Goldberg family apparently ready to receive him back despite what they had formerly viewed as his non-conformist religious views.  Boaz crossed the threshold and embraced each one.  Then he turned to introduce Mrs. Goldberg; but instead, in a fraction of time, he envisioned a very real potential threat to the tenuous reunion if he should suddenly introduce this non-Jewish woman as his wife.  In a moment of selfish expediency, he turned back to his family and said “this is my very close friend and co-worker, Ruth Smith.”

     

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    But YHWH’s word says:

     

                                        And other sheep [of the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel] I have,

                                        which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall

                                        hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

                                        (John 10:16)           


     

     

     

     

    Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions:



     

    And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. (Ezek. 37:16-17)

    And David my servant [shall be] king over them; and they

    all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statues, and do them. (Ezek. 37:24)

     


    Sadly, I’ve come to believe that it’s a “Boaz Goldberg-like” perspective on the part of Messianic Judaism; and something of a ”passive-consumerist” mentality on the part of Christian Zionists, that keeps Messianic Judaism from honestly and sincerely communicating with those in the ‘Ephraimite movement’.  It keeps them from openly and honestly discussing these matters in their congregations… i.e., with the use of equal weights and measures. 

     

    It would appear true in this instance that where a need is not felt, a desire is not birthed.  Therefore, Messianic Judaism seems to have asked of itself this question:

    “What, if any, is the need for such a teaching?”… to which it’s apparent response has been:  “None… unless you aim to confuse and upset Jewish and Gentile believers… None… No, none whatsoever!”

     

                                                           

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    Sadly, I would call Messianic Judaism’s perspective on this issue one of ’selfish expediency’. By way of an admittedly crude analogy, I would liken it, somewhat, to a benevolently-inclined Plantation owner living back in the ‘antebellum South’; who might’ve questioned himself, and said: “What purpose would it serve for me to consider my servants as equal to me… i.e., as native-born Americans? Afterall, as we’ve interpreted the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, they have their place and we have ours. Moreover, identifying them as equal to “Americans” would only upset the status quo, anger my fellow plantation owners; and confuse the servants.  So why create a problem where none exists?!”  Yes… blind, selfish, expediency!

     

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    Despite our Messianic Jewish brethren’s apprehensions, the Christian Zionist/Hebraic Roots movements are returning to the ancient paths prescribed by their Heavenly Father; and they’re seeking to support and exhort their brother, Judah, to a place of true unity as the “one new man” in Messiah’s household… i.e., the Israel of Elohim. They are indeed demonstrating that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is at work in Ephraim.  The Ruach HaKodesh is awakening them to their true heritage and to their true identity as “born-again Israelites”!  Thus, as they are led of the Spirit, they are beginning to fulfill their part in YHWH’s prophetic word that’s found in Isaiah 11:13.  Therefore, they’re returning to Torah (the Kingdom’s constitution) and ceasing from all former “replacement theology” perspectives- as they move forward in support of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people worldwide- to the praise and glory of YHWH!… b’shem Yeshua HaMashiach! 

     

    We, simultaneously, have seen many in Traditional Judaism being deeply moved by the testimony of ‘Ephraimites’; and consequently, opening doors of communication to both Christian Zionists and “Aware-Ephraimites” alike.  Tragically, however, there are still so many in Messianic Judaism that unwittingly (yet stubbornly…like the elder brother pictured above) resist the fulfillment of the latter portion of that prophetic verse- which reads as follows:  “… and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.”

     

     

    Nevertheless, YHWH’s word says:


     

     

     

     

    On that day, God will again [reveal] His might to redeem the remnant of His people – those remaining in Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Ethiopia, Elam, Shinar, Chamath, and the isles of the sea.

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    He will signal to the nations, assemble the exiles of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

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    Ephraim’s jealousy will cease, and their enemies in Judah will be destroyed.  Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not trouble Ephraim.  (Isaiah 11:11-13)… [taken from a Jewish translation... 'The Living NACH', Moznaim Publishing Corp., NY/Jerusalem 5756]

     

     

    As the Living NACH translates it (above) “Ephraim’s jealousy will cease, and their enemies in Judah will be destroyed.”  I’m of the opinion that the “enemies” being spoken of here most likely alludes to elements within Rabbinic Judaism that may someday- I believe- both vehemently and violently oppose Ephraim’s prophesied return back to the Land of Israel.  Notwithstanding, I continue to believe that it would very much behoove our Messianic Jewish brethren to recognize, from the verses above, how very important and serious the matter of this ”Two House-into-One House of Israel Restoration” is to our Abba YHWH.

     

    In the meantime, Christian Zionists need to hearken to the voice of the Shepherd of Israel and to indeed awaken!  They need to cast off their “gentile-ized” grave-cloths; and, through Yeshua Tzidkenu (Yeshua our Righteousness), put on their new biblical identity as “returning Ephraimites”… i.e., as born-again Israelites! 

     

    Click on the ‘WATCHMAN’ icon below… to AWAKEN!

                   

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  • Looking Closer At The Ephraimite Debate

     

    magnifying glass Looking Closer at the Ephraimite Debate

    Note: The following text is from a new report written by Sandy Bloomfield, a Messianic Jewish Believer, and published by the Messianic Israel Alliance. It provides an interesting, “insider’s” view of the religious politics surrounding the Ephraimite debate. Considering the enormous positive response that was generated from the previous topic on this same subject, I’m sure this will prove of interest to this online community. (For more information on this report, visit http://www.ephraimiteerror.com)

    Introduction

    In May 1994, Dan Juster (then president of The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations) opened up a breach within the Body of Messiah, which, to this day, has yet to be resolved. Serious accusations were leveled at that time without benefit of the facts (as repeated requests for meetings to correct and clarify misunderstandings were ignored) and despite several attempts to address the issues, the false allegations continued for the next 15 years. Batya Wootten (later of the Messianic Israel Alliance) was labeled a heretic in an inflammatory and pseudo-scholarly document entitled “The Ephraimite Error,” which used defamatory language such as “racist,” “militant,” and “replacement theology” and was based almost entirely on misrepresentations, errors, and lies.

    Hebraic Hate Speech

    Most people in Messianic and Hebraic circles are familiar with the term lashon hara (the evil tongue), which is considered a sin whether the information involved is true or not. But a second (and even worse) category of evil speech is motzi shem ra, literally, “propagating a bad name or bad reputation.” The reason this is worse is that it involves slander and the spreading of lies and disinformation which damages the name of the targeted person. In Judaism,

    lashon hara is considered identical to the sin of sinat chinam (baseless hatred), and both lashon hara and motzi shem ra are given the same weight as murder, since they are considered an assassination of another’s character and credibility. This brief summary of the controversy seeks to finally toss into the “eternal trash bin” the evil speech regarding this issue, and is an open call for biblical accountability and restored relationship among and between the Messianic communities. Of course, no one can force affection or fellowship upon another, but we must do our best to be “repairers of the breaches” amongst ourselves. Otherwise, how can we — in good conscience — offer Abba’s love to an unbelieving world when we withhold it from each other?

    Controversy Overview

    ·                  In 1983 Wootten wrote a newsletter article titled “Is the Church Ephraim?” then the books, In Search of Israel (1988), The Olive Tree of Israel (1992), and Who is Israel? And Why You Need to Know (1998).

    ·                  In 1994, Juster, then president of the UMJC, published a 10-page paper entitled, “Is the Church Ephraim?” His paper was not accurate in its representation of the Restoration of Israel teaching, which was its focus. Wootten responded with a 67-page answer that disproved each of his errant claims and was included in a comprehensive 152-page bound report. Copies were sent to UMJC Theological Committee members, asking them to please correct it — with the single stipulation that they use Scripture to refute it — but they did not respond at all.

    ·                  In 2000, Kay Silberling, with Dan Juster and David Sedaca, wrote “The Ephraimite Error.”

    ·                  Moshe Koniuchowsky learned about “both the houses of Israel” (Isa 8:14) through the Woottens. Starting in 1999, he worked with the Messianic Israel Alliance (MIA) for a time, and was thus named in the paper. Koniuchowsky responded to “The Ephraimite Error” with his own document, “The Truth About All Israel,” but he soon chose to go his own way (early 2001), due to increasing doctrinal differences from those of the Woottens and the MIA.

    ·                  In 2000, the Woottens’ newsletter (The House of David Herald) included an article by Israeli author, John Hully, titled, “Do the Rabbis Expect to See the Lost Tribes?” In the article, Hully, a Harvard graduate, soundly refuted Silberling’s mistaken claims about rabbinic opinion in the matter and pointed out fatal flaws in her reasoning. 

    ·                  In 2001, John McKee refuted the UMJC’s accusations, particularly the false charges against Wootten, in his 102-page work, ‘The Ephraimite Error’ Errors.

    ·                  In 2002, MIA leadership published a concise paper titled, “We Declare,” its purpose being to officially refute the false claims. Copies were mailed to the UMJC, the Messianic Jewish Alliance, and many of their congregations, plus it was (and is) posted on the MIA’s website (www.messianicisrael.com).

    ·                  Twice in 2002 and once in 2003, the MIA’s attorney (the late Mary Elizabeth Orr), wrote to UMJC President Russ Resnik, asking for a meeting so their allegations could be confronted. They refused each time. 

    ·                  Over the years, Angus Wootten, Batya’s husband and founder of the MIA, made repeated phone calls to Juster and Resnik about the situation and even offered to pay the bill if Juster, who was living in Israel, would return his call. (He was told that Juster “could not spend ministry money on phone calls.”) Angus also called David Chernoff of the Messianic Jewish Alliance. All refused to meet with him or the MIA’s leadership.

    ·                  In 2003, Dan Juster, Paul Fink and Paul Wilbur met with Monte Judah and Eddie Chumney (of Lion & Lamb and Hebraic Heritage ministries, respectively), both of whom had begun to teach about both houses of Israel. But it was a closed meeting, and they refused to allow the MIA to attend. In fact, Juster encouraged Judah and Chumney to “distinguish their teachings from Batya Wootten’s (the focus of the UMJC papers)” so they might “treat them as brothers with whom we agree or disagree, but who are not considered heretical.” This clear use of “differing weights and measures” raises serious questions about the intentions of Juster and the Messianic Jewish leadership who have been driving the controversy.  Holding “secret meetings” does not demonstrate good faith in dealing with brethren, and instead nurtures division and worldly partisan behavior in the Body of Messiah.

    These actions are unsupportable and do not deal in truth. “The Ephraimite Error” is rooted in baseless hatred and is the product of an evil tongue. Like trash, it needs to be thrown out. Let’s look once more at some of the false claims made against Wootten that have never been corrected or removed from circulation despite the evidence provided many times over the years.

    Indefensible and False Accusations

    The Lineage of Israel

    FALSE CLAIM: Silberling writes: “Proponents of this movement contend that members of the born-again segment of the Christian church are, in fact, actual blood descendants of the ancient Israelites who were exiled in the Assyrian invasion of Israel in 722 B.C.”

    FACT: Batya Wootten did not say they “are, in fact,” but that they could be descendants.

    Messianic Judaism says the non-Jew is not part of Israel, but descent from the patriarchs is essentially un-provable, for Jew and non-Jew alike. The Early Church was “Jewish,” and Batya suggests many non-Jewish Believers could be their heirs, that many Believers could descend from exiled Ephraim, and that all Believers in Messiah belong to Israel’s commonwealth. Batya does not seek to prove descent, but to disprove the flawed teaching that non-Jewish Believers are not part of Israel (Eph 2:11-22). She writes in her book Redeemed Israel:

    “Most people define Israel based on some idea of physical descent, regardless of how abstract or vague their definition. Perceived physical descent from the patriarchs or a presumed lack thereof, is most often the deciding factor in everyone’s ‘Israel decision.’ To understand Israel, we are forced to address this universal standard — because it is the underlying and misleading presumption in most conclusions in the matter. We challenge the validity of this misconceived rule, because the errant answers that have grown out of it have affected the very fundamentals of our faith. When coming to know Messiah Yeshua, one naturally asks some important questions: ‘Who are His chosen people? Who are Abraham’s heirs? Who is Israel?’”

    Racism as a Ruse

    FALSE CLAIM: In “The Ephraimite Error,” Silberling writes: “The Ephraimite message undermines the great power of … the Apostolic Writings. It tries to change a message of hope and comfort for all peoples regardless of their heritage… into a racist and race-based plan of salvation for those with the proper bloodlines … God’s relationship with Israel is not racial. … Israel … [has] never claimed racial priority as the basis for their covenant relationship to God. Jewish identity is based not on racial deliberations, but on a shared communal memory and on choice.”

    FACT: God’s relationship with Israel is racial to the extent that Abraham’s heir was from his loins, his seed was to be greatly multiplied, and Israel’s heirs are called the chosen people (Gen 15:4; 22:17; 24:60; 26:4; 28:3; Deu 7:6; Jer 33:24; 1 Pet 2:9). Silberling’s charge is disingenuous. Non-Jewish Believers cannot return to the land of Israel based on “shared communal memory” or “choice.” One must instead have a Jewish birth or conversion certificate. Neither can one “choose” to join her organization, which offers full membership only to those who were born Jewish, or are married to a Jew. Non-Jews can be “associate members,” and are encouraged to support the Jewish community financially, but cannot enter into their “shared communal memory” or “choose” to be a full member. The problem turns serious when they tell non-Jewish Believers they are not part of the people of Israel (despite scriptures like Eph 2:12,13 declaring otherwise).

    This has led more than 200,000 to deny faith in Yeshua and convert to Judaism (to be equal to the Jew). In “The Other Side of Evangelism,” Ronda Robinson writes, “A funny thing often happens on the way to trying to convert Jews to Christianity: The Christians convert to Judaism” (Jerusalem Report Magazine, Dec., 2001).

    The doors to Israel’s commonwealth were to be open to all who wanted to sojourn with them (Exo 12:48-49; Num 15:15-16; Isa 56:3-8; Eze 47:22; Eph 2:11-19). The MIA excludes no one from full membership, yet Silberling calls us “racists.” She uses race(s), racist(s) racism, 39 times in her paper. To the contrary, Wootten says Israel is found in every nation, are likely of every skin color, and no one can know for certain who is a biological Israelite. Silberling falsely claims Wootten promotes “white races” (six times), “Anglo-Saxons” and “British Israelism” (11 times). Yet, only six times does Batya mention race: once to say it is “wickedness” for man to include or exclude anyone on its basis and once to point out that Peter called the “aliens” a “chosen race” (1 Pet 1:1; 2:9-10). Apart from speaking of fields white for harvest, and of white robes and horses for the righteous, she does not even mention these words.

    Use of “Goy” and “Goyim”

    FALSE CLAIM: Silberling asserts, “Wootten claims every time the Hebrew word, goy, is employed, it is a reference to a Gentile or a Gentile nation … The first contention, then, that goy or goyim is always translated as Gentile or Gentiles is patently incorrect.” Yet Silberling footnotes her accusation, and in it, contradicts herself: “Wootten … acknowledges that it sometimes refers to Israel … she asserts that by the time of the conquest of the land by Israel, the name referred primarily to the foreign nations” (Who Is Israel?, pp. 82-83).

    FACT: It is wrong to say “Wootten claims that every time … goy, is employed, it is a reference to … a Gentile nation.” The truth is, Wootten said goy is “primarily used” in this way and gives verses where goy is used to describe Israel. Wootten has never contended that it is “always” translated as Gentile or Gentiles. Silberling proves her own charge is false yet accuses Wootten of “contradictions.”

    Blanket Accusations of Heresy

    FALSE CLAIM: Silberling and Juster refer to “Wootten and Koniuchowsky” more than 40 times in their paper, which was updated in 2007, but emails sent in 2002 between Koniuchowsky and Juster prove he knew Koniuchowsky left the Woottens/MIA in 2001. It is wrong to continue to categorize Wootten with Koniuchowsky; Juster knows he left because the Woottens would not allow him to continue some of his teachings under the MIA banner. People should be judged on their own works (Jer 31:30; 2 Cor 5:10). Yet, the UMJC accused “Wootten and Koniuchowsky” of things that Wootten never wrote, said, or believed.

    In 2002, Juster wrote to Koniuchowsky, “My paper for the UMJC was not a wholesale rejection of Batya’s work, but nuanced. It argues that there is something prophetic to the Ephraim issue, but that it is wrongly developed.” Additionally, his letter to Eddie Chumney and Monte Judah, requesting them to “distinguish their teaching from Batya Wootten so they could be accepted as brothers” presents contradictions and points to a problem beyond scripture interpretation.

    FACT: A “nuanced” point speaks of a shade, subtlety, or delicate difference. To be “heretical” is to have an opinion that is profoundly at odds with orthodox views and, for the Believer, in clear conflict with Scripture. Juster, like Silberling, contradicts himself.

    The truth is that — over “nuanced” differences in a teaching — Juster, the UMJC, International Messianic Jewish Congregations (IMJC), and the MJAA have blacklisted the Woottens, the MIA, and their associates for years. They warn musicians and speakers that, if they ever participate in an MIA event, they too will be blacklisted. They persist in this despite detailed counter-claims to their false charges.

    Replacement Theology

    FALSE CLAIM: Silberling uses incendiary words like “replacement,” “supplant,” and various forms of “supersession” 29 times in her attempts to incite people against Wootten and the Ephraimite teaching, to warn of Wootten’s supposed “militant” desire to replace Jewish Israel.

    FACT: Batya writes in her book Who Is Israel?:
    “[Replacement Theology] violates Paul’s Romans 11:18 warning … not to be ‘arrogant’ toward the Jewish branches. And one definitely finds a taste of arrogance in the bitter fruit of Replacement Theology. Moreover, this insidious ideology added fuel to Hitler’s Holocaust flame. By leading people to expect persecution of the so-called ‘rejected’ Jew, it encouraged a condescending placidity in the presence of gross evil.

    “Our God is by no means finished with Judah. For there is coming a time when, ‘On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, there will be deliverance … I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,’ says Yahveh Elohim (Joel 2:32-3:1). … He ‘will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people … and will … gather the dispersed of Judah.’ And, He caps this promise with a fearsome pledge: ‘Those who harass Judah will be cut off’ (Isa 11:11-13).

    “As promised, Judah is once again in the Land of our forefathers. And in view of the pressure currently being brought to bear against this tiny nation, it is imperative that Believers not be counted among those who, with unrighteous motives, come against her (Joel 3:2).

    “Judah remained a kingdom because they were beloved … This remains unchanged. Romans 11:28 says of the Jew, ‘From the standpoint of God’s choice, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.’” (pp. 90-92, 31-32.)

    Batya Wootten’s writings often caution Believers against wrong attitudes toward the Jewish people. She speaks against anti-Semitism, and she also stands up for the non-Jew, showing that they too are part of the “chosen people” (1 Pet 2:9-10). It is good that Jewish Believers are awakening to the Messiah, but they must learn to allow for the hundreds of thousands around the world who are similarly awakening to the truth about their own role in the coming reunion of Judah and Ephraim (Eze 37:15-28; Jer 50:4-5; Hos 1:11; Zec 10:7-10). There are hundreds of verses dealing with Ephraim’s last days return, and we must allow room to “agree to disagree” regarding them without labeling brethren or breaking fellowship. To handle differences in biblical interpretation, we must meet scriptural guidelines and correct with the eternal word of God. Scripture itself gives only three essential salvation doctrines: belief in the deity of Yeshua, in His resurrection, and in our salvation by grace. Apart from these, the Body of Messiah must allow for discussion and exegesis of the biblical text. Exegesis means “to draw the meaning out” which implies some messy digging and earnest pursuit of the truths found there — and in order to divide the scriptures in truth, personal agendas and political motives must be set aside as secondary.

    An Olive Branch and a Plea

    We sincerely pray that the days of the error-based “The Ephraimite Error” might finally come to an end; that we might collectively dispose of it and begin to walk together as brethren who can appreciate — if not fully understand — each other’s different callings and part in kingdom purposes. Why do we bring up this matter up once more? Because many in the Body of Messiah continue to be rejected, confused and even wounded by those who deny their scriptural identity within the commonwealth of Israel. The Nation of Israel needs friends who will stand strong with them.

    Understanding about their brotherhood brings rejoicing to both Judah and Ephraim; it leads to a greater honoring of the Father’s commands and causes Ephraim to want to stand with and support brother Judah. The Promise to Abraham is clear, and our God is now regathering His scattered and hidden ones. He is doing a new thing in the earth.

    Israel’s last days’ restoration is a glorious thing, and we do not want to be found opposing it. We who see His hand in this choose to enter into that new thing with all our heart (Gen 48:19; Jer 31:7-9 Eze 37:15-28; Hos 5:3; Zec 10:6-10).

    Our hope is to make peace with all involved and to step up to a new level of commitment to one another despite our differences, and to stop grieving the heart of our heavenly Father.

    So once more, for the sake of a unified Body, we extend the hand of fellowship and humbly invite our brothers and sisters to sit with us and begin dialogue on this important end-time matter. The goal is not for either “camp” to try to convince the other of its truths, but simply to respect and fulfill Yeshua’s last prayer for Believers. In John 17 He prayed that we might be unified so that the world may believe. Let us work together toward that scriptural end.

    “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psa 133:1)

     

     

November 27, 2008

November 12, 2008

  • How to Research the Bible Hebraically

     

     

    How to Research the Bible Hebraically

                                                                                                                                        

    The following segment is excerpted from the Book “The Rabbi from Burbank” by Rabbi Isidor Zwirn and Bob Owen:

     

                                                                                                Rabbi From Burbank_1                                                

     

    “My father wanted me to become a rabbi, just as his father had wanted him to be. For the past 2000 years or so, any Orthodox Jew who wanted his son to become a rabbi would send him to a Hebrew School called a yeshiva, also called a bet hamidrash, a ‘house of research.’ The name comes from the words bet, meaning ‘house’ and doresh which means ‘to seek, ask, question or research.’

    BeitMidrash4  

    From the very first day in the yeshiva, our textbook was the Torah. And, of course, the Torah was in Hebrew. As each student was called upon in turn, he had to read the next sentence and give his interpretation of what the verse meant to him. The teaching rabbi would then give his and other rabbi’s interpretation of that verse and encourage all the students to participate in the ensuing dialogue. Often this dialogue would center around the meaning of a single letter or a single word. The discussions that grew out of such intense studies gave rise to the standing joke that whenever two Jews meet for a conversation, you can expect at least three or four opinions. Basically, that is how we studied, both in the yeshiva and in our homes. This method taught us love and respect for the honest opinions of others, even though they might differ or conflict with our own.

     Learning

    The same method of study, with the same openess in expression of personal opinions, and the same respect for the opinions of others, was adopted whenever we studied, even at home during the times when my father and I would review the weekly portion of the Torah (which is read by Jews all around the world). We were taught, and I firmly believe it to be true, that there is no way of ever arriving at eternal truths unless all concepts and all opinions are allowed to be discussed openly. We were taught that this was the way that free men and children of the free were to study life. It could be said that this bet hamidrash method of study is based upon the commandment, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’

                                                BeitMidrash9                        

    In the Talmud it is written, ‘As a hammer splits the rock into many splinters so will a scriptural verse yield many meanings.’ An honest Bible scholar will inevitably realise the truth of this saying. The bet hamidrash method of studying Torah may sound strange to those who are accustomed to accepting their teacher’s viewpoint without personally investigating his statements. A yeshiva student would not neccessarily agree with the divergent points of view, but he was expected to accept them as being the honest views of the ones who expressed them. Each person had to decide for himself which of the expressed viewpoints was true for him.

                                     BeitMidrash1

    This bet hamidrash method of study would continue throughout the Sabbath in the small Bronx synagogue where my father and I attended, until just before the evening havdalah, the services which marked the end of the Sabbath. Then, even though no rabbi was present, the dialogue on the weekly portions would be loudly discussed around a table heavily laden with delicious Jewish food. These discussions were hot and heavy and to an outsider they might have appeared disorganised. Within Jewish Orthodoxy, scenes like this, portrayed in the motion picture, Yentl still continue.

                                                                                                         

    During the early years of study, the bet hamidrash principles of Torah study became so deeply ingrained in me that I could never forget them. The word Torah usually refers to the first five books of the Bible and is often translated ‘the Law.’ It is best translated, however, as ‘instruction’ or ‘teaching,’ God’s revealed will for our lives. To this day, I can hear the voices of my rabbis and teachers as they expounded. ‘Remember,’ they said over and over again, ‘Torah is our textbook. Only Torah. When we study Torah it is both our text and our commentary.’ To this day, when I study the Bible, I depend upon the Bible to be its own comprehensive and reliable commentary.”

    from ‘The Rabbi from Burbank,’ by Isidor Zwirn and Bob Owen (Fort Worth, Texas, 1986)  

           BeitMidrash2                      

     

     For helpful ‘Hebraic Roots’ resources, click on the following: 

      Hebraic Roots image_1 

     

    Nazarene Israel 

     

    Also, Click here to learn more from Rabbi Zwirn (of blessed memory).

November 6, 2008

  • Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

    Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

     

     

    The following was excerpted from an online book written and published for free on the internet by Rabbi Isidor Zwirn (of blessed memory) back in the 1990’s.  It was entitled “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”.  Rabbi Zwirn was affectionately known as “The Rabbi from Burbank” because of an autobiography of his life which had been published earlier by that title; and which detailed how he, as an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, had come to discover that Yeshua HaNotzri (Jesus of Nazareth, or as Rabbi Zwirn would translate it, “Jesus the Preserver”) was indeed his Messiah.  Although the book was later republished by an alternate title “A Rabbi’s Search For Messiah”, it is yet still available under its original title: “The Rabbi From Burbank“.

                                        Rabbi From Burbank_3

    His entire online book, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper”, is no longer available online.  However, here’s my favorite chapter from that book.  If you’re a Zionist Christian you’re going to love this, his twelfth chapter… be blessed.   

     

     

     

    Chapter Twelve

     

     

     

    Eternal Truth Number 12

     

    This chapter is devoted to our Eternal Lord’s plan of peace. Thus it is the perfect plan that was laid out prior to the creation of this universe. The natural order of events will surely be fulfilled. Note the word “Perfect” ascribed to our Supernal Living Lord. Everything HaShem does took eons and eons of years to plan ahead. If the God of Israel made one mistake, this whole universe would return to “Tohoo VaVohoo” [disorder, chaos]. Therefore rest assured that all other plans of peace made by imperfect created beings will never even begin to compare with our Lord’s “Eternal Covenant of Peace” revealed to Ezekiel in chapter 37 of his prophecy.

     

    I hope to guide readers to choose, as I have done, the one event that I believe “will renew the face of the earth”…

                                              Temple Crown

    This event is “the Coronation of the Eternal King over the people of Judah and Ephraim” which is now comprised of Jews and the Christians. Any one who does not hope to be invited to the greatest event in the history of the human race will surely not be invited. This is because they have not yet researched the destiny of the 12 tribes of Israel among the nations as recorded in Torah.

     

                                                                    

    calling-all-nations_xanga

               

     

    An explanation of the divine destiny of the 12 tribes of Israel – Our Lord’s plan of peace for all humans as promised in Psalm 29 and prophesied in Ezekiel 37:

     

    Verse 15, 16: HaShem directs Ezekiel to “Take one stick and write upon it for Judah and his brethren of Israel. Then take another stick and write upon it for Joseph, the tree of Ephraim and his brethren of Israel”

     

    Verse 17: “and join one to the other to make them one stick so that they become one stick in your hand”

     

    Verse 18: “and when the children of your people speak and say to you, ‘Will you please tell us what does this action mean to you”?

     

    Verse 19: “Say to them, ‘Thus says HaShem, Behold I will take the stick of Joseph now in the hand of Ephraim and their brethren tribes of Israel and I will put them upon the stick of Judah and make them one stick so that they will be one in MY HAND”

     

    Verse 20: “and the stick upon which you wrote will be before their eyes, remaining in your hand.

     

    Verse 21: “Now say to them, ‘Thus says HaShem, I am taking the children of Israel from among the nations where they have gone and I will gather them from every side and will bring them back to their own land.

     

    Verse 22: “and I will make them on nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to all of them. They will no longer be two nations. Neither will they be divided into two kingdoms anymore.”

     

    Verse 23: “Neither shall they defile themselves anymore with idols, detestable things and their transgressions. I will bring them salvation to all their dwelling places where they sinned. I will cleanse them so that they will be my people and I will be their God.”

     

    Verse 24: “My servant David will be king over them and they will have one shepherd. They will walk in my regulations, and observe and do my rules.”

     

    Verse 25: “Then they will dwell in the land which I gave to Jacob, my servant, where your patriarchs dwelt. They shall live there with their children and their children’s children forever.”

     

    Verse 26: “I will make for them a covenant of peace. It shall be an eternal covenant with them and I will establish them and multiply them. I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever.”

     

    Verse 27: My divine presence will be over them and I will be their God and they shall be my people.”

     

    Verse 28: “The nations shall know that I am the God that sanctifies Israel for my sanctuary will be in their midst forever.”

     

    In summary of HaShem’s Plan of Peace:

     

       1.Judah and Ephraim will become one nation once again. Thus fulfilling the promises made to the Patriarchs, Matriarchs and Israel’s prophets of truth. These promises state that all 12 tribes will remain eternal, just like HaShem’s covenants, Laws and truths found in Torah.

       2.HaShem will take the children of Israel from among the nations wherever they have gone, gather them and bring them back to their own land and make them “one nation upon the land of Israel”.

       3.One King will be king and Shepherd over the united 12 tribes of Israel, who in reality is The King of kings and the Lord of lords. “My servant David shall be king over them all” in verse 24, is referring to Yeshua as all three titles point messianically to Yeshua - “King”, “Shepherd” and “David”. Thus the 12 tribes will no longer be divided into two kingdoms as they were after King Solomon’s death.

       4.Reunited and reborn, Israel will be cleansed so that they will be God’s people and HaShem will be there only God forever.

       5.The 12 tribes of Israel shall receive a covenant of peace. It shall be to them an eternal covenant.

       6.Then all nations shall know that HaShem has sanctified the entire nation of Israel since God’s sanctuary will be in their midst forever establishing that God was faithful to his words and promises as recorded in Torah.

     

     Now all families of the earth will rush to become first class citizens of the Zionist State of Israel with Yeshua as her King. For according to the biblical laws of Moses, strangers and foreigners have always had the choice to become citizens of Israel on equal footing with native-born Israelites. Thus the racist “Gezerot” or laws of the rabbis will be manifest as anti-biblical and therefore obsolete. All strangers will see before their very eyes the benefits gained when they become first class citizens of Israel.

     

    Furthermore, most of the earth will be “Netzerized” or Christianized in the truest and fullest sense of the word. Not as the historic church attempted by adopting the doctrines of men and demons becoming destroyers or “meshumids”. This is how I believe “the face of the earth will be renewed”.

     

    Readers who have not fully researched the four major prophecies about “Jesus the Preserver” and his disciples, the “Notzrim” (or Christians) should do so if confused. These four major prophecies were researched in chapter 9 and include:

     

       1.Isaiah 11:1 coupled with Isaiah 10:21

       2.Isaiah 66:7,8

       3.Jeremiah 31

       4.Micah 5:1,2

     

    Additional evidence which can be found in the New Testament:

     

       1.Galatians 3:29 “if you are of Christ, then you are of Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise”

     

       2.The reason why this premise is true is explained beginning with verse 23 of Galatians, chapter 3.

     

         Verse 23: “Before the coming of the truth, we were in custody being shut in by faith under the Torah. However the evidence of the “emunah” [faith] (or Truth) would be revealed afterwards.”

     

         Verse 24: “Therefore the Torah has become our tutor of truth that leads us to Christ so that we will be justified by truth.”

     

         Verse 25: “But now that the truth has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

     

         Verse 26: “For you are all children of God, through truth of the Messiah Jesus”.

     

         Verse 27: “For all of you who were baptized into Messiah have clothed yourselves with Messiah.”

     

         Verse 28: “Therefore there is neither Jew or Greek, neither slave or freeman, neither male or female, for all of you are one in Messiah Jesus”.

     

         Verse 29: “if you are of Christ, then you are of Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise”

     

         Just as the prophesied: Messiah- that is Yeshua HaNotzrei- fulfills all the other prophecies; so does he fulfill verse 29.  All Jews and Christians or those of the southern tribes of Judah and the northern tribes of Ephraim are eternal members of the eternal family of Israel.

     

       3.Ephesians 2:19 “Therefore, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow-citizens with the saints and of the house of God.”

     

    To come to this conclusion we are taught in the preceding verses 13-18:

     

    Verse 13: “But now in Jesus Christ, you who were formerly far removed, were brought near through the blood of Christ.”

     

    Verse 14: “For he himself is our peacemaker who made both groups (Judah and Ephraim) into one. And broke down the fenced-in dividing wall

     

    Verse 15: “By abolishing in his flesh the enmity of the laws and ordinances of ‘Gezerotehem’ [prophibitive laws enacted by the Rabbis with the intent of severely restricting contact between Jews and Gentiles]. Thus of himself he made the two into one. This is how he made peace between Judah and Ephraim.

     

    Verse 16: “And he reconciled the both through the cross, into one body [assembly] of God, thus putting to death the enmity between them.”

     

    Verse 17: “He came to bring the good news of peace to those nearby and afar

     

    Verse 18: “For through Him [Christ] we both [Jews and non-Jews] now have access to our Father in one spirit.

     

    This is the reason that Christians are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, they are fellow-citizens of Israel as cited above.

    Verses 20 through 22 continue to be in full agreement with verse 19. Unfortunately, these verses are in strong disagreement with Church-Christianity’s teachings and will finally have to come out “on top of the bushel” in order to set the Jews and Christians free to take hold of their divine inheritance as promised by God.

     

     Yes! Yes! Yes! Our Eternal Lord Jesus Christ did not forget the “Lost Sheep of Israel” or “The Children Left of the Sword” which Assyria sent into the “holocaust” due to the captivity in 722 BC.

     

    Prior to the creation of the world, HaShem planned that the northern tribes of Israel would return to their Promised Land as revealed in:

     

    Isaiah 11:16: “And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people that remained from Assyria”

     

    This “highway” being described is analogous to the day the 12 tribes left the land of Egypt.

     

    The more and more Jews and Christians study and research Our Eternal Lord’s Plan of Peace and the more they realize that when Jews and Christians intermarry, it is nothing more than one from one tribe marrying a person from another of the 12 tribes, thus making the Second Coming of the Messiah imminent.

     

    Why will the Arabs and the rest of mankind want to become fellow-citizens of the Zionist State of Israel?

     

    Chapter 48 of the Psalms teaches us:

     

    Verse 3: “God in her places has made Himself known as a stronghold”

     

    Verse 4: “When the kings assembled, they came forward together”

     

    Verse 5: “They saw straightaway in amazement. They were frightened and hasted away”

     

    Verse 6: “Trembling took hold of them as the pangs of a woman in labor”

                                       

    When tyrants and dictators see “The stronghold of Ephraim and Judah” established, they will end their wars against the Zionist State of Israel. If they could not destroy the youngest and least numbered of united Israel, how could they possibly conquer the now “Completed” Israel?

     

                                                   zion

     

    All that remains for the united and “shalem” [whole, complete] State of Israel is to follow the “instructions and directions” found in the rest of chapter 48 in verses 13 through 15:

     

     “Walk around the city of Zion and count the strength of those towers … that you tell its future generations … this is our God forever and ever … He will guide us eternally”

     

    When all the families of this earth will see “The Strongholds of Zion” only a small minority will not want to live under:

     

         “Liberty” instead of “Tyranny”

         “Eternal Peace” instead of “War”

         “Justice” instead of “Injustice”

         “Universal Brotherhood” instead of “Nazism/Racism”

     

                                                      globe2

     

    If after reading this you would like to receive a free ‘pdf copy’ of Rabbi Zwirn’s 50 page book, entitled “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”, then please drop me a line to request it.

October 15, 2008

  • Evidence of the Jewish Background of the Early Church

    Evidence of the Jewish Background of the Early Church

    Jewish Leadership in the Early Church

    [Orginal article found at: http://www.haydid.org/yeshron1.htm]

     Dr  

    by Dr. Ron Moseley

    Contrary to what some believe, the first fifteen bishops of the original Church at Jerusalem were Jewish. In his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius tells us that “the church at Jerusalem, at first formed of the circumcision, came later to be formed of Gentile Christians, and the whole church under them, consisted of faithful Hebrews who continued from the time of the apostles, until the siege of Jerusalem.”(1)

    In his second-century historical work, Hegesippus describes the rivalry between a man named Thebouthis and others, seeking the position of bishop after the death of James, who was said to be the first pastor at Jerusalem.(2) According to Hegesippus, the Hebrew Christians finally chose Simeon, who was a cousin of the Lord, to succeed James. Epiphanius lists the remaining thirteen Jewish pastors of the Jerusalem Church as Justus, Zaccheus, Tobias, Benjamin, John, Mathias, Philip, Seneca, Justus, Levi, Ephrem, Joseph, and Jude, completing the historical record all the way up to the Bar Kochba Revolt (A.D. 132-135).(3) These Jewish relatives of Jesus who led the early Church were called Desposynoi, meaning “heirs,” and were often persecuted because of their Davidic lineage and their relationship to the Messiah.

    During the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117-138), the Jewish nation was crushed in what came to be called the Second Jewish War. Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina by the Romans, and Jews were forbidden to enter the city for one hundred years. As these dramatic events were unfolding, many of the Hebrew Christians fled to the mountains of Pella, located in present-day Jordan, in obedience to Christ’s instruction found in Matthew 24:16. This left only Gentile believers in control of the Church for the first time, and they quickly appointed a man named Mark as Jerusalem’s first non-Jewish pastor.(4) (5) According to Baring Gould’s history, the community of believers in exile, led by James and Simeon, was still clinging tightly to the old traditions while crouched at Pella.(6)

    The Influence of the Synagogue

     Synagogue door

    On the Organizational Structure of the Church

    Since the Hebrew Christians were not completely removed from Jerusalem until well into the second century, for its first one hundred years, the Church remained very much a part of first-century Judaism, and its leaders stayed involved in many Jewish affairs. There was no immediate split from the synagogue, as evidenced by Jesus’ warning that some synagogues would punish His followers for preaching a different brand of Judaism ( Matthew 10:17). We know that this scourging by synagogue leaders was not an abnormal part of normative Judaism since it is mentioned a number of times in early rabbinical literature.(7)

    The structure of the local synagogues was carried over directly into the structure of the early Church. A president, deacons, a precentor (song leader), and teachers can all be found in both the synagogue and the early Church. We know from early sources that there were between 394 and 480 synagogues in Jerusalem during the first century, one being located within the precincts of the Temple itself.(8) This is undoubtedly why the early pattern of the Church had its origins in the Jewish synagogue. Note the following similarities between the ancient synagogue and the early Church.

    The principle leader of a synagogue was the nasi or president. In the Christian congregation, the leaders were still called president rather than pastor, as late as A.D. 150, by such non-Jewish writers as Justin Martyr.(9) In the synagogue structure, three of these leaders would join together to form a tribunal for judging cases concerning money, theft, immorality, admission of proselytes, laying on of hands, and a host of other things mentioned in the Sanhedrin section of the Mishnah.

    These men were known as the “rulers of the synagogue” because they took on the chief care of things, a title mentioned several times in the teachings of Jesus (Mark 5:22 and Luke 8:41). This practice was still in use among the Gentile congregations at Corinth under the apostleship of Paul, where he spoke of the court within the congregation (1 Corinthians 6:1-2).

    The nasi was the administrator of the synagogue, and we know that James, the half-brother of Jesus, was the nasi of the early Church at Jerusalem. Early documents such as the Didache suggest that the churches in Asia Minor and Greece treated the Church at Jerusalem with much the same authority as the synagogues did the Sanhedrin.(10) (11)

    There also was a public minister of the synagogue called a chazen who prayed, preached behind a wooden pulpit, and took care of the general oversight of the reading of the Law and other congregational duties. He did not read the Law, but stood by the one who did, to correct and oversee, ensuring that it was done properly. He selected seven readers each week who were well-educated in the Hebrew Scriptures. The group consisted of one priest, one Levite, and five regular Israelites (Luke 4:16). The terms overseer of the congregation, angel of the church, and minister of the synagogue all referred to this position.(12)

    There were also three men known as almoners or parnasin who cared for the poor and distributed alms and were expected to be scholars of the Scriptures. Since they were also known as gabbay tzedikah, it may be from this function that we get the modern term deacon. Some scholars hold that it was from these seven, the president, the ruler, the overseer, the chazen, and the three parnas, that the idea of selecting “seven good men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom” came about (Acts 6:3). These men were appointed over the business affairs of the Church so the apostles would not have to be distracted from their study of the Scriptures and prayer.

    In Jewish literature the question is asked, “Who is a scholar worthy of being appointed Parnas?” The answer is “He who is asked about a law from any source, and is able to give an answer.”(13) In modern times the Jews use this term to refer to a lay person, who is also called an elder.

    Another function in the ancient synagogue was the shaliach, or announcer. From this position we get the term apostle, meaning one who is sent forth to announce the gospel, a role equivalent to that of our modern missionaries. There was also the maggid, a migratory evangelist of the first century who spoke to various congregations, and the batlanim, a scholarly teacher who was either independently wealthy or on some type of support so he would be available to provide the congregation with accurate academics and answers. There had to be at least ten batlanim in every congregation of one hundred and twenty members. There was even a tradition that a synagogue service could not commence without ten men present.(14) Jesus may have been referring to this tradition when He said, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).

    Next, there was the zakin, a word meaning “old,” more in the sense of maturity than age. This person provided counsel to the people and was similar to a modern-day pastor or elder. In Judaism, those who had reached the age of forty were considered to have attained understanding, and those who were over fifty were considered worthy to counsel the younger people.(15) The rabbi was a prophet after the manner of the post-exilic prophets of Judaism. He carried the responsibility of reading and preaching the Word and exhorting and edifying the people (1 Corinthians 14:3). There was also the interpreter, known as the meturganim. This was a person skilled in languages who stood by the one reading the Law or teaching in a Bet Midrash (a house of study) to interpret into the lingua franca of that day the Hebrew that was being spoken. The use of an interpreter goes back to the time of Ezra, when the interpreter was said to have added the meaning. The Talmud gives many details of the interpreter’s duties in the synagogue.(16) It is from this concept that we understand Jesus’ words, “What you hear in the ear, preach upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:27). This phrase was easily understood by those who were familiar with the system of study in the Bet Midrash, where the teacher would literally speak the message in the interpreter’s ear, who would then shout it out to others, both inside the classroom and out.

    Jewish Customs In the Early Church

     58119

    Besides the organizational structure of the early Church having its roots in the synagogue, many of its customs were also Jewish. All of the initial Christians were either Jews by birth or by conversion, and apparently there were no Gentile members for at least the first ten years. This conclusion is implied by several texts, including Acts 10, where, approximately ten years after His ascension, the Lord had to instruct Peter three times to go into the house of a Gentile. This strongly suggests that the Jewish Church had been meeting house to house and breaking bread only in Jewish homes up to the time (Acts 2:42-46). Furthermore, when Peter entered the house of Cornelius, he explained to his household that he still understood it to be unlawful for a Jew to enter the house of a non-Jew (Acts 10:28).

    Further evidence of the Jewishness of the early believers can be found in an incident recorded in Acts 21:20, an incident which occurred some twenty-five years after the Lord’s ascension. When Paul returned to Jerusalem with some charitable contributions for the believers, he was told that during his absence many thousands of Jews had become believers, yet they continued to be staunch upholders of the Law.

    Hebraic Names For the Early Church

     Shin

    Not only were the first fifteen elders of the Jerusalem Church Jewish, but so were the initial names applied to the early congregations. The term Minim, meaning “heretics” in Hebrew, was used by some in the Jewish community to describe the new believers. The Way, used in Acts 22:4 and 24:14, was a Messianic term taken from texts such as Isaiah 40:3, which refers to preparing “the way of the Lord.” The Nazoraioi is Greek for Nazarenes (Acts 24:5) and is obviously derived from Jesus’ Jewish hometown. The term Messianists is derived directly from the Hebrew word Messiah. Epiphanius’ history says that before the believers were called Christians, they were for a short time known by the title Iessaioi, probably derived from the name Jesus, (17) a name saturated with the idea of salvation. Each of these names has a Hebraic background and is closely related to an Old Testament text.

    The word Christian does not come from the Hebrew word for Anointed One but from a Greek word, and was not used by the Jerusalem Church at all. Christian was first used as a Gentile title for the believers at Antioch some forty to forty- five years into the first century (Acts 11:26). The term “were called” suggests that the name was coined by those outside the Church, perhaps to distinguish the disciples of Christ from unconverted Gentiles, as well as from other branches of Judaism. There is no evidence that the term was used extensively as a self-designation by the early Church, since it is only used three times in the New Testament and only once by a believer (Acts 11:26, 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16).

    The word Christian does not appear consistently as a self-designation until the Didache,(18) and was used later by Ignatius during the late first or early second century.(19) The reason this term was not used earlier may be explained by a letter from the Roman Governor Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan around the year A.D. 112. The letter indicates that those identifying with this name were killed.(20)

    In examining the Jewish roots of the Church, it is important to differentiate between the Hebrew Christians, such as the Nazarenes and Messianists at the beginning, and the various groups of Ebionites with Judaizing traits, which were active around the turn of the first century. The early Hebrew Church was composed of those who believed in justification by faith as well as those who stressed traditions that involved legalism. Although most Jewish believers continued to keep the Sabbath and the various laws that differentiated them from non-Jews, strictly as an identification code, they did not require it for their non-Jewish converts. This identification as a Jew had nothing to do with salvation, but was kept by Jews as a reminder of the special eternal Covenant that God had made with them as a chosen people. The Covenant reminded God’s people that they were the guardians of the Holy Land and were obliged to maintain and preserve the Law (Genesis 15:18, 17:7-10, Deuteronomy 7:6, Psalms 105:45, Ezekiel 16:6, Isaiah 44:1 and Romans 3:1-2).

    After an investigation of all Scripture relating to Israel, it appears that the chosen people status was not awarded as a special privilege, but because the people of Israel could be trusted to preserve the Law of God (Psalms 105:45). Although some 170 of the 613 Laws of the Torah apply to moral and ethical matters, few Christians recognize them as a part of modern theology and it has fallen to the Jewish people to preserve this aspect of God’s Law until the present.

    [VIEW AN IMPORTANT VIDEO- after the bibliography below- ON THE TOPIC OF 'THE EARLY MESSIANIC CHURCH':  It’s a most enlightening interview on the early history of the Messianic Church.  Dr. Robert D. Heidler reveals some amazing information during his visit to the Sid Roth TV program- “It’s Supernatural”.]

    ***Also, the manuscript spoken of in the video interview (at the bottom) is now a published book entitled “The Messianic Church Arising!”


    Chapter One 25 Teaching Questions Follow in the Text. In order to make this book a viable part of your studies, Ron included questions that may be used in discussion within a group, or for your own enrichment and review. 20 Endnotes for Chapter One: (1) Isaac Boyle, trans., Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, H.E. 5 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, l974), pp. 4-6. (2) Ibid., H. E.: 3, 32,6. (3) Us, H.E.IV.5. (4) Eus, H.E.III 5,3; Epiph.paw.29:7,7;30:2,7. (5) Ibid., H.E. 4,6. (6) Baring, Gould, “Schonfield’s History,” Lost and Hostile History, (London: Duckworth Publications, 1936), p. 35. (7) Rabbi Isidore Epstein, ed., Soncino Talmud, Sanh. 9:6; Yev. 90 (London: Soncino Press, 1948). (8) Jerusalem Talmud, Meg. 3:1; Ket. 105a; Sot. 7:7,8; Yoma 7:1 (London: Soncino Press, 1948). (9) Alexander Roberts, ed., Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company), p.186. (10) Roswell Hitchcock, ed., Didache 8, (Willits, CA: Eastern Orthodox Publishers, 1989), chapters 11-15. (11) Issac Boyle, trans., Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History 3.25.4 (Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1974). (12) John Lightfoot, “Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica,” Hebraica, Vol. II., Rev. 3:1,7,14 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publications, 1979), pp. 89-99. (13) Rabbi Isidore Epstein, ed., Soncino Talmud, Shab. 114a (London: Soncino Press, 1948). (14) Lightfoot, op.cit., p.89. (15) Philip Blackman, ed., Mishnah, I Pet. 5:5; I Tim. 5:1; Avot 5:21 (New York: Judaica Press, 1983). (16) Rabbi Isidore Epstein, ed., Soncino Talmud, Meg. 4; Maimon.Tephillah, 12; Massecheth Soph. 10 (London: Soncino Press, 1948). (17) Ray Pritz, Nazarene Jewish Christianity (Jerusalem: magnes Press, Hebrew University, 1992), p. 13. (18) Roswell Hitchcock, ed., Didache, 12:4 (Willits, CA: Eastern Orthodox Publishers, 1989). (19) David Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. I, (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 925-26. (20) David Freedman, ed., “Pliny Letters 10:96,” Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. I (New York: Doubleday), p. 926

                             THE MESSIANIC CHURCH

                              

September 29, 2008

  • The End of the Exile For The Northern Kingdom

              END OF THE EXILE FOR THE NORTHERN KINGDOM


    Ezekiel_left side_390 days  Ezekiel 37_dry bones arise   calling-all-nations_xanga

          

    The ancient biblical prophet, Ezekiel, was told by YHWH to lay on his left side [curiously… the side traditionally associated with 'Din' (Judgment) and 'Gevurah' (Rigor)] in order to symbolically prophesy the judgment that was to come upon the Northern Kingdom [i.e., The 10 Northern Tribes of the House of Israel; collectively, known as Ephraim].  He was to lay on his left side for 390 days, which he was told would represent 390 years of Divine judgment to be executed upon the House of Israel… aka, Ephraim.  He was furthermore instructed to lie on his right side for a further quantity of 40 days (years) which would depict the prophesied judgment which was to fall upon the Southern Kingdom of the House of Judah. (Ezekiel 4:1-6)

    Unlike the House of Judah at the end of their Babylonian captivity, Ephraim (i.e., the 10 Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel) did not repent and return to YHWH and to His Torah at the end of their judgment period proceeding from their Assyrian captivity.  Therefore, according to the principle laid out in Leviticus 26, their punishment [i.e., exile and loss of identity… Hosea 8:8; Amos 9:9; Micah 5:8] was multiplied by 7 times the more. (Leviticus 26:18, 21, 24, 28).


    390 years x 7 = 2730 years

     

    The ancient captivity of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians began with their final conquest in 722-721 B.C.E.  When, therefore, would the protracted Divine judgment (based upon Leviticus 26) upon the House of Israel/ Ephraim [i.e., exile and loss of identity…Isaiah 10:21-22be over?

    The Answer:


         2730 – 722 B.C.E. [+ 1 because there is no year zero] = 2009 C.E.   

    OR   

      2730 – 721 B.C.E. [+ 1 because there is no year zero] = 2010 C.E.

    For YHWH promised the House of Israel/Ephraim the following:

    “And I shall sow her for Myself in the earth, and I shall have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion.  And I shall say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people,’ while they say, ‘My Elohim!’” (Hosea 3:23, The Scriptures)

    The end of the exile for the House of Israel/ Ephraim is NOW AT HAND; and they will in the very near future be able to reunite with the House of Judah in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:15-28 

    Click on the following to see: Ephraim’s Declaration of Unity in Support of Israel and the Jewish People!                  

                       

    IF YOU’VE FOUND THIS INFORMATION ENLIGHTENING THEN PLEASE VIEW THE BLOG ENTRIES ENTITLED ‘Was Jeremiah Speaking of You?…’ and also the ‘Two Houses of Israel Tract’.  I BELIEVE THEY’LL GREATLY BLESS YOU!… SHALOM B’SHEM YESHUA

         

March 9, 2008

  • Reply to a Believer Questioning the Proper Pronunciation of the Savior’s Name

    Reply to a Believer Questioning the Proper Pronunciation of the Savior’s Name

    By Aviel Rodriguez

     

     Hi Sister,

     

    This polemic on the proper spelling/pronunciation of the Savior’s name has been going on ad-nauseum for the longest time… I’m quite tired of it.  Sometimes, I think that if believers would only spend half as much time doing tzedukah (acts of charity) towards one another as they do in theological debates, we’d be in pretty good shape. Nevertheless, you’re right to have inquired about it. 

     

    In any case, I’m neither as adamant nor as dogmatic as the gentleman who wrote up the doctrinal article which prompted your question… i.e., on the proper pronunciation of the Savior’s name in its Hebraic form.  Personally, I tend to believe that while on earth the Master’s name was most likely pronounced “Yeshua/Y’shua”.  The problem arises, however, when some people insist on claiming a distinct transliteration for the Savior’s name in this form or another without allowing for variant pronunciations which either incorporate the expanded meaning of the name; or conversely, allow for the use of its shortened (indirect) form.  In addition, I believe there to be ample justification for variant forms of its pronunciation due in part to the absence of vowel points in the original Hebrew texts of the Bible.  The relevance of these two aspects will become more evident as you read further on. 

     

    Look at Isaiah 12:2… copied below from the JPS Hebrew/English TaNaKH- having Hebrew vowel points for proper pronunciation:

     

     הִנֵּה אֵל יְשׁוּעָתִי אֶבְטַח, וְלֹא אֶפְחָד:  כִּי-עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ יְהוָה, וַיְהִי-לִי לִישׁוּעָה.   

    2 Behold, God is my salvation (YESHUA); I will trust, and will not be afraid; for GOD (YAH) the LORD (YHWH) is my strength and song; and He is become my salvation (YESHUA).’

     

    The reality is that all these variations on the Savior’s name [i.e., Yeshua, Y’shua, Yehoshua, Yahshua, Yahoshua, Iaoushua, etc...] all mean the Salvation of YHWH in one form or another [as I will make clear]; and thus would, I believe, be acceptable.  Once again, I repeat that it’s the insistence on the part of English speakers who claim that their particular form of the pronunciation of the Savior’s name is “the only correct one” that causes so many problems.  Please take note of the following:

     

    1. The first Hebrew word in yellow (that you saw above) was ‘Yeshua’ (corresponding to the English word ‘salvation’).  This word is literally spelled ‘YESHUA’ in the Hebrew text.  However, the original Hebrew scrolls did not contain vowel points; and so, the written form of the name could be Y’shua (with a ‘yuh’ sound) or Yeshua (with a ‘yeh’ sound) or still Yashua/Yahshua (with a ‘yah’ sound).  As I said before, they all mean the Salvation of YHWH; for as the Scripture states in Isaiah 43:11…“I, even I, am YHWH; and beside ME there is no Saviour.”     

    2. The Hebrew word (above) in blue is literally ‘YAH’ in the actual Hebrew Masoretic text (for which the English translation poorly reads as ‘GOD’).  Therefore, so much for the dogmatists who claim that the literal pronunciation ‘YAH’ doesn’t exist in the Hebrew.  Not only that, but this verse literally states that YAH YHWH IS BECOME…YESHUA!!!

     

    3. That’s right!…The Hebrew literally states that YAH YHWH BECAME TO ME- MY YESHUA!  That’s the second Hebrew word in yellow (above)… corresponding to the words ‘my salvation’ on the English side. 

     

    Finally, sister, in Yeshua’s day it was clearly understood that there was no Moshia (Savior) other than YHWH.  Please look at this verse, Isaiah 43:11, that follows:

     

    אָנֹכִי אָנֹכִי, יְהוָה; וְאֵין מִבַּלְעָדַי, מוֹשִׁיעַ.

    11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no saviour

     

    1.  Moshia is the Hebrew word in yellow and corresponds to the English “saviour”.

     

    2.  YHWH is the Hebrew word in green and corresponds to the English “LORD”.

     

    Therefore, from all the above, we can plainly understand that for the Hebrew mind of Yeshua’s day there was no other Savior but YHWH; and so, the name ‘Yeshua’ would be synonymous with the ‘Salvation of YHWH’.  Moreover, if they’d had eyes to see and ears to hear, then they would have recognized that YAH YHWH had indeed arrived- as Immanuel [i.e., God with us]- exactly on time and in the manner foretold.  He was literally standing before them as their “Moshia” (Savior)- FOR YAH YHWH IS BECOME MY YESHUA (SALVATION)!!!

     

    YAH bless you.

     

    Aviel

     

     

     

January 27, 2008

  • My Testimony

    My Testimony

    By Aviel E. Rodriguez

     

    I believe that Yeshua min Natseret (Jesus of Nazareth) is Ha Moshiach (the Messiah), and Ha Melech Yisrael (the King of Israel).  I am seeking to follow His example.  Therefore, I’m becoming more and more Torah observant in the ruach (spirit) and in emet (truth).

     

    During my first seventeen years as a Christian- having been ‘born again’ in 1973- I felt a strong attraction to the Jewish roots of my Christian faith.  Moreover, my attraction to the Land of Israel and to the Jewish people- as a whole- became very strong.  In fact, it became so much so that I might’ve otherwise converted to Rabbinic Judaism had it not been for my firm conviction in the Messiaship of Yeshua HaNotzriy… in which I remain all the more steadfast to this day.  Wonderfully, I wasn’t alone in experiencing this Christian ‘phenomenon of attraction’ to our Jewish roots and to the Jewish people.  I’ve come to recognize that it’s been spreading around the “Christian world” for close to 40 years now! 

     

    Over the years, as I learned more about the Hebraic roots of our faith, I sought out and attended some Messianic Jewish congregations in order to express the joy of this newfound dimension of our faith with other believers of like mindedness.  Paradoxically, I eventually began to feel increasingly frustrated as a result of this very same inexplicable attraction that had drawn me and so many other “non-Jews” into returning back to these ancient paths.  This frustration that I speak of was due to a sense of unfulfillment… i.e., a sense that I (as a non-Jewish believer) wasn’t really feeling that I was being shown true acceptance as a full heir to the legacy of Yaacov (Jacob) by my Jewish brethren in the ‘Messianic Jewish community’.  Unfortunately, I never truly sensed that I was being accorded the status of “full citizenship in the commonwealth of Israel”- even though they said that I was. 

     

    I believe that they were sincere in their desire to express the unity of Jew and non-Jew… i.e., as it’s often stated… “as one new man in Messiah”.  However, that expression eventually began to ring a bit hollow in my ears as I would- on the other hand- continually hear them labeling me with the moniker of “gentile” (i.e., ‘of the nations’… as in separate from Israel).  Therefore, despite the rhetoric in the Messianic synagogues, I perceived that a non-Jew was not viewed as actually being a true “Israelite” of the seed of Avraham- despite what Galatians 3:28-29, Galatians 6:15-16; and Ephesians 2:11-13; 19 had to say about the non-Jewish believer. 

     

    I do love my Messianic Jewish brethren, and believe that they are sincere in wishing to express a spirit of unity between themselves and the non-Jewish believers.  Nevertheless, I believe that their expression of this is muddled.  Their vision for Jew and non-Jew as “one new man in Messiah” became more and more muddled to me as I continued to hear them refer to “their Jewish people”, “their Torah”, ”their Patriarchs”, “their Holy Days”, etc.  In the end, I grew to feel like a second-class citizen of the Kingdom. 

        

    Then in 1990- by Yah’s grace- I awoke to the understanding of the biblical prophecies concerning the other House of Israel… i.e., the House of Joseph/Ephraim.  These prophecies were speaking to me of that other part of Israel (historically speaking) that was separated from the Kingdom of Judah.  They spoke of the zera (seed) of this other House of Israel that had actually been scattered by Yahweh into ALL the earth; and ultimately, had become totally assimilated and seemingly “non-jewish”- seemingly lost to their brother Judah.  These prophecies also spoke of a day in which great numbers of their multitudinous descendants would yet be wonderfully reawakened, revived, and restored as ‘reborn Israelites’ in order to receive back again the fullness of their inheritance.  They would once again be joined to their brethren (the House of Judah) through the promised work of YHWH.  This work would be accomplished by the Faithful Shepherd… Yeshua HaMashiach- the Holy One of Israel- who would give his life for the sheep in order to draw them and guide them back onto the ancient paths! 

     

    For me, this revelatory information- which so impacted my life- came by way of a wonderful book entitled “Who Is Israel?”- written by Batya Wooten.  I also received some wonderful teaching on this subject from an Orthodox Rabbi who had come to faith in Yeshua HaNotzriy.  His name was Rabbi Isidor Zwirn (of blessed memory).  Around the year 1975, Rabbi Zwirn- while functioning as the “Zionist Rabbi” of his Orthodox synagogue- decided that he would teach his congregation everything that the Torah and the prophets had to say about ’the Messiah’.  At the end of a protracted period of research, he emerged from his study to make this startling statement… ”Yeshua Ha Notzriy (Jesus the Nazarene) was indeed the Messiah!” 

     

    This alone was wonderful enough; but also, through his research, Rabbi Zwirn had come to realize that the “non-Jewish believers in Yeshua” were actually the fulfillment of YHWH’s promise to restore the lost ten tribes- The House of Ephraim/Israel- back to their brethren, the House of Judah.  He realized that according to prophecy these “born-again Israelites” would one day become exactly what the Hebrew term for them (i.e., Notsrim) actually implies.  They would one day truly become “watchmen” (guardians, protectors) of the Torah and of their people, Israel; and they would no longer be the destroyers of them. 

     

    Rabbi Zwirn paid a severe price for proclaiming this testimony of Yeshua and of the planned restoration of all of Israel.  Nevertheless, he testified faithfully to the Gospel of the Kingdom and of its full restoration through Yeshua HaMoshiach for 25 years.  He did this principally through his established ‘Free Yeshiva of Zion’- until he went on to be with the Master on the eve of 2000 at the age of 85.  

     

    Having awakened to these truths; and having committed myself to their understanding… i.e., regarding the ‘Jewishness’ of our Faithful Messiah, Yeshua, as well as the promised restoration and reunification of all Israel, I, therefore, have dedicated this weblog to the dissemination of that information… by the grace of YHWH. 

     

    For anyone that might be interested, Rabbi Isidor Zwirn’s entire testimony can be read in his autobiography entitled “The Rabbi From Burbank” which can be obtained through Kenneth Copeland Ministries.  I also highly recommend the reading of Batya Wooten’s book, “Israel Revealed: Ephraim and Judah“ for starters.  May YAH richly bless you.

     

    Blessed be the name of YHWH!

     

     

    ** I invite you to view some of my other weblog entries… such as: Was Jeremiah Speaking of You? A Message To Zionist Christians  AND  Two Houses of Israel - Tract.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • The Sufferings of Moshiach- Tract


    The Sufferings of Moshiach- Tract

    compiled and edited by Aviel E. Rodriguez

     

     

    Yeshayahu HaNavi  (Isaiah the prophet) wrote concerning HaShem’s “Suffering Servant”.  Farther down, you’ll find (in red ) Isaiah’s prophecy regarding that “Servant”.  It was written 700 years before Yeshua min-Natseret (Jesus of Nazareth) was born.  Notable Jewish scholars of the past have concluded that the “Servant” spoken of in Isaiah’s prophecy is none other than the Moshiach (Messiah)… the “Suffering Servant” of HaShem who would come to make atonement for the sins of all Israel.  Their comments follow: 

     

    rashi2-s

     

    Concerning this “Servant”, the Targum Yonatan says in relation to Isaiah 52:13   “Behold, My Servant the Messiah shall prosper; he shall be exalted and great and very powerful.”

     

    Maimonides (The Ramba’m) said concerning Isaiah 52:15-53:2 – “Regarding the mission by which Messiah will present himself… Isaiah states, ‘He grew like a tender plant and as a root out of dry land… At him will kings shut their mouths, for what had not been told unto them shall they see, and what they never heard shall they understand.’”

     

    In Midrash Thanhumi, Rabbi Nahman says regarding Isaiah 53:3    “ ‘Man’ in the passage… refers to the Messiah, the Son of  David…” 

     

    The following is taken from the Masoretic Text of the T’nakh (Holy Scriptures) [Jewish Publication Society of America 1917] 

     

    Isaiah 52:13-15 through Isaiah 53 

    13 Behold, My servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.  14 According as many were appalled at thee–so marred was his visage unlike that of a man, and his form unlike that of the sons of men  15 So shall he startle many nations, kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they perceive.

          Suffering Servant_1     Suffering Servant_4

     

    1 Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed?  2 For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.

    3 He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  4 Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

     

    5 But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed.  6 All we like sheep did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath made to light on him the iniquity of us all.

     

            Suffering Servant_2     Suffering Servant_3

     

    7 He was oppressed, though he humbled himself and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, he opened not his mouth.

     

                

     

    8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and with his generation who did reason? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due.

    9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich his tomb; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.’

     

    10 Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper by his hand:

    11 Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full, even My servant, who by his knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities he did bear.

     

     

     brazen serpent_xang

    Yeshua said: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the ‘Son of man’ be lifted up [ref. to Bemidbar/Numbers 21:8-9 & Daniel 7:13-14] : That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (Yohanan/John 3:14-15) 

     

     

    12 Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

     

     

    MORE RABBINIC COMMENTARIES REGARDING MOSHIACH’S SUFFERINGS AND GLORY:

     

    R.JOSEPH ALBO OF TOLEDO[SEPHER IKKARIM 28:54] The Scripture calleth the Names of Messiah also: L-rd Zidkenu, because He is the Mediator through Whom we shall get the righteousness of the L-rd.
    .
    RASH MISHLE[10:21];Rab Huna counted amongst the seven Names of Messiah also: HaShem Zidkenu,
    [Referring to Jer.23:6].
    .
    R.ELIJAH DE VIDAS: The meaning of He was wounded for our transgressions bruised for our iniquities is, that since Messiah bears our inquities, which produce the effect of His being bruised,it follows that whoso will not admit that the Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities must endure and suffer for them himself. [on Is. 53]

     

    .
    SANHEDRIN [93B]:Messiah…What is His Name? The disciples of the school of the Rabbi [Yehudah Hanassi, the author of the Mishnah] said: Cholaja [The sickly] for it says[Is.53:4]: Surely He hath born our sicknesses & carried our pains; and we did regard Him stricken, smitten of G-d and afflicted. [See also note aa Pesiqta].

     

                                          Lamb of God          

    .
    Rabbi Moshe el Sheikh, Chief Rabbi of Safed…
    “I will do yet a third thing, and that is, that ‘they shall look unto
    Me,’ for they shall lift up their eyes unto Me in perfect repentance,
    when they see Him Whom they pierced, that is Messiah, the Son of Joseph; for our Rabbi’s, of blessed memory, have said that He will take upon Himself all the guilt of Israel, and shall then be slain in the war to make an atonement in such manner that it shall be accounted as if Israel had pierced Him, for on account of their sin He has died; and therefore,in order that it may be reckoned to them as perfect atonement they will repent and look to the Blessed One, saying, that there is none beside Him to forgive those that mourn on account of Him who died for their sin; this is the meaning of ‘They shall look upon Me…’”

     

    .

    G-d will set His own crown upon the head of King Messiah, and clothe Him with honor and majesty… Midrash Tehillim on Ps.21:3…Rabbi Hann in the name of Rabbi Aha; continues the thought…G-d will bestow a portion of His supernatural glory on Messiah….The Midrash then continues with two designations of Messiah; HaShem, a man of war and HaShem, is our righteousness.

     

    .
    [Midrash Echa (1:51):]…
    What is the Name of King Messiah? To this answered Rabbi Abba bar Kahana: HaShem is His Name, for it is written: ‘This is the Name whereby He shall be called: HaShemZidkenu’ [The LORD Our Righteousness].




    Click on the picture to view ‘Yeshua’ film in Hebrew:                                                         

     


    [Click here and see a special video series presenting an amazing revelation of Yeshua found in Bereshiyt/Genesis 22:15-16]