This Shabbat

Avoid this about Torah

yourway.JPGThis week I’m reading from the books of Titus and Colossians. In Titus 3:9 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) we read about the following:

“But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” Also in Colossians 2 16 CJB, it is written that

“So don’t let anyone pass judgment on you in connection with eating and drinking, or in regard to a Jewish festival or Rosh-Hodesh or Shabbat.”

I suppose I’m lucky in a sense. I grew up secular and as a young guy, my “religion” was a combination of girls, computers /science /math and soccer; and when Yeshua Mashiach found me, it was perhaps easier to believe in Yeshua than someone from a religious family. Before accepting Yeshua, I had no knowledge of the Bible (the TaNaKh – “Old Testament”) however, I had an experience which lead me to meet an Israeli (a fellow student at university) who was a believer in Yeshua. Through this person’s testimony, I found out about and accepted Yeshua. I truly started a new life with limited “religious baggage” if you understand what I mean. Generally, it is difficult when you start believing in Yeshua because of the opposition you get from your family, your friends, society etc, but I just know that if you grew up in a religious family, it’s even more so difficult.

Over the years, I’ve heard various opinions from other messianic believers that I’ve met about ways you should keep the appointed times, interesting interpretation about Torah etc. A couple of months ago, someone [in Israel] told me that I had to do this and that as it was “a requirement” and believing in Yeshua wasn’t enough (and even though I’ve been a believer for more than 15 years). I won’t go into the details and this person probably had the best intentions as she wanted to share about Yeshua to everyone she met. However, what she was telling me wasn’t Bible based but tradition. I don’t know if you’ve ever had an experience like this, but let’s always refer back to the principles given in the Bible. As Shaul [Paul] wrote, lets avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah. We are one community, all believing in Yeshua whether you are Jew or Gentile. These disagreements are all worthless and futile and leads to division within the community.

May you have a good week!

Random

Christian Zionism: More than Meets the Eye

Reblogged from rebelr3deemed.com

Evangelical communities in the United States have largely supported the nation of Israel and for good reason. Years of antisemitism and persecution have skewed the Jewish perception of their Christian counterparts, and has painted a false image of the very Jewish Jesus. Pastor John Hagee runs CUFI (Christians United for Israel) out of Texas, and over the years it has become one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in America. The Hebrew Roots movement and rise in Messianic Judaism may contribute to the fairly recent explosive support for the Holy Land.

Growing up as a reform Jew, my religion and ethnicity were so intertwined that Zionism was just as much of a religious virtue as say, tzedakah (charity) and mitzvoth (commandments and good deeds). I looked in awe at scenic laminated photos of the Western Wall and the Jerusalem skyline proudly displayed after a group from synagogue returned from a trip. Twice a week at Hebrew school the American and Israeli national anthems were sung and the flags were brought down together to the bimah (raised platform in the synagogue from which the Torah is read and services are held). Before Jesus found me and completed my Jewish identity in him, I was spiritually lost and wondered why I needed to travel across the world to experience God in a more powerful way. Since God created the heavens and the earth, it didn’t make sense to me that I was ‘less of a Jew’ if I hadn’t yet taken up my birthright trip or had tourist photos taken in a Middle Eastern desert.

As a thirteen year old studying for my bat-mitzvah, my knowledge of the Torah wasn’t extensive, but the various questions I had weren’t taken too seriously by my tutor. My portion was Korach, and after inquiring about the possibility of a man getting swallowed by the earth and how that could possibly relate to Jewish life here and now, he replied “Who knows if any of this sh*t is real”. (this is an example of a ‘flashbulb memory’. I don’t remember much else from bat mitzvah study at 13 but those words were so utterly shocking (and funny at the time) that they never left me and probably never will)). I figured that my religious confusion would be wiped away once I made it to that patch of land and that God would solidify my Jewish pride as I touched the wall. This wasn’t exactly the case. I visited Israel with my local church last summer as a hoopla after finally, through Jesus, achieving the assurance of an authentic relationship with God that I had always been searching for. I got the touristy desert photo & everything!

It was an incredible trip, consisting of an even deeper understanding of biblical sights & weirdo looks from people as I cried like a baby while sailing on the Sea of Galilee. What I also took away was that the Israel-Palestine conflict is more than meets the eye. After having met several Palestinian Christians when visiting occupied territory in the north, humanity superseded the messages I’d been fed about the entire people group for my entire life. It’s true that the government is extremely dangerous, hinges on Islamic principles, and fails to take proper care of its’ citizens. It’s also true that an all Jewish state agenda could push innocent families out of their homes and into worse situations simply because of their ethnic and national background. My friends who are staunch Christian Zionists believe that an all Jewish state needs to come to fruition in order to fulfill biblical prophecy.

The potential drawback of this thinking is putting religious piety before humanity and care for the lowly. This is exactly what we’re told not to do (Isaiah 2:12, Isaiah 23:9, James 4:6, James 4:10, Philippians 4:3, Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 27:2, Proverbs 29:23, Luke 14:11, Matthew 23:12, etc..). The word ‘humble’ occurs 71 times in the Bible, not including the variances ‘humility’ and ‘contrite’. That would give us an even 100. We know that the fullness of God’s plan will unfold regardless of our human attempts to assist, and Jesus makes it clear that our job is to simply obey and draw those from every tribe, nation, and tongue into his kingdom so they too can experience his peace. I will not put myself with one camp or the other, because labels don’t help us to actually understand people. Jesus ministered to individuals as well as to groups, and the need to assimilate can draw us away from our unique, God given identity and into a watered down form of spirituality. This conflict is more complicated than meets the eye, and Christians need to be a light and safe haven for the Jewish and Muslim communities pitted against each other. At the end of the day, we want every people group to notice something different about us. I’ve been called a pacifist, but knowing that Christ is the ultimate authority over every world power gives us the peace to walk confidently through tumultuous situations and show unconditional kindness to those who seem strange or unfamiliar.

Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men came forward, seized Jesus, and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reaches for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its’ place,” Jesus said to him,”For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” ~Matthew 26:50-52 (NIV)

During this holiday season my hope & prayer is that we focus on our similarities rather than our differences. Reversal of fortunes is a common theme weaved through God’s story, and it’s a call to us to treat our ‘enemies’ as his sons and daughters with infinite potential, marked with his fingerprint. As the wise Martin Luther King said,

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Christian Zionism: More than Meets the Eye

Uncategorized

Blogiversary & Testimony

blogiversary.pngHappy blogiversary to my blog!

Thank you very much for following and for all the likes. It’s really very much appreciated. A special thanks and acknowledgment to Kae Bucher from https://bucketsonabarefootbeach.com/ For some kool recipes, check out https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/

It’s been almost a year since I made my first 3 blogposts. A couple of months before I started blogging, I’d noticed many testimonies from Jewish believers in Yeshua on Youtube from 1 particular channel. I’ve seen a handful of testimonies over the years, but never these many.  I felt this intense need to also share in this; and to share about the biblical truth regarding the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua Mashiach (The Messiah). So, I started this blog. I say my first 3 posts because as I was new to blogging and WordPress, I thought about what to post about. I remembered what the Torah (ADONAI’S instructions) say about 2 or 3 witnesses. So, I posted 3 videos of my favourite testimonies from Jewish believers in Yeshua. That was a start….

I’ve been a believer in Yeshua Mashiach since 2002 . Before 2002, it was almost like I was “blind”. I had no idea. I just didn’t see nor understand anything about the Bible, Yeshua etc. Nothing. A couple of years before, in 1998, I was living in London, UK at the time. I made an attempt to search for a higher divine figure, but I was disappointed by what was presented to me. I didn’t feel nor experience anything in man made religions nor astrology. So, I didn’t pursue it further.

However, 1 night in early February 2002, my life changed. My eyes were opened, I rediscovered my Jewishness and this set me on a path to find the Jewish Messiah. At first, I thought I should focus on Orthodox  Judaism, but I was very cautious. You don’t just radically change your life just like that. It’s only logical that you have to test it and be sure. I decided to start by reading the Word of God and the Book of Genesis. I took a Bible and I really read this for the first time.  This Book is alive and I kept reading (and I’m still reading the Word of God every week). But, I had questions.

Later in 2002, I was a final year undergraduate student and I met a middle eastern looking man, an Israeli (same age as me) at a social gathering one evening. He was a friend of a friend of a friend (you know how it is). There was something about him. He was probably the most Jewish person I’ve ever met in my life, a Hebrew speaking Israeli, who was studying at the same university. As I was going through this transitional phase from a non believer to a believer, I had alot of questions. After this initial meeting, we met again one day on campus. We were both waiting for our classes. During this conversion, we discussed various things,  but for some reason ( I was quite direct (very tachles) I asked him whether he believed in Jesus (as I didn’t know the name Yeshua at the time). I don’t know why I asked this as Jews don’t believe in Yeshua…right?…right?…WRONG! He confirmed that he, his sister, parents and maternal grandfather were all believers in Yeshua and there were others. He explained that they emigrated from Israel as it was difficult being a believer and living in Israel. This testimony answered my questions. I placed my belief in Yeshua and I also started to keep ADONAI’s appointed times from that year onwards. (Also later in 2002, a family member who has visited Israel many times, also confirmed that there are Jews in Israel who believe in Yeshua and she also believe in Yeshua)

Since then, my life changed. It’s completely changed. It’s not a good nor great feeling…it’s is an “absolutely fabulous, amazing, super, out of this world, divine, pure, unbelievably shalom, beyond a natural high, peace at heart and mind, words can’t describe it” type of feeling.  I mean, if you are attending a group, congregation, temple, church (whatever you want to call it) and you are wondering why you are there, then you are at the wrong place. Instead, read the Word of God, pray in the name of Yeshua and experience 100% pure ADONAI. Find out the truth for yourself. It’s free.

To conclude: ADONAI is real! Yeshua is real! The Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) is Real! and you can be Jewish and believe in Yeshua. Afterall, Yeshua is Jewish! He is the King of IsraeL, AND the King of both Jew and Gentile. We are together part of the olive tree. Man made religion isn’t a true representation of ADONAI. Actually, it is completely false. Man made religion is similar to junk food. It looks good, but it’s really bad for you.  I was / am a sinner but I can see the strong Right hand of ADONAI working in my life many times over. HE has helped me out difficult situations & times, given me everything and more. I don’t deserve this grace, such love.

Life is really about this concept: we should walk with ADONAI, praise HIM, fear HIM, talk to HIM (through Yeshua) and follow HIS instructions. ADONAI, the Almighty Living God of Israel will show you amazing things.

I hope this will help you (whomever you are and your background) to find Yeshua Mashiach (the Messiah). Salvation and ADONAI’S instructions (Torah) have been sent out from Israel to everyone and are coming back to the Jews now.

This is my favourite testimony.