Separating the Wheat from the Tares

MARTYR

Are you in a church which adheres to the Word of God? Does your church leadership believe that no matter what happens in society, God and His Word never changes? Will your leadership refuse to marry members of the same sex? Does your leadership consider abortion to be murder and always proclaim that adoption is the right and moral way to deal with unwanted pregnancies.

Well, first of all, congratulations for being part of the true church – the kind of church that Jesus would have good things to say about, and would encourage you and praise you for standing strong for His Word.

There is the flip side of this coin, and that is what is coming to churches and pastors and leadership of these solid Bible believing churches will pay a heavy price. We will be persecuted and possibly put in jail for our beliefs.

You see, the LBGT movement has manipulated the law makers to equate their standing in society with the Civil Rights movement of Rev. Martin Luther King. They are considered to be a group that has been ostracized by society, and kept from rights that they are due. They have even had the Biblical meaning of marriage – between one man and one woman – changed, so that that marriage is now between any two people.

And you must understand, that because of these new laws, we Christians are considered intolerant and speakers of hate speech. Yes, brethren, we are now the enemy.

Isaiah 5:20
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

WHAT SHALL WE DO?

We must stand firm, no matter what. We must share the glorious Gospel of Christ with everyone. If we are placed in jail, then our mission field will be our guards.

I am not telling you these things to alarm you, but to prepare you.

If you have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, He will give you everything you need to stand in Him. We owe Him everything. He gave His life for us. Shall we not do the same for the brethren?

1 John 3:16
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Keep your eyes on the Prize!!!

MARANATHA!!

The Cross and How Jews Perceive It

CROSS TO JEWS 

Through the years, I’ve shared by testimony of becoming a Jewish Christian. Upon telling my testimony to people in church, I have seen two reactions:

  1. People are SO excited that a Jewish person has been born-again from above!
  2. People give me the deer in the headlights look, nod and move on.

I have come to a conclusion based on these two distinct reactions:

The people who are happy and excited about my testimony belong to Jesus and really adore Him.

The deer in the headlights folks just might be lukewarm, and we know what Jesus says about them:

“So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

I am SO blessed that the couple who shared the message of salvation did not pass me by because they knew that I am a Jew. They were obedient to God and His Word, and shared truth with me that night. They knew that everyone must come to the Father through Jesus Christ. Praise God, I came into His family that night.

Everyone knows about the Holocaust. But in this article, I will be taking my brothers and sisters in Christ back in time, to give you a better understanding of why the Jewish people are so offended by the Cross of our Lord Jesus.

The Early Church

Here is an account of the anti-Semitic view of Replacement Theology, which surprisingly started with the early church.

Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165) who was a Christian apologist, defended Christianity against its enemies.In his work titled, Justin Martyr With Trypho a Jew. He said that the seed of Jacob now referred to Christians and not the Jews. So began the infamous teaching of Replacement Theology.

Tertullian (A.D. 160-220) a church theologian from North Africa, wrote a derogatory and very anti-Semitic book titled, An Answer to the Jews around A.D. 200. This man twisted Scripture to fit his errant theology by claiming that the statement made to Rebekah about the twins (Esau and Jacob) within her (Genesis 25:23) was actually a reference to Jews and Christians.

He said that the older brother, Esau, represented the Jewish people. Jacob, the younger brother represented Christians. His premise was that the Christians would overtake the Jewish people. He said that the Jews would serve the Christians.

Origen (A.D. 185-254) was president of the school of theology in Alexandria, Egypt. He had a profound effect upon the church, by preaching that much of what is written about Israel in the Word, should be seen as allegorical – spiritualizing his interpretations. We know that the promises made to Israel are not open to interpretation. They should be taught and understood to be literal.

Origen took such liberties with the Word, claiming that the word Israel can mean the church. Not seeing and preaching God’s Word correctly (rightly dividing) becomes a slippery slope into myriad of heretical teachings. He was a Christian Universalist, believing in universal salvation for all people, and for the fallen angels.

Cyprian (A.D. 195-258) was a bishop of Carthage. He wrote, Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews. He maintained that the Jews departed from the God who loved them, and that because they had departed from God, they lost His favor. He taught that God sought out a people who would obey him, and all promises were taken from Israel and bestowed upon the Christians.

John Chrysostom (A.D. 347-407) known as the greatest preacher of the gospel in the Eastern church, preached messages titled, Against the Jews in Antioch of Syria.Many preachers followed suit, and preached anti-Semitism from their pulpits.

An influential bishop of Milan, Ambrose, considered the Jews to be infidels, wholly perverse, and incapable of thinking any good thought. He said that the burning of synagogues was no crime and encouraged it.

Augustine (A.D. 354-430) was known as the most influential person since the apostle Paul. He wrote, Tract Against the Jews and influenced the church so dramatically against Jews, that derogatory comments about Jews during the Middle Ages were usually called “Augustinian.”

Augustine decreed a new eschatological view called Amillennialism, which actually means no Millennium. In doing this, the prophecies in Scripture could be spiritualized, and taught that these were all referring to the church.

The Roman Catholic church adopted and adhered to all teachings of Augustine. [1]

Martin Luther in his later years turned on the Jews and wrote: “On the Jews and their Lies.” This sermon caused in one night the burning down of synagogues, and the slaughter of over 2000 Jews.

Adolph Hitler used Luther’s teachings on the Jews, to justify slaughtering Jews and finally ridding the world of them.

John Calvin, another father of the Great Reformation said:

“Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.” (Ad Quaelstiones et Objecta Juaei Cuiusdam Responsio, John Calvin)

As you can see, Replacement Theology is NOT a new teaching in the history of the church.

Eschatology Affected by Replacement Theology

The original view of eschatology in the church was called Chiliasm. This word is from the Greek word for “one thousand.” It taught that Christ will return to earth at the Second Coming and that He would establish His Kingdom upon the earth and rule for the last thousand years of earth’s history. Today, we call this view Premillennialism. Even though this view of eschatology was based on the Old Testament, and taught by Jesus and His Apostles, the anti-Semitic teachers of the Word rejected Chiliasm as being a “Jewish view.”

This anti-Semitic view so permeated the Eastern Gentile Christians, that the book of Revelation was removed from the canon beginning in the fourth century, and it was kept out for many centuries – in hopes that Chiliasm would die and be remembered no more.

Persecution of Jews in the Name of Christ

Because of the teaching that the Jews had been discarded by God, Gentiles who professed to be Christians increasingly referred to the Jews as “Christ killers.” I remember as a child in the synagogue, learning that the Ecumenical Council had decreed that the Jews actually were not solely responsible for the death of Christ.

I remember thinking “So this is why they call me dirty Jew.”

Constantine, the first Roman emperor to call himself a Christian was hostile toward Jews. In 329 A.D. called for the death penalty for all who embraced the Jewish faith. He referred to the Jews as “beastial.”

Roman emperor, Theodosius I, from 379-395, decreed that Christianity was to be the only recognized religion. Declaring that marriage between a Jew and a Christian would be forbidden, he said that such a union would be deemed adultery.

Theodosius II, was the Roman emperor from 408-450. He restricted the Jews from building any new synagogues. He would incite mobs to enter the established synagogues and take possession of them – handing over all property and possessions of the Jews to the Christians.

Justinian I was the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire from 527 to 565. He was a professing Christian and did everything in his power to make the lives of Jews unbearable. He made sure that all Jews occupied the most hated civil offices in government. He decreed that Jews could not observe Passover before Easter, and told the Jews what they could and could not do in their synagogues. He finally took control of the synagogues away from Jews and proclaimed them to be churches.

In 589, King Reccared of Spain joined with Roman Catholic leaders and forced children born to Jews to be forcibly baptized as Christians. The penalty for not complying was death.

Around 629 A.D., Dagobert who was the ruler of the Frankish empire decreed that all Jews must convert (embrace Christianity) or face death.

Near the end of the seventh century, a law was passed that all Jews in Spain be enslaved and that their sons be taken away from them at the age of seven and reared as Christians.

The popes of the Catholic Church were brutal to the Jews throughout the Middle Ages. They made sure that Jews suffered and were separated from others because they were considered sub-human and beyond help.

The execution of Jews has been happening in every century, and all done in the name of Christ!In 1298, after a rumor that Jews had desecrated the sacred Roman Catholic host, Jews were burned at the stake. This was considered a horrendous holocaust – in the course of six months, approximately 120 congregations of 100,000 Jews perished. [2]

This is a quote from Graetz, the author of the work titled, History of the Jews:

From the thirteenth till the sixteenth century, the persecutions and massacres of the Jews increased with frightful rapidity and in intensity, and only alternated with inhuman decrees issued both by the Church and the state, the aim and purport of all of which were to humiliate the Jews, to brand them with calumny and to drive them to suicide….The nations of Europe emulated of another in exercising their cruelty upon the Jews; and it was always the clergy who, in the name of a religion of love, stirred up this undying hatred. It mattered little to the Jews whether they lived under a strict government or under anarchy, for they suffered under the on no less than under the other. [3]

There is not enough room in this one article to elaborate on all of the persecution and slaughter of the Jews done in the name of Christianity. In our generation, most people think of the Holocaust during World War II. They think of an insane man named Adolph Hitler. Certainly he was inherently evil, and his attempt at annihilating the Jews could never have been based in Christian thought, right?Wrong.

Hitler felt that he was just carrying out the final solution for the Jews, because of what he knew had been done throughout history by the church. He simply wanted to finish the job.

When Jews see the Cross of Jesus, they do not see or understand the love that sent our Savior to willingly die upon it. They know nothing about the blood of Jesus and how He died for the sins of the whole world. How could they think these things? They remember the pogroms, the forced conversions, the burning of their synagogues, the mass slaughter of millions of them – all done in the name of Christ.

Of course, they read about Corrie ten Boom and those like her, who had the love of Jesus in their hearts toward the Jews. But these stories pale compared to the horrific persecutions.

When I was a babe in Christ, I bought a cross to wear. I knew what the Cross meant. I knew why He willingly went to that Cross. The scales had fallen from my eyes when I was born-again.

One day I went to a Jewish doctor who had been my pediatrician. He was now an allergist. He had known me and my family for years. He came in the room with a smile, but that smile turned to an angry scowl when he saw my cross. He snapped at me “And WHAT is that?”

I said to him “I am a Messianic Jew!”I’d never seen this man angry in all the years I had known him until that day. He yelled at me “DON’T call yourself a JEW!! You are no longer a Jew if you wear that cross!”

I do know that God is in control. He allows certain things to happen for His reasons. He knew that so-called preachers of the gospel would turn on His people, and He has allowed it. I have pondered this a lot lately.

If we look at the persecution of the Jews, starting with the early church and fast forwarding to 1948, we see that God did use the harsh mistreatment of the Jewish people to fulfill this prophecy:

“Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel’” (Ezekiel 11:17).

Much Jewish blood has been spilled throughout history.If it had been at the hands of crazed killers or mass murderers, the Jews might feel differently, but they know that these deeds were done by those who claimed to love Jesus.

Satan has been there from the beginning. He hates God. He hates Jews. He hates Christians.

I can just hear him say to the preachers of the gospel:

“Did God REALLY say that the Jews are His people? Surely these Christ killers have forfeited any promises made to them. God is certainly FINISHED with them.”

And if only these preachers had clung to the Word and read Romans 11 more carefully:

“I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” (Romans 11:11-12).

“From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-29).

Pray for your Jewish friends. Pray that God would draw them to Himself. We are approaching the end, brethren. It thrills my heart to think of my fellow Jews saying:

“BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!”

Endnotes
[1] A historical account of anti-Semitism in the church and accounts of persecution of the Jews taken from: The Coming Apocalypse: A Study of Replacement Theology vs. God’s Faithfulness in the End-Times, Dr. Renald E. Showers.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

Contact email: grandmageri422@gmail.com

WHEN GOD SHOWS HIS POWER

earthquakeThe news today from Nepal is grim. Who can prepare for this kind of devastation? One minute, people are going about their business, and then the earth opens and shakes so violently. Buildings crumble as if they were toy-like structures. Hundreds lose their lives under the rubble.

As Christians, we know that these things must take place:

(Mark 13:8) “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these [are] the beginnings of sorrows.”

God, who is the Creator of the Universe is in complete control. He sees our history from the beginning to the end. We only see the past and the present. As a child of God, I am so grateful that He has told me and my brothers and sisters what to expect and what to look for in these end times.

Are nations not rising against nations? Are there not earthquakes and volcanos erupting? These are the beginnings of sorrows. We watch these signs much like a meteorologist watches the signs for the weather.

The world has no idea what is happening. They believe the lie of man-made global warming, and blame everything on that. They are God-haters, not atheists. I believe that every person inherently knows that God is real. They hate Him because they love their sins. It’s not complex.

From Revelation 6:12-14

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”

When Jesus died on the Cross:

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:50-53)

Various Scriptures about earthquakes:

Luke 21:11 – And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Mark 13:8 – For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these [are] the beginnings of sorrows.

Revelation 11:13 – And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Matthew 24:7 – For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Psalms 60:2 – Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.

Acts 16:26 – And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Revelation 6:12-14 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Revelation 16:18 – And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.

Matthew 28:2 – And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Isaiah 24:19 – The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.

Matthew 24:36 – But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Ezekiel 38:19 – For in my jealousy [and] in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

Hebrews 12:26 – Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The things of which I wrote are inevitable. Who can stop the will of God? But there is something that you must think about. Our lives here are short, but our soul lives on — eternally.

The same God who created the Universe, also created hell. He made hell for Satan and his demons. God wants no man or women to spend eternity in hell. He made it clear in this passage of Scripture:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

Have you believed in the only One who can save you? Have you repented and placed your trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? If not, it’s not too late. If you reject God and die, you will spend eternity in a fiery hell, with torments that never cease.

Admit to God that you are a sinner. Ask Him to forgive you. Tell Him that you need Jesus in your life and your heart. He will save you.

And the angels in heaven will rejoice over you!!

Shalom b’Yeshua

MARANATHA!