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:

People are SO excited that a Jewish person has been born-again from above!
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 one 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

IS YOUR CHURCH PART OF THE GREAT FALLING AWAY? (VIDEO)

warren in vatican
HAVE YOU CHECKED RECENTLY, TO SEE IF YOUR PASTOR IS TEACHING TRUTH, OR DO YOU JUST BELIEVE HIS SERMONS BECAUSE HE IS A PASTOR?

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

I am writing this article in hopes that the readers of it will seek TRUTH in the only place it is always found — The Word of God. Within God’s Word, we find TRUTH to grow in Him, and to be kept safe from the lies of Satan. God tells us in His Word what will happen in the future. He always warns us about heresy being taught and received as truth. He said it will be worse in these End Times.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4: 3-4

The Berean church was used in the Bible as an example of how God wants His people to be kept safe. He knows that the enemy of our souls roams about the earth, seeking those he might devour. This passage of Scripture speaks of the Berean church:

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:11

Emerging Churches
In the attempt to make the church more relevant for people today, this movement has incorporated mystical practices such as mantras, the burning of incense, meditation and much of the practices used in Yoga. The term started as Seeker churches. Just get them into the church building – so what if the Bible isn’t stressed. So what if repentance of sins is glossed over. At lease they are in church, right? WRONG.

Our God and His Word does NOT need gimmicks. Christianity stands on its own. His Word does not change, and watering it down is certainly counterproductive for the Gospel.

Slippery slope syndrome is a phrase I often use. The Christians begin to pick and choose the Scriptures they like, and gloss over or completely throw out others; they are on a very dangerous slippery slope away from God.

Brian McLaren, known as the father of Emerging Churches tells a story of his daughter coming home from college. They get into a conversation about hell, and she asks him how could a good God allow it? She doesn’t want to believe that her unbelieving friends will go there. Before long, this girl has convinced her dad that hell keeps people away from the church. He is totally on board with this, and very excited. Makes a person wonder if McLaren had any strong conviction about God’s Word in the first place. The view of no hell is certainly not a new one. It is call Christian Universalism, and has been around for a very long time.

With Slippery Slope Syndrome in place, falling away from doctrines of the church becomes quite easy. Bringing in Eastern Mystical practices seems the thing to do. The Emerging church is apostate. If you find yourself in one, search the Scriptures and ask the Lord to show you through His Word. Remember – HIS WORD NEVER CHANGES. Then I pray that you will leave that church!

The Mainline Apostate Churches

I will simply name the churches who are not following the Word of God. They teach Replacement theology, detest Israel and boycott products manufactured there, ordain gays as clergy, and many are pro abortion. Here is the list:

*Some Southern Baptist (depending on leadership)

Presbyterian USA
Methodist
Lutheran
United Church of Christ
Episcopal

*I’m sure that some of you are saying “She put Southern Baptist churches on the apostate list!” And Yes, I did….and I’ll tell you why.

Do you think that Satan is content in corrupting just the mainline church denominations? Of course he is not! He wants to deceive the Baptists, who to many of us could NEVER be fooled and corrupted. We should not underestimate the craftiness and deception of the father of lies and the author of confusion – Satan himself.

Apostate Southern Baptist Churches

Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, has had a detrimental effect on many Baptist pastors. Since the day that Purpose Driven Church came out, he has been sending his propaganda to leaders of Baptist churches all over America. Many of them took the bait, and have his programs in place in their churches.

When studying the list of signatories of a Chrislam document, I noticed the signature of a Baptist Pastor from the FBC of the City of Washington, D.C. His name is Jim Somerville. I saw Rick Warren’s signature, but was not surprised. The signing of that document was from 2008, and today, Pastor Somerville is pastoring Richmond’s First Baptist Church – a church of more than 1000 members. [1] source

I contacted him by phone to ask him if he believed that our God is one and the same as Allah. Obviously annoyed with my call, he told me that they are indeed the same God. He said that Christians view God through the lens of Jesus Christ, while Muslims view Him through the lens of Muhammad. I offered to give him Scriptures from the Word, and passages from the Qur’an that would show conclusively that this was not true. He became furious with me and told me that he would not allow me to lecture him.

A good friend of mine in the Lord contacted Pastor Somerville’s staff to notify them of his errant beliefs. There were no responses to the email, save one which simply said “Stop emailing me!”

Pastor Somerville wrote to my friend and accused me of slander. I wrote to him and told him that I saw the accusation, and that both of us knew what was said during the phone call. Here is part of his response to me – I copied it from his email to me:

” I do remember telling you that I believe there is only one God, the maker of heaven and earth, and that “Muslims view the one God through the lens of the Prophet Muhammad while Christians view the one God through the lens of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

At the end of his email to me, he wrote:

“I don’t talk about Allah in the pulpit. I don’t teach my church that God and Allah are the same. I don’t say anything about Islam or the Quran. I’m a Christian pastor. I teach and talk about Jesus.”

When I read that, this Scripture came to my mind:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” – Proverbs 23:7

I dug a bit deeper in Jim Somerville’s website and blogsite and noticed some startling things. He was the pastor who came up with “A sermon for every Sunday” website. When I opened this site, I saw that there were about 13 pastors who had come together to offer sermons for shut-ins and churches who had no pastor. Pastor Somerville was the only Baptist pastor – the others were a conglomeration of Emerging and Mainline Apostate pastors. I immediately thought of the saying “Birds of a feather, flock together.” [2] source

While looking through Pastor Somerville’s blogsite, I came across some things (I wish I could say shocked) that disappointed me. Please know that I am not coming after this man for the sake of coming after him. My heart BREAKS for the 1000+ people who are sitting under his teaching, Sunday after Sunday – many of which may be baby Christians who are holding onto his every word. I also found that he has shared his belief that Allah and God are the same with the youth group.

I found this poem on his blogsite. It is a poem by his friend which touched him. He had pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope:

A Poem (My comments in bold print, with parentheses)
To My Atheist Friends (while looking at pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope)
Aren’t they amazing?
These are pictures of deep space,
the far reaches of the universe
and what can be seen in every dark corner
is light.
Towering nebulae,
whirling galaxies,
clusters of stars so dense
they dazzle the eyes.
There is an ancient text that claims:
“God is light.”
Work with me for a minute:
Imagine that it’s true,
that all the brilliant beauty in those images—
is God.
That He, or She, or It, is a luminous, swirling, benevolent Presence
That fills the universe,
and touches every dark corner with light.
(OR SHE OR IT?)

Imagine that other humans—
not so sensitive—
have found meaning in those words,
some sense of connection
to something they cannot name,
so that they have gathered up those words
and written them down
on tablets, scrolls, and in books.
Suppose that’s what the Bible is,
the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita:
books full of words that bear witness
to some greater presence
(SO THE BIBLE IS JUST ONE OF MANY HOLY BOOKS?)
those who have heard the low hum
(REMINDED ME OF MANTRAS IN HINDUISM)
of the heavens, singing,
by those who have seen the light
and called it by name?…
–Jay Green [3] source

All of this troubled my spirit so greatly. I decided to call the Southern Baptist Convention, and attempt to speak to someone there about accountability in the SBC churches. I was connected to a man who told me that because the SBC had so many churches affiliated with it (well over 100,000) that each church was considered to be autonomous. He made it clear that the SBC would never go after one leader or one church. The most that could happen was if they saw that one of their churches was so doctrinally wrong, they would simply ask that church to not state an affiliation with the SBC.

When we hung up, I wondered to myself about the souls of the congregations of these apostate churches — didn’t they matter? Wouldn’t Jesus say that these who were teaching doctrine opposed to the doctrine we received in His Word, should be disciplined and set right or removed?

Brethren, if you love God and His Word, and you are not one of the itchy ear crowd, I beg you to question your church leadership about essential doctrines of our faith. Or maybe you have friends or relatives in one of these churches. I believe that the Lord would have you share truth in a loving way with them. You may be the only person who ever tells them the truth!

Let me say this – there are many solid and Biblically based Baptist churches still out there. But I am trying to make the brethren see that it’s up to them to make sure that what is being preached is from God’s Word! You don’t go to church to hear the opinions of man. You go there to learn from the Word of God!

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – Ephesians 5:6-11

MARANATHA!
Shalom in Yeshua