It’s almost here!! My newest book, Parashot Drashim A Commentary of the Weekly Torah Reading for Both Jews and Gentiles is almost ready for publication. Watch for it.
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As a (former active duty) Company Executive Officer in the Marine Corps, I can tell you that the very first thing you do after having won a battle is to prepare for the counter-attack. Whether you have successfully “taken the hill” or cleared the building, freed the town or whatever the objective was that you have completed, the time when you are most vulnerable is as soon as you have won. Before you attend to the wounded or do anything else, you set up your perimeter defenses and make sure that everyone on the line has their ammunition and selected zones of fire. Only after the area is
Yeshua died on the execution stake, was buried and rose three days later. That was the objective achieved- the sting of death was taken away and the pathway to salvation for the entire world was cleared. But the Enemy wasn’t done away with- he was still here, and planning his counter-attack. That counter-attack was to split the factions between believing and unbelieving Jews to the point where those who were able to avoid the sting of death would be considered traitors and outcasts from “mainstream” Judaism. In essence, the Enemy wanted to turn salvation made possible to salvation lost to all the unbelieving Jews in the world.
Yeshua warned us about this in Matthew 10:34–
Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘A man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’…
Although Yeshua was quoting from Micah 7:6 regarding the punishment God was inflicting on a sinful Israel, I see this also as a prophetic warning as to how the Enemy will try to inflict ruin on the efforts of the believers in Yeshua to gather all people to the Messiah.
And, to a large degree, it worked. The Enemy used people to discredit the resurrection, and when Gentiles were brought to salvation he used the leaders among them, as well as the confusion that came from some of the Epistles written by Shaul, to not only cause a chasm between Believing Jews and the Gentiles converting to Judaism but to create an entirely new religion which was not what Yeshua taught. This was accomplished by the Council of Nicene, and since then the schism has grown wider, having been fueled with persecution, hatred, distrust, and bigotry…from both sides.
The objective of the Messiah was to bring people back to God; to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. This was done, but the success of that objective was damaged by the counter-attack of the Enemy. It is similar to the Battle of Iwo Jima: the Marines were successful in capturing the island, but for months afterward they were still being attacked by Japanese hidden in underground caves and it took a long time and more deaths before the island was completely safe.
The difference in the way people worshiped between the Jews that rejected the Messiahship of Yeshua and the Jews that didn’t was small at first. There were Jews that accepted Yeshua and Jews that didn’t, but they were all Jews worshipping as Jews. However, as more and more Gentiles were added it grew to the point where the Messianic community was composed mostly of Gentiles. At that time the Jews were being politically persecuted (because they were in revolt) so due to the political environment, the Gentile Believers were encouraged to part from their Jewish roots. This resulted in moving the Sabbath to Sunday, the creation of “Christian” holidays to compete with the Jewish festivals and men like Ignatius of Antioch and other “church fathers” forming canon and traditions that were against the Judaic ones. At that point, the Enemy’s counter-attack had some level of success.
But he hasn’t won. He lost the war when Yeshua rose, and the strength of his position is now starting to weaken. The Hebraic Roots movement is bringing Christians closer to their proper place within the plan of salvation, and the growth of the Messianic Jewish movement is bringing Jews back to their Messiah. The regathering of Jews to their Homeland is also part of God’s counter-counter-attack. The final battle is soon to come, and we all know who the winner is going to be.
It is up to us, those who accept Yeshua as their Messiah, to faithfully continue the attack against the Enemy. There are many strong points that he holds, which we need to attack. One of those is the image of the blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus Christ that the world believes started Christianity. Approach Jews with the truth about their Messiah using only the name “Yeshua” and quoting only from the Tanakh regarding what the Messiah was supposed to do. You can’t convince a Jewish person about Yeshua if you call him “Jesus” and use the New Covenant writings for your proof – to a Jew, those are both false. Jesus is a false Messiah who created a religion that hates Jews and the New Covenant isn’t scripture. In fact, to a Jewish person, the New Covenant is a bunch of hooey that Christians wrote about their god.
The Enemy made an excellent counter-attack that has postponed the final accomplishment of the Messiah’s objective. The Enemy managed to postpone the End Days but did not defeat God’s plan; he just made us wait a little while longer. The Enemy’s success in turning Gentiles converting to Judaism into a new religion that ended up persecuting Jews will be turned around by God. In fact, we are seeing that happen this very day, and eventually what the Enemy did will come down on his own head.
All we have to do is wait until God has had enough. At that time he will send Messiah Yeshua back to Earth to perform the final “mop-up operations.”