As a result of my previous discussion regarding the end-time deceptions, I have been having discussions with several people regarding their experiences. These include a couple we met when we went to Jerusalem for Pesach and the Feast of Unleavened Bread earlier this year. They are in the land of Israel now for a while and they shared with us some of their experiences. I have convinced them to put these experiences into a document and they have agreed to allow me to post it on our blog. I hope that their experiences will give you some additional insight into some of the challenges that you could face when living in the land of Israel. Thank you Peter for providing us with this insight and warning!
A Messianic Hebrew Living in Israel Discusses “A love of all things Jewish”
Having lived in the land of Israel now for over a year, I am seeing a notable trend develop. That of, Messianic Hebrews (also known as Ephramites) coming to the land of Israel, and becoming over- exuberant for “all things Jewish,” to the point of conversion to Judaism. This trend somewhat confused me, in the sense that, what was causing these believers who are supposedly strongly rooted in their Hebraic faith and belief in Messiah, to even consider converting to Judaism and thereby effectively denying their Messiah? It was after finding an article that clearly defined the ‘state’ and ‘thinking’ of these believers, that I was then able to put the pieces together and more clearly understand the phenomenon of what is occurring here.
This unnatural or over enthusiasm for all things Jewish has been described as ‘Ultra-Semitism’ by Bruce Barham from Torahofmessiah.com in his article by the same name. His definition is:
“Ultra-Semitism is simply the opposite of anti-Semitism.”
This issue is becoming more important as more Hebraic Messianics seek to return to the land of Israel and connect with their brother Judah. This over-enthusiasm for all things Jewish, a desire to stay in the land at any cost, and the placing of Judah and Judaism above the word of YHVH and belief in Messiah, can manifest into very complex issues and have very grave outcomes. This thinking ultimately threatens the faith of the believer and also the impression our brother Judah is having of us.
In our native countries, we seem very able to separate from the pagan Church and we seem able to begin to address the religious traditions of our culture and move towards a closer relationship with YHVH and His Torah. Unfortunately, once we arrive in the land of Israel, we are subjected to a whole new set of ‘pressures’ that we have not been accustomed to and have not been prepared for. The pressure from Jewishness now pervades every aspect of daily life and the overwhelming feeling is to ‘stand with our brother’ and ‘come alongside our brother’. There is also the great conviction and desire to be able to stay in this land at whatever the cost! This, however, does not mean that we should ‘join our brother Judah in his sin of denying Yahshua, Messiah’. Amazingly enough, this is exactly what a number of Hebraic Messianics are doing. They have such a great connection and love for their brother and this land that they are converting to Judaism and denying Messiah as the Son of YHVH!
The Messianic Hebrew has, among other things, two important cornerstones of their faith that should be non-negotiable: 1.) Yahshua Messiah and 2.) The Brit Chadashah (The New Testament).
Both are also non-negotiable to Judaism as they are NOT part of Judaism…here in lies a major dilemma to the ‘ultra-Semite.’
There is yet another group prowling around this land waiting to pounce on the ultra-Semite, and this is the “anti-missionary” or “counter missionary” also defined and discussed by Bruce Braham in his articles. His definition is:
“Anti-Missionaries are individuals and groups devoted to “countering” the good news of Yahshua the Messiah.”
The main group active in Israel as anti-missionaries are, of course, Rabbinical Judaism and also the ultra-Semite, many of whom are well connected with Judaism and maybe even have completed conversion to Judaism or are attending ‘Geore’ (conversion classes). These persons could even be defined as the “Wolves in Sheep’s clothing.”
One of the key Judaic groups today proclaiming to recognize and promote the return of the ten lost tribes is also openly identifying themselves as anti-missionary on their website. Kol Ha Tor defines “12 Israel Kingdom” as being pro-Rabbinic, pro-Oral Torah and willing to convert to Judaism in order to bring about restoration and an ability to return to the land.
In order for the anti-missionary to succeed, he must first complete what should essentially be an impossible task! He must discredit the Brit Chadashah and, therefore, render it completely unreliable or untrustworthy AND reduce the deity of Yahshua Messiah to that of a mere man or Prophet. Is this not ridiculous to suggest that this could even happen?!! Yet, from firsthand experience, it is happening to a large number within the Messianic movement. How could this be?
The anti-missionary needs to render the Brit Chadashah unreliable and untrustworthy so they can essentially remove any proof or reliable evidence that Yahshua of Nazareth was the son of YHVH.
There is clearly within Judaism, specifically from within the Talmud, an acknowledgment that Yahshua was a ’real’ man and that he did live in Israel around 30 AD. There is, however, no acknowledgment of His Deity. Herein lies the problem for Judaism. ‘How can you acknowledge that Yahshua existed as a man but was not the saviour prophesied about in the Tanakh when you do not have the writings of the Brit Chadashah’?
The Tanakh on its own does NOT identify or confirm that Yahshua of Nazareth, who walked the earth around 30 AD, was the son of YHVH. Although it contains many hundreds of prophesies for the first and second coming, it does not on its own identify the man, Yahshua of Nazareth, as the Son of YHVH. The only way from Scripture to identify who He was is through the Brit Chadashah, which details His life and the miracles He performed, alongside the historical information of the times, and it also details His fulfilment of prophesies given in the Tanakh. This information is also often recorded several times in the other Gospels to give even more authenticity.
The anti-missionary cannot discredit the Tanakh or Talmud so, in order to ‘make anonymous’ the person Yahshua, the Brit Chadashah must be rendered unreliable. Thereby, the only reliable source left to be the Tanakh, which is still pointing to the ‘coming Messiah.’
The second major issue for Judaism is that, if you appear to have more than one Elohim or have a theology to abide another deity in addition to YHVH, then you are classed as a pagan and are part of a pagan religion. Many within Ephraim struggle to fully explain how Yahshua, Son of YHVH, is not Elohim but is deity. Because of our lack of understanding the wolf seems able to deceive the sheep, while we know that sometimes we will not have full understanding of all things but, through faith, we accept that it is possible to have a Father and Son relationship and yet have one Elohim. Without going into too much discussion of the relationship between the Father and the Son, since each has a different interpretation of this special cornerstone relationship, it is enough to say that, in the eyes of Judaism, when you have YHVH and the Son, Yahshua, who is also deity, there is a big problem…and you are in a pagan religion.
Much of this pagan theology or understanding has its roots from Judah’s understanding from observing Christendom (Trinity Theology), and they have not adjusted this view to how the Messianic Hebrew now sees their Elohim. Worthy to note is that ‘Echad’ gives room for aspects of a unified Elohim.
The anti-missionary must also now reduce or adjust the deity of Yahshua to that of a mere man or prophet in order to satisfy the Judaic requirements from the Torah to only have ONE Elohim.
Current law in Israel today also plays right into the hand of the anti-missionary. In Israel, it is illegal for any foreigner to proselytise an Israeli citizen. Even simply stating any religious view point can be construed as proselytising, and the perpetrator, if heard or reported by an Israeli citizen, can be deported from the country. However, a Jewish person has absolutely no restrictions and can proselytise anyone he wants. When a Messianic Hebrew gets alongside Judah, they will not, and do not, have any ability to defend or discuss their position.
Herein lies another dilemma: If you constantly expose yourself (by your own choice) to a constant barrage (overtly and subtly) by very eloquent and learned men who are very skilled at constantly undermining and discrediting the Brit Chadashah and blatantly bashing Yahshua and diminishing his deity… it seems to eventually soak in, and is believed by the ultra- Semitic. After all, is this not where we all essentially started…in the Christian Church subtly being convinced to take on pagan ways and to acknowledge that the Torah had been done away with?!
For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
The ultra-Semitic, having now completely come alongside Judah and, having become ready to convert to Judaism, now becomes the greatest enemy to fellow believers in Yahshua and seems to have this overwhelming urge to afflict others with the same condition… Beware!
It is important particularly for those coming to the land to recognize in themselves any tendency to place Judah and things Jewish in an unnatural place of esteem that leads to contradiction of Scripture and the mixing with Talmudic traditions. Also, there is the need to beware of the tendency to be willing to do anything to remain in this land.
Judah believes that they have the Scepter and the Law even though, effectively, it is a compromised version of the Law since they have mixed it with their Talmudic traditions! Some within Judah accept that Ephraim is beginning to return, but they also believe that in order to return, we must come under Judah or under Judaism. The connection in the mind of the ultra-Semite is that they also feel obliged to help YHVH and are connecting and joining Judaism…If we all become Judah, how will the two sticks become one in His hand (Ezekiel 37) since there will be no Ephraim?!
As a Messianic Hebrew living in the land, I believe an important aspect for myself and my family being here is to fulfill the calling He placed upon us through His word. This will enable us to more effectively keep His Torah and stand for our faith in Yahshua in the land where He has placed His name. We believe that YHVH will direct our path, and if that means only being here for a season, then so be it. We must learn to stand for what we know to be true and right. This is part of “Passing under the Rod.” Just as YHVH caused the Nation of Israel to pass under the rod in order to enter the land, the first time, those returning to the land are also effectively causing themselves to ‘pass under the rod’ and therefore need to be well grounded in their foundational beliefs otherwise you may NOT pass. Just as Israel failed the first time, so can we! They were NOT faithful!
If a person converts to Judaism, he needs to be careful that he is not committing the ‘ultimate Sin,’
one which the book of Hebrews says you can NOT come back from…
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of YHVH and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of YHVH and are holding him up to contempt. – Hebrews 6:4-6
This issue is also reiterated in three of the Gospels: Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:50 and Luke 14:34, the analogy is drawn to that of Salt…
You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall it be seasoned? For it is no longer of any use but to be thrown out and to be trodden down by men. – Matthew 5:13
…However, if you have already been convinced of the inaccuracy of the Brit Chadashah and that Yahshua was only a man, then these verses, along with everything else in the Brit Chadashah, carry no blessings or sting!!!
The issue really is not so much with the ultra-Semite and anti missionary, but rather with each of us coming into the land unprepared or unaware of these issues. The key non-negotiable fundamentals of our faith should be well in place prior to our return because otherwise we may fall into deception and ultimately be misled. Yes, get alongside our brother, get to know our brother and live in this land, BUT do not take this to the point of joining our brother in the areas of his life that are in contradiction with the word of YHVH and His Son.
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