I want to thank each of you who have been readers of this webpage dedicated to bringing honor and sometimes glory to the nation of Israel and our Lord God. It has been my pleasure and joy to bring you the latest news pertaining to Israel from a conservative, Christian world view. I pray God's blessings on you henceforth!
Knesset passes historic law legalizing 4000 homes in Judea and Samaria
February 7, 2017
The Knesset passed the historic Regulation Law, legalizing 4000 Jewish ‘settlement’ homes in Judea and Samaria and protecting them from ownership claims by alleged landowners.
In a late-night session on Monday, Israel’s parliament voted in favor of the Regulation Law, legalizing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria which were established with state involvement and possibly built on private land or land not owned by the state. The final vote was 60 to 52.
The law, passed in its third and final reading, stipulates that communities built on private land or non-state-owned land will not be demolished. Rather, the land will be expropriated and the owner will be compensated.
The law affects hundreds of instances in which Israelis built homes with government consent or encouragement, only later to discover that the land may be privately owned or otherwise in dispute. Often the claims brought by alleged landowners have no evidence.
Netanyahu was not present for the vote, after spending the day in London with UK leader Theresa May. His return flight was delayed.
The Israeli leader’s request that the vote be delayed until after his meeting with US President Donald Trump was denied.
The Jewish Home party called the vote a “historic day that signals a change in direction for the State of Israel,” TPS reported. In a statement headlined “the beginning of sovereignty,” the party said the new law will serve as a “message to thousands of Israeli families in Judea and Samaria that they will no longer be second-class citizens.”
“To our friends in the opposition who are surprised that a nationalist government would pass a bill in favor of the settlements – that’s democracy,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Jewish Home chairman, stated, adding his appreciation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party for supporting the historic legislation.
Ahead of the vote, Jewish Home Member of Knesset Shuli Moalem-Refaeli said the law was “dedicated to the brave people of Amona who were forced to go through what no Jewish family will have to again,” referring to the eviction of 42 families last week, Times of Israel reported.
Science Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud), the Times continued, said the vote was not just over this specific law, but rather about the right of the Jewish people to live in Israel. “This whole debate is based on one question: Who does this land belong to?” he told the plenary before the vote.
The bill was condemned by the Obama administration, the European Union and the United Nations, as well as by Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and the Israeli left. The latter pledged to challenge the law in the High Court of Justice.
“Tonight it became clear that Netanyahu is willing to compromise the future of both Israelis and Palestinians in order to satisfy a small group of extreme settlers for the sake of his own political survival, Peace Now said in a statement. “In light of this madness, we must act as the responsible adults and turn to the Supreme Court in order to strike down this dangerous law.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Union party, has been fighting vociferously against the bill’s passing, urging coalition members not to let it pass. Calling the law “a catastrophe for the people of Israel,” he claimed that it was precisely because of this issue that the UN Security Council voted in favor of the anti-Israel Resolution 2334 in December, condemning Jewish settlements in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous, praise is comely for the upright. Give thanks unto the LORD with harp, sing praises unto Him with the psaltery of ten strings. Sing unto Him a new song; play skilfully amid shouts of joy.” (Psalms 33:-3)
Alice Herz-Sommer on her 109th birthday. (Photo: Alice Herz-Sommer Facebook Page)
Alice Herz-Sommer was 39 years old when she arrived at Theresienstadt, a ghetto and model concentration camp located in Czechoslovakia. The camp was used by the Nazis as an elaborate ruse to show the world how well they were treating Europe’s Jews. As part of the deception, Jewish artists were encouraged to perform plays, concerts and hold other cultural events. Alice was a pianist.
Until her death last month at the age of 110, Alice was the oldest living Holocaust survivor. She lived alone in an apartment in London, England. To her neighbors she was known as “The Lady in Number 6”, and that moniker became the title on the short documentary film made about her life. One week after her death, the film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary: Short Subject.
The documentary, which runs 38 minutes, is directed by Malcolm Clarke and produced by Nicholas Reed. Clarke spoke to Entertainment Weekly about making the film. “The thing that really convinced me in a nanosecond that I had to make this film was she didn’t carry any enmity, no pain, no tragedy. And it’s not that she hasn’t experienced these things, but she processed them so much differently to everyone else that I met.”
Alice is described as the perennial optimist, and that attitude shines through in the film. Upon arrival at Theresienstadt, she mused, “If they have an orchestra in Terezin [the Czech name for the town], how bad can it be?” Although her mother and husband perished there, Alice’s positivity carried her and her son Raphael (Rafi) through the war.
Alice Herz-Sommer. (Photo: Children and Artists of Terezin/ Facebook)
Alice was born in Prague on November 26, 1903 and trained as a pianist from a young age. During her time in Theresienstadt, she gave over 100 concerts, playing all of Chopin’s Etudes from memory. Four years after the liberation, Alice and Rafi came to Israel, where Alice taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and performed in concerts frequently attended by Golda Meir, and Rafi became a concert cellist.
Rafi later moved to England, and Alice followed her only child there. Unfortunately, Rafi passed away at the age of 65, but Alice remained in London. She still has family there.
The documentary was shot over a two year period. Clarke acknowledged, “We had to move very quickly. Alice was not young when I met her, I think she was 107 when I met her. Any 107 year old, even if they’re very healthy, they are clearly closer to the end of their life than the beginning of their life and so we wanted to get this woman on film while she was still healthy and sprightly and chipper.” Until the end, Alice would play piano four hours every day, to the delight of her neighbors, and loved to spend the rest of her day with visitors.
Originally, the filmmakers considered calling the documentary “Dancing Under the Gallows”, but decided that title was far too grim for the subject matter. Dubbed “one of the most inspirational and uplifting stories of the year,” the short portrays Alice as she “shares her views on how to live a long and happy life. She discusses music, laughter and how to remain optimistic come what may.”
Producer Nicholas Reed said, “Kids all over the world grow up on superheroes, what we, their parents, must remind them, is documentaries tell stories about ‘real superheroes.’ Superheroes are based on great people, real people, like Alice Herz Sommer.”
Let me begin by saying that I love the nation of Israel and all the Jewish people on earth. And, although I will quote scripture in this article in which Jews are referred to in less than a flattering light, I do not intend to castigate them under any circumstances. For the truth is, every sin and disobedience of which individual Jews have been guilty since Jacob, I am guilty of committing the same or worse.
My purpose for writing this paper is to help, if at all possible, a few unbelieving Jews to come faith in the One who is their true Messiah. I seek the Holy Spirits guidance and wisdom as I search for words to put on paper which He may be able to use to convict individual Jews who read this document of their sin, of righteousness and of judgment.
When the Son of God first came to earth in the innocence and frailty of a new born babe, He was sent by His Father for a specific purpose. God’s plan was for His Son to grow to manhood in the Jewish culture so that through the trials and hardships of Jewish life, He could experience life as most Jews know it and more realistically identify with His own people. Through His Son being born and raised in a Jewish family, He would be prepared as an adult to persuade the nation of Israel to turn from their wickedness and back to the true God of all creation. God is known to Israel as: Jehovah – Yaweh – G-D –The Great I Am – El Shaddai – El Elyon and other excellent, supreme names. However, though Israel has many names for their God, they have never and do not now have a name for His Son. They did not acknowledge Him during His ministry here on earth as He presented Himself to them as the Son of God and their promised Messiah and coming King. He performed miracles upon miracles, healing the lame and sick, raising the dead, and like a lamb, silent and unprotesting while being lead to the slaughter, he voluntarily went to the cross. Suffering great shame and agony, He died there that all men might be reconciled to and with the living God and have a personal eternal relationship with Him. Not to mention, that once reconciled with God, mankind would enjoy an abundant life here on earth and life eternal with God and His Son.
Yet, the Jews cursed Him and resisted His every effort to persuade them He had come from God and that He was the Son of God. He pleaded with them to turn from their sins and back to Jehovah, so that He might bring into existence the promised Kingdom of heaven on earth. As their promised King He would reign over them from the throne of David there in Jerusalem as God had promised. Just before they killed Him, He pleaded with them in great anguish of soul, saying:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”Matt 23:37
They will hardly speak any of His names or titles listed in the New Testament, except as they are required to in conversational or written references to the Christian faith.
When Jesus began His ministry to Israel, He came with a message from His Father to the nation of Israel. That message He shared faithfully for almost three years, yet Israel refused to listen. That message, which by the way, John the Baptist also preached was: “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
Had Israel listened to Jesus, God’s Son, their promised Messiah, and had they obeyed: God would have immediately placed His Son on the throne of David in Jerusalem. And, from that throne Jesus Christ the King would have reigned over Israel while bestowing copious amounts of blessings on the nation. In addition, through Israel’s blessings, all the nations of the world would be blessed, for a promised thousand years.
However, the leaders of Israel said, very succinctly, “No way, Jesus! We will not accept you as Messiah and we will not turn back to God. In fact, we are going to do everything in our power to put you to death!” And they did.
What Israel didn’t know then, and they still don’t realize it today, is that God had plan number two ready, knowing they would refuse His offer and would commit the evil deed of killing His Son. The moment His Son died on that cross, God removed Israel from their exalted position of being His chosen people. For an extended period of time, the length of which is known only by God, God has turned His attention to all the gentiles in the world.
Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, on the day of Pentecost, God began to bestow His blessings of grace upon anyone, Jew or Gentile, who would believe in His Son Jesus as the Savior of mankind.
In the event that you are an unbeliever, or a skeptical believer, God made a bona fide offer to the nation of Israel. God wanted His beloved people, Israel, to repent and turn back to Him so that He could bless them for their obedience by placing His Son on the throne of David to reign in their kingdom of heaven on earth. God had promised Israel that He would send a deliverer, a Messiah, a King to lead them into all manner of blessings, and through His Son Jesus, He kept His promises.
However, unfaithful Israel rejected His son, though Jesus told them that if they would repent and turn back to God, He would be their King. A stubborn, stiff neck people, so called by God Himself, Israel is still saying NO! to God Almighty.
“Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.” (2 Chron. 30:8);
“Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.”( Jer. 7:26);
“But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.” (Jer. 17:23)
Israel will have to live with being something less than most favored nation, in God’s eyes, until those of every tongue, nation, tribe, race and people in the world had been given an opportunity to believe in God’s Son, which Israel rejected, as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. Until then, there can be no special relationship between God and Israel, with the exception of those Jews who place their trust in Christ alone for salvation.
There is no doubt God is going to fulfill every promise He made to the Nation of Israel. There are the promises to gather all the Jews from around the world to the promised land at a future time. There are the promises of a future New Covenant with Israel, His people, when He will write his laws upon their hearts and they won’t even need to be taught God’s word because it will be in their hearts, minds and mouths continually.
For Jews who have believed in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and for those who will believe in the future, they have the distinction, along with every gentile who has and will believe in Jesus, of hopefully soon becoming, the bride of Christ. This wonderful, spiritual reality takes place in heaven, after the Rapture of the Church and before Christ returns to earth at the beginning of His Millennial Reign in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
God determined before the foundations of the world were in place that when the fullness of the gentiles was reached, He would send His Son back to earth to wage war against all the nations of the world who would be attempting to wipe the nation of Israel off the face of the earth. At that future time, when the Lord Jesus is coming from heaven to earth to destroy all of Israel’s enemies, every Jew alive on the face of the earth will have one last opportunity to experience the saving grace of God.
In a supernatural event, every Jew alive on earth will see Jesus coming on His white horse to deliver them from total destructions by all the armies of the world. At that moment it will be supernaturally revealed to every Jew that the One upon whom they are looking is their Messiah, the Lord Jesus whom their forefathers put to death. They will be given this opportunity to believe in Him as: their Messiah; their Savior; Son of God; and their Lord, Master and King. If they say: “Yes Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and the Savior of all men!” Then God will save them and spare them from the burning fires of hell for all eternity.
However, here is truth personified: every lost Jew and lost Gentile who sees Jesus at that moment and refuses to believe in Him will be condemned to spend eternity separated from God the Father and they will burn forever in hell. This is just as it is this very moment and has been with those Jews and Gentiles who have died in their sins since the day of Pentecost. Here are the saddest, most pitiful, infamous, unnecessary twelve words ever uttered in the history of mankind. They were spoken by the Apostle John at the beginning of his gospel, the Story of Jesus, as recorded in John 1:
“He came to His own and His own did not receive Him.”
They didn’t receive Christ then and they still do not.
Warnings given to Israel from the heart of God through His Son and the writers of the Old and New Testament
Every time I think of how the Jews have continually rejected our Savior, Lord and Master, my heart grieves. I love Israel, I love the Jews, I have to love them because fom the womb of a Jewish virgin came the hope of the world, our Lord and Savior. However, throughout the history of the nation of Israel the Jews have obstinately resisted God’s authority; they have been insubordinate, disobedient, and a genuine pain in their guardian angel’s sacroiliacs.
Merle F. Unger, speaks the truth when he says: “The first martyr of the Church, Stephen, was the chosen instrument to deliver the Lord's final testimony to the nation.” Here is what Deacon Stephen said in Acts 7: 51- 53:
"You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it."
Jesus called the Jews blind guides:
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’” (Matt 23:16);
The apostle John reveals the cause of Israel’s blindness simply by quoting Isaiah in the twelfth chapter of his gospel:
"Lord, who has believed our report?And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40"He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,Lest they should see with their eyes,Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,So that I should heal them."41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His (God’s) glory and spoke of Him. (John 12:38-41; Is. 53:1; 6:10);
These warnings were first pronounced by God through Isaiah for Israel under the Law. The second time they were pronounced by God for Israel through Jesus Christ and are still applicable during this age of grace. It is God who has allowed their blinded eyes and their hardened hearts throughout Israel’s history because of their rebellion and unbelief.
Note how the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary so correctly states the truth of this matter:
“That this expresses a positive divine act, by which those who wilfully close their eyes and harden their hearts against the truth are judicially shut up in their unbelief and impenitence, is admitted by all candid critics, though many of them think it necessary to contend that this is in no way inconsistent with the liberty of the human will, which of course it is not.”—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Read what the Lord Jesus gave the Apostle Paul to write by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Cor. 4:3-4);
In the following commentary from The New Unger’s Bible Handbook, the lost (unbelievers) includes Jews and gentiles:
“He (Jesus Christ) must be proclaimed and set forth, for unless He becomes visible, our gospel is veiled to those that are lost. Satan, the god of this present age (cf. Jn 12:31), has blinded the minds of unbelievers to the light of the gospel. It is, therefore, essential that if this blindness is to be penetrated, Christ, not we ourselves, must be proclaimed. He is the divine source of light, (cf Jn 8:12). We are the human source, (cf. Mt 5:14). The light must shine from God through us. The 'treasure' of the indwelling Spirit is 'in jars of clay' (the believer's body), that the excellency of the power might be from God, and not from us.—New Unger's Bible Handbook, The
Lastly, from Barnes Notes On the New Testament:
“The saying The word of Isaiah, or that which Isaiah predicted. This occurs in Isaiah 53:1:
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
From Barne’s Notes on the New Testament:
“That the word of God might be fulfilled.” That the same effect should occur which occurred in the time of Isaiah. This does not mean that the Pharisees rejected Christ in order that the prophecy of Isaiah should be fulfilled, but that by their rejection of Christ, the same thing occurred which took place in the time of Isaiah. His message was despised by the nation, and He himself put to death. And it was also true-by the same causes, by the same nation-that the same gospel message was rejected by the Jews in the time of Christ. The same language of the prophet would express both events, and no doubt it was intended by the Holy Spirit to mark both events. In this Way it was completely fulfilled.
—Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
Jews today, like gentiles, are without excuse. Any Jew, just as with any gentile, in the whole world who dies today and goes to hell has only themselves to blame.
In the book of Mathew Jesus is speaking only to the nation of Israel and He is trying to get them to understand that He is their Messiah and that God will usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, if they will but believe and accept Him as Messiah and turn back to God their Father. He spoke a truth in Matt. 7, verse 7 that applies to them even today. He said;
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Today, this means all that any Jew has to do to know whether Jesus Christ, God’s Son born of Mary is their Messiah and the Savior of all mankind is to take three very important steps that are revealed in the above passage of scripture. Let’s look at them:
Ask: Pray and ask God for the wisdom and discernment to discover the truth;
Seek: Where do you start seeking? Start with God’s word. Begin by looking up every passage of scripture in the Jewish Bible or Holy Books that says anything about Messiah. Start with these verses: Gen 3:15, Gen 22:18, Gen 26:4, Gen 49:10, Num. 21:6-9, Num. 24:17, Duet. 18:15, Ps. 16:9-10, Ps. 22:all, specifically: Ps. 22:14-16-18, Ps. 132;11, Isa. 7:14, Isa. 9:6-7, Isa. 40:10-11, Isa. 50:6, Isa. 52:13-15, Isa. 53:all, Isa. 60:21, Jer. 23:5, Jer. 33:14-15, Ezek. 34:23, Ezek. 37:25, Dan. 9:25, Mic. 5:2, Mic. 7:20, Zech. 6:12, Zech. 9:9, Zech. 9:10, Zech. 12:8-10, Zech. 13:7, Mal. 3:1-4, Mal. 4:2-6;
Knock: When you read a verse of scripture expectantly and hopefully, I believe God will honor your desire to know the truth. Jesus told his eleven faithful disciples just before He died, that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. One doesn’t receive the Holy Spirit until the moment they believe unto salvation. However, I believe that God will prove Himself faithful to help everyone, Jew or gentile, in their quest to know the truth about Messiah. To knock, means you are going to knock on the door of God’s heart and you are going to ask Him to reveal to you all truth concerning Messiah. Just as God gave many individuals in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit for a period of time in their hour of need, I believe He will do the same for you, by allowing you to experience the Holy Spirit convicting you of Who Messiah truly is.
If you are really prepared to step out in faith, as you are searching for information about Messiah in the Old Testament books, also start reading the four gospels in the New Testament, asking God to reveal all the truths about Jesus His Son, as the New Testament declares who He is. If you refuse to read that portion of God’s Holy Word that reveals who Jesus truly is, then you are saying to God, “God, I really am not honest and sincere about finding out everything I can about Messiah. What I am trying to do is justify my not believing in the One whom the whole of Your scripture reveals Messiah to be.”
My responses are interspersed in the writers comments.
The following is one of several articles copied off the internet while searching for answers to the question, “Why are Jews still rejecting the Lord Jesus?” This article was under the title: “Why don't the Jewish people recognize the New Testament?” The webpage from which I copied this article was:
There was a notice on this webpage that this article was:
From Site: www.geocities.com/Metzad/Notstmnt.htm
As I read the article, titled, “Why Jewish People Refuse to Recognize the New Testament”, I felt compelled to enter, so far as possible, into a dialogue with the writer. However, I decided that, to begin I would simply dialogue by interrupting his commentary with my responses to statements he makes in defense of Jews continuing to reject their Messiah. Now that I have finished responding to his commentary, I am going to make every attempt to get in touch with the writer, Eliyahu Silver. If I am successful at contacting Mr. Silver, I will offer to email a copy of his article with my comments interposed, just as you see them in this document, back to the writer, giving the writer an opportunity to respond to my comments. However, in the mean time I am publishing this article, just as it is, on my website. It will be on the webpage: Israel: Past, Present, Future.
If and when I get feedback from the author, I will post his feedback as an addendum to this article that is posted on my website.
The Article by Eliyahu Silver begins:
Why Don’t The Jewish People Recognize the New Testament
by Eliyahu Silver
All Biblical quotations are taken from the King James translation, the Authorized Version, unless specified otherwise.
The Jewish reader is advised not to pronounce the names Jesus and Eastre; "The names of other gods you shall not mention, nor shall your mouth cause it to be heard." Exodus 23:13
For almost 2000 years the Jewish people have not recognized the New Testament, although all those who contributed to the New Testament were Jewish. All the writers of the New Testament were Jewish, but nevertheless the Jewish people reject that which 1,000,000,000 people consider to be the word of G.d.
What is it that the Jews see in the New Testament that is apparently not seen by all the Christians?
The Jews look at the New Testament from an Old Testament viewpoint. About 3300 years ago G.d gave the Torah to the Jewish people. Millions of people watched this event when G.d spoke from Mount Sinai to the Jewish people. There G.d gave to the Jewish people the Holy Torah, which is the first five books of the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This does not only contain the Ten Commandments, but it contains a total of 613 commandments that G.d commanded the Jewish people to fulfill.
A Pause in Mr. Silver’s commentary: My Response to Above Comments Follow
I would expect most Jews to look at the New Testament only from an Old Testament point of view. However, Jews do themselves a great disservice and they limit the work of the Lord God in their lives by not realizing that the New Testament is an addendum to the first part of God’s Holy Bible, The Old Testament. Jews or Gentiles should never limit themselves to only one or the other of the two Testaments.
The Old Testament is primarily a testimony of God’s dealings with the Jewish people. I conclude this because 37 and 3/4ths of its 39 books covers the History of the Jewish people and their egregious, tumultuous, rebellious relationship with almighty God.
The New Testament is God’s testimony of His infinite love for all mankind through His sending His Son to provide salvation for all people. First God sent His Son to the Jews, but the Jews would have nothing to do with Him or His mission. In fact, they rejected God’s provision of His Son as their Messiah and they rejected the Kingdom of Heaven on earth that God’s Son offered to them. Had they listened to their Messiah, they would have repented, turned back to God and would be living today in the kingdom of heaven on earth with Jesus reigning over them from the throne of David in Jerusalem.
Upon the failure of the Jews to receive God’s Son and their rejection of Him as their Messiah and King, God turned His attention away from the Jews and has been concentrating on drawing as many gentiles into His Son’s Kingdom as was will believe in His Son as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.
Lastly, the New Testament gives man a preview of the everlasting life to come for all who believe in His Son and the eternity of suffering for those who do not believe.
Jews and Gentiles of today, both believers and unbelievers should seek wisdom from the entirety of God’s Word. Jewish unbelievers should look to those passages of Old Testament that first prophesied the Messiah that God would send to Israel. Then they should read the gospels in the New Testament, especially the gospel of Matthew, which reveals that Messiah came to His own people the Jews, as God promised He would, and His own people rejected Him.
Though God’s Word in its entirety will help all believers to grow in spirit and truth, it is the New Testament that reveals God’s plans and ministries for the church and how through faith in His resurrected Son that believers will blanket the earth with the gospel of Christ and people from every nation, tongue, tribe and dialect will turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.
It is through the New Testament that God reveals that His Son was slain before the foundations of the world. This means that God being omniscient (knowing all things – past, present and future) knew that His Son would be rejected by Israel when He came to earth and presented Himself to them as their Messiah and He would be put to death.
Even knowing this would happened, God determined to keep His promises to Israel. These promises include His sending a deliverer to Israel, giving them the whole of Canaan for their homeland, setting up a Kingdom on earth for Israel under the reign of one who would come through the lineage of David, their beloved king. This reign would last for a thousand years in which time the Lord God would so bless Israel that through her all the nations of the world would be blessed.
In logic, there is a principle referred to as the Law of No Middle. It means that a thing must either be, or not be, the case. There is no middle ground or position. Herein needs to be the logic every unbelieving Jew and Gentile and believer uses when considering the inerrancy of Scripture: The Scriptures are either inspired of God, or they are not inspired of God. If the writings of the Bible are not inspired of God, then they are the mere writings of men. As such, they can merit no religious respect. And whatever their exalted claims, they must merit only contempt.
A Jewish scholar from the 1st Century AD, wrote:
“Every scripture is inspired of God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”
So that we do not find ourselves at a stalemate, I suggest that we Jews and believers, show a great respect for both the Old and the New Testaments and take God at His word, as believed by that 1st century Jewish scholar. The Old and New Testaments are God’s Word in its entirety.
Luke was not a Jewish writer. He was the only, so far as we know, he was the only writer who was not Jewish. Though, it could very well be argued that Job was also not a Jew.
As I understand scripture, God’s first purpose in sending Messiah was that Israel would repent and turn back to Him. Upon their doing so, God would have instituted the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. No adequate context for Jehovah sending Messiah can be postulated apart from God desiring that Israel repent and turn back to their God through their acceptance of His Son. Theories based upon O/T Scripture which God had given the Prophets concerning Messiah, with only Jewish interpretation, and void of the reality that Jesus Christ fulfilled those scripture, have doomed and are still dooming millions of Jews to hell. This needed not to be and needs not to be any longer. Since God knew beforehand that the Jew’s would repudiate His Son and put Him to death, He instituted the Age of Grace upon the death of His Son and the church was to be built up of Jews first and then the gentiles. However, Jews just could not stop rejecting God’s Son. And, as is evidenced by Mr. Silver’s article, they still are.
God, being all knowing, means that God knows everything that has ever happened even before it happened and He knows what is going to happen into the future for all eternity. God knew exactly what would happen to His Son, Messiah, long before He introduced Him into this world.
First and foremost, it was to the Jewish people that God sent Yeshua. In fact, Jesus came to this earth as a baby born of a Jewish young maiden who had never experienced sexual intercourse with a man, just as prophesied in the O. T. Whether Jews accept it or not, Jesus came on a mission from God the Father, for the specific purpose of calling Israel to repent and turn back to God, so that God could institute the promised Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Read the book of Matthew, with a special request of God that the Holy Spirit guide you into God’s truth.
God’s plan was for Israel to heed the cries of John the Baptist and Jesus, who were preaching the same message. Their message was: “Repent Israel, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Had Israel heeded that message, He, God, would have inaugurated the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, with Jesus, the son of David sitting on David’s throne in Jerusalem. It was from this throne that God’s Messiah would rule over the nation of Israel and through the nation of Israel, all the nations of the world.
Had Israel responded as God desired them, He would have overwhelmed His chosen people with blessings as never experienced by that nation before. Though God had desired to heap blessings upon blessings on Israel from the moment the Jews agreed to the Mosaic Covenant, He was never given the opportunity to do so, because of the Jews habitual disobedience throughout their history. God promised to bless the Jews, if they would swear to obey God’s law in exchange for God’s blessing. Here’s the Covenant.
“Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and we will be obedient." And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words."” Ex. 24:7-8 (NKJV)
Yet, seldom did Israel ever keep their promise to obey God’s laws as called for in the Covenant with God the Almighty.
However, even in light of Israel’s unfaithfulness, God was absolutely willing to forgive and forget all of Israel’s broken promises, if they would repent, turning back to Him and accept their Messiah, His beloved Son. Had the Jews embraced His son, God would have begun continuously blessing Israel through His Son, Israel’s Messiah. Then, through God’s marvelous, overflowing blessings on Israel, the nations of the world would have become jealous of Israel and would have desired to be recipients of God’s generosity also. Thus, God would have drawn all the nations of the world to His Son and Himself, through Israel. Again, through Israel, God would extend His blessings to all mankind, bringing all mankind to His Son. But, Israel would have no part in God’ plan.
Because of Israel rejecting and putting to death the Son of God, God has turned His attention to the Gentiles. In what is known as the age of grace, or the age of the church, or also, the time of the Gentiles, God’s attention, through the efforts of the Church, is turned to the Gentiles of the world. This will be God’s focus until every race, tongue, dialect, nation, and individual has had an opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, unto salvation.
Let me caution every Jew to not expect too much revelation to come from God in their trying to comprehend the New Testament through the Law of Moses. Mr. Silver, has rightly said that the Law of Moses was never given to anyone but the Jews. However, God has revealed in another part of His Holy Scripture, the New Testament, that, though the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Selah.
End of my Comments - Mr. Silver’s commentary continues
The Torah is the most Holy part of the Hebrew Bible. Later prophets arose, whose works are added to form the Hebrew Bible. The Torah teaches that there is one G.d, Y-H-W-H, who is a jealous G.d, who allows no other gods beside Him. See Exodus 20:3. G.d's name, Y-H-W-H, appears almost 7000 times in the Old Testament. The King James translation translates this name as "The Lord". This G.d is the one and only G.d for the Jews, as it is written in the Hebrew Bible.
"Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord, he is G.d in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is no other." Deut. 4:39
"See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with me." Deut.32:39
"I am He, before Me no god was created, neither shall there be after Me." Isaiah 43:10
"Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no god." Isaiah 44:6
"I am the Lord, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:18
This Jewish G.d is one, as it is written; "Hear Israel, Y-H-W-H is our G.d, .Y-H-W-H is one." Deuteronomy 6:4 The King James translation translates this as: "Hear Israel, the Lord our G.d is one Lord." Here in Deut. 6:4 too, the word "the Lord" stands for Y-H-W-H in the Hebrew text. When we insert G.d's name into this translation, we get; "Hear Israel, Y-H-W-H our G.d is one Y-H-W-H." This is not a correct translation, the correct translation is as above mentioned; "Hear Israel, Y-H-W-H is our G.d, Y-H-W-H is one."
The fact that G.d is one is so important that G.d commands this to be in the heart. It must be diligently taught to the children, the Jews must talk about it when they sit in their houses, when they walk upon the way, when they lie down and when they rise up. They must bind it as a sign upon their arm, and it must be frontlets between their eyes, and they must write it upon the doorposts of their houses and upon their gates. See Deuteronomy 6:4-9 –
The Jews until this day do this. Every morning they put upon their arm and upon their forehead their phylacteries, (prayer belts) that consist of black straps with black leather cubes, that contain parchment upon which is this Biblical text that says that G.d is one. Upon the doorposts of the houses of the religious Jews there are small boxes or containers that also contain parchment upon which is written that G.d is one. So for the Jewish people there is one G.d, and that one G.d is one.
One means one. That is not two, not three, not three in one, not two in one, but one.
A Pause in Mr. Silver’s commentary – My Response to above comments begins
Mr. Silver, you are absolutely correct in saying that the LORD God Jehovah meant for Israel to worship and have no God but Him. But, if God is only one entity and there is no other. How do you explain the Holy Spirit? How do you explain why the many people in the Old Testament who were confronted with the Angel of the Lord, addressed the Angel of the Lord, as Lord. Each time they addressed the angel using the title, Lord, or Adonai, as the term of respect for one who is diety. In doing so, they did this as if they knew the person to be divine. Also, how then does your concept of God being one singular divine being explain to whom King David was referring in Ps. 110 when he said: “The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” In what respect did David have both, the LORD God, and the Lord, Adonai?
Also, in what respect is David, in this passage, referring to anyone else besides God as a multifaceted personality, self, or being? The first identifying word for God in the verse is LORD which is translated in many bibles, including the Hebrew, as jehovah” (je-ho´va). Some Jewish commentators explain it as the Hebrew YHWH and say it is the name of God most frequently used in the Hebrew Scriptures, though it is commonly represented by LORD.
The second identifying word for God in the passage is the word Lord (spelled with a capital L and small o, r, d, in English) which the same Jewish scholars say is correctly translated Adonai and is referencing the Jewish Messiah. For the most part, in studying the writings of Jewish rabbinical scholars, it seems obvious they believe Psalm 110 is messianic.
Are not both God and Adonai each divine entities or being? Reading the comments at various websites hosted by Jewish unbelievers commenting on Ps. 110, I conclude that there is a great difference of opinion among Jews as to the meaning, the interpretation, the application and veracity of the words in this and other passages of Old Testament scriptures that are considered Messianic. At least in His Son, the Jewish Messiah, God has revealed the One, who is One with Himself, and not another god, just as is the Holy Spirit. In addition, whether you admit the Old Testament evidence or not, God revealed to Israel on many occasions that He was going to send: a deliverer; a King; Messiah; and, according to Isaiah, one who would be known as Immanuel, which means, according to God Himself, as breathed into the heart, mind and soul of Isaiah by the Holy Spirit of God, “God with us!” (Is. 7:13-14).
How was God going to present a deliverer, Messiah, or King to Israel who would be God With Us, if there could be no other divine entities in heaven or on earth, but God? Isn’t every OT reference to the deliverer, when it is speaking of Messiah, a reference to a divine entity? Isn’t every reference to Messiah, referring to a divine being? Was God lying when He, instructed Isaiah to inform King Ahaz that a virgin would conceive and bear a Son, and His name would be God With Us?
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (literally God with us)” (Isaiah 7:14).
Mr. Silver, this is not a diatribe against you, or any dead or living Jew, for not believing in God’s Son, Israel’s promised Messiah. I am imploring you and all Jews to seriously weigh the horrible ramifications for not doing so, which are suffered solely by those who reject God’s Son. It is a simple equation. God can be whomever He deems it necessary for Himself to be, for whatever purpose He deems it necessary and to whom He deems it necessary and He still is God. God knew when He sent His Son as Israel’s Messiah, that Israel would reject Him. It wasn’t so much that Israel was rejecting Messiah, they were rejecting God and they knew it.
Mr. Silver, when God said that He was giving Israel a sign and that sign was a baby which was going to be born to a very young girl, who had had no husband, most Jews know in their hearts that God was talking about a virgin and she was going to have a miracle child born to her in Bethlehem. I suspect that most Jews are like me and would never consider God having Messiah born of a woman who had already experienced sexual intercourse. And when God said that the boy child was going be named Immanuel, Jews know this means God With Us. They also know that Messiah would be a divine entity entering into the human realm. Jew’s also know in their heart of hearts that this divine entity would be and is very God. I learned a long time ago, early in my walk with the Lord, to let God be God. Even if that means letting God be whoever God says He is and let God manifest Himself in Whomever and wherever He deems divinely appropriate. After all He is the great I AM! Having read and studied God’s complete word many times over many years, I believe without a doubt that down through history, God has revealed Himself to many different people in different ways and in different persons or personalities and He is still God. He has lost not one smidgen of Who He is in His totality.
God has given ample warning to every Jew living today, just as He gave ample warning to your forefathers. God meant it when He said, through the Psalmist, in Psalm 95:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, 'It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest' " Psalms 95:8-11 (NKJV).
After a lapse of over 400 years without hearing from God, any sane person would have thought that the Jews of the first century, Anno Domini, would have greatly rejoiced at receiving “The Word”. But apparently not! Just as they have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks from the moment God brought them out of Egypt until this very day, Jews, apparently, have hearts like rocks and necks like rods of steel when it comes to true Spiritual matters.
Just as your Jewish forefathers refused to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God With Us, the Savior of all mankind, when He was here on earth, so has every generation of Jews since, with very few exceptions. Except now, God is allowing Satan to blind your eyes and shield your mind from believing because of the hardness of your hearts.
About 39 years ago, I discovered the writings of a Jewish man who lived in the first century A.D. I was very impressed with his credentials as a Rabbinic scholar and faithful Jew.
In one of his books he was explaining how zealous he was for the law and keeping Jewish traditions. I felt that he was somewhat of a braggart at times, but then not being a Jew myself, I could only imagine how being one of God’s chosen people would possibly give a person great pride in being a Jew.
He even seemed to boast about his being circumcised on the eighth day and that he was of the stock of Israel. Apparently it was also very important to him that he was of the tribe of Benjamin. He called himself a Hebrew of the Hebrews. He said, concerning the law, he was a Pharisee. He said concerning the righteousness which is in the law, He was blameless. Although, he seemed almost arrogantly prideful of being involved in persecuting the church of Jesus Christ to the death, in spite of that shortcoming, I had this impression that God truly had over the centuries spoken into the hearts and minds of many people, through him.
Consider very carefully what this 1st Century Jew had to say:
“What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor. He has given them eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, To this very day”.
Jews would know these truths, if they would limber up their stiffen necks and allow the Holy Spirit of God to reveal their Messiah to them through His New Testament.
I believe that everyone who seeks to know the Lord Jesus Christ will be drawn by the Holy Spirit into those necessary truths one must obtain to come to a biblical understanding of Who Christ is and what God’s will is for all unbelievers today. This one thing we know for certain: God is not willing that any should perish. However, no one will actually know that without reading it, or hearing it read, from the New Testament.
If Jews ever come to a place where they realize God is not going to damn, or anathematize them for reading the New Testament, a good place for them to start is with the book of John. But, no one should just read any of God’s Word simply for the sake of reading. If they want to know what God has for them in His word, they should ask God to give them spiritual insight into what He is saying through His Word: whether studying the Old or the New Testament.
Please understand, God reveals in the New Testament that when an unbeliever, believes in His Son unto salvation, the Holy Spirit of God immediately comes into that persons being and takes up residence and begins to guide them into all truth. It doesn’t matter if they desire truth from the Old or the New Testament, the Holy Spirit will guide them to truth they need to live in obedience to His will. Messiah revealed this to His followers just before He died, when He said to them:
“When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” John 16:13.
By the way, something else that 1st Century Jew revealed in his writings is that all of God’s Word, Old and New Testaments, comes from the heart of God. Here is what he said:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Mr. Silver, you admit that Jews are still waiting for The One to come and deliver them from ancient bondage. Well, I’ve got news for any Jew who will listen. He whom you are waiting for has come! In fact, HE is seated at this moment at the right hand of God the Father, where He intercedes for all believers, Jew and Gentile.
I cannot for the life of me understand why Jews continue to grovel in their unbelief, as if doing so will save their people from certain doom? When in truth, every soul a Jew persuades to continue denying Christ, when that person dies apart from Christ, they will go to hell, and Jews will have been used of Satan to help send them there.
I know that you hate the words of the one Who is the Word, but you and all Jews need to hear them over and over and over until you allow the Holy Spirit of God to convict you of your unbelief, of righteousness and of judgment. This is one of the gracious works that God sent the Holy Spirit into the world to do. For God said, through Israel’s deliverer, this about the Holy Spirit according to one of the 1st Century Jewish writers:
“And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world (unbelievers) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
Mr. Silver, surely your know that God so loved all the Jews and all the Gentiles that He sent His only Son to the nation of Israel to call the Jews to repentance and acceptance of His Son as Messiah and Lord. Actually, if you have limited your reading of God’s Word to the Old Testament, you may not know about God’s love as expressed in His Son. Had the Jews responded positively to God’s Son, God was going to place His Son on the throne of David and usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
The last sentence in the paragraph above is the promised scenario in which God’s Son would rule over Israel and so bless them that gentiles all over the world would flock to Israel desiring to be ruled over and blessed by their God. But, those to whom God sent His Son, instead of welcoming Him, they hated His Son and put Him to death.
Upon this rebellious act of Israel, God turned His attention to the Gentiles of the world. God informed Israel through His Words recorded in His authentic addition to Israel’s Holy Books, which make up the Old Testament, that until the times of the gentiles came to an end, if Jews desired a relationship with the Holy God of all creation, they would have to come through His Son in the same manner that Gentiles now come, by faith in the Son of God. And so it is.
End of My Comments - Back to Mr. Silvers commentary
And then a Jew stands up and claims that he is the messiah, the redeemer that is announced by the prophets. But he did not do what he was supposed to do, set the Jews free from their oppressors, the Romans, and establish an era of peace and tranquility for the Jewish people and all mankind. Instead he was killed, and all that is left of him is a collection of writings, called the New Testament. For the Jewish people, the Old Testament is the established word of G.d. Therefore, everything written in the New Testament must comply with the Old Testament, and not the other way around. The Old Testament can without any problem stand on his own, without the New Testament. The Jewish people have shown this already for more than 3000 years, but the New Testament cannot stand on its own without the Old Testament, because it claims to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Look for this fact in the following verses:
A Pause in Mr. Silver’s commentary – My Response to above comments begins
Actually before the Jew stood up He was lying in a manger, in a cattle stall in Bethlehem. He became a Jew as a result of being born of a Jewish virgin. A result of the Jewish virgin being with child, a progeny of God, as recorded in this authentic Word of God called the New Testimony of God and prophesied in the O.T. He came to His own and His own refused to receive Him. And just as He said, He was from God and He was God, but the Jews to whom He came, they refused Him and immediately began trying to kill Him.
Of course because the only record of His actual mistreatment at the hands of the Jews is recorded in the New Testimony, in fulfillment of OT prophecy, Jews are blinded to the these truths. Why? Because Jews refuse to give any credence to the Words of God recorded in this Testimony of His Son. Jews, proclaim the N.T. is not the authentic Word of God. Of course, if you repeat a falsehood often enough, you not only come to believe it, you can get others to believe it also.
Although the New Testimony of God shows Jews are guilty of rejecting and having put to death their own Messiah, God still loves them. This New Testimony of God reveals God’s love for all mankind. It also reveals God working in the lives of Jews for the benefit of Jews as recorded in the Gospels of this New Testimony and Jews still will not accept it.
Not only do Jews refuse to authenticate the New Testament, they refuse to authenticate those passages of scripture that reveal all the suffering that Messiah Jesus Christ endured, that is recorded in the Jewish Old Testament. How do you authenticate Old Testament Prophecy? You compare it to what actually happened as recorded in the New Testament. Then, if what the prophet of the Old Testament said was going to happen, actually happens, you know the Old Testament prophecy was true prophecy. Such as:
“I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and their spitting on me.” Isaiah 50:6;
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our grief And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And yet the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:3-6;
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7
God does not look down upon His people today and make excuses for them for neglecting His Word. The books of the Old Testament, up until the giving of the Law, are not only valuable to Israel. These are primary history books given to all mankind as a record of how the true God of the Universe worked in the lives of the people He created from Adam until He gave the Law to Israel. However, one of the main thrusts of much of the Old Testament was to establish and trace the lineage of God’s people, Israel, which is also the lineage of Messiah.
God’s covenant with Israel, the Mosaic Law and all additional laws given to Israel in conjunction with the Mosaic Law, recorded in the books of the Old Testament, were for Israel alone. But, much of the Old Testament God is a resource given to all people who want a better understanding of God and His works from the beginning of time. Therefore, no man who lives today can say, I don’t have any information about God, so how can I believe in Him. In fact, God has revealed in the New Testimony that man is without excuse. For even those who have had no written word of God delivered to them have the testimony that “God is” through His testimony of creation.
End of my comments - Back to Mr. Silvers Commentary
Matthew 5:17; "Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
Luke 4:16-21; "And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias ... and he began to say unto them: This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
So if the New Testament goes against the Old Testament, it must be rejected as being false.
A Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary- My Response to Above Comments Begins
As Mr. Smith has revealed by the passages of scripture from the New Testament, Jesus did not come to destroy the Law or the prophets, but to fulfill them. And He did. He kept and fulfilled them in at least three different ways. First, as a law abiding Jew He kept the Law perfectly as given to Moses for the Jews. Jesus did not however keep the Jewish precepts and traditions, that were not given or approved by God, and this was not to the satisfaction of the Jews. Secondly, Jesus fulfilled the Law on behalf of all who would believe in Him. He did this, because God knew no man could keep the law, and God was determined He would not condition His blessings on whether believers in His Son kept the Law perfectly, or not. Thirdly, Jesus also kept the law for us, so that Satan could never condemn a believer before God as being a law breaker, since the Son of God had kept the Law perfectly on their behalf.
All these things are revealed in the New Testament to believers who seek God’s wisdom and are surrendered to the work of the Holy Spirit who abides in them. For instance, The Law of Moses will be restored to Israel at the beginning of the millennial kingdom. Also, Israel will be given additional New Laws for the Millennial Kingdom, when God issues in the Kingdom at the Second coming of Israel’s Messiah.
The writings of these first century Jews reveal that at the close of the Tribulation period, when Messiah is coming in the air to defeat the enemies of Israel, every Jew on earth will behold Him. Here is prophecy from the writings of one of those 1st century Jewish writers:
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”
For every eye, meaning every eye in the world, to see Messiah as He comes from heaven with the armies of heaven, is a supernatural happening. Think about it, no matter where a person is living on planet earth at the time of Israel’s Messiah coming the second time to earth, everyone in the world will behold him, at twilight, or day or dark of night.
God’s desire is to turn the heart of every Jew on earth to Himself, at this time. So, by a supernatural event, all the Jews in the world, who have survived the seven years of tribulation, without receiving the Mark of the Anti-Christ, will look upon Israel’s Savior, Messiah and King coming in the air on a majestic white horse from heaven.
At that time every Jew alive on earth will be given one last chance to embrace their Messiah as their Lord, Savior and King. If they do not receive Him at this His second coming, their rejection will haunt them in hell, for this is where they will be assigned for all eternity. However, unbelieving Jews will not be alone. They will be in the presence of every unbelieving Gentile, who has survived the tribulation, but who also have refused to believe in Jesus Christ.
New Testament scripture reveals, since Messiah was put to death on the cross, there has been only one way for anyone, Jew or gentile, to come to God, to relate to God, to be accepted by God. That one way is through believing in God’s Son.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).
Therefore, God cannot be held responsible for: 1.) the stubborn refusal of Jews or gentiles, to read the totality of God’s word, found in the Old and New Testament; and 2.) their not coming to know God’s plan of salvation as revealed in the New Testament. These are two good reasons for everyone to be reading God’s complete word.
Return to Mr. Silver’s commentary
Now let us take a closer and open-minded look at the New Testament.
1. The reliability of the New Testament
Let's start at the beginning, that is the book of Matthew. It starts with a genealogy of Jesus, starting with Abraham and ending with Joseph, Mary's husband, "of who is born Jesus, who is called Christ." Matthew 1:16. It is further stated, in verse 17, that all the generations from Abraham to David were 14 generations, and from David to the Babylonian exile were 14 generations, and from the exile to Christ were 14 generations. Here already we stumble upon a major problem; in the Holy book of Chronicles, I Chr. 3:10-24, the genealogy of the family of Solomon is given, and in the book of Chronicles there are 18 generations between King David and the Babylonian exile, and not 14.
In the genealogy in the Book of Matthew we are missing four names that are clearly listed in the Hebrew Bible. So according to the Holy Old Testament there are 18 generations between King David and the Babylonian exile, whereas the New Testament claims that there are 14.
If the New Testament is the divinely inspired word of G.d, then how can such a mistake appear in it?
In this context it is also interesting to look at the book of Luke, chapter 3, from verse 23. Here Luke also gives the genealogy of Jesus, but a brief reading is enough to show you that this genealogy is completely different from Matthew's genealogy. In the book of Matthew the father of Joseph is Jacob, whose father is Matthan, whose father is Eleazar. In the book of Luke the father of Joseph is Heli, whose father is Matthat, whose father is Levi.
How can this be?...... Was Mary married to two Josephs?
Things like this constitute a grave problem for somebody who looks objectively and open-mindedly to the New Testament.
Some say that Luke gives the genealogy of Jesus through his mother Mary. But this makes no sense, because it is clearly written in Luke 3:23; "And Jesus himself began to be about 30 years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, who was the son of Heli, who was the son of ..." It clearly gives the genealogy of Joseph. The name Mary is not even mentioned in this chapter.
So the New Testament not only contradicts the Old Testament, but it also contradicts itself. Since we have two different genealogies, at least one must be wrong. These difficulties were already recognized in the time of Paul. Therefore he wrote to Titus: "But avoid foolish questions and genealogies and strivings about the law, for they are unprofitable and vain." Titus 3:9. See also I Timothy 1:3-4.
But avoiding the problem does not make it go away.
The facts are that here already are big mistakes in the gospels.
In Matthew 1:18 we read: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy ghost." When Joseph wanted to leave her, because she was pregnant with somebody else, an angel came to him (verse 20) and said: "That what is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." It is clearly written here, and firmly believed by Christianity, that Joseph was not the father of Jesus. Then what is the point of trying to prove that Jesus descended from King David (Matthew 1:1) by giving the genealogy of Joseph who was not his father?
The angel tells Joseph (Matthew 1:22-23) that this is done in order to fulfill the word of the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel." This prophecy is recorded in Isaiah 7:14. There it says: "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bare a son and shall call his name Emmanuel." But for the Jewish reader who knows Hebrew, this also raises problems. The Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 that the king James translation translates as virgin is almah. In Hebrew almah means girl, young woman, that can be, or not, a virgin. Therefore the word virgin in Isaiah 7:14 is a wrong translation. The Hebrew word for virgin is betulah, that word is used for instance when the Holy Torah speaks about Rebecca in Genesis 24:16: "...a virgin, neither had any man known her"
This fact is recognized by many Christian Bible translators, for instance "The New English Bible", "The Good News Bible", and "The Revised Standard Version" have translated this verse in the right way, and not as virgin. .
The King James translation recognizes this fact too. When we look for instance at Exodus 2:8, and at Proverbs 30:19, there the Hebrew text also uses the word almah, and there the King James translates it with maid, which is a girl or young woman, whose state of virginity is unspecified. And in psalm 68:25 the King James translates almah as damsel, whose meaning is similar as maid.
So the New Testament is here misquoting the Old Testament.
Nowhere in the Old Testament is there a prophecy that the messiah will be born unto a virgin. In fact, nowhere in the Old Testament do virgins give birth. This concept is only to be found in pagan mythology.
The angel goes on quoting the prophet Isaiah saying: "And they shall call his name Immanuel". But this is not what is written in Isaiah 7:14; there it clearly says in the Hebrew and in the King James translation, that she, the mother, shall call his name Immanuel. This prophecy is never fulfilled in Jesus, he is never named Immanuel, instead his name was Jesus. This verse also cannot apply to Jesus because it says in verse 16: "For before the child shall know to refuse evil and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of their kings." It says here that there will be a time period that the child will not be able to refuse the evil. And since Jesus is, according to Christianity, without any sins, this verse cannot apply to him. ... And when we look at this verse in the right context, when we look at the whole chapter of Isaiah 7, then we see that this verse is definitely not refering to the coming of the messiah. This chapter talks about G.d giving a sign to Achaz, that he will have tranquility in his days. We see from this two things: the whole chapter speaks about the days of Achaz, about 700 years before Jesus; verse 14: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you (King Achaz) a sign." G.d would not give him a sign by having a baby born 700 years after his death. The second thing that we see is that the baby that is talked about is only a sign, not a redeemer. G.d is the redeemer, as it is written in verse 17: "The Lord shall bring upon thee."
But quoting prophecies or conveying happenings from the Old Testament is not really the strong side of the New Testament. Look for instance at the book of Acts chapter 7. Here Stephen is arrested and led before the high court, accused of blasphemy. He speaks there about G.d calling Abraham. Acts 7:4 says: "He dwelt in Charran, and from there, when his father was dead, He removed him into this land wherein you now dwell." Here it clearly says that Abraham left Charran after the death of his father. Who was his father? See Genesis 11:26: "And Terah lived 70 years and he begot Abram, Nahor and Haran.
So Abraham's father was Terah, who was 70 years when he begot Abraham.-Genesis 12:4: "And Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from Haran." At this time, when Abraham departed from Haran, his father was 70+75=145 years old. And how long did his father live? Genesis 11:32: "And the days of Terah were 205 years and Terah died in Haran."..
When Abraham left Haran his father was 145 years old. His father lived to be 205 years old. That means that after Abraham left Haran, his father lived another 60 years. (205-145)
So how can Stephen say that Abraham left Haran after the death of his father?
In the same chapter it is written, Acts 7:14; "Then send Joseph and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls." Now look what the Holy book of Genesis says about this event. Genesis 46:27; "All the souls of the house of Jacob that came into Egypt were threescore and ten souls." So the Torah says that 70 people of Jacobs household left for Egypt, and Stephen says 75. How can this be?
In verses 15 and 16 of Acts 7 Stephen says; "So Jacob went down into Egypt and died, he and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid into the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor, the father of Sychem."
This verse contains multiple mistakes.
Jacob was not buried in Schem, he was buried in the cave of the field of Machpela at Mamre. Genesis 49:33; "And when Jacob had made an end to commanding his sons he gathered up his feet into the bed and yielded up the ghost and was gathered unto his people."
Genesis 50:13; "For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpela which Abraham bought with the field for a possession for a burying place of Ephron the Hittite before Mamre."
So we see that Abraham did not buy a tomb in Schem, but in Mamre, which is Hebron, (Genesis 23:19) and there was Jacob buried, and not in Schem.
There was in fact a burial place in Schem, but it was bought not by Abraham, but by Jacob, and not Jacob, but Joseph was buried there. See Joshua 24:32: "And the bones of Joseph which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground that Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred pieces of silver."
About Stephen it is written (Acts 6:5), that he was full of the Holy Ghost, and that they were not able to resist the spirit and wisdom by which he spoke. (verse 10)
What kind of wisdom is this, making mistake after mistake after mistake, all these misquotations?
Can somebody who is full of the Holy Ghost make so many mistakes?
What does this say about the reliability of the New Testament?
And what about the leading figure of the New Testament, Jesus, how reliable are his statements? Look at a statement by him from Mark 2:26. Here he says that David entered the Temple (Tabernacle) in the days of Abiathar the high priest and ate the showbreads. This event is recorded in I Samuel 21:1; "Then came David to Nob, to Achimelech the priest, ..." During this incident Achimelech was high priest, and not his son Abiathar. A high priest functions until the day he dies, and then his son takes over. So only after the death of Achimelech, recorded in I Samuel 22:18, did his son Abiathar succeed him, as we can see in I Samuel 30:7; "And David said to Abiathar the priest, Achimelech's son, ..."
Let us take a look at an other of Jesus' statements, from Matthew 23:35: "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of the righteous Able unto the blood of Zacherias son of Berachias, whom you slaughtered between the Temple and the altar." This event is recorded in II Chronicles 24:20-21; "And the spirit of G.d came upon Zacheriah son of Jehoiada the priest which stood above the people, and said to them ... And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones, at the commandment of the King, in the house of the Lord". .
Here we see that the Zacherias who was slaughtered between the Temple and the altar was the son of Jehoiada, and not the son of Berachia, as stated by Jesus. Jesus was mixing up two things: There was a prophet Zacherias son of Berachias, but he was not the one who was slain (II Chronicles 24:22) in the Temple courtyard. Zacherias son of Berachias was the prophet who gave us the Bible book Zacheriah. Look in Zacheriah 1:1; "In the eight month in the second year of Darius came the word of the Lord (Y-H-W-H) to Zecheriah, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo the prophet..." This Zecheriah lived after the destruction of the first Temple, during the rebuilding of the second Temple. The killing of Zacherias son of Jehoiada in the Temple courtyard happened in the first Temple period, long before Zecheriah son of Berechiah. In case that in your Bible translation Zacheriah 1:1 says "Zecheriah, son of Iddo the prophet, ..." then be assured of the fact that the Hebrew text says; "Zecheriah, son of Berachiah, son of Iddo the prophet, ..." In some Bible translations is the text corrupted in order to cover up this mistake of Jesus.
So from this we see that even the words of Jesus are not reliable.
How can it be that the "son of G.d", according to Christianity G.d himself, makes such elementary mistakes?
To a Jewish reader this indicates that the people from the New Testament just did not know their Bible.
For a Jew this is enough to disqualify the whole New Testament.
The arguments; "O.K, the New Testament is not reliable, but the Old Testament, which is much older, is also not reliable", or the argument; "The Jews changed the Old Testament after the rise of Christianity, in order to discredit Christianity" are not valid. The Torah, the most Holy part of the Hebrew Bible, is transmitted through the ages, over a time period of 3300 years with an astonishing degree of accuracy. There are very many rules that apply to the copying process of Torah scrolls: They may only be written on parchment of kosher animals, which must be sewn together with tendons of kosher animals. It may only be written by a Jew, dressed in a Jewish garment, in a state of ritual purity, which means that, amongst other things, he must wash himself in a ritual bath. Even his state of mind is subjected to certain rulings. The whole manuscript must be ruled before it is written upon, when three words are written without ruling, the whole manuscript is disqualified and must be buried. The ink may only be black, prepared according to an ancient recipe. The Torah scroll may only be copied from another authentic scroll, and absolutely no deviation is allowed. Absolutely no words may be written without first looking to the example. The length of each column must be between 48 and 60 rules, and the width must be 30 letters. Between the letters must be a space as wide as a hair, between the paragraphs a space of nine letters, between the books a space of three rules. Calculations have been made how many letters there are in the whole Torah, which letter is the middle, how many letters there are in every book of the Torah, how many times certain words and even letters appear in the text. And there are many, many more rules for copying Torah scrolls that are still in effect, up to this day. No other religion had such an extremely precise way of copying their holy texts. This shows the enormous respect that the Jewish people have for the sacred text, and this is the reason that the text is handed down through the millennia with an extreme grade of accuracy. .......Every expert, and everybody knowledgeable in the field of Biblical texts, agrees upon the fact that the Old Testament, even though much older than the New Testament, is handed down much more accurate than the New Testament.
The Old Testament could not be changed after the arising of Christianity, because it was already widely known to the non-Jewish world. Alexander the Great founded in 332 before the Common Era (B.C.E.) the city Alexandria. The Jews had there from the beginning a prominent place, and at one point there were living there one million Jews. The main language there was Greek, therefore a Greek translation of the Old Testament was made for the Jews there, known as the Septuagint. Septuagint means seventy. It points to the 72 translators, six of every tribe of Israel, who made this translation, which was finished about 250 B.C.E. One copy of the Septuagint was kept in the library of Alexandria.
When the Jewish people were exiled to Babylon, the land was filled with pagan tribes. They mixed with the remnant of the Jews, and started to take over large parts of the Jewish religion, and they accepted the Torah. A Jewish priest was sent from Babylon in order to teach those pagan tribes, now living in Samaria, how to live according G.d's commandments. (II Kings 17:24-29) When the Jews came back from the Babylonian exile, these Samaritans wanted to join the Jewish people, but they were rejected because they were still involved in idol worship. This caused a great deal of animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans even obstructed the rebuilding of the second Temple. (Ezra 4) The Samaritans remained a sect separated from the Jewish people and their entire Bible consists of the first five books, the Torah. These events took place about 350 B.C.E. The Samaritans are still around today as a small sect in Israel.
The Samaritan Torah and the Septuagint were not subjected to such a very precise copying process as the Jewish Torah. But nevertheless, when we compare the Old Testament to the Septuagint, and the Jewish Torah to the Samaritan Torah, then we see that in most places were Stephen and Jesus made serious mistakes, these texts agree with the Jewish Bible. Therefore, even the Greek Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church of Greek rite, who up to this day have the Septuagint as their official text of the Old Testament, are faced with serious problems.
A Pause from Mr. Silver’s commentary - My response to above comments begin
When I was an atheist, before coming to faith in Jesus Christ, I used the same tactics that Mr. Silver uses above to argue with believers about the incomprehensible stupidity of anyone believing a holy book that was filled with so many gross errors. I would begin my diatribe against God’s word with what I thought was a hilariously funny line from an interview between television comedian, Woody Allen, and Billy Graham. When Mr. Graham asked Woody if he read the bible, Woody quipped that he sat around every day reading the bible and penciling in corrections. Whether reading in the Old or New Testament, we can always find what we think are errors, if we want to, to help us misuse God’s Word.
I definitely remember as an unbeliever trying my best to torture believers by insisting that the bible was full of error and falsehoods. However, when I came face to face with the living God, what few mistakes there might have been between the pages of God’s word, held little relevance in light of my lost condition. Those truths which God, through the Holy Spirit, used to convict me of sin, righteousness, judgment and my lost condition came exclusively from the New Testament portion of His total word.
Though I was reading huge amounts of Old Testament scripture, as well as New Testament Scripture, in my search for God, God convicted me upon my hearing that passage of scripture in the Book of Romans, chapter one, verses 18 thru 32. I believe that God wants to use any portion of scripture, that would be applicable, to convict all lost people today, Jew and Gentile. In my experience in sharing the good news, any portion of His word that reveals His love for mankind through the sacrifice of His Son, produces results. These truths are found almost exclusively in the New Testament, that portion of God’s Word which the Jews reject.
Why God chose not to totally reveal His Son, Israel’s Messiah, and His plan of salvation in the Old Testament, has not been revealed in any part of the Holy Bible. My observation has been that God’s grace can never co-exist with Law. Therefore, God had to reveal His Son, and then through His Son, God could reveal His grace, absent of any encroachment of the Law. For whatever reason, apart from those prophetic passages, God chose to contain these new revelations entirely in a New Testament, or New Testimony of God.
As to whether or not the word that Isaiah used in Is. 7:14 for virgin came from the Hebrew word almah or betulah is of no importance. As you have explained one means a young maiden, who may not be a virgin and the other means a true virgin. What is important is revealed in God’s Word, the New Testament, when the scripture is dealing with the bona fide real life person who gave birth to God’s Son, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
As recorded in the writings of a first century Gentile writer, Luke, the Words of Jesus Christ, spoken through the Holy Spirit into the ear, heart and mind of the writer, and written down on parchment under inspiration of the same Holy Spirit were:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary” (Luke 1:26-27).
And to the virgin Mary the angel Gabriel said:
"Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:28 - 35).
Back to Mr. Silvers Commentary
Even the name "New Testament" is not correct: It points to the new covenant that G.d will make with the Jewish people. Paul claims that this is done through Jesus. Paul says in Hebrews 10:15-17; "Whereof the Holy Ghost is also a witness to us, for after he had said before: This is the covenant that I will make with them, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws in their heart and in their minds will I write them. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." This is written in Jeremiah 31:31-34; "Behold, the days come saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not according to the old covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which my covenant they broke, although I was as a husband to them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in there inward parts and write it in their hearts, and I will be there G.d, and they shall be my people. And they shall no more each man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them till the greatest, saith the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sins no more."
Are we now in the days that everybody knows about the Lord (Y-H-W-H)? That nobody has to teach his neighbor about G.d? Obviously not! So, even the reference to the new covenant, the "New Testament", is not correct.
A Pause from Mr. Silver’s commentary - My response to comments above
Was God lying when He gave the prophecy to Jeremiah as stated in chapter 31? No. God was not lying. When God gave the prophecy to Jeremiah referencing a New Covenant with Israel, God knew that Israel would reject His Son and that His Son would have to die at the hands of Romans. The Romans were compelled to crucify the Lord of Glory by angry Christ rejecting Jews, who wanted nothing to do with the Son of God.
However, the Covenant promised by God through Jeremiah was not null and void upon Christ being rejected by the Jews and put to death, it was postponed. However, those Jews who have believed in Messiah since the cross have spiritually fulfilled that prophecy for themselves and they are now living, along with Gentile believers, under a New Covenant with God. This new covenant which became effective on the death of Jesus Christ is known as the Covenant of Grace. At the heart of The Covenant of Grace is faith by the individual in Jesus Christ alone. Every aspect of a believer’s relationship with God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit depends solely on God’s grace. There is no law involved in the Covenant of Grace whatsoever, other than the law of love. Rejecting Christ as Messiah did not delay the New Covenant of Grace. Christians, Jew and Gentile, have been enjoying this New Covenant for nearly two thousand years. Many of those Jews who have believed in Jesus Christ are now in heaven with Jesus Christ having been glorified the moment they entered His presence at death.
As to the reference you made to Hebrews 10:15-17, know this: The Holy Spirit's testimony to the finality of Christ's sacrifice is quoted from Jer. 31. This prophecy of the new covenant for Israel, however, envisions Israel's conversion at the second advent, not the first. However, inasmuch as the new covenant in Jer. 31 is based on the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice, its blessings are for both the church and Israel.
There is coming a time revealed in the Old Testament as the time of Jacobs trouble. This is revealed in Jeremiah 30:
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, (2) "Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: 'Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you. (3) For behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,' says the LORD. 'And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.' " (4) Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah. (5) "For thus says the LORD: 'We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace. (6) Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? (7) Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it. (8) 'For it shall come to pass in that day,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. (9) But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them.” (Jer. 30:1-9).
Carefully studying God’s whole word reveals that this time of Jacob’s trouble corresponds to what the Church teaches about the Tribulation period that will come upon the earth immediately prior to the second coming of Messiah, Jesus Christ.
The period of tribulation covers about seven years. It begins shortly after Jesus comes in the air above the earth and calls all believers to come and join Him. This is known as the Rapture of the Church. When I say, that upon all believers being taken off the earth and back to heaven with Jesus, at the time of the rapture, I am putting it lightly when I say all hell is going to break loose. You can read about some of what transpires in the book of Daniel. But for the birds eye few read Revelations.
God is going to return to Israel all those Jews still living in foreign lands, who wish to return, during this seven year period. Scripture doesn’t say what happens to those who don’t want to return. In fact, we saw in 2013 and are seeing early 2014 more Jews returning to Israel from foreign lands than at any time since Israel became a nation in 1948. Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption announced that 22,470 Israelis who were living outside of Israel returned to Israel in the past two and a half years since 2010.
This time of tribulation is designed by God for the benefit of Jews. Shortly after the church is raptured there will be 144,000 Jews who come to faith in Jesus Christ. Their assignment is to share the gospel with unbelieving Jews all over the world. In doing so, they will help bring as many as possible to faith in Christ and back to Israel.
Jews who come to faith in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation period, but before Christ’s second coming, will embrace the Covenant of Grace, just as new believers have since the cross.
At the beginning of the tribulation period a man will be raised up by Satan to become the leader of the world. He is known as the anti-Christ and He will inaugurate a one world government and religion exalting himself as a god. At first, Israel will fall for his persuasive persona and will sign a treaty of peace with him as the world leader because of his promise that he will help Israel rebuild the temple and inaugurate animal sacrifices once more.
At the midpoint of this tribulation period the anti-Christ will break his covenant with Israel. From that point to the end of the seven year period, Israel will suffer the wrath of the demonic leader. By the end of the seven years of tribulation, anti-Christ will have persuaded all the other nations of the world to send their armies to the middle east and surround Israel with the intention of obliterating the nation and killing every Jew in the Holy Land.
Upon the nations of the world surrounding Israel with the intention of completely destroying the nation, God will send His Son, Jesus Christ, from heaven, followed by all the armies of heaven (read the church and all the angels of heaven) to defeat all the enemies of Israel and to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth that will last one thousand years.
While Christ is descending from heaven, accompanied by His bride, the church and the armies of heaven, to rescue Israel from total annihilation, God is going to perform the most amazing miracle of all time. God is going to supernaturally enable the eyes of every believer and unbeliever on the face of the earth, Jew and Gentile, to behold His Son coming to earth to rescue Israel. At this time every person on earth will see Him and they will know Who He is and every unbeliever will be given one last opportunity to believe in Him as their Savior. One of those first century Jewish writers revealed this amazing supernatural feat:
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”
Scripture reveals that all Jews will see and recognize their Messiah. Some, though they will recognize Him will not place their faith in Him. However, most of the unbelieving Jews, upon recognizing Him as Messiah, will believe in Him unto salvation and will enter the millennial Kingdom as part of the converted remnant of Israel. Those gentiles that open their hearts to Him at that time will enter the Kingdom as gentile believers.
Upon defeating the enemies of Israel, Jesus Christ will institute the Millennial Kingdom of Heaven on earth and He will bring into existence the New Covenant with Israel prophesied in Jer. 31. This is the covenant under which Israel will live in their promised land for one thousand years. This is in addition to the covenant of Grace under which believers came to faith during the tribulation period. Believers alive today will have already been glorified and we will live and reign with Christ under the Covenant of Grace through the Millennial Kingdom and through all eternity.
This New Covenant with the believing remnant of Israel finally comes to fruition and will last through the Millennial Kingdom. This is an excellent example of God’s word never returning to Him void of fulfillment.
Return to Mr. Silver’s commentary
2. The divinity of Jesus.
Let us now take a look at the message that the New Testament is trying to give us, armed with the knowledge that, as shown before, there is one G.d, and that one G.d is one. Surprising as it may be, in the New Testament G.d is also one. Look for this fact at the following verses: Mark 12:29-34. Here Jesus himself speaks: "Hear Israel, the Lord our G.d is one Lord." And in verse 32 he is answered: "There is one G.d, and there is no other than He", upon which Jesus replies: "You are not far from the kingdom of G.d."
So also for Jesus G.d is clearly one.
And what about Paul, who wrote more than half of all the books of the New Testament, what does he think about it?
Romans 3:30: "Seeing it is one G.d, ..."
I Corinthians 8:4: "We know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no other G.d than one."
Idem verse 6: "But to us there is but one G.d ..."
Ephesians 4:6; "One G.d and father of all, ..."
I Timothy 2:5; "For there is one G.d ..."
And look what James says in James 2:19; "You believe that there is one G.d, and you do well."
Also in the New Testament G.d is one.
Please take good notice that nowhere here is spoken about, or even hinted at a trinity.
The concept of trinity is nowhere to be found in the Old or the New Testament.
And what does the New Testament say about Jesus? It says that he is a god. Look for instance at what Thomas says to Jesus; "My Lord and my god." John 20:28.
The gospel of John turns Jesus into the creating G.d. Look at the first verses of John 1; "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with G.d, and the word was G.d. The same was in the beginning with G.d." Here, in verses 1 and 2, it clearly says that "the word" is G.d..... Now look at verse 3; "All things are made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made." Here it says that everything is made by him (the word), so the word is the creating G.d. Who is the word? Look at verse 14; "And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father." The word made flesh is, according to Christianity, Jesus. So according the New Testament Jesus is the creating G.d. Also in Colossians 1:16 it clearly says that Jesus is the creating G.d. Please read verse 12-18 of Colossians 1 in order to get a clear overview of this.
In John 10:30 Jesus says; "I and my father are one."
So here we have a case of a human being saying that he is G.d. But according to the Holy Hebrew scriptures this is impossible, because it is stated in Numbers 23:19, in I Samuel 15:29, and in Hosea 11:9 that G.d is not a man. The Jewish idea about G.d is that He is a spiritual being, and not flesh and blood. See Genesis 1:2; "And the spirit of G.d moved upon the face of the waters.".......... For a Jew it is an abomination that the one true G.d should be a human. G.d is an indefinable, spiritual, invisible being. "There shall no man see me and live." Exodus 33:20. By saying that G.d is a man, or that He is 2, or 3, or 3 in 1, you are defining G.d, who is indefinable.
The idea that Jesus was G.d also goes against the oneness of G.d. How can G.d be one when He is walking around upon the earth as a man and at the same time He is in heaven?
Even though Jesus says that he and the father are one, this is clearly not the case. Look at Matthew 23:9; "And call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your father, which is in heaven." So here Jesus excludes himself from being the father in heaven.
Luke 22:41-42; "He prayed, saying: ... not my will, but thine be done." This also indicates that the father and Jesus are not the same person, otherwise he would be praying to himself. If they were the same person then Jesus' will would have been automatically the will of the father, but he says: Not my will but your will be done.
A Pause in Mr. Silver’s commentary - My response to above comments begins
Before Jesus began His ministry of revealing to the nation of Israel that He had come from God to show them by His miracles and through His teaching that He was the Son of God, God had already sent a prophet like unto Moses to prepare the way for that message and the messenger.
John, the son of a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah, God raised up and sent to the Jews to prepare the way of the Lord. John told the Jews their Messiah was coming and if they would repent and turn back to God that God would institute the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. In this Kingdom of Heaven on earth God’s Son would be their King, reigning from King David’s throne in Jerusalem for a thousand years. When Jesus began His ministry His message sounded repetitive of John’s because it was. The same message was given to both John and the Lord Jesus because God knew the Jews. On numerous occasions God said that Jews were an obstinate, hard headed, stiff necked, rebellious people who refused to listen to the prophets He had sent down through the history of the people. God knew that the Jews would not listen to their Messiah, but He wanted to give them every opportunity to turn back to Him, so He sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for His Son, their Messiah. Here is the message God gave both to preach:
“Repent you sinners for the Kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand.”
God didn’t give this message because He was angry with the Jews. God didn’t give this message because He wanted to revile, castigate, embarrass, harass and malign the Jews. He gave message because He loved the Jews and He wanted them to see who they were in His eyes and He wanted them to turn back to Him and receive those blessings He desired to bestow on them.
Two thousand years after they rejected His Son, God still loves the Jews. He is still committed to them. There are ample testimonies of His blessings on that nation since they became a nation by decree of international law in 1948. God is still going to fulfill every promise He made to them as a nation, including His promises to Abraham. However, in this present age of grace, the only way for Jews to be esteemed and highly honored by God is individually through His Son. Yet, because Jews are being taught by their scholars and teachers that the New Testament is, in essence, a work of Satan, not to be trusted, not to be read and certainly not to be followed, Jews cannot receive the truths of God during their continued rebellion.
Here are some examples of the truths found in God’s Word, the New Testament. I warn everyone who reads The Word that the living God may very well get a grip on your heart and never let go of it. And I pray that He will.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-14).
I am not a scholar, but, I personally know One Who is. Actually, He is not just any garden variety of a scholar, He is the Scholar of all biblical scholars! He was most instrumental in the writing God’s Holy Bible in its entirety. I am talking of course about the Holy Spirit of God. Whether you believe in, or even know about, the Holy Spirit does not impact or change who He is. He is the One who comes to live in every person who believes in the Son of God as the Son of God and Savior of the mankind in this age of grace.
Mr. Silver, there is probably nothing I could ever say, no matter what scripture I used, to sufficiently explain to your satisfaction, why I believe that God is one God. Yet, being God, He possesses the power, inclination and purpose to reveal Himself in the person, the personalities and work of the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son. You are so singularly focused on Jewish biases, I doubt that God Himself could convince you that He is more than you have ever conceived Him to be.
I want you to read with your own eyes and experience with your heart the truth that at the creation of the universe there were clearly at least two divine entities involved in creation. Read what God says in Genesis 1:26 :
“Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; (We will) let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Mr. Silver, here is a question for all the sons and daughters of Israel who are so emphatic about making the point that God is: absolutely, irrevocably, indivisibly - one. In the above verse from Genesis, to whom is God speaking when He uses the plural and possessive pronouns, Us and Our, in the above verse? In your heart of hearts you must not know the answer to my question based on what you have said above. Oh, you may have some intellectual reasoning and thoughts, but it is only when a Jew has a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus that they understand exactly to Whom God speaks in the above verse. Today, an unregenerate Jewish heart will reject the truth of what the scriptures above reveals, just as their forefathers have rejected God since their vacation in Egypt and especially since they rejected their Messiah for almost 2000 years.
Ask any religious Jewish scholar if the Hebrew Holy Books are the foundation of all revealed truth, and undoubtedly he will emphatically say “Yes”. However, ask him or her if the New Testament is a legitimate part of the Holy Word of God and he will tell you emphatically “No”. Why? Because the New Testament, although given by God, was given apart from the Hebrew Holy books, some of which make up the Old Testament. Others Jewish holy books include the Talmudic writings that Jews place on the same level as God’s Holy Word. Also, and this is truth personified, the New Testament reveals the prophesied Messiah, whom Jews refuse to accept to their eternal condemnation. Jews do not accept the New Testament as any part of God’s word to a Jew. Yet, most of the New Testament was written by Jews, with a special inclusive message for the Jews.
From what I know of the Hebrew bible it consists of 24 books. Five books of the Torah or "Instruction"; Eight books of the Nevi'im or "Prophets" and eleven books of the Ketuvim or "Writings" or "Scriptures". Jews believe anything outside of these 24 books are not Holy Scripture, thus, to Jews the New Testament is not of God. One gigantic exception will be those so called holy writings found in the Talmud. By now these are more important than the actual words of the writers of the original twenty four books.
In the writings of Jews who have converted to Christ, most say their conversion came after having decided that the New Testament was God’s message to anyone who desired to believe in and embrace Jesus as the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind.
Technically, from a true biblical and spiritual viewpoint, there are only two classes, groups, or types of people on earth today: believers and unbelievers. In this age of grace God is making no distinctions, along Jewish/Gentile lines, for purpose of salvation. God will save whosoever will believe in His Son for salvation. Once, the age of grace comes to an end, God will begin dealing with all mankind through the Lord Jesus Christ seated on the throne of David in Jerusalem in the millennial Kingdom. But until then every man and every woman who dies without Jesus Christ condemns themselves to hell for all eternity.
At this very moment, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, awaiting that time when God will tell Him, “Son go get your bride and bring her back to heaven.” In His capacity as the Head of the Church He intercedes continually for everyone who believes in Him. When God sends Him for His bride, He will come in the atmosphere to a point somewhere above the earth and with the sound of a trumpet and the shout of an archangel, He will call the church from all over the world to come to Him. This is known as the Rapture of the Church. And no you will not find it explicitly mentioned in the Old Testament. It is a New Testament event, for those whom God chose before the foundation of the World, in His Son.
Once we, the church, have all gathered to Him, He will take us back to heaven where we will reside with Him and all the inhabitants of heaven for about seven years.
Upon the removal of all believers from the face of the earth, the ever present restraining power of God’s Holy Spirit indwelling all believers, while they were here on earth, will disappear and suddenly evil will be allowed to run rampant over the earth. In the New Testament this Restraining Power of the Holy Spirit is what keeps Satan and his demons from having absolute total free reign over the earth.
Almost immediately there will arise a man to political and religious power, who is under Satan’s control. He is referred to in the Whole of Scripture as: the man of sin; the son of perdition; the lawless one; the AntiChrist; and the beast. In the seventh chapter of Daniel he is referred to as the “little horn” in verse 8, who has: “eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words”.
This evil person will befriend Israel and sign a peace treaty with that nation that will last about three and a half years. At the end of those three and one half years will begin a period of the most horrible suffering and evil ever experience by mankind. This is known as the Great Tribulation period. This period of unparalleled suffering will precede the establishment of the future kingdom of Israel. At the close of this period of Great Tribulation is when God sends His Son and all the armies of heaven to earth to rescue Israel from total annihilation and to set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.
For one thousand years Jesus Christ the Son of God, Israel’s Messiah, will reign over Israel in her promised land, from the throne of David in Jerusalem. At the end of the millennial kingdom on earth, Jesus will surrender all authority to God His Father and the Lord God will reign on His throne over the entire Universe throughout eternity future.
Return to Mr. Silvers commentary
Even in heaven Jesus is subordinated to the father according I Corinthians 15:28, Matthew 20:23, Philippians 2:9, so it is impossible that they are the same person. We can add many other examples to this. The interested reader can read for example Matthew 24:36, John 5:19-23, 12:27, 17:24, 18:11, Colossians 1:15.
When Jesus hangs on the cross he shouts out: "My G.d, my G.d, why hast thou forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46
Did G.d forsake himself?
This leaves us with a G.d "the father" in heaven, and a G.d "the son" on earth. Since we have established that there is only one G.d, and that that one G.d is one, there is now one G.d to many.
The one true G.d says: "Thou shall have no other gods before Me, ... Thou shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; For I the Lord thy G.d am a jealous G.d." Exodus 20:3+5. Jesus completely agrees with this. He says in Matthew 4:10: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy G.d, and him only shalt you serve." See also Luke 4:8
But how then can we explain the statements of Jesus when he says "That all man should honour the son, even as they honour the Father." John 5:23.
"If any man serve me, let him follow me, ...if any man serve me, him will my father honour." John 12:26.
How can this be? This is idolatry!!
A Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary – My response to above comments begins
Mr. Silver, Jesus has always subordinated Himself to the Father. Sons who truly love their fathers do that all their lives, because of who their fathers are. Jesus never presented Himself in scripture, nor will He ever present Himself in eternity to come, on the same level as God, though He is God as scripture reveals. He is God with us. But He always has and always will submit to His Father’s authority.
When one has scriptural spiritual truths imparted to him or her by the Holy Spirit, they see and understand scripture from a spiritual standpoint. Until one has the Holy Spirit living in them, guiding them to all truth, they cannot understand spiritual reality.
Many people, believers and unbelievers, are curious when they read Matthew 27:46 or Mark 15:34, as to why Jesus, while dying on the cross, would say, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Those believers, who use a good study bible and/or, who sit under good bible teaching have their questions answered early on in their walk with the Lord. These believers come to the understanding that those words are actually from Psalm 22, which according to Jewish tradition, was written by King David about 1,000 years before Jesus was crucified.
Psalm 22 speaks of a man who cries out to God for deliverance from intense persecution such as that to which King David was often subjected. There are many parallels between the details in Psalm 22 and the details written in the New Testament about Jesus' crucifixion. For instance, Psalm 22:7 speaks of a man surrounded by people who scorn and despise him. This is exactly what happened to Jesus in Matthew 27:39 and Mark 15:29. Psalm 22:7 also speaks of a man being mocked, which is similar in the descriptions of what happened to Jesus' at the crucifixion given in Matthew 27:31, Mark 15:20 and Luke 22:63; 23:36. In Psalm 22:8, the Psalmist says, "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him." Jesus’ enemies taunted Him in Matthew 27:43, by saying: "He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him."
In Psalm 22:16, the phrase, “a man who was numbered with the transgressors”, actually means an innocent man is being regarded as being one of a group of criminals. Jesus also was numbered with the transgressors when He was crucified between two thieves, as described in Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27, Luke 23:32 and John 19:18.
Also, in Psalm 22:16, we have a man whose hands and feet are either pierced, or mauled, or disfigured, depending on which is truly the better translation into English of the original verse. As recorded in John 19:23, 34, 37, Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced with huge nails during the crucifixion process.
In Psalm 22:17, is a man who was surrounded by others who stared and gloated at him. This too was the exact situation with Jesus during the crucifixion, according to Matthew 27:36 and Luke 23:35.
In Psalm 22:18, we have onlookers gambling for pieces of clothing that belonged to the person being persecuted. As recorded in Matthew 27:35, we have Roman soldiers gambling, which is the same as casting lots, for articles of Jesus' clothing while he was being crucified.
Please notice other descriptions in Psalm 22 that are surely accurate descriptions of what would happen to a person being crucified, such as the disjointing of bones, the physical exertion that comes from trying to breath, while attempting to lessen the pain in ones hands and feet through which the large nails held Him to the cross. These horrors of crucifixion would certainly drain a person's strength, and cause an intense sense of thirst.
Many Christian and some Jewish scholars have written about the significance of Psalm 22 and the parallels with the crucifixion of Jesus. The late Charles Briggs, while a professor at the Union Theological Seminary, said:
"These human sufferings recorded in Psalm 22, transcend those of any historical sufferer, with the single exception of Jesus Christ. These sufferings find their exact counterpart in the sufferings of the cross.... This ideal is a Messianic ideal, and finds its only historical realization in Jesus Christ."
Merle F. Unger, in his New Unger's Bible Handbook said: “The sufferings recorded in Psalm 22, verses 1-21, are a graphic portrayal of crucifixion (cf. Mt 27:27-50).”
The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary states very succinctly about the suffering recorded in Psalm 22:
“The experience here detailed may be adapted to the case of all Christians suffering from spiritual foes, and delivered by divine aid, inasmuch as Christ in His human nature was their head and representative.”
I say the following with a heart of love for all unbelievers, Jew or Gentile. When I first read the New Testament, as an unbeliever, I felt like I had no comprehension what so ever of what was being said, or to whom it was being said and really didn’t get much out of anything I read.
The first time I read the New Testament after believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and my Savior, I was almost overwhelmed by everything I read, because things made sense to me that had not before. When I got to John 16, verse 13, God turned a light on in my heart, head and new spirit being. Here is why. The verse reads:
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Here is what the Holy Spirit revealed to me after I became a believer: “Tom, now that you are a believer and I am living in you, I will guide you into all truth whenever your read God’s Holy Word, if that is what you desire for me to do. I will not speak on my own authority, but whatever the Lord Jesus reveals to me, I will speak, whether the scripture you are reading speaks to things of the past, things of the present, or things to come.” The Holy Spirit revealed this to me from a number of verses in John 16.
A short while after becoming a believer, I was invited to speak at a ladies luncheon. The Holy Spirit prompted me to speak on Matt. 27:45 – 55. As I began to study the passage and seek a biblical understanding of what transpired in those verses and what the application is for believers today, I pondered those words from verse 46, and I wondered why Jesus would cry out to His Father, “Why have you forsaken me?”
As I was seeking answers, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a scripture verse I had committed to memory as part of a scripture memory program I was going through with a young man who was my spiritual mentor. The verse was 2 Cor. 5:17, but as I was reading the verses before and after v. 17 trying to comprehend what my being a new creation had to do with Christ’s agonizing cry from the cross, my eyes became riveted on verse 21:
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
In a heartbeat, I understood one of the reasons why Jesus suddenly felt alone and forsaken by His heavenly Father. Jesus and God’s relationship, unlike any father and son relationship, before or since, was so intimate and familial that God taking His eyes off His Son and turning away from this Son Who had become the sins of all mankind, left Jesus experiencing the never expected and the horribly unthinkable – being forsaken by His Father and God! All His life, Jesus was being watched over by His Father, creator God and when God had to turn away from His Son when He became sin, Jesus cried out: “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?!
However, God did not forsake His Son!! But God, being a perfectly Holy God, was compelled to take His eyes off of His Son while His Son was hanging on that cross. Habakkuk 1:13 in talking about God says, "You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness...."
Jesus while hanging on that cross, became sin! My sin, your sin, the sins of the whole world were piled up and pressed down upon the person of Jesus Christ by God Himself, until His Son spiritually became sin. God could not look upon His Son in this condition.
I believe the Holy Spirit guiding me to truth revealed these things that I found there in 2 Cor. that day.
Mr. Silver, unbelieving Jews will never be indwelt by or have the guidance and mentoring of the Holy Spirit so long as they remain in their unbelief.
Return to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
These facts did not pass by unnoticed by the early Christian church. In the early centuries of the Christian church there was no such thing as a trinity. The church looked upon Jesus as a "half god", according to the teachings of Origen, who lived from 185 to 254. But in 318, the presbyter Arius got into a conflict with his bishop, because of his firm statements about Jesus. Since he was a Bible scholar, he could not accept that Jesus was a god, since the Bible teaches that there is only one G.d, and therefore he taught that Jesus was not a god but a creature. But his bishop, Alexander, disputed that because the New Testament clearly turns Jesus into a god. This dispute was settled in the synod of 325 in Nice; First Jesus and "G.d the Father" become a duality, and later the Holy Ghost is added to form a trinity. (History of the church, by Dr. H. Berkhof, 6th ed. 1955, pages 68-70).
A Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary – My response to above comments begins
I don’t know where you got your statistics claiming the church in the early centuries did not believe in the Trinity and that the church viewed Jesus as half God. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament reveals that the apostles and the writers of the New Testament believed that, in the reality of the spiritual realm, God was three entities. In the human realm most of them had seen and beheld God in the flesh through their contact with Christ Jesus and they knew without doubt that He was very God.
Even Saul of Tarsus, who was the greatest Jewish Christ hater of all time, when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, recognized Jesus as Deity before he was actually converted. Read it for yourself:
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?"” Acts 9:1-6
Unbelieving Jews find it very difficult and almost impossible to wrap their minds around the spiritual reality that God is three entities. I refrain from using the term three persons because to the unbelievers mind, the term person (s) conjures up the whole physical structure and substance of the human being. God is purely a spiritual being, although He can take on shape, dimension and distinguishing traits, of other beings. He can speak, articulate thought, breath, laugh, weep, and grieve. He knows all things. He is everywhere. He has infinite power and He is love. Yet, few on earth have ever seen God. In the Old Testament we are told that God walked and talked with Adam and Eve and talked with Noah, Moses and Abraham. A few others heard and talked with God, but whether they had glimpses of God where He manifested Himself, the bible doesn’t reveal.
After God came to earth in the person of His only begotten Son, many people saw God in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we have to touch, taste, smell, feel and hear something or someone before we believe in them, then no one in this day and age will ever come to faith in God, or His Son.
Unbelievers have no way for understanding or comprehending, nor do they have an assured way of relating to, the spiritual realm. Scripture reveals that until a person believes in Jesus Christ, they are dead in their trespasses and sins. This means they are spiritually dead. Since Jews refuse to consider the NT as valid communication from God, they need to consider what Isaiah said in Is. 59:2:
“Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear (you).”
I’m sure Jews understand exactly what God is saying through Isaiah. Therefore, if this verse from Isaiah was valid during Old Testament times, I believe with all my heart that the rejection of God’s Son, Israel’s Messiah, makes it more applicable to the Jews of today than those in Isaiah’s day.
Let me say to unbelieving Jews and gentiles: at the cross, God brought an end to the Mosaic Law, as it pertains to mankind relating to God as their heavenly Father, whether we choose to believe that or not is irrelevant, scripture deems it so:
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He (God) has made (you) alive together with Him (Christ), having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements (the Mosaic Law) that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it (the Mosaic Law) out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Col 2:13-14
Does spiritual death mean spiritual annihilation, or spiritual separation from God? I personally believe the Bible teaches separation, not annihilation. What else does the Bible clearly teach about separation? It teaches that physical death is separation of soul/spirit from body. In the case of an unbeliever dying, his or her soul would be separated from their body, they have no living spirit, they are spiritually dead. When a believer dies their soul and spirit go to heaven immediately to be with Jesus. There body is buried or cremated. The Bible also teaches that the second death is the eternal separation of man from God. That is their body ins buried or cremated and their soul is cast into hell where it burns without being destroyed for all eternity. No one is annihilated, but the torment of hell, and being separated from God, goes on for ever and ever.
Believers on the other hand have Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, both Spirit beings, living and working in each individual believer, who, according to scripture, is seated in the heavenlies with Jesus Christ on the right hand of the God of the Universe. Only your old testament scripture doesn’t reveal this truth. Why? Because until the cross of Christ when a believing Jew or Gentile died they went to the bosom of Abraham where they awaited judgment day.
Believers can talk with their Heavenly Father and be assured that He hears them anytime day or night and anywhere they may be. They can also receive spiritual input from God the Father and the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit living in them. All these truths are revealed, in the New Testament part of God’s Word, to believers living in obedience to the work of the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to a person obtaining God given spiritual truths, it matters not what one’s name is, what race they belong to, or how extensive is one’s education or intellect. It solely depends on whether the Holy Spirit is residing in the person and whether the person in whom the Holy Spirit resides is surrendered to the work of the Holy Spirit. For it is through the Holy Spirit guiding someone to the truths of God word, as found only in the Old and New Testament, that one gains true spiritual knowledge. One can gain earthly knowledge or intelligence from reading and studying almost anything. However, God will only impart spiritual wisdom and knowledge today by working through His Holy Spirit in the lives of people who are believers in His Son. This wisdom is based on the words which Jesus Christ, very God and very Son of God, revealed in the Gospel of John chapter 16, verse 13. Let us look at it again.
“When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears (from God or God’s Son) He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
I realize that many Jews absolutely would rather have their eyes gouged out than have to read anything from the New Testament. However, there is no other way for them to come to know the truth. I am reminded of something else which Isaiah said:
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” Isaiah 6:10
In this passage of scripture and at that time in the history of the world there were only two classes of people in the world, Jews and Gentiles. Isaiah was not talking about Gentiles
Return to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
So the invention of the trinity was a forced way out of the problem of having two gods, where the Bible teaches that there is only one. And this is what the Christian churches believe and teach up to this day, that G.d is a trinity But nowhere in the Bible can anything be found that says that there is such a thing as a trinity.
And what about I John 5:7? "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the word and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one."
Well, this looks like a good verse to prove a trinity, except for the fact that this is a falsification of your Bible. In the original Greek scriptures of the New Testament this text does not exist. This text was added later to the New Testament in a desperate attempt to prove a trinity that cannot be proven. The New Testament has come to us in bits and pieces, a gospel from here, a letter of Paul from there... The first ones who compiled out of this a reliable text of the Greek New Testament, were Westcott and Hort in 1881. In that Greek text I John 5:7 says: "For there are three witness bearers." That's all.
Followed by verse 8: "The spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are into the one." The whole part about the Father, the word, and the Holy Ghost, and these being one, does not exist in the original Greek text.
The Greek text of the New Testament of Dr. Eberhard Nestle is nowadays considered to be the most reliable Greek text available, and in that text the verses 7 and 8 of I John 5 are exactly the same as in the Greek text of Westcott and Hort. (You don't have to take my word for this, just ask your pastor or reverend, and he will confirm these facts, unless of course, he is outright lying to you.)
There is no such thing as a trinity, not in the Old Testament and not in the New Testament. The proofs for the oneness of G.d are however abundant. Look at these texts; "The Lord, (Y-H-W-H) He is G.d, and there is none else beside Him." Deuteronomy 4:35.
"See now that I, even I am He, and there is no G.d with me. I kill and make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." Deuteronomy 32:39.
"O Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any G.d beside thee." I Chronicles 17:20.
"Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone." Nehemia 9:6.
"Thou are G.d alone." Psalm 86:10.
"I am the Lord and there is none else, there is no G.d beside me: That they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is no G.d beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:5-6.
This list can be extended with many other verses, but the meaning is already clear: There is only one G.d and there is none else. No son, no Holy ghost, nothing.
G.d has no father, no son, and no brother.
There is just one G.d.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary – My response to above comments begin
Recently, I was explaining in a Bible Study on God’s grace, why believers must be careful and determine the context of every scripture in the four Gospels before assuming that every NT scripture applies to the Church. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but especially Matthew, were written for Jews to reveal that Jesus was Messiah sent from God to the Jews. These gospels were written to demonstrate through His preaching, His miracles and His teaching that Jesus was Messiah. And, if the Jews would repent and turn back to God, God would institute the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and Christ would begin to reign over Israel from the throne of David in Jerusalem.
During this promised reign of God through His son, He would bless Israel exceedingly. In fact, because of the abundance of blessings that God would heap upon Israel during the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, all the other nations of the world would be drawn to God. Yes, the nations of the world would flock to Israel begging them to tell and show them how they could also love, obey, serve and follow Israel’s King and be blessed as Israel was being blessed!
God was determined to fulfill the promises He had made Israel when He and Israel entered into the first, the Mosaic covenant. What were those promises? That He, God, would bless Israel beyond their greatest desires and imaginations. Of course God made it clear to Israel that the blessings were contingent upon the Jews obeying God’s Laws. What was Israel’s reply? Let me give you a de facto quote: “Yes God!!! We will obey, just bless us beyond measure! We will faithfully do everything you tell us to do!” Did the Jews keep their promises? Actually seldom, but mostly never.
Yet, from the giving of the law until the sending of Messiah, God still wanted Israel to succeed and be the people they had promised Him they would be. O, He knew they would never live up to His hopes for them, as long as they had a choice. However, God had to give Israel one more opportunity to be the people they said they wanted to be. So, He sent His Son, their Messiah, and just in case the unbelievable happened and Israel repented and returned to Him, He was going to put His Son, Jesus, on the throne of David and allow His Chosen people, the Jew to be ruled by His Son in a perfect Kingdom. But, the Jews would not have it.
Unless Jews have read the New Testament, or have been informed of that 1st century Jew’s writings which I have mentioned, they don’t know that before the foundations of the world, God looked down through the corridors of coming time and saw everything that would happen. God knew before He came to the Jews in the person of His Son, that the Jews would reject Him and kill Him. Yes! He knew it! He knew what would happen! Yet, He loved the Jews so much He died for them. But, they still reject Him even today.
Mr. Silver, God made a bona fide offer to Israel, but that offer was rejected by His chosen people when they refused to repent and they rejected His Son. Had Israel accepted God’s offer of Himself through His Son, Israel would have almost immediately have begun dwelling in their land, Canaan. And, yes this would have included all that God had promised Abraham for them.
The Jews of the first century would soon have seen their children playing safely with all manner of reptile, four legged beast and birds. They would have witnessed the lion lying down with the lamb. They would have witnessed all the nations of the world being blessed through them. Instead the nation of Israel has suffered greatly for having rejected God’s Son. There are exceptions of course. Those Jews who individually have placed their faith in God’s Son have been receiving all the blessings that God promised Israel in Jeremiah 31. These Jewish believers, along with their brother and sisters in Christ, regardless their nationality, have prospered spiritually in their walk of faith.
However, because of Israel being Israel, God Son’s was rejected and God warned everyone, Jew and gentile: Beginning with the death of His Son on the cross, whoever tried to relate to the God of the Universe through the Law of Moses would be cursed. That is what has been happening since the cross.
Upon the death of His Son, God stopped speaking to, giving leadership to and otherwise relating to anyone through the Old Testament. He began providing His wisdom, counsel and all else that any person needed to enter into a right relationship with Him, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The means for communicating this new plan of God, the plan of salvation, is for all believers to take God’s message found in the New Testimony and give it away, beginning in their own home and then traversing the world. Therefore, the good news of Christ was and is the heart of the Canon of the New Testament.
Of course this means from the first written and distributed Gospel or New Testament Epistle, sometime after Jesus was crucified, until this day, that anyone who wants a relationship with God must learn of and understand God’s plan for all of mankind. This plan is revealed only in the New Testament of Jesus Christ.
Jews and Gentiles, believers and unbelievers, are free to read the Old Testament and the writings and teachings of every scribe since the beginning of time. They are also free to read all the other extra biblical writings known to man. However, until they read, or hear, at least the plan of salvation from the New Testament, which the Holy Spirit can use to convict them of their sin of unbelief, of righteousness and of judgment, they will forever be lost.
The cold, hard facts of life for unbelievers, Jew and Gentile, are revealed in the New Testament gospels and epistles that explains the way of salvation for man, beginning at the cross. Jews and Gentiles can keep every one of the Ten Commandments and all the other dietary and ceremonial laws that are revealed in the whole Law of Moses and they can keep all the precepts written by the religious leaders of Israel throughout the history of that nation, until they are blue in the face, and it will profit them naught. There is no other way for any man or woman, Jew or Gentile, to relate to God today, other than through Jesus Christ.
Until individual Jews give up their fanaticism of proving that: 1. Jesus wasn’t the Messiah; 2. G_d is one and He could never be represented by Jesus Christ or any other being, divine or otherwise; 3. That the New Testament is of the devil; and 4., That Christians are false children of G_d and in truth are of the devil; they have no hope of ever having a relationship with God’s Son.
Jews, as a nation of people, are going to continue finding it impossible to have any kind of relationship with God, apart from an individual relationship through the Lord Jesus Christ. However, until God chooses to remove the scales from their eyes, by which they are currently blinded, individual Jews with a nationalistic mind set are going to find it difficult to be drawn by the Lord to His Son. Here is what Your Messiah said:
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”
Until then, Jews will never, as a nation, discover the truth of Jesus being their Messiah and be able to believe. Individual Jews will continue coming to faith in Christ through the Holy Spirit drawing them to the Lord Jesus, just as Gentiles must come today.
Back to Mr. Silvers Commentary
Who is Jesus?
Who and what is the messiah? Let us check according to the Holy Hebrew scriptures what the messiah is supposed to do. Isaiah 11; "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."
This is what is supposed to happen, as soon as there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; that is as soon as the messiah comes. Nowhere here is mentioned that the messiah will be killed and that these prophecies will happen at least 2000 years later.
Jeremiah 23:5-6; "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Jeremiah 33:14-16: "IN THOSE DAYS AND AT THAT TIME, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. IN THOSE DAYS shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness."
When the branch of righteousness springs forth to David, when the messiah comes, THEN, IN THOSE DAYS, Judah will be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. That was not exactly the case in the days of Jesus. After his death the Temple got burned down, Jerusalem destroyed, and the Jews exiled.
Zachariah 9:9-10; "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth."
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
Refer to my last comments above as they also apply to that which we have just read which Mr. Silver has written. I repeat, had Israel accepted God’s Son when His Son presented the offer of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth being nigh at hand, then Jesus, God’s Son would have responded as the Old Testament writers prophesied He would. “The spirit of the LORD would have rested upon Him. A spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD would have permeated His being and impacted everything He did as Israel’s, and eventually the world’s, King. He would not have judge after the sight of earthly eyes, neither reproved after the hearing of earthly ears. He would have reigned and judged and reproved with the power, wisdom and righteousness of God His Father! Yes, with God’s righteousness He would have judged and blessed the poor, and reproved with equity the meek of the earth. He would have smitten the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He would have slain the wicked. Righteousness would have girdled of His loins, and faithfulness would have been the watchword of His reign. (As I said above), the wolf would now be dwelling with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child would have been leading them. Also, the whole earth would now be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And today the root of Jesse, would have been reigning over God’s chosen people back in their homeland and Gentiles would be seeking the salvation of the Lord God through Israel. And, God’s rest would have been glorious!”
In other words Mr. Silver, the Jews prevented Jesus from accomplishing all that God has sent Him to do at the time God sent Him to do it. Is it possible that all the things, which you mentioned and which happen to Israel, within the forty years of the Jews putting Messiah to death: 1. the Temple being burned down; 2.Jerusalem almost destroyed; and 3. most of the Jews being exiled; came about because the Jews rejected their Messiah, God’s Son? I think so!
Return to Mr. Silver’s commentary
They say that he did ride on a donkey, like the whole Middle East in those days, but that is where it stops. He did not bring any peace, the battle bow, the war horse and the chariots, symbols of war, were not cut off from Jerusalem, and his dominion was not from sea to sea; as a matter of fact, he did not have any dominion at all.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s commentary - My response to the above comments
Mr. Silver, apparently finding no credence in the prophecy in Zachariah, seemingly makes an attempt at finding humor in Jesus entering Jerusalem on the back of ass. However, there isn’t really anything to laugh about, when you think of the millions of Jews who have died and gone to hell in the last two millennia. Why? Because they refused to believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son as their Messiah when He came to them from God the Father. And now they refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son as the Savior of mankind.
Also, one has to wonder at the angst that Mr. Silver shows, while deriding Jesus Christ for having accomplished nothing, at least in his mind, but to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, just before He died on the cross. The world’s population is estimated to be around 7 Billion people. Of that, it is estimated that 2,173,180,000 are Christians. Surely using these numbers as a guide of sorts, one could hypostatize that over 3 Billion people have been saved from the fires of hell since the Jews crucified the Son of God. If that isn’t a bona fide worthwhile accomplishment in your way of thinking, then you probably have no choice but to show angst, fear, doubt, and anger because your heart and mind is wrapped in delusion.
Having refused to read all of God’s word and thereby discover how God responded when Israel rejected and had His Son put to death on a cruel cross, Mr. Silver has yet to discover the rest of the story.
In the past two thousand years, while Israel has continued to look for their Messiah to come with a battle bow to vanquish the imaginary war horses and chariots of Israel’s foes, over 3 plust billion Gentiles and Jews have been saved from the fires of hell and become part of the glorious family of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
By the way, God’s family now includes those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ since the cross, plus thousands of Jews and some Gentiles who believed in God unto salvation before the cross, such as Abraham.
“And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD, and He (God) accounted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:6).
From the cross until this day, Jews have refused to believe that the moment they put Jesus Christ the Son of God on that cross, God removed the opportunity for anyone, Jew or Gentile, to come to and be accepted by Him in the manner of Abraham. Hating to be the one who is the bearer of such horrible news, I must inform Jews everywhere that no one comes to God apart from their believing in His Son unto salvation. Jews, since the cross, have been living in ignorance, refusing to believe that Jesus is Messiah and the New Testament a viable part of God’s Word.
Folks, who believe that ignorance is bliss, need to rethink that satanic philosophy of life. The reason being, they are missing God’s plan for all of mankind, which has been in place since the cross. In addition, they are damning themselves and their progenies to an eternity in hell if they don’t wise up.
Return to Mr. Silver’s commentary
Micha 5:2-9; "But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for NOW shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off."
Also here we have very clearly physical redemption from earthly enemies. The one coming forth from Bethlehem is to be a ruler in Israel, and not a wandering preacher and miracle healer. In order to get around this problem, the Christian church invented the "second coming". However, nowhere in the Hebrew scriptures is it written that the messiah would come once, get himself killed, and come again in a second coming. This is a pure rationalization of Jesus' failure to function in any way as a messiah. Nowhere in any of the above prophecies does it indicate that there will be a gap of at least 2000 years between the birth of the messiah and the redemption. Nowhere does it speak about a messiah being tortured to death and coming back thousands of years later. On the contrary; when the messiah comes redemption comes. Nothing of this all was done by Jesus. Conclusion: He was not the messiah.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments begins
Let me print the Micah 5:2-9 passage from the New King James Version of the Bible. With its clear, more exact translation, it should help us see Who is speaking and of Whom He is speaking, and to what purpose He is speaking. My comments I will enclose in brackets and parenthesis, inserted into the NKJV text.
Micah 5:2 - "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, [Yet, out of you, (Israel), shall come forth to Me, (El Shaddai, Jehovah, G-d, YHWH,) The One (My Son, Messiah, Jesus the Christ - Who is the Bethlehem-born preexistent, eternal One)] to be Ruler in Israel. Whose goings forth are from of old…. (Pause and read Isaiah 9:6).
Is. 9:6 – says: [(Isaiah says of Him), “For unto us a Child (the prophesied Messiah, King of Israel, very God) is born, Unto us a Son (God’s Son, Messiah, Prince of peace) is given; And the government will be upon His (God’s Son, Messiah, Son of David) shoulder. And His name (the Son of David, Son of God, Messiah, Jesus the Christ) will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” Is. 9:6NKJV). Micah 5: 2 cont.: …..from everlasting.]
Micah 5:3 - 4 [Therefore He (G-d, YHWH, Jehovah, El Shaddai) shall give them (Israel, the Jews, G-d’s chosen people) up, Until the time that she (Israel) who is in labor has given birth (turns to the Messiah as one nation upon seeing Him coming in the air - TNT); Then (when or after) the remnant (These are Jews scattered all over the world) of His brethren (Jews) shall return to the children of Israel. And He (Messiah, Son of God, Warrior King of Israel*….] Pause
Let me interrupt my dialogue so that we can look at what Zechariah reveals about Messiah, the Warrior King of Israel, and His rescue of Israel in Zech. 14:1-5:
“A day of the LORD (Messiah, Jesus, Son of God) is coming…..”
The day of the Lord begins on the day Christ, Israel’s true Messiah, leaves heaven with His new bride, the church, and comes to earth to defend and rescue Israel from all the armies of the nations of the earth. This is known as the second coming of Messiah, Jesus Christ, Son of God. The first coming was when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
All the nations of the world have come to the Holy Land and have surrounded Jerusalem to utterly destroy the nation of Israel. Though most of their armies are gathered and quartered on the plains of Megiddo, Jerusalem is actually the focus of the battle. This can be understood when one considers the huge numbers of soldiers involved in this battle. This area, Megiddo, and the Valley of Jezreel, or Plain of Esdraelon, will be the staging area where the troops of the nations of the world will assemble prior to their marching on Jerusalem.
Zech. 14:1-5 cont. “…..when your plunder will be divided among you. I (G-d, YHWH, the LORD Himself) will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
“Then the LORD (Jesus Christ, Messiah, the Son of God, very G-d Himself) will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, (this is where Jesus will touch down upon coming from heaven with the armies of heaven on His heels) east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You (all the surviving Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel who have returned to Israel in the last days) will flee by My (G-d’s) mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You (surviving Jews) will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD (Jesus Christ, Messiah, the Son of God) my (Israel’s) God (in the person of Messiah) will come, and all the holy ones (the Bride of Christ, the Church of the Age of Grace) with him.”
The revelation of Jesus Christ’s second coming, from Revelation 19:11- 21:
“Now I (John, the author) saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He (Jesus Christ, God’s Son) who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He (Jesus Christ, God’s Son) judges and makes war. 12 His (Jesus Christ, God’s Son) eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Christians, the Church, the Bride of Christ), followed Him (Jesus Christ, the Son of God) on white horses. 15 Now out of His (Jesus Christ, Son of God) mouth goes a sharp sword (God’s Holy Bible), that with it He should strike the nations (destroy them by speaking God’s Word). And He Himself (Jesus Christ, God’s Son) will rule them with a rod of iron (for a thousand years). He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great." 19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Rev 19:11-21).
*Micah 5: 2-9 continued:
“…..shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the LORD (ALMIGHTY GOD), In the majesty of the name of the LORD His (Messiah’s) God; And they shall abide, For now He (Jesus Christ, Messiah, the Son of God) shall be great To the ends of the earth; 5 And this One (Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace) shall be peace. When the Assyrian (the army of the nations of the world) comes into our land, And when he treads in our palaces, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princely men. 6 They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, And the land of Nimrod at its entrances; Thus He (Jesus the Messiah) shall deliver us from the Assyrian, When he comes (at His second coming) into our land And when he treads within our borders. 7 Then the remnant of Jacob Shall be in the midst of many peoples, Like dew from the LORD, Like showers on the grass, That tarry for no man Nor wait for the sons of men. 8 And the remnant of Jacob Shall be among the Gentiles, In the midst of many peoples, Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Who, if he passes through, Both treads down and tears in pieces, And none can deliver. 9 Your hand shall be lifted against your adversaries, And all your enemies shall be cut off (by Messiah at His second coming.” Micah 5:2-9 (NKJV)
Many of the Old Testament Prophecies have multiple fulfillings. However, as a student of God’s entire Word I know that near the end of the coming tribulation period, Jerusalem is to come under military siege and be overrun by foreign armies one more time. Zechariah and other prophets have announced that this will happen just prior to Messiah's final return to the city.
Return to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
Even in his own days people were not sure whether he was the messiah or not, but, he said that he would give a sign. Just one. Matthew 12:38-40; "There shall no sign be given than the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Here he clearly says that the only sign he will give is his being in the grave for three days and three nights.
He was crucified on Friday afternoon, the day before the Sabbath. Mark 15:42
He was supposedly resurrected on Sunday morning. Mark 16:9.
Can you fit in between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning three days and three nights?
From this we must conclude that he did not live up (die up?) to the only sign he promised.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments begin
According to most Bible scholars, historically, including in the time of Israel’s Messiah being here on earth the first time, the Jews counted any part of a day as equal to the entire day. Christ died around three o’clock on Friday, therefore Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had before six o’clock, or approximately three hours to bury Him. So that you don’t suspect me of pulling the wool over your eyes, let me quote from the website, Let Us Reason Together.org. “The Jewish reckoning of time is found in the Jewish Talmud and the Babylonian Jerusalem Talmud, Jewish commentaries. They state that an “onan”, which is any part of the day, is considered a full day. If that is so, from Friday before six o'clock by Jewish reckoning, any minute was considered one day and one night. From Friday night at six o'clock to Saturday at six o'clock, was another day and another night. From Saturday night to Sunday was a third day. Thus, Jesus was in the grave part of Friday (a whole “natural day”), through all of Saturday (the second day), and from Saturday at sunset a part of Sunday (the third day). Thus, it is likely that the part of the day (Friday) on which Jesus was crucified, the entire day He was in the grave (Saturday), and the part of the day on which He rose again (Sunday), estimated as entire days. The concept of three days would be an idiom, not necessarily meaning 3 full 24- hour periods.”
Back to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
As for saving us in this world he did not do a very good job. And what about saving us for the next world? According to the New Testament Jesus is the savior of mankind, without him no salvation is possible. What does G.d say about this in the Hebrew Bible? Isaiah 43:3: "For I am the Lord (Y-H-W-H) thy G.d, the Holy one of Israel, thy saviour."
So here it clearly says that the one and only G.d is our savior.
Does G.d need another savior? Is there another savior? Isaiah 43:10-11: "Before Me there was no G.d formed, neither shall there be after me, even I, I am the Lord, and beside Me there is no saviour."
Isaiah 45:21-22: "... I the Lord, and there is no G.d else beside Me, a just G.d and a saviour, there is no saviour beside Me. Look unto Me and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am G.d and there is none else."
Hosea 13:4: "Yet I am the Lord thy G.d, and thou shall know no G.d but Me, for there is no saviour beside Me."
So here we see that the Lord (Y-H-W-H) is our savior and that there is none but him. G.d is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19); so we must put our trust in G.d and not in a man. "Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man... Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is." Jeremiah 17:5+7.
Pause from Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
In the time of the events of those passages above, God was Israel’s Savior and God. And the writers of these passages were giving the exact message that God had for Israel at the time. Yet, some of the same writers at other times, along with other Old Testament prophets, being compelled by and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, quoted God saying of the Messiah:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Is.7:14 (NKJV);
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6);
Mr. Silver, in Is. 9, vs. 6: who is us? Israel! Right? Who was the child who was born? Who was the son who was given? No other person in the history of man can fit this verse but Jesus Christ! Who else but God the Father in all of history has been called Mighty God, Everlasting Father? No one but Jesus Christ!
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He (Jesus Christ) shall grow up before Him (God His Father) as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness (no exceptional beauty); And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our grief And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray.” (Is.53:1-6);
Mr. Silver, let me draw your and other Jews who are still rejecting God’s Messiah attention to several phrases in the above quoted scripture passage an ask a few questions:
“And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him” Why did the Jews hide their faces from the Lord Jesus their Messiah? Was it to avoid His piercing eyes while he hung on the cross?
“He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” Why did the Jews despise and not esteem their Messiah? Was it because He did not present Himself as a warrior Messiah?
“Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.” Why did the Jews esteem their Messiah stricken, Smitten by God and afflicted? Was it again because He did not represent the strong, viral, warrior that the Jews had imagined in their sinful hearts?
“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech. 9:9);
“Dogs (meaning snarling, growling people) have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing” (Ps. 22:16-18).
Mr. Silver, who else in the history of mankind can this be said of? No honest, learned, God fearing Jew living in the times, when these prophetic words were made known to Israel, would have ever made those negative, slanderous comments about Israel’s coming Messiah. This would have been blasphemy and worthy of death in the eyes of God. Yet, a few centuries later Jews of the first century AD were embolden to look into the face of the Son of God, spit in His face, hit Him in the face and scream, “crucify Him, crucify Him!
Back to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
4. Jesus as a prophet.
Let us take a look at the prophetic qualities of Jesus. In Matthew 4:17 he claims that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Now, almost 2000 years later, the kingdom is still not here.
Look for an impressive prophesy in Mark 13:24-30: "The sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light. And the stars of heaven will fall and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then he shall send his angels and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven ..... Verily I say to you, that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done." -----See also Matthew 24:29-35 and Luke 21;25-33. .
This generation passed away almost 2000 years ago, and no one has seen him coming back on the clouds to establish his kingdom of peace and gather in his elected Christians.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
Yes, Jesus declared the Kingdom of heaven was at hand and so did John the Baptist of whom Isaiah prophesied. However, scripture tells us that Jesus came to His own, meaning the Jews, but the Jews would not receive Him, as God desired them to do. Instead, because of their hardheadedness, hard heartedness, their stiff neck stubbornness and their blindness, brought on by their father, the god of this world, they rejected God by rejecting His Son. As a result, God postponed the kingdom of heaven and delayed the salvation of the nation.
Out of blindness, ignorance and an enmity toward God their creator, the Jews, even today can read any portion of the New Testament and they will still reject God’s Son. It is the Holy Spirit of God living in a person after they believe in God’s Son that enables them to be guided into all truth. Jews or Gentiles without Christ do not have the Holy Spirit, yet you are without excuse. Romans 1.
Without the Holy Spirit guiding a person into all truth, a person, Jew or Gentile, will probably read New Testament passages such as Mark 13: 24 – 30 and proclaim: “Jesus was a liar when He said that those Jews living at the time He said, ‘This generation will not pass away until all these things happens.’ This generation passed away almost 2000 years ago, and no one has seen him coming back on the clouds to establish his kingdom of peace and gather in his elected Christians.” However, a thorough word study will reveal that the Greek word, genea, translated as generation in many passages in the New Testament, also means race of people. Thus Jesus was saying, “This race of Jews will not pass away until these things take place.”
I made reference above to Satan being the father of the Jews in Jesus time based upon what Jesus said in John 8:44:
“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Jesus knew of what He spoke, because in the not too distant future from when He proclaimed this truth, He knew the Jews would have Him put to death.
Back to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
In Matthew 16:27-28 Jesus says: "For the son of man shall come in the glory of his father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the son of man coming in his kingdom." See also Mark 9:1
Did anybody see him coming in his kingdom? Is every man already rewarded according to his works?..... But some of them would not die until they would have seen him coming in his kingdom!...-.Are they still around today?..... Even Methuselah didn't live that long!
From this we must conclude that Jesus has a very poor resume as a prophet. What does the Holy Torah that the only eternal G.d gave to the Jewish people say about this?
Deuteronomy 18:20-22: "But the prophet which shall presume to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart; how shall we know the word that the Lord has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follows not, nor come to pass, this is the thing that the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him."
Here G.d commands the Jewish people to execute false prophets, who are prophets whose prophecies do not come true. Jesus is a perfect example of a prophet whose prophecy did not come true. See also the prophecy concerning the three days and three nights that did not come true.
And what about the miracles that he is supposed to have done?
Jesus placed himself in the place of G.d (John 10:30, 14:9), and he demanded to be worshipped like Him (John 5:23), and people did worship him (Matthew 2:11, 8:2, 14:33, John 9:38*).
So if he really performed these miracles, then applies to him the law of G.d that says: "If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass whereof he spake onto thee, saying: Let us go after other gods which thou has not known, and let us serve them; Thou shall not hearken to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams, for the Lord (Y-H-W-H) your G.d proveth you, whether you love the Lord thy G.d with all your heart and all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your G.d and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and cleave to Him. And that prophet or dreamer of dreams shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your G.d which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy G.d commanded thee to walk in. So shall thou put the evil away from the midst of thee." Deuteronomy 13:1-5.
*If you are a Y-E-H-O-V-A-H witness, and you read these verses in the translation that is made by your church, than it will not say that Jesus was worshipped. It says in your "New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures" that they did obeisance to him, where all other translations say that he was worshipped. Since you don't believe in a trinity, but only believe in the one true G.d (may his name be blessed), your translation had to be made in such a way that it would fit your religion. However, in Matthew 4:9-10, and in Luke 4:7-8, the devil tries to entice Jesus to worship him. Jesus answers upon this that G.d must be worshipped and Him alone must be rendered sacred service. The Greek word proskuneo, here correctly translated in your translation as "worship", is also used in these verses where it says that Jesus is worshipped. You can very easily verify this by means of "The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures", published by your own church. This is a Greek text of the New Testament, based upon the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, that has an English translation alongside and underneath each Greek word. Please ask your spiritual leaders why in one place the word proskuneo is translated as "to worship", and in another place as "to do obeisance." Since you already believe in the one true G.d, you are just one small step away from being a righteous Noachide. Open your eyes and realize the truth about him that you think is your Messiah and take upon you all the Noachide commandments.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
In reference to Mr. Silvers comments on Mathews 16: 27 – 28: without the Holy Spirit guiding a person into the truths of any part of God’s Word, Old or New Testament, what convictions a person comes to while reading God’s Word will depend primarily on the conclusion(s) to which a person’s biases lead them. A lost person, without the Holy Spirit to guide them, can never come to the true spiritual understanding of God’s Word.
“Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Matt 16:28 NKJV).
In the Greek the word for kingdom is basileia which also means sovereignty, royal power, reign, etc. Therefore, when one doesn’t understand there are multiple meanings to almost all Hebrew and Greek words, from which we translate God’s word into today’s versions, we often jump to conclusions. One chapter later in the book of Matthew we read in chapter 17, verses 1 – 3:
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.”
Christ announced in Matt. chapter 16, His second coming from glory to establish the kingdom which the Jews, at this point, had already rejected. He proclaimed that some of those with Him at that moment would not die until they saw Jesus in his kingdom. This prediction came to fruition in the chapter 17 passage above at Christ's transfiguration. His transfiguration was a brief portrayal of the postponed glorious future event now delayed by a Christ rejecting Israel. All the essential details of that glorious event are present: (1) Christ as Son of Man, not in the humiliation of His sinless humanity, but in glory; (2) Moses in a glorified state, represents the redeemed who have entered the kingdom via death; (3) Elijah, likewise glorified, represents the redeemed who have been, or will be, translated into the kingdom; (4) Peter, James, and John, unglorified, represents that remnant of Jews who will enter the future kingdom unglorified; (5) the crowd with its great needs at the foot of the mountain (vs. 14 - 21, portrays the Gentile nations to be brought into the blessings of the kingdom after its restoration to Israel.
As to Mr. Silver’s dissertation about Jesus being worshipped, I understand that Jews are offended by even the thought of a Jew worshipping anyone but God. However, since some Jews will not read that part of the Word of God known as the New Testament with a seeking heart, they will never come to the correct understanding of Who Jesus is. Nor will they come to understand God’s present plan in saving many from the nation of Israel and many of the Gentiles in the world, through faith in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
Whoever will approach God’s Word, as revealed in the New Testament, with a seeking heart, God will reveal Himself and His Son to that person. But, as long as a Jew, or a gentile, rejects God’s Son, God will not force them to believe. Unbelief, as it pertains to God’s Son, is the most damning conviction a person can have. Hell is occupied solely by those who are condemned by unbelief. Throughout the History of the World, from Adam to the cross, folks who died believing in God went to heaven upon death. Those who died in unbelief went to hell. Beginning at the cross and continuing until eternity future those who believe in God’s Son, unto salvation, go to heaven. Those who are condemned by unbelief go to hell.
Jesus said to a learned Jewish teacher of the Law: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in God’s Son is not condemned; but he who does not believe in God’s Son is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” John 3:16-19.
Mr. Smith, here is problem that every Jew may have who refuses to read, with a seeking heart, that part of God’s Word known as the New Testament. They may die without ever having the opportunity of acquiring the faith to believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son. Faith comes by hearing or reading God’s Word. God is faithful and will give to everyone who seeks, the faith to believe in His Son. It is only by God’s grace through our faith that anyone is saved from an eternity in hell. But without reading or hearing the Word of God how will they know? They won’t know and that is the problem!
Nor will they know that Jesus Christ died on that cross to free all mankind from the clutches of Satan and sin. Nor will they know that God actually sent His Son into this world as their Messiah. However, they will know the moment they close their eyes in death, that He is Lord and that hell is real.
Mr. Silver, I could never convict you, or any Jew, that Jesus Christ is very God. Nor can I convict anyone who doesn’t want to believe, that God the Almighty has revealed Himself to present day believers as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He has done this without ever proclaiming those exact words in any one sentence anywhere in scripture. Yet, He has taken the whole of scripture and revealed these truths to those who walk by faith and not by sight. He has also revealed Himself through His Son, through His Holy Spirit and through His Living Word.
The Word of God has the incalculable supernatural power of God to accomplish whatever God wants to accomplished in the life of those in whom the Holy Spirit resides. It is through God given faith that believers can say with assurance, ‘I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.’ Note that believers do not say I can do whatever I want to do because Christ Jesus strengthens me. When we choose to do the will of God, then God empowers us to do whatever He wants us to accomplish. Believe me when I say that it takes this supernatural power of God for any believer to live in obedience to God’s known, revealed will. Especially, when one is determined to live in obedience to God’s will, regardless of the personal cost to him or her.
Worldly faith and worldly truth based upon man’s precepts and misunderstanding of God’s word, or his intellectual vanity, profits a man nothing and often dooms him to perdition. Faith, when it is a supernatural entity given to a believer by God, is cherished for above diamonds, rubies, or pearls. When it is the gift of God, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. Faith lived out in accordance with the truths found in God’s New Testament reveals that the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Under such demanding, but divine, conditions, the Holy Spirit guides the heart, mind, and spirit of a faithful believer to the truths of God’s Word (John 16:13).
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5. Jesus' attitude towards non-Jews.
How did Jesus behave towards people who were not Jewish? When a Canaanite woman approached him because her daughter was possessed, he said to her: "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 15:21-24. Here he refuses to help her because she is not Jewish. After she insists he says: "It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs." Here Jesus is calling the Canaanite woman a dog because she is not Jewish. After the woman humiliates herself and also compares herself to a dog, her daughter gets cured.
Who needs a messiah that calls him a dog because he is not Jewish?
The "good news" was only intended for the Jews, and not for the non-Jewish world. When Jesus sent out his disciples he specifically told them: "Go not into the way of the gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 10:5-6.-
So this is Jesus' outlook upon the non-Jewish world.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
Mr. Silver’s comment that the “good news” was only intended for the Jews is both close to the mark and yet way off base. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was sent by His Father to call the Jews to repentance toward God in preparation for their long awaited Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Had they obeyed God’s purpose in sending is Son and had they repented, turned back to God and embraced His Son their Messiah things would have been totally different today. The “good news” would have been all the tremendous blessings that would have come to Israel as they lived under the reign of Jesus Christ their King on the throne of David during the Kingdom of Heaven. For God would have ushered the Kingdom into being had the Jews crowned their Messiah instead of putting Him to death by crucifixion. O, what a demonstration of God’s remarkable love for, and His kindness toward, Israel and her people would the world have witnessed for all eternity.
However, being that the Jews have always had this strong penchant for disobedience toward God and total disregard for their Covenant with Him, they chose to demonstrate how repulsive they found the Son of God and just how black and evil were their hearts toward God Himself.
But as I said, Mr. Silver’s comment was somewhat close to the mark. The 1st century Jewish scholar, whom I’ve mentioned, declared:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Mr. Silver, do you see how much of God’s wisdom and truth you miss by refusing to read that portion of God’s Holy Word known as the New Testament?
I have more to say about the good news being for the Jews first, later.
Back to Mr. Silver’s commentary
Please don't think for one moment that this is the official Jewish outlook upon the non-Jewish world. In the Talmud (this is the codification of the oral law that expands the written law) tractate Avos 4:3, Rabbi Ben Azzai, who lived at the same time as Jesus, says: "Do not despise any man."
In tractate Sanhedrin 13 of the Talmud it is stated: "The righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come." The Rabbis saw G.d's love as available to all people, not only to Jews.
According to Jesus, the "dogs" (the non-Jews), must be satisfied with the crumbs that fall of the table. Now compare this narrow minded view with the opinion of the Rabbis who Jesus hated so much and cursed so many times: Talmud Gittin 61a: "We are obligated to feed the non-Jewish poor in exactly the same way as we feed the Jewish poor."
It is written at least three times in the Talmud, Baba Kama 38a, Avoda Zorah 3, and in Sanhedrin 59, that a non-Jew who studies Torah (the passages that apply to him) is equal to a high priest.
King Solomon put it into words in his prayer for the inauguration of the Temple in this way: "Moreover, concerning a stranger that is not of your people Israel, but comes out of a far country for your names' sake, for they shall hear of your great name and of your strong hand, and of your outstretched arm, when he shall come towards this house; Hear You in heaven your dwelling place and do according all that the stranger calls to You for, that all the people of the earth may know your name to fear you, as do your people Israel." II Chronicles 6:32-33.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
As an atheist, before coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, I would bash believers with all manner of put downs of Christ. I probably even used the passage from Matthew 15 at some time or another. But, almost immediately upon believing, I was so convicted that Jesus Christ was worthy of my love, respect, and obedience, that I knew in my heart of hearts that He, as God, would never say or do anything except that which God told Him to say or do. Yes, there are some difficult passages of scripture that describe the actions of God toward many people, especially the Jews that might leave some folks wondering if God truly loved them as He said He did. Yet, God was always right and man was wrong whenever God spoke or dealt harshly with His people or people of any other nation.
Having come to see God’s heart of love for all people through His supreme sacrifice of His Son for all mankind, I determined I would never be guilty of blaspheming His holy name, or His Son’s name or person, again. Also, I discovered that God’s Son never uttered a word while here on earth that was not given Him first by the Father. Read what Jesus said:
“For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (John 12:49-50).
Here is what one Christian Commentary said about this passage of scripture from Matt. 15:
“The Jews considered themselves as the peculiar children of God. To all other nations they were accustomed to apply terms of contempt, of which dogs was the most common. The Mohammedans still apply the term dogs to Christians, and Christians and Jews to each other. It is designed as an expression of the highest contempt. The Saviour means to say that He was sent to the Jews. The woman was a Gentile. He meant, that it did not comport with the design of his personal ministry to apply benefits intended for the Jews to others.
“Our Saviour did not intend to justify or sanction the use of such terms, or calling names. He meant to try her faith. As if he had said:
“”You are a Gentile. I am a Jew. The Jews call themselves children of God. You they vilify, and abuse, calling you a dog. Are you willing to receive from a Jew, then, a favor? Are you willing to submit to these appellations, to receive a favor of one of that nation, and to acknowledge your dependence on a people that so despise you?”
“It was a trial of her faith, and not lending his sanction to the propriety of the abusive term. He regarded her with a different feeling.” —Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
I thank you for explaining about the Talmud being “the codification of the oral law that expands the written law”. Isn’t that similar to what many heretics have done to the New Testament in creating their own “Bibles” that have resulted in all manner of cults? They have taken God’s word and made it say what their evil hearts desired to hear. Folks that know God’s Word, call their works “extra biblical writings” - Mostly stuff of Satan.
You see, when one takes the written word of God and adds to it or takes away from it, He or she is playing God. In fact, God promises to add plagues to the life of anyone who adds to His Word and He promises to take away the persons part from the Book of Life who takes away from His Word.
"For I testify unto everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" Rev. 22:18-19.
Back to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
6. Jesus' message of love and peace.
Most people think that Jesus was the inventor of high moral teachings like "You shall love your neighbor like yourself" and "If somebody hits you on one cheek, turn the other cheek" However, he was just quoting the Jewish teachings. In the Torah, given by G.d to the Jewish people, it is written in Leviticus 19:18: "You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself." -
Look what is written in Lamentations 3:30: "He giveth his cheek to the one that smiteth him." So these teachings are not coming from Jesus, but from Judaism.
Jesus says: "Love your enemies". Judaism says: "If you meet your enemy's ass or ox, going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the ass of him that hateth you lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, you shall surely help him." Exodus 23:4-5.
Jesus says: "You have heard that it has been said: you shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy." Matthew 5:43. It is a Jewish commandment to love your neighbor, but is absolutely not a Jewish commandment to hate your enemy. Instead Judaism says: "If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty give him water to drink, for you shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord (Y-H-W-H) shall reward you." Proverbs 25:21-22. This statement is later used by Paul, in Romans 12:20.
From this we see that all the high ethical teachings come from Judaism, therefore we don't need Jesus or Christianity in order to live according to high moral standards.
And did Jesus himself live up to these standards? He says in Matthew 5:22: "And whosoever shall say to his brother Raca (a not translated Aramaic term, meaning fool) shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say: You fool, shall be in danger of hellfire." And how does he speak about his fellow Jews, the Pharisees? He calls them hypocrites (Matthew 23:13), fools and blind (idem:17-19), full of all uncleanness (idem:27), and serpents, a generation of vipers (idem:33). So he did not really live up to his own teachings, and, according to his own teachings, he brought himself into danger of hellfire.
And what about turning the other cheek? After his arrest, during his interrogation, an officer struck him. Did he meekly turn the other cheek? No. He protested. John 18:22-23 ---The prophet Isaiah however, did give his cheeks to his abusers: "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked of the hair: I did not hide my face from shame and spitting." Isaiah 50:6
Jesus said (Matthew 10:34) "Don't think that I come to send peace on the earth, I came not to send peace but a sword." But this is not the messiah the Jews are waiting for. In the messianic days the wolf and the lamb must feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock, and dust shall be the serpents meat (Isaiah 65:25). We already have an abundance of swords, wars and misery on earth. We don't need a messiah who brings more misery.
Jesus taught not to take revenge but to love your enemy. But when he was on the road, hungry, and came to a fig tree and found no figs on it, he cursed it and it died right away. Matthew 21:18-19 Is this an attitude of loving-kindness? In Mark 11:13 we can read that it was not even the season for figs. What did the poor fig tree do wrong to deserve such a fate?
In Luke 19:27 Jesus says: "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."-
This surely is a very strange way of loving your enemies. This statement was a motivation for the crusaders to slaughter many Jewish communities.
Another poor example of loving your enemies is John 15:6 : "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and man gather them together and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."--- This terrible statement is later used by the Catholic Church to justify their practice of burning Jews alive at the stake.
From all this we learn that even for Christ it was difficult to be a good Christian.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
When Jesus is quoting any passage of scripture, whether Old or New Testament, He isn’t just quoting Jewish teachings. He is quoting the God of Israel. Although no passage of scripture in the Old Testament declares it so, the Apostle Paul in His 2nd letter to Timothy states very clearly from whom all the scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments, come.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).
You are correct in saying that the words from the Old Testament in Lamentations did not originate when Jesus spoke them as recorded in the New Testament. However, it was Jesus, upon receiving the words from His Father, who gave them to the Holy Spirit of God, who breathed them into the hearts and minds of all Old and New Testament writers.
I personally believe there is sufficient evidence that it was the Eternal Son of God, also known as the Living Word, Who gave all the words recorded in the Old Testament to the Holy Spirit, Who breathed them into the hearts and minds of those OT writers. But for you or any unbelieving Jew or Gentile to ever discover this for yourselves, you would have to read the New Testament, specifically the first chapter of the book of John. But, whether you would be able to receive any of the truth from the passages without the Holy Spirit living in you and guiding you into the truth is doubtful. However, anyone who seeks the information they need to believe in Jesus unto salvation, will be given the information they seek.
Whenever Jesus told His disciples to love their enemies, He wasn’t saying for them to phileo, or philia, or philos their enemies, He was instructing them to agapao, or agape their enemies, that is, they are to love them without any thought of receiving anything in return. Anyone, you are I, can phileo even our ememies, but only one who is born from above can agape anyone else, friend or enemy. And that is because true agape love is produced only by the Holy Spirit, as a fruit of the Spirit, through the one He indwells. This is an example of New Testament truth from Gal. 5:22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
You see it is the Holy Spirit who produces these fruits in a believer, not the believer producing them him or herself.
The Bible teaches that Jesus was tempted in every way in which any other man has ever been tempted, yet He was without sin when He died on the cross. Therefore showing your disapproval at His anger at a fig tree is merely looking for excuses to continue rejecting Him as your forefathers did.
Tell me Mr. Silver, are you as critical of the words and actions of G-d as you are His Son. God ordered King Saul to put to death all the Amalekite men,all the innocent Amalekite women, children and infants, and all the oxen, camel and donkeys. Read it:
“Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Sam 15:3 ).
God also commanded Jews to stone their own children to death when they were habitually disobedient of the Law. Do you do that? On second thought, as a father of three boys, who are now grown and are experiencing the woes of raising children of their own, my sons, at times say they are tempted to ask God to reinstate the Law.
My point being that your mentioning a diatribe on the part of the Son of God over a bush that would not produce fruit out of season, reveals that you missed the spiritual truths that Jesus was revealing to His disciples. At this point in His presenting Himself to Israel as their Messiah, they have made it very clear that they are rejecting Him and His Kingdom.
The cursing of the barren fig tree, vs.18-22, is a type of Israel according to Joel 1:7, here symbolized in national rejection.
“He has laid waste My vine, And ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white” Joel 1:7.
Contrast Luke 13:6-9 with Mt. 24:32-33.
Luke 13: 6-9: “He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' 8 But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.””
Israel, the nation, is the fig tree. Because the nation displayed zero, zilch, not any repentance, the tree was to be chopped down, metaphorically speaking. In actuality your nation has been set aside until all the gentiles who are going to come to Christ are all brought into His kingdom. Now look at Matt. 24: 32-33:
"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near--at the doors!
Here, symbolic prophecy indicates that Israel shall again bud. In other words Israel will be brought back to her international prominence, where she was when God declared her His Chosen People.
Mr. Silver, I beg you to go and read Rom. 11:1-26. But, before you do, please ask God to give you His wisdom and understanding of what is being said in this wonderful passage. You will not be committing the unforgiveable sin by the reading that passage from the New Testament, or for praying such a prayer. Besides, the word says there is nothing impossible with God.
All the objections you have raised as to why you believe Jesus is not God the Son and why Jews won’t believe the New Testament are carbon copies of the self-serving denials of Who Jesus Christ really is that I used as an atheist. The result of which is that I would have spent eternity apart from God and burning in hell, had I died before believing in the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I must inform you, your fate at this point, is no different than what mine would have been had I not believed in God’s Son. I am not trying to frighten you, but I hope to put the fear of God in you to the point that you will investigate everything I have proclaimed.
As to the Catholics treatment of Jews based on John 15:6, it doesn’t surprise me how wicked some people who do the work of Satan can be. And I am not saying Catholics are wicked, I’m saying that all men are wicked. In the history of the Church many evil organizations and individuals have done great harm to innocent people. Some have committed atrocities, hypothetically, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Satan’s workers can be found in Church buildings, Synagogues, Mosques and brush arbors all over the world. However, John 15:6 gives no license for evil, to evil doers, anywhere in the world.
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6).
Jesus is revealing a very important spiritual reality in the above verse. In this age of grace, anyone who believes in Him is not condemned to hell. But, everyone who does not believe in Him is condemned to hell already, because they have already rejected the son of God. However, God is not willing that anyone should perish. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved: You and your whole household. This applies to every Jew and Gentile on earth who are not believers.
Return to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
7. The present status quo of the Christian churches
And where are the Christian churches holding that claim to go by the New Testament?
The biggest branch, the Roman Catholic Church, is deeply immersed in idolatry. G.d says: "Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image nor any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Exodus 20:4. Please notice that it is not only forbidden to worship idols, but even making them is forbidden. However the whole Roman Catholic Church is filled with idols that are worshipped by the whole congregation. What does the Bible say about this? "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not, eyes have they, but they see not, they have ears but they hear not, noses have they but they smell not. They have hands, but they handle not, feet they have, but they walk not, neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them. So is everyone that trusteth in them." Psalms 115:4-8.
The Protestant churches are doing slightly better in the sense that they have no statues which they worship, but praying to and worshiping a human being, whether dead or alive, man or woman, Jew or non-Jew, is also idolatry. They think that they are fulfilling a divine commandment when they rest on Sunday, the first day of the week. However nowhere in the Old or New Testament is it written that anyone should rest on the first day of the week. As a matter of fact, a non Jew is not commanded to rest on any day of the week. The commandment to rest on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, is given by G.d to the Jewish people: "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever." Exodus 31:15-16. A non-Jew is bound by the covenant that G.d made with Noah; "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." Genesis 8:22. Seedtime and harvest shall not cease. G.d did not command a day of rest for the Noachide's (non-Jews). Therefore a Noachide can not stop working on the Sabbath or on any other day, thinking he is doing that because G.d commanded it to him. Of course he can take a vacation and stop working, but he can not do that, thinking he is fulfilling a Scriptural commandment. What did Jesus, who was a Jew, do in this respect? Luke 4:16: "And as his custom was, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day." So what is the reason for resting on Sunday? Resting on Sunday is an invention of the Roman Catholic church, and has no basis in the Scriptures whatsoever.
The same holds true for Christmas, Easter and other pagan festivals that the church adopted. The exact date of birth of Jesus is not given in the New Testament, but it is very unlikely that it happened in the winter, because the shepherds were out in the field at night (Luke 2:8-11), and this was not the custom in the winter, the rainy season. The pagan tribes that worshipped the sun, used to celebrate on the 25th of December the rebirth of their god, the sun. In order to make their conversion to Christianity easier, they were allowed to continue celebrating their pagan festivals, but now under a Christian heading. The Christmas tree is the remainder of another pagan custom, namely the worshipping of trees.
Did you ever wonder where the name Easter is coming from? Look in the MacMillan Contemporary Dictionary: "From Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of the dawn, whose rites were also observed in the spring."--- The Easter eggs and bunny are pagan fertility symbols.
From this we see that the Christian churches are immersed in paganism and idolatry, and follow customs and celebrate festivals that have nothing to do with either the Old or the New Testament.
How can anybody expect a G.d fearing Jew to become a Christian?
The Christian churches believe in the theory that G.d rejected His chosen people, and that instead the Christians are the new spiritual Israel. However,G .d says clearly in the Holy Torah that He will never break his covenant with the Jewish people, even not when they stray away from Him. When the Jews go astray G.d will punish them. (Leviticus 26:14-17) And if they then still don't listen, G.d will punish them seven times harder. (Idem:18-22) And if they then still don't listen, G.d will punish them another seven times harder. (Idem:23-24) And if they then still refuse to turn back to G.d, He will punish them another seven times harder. (Idem:27-28) But despite all this, G.d will not break His covenant with the Jewish people: Leviticus 26:44-45; "And yet for all that, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: For I am Y-H-W-H their G.d. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their G.d: I am Y-H-W-H."
Pause from Mr. Silver’s Commentary - My response to the above comments
Many of the things you have to say in criticism of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ are absolutely correct. However, in spite of how far believers today may have strayed from the straight and narrow way, don’t let that detour you in seeking to discover the righteousness, peace, fellowship with and the favor of God that is only found in this Age of Grace though a relationship with Israel’s Messiah.
Although some versions of God’s Word translates the Greek word apatheo, in Rom. 11:1 as rejected, such as the NASB, others translate it as caste away as does NKJV. My Holman Exhaustive Concordance translated the word as: pushed away, rejected, repudiate, and repudiated in the various NT scripture that used the word. So, although scripture says that God has rejected His people, Israel, we know that it is not a permanent condition, because New Testament scripture also teaches us that God is going to restore Israel in the last days.
I have this inclination to consider God’s action toward Israel for rejecting His Son as Messiah, as His having set Israel the nation aside for a time. The word rejection has a very strong connotation of permanent abandonment, so I do not use that word very often in regards to how God deals with people. God has set the nation of Israel aside for a period of time, while He is concentrating on drawing the gentiles through the Holy Spirit to His Son.
Mr. White, the Jews rejecting God’s Son and God rejecting the nation of Israel, these are scriptural facts. No person or any amount of prayer can change what God has deemed necessary to do. However God has not rejected the individual Jews.
In fact, New Testament scripture reveals that God is faithfully committed to seeing individual Jews from all over the world regathered in the Holy Land. However, they will not only occupy the present land of Israel. Instead, there is coming a day when Jews from all over the world will inhabit all the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants. Mark my word.
However, Mr. Silver, neither you, nor any other Jew will ever come to the fullest understanding of what God has in store for the nation of Israel and Jews from all over the world, with the present heart condition of Jews. Until you deal with your religious biases and antichristian, anti-New Testament, and anti-Jesus-as- Messiah hang ups, God cannot work with you. In fact, the rejection by Jews today of the New Testament is a blasphemous rejection of God’s Word. He, who rejects the word of God, rejects God, the Word Giver.
Return to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
“Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying: The two families that the Lord hath chosen, He has even cast them of? Thus they have despised My people, that they should no more be a nation before them. Thus saith the Lord: If My covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: for I will cause their captivety to return and have mercy on them." Jeremiah 33:24-26
If G.d rejected the Jews, why then is He now fulfilling the prophecies that He will gather in the Jews and bring them back to their land? "Fear not, for I am with thee, I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. I will say to the north; give up, and to the south; keep not back: Bring my sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth." Isaiah 43:5+6 The whole world witnesses this miracle, how after almost 2000 years of dispersion over the whole earth the Jews are returning to Israel. In just 50 years a state has been built from scratch, the Hebrew language has been revived. Is there any precedent in history for this? Is there any other people that was dispersed throughout the whole world for almost 2000 years that held on to their identity and their religion?---Surely we see here the hand of G.d. However, this is not the final ingathering of Jews, that is to be done by the messiah. The final ingathering will be after the war of Gog from Magog with Israel. This is described by the prophet Ezekiel, in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Please read these two chapters in order to get a good overview of this. Ezekiel 38:8; "In the latter years thou shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel." Here it is prophesied that Gog will attack Israel, a land that is brought out of many nations. We see now that the Jews from the whole world are coming home. The Jews are coming from Africa, America, all the European countries have given their share of Jews, we have had mass immigration from Russia, the Jews are coming home from all over the world. But, the final complete ingathering of the Jews will be after the war of Gog from Magog with Israel. This war and G.d's terrible punishment upon Gog are described in the latter part of chapter 38 and the beginning of chapter 39. And after that it is written in chapter 39, verse 25: "Therefore, thus saith the Lord G.d: now I will bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel... " So the final complete ingathering will be later.
Why is Gog attacking Israel? Ezekiel 38:12: "To take spoil and to take a prey". Idem verse 13: "Art thou come to take spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? To carry away silver and gold? To take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?" Here we see that the attack is in order to carry away large amounts of riches that have accumulated in Israel. Fifty years ago the state of Israel started with less that 500,000 people in a piece of desolated desert, with no natural resources whatsoever. On the contrary; even water is a problem. It was attacked right away by fifty million Arab neighbors, yet by a miracle it survived. The state was faced with major problems, like constant terrorism from hostile neighbors and full-blown wars. Israel has to spend enormous amounts of money for defense in order to survive. Israel has been faced with mass immigration. For instance, since '89 almost a million Russian immigrants arrived, which is an enormous strain upon such a small nation. But nevertheless, what is the result? Israel has a level of prosperity comparable to many western countries. Israel has joined the twenty richest countries in the world, and financial experts think that Israel is fast on its way to the top. Surely the blessings of G.d are worth much more than an abundance of oil or gold mines.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s commentary - My response to the above comments
It is God, in Jeremiah 33, verses 15 and 16, speaking through the prophet, who proclaims:
“In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David, A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'[
God is revealing through Jeremiah that there is coming a time when righteousness is going to reign in Israel. But, how does God say this righteousness is going to come about? It is through A Branch of righteousness that God is going to cause to grow up to David. By using King David’s name, God is referring to the throne of David, which will be located in the midst of a nation comprised of Jews from all over the world. This King’s government will be centered in Jerusalem. God grew that Branch up in the first half of the 1st Century A.D. And had Israel not rejected the Branch, He would have been place by God His Father on the throne of David and He would have ruled that nation in such profound righteousness that He the King would have executed judgment and righteousness over the whole earth during His reign.
However, because of the actions of the Jews in their response to God’s offer of His marvelous love through His Son, ‘those days’ are now future and will occur when the fullness of the gentiles have come in. Here is what God has said through a Jewish wise man from the first century. My comments are in brackets:
“For I do not desire, brethren, [Jews of the 1st Century, Jews of today and Jews until Jesus returns] that you should be ignorant of this mystery [mystery here means everything related to: 1.) the age of grace; 2.) God’s current dealings with Israel; and 3.) Jesus coming to set up His kingdom at His second coming to earth], lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel [Israel blindness began at the cross and continues today and will continue until Jesus returns] until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer [Jesus the Messiah] will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob [all Israel]; For this is My covenant with them [see Jer. 32:31], When I take away their sins."
In Jer. 33:15: ‘Those days’ mentioned in v. 15 are now on God’s time table and schedule and will come about when Jesus Christ, the true Messiah of Israel, returns to earth for the specific purpose of saving Israel from extinction at the hands of the Jew hating nations of the world. At that time God will establish His New Covenant with Israel and the millennial Kingdom of His Son on earth.
As to your question, ‘Why will Gog attack Israel’? God did not totally turn His back on Israel as a result of the crucifixion of His Son. Yes, He has set Israel aside, but He has kept His hand of blessing on her. The restoration of Israel as a bona fide nation is evidence of God’s love, concern for and blessings of her. From the cross until God restored Israel as a nation, the greatest evidence of His blessings on this people is that they have survived almost 2 thousand years without being annihilated. Since Israel’s restoration as a nation, God has blessed her immensely in many ways. Some of the evidence of His blessings in modern times was in His moving on the hearts of England’s leaders to work on behalf of Israel being given the status of a nation. Almost immediately upon Israel the people becoming a nation, God defended her against her enemy/neighbors desiring to wipe her off the map.
In all of the first three major wars in which Israel has been embroiled: the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Six-Day War, and the Yum Kipper War; the hand of Almighty God has been evident. In her efforts to become a truly independent nation, God has blessed and sustained her. Her agricultural endeavors are nothing short of miracles. Gardens are blooming and farms are abounding even in her deserts. Her petroleum explorations hold the promise of Israel becoming a world class supplier of petroleum products.
Thanks to the industrial technological miracle known as fracking, Israel is about to become the new energy Mecca of the Middle East. Although her Arab neighbors might like to stop this from happening, there’s very little they can do.
In a petroleum hungry world, the Gogs of earth will turn their greedy eyes toward Israel. Therefore, Satan will certainly convince a few that Israel’s petroleum resources are there for their taking. This is especially true, if Russia promises the Arab nation of Iran a helping hand for a share in the spoils. However, Christians all over the world are ready to come to the aid of Israel at any sudden satanic move.
Back to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
You may think to yourself: But there are 1,000,000,000 Christians, they cannot all be wrong?
But then, what about the 1,000,000,000 Muslims, aren't they all wrong?
Maybe the question arises: If you can prove, in a small paper like this, that the New Testament is unreliable and leads to idolatry, then how is it possible that for 2000 years all the Christians never recognized this fact? --
In order to understand this, we must realize that for almost 16 centuries the Bible was not available to the common people. Only in the middle of the 15th century was the technology to print books invented. Before that time every copy had to be written by hand, which made it very expensive, and absolutely unaffordable for the common people. After the invention of the printing press the Bible was almost exclusively printed in Latin, so that it could not be understood by the layman, but only by the clergy. The Roman Catholic Church did not want the Bible to be available to the common people, because they were afraid that when the people could read the Bible themselves, they would realize how they were cheated, and stray away from the mother-church. This was a justified fear, because as soon as the Bible became available to the masses, a major Christian reform movement arose. Hence the church used all means available to prevent Bible translations from reaching the common people.
Pause in Mr. Silver’s commentary - My response to the above comments
Is it coincidental that when I found this article on the internet, I was seeking an article that would reveal why Jews still have not embraced God’s Son, from a Jewish standpoint? I don’t think so! In fact, Mr. Smith’s was the very first article that popped up at the start of my search.
I believe the sovereign hand of God works in the lives of those who are surrendered to His will. Having said that, the question arises: How can a person, who believes in God, but not His Son, be surrendered to the known, revealed will of God, if he or she does not believe in God’s Son as Messiah?
The answer is they cannot. An unbeliever can read the Old Testament over and over and over and never come to faith in Jesus Christ as Israel’s Messiah. That is why God first gave the gospel to the Jews. That is why God through the Holy Spirit indwelling those first eleven disciples of Jesus, immediately began to spread the good news of His Son, after His death, to Jews. Yes, God wanted the whole world to know of His Son having come to earth and having died on that cross that all men might be free from their burdens of sin, but the message went first to the Jews, then the Gentiles.
First, God sent His Son to Israel as their Messiah, that He might set up the long awaited Kingdom of Heaven on earth. However, His Son was rejected by the Jews and was put to death. Therefore, immediately upon His Son’s death, God sent His Son’s disciples to the Jews with the good news that they, the Jew, would be the first recipients of His blessings of Grace. These blessings of grace would include: forgiveness of all sins; eternal life; the Holy Spirit taking up residence in their being, to be their mentor, helper, comforter and source of supernatural power for living the abundant life on earth. They would only have to recognize that their Messiah who God had sent to set up His Kingdom of Heaven on earth, had now become their Savior. However, Jesus was not replacing God His Father as the savior He had been to the Jewish forefathers in delivering them from their many trials of earthly human bondage.
In fact, this Savior was a personal savior who would save each individual from a hellish existence in a world ruled by Satan and upon death would save them from an eternity in hell and being separated from God.
The question, Mr. Silver, we need to be addressing is: How has it blessed God that millions of Jews have died and have been burning in hell since about 33 A.D, because they continually rejected, as you are doing, God’s Son, Israel’s Messiah.
I grieve for Jews daily. They put their own Savior to death on a cruel cross, resulting in God having to reject them for rejecting His Son until the Church could evangelize the Gentiles of the world. Now, almost 2000 years later, Jews are still dying and going to hell every day. Why? Because, they continue to reject God’s Son.
Mr. Silver, all this religious shrapnel that you are blasting away with in your article serves nobody’s purpose but Satan’s. Get your eyes off the Catholic Church and any other religious organization and put your eyes on Christ. He is the only hope that you and the nation of Israel have.
Back to Mr. Silver’s Commentary
The first translation of the whole Bible into a spoken language was into English, made by John Wycliff in 1380. But the church was not as grateful as you would expect. Forty-three years after his death, in 1428, his bones were dug up and burned at the stake, by command of the synod of Constance. Pope Martin V personally confirmed this order.
In 1525 William Tyndale gave the English people his translation of the New Testament, and later of parts of the Old Testament.
On the sixth of October 1536 he was strangled to death, and afterwards burned at the stake in Vilvorde near Brussels.WW
Luther, who translated the Bible into German, was excommunicated and outlawed by the church, but died a natural death before the church could get its hands on him.
In 1527 the Antwerp edition of Tyndale's New Testament was burned at St. Paul's Cross, London, and a little later mass burning of these works and the works of other translators began. (These facts and dates can easily be verified by means of the New Catholic Encyclopedia, by an editorial staff at the Catholic University of America, Washington, or through the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, by Cross and Livingstone.)
Later, when translations became widely available, the translations were usually corrupted at critical points, as shown before.
The Roman Catholic Church was not very patient with dissidents. The Jewish people suffered immensely under the church. They were subject to discrimination, stashed away in ghettos, they were deported, they were tortured, they were killed. Under these circumstances reaching out to the nations and telling them that their religion is a fraud, was for the Jews tantamount to suicide. .But now the time is right for the truth to come out.
It is very simple and very clear: There is one G.d, and that one G.d is one. Give up your idol worship and turn to the one true G.d. Do you want to be amongst those of whom the prophet Jeremiah says: "The gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth and shall say: Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit." Jeremiah 16:19.
Wait for the true messiah who will bring peace and prosperity to the whole world in his first attempt.
"And the Lord (Y-H-W-H) shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord and His name One." Zechariah 14:9.
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that G.d is with you." Zechariah 8:23.
What does this all mean? Does everybody have to forsake his religion and embrace Judaism?
This is not necessary. Although anyone who is driven by the right motives can become Jewish and join the Jewish people, this is not a necessity in order to enter heaven. Noah was not Jewish, but nevertheless it is written about him in Genesis 6:9: "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations." And what was his reward? "And Noah walked with G.d." The same holds true for Job. He was also not Jewish. "Job was perfect and upright, and one that eschewed evil." Job 1:1. So you don't have to be Jewish in order to be a G.d fearing and righteous person. The Jewish people have a different mission in life: "And you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation." Exodus 19:6. For this reason the Jewish people have to live according to 613 commandments. For the Noachide (non-Jew), life is a lot easier; he has far fewer commandments. Seven of them are particularly notable, because if he transgresses them, he will be punished by a human court. These are:
1) Establish courts of law.
2) Do not murder
3) Do not worship idols
4) Do not blaspheme
5) Do not steal.
6) Do not commit adultery
7) Do not eat the limbs of a live animal.
These seven are the minimum that a Noachide must fulfill. All together there are about 30 commandments that a Noachide must fulfill. He is obligated to do everything that has to do with the understanding of the heart, but if he transgresses these, he will not be punished for it by a human court. If you want to go deeper into these laws, the following books are recommended:
The Seven Laws of Noah, by Jacob Joseph, School Press. 1981 New York.
The Path of the Righteous Gentile, Targum Press, Southfield 1987.
The International Lubavitch Organization, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, is also active in informing non-Jews of their G.d given code of law.
There is also a possibility that there is in your neighborhood a B'nai No'ach (Sons of Noah) movement.
In the Temple times non-Jews living in Israel and observing these seven universal laws, were permitted to offer sacrifices in the Temple. Because of the constant persecution that has befallen the Jews since the destruction of the Temple, it was not possible to teach these laws to the world. But now G.d is bringing the Jewish people home, and the Jewish people can once again reach out to the nations of the world and teach them G.d's laws.
"For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord ---(Y-H-W-H) from Jerusalem." Isaiah 2:3.
In the Midrashic literature a Rabbi declares: (Tana De Bei Eliahu Rabba) - I call heaven and earth as witnesses: Any individual, whether Jew or non-Jew, man or woman, servant or maid, can bring the Divine Presence upon himself, in accordance with his deeds."
Keep the seven, go to heaven!
Look what happened when mankind abandoned these laws: "And G.d looked upon the earth and behold, it was corrupt, for all the flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And G.d said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before Me for the earth is filled with violence through them, and behold; I will destroy them with the earth." Genesis 6:12-13.
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear G.d and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For G.d shall bring every matter into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastis 12:13-14.
Let us hope and pray that the real Messiah may come speedily, in our days, and that the third everlasting Temple shall be build rapidly.
The end of Mr. Silver’s commentary
My final Comments
Something that surprises me, somewhat, is the fact that Jews still despise the New Testament and shun it as they have for 2000 years. They do it because it is, in the Jewish tradition, proclaimed to not be the Word of God. However, ever Jew on the face of the earth that has any semblance of Jewish religiosity embraces with a fervor that body of homiletic stories told by Jewish rabbinic sages to explain the passages in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible.
As I have already said, any written material on spiritual matters outside of the pages of God’s Holy Word, the Old and New Testaments, are classified by Christians as ‘extra biblical’ writings. Meaning they are never to be used in place of God’s word. This is why God wants faithful Jews and Christians to depend solely upon what He has said through the writers of the Old and New Testaments.
Again, as I have already said, Mr. Silver is shooting religious shrapnel. In other words, he sees all these evil things that are trying to force Jews to believe in a Messiah that they hate and deplore, so he shots every religious canon he can get his hands on hoping he can blow these evil ideas, words and concepts to smithereens. Everything he has said in defense of his having rejected, and his continuing rejection of God and God’s Son, as the Savior of all mankind, is nothing but fool hearted nonsense. Nonsense, that has resulted from Satanic blinders having been placed over his and the eyes of millions of Jews by the god of this world.
Mr. Silver and all the lost Jews in the world, need to get their eyes off extra biblical writings, no matter who has written them, and trust in the Lord God to speak to Jews through that portion of His Holy Word known as the New Testament. Jews seem so willing to read the extra biblical writings of dead Rabbis, perhaps it is time that they begin reading the Scriptures of God as set forth by the eternal Priest and Rabbi of all mankind, the Lord Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of God in the Holy of Holies in Heaven, interceding for all who belong to Him.
In fact, Jews need to get their eyes off Judaism. They need to put their eyes squarely on the Lord God. Might I suggest that Jews everywhere pray the prayer I prayed 39 years ago as an atheist.
Lying in bed, my heart breaking because of a very sick child that I thought was going to die, looking at the ceiling of my bedroom through the very faint glow of a bedside night light, I cried out to the God that I had rejected as a teenager. I said:
“Father, I have no one to turn to in asking help for my son, but you. I have said that you do not exist for 17 years. But, if you really are out there give me the faith to believe in You.” Amen
Mr. Silver’s, I almost immediately began to read everything I could get my hands to help me find God. However, I turned to the wrong religious books. For about six weeks I read all sorts of garbage about eastern gods, even books on the gods of the cults, reincarnation, and started reading the Bible beginning with Genesis. About two months after praying that prayer, someone gave me Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth. I truly believe God began to open my eyes with that book. It certainly was a lot better than my reading about Hare Krishna and Buddha.
About three months after praying, a neighbor cajoled me into going to his church one Sunday with my family. I don’t remember anything about what was said at the morning service. But, I felt compelled to go back that night. When the preacher walked up to the pulpit, I settled down in the church pew ready to scoff at everything the preacher was going to say. God had other plans.
The preacher opened his bible and began reading through chapter one of the book of Romans. I can’t tell you one word from the first fifteen verses, but at verse 16, God opened my ears and I sat up. When he reached verse 18, printed below is what I heard in my heart.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of Tom, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in Tom, for God has shown it to him. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that Tom is without excuse, 21 because, although he knew God, Tom did not glorify Him as God, nor was he thankful, but Tom became futile in His thoughts, and His foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, Tom became a fool, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave him up to uncleanness, in the lusts of his heart, to dishonor his body and mind, 25 Tom exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Romans 1:18-25.
I went home, walked out on the pier of my Lake Palestine waterfront home, got on my knees and ask God and the Lord Jesus to take over my life and do with me as He pleased. He did, He has and He still is.
Having served Satan most of my 34 years before inviting God and His Son to come into my being and take control of my life, I know what it means to be blinded by the evil one. Whether, you accept what I have said in my comments as truth or not, is of little importance.
However, I beg Mr. Silver and all unbelieving Jews, with all my heart and being, since you already believe in God, ask Him, if His Son truly exists, to give you the faith to believe in His Son. I am asking God for His will to be done in your life and the lives of countless Jews. Mean it when you pray this prayer of truth seeking. And don’t stop praying until you hear from God, one way or the other.
Mr. Silver, or any Jewish reader, if I have offended you in the things I have said, or anything to which I have alluded, I ask your forgiveness. There is nothing in this entire world that is more important than your and my eternal destiny. I commend Jews for being a nation of people to whom God once referred, and I believe will one day refer again, as His chosen people. However, you and your fellow Jews, for a period of time, the length of which is only known to God, have been set aside as God’s chosen people until all the Gentiles have been given an opportunity to turn in faith to God’s Son.
I do not know why God has willed for you and your people to be blinded by Satan during this time of the Gentiles. I believe, from my study of God’s Word, that it will not last much longer. And in truth, I can say with the greatest of confidence in my Lord and Savior, that God will at this very moment lift the vision impairment from anyone’s eyes, which will look to His Son in faith.
Mr. Silver, ask yourself the question: how can any person suddenly turn to one in faith whom they have despised and hated all their life? They must be willing to forsake their hatred and enmity! Are you willing to give up your enmity and hostility toward Jesus? If you are not, ask God to change your heart. If you are willing, then tell God you want to be rid of it. Tell Him you want the faith to believe in His Son and He will give it to you.
Mr. Silver, I have a confession to make. The 1st Century Jewish bible scholar I have been quoting is actually the apostle Paul, a man who hated Jesus and he hated those who belonged to Jesus through faith. Yet, after his Damascus road experience, (read about it in Acts, chapter nine) he became the greatest, apostle, preacher, teacher, follower of Christ and writer of God’ Word of all time. And yes, that includes King David’s Psalms. By the way, Acts is in the New Testament. Sorry about that.
If you are any reader would care to respond to my comments, you are encouraged to do so. I will post them on my website as an addendum to this document, which I am going to post on my website just as you see it here, as soon as I have your permission or determine that it is going to be impossible to contact you..
“If anyone is willing to do God’s will, he shall know concerning the things I have shared, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” John 7:17(TNT).
May The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious to you; may The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.
Personal note to all readers of this document: I tried unsuccessfully to locate Mr. Silver. The email connection on the webpage from which I copied his article was not working and the original website where the article had been posted is no longer in existence.
The visiting preacher opened his message with the following statement: “Today I want to tell you how to destroy the Jewish people. The title of his sermon, in fact, stood out boldly in the church bulletin: “How to Destroy the Jewish People.”
It even had appeared in the local newspaper that week in an advertisement for the special meetings the church was conducting with the guest evangelist—and it had generated no little commotion in town. So significant was the brouhaha that the local rabbi was sitting in the church, prepared to hear an anti- Semitic diatribe. Needless to say, the atmosphere was electric.
The preacher continued his opening remarks, announcing the text for the sermon and asking everyone to listen to the words of the prophet Jeremiah:
Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which, my covenant, they broke, although I was an husband unto them, says the LORD; But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (31:31–34).
Nothing thus far was inflammatory. The passage prophesied a new covenant that the Lord would establish someday with the descendants of Israel. The preacher continued reading:
Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divides the sea when its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus says the LORD, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD (31:35–37).
After reading the text, the preacher called the congregation’s attention to the last three verses, which emphasize the everlasting nature of God’s covenant with Israel. The covenant was permanent. It was immutable, irrevocable, and unchangeable. Israel’s perpetuity was inexorably linked to the perpetuity of the physical ordinances of the sun, moon, stars, and Earth. If these ordinances disappear, then Israel will disappear. But as long as they remain, Israel will remain.
“So, you want to know how to destroy the Jewish people?” the preacher asked with a flourish. “I will tell you. But first, you must be able to pluck the sun, moon, and stars from their celestial positions and make them disappear forever; measure the distance from one end of the heavens to the other [something modern scientists can’t even do]; burrow into the very core of the earth and measure the distance you have bored. And if you can accomplish these three tasks, only then will you be able to eliminate forever the children of Israel from their long existence on planet Earth.”
A collective sigh of relief arose from the congregants, including the rabbi. The key truth was obvious to all: It is impossible to destroy the Jewish people.
Considering the tragic history of Jacob’s children over the last two thousand years, that simple affirmation stands out boldly amid their sufferings, exiles, and narrow escapes from annihilation. Deuteronomy 28, spoken and written by Moses more than a thousand years before Israel’s first exile, describes the nation’s yet future sufferings in these anguished words:
And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nothing; and ye shall be plucked from off the land to which thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; . . . And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest; but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have no assurance of thy life (vv. 63–66).
Jewish history from the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 through the twentieth century is not a pretty story. Although a small remnant of Jewish people continued to live in the land of their forefathers, the vast majority ended up in the diaspora (literally, the “scattering”), a popular Jewish term to describe everywhere outside the land of Israel. These diaspora Jews lived in foreign countries where the terms aliens and exiles more appropriately described their plight. Their “host” countries usually were far from hospitable. Wherever they wandered in the medieval world, they never were accorded citizenship.
Not only were they hated, they often were caught between warring factions and suffered the consequences. When the European Crusaders launched their expeditions in the eleventh through the thirteenth centuries to free the Holy Land from the Moslems, they slaughtered the Jewish people and annihilated dozens of Jewish communities along the way. When the Black Death spread through Europe from 1348 through 1350, many people blamed the Jews, claiming they had poisoned wells. Thousands of Jewish people were burned to death, especially in Germany. Even the pope, not always a friend to the Jewish people, opposed such baseless accusations. But the mobs, infected with blind hatred, could not be dissuaded.
The infamous Spanish Inquisition, launched by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, finally led to the Jewish people’s complete expulsion from Spain in 1492 and then from neighboring Portugal in 1496. This forced exile of nearly 200,000 people for no other reason than the fact that they were Jewish indelibly marked both the Jewish psyche and Jewish history.
The little-known Chmielnicki Wars in 1648 led to the slaughter of nearly 100,000 Polish Jews by Cossack warriors. The czars of nineteenth-century Russia often blamed the Jewish people for whatever economic ills beset the serfs in their empire.
In 1881 the infamous pogroms broke out and continued sporadically until World War I. Local mobs, often urged on by their Orthodox priests, attacked Jewish communities, murdering thousands of innocent men, women, and children for being so-called Christ-killers. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish people fled to the New World. Those who somehow survived the pogroms and remained in Eastern Europe eventually faced the worst of all Jewish tragedies—the Holocaust. From 1933 to 1945, through a series of repressive laws; labor camps; and, finally, gas chambers, the Nazis obliterated approximately six million Jewish people—simply because they were Jewish.
And yet they survived. The Jewish people, of course, are not the only nationality that has endured suffering. However, their anguish has been unique in several ways. No nation in the history of the world ever has been exiled from its land, lost its national existence and language, then returned as a people to that identical homeland and even revivified its ancient tongue. No nation, that is, except one—the nation of Israel.
How can we explain this phenomenon? Modern historians and philosophers have tried and failed. The Jewish experience simply does not fit human theories and explanations. One of the greatest historians of all time was Arnold Toynbee, whose classic ten-volume work, A Study of History, traces the rise and inevitable fall of twenty-six civilizations.
Despite all his brilliance, Toynbee could not adequately explain the phenomenon of the “Jewish civilization.” According to his philosophy of history, civilizations rise then eventually fall, never to rise again. Jewish history, however, did not fit Toynbee’s scheme. Yes, the Jewish nation rose and fell. But it survived after its fall and, amazingly, returned to its ancient land, reconstituted its national existence, and even resurrected its ancient language from the dead. No other nation has ever accomplished this feat.
Toynbee could not comprehend the Jewish peoples’ survival because he was unwilling to consider God’s promises. The Lord God declared through His prophet that Israel will never cease from being a nation (Jer. 31:36), and He has kept that promise by preserving His Chosen People through all their dark nights of suffering. Apart from God, no other explanation exists. Toynbee referred to the Jews as the “fossils of history.” A fossil is an ancient object that really should not be here today but is somehow “frozen in time”—out of place but here nevertheless.
From a human viewpoint, the Jewish people should not be here. With all they have endured, they should have disappeared long ago. More magnificent civilizations, such as the Assyrians, Hittites, and Babylonians, have been consigned to the dustbin of history. But, in the familiar words of an Israeli folk song, “Am Yisrael Hai!” (“the people of Israel live!”).
Their ancient persecutors and murderers have vanished from the stage of human history, but little Israel keeps playing its role in the divine cosmic drama. And Israel will continue to do so, not because of its cunning, savvy, or wit, but because of the promises of God.
The great Prussian Emperor Frederick often would test his chaplain with theological questions. Frederick, however, said he did not have time for long answers and explanations. He wanted simple answers that he could comprehend quickly. One day he asked his chaplain if he could provide simple and succinct evidence for the truth of the Bible. Frederick asked if the chaplain could provide the evidence in just one word. The wise chaplain responded that he could do just that.
“What is this magical word?” Frederick asked.
The chaplain replied, “Israel, your majesty. The people of Israel.”
It would be difficult indeed for anyone to offer better proof for the accuracy and divine authenticity of God’s Word. Israel has survived and will continue to survive because God Almighty has willed it.
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Has prophetic fulfillment already taken place, is it presently taking place, or will it take place in the future? These three options summarize the way in which prophetic fulfillment is understood by different schools of prophetic interpretation today. The historicist and preterist school views prophecy as largely or wholly being fulfilled in the past, however, historicists can also accept prophecy as having a present fulfillment since it is taking place in history. The futurist school views prophecy as largely being fulfilled in the future, i.e., with Israel and the nations after the Rapture of the Church, although some futurists see some events, such as the establishment of the State of Israel (1948) and the Jewish recovery of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount (1967) as being present fulfillments. In order to understand how we should approach the concept of prophetic fulfillment, let us consider four basic precepts.
1). The Bible (Old and New Testaments) contains unfulfilled prophecies that will be fulfilled in the same way they were given.
The “Old” Testament is not out-of-date, but like the New Testament (itself 2,000 years old) contains hundreds of prophetic statements that have yet to be fulfilled in the manner they were originally given. Consider the statistics: There is 23,210 verses in the Old Testament and of these 6,641 verses contain prophecy (28.5% of the Old Testament). There are 7,914 verses in the New Testament and of these 1,711 verses contain prophecy (21.5% of the New Testament). Together there are 31,124 verses of which 8,352 verses contain biblical prophecy (27% of the whole). This reveals that 1/3 of Bible (Old and New Testaments) contains prophecy. In the statement of these prophecies, the past provides the grounds for the realization of the future. Moreover, this future realization can only be understood if the grounds established in the past remain unchanged. Otherwise it would not be divine fulfillment (as the prophets predicted), but a human fabrication made to fit our present reality. This, of course, means that we must read the Bible as it was written and not invent a new method of interpreting its message based on some theory of literary criticism or by a personalized, post-modern, approach. Sometimes it is stated by biblical scholars that the original writers of scripture understood their message metaphorically and never intended their readers to understand it literally.
However, the majority of prophecies, although many contain figurative language, were given in an actual historical and geographical context and for the apologetic purpose of confirming God’s word and comforting the recipient in a real circumstance. No metaphorical message could accomplish all these purposes. For example, the Jewish People suffering in exile were given prophecies of their return to the Land of Israel (Isa. 44:26-45:3; Jer. 25:12-14; 27:21-22). Such prophecies had to be literally fulfilled if they were to fulfill their purpose. Only if the Jews (not some other people) actually returned to the Land of Israel from which they were exiled (not some other place), could theprophecy make sense and offer real hope to a captive people. More important, there is no way that it could offer a proof of the power of God to perform His promise, unless it were fulfilled as it was given. These prophecies were literally fulfilled in the past with the return of a remnant of the Jewish exiles to Jerusalem beginning in 539 B.C.
At one time all biblical prophecy was unfulfilled, but through the ages much has been fulfilled (depending on how one interprets and applies messianic prophecy). However, the principle of literal fulfillment for past-fulfilled prophecies establishes the pattern for the literal fulfillment of future unfulfilled prophecies. For example, there are prophecies that promise to the Jewish Nation a future restoration in the Land of Israel under a New Covenant with both spiritual and material blessings (Isa. 2:2-4; Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:24-37:28; Zech. 8:3-23; 12-14). In these contexts Israel is redeemed and spiritually observant of God’s ways and is the dominant Nation to which all the Gentile nations come to learn God’s laws. There is no longer any war and the Temple stands in Jerusalem as the spiritual center for God’s restored Presence as well as for all mankind. Such prophecies have not yet been fulfilled literally in the experience of Israel’s history.
Because of this apparent lack of fulfillment, some have tried to counter the theological conclusion that prophecy failed by developing various explanations that the prophecies actually were fulfilled, but not in the literal way expected. In one scheme fulfillment is with historical Israel and occurred within one of the past experiences of Jewish exile and return. In another, a different people and place find fulfillment (for example, with the Church throughout the world). In yet another, the application is non-specific and timeless (for any person in any age). In each of these schemes the prophetic texts are interpreted partially or wholly in a non-literal manner with specific details, which might require literal fulfillment, read in the light of the whole. However, this approach contradicts the precedent set for unfulfilled prophecy by fulfilled prophecy and fails to satisfy the promised expectation of the original Jewish audience, for whom the prophecies were intended as a present comfort and justification for future hope. For example, Ezekiel prophesies both concerning Israel and the Temple’s ruin (chapters 4-24) and its restoration (chs. 33-48). Because the ruin occurred historically in the events culminating in the Babylonian invasion and destruction of 586 B.C., the details of the text can be seen to have been fulfilled literally.
However, even though Israel returned from exile and rebuilt the Temple, the extent of the restoration and magnitude of the Temple described in the text have no complete correspondence with these past historical events. Are the prophecy of ruin to be interpreted literally and the prophecy of restoration to be interpreted non-literally? How could a non-literal promise of restoration offer comfort and confidence to Jews in a literal exile? Moreover, how could it offer, as it claims, proof to the more powerful Gentile nations of the almighty power of Israel’s God (cf. Ezek. 36:23-36; 37:21-28; 38:14-16, 23; 39:6, 21, 25-29)? The alternative, therefore, to the non-literal approach is to interpret the text consistently and to interpret it literally. If a prophecy has not yet been fulfilled literally, its fulfillment must await the future. This offers both present comfort and confidence in the future and holds out the real hope that God will demonstrate before the world His sovereignty on the stage of history.
Having said this, it is necessary to briefly note the different focus presented in the Old Testament and the New Testaments respectively. The Old Testament focuses on the preparation of and purpose for Israel’s calling as a Nation. Within this program, designed to make God known to the nations (the rest of the world), there is the prophecy of a glorious future Temple as part of the fulfillment of Israel’s restoration under the New Covenant in the Last Days (Isa. 2:2-4; Ezek. 37:25-28; 40-48; Hag. 2:7-9; Zech. 6:12-15; 8:3).
By contrast, the New Testament’s focus is upon how the basis for the fulfillment of this prophecy for Israel and the nations has been provided by Messiah. In the New Testament, Jesus came as the prophesied Messiah and fulfilled the spiritual requirements for Israel and the nations redemption and restoration. In the future, Jesus will return to fulfill the physical requirements through His messianic rule. However, at the present time, both Jews and Gentiles have been enabled to the experience of the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant through the bestowal of God’s Holy Spirit. Because of this universal spiritual emphasis and the postponement of prophesied national blessings to the Last Days, the New Testament rarely touches upon these benefits (such as a glorious new Temple) promised to national Israel.
However, since the New Testament does acknowledge the promise of Israel’s future restoration (Matt. 8:11; 10:23; 19:28; 20:21-23; 25:31-32; 26:29; Mk. 14:25; Lk. 2:38; Acts 1:6-7; 3:20-21; Rom. 11:12, 15, 23, 25-27), the Temple must be assumed as a part of this promise (cf. Matt. 23:38-39 with Psa. 118:22-26; Mk. 11:17 with Isa. 56:7). Even though the New Testament employs on occasion spiritual elements of the Temple (a holy structure where the Presence of God dwelt) to explain the new nature of the New Covenant believer - corporately as a spiritual Body, the Church (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1; Eph. 2:21-22), and individually as a physical body, the saint (1 Cor. 6:19-20) – this does not imply that it does not follow the Old Testament in recognizing the Jerusalem Temple as essential to Israel’s future destiny, but underscores its historic sanctity.
2. National Israel has not yet fulfilled her predicted purpose and therefore has an abiding validity as a people and as a national entity.
The Old Testament explains the promises made to national Israel while the New Testament explains why these promises have not yet been fulfilled. It must be remembered that Jesus and His disciples were Jews and belonged to national Israel, as did most all of the writers of the New Testament. They shared the conviction that Israel had been chosen through the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:3) to be God’s instrument of universal blessing: “It is you who are the sons of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all of the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Acts 3:25). This was to be fulfilled spiritually as the Nation accepted its role as “the Servant of God” and became a “light to the nation so that God’s salvation might reach the end of the earth” (Isa. 49:6). Although Israel failed in the past in this commission, through God’s Anointed Servant, the Messiah, the Nation would find redemption and fulfill its destiny (Isa. 52:13-53:12; Lk. 24:21 with Jn. 4:42; Acts 13:23) and the Gentiles would receive God’s light (cf. Matt. 4:14-16 with Isa. 9:1-2; Matt. 12:17-21 with Isa. 42:2-3; Lk. 2:29-32 with Isa. 42:6; 49:6) and realize the relationship of blessing promised them in the Abrahamic Covenant (Rom. 11:16-18; Gal. 3:8-9, 29). However, the Jewish People (with whom the Abrahamic Covenant was made) have as a Nation yet to experience all of the terms of the covenant, such as prescribed territorial allotments (Gen. 15:18-21).
Why make the distinction “as a Nation”? Because, while individual Jews have believed and received spiritual blessings related to both the Abrahamic Covenant (Rom. 2:28-29; 4:16-17; Gal. 3:6-7) and New Covenant (Heb. 8:6-12; 10:16; 12:24), the unconditional promises of God made in both covenants was to the Jews as a Nation. In Jeremiah 31:35-37, after prophesying the conditions and characteristics of the New Covenant (vss. 31-34), we read of God’s confirmation of its fulfillment: “Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day, and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so its waves roar; the Lord of hosts is His name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘then the offspring of Israel [the Jewish People] also shall cease from being a nation [the Jewish Nation] before Me forever.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘if the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth search out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,’ declares the Lord.”
In this passage the word for “nation” is the Hebrew term goy, a stronger term than the Hebrew word ‘am which means simply means “people.” This term goy refers to Israel as a national entity, and indicates that the fulfillment of the New Covenant as promised in this context cannot simply be for individual Jews within the Church, but contains the hope of national Jewish restoration to the Lord (spiritual) and to the Land (physical). Furthermore, this passage makes this promise unconditional since it states that it will be fulfilled despite “all that they have done” (vs. 37). In the context of Jeremiah this includes the covenant unfaithfulness and spiritual apostasy for which the Nation was punished with exile from the Land. By extension, it must also include the national rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, for which the Nation also suffered exile.
Such a statement goes against the traditional replacement view of much of Christendom that Israel having rejected Jesus as its Messiah has itself been rejected by God as His Chosen People (Nation) and the national promises formerly made to it have been transferred to the Church. However, the Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans makes the opposite case he states: “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision [the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant]? Great in every respect … What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?” (Rom. 3:1-3). And again: “From the standpoint of the gospel they [Jews who have rejected Jesus as Messiah] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers [the Abrahamic Covenant]; for the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:28-29). Therefore, the Jewish People and Nation have an abiding validity until they realize their purpose as promised by God, a purpose, which He will fulfill in His time (Rom. 11:25-27).
Jesus understood this when, despite Jewish rejection of His messianic ministry, He told His disciples: “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne [the time of Israel’s national restoration in the Millennial Kingdom, cf. Matt. 25:31-34], you shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28). Jesus must have believed that national Israel (the twelve tribes), though rejecting Him for the present, would continue in the divine program, for He expected it to be in the future Millennial Kingdom and to be under His Messianic rule. Similarly, Paul in his defense before Herod Agrippa II declared: “I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers; the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day” (Acts 26:6-7). Paul did not deny to national Israel the validity of its promised hope because it had rejected its Messiah.
In like manner, Peter during the festival of Shavuot (Feast of Pentecost) declared to the Jews that had rejected Jesus: “Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Messiah appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time” (Acts 3:19-21). The phrases “times of refreshing” and “the period of restoration” are both terms that refer to the future Messianic Kingdom. Note that Peter in saying this is speaking to Jews who only weeks before approved Jesus’ crucifixion (vss. 13-15, 17), yet he still says that this is the promise of God to them as a Nation and that the coming Messianic King is appointed for them (vs. 20), because they are “sons of the prophets and of the covenant” (vs. 25). While such statements are conditioned upon national repentance (vs. 19), they nevertheless reveal the early church’s view that national Israel had abiding validity.
Therefore, if national Israel has abiding validity so does its Temple, which is prophesied to be part of the program of its fulfillment of its national destiny under the Abrahamic Covenant (Isa. 2:2-3; 56:6-7; 57:13c-d; Zech. 8:3-23).
3. The Land of Israel was chosen by God as the homeland of the Jewish People and remains their homeland today regardless of its occupation by other peoples.
This statement, while certainly echoed in the secular movement known as Zionism, is based on the biblical covenants that promised defined geographical boundaries to the Jewish People such as Genesis 15:18 and 17:7-8: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land. From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates … And I will establish My covenant between you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession …”
It is significant to observe that although Abraham was the father of both the Jewish people (through Isaac), and the Arab people (through Ishmael), the covenant was established only with Isaac and his descendants (see Genesis 17:18-21). This means that the Abrahamic Covenant, and the land promise contained within it (Genesis 15:18-21), is exclusive to the Jewish people as the sole descendants of Isaac. This promise, in turn, was selectively passed on to Isaac’s son Jacob (who was re-named “Israel”) rather than his son Esau (Genesis 28:13-15; 35:12). Esau and his Edomite descendants were rejected with respect to the covenant and therefore appointed land outside of the covenanted boundaries (Malachi 1:3-4). The psalmist in Psalm 105:8-11 emphasized this chosen line when he wrote: “He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.’” According to the Prophets it will be in the Last Days that the territorial aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant (such as possession of the full extent of the promised boundaries and the universal blessing of all mankind) will find fulfillment (Isaiah 2:2-4; Hosea 3:4-5; cf. Ezekiel 37:24-28; Zechariah 8:7-8, 11-13).
The recognition by Jesus and New Testament writers of the Abrahamic Covenant, as given above, includes their recognition of its land provisions. Therefore, although the New Testament makes no direct statement concerning the Jewish People’s inheritance of the Land of Israel, such is implied in its acceptance of the Abrahamic Covenant. It should further be noted that the duration of the land covenant is stated to be “everlasting” (Genesis 17:8) and “for all time” (Deuteronomy 4:40). This would indicate that Israel’s possession of the Land was not meant to be temporary but remains in force. To be sure Israel has sinned and been punished with exile from the Land, but the unconditional nature of the covenant requires that God’s faithfulness ultimately overcome this problem and make possible a complete fulfillment for all the covenant People in the covenant Land (cf. Ezek. 36:16-38; 37:1-14, 21-28) For this reason, the modern claim by the Jewish People to the Land of Israel rests on an ancient and unchanging divine promise.
In like manner, the future Temple, which will be built in the Land in the Last Days, requires that the Jewish People be at home in their Land and in possession of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. In terms of the present preparation for fulfillment in the Last Days of this prophecy, the wars between Israel and the Arabs in 1948 and 1967 resulted in the modern State of Israel (for the first time since the loss of its independence and the destruction of the Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70) regaining sovereignty over its historic homeland (including Judea and Samaria) and Jerusalem with the Temple Mount. The Davidic Covenant, which will be finally fulfilled in the Messianic Age, joins the prophecies of a restored Israel and Davidic dynasty with that of a restored Temple and priesthood. For example, in Jeremiah 33:14-18 the promise of the Messiah is given to accomplish this restoration of the government and the Sanctuary: “’Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David [the Messiah] to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. In those days Judah shall be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she shall be called: the Lord is our righteousness.’ For thus says the Lord, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel [2 Sam. 7:16]; and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to prepare sacrifices continually’.”
This promise of the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, like that of the New Covenant, is guaranteed by a repetition in verses 20-22, 25-26 of the unconditional pledge made previously in Jeremiah 31:35-37. Therefore, the Promised Land must be preserved for the fulfillment of such promises to its people and must be recognized as the perpetual homeland of the Jewish People today and forever. With respect to the present condition of the Jewish Nation (unbelief) and the secular nature of the Jewish State (unspiritual), it needs to be emphasized that:
4. The fulfillment of prophecy does not depend on human faith or spirituality, but on the eternal plan and promise of God.
The prophet Zechariah affirmed this when he wrote concerning the fulfillment of God’s prophecy of the building of the Second Temple: “’Not by might nor by power, but My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6b). Likewise, in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul in summing up Israel’s election in God’s purpose declares: “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Today, many Orthodox Jews believe that the prophetic program for Israel has not yet been realized because the State of Israel is a secular state or because there is a low level of spirituality among Jews in general or because not enough Jews are observant or committed to rebuilding the Temple. For Christians the reason most often given is that the Jews have not yet believed in Jesus as their Messiah, and until the Jews return spiritually to the Lord their return physically to the land has no prophetic significance. However, the unconditional nature of the covenants we have observed above is that God’s program, and especially His prophetic program, does not depend on human initiative, as though almighty God were waiting on mortal man to do something before He could act, but is determined by His own sovereign plan (Jer. 17:5-7).
Jesus made a statement of this fact in the context of Israel’s national restoration in the New Testament to His disciples on the Mount of Olives. In Acts 1:6-7 we read: “And so when they had come together, they [the disciples] were asking Him [Jesus], saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority …’”In other words, neither they nor even Jesus Himself could force the hand of God to act outside of a predetermined plan. The Old Testament confirms this design for us in its presentation of the Abrahamic Covenant as unilateral and unconditional, terms, which indicate that its fulfillment depends upon God, not man.
The biblical prophets emphasized this aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant to Israel when, as a result of violations of the Mosaic Covenant (which was multilateral and conditional), the Nation was punished by exile from the Land (see Deuteronomy 4:26-27, 40; Jeremiah 7:3-7). There are certainly conditional aspects in unconditional covenants, but the conditions (such as obedience) relate to the temporal fulfillment of the covenant by man, not the ultimate and eternal fulfillment by God. This is because, as Deuteronomy 29-30 explains, in God’s plan the Land and Israel are joined in final fulfillment. Israel’s disobedience and exile is predicted (Deut. 29:30:2-4), but will be followed with an equally predicted return and restoration (Deut. 30:1-10). To reiterate, the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional because God initiated it and has personally assumed the obligation for its fulfillment. Restoration to the Land was therefore possible in the future, for even sin on the part of the Jewish people cannot keep the promise of the covenant being from fulfilled (see Deut. 4:29-31; Isaiah 41:8-9; Jeremiah 30:2-3, 8-11; 31:35-37; 33:23-26; Ezekiel 36:18-28).
These texts reveal that Israel will fulfill the conditional terms of the covenant because in the Last Days every Israelite will “know the Lord” (Jer. 31:33-34) for God will have given them “a new heart and a new spirit and put His Spirit within them and caused them to walk in His ways” (Ezek. 36:25-28). Again, we have a precedent established for the literal fulfillment of such prophecies by past-fulfilled prophecies such as Jeremiah 29:10-14, in which the Lord at His appointed time moves the Jewish People in the Babylonian captivity to the repentance necessary for their restoration from exile: “ For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you … and I will restore your fortunes: and I will bring you back to the place [the Land of Israel] from where I sent you into exile’.”
Keeping in mind the plan of God which accomplishes His purposes according to His timetable, the present actions of some Israelis (as well as of some Christians) calling for the State of Israel to effect legislation in favor of Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount, to reinforce its sovereignty over the site, or even rebuild a Third Temple, should not be viewed as provocation that will somehow force the end of days, as an Israeli journalist has feared.2 If the Land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount are in fact part and parcel to the fulfillment of Israel’s purpose to bless the world, then actions that favor this purpose cannot be responsibly suppressed. Yet, no such actions in and of themselves will force a premature conclusion to the present conflict since the outcome of these events will lead to the fulfillment of God’s prophetic promises, which are determined by His sovereign plan and purpose.
Therefore, it should be recognized that no political action, however zealous or provocative, could influence the fulfillment of prophetic events. Nevertheless, this is not to say that present political events, especially in the Middle East, may not reflect the progressive outworking of the prophetic program as the stage is being set in the Israel for future fulfillment.
5. Fifth, the Modern State of Israel is a Part of the Future Fulfillment of the Prophetic Plan.
God’s earthly program in the past focused on Israel with respect to its promise as a people, a place and a purpose that would remain in perpetuity (Genesis 12:2-7). Prophetically, this program and focus continues into the future, for God has stated that He is not yet finished with Israel (Jeremiah 31:35-37; 33:7-26; Rom. 11:25-29). Therefore, since God controls history and is directing it toward the fulfillment of His program, events throughout history related to the Jewish People and their Land (its focus) have prophetic significance, even if these events do not yet completely fulfill any specific prophecy. Just as the dispersion among the nations (Diaspora) of the Jewish People from the Land of Israel over the past two millennia has been deemed prophetic (of God’s judgment), so the return of Israel of Jewish People from the Diaspora over the past century to reestablish an independent Nation in the Land must also be considered prophetic (of God’s restoration). And in the same way that the dispersion occurred in successive stages over time (722 B.C., 586 B.C., A.D. 70, A.D. 115, et. al), so the restoration may occur in stages modern and future (before the Tribulation, e.g. 1897, 1948, 1967, and at the end of the Tribulation).
Since the loss of Jewish sovereignty in and dispersion from the Land of Israel in the first century, it has been expected by biblical students that for prophetic texts concerning Israel to have a literal fulfillment that at some point in history the Jewish People would have to return to their ancient homeland, “the Land of Israel,” regain their national status as “the People of Israel,” and exist in an adversarial position with the Gentile nations so that God could demonstrate He was “the Holy One of Israel” (cf. Ezekiel 39:7). Furthermore, Jerusalem, as the central city of prophecy, had to share in this fulfillment, returning to Jewish sovereignty but as the subject of international controversy.
The prophecy of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39 well illustrates these particular expectations. Set in an eschatological context (Ezekiel 33-48), the text specifically states that its fulfillment “will come about in the last days” (38:16). At this time “the people of Israel” are described as living in “the cities of Israel” in “the Land of Israel”(38:14, 18-19; 39:9). According to Ezekiel 37:25 this Land is “the land that I [God] gave to Jacob (Israel) My servant, in which your fathers lived.” Ezekiel 38:8 also notes that the Jewish People who had retuned to the Land had been “gathered from many nations.” The historic restoration (regathering) of Jews from exile in 538 B.C. had only been from one nation (Babylon). Only in our modern period have we witnessed a regathering of Jews to Israel from “many nations.”
Moreover, in Ezekiel’s Gog and Magog prophecy, the mountainous region that extends the length of the country, is identified as “the mountains of Israel” (39:2, 4, 17). It was not until after the Six Day War of 1967 that this region again became a part of the territory of the modern State of Israel and could be properly called “the mountains of Israel.” Before this date it was under a succession of foreign rulers until wrested from Jordan (who last controlled it from 1948-1967). Ezekiel 38:8, 12 even notes that this mountainous land before the Jewish returned to it and restored it had been under “the sword” (foreign dominion) and “a continual waste.” History affirms that under foreign domination, and especially under the 400 years of Ottoman Turkish domination, the once fertile mountain region (particularly in the north) had been denuded and had eroded into a wasteland. Only Furthermore, it is significant that this territory of biblical Judea and Samaria, known today as “the West Bank,” is, like the rest of the Land of Israel, in a state of contention with the surrounding nations and even the nations of the world. Ezekiel 38-39 is a prophecy that uniquely details a future invasion of Israel by a huge alliance of foreign nations (38:3-13). Interestingly, Ezekiel’s prophecy also provides the detail that at the time of this invasion the people of Israel are living “securely, all of them” in a “land of unwalled villages” (38:8, 11). This would not have been true of ancient Israel where cities were typically surrounded by a defensive wall, but only in the modern era in which Israel’s military has afforded the Nation unparalleled security and modern methods of warfare have made walled cities unnecessary.
Even though history confirms that the conditions predicted by Ezekiel are those that have characterized the birth and continue to depict the current situation of the modern Jewish State, this text cannot be pressed to reveal more than the conditions that must be present for Israel before final fulfillment is possible. How then can we know that the present State of Israel is the same Israel Ezekiel and the prophets predicted would exist in the last days? The answer may be provided in Isaiah 11:11-12, whose temporal order of predicted regatherings to Israel from the nations would seem require that the present Israel is the Israel that will experience prophetic fulfillment. This passage reads: “Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover [regather] the second time with His hand the remnant of His people [the Jewish People] who remain from Assyria (Greater Syria), Egypt, Pathros (Upper Egypt), Cush (Ethiopia), Elam (Iran), Shinar (Iraq), Hamath (Lesser Syria), and from the islands of the sea (Mediterranean coastlands). And He will lift up a standard for the nations, and will assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth (universal regathering).”
The context of this passage is eschatological, the setting being the ultimate period of fulfillment in the Messianic Kingdom, with verses 1-5 describing the Second Advent of Messiah in judgment to rule the earth, verses 6-9 depicting the peaceful conditions of restoration under the New Covenant, and verse 10 introducing Israel’s national repentance toward and return to the Messiah. Verses 11-12 continue this theme, revealing the time and extent of the end time regathering. Notice that the universal regathering to the Lord is said to occur when “the Lord again recovers the second time with His hand.” This “second time” is obviously the “last time,” since this restoration is the final one for Israel. If the “second time” is the “last time,” then when is the “first time” implied in the text? Like the “second time” it too must be a time of international regathering to Israel by God’s hand. If we go back into Israel’s history of regathering we find an exodus from Egypt and a restoration from Babylon.
However, neither of these regatherings can satisfy the specific geographic and temporal conditions of this prophetic text because they were regatherings from only one place (not from “the four corners of the earth”) each of them had a subsequent exile follow their return. How many exiles and returns can you have between a “first time” and a “second time”? The answer is none! According to Matthew 24:30-31 the last regathering of Israel to the Lord will be in national repentance at the time of His coming at the end of the Tribulation. This “last time” or “second time” regathering (according to Isaiah) is followed the establishment of the Kingdom for Israel and the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46), ending forever Israel’s fear of exile. Notice that the “second time” regathering as a time of repentance indicates that national Israel existed in a state of unbelief prior to this (cf. Zechariah 12:10-14; 14:4; Romans 11:25-27). Moreover, the context makes it apparent that the Nation was already in the Land of Israel. Therefore, the “first time” regathering must be sought immediately before this in a time in which Israel has returned to the Land in unbelief.
This fits the pattern revealed in many prophetic passages of the regathering of national Israel taking place in two phases or stages; the first to the Land before the Tribulation in unbelief, the second to the Lord before the Millennium in belief. The “first” regathering of Jews to the Land of Israel in unbelief, and their reconstitution as a Nation, since their exile among the nations 2,000 years ago, is the modern one.3 And since there can be no further dispersion before the “second time” regathering, the present State of Israel must be the national Israel that will continue in the Land until it experiences the completion of physical regathering and climatic spiritual regathering. In addition, the interpretation of this passage in this manner also requires us to accept that the modern return of Israel to the Land (even in unbelief) is a divinely ordained event (“by His hand”) as a part of His prophetic program. This means that despite the sometimes-unjust actions of the Jewish State or the perceived arrogance of its leaders, as national Israel it is still the “people of God” and destined to be regathered again to God at the return of their Messiah. To be sure it must also pass through “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), but it will also inherit the kingdom promised by the prophets. For this reason, we who understand the plan of God in the prophetic scriptures must respect His purpose with the Jewish people and pray for His Will to be done through them, for it will result in “blessing for the world” (Genesis 12:3; cf. Romans 10:12, 15).
It needs to be recognized, however, that even among prophetic futurists there are those who doubt the prophetic significance of the establishment of the present Jewish State. Objections range from an agnosticism – we can’t know whether the Jewish return to Israel at this time is relevant to future fulfillment – to specific questions concerning the nature of the modern return and the current spiritual condition of the Jewish People. In the first case, because futurism places prophetic fulfillment for Israel in the future (the last days/end times), and dispensational futurism in particular places fulfillment in an age distinct from and following that of the Church (after the Rapture of the Church), there is a hesitancy to view current events with respect to Israel as having prophetic significance. However, significance does require present fulfillment but only present preparation for future fulfillment, and as it has often been observed, (future) prophetic events cast their shadows behind them (into the present).
In the second case, objections are often made that the modern return of the Jewish People has been only partial (part of the Jewish People to part of the Land) and is secular, not spiritual, in nature. However, it is a misconception that all of the Jewish People would return to the Land at once when the process of national regathering was commenced, and that the regathering is singular rather than plural. As we have said, two regatherings of the Jewish People seem to be delineated in the prophetic texts – one before the Tribulation and one before the Millennium. The first of these appears to be primarily a physical regathering to the Land, while the second appears to be characterized by a spiritual regathering to the Lord. If this first regathering is in spiritual unbelief, then it would be expected to be a secular and political movement, such as is the modern Zionist movement that led to the establishment of the Jewish State. Furthermore, the lack of a spiritual motive to return to the biblical Land would produce only a partial physical return from the Diaspora, that is, mostly among Jews in lands experiencing persecution and forced exile, as the majority of Jewish immigrants to Israel have experienced. Even so, the limited extent of this first phase of regathering can still be demonstrated to have geographically taken place from “the four corners of the earth.” The second regathering, then, which would follow a time of worldwide Jewish persecution in the Tribulation will result not only in Israel’s seeking deliverance physically but also spiritually in a time of national repentance (Luke 21:25-28).
It is hoped that this overview of prophetic precepts will help you understand the purpose for the Christian of investigating “the things which are to come” as well as the practical encouragement it holds for us who look for the outworking of God’s eternal program within the age in which we live. Keep looking up – the best is yet to come!
1 This paper was first published in edited form as chapter 1 in my book The Battle for the Last Days Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2004).
2 Accusations that the actions of fundamentalists (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian), including myself, with respect to the Temple Mount would bring about self-fulfilling prophecies were made by Jerusalem Report journalist Gershon Gorenberg, The End of Days: Fundamentalist and the Struggle for the Temple Mount (New York: The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2000).
3The “unbelief” from an Orthodox Jewish perspective is that the regathering was a secular, rather than spiritual return. From a Christian and Messianic perspective it is the condition of unrepentant heart toward Yeshua as Messiah (see Acts 3:17-26).
Egyptian Doctor First Arab Recognized as Righteous Among Nations
“…neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:16)
In synagogues around the world this past weekend, Jews read the story of Cain, who cynically asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Now, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum has recognized one man whose answer to that question was “yes.”
Dr. Mohamed Helmy and his good friend, Frieda Szturmann, are being honored as Righteous Among the Nations by the museum, a designation that acknowledges the bravery of individuals who risked everything to do what was right and save Jewish lives in Nazi Germany. What makes this story unique is that Helmy is the first Egyptian — indeed, the first Arab — to receive this recognition.
Helmy was born in Egypt in 1901. In 1922, he moved to Germany to study medicine. Upon completing his studies, he began working at the Robert Koch Institute, which is Germany’s national public health institute. He was dismissed in 1937, and due to his Arab roots, was not permitted to marry his German fiancée under Nazi rule. In 1939 he was even arrested, along with other Egyptians in Berlin, but was later released for health reasons.
Despite all this, Helmy was an outspoken opponent of Nazi policies. When Jewish deportations began in 1941, Helmy brought friend and patient Anna Boros (now Gutman), then 21, to hide in his cabin in Berlin’s Buch neighborhood. He also supported her mother and stepfather, Julie and Georg Wehr, as well as her grandmother, Cecilie Rudnik, throughout the war.
“A good friend of our family, Dr. Helmy…hid me in his cabin in Berlin-Buch from 10 March until the end of the war. As of 1942, I no longer had any contact with the outside world. The Gestapo knew that Dr. Helmy was our family physician, and they knew that he owned a cabin in Berlin-Buch,” Anna Gutman wrote after the war. “He managed to evade all their interrogations. In such cases he would bring me to friends where I would stay for several days, introducing me as his cousin from Dresden. When the danger would pass, I would return to his cabin….Dr. Helmy did everything for me out of the generosity of his heart and I will be grateful to him for eternity.”
One such friend who took Gutman in was Frieda Szturmann, who also hid Rudnik for over a year, sharing her own meager rations with the elderly woman.
Due to the remarkable efforts of both Helmy and Szturmann, all four family members survived the war and later emigrated to the United States. They never forgot their saviors, however, and throughout the 1950s and ‘60s they wrote letters on behalf of the two to the Berlin Senate. The letters were found in the Berlin archives and recently submitted to Yad Vashem, prompting their recognition as heroes.
The motto of Yad Vashem’s campaign to honor these heroes is “Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe.” (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5) Indeed, the exhibition at the museum is called “I am my Brother’s Keeper.” The museum is now searching for Helmy and Szturmann’s next of kin in order “to posthumously honor their relatives in a ceremony and present them with the certificate and medal of the Righteous.” Until then, Helmy’s medal and certificate of recognition are on display in the exhibition. According to the museum, Dr. Helmy remained in Berlin after the war and was finally able to marry his fiancée. He died in 1982. Frieda Szturmann passed away in 1962.
April is the month when Israel remembers the 6,000,000 Jews killed in
the Holocaust (sundown April 7-8) when every vehicle stops and
humans stand at attention for two minutes while sirens sound.
Then on April 14-15, another siren sounds on Memorial Day for the
23,000 Jewish soldiers killed while defending the land of Israel together
with 2,400 victims of terror.
Lastly, Israel celebrates Independence Day, remembering with joy the
birth of the modern State of Israel (April 15-16).
In serious conversation, Israelis acknowledge that the horrors of the
Holocaust propelled the 660,000 Jews in Israel – many who had
escaped the death chambers – to such desperation that against
overwhelming odds they forged the rebirth of the ancient Jewish
nation. Just as the birth of the modern state is a part of the DNA of all
Israelis, so is the death of one third of its people.
Explaining the Holocaust is really about millions of personal stories. Yet
they are so horrendous, so beastly, that few people can bear to hear
them. I can give you an example:
A mother and her 5-year-old child were standing in the “selection” line
of who would live (to be a slave laborer) and who would be gassed.
Small children were automatically sent into the death line.
When her turn came, the mother cried out, “Please save my son!” The
Nazi officer looked kindly at the little boy and called him to come. The
officer picked up the child, hugged him and swung him against a wall,
bashing his head until he was dead.
Helena Frank Holits tells her story: “I was on a death march of women
only. I asked a guard where we were going. He answered, ‘Nowhere.
We are marching you until you die.’” The march lasted 106 days from
the snows of January to the rains of May 1945, 800 km. Helena was
one of a handful who miraculously survived to tell her story.
1,000,000 children were shot, gassed, beaten, frozen to death, starved
Nevertheless, I hope you will keep reading, for there were heroic
individuals who risked their lives to save Jewish people. Israel is
populated with Holocaust survivors, their children and their children’s
children. Many of them live because a Christian, a priest, a secular
European determined to save as many Jews he or she could. Many of
these “righteous gentiles,” as they are called in Israel, gave their lives.
In honor of Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, April 8 this year, here is
the story of Raul Wallenberg who saved multiplie thousands of Jewish
An Angel of Mercy:Raul Wallenberg
by David Lazarus
It was the spring of 1944. Nearly every major Jewish community in
Europe had been decimated. Then Adolf Eichmann set his sights on
Hungary’s 825,000 Jews with the same extermination plan the Nazis
had been utilizing in other countries.
U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt finally realized that European
Jewry was about to be completely annihilated. After procrastinating far
too long, the president finally decided the Americans needed to get
involved. He established the War Refugee Board (WRB) as part of a
clandestine effort through OSS [Office of Strategic Services - precursor
of the CIA] operatives to try and save as many Jews as possible from
the Nazi death camps.
He sent an official representative, Iver Olsen, to Stockholm, as the
Swedish government was also making serious attempts to save Jews in
Hungary. Together with the Swedes, Olsen searched for a person to
head up a rescue mission for the Jews of Budapest.
Hungary’s 825,000 Jews had remained safe for most of the war until
Hitler discovered that Hungarian officials were holding secret talks with
the Americans and the British. As a result, in March 1944 Nazi troops
marched on Budapest and the extermination of Jews began
Because Sweden was considered a neutral country, Swedish diplomats
were still able to travel freely across Europe. Therefore, Olsen looked
for a Swedish man willing to walk into the jaws of the Nazi death
machine – someone who spoke both Hungarian and German, someone
with an independent spirit who would not need much oversight or
They came upon Raoul Wallenberg from a
well-known Christian Swedish banking family. He had been educated at
the University of Michigan and had studied a number of languages and
cultures. Interestingly, in 1936 his grandfather had arranged a job for
him in Haifa in what then was called Palestine. There he came into
contact for the first time with Jews who had fled the growing Nazi
influence in Europe and were now being tyrannized by Arabs resenting
their presence in Palestine.
The year 1936 was a particularly tumultuous time for Jews who had
come back to live in their ancient homeland. That year marked the
beginning of the “Great Arab Uprising” triggered by Arab alarm at the
large number of Jewish immigrants arriving in the 1930’s.
In 1935 over 66,000 Jews had arrived in Israel, mostly from Germany
where conditions had become intolerable with the rise of Nazism. It
was also the last large Jewish immigration as the British severely
reduced the number of Jews allowed into the Holy Land because of
Arab opposition – just as Hitler was coming to power.
Wallenberg witnessed the overwhelming majority of Arab populations
with their superior weaponry, intimidating armies and vast economic
potential juxtaposed against the 440,000 men, women and children
that made up the Jewish population in the Holy Land in 1936.
Then, back in Sweden during World War II, he watched the Jewish
people being annihilated by the Nazis. Now he was being offered an
assignment to lead a rescue operation of Hungarian Jews who were at
the moment being systematically slaughtered.
Of great importance were his language skills in both Hungarian and
German. Furthermore, he had been to Hungary many times on
business. Nevertheless, some felt Raoul at 32 was too young and
inexperienced. However his business partner, Koloman Lauer, who
served on the War Board, felt Raoul was the right man – quick-
thinking, energetic, courageous and empathetic. Wallenberg could be
sent under diplomatic cover and lead the rescue operation.
Wallenberg accepted the offer, but with unusual conditions. He
requested full authority to deal with anyone he wanted, without first
clearing the matter with the Swedish ambassador in Budapest, and he
said he must have diplomatic couriers outside normal channels.
His memo was so unusual that the matter was referred all the way up
to the Swedish prime minister who consulted with King Gustav V before
informing Wallenberg that his conditions had been accepted.
By now it was July 1944. In the last three months the infamous Adolf
Eichmann, who managed the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to
ghettos and extermination camps in East Europe, had already deported
400,000 Hungarian Jews by freight train to Auschwitz. Only 230,000
Jews were left in the whole country – including 200,000 in Budapest –
and Eichmann had a plan in motion to end all plans: To deport all of
the rest of the Hungarian Jews in 24 hours!
For reasons only to be speculated, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler
ordered Eichmann to temporarily halt the deportations.
Enter Raoul Wallenberg. There was nothing conventional about his
methods. He immediately opened an office in Budapest and “hired”
400 Jewish volunteers to run it. He told them to take off their yellow
Star of David marking them as Jews as they now had Swedish
Printing Swedish Passports
After quickly distributing his few hundred genuine Swedish passports,
Raoul Wallenberg and his staff’s next task was to design a homemade
Swedish “protective passport.” Wallenberg had previously learned that
the German and Hungarian bureaucracies had a weakness for external
symbolism. So he had the passports attractively printed in blue and
yellow (Sweden’s national colors) with the Three Crowns coat of arms in
the middle, and he furnished them with the appropriate stamps and
signatures. Wallenberg’s protective passports (called Schutzpasses) had
no value whatever under international law, but they commanded the
respect of those he wished to influence.
So with permission from no one he announced that the Schutzpasses
granted the holder immunity from deportation to the death camps. He
persuaded the Hungarian authorities to give him permission to issue
4,500 and through promises and empty threats to the Hungarian
Foreign Ministry he actually managed to issue many thousands of these
With US Defense Department finances Wallenberg began renting
properties. He rented 32 buildings around Budapest and declared them
to be extra-territorial, protected by Swedish diplomatic immunity.
Wallenberg knew that, again, the Nazis were overly impressed by
official government emblems. So he put up intricately designed official
looking signs on the buildings such as “The Swedish Library” and “The
Swedish Research Institute.” He hung oversized Swedish flags on the
fronts of the buildings and put up shiny embossed government shields
on the doors.
Apparently 32 Swedish “libraries” were not suspect as long as they had
well-crafted “official” signs on the entrances. The Nazis never
discovered the plot. As Nazi troopers stormed house to house looking
for Jews, word traveled fast on the well-oiled Jewish “grapevine” that
all those new Swedish “libraries” in town were actually safe houses.
Wallenberg’s buildings provided shelter for over 10,000 people. Some
witnesses say that actually three times that many were hidden in those
Other neutral diplomatic missions in Budapest began to follow
Wallenberg’s example by issuing Shutzpasses and a number of
diplomats from other countries were inspired to open their own safe
houses for refugees.
Meanwhile Eichmann began his brutal death marches. He carried out
his promised deportation program by forcing large contingents of Jews
to leave Hungary by foot. The first march began on November 20,
1944, and conditions along the 200 km (120 mile) route between
Budapest and the Austrian border was so appalling that even some
Thousands of Jews marched in endless columns, hungry, freezing and
in great suffering. And thousands fell along the way. It was during
these marches that Wallenberg’s actions became legendary. Raoul
Wallenberg stayed with them, continuously distributing Schutzpasses,
food and medicine. He alternately threatened and bribed the Nazis
until he managed to secure the release of those who had been given
his Schutzpasses. Wallenberg was able to rescue some 17,000 Jews
who were in the marches.
The trains to Auschwitz
When Eichmann again began shipping out the Hungarian Jews in
whole trainloads, Wallenberg intensified his rescue actions. As the
freight cars full of Jews stood in the station, he would even climb on
top of them, run along the roofs of the cars and hand bundles of
protective passports to their occupants. On one occasion German
soldiers were ordered to shoot him, but were so impressed by
Wallenberg’s courage that they deliberately aimed too high. He was
then able to jump down unharmed and demand that those Jews who
had received his Schutzpasses be allowed to leave the train and return
to the city with him.
Threatening General Schmidthuber
Wallenberg searched desperately for suitable people who could be
bribed, and he found a very powerful ally in Pa’l Szalay, a high-ranking
officer in the Arrow Cross – the Nazi Hungarian police.
Two days before the victorious Russians arrived to take over Budapest,
Raoul Wallenberg learned that Adolf Eichmann had set in motion a total
massacre of the Jews living in Budapest’s larger ghetto. He knew the
only person who could prevent it was General August Schmidthuber,
commander of the German troops in Hungary.
Wallenberg’s ally Szalay, with a nice bribe, was sent to find
Schmidthuber and hand him a note which declared that Raoul
Wallenberg would make sure the general would be held personally
responsible for the massacre and he would be hanged as a war
criminal after the war. The massacre was cancelled at the last minute
as a result of Raoul Wallenberg’s intervention, saving an estimated
How did he do it?
Jan Larrson who was a staff member of Wallenberg and wrote
Wallenberg’s biography was often asked in lecture tours how it was
possible for one man and his staff to save such a large number of
people from Nazi executions. He was not the heroic type in the ordinary
sense, according to Larsson, but he was a fearless, skilled negotiator
and organizer. He was, moreover, a good actor – a talent that served
him well during his clashes with the Nazis.
He would also show two different personalities. The first was the calm,
humorous, intellectual, warm person that his co-workers could see. The
second was Raoul Wallenberg in confrontation with the Nazis: he was
transformed into an aggressive person who would shout at them or
threaten them on one occasion, flatter or bribe them on another, as the
They were impressed by him and usually gave in to his demands. One
reason, of course, was his Swedish diplomatic status, which the
Germans were loath to violate. On the other hand, status without
enormous bravery would have accomplished nothing.
Larrson relates: “Inevitably Raoul was forced to play for increasingly
high stakes in a situation where Budapest was becoming more and
more a battlefield. The bombs were raining down, and Soviet troops
were closing in on the suburbs. The last time I saw Raoul Wallenberg
on January 10 1945, I urged him to seek shelter, especially as the
Arrow Cross – the Hungarian Nazis – were searching for him in
His reply was typical: “To me there’s no other choice. I’ve accepted this
assignment and I could never return to Stockholm without the
knowledge that I’d done everything in human power to save as many
Jews as possible.”
Wallenberg started sleeping in a different house each night to guard
against being captured or killed by Arrow Cross Party members or by
Adolf Eichmann’s men.
While the Russians, Americans, and the English were bombarding the
city, chaos and looting reigned. The Jews were confined to two
ghettoes in Pest. Many government functionaries and diplomats fled.
Wallenberg continued fighting alongside the Red Cross, looking for
allies or bribing the police.
Toward the very end of the war, when conditions were totally
desperate, Wallenberg issued a simplified version of his Schutzpass, a
mimeographed black and white page that bore only his signature. In
the prevailing chaos, even this worked.
Immediately after its installation, a new Hungarian Nazi government
announced that all Schutzpasses were invalid. But Wallenberg
managed to make the acquaintance of Baroness Elizabeth “Liesel”
Kemény. She was the wife of the foreign minister, and with her
assistance Wallenberg managed to have his protective passports
Victorious Russian troops enter Budapest
On January 13, 1945, the advancing Soviet troops saw a man standing
and waiting for them alone outside a building with a large Swedish flag
above its door. Raoul Wallenberg told an amazed Soviet sergeant in
fluent Russian that he was the Swedish chargé d’ affairs for the portion
of Hungary liberated by the Soviets. Wallenberg received permission to
visit Soviet military headquarters in Debrecen, east of Budapest to
explain his humanitarian strategies. On his way out of the capital on
January 17, Wallenberg – with a Soviet escort, stopped at the “Swedish
houses” where he said goodbye to his friends.
All together 120,000 Jews had survived the “Final Solution”: the only
substantial Jewish community left in Europe. Wallenberg was the only
diplomat who had remained in Pest. Now his purpose was to propose a
reconstruction plan to the Soviets. With that end in mind he took his
driver, Vilmos Langfelder, and some Soviet guards to Debrecen, where
a provisional government had been established. He wanted to reach
the Russian Commander Malinovsky. Somewhere on that route, their
supposed “guards” handed them over to the KGB (then NKVD) and put
them under “military protection.” They were never seen again.
The Russians clearly did not have the same attitude toward Jews and
were probably incapable of understanding or believing a person who
had devoted all his energies to saving them. They probably thought he
was a CIA agent and was jailed in Lyublyanka prison, the KGB
headquarters in Moscow.
For years, many nations demanded to know what happened to Raoul
Wallenberg. The Soviets have always insisted he died of a heart attack
on July 17, 1947 (at the age of 35!) in Lyublyanka. Nevertheless, as
foreign prisoners were released after the war from KGB prisons, many
eye-witnesses told Swedish authorities they had personally met him and
he was definitely alive.
According to Sweden’s ambassador, Per Anger, stationed in Budapest
during World War II and Wallenberg’s friend and colleague, Wallenberg
must be given credit for having saved about 100,000 Jews.
What one man can do
Challenging the entire machinery of Germany and its Hungarian allies,
employing his imagination as an offensive weapon, Wallenberg resolved
to do the impossible. With the help of people, some of them diplomats
of good will, Wallenberg demonstrated that human courage has no
limits. Through a process of persuasion, threats and an unmatched
dose of diplomatic creativity, this young 32-year-old Swede managed to
save the lives of multiplied tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews. For all
those whom he saved, his heroism was crowned by tragedy.
In 1981, U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos,
himself one of those saved by Wallenberg, sponsored a bill making
Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States. In 1985
Wallenberg was made the first Honorary Citizen in Canada, and
January 17th the date he disappeared, declared “Raoul Wallenberg
Day” as a national holiday.
In 1986, he was made an Honorary Citizen of Israel. On Raoul
Wallenberg Street in Tel Aviv there is a statute identical to the one
erected in Hungary where his image continues to inspire generations of
Jews and Gentiles that “one man can make a difference.”
On Raoul Wallenberg’s 100th birthday anniversary, July 26, 2012, he
was awarded a Congressional Gold medal by the United States
Congress “in recognition of his achievements and heroic actions during
He is a man who represents what Yeshua the Messiah described as the
greatest love of all – that a man would give his life for his friends.
The International Herald Tribune reported on March 4, 2013 that the
enormity of the Nazi machine is only now being fully revealed. Thirteen
years ago researchers of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum began
the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites,
concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up
throughout Europe. The results have shocked even scholars steeped in
the history of the Holocaust. Instead of the some 7,000 they thought
existed, so far they have catalogued 42,500 sites. Think of the great
majority of European people who claim they knew nothing about the
Nazi’s operations to eradicate the Jewish race.
Testimonies of others
Andrew Nagy who later became a renown University of Michigan
professor, was then fourteen years old and stayed in a Swedish safe
house. He will always remember Christmas Eve 1944, when the
residents of a safe house nearby, provided by another nation, were
rousted from their beds, marched to the Danube River, and shot by the
Nazis. Jews were frequently tied together three in a row on the bank of
the Danube. The middle person was shot sending all three into the
freezing water to drown. When Wallenberg heard that Hungarian Nazis
were shooting women and children in this manner, he asked his staff
who could swim. A woman from Wallenberg’s office confirmed the
event: “We went – it was a cold night – and jumped into the Danube.
The water was icy cold.” Wallenberg and his staff saved fifty or sixty
~ Wallenberg staff member
“One day in November 1944, I drove Wallenberg to a train station
where a trainload of Jews was about to leave for Auschwitz. Wallenberg
forced his way past the SS officers. Then he climbed up on the roof of
the train and began handing down protective passes through the doors
which were not yet sealed. He ignored orders from the Germans for
him to get down. Then the Arrow Cross men (Hungarian Nazis) began
shooting and shouting at him to get down. He ignored them and calmly
continued handing out passports to the hands that were reaching out
for them. After Wallenberg had handed over the last of the passports
he ordered all those who had one to leave the train and walk to a caravan of cars parked nearby, all marked in Swedish colors. The
Germans and Arrow Cross soldiers were so dumbfounded they let him
get away with it!”
~ Sandor Ardai, Personal Driver
“I was Wallenberg’s errand boy. As I spoke German as well as
Hungarian I could pass through barriers and therefore was well
equipped to be a messenger.” Moser tells of the day Wallenberg
learned of 800 Jewish labor service men who were being marched to
Mauthausen [concentration camp]. “I drove with Wallenberg to the
march. Wallenberg asked that those with Swedish passports raise their
hands. On his order, I ran between the ranks and told the men to raise
their hands, whether they had a passport or not. He then claimed
custody of all who had raised their hands and such was his bearing
that none of the Hungarian guards opposed him. The extraordinary
thing was the absolutely convincing power of his behavior.”
~ Joni Moser, Staff Member
“Both my mother and my father were selected to join the death march
towards Germany (Austria) while I was selected (as a 14-year-old kid)
to go to the freshly planked Budapest Ghetto which was the ‘better’
deal. Then, I noticed a young gentleman accompanied by a police
officer (I think his name was Radvanyi) in a very active argument with
some Hungarian gendarmes and Arrow Cross punks.”
“From a distance of a few feet I overheard their mixed
Hungarian/German talk, that this young fellow (Raoul Wallenberg
whom I recognized years later from photos) insisted that those ‘elderly’ (over 40) women should be allowed to be put in the ‘ghetto column.’
My Mother was 39 only at that time and she looked like 25. I ran to
Wallenberg and to the high-ranking police officer and begged them for
help. The guards asked for my mother’s paper but Wallenberg
interrupted them: ‘I know the lady. She was our guest in our house in
Sweden and she’s over 40.’ My Mother was put into the ghetto-column.
Another lady (a family friend) remained in the death-march column
and told us later that she was one of the 10-12 survivors of hundreds of
women, after the march ended in Buchenwald concentration camp.”
~ George Boros, survivor
One night Wallenberg had invited his rival, the author of the “Final
Solution,” Adolf Eichmann and his deputy Krumey, to dinner in hopes of
finding out his weaknesses. Eichmann accepted.
On the evening of the dinner, Wallenberg had gotten caught up in
some business and forgot. He arrived just as Eichmann and Krumey
got out of their car. He had no food to serve and had given his
manservant the night off. Wallenberg quickly phoned Berg and
Carlsson who lived nearby in a house rented from a nobleman who had
left the city. They had access to his immaculate dinnerware as well as
his servants. As Berg recalls: “There was no panic in my house….[it]
was fully equipped……Raoul arrived with his Germans…. Thanks to our
excellent cook the dinner was a success.”
After dinner, the two Germans and three Swedes moved into the living
room in which they engaged in political discussion. Berg describes the
encounter: “Wallenberg, who on this occasion had no special wish to
negotiate with Eichmann, started a discussion about Nazism and the
likely outcome of the war. Fearlessly and brilliantly he picked Nazi
doctrine apart, piece by piece, and foretold the total defeat of its
“I think his intention was not so much to put his own views forward as
to pass on a warning to Eichmann that he would do well to stop the
deportation and extermination of the Hungarian Jews. Eichmann was
taken aback by Wallenberg’s bold attack on him and the Fuhrer.
After pitching weak propaganda phrases, he finally said: “‘I admit that
you are right, Herr Wallenberg. I have never believed in Nazism, as
such, but it has given me power and wealth. I know that this pleasant
life of mine will soon be over. My planes will no more bring me women
and wine from Paris, or delicacies from the Orient. My horses, my dogs,
my luxurious quarters here in Budapest will soon be taken over by the
Russians and I myself, as an SS officer will be shot on the spot. For me
there will be no escape, but if I obey my orders from Berlin and
exercise my power harshly enough I may prolong my respite for some
time here in Budapest.
“I warn you therefore, Herr Legationssekretar, that I will do my best to
stop you, and your Swedish diplomatic passport will not help you if I
find it necessary to have you removed. Accidents do happen, even to a
neutral diplomat.” With that, Eichmann bid Wallenberg a polite farewell.
Shortly after the night of their dinner, a heavy truck rammed
Wallenberg’s car and sped away. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Eichmann was apparently responsible.”
~ Lars Berg and Gote Carlsson, workers with Raoul at the Swedish
[Note: Adolf Eichmann fled to Argentina using a fraudulent laissez-
passer given to him by the International Red Cross. He was captured
by Mossad operatives in Argentina and taken to Israel to face trial. He
was found guilty and executed by hanging in 1962 - the only person to
have been executed in Israel on conviction by a civilian court
From the prophecies of Rabbi Samuel in the early 1200 AD
Israel is surrounded by nations that are committed to Israel’s destruction. They are all much bigger and stronger than Israel. They are also supported by other powerful nations who are also committed to Israel’s destruction. How can such a tiny nation, no larger than 8000 square miles, continue to exist when so many are committed to its destruction?
The answer lies in the fact that God said that just before Jesus returns, Israel would once again become a nation in the land that God had given them. This has now happened. Israel is an established nation in the ancient land of Canaan (modern Palestine). To learn more about this, read my article “Israel and America’s Future.”
An Ancient Prophecy
Back in the 12th century, a legendary and prolific German Jewish rabbi by the name of Judah Ben Samuel gave a prophecy concerning Israel and more specifically Jerusalem. He wrote that the Ottoman Turks would conquer Jerusalem and that they would rule over Jerusalem for 8 Jubilees. (To learn more about the Israeli year of Jubilee, read “What Is A Jubilee?”)
Then he said that following these 8 Jubilees, that the land would become a “no-mans land” for one Jubilee (the 9th Jubilee). Then, in the 10th Jubilee, Jerusalem would come back into the possession of the Jewish nation and that would signify the beginning of the “Messianic end time.”
It is very interesting to note that the fulfillment of this prophecy did not begin until about 300 years after Judah Ben Samuel died. The Ottoman Turks did not conquer and occupy Jerusalem until 1517.
Since one Jubilee is 50 years long, it means that the Ottoman Turks would occupy that land for 400 years. This means that the Ottoman Turks would occupy the land from 1517 until 1917.
World War I
What happened in 1917? World War I had begun in 1914. Even though the war against Hitler occupied most of the news, part of the war concerned the area that we now know as Palestine. In 1917, the Allied Forces were also battling the Ottoman Turks who still had control of Palestine and Jerusalem.
The question that the Allied Forces had was: “What was going to happen to this area we now know as Palestine, once the Turks were defeated.” There had not been an autonomous government in Palestine for 400 years. Who would the newly liberated land belong to? The question was answered by, not only America, but also the British Empire. Both countries said that the land should go to the Jews, since it was historically their land.
The Turks were soon defeated and the British army entered Jerusalem on December 11, 1917. Jerusalem was no longer in the hands of the Ottoman Turks. It was now a free city. Notice that it happened exactly 400 years (50 Jubilees) after the Turks began their occupation of Jerusalem (1517 to 1917). It is also interesting to note that December 11, 1917 was Hanukkah.
So, 750 years after Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel predicted that the Holy Land (Palestine) would once again be in the hands of the Jews, the prophecy came true.
It is true that the Jews had not yet established their own nation. However, Jerusalem, and the surrounding area, was occupied by a multitude of Jews that had been there for many years. And now, they were a free people. The land was no longer occupied by the Ottoman Turks.
The British did not make Palestine or Jerusalem part of their territories because they were part of the Allied Nations. The League of Nations took control and placed the Holy Land under the British Mandate. This meant that the Holy Land would not be a possession of Britain, but rather Great Britain would only oversea the protection of, and the governing of, the land. Thus, the Holy Land did not belong to any nation and so became a “no-man’s land.”
Remember what the prophecy said. In the 9th Jubilee, the Holy Land would become a “no-man’s land.” This meant that for exactly 50 more years, the Holy Land would be a “no-man’s land.” Again, this is exactly what happened. From 1917 until 1967, the Holy Land belonged to no one. At the same time, the Jews lived as free people in that land. This also meant that Jerusalem belonged to no one.
Israel Becomes A Nation
After the League of Nations (later becoming the United Nations) took control of the Holy Land, Jews from all over the world began migrating to the area. Even World War II did not stop this migration. In fact, because of the persecution leading up to World War II, the migration greatly increased.
By 1922 there were over 82,000 Jews living in Palestine. By 1939 there were over 300,000.
In November, 1947, the United Nations approved a proposal to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Palestinian states. This partition included dividing Jerusalem between the Jews and Jordon. The Arabs intensely opposed this plan, because they wanted complete control over Jerusalem. But the United Nations went ahead with it anyway. However, the plan was not finalized until the next year when the British army left the region.
On May 13, 1948, the last of the British forces left Palestine. On May 14, 1948, the Jewish leaders assembled at the Tel Aviv and signed the “Israeli Declaration of Independence.” This document announced the creation of the first modern Jewish State.
However, Jerusalem had been divided between the Jews and the Arabs. So even though Israel declared themselves an independent nation, they still only had control of half of Jerusalem.
On May 15, 1948, the nations of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan attacked the new nation of Israel. An amazing thing happened. Five very powerful nations attacked the new and tiny nation of Israel, but Israel repulsed the attacks and took control of their territory. This territory covered most of the earlier British Mandate of Palestine.
What happened in 1967? This was the year of the famous 6 day war. During this 6 day war (June 5-10), Israel gained new territory, including all of Jerusalem. The UN Security Council forced the return of some of the newly gained territory back to the Arabs, but not any of Jerusalem. But, you ask, what about “The Dome of the Rock?” The Israelis allowed the Muslims to keep control of their most sacred building.
What else does 1967 signify? This is the year that the 10th Jubilee started. Remember that the prophecy stated that Jerusalem would be a no-man’s land during the 9th Jubilee? This would be between 1917 and 1967. This is exactly what happened. Yes, the Jews gained control of much of the original Holy Land in 1947, but not Jerusalem. This was not until 1967, exactly 50 years (one Jubilee) after the Turks lost control of this land.
Now, note the significance of the 10th Jubilee. The prophecy said that that it would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.
The Future of Israel
My question is: “Do you think that God was implementing His plan for Israel during all this? He gave Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel a prophecy in about 1167 that told the future of Israel. By 1967 this prophecy has come true to the letter. Everything that the prophecy foretold has come true exactly as the prophecy predicted.
The last part of the prophecy is the most interesting for us. He prophesied that during the 10th Jubilee, Jerusalem would be under the control of the Jews and the “Messianic end times” would begin. The 10th Jubilee began in 1967 and will end in 2017.
Many people have written as to what is going to happen in 2017. The most common is that this is the year that Jesus will return. Others say that this is when the Tribulation Period will begin. According to this theory, Jesus will return in 2017, 2020 or 2024, depending on whether you believe Jesus return at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the Tribulation Period. Keep in mind that very few people still hold to the theory that Jesus will return at the end of the Tribulation Period.
I would like to propose another scenario. Remember that Jesus said that we would not know the day or the hour that He will return. In other words, we can know that His return is imminent, but we cannot know the exact time. So, I do not believe that the prophecy points to the date of the return of Jesus.
However, there are two events that we do know for sure are going to happen. First, the Jewish Temple is going to be rebuilt before Jesus returns. We know this because Daniel said that the Anti-Christ would defile the Temple. See Daniel 9:26-27. (Read this in one or more modern versions.) This will happen before Jesus comes again.
Even Jesus speaks about this Abomination of Desolation. He said in Matt 24 that when you see this happening, flee Judah (modern Israel) because horrible things are about to happen. This certainly is not going to happen after Jesus begins His reign from Jerusalem, but before.
Secondly, remember that the Jubilee year pertains only to the Holy Land. This means that something special is going to happen in the Holy Land, and specifically in Jerusalem, in 2017. Since we do not know exactly when Jesus will return and that the Temple must be rebuilt before His returns, is it not possible that Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel’s prophecy means that the Temple will be rebuilt in 2017?
This would certainly be a fitting end to the 10th Jubilee. It would also mean that, even though we cannot point to a specific date, when we see that the Temple is rebuilt, the return of Jesus is certainly imminent.
What Does All This Mean?
It means that we are living in exciting times. It also means that Israel will not be destroyed. It means that we need to keep an eye on the Middle East. God is going to work many miracles in and for Israel. Remember that the Biblical book of Obadiah is all about Israel in our own future. See “Israel and America’s Future.”
However, we need to keep praying for Israel. Yes, this is God’s perfect plan for Israel. But, remember, God put the earth in our hands. It is up to us to bring about God’s perfect plan for Israel.
Remember what Daniel did in Daniel 9. Daniel knew that Jeremiah had
prophesied that they would be in exile for 70 years. He also knew that
the 70 years was about finished. Yet he knew that he had to pray that
God’s will would be done. We must do the same thing. We know what
the prophecy said. We also know what the Bible says. Yet, we still need
to pray for God’s Will to be done.
Remember this lady?
Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.
She had an ulterior motive.
Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried.
She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.
Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.
The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.
Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi's broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out,
In a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family.
Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected.
Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Later another politician, Barack Obama, won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.
In MEMORIAM - 65 YEARS LATER
I'm doing my small part by forwarding this message. I hope you'll consider doing the same.
It is now more than 65 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain,
In memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests
Who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!
Now, Iran , and others, claim the HOLOCAUST to be 'a myth', It's imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.
This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide
Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world. Please send this e-mail to people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.
This one beautiful, caring individual saved over 2500 Jewish infants
and kids from death during WWll. Thank God for people like her who
loved God's chosen people more than her own life. Irena Sendler (1910 - 2008)