Evangelising the Jew; Division in the Church

The Word of God was first given to YHVH’s chosen people Israel as the custodians of the Holy Scriptures. In view of this fact, when witnessing to a Jew concerning the prophesies of the coming Messiah contained in the Tanakh, the canon of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), how would one be able to show the birth of Yeshua haMeshiach, our Lord Jesus Christ, from the Old Testament text that He has already been born into this world and fulfilled His first advent as the Messiah?

If a Gentile is to witness to a Jew, surely the Gentile must be able to give empirical evidence from the Holy Scriptures, the Hebrew Tanakh, confirming the nativity of the Messiah in fulfilment of the prophesies contained in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Micah 5:2 as reflected in the Old Testament of the Bible. If a Gentile will point to the Old Testament Scriptures, evidence must be provided or the Jew will never believe that the Messiah has already come in the person of Yeshua haMeshiach (Jesus Christ), for at every Passover the Jews are still awaiting the arrival of Elijah to announce the arrival of Messiah.

If a Gentile refers to the Scriptures and then refers to the “fact” that born-again Messianic Jews and Gentiles celebrate the nativity of Messiah (Christ) on December 25th, the Jew will refute the date as evidence that He was born into this world as the Messiah, due to the Tanakh not confirming this date as one of the Hebrew festivals contained in Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16:16. If this date cannot be found to be true whilst evangelising God’s chosen people Israel, “for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22c), then how can it be “true” to the Gentile who holds to the freedom of “celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25th”?  To win a Jew to his Messiah, the Gentile, with the help of the Holy Spirit, must be able to prove the Messiah’s coming in fulfilment of His nativity, for how else would Messiah come in fulfilment of the prophets and the law? If a Gentile cannot prove the nativity / first coming of the Messiah and the prophesies of Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection (Isaiah 53) from the Tanakh then it would be best to remain silent than try convince a Hebrew Jew to follow a man made tradition and custom (December 25th). One cannot have it many ways as the Hebrew Scriptures is the basis of our Judeo-Christian faith.

During a morning time before our LORD, the following was brought to my attention. Whilst reading through 2 Kings 13 and 14 I went back to 1 Kings 12 to recall the sin that Jeroboam did that brought sins continually against Israel. We know that the nation of Israel was divided when Rehoboam went to Shechem for all Israel had come to make him king. It came to pass that Jeroboam the son of Nebat returned from Egypt where he fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam came with all the congregation of Israel and spoke to Rehoboam saying,

4  Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. 
5  And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. 
6  And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? 
7  And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. 
8  But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 
9  And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
10  And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11  And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12  So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.
13  And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;
14  And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15  Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16  So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. ~ 1 Kings 12:4-16

We then read that all Israel rebelled against the house of David and when Jeroboam had come they sent and called him to the congregation and made him king over all of Israel. There was a division that was created that only the tribe of Judah followed the house of David – the lineage through which our Saviour Jesus Christ would be born. Rehoboam came to Jerusalem and assembled all the house of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin to fight against the house of Israel to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah.

God then intervened when God sent His messenger Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

23  Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying,
24  Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD. ~ 1 Kings 12:23,24

Rehoboam hearkened unto the LORD and did not go to war with Jeroboam and the house of Israel. Jeroboam was afraid that Israel would return to the house of David by going up to the house of the LORD and sacrifice at Jerusalem, so he also feared that if Israel returned to king Rehoboam they would kill him. Therefore, Jeroboam did the following wicked thing:

28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
29  And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 
30  And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. ~ 1 Kings 12:28-30

Jeroboam, king of Israel, caused the kingdom of Israel to sin by committing idolatry against God. What we see here is a division of the nation Israel – the majority of the tribes, ten in all, followed their king Jeroboam, while the remnant tribes – Judah and Benjamin – followed their king Rehoboam, of the house of David. This is a reflection of the Church of today where there is a majority of “believers” following after a pervert faith and idolatry (those on the broad way), whilst the remnant believers (those on the narrow way) are Abraham’s seed through the house of David who belong to The Seed – Yeshua haMeshiach (Jesus Christ). There is a division that exists between those who hold to the Holy Scriptures and those who hold to, and even side with, man’s traditions and customs. We also see that every generation of kings that followed in the kingdom of Israel, evil would not depart from Jeroboam and Israel for they were involved in idolatry, but yet God’s “servant David kept His commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes” (see 1 Kings 14:7-13).

Throughout every generation in the kingdom of Israel, it followed:

16  And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. ~ 1 Kings 14:16

The kings of Israel that followed did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin. Yet the kings of the remnant tribes of the house of David were blessed.  God also sent a deliverer to Israel, and yet He too sends the Saviour to the Church that holds to idolatry (Jesus calls the Churches to Repent in Revelation 2 and 3).

So which kingdom are you following after? The idolatrise kingdom that continually sins against God? Or the remnant of the house of David as God’s servant David who kept His commandments, and who followed God with all his heart, to do that only which was right in God’s eyes? Truth is objective and absolute and cannot change. Therefore, two conflicting "truths" cannot both be true, for example “Tishri 15” (September/October) and “December 25.” In John 14:6 ~

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And as Jesus is the Truth He alters not, for Hebrews 13:8 reads ~

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Therefore, Jesus Christ being the living Word can not contradict in two apparent “truths” and as disciples of Christ are to be sanctified by God through His Truth, for His Word is Truth (see John 17:17) we are to live and obey the Word of God and not man’s traditions and customs. In Hebrews 1:2 we are told that God “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” Who is God manifest in flesh (see 1 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, the final authority of God’s Word comes from the Son, and we are therefore to adhere to His Word and commandments.

In another parallel of the division within the Church, in 1 Kings 18 we read the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. We read that Ahab brings an accusation against Elijah asking him if he is the one that is troubling Israel. Elijah then corrects Ahab and says that he has not troubled Israel, but it is rather Ahab and his father’s house, for they have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and have followed after Baalim. We then read that Ahab is commanded to bring all Israel and the prophets of Baal (450) and the prophets of the groves (400) which eat at Jezebel’s table. And so Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets – all 850 of them – unto mount Carmel. And this was Elijah’s address to them ~

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. ~ 1 Kings 18:21

That is exactly the situation and issues of today’s “Churchianity” and “Christianity”. The people in the majority, just as in the days of the divided kingdom, those following after Jeroboam and his sins (idolatry) that he caused Israel to sin are those that will hold to their Baal worship – that which God has not commanded. There is a division within “Christendom” which is so prevalent over the month of December when the pagan feast day comes around, and we are not speaking about the lost, but by what we perceive to be “Biblically sound brethren” who hold to a “truth” that cannot be proved from Scripture. If Scripture is silent on an issue how can it be proved to be true? If Scripture speaks on an issue it can be proven as Truth. We come back to that statement made earlier:

Truth is objective and absolute and cannot change. Therefore, two conflicting "truths" cannot both be true, for example “Tishri 15” (September/October) and “December 25.”

Can the Holy Spirit regard both conflicting “truths” to be true? Obviously the answer is NO! So one must be true and the other a lie. We are also reminded in Scripture let God be true, but every man a liar (see Romans 3:4), and Jesus warned that the devil is the father of lies and that no truth is in the devil for when he speaks lies he speaks of his own for he is a liar and the father of it (see John 8:44). In Jeremiah we hear the prophet speaking the Word of God, warning ~

9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. ~ Jeremiah 17:9,10

God gave Israel what they deserved (the fruit of their doings) due to the sins of Jeroboam that caused Israel to sin, and judgment came upon the 850 Baal idol worshippers, and judgment will also come upon professing believers who have chosen idolatry in the name of “Christendom” that is an abomination in the sight of YEHOVAH (YHVH).

The Apostle Paul addressed the exact same issues with the Galatian churches where there was a perversion of the gospel being preached and also to the Corinth church where there were divisions amongst believers as we read:

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

We are encouraged, commanded by way of imperatives, to be in UNITY – to “all speak the same thing”, “and that there be no divisions among you”, and to “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” We are to have one mind and one mouth to glorify God (see Romans 15:6) for we have the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16). In 1 Corinthians 1:12,13 we see that in Corinth, just as in our present day, the “believers” were following after various men and due to disunity the question is asked – Is Christ divided? Do not think that just because you said a prayer you are now saved and grace will keep you from the wrath of God that will condemn you to Hell? This is a walk with God in His holiness and His righteousness that requires that “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13) and we are to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14). If there is no peace and holiness then the alternative exists: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23).

The Body of Jesus Christ – the ekklesia (called out ones) – will speak the same thing and will have no divisions where they are perfectly joined together in the same mind and same judgment. Judgment is to start at the house of God, as we read:

17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? ~ 1 Peter 4:17

So, will you be able to faithfully witness to a Jew and a Gentile in Truth presenting the True Gospel? Or will the “Church” remain divided just as the devil would want it to be?

Soli Deo Gloria!

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