Jesus Comes Back to the Jews: Part 1

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From December, 2016 at the Israel Museum an exhibit, Jesus comes back to the Jews, was boldly featured by the museum’s art curator, Amatai Mendelsohn. The exhibit featured 150 works by 40 mainly Jewish artists exploring the complex, evolving attitudes of Jewish, Zionist and Israeli artists toward the Christian Saviour. The exhibition concluded on the 22nd April, 2017. A companion book called: Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art, was written by Amatai Mendelsohn. 

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[By JESSICA STEINBERG 23 January 2017, 12:13 pm]

 

Last supperAdi Nes’s ‘Untitled (Last Supper), planned down to the last plate (Courtesy Israel Museum)

Ms Jessica Steinberg said,

“Jesus and the Jews have had something of a complicated relationship.”

In “Behold The Man: Jesus in Israeli Art,” a new exhibit at the Israel Museum, curator Amatai Mendelsohn examines that complex iconography up close, through the prism of Jewish and Israeli art.

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It’s a process Mr Mendelsohn began 10 years ago, when he first laid eyes on an unusual painting by Reuven Rubin, the famed Israeli artist and pioneer. (You may view my programme in Behold the Man series in which I feature Rubin’s work0.

At the time, Mendelsohn was working on an exhibit about Rubin, “Prophets and Visionaries: Reuven Rubin’s Early Years: 1914-23,” and stumbled upon one of Rubin’s earliest self-portraits, in which he mimics aspects of a Jesus figure, as he, the subject, stares down at his bloodied hands.

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“Rubin was attracted to Jesus, and that intrigued me,” he said. “Now I know how many Jewish artists dealt with the figure of Jesus.”

In one of the main gallery halls, the exhibit features the 150 works by some 40 artists, in which the evolving attitudes of Jewish, Zionist and Israeli artists toward Jesus is on display..

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There are the classic works that place Christian-inspired images in classically Zionist settings, in which Jesus becomes a metaphor for the rebirth of the Jewish people in the Promised Land, and more contemporary, 20th- and 21st-century Israeli artists, who saw Jesus as a more familiar symbol of personal and universal suffering.

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The show, which opened in December, brings together works from the museum’s collections and from private and public collections in Israel, as well as several pieces borrowed from the National Museum in Warsaw and Centre Pompidou in Paris. The exhibit is open until April 22, 2017.

It’s a collection of works that Mendelsohn, who has been a curator at the Israel Museum for 20 years, has thought about for much of that time.

“For me, the art history process starts when I see something as part of my daily museum activity,” he said. “It’s a question of how religion and art connect.”

In order to tackle the many works dealing with Jesus, Mendelsohn divided the exhibit into sections, looking at Jesus deployed as a problematic figure in Jewish history, Jesus as the enemy, as a symbol of anti-Semitism, and as someone who had a “huge effect on Jewish existence,” he said.

 

The exhibit begins with “Jesus Preaching in Capernaum,” the last, unfinished piece from 1879 by Maurycy Gottlieb, the Polish artist who died at just 23, and is perhaps best known for his famed Yom Kippur painting. This work resembles that peace, with a similar composition, as it is set in a synagogue, albeit in Kfar Nahum or Capernaum, the northern Galilean town where Jesus famously preached.

Featuring Jesus in the centre with a mix of congregants listening to him, Gottlieb looked at Jesus as a Jew, and as a possible bridge between Christians and Jews, perhaps harkening to what could happen in his native Poland.

“It sets a tone for the show,” said Mendelsohn. “Here was Jesus, and he had a moral, universal, humanistic message.”

It’s a message that echoes the thoughts of German-Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelsohn — whom the curator is not related to — who saw Jesus as a moral Jew, as a prophet, perhaps one of the greatest Jews, but not as God.

“It takes Jesus back to the Jews,” said Mendelsohn.

To the right of Gottlieb’s work is “In the Shadow of the Cross,” a massive piece by Polish painter Samuel Hirszenberg, who worked a generation later. Taking a far darker, more sinister look, the Zionist painter created a difficult image of a wandering Jew, barely dressed, wandering among corpses in a cemetery.

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It hung in the original Bezalel art school building in Jerusalem for many years, portraying the emergence of the Zionist movement, said Mendelsohn, and the early pioneers’ escape from Europe and anti-Semitism.

The third wall of the first section is completed with Chagall’s “Yellow Crucifixion” from 1942, depicting a Jew with the halo of a Christian saint, wearing phylacteries.

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“Many don’t know that Chagall was attracted to and obsessed by Jesus as a figure of Jewish pain and suffering,” said Mendelsohn.

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So was Rubin, apparently. One section of the exhibit is devoted to several of his paintings, beginning with that early self-portrait that looks quite different from his other works, noted Mendelsohn.

“When I looked at this, I thought it was a strange Rubin,” he said. “It was all about his agony. Rubin was very interested in the story of Jesus.”

It was painted during Rubin’s early period when he spent some time in New York after 10 years in Romania and a year before that in pre-state Palestine.

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That piece is followed by others from Rubin, including one of an old, religious Jew sitting on a bench with a resurrected Jesus, and others featuring a Madonna, lolling on what looks like the shore of the Galilee, with a baby that could be the baby Jesus reborn in the land of the Jews.

 

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“It’s resurrection of the birth of the baby, all about new beginnings,” said Mendelsohn.

A painting by Moshe Castel, who was born in Ottoman-era Palestine to a religious family, was discovered recently in a locked cupboard of the Moshe Castel Museum of Art in Ma’ale Adumim. It was painted after the artist’s newborn baby and wife died following childbirth.

The painter, who lived in Safed, secluded himself in a monastery and painted the dark, sad self-portrait that mimics other art of Jesus as the long-suffering, misunderstood prophet.

As the exhibit moves into more modern times, there are different sides of Jesus portrayed as well. Yigal Tumarkin, an immigrant from Germany whose father wasn’t Jewish, looks at the crucifixion in his rough, sharp-edged sculpture made from salvaged goods found in Bedouin camps, as he interpreted the tensions in Israeli society and prototypes of Christian art.

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Moshe Gershuni’s exhibited works focus primarily on the blood of the crucifixion, perhaps creating a new testament between him and the Israeli public after he came out of the closet as gay, conjectured Mendelsohn.

בעין תודעה - מה נורא המקום הזה-3There are photographs of performance art by multimedia artist Motti Mizrachi, who is disabled, and walked down the Via Dolorosa in 1973 with a cross on his back. Another set of photographs juxtapose a newspaper photograph of a dead Palestinian man being carried during the First Intifada, with the famed paintings of the disciples carrying the crucified Jesus.

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The exhibit ends with the now-famous photo by Nes Adi, “Untitled (Last Supper),” a staged photo of Israeli soldiers eating a mess-hall dinner that echoes the “Last Supper” painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Then there is the video installation by sculptor and installation artist Sigalit Landau, who filmed a series at the Dead Sea, including a piece depicting her floating on a whole watermelon. It conjures images of Mary with Jesus, as Landau’s hands are stretched to the sides, evoking the cross.

“Israelis are funny about Jesus,” said Mendelsohn. “But when we scrape the surface, we realise that there is a lot of Christian imagery all around us, even if we’re unaware of it.”

“Behold The Man: Jesus in Israeli Art,” Israel Museum, open until April 22, 2017.

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Art and Theatre 

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With the depiction of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, there is a great danger of causing offence – particularly if this is done in a satirical or a mocking caricature of them. Jews, Christians and Moslems do not take kindly to such renderings. Anger, disgust, protest, rage and violence may result from those who have been offended, expressing outrage towards the artist and media personnel  who are involved in publicising the offensive material. This is the recent response to the McJesus sculpture and the Charlie Hebdo cartoon – the Christian reaction was comparatively mild and measured in comparison to the cartoon depiction of the Prophet of Islam:

McJesus Sculpture

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McJesus’ sculpture sparks outrage among Haifa’s Christians
Arab Christians call for the removal of sculpture that portrays Ronald McDonald as Jesus on the cross; on Friday, protesters hurled a firebomb and stones at the museum, wounding 3 police officers.
[Associated Press |Published:  01.15.19 , 16:23]

An art exhibit featuring a crucified Ronald McDonald has sparked protests by Haifa’s Arab Christian minority.

Hundreds of Christians calling for the removal of the sculpture, entitled “McJesus,” demonstrated at the museum in the northern city on Friday. The police said rioters hurled a firebomb at the museum and threw stones that wounded three police officers. Authorities dispersed the crowds with tear gas and stun grenades.
Church representatives brought their grievances to the district court Monday, demanding it order the removal of the exhibit’s most offensive items, including Barbie doll renditions of a bloodied Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5447307,00.html

Charlie Hebdo

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[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia]

Charlie Hebdo: from the French ‘Charlie Weekly,’ is a French satirical weekly magazine, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics, and jokes. Irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, the publication describes itself as above all secular, skeptic, and atheist, far-left-wing, and anti-racist publishing articles about the extreme right (especially the French nationalist National Front party), religion (Catholicism, Islam, Judaism), politics and culture.

The magazine has been the target of two terrorist attacks, in 2011 and 2015. Both were presumed to be in response to a number of controversial Muhammad cartoons it published. In the second of these attacks, 12 people were killed, including publishing director Charb and several other prominent cartoonists.

Charlie Hebdo first appeared in 1970 as a companion to the monthly Hara-Kiri magazine, after a previous title was banned for mocking the death of former French President Charles de Gaulle. In 1981 publication ceased, but the magazine was resurrected in 1992. Its current editor-in-chief is Gérard Biard. The previous editors were François Cavanna (1970–1981) and Philippe Val (1992–2009). The magazine is published every Wednesday, with special editions issued on an unscheduled basis.

ZOG

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Monopoly Board Game Parody of Jewish Control of World Finances

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ZOG – Zionist Occupied Government that controls the world 

Equally, to single out Jews for ridicule and to hold to anti-Semitic and conspiracy theories  that claim that they control world finances and governments – called ZOG. Alas, even Jeremy Corbyn’s the Labour leader was slow to condemn such ideas:

A Step too far

No serious minded person likes folk to poke fun or ridicule at that which is sacred to them, because of their particular faith – Jews, Christians and Moslems each have their redlines that when folk cross them they voice their opposition as is the case of the two examples given above:

  • McJesus’ sculpture
  • Prophet Muhammad depicted wearing a turban that in the shape of a bomb.
  • Ant-Semitic Monopoly board game mural

While satire and humour may be part of expression of free-speech, however, for some folk there is definitely a crossover point where those who are ridiculing that which fundamental to their faith go too far and they result in giving offence. This is clearly so in these cases that I have given, as well as to perpetuate anti-Semitic tropes as depicted in the last two image above.

Art as self-expression:

You will recall that I did a series of programmes during 2017 on the image of Jesus in Jewish and Israeli art. These were based upon the book by Amatai Mendelsohn –

Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art

Various aspects of this subject were considered over a number of months on my blog. One example is –

Behold the Man: Between Judaism, Zionism, and Christianity

Posted on September 13, 2017:

https://hotrodronisblog.com/2017/09/13/behold-the-man-between-judaism-zionism-and-christianity/

In this programme I wish to explore the theme –

From Personal Experience to National Identity

Art that is true art is not simply a dispassionate and visual depiction of a given subject. For the true artist, for her or his work to have a significant impact, it must generally convey something of the artist who created the piece of work – this is equally true when we think about the amazing world in which we live. There is an intelligence behind it that thinks and feels [mind and heart – will and emotions] and those who believe, call the ONE the Creator G_D. For we do not live in a random universe, but it has a perfect order and design, like the fingerprints of the sculptor or brush strokes of the painter.

I recall the work of the sculptor Babara Hepworth who drew her inspiration from the costal environment in which she lived. The crashing of the sea sculpting the rock formation in the cove near where she lived is reflected  the awesome beauty that the motion of the sea carved from the rocks. Her inspired work reflects this starkness of the visual and audio impressions that were imprinted on her mind and reflected in her sculptures.

Image II 1960 by Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975

Image II 1960 Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975 Presented by the artist 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00958

Image II 1960 Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975 Presented by the artist 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00958

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Surgeon about his craft, like a Sculptor

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A risky challenge

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Mark Anatokolsky

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Marc Chagall

There is a risky and challenging undertaking that faces the Jewish and Israeli artist who seeks to depict Jesus, with the attendant danger and scope for being misunderstood. Both Marc Chagall and Mark Anatokolsky both faced severe criticism for depicting a Jewish looking Jesus – “Why did you paint/sculpture Christ?” said their fellow Jews and “Why did you paint/sculpture Christ like that?” said gentiles when confronted with a very Jewish looking Jesus. No one said that it would be easy, but then artist are often people who challenge the status quo and press the margins of what folk perceive as being acceptable. May one say that they live dangerously. Like the Chinese Chinese avant garde artist Wi Wi  who was driven into exile for his challenging the authoritarian communist rule in his native China.

From Personal Experience to National Identity

 

 

Moshe Castel, Crucifixion, ca. 1948. Ink on paper, 30 x 21 cm.                                             The Moshe Castel Museum of Art, Ma’ale Adumim, Israel

Moshe Castel

Moshe Castel 1900 – 1991, was born in Israel to Jewish parents that had lived in the Jerusalem for many generations. However, he lived in Paris from 1927 – 1940. Although his paintings dealt with general themes, in the European expressionistic style, when he returned to Israel, he did two paintings of deep significance related to our theme of Jesus in Jewish and Israeli art – they we both depicted a crucifixion of Jesus.

 

 

Paintings in sequence: Chaim Soutine 1 and 2,  3; Francis Bacon  4, 5, 6, & 7                                

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As I have said above that the personal life of the artist almost always has an impact upon the content that is portrayed, relating to personal events and impressions.

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Painting by Roni Mechanic

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Take for example this painting done by me – you will notice that there  are  the image of three fish. On closer examination, there is a large whale above a dolphin and in the bottom left hand corner there is a shark. My wife Elisheva pointed out to me that she thought that the picture expressed a turbulent time that I had been facing and that the whale symbolised G_D’s protection over me, the dolphin, that was being threatened by the shark. I had not consciously painted these three fish with that in mind, but I had to agree with her summation of the imagery in the painting.

Similarly, Moshe Castel’s Crucifixion paintings gave expression to a very painful episode in his personal life. He painted these in 1948, when he withdrew from public life, spending a year in a monastery on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This retreat took place after the death of his wife who died giving birth, and their child who died some three years later. It is in an expressive style, very similar to the work of Chaim Soutine. We should note that the third painting by Soutine of the human butchered body is echoed in Francis Bacon’s work – [See panel above for examples of their work]Castel depicts himself as the crucified Jesus, against a background of mountains on a stormy night. The depiction is reminiscent of  Matthias Groenewolt’s Isenheim crucifixion.

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In Castel’s depiction of Jesus, the face is that of the artist himself and the artist himself:

What Moshe Castel has done is not unique, Paul Gauguin did that as well in his Yellow Crucifixion. Vincent van Gogh’s Peita and Marc Chagall spoke of himself in his anguish as an artist as if he were being crucified. This type of portrayal of the artist as if he were Christ is a way of attempting to describe the depth of their personal anguish. It is particularly significant that Jewish and Israeli artist feel at liberty to cross this threshold of depicting Jesus’ crucified as not only an image of their own suffering, but equally as Chagall had done of Jewish suffering in general.

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Van Gogh – Peita

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Chagall’s Anguish

Amatai Mendelsohn says, that it is apparent that an enormous emotional investment went into this surprising painting by Castel. One wonders if his time in the Catholic monastery had an influence upon him. This is pure conjecture on my part, but it does not completely surprise me that he should have painted this crucifixion that is at the heart of the Catholic and Christian/Messianic faith. All the more so that these images of the crucified Christ were never seen during the artist life, as the were found locked away in a cupboard in his home after his death.

A great taboo surrounds the question of Jewish and Israeli artist daring to depict the figure and person of Jesus still to this day. Mendelsohn continues in his discussion, that the inscription that went above the painting was planned in two preparatory sketches in which Castle used the proper Hebrew name for Jesus in place of the INRI – he wrote “Yeshua” instead of the “Yeshu,” that is often said and written derisively and is an acronym for “may his name and memory be obliterated.” As I have conjectured, Mendelsohn says, this suggests that the painter’s positive view, rather than the usual Jewish revolution towards Jesus’ name is implied by Castel’s rendering of it.

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George Rouault Christ de face [detail]

This second painting by Moshe Castle [see below on blog], also unknown to critics or the public is a depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus, the head surrounded by a halo, and a cloth wrapped around his loins, suggesting a prayer shawl – tallit. Also included is the figure of a Jewish man wearing a skull-cap and a Jewish woman standing beneath the cross on which Jesus hung. There is a third figure with his back to the viewers, also wearing a skull cap. Two angels hover beneath the hands of the crucified figure.

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In Paris, Castel had met Chagall and Soutine, and other Jewish artist of the Jewish School of Paris.

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André Warnod, Les Berceaux de la jeune peinture (1925). Cover illustration by Amedeo Modigliani

The Paris “Jewish” School

The term “School of Paris” was used in 1925 by André Warnod [fr] to refer to the many foreign-born artists who had migrated to Paris.[3] The term soon gained currency, often as a derogatory label by critics who saw the foreign artists—many of whom were Jewish—as a threat to the purity of French art.[4] Art critic Louis Vauxcelles, noted for coining the terms “Fauvism” and “Cubism”, also meant disparagingly, called immigrant artists unwashed “Slavs disguised as representatives of French art”.[5] Waldemar George, himself a French Jew, in 1931 lamented that the School of Paris name “allows any artist to pretend he is French…it refers to French tradition but instead annihilates it.”[6]

School of Paris artists were progressively marginalised. Beginning in 1935 art publications no longer wrote about Chagall, just magazines for Jewish audiences, and by June 1940 when the Vichy government took power, School of Paris artists could no longer exhibit in Paris at all.[6]

The artists working in Paris between World War I and World War II experimented with various styles including Cubism, Orphism, Surrealism and Dada. Foreign and French artists working in Paris included Jean Arp, Joan Miró, Constantin Brâncuși, Raoul Dufy, Tsuguharu Foujita, artists from Belarus like Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Kremegne, and Jacques Lipchitz, the Polish artist Marek Szwarc and others such as Russian-born prince Alexis Arapoff.[7]

A significant subset, the Jewish artists, came to be known as the Jewish School of Paris or the School of Montparnasse.[8] The “core members were almost all Jews, and the resentment expressed toward them by French critics in the 1930s was unquestionably fuelled by anti-Semitism.”[9] One account points to the 1924 Salon des Indépendants, which decided to separate the works of French-born artists from those by immigrants; in response critic Roger Allard [fr] referred to them as the School of Paris.[9][10] Jewish members of the group included Emmanuel Mané-Katz, Chaim Soutine, Adolphe Féder, Chagall, Moïse Kisling, Maxa Nordau and Shimshon Holzman.[11]

The artists of the Jewish School of Paris were stylistically diverse. Some, like Louis Marcoussis, worked in a cubist style, but most tended toward expression of mood rather than an emphasis on formal structure.[8] Their paintings often feature thickly brushed or troweled impasto. The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme has works from School of Paris artists including Pascin, Kikoine, Soutine, Orloff and Lipschitz.[12]

In the aftermath of the war, “nationalistic and anti-Semitic attitudes were discredited, and the term took on a more general use denoting both foreign and French artists in Paris”.[4] But although the “Jewish problem” trope continued to surface in public discourse, art critics ceased making ethnic distinctions in using the term. While in the early 20th century French art critics contrasted The School of Paris and the École de France, after World War II the question was School of Paris vs School of New York.[13]

Post-World War II (Après-guerre), the term “School of Paris” often referred to tachisme, and lyrical abstraction, a European parallel to American Abstract Expressionism. These artists are also related to CoBrA.[14] Important proponents were Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages, Jean-Michel Coulon, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, Bram van Velde, Georges Mathieu, Jean Messagier and Zoran Mušič, among others. Many of their exhibitions took place at the Galerie de France in Paris, and then at the Salon de Mai where a group of them exhibited until the 1970s.

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Moshe Castel’s second painting of The Crucifixion, 1940 – 1945, is a watercolour on paper, mounted on canvas, 50 x 36 cms, The Moshe Castel Meseum of Art, Ma’ale Adumim.

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This painting was influenced by Marc Chagall and by George Henri Rousalt (see detail of the head of Christ, above).

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George Henri Rousalt

Chagall’s White Crucifixion is the most important painting of the crucified Jewish Christ of the Paris Jewish School.

The Expressionistic style of Rousalt, was influenced by religious icons and medieval artistic rendering of Biblical New Testament themes. The use of heavy bold colours, shapes and lines giving expression to the emotion and the drama of the death of Jesus.

While the depiction of the image of humans and the divine was forbidden in Judaism, Jewish artist looked elsewhere for references to be able to depict biblical and religious themes. What makes the Paris Jewish School’s work unique is that these Jewish artists were not under the constraint of the Jewish religious establishment who would have disapproved of their rendering of the image if Jesus in particular. One should note that Marc Chagall’s windows at the Jerusalem Hadassah Hospital of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, is largely abstract in its rendering of these biblical themes.

 

The Measure of the Person 

Apart from Moshe Castel’s two Crucifixion paintings and a few sketches, he did not publicly paint any images of Jesus in his work. He was the son of a respected rabbi, and he was intimately familiar with his religious and cultural Jewish heritage. In his art he explored the Jewish Bible, mysticism, and other Jewish themes. The enigma of what inspired him to pain these two Crucifixions after he left Paris and returned to Eretz-Israel, remains unanswered. What I personally find fascinating that in the desire to express his deepest, private pain and loss, he turned to the theme off the crucifixion of Jesus.

Amatai Mendelsohn suggests that a reason for this, may be found in his bitter anger towards the Jewish G_D. How ironic that while he sought to give expression to his anger towards HaShem, who he must have felt had abandoned him, nonetheless, he turns to his Jewish Son, who was despised and rejected by Jew and gentile alike. This private anger  towards God and fascination with Jesus, may suggest his ambivalence and fear about identifying himself publicly with an image that traditionally was considered as idolatrous. He did not stand alone for there were other Jewish people like Uri Zvi Greenberg, the poet, who was also drawn to his “brother’ on the cross, and this included Aharon Kabak, whose novel on the life of Jesus, also rose out of tragic personal loss.

Looking UNTO Jesus

Jewish people like so many others in their darkest hour of loss and despair have turned to Jesus – Yeshua and found him as their Messiah and Lord. Was this the case of Moshe Castel’s darkest secret that only emerged after his death? Locked away in a hidden cupboard, but there in the hidden chambers of his heart was the Saviour who was able to give him comfort and hope.

The prophet Zechariah says,

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son: (12:10).

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12:

13

Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

14

As many were astounded at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

15

So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.

8

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

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And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
You too

You too can make the awesome discovery that the Suffering Sevant of G_D is both Lord and Messiah.This is a reality that countless Jews and gentiles testify to.

Amen.

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Don’t Eat THATHAT: Don’t cause Splits –– Cults and Isms Cause Schisms

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Cults and Isms that cause schisms –

Don’t cause Splits –– Divisions in the Messianic Community! Split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, are caused by differences in opinion or belief that will ultimately lead to a dangerous division and can consequently give birth to another false religion.

Another definition: The worship of anything that is not God, including any form of religion that fails to do justice to the glory and majesty of God. Scripture criticises both the practices and the beliefs of false religions.

What Are the Warning Signs of a Cult?

Orthodoxy must be constantly moderated and guarded against possible heterodoxy –– any slight deviation can have severe consequences if it is not corrected, stopped, and warned against. Heterodoxy can best be defined as heresy, error, and deviation from the fundamentals of the faith. There are those cardinal doctrines that if we deviate from them, thence are in serious danger of moving away from the true faith that has been imparted us.

I have spoken on numerous occasions about the Jehovah Witnesses and the way that Charles Taze Russell started. This sub-Christian sect began with Mr Russell wanting to study the Bible on his own due to his rejection of the strict ‘hell fire and brimstone preaching that he was exposed to during his formative years in the USA where he was born. So far so good –– Studying the Scriptures is something to be encouraged. However, there were some inherent dangers that he faced with his rejection of any reference to the historic creeds and counsels of the Christian faith over the two millennia since its inception. He used the American Standard Translation of 1901 as his Bible that used G_D’s Holy Name as Jehovah. He then went further and produced his own translation of the Scriptures called the New World Translation, that not only used the name Jehovah, but also altered certain key text to conform with their doctrine. Many years ago while living in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1974 I attended the Rosebank Bible College that was sponsored by Rosebank Union Church. A friend by the name of Peter who was a member of that congregation asked me to accompany him to a Bible Study in a new suburb of JHB to help a group of women who had encountered some JWs. There were eight women present at the meeting –– Two were members of the new Evangelical Church, two were Jehovah Witnesses, and four were individuals that had been in contact with both groups. These four ‘seekers,’ were undecided as to whether to embrace the Evangelical faith, or to become Jehovah Witnesses. Peter and I were invited to share a testimony of how we had come to faith in Yeshua/ Jesus. Following that Peter asked the Jehovah Witnesses how they had become adherents of the their faith. Peter then spoke about the dangers of the errors of the JW’s teaching, particularly on the person and work of Jesus and the JW teaching about the nature of God.

Subsequently, we heard that two of the ‘seekers,’ had become believers in Jesus as Messiah and Lord, one became a JW, and one decided not to continue having any contact with either group.

Some examples of false religions:

JWs, Mormons, Moonies, New Age Gurus, Syncretistic religions, etc…

As Messianic believers, we must constantly be on our guard against false religious teachings. But how are we to discern between truth and error? From our viewpoint, just because someone arise and says that they have a special revelation from God, an angel, dream, vision, or some other supernatural source does not mean that what they relate to others is necessarily the truth. sStrange and unorthodox beliefs should sound warning bells! We are exhorted to ‘test the spirits,’ to discern they are of G_D? This is nothing new, for even in Jesus’ day there were other claimants to be G_D’s anointed one/ Messiah/ Christ.

How do we the difference between those that are imposters and the true Son of God? We need to not be afraid to ask difficult question,in order to discover the differences between cults and the true Messianic faith, for there is only on Yeshua/ Jesus who is definitively unique.

What Is a Cult?

Should we differentiate between a sub-christen sect and a cult?

Trying to define a cult can be a challenge. In an attempt to arrive at a definition of a cult, it is helpful to outline a few characteristics and establish some guidelines that will help aid us to discover whether or not a particular sect or beliefs and practices are a cultish?

Definitions of cult

In the seventeenth century of the common era if someone referred to Judaism or Chrsitianity as a cult, no-one would give it a second thought. The word cult meant a reference to a particular form or system of worship. For example the “cult of Saint Benedict” were known as the Benedictines. This does not mean that people followed St. Benedict in the same way that people followed a new age guru. It simply meant that people were devoted to the Benedictine form of worship.

But subsequently the meaning of a cult took on a more sinister meaning. Sociologists refer to a cult as a social group with socially deviant or novel beliefs and practices. This may include elements of orthodoxy, but with the addition of unorthodox beliefs that substantially change the beliefs and practices of a particular group.

This definition provided by Rousselet, Duretete, Hardouin, and Grall-Bronnec may be the most helpful:

“A cult is an organized group whose purpose is to dominate cult members through psychological manipulation and pressure strategies.”

This definition helps to explain what is meant when we refer to a cult in our modern era. Cults are generally harmful to its members and to varying degrees to society as a whole. They are usually centred around the dynamic personality of its leader. So, how do cults operate? What are the warning signs when someone is involved in a cult?

What Are the Warning Signs of a Cult?

During the years that I have been a Messianic believer I have encountered a number of people who have been ensnared by cults and there appears to be considerable similarity with the behaviour of the cults that they belong to. Though their belief may be completely different, the way that they behave bears striking similarities.

I came upon this helpful explanation of the activities of cults:

One would think that spotting a cult would be relatively easy. And from the outside, it often can be easy to spot cultic behavior. But from the inside, the person has been groomed and manipulated to normalize deviant behavior. Here are a few of the warning signs:

– Following a leader with unquestioning faith and allegiance

– A belief that the group exclusively holds the truth, therefore there is zero tolerance and interaction with those outside the group

– Isolation of members

– Severe penalties for leaving the group

– An emphasis on a special belief or doctrine viewed as strange by others

– An “us vs. them” mentality, often using persecution of the group as evidence of its truthfulness

– The use of fear and intimidation to keep you in the group. In order to control people one of the techniques used by governing them by fear and intimidation. No sensible, sane, or descent group should resort to this type of behaviour to maintain or control its members. By using such methods their sense of self-worth is diminished. Any fear based leadership is a lousy way to manage people, and by intimidating them, not only is the leader diminished, but his or her subjects are often reduced to being serfs or drones who are not allowed to show any initiative or creative ideas.  These type of techniques are used in the military, but should never be the way that a faith based group functions, and treats its adherents. 

There are a few questions to ask that might help to determine if you or a friend is in a cult.

– What happens if I disagree with the leaders?

– How do I respond if an “outsider” criticizes one of our leaders?

– Are there different sets of “rules” for the leader, and another set for “members”?

– Who is the leader answerable to? Is there accountability?

– What would happen if you tried to leave the group?

– Do they welcome independent thought? Do they believe I can think for myself?

– Have a lost several friendships since joining this group? Am I being isolated?

– Am I able to read outside literature?

Some of the above questions can help you to assess whether or not your group has moved away from healthy religious belief into manipulative/cultish territory.

What can we learn from the Scriptures about Cults?

In our consideration of what the Scriptures has to say about cults we must first come to a common understanding of cults. One dominant feature is “religious devotion.” Scripture is filled with these examples of how people deviated from the right pathway. This most often includes a group that manipulates their members and causes harm.

There are numerous examples throughout the Scriptures, of false teachers, with the outcome of their false teaching always having devastating effects upon those who are caught up and seduced by them. We have examples of those who were false prophets and idolaters in the Hebrew Scriptures that helps explain the dynamic of our understanding of modern cults.

There are a few themes we can use from Scripture to help us understand the nature of cults. First, Jesus warned of the presence of false teachers in Matthew 7:15-16,

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

Secondly, because of the existence of false prophets we are told to “test the spirits.” 1 John 4 tells us how we can “recognize the Spirit of God:”

“Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.”

If a group is not centered upon Jesus Christ, then it is making false religious claims. Groups can be centered upon Jesus in name, but if at the end of the day they are not following the way of Jesus, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, and entrusting each member to Christ as Lord, then this is a false group.

Cults are also notorious for adding their own rules. Places like Colossians 2:19-23 can be helpful to show that Christ is sufficient. Are your leaders pointing you to Christ and leaving you in His hands, or are they centering themselves or the group? That is a big identifier of a cult. The Bible has Jesus Christ at the center. Cults will have something else at the center.

What Makes a Cult Different from a Religious Denomination?

What is the difference between Jesus the Messiah/Christ and cult leaders? For one, Jesus Christ is the way of truth. While this claim is the same as made by those who believe and give their reason for following a cult leaders. So, we should test them by their own claims. When we compare these cult leaders teaching and claims against Jesus claims, they are always found empty.

In Orthodox Judaism, there are numerous sects, and among the Chassidic Jewish sects the Lubuvitch Chassidim they claim that Menachem Shneerson is the Messiah. Though he died of old age, they believe that he will come back to life! They also have elaborate genealogies that claim that he is a descendant of King David. As above, these assertions need to be tested to discover if they have any credence and whether they are true?

During Schneerson’s life the mainstream of Chabad hoped that he would be the messiah, an idea that gained great attention during the last years of his life. A few years prior to Schneerson’s death, members of the Chabad movement expressed their belief that Menachem Mendel Schneerson is the Jewish messiah.

But the greatest difference between Yeshua/ Jesus and a cult is that Jesus is self-giving. He gives of Himself for their benefit. His way does not lead into harm but into hope.

First, consider the characteristics of a cult. If a “denomination/ congregation/ group” has weird characteristics, then while it may make claims that it is orthodox, then it’s not just a group of believer who may disagree over certain doctrine, but it must be considered as a deviation from the norm, and my well become a sub sect, or even cult.

There are some congregations and professing groups that can border on cultic practices. It can be difficult to discern the difference at times.

Most denominations if they still have Jesus Christ at the centre of their religious practice, though they may differ on a few interpretations but are orthodox in their belief and practice.

Are All Cults Bad?

In the modern the word ‘cult’ has taken on a negative meaning. Nonetheless, whether “cults” are all bad has to do with how we are defining the word “cult.” We need to ask If a cult is harming its followers and others? If the answer is, yes, then we must conclude that it is bad.

Is there difference between a cult and a sect?

But there is another question connected with this. Some will call Jehovah’s Witnesses or Latter-Day Saints a cult. They certainly fit some of the descriptors of a cult. And I, personally, would argue that they are “bad” in that they do not tell the truth about Jesus. As such they are indeed ultimately harmful. It would be wise, if we use the word ‘cult,’ to make a distinction between the “bad” of Charles Manson and Jim Jones with the “bad” of Joseph Smith or the Watchtower Society.

Regardless of whether we mean “bad” as in violent or harmful to society or “bad” as in unorthodox and denying Christ, we should pursue truth and not be part of a cult. But what if someone we love is involved with a dangerous cult?

What can we do if someone we love is involved with a dangerous cult?

First, whatever you can do to keep endeavour to keep the line of communication open –– keep talking! You will not get very far by speaking negatively about the group or the leader. You must earn trust.

Secondly, ask probing questions. What you should attempt to do with this line of communication is sow some seeds of doubt.

Thirdly, seek help from folk who may have had involvement with the particular cult.

Keep in mind that It is important establish some of the reasons why this person might have joined the cult.

What were they looking for that the cult provided?

Are there ways in which you can begin to provide some of this support outside of their group?

Keep in mind how costly it will be for them to leave this cult. If you can eliminate some of the difficulties of leaving, this might help them to make that decision.

If there is something harmful or illegal happening, report this to the authorities. Intervention by Social Services, a Church group, or even the police if the cult is preventing them from having contact with those who are not part of the cult.

Remember to get others to join you in praying for their deliverance from the harmful influence of the particular cult. We must entrust them to the Lord. Therefore, we must pray for wisdom and discernment in our interactions, and equally that G_D will open their eyes to reality. If they have been blinded to the truth, therefore, pray that God would reveal Himself to them in an undeniable way. Pray that they will be able to see through the inconsistencies of the leader. Amen.

A Quest For The Jewish Jesus: Roni Mechanic's Quest For The Jewish Jesus

A Quest For The Jewish Jesus: Roni Mechanic’s Quest For The Jewish Jesus

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DIE SUCHE NACH DEM JÜDISCHEN JESUS: "WAS SAGST DU, WER ICH BIN?'

DIE SUCHE NACH DEM JÜDISCHEN JESUS: “WAS SAGST DU, WER ICH BIN?’

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Don’t Eat That Hat: The Truth About Holy Names

There is so much confusion, some error, and difficulty in rendering the Holy Names of G_D.

G_D’s Holy Name

Some folk won’t even use the word ‘holy,’ and they insist on calling it the ‘set a part name.’ Their reasoning is based on the fact that there is a pagan deity called ‘Holi.’ So, the ‘Holy Spirit’ becomes the ‘Set Apart Spirit.’

Link to the Bible Word Study clip:

Is this a question of personal choice, and is it theologically sound?

The Tetragrammaton

The Tetragrammaton, or Tetragram, is the four-letter Hebrew theonym יהוה‎, the name of God in the Hebrew Bible. The four letters, written and read from right to left, are yodh, he, waw, and he. The name may be derived from a verb that means “to be”, “to exist”, “to cause to become”, or “to come to pass.”

G_D said, “I will be what I will be,’ or ‘I am that I am.’ ‘I am the eternal one, who was, is, and is to come.’

Considerable confusion surrounds this designation for Israel’s G_D.

In the 19th century a German theologian coined a word in his attempt to explain the Tetragrammaton – יהוה‎YHWH:

Jehovah – Because the YHWH has no vowels he took the vowels from Adonai and inserted them into the YHWH/ JHWH = JeHoVaH/ Jehovah. The Jehovah’s Witnesses took this into their usage of God’s holy name based on the American Standard Version of the Bible (1901).

Translation from one language to another always poses a problem, that is not only of a linguistic nature, but also a cultural, and in the context of Scripture a theological factor as well.

Modern Usage

In modern usage Biblical Hebrew describe G_D’s name, Yahuweh – “Yahuweh, this is My name FOREVER, throughout ALL generations” (Ex 3:15); Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared Yahweh spoke to one another, and Yahweh gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear Yahweh and esteem His Name.

Linguistically this rendering of the biblical Hebrew, can be difficult to say in English. Any personal or public reading poses its own unique challenges, particularly if the reader has little if any knowledge of the original languages that the Scriptures were originally written in.

Therefore, carefully consider this notice given below:

How should we use the names of G_D?

Whether we attempt to translate, or say them, what is the best way? Some while ago I came to the personal decision to investigate how Judaism approaches the question.

Firstly, Judaism shows great deference and respect towards G_D’s names. An overriding reason is so that they do not profane his name, or worse be guilty of being blasphemous in saying his name.

Orthodox Jews say, ‘HaShem,’ ‘The Name,’ without actually saying it out loud. ‘Elohim,’ – ‘Almighty,’ they will render, ‘Elokim.’ For English speakers and readers, there are numerous translations of the Scriptures to choose from. My personal choice is to render the Tetragrammaton as ‘LORD,’ and Lord for the Hebrew word Adonai –

Hebrew: אֲדֹנָי

I also prefer to write G_D for YHWH, and instead of ‘O,’ in ‘GOD,’ I ‘_.’ When speaking about other deities, I am happy to write, ‘god,’ or ‘gods.’

We also have the name,

‘G_D Almighty’:

In Hebrew, the title “God Almighty” is written as El Shaddai and probably means “God, the All-powerful One” or “The Mighty One of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24Psalm 132:2,5), although there is a question among most Bible scholars as to its precise meaning. The title speaks to God’s ultimate power over all. He has all might and power. We are first introduced to this name in Genesis 17:1, when God appeared to Abram and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.”

God has many names and attributes. He is the Almighty (Genesis 49:25), the Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 14:19), Builder of everything (Hebrews 3:4), the King of heaven (Daniel 4:37), God of all mankind (Jeremiah 32:27), and the Eternal King. (Jeremiah 10:10). He is the only God (Jude 1:25), the Eternal God (Genesis 21:33), the Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28), and Maker of all things (Ecclesiastes 11:5). He is able to do more things than we can ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed and miracles that cannot be counted (Job 9:10). God’s power is unlimited. He can do anything He wants, whenever He wants (Psalm 115:3). He spoke the universe into existence (Genesis 1:3). Furthermore, He answers to no one as to His plans and purposes: “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35).

When we see God as the Almighty, we are struck by His power and by the fact that He is indeed a great, mighty, and awesome God (Deuteronomy 10:17). The identity of God as Almighty serves to establish the sense of awe and wonder we have toward Him and the realization that He is God above all things without limitation. This is important in view of how He is described next in the Bible. In Exodus 6:2-3, God said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” How is this significant? It is significant because God, whom we previously knew only as God Almighty, has now given a new, more personal and intimate name to Moses (and Israel). This desire on God’s part for a more personal relationship with mankind would culminate later when God Almighty sent His only Son to earth–God in flesh–to die on the cross so that a way for forgiveness of our sins could be provided. The fact that God Almighty would humble Himself in this way for us makes His name all the more remarkable.

Transliterations of other languages into our own mother tongue seeks an equivalent to the original language that the words were rendered.

This is well illustrated below:

Jesus’ name: So how do we say it? Ἰησοῦς‘ in Greek; in Classical Latin = Iesus; in  Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yehoshua (Yeh-HO-shoo-ah), which, over time, became contracted to Yeshua.

Some say, Jesus Christ which is Yeshua HaMashiach. Biblical Aramaic/Hebrew name יֵשׁוּעַ, Yēšūaʿ was common: the Hebrew Bible mentions several individuals with this name – while also using their full name Joshua.

Let’s not get trapped into Gnostic notions that says, that getting the right formula is vital. So that by invoking that ‘Name,’ we have special access or power to the hidden knowledge of the deity.

Freedom to choose:

It is not about who has got it right and who is wrong?

Let each one of us be persuaded in their own heart and mind –– we need to extend grace to those with whom we may differ in our interpretation of the Holy Names! We are standing on sacred ground when we come to how we say G_D’s holy, set-apart names.

Shalom!

_________________

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Roni & Elisheva Discussions: The Temple in the Gospel of Mark


The Author

Elisheva Mechanic

The Temple in the Gospel of Mark 

The Temple in the Gospel of Mark provides an introduction to the Gospel of Mark and to the religious world of second temple Judaism. It also helps us to understand one of the major themes running through Mark’s gospel. It looks specifically at the significance of the temple in the Gospel of Mark which takes us directly to the events of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. It also gives us some background knowledge of the temple. It is written from a historical and Biblical studies perspective. Each chapter has some questions at the end for the reader to reflect on. I have drawn on a wide range of sources. The book helps the reader to look at the story of Israel and how this impacts the Gospel of Mark. The word gospel is important to the life, Scriptures, and understanding of the church, not only at the time when the gospel was written but it also holds importance for the church of all time. Thus it is important for us today and we need to understand and interpret it for our own life and time. I have been interested in the theme of the temple and tabernacle in Scripture for many years. N. T. Wright’s books on second temple Judaism I found very helpful as I researched this topic. I searched in commentaries on Mark and found the arguments that went back and forth very challenging. There is nothing straightforward in interpreting Scripture. Looking at the way Jewish interpretation of Scripture often differs from the Christian approach helped to keep me firmly grounded in the Biblical texts both in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament. While many students do not engage with the extra-biblical non-canonical writings including the Pseudepigrapha, Josephus and the apocryphal writings, I have introduced some examples of these that help us to compare what they have to say with Scripture. Most important of all it is my hope that the reader will be drawn to a deeper understanding of why Jesus and his followers followed the new pathway that he pioneered.


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The Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets: background and fullfilment

by Jews for Jesus |September 01 2000

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Tekiah! Shevarim! Teruah! Tekia Gedolah!

As far back as I can recall the blowing of the Shofar was part and parcel of my life as a Jew growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was raised in a modern orthodox Jewish family.

We were alerted to the of the Fall Festivals with the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn). The blasts heard every year in the synagogue in the month of Tishrei. The Tekiah! Shevarim! Teruah! Tekia Gedolah! of Tishrei, variously falling in September or October.

It is known in the Bible as the Feast of Trumpets and more widely today as Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah, meaning “the head of the year” in Hebrew, and in English it is called the Jewish New Year. It is a cluster of three holy festivals that the Lord commanded the Jewish people to observe in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. (The reason it is known as the New Year even though it is the seventh month biblically is because there are several new years—religious, civil, and others.) The other two of the three festivals are called Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement (on Tishrei 10) and Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles (beginning on Tishrei 15). Besides announcing the beginning of Tishrei, the Feast of Trumpets also begins a 10-day of Days of Awe period known as the Yamim Nora’im, these fall between the Feast of Trumpets (New Year) and the Day of Atonement. Those 10 days are designated as a time for Jewish people to reflect on their personal relationships, with God and their fellow human beings. This is meant to lead to repentance from sin in anticipation of the latter day/end of days.

The Biblical Perspective of the Feast of Trumpets

In Leviticus 23:23-25 we are told of how God had intended the commandments concerning this festival to the related to and applied to our lives.

Leviticus 23:23-25:

The Festival of Trumpets

23 ‘The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’”

The day is to be a ‘commemoration/ memorial with “blast of trumpets.” A trumpet or shofar could be used to rouse people facing danger or war or to prepare for battle. This season in its modern context is speciffically understood as a call to repentance with the Day of Atonement as the culmination 10 days later.

In the declaration with the blowing of the shofar God presence with his people is being declared. The sound of a trumpet that causes the people to tremble. Rudolf Otto, in ‘The Idea of the Holy,’ speaks of a holy trembling and sense of awe in the ‘numinous’ presence of God.

In Exodus chapters 19 and 20 we are given an account of God’s appearance on Mount Sinai when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Exodus 19:4-6 and establishing God’s covenant with the nation of Israel. God manifested His presence in a fearful way with smoke, fire, and a cloud on Mount Sinai, along with the sound of a trumpets that causes the people to quake in awe and tembling.

Different kinds of trumpet blasts

When the trumpet sounded a long blast, they approach the mountain…. ‘On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.’ (Exodus 19:13, 16-19)

Mount Sinai is indelibly stamped on the memory of Israel. Therefore, at the Feast of Trumpets, when the shofar is sounded, the same words reminds Israel that they are a people under covenant are used from Exodus 20:18— the Jewish people are to recall their holy covenant, recalling their responsibilities to turn away from wrong doing, and repentance by making atonement.

What about the word commemorate spoken of in Leviticus serves both to remind Israel of the covenant with its need for repentance, but also to “remind” God of His covenant promises. These include his promise restore the people to himself when they repentant of their sins.

When Scripture speaks of God being “reminded” of his promises by “remembering,” that this will result in him taking decisive action. There is a two-fold implication involved:

1/ The Jewish people remembering their covenant relationship with God.

2/ God has promised to act and keep his covenant.

In addition, in Numbers 29:1Numbers 29:1-6 “to blow the trumpets” specifies the numerous sacrifices that were to take place on that day. With sacrifices being a central aspect in Israelite worship, in the present time we understand that this was to be a day of worship. The purpose of the sacrifices was to enable the priests on behalf of the people “to make atonement,” together with various other kinds of offerings to reinforce the main focus of repentance.

In the New Testament The Feast of Trumpets

Though the Feast of Trumpets is not mentioned in the New Testament, notwithstanding, Yom Kippur, is found in Acts 27:9:

“Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them.” Here the day is called by its prominent observance, fasting, and the context is that by that late in the season, ocean travel could be perilous. We can assume that Jews in the first century observed the Feast of Trumpets, but we are lacking details.

The blast of a trumpet summons our attention:

The “trumpet” announces the gathering together of God’s people

The importance of recognising that left to our own human devices, even with the best intentions in the world, we cannot save or deliver ourselves. It is only in and through the sacrifice that Yeshua/ Jesus made on calvary that anyone can be saved.

Hebrews 12:19 recalls the giving of the Torah Mount Sinai when “the sound of a trumpet” when the nation Israel recall the awesome presence of God on Mount Sinai. In conclusion, in Revelation trumpets are mentioned on several occasions. The way a voice sounded (1:10; 4:1) or blown by angels (chapters 8-9). Though none of these relate directly to the Feast of Trumpets, they indicate the significance of the blast of trumpets to gather the people and draw their attention to some special event. In the same way, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is meant to call the people of Israel, and all God’s covenant people to turn away from wrong doing at turn towards God in repentance and faith.

A Quest For The Jewish Jesus: Roni Mechanic's Quest For The Jewish Jesus

A Quest For The Jewish Jesus: Roni Mechanic’s Quest For The Jewish Jesus

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The Temple in the Gospel of Mark

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Don’t Eat That Hat: Rather Listen to the Truth: Some Things the Scriptures Doesn’t Say About the Jewish people – Discover the Truth!

LISTEN TO SOME THINGS THAT THE SCRIPTURES

DOESN’T SAY ABOUT THE JEWS

Listen to Shalom Radio UK –– Don’t Eat That Hat: Rather Listen to the Truth:

10 Things the Scriptures Doesn’t Say About the Jewish people

This is a very challenging time for Jewish people with the continued accusation that they are guilty and responsible for the many ills that we face in the world today. Anti-Semitism is as alive today as it ever has been: Why you may ask?

1/ Jews reject Jesus, and the Jews killed Christ, 

2/ Jews are the enemies of Christians,

3/ Jews are the enemies of God, 

4/ Jews are in league with the devil, 

5/ Jews belong to the synagogue of Satan, 

6/ Jews are an accursed people, 

7/ the Jews are beyond redemption, 

8/ warn Christians to beware of them, because the Jews are a malignant cancerous disease to be eschewed, 

9/ Old Israel has been rejected ––Marcionite heresy, 

10/ Christians–they are the New Israel of God, and the church has replaced and superseded the Jews, and the Christians are the true Israelitic people. 

DON’T EAT THATHAT –– RATHER LISTEN TO THE TRUTH

So what does the Scriptures say about the Jewish people? This is a multifaceted issue considering that salvation is of the Jews! They gave us the Scriptures, the People of God, the prophets, priests and kings –– Chosen People.

Both the Hebrew Scriptures (OT) and the New Testament was written by them, including Luke’s Gospel – Luke was a Jew and not a Gentile as some like to claim. Jesus and all his first disciples were all Jewish. I have not made this up –– check it out for yourself. Why then this ‘great hatred,’ of the Jews? As Maurice Samuels said, it is a hatred of God, and also a hatred of Jesus Christ, the greatest Jew that ever lived – Satan hates his kith and kin, the Jews. This is one of the fundamental underlying root causes of all the troubles that have plagued the Jews since their inception. And nothing has changed –– it just takes on different forms and manifestations. If you understand this, then nothing to do with Jew-hated should come as a surprise.

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Gott Lieben Lernen: Eine Einführung in Christliche Spiritualität

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A Quest For The Jewish Jesus: Roni Mechanic's Quest For The Jewish Jesus

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DIE SUCHE NACH DEM JÜDISCHEN JESUS: "WAS SAGST DU, WER ICH BIN?'

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Baruch Mayan – Israeli Artist – His Journey to Faith

An apology:

Concerning the recording quality – due to technical issues, I have had to do extensive editing, and this includes Baruch’s voice – hope you enjoy listening – Shalom Radio UK

– Israeli fine artist –
Baruch Maayan

Baruch Maayan developed a love for fine art at a young age when he drew his friends and teachers in the classroom and illustrated the stories they heard, this was as early as 2nd grade.

By 7th grade everyone knew he would be an artist. He loved to experiment with different media whether clay, stone or carving wood or mixing mediums. Always drawing and illustrating, finding  expression in the human form and also discovering a gift for portraiture and bringing out character. It was only in his early teens that he found expression with the brush and colour. Baruch believed that a gift of craftsmanship was something that had to be cultivated and pursued whether it be writing, drawing, painting or sculpting.  He continued to learn techniques and other skills in painting, carving stone, largely from studying Michelangelo’s unfinished work . Making moulds and bronze sculptures from Rodin and other Artisans as well as in the Technicon where he was to Mayor in Sculpture. However he was unable to complete his degree due to a radical epiphany where he had a very real personal encounter with Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah while doing a 7 day blindfold experiment in the Clay sculpture studio. For a while he laid down his gift as meaningless, as if his whole life’s thrust had been useless, vanities; even, at the time, giving up on all commissions and jobs involving art which he had been doing to help with daily living.

A year or so later, during school holidays, Baruch was helping young kids in the inner city. Playing games and telling them stories in the park. It began to rain and they had to find shelter in the Church. Baruch not knowing what to do found some boards and coloured paper and quickly drew some Bible stories on the boards and had the kids fill in the spaces with the coloured paper while he told the stories to them. He went outside and wept realising that God could use the gift.. He has since been encouraged by the scripture: “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.”” – Exodus 31:1-3

Baruch began to see his work as a type of tent making blessing. In 1999, Baruch and his wife, Karen, made Aliyah from South Africa. After spending a year in Safed where he had a gallery and studio Baruch began to serve with the Messianic leadership in the Land and after three years in Tel Aviv, planted a community of believers in the desert. Baruch has been involved with the prophetic and prayer movement of the Isaiah 19:23-25 vision for Israel and her Middle Eastern neighbours. Through his service of planting and encouraging communities of believers, {in Israel and among the nations) Baruch continues to be inspired by the word of God and this is evident in his artwork.

Baruch has become known in Israel as the Hotel Gilgal artist where many of his works are on display for all of the guests to see and admire. He has made several large bronze sculptures depicting scenes and heroes from the bible as well as several series of large paintings and a number of Mosaics

Baruch continues to work with the messianic community and produce Art. He has recently written and produced his own music album and plays in a band with other Israeli Messianic musicians. Baruch and Karen have raised five amazing children in the Land to the glory and praise of God.

I mention the work of these three artists in the programme: Chagall – Christ; Bacon – Pope Pious X; Castle – Christ

Baruch Ma’ayan shares his story

Follow Baruach’s blog:

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THATHAT: Don’t Eat That Hat – Rather Listen To The Truth!

THATHAT: Don’t Eat Your Hat Rather Listen to the Truth!

The Scripture says,”The truth will set you free, and you will be free indeed.” God wants us to be free to choose to love and serve him. We must always make our choices freely and never under compulsion, duress, out of fear, but because we have become persuaded.

The truth according to the Gospel must be the basis of our faith. Let’s explore what is meant concerning the ‘truth,’ as contained in the Gospel –– Good News for all humankind and that must include all who call upon the name of the Lord for his gift of salvation.

Why do some declare there are many different ways to be delivered –– can this be the case? According to the Tanach –– Hebrew Scriptures together with the New Covenant Scriptures, ‘God has become our Salvation!’ In Isaiah 53:1-12, we are painted a portrait of the Suffering Servant of the LORD –– Adoni. Notwithstanding, while the Servant of the LORD secures our redemption through his self-offering, is only the beginning of our being delivered/saved. Ray Shaul/ Apostle Paul, tells us that we are being saved –– for the process of our being delivered takes a lifetime.

Please Note: All recorded music on this programme is from Open Domain and is Copyright Free!

Acts 2:17, NIV: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.’

I have a dream that God’s plan of Salvation is for all who call upon the Name of Yeshua!

I have a Dream – Martin Luther King Jr.

Isaiah 53 New International Version

Isaiah 53: Who has believed our message
    and to has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

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MaxRon Discussions: Signs of the Times – Wars and Rumours of Wars

Signs of the Times – Wars and Rumours of Wars…

Matthew 24:6:

New International Version
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

New Living Translation
And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.

Russian-Ukraine War This current war is uppermost in our minds –– Speaking about some of the details…

IT is now nearly five weeks since Vladimir Putin started his wicked war with Ukraine. And he is losing.

His best troops are being defeated and his young conscripts are dying in large numbers — 16,000, we are told — at the hands of hard-fighting Ukrainian troops.

Plus, the countless Ukrainians who have been killed, injured and displaced!

What about other forgotten wars… It is a bit hypocritical to only focus on this latest current war.

•What causes wars? •Is War ever justified? •Biblical wars… •Life changing and defining wars •Augustine’s Just War theology… •The Last Great Biblical War in Prophecy… •The End of War? Is that possible?…

An Abstract

St. Augustine’s just war theory – It involves eight principal elements: • 1/ a punitive conception of war, • 2/ assessment of the evil of war in terms of the moral evil of attitudes and desires, • 3/ a search for authorisation for the use of violence, • 4/ a dualistic epistemology which gives priority to spiritual goods,

[“epistemology” > the theory of knowledge epistemology, the philosophical study of the nature, origin, and limits of human knowledge. The term is derived from the Greek epistēmē (“knowledge”) and logos (“reason”), and accordingly the field is sometimes referred to as the theory of knowledge].

• 5/ interpretation of evangelical norms in terms of inner attitudes, • 6/ passive attitude to authority and social change, • 7/ use of Biblical texts to legitimate participation in war, and • 8/ an analogical conception of peace. It does not include non-combatant immunity or conscientious objection. A contemporary assessment of the elements is offered.

Just war theory

[From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopaedia]

Just war theory (Latin: bellum iustum)[1][2] is a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics which is studied by military leaders, theologians, ethicists and policy makers. The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure that a war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. The criteria are split into two groups: “right to go to war” (jus ad bellum) and “right conduct in war” (jus in bello). The first group of criteria concerns the morality of going to war, and the second group of criteria concerns the moral conduct within war.[3] There have been calls for the inclusion of a third category of just war theory (jus post bellum) dealing with the morality of post-war settlement and reconstruction. The just war theory postulates the belief that war, while it is terrible but less so with the right conduct, is not always the worst option. Important responsibilities, undesirable outcomes, or preventable atrocities may justify war.[3] Opponents of the just war theory may either be inclined to a stricter pacifist standard (which proposes that there has never been nor can there ever be a justifiable basis for war) or they may be inclined toward a more permissive nationalist standard (which proposes that a war only needs to serve a nation’s interests to be justifiable). In many cases, philosophers state that individuals do not need to be plagued by a guilty conscience if they are required to fight. A few philosophers ennoble the virtues of the soldier while they also declare their apprehensions for war itself.[4] A few, such as Rousseau, argue for insurrection against oppressive rule.

The historical aspect, or the “just war tradition”, deals with the historical body of rules or agreements that have applied in various wars across the ages. The just war tradition also considers the writings of various philosophers and lawyers through history, and examines both their philosophical visions of war’s ethical limits and whether their thoughts have contributed to the body of conventions that have evolved to guide war and warfare.[5]

The Last Great Biblical War in Prophecy…

Armageddon

Albert Durer’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)

According to the Book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Christian BibleArmageddon (/ˌɑːrməˈɡɛdən/, from Ancient Greek: Ἁρμαγεδών Harmagedōn,[1][2] Late LatinArmagedōn,[3] from Hebrew: הַר מְגִדּוֹ‎ Har Məgīddō) is the prophesied location of a gathering of armies for a battle during the end times, which is variously interpreted as either a literal or a symbolic location. The term is also used in a generic sense to refer to any end of the world scenario. In Islamic theology, the Armageddon is also mentioned in Hadith as the Greatest Armageddon or Al-Malhama Al-Kubra (the great battle).[4]

The “mount” of Megiddo in northern Israel is not actually a mountain, but a tell (a mound or hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot)[5] on which ancient forts were built to guard the Via Maris, an ancient trade route linking Egypt with the northern empires of SyriaAnatolia and Mesopotamia. Megiddo was the location of various ancient battles, including one in the 15th century BC and one in 609 BC. The nearby modern Megiddo is a kibbutz in the Kishon River area.[6]

The End of War? Is that possible?…Some are holding to the belief that the Ukraine war led by Vladimir Putin is the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy –– Is there any justification for holding to such theories? History is littered with religious sects and sub-sects in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism that have all had groups that have attempted to convince folk that the end of the world is neigh!

Don’t be deceived…

New Living Translation
And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately

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Max discusses. the End Time Wars of the Bible his book:

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THATHAT: STRAIGHT TALKING – YESHUA’S LOVE!

Straight Talking: Yeshua’s Love

Different Kinds of Love Explored – Divine Love is that Pure Love of God as manifested in an through the Life of Yeshua – listen and enjoy!

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