Conversation with a Religious Jew (a former messianic)

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Religious Jew

This conversation with a religious Jew started from his (KO) response to my testimony video:

KO

It greatly saddens me to see my fellow Jews fall for the trap of Christianity. Please consider something. why did so many of our people choose to die than accept Jesus/Yeshua?

Ayelet

It greatly saddens me to see my fellow Jews not seeing the truth that is right in front of them. Christianity is not a trap, but the only way to a real and eternal relationship with our God, our heavenly Abba. Salvation is not by works, but only by the grace of God. No one can be good enough to deserve God’s grace. It is a gift, made available to us by God. A gift of redemption; a gift of salvation. All we need to “do” is accept it. Read the Bible with an open heart and God will speak to you. Yeshua (Jesus) was (and is) THE Jewish Messiah who came down to earth to the Jews FIRST. He did not come to start a new religion, but to bring us all closer to God and to each other. “Christianity” comes from the Greek word “Christ” which means “Messiah”. A true “Christian” is someone who follows the JEWISH Messiah.

Consider this: Yeshua said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but through me” (John 14:6). This statement is either true or false – Study and find out for your self. Also, read Isaiah 53 with an open mind and an open heart (“The Forbidden Chapter”). Isaiah 53 is called the “forbidden chapter” because it is skipped and not read in synagogues as part of the weekly Shabbat readings. Why do you think that is?

To answer your question “Why did so many of our people choose to die than accept Jesus/Yeshua? I would say that unfortunately they did not know any better and wrongly assumed that Jesus was represented by the Nazis for example, who obviously did not understand who Jesus was and His message of peace and love. People who twist Yeshua’s message to fit their own agenda, give a bad name to Christianity and to Yeshua. This is all the work of Satan who wants nothing more than to sabotage God’s plan.

Also, I would point out that MANY Jews, including all the writers of the New Testament (except for John), were persecuted, severely tortured and died FOR their faith in Yeshua. If they KNEW that the NT is one big fat lie, and that Yeshua was nothing but a man, WHY ON EARTH would they die for a lie if they KNEW it was all a lie?? Would you die for a lie knowing it is a lie?

KO

People believe in a lot of stuff… radical Muslims who are suicide bombers die for what they believe. In fact during the inquisition we Jews were tortured and murdered when we did not accept Jesus. Why would we reject what is true? Please understand why I am talking about this with you. I care about what happens to you for worshiping a created being. (Yes, Jesus is created he was born on earth)

Ayelet

That is true. Many people die for what they believe. The question is how do we know that what we believe is TRUE? Not just true for me or true for you, but true for ALL? Honestly, we don’t know if all those radicals really take their time to truly EXAMINE their faith, or are they just going with the flow of their environment? I believe that the unexamined faith is not worth believing… We reject what is true because our EGO gets in the way. We want to be in control, rather give God the control. The point here is dying for a lie, while you KNOW it is a lie! Who would do that???

KO

Yea dying for what you know is a lie is stupid. But if you believe in something so strongly you could believe anything is true. In the account of the resurrection Jesus was mistaken for the Gardner. He could have been coning a lot of people.

Ayelet

Believing does not MAKE things true! Things are either true or they are not… We cannot change what is already true, otherwise, it was never true to begin with…

Jesus died on the cross and was put in a tomb. His disciples did not expect to see Him again, but it didn’t take them long to recognize Him for who He really was. Why Mary Magdalene thought He was the gardener, could simply be explained by the possible far distance she was from Him, and/or early morning lighting conditions and of course the fact that she did not expect to see Him.

KO

Why would our G-d who gave us the revelation on Mt. Sinai then get upset and send us to burn in “Hell” for rejecting Jesus/Yeshua. Seems like a mean prank to me.

You still cannot prove Christianity is true. How does it make the world a better place? If anything it really caused more problems in the world. Now I know you may say that true followers of Jesus/Yeshua would not do what has been done in his name. I am going to go by what the Tanakh says… When the Moshiach comes we will all know who he is, there will be no more war, we Jews will be back in Israel, and all the world will worship HaShem.

Ayelet

God does not send us to hell. WE send ourselves to hell, by CHOOSING to deny God. God created us with the will to choose. We can choose to love Him or deny Him. God’s upset is when we deny Him. I don’t know if you are a parent, but parents get very upset when their kids disobey them and get in trouble. Do they help them, of course, but sometimes it is out of their control. God does not want to control us. He wants us to choose right – to choose HIM! He doesn’t want us to be robots.

Look at Isaiah 52-53 again with an open mind. IT IS TALKING ABOUT THE MESSIAH! And clearly says that He will come TWICE – Once as a suffering servant and the second as a victorious king. Yeshua WILL come again! Are you ready for Him??? I recommend for you to check out the work of Lee Strobel: “The Case for Christianity”, “The Case for Christ” and “The Case for Faith” – Great work available in book or DVD form (can get it on Netflix too) I’ll be praying for you!

The first coming was for PERSONAL peace and the second coming will be for WORLD peace.

KO

I have read them multipule times…it is NOT speaking of Messiah….

Ayelet

Then explain to me how verses 6, 7, 8 & 10 of Isaiah 53 are speaking about national Israel??? Also, keep in mind that the rabbinic thought up until Rashi, was that Isaiah 53 IS indeed Messianic (Zohar, Midrash and other writings) The Targum explicitly teaches that the whole chapter of Isaiah 53 refers to the Messiah! You chose who and what you want to believe.

Read Zachariah 14 – It is yet in the future!

And also Jeremiah 23:4-5

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

KO

Consider what you are saying. Is Rashi, Rambam, Ramban ect now buring in hell because they did not accept Jesus? Are our people who were murdered in the Holocaust now in hell but the Nazis if they repented and accepted Jesus now in Heaven? Isaiah 53 is NOT forbidden if it was do you not think our Rabbis would have had it removed from the Tanakh? You can buy any Tanakh open it up and read Isaiah 53. I used to be messianic until I reread our Tanakh. Please re consider everything with an open mind!

Ayelet

Ok. So who do you think Isaiah 53 is talking about?

KO

The Gentile Kings are speaking of the Nation of Israel in Isaiah 53. Israel is clearly identified as the servant in Isaiah 49:3

We dont “skip” Isaiah 53 in the Haftorah readings in the Synagogue on Shabbos. Isaiah 53 was not selected because to share no theme in the Torah when it became illegal for our people to study Torah. We also don’t read Isaiah 3, 13, 23, or 33. But we DO read Isaiah 9:5-6 and if I recall missionaries use this text on us Jews.

Also we don’t read the Prophets like we do the Torah in the idea of reading the whole section of the prophets like we start in Genesis 1 and go to the end of Deut. The Rabbis had us read the Haftorah because of a loophole the Greeks made to not study Torah. The Rabbis looked for similar themes that go along with the Torah so it would not be forgotten.

Ayelet

You might want to check the earliest traditional Jewish sources (like Targum, Talmud, Sa’adiah Gaon and several others) that virtually without exception, interprets Isaiah 52:13-53:12 with reference to an individual, or to the Messiah. Even the followers of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson had no problem applying the prophecy to him as an individual, in keeping with the most Jewish traditions. (see Brown L. Michael, “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus”, Vol. 3, pg. 49-61)

Isaiah 49:3 is actually speaking of an individual WITHIN the nation on Israel. The reference to the servant as a people, actually ends with Isaiah 48:20. See pg. 44 in Dr. Brown’s book that I have mentioned below regarding Is. 49:3

I highly encourage you to check out Dr. Michael L. Brown material. His book series on “Answering Jewish Objections” is excellent! Also, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum has great resources. Keep in mind that the Word of God is superior to any human interpretations. Read the Word, straight out of the Tanach, and let God speak to you. There are no contradictions in God’s Word, only in the interpretations… Don’t try to fit the Word into your own agenda, but try to fit your agenda into the Word. And of course, PRAY and ask God to reveal HIS truth to you!

KO

I have read Dr Brown’s work. I do believe the Word of G-d is superior however the way the messianics are interpreting them does NOT mean it is talking about Jesus. I would also suggest you look at Tovia Singer’s work “lets get biblical”. I know the Tanakh has no contradictions but the New Testament is full of them.

Ayelet

How long have you been a Messianic and what was it that made you stop following Yeshua?

KO

I was one for 3yrs. I found too many inconsistencies and contradictions of the Tanakh in the New Testament.

Ayelet

So today, what is your assurance for your salvation? What happens when you die?

KO

I believe that I am judged on my deeds. G-d gave the world a DOABLE higher standard that sperates us from the animals. I will be judged by G-d alone and I will reap the bliss my actions caused here on earth.

Ayelet

How can you ever know that you have done enough good deeds to “earn” your salvation? No one can ever do enough to meet God’s Holy standards! That is why God, in His love for us, sent Yeshua to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. We cannot earn our salvation through our “good deeds”, but only through faith in God and His plan for us. With all the respect for rabbinic writings and thought, it is all men’s interpretations and human additions to God’s Word.

KO

Sooo Gandhi, Anne frank, Elie Weisel and his father and many other good people are going to burn in hell. But Hitler (if he accepted Jesus) is now in heaven?

Ayelet

I know, it’s hard to accept that good people go to hell and bad people go to heaven. But according to God’s plan and according to His Word, our entrance to haven does not depends on our “goodness” but on whether or not we truly accepted HIM as our God, as our Lord. Whether or not we truly trusted Him for our salvation and accepted that we can NOT get there on our own. There are at least 100 prophecies in the Tanach that were fulfilled by Yeshua. Did you study them as a Messianic?

The bottom line is that only God judges at the end. I don’t know what was in the heart of all these good people. God is just, loving and forgiving. His forgiveness is so much more than we can ever grasp, that yes, the worst people can end up in heaven IF they truly repented in their hearts and accepted Yeshua as their Messiah and Lord. Salvation IS by faith. As for Hitler, since he killed himself, I don’t think he will be in heaven. If he repented, he should not have killed himself.

KO

I did indeed study them but I found verses believed to be speaking of Jesus were taken out of context or the prophecy did not come to pass yet

Ayelet

Can you give me a couple of examples for New Testament contradictions? I am somewhat familiar with Tovia Singer’s work but will look it up…

KO

It will be an unending dialogue between us if we keep showing each other scripture because we both feel we are right but the other is wrong. I think you should re open the case and start reading the Tanakah with an open mind. I am saying all these things because you are a Jew and I care when one of my people does these kinds of things.

Ayelet

I am always open and interested to learn the truth. I also care very much about my fellow Jews, who might be missing the truth… (no offense, just saying…) You are right… it could be an un-ending debate but at the end, assuming there IS ultimate and absolute truth that was established by our one true God, only one of us can be right… (-:

KO

I would not call it a debate. We don’t have a mediator.

Verses are made up such as Matt 2:23, taken out of context Matthew 2:13-15 (compare with Hosea 11:1) Matthew 1 and Luke 3 contradict the names in 1 Chronicles chapters 1-3. Miss use of words Isaiah 7:14 the miss use of HaAlmah and Betulah in Matt 1:20-23.

Ayelet

Matthew 2:23: The word “Nazarene” in Jesus’ time, while still literally referring to someone from Nazareth, had become more or less a synonym for despised. The verse could be paraphrased, for the purpose of this discussion, in the following way: ‘…he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be despised and referred to contemptuously”

Matthew 2:13-15 is a parallel – As God brought Israel out of Egypt in its infancy, He did the same with Yeshua in His infancy.

KO

Why are you so sure it is speaking of Yeshua? There are plenty I am sure who fled to Egypt.

Ayelet

Obviously, Matthew is speaking of Yeshua, who is the central and main character of his gospel and of the entire New Testament.

KO

If we were to go to the day before Yeshua was born, and we asked whom Hosea 11:1 was talking about what kind of answer do you think you would get?

Ayelet

National Israel of course. As I said, Matthew 2:13-15 is a PARALLEL to Hosea 11:1. Just as it happened to Israel, God’s national “son”, so also it happened to Jesus, God’s Messianic Son, and the ideal representative of the nation. Both were called out of Egypt in their childhood.

As for the genealogy of Yeshua, Dr. Michael Brown does a great job in addressing the so called “contradictions” in his book “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Vol. 4 pg. 76-83.

As for Isaiah 7:14: There are several places in the Tanach when “Almah” (a young, unmarried woman) is used in reference to a virgin. The word is used seven times in the Tanach to describe un-married women who were virgins (Gen.24:43; Ex. 2:8; Psalm 68:25; Song of Songs 1:3 & 6:8; Prov. 30:18-19 (in contrast to vs. 20) and Isaiah 7:14.)

KO

I pray you will see G-ds word and come back to Judaism.

Ayelet

I NEVER left Judaism, rather, I have found completion in my faith. I was born a Jew, and will always remain a Jew. Following the Jewish Messiah is the most Jewish thing to do…

KO

To be honest I do not see how worshiping a man who many claim is G-d is a very Jewish thing to do. The children of Israel who built and worshiped the golden calf I am sure said “we are only worshiping Ha’Shem” but it was NOT a very Jewish thing to do.

Ayelet

I do not worship the “man” Yeshua, but the God (Ha’Shaem) that He represents. Yeshua IS our God in the flesh. He is not separate from God, but is ONE with God. Do you not think God can do that? Also, the children of Israel, clearly built the golden calf so they have ANOTHER god to worship. They lost their faith in Ha’Shem and I am sure they did not refer to the golden calf as “Ha’Shem”… Either way, they ended up burning in flames and buried under ground.

KO

You are still saying “but the God (Ha’Shaem) that He represents. Yeshua IS our God in the flesh”. The ones who built the calf still said “we are still worshiping 1 god” we are told in the “Ten statements” not to worship false gods. Jesus is not the one who took us out of Egypt. I refuse to bow down to him again. Please ask yourself the question” why did so many Jews prefer to die than accept Jesus”

Tell me something where does it say in the Torah or could be implied that we must believe in the Moshiach when he comes.

Ayelet

The anticipation for the Messiah who was promised by God and the desire to be closer to God, is very clear from Genesis 3 and throughout the Tanach. If God promised that He will send a Messiah to save His people and ultimately, the entire human race, He will keep His promise. As a Jew, why would you not believe God’s promise? Those who doubted God, ended up with a curse, disease and death.

KO

The Messiah will NOT save the world. We must fix the world before the Messiah can come. G-d will not send a heavenly copout when he gave us a very specific mission in this world to make it a better place. I believe the Messiah is coming but he will come when we have earned him.

Ayelet

Sorry, I think that only GOD has the power to fix the world, which HE created. The Messiah has come and will come again, all in God’s timing and according to God’s will and plan. We can never “earn” salvation, we can never do enough “good”. And as for our calling, our calling is to FOLLOW HIM by faith, to KNOW God and to make Him known! And by doing so, we can be a light to the world.

Being Jewish is a responsibility that can only be fulfilled through a living relationship with the God who created the Jewish people. It is a responsibility that can only be fulfilled through receiving and giving His light.

KO

Exactly and we do NOT need a mangod. We Jews are meant to be a light to the nations and spread ethical monotheism to the world.

So what was the point of G-d giving the Torah if it was not to fix the world and to be lights to the goyim?

Ayelet

To POINT us to our sinful nature and our need for a savior! To show us that we can NEVER be good enough in God’s holy standards. Once we recognize that, only than, we can be a light to the goyim, who are in need of the exact same savior!

KO

That is one crule god you worship…
Think back to when you were 5. What if your Father ordered you to flap your arms to fly to the moon to get cheese KNOWING you can’t do it. But he said fly there and back in 1 hour if you don’t I will beat you and keep doing it until you do. You then break down sobbing saying “I CAN’T do it!” you Father then says “exactly! I wanted to show you you can’t!” I do not know about you but if that happened to me I would hate my father.

Ayelet

That is exactly what many people in our world are trying to do since our creation – “flap their arms to get to the moon”, THINKING they can actually do it on their own. People forgot who is in-charge here. I don’t think that God is cruel. God is a loving God. He knows you and me, and our sinful nature. He wants us to be with Him but He wants us to CHOSE to be with Him. What about the 613 commandments in the Torah? If you broke one, you broke them all, right?

What is your explanation for the purpose of the Torah? Why would “your” God give you a set of commends so tedious that you can never fully keep?

KO

They are NOT tedious or impossible to keep. They keep us on track. We Humans need structure in our lives. Torah is ment to make the world a better place. Avraham for example did this and brought many to the realization of true monotheism. We do not need a god-man who came to earth to be a copout of our mission. I am sad as my fellow Jew we don’t see eye to eye but maybe you had a misunderstanding of Judaism growing up. (I am just saying)

Ayelet

Why is it that the Jews, throughout the Tanach and especially in the Torah, repeatedly disobeyed God, turned their backs on Him, worshiped idols, etc. Despite the obvious presence of God? The smoke, the fire, the parting of the red sea, the victories, all were not enough??? What will it take for the Jews to fully trust God? God should have been done with us long time ago, yet, in His love, He comes down to earth in human flesh to redeem us and bring us to Him.

“The facts of history are against you. As a nation, we have never kept the Torah, consistently breaking even the most fundamental laws and commands, and if you’e honest, you’ll have to admit that it’s true even in your own life, at least on some level. We all fall short!” (Dr. Michael L. Brown)

God gave the law to Moses, and not one person has been able to obey it completely – not one. Psalm 14:3, 53:3

Let’s face it, 99% of the so called “laws” you are keeping today, are man made and have nothing to do with God’s original commandments. Not to mention that the majority of the 613 commandments in the Torah, are impossible to keep since the distraction of the temple in 70 AD. The rabbis over the centuries, modified and added to the law, so it “fits” the times…

Would you say that you keep ALL the law in the Torah? God commanded us to keep all those laws. Yeshua simply gave a way to obey the whole law by accepting Him. We have absolutely no way to keep the whole law without Yeshua.

God Himself gave himself to the cruel actions of men and let them kill him – even His own – for their sake and the sake of the world. He takes the penalty for our sin. He stands in our place where we would be judged (by this cruel god). This is in stark contrast to what God required in the Tanakh.

KO

We have Teshuah and trying to get back on the right path. The Christian god is cruel because he gave a law saying we can do it but then says “oh I was only showing that you cant do it” I don’t want to worship a cruel god like that.

There are some commandments we can’t do at this point because we do not have a temple but it is put on hold until we are able to once again do them. We are also currently in exile so commandments that apply only in the land of Israel cant be done at this point.

This is ridicules… “put on hold”? Where did GOD say to put any of His commandments on “hold”? Plenty of religious Jews live in Israel (not in exile) and cannot keep the commandments! And what about the blood sacrifices? How do you truly get atonement for your on-going sins??? Where in the Tanach did God say there is no more need for blood sacrifices as atonement for sin? Do you sacrifice your best animal every day? I don’t think so. So what is your assurance for heaven???

God IN HIS LOVE for us, came down to earth as Yeshua to be the perfect and eternal sacrifice for our sins. It is the ONLY way to God and the ONLY way to heaven. Stop following man made laws and man made writings, but follow God’s unchangeable and eternal Word. With all the respect, the rabbis’ hearts are hardened, their eyes are shot. Don’t fall into THAT trap!

KO

Just because there are ONLY 6 million Jews in Israel does NOT mean the exile is over. The majority of Jews today are not religious at all it is a very small minority. Blood sacrifice ONLY covered unintentional sins Lev 4:1-2. Intentional requires teshuavah. Try reading II Samuel 12:13, Pslams 51:16-19, I Samuel 15:22, Michah 6:6-8, Hosea 14:2-3, I Kings 8:46-50, and Ezekiel 18:1-4, 19-23.

Ayelet

Leviticus 16:16; 17:11; 5:5-10 and many more…

God gave the Law in order to show the whole world, that they have sinned and that their actions are held accountable to God. God knew that no one would be able to keep the Law, so He did not give the Law so that we might keep it, but rather so we will know what sin is. How else would you recognize sin outside of the Law? Outside of God’s standards of right and wrong? God is NOT cruel. He is a LOVING God that wants to save us from our sin. Something we can NEVER do on our own!

God didn’t give the law just so we would disobey it and then need a savior. That really would be cruel. Scripture is clear; God gave the law to show us what He already knew, that we are sinners. Because God is perfectly just He cannot allow sinners in His presence. If we didn’t have the law, we would still be condemned we just wouldn’t know why.

In God’s grace he showed us the truth about ourselves so that we would realize our need for a savior. Remember, claiming ignorance does not excuse us from judgment. Thank God He showed us the truth about ourselves and then made a way to be justified and thus fulfill the law. Yeshua came to FULFILL the law not abolish it!

So how did the Gentiles come to recognize their sinful nature and need for a savior if the Law was given to the Jews? THROUGH THOSE JEWS who recognized it and accepted Yeshua! (the writers of the New Testament for example…)

KO

I will continue praying for you that you come back to our people. May this Shabbos your eyes be opened and Worship HaShem once again in truth.

Ayelet

Just curious, what brought you to Yeshua in the first place? Were you religious before you became Messianic?

KO

I was reform. However it played no role in my life. I was dating a Christian woman who wanted to see me accept Jesus. I was lead to a ‘Messianic” church and I felt it was so Jewish and because of my lack of Jewish education and community I fell into the trap.

Ayelet

Sounds like you did it to please your girlfriend at the time, not really led by your own heart… I’m just saying… it makes all the difference! Did you actually accepted Yeshua into your heart at the time? Did you pray the “salvation prayer”? Were you baptized?

KO

I did indeed get baptized, and I did accept him. The relationship did not last but it was not to please anyone. I honestly felt Yeshua was it. I evangelized, I did bible study, I shared my story. I accepted him on Yom Kippur in 2008.

Ayelet

Wow! Sounds like the real deal… So what was the turning point?