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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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The Lubavich Foundation - an open letter

T

Sunday evening - the week before Rosh ha Shanah. The congregation at an

evangelical church meets an Orthodox Jewish man belonging to Lubavitch

outside its premises. He asks 'Is anyone in here Jewish?' He is told there

are Jewish people there, so he invites them to go over the road and hear the

shofar being blown.

 

After blowing the shofar he gives an explanation of the significance of the

Jewish holidays - and says that believing in Jesus is an act of betrayal for

Jewish people. He passes on a pamphlet 'Your Tishrei Guide' explaining the

significance of the Yom Tovim. In this pamphlet members of the congregation

are interested to read the following statement concerning the first ten days

of Tishrei, known as the 'Ten Days of Teshuvah':

 

'Teshuvah - frequently translated as repentance - actually means returning.

Judaism emphasizes that our essential nature - the Divine spark of the

soul - is good. True repentance is best achieved not through harsh

self-condemnation, but through the realisation that our deepest desire is to

do good, in accordance with the will of G-d.'

 

So is our essential nature good? Do we have the spark of divinity within us?

Is our deepest desire to do good? According to the Bible:

 

'The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can

know it?' Jeremiah 17.9

 

'Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me.'

Tehilim 51.5

 

'There is not a just man on the earth who does good and does not sin.'

Kohelet 7.20

 

All of the Bible characters, including the heroes of the faith, Abraham,

Moshe, David, have actions recorded which testify to the sin nature which we

all receive. Isaiah put it this way:

 

'All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own

way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.' Isaiah 53.6

 

We try to be religious and keep G-d's laws but we all fail, no matter what

faith we are born into. If we think we succeed we usually end up as

self-righteous hypocrites who everyone else can see through except

ourselves. Our world suffers from the sins of the ung-dly and from the sins

of those who think they are g-dly.

 

The pamphlet which was given to our member concluded with a message from the

late Lubavitcher Rebbe:

 

'Pure, unconditional simchah - the joy that emerges from deep within the

soul - can move mountains. … The transforming power of joy extends not just

to the individual, but to society at large. Pure simchah can change the

world. This the happiest time of the Jewish year, is an opportunity for us

to vanquish all the negativity of the world around us, by rejoicing together.

The pure joy we experience on Succoth and Simchat Torah will

inspire us to serve G-d with joy throughout the year. May the cumulative

effect of our mitzvahs and our simchah bring about the ultimate

transformation when we rejoice together with Moshiach in the true and

complete redemption.'

 

On Rosh ha Shanah 2000 the Palestinian Intifada began in Yerushalayim.

Instead of joy there was conflict, death and destruction. The hopes of peace

between Israel and the Palestinians were shot down in the frenzy of hatred

directed against Jewish people even by little children who are being taught

to hate and kill Jews in order to achieve their redemption as Muslims. The

evidence is plain to all who can see that the collective problem of humanity

remains that our essential nature is not good but that within us all there

dwells a sinful human heart at war with G-d.

 

The direction the whole human race is now travelling in is towards the final

expression of this sinful human nature, which the prophets foretold:

 

'And there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a

nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered,

everyone found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust

of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and

everlasting contempt.' Daniel 12.1-2

 

Tehilim 83 describes how the nations around Israel will join together in a

conspiracy with one aim: 'Come and let us cut them off from being a nation

that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.' Ezekiel 38-39 describes

the War of Gog and Magog, an alliance of nations coming against 'the

mountains of Israel' in the latter days. Zechariah 12-14 prophesies that the

nations of the world will come against Yerushalayim, which is described as

the 'burdensome stone for all peoples'. Isn't it amazing that the 'peace

process' broke down over the status of Jerusalem, and that the surrounding

nations' real agenda - to eliminate Israel - is daily becoming more apparent?

 

Zechariah 12.10 reveals that one is coming to save Israel in this time of

crisis. Significantly he is described as one who has been 'pierced'. 500

years after this prophecy of the Messiah was written, crucifixion became the

method by which Jewish people were put to death under the Roman Empire. The

one who came to be 'pierced' by crucifixion is also coming again to save

Israel at the end of days. He is also the one of whom Isaiah wrote in the

quote from Isaiah 53 above.

 

The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all

 

This is an exact parallel to what took place on Yom Kippur in the days of

the Bible. In those days the High Priest would sacrifice the goat for the

Lord in the Holy of Holies and let the scapegoat go into the wilderness to

carry away the sins of the people. According to Leviticus 17.11: 'The life

of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you upon the altar to

make atonement for your souls. It is the blood that makes atonement for the

soul.' The principle through we which we receive atonement is that we repent

of our sins and trust in the blood of the sacrifice which G-d has appointed.

The New Covenant is the fulfilment of this as the blood shed by Yeshua /

Jesus at his death replaces the animal sacrifices of Leviticus as the

atonement for our souls. True faith in the Messiah involves repentance and

faith in his sacrifice in order for us to be redeemed to G-d.

 

To believe in him is not an act of betrayal of the Jewish people. It is to

believe in the only Moshiach whom G-d has any intention of sending. He came

first of all to suffer and die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world and

to rise again from the dead to give new life to all who believe in his name

(Isaiah 53). He is coming again at a time of global crisis prophesied for

the end of days (Ikveta d'Meshicha), which lines up with present events and

trends. He will save the world from destruction and bring in the Messianic

kingdom in which swords will be beaten into ploughshares and nation will not

lift up sword against nation nor will they study war anymore (Isaiah 2.1-4).

Those who truly understand the message of Yeshua (Jesus) love the Jewish

people and deplore the anti-Semitism that has been committed in his name by

false Christians.

T