From “Smite” to Right
It took weeks to get clarity concerning a word I received from the Lord during a May prayer time. Pieces of the puzzle came together, but grasping the Lord’s purpose in using the word “smite” was the last to drop in place.
The words I heard are:
Only the presence of Messianic Believers in the Land keeps me from smiting today’s Israel because of the slaughter of the unborn, and they allow worship of the Baals in high places.
I jotted the words in my journal and noted the points that jumped out to me. Messianic Believers and today’s Israel. Smiting today’s Israel. Abortion and worship of Baals in high places. I quickly realized the world recognizes the Iron Dome as Israel’s great defense from catastrophe, but the 1% of Israel’s population counted as Messianic Believers are her actual covering in this hour. I was aware of abortions being available in Israel but needed to learn more. The worship of Baals in high places baffled me. The world sees Lucifer surface in many ways, but this sounded more hidden. All points needed more prayer, study, and time. What lies beneath the surface that could bring the word “smite” into the conversation?
As days passed, I continued doing what I do, but I started researching different parts of the word concerning Israel. The information came in from many different directions. In fact, enough information that It seems best to divide the subject matter into three posts. Hence, none are too long, but each has plenty of resources listed in the footnotes for you to investigate on your own to become a little more educated concerning the faith community in Israel, draw your own conclusions, and, I hope, enjoy spending a bit of time visiting haverim.blog!
Mashiach Renews His Shul
aka Christ Renews His Parish-CRHP
After gathering all the necessary information and going through many Scriptures using the word “smite,” I decided to name this post-Mashiach Renews His Shul. (“Shul” refers to the local Jewish house of worship.) According to The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism, the early “Church” in Israel was a “messianic movement” or sect of the Jewish faith in the Second Temple until its destruction. (More from this huge resource as we go along.)2
After the destruction of the Second Temple and the final Jewish revolt, Rome dissolved Israel as a nation,3 and Rabbinical Judaism replaced the Jewish faith of the Old Testament.4 The Gospel of Jesus continues to spread worldwide, yet much of the churches’ link to the Jewish people is lost in replacement theologies. As a pioneer in Christian/Jewish relations, I can verify that the Church just began waking up to the fact of replacement theology after Israel became a nation again in 1948. Until then, replacement theology seemed to be a given – and without a real Israel, who could argue? Two good resources on Replacement Theology are in the Footnotes. 5.6
In Amos 9:1, YHVH is speaking to the rulers of Israel. Things sound pretty ominous for Israel. From a spiritual warfare point of view, it looks like the triune make-up of a Python spirit has infiltrated Israel with Religious/Legalism/Witchcraft spirits, working together to squeeze out their enemy, the actual creator, a ministry, or good work. In this instance, it is God. (Spiritual Warfare 101 begins in the Garden of Eden. The enemy of our souls never changes. Only the face of its evil!)
In Amos 9:11-12, we find God is going after the false face of “Israel” around the time of Amos. In our days, could it be that God will bring down false religion in Israel attributed to His name and reinstate the true faith begun by Yeshua within the Jewish community 2,000 years ago? The “Tabernacle of David” is often a Hebrewism for the lineage of David with Messianic prophecy. Yet, in this instance, there are parallels between the early messianic believers and the revival of believers being birthed in Israel today!
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom1, and all the nations that are called by my name, saith Jehovah that doeth this.
When I found this passage in the Book of Amos, Chapter Nine, my call to pick up Haverim’s ministry again became much clearer beginning with raising some questions about issues in modern Israel.
Israel’s Baby Bump
Israel’s Growing Messianic
Israel thinks it’s 1% Messianic Jewish population is just a tiny, unimportant bump! Hardly worth mentioning. Really?
Really. I looked for the most recent article with a survey of last year’s population in Israel. Here is a portion of what I found:
What kinds of Jews are Israelis? - 65% identify as secular [48%] or "traditional-non-religious" [17%]. 11% identify as ultra-Orthodox; 11% - Zionist Orthodox; 13% - traditional-religious. As for identification with the religious denominations, while the majority of the Jewish public does not identify with any of them [57%], 19% identify as the Zionist Orthodox; 11% - ultra-Orthodox; 11% - Reform / Conservative; 2% - Zionist ultra-Orthodox.
The main conflicts in Israeli society - In Jewish society in Israel, there are many internal tensions and conflicts. In the annual Index, it once again shows that the tension between ultra-Orthodox and secular Israeli Jews is at the top of the scale. This and the clash between political right and political left have the highest severity rating, far above those familiar to us from the past, such as being descended from European v. Arab countries, rich v. poor, and veteran Israelis v. immigrants.7
Evidence on the ground, on the air via radio, TV, and digitally via social media beg to differ! What began as three Messianic Jewish couples when Israel became a nation in 1948 grew and is between 200-300 Messianic congregations -shuls in Israeli towns. But I believe God intends to do more. I think when Israeli Jews recognize the infiltration that took over their true biblical faith, they will be able to identify who Yeshua is now. When that happens, entire shuls in towns all over Israel will be renewed with the Good News that He truly is the Messiah.
Israel’s Baby Bump is Showing
The Messianic movement of Jewish Believers in Yeshua is like an infant growing in Israel’s womb and showing. Israeli Jews are becoming curious about the true identity of the Christian “Jesus” – a name they ignored for over seven decades. Now they are learning His name is Yeshua in Hebrew Bibles and are astounded to find that Jews wrote the New Testament. Jewish and Arab Believers are joining together. The numbers are growing.
One for Israel’s ministry is making quite a stir via social media. Established in 1990, One for Israel began as a Bible college and expanded to a multi-faceted ministry to reach Israelis with the Good News of Yeshua. They produce evangelistic media in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, seen by millions of Israelis and others worldwide. Since Covid hit in 2020, this ministry finds they are leading a boom in the number of people accepting Yeshua as their Messiah and Lord.
The Firm, which lists over 52 of the Messianic ministries in Israel, enables Believers from around the world to learn about various Messianic congregations and outreaches to Israelis happening now in the Land. Their links to multiple ministries give an exciting view into evangelism through Israelis to Israeli taking action.
Please visit the Firm and One for Israel’s Outreach pages; listed in the footnotes below. You will find so many different resources giving you a fuller understanding of how Jesus works through this part of our faith family!
Revealing the Enemy in Israel’s Camp
Visitors to the Ein Keshatot archaeological site in the Golan Heights were recently surprised to discover a monument featuring a hallmark of Messianic Judaism. – Arutz Sheva, Israel National News, 7/26/22
Arutz Sheva-Israel National News recently ran an article about the remarkable monument, the symbol used by the earliest Believers in Jesus, being erected in the Golan Heights and the effort which pressured the Golan Regional Council to remove it by an anti-missionary group. The funny thing is, Israel’s Messianic community did not put up the monument, but Curt Landry Ministries did, just trying to bless Israel.
It seemed good to link to the Arutz Sheva article9 and post the report from the website of Yad L’Achim, the culprit behind the removal, so you can see the extreme hatred that goes into action against believers in Yeshua. Links below in Footnotes.
Blessed is the One Who Uprooted Idol Worship from our Land:
Yad L’Achim news article
Covered Monument in Ein Keshatot
A large monument was put up a few days ago at the national heritage site of “Ein Keshatot” in the Golan Heights. The apparently innocent monument, which includes Jewish motifs, was put up by the “Curt Landry” (Emphasis is mine. NM) organization in conjunction with the Golan Regional Council.
However, it turns out that the matter was not as innocent at it looked: Curt Landry is a Christian preacher who heads the Curt Landry Ministries, an evangelical cult. The idol he put up features, alongside Jews symbols, the symbol of “Messianic Jewry” with a quote from Christian sources.
The monument is meant to symbolize, as it were, inter-religious unity, achvah, which practically speaking means getting Jews to convert out of their religion.
Yad L’Achim immediately brought the matter to the attention of the local regional council. Joining the counter-missionary organization in its appeal were Rabbis and public figures from across the religious and political spectrum, who protested the display of a clearly missionary symbol on the Land of Israel at the height of the Three Weeks.
“It is inconceivable that the symbol of idol worshipers will be displayed so prominently at a national heritage site,” they wrote. (I wonder who “they” is? -NM) Ein Keshatot is home to a Jewish village from the period of the Mishna and Talmud, with a magnificent shul in its center.
The protest had its desired effect and, on Monday night, the head of the local council, Chaim Rokach, ordered that the monument be covered in advance of having it removed entirely.
Yad L’Achim welcomed the decision, noting that “Messianic Jewry” is a Christian evangelical cult that blends Christian motifs and “Jewish culture” in an attempt to confuse their Jewish victims and enable their missionary activities in the Holy Land.
“Covering the idol and removing it is another step in denying public legitimacy for missionary activity, as part of our battle to completely eradicate it from the Land of Israel and the People of Israel,” a Yad L’Achim official said.
(Yad L’ Achim means Hand of Brothers and is an Orthodox (Haredi) Jewish organization started in 1950, with the stated goal of “helping new immigrants to the newly-born country to find a suitable religious framework.”)10
A People for His Name
Surely the Lord God will do nothing,
but he revealeth his secret
unto his servants the prophets.
– Joel 3:7
With all the Scriptures examined to find the word “smite,” I never considered discovering specific ties from the New Testament connecting the words of the Prophet Amos in Chapter Nine with the Lord’s Messianic renewal project in Jerusalem, but …
While searching the reference to the tabernacle of David in Amos 9:11, I came across a passage in the Book of Acts I’d missed weeks ago; I found the tie. In fact, I found James, leader of the Jerusalem Church, quoting the same Scriptures I used concerning Mashiach renewing His Shul! I was stunned.
"And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.’ -James the Just, Acts 15:13-17
James has a special place in my heart. His background appears to be a mystery as he pops up as an Apostle after Jesus’ crucifixion, and we learn they are brothers. Years ago, I came across the Protoevangelium of James, which tweaked my curiosity enough that I researched James and found his gifts seemed more in line with a pastor, which explains why he oversaw the Church in Jerusalem and not Peter, the evangelist. Highly respected by numbers in all sects of Second Temple Judaism, James carried much influence and won converts, which led to his murder at the temple by officials in front of the public. Although not recorded in the Gospels, his murder is recorded in Christian and Jewish resources because the final destruction of the temple and fulfillment of Jesus’s words came not long after.12, 13
Finding “James, Epistle of” listed in Eerdman’s Dictionary of Early Judaism was a surprise. Reading through it gives me a clearer insight into why the Lord chose the word “smite” and the Prophet Amos to zero in on His intent to rebuild His shul/church to His original purpose. Two thousand years of Christian doctrine, rhetoric, and Rabbinic Judaism will not replace God’s original precepts and natural laws. It appears James understood this. Some Jewish scholars compare James’ style of writing to the Wisdom books. Who would have thought? God will have His Kingdom on earth as He plans. Mashiach is renewing His Shul! How He is creating understanding and changing labels is slowly unraveling. His plan for salvation remains the same -“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life…” (John 5:24)
This quote from James, Epistle of in Eerdmans massive dictionary on Early Judaism, seems a good thought to end this first post in the Smite series. Food for thought.
James, Epistle of – Matt Jackson – McCabe, Eerdman’s Dictionary of Early Judaism
Todah! Thanks for stopping by! God bless you always…
Blessed be the Holy One of Israel,
We’ve looked into modern Israel’s growing Messianic community, the Prophet Amos’ promise of a renewed community of Believers just for Jehovah, Replacement Theology, anti-missionary work’s ugly head! The resources listed below branch out in dozens of directions! Please take your time and visit the links listed especially for haverim.blog readers.
1. Edom means mankind; nations is also Gentiles “called by My Name”
2. Jesus Movement – Pg. 799, James D.G. Dunn, Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism
3. Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 A.D.), Pgs. 421-425, Hanan Eshel, Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism
4. Early Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism – Lawrence H. Schiffman, Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism, pgs. 279-290 – Link to give an idea for locating resource near you! Ask your library, too or purchase a copy – example: Amazon
5. The Challenge of Replacement Theology-Rev. Malcolm Hedding, ICEJ Executive Director-Emeritus, Jerusalem, Israel.
6. Replacement Theology: What is Supersessionism?- Dr. Wayne Hilsden,Founder- King of Kings Community, Jerusalem, Co-Founder-The FIRM
7. Hiddush News Annual Israel Religion and State Index. 2/09/2021
8. Browse the FIRM Ministry Partners
9. Messianic Symbol Removal, News Article Arutz Sheva – Israel National News
10. Who is Yad L’Achim – Wikipedia.org
11. Passover and the Death of James the Just
12. The Death of James the Just, Brother of Jesus Christ – Nan note: I don’t agree with all of the author’s side comments, but the two resources are authentic and valuable.
© 2022 Nancy Montgomery – Haverim.blog
Views and opinions found in links on this site are not necessarily those of Haverim.blog.