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Copyright © 1996 by Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.
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Write to: Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo, Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.,
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Scripture quotations unless otherwise noted are from The Holy Bible: The King James version
This book is dedicated to all those who support the evangelistic ministry of Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. Their faithfulness has made this work possible.
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About The Author About The Booklet Jewish Evangelism Who Are We? What Do We Believe? What is Our Commission? Why Know The Word Of God? Why Prayer? Rules To Consider Here Are Some Questions Why Do Christians Have
So Many Denominations?
You Need To Know Facts About Jewish Individuals Moses Prayed And Grieved Questions And Answers Conclusion Epilogue
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo
Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo is the Vice-President of Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. (a Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship), as well as an Associate Bible Teacher under the leadership of her husband, Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo.
She has been a believer in Y'shua (Jesus) since September 19, 1969. In January of 1979 she began her full-time work for Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.
Among her duties as Vice-President and Associate Bible Teacher, she is the editor and reviewer of all original materials produced by Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. (As of the printing of this booklet, several hundreds of thousands of brochures and other literature have been printed and distributed world wide by Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.).
She is a graduate of The Shalom Bible Institute (Orange, California, 1980) with a Bachelor of Theology Degree.
She continues to teach and minister the Word of God on a daily basis (through the power of God) "to the Jew first and also to the Gentile" (Romans 1:16).
Her managerial expertise in the production of the Shalom Scripture Studies television programs is indeed valuable and indispensable. Because of her unrelenting faith and keen insight, "Shalom Scripture Studies with Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo" television program is now being aired in fourteen states with a potential viewing population of nearly 24,000,000 people (these educational Bible programs are literally being watched seven days a week, 365 days a year).
In addition to her regular administrative duties at Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc., Mrs. Hidalgo also leads younger women in weekly Bible study classes.
Finally, Mrs. Hidalgo is the founder and director of the 'Watch Women Upon The Walls Of Jerusalem' intercessory prayer group. This all-women's group was created to bring the people and Nation of Israel before the Lord in prayer on a continuous basis. As it is written, "I have set watchmen (watchwomen) upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night; ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,...And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise on the earth" (Isaiah 62:6,7). This has been an important theme Scripture for Mrs. Hidalgo and the 'Watch Women Upon The Walls of Jerusalem'.
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ABOUT THE BOOKLET
This booklet was designed to help individuals share their faith in the Lord Y'shua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) with "the lost sheep of the house of Israel".
As many books have been written on the subject of Jewish Evangelism, this one is designed principally to be a reference handbook that can be easily used in conjunction with the Holy Bible.
All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
It is the author's prayer that the Lord would use this booklet to stimulate excitement towards that which is near to the heart of God: Jewish Evangelism. As it is written, the Jewish people are "the apple of His eye" (Zechariah 2:8 and Deuteronomy 32:10) and He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
MAY THEY COME, one by one, to know Y'shua (Jesus) as Lord and Saviour! As it is written, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved" (Romans 10:1).
For those who take God's Word seriously, and begin putting the principles of Jewish evangelism into practice in their own lives, the Lord had made a promise:
"I will bless them (that's you and I) that bless thee (the Jewish people)" (Genesis 12:3).
Love the Jewish people by the
Obedience on our part in
Victory through the glorious and
Everlasting Word. Amen.
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ONE THING THAT JEWISH EVANGELISM DOES NOT MEAN IS CONVERTING THE JEWISH PEOPLE. BY AND LARGE, THE JEWISH PEOPLE ALREADY BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB. JEWISH EVANGELISM DOES MEAN MAKING JEWISH PEOPLE AWARE THAT THEY ARE SINNERS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB HAS PROVIDED A SIN OFFERING FOR THEM.
The Apostle Saul-Paul set an example for us to follow today. Though he was called of God to be a witness primarily to the Gentile people amongst "the nations", it is evident through his writings and teachings that Saul-Paul also ministered to the Jewish people wherever he went. It is clear that he had a heavy burden on his heart for his brothers and sisters in the flesh for he wrote in Romans 10:1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."
Please remember that as you make the Messiah of Israel known to Jewish people, do so according to the Biblical injunction found in Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts". By trusting in the arm of the LORD (His Spirit), and not in the arm of our flesh, we can effectively declare God's redemption through Y'shua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) to the Jewish people.
The proper order for witnessing God's salvation should never be twisted around. God says "to the Jew first" in Romans 1:16. Unfortunately, in the history of the Church all too often people have neglected witnessing to Jewish people at all.
The Jewish people should never be persuaded to renounce their heritage when they accept Y'shua (Jesus) as Lord. Neither should a Jewish person be taught that his/her faith in the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has been abrogated. As Jews, they will always be Jewish (culturally and racially) even after becoming born-again children of God through Y'shua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). Thus, a "completed" Jew is a much better term to use than a "converted" Jew because the latter implies that the person's very identity has been taken away.
God is speaking even now to His people of the Abrahamic covenant, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18). Will you be the one to help a Jewish person understand his/her sin problem?
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WHO ARE WE?
Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. is a Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship. We are an independent Jewish evangelistic out reach that preaches and teaches the complete Holy Bible, the Old and New Covenant. We believe this to be the complete revelation from God to man.
Here at Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc., we have three primary goals:
1. To proclaim the Word of God.
2. To present Y'shua (Jesus) as Lord.
3. To promote love for Israel and the Jewish people.
The birth of Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. took place on May the 30th, 1974, in the city of Orange, California. It was there that Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo saw the need for a place where Jewish and Gentile people could both meet together to worship the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
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WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?
One of the truths which we believe is that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). That is, all of mankind is born in sin, and has been separated from God because of sin. We believe, according to the Scriptures, that the only means of reconciliation between sinful man and a Holy God is through the Person of Jesus Christ.
It is very important to know what you believe in, and to be sure that you believe in Jesus Christ, not just as a good man, or even a great prophet, but as Lord and God. He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), granting us eternal life (John 3:16) by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
God the Father gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) to bring redemption to whosoever will believe and receive Him; the salvation of God through Y'shua (Jesus) is available to both Jewish and Gentile people today. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is co-equal with God the Father. He took on Himself the nature of a man "made a little lower than the angels (through the virgin birth) but crowned with glory and honor" (Hebrews 2:9). His nature was sinless. He was perfect in observing the Law of God. He was obedient even unto death, the death of the Cross. We believe He became the sin offering for all mankind by giving His life willingly, and through His death, burial, and resurrection, God's forgiveness is available to everyone. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us who believe (Hebrews 7:25). I John 2:1 tells us that He is our High Priest interceding on our behalf. Another title ascribed to Jesus is: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. One day, He is coming again, with all power and glory, to rule and reign from Jerusalem, Israel, and to set up His eternal kingdom (Revelation 11:15).
The Son of God (Jesus) became sin for us: "...who knew no sin that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. The Spirit of God is active in all of creation. He reproves the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8). The working of the Holy Spirit is active in regeneration and sanctification. Most importantly, He indwells our life (Ephesians 4:30) and seals us with the Holy Spirit of promise. The Spirit of God is active in leading us (Romans 8:14, 26), making intercession for us, and helping us in our infirmities. God's Word challenges us to "walk by faith and not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). As we walk by faith, the gifts that the Spirit of God gives to 'all who are born again' (Romans 12:6-8) will be active in accomplishing God's good pleasure.
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WHAT IS OUR COMMISSION?
We believe our commission is to make known to the entire world the great Atonement that God provided through His Son, Y'shua (Jesus). He is our atoning sacrifice Who is perfect and complete. His sacrifice for sin is mentioned both in the Old and New Covenants, and God gave this gift of atonement first to Jewish people and then to Gentile people as is explained in Romans 1:16.
Do you believe the Word of God and the commission that Jesus presented to His Apostles?: "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:6) and "ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Notice that Y'shua (Jesus) commissioned His Apostles to begin evangelizing the Jewish people.
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WHY KNOW THE WORD OF GOD?
The Word of God is the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of God available to man today. Truly, it is a love letter from God to His covenant people: the Nation of Israel, and you and I who have placed our faith in Him. His Word includes prophesies and fulfillments regarding The Messiah and the children of Israel. We should know God's Word well! For in the pages of Holy Writ, we receive our calling. For all of us, that is to warn the Jewish people (the House of Israel), to "blow the trumpet". You and I have been called of God to teach and preach God's mercy and His wrath, just as the prophets of old were also called to do this very thing (Ezekiel 3:17-21). Yes, this is our commission.
Know God's Word well! As believer's in Y'shua (Jesus), it is our duty and responsibility to evangelize the Jewish community. Every believer is indebted to the Jewish people for their faithfulness in preserving the Word of God and supremely, for presenting Christ Jesus to us. Thus, we want to stir up the body of believers to present the truth of Christ to the lost sheep of the house of Israel in a Jewish way. One way we can do this is by supporting the Jewish traditions and holidays. If you really know the Word of God, you will understand that this is a very Jewish book written about Jewish people, and written for Jewish people. If you 'go by the book', your presentation about salvation will be very Jewish.
If you love the Jewish Messiah, Jesus our Saviour, you will want to love whom He loves (the Jewish people, see: Malachi 1:2), and you will want to take seriously His Word and His Life. If you love the Jewish Messiah, you will also love the Jewish people, and want to share with them all that He has said. You will want to tell them how He died for their sins because of His great love for them. By exercising His example of love towards them, you will be more effective in getting His Word to them. The Gospel message is part of His Word to the Jewish Community.
If you are going to be effective, you must believe the Word of God which states that God has not cast away His people which he foreknew (Romans 11:2) and that it is His good will for both Jews and Gentiles to receive the message of Christ (Romans 1:16).
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Why? Because the Lord our God commanded us in The Word of God and He Himself demonstrated a life of prayer for His people.
Prayer is an act of faith on our part towards the Lord Jesus Christ our God, it is a form of worship, adoration, thanks, confession, petition, and intercession. Through Jesus alone we have access to the Father (I Timothy 2:1).
Can we expect to move people's hearts and situations through God by our prayers? Unequivocally, yes. God promises to answer the prayer of faith, but we must remember that our prayer cannot be contrary to His Divine Nature and purpose. He exhorts us to pray and at the same time assures us that our prayers will make a difference. Otherwise, why pray? ..."The effectual, fervant prayer of a righteous man availeth much". Remember the story of The Prophet Elijah as he prayed earnestly that it would not rain for 3 years and a half. The Lord God Almighty heard him.
Whether or not we are satisfied with God's answer to our prayers, we must always pray without ceasing. The fact that God commands us to pray in His Word should be sufficient reason to pray.
When we have prayed the prayer of faith, we can rest assured He will exercise His divine influence on the subject of our prayers.
Jesus Himself did not see His heart's desire for men fulfilled in every case. His desire was that no one should perish but all be saved. In Luke 13:34, Jesus said "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem...how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!". But in John 5:40, He lamented, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life". Though He was certainly capable of doing so, Jesus refused to exercise His Divine power over Jewish men and women to compel them to believe. We can as human beings say 'no' to God, but this did not discourage Jesus from praying. Neither should it discourage us.
The believer's prayer forms a part of God's overall purposes to be fulfilled; otherwise, why pray?
If you are going to evangelize the Jewish community, and have a fruitful ministry, you must ask The Lord to teach you how to pray (Luke 11:1), and believe in prayer! Pray for God's chosen people. Weep for the Jewish people as Jesus did. Pray that Jewish people will seek His face and turn their hearts unto God. God is faithful, and according to His plans and purposes, He will restore them one by one to Himself--and heal them of all their sins. Let us remember that Salvation is of God (Jonah 2:9). There are so many verses challenging us to go to the House of Israel with the message of salvation. Yet, where do we hear that this is happening today? Why are there so few assemblies of believers failing to be obedient in prayer for Israel? Praying for the peace of Jerusalem according to Psalms 122:6 is just a beginning, and a good one at that...
To evangelize the Jewish people, first one must obey God's command regarding His chosen people. One must love whom He loves and pray for whom He prays for. Did you know that one day the Nation of Israel is going to head one of the world's largest evangelistic programs? They are going to know the oracles of God, believe, speak, and live them! According to Holy Scripture, 144,000 Jewish individuals will serve God as His servants, and God's light will shine through them to the whole world.
When we know, believe, and have received God's precious Word that speaks about salvation, then let us speak about it to them, and live a Godly life before them.
Let us have compassion on those who are now alive.
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RULES TO CONSIDER
Here are some rules to consider in order to be an effective witness to the House of Israel:
1. Have a personal testimony. That is, be able to explain to a Jewish person why you love the Jewish Saviour.
2. Have a walk that matches up with your talk. Be ready to demonstrate genuine love and compassionate behavior towards the Jewish people.
3. Know the Old and New Covenants well. Remember that what one conceals, the other reveals. The Jewish people are quick to discern whether you know your Bible or not, even though they may not understand such things as God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit nor the virgin birth. Yet, Jewish people do know that to them "pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Romans 9:4).
4. Memorize I Corinthians 13. Love is the way to the heart of the Jewish people.
5. Never tell a Jewish individual that they killed Jesus. Rather, tell them that through the Jewish people Y'shua (Jesus) came into the world to be an Atonement for sin.
6. Don't be anti-semitic (anti-Jewish). This has been the main stumbling block to the Jewish people for centuries. Learn what might be anti-semitic in your speech and attitude toward the Jewish people.
Don't say "Christian", but rather "Believer", especially in reference to yourself or some other individual of like faith. To a Jewish person, "Christian" could mean any individual who is not Jewish.
Don't say "Christ", instead use the word "Messiah". "Christ to the Jewish mind is the God of the Gentiles. The name of Christ has been used many times to persecute the Jewish people throughout the last 17 centuries. The term, or name, Messiah in Hebrew means 'the Anointed One'. It has the same meaning as the name of Christ (which is from the Greek language). Because of so much hatred associated with the name Christ, the Jewish people have come to think of Christ in a negative way. Thus, it is much better for you to use the term 'Messiah'. It is a known and familiar concept to most Jewish people. Please don't forget that the idea or concept of Messiah is, to most Jews, very different from the Christian understanding.
Don't say "convert" as you speak with a Jewish person. Rather, use the word "completed". Keep in mind that to a Jewish person, the term "conversion" brings much fear and frustration because over the years many Jewish people have been forced to convert to Christianity. Therefore, one needs to remember that a Jewish individual simply needs to return to Father Abraham's faith in God (See Hebrews 11:8-16). (Also, the Scriptural terms 'born again' and 'saved' are basically without meaning to a non-believer. Notice the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus in John chapter 3. Jesus must explain what it means to be born again).
Don't say "Cross", but instead say "Tree". The Cross has been a symbol by which much persecution of Jewish people has taken place. It is also better to avoid displaying a cross to an unbelieving Jewish individual for the same reason. You might also remember that prophetically we have a reminder of the Tree in Deuteronomy 21:23 and Galatians 3:13 which Y'shua fulfilled at the time of His death.
Don't say "Old Testament" and "New Testament", but rather "Old Covenant" and "New Covenant". Jewish people refer to the Old Covenant as 'The Bible' the 'Tanach', or the 'Torah' (the Law). The New Covenant is considered a non-Jewish book, so it is better to use the Old Covenant in order to teach New Covenant truths. Please be certain to emphasize the Jewishness of the New Covenant (and its writers) and speak of the New Covenant as the 'Holy Scriptures' or 'Holy Bible'.
7. Don't be a hypocrite. We must bear in mind that the Jewish people have been worshipping one true and living God since the days of the Patriarchs and there is not a people who responds more quickly to love than the Jewish people. Yet, they quickly discern hypocrisy. So, you must be sincere in your approach when witnessing to them. It wouldn't hurt to learn a few words in Hebrew to help 'warm them up' to you. This often times will open the way for your testimony to be received with interest.
8. Memorize these Scriptures:
Isaiah 53. Deuteronomy 18:15-19. Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah 9:6-7. Psalms 2, 8, 16, 22, 23, 24, 40, 41, 45, 68, 69, 72, 89, 102, 110, 118 (and others which speak to you about Y'shua).
9. Wear a Star of David emblem. This traditional Jewish design has a way of breaking down barriers. Other Jewish symbols, such as the menorah, and torah attract interest, and promote questions from a Jewish person, such as 'Are you Jewish?' or 'Where did you purchase that lovely set of ear rings that you are wearing?', etc.
10. Never use the term 'Jew-man' or 'Jew-woman'. It is extremely offensive to the ears of a Jewish person.
11. Never give the impression of being 'Holier Than Thou' for, in fact, you have nothing to boast about except in the Cross of Christ. Jewish people know that the Gentiles received their faith from the Jewish people and Scriptures. Truly, the Gentile should be indebted to the Jewish race for all that he/she has received from them.
12. Always let the love of God permeate your life, and be sure to show interest in the land of promise, Israel.
13. Invite a Jewish person to a church or chapel that preaches the truth from God's Word.
14. Explain to a Jewish person that true Christians would never persecute or hate the Jews. Many Jewish people are afraid of Christians and their beliefs because of the history of the Church.
15. Be prepared to answer the many questions Jewish people have about our Messiah, Y'shua (Jesus).
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HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS
Here are some questions which Jewish people may ask you:
1. Why do Christians hate the Jews?
2. Why did Hitler murder six million Jews?
3. Was Jesus of illegitimate birth?
4. How can God have a son?
5. Why are you interested in my spiritual being?
6. Does Israel play an important part in your religion?
7. Do you pray to three gods?
8. Are other Christians like you?
9. Why do you want to convert me?
These would be good questions for you to think about. In a later chapter, we will discuss other questions, and their answers.
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WHY DO THE CHRISTIANS HAVE
SO MANY DENOMINATIONS?
Many Jewish individuals will ask why the Christians have so many denominations. Often, they are confused about this issue, and might even go seeking for an answer, only to end up in a cult. This is because many are seeking for peace in their soul, something that they cannot find in Judaism.
Handing out a Shalom tract to an unsaved Jewish person might just bring that individual to a saving knowledge of the Messiah, before they wind up in some cult.
Besides giving out Shalom tracts and other Hebrew-Christian literature, always be prepared to give away Hebrew-English New and Old Covenants.
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YOU NEED TO KNOW
You need to know the various groups of Jewish people today. They are as follows:
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1. Orthodox. These Jewish people read the Talmud, which is considered the one set of holy books that contain all knowledge. It was written by Rabbis centuries ago. Though much of it is based upon Scripture, it in itself is not scriptural. They are purely writings of the traditions of men. Often, the Talmud is regarded with higher esteem than the Old Covenant. Orthodox people submit themselves to the Law. One commandment which they observe (which actually is not found in the Scriptures) is to keep their head covered at all times in public, both the men and women. Thus, you will see orthodox Jewish men wearing hats, and women wearing scarves.
2. Conservative. These Jewish people stand in the middle between Orthodox and Reform (which we will discuss later). They believe in a certain amount of liberalism mixed with Orthodox practice. In conservative synagogues, for example, wearing a head covering (a 'kippa') is not mandatory; some do and others do not. They observe the Law in part, and do keep the Sabbath.
3. Reformed. These Jewish people are extremely liberal in their views, and have allowed contemporary Gentile culture to permeate their form of Judaism. For example, they do not observe the Jewish dietary laws of Moses found in the Old Covenant. Their Rabbis preach about philosophy and social issues. Hebrew is rarely read in Reform synagogues. Traditional Jewish rituals and ceremonies are usually not kept. People do not normally cover their heads.
4. Zionists. All Jewish individuals who look for a homeland in Israel (Zion) can be called "Zionists". Thus, Zionism draws Jewish people from around the world into one unified nation of people. Regardless of their language or home country, every Jewish person is a member of the nation of Israel (Zion).
5. Atheists. This class of Jewish people are generally socialistic and do not regard God as the Sovereign Power. In short, atheistic Jews believe that the State of Israel should be controlled strictly by human forces. Some atheistic Israelis believe strongly in socialism, and even live on communal farms called Kibbutzim.
6. Agnostics. These Jewish people comprise the vast majority of Jews. Their position is simply this: 'If there is a God, where was He during all of the sufferings that the Jewish people have gone through?'. Some agnostics would sincerely want to believe in God, but are unable to do so because of a lack of knowledge of Torah (the Law) and the Prophets.
FACTS ABOUT JEWISH INDIVIDUALS
Considering all that the Jewish people have been through, they still exist as a Nation and people today!
1. The Egyptians could not destroy them. Pharoah tried but did not succeed.
2. Haman's plan fell on his own head. The gallows hung him and his sons.
3. Daniel and his friends were not devoured by the lion.
4. Balaam could not curse Israel, whom God had blessed.
5. The many Gentile dictators have tried to destroy the Jews throughout the ages. If they had their way, there would not be a Jewish person alive today. Question: where are these dictators today?
Remember, Ephesians 2:11-13: "Wherefore, remember that ye, being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is call the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ".
The Apostle Saul-Paul grieved over, and longed for His own flesh (the nation of Israel) to know Christ.
Romans 10:1 states: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved".
Romans 9:1 states: "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen."
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MOSES PRAYED AND GRIEVED
Moses prayed and grieved for his own people.
In Exodus 32:31-33, we read "And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book".
I believe that the greatest intercessory prayer and mediation for the Jewish people came from the greatest man that ever lived -- the God-Man -- Christ Jesus. His very life demonstrated His passion and pleasure for His people Israel, even leading Him to fulfill the Law and the Prophets in giving his life as a ransom for the soul of every Jewish person, and also the Gentiles. Yes, He extended His precious love and mercy to those that were partially blind (see: II Corin-thians 3: 13-17). He was a Jewish Man, and yet God, choosing willingly to die for you and me. He is our Shalom (peace). He has broken down the middle wall, and brought Jewish and Gentile people together through His death, burial, and resurrection.
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
In the Word of God, it tells us to "Study to show thyself approved unto God" (II Timothy 2:15). The Lord God will always honor His Word. He says "My Word will not return unto me void" (Isaiah 55:11).
As you present the Holy Scriptures to lost Jewish souls, pray that the Almighty God will use His Word to cut deep into their hearts.
We by no means have all the answers to the questions you will be asked, but these are the most common ones:
1. We don't believe in the same God. Jews believe in only one God. Christians worship three Gods.
(1.) We worship the same God. Christianity is an extension or fulfillment of Judaism. The first Christians were all Jewish! (Acts 2:1-11).
(2.) Christians worship only one God. (See I Timothy 2:5; Galatians 3:20; Mark 12:29, 30).
(3.) The composite unity of God is evident in the Old Covenant. (See Genesis 1:26, 11:6-7; Isaiah 48:16).
2. God has no Son.
(1.) God says He has a Son. (See Psalms 2:7; Proverbs 30:4).
3. No one can be both God and man.
(1.) The Tanach (Old Covenant) speaks of a God-Man. (See Psalms 45:6, 7 [cf. Hebrews 1:8, 9]; Psalms 110:1; Isaiah 9:6).
4. The Virgin Birth is impossible.
(1.) God can do all things. (See Matthew 19:6).
(2.) Isaac's birth was a miracle. (See Genesis 18:11, 12).
(3.) The Virgin Birth was prophesied as a special sign to Israel. (See Isaiah 7:14). While the word here for 'virgin' can be translated as 'young woman', the Spirit of God has dictated this word to mean 'virgin'.
(4.) The Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 reminds us that while we know that every child born from a woman is the result of the seed of man, and yet in the case of the Son of God (Y'shua), He is born from the seed of the woman. Indeed, this was a miracle of miracles!
5. Jesus was of illegitimate birth.
(1.) He could not have entered the Temple if he was illegitimate. (See Deut. 23:2; John 7:14, 10:23).
(2.) We have an accurate genealogy of Jesus' lineage in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.
6. Jesus is not the Messiah.
(1.) Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and compare with the Gospel accounts given.
GIVEN PROPHECIES FULFILLED PROPHECIES Micah 5:2 Born in Bethlehem Matt. 2:1-6 Isa. 7:14 Born of Virgin Matt. 2:1-6 Zech. 9:9 Triumphal entry Jerusalem John 12:12-16 Isa. 53:1-3 Rejected by His own people Matt. 27:1-31 Psa. 22:14-18 To be Crucified John 19:15-18 Psa. 69:21 Given vinegar John 19:29 Zec. 12:10 Messiah pierced John 19:34 Zec. 13:6 Wounds in His hands John 20:25-28 Isa. 53:5-12 Died as a sacrifice for sin John 11:49-52 Psa. 16:10 Raised from the dead John 20:1-31
7. We believe in two Messiahs.
(1.) There is but one Messiah in a twofold work. (See Zech. 12:10).
8. Messiah will only come once.
(1.) Messiah must come twice
a. To die. (See Psalms 22:1-21; Isaiah 53:1-10).
b. To rule. (See Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:1-5).
c. Both comings foretold. (See Zech. 12:10).
(2.) Messiah's Scriptural role is:
a. As a Sufferer. (See Psalms 22).
b. As a Shepherd. (See Psalms 23).
c. As a Sovereign. (See Psalms 24).
9. Our Messiah is yet to come.
(1.) Daniel's prediction. (See Daniel 9:24-27).
a. Purpose of His coming. (See v. 24).
b. Time of His coming. (See v. 25, 26).
c. His Death. (See v. 26).
d. Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. (See v. 26).
10. How can you prove Jesus rose from the dead?
(1.) Death would have no power over Messiah. (See Psalms 16:10; 49:15).
(2.) Fact of history. (See Acts 2:22-27; 4:33).
11. Our leaders do not believe in Jesus.
(1.) Unbelief foretold. (See Isaiah 53:1-3).
(2.) Messiah to be despised and rejected. (See Isaiah 8:13-15).
(3.) Leaders to mislead Israel. (See Isaiah 43:27; Ezekiel 34:1-10).
12. Believing in Jesus violates the Law.
(1.) See Matt. 5:17-19; Ro. 3:31; 10:4
(2.) He is the Prophet like unto Moses. (See Deut. 18:15-18).
13. Why do we need to believe in Jesus? We have good morals.
(1.) All are sinners before God. (See Psa. 14:1; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; 53:6; 59:2).
(2.) Only blood atones for sin. (See Leviticus 17:11).
(3.) Jesus made our atonement. (Hebrews 9:11-12, 28).
(4.) Jesus said He was the way. (John 14:6).
14. Why bother with us Jews? Leave us alone.
(1.) God commands us to take the message of Salvation to the Jews. (See Romans 1:16).
15. Christians hate the Jews.
(1.) Not all Gentiles are Christians. (See Matt. 7:21-23).
(2.) Genuine Christians will bless the Jews. (See Genesis 12:1-3).
(3.) Jesus taught love for all. (See Matt. 5:44).
(4.) Paul taught love for all. (See Gal. 6:10; I Corinthians 13).
16. We Jews do not accept the New Covenant.
(1.) Moses promised a greater prophet. (See Deut. 18:15-18).
(2.) Jeremiah predicted a New Covenant. (See Jer. 31:31-34).
(3.) No New Covenant would imply that the God of Israel permitted the destruction of the Temple without giving anything better.
17. Christianity is a Gentile religion.
(1.) Christianity is based upon Judaism. (See Matt. 1:1; Rom. 1:2; 3:21-23).
(2.) Mary was a Jewish woman. (See Luke 1:27).
(3.) Jesus was a Jew. (See Matt. 1:1; John 4:9; Rom. 1:3).
(4.) The Disciples were Jews. (See Matt 10:2-4; Acts 3:1).
(5.) The New Covenant was written by Jews. (See Romans 3:1, 2)
(6.) The Church was started with Jews. (See Acts 2:5, 41-43).
(7.) Salvation comes from the Jews. (See John 4:22).
18. If I become a Christian, I will no longer be a Jew.
(1.) A Jewish believer is a "completed" Jew. (See Romans 2:25-29).
(2.) Paul, a believing Jew, remained a Jew. (See Acts 22:3; Rom. 11:1; Phil 3:5).
19. I was born a Jew, I'll die a Jew.
(1.) Nothing can make you cease from being Jewish. (See Romans 11:1).
(2.) You are not changing your religion. (Acts 26:6-7).
20. Why do Jews suffer? Are we Jews chosen to suffer?
(1.) Jews suffer because of disobedience. (See Lev. 26:13-16, 32, 33, 44; Deut. 18: 15-19 [rej. of Messiah]; Deut. 28:15, 63-66).
21. Jews are blamed for the death of Jesus.
(1.) Jews did not crucify Jesus. (See John 18:31, 32). Crucifixion was against the Jewish Law.
(2.) The Romans crucified Jesus. (See Matt. 27:27-31). All peoples, Jew and Gentile, are responsible for the death of Christ. (See Acts 4:25-27).
(3.) Jesus knew beforehand what would happen. He willingly gave Himself. (See Matt. 17:25; John 10:11, 17, 18)
22. Why so many denominations of Christians? They can't all be right.
(1.) Men are always introducing their ideas into their religions, which include changing God's Word. (See Rev. 22:19; I Tim 3:7)
(2.) It is God's Word that counts. (See Isa. 55:8-9).
(3.) We must study, believe, and obey God's Word rather than men. (See Prov. 3:5, 6; Acts 4:19, 20; 5:29).
23. Everyone gets to Heaven his own way.
(1.) God has one standard of holiness. (See Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23; 6:23).
(2.) God has one way of Salvation. (See Joel 2:32; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:12, 13).
(3.) Only one way to Heaven. (See John 14:6).
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In order to understand the Jewish problem with accepting Jesus as the Messiah, it is necessary to have some knowledge of the Jewish experience with Christianity. From an historical perspective, religious anti-semitism has been the major deterrent in sharing the Gospel with Jewish people. Once this is understood, much can be done to overcome Jewish resistance and fear.
As we look at history, we see that Jerusalem was the center of belief in Jesus' time (Christianity was at first considered a sect of Judaism). After 70 A.D., when Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus, the Diaspora (dispersion of the Jews to the nations) began in earnest. At that time, and after the last Jewish struggle for independence in 130-135 A.D., the Jewish people (including believers) found homes in new countries, and Rome became the center of religious expression.
As the Gospel spread throughout the Gentile world, the majority of believers were no longer Jewish. Emphasis was shifted and the promised Jewish Messiah Y'shua became the Greco-Roman Jesus Christ.
Y'shua (Jesus) was removed historically and culturally from His Jewish setting, taking on the trappings of whatever society in which His message was preached. From the original premise that only Jews could be followers of the Messiah, the trend of the organized church was to suggest that Jews, as such, could not be followers of their Christ! Even the New Covenant, which had been written by Jews, was used for anti-Jewish sentiments.
Unfortunately, leading members of the church hierarchy encouraged anti-semitism, as did secular leaders, century after century.
Justin Marytr, one of the so-called church fathers accused Jews of inciting Romans to kill Christians after having murdered God. But Jesus said "I lay down my life that I may take it up again, no man taketh it from me" (John 10:17, 18).
After 130-135 A.D., Gentile believers sought to divorce themselves totally from the Jewish people because of the uprising against Rome. Any practice which had Jewish roots was replaced. For example, Passover, which had been kept by all believers as a memorial of Jesus' sacrifice, was altered. First the date was changed so that it would not correspond with the Jewish Passover, then the name was changed to 'Easter' (a pagan goddess).
Jerome (340-419), originator of the Latin Vulgate, although taught by a scholarly Jewish rabbi, followed the pattern set by Augustine: "God hates the Jews, and I hate the Jews" (Schaff's Church History, vol. III pp. 970, 971). Yet, in the book of Jeremiah, God declares: "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving kindness I have drawn thee" (Jer. 31:3, 4).
The terrible words of Jerome and others still resound today within some areas of Christianity. It is amazing how ugly these early church leaders acted towards the Jewish people. Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (344-407) said: "Jews are the most worthless of men. They are lecherous, greedy, rapacious...they worship the devil. It is incumbent on all Christians to hate Jews".
Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria: "In the year 415, he fell upon the synagogues of the Jews with armed force. He put some to death and drove out the rest, and exposed their property to the excited multitude".
Another madman Clovis, Chieftain of the Franks (481-511), was converted to Catholicism. He declared that if he had been present at the crucifixion, he and his Franks would have killed the Jews in order to save Jesus. None of the church leaders clarified the necessity of Jesus' death in atonement for sins.
Richard of England, known as "Lion-hearted", expelled the Jews from his nation in 1189 and confiscated their property, and brought much heartache to them. Thomas Aquinas, the church authority of the Middle Ages, wrote in 1247, "It would be perfectly licit to hold the Jews, because of their crucifying our Lord, in perpetual servitude".
The crusades were organized, not as we have been led to believe by Hollywood, as pious undertakings for the cause of God, but for the purpose of obtaining wealth, land, honor and glory. During their crusades,
at Rouen, all Jews unwilling to submit to baptism were put to death; at Worms, Jews were massacred and their property divided among the murderers; at Jerusalem, in 1099, the Great Synagogue was burned to the ground with all the Jews of the city inside, while the perpetrators of this mass murder marched around the synagogue chanting hymns.
In the Middle Ages, Jews were charged with sorcery, and blamed for epidemics like the Black Plague, natural disasters such as the massive Lisbon earthquake, and other unexplained catastrophes. They were even charged with the ritual murder of Christian children who were supposedly killed so that their blood could be used to make matzah (unleavened bread) for Passover.
The Roman Catholic Church, which dominated Europe, held Jews of all time responsible for the death of Jesus although His death is an essential part of church dogma and despite Jesus' own statement (John 10:17, 18). This doctrine was officially nullified only a few years ago. Imagine the horror brought upon the Jewish people during the past 17 centuries as a result of this official church position.
The Inquisitions of fifteenth century Spain and Portugal were attempts by the state church to legislate conformity. Jews were forced to embrace Catholicism or leave their homes and all their belongings for unknown and probably unfriendly lands. Those Jews who "converted", and were thus allowed to remain, were subject to death on the slimmest evidence that they were practicing Judaism in secret. (My husband's family came from such a situation in Spain; thus his relatives of long ago suffered this type of persecution).
Let us also remember Martin Luther, the leading Protestant reformer of the sixteenth century. At first he had a deep regard for Jewish people, but because they did not flock to his banner, he came to resent them. His resentment was displayed with the wrong theology that Jews had been rejected by god and could not be saved! In one of his last sermons, Luther declared, "if the Jews refuse to be converted, we ought not to suffer them or bear with them any longer".
May we never forget the Jews of Nuremberg, as they were assembled and burned "for the greater glory of Christ".
During the seventeenth century, Jews were expelled from the cities of Frankfurt, Prague, and Vienna, as well as numerous towns and villages.
Pogroms, mass murder and vandalism of Jewish people in Russia and Poland in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries were instigated by the state church, the state itself, and in particular, by local clergymen.
The Holocaust of this century bears a resemblance to all the hatred and ugliness that a so-called Christian state under tyranny could muster, and thus millions upon millions of Jews were murdered as a result of anti-semitism.
Today, the work of Jewish Evangelism that the Almighty God has for us to do can only be accomplished through the love of God in our life, and our obedience to the Word of God.
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As I wrote this reference handbook on Jewish Evangelism, I was reminded of two passages from the Word of God: "Of making many books there is no end;" (Ecclesiastes 12:12b) and "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For in it is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16, 17).
I sought to find out acceptable words of thanksgiving for the greatest Preacher and Rabbi that ever lived, Y'shua (Jesus), my Lord and Saviour. It's been wonderful to witness the way in which He has directed and supplied the needed help, including the resources that were needed to compile this booklet. All glory and honor is given unto Y'shua (Jesus) our Lord for helping me to accomplish this work as a witness for the Kingdom of God. Todah Rabah Y'shua! (Thank you very much Jesus!).
I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to my dear husband and co-laborer in the ministry. Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo has encouraged me, and graciously given of his time and insight, helping me to accomplish this labor of love. My heart's desire is that this booklet will help individuals share their faith in Y'shua (Jesus) Christ with the Jewish people. The Rev. Nathan Knibb, our Associate Minister is also to be thanked for his part in this work of faith. I would also like to say thank you to our Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc., web designer, Rev. Jack A. Molloy, who maintains our internet site www.shalom-peace.com.
In conclusion, I would like to share with you why I love the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. As it is written, "He first loved me", and He laid down His own life so that I might inherit eternal life, eternal peace, and most of all eternal forgiveness. All this because of His atoning sacrifice that He made on Calvary 2,000 years ago for you and for me. "By grace, through faith" all things pertaining to life and Godliness are ours through Christ Jesus. Halleluya!
"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord". (Psalms 40:2, 3)
I also would like to share with you that my love for the Jewish Messiah Y'shua extends to the deepest realms of my being, and continues to grow sweeter every day as I earnestly draw near to Him, and serve Him in faith. I can never thank Him enough for taking me into a New Covenant relationship, adopting me as His very own child forever and ever. He has written His indelible message on my heart and put within me His Holy Spirit, to lead and guide me every day of my life. It is a wonderful miracle that I stand "spiritually complete" in Him. This journey with my Lord began almost 27 years ago. He has allowed me to see as He sees, and to love what He loves, and to hate what He hates. He loves the soul of man, but hates the sin that so wickedly separates a person from God. The Lord God's interests have become my interests; one of these interests is having a burden for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved" (Romans 10:1).
As I have recognized my poor and needy state, God in His great Mercy has called me unto Salvation, Sanctification, and Service, and that is: Jewish Evangelism.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge that all I have learned about Jewish Evangelism during my life as a believer in Jesus Christ has come through the Lord Himself, the Word of God, Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc., and my husband, Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo. I am eternally grateful. I am also grateful to other Hebrew-Christian ministries which have been helpful in the preparation of this booklet.
For more information and/or materials about Jewish Evangelism, please contact:
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