“If a prophet or someone who gets messages while dreaming arises among you and he gives you a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes about as he predicted when he said, ‘Let’s follow other gods, which you have not known; and let us serve them,’ you are not to listen to what that prophet or dreamer says. For Adonai your God is testing you, in order to find out whether you really do love Adonai your God with all your heart and being.” - Deut. 13:2-4, CJB
Whether it be from a scientific, theological or even an ontological perspective, in our world today, there seems to be an endless debate on whether there is a God, who he is or what obligations we have to the divine as a human family? For many, the false belief is that there is no God and man is the measure of all things, while others search for meaning in areas of obscurity or absolute darkness. However, for us as Messianic-believers we often see the heat of this debate as we seek to share the truths of Messiah Yeshua, to our people Israel.
Recently on YouTube, Dr. Michael Brown (A Messianic Jew, affiliated with Tikkun) hosted a live debate with Orthodox Rabbi, Shmuley Boteach on whether the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) is in fact anti-Semitic! Although they both attested that they are close friends and even have hosted one another in their homes, Rabbi Boteach’s polemic against our Messianic faith was riddled with deception, straw-man arguments and a propensity in taking Scripture willfully out of context. Sadly, in dealing with “anti-Missionary” movements and their representatives, the arguments against Yeshua as Messiah seriously fail in properly addressing the clear meaning of the biblical text, and namely that of the Tanakh and Messianic prophecy.
In Isaiah 53, God’s prophet clearly speaks of a redeemer who would suffer and bring redemption for all of Israel and the world and in the B’rit Chadashah, Yeshua, as our Passover Lamb, not only is slain for our healing, but also promised that he would rise from the dead and bring us back to the Father through perfect repentance!
When considering our Parashah, Moshe’s admonition for us in not following foreign gods truly rings true when we consider the coming of the Mashiach! In our passage, we are warned that we are forbidden to listen to false-teachers because they misrepresent Adonai and bring upon individuals’ permanent destruction. For us, we are equally reminded to not be swayed by the deception of those who reject Yeshua as Messiah and Lord and work against him. For this reason, our Parashah reads,
“… God is testing you, in order to find out whether you really do LOVE Adonai your God will all your heart and being.”
Friends, we as Messianic community must hold fast to who Yeshua said he is and to be a loving witness to our people Israel. This is our primary calling here at Beit Hallel as we seek to know Yeshua and to make him known - to the Jew first and then to every nation and people group. ~ Rabbi Mark Rantz
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