"Stranger still, the ancient religion of the Jews survives, when all the religions of every ancient race of the pre-Christian world have disappeared. Again it is strange that the living religions of the world all build on the religious ideas derived from the Jews" - The Ancient World, Professor T.R. Glover

"According to the materialistic and positivist criterion, this people ought to have perished long ago. It's survival is a mysterious and wonderful phenomenon demonstrating that the life of this people is governed by a special predetermination..."
- The Meaning of History, Professor Nicholas Berdkilaev of the Moscow Academy of Spiritual Culture

"It was Judaism that brought the concept of a God-given universal moral law into the world...the Jew carries the burden of God in history and for this he has never been forgiven" - Distinguished Catholic Scholar Edward H. Flannery

Fact: Judaism is the only religion in the world that lost its holy land and has regained it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Law of Moses

Most all Jews who convert to Christianity or some other religion, do so without really knowing much about what Judaism teaches or what the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew scriptures clearly state. Jews who are seasoned in their Hebrew scriptures have a next-to-zero conversion rate to Christianity, Islam or some other form of belief system that would take them away from their covenant. This is an strong indication of how rich and complete the Hebrew Bible is when it is taken just as it is and without anything being injected into it, or having its decrees declared void. Even the noted televangelist John Hagee has stated “If rabbis would put more emphasis on putting Jewish kids into Jewish schools, young Jews would never want to become Christians.”
One of the interesting things about today’s Judaism is that there are more Gentiles that have been educated in the Christian faith converting to Judaism than unlearned Jews who know very little about their faith assimilate or converted out of it. This fact is more interesting when one considers the fact that Judaism doesn't seek new converts while Christianity and Islam goes all out (even going from door to door) seeking new converts as their holy books command them to do (Mark 16:15 / Sura 8:39). Both Christianity and Islam lay claim that the Law of Moses has been fulfilled (completed) with the advent of their religion. However, these same two "fulfillment" religions (as a whole) have a very long history of using great violence against the Jews as a show of force that their religion has fulfilled and is superior to that of Moses' religion. This is something that cannot be said about the older Judaism in its dealings with Christianity and Islam, and there is a spiritual reason as to why that is.

I have personally have heard many one-liner sayings coming from devote Christians concerning the Law of Moses and Judaism that is intended to be a statement of their faith and to convince me of the Jews' blindness of their own scripture. So I want to answer a few of those sayings using scripture that they believe is the "word of God" on this blog.

Evangelical claim #1 “The Law of Moses was only temporary until a new and complete doctrine arises that replaces it.” (Based on Galatians 3:19)
The doctrine of Moses:
You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the LORD your God which I command you. - Deuteronomy 4:2
Deuteronomy 4:2 is very clear about adding or subtracting anything from the Law. Notice in this reading that any revelation that causes the commandments not to be kept (adhere to) is a revelation of addition or subtraction from the Torah / Law. In following the context of this commandment it becomes plain to see this is why it reads right after the warning of adding or subtracting: “so that you may keep the commands of the Lord your God”. If the Law of Moses was only given for a temporary time as Christianity and Islam claims, then there would be a place from within the Torah itself for an additional revelation to be added and there would also be no commandments against adding to the Law. But that is clearly not the case, for the Hebrew Bible (especially the Torah) is a complete and closed book! There is no part of the Hebrew Bible that ends by stating: “To be continued”. Throughout the Torah it is repeated over and over again that the laws are to be obeyed "forever". If such a time was to come that the Law of Moses was to be fulfilled whereby the keeping of the law could be laid aside, then such strong warnings coming from the Torah addressing not keeping the Law would become anti-God or at least "anti-new revelation from God" during the era of time when a fulfillment of the Law of Moses and the keeping of it would no longer be necessary. Because the Torah is so strongly set against not keeping the laws, the Torah is its own self-indicator that it is closed to any changes of any kind and at any time.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. - Psalms 19:7 (Psalms 19:8 in the Hebrew Bible)
If there is any scriptures that shows that the Law of Moses is complete within itself, it has to be this one. What is the Law good and perfect for? Converting the very soul of man! What more could the unconverted soul need or what? As my Artscroll Hebrew Bible footnote states concerning Psalms 19:8 : "God's Torah directs man to his true place in the scheme of creation".

And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to do forever. And you shall not fear other gods. And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, and you shall not fear other gods. - II Kings 17:37,38

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our sons forever, so that we may do all the words of this law. - Deuteronomy 29:29

For anyone to state that the Law of Moses has been done away, shows they haven’t read these two verses and others like them, or they simply refuse to believe these verses for what they so clearly state word for word in the context that it was given in. Their true meaning and content of what it actually states becomes avoided!

If the word “if” in the New Testament can be a favorite word among the Armenian Christians to give the Calvinist Christians pause to their doctrine, then the word “do” or “do it” in the Hebrew Scriptures should give the Jew-converting, Torah-denying, evangelical missionaries a greater pause:
"For you shall listen to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. For this commandment which I command you today is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in Heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it? Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us to the region beyond the sea, and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may do it." - Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Only be strong and very courageous so that you may be careful to do according to all the law which My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may act wisely wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it by day and by night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall act wisely. - Joshua 1:7,8

The words “do” and “do it” concerning the Law are repeated over and over again throughout the Torah and the Hebrew Bible as a whole. In II Kings 17:37 - 38 the scripture declares the time span of just how long Israel is expected “to do” the statues and ordinances (which are ritual and not just moral as some Christians contend) and the laws themselves. Notice that the everlasting covenant that God made with Israel is tied in with “doing” the statues, ordinances, and laws: In II Kings 17:37,38 the scripture is saying that by “doing” the statues, ordinances, and laws you will not forget the covenant. Therefore, the covenant that is everlasting will be remembered everlastingly, and the way to remember the covenant everlastingly is “to do” the statues, ordinances, and laws everlastingly, or in the words of the scripture: “you shall be careful to do forever.” Make sense? Now, can anything be added or subtracted from this crystal clear revelation from the Hebrew Bible? I don’t think so. For a Gentile evangelist to tell a Hebrew Jew that he doesn’t have to obey his Hebrew Torah anymore for redemption because the Law has been fulfilled, makes me want to pull my hair out when I see just how much anti-Torah statements like those are.

Evangelical claim #2 Righteousness of the heart can only be given by faith as Abraham believed God and he was therefore righteous. (Based on Galatians 3: 6-12)
The doctrine of the Torah:
And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of the heavens, and will give to your seed all these lands. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws. - Genesis 26:4,5

Every scripture has to dove-tail with other scriptures. Therefore Genesis 15:6 that evangelicals so often points as a proof-text for their "faith over the Law" doctrine has to dove-tail with Genesis 26:4,5. There is no way around that. The evangelicals will never point their potential Jewish converts to Abraham’s "display" of faith which was Abraham’s obedience to God’s commandments, statues, and laws. To do so would go against their “give up the Law and convert” goals for the Jewish people. When comparing Genesis 15:6 with Genesis 26:4,5 notice how the promise seed of Abraham was to become as the stars of heaven based on two things:
1. Faith, not in there being a god, but in trusting what the one God has said He was going to do and acting on it.
2. Obedience (by faith) to adhere to all of God’s commandments, statues, and laws.

The Bible makes it clear that it was “because” ("kee" in Hebrew) Abraham obeyed God’s commandments, statues, and laws that the nations of the earth would be blessed. It is also note-worthy that Abraham’s promised physical seed that was to be as the stars of heaven should be a product of all that Abraham was. Where Abraham obeyed God’s commandments, statues, and laws, so to was his seed to follow in his footsteps. This is why the writer of Genesis made it a spiritual point to record Abraham’s obedience to God’s commandments, statues, and laws long before the advent of the Mosaic Law. Abraham’s “expressed” faith was to be directly connected to the Law of Moses which was obeying God’s laws. That is something the Jew-converting evangelicals just can’t swallow.

And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before Adoni our God, as he hath commanded us. - Deuteronomy 6:25

He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. - Psalms 23:3

Be glad in Adoni, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy,all
ye that are upright in heart. - Psalms 32:11

Behold, I have longed after Your commandments; in Your righteousness give me life. - Psalms 119:40

The Church has maintained that no man can keep the Law, thereby reasoning that Israel is in need a savior who has fulfilled the Law of Moses for them. The Christians whose faith are founded on Galatians 3:6-12 and Romans 8:3 are unable to see the above scriptures in the full light as they are given. Instead of the Jews being blinded as Christianity proclaims, the tables are turned around when it comes to staying with what the Hebrew scriptures teach. The Law of Moses was not given so that Israel could obtain a set of laws that they by nature was incapable of obeying. Righteousness and the Law go together and the Law was given for the very purpose to put righteousness in the earth, as Deuteronomy 6:25 clearly states. Any claim that states that the Law was only given to show men how evil they were by what they couldn't obey is quite frankly absurd. Paul found the Law of Moses to be of death (Romans 7:10), and of a curse (Galatians 3:10), and for every sinful type of person (I Timothy 1:9,10). The Psalmist (continuance of the Davidic doctrine) on the other hand, found the Law to be not only something he loved so very much, even to the point of craving them (Psalms 119: 97,113, 127, 131, 163) and the Law to David was something that was "life" and a delight to him (Psalms 119:77). Christians as well as Muslims, would have a difficult time declaring unto themselves the same commitment that David made of himself concerning the Law of Moses:
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end. - Psalms 119:11,12

Evangelical claim #3 “The Law of Moses was to only to show how sinful man is without given a remedy for sin, such as an x-ray may show what is wrong in the body but does not give the body a cure”. (Based on Romans 3:20 / Romans 7:13 / Romans 8:3)
The Biblical and Davidic Doctrine within the Psalms:
With what shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. I have hidden Your word in my heart, so that I might not sin against You. Psalms 119: 9-11

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners shall be converted to You. - Psalms 51:7-13

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making the simple wise. - Psalms 19:7

Many Christians believe that the sins of man could only be “covered” by an animal atonement in the Old Testament but that they couldn’t be totally washed away in the sight of God. They take what they want to from Psalms 32:1 without letting it dove-tail with the very next verse Psalms 32:2 and with Psalms 103:12. In other words, they believe that the sins of the Jews (under the old-fulfilled covenant) was still laying on the soul of the Jews before the eyes of the God of Israel until God sent His son as a sin-sacrifice in the place of them. It was only after the time of the New Testament that a man’s sins could be completely obliterated and longer imputed to him. David lived about a thousand years before the Common Era and New Testament times, yet after committing great sins that included physical planning to murder, murder indirectly, drunkenness, and physical adultery (not just lust of the heart adultery at that), he was able to find a way to where not only his past sins would be "cleansed" and "blotted out" making him "white as snow" but he also found a clear path for a "clean heart" wherein the presence of the Holy Spirit of God gave David "joy" and "salvation". How did David find such a clean and sinless state in the heart a thousand years before the New Testament? Why would God find this man righteous without applying the new covenant of the Christian faith (I Kings 11:34 /I Kings 15:3 / Psalms 18:20 / Psalms 119:55-60). Did he find a new faith that superseded over the Law which only condemned him? No, he found such a place in the heart by taking hold of the Law that he wrote so passionately about in the Psalms and elsewhere. It was even through embracing the Law of Moses that David himself proclaimed would be the very thing that would allow him to convert other sinners like himself to God! How about that? Oh how beautiful is God’s Torah!
The answer to the “Old Testament is an X-ray” claim, can be summed up in two of many scriptures: And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us. - Deuteronomy 6:25
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making the simple wise. - Psalms 19:7

The law is not an X-Ray that shows you what is wrong but can’t treat your spiritual illness, but it is in fact a medicine for the soul that is specifically designed to cure spiritual aliments as it did with King David. David couldn’t stop bragging on how good the Law worked on his spiritual condition in Psalms 119. Like any prescription doctor gives a patient, it can only work when ones actually takes it into themselves.
Claim #4 “The Law of Moses is only do’s and don’t s that does not address the heart and the inward thoughts and motives of the individual”. (Based on Romans 2:28,29 / Romans 7:5,6)
The doctrine of the prophets:
Blessed are the upright in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek Him with all the heart. They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways. You have commanded us to keep Your commandments carefully. O that my ways were fixed to keep Your statutes! Then I shall not be ashamed, when I have respect to all Your commandments. I will praise You with uprightness of heart when I have learned Your righteous judgments. I will keep Your statutes; - Psalms 119:1-8

Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. - I Kings 8:61

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; - 1 Chronicles 28:9

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: - Isaiah 55:7

When I hear someone make such a claim about the Jewish scriptures, it tells me at least one of three things about the individual who states it:
1. They really haven’t taken the time to read the Jewish scriptures to a point where they have obtained a basic understanding of what the Jewish scriptures are saying as well as the overall godly-message that the Jewish scriptures are delivering to the Jewish nation.
2. They have been indoctrinated by an anti-Semitic lie that the clergy conjured up (a literal demon) in order to downplay the Jewish people and their religion.
3. They are seeking to elevate the New Testament over the Jewish scriptures to proclaim Christianity as a superior religion to Judaism through a philosophy of “The team I’m on has to be the winning team” predetermined conclusion. This is kind of like me being a Oklahoma Sooner fan, not because I searched out and studied all the college teams and then made my pick, but because I was born and raised in Oklahoma to begin with. The simple fact is: A person seeking spiritual guidance in a Christian nation will more than likely become a Christian and have a Christian mindset towards the Jewish scriptures.
Most Gentiles seem to think that the extent of Israel’s worship to their God was limited to performing a set of rituals and abstaining from eating pork and working on Saturday. They don’t realize that tabernacle and temple rituals were only aids to obtaining a closeness to God in fellowship and worship. It was the same effect as it is for a protestant Christian who is dunked into a pool of water in baptism or drinks grape juice and eats a piece of a cracker at a communion service. Some church organizations have a foot-washing ceremony in commemoration of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. For some reason the Christians who downplay Jewish rituals but brag up the moral part of the Law never consider their own Christian rituals.
Many Christians have even called God’s commandments by two different names:
1. The Law of God, or the moral law of God (based solely on the Ten Commandments).
2. The Law of Moses or the Law of the covenant (based on the handwriting of Moses).
By doing this they separate and divide God’s word and His covenant to Israel to justify their belief system. However, the Torah (the only place where the Ten Commandments can be found) never separates the handwriting of Moses from the Ten Commandments. It takes an outside Gentile source with a Gentle revelation to do such a thing. The oracles of Moses puts all the principles of the Ten Commandments into national action. I wonder how our great Christian nation, who allows every defilement of the Ten Commandments (even physically taken the reading of them out of its halls of justice) would hold up under the true fulfilled Law of Moses?
One of the Hebrew words for an animal sacrifice is "Karbon" in which the root of this word means: “the draw close to”. The karbon relating to a animal sacrifice, meant to draw close to God, and its only purpose was to be used as an aid and an avenue for the Israelite to express a coming close to God in worship, while showing his love and admiration towards his God. Just as every child has an inward need to express their love to their parents by picking flowers for their mother, or drawing her a special picture that she will hang on the refrigerator or her office cubical at work, the God of Israel gave the Jewish nation the ancient practice of worship by sacrifice which actually began with Abel long before the Mosaic Law. This animal sacrifice system was to be used in a special way to express their love toward their holy God. Because the sacrifice was only an aid and not the real purpose of worship as many Christians think, the sacrifice was only as good as the worshiper’s heart that brought it. This is something I think most dispensationalist Christians forget when they start trying to blend types and shadows in with sacrifices. To them, the emphasis is placed more on the sacrifice itself (in accordance with the teaching of Hebrews 10) than what God wanted most out of the deal, which was a purified heart before Him.
This being the case, it causes me to wonder how did God’s requirement of having a pure heart become an "Old Testament" to the Christians? It was only through a pure heart that God would accept animal sacrifices and other rituals performed in worship. When the heart was unholy, it made the very sacrifices themselves unholy:
The sacrifice of the wicked is hateful to God; how much more when he brings it with a wicked mind?
- Proverbs 21:27

With what shall I come before the LORD, to bow myself before God the Most High? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:8
No, the Hebrew scriptures are not just a bunch of do’s, don’ts, and meaningless rituals. They are a map for the heart, mind, and soul - to know, walk, live, and abide in life with God in love, respect, and with a willingness to obey every command from God.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro in all the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him - II Chronicles 16:9
Evangelical Claim #5 “I want God’s mercy rather than his justice.”
The doctrine of Moses and David:
I beseech You, pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your mercy, and as You have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now. And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to your word.
- Numbers 14:19

And the LORD passed by before him and proclaimed, Jehovah! Jehovah God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. - Exodus 34:6

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. - Psalms 103:8

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
- Psalms 103:11

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children. - Psalms 103:17

When a Christian states: “I want God’s mercy rather than his justice” he more than likely is meaning that through the Law of Moses he would receive no mercy for his sins being that the Christian concept of the Old Testament God demands total perfection, where with just one wrong doing, and it’s hell fire time for sure, but that through the New Testament the Christian don’t have to worry about receiving any of God’s judgment of willful sin. Both thoughts couldn’t be further from the truth. Even the later is anti-New Testament. Most Christians view the God of the Israelites as one just ready and waiting for the Jews to mess up so He could pounce on them much like an abusive drunken stepfather would beat nearly to death his redheaded stepchild. They also seem to believe that God did an about-face in His dealings with mankind after the Common Era. However, the God of the Israelites is full a mercy and compassion just as His is today. And He is a wrathful God today just as He was during the Israelite days! To put it into political terms, I see God as the greatest conservative and the greatest liberal all at the same time! It is the human heart that brings out His mercy or His wrath!
If you are a Christian reading this, take a moment for this simple test:
View in your mind the God of the Old Testament in all of His Judgment and Justice.
Now with your Old Testament view of God in mind, read the following words from King David and see if they are compatible with your view of the God of the Old Testament:
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and rich in mercy. He will not always chasten, nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our form; He remembers that we are dust. - Psalms 103:7-14

Does any of your preconceived thoughts of God’s justice, judgment, and wrath in the Old Testament easily fit in anyway with the words of David that states: “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities”? Does that sound more like the God of the New Testament where through Jesus, God has greater mercies than the Old Testament?
What is sin? Christians as much as Jews should know what is meant by sin:
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. - I John 3:4
The God of the Israelites first reaction towards sin was not immediate judgment but His loving mercy. He never favored judgment over repentance, and He only pleasures in repentance, never judgment: As I live, says the Lord Jehovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
- Ezekiel 33:11

When I hear a Christians making the statement “I rather have God’s mercy than His justice” I wonder if they have ever considered that you can’t have one without the other.
God’s mercy is His justice and His justice is based on His mercy. Just as the American Justice system allows a presidential pardon for someone on death row and for other crimes, so to is God’s mercy of pardoning sins of man, part of His great “justice” system.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of Your throne mercy and truth shall go before Your face. - Psalms 89: 14

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Witnesses

Before coming to view the world through the eyes of the Jewish scriptures alone, I wondered why the Jews didn’t aggressively seek out new converts into their religion like the majority of Christian organizations do. It would seem that if the Jews had the true religion, they would (like the Christians) should be wanting to share their true faith with all the world, and evangelism seems to be the best way to do that. My questioning like so many other Gentiles, was due to my lack of knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures.
To answer this question in a nutshell: even though Israel is to be a light beacon to the nations (Isaiah 60:3) they were never commanded in the Torah or through the prophets to seek out Gentile converts. The Jewish people were never given a great commission like the Christians were given in Mark 16:15-20 even though Jewish righteousness was to be the set standard for the salvation of the earth:
And He said, It is but a little thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You for a light to the nations, to be My salvation to the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6
Therefore you will never see Jews knocking on your door, trying to convert you and get you to come and join their synagogue. The Hebrew scriptures leaves it up the individual to seek out their relationship with the one true God of Israel.
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. - Isaiah 56:6,7
The way the Jews were to be a witness to the Gentile world was by keeping the commandments: Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? - Deuteronomy 4:5-8
Let all the nations be brought together, and let the people be gathered; who among them can declare this and make us hear former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is true. You are My witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. - Isaiah 43:9,10
The Jews have been a "witness people" centuries before the Christians and Muslims got into the act using their own methods. The Jews are the original "witnesses" for God and their method of witnessing is original. Just keeping the commandments doesn’t seem like much of a witness through the eyes of Christianity, but consider the fact that throughout most of Christendom the Jews have been especially targeted for persecution. In other words, The Jewish witness of keeping the commandments was so strong among Christendom (especially during the Middle Ages) that it caused the Gentile Christians to not only reject the covenant God had with Israel, but to persecute this “witness people” more than any other people in history! They had to have known what the Jews were about (witnessing to them) in order to persecute them. One might say that the Jews are the greatest witnesses in mankind's history via persecution! I can only imagine that the Jews wished that they weren’t so religiously noticed among the Gentiles nations! Adolph Eichmann who was responsible for the expulsion of Jews from Austria over to the ovens at Auschwitz was a student of Judaism and even studied Hebrew! As Judaism’s witness brought out the evil that was lying dormant in Eichmann’s soul, it can also bring out the righteousness of a righteous soul (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Every time a Gentile reads any portion of the Hebrew scriptures, they are in fact reading part of the testimony of the everlasting covenant God has with Israel. Every time you see a plaque of the Ten Commandments in a home or hear a referral to them in a Christian sermon or book, not to mention the highly debated Alabama Court's decision over such a monument in November 2003, these things are witnesses to the people that God has a divine covenant with the nation of Israel whether one chooses to believe that or not. The 1956 classic movie with Charlton Heston is one of the most recognized movies of all time, and every time it is played it is in fact testifying of God's covenant that He has with the nation of Israel. But what is interesting about the Ten Commandments is that the first two commandments of the Christian version are really a combination of the second statement. The first statement is totally ignored by the Christian world which shows the Churches' desire (at lest for most of them) not to recognize the everlasting covenant God has with Israel. The beginning of the Ten Commandments is specifically directed to the nation of Israel alone. It begins with what the God of Israel has done for Israel and based upon that, what He now expects of Israel to follow in the form of the law, which starts with what is now known in the Gentile World as the Ten Commandments: And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt…. - Exodus 20:1-3
Therefore, to the Jews, the Christian Ten Commandments are not “ten commandments” but “Aseret ha-Dibrot” meaning: "The Ten Sayings" - the ten saying of the Law of Moses that are solely directed to the nation of Israel, that Israel may be a "witness" of these commandments to the world (Deut. 4:5-8 / Isaish 43: 9,10). Personally, I think they have done a fair job.
Judaism’s history however, has had its share of Gentile proselytes. At one point before Constantine made Christianity a state religion, the entire Roman empire was made up of more than ten percent of Gentile converts to Judaism. They were known as God-fearers in the Gentile world. If Judaism would have kept that percentage of the world’s population there would be hundreds of millions of Judaism believers, along with multiple Jewish nations, perhaps even Rome itself would have eventually become a Jewish-ruled empire had it not been for the rise of Christianity. Since the Jewish nation was be a special singled-out nation and not a world religion for the masses, the events of history shook off Judaism’s excess as God did with the Israelites during the time of Gideon when 32,000 men was way too many, but 300 (less than 1% of the 32,000 which types the less than 1% of the Jewish population in the world) was just right. It is prophesied that ten Gentiles will grab the garment of one Jew for instructions to known their God, and not ten Jews grabbing the garments of one Gentile for a better understanding of their own scripture (Zech. 8:3)! After the rise of Christianity it became a death sentence in many parts of Christian Europe for a Jew to take part in converting a Christian to Judaism, and Christians were forbidden to attend Jewish services and ceremonies. Jewish communities were forcibly separated form the Christian communities, and Christian society degraded and branded the Jews as social outcast. There wasn’t much opportunity for any Jew seeking Gentile proselytes to work under those type of conditions.
Because Christianity didn’t require its converts to keep the commandments (the Jewish way of witnessing) which included circumcision, it was easier in the minds of the Gentile to pick Christianity over Judaism when trying to connect with the God of Israel, even though it went outside the scope of the Torah of Moses. Therefore Christianity flourished while Judaism took a backseat to Gentile conversions. This way, through the biblical requirement of keeping the Law of Moses itself, the Jewish people remained unique as a special nation chosen of God, instead of becoming like all the other nations. Meanwhile, the Gentile world connected with God in their own way by being influenced by (but not devoted in keeping) the Torah of Moses.
In today’s Western free societies where religious persecution is no longer the norm, the Jews still maintains the practice of not seeking new converts to Judaism. Why should they when they believe that a Gentile can be righteous without converting to Judaism based upon the seven Noachide laws depicted in the Talmud - the ancient Jewish body of literature that has been burned, put on trail, forbidden to read, and falsely accused by the Gentile nations> http://www.talmud.faithweb.com/. In fact, most orthodox Jewish rabbis will even discourage the Gentile who comes to them contemplating converting to Judaism. Can you imagine an evangelical missionary or a Islamic Imam doing that in their religion? Usually it is after a year of deep studying that a full conversion is granted and recognized by Judaism authorities. Part of the reason for this is that once a Gentile has fully converted, he receives a Hebrew name and is no longer considered a Gentile like the coming out of Abraham (Genesis 14:13). If he decides to go back into the Gentile way of life, he doesn’t become a Gentile again, he becomes a Jewish apostate. So conversion into the Jewish faith is something the Jewish authorities have take very serious.
Judaism’s strength lies in the power of originality and context of the Hebrew scriptures. One cannot truly understand Judaism’s pull-towards-truth unless they engage in a word-for-word study in the original Hebrew and be willing to accept the meaning and context of what all the Hebrew scriptures clearly state without first running it through a Christian or Islamic perspective. Organizations such as Outreach Judaism, Jews for Judaism, and Messiah Truth, have caused many Gentile Christians, including many Christian pastors to convert to Judaism, not to mention the many Christian Jews that have returned back to their faith of Judaism. Because of their efforts in presenting the context of the Hebrew Bible, more and more Gentiles are coming to embrace Judaism or the Noachide laws more than at anytime before in recent history. The strange thing is these organizations were not designed to seek out Gentile converts. Their mission was to only to prepare other Jews for the missionary onslaught that awaits them in the Gentile world as they try to convert the Jewish people away from their covenant. Once the Hebrew scriptures are laid out in the eyes of a Hebrew (by which it was originally meant) even some Gentiles like myself, seem to take notice.