Some may wonder why, in situations like Sam the Rock Thrower, I don’t fight back or resist or run away in fear when evil confronts me. I am coming to see that Yeshua is leading Ruti and me into the place of turning the other cheek—of not resisting evil; of loving our enemies and of laying down our lives that His Glory might be seen. As I have grown in Him and learn to walk in this I’ve come to see that my only hope for our lives in these situations is the Lord Yeshua, but my life cannot be the main focus. I want Sam and others like him to come to know the Shepherd of Israel.
My hope is not in my strength to overpower these men or in my intelligence to outwit them or in my legs to outrun them or in hoping that the police might come and intervene, but in the knowledge that Yeshua is my King. He is my Shepherd. He alone is my Hope. If He chooses to allow evil to murder or maim us then we accept this as from His Hand. That doesn’t mean that we are doormats, though.
Some have chastened us, ‘Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves,’ but where does the harmlessness of the dove come in? What kind of defense does a dove or a lamb have? God made the lamb virtually defenseless against a lion. The lamb must look to the shepherd. It is the shepherd’s responsibility to defend His lambs.
Others have spoken about Paul and how he was held back from entering the angry crowd that day by the other disciples who refrained him, but Paul was stoned once and beaten with rods or lashes three times (2nd Cor. 11:25). Who would say that he wasn’t wise?
Let me say right now that we don’t go looking for these encounters. I don’t want to die or be maimed or be hurt and neither did Yeshua:
Mark 14:36: “And He was saying, ‘Abba! (Papa!) Oh my Father! All things are possible for You. Remove this Cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.’”
No one wants to die. The flesh or carnal nature does all it can to justify its existence on ‘just’ a spiritual level. The flesh will do just about ‘everything’ required of a believer, except die to self. The carnal nature does not want to lose control of its right to control it’s life, but only as we die to self can we begin to experience the life that Yeshua died to give us.
When it comes to the possibility of a real death in the physical realm my spiritual ‘death to self’ is seen for where it really is. If I am not ready to die ‘for His Name,’ then am I really living for His Name? Anyone can sing and praise the Lord in the midst of the congregation. Can we sing and praise the Lord in the midst of an angry mob?
Yeshua says to ‘resist not evil’ and to ‘turn the other cheek’ to them after they’ve already hit you (Matt. 5:39). This is not easy to walk in. It is impossible, but it is exactly at this point that we desire to trust Him. A Living Trust or Faith in Yeshua. In this way we are truly witnesses for Him, and in death, who would say that Yeshua’s ministry ended after His Death or that Stephen died in vain or Paul or Peter?
One’s life is really in His hands. These situations just emphasize that. People might think that they are safe in their homes or driving on the road or in school or in church, but how many times have we read of people being murdered in those places? Safety can be an illusion, for in one moment we can be dead from unforeseen events.
Let us die daily to self then that when the opportunity comes, we too, might be like that Lamb led to slaughter who opened not His Mouth (Isaiah 53:7). In other words, He didn’t resist their evil, but left His ultimate fate in the hands of His Father.
My mother, who doesn’t believe in Yeshua yet, after finding out about my experience with Sam the Rock Thrower asked me sarcastically, ‘What do you have…a martyr’s complex?!’ In other words, are you stupid or something?!
At first, I ‘ran’ from that phrase when I heard it from my mother because of the emotional volley against me. I didn’t scrutinize it, but then I began to look at just what a ‘martyr’s complex’ was. Someone that has to die for some (religious) reason. Not God’s reason, but their reason. I wasn’t looking to die as some form of ‘good works’ or something that I thought the Lord required of me for salvation. I love Yeshua because He has loved me with an unfathomable love. There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for my Messiah and if Yeshua calls me to be a martyr, I don’t want to turn away. I value my life, but not above Him.
Someone might say, like Peter did once, that he was ‘ready’ to die for Jesus! (Matt. 26:33), but it’s not in our own strength or will power that this happens. Peter was ready to die, his way, with the sword in battle (Mark 14:47), but not Yeshua’s Way, as a lamb. At least, not at that time, but later he would.
In the midst of these encounters, I don’t literally lay down and go limp. I am actively walking in and waiting upon the Holy Spirit for what to say and what to do in the Name of Yeshua. It’s really a place of Shalom (the Peace of the Lord). I might say a ‘heightened peace.’
At this point in time, February 2000, the Lord is leading Ruti and me to praise Him in the midst of these encounters, in a very vocal way and I am praying that Yeshua will move among them, hopefully to the degree that His Presence would be so strong that they would fall on their knees and cry out to Yeshua for the Living Water that He has for them!
There are many things that I would like to declare to these men. Things like their need for repentance. To call them to accountability before the Lord and that they need to turn to Messiah Yeshua and have their sins forgiven and establish a living relationship with God through the Messiah of Israel, but only when we enter into these encounters do we see which way the Lord is leading.
In the end, the reason why I believe Yeshua is leading Ruti and me to walk like this is that these evil men might see the True Light and come to Yeshua their Messiah. For many Jewish people Jesus is the most vile Person that has ever lived. The reason for this is that ‘in the Name of Jesus’ more Jews have been murdered than in all other names combined. This might be shocking to you, but that’s how a Jew sees Jesus. It’s not the Jesus of the Bible they see, but the Jesus of the Church that has been viciously anti-Semitic for 1,900 years. To the Jewish people, Jesus is not an option—He is a horror.
Let me share with you someone whom many in the Church world hold in honor and esteem and let you read what he wrote about the Jewish people:
On The Jews and Their Lies
‘What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing, and blaspheming…I shall give you my sincere advice:
‘First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom.’
‘Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues.’
‘Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.’
‘Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.’
‘Fifth, I advise that safe conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside.’
‘And you, my dear gentlemen and friends who are pastors and preachers, I wish to remind very faithfully of your official duty, so that you too may warn your parishioners concerning their eternal harm, as you know how to do; namely, that they be on their guard against the Jews and avoid them so far as possible.’
The pamphlet was written in 1543 by Martin Luther. Shocking? Yes. An isolated incident? No. This was not foreign to Church doctrine. The theology behind this demonic admonition began in the early second century. Hitler used these very words to establish his ‘Final Solution of the Jews.’ This was the predominant attitude toward Jewish people for 1,900 years and toward anyone who would seek to dethrone it from the Church. Martin Luther is just one man in a long line of church ‘theologians’ who condemned the Jews for being Jewish.
In 1589 a man by the name of Francis Kitt was burned alive at the stake by the Catholic Church. His crime? He insisted that the Jews would one day return to their Land; an idea he claimed to have received from the Bible. He would not recant.
Aside from the time of Jesus and the Apostles, and immediately thereafter, only once by a group in the fifth century and another time in the 18th century by another group, and some today, the Jewish people have never had the Good News proclaimed to them in a godly manner. Because of this, Jewish people have come to see Christianity as the cruelest, most hate filled religion in the world. More Jewish people have been persecuted, their lands, fortunes and family’s taken away, tortured and murdered, in the Name of Jesus than all other ‘names’ combined.
How am I to know that the Jewish men and women that confront us physically and verbally haven’t lost their parents and many other relatives in the Nazi Holocaust? Six million Jewish men, women and children murdered, only because they were ‘dirty Jews and Christ killers.’
The truly shocking reality is that the Nazis were only doing what the Church had been doing for 1,900 years. Part of the Nazi defense in the Nuremburg trials was based on this, and they were telling the truth. The Church has sanctioned 1,900 years of Church theology that said that the Jews were ‘Christ killers’ and worthy to die. It was the Church in the centuries past that led in the murder of the Jewish people. This may not be known to you because Church history specifically relating to the Jewish people is not taught much in the Church today, but pick up any book on the History of the Jewish People and start reading from the time after Jesus and you’ll see what has happened to the Jewish people ‘in the Name of Jesus’ for the past 1,900 years.
When Jewish people confront us we understand their rage. It doesn’t mean that we condone their sin, but they have never known the Love and Forgiveness of Jesus. This is what we want to show them, especially in confrontational situations. Unfortunately, they believe that what I represent, a Jew who believes in Jesus, is the worst possible Jew there can be. One who is a traitor to his own people and worthy of death.
There is a lot going against us in these confrontations, but the One thing that we have ‘going for us’ is the Lord of Glory Himself and that is enough. We place our lives in His hands and ask Him to use us for His Glory.
After these confrontations Ruti and I have found that fear of the next confrontation can be overwhelming. We have come to see that this is normal. We deal with the fear by rebuking it and standing against it and asking the Lord to strengthen us and be our Sheild. The fear usually centers around all the different possibilities of being hurt when we would go outside again on our daily routines, not knowing when the next, ‘There he is!’ would be shouted about us.
Also, when I would be out and about, I’d be anxious, looking with fear that one of them might recognize me and it would start all over again, but this time it might be worse. We have come to see that fear is a plague and a spirit and we must seek to (literally) walk with Yeshua and yield to Him. When I do this from my heart the fear leaves. It cannot stay in the Presence of the King of Israel.
This is a story that came across my path recently that I would like to share with you concerning our attitude to those who would seek to do us harm:
There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Sunday morning he came to the church carrying a rusty, bent old bird cage and set it by the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised and as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak.
‘I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me, swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked,
‘What you got there son?’
‘Just some old birds,’ came the reply.
‘What are you gonna do with them?’ I asked.
‘Take’em home and have fun with’em. I’m gonna tease’em and pull out their feathers to make’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.’
‘But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?’
‘Oh, I got some cats. They like birds. I’ll take’em to them.’
The pastor was silent for a moment.
‘How much do you want for those birds, son?’
‘Huh??!!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing and they ain’t even pretty!’
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, ‘$10?’ The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand and the boy took off.
The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down he opened the door and by softly tapping the bars, persuaded the birds to come out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit. Then the pastor began to tell this story:
‘One day Satan and Yeshua were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden and he was gloating and boasting.
‘Yes, sir! I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got’em all!’
‘What are you going to do with them?’ Yeshua asked.
‘Oh, I’m gonna have some fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other. How to hate and abuse each other. How to drink, smoke and curse. How to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!’
‘And what will you do when you get done with them?’ Yeshua asked.
‘Oh, I’ll kill’em all!’
‘How much do you want for them?’
‘What?! You don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, You’ll take them and they’ll just hate You. They’ll spit on You, curse you and kill You! You don’t want those people!’
‘How much?’ Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, ‘Your Blood!’
Pastor Thomas picked up the cage, opened the latch to the door and smiled. The Lord has set us free people. Let’s thank Him. You know any ‘caged birds’?
The Jewish people have been in Satan’s cage for many years. They don’t know the Living God and His Messiah King…yet, but that’s why Ruti and I are here in Israel. We want them to know that Yeshua has set them free. Free from their sin. Free from the sin of the Church. Free from bitterness and anger. Free to walk with their Messiah who is Life Eternal.
I’m finding that I don’t have the strength within me to be like Yeshua during these physical confrontations, and that’s exactly what Yeshua wants me to understand. I have to lean on Him. I have to share all my fears and my burdens with Him, that He might give me His Grace to walk this out.
I know that the popular definition of Grace is ‘unmerited favor,’ but I have come to see that God’s Grace enables us to walk like Yeshua walked. When a soldier is in a restaurant, he doesn’t need ammunition. When he is on the battlefield he needs it. When I am confronted by these men I need Yeshua’s Grace to walk in His Love for them, no matter what they might do to me, and in this, Love will overcome hate even if they murder me.
Thanks for your prayers for Ruti and me, that He would use us to reach all of Israel, for His Glory.
‘For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this Mystery so that you will not be wise in your own estimation that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and so all Israel will be saved, just as it is written,’
‘The Savior will come from Zion. He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’
‘This is My Covenant with them when I take away their sins.’
‘From the standpoint of the Gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the Fathers because the Gifts and the Calling of God are irrevocable’ (Romans 11:25-29).
||MEET AVRAM||||PREVIOUS ARTICLE||||MAIN PAGE||