Faith Crisis – by Annelise

Every human is familiar with inner conflict. The sensations, emotions, thoughts, ideas, and values that we have don’t always align or work together. We try to find unified ways to think and live, and yet, internal conflict resolution doesn’t always come naturally.

During a crisis of faith for someone questioning and leaving Christianity, this confusion can be tumultuous.
Perhaps an inner voice of reason, mixed with fear, points out that it’s a serious question of salvation and faithfulness to God. “I can’t rest until I find answers.”
Yet the heart and body may be weighed down to their limit with anxiety and grief, and need times to rest. Times to be present and attune with the things that calm and enliven us.  Times to spread our focus more broadly on the things we need to do in our lives, for ourselves and for others.

The voice of reason may conclude, “There is no clear reason to worship Jesus, so I can’t.”

The heart may accept this, with eager love for God and truth. But maybe some part of the heart still says, “I want to cling to the person who seemed to be my loving shepherd, closest friend. I looked only to him to understand me fully, with unwavering love. I thought he was God! How can I stop seeing him as my comfort, joy, and hope?”

This feeling may not be logical, helpful, or acceptable. However, it’s fed by deep and legitimate yearnings for secure love, and may grow stronger if suddenly exiled to a distant corner of the mind.

Logic says, “I can’t be part of the church, then.” But for some people, something in the heart might say, “I don’t want to be torn from the belonging and friendship I’ve found in the Christian community. That’s where my place was, my identity, even my language for connecting with others. And my friends won’t see light on any other path I take.” If we had found a good community and let our roots grow deep, then there may be wounds and loss in separating from it.
One part of the heart says that it’s beautiful to seek God and truth with new clarity and freedom. A blessing to learn so much from the Jewish community, and finally let go of unjust beliefs about them. Perhaps another part of the heart is still in mourning.
And when the foundations of the faith we once had are taken out from under us, logic may ask if we can still see solid reasons to trust in God at all. When pain or fear beset us, though, something deep in the heart still calls straight to God, for help and shelter.
The conflict may be different in some ways for each person, but it does affect many of us.
What can we do with this? Without cooperation between our inner parts, we might become overly rigid, suppressing emotions and ignoring unfamiliar perspectives. Or we may become chaotic, letting strong emotions drive us unrestrained, or letting them cripple us. We might go back and forth between rigidity and chaos.
The more logical part of ourselves can help by becoming a gentle leader of decision making. Collaborating with and empowering the other parts within, rather than treading them down.
Without compromising what matters in the commitment to reason, we can still let our hearts and intuitions express themselves, rather than silencing them. We can let painful emotions be felt, and release them, in whatever place some beauty and peace may meet them. We can find our way in the overlap between what is right and what we desire. Only then may we be able to follow wisdom passionately, wholeheartedly, and with joy, in positive expressions of what we most yearn for.
The heart can lead too, by finding the rhythms of wellness in our lives. We can’t seek truth or serve God if we’re wearing ourselves out and losing our minds.
The music of wisdom balances deep thoughts with more ordinary ones. It alternates between effort and surrender. There is work and there is rest. There are short times of speaking, followed always by listening. Sometimes learning flows rapidly, and at others we grow slowly as the trees. The heart can find these rhythms, and gradually grow into them, when we pay attention to where we find wellness. We can only move forward freely towards our goal as we learn to fall in time with this music.
And when it comes to effort and surrender, surrender comes first. We can only offer what we are given.
Nothing more could be expected than that. And what we are given is very near to us, in the here and now, within us and all around us, taking us by the hand.
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78 Responses to Faith Crisis – by Annelise

  1. Tsvi says:

    Very beutifully put. As one who truly identifies with this I would say that anyone who hasn’t yet seen that all life is that combination of rest and struggle isn’t living in the fulness of what life is. Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb and that noticibly continued through their lives. How we wish for Gan Aden and thankfully that is going to come for us. Thanks again . Tsvi

    • Annelise says:

      I think you’re right…life as we know it couldn’t be only rest or only effort. Our nervous systems need the right balance of the two as well.

  2. Dina says:

    Annelise, this is so inspiring and moving!

  3. Another testimony of a faith crisis here.

    • charles soper
      I generally delete comments which just post a link – but I will leave this one up. Hebrew Union College and an Orthodox Rabbi – pretty good! This is the same culture of Matthew’s quotes from Tanach and Tzachi Shapira’s quotes from the Rabbinic literature
      https://judaismresources.net/2014/02/17/innocent-trust/

    • Dina says:

      Funnily enough, there is a Max Wertheimer who lived around the same time as the one in Charles’s link, who was born in Europe and emigrated to the United States.

      https://www.britannica.com/biography/Max-Wertheimer

      So that whole testimony is fabricated.

      This is beside the point that a real Orthodox rabbi would have already studied inside and out all the passages that suddenly strike “Wertheimer” as newly relevant. He also contradicts himself, calling himself Orthodox and then boasting of his “Reformed Judaism” in front of a church congregation.

      Wikipedia mentions that he was sent to a Catholic school at age five by his parents.

      Finally, the language simply doesn’t match the time period in which it is purported to have been written, and the grammar mistakes do not reflect his education.

      • Annelise says:

        I agree that this was definitely written by someone else.

        It baffles me that people can write deceptively about a belief they seme to genuinely hold! And how arrogant to sit down and write someone else’s biography in the first person, changing and inserting things at whim.

        • Annelise says:

          I agree that this was definitely written by someone else.

          It baffles me that people can write deceptively about a belief they seem to genuinely hold! And how arrogant to sit down and write someone else’s biography in the first person, changing and inserting things at whim.

  4. Yafe meod and inspiring, Annelise!
    I guess Jacob might have gone through this same faith crisis. He loved Rachel but Leah was given. He lived with Leah to have Rachel. He loved Rachel more than Leah. Yet Jacob never abandoned Leah and wanted to be buried with Leah. I have faith that my Jewish brothers and sisters here are doing the same thing to me and other Chriatians.

    • Annelise says:

      In my case, it wasn’t that I wanted Jesus more than God, but chose to follow God away from Jesus out of necessity. No…I never intended to worship a mere human, I only ever intended to worship God. And I stopped believing that Jesus was my shepherd, yet I knew that Judaism teaches that God is my shepherd even without Jesus being in the picture at all.

      The reason for the emotional dissonance was simply that we humans find it hard to change our attachment towards someone, even when in our minds we know facts to the contrary.

      I think that many Jews understand the sincerity of many Christians, and are willing to be their friends and appreciate them as fellow humans…if the Christians are being transparent and respectful.

      But how can Torah observant Jews accept the actual beliefs that Christians hold about how to look at Jesus as God or as the king of Israel? Christians don’t base this on evidence alone but on a leap of faith that all in itself defines which set of evidence will be accepted.

      And that leap of faith is based on an emotional response, which could fairly be explained as being influenced by social and emotional factors. An emotional reaction can’t be considered a good enough reason for elevating a human like that.

  5. Dovid says:

    Beautiful article, Annelise!

    • Annelise says:

      Thanks Dovid.

      • Bible819 says:

        Annelise,

        How do you know that Moses spoke to God on the Mount Sinai?

        • Annelise says:

          I’m not actually sure whether that happened or not. But I think the claim of revelation to Moses and Israel at Sinai is not in the same category as the claim that Jesus is God.

          This post was about some things I’ve found helpful for my mental health while questioning, and I think some of these principles may be helpful even for some people who are on somewhat different journeys than my own.

          • Bible819 says:

            Christians hold that Jesus was raised from the Dead making him the Son of God who ascended into heaven. Jews hold that Moses met the 1 true God on Mt Sinai.Point being, both are beyond human comprehension thus constitute a leap of faith.

          • Annelise says:

            Everything in life involves a level of uncertainty and partial knowledge. The question is whether any claim (religious or not) is reasonably convincing.

          • Bible819 says:

            Speaking to a Fire Bush, going up a mountain and talking Someone you can’t See?! Having a Son at the age of 100 years old by way of Miracle, Parting an Ocean…..Vs Sending a Messiah to Save the World being accomplished by God living in him to do his own work? And man rejecting Gods promise and killing him? But God raising him from the Dead freeing him from the agony of Death. If you believe the former you believe the latter!

          • Annelise says:

            I think it may be better to look at miracle claims through the lens of the discipline of history, rather than of science. The natural laws as we know them are fairly local to our eveyday experiences. There are certainly realities that don’t meet the eye and are totally unintuitive, even unknown to us. And the emergence of anything existing at all isn’t something that science has explained. We need to allow for things beyond our scientific framework, even if we consider them highly unlikely and rightly demand of a large amount of evidence.

            Historically speaking, the arguments for both Judaism and Christianity do have some level of merit, some reasons for taking them seriously. I’m in the same boat as you are in terms of not having found proof for either that convinces me fully.

            However, the strongest objections to Judaism (aside from lack of an evidence base) seem to be in the philosophically grey areas of things like ethics and God’s kindness. Traditional Christianity hits a much harder wall, because it promotes a changing of how the halacha are to be followed and the worship of a man (on the basis of saying he is God). These are topics that the Torah describes as being extremely important, and it’s written in black and white, in the Hebrew texts that Christianity takes to be foundational. So the existence of doubt or a ‘leap of faith’ in those areas means that Christianity is much more clearly false.

  6. Bible819 says:

    Annelise,
    If what you say is the case who did Isaiah (See) in Isaiah 6?

    VS

    Deut 4 :15 -> Spoken Law

    Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.

    Black and White?

    You notice that God shows more of himself throughout the history of Israel.

    Deut to Ezekiel… Then God speaks about in Daniel the Last Days ie the abomination that causes Desolation

    Seems to dive more into the Spiritual realm.

    • Annelise says:

      Ezekiel 1 gives the description of a prophetic vision as “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.” It doesn’t mean the prophets believed that God is a physical entity.

      I can definitely see how there is room in the Torah for later, progressive revelation. However, the caution that it sets up around worshiping God alone and holding on to God’s commandments is so clear and strong that there is no room for speculation or a shadow of a doubt about whether or not someone is transgressing in these areas.

      The Tanach goes frequently to the description of created beings as those who are in the land, sea, and sky, including all people. So for there to be an exception to this, it would need to be with great clarity. This isn’t at all what we see in the early church, where the apostles weren’t even openly declaring an incarnation belief, and also seemed to still be upholding the normal Jewish following of Torah law in many senses.

  7. Bible819 says:

    yourphariseefriend:

    I believe God is 1.

    His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze

    I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

    my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

    The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

    6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.

    Yeshua is the King whose hair is white like pure wool, whose robe filled the temple, who was and is on the right hand of God that was rejected by Israel.

    Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.

    • Annelise says:

      That conclusion would need to be backed up by a logical and extremely unquestionable line of thought.

    • Dina says:

      In my past experience with Aaron (aka Bible819), there is no point in talking to him because he doesn’t listen carefully to an argument and then try to refute it; instead, he preaches. Therefore, this comment is not addressed to him but to others who might be wondering if the descriptions of visions of God by the prophets justify worship of a man.

      The fact is, even if we grant Aaron’s interpretation of these visions as a God incarnate, it is irrelevant. Let us go one step further. Even if Scripture explicitly stated that God took on human form and walked among men, it would be irrelevant to how we worship God.

      The reason this is irrelevant is very simple and the reason is this: God Himself in His Revelation to us at Mount Sinai made it perfectly clear how He desires to be worshiped. Moses, in recounting the Revelation to the Children of Israel in Deuteronomy 4, sternly reminds them that they saw no form at Sinai and that therefore they are not to worship God in any form, whether it be in the whole host of heaven, male or female, and so on and so forth. Please note that Moses specified male or female. Any physical form as worship is unacceptable to God. Moses further reminds us in that chapter that we were shown this in order to know that the Lord, He is the God, there is none beside Him (verse 35).

      Since Aaron believes Isaiah, perhaps he should take these words of Isaiah to heart:

      “I am the Lord, that is My Name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to the graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).

      “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My spirit, which is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed’s seed,” said the Lord, “from now and to eternity” (Isaiah 59:21). (Which means we carry God’s spirit and His words forever. Just sayin.)

      This is all beside the point that Aaron is begging the question. He believes that the vision in Isaiah is of Jesus even though there is absolutely nothing in Scripture to indicate this. In order to accept Aaron’s version of Scripture, you first have to believe in Jesus.

      • Bible819 says:

        Dina,

        You disregard Daniel’s and Isaiah vision which describes a form. Many other people claimed to (see) the face of God throughout the Bible. Yet, we are to put scripture aside and listen to Dina.

        Yes if (we) believe Moses saw nothing on Mountain. It is easy for me to see the Descriptions of a form as Yeshua.

        Zechariah 6:12

        And you are to tell him that this is what the LORD of Hosts says: ‘Behold, a man whose name is the Branch, and He will branch out from His place and build the temple of the LORD.

        Joshua, Yeshua, Jesus = is the name of the Righteous Branch.

        All Glory to the Father, Son, and Spirit.

  8. Bible819 says:

    Annelise it was descriptive.

    I liked what Jeremiah saw:

    I looked at the earth,

    and it was formless and empty;

    and at the heavens,

    and their light was gone.

    24I looked at the mountains,

    and they were quaking;

    all the hills were swaying.

    25I looked, and there were no people;

    every bird in the sky had flown away.

    26I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;

    all its towns lay in ruins

    before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Bible819, this is for you

      Cathechism of the Catholic Church:Part 1:The Profession of Faith:Chapter 1: IV

      #43 “Admittedly, in speaking about God like this, our language is using human modes of expression; nevertheless it really does attain to God himself, though UNABLE to express him in his infinite simplicity. Likewise, we must recall that “between Creator and creature NO SIMILITUDE can be expressed without implying an even greater dissimilitude”;17 and that “concerning God, we CANNOT GRASP what he is, but ONLY what he IS NOT, and how other beings stand in relation to him.”18

      You are understanding your own Christian faith in a way that traditional Churches do not understand the New Testament. In truth, you do not need to, nor should you even disagree with Dina about Deuteronomy 4, about whether sight of god is vision or meant as literal, nor should you dispute the warning that God has no similitude.

      Even Jesus himself when speaking of seeing god only ever spoke in beatific and spiritual visionary terms.

      Mathew 16 17-20 “And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[c] in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

      Jesus says “the pure in heart shall see god.” Its just as Dina told you, even if there are verses which can be read as god taking a physical form and walking among men, you are never supposed to give homage to that physical form.

      Proof is in the pudding.

      The one time Israel actually conflated an object endowed with God’s power with the belief that this was a deity in its own right and was fit for service, the object was destroyed.

      The same rationale holds for any theophany. When God spoke from the bush, should Moses have built a religion around it? NO!

      Look at the history of how many Christians died as a result of disputes about the metaphysics behind how Jesus’ natures interacted, or indeed over how many natures he even had. 1 nature, two, half and half, or two equals that are joined like oil and water without mixture?

      This is exactly the kind of thing that Deuteronomy 4 seeks to teach you to avoid, because when religion focuses on such matters it gets corrupt, and folk get hurt.

      When you laser focus on Jesus, his nature, and questions of whether he was human or divine, or both, or whatever secret hints might mean in Torah, you fly in the face of the spirit of Deuteronomy 4.

      I don’t believe Christians like yourself are bad people, and I know that there are numerous passages which you can comb through, messianic movements you can draw parallels with, etc. but in reality, if you understand your own faith on sure enough foundation, you shouldn’t need to argue with central premises of Judaism which Christianity also claims to hold as true.

      • Bible819 says:

        Concerned Reader,

        I see sheep of the Lord Jesus come on this website and debate with Jews about the Kings teaching. For example, Charles and I are in complete agreement so I support what he says. As I stated earlier that we are 1 Christ. As you said, only God can open ones eyes to spiritual realities. That said, I repeat what Jesus said in that hope that every soul will come to Lamb of God. After all, the apostles did engage in public debate and prove in the Scripture that Jesus was the Messiah.

        As God told Jeremiah and Jesus said ” Go Tell that Fox”

        From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’

        27“When you tell them all this, (they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer). 28Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.

        • Sharon S says:

          Hi Bible819,

          The passage from Jeremiah that you quoted is an internal criticism from G-d to the Jewish people, via prophecy .Apologies for being blunt , but what right do you have to use these verses against them?

          Does being a believer in Jesus automatically gives you that right ?

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            We are talking about Spiritual Realities.

            Spiritual Blindness vs Spiritual Reality

            As in:

            But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not listen to them.

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Bible819,

            Does believing in Jesus gives you the right to assume the Jewish people (I’m assuming your statement refers to them) as being spiritually blind?

            What makes you convinced that your belief in Jesus is a spiritual reality?

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            The reason why there are so many Old Testament books and Prophets mentioned: Are due to Spiritual Blindness and Salvation. After all, when God took Israel out of Egypt, Israels heart turned back to Egypt while Moses was on the Mountain. Conclusion, I don’t trust man to determine when and how to recognize the Messiah to come. I truly believe that God in his infinite Wisdom sent Jesus to save Israel and they rejected their own Messiah. Plus, I have a relationship with Yeshua so their is nothing that could convince me otherwise.

            Key Point:

            Janice and jambres used the power of satan to oppose Moses. That said, Yeshua defined the War that would be fought in his return.

            In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24He will become very strong, ((but not by his own power))). He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, (((but not by human power.)))

          • Annelise says:

            You’re so wary of other people/group’s ability to recognise the messiah. But you feel so sure of your impression that you have a relationship with Jesus and that he is the messiah. Why trust your intuition about a man, when you so heavily doubt everyone else’s?

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Bible819,

            Thank you for your feedback. I have a more clearer understanding of your position.

            Unfortunately ,you have not answered my first question. This question is not about the message of the Jewish Scriptures. The question is whether you , me or anyone for that matter have the right to use these internal criticisms (from G-d to the Jewish people) to justify our assumptions about the Jewish people-even if our assumptions are heavily influenced by the devotion to Jesus.

            I would like to request that you put Jesus aside for a while and consider the following- Say if Jesus did not exist , no NT but you still have access to the Jewish Scriptures today,would you still conclude the Jewish people as being spiritually blind ? Would you see this as a permanent blindness or temporary setbacks that the Jewish nation goes through in their covenant relationship with G-d-which is meant to be a lesson to the nations and not to be used as an object of criticism?

            I do not intend to undermine your relationship with Jesus, but is relationship alone a valid criterion for belief? How about engaging the intellect and reasoning that G-d has blessed you with in order to find the truth? If you can engage these faculties in other areas of your life , why not in spiritual matters as well?

          • Dina says:

            Sharon, I am always baffled when Christians use these passages as proof of our spiritual blindness and untrustworthiness for the simple reason that Christians believe that during the time period that these criticisms were directed at the Jews, the Jews were the sole possessors of religious truth.

            Furthermore, despite all their flaws, these very Jews preserved the whole cannon of Scripture even though it describes them in the most unflattering terms, a cannon that the Christian accepts as God’s truth without reservation.

            If these Jews were so untrustworthy, why trust their testimony in preserving these Scriptures? It makes no sense to me. Also, why would the Jews preserve such unflattering criticism if they are so stubborn and blind?

            Christians are missing something here.

          • Dina says:

            Also, Sharon, I did answer your question regarding a strong reason for gentiles to leave idolatry if the Torah’s directives regarding idolatry address strictly the Jewish people. Did you have a chance to see it? Please let me know if you would like me to find it and repost it.

          • Bible819 says:

            Dina,

            Why were the Prophets Sent?

            The Prophets were sent to save or admonish them.

            Nehemiah 9:26

            They killed Your prophets who had admonished them to turn back to You.

            Why did they kill them?

            They were Spiritually Blind!

          • Dina says:

            I think Aaron exemplifies what happens when one tries to engage with Christian missionaries. It’s sad, and it’s frustrating. But according to our Scripture we will not be vindicated in the eyes of the nations (including people like Aaron) until the end of days. We pray that time comes speedily, in our days, amen.

          • Bible819 says:

            Dina,

            The truth is that the Prophets came for correct and save Israel from oppression or future judgement.

            Your argument is why would we trust the Prophets words if there were subject to Israels Bias.

            My answer would be that Gods Word has never up to the Prophets interpretation, or Human Discretion.

            Jeremiah 1:7
            But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.

            John 12:49
            For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.

            For Example, The Father is the Author and his testimony Regarding his Son Yeshua.

            All Glory to the Father and His Risen Son
            Amen

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            Why were the Prophets sent who held Gods Word?!

            I appreciate your insight rather than emotional feelings which are subject change.

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Bible819,

            The Prophets were sent to warn Israel at certain times in history. My question is do you see this as proof that the Jewish people are permanently blind ? Or do you see this as temporary setbacks in Israel’s covenant relationship with G-d? Will you still consider the Jewish people as having this permanent spiritual blindness had Jesus not exist?

            I have provided you my insight here https://judaismresources.net/2019/02/03/faith-crisis-by-annelise/#comment-52770 and it is based on reason . Do you think my opinion has no merit (or emotional) because I did not consider Jesus ?

            Appreciate if you can answer my questions truthfully and honestly . Do you , me or anyone for that matter have the right to use these internal criticisms (from G-d to the Jewish people) to justify our assumptions about the Jewish people-even if our assumptions are heavily influenced by the devotion to Jesus?

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            1) My question is do you see this as proof that the Jewish people are permanently blind?

            Permanently? No

            But

            Blind is a question of the Heart.

            Has all of Israel Returned from All the Nations? No

            Jeremiah 29

            You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore you from captivityb and gather you from all the nations and places to which I have banished you, declares the LORD. I will restore you to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

            Who has sent Israel into Exile? God

            By Gods use of Jeremiah by definition: they have not found God = they have not returned.

            We must use the Word of God as Truth.

          • Annelise says:

            I don’t think you really answered my impression that the reasoning is circular. You believe you know Jesus personally because you feel you do, and you believe that feeling is accurate because you believe you know Jesus. You also discredit the Jewish intuition, but trust your own intuition, without giving clear scriptural proofs at all that Jesus is God. So that’s a double standard in favour of your own intuition.

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Bible819,

            Thank you for answering the first of my questions. You stated that the Jewish people are not permanently blind .However you stated that they have not found G-d since not all of them have returned to the place from where G-d had sent them to exile.

            If Jesus of Nazareth had not exist , no NT and you are reading Jeremiah 29:14 today , would you still conclude that the Jewish people had not found G-d because not all have returned to Israel?

            The state of Israel had been established and many Jews all over the world have and are returning to Israel after 2 millennium-despite criticisms from its neighbors and some in the international community . I see this as the Word of G-d is coming to pass-without Jesus of Nazareth in the picture .The act of gathering has begun , the full return still a work in progress . The passage you quoted does not indicate complete return. Why see the fact they have not completely return as a sign that the Jewish people have not found G-d?

            In my opinion , your devotion to Jesus is clouding your judgement when it comes to the Jewish people . Who are we to judge whether the Jewish people have found G-d or not?

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            If Jesus of Nazareth had not exist , no NT and you are reading Jeremiah 29:14 today , would you still conclude that the Jewish people had not found G-d because not all have returned to Israel?

            No Id probably be Worshiping Roman/Babylonian/ Egyptian Satanic Deities. Practice of Sacrificing babes and other demonic practices.

            Thanks be to Jesus for destroying that Stronghold.

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Bible819,

            If Jesus of Nazareth had not exist , I will be a Animist/Hindu/Buddhist today.

            Christianity has brought our pagan ancestors to the knowledge of the G-d of Israel. Christianity has also brought progress -providing education ,infrastructure and pave the way for emancipation of women in certain societies.

            But are we obligated to follow Jesus blindly?

            G-d has blessed us with intelligence and reasoning abilities . Are we to rely on the devotion to Jesus and the spirit more than engaging our reason to find the truth?

            If you are to worship roman deities today and by some chance stumble across the Jewish Scriptures with the prophetic warnings , exile , etc – will you see this as proof that the Jewish people are blind ? Or will you regard that these events as proof that there is one G-d and that we are all accountable to Him?

          • Jim says:

            Aaron,

            You write that without Jesus, you would still be sacrificing babies. This need not have been the case, because some people in the Roman world were coming to the Torah. Some were joining the Jewish people, while others were learning the duties of the non-Jew. You can see evidence of this in the New Testament. Jesus complains that the Pharisees go long distances to make converts and that they make them “twice the sons of Satan” as the Pharisees themselves are (Matt. 23:15). And, when Paul begins taking his gospel to synagogues outside of Israel, it is the non-Jews in those synagogues that listen to him. It is quite possible to worship God without Jesus, even for the non-Jew.

            But I think an even more important point should be made, and that is this: The Christian does not sacrifice babies, but he has not left behind the philosophy that undergirds the sacrifice of babies. Those that sacrificed babies—or threw virgins into volcanoes and other like practices—did so, because they believed that the gods were appeased through the sacrifice of the innocent. The Christian believes the same. The Christian believes that God demands the sacrifice of an innocent being in order that He may be appeased. (It sickens me to write such a thing.) The main difference between the Christian and the pagan is that the Christian believes that the baby is not truly innocent. Nor, for that matter, are virgins, because Christians believe that all humanity is tainted by the sin of Adam and Eve—all except Jesus, of course. The baby is an ineffective sacrifice, therefore.

            While this does put to an end a terrible practice, the notion contradicts Torah. Review Ezekiel 18. HaShem clearly states that He does not punish the innocent for the wicked. No, it is the wicked that shall be punished. And, if one wonders how he can receive mercy, he must repent and make amends. Such a person will be accounted righteous. Go to Ezekiel 18 and Ezekiel 33 and read. It says in those chapters that HaShem does not delight in the death of the wicked, but that He wishes for the wicked to turn from his ways and live. He is not looking for an outlet to His anger.

            So, the philosophy undergirding Christianity is a deep error. One can be thankful that Christians do not carry out the practice of child sacrifice. The idea of one sacrifice for all time eliminates further killings, and one must recognize an improvement in practice. But the theory is still corrupt, denying both the justice and the mercy of HaShem.

            Jim

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            The Romans destroyed the 2nd temple.

          • Sharon S says:

            Aaron/ Bible819,

            Where are the Romans today?

            Many superpowers and civilizations have come and gone -Egyptian, Babylonian , Persian , Greek, Roman . The Jewish nation still remain standing till today .

            Isn’t there a lesson to be learnt from this?

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            God is who drives Israel out of Israel. The Romans where the instrument of Gods judgement.

            —if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you.

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Aaron/Bible819,

            Yes, it is true that G-d drives Israel out of Israel . However G-d will also restore Israel back to Israel .

            “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land”
            “Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”
            (Ezekiel 36:24,28)

            It is true that the nations have scorned Israel , but it is prophesized that the nations too will suffer scorn:

            ‘‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I speak in my jealous wrath because you have suffered the scorn of the nations. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I swear with uplifted hand that the nations around you will also suffer scorn”
            ” No longer will I make you hear the taunts of the nations, and no longer will you suffer the scorn of the peoples or cause your nation to fall, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
            (Ezekiel 36:6-7,15)

            These events are meant to glorify G-d’s Name among the nations:
            “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.”
            (Ezekiel 36:22-23)

            I notice that G-d not only warns but also consoles Israel, promising her restoration . I can’t identify the verse you quoted , but I’m sure it would be accompanied by promises of hope and restoration .Why do you only highlight one side of these prophecies?

          • Sharon S Bible 819 is quoting from Deuteronomy 4 and you are correct – there is consolation immediately following the verses he quoted

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon S,

            Yes Israel will be restored.

            We can agree that by Gods definition: Israel is under Gods Judgement.

            Ask yourself-

            How long has it been, why was the 2nd Temple destroyed, why is Israel still scattered?

            Gods Prophetic Words;

            Why ever was Israel exiled? Due to what?

            What occurred before the 2nd temple was destroyed for them to be Judged by God?

            That is the Key.

            All glory to Jesus and His Father! Amen

          • Sharon S says:

            Shalom Rabbi Blumenthal,

            Thank you for the confirmation and support.

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Aaron/Bible 819,

            It is not my place to ask why the temple is destroyed or why Israel is still scattered.

            I see these events, the survival of the Jewish people despite persecution suffered during exile and their return to Israel as lessons to be learnt.

            The Romans have come and gone but the Jewish people still remain till this day.

            The Jewish people from all over the world have and are returning to Israel after 2 millennium even as we speak. Many technological advances are coming out of Israel which is benefitting the world.

            They don’t need Jesus to make it happen.

            You can speculate all you want , but history and reality clearly proves otherwise.This is something you should seriously consider.

            As spectators of these events , we should see this as proof that G-d is in control and He sustains those who are faithful to Him. We should humble ourselves -not to point fingers and speculate .

            One more thing , Rabbi Blumenthal has confirmed the verses you quoted comes from Deuteronomy 4 .Let me finish by quoting verses 29-31:
            “ But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”

            G-d’s Prophetic Words not only warns but also consoles Israel, promising her restoration.

            I shall take my leave here. Thank you , I really learnt a lot about spiritual blindness from our conversation.

          • Dina says:

            Sharon, this was great!

          • Bible819 says:

            Sharon,

            “It is not my place to ask why the temple is destroyed or why Israel is still scattered.”

            The “Why” has an Answer.

            Then after the sixty-two weeks, the Messiah will be cut off and will have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations have been decreed.

            and again

            Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

            Amen.

  9. Bible819 says:

    Annelise,

    That is a great question.

    I only trust Gods Holy Spirit

    Moses description is very vivid:

    But Moses replied, “Are you jealous on my account? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would place His Spirit on them!

    Also Elisha:

    Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    One more:

    Ezekiel:

    Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

    33“When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

    There was a limitation to Gods People.

    • Annelise says:

      How are you sure that your intuition is influenced by God’s spirit, while you think others are misled in their intuition?

      It seems kind of circular, if you believe in Jesus purely because you believe that relying on the Christian understanding of the holy spirit will give someone correct answers.

  10. Bible819 says:

    Hi Annelise,

    Jesus emphasized

    The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.

    Moses stated this by saying those that have the Holy Spirit are Prophets.

    Man without the Spirit is Blind.

    2 Chronicles 24:19

    Nevertheless, the LORD sent prophets to bring the people back to Him and to testify against them; but they would not listen.

    • Annelise says:

      It sounds liķe you’re saying you believe in Jesus because of what you think the holy spirit is saying, and you believe in that because of Jesus. So it seems circular.

  11. Jim says:

    Aaron,

    You have identified the source of the impossibility of any meeting of the minds between yourself and those that adhere to the Torah of HaShem: the two sides of the argument appeal to two different standards of evidence. Those that follow Torah, use it as their canon and guide, while you rely on a holy spirit as your canon and guide. These two differing evidentiary standards mean that you and we must always talk past one another.

    Whenever you make use of the Torah, it is as a bludgeon. It is a weapon with which you hope to defeat your interlocutors. The Torah is not the source of your understanding; it is a tool that you use to support your “spirit-inspired” theology. Therefore, you do not object to the standard Christian practice of violating the text. Because meaning is something you put into the text, rather than derive from the text, the only violation of the text that you recognize is conflict with your own beliefs. The context of a passage is irrelevant to your reading of a verse, because you have imposed an entirely new context on the entirety of Tanach—it is all about Jesus. While no straight reading of Tanach could render such a verdict, a “spirit-inspired” reader feels perfectly justified in re-contextualizing the entirety of Torah in order to find Jesus in its pages—or, rather, force him into it.

    And so, you can write that no evidence from Torah will ever move you. You rely upon a different source, altogether.

    Those that love HaShem and His Torah cannot accept your standard of evidence, any more than you accept theirs. The Torah does not make the acceptance of a prophet, Messiah, or deity a matter of private interpretation. It does not tell people to consult with the holy spirit to establish the credentials of a man in any of these categories. No one who loves HaShem and His Torah can follow your holy spirit, then, because this is a standard of evidence foreign to him. He will know when Messiah comes when the role of the Messiah is fulfilled as clearly defined in Tanach, not by a list of misrepresented passages. He will know a prophet when a prophet produces observable evidence and by the consonance of his teaching with Torah. And he will know that God is not a triune entity, because Torah teaches that none are beside HaShem (Deut. 4:35). No spirit could convince him to violate the teachings of HaShem.

    The spirit-filled person must certainly find it difficult to converse with one that loves Torah. The spirit-filled person arrogates to himself an authority not granted by the Torah. He claims to see what others cannot. Because he cannot demonstrate the truth of his claims from Torah, he can only assert that others are blind, while he sees. However, he has no means to demonstrate the truth of this assertion, so it never rises above mere claim. He unreasonably claims to he heard, while justifying why he need never listen to others.

    He does not recognize the kindness extended by the Torah observant person, when the latter does not demand that the spirit-filled person substantiate his claims. It would be most reasonable for one who loves truth to demand of the spirit-filled person a sign or wonder in order to establish his special sight. But this would be to invite disaster upon the spirit-filled person. For, if he performed a sign or wonder, and then he preached a God unknown to the Jewish people, he would condemn himself. (See Deuteronomy 13.) Moreover, the most likely outcome is that the spirit-filled person would humiliate himself, being unable to present any evidence of his claims. It is most likely that no sign or wonder would be forthcoming.

    Even by the standards of the Church, it is obvious that the “spirit-filled” are nothing of the sort. If ever tongues of fire appeared, they have long since disappeared. Perhaps at one time, followers of Jesus made the lame to walk and leap, but if so, they have long since lost the ability. The Book of Acts has Peter claiming that Joel’s prophecy was being fulfilled in his time, but nothing is more apparent than that Joel’s prophecy has not yet been fulfilled—it certainly has not been fulfilled in the Church. Those signs that are to accompany those that believe in Jesus are nowhere seen. They are rumored to happen, but always far away. To ask the modern believer to produce evidence of his “spirit-inspired theology” is to embarrass him.

    Because those that are devoted to Hashem and those that are devoted to Jesus rely upon two entirely different standards of evidence, it would be a kindness if the Church stopped appealing to Tanach to establish its theology. Moreover, it would serve the truth. It is the frequent claim of Christians that Tanach reveals Jesus to be Messiah and god. But, this is not his standard of evidence, and he should no longer pretend that it is. His canon is not the Torah. His appeal to Torah is a pretext, and when it is shown that he has misrepresented it, it becomes clear that his actual standard is a spirit. Let him say this from the beginning, then, and let him not appeal to a text for whom he has no respect. Let him no longer pretend that what he has pushed onto the text is something he has derived from the text.

    When the Christian comes with his gospel, let him no longer bring his “proof texts.” Let him honestly admit that the source of his learning is not the Torah but a spirit that has granted him a new vision. The missionary ought to openly admit that the Torah teaches that God is one and alone, but he does not follow the Torah; he follows a spirit that says that God is three together. He ought to state outright that Jesus does not fulfill the definition of Messiah by Tanach, but that he has a different definition, not provided by Tanach but by a spirit. He should proudly proclaim that Torah teaches that HaShem made the Jewish people His witnesses, but that a spirit has made the Church its witnesses to a human being. He should honestly offer the two different paths of HaShem’s Torah or the Church’s holy spirit and not pretend that those two are one.

    This honest approach will prevent the two groups from wasting time. In recognizing that the two are not appealing to the same sources, they can avoid talking past one another. In truth, they need not even talk to one another. The missionary, once he has admitted that he appeals to a non-Torah source has nothing to offer the Torah-minded person. He will have no evidence to offer, only the mere claim that he hears from a spirit. This spirit is of no evidentiary use to those that love HaShem. Once the missionary stops misusing the holy Torah of HaShem, then those devoted to that Torah will no longer need to defend it.

    Jim

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