"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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Testimony of Susan Perlman
"I was brought up in a traditional Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. We observed the dietary laws, rested on the Sabbath and celebrated all Jewish holidays. I knew it was good to be Jewish. I didn’t really know the God of the Jews, but that did not seem to be of much significance, until my life took a sad turn.
When I was twelve, my father died of a heart attack. It was very sudden and unexpected and our family was in shock. After the funeral, as is customary in the Orthodox Jewish tradition of mourning, our family spent a week sitting shiva. During this period we were not allowed to leave the apartment and I remember we sat on wooden crates in the living room. Many relatives and friends came to visit us, bringing food and recalling their fondest memories of my dad.
To the rabbi who visited us, I had a pressing question to ask, “Rabbi, is my daddy in heaven?” He paused, not expecting the question, but his smile seemed reassuring. “Susan, your father’s memory will live on in the life you lead. You can be his legacy.” It was a nice thought, but it didn’t satisfy me. “Rabbi,” I went on, “you didn’t answer my question. Is my daddy in heaven now?” He was a little more serious at this point and looked straight into my eyes and said, “I wish I could give you a definite answer, Susan, but I can’t. We don’t know for sure what is beyond the grave. We can only hope and remember, your father was a good man.” This troubled me even more. “How come we ‘can’t know for sure’?” I thought.
One thing I did know at the time was that I was bewildered. I was angry with God, yet paradoxically, I questioned whether or not He was even real. Maybe he only existed in my imagination and in the traditions of our religion. Even the rabbi seemed a little uncertain about it.
Doing things ‘right’
Regardless of whether or not God existed, my positive feelings about my Jewishness remained strong and I would certainly not be anything other than Jewish. I felt Judaism taught people to take responsibility for their own actions. I really worked hard at doing things ‘right’ at least, according to my own perception of ‘rightness.’
After high school I started studying and I saw myself as a cause-motivated, action-oriented independent woman. I participated in marches for peace and I never gave up my efforts to ‘make a difference.’ I tried to be a modern day heroine defending what I felt was basic to human survival. In all this, I was not looking for God—but apparently God was looking for me.
Jews don’t believe in Jesus
One day I met Larry at the corner of a street in Manhattan. He told me that Jesus was the Messiah, that He came to die for the sins of humanity, that He conquered death—and that by accepting His sacrifice I could have my sins forgiven and live for eternity with my Creator. Well, I let Larry know I was Jewish and that Jews don’t believe in Jesus. I figured there might be an awkward moment, maybe even a mumbled apology and then we would talk about something else. Yet Larry continued to talk as if Jesus was still relevant to the discussion.
Then he invited me to a church in New Jersey. I went and was impressed by some of what I saw and heard. The people were young and seemed to have an idealism that was, in some ways, like my own. Of course, they weren’t Jewish, so I was certain that what they believed was not for me—still, I respected them. Larry and I became friends. I found him kind, creative and contemporary in his outlook, even though he had certain standards of morality that one didn’t often come across in the big city. My friendship with Larry, my curiosity and my avid interest in reading were enough to convince me to look into the Bible. That was a life-changing experience.
I took my Jewish Bible and began reading in Genesis. It didn’t take long to discover the fact that God is holy. I could also see that the Bible was not an ordinary book and the God of Abraham and Sarah was no ordinary god. There was something so wonderful and right about God that I could not help being attracted to Him. However, the discovery of God’s holiness had led me to another revelation—I was unholy. My own spiritual need became evident for the first time.
Larry’s words began to make sense. All the good and right things I could do seemed inadequate to bridge the divide between this awesome God and myself. I continued to read the Bible and to discuss these things with the new acquaintances I’d met through Larry.
My awareness of this spiritual need and my findings from the Bible caused me to view the things they said in a different light; I was no longer merely hearing about someone else’s religion. They were talking about things that were of deep interest to me, things that I was seeing in my own Jewish Bible.
A life forever changed
Within days, I went back to the church. I had just been promoted at work, I had the love of my family and friends, a nice place to live and a promising future. I should have been very happy that night, but as I sat in the church service all I could think of was the fact that I was in the midst of holy things and I felt unholy. I knew I didn’t belong—not because I was Jewish but because these people had a relationship with God and I didn’t. I knew that Jesus just might be the promised Messiah and I was frightened.
I left the church building and sat out on the front lawn. It was a summer night and the air was warm. I knew I had a choice to make as I sat cross-legged and looked up at the stars. I told God that I too, wanted to have a relationship with Him. I found myself tearfully confessing to Him right then and there that I believed Jesus was the Messiah. I accepted the fact that He had taken the punishment for my sin.
I told God that I wanted the forgiveness He offered through Jesus and that I wanted to live for Him. He heard my plea and that night He changed my life forever. He gave me the assurance that His promises in the Bible are true and lasting. Now I had a strong basis for my hope, rooted in my Messiah.
| 2019/9/5 20:57||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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As a child, Paul Liberman was deeply touched by the words from Psalm 118:22 ‘The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.’ “What or Who can be this Stone?” Paul wondered, “Is it that Jesus of Nazareth against whom the rabbi warns us so much?”
No satisfying answer
"I was only eight years old when I started to fire questions about God at my parents, but their replies were hardly satisfying. I longed, therefore, to go to an orthodox Jewish school. My father was not happy about it because it was so expensive, but my mother knew how to persuade him. Yet this school didn’t bring a spiritual breakthrough in my life.
Money… my new religion
When I started to earn some money after finishing my education, my interest in religion was pushed aside by the desire for money. For fifteen years that was my religion. Owing to my follow-up study at a liberal university, I even started to doubt if there was a higher Being. As my job didn’t promise much financial success, I decided to give up my economic ambitions and go into politics. This all went well, and anything I did, I was successful. Then I got an interesting job in a business office in Washington, but the joy was short-lived. The man who hired me was dismissed and soon after I met with the same fate.
Worries about the future
In this uncertainty I worried about the future. Looking for work I used public transport a lot. On the bus I regularly saw a lawyer who was always reading his Bible and one day we got to talk with each other. I told him that I thought that the course of events in life sometimes is so unusual that it looks like everything has been programmed. “There must be a programmer,” I said. He knew that I was Jewish because of my Jewish name so he showed me the prophecies in the Old Testament that point towards the new state Israel. I was very interested in this, so on further journeys I always sat down next to him.
300 Messianic prophecies
Once he asked me with a penetrating look, “What do you do to get into heaven?” “I try to be a good human and further hope for the best,” I replied. He then said, “According to the Old Testament, that reveals to us the future so accurately, a bloody sacrifice is needed to reconcile sins.” When he started to talk about blood I didn’t want to continue speaking with him any further. Just before I stepped out of the bus angrily, he gave me a booklet that contained more than 300 Messianic prophecies from the Old Testament. These appealed to me so much that I went to a library to read “The story about Jesus”.
God on my side!
After reading the New Testament, I couldn’t understand why we Jews had so little respect for Jesus. He didn’t do anything other than helping people. Could He really be the Messiah, as He said Himself? I prayed, “If you are really God, show me if the “carpenter of Nazareth” is the Messiah.” I reached a crucial point. My prayer had been sincere and if God couldn’t hear that, I knew for sure that He was fiction. However, if there really was a God that sent the Messiah, I knew that He would answer my supplication and that Jesus was my Messiah.
At that time I also read about many other religions, but nothing touched me so much as the Bible. The Bible consists of many books, written by different people over a long period of time. However, it seemed as if all these Books were written by one Author. Slowly the truth of the Gospel started to penetrate my heart, “Whatever people say…,” I considered, “if God is on my side, what does it matter!”
In the months following I got to know a number of other Jewish believers and I needed those contacts, because for two years my wife thought that I had gone mad. Someone told me, “You are the only Bible, that she may ever read.” I understood the message and decided to actively show her that I had been changed. God worked it out this way, that she also started to read the New Testament and became a believer.
A double identity?
Now we had a new problem. How were we to raise our children? We didn’t want them to have a double identity: Jewish and Christian and my wife only felt happy when she prayed with other Jewish believers to God. Everything else she experienced was in conflict with her Jewish heritage. Concerned about the unity in our family, I started to speak with other believers about the founding of a New Testament church in our own Jewish style. They were motivated and so we held our first gathering on May 18th 1973. We had invited a Jewish evangelist and later we got a Jewish pastor for our own small group.
In time I was able to devote myself full time to spiritual work. We moved to Israel and I got involved in the leadership of several Messianic organisations and church in both the United States and Israel.
In a miraculous way the desire of my childhood to get to know God and to be available for Him was fulfilled. What a richness to let the Lord lead your life!"
| 2019/9/9 12:38||Profile|
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Love these testimonies from Jewish Believers. They are special people. Thanks for sharing.
| 2019/9/9 15:33||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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The testimony of Rose Klein...
"I was born in Hungary and my parents were very devout orthodox Jews. They taught me how to pray and explained to me the meaning of the Jewish traditions. We lived among the Gentiles, but my mother never allowed me to play with their children because they served Yeshua and we had nothing to do with him. She even forbade me to ever speak out His name.
I was taken to synagogue every shabbat, but I didn’t like going there because I didn’t understand what was going on. I had to sit next to my mother on the balcony for women and girls. Furthermore, I didn’t receive any education, because the Jewish school was only for boys. That is why most Jewish women hardly know anything of the Old Testament and just follow the traditions of their mothers.
During World War I came into contact with communists in Budapest. They believed that there is no God and that all people are equal. Since Judaism could not satisfy me, I guessed that they were right and I became a communist.
When my father died, I was six years old. A few years later my mother left for America leaving me behind. When I was twenty-one, I joined her as she insisted to. Out of love and respect for my mother, I kept it a secret that I had become a communist. I joined her when she went to the synagogue, but everything there seemed so empty for me. The ceremonies and prayers, the sermon of the rabbi, nothing could impress me.
I married a Jewish man and I expected that we would be very happy. However, we often felt very unsatisfied and had no peace. We went to the synagogue but could not find, spiritually, what we searched for. Communism didn’t satisfy us at all. My husband became so restless that he never could stay long at home. We felt very low even though we had a beautiful house and my husband earned a good living. We often had arguments over trivial issues as a result of our spiritual need.
One day a believing friend visited me and I told her about our difficulties. To this she replied, “My dear friend, you need Yeshua. Do you have a Bible in your home?” I didn’t understand what she meant. We Jews only know a prayer book so she showed me her Bible and explained that it consisted of an Old and New Testament. It was the first time of my life that I saw a Bible and I desired so much to read this Book that she left it behind for me.
With avid desire I started reading the Bible, but I could not understand why she had told me that I needed Yeshua, for He belonged to the Gentiles. A few days later she returned with a few Jewish people who told me that they had received Yeshua as their Saviour and how happy they were now. At that moment, however, I could not see what they meant. A Jewish brother then took me to some meetings where they explained, from the Tenach, that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel. He also brought me to the Hebrew-Messianic synagogue. It surprised me that there were so many Jews who testified that they belonged to Yeshua.
Dr. Michelson was the speaker that day and he explained so clearly that Yeshua is our promised Messiah that I was deeply moved and came to the conclusion, “Yeshua is the One to whom we Jews long for so much.” Without Dr. Michelson knowing me, he addressed me at the end of the sermon and said, “Dear sister, would you like to accept Yeshua as your Saviour?” With tears in my eyes I said, “Yes!” Then he prayed for me with a few others and as we kneeled down, I gave myself over to Yeshua. I confessed to Him my sins and I experienced that in His grace He forgave me. He cleansed me with His precious blood.
Also my husband
It was rather late when I arrived home and my husband was already asleep. I was so happy that I couldn’t keep the good news till the following day. So I woke him up and told him, “Do you know what happened? I came to know that Yeshua is really the Jewish Messiah!” He looked at me as if he had lost my mind and shouted angrily, “You know that we are Jews and I do not want to hear anything about Yeshua!” The next morning my husband reproached me that I disturbed his sleep and he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I sought my refuge in prayer and asked the Lord to save my husband, who needed Yeshua so much in his restlessness and dissatisfaction. I was so happy when a few days later he too went to see Dr. Michelson to ask all his questions. Finally he surrendered to the G-d’s voice and accepted Yeshua as his Saviour.
My husband and I were baptised on Easter Day. It was the happiest day of our lives. It was so wonderful to testify of the change in our lives to the many Jews and non-Jews who were present. My husband and I felt the closeness of the Lord more than ever. We had searched everywhere and every time it had ended in disappointment! How different it had become when Yeshua came into my heart. No words can describe the unspeakable joy with which He filled my soul. Now I can rest in the eternal arms of my Redeemer. In the past I hated Yeshua, now I love Him and want to go with Him as His faithful disciple."
| 2019/9/11 13:38||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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The conversion of David Baron, ‘Longing for reconciliation’ (1855 – 1926)...
"David was born into a religious family in Russia. He was aware of God from an early age, aware of his need for reconciliation with his maker. When he examined his heart he found, in his own words, nothing but “blackness of darkness”. His soul was on a search and despite keeping all the laws and ceremonies of the Rabbis and the Talmud, he was restless. He had an early sense of the futility of his good works and religious observances, because they were done out of religious duty rather than love of his Creator. The more religious he became, the more miserable he became. He prayed for something more, the “right spirit” and the “new heart” that King David himself yearned for. So he consulted others, who told him not to worry, he was a good Jew, what more could he do?
His knowledge of the Bible became a condemnation for him. He knew that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20) and that “it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Where could he find that forgiveness for his sins that he ached for? He yearned for the burden to lift, but without reconciliation with God he could find no relief in the religious system he was born into.
When he was young, he had a serious accident and nearly died. This terrified him and he begged his mother for reassurance. His mother responded, “You have been such a good boy, and should you die you will go to heaven.” This did not impress him and he rebuked her saying, “I have not been good, and if my getting to heaven depends on my own goodness I shall never get there.” His was a tortured childhood.
Yearning for peace
But God had a plan for him and brought him in contact with two Christians, a Jew and a Gentile. They spoke to him of a Saviour but, at the mention of his name, David was filled with hatred and prejudice. No wonder really, as his only knowledge of Jesus was one who urged his followers to serve idols and persecute the Jews. From the age of four his mother taught him to say, whenever he passed a Church, “thou shalt utterly detest it, thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing” (Deuteronomy 7:26). He was taught that Christianity is for Gentiles and so to meet a Jew who professed to believe in Jesus was startling and disconcerting. The man must have been bribed, was his conclusion.
Yet this apostate, this meshumed seemed happy and contented and had a peace and an assurance that David had yearned for his whole life. In one conversation, the Jewish believer confessed, “As for me, I tell you honestly, as in the sight of God, that I have never known what true happiness is until I found it in Christ.” David tried his best, using his knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures and Talmud to argue against the Messiahship of Jesus, but the one stumbling block was the evident happiness such a belief had brought to this man.
Worship the One God
Soon afterwards, David read the New Testament for the first time. The words exploded at him. Having been brought up to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a false prophet, here was this man teaching men to do nothing other than worship the One God, the only living and true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel. Of particular impact were the words of Jesus, “…thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10). The following section, the Sermon on the Mount, simply blew him away. As he continued to read he came to the realisation that “this man spoke as never man spake!” Yet this was the man that the Talmud spoke of as “the greatest sinner in Israel”.
David was nothing if not thorough. Without any help or counselling, he read and examined the New Testament over a period of twelve months, analysing it and comparing it with the Old Testament. Yet the effect of this was to burden his heart even more as he came to the realisation that salvation can only be obtained as a gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ and that his own righteousness, apart from this salvation, avails nothing in the sight of God.
His training and upbringing gradually unraveled as he considered his prayer life, his strict observance of the ceremonies prescribed by the Rabbis and the study of the Talmud. It all seemed so easy, to be saved just by faith in Christ? What about his years of training and learning? Did it count for nothing? Yet he still clung on. “Oh, my God!” he cried, “cast me not away from Thy presence in this manner. I am a Jew, a child of Abraham, Thy friend; from my youth I have tried to keep Thy holy law. Why dost Thou thus punish me, withholding from me that peace and rest of heart without which life is a burden to me? Hide not Thy face from me, lest I be as those who go down to the pit!” And still no peace came.
Hatred broken down
Gradually his ingrained hatred for the Name of Jesus broke down, as the Scriptures sunk in. Did Jesus not show anything but love to the Jews? Did He not weep over Jerusalem? Was He not moved with compassion for them? Did He not even pray for his murderers on the very cross on which they crucified Him?
One day, he just gave in. In his own words he explains, “By the help of God’s Spirit, I cast myself on my knees one evening and exclaimed, ‘Oh, my God, if Thou canst not save me on any other condition but faith in Jesus, be pleased to give me that faith and help me to love that most precious Name which I have so long hated and despised. Thou hast promised to save unto the uttermost all those who come unto Thee in His Name. Oh, save me!’
I remained on my knees some time and when I rose, I could indeed sing, ‘O, LORD, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortest me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my Strength and my Song; He also is become my Salvation’ (Isaiah 12:1-2).”
David Baron became a mighty man of God. Having worked with missions to Jews, he co-founded the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel in 1893, in Whitechapel, London. Amongst the books he wrote are “The Ancient Scriptures for the Modern Jew”, “The Visions and Prophecies of Zechariah”, and “Types Psalms and Prophecies."
Source: Jewishtestimonies.com : "Written by Steve Malz and reproduced by permission from Premier Christian Media."
| 2019/9/12 15:16||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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"The Russian born Joseph Zalman fled to the west and waited in Amsterdam for a ship to America. He ended up in a meeting where the Name of Jesus was mentioned. He was outraged, but also fascinated. In time he discovered, in a miraculous way, that He also is his personal Saviour.
Joseph Zalman was born in 1860 in Turkey into a strict Chassidic family. Shortly after his birth his mother died, so he was raised by his grandmother. When he was twelve, his father remarried and they moved to Odessa in Russia. While they were there, ‘Christian’ Cossacks killed his younger brother in a pogrom and from then on he hated the Christians intensely. After some time they overcame this strike and they even prospered a little. His Father made name as a builder and architect and Joseph followed in his footsteps and co-operated with him as a building architect.
Joseph married in 1883, but the young couple had a hard time. There were building orders, but the anti-Semitism was rising more and more. In addition, the government charged extra high taxes on Jews so many Jewish traders were forced to leave. Joseph planned to immigrate with his wife to America, so with little money in their pocket they took leave of their parents and family.
The New Testament
They took the train for the long journey west. In their carriage sat a young man who was completely fascinated with reading a book. He acted very mysteriously until Joseph could no longer suppress his curiosity and said “Show it to me.” To his surprise it was a New Testament, forbidden reading for Jews. The man was travelling to London to be baptised and to become a preacher. When the man had to change trains, he gave the New Testament to Joseph, who started to read in it immediately. Some time later his wife noticed what kind of book it was, “What? Do you want to become an apostate now too?” she said angrily. She snatched it out of his hand and threw it out of the window.
They travelled further to the Netherlands and ended up in Amsterdam. One Sunday morning Joseph walked into town and heard music. He thought it came from a teashop, as there are many in Russia. He opened the door and noticed immediately his mistake. He saw someone in the pulpit that looked a bit like a Jew. However, it was not a synagogue because the women and men sat mixed up. There was no orchestra but an organ. It was also no church, because he didn’t see icons or images of saints.
When he wanted to leave, a man showed him a seat. Bewildered he looked around and listened to the foreign sounds of the preacher. Suddenly he heard the Name of Him. Outraged and filled with hate he spat on the ground as he now knew that he found himself in a Christian meeting. Nevertheless it fascinated him enormously and after the service he was brought to Reverend Adler, a missionary preacher from London. The evangelist spoke with him as a friend and won his sympathy. His compassion made Joseph tell him all his concerns.
Study of the Word
The boat to America left without them because Joseph became interested in the Word of God. Reverend Adler provided for their cost of living and later he found regular work for Joseph. This enabled them to continue the study of the Scriptures that finally led to a total surrender to their Messiah and a baptism of the couple on Ascension Day. The Jewish community flew into a rage. Zalman survived a barrage of questions from the Jewish council and didn’t give in to the temptation of a large sum of money. Subsequently he was attacked physically and battered. Finally, they convinced his wife that his religious conviction was wrong and, under pressure, she left him.
His own Saviour
Joseph then left on a ship to Java in the hope to find work there. The daily struggle to earn a living burdened him heavily, but when a cholera-epidemic broke out on board, fear grasped him. Was he prepared to face God? Never before was he so deeply aware of his sins and then came the most decisive moment in his life. The Spirit of God revealed to him that the Messiah is not only the Promised to the fathers, but also his own Saviour. In the lower part of the boat, between the coals, he was filled with joy and cried out, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
Preacher of the Jewish Messiah
He returned to Holland and reverend Adler asked him to become his assistant in the growing mission work and on the 1st of December Joseph Zalman started work at the London Society. Day in day out he cycled through the cities and villages in the Netherlands and Belgium. In 1901, he opened the house Elim in Rotterdam where many immigrating Jews found shelter. They received food, clothes and medical care and Joseph opened factories to provide in work. Above all that, he gave them spiritual food and a place to study of the Scriptures. Joseph worked in the full conviction that God did not cast off his people, which he foreknew (Romans 11:2)."
| 2019/9/16 15:36||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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Louis Goldberg (1923-2002) searched for forgiveness of sins...
"I still remember vividly the Yom Kippur that I took part in when I was ten years old. Though I was not yet bar mitzvah, I insisted that I, too, would fast and attend the synagogue services, despite my parents’ objections. After all, I wanted my sins forgiven! With childish zeal, I entered into all that made up the service of the day. I listened attentively to the reading of the Holy Scriptures, recited as I was able the ancient Hebrew prayers and was stirred to my depths by the cadence of the cantor’s voice.
With my whole heart I sought the forgiveness of sins that I believed was to be gained by the observances of the day. Yet even as I returned home that night, walking with my father through the darkened streets, haunting questions remained, “Has God really heard my prayers? What real assurance do I have that my sins have been forgiven?”
The answers I received from my Jewish teachers proved not to be sufficient, for they did not assuage my doubts. Eventually I stopped asking the questions that seemed to have no answers. I pursued studies in science, engineering and philosophy and participated in life’s pleasures. My religious training kept me away from falling into the grosser sins, but I ended up as an agnostic. Yet, with all the searching, I still considered myself a Jew. Below the surface, ready to be aroused when the time of challenge would come, were the unanswered questions, “Who am I? Can I know God? What follows death? Can I have the positive assurance that my sins are forgiven?”
I completed my education in engineering, took a job and found myself working with a technical assistant who thought he was God’s ambassador. He did this in my lunch break during the walk from the company to the railway station. He didn’t let go. During the next two months I insulted him and I did anything to get him away from my office, but he always kept that smile on his face. When I came with objections, he always had parts of the Scripture to reply to me. I asked myself how it could be, that this ‘goy’ (Gentile) knew so much about our Tanakh. In fact I should be the one to know all these things. I never answered him when he came with his arguments. The only thing that I ever said to him was, “Is this all you know?” He replied, “It is enough and it is especially for you’.
Because all have sinned
After three months he put his Bible on my desk. He said, “Read it, it will not hurt you. What you think about it is a matter between you and God.” I was fed up with it so I promised him that I would read it. “I will read the New Testament and will find all the mistakes and gaps.” I thought by myself. “Then I will prove to him that his belief has no foundation and I will tell him that he should not bother me again.” I decided to start in Romans. The largest part I didn’t understand, but the Lord started to speak to me. I came to Romans 3:23, “…for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…”
By Jews, for Jews
Soon I made the next discovery. All the writers of this book are Jewish and they write about Jewish matters, matters I knew about! It appealed to me. The only parts that gave me problems were the places where Yeshua was called God. Yet the book I expected to be anti-Jewish, was written by Jews, for Jews.
A few months later my colleague asked me, “Now, what do you think?” I answered him that Jesus could be the Messiah. “Do you think so?” said my colleague and he added “You must be sure, with your whole heart!” I don’t know what happened next with me, but I shouted, “No, I don’t want!” I ran upstairs to my office and smashed the door. I didn’t want to see this colleague anymore!
The next day he walked in as if nothing had happened. As usual he sat opposite me at lunch. He spoke about all sorts of things, but not one word about belief or Yeshua. This went on for about a month. I started to feel more and more uneasy, then God spoke to me, “You know the truth, what are you going to do with it? Why are you running from it?” I tortured myself for a month with these questions until I finally gave in. I prayed, “Lord, it is enough!” I knelt beside my bed and asked Yeshua to come into my heart. I remember I felt an intense peace that I had never experienced before.
I only understood the zeal of my colleague to make the Messiah known to me when I started to read the beautiful book of Hosea. It shows us the wrestling of God for His people. His unending love never gives up. It was this love that stimulated my colleague not to give up.
In Jewish tradition, ‘tzadik’ (righteous) is spoken of. According to tradition, the tzadik is the one who comes from God with the fire of His altar. He comes to the world and reaches out to the loneliest people and brings the fire of God to their hearts to bring them into the presence of God. I have discovered that Yeshua is the Tzadik, but He is more than that! Yeshua is the One that we want to make known to our people. He can change the lives of people. May many of my people, just like me, come to know His love and truth!"
| 2019/9/21 10:47||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
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Testimony of Jacob Gartenhaus...
"If someone had said to me in my younger days, “If you don’t become a Christian, we will kill you”, my answer would have been, “Then take my life, because I would rather die than believe in that Christ of yours.” Yet now I would rather die than renounce Him, now I know that my life has no meaning without Him.
I didn’t want to hear the name of Jesus
I was born and raised an orthodox Jew in Austria. From the early age of three, I enjoyed a lot of Jewish education because my parents had destined me to become a rabbi. Whenever I left the house, I walked on the left side of the street because on the right side stood a church building. I was never allowed to come close to a church, not even to look at one. Every time I heard the name of Jesus, I put my fingers in my ears to be sure that I wouldn’t have to hear it for a second time. I had never heard a Jew speak this name, after all that was a mortal sin.
The story of my brother
Shortly before I left for America, I decided to spend a day with my brother in Vienna. He had left home a long time ago and had graduated from two of the most prominent rabbinates. As soon as I arrived, he told me about an experience that had totally changed his life. A man in the street gave him a book that appeared to be a New Testament. At first he wanted to give it back immediately or even tear it apart. Curiosity, however, got the better of him and he took it, safely hidden in his pocket home and started to read it in secret.
He was surprised to find on the first page many familiar names such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and many others. He read until he reached the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, that impressed him deeply. How could this be a sinful book when it contained such a fantastic sayings? How could Jesus be a traitor, if He taught such a beautiful things? After all he called people to repent and believe in God.
I would rather die
My brother told me that he was so fascinated by the New Testament that he had read it the whole night through. Then he started to compare the Old Testament prophecies with the New Testament. It took about eight hours before he finished telling me his story. When he started, it seemed like I was dreaming, but it slowly became a nightmare for me. I remember my last words before I left, “You may believe in that Man, but I would rather die than believe in Him.” I left my brother with a broken heart.
Shortly after I arrived in the United States, I received a letter from my brother. He encouraged me to search the Scriptures. I tore the letter up, but then a second, long letter followed with Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment in the New Testament. I also tore up this letter. A third letter arrived and finally a fourth, in which my brother told me that he would come to America. I met him at the boat and told him very clearly that if we wanted to live in peace, there would be no discussions about religious matters.
The days went by and my brother never spoke a single word about his new belief. However, I could not get away from the impression that he had something that I missed, a peace that the world could not give or take away. Although I longed for that peace, I refused to accept Him who could give this peace.
In time I started to show some interest. I read some pamphlets of my brother’s and even visited some meetings. Then I decided to turn to the only reliable source, the Bible. I studied the Old Testament prophecies for hours and compared them with their New Testament fulfillment. I remember that it took me one whole night and the following day. It took all my attention and I even didn’t take time to eat. Looking back, I was already enjoying the heavenly manna.
I found Him
One day I joined my brother in a prayer meeting. This resulted in a sleepless night and a painful self-examination. A few days later I visited a church service. When they went to pray in quiet I heard an inviting voice within me, the voice that has pulled me to the church meeting, whispered, “You have to pray too. The time of mercy has come for you. Don’t delay!“ At that moment, a change took place in me. I rejoiced, “I have found Him! I have found the Messiah!”
An enormous peace and joy flowed through my soul, so much so that I ran out of the church into the street, to announce my new discovery loudly in Yiddish. I learned quickly that the rest of the world didn’t share my enthusiasm. Enmity and beatings were waiting for me. I soon experienced a call for evangelization work. Despite the disappointments, the worries and low responses, I believed that better times would come. Indeed, what a lot has changed. Locked doors have opened and hearts of stone have become soft. The forbidden book, the New Testament, is now being read and studied everywhere.
Joseph and his brothers
What is happening in our days, can best be compared with the story of Joseph and his brothers. You will remember that Joseph was despised, slandered, betrayed and his family believed that he was dead. Circumstances brought the brothers face to face with the one they had rejected and of whom they thought was dead. But when there was a worldwide famine, it was Joseph who saved his brothers and all of Egypt from death by starvation. In the same way, Israel is becoming globally conscious of a spiritual hunger, with the result that many are turning to Him whom they have rejected. They are being reconciled with Him and with the New Testament that they have despised before."
| 2019/9/26 14:43||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
The testimony of Gideon Levytam, ‘How I found the Messiah of Israel’....
"On May 14th, 1948, when David Ben-Gurion read a proclamation establishing Israel as a sovereign state, Jewish nationhood was revived after a lapse of almost 2,000 years. Exactly seven years later to the day, I was born in the city of Jerusalem. Much of my early childhood was spent under the guidance of my grandfather, a devout Jew, who was the head of the house. He took great care that we strictly observed all the laws, ordinances and traditions and he attended the synagogue daily. When my grandfather passed away and with no one eager to direct me in spiritual matters, I had little to do with the synagogue or the ways of our fathers after my Bar Mitzvah, the ritual concerning a 13 year old Jewish boy who becomes ‘son of the law’. From that day on, the boy himself is responsible for his actions. As a teenager, I was more impressed with the American dress, music and free and easy lifestyle. I had little time for God. I was not looking for God, but God was looking for me.
A Christian Volunteer
At eighteen, every able-bodied Israeli enters into military service. Shortly before my eighteenth birthday I went to Kibbutz Malkia, where I had my high school education, to visit my friends prior to beginning my three years of military service. While there, I met Irene, a Canadian volunteer at the kibbutz. Irene and her friend Heather had come to Israel with a volunteer group from Switzerland where they had been working at a Bible camp. Shortly after getting acquainted, I learned that Irene was a believer in Jesus Christ. She had a Bible, which she used in an effort to explain her beliefs. I was not at all interested in the Bible, but I was definitely interested in Irene.
Passover was near so I invited Irene and Heather to spend the holiday with my family in Jerusalem. Both of them agreed to come because they were eager to see Jerusalem. Some weeks later, Israel celebrated 25 years of independence and I was granted two days leave. It was an opportunity to be with Irene again for a short time. Saying goodbye the second time was even harder than the first. With heavy heart I rode the train back to the base, wondering if we would ever see each other again.
Yom Kippur war
The months went by slowly until I was home again on a two-day pass, this time for the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. This is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. For 23 hours almost all Jews, wherever they are, pray and fast. As for the nation of Israel, it closes down on Yom Kippur. All work ceases – not a bus, truck, or private car can be seen on the streets. There is no radio nor television and only a skeleton staff where absolutely necessary. It was October 6th, 1973, and war had broken out on the day we least expected. All soldiers were ordered back to their bases immediately. The three and a half hour trip to my base in the Golan Heights gave me plenty of time to do some serious soul searching. Here I was, 18 years old, still in basic training, my whole life before me, with fear mounting and uncertainty awaiting me at the end of my journey. At such times one remembers to call on God. The verses that became almost synonymous with the Yom Kippur War were ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ Psalm 121:1-2
As we drew near to the front, we saw dead bodies all around. While on the Golan Heights, formation after formation of Syrian aircraft swooped over us as hundreds of Syrian tanks, four abreast rolled into devastating action against us. It took five days of relentless fighting and many lost lives to turn the tide. Our unit of new recruits was assigned the duty of clearing captured villages. Among other things, this duty managed to get us flea infested from head to toe.
When the Syrian army was finally halted, some amazing stories circulated among the troops. Supposedly, a hand had reached out of the clouds, holding back the advancing Syrian armies; and Syrian soldiers had turned and fled after seeing soldiers in white fighting beside Israeli soldiers. Whether these stories were true or not, I didn’t know, but I did know that God had once again preserved us from our enemies.
Talks about the Messiah of Israel
After the war ended, I was transferred to the Sinai desert. Once, I called home and my mother surprised me with the news that Irene had arrived from Canada the night before. I jumped for joy and practically went through the roof of our tent. My tent mates begged my commander to send me home as I was driving them crazy. The commander gave in and granted me a three day pass. What a joyous reunion we had! Irene stayed with my family in Jerusalem, working in my father’s restaurant and helping to take care of my invalid grandmother. Her stay was a real help to all my family. She was the Gentile that brought light to our home and everybody loved her.
Irene still carried her Bible and talked to me at every opportunity about Jesus being the Messiah of Israel. I was happy to let her talk about it, but I never really seriously considered it for myself. I realized that my being Jewish and her being a Gentile was bound to create problems; but I pushed these thoughts to the back of my mind.
A Christian welcome
I was discharged in 1976. After completing their military service, many soldiers longed to see something of the world and I was no exception. Every Israeli knows that the safest place to be is inside Israel’s borders. I was about to step out into the unknown. My longing for adventure was greater than any reservations I had so in July 1976 I departed for Canada with Irene. Irene’s family warmly welcomed me into their home. At meals her father thanked the Lord for the food, and after the meal he would read from the Bible and then pray in Jesus’ name. Irene and her parents also attended church every Sunday and would invite me to come along with them. But as a Jew, that was the last place I could go, so I decided it was time for me to start going to the synagogue in the small Jewish community nearby.
I came to realize that I was not at all close to the God of the Jews, nor walking in His ways. I also realized that a Jew could have nothing to do with idol worship, nor with the God of the Gentiles. This put me in quite a dilemma, as I was very much in love with Irene. One day Irene’s mother, who was very kind to me presented me with a gift, a complete Hebrew Bible. Upon opening it, I discovered that it contained both the Old and the New Testaments. Although I accepted it graciously, I was deeply offended and vowed never to read it.
Other Christians also talked to me about Jesus, explaining that man is a sinner in need of a Saviour and that Jesus is the only One who could forgive our sins and give us eternal life. That was a bit too much for me because I never thought of myself as a sinner. I thought I was pretty good. Besides, I was Jewish and Jesus was not for the Jews. Thus began my confrontation with Jesus.
My inner struggle
Irene’s mother was still determined that one way or another she was going to get me inside their church building. So one day she asked if I would help her clean their meeting hall. I found myself in a very awkward position, although I wanted to help her I was afraid to. I was sure I was going to bring the wrath of God upon me by stepping inside that door. I was greatly relieved when no calamity struck me. To my surprise, there were no crosses or statues anywhere. In fact, in its simplicity, it resembled our synagogue back home. Even so, I was glad when it was time to leave.
It was around this time that I was introduced to Jacob and Margaret Pankratz, an elderly couple who had faithfully served the Lord for many years with Jewish missions in Toronto and Montreal. It was plain to see that they had a real love for the Jewish people. I felt immediately at home with them, even before Jacob showed me some slides from his trips to Israel. As they began speaking to me about Jesus, they were careful to use his Hebrew name, Yeshua and would use the word ‘Messiah’ instead of Christ. Before we left that evening, Jacob handed me a Hebrew-English New Testament and I was encouraged to come again.
I now possessed two New Testaments. Irene had also written to a radio program called the Christian Jew Hour for some material, and they sent me quite a collection of tracts and pamphlets, some even in Hebrew. I looked through them and read of the various prophecies about the Messiah of Israel in the Old Testament, which had been fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament. Friends of the family were also around who explained the future of Israel to me. I came to resent the fact that these Christians knew more about my God and my Bible than I did. In fact, I remember saying, “If there will be anyone who will tell others about the one, true God, it will be me, a Jew, and not the other way around.”
In the midst of all these inner struggles, I had another matter to contend with, my visa to Canada would soon expire. I had three choices, go back to Israel alone, go with Irene, or get married and automatically receive new immigrant status. It was a very difficult decision to make. Irene’s parents did not want her to return to Israel and, understandably, they would be as upset if she married an unbeliever, just as mine would be if I married out of the Jewish faith.
A serious step
After much deliberation we were married in March of 1977. It was a serious step for us to take and neither of us would say that what we did was right. Yet looking back years later, we could see that God by His grace and wisdom overruled our wrongdoing to His own glory. Irene’s church arranged a wedding reception for us and treated us with much love and kindness, seeking to draw us to them rather than drive us away. Unknown to me at the time, many Christians were praying for my salvation. In the first nine months of our marriage, Irene continued to regularly attend the meetings with her parents. One Sunday, I surprised everyone when I came and sat down at the back of the meeting hall with Aaron, an Israeli believer who was also married to a Canadian. Aaron had talked me into coming out that morning.
This eventually led to my regular attendance at the Sunday school, which was held immediately following the worship meeting. For safety’s sake, I always sat in the back where I could make a quick exit. While attending these classes I heard of Jesus’ love towards men, how He came to this world to die in order that He might bring people back to God, and that He was the promised Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world. I found all of this difficult to comprehend. I could accept the fact that the Gentiles believed in Him, but could I, a Jew, believe in Him? I had to admit that Jesus interested me. He was different from any other man. One day I took out the Bible my mother-in-law had given me. In a very simple way I said to God, “Show me the truth; if this book holds the truth, then show it to me. If not, preserve me from this book.”
Reading the Bible
I then started to read the New Testament in the Hebrew language, which was easier and more comfortable. I was amazed to find that the writers of the New Testament books were Jewish, that the events took place in the land of Israel, and were about a Jew who was called in the Hebrew, Yeshua. I had always thought that Jesus was a Gentile whom the Christians worshipped. As I continued reading I asked myself, “If Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, the Messiah of Israel, how come my people do not believe in Him? Why did my grandfather never mention Him, and how come the Rabbis never teach of Him in our synagogues?”
In Hebrew I began reading passages of Scripture that speak of God in the plural – not three gods, but one God manifested in three persons. For instance, Genesis 1:1 (NKJV) says ‘In the beginning God (plural) created (singular) the heavens and the earth.’ Deuteronomy 6:4, the very core verse of my people, calls out ‘Hear, 0 Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.’ In this verse I could see that the Hebrew word for God is plural, while the word for one (echad) is a compound unity. In English it is not clear, but in Hebrew it is obvious. These, and other passages, clearly showed me that there is more than one person in the Godhead and God wants men to come back to Him. I also saw that God had promised us a Messiah, and that this Messiah would take away our sins. As I pondered these questions, I continued to attend the Sunday school classes.
We decided to visit my family in Israel, and Irene’s brother and sister in Europe. As soon as I saw my family and old friends again, I began asking them what they thought about Jesus? One day I went to see my old friend Moses, and found that he had changed from being a modem secular Jew to an ultra-orthodox one. He now spent his days praying, studying, and meditating on the Word of God. I was surprised and asked him what caused such a drastic change. He told me his life was empty and meaningless and by becoming religious his life had direction and purpose. Moses, now attired in religious garb, handed me a kippa for my head and we sat down together and read Isaiah 53. “Who was the prophet referring to?” I asked. We discussed the various possibilities, one of them being the Messiah of Israel. Although we came to no conclusions that day, we both knew that we would continue to search for the answer.
Arriving back in Canada, I began attending the meetings once in a while, but God was working in my heart as I struggled with the issue of a man taking away my sins. “After all,” I said to myself, “Jesus was just a man, so how could He forgive my sins?” I read Isaiah 53 again, as the prophet was describing the sinless One, the Messiah ‘He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him … He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth … All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ Isaiah 53:2,9,6.
It was then that I learned something so precious that it brought me to my knees before Yeshua the Messiah and caused me to fall in love with Him. I had never completely understood who He was, nor could I believe in Him and take Him as my very own Lord and Saviour until I recognized that He was the very God of Israel, the Creator of the universe. It was God Himself who took the form of a man and came to this world according to the prophecies of old. What love to me! What love to all men! John 3:16 says, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ God Himself, in the person of Yeshua, the virgin-born Son spoken of in Isaiah 7:14; had taken upon Himself the sins of the world. Isaiah 53:5 says, ‘He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.’
I could now see clearly that I was a sinner ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Romans 3:23. It was for my sins that Jesus died on the tree, and no matter how good I was trying to be, I had inherited a sinful nature from Adam, and only Jesus, God’s own Son, could take away my sins. Coming into the full realization of this I asked Yeshua to come into my life and forgive my sins ‘If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’ Romans 10:9. What joy and peace filled my heart to know my sins were forgiven. I found the answer, I found the Messiah of Israel!
I had to tell my family the step I had taken, but it was not easy. I loved my family dearly, and I knew that this would really hurt them. Along with God’s grace, reading Matthew 10:37 ‘He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.’ gave me the courage to share my faith in Yeshua with my family. I wanted them to understand that believing in Jesus did not make me a traitor, but rather a Jew who had returned to the God of our Fathers and found the promised Messiah of old. I wanted to share with them that this Jesus, whom I believe in, is not our enemy, but our Messiah, the lover of our souls. He is the one who wept over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44 and longed to gather our people unto Himself like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings in Matthew 23:37-39. Although my family opposed my faith in Yeshua, they did not reject me and remained hopeful that in time I would see the error of my ways.
Growing and going
As I grew in faith through reading and studying God’s Word, the Lord gave me the desire to reach my people with the gospel ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also to the Greek,’ Romans 1:16. As I also read Isaiah 6:8, the Lord spoke to me, ‘I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
The last few years have brought many opportunities to serve the Lord among Jews and Gentiles in street evangelism, gospel outreach, young people’s meetings, and Bible studies. It was a great joy to be used by the Lord to bring the good news of salvation to them. The Lord Jesus tells us, ‘I say to you that likewise there will be … joy in heaven over one sinner who repents,’ Luke 15:7. I long for the coming day when Israel will say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD,’ Matthew 23:39. Until that time when Israel will accept Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, God is building His Church that consists of persons called out from among Israel and every other nation of the world. The cross of Jesus Christ reconciles both Jew and Gentile, uniting them together into one body. (see Ephesians 2:16-18)
It is my earnest desire that Yeshua will be glorified through this testimony and not man, that Jews and Gentiles alike may come to know Him, because to know Him ‘is eternal life’ John 17:3. There is an answer to the sin question; there is an answer to all your needs. It is Yeshua! Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, may God open your heart and eyes and give you the boldness to confess your sins before Him and invite Yeshua into your life, making Him your Lord and Saviour for time and eternity. I can now say not only that I have found the Messiah, but that the Messiah has found me! I pray that it may be so with you as well."
| 2019/9/28 15:19||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
When Erich Weinmann read Zechariah 12, he questioned himself when it was that God had been incarnated among his people and when He had been pierced:
The blessing of Israel
"My parents gave me a liberal education, but I had a devout grandmother who sincerely trusted in God and His promises. Every evening, for seventeen years, she would lay her hands on my head and bless me with the blessing of Israel, “God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” I did not understand it too well back then, but I trace back much of the grace that I have experienced in my life to this.
It was hard for the Jews in Germany, especially in 1938. I still remember how I once fell on my knees, and cried to the living God, “Thou God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thou God of my fathers, lead me out of Germany.” The U.S.A. had a quota system and most countries took only Jews who had a large sum of money at their disposal. We were in great distress. Eight days after my prayer, as if by a miracle, I found myself included in a children’s transport and went to England in February 1939, shortly before the beginning of the Second World War.
Back to Germany
In November 1940 I voluntarily joined the British Army and I took part in the invasion of Normandy. In 1946 I returned to Germany with the army of occupation as a Sergeant interpreter. It was in Hilden, in the Rhineland, that I first met a Christian who had life in God. He was a British soldier, a master house painter from London, formerly a great sinner until he met Jesus who made a new man out of him. He was an operator in the telephone exchange. When he heard that I was a Jew, he began to pray for me. I took careful notice of this man and I noticed that there was always a Bible lying in front of his switchboard. I thought, “Why is this man so one-sided. Why is he always reading just the Bible?” One thing impressed me, this telephone operator was the most cheerful of men that I had met so far. He beamed with an inner cheerfulness that I could not explain.
One morning the two of us were sitting alone in the office. Without any introduction he asked, “Tell me, please, how is it possible that you, a Jew, do not recognise in Jesus of Nazareth your Messiah and King?” I felt very uncomfortable and answered him saying, “The Jews do not believe in Jesus. What should I have to do with Him?” He didn’t give up but asked, “Have you then ever verified the words of your king Jesus?” I had read a lot, yet up to the age of twenty-five I did not know the New Testament at all. I said therefore, “No, I have not.” Then he asked me, “How then can you say you do not believe in Jesus if you haven’t examined this?” At this point, our conversation was interrupted but this question stuck! Since then the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who spoke to me through this person, has not let me go.
A fraud or the Son of God?
Some time passed, then he invited me to a lecture. I shall never forget that first meeting. The evangelist spoke on the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. The vital part went right over my head, yet one thing would not leave me – this man believed what he said. I got the impression that these Christians really were set free and I must say that I felt really good in their company. I joined him at following meetings, while he continued to pray for my salvation. He also brought me a Bible that I received politely. However, the Bible was such a fascination to me that I decided to get to the bottom of this matter. “One must surely be able to find out whether this Jesus is a fraud or the Son of God,” I pondered.
During the time that I read the Bible, I called on God. It is written, “To him that knocketh it shall be opened.” God will respond to the sincere person, so the door was opened to me. I read the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John. This prayer inspired me, “You have never read anything so beautiful!” I thought. This Jesus must have been a wonderful person, anyone who speaks like that with God cannot be a fraud. My heart began to love Jesus and to trust Him.
The questions of my heart
God saw the questions of my heart. I was inwardly urged to read the ninth chapter of the prophet Isaiah. In the sixteenth verse it is written, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err: and they that are led of them are destroyed.” I was deeply moved. Did this also point to the leaders of the people who rejected Jesus? Another time I read in Zechariah, chapter twelve, the declaration of God about Israel “… and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him…” When, then, had God been incarnated among His people and been pierced? In the whole history of the people of Israel no prophet had ever come forward, except Jesus of Nazareth, who said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father, I and the Father are one!” Had He not been pierced at Golgotha? In a moment I came to the inner certainty – Jesus is God! Quite excited, I paced back and forth in my room. God had revealed something quite shocking to me: in Jesus, God Himself had come to His people!
In Jesus, God Himself has been pierced on the cross at Golgotha. He had to die because of our sins, because of my sins. That I was a sinner, nobody needed to convince me. Now a further miracle took place. Deep in my heart awakened the longing to talk to Jesus. God opened my heart and mouth and at that time I prayed something like this, “Lord Jesus, it is true that I do not really know You yet, but I have now grasped that Thou art God, and I want to ask You for forgiveness that for twenty-five years I have passed You by. Today it has become clear to me that You have died for my sins. For that I want to thank You.” Immediately an indescribable joy came into my heart. It was as though streams of Godly joy had been poured into my heart. All joy, which man can attain in gratification of pleasure and inclination, is a cheap substitute compared to the joy that God bestows on us in Christ Jesus. From that hour I knew that I was a child of God.
Love without exception
Grace was given to me through the prayers and witness of a simple child of God. Furthermore I received grace not to stumble at the mockery of nominal Christians. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God strengthened me against all the attacks, and gave wings to my testimony. Thus I was allowed to grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and finally also lead people to Jesus, especially German people. When I learned that Jesus had died for the sins of all mankind, then I could also love all men without exception. I could forgive from the heart without effort, because of that I became a very happy person."
| 2019/10/9 12:42||Profile|