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Serving in the IDF, 'for the sake of God and Jesus'
Jerusalem Post ^ | July 24, 2009 | MATTHEW WAGNER

Posted on 07/24/2009 8:28:12 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod

Jesus supports the IDF and he wants his believers to be the best soldiers they can be.

That was the message conveyed by members of the local Messianic Jewish community via sacred texts, prayer and talks, to a group of 18-year-olds who took part this week in a premilitary program called Netsor.

"I am a soldier of God," said Boris, an intense redhead accepted to an elite combat unit, who is one of the 28 young men and women who participated in Netsor.

"I will do my best during my service in the IDF to serve God spiritually and physically. Not for the sake of state authorities but for the sake of God and Jesus," added Boris, as we sat in the dining room of a guest house that overlooks Lake Kinneret on Wednesday.

Not far from here, according to Christian tradition, Jesus walked on water, healed the sick and preached. Now, nearly two millennia later, young "believers," as they call themselves, convinced they are walking in Jesus's footsteps, hope to become the next fighter pilots, reconnaissance soldiers, paratroopers, tank commanders and sailors.

Some 150 highly motivated believers will join the IDF this year. Many of them will serve in combat units. Some of them have been through Netsor's week of mental and spiritual preparation offered by the Messianic community. Netsor is a Hebrew word that means "to guard" or "to stand vigilant."

The return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel with the establishment of the State of Israel brought with it a small but growing group of Messianic Jews, numbering today between 10,000 and 15,000. These Christians celebrate their own version of Jewish holidays such as Pessah and Succot and set aside Friday night and Saturday as a day of rest.

But they also believe that Jesus is the messiah and that he is the only path to redemption. Messianic Jews, who distance themselves from the more in-your-face proselytizing tactics of Jews for Jesus, are nevertheless very open about their beliefs, including their conviction that traditional Jewish faith is not sufficient for redemption.

Due to their religious beliefs, Messianic Jews have been subjected over the years to physical attacks and discrimination, including in the IDF.

M., a platoon commander in an elite demolition unit who is one of the founders of Netsor, asked The Jerusalem Post to leave out identifiable personal details of individuals who agreed to be interviewed out of concern that they would be singled out and blackballed by antagonistic elements with connections in the army.

"In the end, we believe that God opens and closes doors," said M. "And if he does not want someone to advance in the IDF it won't happen. But we don't want to make any mistakes that will hurt someone's IDF career."

For Messianic Jews, military service in the IDF is not only a mandatory civil duty, it is a religious obligation. Lacking an exegetical tradition but serious about the sacredness and relevance of the biblical text, "believers" learn this obligation to serve in the army right out of the New Testament.

Romans (13:1-7) warns not to resist political authority, because it is "the ordinance of God."

Colossians (3:22,23) teaches that one must excel as a faithful servant of one's superiors, not for personal aggrandizement but to serve God.

The group's interpretation of these texts, combined with a strong religious faith, transform them into soldiers of God determined to do his will during their stint in the army of the Jewish state.

Other verses, such as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, 5-7), which some Christians interpret as Jesus's support for pacifism, are seen by Messianic Jews as an obligation to love one's enemies while fighting and killing them.

"I hate what Palestinian terrorists do, therefore I will do anything, including kill, if necessary, to stop them," said Tzvi, an educator and counselor at Netsor. "But I do not allow that to prevent me from loving them as human beings."

Many Messianic Jews see their obligation to serve in the IDF as no different from the obligation of other Christians in the US, Britain or even Jordan and Egypt to serve their respective countries.

"If I lived in Jordan I would have the same feelings for the Jordanian army," said Tzvi.

But for some, serving in the IDF has special theological meaning. Yoel, who was an officer in an IDF combat unit, believes the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is part of God's plans. "The IDF is an instrument in the hands of God because it facilitates his plan," said Yoel. "But I would not call it a holy army or the army of God."

The Netsor program, which began three years ago, has quadrupled the number of students from seven in 2007 to 28 this year.

Yoel, one of Netsor's founders, hopes one day to create a premilitary academy for Messianic Jews modeled after existing academies for religious and secular Israelis.

"We pray that sometime in the future we will succeed in establishing a full-fledged premilitary academy that will offer a one-year program; with God's help."


TOPICS: Current Events; Other Christian
KEYWORDS: endtimes; idf; justwar; messianic; pacifism
I do wish they would have used Hebrew name Yahshua instead of the Greek name Jesus, but the move of the Holy Spirit is evident in the hearts and lives of these youth.

Baruch Haba B'Shem Adonai!

1 posted on 07/24/2009 8:28:13 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod
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To: Quix

ping


2 posted on 07/24/2009 8:30:58 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: JesusBmyGod

How cool! It’s been so incredible to see Jews come home to the Messiah.

I am friends with one Messianic Jew, and my wife met another at Church a few weeks ago. It seems like God is on the move. I didn’t know any Messianic Jews last year.

May God continue to Bless and Keep Israel!


3 posted on 07/24/2009 8:35:58 AM PDT by rom (Obama '12 slogan: Let's keep on hopin'!)
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To: JesusBmyGod

THE FIGHT IS ON
The fight is on, the trumpet sound is ringing out,
The cry “To arms!” is heard afar and near;
The Lord of hosts is marching on to victory,
The triumph of the Christ will soon appear.

Refrain:
The fight is on, O Christian soldier,
And face to face in stern array,
With armor gleaming, and colors streaming,
The right and wrong engage today!
The fight is on, but be not weary;
Be strong, and in His might hold fast;
If God be for us, His banner o’er us,
We’ll sing the victor’s song at last!

The fight is on, arouse, ye soldiers brave and true!
Jehovah leads, and victory will assure;
Go buckle on the armor God has given you,
And in His strength unto the end endure.

Refrain

The Lord is leading on to certain victory;
The bow of promise spans the eastern sky;
His glorious Name in every land shall honored be;
The morn will break, the dawn of peace is nigh.

Refrain

—Leila Morris, 1905


4 posted on 07/24/2009 8:38:08 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: JesusBmyGod

The Left will react to this story like vampires to holy water.


5 posted on 07/24/2009 8:40:14 AM PDT by denydenydeny ("I'm sure this goes against everything you've been taught, but right and wrong do exist"-Dr House)
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To: JesusBmyGod
Jesus supports the IDF...

While I love and support the IDF, I think it is presumptuous to speak for God.

6 posted on 07/24/2009 8:40:49 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: JesusBmyGod
I do wish they would have used Hebrew name Yahshua instead of the Greek name Jesus...

Or translate it properly to Joshua.

7 posted on 07/24/2009 8:41:23 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: rom
That's great! I am looking forward to the veil lifting on the eyes of the Jewish people to see their Messiah and cry out to Him.

I'm also looking forward to the wealth of knowledge that the Messianic Jews will bring to Messianic Gentiles to help us understand the Scriptures from a Hebraic point of view. Most Gentiles read the Scriptures from a Greek mindset and a lot of meaning is lost when the context is wrong. May we truly become one new man in Messiah!

Be blessed and Shalom

8 posted on 07/24/2009 8:45:27 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: JesusBmyGod

Amen brother :)


9 posted on 07/24/2009 8:49:45 AM PDT by rom (Obama '12 slogan: Let's keep on hopin'!)
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To: mnehring
Yeah, it is. I often wonder how some journalist are trained in getting the correct message to the reading audience. I'm sure it could have been worded better.

However, the basic message in the article is that there are increasing numbers of Jews that are recognizing Yahshua as the promised Messiah and turning to Him for salvation. And THAT is an awesome thing indeed!

10 posted on 07/24/2009 8:51:58 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: denydenydeny

I’m afraid you may be right. Oh well. Hopefully if they don’t have anything nice to say they won’t say anything at all.


11 posted on 07/24/2009 8:53:06 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: JesusBmyGod

I agree, that first sentence just threw me. Not the best way to start the article.


12 posted on 07/24/2009 8:54:11 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: JesusBmyGod

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

I noted this on a similar thread.

Great.


13 posted on 07/24/2009 9:05:14 AM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: rom
How cool! It’s been so incredible to see Jews come home to the Messiah.

It's wonderful to see the (much larger) Gentile wing of the Church finally allowing Jews who believe in Yeshua to remain Jews and faithful to the Torah without the threat of persecution and death.

Within two decades, Messianic Jews--that is to say, those that practice what is recognizably Torah-centered Judaism, as opposed to practicing Christians who just happen to be Jewish--will be considered a part of the Jewish community by the vast majority, even if a part that's a bit on the wierd side.

Shalom.

14 posted on 07/24/2009 9:10:23 AM PDT by Buggman (HebrewRoot.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: Buggman

Since you took a poke at Gentiles, then I think it is only fair to investigate what happens to a Jew who decides to follow Yeshua.

The tears that are in my friends’ eyes are very real from the verbal persecution and rejection that comes from their own community.

Either way, I do not think it constructive to tear the body of Christ apart — we should forgive those Christians who persecuted Jews in the past while trusting God to hold them accountable for their sins. Our generations’ responsibility is to see that Messianic Jews are being embraced wholeheartedly by Gentiles.

It is what Yeshua would have us do.

We also know that God hardens hearts sometimes to make His will be done according to His plans (see for instance the book of Romans).

I for one want to learn as much as I can from my Jewish brethren about the root of my faith. Gentile commentators have missed a lot of richness by lacking a Jewish background.

BTW, as a Gentile I love saying Yeshua, it gives me goosebumps — so I’m thankful for a chance to talk to Messianic Jews :)


15 posted on 07/24/2009 9:21:16 AM PDT by rom (Obama '12 slogan: Let's keep on hopin'!)
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To: JesusBmyGod

You cannot be Jewish AND Christian. The Messianic movement is for the lost Jews who have grown-up with liberal reform Judaism or for Christians who feel a connection to Judaism but don’t understand why and aren’t ready to give up their faith. With education, the Jews will come home and the Christians will become Noahides or consider conversion. The free lectures and articles at
OutreachJudaism.org and JewsforJudaism.org will help teach you why this is true. Or listen to IsraelNationalRadio online.


16 posted on 07/24/2009 9:31:18 AM PDT by TzviaJ
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To: JesusBmyGod

May HaShem guide these obviously well-meaning people from the error of idolatry to the Truth of the Torah!


17 posted on 07/24/2009 9:38:30 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Be`ever haYarden be'Eretz Mo'av; ho'iyl Mosheh be'er 'et-haTorah hazo't le'mor.)
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To: TzviaJ
You cannot be Jewish AND Christian. The Messianic movement is for the lost Jews who have grown-up with liberal reform Judaism or for Christians who feel a connection to Judaism but don’t understand why and aren’t ready to give up their faith. With education, the Jews will come home and the Christians will become Noahides or consider conversion.

Amen!

18 posted on 07/24/2009 9:40:04 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Be`ever haYarden be'Eretz Mo'av; ho'iyl Mosheh be'er 'et-haTorah hazo't le'mor.)
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To: JesusBmyGod
I do wish they would have used Hebrew name Yahshua instead of the Greek name Jesus, ...

Some people feel the same way about the NT.

Many Messianic Jews see their obligation to serve in the IDF as no different from the obligation of other Christians in the US, Britain or even Jordan and Egypt to serve their respective countries. …

But for some, serving in the IDF has special theological meaning. The confusion comes, IMO, from this earlier statement, Lacking an exegetical tradition but serious about the sacredness and relevance of the biblical text, "believers" learn this obligation to serve in the army right out of the New Testament.

Messianism has largely thrown off 2000 years of Christian tradition in favor of a newly discovered approach to the Bible which seems to pit the Jewish traditions against the Church. Thus, it is no wonder that young people are confused about that the Bible teaches and requires.

19 posted on 07/24/2009 10:18:36 AM PDT by topcat54 (Don't believe in a pre-anything rapture? Join "Naysayers for Jesus")
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To: topcat54
Messianism has largely thrown off 2000 years of Christian tradition in favor of a newly discovered approach to the Bible which seems to pit the Jewish traditions against the Church.

I will have to respectfully disagree. I see the "newly discovered approach to the Bible" as a returning to the original approach to understanding the Scriptures.

The apostles and first believers were Jews that were zealous for the Torah (Acts 21:20) and did not forsake their Judaism. For example, Paul was to show this truth by taking a Nazarite vow and paying for the sacrifices for 4 other Jews as the Torah prescribed to show "that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the Torah." (Acts 21:24)

Regarding the Gentile believers they were admonished to "keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality." (Acts 21:25) These behavior changes allowed Gentiles to enter into fellowship with Jewish believers and attend the synagouge for teaching and understanding the Torah.

Yahshua is the only connection Gentile believers have to the Torah as we are grafted into the tree of Israel.

Ephesians 2:12-13
12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

It is through the Living Torah (Yahshua) that we can understand and live out the written Torah (the word that became flesh); and that only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Learning the Scriptures from a Hebraic mindset and the traditions of the first believers brings depth and enlightenment of the love of the Father. Understanding the foundation upon which we stand is critical, and this foundation is found in Yahshua who is a Jew...He is the perfect Rabbi.

20 posted on 07/24/2009 11:22:32 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: rom
Since you took a poke at Gentiles, then I think it is only fair to investigate what happens to a Jew who decides to follow Yeshua.

I'm quite aware. I'm also aware that this comes after over sixteen centuries of persecution and forced assimilation by Christians. The fear that drives persecution from the Jewish side is that the Messianics are just Christians in wolf's clothing trying to pull a bait-and-switch. Given how many Messianic groups came out of Jews For Jesus and similar organizations that "target" Jews, it's easy to understand why that perception lingers. Time and love will win out, and it will win out faster if the Evangelical community continues to show unconditional love to Israel and Messianic Jews refuse to be pushed out of normal Jewish life.

The fact is that Messianics are already starting to receive tacit acceptance in many quarters. My synagogue has had friendly discussion with a member of the Sanhedrin who is favorable towards accepting Messianics as Jews and within the bounds of traditional Judaism without endorsing our views. We are also on friendly terms with a prominant anti-missionary in Jerusalem who, though he teaches classes on countering Christian apologetics, sees the sea-change in Christian attitudes towards Jews in the last 20 years. In his words, "Christians have stopped telling Jews what we believe and what we should believe and have started asking what we believe."

There will always be those in both the Jewish and the Christian communities who reject Messianic Jews. (I get the word "heretic" thrown at me a fair amount.) If I seem unduly critical of Christianity in its relations with the Jews, understand that it is because I see how few realize how the centuries-long mischaracterization of Yeshua is causing the persecution of their Jewish brothers and sisters in Messiah today.

It's not that I'm defending the current persecution of Jews on Jews--I'm just more interested in diagnosing and treating the root cause rather than seeing people get upset at the symptoms.

Shalom.

21 posted on 07/24/2009 11:49:16 AM PDT by Buggman (HebrewRoot.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: rom
Since you took a poke at Gentiles, then I think it is only fair to investigate what happens to a Jew who decides to follow Yeshua.

I'm quite aware. I'm also aware that this comes after over sixteen centuries of persecution and forced assimilation by Christians. The fear that drives persecution from the Jewish side is that the Messianics are just Christians in wolf's clothing trying to pull a bait-and-switch. Given how many Messianic groups came out of Jews For Jesus and similar organizations that "target" Jews, it's easy to understand why that perception lingers. Time and love will win out, and it will win out faster if the Evangelical community continues to show unconditional love to Israel and Messianic Jews refuse to be pushed out of normal Jewish life.

The fact is that Messianics are already starting to receive tacit acceptance in many quarters. My synagogue has had friendly discussion with a member of the Sanhedrin who is favorable towards accepting Messianics as Jews and within the bounds of traditional Judaism without endorsing our views. We are also on friendly terms with a prominant anti-missionary in Jerusalem who, though he teaches classes on countering Christian apologetics, sees the sea-change in Christian attitudes towards Jews in the last 20 years. In his words, "Christians have stopped telling Jews what we believe and what we should believe and have started asking what we believe."

There will always be those in both the Jewish and the Christian communities who reject Messianic Jews. (I get the word "heretic" thrown at me a fair amount.) If I seem unduly critical of Christianity in its relations with the Jews, understand that it is because I see how few realize how the centuries-long mischaracterization of Yeshua is causing the persecution of their Jewish brothers and sisters in Messiah today.

It's not that I'm defending the current persecution of Jews on Jews--I'm just more interested in diagnosing and treating the root cause rather than seeing people get upset at the symptoms.

Shalom.

22 posted on 07/24/2009 11:52:22 AM PDT by Buggman (HebrewRoot.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: Buggman
Great post. (twice lol) Thanks!

Shalom

23 posted on 07/24/2009 12:26:10 PM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: JesusBmyGod
I will have to respectfully disagree. I see the "newly discovered approach to the Bible" as a returning to the original approach to understanding the Scriptures.

There is little evidence of that. The apostolic emphasis was to build Christ's Church, Jews and gentiles together without regard to ethnic/cultural distinctions. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:28,29)

Christ broke down the middle wall of partition (Eph. 2:14) which some messianics seem to desirous to rebuild by a return to those portions of the old covenant law that have passed away (Heb. 8:13).

24 posted on 07/24/2009 5:49:45 PM PDT by topcat54 (Don't believe in a pre-anything rapture? Join "Naysayers for Jesus")
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To: JesusBmyGod
A question for the "Christian Zionists":

I hear speculation in dispensationalist circles of a coming war, sometime soon, between Israel and Iran. Speculative figures I've hears show a great disparity of deaths -- a couple hundred thousand Israelis, 20 million Iranians.

Should something like this scenario come to pass, would you still support Israel?

25 posted on 07/24/2009 6:43:20 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (2)How many things are necessary for thee to know,..? the first, how great my sins and miseries are;)
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