The End of HistoryMessiah Conspiracy
The Handwriting on the Wall Spelled The Temple Falls
...the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other.... Moses, the law-giver, Deuteronomy 28:64 KJV; 1451 BC
Yet our eyes failed; Looking for help was useless. In our watching we have watched For a nation that could not save. They hunted our steps So that we could not walk in our streets; Our end drew near, Our days were finished For our end had come. Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles of the sky. They chased us on the mountains; They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the Lords anointed, Was captured in their pits, Of whom we had said, Under his shadow We shall live among the nations.
Prophet Jeremiah, Lamentations 4:17-20 NASB; 588 BC
...there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Messiah Jesus prediction of Israels Dispersion,
Luke 21:23-24 KJV; 33 AD
...Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men....And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.1
Gamaliel I, a well-respected Sanhedrin judge of Jesus day,
The Acts 5:35, 38-39 KJV; 33 AD,
THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL SPELLED THE TEMPLE FALLS
It is not our purpose to bore you or bog you down with scholarly references and quotations. However, this chapter and the next three: The Messiah Conspiracy, The Messiah Conspiracy Continues in the New Old Testament, and The Messiah Conspiracy Concludes in Preventing Healings, are highly controversial. As a matter of fact, the main purpose of this book is to establish that such a conspiracy took place. We believe this is a new thesis yet to be proven in the way we will attempt. Much of the evidence involving this conspiracy is relatively new. We are exposing this evidence for the first time, in laymans terms.
The aim of this conspiracy was to cover up the true identity of the Messiah, preventing millions of Jews throughout the ages from receiving the benefits of Messianic redemption. This conspiracy has literally changed the course of history for both the Jew and the Christian. We intend to expose this deception to the world and, in particular, to the Jew, from a literal, biblical, evangelical perspective. We intend to reveal the truth.
We also want to enlighten Evangelical Christians and believing Jews and afford them the opportunity to help the unbelieving Jewish world realize what happened and see the reality which has been so carefully covered up. Once the truth is revealed, we believe the benefits of salvation and, especially Jewish salvation, which the world has yet to see,2 will then be realized, revolutionizing our planet. In order to accomplish our task, much scholarly quotation is necessary. However, keep in mind that your reading will be much easier and more casual, after these sections are completed.
THE TEMPLE COMES TUMBLING DOWN,
JUST AS JESUS PREDICTED!
Circumstantial evidence proved the Jewish Christians correct. Thus, when the rabbis read the handwriting on the wall (Jesus had warned the Temple would fall thirty-seven years beforehand; Matt. 26:6; Luke), they reacted! This provided further evidence that Jesus was who He said He wasthe atoning Jewish Messiah!
The scholar George Foot Moore comments eloquently on this issue when he tells us: ...the generation following the disastrous end of the Jewish war the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene, finding an effective argument in the calamity of the people and the destruction of the temple, which they interpreted as a judgment on the nation for its rejection of the Messiah and the precursor of the direr judgments to follow, had had such success as to rouse the apprehension of the rabbis and prompt them to take measures to check the growth of the sect....The vehemence with which the leading rabbis of the first generation of the second century express their hostility to the gospel and other books of the heretics, and to their conventicles, is the best evidence that they were growing in numbers and influence; some even among the teachers of the Law were suspected of leanings toward the new doctrine. The war under Hadrian brought about a complete separation of the Nazarenes from the body of Judaism, and after the war the animosity diminished with the danger of the spread of infection within the synagogue.4
A NEW MAINSTREAM JUDAISM PLANNED
As we will see, after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the rabbis retreated to Yavne where they established a rabbinical school. It was at Yavne that they decided to end all sectarianism within Judaism. This meant no more Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and, especially no more Messianic Jews.
They worked exceptionally hard on the Messianic Jews. They felt they were particularly dangerous to their plan; to mold Judaism, as they saw fit, into a mainstream traditional religion! Their work was aimed at unifying Judaism, as they felt this would be its best hope for survival in the second Diaspora, which would become complete at the defeat of Bar Kochba in 135 AD, just over one-quarter century after their Yavnean activity! They made it their duty to see that Judaism as a nation did not become extinct. They had their own ideas and plans about how to rid Judaism of its Messiah worshippers. These plans were not very pleasant.
WHY DID THE RABBIS ASSASSINATE THE
JEWS FOR JESUS MOVEMENT?GENTILES!
The rabbis decided to assassinate the Jewish Messianic movement because it brought the threat of assimilation. In view of the fact that so many Gentiles were coming into the faith, they felt it would not be long before the rich tradition of the Messianic Jews merged with the pagan culture of the Gentile newcomers, to whom the New Testament gave the same blessings as the children of Abraham (Gal. 3:29).5 This seems to be supported by the scholar Kenneth L. Carroll, Ph.D., who says: Had the Jewish Christians been the only members of the new faith it is quite possible that the breach between the two groups might have been healed....6
James Parkes is even clearer as he reminds us: When the armies of Titus approached Jerusalem, the Judeo-Christians retired to Pella. At the same time the rabbinical leaders retired to Jabne....The fall of the city [of Jerusalem], however, reacted differently upon the two different groups [Jews who believed in Jesus as Messiah and non-Messianic Jews]....Had the Judeo-Christians been the only members of the new faith, the breach between them and the Jews might have been healed....But the rabbis at Jabne were not unaware of their contact with Gentile Christians who did not observe the Law at all....It was only a step from this condemnation to the refusal to accept as orthodox the conformity of the Judeo-Christians.7
TWO REASONS THE RABBIS ABHORRED
JEWISH CHRISTIANSFEAR OF
ASSIMILATION AND RABBINIC PRIDE
The sages felt that the identifiable Jewish race might be threatened by assimilation into a world populated mainly by pagan peoples. After all, every non-Jew was pagan by definition of the Scripture.8 In addition to this fear, these famous and dedicated rabbis
of Yavne, who were restructuring Judaism for its survival in the Diaspora, were personally and professionally insulted by the Scriptural attitude of Messianic Jews. The attitude of the Jews who followed Messiah Jesus was that they considered themselves the new spiritual Israel of God (Gal. 6:16), thus excluding all Jews who did not acknowledge the Messiah from Gods promise of atonement.
SUPERNATURAL EVENTS IN THE TEMPLE
REGARDING ATONEMENT CEASE AFTER JESUS!
Gods rejection of the blood atonement available in the Temple through the Levite priest (Cohen), became evident in that the red cord of wool, ceased to render its supernatural transformation on Yom Kippur9 after the crucifixion of Jesus. The Jewish traditional oral law known as the Talmud, revered by Jews in the past and still respected by Jews today, records these events most vividly. Colin Deal comments on this: Even the Talmud (canonical and civil law of the Jews) bears witness to Christs fulfillment of Passover though the Jewish Nation as a whole never accepted Jesus as the Messiah. The Talmud records an astonishing event that occurred approximately forty years before the destruction of the Temple by Titus army in 70 A.D. This is the approximate time Jesus died on the cross....It reads, Forty years before the Holy Temple was destroyed the following things happened: The
lot for the Yom Kippur goat ceased to be supernatural; the red
cord of wool that used to change to white (as a symbol of Gods forgiveness) now remained red and did not change and the western candle in the candlestick in the sanctuary refused to burn continually while the doors of the Holy temple would open of themselves. (Tractate yoma 39:b). 10
The English Soncino Babylonian Talmuds exact words are: Our Rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [For the Lord] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white; nor did the western-most light shine; and the doors of the Hekal would open by themselves....11
NOT ONE STONE WAS LEFT UPON ANOTHER!
The Talmud comprises dozens of volumes. This passage is not likely to sound familiar to many Jews. It is not publicized because it shows, indirectly, that God had transferred His acceptance of the Temple sacrifice and ritual to the sacrifice of Messiah. Thus, within forty years of the time God ushered in His new covenant through the Messiahs atonement, He allowed the destruction of the Temple, which was expected by all of the Messianic Jews.
Jesus predicted it would be His generation which would not see one stone left upon another in the Temple (Matt. 24:1-2). This occurred when Rome attacked Jerusalem in 70 AD, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus and the expectations of the Messianic Jews. Presently, all that remains of the Temple site is the outer retaining wall, known as the Wailing Wall; named for the many Jews who have come there to weep over the destruction of the Temple. The Wall is the holiest national shrine in Israel today.
There are two more Temples planned for Israel in the prophecies of the Bible. This chart from Zola Levitts book, Satan in the Sanctuary,12 shows the two previously existing Temples, and the two yet to come. The Bible identifies these Temples as follows: FirstII Chronicles 3 (over 1000 BC); SecondEzra 5 (445 BC); ThirdDaniel 9; II Thessalonians; Revelation 11, and; FourthEzekiel 40-48.
The next Temple to be built will be constructed at the urging of the Antichrist. Many Jews of the twenty-first century will believe in him as Messiah until, after three and one-half years of Jewish favor, he desecrates the Temple.
The Bible speaks of this horrifying event in various places. In Matthew, Jesus warns the believers of the future: When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matt. 24:15-21 KJV).
ANTICHRIST ATTEMPTS SECOND HOLOCAUST AFTER TEMPLE DESECRATION BUT JESUS STOPS IT!
In II Thessalonians, a letter in the New Testament, Paul writes
of this future man we know as anti-Christ: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;
so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that
he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told
you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might
be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall
consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.... (II Thes. 2:4-9 KJV).
DANIELS DATED DETAILS CONFIRM THESE EVENTS!
Daniel predicted in the Old Testament: And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time....And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand....And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.... (Dan. 7:25; 8:24-25; 9:27 KJV).14
As a result of Jewish disapproval in this yet to occur desecration, the Antichrist will attempt another Holocaust upon the Jewish people (as indicated in Dan. 8:24) which will be impossible to stop, aside from the return of Jesus, the true Messiah, who will slay him and bring peace to Israel, as foreseen by Isaiah: ...he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked [one] (Isa. 11:4 KJV).15
In chapter 19 of Revelation, this is mentioned as a prime event during Jesus Second Advent. The Jewish interpretative Targum Jonathan to Isaiah 11:4 also says: But he shall judge the poor in truth, and shall reprove in faithfulness for the needy of the people. He shall smite the guilty of the land with the words of his mouth, and with the speech of his lips he shall slay Armilus the wicked.16
THE PROPHETS HOSEA, DAVID AND
PETER CORRELATE AN APPROXIMATE
TIME-CLOCK FOR THE RETURN OF JESUS
The fourth Temple will be constructed under the supervision of Jesus (Zech. 6:12-13) after His return, probably sometime just before the mid twenty-first century. (That just falls into your lifetime, kid! But, if something happens to you, dont worry, Jesus promised to raise all believers into a body of glory. Read all about it in John 5-6). We know this from a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Hosea, which states: I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight (Hos. 5:15-6:2 KJV).
In verse 15, Hosea is prophetically speaking of the Messiah Jesus returning to His place in Heaven after rejection. This occurred 2000 years ago. The offense he speaks of is the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish people. The affliction spoken of is the Antichrists persecution of the Jews, which will cause many Hebrews to investigate the prophecies concerning the Messiahship of Jesus. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 23:39.
Chapter 6, verse 1 of Hoseas prophecy makes reference to the Jews being dispersed (torn) and regathered to Israel (healed).
Verse 2 is the time-clock key. The two days represent 2000 years, as Jesus returned to His Father approximately 1962 years ago, in approximately 33 AD (Ps. 90:4; II Peter 3:2-917 mention a day being represented as 1000 years). Peter lends special emphasis to this analogy, applying it to the Second Coming of the Lord and pleading that we not be ignorant about it. Look it up in your Bible and read it.
In verse 2, the third day represents the 1000-year (millennial) kingdom spoken of in Revelation 20. This prophecy18 of Hosea is covered in more detail in our chapter 27, Speculating on Messiahs Second ComingWhether They Know It or Not
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE FOURTH TEMPLE
AND WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE SECOND WAS DESTROYEDFAITH SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE
The Scriptures which speak of this new Temple are Ezekiel 40-48 and Revelation 21:22. This Temple will remain on Earth during the 1000-year reign of Messiah, when Jesus will rule and judge in peace from the throne of King David (Luke 1:33; Isa. 9) and Israel will be head of all nations (Deut. 28:13).19
Once the first century Temple was destroyed, the Messianic Jews began to multiply rapidly, as we have shown. Many Jews in synagogues throughout the East were seeing evidence proving the claims of those who believed in Jesus as prophet, priest and king. In many instances, they began to heed the teachings of the attending Messianic Jews in the regular synagogues. Thus, Messianic Judaism, known to many as Hebrew Christianity, spread like wildfire through tens of thousands of synagogues in the Diaspora. The renowned Israeli politician and scholar, Abba Eban, documented the existence of these synagogues in the PBS television special, Heritage, Civilization and The Jews.
THE RABBIS WORST FEARS REALIZEDTHE MESSIANIC JEWISH MOVEMENT GROWS BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS
Even before the destruction of the Temple, the good news was spreading rapidly among the Jews. For the most part, it reached the poor and lowly. James, the brother of the Lord and the head of the Messianic community, was known as the Father of the People, an indication of the high esteem in which he was held. As one observer put it: James was the Father of the People because the Messianic movement was essentially a movement of the People.20
Of course, the destruction of the Temple only added to the spread of the movement. Believers could point out fulfillments of Jesus predictions and convince their fellow Jews that He was not an imposter, as the rabbis maintained. One testimony to the accelerated growth of the movement was the large number of Jewish elders mentioned by Eusebius, an early historian of the Church.21
HOW DID THE RABBIS AT YAVNE REACT TO THE
SPREAD OF THE MESSIANIC FAITH?NEGATIVE!
The personal integrity of the rabbis at Yavne and their belief regarding what constituted Judaism was at stake. They had to find a way to stop the spread of Messianic Judaism from reaching world Jewry. They felt that Judaism should be remolded into a cultural cement designed to keep Jewish and Gentile identities separate for all time. They felt that Jesus was a common personality whose message might threaten Jewish racial purity because so many Gentiles were accepting Him along with their Jewish friends. They were becoming interested in Jewish feasts and traditions, because their (the Gentiles) Messiah was Jewish.
Incidentally, this phenomenon has currently been revived among true Evangelical Christians. Representatives of Jews for Jesus22 have been invited to thousands of churches to demonstrate Passover and reveal its secret Messianic meaning.23
YAVNEAN MAGICTHIS WE CHANGE,
THIS WE DONTOR DO WE?
In desperation, the rabbis at Yavne came up with a benediction which could identify any secret Messianic Jew in any orthodox congregation at that time. It was called the Birkat ha-Minim, which we will discuss in more detail in our next chapter.
Rabbi Gamaliel instructed Rabbi Samuel the Lesser to concoct and compose this malediction, as the Talmud reveals: Said Rabban Gamaliel to the Sages: Can any one among you frame a benediction relating to the Minim? Samuel the Lesser arose and composed it.24
They then wrote letters which were circulated throughout the Diaspora with a copy of this malediction and instructions to add it to
the Amidah Prayer, which was recited daily in all synagogues of that time.
Through their emissaries, they propagated the idea that Messianic Jews were not legitimate members of the community, were not to be acknowledged, and in some cases, were even worthy of death. The first century patristic Father Justin Martyr noted: But these Jews, though they read the books, fail to grasp their meaning, and they consider us as their enemies and adversaries, killing and punishing us, just as you do, whenever they are able to do so, as you can readily imagine. In the recent Jewish war, Bar Kocheba, the leader of the Jewish uprising, ordered that only the Christians should be subjected to dreadful torments, unless they renounced and blasphemed Jesus Christ.25
JESUS FORETELLS MARTYRDOM OF JEWISH
CHRISTIANSHISTORIAN CONFIRMS THEIR DEATH
Indeed, Jesus warned of this when He said: These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth
you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may
remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me.... (John 16:1-5 KJV).
When the rabbis propaganda machine began to work, it resulted in Jewish persecution of Messianic Jews for a time. However, when
the Jewish believers in Jesus refused to fight under Bar Kochba
because Rabbi Akiva demanded that he be recognized as the Messiah, this tool devised by the rabbis went into full operation. Initially, the Messianic Jews were willing and did fight against the Romans for Israels national security. They fought the Roman soldiers and died for their country, until Bar Kochba, supported by Rabbi Akiva, demanded that he be recognized as the Messiah. The Messianic Jews were faced with giving up God and their Messianic faith in favor of this secular rebel at war with the Romans. Of course, as loyal Jews they said, Okay, we will keep our faith, and if we are not welcome to fight alongside other Jews because it is against our faith to accept a false Messiah, we wont.26
At this time, Bar Kochba began to persecute Messianic Jews because of their refusal to render him Messianic recognition. Johannes Weiss documents this fact when he tells us: The fate of the Jerusalem church underwent a decided change under Hadrian (117-138). In the great uprising of the Jews under the Messiah-prophet Bar-Kokhba (132-135), Jerusalem fell into the hands of the rebels; and even during the Bar-Kokhba revolt, the Christians had much to suffer at their hands....27
SECOND CENTURY JEWS FOR JESUS FALSELY ACCUSED OF BEING TRAITORS, TORTURED AND MURDERED
Though this may sound hard to believe, Weiss footnotes his comment with such credible sources as Eusebius and Orosius, who tell us: And indeed in the recent Jewish war, Bar-Kokhba, the leader of the uprising of the Jews, condemned the Christians alone to be led away to dreadful torture if they would not deny Jesus was Christ and blaspheme him; Eusebius, Chron. (ed. Schoene, ii, 168 ff)....Kokhba, who was leader of the rebellion of the Jews, inflicted various penalties on many of the Christians, since they would not go out to the battle with him against the Romans; Orosius, 7:13.28
In the article, Outside Books, Joshua Bloch said: The Jews fought their enemy by themselves. The Nazarenes were thus disloyal to the Jewish national cause. Regarding them as blasphemous and as spies and therefore guilty of treason, Bar Kokba made them pay dearly. Because they refused to take part in the national warthey were only idle onlookers at the fearful spectaclehe displayed considerable hostility against them. Gradually his hatred for them increased and many of them were put to death. Those who survived were, for one reason or another, forced to withdraw gradually from the Jewish community.29
At this time, the propaganda concocted in Yavne by Rabbi Gamaliel and Rabbi Samuel the Small, began to take an alarming toll on Messianic Jewish life. They used the refusal of the Messianic Jews to fight against Rome as proof that they were not really Jews (a false accusation) and that they were, in fact, traitors to the Jewish nation. This is where the current view originated.
Some Orthodox Jews call Jews for Jesus traitors30 and really do not know why. Well, now you know why it has been a tradition, even though it was a lie from the beginning, to call Jews who believed in the Messiah traitors to Israels national cause.
GAMALIEL, YOHANAN BEN ZAKKAI,
MEIR, AKIVA AND AQUILA
These rabbis, their descendants and other leaders closely associated due to their anti-Christian zeal, incited riots throughout the Roman world, causing the Roman authorities to view the Messianic Jewish movement as a threat. They also convinced Rome that the Messianic Jews, who were the first Christians, were not a sect of Judaism, and therefore not entitled to the same rights as the Jews, including absolution from taking an oath to the pagan gods of Rome and Greece. Maurice Goguel tells us in his scholarly book, The Birth
of Christianity: ...right up to Pauls trial, the Roman authorities in Palestine do not seem to have made any distinction between Jews and Christians. At first the same was true in the diaspora: for a long time Christians were confused with the Jews. But the latter went to work to clear up this confusion with such perseverance that we cannot help but think that they were working according to a set plan. So far as they succeeded they rendered the situation of the Christians in the empire very precarious. As soon as they ceased to enjoy the favoured treatment which had been awarded to Judaism, they found themselves without legal status, on the fringe of society and subject to the penalty of death, because they practiced an illicit religion.
Judaism enjoyed an exceptional position in the empire. It had received considerable privileges through a series of public decrees which had been renewed and confirmed by Caesar and Augustus....Jewish communities possessed wide powers of self-government; they had rights of association and could exercise
discipline over their members. Jews were exempt from all
participation in public worship; they could take oaths without calling upon the gods....All this was possible because Judaism was considered to be the national religion of a people who had been the friend and ally of the Roman people before they became vassals....the means used by the Jews [rabbinical leaders] to hinder the Christian mission were indirect. They made every effort to persuade the Roman authorities
that Christians were not Jews or had ceased to be so and consequently had no right to the privileges of Judaism. They seem also sometimes to have created riots for the purpose of giving the impression that the existence of Christian communities was a perpetual cause of agitation and disorder. According to the early church, the Jews [certain elite rabbis at Yavne] organised a proper campaign to fight the preaching of the gospel. Justin Martyr, who mentions several times the way in
which Christ and the Christians were cursed in the synagogue, when addressing the Jew Tryphon says as follows, When you knew that he (Jesus) was risen from the dead and had ascended into heaven, as the prophets foretold, you not only refused to repent but chose delegates whom you sent into the whole world to say that an impious heresy, that of the Christians, had appeared and to publish calumnies against us which people who do not know us repeat. 31
Hugh Schonfield, in his book, Saints Against Caesar, sheds some light on Goguels statements: But already in the first century it was Rabbinical Judaism which had taken the initiative in trying to force the Nazarenes out of the Synagogue. The Romans no doubt did not in Palestine distinguish between one brand of Judaism and another until they came to appreciate that there was a body of Christians still inside the Jewish Community....when the emperor decreed a search for members of the house of David, and started a persecution of the Christians. According to Hegesippus there were some Jewish heretics who denounced certain of the Nazarenes to the authorities.32
Since such stigma and fear were laid at the feet of the believers by these intolerant rabbis, it made it easier for the Romans to justify feeding Christians to the lions for entertainment in their coliseums!
THE REAL McCOY
Incredibly, at least three of these rabbinical personalities33 who persecuted the Jewish believers were Gentile converts to rabbinicism. Ironically, they have become known as the sages of the Jewish religion, partially due to their persecution of those who were truly Jews and believed in Jesus as their Messiah. Their deeds have not been recognized by history, but I am sure will not go unnoticed by those who read this book!!
Too few Jewish laymen are aware of the fact that these men were not Jews,34 and all too few Jewish believers in Jesus and Gentile fundamentalist Christians are aware of the fact that these men were the architects of a Messianic cover-up and campaign of persecution against the first Jews for Jesus.
The early believers in Jesus suffered much from these men. This scandal must be exposed in our generation, so we can all make a fair decision about who, where, and what Jesus was, is and will be, in eternity and in our present lives.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MESSIANIC JEWISH IDENTITY?
From the time of Bar Kochba, growing numbers of rabbis began to successfully strip away the Jewish identity of Messianic Jews, thus exposing them to ostracism by the Jewish community. The later development of the Gentile institution of Catholicism finished their dirty work for them by declaring the original Jews who believed in Jesus to be Christian heretics.35 Paul Liberman notes: Traditional Jews considered all believers Gentiles. On the other hand, Gentiles were uneasy with them as Jews. The Messianic Jew had no place to backslide to.
Meanwhile, with Gentile Christianity becoming established in its own right, the struggle began with Gentile and Jewish believers. The dispute essentially was over whether Jewish believers should be allowed to continue certain Jewish practices. A key conflict developed over the question of Resurrection Day and when it should be
celebrated. It was not called Easter then. Gentile Christianity began to push for a strictly Sunday celebration; Messianic Jews disagreed. They thought it should be celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan, as the Bible states.
In 196 A.D., a council was held in Caesarea, but no Jewish representatives attended. This council decreed that Resurrection Day was to be celebrated on Sunday. Messianic Jews did not object to Sunday worship since they were worshipping on Sundays anyway. They went to the synagogue on Saturday and they worshipped among themselves on Sunday. The issue was whether the resurrection of the Messiah was to be celebrated on what we now call Easter Sunday, calculated from the 14th day of the month of Nisan which was the date of the Passover according to the Bible.
When Messianic Jews learned of the decision, they bolted. They considered Resurrection Day impossible to change because it was fixed by the Lord Himself. In fact, Jewish believers considered Passover to be even more important than the observance of the Sabbath.
In the third century, Gentile and Jewish believers began to split over the observance of Passover. The gulf widened....As the Gentiles gained dominance over the movement and the Jewish believers position became less threatening, rabbinical restrictions softened....Meanwhile, the Gentile Christians were penetrating into Judea from the coast. Ever since the Greek invasion about 300 B.C., the entire coastal plain of Israel primarily had been Gentile. Most of the Gentile churches in the land were along the coastal strip.
The fourth century marked the end of Messianic Jewish movement as such. Gentile Christian writers of this period included Apathames, Heggissipus and Jerome, all of whom were heavily influenced by Jewish believers. Among the Gentile leaders, there was a desire to consult with educated Jewish believers to discuss the theological issues. Jewish believers by this time, however, were less well-equipped theologically. They were considered less of a threat because of their diminished ability to defend their beliefs. A century earlier, when they had knowledge of the text, they were able to convince many people to believe in Yeshua.
But in the fourth century this did not occur as frequently as before. After that time the Messianic Jewish community practically stopped trying to evangelize other Jewish people. The believing Jewish community began to dwindle in numbers. In Gentile Christian writings, reference was made to Jews as them. During the fourth century, St. Apathames even refused to acknowledge Jewish believers were Christians. He called them heretical because they celebrated Jewish festivals.
Obviously Messianic Judaism was flourishing within the established synagogues where these festivals were celebrated. It is difficult to visualize this occurring in a Gentile environment. As far as Gentile Christians were concerned....They considered the Nazarenes stupid for believing that biblical prophecies were to be literally fulfilled in the Jewish nation....The concerns of the Jewish believers were virtually unknown to a large part of the Gentile church. They were only known among the Gentile churches in the area that was by then called Palestine. In 325 A.D., the Council of Nicea re-emphasized the importance of keeping Easter on a Sunday. None of the bishops involved in the decision were Jewish. Several years later in the Council of Antioch, they went even further. It was determined that anyone who celebrated the 14th day of Nisan as the Passover was to be excommunicated. One of the church fathers criticized Jewish believers who attended synagogues during feasts, observances of the Sabbath....By the end of the fourth century, Messianic Judaism disappeared as a movement. From that point on, the history of the movement is a tableau of individual Jewish believers. The Messianic movement disappeared because of its inability to defend itself against majority forcesRabbinical Judaism on the one hand; Gentile Christianity on the other.36
Scholar F. F. Bruce notes of the Messianic Jewish population: As for the remnant of Jewish Christians, their subsequent history is
but scantily documented....alienated alike from orthodox Jews and catholic....37
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE TEMPLE IN AD 70,
ONE MILLION WERE TRAPPED WITHIN
THE WALLS AND CANNIBALISM OCCURRED
The terrible events which occurred at the fall of the second Temple as a result of the Messiahs rejection, were prophesied thousands of years earlier. Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible, predicted cannibalism: The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates (Deut. 28:56-57 KJV).
The prophet Jeremiah later clarified: The hands of compassionate women Boiled their own children; They became food for them Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people (Lam. 4:10 NASB).
Jesus indicated that such things would occur soon after His Ascension. In His instructions to the daughters of Jerusalem on the way to His crucifixion, He said: ...Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they [Rome] do these things in a green tree [while relations are good with the Jewish nation], what shall be done in the dry? (Luke 23:28-31 KJV; [ ] mine).
The Jewish historian, Josephus, recorded these terrifying occurrences forewarned by Moses and Jesus. This famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us; yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets and a bye-word
to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the
calamities of us Jews. As soon as she had said this, she slew her son; and then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed.38
INSIGHT FROM A LEVITE
Zola Levitt, a contemporary Jewish believer in Jesus, comments on Jesus warning to His people at that time: They [the Jews who had rejected Messiah] should have listened to Jesus. The catastrophe of the destruction of the second Temple is almost beyond imagination.
At least 1.1 million Jews died in the five-month siege of Jerusalem by the Roman legions.
Approximately 600,000 starved to death in the streets. Their bodies were thrown over the city walls at the rate of 4,000 per day.
Josephus records cannibalism among the panicky and starving 3 million people crammed within the city walls.
And the Temple was razed so thoroughly that our Lords prophecy was completely fulfillednot one stone was left upon another.40
GOLD-GLAZED STONESPROPHECY FULFILLED
The prophecy Zola refers to is an exact one in which Jesus foretold that every stone of the Temple would be dismantled: ...as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he [Jesus] said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down....And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh....For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:5-6, 20-24 KJV).
This was carried out to the letter because the gold which melted when the fire was accidentally41 started in the Temple, ran down between the stones, necessitating the removal of all the stones to retrieve the gold.
PREDICTIONS OF THE DISPERSIONTHE REASON
FOR ITAN AMAZEMENT TO ALL THE WORLD
Jesus pinpointed these prophetical events to occur in His generation as a result of His rejection as Messiah by Israels leaders. He spoke of this time in which the Messiah was to come as the time of visitation (Dan. 9:26; Luke 19:41-44).
The prophet Ezekiel, hundreds of years earlier, also revealed Gods foreknowledge of this dispersal and the understanding of the non-Jew. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them (Ezekiel 39:23-24 KJV).
The Old Testament writings of Jeremiah the prophet describe the details of where and why the first century dispersion of Israel began, in the person of the transgressors. As for us [Jewish priests and leaders], our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation [Rome] that could not save us. They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come. Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed [Messiah] of the Lord was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen [in the dispersion] (Lamentations 4:17-20 KJV; [ ] and bold mine).
Ezekiel 39:27 and Lamantations 22 deal with Israel re-gathering in her land after her punishment is accomplished. This is, in itself, a miracle, which began in 1948 with the rebirth of Israel. This will be detailed in our chapter 18, Israelis Real.
THERE IS PLENTY IN VERSE 20
In Lamentations 4:20, Jeremiah mentions that religious Jews turned up their noses in the Messiahs shadow. This occurred while He was on the cross. By rejecting Him, they assured their fate of dispersion among the heathen nations, which occurred only thirty-seven years after the crucifixion. Interesting, to say the least. So many prophetical facts detailed in such a short line of Hebrew poetryso many hundreds of years before they actually took place. Truly, there is no literature on Earth which can even attempt to surpass the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
THE RABBIS CONSPIRACY ENDANGERED
THE JEWS AND THE WORLD
Most of the priests and rabbis ignored...
1 This quote is what Gamaliel forcefully told the chief priests after the apostles were supernaturally released from jail. The priests said to the apostles: ...Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this mans blood upon us (Acts 5:28 KJV). Peter replied: ...We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:29-31 KJV). Needless to say, the priests should have heeded the wise counsel of Gamaliel. Need we wonder what we should do if our civil government asked us to go against the Bible? No! This Gamaliel is not to be confused with his grandson, Gamaliel II, who instituted the Messiah Conspiracy at Yavne, which is the subject of our next three chapters.
2 On a large scale, more in proportion to Gentile numbers.
3 C.C. Torrey, professor of Semitic languages at Yale University, pointed out: The fact that there is no trace of this effective argument in any one of our four Gospels, though they are all addressed to the Jewish people, is one of the many items of evidence tending to show that these writings saw the light before the war under Titus. Charles Cutler Torrey, Documents of the Primitive Church, p. 101. This shows that all four Gospels were on the scene before 70 AD. This observation has embarrassed the liberals who place very late dates on the Gospels to discredit the supernatural element of prophecy, in an attempt to undermine our faith.
4 George Foot Moore, Judaism In The First Centuries Of the Christian Era, The Age of The Tannaim, Vol. I. London: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press, © 1927, pp. 243-244, used by permission.
5 Galatians 3:29 reads: And if ye be Christs [Messiahs], then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise (KJV; [ ] mine).
6 Ken Carroll, Ph.D., The Fourth Gospel and the Exclusion of Christians, p. 22.
7 James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue. New York: Jewish Publication Society of America, © 1981, p. 77, used by permission. [ ] mine.
8 There were some Gentiles attending synagogue, even before the time of Jesus, who were known as God Fearers. However, the Scriptures teach that in order to be right with God you have to be a believer under the Old Testament covenant, and once Jesus came as the fulfillment of that covenant, a believer in Him.
9 Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement, the holiest holiday in the Jewish calendar. Today, without a Temple, it is celebrated with fasting instead of Temple sacrifice.
10 Colin Deal, The Day and Hour Jesus Will Return. North Carolina: Rutherford College Press, © 1981, p. 128, used by permission. For a full exposition on how the redemption of Jesus ties into the Garden of Eden and the second Temple, see our Vol. II, chapter 31, The Mystery of the Temple Doors, from a lecture by Jonathan Cahn.
11 The Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b, p. 186.
12 This material is used by permission of Zola Levitt Ministries.
13 Woe is mentioned in connection with pregnancy, small children, winter and the Sabbath, because all four will make a rapid escape/evacuation from that area to safety; more difficult at that future time. In Israel, the religious will have control and will enforce a ban on travel during the Saturday Sabbath. For those of you who may not know, modern Jewish observance of the Sabbath precludes the use of machinery and any form of labor, which includes driving cars and other means of lengthy travel.
14 In these 2600-year-old verses of Daniel, the Antichrist is described as speaking against the most high (blaspheming the Rapture; see our chapter 25, The Rapture Factor); as persecuting the saints (those who missed the Rapture because they were unbelievers before it occurred); as having power from Satan not his own; as destroying the holy people, the Jews, through a false peace; as being destroyed by the Prince of princes (Jesus, the real Messiah), without human hand (through Gods power in Jesus), at the end of the Tribulation when he desecrates the Temple. Interesting, isnt it?
15 [ ] mine, to emphasize literal Hebrew. An individual wicked one is indicated in the original Hebrew text, though in English, wicked may sound as if it is plural.
16 Samson H. Levey, The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation, The Messianic Exegesis of the Targum, p. 49. Leveys footnote to Armilus admits: Armilus...is found in the late apocalypses and is a Messianic legend mentioned by Saadia Gaon, representing the anti-Messiah. Ibid, p. 154.
17 For those of you who were too lazy to get that dusty old Bible off the shelf, II Peter 3:2-9 reads: ...be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, [including Hosea] and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward.... (KJV; [ ] mine).
18 The New Scofield Reference Bibles footnote to Hoseas prediction reads: (5:15) Taken with Matthew 23:37-39, this passage gives in broad outline the course of Israels future restoration to God. The New Scofield Reference Bible, p. 922.
19 Today, most of the world, aside from born-again believers, feels that Israel is the tail.
20 Jacob Jocz, The Jewish People and Jesus Christ, p. 165.
21 Ibid, p. 169.
22 Jews for Jesus is the name of a large organization of Jews throughout the world who accept Jesus as their Messiah. They maintain their Jewish identity, as did the first century Jewish Christians who frequented the Temple and synagogues. They have a great deal of teaching material and are eager to help other Jews and Christians understand that Jesus is the Messiah from the Old Testament prophecies of the Bible. The can be reached through Jews for Jesus, 60 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA, USA 94102-5895. Tel. (415) 864-2600. In Canada: POB 487, Station Z, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5N 2Z6. Tel (416) 787-7816.
23 If you are interested in learning the secret symbols of Jesus hidden within the Passover, see our Vol. II, chapter 35, The Secrets of Jesus in Passover Versus the Errors of Easter.
24 The Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 28b, p. 175.
25 Thomas B. Falls, D.D., Ph.D., Saint Justin Martyr. Washington: Catholic University Press, © 1948, p. 67, used by permission.
26 Paul Liberman, a twentieth century Messianic Jew, notes: Because Messianic Jews used the destruction of the Temple as proof that the Messiah had made the final sacrifice, there was an upsurge in the movement, with many Jews beginning to join it. Finally, the Rabbis decided to end these discussions and forbade any contact with the Messianic Jewish community. Messianic Jews were expelled from the synagogue. It wasnt until later that they were expelled from the community. The Bar-Cochba Revolt occurred between 132 and 135 A.D. It was the second Jewish uprising against Roman rule It eventually changed the nature of the dispute between Jewish believers and the Rabbinical Jewish community. Then, there was a radical change. So many non-Jews accepted Messianic claims, the movement became more and more of a Gentile religion. This marked the rejection of the Messianic movement as a force in the Jewish community. During the first year of the revolt, Messianic Jews fought alongside their other Jewish brethren. But a year later, Rabbi Akiba declared Bar-Cochba to be the Jewish Messiah. As the result, Jewish believers pulled out of the revolt. They could not accept that concept, and it created the final split between the two Jewish communities. Paul Liberman, The Fig Tree Blossoms: Messianic Judaism Emerges. Indianola, IA: Fountain Press, © 1976, pp. 36-37, used by permission. F.F. Bruce affirms the often denied fact that the Messianic Jews refused to fight because they could not allow Rabbi Akiva to belittle their faith through the recognition of a false Messiah. He says: When Hadrian issued his ban on circumcision in A.D. 132, which precipitated Ben-Kosebahs revolt, Jewish Christians who maintained this covenant-sign must have been affected by it as much as other Jews; yet they were unable to take part wholeheartedly in the revolt because they could not acknowledge Ben-Kosebahs messianic claim. Perhaps they joined with others who rejected this claim in calling him Bar-koziba, the son of falsehood, as a counterblast to the designation Bar-kokhba, the son of the star, given him by Aqiba who hailed him as the messianic star out of Jacob predicted by Balaam (Num. 24:17). At any rate their refusal to acknowledge Ben-Kosebah as the Messiah stamped them in the eyes of many of their fellow-Jews as traitors to the national cause, and brought severe reprisals on them. F.F. Bruce, New Testament History, p. 390. In footnote 86, Bruce notes: The name Ben-Kosebah is now attested from contemporary Hebrew documents; cf. the Murabbaat texts 24 B 3, C 3, 20, E 2, G 3: 43. 1, 8. Ibid.
27 Johannes Weiss, Earliest Christianity: A History of the Period A.D. 30-150, Vol. II., p. 722.
28 Ibid, p. 723.
29 Joshua Bloch, Outside Books, Mordecai M. Kaplan, Jubilee Volume. New York: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, © 1953, pp. 96-97, used by permission. The reason the Messianic Jews refused to fight was because Rabbi Akiva claimed Bar Kochba was the Messiah. The Christian Jews knew better and were forced to stop fighting or go against the faith they realized to be true. Could this have been a ploy on the part of Akiva to alienate Jewish believers from the Jewish community? We may never know.
30 The Hebrew word meshumud can be heard in the whisperings of rabbis when they discuss Jews who believe in Jesus. Read Zola Levitts book, Meshumud, available through Zola Levitt, POB 12268, Dallas, TX, USA 75225.
31 Maurice Goguel, The Birth of Christianity. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., © 1953, pp. 468-470, used by permission. [ ] mine.
32 Hugh Schonfield, Saints Against Caesar, The Rise and Reactions of the First Christian Community. London: Macdonald & Co. Ltd., © 1948, p. 181.
33 Concerning Aquila and Akiva, Philip Carrington tells us: In the new generation, which flourished from about 90 to the war of 131, the greatest name was that of Akiba. He was a proselyte of Arabian origin, a convert to the faith....Akiba was the tutor of Aquila, another proselyte, who was a native of Sinope in Pontus, like Marcion....Aquila made a new Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures....It was intended for use in connexion with the theological methods of Aquila.... Philip Carrington, The Early Christian Church, Vol. 1, The First Christian Century. London: The Syndics of The Cambridge University Press, © 1957, pp. 426-427, used by permission. Aquila made a fraudulent Greek translation of the Old Testament, which removed Messianic prophecies, in a deliberate attempt to mislead millions of unsuspecting Greek-speaking Jews for hundreds of years to come. We will cover this in detail in our chapter 8 The Messiah Conspiracy Continues in the New Old Testament. Carrington notes of Akivas rebellion, which caused the death of well over one-half million Jews: He [Akiva] was destined to ruin Israel by his military and political adventures; and yet, by his genius, he laid the foundations of the New Judaism which would survive the disaster for which he was largely responsible. Ibid. This disaster was one of the main causes of Jews being separated, alienated and isolated from Jesus to this day, and may have been a deliberate attempt to cause just such an alienation. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, one of the foremost leaders of Messianic Judaism, noted: In 132 A.D. another Jewish revolt occurred against the Roman Empire, led by Bar Cochba. At the beginning of this revolt the Hebrew Christians joined the battle with their Jewish brethren, identifying with them as this was a national cause. As the revolt progressed, Rabbi Akiba declared Bar Cochba to be the Messiah. Hebrew Christians pulled out of the revolt inasmuch as they refused to acknowledge Bar Cochba as the Jewish Messiah. A complete break took place between the Jewish people and the Jewish Christians. From this time on, Jewish believers in the Messiahship of Jesus have been ostracized. If anyone can be blamed for turning Christianity into a Gentile religion, that one is Bar Cochba. The complete break between church and synagogue was a result of the Bar Cochba revolt. Even after Bar Cochba Jews were turning to Jesus as the Messiah. Throughout the past nineteen centuries there have always been Jewish believers in the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. Sometimes the number has been small, but there has always been a number. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Jewishness and Hebrew Christianity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Sar Shalom Publications, p. 13, © used by permission. It is quite obvious, for those of you who are able to read between the lines, that Akiva and Bar Kochba knew they could not win a Jewish war against Rome, which controlled virtually the entire world at that time! It is also obvious that they both knew that the Jews who believed in Jesus would not fight under another Messiah, aside from Jesus. Voilà! What better way to turn the worlds Jews against Jesus-believing Jews, than to: 1. start a Jewish war; 2. proclaim its leader Messiah; 3. watch the Christian Jews pull out, and; 4. announce to Jews everywhere what traitors they were to Israels national cause, thus resulting in their rejection for all time. Have you ever thought of it that way? Dr. Daniel Smith Christopher, the associate professor of theological studies at Loyola Mary Mount University, made an interesting statement regarding another reason why certain elements secretly wanted Jerusalem to be leveled. Had Jerusalem been able to carry on, had it survived the Roman destruction...of the common era, I think that Christianity would have had a quite different character. There would have been a much stronger Judeo-Christian tradition based in Jerusalem, a much stronger and more heavily Jewish version of Christianity.... Daniel Smith Christopher, Mysteries of the Bible. Arts & Entertainment Network, Nov. 18, 1994.
34 One ancient rabbinical writing says: The rabbis taught: The proselytes and those who play with children hold back the Messiah. This is understandable as far as the
35 proselytes are concerned, for R. Helbo said: The proselytes are as bad for Israel as a sore on the skin....(B. Nid 13b) Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts, p. 59. Certainly this is pertinent here since these rabbis, who were mostly proselytes (converts to Judaism), set up barriers to prevent Jewish people from realizing Jesus is the Messiah. This has prevented a large Jewish acceptance which has delayed the return of Jesus until this day (see the book of Romans in the New Testament, verses 8:22-23; 11:15). No doubt, the writer of this wise but little known Jewish Talmudic commentary probably did not have Jesus in mind, yet we agree on the fact that proselytes hold back the Messiah, whom we, with good reason, believe to be Jesus.
For greater detail, see our chapter 7, The Messiah Conspiracy.
36 Paul Liberman, The Fig Tree Blossoms: Messianic Judaism Emerges, pp. 40-43.
37 F.F. Bruce, New Testament History, p. 391.
38 Josephus, Wars of the Jews, published in the compilation Josephus: Complete Works, book 4, chapter 3, verse 3, p. 579.
39 [ ] mine. The true Jewish believer in Jesus realized the prophecy of destruction given by Jesus in Luke 21:21 and heeded His warning to escape the impending doom. They were criticized for their wise evasion of danger, even though the alternative was to neglect Jesus warning and die for nothing! Arnold Fruchtenbaum details this when he says: In 68 A.D. the great Jewish revolt against the power of Rome broke out. Soon the Roman army came to Jerusalem and surrounded the city. The Zealots among the Jews took up arms against the Romans, but the Hebrew Christians did not. They were caught in a dilemma. They remembered a prophecy spoken by Jesus: But when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her desolation is at hand. Then let them that are in Judea flee unto the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter therein (Luke 21:21 NASB). According to this prophecy, the Temple and Jerusalem were both to be destroyed. The Hebrew Christians were told that when they saw the armies surrounding Jerusalem they were to flee. For this reason these Jewish believers refused to take up arms against the Romans. Not because they wished to betray the Jewish cause but because they felt bound to obey the words of Jesus of Nazareth. When the Roman legions temporarily lifted the siege of the city for a few days, the Hebrew Christians fled to the mountains in Trans-Jordan. Later the Romans returned and in 70 A.D. destroyed the city and the Temple. Because the Hebrew Christians fled the city earlier in the siege, they have since been called Meshumod, or Meshumodim, a Hebrew word meaning destroyers, or in modern terminology, traitors. The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was taken by the Hebrew Christians as a fulfillment of the words of Jesus and accepted by them as a further evidence of His Messiahship. This led many Jewish people to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, described the Jewish followers of Jesus as numbering myriads, a Greek word meaning a very great number. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Jewishness and Hebrew Christianity, pp. 11-12.
40 Zola Levitt and Thomas S. McCall, Satan in the Sanctuary, p. 171. This book deals with the Antichrist (Satan in the flesh) coming into a yet to be built sanctuary in the New Temple in Jerusalemreading is a must for the ardent student of prophecy.
41 See our Vol. II, chapter 25, Saved, Saved from What? The Temple was ordered to be saved by the Roman army because it was a crown jewel of the Middle East. A crazed Roman soldier threw a torch into the area containing the flammable olive oil used for the lamps, which ultimately fulfilled the prophecy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 24.