Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel informs the press that he cannot at this time form a government. That makes me think….
Modern Israel has nothing like the holy men of ancient Israel. There is no modern prophet--no Elijah, or Isaiah, or Jeremiah…and no king like David, Solomon or Josiah. These men of God were especially called by God and are acclaimed as ideal.
Today, Israel has no one leader of preeminence, religious or political, whom the whole of Jewry acknowledges.
Isn’t there anyone…any leader who unites them in any way? “
Yes, there is one.
Michael Medved, the Jewish film critic and political commentator (not a Messianic Jew), has plainly said:
"The chief distinguishing characteristic of most American Jews is not what they do believe, but what they do not believe. They do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Period. End of sentence, end of story. Tragically, for all too many members of today’s Jewish community, this rejection marks the sum total of their theological commitment, the beginning and end of their ideological identity as adherents to what is still misleadingly described as ‘the Jewish faith.’…Acceptance of Jesus is the one theological permutation [alteration] that Jews of all persuasions find unacceptable." (Everest: Israel the Chosen, p. 319, from Commentary Magazine, Milton Himmelfarb, Aug., 1996)
What the Jews of today don’t believe is their one tenet of belief! The entire sum of Jewry (and not just in the U. S.), except for those few who are Messianic, is united by this One Man—Yeshua—united in their rejection of Him as Lord.
For sure, He does get their attention. How? When any of their fellow Jews acknowledge and accept Him, they are dismayed…and the fellow Jewish person who accepts Yeshua is rejected. A Jew who becomes Hindu or who is an atheist or agnostic or Communist is still considered a Jew. But not one who has accepted and is following Yeshua. No, no.
So the Jewish world is united by this one factor.
This makes the Jewish world vulnerable--vulnerable to a leader who might arise in today’s world--to one who shows insight, charisma, who is a unifier, with the ability to unite Jews of varying life styles and persuasions. He would possess a seemingly miraculous ability to accomplish great feats--achieving what no other modern leader has been able to accomplish. The Jewish world could be fooled into giving him their full allegiance.
I speak of the coming anti-Christ.
In rejecting Yeshua as they have, they stand in an exceedingly dangerous position. For this man—the anti-Christ--would not be a holy man, though he might at first seem like one. He would be bold, presumptuous and profane. Besides that, he would amaze the world with his accomplishments. And eventually, he would turn with fury against the Jewish people.
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But turning back to the yearning for “the Great One”-- the Messiah whose coming is prophesied in the Tanakh (Old Testament)-- notice this prayer in a popular modern Jewish prayer book expressing the longing for the great Messiah to come.
May it be your will, Lord our God and God of our fathers,
That as we have merited to witness the beginning of redemption,
So may we merit to hear the sound of the shofar
Of our righteous holy one swiftly in our days.
(The Koren Siddur)
This is a prayer of petition for the appearance of the Messiah. This prayer and its longing are derived from the promise of the prophets.
(Special Note: the second line of this prayer shows that the modern return of the Jews to their land is seen as “the beginning of redemption.”)
Some Jews in Europe and Russia at the turn of the 20th century and Russia believed that the Austrian journalist, Theodore Herzl, was just this man--the very looked-for Messiah. Crowds of Jews in Eastern Europe hailed his arrival on his visits, many suggesting that he was the Messiah for whom they waited. Why? Because he was charismatic, intelligent and made it his career to travel throughout Europe attempting to persuade Europe’s leaders to make happen the Jewish return to the Holy Land.
But he died in 1904. Perhaps that was Providential. God did not want His Chosen People to confer too much honor upon Herzl. At age 44, he passed away.
And so, the observant Jews of the world, and especially those in Israel, are waiting.
When I was in Jerusalem, I spoke to merchants, waitresses and taxi drivers about the Messiah. “Do you believe in the coming of your Messiah?” The majority—nine of twelve—answered “yes,” some enthusiastically.
Netanyahu would not completely satisfy. Nor would any other candidate in Israel. Of course not. I suppose it gives one pause to be a leader when, in the back of their minds, the people are looking and longing for someone glorious.
The leader of glory and power is described in Isaiah 9:6:
“And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,” – one who gives wise counsel..."
And you know the rest.