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Yeshua In the IDF
25 July 2014
 
 
In the fullness of time, God the Father sent His Son, Yeshua (Jesus), into the world. Born of a virgin in the modern state of Israel some decades ago, He was about to begin His public ministry when another war flared up with the "Palestinians" in Gaza. Being of military age, Yeshua is order to report to His unit in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). With His assault rifle in hand, soon Yeshua is on His way to Gaza to participate in the massive Israeli ground incursion.

As Yeshua and His unit are making their way deeper into Gaza, He suddenly comes upon a group of five "Palestinians" who are about to launch a salvo of rockets into the land of Israel. Knowing that God is on the side of the Jews, knowing that He is obeying God by fighting the Lord's battle, and knowing that He will be saving Jewish lives, Yeshua pulls the trigger of His automatic rifle and sprays the "Palestinians" with dozens of rounds. In just a few seconds their lifeless, bullet-ridden bodies are crumpled on the blood-soaked ground, while their spirits are dispatched to Hell and eternal separation from Himself and the Father....

I woke up in a cold sweat, shaking all over, with my breath coming in short, shallow gasps. Oh my goodness! It was only a nightmare! But it seemed SO real! With the picture of "Rambo Jesus" vivid and unfading in my mind, it took me a LONG time to fall back asleep. But once I did, I had another dream....
As the time approached for Him to return to heaven, Yeshua resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for Him; but the people there did not welcome Him, because He was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Master, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them, just as Elijah did?" But Yeshua turned and rebuked them, saying "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy human lives but to save them." Then He and His disciples went to another village. (Luke 9:51-56)
... And then I awoke. Joy welled up in my heart, and I exhaled a great sigh of relief. Yeshua isn't Rambo after all! As the New Testament clearly teaches, Yeshua came to SAVE people's lives, NOT destroy them!

OK, I already know that the first objection I'm going to hear is that Yeshua's verbal response to His disciples, as recorded in Luke 9, is excluded from most versions of the New Testament, appearing mainly in the King James and related versions. But if you ask me (thank for asking!), that quote from Yeshua is totally in keeping with the rest of the Gospels and the entire New Testament. So let the scholars debate, but I think it is completely legitimate, and accurately portrays who Yeshua is.

Unfortunately, the nightmare scenario which opened this article is more real than I would like to imagine. There are a significant number of people who call themselves Christians, or simply followers of Yeshua, both non-Jews and Jews, who believe with all of their hearts that if Yeshua were living in Israel today, He WOULD be out there with His gun blasting the "enemies" of Israel into eternity. In so doing, they say, Yeshua would be standing in solidarity with the people of Israel, fighting on the side of Yahweh God of the Armies. Sadly, this is a real nightmare that is not so easy to wake up from.

In light of the above passage from Luke, the rest of Yeshua's teachings, the way in which Yeshua lived and died, the rest of the New Testament's teachings, and the way in which His early followers lived and died, I can confidently declare that, without doubt, Yeshua would NOT be in the IDF today, blasting "Palestinians" to Hell! To imagine for one second that He would do such a thing is to totally misunderstand the New Covenant and to totally misunderstand who Yeshua is.

Of course, non-Messianic Jews and Muslims are not followers of Yeshua, so it would be ridiculous to expect them to follow the teaching of the New Testament. But for those who DO claim to follow Yeshua, I have this question: Since Yeshua came to save human lives and not destroy them, how can you be in the military, whose sole purpose is to destroy the lives of human "enemies," dispatching them to an eternity in Hell?

If you are truly following Yeshua, why are you going in a direction He is NOT going? The truth is, if you are resorting to violence and killing in order to protect yourself, your family, and your country, you are going in the OPPOSITE direction as Yeshua! In that case, how can you be following Him? Are you not rather misrepresenting Him to the world? Are you not working against His purposes, which are so clearly expressed in the New Testament?

For those followers of Yeshua who think that using violence against another human being is OK, I believe with all of my heart that Yeshua would rebuke you just as He did His first disciples: "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of." But Yeshua knows what that spirit is! In another interaction with His disciples, He makes that painfully clear! When Yeshua told His followers that He was soon to be killed...
...Peter took Yeshua aside and began to reprimand Him for saying such things. "Heaven forbid, Master," he said. "This will never happen to You!" Yeshua turned to Peter and said, "Get away from Me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to Me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's." (Matthew 16:22-23)
Here Yeshua pulls the mask off of humanistic, non-New-Testament thinking! Ultimately, the root inspiration for such thinking is satanic — doctrines of demons. To those who call themselves followers of Yeshua, yet are pro-violence, pro-self-defense, and pro-killing, I believe with all of my heart that He would say the same thing to you as He did to Peter: "You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's."

The gun-loving, pro-military American Christians who imagine they are serving God in the armed services, are simply participating in a demonic American Jihad — in which article I quoted from pastor Gregory Boyd:
It is better to serve than to be served and better to die than to kill. It is [better], therefore, to opt out of the kingdom-of-the-world war machine and manifest a radically different, beautiful, loving way of life. To refuse to kill for patriotic reasons is to show "we actually take our identity in Christ more seriously than our identity with the empire, the nation-state, or the ethnic terror cell whence we come," as Lee Camp says [in Mere Discipleship].
 
So, while I respect the sincerity and courage of Christians who may disagree and feel it their duty to defend their country with violence, I honestly see no way to condone a Christian's decision to kill on behalf of any country — or for any other reason.
 
While we should worry about being despised because we're viewed as self-righteous hypocrites, we should never worry about being despised because we refuse to participate in a culture of violence. Our response can only be to testify that we have a higher duty to a greater King and a greater country — and to invite our antagonists to join us in fulfilling this higher duty and serving this greater country.
In their desire to prove that they are just as Jewish as their non-Messianic Jewish compatriots, and in order to gain their society's acceptance, I'm afraid that Israeli followers of Yeshua are portraying a false idea of what Yeshua and His Kingdom are all about, as revealed in the New Testament. Those who serve in the IDF "for the sake of God and Jesus" are walking in deep deception! Instead of going out and blasting "Palestinians" to Hell in the name of the God of Israel and His Son, it would be infinitely better to stand WITH the Lord Yeshua by telling the Israeli authorities:
"I love my people and my country, but I love my Messiah more! He came to save human lives and not destroy them, so as His follower I must act in the same way. I will be happy to do community service, to build bomb shelters or whatever. I will even go to prison if I have to. But I absolutely will NOT take up arms against the 'Palestinians' or any other human 'enemy'. Nor will I participate in the military in a non-combat role, as that would still be helping to inflict violence and death upon other human beings, albeit in a less-direct manner."
Imagine the testimony and witness for Yeshua and His Kingdom that this would be! If Messianic Jews rejected the violent Old Covenant mentality and refused to serve in the IDF. If American Christians rejected the violent Constantinian mindset and completely stopped volunteering for the U.S. military. Such commitment and actions would cause quite a stir and shake the powers that be, both earthly and spiritual!

Rather than compromising their walk with Yeshua, what if His followers took the New Testament seriously and turned away from the 'Power Over' kingdom and instead started to live like Yeshua in His 'Power Under' Kingdom? The world has not seen such a revolution for nearly 2,000 years! Will the people of the earth see it once again in our day? Will the Church purify herself from the world's defilement, and follow Yeshua with integrity once again? Only time will tell!

In this article I have referred to numerous teachings of the New Testament, but I have not been able to look at them in much detail at all. That will be the topic of the next article — Not Of This World.

For more about "Christian" violence and "Christians" serving in the military, see True and False Witness.
This article is 33rd a series of articles on this Web site related to Modern Christianity and the Church which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
1.
9  Nov  2008
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27  Nov  2008
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12  Jun  2010
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9  Sep  2010
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11  Sep  2010
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27  Sep  2010
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4  Jul  2011
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Yeshua In the IDF
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