• Who Are the Jews Today?

    Who Are the Jews Today?
    by R. T. Woodworth

    People who follow the religion of Judaism today are called Jews. Some people were born into Jewish families, but do not follow the religious traditions of their parents. Their religious teachers are called rabbis and may be men or women. Judaism is a philosophy of life, a system of ethics, a set of doctrinal beliefs.

    Some who are Jews today may have descended from Judah and Abraham, but the majority have no Israelite blood lineage at all. The Palestinian Authority Television Station featured a Palestinian historian who stated: "the biblical Israelites were Arab tribes; the Ashkenazi Jews who arrived in Palestine are descendants of the Khazars and have no connection [with] the Jews [Israelites] of earlier periods; and there are no Hebrew remnants in [today's] Israel" (Moshe Kohn, in Jerusalem Post, 7/2/97).

    Judaism is a religion, not a race. People of many races in the world call themselves Jews. There are three or four major religions in America today—Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, Muslims and Jews. There are several major races of people in the world today—Caucasian, negroid, Mongoloid, Indian, Arabian, and others, but there is no such thing as a Jewish race. The Falasha Ethiopian Jews are black!

    As far back as Bible times, some people became Jews by conversion, by changing their religion, but not by changing their race. In Queen Esther's time, many Persians became Jews for fear of the Jews (Esther 8:17).

    When a person who has been a Jew believes in Christ, he becomes a Christian, and is no longer a Jew. There is no such thing as a Jewish Christian (or Christian Jew), any more than there is a Jewish Muslim. These different religions are not compatible. Jesus told us plainly: "No man can serve two masters" (Matt. 6:24). "You cannot serve God and Mammon" (Luke 16:13). "You cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils" (1 Cor. 10:21). No one can be at once a Jew and a Christian. Christ is not divided, We are either all His or none of His.

    Those who deny Christ deny God the Father also. John says so in his Epistles. "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son" (1 John 5:10). The Israeli courts have maintained that a Jew is one who is born of a Jewish mother (matriarchal society). The same courts declared a Jewess born of a Jewish mother could not be accepted into Israeli citizenship because she had been converted to Christianity. Had she changed her race? Of course not, but she changed her religion. She was no longer a Jewess, but a Christian. The Zionist state of Israel(i) is a religious country comprised of Jews of many nationalities and racial backgrounds who have embraced one thing in common, the religion of Judaism.

    Vatican City is a religious state comprised of people of many nationalities and races, but of one faith, Roman Catholicism. Why don't we Christians see this? Why do we confuse race with religion or nationality? There are Christians of all races and multiple nationalities on the basis of their confession of Christ as Lord and Savior. The Apostle Paul (a Benjamite) was born a 'Jew', became a Christian by conversion. Then he was no longer a Jew, but a Christian by faith. Paul was still an Israelite by race because that could never change, any more than a leopard can change its spots or an Ethiopian his skin (Jer. 13:23).

    Paul defines a Jew, not by physical appearance, but by beliefs and deeds. "But he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter" (Rom. 2:28-29).

    Most Jews today are not Israelites, but Edomites, or Japhethites, or even Hamitic, which means they are not even Semitic. Most do not follow the religion of Abraham and Moses, but the traditional teachings of their rabbis from the Babylonian Talmud. There are vast differences in their interpretations of morals and sins. People who are Jews today are mostly Ashkenaz, some are Sephardic, and others from other areas and cultures, but very few are from the blood line of Judah Israel.
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