Recently a pastor contacted me to see if I was interested in covering, for GOD TV, a concert in Jerusalem. The event was sponsored by a group called TheSanhedrin. You will recognize that name from the New Testament. The Sanhedrin was the Jewish high court and police system, overseen by 71 judges from among leading Sadducees (priests), Pharisees and Scribes. The Sanhedrin survived the second Temple’s destruction and made it all the way to the fifth century. But, because of persecution, it was finally disbanded.
Over the past year, I have heard more than one person refer to the supposed rebirth of a modern day Sanhedrin. Some have even confused Israel’s religious court system with being a new Sanhedrin, which it is not. Instead, it is a group of Orthodox Jews who are seeking to re-establish the ancient Sanhedrin.
But do they have authority to simply decide that they are the ruling Sanhedrin? Of course not! They have no judicial authority whatsoever. By this standard, any group of 23 or 71 Jewish men could claim they are the new Sanhedrin.
So, if Israel already provides for an Orthodox religious court system, why are these men seeking to re-establish the Sanhedrin? And why would all of this be of interest for Bible-believing Christians? The answer to both these questions is that the main item on their agenda is not one of every day justice, but one which stirs great controversy among both Jews and Christians: they are preparing a renewed priesthood (including the high priest), for the rebuilding of the third Temple in Jerusalem.
The Biblical Sanhedrin in Jerusalem was a gathering point for universal cooperation and justice. The high-point of the concert came when the foreign representatives went up to the stage to sign an agreement with the Sanhedrin.By signing, the nations acknowledged that they were answering a call by the Sanhedrin of Israel to accompany the people of God, as peoples, nations, and individuals toward establishing the Temple in Jerusalem as a house of prayer for all nations as prophesied in the Bible. Breaking Israel News
Evangelicals and the New Sanhedrin
This new Sanhedrin, just like the [third] Temple Institute, is looking to the evangelical world for support. They even have a Gentile Christian spokesman for the Sanhedrin. I know this man and he is a sweet individual. But, sadly, it appears that he has greatly compromised the great commission in his efforts to be a blessing to Israel. And what is considerably concerning is that he believes this new Sanhedrin “will play a key role at the end of days.” (Read his interview here) Let me be clear, there is no prophecy whatsoever that points to an end-time, God-fearing, God-appointed Sanhedrin.
As a Jewish believer, I am deeply conflicted: One the one hand, I love that Christians are seeking friendship with Jews. On the other, I am deeply concerned that it is in an effort to affirm a Yeshua-less Judaism.
First of all, the Sanhedrin that are reaching out to evangelical believers would never reach out to a Messianic Jew, because
We say you can be Jewish and believe in Yeshua, just like the first believers did and
We, with compassion, seek to share Yeshua with other Jewish people.
They think we are a cult because we believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, and, yet, they are seeking partnership with evangelical Christians—who believe the exact same thing. If Jesus is not the Messiah, then every Christian on earth is deceived. If He is, then let them embrace Him too. But, rejecting Him, while accepting His gentile followers—and their donations—seems hypocritical.
Not only would they not fellowship with me, they would most likely persecute me. While I love the fact that evangelicals are establishing relationships with Orthodox Jews, it seems that some of it is coming at the cost of compromising our most holy commission—to spread the message of Yeshua to all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). And, of course, that includes Israel!
A Mystic Fascination
Many Christians are fascinated by their new Jewish friends. One pastor wrote of a meeting between Orthodox Jews and evangelical Christians, calling it the greatest expression of the “Ephesians 2:15/One New Man”that he had ever seen! While it is great that they were reaching out to Jewish people and expressing the love of Yeshua, the “One New Man” of Ephesians 2:15 is all about the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles together in the Messiah, not Jewish unbelievers and Christians. The “One New Man” of Ephesians 2:15 is not anti-Jesus, Orthodox Jews and pro-Jesus gentiles, but Messianic Jewish and gentile believers coming together in Yeshua.
Christians, while absolutely having a calling (Rom. 11:11) to reach out with love to the Jewish people, should never assume that Judaism without Yeshua is acceptable. He is the “the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through [Yeshua].” (John 14:6) The entirety of the Old Covenant pointed to Messiah. This is why Paul, the learned Jewish rabbi/apostle could write, “Messiah is the end of the law/Torah for all who believe.”(Romans 10:4)
Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s rejection of Him (Matt. 23:37-39; Luke 19:41-42) and the Bible is full of prophecies of the Jewish people embracing Yeshua in the end-times (Zech. 12:10, 13:1, Hosea 3:4-5, Matt. 23:37-39; Romans 11:26, Rev. 1:7). Paul said that the Gospel is to the Jew first (Romans 1:16) and, yet, many of these well-meaning Christians will not even speak to their new Jewish friends of their need for salvation.
For us, who live here in Israel, we risk life and limb to plead with our people, as Paul did, to accept Yeshua as Messiah. It is stunning to see evangelicals compromise by giving religious legitimacy to a body that, outright, rejects Yeshua as the Messiah, and then persecutes Jews who believe in Him. They shun their Messianic bothers and embrace those who vehemently oppose the Gospel. Many Christians attended a concert, aligning themselves with a fictitious Sanhedrin.
“Last night, nations came together in Jerusalem to praise God, aligning with the Sanhedrin.” Mordecai Persoff, head of the Mikdash Educational Center