by Cheryle Holeman
Media Director of HaY'Did Ministries
Previously printed in The Tree of Life Magazine
God has moved us over the last ten years from "just waking up spiritually" to a position in the forefront of a new move of His Spirit. We are amazed at His choice of vessels to help in this work. Tom and Cheryle Holeman are two kids from Kansas who never were "church people." In fact, we didn't even go to church until a few years ago. It seems amazing to us as we look back.
Just ten years ago I was awakened with a vision while I was asleep that totally changed our lives. God reached down and touched our lives and we have not been the same. I mentioned that dream to my cousin-in-law, Dennis, the other day when we were visiting at our grandson's sixth birthday. He helped us interpret the dream, and then directed us to our first real church.
The following year Tom, too, went through a spiritual searching of himself when his father died, and he realized that scripturally "you don't go to heaven when you die just because you are a good person." He had a soul-searching experience that forever changed his life when he met a Jewish Messiah named Jesus.
It seemed like we were on a fast pace in our studies of His Word. Every time we turned around we were being drawn to study Him in the Jewish content of his life. Tom heard in his heart one church-service day that we were to study this Man from Galilee. He touched lives as no other man has ever done,within HIS Hebraic setting. At the same time, we were coping with our daily lives of going to work and coming home like every one else, but when we would open that Book of Books, we were constantly wondering about the geography, culture and language of His Life. Questions and discussions about That Book started changing our marriage like nothing had ever done before! We thought that we had a "good marriage" but we found ourselves in a closer walk with each other, and with Him, as a result. The television went off! We didn't have time to just sit there and waste time! We were talking and searching through Bibles, translations, concordances, and started listening to teaching tapes about Hebraic topics. Excitement started to fill our lives about being together in study! We would rush home each day to be two people worshiping with Our Savior in new ways...not just shallowly living our lives in a pew starving to death, but actually "seeing Him as He really is."
Over the years we have asked questions and presented to our pastors a real puzzlement. "Who are you people? Aren't you satisfied to be like the rest of the congregation? Where did you get that book? How dare you question the fact that Jesus didn't die on Friday? Who are you people?" They asked us over and over.
We were presenting Christian concerts and seeing people getting saved left and right at our events, but then we realized a major fault in today's church community. All that we were seeing were people getting saved....then what? What did the scriptures say should happen next? Yes, they should go to church, but what was OUR responsibility to these people whose lives He loved so much, had changed, and had given to our charge. Were we responsible for them? Was what they were being given enough? Time and again I would reach out to a young teenager that we had seen at a concert, only to see him fall away! Nothing besides pew-sitting and starvation awaited him at the churches around him. The scriptures said, "My people perish for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6), but what Christians don't know is "the rest of the story!" The rest of that scripture reads:
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge I also will reject you from being priest. Since you have forgotten the law (teachings and instructions of God), I also will forget your children." (Hosea 4:6)
Here was The Book telling me that the problems that these young people were experiencing in their lives and in the pew, was a direct result of our rejection of His knowledge, teachings and instructions! But the "priest" leaped off the page at me! He was our High Priest before God with our petitions of prayer. We were now priests in prayer for God. Could we have overlooked something? Could we not know how to pray in God's ways? Were we coming before the great and powerful Creator of the Universe incorrectly? After all, He was a Jewish High Priest and the Bible seemed to show us in Jeremiah 31 that He would create in our hearts his teachings and laws, but in a Jewish way!
Shocking! Now I had to find out how I should pray and enter correctly into His Presence in a manner pleasing to Him. A picture came to my mind of us--all of mankind--growing up from small children into adults. Didn't our fathers and mothers let us do things as a baby for a time, and then one day we no longer were treated as a "cute baby." We had to be disciplined and taught how to ask "please and thank you" type of things? Weren't manners necessary? Weren't we disciplined to learn to share and to eat our food with silverware, and not hurt others? I saw a parallel! God was growing me up! No longer was I being allowed to twist and wiggle in his presence! I was being taught to enter a room as "a lady", and how to sit, and to ask nicely for things instead of throwing a temper tantrum! How neat! These were spiritual things that changed our lives forever.
Of course, the pastors around us didn't think it was so neat! When I showed up at a Bible study with concordances, interlinear, and reference books to share, I was asked not to bring them back! The teacher had his lesson plan---read from a prepared book--and I didn't need to be saying,"Let's check that word out, shall we? Maybe the translators had it wrong." This upset people around us, and we were asked to leave if we continued to "study controversial things."
Wow! Did you know that the name "Mary" means "rebel" in Hebrew? This name spoke to my heart, too. I've always been unique, but now I felt a kinship to a young Jewish girl who dared to believe that the Mighty God in heaven could use me in a new direction. We didn't want to "go with the flow." We knew in our hearts---the circumcised heart that Jesus gave us--that He wanted us to worship Him totally and completely! One day in our stumbling around in some reference books we discovered that "study is one of the highest forms of worship for a Jew." Wow! Now how in the world would a Jew study? We had to find out...
The rest is history. For years we've gone through our trials and seen people that we thought were our friends turn their backs on us. They called us a cult and weirdos! But now some of them are coming back and asking, "Cheryle and Tom, have you found any nuggets in your studies lately?" My answer? "Every day!"
No, we do not worship rabbis or Judaism. That's not what we found! What we found was The Messiah revealed in a Biblical Hebraic manner. It's an enhancement to our walk! That is the difference! If you loose sight of Him who sits beside El Shaddai on the throne in Heaven to ever make intercession (in a Jewish manner, by the way), then you have Not walked in His Light! You've gotten ahead of Him! Yes, the rabbis have things that help us understand The Chosen People's (The Jews') purpose and I respect them for preserving those ways, but I want to SEE and KNOW HIM! I become upset with people when they start talking food laws and questioning people's salvation if they don't eat kosher, or practice the festivals. That's NOT what it is all about!
Conversion is not necessary. He wooed you for who you were--a Jew or a Non-Jew. In that role you are needed to fulfill the work ahead. If you realize that you are part of a body, then we know our place in that body. You might be a needed "toe" or "finger" and if we all start changing our places, then the body cannot fulfill what it is called to be. We are missing a part here, or a part there! Be the best "finger" or "toe", or whatever He has called you to be!
The basic beginning principles are clearly laid out for believers! Examine Hebrews 6.1-2:
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Messiah, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings, laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement.
Here, Paul is writing to Hebrews -- to Messianic Jews -- telling them what the elementary teachings were! But we need to understand these things as they -- the Messianic Jews -- would have understood them! Notice that it says "washings" with an "s" on the end of the word. That means "more than one type of immersion in a Jewish manner and with a Jewish understanding", doesn't it? How many of us can understand "eternal judgement" in a Hebraic manner? And perhaps the most eye-popping thing in the entire verse is the fact that, it says that these things are "laying a foundation" for "maturity". It doesn't say that "food laws" or "three sets of dishes" lay a foundation for maturity, does it? No, it says that these Hebrews had their foundations laid in "the elementary teaching about the Messiah!" We, as Christians don't even understand the Hebraic concept of "the Messiah!" What would the Hebrews have known about a Messiah, and "The Messiah?" After all, I wanted to see HIM!
So, we move on to where God has called us to minister---HaY'Did (The Friend) Ministries. We are called to show "The Messiah" to all that would study the Biblical Hebraic Heritage that our Church Fathers walked away from so long ago. That is the "Great Falling Away" of the Faith! It's not some one, some place down the road in Christianity walking away from a denomination today that you hear preached. NO! It is the great falling away from our Hebraic Heritage and clinging to The Great Whore of Revelation--the Paganism of Hellenism! We are being drawn back to our roots--our Jewish roots-- to know Him as He really is! This, and only this, is a true picture of Our Savior as the Jewish Messiah who died 2000 years ago for MY SINS and yours. Who arose on the third day to sit on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; who needs to be before us every day of our lives! We've had it blurred by Satan for too long! Let us shake off our slumber, Believers in Yeshua as HaMashiach, and walk with Him as He truly was meant to be seen! Let us not worship Christianity or Judaism! Let us worship Yeshua HaMashiach! Our hearts desire is that when we sit beside Him someday for teaching---and we will--that we will understand what He means! We want to ask intelligent questions, and not be ashamed of our lack of knowledge before Him. That's what HaY'Did is all about! Studying our BIBLICAL HEBRAIC HERITAGE! The scripture says, "Study to show yourself approved." It also says,
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS." Matt. 7:21-23.
This says to me that people who are without God's Instructions and Teachings practice lawlessness. Torah has changed our lives. May it continue to always go before us, changing our hearts into vessels that will please Him. Let us not judge others' salvation either by whether they keep kosher or do the festivals, or study Hebraically. We must only love our fellow man as He would have them loved and cared for. Salvation is only through the blood of the Lamb, not by works! If we restrict people from studying the truth by legalism then what have we created?...not Him in the hearts of others, surely. I like what a rabbi and I decided one day in conversation was the definition of legalism: "Legalism is obnoxious and burdensome rules and regulations created by men to cause people to look to man's rulings instead of Him that died for our sins." When we loose sight of Him, we have lost all! That is what God has asked us to do through HaY'Did...teach others to strain the rabbinics and Christian traditions out, so that we can all see Him clearly. He said it over and over to the people of His days...look at Me and not the traditions of man! I am the Messiah of the world! Only through Him can we ever hope to lead others to the Truth, the Way, and the Light! The scripture that we all have come to say in our hearts is Zechariah 8.23:
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'""
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