Elder, Teacher, Beth Ariel Congregation, Montreal
What a privilege it is to be a part of a congregation which emphasizes the importance of presenting the Bible from a Jewish perspective. I am indebted and compelled to share this same vantage point.
I was born in Montreal, the youngest in a family of six children. My wife’s name is Joanne and I am the father of three children: Antoine, Élène and Dominik. I come from a religious background where the values that were passed onto me were essentially to believe in God and to perform good deeds. During my adolescent years, I came to believe that on the Day of Judgement, God would place my good deeds on one side of a scale and my bad deeds on the other.
When weighed, the good would hopefully outweigh the bad and I would be saved. I believed that until my uncle (Pierre) and my aunt (Gisèle), who were at the time just a few years into their faith as bible believers, shared with me how the Holy Scriptures spoke otherwise. First, I had to recognize myself as a sinner, separated from God. I then had to put my full confidence in Yeshua’s sacrifice on the cross, as it was there where He died in my place. I accepted Him as the Saviour of my soul and the Lord of my life. That is how I got out of religion and started a new and loving relationship with the Heavenly Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Having read the New Testament, here is what I have deduced as to what we must believe, to be accepted by God: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
This became the core content of my faith.
It was in 1983 when everything in my life changed. Here was the engagement with my Lord, my new spiritual life based on the Scriptures, the water baptism, and then my marriage to Joanne. I joined the South
Shore Bible Group in Longueil, Quebec where the teaching of the Word of God is based on a literal interpretation. I wish to express my appreciation to all those who invested their time in my life: brothers and sisters of this community, the elders, pastors and missionaries. Before joining the ranks of Beth Ariel, I, along with Joanne served in that congregation for about twenty years.
I always believed in the concept of the Trinity of God. Many passages in the New Testament refer to it. Even with a Jewish perspective in mind, the concept of the Trinity (plurality of God) is also communicated in the Old Testament. That’s what makes the teaching provided at Beth Ariel so unique. I pray, for that reason, that many get to taste this same teaching. My wife and I continue to have the pleasure of serving God in a place where His Word is preached that way.
Pastor Jacques Isaac Gabizon and Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, as well as several other persons have given me this Jewish perspective which I hadn’t known before. Jesus was Jewish, the writers of the covenants were Jewish, God made promises to Israel and they will all be fulfilled unless someone can manage to destroy the stars and the sun.
Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: “If this fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the LORD, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever.” Jeremiah 31:35-36
Furthermore, Beth Ariel Congregation is multi-ethnic, which highlights the truth that Jews together with all the nations can be one in the Body of Messiah. As a Quebecer, my faith is shared in common with Jews, Italians, Haitians, Russians, Koreans, Greeks, Portuguese, Philippinos, Spanish and a host of others. It’s all very special, I assure you! May the salvation of God come upon Israel and the nations, however many there are!