Messianic Judaism
Questions & Answers

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Messianic Judaism Questions & Answers
by
David Chernoff

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter One - DEFINITIONS

What is Messianic Judaism?

What is the difference between Messianic Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism?

What is the difference between Messianic Judaism and Gentile Christianity?

Chapter Two - THE ORIGINS OF MESSIANIC JUDAISM

When did Messianic Judaism begin?

If Messianic Judaism was strictly Jewish at first how did Gentiles come into the faith?

How was first century Messianic Judaism “transformed” into Gentile Christianity?

When did the early Messianic Jews disappear and why?

When did the modern movement of Messianic Judaism begin?

Chapter Three - TWENTIETH CENTURY MESSIANIC JUDAISM

How many Jewish believers in Yeshua are there in the United States?

Is the movement of Messianic Judaism just in America?

Why do we use the name “Yeshua” rather than “Jesus?”

What does “Christ” Mean

Why don’t Messianic Jews simply call themselves “Christians?”

Why do Messianic Jews say that they are “completed Jews?”

Chapter Four - MESSIANIC JEWISH LIFESTYLE

What is the importance of Messianic Synagogues to this movement?

How many Messianic synagogues are there?

Do Messianic Jews celebrate all the Jewish festivals and if so, why?

Do Messianic Jews celebrate Christmas and Easter?

What is “Davidic” Worship and Praise?

Do Messianic Jews believe that they should keep the Law of Moses?

Are Messianic Jews Zionists?

Chapter Five - MESSIANIC JUDAISM AND GENTILE BELIEVERS

Who is a Jew?

What is God’s will in regarding intermarriage between Jew and Gentile?

What is the relationship of Jewish believers to Gentile believers?

Can Gentile believers be members of a Messianic synagogue?

Should all Jewish believers join a Messianic synagogue?

Chapter Six - MESSIANIC TERMINOLOGY

Chapter Seven - YESHUA THE MESSIAH

How do we know that Yeshua is truly the Promised Messiah?

If Yeshua was the Messiah, why is there no peace in the world today?

Now that I have accepted Yeshua the Messiah as my Savior, what should I do next?


Introduction

This booklet seeks to answer many of the most often asked questions about Messianic Judaism. The most important fact to comprehend about Messianic Judaism is that it is centered around the belief that Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) is the long promised Messiah of Israel. He is the Messiah of whom the prophets did speak. He came and died in atonement for our sins. He was raised on the third day and is coming back again to reign over the entire earth. I trust and pray that as you read this booklet you will understand what Messianic Judaism is and how Jewish people can believe and follow Him and still remain Jewish.

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Chapter One
DEFINITIONS

What is Messianic Judaism?

Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish people from all walks of life, who believe that Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) is the promised Jewish Messiah and Savior for Israel and the world. Messianic Jews have not stopped being Jewish. On the contrary, we have continued to remain strongly Jewish in our identity, lifestyle and belief that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah and the fulfillment of true Biblical Judaism.

[Read another excellent definition of Messianic Judaism here]

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What is the difference between Messianic Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism?

Rabbinic Judaism is a Judaism centered around the teachings and writings of Rabbis. Its formation began over 1,900 years ago when the second temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. Before then, “Judaism,” or the faith of the Jewish people, was centered around the Temple and the sacrificial system according to the Torah (the Law or the five books of Moses). After the destruction of the temple the Rabbis reorganized Judaism, adding many new laws, rules and traditions. Today, their writings and commentaries (the Talmud, etc) form the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism.

Rabbinic Judaism consists of several branches: Orthodox (very traditional), Chasidic (Ultra-Orthodox), Reform (liberal) Conservative, and Reconstructionist. Some within Rabbinic Judaism are still looking for the Messiah, but they are the exceptions.

Messianic Judaism differs in that we rely totally on the Scriptures. Our faith is the Judaism of the Bible (Biblical Judaism) and is centered around the Messiah and the worldwide salvation He brings. We in Messianic Judaism believe that Yeshua is the promised Messiah and that we don’t have to go through the Sages or the Rabbis to know God. We have access to God because of the great atoning work of the Messiah Yeshua, who has fulfilled us as Jewish believers and therefore has fulfilled our Judaism (Matthew 5:17).

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What is the difference between Messianic Judaism and Gentile Christianity?

Gentile Christianity is the faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as expressed by Gentile followers of Him. Gentile Christianity today numbers over one billion people in the world, with innumerable denominations and doctrines, all centered around Yeshua as Savior. For most of the first century A.D. this faith in Yeshua was predominantly Jewish. As more and more Gentiles came into the Messianic Faith, However, some did not understand its Jewish roots and God’s eternal covenant with Israel. A “de-Judaizing” process set in, a separation from the Jewish roots of the faith and from the Jewish people. This separation eventually led to the formation of a second wing of this faith in Yeshua composed of Gentile believers, i.e. “Christianity.”

While we feel we are one in the Spirit with true Gentile believers, Messianic Jews have our own expression of faith in Yeshua the Messiah. Messianic Judaism holds that it is Jewish to believe in Yeshua and is a return to the Jewish roots of the faith. We observe the Biblical feasts and holidays, while at the same time maintaining that the only way to be saved and truly born again of God’s Spirit is through the great atoning work of the Messiah Yeshua (Romans 11:24-25).

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Chapter Two
THE ORIGINS OF MESSIANIC JUDAISM

When did Messianic Judaism begin?

Messianic Judaism is actually 2,000 years old, dating back to the time of the Messiah Yeshua. Historically, Yeshua was Jewish. He was raised in a Jewish home and ministered to Jewish people in a Jewish land (Eretz Yisrael). His disciples were Jewish. The apostles were Jewish. The writers of the Brit Hadashah (New Covenant or New Testament) were Jewish, and for a time, the faith was strictly Jewish. Some historians believe that more than one million Jewish people in the first century A.D. believed that Yeshua was the Messiah, both in Israel and outside of Israel (Acts 2:37-42, 4:4, 21:20)

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If Messianic Judaism was strictly Jewish at first how did Gentiles come into the faith?

It was always God’s will for the Gentile nations to also receive His Salvation (Isaiah 49:6, 42:6). God told Abraham, that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). At first, the early Messianic Jews did not understand that this was God’s will and proclaimed the Good News of the Messiah only to Jewish People.

Ironically, the big controversy in the first century was not if it was Jewish to believe in Yeshua (naturally it was) but whether Gentiles could come in without having to “become Jewish!” When Messianic Jews finally recognized the God’s Salvation was also for the Gentiles, they began to share the Messiah with non-Jews as well as with Jews. As a result, many Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire began to come into this Messianic faith (Acts 15:1-31)

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When the early Messianic Jews took the Good News of the Messiah to the Gentiles, a great number were brought into the Messianic faith. My the end of the first century A.D., the number of Gentile believers outnumbered the Jewish believers by a ratio of two to one! This occurred primarily because there were (and still are) more Gentiles in the world than Jewish people.

Through the years, as the number of Gentile believers increased, they began to dominate this Messianic faith. Some Gentile believers, not understanding the Jewish roots of their faith and God’s eternal covenant with Israel, wanted to split off and form a separate religion divorced from their Jewish roots (Romans 11:1-2). This “de-Judaizing process” continued until Gentile Christianity emerged as the dominant representative faith in the Messiah. In one of the greatest paradoxes in history, it became alien for a Jew to believe in Yeshua as his Messiah!

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When did the early Messianic Jews disappear and why?

Surprisingly, Messianic Judaism continued to flourish well into the seventh century A.D., in spite of the many pressures on the Jews to give up their Messianic faith.

First of all, the Rabbis pressured Messianic Jews to relinquish their faith in Yeshua as the Messiah. In addition, Gentile Christianity wanted Messianic Jews to abandon their Jewishness. Finally, in the seventh century A.D. the rise of Islam caused great pressure for Messianic Jews as well.

Despite all this, the real reason for the disappearance of early Messianic Judaism was simply that Messianic Jews lost their “vision.” They no longer saw that it was important to remain Jewish after accepting Yeshua. This was because the majority of believers in Yeshua were now members of Gentile Christianity. Consequently, Messianic Jews assimilated completely into the Gentile Christian Church.

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When did the modern movement of Messianic Judaism begin?

Even though Messianic Judaism, as a distinct movement, faded from the ancient scene in the seventh century A.D., there have always been Jewish believers in the Messiah Yeshua. However, beginning in the early 1800’s, ever-increasing numbers of Jewish people began to believe in Yeshua as the Messiah. The modern movement came to fruition after 1967, when tens of thousands of Jewish people suddenly accepted Yeshua.

Why 1967? Because that is when Jerusalem came back into Jewish hands in fulfillment of a prophecy given by Yeshua in the Brit Hadashah (Luke 21:24). This prophecy indicated that when Jerusalem was restored to the Jewish people God would turn once again to His Jewish people in national salvation. Messianic Judaism is a prophetic movement and a direct result of the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon His Chosen People (Hosea 3:4-5, Joel 2:28-29, Deuteronomy 30:1-10).

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Chapter Three
TWENTIETH CENTURY MESSIANIC JUDAISM

How many Jewish believers in Yeshua are there in the United States?

While there are no concrete figures, it has be estimated by many of those involved in the movement (and even by those outside the movement), that there are at least 100,000 Jewish believers in the Messiah Yeshua in the United States alone, and this number is growing all the time.

[Editor’s Note: According to Wikipedia, as of 2008 it was estimated that there were 250,000 members of the Messianic Movement in the USA, and between 6,000 and 15,000 in Israel. It is extremely difficult to arrive at an accurate number of Jewish believers in the Messiah, as many members of Messianic congregations are ethnically not Jewish and many ethnically Jewish believers are members of traditional Christian churches. As of January 2, 2014, one website estimated there were 150 Messianic congregations with almost 20,000 members in “the Land” (as Eretz Yisrael is called), “while globally the reports range as high as 300,000 Messianic Jewish believers.” (Charisma Magazine October 29, 2013) ~Ari]

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Is the movement of Messianic Judaism just in America?

Today the movement of Messianic Judaism is in many other countries throughout the world including Israel, England, France, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and other countries. This is truly an international movement! We believe that Messianic Judaism will eventually spring up wherever there are communities of Jewish people throughout the world.

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Why do we use the name “Yeshua” rather than “Jesus?”

Because Yeshua is His given Hebrew name! “Jesus” is the Hellenized-Anglicized form of “Yeshua”, which means “Salvation.” Yeshua never heard the name “Jesus” in His lifetime. He was always called “Yeshua”, which is very similar to “Joshua”, a common Hebrew name at that time. Good examples of this name, in reference to the Messiah, are in Isaiah 62:11 in the Old Covenant and also in Matthew 1:21 in the New Covenant.

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What does “Christ” Mean

Some believe that “Christ” is Yeshua’s second name or surname in the same way that we have a second or family name. Actually, “Christ” is a title in much the same way as “President” or “King.” This title is taken from the Hebrew word “Mashiach” or “Anointed One,” which was translated into the Greek “Christos” and later Anglicized to “Christ.”

The actual English translation of “Mashiach” or “Anointed One” is “Messiah.” Once again, using “Messiah” rather than “Christ,” is more accurate. (Examples of this title in the Old Covenant are Daniel 9:25, Psalm 2:2). Also, Yeshua claimed this title of Messiah in the New Covenant (Mark 14:61-62).

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Why don’t Messianic Jews simply call themselves “Christians?”

The term “Christian” originally meant “follower of the Christ” or “follower of the Messiah.” In and of itself, it is a good term. Unfortunately, over time, the term “Christian” came to mean more that simply “follower of the Messiah.”

Many people today have this dichotomy in their minds that on the one hand there are Jews and Judaism, and on the other there are Christians and Christianity. You are either one or the other. Accordingly, [they think] when a Jew accepts Yeshua he “switches over” from the Jew/Judaism side to the Christian/Christianity side, and is no longer a Jew but a Christian. For all intents and purposes, the term “Christian” has become synonymous with “non-Jew” or “Gentile.”

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Why do Messianic Jews say that they are “completed Jews?”

Because we believe that Yeshua is the fulfillment or completion of Biblical Judaism. As Jews, we have completed or fulfilled what God wants us to do as Jewish people, that is, accept the Messiah Yeshua as our atonement for sin and come into a personal relationship with God.

Yeshua never intended to start a new religion: He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. Therefore, how could we, as Jewish people, by accepting the Jewish Messiah become non-Jews? On the contrary, we believe that Yeshua has fulfilled our Jewish heritage and faith. We have not converted to another faith, but rather we have been completed because we have found true Biblical Judaism through the Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 5:17).

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Chapter Four
MESSIANIC JEWISH LIFESTYLE

What is the importance of Messianic Synagogues to this movement?

Messianic Synagogues are the heart of the Messianic Movement, Messianic communities, and the center of Messianic life. A Messianic synagogue is where we can collectively believe in Yeshua, live a Jewish lifestyle, raise our children to be Jewish, and worship the God of Israel in a Jewish manner with Jewish believers.

Interestingly enough, just as Messianic Judaism is not new, Messianic synagogues are not new either. Actually, we find they have existed for two thousand years! From Biblical historical records, we know that there were Messianic synagogues throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, as early as 50 A.D.! (James 1:1, 2:2; Hebrews 10:25).

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How many Messianic synagogues are there?

There are well over 125 Messianic synagogues and congregations throughout the United States. There are also many in Israel and other parts of the world. Messianic synagogues range in size anywhere from 10 to 115 up to several hundred members. Many have their own synagogue buildings, Messianic day schools, and Messianic communities.

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Do Messianic Jews celebrate all the Jewish festivals and if so, why?

Most Messianic Jews celebrate the Biblical festivals, i.e. Passover, Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), Rosh Hashanah (the traditional Jewish New Year, the Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication of Lights), and Purim.

We celebrate all of the feasts because it is instructed by God in the Torah for Israel to observe these festivals forever (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14). The Messiah Yeshua observed these festivals as did the early Messianic Jews and apostles such as Rabbi Shaul or Paul (Acts 20:16, 1 Corinthians 16:8, Acts 28:17). We also believe that when the Messiah Yeshua returns to this earth these festivals will be re-established worldwide (Zechariah 14:16-21).

When we, as Messianic Jews, celebrate the festivals, we do so in a Messianic way, with the view that Yeshua is the fulfillment of all of these Holy Days (i.e. He is our Passover Lamb, our Atonement on Yom Kippur, etc.)

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Do Messianic Jews celebrate Christmas and Easter?

Generally speaking, Messianic Jews do not celebrate Christmas and Easter. There is no place in the Scriptures that command us to celebrate the Birth or Resurrection of the Messiah. Apparently, none of the early believers, Jewish or Gentile, celebrated these two days, as there is no mention of it in the Brit Hadashah (New Covenant).

That does not mean that Messianic Jews are against Christmas or Easter (Romans 14). During the Christmas season we do not have Christmas trees, give gifts, or have Christmas parties. At the same time, we do recognize the importance of the Birth of the Messiah and rejoice with believers who are celebrating this day throughout the world. Similarly on Easter, while we do not have special services and Easter egg hunts, we do believe in the resurrection of the Messiah and an rejoice in its celebration at this time.

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What is “Davidic” Worship and Praise?

General worship and praise is the overall action of man coming to God to exalt Him, to pay respect to Him and to esteem Him (Psalm 66:1-4, 95:1-7, 22:3). “Davidic” Worship and Praise goes back to the style, principles, guidelines, and pattern that King David was shown by the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:11-13) and that he established in the Temple nearly 3,000 years ago.

As King David taught from the Scriptures, this type of praise and worship involves numerous musical instruments, singing, Hebraic music, psalms, lifting up of hands, chanting, clapping of hands, processions, and is also characterized by great joy. Probably, the most unusual characteristic of “Davidic” Worship and Praise is dancing to the Lord. This is not dancing in a secular sense. While Messianic dancing uses a strong Israeli-Hebraic style, it is dancing unto the Lord in praise and worship as King David did and taught (2 Samuel 6:14).

“Davidic” Worship and Praise is one of the great distinguishing traits of the Messianic Movement. It is a return to our Jewish roots in praising God and it is a cultural and spiritual expressing of our faith in the Jewish Messiah.

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Do Messianic Jews believe that they should keep the Law of Moses?

Yes and no. The Torah (or Law of Moses) is composed of the 613 Mitzvot, or commandments, in the Tenach (Old Covenant or Testament) that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai involving the festivals, the Ten Commandments, sacrifices, kashrut (kosher laws), etc. Generally speaking, Gentile Christianity today maintains that the Law is completely dead now that Yeshua has come and that we should have nothing to do with it.

We, as Messianic Jews, recognize that one cannot be saved through the Law, because the only way to be saved through the Law is to keep all of the commandments perfectly (Deuteronomy 27:26). This is impossible because we have a sinful nature (Ecclesiastes 7:20). At the same time, while the Law cannot save, it is far from being dead. The moral precepts of the Ten Commandments are carried into the New Covenant. The Festivals are for eternity. Shabbat (or the Sabbath) on the seventh day was instituted before the Law was given, as was tithing, which most believers practice today.

There are many other areas of the Law that are valuable to us today as well. Rabbi Shaul (Paul) in the New Covenant makes it very clear that all believers have liberty in the Messiah Yeshua (Galatians 5:1), which means freedom from the Law as well as freedom to keep the Law as we so desire. Rabbi Shaul kept the Law as much as he could, as did the other early Messianic Jews, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 28:17).

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Are Messianic Jews Zionists?

Most Messianic Jews support Israel unequivocally and unconditionally. We support Israel not only because we believe our Jewish people need a national homeland, but also because we believe that the re-establishment of the State of Israel is a direct fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. We believe that God has done this supernaturally as predicted from Scriptures centuries ago (Ezekiel 36:24, 37:1-14).

We know that Israel is not a perfect nation, but believe that God’s hand is behind Israel, and that our people will never be driven out of their land again (Amos 9:11)! While God loves the Arab nations, Eretz Yisrael (land of Israel), is the land that God gave to His Jewish people. We also believe that all believers should support Israel as should the United States because God promised to Abraham: “I will bless them that bless you, and curse them that curse you.” (Genesis 12:3)

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Chapter Five
MESSIANIC JUDAISM AND GENTILE BELIEVERS

Who is a Jew?

Obviously, this is a question that has been debated for centuries. One cannot be considered Jewish strictly on the basis of religion, because most Jewish people today are not religious. The same applies to any definition of a Jew based on culture, as well. According to Rabbinic Judaism, to be considered a Jew, one must have Jewish parents (in particular a Jewish mother).

This rabbinic definition is not Biblically correct. The Scriptural definition of a Jew is three-fold. First of all, we’re a nation and a people. To be considered Jewish one must be a physical descendant of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3). Secondly, the Biblical lineage is patrilineal (i.e., carried through the father) not matrilineal or carried through the mother. For example, Moses had a Gentile wife and King David’s great grandmother was Ruth, the Moabitess, yet their children were all considered Jewish.

Finally, the Scriptures indicate that if either parent is Jewish or if a grandparent is Jewish one can identify himself or herself as being Jewish and can claim himself as part of God’s Chosen people.

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What is God’s will in regarding intermarriage between Jew and Gentile?

When a Jew marries a Gentile there is an inherent danger of assimilation into Gentile society, and therefore a serious risk of being permanently lost to the nation of Israel. Rather than assimilating, we believe that it is God’s will for the intermarried couple to be Jewish, to live a Jewish lifestyle, and to raise their children as Jews in much the same way that Ruth the Moabitess made her choice to become part of the Jewish nation (Ruth 1:16-17). Even in the New Covenant, Rabbi Shaul (Paul) had Timothy circumcised into the nation of Israel because his mother was Jewish and his father was not (Acts 16:3).

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What is the relationship of Jewish believers to Gentile believers?

In Temple days a “middle wall of partition’ existed in the Temple that physically separated Jews and Gentiles. Gentiles could not enter past that point and were delegated to what was sometimes called the “Court of the Gentiles.”

According to the New Covenant Scriptures, this “middle wall of partition,” spiritually speaking, has been broken down (Ephesians 2:14). We are all one in Him. In fact, according to Rabbi Shaul, Gentile believers have entered a Jewish faith (Romans 11:24), and have become spiritually circumcised and spiritually Jewish as they have accepted the Jewish Messiah.

Gentile believers are one with us because the spirit of God dwelling within a Jewish believer is the same Spirit within a Gentile believer. Our ethnicity, heritage, and background may be different, but God has made us one in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18; 4:1-6).

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Can Gentile believers be members of a Messianic synagogue?

Yes, and most Messianic congregations do have non-Jewish members. To be a member of a Messianic congregation as a Gentile believer, one must have a burden and love for the Jewish people, understand what God is doing among the Jewish people, and have a “Ruth-like” calling to God’s Chosen People. Praise God for the many wonderful Gentile believers who have such a love for Israel!

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Should all Jewish believers join a Messianic synagogue?

Generally speaking, Jewish believers in the Messiah Yeshua should be members of Messianic synagogue. The reason? Because we have an eternal covenant with God that goes back to Abraham. Our history is unique in that we were not just chosen out of many nations, but were formed by God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be a special blessing to this world. God has a purpose and calling for the nation of Israel and this covenant relationship is eternal (Genesis 17:1-8).

If God has made an eternal covenant with us as Jewish people, then it is incumbent upon us to keep our covenant relationship with Him. It is God’s desire for Jewish people not to assimilate but to continue to be Jewish. That desire and our eternal relationship with God is evidenced by the preservation of the Jewish people for the past 2,000 years, and the fact that God has supernaturally restored the State of Israel today.

The primary way a Jewish believer can continue to live a live as a Jew and not assimilate away from his Jewish people is to be a member of a Messianic synagogue. In a Messianic synagogue, a Jewish believer can continue to worship the Lord in a Jewish way, celebrate the Jewish festivals, raise his children as Jews and be a testimony to his family and his people.

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Chapter Six
MESSIANIC TERMINOLOGY

Words are powerful. The terms, expressions, titles and labels that we use in every day life are crucial in expressing ourselves to one another. For instance, in the realm of politics terms such as hawk, dove, liberal, conservative, left-wing, right-wing, Republican and Democrat all help to identify concepts and positions.

In Messianic Judaism, terminology is also extremely important. The last two thousand years of history have seemingly boxed us into an undesirable dichotomy that exists in the minds of people. This thinking purports that one is either Jewish or a member of Christianity. We as Messianic Jews say that this is not true. We believe that it is Jewish to believe in the Messiah Yeshua and that He is the fulfillment of Biblical Judaism.

Consequently, we have created and developed a new language to more effectively express our faith. By using Messianic terminology, we accomplish a number of things. First of all, we put Yeshua back within the proper Biblical and historical Jewish context from which he was uprooted. Secondly, we are educating many people today to the Jewish roots of this faith in Messiah Yeshua. Finally, this Messianic language simply is oftentimes more accurate historically and Biblically (e.g. the name of Yeshua).

I encourage all Messianic believers to use this terminology, to change your language in order to more clearly express your Jewish faith in the Messiah Yeshua (1 Corinthians 9:19-22). Here are some of the most important terms to understand:

Yeshua: the actual Hebrew name for “Jesus,” meaning “salvation;” “Jesus” is the Hellenized- Anglicanized form of “Yeshua.”

Messiah: “the Anointed One:” a title like president or king; in the Greek it was translated to “Christos” and then anglicized to “Christ.”

Messianic Judaism: the movement of Jewish people who have come to believe that Yeshua is the promised Messiah of Israel. This movement is worldwide and is the fulfillment of prophecy (synonymous with “true Biblical Judaism.”)

Messianic Jew: a Jew who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah and remains Jewish in lifestyle and worship.

Messianic Synagogue: a congregation where Messianic believers can worship and exercise their Jewish faith in the Messiah Yeshua.

Messianic Rabbi: literally “teacher,” the spiritual leader of a Messianic synagogue. [Editor’s Note: In many congregations, it is the practice to refer to the congregational leader as a Messianic Rabbi if he is Jewish, and Messianic Pastor if he is non-Jewish. ~Ari]

Completed Jews: Jewish people who have found the Jewish Messiah, have not converted to another religion but are fulfilled in their Judaism and heritage in the Messiah Yeshua.

Brit Hadasha: the New Covenant or New Testament; books written in the first century by Jewish writers who believed and followed the Messiah Yeshua.

Tenach: Old Covenant or Old Testament.

Rabbi Shaul: Paul of the New Covenant: he was a rabbi who studied under the feet of the famous Rabbi Gamaliel in the first century. (Acts 22:3)

Mikveh or Immersion: Mikveh is the actual pool of water and immersion is the Jewish ceremony of being “immersed” in water for purification as commanded in the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant, the Immersion also symbolizes purification when believers in Yeshua publicly confess their faith in the Messiah Yeshua. (Christians use the term “Baptism” for this Jewish ceremony).

Yochanan the Immerser: John the Immerser or Baptist.

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Chapter Seven
YESHUA THE MESSIAH

How do we know that Yeshua is truly the Promised Messiah?

While many of us have had a dynamic personal experience with the Lord that has helped convince us that Yeshua is the Messiah, the primary evidence that Yeshua is truly the Jewish Messiah of Israel is in the Hebrew Scriptures themselves (i.e. the Tenach or the Old Covenant.)

In the Tenach, there are prophecies or predictions about the “Anointed One.” Over 25 prophets, covering a period of 1,500 years, gave predictions about the Coming One. The only way to know if Yeshua is the Messiah is to go back to the Scriptures and study these prophecies (1 Peter 1:10-12, 2 Peter 1:19-21).

If Yeshua was the Messiah, why is there no peace in the world today?

This issue concerning Yeshua not having brought worldwide peace is a result of a misconception many have about the purpose of the Messiah. The Messiah was not just to come to bring peace to the whole world. More than half the prophecies about the Messiah speak of His coming and dying for the sins of the world. Many rabbis recognized that the Messiah had to suffer and die, and rabbinic literature at one time speaks of two Messiah coming: Messiah Ben-Joseph (the Suffering Messiah) and Messiah Ben-David (the Conquering Messiah).

In reality, there are not two Messiahs coming at one time, but one Messiah coming twice. The first time to suffer and die for the sins of the world, and the second time to set up His Kingdom over the entire world (Isaiah 53). Prophetically, we are very near to the Second Coming of the Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 24:3-21).

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Now that I have accepted Yeshua the Messiah as my Savior, what should I do next?

The next step is for you to grow spiritually in the Lord until you become a strong, mature believer (Colossians 2:6,7). When you first accept the Messiah Yeshua and come into God’s Kingdom, you are “young in the Lord” or, as Scriptures say, a spiritual “babe” (1 Peter 2:1-3).

God wants you to begin to grow spiritually, to develop your own personal relationship with Him. You can do this by studying the Work of God, developing a strong prayer life, staying in fellowship with other believers (1 John 3:14), attending services (Hebrews 10:25) and putting the Lord first in your life. Your sins are atoned for. You have begun a new life in Him. You are a changed person. Praise God for this wonderful new life you have with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

Baruch Ha Shem! (Praise the Lord!)

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For further discussion of how the original Jewish sect of believers in Yeshua as the Messiah (originally known as “the Way”) became lost in “the Church,” read The Model for the Messianic Community.

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