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THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW
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|If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!|
If we believe that the Bible is the Creator’s handbook for humanity, shouldn’t we be doing Bible things in Bible ways, and naming Bible things with Bible words? Shouldn’t we be doing what the Bible says we should do? “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) “Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah.” (1 John 3:4) “… For how can righteousness and those without Torah be partners? … ‘Go out from their midst; separate yourselves … Then I Myself will receive you. In fact, I will be your Father, and you will be My sons and daughters,’ says ADONAI-Tzva'ot” (2Cor 6:14,17 literal).
Does “the Church” teach the “True Gospel”?
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ~ Adolf Hitler
“Tell a lie a hundred times and it becomes the truth.” ~ Joseph Goebbels
The lies that the Church has been telling since 325CE have been repeated so often they have become “truth.”
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Please Note: In order to avoid serious misunderstanding of the content of this website, it is very important that that you first carefully study the Vocabulary Matters page.
This website contains well over 2,500 pages that I am in the process of reformatting and redesigning. Unfortunately, during this process, some pages completely lose their formatting, and some links get broken. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and will fix them as soon as possible.
All the information contained on this website (except where otherwise specifically stated) is my own opinion, and does not represent the opinion of any other person or organization. You are under absolutely no obligation to accept my opinion; in fact, I prefer that you do not. You should simply read what I have to say, and if you are interested in what I say you should compare it to the Word of God and reach your own conclusions!
For almost 300 years after the death and resurrection in about the year 33 CE (Common Era) of Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef, the Jewish Messiah, the people who followed His teaching were members of an almost-exclusively Jewish sect who called their way of living haDerek ($rdh), The Way — the way to properly live out the Torah in daily life. Some called them Natzratim (Nazarines) because they followed the teachings of Rabbi Yeshua haNatzrati (the Nazarine). By about 44 CE the people in Antioch were calling them “Messianic” because they followed “the way of the Messiah” (Acts 11:26).
For the first 17 years of the movement, any non-Jewish person (Gentile) who wanted to follow the teaching of Yeshua was required to formally convert to Judaism before they could become a part of HaDerek. Rabbi Sha'ul, who had so brutally persecuted HaDerek until he had a personal encounter with the resurrected Yeshua, had taken Yeshua’s message to the Gentiles in the Diaspora with significant success, which caused a great problem because the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was not for Gentiles, but only for Jews (Matthew 15:22-24). In about 50 CE Rabbi Sha'ul presented this problem to the leaders of HaDerek, who held a council meeting to figure out how to accommodate the influx of Gentiles.
In about 311 Emperor Constantine I, the high priest of thr Roman version of the Babylonian Mystery Religion (the worship of Ninrod and Astarte) merged some of the aspects of HaDerek into the pagan Roman religion, made his pagan hybrid the official religion of the Roman Empire, and called it Christianity. Every Gentile in the entire Roman Empire immediately became a member of “the Church” and brought all their pagan practices with them. In 325 Constantine conveined the First Council of Nicea, to which he invited sll the Gentile Bishops of his Church, and specifically excluded all the Jewish Bishops. The result of that Council was the outlawing of virtually everything Jewish, and therefore almost everything Biblical, that was part of that religion.
By this present time, the paganism and traditions of men have so thoroughly permeated the Church that it is totally unrecognizable from what Yeshua and the Apostles originally taught. Yeshua’s prayer for His followers was, “Father, that they may all be one, just as you and I are one.” But according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, by 2011 the Church had splintered into over 41,000 separate and distinct denominations (religions), each expecting God to meet with them and honor them on their own human terms, when God demands that mankind come to Him on His terms. How can the Church possibly expect Yeshua to bless that which is so far removed from what He wanted? (See The Model for the Messianic Community.)
This website is all (well, almost all) about my personal understanding of HaDerek, now called Messianic Judaism, as it was in the first and second centuries (not necessarily how it is practiced in this present day), and about what Rabbi Sha'ul called the “mystery of the Gospel” (Eph. 6:19): how is it possible for Gentiles to become a part of the Kingdom of God participate in the Covenants that God made with Israel?
The “mystery of the Gospel” is the reason that Rabbi Sha'ul of Tarsus, whom the Gentiles call Paul, was arrested in the Temple in Jerusalem, bound in chains, and taken to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. It wasn’t because he was teaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua ben Yosef HaNatzret (Whom the Gentiles call Jesus), or even that Yeshua was Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. The crowd in the Temple had no problem with that teaching, or at least not enough of a problem with it to have him arrested and killed. No, the “mystery of the Gospel” — what they were so strongly objecting to, what they would have beaten Rav Sha'ul to death for had not the Roman soldiers stopped them, was that Gentiles could actually become followers of the God of Israel and partakers in the Commonwealth of Israel without going through the formal process of converting to Judaism.
The part of “the Church” that is now concerned with “Jewish Evangelism” is trying to find ways to help Jewish people recognize the errors of the religion that the Messiah Himself followed, be “saved” and convert to Christianity, and live like Gentiles so they can go to heaven when they die. What the original followers of the Jewish Messiah were concerned with was how it is possible for Gentiles to come to faith in the Jewish Messiah, and be partakers in the Kingdom of God without converting to Judaism. And that is exactly the concern of the author of this website:
How can Gentiles (including Gentile Christians) and Jews best be brought to the knowledge of the true Jewish Messiah, and be brought into the the Kingdom of God, the Holy Community, and the Commonwealth of Israel, and learn to live HaDerek both here on earth now, and in the World to Come?
Family Bible Messianic Ministries is dedicated to teaching the Torah
and its way of life, HaDerek, fully centered on the Jewish Messiah, to all of God's people. We
also subscribe to the vision and mission of First
Fruits of Zion and the Tent
of David for the Church to:
• bring the Church back to its foundations;
• eliminate supercessionism (Replacement Theology);
• establish a Jewish understanding of faith in Yeshua; and
• bring the Church into solidarity with Israel.
The “Tent of David” is the Apostles’ dream of a unified expression of faith in which Jew and Gentile worship the God of Abraham together and serve Him in the redemption of the world. It comes from the prophet Amos’ vision of the Messianic Age which is repeated in Acts 15. Amos envisioned a Davidic kingdom which included Gentiles (non-Jews) who would attach themselves to Israel and to Israel’s Messiah. Ya'akov (the Apostle James) based his Acts 15 ruling regarding the Gentile believers on this prophecy and reckoned that the believing Gentiles of his day were the firstfruits of the fulfillment of Amos’ prophecy. They were a prophetic sign of the Messianic Age.
Messianic Judaism starts with the assumption that Christianity was originally Jewish. Jesus, the apostles, and all the first disciples were practicing Jews who considered themselves part of Israel and the Jewish people. They did not envision themselves as the authors of a new religion; they considered themselves to be a sect within greater Judaism—a reformation movement inspired by the teachings of Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth and by their conviction that he is the long-promised Messiah King. They belonged to the sect of the Nazarenes, a first-century Jewish school of disciples centered around Yeshua. They did not hold Jesus or the gospel message in antithesis to the Law (Torah) of Moses. They upheld the words of Jesus:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5: 17–19)
Messianic Judaism is a branch of Judaism that honors Yeshua of Nazareth as Messiah and as the divine Son of God. … Messianic Judaism is not in the business of inventing a new religion, and we are not interested in just playing dress-up Jewish or “let’s pretend.” In Messianic Judaism, we are doing the hard work of recovering authentic Christian practice—the faith and religion of the first followers of Jesus Christ.
Messianic Judaism is the practice of the historic Jewish religion and lifestyle, plus the Messiah, plus the recognition that Yeshua ha-Notzri (Jesus the Nazarene) is the Jewish Messiah and the soon-returning King of the Jews. Messianic Judaism is actually nearly 2,000 years old, dating back to the time of Messiah Yeshua at the end of the Second Temple Period, approximately 40 years before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Yeshua was born into a Jewish home. He was raised in a Jewish family in a Jewish village. He faithfully attended the local Jewish synagogue every Shabbat and after his bar mitzvah he visited the Temple in Jerusalem at least three times a year. His parents were Jewish, His brothers and sisters were Jewish. All His uncles, aunts, and cousins were Jewish. He grew up to become a Jewish rabbi who taught Jewish people in a Jewish land—Israel—about the God of Avraham, Yitz'chak, and Ya'akov (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the Jewish patriarchs). Yeshua’s Shliachim (Apostles or Emissaries) were all Jewish. The writers of all Scripture, including the Apostolic Scriptures (also known as B'rit Hadasha or Renewed Covenant Scriptures, and erroneously referred to as the “New Testament” in Christian Bibles) were all Jewish, and for a long time (nearly 200 years) “The Faith” was predominantly Jewish. There were hundreds of thousands — more likely millions — of Jewish people who believed that Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah in the first century following His resurrection (see Acts 2:37-42, 4:4, 21:20), and every single one of them lived and died still a Jew.
“Messianic Judaism really began to flourish in the year 1967. That was the same year that Jerusalem came back under the control of the Jewish people for the first time in almost 2,000 years. A coincidence? Absolutely not!
God’stime for the Jewish people had begun. The age of the Gentiles (Goyim) was drawing to a close as prophesied in the New Covenant: ‘…Yerushalayim will be trampled down by the Goyim until the age of the Goyim has run its course.…’ (Luke 21:24)” [Neil and Jamie Lash, Messianic Judaism: Life from the Dead. Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Jewish Jewels, 2000, p.13.]
Today there are more than 800 Messianic Jewish congregations in at least 25 countries — with at least 20,000 Messianic Jews in more than 150 congregations in Israel! — most of which are composed of both Jewish and non-Jewish people who believe in Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah and their personal Savior and Lord, who understand the Jewish roots of true Biblical faith, and who wish to express that faith through living a Torah-observant Jewish lifestyle. One article in November 2102 (the most recent estimate I could find as of 09/13/15) estimated there were a total of 350,000 Messianic Jews in the world, though Joel Chernoff puts that number at closer to a million.
It is the goal of Messianic Judaism (also known as the Messianic Restoration), and of this website, to restore the faith and style of worship that was followed by the original followers of the Jewish Messiah for the first 200 years after His resurrection, before they apostatized as prophesized by Rabbi Sha'ul (1 Timothy 4:-1) and became “the Christian Church.”
Yeshua said: “I pray … that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with Mme and I with you, I pray that they may be united with Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given to Me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as We are one; I united with them and You with Me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that You sent Me, and that You have loved them just as You have loved Me.” (Yochanan [John] 17:20-23, CJB)
About the Author
||Ari Levitt (ארי לויט) [or Ari ben Levi (ywl nb yra)] is the shem kodesh of Messianic Theologian and former pastor Dr. Rickard (Ari) Levitt-Sawyer, and translates approximately into English as “Lion of the Tribe of Levi” or “Lion, son of Levi.” Except where otherwise specifically indicated, the opinions expressed on this website are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of any other organization or individual. If you disagree with my opinions, please CLICK HERE before contacting me about it. [More about the author.]||
Many Gentiles will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of ADONAI, to the house of the God of Ya'akov [Jacob/Israel]! He will teach us about His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” For out of Tziyon [Zion] will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim [Jerusalem]. (Micah 4:2; Isa 2:3)
Return in compassion to Your city, Jerusalem, and rest within it as You have said. Rebuild it speedily, and in our days, a structure forever. And may You establish the throne of David within Jerusalem speedily. Blessed are You, Lord, the Builder of Jerusalem. (The Amidah, Blessing 14)
I will bring them to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Yesha'yahu [Isaiah] 56:7)
For Tziyon’s sake I will not be silent, for Yerushalayim’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out brightly and her Yeshua like a blazing torch. (Yesha'yahu [Isaiah] 62:1)
Hear what ADONAI says to Israel: “I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (B'resheet [Genesis] 12:3)
And hear what Yeshua says to the whole world: “Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these [Jewish] brothers of mine, you did them for me!” (Mattityahu [Matthew] 25:40)
From Your heavenly abode You will appear, O our King, and reign over us, for we wait for You. When will You reign in Zion? Soon, even in our days, may You dwell there forever and ever. May You be exalted and sanctified within Yerushalayim, Your city, from generation to generation and for all eternity. May our eyes see Your Kingdom, as it is expressed in the songs of Your Might by the hand of David, Your righteous Anointed: “Adonai shall reign forever, your God, O Zion, from generation to generation! Hallelujah!”
Especially in these last days, with the world-wide rise of militant Islam, we need to clearly understand that Islam, as taught by Mohammed in the Qur'an and in his hadith, is not the peaceful way of life or “peaceful religion” that “liberal” Muslims (including the current resident of the White House) would have us believe. In fact, Islam is not a “religion” at all in the Western sense of the word. Islam is a Godless, pedophilic, sociopathic, sadistic, totally intolerant, violent, homicidal, Satan-worshiping culture whose stated purpose — which is required by the Qur'an for all who claim to be Muslims (including the so-called, but non-existent “moderate Muslims”) — is world domination and the violent extermination of every single person who does not submit to Allah’s (Satan’s) rule! The Qur'an clearly teaches that any person who does not submit totally and absolutely to the rule of Islam must be slaughtered with no mercy. Those “Radical Imams” that we see on television screaming for the annihilation of anything that is not Islam are only accurately interpreting the teaching of Mohammed. Islam was born in violent subjugation of all other ways of life, and that tradition continues today.
Those who identify themselves as “peaceful,” “tolerant,” or “liberal” Muslims are in fact rejecting the teachings of Islam, and should probably use a designation other than “Muslim” for themselves, just as those who reject the deity or teachings of Jesus and the infallibility of the Bible should not call themselves “Christians.”
A June 2015 poll of Muslims living in the United States by the Center for Security Policy showed that a shocking number (51 percent) seek to embrace sharia over the U. S Constitution. In addition, nearly one in four of Muslims polled believed that “it is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.” One in five respondents agreed that “the use of violence is justified in order to make sharia the law of the land in this country” while only 39 percent believed that Muslims should be subjected to American courts.
If, as the Pew Research Center estimates, there are approximately 3 million Muslims in America, that translates to roughly half a million U.S. Muslims who believe acts of terror and murder are legitimate tools in order to replace the U.S Constitution with sharia law.
No Intent to Offend
Please note well: It is not my intent to belittle, unduly criticize, or “bash” anyone who may hold religious or political persuasions or opinions other than my own, as long as you do not attempt to “convince” either me or others through force or violence. Neither is it my intent to cause any kind of division within the Family of God. Even though I may absolutely and totally disagree with your opinion, I will defend to the death your God-given right to hold it. I am not “anti-anybody” — I am only pro-Truth [click here for the definition of “Truth”]. I firmly believe that it can be proven with absolute certainty that the Bible, and the Bible only, is the revealed Word of God. It is the standard by which all knowledge and opinion must be judged. I also believe that for nearly 2000 years, the Church has been blinded to the truth of the Scriptures because of their disdain for the children of Abraham — they refuse to read and interpret the Jewish Scriptures (yes, all the Scriptures — all 66 books — are totally Jewish) as they were intended by their Jewish authors and as they would have been clearly understood by their Jewish recipients. I have come to believe that it is impossible to properly interpret the Scriptures apart from their ancient Jewish historical, cultural, and linguistic context.
Information on this website that concerns non-Biblical religious beliefs is provided for the sole purpose of comparing those beliefs with the Revealed Truth of the Bible. I also attempt to demonstrate, for educational and restorative purposes, just how far the Christian Church has drifted away from its Jewish origins, and to provide a possible alternative view to that which I taught for nearly 35 years as an evangelical Christian pastor (over 20 years with Baptist congregations). I earnestly await the return of King Messiah, the establishment of God’s Theocratic Kingdom here on earth, and the “Restoration of All Things” as promised by the prophets. For more on this subject, please CLICK HERE.
1. The word lawlessness translates from Hebrew into English literally as “without Torah.” Apparently Rav Sha'ul [aka the Apostle Paul] considered those who rejected Torah “unbelievers.” Carefully compare 2 Cor. 6:15 with verse 14. In verse 17, HaShem commands those who follow Torah and believe in Messiah to separate themselves from those who reject Torah. [RETURN]
2. Nearly every English translation says they were called “Christians” at Antioch, but the word “Christian” is the result of translating the text from Greek instead of translating from the Hebrew (or possibly Aramaic) in which they were originally written. The Hebrew word for “the Anointed” is “Mashiach“ which is rendered “Messiah” in English. Thus the followers of the Messiah in Antioch were called “Messianic.” The Greek word for “the Anointed” is Christos, which is rendered as “Christ” in English. When the book of Acts was translated from Hebrew into Greek, “Messianics” was translated to Christianos, which is rendered as “Christians” in English. When Acts is translated into English directly from the original Hebrew text, the term is rendered as “Messianics.” [RETURN]
3. “… I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them [the Law (Torah) or the Prophets] …” Very few non-Jews realize that this is a very common idiom used by Rabbis since ancient times. When the rabbi would ask one of his disciples to interpret a particular passage of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), if the disciple provided an incorrect interpretation the rabbi would tell him, “You have just abolished the Torah.” If the disciple provided the correct interpretation the rabbi would tell him, “You have just fulfilled the Torah.” What Rabbi Yeshua was saying was that He did not come to incorrectly interpret the Torah, but to interpret it correctly to His disciples. [RETURN]
4. As of June 12, 2012, “according to Joel Chernoff, CEO of Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), up from zero in 1967. ‘Messianic Judaism is the fastest growing stream of religious Jewish life since 1967,’ said Chernoff, who said he grew up in a messianic Jewish family. Sharing his extrapolated and complicated arithmetic, Chernoff credited the Council of Jewish Federation’s 1990 National Jewish Population Survey for his belief that there are now more than one million messianic Jews. ‘Jews are becoming believers in Yehoshuah,’ he says, referring to Jesus.” Source: jewishjournal.com
As of November 29, 2015, About.com says, “Messianic Jews are estimated to number 1 million worldwide, with more than 200,000 in the United States.” It is widely known and acknowledged that in most Messianic Jewish Synagogues in the United States, the number of ethnically non-Jewish congregants is far greater than Jewish congregants. With an estimated number of ethnically Jewish congregants in these Messianic Synagogues at over 200,000, it is not at all unreasonable, therefore, to estimate the number of adherents to Messianic Judaism in the United States at well over two million. [RETURN]
6. It makes absolutely no sense at all to call Yeshua your “Savior” unless He is the absolute Lord and Master of your life. If He is your Lord and Master, you will live the way He lived and the way He taught others to live … in yielded obedience to the Torah. If you call Him “Savior” and do not follow His teaching, you are being deceived by the Prince of Lies! [RETURN]
8. The difference between a “radical” Muslim and a “moderate” Muslim is very simple. A “radical” Muslim is one who thinks he/she is obligated to “convert” or kill all non-Muslims. A “moderate” Muslim is one who thinks all radical Muslims are obligated to “convert” or kill all non-Muslims. [RETURN]