Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

Articles

unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the 1995 New American Standard Update (NASU)

All Articles are downloadable in PDF format


A

To Be Absent From the Body

reproduced from To Be Absent From the Body

Without any doubt, one of the most uncomfortable subjects that any human being has to confront in life is death. You do not have to be that well versed in reading the Bible, to adequately understand that death is a part of living. With the possible exception of those who will actually be alive at the moment of the Second Coming, the biological life functions of each and every one of us will cease. A mainstay, of both Judaism and Christianity, is the firm belief in the future resurrection of the dead. A Scripture passage like Daniel 12:1 unambiguously tells us, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake…” Everyone in today’s broad Messianic movement would rightfully agree that the deceased from all ages will have their physical remains reanimated and resurrected to new biological life.

Yet for many Jews, and many more Christians, questions abound about what is to occur between the moments of physical death and future resurrection. What happens to people? Do people somehow go into absolute unconsciousness, only to then be somehow recreated? Is the death of a human being little different than the death of an animal? Is the death of a human being much different than the death of an animal, with the consciousness of mind, memory, experience, and creativity—often more called in the vernacular to be a “soul”—temporarily held in another dimension until the resurrection?


Anti-Semitism in the Two-House Movement

reproduced from Israel in Future Prophecy

Anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism is a significant crime, with devastating prejudices and a poisonous ideology, which has been present in our world since long before the time of Yeshua the Messiah.


Basic Messianic Apologetics

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

Some of the most frequent questions I am asked from people are: Why Messianic apologetics? Why is it important? Why do all that hard work?


The Great Apostasy

reproduced from When Will the Messiah Return?

Thinking about or contemplating the topic of apostasy is not necessarily the most positive thing that someone could be doing. The Biblical and historical record both indicate that apostasy against God—a denial of Him and His ways—has been present with us since the very beginning (which should hopefully relieve at least some of the anxiety we may have about this). Yet, sometimes we need to have our consciences pricked regarding what the apostasy is, especially as we survey some of the things going on in the religious world today, both Christian and Messianic. Now is an excellent time for us to review once again what the prophesied great apostasy is, so that rather than being impartial to it—or worse somehow being a part of it—we can all stand up as men and women of God who warn others against the torrent that is coming! Let us be those in a position to offer answers to people lost in sin, being all the things that Yeshua calls us to be.


What Are the Lord’s Appointed Times?

reproduced from Torah In the Balance, Volume I

In the past ten to twenty years, there has been an evitable explosion in the amount of popular literature present, detailing the importance of the appointed times of the Torah, more colloquially known as the Biblical feasts. Some of this literature has been composed by evangelical Christians interested in the Old Testament, and other books have been written by Messianic Jews, for both their fellow Jewish Believers and Christians wanting to enrich their faith in Yeshua. Much of the talk and writing and commentary, has been to probe each of the appointed times for their likely prophetic significance (cf. Colossians 2:17), particularly as they are thought to paint a theological and spiritual picture of the Messiah’s First and Second Comings. No compilation of discussions would be complete, in our analysis of the Messiah’s return, without considering the Lord’s appointed times.


B

How Do You Study the Bible?

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics goes through a number of important points regarding proper and responsible Bible study, specifically affecting Messianic people.


C

Why We Should Celebrate Chanukah

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper

Chanukah should be celebrated because it has important themes of salvation history that cannot be taken for granted, when God works through His people to accomplish His deliverance. Had the Maccabees not purged the idolatry from Ancient Judea, we may not be having this discussion today. The Jewish people would have been eliminated via cultural assimilation.


Chanukah and Encountering Worldly Philosophies

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper

I could explain to you many concepts that I feel are floating around today’s Messianic movement that have been passed off as being “Hebraic,” when in actuality they are Greek to their very core.


The Importance of Chanukah

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper

The subject of what Messianic Believers are to be doing for the Winter holiday season can be very controversial. On the one hand, Messianics should not really be celebrating Christmas, because it is non-Biblical and was created to be one replacement for observing the appointed times of Leviticus 23. On the other hand, should all Messianic Believers celebrate Chanukah, or the Feast of Dedication? Primarily the debate surrounds the fact that often the celebration of Chanukah can become a replacement for Christmas, and that Chanukah is not a Biblically-mandated holiday, as it is not in the Leviticus 23 list.


A Summarization of Chanukah Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper

The holiday of Chanukah, or the Festival of Dedication, is full of many customs and traditions that give our celebration great life and depth. During this time of year, we have the awesome opportunity to commemorate the work of God from some 2,200 years ago during the time of the Maccabees. If they had not fought against the Seleucid invaders of Israel, the Jewish people would have either been destroyed through war, or would have disappeared via cultural assimilation.


When Did “the Church” Begin?

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

In the annals of Christian teaching, Protestant or Catholic, one common thread often runs throughout: the institution known as “the Church” sees itself as being separate from Israel. As some would dogmatically declare, “The Church is not Israel!”—and depending on your view, this is correct. The Church institution by-and-large does not consider itself part of, or at times even related to, Israel.


Is Circumcision for Everyone?

reproduced from Torah In the Balance, Volume II

What is an appropriate, Messianic perspective on the issue of circumcision? How do we give a proper hearing to how the subject matter is approached in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Apostolic Writings? Should circumcision be encouraged for all the males in our ranks? How do we avoid the scores of abuses that have been manifested in Biblical and religious history surrounding circumcision?


Congregations Among Us

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

Much of what is taking place today is paralleled from what we see of the growth of the early Messianic community in the Book of Acts, General Epistles, and Pauline Epistles.


The Christmas Challenge

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper

No matter who you are or what religious ideology you hold to, the Winter holiday season involving Christmas will be a challenge. It is first a challenge to non-Believers as they are continually presented with the message of the birth of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) into a world that is lost in sin. Secondly, the Christmas holiday is a challenging time for many Christians who seek to remember the birth of our Savior, but at the same time all too often indulge themselves in overly frivolous gift-giving. And thirdly, the Christmas season is a challenge to Messianic Believers, as we choose not to celebrate this holiday.


The State of Christology in Today’s Messianic Movement

reproduced from Salvation on the Line, Volume I

What would happen if your Messianic congregational leader, or rabbi, asked the congregational constituents why they believe that Yeshua the Messiah is God? What would be some of the reasons given? Would they encounter dogma or doctrine? Would people express a principled set of reasons for affirming Yeshua’s Divinity, or would they only express a dogmatic “you have to believe” reason, without any real substance? Many might indeed affirm something having to do with only God being able to redeem human beings from their sins (Psalm 49:7, 15), or explicit claims made by Yeshua (i.e., John 8:58). But, how many people would not really know what to say? Do we even want to know some of the reasons why people might believe that Yeshua is God?


The Quest for Credibility

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

J.K. McKee addresses some of the difficulties regarding theological credibility, for far too many across the broad Messianic spectrum.


D

Answering the “Frequently Avoided Questions” About the Divinity of Yeshua

reproduced from Confronting Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship

There are many claims that those who deny the Divinity of Yeshua, and thus deny the Biblical reality that we must have a Divine Savior, make, in saying that Yeshua is not God. Many of the arguments that anti-Divinity proponents make tend to be sensationalistic, and they can definitely prey on various individuals’ unfamiliarity and/or ignorance of the Bible. Those who are undiscerning, and especially those who have perhaps not have had the spiritual encounter with the Creator through the Divine Messiah that they think they have had, are quite susceptible to these arguments.

It has become commonplace, when trying to challenge Yeshua as the Divine Messiah, to see various lists and compilations floating around, called something like the “Frequently Avoided Questions.” Perhaps it is because these questions are so easily answered, that various Messianic Bible teachers who fully affirm Yeshua’s Divinity, have not really taken the time to answer them. This analysis that I have provided you is intended to address ten of these specific so-called “Frequently Avoided Questions,” which are often used to claim that the Messiah is not Divine. You will find that these questions can be answered, that they are usually based on a selective reading of Scripture passages only at the surface level, and that when deeper readings of the text are conducted they fully affirm Yeshua’s Divinity. Yet, it is these questions that can get even relatively mature and Biblically-rooted Believers, caught totally off guard.


Does the New Testament Annul the Biblical Appointments?

reproduced from Torah In the Balance, Volume I

How are we to balance how following the Torah includes outward practices, but also includes a greater manifestation of God’s love and goodness to all we encounter?


E

What is the Problem With Easter?

reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper

It comes every Spring, usually sometime in March or April. You know it because in stores you see the baskets, candy, rabbits, eggs, and the annoying fake grass that goes in those baskets. You see the Cadbury cream egg commercials on television with the rabbits gobbling like chickens. Its name is Easter.

Most sincere Christians celebrate the season of Easter not as a time to fawn over rabbits or eat candy, but as a serious time to remember the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus). They commemorate His death on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Certainly, of all the events in our faith, the resurrection of our Lord is the most important. The Apostle Paul validly writes, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Messiah has been raised; and if Messiah has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). However, when we consider the pre-Messianic and pre-Christian origins of “Easter,” we do need to reevaluate it.


To Eat or Not to Eat?

reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper

The issue of eating the way God has prescribed is one where we need to realize whether or not God has the right to tell His people what they can and cannot ingest into their bodies, and why He specifically issued these commandments. Messianic practice directly challenges much of modern Christian thought as it relates to “food.” Why does one need to follow the dietary commandments the Lord issued? What lessons might we learn from following them, in addition to how the kosher laws may affect our health?


The End-Times: What Should We Expect?

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

When a person becomes a new Believer in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and embarks into his or her own study of the Scriptures, the individual has questions and is searching for answers, especially in regard to the end-times. A critical question asked by many who are searching is: “What should I expect?” One may confide is his or her friends or Bible teachers with various questions and inquiries, and in many cases may accept their views at face value. But after further examination, though, a Bible student may find their opinions of Scripture to be inaccurate or incomplete.


The Biblical, Rebellious Legacy of the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim

reproduced from Israel in Future Prophecy

The legacy of Ephraim, as seen in the Scriptures, is not at all a positive one.


Ezekiel 37:15-28: Have the Two Sticks Been Reunited?

reproduced from Israel in Future Prophecy

This short selection of fourteen verses has generated a huge amount of discussion for proponents, opponents, and skeptics of what has been widely touted as “the Two-House teaching.” Many of today’s Messianic Jews believe that all Israel was gathered together and restored in ancient times, and that nothing more really awaits. Many other people believe that a larger restoration of Israel awaits in the future eschaton. Many people do not want to touch the subject matter, considering it to be too flammable. Many people do not know what to do, especially with all of the opinions floating around, and are confused.


F

The Faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah

reproduced from The New Testament Validates Torah

Literally speaking, the genitive clause (genitive is the Greek case indicating possession) dia pisteōs Iēsou Christou should be rendered as “through faith of Jesus Christ” (YLT). Some modern study Bibles are having to place footnotes for verses like Galatians 2:16, indicating the alternative rendering, “Or by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.”


G

Galatians 3:28: Biblical Equality and Today’s Messianic Movement

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

This one verse written by the Apostle Paul speaks of a new status for human beings that has been inaugurated via the sacrificial work of Yeshua, as God’s people are to be united as “one person” (NEB), actively accomplishing His tasks in the Earth. At times, we do find Galatians 3:28 quoted among those in our Messianic faith community, but its ramifications are not often fully considered or probed for their significant spiritual power. Current and severe developments in the Messianic movement in our day—with the future steadily looming—require that we take a fresh look at this verse, what its message of equality means for us, and things that we are certainly missing as we seek to be those who are useful in the Lord’s work. This single verse asks us many difficult questions about both Biblical equality and why the Messianic community seems to have less unity and more rivalry.


What About “the Gentiles”?

reproduced from Israel in Future Prophecy

Populist Two-House teachers have stirred their audiences to the point of not only resisting any kind of usage of the word “Gentile,” but they frequently direct them to insist on being referred to as some sort of “Israelite(s).” Along with this, given their high emphasis on restoration of Israel prophecies that speak of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim, one can often fail to detect the inclusion of any Gentiles—those outside of the bloodlines of physical Israel—in such a restoration process. This presents some serious theological problems, including the warranted accusation that their message withholds God’s salvation from the vast, vast majority of human beings, created by Him, who live on Planet Earth.


Can We Trust the Greek Scriptures?

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

Many Messianic Believers think that it is important to learn the Hebrew language, the language of the Tanach or Old Testament. This is to be commended and encouraged, as these texts make up the first two-thirds of our Bible that many Christians, sadly, ignore or feel are important only for Bible history. However, there is another portion of the Bible, the Apostolic Scriptures or Messianic Writings, commonly known as the New Testament, which were not written in Hebrew, and should not be cast by the wayside.


H

A Messianic Perspective on Halloween

reproduced from the Messianic Fall Holiday Helper

Does focusing on witchcraft and the occult bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father?


Is the Hebrew Matthew an Authentic Document?

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

Among all of the texts of the Apostolic Scriptures or New Testament, today’s broad Messianic movement has some significant struggles when it comes to the composition of the Gospel of Matthew.


The Hebrew New Testament Misunderstanding

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

The claim that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew is something that must be substantiated by those who believe it with historical references, textual support, and most of all extant manuscripts in Hebrew. These references must be credible, the textual claims must be supported within a relatively conservative framework of exposition, and the manuscripts must be verified as authentic by organizations such as United Bible Societies or the American Bible Society. Thus far, no one in the Messianic community has been able to prove a written Hebrew origin for the entirety of the New Testament on the basis of these factors.


Why Hell Must Be Eternal

reproduced from Why Hell Must Be Eternal

The topic of eternal punishment is one of the most unpleasant and least desirable that any Bible teacher will ever have to discuss. I myself get no sense of enthusiasm, excitement, anticipation—and certainly no joy—out of the requirement that any discussion on death, the afterlife, and human destiny requires an analysis of what happens to the unredeemed. This is something that simply has to be addressed, and one which the author of Hebrews actually considers to be elementary to people of faith (Hebrews 6:2). To only address the positive side of human destiny, and not the negative side, would be a dereliction of a responsible teacher’s duty to the Biblical message and story.


The Highway to Perdition

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

J.K. McKee addresses some of the significant causes behind why various people in today’s Messianic community deny the faith.


The Role of History in Messianic Biblical Interpretation

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

When many people read the Bible, one of the biggest mistakes that can be made is reading it as though it were written directly to a person living in the Twenty-First Century. Whether we consciously realize it or not, the events of the Bible not only took place in another century, another part of the world, and in another culture—but in different centuries, different parts of the world, and different cultures.


I

Are Non-Jewish Believers Really a Part of Israel?

reproduced from Are Non-Jewish Believers Really a Part of Israel?

The Messianic Jewish movement that has grown and been emerging in the late Twentieth and early Twenty-First Centuries has achieved much for the Kingdom of God, which it should be genuinely proud of. It has made a significant, positive contribution in the lives of many Jewish men and women who have come to saving faith in the Messiah of Israel, giving them a place where they do not have to assimilate and give up their Jewishness.

Perhaps an unforeseen side-effect is that it has also made a significant, positive contribution in the lives of many non-Jewish, evangelical Christian men and women, who have come to know the Jewishness of Jesus and the New Testament in a much more profound and tangible way. Many of these people have entered into the Messianic movement and its congregations, and have made a Torah obedient lifestyle their own, as they seek to emulate Messiah Yeshua. As we continue to see various developments occur within a broad Messianic community, which in the 2010s includes both Messianic Judaism and various other independent forms of Messianic and/or Hebrew/Hebraic Roots faith expressions, the question of how non-Jewish Believers relate to Israel—especially given the end-time reality of the nations coming to Zion to be taught God’s Law (Micah 4:1-3; Isaiah 2:2-4), and those of the nations joining with the Jewish people (Zechariah 8:23)—is undeniably going to increase.


J

The Contours of Jewish Evangelism

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

The original mission and purpose of the Messianic movement has always been to provide a venue for Jewish outreach, evangelism, and Israel solidarity.


What Contribution Are You Making to Jewish Evangelism?

reproduced from Messianic Beginnings

The modern Messianic movement got started as an outreach of Jewish Believers, to see the Jewish people come to saving faith in Israel’s Messiah. To be sure, there are other things which have taken place since, such as non-Jewish Believers entering in and more tangibly embracing their Jewish Roots. There are theological and spiritual issues, which the original leaders could not have anticipated being discussed. We pray that God raises up the right people to perform the diversity of tasks before us. The original mission of seeing Jewish people come to faith in Israel’s Messiah still has not gone away. And, if you are a part of today’s Messianic movement, you have to ask yourself, “What contribution am I making to Jewish evangelism?”


K

Being Realistic About Kosher

reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper

How do any of us, in a still-emerging and still-maturing Messianic movement, sort through some of the issues regarding “kosher”? How do we get a little more realistic about what we see among the Jewish and non-Jewish Believers within our faith community, remembering that not all people share the same views as we do, and allow for a little more grace and mercy to come forth—rather than any unfair or unnecessary condemnation? How many of our challenges have been caused by an insufficient or under-whelming handling of Bible passages—versus having been caused by an under-whelming level of spiritual maturity on behalf of too many people?


Biblically Kosher? Rabbinic Kosher?

reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper

There is little doubting that within the broad Messianic community, there can be huge debates over the application of the Torah’s dietary laws. Most frequently, as has been our family’s experience, the perspectives surrounding kashrut have been too quickly polarized into the realms of those who keep “Biblically kosher,” versus those who keep “Rabbinic kosher.” Those who keep “Biblically kosher,” are those who often have eliminated pork and shellfish from their diet, but at the same time will often buy commercially processed meat at the supermarket, will not look for a hechsher or approved Jewish seal on many food products, and will eat out at most restaurants (perhaps even including fast food). Those who keep “Rabbinic kosher,” are those who will only purchase traditionally slaughtered meat, will look for a hechsher on most food products, will not eat out at most restaurants, and will observe practices such as not mixing meat and dairy, having multiple sets of dishes and utensils.


Is Eating Kosher Really Healthier?

reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper

It should not be a great surprise to anyone studying or evaluating the kosher dietary laws, principally contained in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, that the question “Is eating kosher really healthier?” is something commonly asked. There is little doubting how the Hebrew Scriptures are materialistic, in the sense that normal human activities like eating or drinking, are not to be looked down upon or spurned.


A Summarization of Jewish Kosher Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper

Much of the Messianic community has promoted what it considers to be “Biblically kosher,” which primarily begins and ends at not eating pork and shellfish. In traditional Judaism, however, what it means to be kosher is much more involved than observant Jews not eating certain meats labeled to be “unclean.” Kashrut involves classification of unclean meats to be sure, but also involves some significant traditions regarding the butchering of animals, how meat is to be prepared, what can and cannot be eaten together, separation of utensils and cookware—as well as a variety of theological and philosophical reasons proposed for the institution of these Biblical instructions, and their subsequent interpretation and application over the centuries by Jewish religious authorities and diverse Jewish communities.


How Do We Properly Keep Kosher?

reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper

Observing and/or adopting kosher eating habits is admittedly one of the most difficult things for many Messianic Believers to do. There are many theological arguments made from the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) that when viewed a particular way, can seem to suggest that the importance of the dietary laws was rendered inoperative via the work of Yeshua the Messiah. Once a person has overcome many of these theological hurdles in his or her Messianic quest, and sees the validity of the dietary laws in the Bible and how the Apostles continued to eat a degree of kosher, the question of how one is to follow them in a Twenty-First Century world needs to be asked.


L


M

The Impact of the Maccabees on First Century Judaism

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper

For most Messianics I know who celebrate Chanukah, they hear a great deal about the military exploits of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Temple. Many of them honestly take the time to flip through the Books of 1&2 Maccabees in the Apocrypha, the principal historical record that influences our understanding of the wars fought by the Maccabees. When Jerusalem was recaptured and the Temple was rededicated, much more really did take place. This goes beyond the lives of Judah Maccabee and his brothers. Sadly, too many congregations and fellowships that honor Chanukah are not that familiar with this period of complicated history—not only for what took place in the Second Century B.C.E., but how it would influence the First Century C.E.


Matthew 5:17-19: Has the Law Been Fulfilled?

reproduced from The New Testament Validates Torah

Matthew 5:17-19, which preface the Sermon on the Mount which follows, are some of the most important verses of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) for today’s Messianic movement. These verses speak of the Messiah’s intent to fulfill, and not abolish, the Mosaic Law. But what does it mean that the Messiah was to come and fulfill the Law? Does it just pertain, as is commonly thought, to the prophetic agenda of accomplishment that is realized by the Messiah’s arrival? Or, is there a multi-layered dynamic of the Messiah’s coming to “fulfill” the Torah, which must be taken into consideration? Has the Law been “fulfilled and thus abolished,” as many people today conclude? If this is in error, then what might need to be corrected in some Believers’ view of the Torah?


Genesis 9:3-7: Why Meat?

reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper

The statements made by God in Genesis 9:3-7 are delivered after the Flood is completed, and humanity now has to rebuild itself. In most Messianic examinations of Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32), we often overlook what is being said here, for a variety of reasons. Vegetarian man is now told by the Creator that he is allowed to eat meat, something previously prohibited, with some specific stipulations on what to do with animal blood. Much of our avoidance of this section is likely because many Christians today use Genesis 9:3-7 as a proof text to show that while Noah and his family were allowed to eat meat, they seem to be told to eat the meat of any animal, which would presumably include those that would later be specifically classified “unclean.” It is thus asserted that the laws of kashrut given in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 were only temporary instructions for Ancient Israel that Noah did not have to follow.

Is this really what is asserted in Genesis 9:3-7, or is there more at work in the text that may be eluding us? What does this part of the early Genesis story tell us about animals for food, human beings, and the need to respect blood? Why did God extend permission for people to eat meat?


Men and Women in the Body of Messiah: Answering Evangelical Questions

reproduced from Men and Women in the Body of Messiah: Answering Crucial Questions

Anyone who receives a broad-based theological education today, will quickly find that there are a number of issues upon which scholars, congregational leaders, and laypersons not only disagree about—but will starkly divide over. One of the biggest, divisive issues in contemporary evangelical Protestant theology, involves women in ministry. There are Christian denominations which support females serving alongside of males as co-leaders of the assembly, ordained as pastors, and there are other Christian denominations which strongly oppose females serving in such a capacity. When it comes to marital relationships, there are those who support marriages where husband and wife are co-leaders of the family, and there are others who believe that a husband leads the family while the wife follows.


Men and Women in the Body of Messiah: Answering Messianic Questions

reproduced from Men and Women in the Body of Messiah: Answering Crucial Questions

To many people in today’s broad Messianic movement, the issues involving the place of husbands and wives in the family, as well as men and women in the local assembly, is a done deal. Husbands lead the family, and wives abide by their husbands’ decisions. Men lead the congregation, and women are there to help facilitate congregational functions. Any position about men and women in the Body of Messiah which might invoke terms such as co-equal, shared responsibility, and mutual submission are often viewed as compromise with the prevailing culture at best, or capitulation to liberal theology at worst. You do not just throw around the term “egalitarian” in the Messianic movement, unless you really are willing to experience some blowback.


The Significance of the Messiah Event

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

Many people in the Torah movement have lost sight of the most significant event in human history: the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. They frequently deny that we live in a post-resurrection era, with some new spiritual realities.


Is Messiah the Termination of the Torah?

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

In theory, most evangelical conservative Christians claim to honor the Bible as if all of it is the inspired, inerrant Word of the Lord. However, in practice, the same cannot often be said, especially when it comes to many Christians’ attitude concerning their approach to the Law of Moses, or the Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy).


Answering the “Frequently Avoided Questions” About the Messiahship of Yeshua

reproduced from Confronting Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship

The Messianic community of faith presently finds itself at a very serious crossroads, not just a crossroads in determining its long term purpose and where it is going to be in the next few decades, but most seriously in its theology and how we are to approach the Bible. The enemy desperately wants us to get off course and away from the mission of seeing the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel accomplished (Acts 1:6). He wants us to not be a movement of positive change and transformation, where people are empowered by the Lord to accomplish His tasks in the world—but rather be one of mischief, confusion, and apostasy. The enemy wants us to seriously “mess up” and gain a bad reputation so that people will (rightly) stay away.

One of the most significant ways that this has happened over the past several years has been seen when various Messianic individuals deny the Divinity of Yeshua the Messiah. There have been both Messianic teachers and laypersons who have decided that Yeshua the Messiah was nothing more than a human being empowered by God, but certainly not God in the flesh. They have stripped away the reality of His Incarnation, and made Him little more than a mortal like one of “us.”

It is not all that surprising, but among a significant number of those who deny Yeshua’s Divinity are those who later deny His Messiahship. Not content with their entirely human Yeshua, these people then question whether or not Yeshua is even the Messiah and whether they truly need Him. Outsiders to the Messianic community who witness this trend, often believe that the Messianic movement is not something that God has raised up to restore the lost Hebraic and Jewish Roots of the faith, or even just see a generation of Jewish people brought to Yeshua—but rather is a move of the Adversary to lead people away from the salvation available in Yeshua and the truth of the gospel. Is this truly the case? Are we nothing more than a revolving door, leading people into our midst for a short season, and then into the open arms of a Messiah-less Synagogue?


Introduction to Things Messianic

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

In studying the Bible, many Christians unfortunately find themselves only reading the New Testament or the Apostolic Scriptures. Although these important Scriptures speak of the gospel message, testify to the works of our Lord Yeshua (Jesus), and speak of issues that the First Century Believers had to contend with, these writings comprise less than one-third of the Bible. Those whose focus is almost exclusively in this part of the Bible can have an unbalanced approach to our Creator and His plan for the ages.


What Does it Mean to Participate in a Messianic Congregation?

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

Each one of us, who find ourselves attending a Messianic congregation or assembly, brings our own series of expectations, needs, and wants. Jewish Believers in Israel’s Messiah have certain needs—and indeed requirements—as they involve the local Messianic congregation not only being a “safe space” for them to maintain their Jewish heritage and traditions, not assimilating into a non-Jewish Christianity, but most especially as a place where they can bring their non-believing family and friends to be presented with the good news of Yeshua. Non-Jewish Believers called into today’s Messianic movement, from evangelical Protestant backgrounds, bring a selection of needs as they become involved in Messianic congregations. Some of these concern a genuine, supernatural compulsion to reconnect with their spiritual heritage in Israel’s Scriptures, participate in Jewish outreach and evangelism, and to some degree reproduce the First Century experience of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers fellowshipping in one accord in mixed assemblies. Other non-Jewish Believers entering into the Messianic movement, do so only for a season, usually being attracted to Messianic congregations because of the music, Davidic dance, intriguing teaching, or the food—but then later move on to something else.


The Wild and Wonderful World of the Broad Messianic Movement

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses some of the complexities of the different sectors of today’s Messianic movement, and how it can affect its mission and purpose.


Navigating Through a Very Small Messianic Movement

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics reviews how it can be difficult for many people to recognize that the contemporary Messianic movement is very small, and as such one needs to learn how to sort through various issues that can unnecessarily divide God’s people.


Ephesians 4:29: How Are Messianics to Properly Communicate?

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

Ephesians 4:29 may not seem to be that important a verse in the Bible for some of us (at least right now), but considering some of the challenges faced by today’s emerging Messianic movement, it is a very important verse for us to examine.


Considering Messianic Jewish Fears of Replacement and Irrelevance

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

One of the most significant issues that is dominating all of the contemporary Messianic movement, at present, is the future. Many are of the conviction that even though we are living in the end-times, that there are a number of things which need to transpire via the emergence of the Messianic movement, the salvation of the Jewish people, and the restoration of Israel—which will require some more time to see properly develop.


Adopting a Messianic Lifestyle

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

You should be motivated to pursue Messianic things first and foremost, because the Holy Spirit has convicted you and personally shown you that there is indeed “something” to all of this. Your motivation should be wanting to get the most out of your relationship with the God of Israel, pursuing full compliance with Holy Scripture, and living as a disciple of Messiah Yeshua.


The Messianic Mission

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses the involvement of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in today’s Messianic movement, and why God has put them here.


How Are We to Live as Modern Messianics?

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

Over the past few years, I have become consciously aware that some serious challenges and tension are in store for the Messianic movement. We are going through some growing pains, and issues are on the horizon that too many are unprepared for. The world at large is certainly not getting any less complicated, and globalization and the mass market mean that old ways of doing things may not necessarily work any more in the Twenty-First Century. Both the Jewish Synagogue and Christian Church are beginning to recognize this—which means the responsibility for Messianics is twice as high as it is for your average Jew or Christian. We need to be a people stirred to action, and guided by the Holy Spirit as we prepare to enter into a new chapter of our development.


The Effect of Mysticism and Gnosticism on the Messianic Movement

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

The Jewish mystical tradition and associated ideas and beliefs, have notably never had a huge foothold within mainstream Synagogue teaching. Yet, today’s Messianic Believers need to begin to be much more discerning, and think much more critically about this. We will not only need to evaluate a few things originating from Jewish mysticism which have “slipped in” unnoticed, but as we consider what is in store for us in the future, and things which we must be a bit more careful of.


A Survey of Messianic Theology

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

Today’s Messianic movement, as a still-developing and emerging move of God, has many areas of its theology which are sufficiently developed, and others which are presently in various stages of maturation.


Encountering Mythology: A Case Study from the Flood Narratives

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

One of the most important Tanach narratives that deserves the attention of today’s Believers—particularly as it is employed later in the Apostolic Scriptures or New Testament— is the Flood of Genesis 6-8. We all know the story too well—as only Noah, his family, and two of every animal were spared. But what many do not know is that there are other Ancient Near Eastern accounts which portray a significant flood, somehow inflicting damage on the world—that may or may not parallel what we see in Genesis. What we are to do with these accounts, the role that they play in relationship to Genesis 6-8, and what they mean have baffled many interpreters. Some believe that the ANE myths appeared first, and were later adapted by the Ancient Hebrews in the compilation of the Torah. Others believe that the ANE myths are distorted forms of the true Biblical account. And others, not surprisingly, are confused and do not know what to believe, avoiding the subject altogether.


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What is the New Covenant?

reproduced from The New Testament Validates Torah

Not enough evangelical Christians today are familiar with the fact that the expectation of the New Covenant, as it is commonly called, is something rooted within some distinct prophecies of the Hebrew Bible or Tanach.


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Approaching One Law Controversies: Sorting Through the Legalism

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses some of the unfortunate controversies and emotionalism that can arise, when the theological issue over “one law” mentioned in the Torah arises. Is it possible for there to be a mature way to approach this issue, which facilitates stability?


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Is the Story of Yeshua Pagan?

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

Today, many are wondering why there is a sector of individuals in the Messianic community who have denied Yeshua and either converted to Judaism, or their own primitive form of “Yahwism.” While the reasons vary, one thing that is occurring in our midst is that idle words have taken root in the hearts of people, which are now coming to full fruition. One of the statements that is made far too frequently among certain Messianics today is: “Christianity is pagan.” This statement, while often said “innocently” to describe the ills and some non-Biblical practices of mainstream Christianity, can cause the naïve and spiritually unstable person to begin to think that if the pagans believed something, it must therefore be rejected.

The problem with this line of reasoning is two-fold: (1) The problem is not with non-Biblical and questionable practices in contemporary Christianity; the problem is rather with the fact that all of us have strayed from God’s Word. God’s people have not widely made the Bible and being Scripturally compliant their top priority. (2) If you believe that the message of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) is “pagan,” you must hold the Tanach (Old Testament) to the same standard. If you believe that the story of Yeshua the Messiah and His resurrection are copied off of pagan myths, then you also have to believe that the Bible stories of the Tanach are also borrowed or copied from the mythology of the Ancient Israelites’ neighbors.


A Summarization of Passover Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper

Certainly, when Believers in Messiah Yeshua sit down to partake of the Passover meal, we are not just remembering the Exodus of the Ancient Israelites and the plagues that God dispensed upon the Egyptians. We are sitting down to remember great events in the salvation history of the world.


You Want to be a Pharisee

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

How many of you, in your quest to become Torah observant, have been accused by Christian friends or family of being a “Pharisee”?


Is Polygamy for Today? The Case Against Polygamy

reproduced from Men and Women in the Body of Messiah: Answering Crucial Questions

No one who reads the Bible denies that polygamy—the practice of a man having more than one wife—is seen within the text. The Patriarch Jacob, who was the progenitor of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, had two wives and two concubines (Genesis 31:17; 37:2). King David, who was testified by the Lord to be “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), had multiple wives (1 Samuel 18:17-30; 25:38-43; 2 Samuel 3:2-5). King Solomon, whom many consider to be the wisest man who ever lived, had hundreds of wives and concubines (1 Kings 3:1; 11:3) that made up an entire harem (Song of Songs 6:8).

“So what is the problem?” it is said. “Some of the most important figures in the Tanach Scriptures had multiple wives, and so Messianic men today should be able to have multiple wives as well. YHWH is restoring Biblical patriarchy! Women need to learn their place.”

There are, in fact, many problems to be explored when considering whether or not polygamy is an acceptable practice for today’s Body of Messiah. Was it the ideal at Creation for the man to have more than one wife? When a man has more than one wife, is he truly fulfilled emotionally and spiritually with his multiple spouses? Is the household where one man has multiple wives and children from those multiple wives truly a place of love and affection, or one of discord and suspicion? Does the Bible portray men who had polygamous relationships as being genuinely fulfilled, and children who were true examples of godliness? Does a man having multiple wives express the sentiment that he places great value on women, or that they are simply property to be acquired? And, how many in the Biblical period actually had the financial means to afford more than one wife? Does the Bible really lend support to the practice of polygamy today?


The Top Reasons People Believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture

reproduced from The Dangers of Pre-Tribulationism

The following is a list of twelve common reasons why many people believe in the pre-tribulation rapture. These reasons are those which have been most commonly given to us by website readers over the years who are pre-tribulationists. Their order primarily indicates the frequency of us hearing these arguments. As you should notice, some of the reasons listed seem somewhat absurd, some pose legitimate theological questions, and others pose some serious concern regarding the character of our Heavenly Father as He is perceived by some people.


A Summarization of Purim Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper

The holiday of Purim is a relatively minor festival in the Tanach (Old Testament), yet it portrays a very important story that all of God’s people need to understand. Having been dispersed into Babylonian exile in 585 B.C.E., the Jewish people now find themselves under Persian rule. While many find their new Persian rulers more tolerant than the Babylonians, the Jews are still a minority and often find themselves subject to harassment and persecution. In the Book of Esther, King Ahasuerus’ (or Xerxes’) grand vizier, the evil Haman, devises a plot to kill the Jews when he is not worshipped by Mordecai. But Ahasuerus’ new wife, the Jewess Esther, is placed in just the right position at just the right time to see that this scheme does not come to pass. Instead, Haman is executed using the very means that he intended to use against the Jews.


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Messianic Believers and Religious Symbols

reproduced from Torah In the Balance, Volume II

Today’s Messianic movement uses religious symbols, with congregations and ministries using mostly Jewish, but as well as some Christian, signs, to associate with their mission and purpose. Some of these religious symbols provoke positive, but some provoke negative, reactions from people. We all need a fair-minded look at some of these symbols, seeing what a variety of mainline Jewish and Christian sources have actually said, before listening to some of the misinformation that can so widely circulate, often branding common symbols like the Star of David or cross as being “utterly pagan,” and needing to be completely removed and never spoken of again.


The Calling of Ruth and Non-Jewish Believers in Today’s Messianic Movement

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

What does it mean for non-Jewish Believers in today’s Messianic Jewish movement to possess a “Ruth calling”?


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How Did We Lose the Sabbath?

reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper

When many of us think about some of the most significant theological debates of the past three or five decades, we are probably immediately drawn into thinking about conservatives and liberals sparring over the reliability of the Holy Scriptures, creationists and evolutionists fighting about the origins of humankind, Scripturalists and cultists warring over the Divinity of Yeshua, and most recently the controversy that has been rising up over homosexuality and gay marriage. How many of us are consciously aware that there has been a debate ensuing among evangelical Christians, and various others, for over three decades surrounding the Sabbath?


Sacred Name Concerns

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

As Messianic Believers who have a Torah foundation in our walk of faith, we have a responsibility to present a complete salvation message to others, and most importantly have the assurance ourselves that we are redeemed children of God.


The Assurance of Our Salvation

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

As Messianic Believers who have a Torah foundation in our walk of faith, we have a responsibility to present a complete salvation message to others, and most importantly have the assurance ourselves that we are redeemed children of God.


Matthew 23:2-3: Who Sits in the Seat of Moses?

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics evaluates the different perspectives present in the broad Messianic community regarding Matthew 23:2-3, and the role of the Rabbinic tradition in Torah observance.


Being Realistic About Shabbat

reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper

How the Messianic community is to properly keep Shabbat, or any Biblical commandment for that matter, is a mystery for many. There are many issues and questions that have to be weighed and taken into consideration when establishing a proper halachic orthopraxy for oneself, one’s congregation, and the movement as a whole. In the Jewish community, whether you are Orthodox or Conservative, keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is an important sign of who you are as a Jew. It is the sign that God gave the people of Israel from Mount Sinai to distinguish them from the world. When one goes to Israel today, stores close, public transportation stops, and the Old City of Jerusalem comes to a virtual standstill for a full twenty-four hours. When some in the emerging Messianic movement see how our Jewish brothers and sisters keep the Sabbath, it can seem almost foreboding and something that needs to be minimized. When our Christian brethren see how Orthodox Jews keep the Sabbath, they often run away, believing it to be a time of forced “unwork,” legalism, and anything but rest.


How Do We Properly Keep Shabbat?

reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper

How the Messianic community is to properly keep Shabbat, or any Biblical commandment for that matter, is a mystery for many. There are many issues and questions that have to be weighed and taken into consideration when establishing a proper halachic orthopraxy for oneself, one’s congregation, and the movement as a whole. In the Jewish community, whether you are Orthodox or Conservative, keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is an important sign of who you are as a Jew. It is the sign that God gave the people of Israel from Mount Sinai to distinguish them from the world.


A Summarization of Jewish Shabbat Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper

If there is any area where today’s Messianic movement tends to absolutely excel, it is with integrating a wide selection of the mainline Jewish traditions and customs for observing the Sabbath. Regardless of their background before coming to Messiah faith, religious or secular, today’s Messianic Jews tend to remember Shabbat with the common elements of lighting candles, breaking challah, drinking wine, and attending synagogue services with traditional liturgy and Torah readings. Non-Jewish Believers who have been led by the Lord into the Messianic movement, seeking to embrace more of the Hebraic and Jewish Roots of their faith, have also taken a hold of Shabbat, the opportunity for rest it offers to the people of God, and many of the significant traditions that can make the Sabbath a very holy and sanctified time.


Today’s Messianic People and Shabbat: Moving Beyond “Saturday Church”

reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper

Many people in today’s Messianic community treat the seventh-day Sabbath as a kind of “Saturday church” more than as a time to rest from labor, focus on God and one’s brethren, and enter into something special.


What Does the Shema Really Mean?

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

While the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 undoubtedly has an imperative for God’s people of worshipping, loving, and serving Him—the Shema also has an important place in religious history as it concerns monotheism. When the Ancient Israelites left Egypt, and were preparing themselves to enter into the Promised Land, they would certainly need a “statement of belief,” if you will, by which they would declare their exclusive loyalty to the LORD God, and not any of the other deities of Canaan. The Shema enjoined the requirements for God’s commandments to be taught to the people of Israel, and that they were to instruct their children.

In much of religious studies since, and most especially today, approaches to the Shema have gone beyond what was originally intended for the Ancient Israelites. While all who profess the Shema claim that their devotion is directed to the God of Israel, there can be a wide difference of approach between how the Shema is viewed in Jewish theology and Christian theology—particularly when it comes to the statement “the LORD is one.” In historical Judaism, the Lord being “one” means that God is a single entity. In historical Christianity, being “one” means that God is surely a prime entity, but that He may be composed of multiple elements like Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


The Last Seder and Yeshua’s Passover Chronology

reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper

What kind of issues present themselves when the Passover season arrives? Would you believe that there are some people in the Messianic community today who do not believe that the Last Supper was a real, or even a kind-of, seder meal? How many of you have been engulfed in the argument that we need to do exactly what Yeshua did, and not any “traditions of men,” making Passover a bit unexciting? While there are longstanding disagreements on halachah between the Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewish traditions on what is kosher for Passover, think about some of the new Messianic disagreements that have arisen on what actually took place in those days leading up to Yeshua’s betrayal and execution. How long is three days and three nights? Was the Messiah really crucified, or put to death another away? And this is only a short list of what often gets discussed…


A Summarization of Shavuot Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper

Shavuot[1] is one of three pilgrimage festivals that is commanded in the Torah (Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:16). In Hebrew, its name means “weeks,” derived from the command in Deuteronomy 16:19, “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.” Many Christians know Shavuot from its Greek-derived name “Pentecost,” as Pentēkostē means “fiftieth,” indicative of the fifty days that are to be counted between Passover and this time.


Getting Beyond Strong’s Concordance

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses the challenges of how too many people are stuck using the Strong’s Concordance dictionary for Hebrew and Greek, when there are many other, more useful tools available.


A Summarization of Sukkot Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Fall Holiday Helper

The festival of Sukkot or Tabernacles (also commonly called Booths) begins on 15 Tishri and is intended to commemorate the time that the Ancient Israelites spent in the wilderness after the Exodus. Images of the post-Exodus period, God wanting Israel to remember what happened in the desert, and perhaps most importantly the need for His people to physically be reminded of His desire to commune with them, are all themes that are seen throughout one’s observance. The Feast of Tabernacles was considered to be so important in the Torah, that God gave it the distinction of being one of the three times of ingathering, along with Passover and Shavuot (Leviticus 23:39-43).


Is Sunday “the Lord’s Day”?

reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper

We as Messianic Believers come into direct contrast with many Christians because we do not observe this “Lord’s Day,” as they call it. We keep the Biblical seventh-day Sabbath or Shabbat, the day of rest that God established for His people going back to the start of human history (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:11).


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Torah As Constitution

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

One area that receives some discussion, in various parts of the Messianic movement, is whether or not the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)—which we usually refer to as the Torah—should ever be called the Law. A statement that can be heard from time to time in our Messianic faith community, is: The Torah is teaching. The Torah is not the law. It is said that Torah just means Teaching or Instruction, and should never be referred to by the term law.


Addressing the Frequently Avoided Issues Messianics Encounter in the Torah

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

Torah observance is much more than just Shabbat, the festivals, and kosher. A great number of ethical and moral issues/commandments become significantly conscious to the Torah reader. Likewise, a person has to encounter a world going not only back some 3,300 years to the time of the Exodus, but multiplied millennia to the Creation of the cosmos itself. The questions and the controversies that the first five books of the Bible present to us, not just as students of God’s Word, but specifically as Messianic Believers—are quite significant. Many people do not know what to do when the social norms of the ancient period are different than those of today, and are often at a loss when reading the Torah. Not infrequently, such issues are just avoided or outright ignored in Messianic Torah study.


A Torah Foundation

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses how today’s broad Messianic movement does have a positive view of the Torah for God’s people in the post-resurrection era. 50 Bible passages commonly employed to claim that the Torah has been abolished, or is irrelevant, are succinctly addressed.


Micah 4:1-3; Isaiah 2:2-4: “The Torah Will Go Forth From Zion”

reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses the huge significance of the prophecies of Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4, which both anticipate how the masses from the nations of Planet Earth will stream to Zion in the Last Days to be instructed by Moses’ Teaching.


Approaching Two-House Controversies

reproduced from Israel in Future Prophecy

In our day, a wide number of non-Jewish Believers, in significant numbers, have chosen to address what many throughout religious history have called, “the Ten Lost Tribes” of Israel issue. This has often taken place because of a strong interest by many Christians in the Hebraic Roots of our faith, and a renewed interest in Israel and their faith heritage in Judaism. A loose sub-movement, commonly known by the descriptions “Judah and Ephraim” or “Two-House” or “Messianic Israel,” has gained wide adherence in various sectors of the broad, modern Messianic movement. There is no doubting the fact that it has caused controversy, consternation, and even division among many Believers…


Cross-Examining the Two-House Teaching

reproduced from Israel in Future Prophecy

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses how today’s Messianic movement is long overdue for a proper, theological, cross-examination of the challenges and issues which have arisen resultant of the Two-House teaching.


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What Does “Under the Law” Really Mean?

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

This article addresses the clause “under the Law” (Grk. hupo nomon), how it is used, and what it means in its appropriate context in view of what both the Tanach and Apostolic Scriptures tell us about the significance of God’s Torah.


What Does “Under the Law” Really Mean?–A Further Study

reproduced from The New Testament Validates Torah

This further study, of what “under the Law” really means, will consider some of the strengths and weaknesses today’s Messianic Believers have, especially when a Christian family member or friend exclaims “We’re not under the Law!” Not only will this analysis provide some more detailed answers to those who are skeptical of a Messianic’s Torah obedience, but it is engaged with contemporary thought and opinion surrounding the terminology “under the Law,” and why “under the Law” meaning “obedient to the Torah of Moses” is a poor conclusion.


The Top Ten Urban Myths of Today’s Messianic Movement

reproduced from Confronting Critical Issues

Today’s Messianic movement is in a very precarious situation. On the one hand, some good things are happening as many Jewish people are coming to faith in Messiah Yeshua, and Christians are expressing a love for Israel and embracing their Hebraic Roots. Our numbers are getting larger and larger—with many not having to really wonder what “Messianic” is any more. Many people know that when you call yourself “Messianic” you are either a Jewish Believer in Yeshua, or a non-Jewish Believer in Yeshua who has some kind of strong connection to Israel.

On the other hand, though, there are some not so good things happening today in the Messianic movement. The theology of the Messianic community and its understanding of the Bible have largely not been able to keep up with its growth. On the whole, many of the answers that we have to give in response to external criticisms of our convictions have not been very deep. They have sometimes not been examined very well from the Scriptures, and our engagement with theological discussions—in some cases going back several centuries—is often just not there. We have a great deal of progress that we must make in the coming years as a more coherent and scholastically-minded Messianic theology begins to come forward.

What needs to be done to secure a stable and secure future for today’s emerging Messianic movement? How can we be people who make a positive difference in the fallen world in which we live?


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The Waters of Immersion

reproduced from Torah In the Balance, Volume II

How do today’s Messianic people approach the issue of water immersion?


What Are “Works of the Law”?

reproduced from The New Testament Validates Torah

Anyone who enters into Pauline theological studies today will easily encounter the fact that there are scholars and exegetes who think that the term “works of law” or ergōn nomou—appearing first in Galatians (2:16[3x]; 3:2, 5, 10), and then appearing again in Romans (3:20, 28)—actually does designate something other than “works/deeds/actions required by the Mosaic Law,” or at least something a bit more specific than just “observing the law” (NIV) in general. These proposals, though, have been met with a great deal of criticism, and even some hostility, by those of particular theological traditions. Alternatives to the customary meaning of “works of law” have been proposed more frequently, as New Testament theologians, over the past fifty years or so, have had greater access to ancient Jewish literature and resources, and this information has had to be considered in their exegesis.


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How Do We that Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah?

reproduced from The Messianic Walk

Why do any of us believe that Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, is the prophesied Messiah of Israel?


A Summarization of Yom Kippur Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Fall Holiday Helper

The Day of Atonement for Messianics can equally be a challenge, because of a possible emphasis on celebration at Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShanah, instead of a serious attitude and call to reflection from the sounding of the shofar. Many Messianics likewise have difficulty reverently focusing on their relationship with the Lord, and in considering where they need to improve in their spiritual walk. For us, while recognizing that our ultimate forgiveness is indeed found in Yeshua, we still need to know that we are humans with a fallen sin nature, and that we need the Lord to empower us for good works. We need to be reminded that without Him, we are nothing, and we need to intercede for the salvation of others.


A Summarization of Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShanah Traditions

reproduced from the Messianic Fall Holiday Helper

There is a great deal of significance attached to this day in Jewish theology, as it is most often emphasized as a time when God looks down from Heaven and reconsiders where He stands with people. It is a time where we are to rejoice and celebrate, remembering His goodness to us, but also begin a sober examination of our humanity, and consider faults and sins that must be rectified.


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