Tikvat Israel

The Duty of Messianic Gentiles and Christians to the Jews

There is a lot of confusion about tithing among believers today. Are we required to tithe? Does the Torah obligate us to give 10 percent of our incomes? If so, to whom should we be tithing? At First Fruits of Zion, we get these kinds of questions about tithing all the time. It’s one of the frequently asked questions we see most often.

-Toby Janicki
“Introduction,” p.1
What About Tithing?

I started reading Toby’s book with the idea of writing a review (which I will soon), but for some reason, I found my thoughts distracted by a topic I periodically visit on my blog: the state of those of us who are called Messianic Gentiles and our relationship with Jews who live halachically Jewish lives in the acknowledgement of the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah.

I suppose it has to do with the rather “dynamic” discussion being conducted in the comments section at the Rosh Pina Project blog in their blog post What Makes a Messianic Congregation Messianic in Israel?.

The following quote from one of the comments made by Rabbi Russ Resnik crystallizes the matter at hand:

As a non-Israeli, I won’t comment on the state of Messianic Judaism there. I represent a group of congregations mostly in the USA, but worldwide as well, working to sustain a genuinely Jewish Messianic Judaism. Here’s how we define it: “The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) envisions Messianic Judaism as a movement of Jewish congregations and groups committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, and renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant. Messianic Jewish groups may also include those from non-Jewish backgrounds who have a confirmed call to participate fully in the life and destiny of the Jewish people. We are committed to embodying this definition in our constituent congregations and in our shared institutions.”

Traditionally in the Church, when we receive a Jewish person who has confessed Jesus as Messiah (in “Christianese” as “Lord and Savior”), we tend to retrofit modern Christian theology, doctrine, and practice into their lives. Even under the most benign circumstances when we “allow” the “Jewish Christian” to continue to voluntarily observe some Jewish practices such as lighting the Shabbat candles and celebrating events such as Chanukah and Passover, we really expect them to become full-fledged, card-carrying “Gentile” Christians and assimilate into our culture.

But that’s not what Rabbi Resnik is talking about and certainly not what blog author Simon Ben David is advocating. To the best I can understand their (the Messianic Judaism described by R. Resnik) position, it would seem that they desire to create an environment of Jewish people living a fully developed religious and cultural Jewish lifestyle integrated with the revelation of Yeshua HaMashiach within Judaism. Devotion to Messiah then becomes a fully lived Jewish experience completely consistent with every other aspect of Jewish life, whether one lives in Israel or any other part of the world.

Given the history of Messianic Judaism during the last thirty to forty years, that’s not going to be an easy task. Modern Messianic Judaism emerged from within Evangelical Christianity and it has been difficult to cast off that cloak and to reinvent itself as a wholly experiential Judaism, particularly with all of “Christiandom” and not a few “Hebrew Christians” perceiving Rabbinic Judaism (is there any other kind) to be alien if not antithetical to Christian theology and doctrine.

synagogueI’ve argued in support of exclusive Messianic Jewish community in the past and continue to advocate for its necessity, at least for some groups of Jewish people in Messiah, but that’s obviously a controversial subject. Where there are a number of authentically (in my opinion) Messianic synagogues in the U.S. that also admit Gentile members and attendees, this doesn’t really solve the problem of what it is to create an actual Jewish community and environment that is designed to serve Jews and that preserves Jewish people and Judaism within the Messianic context. It has been argued that admitting even a small minority of Gentiles (apart from intermarried couples) “breaks” the Jewishness of the community.

I could say that this dilemma wasn’t one that Paul worried overly much about, although we see in his Epistle to the Romans that he had a terrific time mediating between Jews and Gentiles within the synagogue, at least if my reflection of Romans 9 is any indication.

But if “Judaically-aware” Gentile believers like me want to honor the necessity of exclusive Jewish community for Messianic Jews, what happens to us?

In reading Toby’s book, one of the points he makes is that none of the Torah commandments related to tithing particularly apply to Gentiles and, in reading how the Apostolic Scriptures, including Paul’s letters to the Gentiles, treat the subject, there’s no clear “smoking gun” that directly impresses Torah mitzvot upon Gentile minds and hearts  (you’ll have to wait until I write my book review to see how all that finally worked out).

So even in Jewish community within the ekklesia of Messiah, Jews are Jews and Gentiles are Gentiles. There are areas where God does treat both groups impartially, specifically in receiving the Holy Spirit, the promise of the resurrection, and a life in the world to come for the faithful, but in the nuts and bolts of day-to-day living, we are sometimes light-years apart.

I know one of the proposed solutions is for Messianic Jews to maintain exclusively Jewish communities and for “Messianic Gentiles” to maintain exclusively Gentile communities, separate but equal, so to speak. The latter Gentile communities are readily available in just about any part of the world. They’re called churches. But “church” is almost a “dirty word” to many Gentiles who align with the Messianic movement and almost certainly with all or almost all non-Jews within what has been called “Hebrew Roots” or “Jewish Roots” which encompasses sub-groups such as “One Law,” “One Torah,” “Two-House,” and “Sacred Name.”

I’ve defended identifying myself as a Messianic Gentile based on how I conceptualize Bible study and particularly how I operationalize the New Covenant, and it’s that “mindset” that largely separates me from the vast majority of Evangelical (and just about any other kind of) Christians in existence past and present. So while it’s technically correct to call me a “Christian,” I actually don’t see key portions of my faith in the same way as the folks I go to Sunday school with.

One of the things I took away from Toby’s book is that the practice of tithing has become adaptive over time, especially after the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 C.E., and yet tithing has continued. Reading the Didache which Toby also cites, shows us how this particular Torah principle was modified and presented in the teachings of the novice Gentiles training to be disciples into the 2nd century and beyond.

In fact, Toby quoted D.T. Lancaster’s “Torah Club: Unrolling the Scroll” (Marshfield, MO: First Fruits of Zion, 2007), p. 598, saying:

The early believers were Torah keepers, and they wanted to continue keeping the commandment…

-Janicki, p. 49

Defining what I think Toby meant by identifying Gentiles as “Torah keepers” is outside the scope of this essay, but suffice it to say that the principles of ethical monotheism enshrined in the Torah were adapted on various levels to apply to the legal status of the Gentiles who were operating as equal co-participants in the Jewish religious and communal space of “the Way”.

Reading of the Torah at Beth ImmanuelWe aren’t removed from the principles of “the Law,” and Gentile believers were never to be considered “lawless,” but even nearly two-thousand years ago, integration of Gentiles within a Judaism was problematic at best, and the sociological and historic reality is that the relationship ended in a messy divorce.

So are we (Gentile) Christians or Messianic Gentiles or what the heck are we?

As individuals or Gentile groups of believers, I think we end up having to define ourselves by our theology, doctrine, and preferred associations, but in relation to Messianic Judaism it becomes a bigger issue. I know I’ve opened up this can of worms before and closing it again is never easy. But if you go to the Rosh Pina Project blog, read the blog post in question and particularly some of the more emotionally charged comments, you’ll see there’s another side to the coin besides the Gentile side.

I don’t think it’s selfish, and as I mentioned quite recently, I find it quite necessary for both Jews and Gentiles to recognize the distinctions between our roles and identities in Messiah:

When writing on Deuteronomy 22:7 and 22:10, R. Pliskin crafted commentaries called Even when engaged in a mitzvah be sensitive to the feelings of others and Be careful not to cause others to envy. The underlying principles being expressed here are applicable both to Jewish people observing the mitzvot and Gentiles who think they should do so in the manner the Jews are commanded.

One of the things I must (sorry to say this) criticize J.K. McKee for was a statement he made in his book One Law for All: From the Mosaic Texts to the Work of the Holy Spirit about the issue of Jewish distinctiveness in the Messianic community of believers. I don’t recall the exact quote, but he made what I consider to be some rather snarky remarks about these Jewish people being exclusivist and even petty in desiring to have their covenant role as Jews recognized and respected.

And yet we see there’s a principle in Torah observance that recognizes distinctiveness of roles and even that a person whose role does not include the performance of particular mitzvot can actually hurt or inflict pain upon others. While we Gentiles may believe Jews are deliberately provoking us to envy because of their status before God, we, for our part, when we claim mitzvot that are not consistent with our role, are being injurious to the very people and nation we claim to love.

Sorry to “butt heads” with Mr. McKee again, but the quote was required to illustrate my point.

I still don’t have an answer to this conundrum because one doesn’t exist yet. Paul never solved this problem. I think he saw it coming and was helpless to stop it, even though his letter to the Romans was an impassioned plea urging Gentile respect and even submissiveness to the Jewish synagogue authorities for the sake of not being a stumbling block for those Jews still struggling with faith.

Twenty centuries ago, Jewish believers were at least a little hesitant to absorb large numbers of non-Jews, particularly those recently coming out of paganism, without having them undergo the proselyte rite, converting to Judaism, and integrating into Jewish community as Jews. The last two-thousand years or so have given world Jewry many good reasons to be leery of Christianity, both in its emphasis in attempting to remove Jews from Judaism and assimilate them into a wholly Gentile lived identity, and in the perception from other Jews that any Jew who associates with Gentile believers has turned against their people, their heritage, and the Torah and have become aliens and Christians.

daveningMessianic Judaism as a movement is a diamond in the rough, a work in progress, certainly a work of art, but the paint is only partially applied to the canvas and the artist is still considering His brushes and His color palette in anticipation of continuing to create His Masterpiece, which I believe will only be finished with the coming (return) of Messiah Ben David.

But if that makes you Messianic Gentiles uncomfortable, remember that Messianic Jews are in no less an uncertain state as the aforementioned guest blog post by Simon Ben David attests. Standing aside and not debating the wisdom of Jews establishing Jewish communities for the Jews in Messiah may be the best thing we can do as non-Jewish believers to serve the work of the Kingdom. Rather than require that Jews abandon their covenant responsibilities to God by abandoning the Torah or inappropriately “shoehorning” our Gentile selves into those Jewish obligations, the path of charity, kindness, compassion and, if you must think of it as such, self-sacrifice for the sake of your Jewish brothers and sisters in the ekklesia, may in the end be the best way we can serve the redemptive plan of God for Israel and ultimately, for the world.

Oh, I’m including one more thing I think is relevant to the topic:

Kippah for a Non-Jew

I have a few Jewish friends who wear kippahs and sometimes when I’m hanging out with them I feel out of place. Even though I am not Jewish, would there be any problem with me wearing a kippah, too?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Well, on one hand, the Pope wears a kippah.

But on the other hand, a non-Jew should not wear a kippah, since that might deceive others into thinking that he is Jewish.

In practice, non-Jews will sometimes wear a kippah while attending a Jewish religious function (many world leaders have been photographed at the Western Wall wearing a kippah), but in general a non-Jew should not wear one, due to the confusion it may cause.

However, since the idea of a kippah is to have the head covered as a reminder of God, you could certainly use some other head covering, like a cap, to serve that purpose.

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27 thoughts on “The Duty of Messianic Gentiles and Christians to the Jews”

  1. James, I disagree with you on the “exclusive Messianic Jewish community” subject, as I’ve said before. To me, it feels like were rebuilding that wall that was once tore down (to loosely quote Paul). Look what Paul says in Romans 9:32, “They did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.” We can agree that Jews are Jews (Messianic or not) based on their Torah which is like a national identity marker that shows their distinctiveness. But we can’t allow ourselves to go back to what Paul was warning about in Romans 9:32, in that Israel was taking HaShem’s wider purpose and focusing it back on itself. Jews have a covenantal responsibility, no doubt, but HaShem’s plan has always been through Israel for the world and not through Israel apart from the world. By being part of one community in Messiah, we don’t have to erase distinctive roles, but we don’t need to build barriers either.

  2. I recently commented on Romans 9, so I suppose that factors into my response. Also, in the body of this blog post, I stated that this wouldn’t be much of an issue for Paul, since his struggle was the integration of Gentiles into Jewish communal space (a challenge he never was able to resolve), but things aren’t the same now as they were when Paul was engaged in his mission to the Gentiles. There are two issues to consider as I mentioned above:

    The last two-thousand years or so have given world Jewry many good reasons to be leery of Christianity, both in its emphasis in attempting to remove Jews from Judaism and assimilate them into a wholly Gentile lived identity, and in the perception from other Jews that any Jew who associates with Gentile believers has turned against their people, their heritage, and the Torah and have become aliens and Christians.

    We can’t just blunder into all this as if conditions are as we wish they would be. We need to start with the reality we’re presented with. No doubt with the passage of time and particularly with the return of Messiah, a positive resolution will be presented within the ekklesia that will allow Jews and Gentiles in Messiah to co-exist in peace, but right now, the Church has nearly twenty centuries of Jewish blood on its hands. We can’t wish it away. It will take time and patience. By not impeding Jewish Messianics from developing their own synagogues and their own communities, we can help repair the damage that’s been done, establish some trust, and pave the way for further developments. And even if that doesn’t happen quickly or even in our lifetimes, what does it hurt us to let Jewish people congregate with other Jewish people in Messiah without any significant Gentile presence. Also, since when have the Jews in Messiah needed Christian permission to do such a thing?

  3. That’s quite alright. This blog isn’t about just getting a bunch of people together to have the same opinions but to compare and discuss where we disagree and why.

  4. What I’ve been trying to communicate in this blog post is easily lost, especially to Christian audiences who take Ephesians 2:14 far too literally and see it as a directive to eliminate everything that makes a Jewish person Jewish from their lives and replace it with the idea that united always must mean uniform and homogenous.

    No Keith, I’m not aiming this at you, but for every person who is willing to state their opinion here, no doubt there are tens or hundreds who read silently and do not share their thinking and feelings.

    Being intermarried, I get something of an insider’s view about why Jewish community is important to individual Jews. I know there will always be a part of my wife’s life I cannot enter and while that can be a little lonely at times, it’s something I’ve resolved to live with because I have no choice and because I know that God really did set the Jewish people apart, whether they be Jewish people in Messiah or otherwise.

    I was doing part of my daily studies earlier when I came across the following Daf which I paste in this comment in its entirety (see below). I hope it will help get across why Jewish community is so unique to Jews and why it is our duty as non-Jewish disciples of the Jewish Messiah to support and uplift that community and help them to thrive. For the vast, vast majority of Church history, we’ve done nothing but burn Torah scrolls, burn volumes of Talmud, burn synagogues, shut Jews up in ghettos, and attempt to stop Jewish people from being Jewish by forcibly converting them to Christianity via threats and torture or just outright murdering them.

    Forbidding (as if we had the right or power) Jews in Messiah from forming their own synagogues and gathering in Jewish communities is just another crime of Christians against Jews, even as we claim to love Israel and love the Jewish people.

    Here’s the quote:

    The mitzvah of “Hakhel” is where the Jews gather to listen as the King reads from Sefer Devarim. The Torah says that all are to gather, “the men, women, and children” (Devarim 31:12). In a parallel context (see Mechilta, Bo #16), Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya pointed out that the men come to study the words of the king, the women come to listen, and the children are brought to provide merit for those who bring them. When Rabbi Yehoshua heard these words, he was exceedingly impressed, and he exclaimed, “How fortunate are you, Avraham Avinu, to have Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya as your descendant!” What so impressed Rabbi Yehoshua, and why did he credit Avraham Avinu for this insight?

    Harav Mordechai Rogow explains that the Jewish nation throughout all generations is united and interconnected. When an insightful and brilliant Torah lesson is taught by a scholar, although it may be many years after the time of Avraham Avinu, the spiritual satisfaction and pleasure which it causes is shared by all Jews of all times. This is also the case for any merit which is generated by any Jew at any moment, no matter how distant one may be from another in place or in time. Even as individuals, we each have a great responsibility to the nation as a whole. Our merits transcend the generations, and our entire people benefit, dating as far back as those who were redeemed from Egypt, and even back to Avraham Avinu.

    Furthermore, the episode of Hakhel is described as one where the fathers listen intently and study the words of Torah which are uttered by the king. The women come to hear for themselves and to bring the children to be witness to this grand event. Yet the Gemara writes that the parents earn reward for bringing the children. What is the meaning of this?

    Herein is contained a powerful message. If parents exert a concerted effort to bring their children to the Beis Midrash they thereby demonstrate their goals and aspirations that these children be provided an environment of Torah and kedusha. With this infusion of training and nurturing, these youths are set on their path of commitment to Torah and Yiddishkeit. As a result, they will certainly be deserving of merit. It is critical that the parents be personally involved and that the children observe them as positive role models. There is nothing that can replace the direct involvement of parents and their partnership with Torah teachers in the education of the youth, as is demonstrated by the Hakhel event. When the adults fulfill their responsibilities, they can be assured that Hashem will assist and have their efforts meet with success.

    “The Mitzvah of Hakhel”
    Distinctive Insight for Sept. 11, 2014
    Daf Yomi Digest on Chagiga 3
    from the Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed

  5. About Eph.2:14-15 — As you pointed out, James, there is rather a lot of misunderstanding about what is that “law of commandments in ordinances” whose enmity is removed by Rav Yeshua’s martyrdom, thus removing a barrier that kept gentiles out as in verse 12: “excluded”, “strangers”, “hopeless”, “godless”. Let us be clear that it is not the Torah which is removed, but only “enmity” is removed. In other words, gentiles who align themselves with Rav Yeshua are no longer at odds with Torah, nor with Jews, even though they are not legally bound to its full observance as Jews are. They have been brought near and are no longer excluded, hopeless, godless strangers. The two demographic segments have been assembled into a single ecclesial body of those who trust HaShem, despite their continuing distinctiveness, just as a man and a woman remain distinct in gender and concomitant responsibilities even after they become “one flesh” in marriage. They both (they all) have equal access to their heavenly Father, and in that way they are not different; but in other ways they continue to be different with different requirements and different responsibilities.

    The demolished dividing wall was enmity, not difference; and the enmity was against the ways of HaShem that are expressed in Torah and upheld by the Jewish people. Jews who maintain their distinctiveness in separate venues or on the other side of a mehitzah are not erecting a wall of enmity; but gentiles who resent and attempt to deny this distinction actually ARE re-establishing a wall of enmity that was supposedly torn down.

  6. James said: “No Keith, I’m not aiming this at you.”

    Well, it’s seems like I sparked it, so I think I’ll respond.

    When I was talking about rebuilding a wall, I had Galatians chapter 2 in mind, not Ephesians 2:14. I was referencing what Paul rebuked Peter for.

    I’m not asking Jews to go to church. Heck, I won’t even go to church. I’m all for Jews building Messianic synagogues. I frequently attend one that’s part of the UMJC. I think the UMJC has a good thing going. It allows Jews to worship in a community and context that their life calls for and it welcomes Gentiles to be a part of that community.

    I get this feeling from certain people (not going to drop names) that won’t come right out and say it, but they imply this: “You Gentiles go do your own thing and leave us Jewish people to ourselves.”

    In my opinion, Lancaster’s Beth Immanuel Synagogue should be the ideal model that Messianic Judaism should strive for.

    For theological sake, I’m somewhere between NT Wright and Bilateral Eschatology. Hope this clears up any confusion.

    If I could reword my earlier response to you, James, it would be that I see it *slightly* different that you. I think if we sat down for a cup of coffee, we’d really see how much we do have in common.

  7. Actually, I wrote about the problem with Peter we see in Gal. 2 based on Mark Nanos’ work. I suspect, as you say, we are more alike than unalike, Keith. But while Beth Immanuel is a good example of a Messianic synagogue that has integrated Jewish and Gentile populations within a Jewish worship and study model, some might argue that it’s not Messianic Jewish because the majority of the leadership and attendees aren’t Jewish.

    I’m sure a conversation over coffee would be wonderful, Keith.

  8. Here’s something that I thought I’d pass along, just in case you didn’t see it on Facebook already. It kinda pertains to what you’re saying about Beth Immanuel.

    Back on August 29th, Beth Immanuel wrote this status on it’s wall: “Beth Immanuel is a real community, with several families living in the neighborhood of our Messianic Jewish synagogue in Hudson, Wisconsin.”

    I responded to their status with this comment: “I was under the impression, from what I’ve read on certain blogs, that Beth Immanuel was not labeled a Messianic Jewish synagogue because the leadership is Gentile. From what I understood, that’s why it’s called Sabbath Fellowship. Could you please explain?”

    Here is what they responded back to me with: “We consider ourselves a Messianic Jewish synagogue due to the structure and function of our community and the fact that we practice Messianic Judaism. We have Jewish people in our constituency and we desire to be a home for Messianic Jews as well as Messianic Gentiles. For a more detailed response, email the leadership at office@bethimmanuel.org.”

  9. Hmmm. Interesting, Keith. I got a different impression from Troy Mitchell when he commented on one of my blog posts, and particularly in dialogue with Rabbi Carl Kinbar. I suspect different areas of the Messianic Jewish community have somewhat differing perspectives on what is and isn’t “Messianic Judaism.”

  10. But I think that, philosophically, we could really have some fun with a notion like: “Bilateral Eschatology”! As Linus once exclaimed in Charles Shultz’s cartoon opus “Peanuts”: “Why, the theological implications alone are staggering!” [:)]

  11. Hmmm…. Your Wikipedia reference under the “Christian” link seems to open the notion up to “Multilateral Eschatology”; which really drives the theological impact up a notch or two (or seven). I do think I prefer the Jewish link.

  12. Peace to all,

    Check this article out on Torah Musings, “How to get to the times of Mashiach”:

    “One of Mashiach’s tasks is bringing the whole world to recognize Hashem (after all, if that’s the goal of Creation, we’d expect Mashiach to be part of it). This was the contention of R. Eliezer in Avodah Zarah 24a, which R. Yosef supported from Tsefaniah 3:9, saying that Hashem will eventually call out to the nations in a clear voice to worship Hashem, as the Jews do. While Abbaye suggested that might imply only an abandonment of idolatry, R. Yosef noted that the verse speaks of them worshipping right alongside the Jews.

    Ran relates that to Midrash Eichah Rabbah 2:13. The verse says, “What can I match with you to console you,” and the Midrash reads that as “when I match [the non-Jews] to you, I will console you.” For Ran, that expresses the simple truth that the reason for tension and conflict between Jews and non-Jews is the Torah’s differentiating us from them. Ran gives the examples of intermarriage and the prohibition against eating certain foods. In the time of Mashiach, when non-Jews will share our approach to the world (Ran may expect non-Jews to convert to Judaism), that tension will disappear.

    Although Ran does not make much of it here, Ran has just revealed to us that the Jews of his time chafed at the prohibitions of intermarriage and kosher, seeing those rules as generating tension with their non-Jewish neighbors.

    Mashiach Will Do It

    Ran demonstrates that bringing non-Jews to recognize Hashem is part of Mashiach’s job from Ya’akov’s blessing to Yehudah, Bereshit 49:10 “לא יסור שבט מיהודה…ולו יקהת עמים, The scepter shall not depart from Yehudah… And the homage of peoples be his.” The challenge of this verse is that it seems not to have come true. Ran notes that Ramban claimed that anyone from outside Yehudah who ruled over the Jewish people had violated this edict of Ya’akov’s (including the Maccabees, or Hashmonaim).

    Ran offers several possible readings of the verse. For example, he suggests that the promise is only applicable when the Jews are independent, whereas the Hashmonaim were overseen by the Romans. Alternatively, the promise was that Yehudah would always have some rule, such as the job of Resh Galuta, the head of the Exile.

    But Ran closes with the view that this promise was only meant for the times of Mashiach, that Ya’akov meant that the reign of Yehudah would return, however long the interruption. When it does, Mashiach will rule over Jews and non-Jews, all of whom will admit that Hashem runs the world. As Zechariah 14:9 says, “on that day, Hashem will be One, and His Name will be One.”

    Where Did Ran Leave Us?

    This ending pushes us in a new direction. Having again noted that Rabbinic law is central to developing fear of Heaven, which is itself central to the commandments, Ran’s introduction of universal awe of Hashem in the times of Mashiach expands the conversation considerably. He implies that not only is Rabbinic law important for the Jew’s relationship to halachah and for avoiding denigrating Hashem’s word, Rabbinic law (produced by the human intellect’s best efforts to understand Hashem’s will) is crucial to non-Jews’ eventual concession of the truth of the Torah.

    A key function of Mashiach is bringing non-Jews into the fold, as it were. That itself will reduce or eliminate hatred of the Jews, since our differences from them are what fuel that hatred. From this Drasha, it seems that Rabbinic law contributes importantly to hastening both those goals, Mashiach and world peace. This is an especially striking message to a Jewish community living among Christians, who accepted the authority of the Bible but not of Chazal.”

    Very telling! 🙂

  13. @James, I guess I was wrong. Or I was just quoting from the front page in an attempt to smooth out the dissonance. Either way, I guess I was mostly trying to communicate that we understand we do not have a majority Jewish congregation and we’re O.K. with that. Although we would welcome and love more Jewish people to attend, we wouldn’t find it necessary to close up shop just because we don’t have a majority of Jewish people attending. To sum up. For the most part, I believe that we have a place where Jews and gentiles can functionally come together and work together towards bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

  14. As a Torah Observant Messianic Gentile, I daresay I am supposed to say that I practice Messianic Judaism. I don’t. I do not take on the Halacha that is part of the Jewish culture and religious observance. I follow the commandments in the simplest way, and study all 613 of those listed as a means of informing me as to Jewish practice, ritual and prayer. Then I perform my mitzvoth in a simple Gentile-ish way.

    I admire the Messianic Jews, and that they hold to their culture and traditions while studying all of the Scriptures is as it should be. I do know that they do not wanting me to dress and act like a pious Messianic Jew when I am not adopted into the tribal family of Jews, but none the less I hope they rejoice that I am grafted into Israel through Yehoshua in the fulfilment of the promises to Abraham, and although I take on what I can of the Sinai Covenant, I really am only doing what Yehoshua wanted…to be obedient as best I can.

    My heart, however, longs for a time and place where Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles can learn together, and have some fellowship, asking questions, and getting answers that are then discussed even if never resolved. I want the input from my Messianic Brothers to enrich my life, and I want to share with them not any type of Christianity, never having been a part of the Christian Church, but merely to share my experiences as a Messianic Gentile, and what I have learned, from the Scriptures, and the Ruach haKodesh in the rather solitary existence of a Messianic Gentile, where our fellowship is primarily with YHVH alone.

  15. My experience in a Messianic Jewish synagogue was a most excellent one. I attended a very strong, vital synagogue for about three years. I was respected and, I feel, appreciated, for my interest and demeanor, as I sat and listened and learned more than I spoke out. I contributed my point of view when asked and raised my hand alot to ask questions. I was a “stranger in a strange land,” so to speak and was grateful to be so, as I was able to take in some of the same air that Yeshua breathed.
    In my humble opinion, if Messianic Gentiles knew their place in history and in relation to Messianic Jews today – younger siblings all but ignorant of Judaism – there would be less problems between the two aspects of the body of Messiah.
    I was born into an Irish-Italian family and then entered into a Jewish world as an adult. It did not take an inordinate amount of wisdom to sit down and shut-up and listen and learn. As has been said, somewhere, I suppose, it is difficult for one to hear when one is continually talking. I was there to be “naturalized” as citizen of the commonwealth, a grateful refugee and appreciative immigrant. I will never forget the love that this congregation of Messianic Jews demonstrated to me, nor will I ever forget the radical changes in my view of everything pertaining to HaShem that positioned me closer to Him than I’ve ever been. I am eternally grateful. Now I’ll sit down, once again, and shut-up.

  16. James,
    For this is the truth that not anybody can claim Christian especially if they were classified as a gentile people for even an Israeli if they were classified as unqualified to the Covenant of God because the New Covenant Plan of God especially on the Messianic or Christianity Covenant Period is an EXCLUSIVE COVENANT only to the household of Israel. And you can check this out in the Gospel about the COMMISSIONSHIP JOB of Yeshua Messiah in Mt. 1:21 and Mt. 15:24, that he will save his countrymen, for he was send only to the household of Israel! And to Justify this Salvation Task on it’s accomplishment, you can read Rev. 14:1-5 that only the 144,000 Chosen Israelites have been REGATHERED at 72 Disciples every year for 2000 years or 2 Days in God count as set aside period to this Covenant. And there were “no added adapted” pseudo gentile Christian among these Chosen Israelites. If you were curious in reading this revelation, these saved 144,000 have their unique mark in their forehead as mark of their Salvation of Knowing the son’s name and his father name!
    So with this fact, if you think you are also an adapted Christian, we may ask this question “into what name of the father you also have been baptize by your pastor or minister?” If you can answer it then we will know it but if you do not know it because your pastor or minister also do not know it! This is the proven fact that your faith is not also in the truth of God have planned and what must you do now is to update your faith knowledge in accordance to what God have planned.
    And to tell you frankly, the “UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT” have already been proclaim by Yeshua Messiah since 1st Century (this is retroactive to all the people of the world) in Mt. 25:31-46 and all the gentile religion of the the world have been already condemn judged by Yeshua Messiah in Mt. 25:41.. For the “KINGDOM” was prepared only by God to the Sheep or the CHOSEN ISRAELITES! (please read the whole Judgment for clarification) May our living lord God Bless Us All!
    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  17. James,
    Sorry for what we wrote for it is the higher topic of the God Plan. But we really understand your situation encounter with the Israeli people (Jew) for being a gentile, especially you are within the period of the Messianic Covenant and its Exclusiveness to the Israeli only. Which many gentiles and even some Israelites do not know this Exclusiveness up to date. Because they really do not know how God have Plan each formulation. And what you also do not know of the truth of this Exclusive Covenant is that this is applied only by selection to all the chosen tribes of Israel (excluding the two tribes of Dan and Ephraim to this Covenant Period), by choosing one by one Call Out from every tribes and once a Call Out overcome all the prerequisites requirement guideline imposed mandatorily by God, they will receive the complete baptism of the Holy Spirit by knowing the son name and the father name, to become a full pledge Messianic Disciple of Yeshua Messiah which you can read the accomplishment saving task of Yeshua Messiah in Rev. 14:1-5 to prove to all the Exclusiveness of this Covenant, that is rewarded only to the 144,000 Chosen Israelites and No Added Written Adapted or Grafted gentile Christian or messianic gentile with them! So, not all Israeli is a Messianic!
    We told you this, because of what you believe to what A. Paul wrote in Romans letter about the gentile can also be save and can be also grafted? What Paul meant here is that he is not referring it to the literal gentile people like you but he is referring it to his separated countrymen of the 10th North Kingdom of Israel which at that time they consider them as gentiles because of their idolatrous sin before God. But because they were among the Covenanted tribes to the Promise of God which Paul also wrote in Efe. 3:6, that the gentile (the 10 North Kingdom of Israel) were heirs to the Kingdom (No literal gentile at that time). That’s why Paul also wrote in Rom. 9:5-6, for they are not all Israel which are of Israel! We quote this so that you may also distinctly check who really you are serving messianic Jew leader or pastor. If he is really a true Messianic disciple of Yeshua Messiah or not! If it is really a true Messianic, you are really oblige to serve! But is still you cannot merit the salvation but only literal blessing of God in your life. But if it is not true messianic therefore its your time to get out and search for the real one while you have a little time to work for it.
    Since you are already a member of a gentile messianic Jew congregation, we may ask you if you have also received the complete baptism of the Holy Spirit by knowing the son name and the father name from your pastor or leader of your messianic Jew congregation? If you will tell us that you have received it then we may ask you, into what name of the father you have been baptize by your pastor? If you don’t know it then, you can ask your pastor the same question we ask you? If he could not also answer you, that is the proof that he is not a true messianic disciple of Yeshua Messiah! And this is now the time for you to get out of them and you are already free from the bonded misery of your life with them.
    And hurry up, for the Universal Judgment for all the people and their religion of the world have been already proclaimed by Yeshua Messiah since 1st Century in Mt. 25:31-46 and still your pastor or leader of your messianic congregation does not TACKLE this judgment to you. Wherein all the gentile nation plus their religion is condemn judged read Mt. 25:41.. And this judgment is RETROACTIVE, that is if one will not comply to update their faith belief, you are automatically condemn judged! But if you will comply to update, you may be rewarded of the full knowledge of the faith Plan of God and can acquire salvation prepare at this “Hour Judgment of God Period” for the salvation of the gentile world. This letter can help in your search for truth of the Plan of God. May our lord God bless you to understand us! (NOTE: We are not recruiting but we are only giving information about the TRUTH Plan of God for salvation.)
    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

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