Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Two Jews walk into a blog

True Discernment includes a post that touches on two very different Jewish-Christian organizations.

Let's start with Beit Tefillah Messianic Fellowship, which bills itself as "A Torah-Observant Assembly of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in Yeshua HaMoshiach (Jesus the Messiah)."

Since I'm into statements of belief, let's look at theirs:

Statement of Faith

PREAMBLE: That we might have unity among us, and that we all speak the same thing as regards the foundation of our faith, and that with integrity we present our witness of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah as those who walk in His light, (I Corinthians 1:10 & Acts 2:42) let it be hereby established that we believe....

1. All Scripture (Tanach - Torah, Prophets, Writings) which is completed in the Ketuvim Shalichim (the Apostolic Writings, commonly known as the New Testament) is given by the Breath/Spirit of Elohim [G-d], and is to be used for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:15-17, I Thessalonians 2:13, II Peter 1:21)

2. Hear, O Israel: YHVH [the L-RD, the Most High] is our Elohim. He is One. He alone is ADONAI. (Deuteronomy 6:4 & Isaiah 43:10-11)

3. The nature of ADONAI is a compound unity expressed in the aspects of Abba [the Father], Yeshua [Jesus, Salvation, the Son, the Messiah] and Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit/Breath] in this age. (Matthew 28:19 & Isaiah 48:16-17)

4. Adonai and His Word are eternal. That is: He, His Word and His Will has always been, and will always be, the same. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8 & Matthew 5:18; 24:35)

5. The Shabbat [Sabbath], the seventh day of the week, is the created holy day of Adonai, which He gave to mankind and covenanted with His people as a sign forever. (Exodus 31:16, Genesis 2:2-3, Isaiah 58:13-14 & Matthew 12:8)

6. Yeshua of Natzeret (Jesus) is the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is Adonai who appeared among mankind in the flesh, and now is glorified with all power in Heaven and in Earth, at the right hand of Abba. (John 1:12-14, Acts 7:55-56 & Hebrews 10:12)

7. Messiah Yeshua is the ultimate and final sacrifice required for the removal of sins. He was born of a virgin, was sinless and performed miracles. He died by execution stake (stagion) on a tree (xulon) an atoning death and rose from the dead three days afterward. Everyone who believes the above, repents of their sins and trusts that Yeshua is the Messiah, are forgiven their sins and come into a renewed covenant with Adonai through Him. Therefore they become inheritors of all the promises Adonai made with Abraham and Israel. (John 1:29, Isaiah 7:14;9:6-7, Matthew 1, Hebrews 4:15; 2:4, Leviticus 17:11, Isaiah 53, Psalms 22, Romans 5:6-11, Ephesians 2:8, Matthew 27:50-28:20, Romans 10:9-12 & I Corinthians 5-7)

8. The Ketuvim Shalichim [the Apostolic Writings, commonly known as the New Testament] in Messiah Yeshua brings with it a new creation of the human spirit. The Torah [Law/Teachings/Instructions] of Adonai is planted inside so the Ruach HaKodesh may indwell. An external immersion in water (mikveh) is performed to declare that this has taken place. (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:26-27; 39:29, Matthew 3:16; 28:18-20 & Acts 2:38)

9. The various enablements or gifts of the Ruach HaKodesh are given with authority to all those who ask Adonai and obey His commandments. The Promise of Abba, an extra enduement of power and boldness for witnessing, is an immersion (spiritual mikveh) by the Ruach HaKodesh, as initially evidenced with speaking in other languages. Each follower should seek to be filled with the various enablements of the Ruach, who gives them as He wishes. (Joel 2:27-29, Isaiah 28:11-12, Luke 11:13, Acts 1:4-5; 2:4; 5:32; 10:44-48, I Corinthians 12:1-13 & Ephesians 1:13)

10. The people of Adonai are a holy Miqra Qahal [Called Out/Ekklesia] congregation, which is not of this world, in order to gather and celebrate Him at His appointed holy Feasts, to shine as lights of truth in the darkness and to be a royal priesthood which praises His Name. (Leviticus 23, Matthew 16:18)

11. The goals of the people of Adonai are:

a.) To be followers of Yeshua the Messiah, until we mature into the example He left us and to know Him. (Ephesians 4:13 & Matthew 7:20-27)
b.) To be holy and separate from the world as our Abba is holy. Therefore, we are to learn and act on those things which makes us holy in His sight. (Leviticus 11:44-45 & Ephesians 5:27)
c.) To be righteous (right decision making) and godly (forgiving) in this world. (Titus 2:12)
d.) To be clean, first in our conscious inner man, and then also in our outward walk accordingly as we grow in the Ruach [Spirit] and understanding of the Word. (Psalm 51:10 & 1 Thessalonians 4:7)
e.) To be full of love for one another, thus proving we are Yeshua's disciples; and caring for a lost world, to bring the message of the Good News of Yeshua to the Jew first and also to the Gentiles. (John 13:34-35, Romans 1:16 & 1 John 4:7-8)
12. The promise of a continually faithful trust in Yeshua, while walking according to the will of Adonai, is resurrection from the dead, eternal life and ruling with Yeshua forever in the place where His Kingdom will rule. He will yet rule in Jerusalem/Zion, and finally in the New Jerusalem in the New Creation forever. (Job 19:25-27, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 & Revelation 19-22)

13. Yeshua will judge all mankind of every act and word ever committed. He will decide the sentence for punishment, and all those not meeting His standards will be sent away from His presence, into outer darkness and eternal punishment for the sin. (Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:31-46 & Revelation 20)

14. The final plan for the Israel of G-d is to bring the remnant of the faithful Jewish people, and the remnant of those believers who were formerly Gentiles, but recovered from the world by faith, back together and united into one holy people under one Shepherd, namely Yeshua, the Messiah, This will complete the tearing down of the wall of partition, which is a necessary part of the restoration of all things spoken by the prophets. (Isaiah 56:8, Hosea 1-2, John 10:16, Romans 9:26 & Acts 3:21)

15. Jews according to the flesh (descendants of Abraham through Isaac, whether through the bloodline of the mother or the father) who place their faith in Israel's Messiah Yeshua have not disowned or separated themselves from their race and Judaic heritage, but remain sons and daughters of Israel. Thus should celebrate their heritage and traditions. Gentiles who place their faith in Israel's Messiah Yeshua are also spiritually sons and daughters of Israel and thus also share in this rich and meaningful heritage. (Romans 2:28-29, Acts 21:17-26, Galatians 3:28-29 & Deuteronomy 28)

16. The middle wall of partition which in times past separated Jews and Gentiles has been broken down; the enmity between them eradicated by the Messiah Yeshua (Ephesians 2:12-14)

17. The Renewed Covenant body of Adonai is composed of both Jews and Gentiles who have accepted Israel's Messiah Yeshua as the promised Redeemer and that now they are to worship together in the House of Elohim. (John 10:16, I Corinthians 12:13, & Hebrews 10:25)

18. It is our prayer that Adonai will bring back the church to an understanding of its Jewish heritage and roots so that both Jew and Gentile may know the spiritual reality of being one in the Messiah Yeshua.

I personally do not believe in statement 5 as written, which seems to be but a subset of the words in Romans 14:5-6.

Romans 14:5-6 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

(Incidentally, by the same token, I do not think that Adventists or Sports Church-allied communities are sinful if they DON'T worship on Sunday.)

But I'd much rather join the people in Fresno than the people in Louisville (Lew White's "Fossilized Customs" web site). Here's their beliefs:


"obey the Commandments of Elohim AND hold to the Testimony of Yahushua".

Group #1: There are those who are born in the Covenant (Torah) yet don't believe that Yahushua is the Mashiach; these are usually called "Jews" by modern terminology. As long as they observe the Covenant, they are "ISRAEL". They don't "hold to the Testimony of Yahushua", so they are not "first-fruits" - but because of the Covenant they are ISRAEL.

Group #2: There are those who "hold to the Testimony of Yahushua", but DON'T observe the Commandments of Yahuah (the Covenant, or Torah). They feel that simply "believing" is all that is necessary -- anything beyond that is attempting to "save" themselves. They are also taught that the "Old Covenant" (Commandments) were "done away", or "nailed to the cross", and that only "Jews" have to obey the Covenant, the 10 Commandments. They feel they are "spiritual Israel" through their belief in Yahushua. Because of this, they are victims of "Replacement Theology", and we can see clearly that this group is not the "first-fruits" spoken of at Rev. 14 either. But, most dangerously, because they don't observe the Covenant, they are NOT ISRAEL, and therefore are not in any "Covenant relationship" with Yahuah in any way -- although they are taught that they are. They don't "obey the Commandments of Elohim", therefore they cannot be ISRAEL. Ephesians 2 explains that we become citizens of Israel through the Covenant, and Yahushua is the Mediator of it, writing it upon our hearts. This group must continue to believe in Yahushua, and ENGRAFT into ISRAEL by observing the Commandments of Yahuah, as He wrote them.

Group #3: Those who "obey the Commandments of Elohim AND hold to the Testimony of Yahushua" are the "first-fruits", and are called Natsarim (watchmen, branches), or Nazarene Israel. "foreigners" are "formerly Gentiles in the flesh"; but when they believe AND obey, they become ISRAEL -- they are NO LONGER GENTILES.

Two comments:

  • See Galatians 3.

  • I would think that anyone, Christian, pseudo-Christian, or otherwise, who claims that we have to observe the Law, would realize that the entire Law would need to be observed, including the Temple sacrifices.
Ah, but Jewschool links to an article that discusses just that:

The present-day Sanhedrin Court along with a group of extremist rabbis announced their plans on Wednesday to resume ancient Temple practices of animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, despite religious bans by Moslems and Jews.

The court purchased herds of sheep for ritual sacrifice, which they have planned for the eve of Passover, depending on the situation at the controversial religious site....

The 71 members of the Sanhedrin have all the required elements necessary for Temple sacrifice, including the ritual altar, and said they want to begin sacrificing animals again, despite the absence of the Temple. Professor Hillel Weiss, a member of the Sanhedrin, said it is an important step to show that it’s not only talk.

Rabbi Dov Stein, secretary of the new Sanhedrin Court, believes Temple sacrifices won’t happen any time soon.

“We want to do the sacrifice, but we have political problems,” Stein said. “We hope there will come a time when the government will agree. We will push for that to happen.”

What will happen next?

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Jim said...

I don't always agree with you, but I see that you are objective in your
postings. Despite the differences I still enjoy reading your posts and I
often learn even when our viewpoints are different. :-)

Ontario Emperor said...

Well, I'm not objective when it comes to Eddie Van Halen. (Worthless.)