What is “Messianic Judaism”?

“Messianic Jewish Movement” has been defined by its two major national organizations, the MJAA and the UMJC.  For example, on the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) website, “Messianic Judaism” is defined as,

Messianic Judaism is a Biblically based movement of people who, as committed Jews, believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Jewish Messiah of Israel of whom the Jewish Law and Prophets spoke.

Whereas, the other major Messianic Jewish organization, called the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), defines “Messianic Judaism” as,

a movement of Jewish congregations and congregation-like groupings committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant.

Neither one of these definitions include anything about there being Gentiles (non-Jews) in the movement.  At least I can say as far as the Messianic congregations that I have been in or seen, the majority of the people in these congregations were not Jews – but Gentiles (non-Jews), or more specifically, Christians.  Instead, I believe that a more accurate portrayal of the “Messianic Movement” is to present it as —

“The Messianic Bridge,” which is an International Inter-religious movement of both Christian and Jewish believers that span the whole spectrum of this “Bridge” that connects to Rabbinic Judaism on the one side and Christianity on the other side.

I believe that God is using this “Messianic Bridge” to bring truth to His people and to separate those who are His people from those who are not.  Plus, I believe that this “Messianic Bridge” are fulfilling the words of Jeremiah’s prophecy.  

The “Messianic Movement” – Its “Scriptural Context”?

“Therefore, the days are quickly coming,” declares ADONAI, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As ADONAI lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’ Rather, ‘As ADONAI lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them back into their land that I gave to their fathers.  Behold, I will send for many fishers,” says ADONAI, “and they will fish for them.  After that, I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down from every mountain and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.” (Jeremiah 16:16, TLV) (Jeremiah 16:14-15, TLV)

“The Messianic Movement” did not begin with the “Jesus People Movement” as Messianic leaders teach, but it first began during the days of Second Temple Judaism when the movement was first proclaimed and taught by the Levitical Nazarite prophet, Yochanan ben Zachar’yah (more popularly known as “John the Baptist”) and then nine months later by the Galilean Rabboni, Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) of Nazareth.  The first four of His eighty-two disciples (“The Twelve and the Seventy, Luke 10:1) were literally “fishermen” and He called them by saying, “Follow Me, and I will make you FISHERS OF MEN” (Matthew 4:19), alluding back to Jeremiah’s prophecy.  His eighty-two disciples (not counting the women or children) called themselves HaDerekh (“The Way”); therefore, their writings should be called Ketuvim HaDerekh (i.e., “the writings of ‘The Way'”), which contains “the gospel of the kingdom,” or “the announcement of the soon beginnings of the Restoration of Isra’el.” 

This was also the reason for the calling of the Pharisee, Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) to be sent out to the Nations where the descendants of “The Lost Ten Tribes” could be found, along with those from the Nations.  Thus, the initiation of the restoration of Isra’el (laying its foundation and announcing it throughout the land of Isra’el) is what the Holy One of Isra’el had called Yochanan (John) and Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) to do.  The restoration was not to bring the people back to the Promised Land at that point since they were still on the Land, but it was to prove to those of the Southern Kingdom of Judah (i.e., Jews) that God was beginning the restoration process, and how to become a part of it.  Y’hoshua/Yeshua then trained His disciples to carry on His work by carrying the message to all the Nations of the world in keeping with the prophecy given by the prophet Isaiah,

And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Isra’el might be gathered to Him (for I am honored in the sight of the LORD, and My God is My strength), He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Isra’el: I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 49:5-6)

So as we can see, the mission of the Master, was to bring about the Restoration of Isra’el.  This was the reason for the calling of the Pharisee, Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) and why he was sent out to the nations. 

The Pharisee’s Prophecy

However, near the end of his three journey’s to those countries outside of the land of Isra’el, he decides to stop in Miletus to speak to the Ephesian congregational leaders, and he prophecies a coming change, a change that will impact both Second Temple Judaism and the HaDerekh movement.  After he sends a messenger to bring them and they come to Miletus, he gives his farewell speech to them, including the following prophecy:

I know after my departure [death], savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Even from among yourselves will arise men speaking perversions, to draw the disciples away after themselves.  Therefore be alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning you with tears.  (Acts 20:29-31, TLV)

A “wolf” is someone who does not observe or keep the Torah; whereas, “sheep” do.  Thus, Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) is saying that these “wolves” will be coming into the different congregations and will “not [spare] the flock,” but they will destroy them, either literally or figuratively by changing the nature of them.  This change would also come from the leaders themselves who would speak “perversions, to draw the disciples after themselves.”  But what does he mean by “perversions”?  The word “perversions” comes from the Greek word, diastrepho (G1294), and it means “to distort, i.e., (fig) misinterpret, or corrupt.” And since Christianity began with their separation from its original three contexts: the Tanakh, the history of Yisra’el (Israel), Second Temple Judaism. the history of Christianity is filled with distortions, misinterpretations, misapplications, and errors. Even in the Didache‘, the oldest writing of the HaDerekh movement outside of what is called the “New Testament,” prophecies that in “the last days,” “the sheep will be turned into wolves,” and in mainstream Christianity, this prophecy can definitely be seen to come true.

Post-Destruction Changes

Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) was martyred in 68 C.E., and two years later, the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple were destroyed by the Romans, under the leadership of Titus, in 70 C.E.  This destruction had a devastating impact on both Second Temple Judaism and the HaDerekh movement.  For example, during the Second Temple period in Yisra’el, Judaism is much more diverse than Rabbinic Judaism is today.  Rabbinic Judaism is a direct descendant of only one of the twenty-eight sects that are said to have existed during this time, such as the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, the Zealots, being the more popular of these sects.  After the destruction, the Pharisees evolved into Rabbinic Judaism, and HaDerekh, the Jewish movement that was begun by Yochanan (“John”) and Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) were greatly diminished from the destruction.  Although there were some who survived, there were many more Gentile (non-Jewish) believers who were being called “Christians” by others, who heard about the destruction, and they misinterpreted it as a sign from God that He had turned His back on Yisra’el (Israel) and the Jewish people, and so they saw this as their opportunity to break away from Yisra’el (Israel) and the Jewish people, and it was at that moment when they broke away from them that these “Christians” became “the hunters” prophesied by Jeremiah.  These Christians  began to claim that they were now the “New Israel,” the “New People of God,” and they began to teach that they now got all of the “blessings of God” and the Jews “the curses.”  This abomination is called “Supersessionism” or “Replacement Theology.”  And they used this abomination as the foundation for what these “Christians” (Gentile believers) would begin to mold and shape into their own distinct religion, which they called “Christianity.”

Jeremiah’s Prophecy & the Messianic Movement?

Thus, the Restoration process ends with the way that it begins: with “the fishers” and “the hunters.”  In the modern era, “the fishers” were the Zionists beginning in early 1800’s with Rabbi Bibas was the first to encourage the Jews of Europe to return to the land of their ancestors and to make it their own.  “The hunters” came with the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party in the 1930s.  It is after the coming of “the hunters” that we see the following prophecy given by Jeremiah, which is where I believe the “Messianic Movement” fits within the prophecy:

ADONAI, my strength, my stronghold, my refuge in the day of affliction, to You will the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, futility, and useless things.”  Will man make gods for himself?  Yet they are not gods.  So I will surely make them know – this time I will make them know My hand and My might – they will know that My name is ADONAI. (Jeremiah 16:19-21, TLV)

A common complaint I have heard from many “Christians” who have joined themselves to the “Messianic Movement” is that they realize that their churches had taught them things which they discovered were not even true; they were “lies, futility, and useless things.”  I, therefore, see God using the “Messianic Movement” as a way of bringing biblical truth to the world.  It is also a way of Him bringing people back to the values, beliefs and teachings of the original HaDerekh movement during the Second Temple period.

What Should Be The Messianic Movement’s 5 Primary Teachings?”

  1.  The Priority and Centrality of Torah

The first priority and centrality of what the Messianic should teach people – Jews and Gentiles – to observe should be the Torah.  This should not be because we want to keep “Jewish culture,” but because we want to be obedient to the commandments of God.  However, this is oftentimes not the reasoning that I hear.  Christians do not understand a lot of concepts in the writings of Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) since they have removed his writings from their original three contexts: the Tanakh, the history of Yisra’el (Israel), and Second Temple Judaism.  Christianity does not adequately train their leaders, pastors, bible teachers, evangelists or even their congregations in these three contexts, particularly Second Temple Judaism.  For most of them, the only thing that they know about any of these three contexts is what is actually stated in their English translations of the Bible.  They know next to nothing about the Oral Law (Mishnah) or the Talmud, the synagogue, or Jewish beliefs and practices.  Since they know very little about any of these three contexts, then how can they properly interpret and understand the writings of the HaDerekh movement, which were written by Second Temple Isra’eli Jews – and not Christians?  The original Jewish disciples of Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) were as much Second Temple Isra’eli Jews as those who penned what has come to be called the Dead Sea Scrolls.

2.  The One True God.  

Another central teaching should be  (and is) the Sh’ma:  Shema Yisra’el, ADONAI Eloheinu ADONAI ‘echad (“Hear O Isra’el, the LORD our God, the LORD is One.”

3.  There is Only One People of God, His Bride – Yisra’el.

This is one that is not being taught.  Rather than teaching people that God only has ONE people, ONE Bride, Yisra’el, they continue to teach that there are two communities of God: Isra’el and the Christian church.  Looking back we can see that Christianity did not come from the direction of God – but Gentile (non-Jewish) believers who wanted to separate from Isra’el and the Jewish people broke away from them and then formed their own religion that would be accepting of their culture and pagan practices.  Am I saying with this that only the Jewish people are the people of God?  No, I am saying that we need to go back to the Second Temple view of Yisra’el that was taught by the Tanakh and HaDerekh (“The Way”). They viewed Yisra’el as a Kingdom of people – comprised of both Israelites and Gentiles (non-Jews) – who continued to follow the Holy One of Isra’el by keeping His commandments that He gave to Yisra’el (Israel) through His servant Mosheh (Moses), and by following the teachings of the Moshiach of Yisra’el, Y’hoshua/Yeshua.  

4.  There is Only One Revelation Given by God: The Tanakh.

This is another thing that is not being taught.  The Messianic Movement continues to propagate the Christian belief in a divided Bible, which they call “Old Testament” and “New Testament.”  The Messianic designations for the same two parts are Tanakh and the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant).  Instead, we need to teach that the writings of HaDerekh (“The Way”) should be seen as an extended part of the third part of the Tanakh, or “The Writings, i.e., therefore Ketuvim HaDerekh; therefore, the Scriptures – the Tanakh – should be used to examine and understand their writings, not the other way around as practiced by Christians.  The Scriptures are not divided.  They are ‘echad (One).  

5.  There is Only One Eternal Covenant – NOT Seven.

Christians argue that there are seven distinctly separate covenants; however, they are again in error.  There are not seven distinct covenants – but only One eternal covenant – that is comprised of seven parts that comprise the One eternal covenant.  These seven sub-parts (5 Main Covenants and 2 Renewals) are the following: 

  • The Noachide Covenant – This covenant re-establishes the earth;
  • The Abrahamic Covenant – This is the great relationship covenant of Scripture and establishes our relationship with God.
  • The Mosaic Covenant – This covenant establishes the community and Kingdom of Isra’el;
  • The Levitic Covenant – This covenant establishes the Levitical priesthood; and
  • The Davidic Covenant – This covenant establishes the Davidic throne.

And the two renewals would be:

  • The B’rit Chadashah (new covenant) – which deals with the Abrahamic covenant, deals with the forgiveness of sins, and it internalizes the Ten Commandments; and
  • The B’rit Shalom (covenant of peace) – This covenant deals with protection, blessings, and universal peace.  This will be the final covenant to be initiated with the return of the Messiah, and the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom.

These 7 make up the One eternal covenant.  Each of these seven parts have different times and situations in which they begin, but once they start, they run simultaneously with every covenant that began prior to it.  There is not one example in the Tanakh of one covenant replacing, annulling, or bringing an end to a previous covenant.  Thus, I see Christianity’s teaching about the “New Testament” “replacing,” “annulling,” “doing away with,” and “superseding” the “Old Testament” to be violation of God’s establish covenant pattern we see within the Scriptures.  Instead, God’s eternal covenant is ‘echad (One)

The Christian structure of the Bible is also erroneous.  There is NO “Old Testament” just as there is NO “New Testament.”  The phrase “Old Testament” only appears in ONE verse in the entire Bible: 2 Corinthians 3:14.  When you analyze this chapter, it is abundantly clear that the Greek phrase palaios diatheke, translated as “Old Testament,” should have been translated as “older covenant” or even as the “ancient covenant,” since it is being used to refer to the original Ten Commandments that had been carved on two tablets of stone.  Whereas, in the same chapter, the Greek phrase kaine diatheke, or in Hebrew b’rit chadashah, should not be translated as “new testament,” but as a “newer covenant” or “renewed covenant,” since the “renewed covenant” was used to indicate a “quality change” – not a content change.  The “quality change” would be that the same Ten Commandments would not be written on the hearts and minds of believers, rather than on just two tablets of stone.  Also, since the “renewed covenant” was a “renewal” of the covenant that God made with Avraham Aveinu – called “the covenant between the pieces” – and it did not do any of the things that Christianity teaches regarding “the Law of God” or Torah.  Instead, the writings of HaDerekh (“The Way”) should be seen as an extension of the third part of the Tanakh called “the Writings,” or in Hebrew Ketuvim.  Thus, their writings should be called Ketuvim HaDerekh (the Writings of The Way).  Therefore, there is no “Old Testament” or “New Testament,” but there is only the Tanakh (the Scriptures).

6.  Eternal life is the end result of living a life of holiness –

The idea that one can get “eternal life” by going forward at a church and say the “sinner’s prayer” is not found in the Bible.  That whole idea is a recent Christian invention.  What the Bible teaches is that eternal life comes by living a life of holiness by accepting God’s gift of Him fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant through the death and resurrection of Messiah and by us living a holy, obedient life to God’s commandments as taught through in the Written Torah and in the writings of HaDerekh.  For example, when Y’hoshua/Yeshua was asked by a rich young ruler, “What good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”  He responded by saying, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 20:17).

According to the believing Pharisee, Sha’ul Paulus (Paul), he compared the way to a race, that is comprised of three tiers, which he describes in Romans 6.  The first tier he explains in verse 16, as “presenting our selves as slaves of obedience,” and this will “result in righteousness.” What we are to obey is God’s commandments found in the Written Torah.  The rest of the Scriptures merely further develop these commandments or truths.  The second tier he explains in verse 19: that when we “present ourselves as slaves to righteousness,” that this will result “in holiness.”  And then the final tier is found in verse 22, where he says, “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in holiness, and the outcome, ETERNAL LIFE” (Romans 6:22).  As we can see here, the outcome of holiness is ETERNAL LIFE.

However, most Christian pastors skip over this three tier process, and they quote Sha’ul Paulus’ (Paul’s) summary statement of the process: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  Some will  accuse me of teaching “legalism” or “working my way to heaven.”  What about “grace” as Paul teaches?  Christians ask.  Except these same Christians do not teach 2 Corinthians 7:1, which is also written by Paul,

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting HOLINESS in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1; emphasis added)

So much for this man-made Christian idea that God does everything, and He doesn’t expect us to do anything.  But if you need another place where holiness is spoken of as a requirement, it can be found in the book of Hebrews.  In Hebrews 12, we read, “Pursue peace with all men, and the holiness without which NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD” (Hebrews 12:14).  I don’t see how you can go to heaven and not “see the LORD,” so obviously, we are being told here that HOLINESS is a requirement for people to go to heaven.  


The “Messianic Bridge” – “A New Paradigm”?

Thus, I would like to suggest that a better definition and/or description of the “Messianic Movement” is as “a Bridge,” which I am going to call the “Messianic Bridge.”  This is a much better picture of the “Messianic Movement” since the Movement spans and connects two distinctly separate religions: Christianity on one end of the bridge and Rabbinic Judaism on the other end.   The term “Messianic,” then, only indicates that one is self-identifying him/herself somewhere on “the bridge,” but it does not indicate at all what side of “the bridge” or religion that the person is identifying with.  When I first started to attend a Messianic congregation, which was called, Beth Simcha in Glendale, Arizona, back in 1992, Dwayne, one of the elders there, explained to my wife, Karen, and me that “the Messianic Movement was comprised of everything from Corinth to Jerusalem, and everything in-between.  The ideal,” he said, “was to get as close to Jerusalem as possible without losing Yeshua in the process.” Corinth is a picture of Christianity, and Jerusalem is a picture of Judaism; thus, he was giving me the basic layout for what I would come to know as the “Messianic Bridge.”

The problem with the definitions used by the MJAA and the UMJC that there is no mention whatsoever of Gentile (non-Jewish) believers (i.e., “Christians”).  Thus, their definitions of the Movement completely ignores who now makes up the majority of the Movement when looking at numbers.  At least I can say as far as the Messianic congregations that I have been in or seen, the majority of the people in these congregations were not Jews – but Gentiles (non-Jews), or more specifically, Christians.  I believe that God is using the “Messianic Movement” to bring about fulfillment of what Jeremiah prophesied in the Tanakh,

ADONAI, my strength, my stronghold, my refuge in the day of affliction, to You will the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, futility, and useless things.”  Will man make gods for himself?  Yet they are not gods.  So I will surely make them know – this time I will make them know My hand and My might – they will know that My name is ADONAI. (Jeremiah 16:19-21, TLV)

Thus, Christians are coming from all of their varied 37,000 denominations, and they are realizing that there is so much more to the Bible and following God than what they have been taught by their respective churches. 

Who is On the “Messianic Bridge”?

As I said, there are a large assortment of people from a wide assortment of backgrounds on the “Messianic Bridge.”  For example, on the one end, we have those who identify as “Christians” who have an interest in their Jewish roots, the biblical feasts, and/or Davidic dance to those on the other end of “the Bridge,” who identify as Ultra-Orthodox Jews who have in interest in finding out more about the Galilean Rabban Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus), and every *possible position in-between.  Thus, the “Messianic Movement” is comprised of both Jews and Christians and has a unique position within the world today, and therefore, it is impossible to “cookie cut” everyone who comprises and makes up the “Movement.” 

For instance, there are individuals in the movement who should be called “Messianic Christians” since they self-identify as “Christians” and although they come to “Messianic services” on the Shabbat, they still continue to attend their churches on Sunday as their principle places of worship and “Christianity” their principle religion, and they also still observe their Christian holidays of “Christmas” and “Easter.”  Many of these believers, like the rest of Christianity, have bought into the deception that Christianity began with the life and ministry of Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Jesus), which it did not since the word “Christian” did not even exist during His life and ministry.  So how could He and His disciples have been “Christians” since the word did not even exist then?  Nor did it exist for the first 40% of the book of Acts.  In fact, the name “Christian” only appears THREE times (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Peter 4:16) in the writings of what has come to be called the “New Testament.”  In each and every occurrence, it should be seen as a derogatory slur – not translated to mean what the term means today: “one who adheres to the beliefs and practices of Christianity.” Some Christian denominations even say that Christianity began in the Upper Room in Acts 2, but how is that possible, since the word “Christian,” as I said, did not yet exist?  If the word “Christian” did not yet exist at that time, then there could not have been a “Christianity.” 

But according to the Scriptures, the word “Christian” began outside of the land of Isra’el in the land of Syria, since the Scriptures say, “And the disciples were were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).  Antioch is in Syria, and it was not the disciples who called themselves “Christians,” but it was the non-believing Syrian Gentiles who called those Syrians who had become believers in this new “Jewish Messiah,” “Christians,” as a derogatory slur – an insult – in much the same way that the Hippies and street people were name called who were coming to faith in Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Jesus) during the “Jesus People Movement” in the United States during the 1960s and 70s.  The description of the Messianic Bridge as an International movement of Jews and Christians in which one side of “the Bridge” connects Christianity, while the other side connects with Rabbinic Judaism.  This description would allow for the existence of “Messianic Christianity,” which the current ones do not.

Now on the other end of “the Bridge,” we have congregations and/or groups that are much more extensively “Judaists” (those who adhere to and practice Judaism) in their services and use of Hebrew, and everything in-between.  For example, Karen and I have been to congregations that were extremely Rabbinic in their practices and teachings both in the United States and in Isra’el, and therefore, I would classify these congregations as truly teaching “Messianic Judaism.”  Since their lives and teachings places them at the “Judaism” end of “the Bridge.”  It is for this reason, therefore,  I believe that the movement should be defined or described as “a Bridge” that connects these two distinctly separate religions or ways of life.  And by defining or describing it as such, it would be much more accurate of a portrayal of everyone who is actually a part of the “Messianic Movement.” 

HaDerekh – “Second Temple Jews”?

Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Jesus) and His eighty-two disciples (the Twelve and the Seventy, Luke 10:1) were Second Temple Isra’eli Jews – not “Christians” – their writings should be seen, like the rest of the Tanakh, as “Jewish writings” – not “Christian writings.”  We do not identify a piece of writing by who reads and studies it, but by who penned it.  For example, if American students study the work of William Shakespeare, he would not be called an “American playwright,” but he is from Britain, so he is a “British playwright.”  The same is true of the Jewish disciples. 

The Jewish disciples called the name of their own group HaDerekh (“The Way”) SIX times in the writing of the book of Acts (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22), which I believe was a shortened form of the title HaDerekh Adonai (“The Way of the LORD”), and this phrase is used in the passage about a Jewish man named Apollos in Acts 18,

Now a Jewish man named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.  He was a learned man, well versed in the Scriptures.  He had been instructed in THE WAY OF THE LORD.  With a fervent spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the facts about Yeshua – while only being acquainted with the immersion of John.  This man began speaking out boldly in the synagogue.  But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:24-26, TLV; emphasis added)

This phrase HaDerekh Adonai (“The Way of the LORD”), appears in numerous places throughout the Tanakh and traces all the way back to Avraham Aveinu (“our father Abraham”); for example, we see it used in Genesis 18:19; Judges 2:22; 2 Samuel 22:22; 2 Kings 21:22; Proverbs 10:29: Isaiah 40:3; Jeremiah 5:4-5; Ezekiel 18:25, 29; 33:17, 20.  Therefore, based on this, I believe that the disciples chose the name HaDerekh for themselves to indicate the importance of the Tanakh to their values, beliefs, and lifestyles.  Thus, the Messianic Movement should not continue to view itself as something still connected to Christianity, but as an end-time restoration of the original HaDerekh movement, which was a growing movement within Second Temple Judaism.

But Isn’t the “Messianic Movement” an Outreach of Christianity?

Although the original modern Jewish believers in Yeshua was called “Hebrew Christianity,” this changed in 1967, where it came to be called “Messianic Judaism.”  I believe it is time for another change.  It is time to adjust the view of the Movement as a path way that connects two distinct, independent religions, as I said: Rabbinic Judaism on the one end and Christianity on the other.  However, Christianity traditionally argues that “just by believing in Jesus makes you a Christian.”  I would argue that.  I know many people who believe that Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Jesus) to be the long-awaited promised Messiah of Isra’el, but they don’t self-identify as Christians.  Instead, they call themselves “Messianics,” “Natzarim,” or just “Jews.”  I think the days when a believer in Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) automatically made one “a Christian” no longer is true.  However, I will say that believing that Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) is the promised Messiah of Isra’el does place him or her on the “Messianic Bridge.”  It is their other beliefs and practices that will locate them on either the one end of “the Bridge” or the other.

The Fear of Christianity and Judaism

There is a fear of the “Messianic Bridge” that both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism have that is equally true of each.  They are both afraid of someone from their own respective side, crossing to the other side, changing their beliefs, and converting to what is on the other side.  For example, there are many Christians who are afraid of a family member or a friend getting on the “Messianic Bridge,” crossing it and as a result of their experiences convert to “Rabbinic Judaism.”  It is likewise the fear of Rabbinic Jews that one of their family members or friends will get on the “Messianic Bridge,” cross it and as a result of their experiences convert to Christianity.  What both sides do not know is that the fear runs in both directions.  Personally, I do not believe that THE TRUTH can be found on only one side of the “Messianic Bridge,” either in Christianity or Rabbinic Judaism.  Instead, I believe that THE TRUTH is found in the combination of the two sides, which can only be found on the “Messianic Bridge.”

Where Do Karen and I Place Ourselves on This Bridge?

Karen and I both started off on the side of Christianity.  She was raised as Southern Baptist until she was twelve and then started attending the Church of God.  I was raised in the Church of God until I was twelve, and then my family started attending the Assemblies of God.  While I was in college, I was introduced to Conservative Judaism.  It was shortly after this when Karen and I were married.  Soon after we were married, God introduced us to the “Messianic Movement” through the music of Lamb, and then when we moved to the Phoenix area, we were introduced to various Messianic and Rabbinic writers and various synagogues, Conservative, Jewish Reform, and Messianic.  We have been married now for 41 years, and neither one of us feel like the word “Christian” does a good job in describing our beliefs or our lifestyle.  Instead, we feel that the term “Messianic Judaist” is a much more accurate phrase to use.


The “Messianic Movement” needs a new paradigm as the “Messianic Bridge” and to use it to begin to teach the unique truths that the Messianic Movement could be offering, if they would let go of certain man-made inventions of Christianity, such as there being an “Old Testament” and a “New Testament.”  That Yisra’el and the Church are separate entities, instead of teaching them that Christians are included as part of the “Northern Kingdom of Isra’el; whereas, the Jewish people comprise the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and God’s plan is for these two groups – the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom – to become One Kingdom, One People, One Community, One family in these last days.  It is NOT God’s plan that they remain as two distinctly separate groups or religions.

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