The following is a guest post from my friend, Messianic Jewish Rabbi, Joe Bell, concerning the issue of Non Jewish believers who operate a “Jewish style” assembly for the purpose of worship.
He says, “They ARE A CHURCH, (regardless of denomination). And there are a particular bunch who pretend to be Jewish and believe they are physical Israel among other doctrinal errors.”
I was thinking this thoughtful perspective Rabbi Joe shares lays a foundation for discussion of this subject of what he calls, “people adopting Jewish-like customs and traditions, such as claiming ‘Torah Observance.’“
What do you think about about what he says?
(by the way, this is not the opinion of Chosen People Ministries, with whom I work, I’m simply posting it to get your feedback)
“I am a Messianic Jewish Rabbi, leader of a synagogue of Jewish and Non-Jewish believers (Sojourners/Foreigners See Numbers 15:14-16). Though one could argue that an ecclessia and a synagogue both mean gatherings of people or assemblies of people who are gathered together for religious or other purposes, the context here distinguishes a synagogue as a Jewish House of Worship and an ecclessia as a Christian/non-Jewish place where both groups worship Yeshua/Jesus but are not the same, just as a man and his wife can be “one” in unity, (See John 14, “perfected in unity”) yet they are two very distinct individuals with very different roles.
1. God distinguishes Jews and Gentiles in Romans 1:16 as nations (not by faith). And He tells Jews to be “A light to the Gentiles in Isaiah 49:6.
2. The Torah was given to Jews at Sinai, not to the nations. It was part of His covenant which Israel broke (Jeremiah 31:31). Although Yeshua drew from Torah, He changed several things in the Beatitudes. Yeshua’s commandments and Torah may intersect at points but they are not one and the same. New Covenant…
3. In Numbers 15:14-16, Moses declared that Torah WAS ONLY FOR THE FOREIGNER (THE GENTILE) WHO SOJOURNS, OR DWELLS WITH THE JEW.
4. Isaiah 56:3 says, “Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, The Lord will surely separate me from His people.” Who are his people in Isaiah 56? The, Jewish people. It then goes on to speak of the blessings promised to the Gentile who keep God’s SABBATHS (but together with His people, the,Jews.).
5. In the first century Assembly of believers you had Jewish Apostles, particularly Paul, planting congregations of believers among the Gentile, yet they were always connected to or under direct believing Jewish authority. That all changed when Emperor Constantine and His Bishops expelled the believing or Messianic Jews from fellowship in 325 A.D. saying “Let us have nothing to do with this most hostile rabble of the Jews.”
6. Upon expelling the Jews much like the split b/w Jeroboam and Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12, new holidays were created to replace Jewish holidays given by the Lord to the Jewish people. In the same way , when the Roman Church broke fellowship with the Jews they created new holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Or should I say, they gave new meaning to old pagan holidays… They thought this,was their idea, but God inspired it because according to His word, if the Church would not sojourn (dwell) together with the Jews, then there was no Torah for the Goyim. Again, see Numbers 15 :14-16, Isaiah 56. The Church believed that getting rid of Jewish Sabbaths and Feasts was their plan, but it was God guarding His word.
7. God loves the Church (True Gentile believers, non Messianic). John 10:14, 15 Yeshua tells His Jewish sheep that He has another fold that they know not of, (The Church). And He must bring them too and together they shall become “one flock with one shepherd. ” well to understand the Jewish concept of “one ” read John 17, where Jesus says He is one with the Father and vice versa and He prays that we (Jew And Gentile will be one) “perfected in unity He says… like a husband and wife, Gen 2… two sheep folds, but perfected in unity, The Church and the Messianic Jewish community. “THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE ” He says. This is the key to world revival I just wrote about This month in my newsletter at; http://www.forzionsake.org/…/NLJuly2017MessianicJudaismtheM…
8. Grafted in, so you err in assuming that you are grafted into Israel unless you sojourn, dwell with, support, pray for, celebrate Shabbat, Passover and Sukkot with the Messianic Jews as Gentile believers did when the New Testament was written.
9. So Torah is only for Gentiles who join themselves to Yeshua and the Believing Jews, Isaiah 56… Anything else is SUPERCESSIONISM, REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY. The Law of Christ and Torah are not the same exact thing. But James says if a Gentile believer wants Moses (Torah) He can go to a synagogue (See Acts 15, Jame’s decision). Again, non-Jews practicing Torah and studying with Jews!
10. CONCLUSION: Unless you are attending a Messianic Synagogue or join together with Messianic Jewish Believers for Feasts of the Lord, you are grafted into Jesus, but you are not Israel. The Church is neither physical Israel or grafted into spiritual Israel without a human connection to Messianic Jews. The Church is grafted into Jesus without a relationship with Messianic Jews (sojourners, Messianic Non-Jews) And Christians who play Jewish are just a Church with strange doctrine if they don’t join with Messianic believers. Happy Christmas early!
Bottom line: if you were an Anglican and I pretended to be one by calling my synagogue an Anglican Church, having a Sunday service and having people call me vicar or Father Joe, I’D BE A LIAR. I’m no Anglican… just because Christians accept Jesus doesn’t make them Jews or give them the right to “pretend to be a Jewish/Israelite-ish house of worship” That would be SUPERCESSIONISM or Replacement Theology, which the Church has been practicing for 1900 years (not everyone, but even Anglicans believe they are the true Israel… Revelation 3 has Some strong words from Jesus against those who “say they are Jewish, but are not…” God is very specific in His word as to who He made the covenants and Gave His Word to.
I say Non-Jews many times instead of Gentile or heathen, though Paul was an Apostle to the Gentiles. Even after they were “converted,” or “grafted in” he used that word, Gentile.
BOTH God and I love the Church (True believers) and His word necessitates that there be Two Sheep ffaoldsf “perfected in unity” the Messianic Jewish fold and The Church, that the world might believe.