Written by Messianic Pastor Allan Moorhead
Reprinted with permission
It’s all about Yeshua
Messianic Judaism believes that Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah) is the Divine resurrected Saviour for all mankind. Messianics believe that the word of God includes both the TaNaK (older covenant books) and the B’rit Chadashah (new covenant books). In other words, this means the whole Bible. TeNacK is an acronym for Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim. Torah is the first five books of the older covenant which is usually translated as ‘Law’ but really means ‘teaching’. Neviim means the prophets and Ketuvim consists of all other writings in the Bible such as Psalms and Proverbs. Other Judaica writings such as the Mishnah (Oral Torah) and the Talmud (Rabbinical Commentaries) may be used for historical information but are not considered inspired by God.
Are all Messianic congregations the same?
There are some differences between Messianic congregations. Some operate in the Gifts of the Spirit and others don’t. Some are more strict in following the Torah commandments. However, most, if not all, understand the Spirit of the Torah and apply it properly to their lives according to the Grace and Mercy of God through the atoning power of Yeshua. Some congregations honor Jewish traditions such as the wearing of Kippahs (little caps on the head), wearing of prayer shawls, blowing of shofars, and others as long as they glorify God and Yeshua and His Word.
Last Days Movement
Messianic Judaism is believed to be a Last Day’s movement ordained of God in bringing the Jewish people to faith in their Messiah. Jews and non-Jews come together in these congregations to worship Yeshua. The land of Israel, Jerusalem, and the Jewish people are of primary importance to Messianic congregations. Most Messianic followers focus on teaching the Christian Church its Hebraic foundations, so that a better understanding of the Word of God is reached.
What do Messianic Congregations teach and how do they worship?
Most Messianic Congregations will teach from the complete Bible. All Messianic congregations will teach, demonstrate, or conduct services about the seven Biblical feasts mentioned in Leviticus 23. Messianics recognize that the feasts are shadows or symbolic of major events concerning Yeshua. For instance, Yeshua died on Passover, was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, rose from the dead on Feast of Firstfruits, and the Ruach Ha Chodesh (Holy Spirit) was given on Shavu’ot (Pentecost).
Messianic services occur on the Sabbath in honor of God’s commandment “Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy”. The Sabbath runs from Friday night to Saturday night. Most Messianic congregations don’t have a problem with churches worshipping on Sunday since it is based on the day of the resurrection of the Messiah. However, they recognize that Sunday is not the Biblical Sabbath.
During worship you most likely see these items take place: lighting of the Sabbath candles, lighting of Menorahs (7 branch candlestick or 9 branch candlestick during Chanukah), blowing of the shofar, Davidic dance, waving of flags and banners, lively music, some Hebraic liturgy, prayer, and strong teachings from the Word of God. Some congregations are very charismatic and move in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Of course, every Messianic congregation is different.
How did the Modern Messianic movement begin?
The movement began to rapidly grow in 1967 during Israel’s Six Day War. Many Israelites saw visions of Yeshua. Currently, in 2009, there are over 150 Messianic congregations in Israel. All over the world Messianic congregations are springing up. God is beginning to reveal the Messiah to the Jewish people. The LORD is using saved born-again Gentiles to reach His Covenant people as well as giving them signs to bring them to faith. It is a huge work of God in these last days.
Are Messianics going back under the Law?
This is an important question that requires many scriptural points to be able to give a good answer. It certainly cannot be answered properly in this context. Here is a quick synopsis. Messianics are Born Again Believers who believe in the Grace and Mercy of God through Yeshua. They also believe that the Torah (translated as ‘law’ in most Bibles, but a better translation would be ‘teaching’) has not been done away with based on Matthew 5. However, Messianics understand that Yeshua brought a new fulfillment, understanding, and application to Torah. If Yeshua says the Torah has not been done away with, then every believer needs to take a fresh look at it.
Do I have to be Jewish to Attend?
The quick answer is no. The mixture of Jews and non-Jews can be different in each congregation. Non-Jews who attend Messianic congregations actually dominate the attendance in most parts of the world. This is simply because these individuals want to understand the Hebraic concepts of their faith, move into a deeper understanding of God and His Word, and support Israel along with Jerusalem. It is also because there are a lot more Gentiles than Jews in the world. Understandably, Messianic congregations in Israel, generally have a larger Jewish percentage of members. It must be understood that individuals who attend these congregations do not become a Jewish if you are a non-Jew. Nor does a Jew become a non-Jew just because he or she believes in Yeshua.
Many Jews are beginning to see that Yeshua is the Messiah and they don’t stop being Jewish because of it.
What is Messianic Judaism?
Are you ready to feel the heartbeat of God?
These are two important questions that can only be answered by attending a Messianic congregation and experiencing the presence of the Living God. It’s time to understand the prophetic movement that God has ordained in order to bring Jews and Non-Jews to the Messiah all over the world!