VIDEO Messianic Judaism 101

Oct 21, 2015

The Messianic Judaism 101 series is a foundational set of teachings on Messianic Judaism.This series covers Torah, Shabbat, kosher, replacement theology, and tradition. It is a basic introduction, and is by no means an exhaustive study.

This message begins the series with the focus on the Torah. Find out what Torah really means. Does God’s laws still apply to us today? Are we not justified through faith by grace?

God With You

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

A father reassures his teenage daughter about her first solo airplane trip: “I’ll be with you all the way to the gate, and the flight attendants will be with you after that. Then Grandma will be with you when you arrive.” “With you” happens a lot in this life—but there is always a starting point and a stopping point. “With you” never lasts forever in the human realm.

But in the heavenly realm, it does! The name given to the Messiah in the Old Testament was Immanuel, which in Hebrew meant “God with us,” a name confirmed at the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:23). When the writer to the Hebrews wanted to convey God’s omnipresence, he quoted God’s words to Joshua on the eve of Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land: “I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). Jesus even told His disciples He would be with them “to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

You were not alone yesterday; you are not alone today; you will not be alone tomorrow. Jesus is Immanuel—God with you.

Home for Christmas Channel

Handling Conflict and Criticism

Psalm 7

Contention can cause painful injury, especially when we feel misunderstood or wrongly accused. If someone speaks untruths about us, it seems as though salt is being poured into the wound. A typical first reaction is self-defense and an attempt to claim our rights, yet God’s Word teaches a different approach.

Contrary to our natural inclinations, the proper response to criticism and conflict is humility. In Psalm 7, David laments being persecuted but immediately asks the Lord to test his own heart and reveal if he has done anything wrong. Then, instead of taking matters into his own hands, he asks the Lord to vindicate him.

Romans 12:19 reminds us never to take our own revenge, but rather to leave vengeance to God. As Romans 12:21 tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” In other words, we must leave the situation with God and trust Him to vindicate us in His time and way.

We should ask ourselves, Am I willing to check my own motives before pointing a finger or becoming defensive? Jesus said we’re to bless those who curse us (Luke 6:28). So let’s ask Him for the grace and humility to examine our own heart and trust Him to be our defender.

One God

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

This great verse has been recited countless times by Israelites down through the centuries, setting forth their distinctive belief in one great Creator God. The Jews had retained their original belief in creation, handed down from Noah, while the other nations had all allowed their original monotheistic creationism to degenerate into a wide variety of religions, all basically equivalent to the polytheistic evolutionism of the early Sumerians at Babel.

But along with its strong assertion of monotheism, there is also a very real suggestion that this declaration, with its thrice-named subject, is also setting forth the triune God. The name “LORD,” of course, is Yahweh, or Jehovah, the self-existing One who reveals Himself, while “God” is Elohim, the powerful Creator/Ruler. “Jehovah our Elohim is one Jehovah” is the proclamation. A number of respected Jewish commentators have acknowledged that the verse spoke of a “unified oneness” rather than an “absolute oneness.” The revered book called the Zohar, for example, even said that the first mention was of the Father, the second one the Messiah, and the third the Holy Spirit.

The key word “one” (Hebrew achad) is often used to denote unity in diversity. For example, when Eve was united to Adam in marriage, they were said to be “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Similarly, on the third day of creation, the waters were “gathered together unto one place,” yet this gathering together was called “Seas” (i.e., more than one sea, Genesis 1:9-10).

Thus, Israel’s great declaration should really be understood as saying, in effect: “The eternally omnipresent Father, also Creator and Sustainer of all things, is our unified self-revealing Lord.” HMM

Faith Must Be Demonstrated

For by [faith.] the elders obtained a good report. —Hebrews 11:2

The lesson that comes to us through the many dramatic illustrations of faith in Hebrews 11 brings us back to my earlier statement: Faith in God is to be demonstrated, not defined. Just as God’s church demonstrates Christian love, this demonstration of godly, humble faith is God’s ideal for His church.

It is not enough for preachers in their pulpits to try to define love. The love that God has promised must be demonstrated in the lives of the believers in the pews. It must be practiced as well by the man who occupies the pulpit.

We should put the matter of faith in that same category. God wants His people, including the ministers, to demonstrate all of the outworking of faith in their daily lives and practices.   JAF008

Lord, the pattern set forth in Hebrews 11 seems so unattainable! Strengthen me by Your Spirit to be able to demonstrate this type of unshakable faith. Amen.

A Religion Like No Other

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. —Acts 4:12

There are in the Christian religion three major elements: spiritual life, moral practice and community organization, and these all spring out of and follow New Testament doctrine; or more correctly, the first must and the others should….

Life comes mysteriously to the soul that believes the truth. “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). And again, “He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive)” (7:38-39).

The message of the cross offers eternal life and the blessedness of the Holy Spirit indwelling the soul. These distinguish Christianity from every other religion; and it is significant that these distinguishing marks are of such a nature as to be wholly above and beyond the reach of man. GTM044-045

Christianity tells humanity, “You have destroyed yourself, but in Me is your help.” It is a supernatural religion…the indwelling of the living God in human life. CTBC, Vol. 4/186

The Rightful King

Luke 19:37-44

On what proved to be the first day of Passion week, Jesus entered His capital city. The road to Jerusalem would be crowded with thronging pilgrims on their way to the Passover feast, which commemorated the most important event in their national history, the exodus from Egypt.

Jesus chose to approach and enter the city riding on a donkey. The humble pilgrims acclaimed Him, shouting “Hosanna,” but Jesus wept. Luke leaves us in no doubt as to the reason for those tears. He was foreseeing the dreadful consequences of the nation’s rejection of Himself, knowing that their choice of revolutionary action would lead to disastrous overthrow, as indeed it did.

Jesus entered Jerusalem in such a way as to make an open and unmistakable claim to Messiahship. The time for reserve was over. He was throwing down the gauntlet. It was as though our Lord deemed it necessary to give the nation a final chance to accept its King, and made His entry in this way to remind the people of the prophecy in Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).

As their rightful King, Jesus had claims, but force cannot command love. His kingdom had to be rooted in the hearts of men, so He appealed to them in a way unlike anything they expected or desired. All emblems of power and authority were laid aside; there was only His personal dignity to persuade them. Any man’s acceptance of Christ must be free, completely unforced.

He, the Messiah, entered the capital of the chosen nation not on a war horse, but riding on a donkey, the symbol of humility and peace. Here was no political king, but the spiritual Lord of a spiritual kingdom. In the words of Henry Milman:

Ride on, ride on in majesty!

In lowly pomp ride on to die;

O Christ, Thy triumphs now begin

O’er captive death and conquered sin.

Harry Dean, Power and Glory