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Rabbi Ancel Salamon

On Messianic Christianity

By Rabbi Ancel Salamon© 4.24.2019 (used with permission)

Messianic Judaism, (a branch of which is “Jews for Jesus”) is a religious group that has tried to straddle the line between Judaism and Christianity. According to this group, Jesus, or Yeshua in Aramaic, was the Messiah, and he died on behalf of the world’s sins. They also believe that the Jews are the chosen people, and that the explicit laws of the Torah, such as observing Shabbat, holidays, and circumcision must be obeyed today.

The origins of this group can be traced back to the Hebrew Christian missions to the Jews in the 19th and early 20th centuries. By the 1960s and ’70s Messianic Judaism was gaining popularity, known by many as “the Jesus people,” and eventually Jews for Jesus.

Because of Messianic Judaism’s identification with Jesus, all of the major denominations of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist) have rejected Messianic Judaism as a form of Judaism. Within Christianity Messianic Judaism is sometimes seen as a group within the evangelical community, and sometimes seen as a separate sect. At times, various Christian leaders have publicly criticized Messianic Jews for their aggressive missionizing in the Jewish community and for misrepresenting themselves as Jews.

Messianic Judaism is often presented as an ethnic church for Jews–somewhat like a Korean or Chinese church, but with outreach specific to Jews. However,  most experts estimate that in most Messianic Jewish congregations only about half the members were born Jews.

Non-Jews who join a Messianic congregation may be asked to undergo a kind of conversion to Messianic Judaism, although many within the group believe that it’s impossible to convert to Judaism. Messianic Jewish conversions are not considered valid by any Jewish denomination. Non-Jews who join Messianic congregations are sometimes called spiritual Jews, completed Jews, or Messianic gentiles.

Messianic Jews include the New Testament in their canon and believe that there is foreshadowing and predictions of Jesus in the Old Testament. Supersessions, the belief that Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise made by God to the Jews in the Tanach (Hebrew Bible), is accepted by Messianic Jews. But unlike other Christian groups that believe in supersessions, Messianic Jews maintain a desire to practice many of the commandments given in the Torah but not all of them.

For example, believers in Messianic Judaism adhere to some of the laws given in the Torah, such as resting on Shabbat, not eating pork and shellfish and observing biblical holidays like Sukkot . However this is a lie, recently I talked to someone who considers herself a Messianic Jew, actually born to Dominican parents and says to be a Jew she needs not conversion to Judaism and a big follower of a Rabbi which will remain nameless since I do not consider him a Rabbi told me that its ok to work and travel on the Sabbath if you are doing god’s work. Also the so called Rabbi says in his own words it’s ok to eat pork because God created pork so it must be kosher.

A core component of Messianic Judaism is witnessing and missionizing to other Jews. According to the evangelical theology accepted by Messianic Jews, those who are not saved are destined for eternal damnation. Helping to bring someone to Yeshua and thus to salvation is a responsibility of all Messianic Jews, and many embrace that role, particularly when it comes to Jewish members of their family. This is often at the root of the animosity between Messianic and mainstream Jewish communities.

When Messianic Jews try to do outreach within the mainstream Jewish community they are often met with resistance and outrage. Among other things, the Jewish community objects to the title Messianic Judaism, because the messianic practiced by Messianic Jews is Jesus-focused, and thus by definition NOT JEWISH. The use of the term Messianic Judaism strikes many as a subversive way of attracting Jews who do not know enough about their faith to realize that what they are learning about is Christianity.

Foremost among the groups that work to counter Messianic Jewish evangelism is Jews for Judaism, an organization focused on strengthening and preserving Jewish identity for those who have been targeted for proselytizing by Messianic Jews.

There is a growing community of Messianic Jews in Israel, particularly in the village of Yad-Hashmona. Many of the Messianic Jews in Israel are native Israelis who came to Messianic Judaism as teens or adults.

In a ruling handed down by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1989, Messianic Jews are not allowed citizenship in Israel via the Law of Return because there is a condition on the Law of Return that it cannot be employed by those who were Jews and voluntarily took on another faith. However, in 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in a strange legal twist that because the Law of Return is granted to anyone with one Jewish grandparent, Messianic Jews who are not considered halakhically Jewish (i.e. their mother is not Jewish) are granted citizenship via the Law of Return.

Messianic Jewish prayer services include much of the traditional Jewish liturgy, often edited and amended to include references to Yeshua which goes against Jewish Liturgy. Hebrew is common in Messianic Jewish congregations, and there is a growing trend towards including dance in their services. The dances are in the spirit of Israeli folk dancing which also non- Jewish tradition.

Today, there are an estimated 400 Messianic Jewish congregations worldwide, with 10,000-15,000 Messianic Jews in Israel, and about 200,000 in the United States. Congregations (called synagogues) can be found across the country, mainly in communities with a large existing Jewish community. So here are my questions:

1. If he is the son of God then he also as a God, like father like son and now we have two God’s, really I thought we were monotheistic.

2. If he followed the Torah law for the Sabbath there are many things that you cannot do on the Sabbath and one of them is picking up fruit or vegies or grain, so he did break the law of Sabbath.

3. A person or a doctor can heal another person if his life is in danger, a blind person is not in danger of losing his life therefore you cannot or allowed to heal, so he did break the law of Sabbath.

4. Eating pork or shellfish is not allowed in Judaism even though God created these creatures but it is also written why they are not allowed.

I can go on and on but Messianic Jews should be called Messianic Christians since we Jews do not believe in Yasuhua( Jesus Christ) and they should stop trying to convert us.

Jesus failed to meet the requirements to be the Mashiach and failed to do anything expected of the Mashaich.

Let’s look at the two most basic requirements of the Mashiach and how they need to be fulfilled.

1) Must be Jewish
2) Must be a descendant of King David

Judaism states that someone is only automatically Jewish if their mother is Jewish. The most obvious statement of this is found in Devarim (Deiteronomy) Chapter 7:
3. You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son.
ג. וְלֹא תִתְחַתֵּן בָּם בִּתְּךָ לֹא תִתֵּן לִבְנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ לֹא תִקַּח לִבְנֶךָ:
4. For he will turn away your son from following Me, and they will worship the gods of others, and the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you.
ד. כִּי יָסִיר אֶת בִּנְךָ מֵאַחֲרַי וְעָבְדוּ אֱ־לֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וְחָרָה אַף יְ־הֹוָ־ה בָּכֶם וְהִשְׁמִידְךָ מַהֵר:

Note that in verse 4 it specifies "HE" will turn away your son from following me" but no reciprocal concern is there for the non-Jewish mother turning the son away from following G-d- simply because her son is not jewish even though the father is.

Thus we know that for the mashiach to be Jewish, he has to have a Jewish mother

When it comes to tribal descent only being from the ntural father we read the following when it comes to the daughters of Zelopahad in Bamidbar (Numbers) chapter 36
6. This is the word that the Lord has commanded regarding Zelophehad's daughters. Let them marry whomever they please, but they shall marry only to the family of their father's tribe.
ו. זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְ־הֹוָ־ה לִבְנוֹת צְלָפְחָד לֵאמֹר לַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֵיהֶם תִּהְיֶינָה לְנָשִׁים אַךְ לְמִשְׁפַּחַת מַטֵּה אֲבִיהֶם תִּהְיֶינָה לְנָשִׁים:
7. Thus, the inheritance of the children of Israel will not be transferred from tribe to tribe, for each person from the children of Israel will remain attached to the inheritance of his father's tribe.
ז. וְלֹא תִסֹּב נַחֲלָה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמַּטֶּה אֶל מַטֶּה כִּי אִישׁ בְּנַחֲלַת מַטֵּה אֲבֹתָיו יִדְבְּקוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:

What do we see here? The daughters of Zelopahad had inherited their fathers land, but their tribe knew that if they married men from other tribes, then the land would go to that other tribe and they would have a lesser share in Yisrael than they should have. There is no possibility of the children following the tribe of the mother given, nor is a possibility of them being adopted by a person from their mother's tribe to alter their tribal affiliation considered since neither are viable options in Jewish law since it is impossible to alter who is your natural father, and thus from which tribe you belong to.

Another source from the Torah to show tribal inheritance is from the Father Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapter 1
2. Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by families following their fathers' houses; a head count of every male according to the number of their names’.
שְׂאוּ אֶת רֹאשׁ כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת כָּל זָכָר לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם:

Note how it specifics by "their FATHER's houses". The tribal identity of the mother is irrelevant.

Similarly we see there is no such thing as adoption into another tribe- this is taught by the Torah in relation to the Kohanim. Only Kohanim and their households can eat the Kodashim- the tithes and sections and sacrifices reserved for the Kohanim. When it defines the Kohen's household, it includes his wife, but not her children from a previous marriage (possible of she is a widow, a Kohen is forbidden to marry a divorcee).
Vayikra 9Leviticus) Chapter 22
11. And if a kohen acquires a person, an acquisition through his money, he may eat of it, and those born in his house they may eat of his food.
יא. וְכֹהֵן כִּי יִקְנֶה נֶפֶשׁ קִנְיַן כַּסְפּוֹ הוּא יֹאכַל בּוֹ וִילִיד בֵּיתוֹ הֵם יֹאכְלוּ בְלַחְמוֹ:12. And if a kohen's daughter is married to a non- kohen, she may [no longer] eat of the separated holy things.יב. וּבַת כֹּהֵן כִּי תִהְיֶה לְאִישׁ זָר הִוא בִּתְרוּמַת הַקֳּדָשִׁים לֹא תֹאכֵל: 13. But if the kohen's daughter becomes widowed or divorced, and she has no offspring she may return to her father's household as in her youth [and] eat of her father's food, but no non kohen may eat of it.יג. וּבַת כֹּהֵן כִּי תִהְיֶה אַלְמָנָה וּגְרוּשָׁה וְזֶרַע אֵין לָהּ וְשָׁבָה אֶל בֵּית אָבִיהָ כִּנְעוּרֶיהָ מִלֶּחֶם אָבִיהָ תֹּאכֵל וְכָל זָר לֹא יֹאכַל בּוֹ:

The above section illustrates 2 principles:
1) that a woman loses here previous tribal status when she marries into another tribe making it impossible for her to pass on her tribal status.
2) That people the Kohen is not responsible for (such as the children of his wife from another man) cannot eat the food for a Kohen as they are not Kohanim

An attempt to circumvent this is for missionaries to claim that adoption is in the Torah since it appears that Avraham wanted to adopt his servant Eliezer before he had children and allow him to inherit his mantle- yet G-d specifically forbids this and states: Bereishis (Genesis) Chapter 15 4. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "This one will not inherit you, but the one who will spring from your innards-he will inherit you." ד. וְהִנֵּה דְבַר יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר לֹא יִירָשְׁךָ זֶה כִּי אִם אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִמֵּעֶיךָ הוּא יִירָשֶׁךָ:

Thus we see the two requirements- a Jewish father from the house of David and a Jewish mother so he is Jewish.

This just shows us that Jesus did not meet even the most basic requirements to be the mashiach and thus is completely rejected by us as being irrelevant to Jews and Judaism.
If he had met the above criteria, would Jesus have qualified then?
Let’s see what the Tankah says the Mashiach will achieve (a partial list only) :
1) In the Messianic era there is peace
2) In the Messianic era there is no poverty
3) In the Messianic era there is no disease
4) In the Messianic era the dead are resurrected
5) In the Messianic era all the Jews are gathered in Israel
6) In the Messianic era all the nations of the world acknowledge the holiness of the Jews and look to them for guidance

Lets see which of those Jesus fulfilled:
1) No
2) No
3) No
4) No
5) No
6) No
See the problem? Nowhere does the Tanakh discuss the Pagan concept of G-d having children and then walking around doing miracles. It does discuss a person with a human father and a human mother being the vehicle (The Mashiach) through which G-d will work to fulfill the above prophecies. And what are the requirements for the Mashiach: a Jewish mother since without that he is not Jewish; A Jewish father from the House of David without which he cannot be from the house of David; to be a righteous Jew- which Jesus was not since 1) he failed to fulfill the mitzva (commandment) of p'ru urevu (be fruitful and multiply) and 2) he told his followers it was ok to break the Shabbos, he failed to show he was completely righteous in that he destroyed somebodies livelihood by cursing a fig tree and destroying it merely for not having fruit out of season when it is not meant to have fruit!

So, here is another way to summarise the lack of fulfillment of messianic prophecies by Jesus:
1) The dead were not resurrected
2) The Jews did not become priests to the other nations
3) There is no world peace
4) The temple is not standing
5) There is no temple service
6) There is no parah adumah or its ashes to render us tahor
7) The messiah is from the House of David. Your house/tribe is inherited from your father. Your father is your BIOLOGICAL father- there is no adoption in Judaism to another father (it would violate the law about honoring your parents if allowed!)- if God is the father of Jesus- then Jesus cannot be from the House of David as God is not from the House of David.
8) Human sacrifice is completely forbidden in Judaism- remember God stopping the sacrifice of Isaac? The idea of a human being sacrificed is the opposite of anything from Judaism!
9) You have to atone for yourself! An essential part of the atonement process is being repentant. Someone cannot be repentant for you- you have to do it for yourself. Only communal sins can be forgiven communally- not individual, private sins!
10) The messiah needs to be observant of ALL Jewish laws- Jesus told his followers to violate the Sabbath by picking Barley on it- even though it is an activity explicitly prohibited on the Sabbath (God forbade the collection of Mana on the Shabbos and told them to collect a double portion on Friday. Plus we have the incident with the person collecting (gathering) firewood on Shabbos that G-d ordered to be killed.)

A rabbinic court, or Sanhedrin, has ruled that a Jew who believes in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah is no longer considered a Jew for purposes of marriage in Israel. This makes it impossible for two Messianic Jews to get married inside the country.

“An Israeli couple who are Messianic Jews cannot marry in a traditional Jewish religious ceremony in Israel because they are considered converts to Christianity, a rabbinical court ruled on Tuesday,” according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

It was the first time a rabbinical court has ruled on the issue of the status of Jews who believe in Jesus as Son of God, after a Messianic couple requested they be married in Israel according to Jewish law or “halacha.”

The couple was essentially told they would need to deny their faith in Jesus as the Son of God to have a state-recognized Jewish wedding ceremony in Israel.

All marriages in Israel are controlled by religious authorities, whether Jewish, Islamic, Christian or Druze, according to laws first handed down under the Ottoman Empire. These laws were retained by the British Mandate and continued after the state of Israel was founded in 1948.

The judges wrote that if the couple “declares before the court they have completely given up their Christian beliefs, including their belonging to a Messianic Jewish community and missionary activities, the court will discuss their matter anew.”

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