Posts Tagged ‘branches’

Good News According To Messianic Jewish Christians

March 28, 2009

Jewish followers of Jesus started Christianity.

According to church tradition Peter (a Jewish believer in Jesus) founded the  Catholic church in Rome. Andrew (a Jewish believer in Jesus)started the Greek Orthodox church currently headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey (then called Byzantium and later Constantinople) in AD 38.  Mark (a Jewish believer in Jesus, discipled by Peter) created the Egyptian Orthodox church (in Alexandria which had a large Jewish population) in about 42 AD. Paul (a Jewish believer in Jesus, also a rabbi) started many early churches and wrote the most letters of the New Testament.

Aristo of Pella may have represented the believers who fled to Pella instead of being slaughtered by the Romans in the destruction of the Temple.

The first historian of the church, Eusebius of Caesarea provides the names of an unbroken succession of thirty-six Bishops of Jerusalem up to the year 324.[1] The first sixteen of these bishops were Jewish—from James the Brother of Jesus through Judas († 135)—the remainder were Gentiles.

After the death of Jesus, the early congregations remained mostly Messianic or Jewish-Christian until around 130 CE. Since then, the church became mostly gentile in composition. With the resurrection of Israel as a country, Jewish participation in the church is again increasing which is good news for the church.

Also, Hypsistarians, a fascinating group played a little known key role. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypsistarians
Mention by Goethe -After describing his difficulties with mainstream religion, Goethe laments that

…I have found no confession of faith to which I could ally myself without reservation. Now in my old age, however, I have learned of a sect, the Hypsistarians, who, hemmed in between heathens, Jews and Christians, declared that they would treasure, admire, and honour the best, the most perfect that might come to their knowledge, and inasmuch as it must have a close connection to the Godhead, pay it reverence. A joyous light thus beamed at me suddenly out of a dark age, for I had the feeling that all my life I had been aspiring to qualify as a Hypsistarian. That, however, is no small task, for how does one, in the limitations of one’s individuality, come to know what is most excellent?[1]

…remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.. Ephesians 2:12-13 (New International Version)

Messianic Music – http://www.musicfromisrael.com/c/C-MSC/Messianic.html

jewish-and-arab-boys

chosen people ministries

chosen people ministries

Issues

Who is a Jew?
Matrilineal or Patrilineal Descent
http://judaism.about.com/od/whoisajew/a/whoisjewdescent.htm

How should Gentile and Messianic Christian’s follow the law?

The Jerusalem Church created a double standard: one for Jewish Christians and one for Gentile converts (for the parallel in Judaism, seeConvert to Judaism and Noahides). The Decree may be the first act of differentiation of the Church from its Jewish roots[3], depending on when Jewish
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Jerusalem?wasRedirected=true

Medieval rabbinic figure Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon), also known as the Rambam, wrote a commentary to tractate Sanhedrin stressing a relatively naturalistic interpretation of the Messiah and de-emphasizing miraculous elements. His commentary became widely (although not universally) accepted in the non- or less-mystical branches of Orthodox Judaism:[citation needed]
The Messianic age is when the Jews will regain their independence and all return to the land of Israel. The Messiah will be a very great king, he will achieve great fame, and his reputation among the gentile nations will be even greater than that of King Solomon. His great righteousness and the wonders that he will bring about will cause all peoples to make peace with him and all lands to serve him…. Nothing will change in the Messianic age, however, except that Jews will regain their independence. Rich and poor, strong and weak, will still exist. However it will be very easy for people to make a living, and with very little effort they will be able to accomplish very much…. it will be a time when the number of wise men will increase…. war shall not exist, and nation shall no longer lift up sword against nation…. The Messianic age will be highlighted by a community of the righteous and dominated by goodness and wisdom. It will be ruled by the Messiah, a righteous and honest king, outstanding in wisdom, and close to God. Do not think that the ways of the world or the laws of nature will change, this is not true. The world will continue as it is. The prophet Isaiah predicted “The wolf shall live with the sheep, the leopard shall lie down with the kid.” This, however, is merely allegory, meaning that the Jews will live safely, even with the formerly wicked nations. All nations will return to the true religion and will no longer steal or oppress. Note that all prophecies regarding the Messiah are allegorical Only in the Messianic age will we know the meaning of each allegory and what it comes to teach us. Our sages and prophets did not long for the Messianic age in order that they might rule the world and dominate the gentiles, the only thing they wanted was to be free for Jews to involve themselves with the Torah and its wisdom.

What does the word “Torah” actually mean?

The word Torah comes from the Hebrew root yarah which means “the mark”.  This is meant to bring to mind an archer as he strives to “hit the mark”. Conversely, the Hebrew word for “sin” means to litteraly “miss the mark”.  Torah most litterally means “teaching” or “instruction” . Thus, the picture that the word Torah is meant to paint is aiming for the center of the target to do what is right.

Torah is most often used to reference to the five Books of Moses. (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) However, sometimes the word Torah may also be used to refer collectively to all Scripture or even to include all teaching derived from Scripture. With all of these meanings floating around it’s easy to see why the word Torah needs defining.

For the sake of this article we will define Torah as: The divine document written by HaShem given to Moses at Mt. Sinai.

Though it contains laws and commands, the Torah is better understood as God’s teaching and instructions on life rather than some divine municipal governance. The Torah teaches us how to do what is right and by doing so, find blessing. It also warns us how to avoid the curse from doing wrong. According to the Scriptures, the Torah is truth, our delight, holy, good, spiritual, and many other attributes.

The Torah is the following books of the bible – B’reisheit (In the Beginning), Shemot (Names), Vayikra (And He Called), Bamidbar (n the Wilderness), and Devarim (Words). Also known as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

http://jerusalemcouncil.org/articles/teaching/torah/#more-282

also –

We can speculate all we want on the matter of things to come or ascribing one man or another his inheritance. However, our judgement will not stand when the Shofar of Heaven sounds and Tzar HaShalom takes His place to judge the nations placing one to his right and another to his left. His judgement will remain… Maybe it’s not so wise to argue who is in and who is out to the point of forgetting the Judge!!!

…This has been my general approach to the subject here to fore.

Certainly Torah is the law by which we will be judged and knowing it’s finer points is a Mitzvah. But let us not neglect the finner points of the character of HaShem in the process. He is abounding in loving kindness and truth showing mercy to thousands. Many will be spared judgement they deserve. Yeshua promises we will be shown much mercy if we are also merciful. Therefore, especially in discussion of identity and inheritance let us walk gently with mercy rather than extreme justice.
Paul reminds us that ones Jewishness is not outward. For this reason we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. When we look at the end of time, all who remain are shown mercy. (That is, those who live.) In this salvation of mercy there is neither Jew nor Gentile. A fellow heir can reject the fullness of his inheritance in Torah just as easily as a fellow Jew. But, I think it is dangerous to dwell too much on who is in and who is out of the covenant. Yeshua seems to take a “wait and see” attitude. If we claim Him as our Rabbi I think it’s important that we follow suite.
Certainly conversion exists today. But it has always been more symbolic than definitive. Much like baptism in Christianity, the process is an outward depiction of an inward change. Can such a demonstration be falsified? Absolutely!!! Can we see another’s heart to declare their state? Not unless HaShem reveals it to us and in my experience, HaShem doesn’t generally reveal such things to the general populous and rarely to specific individual. It is on a need-to-know basis and we obviously need to know less than we think….
When a baby is born, his father expects him to get a job and provide for himself, take a wife and produce a family of his own. However, the father does not expect the baby to do all of these things by tomorrow. It will take years of careful instruction to bring the boy to maturity. In between, there is grace for poopy diapers, temper tantrums, sibling rivalries and all of the other things that are common to the development of children. But the end result is a responsible righteous man.
In the same way a we all grow in Torah. It is like a guardian that brings us to righteousness. For the Christian that doesn’t yet know Torah fully there is more grace and mercy than we often show. HaShem is drawing them to Himself just as He has drawn us.
A Jewish baby, upon birth, is not recognizably Jewish. Not until 8 days later is he given the sign of the Covenant in his flesh. Even then the sign is hidden from the world. A baby must learn Torah and grow in wisdom and stature regardless of his genetic heritage. But if that baby is not fully grown shall we say that He is not walking in the fullness of the Father’s will?
As FFOZ pointed out in their last Messiah Journal, the major problem in discussions on conversion and identity come down to the Gentiles responsibility to keep Torah. Shall we convert then and proceed to stone them because they have transgressed laws that they barely know??? MAY IT NEVER BE!!!! Instead let us show them the same love that we were shown as we began to take baby steps in Torah. This is why we have the Torah cycle. It teaches children and converts year-by-year to walk in the fullness of righteousness.
Without an atonement of Moshiach we would be forced to “throw the book at someone”. But this is why Moshiach has been given: to atone for the transgressions and sins of those who stumble or are turned away by various snares and traps of the enemy. As Yeshua says: “I did not come for the righteous but for sinners…” “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” We must conclude then that “whosoever” in John 3:16 is included in the “lost sheep of Israel” mentioned here. Thus, I’m reaffirming that belief in Moshiach is prerequisite to immersion and conversion.
As Israel says again and again: conversion is a public confirmation of an already existing condition. Even to the Jew who has been cut off, Yeshua’s death gives them the chance to repent and be grafted in again. Yeshua’s resurrection reminds us of His promise to restore all that has been lost and save as many as will accept His salvation. He will restore the world in fullness and the former glory will be surpassed by the later.
As to how this plays out in the end of days and whether the Gentiles will survive the resurrection or how the nations will be inhabited in the times to come… To all these things we can only adopt a “wait and see” attitude. We know in part and we prophesy in part. But when the fullness comes there will be no more partiality. Until then we trust in the goodness of G-d and seek to be found faithful with a little responsibility that more may be added to us.
This is why discussion based on conjecture bug me so much: If we do not start trusting in G-d’s goodness and preaching His mercy along with His righteousness we will quickly loose sight of the Good News! Heaven forbid that a lack of faith cause us to grow weary in doing good or cause us to fall away altogether. If we loose sight of HaShem’s identity, arguing about our own identity won’t do much to save us. Rather, by focusing on His righteous mercy we encourage each other to get up and try again and live the righteousness that we so long to see perfected in our lives.
In the end there are only two identities for humanity: those who are HaShem people and those who are not His people. But for both groups their identity lies less with their own making and more in the identity of Moshiach. If our identity, Jew or Gentile, is based on anything other than the salvation of Moshiach we have bigger problems than what to call ourselves. But if we are in Moshiach we are grafted into an inheritance older than the children of Israel and more lasting than their generations. We are our Beloveds and He is ours and we shall feast at His table forever!
Hopefully this encourages each one to press in and serve HaShem with gladness. Conversion into the Kingdom of Righteousness is something to be proclaimed. I was in darkness but now I have seen the light! But if our conversion is for any other purpose than proclaiming that great event in our life we have defiled the entire act. Therefore, may it be that each conversion of rebirth is complete and holy to our G-d and that we continue to learn more how to faithfully walk in righteousness. Amein.
LIBRARY

The faith of the Mother Church
an essay on the theology of the Judeo-Christians

by Emmanuele Testa

Atallah Mansour, author of “Narrow Gate Churches” – http://www.amazon.com/NARROW-GATE-CHURCHES-Christian-ebook/dp/B001QFYCZW/

Muhammad had a Jewish-Christian for an advisor! Waraqah ibn Nawfal http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waraqah_ibn_Nawfal?wasRedirected=true

Q)  Why is the return of Messiah bad for Jews???

A)
Given those assumptions, we are talking not about what the future actually holds, but about people’s belief in a particular future.  Many rapturists proclaim that messiah will return, some Jews will finally convert and the others will burn.  Neither option is appealing to Jews (excepting of course the miniscule number of people who consider themselves both).  Many of us consider it a hostile vision.

It is fundamental to Christianity (it’s belieiefs) that it surpassed/supplanted  Judaism and that the Christians are right and the Jews are wrong. Although there are some swings toward tolerance, overall deep down most Christians find Jews troublesome or offensive, precisely because of (what they see as) Jews unwillingness to accept TRUTH. I would say that we all want others to confirm our world view.

Personally, I am not too riled by people who think the best outcome of all is that I burn or embrace their truth. It is a bridge I do not contemplate much and figure I will cross or not when it exists. Until then it is idle speculation – a great unknown (likely in the view of some and unlikely in the view of others).  But I still get no comfort from them or their vision.

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Good News According To Orthodox Christians

March 28, 2009

Orthodox Christians have many denominations. Key types of Orthodox Christians include Greek Orthodox, Egyptian or Coptic Orthodox, Russian, and Armenian Orthodox (among others).

Greeks gave us the New Testament, Egyptian Coptics were started by Mark and Armenia was the first nation to make Christianity its national religion.

The Greek Orthodox church considers itself to be the Mother Church of Christianity and has had an unbroken presence in the Holy Land since the first centuries of Christendom. They claim their first Bishop was James. Perhaps, of interest is that James was Jewish, his Hebrew name was Jacob. Biblically, Jacob means Israel. Somewhere along the way the Orthodox church lost this Jewish connection and its rituals and practices became less Jewish.

greek-orthodox

Some claim an alleged Council of Jamnia in 90 excluded Christians from the synagogues, but this is disputed. Jewish Christians continued to worship in synagogues for centuries. During the Jewish-Roman wars, in 136 AD, Jewish Christians hailed Jesus as the Messiah and did not support Bar Kokhba (who some Jews claimed as a Messiah), yet the Jewish-Christians were barred from Jerusalem along with the rest of the Jews. The war and its aftermath helped differentiate Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism. Martin Buber summarizes this tension well.

Today, the Greek Orthodox Church has extensive property holdings in Jerusalem  and throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories. In addition to numerous churches, seminaries and other properties used for religious purposes, church property holdings include the land on which the Knesset  and the prime minister’s residence are located, as well as an array of historic buildings in Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Imperial and Petra hotels inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City.

and the Orthodox lead worship at the church that commemorates the ascension of Jesus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvoNO-L-PfU&feature=player_embedded

Good News According to Evangelical Protestants

March 28, 2009

Evangelicals or Protestants are Christians who trace their spiritual roots back to Martin Luther, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe and other key leaders. This spiritual movement was a reformation of the Catholic church.

hillsong-worship

I like most Protestant Evangelicals. Although Martin Luther’s views on Jews were praised by Hitler which is very scary and still affects the church today in practices that are simply not Biblical, such as easter eggs, Santa claus and support for war.

 hitler and luther

Even the great Protestant Reformer Martin Luther, who is known for slapping the hand of Jews (see The Jews and their Lies) once said:

“The Hebrew language is the best language of all … If I were younger I would want to learn this language, because no one can really understand the Scriptures without it. For although the New Testament is written in Greek, it is full of Hebraisms and Hebrew expressions. It has therefore been aptly said that the Hebrews drink from the spring, the Greeks from the stream that flows from it, and the Latin’s from a downstream puddle.”

Good News According To Catholics

March 27, 2009

The Catholic church was started by Jesus’ disciple Peter or Constantine depending on who you ask.

The Pope leads the Catholic Church.

pope-benedict-greets-youth