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Messanic Jews

Have you noticed that today’s “Messianic synagogues” are made up mostly of Gentiles, not Jews? Among some Christians there is the thinking that to partake of Jewish feasts, Jewish rituals, Jewish days and Jewish attire makes one more spiritual than a Gentile in a New Testament church. Even in the future Smyrna church during the tribulation period there will be people claiming to be Jews who are not (Revelation 2:8-10.)

Israel, today, is “Lo-ammi” (Hosea 1:9) meaning not My people. Israel’s condition is described in Hosea 3:4:

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.”

Israel has an incomplete religion. They do not have a Temple and if they had one, they still could not use it because they have no priesthood. The only sacrifice they have is a rooster the day before Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) and it is not a Biblical sacrifice. Israel’s setting aside took place at Acts 28:28 and will continue until Christ’s personal return (Zechariah 12:10.)

Under the old covenant with Israel, God did not evangelize the Gentiles (Matthew 10:5-6,) but should a Gentile keep the Sabbath and be circumcised, he could partake of Israel’s blessings (Isaiah 56:1-8.) After Christ’s resurrection and the introduction of the new covenant to Israel, the Gentiles were given four decrees to keep that would allow them to be partaker of Israel’s blessings (Acts 15.) The new covenant was in effect until Israel’s final rejection of their Messiah (Acts 28:24-28.) Notice the easy-to-read instructions that Paul wrote after Israel’s setting aside:

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” Colossians 2:16-17

None of these things are of any importance today. In the church which is His body, there is nothing anyone can do physically that profits spiritually! Christ Himself introduces that truth to us in Mark 7:18-23. Paul taught that the observance of any day brought no spiritual blessings (Romans 14:5-6.) There is no special diet that will bring you favor from God (Romans 14:2-3) and you can wear no garment that will invoke God’s acceptance. The Pharisees adhered to all of the above. They were not God’s examples, but recipients of His wrath (Matthew 23.)

This brings up another question to the Gentile “practicing” to be Jews; which set of Jews in the Bible are you practicing to be? In Jesus’ day there were the Pharisees and their political enemies, the Sadducees, along with the Herodians (Mark 3:6) and the Judaism of John the Baptist. Please remember that it says Christ died for the “church,” not the synagogue. Christ, also, specifically forbid calling another man “rabbi” (Matthew 23:7-8.)

Does addressing the Lord by the term “Yahweh” get God’s attention quicker or indicate mature spirituality by one using it?

Again, let us go to the Bible and Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:9-10:

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.”

Notice whom God has exalted. What is His name? It is not Jehovah. It is not Yahweh. It is not God Almighty. It is not Christ. It is that earthy name of Jesus! The One Who was born in manger. The One Who hungered, thirsted, felt pain and got tired. The One Who suffered and died here on this earth in a human body. His Name is Jesus!!!

The issue is not whether one will bow or not. He will bow. He may do it voluntary or involuntary, but every person will bow to the name of Jesus. Paul’s warnings to the Corinthians still need to be heeded:

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (Caps mine)

Keep Looking Up!

Leland Maples

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