REVISED EDITION ORIGINALLY POSTED 04 JANUARY, 2004
In the annals of Christian teaching, Protestant or Catholic, one common thread often runs throughout: the institution known as “the Church” sees itself as being separate from Israel. As some would dogmatically declare, “The Church is not Israel!”—and depending on your view, this is correct. The Church institution by-and-large does not consider itself part of, or at times even related to, Israel. While there are some who do recognize that our faith is connected to Israel, that is about as far as it goes. In many ways Christian theologians have incorrectly “divided” and have mishandled the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15), favoring to “pick-and-choose” which Scriptures “apply to them” and to Israel, leading to inconsistencies regarding their understanding of the Bible. At times, this causes Bible teachers to dangerously ignore the Tanach or Old Testament in spiritual instruction.
Are these observations intended to accuse all Christians of anti-Semitism or an anti-Israel spirit? Absolutely not. There are many sincere, born again Christian Believers who do consider themselves “related” to Israel in some form, and they are supportive of the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and interreligious dialogue. Rather, we question the centuries-old concept of a division or wide gulf being placed between “the Church” and Israel. As the world gets more and more uncertain and news stories of Israel, the Middle East, and sermons on the Second Coming become far too frequent, the question of ecclesiology, or the study of God’s elect, should become relevant to the Christian Believer. How is the person who has put his or her trust in Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua, related to Israel?
Arguably, the study of the identity of “the Church” might be the most important doctrine outside that of salvation. This study determines what group of people, or elect, the born again Believer belongs to. It has a direct impact on the continued relevance of the Torah or Law of Moses for Believers, and whether or not the pre-tribulation rapture teaching is Scriptural. It also determines whether or not the Believer is a part of the Commonwealth of Israel, or is separate from it (cf. Ephesians 2:11-12).
Are you new to the Messianic movement? Do you have questions about what the Messianic movement, lifestyle, and theologies are all about? Do you need answers on a wide variety of issues with some detailed information? If these are the questions you have been asking, then Introduction to Things Messianic is a book that will definitely benefit you.
Written to the new person investigating Messianic things, Introduction to Things Messianic is a compilation of articles that will inform the inquirer on a wide array of Messianic topics relevant to the current state and growth of our movement, including:
- Is “the Church” truly a new group of elect?
- Is the Torah or Law of Moses really relevant for Believers today?
- Who were the ancient Pharisees and what did they believe?
- What are the ancient civilizations relevant to the Bible?
- Am I required to keep the Sabbath?
- What are the Biblical festivals?
- Am I required to eat kosher?
- Why do many Messianics use the proper name of God?
- What do Messianics think about the end-times?
- How do I properly grow in this new walk of faith?
These questions, and many more, are discussed and detailed in Introduction to Things Messianic. This book builds on the foundational material in Hebraic Roots: An Introductory Study in a much more thorough way for those wanting an in-depth view of these basic issues. Introduction to Things Messianic can be used for a single person or a group Bible study, as study questions follow each chapter. This publication can also be used as an excellent primer to other publications available from Messianic Apologetics.