Appointed Times

Messianic Spring Holiday Helper

13 April, 2017 messianicapologetics 0

The Spring holiday season is a very busy time for those in today’s Messianic movement, beginning with Purim, continuing to the week of Passover and Unleavened Bread, and then culminating with Shavuot or Pentecost. This broad season is one of the most demanding for Messianic Believers, not only as it concerns the many things to celebrate and reflect upon, but also as we strive to exhibit a positive testimony to both the Jewish and Christian communities: to Jewish people remembering the Passover and deliverance of Ancient Israel from Egypt, and to Christians memorializing the death and resurrection of Yeshua the […]

Anti-Semitism

A Restoration of Israel–Without the Jews?

11 April, 2017 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 12 DECEMBER, 2016 reproduced from the December 2016 issue of Outreach Israel News This month of December 2016, the Jewish and Messianic Jewish communities will be commemorating Chanukah or the Festival of Dedication. Chanukah is a very warm time for Jewish and Messianic Jewish families, mainly as they reflect back on different family memories, special times of fellowship, gift giving, and of course eating many specialty foods. In many Messianic congregations the world over, there will be dedicated times of reading from the Books of Maccabees, focusing on the ancient history of the Seleucid invasion of the Land of Israel, […]

Appointed Times

Messianic Sabbath Helper

7 April, 2017 messianicapologetics 0

The instruction to remember the Sabbath is the Fourth of the Ten Commandments: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work” (Exodus 20:8-10a). The seventh-day Sabbath or Shabbat is widely associated with God’s creation of the world (Genesis 2:2-3) and the Exodus of Ancient Israel from Egypt (Deuteronomy 15:15). The Sabbath is one of the Torah’s moedim or appointed times (Leviticus 23:3). Desecration of the Sabbath actually brought judgment to […]

Books & Studies

Introduction to Things Messianic

31 March, 2017 messianicapologetics 0

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 History

Torah, moral and ceremonial law

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 07 JUNE, 2006 How do you respond to the claim that Christ has done away with the ceremonial law, but that the moral law of God remains? The divisions of the Torah of Moses among sets of “moral law” and “ceremonial law” are artificial. While we certainly commend Christian theologians for wanting to maintain the integrity of at least some of the Torah, the Torah does not categorize itself in terms of a commandment being “moral” or “ceremonial.” What many Christian denominations advocate is that some of the Torah’s commandments, those pertaining to the Sabbath, the holidays of Israel, […]

Church History

Reformation

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 13 JULY, 2006 What is your opinion on the Protestant Reformation? We believe that the Protestant Reformation was absolutely imperative in order for our faith to be where it is today. Prior to the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church held the only copies of the Scriptures, and the Bible was inaccessible to the common man. When God started moving on men and women to return to the Scriptures, Roman Catholic tradition began being questioned and eliminated from the faith. Many of these people were hunted down and martyred for their beliefs, because they dared to challenge the papal authorities, […]

Apostasy

The Effect of Mysticism and Gnosticism on the Messianic Movement

5 October, 2016 messianicapologetics 0

As today’s Messianic community strives to return to the First Century faith of the Disciples and Apostles, we will not just be facing “common problems” like adultery, idolatry, or even sins such as lying. We will also contend with some of the very specific religious problems that the First Century ekklēsia faced. Very few when examining Scripture, unfortunately, consider it in its historical context. Many do not have an understanding of First Century Judaism, Greco-Roman religion, Second and Third Century Christianity, and the various mystery religions and cults that existed. Too many fail to consider the gross religious errors that […]

Appointed Times

How Did We Lose the Sabbath?

4 October, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

originally posted 31 July, 2015 reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper When many of us think about some of the most significant theological debates of the past three of five decades, we are probably immediately drawn into thinking about conservatives and liberals sparring over the reliability of the Holy Scriptures, creationists and evolutionists fighting about the origins of humankind, Scripturalists and cultists warring over the Divinity of Yeshua, and most recently the controversy that has been rising up over homosexuality and gay marriage.[1] How many of us are consciously aware that there has been a debate ensuing among evangelical Christians, […]

Church History

Communion

27 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

Do you think that Messianic congregations should practice communion with bread and wine on a regular basis? I have noticed that some do, and some do not. When Paul writes the Corinthians, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26), he delivers this instruction in the context of speaking to them about the yearly Passover meal (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:8-9). Many over the centuries, though, having been separated from the Hebraic Roots of our faith, have interpreted this as relating to the sacrament of communion. […]

Biblical Practices & Torah Observance

Dispensationalism: Root Cause of Modern Antinomianism

22 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

REVISED 02 MAY, 2005 The Messianic community today faces some strong theological challenges. While we are trying to develop a coherent orthodoxy relating to the correct beliefs and practices in relationship to the prophesied, greater restoration of Israel—we face external difficulties from popular Christian belief systems which directly relate to how a person reads and interprets Scripture. The two systems that are in direct opposition to the premise that all born again Believers are a part of the Commonwealth of Israel, and they should live as a part of Israel, are those of replacement theology and dispensationalism. Replacement theology, widely […]

Church History

Church Fathers

20 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 10 JULY, 2006 What is your opinion of the writings of the “Church Fathers”? The writings of early Christianity from the late First to Fourth Centuries C.E., commonly termed the writings of the “Church Fathers,” is a body of religious literature not unlike the Jewish writings of the same period. These writings demonstrate the various theological opinions and controversies that existed in early Christianity, the persecution that the Believers experienced at the hands of the Roman Empire, and the overall challenges that they faced. There are some in the Messianic community who readily criticize the writings of the “Church […]

Church History

Church, Word of Pagan Origin

19 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 1

POSTED 06 JULY, 2006 I have heard that the English word “church” is of pagan origins. Is there any substantiation to support this? There is debate over the origins of the English word church, but before we can address this, we need to have a proper understanding of the Greek word ekklēsia, which in our Bibles is commonly rendered as “church.” Is “church” an appropriate translation of this word? LS defines ekklēsia as “an assembly of the citizens regularly summoned, the legislative assembly” and “in N.T. the Church, either the body, or the place.”[1] In the Apostolic Scriptures, ekklēsia is […]

Biblical Practices & Torah Observance

A Low Hamartology

14 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

originally posted 13 September, 2009 reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper What is the problem with holding to a low theology of sin (hamartology), and how do we see this problem fixed? I had a very interesting dream the other night, but before I begin, let me say something: I don’t have dreams. This does not mean that I am not spiritual, it just means that the Lord usually communicates to me through prayer or His Word. This dream, however, was pretty interesting. It involved me consciously picking up various books and commentaries in my library, and closely examining and […]

Church History

Christians who do not keep Torah

13 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 13 NOVEMBER, 2014 Are Christian people who do not keep Torah hopelessly lost? I notice that your ministry freely, and sometimes liberally, quotes Christian Bible scholars. There are a great number of people in the Hebrew Roots movement who think that they have a corner on the “truth,” and that everyone else is in error. The issue of the wider, evangelical Christian world, and what to do about its activity or non-activity regarding the Torah of Moses, will certainly provoke a wide number of thoughts and opinions in the broad Messianic movement—ranging from a diversity of views present within […]

Church History

Christian Scholars

12 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 08 JANUARY, 2007 Why does today’s Messianic movement generally frown on the works of Christian Biblical scholarship? Today’s Messianic movement does have a significant challenge when it comes to considering the theological contributions made by Christian Biblical scholarship. The reasons for this are varied and complex, but they largely have to relate to perceived Christian animosity toward the Torah. It is very true that many Christian theologians have a negative and pessimistic attitude when it comes to the Torah or Law of Moses and how it is talked about in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament). But this is certainly […]

Church History

Christianity, Pagan?

9 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 28 JULY, 2006 Do you believe everything in Christianity is pagan? We believe that evangelical Christianity, as it stands today, has some non-Biblical practices which stem from Roman Catholicism that need to be eliminated. But we are not prepared to say that every aspect of Christianity is “pagan,” although certain practices that are not found in Scripture are no doubt of questionable origins (i.e., Christmas trees, Easter eggs, etc.). If everything in Christianity is “pagan,” does that suddenly make all things in Judaism “kosher”? No. Those who try to make pagan connections with virtually “all” aspects of Christian doctrine […]

Biblical Studies & Scriptural Reliability

Jumpin’ Junia(s)!

9 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 08 DECEMBER, 2008 reproduced from the McHuey Blog It is doubtful that many of you have read Romans 16 recently. The content of Romans 16 is fresh in my mind as I had to deliver a class presentation on this text Thursday morning. Most people who just read Paul’s letter to the Romans do not consider that ch. 16 to be significant, when it is very significant. This is not just an idle part of Paul’s letter where he greets random people. Romans 16 tells us important things about the social makeup of the assemblies (yes, assemblies in the […]

Church History

Christian, Title

8 September, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 17 JULY, 2006 Is it true that the early Believers did not call themselves “Christians”? In Acts 26:28, the Apostle Paul is called before King Agrippa who asks him, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (NIV). This statement is made after Paul defends himself for believing in the resurrection of the dead and for the decisions that he made as a Jewish Believer who preached in the name of Yeshua. But was Paul going out and making “Christians” of those to whom he preached? Many people believe so, […]

Appointed Times

Shabbat: Sabbath for Messianic Believers

29 July, 2016 messianicapologetics 0

Today’s Messianic community widely believes and advocates that our Heavenly Father is restoring the significance of the seventh-day Sabbath or Shabbat to all of His people. Messianic Believers, in desiring to see themselves fully consecrated to the Lord, find a great deal of not only blessing but also critical focus, in how the Creator God desires His own to consecrate an entire day unto Him. Far too many of not only our Christian brothers and sisters, but even Messianic Believers’ Jewish brethren, have not understood how the hallowing of the Sabbath day, has some great significance and substance in terms […]