5 December, 2020

Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

J.K. McKee

The subject of the Messiah’s return is one of the most controversial in the religious world today. If we believe that Yeshua is the Savior, then hopefully we will believe His words and what He told us about how He would return. However, for some, taking the Messiah’s words as our instruction concerning His Second Coming is difficult. Unfortunately, there exists competing factions, views, and creeds across the theological spectrum. Each often has an agenda and something at stake when it comes to the return of the Messiah. While this is certainly true of much of today’s evangelical Christianity, even today’s broad Messianic movement is not immune to competing eschatological views and debates.
Many believe that the Messiah can return at any moment, but ignore other Scripture passages which speak of something else taking place. What does the Bible say about the end-times? How are we to view eschatology from a distinct Messianic perspective? These are the questions which we need to be seriously contemplating, as we collect our thoughts, and are presented with the critical concepts and ideas surrounding the Messiah’s return.

This one verse written by the Apostle Paul speaks of a new status for human beings that has been inaugurated via the sacrificial work of Yeshua, as God’s people are to be united as “one person” (NEB), actively accomplishing His tasks in the Earth. At times, we do find Galatians 3:28 quoted among those in our Messianic faith community, but its ramifications are not often fully considered or probed for their significant spiritual power. Current and severe developments in the Messianic movement in our day—with the future steadily looming—require that we take a fresh look at this verse, what its message of equality means for us, and things that we are certainly missing as we seek to be those who are useful in the Lord’s work. This single verse asks us many difficult questions about both Biblical equality and why the Messianic community seems to have less unity and more rivalry.

Matthew 5:17-19, which preface the Sermon on the Mount which follows, are some of the most important verses of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) for today’s Messianic movement. These verses speak of the Messiah’s intent to fulfill, and not abolish, the Mosaic Law. But what does it mean that the Messiah was to come and fulfill the Law? Does it just pertain, as is commonly thought, to the prophetic agenda of accomplishment that is realized by the Messiah’s arrival? Or, is there a multi-layered dynamic of the Messiah’s coming to “fulfill” the Torah, which must be taken into consideration? Has the Law been “fulfilled and thus abolished,” as many people today conclude? If this is in error, then what might need to be corrected in some Believers’ view of the Torah?

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics responds to three categories of questions: Tanach (OT), Apostolic Scriptures (NT), and theology/Biblical Studies.

1. Is the doctrine of resurrection really present in the Tanach?

2. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are to be regarded as living, even though they are dead.

3. How should today’s Messianic people approach the holiday of Thanksgiving?