“[L]ooking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
Reviewing the condition of the broad Messianic movement, today in 2012-2013, too many Messianic Jewish leaders—some for theological reasons, and some for religious-political reasons—cannot and/or will not, break out of some mentality that there is a kind of separate “Church” entity. In this publication, we have adequately defined the Commonwealth of Israel as an enlarged Kingdom realm of Israel, composed of a restored Twelve Tribes of Israel at its center, and the righteous from the nations at large incorporated as fellow citizens along with them—thus meaning that no separate “Church” entity at all exists. Yet, we have hopefully, in the process, preserved the uniqueness of the Jewish people, for whom the heritage of the Tanach or Old Testament is not only a part of their spiritual, but also their ethnic and cultural birthright. Even with many non-Jewish Believers today following the Torah along with their fellow Jewish Believers—both as the power of the New Covenant writes God’s commandments onto their hearts—the latter have a definite impetus to observe it as a part of their heritage, far more than those of the nations generally.
The final stages or phases of salvation history, with God’s plan to fully restore the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6), are beginning to take shape. This has involved both the arrival of the Messianic Jewish movement, and seeing many Jewish people brought to faith in Yeshua—as well as seeing many non-Jewish Believers exposed to and embracing their Hebraic Roots and spiritual heritage in Judaism. There should be no denying the fact that the Messianic movement is going to play a very prominent role in end-time events, culminating in the return of the Messiah. It should also be no surprise to see—if the Messianic movement is going to play a major and much more prominent role in future things—why there has been so much division, confusion, suspicion, and even some outright hatred among brothers and sisters. The enemy does not want to see God’s intentions come to pass.
The position defended in this publication, is one which is adhered to by many people across the broad Messianic spectrum: non-Jewish Believers do have citizenship within the community of Israel, along with Jewish Believers. They are a part of the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13), fellow heirs (Ephesians 3:6), grafted-in to Israel’s olive tree (Romans 11:16-17), members of the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16). But what are some of the implications of this?
There is a general sense, in much of the broad Messianic movement, that what was present in the First Century Body of Messiah, is something which is most ideal and beneficial to try to recapture. While this should not include returning to a Mediterranean culture dominated by an oppressive power such as Rome, or include the presence of deplorable practices such as slavery and the oppression of women, or even Believers in Yeshua suffering public humiliation by the state—it does mean returning to the sense of unity and interconnectivity presented to us in the Book of Acts, with Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in camaraderie and solidarity with one another, as fellow brothers and sisters, sharing “sacred space” on a weekly basis with one another. While these people surely had their issues—as all human beings do—trying to recapture some of what they had, is an admirable goal, and one which many feel is present in today’s mixed Messianic congregations of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers.
There is no doubting the reality, that when one surveys a selection of most Messianic Jewish congregations, in the Diaspora—and mainly in North America at that—that a majority of the constituents are likely to be non-Jewish. While exact numbers vary from assembly to assembly, the total numbers of Jewish people in a Messianic congregation might be one-third or less. Understandably, in anticipating the future growth and expansion of the Messianic movement, various Messianic Jewish leaders are a bit concerned. A Messianic Jewish movement which originally began as an evangelical outreach to fellow Jews—while seeing many Jews brought to faith in Yeshua the Messiah—has also seen many evangelical Believers enter in, and embrace their Hebraic Roots and a lifestyle of Torah observance. Will the Messianic movement actually emerge into a movement, where there are little or no Jews?
“[A]nd He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:6).
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Revelation 5:10).
“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Messiah and will reign with Him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
“But you are A CHOSEN RACE [Isaiah 43:20, LXX; Deuteronomy 7:6; 10:15], A royal PRIESTHOOD [Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 61:6], A HOLY NATION [Exodus 19:6], A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION [Isaiah 43:21, LXX; Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 4:20; 7:6; 14:2], so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY [Hosea 2:23]. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”
“Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’ by the so-called ‘Circumcision,’ which is performed in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah…[T]he Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the gospel.”
“For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”