J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics responds to three categories of question: Tanach (OT), Apostolic Scriptures (NT), and theology/Biblical Studies.
1. What can you tell me about the controversy surrounding the numbers of the Exodus?
2. Is the “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the rapture?
3. What do you believe happens when born again Believers die?
It is very easy for today’s Messianic Believers to overlook the content of the Pauline Epistles, due to their complexities about issues pertaining to the Torah, First Century Judaism, and the inclusion of the nations in God’s plan of salvation. Among all of the Pauline letters, though, 1&2 Thessalonians get almost totally ignored by contemporary Messianic readers. Yet, 1&2 Thessalonians were some of the earliest of Paul’s letters written, depicting some of the early conflicts that the Body of Messiah experienced, as the good news was being proclaimed in the Mediterranean world. 1&2 Thessalonians are quoted in bits and pieces for their teachings on the end-times, the Second Coming, and they are surely employed in debates over a pre– or post-tribulational gathering of the saints. 1&2 Thessalonians includes much more to be examined for certain, as the First Century Believers were caught in the middle of often being rejected by the Jewish Synagogue, and they were treated with great suspicion and hostility by Greeks and Romans.
What are some of the important spiritual and theological issues to be explored in 1&2 Thessalonians, that can no longer go overlooked for today’s Messianic Believers? Is the Apostle Paul anti-Semitic in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15? What kind of a religious and/or political clash was occurring between the early Messianic movement, and the Roman establishment’s veneration of Caesar? How has 1&2 Thessalonians been interpreted among many contemporary Christians accurately, and not so accurately, as it concerns the return of the Messiah? What about the importance of the doctrine of the resurrection, especially for the early non-Jewish Believers, who were still likely struggling with issues of their pagan upbringing? What were some of the challenges that the widely non-Jewish Believers of Thessalonica faced, as they turned to the Messiah of Israel for salvation, and had to decisively be removed from any of the social or religious spheres in which they had once lived?
What important lessons are there for contemporary Messianic Believers to learn from 1&2 Thessalonians? How much have we left these two letters outside of our purview of Bible reading? What key insights and admonitions need to be incorporated into our spirituality, given some of the issues and difficulties that we currently face—presumably as we live in some of the final decades before the actual return of Yeshua (Jesus) to Planet Earth? Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee elaborates on these, and various other key subjects, in the commentary 1&2 Thessalonians for the Practical Messianic.
Also included in this commentary is an exposition on Acts 17:1-15: Paul’s visit to Thessalonica.
available in both paperback ($15.99) and eBook for Amazon Kindle ($9.99)
Without any doubt, one of the most uncomfortable subjects that any human being has to confront in life is death. You do not have to be that well versed in reading the Bible, to adequately understand that death is a part of living. With the possible exception of those who will actually be alive at the moment of the Second Coming, the biological life functions of each and every one of us will cease. A mainstay, of both Judaism and Christianity, is the firm belief in the future resurrection of the dead. A Scripture passage like Daniel 12:1 unambiguously tells us, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake…” Everyone in today’s broad Messianic movement would rightfully agree that the deceased from all ages will have their physical remains reanimated and resurrected to new biological life.
Yet for many Jews, and many more Christians, questions abound about what is to occur between the moments of physical death and future resurrection. What happens to people? Do people somehow go into absolute unconsciousness, only to then be somehow recreated? Is the death of a human being little different than the death of an animal? Is the death of a human being much different than the death of an animal, with the consciousness of mind, memory, experience, and creativity—often more called in the vernacular to be a “soul”—temporarily held in another dimension until the resurrection?
This installment of the Confronting Issues series by Messianic Apologetics, To Be Absent From the Body, has brought together some important information and critical FAQ entries from the Messianic Apologetics website. There are definite questions of human dignity and worth to be evaluated regarding the intermediate state. This volume addresses this subject quite well. If you have a relative, a friend, or another loved one who has passed away knowing the Lord—you can be assured that he or she is consciously in His presence right now—but is also quite eager to return to the Earth to see His Kingdom restored!
available in both paperback ($12.99) and eBook for Amazon Kindle ($7.99)