Home > Israel > A SCRIPTURAL VIEW OF MESSIANIC JUDAISM

A SCRIPTURAL VIEW OF MESSIANIC JUDAISM

 

NOTE: PMI is a King James Bible teaching ministry. We do publish material as it is written however.

Harry Bethel [1]

I love Jews. I am a descendent of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob (Galatians 3:29; 4:28-31). My surname is a Hebrew name and means “house of God.” By God’s grace I love all my enemies, which we are commanded by Jesus Christ to do.

Frequently I receive letters or literature from Messianic Jews and other Christians of similar persuasion trying to get me to keep the Law of Moses. They are sincere, but misled. All false doctrine is the doctrine of demons and to put it bluntly, the spirit that is influencing these dear brothers and sisters in Christ regarding trying to keep Moses’ Law is demonic.

(My dear Jewish friends, please notice that I did not say that Moses’ Law is demonic, but that the spirit that is influencing Christians to keep the Law is demonic. I get much hate mail from Jews who misread this article and jump to conclusions and rail against me after reading it. Thank you.)

I have written on this subject before, but in this article I will be brief and to the point with a simple question-and-answer format straight from the Word of God. But first it should be made clear that because Christians are not under the Law but under Grace, this is in no way a license to sin. Indeed, there is an almost total lack of understanding concerning what grace is.

Grace is not mercy. Grace is not overlooking our sins or failures or mistakes. Grace is not merely unmerited favor. Grace is not compassion. So what is grace? Grace is the God-given power and desire to do God’s will. Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” This is what grace is.

Grace is given to the humble, not the proud (James 4:6). If you are trying to be justified by the Law you have been severed from Christ and fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4 NASB) [2] !!!

Christians under the New Covenant have a much higher calling to holiness than did the Old Testament saints under the Law of Moses. Does this sound like grace is a license to sin? That concept is a perverted straw man that Messianic Jews and others have constructed having been deceived by demonic spirits. One purpose of this demonic deception is to subvert souls saying that you must keep the Law (Acts 15:24 KJV).

Again, we have a higher calling to holiness under the Covenant of Grace. Instead of committing the physical act of adultery to be guilty of that sin under the Law, under the Covenant of Grace you are guilty of adultery if you even look at a woman to lust after her (Mt. 5:28).

Instead of having to physically kill someone to be guilty of murder under the Law, now if you even hate your brother you are guilty of murder (1 Jn. 3:15). Instead of having to bow down to an idol to be guilty of idolatry, now, if you are covetous you are guilty of idolatry (Col. 3:5). More could be cited regarding this, but the point has been made for those with ears to hear.

Under the Old Covenant God’s people were given laws that they could not keep because of the sinful nature. They were not given the power to keep the Law, that is, they were not given grace as Christians have under the New Covenant.

The persuasion for Christians to keep the Law does not come from God (Gal. 5:8).

Did Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and pre-Law Moses, live by the Law or by faith? By faith (Heb. 11:4-30).

Why was the Law given later by Moses and what was the purpose of the Law? “It was added because of transgressions” (Gal. 3:19); “The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:24-25).

How long was the Law in effect for God’s people who are born-again? “Til the Seed [Jesus] should come to Whom the promise was made” (Gal. 3:19); “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rm. 10:4); “The Law and the prophets were until John [the Baptizer]” (Lk. 16:16a); “The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:17).

Are those who are under the works of the Law under a blessing or a curse? “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse” (Gal. 3:10).

Are Jewish Christians under the curse of the Law? No. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:13).

Is anyone justified by trying to keep the Law? No. “No man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the Law is not of faith” (Gal. 3:11-12).

Concerning salvation under the New Covenant is there any significance or distinction in being a Jew? No. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

If a person is a Christian is he of Moses’ seed or Abraham’s seed? “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29).

Should we observe feast days, etc. according to the Law? No. “After that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid [for] you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Gal. 4:10-11).

“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them” (Heb.13:9).

What is the standing of those Christians, including Messianic Jews, who are trying to keep the Law? “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are [trying to be] justified by the Law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4).

What is a person’s obligation to God if he tries to keep the rituals of the Law such as circumcision (not for health reasons, but to keep the Law)? “If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised [trying to keep the Law], that he is a debtor to do the whole law” (which no one could ever keep, except Christ, and if you break the Law at one point you are guilty of breaking the whole Law) (Gal. 5:2-3; Jam. 2:10; cf. Rm. 2:25-27).

If we are led by the Holy Spirit are we under the Law? No. “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law” (Gal. 5:18).

Was the Old Covenant faultless compared to the New Covenant? No. “If that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second” (Heb. 8:7).

Is the New Covenant a better covenant? Yes. Jesus “is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Heb. 8:6).

The apostle Paul, a Jew who was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee, said he was not under the Law (1 Cor. 9:20), so why do you believe that you are under the Law, if you have been born again?

Paul wrote, “We [Jews who have been born again] have been released from the Law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom. 7:6).

Because Christians are not under the Law, does that mean we can do whatever we want to? No. “Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the [Old Covenant] Law, but under Grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the Law, but under Grace? God forbid” (Rm. 6:14-15).

If we are not to keep the Law, which includes what is commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments, then what did Jesus mean when He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments?” We are not under the Old Covenant law, but there are 180 New Testament commandments. Jesus did not say if you love me, keep the Law, but rather, if you love me, keep my commandments.

Why do so many Christians, including Messianic Jews, persist in trying to keep the Law, including the Sabbath and the feast days in spite of the clear teachings of the New Testament? Some of the reasons are:

Pride because of a false perception of superiority in being Jewish. Deception by adhering to the false teaching of those who do not understand what grace is. Ignoring the clear teaching concerning the Law, especially in the book of Galatians, chapters three through five. Because of declining spirituality: (when true spirituality declines ritualism increases). And last but not least, because of Christians being demonized by religious demons who want to pervert the truths of God’s Word including the truth that Christians have a higher calling under the New Covenant.

If you try to keep part of the Law you are required to keep it all (Gal. 5:3).

QUOTE FROM IGNATIUS, BISHOP OF ANTIOCH, 117 A.D. :

“…To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity…”

  1. The apostle Paul, a Jew said, “I MYSELF AM NOT UNDER THE LAW” (1 Cor.9:20).
  1. “ALL WHO RELY ON OBSERVING THE LAW ARE UNDER A CURSE” (Gal. 3:10).
  1. “CHRIST REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW” (Gal. 3:13).
  1. “NOW THAT FAITH HAS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE LAW” (Gal. 3:25).
  1. “YOU HAVE BEEN SEVERED FROM CHRIST, YOU WHO ARE SEEKING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW; YOU HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE” (Gal. 5:4).
  1. “IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW” (Gal. 5:18).
  1. “WHATEVER THE LAW SAYS, IT SPEAKS TO THOSE WHO ARE UNDER THE LAW (Jews who are not born again)” (Rom. 3:19).
  1. “THOSE WHO ARE CIRCUMCISED [JEWS] DO NOT EVEN KEEP THE LAW THEMSELVES” (Gal. 6:11).
  1. “IF RIGHTEOUSNESS COULD BE GAINED THROUGH [KEEPING] THE LAW, CHRIST DIED FOR NOTHING!” (Gal. 2:21).
  1. “GENTLES…DO NOT HAVE THE LAW…THEY DO NOT HAVE THE LAW” (Rom. 2:14) (Gentiles never have and never will have the Law.)
  1. “NO ONE WILL BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS IN HIS [GOD’S] SIGHT BY OBSERVING THE LAW” (Rom. 3:20).
  1. “SIN SHALL NOT BE YOUR MASTER, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT UNDER LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE” (Rom. 6:14).
  1. “WE HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM THE LAW SO THAT WE SERVE IN THE NEW WAY OF THE SPIRIT, AND NOT IN THE OLD WAY OF THE WRITTEN CODE” (Rom. 7:6).
  1. “CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW … FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES” (Rom. 10:4).

Following is an email that I received from a Christian Jew who was delivered from the demonic Messianic Jew movement:Thank you for your website. I want to tell the entire world what I have gone through the past three years…. to warn people of the occult calling themselves Messianic. I am Jewish (by birth, not by faith), but a born again believer.  I was ensnared into the Messianic movement about three years ago, because I didn’t think there were any Jews in the world that had been ‘saved’ (had never met one, nor heard of any, until then).  During these three years, I was under such bondage (following the dietary laws, the Feasts, the Sabbath), that ‘His’ yoke was not light, but became very heavy.  I became trapped into legalism.

Thank God Almighty, that He showed me mercy and love and opened my eyes to what I now know (the messy in the Messianic) religion is false religion and occultism.  I could go on and on about the ‘rest of the details’ and of what I had to endure with the loss of blessings, no longer being under ‘His’ hand, that is, His protection, which meant being separated from the Almighty God, and being blinded by false teachings.  This went on for three years! Curse after curse, I endured – believing I was in the right – how could the elect (the Christian) be fooled??? I am not sure you will ever read my email, but I thank you, nevertheless, for your website. If only now, I could show it to my friends that are still in the Messianic movement…..they won’t believe, though, because no one ever believes me and they will remain, where I had been. It may take me a while, to un-learn and undo the false doctrine that has been penetrated into my mind (I would go so far as to say an attempt was made to try to make me accept the mark of the beast), so I do ask for your prayers (and also for my friends that are still involved in this ‘new age movement’), that I (and my friends) can break free from the harm and robbing of our lives that have taken place and will take place. In love and forever grateful.

Following is another email from someone who came out of a Messianic Congregation:Praising the Messiah and thanking Him. I just want to let you know you are on target all the way. I agree with you and just wanted to let you know this. I don’t know why people, whether Messianic or Gentiles get caught up in the Law when we are under grace, the promise given to Abraham, we are heirs of the seed who is Christ Jesus. More people need to study Galatians—the whole book. I feast in the book of Galatians and that is where I rest in love of Jesus the Messiah. He is the only way. Enjoyed your article so much. I just came out of a Messianic Congregation; I was only going three months, but there was so much that went against my spirit that was not according to Scripture. The Holy Spirit told me to get into Galatians and study it. These were things that I knew and I also knew that is why my soul was not rested at this congregation. They are trying to mix, by following the Law and living under grace for which I never saw any signs of. I felt under bondage, it took my joy and I was crying all the time. I am sure glad I am out of there and out of their practices that lead away from Jesus.

I live by faith, as promised to Abraham the Seed who is Jesus. Praise the Lord.

[1] Copied from http://www.bethelministries.com/MESSIANIC_JEWS.htm. PMI does not endorse all teachings of Bethel Min.

[2] PMI uses the KJV but at Mr. Bethel’s request have kept his message in full just as it was written.

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