We saw over the last two days how simply wearing a yarmulke and attending a messianic synagogue can develop an atmosphere of feeling that this is MANDATORY for believers. And this is the trap that Messianic Judaism has laid for itself.
This could be avoided by simply using a King James Bible to keep people grounded in strong doctrine. I assume that if people are READING their Bibles, they won’t be as easily led astray. Alas, too many people are reading heretical translations, expecially the pro-torah “translations” of the Jewish New Testament and the Orthodox Jewish bible. In truth, very few Messianics to my knowledge even own Goble’s paraphrase, so I’m going to deal the most with the Jewish New Testament.
Remember! If you’re a grace oriented Messianic (like David Sedaka and Dan Juster), I’m really not dealing too much with you. If on the other hand you’re a Hebrew Roots/Shomer Torah (Torah Keeper), then… this article is about ____________________________________ (write your name in there).
There’s a lot of subterfuge involved in David H. Stern’s mis-translation. He comments in the foreword that we are not REQUIRED to keep the Torah, but should want to and feel free to… and then he goes ahead and translates the verses to make it sound like we are REQUIRED to keep it.
Stern claims that mandatory Torah Observance is a heresy (and he’s correct) but then goes ahead and translates his “bible” to read as if it IS mandatory. He can protest what he likes, but the facts remain that those who read his mis-translation end up believing that if they do not keep the Torah they will lose their salvation. Why? Because Stern deliberately translates it that way.
Crucial to the Messianics is the cry that “Messianic Judaism is Judaism! Without Torah, it is Messianic Christianity!” And there’s an implied slam that I have abandoned the faith of my fathers by becoming “Assimilated” into Gentilism. This is an argument they call “Reverse Galatianism” – which is bizarre, as it reveals a complete lack of understanding of the book of Galatians.
Which is so far not too surprising, as I’ve already shown that Messianics are quite adept at turning Scriptures upside down and willingly changing their meanings in the worst kind of Eisogesis.
One can almost imagine messianics gathering to pray the Shemonah Esrei (18 blessings) and including the 19th blessing, the curse against the min (heretics) – meaning assimilated Jewish believers like me who believe in grace and that we are freed from the law.
What it is is Jewiah enodolarty, the worship of Judaism as an idol. Messianics are enamored of Judaica, and Jerusalem, and Jewish sounding music.
And what’s REALLY sad is how many of these so-called “torah observant” messianics are placing themselves under the yoke of the law – then bringing an additional curse on themselves by not keeping it!
They pride themselves on eating kosher, as they munch on non-schected (ritually slaughtered) beef, topped with cheese (Jewish dietary laws forbid the consuming of meat and dairy products together at the same time). No care is given whatsoever to where the meat comes from, or often whether or not it contains beef from the rear of the cow or bull, which is forbidden under Jewish dietary laws. They are not concerned with whether or not the meat processing plant also kills and processes pork – as long as they eat beef or turkey sausages, they’re okay in their minds – neglecting to note that most turkey sausages are flavored with pork to give the pork taste.
This dodges the entire idea of Kashrus, which is to impart to the believer (once they are born again and abandon unecessary things like Kashrus) the idea we must be careful in our daily walk to maintain a level of holiness, ot not let the world pollute us, to keep the world separate from us, to not let it defile us.
Instead, Messianics slavishly align themselves with a Torah they do not actually keep.
And yet, many swagger around wearing yarmulke, and often homemade tsitsis made of colored string (those are the “Fringes” you read about in your KIng James Bible), wrapped around the belt loops on their blue jeans. The implication to Jews when they seee someone wearing yarmulke and tsitsis is that this person is shomer shabbos (sabbath observant). If you’re shomer shabbos, you’re keeping yontiff (Jewish holidays) and kosher as well.
Are you really keeping the law? Let’s see…
- To know there is a God Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
- Not to even think that there are other gods besides Him Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- To know that He is One Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
- To love Him Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
- To fear Him Deuteronomy 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
- To sanctify His Name Leviticus 22:32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,
- Not to profane His Name Leviticus 22:32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,
- Not to destroy objects associated with His Name Deuteronomy 12:3-4 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. (4) Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.
- To listen to the prophet speaking in His Name Deuteronomy 18:15-19 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (16) According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. (17) And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. (18) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. (19) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
- Not to test the prophet unduly Deuteronomy 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
First one, well, I’d say Messianics got that one down. Good. Second? Doing pretty good there, as well. Third? As I’ll demonstrate as we get into the Oneness issue, a lot of Messianics actually trip up on this one. So, many of those who boast of Torah Observance actually fall short only three commandments in.
Before you panic, no, I have no intention of going through all 613 commandments, unless I get like, maybe 50 or more requests. I’ll just hit some of the highlights, because I’m trying to show that what you and David Stern are doing is hypocrisy, the advocating of something you yourself do not do. And i’m trying to show the impossibility of “Maintaining your salvation” by “Torah Observance”, which is impossible for falle man to keep. If that’s really how we have to “maintain our salvation”…. we’re lost, every last one of us.
Fourth Commandment… do you place the Lord your God above you at all times? When you wake hungry and needing coffee in the morning, do you always put on tallis and tefillin first thing, and begin praying, putting the Lord first? Do you spend much time in prayer? Or are there days when you put yourself first, and the Lord second? Sorry, this is a commandment that when you really think about, every Christian fails at miserably. We’re fallen men. We cannot very easily place the Lord above ourselves for very long. Sooner or later, you start thinking about yourself.
Fifth Commandment… to fear the Lord. You do this at all times??? I have to spend a moment or two thinking about Hell, Judgment, etc. to really get there.
sixth commandment….to sanctify his name. Have you cast reproach upon the Lord by a poor witness, ever? How about the time you got angry with someone else for their driving? Okay, that never happens. You never failed to love and honor the Lord in everything you do…. good job. Always keep all 613 commandments perfectly, never failing once. Since you started this torah observance stuff, you never ate a cheeseburger, or non kosher food. You never broke the Sabbath. You’ve always put all other human beings ahead of yourself. Good job! And now, I suppose, you’re ready to climb up on your cross and die for everyone, right?
The point here is, we’re only five commandments in, and suddenly you’re getting uncomfortable. Are you starting to understand that claiming that keeping the Torah is mandatory for keeping salvation is placing a heavy, heavy burden on yourself that no human being in history has ever been able to keep…
Seventh commandment… not to profane His name. Hmmm… see above.
eighth commandment… ever accidentally tear a page in your Bible? I accidentally pulled out that blank last page in my Bible a couple of weeks ago. No? Okay, have you ever dog-eared a page in your Bible? Or underlined a verse? According to the Rabbis’, that’s desecrating a Holy writing, and it’s an averah (sin).
Ninth Commandment…. to listen to the prophet speaking in the name of the Lord. It doesn’t take too much to see it’s Jesus Christ we’re speaking of. Oneness Messianics fall short here, as oneness messianics do not believe in the Trinity, as I mentioned in the 3rd Commandment. And Holy Name-ists, the ones who make the sarcastic “Yay-Zeus” comments, are worshipping a different Jesus Christ. So, all those are violating this one.
It’s really funny, but so far, the Grace Oriented Messianics are actually doing a better job of keeping the Torah than the Torah Observant ones!
Jet’s jump on to the Sabbath…
87. To rest on the seventh day Exo 23:12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
88. Not to do prohibited labor on the seventh day Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
89. The court must not inflict punishment on Shabbat Exo 35:3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day. Note – Clearly this says absolutely nothing about the Bet Din inflicting punishment for breaking the Sabbath.
90. Not to walk outside the city boundary on Shabbat Exo 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
91. To sanctify the day with Kiddush and Havdalah Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
92. To rest from prohibited labor Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. Note: The RaMBaM cited Lev. 23:32 – however, this verse in the Hebrew Bible refers only to Yom Kippur.
A lot of Messianics actually do pretty good on these. Except numbers 87, 88 and 92. Ever go out to eat after Shul? Um… you’re making the Shabbos Goy work. If it’s an averah for a Jew, it’s one for the goy too, by your doctrine.
Ever write anything on the Sabbath? What about tearing toilet paper? Start your car? That is kindling a fire. Turn on or off lights? That creates a tiny spark as the light engages – that’s a fire. All these are prohibited labours.
“But we don’t have to keep the Sabbath any more! The LORD put it aside!!!”
You are absolutely CORRRECT, good sir! You do not have to keep the sabbath any longer! Nor do you have to keep kosher, tefilin, tallis, yontiff, any of that. The law is put aside for everyone who is in CHRIST!!!
Now, here’s where I’m going to dumbfound a lot of you… if you believe with a whole heart that you MUST keep the Torah, and you are Jewish, you are absolutely correct…. you MUST keep the Torah, and perfectly! Because if you can read the King James Bible and still believe in mandatory Torah Obsesrvance (and this is my challenge) – you’re not saved. nobody that is saved, and has the Holy Ghost in them to grant them understanding of the Scriptures can possibly read the king James Bible and believe it tells you to keep the Torah.
And you’d better keep it perfectly, and hope that somehow overcomes your fallen nature, so that you can somehow earn your salvation! Impossible? I know! Then, you’d better learn who the Jesus Christ of the Bible is, and seek Him earnestly to be saved.
I repeat, if you can read the King James Bible, and believe it teaches that Torah Observance is mandatory, you do not have the Holy Ghost giving you understanding of the Holy Scriptures. And if you do not have the Holy Ghost… you are not saved.
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-9 (KJV)