What Biblical Messianic Judaism Believes

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Beliefs on Israel:  Hashem does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews ) and does not change His mind (1 Samuel 15:11, 29).  He does not lie (B’midbar 23:19; Tehillim 89:35), and He will never break His Covenant with Israel (Tehillim 89:34).  She is His treasured people — His עם סגולה — forever (D’varim 7:6; 14:2; 19:5; 26:18) and will never be replaced by any other.  Through her, every nation of the earth will be blessed (Bereshit 12:3). Messianics do not embrace the “Two-House” (Ephraimite Error) position taught by some pseudo-Messianic groups [1], e.g. Anglo-Israelism, Black Hebrew Israelism, Redeemed Israelism (Woottenism), Latter Day Saints (Mormonism), etc.

Beliefs on the Messiah:  All forms of Judaism are Messianic, i.e., they believe in a coming Messianic Age. Whereas some Jews identify the Messiah as R’ Menahem Mendel Schneerson or Rebbe Nachman, TOGI Messianics believe that Yeshua haNotzri is the figure who fulfilled all the requirements of Maschiach ben Yosef in His earthly life and ministry and fully expect Him to fulfill all the prophecies pertaining to Maschiach ben David in His return.

Beliefs on the Soul:  Messianics believe in an everlasting soul which separates from the body immediately at death and returns to the Heavenly Father who gave it (Qohelet 12:7; Luke 8:55-56).  Biblical soul care is completely incompatible with humanistic solipsist psychology (lit. “study of the soul) and psychiatry (lit. “soul healing”); note that neither of those labels is applicable to a franchise which denies even the existence of a soul or of the G-d who gave it.  Read more on our position re: psychology/psychiatry.

Beliefs on Holiness/Sanctification:  Messianics believe that the Torah defines the Covenant relationship we have with Hashem (Wayyiqra 11:44-45; 20:26; Matityahu 5:48; 1 Kefa 1:13-16).  If we discard Torah, we discard that Covenant bond and our place in the Holy Nation of Priests (Sh’mot 19:6; 1 Kefa 2:5-9; Yochanan 15:14-23).  There is one Torah applicable to all believers — Jew and Gentile alike, man and woman alike, slave and free alike (Galatians 3:28).  Torah is the “works prepared in advance for us to do” by Hashem (Ephesians 2:10), which have been from the beginning (1 Yochanan 2:7; 2 Yochanan 1:5) and will not pass away – not even one yod or tagin – until heaven and earth pass away (Matityahu 5:17-18).

Beliefs on the Qahal/Qehillah:  Messianics believe that the Body of Messiah is made up of both ethnic Jews and Gentile believers, being equal partakers in the Everlasting Covenant (Romans 9-11).  The Qahal/Qehillah of Yeshua is governed by a plurality of zaqenim/morehim (teaching Elders) and ministered to by a plurality of shammashim (deacons and deaconesses), as portrayed in the B’rit Chadashah (Acts 14:23, 28; 20:17; Ya’akov 5:14; TItus 1:5-7; 1 Kefa 5:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:2) in order to avoid having teachers stuck in the milk stage (Hebrews 5:12).

The Ineffable Name: Messianics do not pretend to know the correct pronunciation of the ineffable Covenant Name of Hashem (i.e. the Tetragrammaton, used in the TaNaKh 6828 times) nor insist on any specific pronunciation of it. There are several acceptable circumlocutions found both in the Scriptures and in Jewish tradition. These include Hashem (Wayyiqra 24:11; D’varim 28:58), Elohim (B’reshith 1:1 & often), Adonai (D’varim 10:17), Avinu uMalkheinu (Our Father and Our King), and any of His Scripture-identified attributes (Healer, Banner, etc.). Traditional Jewish circumlocutions also include Elokhim, Adoshem, Eternal One, Holy One, etc., all of which are acceptable to Messianic Judaism.

Rabbinical Authority: The main difference between Messianics and Hebrew Roots is that the former is not anti-Rabbinic and the latter often is. By this, we mean that Messianics understand Yeshua’s pronouncement that those who sit in the seat of Moshe, i.e. the Scribes and Pharisees, have halakhic authority and their teachings are to be listened to, is a pro-Rabbinic statement recognizing the teachings (though not always the actions) of the Rabbis to be valid. Therefore, Messianics do not engage in neo-Karaite practices of defiance against the established Sanhedrin in Israel (reestablished 14 Oct 2004) and the traditional calendar of Judaism upheld by that Sanhedrin, as some pseudo-Messianic groups do. Anti-Rabbinicism is a form of antisemitism.

  1. Daniel Juster, “Is the Church Ephraim?” umjc.org (1994); Kay Silberling, “The Ephraimite Error: A Position Paper submitted to the International Messianic Jewish Alliance,” mjaa.org (2007; orig. 2000; online: http://www.mjaa.org/site/DocServer/EphraimiteError.pdf).

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