ALL ABOUT JUDAISM
By Rav Yeshua Ed | June 8, 2005 | Updated on February 5, 2018
In 1985 to 1986, the Traditional Jewish law definition of a Jew as one born to a Jewish woman or converted to Judaism through specific rites was challenged. The Reform movement acknowledged as Jewish children those born to a Jewish father but not a Jewish mother, provided that further steps were taken to confirm the child's Jewish identity. Consequently, the Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards passed a standard which reaffirmed the inheritors of Traditional Judaism’s commitment to the historical and traditional definition. When this standard was later adopted by the rabbinical leaders of Judaism, it imposed, according to the rules governing such matters, the traditional definition on the movement as a whole, with rabbis and synagogues subject to expulsion for violation. This was interpreted by many as a move on the part of the Conservative movement to differentiate themselves from the other sects and movements of Judaism.
Somehow this incident shows us how the Jews relate to each other and how his religion is full of contradictions and difference of opinions. As in the case of the other nations on earth, the Jewish people are not really of one mind when it comes to their religious beliefs and practices. The number of the sects and movements of the Jewish religion regrettably shows how the Jews have been misled and deceived by the false Messiahs that arose among the Chosen people of God.
The book of Matthew implicitly foretold that this thing will happen to the Jewish people. “And Jesus (Rabbi Yeshua) answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (correction by the writer, Matthew 24:4-5, KJV).
Who is really a Jew?
Can we believe the Jewish rabbis in their definition of a Jew?
The Jewish traditions confirm Jewishness to someone who will convert into the religion of Judaism. A real Jew relies upon the Law of Moses and his own personal relationship with God. He is well instructed in all the commandments and a guide to those who are blind spiritually. He is a light in the darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children and having in himself the righteousness that embodies the Law of Moses.
A Jew is one that is circumcised spiritually and physically, for circumcision is the sign of the covenant between Abraham and God. How can you say you are the heir of Abraham if you are not circumcised physically? Circumcision is an act of righteousness before the eyes of God. No man is righteous before the eyes of God if he is not circumcised. No Jew is righteous before God if He is not circumcised.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23, KJV).
The spiritual leaders of the people were of different kinds: the priest (kohen) who served in the Temple and was the custodian of the law (Lev. 21; 22:1–25; Deut. 17:8–13); the prophet (navi) who brought a particular message from God to the people (Deut. 18:18; I Sam. 9:9); and the sage (hakham), the teacher of worldly wisdom and good conduct (Jer. 9:22). But something had happened when the Promised Messiah of God appeared. During the first appearance of the Promised Messiah of God, the Levitical priests that ministered in the temple known as the Sadducees and the party of the Pharisees were officially dismissed and replaced by a new type of priesthood.
This is how the New Testament related what had happened.
“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
“Jesus (Yeshua) saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them” (correction by the writer, Matthew 21:33-45, KJV).
The chief priests and the Pharisees that often confronted and challenged the authority of Jesus Christ during His 3 and ½ year ministry were actually part of the Jewish high court called Sanhedrin and at that point in time in the history of the nation of Israel the people that composed the Sanhedrin as judges of Israel were replaced by a nation holier than them. The Sanhedrin had already lost its divine right to rule and judge the chosen people of Israel for the Messiah that God had sent to the people of Israel found the works of the Sanhedrin unworthy and unacceptable before the eyes of God.
Can you find today a group of people holier than the tribe of Levi?
There is a group of people within the family of Israel that is holier than the Levitical priesthood. This group of Israelites had served God before the Torah commanded their redemption from serving God Almighty.
The Law of Moses reveals to us the so-called nation that is still part of the chosen people of Israel.
“That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD's. And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem… both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem” (Exodus 13:12-15, KJV).
The nation that Jesus Christ has set as the replacement of both the Levitical priesthood and the Sanhedrin is composed of the holy firstborn of the children of Israel. Even the book of Hebrews shows who shall become part of the holy nation in the religion of Judaism today. “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN who are registered in heaven…”(Hebrews 12:22-23, NKJV).
The religion of Rabbinical Judaism is the modern day descendants of the Pharisees’ party during the time of Jesus Christ (1st century CE). Unknown to many students of the Bible, the spiritual leaders of Judaism were being called as ‘Rabbi’ and fathers of the people of Israel during the earthly ministry of Jesus. Early Christianity had acquired this practice from Judaism when they were still part of Judaism. The Christian Bishops were referred to as the ‘Fathers’ or ‘Papa’ and history refers to them as the apostolic fathers. Many find no significance at all, in the way and manner that the spiritual leaders and guides of those two religions are called. But for the very elect of God who knows what the true teachings of Jesus Christ are, that religious practice and custom have a definite prophetic implication.
Levi Matthew had reported in his gospel the admonition of Jesus to His disciples, “But be not ye called RABBI: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your FATHER upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (emphasis by the author, Matthew 23:8-11, KJV,).
Concerning the title ‘rabbi’, Clarke’s Commentary says, “None of the prophets had ever received this title, nor any of the Jewish doctors before the time of Hillel and Shammai, which was about the time of our Lord; and, as disputes on several subjects had run high between these two schools, the people were of course divided; some acknowledging Hillel as rabbi, - infallible teacher, and others giving this title to Shammai. The Pharisees, who always sought the honor that comes from men, assumed the title, and got their followers to address them by it” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, e-Sword).
Regarding the title of the FATHERS which the leaders of Early Christianity had inherited from Judaism, and still retained in their religious practices and customs after they distanced themselves from the religion of Judaism during the 2nd century AD/CE, Gill’s Commentary gives us this very interesting explanation.
“Christ's sense is, that he would have his disciples not fond of any titles of honour at all; and much less assume an authority over men, as if they were to depend on them, as the founders of the Christian religion, the authors of its doctrines and ordinances; and to take that honour to themselves, which did not belong to them; nor even choose to be called by such names, as would lead people to entertain too high an opinion of them, and take off of their dependence on God the Father, and himself, as these titles the Scribes and Pharisees loved to be called by, did: and who were called not only by the name of Rabbi, but Abba, "Father", also: hence we read of Abba Saul, or "Father" Saul (n); Abba Jose ben Jochanan, a man of Jerusalem (o), Abba Chanan (p), Abba Chelphetha, a man of the village of Hananiah (q); Abba Gorion (r), and others; and this name was לשון כבוד כמו רבי, "a name of honour, even as Rabbi" (s), and of great authority: the wise men are said to be אבות הכל, "the fathers of all" (t), to whom all gave heed, and upon whom all depended, as so many oracles. There is a whole treatise in their Misna, called Pirke Abot, which contains some of the oracles, and peculiar sayings of these "fathers", the Misnic doctors, and which are preferred to the writings of Moses, and the prophets. In this sense, and upon this score, our Lord inveighs against them, and cautions his disciples against giving or taking all such titles, in such sense. "For one is your Father, which is in heaven"; who is so, both by creation and adoption, and is possessed of all paternal authority; and is to be honoured and obeyed by all; from whom all wisdom and knowledge is derived, and who has the care and government of all in heaven and in earth” (Gill’s Commentary, e-Sword).
The concept of the Torah was, of course, known in early biblical period for Abraham had obeyed and followed all the laws, statutes, ordinances and judgments it contains. It is referred to as groups of laws taught by the priests or generally as "teachings" or "doctrines". The new idea of the Torah (i.e., the Pentateuch) as a sacred text came to the fore. The regular reading of the Torah in assembly is believed to have begun during the days of Ezra the scribes after the return from Babylonian captivity. Out of these assemblies the synagogue and the whole system of public worship evolved. The reading of the Torah was accompanied by its exposition and its application to new situations. It is commonly assumed that the notion of an Oral Law, as distinct from the Written Law, was the invention of the Pharisees in their determination to make Judaism viable by freeing it from the bonds of a text written down in former ages. It is said, further, that the Sadducees rejected the whole notion of an Oral Law. While it is undoubtedly true that the full development of the Oral Law idea was the work of the Pharisees, the issue must not be oversimplified. The Sadducees, too, must have had some traditions of Torah interpretation, if only because the literal reading of the Torah text cries out for a much needed amplification and explanation. Buying and selling, for instance, are referred to in the Torah, but no indications are given there as to how the transfer of property is to be effected. There are references in the Torah to keeping the Sabbath, but hardly any indication how the Sabbath should be kept and observed.
This is where Jewish oral traditions come to work for the scattered and exiled people of Israel that are coming back to the Law of Moses and the true worship of God. The teachings of the Jewish Messiah whose new name is Jesus Christ concerning the Law of Moses guide and set on the right track the new convert and proselyte in the Jewish religion on how to keep best all the commandments of God written therein. Even though many of the erroneous traditions of the elders that had been adopted as part of oral traditions have already been corrected in order to fit the present situation facing the Jews in their scattering today without compromising the text of the Torah of Moses, it is best for the exiled people of Israel to return to Judaism today through The New Jerusalem so that they could best be protected by the Lord our God that incarnated in the flesh as the Promised Messiah of God the Father during the first century of the Common Era.
ARTICLES OF FAITH
The term "dogma" which is well defined in Christianity has as such no place in Judaism. In Judaism the need for a profession of belief did not arise. The Torah of Moses with all its commandments, judgments, ordinances and statutes draws up and express all the components of the Jewish beliefs. Theologically speaking, every Hebrew is born into God's covenant with the people of Israel, and membership in the community does not depend on doctrinal beliefs and credal affirmations of a formal character. The Jewish beliefs of Rabbinical Judaism are voiced in the form of prayer and in the twice-daily recital of the Shema. But the true religion of Judaism emanating from the Torah of Moses basically expresses its faith by its strict and complete compliance with all the commandments of God written in the first five books of the Old Testament and the new commandments of Yeshua Ha Mashiach written in the first five books of the New Testament.
When the Jewish people lost its land and its temple as a result of their rejection of Yeshua HaMashiach as their Promised Messiah and their rebellion against the Roman Empire, the so-called Jewish sages tried to promote the essential beliefs of the Jewish people by releasing a statement of beliefs similar to the heathen and Christian’s definition of their religious beliefs and practices. This is simply for the benefit of the Jews and the new converts who have lost a complete grasp of what the religion of the Hebrew people is all about. The name of the religion of the Hebrew people came to be known as Judaism due to the removal and scattering of the people of Israel. It was only the House of Judah who held onto the faith and teachings of our Lord God as it is written in the Law of Moses. The majority of the people of Israel became lost and disappeared completely in the places where God had scattered them They were unable to return back to the Land of Israel because of their continuous rebellion against God and His commandments. The religion of the Hebrew people became known as Judaism in honor of the people of Judah who remained steadfast and faithful to the true teachings of their God.
Currently, the modern religion of Judaism is called Rabbinical Judaism because of the title of its religious leaders. The teachings of Rabbinical Judaism came mostly from the interpretation of the teachings or Law of God by the Jewish rabbis who are the modern descendants of the Pharisaical leaders of Judaism during the first century of the Common Era (a.k.a. Anno Domini or AD). The Jews of Rabbinical Judaism rejects the Promised Messiah of God named Yeshua HaMashiach/Jesus Christ because of their faithfulness to the teachings of a dead rabbi---a Jewish sage---named Maimonides.
There are many Jews within the religion of Rabbinical Judaism who have already believed and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior and deliverer. These believing Jews accepted Jesus Christ as their Promised Messiah and still observe and keep the 613 plus commandment Law of Moses because of the inspiration and guidance of the Shekinah/Holy Spirit of our Lord God, Blessed be HaShem. They believe Jesus Christ is the Promised Messiah of God because that is what the Law of Moses teaches. HaShem teaches in the Law of Moses that His people should believe in the Prophet He will send them who is like the prophet Moses [Moshe].
Implicitly, it is prophesy in the book of the prophet Isaiah, the word and spokesman of God must incarnate into flesh to bring redemption upon the people of Israel. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, died to redeem His people from the penalty of sin so that they can become righteous and acceptable before the eyes of God again. Confession of our sins in the air and before our fellow Jews inside synagogues does not bring us remission from our sins under the Law of Moses. The teachings of God in the Torah of Moses are very clear. There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood in sacrificial offerings acceptable to our Lord God. That is what the Law of Moses clearly emphasizes.
The sin and transgression of the people of Israel are so great that it requires the blood of the Son of God.
That is what the Promised Messiah of God came to fulfill in His first coming during the early years of the Messianic Age---the last 2000 years before the coming of the sabbatical New Millennium.
It is written in the book of Isaiah, “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I HAVE REDEEMED THEE” (Isaiah 44:21-22, KJV).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, incarnated into flesh in order to fulfill what He had spoken through the prophet Isaiah. It is the spokesman of God, Himself, who had come upon earth and redeemed your sin and transgression, O Israel.
“The Thirteen Principles of Judaism according to Maimonides”
In the introduction of Sanhendrin 10, Maimonides presented in the Mishnah, these articles of faith as roots and fundamentals of Jewish beliefs and of the Law of Moses. It is the fundamental tenets of faith of Judaism through the eyes of a Jewish sage named Maimonides. ’Maimonides undertook such a presentation to teach the rank and file of the community the true spiritual meaning of the belief in the world to come (ha-olam ha-ba) and to disabuse their minds of crude, materialistic notions. Since the ultimate felicity of man depends on the possession of true concepts concerning God, the formulation and brief exposition of true notions in the realm of faith is meant to help the multitude to avoid error and to purify belief’.
The statement of beliefs or basic teachings of God in the Law of Moses according to Maimonides are:
(1) The existence of God which is perfect and sufficient unto itself and which is the cause of the existence of all other beings.
(2) God's unity which is unlike all other kinds of unity.
(3) God must not be conceived in bodily terms, and the anthropomorphic expressions applied to God in Scripture have to be understood in a metaphorical sense.
(4) God is eternal.
(5) God alone is to be worshiped and obeyed. There are no mediating powers able freely to grant man's petitions, and intermediaries must not be invoked.
(7) Moses is unsurpassed by any other prophet.
(8) The entire Torah was given to Moses.
(9) Moses' Torah will not be abrogated or superseded by-another divine law nor will anything be added to, or taken away from it.
(10) God knows the actions of men.
(11) God rewards those who fulfill the commandments of the Torah, and punishes those who transgress them
(12) The coming of the Messiah.
(13) The resurrection of the dead.
The belief in the coming of a Messiah of God is inherent in the Jewish religion. Every Jews on earth believes God will send His promised Messiah and the Kingdom of God will be restored again to the land of Israel. We do not need to call the believing Jews as Messianic Jews. Messianic Jews as a title for the congregation of the Jewish believers in Christ Jesus is just an innovation introduced recently by the Gentiles who do not understand the true religion of Jesus Christ. Every Jews on earth believes a Messiah of God will soon come on earth to bring salvation upon all the descendants of the scattered people of Israel.
The words ‘Messianic’ and ‘Christian’ have the same similar meaning. The Jews do not need to call themselves Jews to become a Jew. That is, the Jews do not need to call themselves Messianic Jews to become a member of the holy nation that God has called out from all the corners of planet Earth. Genetically, it comes upon us. It runs in our family and in our community.
All that a Torah-observant Jew needs to do in this end of time to be saved and redeemed from all of his sins is accept Jesus Christ as his savior and redeemer, follows the teachings of God in the Law of Moses and the teachings of Rabbi Yeshua, as well, in the first five books of the New Testament.
THE REPLACEMENT PRIESTHOOD
Only a Torah-observant Jew can truly understand the instruction of Simon Peter on how to receive salvation from the Promised Messiah of God. This is how the Jews in the religion of Judaism can find forgiveness of their sins and trespasses for there is no Temple of God standing in the city of Jerusalem today.
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
“And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
“And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people,
“Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:1-26, KJV).
Whoever wants to become part of the coming Kingdom of God must go through a certain Jewish conversion process that is not really different from the practice and custom being observed by the Rabbinical Judaism today. Immersion in the water of the Mikvah is a very old Jewish tradition that many religious sects and denominations of the Christian religion have also adopted in their faith today. The Jewish people and anyone who would like to enter into the kingdom of God must go through a baptism rite after his repentance with the aid of the Torah and the true teachings of Rabbi Yeshua.
“Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39, NKJV).
There are many sects in the religion of Judaism today, but only one of them is not part of the Rabbinical Judaism. There is a remnant of the true Church of God that returned back to the old path of righteousness---the Law of Moses. Surprisingly, many Jews today pay only lip service to the Law of Moses in the same way that the Christians of this present evil world pay only lip service to the name of Jesus Christ but they do not keep His commandments.
Nevertheless, conversion to Judaism is possible. The biblical ger ("sojourner") had long been interpreted to mean a proselyte to the Jewish faith, and the equal rights demanded in the Bible for the ger are applied. "Our rabbis taught: If at the present time a man wishes to become a convert, he is to be addressed as follows: 'What reason have you for wishing to become a convert; do you not know that Israel at the present time is persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed, and overcome by afflictions?' If he replies 'I know and yet am unworthy,' he is accepted forthwith, and is given instruction in some of the minor and some of the major commandments" (Yev. 47a).
” And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be save. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
“And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
“Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
“And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
“But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
“Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well” (Acts 15:1-29, KJV).
The red letter verses show some of the minor and some of the major commandments of God that were given first to the Jewish proselytes of the New Testament Church of God. The green letter verses show how the proselytes will learn the rest of the commandments of God in the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses is being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day. Thus, gradually the Jewish proselytes would understand and keep all of the 613 plus commandments of God written in the Law of Moses.
THE RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS OF JUDAISM
The religion of Judaism has its own sects and denominations just like the religion of Christianity today. Most of the sects and movements in the modern religion of Judaism today are rabbinical. Consequently, the religion and faith of Jesus Christ---the Promised Messiah of God (Devarim 18:15-18, Tanach) ---is being perceived today as Rabbinical Judaism as well. Each of those sects and denominations has its own set of rules which its members observe and follow. Even those that have no statement of beliefs are observing the list of beliefs that the other sects of Rabbinical Judaism are observing. There are a number of groupings in contemporary Orthodox Judaism. Reform has made little headway among Sephardi or Oriental Jews, and the majority of these, if religious, are at least Orthodox with many of their own rites and customs.
The true Promised Messiah of God, whose original Hebrew name is Yeshua HaMashiach, but known all over the nations of the world as Jesus Christ, did not start a new religion on earth and turn His back from the religion that God gave to His own people. What Rabbi Yeshua had done and taught His own people during the first century CE, were in accordance to the custom, practice, tradition and way of the religion of Judaism. No one among the Jews during the time of Yeshua had any idea or misconception at all that Rabbi Yeshua is starting a new religion. This idea was fostered upon the Gentile Christians by the Apostolic Fathers of old that promoted themselves as the successors of the twelve Apostles of Yeshua HaMashiach.
Among the Ashkenazim, possibly the most prominent Orthodox group is that represented by the yeshivot of the Lithuanian pattern and the rabbis educated in these institutions, most of them in Israel and the U.S. The main emphasis here is on Torah study, to the virtual exclusion of all else, and the carrying out of the detailed practical observances. In this group the stress is on intellectual comprehension, particularly of the difficult logic and reasoning of the Talmud, the most admired figure being the lamdan, the man proficient in these studies. Religious feeling and ethical content is provided by the Musar movement, which succeeded in capturing the Lithuanian yeshivot at the end of the last century. Secular learning is either entirely frowned upon or treated as necessary for earning a living, and little more.
Neo-Orthodoxy (not generally called by this name) has a far more positive attitude to secular learning, with a particular fondness for the physical sciences. In this group are the followers of the Samson Raphael Hirsch school, which aims at combining Torah (i.e., strict adherence to halakhah) with derekh erez ("the way of the earth," in this context, the values of Western civilization). In this group, too, are the majority of Orthodox synagogues in the U.S. (the rabbis mainly alumni of Yeshiva University) and Great Britain (the rabbis mainly alumni of Jews College).
The Hasidim still owe their allegiance to various dynasties of rabbis. Hasidism is emotional and mystical. Most of the Hasidim wear a special garb, consisting of a girdle for prayer, a long black coat, and fur hat. Beards are generally worn long and earlocks (pe'ot) cultivated. Ritual immersion plays an important part in hasidic life. The best-known hasidic rabbis with large followings today are the Lubavicher and the Satmarer in New York, and the Gerer, Viznitzer, and Belzer in Israel. Neo-Hasidism, as presented in the writings of Martin Buber, is not a movement but a mood of sympathy with some of the hasidic values as relevant to the spiritual predicament of Western man. This movement regards their religious leader, the Rebbe, as the embodiment of the Promised Messiah of our Lord God.
According to Lubavitch Hasidim, “all members of the community are in particular relationship with the man called the Rebbe, who is believed to be “God’s representative on earth in this generation” (Tradition in a Rootless World, Lynn Davidman, page 149). The Hasidic communities in America and Israel present to the world today a religion of Judaism that did not originally came from the land of Israel, but largely a product of hundreds of years of suffering and persecution in the hands of the Gentiles. You can see in Hasidism, a religion of Judaism after the hands of time had dealt it severely and punitively.
This movement is especially strong in the U.S. with its teaching center at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. It is organized in the United Synagogue of America and has sympathizers in other parts of the Jewish world. It has been said that while contemporary Reform stresses the God idea and contemporary Orthodoxy, the idea of Torah, Conservative Judaism stresses that of Israel (i.e., Jewish peoplehood). This is too much of a generalization, but it is true that an important plank in the Conservative platform is the unity of the Jewish people amid its diversity.
But there is something wrong with this movement.
The Reconstructionist movement broke away from the Conservative movement when it set its own statement of beliefs. This is just a rehashed Conservative movement.
REFORM JUDAISM, first of the modern interpretations of Judaism to emerge in response to the changed political and cultural conditions brought about by the Emancipation. It is also known as Liberal or Progressive Judaism. (The others were Neo-Orthodoxy and Conservative Judaism, which began in part as a "Counter-Reformation" in response to Reform Judaism.) True to its own inner dynamics, Reform Judaism's manifestations vary from place to place, and have undergone constant change in the course of time. They all share the assertion of the legitimacy of change in Judaism and the denial of eternal validity to any given formulation of Jewish belief or codification of Jewish law. Apart from that, there is little unanimity among Reform Jews either in matters of belief or in practical observance.
Reform Judaism is best known as the swine-eating movement of Judaism for its members are not keeping the Mosaic Dietary law.
This movement is strong in the U.S., with its teaching headquarters at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, but with followers in other parts of the Jewish world. Reform congregations are loosely organized in the World Union of Progressive Synagogues. (The term "Traditional Judaism" is used, nowadays, to denote either Orthodox or Conservative Judaism. The term "Torah-true Judaism" is used by some of the Orthodox as a synonym for Orthodoxy in order to avoid the possible pejorative implications of the latter term as suggesting reaction or obscurantism. "Liberal Judaism" is the term used in Great Britain for the Reform position, though there are in Great Britain both Liberal and Reform congregations, with the Liberals more to the left.)
There are very few Reform or Conservative congregations in the State of Israel. Orthodoxy is the official religious position in Israel with the majority of the rabbis belonging to the old school of talmudic jurists. Here and there in recent years a number of small groups have emerged with the aim of seeking a religiously orientated outlook, but one not necessarily Orthodox.
THE LAWLESS ZIONIST MOVEMENT
The Zionist party of the Jewish people was founded by Theodor Herzl. ‘The modern term Zionism first appeared at the end of the 19th century, denoting the movement whose goal was the return of the Jewish people to Erez Israel. It was coined by Nathan Birnbaum in his journal Selbstemanzipation (April 1, 1890). Birnbaum himself explained the term (in a letter of Nov. 6, 1891) as the "establishment of an organization of the national-political Zionist party in juxtaposition to the practically oriented party that existed until now." ‘
Majority of the members of the Zionist party are atheistic or agnostic Jews. They fostered the idea that the nation of Israel could be rebuilt by a return to the soil, not by a return to the teachings of God written in the Law of Moses.
The Zionist movement at the end of the century posed in acute form a problem which had agitated Jewish minds from the beginning of the century—the role of nationalism in Judaism. Were the Jews merely adherents of a common religion—as it was put, Germans, Frenchmen, Englishmen of the Mosaic persuasion—or were they a nation? Was Judaism dependent for its fullest realization on residence in the Holy Land, or was it desirable that Jews be dispersed in many lands to further there the "mission of Israel" in bringing God to mankind in the purest form of teaching? These questions were being asked, and the replies varied considerably. The early Reformers deleted from the prayer book all references to national restoration. Exile was not seen as an evil to be redressed but as an essential step in the fulfillment of the divine purpose (see Reform Judaism). The Reformers were not alone in their opposition to a nationalistic interpretation of Judaism. When political Zionism became a practical policy for Jews, many of the Orthodox opposed it as a denial of Jewish messianism according to which, it was believed, the redemption would come through direct divine intervention, not at the hands of men. There were not lacking, however, religious leaders who advocated a form of religious Zionism, claiming that, as in other spheres, the divine blessing follows on prior human effort.
During the proclamation of the New State of Israel on May 14, 1948, Zionist established democracy in the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). They argued “if our people suffered so much for fifteen centuries, it is because we differed from others. Therefore all differences must be eliminated and our state must be organized like the others.”
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE BY THE STATE OF ISRAEL
“IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL the Jewish people came into being. In this land was shaped their spiritual, religious, and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. Here they created a culture of national and universal import, and gave to the world the eternal Book of books.
“Exiled by force, still the Jewish people kept faith with their land in all the countries of their dispersion. They remained steadfast in their prayer and hope to return and here revive their political freedom.
“Fired by this attachment to history and tradition, the Jews in every generation strove to renew their roots in the ancient homeland. And in recent generations they have come in multitudes.
“Veterans defending the land, newcomers braving the blockade, together they made the wilderness bloom, revived their Hebrew tongue, and built villages and towns. They founded a thriving society master of its own economy and culture, pursued peace yet were able to defend themselves, brought the blessing of progress to all the inhabitants, dedicated themselves to the attainment of sovereign independence.
“In 1897 the First Zionist Congress met at the call of Theodor Herzl, seer of the vision of the Jewish State, and gave public voice to the right of the Jewish people to national restoration in their land. This right was acknowledged in the Balfour Declaration of 2 November, 1917, and confirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations. Here was accorded international validity to the historical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and to their right to re-establish their National Home.
“The holocaust that in our time destroyed millions of Jews in Europe again proved beyond doubt the compelling need to solve the problem of Jewish homelessness and dependence. The renewal of the Jewish State in the land of Israel was necessary to open wide the gates of the homeland to every Jew and endow the Jewish people with the status of a nation with equality of rights within the family of nations.
“Despite every hardship, hindrance and peril, the remnant that survived the grim Nazi slaughter in Europe, together with Jews from other countries, pressed on with their exodus to the Land of Israel. They continued to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in the homeland of their people.
“In the Second World War, the Jewish community in the Land of Israel played its full part in the struggle of the nations championing freedom and peace against the Nazi forces of evil. Its war effort and the lives of its soldiers won it the right to be numbered among the founding peoples of the United Nations.
“On 29 November, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, and required the inhabitants themselves to take all measures on their part to carry out the resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their own State is irrevocable.
“It is the natural right of the Jewish people, like any other people, to control their own destiny in their sovereign State.
“ACCORDINGLY WE, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and the Zionist Movement, have assembled on the day of the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and of the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, do hereby proclaim the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel—the State of Israel.
“WE RESOLVE that, from the moment the Mandate ends, at midnight on the Sabbath, the sixth day of Iyar 5708, the fifteenth day of May 1948, until the establishment of the duly elected authorities of the State in accordance with a Constitution to be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than 1 October 1948, the National Council shall act as the Provisional Council of State, and its executive arm, the National Administration, shall constitute the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, and the name of that State shall be Israel.
“THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open to Jewish immigration and the Ingathering of exiles. It will devote itself to developing the Land for the good of all its inhabitants. It will rest upon foundations of liberty, justice and peace as envisioned by the Prophets of Israel. It will maintain complete equality of social and political rights for all its citizens, without distinction of creed, race or sex. It will guarantee freedom of religion and conscience, of language, education and culture. It will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions. It will be loyal to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
“THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be prepared to cooperate with the organs and representatives of the United Nations in carrying out the General Assembly resolution of 29 November, 1947, and will work for the establishment of the economic union of the whole Land of Israel.
“WE APPEAL to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building of their State, and to admit the State of Israel into the family of nations.
“EVEN AMIDST the violent attacks launched against us for the months past, we call upon the sons of Arab people dwelling in Israel to keep the peace and to play their part in building the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its institutions, provisional and permanent.
“WE EXTEND the hand of peace and good-neighborliness to all the States around us and to their peoples, and we call upon them to cooperate in mutual helpfulness with the independent Jewish nation in its Land. The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution in a concerted effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.
“WE CALL upon the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to join forces with us in immigration and construction, and to be at our right hand in the great endeavor to fulfill the age-old longing for the redemption of Israel.
“WITH TRUST IN THE ROCK OF ISRAEL, we set our hands in witness to this Proclamation, at this session of the Provisional Council of State, on the soil of the homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv, this Sabbath Eve, the fifth day of Iyar, 5708, the fourteenth day of May, 1948.”
With the actual establishment of the State of Israel the older attitudes became academic. With the exception of the fringe groups of the Neturei Karta (Orthodox) and the American Council for Judaism (Reform), the majority of Jews now accept the special role the new state has to play as a spiritual center (over and above the haven of refuge it provides), while generally acknowledging that to uncover the full implications of this concept requires a good deal of fresh thinking. Some Orthodox thinkers have taken refuge in the notion of the establishment of the State of Israel as athalta di-ge'ullah ("the beginning of the redemption"), i.e., that while complete redemption is at the hands of God through the Messiah, the present life of the State still has messianic overtones and belongs in a realm far removed from the secular. Some see this as an unsuccessful attempt literally to have the best of both worlds.
Historically, we can say that it was the archetype of the Zionist movement during the times of the Kings, which was the reason why God had removed and scattered the people of Israel in the Holy Land. The people of Israel then had polluted the land with their idolatry. Today, the Zionist party of Israel allows the spiritual and physical defilement of the Holy Land. This can be clearly noted in the statement of the Declaration of Independence, “It will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions.”
Spiritually, the city of Jerusalem is now being called by our Lord God as ‘Sodom and Egypt’ (Revelation 11:8), and it’s the Zionist Party of Israel who permit and encourage the desecration of our Holy Land for they did not love the Law of Moses.
The Jewish sect of Karaites came into being at the beginning of the eighth century. Its doctrine is characterized primarily by its denial of the talmudic-rabbinical tradition. The name "Karaites" was not applied to the sect until the ninth century; the principal component of the sect was originally known as "Ananites," from the name of its founder, Anan b. David. The sect appears to have come into being as the result of a combination of factors: the amalgamation of various heterodox trends in Babylonian-Persian Jewry; the tremendous religious, political, and economic fermentation in the entire East, resulting from the Arab conquests and the collision of Islam with world religions; and the social and economic grievances of the poorer classes of Jewry, particularly those who had left the populous center of Babylonia and had migrated to the sparsely settled frontier provinces of the caliphate, where they were more or less independent of the Babylonian Jewish authorities. The Karaite sect absorbed both such Jewish sects as the Isawites (adherents of Abu 'Isa al-I\fahani) and Yudghanites, who were influenced by East-Islamic tendencies, and small remnants of pre-talmudic Sadducees and Boethusians and similar anti-traditional movements.
The many sects which had come upon the Karaite scene after Anan disappeared as fast as they had sprung up, without leaving any noticeable trace upon the movement. By their gradual self-liquidation, however, they prepared the ground for the consolidation of a well-defined, uniform doctrine which has subsisted to this very day as Karaism. The outstanding representative of the new movement in the ninth century was Benjamin b. Moses Nahawendi (from Nehavend, Persia; c. 830–860) who laid the groundwork for the new development of Karaite doctrine and was also the first Karaite writer to employ the term Kara'im (Benei Mikra). Rabbanite scholars, such as Saadiah Gaon and Judah Halevi, regard Anan and Benjamin as the fathers and founders of the Karaite sect; Arabic and Karaite authors also refer to Karaites as A\hab Anan wa-Binyamin (i.e., followers of Anan and Benjamin). The Karaites themselves put Benjamin almost on the same level as Anan, and in the memorial prayer (zikhronot) Benjamin's name follows immediately upon those of Anan, Saul, and Josiah. It was Benjamin, in particular, who turned the free and independent individual study of the Scriptures into a basic principle of Karaism. Thus it became possible for Karaism to tolerate differing interpretations of the Bible.
KAHAL YERUSHALAYIM HACHADASHA
This is the appointed replacement of the Levitical priesthood as Priests of the Most High God. When the prophesied seven Church eras ended in the year 2003, God has started restoring to this particular movement the beautiful customs, traditions and laws of Torah Judaism. The truth that there are more than 614 laws and commandments of God within the Torah (Law) of Moses is now being preached together with the true gospel of Jesus Christ about the coming Kingdom of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
According to the great master plan of salvation of Adonai Eloheinu, all of the holy firstborn of the twelve tribes of Israel shall serve in the coming Temple of God as Priests under Rabbi Yeshua. Initially, each of the twelve tribes of Israel shall have a specific number of their firstborn brethren serving and ministering in the Temple of God. The Levites shall also become part of this new group if they would like to become servants of the Most High God in the Temple.
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Asher were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Naphtali were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasseh were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zebulun were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand” (Revelation 7:2-8, KJV).
The movement known as Kahal Yerushalayim HaChadasha is not part of the Rabbinical Judaism but it believes and follows many Orthodox Jewish practices and customs.
In the Law of Moses, the Levitical Priesthood can only be replaced by a nation or a group of people holier than them. It is written, “… you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb… all the firstborn of man among your sons … all the FIRSTBORN of my sons I redeem” (Exodus 13:12-15, NKJV). The writer of the letter to the Hebrews, referred to the True Church of God as “THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN who are registered in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23, NKJV).
Only Jews can replace the Jewish people in the eyes of God, which is the reason why Kahal Yerushalayim group is composed of the scattered children of Israel that are Jewish. Surely, there are many Jewish rabbis all over the world that are naturally firstborn children of Israel. Consequently, they would become part of the new Jewish priesthood.
MESSIANIC JEWISH MOVEMENT
Rabbi Yeshua refers to this movement in Revelation 3:9 as ‘the synagogue of Satan’, for their name clearly states that they are Jews, but ironically they are claiming that they are not. This movement is a rehashed Early Christianity using Hebrew words instead of Greek terms in their title and worship. The word ‘Messianic’ is basically equivalent in meaning to the hate name ‘Christian’ which the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles labeled against the true believers in Yeshua HaMashiach. Most of the members of the Messianic Jews movement worship the pagan Trinity---God in three persons; Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz---The Son of their incestuous union.
Messianic Jews worship God like born-again Christian group.
The Messianic Jews have truly made the prophecy in Revelation 3:9 comes to pass. This movement started only during the sixties even though they are claiming spiritual lineage to the Church of God in Ephesus era. The book of Revelation reveals the true identities of the two ‘synagogue of Satan’ in the letters of Rabbi Yeshua HaMashiach to the remnant-church of God in Smyrna era and the remnant-church in Philadelphia era. They are not of the same group known as Messianic Jews today.
If the prophesied remnant-Churches of God are being held captive today in the religion of Christianity, the believing Jews are being held captive by the Messianic Jewish Movement. The Messianic Jews promote themselves as the descendants today of the New Testament Church, or shall we say, the New Testament Congregation.
The Messianic Jewish Movement is not a part of the religion of Judaism on account of their false and deceitful concept of God similar to the religion of Christianity. The religion of Judaism worships God as one, as an ‘echad’ and not as a three-persons-in-one-Godhead called TRINITY. However, biblical prophecy states this movement will repent later on when the Kingdom of the Jews is established by God in the land of Israel soon.
“SHEMA YISRAEL, ADONAI ELOHEINU, ADONAI ECHAD.”
References:( to be continued.)