The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith.

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Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth. Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

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What This Website is All About: HaDerek

For almost 300 years after the death and resurrection in about the year 33 CE (Common Era) of Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef, the Jewish Messiah, the people who followed His teaching were members of an almost-exclusively Jewish sect who called their way of living haDerek ($rdh), The Way — the way to properly live out the Torah in daily life. Some called them Natzratim (Nazarenes) because they followed the teachings of Rabbi Yeshua haNatzrati (the Nazarene). By about 44 CE the people in Antioch were calling them “Messianic”[2] because they followed “the way of the Messiah” (Acts 11:26).

For the first 17 years of the movement, any non-Jewish person (Gentile) who wanted to follow the teaching of Yeshua was required to formally convert to Judaism before they could become a part of HaDerek. Rabbi Sha'ul, who had so brutally persecuted HaDerek until he had a personal encounter with the resurrected Yeshua, had taken Yeshua’s message to the Gentiles in the Diaspora with significant success, which caused a great problem because the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was not for Gentiles, but only for Jews (Matthew 15:22-24). In about 50 CE Rabbi Sha'ul presented this problem to the leaders of HaDerek, who held a council meeting to figure out how to accommodate the influx of Gentiles. (Acts 15:6-35)

In about 311 Emperor Constantine I, the high priest of the Roman version of the Babylonian Mystery Religion (the worship of Nimrod and Astarte) merged some of the aspects of HaDerek into the pagan Roman religion, made his pagan hybrid the official religion of the Roman Empire, and called it Christianity. Every Gentile in the entire Roman Empire immediately became a member of “the Church” and brought all their pagan practices with them. In 325 Constantine convened the First Council of Nicaea, to which he invited all the Gentile Bishops of his Church, and specifically excluded all the Jewish Bishops. The result of that Council was the outlawing of virtually everything Jewish, and therefore almost everything Biblical, that was part of that religion.

By this present time, the paganism and traditions of men have so thoroughly permeated the Church that it is totally unrecognizable from what Yeshua and the Apostles originally taught. Yeshua’s prayer for His followers was, “Father, that they may all be one, just as you and I are one.” But according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, by 2011 the Church had splintered into over 41,000 separate and distinct denominations (religions), each expecting God to meet with them and honor them on their own human terms, when God demands that mankind come to Him on His terms. How can the Church possibly expect Yeshua to bless that which is so far removed from what He wanted? (See The Model for the Messianic Community.)

This website is all (well, almost all) about my personal understanding of HaDerek, which is part of what is now called Messianic Judaism, as it was in the first and second centuries (not necessarily how it is practiced in this present day), and about what Rabbi Sha'ul called the “mystery of the Gospel” (Eph. 6:19): how is it possible for Gentiles to become a part of the Kingdom of God and participate in the Covenants that God made with Israel?

The “mystery of the Gospel” is the reason that Rabbi Sha'ul of Tarsus, whom the Gentiles call Paul, was arrested in the Temple in Jerusalem, bound in chains, and taken to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. It wasn’t because he was teaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua ben Yosef HaNatzrati (Whom the Gentiles call Jesus), or even that Yeshua was Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. The crowd in the Temple had no problem with that teaching, or at least not enough of a problem with it to have him arrested and killed. No, the “mystery of the Gospel” — what they were so strongly objecting to, what they would have beaten Rav Sha'ul to death for had not the Roman soldiers stopped them, was that Gentiles could actually become followers of the God of Israel and partakers in the Commonwealth of Israel without going through the formal process of converting to Judaism.

The part of “the Church” that is now concerned with “Jewish Evangelism” is trying to find ways to help Jewish people recognize the errors of the religion that the Messiah Himself followed, be “saved” and convert to Christianity, and live like Gentiles so they can go to heaven when they die. What the original followers of the Jewish Messiah were concerned with was how it is possible for Gentiles to come to faith in the Jewish Messiah, and be partakers in the Kingdom of God without converting to Judaism. And that is exactly the concern of the author of this website:

How can Gentiles (including Gentile Christians) and Jews best be brought to the knowledge of the true Jewish Messiah, and be brought into the Kingdom of God, the Holy Community, and the Commonwealth of Israel, and learn to live HaDerek both here on earth now, and in the World to Come?

This website is dedicated to teaching the Torah and its way of life, HaDerek, fully centered on the Jewish Messiah, to all of God's people. We also subscribe to the vision and mission of First Fruits of Zion and the Tent of David for the Church to:
  • bring the Church back to its foundations;
  • eliminate supersessionism (Replacement Theology);
  • establish a Jewish understanding of faith in Yeshua; and
  • bring the Church into solidarity with Israel.

The “Tent of David” is the Apostles’ dream of a unified expression of faith in which Jew and Gentile worship the God of Abraham together and serve Him in the redemption of the world. It comes from the prophet Amos’ vision of the Messianic Age which is repeated in Acts 15. Amos envisioned a Davidic kingdom which included Gentiles (non-Jews) who would attach themselves to Israel and to Israel’s Messiah. Ya'akov (the Apostle James) based his Acts 15 ruling regarding the Gentile believers on this prophecy and reckoned that the believing Gentiles of his day were the firstfruits of the fulfillment of Amos’ prophecy. They were a prophetic sign of the Messianic Age.

Messianic Judaism starts with the assumption that Christianity was originally Jewish. Jesus, the apostles, and all the first disciples were practicing Jews who considered themselves part of Israel and the Jewish people. They did not envision themselves as the authors of a new religion; they considered themselves to be a sect within greater Judaism—a reformation movement inspired by the teachings of Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth and by their conviction that he is the long-promised Messiah King. They belonged to the sect of the Nazarenes, a first-century Jewish school of disciples centered around Yeshua. They did not hold Jesus or the gospel message in antithesis to the Law (Torah) of Moses. They upheld the words of Jesus:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.[3] For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5: 17–19)

Messianic Judaism is a branch of Judaism that honors Yeshua of Nazareth as Messiah and as the divine Son of God. … Messianic Judaism is not in the business of inventing a new religion, and we are not interested in just playing dress-up Jewish or “let’s pretend.” In Messianic Judaism, we are doing the hard work of recovering authentic Christian practice—the faith and religion of the first followers of Jesus Christ.

D. Thomas Lancaster. Elementary Principles.
Marshfield, MO: First Fruits of Zion, pp. 3,95
1-800-775-4807 www.ffoz.org
(Kindle Edition Locations 97-106)

Messianic Judaism is the practice of the historic Jewish religion and lifestyle, plus the Messiah, plus the recognition that Yeshua HaNatzrati (Jesus the Nazarene) is the Jewish Messiah and the soon-returning King of the Jews. Messianic Judaism is actually nearly 2,000 years old, dating back to the time of Messiah Yeshua at the end of the Second Temple Period, approximately 40 years before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Yeshua was born into a Jewish home. He was raised in a Jewish family in a Jewish village. He faithfully attended the local Jewish synagogue every Shabbat and after his bar mitzvah he visited the Temple in Jerusalem at least three times a year. His parents were Jewish, His brothers and sisters were Jewish. All His uncles, aunts, and cousins were Jewish. He grew up to become a Jewish rabbi who taught Jewish people in a Jewish land—Israel—about the God of Avraham, Yitz'chak, and Ya'akov (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the Jewish patriarchs). Yeshua’s Shliachim (Apostles or Emissaries) were all Jewish. The writers of all Scripture, including the Apostolic Scriptures (also known as B'rit Hadasha or Renewed Covenant Scriptures, and erroneously referred to as the “New Testament” in Christian Bibles) were all Jewish, and for a long time (nearly 200 years) “The Faith” was predominantly Jewish. There were hundreds of thousands — more likely millions — of Jewish people who believed that Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah in the first century following His resurrection (see Acts 2:37-42, 4:4, 21:20), and every single one of them lived and died still a Jew.

“Messianic Judaism really began to flourish in the year 1967. That was the same year that Jerusalem came back under the control of the Jewish people for the first time in almost 2,000 years. A coincidence? Absolutely not! God’s time for the Jewish people had begun. The age of the Gentiles (Goyim) was drawing to a close as prophesied in the New Covenant: ‘…Yerushalayim will be trampled down by the Goyim until the age of the Goyim has run its course.…’ (Luke 21:24)” [Neil and Jamie Lash, Messianic Judaism: Life from the Dead. Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Jewish Jewels, 2000, p.13.]

Today there are more than 800 Messianic Jewish congregations[4] in at least 25 countries — with at least 20,000 Messianic Jews in more than 150 congregations in Israel![5] — most of which are composed of both Jewish and non-Jewish people who believe in Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah and their personal Savior and Lord[6], who understand the Jewish roots of true Biblical faith, and who wish to express that faith through living a Torah-observant Jewish lifestyle. One article in November 2102 (the most recent estimate I could find as of 09/13/15) estimated there were a total of 350,000 Messianic Jews in the world, though Joel Chernoff puts that number at closer to a million.[7]

It is the goal of Messianic Judaism (also known as the Messianic Restoration), and of this website, to restore the faith and style of worship that was followed by the original followers of the Jewish Messiah for the first 200 years after His resurrection, before they apostatized as prophesized by Rabbi Sha'ul (1 Timothy 4:-1) and became “the Christian Church.”


Yeshua said: “I pray … that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with Me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given to Me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as We are one; I united with them and You with Me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that You sent Me, and that You have loved them just as You have loved Me.” (Yochanan [John] 17:20-23, CJB)

HOWEVER … all that being said, I stand apart from the vast majority of Messianic Judaism in that the Messianic Jewish majority is Rabbinical or Pharaistic Judaism plus the Messiah. I find myself far more aligned with Karaite Judaism, plus Messiah, in that Karaites only accept the clear teaching of the Scriptures as authoritative for faith and practice and reject the authority of the Oral Tradition. While I believe the discussions of the ancient rabbis is valuable for discovering what they thought about things, I do not look to them for guidance as to my faith and practice.


What America Needs to Understand About Radical Islam

Especially in these last days, with the world-wide rise of militant Islam, we need to clearly understand that Islam, as taught by Mohammed in the Qur'an and in his hadith, is not the peaceful way of life or “peaceful religion” that “liberal” Muslims (including the current resident of the White House) would have us believe. In fact, Islam is not a “religion” at all in the Western sense of the word. Islam is a Godless, pedophilic, sociopathic, sadistic, totally intolerant, violent, homicidal, Satan-worshiping culture whose stated purpose — which is required by the Qur'an for all who claim to be Muslims (including the so-called, but non-existent “moderate Muslims”)[8] — is world domination and the violent extermination of every single person who does not submit to Allah’s (Satan’s) rule! The Qur'an clearly teaches that any person who does not submit totally and absolutely to the rule of Islam must be slaughtered with no mercy. Those “Radical Imams” that we see on television screaming for the annihilation of anything that is not Islam are only accurately interpreting the teaching of Mohammed. Islam was born in violent subjugation of all other ways of life, and that tradition continues today.

Those who identify themselves as “peaceful,” “tolerant,” or “liberal” Muslims are in fact rejecting the teachings of Islam, and should probably use a designation other than “Muslim” for themselves, just as those who reject the deity or teachings of Jesus and the infallibility of the Bible should not call themselves “Christians.”

A June 2015 poll of Muslims living in the United States by the Center for Security Policy showed that a shocking number (51 percent) seek to embrace sharia over the U. S Constitution. In addition, nearly one in four of Muslims polled believed that “it is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.” One in five respondents agreed that “the use of violence is justified in order to make sharia the law of the land in this country” while only 39 percent believed that Muslims should be subjected to American courts.

If, as the Pew Research Center estimates, there are approximately 3 million Muslims in America, that translates to roughly half a million U.S. Muslims who believe acts of terror and murder are legitimate tools in order to replace the U.S Constitution with sharia law.[9]

Please read What America Needs to Understand About Radical Islam


Footnotes:

  1. The word lawlessness translates from Hebrew into English literally as “without Torah.” Apparently Rav Sha'ul [aka the Apostle Paul] considered those who rejected Torah “unbelievers.” Carefully compare 2 Cor. 6:15 with verse 14. In verse 17, HaShem commands those who follow Torah and believe in Messiah to separate themselves from those who reject Torah. [RETURN]

  2. Nearly every English translation says they were called “Christians” at Antioch, but the word “Christian” is the result of translating the text from Greek instead of translating from the Hebrew (or possibly Aramaic) in which they were originally written. The Hebrew word for “the Anointed” is “Mashiach“ which is rendered “Messiah” in English. Thus the followers of the Messiah in Antioch were called “Messianic.” The Greek word for “the Anointed” is Christos, which is rendered as “Christ” in English. When the book of Acts was translated from Hebrew into Greek, “Messianics” was translated to Christianos, which is rendered as “Christians” in English. When Acts is translated into English directly from the original Hebrew text, the term is rendered as “Messianics.” [RETURN]

  3. “… I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them [the Law (Torah) or the Prophets] …” Very few non-Jews realize that this is a very common idiom used by Rabbis since ancient times. When the rabbi would ask one of his disciples to interpret a particular passage of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), if the disciple provided an incorrect interpretation the rabbi would tell him, “You have just abolished the Torah.” If the disciple provided the correct interpretation the rabbi would tell him, “You have just fulfilled the Torah.” What Rabbi Yeshua was saying was that He did not come to incorrectly interpret the Torah, but to interpret it correctly to His disciples. [RETURN]

  4. As of June 12, 2012, “according to Joel Chernoff, CEO of Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), up from zero in 1967. ‘Messianic Judaism is the fastest growing stream of religious Jewish life since 1967,’ said Chernoff, who said he grew up in a messianic Jewish family. Sharing his extrapolated and complicated arithmetic, Chernoff credited the Council of Jewish Federation’s 1990 National Jewish Population Survey for his belief that there are now more than one million messianic Jews. ‘Jews are becoming believers in Yehoshuah,’ he says, referring to Jesus.” Source: jewishjournal.com

As of November 29, 2015, About.com says, “Messianic Jews are estimated to number 1 million worldwide, with more than 200,000 in the United States.” It is widely known and acknowledged that in most Messianic Jewish Synagogues in the United States, the number of ethnically non-Jewish congregants is far greater than Jewish congregants. With an estimated number of ethnically Jewish congregants in these Messianic Synagogues at over 200,000, it is not at all unreasonable, therefore, to estimate the number of adherents to Messianic Judaism in the United States at well over two million. [RETURN]

  5. As of December 1, 2014, according to charismanews.com. [RETURN]

  6. It makes absolutely no sense at all to call Yeshua your “Savior” unless He is the absolute Lord and Master of your life. If He is your Lord and Master, you will live the way He lived and the way He taught others to live … in yielded obedience to the Torah. If you call Him “Savior” and do not follow His teaching, you are being deceived by the Prince of Lies! [RETURN]

  7. The Atlantic: “Kosher Jesus: Messianic Jews in the Holy Land” by Sarah Posner, November 29, 2012. [RETURN]

  8. The difference between a “radical” Muslim and a “moderate” Muslim is very simple. A “radical” Muslim is one who thinks he/she is obligated to “convert” or kill all non-Muslims. A “moderate” Muslim is one who thinks all radical Muslims are obligated to “convert” or kill all non-Muslims. [RETURN]

  9. Glenn Beck, It IS About Islam (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2015) pp. 9-10. [RETURN]

Page revised on Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Page last updated on Saturday, 03 July 2021 12:38 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!