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Anti-Semitism in the Church
A Required Response to the Charge
that Messianic Judaism is Apostasy

by Messianic Pastor/Theologian Ari Levitt
MA, MDiv, ThM, ThD, DMin, MBA, NS, CNHP
Page 3

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Ms. Nero’s Article Continues My Response

There is no separate format for the Jewish Believers in The Church, and another format for non-Jewish Believers.[14] Jesus is: The Head of One Body – The Shepherd of One Sheep – The Bridegroom of One Bride – The Vine from which branches offshoot with no mixture. Since when did you hear of a grape vine producing grapes and green beans? Granted, there are a lot of schisms (denominations) in the Body of Christ, but dear Jesus is in the process of establishing a group of Believers that will make up His True Church as Truly Born Again Spirit-filled Uncompromising Christians (“TBASUCs”).[15] The denominational walls will not fall down, but Jesus will pull from behind them, those who will walk as TBASUCs – Mark 16:16-18 Believers:

[14] Ms. Nero is absolutely correct on this point: there is no separate format for Jewish and non-Jewish believers. She simply conveniently ignores the fact that “the Bride,” “the Sheep,” and “the Olive Tree” in Scripture all refer to Israel, into which Yeshua graciously grafts Gentiles who believe in Him.


[15] I agree that Yeshua is doing a work calling out the remnant of both Jews and non-Jews — only I happen to believe that the members of His True Holy Community are called “Messianics” (both Jews and Gentiles), not TBASUCs. In fact, neither the term nor even the concept of “TBASUCs” is referenced a single time in the Scriptures, so it is clearly an invention of man.


“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:16-18). [16]

And that is all without traditions, rituals, and culture attached to them. Amen!

[16] As any good English Bible will clearly indicate in the text, the best available Bible manuscripts do not contain verses 9 thru 20 of Mark’s gospel; they “do not appear in two of the most trustworthy manuscripts. … The doubtful genuineness of verses 9-20 makes it unwise to build a doctrine or base an experience on them, especially vv 16-18” [Ryrie, Charles. Ryrie’s Study Bible, notes on Mark 16:9-20].
 

However, if you insist that Mark 16:9-20 is part of the inspired text, then you must also accept verses 17 and 18 which teach that everybody who believes in Jesus must demonstrate the signs of casting out demons, speaking with new tongues, picking up serpents, drinking poison without being harmed, and healing the sick through the laying on of hands. Until you do all these other signs you cannot be saved because according to verses 17 and 18 you have not yet believed.

So according to Ms. Nero’s logic, in order to be a true Christian, or a “TBASUC” as she identifies them, a believer must cast out devils, must speak multiple true human languages without ever having studied them, must handle venomous snakes, must participate in the ritualistic drinking of poison, and must — without fail be able to heal any and all diseases through the laying on of hands. If such is an actual movement of God, then why are there still any physicians or hospitals still in business? Because TBASUCs have failed to be obedient to their commission from God. All TBASUCs are therefore, by Ms. Nero’s own definition, apostate.

Ms. Nero’s Article Continues My Response

Judaism Is Passé

40 years in the wilderness and the giving of the Law: (out comes Judaism)

“In the ‘Transition Period’ from Egypt to Canaan of the children of Israel, the Lord employed ‘Signs’ (Miracles) to authenticate the Divine Mission of Moses. Ex 4:19.

40 years from Pentecost to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70: (out comes Christianity)

“The same method was employed in the ‘Transition Period’ between ‘Judaism’ and ‘Christianity’ to authenticate the Messiahship of Jesus, and the Divine Mission of the Apostles.”

(Rightly Dividing The Word (self-published) by Clarence Larkin, Philadelphia, PA, p 293, 1921.) [17]

 

[17] Mr. Larkin, like Ms. Nero, bases his discussion on the totally unfounded assumption that there was either an event or a time period that could be described as a “transition from Judaism to Christianity.” The fact that he had to self-publish his book because he couldn’t find an established Christian publisher who would publish it for him further reduces his credibility as a Bible authority. There is simply no place either in the Bible or in extra-Biblical history where either Yeshua or any of His Shliachim, acting on His authority, replaces the faith and practice of true Biblical Judaism with anything called “Christianity.” Yeshua and all the Shliachim were born as Jews (with the possible exception of Dr. Luke, who may possibly have been a proselyte to Judaism instead of being Jewish-born). They all lived totally Jewish lifestyles their entire lives and died as Jews. For them to have taught one thing and lived another would have been the highest form of hypocrisy. Also, it would seem that Ms. Nero apparently can't count. If the Resurrection and Pentecost occurred in either 32 or 33 CE and the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, there were only 37 or 38 years between Pentecost and the destruction of the Temple, and her comparison falls apart.

Furthermore, the word “Christianity” does not appear anywhere in the Bible, neither does even the concept. The word “Christian” is nothing more than the Greek form of the Hebrew word that the Scripture writers would have originally used, and would properly be translated from their original Hebrew language as “Messianic.” It appears only three times in the entire Apostolic Writings, is used only when referring to Gentile Believers in Messiah (never to refer to Jewish Believers in Messiah, and then only as a term of derision), and no place is it ever suggested that “Christianity” is a “replacement” for “Judaism” — that suggestion is sheer fabrication of revisionist historians and theologians, and is known as the “Replacement Theology” heresy. [Return to 57]

 Most say that Dr. Luke wrote the Book of Acts in the Koine Greek language to an assumed Greek dignitary named Theophilus, which translates literally as “God-lover.” In the Second Temple period and earlier, Gentiles who embraced the God of Israel and followed the Torah of Moses, but stopped just short of formal “conversion” and circumcision, were called “God-Fearers,” and participated fully in the life of the Temple and Synagogue just as if they were Jews. It was these “God-Fearers” who became the first Gentile Messianic Believers. Acts 10:1 says that Cornelius, the first Messianic Gentile, was one of these God-fearers and was active in the synagogue that he helped finance.

It is just quite possible that instead of writing in Greek to a Greek dignitary, Dr. Luke wrote in Hebrew to Messianic “God-Fearers” and that he used the more properly descriptive term “God-Lover” [since an awesome kind of love is what is actually meant when the Bible speaks of “fearing” God] — that would have been later translated into Greek as “Theophilus.”

With that in mind, consider that in Acts 11:26, Luke wrote “the disciples were first called Messianics in Antioch,” and in Acts 26:28, he wrote that “Agrippa replied to Sha'ul, ‘In such a short time did you think you could persuade me to become Messianic?’” And in 1 Keffa [Peter] 4:16 Keffa wrote (almost certainly in Hebrew) if anyone suffers as a Messianic, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

Obviously neither Ms. Nero nor Mr. Larkin know much about “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

For a thorough discussion of this subject, refer to Take Hold: Embracing Our Divine Inheritance in Israel by Ariel and Dvra Berkowitz; Torah Rediscovered, by Arial and D'vorah Berkowitz; and Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern. [Return to 17] [Return to 57]


[18] Speaking in Tongues as evidence of Holy Ghost baptism along with the gifts of the Holy Spirit for kingdom work for Believers[19] is [sic] also evidence that Judaism is defunct and there is no such thing as a “Completed Jew.” A Jewish person making the transition from Judaism (old) to Christianity (new) becomes a new creature in Christ, but that does not make that person a “Completed Jew.” No such animal [sic]. The Jew going from Judasim [sic] to Christianity goes from what was (Judaism) to what now is (Christianity) because the new, or what now is, overshadows that what was since what now is, is superior[sic]. The Jew in Judaism has to choose to want the what now [sic], which is better. It’s not like Judaism comes in Part I and Part II, with Part II being Christianity to make one a “Completed Jew, but it is about choosing the better covenant of the two which allows one to walk in a different light than the Old Covenant light of Judaism [sic].[20]

[18] First of all, if Ms. Nero had bothered to do her homework, she would know that a significantly large number of Jewish people in the Messianic Judaism “speak in tongues” as part of their worship experience.

That being said, not only does Ms. Nero write her own dictionary, she also writes her own theology. “Speaking in Tongues as evidence of Holy Ghost baptism” is simply not a valid Biblical teaching … there is simply no valid Scriptural support for this dogma as it is taught and practiced by most charismatic fellowships. In fact, glossolalia — the practice of “speaking in tongues” — is “evidence” of nothing at all. It is a common practice among Voodoo practitioners and is a standard part of witchcraft and satanic worship. In Greece, even the priest of Apollo, the Greek god of light, engaged in prophetic babbling. Glossolalia is an integral part of African animism, Hinduism, Mormonism, and in many other non-biblical religions and cults. It is also a frequently observed manifestation of schizophrenia.

If “speaking in tongues” is the evidence of some work of the Holy Spirit, then it must logically follow that the Holy Spirit is participating in the above-listed unholy practices.

Does that mean that I am opposed to the practice of “speaking in tongues” as practiced by both Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Messiah? Not at all—as long as it brings glory to the Lord and is performed in the manner prescribed in Scripture! What I do object to is Ms. Nero, or anybody else, writing their new version of the Sacred Scriptures in which a person must “speak in tongues” to provide evidence of their salvation! [See note 19 below.]

Additionally, the term “Holy Ghost” conjures up images of Casper and his three nasty uncles. The term is an anachronistic and absolutely terrible translation of the Hebrew term Ruach HaKodesh, or “Holy Spirit” [in Hebrew, “spirit” and “breath” are the same word, xwr ruach]. It may possibly have been marginally acceptable for the language- and theology-ignorant translators of the so-called “King James Version” in 1611, but has no place in 21st Century Biblical theology.


[19] Oops! Ms. Nero goofed again. Just a few paragraphs above, by citing Mark 16:16-18, she insisted that casting out demons and handling snakes and drinking poison are the only sure marks of a true Believer. Now she says that all Believers must “speak in tongues.” The Bible teaches that “Holy Spirit Baptism” is not a so-called “second work of grace” by which a Believer in Messiah receives supernatural abilities for ministry, but rather that it is the very process by which a person who comes to faith in Messiah is taken “out of the world” and placed positionally “in Messiah,” becoming the “new creation”—that is the very process by which a Believer is “saved.” Therefore, by Ms. Nero’s definition, only people who “speak in tongues” are “saved.” [See my series of studies on the Biblical Doctrine of Believer's Baptism for a discussion of what the Bible says about, see Ruach HaKodesh Baptism.


[20][55] Ms. Nero has an inaccurate understanding of God’s “everlasting” covenants. In order for God to be able to break His “everlasting covenants” with Israel, He would literally have to cease being God. When ADONAI entered into His covenant with Avraham (Gen. 15), He indicated by his actions that if He ever broke that covenant with Avraham and his descendants forever (which includes Jews and Biblical “Judaism”) He (ADONAI would die in the same manner as had the animals that Avraham sacrificed. [Return to page 8]

Since such a thing is impossible, it is likewise impossible for ADONAI to either revoke or change His covenants with Israel. The so-called “New Covenant” [more correctly “Renewed Covenant”] does no more to revoke the so-called “Old Covenant” than the Bill of Rights does to revoke the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, it should be remembered that God specifically states (through the prophet Yirmeyahu [Jeremiah]) that the “New Covenant” was not made with Gentiles or with “the Church,” but rather it was made “with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,” (Jer 31:31, NASB — Show Context)

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Page originally posted 30 August 2001
Page revised on Friday, 13 September 2019

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!