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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 10

Ms. Nero’s Article Continues My Response

The Rituals

Rituals are religious expressions of an outward sign of what is “supposed” to be going-on [sic] inside the congregants. This is operating in the flesh and not the Holy Spirit. [sic] Rituals stir up the emotions and that [sic] also is not “Spirit.” Rituals make you “feel” like you’re holy, and that’s not the Holy Spirit either.

Sacrificial offerings under the Old Covenant were ritualistic and as they were nailed to the cross with Jesus, so were the rest of the rituals in Judaism. When the Levitical Priesthood went – so went the rituals. The only sacrifice God accepts before Him is “self” – not burnt upon an altar, but “self” in a broken and surrendered spirit. Physical sacrifice went to the grave when Jesus did, and thus resurrected into existence were “spiritual sacrifices.” [sic]

Given that Jews see these Messianic Jews as no longer Jews, one of the ways these so-called Messianic Jews prove to Judaism that they are yet Jews, but are now “Completed Jews” is that, in their services they still hold on to repetitious prayers when the Word of God says that these kinds of prayers are what pagans use and they get nowhere. In their services, they parade around with the Torah Scroll, which is nothing more than “show.” These are rituals, and these rituals are works – they are superficial, and the Holy Spirit is not there. Just like there is no need to carry a big Bible everywhere to show that you are a Christian, there is no need to parade the Torah around. The Word of God tells you that the Word is in you, on the fleshly tables of your heart (should be). Yes, Christianity has its roots in Judaism, but Christianity is a new thing – it’s different, and the rituals are out and the Holy Spirit is in.

In so doing, the Messianic Jewish Movement makes the Word of God of non-effect [sic] because of their hold onto Synagogue tradition. They hold tightly so that they will not be mistaken for Christians and thus cast aside as non-Jews. These Messianic Jews would much rather not transgress the traditions of Judaism than be labeled a non-Jew, even at the risk of missing out on the kingdom of God coming near them. What a pity! All for the sake of being identified outwardly as a Jew.

 

Any member of any church of any denomination, please answer these questions as honestly as you can.

  • Can you set your watch by the “order of service” in your church?
  • What time does the service start? Does it start the same time every Sunday?
  • Does your choir have a processional and/or recessional?
  • Do all of your Deacons or Elders sit together on the front pew before the offering is taken?
  • How many songs are sung before (or after) the opening prayer?
  • How many are sung between the opening prayer and the Scripture reading?
  • Does your church practice water baptism?
  • How many between the Scripture Reading and the Lord’s Table and/or offering?
  • How hymns many between the offering/Lord’s Table and the sermon?
  • How many repetitions of “Just As I Am” are recited at the “Altar Call”?
  • If you are a member of a “progressive” congregation that prides itself in being “spirit-moved” and sings all the latest “praise and worship choruses,” have you considered that most of them are exactly the same sort of “vain repetition prayers” that Ms. Nero derides — “7-11 choruses” that repeate the same same eleven words seven times?
  • Does your pastor/minister/priest wear a business suit or some form of ecclesiastical garb? A collar? A robe? A hassock? A stole? Other vestments? A cross lapel pin?
  • What color is the “table cloth” on “the Lord’s Table” at the “altar” of your “sanctuary” — or are there special colors for special days or seasons?
  • Does your choir wear robes?
  • Are there “praise banners” adorning the walls of your “sanctuary” or is the “Church Covenant” clearly displayed somewhere in your church building?
  • Do you wear “Christian” jewelry such as a cross necklace or a WWJD bracelet?
  • Do you have a fish emblem on the bumper of your car?
  • Do your pastor and congregation cling tenaciously to the outmoded, grammatically-obsolete, and frequently inaccurately-translated King James Version of the Bible?
  • How often does your congregation observe the “Lord’s Supper”? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Annually?
  • Does your congregation or denomination follow a particular pattern or sequence in your Scripture readings from week to week?
  • Are you encouraged to read through the Bible on a regular schedule?
  • Does your congregation or denomination follow a particular ecclesiastical calendar [Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost]?
  • Does your congregation meet on Sunday for Worship, when the Bible clearly teaches over and over again that the day that God ordained and established for His people to worship Him was the seventh day of the week?
  • Do you observe the pagan fertility festival of Ishtar during Passover season?
  • Do you celebrate the birthday of “Jesus” on December 25, when He was actually born during the autumn feast of Succot?
  • Does your congregation recite “the Lord’s Prayer,” the “Apostles’ Creed,” Psalm 23 or another particular psalm on a regular basis?
  • Does your order of service include regular “responsive readings” from the back of your hymnal?
  • Do you respect the Book that contains the Word of God, or is it just another bunch of paper with a leather cover?
  • What does your congregation believe is the “proper formula” to be recited as a new believer is making “the confession of faith” or being baptized?

What a pity! All for the sake of being identified outwardly as a Christian.

The only difference between your “ritual” and Messianic “ritual” is that you are familiar with your form of worship and unfamiliar with Messianic worship as it was practiced in the first and second centuries by Yeshua, His Apostles, and all of His followers for the first 300 years after His resurrection.

If you would like to consider yourself as a “First Century Church” then you need to practice your faith as it was actually practiced in the first century. That’s all that Messianic Judaism is asking you to consider.

Farewell, Gentile Christian Terms

Those in the Messianic Jewish Movement want their worship and evangelization to be more Jewish than their counterpart, “Gentile Christians.” They emphasize using original Hebrew Terms such as … [73]

So-called
Gentile Terms
Hebrew Terms
God The Father ….. Abba[74]
God & Lord ……...... G-d and L-rd (respect Jewish tradition of never spelling God’s name)[75]
Jesus Christ …........ Yeshua HaMashiach[76]
Old Testament ....... Tanach[77]
New Testament ..... B'rit Hadasha[77]
Holy Spirit …..…….. Ruach HaKodesh[78]
Baptism .................. Mikveh[79]
John…...................... Joachim [sic][76]
Mary ........................ Miriam[76]
Paul ……………......... Sa’aul[sic][76]
Church …….............. Synagogue or Congregation[80]
Pastor or Reverend.. Rabbi[81]

There you have it. The MJM has “just gotta be different”! They cannot be deprived of Judaism,[81a] even though the New Testament is in Greek[81b] and not Hebrew which [sic] is sending a message about the difference between the Old and the New.

[73] All Jews, no matter when in the world they currently reside, have a great affinity to our ancestrial homeland and our ancestral language. Hebrew is the language that was spoken in Israel by Israelites 4,000 years ago, was very probably the language that was spoken by all humanity prior to the dispersion at Babel, and it is the language that is spoken in Israel by Israelites now, and it is the language currently used in the religious service of virtually every synagogue in every nation in the world! It is the universal language of the Hebrew people, and it is the language that will the official language of the entire world during the thousand-year reign of King Messiah and into eternity afterward.

Do you suppose that Ms. Nero would expect Christians in China to use the English terms that she espouses? Or how about Christians in Germany, Sweeden, France? Not at all. She just wants Messianic Jews to be squeezed into her racist mold! The terms she has identified as “So-called Gentile Terms” are not “Gentile Terms” at all. They are English terms that are only used in English-speaking nations and nowhere else! The terms she has identified as “Hebrew Terms” are the exact same terms translated into the Hebrew language. Why in the world is she so terribly concerned about which language we choose to use?

If Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) inspired the writers of the Bible to use very specific Hebrew words when He inspired them to write the Bible in Hebrew, where does Ms. Nero get off thinking that English words that are understood only within the boundaries of the old British Empire (and that are most often not even correct translations of the original words of the Bible) are superior to the original Spirit-inspired words?

She would set her own opinions and traditions over the inspiration of Ruach HaKodesh!

So who is the true apostate? The one who clings tenaciously to false human tradition, or the one who seeks and strives for “the restoration of all things spoken of by the prophets”?

And why in the world does Ms. Nero assume that all Christians of all nationalities must use only the English terms that she uses (for instance, her instance that all Believers in Messiah must either refer to themselves by the Anglicized Geek word “Christians” or deny the Messiah and be branded as heretics, regardless of their native language)?

She is either totally ignorant of the fact that not everyone in the world speaks English, or she is only interested in “Jew-bashing!”

[74] Yeshua addressed His Father (and our Father) as “Abba” (Mark 14:36), the most intimate term in the entire Hebrew language, and Rav Sha'ul indicates that we should also call Him “Abba” (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6)

[75] The terms “God” and “Lord” are titles, not names, for the Holy One of Israel, and not all Messianic Jews use the hyphenated forms. Those forms are used mostly by Orthodox Jews, both Messianic  and non-messianic, and by those who do not wish to place yet another “stumbling block” in the path of those Rabbinic Jews who have not yet come to know Yeshua as HaMashiach.

[76] “Jesus Christ” is not Messiah's name; it never was, and it will never be. The word “Christ” is not now, nor has it ever been, a name; it is a title. It is the anglicized form of the Greek word cristoß (christos), “anointed.” Ancient Israel anointed three classes of people: prophets, priests, and kings. Since Yeshua is all three, it is appropriate to refer to Him as Messiah, “the Anointed One.”

It is grammatically impossible to say the word “Jesus” in either Hebrew or Aramaic (or Greek for that matter). He is a Jew with a Hebrew name, Yeshua. If I know that your name is “George,” just where do I get off calling you “Fred” just because I like that name better than your real name?

And why is it that the Bible is the only book in all the world that attempts to “translate” names? If a book is written in Spanish about a man named Juan Rodriguez, and the book is then translated into English, no attempt is made to “translate” his name as “John Rogers.” The only reason that “Yeshua” is translated as “Jesus” and that the name of his brother Ya'akov is translated as “James” is because of the anti-Semitic translators who resented the fact Yeshua and Ya'akov were both Jews! If it were ever the intent of the translators to actually translate their names into English, they would have been translated as “Salvation” and “Heel Holder” or “Supplanter” respectively! Ditto for the names Yohanan (“YHWH Has Graced”), Miriam (“Rebellion”), and Sha'ul (“Desired”)!

[77] “TaNaKh” is an acronym for Torah (the Books of Moses), Navi'im (Prophets), and Kituvim (Writings), and the word by which the Hebrew Scriptures have been know for over 2,000 years!

“B'rit Hadasha” is Hebrew for “Renewed Covenant.“ Properly understood, the collection of documents that is called the “New Testament” by Gentile Christians is neither “new” nor a “testament.” It is actually a collection of Ruach HaKodesh-inspired pastoral commentaries that were written to teach Believers in Messiah how to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” — that is, how to properly interpret the Tanakh, or the Hebrew Bible — the only “Scriptures” that the “Apostles” knew anything about! The terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament” were specifically designed by an anti-Semitic Roman cult to make people believe exactly what Ms. Nero has been deceived into believing, that the “old” thing is no longer valid and has been replaced by the “new” one.

Many feel that the Apostolic Writings, or erroneously-called “New Testament” were very probably originally written in Hebrew (they were of an absolute certainty written by Hebrew-speaking Jews) and then immediately copied into Koine (common, or everyday) Greek (Koine Greek is to Classical Greek as American English is to British English) for distribution to the various Messianic Communities because Greek was the lingua franca of the Greek and Roman empires, and could therefore be understood by every educated person in the world (both Jewish and non-Jewish) without need of translation or interpretation. It had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any alleged “difference between the Old and the New.”

Additionally, Hebrew is now the universal language understood by almost all Jews (at least a rudimentary vocabulary) everywhere in the world. Does it not only make sense for Jews to communicate with each other in a language that works both inside and outside of the boundaries of the old British Empire?

[78] “Rhach HaKodesh” is not unique to the “New Testament.” He has been around since Genesis 1:2 which occurred some 6,000 years ago. In addition to being the active Agent in creation, He is also the one who gave all the prophets their prophetic sight. Since He has been called Ruach HaKodesh by God’s Elect for at least 6,000 years, why does she find it necessary to now change His name?

[79] “Mikveh” does not correspond to Christian Baptism. A mikvah is a specially-designed pool of “living water” into which one immerses one’s self. The Hebrew term tevilah describes that act of self-immersion. Messanic tevilah is not the same thing as Christian baptism. Christian baptism is generally practiced by a member of the clergy immersing the new believer in water or in wiping, sprinkling, or pouring water onto the forehead. Messianic tevilah is performed by the new Believer totally immersing him- or herself in a mikvah, or pool of “living water.”

Additionally, “baptism” and “baptize” are not English words at all; they are “borrowed words,” transliterations of the two Greek words that should accurately be translated as “immersion” and “immerse,” respectively. Like many other Greek terms in the Apostolic Writings, they were deliberately mis-translated to allow for the establishment of sprinkling and pouring as alternatives to the immersion of new Believers in Messiah that was dictated by Ruach HaKodesh through the Apostles, and is the source of much doctrinal error.

[80] As pointed out above ad nausium, there is simply no linguistic support for translating the word ekklesia (ekklesia) as “church.”[82] In fact, Spanish-speaking Christians us a transliteration of ekklesia (eglasia) instead of the word “church.” (Ms. Nero would apparently suppose that all Spanish-speaking Christians are to be condemned to hell along with all Messianic Jews for using the wrong word.) Jews have been worshipping in synagogues since the return from Babylon. There is no reason to change the term now.

[81] The term “reverend” is not a Biblical term at all, but refers to one who wishes to be “revered” or “worshipped” because of his “elevated position” above the common Believer. The word “pastor” is a somewhat inaccurate translation of the Greek word for “herdsman” or “shepherd.” The Hebrew word rabbi simply means “teacher.” Within most Messianic Jewish congregations, the congregation leader is referred to as a Messianic Rabbi if he is Jewish, and as a Messianic Pastor if he is non-Jewish. It is a simple recognition by those who are “grafted in” that the faith and practice of Yeshua and the Shliachim (Apostles) is, and has always rightfully been, Jewish in nature.

[81a] Ms. Nero has referred to her “Blackness” several times. Why is it that she expect us to abandon our Jewishness when she refuses to abandon her “Blackness?” Such rampant hypocracy!!

[81b] A large number of competent Bible scholars (mostly Gentiles, by the way) contend that the Apostolic Writings (so-called “New Testament”) were originially written in Hebrew, basing their assertion on valid grounds.

“The writers were Hebrews; and thus, while the language is Greek, the thoughts and idioms are Hebrew … If the Greek of the New Testament be regarded as an inspired translation from Hebrew or Aramaic originals, most of the various readings would be accounted for and understood.” Dr. E. W. Bullinger, Companion Bible (app. 94).

“… we must not forget that Christianity grew out of Judaism … The Pauline epistles were letters written by Paul to small [Jewish] congregations in Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome. These early [believers] were mostly Jews of the dispersion, men and women of Hebrew origin … The Epistles were translated into Greek for the use of converts who spoke Greek.” [George Lamsa, Holy Bible from the Peshitta, p. xi]

Click here for a list of those scholars.

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Page originally posted 30 August 2001
Page revised on Friday, 13 September 2019
Page revised (minor) on Monday, 1 February 2021

Page last updated on Thursday, 25 February 2021 09:59 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!