The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… 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!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I personally do not consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. Thus, I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

A “Typical”
Messianic Statement of Faith

First of all, it must be clearly understood that “Messianic Judaism,” the “Messianic Movement” or “Messianic Restoration,” by whatever name is being used used, is neither a “denomination” nor a single organization with a central governing body to speak for it. Although there are many excellent Messianic theologians, there is no widely-accepted Messianic theology.

The movement is certainly not totally “Jewish,” and it is decidedly not “Church” (though you may rarely hear an uninformed member of a Messianic congregation use the word out of habit). It is not ”Christian” in the sense of the word that most Christians think of that word. Nor is it necessarily a total rejection of either “Church” or “Christianity,” though many Messianic Believers (or “Messianics”) are deeply troubled by what those two words have come to mean to the Jewish people over the past two thousand years.

The “movement” is, however, made up of both Jews and non-Jews who are attempting to restore to its original state the relationship with the Creator-God and the way of life which was practiced by the Son of God and as taught to his original followers during His incarnation as Yeshua of Nazareth. As those who followed the Messiah during the first century of this era were almost exclusively Jewish, so the Messianic Movement is essentially Jewish, and most Messianics see it as rightfully a branch of mainstream Judaism along with Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism, and (to a much lesser degree) Reconstructionist Judaism-- though most Messianics would probably disavow any association with Humanistic Judaism. And since Messiah is to return soon to establish His seat of government in a restored Israel, it is altogether fitting and proper that we return to the form of worship that He established there.

Both the ancient Hebrew prophets and the Book of the Rev (the final true prophetic Rev until the return of Elijah immediately prior to Messiah’s return to earth) tell us that in the “Kingdom Age” or “Messianic Age” all the nations of the world will come to Israel to worship and observe the feasts of the Lord (see Zech 8:23, Isa 60:9-19, and Rev 15:3-4, for example). And so it is proper that all followers of Messiah observe those feasts now in obedience to the Word of God and in preparation for the coming Kingdom.

As the sages have said, “Wherever there are two Rabbis there will be three opinions.” And so it is with the Messianic Movement. There are probably nearly as many different expressions of Messianic faith as there are individual congregations.

In another place we have defined what we consider to be the absolute minimum requirements, or the “common denominator” if you will, of Biblical Faith. Those essential elements are the same as you will find on this page.

Among Messianics are those who practice the so-called “sign gifts” and those who do not. There are those who are “dispensational” in their approach to the interpretation of Scripture and those who are not. There are those who believe that the true follower of Messiah is eternally secure in his or her salvation, and there are those who believe that a believer can “backslide” and become lost after having once been saved.

However, I believe that most people who view themselves as “Messianic” would be in at least general agreement with the following statements:

[1. The Creator of all things has revealed Himself to His creation through His personal Name which is represented by the Hebrew letters Yud-He-Vav-He. Out of respect for Him and His Name, we normally refer to Him as Adonai (the Hebrew word for Lord) or by the appellation (or circumlocution) HaShem (Hebrew for “The Name”). He has revealed that in His divine nature He is an inseparable union; HaShem is One and there is only one HaShem. (“Sh'ma, Yisra'el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, Isra'el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one]” (Deut 6:4)

2. And yet, in a manner that is totally beyond human comprehension, the one ADONAI has manifest Himself to mankind in three divine “Persons:” Abba [the Father], Yeshua [literally “Salvation,” the Son] and Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit, literally “Breath”]. Yet all three “Persons” have but one Name. (“… the Name [singular] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit …” Matt 28:19) [Many Messianics reject this concept and insist that ADONAI is yachid rather than echad.]

3. The Bible, consisting of the TaNaKh (the Hebrew Bible consisting of three sections: Torah, Nevi'im, and Kituvim-- erroneously referred to as the “Old Testament”) and Apostolic Writings (erroneously referred to as the “New  Covenant” or “New Testament”) make up a single unit which is the inspired, only infallible, authoritative Word of ADONAI. (“All Scripture is given by the Ruach [Breath or Spirit] of Elohim [God], and is to be used for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness.” (2Tim 3:16)

4. Yeshua [“Jesus” is an incorrect transliteration of the Greek form of His name] of Natzaret [Nazareth] is the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world. He is HaShem who came in the flesh (1Tim. 3:16). He was born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23; Luke 1:26-27; Luke 1:34). He lived a sinless and Torah-observant life (Heb 4:15; 1Pet 2:21-23; 2Cor 5:21) and taught His followers to do likewise (Matt 5:19). He died an atoning death as the full and complete payment of our sin debt to God (1John 4:10, 1Pet 2:24), was resurrected from the dead (1Cor 15:3-5), ascended to the right hand of Abba, the Father (Mark 16:19), and now is glorified with all power in Heaven and in Earth (Matt 24:30; Eph 1:19-21; Phil 3:20-21; Heb 1:3; Rev 4:11). He will return physically (Acts 1:9-11) as King of kings and Lord of lords (1Tim 6:15; Rev 19:16) to rule and reign over the earth from the throne of His father David [in Jerusalem]. (Zech 14:9; Luke 1:32; Acts 2:30; Acts 15:13-16)

5. All have sinned (transgressed the holy Torah [revealed Law] of ADONAI; 1John 3:4) and stand condemned before Him, and need the salvation provided by the grace of HaShem through the atoning work of Yeshua as our final and ultimate Passover Lamb. (Psalm 14:3; Rom 3:23)

6. All who experientially believe and trust that Yeshua is the promised Messiah, HaShem come in the flesh, Who died as our Passover Lamb (1Cor 5:7) and rose again, are forgiven their sins and come into a renewed covenant with HaShem through Yeshua, and therefore become inheritors of all the unconditional promises that HaShem made with Abraham and Israel. (Rom 10:9-11, Rom 4; Rom 9) [This requires not simple intellectual acquiescence to the historical facts, but a total and child-like faith and trust that Yeshua was exactly Who He claimed to be and that He will do exactly what He has promised to do. This kind of faith will produce the evidence of an appropriate lifestyle of Mitzvah (righteous works). See James 2:14-26.]

7. Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit] permanently dwells within all true believers to lead, guide, teach, comfort, and empower us to live a righteous life and to minister to the Body of Messiah [the Miqra, Ekklesia, or “Called-Out Ones”] as a royal priesthood of believers. (John 14:26; 1Cor. 14:26; Acts 2:1-9; 1Cor 12: 1-13, Rom. 12:3-21; Eph 1:13; 1Pet. 2:4-5)

8. The promise of a faithful trust in Yeshua is resurrection from the dead, eternal life, and ruling with Yeshua forever in the place where His Kingdom will rule. Yeshua will soon rule in Jerusalem, and finally in New Jerusalem in the New Creation forever. (John 5:28-29; Rev. 19-22, especially Rev 20:11-15)

9. The penalty awaiting those who reject Yeshua is eternal separation from HaShem into outer darkness and eternal punishment. (Matt. 25:31-46, Rev. 20)

[10. The final Divine Plan for Israel is to bring the remnant of Judah, who are the faithful Jewish people, and the remnant of those who were formally Gentiles (pagans), but who have been recovered from the world by faith, back together and united into one holy nation of Israel under one Shepherd, namely Yeshua, the Messiah. This is a necessary part of the restoration of all things spoken by the prophets. (Ezek. 37, Hosea 1-2, Rom. 9:26, Acts 3:16-26)

[11. The Shabbat [Sabbath], the seventh day of the week, is the created holy day of HaShem (not of Israel), which He gave to mankind (not just to Israel) and covenanted with His people as a sign forever. The seventh-day Sabbath was instituted thousands of years before the Torah was given at Sinai; when the Sabbath was given, there was no Israel. (Gen. 2:2-3; Exod 31:12-16, Isa. 58:13-14) The seventh-day Sabbath is the true Lord’s Day. (Matt. 12:8) Nowhere in the Apostolic Writings is either the Fourth Commandment (Exod. 20:8-11) (or any of the other nine) ever repealed or modified. They are only amplified and explained.

[12. The entire Torah of HaShem, both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings, is the instruction of a loving and gracious Father to His children. It is the perfect and unchanging law that gives us liberty (Psalm 119:44-45; James 2:24-26). The commandments of HaShem will not disappear until heaven and earth disappear (Matt 5:17-20). HaShem’s people delight in His instruction (Psalm 1:2). The Torah was not given for salvation. It is the loving instruction of how a redeemed people should live. Yeshua kept His Father’s commandments and lived in His love. We are instructed to walk as He walked; whoever says that he knows the Lord and does not observe the Torah is a liar (1John 2:3-6). We are to obey HaShem’s commandments and to hold to the testimony of Yeshua (Rev. 12:17). Those who are careful to walk in HaShem’s Torah will be called great in the Kingdom; those who do not walk in HaShem’s Torah will be called least in the Kingdom (Matt 5:19).

[13. Jewish followers of Yeshua are called to maintain their Jewish Biblical heritage and remain a part of their people Israel and the universal body of believers. This is part of their identity and a witness to the faithfulness of God.

[14. Non-Jewish Believers in Messiah are grafted into the Jewish olive tree (Rom 11) and both spiritually and legally adopted into the family of Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya'akov (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). They are therefore equal heirs and partakers in the unconditional covenants that HaShem made to Israel. They are encouraged to understand and appreciate their roots in Judaism, and accordingly should walk in obedience to the Torah, and are encouraged to support the interests of world Jewry as adopted members of the family of Jacob (Israel).

[Some Messianic groups make a distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish Messianic Believers and say that non-Jewish Messianic Believers are under no obligation to obey Torah, but that they are invited to do so if they felt led by Ruach HaKodesh to do so. This is not only clearly contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture, but also belies the claim that Non-Jewish Believers are actually fully adopted into Israel, and sets them up as “second-class citizens” of the “Commonwealth of Israel.” We believe that all members of a family should be held to the same obligations of that family. We also believe that HaShem has one, and only one, Standard of Righteousness by which all of humanity is to be judged.]

Compare the above with the Statement of Faith of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and that of the Coalition of Torah Observant Messianic Congregations (for example).

Page last updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2023 01:32 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

Range Options:

e.g. Gen;Psa-Mal;Rom 3-9