Here's a peek inside the new BEKY Book (Books Encouraging the Kingdom
of Yeshua).This is an excerpt from
Messianic Shabbat Service. It starts with a simple history for the visitor to your service or fellowship:
The Messianic Movement derives from various backgrounds. It is one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the United States, and it is considered a "grassroots"
movement. The Messianic Movement is a growing phenomenon, both within the United States and worldwide. Many traditional Christians are now choosing to keep the Biblical Feasts, so there are even more non-Jewish Messianic fellowships today than Jewish.
Messianic worship has the potential to be a fulfilling and profound experience. Although Messianic congregations and fellowships are springing up all over the world, the diversityLike the first disciples and apostles of Yeshua (Jesus), no one really knows what to call
of religious, ethnic, and academic backgrounds makes every congregation different, whether primarily Jewish or Gentile. There is no all-inclusive pattern for Messianic worship, so the best approach is to describe the more usual components of a service.
this movement. Although it is often called the "Messianic Movement," that's a bit of a misnomer. Those who follow Messiah Yeshua are Messianic, but then again, so are observant Jews. Although Orthodox Jews do not believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, they nevertheless await and pray for Messiah's coming daily, so they, too, are Messianic in expectation. The difference is that Orthodox Jews are looking for the Messiah's first coming, but "Messianics" are looking for his return.
In the First Century, believers in the Messiahship of Yeshua were called by many names: The Way, The Nazarenes, and eventually, Christians, a name that is reflected today by saying "Messianic." Since most people understand that a Christian is a follower of Yeshua, people today also understand that a "Messianic" is a follower of Yeshua. This does not make the Orthodox Jew any less messianic in his or her expectation.
Modern Messianics trace their history back to the very beginning of Christianity, but they particularly identify with the early Nazarenes. Epiphanius of Salamis, a 3rd Century Bishop, described Nazarenes as having the following practices:
1. They use both Old and New Testaments
2. They have good knowledge of Hebrew and use the Old Testament; they read at least one gospel in Hebrew.
3. They believe in resurrection of the dead.
4. They believe that God is the Creator of all things.
5. They believe in God and His son Jesus Christ.
6. They observe the Law of Moses.
7. They originated in Jerusalem and later fled to Pella before 70.
8. They were located geographically in Pella, Kokaba, and Coele Syria.
The Nazarenes were not considered heretical by the Church until the 4th Century. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) marks a turning point in the history of the Church's view of Nazarenes. Augustine's acceptance of Epiphanius' judgment fixed their fate and led to their final rejection by the Christian Church. Augustine says about the Nazarenes: "They profess to be Christians and profess that Christ is the Son of God, they practice baptism, they keep the old law, specifically circumcision, Sabbath observance, food restrictions,
and are few in number." Jerome states that the Nazarenes existed into the early 5th Century.
Although diverse, modern Messianic Judaism is generally understood to be a movement of Jews and Gentiles committed to the Messiahship of Jesus. Messianic Jews practice the perpetuation of Jewish life and tradition. Identification with the Jewish people and Israel is central to their ethnic and spiritual identities. They are committed both to the Jewish people and the larger Body of Messiah (Christ).
Messianics place a great importance upon Torah observance and the relationship between the Old and New Covenants. They do not see Torah observance as a requirement for salvation; rather, they see it as an outgrowth of salvation called sanctification. Messianics don't promote a works-based salvation, but a covenantal relationship of loving obedience.
Messianic Judaism has been described as the "third rail" between Judaism and
Christianity, and non-Jewish Messianics also walk that rail, yet without so much ethnic Jewish tradition.
End of excerpt
As most of you know, it is impossible to describe a typical Messianic Shabbat service, but the booklet tries to give the most generic description possible so that visitor is given a general idea of what to expect or what he or she might encounter. Having the booklet might be a great way to open up a conversation with the newcomer, even if it's explaining the differences between the booklet's description and what the local congregation actually practices.
We could use some good reviews on Amazon!
Israel Study Trip-fewer than 10 seats left
For those of you looking for a unique study trip to Israel, we will be taking a limited number of people March 19-30, 2017. We anticipate the land price to be $2100 + your airfare. Considering what it costs to take the kids to Disneyworld for a week, this seems like more than a bargain. The teaching theme is: Standing With Israel: the Revelation.
You can purchase the book above from our website, or the Kindle version from amazon. The next CG workbook will reflect several years of new insights into the basic version
found in the book, and participants will receive a complimentary copy of CG Workbook Six: Standing With Israel to accompany the basic text above.
An extra emphasis of this trip will be the Sabbath and Feasts of Israel, including the
Jewish customs in place at the time that Yeshua walked the Land. This focus will provide
a better understanding of Yeshua and his disciples in their First Century context. For instance, while Christians think of the last book of the Bible as "Revelation," what does an observant Jew think of when he or she hears the term "Revelation"?
The giving of the Torah is the Revelation in the Jewish context, and participants will learn how reliable Bible study tools, such as First Mention, Progressive Mention, Complete Mention, and Chiasms open understanding to many things in the New Covenant,
especially John's Revelation. As it turns out, the Creator does reveal the end from the beginning, and John's Revelation should be viewed through the lens of the Torah.
Because this trip will occur before the first feast of Passover, the objective is that the experience will enrich each participant's celebration of the Biblical feasts and Shabbat.
Send us an email if you want more information.
LaMalah Children's Centre
The Children's Centre is doing well, and we thank those of you who have stepped up with either a one-time donation or a recurring donation. I am confident that the funds for July will exceed the minimum operating expenses, so Brother Ndungu may be able to welcome some new children awaiting a place at the Centre or purchase another milk cow. Thank you so much for your generous hearts.
Monday Night Class
The Monday night online class is doing well, and I am so pleased with the progress of the students. We can dive much more deeply in the class than is possible in a 52-minute recorded program. I am planning to start a Torah portion study class after Sukkot, so if
that interests you, keep it in mind, and we'll send out more specific information later.
From our home to yours, Shabbat Shalom,