(Q): What is sin and how serious is it? Is it an outdated concept?
(A): Sin, according to
modern civilization, is an outdated concept.
But it is in Scripture depicted as the greatest evil that ever existed
or that came into being. Sin is that
which is opposed to all that is GOD or that is all of GOD. One Scripture in the New Covenant Scriptures
puts it well. “Sin is the
transgression of the Law.” We
know sin through the Law. The LORD tells
us what sin is and how to overcome it.
(Q): What is GOD really like? Can anyone really know if He exists?
(A): According to our
Lord Yeshua, “GOD is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in
spirit and truth.” All that is
lovely, all that is beautiful, all that is good, flows from GOD. GOD is the source of everything that is
wonderful and glorious. He is the source
of all blessedness for His creatures.
(Q): How can I believe in Yeshua and still be
(A): I’ve been asked
that question many times, because for our people, assimilation is one of the
greatest evils and many choose death rather than assimilate. What we say to such people is, first of all
ascertain who the Jewish Messiah is, and then do the Jewish thing and receive
Him as your own Messiah, and that includes Yeshua of Nazareth. Make sure you examine all the proofs
concerning Yeshua the Messiah. And when
you are convinced of His claims, then you are not less Jewish, but more Jewish
in accepting Him as your Messiah.
(Q): Why do you use the name Yeshua instead of
(A): The reason why we
use the name Yeshua is mainly semantic.
To our Jewish people, the name Jesus conveys the image of a Gentile
God. One of the songs of ‘Jews For
Jesus’ is “I knew Jesus before He was a Gentile.” So the name Jesus is, to our people, by and
large the name of a foreign deity who is being foisted upon them. When we talk about Yeshua, we’re using the
Hebrew name from which the name Jesus is derived, and we are bringing home to
our people’s consciousness that our Messiah was a Jew and continues to be a Jew
(Q): Why do you use the terms Tanakh and Brit Chadasha for Old and New Testaments?
(A): The reason why we
use the terms ‘Brit Chadasha’ and ’Tanakh’ is the same as the reason why we use
the name Yeshua instead of Jesus.
’Tanakh’ conveys to our Jewish listeners, the consciousness that we are
referring to the books of Moses and of the Prophets and of the Writings – what
our people call “Our Bible” or what we call “the Hebrew Bible.” The reason why we call The New Testament,
‘Brit Chadasha’, is to drive home the point that the New Covenant Scriptures
are every bit as Jewish as the Hebrew Scriptures. They are as it were an extension, a
continuation of the same, and therefore, since all the authors were Jewish as
Moses and the Prophets were, and those who wrote the Psalms, etc, we can
include them in our purview, in our understanding, in our outlook, and ultimately
in our respect for them.
(Q): What did Yeshua think of the Tanakh?
(A): From the records
of the way Yeshua spoke about the Tanakh, He implicitly believed it literally
from one end to the other, and He himself speaking of them, said “the
Scripture cannot be broken.” In
fact, He had no other source than the Hebrew Bible.
(Q): What books would Yeshua have considered a part of the Tanakh?
(A): Yeshua would have
considered as part of the Tanakh, everything in the Tanakh – Moses, the
Prophets, the Writings. He made no
exceptions in His quotations of them.
(Q): How should we respond to the Tanakh in light of Yeshua’s response
(A): In the light of
Yeshua’s response to the Tanakh, it is the greatest wisdom for us to put them
on a par with all Scripture, and not as many people do today to put them aside
as old and outdated which is the greatest mistake in the world.
(Q): Who are the people of Israel?
(A): The people of
Israel are the descendants of Jacob’s twelve sons, the descendants of the
twelve tribes of Israel. I don’t need to
mention the names of the twelve tribes, but the people of Israel are descended
from one or other of those twelve tribes.
(Q): So who are the Gentiles in scripture?
(A): Gentiles are those
who are not physically the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They may be the descendants of Abraham, as
Abraham had sons by other than Sarah.
They may be still sons of Isaac as Esau was, but they cannot be sons of
Jacob. And that’s why the descendants of
Israel are the descendants of the twelve tribes. And the others are those that are not
descended from the twelve tribes. That
is, the rest of the world. The New
Covenant Scriptures divide mankind into three categories: Jews, Gentiles and The Family of GOD.
(Q): There is a term used today called “Spiritual Jews.” Could you
explain what that term means please?
(A): Yes, the term
“Spiritual Jews” really means someone who is born a Jew who is not merely
outwardly a Jew but at heart a Jew as well.
“He is not a Jew who is one outwardly… but he is a Jew who is one
inwardly…” whose circumcision is not only of the flesh but also of the
heart. That is what a
Spiritual Jew is and it refers to the distinction between Jews who truly
believe in GOD and obey Him and those who just make a profession.
(Q): You mention the Family of GOD, could you describe what it is and
(A): Yes, according to
both Tanakh and Brit Chadasha, the Family of GOD is comprised of believing Jews
and believing Gentiles, all one in Messiah.
(Q): Would you explain then how the Body of Messiah in Israel is related
or does not relate?
(A): The Body of
Messiah in Israel are related to one another as fellow Jews. They are also related to their fellow
believing Gentiles who join with them in worshipping the same Messiah.
(Q): Would you speak about Messiah’s sacrifice and why He needed to die?
(A): Yes, it was
absolutely necessary for Messiah to be the sacrifice for our sins. From the very beginning, after Adam and Eve
had sinned, GOD underlined the need of sacrifice by making coats of skins to
cover Adam and Eve in their shame, in their guilt, and in their
transgression. And so they learned that
they obtained the covering from shame through the sacrifice of an innocent
substitute. Abel understood this very
well, because when he approached GOD, he brought of the fatlings of his
herd. He brought lambs to offer his
sacrifice and the fat thereof. He knew
very well that GOD prescribed sacrifice as a means of approaching Him, and that
theme follows us right through the Scripture, from Genesis to the book of
(Q): How does one enter into the Body of Messiah?
(A): We enter into the
Body of Messiah by faith in Messiah. We
become members of the Family of GOD, when GOD accounts us righteous for our
faith. Abraham believed in GOD and “it
was accounted to him for righteousness.” That is, he became a member of GOD’s forgiven
people, and in the same way, if we want to belong to that family, we must come
the way Abraham did, which is the way of faith.
The Bible tells us, without faith it is impossible to please GOD.