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Our Biblical Roots

By Lionel Leslie, April 11 1998 Printer Friendly Version

For the just shall live by faith.
This verse from Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 4 reminds us to look again to our Messianic biblical roots.  Messianic congregations are a Biblically based movement of Jewish and non-Jewish people who have come to believe in YESHUA, JESUS, as the promised Jewish Messiah.  Today there are hundreds of thousands of Messianic Jews and non-Jews world-wide, and hundreds of congregations.  Through the study of Biblical Judaism (Torah), sometimes known as Messianic Judaism, we have come to the understanding that YESHUA, JESUS of Nazareth, is the Messiah and Saviour of all peoples, whether they are of the Jewish persuasion, or Gentiles, as long as they believe in Him, through faith, as Abraham did, and as our text declares.   (Romans 1, verse 17; Habakkuk 2, verse 4; and Hebrews 11, verse 8).

Hitherto most of us have thought Jewish faith and Christian faith were irreconcilable, incompatible, or even hostile to each other from both points of view.  For instance, to many of our Jewish relatives and friends, the concept of a Jewish person believing in YESHUA, JESUS seem to be an unquestionable contradiction.  They have a dichotomy set in their minds.  On the one hand they think you have Jews and Judaism; and on the other hand Christians and Christianity.  You are either one or the other, so the thinking goes.  But this simple dichotomy is in reality, not so simple.

If we go back two thousand years, we find that JESUS was a Jew, living in a Jewish land among Jewish people.  All the apostles were Jewish, as well as the writers of the New Covenant, (New Testament).  For many years, this faith in YESHUA was strictly a Jewish one.  These first-century Messianic Jews were later called 'Christians', an anglicised-Greek denotation of followers of Messiah.  They remained highly loyal to their land and to their people.  Whether it was Jewish to believe in YESHUA, JESUS was never an issue at that time.  Of course it was Jewish, what else could it be?  The big question back then was whether YESHUA had been sent to the Gentiles also.  That was the crux of the matter.

When GOD miraculously showed Messianic Jews that JESUS, YESHUA is the Messiah for both Jew and Gentile alike, then Gentiles from every nation began to pour into this Jewish faith, (Acts 10).  However, as the number of Gentile followers increased, they began to predominate in the Messianic faith, and with the passing on of the Jewish followers as the years went by, the Jewish roots were eventually lost.  This de-Judaizing process continued until now we have one of the greatest paradoxes in history.  It became alien for a Jewish person to believe YESHUA, JESUS as his Messiah and Saviour.

Kehillath Tsion is seeking to put YESHUA Ha'Mashiach, (JESUS the Christ), back within His Biblical and Jewish context.  Therefore, we are experiencing what we believe is a spiritual renaissance, even a revival, as we endeavour to return to the faith these Messianic Jews and Gentiles had in the first and second centuries, unencumbered by the traditions of men.  It is simply a return to that pure faith, based upon a living, vibrant and personal relationship with the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel), through Messiah YESHUA.

However the real issue we must recognize is not whether it is Jewish to believe in YESHUA, because the Jewishness of JESUS is unquestionable, historically and Biblically.  The issue at stake here is whether we believe He is the prophesied Messiah, or not.  There is only one way to find out, and that is for Jewish people in particular who are searching for the truth, to turn to their own Torah (the five Books of Moses), and also to the Prophets.  In them you will find that the Messiah was to come twice.  The first time to suffer and die, (Daniel 9: 24-26; Isaiah 53; Psalm 22, to mention a few); there are many more references throughout the Scriptures.  And the second time to usher in the Messianic era of peace in the last days when He promised to save all His people (Isaiah 25, verse 9; Romans 11, verse 26).  If we search the Scriptures diligently, you will find many other confirmations.  Messianic prophecies are high in our agenda of studies.

Whether you are Jewish or not, one thing of which I'm sure we could mutually agree is that without GOD, there is no help for mankind.  This should be obvious as we view the ever-worsening situations the world is faced with today.  For most of mankind is separated from the One Living GOD and His Messiah, Who alone can deliver from sin, and are therefore running blindly into total disaster.  This, despite that He, JESUS, YESHUA offers salvation for all who will turn, convert to Messiah, and receive of Him a humble and contrite spirit.  Abraham, when he offered up Isaac, his only son of the promise, illustrated by his obedience to GOD, what was to be the Eternal Father's offering of His Only Begotten Son (Genesis 22: 6-8).  But to the children of Israel, surely, the ultimate illustration is our sacrificial lamb killed at the Passover, and the symbol of the shed blood covering their sins (Exodus 6, verse 7).

When John, the Baptizer, as he stood with two of his disciples, looked up at JESUS as He walked, he said, 'Behold, the Lamb of GOD!' John and his disciples were Jewish and understood the connection with the Jewish Scriptures, that 'He is the eternal Lamb of GOD Who takes away the sins of the world.'  (John 1, verse 7).

Even though the Jewish rulers in that day signed, as it were, YESHUA's death warrant, it did not cancel or annul the promise made by GOD to the fathers of Israel.  He shed His precious blood freely, offering it up for all sin, and according to the Law, almost all things are purged with blood and 'Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.'  (Hebrews 9, verse 22; Leviticus 17, verse 11).

We can conclude from these references that the promises to Israel were sealed in His death.  This is now reaffirmed by the power of His resurrection.  It is made evident in the marvellous working of the Holy Spirit within the remnant of His people, even the present-day descendants of the children of Israel.


For more information on Zion Messianic Fellowship
email us at info@tsion.org, or call (604) 800-3663.