Archive for the ‘church’ Category

Facing the biggest problem

July 10, 2017

Choosing between being Jew or gentile. I think this was what Paul had in mind when writing Romans 9 and thinking about his people. “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people.” (Rom.9:2-3) The question was (as it seems to me) whether to be with them under the curse of denying Jesus, or to be with those outlawed of Judaism and mostly gentiles believers. But Paul rejoiced however to be with the latter because he firmly believed Jesus was the Messiah. In Romans 9-11 he pointed out what the matter was of the Jewish people; they would go in exile for the sake of the gentiles. (Rom.11:11)

This was a great choice. Paul saw that he couldn’t be part of the Jewish people because of their denial of the Messiah, since he opposed to them, clearly saw the Messiah.

I can feel that today similar circumstances are in place when a Jewish believer clings to Messianic Judaism. He also has a choice. But that choice easily could culminate in accepting or rejecting Jesus.

In fact it should be that there was no choice at all. But we have yet the same Jewish people as in the time of Paul: you will not be accepted if you believe in Jesus, and hitherto you will not be a “real” orthodox jew.

It looks like the Jewish people must first recognize the Messiah as a nation, as a whole people.

Orthodox Jewry does not accept Messianic Jews. Even in politics. When they apply for citizenship during the immigration process, their application is denied simply because they believe in Jesus as their messiah. It looks like this is even against the Jewish Law of Return, but this is still how it goes.

Obviously, there will be other times ahead of us. For now we have to deal with this situation.

The Pope is not the antichrist (anymore)

December 2, 2014

While I was written to a considerable extend at my Dutch blog that the Pope was the antichrist in the time of the Reformation, now I can proof that he personally is not an antichrist anymore as it was in those early days. Times are changed, fortunately. He says: “Anti-Semitism is a sin, and you cannot be a true Christian without recognizing your Jewish roots.” I wish that every Protestant pastor would say that too.

The Pope doesn’t have dominion over Europe and the world anymore. His empire has gone. His (theological) power has gone. This is all over, we clearly live in other times now. Protestants interpreted prophecy, especially from the book Revelation, in a manner which is called Historicism. Although, unto the 19e century. I wrote earlier about it here. They called the Pope the antichrist, what is understandable . Now our enemy is not the Pope, but the devil himself going around like a roaring lion. Misleading the nations. Hopefully Israel and its God will soon lead the nations.

I read this encouraging words in an article from the Israely newspaper Yediot Ahronot.

The Pope and the Vatican

Yediot Ahronot, November 28, 2014

For this six-page article, Henrike Zimmerman interviewed Pope Francis at the Vatican. This is the first personal interview the pope has given to an Israeli newspaper. Pope Francis described his battle to halt the Islamic caliphate, and how there are more Christian martyrs today than in the early centuries of the church. He spoke against the violence in Jerusalem and called on all sides to act for peace, saying, “Building peace is hard, but living without peace is a nightmare.”

When speaking of Jerusalem, the pope did not want to express a personal view, but said that the Vatican’s view is that Jerusalem should be “the city of peace and faith,” the capital of all three religions. He spoke of his good memories of his trip to Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority in May, and said that he “saw things he didn’t know existed.” He said, additionally, that it is important for Christians to visit Israel since “everything began there,” and that “anti-Semitism is a sin, and you cannot be a true Christian without recognizing your Jewish roots.”

Regarding the possible opening of the Vatican archives, Pope Francis said that a treaty between the Vatican and Italy from 1929 prevents the opening of the archives, but that personally he sees no reason they shouldn’t be opened as soon as the “legal and bureaucratic” issues are taken care of.

The article ends by quoting Francis on how he wants to be remembered: “I would be happy if they said, ‘He was a good man. He did the best he could. He wasn’t so terrible.’”

Courtesy to the Media Review letter of the Caspari Centre, www.caspari.com

Jesus is the Messiah

January 18, 2014

But we don’t see Him. And He is the divine Messiah. There’s no other Name in heaven and on earth which come come to us to know and to understand through which we may come to the everlasting Father who created us in His image. We are lost, but found by Him. And He is the only one true God.Believe (1)

The problem is that we don’t see Him. We are a people who are so far off, so far deviated from the right path and so blinded by the time passes by for the last tens of decades, that we lost our sight completely. Although we think we see. We do see a lot of things literary, more than in the past, but we don’t have the ability to see the things spiritual, at least not with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. We are so defiled in our society that you might say there’s no way back. But fortunately there is a way. Personaly now, when it is the time (Ps.95), but isn’t it now, then it will be in the future, at least for Gods people. Gods promises will endure time until it is His time to act. And that’s we are heading to. “He saw that there was no [good] man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his own arm brought salvation to him; and his righteousness, it upheld him.” (Is.59:16) We all failed, but God doesn’t fail.

You might ask whether this is a special confession, after all, thousands say Jesus is the divine Messiah, but I would say: Yes, this is a very special confession! I was challenged by Judaism and still am, and now I see that I as a church man (and stick to Hebrew Movement), I came to the understanding that we are ALL the same. Orthodox believing Jews and orthodox Christian gentiles. We are the same in what? In that we tend to reject our own very Redeemer. In fact we are rejecting God. The last year I came as far as that I have to confess that I myself was the cause of the crucifiction of the Messiah, the One who would come to my salvation. He is indeed the Sacrifice which I’m liable to. And He is indeed the greatest Miracle full of graciousness and forgiveness. How is that possible? Why on earth did He choose me to share His love and His word and to make me a child of Him? I was lost, but now I’m found. I’m wondering myself constantly about this.

For years I read the phrase “and they will look to me whom they have pierced” as it would apply for the Jews. Now I understand that I am also like the Jew. Yes, I believe that I will confess the same as what the Jews will confess when that blessed time will come that the Deliverer comes forth of Zion and when we get rid off sins because of that very confession that WE have rejected Him. (Is.53) Maybe it’s hard to understand, but for some it may be easy and even welcome to hear.

“Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev.7:10)

Sabbath to Sunday shift on purpose by the Jewish community of the apostle James?

April 11, 2013

I had an interesting conversation with a rabbi who said “that Rabbi Jacob Emden proposed that the founders of Christianity deliberately adopted Sunday as a day of sabbath, to stress that they were not creating a conversion-based Torah religion. His proposal is that the founders of Christianity wanted to create a new religion for Gentiles to institutionalize observance of the seven Noahide laws (which don’t include the Sabbath) and instituted Sunday as a remembrance of the Sabbath.”

emden

He furthermore said that Rabbi Jacob Emden had the opinion that baptism was the denominator to enter the new religion for the gentiles. Instead of circumcision which was meant for Jews.

This was quite new for me, and gave me a lot to think about. And indeed, it is in the letter of Rabbi Jacob Emden what is translated and published by Rabbi Harvey Falk. It is derived from the Hebrew book Seder Olam Rabbah Vezuta, 1757. His Hebrew name is: יעקב בן צבי (Yaacov ben Zvi, 1698-1767)

Rabbi Jacob Emden said:

But for the Gentiles he [Jesus] reserved the Seven Commandments which they have always been obligated to fulfill. It is for that reason that they were forbidden pollutions of idols, fornication, blood, and things strangled (Acts 15). They [the apostles] also forbade them circumcision and the Sabbath. … The Apostles of the Nazarene therefore chose for those Gentiles who do not enter the Jewish faith that instead of circumcision they should practice immersion (for truly immersion is also a condition of full conversion), and a commemoration of the Sabbath was made for them on Sunday.

In the New Testament we can find a difference between Jewish observance of the Torah and Gentile observance of the 7 Noachides. This is laid out in Acts.15. That means that if a new believer did not accept (the yoke of) the Torah, then he might enter the new Christian religion by baptism. In some sense you can call this new religion a part of Judaism, or something that fits into Judaism (7 Noachides), but it is not Judaism itself. That will teach us that there were two deliberate tracks for believers: The Jewish Torah observance and the Gentile 7-Noachides observance (without sabbath and circumcision).

If not the whole Jewish community of believers led by the apostle Jacob was scattered around since the destruction of the temple in 70, then, we probably would find the difference of Jewish and gentile believers also in the scriptures of our church fathers. Unfortunately the church went in its own and Judaism was not only singled out but also forbidden. And they deleted almost everything what remembers Judaism. E.g. highlighting (un-biblical) Christmas, change passover/easter date, etc.

The Unknown Sanctuary, Aime Palliere

March 25, 2013

Book review: The Unknown Sanctuary, Aimé Pallière (1868-1949)

(Translated from the French “Le sanctuaire inconnu” to English by Louise Waterman Wise, 1930)

Sometimes you read a book and you think everyone has to read it because of the truth it shares, a truth everyone has to know. Of course it are personal thoughts, but anyway, “The Unknown Sanctuary” is such a book. It has a timeless message for those who are occupied with the bothering of Christian faith together with the Jewish world. It is not a book to agree with everything. But it shares the truth for those who understand it.the-unknown-sanctuary

Aime Palliere made de such an impressive journey as a Catholic with a great religious spirit facing the truth of the Jews, that anyone with a sense of true feeling of the presence of God on mankind, must be moved on when reading his conversations with the respected rabbi Eliyahu Benamozegh. This rabbi guided him to embrace Noachism. Aime first tended to convert to Judaism but in the end remained non-Jewish.

I received a copy of his book from a friend of mine some years ago. I’ll put it here on this blog, but you can also download it at Archive.org.

Reading the book there were some interesting highlights for me which I would like to share.

Aime became acquainted with the salvation army. With respect to Catholicism he said:

“Protestantism on the contrary acknowledges no other rule than the gospel word itself, and is obliged to extract therefrom its constituent principles, and to subordinate to them the entire Christian life; also, to conclude from its premises what the final development of Christianity is to be. In fact, the majority of creeds which claim to derive from the Reformation of the XVIth Century, do not conform to this fundamental principle, and do not succeed in entirely eliminating the ecclesiastical element, because of the need of adaptation and the play of historic laws which are stronger than logic itself. It is quite evident on the whole that the personality of Jesus who is the centre, the soul of the Christian faith, cannot be rediscovered, except through tradition, that is to say through the Church. Thus it is that despite all things and by an inevitable inconsistency, Protestantism has not been able to separate Jesus wholly from his historic background, and thus it still keeps in step with the organized Church instead of relinquishing its followers to the direct and personal influence of the saving Messiah. It could only continue to exist as a religion, because it retained doctrinal teachings and common practices which form the necessary out- ward bond of an organization. It can then readily be conceived how great an interest the study of the Protestant principle presented to a Christian soul which tended toward the pure origins of its faith, and by a happy conjunction of circumstances I found myself in close relation with one of the most logical forms, and at the same time the most vital, of Protestantism, most liberated in any case from ecclesiastical organization, from theological teachings and from sacramental cults. Here the Christian soul found itself in the presence of the object of its faith, through suppression of all intermediaries. From this point of view the Salvation Army is certainly more Protestant than any Church of the Reformation.” (p.79-80) When years go by he saw the Salvation Army also was not the religion which would fill the gaps.

At some point he disconnected the person Jesus from his religious affection. “…but his [Jesus] personality itself, so imperfectly known to us, was no longer a vital and indispensable thing in my religious life.” (p.115). Why does he add: ‘so imperfectly known to us’? This I agree with, we don’t know Jesus as much as to get the true idea of him. And I can understand to question the Trinity doctrine, but to remove Jesus as the Messiah and the son of God? And yet he remained Catholic and took the eucharist? Here some question marks remained.

In his conversation with rabbi Benamozegh, dealing with the Noachide, Benamozegh replied: “Noachism is the true, the only eternal religion of the Gentiles, and that it has its foundation in common with Israel. It is nothing else than true Christianity, that is, what Christianity ought to be, what it some day will become. This, according to the Jews, is the true religion of the Messianic times.” (p.173-174)

Benamozegh discouraged Aime to convert and becoming part of “the Jewish priesthood” [of the world]. He encouraged him to be a Noachide. (p.175) For this he had “two important reasons, … The first is the desire to begin with you and in you this religious movement [Noachism] which will bring about the final evolution of Christianity. Following that, the profound conviction that I have that in the new attitude that you would take, you could be much more helpful to Judaism, than if you entered into its bosom, yes, much more helpful from without than from within. But when I say from without, it is a form of speech; in reality the layman, the Noachide is not outside of the Church, he is within the Church, he himself is the true Church.” (p.175-176)

Another correspondent in Germany, Rabbi Dr. Jacob of Dortmund gave following reply: “As to your friend who has been advised if he would serve the cause of Israel that he eventually become a rabbi, this is, of all ways, the least effective. We would have one Jew and one rabbi the more! A great thing! At the best, as a proselyte he could for the moment count on some curiosity. For him Christians would no longer exist, but would Jews exist to any greater extent? One more rabbi coming to join the little phalanx of those who, here and there, preach to a dozen Israelites on the superiority of Judaism and its Universal Mission, without ever having, note it well, converted a single soul to their doctrines!” (p.226)

So you see it will give thoughts to ponder. I will end with the following saying of Aime:

“Verily, Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior; but behind the veil Thou wilt be found by the heart that loves Thee, by the soul that trusts in Thee.”

Covenantal relationship (Our Place, part 5)

April 20, 2012

Covenantal relationship advantages

We can learn that God’s Glory (Shechinah) did not rest upon the gentiles outside Israel. We see this in Ex.33:15-16. There it states that God would go with the Israelites and not with other people:  And Moses said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go [with us], do not take us up from here. For how then will it be known that I have found favor in Your eyes, I and Your people? Is it not in that You will go with us? Then I and Your people will be distinguished from every [other] nation on the face of the earth.”
Rashi commented on it: “how will the finding of favor be known? Is it not in that You will go with us? One other thing I ask of You [I ask] that Your Shechinah shall no longer rest upon heathen nations. -[from Ber. 7a]” And: “Then I and Your people will be distinguished: Heb. וְנִפְלִינוּ. In this respect, we will be separated from every [other] nation, like “And the Lord will make a separation (וְהִפְלָה) …between the livestock of Egypt” (Exod. 9:4).”
Verse 17: “And the Lord said to Moses: “Even this thing that you have spoken, I will do, for you have found favor in My eyes, and I have known you by name.”
Rashi on it: “Even this thing: [namely] that My Shechinah should no longer rest upon heathens, I will do.

Why does it say: “I have known you by name?” Does God not know his own creatures? We can learn from here that God knows one, but also doesn’t know one another. As is explained by Jesus were it states: “I have never known you.” (Lu.13:27, Mat.25:12)
This leaves that there’s a community of God “amongst” outsiders. In the same sense is spoken about “Your [Gods] people/nation” and other people.

This covenantal relationship has prerequisites, to be holy, it sets people apart. This not only depends on the individual, but the whole congregation or nation of the covenant has a meaning in it. And this will give great responsibilities. In the midst of this environment, in this holiness, the Shechinah, the glory of the Lord will come down. And the people are called to be holy. God demands it and even will give it in their heart. “But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.” (Deu.30:14)

This covenantal relationship is extended by the coming of the Messiah Jesus to the gentiles, “as many as the Lord our God calls”, according to Peter. But it is also narrowed because narrow is the path and few are there who found it. (Matth.7:14) And the fearing of God would be no less, even for new upcoming gentiles. Jew and gentile even gain more fearing from the baptism of the Spirit. “For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness, darkness, tempest, the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which those who heard it begged that not one more word should be spoken to them, for they could not stand that which was commanded, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned ;” and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” But [even more fearing] you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling”. (Hebr.12:18-24) They have a share in the heavenly place and in the world to come. But now they are set apart and live under the yoke of the Messiah which is light because of the Spiritual Comfort of the Godly presence, but is heavy because of the burden of persecution. No one could ever reach this heavenly Mount Zion, except those who are called and adopted through mediation of the Son of God. Who shall see God and live.

This setting apart with God will persuade the soul and will give the advance of knowing the sonship of God. This personal relationship is foremost important. But there is also a community what functions as a boundary to guard it for the bad influence of the outside world. In Christianity the church played an important role here. I mean the little local churches. (The mainstream (Roman) church always misused their power.) In Judaism the family is more important than the synagogue, but togther with the rabbinical authority, it serves the same role as the church. They guarded the covenants to some extend.

See also my post here.

Our Place (part3)

April 5, 2012

What is “righteous before God”

This is a most important question. According to Judaism the righteous ones of the gentiles keep the 7 Noachides and the righteous ones of the Jews keep the 613 mitswot. However, righteousness is not because of the keeping of the laws. To be righteous before God is something that derives directly from God. He is the source of it. It comes through teshuvah (repentence) and circumcision of the heart. It is both human and divine. Nobody comes to righteousness but through God. That’s the rule of the Messiah who was righteous before God, and will give that to mankind. This Godly righteousness is applied to those “as many as the Lord our God  calls.” (Acts2:19) That’s the righteousness from God which come through faith. (Phil.3:9) That’s what is said: “The righteous shall live by his faith.” (Hab.2:4)

Although it is not because of the law, it is undoubtedly true that the righteous one has a zeal for keeping the law. It’s obvious that there is a distinction between those and the ungodly people and idolaters. And who are the righteous? It’s not a Jew or Gentile, but the man whom is spoken about in Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers: But his delight is in the law of JHWH; And on his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water, That bringeth forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also doth not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The wicked are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For Jehovah knoweth the way of the righteous; But the way of the wicked shall perish.”

But to narrow this question of who is righteous further, we have to look at Psalm 2. (Why gether the nations together against the Messiah.) Because there’s a spiritual warfare between true and false faith. Between good and bad. And this all turns out to a battle of the highest order. It is about the Godly King or the human king. It’s about serving yourself or serving God. One who serve his physical pleasures is in slavery of the world and its head, the devil. Every man has this evil inclination and by lack of fear of God the heart and desires are about to fight against the Messiah, the King. Also here, Jew and gentile have to deal with spiritual personal warfare. And the distinction line is where the soul repents and gives the glory to the only King. To take part in this battle causes the righteous soul to find “the King of the Jews”, the hidden Messiah but revealed personal in victory and majesty there were personal desires are buried.

Hidden

It’s hard to see the right picture of the true people of God. Because they become like their Master. A Man of sorrow and pain, not from this world, hidden before the eyes of the natural people. It’s only in the last days that they should say it and confess: this is the Servant, the one who was despised and rejected. (Is.53) But now they will become spiritually like the new man. (Col.3:10) Who is about to appear when the Messiah appears. Now they are buried, their flesh died in advance to the glorious revelation of the most glorious King, to live in his kingdom as righteous ones, without any blemish. The neshama (soul) is prepared for righteousness by receiving grace. That’s what Paul said: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col.3:3-4) They are one with the Messiah. In his dead and in his life. And the life in heaven is already but not on earth yet. On earth is dispersion. This is not the world of the righteous.

The state of the true Godly people is given by picture of the Man of sorrow in Isaiah 53. They have a share in it. They share the same state. They have a physically broken state, at least they will die, but spiritually they gain the real life which is to come from above and turns to above. This real life is not the life of this world, but for the world to come.

That’s why almost nobody sees the right picture of true Christianity, the true people, and remain in deviation from the truth. And become organised anti christian and anti semitic powers (within the church) because they deny God, the King to rule over themselves. The church also didn’t appear in a glorious state, the glory you see is all fake. The great buildings in Rome are far, far away from the picture the real people of God should show. Just a few will be saved in respect to the many who perish.

The Messiah, the King, also didn’t appear in a glorious state. He first appeared in Jerusalem on a donkey (Za.9:9) and “the judge of Israel” was smitten. (Micha4:14or5:1)

Our place is like Israel watched by the nations who watched Israel as the Servant who suffered. They suffered together with so to speak the Shechinah, the Kaboth, the glory of God, the great Messiah himself who put the human body on to be one with His brothers. He suffers as long as His brothers suffer. He exiled as long as His brothers are in exile. Are we adopted by this Messiah? Then we suffer like Him and like them. Then we are part of that suffering people.

Our place also is that of the glorified Messiah (but still seen as the Man of sorrow), exalted above all others. Why? Because of Him who is the Messiah and gives salvation and forgiveness of sin, all who have faith in Him. Given to all the nations, however, it turns out in history that only a very small part became true followers. The greatest part is anti-Messiah.

When the time (of the gentiles, Luke21:24) is fulfilled, however, He will build up His kingdom on earth. (Acts1:6)

Facebook

April 8, 2011

Facebook and other social media are often used to get down mighty powers and authorities. As we seen in the Arabic world, people who didn’t have a voice now get attention.

Are we aware of this also happens to religion? Beyond the borders of the church is a same revolution in the make. Many young people are asking questions and find their way on facebook with fellows who understand each other.

In this way the Messianic movement is growing (with gentiles) because of a lack of goodwill of the church to restore the Hebrew roots. In stead of this they are building fences and strengthen their doctrines. Are they afraid? Why such behaviour?

I always remember a saying of the Dutch Willem Bilderdijk: “Every human might must disappear, and then the Messiah comes.” From that time on, the French Revolution, it happens.

Trinity questioned

February 9, 2011

The Doctrine of Trinity has been questioned and doubted as long as it  exists. Millions of books are written about it even though there’s not one text in the bible about the relationship of a threefold in the Godhead, except one doubtable.

The only text which speaks about it in a certain sense is 1John5:7. But this is not to find in the most codex, only in a few newer ones. Erasmus doesn’t have it in his Greek compiled version of 1516, but was accused by the English Edward Lee for putting the door open to Arianism. So he added the “comma Johanneum” in his third edition of the Greek NT in 1522 in order to get this version accepted by the public. An interesting research is done about this topic by Grantly Robert McDonald. His new book is: ”Raising the Ghost of Arius. Erasmus, the Johannine Comma and Religious Difference in Early Modern Europe”. Here a Dutch article of a Reformed newspaper.

This doctrine has not done much profit to the common people of the church. I heard people doubt about who to pray to, God or Jesus. If this is the result of this doctrine it would be better never heard about it. Why do theologians bring people into the scary secret things of the Godhead? Isn’t it better to stay away from it like the Jews stay away from the Kabbalah were also is spoken about three persons in the Godhead? First keep Torah, don’t begin with Kabbalah.

But we, Western people, we want to comprehend God and put him into a rational understanding. We failed! Why aren’t the words of  the witnesses of the NT sufficient like in the letter to the Hebrews what says that Jesus is “the brightness of [Gods] glory, and the express image of His existence”? (Hebr.1:3) Why just let it be the plain statement “The Lord is One”? (Deut.6:4)

God is not to understand by such a doctrines, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit” (Za.4:6) It’s my prayer that Yeshua will reveal himself plain to the heard of his people. This is the right way to knowledge.

Symposium on Jewish followers of Jesus

November 9, 2010

Yesterday I attended an interesting symposium organized by Centrum for Israel Studies about Jewish followers on Jesus. The subtitle was: Bridge between synagogue and church?

Speakers:

Richard Harvey PhD, teacher at AllNations – Messianic Jewish theological Identity. Strength and weakness of the position of Messianic Jews.

Evert van der Poll, Professor at Leuven University – Messianic Jews, an enrichment for the Christian congregation?

Kees Jan Rodenburg – a challenge for defining a border between church and Jewish people.

Richard Harvey gave a very interesting lecture about the Messianic Jews. Are they the missing link? A Jewish form of Christianity and a Christian form of Judaism he said.

He was arguing that we all have a chair in which we sit down. We can sit together, we can sit at the opposite, or with quite a distance between, but in fact it is the same chair. Whether you are a “lawless” Christian or an orthodox Jew, you have something in common: a chair.

So I asked him a question: I see a chair of a Christian community and a chair of a Messianic community. Which should I choose? His answer was that I don’t have to choose, it’s the same chair. If you are on a specific side you’re doing good. In fact it’s a great pallet with many colors. The most important is to have your own authentic witness.

About the MJ he says they have a responsibility to the gentiles in church. And I agree on that. I would like to say that the MJ are an important voice to the church. They let the church see what they have and what they are missing. I think the Messianic Jews could show the church their roots. And the church might listen to that voice. Because this are the first signs of a great awakening. If the church doesn’t listen, than the same thing happens as with the Reformation: a parting of the ways. But the Messianic Movement has something special: They include both Protestants and Catholics, Jew and Gentile etc.

He also said he strongly belief in the election of Israel and the land. But in the covenant blessing Israel and the nations come together.

When hearing his lecture I guess he saw rather gentiles in the church with love to Israel then gentiles taking part of a Messianic Jewish community. I like his view of unity in diversity.

Evert van der Poll was arguing that the relationship of the church with the Jewish people must run via MJ. The church can support Messianic Jews, but be aware with money! Israeli orthodox Jews are very concerned about Western sponsored missionaries. On the question from one of the attendees (a fund raiser) that we have to help them, van der Poll responded: “Did you ever ask them to help you?” He answered “It’s not fair for asking the poor to help the rich.” Van der Poll: “But who is rich?” Wow, very good question!

Kees Jan Rodenburg was talking about the difficulties of defining the Messianic Movement. He believed that the subtitle (the bridge) was not a good one. Many agreed on it.

He shared his concerns about the naming of the Messianics. He rather speaks about Jewish believers of Jesus. In fact some orthodox Jews also bear the name Messianic.

I was asking: Does the church carrying things over the bridge to Judaism or do we accept things brought by Judaism to the church? I stressed that we have to look to the Jews and see what they have. That’s what Messianics do also. We surely can learn a lot from them. Yes we can learn a lot from the Jews.

Recent publications of the speakers:

Evert W. van de Poll, Sacred Times For Chosen People. Development, Analysis and Missiological Significance of Messianic Jewish Holiday Practice, Zoetermeer 2008

Richard Harvey, Mapping Messianic Jewish theology. A Constructive Approach, Milton Keynes, Colorado Springs 2009

Kees Jan Rodenburg, Joodse volgelingen van Jezus. Een overzicht in 40 vragen en antwoorden, Artios 2010