Intro to Messy Judaism 101

NoTe:  This is a four-part series I wrote for a lady I met at a garage sale, who wanted to know more about why I left Christianity and became a Messianic Jew.  I tried to keep it easy to understand, but there’s quite a bit to it… hence four parts.  Some friends asked me to share it here, so here it is.

My name is Anna, and I’m the lady who came over a night last week with my husband and 5 children, and we ended up talking about christianity and why my family had to change their beliefs.  It’s such a lot of information, you asked me to write to you about it… so I am!

The other night I confused you because I called Messiah “Yeshua” instead of ‘Jesus’.  I think this this is the first place to start.  Messiah was born a Jew, lived among Jews, spoke the language of Jews, and had a Jewish name.  ‘Yeshua’ means “God is Salvation”, and in our English it would be Joshua.  It was a very common, average name in those time.  But then, Yeshua was a very average-looking Jew, or so historians tell us… which is how He could disappear into the crowd so many times in the Gospels.

Yes, the New Testament was written in Aramic, to reach as many people across the region as possible.  But christians who claim Yeshua spoke it as His language are very much mistaken, Hebrew was His tongue, and Yeshua was His name.  For example, my name is Anna.  In Ireland, that would be Nancy.  Do you think someone who called me Nancy could claim a close relationship to me?  I would say, “You don’t even know my name – what I go by!”  When I realized this, I had to stop calling Him the Greek name, ‘Jesus’.  I figure that is a small gesture to make to be closer to my Lord.

I learned some interesting things at that time.  Did you know that each letter in Hebrew has a number meaning, and that Yehovah has some favorite numbers?  For example, twelve… it’s ‘Wholeness’.  Twelve tribes make up the whole of Israel.  Twelve disciples made up the whole spectrum of Yeshua’s followers.  Or three – three is ‘Unity’.  Peter-James-John.  Shadrach-Meshach-Abednigo.  Ham-Shem-Japeth.  Like that.

Ya-Shu-Ah… Not the two-syllable ‘Jesus’.
Ye-Ho-Vah… Not the christian replacement, Yahweh.

I don’t know, but that’s amazing to me!  I watch for His numbers.  Forty is testing/trial, because it’s four (love) times ten (humanity)… so forty is refining love unto humanity by trial.  Isn’t that awesome?

Seven is Yehovah’s favorite, though.  Seven days of Creation.  Seven colors in the rainbow.  Seven notes in music.  Seven feasts given for us to celebrate, laid out in Leviticus 23.  Ah… the feasts!  We talked about those.  But hang on, because we’re not there, yet.  I don’t want to get to the deep end too quickly.

Yeshua was King of the Jews, and His followers kept Torah (Acts 18:21, for example).  When they took up the job of ‘go ye therefore and teach all nations‘, they took Judaism out there… but a fulfilled Judaism.  Messiah brought Torah (The Law) to full-fillment.  He said, “I did not come to bring an end to Torah, but to bring full meaning to it” (Matt 5:17).  The christian church, all my life, taught that when Messiah made the scene, it was ‘out with the old, and in with the new’.  That’s NOT what Yeshua said!  It’s not how He or the disciples lived, either.  He said, “Not one jot or tittle will depart from the Torah until Heaven and Earth pass away.”  (Matt 5:18)

Here’s where it gets serious.  Yeshua said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  When He said that, the New Testament was not yet written.  So what commandments/laws do you think He was referring to?  Torah… what He brought full-ness to!  Worse, James said, “Faith without works is dead.”  (James 2:17) and “You believe there is one God: you do well – the demons also believe, and tremble.”  (James 2:19)  More than once, demons that Messiah cast out called Him the ‘Son of God’, believing who and what He was.  Belief is not enough – we need the other side of the coin to go with it – Obedience.  What are we to obey?  God’s Law – Torah!  Does the christian church teach that?  ((No.))

The next part gets even stickier.  Because the church’s answer is: ‘If you say we should keep Torah, then why aren’t you killing sheep as offering?  Messiah replaced that!’  My answer is, “No, He didn’t.”  Because if not one jot or tittle depart from the Law (Torah) until Heaven and earth pass away, it would make Him a liar.  Do we still need sacrificial blood to cover our sins?  YES!  Torah demands it… Yehovah demands it.   Messiah didn’t change or replace that – He just took over the job as the sacrifice.  In other words, if He died on the cross for our sins: past-present-future, then He’s still serving as the sacrifice.  His blood is in action – it covers sin today.  He didn’t stop God’s demand for atonement, He just became the *better* payment.  I know that’s hard to get our heads around, but it’s Truth that the church teaches the opposite about.

I better stop here.  More tomorrow!

For easy access, here are the series links:
Part One  —  Part Two  —  Part Three —  Part Four
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