Should Messianic Jews embrace Christian Doctrine? As a Messianic Jew and now a Messianic Rabbi, I’ve often been asked about what it is that I believe in. For example, Christians would approach me and ask a list of questions. It just so happens that they wanted to know whether or not I believe in what they considered to be Church Doctrine. Many do not know this, but the fact is that much of what is considered to be Church Doctrine is an accumulation of beliefs that fundamentally sets Israel apart from the Christian Church rooted in deep-seeded hatred towards the Jewish people. So long as the Jewish people exists, their expected beliefs in what their deity would do would not come to past; henceforth, Church Doctrine developed into a system that excludes Israel from the Church.
Messianic Jews pride themselves into going to Scriptures, reading the Word and relying on the sound wisdom the Word gives. Whenever we’re asked about whatever it is that we believe, we try to
refer back to the Word and have our spiritual brothers read for themselves what the Bible says. Unfortunately, they disregard what the Scriptures say because in their minds Church Doctrine takes precedence to the Word. Then, we’re asked, “Do you believe in Church Doctrine? Man, I need to go to a church that teaches pure Doctrine.”
Allow me to say that we as a society do have a sole doctrine, Torah: “For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law” (Proverbs 4:2, NKJV). Provided that biblical Doctrine contradicts manmade doctrines, Messianic Jews will continue to maintain their struggle as ethnic Jews who follow the teachings of Messiah Yeshua. If we as a society were to take notice the entire list of hateful messages that these men had towards Israel and disprove each one of those instances, it would simply be a waste of time. As a whole, Church Doctrine does not allow room for Jews to partake of the same blessings that the Gentiles expect for themselves.
Nehr HaOlam will not waste its time in comparing & contrasting what each founder has to say about this or that, but here’s a fraction of the theology that our Gentile counterparts expect for us to clarify for them. The truth of the matter is that we just cannot applaud these doctrines that exclude us as an ethnic group of people from the Heavenly Father’s love and his plan of salvation for all of mankind. Thus instead of arguing and contending over doctrinal issues that the Church is so used to doing, we simply want to be spiritually nourished by the manna that proceeds forth from the Word and share our finds.
For interested Bible enthusiasts wondering why we as an ethnic group of people of the household of Israel cannot condone such doctrines, here’s a short list for review. From our perspective, it doesn't even make sense that we as ethnically Jewish people should want to endorse such false precepts based on hatred towards our own people. Instead, we chose to follow Messiah's example in loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Origen (185-254 CE)
Ecclesiastical Writer & Teacher
Major Contributor to Early Christian Doctrine Formation
"We may thus assert in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation (i.e., Israel), for they have committed the most abominable of crimes, in forming this conspiracy against the Savior of the human race […] hence the city (i.e., of Jerusalem) where Jesus suffered was necessarily destroyed, the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people (i.e., Gentile Christian Church) was called by God to the blessed election" (Origen).
Comment: Christians believe that they are G-d's chosen people. They do not view themselves as being grafted into the nation of Israel; instead, they reason that the children of Israel was completely rejected by G-d as if G-d turned his back on Israel to reach His hands out to the Gentile nations. This anti-Semitic belief led to Origen's false prediction in Jerusalem never again being inhabited by Hebrew speaking Jews, which also led to the belief that the Rapture would take place prior to Israel ever becoming a nation.
This prophecy reveals two things. Firstly, the fact that Jerusalem currently exists inhabited by Jews running around speaking in Hebrew are proof enough that Origen's prophecy was completely false. Secondly, this false prophecy proves another point, the Christian Church never was and never will be G-d's Chosen People without the Israeli people a major role in the matter. Even though prophecy did not come to fruition, a lot Christians continue to teach these false doctrines! When Elohim's true messengers speak biblical truth, the heretic reverts to mention, "I need to go to a church that teaches DOCTRINE."
John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)
Plymouth Brethren Minister
Founder of Systematic Dispensationalism
The beginning of systematized dispensationalism is usually linked with John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), a Plymouth Brethren minister. While at Trinity College in Dublin (1819), Darby came to believe in a future salvation and restoration of national Israel. Based on his study of Isaiah 32, Darby concluded that Israel in a future dispensation, would enjoy earthly blessings that were different from the heavenly blessings experienced by the church. He thus saw a clear distinction between Israel and the church. Darby also came to believe in an "any moment" rapture of the church that was followed by Daniel's Seventieth Week in which Israel would once again take center stage in God's plan. After this period, Darby believed there would be a millennial kingdom in which God would fulfill His unconditional promises with Israel.1 According to Paul Enns, "Darby advanced the scheme of dispensationalism by noting that each dispensation places man under some condition; man has some responsibility before God. Darby also noted that each dispensation culminates in failure." 2 Darby saw seven dispensations: (1) Paradisaical state to the Flood; (2) Noah; (3) Abraham; (4) Israel; (5) Gentiles; (6) The Spirit; and (7) The Millennium. By his own testimony, Darby says his dispensational theology was fully formed by 1833.
The church does not replace or continue Israel, and is never referred to as Israel. According to dispensationalists, the church did not exist in the Old Testament and did not begin until the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Old Testament promises to Israel, then, cannot be entirely fulfilled with the church. Evidences often used by dispensationalists to show that the church is distinct from Israel include: (a) Jesus viewed the church as future in Matthew 16:18; (b) an essential element of the church—Spirit baptism—did not begin until the Day of Pentecost (compare 1 Cor. 12:13 with Acts 2); (c) Christ became Head of the church as a result of His resurrection (compare Eph. 4:15; Col. 1:18 with Eph. 1:19-23); (d) the spiritual gifts associated with the church (cf. Eph. 4:7-12; 1 Cor. 12:11-13) were not given until the ascension of Christ; (e) the "new man" nature of the church (cf. Eph. 2:15) shows that the church is a NT organism and not something incorporated into Israel; (f) the foundation of the church is Jesus Christ and the New Testament apostles and prophets (cf. Eph. 2:20); (g) the author, Luke, keeps Israel and the church distinct. On this last point, Fruchtenbaum states, "In the book of Acts, both Israel and the church exist simultaneously. The term Israel is used twenty times and ekklesia (church) nineteen times, yet the two groups are always kept distinct."6
Maybe you missed it; maybe you didn't. The fact is that Darby believed and taught that the Rapture would precede Israel ever becoming a sovereign nation. According to the different dispensations, Israel's existence as a sovereign nation would develop immediately after the Dispensation of Grace ended hallmarked by the Rapture of the Church. Even though Darby's predictions did not come to fruition, the Church continues to teach today on the Dispensation of Grace, Rapture Theology, The Heavenly Hope and the existing distinction between the manner by which the Creator would deal Israel after His dealings with The Church.
"None other than John Calvin, in his commentary on Romans 11:25-26, noted that “when the Gentiles shall come in (i.e., first go to heaven), the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith.” Other Reformers, such as Martin Bucer, Peter Martyr, and Theodore Beza similarly concluded that there would be a future calling and conversion of the Jewish people (believed to take place after the Gentile Church was already in heaven)."
Also, Darby's theology was based on a complete separation between Christians and ethnic Jews during a time period where racism and ethnic discrimination was approved by most European Christians. Many of these false prophets used these clear distinctions to make it seem as if though the means by which the Creator would deal with Gentiles would be exclusively better in comparison to the manner by which He was expected to deal with the children of Israel. In November 29, 1947, The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel before the United Nations. Once this declaration was made, the accepted establishment of the nation of Israel disproved Darby's Theology; yet, millions continue onward in their fallacy.
C.I. Schofield (1843-1921)
Bible Commentator & Rapture Theology Contributor
Shall Christ return to this world to sit on the Throne of David in Jerusalem?
"Jesus of Nazareth needed no outward enthronement or local seat of government on earth, to constitute Him the possessor of David’s kingdom, as He needed no physical anointing to consecrate Him priest for evermore, or material altar and temple for the due presentation of His acceptable service. Being the Son of the living God, and as Son, heir of all things, He possessed, from the first, the powers of the kingdom; and proved that He possessed them, in every authoritative word He uttered, every work of deliverance He performed, every judgment He pronounced, every act of mercy and forgiveness He dispensed, and the resistless control He wielded over the elements of nature, and the realms of the dead. These were the signs of royalty He bore about with Him upon earth; and wonderful though they were — eclipsing, in real grandeur, all the glory of David and Solomon — they were still but the earlier preludes of the peerless majesty which David from afar discried when He saw Him, as His Lord, seated in royal state at the Father’s right hand, and on which He formally entered when He ascended upon high with the word, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth; and lo! I am with you alway even to the end of the world Amen" (The Interpretation of Prophecy, P. 236, by Principal Fairbairn).
Shall Christ appear in Person in the world at the beginning of the Millennium?
Let us hear what the renowned Puritan divine, Dr. John Owen, the greatest theologian ever raised in Britain, wrote —"Should the Lord Jesus now appear to any of us in His majesty and glory it should not be unto our edification nor consolation. For we are not meet nor able, by the power of any light or grace that we have received or can receive, to bear the immediate appearance and representation of Him. His beloved apostle John had leaned on His bosom probably many a time in His life, but when He afterward appeared unto him in His glory, he fell at His feet as one dead." And when He appeared unto Paul, all the account he could give thereof was "that he saw a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun," whereupon he, and all that were with him, "fell to the ground."
"And this was one reason why in the days of His ministry here on earth, His glory was veiled in the infirmities of the flesh and all sorts of sufferings, as we have before related. The church in this life is no way meet, by the grace which it can be made partaker of, to converse with Christ in the immediate manifestation of His glory. And therefore those who dream of His personal reign on the earth before the day of judgment, unless they suppose that all the saints shall be perfectly glorified also (which is only to bring down heaven to the earth for a while, to no purpose), provide not at all for the edification or consolation of the church. For no present grace advanced into the highest degree whereof it is capable, can make us meet for an immediate converse with Christ in His unveiled glory." (The Glory of Christ).
According to Church Doctrine, a Christian should not expect to receive either comfort or consolation from Jesus Christ on his second coming. In fact, Christians themselves cannot expect to either see him or converse with him. Why? Because they are all too wicked. The fact is that according to Rapture Theologist Expositor, Schofield reasoned that Jesus didn't need a physical anointing of any sort much less a throne to sit on in order exercise his sovereignty here on the earth. Anyone who believes that Jesus will return to the earth to rule over the nations thereof, well the idea is just preposterous. Schofield argued, "Jesus has a throne in heaven! Why would he need one here on the earth?"
This list goes on and on and on, almost 400 pages worth! Our finds reveal that in each and every one of those instances, Church Doctrine reveals that membership for salvation and going to heaven is exclusive for Gentiles. So, instead of arguing with 1/3 of the earth's ~ 7.8 billion people and prove who's right or wrong, we as a society choose to study the Word, apply it to the best of our abilities, and share our finds with our brothers and sisters in Messiah for their spiritual nourishment. If we as a society were to take up such an endevor, there would be no end to the matter. If you have a suggestion to add to this current list, let us know! We'll add on to this study for all of our mutual benefit.
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