Orthodox Jewish Group Opposes Chosen People Ministries’ Brooklyn Messianic Center.

A new website has just been posted entitled The Missionary Threat. It is sponsored by an Orthodox Jewish group that is trying to counter our efforts to share the Gospel with Jewish people, as well as for their own aim of trying to influence more secular Jewish people to become Orthodox.

They have posted a video that focuses on the ministry of our new Charles Feinberg Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn:

This is not the first time that this group has leveraged our efforts to bring the Gospel to the Jewish people in Brooklyn to enhance their fundraising drives. I cannot blame them – in fact, I think it is quite entrepreneurial!

The last time this happened, I wrote to the leader of this group, which is located only a few blocks from our new center, and invited him to meet with me so that at least he would see the face of his alleged enemy. I never received a response back, and can only assume that it’s a lot easier for people to attack an unknown person rather than someone they have met and might even grow to like as a person – though disagreeing with their message and perspective.

How I feel about this?

In fact, I think I am the Jewish person who is alluded to in the video.

First of all, I’m actually not really upset at all. I find it easy to love and appreciate these folks who are so dedicated to their task that they feel part of what they must do is oppose us as we bring the Gospel to the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn. They are simply doing what they believe the God of Israel is calling them to do! After all, I feel the same way.

However, I do not want to minimize the seriousness of the matter. Chosen People Ministries believes that no man or woman, Jew or Gentile, can go to heaven or have an abundant relationship with God outside of believing that Jesus (Yeshua) is the promised Messiah. It is through His death and resurrection for our sin and believing in Him that we can enter into a deep and personal relationship with God. These are the eternal issues that are at stake – and it is no joke!

Perhaps it’s easier to see the black-and-white issues when you are involved with reaching Jewish people for Jesus, especially those who are more Orthodox. You see, Orthodox Jewish people believe in the God of Israel as revealed in the Bible. They accept the Bible as God’s word, and most are very sincere about keeping the Law and pleasing God.

Orthodox Jews usually have wonderful families, good ethics and share many of the same values as true followers of Jesus. In many ways, we are in the same trenches together with the Orthodox Jewish community when it comes to fighting against the growing decadence and secularism of our modern culture and calling for people to draw close to the Lord!

In fact, I will keep praying that the Lord would create some bridges of friendship and fellowship between ourselves and those who have chosen to oppose us, because we have so much in common. Please pray that we might even be able to work together with these folks in areas of common concern both within the Jewish community and in society.

I knew that the Lord was leading us to establish this Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn. Our “opponents” are correct in reporting how expensive the project was, and how I and many others within the Chosen People Ministries family believe in the profound importance of shining the light of Messiah in the midst of this intense concentration of religious Jewish people – perhaps one of the largest in the world.

I hope that you will watch the video and pray for our Orthodox Jewish friends. Their efforts remind me of the ways in which Paul describes some of his fellow religious Jewish enthusiasts when he wrote in the book of Romans,

Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Messiah is the end (the fulfillment) of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Romans 10:1-4).

A few of our very wise and experienced staff members asked me to reconsider sending out this website and video. The reason is that they were concerned that our Gentile Christian friends would in some way get a negative view of Jewish people, especially Orthodox Jewish people, as a result of this video.

I understand that some who are reading this letter may not know many Jewish people personally, but I want to assure you that if you did know some of the Jewish people who are opposing us – you would really like them. They are good people, but they simply need to know that Jesus is the Messiah. I hope you’ll think positively of them and that you will join us in prayer.

It’s important to remember that Jewish people have had some very bad experiences with Christianity. From the Crusades, the Pogroms and ultimately the Holocaust, Jewish people have developed a mentality that Christianity is antagonistic towards the Jewish people. And quite frankly, when describing “institutional and more nominal Christianity,” this is not far from the truth.

This means that we have to demonstrate through our lives and action that true Christians love the Jewish people. We must make sure our Jewish friends understand that we do not want anyone to change religion, but to follow a person – Jesus the Messiah. We are preaching a relationship, not a religion. This is so important for Jewish people to understand – and for you to try and help your Jewish friends comprehend.

The basic and most fundamental reason why Jewish people do not believe in Jesus is because of the fear that once a Jewish person starts believing in Jesus, he or she gives up being a Jew. This is not true (Romans11:1), but it’s up to us to communicate this to our Jewish friends, relatives and neighbors.

Now, since the founders of this center did such a great job of encouraging others to fund their work of bringing Jews back to Orthodox Judaism, let me return the favor. It is obvious to me that we are doing the right thing, and I hope that you will support us and in particular support the work of our Messianic Jewish center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn.

Please write Charles Feinberg Center in the “Special Designation” field

We not only need your financial support, but we are desperate for your prayers – as what we want most in life cannot be accomplished with money. We want the God of Israel to open the hearts of our Jewish friends and family so that they too will believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

Your brother,

Mitch

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69 Comments

Filed under Brooklyn, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, New York City

69 responses to “Orthodox Jewish Group Opposes Chosen People Ministries’ Brooklyn Messianic Center.

  1. Mitch, what a silly response. While the video doesn’t mention anyone by name in the Hebrew Christian movement, both Ira Michaelson and I (who were interviewed in that video) are quite intimately knowledgeable about the leaders and associates of Chosen People, Jews for Jesus and the myriad of other ministries to the Jews.
    Ira was a MESSIANIC RABBI for almost two decades. You know my story as I was involved with you and the messianic movement for six years.
    Everyone knows that you as well as almost every other missionary is a real swell person, with amazing personalities. But having a swell personality doesn’t mean you got it right. Admittedly, it does help you reach those who may be questioning, are lonely or who just are looking for those answers of life that every thinking person contemplates.
    However, that concept of the only way to know G-d by accepting Jesus as the messiah (as well as the Father & holy spirit) is quite nonsensical.
    I am not getting into a theological debate here, nor do I wish to.
    Looking forward to possibly bumping into you on the streets of Brooklyn. If so, be prepared for a smiley, happy, spiritually-fulfilled, heaven-bound, quite friendly guy also with a swell personality who happened to reject the falsehood of Christianity and has found truth in the Torah of Hashem.
    If we do cross paths, I’ll shale your hand, give you a bear hug and continue praying that you return to the G-d of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob without the added baggage you brought along in the new testament.

    Blessings, old friend!
    Jeff Neckonoff

    • Jeff,

      I am not so sure it is silly…as an Orthodox Jew don’t you believe that I am going to hell because I believe that God became a man? Respond please so that everyone can see that, like born again Christians and Messianic Jews, Jewish Orthodoxy also has it’s limits as to who can enjoy the blessings of heaven. You make the Jewish religion seem so flexible when in fact, it is not. I am charged with Avodah Zarah – and you know it…just say it and it would be more honest. Traditional Judaism and therefore, you believe that a Jew who believes that Jesus is God in the flesh is doomed…right? So, let’s not make believe people like me are so closed minded and you are wide open and flexible…and of course a nice guy. Good to hear from you Jeff…but, you really need to tell the truth. We can handle it.

  2. Margaret Gennaro

    Mitch, I appreciate giving us who support Chosen People Ministries the opportunity to know more about what is happening in Brooklyn. How interesting that the Orthodox Jewish Group are building a center across the street from the Feinberg Center. I hope all the Jews in the area will visit both centers, ask questions, pray, search the Bible, pray, learn, engage courteously, pray, share, examine. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?’ That question haunted me for years. May all find the answer to THE TRUTH. There can be only one truth!

  3. Hey Mitch!

    No problem. As an observant Torah-believing Jew, I believe that a Jew who accepts Jesus as the messiah is committing idolatry. Yes, you are most definitely participating in avodah zara. No secret there.
    For a Gentile to believe in Jesus in the same way is perfectly fine, as it will eventually lead them to a belief in Hashem according to the Torah (or Orthodoxy if you prefer).
    A Jew who accepts anything but Hashem and Hashem ONLY is 100% committing idolatry, as Hashem gave us the Torah. He is a jealous G-d, my friend:-)

    Torah Judaism (and Orthodox Judaism) clearly teaches that the righteous of ALL Nations (irregardless of their beliefs) will have a taste of the world to come (or as you prefer, heaven). Jewish people have an obligation to not commit idolatry. Pretty cut and dry.

    There is nothing closed minded about that at all. By accepting Jesus, you have rejected the G-d of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, period. Gentiles are not punished for belief in Jesus whatsoever.

    Your theology on the other hand states that ALL people who have not accepted Jesus as the messiah, including all those who have never heard are all going to hell for eternity.

    I’m all about TRUTH, my friend.

    Blessings!

    • Brian C.

      Mitch hit it on the head – how your tune and tone have changed in your second post, Jeff!

      You wrote, “A Jew who accepts anything but Hashem and Hashem ONLY is 100% committing idolatry, as Hashem gave us the Torah. He is a jealous G-d, my friend:-).” Quite right, Jeff. Except that this is a nonsensical rebuke since you know quite well that Mitch believes, as I do, that Jesus is Hashem.

      Also, “Torah Judaism (and Orthodox Judaism) clearly teaches that the righteous of ALL Nations (irregardless of their beliefs) will have a taste of the world to come (or as you prefer, heaven).” This is wholly unsupportable by the Tanakh. You’re making yourself seem like a smiley and swell guy to the Gentiles, yet without warrant. Isaiah 24 and 59 are sufficient refutations – the parts about the inhabitants of the earth defiling the earth and being guilty and Hashem turning his face away from humanity because they have practiced violence, lies, and wickedness. Your assertion comes solely from the rabbis, not holy scripture.

      You’re making bold assertions, Jeff, too bold in my opinion. Your assertions don’t reflect that you learned Messianic theology during your six years with “us”.

      • Brian C, how on earth has my tone changed?

        Just as you are concerned for my eternal soul by getting me to accept Jesus to keep me from the tormenting fires of hell, I pray for all Jews who have accepted Jesus to make teshuvah, to reject the falsehoods of the new testament and a pagan man-made religion. I also pray for the righteous gentiles of all the nations as well, for Hashem to keep them & their families safe & healthy
        I’m sorry that truth upsets you so much.

        How is that a nonsensical rebuke? It is pretty straightforward.

        My assertion clearly comes from Tanach as taught by the rabbis from before the time of Jesus. I too can pick and choose scripture blurbs as messies are so keen on doing. The late Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church (admittedly not a real church in any way, shape or form) also twisted scripture to suit his purpose. So does David Duke, the former klansman who uses Scripture to show the world how evil the Jews are.
        I am not comparing you, messies or Evangelicals to those two bozos, they are just an example of how Scripture can easily be twisted & taken out of context,

        I would rather delve into your New Testament scriptures to clearly show you that it is a book of mistakes, falsehoods and sadly lies.
        It may have to wait for Monday as today I need to prepare for Shabbos.

      • Brian C.

        “I am not comparing you, messies or Evangelicals to those two bozos, they are just an example of how Scripture can easily be twisted & taken out of context” … just as YOU are doing, Brian. That’s what you’re saying to me, Jeff. So yes, you are comparing my interpretation with theirs and saying there is similarity.

        Unfortunately, if your ability to interpret Tanakh is similar to your ability to interpret me, we will have quite a problem communicating with each other. I did not say that it was a “nonsensical rebuke” for the reasons you gave. It was nonsensical because you rebuked Mitch for believing in a god other than Hashem, when Mitch believes that Jesus is Hashem.

        I highly doubt that you can find “rabbis from before the time of Jesus” that teach that Hashem is unable to appear in physical form, thus making belief in Jesus’ divinity avodah zara. I’m calling your bluff and directing you here: http://www.isaiah53.com/forums/Ancient-Jewish-Source-Quotes-Relating-to-the-Trinity-41 . If you can explain away the ancient Jewish teachings on Memra, Logos, Shekinah, The Lesser Hashem, the Two Powers in Heaven, the Angel of the Lord, Metatron, and the Son of Man, then I may believe you.

      • Yes, but Gentile righteousness in Jewish tradition is based upon non Jews practicing the 7 laws of Noah. Once again, Rabbinic tradition triumphs Scripture in classical Judaism which is something Messianic Jews like myself believe is wrong. These are complex issues certainly, but the core is simple. As Yeshua said in Mark 8:8-13 (though I understand you dismiss the authority of the New Covenant Scriptures, but I do not)

        “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

        He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘ Honor your father and your mother ’; and, ‘ HE who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death ’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God), ’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.

        By the way., I hear that you have broken many of the rules of our Isaiah 53 forum and so, let’s put this to rest and meet in person before or after the holidays.

        I

    • Thanks Jeff, I wanted you to make yourself clear…but, I am glad you are willing to give a bear hug to someone who is going to your understanding of hell. After all, there is always hope that I will repent and return(Teshuvah). I am happy to be hugged and also believe that you can come back as well. Let’s face it if Jesus is the Messiah based upon His fulfilling the many Messianic prophecies I studied with you for some time (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7, chapter 53, Zechariah 12:10 – proof positive that the Messiah would be Hashem in the flesh) then you really do need to reconsider. And I hope you do. Either way – Messianic Jews are always happy to treat fellow Jews with love and respect and cooperation in areas where we can work together..and by also sharing what we view as true – I am not the one that tried to raise money in a video creating community fear over another group…So, glad you are sort of “out of the closet” about how you feel about us.

      • I have always been a truth seeker & a straight shooter, as you well know.

        I have studied the so-called messianic prophecies and I am quite clear regarding the non-messiahship of Jesus. Thanks for the offer to reconsider though. Not to make anyone lose their appetite, but I always think of Jesus’ saying in your testament about a dog not returning to his regurgitation. He did say some nice things as did Confuscious, Mohammad, Ron Hubbard and countless others. But to be messiah or even G-d, come now, let us reason together.

        Funny about your comment about not being the one trying to raise funds as that is what you do full time:-)

        Since I left messianic Christianity and Jesus in 2001, I have been completely out of the closet about my thoughts and feeling about your movement. Just ask David Rosenberg.

        I hate the sin, but I love the sinner. I’ll hug the sinner while praying to Hashem for him/her to make teshuvah and come back home.

        May Hashem bless you with His clarity and understanding of a real relationship with Him as a Jew, without the idol worshiping of Jesus.

      • Yehuda Yisrael

        Mitch, jesus did not fulfill any of those prophesies you mentioned.

        The birth of Isaiah’s child was clearly the fulfillment of the sign prophesied in Isaiah 7:14-16. How do I know this? Isaiah tells us himself! Lets look at these verses

        Isaiah 7:14. Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.

        Isaiah 7:15. Cream and honey he shall eat when he knows to reject bad and choose good.

        Isaiah 7:16. For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned.”

        Keep verse 16 in mind. It is crucial to the context of Isaiah. Now, lets look at the next chapter of Isaiah and see what he has to say:

        Isaiah 8:3. And I was intimate with the prophetess, and she conceived, and she bore a son, and the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

        Isaiah 8:4. For, when the lad does not yet know to call, ‘Father’ and ‘mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”

        Well what do you know! Isaiah said a young woman would give birth to a child and in the very next chapter his wife has a son! Prophesy fulfilled! The interesting thing about it is that Isaiah explicitly says he was intimate with her. This means that this “alma” described in Isaiah 7:14 is Isaiah’s wife. Morever, she is not a virgin! Thus, the word “alma” does not exclusively refer to women who are virgins! Isaiah says it himself!

        And if you are still not convinced, here’s a direct statement from Isaiah saying his sons are signs:

        Isaiah 8:18. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord gave me for signs and for tokens in Israel, from the Lord of Hosts, Who dwells on Mount Zion.

        The natural birth of Isaiah’s son was the fulfillment of the sign of Isaiah 7:14, namely that his wife would give birth to a son, and that before he knew the difference between good and evil/father and mother, “the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria shall be carried off before the king of Assyria.”

        If you are going to argue that this is a “dual fulfillment” regarding Matthew’s application of this to the supposed virgin birth of Jesus, you will have to concede that the word “alma” does not exclusively refer to a virgin, as I have demonstrated above. In any case, this prophesy clearly has nothing to do with Jesus…

        And concerning Isaiah 9:5-6, this cannot refer to jesus. Here is why…

        The INITIAL CONTEXT of the prophesy MUST apply to King Hezekiah because of this:

        Isaiah 9:6 To him who increases the authority, and for peace without end, on David’s throne and on his kingdom, to establish it and to support it with justice and with righteousness; **FROM NOW and to eternity,” the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this.

        What is the meaning of: “from now,” Mitch? Does this exclusively refer to hundreds of years in the future with the birth of jesus? Of course not!

        There is no problem with the interpretation that this prophesy ultimately will reach fulfillment in Messiah. However, it is clear that in the immediate context, Isaiah 9:5-6 refers to King Hezekiah. As it states, the ruling of this eternal kingdom will be “FROM NOW until eternity.” By NOW, Isaiah is referring to his generation. Hezekiah is the only viable candidate for the initial context of this prophesy. And concerning Isaiah 9:5, the verse refers to this individual as being “the prince of peace.”

        Isaiah 39:8. And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, **”For there shall be peace and truth in my days.”**

        There’s your prince of peace!

        And finally, concerning Zechariah 12:10, notice that the verse mentions that the House of David will be looking on the one who was “pierced.” Is the Messiah from the House of David, Mitch? We both know the answer is yes…This means that the individual who is being “pierced” in Zechariah 12:10 does not refer to the Messiah son of David.

        Shalom and G-d bless!

      • Yehuda Yisrael

        And Mitch, concerning Isaiah 53, I challenge you to show me one reference in the entirety of the servant songs where the servant is referred to explicitly as “David” or “the stump of Jesse” or any other Messianic specifier used in other passages throughout the Tanach…

        The fact is, the “servant” of Isaiah’s servant songs is referred to as Israel and Jacob multiple times. But where is the servant referred to as being “David” or “the stump of Jesse”?

        Jews and Christians can agree on other passages referring exclusively to the Messiah! Here are a few: Isaiah 11:1, Ezekiel 37:24, Hosea 3:5, Jeremiah 30:9…

        There is one thing all of these verses have in common: They all use a “Davidic qualifier,” meaning that they all exclusively refer to the Davidic dynasty in some fashion. This is why Jews and Christians can all understand that these future prophesies refer to one person: Moshiach ben David.

        However, Isaiah 53 makes no mention of this servant having any exclusive association with the kingdom of David. This is why we understand it as referring to a collective group of individuals, namely the righteous among Israel!

        Shalom and G-d bless!

      • Well, as a Non Jew I have a tremendous love for Jews. After all I worship ONE in Yashua. As a believer and let’s just say for a moment I did not ever read in Genesis, Psalms or so many other accounts in the first half of God’s word in regard to loving Israel ( Old Testament) witch is not old to me, and let’s assume I ONLY read the second half of scripture (New Testament) as many believers I know do, witch of course I believe they are surely missing out on a lot of fun.:) As you know in the Gospel of John when our LORD Jesus was speaking with the Samaritan woman and she commented about how Jews do not worship there at Jacobs well and so on. Jesus charged to her that indeed your salvation comes through the Jews. Apart from all other scripture that clearly states to bless Israel, I attest to you Dr.Glaser, that would be all I truly need to know when my LORD Jesus was clear about this matter. Love you and love the Jews, for I worship the HOPE of Israel. Your brother in Christ, James Diano..

    • Praying for you to know your Jewish Messiah. I wish you would study the life of Saul who was renamed Paul by Jesus in the Book of Acts.

      • Estee

        Rabbi Itzik Shapira has written a book called The Return of The Kosher Pig. This will blow your mind and open your eyes.

  4. Ilana Levy

    Shalom Mitch

    Kol Hakavod ! blessing’s in Yeshua’s Name.

    I think you should contact Chaim from news@biblesforisrael.com *They are publishing a Bible for Jews revealing the Messianic prophecies in Yeshua.* *Chaim and his team could assist you in your efforts amongst the orthodox in NY.*

    *Shalom u’brachot* *Ilana Levy*

  5. tania fellus

    i am a jew and you should be ashamed of yourself and really scared come judgement day as you are surely in for a surprise when you find yourself burning in the pits of hell for what you are doing to the jewish nation not to mention you will also be held responisble for all those poor ignorant jews that fall for your idolatry shake in your boots or repent those are your only choices

    • Merrill

      To Yehudah: You rightly place emphasis on the lineage of Messiah as belonging to David. Problem is, genealogies have not been kept in 2000 years. The advent of Messiah had to occur WHILE the Davidic line was extant…i.e. BEFORE 70 ACE. Hmmm…

  6. Merrill

    Shalom Jeff,

    You stated: “For a Gentile to believe in Jesus… is perfectly fine… A Jew who accepts anything but Hashem and Hashem ONLY is 100% committing idolatry, as Hashem gave us the Torah. He is a jealous G-d, my friend:-) …Your theology on the other hand states that ALL people who have not accepted Jesus as the messiah, including all those who have never heard are all going to hell for eternity.”

    First of all, as Brian C. has clearly stated, if Yeshua is HaShem then we are clearly NOT committing “avodah zara”.

    Secondly, you are wrong that Orthodox Judaism holds that it’s “perfectly fine” for Gentiles to believe in Jesus. Rabbi Tovia Singer, considered an authority amongst today’s Orthodox, would strongly differ with you. He has clearly stated that Gentiles as well as Jews “forfeit eternity” and go to “the eternal fires of hell” if they believe that Jesus is G_d. Please note his words in the video below at 34:53-36: 58. According to his view much of the world is on its way to hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOifPwOvd58

    Lastly I would like to say that I don’t think we should be so dogmatic (on either side) regarding who does or does not inherit eternal life. But we absolutely DO need to judge OURSELVES, as one day each of us will indeed give an account to our Maker. As I read the whole of Scripture I believe it teaches that each will be judged responsible according to the understanding and knowledge of G-d that one has sought, as well as received, in this life. To what degree each individual has been OBEDIENT to the knowledge/revelation received is what will ultimately determine one’s eternal destiny. For those of us who have received revelation of Messiah as a result of this search (of which I believe every true seeker will come to) we have the responsibility to share this truth so that others who are searching will likewise have opportunity to know redemption and life in Messiah. William Craig Lane takes a similar view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM59LxTVj14&index=32&list=UUWyWFV9K5Ei0jiTttfnDpXQ

    For me, as a Jew, the yearning for knowing the meaning of life has led me to the revelation that Yeshua is Messiah as well as Creator. In my 40 years of faith in Yeshua I have not found that belief in Messiah Yeshua is in any way contradicted by the Tanakh. It may be contradicted by the interpretations of men given in the Talmud and/or by the Jewish sages, but not by Scripture itself. In fact my faith in Yeshua is indeed confirmed by Tanakh.

    Lastly regarding the two centers, I think both could benefit by a healthy and cordial relationship that includes friendship and dialogue. Why not let this be an opportunity for both sides to fellowship together as well as present their views. If each is truly searching and seeking to love and know HaShem, why should they be seen as a threat to each other?

    Thoughtfully,

    Merrill

    • Merrill,

      I could not agree more on the possibility of building relationships with the Kiruv Center for the mutual benefit of the community. We have many of the same values when it comes to families, the importance of Scripture, love and concern for Israel and the Jewish people and much more. Let’s pray that their leadership will open up. As you know, we do not force the Gospel on anyone – that would be very un-Yeshua like!

    • Regarding what Tovia Singer said, please feel free to contact him and ask him to elaborate.

      I believe that Yeshua is most definitely NOT Hashem, which makes all Jews worshiping him idol worshipers. So let’s accept the fact that this is what Torah Judaism (the Judaism that has existed since Matan Torah when Moses received it) teaches just as Christianity teaches that all who have not accepted Jesus as the messiah are all going to hell, including those who have never heard about him, the six million of the Holocaust as well as babies.

      Have a lovely day.

      • Again, for someone damning me to hell because I believe Yeshua is God in the flesh you are becoming rather flippant in your language about the world to come and our fellow Jews, including many of my relatives who died during the Holocaust. Besides, you are not Hashem and do not make these determinations. There were hundred’s of thousands of Jewish believers win Yeshua who perished along with the rest of the Jewish community in the Camps. Let’s not play the Holocaust card Jeff, it is beneath you.

      • Brian C.

        “So let’s accept the fact that this is what Torah Judaism (the Judaism that has existed since Matan Torah when Moses received it) teaches…”

        Here, let me fix it for you.

        “So let’s accept the fact that this is what a sect of Judaism called Rabbinism (the Judaism that has existed since the destruction of the Temple, and whose teachings were only partially reflected in Pharisaism pre-Temple, but due to the power-grab of the rabbis after the fall of the priesthood, they retrojected their beliefs and said that they have been around since Matan Torah when Moses received it) teaches…”

        Hey Jeff, I’m in Brooklyn. I could use a bear hug this week. How about we bump into each other and get some coffee?

      • dovid

        Dr Glazer,

        In your comment of August 8 timed at 9:29am, you said:

        Again, for someone damning me to hell because I believe Yeshua is God in the flesh you are becoming rather flippant in your language about the world to come and our fellow Jews, including many of my relatives who died during the Holocaust. Besides, you are not Hashem and do not make these determinations.

        But in your original post, you said:

        Chosen People Ministries believes that no man or woman, Jew or Gentile, can go to heaven or have an abundant relationship with God outside of believing that Jesus (Yeshua) is the promised Messiah

        Surely you have done what you just criticised Jeff for doing – claiming to be Hashem and knowing who will and won’t have a place in the world to come (ie heaven) ?

        And could I also ask you, do you believe those of the six million (ZK”L) who did not believe in Yeshua as messiah went to hell?

      • Estee

        My brothers and sisters please read the book by Rabbi Itzik Shapira called “The Return of The Kosher Pig” It will explain and open your eyes for ever. Shalom and Love to all.

  7. Elaine

    I am a Jewish believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the son of G-d, who died on the cross as the blood sacrifice for my sins and the sins of every person who puts his/her faith in Him. The temple sacrifices in the Old Testament were but a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, the “Lamb of God”, on the cross for our sins. Jesus was sent to the Jews first – why? Because they are God’s beloved chosen people. Paul said in Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” God deeply loves the Jewish people and sent His son for them! I pray for Chosen People Ministries that the Lord will use your ministry to bring many Jews to salvation through the blood of Jesus.

  8. jkraskowski

    Moses drew water from rocks and Yeshua et al raised the dead and healed… a clear sign would go a long way in settling the argument…until then, I agree with the person that said that each will be judged by G-d based on what we each did with our understanding of His power. I have to call myself a Christian but I am a heretic there as well. I do not believe that Jesus is Hashem, but I do believe that he was trying to get folks, specifically, the jews of his time (because that was his focus, his fellow people, he didn’t really care about the gentiles) to connect with G-d in a more meaningful way, beyond the Torah, the Torah perhaps being a crutch preventing the full development of that relationship. I believe Jesus came from a particular “school of thought” and that is where he was preaching from. I believe that G-d is G-d and there is no Yeshua that is the equivalent. I have studied the words of Yeshua and have found nothing in them to warrant this interpretation. Christianity should really be called “Paulinism” as its Paul’s religion and let’s not even get into the discussion about what happened to the Christian “scriptures” while they were being compiled with political agendas in mind. Truth is apparent to all, which is how its Truth.

  9. To those who believe that the New Testament has no relevance to us today, my only comment would be “The New is in the Old concealed and the Old is in the New revealed!” It is the whole Word of God and absolutely believable with no errors. God has a wonderful plan for all of us. He made a way for all, but unfortunately, not all choose the way. I love my Jewish friends (all Jews) and I have been taught that there is neither Jew nor Greek under Christ. I am (all are) forever indebted to the Jew and for God’s patience and long-suffering, for the Bible says: “To the Jew first and then to the Gentile”. Had they not rejected Messiah where would the Gentile be today? I am so grateful for my salvation which was provided by Jesus, Yeshua, Yahweh my wonderful Savior. We pray for the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem every day and for the salvation of all Jews everywhere.

  10. Pete Huddy

    Well, said, Mitch! You articulated a very loving, balanced, and even welcoming and friendly response. I shall pray with you that this individual you mentioned will have enough of a curiosity to agree to meet with you, since “what’s not to like”?! (for Yeshus & Mitch Glazer!) Pete Huddy

  11. Merrill

    This is for Jeff and jkraskowski:

    I am posting this mainly for clarification. I would like it to be known first of all that I do not believe that the NT Scriptures teach that “babies” or “all those who have not heard the gospel” go to hell, as I DO NOT believe that this is what the NT Scriptures teach. Also, for the record, I do not believe that the NT Scriptures teach that all those who profess Jesus are necessarily on their way to heaven. Jesus himself said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (See Matt 7:21-23 also James 2:19). There is no quick ticket to heaven just by mouthing a prayer. True belief and relationship with G-d is provided in Messiah, but it necessitates a surrendered life walking in Him. As believers we are told to “examine ourselves” to see weather or not we are “in the faith” (See Phil 2:12-13). Those who think they have a free ticket to heaven without the necessity of a changed life by His transforming power are fooling themselves. By the same token, those who think that they are safe resting on the laurels of Orthodox Judaism by adhering to men’s dictates and traditions are likewise fooling themselves.

    Below is what I wrote out several years ago mainly to answer my own questions regarding the heaven/hell question. I studied the matter long and hard and this is what I believe the Lord has shown me.

    What about those who have never heard?

    Question:

    Are all those who are not “born again” consigned to hell upon their earthly deaths? The “all” in this statement includes those who have never heard the gospel (such as the many around the world who lived before the advent of mass communication) or are incapable of understanding the gospel (i.e. babies, mentally disabled persons, or people who live in countries where information is strictly controlled, such as in North Korea.)

    Answer:

    I believe we will be judged according to what we know or have had the opportunity to know (find out or discover) regarding God and the message that He has made a way for us to be saved through the atoning death of His Son, Yeshua.

    The Scriptures tell us, “…you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart you will find Me.” (Jeremiah 29:13) We are also told through the words of Yeshua, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse…” (John 15:22)

    So the first question that must be asked is: To what degree has a particular individual sought for God?

    The second question that must be asked is: To what degree has that same individual been provided with answers in his/her search for God?

    The last question that must be asked is: “What has that individual DONE with the information/revelation he/she has received?”

    Conclusion: What we DO with what we know, or have had opportunity to know (i.e. how we have responded to, and lived, in light of the truth we have received) will determine our eternal state.

    I also believe that it is not for us to judge who is or isn’t among the “saved”. We read in Romans 10:6-7: Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven…or…who will descend into the abyss…” We are not to judge others but instead to examine ourselves. (2 Corinthians 13:5 and Matthew 7:1-2)

    Please Note: This does not negate the believer’s responsibility to “proclaim (explain) the gospel to all nations” (Mark 13: 10, Mark 16:15). We are to endeavor to get the Word out to all who will listen. (Matthew 10:14) For we know that God loves the whole world as well as each and every individual (John 3:16-17) It is His intense desire and longing that “all come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Titus 2:4) receiving the Salvation He has provided through His Son.

  12. Sandy

    I have read through the comments above and appreciate the thought-provoking discussion taking place, however challenging. Elaine has touched on the essential, reverberating question of God to all human beings, over the course of human history: What does one do with their sin? We have all sinned. The overarching narrative of the entirety of Scripture, beginning in the Old Covenant with Adam and Eve and their family, is that we are literally “laid bare” before God when we do not believe what He says and in pride choose to think we know a better way

    Why does one need atonement, as described in the sacrificial, temple system God gave to the nation of Israel, in order to be accepted by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? How is a person at one with God now that the temple is no longer in service? As Abraham laid his son Isaac on the alter in obedience to God’s voice, God laid Himself on the alter of the cross in the form of Jesus – but there was no substitute that day – HE was (and is still) the perfect, Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the World, forever replacing the need for a sacrificial, temple system of atonement. This is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (the good news) – for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16). I heartily recommend the following: http://hebrew4christians.com/Clear_Thinking/clear_thinking.html
    Shalom, in the strong Name of Jesus

  13. Francisca Millan

    Shalom Dr Mitch: I wanted to thank for sharing the video and all what you and your staff are going through. May the Protection of our Avinu Malkeinu be upon you all, May the Angels of Elohim surround you where ever you are ‘n wherever you go. I feel in my heart to make you an observation and, maybe you can pray to Hashem about it. One of the things that make an Ortodox Jew to reject The Good News about the Jewish Messiah is when we use the Name of Jesus. Look all the suffering, deaths and struggles they had and keep going through in that name. Won’t you think that it would be a little of bit different if we say the Name of Adonai Yeshua when we approach them? It is just an observation. I do that with all the love and respect that you deserve from me. And again, Thank you so much for all what you do to spread the Living Word of our Messiah Yeshua Hamashiac. Brachot to you and your Staff.

  14. Estee

    Hashem is bringing Judah and Ephraim together very soon. Hashem will explain to all why the covenant he made with Israel had to be broken to be able to marry the people of Israel again. It is just like the Ketubah. Many do not see this. We continue to worship Idols and live by the flesh. Look at what the people of Ishmael are doing, going after the Jewish and Christian people .One world religion is rising fast and they walk among us.

  15. Frank Adamick

    As it is written: “All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) Come to the Feinberg Center. Yahshua put it there for your learning. “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me.” (John 6:45)

  16. The good news is your ministry is getting free advertising from the very group whom you are witnessing to. Jesus Christ knows there are people who are hungry for Him that will see the video. They will seek you out like the Rabbi did seek Jesus at night so no one would see him talking to Jesus Christ.

  17. I have yet to meet anyone worth meeting who will change his way of life because of a commercial.
    Keep up the great work Mitch …new york can be a challenge for any faith besides islime …so hopefully not a hopeless challenge …and God bless!

  18. Ana

    I enjoy hearing about your ministry. I have specIfic ways to pray for you and your ministry for the Chosen people of God. I was amazed to hear how you have a MessaniC Center across from the Orothodox branch. Even though there have been many years that Jews have rejected Jesus, these times are showing more converts and God is working through His own Jewish people. they will have a video to discredit you and what about All of the Jewish people who are worshipping Buddha, Following eastern mysticsm, or athesism. As long as it isn’t Jesus. they need to hear the truth. If someone searches for Truth there is only one way. they should reread how the people argued, amd criticized Moses when he was leading them out of Egypt. what happened to all of the prophets? Martyred for for speaking God’s Word which was rejected and they turned to idoltry. Thank you for your mission to your people. I pray they don’t die in their sins like the Pharisees who saw the miracles and rejected Jesus anyway. A Christian who loves the Jewish people,Ana

  19. Jim Ferrari

    Shalom. Permit a response to earlier comments concerning idolatry.
    In the Book of Ezekiel G-d expresses His anger, fury and hurt towards
    Israel for the sin of idolatry. Why? Because He loves them and is jealous for them and even has qualified His name as JEALOUS. In Ezekiel chapter
    six G-d refers to Himself as being “crushed” by Israel’s departure from Him. In other parts of Ezekiel G-d describes His disposition towards Israel by calling them MINE and also states: “I am their inheritance” and “I am their
    possession.” (Rather intimate). Even shortly after the glory of the Lord departs the temple G-d is already mentioning His intent for their restoration.
    Ezekiel chapter 16 vs 55 and then in vs 62 “And I will establish my covenant with you, then you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may be ashamed and never open you mouth again because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done.” My question to the non believer’s
    that posted earlier is: What is this atonement? A turtle dove? The atonement is too glorious for words. Because of His redemptive work (atonement) He now may reside where He most wants to be. In the temple? No. Living in His
    children! Is that not intimate enough? According to scripture His love and intimacy is expressed even more as He calls us His temple, His Bride, His
    Body, G-d in us and we in Him. He also gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We must have a great worth to Him and look how He purchased (the
    atonement) with such a great price (Jesus). Jesus is really too good and too
    wonderful for mere words. Shalom.

  20. So many wonderful remarks of truth have been discussed here on both sides. But I don’t recall reading about Moses meeting Elohim as the angel in the bush, who in the context also identifies Himself as Jahweh, the Covenant Person. Also, throughout the Old Testament that angel bears clear traits of deity, and yet is revealed also as a “man.” So, the angel Moses met in the bush was the God-man, Jeshua, Jesus, “angel” thus representing the preincarnational presence of Jesua to Moses and Israel. The Angel’s covenant name was “I Am.” Jeshua in the Gospel according to John frequently made possible reference to Himself as the I Am, including on one occasion, when asked if He was the Messiah, replied, I AM. Also, Jesus asserted to the Jews that Moses wrote of Him. Putting it all together, this is saying that Moses met Yeshua Jesus as the Angel, Jahweh and Elohim in the bush experience. And by the way, why are the Angel and Elohim in the bush also referred to Jahweh in the context? Is it becaue Jahweh is the Covenant Name of God, the One through Whom we make the covenant of life with God?! Throgh Jeshas Jesus?! And while the word Elohim can be interpreted literally as a plural of majesty, it is in literal form also the plural of Eloh, thus an early reference to the Trinity!. Finally then, Chosen People Ministries is rightfully proclaiming Jeshua Jesus as the Redeemer and Friend of Moses!! And of all Israel!!!

  21. Lilian E

    I am a Non-Jewish Christian and want to tell my Jewish brothers and sisters that this is not the time to be fighting to be divided but to get united and ask our GOD to bless all your people who are being threaten by the real enemies of the Jews.
    May GOD show all of us the proper way to honor HIM!

  22. tsamrama

    In all honesty I find it shameful that you`re attempting to convert Jews to Christianity. Accepting Jesus will not send you to heaven, if anything believing in your own faith and leaving people to practice their faith without the burden of someone trying to convert them is key.

  23. Scott

    Thank you Mitch for sharing. How sad to see that the chosen people of God still reject Him. Maybe if they read about people like Barry Levanthal or Jonathan Kahn, their eyes would be opened to the Truth. It is right there in their own Hebrew scriptures; Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 for starters. I continue to pray for the Jewish people. Keep up the good fight brother as today is simply one day closer to paradise.

  24. galeazzo scarampi

    Dr Glazer. Thank you for your important testimony. Let us not forget however the resistance of rabbinical Judaism to the gospel cannot be faulted on the anti-semitic behavior of Christians. Just see what Paul himself witnessed at the end of acts 28 and after being rejected by most synagogues.

    • We are all sinners for sure, but the hostility the “church” has exhibited towards the Jewish people does not help our cause. We measure truth by who we know more than by what we know. That is why it is so critical to focus on the person of Yeshua…He is the Messiah and He is the one we should follow – not an institution or formal religion. I am sure you agree.

      • galeazzo scarampi

        Dr Glaser. Indeed I agree.
        I also thank you all the discussants in this blog for the useful scriptural comments which are certainly worth studying !

      • Dr Mitch Glazer, Anyone who calls themselves a “Christian” and who has read the scriptures knows the importance and truth of claiming a Jew for his or her “Brother or Sister” in Christ when Christ has been recognized as Messiah. Ever since I was a little girl I have been taught the truth of the scriptures that I am a sister and co-heir in Christ with that one. I love the Jewish people and pray all the time for the privilege of being a friend to such as one. If I am understanding scripture correctly, I know that it is not the end of suffering for the Jewish people, (and perhaps that means the Christians as well, because antisemitism and antizionism are on the rise)
        it leaves a sadness in my heart to think that such evil is still present in our world after going through the holicaust. Will we never learn? But, I know that prophecy will be fulfilled and God will be glorified. He is Victor!, and in the end, we will reign with him in glory,
        victorious.

  25. Margaret Gennaro

    I respectfully state that there is only one Messiah, Jesus. The Holy Spirit is not another Messiah which I think is what is being intimated by the scripture references given.

  26. Dean M.

    Dear Dr. Mitch: You have a beautiful faith in God. No doubt this comes to you through a spiritual experience you cannot deny. And this connects in your soul with Jesus of Nazareth as “Lord and Savior.”

    The Jewish people, on the other hand, connect with God at Sinai. If they take their focus off Sinai, they fail in the vocation God has given them.

    But not all Jews have been given the Sinai calling. Or if they have, they might lose it through circumstances beyond their control. If so, are they condemned? If such a displaced Jew were to find his way to God through Jesus, would he be condemned? Isn’t that better than having no connection to God at all? Not only that, but my personal experience of Christians is that truly devout and faithful ones have a wonderful faith in God and do their best to do His will.

    My wife is Christian and I go to church with her often. You know Pastor Greg in Auburn, California. His church is Jewish friendly and his sermons without fail point to righteousness. Jesus is at the center of this, so how can a Jew deny what God is doing among Christians like these?

    The problem is that though you recognize that Jews and Christians have common values based on the Bible, you believe that Jews and other God-fearers must become Christians to please God. Christians believe you must become Christian–that Christian Pentecost rather than Jewish Sinai become one’s point of departure.

    It’s like saying, “See this beautiful woman? Would you like to be married to her?” And one responds, “But I’m already married.” “But isn’t she prettier than your current wife?” “Maybe, but I am already spoken for.” “Your wife is ugly! If you don’t accept the pretty one, you lose out!” “Then let me enjoy my ugly wife.” “No! No! We must convert you to the pretty wife! Your salvation depends upon it!” “No, my salvation depends on being faithful to my first and only true wife!”

    That is how I, as a Jew, often feel in church. The pastor would like me to come up and marry the pretty woman he is presenting–forgiveness of sins, atonement, etc, which can only be obtained through the pretty woman and new marriage ceremony. But in Judaism we do not believe we are saved by our own righteousness as is often presented in Christian theology. Our daily prayers state we are saved by God’s mercy, not our own righteousness. We are already married. We are already “saved,” to use a Christian term. As Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal–the non Prodigal is told by his father: “You are always with me, and all I have is yours.” (Luke 15:31). This is often overlooked by Christians telling this parable because their appeal is to the Prodigal, not the elder son who remained faithful.

    I’ve had my own spiritual encounters with Jesus–even a conversation. I felt his presence so I asked, “Well, Jesus, what do you want from me?” Answer: “You’re a Jew so be a Jew.” Why? It came into my mind that without out us Jews remaining Jewish, there is no Christianity. We are maintaining the foundation. Our focus has to be on Sinai. We can acknowledge that God is doing mighty things for the Gentiles through His suffering servant, Jesus. But also through His suffering servant, Israel. The doctrine some rabbis have propounded as “sheetoof,” “association,” means Christians can be considered monotheists because of the “sheetoof” of Jesus as a way to God. This creates a bridge for our two faiths.

    The term “Hebrew Christian” would be much better from my perspective, than “Messianic Jew.” “Jew” means anyone who, when it comes to religion, accepts the authority of the Torah as passed down through the rabbis of Israel. Messianics do not accept rabbinic authority. They may be ethnically Hebrew, but religiously not Jews. They are Christians. And there is nothing wrong with “Hebrew Christian.” The terms “Jews for Jesus” and “Messianic Jews” are therefore somewhat deceptive, implying rabbinic authority which is not recognized by the church.

    Just some thoughts to consider . . . the opinion of one man. Take what you like and leave the rest . . Shalom & God bless.

    • Brian C.

      Dear Dean, it is always so good to read your thoughts here. I think your marriage analogy is wonderful and so true to the situation you are in. You have really painted a picture of where you heart is with that analogy.

      There is a passage in Romans 6-7 that describes the very analogy you are wrestling through. I would very much enjoy corresponding with you about it. I know you have Mitch’s contact info – if you are willing, please ask Mitch to connect the two of us via email. Shalom.

      • Merrill

        Dear Dean M,

        Thank you for your deep introspection and thoughts. You provide and exemplary attitude of openness and honesty that can foster healthy dialogue as well as discovery on both sides.

        I agree with you that those of us of Jewish heritage have a mandate to maintain our calling as Jews. Our calling as Jews is not obliterated no matter what side of the fence one is on regarding belief in Yeshua. How we maintain this calling however can be debated and there is room for differences within the in-house debate. Messianic thinker Stuart Dauermann has grappled with this and has a perspective that might interest you. You may want to visit his site here: http://www.interfaithfulness.org/site/home/

        Shalom,

        Merrill

      • Dean M.

        I’d be happy to correspond. Thank you for your positive comment. Dean M.

      • Dean M.

        Brian C. my reply to you came out under Merrill. But it applies to both of you. Would be happy to correspond. Romans 7, by the way, to me is based on a complete misunderstanding of Torah and Judaism, projecting onto it something foreign–pagan and Hellenistic? I don’t know where Paul is coming from. His portrayal of the Torah is horrifically wrong in my view. But Paul was steeped in Hellenistic culture. His connection to the scripture was via the Septuagint and Greek thought like that of Philo Judaeus. It is all Greek to me.

      • Merrill

        Thank you Dean.Would love to dialogue with you here: http://isaiah53.com/forums

  27. CJ

    Jerusalem Talmud, Berakoth 5a – “The King Messiah… from where does he come forth? From the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah.”

    Micah 5:2 – But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

    Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a – “What is the cause of the mourning (Zechariah 12:10)? It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah, the son of Joseph, as it is written, ‘And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.’”

    Zechariah 12:10 – And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

    Daniel 7:13-14 – I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

  28. Steven Mark

    To Whom It May Concern,

    After watching the video and then reading the subsequent comments, I was struck by two conflicting thoughts and emotions. First, I think it’s disingenuous (and extremely unfair) to stereotype
    any particular group of Jewish people. To say that only the “lonely, uneducated, non-affiliated,
    disenfranchised, dissatisfied, poor Jews” would succumb to the duplicitous “love-bombing” techniques of Messianic Jews is pathetic.
    And I would be just as offended if anyone in the Messianic Community cast aspersions on the Orthodox Jewish Community by portraying them in the same way. (Thankfully, that’s never been the case!) And secondly, as almost everyone in both Communities acknowledges, if Yeshua/Jesus isn’t the promised Messiah for Israel and the Jewish People, then he certainly isn’t the Messiah for anyone else…especially the Gentiles! To say otherwise is deceptive. If the Orthodox Jewish Community wants to be faithful to the teachings and instructions found in Tanakh, they would be warning the Gentile Christian Community that they are guilty of gross idolatry. The Jewish People were called to be a light to the *NATIONS*– not “a light unto ourselves.” My perspective is reflected in the following article. It was intended for the Gentile Christian Community, but perhaps those in the Orthodox Jewish Community would benefit from reading it as well. (G-d works in mysterious ways!) :)

    According to the Scriptures, Who or What is a “Christian”? (Excerpted from “Root, Fruit, And Speaking The Truth” ©2012 Steven Mark)

    Since there has been so much confusion over this vitally important question, I would like to share my perspective, and ask only that you thoughtfully refer to the Scripture references that I’ve listed. Please bear in mind that when a text is removed from its larger context, it’s generally used as a pretext for teaching error. To be fair and consistent, the larger context must always remain in view if we truly want to understand the intended meaning of the author. In the spirit of Philippians 3:15-16, I present the following information.

    Simply stated: At its very foundation and in its unadulterated form, “Christianity” is a Jewish Faith. The Bible is a Jewish book from Genesis to Revelation. Yeshua didn’t come to start a “New Religion” called Christianity; He came to fulfill what was written about Him in “all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:25-27), culminating in the inauguration of the New Covenant that was promised to the Jewish People and to the Nation of Israel (see Jeremiah 31:31-37). Granted, the B’rit Hadashah (New Covenant) is a “Messianic” Jewish book– but a “Jewish” book nonetheless. All the writers of Scripture were Jewish. Not “were” Jewish…but then “became” Christians. (With the possible exception of Luke, who many believe was a proselyte to Judaism.) None of the Apostles, or the tens of thousands of the first followers of Yeshua referred to themselves as “Christians.” This is something that was imposed upon the Scriptures many years later. (Perhaps based upon a lack of understanding the Jewish context in which Paul was addressing his Gentile audience; or perhaps because the Church refused to accept it.) During the time of Yeshua and for many years later, His Jewish followers referred to themselves as followers of “The Way” (Isaiah 35:8; Isaiah 40:3; John 14:6), but never as “Christians.” The following Scriptures will clarify why I say that. Please read them carefully, and thoughtfully. Acts 6:1-7; Acts 9:1-2; Acts 19:8-10, 23; Acts 21:17-26;
    Acts 22:1-5; Acts 24:14 & 22, and Acts 28:17-24.

    In light of these unequivocally clear Scriptures, it’s inaccurate and misleading for Gentile Christians to persist in calling Messianic Jews “Christians.” Saul/Paul always referred to himself as a Jew– and left it at that. He refers to “you gentiles” when he’s addressing non-Jewish believers throughout all of his letters; but he never addresses anyone as “Christians.” Nor did anyone present at the first Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:22-23). Rather, they addressed their letter “To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.” The Messianic Jewish Leadership (meaning James, Peter, Paul, etc.) could have addressed their letter to “Our fellow Christian Believers,” or, “To the Gentile Christian Believers,” but they chose not to. This is quite revealing, since the word ‘Christian’ was already being used to identify Gentile followers of Yeshua. It’s also interesting to see how Paul addressed his Gentile audience in Romans chapter 11. Even more revealing is how Paul identifies himself within the following Scriptures. Please examine them carefully: Romans 11:1-5; 2nd Corinthians 11:22; Galatians 2:14-15; Philippians 3:5-6; Acts21:39, and Acts 23:6.

    Again, in light of these Scriptures, it would be disingenuous to claim that any of the first followers of Yeshua referred to themselves as Christians; or were called Christians by anyone else. Sadly, most Christian scholars persist in perpetuating this rather obvious “doctrinal anachronism”– in spite of the evidence to the contrary. In my opinion, this reveals nothing less than a continued anti-Jewish bias.

    Take a look at these Scriptures:
    Yochanan (John) 4:9-22, and 19:19-21; Romans 2:29-3:4, and 3:9.

    And these: Genesis 49:8-10, cf. Revelation 5:5*-14, & Rev. 22:16*
    Notice the location– reigning in Heaven as a gloried Jew.
    Yeshua was born *King of the Jews* (Mattit’yahu 2:1-2), lived as *King of the Jews* (Luke 23:1-3), died as *King of the Jews* (Yochanan 19:19-22), rose from the dead as *King of the Jews* (Acts 1:1-8), ascended into Heaven as *King of the Jews*– and will return as *King of the Jews.*
    “This same Jewish Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) who has been taken from you into Heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). He will return to the Mount of Olives, destroy all the Gentile nations who seek to destroy the Jewish nation of Israel, and establish His Eternal Kingdom upon the throne of David in the glorious city of *Jerusalem!* He will rule and reign over all the Earth as *King of the Jews!* Every nation on Earth will be required to go up to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). Any nation who refuses to do so will suffer severe consequences (Zechariah chapter 14). See also: Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 9:6-7, and Micah 5:1-5.

    *Yeshua* –whose name means *Salvation*– is of and from the Jews.
    (See Yochanan 4:22; Romans 9:1-5, etc.)

    Regarding Acts 11:26 (where the word “Christian” is used for the first time), the question that must be asked is this: Who were these specific “disciples”– and who are the ones calling them “Christians”? An honest, careful reading of the text– within the context of the Scriptures cited above– reveals that it was the Gentile *converts* who were being called “Christians” (and not as a term of endearment), by the larger non-believing Gentile community in which they lived. The name non-believing Jews gave to Jewish believers was “Natzratim” or “Notzrim” (“Nazarenes”), that is, followers of the man from Natzeret (“Nazareth”), commonly translated as “the sect of the Nazarenes” (see Acts 24:5 &14). To this day, the word in modern Hebrew for “Christians” remains “Notzrim.” A contemporary version of this would be similar to the name “Jews For Jesus” (who later embraced the name), though it was originally used by the Orthodox Jewish Community as a curse, and a way to separate “Jews for Jesus” from the larger non-believing Jewish Community who are still blinded to the fact that Yeshua is indeed our promised Messiah. If you’ve ever read a *Jews for Jesus* Newsletter, you may have noticed the words *established 32 A.D., give or take a year* directly underneath the name of their ministry. They took their queue from the Apostles, who kept their Jewish identity, culture, and customs; as well as their love and adherence to the Torah (rightly interpreted in Yeshua), as did all of the first century Jewish followers of their Jewish Messiah. (For a clear perspective on this, please refer to Acts 21:17-26.) Sadly, when you review the past two thousand years of “Church History,” and the fact that the THEN predominantly Messianic Jewish congregations didn’t impose (or force) the practice of Jewish culture and/or the observance of the Biblical Feasts upon the THEN much smaller Gentile Christian congregations, the preceding Scripture verses are indeed painfully ironic! Prior to Acts chapter 15, everything was an “in-house” debate within the Messianic Community of Faith (meaning *Faithful Israel*= the *Remnant* = *the Israel of God*– Romans 11:1-5, and Galatians 6:16), as well as with the larger religious establishment who rejected Yeshua as their Messiah.

    It’s important to remember that the “All Scripture” Rav Sha’ul (the Apostle Paul) was referring to in 2 Timothy 3:14-17 was obviously the Tanakh, since the New Covenant was far from being completed, let alone “Canonized.” The Newer Covenant doesn’t “replace” the Older Covenant, it completes it– just as Yeshua Himself “makes complete” both His Jewish and Gentile followers who have trusted in Him as their Messiah, Savior, and Lord. It was God Himself who said that He would make a *New Covenant* with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (please read Jeremiah 31:31-37 carefully). Yeshua introduced the New Covenant not to a group of Gentiles (let alone “Christians”–there weren’t any), but to an exclusively Jewish company at a Passover Seder. More specifically, He announced this Covenant to His twelve talmidim, who, Yeshua explained moments later, are in a special representative relationship with the twelve tribes of Israel as their judges (Luke 22:30; compare Matthew 19:28, Revelation 21:12-14). It is the twelve tribes of Israel of whom Jeremiah speaks collectively when he writes: “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” The New Covenant would come to INCLUDE believing Gentiles; but remember that it is believing Gentiles who are grafted into the Jewish olive tree–NOT the reverse (Romans 11:15-24).
    When God “broke down the wall of division,” He never intended for it to be rebuilt– and especially not on a foundation of false theology. Ephesians 2:11-22 is unequivocally clear regarding the position of Gentile Christians who have been *JOINED TOGETHER* with “the Commonwealth of Israel.” Not so that Jews would abandon their identity as Jews and become members of something we today call “the Church”–but so that Gentiles would now be granted EQUAL ACCESS and EQUAL STANDING to participate in the national and spiritual life of Israel. That being said, this does NOT mean that the Church has now become the “New,” “True,” or “Spiritual Israel”– or that the Church has now “Replaced” Israel as God’s Covenant People. If the faithful Jewish Remnant had failed in their ministry to their OWN People–OR to the Gentiles– we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
    (See Ruth 1:16; John 10:16; Romans 1:16 and Romans 11:1-5!)

    Please take a moment to consider the following analogy: Picture yourself walking along one of the beautiful beaches in California. Bend down and pick up a handful of sand. How many individual grains of sand might you be holding in your hand? Pause for a moment…
    Now look around at the entire beach.
    How many individual grains of sand might there be?

    Here’s the point:
    The “one handful” of sand represents the entire worldwide Jewish population.

    The ENTIRE BEACH represents the worldwide Gentile population.

    There has always been a *Faithful Remnant* within the Jewish People (the *few grains* from among the “handful”), as well as a faithful remnant within the vastly larger Gentile Christian Church. When you remove a few individual grains from a single handful, there doesn’t appear to be too many. When you remove a few truckloads of sand from the beach (which represents Gentile Believers), the pile of sand is obviously larger and more visible than the few grains taken from the handful– yet both are a mere *Remnant* compared to the amount of sand on the entire beach. Food for thought…Without misrepresenting the text, I could easily apply Romans 9:6-8 to read: “Not all Christianity is Christianity…but only those who are actually “in Christ.”

    Many grains of sand from among the “truckloads” (Gentile Christians) profess to know the Lord…but how many actually do? (Matthew 7:21-23)

    • jkraskowski

      Steven Mark, I appreciated and understood your “comment” and it reflects what I believe. Where does a “believing Gentile” go for worship? how is the grafting onto Israel manifested? I’ve gone to Messianic Jewish congregations and they aren’t “Jewish”…mostly Christians that want to get back to doing some of the Jewish traditions. I thought of converting to Judaism but the idea of giving up all I have know about Jesus and G-d seems wrong on so many levels. As far as Dr. Mitch’s mission go…I do believe that it is money NOT well spent to spread the gospel, as it is interpreted, to Orthodox Jews, for many, many reasons. Many of which have been rather clearly explained in other’s comments.

      • Steven Mark

        Dear JKraskowski,
        I posted my comment to draw attention to the fact that Jews who believe and trust solely in the authority of Scripture (apart from the so-called “Oral Law” of rabbinic tradition) were counted as *Jews* until approximately 135 C.E./A.D. (And even then we were still considered to be *Jews,* albeit “apostate” *Jews*.) As I stated in my previous comment, Gentile Christians who suppose that Jews who follow Yeshua as their Messiah, Savior, Rabbi and Lord have now become “Christians” are sorely mistaken. In the same way, the Jewish Community who rejects Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah for both Jews AND Gentiles and insist on perpetuating the erroneous claim that Jews who follow Yeshua have now become “Christians” are equally mistaken. Regarding your question about Gentile Christians who choose to fellowship at Messianic Congregations, my experience has always been positive. The percentage of Jews and Gentiles is generally about 50/50,
        depending on where you live. I live in the Chicago area, and there are approximately 7-10 Messianic Congregations to choose from within a 70 mile radius. When I lived in Southern California and South Florida, the Messianic Congregations usually had a higher percentage of Jews than Gentiles. Either way, I rejoice in the fact that the “wall of separation” has been abolished, and that both believing Jews and Gentiles are now *One in Messiah Yeshua!* Hope this answers your question. Blessings on your Journey! :)

      • Margaret Gennaro

        I appreciate your message about not calling as “Christians” those Jews who have accepted Jesus as Messiah. I never really thought about that before, but I think you are absolutely right.

  29. Dear Brother, don’t give up. I pray that many a Jew will come to a true belief in Jesus as Messiah through the work that you do. We know that the enemy is still alive and at work, but, his time is short and we are the winners or should I say that Yahweh will win. Praise the Lord. You are in our prayers. In Christ.

  30. James Goodwin

    Thank you for candidly discussing these things. I am a gentile believer in Jesus and attended Orthodox Synagogue for several months. I went there to learn more about Jewish thinking and to answer any questions about my faith, if asked. I respected the sanctity of the synagogue and the faith of my non Christian friends. I was treated kindly and respectfully. I grew to have a deep appreciation of the Rabbi and the concerns of people who shared with me. I think that we need to talk! I am pleased anytime that I get to hear a person who believes in G-d defend his faith, Jewish or Christian. We will soon learn whether or not Yeshua is really the Messiah as events unfold leading to his coming.

  31. Jeffrey Quay

    Dr Glaser,
    My (gentile) heart hurts when I see the opposition CPM encounters (i.e. the recent Danger Lurking in Brooklyn video). I can only imagine how much moreso the Jewish heart must hurt when the offer is rebuked and refused. I believe you must be one of the most resilient men on earth. I believe you have built a house of love and have flung open its doors and CPM is doing its part admirably, the Lord will do the rest.

  32. Sandy

    continuing to read through the posts, and thankful for the conversation. I highly recommend the following article (and site) for more deep and thought-provoking insights:

    http://hebrew4christians.com/Clear_Thinking/Basic_Concepts/basic_concepts.html

  33. Jessica

    After pondering and reading this discussion, a few questions & thoughts came to mind.
    1) Ethnically born Jewish(ie physical descendant) remains one regardless of belief. An apostate possibly, but nonetheless still Jewish.
    2) There is more effort in criticising those who identify or claim to be “Messianic Jewish” then those who identify as an Atheist Jew, or Buddhist Jew. Why if question one halachically is true? Or am I wrong in this school of thought? If I am, who’s interpretation is correct?
    3) I heard many people from different backgrounds, faiths state that being Jewish, is not by genetics, well then please explain the Kohanite/Levi line?
    4)Is Messianic Judaism, more or less a “Reform or Reconstructionist” line of thinking? If so, should it not be noted as that rather then Messianic?
    5) Also since when did resorting to name-calling or belittling anyone accomplish or fulfill anything by Torah standards? We are called to be a “light to the nations”, to instruct about G-d’s standards & ways.

    Sorry if any confusion on my part to anyone.
    A few informational statements about me, I am ethnically born Jewish and struggling to the point that I just want to throw my hands up, beat my chest, through religion aside and ask Hashem to forgive what I don’t understand.

    Thank you to anyone who read this. Shalom.

    • Thanks for your good and evidently sincere questions. The quick reply is this…one is traditionally Jewish if they have a Jewish mother…the Bible, on the other hand, views any lineage – mother or father or both of course as being a basis for someone being Jewish. The issue of faith or commitment to G-d is another story. So, you can be Jewish and not believe in anything or you can be Jewish and follow Judaism the religion in a more traditional sense, or be a Hindu, Buddhist etc. Sometimes more traditionally Orthodox Jews believe that Jewish people who are Reform, Conservative etc.are not especially Jewish religiously – even if they are faithful to their expression of Judaism, because they are not Orthodox. I grew up in this environment. So, it does not surprise me that our Orthodox Jewish friends indicate that Messianic Jews – we who believe Jesus is the promised Messiah, are viewed as “disqualified”. We do not agree! Put it this way – if Jesus (Yeshua – His Hebrew name) is the true Messiah of Israel and according to the predictions of the prophets, like in Isaiah chapter 53, Jesus fulfilled these and other prophecies – then it is very Jewish to believe in Him! After all, Jews are supposed to be waiting for the Messiah…we simply believe He has come, died for our sins as an atonement, resurrected from the dead (also a very biblical idea) and is coming again. We identify as Jews, celebrate the Jewish holidays and observe the Jewish calendar, get married under a chuppah and love chicken soup (joke!)…I hope some of this is helpful

  34. Frank Adamick

    Yahshua Messiah the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

  35. Pingback: Pray for those who persecute you | Dr. Mitch Glaser

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