Messianic Judaism

Etz-Chayim B’Yeshua is a sacred community of believing Jews and Gentiles[1] worshiping within the Messianic[2] Jewish tradition. In the Book of Acts, the first-century apostles of Yeshua (Jesus) were Messianic believers. These early disciples were Jewish, but the rapidly spreading Good News of the kingdom began to include Gentiles who were appointed for salvation through the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit). By the fourth century C.E. the larger gentile population of believers had completely isolated the small group of Messianic Jewish believers known as Nazarenes. These Nazarenes were persecuted mercilessly from all sides.  Rabbinic Judaism and Gentile Christianity left no room for the believing individual who wanted to maintain their Hebrew roots or who wanted to maintain a messianic lifestyle.  The very people through whom Yeshua used to spread the “good news” of the Gospel, had completely ben driven underground.

The Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) began changing the hearts of the Jewish people as a seed around the nineteenth century with a few strongly outspoken believers.  God has continued to expand this work exponentially with the formation of the nation of Israel.  Fifty years ago maybe 3% of Jewish people were Messianic; today that number is well over 10% and growing rapidly.  Gentile believers choosing to worship next to their Jewish brothers have increased in much greater numbers than even their Jewish brothers with as many as 4 times as many Gentiles worshiping and seeking the LORD in the same spirit as the first century church displayed.

Messianic believers Jew and Gentile alike are teaching others about the Jewishness of God’s Word “Yeshua,” in ways even more profound than in the first century as these end times unfold.

The contemporary Messianic Movement grew into a prominent expression of faith in America during the social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. The dramatic instability of that time led an amazing number of people to respond to the gospel message; including many Jews who trusted in the Jewish Messiah for salvation. Those Jews who came to faith found themselves facing synagogues which denied the risen Messiah and the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). By way of contrast, traditional Christian churches falsely asserted that once a Jew accepted Jesus as their Savior, there was no longer a need to maintain a Jewish lifestyle or Jewish expressions of faith. During this time Messianic congregations were planted and thrived as spiritual havens to those in the Jewish community who were called to express their devotion to Yeshua. The Messianic community offers the freedom to worship Yeshua while remaining Jewish.  It also offers the opportunity for Gentile (people of the nations) believers to experience the vibrant heritage Yeshua provided for our instruction and benefit.  By keeping with the eternal purposes of God, the Messianic community is the beneficiary to a timeless passed and a vibrant future.  Holding to the Jewish customs of bar/bat Mitzvah, Torah reading and instruction, marriage under the Chupah, conveying the Jewishness of Yeshua to our children, and in being a visible testimony of Yeshua, many, many Gentiles are finding new life and depth of understanding in ways they never thought possible.  Through this work the Jewish community at large is becoming jealous of what we have just as Sha’ul (Paul) prayed so long ago and seeking guidance from God leading them to Yeshua (Salvation). 

The Messianic congregation provides a worship community for believers in Yeshua called by God to participate in the life and destiny of the Jewish people (Romans 11:17-18). Their special love for the Jewish people stems from the fact that God chose a unique people to proclaim His salvation (Yeshua) to the world.  The LORD declared in Leviticus 23 His “appointed times” and Messianic believers enjoy following the Holy Convocations of the LORD, His Sabbaths and Feast Days.  Messianic believers learn Hebrew, and enjoy the Jewish customs blossoming up around these Holy-days, celebrating and reaching out with God’s love, drawing all people into a right relationship with their Creator. Seeing God’s love and Word in action provokes Jealousy into the Jewish community, likewise Gentiles experience the fullness of the gospel message and are astonished at the peace, depth, and truth in His Word (Romans 11:11-16).  It is said, the Old Testament brings knowledge and the New Testament brings understanding.  The Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) combines the knowledge of the LORD and the understanding of His-Word (Yeshua) into everlasting Wisdom through eternity.  The believer walks in that love, grace, integrity of His-Word flowing through the simplicity that is the gospel.

Gentiles in Messianic Judaism are not apostates or heretics of the Christian Church. In the first century 1/3rd of all Jewish people had become followers of the Messiah Yeshua, At the same time millions of gentiles also became “believers.”  They normally met “together” as a sect of Judaism, meeting in the local Synagogue.  Meeting “together” as followers of the sect known as Nazarenes or followers of Yeshua from Nazareth, they continued to meet in the local Synagogue.  The complete book of Acts discusses these things.  History shows the friction was between the believers in the Messiah and the non-believers. Jews and Gentiles worshiped together as believers in “Messianic Judaism.”  Today there are over 500 Messianic synagogues worldwide. Messianic Judaism is the bridge between the Jewish people and the church, and as such it helps the church to understand better its origin, identity, and its destiny. (Acts mentions the Synagogue in relation to the believer 16 times, it mentions the Sabbath 8 times, Acts 18 demonstrates Jews and Gentiles together, Sha’ul teaching at the Synagogue or next to it for one and a half years.)

A Messianic congregation in Cortez, Colorado.

Although there is not a strong Jewish presence in the Four Corners area, there is a strong desire for a personal relationship with Yeshua.  There is a strong desire to understand the 1st century believers and how they walked with Yeshua, the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world and in whom the fullness of God is revealed.   We have found there are many misunderstandings about Jewish and non-Jewish believers within the greater body of the Christian community. There is also a need for Messianic believers to be taught solid Biblical doctrine, rather than diverting toward less sound doctrines that we have heard over the years.

The vision the LORD has provided for us brings the fullness of God into every part of the believer’s life.

[1] Gentile is a reference to a person other than of Jewish decent, i.e. non-Hebrew.  The word actually means a person of the “nations.”

[2] Messianic is in direct reference to “a believer in The Messiah Yeshua, i.e. Yeshua Ha-Mashiach.  This is the Hebrew way of saying Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Messiah.


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