Messianic! Be Careful!

Yeshua

What does being “Messianic” mean?

Many people simply have never heard of us!

And they mistake us for other groups, which are occult groups.  WE ARE NOT!

We are “OF MESSIAH”, Messiah meaning ‘Anointed One,’ and in our case, the Anointed One of G-d, Yeshua the Natzri, the Son of G-d.

First of all, names and classifications of people-groups are irrelevant to G-d in His Kingdom. On earth, they serve a purpose of identity, however, and can be useful. But, they can also be harmful by segregating people, creating confusion, and engendering pride. This is not an attempt to do that, but to explain why we ‘identify’ with a wider group of people worldwide who are called “Messianic”.
It has recently come to my attention that some folks do not understand what it means when a person says he is “Messianic”.
I guess one technical definition would be “of or pertaining to Messiah”.
For those of us who say we follow “Messianic Judaism”, however, it is even more narrow than that.
First, being Messianic means that we follow the Messiah of the Jews. In our case, we believe that Messiah to be Yeshua of Nazareth. Are we “christian”? That depends on one’s understanding of what ‘christian’ means. The word “christian” is similar to the word “messianic”; it means “little christ”, in the sense of one who follows ‘christ’, just as “Messianic” means one who follows “Messiah”. Messiah means “anointed one”, and the greek word ‘christ’ is very similar. But, we who are “Messianic” are not ‘christian’ in the WAY we follow the Jewish Messiah, distinct from the way some say they follow ‘christ’, who is a very ‘greek’ person devoid of all things Jewish, including his name.
Christianity today has evolved from what the original followers of Messiah believed and practiced. The twelve apostles were all Jewish, and they continued in the instructions of the Jews for the rest of their lives, teaching Gentiles to follow the customs of the Jews. [I Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 2:15, 3:6, Matt 5:19] And they called themselves followers of “The Way”, “HaDerekh”, a Hebrew synonym for “Torah”. [Acts 19:23, 21:5, 24:22] They did not consider themselves to be outside the auspices of Jewish life, then, and defended that fact in court and before kings. It was the greeks who first called them “christians”, [acts 11:26]. But the apostles did not call themselves that until much later, and then only once [I Peter 4:16], and there is no evidence they called themselves that very often at all, since they suffered at the hands of greeks as ‘christians’. It was a derogatory term, an insulting pejorative. The Jews called the believers in Messiah “Nazarenes”, since they followed “The Way” of Yeshua the Nazarene. [Acts 24:5] Historically, LATER ‘christians’ called Jews who followed Yeshua “Nazarenes” as well.
So, we who call ourselves “Messianic” follow the Messiah, the word that would be translated as ‘christ’. But, we do not follow a greek ‘messiah’, or ‘christ’, or one who is divorced from the Torah of Israel. We follow the Messiah, Yeshua, the one who was executed as “King of the JEWS”. We follow Him the way He said to: “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.
Briefly, we believe that Yeshua of Nazareth was born miraculously, and is the Son of G-d, and that the final proof of that fact is that G-d raised Him from the dead. He died to atone for our sins, or to forgive us of all our violations of the Torah, freeing us from our guilt and from fear of punishment for it. But, where we differ from much of modern ‘christianity’ is that we believe He did not free us to go on living in those violations, but that we should strive to be like Him. He kept the Torah perfectly.

This means that He believed יהוה was the only G-d, and only ONE. [Mark 12:29, Deut 6:4] So do we. This means He went to the synagogue on Shabbat, the SEVENTH day. [Mat 12:9, Mark 1:21, Luke 4:16] So do we. This means He ate kosher according to Leviticus 11 and other Torah texts. So do we. This means He wore a four-cornered garment with “tzit-tziyot” as reminders of the Sabbath and all other commands. [Numbers 15, Matt 9:20, 14:36] So do we. This means He kept all the feasts of G-d, along with the Sabbath. [Lev 23, Matt 26:18, Mark 14:1, John 7, 8] So do we. This means that He prayed often. [Luke 5:16, 22:32] So do we.
We also see Him as a Jew, and not just a ‘guy’. This means He called Himself Yeshua, and Messiah. So do we. This means that He knew that the name of His Father, G-d, was יהוה , and He called Him that. [Mark 12:29, Matt 4:7, Matt 22:44] So do we. This means that He prayed with his head covered, and wore a head-covering everywhere. [Exodus (28:4, 37, 40)] So do we. This means that He did not eat the meat of the inner thigh. [Genesis 32.32] Neither do we. This means He honored Khanukah. [John 10] So do we.
So, while we agree that we are not to commit adultery, nor to steal, nor to kill, nor to lie, nor to covet, nor to worship idols, we as Messianics also believe the fourth command is still just as binding as the other nine. And, we see that all the feasts will be kept in the Millennial Reign [Zekh 14, Isaiah], so we also keep them now, as did Yeshua. Further, we see that the first commandment tells us explicitly that our G-d is יהוה , and not just any “concept” of god which man might contrive, and NOT a ‘god’ that goes by any other name, ie, Allah, Buddah, etc….
In short, we follow HIM, and not men. We are instructed to see HIM as our example, and not anyone else. “ANYONE who SAYS he abides in Him ought himself also to walk HIS halakha”. I John 2:6
[Halakha is a Jewish word meaning “how one walks the Torah”. Yeshua walked it in a “pure” way, not adding to it nor taking away from it. That is what He came to Israel to correct: adding to and taking away from the commands of G-d. See Mark 7:1-11]
This means that NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE says, or how lofty the argument, nor how passionately we are opposed, no one can show us in scripture that He worshipped on ‘sun-day’, or ate pork or catfish, or dressed like a Babylonian, or neglected prayer, or studied any other sacred writ than Torah and Nevi’im. He did not add to the commands, and neither did He take away. Christians teach that He took them ALL away! “I did NOT come to abolish the Torah”. “Whoever shall DO and TEACH the commandments, that one shall be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Matt 5:17,19]
It truly is that simple. And, this applies to Jew and Gentile, as “anyone” is all-encompassing.
So, being Messianic means following the “way” of the quintessential Jew: Yeshua of Nazareth. Is it “christian” to do so? Well, if one goes back to the origin of that word ‘christian’, then YES, as we are “little messiahs”, or little ones who are anointed with His anointing. If one asks whether we are ‘christian’ in the sense of other doctrines that paint a confusing picture about the Jewish Savior who died on a tree [not a ‘cross’, a word that is not even in the texts], then, no, we are not ‘modern-day christians’. We do not see three “people” stuffed into one “body” as Constantine insisted, we do not worship on the day of the Sun as Constantine commanded; we do not keep Easter as Constantine commanded, we do not keep ‘christmas’ as was imposed on christianity in early antiquity, and we do not recklessly eat anything we want; not because we are forbidden, but because we love our G-d, and choose to follow His instructions [Torah], which are good for us. [Psalm 119] We choose to follow the only example that is SURE! One cannot go wrong by imitating the Messiah Yeshua! [Phil 3:12, 1 Cor 11:1] That is what being Messianic is; it is being a Jew INWARDLY , [Rom 2:29] and that inward ‘circumcision’ being expressed in the whole life of the follower of Yeshua of Nazareth, and His Way.

Our Congregation could further define itself as a “Messianic Jewish Peshitta” community, as we also believe the Brit Khadashah was written in Aramaic first, and is best preserved in the Peshitta community’s Aramaic scriptures.  Further, the above description is basically defined as “Peshitta”, meaning we follow the PLAIN MEANING of the texts.  The Ancient Aramaic community of faith REJECTED the Constantinian takeover of the community of faith, and were dubbed “Peshitta” by Rome, meaning “simple”, because they rejected the new ‘trinity’ doctrine, standing firm on what the ‘plain meaning’ of the text says.  In Judaism, there are four levels of studying scripture: Peshat, Remez, D’resh, and Sod.  The Peshat level is the ‘plain meaning,’ and NO other means of interpreting scripture can violate the PLAIN MEANING.  Example:  “יהוה is our Elohim, יהוה is ONE.”  This is very, very plain.  So, when we then understand that HE MANIFESTS in His Son and in His Ru’akh, we cannot then say that He is THREE…..this is a violation of the plain meaning of the text.

Life’s Happy Door – Part 1

“I will open a door for you that no man can shut.”  The title is not going to appear to match the content of this article, but the NEXT article will complete the sequence, and you’ll understand why.  The below is actually a post on fb that was presented as a memory today.  And it goes hand in hand with the next article I started, due to post this week, having been compelled by my recent study of scripture, and mild frustration with the modern idea of today’s ‘grace without works’ mentality, where teachers do not compel the students of Messiah to obey HIM.

Since the scriptures are to be our source for all understanding, and the Ru’akh uses the scriptures to teach us, this article will discuss the twisting of the scriptures that was already present in the times of the Shlikhim [apostles].  See Kefa Bet [2 Peter] 3:14-18.  If the origin of scripture is debated, then the twisting Kefa warned us of MUST be considered.  Is it at all possible that many do not have the best texts in front of them?

First, I am a historian by education.  And I do not subscribe to ‘revisionist history,’ nor want to re-write all history.  But, I am also keenly aware that certain men who write history do so as the victor, and at the peril of the truth concerning the vanquished.  A true historian, then, is one who is willing to cede that SOME of what has been considered as conclusive is indeed tainted by the world view of the writer of the history.

Such is the case in regard to the Brit Khadashah [NT] scriptures.  We have been told by the catholic authorities that these scriptures were written in Greek first.  All of them.  When their own sources record for us emphatically that Matti [Matthew] was indeed written in Hebrew.  What most Bible readers are not aware of, however, is that there has existed a ‘Messianic’ community of believers for 2,000 years that have had the texts of the Shlikhim in the Aramaic language from their inception.  These are the believers in the areas of Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and even parts of Israel, who read the Aramaic “Peshitta” texts, and have for 2,000 years, NEVER having had a ‘greek-sourced’ Bible.  These are the direct recipients of ALL of Sha’ul’s [Paul] letters in the original hand!  It is important to understand that these believing congregations existed LONG before the Roman ‘church,’ long before the B’sorah [gospel] even made it to Rome, and nearly 300 years before Constantine, a GREEK ruler of the Roman Empire, and a life-long pagan, forced the congregations of the west to unite under a new ‘papacy’ and earthly governmental dictatorship.

This community is known as the “Peshitta” community.  This word comes from the Aramaic/Hebrew word ‘pashat’, which means ‘simple.’  This moniker was given to this community because they would NOT unite with the new “Roman Catholic” [universal] theocratic dictatorship, because of the re-defined nature of their ‘christ’.  They said that what the council put down concerning Messiah was beyond the ‘plain meaning of the text’.  It was beyond the “Peshat” level of the text.  This is a Hebrew mind-set, that there are indeed many levels in which to study the scriptures, but that NO deeper level may violate what the PLAIN, colloquial meaning of the text says.  In other words, ‘simple’ people should be able to understand it.  “Peshitta” people.

Mar-Yah (mem-resh-yod-alef), is the emphatic form used for the sacred Name of Elohim in Aramaic.  Most scholars agree that this word, Mar-Yah, is used EXLUSIVELY to represent the Name of Elohim [G-d the Creator] : יהוה

One of the main reasons that we are convinced that the Aramaic preceded the Greek texts is this word above.

Aramaic is the language closest to Hebrew, and part of the Semitic family of languages. Part of the Tanak [Old Testament] was written in Aramaic, especially Daniel 2-7. Aramaic was actually the “lingua franca” of the Mesopotamian area from the time of Daniel all the way through the time of Messiah and the Apostles. Jews avoided greek; Josefus tells us that he learned greek, but had a hard time of it.  He was a Jewish priest who grew up in Israel, and had to learn greek after the Roman Empire conquered Israel, of which he was an eye-witness. Josefus had been conquered, and seems to have somewhat capitulated to Rome after Jerusalem was conquered, probably in self-preservation.

Historically, the B’sorah [Gospel] of Matti [Matthew] is known to have been written in Hebrew for the Jewish Believers in Yehuda [Judah/Israel], as already stated. That is a well established fact confessed even by the catholic church, the first official purveyors of anti-Semitism, after Haman and Egypt. It is very, very possible that the other gospels were written in Hebrew as well, though greek sympathizers have a hard time admitting even the slightest possibility of it.

Many believe that all the Brit Khadasha [New Testament] was written in Aramaic. That is more likely than its having been written in greek. But, my personal hunch is that more of it was written in Hebrew, and the rest in Aramaic.

One of the reasons I believe this to be true is this word at the top of this post: “Mar-Yah”, or “Master יהוה “. Constructed this way, the usual word for “lord” in Aramaic, ‘Maran” is changed to indicate in Holy Writ the Holy Name of יהוה , the name that has been given to Messiah Yeshua.

If the Brit Khadasha was written in greek first, and this conjugation of ‘maran’ to ‘Mar-Yah’ means nothing distinct, WHY, please deduce, WHY did the whole Aramaic community use it in their ancient texts, and HOW did they know which places to translate KURIOS to Mar-Yah? [Kurios is the greek word for “lord/master” only, and NOT an equivalent to יהוה .]

Analyzing the Aramaic texts over the past ten years, we see that מָּריא is used in some very critical places in the Brit Khadasha:

Kefa, a Jew, quoting scripture [Tehillah 110 [psalm]], says this, according to the Aramaic Peshitta, which would perfectly match Tehillah 110:1:

“Mar-Yah said to marai [my lord], sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

In Hebrew, then, in ACTS 2:35 it reads:

יהוה  said to Adoni [my master], sit at my right hand…”

And Yeshua used this verse to teach concerning His identity as well, in Yokhanan Markos 12:36.

In the greek, both of these read, ‘Kurios said to my kurios’, which does nothing for the distinction between the Father and the Son here.

In Aramaic, Acts 2:36 reads this way,

“Elohim [G-d] has made this Yeshua BOTH  יהוה / Mar-Yah AND Mashiakh”

Greek reads, “Theos has made this Iesous both kurious and kristos”; a little less impactful on His identity.

The Aramaic, therefore, explains the Name of the FATHER being given to the Son, according to Yeshua’s own words:

“Now I am no longer in the world. They are in the world, but I am coming to you. Av Kadosh [Holy Father]: guard them by the power of YOUR NAME, which You have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are.” John 17:11

Considering Hebrews 1:4, “The Name Elohim has given Him is superior to theirs”, we have to ask, is He talking about “Yeshua” here? Given that Yeshua [Joshua] is a common name among Jewish men, especially at the time Hebrews was written, it cannot be!

Abba gave the NAME, יהוה, to Yeshua, His Son; just as I gave my name to my son.

Phillipians 2:9-11 has much more impact, and is more easily understood, under the light of the Aramaic texts:

“Therefore Elohim raised Him [Yeshua] to the highest place and gave Him the Name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow – in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Yeshua the Messiah is Mar-Yah/ יהוה , to the glory of Elohim, His Father.”

If greek came first, this would read the way it does in English: “every tongue will confess that Iesous Kristos is lord.” Not near the impact.

Would the Aramaic community really have been so careless with the Name, if they were indeed translating from greek, arbitrarily picking these particular places to distinguish between kurios and יהוה ?

I do not think so.  This is ‘surgical’, precise use of יהוה in these verses, and many, many others.  This shows us the direction of translation: from Aramaic TO Greek, and NOT the other way around.

This, along with many other proofs, gives me absolute confidence that the Aramaic texts came before the Greek texts.

Now, before anyone goes off like a wing nut, I came to Messianic faith nearly 30 years ago by reading the KING JAMES bible and studying the GREEK TEXTS!

They were very skillfully translated. FROM HEBREW AND ARAMAIC. EVERY person who wrote in the Brit Khadasha was a JEW. The WHOLE BIBLE is a JEWISH BOOK. And those early redactors did a fantastic job of taking Hebrew and Aramaic texts and putting them into Greek. BUT, the Latin and ENGLISH redactors did NOT do so fantastic a job! THEY wrote DOCTRINE into their translated texts!

I am merely pointing out that some of the issues with greek are resolved and clarified by the Aramaic, which the catholic church insists came second to greek. NO. CONSTANTINE forced that lie on the ‘church’ when he purged ‘christianity’ of all things Jewish, including the JEWISH LEADERSHIP. Constantine was a greek. This is why LATIN did not become the ‘lingua franca’ of Western Christianity for many years! He ruled ROME, which spoke Latin! But, HE had the scriptures translated to GREEK, because HE WAS GREEK. Latin did not come into the western church ‘officially’ for another sixty years, and it still took some time to make it defacto.

Two other examples of Aramaic primacy are:

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

We’ve all heard this, and preachers have invented some crazy explanations of this verse. They are all bunk!

In Aramaic, it reads “It is easier for a ROPE to go through the eye of a needle.”

The word is gamal, and is a homonym to Aramic ‘gamal’ meaning ‘camel’….hence, the greek redactors messed up, and translated it to ‘camel’ and not rope.

A rope, made up of multiple threads, CAN go through the eye of a needle, if it is ‘broken down’, which is EXACTLY the lesson Yeshua was trying to teach!

Another example:

Romans 5:7

“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.”

Seems a mite redundant?

Here’s why. Aramaic reads this way:

“For almost NEVER would someone die for a WICKED MAN, but, for an UPRIGHT MAN some might die.”

The greek redactors confused an Aramaic letter in the word WICKED, and translated it WRONG as RIGHTEOUS. WHAT?

So, for myself, there is abundant, internal, BIBLICAL proof that the Aramaic preceded the greek and latin texts.

My intent is not to argue over it, but to declare that men confuse things, distort things, and hide things from the pure, the ‘simple’ “Peshitta” people, who want truth. Truth is clarified better through the Aramaic texts. But, AGAIN, that does NOT mean the greek texts are bad. I still sometimes consult my King James bible and the greek texts. But, for study and reading, give me the Semitic languages any day, the ROOT language of Messiah Yeshua, the quintessential Semite.  A JEWISH RABBI.