…SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE to live AND DRESS UP as JEWS TO BE SAVED?

Ever since I got to hear about newly emerging Messianic believers’ assemblies, I searched for and found one which I thought was really cool! But…ah never mind. What intrigued me about Messianic congregation was the way members of these assemblies try to emulate the Yehudim.

We are told to celebrate at the start of Sabbath or Friday evening just before sunset, by the blowing of the shofar, sing “Shalom Aleichem.” The following video is a follow along song (karaoke), Shalom Aleichem, sung by SusanaAllen:

CLICK the following:

Followed by the recitation of the blessing to YHWH and Messiah, sing a couple of songs, “You shall draw forth water” and “How lovely are your tents, oh Jacob”. Then the lady of the house light candles and recite:

“As I light our Shabbat candles in order to set apart and sanctify this special gift for our mishpachah, may all of us be reminded that it is the light of Messiah that shines in us and in our home. This Light of Messiah Yahshua shines into the world that the world might see His Light. As I cover my eyes may we be reminded that before we accept Yahshua as Messiah, we were blinded to our own sins and had no redemption from them. I spread the light of the candles with my hands throughout our home to express my desire as wife and mother that the light of The Messiah Yahshua and the joy of His Sabbath rest be spread throughout this place.”

The Mother or Woman of the Home lights two or three candles who circles the lights three times with her hands, drawing in the light and then she recites:

Ba-ruch a-ta Yahweh, E-lo-hey-nu me-lech ha-o-lam

Ah-sher kid-sha-nu bid-va-reh-cha ve-na-tahn la-nu et Yahshua me-shee-chaynu

Veh-tzi-va-nu leh-hee-ot or la-oh-lam.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our Elohim, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by thy commandments and commanded us to be a light unto the nations and has given us Yahshua, our Messiah, the Light of the World.

While lifting up prayers and blessings to our God are praiseworthy acts of worship, there are other rules as well such as the ritual of hand washing, etc.etc. The following video is a short demonstration of how to eat Sabbath Dinner:

CLICK the following:

This Messianic movement is even more pronounced in, of all places, Indonesia, a nation known as having the largest Muslim adherents in the world. Some of them are so enamored with being Jewish that they dress themselves up with kipha (skull cap); wrap the shoulders with tallit (prayer shawl), and hang four strands of white and blue strings call tzit-tzit (tassels), and some of them seem to have grown mustaches and beards to make as close an appearance as a Jew.  I kid you not. Go and look in the FaceBook.

And, shamefully, I confess that I too got into the same swing of things. I went to shul (church) sporting tzit-tzit around my waist, and at the start of service, wrap my shoulder with a tallit. In my search for the biblical base of wearing thallit, I came to the following explanation:

The Bible does not command us to wear a unique prayer shawl or tallit. Instead, it presumes that people wore a garment of some type to cover themselves and instructs them to add fringes (tzitzit) to the 4 corners of these (Numbers 15:38, Deuteronomy 22:12). These passages do not specify tying particular types or numbers of knots in the fringes. Nor do they specify a gender division between men and women, or between native Israelite/Hebrew people and those assimilated by them. The exact customs regarding the tying of the tzitzit and the format of the tallit are post-Biblical and rabbinical and can vary between various Jewish communities.

So, its origin is none other than rabbinicals’ tradition. But I did not know that, then! Now I know and if anybody is looking for a slightly used tallit, please contact me. Just kidding!

Now about growing mustache and beards.

No, I have not got around to growing mustache and beard because I am not equipped with abundant facial hair. And if I tried, they will for sure grow embarrassingly scrubby.  Nor did I go and bought a kipha to be affixed on the top of my head as yet, since in the recesses of my mind, I remember emissary Paul wrote about it as follows:

1Corinthians 11:3-4 And I wish you to know that the head of every man is the Messiah and the head of woman is the man, and the head of Messiah is Elohim. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, brings shame to his Head.  

So, it is well and good that I didn’t buy or get one to be clipped to the top of my head. But concerning the tzit-tzit (tassels), it is written in the Torah:

Numbers 15:37 And YHWH spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them to make tzitziyot on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners. …

And Mosheh (Moses) mentioned it again in his last sermon:

Deuteronomy 22:12 “Make tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.

Yeshua Himself is described as wearing these four strings that was touched by the woman with an issue of blood: Matthews 9:20  And see, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the tzitzit of His garment.

And it is to be expected, for He was born a Jew, lived or brought up as a Jew under the Torah for He is the completeness of the Torah personified. But as Messianic believers, do we need to bind ourselves with tzitziyot daily? We have to go back to its original purpose as written in the Torah.

Numbers 15:39-40  “And it shall be to you for a tzitzit, and you shall see it, and shall remember all the commands of YHWH and shall do them, and not search after your own heart and your own eyes after which you went whoring,  so that you remember, and shall do all My commands, and be set-apart unto your Elohim.

So it was worn to remind the Jews about all the commands of YHWH. That was for the time before Yeshua came to redeem mankind. After He was esteemed and went back to His heavenly throne, He sent Set-apart Spirit (Ruach ha Kodesh) to indwell the believers and to remind them with gentle persuasions about the commands of YHWH.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Set-apart Spirit, whom the Father shall send in My Name, He shall teach you all, and remind you of all that I said to you …

John 16:13 “But when He comes, the Spirit of the Truth, He shall guide you into all the truth. For He shall not speak from Himself, but whatever He hears He shall speak, and He shall announce to you what is to come.

Going back to the Jewish-ness of converted “nations” (gentiles), it may very well be spurred by the following passage:

Ephesians 2:11-13  Therefore remember that you, once gentiles {1} in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, Footnote: {1} 1 Corinthians 12:2. that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world.  But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.

Before we were redeemed by YeshuaMesiah, the above highlighted texts say that we were excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl.  That was what prompted me to pursue and joint the “back to the Hebraic root” movement. That phrase is grossly misunderstood as to make ones’ appearance as close to a Jew as possible, as well. Some of the members of the assembly I got involved with even went so far as to undergo adult circumcision.  I don’t know about those in Indonesia and elsewhere.

From the above quoted passage, let us look closely at the matter of circumcision.  The Jews paraded and prided themselves as the circumcised; and we gentiles are the uncircumcised.

To begin with, what was the true intention of the ritual of circumcision? Let us go back to the time of father Abraham:

Genesis 17:8-10 “And I shall give to you and your seed after you the land of your sojourning, all the land of Kenaʽan, as an everlasting possession. And I shall be their Elohim.” And Elohim said to Abraham, “As for you, guard My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations. “This is My covenant which you guard between Me and you, and your seed after you: Every male child among you is to be circumcised.

So it was established on the basis of Abrahamic covenant for land or “land grant”! Are we (regenerated gentiles) to be circumcised as well? Let us see what Paul (Sha’ul), the Torah expert had to say about that?

What is the current view of some of the Jewish families regarding circumcision? Let us watch the following video by CLICKING:

NOTE: I use the name Paul and Sha’ul interchangeably, so is Jesus and Yeshua.

Why is Paul’s teaching to be reckoned with? Because his emissary status was not man appointed but came directly from Yeshua as he wrote truthfully as follows: Galatians 1:1 Sha’ul, an emissary – not from men, nor by a man, but by Yeshua Messiah and Elohim the Father who raised Him from the dead –

And Sha’ul is pretty blunt concerning circumcision. Why?

In the freedom with which Messiah has made us free, stand firm, then, and do not again be held with a yoke of slavery.  See, I,  Sha’ul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Messiah shall be of no use to you.  And I witness again to every man being circumcised that he is a debtor to do the entire Torah.  You who are declared right by Torah have severed yourselves from Messiah, you have fallen from favour.   For we, in Spirit, by belief, eagerly wait for the expectation of righteousness. For in Messiah Yeshua either circumcision nor un-circumcision has any strength,   but belief working through love.  Galatians 5:1-6

What Paul referred to as a yoke of slavery is the Torah.

Acts 15:7-10 And when there had been much dispute, Kĕpha rose up and said to them, “Men, brothers, you know that a good while ago Elohim chose among us, that by my mouth the gentiles should hear the word of the Good News and believe. 8 “And Elohim, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Set-apart Spirit, as also to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by belief. 10 “Now then, why do you try Elohim by putting a yoke on the neck of the taught ones which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

The sobering remarks? The Torah, Kepha said is “a yoke” on the neck which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? If it is a yoke which could not be borne even by the Yehudim including the senior member of the taught ones of YESHUA Messiah, then it follows that I will have a very slim or even worse, not even a sliver of hope, of being able to bear that. And, if we pursue upon such a direction, Kepha, the first century elder of the Messianic community said, we are “trying Elohim” as well. If one has the fear of Elohim, one won’t even think of doing what He dislikes much less trying Him.

Then, what does “But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah”, refer to?

Let us go back to the book of Galatians 5 verse 4:

You who are declared right by Torah have severed yourselves from Messiah, you have fallen from favour.  

So the citizens of Yisrael, who are known to be keepers of the covenants of promise, since they were and most of them still are adherents of obtaining righteousness through Torah keeping, have likewise fallen from favour.

Galatians 2:16  knowing that a man is not declared right by works of Torah, but through belief in Yeshua Messiah, even we have believed in Messiah Yershua, in order to be declared right by belief in Messiah and not by works of Torah, because by works of Torah no flesh shall be declared right.

The following verses talk about the status of regenerated souls of both Jews and gentiles:

Ephesians 2:14-16 For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier, having abolished in His flesh the enmity – the Torah of the commands in dogma – so as to create in Himself one renewed man from the two, thus making peace, and to completely restore to favour both of them unto Elohim in one body through the stake, having destroyed the enmity by it.  

In Yeshua Messiah, there is no more Jew nor gentiles, no more circumcised nor uncircumcised.

Galatians 6:15 For in Messiah Yeshua neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but a renewed creature.{1} Footnote: {1} 1 Corinthians 7:19, Romans 2:26-29, 2 Corinthians 5:17. 

So why bring up the question of citizenship of Yisrael? Well, before Yeshua was esteemed, the citizens of Yisrael was unique when compared to the rest of the world. They obtained their land as a gift from ElohimTzebaot. They received the Torah as its custodians and keeper. They existed as a nation set apart from others to birth the Yeshua the Son of Elohim. But in terms of transgressing they were and still are no better than the rest of the world. But the real target is as follows:

Ephesians 2:19  So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, {1} Footnote: {1} Romans 11:17-24, Isaiah 14:1.

Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in the heavens, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the MasterYeshuaMessiah…

Therefore, presently, the citizenship of Yisrael is not important other than to the Jews. Both Jews and gentiles should aim for the heavenly citizenship with the rest of the set-apart (holy) ones and members of the household of Elohim!

Let me close with this observation, we are not required to emulate the Jews, especially in their present condition.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by favour you have been saved, through belief, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim, it is not by works, so that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua unto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

And Yeshua said: John 13:34  “A renewed command I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Paul, the Torah expert, made the same observation which satisfies both the Torah and the Renewed Command:

For you, brothers, have been called to freedom, only do not use freedom as an occasion for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  For the entire Torah is completed in one word, in this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

Let us do that so that we sin no more!

Ha KadoshbaruchHu.

By AaronHalim

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