In this tract, we explain the group calling themselves Messianic Christians. They teach that we should focus on the Old Testament laws, essentially making them modern-day Judaizers. Topics:
What the Messianic Christians are about | To be a son of Abraham now is to be part of the church. | Do we have to obey the OT law? | The Jerusalem Council | Do you really want to identify with the Jews that crucify our Lord | Should we evangelize the Jews?
cult11 The Truth About Messianic Christians
By Pastor David Cox
[cult11] v1 © 2014 www.coxtracts.com
this tract can be photocopied and printed freely
Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
There is a new group that has gone out to Christianity called “Messianic Christians.” They say they believe in the Old and the NEW Testaments. They believe that Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament. And their heavy contention is that that “as Christians” we should follow the Law of Moses still like the OT saints.
They want to meet on Saturday instead of Sunday, or, in addition to Sunday, but their main idea is focused on the Jewish religion of the Old Testament, intending to make it obligatory for Christians today.
What the Messianic Christians claim
John 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament, and the most important point here is Jesus, his teachings and his life. This is clearer in the gospels, than in the prophecies and other information of the OT. Why do you want to discard the lucid New Testament teachings and concentrate on the more unclear prophecies?
They argue that the church which is presented in the NT is not biblical. They try to return to the Law of Moses. Actually, they are Jews still, and are not really Christians. They say they accept the NT, but they teach principally the OT, that the Old Testament is more important than the New Testament.
The Book of the Hebrews
This group does not really study the entire Bible. The Bible includes THE TWO TESTAMENTS. And in both, the Messiah is declared, so why do they despise and exclude the New Testament? In the OT, God dealt with his people, Israel. God ended this treatment after many years and exhortations, because the Jews did not respond to God. TODAY, GOD IS NOT USING ISRAEL! Jeremiah 31:31-33 “I will make a new covenant.” The OT made this quite clear to any Jew with an open heart. In the NT, God began with his new people (the church), composed mainly of Gentiles. God changed customs and practices, leaving aside the law of Moses. In this context, God gave the book “to the Hebrews”, who speaks to the Jew who believes in Jesus as his Christ or Savior.
Hebrews 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: (God executed his threat, and He cut off the privileges of God and the nation of Israel) 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
The author of Hebrews presents Jesus as better than Moses and better than the Law (the imperfect Law of the OT). God points out that the Jew will not “enter into his rest ,” that is, he will not be saved because he believes in works instead of faith. The entire book of Hebrews repeatedly affirms the inferiority of the system of Moses (the law), changing this to the superiority of the NT.
Romans does the same, and declares that the Christian is currently not under the law of Moses (Romans 6:14-15 ” for you are not under the law “; Romans 7:6 ”we are delivered from the law”). The superior form is then in the church (using the Gentiles), grace, love and everything highlighted in the New Testament.
Therefore, if the Old Testament is studied instead of the NT, then this is madness. The OT speaks in shadows and sketchy visions of the Law. The NT speaks specifically of facts, details, events and words of the Messiah, but in the context of changing from the Law to Grace.
What is our main focus? Study the NT first, then analyze what the OT says in the light of the NT. If you think that by following the law you save yourself or give yourself a spiritual advantage, or you justify yourself (walk faithfully in it) Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” “Justifying” is the meaning of being accepted by God (salvation), but justice is the facts that satisfy the Lord (sanctification).
To be the Son of Abraham is now to be part of the Church
Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
If one is of Christ (having faith in Him), then he is part of this blessed lineage of Abraham, and he enters the same promise of salvation that Abraham had. That does not mean that he is a partaker of God’s promises to Abraham. Messianic Christians claim to be “NT Christians”, recognizing Jesus as the Messiah and that they accept the NT but they also believe in and practice the OT law (just like the Jews did, as a works salvation). They present their loyalty to the New Testament when they want to recruit people. But once they bring new people inside their group, they complain that the Christians put too much emphasis and importance on the NT. They want to instruct Christians to be under the Law of Moses, as the Jews treated in Acts 15 (it called being a Judaizer).
Do we have to comply with the Law of the OT?
This group ensures that they comply and are under the “entire law of Moses.” They say that for that reason, they are better than evangelical Christians. Are there any of them that offer animals on the altar in the one and only temple in Jerusalem? No. Have you done this even once in your life? No. Have you made a pilgrimage to the temple to worship once? No. These Messianic Jews today selected which commandments they want to follow, and the others they leave untouched. Yet they promote themselves as keeping BOTH Testaments, not just the New Testament. They will not admit that it is impossible to fulfill any commandment by touching the temple (which no longer exists and is a Muslim holy site).
The Jerusalem Council
In the first years of the church, there were teachers who left Jerusalem, and arriving at the church in Antioch, said: Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to see this. Acts 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses
After the discussion, Paul concluded with the apostles and elders (15:2), that Acts 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Simon Peter added, Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. The people of God now are not Israel, but the Church composed mainly of Gentiles, not only Jews.
Acts 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.).
Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. 22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
The group of Messianic Christians “worries the souls of the Gentiles to follow the Mosaic Law.“ What more is needed to highlight that this movement is wrong? Are not the words of Peter, Paul, the apostles and the elders of the early church enough to see we are not to follow the OT law like the Jews of old? They ignore the transition from physical Israel to spiritual Israel, which is now the church of God. They are denying the clear and obvious teaching of the NT.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Giving up portions of the Bible is bad, if God Himself does not indicate it. In this case, there are eternal principles in the OT that we still cling to. But the law per se isn’t really one of them.
Do you really want to be a Christian Jew?
What they claim is to drag Christians to Judaism, although theoretically, they believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. There are Jews who are of Jewish race. But these are not substantially Jews of the Jewish religion. There are religious Jews because they want to be included with them in their nationality, their promises from God. These Messianic Jews argue that all names are Jewish, and that is why one should use only Hebrew names even in the New Testament.
Even being of the Jewish race does not force you to be Jewish! Jesus clarified it in John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. A true “son of God” is a person who follows Abraham’s faith, not someone who belongs to Abraham’s lineage of necessity. He had a lot of offspring from his other wives apart from Sara. Being a descendant of Abraham from the physical point of view, HAS NO ADVANTAGES NOR BENEFITS.
Pilate declared the innocence of Jesus and should have freed him. But THE JEWS required his death. Pilate gave the sentence and the Jews said in Matthew 27:25
…he said: His blood be upon us, and our children.
Analyzing this part of the Bible, and being saved by faith, do you want to join with those who crucified your Lord and Savior? Do you want the guilt of his blood on you? Are you saying that you would like to be part of them? Why? This would be a satanic desire! He loved you, died for you, and yet do you want to be manifestly identified with those who unjustly crucified him?
Should we evangelize especially the Jews?
Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Paul STOPPED EVANGELIZING THE JEWS to focus on the Gentiles. Being biblical, we should concentrate our efforts on those who welcome the gospel. If someone is interested in salvation, we should evangelize them first. If they are indifferent to the gospel, there comes a point in cutting them off from our efforts, and we turn to those interested. In those who did not want to obey God, Paul did not spend much effort.
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Paul concluded that the Jew HAS NO PRIVILEGE OR ADVANTAGE BEFORE THE LORD. We SHOULD NOT KNEEL before the Jews making a great effort to win over Christ. If you want to be saved, you have to enter Christ like any other sinner.
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In this tract, we explain the group calling themselves Messianic Christians. They teach that we should focus on the Old Testament laws, essentially making them modern-day Judaizers. Topics: What the Messianic Christians are about | To be a son of Abraham now is to be part of the church. | Do we have to obey the OT law? | The Jerusalem Council | Do you really want to identify with the Jews that crucify our Lord | Should we evangelize the Jews
|Date:||December 11, 2019|