Jeff

Identity crisis: Do believers in Messiah Yeshua join ‘the Church’ or Israel?

JeffA large number of believers in the God of Israel and Yeshua as the Messiah of God seem to have an identity crisis. Many have been taught that believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are part of “the Church” or a “new Israel,” which “died” to the Torah. However, Yeshua, the Prophets and apostle Paul said believers join ancient Israel and take on its heritage in the Torah.

For those who stick with their belief in God and maintain regular meetings with fellow believers and a regimen of reading and applying God’s words, a small fraction of the more than 1 billion who trust in Yeshua as the Messiah see themselves as part of the same Israel who stood at the base of Mount Sinai and accepted God’s instructions, including God’s weekly, monthly and annual appointments and admonitions to abstain from certain foods, associations, etc.

This is manifested in a spectrum of “replacement theology” — ranging from the most innocuous idea of Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ) believers’ takeover of the framework of Israel at Shavu’ot (Pentecost) after Yeshua’s death and resurrection to God’s closing the book on Israel at that time and writing the first chapter of something new, known as The Church. It’s a teaching said to be backed by the testimony of Yeshua and His emissaries, the apostles. 

Are we ‘children of God’ or ‘sinners’?

Apostle Yokhanan (John) wrote that God’s goal for the people of God is they overcome sin, would rely on God’s Advocate — Yeshua —  to defend them when they lose sight of God’s goal and come to God with “confidence” in their roles as “heirs” of God’s Kingdom, i.e. ones God set aside for the Kingdom, or “saints” (1st John 2:1–3:12; John 1:9–18). “Sinners” are what we were before putting our trust in the Messiah of God.

Why do we have this confidence to come to God as one comes to a loving father? God’s Messiah walked in our shoes. By what the Messiah did for us, we are cleared in God’s eyes. We still have problems and inclinations, but it’s the direction or trajectory of our lives — not a particular day or period of our lives. When we accept Yeshua’s sacrifice on our behalf, we are like a hotel under new management.

Because of Yeshua we have a right to be a part of God’s family. This Word that was made flesh was the instrument of the creation of the world. We are reborn through Messiah. He is the one who tears down our old “building” — the kind of person we used to be — and creates it anew. 

There are three main views of how the all that is came to be: 

  1. The Bible’s account, in which an intelligent Creator planned how things would be and made them happen. 
  2. The universe came into existence by chance. 
  3. A combination of Nos. 1 and 2. 

Good and bad things happen in life. Question is, who are we when things are stripped away?

‘Children of God’ as citizens of Israel vs. ‘the Church’

If we are in God’s family, we are citizens of the people of God, called Israel (Eph. 2:1-3:12). That is not replacement theology. That is what God has been revealing since ancient times.

In Isa. 56:1–8, prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah, “YHWH is salvation”) quotes King Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the first temple. Yeshua quoted Yeshayahu on God’s house, i.e. the Temple in Yerushalayim, being “a house of prayer for all people.”

Those who attach themselves to God, God will make part of the family and there is no dividing wall. There are things we have to unlearn, such as the teachings and traditions of men. God makes them citizens. It’s not Gentiles and Jews in the Kingdom of God, there is only be Israel. There will be one kingdom of God. This is not “replacement theology.” This is the truth of God’s plan of redemption. 

A lot of unsavory events will happen in the interim, but God will eventually put things back to how they were intended. Do we spend our lives just hitting the reset button over and over, or do we take God’s “cheat codes” and become overcomers?

Life is not a game, but too many approach life like a game. They don’t take it seriously. They don’t understand they need Someone who has been there — seen the outcome of various life choices — to show them hot to get through it. That is who Messiah is.

Apostle Yokhanan shows us that we are to continually move away from the evil inclinations towards righteousness and holiness.

The stuff that is outside the wall of the congregational building is evil, but it’s not reality. It’s not an accurate depiction of the world. There’s a lot of violence in popular entertainment; it’s an inclination that people possess. People like violent people, because they think the violent win.

The fallacy to that is that there is always someone with a bigger stick. The good news is, God has the biggest stick and the biggest “carrot” for us to put down our sticks and stop fighting God.

Speaker: Jeff. Summary: Tammy.


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