The Christian’s haggis is Judaism’s poison: Christ in Messianic Judaism

Messianic Judaism” claims to be a Judaic religion, not a Christian one. I, with the Jew, consider Messianic Judaism one among many Christian movements/denominations. Messianic Judaism is not a uniform movement, so it would be more accurate to speak of Messianic Judaisms. One could divide Messianic Judaism into two large groups in terms of Unitarianism versus Trinitarianism. Both of these groups are monotheistic. In the former, however, there is one God (one divine nature/being) in one person (the Father – of human beings), while in the latter there is one God (one divine nature/being) in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, Unitarian Messianic Judaism (they would not use the term “unitarian” but simply call themselves “monotheistic”) sees Jesus as a creature of God, whereas Trinitarian Messianic Judaism sees Jesus as a person with two natures – divine and human, where his divine nature shares all the attributes of the Father, while his human nature is, by definition, a creaturely nature.

I observe that these two macro-Messianic movements generally have contrary beliefs about the salvific relationship between Christ/Mashiach and the Jew. Unitarians believe that faith in Christ is not necessary for salvation, while the Trinitarians hold that no one can be saved without faith in Christ. It is not difficult to understand the reason for these contrary views: if Christ is merely a creature (the Unitarian view), a messenger, it would be idolatry to believe in Christ when one should believe in God, the one true God. If, however, Christ is divine, that is, IS, then it makes total sense to say that if you reject faith in Christ, you will not be saved. The Bible is so clear that unless one is “in Christ,” one cannot come to the Father. The New Testament, especially Paul the Apostle, uses the term “in Christ” or permutations of it dozens of times. But then many Unitarian Messianic Jews don’t like Paul. Christians are born of God (born again), which entails that Christ >dwells – through the Holy Spirit – in them. Ephesians 3:16 – “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” All true Christians have Christ dwelling in them, and they dwelling in Christ. (In Christ and with Christ: I wanna be with you-hoo-hoo. But, not yet).

The above is background to an email conversation that I, OnedaringJew, initiated with a Unitarian Messianic Jew (a non-Jewish one, as most Messianic Jews are), who is a long-standing friend, with whom I hadn’t corresponded for a few years. I add my comments (in italics) after each exchange. 

Me

Am I right in assuming that you still believe that the Son of God was created by the father. If so, how do you understand  John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

The distinction between “only true God” and “Jesus Christ whom you have sent” is obvious. So why would I think that this verse could be used to substantiate the trinitarian position that “Jesus Christ whom you have sent” is not merely an emissary but also someone who shared the only true God’s nature – his divinity? I didn’t think that this verse could be used to defend the doctrine of the trinity. I suspected that my friend would home in on that part of the verse, and miss the other part, which I intended to use to defend the trinity – “… be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). My friend, predictably, replied:

Friend

That verse is not saying that Jesus Christ is God.

1.     The only true God

2.     Jesus Christ

It does not say “you are the only true God and Jesus Christ.” Can God send himself?

Yeshua is the son of God – so are you. Yeshua was born of man – so are you. Does that make you God?

Me

Since when is it eternal life to know “me” (OnedaringJew)?

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and One-very-daring-Jew.

I framed my question “Since when is it eternal life to know me” in response to my friend’s “Yeshua is the son of God – so are you; Yeshua was born of man – so are you.” Recall our verse: John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” My friend is arguing that Jesus is a creature like me. The verse says, though, that eternal life is to know not only the father but also to know Jesus Christ.” So, it would be blasphemy of any creature – moi, for example, to say “it is eternal life to know me.” So, if Jesus is a mere creature, he would also be guilty of blasphemy. 

Friend

Well said – but the verse does not say you are Jesus Christ. The verse says Eternal life = Know God Know Yeshua. It does not say know God who is Jesus Christ Jesus was born of a woman. Was God born of a woman? God IS.

Me

Jesus for you is a creature. The verse says that eternal life is only possible if one knows Jesus. Conclusion: eternal life is not possible unless one knows who you say is a mere creature – Jesus. Yet the verse states that it is not enough to know God through (the intermediary) Jesus, but 1. one has to know Jesus himself. 2. Do you believe that  a Jew who does not know – “know” includes  trusting in the one who said “before Abraham I am” to reconcile him to the Father – will have eternal life?

I received no reply to this last email. Unitarians (some “Messianic Jews” and other kinds of unitarians) are stuck with surely what they must see is a contradiction – of their own making, namely that eternal life only comes through knowing a divine being – the only divine being, yet – here’s the messianic rub – without knowing Jesus, the Son of God, one cannot have eternal life. Therefore, the Son of God must be a divine being/essence/nature. Recall that the person of Son of God – who irrupted into time and took on a human nature – in union with the person of the Father (and the person of the Holy Spirit) refer to the “only God.” If this is incorrect, then it makes no sense to say that eternal life is to know Jesus Christ.

As to my question, Do you believe that  a Jew who does not know – “know” includes  trusting in the one who said “before Abraham I am” to reconcile him to the Father – will have eternal life?; my friend kept mum; probably because most Unitarian Messianic Jews believe that devout Jews do not need to have faith in Jesus Christ to be saved. This is also the (non-)belief of many Zionist Christians who have a “dual-covenant” theology; for example, John Hagee. For Hagee, a Christian’s haggis is a Jew’s poison.


I leave my friend for another friend, the Jewish “YourPhariseeFriend,” where we shall see that the Jewish view of Jesus has much in common with the Unitarian Messianic Jew’s rejection of the divinity of Christ.

“Christians, says YourPhariseeFriend in his “Heart of a Relationship” contend that Jesus was a manifestation of God. They compare Jesus to the fire of the burning bush that Moses saw at Horeb (Exodus 3:4), to the pillar of cloud that led the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21), and to the Angel of the Lord that appears throughout the Jewish Scriptures (Exodus 23:20; Judges 6:12; Isaiah 63:9). This argument is rooted in a misunderstanding of the relationship that the Jewish people share with God. The relationship between God and Israel includes many activities that are ancillary to the essence of the relationship. The essence of the relationship is God’s love for Israel and Israel’s love and reverence for God. As expressions of His love, God guides His people, He speaks to their prophets, and he protects them from their enemies. As expressions of Israel’s heart for God we offer sacrifices, we build a Temple and we follow His Law. All of these activities are only part of the relationship inasmuch as they express the heart of one party to the other. If you remove the heart from these activities, they remain empty husks.”

Here is the historic Christian position on the role of Christ in salvation as described by Scott Oliphint in his “Reasons for Faith: Philosophy in the Service of Theology.”

1. “Every philosophical position must rely on some outside source(s) of authority; a Christian philosophy must rely on God’s revelation of himself in his Word. Second, it is just the exclusivity of Christianity that is supposed to be (in part), not a reason for avoiding its use, but the motivation behind the communication of biblical truth. We tell others who are outside of Christ about him so that, by God’s Holy Spirit, they might repent and believe. If it were the case, as some (e.g., ]ohn Hick) would hold, that Christianity is meant to be all-inclusive, then there would be little need for the communication of biblical truth. Because, however, orthodox Christianity has always held that there is no salvation outside of Christ, We speak of him and teach him and preach him, for it is by that very communication that God is pleased to bring some to himself.”

2. “The fact that God himself takes on covenantal properties, properties that are not essential to him, but that nevertheless serve to characterize him, is the central focus of the good news of Scripture. It defines the good news for us – the news that God has come in the flesh and has, as God in the flesh, accomplished salvation for sinners. This is the preeminent truth of Scripture. It is the covenant, and it defines what we mean by covenant. In creating, God has “come down”; he has taken on that which is foreign to his essential being in order to relate to that which is essentially different from him.”

3. “One of the initial points to be made here is that our understanding of God is to be guided, directed, formed, and fashioned by who Christ is, The reason, therefore, that we are not to be deluded with plausible arguments is that ‘all the treasures of Wisdom and knowledge’ [Colossians 2:3] are found only in Christ.”

oliphint reasons for faith

For Jews and Unitarian Messianic Jews, the divinity of Christ is a mythical mist; for them “ethereal life is to know Jesus Christ whom he (God) has sent.” For Christians, in blessed contrast “eternal life is to know Jesus Christ whom he has sent.”

Look inside.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Christian’s haggis is Judaism’s poison: Christ in Messianic Judaism

  1. I’ve heard it said (many times) that it’s not what you know but who you know . . . I didn’t know it also applied to the after-life!

  2. Shalom! Nice artice, but the Unitarian Messianic Jew is not being fairly represented. He apparently dropped out of the conversation? Unitarianism does not deny a superior status to Messiah as being a divine being. Angels are divine beings. The one who stands at G-d’s right hand has various names.

    Messiah is said by the rabbis to have been in G-d’s mind from the beginning. Though the “firstborn of all creation,” through whom G-d made the rest of creation, as exalted as he may be and perfect in obedience, the Son of G-d, still there is something higher: The G-d of Jesus, G-d the Father. He only is G-d. There are plenty of places in Scripture which say, “G-d the Father.” There are none that say, “G-d the Son,” nor “G-d the Holy Spirit.”

    G-d is not a man, nor the son of man (Numbers 23:19). Jesus was both a man and called himself, “son of man.” Luke gives Jesus’ genealogy as being through the Messianic line of Natan from David, his father being Joseph son of Heli. Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph, son of Jacob, bethrothed to Miriam (Mary) which goes back to Solomon, which is not the Messianic line. Without biologically being of the paternal line given by Luke, Jeshua (Jesus) could not be Messiah.

    (The rabbis misinterpreted the term “mamzer,” which blinded them from seeing Jesus in his true light. Nazareth was the place set aside for women who had been violated by Roman soldiers to raise their children. Thus the question: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” According to Jewish midrash, Joseph, the biological father, was son of an apostate Jew and Roman soldier who was called Joseph Pandera. He violated Miriam when she was bethrothed to Joseph son of Jacob. By a misinterpretation of “mamzer,” Jesus was considered illegitimate by the rabbis and not qualified to sit with the elders. The doctrine of the “virgin birth” has obscured all this and made it a tabu subject. But the underlying, unspoken theme in the gospels concerning rabbinic opposition stems from this. Luke was making the point that in spite of all this, Joseph, son of Heli, was of the Messianic line. “Mamzer” by the way, as the Karaites have pointed out, refers to extinct tribes that obstructed Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land. It does not mean “bastard.”)

    Jesus said, “Salvation is from the Jews,” to the Samaritan woman. He also said, “You don’t know what you worship; we know what we worship.” He included himself in that statement. He said the Father seeks true worshippers to worship Him in spirit and in truth. The Jewish people know what they worship–Avinu Malkhenu–Our Father our King– to whom Jesus ascended: “Our Father, who art in Heaven.” The Trinity doctrine obscures this in order to allow Japheth to enter the tents of Shem. But it is an allowance the rabbis call “sheetoof,” meaning, “association” and “collaboration,” which allows Christians to be considered monotheists in spite of distorting the nature of G-d’s unity. Just some thoughts to consider . . .

  3. There are 2 problems with calling Augustinians and Calvinists Zionists Christians. 1) People call Christians, who Support Zionism, Zionist Christians. There are Zionist Muslims, i.e. Muslims who support Zionism. Augustinians and Calvinists don’t support Zionism; they reject Jews, especially Zionist Jews, as the Synagogue of Satan. 2) There is no such thing as Zionist Christians just like there no such thing as Islamist Christians. To be a Zionist, a person must be a Jew just like to be an Islamist, a person must be a Muslim. Also, actual Unitarians are Arians, which means that they believe that the Father is Almighty God & Unbegotten God and that the Son (the Word) is Mighty God and Begotten God. Don’t forget Job 1 and Genesis 6 states that angels are sons of God, i.e. gods. However, Deuteronomy 6:4 clearly states that HaShem is our God, Hashem alone. The Holy Tanakh states that Hashem is the Father. The Father is the only true God just as Yahshua Ha-Mashiach states in John 17. Psalm Chapter 2 states that HaShem begot the Messiah. Prophet Isaiah prophesied the birth of Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6). The creed of Prophet-King David is Psalm 110:1, which is HaShem and the Lord (i.e. Master), that will be priest forever. The creed of Apostle Paul is in 1 Corinthians 8:6, which is one God, the Father and one Lord (i.e. Master), Yahshua Ha-Mashiach. Apostle Paul stated that Yahshua Ha-Mashiach is the High priest. Apostle Paul also stated that Yahshua Ha-Mashiach is an Apostle (One who is sent) just like Yahshua Ha-Mashiach stated in John 17. The people you are referring to are Biblical Unitarians, they don’t believe that the Son was first eternally begotten and then temporally begotten; they believe that the Son was a created human, which is false because Yahshua Ha-Mashiach stated in John 17, that He was with the Father before the world was. Philo Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) wrote that the Word is neither uncreated as God is, nor created as men are, but occupies a middle position. Furthermore, asserting that Yahshua Ha-Mashiach must be the 2nd person of the Trinity just because John 17 states that to be saved a person must know God and know Yahshua Ha-Mashiach is nothing but conjecture, especially when Yahshua is the name of the Son of Man and not the name of the Mighty God because Phil 2 states that He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man. Phil 2 doesn’t state that Mighty God took on a human nature as Augustinians and Calvinists assert. John 17 doesn’t state that a person is saved by believing in Yahshua Ha-MAshiach as the 2nd person of the Trinity. 1 John 3 defines what it means to know Yahshua Ha-Mashiach; a person who knows Yahshua Ha-Mashiach is a person who lives without sin. Matthew 28:19 is an interpolation just like 1 john 5:7&8. Yahshua Ha-Mashiach stated that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all nations. {{{Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.}}} Acts 2:38 states “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the NAME of Yahshua Ha-Mashiach for the forgiveness of your sins”. Apostle Paul stated to do everything in the NAME of Yahshua Ha-Mashiach. {{{Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.}}} Apostle Paul wrote that baptism is in the NAME of the one who died. {{{1 Corinthians 1 12Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?}}} {{{Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.}}} The Father didn’t die, that is the 3rd century heresy of Patripassianism. Baptism from in the NAME of Yahshua Ha-Mashiach was changed to baptism in the name of the Trinity in the late 2nd century. In Eusebius’ Church History, Matthew 28:19 is quoted as “in My Name”. Blessings and peace of Hashem be upon you. Peace of Yahshua Ha-Mashiach.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s