Pastor Mark’s response:
Is one of the central goals of the Messianic/Hebrew roots movement to convert Jews to belief in Yeshua or to "get Jews saved"? If not, what is the purpose of non-Jews emulating Jews in terminology and certain practices?
I can’t speak for everyone but only for myself. First I would say that there probably really is no central goal of the Hebrew roots movement. Everyone is there for different multiple reasons. As long as you have humans and religions you will have multiple motives. I find some just want to build kingdoms to themselves not unlike some of the Pharisees and Sadducees and many Christian ministers of today. Here I am speaking of many of the leaders. Also, just like the multiple denominations in both Judaism and Christianity you can’t lump the Messianic/Hebrew Roots movements into one motivation.
With that said let me tell you what the over-riding motivation I find with the 600 people who attend our congregation and the 40,000 listeners we have on the internet and the one million hits (on our web site) we get every month what I am hearing from individuals from all denominations and all over the world. We have a great polling pool because of all the different cultures / ethnic groups as well that we have. The central goal is to know YHVH and to make Him known. Everyone tells me they have been robbed. Their goal is a relationship with the Living God and they feel they’ve been sold a bill of goods.
A verse says: Jeremiah 16:19 “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.”
As far as non-Jews emulating Jews in practices and terminology it has nothing to do with trying to convert them but as simple as why do people where name brand clothing of their favorite sports team or want to be like people they admire be they sports heroes, movie stars, etc. Sure you have wan-a-be Jews who are trying to find their identity in Judaism. Personally, I want to find my identity in being like a child of the Living God. You can’t question everyone’s motives as a group but I think it’s like a younger brother wanting to be like his older brother.
I can’t help but think of the verse: Devarim(Deuteronomy) 4:6-8 “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”
I don’t think YHVH wanted the nations who hear of these statutes to not want to emulate them. Israel was to be a light to the nations to draw them to the Living God. Not so the nations could hear of the statutes then ignore them.
To me, here is the good news / besorah: Issiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says unto Zion, Your God reigns.”
My goal is not to convert Jews to Christianity but to bring non-Jews to a better understanding of YHVH through a better understanding of Torah. I think most Christians do not know YHVH as He really is but know Him as they have tried to create Him in their image rather than understanding they were created in His image.
Many Christians believe they have a relationship with YHVH but they don’t. As far as “who’s in” and “who is not in” when it comes to a relationship with YHVH I have the same answer. That is above my pay grade! Who am I to say who has a relationship with YHVH and who doesn’t? I am not the door keeper. I don’t know people’s hearts and who am I to say to YHVH who is allowed in the Olam Haba (the age of the Messiah) and who is not. Sorry but that authority was not given to me neither would I want it.
As far as Yeshua goes I believe that He is the one Moses spoke of: Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;”
De 18:18 “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
Joseph was not recognized by his brothers because he looked Egyptian and spoke another language. Yet he was the one that brought salvation to Israel. I believe Christianity has hijacked Yeshua and has been presenting an Egyptian which is why Yeshua is not recognized. Just as Jewish children were taken, converted to Christianity and not given back to their parents after the holocaust the same has happened to Yeshua. I believe he desires to go home.
The time is coming when the Jewish people will recognize the role Yeshua played and they will then fulfill their mission in taking Torah to the nations. They will straighten out the Christians theology in what Yeshua was really saying. There will be Christians who will be saying “what can these Jews know about Yeshua” when in actuality (they) will have the correct understanding. In Christianity as you probably know there will be an antichrist and false prophet who deceive the world. They also believe Moses and Elijah will come back. What’s funny is Moses and Elijah will return saying return to Torah and they will they think what do these Jews think they are talking about they must be the antichrist and the false prophet. Then there will be a “slick willy” preacher saying “Forsake Torah, you’re not under the law” and he will be the antichrist they all fall for.