Messianic Jew Newsletter - March /1/2005 - Adar-alef 21, 5765


Cd. Juarez, Chih, Mexico

Shalom! (Peace!) to all who remember us and pray for us. This is my first bulletin for the year 2005. Since the beginning of the year, G-d sets in my heart to investigate about a non pleasant subject. Several weeks of research and prayer will be reflected on this essay.

I have been in spiritual fights from several fronts. But Messiah never sends us to war naked and with a fake sword. Thanks G-d, he has supplied financially and in health. One thought is that, to purify our faith, G-d put us in the fire- trials. I'm not bored...

Doņa Caro some days is up and others down, but generally speaking she's fine. She is being strengthened by this trial.

I need to begin my essay. I omit names and specific places, but these are real facts. I want to know your opinions and questions. One note to my English speaking friends: You need to understand the mexican culture and the mix-breed environment of the US-Mexican Border.


"From that moment many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about him. So Yeshua asked the Twelve, 'Do you also want to leave?' Shimon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Your words are words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are God's Holy One.'" John 6:66-69.

Case 1:
Susan attends a Christian Church. She loves Jesus and studies her Bible. She does not miss a Sunday in church. Her pastor invites a group of messianic Jews for a night of praise and worship. Susan bought some CDs, because she enjoyed the music! She prays for the peace of Jerusalem and shows love for the Jewish people. Her pastor is a Christian-Zionist.

One Friday night, her pastor invited a jewish family. This family shows to the congregation the liturgy used for "Erev Shabbat." Susan liked the prayers, songs and food for Shabbat. As a matter of fact another day, the women of her congregation received classes how to bake the special braided bread called "Challah". She recites by memory some blessings in Hebrew. She is discovering the jewish roots of her Christian faith.

Several months passed by, Susan's attention is caught, because her pastor mentions some unknown words and names. The pastor quotes part of the Talmud, comments some midrashim and even he uses some nice jewish jokes! The Internet gives the opportunity to contact different people on different branches of Judaism. Little by little, Yeshua (Jesus) is barely mentioned in the sermons.

One Sunday morning the pastor says: "Friends, I want to announce that my family and I are studying with a Chabad-Luvatvicher Rabbi. He's wonderful! Honestly speaking, today I'm not longer your pastor, because I will be circumcised and will pass the conversion to the ultra-orthodoxy. Now I believe Yeshua is a fake Messiah. Messiah has not yet come to Israel. The Rebbe Menachem M. Schneerson can qualify as Messiah." Susan is surprised; half of the congregation turns to rabbinical Judaism following its former pastor.

Susan's mind is full of questions: What happened here?, If the pastor was trained in a Bible Institute or Seminary, what kind of teaching he received there? Why the change?


Case 2:
Cesar cover his head with a kippa. He enters in the meeting. All the men are wearing kippas. He's nervous. It's the first time he is in a Messianic Synagogue. He likes how the Torah Scroll is unrolled on the bimah. One man reads it in Hebrew. Cesar learns the hebrew name of Jesus "Yeshua". At the end of the service, he's still nervous. He was raised roman-catholic. His parents both are ethnically jewish, but with Roman Catholic beliefs. Cesar is afraid of rejection because of his background as "converso" "marrano" or "bnei anusim", but instead he's warmly welcome in the fellowship.

He studies the jewish liturgy by some months. He learned how to use the Siddur (prayer book). He memorizes Hebrew. He researched different jewish cultures and traditions. On his own opinion he's learning the Jewish face of Messiah.

One Shabbat he visited a traditional conservative synagogue (not believers in Yeshua). He's able to now to follow the service on the Siddur. On the Oneg (meal) the chazzan (cantor) asked his name. The chazzan congratulated the new visitor in how well he recited the prayers. Cesar feels at home, with the people he belongs to. He keeps going to that synagogue. Several months passed and the conservative rabbi is preparing him for the rabbinical conversion. Later on, he will be Bar-Mitzvah.

Meanwhile a friend of the messianic congregation will be Bar-Mitzvah too. Cesar is invited. But Cesar has changed. Now he looks down on his friends. They eat hamburgers with cheese. They do not use enough Hebrew. They break different rules of the traditions. They do not say the prayers and daven correctly. He sees his old acquaintances as cartoons. He needs to take a break... he will return for the social gathering... songs and prayers on "that Name". He can not withstand it. Do they ignore that our jewish sages classified this as idolatry? The Talmud mentions him as Yeshu and not Yeshua.

The meeting ends, and while Cesar is driving home, he thinks that he does not need a mediator... and his poor friends, they still need one...


They may seem isolated cases, but they are increasing each day. I had contact with 10 persons, whom I interviewed. Their experiences and backgrounds are diverse. Well educated professionals as people only with elementary school. Many of them share postmodern values (rejection of absolute truths, accepting globalization, multiculturalism and use of high technology.)

On my conclusions I found some common factors shared by many of the cases.

a) Some of the people were taught Christian Doctrine, under the Roman-Catholic didactic scheme . This scheme is based in the presumption of "the teacher knows all and the student has not right to question." This is called "dogma". Sadly, some messianic fellowships follow this model.

I once heard the following suggestion in a messianic congregation: " Carlos, you need to take out ALL you know, so you can be filled with the new. The former things are useless." The comments meant to leave my fundamentalist beliefs in order to absorb rabbinical teachings.

b) Deep desire of profound knowledge, without questioning the sources.- Examples: There are some teaching that if you are not worship G-d with Hassidic songs, then your praising is not accepted. If you are praying in the name of Jesus, in reality you are invoking Zeus the Greek god. etc.

c) Convictions are not deep.- Problems mainly with "compromise" and "faithfulness".

d) Personal sense of belonging, fulfilled by "Judaism." One lady wanted to be called by her Bat Mitzvah name. She got it two years ago, and is reluctant to use her "gentile" name.

e) For some protestant pastors, their interest in judaism was raised on the Summer courses given by some denominations. The material showed some notes, explanations and experiences in the jewish culture & jewish religion.

f) Conflict between the Christian individualism ("God and I") versus the strong point on the communitary jewish life ("nobody must live outside the community. G-d made a covenant with the nation of Israel.")

g) Resentment of some messianics with their former protestant churches or denominations, because of their misunderstood "jewish life". Some of them commented about the trend in some churches of "controlling" their members.

h) An exacerbated religiosity on the individuals.

i) The majority was not being exposed to the world of the rabbinical thinking before. Their vision of Judaism is only to the orthodoxy. Some of them ignored the other branches of judaism (conservative, reform and humanistic), besides the ultraorthodox sects.

j) Documents downloaded from Internet. (For my surprise a whole congregation has been absorbing Orthodox Judaism, without setting a foot in a community)

As result of the world of different opinions in Judaism, the messianic movement is not an exception. One of the problems I see is the authority given to the rabbinical writings as G-d inspired. I will copy some paragraphs of the book "Growing in Messiah: Vital Truths for maturing messianic believers" Word of Messiah Ministries 1998) by Sam Nadler:

"An Orthodox Jewish man was asked by a believing Jewish acquaintance to read Isaiah 53 and decide what it teaches. The Orthodox man responded, " I will decide what it teaches after I first study what the traditional interpretation is in the Oral Law." In Orthodox Judaism, an observant Jew would not attempt to understand the Scripture apart from the traditional explanation as laid out in the "Oral Law". To the Orthodox Jew, the Oral Law is the authoritative interpretation of the Scriptures.
The "Oral Law" refers to the Talmud, which are rabbinical comments on the first five books of Moses...Talmud is made up of the older rabbinical comments called "Mishnah" and "Gemara". Gemara are later rabbinical comments on the Mishnah. The Talmud was completed around 600 AD." (pags 6-7)

This gives us many generations of rabbis with arguments (some of them interesting) of why Yeshua does not qualify as Israel's Messiah. By the Christian side the replacement theology (Israel promises and position now belong to the Church) makes a fertile soil for the conversion to the different branches of Judaism.

Many believers are not studying the TANAK (Old Testament) and BRIT CHADASHA (New Testament) with the same effort as the groups who want to absorb us. This is the reason why we can not separate G-d's command, man's command o simply a tradition. One point clear to me, it is that training in a Bible Institute or Seminary is not "foolproof" of no rejecting Yeshua. Well trained people already did it.

Am I suggesting not studying the jewish roots of the Christian faith and love Yeshua as a jew?
No exactly. I encourage to those who are reading this bulletin to study the roots and knowing Yeshua as the Perfect Jew. As any adventure, you need to take some precautions.

Don't leave the compass. It is the written word of God- always in your mind and heart.

Don't believe any guide that wants to show the way. Asked their position about the Scriptures, and if they have any "additional" material. I personally believe if these guys stress the "additional" material, then is the "sign" that something was forgotten by the "Eternal One". Better to stop.

Being aware of the personal dangers. The material you read could shake the basis of your faith. It is not a solution to avoid them! Know what you believe. Pray that G-d always show the truth. Screaming does not make your convictions firm. Listen different opinions, but know the facts of what you believe.

Know your identity.- If you are jewish, G--d has called us to live the fullness of our identity in Messiah. Are you gentile (goy)? Be happy, because the Eternal one decided that you were born this way. Live in the fullness of the Spirit of the L-rd. Know the TANAK. Share your life and blessings in Messiah with your unbelieving jewish neighbors. Lift the Jewish Jealousy, because you know the Scriptures and the G-d of Israel. It's shameful when gentiles try to impress their jewish friends because they know the blessings for kindling the lights for Shabbat. This act won't impress any unbelieving jew.

Boil and filter the water you will drink- Every book, message and teaching passed through the filter of the Word of God. It would have dirt (men's teachings). Put the water on the fire of the Word to kill "bacteria" (I would suggest as myths, mistical ideas or fake spirituality).

Rabbi??- If the person calls himself or is called "Rabbi", asked for his credentials in rabbinical yeshivas (schools). If he is unable to show them, ask the intention of using the title. The true servants of G-d don't use titles that do not belong to them.

I will finish with a teaching of some rabbis that lived many generations ago related to the divine nature of Messiah... this is a perl...

Zohar.- "Hear, o Israel: Adonai our G-d, Adonai is one." why is there need to mentioning the name of G-d three times in this verse?... The first Adonai is the Father above. The second is the stem of Jesse, the Messiah who is to come from the family of Jesse though David. And the third one is the Way which is below and these three are one.

"Hear, o Israel: Adonai our G-d, Adonai is one." why is there need to mentioning the name of G-d three times in this verse? Deuteronomy 6:4

May the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you with all the blessing in Yeshua, through the Holy Spirit.


Carlos Perez



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