Pari's Perspective

        Since the Reformation, Gentile Christians have been trying to discover and replicate the early church, with the awareness that the early church was basically Jewish. Today we have Jewish and Gentile worshippers of Yeshua coming together in a messianic context.
        Messianic is defined as those who believe in Yeshua as the Messiah and follow a "Biblical" lifestyle, including incorporating many of the worship and celebration practices of Biblical Judaism into their lives.
        As in any movement, members need to be watchful that excesses don`t creep in. Believers who are seeking the Jewishness of their faith, run the risk of getting side-tracked as they search to restore all things Hebrew/Jewish. This can lead to imposing traditional, so-called "Torah observance" on Messianic believers. This sounds all well and good, but there is a problem.
        When the rabbis talk about "Torah observance," they are not talking merely about believing and obeying the Mosaic Law. They are talking about a way of life that encompasses not only the Biblical Torah (the five books of Moses), but also the traditions of Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah. Since the rabbis consider Oral Torah (ei: the Talmud) even more binding than the written Torah, many non-Biblical beliefs and practices have crept into traditional Torah observance. One example is that in certain Orthodox Jewish groups, an observant lifestyle includes practices that are more cultural than they are either Biblical or even Talmudic. The wearing of black coats and hats, payot (side curls), and kippot (skullcaps) are examples of cultural practices that arose among the Chassidim in medieval Europe, and among the Yemenite Jews in Africa. Yet, for some reason, we have people in the Messianic Movement who attempt to emulate the Chassidic or Yemenite versions of Torah observance, complete with black attire, payot and other traditional, religious practices. I have seen this happen in Messianic Congregations. 
        My Perspective on this is that only the Bible itself is binding and authoritative. I believe that true Torah observance is not following the interpretations developed by generations of rabbis, or adopting medieval Jewish cultural practices, but one of Biblical Judaism that draws worshippers into a closer relationship with Yehovah and Yeshua. I believe that keeping a balance between the teachings on the Tanach and the Apostolic Writings is one way to achieve this goal.
        Messianic Congregations have a great challenge today as more and more Gentile Christians join with the Jewish remnant of Believers in America to seek their common roots for worship and obedience to the Torah. Those roots go back to the first century, which is where I believe Messianic Congregations need to begin…not with Modern Judaism.
        My vision is to see the people of Yehovah*, both Jew and Gentile, united in the worship and service of the one true God and His Messiah, Yeshua, by not forcing the Jews to become Western Christians, and by teaching the Gentiles about their first century, Biblical Jewish roots. 


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*YHVH-The Hebrew letters are (right to left) Yodh, He, VaV and He (יהוה): The name of God in Judaism used most often in the Hebrew Bible is the four-letter name יהוה (YHVH), also known as the Tetragrammaton. The Tetragrammaton appears 6,828 times in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia edition of the Hebrew Masoretic Text. It first appears at Genesis 2:4 and is usually translated as the LORD in many English Bibles. *Jehovah or Yahweh are employed in a few other English translations. Adonai (Hebrew for Lord) and HaShem (Hebrew for 'The Name') are used in other English Bibles and generally in Jewish writings. The substitute names are because of a ban placed on using His proper name, Jehovah, by the rabbis many centuries ago.

For more about this, see this video interview of Nehemia Gordon, Talking About Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence.

Psalm 135.13: "Thy name, O Jehovah, is for ever; thy memorial, O Jehovah, from generation to generation".

Exodus 3.15: And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you. This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Isn't it about time that we begin using His name as He has commanded? Pastor Keith Johnson explains why.