• Gene Benjamin II

Messianic Synagogue


Let’s turn our attention to the Book of Jacob (James). Jacob 1:1-2, “Jacob, a servant of Yahuwah and of Lord Yeshua Messiah, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion: Greetings. 2Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you experience various troubles.” Jacob opens his book with a greeting to the believing 12 tribes of Israel, his natural and spiritual brethren. Look over at Jacob 2:1, “My brothers, do not hold to faith in our Lord Yeshua Messiah, the Lord of glory, with favoritism toward certain people.” In both passages, we can see that Jacob was clearly addressing believers in Yeshua, Messianic believers specifically, those known as members of The Way or the Nazarene sect.

Now look at the next verse, Jacob 2:2, “Suppose that someone enters your synagogue wearing gold rings and fine clothes, and there also enters a poor person in dirty clothes.” Notice Jacob calls it “your” synagogue. Who is it that Jacob is addressing? That’s right, Messianic believers in Yeshua. That congregation was not a Sunday-go-to-meeting Christian congregation. The religion of Christianity had not been invented for another 260 years after Jacob wrote this letter. There was no such thing as Christianity in the New Covenant, the New Testament. The congregation that Jacob was addressing was a Messianic Sabbath-keeping Torah-observant congregation in the first century AD!

The earliest congregations after Yeshua’s resurrection, for the first 320 years of the new era, were Sabbath-keeping Torah-observant Messianic congregations. Some of the early congregations were Messianic Jewish, some were Messianic non-Jewish, some were a mixture of Messianic Jewish and non-Jewish. True believers in Yeshua have never abandoned the Sabbath or Torah observance. Pagan Romans corrupted the Sabbath and invented the Sunday-go-to-meeting religion known as Christianity. Yeshua did not start a new religion called Christianity.

Yeshua is our Melchizedek High Priest. Once you believe in Yeshua as your Savior and Lord, whether Jew or non-Jew, you are grafted into Israel as a Melchizedek priestly Messianic believer. We are called to be kings and priests, Melchizedek priests and subordinate kings to King Yeshua. When the New Covenant talks about The Way, it is speaking about The Melchizedek Way, The Messianic Way, The Torah-keeping and guarding Way. True believers in Yeshua are Torah-observant, Sabbath-keeping, Melchizedek Messianic believers. You may have been introduced to Yeshua as Jesus, but Yahuwah does not expect you to stay stuck in that rut your entire life. He expects you to come out of Babylonian Sunday religions and into The Melchizedek Messianic Way of Yeshua. Revelation 18:4,Then I heard another voice from heaven say, “Come out from her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, and so that you will not receive any of her plagues.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18,Therefore, “Come out from among them, and be set apart,” says Yahuwah. “Touch no unclean thing (moral or religious), and I will welcome you. 18I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says Yahuwah Almighty.” Jeremiah 51:44-45,So I will punish Bel in Babylon; I will bring out from his mouth what he swallowed, and the ethno-linguistic nations will no longer flow to him with their offerings. The walls of Babylon will fall. 45Go out from her midst, my people. Let each of you save his own life from the fury of Yahuwah’s wrath.”

When Yeshua returns to earth to establish his millennial Kingdom in Jerusalem, he will wipe out Catholicism, CatholIslam, Christianity, and all other pagan religions, beliefs, and creeds. Look what Luke wrote in Acts 11:25-26, “Barnabas then went out to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. It came about, that for an entire year they gathered together with the congregation and taught many people. The disciples were called Messianics first in Antioch.” Your Bible probably says they were called Christians first in Antioch. The word Christ means anointed, specifically speaking of our Messiah Yeshua, the Anointed One of Yahuwah. Remember, Christianity was not invented for another 291 years after Yeshua’s resurrection in 30 AD. Anointed ones were the set-apart people of the Messiah, Messianics, or if you prefer, Messians. In Acts 11:26, I could have rendered the word christianous as Messians. I chose Messianics because that is what we call Sabbath-keeping Torah-observant followers of Yeshua today. An even better title or term to call us is “Melchizedeks.”

Acts 26:28, “Agrippa II said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me and make me a Messianic?”” Again, your Bible probably says make me a Christian. But Christianity was not invented yet. Believers in Messiah Yeshua were known as Messianics or Melchizedek believers of The Way, or Messianic believers of the Nazarene sect of Judaism, the Natsarim. Yeshua was known as the Notsri, the Nazarene. He was even called that by the angel in the empty tomb in Mark 16:6, “He said to them, “Do not be afraid. You seek Yeshua, the Nazarene, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. Look at the place where they had laid him.” The angel spoke the Hebrew of Heaven, so he would have called Yeshua the Notsri, or Natsari, not Nazaranon, as the Greek translations render it. I leave it as Nazarene for the common English reader.

1 Peter 4:15-17, “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16But if anyone suffers as a Messianic, let him not be ashamed; instead, let him glorify Yahuwah with that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of Yahuwah. If it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey Yahuwah’s gospel?” We are to glorify Yahuwah when we are persecuted for being Messianics. In the Greek language it says glorify Yahuwah in that respect. Respect to what? In respect to being a Messianic believer in Yeshua the Notsri, the Nazarene. Glorify Yahuwah with that name Messianic!

I encourage all Sunday-go-to-meeting Christians to visit your local Messianic synagogue on Saturday, the Sabbath. It won’t interfere with your religious meetings on Sunday, so why not? You will get a taste of what it was like in the early Messianic congregations, though most Messianic congregations today follow rabbinic Judaism too closely. We all need to grow through the Messianic movement, into and through the Hebrew Roots movement, and on into the Melchizedek priesthood in order to be prepared to meet Yeshua when he returns!

I just want to remind all believers in Yeshua, that racism is not to be tolerated in “your Messianic synagogue.” That’s whether or not you are prejudiced against poor people, like Jacob said, or against people of a different ethno-linguistic background from you. Paul had to rebuke Peter and get him straightened out on this matter. Galatians 2:11-17, “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was declared to be in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from Jacob, Cephas was eating with the ethno-linguistic nations. But when these men came, he stopped and kept away from the ethno-linguistic nations. He was afraid of those who were demanding circumcision (Judaizers). 13Also, the rest of the Jews joined in this hypocrisy. Even Barnabas was led astray with them by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that their behavior was not following the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of all of them, “If you are a Jew but are living like a pagan and not like a Jew, how can you force the ethno-linguistic nations to live like Jews?”15We ourselves are Jews by birth and not pagan sinners; 16yet we know that no person is justified by the works of the law but through faith in Yeshua Messiah. We also came to faith in Messiah Yeshua, so that we might be justified by faith in Messiah and not by the works of the law. For by the works of the law no flesh will be justified. 17But if, while we seek to be justified in Messiah, we too were found to be sinners, does Messiah then promote sin? Absolutely not!” You do not want to be rebuked for your sin of racism, like Peter was. We are to love and accept all believing brethren into our Messianic synagogue. We are all Yeshua’s body. We have no right to pick and choose who is in or who is out. That is Yeshua’s choice. Let him be Messiah and King. We are here to love and serve one another, any and all believers in Yeshua. You know, color of skin is a non-issue in all of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation. It should be a non-issue in our lives as well. The Scriptures deal with ethnic people groups, the ethno-linguistic nations. We are to love and seek to disciple and win all ethno-linguistic people groups we come across. All humans are eligible to have faith in Yeshua, and all humans are welcome to come to him with their burden of sin and find forgiveness and atonement and salvation in Yeshua ha’Mashiach. Once a person believes in Yeshua, trusting in him for their eternal salvation, they are a member of Yahuwah’s family and kingdom. Dump your racist attitude. Get rid of your prejudiced mindset and beliefs. There is no room for it in “your Messianic synagogue.”

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