12:36 07Oct09 Andrew Yliniemi -
What does assimilating into the Torah for the Jewish people mean? Just
celebrating the feasts? Or is it voluntarily coming under the Law again? I have
heard it said that Messianics have a problem not getting trapped under the Law.
(Even some Western Gentiles have this problem.) It's a very dangerous thing to
get 'caught' under the Law again. For instance, here beside me is my Power New
Testament which has a Jewish swing to it. I love it except when it notes 1 John
2:3 (And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments)
saying that "To John His commandments refers to all those in the Tanach, the
OT." In that case I am disqualified from knowing God because my commandments
are to believe in Jesus and love people which John later states (1 John 3:23).
When we become one NEW man in Yeshua, it wouldn't make sense for the Gentiles
to became an old man under the old Jewish tradition and for the Jewish people
to remain old under their old tradition. I would love to celebrate Jewish
feasts and such and I love blowing the Shofar at church, but it is a danger for
every Christian to revert back to the Law instead of being led by the Spirit.
And if we are all led by the Spirit, why would He tell Jews to go back to the
Law and Gentiles not to? "As you have received Him so ye walk in Him." We
received Jesus by grace, faith, repentance and obedience all by the Spirit. Let
us continue in this walk. I comment in fear and trembling before God when I
write this because I know God is setting up Israel for His planned purposes.
And it would be lovely for all the Jewish people to live in Israel as a strong
people since that is the land that God gave them. But I also want them to
continue their walk in Yeshua by being led of the Spirit and not Law keeping.
-- Dr Juster replies:
First of all, there are many more commandments in the N.T. than to just
follow the Spirit. Yeshua said that we are to teach them to observe all
his commandments and how to take his words in Matthew 5:17, 18 in a way
that does not seek to apply the Torah in the New Covenant is very
The historic church did seek to apply the universal commands of the
Torah in the New Covenant for all, especially Reformed thought. My own
approach is that we are to seek to apply the Torah in a way that fits the
New Covenant order. I have a whole book on this that has been through
many printings. It is called Jewish Roots. It gives my sense of this.
12:53 07Oct09 Sue -
Well, here is an example of another thought on Jews being Christians;
Christians were the Gentiles who followed Christ after hearing the good news
preached to them by the Messianic Jews who recognized Yeshua as the Messiah.
16:45 07Oct09 anonymous -
I so wish, as you do,that this would happen. So many problems arise first
within families -- such as my own. When I die, if none of my grandchildren
desire to reach out to their Jewish ancestry -- our lineage will die with me.
If this should happen, the great mystery in my life will be -- Why was it so
important to ABBA to have me remember it? If HE had called me out when my
children were small, they would have been reared as Messianic. However, even
though I don't understand His Divine Reasoning, I know that His Plans are
-- Dr Juster replies:
With prayer and more, it is not over. Who knows what they will discover
in the future.
18:16 07Oct09 John Carter -
As always, The Jewish beleivers are leading the way into the future. This is an
outstanding article that will certainly prick the hearts and minds of many. It
is the correct time for this as we are quickly moving toward the fulfillment of
many end time prophecies regarding Israel and more specifically , Jerusalem.
Very soon the Word of the Lord will go forth FROM JERUSALEM and not to
Jerusalem. Your article is a Wake Up call for those that are still inside the
mainline churches to come out and live their lives as Jews.
18:28 07Oct09 S. Joy Glick -
Thank you for a well thought out and provocative article. This is something
I've thought about for quite some time. Yes, we can dream. The perception of
my Christian stepmother has been that I have gone back to the law and that I
should not be a practicing Jew. In order to bring Jews who believe in Messiah
Yeshua into Messianic Jewish groups and synagogues perceptions of Christians
need to be changed. I agree with you that it starts with pastors and teachers.
Bill McCartney and Raleigh Washington can help in this endeavor but we must all
do our part to bridge the gap that exists by talking with Christians about our
faith and why we practice as Jews.
19:02 07Oct09 Pelham Gross -
Thanks Dan! I am especially thrilled to know that Coach and Raleigh are on the
mark still, since their move back to Promise Keepers. What you lay out, I have
no doubt, is God's plan and strategy. My only "sideways" concern has to do with
what I keep sensing in my spirit as "LATER THAN YOU THINK! LATER THAN YOU
THINK! LATER THAN YOU THINK." I know, as Raleigh says, we have to keep plowing
concrete, but I'm beginning to think God's getting ready to blow-up a bunch of
it to help us out. There's an old farm joke about the old farmer who would go
around and whack his mule up side the head. Looked terribly cruel to the
neighbor. Farmer said, he won't do a thing you say until you get his
attention. 'Glad God made the clock--and the calendar, so to speak.
19:49 07Oct09 anonymous -
I agree whole heartedly with you! We attend a fellowship that is affiliated
with the Assemblies of God. When we can (which is not often enough!) we attend
special services at El Shaddai Congregation in Frederick, MD. I strongly
identify with both. One of my fondest memories is as a child, watching and
listening to my Grandfather sitting at the kitchen table talking of King David,
Samuel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Apostles of Messiah. He reminded me of Father
Abraham. It has been said that my Grandmother's people came from Bylorus area
of the former USSR and that she was from a Jewish family. Perhaps, just
perhaps, the fire that is in my bones from Israel emanates from this. In
regards to the workings of the Spirit of God, we can try to run, but we can
never hide! Both Christian and Messianic Believers working, worshipping and
praying together will happen; I feel God Himself is behind this momentous event
at the end of this age.
02:55 08Oct09 anonymous -
My grandmother was Jewish. My grandfather was not. Where does that put me?
Truly assimilated and, I like to think, somewhere in the midst of the following
"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down
the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity,
that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create
in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might
reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting
to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar
off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by
one Spirit to the Father." Ephesians 2:14-18 NKJV
03:00 08Oct09 Jonathan -
From a halachic point of view, it depends on whether this was your maternal or
paternal grandmother. If maternal, then both your mother and you are
halachically Jewish. If paternal, then your father is halachically Jewish and
you are biblically Jewish, as you would be with any one of your four
grand-parents. You are a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The thrust of Dr Juster's article is that he is saying that many people like
you, biblically part of the Jewish people, are being called out to be
identifiable as such and taking your place spiritually within Israel, living
as Jewish people.
05:12 08Oct09 Adrian Freed -
Praise the Lord. I agree with you all the way.
13:35 08Oct09 Patricia J. Kessler -
I was raised as a Methodist and after knowing Jesus through personal salvation
at age 40 I came into life as true Christian. It was in 2003 that I was first
introduced to the Messianic movement and at that point the Joy of my Salvation
began to manifest in new ways after the initial grieving associated with
delving into Christian history and seeing what we had lost when we departed
from our Jewish roots. Torah for me is a joy for I do not look at it as 'law'
but as Instruction which is the more accurate translation. Being Messianic has
also opened Yeshua's teachings to me in ways I never understood as a Goy. I
look forward to the 7 Feasts each year and observed them as a Messianic Jew.
I feel certain I actually am of Jewish heritage which has been buried because
of various pogroms; notably the one in Europe/Russia around 1860 to 1920. My
ancestors came to the U.S.A. in 1885 with no historical background except they
sailed from Germany in the Baltic area. Trying to trace them has so far proved
fruitless. I am of the persuasion that non-Jewish Christianity has much to
gain by returning to their Jewish roots.
-- Dr Juster replies:
I think we all agree with the Church returning to its Jewish Roots, but
we do not see this as Christians embracing and keeping all the Sabbaths
in the Bible; this was never given as a responsibility for Gentiles.
However, some Gentiles are called to join Israel, and we have a paper on
this. All are called to respect and understand biblical roots and to
uncover those Christian practices that are really rooted in Judaism.
13:52 08Oct09 Francine Turgeon -
I believe that there will come a time that revelation of the "One Man" will
become widespread. Jew and Gentile coming together as one ... and living the
way that Yeshua did. In order for more Messianic Jews to embrace their Jewish
roots and practices, the Christian needs to be taught the Jewish way of life
and learn to think like a Hebrew. Very few Christians are even aware of the
Festivals and Feasts that they are to celebrate as the Jew does. I am very
hopeful that the time will come when all things will be realigned properly and
in the timing of G-d.
14:42 08Oct09 Estee Zimmermann -
Amen! As the Gentiles are called to provoke Jews to jealousy, I have to say
(as a Gentile) that nothing provokes me to jealousy more than learning from a
Messianic Jew. The Feasts are latent with history, purpose, symbolism. They
are, after-all, instituted by the Lord, our story is wrapped up in them! They
are His times and seasons for ALL people and should be recognized by all
believers, Gentiles and Jews alike. How the Gentile Church would benefit and
be blessed by recognizing the weekly Shabbat rest, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur
... wow, life is TRANSFORMED once you have revelation on these things!!
Romans 11:11-12 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?
Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the
Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for
the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, HOW MUCH GREATER
RICHES WILL THEIR FULLNESS BRING!
This is the hour we are in, may we recognize it! The Jews are called to be a
royal priesthood, may we honor our Jewish brothers and sisters and join in the
ancient ways, celebrations and feasts. It is a privilege!! Our King is a Jew
-- Dr Juster replies:
I think understanding these matters is important, but I do want to
maintain that Gentiles are not responsible for keeping the actual dates
as sabbath days or to do the celebration in a post Biblical Jewish
17:22 08Oct09 Susan Stanage -
I have a Messianic friend who fellowships at my Church off and on and is very
fractured. This article has helped me to understand her heart's desire to see
the Body become One from both the Jewish and Gentile Believers' sides. I plan
on sharing this with my Pastor who is Pro Israel as is the rest of the
19:03 08Oct09 Vic -
The article will create interest and no doubt debate. The answer to Christian
responsibilty as to the Law is fully covered in the book of Galatians. Anyone
who has a desire to seek the truth can read for themselves after praying for
guidance and understanding, use a commentary if you must and the answer should
be brought to light.
00:10 09Oct09 Spyros Karalis -
Terrific article! If this was followed by Church leaders, it could change all
the streams of Church History! We could see the Resurrection of all Jews to the
faith of Yeshua. I hope that could be the timing of God!
22:56 09Oct09 Levi -
Where we're at, our experience with Messianic Congregations has sadly not been
a good one. Nor is their reputation very good with the Body of Messiah at
large. Legalism, isolationism, self-righteousness and even disdain for the
Church and all their Christian "errors" seemed to be the norm. To achieve what
you wrote, the Messianic movement will have to do its own house cleaning and
separate itself from such attitudes. It has been our experience that many in
the Church have been willing to embrace Messianics, as we are, far more than
some in our own movement. Cleaning up our own act, as well as reaching out to
the gentile Believers in Messiah will have to be achieved first before we'll
have the unity of which you wrote.
11:45 10Oct09 Dr. Nicholas Marziani -
Also of significant benefit to congregations that seek to encourage Jewish
lifestyles among their members of Hebrew descent is the positive effect upon
the Gentile contingent. This was the thrust of my doctoral study, concluded in
2003, that noted a remarkable increase in Gentile Christian appreciation and
appropriation of Old Testament wisdom and grace by virtue of explicit
association with Jewish believers. The Gentile church itself, no less than
Jewish believers, has much to gain from this kind of quality interaction,
graced and enabled by the Holy Spirit.
22:08 10Oct09 A.T. Emet -
Perhaps we can receive new wisdom and understanding of the issues raised in the
article by asking new questions based on three themes:
identity-maturity-destiny of the Jewish people and the Gentiles. For each
people group: How to re-covenant ourselves to G-d? What is our calling from
G-d? How do we become a people called by His Name? What is the destiny we have
been called to fulfill? How do we move from where we are as individuals and
collectively from where we are now towards our destiny? What is the Father's
Business that G-d wants us to engage in? What does an army of G-d's righteous
look like and do? Based on instructions in Deuteronomy, what does G-d describe
as obedience and pleasing Him/blessings and disobedience and displeasing
Him/cursings? Both affect the Jewish people keeping and remaining in the land.
What transformation and fulfillment does 'Turning back to G-d' look like and
are we willing to be forerunners? As we see or realize the position and calling
of each people group,the Jews and the Gentiles, we can forsake all that hinders
us from loving each other and focus on completing the race well as we have been
called to do.
11:24 12Oct09 Margarita -
Your article is a wonderful way open our minds to the new beginning of the
Messianic Age. I did not know that I was descendant of the Sephardic Jews until
now, and this has been the greatest revelation to me after seeking for so many
years the truth of my heritage in Yeshua HaMaschiah. My prayer everyday is to
be next year in Israel, my soul, and spirit city of my Redeemer.
13:46 27Oct09 Marta -
Having just returned from my yearly visit to Israel I was made acutely aware
this year of the assimilated Jewish Christians. Not all, Baruch HaShem ,but
many of the Jewish believers in the Land do not want to be associated with
their Jewish heritage when it comes to their faith. They will argue that Jesus
did away with the law and they want no part of it.
This creates a bigger rift between the believers and the Orthodox community.
The Orthodox fight hard to dissuade their people from becoming Christians
because their whole identity is being robbed from them in the name of this
gentile god Jesus.
If believers in the Land (and in the US) want in any way to reach out to the
Orthodox community they must give up the notion that being Torah observant is
being "under the law". This is just one more lie the adversary uses to keep the
Good News from the hearts of God's People.
16:52 29Oct09 Peter Hartgerink -
I am a Gentile believer in Yeshua but have had many contacts over the years
with Messianic Jews and friends of Messianic Judaism. I so appreciate Dr.
Juster's perspective on the different callings of Gentile and Jewish believers.
I found the article very refreshing and agree that Christian leaders (many of
whom have little awareness of these issues although they are usually
sympathetic to Israel) would do well to encourage Jewish believers to
consciously adopt a Messianic identity. When Jewish believers adopt a Jewish
identity while remaining open to the validity of the Gentile expression of
faith as taught by Paul, you enrich us (Gentile believers) as well. We need
you to be who you are.
09:52 09Jun12 Don Bozack -
You can say with certainty that there is much quibble in the New Testament
about the observation of the law. Was the aim of this argument to tell us that
we must continue to practice Mosaic law? If this is so, why did Jesus go
through all the bother of manifesting himself and being crucified? Hebrews
8:13 shows that the old covenant was made obsolete. "In that He says 'A new
covenant,' He has made the first obsolete."
Yes, the apostles who were Jews may have continued in some of their practices,
but as the verse continues,"Now what is obsolete and growing old is ready to
-- Webmaster replies:
I think you fail to grasp the kernel of Dr Juster's article. It is not in
any way that he is advocating Jewish practice as a means of salvation.
After all, Sha'ul makes it clear in Galatians 3:21 that this was never the
point of the Torah - that being, the way that those called and chosen in
the Mosaic covenant were supposed to live their lives.
Galatians 3:28 says that there is "neither Jew not Gentile, neither male
nor female, neither slave nor free, for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua".
Since G-d is clearly not blurring gender boundaries (contrary to some) and
there are no queue of men forming up to have babies, this is a picture of
the miracle of the one new man: three groups of people, who are not
supposed to blur and become homogenised, are nevertheless working together
and being part of the body of Messiah. If you take every man and woman and
make them identical in appearance, form and function, then the new man is
no miracle. Similarly, if you take Jew and Gentile and make them identical
in appearance, form and function, then the new man is no miracle.
Finally, on the particular issue of Jew and Gentile, let me point you to
another of Sha'ul's writings:
1 Corinthians 7:17-24 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord
has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in
all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised?
Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the
time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For
neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping
the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which
he was called. Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about
it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)
For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord.
Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were
bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. So, brothers, in
whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
Jews are to remain identifiably Jewish: without being in bondage to ritual
and tradition, of course. Gentiles are remain identifiably Gentiles,
similarly without being in bondage to ritual and tradition. We remain as
we are when we are called for "the calling and gift of G-d are irrevocable"
(Romans 11:29). This means resisting the presure of assimilation in either
11:38 29Oct12 Brooklyn -
Thankyou for these comments; I am a CATHOLIC / GENTILE looking for my roots
and am realizing the Messianic Jewish movement -- FINALLY!