Referenced Messianic Jewish Review Blog

The official blog of the Referenced Messianic Jewish Review. The Referenced Messianic Jewish Review studies the history, composition and theology of the Messianic Jewish movement.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


During the holiday of Sukkot, which we are now celebrating, Jews read a set of prayers/Psalms called Hallel. During Hallel, Jews praise G-d and ask for G-d's continued help. A few parts of Hallel reminded me of errors that Messianics make in their belief system. In Hallel we say that we should not put our trust in princes or men but in G-d. This reminded me of Psalm 146: 3-5 which states:

3. Put not your faith in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help

4. His breath goes forth, he returns to dust; in that very day his thoughts perish

5. Happy is the man who is help is the G-d of Jacob, whose hope is in the L-rd his G-d.

Jesus is referred to as "son of man" in many places in the Christian bible. Yet the Book of Psalms teaches us not to put our trust in the "son of man."

Ultimately, the Jewish people must put their trust in G-d. And the Bible is clear, G-d is not a man. For instance, Hoshea 11: 9 says:

I will not execute the fierceness of My anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim; for I am G-d, and not man, the Holy One in the midst of thee; and I will not come in fury.

But We Were First!

I found an interesting article from Ray Gannon, an Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) missionary who is one of the leaders of the Messianic movement. Reverend Gannon has been involved in evangelizing the Jews for over 30 years. In fact, he trains people to be Messianic "rabbis" and Messianic missionaries through an Assemblies of God seminary in California.

In the Winter 2004 issue of Enrichment, Gannon wrote, "The Assemblies of God became the first Protestant group to welcome messianic Jewish congregations into full fellowship despite criticisms of the synagogue movement by other denominations and parachurch organizations. It was quickly recognized that the Messianic synagogue is a Jesus centered, usually Pentecostal, and Jewish cultured assembly...Continued support for an extensive array of culturally relevant incarnational representations of Christ is indispensible to our success in fulfilling our Matthew 28 messianic mandate to reach all people groups (ethne) with the Pentecostal gospel of Jesus..."

This is a perfect definition of the Messianic movement. The Messianic movement presents Jesus in a Jewish-culture format to get Jews to adopt Christianity. In Gannon's case, it is to adopt the Pentecostal version of Christianity. Ultimately, there is no real tie between the Messianic movement and true Judaism; the Messianic movement merely looks Jewish to convince Jews to become Christians.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Verses of Atonement: Jonah 3: 4-10

This is the fourth part of a series on atonement. As I have mentioned in previous posts, the Messianic movement falsely claims that atonement can only come through sacrifice. So, I am listing other Biblical means of atonement.

Jonah 3: 4-10

4. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he proclaimed, and said: 'In forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.'

5. And the people of Nineveh believed G-d; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

6 And the tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

7. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying: 'Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing; let them not feed, nor drink water;

8. but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and beast, and let them cry mightily unto G-d; let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

9. Who knoweth whether G-d will not turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?'

10 And G-d saw their works, that they repented from their evil way; and G-d relented of the evil, which He said He would do unto them; and He did it not.

As the Book of Jonah shows us, the Bible approves of turning away from evil, prayer and fasting as non-sacrificial means of atonement.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Verses of Atonement: Isaiah 55:7

This is the third part of a series studying Biblical atonement. As previously mentioned, the Messianic movement falsesly claims that only sacrifice can bring atonement (and then misinterprets and ignores the laws of sacrifice). So, I have been listing Biblical verses that give non-sacrificial means of atonement. The current verse is often read at the Selichot service, the special Saturday night service on the Saturday prior to Rosh Hashanah.

Isaiah 55:7 "Let the wicked leave his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; and let him return to the L-RD, and He will have compassion upon him, and to our G-d, for He will abundantly forgive."

The Bible is clear in its pronouncement: if a person stops their bad thoughts and behaviors, and returns to G-d, the person can get atonement. Again, no need for sacrifice.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Verses of Atonement: Isaiah 1:11-18

This is the second part of a series looking at atonement. As the Messianic movement incorrectly claims sacrifice is needed for atonement (then incorrectly understands how a sacrifice is accomplished), I thought I would list Biblical methods of atonement that have nothing to do with sacrifice.

Isaiah 1: 11-18

11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? says the L-rd; I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.

12 When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand, to trample My courts?

13 Bring no more vain oblations; it is an offering of abomination unto Me; new moon and sabbath, the holding of convocations--I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly.

14 Your new moons and your appointed seasons My soul hate; they are a burden unto Me; I am weary to bear them.

15 And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood.

16 Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes, cease to do evil;

17 Learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow

18 Come now, and let us reason together, says the L-rd; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

So, we learn from the Book of Isaiah that ceasing evil, doing justice and helping the opressed, fatherless and widow can all bring atonement. No sacrifice is necessary.