The Protestant Reformation suffered a premature death. The Reformation attempted to correct some major errors that had crept into the “church” over the previous 1,400 years, but it fell short of the mark. If alive today, the earliest Jewish Believers in Jerusalem would have trouble recognizing modern, traditional Christianity as its offspring, including the Protestant churches that reformed. This book is an attempt to continue the reforming process begun in the early 1500s by Luther et al. It will not be an attempt to create something new out of Christianity—the push of liberal theologians to bring Christianity into the modern age. Rather, this book will be an attempt to restore the biblical framework that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had planned for His people (Jews and Gentiles) from the beginning.The above paragraph makes this book sound as if it were written only for Christians. Most observant Jews never belonged to the “church,” and they were outsiders to the Protestant Reformation. However, this book was also written for the Jewish community. Through these pages, I will additionally try to correct significant misunderstandings about the authentic Jewish Messianic faith that have been prevalent in the Jewish community for the past 1,900 years.Imagine that you worked in an airport control tower on September 11, 2001. Pretend that your job, over the radio, was to convince one of the terrorist pilots heading for a target that he was making a wrong choice. Most of us would recognize that this assignment would be futile. That terrorist had fixed his mind on a particular “truth” and, for this reason, no one would be able to shake his faith. All of us to some extent are like that terrorist (including myself). We have accepted faith positions, our own “truths,” and there is no shaking us from them.In this book, I will attempt to rock the foundations of the faith positions held by atheists, traditional Jews, Messianic Jews, and Gentile Christians. Each of these groups traditionally will have different points of conflict with me. I recognize from the start that the writing of this book might be a futile enterprise. Can anyone change 1,900 years of faith-based traditions? Nevertheless, if I can influence anyone in the smallest way to reconsider some of his or her faith positions, bringing people closer to God, I will have succeeded.
A third reason most Jews today are not believers is also closely related to this majority viewpoint. The majority viewpoint does more than passively sway people away from accepting Yeshua’s messiahship. Rejection from family and the Jewish community as a whole is quite real and creates a solid partition between most Jews and Yeshua. This rejection stems from the false perception by most non-believing Jews that a Jewish believer has turned his back on his people and has divorced himself from his rich heritage. They do not realize that most Jewish believers now feel more fulfilled as Jews by knowing the promised Jewish Messiah. Most Jewish believers seek to gain a better understanding of their Jewishness and their purpose as Jews in God’s overall plan for mankind.One piercing view, which frequently surfaces in the Jewish community, is that Jews who believe in the messiahship of Yeshua are no longer Jewish. Usually, one is considered a Jew by descent in our society regardless of what he believes—unless he is a Jewish believer. There are atheist Jews and Hare Krishna Jews—but no Messianic Jews. Rabbi Akiva was not expelled from membership in the Jewish community after he proclaimed the secular leader Bar Kochba to be the Messiah during the second major Jewish revolt against Rome (132–135 CE). Ultra Orthodox individuals who still recognize the messiahship of the late Rabbi Schneerson have not been excluded from the Jewish people. However, Jewish believers in Yeshua have been socially excommunicated.Regardless of the hardships, Jewish believers will live the life that God has called them to live.
As I have tried to point out in previous chapters, the traditional Gentile Christian church has lost or misrepresented the real faith of Israel as outlined in the Tanach. The church has rejected the Jewish people. It has rejected the Torah. It has rejected God’s Holy Days and created its own. It has changed the day of the Shabbat. Therefore, can we trust the traditional Gentile Christian church in the knowledge it has conveyed to the world about the nature of God, the ultimate truth? I will warn you in advance that these next few chapters will be the most unsettling for those who consider themselves believers in Yeshua.If scholars have trouble understanding the Trinity, certainly the layman is not better off. When Christians pray to God, it is not uncommon for them to pray to the different “persons” of the Trinity, sometimes in the same prayer, depending on the situation. Around the time of September 11, 2001, on Moody Christian Radio, I heard more prayers than usual being addressed to God the Father than to Jesus, implying that the Father was the one to call on for the heavy lifting. For the most part, though, Jesus has become the principal “person” of the Trinity with whom Christians interact. Most contemporary Christian music is sung in worship to Jesus rather than to God the Father. Jesus has become the God of the Christian masses.
Most Christians would say that one must believe in Yeshua’s divinity in order to be “saved.” With the real threat of being labeled as a heretic and being cast out from the believing community, the average Christian does not discuss the problems and inconsistencies of the Trinity. They blindly follow the authority of the church on this issue without stepping back to view the evidence for themselves. It is like the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. It was said that those who could not see the emperor’s “new clothes” were fools. Since no one in the story wanted to be considered a fool, everyone claimed to see the “new clothes” even in the face of the strong visual evidence that there were no new clothes.