Import jQuery

If God did not spare the natural branches...

[This is a pre-recorded message. Judah is gone on vacation this week.]

I'm absolutely glued to Derek Leman's blog. His recent post, a review of Barry Horner's Future Israel book, manifests some somber realities for members of the Christian faith:

When those of us who love Israel and who call Christians back to the Jewish origins of our common Jesus-faith make statements like the above [speaking of the church's shift from its Judaic background to a Greco-Roman/anti-Judaic stream], I know that some people feel as though something they love deeply is being insulted. It is insulting to think that Christianity has strong roots in a kind of theological racism.

This is not to denigrate the beauty and grace brought to the world through Christian teaching, writing, and action. Absolutely there is beauty.

But there is far more to repent for than to rejoice about in Christian history. Sorry, but this is an indisputable fact.

Christianity may have brought to the world hospitals for treating lepers and other good things, but the larger legacy has been Crusades, Inquisitions, wars, and an evil blend of religion and state seeking power to rule and dominate.

I sometimes point out to people that Christianity’s record is not any better than Israel’s record in the Bible. I’ve heard plenty of sermons and talk about Israel’s very public failures, that Israel’s history is recorded to show us how NOT to live, and so on. I’ve heard almost no talk and definitely no sermons about Christianity’s failures.


  1. I have a few honest questions:
    First of all, is everyone who calls themself a Christian truly a Christian? No, Jesus himself said that many would cry out to him at the judgement of their good deeds and casting out demons only to be told to depart from him because he never knew them. Just because a person or organization uses the name Christian if they do not bear fruit, they are not truly Christian.

    Secondly, doesn't Christian mean the same thing as Messianic? Both Christ and Messiah mean "anointed one". Am I right? To be a Christian is to be "Christ-like". To be Messianic means to be "Messiah-like". I think that a lot more unity can be achieved among believers if we would understand that many times we are talking about the same thing, but just using different terminology. I am very thankful that because of different Messianic blogs I have searched the scriptures and discovered more about the Jewish heritage of our faith. While I was blessed to grow up in a church that was very "pro-Israel", I did not know very much about the festivals or Mosaic law. I was taught that Christ fullfilled the entire law and now we have a new covenent. I want to know what the truth is and not some man made tradition. I am convinced by scripture of many places where I was misguided in my beliefs, but there are a few scriptures that I just cannot avoid when trying to decide whether or not the Torah is to be kept. If someone can explain them to me, that would be great.
    1 Corinthians 9:20-24
    Ephesians 2:15
    Colossians 2:14-23

  2. Hello Haley,
    Just to be completely fair with you I should tell you that most poeple consider my religeous viewpoint heresy, so I will forgo drawing any conclusions for you and suggest you do this study all on your own and see what conclusions you draw from it.

    Try to forget everything you have ever been taught about redemption, heaven, faith, works and grace,... Then read the Bible as if it were totally new to you. TO make it easier begin with the new testament in Matthew 1 and read through each of the four gospels, acts, the books written by John and Revelation which was dictated to John by Jesus himself, (there is a whole world of information in the letters to the 7 churches that we tend to ignore). Read also 1 & 2nd Peter but stop or better ye, skip over when you get to 2 Peter 3verses 15 & 16. Do not read the book of Hebrews or any of those books attributed to the Apostle Paul.

    After you have done this think about what you have now learned from the Bible. What is the way of salvation, what must you do to be saved,.. etc. Ask your self if there is enough information provided you in these books to assure you everlasting life in the presence of God and His Son,..

    The "stumbling block" you have already encountered in your search for the truth are those books written by Paul; "1 Corinthians 9:20-24, Ephesians 2:15,Colossians 2:14-23"!Think hard on that and ask God for Wisdom! You will have to do an awful lot of praying because your faith will begin to waiver,... be strong and God will reveal to you what He wants you to know!

    I'll tell you why I began this study,... I was sitting in church listening to the Pastor read from Revelation, the letter to the Church in Pergamos; (By the way, in all 7 letters Jesus warns "He who has ears, let him hear" Also keep in mind that the book of Revelation opens and closes with a promise of a blessing to those who read and hear it's teachings" ....Jesus said; "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel" and specifically; "to eat things sacrificed to idols". I gasped out loud because I knew who it was that taught the church it was OK to eat food and meat sacrificed unto idols,... it was Paul in his letter to the Corinthians!

    I considered Revelation a warning. But, maybe I'm just a nut case!

  3. James,
    Thank you for responding to my questions. I have to say that I completely disagree with the insinuation that Paul should not be included as scripture. First of all, I believe that God is soveriegn and would not allow His Word to be polluted by heresy. In regard to what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church it seems to me that Paul was not encouraging people to eat food sacrificed to idols, but rather was saying that an idol is nothing but a man-made object with no power. He goes on to say "What am I saying then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I do say that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to partner with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share the Lord's table and the table of demons." I hope that you will understand and not be offended.

    In Christ,

  4. Haley, you said, "I want to know what the truth is and not some man made tradition. .... but there are a few scriptures that I just cannot avoid when trying to decide whether or not the Torah is to be kept." I completely understand where you are coming from in your answer to me, that's why I readily acknowledge that my own belief is called heresy by those I once congregated with...

    You wrote,"Jesus himself said that MANY would cry out to him at the judgement of their good deeds and casting out demons only to be told to depart from him because he never knew them." Take notice of the word "Many" and absorb what it means, when we go back to the original greek and hebrew the translation literally means "great multitudes". Contrast this with something else Jesus said; "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and "many" there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and "few" there be that find it." This is immediately followed by; "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

    FEW THAT FIND IT,(life)is the contrast you should consinder against the great mulitudes that do not. the ones who Jesus never knew!

    Also from Matthew, "But Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? Jesus said, "An enemy hath done this." Later Jesus explained, "He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels."

    Now consider the planting season and the harvest, after sewing his seed, the planters work is done but remember also that as a general rule, weeds grow faster than wheat. In essense, Jesus was prophesying that almost immediately after him, someone would come along sewing seed that looks (sounds) just like the seed that was planted already, and in the case with tares, it is almost impossible to tell it is not wheat until it reaches maturity. Paul came onto the scene immediately after Jesus was finished with his earthly ministry,... maybe this is just another coincidence.

    You understand the concept of Relativism,... how that nothing is true, there is only what is true for me and what is true for you but truth can change over time depending on the circumstances of the moment. Relativism is a huge concern in the Church today because we knwo that God IS Truth, His words never change! God Hates Idols and everthing associated with their worship which is why He commanded that His people shall never eat meat sacrificed to idols. Now take what you know about relativism and apply it to how Paul defends his position that it really is OK to eat meat sacrificed to an idol, after all an Idol Is nothing and since we know it is nothing, what is the harm in eating meat that has been sacrificed to nothing,... If you in good conscience can eat it then eat it, it won't commend you to God but it won't uncommend you either (meaning God could care less one way or the other)...if your brother believes it is wrong to eat it then do not serve it to him because what is OK for you may be sinful to someone else.

    I paraphrased a lot but if you read the KJV and not the new world translation or its equivelent, then you will see that the context of these words are correct. I don't have access to my notes but Paul explains this again in another book, Galatians perhaps and I think that is where I pulled the part about serving it to your brother from.

    To me at least, Paul sounds like the Father of Relativism. For what it is worth, in the KJV I have found over 75 specific references where Paul taught the exact opposite of what Jesus taught.

    For example, can you find even one reference when Jesus said that Salvation is of Grace,... I'll save you some time, He didn't! Paul said that! In the Book of James; James argues with Paul saying "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

    I too believe that God is soveriegn and would not allow His Word to be polluted by heresy,... unless He also gave us a mind to think with and proof from the scriptures that would allow us to recognize wheat from tares. God WANTS us to Study his word. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

    Search the Scriptures! Find out if those things are so! Also keep in mind, Jesus was a Jew, he observed the law, taught from the torah and observed all the feasts and traditions. Jesus wants you to be like him because as he tells us, if we truely Love him, we will do what he has said, we will keep his commandments, of which not one jot or tittle will ever go away until He has returned. The Sabbat for example begins Friday at nightfall and goes until Saturday at nightfall. Sunday was never the Sabbath day, it was a holy day in the pagan world to honor the Sun, not the Son! It became the Christian Sabbath only after Paul proclaimed the law to be dead and that God doesn't really care which day we choose to honor him on,.. which in turn helped move christianity away from its Jewish roots.

    PS. Paul coined the name "Christian" and named the Church that followed after HIS version of Jesus the same." There never was a Messiah named Jesus! His name was Y'shua which easily translates to Joshua or Jessie. In the oldest manuscripts Jesus was spelled "Ie-sus", which literally translates (Son of Zeus).

    God Bless and Keep you!

  5. James,

    It seems from your comments that you are an ignorant man, ignorant of the truth. And easily lead astray too.

    If you don't understand what scripture says, and it is obvious to me that you don't, then my suggestion to you would be to take some time away from whatever the source of those lies you're repeating is, and find out for yourself what is true and what isn't.

    Until you do you will only be causing division among the believers. Not a good place to be sir.


    You have a valid question, that is, are there different words that have the same meaning? Your example of "Christ" and "Messiah" is a good place to start.

    To see the difference between the two titles you need to look at the root of the words. In other words, where did they come from and why are they used in scripture the way you see them written.

    The Hebrew language (I'm referring to biblical Hebrew which is different than modern Hebrew) contains words that describe spiritual realities in a way that most other languages do not. One Hebrew concept within their language is that of a "Messiah", an individual anointed by YHVH to bring deliverance to Israel.

    The Greek language at the time of Yeshua did not contain such a concept. Their polytheistic society was not waiting for a "Messiah". Unless a Greek person had taken the time to study with the Hebrews to learn about their concept of a single, all-powerful Creator, they would be completely unaware of the need for anything even remotely like "salvation".

    When numbers of Greeks, and others, came to faith in the Hebrew "Messiah", they needed a word to represent the idea of a man who came from heaven and gave up His life willingly to bring eternal life to all who put their trust in Him. It would need to be a word that would have some meaning in the culture it was intended to communicate with, something people could relate to.

    The only word that was close to the idea of someone who was anointed was "Christos" which means "anointed". But the idea of anointing to the pagan (unregenerated) mind was that of a physician who would "anoint" patients with various ointments he carried around in jars. The symbol still used today to represent medicinal preparations is the RX which contains the first two letters of the Greek word "Christos".

    All these many years later, what started out as a repurposing of a common word to communicate the idea of a "Messiah", we have come accept that it is a valid word to accurately represent Yeshua.

    When Christians say "Christ" I know what they mean. I also believe that there is a restoration taking place and many of the traditions that have been in place for so long will go back where they came from and we will be brought back to YHVH and His ways and words.

    I would like to answer your specific questions about the scriptures you listed, but it would take some time to cover them completely. But I will say this to help you understand what Sha'ul was saying in his letters.

    The reason Yeshua came was to provide a sacrifice acceptable to YHVH so that we could be given eternal life instead of eternal judgement. We were all under a death sentence because we had all broken Torah. There isn't any option for sin, the result is always death. Which is why the death of Yeshua on our behalf has given us hope.

    So what did Yeshua nail to His death stake? Torah? No, He said He was not going to abolish or change one bit of it until all has been fulfilled. What He took out of the way (out of our way actually) was the penalty of Torah. Death.

    Read those verses again carefully, in several different translations. To be consistent with the words of Yeshua Sha'ul had to explain that the penalty was taken away but not Torah.

    Remember that John says in his letter that sin is the violation of Torah? If Torah no longer exists than we do not have sin in our lives becuase without Torah there is no sin. Right?

    Is that consistent with your experience in this life? Probably not.

    Keep searching and learning. Those who seek the truth will find it, it's a promise from our Father in heaven.



  6. Hayley:

    Just discovered that Judah had put a quote from my blog here and that people are talking about it. Cool.

    For a different view than James (a very pro-Paul view) but also one that sees Paul seriously as an observant Jew, try my book: PAUL DIDN'T EAT PORK.

    Email me at if you'd like to order. You can see the book at (it's also on

    Derek Leman

  7. James:

    There is no need to throw Paul away. You are right to better nuance your view of the New Testament. The Reformation grid that most evangelicals read the NT through is skewed. It produced a tepid faith as recent church history makes clear. As myriads of young pastors and theologians are proclaiming today, the gospel is much richer than a get-out-of-hell-free card. And I would add to that: so is Paul.

    Email me at if you'd like to dialogue about Paul. Please make only a few points at a time and be concise in your wording. Long emails give me headaches.

    Derek Leman


Appending "You might like" to each post.