Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship
- August 15, 2006
to all. “The grace of the Adonai Yeshua
HaMeshiach, and the love of Elohim, and the fellowship of the Ruach
HaKodesh, be with you all.”
the L-rd your G-d forever and ever!
Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing
and praise! You
alone are the L-rd; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all
their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in
them, and You preserve them all. The
host of heaven worships You. [Nehemiah
HaBah B’Shem Adonai. Blessed
is He Who comes in the Name of the L-rd
(By Rev John Denson)
What is Messianic
Director of Shalom Ministry
Judaism is a movement comprised of Jewish people who believe that Yeshua
(Jesus, in Hebrew) is the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world and the
most Jewish of Jews. He was a descendant of both Abraham and King David, was
reared in Jewish home and not only attended synagogue – but following His
Bar Mitzvah, He also taught in the synagogue. Yeshua was born under the Law.
(Galatians 4:4) He taught that He came to fulfill the Law, not to destroy it.
(Matthew 5:17 – 19) He was a rabbi who performed unparalleled miracles,
bringing great blessing to the nation of Israel. All of His early disciples
also lived very Jewish lives. The Messianic movement was entirely Jewish at
its inception, and continued to exist as an authentic Jewish movement for 700
years. Messianic Jewish believers have not stopped being Jewish. On the
contrary, they remain strongly Jewish in both their identity and lifestyle!
Tanakh (the Older Covenant) provides the foundation of the Jewish faith, and
the New Covenant Scriptures (also of Jewish authorship inspired by the Holy
Spirit) completes the Jewish faith. IN fact, the Hebrew Scriptures,
themselves, affirm that they are not complete, and that God was going to make
a new Covenant with the Jewish people. The book of Jeremiah contains this
amazing prophecy of a New Covenant:
“Behold days are coming,” declares
the Lord, “when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and
with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their
fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of
Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them.”
declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the
house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord. “I will put My
teaching within them and on their hears I will write it; and I will be their
God, and they shall be My people.”
Judaism is based on “the covenant which they broke,” and cannot save
anyone. In contrast, the Messianic Jewish community believes that God has
established this New Covenant through Yeshua’s death and resurrection –
that He died and rose again on the third day, forgiving our sins so that we
can enter, by faith, into this New Covenant relationship with God. They
believe that Yeshua ascended to the right hand of God the Father, and is
coming back to earth to reign from Jerusalem over Israel and all the nations
of the world. At that time, the fullness of the New Covenant will be
What is the difference between Messianic
Judaism and Christianity?
is the faith in Yeshua as primarily expressed by His Gentile followers, and
is made up of numerous denomination and various doctrines. People who
identify themselves as Christians number over one billion in the world. For
most of the First Century A.D., the faithful followers of Yeshua were
predominantly Jewish. However, as more and more Gentiles came into the
Messianic faith, some had little understanding or regard for its Jewish roots
and God’s eternal covenant with Israel. A “de-Judaizing” process set
in, that is, a separation from the Jewish roots of the faith and form the
Jewish people. This separation eventually led to the formation of second
branch of faith in Yeshua which is primarily composed of Gentile believers,
and is known as “Christianity”. While there is only one faith, and we are
definitely one in the Spirit with true Gentile Christians, Jewish believers
have their own expressions of the faith. For some, believing in Yeshua could
mean a return to the Jewish lifestyle, while at the same time maintaining
that the only way to salvation and eternal life is by placing their faith in
His saving grace. (Romans 11:24 – 25).
When did Messianic Judaism Begin?
Judaism is actually 2,000 years old, dating to the time of Yeshua Himself.
Yeshua was Jewish. He was raised in a Jewish home and ministered to Jewish
people in the Land of Israel. His disciples were Jewish, and the apostles
were Jewish. The writers of the B’rit Chadashah (the New Covenant or New
Testament) were Jewish (with the possible exception of Luke) and, for a time,
the faith was strictly Jewish. By the middle of the First Century A.D., there
were tens of thousands of Jewish people who believed that Yeshua was the
Messiah (Acts 2:37 – 42, 4:4, 21:20).
Why do we use the name “Yeshua” more
often than “Jesus”?
never heard the name “Jesus” in his lifetime! Yeshua is his given Hebrew
name! It means “salvation” or “the Lord is Salvation” (Matthew 1:21).
He was always called “Yeshua,” a common Hebrew name at that time. When
Latin speaking missionaries, who called the Messiah “Yesu”, brought the
Good News to the British people, “Yesu” became “Jesus” in English.
What does “Christ” mean?
people mistakenly believe that “Christ” is Yeshua’s last name. Rather,
“Christ” is His title in much the same way as we might refer to a
“President” or “King”. This title is taken form the Hebrew word
“Mashiach” or “Anointed One”, which was translated “Christos” in
Greek and later anglicized to “Christ”. The actual English translation of
Mashiach is “Messiah” and means an anointed, God-appointed leader.
Examples of this title in the Tanakh are found in Daniel 9:25 and Psalms 2:2.
In the New Covenant, Yeshua claimed the tile of Messiah (Mark 14:61 – 62
and John 4:25 – 26).
encourage you to support the Messianic Jewish movement and, more importantly,
learn how to share your faith with your Jewish friends. For everyone, the
only way to the Father is through the Son.
is the first in a series of articles on the Messianic Jewish movement and why
we should be sharing the good News with the Jewish people. Upcoming articles
will be as follows: “The Jewish Roots of Christianity”, “The Debt We
Gentiles Owe”, “Jesus as Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World” and
finally, “Messianic Bible Studies”.
Denson is currently Director of Shalom Ministry and can be reached at:
Box 19695 Detroit, MI 48219
NEWS FROM RUSSIA: (From a SBMF Minister in Russia)
GLOBAL PEOPLE PROFILES
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF MOSCOW RUSSIA
It was only in the late 18th century when Jews
were permitted to live temporarily in Moscow.
Before that time handfuls of Jews lived in Moscow. The majority of
Russian Jews lived in the Pale of Settlement in Ukraine and Belarus.
Through the partitions of Poland in the 1700’s many more Jews were
incorporated into the Russian empire. The Jews who settled in Moscow were
primarily from the shtetls (small villages) of the Pale.
Czar Alexander II allowed temporary Jewish settlement in Moscow in
1885. However from 1891-1905 the
Jewish community were expelled from the city.
The Jewish population of Moscow really blossomed after 1917,
when under Communism, they were free to live there. Jewish schools, newspapers and cultural centers flourished
during that time. Under Stalin
the Jews lost many of their rights to express themselves culturally.
State sponsored anti-Semitism was a noted feature of Stalin’s
During World War II Jews in other parts of the USSR fled to
Moscow for safety. It eventually
became the city with the largest Jewish population in the USSR and became the
center of Jewish culture and political activism.
In 1967 Israel defeated her Arab neighbors in the 6 Day War
and regained Jerusalem as her capital. This
event caused a great stirring of Zionism among Soviet Jews.
It also led to stringent government measures to suppress Jewish
culture. Many Jewish activists
lobbied for an open policy of immigration to Israel.
This struggle continued until the fall of Communist.
Several thousands of Jews were able to immigrate to Israel during that
would seem that there are Jews in every economic class in Russia today. Many elderly Jews, some of whom are Holocaust survivors, are
economically depressed. As is
the case with the Russian population in general, many Russian Jews live below
the poverty line. At the other
end of the spectrum are some very wealthy Jews.
Many of them fall into the category of ‘New Rich’ which refers to
people who have made their fortunes after the fall of Communism.
Many of them are
businessmen and entrepreneurs. The
majority of the Jews of Russia would fall into the Middle class: including
Jews in professions such as medicine, law and education.
the Jewish population of Moscow is no easy task.
The estimates for 2006 range from 200,000-500,000.
There are a number of reasons for this great divergence of opinion.
One factor is the determination of who is a Jew.
Intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews is estimated to be between
50-70%. The children resulting
from those unions are half Jews, thus counted as Jews by some groups but not
by others. Under Communism,
Jewish identity was listed on one’s internal passport.
This is no longer required so some Jews are choosing not to identify
themselves as such. On the other
hand, with the significant decrease in state-sponsored anti-Semitism some
Jews who previously hid their identity are now openly identifying themselves
What can we say with some certainty about the Jewish
population of Moscow? After the
fall of Communism many Jews all over the fSU chose to immigrate to Israel or
other Western countries. It is
estimated that over 1 million Jews have left fSU in the past decade. Over the past 2 years or so the number of Jews choosing to
immigrate has dropped significantly and it appears that the Jewish population
of Moscow is relatively stable at this time.
Although larger numbers of Jews tended to immigrate from smaller
cities and towns, we can be certain that Moscow has also seen a substantial
decrease in their Jewish population over the past 10 years. On the other hand many Jews from other parts of fSU are
immigrating to Moscow.
The Jews of Moscow tend to be dispersed in various
neighborhoods throughout the city. Two
exceptions are Malkhovk and Saltuykovka suburbs which have had a large Jewish
presence for a long time and which each have a synagogue and a cemetery.
the democratic Russian state Jews are guaranteed the same rights as all other
Russian citizens. They are free
to practice their religion and to immigrate to other countries. There does not appear to be much state-sponsored
anti-Semitism but there is a lot of privately initiated anti-Semitism that
has not been dealt with in a serious and severe manner.
majority of Jews in Moscow would not identify themselves as religious. Orthodox Jewish groups from the U.S. and Israel have worked
very hard over the past decade to make the Jews of Russia religiously
observant. For the most part
they have been unsuccessful. There
are 5 synagogues in Moscow but attendance on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays
remains low. The great majority
of Moscow Jews do not observe the Sabbath of keep kosher laws. Up to 70% of them intermarry with non-Jews.
For the majority of the Jewish community being Jewish is a racial or
cultural identity rather than a religious one.
Looking at things from a different perspective there are a
number of Jews who are open to the Gospel and an estimated 10% who have come
to faith in Jesus as their Messiah. Many of them have been assimilated into
Christian churches while a small percentage are involved in Messianic
the fall of Communism Jewish culture in Russia has been revived. Aside from the 5 synagogues, mentioned above, there are
Jewish schools, seminaries, cultural organizations, historical societies,
community centers and Zionist groups. All
total there are 150 Moscow based Jewish organizations. Many of these organizations have been formed by Western or
Israeli groups. I did not find
any information as to how many Jews participate in these various cultural
opportunities. One thing is
clear. If a Jew in Moscow wants
to learn more about his Jewish culture, history or religious practices he has
plenty of places to go.
From any number of reports, it would seem that God is drawing many
Jews throughout Moscow to Himself. Please
pray that those that God has called to minister to this community will be
sensitive to what God is doing and will work together with Him to reach the
Jews of Moscow with the Gospel.
At this time there are only 5 small Messianic congregations
in Moscow. Pray that God would
give each of them a burning desire to reach out to their Jewish brothers and
As new work is beginning in the Jewish community of Moscow
ask the Father to show us how we can work together with existing ministries.
Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out more laborers to work
among the harvest of Jews in the city of Moscow and beyond.
Life after the USSR Editor:
Jews of Moscow, Kiev and Minsk Robert
Travel Guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine
Request: Please pray for
Jay Fielding and Beth Chaim Messianic Congregation in Marietta, GA . They
need your prayers and support in this new work for the Kingdom Growth.
Ha’ba B’Shem Adonai
is he who comes in the name of the L-rd! [Ps
But be sure of
this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the
thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed
his house to be broken into. For
this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour
when you do not think He will. [Matthew 24:43-44 NASU]
out the below SBMF ministries for details of their Services.
Members Ministries, Congregations and Worship Service Information
Avraham Messianic Congregation
Christian - Jewish Unity
Riverside County area of
Eternal Life Style Ministries
Avraham Messianic Fellowship
Side of Central Nashville, TN.
Institute Of Jewish Studies
A Ministry Of
all of our affiliated congregations have web sites. Some of of our
members have not yet requested us to post links to their web sites.
If you are a member of the SBMF and would like a link to your web site
posted and linked, please contact us at the SBMF.
you need to know more please contact us. If you are seeking the Face of
G-d and looking for His Mashiach to come, please contact us. If you
don't know who Yeshua is and who He can be in your life, please contact us.
you are thinking of attending our annual meetings, please contact us.
We would love to see you.
Questions: Please click the link to SBMF Membership link in the
SBMF Links section at the top right of this page. Please fill in the
questions or give us your name and email address. In the space marked
Current Church or Congregation type the words: "I have a
question". We will get back to you soon.
L-RD bless you, and watch over you; The L-RD make His face
shine on you, And be gracious to you; The L-RD lift up His
countenance on you, And give you peace. [NASU Numbers
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