OR BUY PAPERBACK FROM AMAZON.COM
TAKE 3 MIN, FIND OUT WHAT THIS WEBSITE IS ALL ABOUT
ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE
(Google Chrome Browser recommended) meshichistyid.org Meshichist Yid
Download your free Bible and study with us free at our online Yeshiva
Qty: Price: $29.95
EMAIL DR GOBLE (CELL 646 460 5971) DO SEARCHES OF THIS VAST WEBSITE AS WELL AS CONCORDANCE-LIKE SEARCH QUERIES OF THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE USING YOUR GOOGLE OJB "STRONG'S CONCORDANCE"
Example: type below in the AFII Google Search Portal "HaAlmah"
(This message builds on the Genesis 3:15 Torah teaching, confirmed in Rabbinic exegesis, see
זרעזה מלך המשיח מדרש רבה כג ה
that Moshiach, through his sufferings, will win our victory over Satan.)
BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER, BE LIKE NA'AMAN AND HEAD FOR THE MIKVEH AND GET REAL LEV TAHOR LEVERAGE AGAINST HASATAN IN THE NAME OF HASHEM (ATIK YOMIN) AND THE ZOON FOON DER OYBERSHTER (BAR ENOSH) AND THE RUACH HAKODESH ADONOI ECHAD AND BECOME A MESHICHIST YID. And you don't have to buy the paperback; you can download the searchable e-book version including this and read it on your computer screen free-of-charge (you can also download free-of-charge another book that you can use as a commentary to get you into the Biblical languages and also intensely into each book of the Bible). But if you decide you DO want the paperback which also includes this translation as well as the other 39 books of the Bible, THEN IF YOU DON'T WANT TO USE YOUR CREDIT CARD JUST SEND A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO AFII TO GET YOUR PAPERBACK COPY OF THE OJB
CHECK OUT ARTISTS FOR ISRAEL INTERNATIONAL MESSIANIC BIBLE SOCIETY HOME PAGE
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GROW A MESSIANIC SYNAGOGUE Copyright (C) 1974 by Phillip E. Goble
Download an ancient Orthodox Jewish Mahzor published by the Hebrew Publishing Company. Notice particularly MahzorJ.pdf. Also notice MahzorA.pdf, particularly noting the last page (page 71) of that pdf file, the middle part of that last page, specifically the Hebrew in smaller type, especially the word before "SAR HAPANIM". Also on page 17 [two key words "yichud Qudsha, the unification of the Holy One, or the Holy Unity"] in mahzorA.pdf, note the following "BEHOLD I PREPARE MY MOUTH TO THANK AND PRAISE MY CREATOR IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY UNITY, BLESSED IS HE, AND HIS SHECHINAH [I.E. THE RUACH HAKODESH] BY THE HAND OF HIM WHO IS HIDDEN AND CONCEALED [I.E. YESHUA SAR HAPANIM FOUND ON PAGE 71 IN MAHZORA.PDF] IN THE NAME OF ALL ISRAEL"
NOT A MESSIANIC BAAL TESHUVA YET BECAUSE YOU STILL HAVEN'T OBEYED MOSHIACH AND HAVEN'T YET MADE ZIKH GE'TOYVL'T IN DER MIKVE? AND DON'T UNDERSTAND THE RATIONALE OF THIS BIBLE SOCIETY WEBSITE? OR WHAT PHIL GOBLE IS DOING HERE?
STOP EVERYTHING AND LOOK AT THIS NUMBER #1 GOOGLE RATED MESSIANIC VIDEO
LOOK AT COMMENTARY
ARE YOU AN ANTI-MOSHIACH ACTIVIST? NO NO WONDER YOU ARE DEPRESSED!!!
GIVE IT UP, BOYS!
You have too much to lose.
You need a spiritual home. Why not turn Friday night into EREV SHABBAT?
Now is this judaizing? All rights reserved Revised Edition Copyright (C) 1996 Artists For Israel International
IF YOU HAVE HIGH SPEED ACCESS, LISTEN TO THIS
ALSO, EQUALLY IMPORTANT
Why your soul's salvation hangs on the inerrancy of the Bible
TOUR OUR FREE ONLINE BIBLE SCHOOL
NOW, MORE THAN EVER TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE
PREFACE Let's stop here and test your Moshiach literacy. A WORD FROM DR. PHILLIP GOBLE The Kitvei Hakodesh are clear about Klal Yisrael. They will not change their G-d: they will still believe in the G-d of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov. They will not change their religion. They will still hold dear to Judaism as their faith. Nevertheless, the Kitvei Hakodesh are clear: they will be changed by teshuva and hitkhadeshut, all the Jewish people people in the world. And they will be redeemed. One day they will look up into heaven and they will see the Kodesh HaKodashim in heaven open, and they will see not a changing of religions but a changing of Kohanim Gedolim. And in this changing of the guard of the Kohanim Gedolim in the Kodesh HaKodeshim in heaven, they will see a new Kohen Gadol (after the order of Malki-Tzedek) replacing the old Kohen Gadol. But this spiritual revelation will not cause them to discard their Siddurim or their copies of the Shas. They will not cancel Bar Mitzvahs or High Holiday Services. They will not do away with Torah Services on Shabbos. They will still be loyal to the Sinai Covenant and its mitzvot. They will change very little, almost nothing as far as their Orthodox Jewish manner of life is concerned. But they will be changed. They will see him in heaven, wearing the garments that Caiapha once wore when Caiapha unwittingly ordered the Akedah and had him bound and led away, carrying the Scapegoat's burden of the evil Olam Hazeh. They will see him--Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Adoneinu Yehoshua, standing in the Kodesh HaKodashim in Shomayim. They will see him and they will weep. And the shul and the yeshiva will never be the same after that. And they will have far better people to produce materials such as the following, because there will be thousands and thousands of rabbis and yeshiva scholars weeping as I have wept for the Jewish people and looking up into heaven and seeing the changing of the guard of the Kohanim Gedolim in the Kodesh HaKodashim. But, until then, this meager offering is presented with a prayer and with faith in the Kitvei Hakodesh and in the Geulah Redemption of Klal Yisrael. What has been needed for a long time is a comprehensive tool designed to further the planting and growth of messianic synagogues. This is why this book was written in 1974. This edition is revised, for now there are many messianic synagogues throughout the world, and there will be many more in the future. But this is not really new, for we see messianic synagogues in Acts 21:20 and Jam.2:2 (see the Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha downloadable at http://www.afii.org/material.htm from the Internet). So what has been the problem in the intervening years since the First Century? Choosing the wrong cultural specialist as their mentor, ministers to Jewish people have in the past typically tried to mimic Moshiach's Shliach to the Goyim (Sha'ul or Paul) and have largely ignored his highly successful (cf. Acts 21:20) cultural counterpart, Moshiach's Shliach to the Jews (James or Ya'akov). Ya'akov was concerned that no "irksome restrictions" (Acts 15:19) be imposed on Goyim. He would have also been concerned to have no "irksome restrictions" placed on him and the Jerusalem Messianic Synagogue of which he was the mashgiach ruchani (spiritual overseer). Can you imagine Ya'akov's reaction if some Goyim had told his congregation they could no longer practice the bris milah or be shomer Shabbos? You don't have to imagine. Just read Acts 21:20-21, where we find that the early Jewish talmidim (disciples) of Moshiach were shomer mitzvot, and where we see Ya'akov was quick to correct the lashon hora some were speaking against the Shaliach Sha'ul, falsely accusing Sha'ul of teaching Jewish people they had to become shmad and abandon the bris milah and the minhagim (customs) of the Jewish people in order to follow the Moshiach. Unfortunately, the dismal history of ministry to Jewish people has been the largely futile effort to impose the irksome restrictions of Goyishe culture on Jews. Instead of helping plant and lead Brit Chadasha Kehillot, authentic Messianic Synagogues with integrity and relevance for the Jewish people like the Shliach Ya'akov (James) did in Jerusalem, ministers to Jewish people typically function as unwitting modern "Gentilizers," trying to persuade Jews to assimilate into Goyishe cultural life-style - a betrayal the Jewish community understandably resists as the self-destruction and spiritual genocide of Jews as a people. In a Jewish neighborhood, Messiah's people must become like Jewish people to win Jewish people (I Cor. 9:20-21), remembering that Moshiach came to bring life to Jewish people, not cultural death. Moshiach came to give them new spiritual life, not change them from Jews into Goyim. This is axiomatic and fundamental. When a congregation of Messiah's people finds herself in a Jewish community she must not shrink from wearing once again her full Jewish dress, all her old First Century synagogue attire. For local communities of Messiah's people in Jewish communities to remain inflexibly groomed for Goyim and then demand that Jews convert to Gentile ways of life and worship in order for Jewish people to accept their own Moshiach is the horrific, condemnable, ancient Judaizing heresy in reverse, and must not be tolerated. (To learn about this heresy, download Galatians from the Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha translation from our website at http://www.afii.org/material.htm ). The philosophy of this book centers on the concept of a people movement, something the Body of Moshiach received from the Jewish community in Acts 21:20, when the Shlichut for Yehudim was in full operation (Gal.2:8-9). A people movement occurs when whole family units (not just rebels and family misfits) from a particular cultural group flow into the Body of Adoneinu Moshiach Tzidkeinu. Acts 21:20 says, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jewish people there are who believe (in the Messiah and the Orthodox Judaism of the Brit Chadasha); and they are all zealous for the Torah (i.e. the Orthodox Judaism of the time, which predates modern post-Second Temple so called "orthodox" Judaism)" (Acts 21:20). Luke 2:42 alludes to our Moshiach's bar mitzva equivalent (see Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol.4, page 244 for historical background documentation). Because the Shliach Ya'akov and the first Jewish believers in our Moshiach worshipped in the shul, kept Shabbos (as well as Yom Rishon), and maintained the peoplehood-sustaining minhagim of the Jewish people, they were able to effectively encourage a people movement from the Jewish community. It is true that Sha'ul won a few Jewish people into his Gentile-accommodating congregations, but as far as the Jewish people as a people were concerned, to flow into such a cultural environment was not an attractive option. But then Sha'ul had the Shlichut mission to the Goyim, he did not have the Shlichut mission to the Yehudim; it was Kefa, Ya'akov and Yochanan (Gal.2:9) who had the Shlichut to the Yehudim and could minister in such a way as to accommodate the special needs of the Jewish people as a people. Only the fully operative Messianic Synagogue community of Ya'akov the Shliach in Yerushalayim could win masses (see Acts 21:20) from whole segments of the Jewish community. Stated simply in modern terms, there are a few Jewish people, and cumulatively, many Jewish people, who can be won by ordinary local congregations. But, generally speaking, these local congregations cannot attract whole family units that flow in a people movement from the Jewish community. To put it graphically, a Jewish man is not going to bring his wife and bar mitzva-aged son and bat mitva-aged daughter and orthodox mother to the ordinary local congregation. If one insists on preaching the G-d of Israel's Good News to this family unit in a Gentile style rather than a Messianic style and in a Gentile setting rather than a Biblical Acts 21:20 synagogue setting, one may very well not win this family unit. But the Bible once again solves the problem: the first local assembly or kehillah of Messiah's people was a messianic synagogue community. In fact, Ya'akov the Shliach calls it such in the original language of his book in chapter 2, verse 2, (see Greek, Jam.2:2) and a messianic synagogue community the local kehillah must become again, whenever it finds itself in a Jewish community. (See "Moshiach's Letter Through the Shliach Ya'akov To The Brit Chadasha Kehillah" from the Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha translation from our website at http://www.afii.org/material.htm). What has been needed for a long time is a comprehensive tool designed to further the planting and growth of messianic synagogues. This is why this book was written. Galatians 6:15 and Colossians 3:11 clarify that for Goyim being born from heaven is what is important, not being physically born of Jewish stock. However, when Sha'ul speaks of the new birth, he speaks of becoming a spiritual ben Avraham (son of Abraham--see Gal.3:7-14; Romans 2:28,29; Philippians 3:3). This book is a series of detachable, interlocking chapters that lead the Jewish inquirer into progressively deeper levels of commitment until he has become a member of a messianic synagogue. Hashem has a vested interest in keeping Jewish people Jewish until the Bias haMoshiach (Coming of Messiah), or else Moshiach Adoneinu will be King of the Jews in name only. Furthermore, it is not possible for Jewish people to fully obey the Brit Chadasha if they try to do so by apostatizing from the Sinai Covenant and its mitzvot. This is why cultural specialization is so crucial in the planting of new ministries (Galatians 2:9), for the Great Commission of Moshiach commands that Jewish people be not imperiled as a people, but discipled as a people. In 1974, when this book was first published, a wonderful breeze of the Ruach Hakodesh was blowing. It had been blowing since 1967, when the "Six Day War" made it possible for Israel to absorb East Jerusalem. This caused a revived interest in the Moshiach among the Jewish people world-wide, because Yerushalayim was no longer trodden down by Goyim (see also Luke 21:24) and the stage was being set for the Fig Tree to blossom (21:29-31) into the Bias Moshiach. A world-wide revival began among the Jewish people, remarkably also in Los Angeles, where this book was written. Now, even more is happening. What the Jewish community needs are thousands of growing synagogues with home Torah studies, yahmakahs, Jewish music, Jewish food, Jewish humor, Jewish customs, ceremonies, holidays, traditions, testimonies, special events, and everything revolving around and pointing toward a very Jewish Moshiach who is Adoneinu. Such synagogues can throw their doors open wide with the confidence that G-d will fill them with Jewish souls and also with people who are of non-Jewish descent but are nevertheless spiritually of the seed of Abraham (Gal.3:7-14) and of the calling of Ruth, called to Messianic Jewish ministry. These truly heaven-born believers in Moshiach Adoneinu, unlike many anti-semitic nominal and errant followers, will love the Jewish people in all their Jewishness. They will understand that rabbis and synagogues have to change very little, almost nothing, about their liturgy or their manner of worship or Jewish lifestyle in order to follow the Moshiach. The book of Hebrews shows that all rabbis and synagogues have to do to find redemption in Moshiach is to look up into heaven and see a changing of the guard of the Kohen Gadol, with Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua the Kohen l'Olam al divrati Malki-Tzedek (Ps.110:4) in the Kodesh HaKodashim in Shomayim. Once they believe in his kapparah and come into the Brit Chadasha Yom Kippur experience of hitkhadeshut through chesed rather than zechus, very little else has to be changed. Hashem is only looking for a change of heart, not a change of religion or a change of allegiance from the Sinai Covenant and its mitzvot. It is my prayer that G-d will give you, the reader, the same privilege he gave me, and reward your toil with good ground and the fruit of a Brit Chadasha-patterned messianic synagogue. Baruch Hashem! Dr. Phillip Goble MESSIANIC EREV SHABBAT SERVICE (GETTING STARTED IN PLANTING A MESSIANIC SYNAGOGUE: TURNING FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SHABBOS, IN A HOME, IN A RENTED HALL, ANYWHERE) PRAYER ON ENTERING MOSHIACH'S SHUL (YA'AKOV 2:2 (OJBC) [Vah-ah-nee brohv chabs-d'chah ah-voh vey-teh-chah ehsh-tah-chah-veh ehl hey-chahl kahd-sh'chah b'yeer-ah-teh-chah. Mah toh-voo oh-hah-leh-chah yah-ah-kohv meesh-k'noh-teh-chah Yis-ra-el. Vah-ah-nee b'rohv chahs-d'chah ah-voh vey-teh-chah ehsh-tah-cha-veh ehl hey-chal kad-sh'chah b'yeer-ah-teh-chah. Ah-doh-noy ah-hahv-tee m'ohm bay-tehchah oo-m'kohm meesh-kahn k'voh-deh-chah. Vah-ah-nee esh-tah-chah-veh v'ech-rah-ah ev'r'chah leef-nay Ah-doh-nye oh-see. Vah-ah-nee t'fee-la-tee l'chah Ah-doh-noy et rah-tsohn Elo-heem. B'rahv chas-deh-chah ah-ney-nee beh-eh-met yish-eh-cha.] As for me, in the abundance of thy loving kindness will I come into thy house: I will worship toward thy holy Temple in the fear of thee. How goodly are thy tents, 0 Jacob, thy tabernacles, 0 Israel! As for me, in the abundance of thy loving kindness will I come into thy house: I will worship toward thy holy Temple in the fear of thee. L-rd, I love the habitation of thy house and the place where thy glory dwelleth. As for me, I will worship and bow down: I will bend the knee before the L-rd, my maker. And as for me, may my prayer unto thee, O L-rd, be in an acceptable time: O G-d, in the abundance of thy loving kindness, answer me in the truth of thy salvation. SILENT MEDITATION PSALM 122 [Sah-mach-tee bohm-reem lee Beyt Adonai neh-lech. Ohm-doht ha-yoo rag-ley-noo be-shah-rye-yeech Y'roo-shah-lye-yeem. Y'roo-shah-lye-yeem hah-b'noo-yah k'eer sheh-choo-brah lah yach-dahv. Sheh-shahm ah-loo sh'vah-teem sheev-tay yah ay-doot l'Yees-ra-el l'hoh-doht l'shem Ah-do-noy. Kee shah-mah yahsh-voo kee-soht l'meesh-paht kee-soht l'vayt Dovid. Shah-ah-loo sha-lom Y'roo-shah-lye-yeem yeesh-lah-yoo oh-hah-vah-yeech. Y'hee sha-lom b'chay-lech shal-vah b'ahr-m'noh-tah-yeech. L'mah-ahn ah-chye v'ray-eye ah-dahb'rah nah sha-lom bach. L'mah-ahn beyt Ah-do-noy Eh-lo-hey-noo ah-vah-k'shah tohv lahch.] I was glad when they said unto me,let us go into the house of the L-rd. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, 0 Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together: whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the L-rd, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the L-rd. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, peace be within thee. Because of the house of the L-rd our G-d I will seek thy good. BENEDICTION ON KINDLING THE SABBATH-LIGHT IN ZIKARON (REMEMBRANCE) OF MOSHIACH THE OHR HAOLAM (THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD) [Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy Elo-hey-noo meh-lech hah-oh-lahm ah-sher kid-shah-noo b'mitz-voh-tahv v'tsi-vah-noo l'had-leek ner shel Shah-baht.] Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments, and hast commanded us to kindle the Sabbath-light. BENEDICTION ON KINDLING THE FESTIVAL-LIGHT [Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-do-noy Elo-hey-noo me-lech ha-olahm a-sher keed'-shah-noo b-meetz-voh-tahv v'tsee-vah-noo l'hahd-leek ner shel shabbaht vah) yohm-tohv.] Blessed art thou, O L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments, and hast commanded us to kindle the Festival-light. On the first night of the Festival, add the following: [Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-do-noy Elo-hey-noo me-lech ha-olahm she'he-ch'yah-noo v'kee-y'mah-noo vuh-hee-gee-ah-noo lahz-mahn ha-zeh.] Blessed art thou, O L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who hast kept us in life, and hast preserved us, and hast enabled us to reach this season. SHALOM ALECHEM [Sha-lom a-lechem mal-a-chey ha-sha-ret mal-a-chey el-yohn mee-mel-ech mal-chey ham'1a-cheem ha-ka-dosh bah-rooch hoo. bo-a-chem l'sha-lom mal-a-chey ha-sha-lom mal-a-chey el-yon. Mee-meh-lech mal-chey ham'la-cheem ha-kadohsh bah-rooch hoo. Bar-choo-nee l'sha-lom mal-a-chey ha-sha-lom mal-a-chey el-yohn mee-meh-lech mal-chey ham'la.cheem ha-ka-dohsh bah-rooch hoo. tzet-chem l'sha-lom mal-a-chey ha-sha-lom mal-a-chey el-yon mee-meh-lech mal-chey ham'la-cheem ha-ka-dohsh ba-rooch hoo.] Peace be with you, ministering angels, Messengers of the Most High, The King of Kings The Holy One, blessed be He. May your coming be in peace, etc (repeat) Bless me with peace, etc. (repeat) May your going be in peace, etc. (repeat) LECHAH DODI (MOSHIACH'S GILLUY SHECHINAH 19:9 OJBC) [L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Sh'mohr v'zah-chor b'dee-boor eh-chad. Heesh-mee-ah-noo el ham'yoo-chad Ah-do-noy echad oo'sh'moh echad l'shem oo-l'teef-eh-ret v'leet-hee-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Leek-raht shab-baht l'choo v'nayl-chah kee hee m'kohr hah-brah-chah may-rohsh mee-keh-dem n'soo-chah sohf mah-ah-seh b'mah-cha-shah-vah t'chee-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Meek-dahsh meh-lech eer m'loo-chah koo-mee ts'ee mee-tohch hah-hah-feh-chah rahv lach she-vet b'eh-mek hah-bah-chah v'hoo yah-chah-mohl ah-lye-yeech chem-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Heet-nah-ah-ree meh-ah-far koo-mee leev-shee beeg-day teef-ahr-taych ah-mee ahl-yahd ben Yee-shai Bayt Hah-lach-mee kar-vah ehl naf-shee g'ah-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Hit-oh-rah-ree hit-or-rah-ree kee vah oh-rech koo-mee oh-ree oo-ree oo-ree sheer dah-ber-ee k'vohd Ah-do-noy ah-lye-yeech neeg-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Loh tev-shee v'loh teek-ahl-mee mah teesh-toh-chah-chee oo-mah teh-heh-mee bach yeh-che-soo ah-ne-yay ah-mee v'niv-n'tah eer ahl tee-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: V'hah-yoo leem-she-sah sh'oh-sah-yeech v'rah-cha-koo kol m'vahl-ah-yeech yah-sees ah-lye-yeech elo-hah-yeech keem-sohs cha-tahn ahl kah-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Yah-meen oo-s'mohl teef-roh-tsee v'et Ah-doh-nye tah-ah-ree-tsee ahl yahd eesh ben pahr-tsee v'nees-m'chah v'nah-gee-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah: Boh-ee v'sha-lom ah-teh-ret bah-lah gahm b'seem-chah oo-v'tsah-hah-lah toch eh-moo-nay ahm s'goo-lah boh-ee cha-lah boh-ee cha-lah. L'chah doh-dee leek-raht cah-lah p'nay shab-baht n'kah-b'lah:] Come, my friend, to meet the bride, let us welcome the presence of the Sabbath. "Observe" and "Remember the Sabbath day," the only G-d caused us to hear in a single utterance: the L-rd is One, and his name is One to his renown and his glory and his praise. (Come, etc.) Come, let us go to meet the Sabbath, for it is a wellspring of blessing; from the beginning, from of old it was ordained --last in production, first in thought. (Come, etc.) 0 sanctuary of our King, O regal city, arise, go forth from thy overthrow; long enough hast thou dwelt in the valley of weeping; verily he will have compassion upon thee. (Come,etc.) Shake thyself from the dust, arise, put on the garments of thy glory, O my people! Through the son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, draw thou nigh unto my soul, redeem it. (Come,etc.) Arouse thyself, arouse thyself, for thy light is come: arise, shine; awake, awake; give forth a song; the glory of the L-rd is revealed upon thee. (Come, etc.) Be not ashamed, neither be confounded. Why art thou cast down, and why art thou disquieted? The poor of my people trust in thee, and the city shall be builded on her own mound. (Come, etc.) And they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that would swallow thee shall be far away: thy G-d shall rejoice over thee, as a bridegroom rejoiceth over his bride. (Come, etc.) Thou shalt spread abroad on the right hand and on the left, and thou shalt reverence the L-rd. Through the offspring of Perez we also shall rejoice and be glad. (Come, etc.) Come in peace, thou crown of thy husband, with rejoicing and with cheerfulness, in the midst of the faithful of the chosen people: come, O bride; come, 0 bride. (Come, etc.) PSALM 96 [Sheer-oo l'Ah-doh-noy sheer cha-dahsh sheer-oo l'Ah-doh-noy kol ha-ah-retz. Sheer-oo l'Ah-doh-noy bahr-choo sh'moh bas-roo mee-yohm l'yohm Ye-shua-toh. Sahp-roo vah-goy-eem k'voh-doh b'chol ha-ah-meem neef-l'oh-tahv. Kee gah-dohl Ah-doh-noy oo-m'hoo-lahl m'ohd noh-rah hoo ahl kol Elo-heem. Kee kol ehl-hay ha-ah-meem eh-lee-leem v'Ah-doh-noy shah-my-eem ah-sah. Hohd v'hah--dahr l'fah-nahv ohz v'teef-eh-ret b'mik-dah-shoh. Hah-voo l'Ah-doh-noy meech-p'choht ah-meem hah-voo l'Ah-doh-noy k'vohd v'ohz. Hah-voo l'Ah-doh-noy k'vohd sh'moh s'oo meen-chah oo-voh-oo l'chats-roh-tav. Heesh-tah-cha-voo l'Ah-doh-noy b'had-raht koh-desh chee-loo me-pahn-ahv kol hah-ah-retz. Eem-roo vah-goy-eem Ah-doh-noy mah-lach ahf tee-kohn te-vel bahl tee-moht yah-deen ah-meem b'may-shah-reem. Yees-m'choo hah-shah-ma--yeem v'tah-gel hah-ah-retz yeer-ahm hah-yahm oo-m'loh-oh. Yah-ah-lohz sah-dye v'chol ah-sher boh ahz y'rah-n'noo koh ah-tsay yah-ar. Leef-nay Ah-doh-noy kee vah kee vah leesh-poht hah-ah-retz yish-poht teh-vel b'tse-dek v'ah-meem beh-eh-moo-nah-toh.] O sing unto the L-rd a new song: sing unto the L-rd, all the earth. Sing unto the L-rd, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the L-rd is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all g-ds. For all the g-ds of the nations are idols: but the L-rd made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the L-rd, 0 ye kindreds of the people, give unto the L-rd glory and strength. Give unto the L-rd the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the L-rd in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the L-rd reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the L-rd: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with his truth. PSALM 92 [Tov I'hoh-doht l'Ah-doh-noy oo-l'zah-mer l'shem-cha ahl-yohn. L'hah-geed bah-boh-ker chas-deh-cha ve-eh-moo-nah-t'chah bah-lay-loht. Ah-Iay ah-sohr vah-al-lay nah-vel ah-lay hee-gah-yohn b'chee-nohr. Kee seem-mach-tah-nee Ah-doh-noy b'fah-ah-leh-chah b'mah-ah-say yah-deh-chah ah-rah-nen. Mah gahd-loo mah-ah-seh-chah Ah-doh-noy m'ohd ahm-koo mach-sh'voh-teh-chah. Eesh bah-ahr lo yay-dah oo-che-seel loh yah-veen et zoht. Beef-roh-ach r'sha-eem k'moh ay-sev vah-yah-tsee-tsoo kol poh-ah-lay ah-ven l'he-sham-dahm ah-day ahd. V'ah-tah mah-rohm l'oh-lam Ah-doh-noy kee he-neh oh-y'veh-cha Ah-doh-nye kee-he-neh oh-y'veh-cha yoh-veh-doo yeet-pahr-doo kol poh-ah-lay ah-ven. Vah-tah-rem keer-aym kar-nee bah-loh-tee b'sheh-men rah-ah-nahn. Vah-tah-beht ay-nee b'shoo-rye bah-kah-meem ah-lye m'reh-eem teesh-mah-nah ahz-nye. Tsa-deek kah-tah-mahr yeef-rach k'eh-rez bahl-vahn-nohn yees-geh. Sh'too leem b'vayt Ah-doh-noy b'chats-roht Eh-loh-hey-noo yahf-ree-choo. Ohd y'noo-voon b'say-vah d'shay-neem v'rah-ah-nah-neem yee-yoo. L'hah-geed kee yah-shar Ah-doh-nye tsroo-ree v'loh ahv-lah-tah boh.] It is a good thing to give thanks unto the L-rd, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: to show forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, L-rd, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O L-rd, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed forever: but thou, L-rd, art most high for evermore. For lo, thine enemies, O L-rd, for lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of a wild ox: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the L-rd shall flourish in the courts of our G-d. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to show that the L-rd is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. PSALM 93 [Ah-doh-noy mah-lach gay-oot lah-vesh Ah-doh-noy ohz heet-ah-zar ahf tee-kohn teh-vel bahl tee-moht. Nah-chohn kees-ah-cha meh-ahz meh-oh-lahm ah-tah. Nahs-oo n'hah-roht Ah-doh-noy nahs-oo n'hah-roht koh-lahm yees-oo n'hah-roht dach-yahm. mee-kohl-oht may-eem rah-beem ah-dee-reem meesh-b'ray-yahm ah-deer bah-ma-rohm Ah-doh-noy ay-doh-teh-cha neh-em-noo m'ohd l'vay-t'cha nah-ah-vah koh-desh Ah-doh-noy l'oh rech yah-meem.] The L-rd reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the L-rd is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The L-rd on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, 0 L-rd, for ever. THE INVOCATION TO PRAYER THE READER: [Bar-choo et Ah-doh.noy ha-m'voh-rahch.] Bless ye the L-rd who is to be blessed. THE CONGREGATION: [Bah-rooch Ah-doh-noy hah-m'voh-rahch lee-oh-lahm vah-ed. Bah-rooch atah Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hey-noo me-lech ha-oh-lahm ah-sher bid-vah-noh mah-ah-reev ah-rah-veem b'chach-mah poh-tey-ach sh'ahr-eem oo-veet-voo-nah m'shah-neh ee-teem oo-mach-ah-leef et haz-mah-neem oo-m'sah-dehr et ha-koh-cha-veem b'mish-m'roh-tay-hem bah-rah-kee-ah kir-tsoh-noh. Boh-rey yohm v'lye-lah goh-lehl ohr me-p'nay cho-shech v'cho-shech me-p'nay ohr. Oo-mah-ah-veer yohm oo-meh-vee lai-lah oo-mahv-deel bayn yohm oo-vayn lai-lah. Ah-doh-noy ts'vah-oht sh'moh. Ayl chai v'kah-yahm tah-mid yeem-lohch ah-ley-noo l'oh-lam vah-ed. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy ha-mah-ah-reev ah-rah-veem.] Blessed is the L-rd who is to be blessed for ever and ever. Blessed art thou, O L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who at thy word bringest on the evening twilight, with wisdom openest the gates of the heavens, and with understanding changest times and variest the seasons, and arrangest the stars in their watches in the sky, according to thy will. Thou createst day and night; thou rollest away the light from before the darkness, and the darkness from before the light; thou makest the day to pass and the night to approach, and dividest the day from the night, the L-rd of hosts is thy name; a G-d living and enduring continually, mayest thou reign over us for ever and ever. Blessed art thou, O L-rd, who bringest on the evening twilight. BLESSING G-D, THE TEACHER OF ISRAEL [Ah-ha-vaht oh-lahm bayt Yees-ra-el ahm-cha ah-hahv-tah toh-rah oo-mitz-voht choo-keem oo-meesh-pah-teem oh-tah-noo lee-mahd-tah. Ahl keyn Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hey-noo b'shach-bey-noo oo-v'koo-meh-noo nahs-yach b'choo-keh-cha v'nees-mach b'deev-rey toh-rah-teh-cha oo-v'mitz-voh-teh-cha l'oh-lahm vah-ed. Kee chehm cha-yeh-noo v'oh-rech yah-mey-noo oo-va-hem neh-geh yoh-mahm v'lai-lah. V'ah-hah-vah-t'cha ahl tah-seer me-meh-noo l'oh-lah-meem. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy oh-hev ah-moh Yees-rah-el.] With everlasting love thou hast loved the house of Israel, thy people; a law and commandments, statutes and judgments hast thou taught us. Therefore, O L-rd our G-d, when we lie down and when we rise up we will meditate on thy statutes; yea, we will rejoice in the words of thy law and in thy commandments for ever; for they are our life and the length of our days, and we will meditate on them day and night. And mayest thou never take away thy love from us. Blessed art thou, O L-rd, who lovest thy people Israel. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (The Aseret ha-Dibrot was once part of the worship in the Beis Hamikdash--see Berakhot 12a for why the rabbis gratuitously cancelled its daily reading.) [Ah-noh-chee Ah-doh-nye Eh-lo-hey-chah.] I am the L-rd thy G-d. [Loh yee-h'yeh l'chah Eh-lo-heem ah-chay-mem al pah-nye.] Thou shalt have no other g-ds before me. [Loh tee-sah et shem Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-heh-chah lah-shahv.] Thou shalt not take the name of the L-rd thy G-d in vain. [Zah-chor et yom ha-shah-bat l'kah-d'shoh.] Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. [Kah-beyd et ah-vee-chah vuh-et eem-meh-cha.] Honor thy father and thy mother. [Lo teer-tzach.] Thou shalt not murder. [Lo teen-ahf.] Thou shalt not commit adultery. [Lo teeg-nohv.] Thou shalt not steal. [Lo tah-ah-neh v'ray-ah-chah ed sha-ker.] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, [Lo toch-mode.] Thou shalt not covet. THE SHEMA, OUR CONFESSION [Sh'mah Yees-rah-el Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hey-noo Ah-doh-noy eh-chahd.] Hear, 0 Israel: the L-rd our G-d is one L-rd. [Bah-rooch shem kah-vohd mal-choo-toh l'ohlahm vah-ed.] Blessed be his Name whose glorious kingdom is for ever and ever.] THE ANI MA'AMIN OF BRIT CHADASHA ORTHODOX JUDAISM [Yehoshua hoo Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Adoneinu.] DEUTERONOMY 6:5-9 [V'ah-hav.tah et Ah-doh-noy Eh-loh-heh-cha b'chol l'vahv-cha oo-v'chol nahf-sh'cha oo-v'chol m'oh-deh-cha. V'ha-yoo ha-d'vah-reem hah-eh-leh ah-sher ah-noh-chee m'tsahv-cha ha-yohm ahl l'vah-veh-cha. v'she-nahn-tahm l'vah-neh-cha v'deeb-ar-tah bahm b'sheev-t'cha b'vey-teh-cha oo'v'lech-t'cha vah-deh-rech oo-v'shach-b'cha oo-v'koo-meh-cha. Oo-k'shar-tahm l'oht ahl yah-deh-cha v'ha-yoo l'toh-tah-foht bayn ah-neh-cha. Oo-ch'tav-tahm ahl m'zoo-zoht bay-teh-cha oo-veesh-ah-reh-cha.] And thou shalt love the L-rd thy G-d with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. DEUTERONOMY 11:13-21 [V'ha-yah eem shah-moh-ah teesh-m'oo ehl mitz-voh-tai ah-sher ah-noh-chee m'tsah-veh et-chem ha-yom l'ah-hah-vah et Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hey-chem oo-l'ahv-doh b'chol l'vahv-chem oo-v'chol nahf-sh'chem. V'nah-tah-tee m'tahr ar-ts'chem b'ee-toh yoh-reh oo-mahl-kosh v'ah-sahf-tah d'gah-neh-cha v'teer-sh'cha v'yeetz-ha-reh-cha. V'nah-tah-tee ay-sev b'sah-d'cha leev-hem-teh-cha v'ah-chal-tah v'sah-vah-tah. Heh-sham-roo lah-chem pehn yeef-teh l'vav-chem v'sahr-tehm vah-ah-vahd-tehm Eh-lo-heem ah-che-reem v'heesh-tah-cha-vee-tehm lah-hem. V'cha-rah ahf Ah-doh-noy bah-chem v'ah-tsahr et ha-shah-mayim v'loh yee-h'yeh mah-tahr v'ha-ah-dah-mah loh te-teyn et y'voo-lah va-ah-vad-tem m'hey-rah mey-ahl ha-ah-retz ha-toh-vah asher Ah-doh-noy noh-teyn lah-chem. V'sahm-tehm et d'vah-rai eh-leh ahl l'vahv-chem v'ahl naf-sh'chem oo-k'shar-tehm oh-tahm l'oht ahl yed-chem v'ha-yoo l'toh-tah-foht bayn ay-nay-chem. V'lee-mahd-teem oh-tahm et b'nay-chem l'dah-behr bahm b'sheev-t'chah. B'vay-teh-cha oov-lech-t'cha v'deh-rech oov-shach-b'cha oov-koo-mecha. Oo-ch'tahv-tahm ahl m'zoo-zoht bay-teh-cha oo-veesh-ah-recha. L'mah-ahn yeer-boo y'may-chem vee-v'may v'ney-chem ahl ha-ah-dah-mah ah-sher neesh-bah Ah-doh-noy lah-ah-voh-tey-chem lah-tet lah-hem key-may hah-shah-ma-yim ahl ha-ar-retz.] And it shall come to pass if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the L-rd your G-d, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in its due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other g-ds, and worship them; and then the L-rd's wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit, and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the L-rd giveth you. Therefore, shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontiers between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of thine house, and upon thy gates, that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the L-rd sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. NUMBERS 15:37-41 [Va-yoh-mer Ah-doh-noy ehl Moh-sheh leh-mohr: Dah-ber el b'nei Yees-ra-el v'ah-mar-tah ah-ley-hem v'ah-soo lah-hem tsee-tseet al-kahn-fay veeg-day-hem l'doh-roh-tahm v'naht-noo al-tsee-tseet ha-kah-nahf p'teel t'chay-let. V'ha-yah lah-chem l'tsee-tseet oo-r'ee-tem oh-toh ooz-char-tem et kol meetz-oht Ah-doh-noy vah-ah-see-tem oh-tahm v'loh tah-too-roo ah-chah-ray l'vav-chem vah-chah-ray ay-nay-chem ah-sher ah-tem zoh-neem ah-chah-ray-hem. L'mah-ahn teez-k'roo vah-ah-see-tem et kol mee-tzoh-tah vee-h'yee-tem k'doh-sheem lay-loh-hay-chem. Ah-nee Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hay-chem a-sher hoh-tzay-tee et-chem may-eh-retz metz-ray-yeem lee-h'yoht le-chem lay-loh-heem Ah-nee Ah-doh-noy Eh-loh-hay-chem.] And the L-rd spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the L-rd, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: that ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your G-d. I am the L-rd your G-d, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your G-d: I am the L-rd your G-d. G-D OUR REDEEMER [Eh-met veh-eh-moo-nah kol zoht v'kah-yahm ah-ley-noo kee hoo Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hey-noo v'ayn zoo-lah-toh vah-ah-nach-noo Yees-rah-el ah-moh ha-poh-dey-noo mee-yahd m'lah-cheem mahl-kay-noo hah-goh-ah-ley-noo mee-kahf kol heh-ah-ree-tseem ha-El hah-neef-rah lah-noo meetza-rey-noo v'hahm-shah-lem g'mool l'chol oi'y'vey nahf-shey-noo hah-oh-seh g'doh-lot ahd ayn chey-kehr v'neef-lah-oht ahd ayn mees-pahr. Hah-sahm nahf-shey-noo bah-cha-yeem v'loh nah-tahn lah-moht rahg-ley-noo. Ha-mahd-ree-chey-noo ahl bah-moht oi-y'vay-noo vah-yah-rem kar-ney-noo ahl kol soney-noo. Ha-oh-seh lah-noo nee-seem oo-n'kah-mah b'far-oh oh-toht oo-mohf-teem b'ahd-maht bnei Chahm. Hah-mah-keh b'ehv-rah-toh kol b'cho-rey Meetz-rah-yeem v'yoh-tsey et ah-moh Yees-ra-el me-toh-cham l'chey-root oh-lahm. Hah-ma-ah-veer bah-nahv beyn geez-ray Yahm Soof et rohd-fey-hem v'et sho-ney-hem beet-hoh-moht tee-bah. V'rah-oo vah-nahv g'voo-rah-toh sheeb-choo v'hoh-doo leesh-moh. Oo-mahl-choo-toh b'rahtz-ohn keeb-loo ah-ley-hem Moh-sheh oo-v'ney Yees-rah-el l'chah ah-noo sheer-ah b'seem-chah rah-bah v'ahm-roo choo-lahm.] True and trustworthy is all this, and it is established with us that he is the L-rd our G-d, and there is none beside him, and that we, Israel, are his people. It is he who redeemed us from the hand of kings, even our King, who delivered us from the grasp of all the terrible ones; the G-d, who on our behalf dealt out punishment to our adversaries, and requited all the enemies of our soul; who doeth great things past finding out, yea, and wonders without number; who holdest our soul in life, and hath not suffered our feet to be moved; who made us tread upon the high places of our enemies, and exalted our horn over all them that hated us; who wrought for us miracles and vengeance upon Pharoah, signs and wonders in the land of the children of Ham; who in his wrath smote all the first-born of Egypt, and brought forth his people Israel from among them to everlasting freedom; who made his children pass between the divisions of the Red Sea, but sank their pursuers and their enemies in the depths. Then his children beheld his might; they praised and gave thanks unto his name, and willingly accepted his sovereignty. Moses and the children of Israel sang a song unto thee with great joy, saying, all of them, MEE CHAH-MOH-CHA [Mee chah-moh-cha bah-eh-leem Ah-doh-noy. Mee chah-moh-chah neh-dahr bah-koh-desh noh-rah t'hee-loht oh-seh feh-leh. Mahl-choo-t'chah rah-oo vah-neh-chah boh-key-ah yahm leef-ney Moh-sheh zeh eh-lee ah-noo v'ahm-roo. Ah-doh.noy yeem-lach l'oh-lam vah-ed. V'neh-eh-mahr kee fah-dah Ah-doh-noy et Yah-a-kohv oo-g'ah-loh mee-yahd chah-zak mee-meh-noo. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy ga-ahl Yees-ra-el.] Who is like unto thee, 0 L-rd, among the mighty ones? Who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness, revered in praises, doing wonders? Thy children beheld thy sovereign power, as thou didst cleave the sea before Moses: they exclaimed, this is my G-d! and said, the L-rd shall reign for ever and ever. And it is said, for the L-rd hath delivered Jacob, and redeemed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd, who hast redeemed Israel. HAHSH-KEE-VEY-NOO [Hahsh-kee-vey-noo Ah-doh-noy Eh-loh-hey-noo l'sha-lom v'hah-ah-mee-dey-noo mal-key-noo l'cha-yeem. Oo-f'rohs ah-ley-noo soo-kaht sh'loh-meh-chah v'tahk-ney-noo b'ay-tsah toh-vah meel'fah-neh-cha v'hoh-shee'ay-noo l'mah-ahn sh'meh-chah. V'hah-gen ba-ah-dey-noo v'hah-sehr mey-ah-ley-noo oh-yev deh-vehr v'che-rev v'rah-ahv v'yah-gohn v'hah-sehr sah-tahn meel-fah-ney-noo oo-may-ah-cha-rey-noo. Oo-v'tsayl k'nah-feh-chah tahs-tee-rey-noo kee El shohm-rey-noo oo-mah-tsee-ley-noo ah-tah kee El melech chah-noon v'rah-choom ah-tah. Oosh'mohr tsey-tey-noo oo-voh-ey-noo l'chah-yeem oo-l'sha-lom mey-ah-tah v'ahd oh-lahm. Oo-f'rohs ah-ley-noo soo-kaht sh'loh-meh-chah. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy hah-poh-reys soo-kaht shalom ah-ley-nu v'ahl kol ah-moh Yees-rah-el v'ahl Y'roosh-ah-la-yeem.] Cause us, 0 L-rd our G-d, to lie down in peace, and raise us up, O our King, unto life. Spread over us the tabernacle of thy peace; direct us aright through thine own good counsel; save us for thy name's sake; be thou a shield about us; remove from us every enemy, pestilence, sword, famine and sorrow; remove also the adversary from before us and from behind us. 0 shelter us beneath the shadow of thy wings, for thou, 0 G-d, art our Guardian and our Deliverer; yea, thou, O G-d, art a gracious and merciful King; and guard our going out and our coming in unto life and unto peace from this time forth and forevermore; yea, spread over us the tabernacle of thy peace. Blessed art thou, O L-rd, who spreadest the tabernacle of peace over us and over all thy people Israel, and over Jerusalem. ON SABBATHS: [V'shahm-roo b'nay Yees-rah-el et ha-Shah-baht lah-ah-soht et hah-Shab-baht l'doh-roh-tahm b'reet oh-lahm. Bay-nee oo-vayn b'nay Yees-rah-el oht hee l'oh-lahm kee shey-shet yah-meem ah-sah Ah-doh-noy et ha-shah-my-eem v'et hah-ah-retz oo'v-yohm hahsh-vee-ee. Shah-vaht vah-yee-nah-fahsh.] And the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever, that in six days the L-rd made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and ceased from his work. (Exodus 31:16-17) ON PESACH, SHAVUOS, AND SUCCOT, SAY: [Vah-ye'da-behr Moh-sheh et m'oh-day Ah-doh-noy el b'nay Yees-rah-el.] And Moses declared the set feasts of the L-rd unto the children of Israel. ON ROSH HASHANAH: [Teek-oo vah'choh-desh sho-far bah-keh-seh l'yohm hah-gay-noo. Kee chohk l'Yees-rah-el hoo meesh-paht lay-loh-hay Yah-ah-kohv.] Blow the shofar on the new moon, at the beginning of the month, for our day of festival: for it is a statute for Israel, a decree of the G-d of Jacob. ON YOM KIPPUR: [Kee vah-yohm ha-zeh y'cha-pehr ah-lay-chem l'tah-hehr et-chem. Mee-kol cha-toh-tay-chem leef-nay Ah-doh-noy teet-ha-roo.] For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the L-rd (Leviticus 16:30). THE AMIDAH The Congregation will stand for the Amidah. [Ah-doh-noy s'fah-taye teef-tahch oo-fee yah-geed t'hee-lah-teh-cha. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hey-noo vah-loh-hey ah-voh-tay-noo, Eh-loh-hey Ahv-rah-hahm Eh-loh-hey Yeets-chahk vay-loh-hey Yah-ah-kohv, ha-El ha-gah-dohl ha-gee-bohr v'hah-noh-rah El ehl-yohn, goh-mayl chah-sah-deem toh-veem v'koh-nay ha-kohl, v'zoh-chayr chahs-day ah-voht oo-may-vee Go'el leev-nay v'nay-hem l'mah-ahn sh'moh b'ah-ha-vah.] L-rd, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall declare thy praise (Psalm 51:17). Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd our G-d and G-d of our fathers, G-d of Abraham, G-d of Isaac, and G-d of Jacob, the great, mighty and revered G-d, the most high G-d, who bestowest lovingkindnesses, and possessest all things; who rememberest the pious deeds of the patriarchs, and in love wilt bring a Redeemer to their children's children for thy name's sake. [Mel-ek oh-zayr oo-Moh-shee-ah oo-mah-gayn. Ba-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy mah-gayn Ahv-rah-hahm. Ah-tah gee-bohr l'oh-lahm Ah-doh-noy m'chay-yeh may-teem ah-tah rahv l'hoh-shee-ah.] 0 King, Helper, Saviour and Shield. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd, the Shield of Abraham. Thou, 0 L-rd, art mighty for ever, thou quickenest the dead, thou art mighty to save. [M'chal-kayl chaye-yeem b'cheh-sed m'chay-yay may-teem b'rah-chah-meem rah-veem, soh-maych nohf-leem v'roh-fay choh-leem oo-mah-teer ah-soo-reem oom-kah-yaym em-oo-nah-toh lee-shay-nay ah-fahr, mee chah-moh-chah bah-ahl g'voo-roht oo-mee doh-meh lahch mel-ek may-meet oom-chah-yet oo-mats-mee-ach yeshua.] Thou sustainest the living with lovingkindness, quickenest the dead with great mercy, supportest the falling, healest the sick, loosest the bound, and keepest thy faith to them that sleep in the dust. Who is like unto thee, L-rd of mighty acts, and who resembleth thee, 0 King, who killest and quickenest, and causest salvation to spring forth? [V'neh-eh-mahn ah-tah l'ha-cha-yoht may-teem, bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy, m'cha-yay ha-may-teem. Ah-tah kah-dosh v'sheem-cha kah-dosh oo-ke-doh-sheem b'chahl yohm y'ha-lah-loo-chah seh-lah, bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy, ha-El haKadosh. Yea,faithful art thou to quicken the dead. Blessed art thou, O L-rd, who quickenest the dead. Thou art holy, and thy name is holy, and holy beings praise thee daily. (Selah.) Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd, the holy G-d. GENESIS 2:1-3 Ah-tah kee-dahsh-tah et yohm hahsh-sh'vee-ee leesh-meh-cha tahch-leet mah-ah-say sha-mah-yeem vah-ah-retz. Oo-vay-rahch-toh mee-kahl hay-yah-meem v'kee-dahsh-toh mee-kahl hahz-mah-neem. V'chayn ka-toov b-toh-rah-teh-cha. Va-y'choo-loo ha-shah-may-yeem v-ha-ah-retz v'chol ts-vah-ahm. Va'ye-chahl Eh-loh-heem bayohm hahsh-sh'vee-ee m'lahch-to ah-sher ah-sah va-yish-boht bayom hahsh'sh'vee-ee mee-kahl m'lahch-to ah-sher ah-sah. Vay'vah-rech El-lo-him es yom hash-sh'vee-ee va'y'kah-desh oto kee bo sha-vaht mee-kol m'lach-to asher bah-rah Eh-loh-heem lah-ah-sot. Thou didst hallow the seventh day unto thy name, as the end of the creation of heaven and earth, thou didst bless it above all days, and didst hallow it above all seasons, and thus it is written in thy law: And the heaven and the earth were finished and all their host. And on the seventh day G-d had finished his work which he had made. And G-d blessed the seventh day, and he hallowed it, because he rested thereon from all his work which G-d had created and made. A PRAYER FOR THE SABBATH Eh-loh-hay-noo vay-loh-hay ah-voh-tay-noo, r'tsay veem-noo-cha-tay-noo kahd-shay-noo b'meets-voh-tey-cha v'tayn chel-kay-noo b'toh-rah-teh-cha, sahb-ay-noo mee-too-veh-cha v'sahm-chay-noo bee-shoo-ah-teh-cha v'tah-her lee-bay-noo l'ahv-d'cha beh-eh-met, v'hahn-chee-lay-noo Ah-doh-noy Eh-loh-hey-noo b'ah-ha-vah oov-rah-tsohn sha-baht kah-sheh-cha v'yah-noo-choo vah Yees-rah-el m'kahd-shay sh'meh-cha, bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy, m'kah-desh ha-Sha-baht Our G-d and G-d of our fathers, accept our rest; sanctify us by thy commandments, and grant our portion in thy law; satisfy us with thy goodness, and gladden us with thy salvation; purify our hearts to serve thee in truth; and in thy love and favor, 0 L-rd our G-d, let us inherit thy holy Sabbath; and may Israel, who hallow thy name, rest thereon. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd, who hallowest the Sabbath. THANKSGIVING FOR G-D'S MERCY [Moh-deem ah-nahch-noo lahch sha-ah-tah hoo Ah-doh-noy Elo-hey-noo veh-loh-hay ahv-voh-tay-noo l'oh-lahm vah-ed, tsoor cha-yay-noo mah-gen yeesh-eh-noo ah-tah hoo l'dohr vah-dohr, noh-deh l'cha oon-sah-per t'hee-lah-teh-cha ahl chay-yay-noo hahm-m'soo-reem b'yah-deh-cha v'ahl neesh-moh-tay-noo hahp-p'koo-doht lach, v'ahl nees-say-cha sheh-b'chahl yohm eem-mah-noo v'ahl neef-l'oh-teh-cha v'toh-voh-teh-cha sheb-b'chohl et eh-rev vah-voh-ker v'tsah-ha-rah-yeem ha-tov kee loh chah-loo rah-cha-may-cha, v'ha-m'rah-chem kee lo tah-moo cha-sah-deh-cha may-oh-lahm kee-vee-noo lach. V'chohl ha-chay-yeem yoh-doo-cha seh-lah, vee-hah-lah-loo et sheem-chah beh-eh-met haEl y'shoo-ah-tay-noo v'ez-rah-tay-noo seh-lah, bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy, ha-tohv sheem-cha ool-cha nah-eh l-hoh-doht.] We give thanks unto thee, for thou art the L-rd our G-d and the G-d of our fathers for ever and ever; thou art the rock of our lives, the shield of our salvation through every generation. We will give thanks unto thee and declare thy praise for our lives which are committed unto thy hand, and for our souls which are in thy charge, and for thy miracles, which are daily with us, and for thy wonders and thy benefits which are wrought at all times, evening, morning, and noon. O thou who art all-good, whose mercies fail not; thou, merciful being, whose lovingkindnesses never cease, we have ever hoped in thee. And everything that liveth shall give thanks unto thee for ever, and shall praise thy name in truth. O G-d, our salvation and our help. Blessed art thou, O L-rd, whose name is all-good, and unto whom it is becoming to give thanks. PRAYER FOR PEACE [Sha-lom rahv ahl Yees-rah-el ahm-meh-cha tah-seem l'oh-lahm, kee ah-tah hoo meh-lech Ah-dohn l'chohl ha-sha-lom, v'tohv b'ay-neh-cha l'vah-rech et ahm-meh-cha Yees-rah-el b'chohl et oov-chohl sha-ah beesh-loh-meh-cha. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy ham-varech et ah-moh Yees-rah-el bah-sha-lom.] Grant abundant peace unto Israel thy people for ever; for thou art the sovereign L-rd of all peace; and may it be good in thy sight to bless thy people Israel at all times and at every hour with thy peace. Blessed art thou, O L-rd, who blessest thy people Israel with peace. MEDITATION [Elohai, n'tsohr l'sho-nee meh-rah, oo-s'fah-tai mee-dah-behr meer-mah, v'leem-kah-l'lai naf-shee tee-dohm, v'naf-shee keh-ah-fahr lah-kohl tee-yeh. P'tach lee-bee b'toh-rah-teh-chah, oo'v'mee-tsvoh-teh-chah tir-dohf nahf-shee. V'chol ha-choh-shveem ahlai rah-ah, m'hey-rah ha-fer ah-tsah-tahm v'kahl-kel mah-cha-shahv'tahm. Ah-seh l'mah-ahn sh'meh-chah, ah-seh l'mah-ahn y'mee-neh-chah ah-seh l'mah-ahn k'doo-shah-teh-chah, ah-seh l'mah-ahn toh-rah-teh-chah. L'mah-ahn yeh-chaltsoon v'dee-deh-chah hoh-she-ah y'meen-chah vah-ahneh-nee.] 0 my G-d! Guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking guile; and to such as curse me let my soul be dumb, yea, let my soul be unto all as the dust. Open my heart to thy law and let my soul pursue thy commandments. If any design evil against me, speedily make their counsel of none effect, and frustrate their designs. Do it for the sake of thy name, do it for the sake of thy right hand, do it for the sake of thy holiness, do it for the sake of thy law. In order that thy beloved ones may be delivered, 0 save with thy right hand, and answer me. [Yee-yoo l'rah-tsohn eem-ray fee v'heg-yohn lee-bee l'fah-neh-chah, Ah-doh-noy tsoo-ree v'go'ah-lee. Oh-seh shalohm beem-roh-mahv, hoo yah-ah-seh sha-lom ah-ley-noo v'ahl kol Yees-ra-el v'eem-roo. Amen.] Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, 0 L-rd, my Rock and my Redeemer. He who maketh peace in his high places, may he make peace for us and for all Israel, and say ye, Amen. TORAH READING HAFTORAH READING SERMON KADDISH AND THE TEFILLAH OF MOSHIACH [Yees-gah-dal v'yees-kah-dash sh'mey rab-bo, b'ol-mo deev'ro kheer-oo-seh v'yahm-leek mal-choo-seh b'chah-yay-chohn oov-yoh-may-chohn, oov-chay-yay d'chohl beys Yees-ro-el. Ba-ah-goh-loh oo'veez-mahn koh-reev v'eem-roo. O-men. Y'hay sh'may rab-bah m'voh-rahch l'oh-lahm ool-ol-may ol-mayo. Yees-boh-rahch v'yeesh-tah-bach v'yees-poh-ahr v'yees-roh-mahm. V'yees-nah-say v'yees-ha-dor v'yees-ah-leh v'yees-hal-ol sh'may d'kood'shoh b'reech hoo l'eh-loh meen kol beer-cho-soh v'sheer-oh-soh. toosh-b'cho-soh v'neh-che-moh-soh dah-ah-mee-ron b'ol-moh v'eem-roo, O-men. Y'hey sh'loh-moh rab-boh meen sh'mah-yoh v'chay-yeem oh-ley-noo v'al kol Yees-rah-el v'eem-roo. O-men. O-seh sho-lom beem-roh-mohv hoo yah-ah-seh sho-lem oh-ley-noo v'ahl kol Yees-rah-el v'eem-roo. O-men.] Magnified and sanctified be his great name in the world which he hath created according to his will. May he establish his kingdom in your lifetime and in your days, and in the lifetime of all the house of Israel, speedily and at a near time; and say ye, Amen.Let his great name be blessed for ever and ever. Blessed, praised and glorified, exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded, be the name of the Holy One, blessed be he, beyond, yea, beyond all blessings and hymns, praises and songs, which are uttered in the world; and say ye, Amen. May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life for us andfor all Israel; and say ye, Amen. May he who maketh peace in his high places, make peace for us and for all Israel; and say ye, Amen. MOSHIACH'S TEFILLAH `Avinu sh'baShomayim` (`Our Father in heaven`), `yitkadash shmecha` (`hallowed be your Name`). `Tavo malchutechah` (`Thy Kingdom come`) `Ye'aseh r'tzonechah` (`Thy will be done`) `k'moh vaShomayim ken ba'aretz` (`on earth as it is in heaven`). `Es lechem chukeinu ten lanu hayom` (`Give us today our daily bread`), `u-s'lach lanu es chovoteinu ka'asher salachnu` (`and forgive us our debts`) gam anachnu lachayaveinu` (`as we also have forgiven our debtors`). `V'al t'vieinu lidey nisayon` (`And lead us not into temptation`) `ki im chaltzeinu min harah` (`but deliver us from evil [or the evil one]`). [`Ki l'chah hamamlachah` (`for thine is the Kingdom`) `v'hagvurah` (`and the power`) `v'hatiferet` (`and the glory`) `l'olmey olamim`(`forever`).`Omen`] KIDDUSH [Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy Eh-lo-hey-noo meh-lech ha-oh-lahm boh-ray p'ree ha-gah-fen. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy Eh-loh-hey-noo meh-lech ha-oh-lahm ah-sher keed-sha-noo b'meets-voh-tahv v'rah-tsah vah-noo v'Shab-baht kahd-shoh bah-ha-vah oov-rahts-ohn heen-chee-lah-noo zee-kah-rohn l'mah-ahn-seh v'ray-sheet, kee hoo yom t'chee-lah l'meek-rah-ay ko-desh zay-cher lee-tsee-aht meetz-rah-yeem. Kee vah-noo vah-chahr-tah v'oh-tah-noo kee-dahsh-tah me-kohl ha-ah-meem v'shab-bat kahd-sh'cha b'ah-ha-vah--oov-rah-tsohn heen-chahl-tah-noo. Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy m'kah-desh ha-shab-baht.] Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who createst the fruit of the vine. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments and hast taken pleasure in us, and in love and favor hast given us the holy Sabbath as an inheritance, a memorial of the creation, that day also being the first of the holy convocations, in remembrance of the departure from Egypt. For thou hast chosen us and sanctified us bove all nations, and in love and favor hast given us the holy Sabbath as an inheritance. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd, who hallowest the Sabbath. HA-MOTZI BLESSING [Bah-rooch ah-tah Ah-doh-noy Eh-loh-hey-noo melech ha-Olam ha-motzi lechem min ha'ah-retz] Blessed art thou, O L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. ?? EFFECTIVE JEWISH HOME BIBLE STUDY Imagine, if you will, a Jewish family who believe in Moshiach Adoneinu and open their door to anyone who would like to come one night a week to a home Torah study. As you walk into the door of their home, you notice yahmakahs lying next to a guest book. You put on a yahmakah, perhaps, and sign the guest book, providing your address, postal code and phone number. You walk past the Jewish pastries prepared and covered in the dining room where refreshments will be served after the Torah study. Before long someone has given you a Tanach and a Brit Chadasha and a songsheet of Jewish music, and you soon find yourself clapping rhythmically to the Jewish songs, some traditional, some based on Scripture, but all led by a musician whose testimony in word and song has "Jewish soul." The Torah teacher puts you at ease with Jewish humor and Yiddish bon-mots and stirs your interest with exciting announcements of up-coming special events at this Torah study. Next week there will be a film on Israel, the following week there will be an Israeli singer who will share how G-d has miraculously touched her life. The week after that a Jewish rabbi will tell his breath-taking story of how he found the Moshiach in the Hebrew Bible. You get the impression that there is so much going on in this Jewish home that you're going to miss out if you're not here every week, bringing your friends and family. Next there is an informal get-acquainted time in which each person stands to give his name, where he's from and is given the opportunity to share a word or two, perhaps, on what he's especially thankful for or glad about tonight. Answers to prayer and testimonies and smiles soon begin to crackle all around the room. The Torah teacher then asks someone in the audience to share her testimony, and for a few minutes minutes you hear how it happened that another Jewish person came to believe in Moshiach and still remained Jewish in the process! Her humorous and yet touching story strangely stirs you, so that afterwards when you sing the shema, you experience a strange new warmth in the room. The Torah teacher obviously knows the Bible. He comments on the Hebrew and relates the Torah to the prophets and the Brit Chadasha, pointing to the Messianic prophecies that predict the coming of Moshiach. The Torah teacher is obviously a likeable man with easy-going humor, yet you can also see that he is a man with great love for and dedicationto the Jewish people. For example, you know that he has gone to great trouble to drive many people to this home in his own vehicle, he has called and invited many people on the phone, and he spends a great deal of his time helping the people he ministers to. His whole attitude is that of a servant. You notice that he is a humble man and seems to derive great peace from the Word of G-d, and his teaching has practical application for day-to-day living. At the close of his teaching from the Torah and the prophets, he asks everyone to pray in unison with him a prayer in which you promise the G-d of Israel that if he will reveal from the Scriptures who the Moshiach is, you will follow Moshiach no matter what the cost. The Torah teacher asks all those who would appreciate prayer concerning this matter or any other to raise their hands. The Torah teacher then asks for a show of hands for anyone needing healing for any kind of problem. There is a general prayer time for a few minutes. A prayer request sheet passed around earlier is prayed over. As you prepare to leave, you are invited to the Friday night erev Shabbat service. In a very warm and joyful way, you are being drawn into a life of commitment and learning and service in a growing Messianic Synagogue that is so wonderfully Jewish you're not ashamed to tell anyone in your family that you go there. A FINAL NOTE ON YOUR MESSIANIC FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICE Since the saving confession is not the Shema (James2:19), but that Moshiach Adoneinu is Yehoshua (Romans 10:9), it is important to sing the total confession of Moshiach's Judaism. Therefore, when you come to the Shema be sure to sing "Ah-don-noy, Ah-don-noy, Yehoshua haMoshiach Adonoy. Ba-rooch Ah-tah, Ah- don-noy, Eh-lo-hey-noo, Yehoshua the Moshiach Adonoy" (sung to the tune of "He Is L-rd"). ?I?AT IS MOSHIACH'S JUDAISM? WHAT IS MOSHIACH'S JUDAISM? The name of the Moshiach in the Tanach is Yehoshua (see How To Point To Moshiach in Your Rabbi's Bible downloadable at http://www.afii.org/material.htm on the Internet). The personal name Yehoshua was later shortened to be spelled YUD, TSAYREH, SHIN, SHURUK, AYIN, PATACH, though it is important to remember that the Greek word for IESOU, is also the word for Joshua [Yehoshua is Hebrew for Joshua] in Acts 7:45). Many people like to see a sharp distinction between "Judaism" and the faith of the Brit Chadasha in Moshiach Yehoshua. However, the distinction is not so clear. In fact, if by "Judaism" we mean the true Messianic, Biblical religion of Israel, then the faith of the Brit Chadasha should be labeled or inscribed as "Judaism." In reality, the faith of the Brit Chadasha is true, culturally all-inclusive, Messianic Judaism, in fact "orthodox" (the straight or correct [ortho] belief [doxa]) Judaism. JUDAISM FOR THE NATIONS For the past two millenia Messianic Judaism has largely set aside its overt Jewishness in order to penetrate the vast and varied cultures of the Goyim in the task of taking its message to the ends of the earth and bringing the nations to faith in the Moshiach. This is as it should be. Many people do not know that Judaism used to be a "proselytizing" religion, and that leaders of Judaism were both zealous and highly successful at making proselytes. In fact, so numerous were the proselytes in Biblical times that there is even a term in Scripture for conversion to Judaism - mityahadim (see Esther 8:17). The rabbis knew that Judaism was not merely a narrow, national religion. The Talmud says that the teachings of Judaism were freely meant for all mankind (see Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 146a, where Devarim 29:13-14 [14-15] is quoted as referring to proselytes). And just as Gentiles were saved in Noah's ark, so Ruth was also brought under Hashem's wings (Ruth 2:12). In the High HolyDay Prayerbook, we read on Rosh Hashanah "Also Noah Thou didst remember in love, and didst remember him with a promise of salvation and mercy, when Thou didst send the flood to destroy all creatures because of their evil deeds. So his remembrance came before Thee, O L-rd our G-d, to increase his seed like the dust of the earth and his offspring like the sand of the sea." So hope is held out that the Righteous Gentiles of the world will have a share in the World to Come. In fact, according to ancient tradition, the first proselytes to the Jewish faith were Abraham and Sarah, and through their descendants G-d intended to proselytize the nations (see also Matthew 28:19). We know from the book of Jonah that the prophets were called to preach to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. For a few other texts of many in the Hebrew Scriptures on the universal scope of the Jewish faith, see Gen. 22:18; Ps. 22:27; 85:9; Isaiah 45:22; 49:6; 60:3; 66:23 Dan.7:14; Hos.2:23; Zechariah 14:16, to speak of a few. However, this focus on Gentiles does not disqualify Messianic Judaism as Judaism. Make no mistake about it, it is not a Gentile religion. Even its enemies called it a sect of Judaism (Act 24:14), not a Gentile religion, and its followers called it "HaDerech" (the Way"), the Derech Hashem (Isaiah 40:3), the Derech Tzaddikim (Ps.1:6), true Judaism. Its followers were Jews. It was from the Jews that the world received Messianic Judaism and the Jewish Moshiach Adoneinu. Even the Brit Chadasha, which is the Jewish New Covenant Holy Scriptures, was written by Jews. It was also from the Jews that we received the world-wide Messianic Synagogue kehillah, at first composed exclusively of physical Jews and proselytes and now comprising spiritual bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) from every race on earth. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant of the fact that the universal Community of Messiah's people is nothing other than a culturally all-adaptable Messianic Synagogue. This Messianic Synagogue, though it is capable of changing into every manner of ethnic attire, from a teepee Bible study to an igloo prayer meeting, nevertheless always wears its basic synagogue apparel, the Jewish Scriptures and the Jewish rituals. Its Jewish rituals are the mikveh tevilah immersion of Moshiach, which is standard Jewish activity when making proselytes to Judaism, and the Seudah of Moshiach, which is the Brit Chadasha Pesach covenant meal of the bnei Avraham who are adherents to Messianic Judaism. It is little wonder the One G-d of Israel has been able to use a Messianic Synagogue of such cultural elasticity to make spiritual Bnei Avraham in every people and to spread Messianic Judaism through-out all the nations. The faith of the Brit Chadasha is not only Judaism, it is the oldest form of Judaism in the world extant and unchanged from Second Temple days, as we shall see. JUDAISM WITH BIBLICAL MONOTHEISM The English translation of the Zohar by Soncino Press (2nd Edition, 1984) conveniently leaves out a controversial passage about the "threeness" of Hashem. When we look at the original language in Zohar Vol.3 Ha'azinu page 288b, we see the omitted text, which, comments on Daniel 7:13, where the Son of Man Moshiach comes to the Ancient of Days. The Zohar says, "The Ancient One is described as being two (TAV-RESH-YUD-FINAL NOON, Aramaic for "two")." G-d and the Moshiach, called by Daniel "the Ancient of Days" and "the Son of Man" are obviously a picture of G-d as "two" in the Bible, and the Zohar owns up to this fact, calling G-d "two." Two sentences prior to that on the same page, the original language of the text of the Zohar says, "The Ancient Holy One [i.e. G-d, Daniel 7:13] is found with three (TAV-LAMMED-TAV, Aramaic for "three") heads or chiefs (RESH-YUD-SHIN-YUD-FINAL NOON Aramaic for "heads"), which are united in One (CHET-DALET Aramaic for "one")." Here we have a picture in the Zohar of the raz (mystery) of G-d's unity, the distinct havayot (subsistences, modes of being) in Adonoy Echad. It says somewhere that Moshiach, even though his was the form of the mode of being of Elohim, nevertheless, he humbled himself and took the form of the mode of being of a servant, the "Tzaddik Avdi" of YESHAYAH (ISAIAH) 53:11. Here the Zohar helps us understand the Tanakh, because the Ruach Hakodesh is with Hashem at creation, says BERESHIS (GENESIS) 1:1-2, but so is the Dvar Hashem, according to Tehillim (Psalm) 33:6. Now the Dvar Hashem (Word of G-d) is worshiped, according to Tehillim 56:11 (10), which would be idolatry if the Dvar Hashem did not partake of Hashem's quality of "G-dness," which can also be said of the Moshiach, who, unlike the idols in Daniel 3:18, is worshiped by all peoples in Daniel 7:14 (cf. the Aramaic word PAY-LAMMED-CHET is in both passages, which means "to pay reverence to deity, worship"). The fact that Tehillim 56:11(10) and Daniel 7:14 speak of both the Dvar Hashem and the Moshiach as worthy of reverence as deity is more understandable if it is remembered that G-d's Chochmah (Wisdom) is his instrument in creation, according to Tehillim (Psalm) 104:24 and Mishle (Proverbs) 3:19. But G-d's Chochmah, like the Moshiach, is referred to as the Ben haElohim (Mishle 30:4; cf. Tehillim 2:7), leading us to conclude that they are one and the same. In Moshiach, Hashem's eternal Chochmah comes down from heaven and walks on this earth and confronts mankind in person. In the beginning the Dvar Hashem, the Moshiach, was with Hashem, and the Dvar Hashem, the Moshiach, had the form of the mode of being of G-d! And the Dvar hashem came on the scene of the Olam Hazeh as a man! So Hashem is Echad, but in his unity there are distinct havayot (subsistences, modes of being) so that Elohim Avinu distinquished from Moshiach and is not Moshiach, and Moshiach is not the Ruach Hakodesh. Yet, at the same time, there is an interpersonal fellowship in G-d's personhood, such that, when He creates Man in his image, G-d does not create a solitary monad alone on an island, because G-d is not a monad alone in the cosmos. On the contrary, G-d creates male-and-female capable of conceiving offspring, and thus the threeness of this interpersonal fellowhip of male-and-female-capable-of-conceiving-offspring on earth (see BERESHIS or GENESIS 2:24; 4:1) reflects a threeness in the interpersonal fellowship of the One G-d of Israel. This is not Tritheism. Messianic Jews who believe the Biblical data in the Tanakh are sometimes accused by their detractors of tritheism. People who are making up religions have a simple doctrine and are proud of its simplicity. But G-d is not simple, and this is His Biblical revelation of Himself, from literally the first three verses of the Bible, as Gen.1:1-3 are explained by Tehillim (Psalm) 33:6. G-d from the beginning explains himself as the Creator who is G-d and Dvar Hashem and Ruach Hakodesh, and we are left to either take it or leave it. Since an infinite G-d cannot be fully comprehended by finite human beings, we are advised to take it by faith. In G-d's revelation of Himself to Abraham Avinu, it says in Bereshis 18:1 that Hashem "appeared" to Abraham at Mamre. Then Bereshis 18:2 says that Abraham lifted his eyes to see this appearance of Hashem, and "Hinei! sh'lo-SHAH ah-nah-SHEM (three men)!" is what Abraham saw! But three? Who can love without a beloved? And the love that proceeds from the One who loves to the One who is loved is One that is not strictly identical with either the One who loves or the One who is loved. But can One plus One plus One equal not three but One? But does Messianic Judaism actually teach monotheism, that the L-rd our G-d is one L-rd? Of course! How could it be Judaism if it didn't? However, the Jewish Scriptures themselves teach that G-d has a complexity in His unity. The Hebrew word signifying G-d's complex unity is "echad," not the word "yachid." The Torah does not say, "Shema, Yisroel, Adonoi Eloheinu, Adonoi, Yachid." The Shema, which utters G-d's name three different times in the Shema, says that the L-rd is "echad." In Bereshis (Genesis) 2:24, G-d says that when a man marries a woman the two become "echad," one. It says, V'HAYU L'VASAR ECHAD ("And they will be as echad flesh, one flesh." Two can be as one! It does not say that a man by himself, a man "yachid," is one flesh. It does not say that a woman by herself, a woman "yachid," is one flesh. No, it says that a man and woman in marriage is echad, one flesh. Two can be one! Does this defy arithmetic? One plus one equals not two, but one? The point is that this is a complex one, not a simple one. Yechezkel (Ezekiel) says that two sticks can become ets echad (one stick)--see Yechezkel 37:17 In the case of a male and a female, a simple one would mean something else other than a complex unity. But a marriage is echad, because it is a complex unity of not one but two human beings joined into a complex unity of one. This is a complex and not a simple unity, for if it were simple, the two would become absolutely only one, one human being! On the other hand, in Shofetim (Judges) 11:34, Jephthah's only daughter is simply, absolutely one, the only child, the sum of his children totaling one human being, so the Bible refers to her with the Hebrew word "yachid." The truth is, G-d has always had a complexity in his unity, because G-d has always had his Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) and his powerful, creative, personal Dvar Hashem, His Word, his Chochmah, his Wisdom, his agent in creation and redemption (Tehillim 104:24; 8:32-36), the Oman (Craftsman), the Ben haElohim at his side (Mishle 30:4; 8:30) appointed from eternity (Mishle 8:23). The figure of a son toiling by the side of his father was a familiar one (Mishle 8:30; 30:4), and is an arresting metaphor for G-d's primordial Wisdom toiling creatively in the beginning with G-d (Mishle 8:30; 30:4). Likewise, Tehillim 2:7, 89:27-28, Yeshayah 9:(5)6 are passages where the Moshiach is pictured as G-d's Son, his Bekhor, his Heir. And in Daniel 7:13-14 the Moshiach is seen coming in the clouds of Divine Glory. The other term is zero'a (arm), shown to be used in creation in Yirmeyah 32:17 and identified with Moshiach in Isaiah 53:1. On page 577 in Ha'azinu of the Zohar, the text speaks about the Ruach of Hashem. The Ruach Hakodesh, whom G-d's people grieved (Yeshayah 63:10), is the same Ruach Hakodesh resting upon Moshiach (Yeshayah 11:2). In the same way that the lowest of the three types of Battei Din must have three judges and yet a Bet Din with three judges is only one Bet Din, not three Battei Din, so also G-d, though complex in His personhood, is one G-d, not three G-ds. And we must all stand before the Bet Din of Elohim Avinu and Moshiach Ben HaElohim and the Ruach Hakodesh, who are pictured together in Yeshayah 63:10-16. In this passage we hear about Elohim Avinu (Yeshayah 63:16), and Hashem's zero'a (Arm, identified with Moshiach ten chapters previously in Yeshayah 53:1), and the Ruach Hakodesh (Yeshayah 63:10-11). For in the same way that a triangle can have three angles and still be only one triangle, not three triangles, so Hashem Elohim Avinu can have his Dvar Hashem Moshiach and his Ruach Hakodesh and still be only one G-d, not three G-ds. One plus one plus one equals not three, but one, a complex unity of one--not a simple one but a complex one. In the Kedusha (Yeshayah 6:3) we acknowledge this complexity in unity everytime we read "Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh" in the Prayerbook. The One G-d of Israel sent his one and only Personal Dvar Hashem among us as the Moshiach, in order to make an eternal kapparah (blood covering) for our sin so that from G-d's Ruach Hakodesh we might receive Chayyei Olam (Eternal Life) from Elohim Avinu and become adopted as a Bri'a Chadasha, a New Creation in Moshiach. This was G-d's gift of ahavah (love) to us, so that he could with mercy and justice forgive us and bring us into a new order of life. However, G-d's gracious provision through his Dvar Hashem the Moshiach Adoneinu has forced the whole world into a crisis of decision. When we look into the Jewish face of Moshiach Adoneinu, we are confronted eye to eye by the Dvar Hashem himself. We cannot obey the G-d of Israel nor can we receive his Ruach Hakodesh unless we obey G-d's Word-become-Man, Moshiach Adoneinu. Therefore, the task of Moshiach's Judaism is to lead people to follow the Jewish Messiah in order that they may receive the Ruach Hakodesh and Chayyei Olam. The sacriligious Arians did not follow the Moshiach Adoneinu. They taught the anti-Biblical notion that Moshiach is a created being. However, our Redeemer cannot be a mere creature. J.W.'s and other modern Arians refuse to confess and believe Yeshayah (Isaiah) 48:16, which says, "The Sovereign L-rd has sent me with his Spirit." The "me" here is the Avdi Tzaddik, the Servant of the L-rd (Isaiah 53:11), the Moshiach; see Isaiah 42:1-7, 49:1-7; 50:4-9; and 52:13-53:12. Here you have G-d, Moshiach, and the Ruach Hakodesh. This is not a trivial doctrine. Isaiah 50:10 says that whoever "does not obey the word of His servant" will "lie down in torment" (Isaiah 50:11), which is a phrase shown clearly to refer to Gehinnom in Isaiah 66:24 and Daniel 12:2. So all modern Arians, regardless of what proud names they give to their religious creeds, need to realize that their rebellion against the Word of G-d will be punished by the torments of Gehinnom. Those who really do follow Moshiach Adoneinu, and are not errant or ignorant hypocrites (as some of his so-called followers have been), confess this doctrine in the Brit Chadasha found in Mt.28:19-20; Joh.14:26; 15:26; II Cor.13:13; I Pet.1:2 and elsewhere. The Name of Elohim Avinu (Isaiah 63:16; 64:8) is conjoined with that of the Ben haElohim Moshiach and the Ruach Hakodesh in Holy Scripture. For references to the Moshiach, whose supernatural entrance and exit from the Olam Hazeh points to his nature, see the following: Gen.3:15; 12:2-3; 28:14; 49:10; Ex.12:46; Num 21:8-9; 24:17-19; Deut.18:15-19; 21:23; II Sam.7:12-28; I Chr.17:23-27; Job 19:25; Psa.2:1-12; 16:8-10; 22:1,7-8,18; 27:12; 31:5; 34:20; 35:11; 38:11; 40:6-8; 41:9; 45:2,6-7; 49:15; 68:18; 69:4,9; 72:1-19; 78:2; 89:3-4,18-37; 102:24-27; 110:1-7; 118:22,23,26; 132:11; Prov.30:4; Isa.6:9-10; 7:14; 8:14-15; 8:18; 9:1-9; 11:1-10; 16:4-5; 22:21-24; 25:8; 28:16; 29:18; 35:4-10; 40:3-11; 49:1-6; 50:6; 60:1-3; 61:1-3; 63:1-6; 65:17-25; Jer.23:5-6; 30:9; 31:15; 31:31-34; 33:15-17; Ezek 17:22-24; 34:23-24: Dan.2:44-45; 7:13-14; 9:24-27; Hos.11:1; Jonah 1:17; Mic.4:1-8; 5:1-5; Zec.9:9-10; 11:12-13; 12:10; 13:6-7; Mal.3:1; 4:1-6. For references to the Ruach Hakodesh, see the following: Gen. 1:1-2; Iyov 33:1-4; Isa. 11:1-2; 32; 14-18; 42:1-2; 44:1-4; 59:21; 61:1-3; Ezek.37:12-14; 39:29; Joel 2:28-32 (Heb.Bible Joel 3:1-5); Num.11:25-29; I Sam. 10:5-13; II Sam.23:1-4; I Chr.12:18; II Chr.15:1-2; 24:20; Neh.9:20;,30; Ezek 8:3; Dan.4:9; Micah 3:8; Zech 7:12; Hag.2:4-5; Zech 4:6; Gen.41:38-39; Num 11:16-17; 24:2; 27:15-21; Deut. 34:9; Jdg.3:9-10; 6:34-35; 11:29; 13:24-25; 14:6,19; 15:14; I Sam.11:6-7; II Ki.2:1-18; I Chr.28:11-19; Ezek 2:1-2; Ps.51:10-12; Ezek.36:24-30; I Sam.19:18-24; Exo.31:1-11; I Sam.16:13-14; Ps.106:32-33; Isa.63:10-14; Psa.139:7 Those who take G-d at his Word become true spiritual Bnei Avraham and love our Jewish people just as they love our Jewish Messiah. They also confess the Shema, that Adonoi,Eloheynoo, Adonoi Echad. Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh is He (Isaiah 6:3). JUDAISM TRUE TO THE TANACH The theology of Moshiach's Judaism preserves the essentials of the faith of Israel that other expressions of Judaism have largely lost. For example, Moshiach's Judaism maintains in the death of Moshiach Adoneinu the Torah's demand for blood sacrifice: "It is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul" (Vayikra or Leviticus 17:11). Moshiach's Judaism also preserves the true significance of such Jewish institutions as that of the Kohen Gadol (the High Priest), the Chakham (Wise Man), and the Navi (Prophet), and such Jewish doctrines as those concerning the Messianic King, the Ruach Hakodesh, and Yeshu'at Eloheinu (salvation). Through the Techiyas Hamesim (Resurrection from the Dead) of the great Kohen (Ps.110:4) l'Olam al divrati Malchi-Tzedek, Chakham, Navi, and Melech HaMoshiach Adoneinu, and, through the coming of the Ruach Hakodesh at Shavuos (Pentecost) 30 C.E., all these Jewish essentials are imperishably maintained. Moshiach's Judaism wishes to proclaim "nothing other than what was foretold by the nevi'im (prophets) and by Moshe (Rabbeinu): that the Moshiach must suffer, and that as the first to rise from the dead, he would announce the Dawn to Israel and to the Goyim" (Acts 26:22-23). Where does it say in the Tanach (the Jewish Scriptures) that the Moshiach must suffer? Read Isaiah chapter 53 where the Word of G-d says that "All we like sheep have gone astray ... and the L-rd hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). Read also Daniel 9.26 where the Jewish Scriptures teach "Moshiach yikareit" - "The Moshiach shall be cut off" - and the Word of G-d continues, "But not for himself, and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city (Yerushalayim) and the sanctuary (Beis Hamikdash)." This prophecy was actually fulfilled, just as Moshiach Adoneinu himself predicted (Luke 21:20-24), when the Roman general Titus destroyed the Beis Hamikdash and with it the kehuna (priesthood) and the city of Jerusalem in C.E. 70, 40 years after the death and resurrection of the Jewish Moshiach Adoneinu. Where does it say in the Tanach that the dead would resurrect unto new life or that the Moshiach would escape the worms of the grave? Read Job 19:25-26 which expresses the hope of Israel, "For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand upon the earth at last, and after my skin has been destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see my G-d." King David also expressed the hope of Israel, "Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol; neither will thou permit thy Holy One (Moshiach) to see corruption" (Psalms 16:9-10). Our form of Judaism (Messianic Judaism) precedes the post-Second Temple Judaism that posits in the place of revealed Scripture arbitrary rabbinic rulings, like the doctrine that prayer and study of Torah adequately substitutes for blood sacrifice. This is an alien doctrine, and anyone who adopts such an alien doctrine is converting to an alien post-Biblical religion that is losing its mooring in the pristine Second Temple Judaism of the time of Moshiach Yehoshua. THE GOOD NEWS OF MOSHIACH'S JUDAISM The Good News of Moshiach's Judaism is that the hope of Israel has been fulfilled! The Techiyas haMesim (Resurrection) has already begun! The first man has already come out of the tomb! And the G-d of Israel, praised be he, has accomplished it! We needed a kaporrah to heal our sin guilt before G-d. G-d accomplished it! He sent his Moshiach to suffer, and "by his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). G-d accomplished more. We are powerless in ourselves to live as we should. "The human will is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). We need to turn from trusting in ourselves and receive the Ruach Hakodesh in order to have the power to live as we should, both now and hereafter. G-d accomplished what he promised in the Jewish Scriptures: "I will put my Spirit into you and make you conform to my commandments, and keep my laws and live by them" (Ezekiel 36:27). However, our sins have separated us and our Holy G-d (Isaiah 59:2), and our lives are not acceptable to the L-rd, unless we undergo a teshuvah death to our old humanity and experience a hitkhadeshut (regeneration) of new birth in our new humanity in the Moshiach, becoming indwelt by the Ruach Hakodesh. Therefore, the Jewish prophet Daniel wrote in the Tanach that "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to Chayei Olam (Eternal Life), and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:1). This refer to Shomayim and Onesh Gehinnom. King David, realizing the need for his own spiritual inner transformation, said, "Create in me a clean heart, 0 G-d; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Ruach Hakodesh from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit" (Psalms 51:10-12). The Ruach Hakodesh is given only in obedience to the Moshiach Adoneinu, who will judge all those who reject him. Read Isaiah 42:1: "Behold my Servant, whom I uphold; my chosen one, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth Mishpat (Judgment) to the nations." Isaiah saw that G-d would one day make an eternal covenant through the Moshiach with Israel (Isaiah 55:3), and Jeremiah foresaw that in that day G-d would make a Brit Chadasha (New Covenant) with his people. This covenant would involve an inner transformation of humanity, for Jeremiah foresaw that the Dvar Hashem would internalize human hearts with the will of G-d. Then men would know G-d so intimately they would actually share and know his will (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Of this New Covenant, Ezekiel predicted that the Ruach Hakodesh in men would make them want to obey G-d's Word (Ezekiel 36:27). And the Jewish prophet Yoel (Joel) saw that in that day the transforming power of the Ruach Hakodesh would be poured out as never before down (Joel 2:28-29), so great would be the number who would be spiritually transformed or born anew. However, most people expected the resurrection to begin and the Ruach Hakodesh to be poured out at the end of the world. Few believed that these mighty acts could occur until the close of human history. What a surprise it was, then, when 120 orthodox Jews stood up in Jerusalem on Shavuos (Pentecost) 30 C.E., and declared that they personally had already seen the first man alive from the grave, that he was the Moshiach, the one called "El gibbor" (mighty G-d) in Isaiah 9:6, and that he had poured out the Ruach Hakodesh on them already, even though human history was still in progress. These Jewish shluchim declared that the Moshiach was coming again at the end of history to rule the world, but that he had to come the first time to suffer for sins. The Moshiach's death was in order that Elohim Avinu could righteously forgive all sins, since through the death of Ben haElohim, no sins had gone unpunished. The G-d of Israel loved men so much he sent his Dvar Hashem among us as a man to make kapparah for our sins and to rise from the dead in order that he might live in us. Only in this way could Moshiach Adoneinu, the living Torah of G-d, write himself into our wills forever with a new obedient neshamah, through the eternal Spirit of G-d who gives us Chayei Olam. Only in this way could the Brit Chadasha of Judaism be fulfilled, as Jeremiah foretold: "Behold, the days are coming, says the L-rd, when I will make a Brit Chadasha (New Covenant) with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their Avot (Fathers) when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was patient with them, says the L-rd. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the L-rd: I will put my torah (law) within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their G-d and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, `Know the L-rd,` for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the L-rd; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Therefore, the Good News of Moshiach's Judaism is that the resurrection has already begun through Moshiach Adoneinu, who has already begun to pour out the Ruach Hakodesh on his followers. Consequently, every person may receive the Ruach Hakodesh and be assured of his own personal coming resurrection by obeying Moshiach as Adoneinu. What better news could there be? THE ONLY ISSUE IN JUDAISM Were these 120 orthodox Jews lying? Had they really seen Moshiach Adoneinu alive or were they making it up? What about the 500 orthodox Jews who claimed to have seen Moshiach Adoneinu at one time (I Corinthians 15:6) - were they lying? Were Rabbi Sha'ul, Kefa, Ya'akov, Yochanan and the rest all lying? Most of these Jewish men died violent deaths, either at the hands of their own people or in the Roman coliseum. When so many eye witnesses were willing to die to verify their testimony regarding the resurrection of Moshiach Adoneinu, who would presume to call them all liars? Moreover, their testimony was not about a revived corpse. They testified that they had seen the Chayei Olam of G-d himself, bodily visible to them as eye witnesses (see I John 1: 1-4). Moshiach the Chayei Olam of Hashem appeared to them in a tangible yet supernatural, spiritual body capable of appearing anywhere, even through locked doors (John 20:26). They were assured that Elohim Avinu would one day give them an eternal body like that of Ben haElohim and that they had already received the Ruach Hakodesh as an actual down-payment on their eternal inheritance. Although they had been frightened and greatly disillusioned when the Moshiach was killed, their hope was revived when Moshiach Adoneinu appeared to them not merely once, but ten times during a period of 40 days. With such magnificent assurance undergirding their witness, it is no wonder that 3,000 Jews responded to their message the very first day they preached it (Acts 2:41). On that day, Yom Rishon morning, Shavuos, 30 C.E., the proclamation went forth that if Jews were to remain committed to Judaism, they must personally commit themselves to the Moshiach of Judaism. Since the key ritual for making proselytes to Judaism had been a tevilah immersion in a mikveh mayim, the risen Moshiach Adoneinu commanded his followers to go into all the world making proselytes to Moshiach's Judaism by means of a tevilah immersion in the Name of the G-d of Israel: the Name of Elohim HaAv (Isaiah 63:16), and the Name of the Ben haElohim (Moshiach the Chokhmah Hashem, Mishle 30:4) and the Name of the Ruach Hakodesh (Genesis 1:1-2). [For much more on this download HOW TO POINT TO MOSHIACH IN YOUR RABBI'S BIBLE from our website at http://www.afii.org/material.htm on the Internet). Everyone who responded in faith to the Jewish Moshiach would receive the Ruach Hakodesh and become a spiritual ben Avraham and a true adherent of orthodox Biblical Judaism. Everyone who refused to believe would be lost, for where there is sin without teshuva (repentance) there is punishment without forgiveness, and where there is no true teaching of Moshiach's shluchim, there is no true Judaism. Therefore, the crucial issue between Moshiach's Judaism and any other sort of Judaism centers on the tikvah of the resurrection from the dead. The only question is whether there is such a hope and whether that hope has been realized in the historical resurrection of Moshiach Adoneinu. There is no other issue. A SYNAGOGUE FREE TO BE A SYNAGOGUE Since the question of the resurrection of Moshiach Adoneinu is the only real issue in Judaism, then a Messianic Synagogue, Moshiach's Synagogue, is free to be in all ways a Jewish Synagogue (see James 2:2-4). The Jewish families of such a synagogue would of course be able to have a bris milah for their eight-day old sons (Leviticus 12:3; Acts 21:21). When their children become believers in Moshiach Adoneinu, the Jewish young men and women can witness to their faith in Yehoshua Ben Dovid through the bar or bat mitzva service. When their children become believers they can witness to Moshiach in the Moshiach's tevilah and the Pesach Seudah of Moshiach. Anyone who quotes Scripture such as Galatians 4:8-10, Colossians 2:16-17, or Romans 14:5-6 to prove that the Jewish festivals or holy days are forbidden to Jewish believers in Moshiach Adoneinu is reading the Bible entirely out of context. Sha'ul is dealing with situations where these Jewish minhagim are being imposed on Goyim by false teachers teaching defective soteriology. Sha'ul is not addressing Jewish believers who are celebrating these days in the name of Moshiach Adoneinu; therefore, his words cannot be taken as criticism of believers who are celebrating these days in the name of Moshiach Adoneinu. The Jewish festivals foreshadow the Moshiach and are fulfilled in him. However, a shadow cannot highlight anyone, even the Moshiach, if it is totally removed from the picture. The Jewish festivals are not obsolete but are good contemporary teachers that point us toward the Jewish Brit Chadasha of Moshiach Adoneinu. Every Biblical Jewish ceremony will be acknowledged and pleasing in G-d's sight if done in the Name of the One in whom all Jewish ceremonies are fulfilled. The Scripture teaches that these are matters on which everyone should be allowed to come to understand in his own mind (Romans 14:5). Jewish believers in Moshiach Adoneinu can also be shomer mitzvot, shomer Shabbos, keep a kosher Jewish home, and maintain an orthodox Jewish lifestyle, frum in every way. Where in any part of the Holy Scriptures could a Gentile find a proof text to deny Jewish freedom in these areas? A thorough study of the book of Galatians is necessary here. If Galatian Goyim are instructed not to trust the Bris Milah or the Jewish calendar as a means of salvation, this does not mean that the Bris Milah and the Jewish calendar are forbidden to Jewish believers in Moshiach Adoneinu who are trusting the Moshiach's saving death and resurrection as their means of salvation! If the Bris Milah and the Jewish Calendar were not forbidden to Jewish believers in Moshiach in the First Century (see Acts 21:20), then how can anyone forbid them today? The Scriptural principles here are "whatever you are doing, whether you speak or act, do everything in the name of Moshiach Adoneinu, giving thanks to Elohim Avinu through him"(Colossians 3:17), and "to the Jew I became like a Jew to win Jews" (I Corinthians 9:20). 26 C.E. was the time when some of the rabbis forfeited what could have been (Luke 7:30), and, what will yet be (Rom.chp.11) their true leadership. But, in the meantime, as Dr. Marvin Wilson has said, Rabbinic Judaism is a post-Biblical religion "not bound to one authority" (like the Holy Tanach); "it embraces many authorities in a long line of living [rabbinic] tradition" (Evangelicals and Jews in an Age of Pluralism, p.22). However, a Messianic Synagogue is bound to one authority, the Holy Scriptures. However, since Rav Sha'ul in II Tim.3:8 quotes from Jewish tradition to make a point to his talmid, it is obvious that if he were living today, the Shas would be in his library. And it should be in ours, even though our watchword is still Sola Scriptura. (For more on this, download EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GROW A MESSIANIC YESHIVA from our website at http://www.afii.org/material.htm on the Internet). When the Kehillah finds herself in a Jewish community she must not shrink from wearing once again her full Jewish dress, all her old synagogue attire. Then, as Arthur Katz has said, both Jews and Goyim "will be able to glimpse the original living and eternal alternative." Synagogues such as these will give the world-wide Body of Moshiach Adoneinu an enriching, fresh look at her origins. For the leaders of these Messianic Synagogues will not be able to content themselves with blindly imitating reformed, orthodox, and conservative congregations down the street, but will have to continually re-examine the Scriptures to steer Messianic Judaism on its own distinctive course in the world-wide Body of the Moshiach's people. ??E TEVILAH IN MOSHIACH'S MIKVEH MAYIM: YOUR GLAD RESPONSE TO THE GOOD NEWS OF ORTHODOX MESSIANIC JUDAISM Many people do not know that Judaism used to be a "proselytizing" religion, and that leaders of Judaism were both zealous and highly successful at making proselytes. In fact, so numerous were the proselytes in Biblical times that there is even a term in Scripture for conversion to Judaism - mityahadim (see Esther 8:17). THE OUTGOING NATURE OF TRUE JUDAISM The rabbis knew that Judaism was not merely a narrow, national religion. The Talmud says that the teachings of Judaism were freely meant for all mankind (see Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 146a, where Devarim 29:13-14 [14-15] is quoted as referring to proselytes). And just as Gentiles were saved in Noah's ark, so Ruth was also brought under Hashem's wings (Ruth 2:12). In the High HolyDay Prayerbook, we read on Rosh Hashanah "Also Noah Thou didst remember in love, and didst remember him with a promise of salvation and mercy, when Thou didst send the flood to destroy all creatures because of their evil deeds. So his remembrance came before Thee, O L-rd our G-d to increase his seed like the dust of the earth and his offspring like the sand of the sea." So hope is held out that the Righteous Gentiles of the world will have a share in the World to Come. In fact, according to ancient tradition, the first proselytes to the Jewish faith were Abraham and Sarah, and through their descendants G-d intended to proselytize the nations (see also Matthew 28:19). For a few other texts of many in the Scriptures on the universal scope of the Jewish faith, see Ps 22:27; Isaiah 45:22; 66:23; Zechariah 14:16. Of course, Judaism, with the exception of Messianic Judaism, changed when the rabbis took over under Yochanan ben Zakkai in Yavneh near Jaffa in Israel and created after 70 C.E. a post-Temple, non-priestly form of Judaism lacking blood sacrifice and a Temple. It should be remembered here that it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul (Lev.17:11) and that Abel's offering from the firstborn of his flock was looked on with favor by the L-rd, but a bloodless religion and worship without blood atonement was not looked on with favor (see Gen.4:4-5). G-d says, "When I see the blood, I will passover you" (Exod.12:13). To lack faith in Gen.22:8; Exo.12:5-13; Isaiah 53:7 and in Moshiach's necessary sacrifice, and then to create a religion where, gratuitously, blood sacrifice is not necessary, is to change the religion of Judaism, the religion of Moses. Messianic Judaism has not changed Judaism, the religion of Moses. Rabbinic Judaism has changed Judaism. Messianic Judaism is true Judaism. This occurred after 70 C.E., making it a form of Judaism that post-dates Messianic Judaism. Not only does it lack Biblical warrant for many of its tenets of faith, the fact is that the rabbis have cooled off in their zeal to win converts. However, Moshiach's Judaism has always been a proselytizing faith, eager to share the blessings of Judaism with the whole world. In our own era, millions of adherents to Moshiach's Judaism, including both Jews and non-Jews from every culture and country, have become born again spiritual children of Abraham and genuine proselytes to Biblical Judaism. For true commitment to Judaism can only be through true commitment to the Moshiach of Judaism, Moshiach Adoneinu. Unfortunately, not all Jews nor all Goyim have been willing to become proselytes to Moshiach because not everyone is willing to commit himself to Moshiach. And many who have committed themselves to Moshiach Adoneinu are even ignorant of the fact that what they call "the Religion of Messiah" is really Moshiach's Judaism that Goyim have adapted to their own culture. Nevertheless, the faith of the Brit Chadasha is still the true, Biblical, Judaism of Moshiach, whether every believer in Moshiach Adoneinu realizes it or not. JUDAISM'S INDISPENSIBLE MIKVEH Scripturally, a Jew is anyone like Ruth the Moabitess who has renounced idolatry and thrown in his or her lot with the people of the one true G-d. Therefore, when a Gentile lady named Ruth clung to Naomi and her G-d, Ruth became a Jewess, even qualifying to become the great-grandmother of King David. However, historically, there have been three rites involved in the reception of proselytes to Judaism: 1) circumcision (the bris milah), 2) complete immersion (the tevilah) in a mikveh ritual bath, and 3) a sacrifice (see Numbers 15:14 and Babylonian Talmud, Kerithoth 9a.) This blood sacrifice (an offering by fire) burned on the altar and was indispensible, at the time the Beis Hamikdash stood, and points prophetically along with all sacrifice to the repentant proselyte's need for a blood atonement kapparah. Rabbi Judah the Patriarch ("Rabbenu haKadosh") compared this three-fold admission into Judaism as reminiscent of the Biblical history of Israel, a nation circumcised before leaving Egypt (Joshua 5:2), immersed in the desert in a holy washing ritual (Exodus 19:10), and sprinkled with the blood of a covenant sacrifice (Exodus 24:3-8) [see Sifra, Ahare Perek 12]. Nevertheless, the central ritual of admittance into Judaism has always been a tevilah of water immersion. The sacrifice offered by the proselyte was never as important as circumcision or immersion, especially after the Temple was destroyed, making sacrifice impossible. Furthermore, since women converts to Judaism far outnumbered men, circumcision could hardly become the chief rite of entry into Judaism. Therefore, the one indispensable thing that any convert, whether male or female, had to do to become a Jew was to get immersed in water. Of course, a male had to be circumcised as well, but if we look for the one thing that every non-Jew, regardless of sex, had to do in order to become a Jew, the answer is: he or she had to submit to a tevilah. Proselytes crossed the threshold into Israel through an immersion bath, because Israel had entered the promised land through water (the Red Sea) and therefore so must all who would become Jews. There was a definite concept of cleansing built into this decisive tevilah. A heathen who left behind the idolatry of the Gentile world to become a Jew had passed from sin to a whole new life. When he came up out of the water, he was considered ritually undefiled, beginning life all over with a clean bill of goods, like a child newly born (Babylonian Talmud, Yebamoth, 48b). He had begun a new life as a ben berit, a son of the covenant, a Jew. Towards the end of the first century, C.E., the leading rabbis of the school of Hillel claimed that a man was Jewish as soon as he was immersed, the tevilah being as decisive a rite in the case of determining whether a man had become a Jew as it was for making the same determination for a woman (Mishnah Aboth 1.12). Later, in Moshiach's Judaism, circumcision was not imposed on Goyim (I Corinthians 7:18; Acts 15:5-11), since there is no salvation in becoming a physical Jew but only in becoming a ben Avraham by emunah, that is, a spiritual child of Abraham through the circumcision of the Ruach Hakodesh (Gal.3:7-14; Col.2:11-17). Therefore, Moshiach's tevilah became the indispensable ritual for all who would become adherents of Moshiach's Judaism. THE IMMERSION PRACTICED BY THE JEWISH PROPHET YOCHANAN HA MAHTBEEL Rabbi Akiba said: "Blessed are you, 0 Israel. Before whom are you made clean and who makes you clean? Your Father in heaven. As it is written, 'And I will dash clean water upon you and you shall be clean' (Ezekiel 36:25). And again it says, 'O L-rd, the mikveh (meaning either the word 'hope' or the word 'font') of Israel (Jeremiah 17:13); as the mikveh cleanses the unclean, so does the Holy One cleanse Israel"' (Mishnah Yoma 8.9). The Jewish prophet Ezekiel speaks of G-d's cleansing his people in the last days: "For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land, I will dash clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from your idols I will cleanse you . . . and you . . .shall be my people and I will be your G-d. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses" (Ezekiel 36:24-28). Zechariah too saw this final time of national repentance: There shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness" (Zechariah 13:1). Proselyte tevilah immersion symbolically washed the uncleanness from the heathen on entering Judaism. Thus non-Jews were grafted on to the people of G-d by a water immersion which gave them ceremonial purity. The Jewish prophet Yochanan (John) HaMahtbeel (the Tevilah Immersionist) called on all Israel to likewise confess sinful uncleanness and take a mikveh ritual bath "as a token of their teshuva" (Mark 1:4) and resolve to keep themselves holy as they awaited the coming Moshiach. Then as the last days began to approach, the Jewish prophet Yochanan announced that the Moshiach was on his way to pour out the Ruach Hakodesh on some and the fire of Gehinnom on others. Therefore, all must heed the Word of G-d, turn from their own ways, look to G-d and his Moshiach for mercy and deliverance from judgment, be cleansed with clean water, and be saved from G-d's burning wrath (see Mark 1:4, Matthew 3:7, Luke 3:9). Sensing by the Ruach Hakodesh that the Moshiach's presence on the earth was very near and that the need for preparing the Jewish people to meet their G-d had reached the crisis point, Yochanan HaMahtbeel called upon all G-d's people to seek the forgiveness of Hashem by submitting to a purifying tevilah. For this great Jewish prophet saw that the coming Moshiach would judge the wicked who had not turned from the "Egyptian" evils of this world by taking a "Red Sea" immersion of separation and repentance in the Jordan River. G-d gave Yochanan the foresight to see that those who did turn to G-d would be given the Ruach Hakodesh by the Coming One, the Moshiach. Later Yochanan must have had inspired intimations of how G-d would save his people and the kapparah Moshiach would bring. Yochanan pointed to Moshiach Adoneinu and said, "Look, there is the Lamb of G-d; it is he who takes away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I spoke when I said, `After me a man is coming whose status is higher than mine; for before I was born, he already existed. I myself did not know who he was; but the very reason why I came, immersing in water, was that he might be revealed to Israel" (Yochanan 1:29-31). However, the tevilah immersion of Yochanan went beyond proselyte immersion in several ways. It was directed toward his fellow-Jews. It was a collective act of repentance and included the whole nation. It had a "last-chance" ethical and spiritual significance that went far beyond the mere ceremonial cleansing of proselyte tevilah immersion. Yochanan asserted that through his water ordeal the remnant of the true Israel of G-d was being called out from all the spiritually dead who refused to prepare themselves by tevilah immersion for the coming of the Moshiach. Therefore, all strata of Israel's society responded to the immersion of Yochanan. What was unique about Yochanan was that he saw by inspiration from the G-d of Israel that, in view of the coming of the Holy One, the Moshiach, Jews were just as unprepared and sinfully unclean and in need of ultimate kapparah (Yochanan 1:29) as were heathen proselytes, and must therefore prepare themselves by the same act of repentance - submitting, to a tevilah immersion for the uncleanness of sins. Yochanan preached, "Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have the yichus (proud lineage), we have the zechut Avot (merit of the Fathers) of Avraham Avinu (our father Abraham).' For I say to you that Hashem is able to raise up from these avanim (stones) banim (sons) of Avraham" (OJBC version, Matthew 3:9). Yochanan knew that the essential thing for his fellow Jews was that they humble themselves, turn from prideful wickedness and prepare to adhere to the Moshiach, through whom they would escape judgment and receive the all-important gift of Hashem, the Ruach Hakodesh. Therefore, he saw that the whole nation of Israel must turn to G-d with the humility of a sinful non-Jew submitting to a mikveh of repentance for the sins of his unholy former life. In pointing toward the Seh haElohim (the Lamb of G-d, Isaiah 53:7, Genesis 22:8), Yochanan pointed toward a new meaning for the tevilah immersion as the standard means of making proselytes to Judaism. This new meaning would include a perfect blood sacrifice for sin, an eternal kapparah for all who would receive the Ruach Hakodesh and thus be circumcised as spiritual bnei Avraham through immersion in the name of the G-d of Israel. The tevilah immersion toward which Yochanan was pointing was the immersion of Moshiach Adoneinu, experienced by Moshiach himself and then by him commanded for all peoples of the world. THE TEVILAH OF THE JEWISH MOSHIACH ADONEINU The tevilah of Moshiach Adoneinu was his first public act of identification with the sins of men, showing that although he was himself sinless, he was willing to identify with sinners and bear their sins as the Lamb of G-d, even if to do so would cost him great suffering and anguish, even death. When Moshiach Adoneinu went under the water in his own tevilah, he knew he was anticipating his own death (see Luke 12:50). At his tevilah, the heavenly voice of Elohim haAv (Mark 1:11, Matthew 3:17, Luke3:22) affirmed Moshiach Adoneinu's Sonship but in words that alluded to his Messianic role (Psalm 2:7) in terms of suffering servanthood (Isaiah 42:1; 44:2) and death (Isaiah 53). Therefore, in his single action of being buried in water and rising again, Moshiach Adoneinu summed up and signified prophetically what he would do to save the world: he would bring in the Brit Chadasha (New Covenant) of the Malchut Hashem (Kingdom of G-d) by his death, burial, and resurrection; and he would lead all who would follow him to a similar experience of death and new life - death to the old life of sin, and rebirth to a new life of eternal sonship through the gift of the Ruach Hakodesh. In Moshiach Adoneinu's immersion, he was submitting his own willing obedience to the will of his Father. When we likewise follow Moshiach Adoneinu into the water and have a similar spiritual experience of submitting our will to the Father, we are circumcised - that is, cleansed and consecrated - in our will by the Ruach Hakodesh and thus become spiritual bnei Avraham, spiritual Jews. Whereas before, our life was under the control of the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2), now our life comes under the Moshiach. Therefore, it is not a rule that constrains us but a Person, who loved sinners enough to die for us in order to forgive our past and bring us the hope of an eternal future with Hashem (see II Corinthians 5:14). This Person is the Torah who writes himself upon our wills (Jeremiah 31:33). This inward life-giving law is none other than Moshiach Adoneinu (I Corinthians 9:21). Through the Ruach Hakodesh, Moshiach Adoneinu lives in the lives of all believers and produces righteousness and love in devekut (communion) with them. The Ben haElohim's selfless ahavah for Elohim Avinu, this kind of love, is what the Torah was aiming for (Deuteronomy 6:5), and when we receive the Word become Man, Moshiach Adoneinu, the Torah hits its mark in us and we become true Torah-keeping bnei Avraham, whose wills are circumcised and set in step with the Ruach Hakodesh. To be a true ben Avraham is first and foremost a spiritual matter of the will and having the right heart toward G-d, and that can only be a heart of hopeful and loving faith (Galatians 5:6) in what G-d has done for men in Moshiach Adoneinu. Only the Dvar Hashem who became Moshiach and who through the Ruach Hakodesh becomes the indwelling word (Yirmeyah 31:33) could endow men with a new principle of life. This principle of life is sufficient to create a new humanity (I Corinthians 15:20, 45; Yochanan 20:22), a new family of whom Moshiach Adoneinu is the head. To understand this "bris milah of Moshiach" (Colossians 2:11), one must recall that the covenant of circumcision operated on the principle of the spiritual union of the household in its head. The covenant is "between me and thee and thy offspring after thee" (Genesis 17:7). From Galatians 3:16,26-29, it becomes apparent that both the offspring and head of the new humanity is Moshiach, into whose Body believers are incorporated at their tevilah. The Bris Milah is the token or sign by which G-d acknowledges his people. It is the stamp of the covenant. The circumcision of the heart is the inward sign wherein G-d's Spirit witnesses to a human spirit that it belongs to G-d. This inward mark of possession is the Ruach Hakodesh who cuts himself into our will, molding us into the image of G-d's Son and marking us out as the spiritually cleansed property of G-d, just as the external mark of circumcision in the flesh had marked out a Jewish baby boy as the property of G-d. But, as both the Torah and Tanach show, G-d intended to "mark off" as his own not merely people who were circumcised physically but "in their hearts" (Deuteronomy 10:16). So strong is this teaching, that G-d threatens to destroy any Jew who is not spiritually circumcised (Jeremiah 4:4). Such a one will be shut out of Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:1), as well as the L-rd's sanctuary (Ezekiel 44:7, 9) and salvation (Deuteronomy 30:6). For not all G-d's physical people are his spiritual children (Romans 9:6). In Genesis chapter 17, circumcision is the covenant sign of G-d's choosing out and marking off men for his own. So in the Brit Chadasha Scriptures, the gift of the Ruach Hakodesh, without which a man does not belong to the Moshiach (Romans 8:9), is offered in connection with Moshiach's tevilah (Acts 2:38), which is identified with Moshiach's way of circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12). Jeremiah, the Jewish prophet, foresaw the age of the Ruach Hakodesh when the creation of a new heart and spirit in humanity would be the essence of a Brit Chadasha (New Covenant) that G-d would make with Israel. Therefore, Jeremiah cried out to his people, "O Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness that thou may be saved" (Jeremiah 4:14). Moshiach's Bris Milah (Circumcision) in Colossians 2:11-12 is a periphrasis for the hitkhadeshut (regeneration) of which Moshiach's tevilah is meant to bear testimony and whereby both Jews and non-Jews become in Moshiach spiritual Bnei Avraham initiated into covenant membership in the cultivated Olive Tree of Elect Israel (Rom.11:24; 9:6; Jeremiah 11:16), the Israel of G-d and the Jerusalem above. According to the Torah, circumcision is more than a minor surgical operation -- it is also a major spiritual operation. The Torah commands, "Circumcise the foreskin of your will and be no longer stubborn . . . and the L-rd your G-d will circumcise your will (that is, cleanse and consecrate your will) ... so that you will love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live" (Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6). In the Jewish Brit Chadasha New Covenant, G-d declares that you are not a true Ben Avraham in the Ruach Hakodesh unless you have this inward circumcision of your will (Romans 2:28, 29) and you worship G-d in spirit with your confidence in Moshiach Adoneinu and not in anything external (Philippians 3:3). Consequently, G-d has provided his people with a hitkhadeshut (regeneration), to which the tevilah immersion of purification bears testimony, whereby the impure foreskin of our evil urgings in our old humanity in Adam can be buried and drowned, even washed away by G-d's Ruach Hakodesh (see Ezekiel 36:25-27). This bath symbolizes both a spiritual mikveh (Jewish purification bath) and a spiritual bris milah (circumcision into Avraham). It is Moshiach's tevilah, and is a token of turning to G-d through emunah (faith) in Moshiach Yehoshua (His Hebrew name). There is a controlling sinful nature that lives in every man. The circumcision of the Moshiach is the spiritual cutting away of this rebellious sinful nature, a miracle witnessed to by our public burial in the mikveh mayim with a tevilah immersion. We witness to our submitting our will to die to our former sin-prone way of life. Only by a submission of our will in repentance may we be made alive by the resurrected, living Dvar Hashem, the Dvar Hashem who came among us as a Man and wants to write himself upon our wills, as Jeremiah foresaw: "Then I will make a Brit Chadasha with the house of Israel ... I will put my Torah in their inward parts and I will write it in their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Therefore, Moshiach's Tevialah means many things. It witnesses to the cutting free of the downward pull of our lower natures in the miracle of the new birth. It is our Red Sea exodus from the bondage of sin and death to the inheritance of an eternal Promised Land. It symbolizes the "circumcision made without hands" whereby we become sons of the Brit Chadasha as we enter into faith-union with the Jewish Moshiach as members of his bride, the world-wide Chavurah fellowship of the Jewish Brit Chadasha. Just as a Jewish girl takes the ritual bath in the mikveh in preparation for her wedding, so we who are wedded to Moshiach Adoneinu by faith take a mikveh to bring ourselves into teshuvah and devekut with Moshiach. "In him also you were circumcised, not in a physical sense, but by the surgical removal of of the lower nature; this is Moshiach's way of circumcision. For in Moshiach's tevilah you were buried with him, in Moshiach's tevilah you were raised to life with him through your faith in the power of G-d who raised him from the dead. And although you were dead because of your sins and because of the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, he has made you alive with Moshiach" (Colossians 2:11-13) MOSHIACH'S TEVILAH: YOUR ADMITTANCE TO MOSHIACH'S SEDER So long as a Gentile has not had his tevilah, he is still a Gentile" (Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 47b). Likewise, if a Jewish person has not had hitkhadeshut regeneration, a spiritual miracle witnessed to by Moshiach's tevilah, he is also ceremonially and spiritually in the uncircumcision of his sinful nature, because he has not submitted to the circumcision done by Moshiach (Colossians 2:11). For, in the same way that a non-Jew coming up out of the water of his tevilah was considered at that moment to be a Jew, when a person comes up from the mikveh of Moshiach Adoneinu, he crosses a ceremonial threshold and becomes a ben Avraham by faith. The rabbis said that a proselyte was like one who had touched a corpse. Touching a corpse meant contracting seven days of uncleanness (Numbers 19:16). Therefore a proselyte, like a ritually unclean Israelite, needed to take a tevilah immersion in water as he approached G-d, particularly if he were to share in the Passover (see Mishnah Pesachim 8.8). Likewise Rabbi Saul warned that those who eat and drink the Seudah of Moshiach unworthily, without obeying the L-rd (in this case by taking the mikveh), eat and drink judgment on themselves (I Corinthians 11:27-30). Therefore, no one may partake of the Seudah of Moshiach until he has obeyed the L-rd by submitting in teshuvah (repentance) to the Moshiach's tevilah. Jewish proselyte tevilah immersion has its roots in the levitical immersions of the Torah (see Numbers 19). These purification baths were for ritually unclean Israelites who had defiled themselves by touching a corpse or other taboo object. Both pagans and ritually unclean Israelites were excluded from the Passover, because both were ritually unclean, one because he was not circumcised and immersed in the mikveh, the other because he had not taken a tevilah immersion to remove his ceremonial uncleanness, and neither, of course, had the sacrifice commanded by the Torah (see Leviticus 15:13-25). A sacrifice was required of both pagans becoming Jews and unclean Israelites, and was offered by both after they took their tevilah immersions. Therefore, in order to gain entrance to the covenant meal of the Passover Seder, the same three conditions were required of proselytes as natural born, yet ceremonially unclean Jews. These three conditions were circumcision (required on the eighth day of the life of a natural born Jew), water immersion, and sacrifice. (See the reference to ritual immersions the prototype of Moshiach's tevilah in the Torah: Leviticus 15:13; Numbers 8:7-8; Leviticus 14:1-32.) In the Jewish Brit Chadasha Scriptures, as we have seen, none of these three aspects of incorporation into the people of G-d is omitted. For where there is faith, water immersion into Moshiach's Judaism in the name of the G-d of Israel includes an eternal (spiritual) circumcision (Colossians2:11-13), an eternal (spiritual) purification bath (Titus 3:5), and a perfect, eternal blood sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:12). Only those Bnei Avraham who have covenanted themselves to the Moshiach Adoneinu in the mikveh may sit at the table of Moshiach's Brit Chadasha Pesach and partake of its blessing. AN ETHICAL IMPERATIVE FROM THE G-D OF ISRAEL Taking or not taking the Moshiach's tevilah is really not an option, for the decision means obedience or disobedience to a divine command from the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And who would argue with the risen Moshiach Adoneinu, G-d's mighty Word come among us as an indestructible man? Certainly not the first adherents of Moshiach's Judaism, for, upon his authority, several thousand Messianic Jews were submitted to Moshiach's tevilah within the first few weeks after the resurrection of Moshiach. Just as Goyim had to get into the water to commit themselves to Judaism, so now that the Moshiach has come and is coming again, everyone must get into the water and personally commit himself to Moshiach Adoneinu in order to remain in the mainstream of true Biblical Judaism. Where there is no true adherence to the Moshiach of Judaism, there is no true adherence to Judaism. Anyone who refuses to take the Moshiach's tevilah automatically removes himself from true Biblical Judaism, for as the Talmud does not fail to notice, "The world was only created for the Moshiach" (Sanhedrin 98b) and "All the prophets prophesied of nothing but the days of the Moshiach" (Sanhedrin 99a). Some believers have had their spiritual life seriously stunted because they were hesitant to obey Moshiach Adoneinu by taking the Moshiach's tevilah, others have suddenly become sick and had much satanic attack, all because they refused to obey Moshiach and submit to his tevilah. If you have prayed to receive Moshiach Adoneinu, but have not yet taken the Moshiach's tevilah, and are consequently sick or feel no sense of blessing or nearness to G-d, now you know why. If you want blessed, read what Moshiach Adoneinu says to do: "Anyone who loves me will obey what I say; then my Father will love him, and we will come to him and live within him" (Yochanan 14:23). Taking the Moshiach's tevilah is no magic insurance policy freeing people to live as they please without thought of the consequences. Taking the Moshiach's tevilah is a moral matter, and it means coming under the ethical direction and control of the Jewish Moshiach Adoneinu. To live otherwise is to make a mockery of one's tevilah. To refuse to take the Moshiach's tevila is in fact unethical behavior, since it is disobedience of a mitzvoh of the G-d of Israel and his Moshiach (see Matthew 28:19). The spiritual Jew spends the rest of his life working out the implications of his Moshiach's tevilah and what it means spiritually and ethically to be living a Jewish life under the leading of Moshiach. Without the intention of such a vital faith, the ceremony of the Moshiach's tevilah is empty and meaningless. Moshiach Adoneinu saves us through the tebilah (immersion) "of rebirth and renewing of the Ruach Hakodesh" (Tt 3:5), as we "are born from water and the Spirit" (Yochanan 3:5). This does not mean that there is a quid quo pro between not submitting to Moshiach's tevilah and going to Gehinnom, but it does mean that anyone who says that he believes in Moshiach and yet refuses to submit to the Moshiach's tevilah is in danger of coming under the judgment of the word of G-d: "The man who says 'I know him,' while he disobeys his mitzvot, is a liar and a stranger to the truth" (I Yochanan 2:4). Moshiach Adoneinu commanded, "Make talmidim for Moshiach of all the nations, giving them a tivilah in a mikveh mayim in Hashem, the Name of HaAv, HaBen, and HaRuach HaKodesh, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, And--hinei!--I (Moshiach) am with you always, even unto the Kets haOlam hazeh (Mt.28:19-20 OJBC). The question is, do you want G-d to wash away your sins? G-d knows that if you do, you'll get into the water. If you refuse to get into the water, how do you plan on convincing G-d that you're serious about wanting him to forgive you and wash away your sins? Your token of repentance to convince both you and G-d that you are serious about wanting your sins forgiven and washed away is Moshiach's tevilah and your submitting to it. Love is not mere lipservice. Love is something you do. Your first expression of love for the Moshiach Adoneinu when you become a disciple of Moshiach is to take the Moshiach's tevilah. But first you must ask yourself how much you love G-d. Some people love G-d so little that they don't even think G-d is worth getting wet over. Moshiach Adoneinu says, "If you love me you will obey my mitzvot" (Yochanan 14:15). From the beginning days of the Kahal of Moshiach Adoneinu, there was no time separation between believing and submitting to Moshiach's tevilah. Those who believed immediately sought the Jewish tevilah of Moshiach Adoneinu. There was no mystery as to what one could do if he sincerely desired to be saved from his sins: believe on Moshiach Adoneinu and obey him through Moshiach's tevilahh, which is a token of your faith and repentance. "And now why delay? Submit to Moshiach's tevilah immediately, with invocation of his name, and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16). There is no probation period of waiting between the inward moment of faith and the outward moment of obedience through submission to Moshiach's tevilah. Let your old sinful life die today in a sea of death (Micah 7:19) so that through the name of His Ben Elohim Moshiach, Elohim Avinu can give you his Ruach HaKodesh to make you a new creation. This is Moshiach's tashlich (Micah 7:19). THE JEWISH MANNER OF BMRSION In Judaism, complete immersion for proselytes was absolutely necessary, so that every part of the body was touched by water. So too in Moshiach's Judaism, complete immersion is the Scriptural mode. We are to be buried in water (see Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12) with the Moshiach so that we can be resurrected, as it were, out of the watery grave (see Acts 8:39 and Matthew 3:16) with him to walk in a new derekh haChayim as spiritual bnei Avraham. Secret or private, unwitnessed immersions were not acknowledged in Judaism, nor are they in Moshiach's Judaism. Both the tevilah immersion and the Seudah of Moshiach are public and not private ceremonies. However, it is important to remember that unwanted persecutors were screened and Sha'ul could not get in to see the Moshiach's Shluchim until he became a true believer and had Barnabus to vouch for him. Therefore, a wise spiritual leader would be careful about who is in attendance when a tevilah or a Seder is in progress. "In the name of the L-rd Moshiach Adoneinu "is a Biblical abbreviation for the full name of the one G-d of Israel. His complete Name emerges in the fullness of revelation from the Jewish Scriptures as the one Name of Elohim Avinu and Ben haElohim and Ruach Hakodesh, into whose one Name we are immersed in the Moshiach's tevilah. At your Moshiach's tevilah, you will have sealed on you, by faith, the majestic and mighty Name of the G-d of Israel, which will make you his covenant property and throw his protection over you to cover you with the Pesach protection of His lamb (Exodus 12:13) and to seal you against the assaults of the Enemy. For at your Moshiach's tevilah you will enter into covenant with the G-d of Israel, and when you come up out of the water the Jewish New Covenant will begin for you (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Therefore, men are not born spiritual Jews, even if their parents are Jewish. To become a spiritual Jew, one must be born again (Yochanan 3:3) "through the water of rebirth and the renewing power of the Ruach Hakodesh" (Titus 3:5). Moshiach Yehoshua said, "No one can enter the Kingdom of G-d with out being born from water and Spirit (Ruach haKodesh" (Yochanan 3:5). Thus the ceremony is not for infants for there is a spiritual aspect to this circumcision and it requires saving faith. Therefore, immature children who do not comprehend who Moshiach Adoneinu is nor depend on him as their L-rd should not take the Moshiach's tevilahh until later when they come to faith. Only believers are to be undergo Moshiach's tevilah: "He that believeth and undergoes Moshiach tevilah shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). UNDERSTANDING WHAT WE MUST DO We who are the maggidim (preachers) of Messianic Judaism teach the Messiah's people what Rabbi Sha'ul told Governor Felix in Acts 24:25. We speak of 1) morals, 2)self-control, 3) the coming judgment, and also we speak of 4)teshuvah (repentance), 5) selichah (forgiveness), and 6) mish'ma'at (obedience). 1) We know we all sin and are powerless to live as we should without G-d's help (Romans 7:21-26). 2) We need to turn from trusting in ourselves and receive the Ruach Hakodesh in order to have the power to live as we should, both now and hereafter. 3) The Ruach Hakodesh is given only in obedience to Moshiach Adoneinu, who will judge all those who reject him, and who commands that our first act of obedience be to take a mikveh tevilah in the name of the G-d of Israel. 4) Teshuvah (repentance) means deciding to live as G-d pleases rather than ourselves and according to his Word. 5) Selichah (forgiveness) doesn't mean letting sinners off scot-free. G-d would be unrighteous if he did not decree just punishment for sin. Therefore, G-d could forgive us only if he took our punishment out on himself, on his Dvar Hashem, his Moshiach sent among us as a man named Yehoshua. To be forgiven we must believe that G-d took our punishment in this way, because G-d cannot extend mercy at the expense of his justice. The Moshiach's death was in order that Elohim Avinu could righteously forgive all sin, since through the death of the Ben haElohim, no sins had gone unpunished. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT G-d CAN JUSTLY FORGIVE YOUR SINS ONLY THROUGH THE PUNISHMENT OF Yehoshua? 6) Obeying a traffic cop means obeying his hands. In the same way that one traffic cop can still have two hands, Elohim Avinu can have his Ruach Hakodesh and his Living Dvar Hashem (Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua) and still be one G-d. Yehoshua has proven that he is both G-d and Moshiach by overcoming death. Now he demands that we obey him as the L-rd and Master of our lives, doing whatever he commands in the Tanach or Brit Chadasha Scriptures. ARE YOU WILLING TO OBEY Yehoshua AS Adoneinu and Moreinu v'Rabbeinu (our L-rd, teacher, and Master) OF YOUR LIFE? Here is a Tefillah which you can daven: G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am a Jew and I'm going to die a Jew. But I've decided to stop living as I please. I promise to live by your Word in both the Tanach and the Brit Chadasha. Elohim Avinu, I know that you can forgive my sins only through the kapparah of the Seh haElohim Moshiach Yehoshua. Yehoshua, I believe that you overcame death to prove that you are Ben haElohim, my Moshiach and my L-rd. Come into my life. Forgive my sins. Take control of my life. And I'll obey you forever, to the glory of Elohim Avinu and in the power of the Ruach Hakodesh.. In Yehoshua's name, amen. Are you willing to pray that Tefillah and mean it? Come to our Messianic Synagogue on the last Yom Rishon of the month Then join other Jewish believers in Yeshna who are obeying him as L-rd by submitting humbly to a Moshiach's Tevilah of teshuvah in the name of the G-d of Israel. On that day you should arrive early in order to receive instructions on the significance of this most meaningful Jewish ceremony. You should wear clothes you don't mind getting wet and you should bring a towel and a change of clothes. After you have obeyed Moshiach Yehoshua in this simple and yet most beautiful and blessed of ceremonies you will be able to go with the other Jewish believers to celebrate the Pesach covenant meal of the Moshiach's Seder which will occur in the Yom Rishon morning service or on Shabbos.. Acts 2:41-42 explains what Moshiach Yehoshua requires of his talmidim: "And those who accepted the Besuras Hageulah took the Moshiach's Tevilah-bris of water Moshiach's Tevilah, and they met persistently to hear the teaching of Moshiach's Shluchim, to experience Moshiach's Chavurah, to celebrate the Moshiach's Seder, and to daven." The Moshiach Yehoshua commands that we take the Moshiach's Tevilah, that we partake of the Moshiach's Seder regularly and that we attend believers' meetings faithfully. We can still observe our Jewish customs after accepting Yehoshua in Moshiach's Tevilah. The Moshiach's Tevilah is not the end of our Jewishness. It is the true spiritual beginning of our Jewishness, the moment when the Jewish Brit Chadasha becomes a reality in our life (see Jeremiah 31:31-34). In fact, we discover that after we obey Yehoshua and become enlightened by the Ruach Hakodesh, we are able to see more to appreciate in our Jewish customs and ceremonies that we ever believed possible. SUMMARY No respected modern scholar doubts the Jewish origin of the rite of water immersion. Historically, water immersion has been the indispensible ritual for all who would become adherents of Messianic Judaism. The mission of Yehoshua did not arise in a vacuum. It received the legacy of the zealous Jewish proselyting movement, to which it added the world-shaking power of the Ruach Hakodesh in order to make more proselytes to Messianic Judaism than anyone ever dreamed possible. Judaism was carried to all peoples, Jews and Non-Jews alike, by the followers of Yehoshua. For Yehoshua immersed Judaism with the Ruach Hakodesh and brought G-d's people the Good News of the Kingdom which Judaism had for so long been waiting to take to the world. Messianic Judaism has been given a world-wide commission by Yehoshua, the risen Moshiach of Israel, to make all peoples proselytes to him and Messianic Judaism through the Moshiach's Tevilah. In this way G-d is calling out a people from all nations who, regardless of their culture, can become reborn and adopted Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) and eternal citizens of the Kingdom of G-d. The door to Messianic Judaism is teshuvah and emunah in the risen Moshiach Yehoshua, expressed outwardly through Moshiach's Tevilah of water immersion. In the same way that a non-Jew could be cleansed from sin and made a partaker of all the blessings of the covenant with Israel through proselyte Moshiach's Tevilah, now all peoples must become adherents to the Moshiach of Messianic Judaism in order to enter into the new life of the Messianic age. Therefore, everyone - regardless of race or culture - must become a Ben Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) through the inward reception of the Moshiach Yehoshua outwardly expressed by submission to the Moshiach's Tevilah. The Moshiach's Tevilah is the rite of entry into the community of the Jewish Moshiach, and this Messianic community is concretely symbolized by the Passover covenant meal of the Moshiach's Seder. Only those who have covenanted themselves to the Moshiach Yehoshua by obeying him in the Moshiach's Tevilah may partake of his Passover covenant meal, the Moshiach's Seder. Once Yehoshua appeared and Messianic Judaism focused on him as its continuing center, ail Jews, in order to remain in the mainstream of Messianic Judaism, had to stop relying on their own merit and had to submit to a Moshiach's Tevilah themselves in order to adhere to the true Messianic faith of their fathers. When Elohim Avinu pinpointed his identity through the particular Jew Yehoshua, his Son, anyone refusing to pay homage to Yehoshua did not know nor worship the true G-d of Israel (John 5:23, Luke 10:22). Moreover, to refuse to take the Moshiach's Tevilah is in fact unethical since it is disobedience to a command of the G-d of Israel and his Moshiach. The Moshiach's Tevilah is our glad response to the Good News of Messianic Judaism. It is our obedient dying to our old life of sin, so that we can arise with the Moshiach to a new abundant life as Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14). KEVURAH (BURIAL) IN A MIKVEH MAYIM WITH MOSHIACH: THE TEVILAH OF THE BRIT CHADASHA AND THE MAVET-TO-THE-OLD-HUMANITY-OF-ADAM TESHUVAH AND TECHIYAS HAMESIM HITKHADESHUT (REGENERATION) TO THE BRI'AH CHADASHA HUMANITY OF MOSHIACH, WHICH TOGETHER CONSTITUTE A CREATIONARY MIRACLE HASHEM PERFORMS AND MOSHIACH'S TEVILAH OF EMUNAH WITNESSES TO IN THE LIFE OF THE MA'AMIN B'MOSHIACH |1| What then shall we say? Are we to persist in Chet (sin) al menat (in order that) unmerited Chen v'Chesed Hashem might increase? |2| Chas v'shalom! Since we have died to Chet, how can we still live in it? |3| Or are you unaware that all we who were immersed in a mikveh mayim (pool for ritual bath and initiatory tevilah immersion) into haMelech haMoshiach Yehoshua were immersed into His mavet (death)? |4| So then we were buried with Him through a tevilah unto Mavet, in order that as haMelech haMoshiach was raised from hamesim (the dead ones) through the kavod haAv (the glory of the Father), so we also should walk in hitkhadeshut chayim (newness of life). |5| For if we have become grown together in a devekut with the very likeness of His mavet (death), we shall certainly also be grown together in a devekut with the very likeness of His Techiyas haMesim (Resurrection). NOTE: We'd like you to return this valuable second document However, when you take the Moshiach's Tevilah, we have a third document for you. You'll receive it on Acts 2:42 Yom Rishon, the last Yom Rishon of the month, if you are willing to take the Moshiach's Tevilah at that time. ??NTING THE COST BEFORE THE MOSHIACH'S TEVILAH You are getting ready to seal the contract between yourself and the G-d of your fathers, who on this day of your immersion is making you a party eligible for the privileges and responsibilities of the Jewish Brit Chadasha. THE PRIVILEGE OF BECOMING G-d'S COVENANT PROPERTY When you are submerged into the water in the name of the G-d of Israel - the name of Elohim Avinu and the Ben haElohim and the Ruach Hakodesh - this means that you are being dedicated in this one name fo the one G-d of Israel whose property you now become. You are now no longer your own, you have been purchased at great price, at the cost of the blood of the Lamb of G-d, Yehoshua the Moshiach Adoneinu. By your act of submitting to Yehoshua's will in the Moshiach's Tevilah, you are confessing your faith that Yehoshua is Moshieinu and Adoneinu for your personally. The Moshiach's Tevilah is a time when the Spirit of the G-d of Israel creates a new vitality in the believer's life. For in Moshiach's Tevilah the believer gratefully submits his will to the Spirit of G-d, realizing that G-d loves us so much that he has appeased his holy wrath at our sin by taking his anger out on himself, on part of his own being, on his Ben haElohim - rather than on us who deserve it. The death of G-d the Ben haElohim in your place and the revelation of G-d's Chayyei Olam through Yehoshua's resurrection from the dead is G-d's gift of infinite love to you in order that he might give you life. If you accept his Ben haElohim as L-rd and confess Yehoshua as both G-d and Master of your life, you thereby renounce your own sin-prone will and resolve to live by his holy will as it is recorded for you in the Tanach and Brit Chadasha Jewish Scriptures. Therefore, the reason you get into the water is quite simple: the Moshiach Yehoshua commands you to submit to the Moshiach's Tevilah and you dare not disobey him. In fact, it is as you do obey him that you know that Yehoshua is your L-rd. This knowledge is joy unspeakable, the joy of your new birth and the salvation of your soul. Stepping into the water in obedient faith to Moshiach Yehoshua, by faith you are cut free from the downward pull of your old nature and spiritually circumcised by the Ruach Hakodesh as your sins are drowned and buried in a tashlikh (Michoh 7:19). When you are raised out of the water you joyfully believe G-d's promise that your life is now privileged to be under the control of the Ben haElohim of G-d through the Spirit of G-d, and you can now begin to live in the newness of life as a Ben Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) and an eternal Ben haElohim of G-d. A SERIOUS DECISION However, there is something for you to stop and consider first. The Scriptures teach that although many of the Jewish people believed in Yehoshua, some refused to become his talmidim (students), because they feared their own people and because they valued their reputation with men more than they valued the honor that comes from G-d. You should count the cost of becoming a disciple before you publicly accept Yehoshua as your L-rd in the Moshiach's Tevilah. WHAT YOUR MOSHIACH WILL COMMAND The Scriptures plainly teach what Yehoshua commands of you as his talmid (disciple): 1) that you decide to obey G-d's Word and to be immersed in the name of Elohim Avinu, Ben haElohim, and Ruach Hakodesh (Acts 2:38; Matthew 28:19); 2) that you not stay away from believers' meetings but remain a faithful and regular student of apostolic teaching (Acts 2:42); 3) that you stay in regular Moshiach's Chavurah with other believers (Hebrews 10:25); 4) that you be a regular partaker of the Moshiach's Seder (Acts 2:42); 5) that you remain faithful in corporate and private davening (Acts 2:42); 6) that you submit to the spiritual counsel of a body of believers (Hebrews 13:17), where the Bible is believed and faithfully preached and taught; 7) that you faithfully focus your financial giving, talents, and spiritual gifts in one body of believers (Malachi 3:10; Acts 4:35; I Corinthians 14:26); 8) that you as a disciple make talmidim (John 15:8). HOW MUCH IS MOSHIACH WORTH TO YOU? Furthermore, the Moshiach Yehoshua commands that his talmidim put him above everyone and everything else in the world, including your family, your possessions, and even your own life (Luke 14:25-33). When you step into the immersion waters you are walking into potential martyrdom. Your family may disown you and you may suffer great loss and persecution. You must count the cost. Rabbi Saul, who was persecuted greatly and died a martyr, wrote: "But all is far-outweighed by the gain of knowing Moshiach Yehoshua my L-rd, for whose sake I did in fact lose everything . . . All I care about is to know Moshiach, to experience the power of his resurrection, and to share his sufferings, in growing conformity with his death if only I nay finally arrive at the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 8:8,11). WOULD-BE FOLLOWERS Moshiach Yehoshua warned that some would-be talmidim, not counting the cost, would seemingly receive the Word with joy, but it would strike no root in them; they'd have no staying power; then, when there is trouble or persecution on account of the Word, they'd fall away at once. Others also would hear the Word, but worldly concerns and the false glamor of wealth and all kinds of evil desire would come m and choke the Word and it would prove barren (Mark 4). Take Yochanan the Immersionist's warning: "There is no use being immersed in the tevilah in the mikveh without a true and lasting decision that shows itself in actions" (Luke 3:8). NO LOOKING BACK The Scriptures also warn, "When men have once been enlightened, when they have had a taste of the heavenly gift and a share in the Ruach Hakodesh, when they have experienced the good Word of G-d and the spiritual energies of the age to come, and after this have fallen away, it is impossible to bring them again to teshuvah; for with their own hands they are killing the Ben haElohim of G-d again and making mockery of his death" (Hebrews 6:4-6). This passage means that we must approach our immersion with the utmost seriousness and never look back on it lightly as though the commitment it symbolizes is something to trifle with! Count the cost! Yehoshua warns, "No one who sets his hand to the plow and then keeps looking back is fit for the kingdom of G-d. If you love me you will obey my commandments" (Luke 9:62; John l4:15). WHAT NEXT? Now, since immersion is the door to the chavaroot (Moshiach's Chavurah) of believers in Yehoshua and since you obviously believe that G-d has sent you to our Messianic Synagogue to be immersed, then you should assume that the L-rd wishes you to commit yourself to the Body of believers at our Messianic Synagogue, unless you are Scripturally, prayerfully prompted otherwise. In order that you may be able to be received into membership by next "Acts 2:42 Yom Rishon." the last week-end of the month, we are making available for your prayerful consideration the following: 1) the membership application, 2) the information sheet, and 8) an envelope for your forwarding this material to us as promptly as possible. When we receive these materials from you, if you are to be received as a member, it will be on the last week-end of that same month. At that time new members will receive their membership manuals. In connection with your decision, take with you and read this week the document entitled "The Jewish Life of A Talmid of Moshiach" which we have included with your application for membership. We of our Messianic Synagogue urge you to approach your Moshiach's Tevilah with seriousness but also with real expectancy and excitement. Your tevilah should be a time of blessing for you as well as a time when you can look to Moshiach Adoneinu for direction in how he would have you serve him. Therefore, approach your tevilah with the same joyful hope that you should always have when you step out in emunah to obey the Word of G-d. Just as Yehoshua experienced a disclosure from Elohim Avinu at his own tevilah, so too you should see this as the time when G-d formally enlists and authorizes you to be a servant of his Ben haElohim Moshiach, and obligates himself to be your protector and loving benefactor in ministry. When you come up out of the water you are at that moment by faith a covenant-sealed and adopted ben haElohim (Romans 8:14-17; Jn.1:13-14), a recipient of the blessings of the Brit Chadasha (Jeremiah 31:31-84), a spiritual child of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:7). If there ever were a time when you should raise your hands and praise the G-d of Israel, it is when you come up out of the water! Baruch ha shem! May G-d's richest blessing rest on you all the days of your life! Scriptures for study: Colossians 2:11-13; Romans 2:28-29; Acts 2:38;Romans 6:1-11;Romans 8:14-17. MESSIANIC SYNAGOGUE MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION We believe: In the Kitvei HaKodesh (Holy Scriptures) as the inspired and infallibly accurate and inerrant Word of G-d (Psa.19:7; John 17:17; Ps.119:151; II Tim.3:15-16). In the one true G-d, the G-d of Israel, revealed in the Kitvei HaKodesh as Elohim Avinu, Ben HaElohim Moshiach, and the Ruach HaKodesh (Deut.6:4; Gen.2:24; Isa.64:8 ; Mal.3:1; Zech.6:5; Isa.63:11; Mat.28:19; Mark 12:29;II Cor.13:13) In the virgin birth (Ha-Almah, Isaiah 7:14; cf. Song.of Sol. 6:8) of HaMelekh haMoshiach, and the substitutionary and propitiatory aspect of his death, and his resurection and ascension (Isa.7:14; Song of Sol.6:8; Est. 2:13-14, 17; Rom.8:34; Act 1:9-11; I Cor. 15:3-8). In salvation through the blood of our Korban Pesach Seh haElohim Moshiach who alone ransoms or redeems us from sin, death, and eternal spiritual ruin in Gehinnom (Gen. 22:8-13; Isa.53; 66:24; Dan.12:2; I Jn.2:2; Rom.10:13-15; I Tim.2:5-6; I Pet.1:18-19). In Moshiach's tevilah in water according to Matthew 28:19 (Gen.1:9; Rom.6:4; Ex.29:4; I Pet.2:5; 3:20-21) In divine healing through the Pesach redemption of King Moshiach on the Aitz Hakelalat Hashem (Gal.3:10-14; Deut.21:23) which becomes for us through faith the Aitz HaChayyim (the tree of Life, the tree of Redemption) [Isaiah 53:4; Mat.8:16-17; Jam.5:13-14] In the tevilah b'Ruach HaKodesh (Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 15:8-9; Joel 2:28f) In the power of the Ruach HaKodesh to sanctify and to help the believer to live a life of kedusha (Heb.12:14; I Pet. 1:15-16) In the Bias haMoshiach (Acts. 11:11; 24:15; Hebrews 9:28; Rev. 19::7-9) In G-d's gift of the Admat haKodesh (Holy Land, Zecharyah 2:16  to the people of Israel (Amos 9:15), and in G-d making non-Jews bnei Avraham by emunah in Moshiach Yehoshua (Gal.3:7-14; Acts 7:45, Greek New Testament). I__________________, trusting Yehoshua of Nazareth as my kaparrah and personal Moshiach and the Ben haElohim, wish to become a member of this Messianic Synagogue. As a Jewish talmid of Moshiach Yehoshua, I promise to faithfully continue in the teaching of Moshiach's Shluchim, the chavaroot (Moshiach's Chavurah), the Moshiach's Seder, and Tefillos (Acts 2:42) of this synagogue. I also promise to humbly submit to the spiritual leadership of this synagogue as long as the Word of G-d is honored, accepting correction in the same spirit of love in which it is given (Hebrews 13:17), since I realize these leaders "must render an account for me." I furthermore agree to obey Malachi 3:8-10 and I pledge to support this synagogue not only with my financial giving, but my talents, my time, and my spiritual gifts in order to do all that I can to win talmidim to this Body of Yehoshua in our local Jewish community. In Yehoshua's name And for his glory, Date________________________ NOTE: If you complete this application for membership, turn or mail it in with the information sheet (on the reverse) filled out, so that it can be processed in time for you to receive membership and your manual by next Acts 2:42 Yom Rishon, the last week-end of next month. MEMBERSHIP IN OUR MESSIANIC SYNAGOGUE Family Name ____________ Date Husband__________________ Wife ______________________ Birthday Birthday Child ____________________ Child _____________________ Birthdate Birthdate Child ____________________ Child _____________________ Birthdate Birthdate Address City Zip Phone____________________ In case of emergency, please list your business address and number: Husband's Business Wife's Business Religious Background Do you have relatives in our Messianic Synagogue? If so, please list their names: YOU WANT To USE YOUR "GIFTS" FOR MOSHIACH'S AVODAS KODESH MINISTRY IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: Phone Ministry Bus Ministry Teaching What age group? Experience? Faith sharing Membership visitation work Stewardship committee Nursery Music Singing? What instruments? Office work Hours weekly? Special abilities Youth ministry Of what sort? Other NOTE: COMPLETE THIS FORM AND TURN OR MAIL IT IN WITH YOUR APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP. ??E JEWISH LIFE OF A TALMID OF MOSHIACH The Hebrew word cha-VER means "friend." Chavaroot for us means "Moshiach's Chavurah." That a disciple could be his master's cha-VER or friend was unheard of at the time of Yehoshua, for then a disciple was to keep a respectful distance from his master, adhering to him with only the abashed formality of a slave. SLAVES BECOME G-D'S FRIENDS Rabbi Joshua ben Levi asserted that a disciple could do anything for his master that a slave could do, except take off his shoes (Babylonian Talmud, Kethuboth, 96a). Yochanan haMatbil said he was not worthy even to do that for Yehoshua (see Matthew 3:11). A Jewish disciple at that time was expected to have a devotion to his master comparable to that of a slave, freely yoking himself to his master's service. However, Yehoshua elevated the disciple's devotion to a new level. He says, "You are my chavarim, my friends, if you do what I command you. I call you slaves no longer; a slave does not know what his master is about. I have called you friends, because I have disclosed to you everything that I heard from my Father" (John 15:14-15). The best Hebrew word to describe these intimate meetings that Yehoshua had with his immediate talmidim is Moshiach's Chavurah. There is a long standing Jewish custom for friends to meet for the purpose of table fellowship and social-religious discussion and davening, not only on erev Shabbat (Sabbath eve), but at other occasions as well. Any group of friends that met consistently on a weekly basis for such intimate sharing was called a chavurah. What was unique about the Chavurah of Moshiach was that through such fellowship the talmidim were raised to a new intimacy with G-d, becoming (like Abraham) G-d's friends, and experiencing through the Ruach Hakodesh, G-d's eternal resurrection life revealed through his Ben haElohim. It was in just such a setting of table fellowship that the Risen Moshiach appeared to his frightened talmidim and they had fellowship with G-d himself! And here the proof that the Ben haElohim is G-d was given in his resurrection, which was much more than a dead man seen alive. Moshiach's resurrection was the eternal life of G-d bodily visible to G-d's friends. With the resurrection of Yehoshua, who was both G-d and man, the promised Resurrection unto Chayyei Olam (Eternal Life) has already begun, for the first man has already stepped out of the grave and all that is left is for the redeemed to follow. Moreover, now that he has resurrected and ascended, the Ben haElohim has been exalted to become Adoneinu. Yehoshua is L-rd. This is the confession without which there is no salvation (Romans 10:9). Yehoshua is L-rd in the sense that he is both G-d and Master of our lives, bringing us to Elohim Avinu through the Ruach Hakodesh. As L-rd, Yehoshua has poured out the Ruach Hakodesh (Acts 2:33), Yehoshua has become the object of faith (Acts 2:21, 8:16), Yehoshua is the Holy One (Acts 3:14), Yehoshua is the author of life (Acts 3:15), and Yehoshua will be the Shofet kol haAretz, the judge of the world (Acts 10:42). We must remember the holiness of Yehoshua. The Moshiach of Israel is Ben haElohim (see Isaiah 9:6). Yehoshua has the very form of the mode of being of G-d. Not G-d Elohim Avinu but G-d Ben haElohim. We are all sons of G-d by adoption through faith but only Yehoshua is G-d's own Ben haElohim, who has always had the form of the mode of being of G-d, even before Yehoshua came among us as a man (Phil.2:6). We must remember that it was through the Ben haElohim that Elohim Avinu created the world. None of us is the Ben haElohim in that sense. The Ben haElohim is G-d, we are the Ben haElohim's creation. But we depend on G-d's Ben haElohim not only for having created us, but also for revealing Elohim Avinu to us. We know Elohim Avinu only because we know the Ben haElohim (Luke 10:22). Therefore, the Moshiach's Chavurah of the first Jewish believers in Yehoshua was unparalleled in human history. It was Moshiach's Chavurah in which Elohim Avinu was intimately and personally known in devekut (attachment, communion) as never before. It was Moshiach's Chavurah in which Elohim Avinu was present through his risen divine Ben haElohim (at first visibly, later invisibly). It was Moshiach's Chavurah in which the miraculous healing powers of the Olam Haba were present by means of the Ruach Hakodesh. In brief, it was Moshiach's Chavurah in Yehoshua's resurection life, experienced in all but its future perfection right now in the Olam Hazeh (the present age, see I John 1:1-4). Therefore, to be a talmid of Moshiach is to experience the new life of the Olam Habah even now in our joyful Devekut with G-d and in our Chavurah in Moshiach with one another. WHY MEET ON SHABBOS AND YOM RISHON? Because the Moshiach first resurrected and appeared to his talmidim on Yom Rishon (John 20:1), and appeared to them again the following week on Yom Rishon (John 20:26), finally pouring out the Ruach Hakodesh on them (Acts 2:1) on Yom Rishon (Shavuos A.D. 30), Yom Rishon became known as Yom haAdon (Rev.1:10). Thus it became an established Jewish tradition to meet on Yom Rishon as well as Shabbos. It was not enough for Jewish people to witness to the fact that G-d rested on the seventh day after the creation. It was now necessary also to witness to the fact that G-d worked a new eternal creation on the eighth day, the first day of the new creation, when his Ben haElohim resurrected to become the Rosh, the Head of a new eternal humanity who are experiencing their new life of Moshiach's Chavurah in him already, even in this dying Olam Hazeh world in advance of the Olam Habah, the age to come. Therefore, the first Jewish believers did not fail to acknowledge both Shabbos and Yom haAdon. This is why it is so important for Messianic Judaism that Jewish talmidim meet for services on both, pointing to the continuity of their Jewish faith, preserving both its past and its future as they witness to the fullness of their Judaism for the benefit of the salvation of their local Jewish community. NO MATURITY WITHOUT COMMITMENT The Biblical pattern for a body of believers such as our Messianic Synagogue is that we be an expression of Moshiach Yehoshua, representing him locally among our people in the Jewish community. G-d has designed that each believer in Yehoshua be personally committed to a particular assembly or synagogue (which is the Greek word for "assembly" - see Jam. 2:2). This is because we have a team responsibility to help one another grow in spiritual maturity and in usefulness for the Avodas Kodesh service of G-d, without which we cannot render adequate worship. PUNCH ONLY ONE CLOCK In the first place, commitment to one local assembly is the Brit Chadasha pattern. As we open the Bible and read Acts and the epistles it is evident that believers are in submission to one specific local body. The Jewish believers who set the world on fire for G-d 2000 years ago were not running around from meeting hall to meeting hall. They were committed to one meeting hall and were putting their full strength in one synagogue, rather than scattering and diluting their energies in several directions. Because they obeyed G-d and combined their talents and skills and financial and spiritual resources in localized team efforts, these Jewish believers had an impact in every community where they lived. (Study the Book of Ruth. Ruth remained faithfully where G-d placed her. She remained in Boaz's field. Boaz said, "Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain." Or look at the commitment of Sha'ul and Barnabas to a local body and its impact on the whole world in Acts 13:1-3). Have you ever tried to work in two or three places of employment at one time? If you have, you know that by spreading yourself thin you don't do your best at any job. If you want to succeed in the business world you have to have one place where you focus all your concentration with one team of people. Moonlighting here and there is just going to wear you out and you're not really going to do anybody any good. It's the same working for the Kingdom of G-d. You can't punch the clock in three different congregations and get anything done for Moshiach. And if you spread your tithe around instead of focusing it in one assembly as the L-rd commands (Malachi 3:8-10), your disobedience dissipates the purchasing strength of your own financial resources. The Biblical mandate is that we submit ourselves, our tithes, and our time to one body. LISTEN INTENTLY TO HASHEM IN ONE SHUL Secondly, the Bible teaches that some day the Mashgiach Ruchani (Spiritual Overseer) of each flock is going to have to give an accounting for each believer for whom he has been responsible. As undershepherds of the Great Shepherd Yehoshua, these ministers will stand before our Moshiach and render an account (Hebrews 13:17). Now this should make us realize that every believer must have a shepherd. Even the most mature man of G-d or woman of G-d will sooner or later need pastoral counselling or help. No matter how strong you are in the L-rd, who will you turn to when you are in the hospital, or when you need to be married, or when your family has a death and a funeral is needed? Or what if one of your family members becomes mentally ill? Or becomes shut-in and needs a pastoral visit? If you don't know a minister or don't have a commitment to a ministering body of believers, what will you do when you are caught in a crisis? Won't it be a little late then to call up some strangers and ask them to come to your house? No, you need to come in out of the cold of this world and find a warm, loving body of Moshiach's people, and you need to think about this now. The Jewish Scriptures teach, "I will give you shepherds according to my will, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15). If you do not have a shepherd or mashgiach ruchani (spiritural overseer) who is responsible to Moshiach Yehoshua for you, then how are you yourself going to stand before G-d guiltless? There are those that run from meeting hall to meeting hall on the supposition that they are in submission as talmidim. However, in reality these people are in submission to nobody but themselves and are willfully disobedient to G-d's Word, which commands them to meet regularly together in one body (Hebrews 10:25) and to celebrate the Moshiach's Seder regularly (I Corinthians 11:24; Acts 2:42) together. Therefore, as a believer you have the responsibility to adhere to a chavurah and to throw your strength into that flock. Then, when you need help, the flock will be strong and will be able to come to your aid in the L-rd. Did you ever hear of a sheep belonging to three or four different flocks? What a traumatic and confusing experience for any lamb! How could such a freakish sheep be sure of his steps or avoid getting lost? Such wandering sheep would be smart to stop listening to themselves and start listening to what the Great Shepherd has to say in his Word. DEVELOP YOUR GIFTS IN ONE BODY Thirdly, we need to realize that G-d has given to each believer certain spiritual gifts. However, in many cases these gifts are latent in an individual without his being aware of them, because he has never been committed to any one body long enough to exercise them. But the L-rd expects each one of us to use the gifts that he has invested in us. We have the responsibility to locate in an atmosphere where we can systematically grow and mature and our gifts can come to their full expression. Do you know what your gifts are and are you using them in one body now where they will serve the Kingdom of G-d and reach our Jewish people? One of the reasons G-d has formed the body of our Messianic Synagogue is that many of our people could not properly exercise their gifts because they were uncommitted and uninvolved. But now every believer, including you, has the opportunity and the responsibility to use his gifts for the glory of G-d. And if you are Jewish, we offer you the unique challenge of using your gifts in a body that is an expression of Moshiach Yehoshua in our local Jewish community for the benefit of the lost sheep of the House of Israel. GET RESPONSIBLE Fourthly, the Bible teaches that just as a body cannot accomplish anything without its various members functioning in coordination, so too is the Body of Yehoshua. Without hands, fingers can't feed a mouth. Both our Messianic Synagogue and the lost sheep of the House of Israel at large are suffering the loss of your hands. We need, and the L-rd commands, that we have the undiluted spiritual and financial strength of all those who would join with us. Are you dead-serious about reaching our Jewish people for Yehoshua? Ask yourself the question: "Am I giving my maximum time and finances and talents for reaching our people? Or do I run around a lot and give only a little bit here and a little bit there?" Also, the Bible says, "A little child shall lead them." Most healthy growing congregations have plenty of children and young people. But who will be their chaperons, teachers, counsellors, and friends? And what about your own children? "Bad company destroys good morals." Their peer group may be leading them down the wrong path, but how will their have a peer group in the House of the L-rd unless you make it your business to get them to Moshiach's shul and to get involved yourself? Are you dead-serious about this statement, "As for me and my house, I will serve the L-rd!" This is a matter that will be a very relevant one when we all stand before the judgment seat of Moshiach and give an accounting of our time and money and obedience to Hebrews 13:17 and Malachi 3:8-10. There is a price to pay for disobedience, even for believers. We either obey the L-rd and do our best to serve him, giving him quality time and service as we build for him with the highest standards of which we are capable, or we pay later. "If anyone builds on the foundation (of Moshiach Yehoshua) with gold, silver, and fine stone, or with wood, hay and straw, the work that each man does will at last he brought to light; the day of judgment will expose it. For that day dawns in fire, and the fire will test the worth of each man's work. If a man's building stands, he will be re warded; if it burns he will have to bear the loss; and yet he will escape with his life as one might run from a fire" (I Corinthians 3:12-15). Therefore, the question is not if you will tie into a body but where you will tie in, because there really is no option in this matter. We defy G-d at our own risk. Judaism has never been a philosophy, though some have tried to see it in the pagan light of Greece. Judaism is a revealed religion which does not ask for philosophic opinion, but rather demands obedience from all men to G-d and to his Moshiach. The L-rd says, "Obey your leaders" (Hebrews 13:17) and this doesn't mean tipping your hat respectfully from shepherd to shepherd as you wander from flock to flock. This means joining one flock and listening to the voice of Hashem through the body life of one community as you remain in good standing under the discipline of one body of believers where the Bible is believed and faithfully taught. We of our Messianic Synagogue are one of the expressions of Moshiach Yehoshua in the Jewish community. We are davening Tefillos and asking G-d to give us the disciples who are called to minister with us. If you are called by Hashem to come onboard with us, you will not be joining a choir of angels; we are just redeemed sinners trying but not always succeeding to grow up to the full stature of Yehoshua. However, the longer we put up with one another and try to love one another in spite of our faults, the more we grow to love with the agape love with which Moshiach Yehoshua loves and the more we become like him. Therefore, don't expect too much from us and don't run out the door the first time our behavior disappoints you. Instead, stay and ask Yehoshua to help you love our unloveliness and you'll grow in your ability to be compassionate and tolerant. It is our Tefillah that you will make the commitment of membership and fill out the information sheet and send them to our shul at once. Then, on the next Acts 2:42 week-end, we will have the joy of offering you both the right hand of fellowship and our membership manual as you become an integral part of our congregation. Thus, locking arms together with you in the marvelous love of Yehoshua and the supernatural life of the Ruach Hakodesh, our synagogue will be able to reach out to the lost sheep of the House of Israel before it's too late. For this is the Biblical pattern, that you be committed to one Body and with your full resources focused in one place for the maximum glory of G-d to shine in a lost world. NOTE: Now that you"e read this entire document we'd like you to return it. The next document you receive from us you will not return. It is our synagogue member's manual. You will receive it next Acts 2:42 week-end, the last week-end of the month, if you have taken the Moshiach's Tevilah and if your membership application has by then been turned in and processed. ?I?E GOOD NEWS AND THE MOSHIACH'S SEDER The word "Passover" comes from the Hebrew word "pesach," which means "to pass over" in the sense of "to spare the life" (Exodus12:13-17). G-d passed over the blood-sprinkled Israelite houses and spared their lives from the wrath he inflicted on the heathen Egyptians, who had neither blood sacrifice nor faith. It was the blood of the sacrificial victim, the lamb, placed on the lintels of the Israelite homes that effected their release from G-d's wrath. And thus the Passover Seder came to commemorate that blood-sprinkled exodus to freedom and new life which is the essence of the covenant faith of Israel. WHY WE NEED TO BE "PASSED OVER" It's important to keep in mind that believers in Yehoshua are also "passed over" - spared the wrath of G-d - in the Jewish Brit Chadasha, just as they were in the days of Moshe Rabbeinu. Unfortunately, many people do not know that the Last Supper took place in the context of a Passover feast. This Brit Chadasha Passover commemorated a new exodus of salvation effected by Moshiach's own death as he offered himself as the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world (Gen.22:8; Exod.12:5-13; Isa.53:7). And believers at this Brit Chadasha Seder table are in fact "passed over," saved to a new life of freedom. For the G-d of Israel is the Great Kinsman of his people who "bails them out" of captivity at great cost to himself because he loves them (Ruth 2:20; Isaiah 59:20). Our wills were held captive by the sinful ways of this "Egyptian" Olam Hazeh world rather than the will of him who created us. In his mercy the G-d of Israel came to post the "bailbond" of the Moshiach's kapparah in exchange for our freedom and peace (Isaiah 53:5). We stood legally condemned under a death-curse. Without obedient Biblical faith we had arrogantly presumed that our good deeds merited G-d's favor. But all our presumptuous efforts to impress G-d by our own goodness stand condemned because the Torah teaches that all who proudly rely on their ability to render G-d perfect obedience are under a death curse: "A curse upon any man who does not uphold everything that is written in the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy 27:26). Truly righteous people rely on faith, not on their own merit (see Habakkuk 2:4). Because of our faithless disobedience, our arrogant independence from G-d, and our tendency to think of ourselves as better than we are, and to go our own way (Isa.53:6), we were under a death curse. Yet in his mercy the G-d of Israel sent Moshiach Adoneinu, his own sinless Ben haElohim Yehoshua to take that death-curse upon himself in exchange for our freedom from the death-curse. And because Moshiach Yehoshua paid the death penalty of divine judgment on our sins, his death purchased an actual, Torah-based freedom from the bondage of sin and its death-curse. Therefore, we who believe have been bought into the liberty of freedmen, no longer slaves of sin and guilt, but transformed by the Ruach Hakodesh and adopted as bnei haElohim. Now, having been bailed out of the "Egyptian" captivity of our own sinful wills, we obediently live by the will of G-d's own Ben haElohim, who died for us in order that we might live for him. Therefore, we know to whom we belong and the great price it cost him to redeem us. This is why the Brit Chadasha Passover - sometimes called the Moshiach's Seder - means so much to us. THE MEANING OF THE MATZOH AND FRUIT OF THE VINE In the Moshiach's Seder, under Yehoshua's sovereign Word, the matzoh becomes his body, the body of the Seh haElohim (Gen.8:22; Exod.12:5-13; Isaiah 53:7) yielded up in G-d's redeeming plan (see Hebrews 10:5-10). And his blood outpoured in death is the blood that effects our release, our redemption, for "when I see the blood I will pass over you" (Exodus 12:13). And just as in the sacrificial rites of the Egyptian Pesach, the redemptive blood of the Korban Pesach lamb is represented in the cup of blessing on the table. That Kiddush cup is invested henceforward with a fresh redemptive significance as the memorial of the New Exodus accomplished at Jerusalem (see Luke 9:81) through the death of Moshiach our Korban Pesach lamb. The "bread of affliction" of the Passover table of the Jewish Brit Chadasha, then, becomes Moshiach's body, the body of the Lamb of G-d (Gen.22:8; Exod.12:5-13; Isaiah 53:7). Just as matzoh and the fruit of the vine were symbols of the divine peace that the kohen Melchizedek mediated to Abraham (Genesis 14:18), so the Great Moshiach Kohen Yehoshua (Psalm 110:4) offers himself through the matzoh and fruit of the vine as G-d's peace offering to men. His broken body and outpoured blood are the only acceptable peace terms to bring ritztzuy (reconciliation) between a just, holy G-d and sinful men. For without the infinite injury which Elohim Avinu inflicted on the Ben haElohim, G-d in all justice would have had to declare an eternal war in Gehinnom on all the sins of men. G-d's peace offering, the blood of the Lamb of G-d, is his only acceptable restitution for the sins of guilty, G-d-alienated men, and the Moshiach's Seder is the only real Peace Table in this world. The task of Messianic Judaism is to persuade men everywhere to submit to Moshiach's Tevilah of teshuvah so that they may gather around the Prince of Peace and be assured at his Moshiach's Seder table that they have been "passed over" and given the eternal peace of G-d. This means that all men must be persuaded to accept the Moshiach of Israel as their King. At the Moshiach's tish (table), Moshiach's Chavurah of all Bnei Avraham in the Ruach Hakodesh (Gal.3:7-14) are gathered as the people of the Brit Chadasha (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and is confronted afresh with the tokens of Moshiach's once-for-all offered sacrifice in the form of a covenant meal. At this table the talmidim of Moshiach relive that experience by which they came out of the Egypt of sin and were ransomed to G-d by the precious death of the Lamb of G-d, Yehoshua the Moshiach. The inner meaning of the Moshiach's Seder is sharing in devekut (attachment, devotion, communion) with the Moshiach Adoneinu himself in his death and risen life, signified by the matzoh and the fruit of the vine. In this devekut, the talmidim of Moshiach experience unity, partaking of the one matzoh as the one body of the Jewish Moshiach. In the unseen presence of Moshiach Adoneinu at his tish (table), Moshiach's people have a foretaste of the glorious Messianic banquet in the New Jerusalem where we will sit with Moses and millions of other Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) in the Olam Habah (the age to come). WHO MAY PARTAKE Exodus 12:48-49 excludes Non-Jews from participation in the Passover Seder. Likewise, the Moshiach's Seder, the Passover meal of the Jewish Brit Chadasha, excludes those who have not yet become bnei Avraham adopted and regenerated in the Ruach Hakodesh (Gal.3:7-14). To sit at the Moshiach's Seder table, one must be a Ben Avraham (Gal.3:7-14), circumcised of the will and the spirit, having submitted to Moshiach's circumcision and Moshiach's tevilah of repentance (Col.2:11-12; Mat.3:11; Act 2:38), or one will be eating and drinking judgment on oneself (I Corinthians 11:29). Regardless of one's culture or race, one cannot partake of the Pesach covenant meal of Moshiach until one has personally covenanted himself to Moshiach by submitting to the Moshiach's Tevilah. The Moshiach's Tevilah is the sign of spiritual death and spiritual resurrection. For Moshiach's Tevilah symbolizes the believer's union with Moshiach through faith in which the believer dies to his sin-prone life and is raised to walk in the newness of life as a Ben Avraham (Gal.3:7-14). No one should celebrate the New Exodus from sin and death commemorated by the Moshiach's Seder unless that exodus has become a reaiity for him through his own spiritual circumcision, which faith confers and which the Moshiach's Tevilah confirms (see Colossians 2:11-18; I Pet.3:21). EATING AND DRINKING BECOME PREACHING The Moshiach's Seder Jewishly observed has power to make talmidim for Moshiach. For, when both Moshiach's Tevilah and the Moshiach's Seder are publicly and properly administered, with only believers who have taken Moshiach's Tevilah allowed to receive the Moshiach's Seder, the Moshiach's Seder becomes a corporate sermon (I Corinthians 11:26) calling men to make the faith response of Moshiach's Tevilah in order that they too may be no more excluded from the Moshiach's Seder. For as I Corinthians 11:26 says, every time we eat this bread and drink this cup we are, by that very eating and drinking, preaching. We are preaching the saving significance of the Moshiach's death, which is the chief task of Messianic Judaism until Moshiach Adoneinu comes again. The Moshiach's Seder is a corporate sermon because when people, especially Jewish people, see that responding to the Besuras Hageulah is a very Jewish thing to do because Moshiach's immersion is a Tevilah burial and Moshiach's Seudah is a Seder, then the tension is on them to confess Yehoshua as Moshiach Adoneinu by getting into the water in order to be no more excluded from the Moshiach's Seder. For making talmidim is drawing lines and persuading men to cross them. The Moshiach's Seder, properly administered, persuades men to cross the Moshiach's Tevilah line into discipleship as Moshiach's talmidim. In effect, then, when we partake of the Moshiach's Seder, we are celebrating our spiritual circumcision, our spiritual exodus and our Moshiach's Tevilah that incorporated us in to the chavurah of the spiritual Bnei Avraham. For in eating and drinking, we are celebrating our new life as Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14). And as we participate in the Moshiach's Seder, by that very participation and devekut in the Ruach Hakodesh, we are defining who we are: Bnei Avraham in the Ruach Hakodesh. As a matter of fact, the Moshiach's Seder is itself visual proclamation in that it calls men to realize that they are either inside or outside the circle of the redeemed people of the Moshiach's Exodus (and therefore salvation) and must make a decision to either remain outside this circle or (via emunah, teshuvah, and Moshiach's Tevilah) enter that circle and begin that Exodus trek of discipleship and eat at Moshiach's tish (table). When men see the Moshiach's Seder celebrated, they must understand that a line is being drawn which they either cross or do not cross, depending on whether or not they will receive the Word of G-d. In the Moshiach's Seder, people are confronted with a choice: they can either remain "Egyptian", spiritually unregenerated and uncircumcised heathen and be left behind in the Egypt of this dying Olam Hazeh world, or they can respond to the Moshiach's Seder proclamation and (via emunah and teshuvah and Moshiach's Tevilah) can sit with at Moshiach's tish and enter that pilgrimage and exodus upon which we as Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) have already embarked. Therefore, preaching shares with Moshiach's tevilah and Moshiach's Seder for in all three ways the Word of G-d draws a line, confronting men with the decision to either cross that line or not cross it, get in the water or not get in the water, eat and drink or not eat and drink, become a Ben Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) or remain a spiritual heathen. The Moshiach's Seder, then, is the special time when we can draw near to Hashem for devekut (attachment to G-d). The heart of our life is in Moshiach's Chavurah with Moshiach, but it is in the Moshiach's Chavurah centered around preaching, Moshiach's Tevilah, and Moshiach's Seder. In Moshiach's Seder we have a foretaste of the lechem from Shomayim from Beth Lechem (Michah 5:1-2) here on earth as we also have that same foretaste in the Word of G-d as it is verbally proclaimed in preaching. Preachers need to understand the Jewishness of their role, functioning as they do as Moses-figures who call people out of Egypt into a new exodus of salvation and offer them the opportunity to exit death and sin via emunah (faith) and a red sea of water immersion and Moshiach's Seder table of salvation. Non-Jewish preachers who are ignorant of the Jewishness of their task blur the definition of what the Moshiach's Kehillah is in relation to Israel, what the Jewish Brit Chadasha Scriptures are in relation to the Tanach,and they blur this not only for Jews who often have traditionally been unresponsive to the proclamation of the Good News and have not seen the relevance of it, but they also miss the significance for Non-Jews. For a Bible Believer can only know who he is himself when he understands who he is in relation to the Jews at whose table he is eating. This is why a degree of humility and repentance is in order as we begin our walk as Moshiach's talmidim. Greater men than we have tried to serve the L-rd and have failed miserably. May G-d have mercy on us all. THE MESSAGE WE PREACH According to the Hebrew prophets, the Ruach Hakodesh would be given to men to write the will of G-d - the "Torah" - on their hearts(Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26-27). Thus the law in the Brit Chadasha is not merely a written external code but an inward life-giving power that produces righteousness and is received by emunah and teshuvah and mishpa'at in the Moshiach's Tevilah. This inward life-giving law is none other than the Dvar Hashem, Moshiach, the Chochmah of G-d. Through the Ruach Hakodesh, Moshiach lives in the lives of ail believers and produces righteousness and love in communion with them. This is the true devekut the Chassidim are seeking. Moshiach Yehoshua is the mediator of the promised Brit Chadasha of Jeremiah 31:31-34. Yehoshua brings cleansing of sin and consecration to a new people of Moshiach whose endowment of the Ruach Hakodesh gives them power over sin to obey G-d. Yehoshua's blood is his sacrificial death which was made to pay for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5-8) so that we could have the shalom of selicha (forgiveness). Thereby also the wrath of G-d against our averos was appeased and its penalty averted. The Ben haElohim is Elohim Avinu's gift of love to us that he might deliver us from death and give us life. For Moshiach, by his atoning death, has done away with the enmity between a Holy G-d and sinful death-deserving men, bringing about a comprehensive shalom which includes complete wholeness spiritually and a right relationship with G-d issuing in right relations with our fellow men. We can make peace with others only because G-d has made peace with us (Psalm 51:11-13): he has sent Moshiach Adoneinu, his Dvar Hashem, to take on flesh in the womb of an unmarried woman or virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in order to die for us that he might share with us his inexhaustible life of peace. His supernatural entrance and exit (virgin birth and empty tomb) attest that his is the form of the mode of being of G-d! G-d declares anyone to be just who will justly trust him and take him at his Word in faith rather than endeavor to justify himself by trusting in his own merits (Psalm 143:2). As we trust and obey G-d through his Dvar Hashem Moshiach, Elohim Avinu confers on us a new, forgiven, accepted, righteous status before him as his bnei haElohim, his sons. G-d in Yehoshua has offered us acquittal, and if we obediently cling to Yehoshua we are acquitted. Our transformation occurs as we grow to have the same mind towards sin as Yehoshua does. Yehoshua comes to us and we are united to him not only in the Moshiach's Tevilah, not only in the Moshiach's Seder, but even in death when he will receive us as he did Stephanos, the first Jewish Kidddush Hashem martyr of the world-wide Moshiach's Chavurah of the Jewish Brit Chadasha (Acts 7:55, 59). We know that Yehoshua will receive us then because we have received him now, and enjoy the Ruach Hakodesh's inner witness (Rom.8:16) already as an actual down-payment on our guaranteed eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). The Pesach Seder looked backward to G-d's blood-sprinkled deliverance of his people from enslavement. This same festival also looked forward to the coming of Moshiach. The Moshiach's Seder of the Brit Chadasha also looks backward to a blood-sprinkled deliverance effected by the Lamb of G-d. This Brit Chadasha Seder, however, looks forward to the Bias haMoshiach, the Parousia. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MOSHIACH'S SEDER Just as the Moshiach's Tevilah is an acted confession of our emunah-devekut with Moshiach, so is the Moshiach's Seder. On the last (Acts 2:42) week-end of the month, when we stand from our seats to partake of the Moshiach's Seder, those who have not yet submitted to the Moshiach's Tevilah, are instructed to remain seated in order that they may witness the Moshiach's Seder. When the server steps in front of each one of us with the broken matzoh of the Seh haElohim and the fruit of the vine in the Kiddush cup, we are confronted with the very One who alone provides the blood-plattered threshold of our escape, our Passover, for an exodus of new life. Only Moshiach can free us and give us a new life of peace. As the server says to us, "For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the L-rd until he comes," we realize that as we concretely receive the saving Word of G-d, who is the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world, our very eating and drinking becomes preaching as we witness to the wonderful fact that we have been "passed over" and our sins have been forgiven so that we can have new life. As servers move around the room, the words, "For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup reverberate over and over again, even as the Besuras Hageulah is echoing endlessly right now all over the world. This is a corporate sermon, preached by both the servers and the served, and does not end until the Mashgiach Ruchani is himself served. When the last server has come forward and has served the him, what amoment of intense worship ensues! For now we have just received the most precious Person in the world afresh and by the power of the Ruach Hakodesh he indwells us all in emunah-devekut, with his presence most acutely experienced at this very moment. With our hands in the air we worship and praise the G-d of Israel and his Moshiach. Praise G-d! Baruch Ha Shem! With overflowing love our hands reach out to one another as we experience our unity in him and affirm our love for one another. The eternal Torah of G-d, the Chochmah that was with G-d and was G-d (Prov.8:30; 30:4) from the beginning, has written himself afresh on our hearts! The perfect Kohen Gadol without beginning or end is in our midst! Hallelujah! He has made us One people! Now, we see how important it is for us to obey the L-rd's command that we celebrate the Moshiach's Seder, which is not an option but a divinely-imposed duty (see I Corinthians 11:24-25). The Moshiach Yehoshua commands that we "do this," and that when we do, we are preaching the saving significance of Moshiach Adoneinu's death, which is the Good News of Messianic Judaism (I Corinthians 11:26). Therefore, as Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14), it is our sacred duty to make every effort to attend Acts 2:42 service so that we may "persistently" (Acts 2:42) witness in this divinely ordained manner and thus have the joy of sharing with others our salvation in the L-rd. As we conclude the Moshiach's Seder service each believer should be in offer tefillos for the inquirers who sat observing the corporate sermon Moshiach has just preached through us. We should offer tefillos that each one here today will stop excluding himself from Moshiach's Seder, and will instead obey Moshiah and submit to the Moshiach's Tevilah so that, as a Ben Avraham (Gal.3:7-14), he will be no more excluded from this Seder table. See Galatians 3:10-14; Romans 8:15-16; I Corinthians 6:19-20; Isaiah 53:10-12; I Peter 1:18.19; Hebrews 9:2-11; Ephesians 1:7;Romans 3:23-24; Mark 10:45. ?II?E MOSHIACH'S SEDER The Reader, standing: In the same way that the story of the Exodus from Egypt is retold and relived perpetually among the Jewish people on Passover, we who are Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) are commanded to retell and relive what happened for us on Passover in the death of our Moshiach Yehoshua, who commands us, in our own Haggadah or "declaration," "Do this in remembrance of me." [The Servers will come take their positions at the Moshiach's Tish (Table) beside the Reader. The Reader: Maranatha. The Servers: Adoneinu, coome. The Reader: Even so, come, Moshiach Yehoshua. The Servers: Come. One of the Servers: Rav Saul, one of Moshiach's Shluchim, standing at the foot of a New Sinai, received this Haggadah for a new pilgrim people of Moshiach from Israel and all the nations. The Moshiach's Seder is the Passover Seder of the Jewish Brit Chadasha. This Seder celebrates the New Exodus from the bondage of averos and mavet which the Moshiach effected by his atoning death. Moshiach Yehoshua becomes the Korban Pesach lamb, the Passover lamb sacrificed in the festival of deliverance, and his blood ratified the Brit Chadasha between G-d and Israel. The Jewish Brit Chadasha (Jeremiah 31:31-34) promised selicha (forgiveness) of sins and personal knowledge of and devekut with G-d. By having followed the L-rd through the Red Sea of Moshiach tevilah we have entered into personal communion with G-d and, having become bnei Avraham by faith, may now come to the Moshiach's Seder, even as we will someday feast at the glorious Messianic banquet in the New Jerusalem. This broken matzoh and this out-poured fruit of the vine proclaim to all the Moshiach's death, as well as the present time of salvation and the coming judgment of the One who commanded that we witness to him in this way: the King of Israel, praised be he, Yehoshua the Moshiach. The Readers: V'lo ah-cha-ched mee-kem eh-chay ah-sher Ah-vo-tey-noo ha-yoo choo-lahm tah-chat heh-ah-nahn v'choo-lahm ahv-roo b'toch ha-yahm. V'choo-lahm neet-b'loo l'Mo-sheh be-ah-nahn oo-va-yahm. "You should understand, my brothers, that our ancestors were all under the pillar of cloud, and all of them passed through the Red Sea; and so they all received immersion into the Chavurah of Moses in cloud and sea." (I Cor. 10:1-2) V'zeh hoo oht ha-t'vee-lah ah-sher cah-et to-shee-ah gam oh-tah-noo lo v'hah-seer tee-noof ha-bah-sahr kee eem beesh-ahl lah-noo may-et Eh-lo-heem ru-ach sh'lay-mah ahl y'day ha-kah-maht Yehoshua haMoshiach. "This water prefigured the water of Moshiach's Tevilah through which you are now delivered to safety. Moshiach's Tevilah is not the washing away of bodily uncleanness, but the appeal made to G-d by a clear conscience; and it brings salvation through the resurrection of Yehoshua Ha Mashiach." I Pet. 3:21 The Readers: V'choo-lahm ahch-loo mah-ah-khol eh-chad roo-cha-nee. V'choo-lahm shah-too mahsh-keh eh-chad roo-chah-nee kee shah-too meen ha-tsoor ha-roo-chah-nee ha-ho-lech eem-mah-hem v'ha-tsoor hah-hoo hah-yah ha-Moh-shee-ach. Ah-vahl b'roo-bahm lo rah-tsah hah-Eh-loh-heem oo-feeg-ray-hem nahf-loo vah-meed-bar. V'chol zoht hah-y'tah lah-noo l'moh-fet l'veel-tee heet-ah-voht l'rah-ah kah-ah-sher heet-ah-voo gahm hey-mah. "They all ate the same supernatural food, and all drank the same supernatural drink; I mean, they all drank from the supernaturai rock that accompanied their travels -- and that rock was Moshiach. And yet, most of them were not accepted by G-d, for the desert was strewn with their corpses. These events happened as symbols to warn us not to set our desires on evil things, as they did." (I Cor. 10:3-6) Therefore, we are to take no part in the Moshiach's Seder without applying moral scrutiny to our lives and behavior. The Reader: Lah-cheyn mee sheh-yoh-chahl meen hah-leh-chem hah-zeh oh yeesh-teh mee-kohs ha-Ah-dohn sheh-loh chah-rah-oo-ee yeh-shahm l'goof Ah-doh-ney-noo oo-l'dah-moh. Yeev-chahn ha-eesh et nahf-shoh v'ahz yoh-chal meen hah-leh-chem v'yeesh-teh meen hah-kohs. Kee hah-oh-chel v'hah-shoh-teh sheh-loh chah-rah-oo-ee oh-chel v'shoh-teh deen l'naf-shoh yah-ahn ah-sher lo heef-lah et-goof ha-Ah-dohn. "It follows that anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the L-rd unworthily will be guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the L-rd. A man must examine himself before eating his share of the bread and drinking from the cup. For he who eats and drinks eats and drinks judgment on himself if he does not discern the Body." (I Cor. 11:27-29) [Those who have not yet turned in teshuvah (repentance--Mat.3:11; Act 2:38) and obeyed Moshiach Adoneynu (Mt.28:19-20) by taking the Moshiach's Tevilah, please remain seated. This is to protect anyone from partaking without teshuvah and bringing judgment upon himself. Those who have followed in the Moshiach's Tevilah and are also turning in teshuvah today, please stand.] The Reader: Hah-lo yeh-dah-tem kee m'aht s'ohr m'chah-metz et kol hah-ees-sah. Bah-ah-roo et hah-s'ohr hah-yah-shahn l'mah-ahn tee-h'yoo ees-sah chah-dah-shah hah-lo leh-chem matzot ah-tem kee gahm lah-noo fees-chey-noo hah-neez-bach bah-ah-dey-noo hoo ha-Moh-shee-ach. Seh ha-Eh-lo-heem ha-noh-seh cha-taht ha-oh-lam. "Have you never heard the saying, 'A little chometz leavens all the mixture'? The old chometz of corruption is working among you. Purge it out, and then you will be issa chadasha (new dough). As believers you are Pesach matzot; for indeed our Korban Pesach was sacrificed - Moshiach himself, the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world." (I Cor. 5:6-7; Jn.1:29) (During the next few moments there will be silence as each believer shall conduct a mental search through every corner of his life to purge out in confession all the chometz of averos in order that he may be pronounced 'tahor' ('clean') by our G-d.) The People, standing: Ah-doh-noy neet-vah-deh et chah-toh-tey-noo L-rd, we confess our sins. The Reader: V'eem neet-vah-deh et cha-toh-tay-noo neh-eh-mahn hoo v'tsah-deek lees-loh-ach lah-noo et cha-toh-tay-noo ool-tah-ha-ray-noo mee-kol ah-vohn. Nees-l'choo lah-chem chah-toh-tay-chem l'mah-ahn sh'moh. "If we confess our sins, he is just, and may be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every kind of wrong. Your sins are forgiven you for his Name's sake." (I Jn.1:9; I Jn.2:12) The People: Just as the Covenant of Sinai was inaugurated by blood sacrifice, so too is the Brit Chadasha. We who enter into covenant with the L-rd through his blood enter also into covenant with our fellow believers. Hereby united in love concretely in this covenant meal, we are confirmed and built up in the community of Moshiach. We are Bnei Avraham. We belong to one another forever and to the L-rd. The Reader: V'sheef-too ah-tehm et ah-sher oh-mahr. Kohs ha-b'rah-chah ah-sher ah-nach-noo m'vah-rah-kheem ha-loh hee heet-cha-b'root dahm ha-Moh-shee-ach v'ha-leh-chem ah-sher ah-nach-noo voh-ts'eem ha-loh hoo heet-cha-b'root goof ha-Moh-shee-ach. Kee leh-chem eh-chad hoo lah-chen gahm goof eh-chad ah-nach-noo ha-rah-beem bah-ah-sher l'choo-lah-noo che-lek bah-leh-chem ha-eh-chad. "Form your own judgment on what I say. When we bless the Kiddush cup of blessing, is it not a means of devekut sharing in the blood kapparah of Moshiach? When we break the bread, is it not a means of devekut sharing in the body of Moshiach? Because there is one loaf, we, many as we are, are one body, for it is one loaf of which we all partake." (I Cor.10:15-17) The Reader: (holding up the matzoh) Ba-ruch atah Adonoy Eh-lo-hey-noo meh-lech haolam, ha-moh-tzee lechem min ha-AH-retz. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. The Reader: Kee choh kee-bahl-tee ah-noh-chee meen ha-Ah-dohn et ah-sher gahm mah-sahr-tee lah-chem kee ha-Adohn Yehoshua bah-Lai-lah hah-hoo ah-sher neem-sar boh lah-kach et ha-la-chem. Vah-y'vah-rech vah-yeev-tsah vah-yoh-mer k'choo eech-loo zeh goo-fee hah-neev-tsah bah-ahd-chem ah-soo zoht l'zeech-roh-nee. "For the tradition which I handed on to you came to me from Moshiach Adoneinu himself: that the Moshiach Yehoshua, on the night of his arrest, took bread and, after giving thanks to G-d, broke it and said: 'This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me." (I Cor.11:23-24) (Reader breaks matzoh) The Reader: (now holding up the Kiddush cup) Ba-ruch atah Adonoy Eh-loh-hey-noo meh-lech ha'olam bo-reh p'ree hagafen. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. V'chen gahm et ha-kohs ah-char hah-s'oo-dah vah-yoh-mahr hah-kohs hah-zoht hee hah-B'reet ha-Chah-dah-shah b'dah-mee ah-soo zoht l'zeech-roh-nee b'chol et sheh-teesh-too. "In the same way, he took the cup after seudah (supper) and said: 'This is the Brit Chadasha sealed by my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me." (I Cor.11:25) (Reader pours wine) Kee b'chol et sheh-tohch-loo et ha-leh-chem ha-zeh v'teesh-too et hah-Kohs ha-zoht ha-z'ker tahz-kee-roo et moht Ah-doh-ney-noo ahd kee yah-voh. "For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the L-rd, until he comes." (I Cor.11:26) [After the servers are served by the reader they use the same formula (II Cortnthians 11:26) to serve all who are standing until they return to the Moshiach's tish (table), where one of them serves the reader.] The Reader: Let us raise our hands and worship the L-rd Maranatha. ??E BEN AVRAHAM AND HIS LIFE OF TEFILLOS Here is the most important Tefillah you'll ever have the opportunity to daven. Take a moment to meditate on the thoughts it conveys. Then make these words your own as you speak them to G-d with emunah (faith). "G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: I am a Jew and I'm going to die a Jew. But I've decided to stop living as I please. I promise to live by your Word as it's recorded in the entire Bible, including the Brit Chadasha. Elohim Avinu, I know that you can justly forgive my sins only through the kapparah of Moshiach. Moshiach Yehoshua, I believe that you overcame death to prove that you are Moshiach Adoneynu. Come into my life. Forgive my sins. Take control of my life through the Ruach Hakodesh. And I'll obey you forever to the glory of Elohim Avinu. In Yehoshua's Name. Amen." WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DAVEN TEFILLOS? Many of us daven only about once a year, saying "G-d helps those that help themselves." "Besides, what good does it do?" We can all remember at least one thing we whispered into the ear of Hashem that we didn't get. Having said that, we rationalize ourselves back into our father Adam's mistake: like him we try to make it through life on our own. Our lack of davening Tefillos shows the degree of our sinful independence from G-d and scant trust in him. Our Moshiach Yehoshua taught that we should not take his Father for granted, as though he were a mere suggestion box to put our requests and suggestions in and then forget about. Rather, when we daven, we should daven with great depth of fervor and persistence, basing all our hope in the generousity and loving kindness of Elohim Avinu (Matthew 7:7-11), yet davening with great intensity and kavanah (Mark 13:13, 14:38; Matthew 26:41) and burden of heart. Davening tefillos is no mere grocery listing of every man's personal wishes. Davening tefillos is our most intimate and beautiful experience with G-d, ranging through the ultimate capacities of human feelings, from ecstatic thanksgiving to serene communion. But more than that, believers in Moshiach daven in the Ruach Hakodesh (Jude 1:20). Many of us say we're too busy with charity and other endeavors to daven. We forget that good works are no substitute for davening tefillos, even though loving acts should be the outgrowth of loving thoughts. But davening tefillos is more than thinking! Davening tefillos is working, too. Davening tefillos changes things! That is, if tefillos are addressed to the One who is responsive to all davening uttered in the name of his Ben haElohim, then davening tefillos does indeed change things. For then we are praying to the true G-d of Israel, not the G-d of human tradition and the teachings of men, but the G-d revealed in the Kitvei haKodesh. And the amazing fact about this wonderful G-d of ours is that he has the generosity to share with us his love and his strength! He does this by allowing us to be co-workers with him not only in what we do, but also in what we daven. Yehoshua's davening changed the world! He was not merely retreating for a rest when he davened alone in the wilderness. By releasing the power of his Father through davening tefillos said secretly in the night, he would be able to demonstrate that same power openly in the miracles he performed in the day. Our davening can have a great impact, as well. Davening tefillos is not an experiment. Davening tefillos is seizing from the Word of G-d by the hand of faith the will of G-d for this moment: confessing the sins enumerating by G-d's Word, praising the G-d revealed by his Word, claiming the promises of G-d's Word. Davening tefillos is engaging in spiritual warfare, coming against cosmic powers of darkness to banish them by the mighty name of Yehoshua. Davening tefillos is binding the evil one and releasing what belongs to G-d and G-d's people, whether it be finances or food or property or whatever. Our weapon is divinely potent to demolish demonic strongholds (II Corinthians 10:4). Our weapon is the armor of davening Tefillos (Ephesians 6:18-20). Yehoshua the Moshiach has bound the devil, and as members of his Body, we can share in his victory. By exerting Yehoshua's authority we can bind Satan and "spoil his house." All we need is enough faith to throw ourselves into davening tefillos with a victory shout for Yehoshua on our lips as we claim all he has made possible for us to claim in his Name: sustenance, healings, deliverance, miracles, everything. The only thing that can stop us is our lack of emunah (faith) [Matthew 17:20,21]. The only things that can hinder us are weak, tentative, rambling Tefillos, where we allow Satan to convince us we're not being heard or our davening don't really affect the heart of G-d or retard the power of the devil. Our davening must be in faith, believing all things are possible. When we daven, our Moshiach asks us the same question he asked the blind men in Matthew 9:28: "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" If we ask Elohim Avinu anything in the Name of the Ben haElohim, then we imply that we do believe Yehoshua is able, not only to hear our davening but to make known Elohim Avinu to us and keep us in His will. Moshiach Yehoshua asks us to heal the sick, to bind the demonic, to proclaim Besuras haGeulah to every creature. How can we rise to such heights unless we are, like him, men who daven? We too must be swept along by the power of his resurrection, which is the power of the Ruach Hakodesh who inspires us in our tefillos. TO WHOM DO WE DAVEN? "Avinu sh'baShomayim" "("Our Father which is in Heaven") is not meant to conjure up an old man with a white beard, but a loving, life-giving personal Creator. Therefore we daven to the "Father of mercy" - a term still found in the Prayer Book. We know G-d hears our tefillos because we know we are his adopted sons and He is Avinu, our Father. How do we know he is our Father? We know he is our Father because we accepted him as our Father when we accepted his Ben haElohim as our Moshiach Adoneynu. Everyone who believes that Yehoshua is the Moshiach is a child of G-d (I John 5:1). To prove that we are adopted sons, G-d has sent into our hearts the Ruach Hakodesh, crying "Abba! Father!" We are therefore no longer slaves but sons, and if sons, then also, by G-d s own act, heirs (Galatians 4:6-7). "Abba" is the most affectionate and intimate term of endearment that a Jewish child has in his vocabulary for his father. There is no example of G-d ever being referred to as Abba in Judaism before Yehoshua appeared in Israel. No one had ever known the G-d of Israel that intimately before Yehoshua. But Yehoshua had always been with his Father, even before he came among us as a man. In fact, Moshiach had the form of the mode of being of Elohim (Phil.2:6). He was the glorious life-creating Word whom Elohim Avinu loved as his only Ben haElohim. This One came from Elohim Avinu to reveal Elohim Avinu so that men might know Elohim Avinu as Abba. Elohim Avinu gives to men on the basis of his love for his Ben haElohim and because of his Moshiach's righteous sacrifice (Isaiah 53). Yehoshua instructed the first Jewish believers to begin making their requests to Elohim Avinu in the name of his Ben haElohim, for whose sake only Elohim Avinu can rightly bless sinners such as themselves. But to whom do we daven, Elohim Avinu or the Ben haElohim? There is davening tefillos to the Moshiach Yehoshua in the Jewish Brit Chadasha Scriptures (see Revelation 22:20), so it cannot be considered unjewish to address tefillos to him. Two of the greatest Jews who ever lived did precisely that. (See Acts 7:59 and II Corinthians 12:8 where Stephanos and Rabbi Sha'ul daven to Yehoshua.) From the very first, Jewish believers hailed Yehoshua as One worthy of worship and adoration and davening. Davening tefillos of adoration and praise are very properly addressed to our Moshiach Yehoshua, who loved us enough to die for us in order that his Father could forgive us. "To deny honor to the Ben haElohim is to deny honor to Elohim Avinu who sent him" (John 5:23). However, our Moshiach Yehoshua himself taught us to direct our petitions toward his Father in Yehoshua's name. For it is in Yehoshua's Name that Elohim Avinu is revealed and is actively present to men. Yehoshua taught, "No one knows Elohim Avinu except the Ben haElohim and any one to whom the Ben haElohim chooses to reveal him" (Matthew 11:27). "In very truth I tell you, if you ask Elohim Avinu for anything in my Name, he will give it to you. So far, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be complete" (John 16:23-24). A distinctively Jewish conception of G-d is that he is Avinu ("our Father") a merciful Father to those who are his obedient sons. However, this great G-d had always seemed so awesome that the Jewish people had not been comfortable referring to G-d as "our Father" before the Ben haElohim came to reveal Elohim Avinu. But Elohim Avinu was brought near to men through the Ben haElohim, and because of our da'as of the Ben haElohim, we can daven to Elohim Avinu in the Name of Ben haElohim name with a new intimacy toward G-d based on a new and personal knowledge of him. Yehoshua gave Judaism a new tefillah. Whereas before his coming, Judaism could address G-d with only the ceremonial formality appropriate to a monarch, with the appearance of G-d's Ben haElohim who invites all men to experience adopted divine sonship, a new style and spirit of davening is possible. Thus Yehoshua could daven not only the set tefillos in Hebrew, he davened in his mother-tongue (Aramaic) and taught his talmidim to daven like him, even giving them a set prayer in their mother-tongue Aramaic, which came to be called the Moshiach's Tefillah. "Our Father who is in heaven" (see Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4), is a Jewish prayer that teaches the proper sense of dependence on G-d for all human needs, from the loftiest aspiration (a world where G-d's Name is revered) to the most ordinary request(food). This sense of dependence is cultivated by table grace such as practiced by our Moshiach Yehoshua, who not only blessed his Father before a meal but also offered thanks afterward. Frequent davening instills a truly realistic attitude to life, since G-d is the universal giver of life and breath, and it is only in him that we live and move and have our being. To habitually fail to acknowledge our dependence and gratitude to G-d is to lose touch with reality and with the source of life itself. Davening tefillos is as vital as breathing to our spiritual well-being. Just as the devout Jew davens for G-d's protection and blessing at afternoon and before retiring, so also he davens as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning, so immediate is his awareness of his need for G-d. "Abba" is a holy word for "Avinu" in heaven. We are not to use this title when we address any man (Matthew 23:9). We can refer to the G-d of the universe in this intimately familiar way because we are members of his family. Children can call their father "Abba" (see Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6). WHAT ARE WE TO DAVEN FOR? Our Father Abba, revered be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Tomorrow's bread, give us today, And forgive us, as we have forgiven others. Do not let us be carried away by temptation. Keep us from joining the Evil One, For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen. In the Moshiach's Tefillah, our Moshiach Yehoshua davened for his Father - for his name, his kingdom, and his will - and he davened for himself and his fellow men - for bread, forgiveness, and victory over evil. This is a model tefillah for any believer. Yehoshua commands us to daven for our enemies: "Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and daven for them which despitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust (see Matthew 5:44-45 and Leviticus 19:17-18). Moshiach Yehoshua teaches us to daven for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11), for forgiveness of those we wrong just as we forgive those who wrong us (Matthew 6:13), for laborers in the harvest field of Messianic Judaism's Besuras Hageulah ministry (Matthew 9:38), for the sick (James 5:13-18), for wisdom (James 1:5), and for the Ruach Hakodesh (Luke 11:13). Rabbi Sha'ul desired that Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) daven for da'as (Philippians 1:9) and power issuing in the love of the Moshiach Yehoshua, through whom both as individuals and as brothers they should grow to maturity. He knew that it was only as Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14) that they could daven effectively, for davening is a gift of the Ruach Hakodesh (see I Corinthians 14:14-16). In fact, the believer davens "in the Ruach Hakodesh" (Jude 1:20). We should daven for our government, because it is by means of human government that G-d holds the devil's children in check. In fact, davening for human government should be the first order of business for believers, but it is only as human government acts on G-d's behalf to punish evil that the people of G-d can live in peace. (See II Thessalonians 2:5-8, where Rabbi Sha'ul sees that it is only the restraining hand of government that keeps the Anti-Moshiach from being revealed.) When human government crumbles, Anti-Moshiach will take advantage of the situation by amassing the world's population into a demonic anti-G-d super-society where no believer living at that time will be free of danger. This will be on a larger scale but along the same lines as what Hitler did when Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor and died four years later, turning the world over to the Beast. Therefore, it is obvious why we should daven for our government. Why is davening Tefillos so important? Because temptation is always terribly dangerous and near at hand. Selling out is the easiest thing in the world to do, and can be so cleverly rationalized that the deed is done before we feel the guilt pangs. Therefore, we must daven - whether we feel like it or not, for when we least feel like davening, temptation is beckoning all the more seductively (Matthew 26:40). G-d gives us people to daven for and he gives us the privilege of influencing his dealings with those people. When an old friend comes to mind repeatedly or some person's face persists in our mind, this may be an invitation by G-d to hold that person up in prayer, for G-d is concerned that we be concerned for our fellowmen. If we wonder why our synagogue is not growing, if we wonder why our people are not confessing Yehoshua as Moshiach in the Moshiach's Tevilah, then we should examine the prayer life of our synagogue. Are we burdened to see people take the Moshiach's Tevilah? Does it matter enough to us to agree on it in prayer? Are we davening daily for our Torah studies and teachers? Are we davening for the lost? Are we claiming victories in prayer? If our people have no on-going prayer burden for the Jewish community near our shul, our shul will make no impact on our community. Since G-d takes us seriously as his co-workers, he takes our initiative seriously as well. If our prayer initiative is at a low ebb so will be the success of our davening labor with the L-rd. Our success hinges upon our expectant davening Tefillos and G-d's Spirit (see Philippians 1:19 and Ephesians 6:18-20). When unbelievers refuse to come to believers' meetings, one of the most effective means of soul-winning is to establish a davening bond with them, informing them of our corporate prayers on behalf of their needs. The miraculous answers to prayer and the love displayed in efforts to pray will be a sign to the unbeliever. He won't be able to help feeling somewhat touched by the sincerity of the body of believers in praying for him. This inexplicable love, the love shed abroad in our hearts (Rom.5:5) will draw him closer to attending believers' meetings, where the environment of faith will be a fertile seed bed for the unbeliever's faith to bud. Finally, we should petition G-d for all our needs--physical, mental, spiritual, financial, whatever they are, whether for ourselves or for others - and praise him for being the generous and loving Father he is, to hear and answer our Tefillos. Praise him for every cheerful and good moment you enjoyed today and yesterday, for he prepared them all. Praise him, too, for the difficult times, for these will help us toughen toward endurance and maturity. The shortened form of the Amidah from the Prayer Book is an excellent example of what to daven for: "Give us wisdom, 0 L-rd our G-d, to know thy ways: turn our will so that we will fear thee, and forgive us so that we may be saved. Keep us far from sadness; satisfy our needs from the food of thy land, and gather our scattered ones from the four corners of the earth. Let them that go astray be judged according to thy will, and bring thy hand upon the evil ones. Let the righteous rejoice in the rebuilding of thy city (Jerusalem), and in the establishment of thy Temple, and in the flourishing of the power of David thy servant, and in the clear shining light of the son of Jesse, thy Moshiach. Even before we call, do thou answer. Blessed art thou, 0 L-rd, who hears prayer." A list of the petitions in this prayer are: 1) for divine wisdom, 2) divine help in the business of being obedient, 3)forgiveness, 4) freedom from sorrow, 5) physical sustenance, 6) unity for the people of G-d, 7) G-d's righteous punishment of the unrepentant wicked of the world, 8) the building up of Jerusalem, 9)the establishment of G-d's Temple, and 10) the coming of the Davidic Moshiach to bring order and holy light to a sin-darkened world. However, we should remember that the Talmud advises us that davening must come from the heart, and not be the mere lip service paid to a fixed written prayer. See Babylonian Talmud, Aboth, chapter 2, 13, "When thou prayest, make not thy prayer a set task." No prayer should be read from a piece of paper unless it has been made one's own prayer in the heart by faith. WHY TEFILLOS MISS THEIR MARK Davening is power. Whatever power we have, however, is not from ourselves but from the Ruach Hakodesh. "Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, saith the L-rd." Therefore we must not presume to think that we can manipulate G-d into providing for our every whim. It is only as we have the mind of the Moshiach that our will becomes G-d's will and we receive whatever we ask for. The L-rd does not "hear" every prayer (see Isaiah 1:15; 29:13), but only the prayers of those who are coming into a covenantal relationship with him. To daven and be heard one must know the Name of the L-rd, the full name of Hashem: the Name of Elohim HaAv and of the Ben haElohim and the Name of the Ruach Hakodesh (Mat.28:19; I Cor.12:4-6; II Cor.13:14; Eph.4:4-6; II Thes. 2:13-14; I Pet.1:2; Rev.1:4-6). Only then can one call on the Name of the L-rd and be certain he is heard. Therefore, one precondition of successful davening is knowing who Elohim Avinu is through a knowledge of his Ben haElohim, for whose sake alone Elohim Avinu is free to be gracious to sinners. For Elohim Avinu can justly forgive sinners only because of the kapparah of his Ben haElohim, through whose death no sins went unpunished. But knowing who G-d is isn't enough. One must also have faith (Mark 11:24). That is, one must believe that G-d is actually there and that he is free to act for the benefit of those who ask him (Hebrews 11:6). Other preconditions are: willingness to forgive others before presuming to ask for forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15); making peace first (Matthew 5:23-24); humility (II Chronicles 7:14); whole-hearted intensity (Jeremiah 29:13); unwavering deliberation (James 1:6); righteous confession (I John 1:1-10; James 5:16); proper motives (James 4:3); the guidance of the Ruach Hakodesh without whom no one would even know what to daven for (Romans 8:26-27); and especially a willingness to obey G-d's Word: "We can approach G-d with confidence and obtain from him whatever we ask, because we are keeping his mitzvot and doing whatever he approves" (I John 3:21-22). "If you dwell in me and my words dwell in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7). If there is any area of your life where you are disobeying G-d, correct yourself immediately and ask G-d's forgiveness or your disobedience will undermine your davening (see I Pet.3:7). Have you taken the Moshiach's Tevilah? You'd better do it, if you expect your davening to be fruitful. The Word of G-d lists other causes of failure in davening: 1) self-indulgence (James 4:3), 2) stubbornness (Zechariah 7:13), 8) evil (Isaiah 59:2; Micah 3:4), 4) blood-guiltiness (Isaiah 1:15), 5) despising the law (Proverbs 28:9), 6) neglect of mercy (Proverbs 21:13), 7) indifference (Proverbs 1:28), 8) secret sin (Psalm 66:18),9) disobedience (Deuteronomy 1:45; I Samuel 14:37; 28:6), and 10) sometimes prayer is refused because it is not in accord with the divine will (see II Corinthians 12:8-9). When our Moshiach Yehoshua made a request he always remained ready to bow to the will of his Father. Like him we must never let favorable answers to our davening be a condition for our love toward G-d. However, many people use this principle as an excuse to daven in unbelief. "L-rd, if it be thy will, heal this child," we hear believers pray. Often believers really don't have enough faith to claim a healing, so they use their uncertainty regarding the will of G-d to mask their uncertainty regarding G-d's power to heal. But the fact is that G-d has already revealed his will to us in his Word. Read what G-d says is his will regarding healing: "The prayer offered in faith will save the sick man, the L-rd will raise him from his bed, and any sins he has committed will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and daven for one another, and then you will be healed. A good man's davening is powerful and effective" (James 5:15-16). We need to realize that our davening is powerful if we have faith enough to claim all the promises of G-d's Word when we daven. For G-d keeps his Word and he sends his Spirit to honor his Word and to do all that his Word promises to do, including healing the sick. The Scripture says that G-d "sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their corruptions" (Psalm 107:20). Then in the fullness of time G-d sent his Word among us as a man who came to heal a lost and very sick world. This one who came was Elohim Avinu's life-giving Word, his Moshiach, through whom he created everything. Thus Yehoshua "went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38). Then the Ben haElohim of G-d, who is the Word of G-d in person, promised his followers that he would send them the Ruach Hakodesh from Elohim Avinu (John 15:26) and that the Ruach Hakodesh would be their Helper in bearing witness to the Ben haElohim through the miraculous acts they would perform in his name. Referring to his acts (John 10:25), which elsewhere (John 9:3-4) include acts of healing, Yehoshua declares, "In truth, in very truth I tell you, he who has faith in me will do what I am doing; and he will do greater things still because I am going to Elohim HaAv. Indeed anything you ask in my name I will do, so that Elohim HaAv may be glorified in the Ben haElohim. If you ask anything in my name I will do it" (John 14:12-14). Yehoshua said, "The Ruach Hakodesh alone gives life; the flesh is of no avail; the words which I have spoken to you are both spirit and life. And yet there are some of you who have no faith" (John 6:63-64). Ephesians 3:20 says that Yehoshua is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think and he does it "by the power at work within us." There are indeed vast resources of his power open to us who believe (Ephesians 1:19), and we have been given authority to loose and bind on earth with the confidence that we will be backed up in heaven (Matthew 18: 18). Therefore, we need only agree on a thing that the Word of G-d promises, and by the gift of mountain-moving faith (I Cor.12:9) release the power of G-d in Yehoshua's Name, letting our hands become his hands and our lips his lips, confident that G-d will accomplish whatever we will as like-minded ambassadors of his Ben haElohim. Therefore, when we daven for the sick, we can daven, "Father, I claim the authority you have given me to do what our Moshiach Yehoshua did. In his name, Father, I release the power to heal this person and thank you in faith for performing this miracle in order that Elohim Avinu may be glorified in the Ben haElohim. Amen." But we should be careful not to put a time limit on G-d's answers to our tefillos. We can claim victories in Yehoshua's name, but we cannot claim that G-d's time-table will always be our own. However, this does not mean we should hope our prayers will be answered. Faith is not hope. Faith is a present claim on G-d's promises here and now, trusting right now that he is hearing and is acting to make good his word, though the manifest, final results may come only in the process of time. Also, when you daven, don't depend entirely on other people's faith. Trust G-d yourself. Remember that you are an adopted child of G-d. You have been renewed in the image of his Ben haElohim. You don't have to beg. As an adopted son, you can gratefully trust your heavenly Father to give you all that he has promised in his Word. For G-d promises, "I watch over my word to perform it" (Jeremiah 1:12). And don't just admire the Word of G-d, act on it! Don't just daven for faith, do what the word of G-d says in faith: confess your sins, believe, receive, release power to bless, take authority to bind, speak peace, speak healing, and do all in Yehoshua's name, standing in his place. Remember: you are captured by what you confess (Proverbs 6:2). "Whoever has no inward doubts but believes that what he says is happening, it will be done for him" (Mark 11:23). "You do not get what you want because you do not daven for it" (James 4:2). WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU DAVEN Davening tefillos is talking with G-d. Therefore, Yehoshua taught that our davening ought to be privately sincere rather than publicly showy and hypocritical, and reverently brief rather than heathenishly verbose. Non-Jews thought G-d was impressed by endless addresses to Him. He says, "When you daven, go into a room by yourself, shut the door, and daven to your Father who is there in the secret place; and your Father who sees what is secret will reward you openly" (Matthew 6:6). There is no place for self-conscious artifice or long-winded pomposity. Some people say, "I don't know how to daven," as though davening were an unapproachably virtuous act. But Yehoshua taught that speaking to one's Heavenly Father is as uncomplicated as communicating with one's earthly father, and infinitely more profitable (see Matthew 7:7-11) if persistent (see Luke 11:5-8 and 18:1-5). Many people find that they can concentrate better on what they are saying to G-d if they daven aloud. Often silent prayers get distracted by other silent thoughts, and what began as a prayer time lapses into a ten minute daydream. For most people, then, audible davening even if it's only a whisper is preferable to purely silent davening, especially in one's daily devotions. Almost any posture is Biblically permissible: 1) bowing (Exodus 4:31), 2) kneeling (Daniel 6:10), 3) on the face before G-d (Numbers 20:6),4) standing (I Kings 8:22), 5) while dancing (Psalm 149:3) like David (II Samuel 6:14) and the modern Chassidic Jews, 6) or shucklin (swaying forward and backward), 7) or lifting up the hands (Psalm 141:2). Davening should begin with the joyful acknowledgment that the most wonderful Person alive lives! We know he lives by the ordered creation he has given to us, by his Word, by the loving warmth of his Ruach Hakodesh and by the invisible presence of his Risen Ben haElohim, our Moshiach Yehoshua. This knowledge is indeed joy unspeakable, to experience the presence of the very life of G-d, whose Chayyei Olam has been offered to us by his Ben haElohim. No wonder we praise and worship the G-d of Israel! No wonder we must have time to worship and inhale his fragrant beauty before we intercede for others or make known our petitions. The Scripture tells us that by Yehoshua we are to "offer the sacrifice of praise to G-d continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his Name" (Hebrews 13:15). This thought has been echoed in the Midrashim of Rabbinic literature: "In the world to come, all sacrifice will cease, but the sacrifice of thanksgiving will remain forever; equally, all confessions will cease, but the confession of thanksgiving will remain forever" (Pesikta of Rabbi Kahana 79a l7f). The Scripture says, "Rejoice in the L-rd always: and again I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4). Give thanks always for all things unto G-d and Elohim Avinu in the name of our Moshiach Yehoshua (Ephesians 5:20). "Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Moshiach Yehoshua, giving thanks to G-d and Elohim Avinu by him" (Colossians 3:17) "The L-rd is near. Have no anxiety, but in everything by davening and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto G-d. Then the Shalom of G-d, which is beyond our utmost understanding, will keep guard over your hearts and your thoughts in Moshiach Yehoshua" (Philippians 4:6-7). We should confess our sins to G-d daily and ask forgiveness in the name of Moshiach Yehoshua, for it is through his kapparah that G-d can righteously overlook our wrongs. We should admit that we need G-d's help to overcome temptation. We should claim the aid of the Ben haElohim in helping us obey his Father. Moshiach's control of our life through the Ruach Hakodesh will give us victory over all temptations and deliver us from the evil one. As we daven for mercy and grace, we have a great Kohen Gadol, both human and divine, interceding for us in heaven (Hebrews 4:14-16). True prayer is responsiveness to the divine will so that each detail of our lives is open to molding and strengthening and help by G-d. This is so that our lives will accomplish just precisely what G-d intended for them to accomplish. G-d wants us to daven about our personal problems (see Psalm 142). "Cast all your cares upon him because he cares about you" (I Peter 5:7). "In thy righteousness bring me out of trouble" (Psalm 143:11). How do I know that G-d will help me now? Because he has acted in my behalf before. He acted for my people in three great events: at the exodus of Egypt, on the execution tree, and at the empty tomb. One of the most effective ways to daven is to "put G-d in remembrance" (Isaiah 43:26) for some promise he has made in his Word, and claim that promise in davening, trusting G-d to keep his Word. The person who prays while He devours the words of Scripture in a Psalm 1 mode, writing down his requests in the margin of his Bible, will soon see them answered. Speak out audibly like you mean what you say (Psalm 145:18-19) and afterwards patiently wait on the L-rd (Psalm 27:14). We know that Yehoshua was brought up by devout Jewish parents and grew up learning the fixed prayers of his people in both his Nazareth home and synagogue. Few people notice his confession of the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) in the Besuras Hageulah of Mark (Mark 12:29), yet it is certain that Yehoshua did not fail to observe the traditional three hours of davening [shacharit (morning), minchah (afternoon), and ma'ariv (evening)], and did not take a meal without first offering a berachah. When our Moshiach Yehoshua davened, he sought guidance (Luke 6:12), he interceded for others (John 17:6-26), and he communed with his Father (Luke 9:28). Yehoshua interceded for a tempted disciple (Luke 22:31), for children (Mark 10:16), and for his people, the Jewish people (Matthew 23:37-89). Davening is not a merely private matter. It is also a privilege to be shared. When friends and neighbors intercede for one another with their Father, they build a love bond of strength between themselves and G-d. Their united davening has power,too. Yehoshua said, "If two of you agree on earth about any request you have to make, that request will be granted by my heavenly Father. For where two or three have met together in my name, I am there among them" (Matthew 18:19-20). Since our davening has such power, we should plead for big as well as small causes, and not forget to daven for G-d's work and workers in the world, including ourselves. We should not only daven for the health of believers, but that G-d would use them according to his great purposes. Corporate prayer is the Moshiach Yehoshua's Body (two or more believers in him) agreeing together and seeking the guidance and confirming strength of its Head. (On the importance of corporate davening, read Hebrews 10:19-25.) FASTING AS AN AID TO PRAYER Our Moshiach Yehoshua recommended fasting as an aid to davening (Mark 9:29). Also see Matthew 9:15: "The day will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them...then they will fast." Our prayer life is often aided by fasting (that is, going without food for a time). Biblically considered, fasting may be abstaining from all foods (Acts 9:9) or from only certain foods (Daniel 10:3). Fasting may be a public endeavor, as on a fast day (Leviticus 23:27), or it maybe private, unto the L-rd (Zechariah 7:5) as an act of humility and teshuvah (Psalm 69:10) or positive dedication (Acts 13:3). Moreover, fasting is a means of seeking the L-rd with all one's heart (Jeremiah 29:13-14; Ezra 8:28) or of changing G-d's mind (Jonah 3:5, 10). Fasting is also a means of sensitizing oneself to G-d for the purpose of spiritual warfare against Satanic oppression (Isaiah 58:6) or demonic possession (Matthew 17:21) or as a means of seeking G-d's face more sensitively for spiritual guidance or revelation (Daniel 9:2,3,21,22). DAILY CHAVURAH IN MOSHIACH WITH ELOHEINU Can you imagine working with the most wonderful Father in the world...Working intimately with him on the biggest and greatest projects possible in life? (I was given a big project to pray for, the salvation of Israel, and G-d has done some great things through my pitiful little efforts and our big prayer life together, with prayers inspired by Him.) He is there through his Ruach Hakodesh and his Word to direct your work as your davening co-laborer (I Corinthians 3:9) as you step out with him in faith to execute every one of your prayer projects together. What victory celebrations you can have together! What love can pass between you! Your prayer closet is the most exciting room in your house! Spend time with your Father in the morning. Take a message out of your Bible from him and savor the deep goodness of what he says. Let the possibilities of his promises loom up before you like the gates of heaven. Then thank your Father for everything you're going to need that day, taking deep satisfaction from the fact that he hears you. Davening is communication to Elohim Avinu, in the name of the Ben haElohim Moshiach, through the inspiration of the indwelling Ruach Hakodesh and according to G-d's will as expressed in his Kitvei Hakodesh. What better way to start the day? The power of prayer is seen in the fact that when we began planting Messianic Synagogues in 1972, there were not many of them in the world. Now there are many. Why don't you pray that G-d will give you one, and then, when He does, and He has you turn it over to others, ask G-d to give you three more! Your prayers have power, too! [Model tefillos and key verses for study: I Thessalonians 3:11-13; Colossians 1:9, 10; Psalm 6,51,103; I John 5:14, 15; Matthew 26:41-42; Hebrews 4:16; Jeremiah 33:3.] ??SIANIC SYNAGOGUE STEWARDSHIP Before you read this chapter, keep in mind that the Brit Chadasha says that we are not to abuse our freedom in Moshiach. Therefore, although we are under the epoch of Moshiach and have our freedom in Him, neverthess, we are not to use our freedom as a cover-up for covetousness or evil. Therefore, the point of this teaching about tithing is still well taken by Brit Chadasha believers in Moshiach, who, because of their faith and love in Hashem for what he has done for them in Moshiach, will often give even more than the tithe for the work of G-d. With that as a premise, let us ask a question. Would you hide stolen money in your house? If someone had some "hot" money he'd like you to harbor, to hide under your bed or whatever, would you do it? No, you wouldn't. Well, suppose it was G-d's money? Would you try to harbor G-d's money? Of course you wouldn't, because you'd know that G-d is not fooled. You'd realize that you'd have to face him and explain to him why you'd held out on him and kept him from using his own money. If you cancel the use of G-d's money for his own plans, you're going to hear from G-d! You'd certainly know that you wouldn't like it if you had money and you had plans for it and people's lives were eternally at stake in the matter, and someone came along and denied you the use of your own money. G-d doesn't like it either. Read what he says: "Will a man rob G-d? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, how have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with acurse, the whole nation of you. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my house, and prove me now herewith, says the L-rd of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven,and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:8-10). THE OBVIOUS GANEF There are essentially three ways to rob G-d. The first way is the most obvious: simply steal G-d's ma'aser (tithe) outright. This is the Obvious Ganef. The Obvious Ganef doesn't care about G-d's generosity, or about the fact that everything we receive is a gift from G-d, or that G-d loans us $10 but only asks that we return $1. The Obvious Ganef doesn't care. The Obvious Ganef is like the man G-d loaned $2,000. Then one day, G-d came to the man and said, "Listen, you can keep $1,800." "Really?" the man exclaimed. "Praise the L-rd, I don't have to give back the $1,800!" "I just came by to pick up my $200," said G-d. "GET OFF MY BACK!" the man said. Many people are like this man. They don't want to hear anything about giving G-d money, when in effect he has really given them the money, and they are stealing his money if they refuse to return one-tenth of it to him. "The silver is mine and the gold is mine, says the L-rd of Hosts" (Haggai 2:8). "Every good present and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from Elohim HaAv of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (James 1:17). The Obvious Ganef is guilty of the sin of covetousness which is idolatry and is, according to the Scriptures, the sure sign of a pagan (see Colossians 3:5). Moshiach Yehoshua taught us not to have heathenish anxieties about money but to set our enterprise on storing up rewards for ourselves in heaven rather than here on earth. "Do not ask anxiously, 'What are we to eat? What are we to drink? What shall we wear?' All these are things for the heathen to run after, not for you, because your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Concentrate on G-d's kingdom and his justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own" (Matthew 6:31-34). Rabbi Sha'ul echoes Yehoshua's promise when he writes, "And my G-d will supply all your needs out of the magnificence of his riches in Moshiach Yehoshua" (Philippians 4:19). "Instruct those who are rich in the goods of Olam Hazeh not to be uppish, and not to fix their hopes on so uncertain a thing as money, but upon G-d, who provides us richly with all things to enjoy. Tell them to do good and to grow rich in ma'asim tovim, to be ready to give away and to share, and so acquire a treasure which will form a good foundation for the future. Thus they will grasp the life which is life indeed" (I Timothy 6:17-19). As far as each local body of believers is concerned, here is what Rabbi Sha'ul wrote about weekly giving: "And now about the collection in aid of G-d's people: you should follow my instructions to our congregations in Galatia. Every Yom Rishon each of you is to put aside and keep by him a sum in proportion to his gains" (I Corinthians 16:2). But what proportion? The tithe has always been one tenth. In fact, that's what the word "tithe" means, one tenth. G-d requests from us only $1 back from every $10 he increases us, letting us keep $9. Just as in the synagogue every adult male was under obligation to contribute to the expenses of the Jerusalem Temple, in the same way Bnei Avraham (Gal.3:7-14), whether they be physically male or female, Jew or non-Jew, adult or child, are under obligation to set aside a proportion of that which G-d prospers them for the uphuilding of the Body of Moshiach in their local kehillah. Also, each local kehillah is to give a proportion of its total tithes to world outreach so that the Body of Moshiach around the world may advance. There are those who say, "I can't live on $9 out of every $10 I receive. I've got to have all $10 to live, especially in times like these." But those who are materially selfish with G-d will discover a certain spiritual and/or financial poverty in their own life. "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully" (II Corinthians 9:6). We should give "neither reluctantly nor under compulsion, for G-d loves a cheerful giver. And thus you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work" (II Corinthians 9:7-8). Therefore, like the Macedonian believers in II Corinthians 8:2, we can afford to give in faith even when we are suffering financial depression. Moreover, when we become talmidim of Moshiach we must count the cost. If we're not willing to sacrifice our lives, Yehoshua tells us that we cannot be his talmidim. And if we're not willing to make any kind of financial sacrifice, we're only kidding ourselves saying we want to be talmidim of Moshiach. If we can't face the offering plate, we can hardly face the lions. However, here we're really not even talking about sacrifice. We're talking about theft. We're talking about robbing G-d. THE TITHE DOES NOT BELONG TO US - IT BELONGS TO G-D The only reason a person might believe he couldn't live on $9 out of $10 is because he doesn't have a dollar's worth of faith that G-d can help him. Would you sincerely like to know how to stop stealing from G-d? First, keep account of every dollar G-d gives you. Second, keep account of his money. Third, give it to him before you steal it. It's that simple. THE SUBTLE GANEF The second kind of Ganef is somewhat more subtle. The Subtle Ganef does not steal G-d's purse - he steals G-d's purse strings, which amounts to about the same thing, but it's a more subtle form of robbery. The Subtle Ganef says he's willing to pay his full tithe, but only if he has the prerogative to dictate exactly how the money should be spent. So really, although he says he's giving to the L-rd, he demands the L-rd allow him to spend the L-rd's money. Now if someone gives you money, but won't let you spend it, are you really being given money? No, you aren't, are you? It's a subtle form of robbery, because we're talking about G-d's money, not your money. The tithe does not belong to us. We have no inherent right to say how it should be spent. The tithe belongs to G-d, and he through his Ruach Hakodesh will guide how it is to be used. We must take our hands off of it. So how do we stop stealing G-d's purse strings? First, remember that you tithe as a duty and not as a mitzvoh. We don't have any choice - we either obey and tithe, or we disobey and face G-d our Judge. Therefore, we cannot expect to be listened to like the chairman of the board just because we tithe. Remember that your tithe belongs to G-d, not to you, so it's not the domain where you have the "big say." Remember also that the body of believers can determine how the tithe should be used as the Ruach Hakodesh corporately directs them. In fact, this is precisely the Biblical pattern and G-d's plan, so we had better not be guilty of interfering with G-d by withholding tithes that are his money (not ours) as a weapon to try to dictate how his Body must operate. THE UNWITTING GANEF In order to perceive the third type of ganef, we must study Malachi 3:10 which says: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my house, and prove me now herewith, said the L-rd of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it." The passage specifically states that we are to bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be "meat" in G-d's house. We have a specific local responsibility to keep G-d's house running, and we must therefore give G-d's tithe to one body of believers. The tithe should not be confused with the offering. The offering can be put anywhere at any time, as the Ruach Hakodesh leads. But the offering does not include the tithe - the offering is money over and above the tithe. The tithe is the basic financial support for the local body of believers to keep G-d's house running in that particular location. Without the tithe, all of the local congregations in the world would suffer financial catastrophe. The tithe is what keeps the lights on, what keeps the electric bill paid, the running expenses covered. Offerings are for extra expenses, but the tithe keeps the doors open, and we have a specific local responsibility to keep G-d's house running. If you are dividing your tithe in three or four or five various locations, you are flagrantly disobedient to G-d. And if you disagree with this exegesis, you have obviously never pastored a congregation nor have you been forced to preach on tithing to get the electric bill paid. The Unwitting Ganef thinks that if he spends $1 out of $10 anywhere he wants, as long as he spends that percentage, he's being obedient to G-d. But the fact is that if he is not putting it all into one storehouse as G-d requires in Malachi 3:10, then he is actually misplacing G-d's money, which amounts to a kind of robbery, and, to say the least, irresponsible stewardship. G-d's house is not just anywhere any more than our leaders are just anybody. Our leaders are only the ones to whom we are assigned in the L-rd. Hebrews 13:17 says "Obey your leaders." The tithe is stolen unless it is put where G-d demands, at the feet of the leaders of the flock (see Acts 4:35). In the Torah we read, "You shall not muzzle a threshing ox" (Deuteronomy 25:4). Rabbi Sha'ul picks this up in the Jewish Brit Chadasha and applies it to the right of ministers to have a salary. He writes, "If we have sown a spiritual crop for you, is it too much to expect from you a material harvest?" (I Corinthians 9:11). "You know (do you not?) that those who perform the temple service eat the temple offerings, and those who wait upon the altar claim their share of the sacrifice. In the same way Moshiach Adoneinu gave instructions that those who preach the Besuras Hageulah should earn their living by the Besuras Hageulah" (I Corinthians 9:13-14). "For the laborer is worthy of his hire" (Luke 10:7). Therefore, each believer has a responsibility to put all of his tithe into the local storehouse of the Body where he is a member in order that each believer will be contributing to the salary of his own minister. For this is Moshiach's way of supporting the full-time ministry of his servants all over the world. In Acts 5:1-12 we read of a couple who resented Moshiach's way of doing things. They didn't like putting very much money at their leader's feet, and they decided to lie about what they were doing. Ananias had come into a large amount of money from the sale of some property, so he told his wife "Look, honey, this is a lot of money, and we'd better not be foolish or anything. So look, the Shliach Kefa will never know and neither will the Ruach Hakodesh; let's just go make a token offering and we'll say it's the full amount and we'll be okay." So Ananias went in before Kefa and he laid down a few bills, and the next thing he knew he was killed dead on the spot by the Ruach Hakodesh. Lying or trying to fool the Ruach Hakodesh is a very serious matter. Now some people might have the impression that the Ruach Hakodesh won't really know, that they don't really have to spend $1 out of $10, they don't really have to lay that kind of money at the feet of their pastors, that they can just make a token little payment here and there and yet claim to be tithing and it will be all right. But the fact of the matter is that the Ruach Hakodesh is not fooled, and it's very dangerous to think that he is. Moshiach is not fooled, either. He looks at the books of our Messianic synagogue and he can see that many of the people are not tithing to our synagogue. They are robbing G-d. He sees these people running around to meetings everywhere, but where are they discipled and accountable,and where is their tithe going? Where are they putting G-d's money? Or is G-d's tithe being broken up and scattered all around, until it's so small and so diffused and diluted that it is insufficient to keep "food" in the L-rd's house? Is G-d's tithe being treated like a pie that has been sliced so many ways it won't feed anybody? Moshiach looks around and he sees Sister A and he says, "I gave Sister A $400 this month - - - where is my $40?" He looks around and he sees Brother B and he says to himself, "I gave Brother B $6,000 this month - - - where is my $600? Why isn't it being laid at the feet of the leaders to whom this man is accountable so I can use my money in a great and powerful way in the Jewish community?" Moshiach is not very impressed with thieves. Nor are the new believers who are asking themselves whether they will obey the L-rd and are looking to our example. Here are five ways to stop stealing G-d's money from the local storehouse. First, stop being a floater and find a leader. Ask God to show you where he has assigned you and who is to disciple you. Second, when you know who your leader is, then you'll know where your tithe is to be laid. Third, give the purse strings of G-d's tithes to G-d's sovereignly led Messianic Body. Fourth, you handle only the purse strings of your offering. Fifth, don't steal from your tithes to pay any offerings. SUMMARY In conclusion, we must remember that tithing is not optional. We disobey G-d's command to tithe at our own peril. Our rationalizations may sound all right to us, but how will they sound to Moshiach? And how would they sound to all the Jewish and other believers who have paid with their lives in the Roman coliseum and invarious other places down through the ages? When you die, you will see these people. If you're not paying your tithes, what will you say to them? How will you explain your theft of G-d's money? And what would have happened to the world-embracing power of the first Moshiach's Chavurah of Jewish believers in Yehoshua if these people had said, "Look, Peter, I want to be like Ananias and just make a token payment because I'm too tight to pay my tithes!" Would the world have still been turned upside-down? Tithing is the believer's way of giving proof of his love (II Corinthians 8:24). Anyone can say he loves the L-rd, but to offer his money for the L-rd's service is his concrete way of offering love and worship to the L-rd. His reluctance to give is an indicator of the degree of his love (see James 2:15-17). Because he has given everything to us, even his life's blood, we owe everything to him. Therefore, he gives us the privilege of proving our love for him by freely, generously, but without ostentation (Matthew 6:1-4; Mark 12:41-44), giving of our very substance to him as a token of our whole beings which we gladly own are his alone. Each Yom Rishon we concretely dedicate ourselves to the L-rd by giving back to him in the ma'aser (tithe) a portion of all that he has given to us. In this way we give him ourselves (II Corinthians 8:5). Our money is a token of our self-giving to him, even as the broken matzoh and the wine are tokens of his infinitely greater self-giving for us and our eternal well-being. Money is part of our substance, the very fruit of our toil and the residue of our spent life's time. When we worship G-d with our finances, we are confirming the sincerity of our love for him; we are, so to speak, putting our money where our mouth is, and showing him real sacrificial love, not mere lip service. Therefore, when we bring the tithe set aside in our budget and lay it at Moshiach Adoneinu's feet on the Yom haAdon, it is an act of worship, not a grudging duty, and we rejoice that G-d has prospered us so that we have the privilege of contributing to our synagogue pushke. Whenever we give money in our synagogues, it is worship. It is worship when we put our tithe in an envelope, holding it in our hand and davening over it before we pass the envelope to the shamash in the aisle. It is worship when we take our offering to the foot of the bimah (pulpit) to dedicate ourselves and our substance to Moshiach Adoneinu. When offered in love, our money is a pleasing sacrifice to the L-rd, a test of faith, yet a joyful praise offering to G-d. Tithing is worship. "My children, love must not be a matter of words or talk; it must be genuine, and show itself in action" (I John 3:18). "Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to G-d" (Hebrews 13:16). The first Jewish believers in Moshiach Yehoshua saw their unique role in Jewish history and seized the opportunity to win the world for their Messiah. And they threw their whole weight, financially and even with their blood, into the task. The question is, will we also throw our weight into the task? Will we systematically pay our tithes in faith that G-d will meet our own financial needs because we are being obedient to him? Will we rejoice as we see G-d make his promise in Malachi 3:10 a reality in our lives: "Prove me now therewith, saith the L-rd of Host, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it?" Therefore, let this teaching on tithing be a stumbling block to none." For if there is an eager willingness to give, G-d accepts what a man has; he does not ask for what a man does not have (II Corinthians 8:12). So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10). Since only believers in Moshiach should tithe and it is not a good idea for believers to take offerings from unbelievers (III Jn.1:17), this prayer should be prayed only by believers.... G-d of Israel, Thank you for calling me to a unique destiny in Jewish history. Thank you for the hundreds of Jewish souls you will bring into your Kingdom through the finances you have entrusted to me. L-rd, forgive me if I have ever stolen your tithe. L-rd, forgive me if I have ever arrogantly tried to dictate how you should spend your money instead of trusting your wisdom and the wisdom of the G-d-appointed leadership of the Body to whom I belong. L-rd, forgive me if I have not brought all my tithe into your local storehouse, committing its use to the Body of believers to whom I am accountable and with whom I am a co-worker and fellow disciple. L-rd, I promise not only to tithe, but to tithe as YOU COMMAND in your Word, without dictating how you are to spend your money, and without scattering your tithe in as many storehouses as I please but only after the Brit Chadasha pattern, that is, into the local storehouse of the Body in which I feel G-d has placed me. In Moshiach's Name, Amen.