Christians believe in One God (Deut. 6:1) in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yeshua spoke of the Father as a distinct entity, yet also affirmed “I and the Father are One.” The Holy Spirit is also spoken of as God.”
What’s the difference between an evangelical and Christians in general?
The word evangelical comes from the Greek word euangelion, which means “Good News,” or “Gospel.” To the evangelical, the Gospel is summed up in the words of I Corinthians 15:3-4:
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Briefly stated, an evangelical is a Christian who believes, lives and wants to share this message.
What is the origin of the fish symbol?
A common symbol representing Christianity is the “ICHTHYS,” or “fish” symbol. ICHTHYS* is the Greek word for fish, and forms an acrostic: Iesous CHristos THeou Yios Soteros, meaning “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior.” The fish concept itself fits well with Jesus’ words to his fisherman disciples, “I shall make you fishers of men.” (It may or may not be significant that the Fish was considered a symbol of Eretz Israel at that time). The symbol is supposed to have been used by early Christians as a way of identifying themselves to one another.
*(The letter “y” here represents a sound similar to the u in French “but”)
Aren’t Jewish people saved through the Mosaic covenant?
It is important we understand why God gave the Mosaic Law. The Law was given to the Jewish people so they could understand the standard God required to have a relationship with Him.
The Law showed the Jewish people how to live in order to please God. The Law was never intended to provide righteousness for the Jewish people (Romans 3:20, 28). The purpose of the Law was to show us our inability to keep it and to show us our need for Messiah Yeshua as Savior (Romans 7:7–9; Galatians 3:24).
We are commanded to love God and love our neighbors (Matthew 22:37-39). If we faithfully obey those two, we are practicing all God requires of us. Yeshua said, “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40).
If I become a believer in Yeshua do I stop being Jewish?
Definitely NOT! Just remember…Yeshua Himself is Jewish and so were his early followers.
Becoming a believer in Yeshua does not change a person’s heritage, but we understand the question. It is caused, sadly, because in history “Jewish identity” and “faith in Yeshua” have often been considered incompatible, both by Jewish people and by mis-guided Christians. It is a huge historic mistake.
Yeshua changes those who put their trust in Him, but this does not mean you will have to leave your Jewish identity behind. Yeshua will do something else, something Moses already hoped for. He will “circumcise your heart” (Deuteronomy 30:6). This circumcision of the heart will lead to love and obedience to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Becoming a believer in Yeshua means affirming the greatest heritage of Israel, the Word of God, the Scriptures which God gave to and through the Jewish people. It means embracing Yeshua as the hope and peace pointed to in the Scriptures. Many Jewish believers in Yeshua even feel they have become “more Jewish” by their faith in Yeshua.
The great question is, “Is faith in Yeshua where we are led by the Hebrew Bible?”
The great question is, “Is Yeshua really Israel’s promised Messiah?” If He is, then becoming a believer in Him is the most Jewish thing to do.
Actually a day will come when all of Israel, as a nation, will recognize Yeshua as the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10). When this happens, all of God’s promises which He made through the prophets will be fulfilled.
When you become a believer in Yeshua, you are doing what the entire Jewish nation will do one day. Don’t let anyone tell you are not Jewish anymore because you believe in the One who is the hope of Israel!
If I become a believer what happens to my family?
Faith in Yeshua is personal. Yet when you confess your faith in Him openly (which is a good thing to do!), it will certainly impact your family. God can use you to bring members of your family to saving faith in Messiah. This happens often and we pray for that result.
Yet it is also likely you will face misunderstanding. You may even face rejection from family members. Some people pay a high price when they confess their faith in Yeshua.
No matter the response or reaction of others, God calls us to keep loving, respecting and praying for our family members and not to react in kind. But He also wants our first loyalty to be to Him and His truth.
When we face rejection by our family, we can know God wants to sustain us by his grace through that ordeal. We will be able to say with David, “Even if my father and mother abandoned me, the Lord would take me in” (Psalm 27:10).
Yeshua once told the following parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45-46).
Actually Yeshua Himself, who is the center of the kingdom of God, is that pearl of great value. When we realize His infinite worth, we see He is deserving of our loyalty, even if the price we pay is a painful rejection from our family.
If Yeshua is the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth?
It may sound strange, but the fact that there is not yet peace on earth is a confirmation that Yeshua is the Messiah. How can that be? Isn’t bringing peace on earth the very thing the Messiah is supposed to do?
You are right. The Messiah will finally bring peace on earth. One of His names is the “Prince of Peace,” and Isaiah wrote that. “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7), but that’s not the entire picture.
Yes, the Messiah will establish peace on the entire earth, but that is the end of the final act of “the Messianic play.” It is not how the play begins. There is more to this drama which we should not skip. There are many things which must happen before “the wolf will dwell together with the lamb” (Isaiah 11:6).
Let’s go in reverse order through the things which have to happen.
Messiah’s peace will fill the earth, but prior to that he will come in judgement. “He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked” (Isaiah 11:3).
Prior to that, the Messiah will come with the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:13).
Prior to that there will be a special day on which the iniquity of Israel be removed (Zechariah 3:9, 13:1). This will happen at a day of national repentance when God will pour out His spirit on Israel and they will look to and mourn for the “one whom they (Israel) pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).
Thank God for this event prior to Messiah’s final coming. Because without repentance and removal of our sins, no one can stand in Messiah’s judgment.
Thank God for this day of repentance and cleansing from sin prior to Messiah’s final coming. Because without repentance and removal of our sins, no one can stand in Messiah’s judgment.
All the events mentioned above have yet to take place. The last prophecy from Zechariah however, which refers to “one whom they pierced,” is hinting to other prophecies about the Messiah which have been fulfilled already. Everything mentioned above is part of the final act of the Messianic play, but there has already been a first act.
When we take a closer look at the Messianic prophecies, we see that the Messiah will not only come with the “clouds of heaven” at the end of this age (Daniel 7:13, but also will be born in the middle of time. The Messiah is not only a heavenly being who comes on the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:13), He is also a son of David. This implies two comings of the Messiah, first a “normal” one and second, a coming with all the glory of heaven. There are two acts to the Messianic play. Right now we are in between these two acts!
So what had to happen in the first act according to the Hebrew Bible? According to the Hebrew Bible, the Messiah will first come to suffer and die! (Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Zechariah 13:7, Psalm 22). Actually the Hebrew Bible indicates when this had to happen, before the destruction of the second temple! Prior to that, Messiah would be “cut off” (Daniel 9:26).
Actually the prophecy of Daniel (as well as the prophecy of Zechariah) indicate that after this “cutting off” of the Messiah, times of difficulty, not peace, will follow (Zechariah 13:7-9, Daniel 9:26-27).
But why this first act of suffering and dying in the first place? Without it, no one would be able to enter the peace of the Messianic age. Without it, no one would survive God’s just purging of the earth. Why? Because the Messiah came in the first place to bring a sacrifice for our sins. Or as we read in the book of Daniel, this first act was necessary “to atone for iniquity” (Daniel 9:24). The death of this righteous one atones! (See also Isaiah 52:13-53:12).
We believe this Messiah is Yeshua from Nazareth. In the first act of the Messianic drama He hit the bulls-eye of prophecy.
He was from the lineage of David, born in Bethlehem-Ephrata (Micah 5:2).
Came in the right time (before the destruction of the second temple, Daniel 9:26).
Died a sacrificial death.
He was vindicated and raised from the dead as prophecy indicated (Isaiah 53:10).
Because Yeshua sealed prophecy in the first act with his death and resurrection, we are sure the final act of the Messianic play will be “performed.” When you repent from your sins and put your trust in the sacrifice of Messiah, you can face this final act without fear. Through Messiah you can stand in the final purging judgment. Because of Yeshua we can be sure we will enter His kingdom of peace. “The punishment that gives us peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:5).
But why is there such a long break between the different acts of the Messianic play?
This break between the acts is there because of God’s patience. He wants as many people as possible to be ready for the last act (2 Peter 3:9). Maybe it is better not to call this in-between-time a break, but rather a “middle act.” Right now, the Messiah is actively reaching out and preparing many for the final act. Millions have already repented and put their trust in His sacrifice. Could it be God planned a role for you?
If Yeshua is the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth yet? It is because we are in the “middle act.” It is because Messiah is waiting for you.