What Are the Messianics?

What Are the Messianics?

What Are the Messianics?

Guest Blog by Lynwood Johnson

The Messianic movement or Messianism is as old as the days in which Jesus lived in Israel and identified Himself as Israel’s promised Messiah. It is also a contemporary and growing presence throughout Israel, the United States, and other nations.

Many Christians are surprised to learn that all the New Testament writers were Messianic Jews, with the possible exception of Luke.  None of them ceased being Jews active in their synagogue communities, but rather they continued living as practicing Jews who understood Jesus’ words and attesting miracles supporting His claim of being Israel’s Messiah anticipated by numerous prophets.  We read in Acts 6:7, “And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”  Guess what?  These priests and the other ‘disciples’ were Messianic Jews.  Remember too, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were followers, and members of Judea’s highest religious authority, the Sanhedrin.

To summarize a lot of Messianic history, across the centuries there was a ‘faithful remnant’ of Jewish men (yes, men; for historic cultural reasons) who read the Hebrew Torah (the first five O.T. books) and the Tanakh (the balance of the OT) and quietly concluded that Yeshua (“Jesus”) was Israel’s promised Messiah.  To hold these views publicly meant heavy persecution and ostracism from their community. That outcome often meant loss of livelihood.

The modern Messianic movement began to take shape in the 1960s and 1970s, almost parallel with the “Jesus Movement” here in the US. A number of organizations and leaders emerged who sought to build a bridge between Judaism and Christianity with messaging appropriate to each.  To the Jewish, the message is that the concept of the Messiah was a hope and future that was alluded to in numerous places in the Jewish scriptures, and in the person of Yeshua HaNazret (Jesus of Nazareth) is the complete fulfillment of messianic prophecy.  Jewish people have only to read their scriptures for themselves to notice the connections.  Once they do, they start asking questions their rabbis would rather not answer.

To the Christian community the message is that the cradle of Christianity is Judaism. Where do we get the notion that God is One, there is no other; He has given His word and His word is authoritative?  Where do we learn our God has given His people numerous promises and He has not failed in the fulfillment of any?  The Jewish scriptures, of course.

I like to picture the Jewish/Christian differences in theology to an epic movie with an intermission.  The first part of the movie is a digest of Jewish history which tells a huge story of God calling out a man, a family, a nation a race – to be His chosen people. These chosen people reject Him repeatedly; and He in His grace rushes to forgive them, repeatedly.  We learn tons about God and His love in this first part of the movie. And we learn that the Jews are not the only ones who reject God, over and over.  We do it, too.  The Jewish story is ours, as well. 

However, come the movie’s intermission, the Jewish folks walk out.  They want nothing to do with this ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Most Jews reject the blossom, the flower (‘Lily of the Valley’) the culmination of the Father of Israel’s intention: “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29), our great Cohen HaGadol (Great High Priest) who entered the heavenly most holy place only once to remove the sins of all mankind. (Hebrews 9: 22-28)

But that’s not all.  While the Jewish people are leaving the theater at intermission, they’re passing another group coming in – the Christians!  For them, three fourths of their Bibles are somewhat interesting material, but the real juice begins at Matthew, Chapter One.

To put it succinctly, Jewish people and Christians could both strongly benefit from deeper study of both.  The ‘New Testament’ is an elaboration and fulfillment of the Old.  When one reads the Old Testament though a lens of pattern recognition it is amazing what God has implicitly put into His great story. 

A quick example:  Passover and the death angel passing over.  Fathers of Hebrew households were given specific instructions through Moses on what to do. (Genesis 12) The instructions included slaughtering the lamb, draining its blood into a basin, and daubing the lamb’s blood with hyssop on the doorposts and lentil of their doors (lentil is the horizontal part of the door frame.

Of course, some blood would drop to the ground beneath the two doorposts, as well as from the lentil.  3 puddles of blood.  Think: a crown of thorns and spiked ankles. Spiked wrists. Hyssop. Sour wine.

The death angel “passes over” every one who has put their faith, trust, life – in this Man.

For Messianics, Passover is our “Easter.”  The killing of the lambs foreshadows Calvary.  The “Lamb of God” took our place there, for us. Once. For all. By our faith in Him and trust in what He has done in our behalf, we find the complete freedom He promises.

As said, the above is just one of many examples.

So, what are Messianic Congregations like? Well, like 90% of Christian churches, they’re small – 30 – 150 people or so; with a few rather large assemblies.  There are an estimated 300 Messianic congregations or synagogues in the U.S.  Thirty years ago there where hardly any Messianic gatherings in Israel.  Now, there are about 200.  It is amazing what God is doing in these last of the latter days!

Messianic congregations are unified in the mission of seeing Jewish people come to embrace Yeshua as their Savior, Lord, and God.  God’s chosen people are our favorite people! 

The worship service itself is very similar to synagogue order of service. 

This is very comfortable for Jewish people checking us out. Christian visitors remark regarding the strongly Biblical message they are familiar with, and almost stunned by the added depth of the “Old Testament” foundations and parallels.  A remark often heard: “How come I never heard such depth of teaching in our church?”


Who would a Messianic congregation be a great fit for? 

For couples in which one is Jewish and the other is Christian. Both are comfortable in this space.  Also for Jewish people who have an awakened ‘itch’ that there is something more to their faith than what they’ve been hearing from their rabbis.

 And, similarly for Christian believers who have a restlessness wherein they sense the Spirit has something more. 

And, truly He does. 

Lynwood Johnson holds the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has pastored churches in Illinois, Michigan, and Phoenix.  He is a Messianic Teacher at Tree of Life Congregation, Scottsdale, Arizona.  In his spare time he cleans his garage.

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What Are the Messianics?

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Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus Christ changed everything. 

Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are the most important events in the history of the world! Jesus made such an impact, that even our calendar is divided into two parts – BC (before Christ’s birth) and AD (after Christ’s death). In the Bible, these events are recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.


God’s people had long awaited the promised Messiah, who would be their deliverer. The last recording from a prophet (one who announces the future, as revealed to them by God) was Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. Four hundred years passed before the birth of Jesus. God was seemingly quiet, but He had a plan.

In the Bible, the birth of Jesus is recorded in Matthew and Luke. The angel, Gabriel, appeared to Mary, a virgin engaged to Joseph. Gabriel told Mary that she had found favor with God and had been chosen to birth God’s only Son, who was to be named Jesus. God’s Spirit would place the Holy baby in her womb.

At that time in history, engaged women who became pregnant could be killed. Yet, Mary was willing to fulfill her God-given purpose. Joseph was prepared to break the engagement, until an angel came to him, reassuring him that Mary was, indeed, still a virgin, and that God had chosen her to bring His Son into the world.

Soon afterward, the Roman Emperor called for a census, requiring people to register in the land of their ancestors, to be counted. Joseph and Mary had a long and difficult journey to Bethlehem, the home of Joseph’s ancestor, King David. They traveled on foot and donkey, for several days.


Upon their arrival in Bethlehem, Mary began to experience birthing pains, but there was no inn available to them. The innkeeper provided a place in his stable, alongside the animals. In those days, stables were more like caves, dark and stinky. Baby Jesus was born in the lowest and most humble of circumstances.


After His birth, Mary wrapped Baby Jesus in cloth and laid Him in a feeding bin, called a manger. That night, an angel appeared to shepherds, who were guarding their sheep nearby. The angel was glowing with the glory of God and the shepherds were terrified. The angel reassured them, with news of the Savior’s birth. Then, a large group of angels appeared, praising God.

The shepherds went to Bethlehem and saw the Savior, just as the angel had told them, lying in a manger. They praised God and told everyone their story. Can you imagine the courage it took for God, who is Holy and has no limits, to remove His power and glory and choose to become imprisoned, by time and space, inside a baby’s body? What a beautiful gift! What a loving God!

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus


Wise men saw Christ’s star in the night sky and traveled to worship the newborn King. On their way, they met with King Herod, ruler of the Jews, who was deeply disturbed to hear about the birth of a new king. He told them to return, after they found the child, so that he could worship the king, too. But Herod was planning to kill Jesus.

The wise men found Jesus and were filled with joy. They brought Him rare and expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (expensive and fragrant resins used in ceremonies and as medicine). Before they left, God warned the wise men not to return to Herod.

After the wise men left, an angel warned Joseph of Herod’s plot and told him to flee with Mary and Jesus to Egypt. They would be refugees, running from their own government. King Herod was furious that the wise men did not return to him, so he sent his soldiers to kill all the baby boys in and around Bethlehem. There was great weeping and mourning. Jesus had entered a world filled with conflict and fear.

In the Bible, we are told of 2 worlds:

One in which we live and one that is an unseen world – a place where angels and demons collide. Revelation 12 tells us about the first Christmas in this unseen world, from Heaven’s point of view. It does not tell us about shepherds or a cruel king, but it pictures a dragon leading a ferocious struggle in heaven. A woman clothed with the sun and wearing a crown of twelve stars [Israel and its 12 family branches] cries out in pain, as she is about to give birth. Suddenly the enormous red dragon enters the picture, his tail sweeping a third of the stars out of the sky and flinging them to the earth. He crouches hungrily before the woman, anxious to devour her child the moment it is born. At the last second, the infant is snatched away to safety, the woman flees into the desert, and all-out cosmic war begins.” 1

Killing Jesus seemed to be the answer to saving Herod’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom. However, no one knew God’s plan! By sending His only Son, Jesus, to be born and die on the cross, the penalty for our sin was paid in full. God made a way to be with us forever!

He extends a loving invitation for us to receive Christ’s gift of forgiveness and be part of His eternal kingdom in Heaven, but we must respond to His invitation. In a simple prayer, tell God you believe in Jesus and receive His forgiveness, and invite Him to be your Lord. “No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same.” 2  

Won’t you accept His invitation to change you, from the inside out? 

1,2 from “The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995.


Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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