We live in a fallen world in which human beings are confused and divided. They try to control each other, take advantage of each other, harm one another, sometimes kill one another. This world of fallen human beings is perishing. There is a special community which is different. It is a community that is in the world, but not of the world. It is loved by God; a community which, when it is functioning properly, you can feel safe; where you can hear the truth, and grow and serve and develop your gifts. It is a Noah’s Ark that is saved from the flood of Satan, sin and death. It is a community that will live forever. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be a member of that Community?
Here are seven things I like about Messiah’s Community. I hope they will encourage you to become part of Messiah’s Community – if you are not already. And, if you are part of it, to get more connected to and more involved in it.
The first thing I like about Messiah’s Community is that it is Messiah’s body. Messiah’s community is not a building. It is more than a service. I am starting to dislike the phrase: “Going to Church.” Where do you go to Church. The Church is not a place you go to. It is a living organism, a divine, saved eternal community of men and women who are called out of a dying world.
Messiah is the Head of this Community and we are His body. Like a head, the Son of God thinks, plans, orders, instructs, directs. As His body – we carry out what our Head communicates. As His hands, we do what He wants. As His feet, we go where He wants. As His mouth, we speak what He wants. As His heart, we love what He wants.
What does He want us to love? Human beings. Jews and Gentiles, men and women. Those easy to love and those hard to love.
What does He want us to love? Righteousness. Holiness. The truth. The Word of God. Declaring the Gospel – the Good News, the message of salvation that alone can save human beings.
What does He want us to do? Carry on His mission of saving people by telling them the truth, and doing good things for them; and teaching those who are interested. And He wants us to do something to build up His Community from within.
Where does He want us to go? Into all the world, starting with Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
How does He want us to go? With a divine priority – to the Jewish people first.
What does He want us to say? The truth. The Good News. The Gospel. The message about Him that alone can save human beings.
The second thing I like about Messiah’s Community is that it is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). As Isaiah predicted, darkness covers the Earth, and deep darkness engulfs the peoples. If the truth sets us free – and it does, then ignorance and error keep us enslaved to the forces of Satan, sin and death.
People are ignorant, confused, wrong about the most basic truths – the reality of the Three-In-One God of Israel; that there are good angels and fallen angels; that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God; the reality of humanity’s participation in the rebellion of the fallen angels; the reality of sin and the sin nature; that we are sinners headed to Hell, not Heaven, to death, not life; that the Son of God has come making salvation possible.
But from this deep darkness, from this miasma of deadly confusion, light is shining! The Good News is that truth can be found on Earth – truth that can set us free, truth that can save us, truth that can reconcile us to God and enable us to live forever. And that ultimate truth, that greatest truth can be found – not in the laboratories of modern science or the research centers of the great universities, or in the philosophies or the non-Christian religions, but in a special community of people who know the Word of the Living Three-In-One God of Israel.
If people perish for lack of knowledge (and they do), then truth saves. If we are fallen and headed to Hell, not Heaven; to death, not life (and we are) – then we need the Gospel, the Good News, the Message of Salvation about Yeshua to save us. That message Messiah’s Community alone has.
The third thing I like about Messiah’s Community is that it is composed of people who are united to the Three-In-One God and to each other. Messiah’s Community has a tremendous unity. The truth is that humanity is fallen. We are a fallen race. Because of the Fall of Man, each one of us comes into this world far from God, alienated from our Creator who is the Source of Life. We are alienated from God and from one another. But those who come to know the Three-In-One God, and transfer their loyalties to the Father, Son and Spirit, get very close to God and to those other human beings who end their rebellion against God.
Here’s the truth: The Son is in His Father, and the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in us. We are united to the Son who is united to the Father. We are the temple of the Living God. The Spirit of God lives in us. We are so close to God that the relationship is like the intimate relationship of husband and wife. We are like a loving bride and God is like our loving husband.
Those who truly love Messiah, and prove it by obeying Him, will find that they are loved by the Father and the Son, and the Father and the Son will come to them and make Their home with them. The Father and the Son will live in them by means of the Spirit They share. And, when you have the Spirit of the Father and the Son living in you in that special way, your alienation from God is over. You are very close to God and He is very close to you. You are united to Him.
And, those who are part of Messiah’s Community have a tremendous unity with one another, and kind of unity that the world can’t have. We are all part of one very special body that unite us – one community of human beings who are working together, made up of Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor. There is one Spirit who unites us. He lives in each one of us, bringing us closer to God and to one another. There is one hope we share – that all of us will live together in the amazing New Jerusalem as the glorified sons and daughters of God, ruling the New Universe in the ages to come.
There is one Lord who unites us – one great leader who is worthy to be followed. There is one faith that unites us – one core set of truths that we all believe. There is one baptism that unites us – one initiation rite that we all experience, where we declare to the world that we are washed and clean because we know that Yeshua is the resurrected Lord and we have transferred our loyalties to Him and His Father. And there is one God and Father of us all, who is over all of us and through all of us and in all of us – and the Fatherhood of God unites us.
Because of these things, Christians and Messianic Jews share a profound unity, a close communion, a fellowship with one another.
The fourth thing I like about Messiah’s Community is that even though it has a tremendous unity, it is diverse. Even though it started with Jewish roots in Jewish soil; even though its founder, the King of Israel, is Jewish and came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel; even though His hand-picked representatives, the apostles, were Jewish; even though all the first followers of Yeshua were Jewish; even though its books were written by Jewish people; even though salvation is of the Jewish people; even though the Good News has a divine ongoing priority of going to the Jewish people first; even though Heaven is a very Jewish place – the New Jerusalem – God designed this community to be able to go beyond its Jewish foundations so people from all nations and language groups can be part of it.
The giving of the Spirit to the wonderful Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family and friends; along with the decision of the First Jerusalem Council – made it clear that Gentiles are welcome into this special fellowship as they are – as Gentiles; that they do not need to become Jews or live like Jews or live by all the laws of the Sinai Covenant that were given specifically to the holy, special nation of Israel. That gave them the freedom to be whom God they made them to be. They enabled them to stay within their peoples and cultures and bring the message of the Jewish Savior to their peoples and cultures.
Messiah’s Community has a tremendous unity, but it is diverse. It is ethnically and racially diverse – by God’s design. It is made up of made up of Jews and peoples from every nation. If I meet a man, no matter what race or nation he may be from, and I find out that he really knows my God and my Bible, I feel an instant sense of brotherhood with that man. That means that there is no place for any kind of racism within Messiah’s community.
Messiah’s Community is economically diverse: It has rich and poor.
Messiah’s Community is diverse when it comes to the two genders. It is made up of men and women, and both are wonderful and both and distinct.
Messiah’s Community is diverse because it is made up of people with differing abilities – those who have different gifts and talents and abilities and interests.
Messiah’s Community is diverse in time: It spans all the people for the past 2,000 years who have called on the name of the Lord. You might feel that you have nothing in common with a man who spoke a different language and lived a primitive life on another continent 1,500 years ago, but if he knew the Messiah, he is your brother, and your fellow heir, and he will live with you forever and ever.
I love the fact that Messiah’s Community is made up of human beings, made in the image of God, with a great unity, but also a great diversity, so that we can express the unique ways that God has made each one of us.
The fifth thing I like about Messiah’s Community is that it has authority. God the Father sits on the central throne in Heaven. There, at His right hand, sits His Son, King Messiah, who shares all authority in Heaven and on Earth with the Father, ruling the universe and beyond. All the forces and powers in Heaven and on Earth are under Messiah’s control. Messiah delegates some of His authority to His community who, when they are close to Him and understand the truth, can exercise some of that authority:
Over evil spirits: I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Satan is the god of this world. There are fallen angels who rule the fallen nations with him. They are real. They are powerful. They are dangerous. They are deadly. They control the world. They deceive the world. They corrupt human beings. They keep human beings in a deadly ignorance. But greater is the One who is in us – the Spirit of the Almighty God, than those evil spirits who rule the world! Any by putting on the whole armor of God, we are safe. And by resisting these evil spirits, they will flee. And, under the right circumstances, we can cast these evil spirits out of those human beings they possess.
Messiah’s Community has authority. Messiah delegates some of His authority to the leaders of the community, to teach and direct those in the community; to raise up new leaders; and to correct or expel those who are out of order: Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven. To have this kind of authority, the Community needs to have the truth. It needs to be organized, not disorganized. It needs to have God-ordained leaders which it does – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. For the Community to function the way it should, you need to be in relationship with these leaders. You need to get to know them, and have them get to know you. You need to go through the initiation rite of baptism. You need to be involved in the Community, not forsaking the Community when it assembles on a regular basis; you need to sustain your spiritual life by participating in the Lord’s supper, and by serving in the Community.
The sixth thing I like about Messiah’s Community is that it will be amazingly victorious. Messiah’s Community is not perfect. We are a work in progress. We miss the mark. We make mistakes. We yield to temptation. We sin often. We are imperfect, yet wonderfully and graciously forgiven! But when God is through with us, we will be spotless, blameless, beautiful, holy – perfect. Even though Messiah’s Community has not always been faithful, pure, holy, zealous as we should be, Messiah’s Community will ultimately be triumphant. God always leads us in triumph in Messiah. The Son of God promised: On this rock I will build my Community of called out ones, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. In spite of temptation and failures; in spite of the opposition of fallen angels the wicked men and false teachers and tares from within; through trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, poverty and danger; through death and through life, through the present and through the future, we will overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. The Community of the Son of God will be amazingly and eternally triumphant!
The seventh thing I like about Messiah’s Community is that it has a glorious future. If we died with Him, we will live with Him. If we endure our sufferings, we will reign with Him. All of our sadness, suffering and tears will be wiped away and replaced by eternal happiness. To this victorious and perfected Community Messiah will give some of the hidden manna. We will be dressed in white, and a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it, will be given to each one of us. Messiah will write on us His name, and the name of His God and the name of God’s city, the new Jerusalem. Messiah will give us the morning star; and the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. We will not be hurt by the second death. Our names will never blotted out from the book of life. Messiah will acknowledge us before His Father and His angels. Messiah will make us a pillar in God’s temple. He will give us the right to sit with Him on His throne. Messiah will give us authority to rule over the angels and over the nations for the ages to come.
We live in a fallen world in which human beings are confused and divided. They try to control each other, take advantage of each other, harm one another, sometimes kill one another. This world of fallen human beings is perishing. There is a special community which is different. It is the most important community, organization, institution on Earth. Messiah’s Community is Messiah’s body. Messiah’s Community is the pillar and support of the truth. Messiah’s Community is composed of people who are united to the Three-In-One God and to each other. Messiah’s Community, even though it has a tremendous unity, it is diverse. Messiah’s Community has authority. Messiah’s Community will be amazingly victorious. Messiah’s Community has a glorious future.
These are seven things I like about Messiah’s Community. Why would anyone in their right mind not want to be part of it? I hope these truths encourage you to become part of Messiah’s Community – if you are not already. And, if you are part of it, won’t you get more involved in it, and help others become members of it?