How the Feast of Trumpets became Rosh HaShana
Honey with pomegranate and apples on a old wooden background
Much of the world celebrates a new start as December 31st turns into January 1st, whereas Jewish people now celebrate their new year at the Feast of Trumpets. But according to the Bible, the new year starts on “The first day of the first month”. The ‘first month’ is the month in which we celebrate Passover in the Spring, and the new moon signifies the beginning of each new month.
“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.”
But our God is a God of multiple new beginnings, new seasons, and fresh starts!
Instead of celebrating once a year, God asks that the beginning of every month, each new moon, is celebrated – that’s twelve new beginnings instead of one! This is called “Rosh Chodesh”, or “head of the month”. It’s interesting that the word for month, “chodesh”, is from the root word for new: “chadash”.
The Biblical Mandate
Numbers 10:10 instructs:
“On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”
Numbers 28:11-15 goes further, requiring many sacrifices: “
At the beginnings of your months, you shall offer a burnt offering to the Lord”… The trumpets were sounded, many different kinds of offerings were sacrificed, and it was a holiday for Israel – a day off regular work.
Throughout the Bible these New Moon festivals were often forgotten and fell by the wayside, at other times they were joyously reinstated, and other times they were performed in a dry and empty way that grieved God. But it is interesting that God wanted his people to note the opening of each month, isn’t it? The moon was at its very thinnest, all fresh and new, starting a new cycle, and a new month.
How the Jewish calendar developed
The Jewish calendar is different to the Gregorian calendar in that it is regulated more by the moon rather than the sun (although there are slight alterations to keep it in line with the seasons), and the days go from sundown to sundown, instead of midnight to midnight. This is because in Genesis we read, “and it was evening and there was morning, the first day” – starting with the evening.
You may be aware of the names of the Jewish months (like Nisan, mentioned above), but God called the months simply by their order – the first month, second month, and so on. He also, by the way, calls days of the week in the same manner – first day, second day, all the way through to sixth day, and then Shabbat. The names of the week that we use are actually based on idol worship! (Sun-day, Moon-day, Thor’s-day, and so on). Similarly, the names of the Jewish months cannot be found in the Bible, but have been brought back with the people of Israel from their time of exile in Babylon:
1. Nisan (נִיסָן)
2. Iyyar (אִיָּר)
3. Sivan (סִיוָן)
4. Tammuz (תַּמּוּז)
5. Av (אָב)
6. Elul (אֱלוּל)
7. Tishri (תִּשׁרִי)
8. Cheshvan (חֶשְׁוָן)
9. Kislev (כִּסְלֵו)
10. Tevet (טֵבֵת)
11. Shevat (שְׁבָט)
12. Adar (אֲדָר)
It is also Babylonian influence that brought the Jewish people to start celebrating the new year at all, and to do it at the Feast of Trumpets1. The name “Rosh HaShana” (head / beginning of the year) is mentioned only one time in the Bible, by Ezekiel:
“In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, in the beginning of the year [Rosh HaShana], in the tenth day of the month—in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that very day—the hand of Adonai was on me, and He brought me there.” (Ezekiel 40:1)
However, the context shows that he was not talking about a new year’s celebration, but rather just a measurement of time.
Resetting the clock
As we mentioned, God laid out this calendar to Moses at the time of the Exodus (thought to have happened in 1446 BC), but how did they measure time before that?
If you search for the word for ‘month’ in the Bible, you will find that time used to be measured by Noah’s age – we read that the flood came in the second month of Noah’s six hundredth year! And it continues to keep time by Noah’s age from then on, until this new paradigm shift occurs – God does the extraordinarily dramatic Exodus miracle, and resets time. However, God’s calendar was not necessarily what the other peoples of the earth were following – people would set time according to the life or rule of the King, as we can also see in the books of Kings, and the prophets. But the clock is dramatically reset once again by the coming of the Messiah, whom we proclaim every time we write the date – 2018 years since he came.
The Jewish year becoming 5779 is supposed to reflect the number of years since creation, although this is difficult to prove. The truth is that the very concept that this is the year 2018 is uncomfortable for those who are not fans of Yeshua. Instead of saying “BC” (Before Christ) or “AD” (Anno Domini – the year of our Lord), in Israel they say “before the counting” and “after the counting”, and it is now more common globally to write “CE” (Current Era) and “BCE” (Before the Current Era). The awkward truth of Yeshua’s central importance that all this counting and era-diving points towards is thus avoided for those who would rather deny the One who split time in two.
There will be a day when everyone will have to bow the knee and confess that He is Lord, but for now, we will continue to consecrate our lives to him as living sacrifices, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year.
- Elon Gilad, The History of Rosh Hashanah Which Wasn’t Always the ‘New Year’, HaAretz, Sep 20, 2017
This article originally appeared on One For Israel and is reposted with permission.
ONE FOR ISRAEL strives to be the leading organization in sharing the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah with Israeli Jews and Arabs in the Hebrew language. Our staff is comprised of both Jewish and Arab Israelis, with the shared belief that true peace in the Middle East can only come into existence under Yeshua.
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The gift of compassion
I have been challenged recently on the topic of compassion. Perhaps we often hear that message, but we know well that the world is filled with indifference, selfish gain and rebellion; where races and nations are divided and poor as well as rich experience life difficulties.
We might boldly say that the reality around us is just as the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
These verses give us a pretty good description of what kind of spiritual dynamics can hinder our love towards others, if we do not counter – act the attitudes around us. Thus, it might be sometimes hard to understand how to show compassion to others.
After all, compassion and love are ways to live our lives just as Jesus did and walk in the increased anointing. At times we fail, but when we turn to the Lord in repentance He renews our minds and gives us boldness to be the victorious people. In addition, we can expect the increase of Lord’s blessing when we show compassion to others, in and outside of our community of faith. As long as we show indifference and allow ourselves to be busy with our own “business”, the enemy will keep us in bondage hindering us from moving forward with the Father.
Compassion can be shown in words and deeds as well as intercessory prayer. But how often do we really encourage others, offer a smile and helping hand? Do we visit the sick and speak to the broken and lonely? And do we boldly pray for those who need healing regardless of our differences or internal fears of rejection?
We learn that Jesus was moved with compassion: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matt. 9:36
I have noticed that it can be hard in Israel for us to show compassion to those who still do not know the Messiah, in fear that we might be judged or persecuted if we say something or pray in His name. However, even the more joy can come when we do so in such an adverse spiritual climate!
I wanted to share with you one simple testimony. One of those weekends, I have had an opportunity to travel to the North of Israel with my husband, at the border with Lebanon. We stopped in one of the Druze villages, looking for a place to eat. Somehow, we felt in our hearts to visit a small restaurant that we have spotted on the road. Once we sat at the table, immediately, an elderly Druze lady approached us limping on her leg, asking for our order. Something stirred in my heart and I felt that the Lord wanted to touch her.
Now, I have never approached any Druze person in order to pray for them, although I meet some of them where I work and they are incredibly easy to talk to. I am very much aware that their belief system is not only different but forbids “converting” to any other faith. Nevertheless, as felt a strong urge in my heart to pray for that lady we have asked her if she needed healing, and she instantly said yes! She led me to the back of the small kitchen where her family members seated and I had the privilege to lay hands on her and pray in the name of Jesus for healing, restoration and revelation of our Father’s love. Her face instantly lightened with a smile and gratefulness and our hearts were overjoyed as we continued on our journey after leaving the restaurant. We were so grateful to the Father for His prompting in our hearts to pray for this lady, as our Lord the Great Shepherd is beyond race, religion and gender and wants to touch the broken.
Oh, how wonderful it would be if we were always that bold and reach out to others with words of love and restoration in the power of the Holy Spirit! It was Jesus’ wish that we walk in love, also to the members of our believing communities: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Now the challenge remains, that we are to act with love towards others, outside of our comfort zone, time limitations as well as resources (whether they be spiritual or physical). Too often, we shrug our shoulders in indifference or we hurry to another task or meeting without looking carefully around to whom we might show an unconditional love. However, it is when we do actually reach out to others, then our communities will not only grow in numbers, but in joy, in zeal for the Lord and in the power of compassionate prayer.
Showing love and compassion are the ways to bear fruit in God’s Kingdom and follow the example of Jesus. Paul in the letter to Philippians 2: 5-7 wrote: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Practically it means for us: “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:1-4
I would like to summarize by asking ourselves a question, which is applicable to every believer regardless of his or her position: are we willing to obey God and come out of our comfort zones in order to show love and compassion? Are we willing to pay the price of scorn or persecution when we do so?
If so, then I believe, we will experience the fullness of the anointing that the Lord has promised to us. Even though we might have small moments of failures, when we chose to continue to follow His example, we will see our communities and societies transformed; in His time and with His great reward waiting for the children, lovers of God, that are also willing to lay down their lives for others, just like Jesus did.
Agnieszka holds a graduate degree of divinity at Spurgeon's College, London, England and MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at University of Haifa. She been living in Haifa, Israel for the last 4 years where I she met her husband Nahum. She nad her husband are members of Kerem El Congregation in Haifa. She has served in various churches in the UK, Canada, and Africa, as well as Poland, including organising missions, training leaders, and regularly speaking about the prophetic message of Father God, as well as Israel, in those countries. She enjoys sharing what God puts on her heart in order to challenge her own and others' growth in relationship with Him.
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Comparison is a sickness
I was just a child in elementary school learning to read when I experienced something that would change my life. My teacher, who had also taught my older brother and sister before me, saw that I struggled to read and said, “If you are their sibling, why are you so different that you can’t read like them”? In that moment my confidence to read was shattered. For many years afterwards, I was terrified to read in front of people because one woman who had authority in my life spoke something negative over me. And as long as I believed those words, they had power in my life.
One day I decided not to let them affect me anymore. I began reading out loud and was even able to read in front of the group I was teaching at the “Heart to Serve” seminar. When I shared this testimony with those who were present, they clapped for me because they saw that I could do it and in encouraged them to overcome their fears and weaknesses as well.
Those who think they are weak have a lot to give. Many times, the weak are stronger than those who think they are strong. Yeshua told the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul responded, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Messiah’s power may dwell in me”. – 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Since I was born in the 1960’s, I remember the time when magazines came out featuring models as examples for beauty. Intelligent young women suddenly struggled with anorexia and depression because they were trying to be like those models and they couldn’t. How many times have we looked at other people’s Facebook pages or lifestyles or the opportunities other people have and we compare ourselves with them? It produces the same kinds of sickness! No one is supposed to be the same as anyone else. We were all created differently with sets of strengths and weaknesses. But God never intended that we should accomplish anything on our own. When we try to be perfect in the eyes of man, we fail because our trust is in ourselves and not in God. For it is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts”. – Zechariah 4:6. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. But He has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit and this same Spirit that raised Messiah from the dead lives in us!
“But let him who boasts boast about this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD”. – Jeremiah 9:24.
If you have swallowed the lies of the enemy about who you are, I encourage you to face that lie with God’s truth and trust Him to give you the courage to see yourself through His eyes. He has given you great gifts to be used for His glory and as a blessing to others. So don’t let the enemy make you sick with comparison or depression about what you don’t have. Be thankful for all that God has given you and go out and make something of it!
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, August 28, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Since its establishment in March 2012 CBN Israel has helped thousands of people through its various operations. As the foundation of Project Light Shine, CBN Israel gives help to the community through three avenues; Humanitarian aid, education and economic development. CBN Israel serves with a spirit of humility and love. Their mission is to prepare the Land and the people of Israel for the coming of Messiah Yeshua and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The vision of their work is to see the hungry fed, the needs of the needy met, businesses established and to improve the spiritual, physical and financial situation of the local body.
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Parashat Ki Tavo: We are required to rejoice
Read the teaching below, or watch a video of the teaching by Yehuda Bachana.
Shabbat Shalom. Our parasha opens with the commandment of the firstfruits. This commandment of bringing the firstfruits expresses, perhaps more than any other commandment, the connection of the Jewish people to their land, to the Land of Israel.
The Importance of Firstfruits
At the beginning of our parasha we are commanded to offer the firstfruits, the commandment consists of four main components:
- Bringing the firstfruits – the act of bringing your firstfruits to God.
- The speech that the giver of firstfruits must make.
- Bowing to God after the end of the speech, and after giving the firstfruits.
- A special addition to the commandment: “Then you… shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you…” (Deuteronomy 26:11)
That same Israeli worker who works hard all year, prays every day for optimal conditions of rain at the right time, or sun when necessary, is finally enjoying a wonderful sense of satisfaction and great achievement when the firstfruits of the labor appear. As it says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
And here in this act of giving to God the first and the newest, after man works hard throughout the year, the first produce, the first fruit is the most intriguing part.
Here we see how the crop turned out after much work. The first fruit has the greatest significance.
It is precisely this part, the most precious thing, that man has to give up and give to God, the main meaning of which is to strengthen generosity and to lessen the desire for food and money.
We are commanded to control our desires, and give up the best for God’s sake.
The Commandment to Rejoice
The last element in the commandment of the firstfruits is the joy that accompanies the fulfillment of the commandment:
“Then you… shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you…” – Deuteronomy 26:11 [NIV]
Thanking God is not only a matter of courtesy, but of fulfilling a duty. The person should feel great joy that he can give thanks for the good things.
Both as individuals and as a state we have things to be thankful to God for, we have a reason to rejoice, we live in all the goodness and blessing of God, we are free in our country to worship God and work the land.
Israel is a world leader in agricultural innovations.
Joy Helps Us Not to Forget God
Joy appears once again in our parasha, as a warning:
“All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity…” – Deuteronomy 28:45-47 [NIV]
Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully.
This passage has several meanings, the first is found at the end, with the addition of “in the time of prosperity”. When things are going well, we forget God.
When we are hungry or suffering, we remember God. We remember to ask from God. This isn’t always the case when we are not hungry or not in trouble.
I learn from our parasha that it is my duty to serve God with joy. It is not enough to fulfill the commandment, it is not enough to be a believer – joy needs to seep into our inner being.
Joy Holds Us to a Higher Standard
If we compare this commandment to serve God with joy, with the Sermon on the Mount, I think we can learn something new. Jesus declares in Matthew 5:
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:20 [NIV]
What is Yeshua saying here?
Do we need to strive to observe the commandments and to be more strict than the Pharisees and the scribes? Do we have to be even more devout?
No! I believe that Yeshua is speaking here of fulfilling the Word of God with joy and love. Yeshua is speaking here about our relationships, with our neighbors, and between us and God.
Yeshua teaches us that it is not enough to fulfill the commandment. There is no such thing as, “Hey, I finished, I’m done!” No! God is interested in the heart’s intent. We are required to serve God with joy.
We give importance to the faith – the Body of Messiah speaks endlessly about what we should believe. The real question is not what’s in our head, the question how much love, how much joy, do we have in our hearts.
From this parasha, and from the words of Yeshua, I learn that if I am a believer and I’m living in bitterness, if I’m a bitter person who does not live according to how God wants, my faith is not enough. Period.
The Curse of the Law
As we continue to read the parasha, we encounter many curses. The word “cursed” appears 16 times in our parasha:
“You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.” – Deuteronomy 28:16 [NIV]
“The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land…” – Deuteronomy 28:18 [NIV]
“You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.” – Deuteronomy 28:19 [NIV]
“‘Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.’ Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” – Deuteronomy 27:26 [NIV]
From here the Apostle Paul gets the concept of the curse of the law. And what does Paul mean when he says that Yeshua redeemed us from the curse of the law?
Some go further in their interpretation of the expression “curse of the law”. They propose that the Torah itself is a curse to all those who uphold it.
But that is not Paul’s intention at all when he says that the Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law.
The Curse Allows Redemption to Come
Paul understands that the entire nation is in a shameful legal situation, where there is no one who does not sin, and so we are all under the curse and we are all condemned, we, the work of our hands, our families, are all under the curse.
Paul takes this very seriously and he asks himself and us, how can one escape from this situation? And he replies, thanks to Messiah, who bought us with his blood, who took the curse upon Himself and nailed it to the cross.
Here we have a concept of redemption, in the Bible, the work of he who is called the redeemer, and the classic act of redemption, are equal.
A redeemer is someone who pays the debt of someone else, and thereby extricates him from the situation he is in. The redeemer does not forcibly break the prisoner out of prison in order to release him. He pays the debt of the redeemed until the last cent.
Can We Just Forget About the Law?
So what now? What is my relationship to the Torah of Moses?
There are those who claim, “because we can not keep the whole Torah, we are therefore exempt from it.” Or: “If we want to keep the Torah, then we will have to observe the entire Torah, and disobedience to even one commandment will bring a curse to those who are under the Torah.
As it is written in our parasha: ‘“Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”’ (Deuteronomy 27:26 [NIV]) So the Messiah exempts us from the burden of Torah.”
I agree that the whole Torah can not be kept, even if we very much wanted to, but then even the “commandments of Yeshua” in the New Testament will not be kept, and no person is capable of keeping them. So is it possible to “give up” on them, because it is impossible to keep all of the instructions in the New Testament?
Yeshua’s Standard is Higher
In Matthew 5:21,22, Yeshua said:
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” – Matthew 5:21,22 [NIV]
And whom amongst us has never cursed his or her brother or sister? Whom amongst us has never gotten angry at his or her brother or sister?
In Matthew 5:27-30, Yeshua said:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” – Matthew 5:27-30 [NIV]
This goes for women as well. Whom amongst us is not guilty of this sin? Who has gouged out his or her eye, and has never sinned by looking?
In Matthew 19:16-26, Yeshua was asked by a man who kept the Ten Commandments how one’s name can be written in the Book of Life:
“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” – Matthew 19:21 [NIV]
Even Yeshua’s disciples were shocked by His answer. They asked, “Who then can be saved?” Whom amongst us has sold all of their possessions?
Fulfill the Law – With Joy
I believe that the whole Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, is sacred, good, and true. And we must learn and observe the Word of God as much as is possible in today’s modern life.
I will conclude in saying that this parasha and Yeshua the Messiah teach us the importance of the fulfillment of the word of God with joy and love. This is the lesson and the main point.
I will not stand here and demand strict observance of the law – but I will demand that what we do will be done with a radiant face. With a smile.
This article originally appeared on Netivyah and is reposted with permission.
The teachings of Messiah Yeshua in a Jewish context. Netivyah is an Israeli non-profit organization that teaches God's Word and helps those in need.
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The OTHER trinity
Sculpture of Jesus as king
The word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible and I am, frankly, unqualified to address the issue of what it represents theologically.
What I want to talk about in this blog is the OTHER trinity, (using the lower-case “t” here intentionally) which consists of the three different roles Jesus Christ fulfils in His Father’s kingdom. These three roles are as a prophet, a priest and a king.
As a prophet, he represented God to humanity, bringing a message of hope, love, compassion and mercy. As a priest, He represented humanity to God, offering His very own self as a sacrifice for all of us. But He was also a King. He was a King during His first visit to this Earth 2,000 years ago when he gave the foundational instructions for the setting up of His Earthly Kingdom and He’s going to be a King again when He returns, ruling and reigning from Jerusalem with what Revelation 19:15 describes as “a rod of iron” which sounds to me like a strict, though benign, form of dictatorship. It’s also worth mentioning that the Bible usually includes the role of “judge” in a King’s job description, giving Kings the authority to make laws AND pass judgement on those who violate them.
A major error committed by nearly every denomination, sect, sub-group and category of those who say they follow Him is to focus on one of those three roles and neglect, or even entirely dismiss, the others.
For example, the liberal Mainline Protestant churches have become almost solely focused on the “prophet” part of Jesus’ ministry. His words of compassion, caring for the poor and oppressed, mistreated, etc. are indeed very much a part of His message and instructions. But these liberal denominations have, on the one hand, adopted a deeply hypocritical and dishonest definition of the term “oppressed” and on the other hand, they’ve utterly cast aside the other two roles of Jesus, that of a Priest and King.
Ask any liberal, Mainline Protestant theologian if accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross is the only way for a mortal human being to come into a right relationship with God and they might be polite enough to not actually roll their eyes at you. But the lecture they will then deliver to you about how THEIR JESUS is “tolerant” and “inclusive” and not “judgemental” etc. is pretty much non-negotiable.
If you then ask why they “celebrate” people who are living a life of rebellion and sin against Jesus the King or if you tell them that the Palestinians aren’t “oppressed” by the Israelis but rather they are in the bad situation they’re in as a consequence of their own bad decisions, you’ll be lucky if they don’t make a report to the police about you for “incitement” and/or “hate speech.”
So much for the Mainline Protestants.
We Evangelicals (including Messianic Jews/Hebrew Roots folks) can’t be too smug about not falling into that error though, because we make our own mistakes.
The Bible has a lot to say about caring for widows, orphans, the poor and destitute, etc. Evangelicals haven’t always paid sufficient attention to that. The late Derek Prince mentioned this fact often, and he was absolutely right. The blessings of God that we’re always chasing after might come to us more speedily if we were simply more obedient in this particular area.
On the other hand, we also tend to focus too much on the judgements and authority Jesus has as King and neglect the areas of mercy and compassion, especially within our own community. I am the first one to admit that this is my biggest failing as a follower of Christ.
Then again, some in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements also have a deeply flawed vision of what Jesus will be doing when He returns to set up His kingdom on Earth. I once had an individual who described himself as a “Messianic student” tell me that he expects the first 70 years or so of the Millennium to consist mostly of men like himself “instructing all these Gentile Believers in Talmud and Mishna” under Jesus’ supervision.
This attitude, which in my observation is not uncommon in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movement, especially in North America and the UK, stems entirely from the kind of arrogant pride that the Bible says God hates and despises (Proverbs 6: 16-17). Frankly, if men like my friend even make it to the Millennium, I think they’ll be the ones who spend the first few decades being instructed and I don’t think they’ll like it much.
In any case, Jesus’ three roles, as Priest, Prophet and King, exist in a kind of tension that no ordinary, mortal human being could ever harmonize. Only God Himself could do it, and it’s yet another proof, in case anyone still needed it, that Jesus is God. Those of us who follow Him must do our best to live within the tension of these three roles as it appears in our mortal state of being, embracing all three and not neglecting any of them.
Aaron is a member of Jerusalem Assembly, House of Redemption.