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The Gospel According to Torah 

 


OIM is a Messianic educational ministry, which has been commissioned to reach, teach, encourage, and disciple those within the Commonwealth of Israel to return wholly to Him in spirit, soul, and body in the work of advancing His Kingdom until the Messianic restoration of all things.


 
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MARCH 2015


The first green shoots of spring are beginning to struggle through the brown tundra of hibernating turf. Once again, through the mere emergence of renewed verdant life in nature, the faithful are reminded of resurrection and life beyond the confines of death. But premature death from the hand of those who want to destroy the children of the Creator God is something that should never be forgotten. After all, the curse of fratricide from Cain’s murder of Abel has plagued human civilization from the second generation cast out of Eden, until this very present danger.

For the followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—including the Messianic Jewish community of faith—a recollection of the recurrent attempts of the accuser of the brethren, through human instruments to destroy the children of God, occurs with the Purim celebration this month, and is doubly reinforced by the Passover remembrance early next month. For a multitude of reasons, the Holy One of Israel uses these annual gatherings to help His faithful followers recall the incessant dangers of a world system that is hell-bent on destroying anything and anyone which displays fealty to the God of Israel and Israel’s Messiah. History is replete with examples of ancient peoples, like the Amalekites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Seleucid Greeks, and Romans, who desired  to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people. Praise the Lord for the frequent sobering reminders! Without them, the human inclination is to put down any guards, armor, or shields for protection, and be susceptible to the schemes and flaming arrows of the Devil (Ephesians 6:11, 16).

With this in mind, current events on the world stage once again remind all who are paying attention that anti-Semitism is metastasizing at an alarming rate. It is accentuated by the blatant cry of a modern-day Persian or Iranian regime which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, who have been perversely labeled “the Little Satan.” But according to the spoken and written Iranian mullah’s plans, if this goal is achieved, then the next group to be annihilated is “the Great Satan,” the United States of America. While most irreligious people blame “religion” for what is obviously an ancient spiritual battle taking place among human vessels, the people of the One True God of Heaven and Earth found in the Tanakh and Apostolic Scriptures, must not be lulled to sleep by the plethora of digitally generated distractions which are competing for our thought time. Hence, I was compelled to write this month’s lead article, entitled, All In: Remember, We Won, Let’s Eat! as a serious reminder that God’s people are His hope for this current lost and perverted generation.

Hopefully, some of what is conveyed will prompt many to take their responsibility, as a child of God to increase their personal commitment to Him and His ways (“go all in”), in order to be a light to the world at large (Isaiah 49:6). In so doing, it is my prayer that in these troubling times, as we approach the End of the Age, many will indeed become like the shining lights, who lead many to righteousness, as foreseen and recorded by Daniel in some of the closing statements of his prophecy:

“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

Finally, please remember that Outreach Israel Ministries and TNN Online are dedicated to serving the Lord in our capacity to reach, teach, encourage, and disciple today’s Messianic people with our many written resources. Your faithful contributions to the Theological Defense Trust and the Prison Ministry Free Book Fund help us achieve our many goals, to continue providing these life-changing materials that are being used by the Lord to advance His Kingdom on Earth, until the Messianic restoration of all things. Thank you for your financial and prayerful support of our efforts.

“May the Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

Chag Sameach and Shalom,

Mark Huey

 
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FACEBOOK POSTS ARCHIVES


posted 31 March, 2015 to Facebook

Over the past ten weeks, at my local Messianic congregation, I have sat through the new members class conducted by Mark Huey as an observer. (I gave a guest lecture on kosher.) There are quite a few non-Jewish Believers, who needed help and guidance on Torah-related issues. Yet, what is shocking, is how many of the Jewish Believers needed the same!

Between seventy to eighty percent of Jewish people in North America are nominally religious. Many of today's Messianic Jews came to faith in evangelical Christian settings, and later joined a Messianic congregation--perhaps for cultural reasons to reconnect with their heritage, to prevent intermarriage and assimilation, or some other reason. While in our ministry activities, we might interact--by demographic numbers--with non-Jewish Believers more, Jewish Believers often need the same materials and resources we have produced as well!



posted 30 March, 2015 to Facebook

Are people who teach the Holy Scriptures ever allowed to change or alter their positions? We should hope so! I know that when I attended seminary from 2005-2009, that I had to alter a great deal of the simplistic thinking and reasoning that I picked up in my Messianic experience of 1995-2004. And, this is certainly reflected in our materials and on the TNN website of 2015--especially given the massive work we conducted in 2012, of seeing all our publications produced in paperback and eBook.

So, is it fair for people to quote to you 2002 and 2003 editions of materials by J.K. McKee--perhaps reproduced (unauthorized) on someone else's website--rather than coming directly to the author or teacher himself?



posted 26 March, 2015 to Facebook

On occasion, one will hear claims that the Messianic movement and its emphasis on "Torah," is a means by which many people have denied the faith in Israel's Messiah and committed apostasy. At the same  time, while some have indeed left Messiah faith--how many have left a true, Biblical Jesus in Christianity, who will not hold people accountable to a code of conduct? What does it profit someone to recognize Yeshua as a titular Messiah, but who will not require sinners to change their behavior?



posted 25 March, 2015 to Facebook

In tonight's Wednesday Night Bible study podcast, we will be addressing a rather interesting part of Paul's letter, specifically as he is displeased at how various Corinthians have used his name as a means of claiming importance. Paul did not actually fit some of their expectations. He actually uses what many consider to be ironic rebuke, to demonstrate what some of their own spiritual inefficiencies are.



posted 24 March, 2015 to Facebook

In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul says what is properly translated along the lines of "Everything is permissible for me" (NIV). Too many see this as a reflection of Paul's personal philosophy. Many theologians instead see it as a Corinthian slogan which he, at best, is cross-examining, but more likely is refuting--especially given the conclusions that many in the audience have come to.

A passage like 1 Corinthians 6:12 is the reason why we are having our 1 Corinthians Bible study. Too many of today's Messianic people get caught unaware by a verse like this, not quite knowing what to do.



posted 23 March, 2015 to Facebook

Last week, I finished the last chapter of Part I, "The Significance of Shabbat," in the massive Messianic Sabbath Helper project. I will now be transitioning to working on Part II, "A Theology of Shabbat." This section will be addressing a wide variety of Bible passages, in both the Tanach and Apostolic Scriptures, involving the seventh-day Sabbath, its relevance, and its significance for God's people today:

 Genesis 2:1-3
 Exodus 16:21-30
 Exodus 20:8-11
 Exodus 23:12; 34:21
 Exodus 31:12-17
 Exodus 35:1-3
 Leviticus 19:3, 30; 26:2
 Leviticus 23:1-3
 Leviticus 24:5-9
 Numbers 15:32-36
 Numbers 28:9-10
 Deuteronomy 5:12-15
 Isaiah 1:13-14
 Isaiah 56:1-8
 Isaiah 58:13-14
 Isaiah 66:23
 Jeremiah 17:19-27
 Ezekiel 20:12-26
 Ezekiel 22:8-26
 Ezekiel 23:38
 Ezekiel 44:24
 Ezekiel 45:17
 Ezekiel 46:1-4, 12
 Hosea 2:11
 Amos 8:5
 Psalm 92:1-2
 Nehemiah 9:14
 Nehemiah 10:31-34
 Nehemiah 13:14-22
 Matthew 5:17-19
 Mark 1:21-29; Luke 4:16-37
 Mark 2:23-28; Matthew 12:1-12; Luke 6:1-5
 Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11
 Mark 6:1-6
 Matthew 24:19-20
 Mark 16:1; Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1
 Luke 13:10-17
 Luke 14:1-6
 John 5:1-18
 John 7:21-24
 John 9:1-34
 Acts 1:12
 Acts 13:14, 42, 44
 Acts 15:19-21
 Acts 17:2
 Acts 18:1-4
 Acts 20:7-12
 Romans 14
 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
 Galatians 4:9-11
 Colossians 2:16-23
 Hebrews 4:1-10
 Revelation 1:10




posted 19 March, 2015 to Facebook

There is little doubting the fact that with sectors of the Messianic movement, which strongly identify as being "Torah observant," there is a problem with legalism and rigidity. More need to consciously employ a sense of grace, mercy, and forbearance toward others.

Outside the Messianic community, in Western Christianity--aside from some primitive fundamentalism--are we really likely to encounter "legalism"? Or, are we more likely to encounter a latitudiarianism bordering on lawlessness? For far too many of our Christian brothers and sisters, the Old Testament Law is a relic of the distant past, with no relevance on the present.



posted 18 March, 2015 to Facebook

This evening's Wednesday Night Bible Study podcast will be addressing 1 Corinthians 3:14-23. In this passage, one witnesses Paul's key words about Believers' being a Temple of the Holy Spirit. Many have taken this passage and applied it to their individual selves and their conduct. Few are aware of how many commentators have been opposed to this approach, and instead how Believers corporately compose God's Temple.

How can a viewpoint of Believers, all together, composing the Temple of God, change things? Is it not vastly overlooked, how each individual needs to take responsibility for what goes on in the greater Body of Messiah?



posted 16 March, 2015 to Facebook

Have any of you noticed a connection between work, and blessing others when cursed? 1 Corinthians 4:12 says, "and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure" (RSV).

It is true that in the context of First Century Corinth, that a figure like Paul did not fit the stereotype of a philosopher, who would never perform manual labor. Yet there is an inherently practical component to Paul's word as well: working can get your mind off of the problems and injustices you face.

I know that I have rightly avoided many conflicts, because I have just had to say, "I have too much work to do."



posted 12 March, 2015 to Facebook

I am spending the better part of 2015 working on the thorough resource, Messianic Sabbath Helper. Throughout a great deal of the Messianic movement, it is falsely believed that the Emperor Constantine changed the Sabbath to Sunday in the Fourth Century; he did not. The Emperor Constantine enforced Sunday as a religious day for all in his realm. Many Christians had already believed, as early as the Second Century, that the Sabbath had been abolished! They did so, albeit very wrongly, with the intention of trying to establish an identity independent from Judaism.

A series of good discussions, given the renewal of the Sabbath as an issue many are investigating, is seen in the 2011 resource, Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views.

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as2&tag=tribnewsstore&linkId=ATEDOQH74KRBGDQS>



posted 11 March, 2015 to Facebook

In this evening's Wednesday Night Bible Study, we will be addressing 1 Corinthians 3:1-13, and will be continuing to probe how infantile many of the Corinthians had become. Of course, how many of these verses have we encountered without reading them as correspondence to an audience in need of help? How much has been overlooked, given the complexities of First Century Corinth? How much of this section will be necessary to review, for the sterner information that will follow?



posted 10 March, 2015 to Facebook

There are a huge amount of debates over the exact nature of Yeshua's Last Supper, and the timing of the events leading to His crucifixion and resurrection. Some of these discussions are important, but some of these discussions can get us taken off of the significance of the events for our salvation.

Today's featured article, "The Last Sedar and Yeshua's Passover Chronology," takes you through what all four Gospels communicate about Yeshua's Last Supper meal, His execution, and His being raised from the dead. While laying out the pros and cons of the different views, a Thursday crucifixion followed by a Saturday evening resurrection, is the view defended.



posted 09 March, 2015 to Facebook

This past week, I learned that a person who played an ancillary role in my theological education, recently endorsed homosexual marriage. I was hardly surprised that somebody I went to school with finally did this. But, the real tragedy is that anything the Torah or Law says about this is meaningless--because it is believed that Christ totally abolished it.

Even though today's Messianic community still has a ways to go, to be positioned for the future restoration of Israel and salvation history future--why is the gay issue, the issue that is dividing people? Romans ch. 1 reflects a common Second Temple Jewish view of fallen humanity: rejection of the One True God leads to sexual debauchery. Today's West does not have idolatry in the classic sense of the Ancient Near East or Greco-Roman Mediterranean. So, has God had to use another means to get our attention?



posted 05 March, 2015 to Facebook

Today, our featured publication is the commentary Philippians for the Practical Messianic. Philippians is my (JKM's) favorite book of the Bible. When we consider this letter, we get a real look at Paul when he is at his best--and when circumstances regarding a local community of Messiah followers are not overly-negative.

Still, Philippians has many key points to teach us as Messianic Believers. The deepness of what is often called the Carmen Christi hymn of Philippians 2:5-11 will keep us occupied enough! This is a letter where one undeniably sees Yeshua the Messiah and what He has accomplished as being quite central to a life of faith and trust. Philippians is enriching, but also spiritually and ideologically challenging in many places.



posted 04 March, 2015 to Facebook

In tonight's study of 1 Corinthians 2:7-16 we will be encountering the theme of "the mind of Messiah." How did Yeshua the Messiah think and act? How different was Yeshua's style of ministry and service, compared to others in the First Century?

We hear much in the Messianic movement about the "Hebrew mindset" versus the "Greek mindset." This seldom ever includes any examinations or quotations from Jewish or classical literature. This 1 Corinthians study is, actually, referencing Jewish and classical literature--and as we have seen, the good news of Israel's Messiah will subvert all human ideologies and philosophies. The wisdom of God is foolishness to the world, because it forces men and women to be completely reliant upon Him for any meaning of true worth.



posted 03 March, 2015 to Facebook

Many of you have been looking for a good, Messianic Bible version to use in your reading and studies, and have been unable to find it. The Complete Jewish Bible, by David Stern, while a mainstay, is often too paraphrased for people. This often leaves people sticking with their standard Jewish or Christian versions, or turning to an interesting cadre of Sacred Name Bibles that have altered the public domain KJV.

The newly released Messianic Jewish Family Bible--Tree of Live Version, should be a nice welcome to what has been witnessed. The TLV is soon to become one of the major Messianic Bible versions, at least alongside the CJB. I (JKM) recommend that you get a copy of it for your personal reading and studies:

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posted 02 March, 2015 to Facebook

This past week I completed the fifth and final section for the five-chapter mini-book, Shabbat: Sabbath for Messianic Believers, a planned excerpt from the much larger Messianic Sabbath Helper, due out later in 2015. This publication will fill a major gap, as we have not had a resource available on Shabbat since we started our paperback printing project in 2009.

Shabbat: Sabbath for Messianic Believers, should be available sometime subsequent to Passover.



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Last Updated 30 March, 2015