This past week, I posted a semi-response to an article that we were directed to by a visitor to this blog. Essentially, the Messianic Jews were advocating that Christ came merely to teach us the Law, and was equal to that of Moses. As I explored their site a bit more, I discovered this post. It began,
We have no other King, Savior, or Redeemer than HaShem. If one does not believe this, then they are not Jewish, and an idolater according to the Talmud. The Messiah is the King, Savior, and Redeemer of Israel. If one does not believe this, and does not expect his coming, then you have no share in the World to Come according to the RaMBaM. If one rebels against the Messiah, he will not forgive that person, according to the Torah.
And end with this:
We have no other King, Savior, or Redeemer than HaShem. This article will continue to expand this very basic Torah concept. So far we have examined that Messiah is the promised seed, and that mankind either calls upon or profanes his name, the Torah uniquely identifying the seed as “HaShem.” We also have examined that Messiah, according to the Torah, is quite literally the pillar that Jacob anointed, called the “Beit El” – House of God. In future versions of this article we will ask the Torah to show us how Messiah is the Word of HaShem, and the Angel of HaShem – the agent of HaShem who carries out his will on the earth. Stay tuned.
(I would encourage you to read the entire article.) As we debated, I kept coming back to the above article because something didn’t sit well with me. So, I asked, ‘Is Jesus Christ God’?
Messiah is like Joseph, Moses, and King David. He is the Davar HaShem (Word of the LORD), the Beit El (House of God), the King, Redeemer, and Savior of Israel (and we have no other King, Savior, or Redeemer than HaShem). He is the fullness of the godhead dwelling in bodily form. To say “Christ is fully God,” though ideologically correct (since I understand what you mean by it), it is an overly simplistic, and dogmatic – a statement that HaShem in his divine wisdom never sought to spell out of us in such precise terms (whereas I know many human beings who would love to add that one in for Him). Such a simplistic position derails our focus of him being the agent of HaShem that carries out His will, diminishes the very nature of his being the “seed” of the woman of Gen 3:15, and brings us dangerously close to idolatry – a position for which Judaism at large is right to condemn once that line is crossed.
Can you tell the difference of what was said and what we would say?
And then, they say:
There is no punctuation in the Greek manuscripts. “God and Savior” can just as easily be “God, and Savior.” Perhaps you would have a case if the Greek word for word translation read “Our God Jesus Christ” but there is a Greek participle kai, meaning “and,” between “God” and “Savior Jesus Christ,” which could indicate separation (and this seems to be the case contextually and historically to Judaism as well). Judaism recognizes the appearance of God, and the appearance of the salvation of God separately. This is also true according to John. But it is not my intent to hijack your post here into a discussion on how the scriptures instructs us how to approach the divinity of Messiah.
Then, of course, they equate Christology with Mormonism, and
Since we know the Torah does not allow for God (Eloheim) to be a man (Num 23:19), then either Paul is contradicting Torah when he says “God and Savior Jesus,” or is communicating a concept found within Torah “God, and Savior Messiah” – just as we know the Torah does not allow for anyone claiming to be the Messiah to be a homosexual (or any other sinner for that matter).
And all I can say is,
Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians 2:5-11 NLT)
The bible is clear that Christ is not merely an angelic intermediary or a mere man, but He is the Son of God, God Himself in human flesh, the Word of God become Man. This is what happens when we remove Christ from our view and go after strange gods and false doctrines, ignoring the doctrine of the Church.
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV)
Now, I of course would give them the chance to correct themselves – did I miss something?
Friends, if you or your congregation is flirting with Messianic Judaism, please, let it go. Paul spent a good bit of his time battling the distraction of the Law, trying to turn the eyes of the Saints to Christ and Christ alone.