In the previous article we examined the condition of the no-Jew in relationship with Israel and it's responsibility to be a Priest to the nations. We saw historically that Israel had failed in such a mission. Yet at the same time we saw a small section of Judaism which understood Israel's failure to bring the non-Jew to God and had repented of such bigotry toward the non-Jew and had mobilized several movements and attempts to reach the non-Jewish world with the Laws of Noah and the Covenant of Noah that provided Eternal Life for the non-Jewish believer. We also saw how the doctrine of circumcision which had never been required of the non-Jew as used by the Jews as a deterrent to keep the non-Jew from interaction and fellowship with the Jews.
Answer for yourself: What was Judaism to do with the non-Jew and how would they be led to God? Would full conversion to Judaism which required circumcision and immersion be required or only immersion and what was the Jewish understanding of the SPIRITUAL DYNAMICS that accompanied such immersion?
You might now be aware of it at present but the answers to above questions have the potential to change you life.
Now let us continue where we left off in the first article.
Before going on we must provide the reader some background information about immersion and its connection to being "Born Again." We must at first understand that "Born Again" is a Jewish concept and not a Gentile concept, not a Baptist concept, not a Catholic concept, and not even a Christian concept. If you want to know what being "Born Again" means the way Jesus and Nicodemus used it in John 3 then you have to ask a Jew or a Jewish scholar. To do otherwise and seek the meaning from the Vatican or any Evangelistic ministry that is on our televisions guarantees you receive an anti-Semitic replacement religious doctrine devoid of Divine truth. I apologize for other Christian ministers who have failed to such sufficiently in order to learn what these very important concepts meant to Jesus before they begin to teach them; sadly doing it wrong.We can change the meaning of "Born Again" and its intricate involvement with immersion as applied to both Jews and non-Jews but in so doing we only deceive ourselves from what God intended it mean. We can alter religious doctrines all day long and believe me this has been done but down deep in your heart I would hope you would want to know what being "Born Again" meant to Jesus and understanding it as such. For the very life of me I cannot understand how anyone can call himself a Christian or a follower of Jesus/Yeshua and not want to believe like Jesus and accept what he believed about being "Born Again." Startling as it might sound the vast, vast majority of Christendom will tell you that they are "Born Again" never knowing what it really means. Even more tragically such a declaration by the vast majority of Christians make them out to be liars as the fruit of being "Born Again" in the context used by Jesus in John 3 is absolutely lacking in their lives. I will make this very plain in the forthcoming article. So this article will be one of the biggest challenges possibly in your religious life.
Answer for yourself: What did being "Born Again" mean to Jesus/Yeshua? What happens when one was "Born Again" according to its Biblical definition and not the later Gentile reinterpretation of it?
In answering this we must deal with a very important issue concerning how a man comes to God and what is involved in it. This spiritual dynamic is often over looked by Gentile advocates of the current teaching of "Born Again" adopted by Gentile Christianity which finds its origins in the false atonement connected with sun worship. If you think I am kidding then I challenge you with all that I can muster to read the following website and prove it wrong.
Now it is time for the truth concerning being "Born Again." Biblically speaking when a person, either a Jew or Gentile turns from idols, from sin, and repents, and prays and asks forgiveness, and makes restitution, or bring alms following his repentance, confession, and prayer then he has received forgiveness of his sin. This is known Biblically as atonement. This is what the historical Jesus understood concerning both his Jewish Scriptures and his faith of Biblical Judaism. Of course Gentile Christianity and its New Testament accepts an alternate atonement. Without study into the origin of this replacement atonement no one will ever know that it is reproduced sun worship applied to a Jew by Rome. Now it is given that such a one who repents, prays, confesses his sin and brings restitution and alms is one already introduced to the God of Israel. Usually of course this is a Jew. Unknown to most Christians is that a Jew was born into Covenant with God unlike Gentiles and was circumcised the 8th day of his life which was the "sign" of that Covenant. When a Jew became a son or daughter of the Covenant then they were immersed according to the teachings of the Tanakh. This was not a simple water dip as we are taught by Gentile Christianity. Something SPIRITUAL happened to the one immersed that was noticed by God but not by man. These immersions were called "BEING BORN AGAIN" each and every time they were done; it was NOT a one time event! The Rabbis understood that not all the Commandments from God were the same and one special group of Commandments were called "Hukkim" which was understood by the Rabbis as "commands from God that did not make human sense yet accomplished spiritual realities in the Heavens." Immersion is one such "Hukkim." This gets somewhat technical so I would like to paraphrase if I might. The Rabbis understood such an "Hukkim" concerning immersion as a "spiritual step toward the Throne of God in the Heavens." They understood to the rational mind such immersion would would seem to not have any affect on our "spiritual standing before God" but yet understood that it did. This was so important to the Rabbis that we understand the great number of immersion baths located outside the Temple for the worshippers would be immersed become attending "church" if you get my drift. They understood what we as Christians don't; namely that through immersions one was accomplishing something spiritual in their walk before God. Now understand that immersions such as these "Hukkim" were not done indiscriminately; but rather they were commanded at specific times.
As you can see the Rabbis understood such "immersions" and "mikvehs" as Commands by God that did not make rational sense yet God is God and God understands the need for these "immersions" be done by man whereby man was drawing closer to God in the Spirit realm. We find that only one "immersion" by Yeshua is recorded in the New Testament and that is the one right before Yom Kippur. Little wonder that a myriad of Jews had repented of their sins and had grouped themselves to be "immersed" like Yeshua before Yom Kippur. This was mandatory before one could observe or partake of Yom Kippur which was beginning at the dusk of the very day.
This explains the Jewish concept of being "Born Again" but does not explain it as applied to the non-Jew. This we will do now.
The New Testament describes quite adequately the standing of the non-Jew with God:
Paul in writing to Gentiles states:
Eph 2:12 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (KJV)
That is pretty bleak if you ask me. This is the Gentile's standing with God before he learns how to approach and be accepted with God. Israel we saw in the first article was hesitant in taking the non-Jew his Noahide Covenant and the ways by which he could be accepted with God. In fact we saw that Israel made it very difficult upon the non-Jew by enforcing circumcision upon a fully adult male in hopes that it served as a deterrent to keep them away from the Jewish people. We also mentioned that if a non-Jew desired to identify with the Jewish people and become a son of the Covenant as a Jew than he would be required to convert to Biblical Judaism through circumcision and immersion just like the Jew. This means that the non-Jew was being "Born Again" just like the Jew in his drawing closer to God following his repentance, prayer, confession, restitution, and alms which he was taught to bring according to the Tanakh.
This sticking issue if you remember was over "circumcision" or the "lack of circumcision" and the acceptance of such a one into the Israel of God by the Jewish people. We find a perfect example of a non-circumcised Godfearer in Cornelius in Acts 10.
When a Gentile was taught of God through the Jewish people and accepts the faith of the One God of the Universe, he identifies with God. As Gentile Christians and followers of Yeshua we likewise identify with God through the one He sent to reveal Himself; namely Yeshua (Jesus). It is through the name of Jesus we as non-Jews were instructed about the God of Jesus in the first place. The Gentile (in the act of repentance and faith) literally stands at his own Sinai, as did his Gentile forefathers (the Egyptians are a type and shadow of Ephraim, the other house of Israel) and says, like the Jews of old did, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do" (Ex. 19:8). Notice that the Bible say "all" the people said it at Sinai (this included the mixed-multitude of Gentiles and Jews together)! Included in that group were a mixed multitude of Gentiles along with Jews and this fact teaches us a very important lesson for our lives. At Sinai both Gentiles and Jews confessed adherence to the Covenant offered by God. God had previously instructed that they "wash their clothes."
Answer for yourself: Is there any special significance to this mixed multitude "washing their clothes?"
The Rabbis teach that "washing their clothes" is an idiom for immersion in water of their bodies. Here we see the example of both Jew and non-Jew experiencing the concept of "immersion" and being "Born Again" as taught by the Rabbis.
This again is the Hebrew "mikveh" where both Jew and Gentile were "drawing closer to God in the spirit realm."
Having turned from the false gods of Egypt and turning to the true God and Creator Moses was instructed to have both Jew and Gentile (Mixed Multitude) draw closer to God [be Born Again} in the Spirit through immersion. This was not forgiveness of sins since that was already accomplished through their repentance. Let us be clear on that and this was not their salvation as that was already accomplished by faith and their resultant actions based on their faith in the true God. This was more of a SANCTIFICATION of setting themselves apart unto God whereby they drew closer to God. Something that they did not understand was being accomplished through their immersion. The Rabbis call this "Hukkim."
The Rabbis teach that this is an illusion to both the Jews and non-Jews being Born-Again to the God of Israel. But again understand this was NOT a one time event but an experience to be repeated throughout their lives in their worship of God.
This might be startling to you but the concept in the Gospel of John, chapter three, concerning being "Born-Again" is not the invention of Jesus. Being You have seen if you have read these two articles that "Born-Again" is a Jewish concept that has existed since the Garden of Eden and Adam. Now hear this...being "Born Again" is to be repeated throughout one's life....even your life as a Christian! A typical Jew was "Born Again" with each new encounter with God throughout his life. A Gentile convert had his "hello" experience with the God of Israel through immersion required in conversion [that was his first Born Again experience] but yet this experience of drawing near to God was expected to be repeated throughout his live by continually being "immersed" and "Born Again" after every repentance, before each observance of the Sabbath, before each observance of a Biblical Festival, and for the woman after her menses monthly.
Answer for yourself: Can we find in Scripture examples where righteous Jews were continually "Born Again?"
Examples in scripture where the children of Israel were "Born-Again" repeatedly (immersed and attained a new-heightened status before they met with God) are before each Sabbath, before each Feast and Festival, following repentance of sin, and for a lady, after her menses on a monthly basis before she could return to her husband's bed. This will be news to most but Yeshua was immersed repeatedly in his life. Yeshua, being a Torah observant Jew, was immersed before each Sabbath service and before each Biblical Festival each year. If you added it up you would find that Yeshua was immersed a minimum of 59 times a year. That being true we are misled in understanding this concept because recorded for us is just only one immersion of Yeshua in the New Testament and that one is the immersion the day before he observed the Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the Festival called the Day of Atonement and as I shared earlier every Torah observant Jew had to be immersed before he could participate in observance of Biblical Feasts and Festivals. Thus we would expect Yeshua to be immersed prior to Yom Kippur and we do in New Testament.
Sadly Christian scholars debate down through history with large volumes the reason for Yeshua's immersion; never stopping once to try to understand it from a Jewish perspective. I find their lack of insight and scholarship amazing and as an ordained Pastor and Seminary graduate I am ashamed of my fellow colleagues who know so little but profess so much.
Being "Born-Again" is not a concept originated by the Gentile church. It is a Jewish concept!
Amazing! As the repentant person entered into the immersion bath (a picture of a "watery womb" and "watery tomb") only to emerge as if "Born-Again" from a watery grave and a watery womb (with a renewed spiritual status before God). It was a new start for the believer. If he had sinned and repented God granted him a new status; a new start with God was his. This was perfectly symbolized through the rising from a figurative grave to life anew with God. This was again perfectly symbolized through the emergence from a watery womb to life anew with God. The pictures and symbols and metaphors which help explain this Spiritual advance with God are perfect once you understand that something supernatural happens between the believer and God in time of drawing closer with God. God knows it; He commanded it be done. We look at it without our Hebrew Roots and interpret it incorrectly and try to relegate it to a once in a life-time experience and attach a completely foreign meaning to it that God never intended. We not only have lost truth but the opportunities to draw closer to the God we say we love.
The Rabbis call this a "Hukkim" commandment; it does not make human sense but yet God requires it. The immersed one is then considered a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) as he emerges from the water! Remember that this was also required of a Gentile convert coming to God for the first time. He was drawing close to God for the first time in his life through this Hukkim immersion. But immersion and being "Born Again" was not only to accompany repentance after one sinned or turned to God for the first time in one's life since being a non-Jew but was commanded all the time before one observes and celebrates a Biblical Holy Day or the Sabbath. Being "Born Again" was not a once in a life-time SALVATION EXPERIENCE because one believes some theology about Jesus as Paul would make it out to be in Romans 6; rather it dealt with sanctification and dedication to God which is to be repeated throughout one's life. At least that is what it meant to a Jew like Jesus. It many not have meant that to Paul, himself a Gentile convert that often departed from Jewish faith but that is whole other problem that bears your study. Also of note was that immersion and being "Born Again" applied to the non-Jew as he was immersed as part of his conversion to Judaism once he already had faith in God and had repented of his sin. This was in all the above cases a step toward God by the repentant Gentile. After his initial immersion it was then expected of him to be repeatedly immersed just like the Jew when he observed the Biblical Festivals and the Sabbath. In such a way we find the Gentile just like the Jew experiencing this drawing near to God.
Rom 10:12 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (KJV)
I wish everyone really believed the above verse. If you were Jewish you would have been instructed correctly concerning the mechanics of Biblical Immersion (being Born-Again) since you were a child, and would not be like many Christian Gentiles who have not had the truth taught them concerning such an important doctrine. It is startling that such a Jewish concept is considered the backbone of the Christian faith and the Christian fails to have the correct understanding regarding immersion and being Born-Again as Jesus understood it. As believers we should have understood it correctly from the beginning, which we have not. A Gentile entered into the watery tomb and watery womb and emerged, no longer considered a Gentile, the old things have passed away (his condition of being a Gentile estranged from God is over), behold God made all things new (he now is a part of the Israel of God just like the Jew)! He was now considered a citizen of the Israel of God!
Eph 2:12-13 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh ...(KJV)
Understand the non-Jews were brought nigh to God not only by the death (blood) of Jesus which began a movement out of a Gentile hating Judaism to them in the world whereby they were instructed in the Covenant of Noah [Acts 15.16] but were brought nigh unto God by faith and immersion whereby they "drew near to God in the Spirit realm" through this Hukkim Commandment called a mikveh!
Upon emerging from the watery tomb in which he was "Born-Again" he had the status of a Spiritual Jew...a child of God. He became Israel! He was considered as if he had always been Israel, for it was said by the Rabbis following conversion that it was if the non-Jew had no past and it was forbidden to bring up his past for it was as if he had always been Israel.
The Gentile, after turning from idols and repentance (as a sign of his faith in the One God of Israel), and after following immersion in the Mikveh (baptism), was grafted into Israel as Paul would later tell us. The repentant Gentile believer chose God and His Torah. He chose to become "chosen". Since he is Israel, then the commandments given to "Israel" now apply to the Gentile "Christian" who looks to Yeshua, his teachings, and His God.
Answer for yourself: Is that your understanding? It should be!
It was Jesus' understanding and still is his today. The tragedy of the matter is that the Contemporary Christian Church has not studied to know who they are. They are included in the House of Ephraim; they are Israel. The Commandments of God as seen in the Torah are for them, not just the Jew born in the land!
A "Gentile" is a term signifying a non-Jew, who is NOT a "son of the covenant" and is only subject to the seven Noahide Laws. Once a Gentile came to the understanding of the one true God, he would turn from idols and worship the God of Israel. These were the "God Fearers", who accepted certain basic Jewish obligations along with the Noahide precepts. This is more than Noahidism! People often misunderstand because my E-mail address is "bennoah1" but I am not a Noahide; I have gone beyond that and adopted Isa. 56 and consider myself a Godfearer like Cornelius in Acts 10. The Noahide movement stops short of a fuller dedication to God and that is not for me. According to the Laws of Noah idolatry, shedding of blood, and grave sexual sins were forbidden to Gentile believers. These were originally the Noahide precepts accepted also by the Synagogue on which the Gentiles were obliged. Let me remind you that we see in Acts 15 (at least 25 years after the death of Jesus) the admonition for the Gentiles to adhere to Noahide Laws to be accepted in the believing community of Israel (it was James as leader of the Jerusalem church who referred back to the Noahide Laws in addressing the question of Gentile salvation). But this was considered the "MINIMUM.". It is logical that the Apostolic Church of Jerusalem should accept the view of the Synagogue on the conditions which Gentiles needed to fulfill in order to be "saved" and "accepted" in the "family of Israel". It can be easily shown that the fulfillment of other commandments of Judaism were not prohibited to Gentiles or Noahides. On the contrary, the Noahide precepts were only seen as the minimal condition for Gentiles to be recognized as "God-Fearers". These were so understood by the uncircumcised "God-Fearers" themselves, who were attracted to the Jewish way of life and accepted many Jewish commandments without becoming full proselytes (Sabbath, festivals, Tallith, etc). Understand that it would be these Godfears who were also immersed before Sabbaths and Festivals like converts and Jews. This was also the attitude of Gentile Christian "God-Fearers", as may be seen from the Epistle to the Galatians; many of them wished to observe as many Jewish precepts as they could. It is evident that, while the leadership of the mother Church in Jerusalem decided to lay no burden upon the Gentile believers beyond the Noahide precepts, it did not object to their voluntarily observing more.
Acts 15:19-21 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. (KJV)
It would be here that the non-Jews once having come to God would continue to grow spiritually and take upon themselves other Commandments over and beyond the minimum of the Laws of Noah. Needless to say this included repeated immersions and being "Born Again" before Sabbaths and Biblical Festivals.
Among the figures of the early Church who instructed Gentile Christians to observe more precepts than these essential "Noahide" ones was Peter, as we know from Paul's criticism of him for demanding that Gentiles live like Jews (Gal. 2:14). Rather than interpreting the apostolic decree of Gentiles adhering to the Laws of Noah as a minimum, Paul saw in the Noahide precepts the maximum obligations of Gentile Christians. They need not do or observe more according to Paul. Rather than Peter being incorrect, a more comprehensive understanding of the Bible reveals Paul to be incorrect; thus the biased view of the Gentile New Testament which it totally incorrect historically and Scripturally (regarding the Hebrew Scriptures).
Answer for yourself: Are you beginning to wonder how much less of God we have in our lives today because we were never taught correctly the concept of being Born Again by the anti-Semitic Gentile Church and have failed to draw nearer to God through these Hukkim Commandments most of our lives?
Paul remarks in a letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7) that the circumcised (Jews or converted Gentiles) should not remove the marks of circumcision, nor should the uncircumcised (Gentiles become Jews) circumcise themselves. Wait a minute. Paul contradicts himself (like a lot of preachers today). In Galatians 5 he says "if you Gentiles get circumcised" and then he says "don't do it."
Answer for yourself: Can't Paul make up his his mind? Under the Laws of Noah Gentiles were never to be circumcised, and it was this ruling that was given to Paul in Acts 15 and 16 in letters which he and Barnabas and others were to take to the Gentile Churches in their journeys strengthening them.
Answer for yourself: But how could a Gentile be told to not remove the marks of circumcision if it was never required of him at all? This is something that was understood by God to be voluntary as seen in Abraham's circumcision; himself a non-Jew.
In Acts 16 Paul circumcised his disciple Timothy.
Answer for yourself: Timothy was not a Jew was he?
Answer for yourself: If he was a Gentile why bother, right?
This contradiction of Paul is very puzzling.
Answer for yourself: Sadly many have incorrectly interpreted Paul as teaching that circumcision was abandoned with the coming of Yeshua the Messiah, but was it? Acts 16 is over 20 years after Yeshua and Paul is still circumcising!
Answer for yourself: We have failed to understand properly, so what is the clear truth of the matter?
Yeshua and his Apostles did not wish to destroy the Torah (Law) from Israel, God forbid; for it is written so in Matthew 5:17, Jesus having said, "Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Torah. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. I tell you this: So long as heaven and earth endure (do they yet exist today?), not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the Torah (the Law) until it is achieved. If any man therefore sets aside even the least of the Torah's demands, and teaches others to do the same (the majority of Pastors who preach the contemporary Christian message), he will have the lowest place in the Kingdom of Heaven, whereas anyone who keeps the Torah, and teaches others so, will stand high in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Bet Emet Ministries teaches Gentile and Jewish commitment and observance to the Torah, not because we desire to be "high" in the Kingdom of God, but because we love God and His Word, and would never think of destroying it by misinterpreting it or failing to study to arrive at the correct meaning of these truths for the people of God today.
It is therefore exceedingly clear that Jesus never dreamed of destroying the Torah or changing the meaning of being "Born Again" as have the majority of churches today that carry his name and substitute "another Gospel" for the true Gospel of Christ.
Paul does not contradict himself because of his circumcision of Timothy, for the latter was the son of a Jewish mother, and a Gentile father (Acts 16), and Paul knew that the child of a Jewish mother is considered a "full Jew", even if the father should be a Gentile. Paul thus acted entirely in accordance with the Halakah (interpretation of Jewish Law) by circumcising Timothy. This would be in line with his position, following the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 in 50 A.D., that no longer will Gentile believers be required to "become fully converted Jews" to be accepted into Israel; that the Gentile believers could now remain as "God-Fearers" and be accepted fully by the Jews (1 Cor 7, Acts 15) without circumcision. But yet they might not have to be circumcised to convert but in their worship of the God of Israel they will be expected to observe the Hukkim immersions before the Sabbath and Festivals [being Born Again repeatedly]. Gentiles no longer had to "convert" to Judaism and become "fully Jewish" for inclusion with equal standing with Jews within the Israel of God. The Gentiles as "God-Fearers" were to also be accepted as grafted into Israel (as demonstrated by Cornelius in Acts 10 who was a "God-Fearer" and who had not yet been circumcised).It is important to note that as a "God-Fearer", Cornelius yet observed the Noahide Laws, honored the Sabbath, and ate kosher (proper killing, dressing and preparation of animals intended for food as well as the removal of all blood). The baptism of Cornelius into the Holy Spirit as had been the Jews earlier in Acts 2 during the Festival of Pentecost was the evidence needed to convince the Jerusalem church that the middle-wall of partition was being removed between Jews and "unclean Gentiles". Understand this "baptism" of the Spirit was a miracle of hearing for Cornelius, as had the various disciples from seventy different nations in Acts 2 understood Hebrew when spoken by Peter yet never knowing the language. This was a miracle of hearing and not "tongues" as taught incorrectly by Charismatic Christianity. It literally was a reverse of the Babel curse when all nations spoke different languages but understood them. This is what we find with Cornelius and Acts 2 in spite of the erroneous teaching of Charismatics. Cornelius could all of a sudden understand Peter yet spoke no Aramaic or Hebrew. From this experience with Cornelius in Acts 10 we learn that obedience to the Noahide Laws, without circumcision (to remain only as a "God-Fearer" and not fully convert to Judaism), was no longer to be a barrier between the "unclean Gentiles" and the Jews. This event will have a supreme impact in the Acts 15 council which is coming shortly. For example, table fellowship at the Shabbat (Sabbath observance) and the Festivals could now be shared together with the Jews without circumcision of the Gentile. This is what the death of Jesus accomplished; a new repentant understanding of the place of the non-Jew and his acceptance within the Israel of God by Jews previously blinded by their hatred of the Gentile. This was understood from Peter's vision in Acts 10 concerning "unclean foods" which the Lord cleansed (symbolic of cleansing of men [Gentiles], and not the animals designated as unclean in Leviticus). So many Christian commentators get this wrong.
Shammai's "Eighteen Measures" (one of which commanded Jews not to eat or enter into the homes of Gentiles-remember Shammai hated Gentiles) was overturned by God with the revelation at Cornelius' home. God never told a Jew that he could not enter into a Gentile's home or eat with a non-Jew; Shammai did. God corrects Shammai and those that followed his teaching. Peter's vision of the unclean foods represented the "unclean Gentiles" which God had cleansed; the vision was not meant to tell Peter that God had cleansed the "unclean foods". The message to the Jew is that no longer were they to treat the non-Jews like "dogs" and enforce circumcision upon them thereby keeping them away from God or only accepting them if they submitted to circumcision. Circumcision was to be no longer required for non-Jews to be accepted by Israel for God never required it of them; Israel was to no longer require this of them either. But immersion, another part of the conversion process understood as being "Born Again," was to continue. This was not to change since it accomplished something Spiritual in the Heavens. Let us not confuse this issue.
Timothy had to be circumcised since he was Jewish (because his mother was Jewish) and, therefore, was required to observe all the commandments of the Torah (613). Gentiles who observe the Noahide Laws are forbidden to observe "ALL" the Torah like a Jew is required, unless they desire to be circumcised and identify totally with the Jew and his Torah (full-conversion); if so then they are no longer "God-Fearers" but have become full-fledged Jews and undertake all the 613 Commandments. Following Immersion into Israel the Gentile "Born Again" and is no longer considered a "Gentile", he is now Jewish (either partly or completely depending upon circumcision). All non-Jews who become circumcised following immersion are bound by ALL the commandments (613). Understand up front seldom if ever a Gentile male in the USA is circumcised on the 8th day as part of his faith or the faith of his parents according to the Bible. Let us understand as well that the immersion process is crucial for the Christian and he needs to understand it correctly as it applies to him. Once you as a Christian are immersed and identify with Israel, you emerged from that "watery womb" and a "watery tomb" as a Born-Again "God-Fearer" who is grafted into Israel without circumcision as part of any conversion process to Judaism. But yet you are immersed into the "Israel" of God and "drew close to God in a Spiritual way in the Spirit realm" and you never knew it. You are at that time considered by God as a Spiritual Jew regardless if you were aware of it or not or whether you Christian denomination or non-denomination recognizes this or not. Their doctrines cannot change the truth no matter what they think or believe. As a Gentile male who is immersed you are not considered a "partial-Jew" unless you are uncircumcised. If you are circumcised and immersed then you are yet considered a "partial-Jew" because your circumcision had no bearing upon you converting to Judaism. Of course in America circumcision is done without any spiritual significance whatsoever to the non-Jew and thereby cannot apply in any manner to a voluntary conversion to Judaism even though one is later immersed. That is why a Gentile today when he converts to Judaism still has his male member "pricked" to draw blood by the Rabbi in a token "circumcision" along with an immersion.
Answer for yourself: Did you hear that?
The majority of our readers most likely set in their churches thinking they are "Christians" and God's Word says that you are "Spiritually Jewish" (children of Abraham) and are the Israel of God. You have not replaced Israel no matter what your corrupt Christian Scriptures might fraudulently say; you became a part of Israel. Such doctrines are the fruit of Roman anti-Semitism. There is no such thing as a God ordained replacement religion even though Gentile Christianity might think in such an incorrect manner. You as a Gentile "Christian" are obligated to observe the Torah (that part of the Law that refers to you as a Godfearer and represents your Gentile Covenant before God), and sadly because of the great lack of true scholarship in Gentile Christianity you have let your unlearned pastors and teachers tell you repeatedly that you are "under grace" and "not under Law." You are under both; just examine your Covenant and you will quickly see this for yourself! I just showed you that a proper understanding of immersion and the teachings of Yeshua & Paul are in complete opposition to what Gentile Christianity believes "Born Again" means. This concept has been totally stripped from its Jewish context and given a totally different meaning that God never intended it have. Now, let me ask you as a Christian an important question.
Answer for yourself: Who are you going to believe; your pastor or Jesus? It is time to do some serious study into the origin of Gentile Christianity and contrast it with what the Jesus of history believed about God and the Hebrew Scriptures before they were altered by Rome to suit their own religious beliefs.
Answer for yourself: With such an obligation to the "Christian" who now becomes aware that he is either "part-Jewish" & "Spiritual Israel" (Judaism is not a race but a religion; the religion of Jesus) what are you to do concerning the Hebrew Scriptures which by example teach that the Gentile is expected to observe the Shabbat (Sabbath), Pesach (Festival of the Passover), Hag HaMatzah (Festival of Unleavened Bread), HaBikkurim (First Fruits), Shavuot (Festival of Pentecost), Rosh HaShannah (Jewish New Year), Yom Teruah (Festival of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles)? More than likely in your Christian Church you don't observe any of these and immersion is a one time event tied not to drawing closer to God at each of these appointed times with God but accepting that particular brand of belief and set of doctrines surrounding Jesus as espoused by what particular denomination or non-denomination you are involved in at present.
Surely if you love God and desire to obey Him more than your Gentile traditions then you should want to begin to observe and keep these Holy Days of YHWH according to Scripture because informed study will reveal that not only the Jews but the non-Jews kept these Biblical Holy days all through the Hebrew Scriptures. Not only that they kept the Biblical Sabbath and not the Roman day of the Sun is our custom today. Along with this goes the concept of continually drawing closer to God at each of these "appointed times" by continually being "Born Again" throughout our lives according to the teaching of the Rabbis and the Hebrew Scriptures that Jesus used and believed in with all his heart.
Christian scholars have assumed from certain passages in the Gospels that Jesus wished to give a new Torah to take the place of the Torah of Moses. He could not do so unless he sinned.
Answer for yourself: How could Jesus have then said explicitly that he came only to fulfill the Torah (Law). In Hebrew this carried the connotation of rightly interpreting the Torah and not just obeying it but obeying it properly. Yeshua never came to abolish Judaism, but came to re-establish the religion of Judaism not only for the Jews calling for repentance and return to obedience to the Scriptures but also included the same message for the Gentiles because within Judaism exists the faith that God had given the the non-Jew from the beginning-Noahidism! At the waters of Marrah Moses reiterated the Laws of Noah before he built upon them the additive Laws known today as the Laws of Noah. Noahidism is the foundation on which the Laws of Moses rests. Nor was this religion new, but actually ancient; it being the observance of the Seven Commandments of Noah, which were forgotten purposefully by Shammai and his students because of his hatred of the non-Jew. Such hatred of the non-Jew was influencing the people of Israel in Jesus' day; thus Jesus came not for those who are well but those who need a physician and who are sick; sick with hatred for the Gentiles whom God loved and to whom God had called Israel to be a light unto to show them the their own Torah-their Instruction in the Noahide Laws. Along with this was a call for Jews to return to God in repentance and this was necessary before they could be an effective witness to the nations; Israel could not give to the nations what she did not have...righteousness. God had intended for the Gentiles to be redeemed all along. Jesus came for the "lost sheep of the house of Israel"; who had lost their way and forgotten their responsibility as God's Royal Priesthood to the Gentile nations. Israel had been entrusted with Divine truth for the world and she was not sharing it. She was in danger of severe judgment if she failed to repent. These truths were not only for them, but the Gentiles as well. It is important to understand that as there were "people who were lost" in Israel, there were others like the Essene Menahem and the Hillel Pharisees who had not "lost their way" and needed little if any correction by Yeshua! That is why Yeshua said the "kingdom" had been taken from the Sadducees and given to the Pharisees [Hillel School] when he said the Pharisees set in Moses' seat:
Matt 23:2 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: (KJV)
The Greek word for "sit":
2523 kathizo- 1) to make to sit down to set, to appoint, to confer a kingdom upon one
Here we find that the rulership delegated by God to the Sadducees was stripped from them by God's representative as a spokesman for God and given to Hillel Pharisees which was the ONLY branch of Judaism that even attempted a Gentile outreach taking the Laws of Noah and the Covenant of Eternal Life to the Gentile world. Sadly the anti-Semitic Gentile New Testament blasphemes all Pharisees whereby one read and thinks that the only good Pharisee is a "dead" Pharisee. Such is the hatred spread by the New Testament; a Roman replacement religious document.
Jesus Apostles, in fulfillment of the Great Commission of their master, established these Seven Commandments anew (Acts 15, Acts 16, Acts 21). However, those born as Jews (with Jewish mothers), or those Gentiles where were immersed [Born Again] and circumcised as "full-converts" to Judaism (Ex. 12:49; one law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger) are obligated to observe all 613 of the commandments of the Torah without exception. Notice if you will that the non-Jews partake of some of what the Jews were given but not all. But much was held in common by both and both Jew and Gentile keep the Sabbath, Festivals, and were "Born Again" repeatedly in their walk with God throughout their lives as this article has demonstrated beyond any doubt.
Answer for yourself: Are you a Gentile Christian [circumcised or non-circumcised] who has been immersed into the Israel of God through the ministry of Yeshua and his followers and "Born-Again" into Israel? Then that means you!
For the Gentile God reserved the Seven Noahide Commandments which they have always been obligated to fulfill. It is for that reason that they were forbidden pollution of idols, fornication, blood, and things strangled (Acts 15). Yeshua's Apostles, agreeing with the School of Hillel, would no longer enforce circumcision on the non-Jew for inclusion into the Israel of God (to do so would mean full conversion) and they would no longer enforce Sabbath observance (exactly like the Jews observed it) but teach it to the Gentile in a somewhat modified fashion. The mandatory observance of the Sabbath by "God-Fearers" was similar, but not exactly alike the Jewish observance.
This may sound so different from what your traditional Christian message has been, but your Christian message is incorrect if it does not agree or line up with the Apostle's Doctrine. I just taught it to you as it existed in the days of Jesus. All of what I have shared with you is in accord with the law and custom of the Torah, as expounded by the Jewish sages, the true transmitters from Moses at Sinai, and understood by Jesus of Nazareth in the first century (they Jews today are the legacy of the Pharisees that survived 70 C.E.; they sit in Moses' seat...listen to what they say).
Our Gentile Christianity and religious dogmas and understanding today is incorrect if it violates the truths as Jesus and the School of Hillel understood them. We do not know more about salvation than Jesus and the Jewish people and sages that agreed with him no matter what we think or have been taught by our Gentile authorities
It was to the Hillel Pharisees Jesus referred to in Matt. 23 who set in Moses' seat and to whom we are to listen for correct doctrine. No greater example need be given than the doctrine of being "Born Again." We are not to follow the examples of any leaders if they do not line up with the Apostle's Doctrine of Acts 2:42.
Answer for yourself: Has Rome and their New Testament correctly portrayed Apostolic doctrine and how do you know for sure if have never studied Biblical Judaism and made your own comparisons of religious dogmas between them?
This teaching on immersion, being "Born Again," and conversion of the Gentile along with the role of the Godfearer is Apostolic Doctrine as Yeshua understood it and as taught by his disciples, and any other interpretation other than this is NOT correct. We are not to follow any spiritual examples unless they live what they preach and unless that line up with Biblical truth that can be demonstrated from historical and linguistic study (that means the Pharisee Preachers of Christianity today who fail to teach and live the truth of Apostolic Doctrine! No greater "Pharisees" have ever lived than the anti-Semitic Gentile Church of the last 1800 years. Jesus tells us not to follow them unless they agree with him! Good advice. This same admonition is given in Deut. 17:8 ff., where the authority to teach and lead the people were given to the religious leaders God put over the people of "Israel". These occupy Moses' seat and it is time for the Christian Church to set at the feet of the Rabbis and learn truth for a change.
One of the reasons why Gentile Christianity refuses to learn from the Jewish sages and Rabbis and would rather repeat Gentile Religious dogmas which are incorrect without even knowing it because of that one passage in Romans 11 which teaches that Israel was blinded.
Rom 11:7 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (KJV)
This is all well and good UNTIL you find out that this passage was completely lacking from the original Romans until well after 180 A.D. when it miraculously appeared under the influence of Irenaeus which gave the world the 2nd New Testament in response to Marcion's 1st New Testament which Rome did not like. But even more the whole of Romans chapter 9, 10, and 11 cannot be shown to have existed before 180 A.D. again under Irenaeus' influence. So much for the Gentile Church's refusal to accept anything Jewish...like the correct understanding of being "Born Again."
Answer for yourself: Do the Baptists, Methodist, Catholics, Assemblies of God, or any other denomination or non-denomination occupy Moses' seat? No. The Catholic and Protestant denominations are far from being Jewish and often very far from having truth. Salvation is of the Jews according to Yeshua an that will never change. Sadly such anti-Semitic doctrines created by Irenaeus has blinded the Gentile from truth; it is the Gentiles who are blinded to truth and not the Jews.
Answer for yourself: If by change the Jews were wrong then what does that do to Jesus and what he said concerning who is to take the reign of the Spiritual direction of Israel and the resultant responsibility for enlightening the Gentiles? Do you dare tell Jesus that he made a mistake and he should have said the Crystal Cathedral or TBN sit in Moses' seat?
It was these Sages and Pharisees who said that it is forbidden to circumcise a Gentile who does not accept upon himself the yoke of "ALL" the Commandments. In America male babies are circumcised apart from the truths of God's Word (we are commanded to circumcise on the 8th day and not within the first 2-3 days of a newborn's life or a year later as some do) and because of our failure to circumcise according to the Biblical example along with our failure to teach Biblical truth [take Born Again for an example] instead of anti-Semitic doctrines the Gentiles remain "aliens to the commonwealth of Israel." When a Gentile male is finally circumcised it has no connection to the Biblical injunction and therefore the doing so later coupled with a later immersion does not render him a "convert" to Judaism. The Gentile becomes a "God-Fearer" and not a convert. Identification with Israel is by faith and free will. You must choose to stand at your personal Sinai and say to God "I will do all that you say".
Answer for yourself: Do you want to obey God?
Answer for yourself: Do you want to honor His Name with your life?
Going to churches that teach error does not accomplish anything and your fellowship with darkness surely does not honor God when our worship of Him is in error and our religious beliefs as Gentile Christians are contradicted by Biblical faith.
Answer for yourself: Have you ever been to your personal Sinai and told God you will do all that He says?
Answer for yourself: Will you ever go?
Answer for yourself: Will you choose to return or remain in your Egypt of ignorance and false traditions and false religion that amount to idolatry instead of choosing the freedom of Spiritual truth when it is presented to you?
The Sages likewise said that the Gentile is commanded NOT to "fully" observe the Sabbath as does the Jew (yet he is to remember and keep it). Acts 20:6 recounts for us the Gentile believers and how they were taught by Paul to remember and keep the Sabbath. It is here we find the Gentile Church keeping Jewish ordinances well over thirty years after Yeshua's death. At one time the Gentile Church had such truths of which I speak; sadly today under Constantine's influence these truths are buried.
As far as the Gentiles ("God-Fearers") were concerned, they were NOT commanded to observe all the Torah (the 613 mitzvot). The Gentile "God-Fearers" did not have to accept all the 613 mitzvot and are not enjoined to observe all of the 613 commandments. However, it is completely different as far as Jews are concerned, for they became obligated to fulfill the Torah because God delivered them from the bondage of Egypt to be the people of His possession. Therefore they and their children became subject to it forever and so are those Gentiles who make full-conversions to Judaism.
It should be easy to see that Jesus and his Apostles never meant to abolish the Torah of Moses from one who is born a Jew. Likewise, did Paul write in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 7) that each should adhere to the faith in which each was called. This being the case after Jesus' death a moment began with Jesus' followers whereby they repented of their hatred of the non-Jew and began to earnestly take the Gentile nations Gods offer of Eternal Life as found in the Laws and Covenant of Noah. Unlike before the disciples of Yeshua/ Jesus forbid mandatory circumcision of the Gentiles before having anything to do with them. Yet they taught them correctly about being "Born Again."
The rabbis and teachers like Hillel and the Jerusalem Church [Acts 15/16] thus took the Gentiles the revelation of God and instructed them not to be circumcised unless they wished to be fully converted to Judaism (this had no bearing upon immersion since it was required for "partial" as well as "full" conversion). It would suffice that the Gentiles observe the Seven Noahide Commandments, as commanded upon them through the Halakhah from Moses at Sinai. This was the minimum requirements for inclusion into Israel.
Rabbi Emden was correct; Jesus brought a double kindness into the world.
If Christians would study they would understand what I have detailed in this teaching. No longer would the Church erroneously teach the cessation, abolition, or replacement of the Torah of Moses and Yeshua. Such sin and foolishness would and should cease.
Because of these errant Christian scholars, hatred has increased toward the Jews who are blameless of any guilt concerning Yeshua's death and proceed innocently to observe their Torah with all their heart (intellect), soul (dedication and commitment to action) and might (resources and property). The leaders of the Churches of Jesus Christ should study to learn correctly for themselves before they lead their people into sin and astray from the will of God for their lives and teach gross error in Jesus' name. This does anything but honor him. The Jew is the brother of the Christian. Ephraim (the grafted-in Gentile) and Judah make up Israel. As members of the Christian faith, how good and pleasant it might be if you would observe what was commanded to you by your first teachers, sent directly to you by Yeshua, with his message, and not the message that anti-Semitism has created these last 2000 years. The Christian Church is in desperate need of being "Born Again" into TRUTH that its historic Fathers rejected along with forging religious documents that have almost guaranteed to this day that such truth remain hidden from the Gentile. No greater example could be given than the corruption of what Jesus knew and taught concerning being "Born Again."
As stated above, we provide a "study plan" for the student and give detailed instructions as how to study these websites "in proper order" to facilitate one's study. Please inquire for the CD for such thorough study will take you some time if you ever hope of cracking the "Jesus Puzzle" and coming to the answer of the question: "Who do men say I am?" Hidden in this study is the manner by which you, a Christian, can come to the point in your life where the true power and demonstration of God in your life can be found and experienced, where you can "say" to the mountains in your life "be gone" and they really flee. Just ask my wife who raised the Christ to life in her life, in a few short months, in time to reverse a disease process going on in her body and is alive today when medical science said otherwise. A mistaken literal and historical understanding of the sacred Scriptures "killeth," but a "mystical" and "metaphysical" understanding of the true indwelling Christ in you, as the real St. Paul teaches, raises you from the dead in this Earthly life and gives you the demonstration of the Power of God in your life. No tricks here, but just truth, truth kept from us by a less than truthful group of men that changed the original understanding of the Ancient Wisdom to keep humanity ignorant and in fear, thus selfishly controlling them when they no longer had enough swords to do so. Don't let this ignorance of the truth continue in your life. It is time to experience the resurrection of Christ from the dead in you NOW!