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Written by Victoria Radin   

The Rise of Messianic Judaism

“Behold, I am sending you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, that I not come and strike the earth with utter destruction.” (The Interlinear Bible - Malachi 4:5-6 or 3:24)

shofarThe prophet Elijah was the prophet that urged the people of ancient Israel to turn from sin and to return to Yahweh. God enabled Elijah to reveal the power of God when he called down fire from heaven to consume a water-soaked sacrifice. It was in this demonstration of power that the people turned and repented.

“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people answered him not a word”… ”Now when all the people saw it [the fire from Heaven], they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!’” (1 Kings 18:21, 39)

John the Baptist’s purpose was the same as that of Elijah. He also was calling on the people to repent and return to the teachings of the fathers of the faith. 

“He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)

There will be yet another Elijah to prepare the way for the returning King Yeshua, an ‘Elijah Company’. They will teach truth and expose lies, just as did Elijah and John the Baptist. They will fully trust the Lord in everything and be empowered to carry out the Lord’s commands. The command of the Lord in the Malachi scripture (above) is that these ‘Elijahs’ will turn the heart of the fathers to the sons and the heart of the sons to the fathers.

“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19)

The “heart” of the fathers [of Judaism] was their commitment to teaching the pure Word as dictated by G-d Himself to Moses. The “heart” of the sons [of Israel] describes sons who will have a “heart” for Truth. In contrast, today the Word of God is often being twisted or ‘watered-down’ by the ‘Shepherds’. And many of the ‘sons’ have no interest in Truth. Unless the teachers (fathers), the students (sons) , and the Word of G-d are restored as originally intended, God will bring utter destruction upon the earth. The process of this spiritual restoration began simultaneously with the period of physical restoration at the turn of the 20th Century [The End of an Era]. It began spontaneously by those who studied the scriptures. Pioneers of this movement to restore the truth of the Word of God were men such as Rabbi Leopold Cohn and Abram Poljak.

Rabbi Cohn left Hungary for America in 1892 to escape harassment by his fellow Jews for claiming that the Messiah had to have already come based upon Daniel’s seventy-weeks prophecy. He wanted to pursue his studies about the Messiah without persecution. Upon arrival in New York, Cohn met a group of Jews who believed the Messiah had come. The first of these was a trained Talmudist who belonged to a famous rabbinical family. Rabbi Cohn was given a copy of the New Testament and having read it, quickly became an ardent follower of Yeshua. A small voice inside kept telling him that if Yeshua was the Messiah predicted by the Prophets, then he must follow him, no matter what others had wickedly done in His name.

Abram Poljak, in 1935, had a vision of building a Messianic synagogue in Israel to prepare for the return of Yeshua and set up the kingdom of God on earth. He faced much opposition and criticism. Others having a similar vision and facing the same opposition met in London and formed a group to establish a Messianic community in Israel. They were rejected by those in the synagogue and failed to spark interest with those in the churches. At that time, a rabbi joined the group, Rabbi Nathan Whycer, an Orthodox Jew. He received a revelation of the Messiah and was guided to compose the Sabbath liturgy for the Messianic Jewish community. With his entrance into the community, the Sabbath service was restored, kindling the lights in honor of Yeshua the Messiah, the Lord of the Sabbath. 

In 1946, Pauline Rose was chosen from the group to kindle the Sabbath light in the Holy Land where the opposition was fierce. Pauline commented about the spiritual atmosphere during that first visit.

“The powers of darkness are very strong in Jerusalemand had the hand of Yeshua not held me firmly, I would certainly have broken down or lost my mental balance in the fight around the kindling of the light of the Messiah.”

Rejected by the church and the Jewish community in Israel, Pauline was led to the Mount of Olives where she found an Arab Christian home in which the Sabbath light of Yeshua the Messiah was kindled. June 22, 1946 marks the date that the spiritual foundation was laid for the Synagogue of the Messiah in the Holy City. Pauline and her fellow believers continued to meet at a place on the Mount of Olives until her death in 1973 before the Yom Kippur War. Other ‘pioneers’ such as Shira and Ari Sorko-Ram, both Israeli citizens, picked up the gauntlet for the Messianic Movement in the late seventies.

Today, there are more than 150 congregations in Israel with as many as 15,000 Messianic Jewish believers. According to Maoz Israel, they come from various backgrounds and walks of life. The majority are still immigrants with a growing number of Sabra (native born in Israel) Jews – individuals and entire families, young and old, Sephardic and Ashkenazi. They embrace the Feasts of the Lord and other biblical appointed times and celebrate them together. During these Jewish celebrations, they invite non-believing family and friends who are ‘searching’. They fellowship together, pray together and share their lives with one another with the same passion expressed by the early believers in the Book of Acts. 

Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish people who have accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah and continue to embrace their Jewishness. Jews have been coming to faith in Yeshua for centuries, increasingly so in the late 1800s with the birth of the Zionist movement to re-establish the Nation of Israel. When Israel finally became a nation in 1948, the number of Jewish believers in Yeshua has been and continues to increase worldwide, especially in the United States, almost simultaneously with Jewish immigration to Israel.

Unfortunately, just as occurred in the Book of Acts, there is ongoing persecution of Messianic believers in Israel. Yet the Jewish believers are persevering and the Movement’s numbers are growing as more and more Israelis are accepting Yeshua as their Messiah and Savior. 

The physical return of Jews to Israel is almost complete. It is now time to complete the spiritual return of Israel to the God of their fathers. Today we are living in a worldwide continuation of the Book of Acts wherein Jews and Christians are returning to the Jewish faith of their ancestors, coming full circle back to the true teachings of Yeshua and His followers, celebrating the Sabbath, the Feasts and all the commands of the Lord in the knowledge of Yeshua. While God is revealing Himself supernaturally to many Jews, He is revealing Himself to Christians as well, calling on them to abandon the churches practicing paganism that has slipped into Christianity over millennia. 

Now is the time for the ‘Elijah Company’, the voices of those “crying in the wilderness” of this dark world to prepare the way:

“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:3)

They will prepare the way for the remnant, the ‘sons and daughters’ who wish to return to the faith of the fathers, both Jew and Gentile. This remnant will usher in the arrival of  Messiah ben David to rule and reign in the earth. 

"For it is the G-d who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of G-d in the face of [Yeshua the Messiah]." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7)

Join the Elijah Company and be that “voice”!

1  As believers, Christians are grafted into Israel as sons and daughters.

 The Siege of Jerusalem, p. 47, republished by Vine of David, 2016

3  http://www.maozisrael.org/

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