Vision and Mission
There are many Christian leaders out there that are looking to connect with a solid source for Messianic Jewish teaching. But we can’t wait for them to find us. We have to go find them. This makes it all the more important for First Fruits of Zion to be at venues like Catalyst.
Living in Jerusalem as a disciple of Yeshua and a practicing Jew, I constantly feel the tension between the Messianic and Orthodox Jewish worlds. Yet that tension was exceptionally sharp as I had to defend my Jewish practice to a fellow believer in Yeshua.
The King’s University offers both online and on campus accredited degree plans with a concentration on Messianic Jewish Studies. TKU is committed to training Rabbis and teachers in the Messianic Jewish Community and Christian leaders who are called to be bridges between the church and the Jewish people. TKU is an approved school of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.
This year at our national conference we will not only have our usual teaching track for adults, but an additional track for young adults. It is our prayer that this will be the first of many similar events and that we can, with God’s help, energize young people for this important work of the kingdom.
What would happen if a Christian television broadcaster caught the vision for the kingdom and Messianic Jewish teaching? God’s Learning Channel is broadcasting the First Fruits of Zion television show, “A Promise of What Is to Come,” along with other Messianic content, to televisions throughout the United States through various cable networks.
While a compilation of Messianic proof-texts is still perhaps the most common tactic employed by evangelists to Jews, such lists are not effective. In the unlikely case you succeed in convincing a Jewish person that Jesus is the Messiah without first revealing him to be a devout Jew, committed to his people and to the Torah, then what kind of disciple have you made?
Toby Janicki’s recent trip to Israel with his family featured the debut guest-lecture event of the Bram Center in Jerusalem. The young demographic of Israeli Yeshua-disciples attending the lecture offers hope for the future of Messianic Judaism in Israel and around the world.
The work that The Bram Center has begun and will continue to advance is absolutely ground-breaking. It has the opportunity to break into the Jewish community at large, stir the pot, and bring the message of Yeshua into the forefront of the dialogue as a recognizably Jewish faith.
We can, through learning, directly express our admiration for God; we can, through learning, directly receive revelation. Whether it is undertaken individually or corporately, learning itself is a spiritual act, an act of worship. True spiritual learning is an incredibly meaningful experience. It draws one close to God in openness and praise.
A place to rediscover Yeshua, to find resources and assistance, to provide a theological and communal backbone for Messianic Judaism in Israel: this is the vision of the Bram Center that, with God’s help, my friends and family and I are building here.
What’s it like when six decades of quiet work on behalf of the kingdom pay off? Poljak’s vast body of writings might have been lost if not for the dedication of two of his disciples, Karl and Annedore Krauter who have spent their whole married life preserving and disseminating his teaching.
He knew no other world than that of Orthodox Judaism—then his world was rocked as he met Yeshua his Messiah, engaged in discipleship, and then one day he disappeared. Where is Michael today? Did our community serve him well, or did we drop the ball?
There are four components to the “light of the world”: the Jewish people, the Torah, the land of Israel, and Messiah. Any combination of these things increases the light of the revelation of God in the world, but the full potential is realized only when all four unite as one.
Messianic Jews in the land of Israel should be exemplary advocates for Torah. Yet to date, due to a multitude of social, religious, and cultural pressures, Israeli disciples of Yeshua have drawn back from exploring the beauty of the Torah and the life it describes.
Catholic-Messianic dialogue has the potential to inform Messianic Jewish theology, as both faith traditions now grapple with the significance of the eternal calling of the Jewish people on one hand, and the universal redemptive work of Messiah, the King they have yet to corporately enthrone, on the other.
As a revolutionary movement, we must continue to work for the reconciliation of Israel and the Messiah. We must reconstruct these destroyed ramparts and take our place as leaders in all of Israel and amongst the nations, and it would appear that the catalyst that launches us to this foretold headship correlates to our relationship with the Sabbath.
Here in Israel, we have some confusion between congregation and community because we use the same Hebrew word (kehila) for both. The word kehila is also used to describe the "body", the general Messianic community throughout Israel. This seems to imply that congregations are the community and the community is the congregation.
The Messianic community in Israel has a disproportionate amount of ministry personnel over the marketplace, which creates tension over wages, workload, and religious leadership. Israel is a hotspot for international ministries and the locals find it hard to refuse employment opportunities. Ministry should not be taken lightly, it is not an opportunity for easy work.
Messianic communities in Israel preach about the next generation and talk about younger leadership. However, leadership is not always delegated in actuality. The Master showed us how to train disciples and step back. This is the biblical model for leadership and ministry. Leadership is a serious discipline that requires professional training.
Messianic Jews in Israel are too few to create their own subculture in society. As such, they will necessarily study and work with others, adopting a large degree of existing identity markers. Unfortunately, secular society tends to be the only option. Where do we fit into the big scheme of it all?
There are thousands of pastors and Christians who want more of the Jewish Jesus. As those who embrace Messianic Judaism, it’s our privilege to reach out and share the importance of this movement in God’s kingdom plans. I want to encourage you wherever you are to be an advocate for this mission.
Today my pastor asked the congregation, “Can you just sit in the pew and be a disciple?” He is in the middle of a series on discipleship and the true call and meaning of the Gospel. He is challenging our church body with their understanding and expectations of the Gospel.