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Yeshua and the First Church

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Title: Yeshua and the First Church


1
Yeshua and the First Church
  • By Rabbi Stanley Chester

2
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Shalom, lets start.
  • In this class we are going to learn that the
    first church was Jewish and everything about it
    was from Jewish concepts.
  • Were going to learn that there wasnt even a
    Gentile leader of the Church until about 100
    years after Yeshua

3
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Were also going to understand the Church today
    was based (loosely) on the structure of the first
    century synagogue and were going to learn the
    proper Hebrew terms for the different positions
    within its hierarchy.
  • We need to know this information so we can
    properly build our own Messianic synagogues on
    this same model.

4
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Ok, Its often asked by Gentile Christians why
    Messianics have to have their own Messianic
    Congregations
  • They also ask why do we have to be different then
    the Gentile Church.
  • They say arent we all one in Christ?
  • Slide 1 please

5
Yeshua and the First Church
  • But my question is should the gentile church
    really be pointing out that we are different when
    in fact there are hundreds of Gentile
    denominations?
  • 60 of them alone are Baptist

6
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Maybe when the Gentile Church can decide how they
    can all get together as one body, then perhaps
    they can say something about us.
  • They need to pull the beam out of their eye
    before they try to pull the speck out of ours.

7
Yeshua and the First Church
  • But what about Galatians 328?
  • Gal 328 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there
    is neither bond nor free, there is neither male
    nor female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

8
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Many Christians use that as a platform to say
    that Messianic Judaism is wrong right from the
    very start.
  • They say that if you are a Believer then you
    shouldnt even point out that you are Jewish or
    Messianic were all the same.

9
Yeshua and the First Church
  • But lets look at that passage again.
  • It also says there is neither male or female.
  • Have you noticed that after you become a Believer
    you are still either a man or a woman?
  • Well according to the logic that we are all the
    same, then they shouldnt tell anyone that they
    are male or female.

10
Yeshua and the First Church
  • It sounds so silly, but its true.
  • These Christians have totally missed the point of
    this passage.
  • What that Scripture means is we all have access
    to the same Salvation and the same love that
    Yeshua offers us.

11
Yeshua and the First Church
  • We all have different callings as well.
  • Some are called to be Rabbis
  • some are called to be evangelists
  • some teachers
  • just as Eph 411 says

12
Yeshua and the First Church
  • (Eph 411) And he gave some, apostles and some,
    prophets and some, evangelists and some,
    pastors and teachers
  • So were not all the same.
  • Christians in democratic countries often try and
    fit the Lo-d's Body into the mold of their civil
    government. Let me say that again

13
Yeshua and the First Church
  • G-ds government is not a democracy, it is a
    theocracy. That means we dont all have a vote,
    its G-ds way or no way
  • We have to stop trying to interpret Scripture
    from the point of view of our own little time and
    space and interpret it from the mindset
  • of first century Judaism.

14
Yeshua and the First Church
  • If ones thinking isnt correct from the beginning
    it will not end up correct. Just like a plumb
    bob.
  • Slide 2 please

15
Yeshua and the First Church
16
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Its an instrument that has been used since the
    time of the ancient Egyptians
  • by bricklayers, masons, and carpenters to ensure
    that their constructions are "plumb", or
    perfectly upright.

17
Yeshua and the First Church
  • If you do not use a plumb bob your foundation
    will not be straight.
  • Slide 3 please

18
Yeshua and the First Church
  • And no matter how many bricks you put on top of
    it, it will never be correct.
  • if your house isn't straight, it will fall.. it
    may take a while but it will go down.

19
Yeshua and the First Church
20
Yeshua and the First Church
  • And thats exactly whats happening to the
    Christian Church, it is collapsing
  • Ive spoken at hundreds of churches and every
    mainline denomination out there and what I see
    most prevalent is a dissatisfaction in Church
    doctrine.

21
Yeshua and the First Church
  • People are seeing the holes in Christian thought
  • and when they see those holes, they become
    disillusioned,
  • cynical
  • and many even leave the faith all together.
  • Its at the point now that even the more
    intelligent people never become Believers because
    they see the holes before even getting involved
    with Christianity

22
Yeshua and the First Church
  • How bad is it when sinners can see the problems
    before we do
  • Well Messianic Judaism attacks those problems and
    deals with them.
  • Let me give you an example.
  • Lets look at

23
Mat 1821 and 22
  • (Mat 1821) Then came Peter to him, and said,
    Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me,
    and I forgive him? till seven times?
  • (Mat 1822) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto
    thee, Until seven times but, Until seventy times
    seven.

24
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Modern Christian thought interprets that as were
    supposed to forgive anyone who wrongs us 70 times
    7 for anything they do to us.
  • In first century Judaism you would forgive
    someone multiple times if they were repentant
  • and if they sincerely were and they asked you
    multiple times, you were supposed to forgive them

25
Yeshua and the First Church
  • All Yeshua did was reinforce that.
  • It was never meant for us to just go around as
    some Christians believe going I forgive you I
    forgive you to just anyone.
  • G-d doesnt even do that.
  • When does G-d forgive us?

26
Yeshua and the First Church
  • When we repent and ask Him to forgive us.
  • If He forgave everyone even those who didnt ask
    then no one would go to hell would they?
  • Are we better then G-d so we forgive everyone,
    G-d is so limited that he can only forgive those
    who ask Him.

27
Yeshua and the First Church
  • But were so much better then He is?
  • Now there are times when we should forgive when
    someone hurts us in ignorance. And that was also
    accounted for in First century Judaism
  • Christians are quick to point out Yeshua saying
    forgive them when he was on the cross. But the
    key part of that verse is the very next part, for
    they know not what they do

28
Yeshua and the First Church
  • They didnt realize they were killing the Son of
    G-d.
  • They were ignorant.
  • So The Jews had it right about forgiveness in
    Yeshuas time, Yeshua just emphasized it and then
    the Christians distorted it

29
Yeshua and the First Church
  • So, we are different.
  • Messianics think differently
  • We understand scripture differently
  • We understand the history of the church
    differently
  • We are different and we will stand out

30
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Is that so unlike what G-d has done in the past?
  • Didnt he call the Jews out from the rest of the
    world?
  • So what makes us think that Believers in Yeshua
    will not also be called out from a false Church?

31
Yeshua and the First Church
  • A false church who has generally left out the
    Jewish factor in all of Christian history.
  • In Bible school we studied a lot of church
    history.
  • You know when they start you?
  • At 200 to 300 years AD.
  • Now why would they do that?

32
Yeshua and the First Church
  • In my mind the best part is before that. Most of
    what happened in 200 and 300 AD and afterwards is
    irrelevant.
  • Im not saying its completely useless but its
    not what we should spend most of our time on in
    Bible school.

33
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Its the first century thats important. If were
    going to be like Yeshua then we need to know what
    He did when he was here.
  • And what he did when he was here was entirely
    Hebraic.
  • Both the old testament and the new testament are
    highly Hebraic with the background, writers
    culture religion, traditions and concepts all
    being Hebraic.

34
Yeshua and the First Church
  • And since that is true any study concerning it,
    should be done from that perspective.
  • Im going to be very straight forward here
  • If youre getting your next sermon ready and you
    sit down to interpret the bible and youre not
    thinking Jew Jew Jew, then youre not starting
    from the right frame of mind.
  • If youre thinking American American American.
    Youve already lost

35
Yeshua and the First Church
  • If youre thinking Greek Greek Greek. Close your
    bible start again
  • Because you have already thrown out any concern
    for background, writers culture religion,
    traditions and concepts of the book you want to
    speak about

36
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Ok it was well into the second century that the
    Jewish believers removed themselves from mainline
    Judaism.
  • Before that The Jews and the Jewish Believers in
    Yeshua went to the same synagogue
  • the same temple
  • they did everything that the Jews did
  • no different other then that they knew that
    Yeshua was the Messiah and that he had died to
    wash away their sins.

37
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Before the temple was destroyed they even still
    gave sacrifice. Even after the death and
    resurrection of Yeshua
  • So that whole idea that Jesus was our last and
    final sacrifice is a bunch of malarkey
  • Theres going to be sacrifices again in the last
    days so how could he be the last sacrifice?

38
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Sure our attitude towards sacrifice will be
    different in the last days
  • theyll be done as a memorial but they are still
    sacrifices.
  • So the first believers were still very much a
    part of the synagogue.
  • Theres much evidence of this and we can look at
    one right now.

39
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Matt 1017
  • But beware of men for they will deliver you up
    to the councils, and they will scourge you in
    their synagogues
  • You werent scourged in a synagogue unless you
    were part of a synagogue Talmud San 96
  • Yeshua knew theyd be in the synagogues for
    sometime when he said that.

40
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Everything about the first church was Jewish
  • The first 15 leaders of the first church were all
    Jews
  • Slide 4 please
  • This is Eusebius, some of you might remember him
    from the church fathers class, hes known as the
    father of Church history

41
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Esebius tells us that the first leaders of the
    church were all of the circumcision and that
    the whole church under them were Jews

42
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Hegisipus ( a second century messianic Jew 110 -
    180 AD) According to Eusebius, Hegisipus wrote
    his books around 180 AD.
  • Hegisipus said the Messianics chose Simeon a
    cousin of the lord to succeed James who was the
    first rabbi of the messianic congregation in
    Israel

43
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Epiphanius lists the remaining 13
  • Slide 5 please
  • Epiphanius lived from 310-320 he was a Jew
    himself born in Israel who later became the
    bishop of Salamis (Cyprus)

44
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Those 13 that are listed are Justus Zaccheus
    Tobias Benjamin john Matthias Philip Seneca
    Justus Levi Ephraim Josephus and Jude they were
    all Jewish leaders
  • That list takes us clear up to the Bar Kochba
    revolt in 132AD
  • Ill explain what the Bar Kochba revolt was for
    those who dont know

45
Yeshua and the First Church
  • The Bar Kochba revolt was a revolt against the
    Romans by the Jews.
  • Simon bar Kochba, was the commander of the
    revolt, he was acclaimed as THE Messiah by a man
    at that time who was named Rabbi Akiva.
  • I did my Mishnaic studies at an Orthodox Yeshiva
    named after him.

46
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Personally I dont like Akiva because he was the
    one responsible for the Jewish believers having
    to split from mainline Judaism.
  • He told the Messianic Jews they had to believe
    that Bar Kochba was the Messiah or or they
    couldnt be with them.

47
Yeshua and the First Church
  • And thats what separated the Messianics from the
    other Jews
  • In Bible school they try to paint a picture that
    it was the Believers who separated themselves
    from the Jewish people because they had a new
    religion

48
Yeshua and the First Church
  • But thats not true in the least.
  • The Believers didnt want to separate from the
    Jews
  • but they had no choice because they were given an
    ultimatum.
  • Think about that

49
Yeshua and the First Church
  • If Christians were not given an ultimatum now
    would they still be with the Jews today?
  • Its a good question.
  • The disciples had no problem worshiping with the
    Jews after Yeshua died and rose from the dead.
    Even after Pentecost!

50
Yeshua and the First Church
  • (Act 246) And they, continuing daily with one
    accord in the temple, and breaking bread from
    house to house, did eat their meat with gladness
    and singleness of heart,
  • (Act 247) Praising God, and having favour with
    all the people. And the Lord added to the church
    daily such as should be saved.
  • They wouldnt have been going to the Temple if
    there was something wrong with it

51
Yeshua and the First Church
  • They did not have a problem with it for over a
    hundred years. All the way up to 132 ad but would
    Christians have a problem with it today? I think
    many of them would.

52
Yeshua and the First Church
  • So the first gentile leader appointed was a man
    Marcus killed in 156ad.
  • Before him, all the leaders were Jewish.
  • The only reason he became a leader was because
  • The Jews at that time had fled to Pella in Perea
    in Jordan.

53
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Slide 6 please
  • But even while in Jordan, they kept to the Law
    while the Gentiles slowly began to distance
    themselves from anything Jewish.

54
Yeshua and the First Church
  • And from that point on, Paganism crept in
  • It was effectively at that time that Messianic
    Judaism was almost snuffed out completely.
  • The Notzreem continued on for a while but it was
    never as strong as it once was.
  • So since that first hundred years was completely
    Jewish the structure of the local synagogue was
    carried directly over to the first church
  • And well talk about that in video 2 of this class

55
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Growing up in church we used all these names like
    deacon Pastor precentor (song leader) and every
    one of these names came from the synagogue.
  • The first century church never called a Pastor a
    Pastor. He was called the Nasi which meant
    president

56
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Matter of fact Justin Martyr (100165) who is
    considered a church father by today's Christian
    church slide 7 please

57
Yeshua and the First Church
  • this is Justin Martyr
  • he was not even a Jew He was born in Israel in
    Shechem, but even he called the leader of the
    church the president as late as 150ad

58
Yeshua and the First Church
  • In the synagogue structure three Nasis would make
    up a tribunal
  • This was for judging cases concerning money,
    theft, immorality, admission of proselytes as
    well as many other things. This is all in
    tractate Sanhedrin of the Talmud.

59
Yeshua and the First Church
  • These men were known as the rulers of the
    synagogue.
  • Have you heard that phrase before?
  • Remember Jairus
  • (Mar 522) And, behold, there cometh one of the
    rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name and when
    he saw him, he fell at his feet,
  • Jairus was a Nasi

60
Yeshua and the First Church
  • (Luk 841) And, behold, there came a man named
    Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue and
    he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him
    that he would come into his house

61
Yeshua and the First Church
  • These courts set up by 3 or more Nasi is later
    talked about by Paul in 1 Corinthians
  • 1Co 61 Dare any of you, having a matter against
    another, go to law before the unjust, and not
    before the saints?
  • 1Co 62 Do ye not know that the saints shall
    judge the world? and if the world shall be judged
    by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest
    matters?

62
Yeshua and the First Church
  • And understand this that was a gentile church he
    was talking to.
  • So even the gentiles at that time were still
    going by the model of the Jewish synagogue

63
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Ok there was also a public minister of the
    synagogue called a chazan.
  • The chazan would pray
  • preach
  • and take care of the general oversight of the
    reading of the law and other congregational
    duties.
  • He did not read the law himself
  • but he did stand next to the one who was reading
    it correcting if needed and overseeing it.

64
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Im telling you all this so you can structure
    your own congregations this way.
  • If youre already leading a Messianic Synagogue
    you may say how can we just all of a sudden
    change the way we do everything.
  • Theres a good answer to that. How have you ever
    proved what youre saying is true? By using the
    word of G-d.
  • By using the Word of G-d
  • Show them that the Church was born from the
    Synagogue just like Im showing you now

65
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Back to the chazan
  • He selected 7 readers each week who were well
    educated in the Hebrew scripture
  • The group consisted of one priest one Levite and
    five regular Israelites
  • The chazan was also called overseer minister
    of the synagogue also the Messenger of the
    Church or Angel of the Church (in Greek the
    word angel means messenger)

66
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Rev 21 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus
    write These things saith he that holdeth the
    seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the
    midst of the seven golden candlesticks

67
Yeshua and the First Church
  • (Rev 28) And unto the angel of the church in
    Smyrna write These things saith the first and
    the last, which was dead, and is alive

68
Yeshua and the First Church
  • (Rev 212) And to the angel of the church in
    Pergamos write These things saith he which hath
    the sharp sword with two edges

69
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Thyatira
  • Sardis
  • Philadelphia
  • Laodicea

70
Yeshua and the First Church
  • All letters to the Chazan

71
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Acts 2028
  • Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of
    which the Holy Spirit has made you a Chazan
    (overseer). Be shepherds of the church of God,
    which he bought with his own blood.

72
Yeshua and the First Church
  • In the synagogue structure there were also 3 men
    known as the Gabbay Tzedikah (charity treasurer).
    who cared for the poor. They would distribute
    alms. They also had to know the Scripture. This
    is where we get the position of the Deacon from.

73
Yeshua and the First Church
  • I got this from a Baptist site
  • The office of deacon was a newly created position
    in the early church. There was no parallel
    office of deacon in Judaism. Jewish religion had
    priests and Levites and scribes and Pharisees,
    but no deacons.

74
Yeshua and the First Church
  • You see Gentile Christians will do whatever they
    can to separate Christianity from its Hebrew
    roots. They dont want to admit to anything
    Jewish if they dont have to.
  • They will even make things up when they dont
    know what theyre talking about.
  • Look at this again

75
Yeshua and the First Church
  • They had priests and Levites and scribes and
    Pharisees, but no deacons.
  • Do you see how much he leaves out here. He
    doesnt even mention the Essenes or the dead sea
    sect no chazan no Nasi.
  • And what about the Gabbay Tzedikah?

76
Yeshua and the First Church
  • I hope that as we really start getting into the
    scripture youll begin to see the anti-Semitism
    in the church.
  • Anti-Semitism doesnt just mean you hate the
    Jews. It means anything anti-Jewish

77
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Look at this other part
  • The office of deacon was a newly created
    position in the early church
  • Gentile Christians want to think that everything
    Christian is new.
  • Deacon was a new thing it was a New Christian
    thing

78
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Communion was a new thing it was a New Christian
    thing
  • Baptism was a new thing it was a New Christian
    thing
  • Shut up shut up shut up shut up!
  • None of those were new they had already been done
    long before Christianity came along.

79
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Yeshua did do something new. His death on the
    cross did more then atone for our sins. His blood
    washed them away.

80
Yeshua and the First Church
  • So, we have the Nasi, the Chazan, the Gabbay
    Tzedikah.
  • There were other positions as well. There was the
    Shaliach.
  • It means announcer.
  • From that term we get the word Apostle which
    means one who is sent forth to announce the
    gospel.

81
Yeshua and the First Church
  • There was also the Maggid. Who was basically a
    missionary.
  • Today Judaism doesnt participate in much
    procelitization.
  • But that wasnt always true.
  • They used to be very strong in Missions

82
Yeshua and the First Church
  • And the Maggid would go from place to place as a
    migratory evangelist speaking at various
    congregations.
  • There was also the Batlan or plural Batlaneem
  • Today if you say someone is a Batlan, it means
    hes lazy but thats not what it meant back then
  • In first century Judaism The Batlan was a
    resident scholar and teacher.
  • He wouldve been independently wealthy and
    available 7 days a week

83
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Later in time the Batlan was someone who was
    supported by the community
  • and they would sometimes become lazy because they
    didnt really work.
  • They were kept on in the synagogue however
    because Rashi wrote in the Mishna that if you
    have ten Batlaneem, you were a city

84
Yeshua and the First Church
  • If you had less, you were only a village.
  • So it became a sign of influence.
  • Ten Batlaneem also make a minyan.
  • If you do not have a minyan (10 adults) you do
    not have a Synagogue
  • There was also the Zaken

85
Yeshua and the First Church
  • Zaken means old in Hebrew
  • He was the one who counseled or Pastored the
    people.
  • Now the pastor is the one who is the head of the
    Church but the pastor was supposed to be just a
    councilor or elder, the elder was actually a lay
    person in fist century Judaism
  • You can see the church has really strayed from
    where it was supposed to be.

86
Yeshua and the First Church
  • The Rabbi was considered to be a prophet and a
    teacher. He would read and preach the word and
    exhort and edify the people just like it says in
    1rst Corinthians 143
  • (1Co 143) But he that prophesieth speaketh unto
    men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

87
Yeshua and the First Church
  • There was also the interpreter.
  • He was called the Meturgan. He was not only
    skilled in languages, he also knew how to
    interpret what the teacher was saying. He could
    convey the essence of what the teacher was trying
    to communicate.

88
Yeshua and the First Church
  • The Meturgan could foresee what the teacher was
    expressing and make it hit the people right in
    the heart.
  • The Meturgan position goes all the way back to
    Ezra.
  • What would happen is the Teacher would speak into
    the ear of the Meturgan and then the Meturgan
    would say it loudly to the whole congregation
  • We see Yeshua refer to this in
  • Matt 1027

89
Yeshua and the First Church
  • (Mat 1027) what ye hear in the ear, that preach
    ye upon the housetops.
  • So thats pretty much the structure of the first
    church. Thats what we want to follow
  • See you soon
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