28 February 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)
Western or Hebraic?
Discovering Your Cultural Roots
Many if not most Messianics are under the impression that to be truly Messianic you have to think, feel and act like a Jew and then add Yah'shua (Jesus) into the mix. Evangelicals, on the other hand, believe the Gospel should be adapted to, and expressed within, the culture they happen to live in (which, incidentally, is the same way occultists feel). They would agree with the Messianic proposition in the Israeli Republic (by and large) but would otherwise insist that the Gospel can be lived out in many ways.
Without seeming disrespectful to either Messianics or Evangelicals, I have to heartily disagree. Jewish culture, as it exists today, whether in the West or in the Israeli Republic or anywhere else, has considerably evolved over two millennia. And even though this may offend them, they have become as much paganised as Evangelicals in their respective cultural environments. So we Messianic Evangelicals have, I'm afraid, to say that we accept neither.
We believe in the Biblical pattern of being and doing things yet we are also realists: recreating the orginal Hebrew culture today is as impossible as restoring 'New Testament Church' as many Christian groups claim they have done. Culture is not something static but is constantly changing...for good and evil.
We do, however, believe that it is possible to follow the Biblical pattern in a general sense because its thinking and modus operandi is inspired from Heaven. More importantly, perhaps, since this is the way that Yah'shua lived and taught, we need to imitate His ways so that we can both know Him and come to be more and more like Him.
The following table, which you have seen before, summarises the main differences between the Western Mindset and the Biblical one. Why not pause and run through this list, checking off the ones you agree with and crossing out the ones you don't. If you're totally honest, you'll probably find that you don't agree with everything in one column but support a mixture. The more you agree with the right-hand column the more biblically-minded you actually are:
|Life analysed in precise categories.
||Everything blurs into everything else.|
|A split between natural & supernatural
||Supernatural affects everything.|
||Contextual or "block" logic|
||Importance of being part of group|
|Equality of persons
||Value comes from place in hierarchies|
|Competition is good
||Competition is evil (co-operation better)|
|Worth of person based on money/material possessions/power
||Worth derived from family relationships|
|Biological life sacred
||Social life supremely important|
|Chance + cause & effect limit what can happen
||Yahweh causes everything in his universe|
|Man rules nature through understanding and applying laws of science
||Yahweh rules everything, so relationship with Him determines how things turn out.|
|Power over others achieved through business, politics and human organisations.
||Power over others is structured by social patterns ordained by Yahweh.|
|All that exists is the material
||The universe is filled with powerful spirit beings|
|Linear time divided into neat segments. Each event is new.
||Cyclical or spiralling time. Similar events constantly reoccur.|
|History is recording facts objectively and chronologically.
||History is an attempt to preserve significant truths in meaningful or memorable ways whether or not details are objective facts.|
|Oriented to the near future
||Oriented to lessons of history|
|Change is good = progress
||Change is bad = destruction of traditions|
|Universe evolved by chance
||Universe created by Yahweh|
|Universe dominated and controlled by science and technology
||Yahweh gave man stewardship over his earthly creation. Accountability to Yahweh.|
|Material goods = measure of personal achievement
||Material goods = measure of Yahweh's blessing|
|Time as points on straight line ("at this point in time
||Time determined by content ("In the day that Yahweh did
Let's take Linear Time vs. Cyclical or Spiralling Time as our example. Most Westerners think of 'beginnings' and 'endings'. But Yah'shua describes Himself as both simultaneously:
In the first verse of the Bible this same truth is stated though it is concealed in nearly every English translation of the Bible:
On the one hand this is stating that Yah'shua the Messiah is the Creator (since He is the Aleph-Taw) but also it is saying that what we are witnessing here is but another stage in the cycle of creation and recreation. This verse is not saying that there was nothing before Genesis 1:1 - this is a reformation of the heavens and the earth - a reworking, a new cycle. (I am not preaching evolution here, incidentally). Yahweh is starting again. A new cycle is commencing, just as we started again (in mortality) at birth having been in a spiritual pre-existent state (not reincarnation). And we shall exist in a spiritual state (like the preexistent one) after this cycle of earth life before entering a final and open state (thus ending the cycles) in a resurrected form.
"I am the Aleph (Alpha) and the Taw (Omega), the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (Rev.22:13, NKJV).
Yahweh has created cycles within cycles. The 24 hour cycle is repeated every day, the weekly cycle repeated every week, the monthly cycle every month, the yearly cycle every year, the sabbatical cycle every seven years, and the Jubilee cycle every 50 years. He has created rhythms within rhythms within rhythms within rhythms within rhythms and all connect back to the original. That is why He has given us a weekly observance (Sabbath), a monthly observance (Rosh Chodesh), year observances (the seven festivals), a seven-yearly observance (the Sabbatical Year) and a 50-yearly observance (the Jubillee). These are dimensions in which Yahweh operates in the physical plane and if we fail to understand or move in them we cannot possibly fully understand or move in Him.
(1) Daily [24 hours] > (2) Weekly [7 days] >
(3) Monthly [12/13 months] > (4) Yearly [7 festivals] >
(5) 7-Yearly > (6) 50-Yearly > (7) Eternity
Most Westerners, and particularly Western Christians, think only in terms of Birth and Death leading to Resurrection. They have no concept of preexistence. They acknowledge days, weeks, and months and occasionally a century or a millennium but they really have little clue how marking time connects us to Yahweh's spiritual cycles and therefore to eternity. They don't understand that there are Seven Holy Spirits (Ruach haQodeshim) and not just one so they don't see how Yahweh operates in the weekly cycle and the seven annual festivals. They see God as an all male Trinity instead of a Divine Family in whose image we have been created. Indeed they don't see marriage as eternal at all - how can they? They believe that marriage relationships will end at death and that we will all become a giant pool of spiritual siblings. Can you see the sterility in that world view?
We can then understand why the Hebrews viewed relationships in hierarchies and not co-equalities as modern secularism does (which itself is anti-family and therefore sterile like Satan himself and his angels). We can see the importance of the 'group' and why rugged individualism leads to sterility too. This is a Yahweh-Tribe-Family-centred universe not a man-centred one. We are not humanists but Yahwists! We have none of the Schizophrene inherent in the Western mindset which tries to keep religion and human interest in two separate categories. Indeed in the hebraic mindset there are no categories because all blend together. (This is not Buddhism or Hinduism whose goal is the extinction of the ego - rather, it is a question of egos being subjected in hierarchies with Yahweh at the summit). Western Christianity is all about "me and Jesus" but Biblical Messianism is about "we, the Bride (Heavenly Council of Yah's Elohim > Heavenly and Earthly Messianic Israel = Tribes > Clans > Families > Fathers > etc.), and Yah'shua".
The end-time remnant has to learn to think and act in a totally dfferent way. This is not a small exercise - it is extraordinarily difficult...it's a struggle. I have been trying to get people to think this way for years but almost all refuse. That will change as society as we know it collapses and the carnal crutches people have depended on for their support are knocked out from under them. Then people will either rush to the New World Order or to Yahweh. And thus there will be a complete separation of the sheep from the goats. For now believers are playing both ways and getting nowhere fast.
What will you choose?
Comments from Readers
 "Incredible, Fibonacci's sequence! So cool!" (JPG, USA, 5 March 2013)