7 March 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)
The Non-Messianic Messianics
Jews have proclaimed many messiahs over the centuries but the most recent one was the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Not only might these orthodox Jews be called 'messianics' but you could with some justification call them 'evangelicals' also - that is, evangelical in the sense that they were, and are, active missionaries for their faith. Welcome to the non-messianic, non-evangelical messianic evangelicals of Judaism. You could also call them revivalists because one of the tasks Schneerson set himself was the revival of Judaism following the holocaust. There is no doubt that he was successful in carrying out his plans.
The Lubavitcher (named after a town in Russia) or Chabad (meaning 'wisdom, comprehension and knowledge') Messianics are certainly impressive...as far as non-Christian, Torah-observant gnostics go. During Schneerson's 43-year tenure, and since his death in 1994, his followers have opened 3,000 Chabad centres in 70 countries. He was a mesmerising speaker and has filled volumes of books with his writings. People flock to his grave every day in New York where they believe his soul still lives on. The graveyard is covered in a blanket of small pieces of paper, much like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, with the prayers and requests of his followers. As one Lubavitch leader, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, has stated: "We believe that the soul never dies. There remains an accessibility, not just in memories, but in fact."
Many Lubavitchers believe that while Schneerson is dead, he will return as the Messiah. Some believe he is merely 'hidden', some that he has divine powers, and yet others that he is the Creator. This belief has been around since the 1950's and has gained momentum since his death but most orthodox Jews are hostile to this belief.
Had I not know of the true Messiah, Yah'shua, yet believed in the Old Testament (Tanakh) I might have been attracted to the Lubavitchers because I like vision, boldness, conviction, morality, drive and energy. I think that was one of the reasons that I was attracted to Mormonism back when I was young. And though the Mormons are a lot closer to the truth than the Lubavitchers because of their belief in the atonement of Christ, and though the Lubavitchers are a lot closer to the truth than the Mormons because of their adherence to Torah, both are counterfeit messianic movements.
The Messiah is not to be found in some New York graveyard in Queens neither will He be reappearing in some Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City. He will be returning both to the place (the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem) and in the same way that He left after His resurrection 2,000 years ago (He will descend in the sky). We do not need to live holy lives so that the Messiah can return (the Lubavitchers are not unique in this respect) but because He has already come to the heart of every truly born-again believer in the Person of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and has supernaturally changed us. Nothing we do will bring Him back - He's coming whether we are ready or not. Yah'shua the Messiah is today meeting our personal needs, wherever we are and in whatever assembly or church we may be connected to, What we could never do, Elohim (God) has already done. We cannot climb up to heaven to discover Elohim, but Elohim has come to earth, in the Person of His Son, to reveal Himself to us in the only way we could really understand Him: in terms of a human life.
Schneerson's body lies in the grave decomposing - so does the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith whom fundamentalists believe is the Holy Ghost. Schneerson did not arise from the grave and never will until the true Messiah, Yah'shua, calls him forth to give an accounting of his life. Schneerson did not atone for our sins but Yah'shua did. Elohim in Messiah has dealt with the barrier of sin, once for all, on the Cross of Calvary. We can never make ourselves one (echad) with a Holy Elohim by Torah-study and the promulgation of gnosis, but Elohim in Messiah Yah'shua offers to come and share with us His own divine and eternal life - provided we ask Him to do so, with a repentant heart, as our Deliverer and Master. Schneerson cannot do this so his labour, like that of Joseph Smith (who once boasted he had done more than Christ ever had) and all false messiahs, is in vain.
The true Messiah stands ready to receive you now and empower you if you will repent of your sins and accept Him as your Korban Pesach. He is the only way back to YHWH and to heaven. If you have not done so, I urge you to receive Him now. And may YHWH bless you.