What מרן רבינו ישוע מלך המשיח / Maran Rabbeinu Yeshua HaMashiach and HaShlichim / the Emissaries began in Jerusalem was not the church, it was not Christianity. It was a realization that Melech HaMashiach (King Messiah) and Yemot HaMashiach (days of Messiah) had Arrived!
After the fall of Jerusalem and after the Jewish Emissaries had died they were replaced mostly by non-Jews leaders and because of their shallow roots in the Torah were influenced by the increasing anti-Semitism of the times to cut of themselves from Israel and its people. Soon the grafted in branch (non-Jews) were breaking away to form the Jewish believers to form a new institution called “ekklesia / church”. (The word ekklesia was a political term, not a religious term).
The Jewish believers were known as “the Way” and because they were fully Torah observant they were ostracized by the non-Jews, this happened in places like: Especially of Rome, Alexandria, Carthage, and Antioch. The Council of Nicea and the many that followed took aim at destroying the doctrines of the Jewish Emissaries and creating or perverting them into a new religion called “Christianity”. From then on “the Way” or Messianic Jews were persecuted and were known as the Pasagii or Pasagini by the Church of Rome.
The early Jewish followers of ישוע המשיח / Yeshua HaMashiach saw the perfect fulfillment of what Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) and the Prophets had foretold. The New Covenant had been promised, the Messiah would be the mediator of this Covenant… and our Rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth fit the description. It never occurred to them that they were not Jews anymore; indeed, they had come into the fullness of the Promised Covenant. They were “Messianic Jews” in the true sense of the word! This community of Messianic Jews continued to fit into the framework of Judaism at that time, with many Cohanim (Priests), Perushim (Pharisees), etc., becoming believers in our Rabbi Yeshua HaPerush. This was a Jewish revival movement that would survive beyond the destruction of the Temple and influence significantly the reconstruction of Judaism by the Pharisaic movement in the years to come. History records the vitality of this movement in various parts of the world until well into the fourth and fifth centuries and beyond.
Starting in the late 1960’s and continuing until today, there has been a dramatic move of God’s Spirit. As God was moving to restore His people physically back to the land of Israel, so too He was moving spiritually in the hearts of many Jewish people. Thousands upon thousands have been coming to believe in our Rabbi, Maran Yeshua HaMashiach and even forming their own congregations where they can worship the God of Israel through the merit of our Rabbi in the fulfillment of their Jewish identity. These “Messianic Congregations” are characterized by a number of distinctive elements: worship on the Shabbat and other Jewish biblical holidays, joyful Messianic prayers and songs, and other customs that are consistent with the Scripture. What a wonderful way this has been for Jewish believers in Melech HaMashiach to express their faith and heritage! We should also note that many non-Jews have found special fulfillment in Messianic Jewish congregations as well, since they are grafted into “the rich root of the olive tree” of this Jewish, biblical, faith. (Romim / Romans 11:17 ff.) Together, Jews and non-Jews are returning to their roots of faith through our Rabbi Yeshua the Messiah.
Many of our Jewish people have simply given up on any belief in a Messiah. Some have accepted many other substitutes in Eastern mysticism, New Age groups, Christian cults, etc. But יהודים משיחים Messianic Jews say that there is indeed a Messiah promised to Israel and that we can recognize Him. It is through the Tanach (Hebrew Scriptures) that we have read the description of Messiah. It’s simply a matter of studying the Scriptures to see what they actually say. If our Rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth does not fit the description, then we should not follow Him. But if He does? Read the Tanach for yourself and decide!
PS: It is time for Messianic Judaism to come back to Judaism and let go Christianity. It is time for Messianic Judaism to stop looking for instructions of the Bible from the Christian pastors, but go back to our Rabbis, to our Jewish wisdom. Christianity has not future.