Dan Juster

Director
Restoration From Zion
 
 
 
 
 
 
"... spend much more energy praying and seeking God for such an outpouring, than debating the theological issues."
 
 

Prior to 1970 there were various fledgling Jewish expressions of faith in Yeshua on several continents. This included Edward Brotsky, the Jewish Baptist in Toronto and many others. But it was shortly before 1970 that a Jewish Evangelist, Manny Brotman, anointed by the Spirit in passionate evangelism, won Jewish people to Yeshua through his preaching and witness and fostered the concept of Messianic Jewish congregations as compared with Hebrew Christian Churches.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, the Chernoff family also began to entertain similar ideas. Marty Chernoff had been a Baptist missionary who was "baptized in the Spirit." He then had a vision to build a congregation on the basis of "Messianic Judaism" as the key term. There was an outpouring of the Spirit on the young people, which they describe as waves and waves of the Spirit upon them. There was much Holy Spirit laughter. Then there was Joe Finklestein, in Philadelphia, a chemist who attracted Jewish young people to his home, and the same power of the Spirit was experienced. His group was affectionately called "the Fink's zoo." These men - together with Herb Links, a Presbyterian Jewish leader - connected to what was happening in Cincinnati, and began to influence the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (later renamed the Messianic Jewish Alliance).

Unbeknownst to those mentioned above, two young Assemblies of God ministers, Ray Gannon and Phil Goble, experienced a mighty anointing of the Spirit in evangelism and saw scores of Jewish people come to know Yeshua. They planted Temple Beth Immanuel in Southern California, and it soon grew to 150 people, a very large number in those days. (Today this congregation still exists as Ahavat Tzion). David Stern, who later became famous for his Jewish New Testament and Commentary, was its cantor.

I personally came to know these people in the early 1970s. Parallel with these historic breakthroughs, through systematic study, I became convinced that Jewish believers in Yeshua are called to identity and live as Jews.

Around the same time Manny Brotman had his sharing seminars in Washington, DC (1973), and Paul Liberman and Sid Roth began Beth Messiah Congregation nearby. Shortly after that, Manny became its first Rabbi. By 1976 I had my first experience of Messianic congregational leadership at Adat HaTikvah Congregation in Chicago. Through spiritual healing ministry at Adat, many lives including mine were transformed by the power of God. Then, in 1978 I became the leader of Beth Messiah Synagogue. That year we immersed 26 new Jewish believers in the name of Yeshua.

This is why the Chernoff family speaks about the Messianic Jewish Movement as the Jewish revival. It was a supernatural move of the Holy Spirit that tracked with the Jesus movement of those days. Today many Messianic Jewish Diaspora congregations have only a small minority of Jewish members. Back in those days we had a generous representation of Jewish members in the congregations along with a wonderful minority of Gentiles who were called to the movement. We were in the middle of a Holy Spirit power move that was winning Jewish people left and right. That took care of the "demographics."

Today we spend much time on theological debate and questions of authenticity, and I have also been involved in this, even writing several books on such issues. However, in the beginning we did not have so much theology, nor so much Rabbinic understanding and orientation. Yet there was power and effectiveness.

The Template

Acts 2 at Shavuot-Pentecost is the template for the move of God among the Jewish people and Acts 13-15 applies the same Holy Spirit power to the mission to the Gentiles. I am convinced that the problems of the Messianic Jewish movement in the Diaspora will not be solved by getting the "rules" right for Jews and Gentiles. These things will not fall into proper order until we have a new outpouring of the Spirit for the successful reaching of our people. Then thousands of our people will come to Yeshua in the Diaspora and thousands more in Israel. And then our perspective on all these issues will be different. We will have the wonderful and massive challenge of making disciples.

The origins of a successful movement often tell us about the founding principles that must be recovered to see this success continue into the future in new generations. The Messianic Jewish Movement began as a mighty move of the Spirit. It was a fully charismatic movement, and nothing else will enable us to solve the problems we face today. I believe it is better to spend much more energy praying and seeking God for such an outpouring, than debating the theological issues. And everyone who knows me is aware that I am theologically oriented! But this is my view after almost 45 years in this movement.

By Daniel Juster
Dan Juster is on the board of Tikkun International and oversees the Tikkun America network of congregations. Donate to Restoration from Zion.
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Comments:
15:20 30Mar17 Donald Burr -
The problem of theology in the Christian community, as I see it, is a problem of deep seated "leaven". Hundreds of years of wrong theology. Many not having an awareness or questioning what they personally believe, what is being taught in the Church or what has been accepted as right doctrine historically. Resulting in deafness to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit.

16:13 30Mar17 Sean Burton -
We are in an age of rapid knowledge growth, but yet truth is often absent. Many search the Scriptures without revelation and are left unchanged. May we be stirred up to intercede for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit.

16:28 30Mar17 Paul -
HALLELUYAH... Yes... that's what Y'SHUA The Messiah has been saying to me also for 50+ years... why do people avoid that part about 3 hours on their knees like Daniel and Y'SHUA... and Shama Hearing Him actually having a Direct Love Relationship and Trusting Believing Him when He convicts us and recognizing that He is speaking.

15:08 31Mar17 Shavi -
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

17@05 31Mar17 Pastor Mark -
It seems that the first Messianic Jewish revival (Acts 2) was put on a course to collide with the "Gentiles" (Acts 10). Instead of Gentiles having first to convert and become Jewish in order to be saved and walk in the framework of Torah, God shocked everyone and saved them as "Gentiles" (Cornelius Acts 10). It seems that Acts 15 resolved the scandal of Gospel (Gentiles being saved as Gentiles and filled with the Holy Spirit) by learning to receive joyfully and with honor Gentiles as Gentiles, within their Jewish revival. Of course, the Gentiles had some basics requirements to embrace in order to settle into Messianic fellowships. Long story short, as long as Messianic churches embraced Gentiles as "fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the gospel" (Eph. 3:6) the communities would grow. However, treating the Gentiles as stepbrothers and stepsisters would result in hurt feelings, division, attrition, and separation. The final result - the death of the revival! Getting back to celebrating the Gentiles as "fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the gospel" is the answer to stocking the fires of renewal in this important movement. Whether this happens or not is still yet to be seen. My prayer is for a rebirth of revival in the Messianic Movement! May God help us. Peace!

16:37 11Apr17 Linda -
Amen. Amen. We must be on our knees crying out to the LORD for his mercy and power to move among us. Set us on fire and make us one.

07:03 12Apr17 Blue Ballinger -
I thoroughly agree. The Spirit brings life. I believe that is why Paul prayed that believers in Colossae would have the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9, 2). Coupled with John 14:16-31,16:13-15 we see that without the Spirit we do not understand the fullness of Gods Commandments; they are just law without life.'


Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Asher Intrater: Wealth of the Nations & Feet of the Apostles
Eitan Shishkoff: New Life in Nazareth
Hannah: A Modern Day Purim Story
Yevgeni Stanukevich: Eagle Weekends
Asher Intrater: The Third Kind of Love
Asher Intrater: The Core Value of Reconciliation
Asher Intrater: Islam and Racism