When many people hear the term “Messianic Jew,” they immediately think of the evangelistic group “Jews for Jesus.” JFJ was founded by Moishe Rosen, a man who was Jewish by birth but who came to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah –the one “anointed” to be the savior of the world—predicted by the Jewish scriptures. The JFJ ministry has two primary goals—to attempt to convince Jews that Jesus is their Messiah, and to raise the consciousness of non-Jews that Jesus was himself a Jew, and that the roots of the Christian faith sprang up not from paganism, but from the Judaism of the first century.
There are, all over the world, groups of Jewish people who do believe in Jesus as the Messiah, and who choose to describe themselves as Messianic Jews. But what many non-Jews do not realize is that there is a whole other world of Messianic Jews who have no interest in Jesus of Nazareth—because they have their own Messiah already. And they are just as eager to tell other Jews—and the world—about him as non-Jewish Christians and the Jews for Jesus are to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
They usually refer to this Messiah by the Hebrew term “Moshiach” or “Mashiach.” And just as Christians refer to Jesus as the King of Kings, these Messianic Jews refer to their Moshiach as King Moshiach. Here is the “King Moshiach” banner that they use in their efforts.
If you are expecting this Moshiach to be a be-robed and be-sandaled character from ancient times, prepare to be surprised. The Moshiach proclaimed by these Jews was named Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died at age 92 in 1994.
He is believed by many members of one very large branch of the Jewish religious world to be the Messiah prophesied in the writings of what Christians refer to as the Old Testament. Some of them believe that he did die in 1994, but will soon be resurrected and actively take up his role of Messiah, rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and ushering in the Messianic Age on Earth. Others believe that he didn’t really die, but is now “hidden” and will be “revealed” in the near future. The most controversial claim made by some of his supporters is that he is now equal to God Himself, and is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
The rallying cry of these Messianic Jews is “Long Live our Master, our Teacher, and our Rabbi, King Messiah, for ever and ever.” It is printed, in English or in Hebrew, on posters, banners, “prayer cards,” and even around the rim of the little kippot—prayer caps—that Orthodox Jewish men wear all the time.
It’s also printed on the sides of vehicles, which are used in caravans that drive through the streets for “evangelizing” efforts.
Billboards have been established around the country in cities where Jews live, proclaiming “The Messiah is Here!” Jewish music concerts are being promoted with posters where in Hebrew it proclaims “King Messiah” is alive. Utilizing a fleet of 10 Ford vans topped with loud speakers, flanked with yellow flags and a large image of Schneerson on the side, they drive around tourist areas in Miami, Houston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Denver and New York City passing out religious tracts reporting “messiah is here.” Last April, Schneersonists drove a whopping 59 RV’s in procession through New York City. The words “messiah is here” were written on the RVs in various languages such as English, French, Arabic, Russian and others. And this is not only a U.S. phenomenon, Schneersonists are across the globe spreading Schneersonism with anyone who will listen…
It’s hard not to notice the similarity between these vehicles and the ones used recently by the efforts of supporters of Harold Camping to spread his message that the Messiah was coming on May 21 in 2011 to “rapture the church”!