Ma’aminim HaMeshichiyim: How Your Faith in Jesus Christ Makes you an Israelite

How important is it to understand your spiritual identity? If you believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, then you belong to a chosen group of people known as the Israelites. This belief is called Ma’aminim HaMeshichiyim, a term that encapsulates the strong bond that exists between Jesus Christ and those who identify as His followers. But is it just an issue of spiritual lineage or one of genetics?

In this blog post, we will explore how your faith in Jesus Christ identifies you as an Israelite.

Understanding the Concept of Ma’aminim HaMeshichiyim

Ma’aminim HaMeshichiyim is a profound term in Hebrew, directly translating as “Believers in the Messiah”. In the spheres of Judaism and Christianity, it specifically denotes those individuals who have wholeheartedly accepted and embraced the teachings and principles espoused by Jesus Christ, recognizing Him as the prophesied Messiah. Yet, the essence of this belief extends beyond a simple declaration of faith. It implies a deep-rooted acceptance of the lineage and heritage that accompany such a conviction.

It certainly, at the very least, represents an acceptance that you share a bond with a global community of believers, connected through shared beliefs and faith in the Messiah, but is it more? The concept of Ma’aminim HaMeshichiyim may be more than just a profession of belief and affirmation of one’s spiritual lineage as an Israelite, it could also be evidence that you are, in fact, genetically descended from one of the 12 tribes of Israel.

In essence, to be a Ma’aminim HaMeshichiyim is to identify oneself as part of the family of Israelites, chosen by God and, additionally, followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Who are Israelites; a radical view

When a woman from Canaan asked Jesus to heal her daughter Jesus replied: “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24

He also said to a crowd, as recorded in John 10:25-26: “I told you, and you do not believe…but you do not believe, because you are not My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

In John 6:65 He says: “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

In Galatians 3:29, Paul says: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

If we look at the Tanakh we see that in Ezekiel 37:15-28 YHVH promises to reunite the twelve tribes and bless them.

Additionally, we can find that the house of Ephraim (the 10 lost tribes of Israel that settled in Europe and are now European Christians) and his companions have not yet been regathered to the land of their inheritance – which is prophesied in the last days, to be reunited with their brother, Judah. Then, as a single national entity, they will be ruled by Mashiach ben David (Ezek 37:24–25), and YHVH will make a new covenant with them (37:26–28).

We can see that the lost sheep of Israel have not yet been gathered and in Jewish tradition, the Messiah comes twice – as Mashiach ben Josef the first time in order to prepare a way for his sheep, and as Mashiach ben David the second time in order to rule the reunited tribes of Israel.

So, in a nutshell, one may be able to make a case that anyone who hears the words of Jesus and responds to them does so because they are His lost sheep, the lost sheep of Israel. One might even propose that no one can hear the message of Jesus unless God allows it, and since Jesus said that He came only for the lost sheep of Israel, anyone who hears and responds to the message of Jesus is a lost sheep of Israel, thus an Israelite, thus a member of one of the lost tribes not yet reunited with Judah – which will happen in the last days.

To put it plainly, if you are a Christian, you are so because you are descended from one of the “lost” 10 northern tribes of Israel (a.k.a. Ephraim), you are one of the lost sheep that Mashiach ben Josef (a.k.a. Jesus) came for in order to make a path for the future reunification with Judah in the time of Mashiach ben David (a.k.a. the last days and the second coming). Therefore, if you were not descended from one of the tribes of Israel, you could not, by definition, be capable of believing in the message of Jesus thus you could not become a Christian. If you were not descended from one of the tribes of Israel, God would not have granted you the ability to respond to the message of Jesus and follow him. The Messiah came for the lost sheep of Israel and to, ultimately, reunite all the tribes in the last days and rule over them as King.

This is a view that has many supporters but is not accepted by mainstream Christianity. Let’s look at the mainstream view next.

Who are Israelites; a common view

The common interpretation is that; in the context of the New Testament, being an Israelite encompasses more than just genealogy. As emphasized by Paul in his epistle to the Romans, “Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” This suggests that the true definition of an Israelite extends beyond mere biological descent, expanding to include those who embody the faith of Abraham.

This spiritual dimension of the Israelite identity means that belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah leads to spiritual adoption into God’s family. In Romans 11:16-18, Paul speaks of the gentiles being grafted into Israel – it is important to note here that the word “gentile” means “nation” and was used in reference to the 10 northern tribes of Israel, as they were not “jews” (jew meaning, from Judah). If the adoption idea is the proper interpretation, rather than the idea that anyone capable of believing is a member of one of the 12 tribes, then one would experience, through adoption, a profound transformation that transcends one’s physical heritage and integrates the believer into the lineage of God’s chosen people, thereby making them, from that point forward, an Israelite. Therefore, those that are called to recognize Him as the Messiah receive the inheritance of the blessings that were bestowed upon the descendants of Israel. In this way, one’s conviction in Christ directly links them to the spiritual heritage of Israel.

Either way, whether by genetic birthright or by “adoption”, those that are able to hear and accept the teaching of Jesus Christ are, in fact, Israelites and of the seed of Abraham.

Reclaiming Your Identity as an Israelite

Embarking on the journey to reclaim your identity as an Israelite is not just about adopting a label; it involves awakening to the deeper realization of your inherent spiritual selfhood. It is about understanding and experiencing the profound reality that you belong to God’s chosen people. And to reestablish this connection with your spiritual, if not genetic, ancestry, it is essential to make the effort to connect, on a deep level, with the words of Jesus and the rest of the Bible. It is your family tree and your inheritance.

Embracing Your Israelite Heritage

Recognizing Jesus Christ as the Messiah is a step that goes deeper than just joining a religious faith or tradition. It is welcoming a spiritual lineage as an Israelite and living in alignment with God’s assurances, promises and instructions.

This journey towards embracing your Israelite heritage demands an understanding and appreciation of the trials, victories, and lessons embedded within the experiences of the Israelite people. You’re not just adopting a spiritual identity, you’re tracing the footsteps of a legacy handed down to you by your forefathers and given to them by God himself.

This process should involve learning the rich history of the Israelites and understanding the invaluable lessons of your people’s history. It’s about drawing inspiration from their endurance, resilience, and faith during trials. It means not only appreciating their triumphs but also understanding their mistakes and drawing life lessons from them.

The core of being an Israelite isn’t about dwelling in the past or splitting hairs about being genetically Israelite or Israelite through adoption; it’s about understanding that you are Israel, you are the seed of Abraham, you are the recipient of God’s blessings, you have a rich heritage handed down over thousands of years – God called you, you heard the call, you accepted the call, you are an Israelite and a Hebrew. You are a part of God’s people.

So, embracing your Israelite heritage is more than a claim to a lineage; It’s about using the Israelite heritage as a compass to navigate your spiritual journey, enriching your understanding of your faith, and drawing closer to God. Don’t just separate the Bible into two different religions; It’s one people, one religion, ordained by God and given to you – His chosen people.