Many flavors of Messiah

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Sectarian groups of the 1st century
Pharisee – Torah (written and oral)
Sadducees – Temple
Essenes – Land (Qumran and library of Dead Sea Scrolls)
Zealots – Kingship (Sicarii — extreme measures)
Herodians – Regime (Mark 3:6)
Scribes – Text (Shammai & Hillel; Mark 12:34)
Samaritans – Sectarian past (see 2 Kings 17; John 4)
Christians – Messiah (Christ)

Later Judaism
Remnant of Jews joined the Christian movement (Romans 9-11).
Escalating antipathy, esp. after 70 AD. Anti-Christian curses.
Did not deny Christian miracles, but rejected Jesus’ divinity.
Expected a political Messiah (John 6:15).
Heirs of Pharisees (rabbinic Judaism) codify oral law in Mishnah, c.200 AD.

Modern Judaism
Descendants of the Pharisees
Three main divisions
Orthodox (right)
Conservative (center)
Reform (left)
Mystics (kabala)
Charismatics (chasidim)

Divisions into sects — each with its own take on the Messiah — was not just a Jewish phenomenon of the first century.
As we shall see, division will come round again in the course of church history, and perhaps nowhere more so than in our generation – about 20 lessons from now.
This violates God’s ideal that his people remain one (John 17:22-23).

God, How Can I Know?

God confirms his covenant with Abraham with a profound statement of grace.

A sermon by Ed Anton of Hampton Roads Church, which meets in Norfolk, Newport News, and Virginia Beach. Visit

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The truth about baptism

What does the Bible say about baptism? What does the Bible teach about the purpose of baptism? Sin in our lives separates us from God and causes us to be lost. So the removal of sin from our lives brings us back to God and saved.

Follow along with Don Blackwell as he discusses the Bible’s teaching on the truth about immersion. Download free PDF debate on baptism.

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