• What JGIG Is:

    Joyfully Growing In Grace engages in an examination of beliefs found in the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related sects.

    The term “Messianic” is generally understood to describe Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Jews who are believers in Jesus/Yeshua typically call themselves Jewish/Hebrew Christians or simply, Christians.

    Many Christians meet folks who say they are ‘Messianic’ and assume that those folks are Jewish Christians. Most aren’t Jewish at all, but are Gentile Christians who have chosen to pursue Torah observance and have adopted the Messianic term, calling themselves Messianic Christians, adherents to Messianic Judaism, or simply, Messianics. Some will even try to avoid that label and say that they are followers of "The Way".

    These Gentiles (and to be fair, some Messianic Jews) preach Torah observance/pursuance for Christians, persuading many believers that the Christianity of the Bible is a false religion and that we must return to the faith of the first century sect of Judaism that they say Yeshua (Jesus Christ) embraced. According to them, once you become aware that you should be 'keeping' the edicts and regulations of Mosaic Covenant Law, if you do not, you are then in willful disobedience to God.

    It has been my observation that Christians who adopt the label of Messianic identify more with the tenets of Judaism than they do with the tenets of Christianity. Many reject the label of Christian altogether and some eventually even convert to Judaism.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

    Joyfully Growing in Grace examines the methods, claims, and fruits of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related, law-keeping sects.

    To borrow from a Forest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

    Welcome, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

  • Today’s Top Ten

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • JGIG on Facebook:

  • Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.
  • Recommended Reading

  • Broken Links – UGH

    Do you find it frustrating when you're directed to a link that does not exist? Me too! My apologies for any broken links you may find here.

    JGIG occasionally links to to sites that sometimes move or remove content, forums that periodically cull threads, sites/posters that appear to 'scrub' content from their sites (or YouTube posts, pdf files, etc.) when that content receives negative attention, and others that over time simply cease to exist.

    Please let me know via the 'Contact JGIG' drop-down menu item under the 'About' tab at the top of this page if you come across a link that is broken so that I can try to repair or remove it. Please include the name of the post/article where you found the broken link as well as the link itself. You may be able to find content specified by doing a search and viewing a relocated or cached page/post/video.

    Thanks,
    - JGIG

  • Total Hits

    • 295,123

Law Keepers – Part 5 – What Got Me Asking Questions

As you might imagine, there was a bit of a dust-up on the mom’s forum regarding Grace and the Law.  I wish I could share posts from both the “Law moms” and the “Grace moms”, but I can’t, or I’d be violating the copyright rules of the forum.  I’ll have to settle for sharing one mom’s main points here, and my responses to and questions about those points.  I will do my best to be faithful to her points without being able to directly quote her.

This one mom in particular is one that has been progressively more vocal about Law-keeping on the mom’s forum and has stated that Torah observance is mandatory for all Christians.  I’ll call her “Rose” and paraphrase her points for the purposes of this post, as much of the post below was a “conversation” between us as we discussed the issue of Torah observance for Christians.

I want to be clear about one thing:  I really like “Rose”.  “Rose” and her family have been in my home, we have met at one homeschooling field trip, and I’ve conversed with her on the phone a number of times.  I find “Rose” and her family to be very pleasant people.  I think “Rose” is an intelligent woman and I really enjoy her wit and sense of humor.  Another really important point about “Rose” and her family:  They are not messing around when it comes to being Torah observant.  They are going about their Torah observance with a lot more commitment and integrity than many Christians go about their faith.  This post is not meant to slam “Rose” for what she believes.  My intent in posting this is to point out what I believe to be error in how Law Keepers interpret Scripture in relation to the Law.

“Rose’s” portion of the conversation (paraphrased) will be in green below, my response as it was seen on the mom’s forum will be in blue.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello ladies and Rose, whom I also consider friend,

To you and the other families who are Torah observant:  Let me be clear. Though my family and I find no reason to be Torah observant, and indeed find [Scriptural] reasons to not be Torah observant, it is absolutely your decision what you do in your family.  I feel compelled to write my views on the subject here just as you do.  One mom wrote that she’s tired of feeling like she has to defend herself for doing what they as a family feel God has led them to do in observing Torah. 

On the flip side, I feel like I’ve had to defend the reasons why we do not observe Torah.  The inference is that those of us that are not Torah observant love God less because we do not observe the Law.  Do we obey His commandments because we love Him?  You bet.  We just don’t follow the set of laws/rules that God gave to Israel, God’s chosen people.  Are we grafted into Israel when we believe on Jesus Christ?  Yes.  We share the same roots and receive life from the same source, but as Gentiles, we are different, and God made it clear that we were not required to abide by the Law.  Jesus even summed up the Law into two requirements – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourselves.  It’s funny, ’cause I’ve read mom’s here who have posted about how if you observe the Law, your doing those two things anyway.  Kind of makes me wonder why some Torah observers try so hard to convince us “un-observers”, who abide by the commands of Jesus, to observe when in the end we’re both honoring God in the ways we feel He has asked us to!

That said, I feel compelled to respond to my friend Rose’s post.

Wow.  Rose gave me a lot for me to respond to and some important questions for me to ask.  I’ll take her points bit by bit. 

Rose wrote [from here on I'll not quote "Rose", but distill the general ideas of what she was saying] that since the shed blood of Jesus and grace is preached in most churches we need not to speak much of that, as most Christians understand that.

I must strongly disagree!  From the time that Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden, everything God did pointed to Grace and the Shed Blood of Christ!  These things are the ONLY things that bring mankind back into right relationship and fellowship with God and are absolutely foundational to the Gospel.

Rose continued that there was, however, more to the story, a rest of the gospel, things that had been erased, hidden, shunned, and despised.

WHAT rest of the story, WHAT rest of the Gospel, WHO erased it, hid it, etc.?  WHERE does this teaching come from?

As for Rose’s response to my paragraph on indisputable core issues, [From "The Law - What About the Blood?!" which you can read here] one of which is the existence of God in three Persons, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Rose responded that she would agree to that, but not limit the almighty to 3 parts.  Rose, you did not elaborate on that point.  What does that mean, exactly?  Where does the teaching that God is more than 3 persons come from?

Rose’s response to my paragraph about secondary, disputable issues.  There were three things we disagreed upon, two of which I’ll address here.  1)  Regarding the Sabbath, I’ll save for another post.  [You can read that post, "The Law - Thoughts on the Sabbath" here.]

2)  Tithe.  Rose stated that the tithe is a commandment and belongs in the indisputable issues category.   Commanded, yes, though not required for salvation, so it should stay in the secondary issues category.  I debated whether or not to include that in the disputable issues, as there is no clear direction in the NT on this, except where Jesus says, “When you tithe . . . ” It is understood that He is referring to the OT description of the Tithe, which is an assumption we also use as a guideline when it comes to our personal practice of giving to our local church.  

3)  Dispensationalism. [I since have learned that the more accurate term for what I was describing is "cessationism".]  From my post:  “Spiritual gifts for the Church today or dispensationalism [cessationism]?”  Rose responded that the word dispensationalism is not even found in scripture.  Rose, you are correct, dispensationalism is not a word found in scripture.  It’s a word describing a view of the Gifts of the Spirit.  Some hold that the demonstrable gifts of the Spirit were for a season, “dispensed” as they were needed in the early Church (tongues, healing, words of knowledge, prophecy, etc.) and that those gifts are no longer active.  This is a ‘dispensationalist’ view.  Then there are others who hold that the Gifts of the Spirit are active in the Church today.”  I classified that issue as a secondary , disputable issue because salvation does not hinge on someone holding to one view or the other.

Then Rose came out with something that really puzzled me.  Saying that we needed to throw out all of our religious ideas and rhetoric and that the scriptures are clear about who YHWH’s people are.  Then she said that YHWH’s people are not just the Jews or the Christians and that that fact can’t be disputed in scripture.

WHO exactly are you referring to and what Bible references confirm that view?

Rose then talked about how the only way the above 3 issues can be categorized into the “disputable matters” is if man’s definitions, theologies and ideas are interjected into YHWH’s word.  She then talked about how she is not a god, does not set herself up as a god, and does not believe that any person, institution or religion should set itself up as a god.  One religion, according to her, has set itself up as Elohim, and has changed the set apart day (the Sabbath) to the first day from the seventh.  In addition, she takes this issue seriously enough that she states that in their home, they give allegiance not to man and his religious system (which she equates with Satan), but to YHWH.

Wow.  So are you saying that Christians at large have submitted to Satan because they worship God on Sunday?  Where does this idea that Bible-believing Christians have given their allegiance to Satan just because they worship on Sunday come from?

About the term “Judaisers” [my husband and I had been discussing the Torah-observance-for-Christians issue and he had made the comment that "Judaisers are alive and well in the Church today, resulting in a dilution of the Gospel."  You can read "The Law - What About the Blood?!" to see this reference]

Rose stated that she had made an observation over time that those who speak the loudest about love often show hatred toward the ones who don’t believe the way they do, especially when it comes to those who choose to follow His Law.  She also informed me that the term “Judaiser” shows hostility toward the Jews and is intended to put down those who choose, because of their love for God, to obey YHWH’s instructions.  She then pointed out that it was “Christians” who exterminated Jews and their fellow believers for practicing what the “Christians” considered to be “Jewish”.  And that it would happen again.

Rose, to be clear, my husband’s use of the term “Judaisers” had neither malice nor hatred in intent.  “Judaiser” was simply a word used to describe Jewish believers in the early Church trying to bring Gentile believers under the Law, just as a “painter” is one who paints a wall.  Both he and I are ignorant of any connotation beyond the simple descriptive value of the word as I’ve explained here.  [A brief description of the term "Judaisers" can be found here.]

In addition, the intent of my husband in using that term was to say that just as Jewish Believers in the early Church were trying to make Gentiles come under the Law, it appears that (some, not all) Torah observant Christians are attempting to do the same today.  Paul told the Jewish Christians to stop.  If they wanted to place themselves under the Law, that was their choice, but they were not to impose it on anyone else (Galatians 2:11-4:11, 5:1-26) Paul describes the freedom of life in
Christ and how we go from living under the law (as good and beneficial as it was, those relying on observing it were also under a curse – Galatians 3:10) to living by the Spirit of God.  That God, because of what Jesus did on the Cross, nailing all of our iniquities there and putting them away forever, can now INDWELL us, as the Holy Spirit . . . “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18 ) .  We are no longer dependent on the Law for a conditional relationship with God, but we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and have intimate, personal relationship with the Living God because of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified and Risen!  How awesome is that?!

Rose relays that the Law that YHWH established was never to be done away with.  That it was the penalty, not the Law, that Y’shua came to destroy.  [This next part is difficult to paraphrase, because it is a unique interpretation of Ephesians 2:15.]  She talks about the enmity referred to in Ephesians 2:15 being between Judah and Ephraim, not between Jew and Gentile, using Ezekiel 37 as one explanation for that deduction.  She goes on to explain that the whole house of Israel includes Judah, Ephraim, and others that have been grafted in by faith, [she does throw in some Gentiles there] and that the enmity that was slain on the cross was the enmity between those houses.  And further that that enmity between the houses is not the Law itself, but rather the man-made ordinances that had been added by the Jews, not YHWH’s laws.

So according to this (Rose’s stated) interpretation, she concludes that 1) the Law was never to be abolished, 2) the part that WAS abolished was the “man made” laws of the Jews, not YHWH’s laws, and 3) that the removal of the man made laws made peace between the “houses” possible.

Ladies, please take a few moments to read all of Ephesians 2 to get the full context of what is being said.  Yes, I agree with Rose that Jesus came to destroy the penalty for our sins, the second death that we all deserve.  But He came to do SO MUCH MORE!  Verses 1-10 chronicle the miracle of salvation.  Verses 11-13 talk about the separation of the Gentiles from God but how they have been brought near to God through the Blood of Christ.  Verses 14-18 bring Jew and Gentile together because of what Christ did on the cross.

In Ephesians 2:15it states ” . . . by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations” and it more likely refers to the ceremonial rituals that rendered nonobservant Gentiles ritually unclean.  That the verse says “the law WITH ITS commandments and regulations” (caps mine) says to me that those are parts IN the law and not parts ADDED to the law by man.  There’s a lot there . . . please take time to read it.  The chapter wraps up with how Jesus made us (Gentiles) fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household . . . Jesus is the chief cornerstone.  In HIM the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  The imagery of the reality of the indwelling of God in us through Jesus Christ is so beautiful.  The whole book of Ephesians is such an encouraging place in the Word!

I posted “Why did Jesus do what He did if the Law is still to be observed”  The tearing of the curtain . . . restoring fellowship with God . . . the atonement of sin . . .”  Rose asked which curtain was torn, and referred to two curtains: one being the one behind which lies the Holy of Holies and the other one being one which Jews had put up to keep Gentiles out of the holiest placeIn Matthew, Mark and Luke, where accounts are given of the temple curtain being torn in two, the curtain referred to is the one beyond which lies the Holy of Holies.  The symbolism here is that we have access to the Father in a new way through Christ.  HE is our High Priest, and by the Blood of Christ we have full fellowship with and access to God.  Hebrews 10:19-21 also describes the “confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.”

Rose asks what it is about the Law, something that our Creator gave to His bride as a marriage covenant that was so beautiful that He promised to write that Law on our hearts (the law written on hearts of flesh instead of on stone) that is such a burden to follow?

God gave the Law to Israel.  As I see it, in my limited capacity at this point writing this into the wee hours, 1) The Law was to point God’s people to their need for Messiah by showing them their inherent inability for righteousness before God.  2)  The Law was a protection for God’s people spiritually and physically.  3)  The Law was a way for God’s people to be set apart from the world.  There are maybe some more points to be made here, but again, wee hours, so . . .

As a repentant believer in Jesus Christ, point 1) is fulfilled because of the Blood of the Lamb.  Through Christ I am righteous before God (Romans 3:22, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2Corinthians 5:21, and my favorite, Philippians 3:8-9 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the  surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”) Point 2) still applies in some respects, as in the area of diet.  Again, the spiritual aspect of the Law was completed in Christ.  And under Grace, dietary laws are not mandated, though if you choose to practice the guidelines, that’s fine.  Point 3)  I consider this to be a very important point.  Where the Law majors on rules and the externals, the Gospel majors on principles and the internals.  The Law says, “Be set apart from the world by your outward actions.”  The Gospel says, “Be in the world but not of it . . . be more concerned with the condition of your heart and relationship with God rather than if you’re following a set of rules . . . Go out in to all the world and make disciples of all nations!”

Also, the Law’s reach is limited culturally.  The Gospel  reaches into all cultures and welcomes all who believe on the Blood of Christ into the Kingdom of God.  I write more about this in another post coming soon to a digest near you.  First, I sleep =o).  [That post is "Law Keepers - Part 3 - Thoughts on the Sabbath".]

My dear Rose, I love you still through our disagreements and discussions =o).

I love you, ladies, and my prayer for you all is “that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:16-19

Lovingly submitted,

Wendy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the time of these discussions on the mom’s forum, I started researching where these teachings could be coming from.  I found out a lot.  My next post will be an overview of some of the basic beliefs of Torah observant Christians, with subsequent posts on this topic detailing websites, teachers, and some of the doctrines from this Law keeping movement.  I say “some of the doctrines” because there are some doctrines in the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name Movements that have one jump through so many scriptural hoops, I don’t know that I totally understand them (nor do I necessarily want to) enough to try to explain them!  Stay tuned . . . I’ll try to get the next “Law” post up a little more quickly =o).

For a complete listing of posts at JGIG regarding the Hebrew Roots Movement, click HERE.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other articles of interest:

A clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE.  For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12 Responses

  1. Hmm… I have a friend that got involved with this – YHWH, not God and the whole Jewish observance thing. The Law is something that is an issue in most of the church, I think. But it seems to have become the biggest issue in Fundamentalist/Evangelical circles. Okay, and Pentecostal ones, too. (I know, that’s what I was raised in.) Not to mention the Messianic Jews and the groups like the one you write about. Here’s my take on the Law versus Grace… and it is a fairly new take (for me) – only the last couple of years and is an ongoing learning curve… :-)

    “Therefore it is my opinion that we should not put obstacles in the way of and annoy and disturb those of the Gentiles who turn to God, But we should send word to them in writing to abstain from and avoid anything that has been polluted by being offered to idols, and all sexual impurity, and [eating meat of animals] that have been strangled, and [tasting of] blood.” Acts 15:19-20 (Amplified)

    This was James talking about what the Gentiles should be required to do in regard to observing the Law.

    “For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [[a]not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].
    But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets, Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [b]which God bestows and receives.” Romans 3:20-23 (Amplified)

    Pretty straightforward….

    “If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing).
    For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.
    For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.” Galatians 5:4-6 (Amplified)

    Again, pretty plain…

    “When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.” Hebrews 8:13 (Amplified)

    I encourage the reading of each of these chapter in the entirety. Especially Hebrews 8. I Remember when I first saw that the Old Covenant (Law) was obsolete, it shocked my spiritual system down to the core. But there it is… and I think this is the heart of the Good News – we can quit trying so hard to get it all right and relax into the work He has done for us. Grace….

  2. Excellent post! I have many friends who try to keep God’s law in such a way.
    I myself, was for many years in that trap. I am thankful God showed me the
    wonderful light of his most Glorious true Gospel. He paid the price in full.
    I don’t have to try to do something that is impossible, keep the law perfectly.
    Not one person or Christian can be without some type of sin in this present body.
    Even if we could obey the Law perfectly, there would always be something we failed to do
    that we should have done, and that would be sin also. One day soon, we will be changed,
    in an instant, in a twinkling of an eye from mortal to immortal. Then we will be like Him
    and sin no more in our new Glorious Body. Then we will see Him as He Is and continue
    on with Him learning evermore the deep riches of His Grace.

    God Bless,
    BrotherMark

  3. Hi Katherine,

    Yup, the learning curve on the Hebrew Roots/Sacred Name movements is a big one. I’m no expert, but I have a good working knowledge of what the high points are. My goal with these posts is to give people a heads-up so they can recognize this particular false belief system when they come across it and give them the resources to learn more about the movements if they so choose. Most Christians don’t have a clue what this is really all about, or that this movement is even out there. And many in the Church (Body of Christ) today have little foundation in their faith, and when they are told, “If you really love God and want to please Him you’ll do thus and so” they get sucked in by those who “know” the scriptures better than them.

    Katherine, you have it right when you go to scripture first! That’s the exact right thing to do. Unfortunately, scripture is a major battle ground in the Hebrew Roots Movement. My next post on the Law will be an overview about the HRM/SNM and will touch on how they “mess with” the Word. I’ll be going more in depth about that particular issue down the road.

    The seductiveness of these movements is really amazing. As I was researching all of these things, I felt like I was in a swift river, and Jesus and what He did at the Cross and the Resurrection was this big rock I was holding on to in order to avoid being swept away. The arguments are clever, but not scripturally sound for keeping the Law. When I would look closely at the teachings, it all sounded very reasonable . . . then I would ask, “Where’s the Gospel?” – and it wouldn’t be there.

    They take their eyes off of Christ. They preach Torah above all else . . . indeed some even EQUATE Torah with Jesus, saying that Jesus is Torah incarnate. No, seriously. Torah goes from what God intended it to be to being an idol.

    Keeping in the Word and keeping Jesus and what He accomplished in the center of your heart AND mind are an absolute necessity when studying this stuff!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hi BrotherMark . . . Welcome to JGIG!

    Preach it Brother!!!! =o)

  4. No kidding!! Just in conversations with this friend, I would feel the doubt and oppression in the air around me. Ick. At that time, when trying to tell her what the Bible said, she would counter with. “We don’t listen to the writings of Paul.” How do you reason with that? You don’t. So I left her in God’s hands. Wonderful thing, that.

    Now, having realized the bondage of that system, she has dropped it and is in with a group that believes that the God or the Torah is not the true God and that Jesus came from the true God and the Old Testament Scriptures are not even about Jesus and that the Old Testament is just another false religion. Oy Ve! From one extreme to the other. Again, I will not argue with her – just leave her in the very capable hands of Father and He will guide her to the Truth on the path she is on. She’ll get there. And trying to force it will damage, not help. Sigh.

  5. Good advice from all the contributors here on how to handle folks caught up with law keeping.

    My pastor always told me that if I run into friends that love to keep the law (as a measure of their righteousness) then give it to them. Pour it on them, the way that Jesus poured it on in the Sermon on the Mount.

    Example: In Luke 14 :33 Jesus says, “No one can be my disciple if they don’t divest themselves of everything they own.”

    The question for these folks always must be, “How are you doing?”

  6. This is a very dangerous movement. I commend you for taking it on! I just finished reading all the blog posts on this topic. There is alot beneath the surface of this movement. Exactly like you said, a swift strong current, as in the Mississippi River!!! Make sure you are prayed up! I have been investigating this movement for the past 3 going on 4 years. I really did not want to do it but someone i am close to is very involved in it; so i had to. Among other things, i have found that many believe the Holy Spirit is feminine, that she can be/is a seven part spirit. Is this possibly what your friend “Rose” was referring to? Many also believe in the book of Jasher, i am still looking into this one!
    The latest is that Polygamy by some is an accepted biblical option, WOW! Well, please contact me privately and i thank you for your blog. It is nice to know i am not alone , Ann.

  7. Katherine –
    Yup, sounds about right. It is sooooo important to remember Who Jesus is and what He accomplished at the cross during any foray into the HRM, whether independent study or in discussion with someone in the HRM. Your friend has a good friend in you . . . leaving her in the hands of the Father and praying for her are good things!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    theoldadam –
    The Word is the final authority, yes! That is one reason there has been such an attack on the Word by those at the headwaters of the HRM. I’m hoping to find some former “Law Keepers” who can share testimonies about how God has freed them in the New Covenant. Often if you ask a Law Keeper, “How are you doing?” they’ll say, “Great!” because of the sense of purpose and community they have with other Law Keepers (much like the effects of a cult). But the Law is ultimately un-keepable, and for those who are totally honest about that will eventually come to the end of themselves and fall at the Cross and recognize the awesome complete-ness of the Grace found there.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ann –
    Thanks, Ann. Yes, you definitely have to be prayed up . . . I know you know that by experience! (((Hugs)))

    The aspects of the HRM you mention are definitely on the fringe. My friend “Rose” has referred to the book of Jasher. I never did get an answer from her on the comment she made about the Trinity (not limiting God to three persons, while at the same time rejecting the concept of the Trinity as being a pagan concept). I do not think she believes that the Holy Spirit is feminine, nor that polygamy is an option for their family.

    My prayers are with you and your friend. May God keep you both safe in His care.

    Blessings to all,
    Wendy at JGIG

  8. I would like to be able to talk to you if it is ever possible. I have a dear friend and her husband and 4 kids living with us who believe this sort of thing, and he is going through all of this and they are living with us because of not being able to find a job where they could observe Sabbath. It is a long story, but one I would be willing to relate if you would be willing to listen. I’m at my witts end. Thanks.

  9. “I’m hoping to find some former “Law Keepers” who can share testimonies about how God has freed them in the New Covenant. Often if you ask a Law Keeper, “How are you doing?” they’ll say, “Great!” because of the sense of purpose and community they have with other Law Keepers (much like the effects of a cult). But the Law is ultimately un-keepable, and for those who are totally honest about that will eventually come to the end of themselves and fall at the Cross and recognize the awesome complete-ness of the Grace found there.”
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Well, I think the main problem with this is that it is only by grace that one can even approach observing Torah.

    What I mean is, if any one of us were expected to keep the Law, the whole Law, and nothing but the Law, we all would and do fail miserably, and thus the need for a Saviour. Why else did Jesus take our sin upon Himself so He could impart His righteousness to us. And what else would that righteousness be than that which is already set out by God in His Word. He is a God who is the SAME yesterday, today, and forever.

    Do you sin? Even though you have been saved? Where is that sin defined as sin?And what do you do about that sin?

    The beautiful thing about Torah is that God Himself has given the standard, as people who have believed on Jesus’ sinless life, substitutionary death, and subsequent resurrection which paid the penalty for sin, and proved that the penalty was paid by virtue that He was raised again, we have assured forgiveness which was manifested for us to see!!!!! That is a WONDERFUL gift!

    And that wonderful gift should not be trampled on by saying that since He did this for us we are now free to go and do as we want, and just ask for forgiveness if we mess up….and go out and mess up again and again. Paul does address this too in Romans 6.

    1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Do you not think it should behoove believers in Jesus to walk even as He walked, and repent of our shortcomings, sins, and failures and continue to grow in both grace AND obedience?

    1 Cor. 11

    1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
    2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

    Strong’s definition for ordinances might just surprise you.

    03862:
    3862 paradosis par-ad’-os-is from 3860; transmission, i.e. (concretely) a precept; specially, the Jewish traditionary law:–ordinance, tradition. see GREEK for 3860

    For example, if you were to adopt children alongside your physical offspring, would your house rules be optional or required of the adopted children now that they are part of the family? And if they broke the house rules accidentally (and even willfully at times as kids are wont to do) which would prompt disciplinary action towards them from you. But what happens when they turn back to you in sorrow and repentance? Wouldn’t you respond in forgiveness? But wouldn’t there also be the admonition to go and do not break the rules again?

    Do you get upset at your children for trying to accurately follow your house rules such as bedtime, and when to do homework, and common courtesy at the table etc. Would you rather they do what you teach them, or do you want them to make up their own set of rules and standards to follow while ignoring yours?

    It is not about perfection, we will not any of us achieve that until we are fully changed into His image, but it is about growing in grace and obedience, and when we fail at the obedience part it is about turning back to God in sorrow and repentance, and then accepting the forgiveness He offers.

    Of course the Law is un-keepable, but that just draws one all the more to the COMPLETE grace found at the cross, but OTOH it does not allow us to trample roughshod over that grace.

    Being obedient out of LOVE is FAR different than trying to earn salvation, or worse yet telling others that they have to do this or that to earn their salvation. Salvation IS by grace alone, but it should be followed by obedience.

    D

  10. Often if you ask a Law Keeper, “How are you doing?” they’ll say, “Great!” because of the sense of purpose and community they have with other Law Keepers (much like the effects of a cult).
    _________________________________________________________________________

    And if you want to know how am I ‘doing’? I sin just as much if not more than you, and have to ask for forgiveness for my sins just like any other person. The issue is that I hold to God’s definition of sin in His written Word rather than just my conscience, or a denomination/non-denominational list of sinful behaviours.

    D

    • ‘D’ –
      You wrote:
      I sin just as much if not more than you, and have to ask for forgiveness for my sins just like any other person. The issue is that I hold to God’s definition of sin in His written Word rather than just my conscience, or a denomination/non-denominational list of sinful behaviours.

      So how is it exactly that Torah observance helps you in your relationship to/with God if you “sin just as much if not more” than anyone else?

      And do you think it really appropriate to assume that if someone is not Torah observant that they don’t identify sin as God defines it in His written Word?

      And is it your position that believers possess mere conscience and not intimate relationship with the Living God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

      And further that if believers do indeed have the Holy Spirit, is it your position that He really doesn’t change them from spiritually dead to spiritually alive, changing their relationship to sin and the Law? (Romans 7)

      As for denominational/non-denominational lists of sinful behaviors, those are attempts made, just as the Pharisees did, to “hedge” people in so they don’t “wander” into sin. That “hedging in” is man’s attempt to do the job of the Holy Spirit, and the result is always wounded sheep. You can read about my view of this in the post, “Plant . . . Water . . . Then WHO Makes Them Grow?”

  11. Hi Momma 2 4 –

    You write:

    “And that wonderful gift should not be trampled on by saying that since He did this for us we are now free to go and do as we want, and just ask for forgiveness if we mess up….and go out and mess up again and again. Paul does address this too in Romans 6.”

    And then:

    “Do you not think it should behoove believers in Jesus to walk even as He walked, and repent of our shortcomings, sins, and failures and continue to grow in both grace AND obedience?”

    Two things – One, “believers in Jesus to walk even as He walked” . . . Jesus could keep the Law. He is God, we are not. And two, how do the above 2 scenarios really differ from each other? Sin is sin according to the Law. Whether we do it on purpose or by accident or in struggling with issues in our lives . . . it’s sin.

    That’s what sanctification is all about – a progressive cleaning out of all the junk in our lives, making us more and more a reflection of the character of Jesus. Believers will never walk in perfection this side of eternity . . . the flesh is still bound by the Fall, but our spirits are sanctified as we grow in Christ. I expound on this concept with lots of scripture in “Hebrew Roots Movement – So what?”

    You also refer to 1 Cor 3:1-2 and to the use of the Greek word there, paradosis, implying that its meaning there is “the Jewish traditionary law”.:

    “1 Cor. 11

    1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
    2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

    Strong’s definition for ordinances might just surprise you.
    03862:
    3862 paradosis par-ad’-os-is from 3860; transmission, i.e. (concretely) a precept; specially, the Jewish traditionary law:–ordinance, tradition. see GREEK for 3860″

    Let’s look at a more complete definition for the Greek word paradosis:

    Strong’s Number: 3862 para/dosiv
    Original Word Word Origin
    para/dosiv from (3860)
    Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling
    Paradosis par-ad’-os-is
    Parts of Speech TDNT
    Noun Feminine 2:172,166
    Definition
    1. giving up, giving over
    a. the act of giving up
    b. the surrender of cities
    2. a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing, i.e. tradition by instruction, narrative, precept, etc.
    a. objectively, that which is delivered, the substance of a teaching
    b. of the body of precepts, esp. ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did were to be obeyed with equal reverence

    If the meaning of paradosis in that passage does indeed mean the “oral traditions”, then it is not speaking of the written Mosaic Law. The “oral traditions” were eventually (many centuries later) compiled into the Talmud, and those oral traditions are influenced by Gnostic thought and Kabbalah, which in turn are rooted in the Original Lie uttered by the Serpent, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” You can read more about the influence of Kabbalah on the Talmud HERE.

    Knowing what influences beset the “oral traditions”, that definition does seem unlikely.

    Since that definition is not likely the case, let’s look at the other possible meanings of the word paradosis, in context with what Paul is saying. 1 Corinthians 11:1-2 reads (I’ll use the KJV as you did here):

    “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
    Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.”

    First, who was Paul talking to? The Church (Body of Christ). What were the ordinances of the Church? The Lord’s Supper and baptism.

    Now let’s go back to the possible definitions for the Greek word for ordinances, paradosis, and pick what fits with what Paul is referring to:

    2. a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing, i.e. tradition by instruction, narrative, precept, etc.
    a. objectively, that which is delivered, the substance of a teaching

    A much better fit in context with what Paul is saying and to whom Paul is talking.

    You also wrote:

    “It is not about perfection, we will not any of us achieve that until we are fully changed into His image, but it is about growing in grace and obedience, and when we fail at the obedience part it is about turning back to God in sorrow and repentance, and then accepting the forgiveness He offers.

    Of course the Law is un-keepable, but that just draws one all the more to the COMPLETE grace found at the cross, but OTOH it does not allow us to trample roughshod over that grace.

    Being obedient out of LOVE is FAR different than trying to earn salvation, or worse yet telling others that they have to do this or that to earn their salvation. Salvation IS by grace alone, but it should be followed by obedience.”

    You’re kind of on the right track there, ‘D’ . . . but those things are not achieved through Torah observance. That’s the Old Covenant. The New Covenant is about the Law of Christ (God) written on the heart, not on tablets of stone =o).

    Grace and Peace,
    JGIG

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 236 other followers

%d bloggers like this: