It is with a grateful heart that I’ve received another testimony. This one comes from a brother I became acquainted with on the JGIG Facebook page who I now count as a friend and a brother. He’s been such a blessing there, contending for the simple Truths of the Gospel with the liberty he now enjoys by Grace through faith in Christ with a direct and unassuming style. Many thanks to Pierre for the following.
This testimony will also appear on the Testimonies Page here at JGIG.
If you have a testimony you’d like to share about coming out of the Hebrew Roots Movement (or a variation of the HRM), please email me at joyfullygrowingingrace@gmail dot com. From talking to those who have come out of Law-keeping sects, I understand that it can be a difficult thing to write about the experience. Many thanks to those who have taken the time and effort to contribute here.
I was born and raised in the city of Nassau, on the island of New Providence, in the country of the Bahamas. I grew up in a small close knit family with my mother and her side of the family. I am an only child, and was first introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ through the Baptist denomination. This was the beginning of my experience with Christianity and learning about the LORD God and His written word known as the Bible.
My Experience with the Baptists:
One of the things that I remember about the Baptist is that I was told the first half of the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. The complete and total forgiveness of all sins for all time through the one time death of the Lord Jesus Christ. This I understood, but I did not really believe, because every time that I sinned, I would ask God for forgiveness, as if the one time death of the Lord Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago did not finish the problem of sin between God and man.
The focus with the Baptists was baptizing people with water. There was not much preaching or teaching about being baptized with the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus Christ; which is an everlasting, eternal life that a saved person could never lose because the Lord Jesus Christ died once for all sins for all time. There is no more sacrifice for sins.
My Experience with the Evangelical Pentecostal Word of Faith Movement:
After a while I wanted to be blessed more in my flesh by God, and with the majority of Christian networks and programs on television being from the WOFM I was very attracted to their prosperity gospel, of if you do this then God will do that. This worked for a while, kind of like motivational speaking encourages people to do things.
Soon I realized that this was not working for me personally either. I still felt empty, and was getting a little angry with God wondering how much longer I would have to wait until I received my “blessing” in the flesh.
The pastors would keep saying that this year would be your year for increase, but it never really turned out as I had expected. It was never exceeding, abundantly, above all that I could imagine or think. The WOFM preached and taught about being blessed in your flesh with good health, lot’s of money, etc. They focused on giving and paying tithes and offerings, and that everyone who is saved should be speaking in tongues.
But I don’t remember ever hearing about being blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus our Lord, or giving alms to the poor, or bearing the Fruit of the Spirit. The first half of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness was preached and taught, but again, the second half of the Gospel was hardly ever preached or taught - that of salvation - being baptized with the Holy Ghost by the Lord Jesus Christ.
I continued on my journey of life.
My Experience with the Hebrew Roots Movement via Messianic Judaism:
I decided after reading in the Bible that there was a special blessing promised by God to the children of Israel if they kept the seventh day Sabbath, so I decided to “keep” the Sabbath. I felt I needed to study about this, and the Jews where the main set of people that knew about “keeping” the seventh day Sabbath. But I needed to associate with Jews who believed that Jesus is Messiah.
I watched a number of programs on TV and I contacted one ministry in Florida, U.S.A. I was learning a lot about Hebrew, Israel, and Judaism.
Then after seven years I started to realize that the Law was only stirring up sin in my life.
I also realized that the customs and traditions of the Pharisees were being subtly taught in these Messianic synagogues. When I realized this I rejected it, and was only trying to keep God’s Old Covenant instructions.
But that was not working either. My life got much worse; I lost opportunities, and was distant from my close family and friends. I felt like I was being cursed not blessed.
I studied Deuteronomy 28 and the word ‘all’ stood out to me. I realized that God required me to do all of His commandments through out my entire life in order to be blessed like He promised.
Well I could not do this; it was impossible.
Messianic Judaism’s focus was to reach out to Jewish people, but more Gentiles were getting involved than Jews. They taught the first half of the Gospel, but not much was taught on the second half of the Gospel. I learned a lot about the Hebrew language, it’s culture, and customs, etc. though, and I really appreciated that because it helped me to grow. But I could no longer continue with this lifestyle and so I moved on.
My Experience with the Seventh-Day Adventist:
I have family that are SDA and when I decided to “keep” Sabbath I decided to associate with them. We had this in common, so if not why not. I was involved with the SDA for six of the seven years that I was involved with MJ. It was great at first, I was a greeter, and eventually became a Sabbath School teacher for the young adult collegiate class.
I never agreed with the writings of Ellen G. White, and when we where doing a quarterly study on the letter of Romans written by the apostle Paul, I understood what he was saying. It took all this failure and disappointment to realize and understand his point of view. This happened in my last year in the SDA.
I handed in my letter of resignation and left, praying that my family would understand and believe the truth. The SDA’s focus is on “keeping” the seventh-day Sabbath, “keeping” the dietary laws (what they call the health message), “keeping” the ten commandments, as if God only has ten commandments – wrong! They also strongly encouraged the study of the writings of Ellen G. White; which are commentary on the Bible, as if the Holy Spirit was not good enough to teach us all things, and the writings of the Apostles Paul, Peter, James, John, Jude, etc., where not enough.
While I was involved with the SDA I became very angry and attacked people who disagreed with me. This was not good at all. I ran away from the SDA denomination as fast as I could, never looking back. And the main reasons where because they actually believed that a saved person could lose their salvation, as if the death of the Lord Jesus Christ meant nothing, it was unholy, and not good enough to resolve the problem of sin once and for all. I will never believe this lie that they believe, ergo my departure.
My Experience with God’s New Covenant:
I did a Google search for ex-Messianic Judaism and the first thing that drew my attention was a website called Joyfully Growing In Grace. I started devouring all the written material, and felt like I was home among people who understood what I had gone though as well as the type of belief that I needed. In one of the articles I discovered a link to Living God Ministries with a Jewish believer in the Lord Jesus by the name of Aaron Budjen. This is where I first heard both halves of the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ:-
- Forgiveness, and
I understood the difference between God’s Old Covenant or first testament, and His New Covenant or second testament. I was no longer interested in trying to “keep” all of God’s Old Covenant instructions, I was only interested in believing, trusting, resting, and abiding in Abba ! Father’s ! New Covenant.
I also found out that Aaron Budjen had heard the Gospel from a man by the name of Bob George, who wrote a book called Classic Christianity – Life’s too Short to Miss the Real Thing. God’s New Covenant is a better covenant based on better promises. The only Person Who ever kept all of God’s Old Covenant instructions was God Himself; the Lord Jesus Christ.
No one else has or ever will.
Even those people like John the Baptists parents, etc. who appear to have kept all of God’s old covenant instructions eventually failed by committing the sin of unbelief, specifically referring to their unbelief of the message sent by God through the angel Gabriel as it is written in Luke 1:18-20 -
Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain ? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
I would just like to encourage each and everyone of you who reads my testimony to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect finished work of forgiveness and salvation. And for you to grow in the loving-kindness and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ to maturity or full age, as our heavenly Father is perfect. Abba ! Father ! bless you.
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 other testimonies on 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.
Other articles of interest:
- Millennial Prophecy – Measuring Unrevealed Prophecies in Light of Revealed Truths
- Gateways into the Hebrew Roots Movement – An Examination of ‘Identity Crisis’ and Related Teachings of Jim Staley
- Tzit Tzit For the Believer In Christ?
- 12 Undeniable Truths That Drive Law ‘Keepers’ Crazy
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