• 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.

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  • 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

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Articles

This page contains links to articles that I think can very helpful to the reader in understanding some of the issues focused on here at JGIG.

For instance, the Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism Movements are actually a re-organization and re-compilation of old false doctrines, with a few original doctrines thrown in for good measure.  As God’s Word so wisely forewarns,

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

While some articles linked to here may not seem like they have anything to to with the HRM, read on, you’ll begin to see the connections.  Other articles will be ones which I find offer excellent teaching in shoring up sound doctrine – specifically as they reinforce sound doctrine in relation to the aberrant teachings found in the HRM.  Once in a while, there might just be a really good, encouraging word, or even something fun =o).

While I may not agree with every viewpoint expressed in every article, it is my opinion that the overall value of  articles posted here outweigh any minor disagreements that I may have within those articles or with their authors. 

In other words, most articles posted here will align with the core, indisputable matters of the Christian faith as relayed in my Statement of Faith page, though there may be some variances when it comes to the disputable, secondary matters of the faith.

There are a few articles here from Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism sites/blogs, to demonstrate the debates occurring within the movements themselves.

Articles will be alphabetized by title and/or subject below and some articles found here may be posted on JGIG.  Just click on the article title to be whisked by your marvelous computer to where you want to go.   Links will also be posted at each article’s end of those articles posted on the home page here at JGIG referencing its original source.

May God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

- JGIG

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A

B

  • Bible Reading and Study; Where is YOUR Focus? – “The Old Testament was never intended to be an end in itself. It certainly explains many things, gives many warnings about the consequences of human failings, makes the matter of sin very clear, yet there remains a lack, a lack which leaves that parching dryness at the back of the throat.  . . . Time and again I have seen people go off the spiritual rails by being too Old Testament-focused. To spend many hours wondering how an obscure verse in Leviticus can be obeyed by the modern Christian is to show an amazing lack of understanding. Such people are often passionate about picky legalistic instructions even when they struggle to remember the first sentence or two of the sermon on the mount. Their biblical priorities are wrong. They think they know about Jesus but struggle to get the full import of the New Covenant and its ramifications.”  Great article.
  • (The) Bible Delivered to Us Today
  • Better Understanding ‘Pleroo’ (Fulfil)…   –   ” . . . when those of a legalistic frame of mind find this word used in Matthew 5:17-18 they immediately seek to distort/exaggerate it’s meaning, not allowing the simple and obvious meaning.”  Great, short article.
  • BEWARE of the ‘New Perspective on Paul’ (NPP)  – An examination of this paradoxical approach to Paul’s writings by N.T. Wright and others being latched onto by Law ‘keeping’ sects.
  • Blood Moons and Mark Biltz – Will Lunar Eclipses Cause Four Blood Moons in 2014 and 2015? – False teachers and date-setting regarding the end-times often go hand in hand.  This article brings the claims of Biltz ‘down to earth’ and takes a realistic look at the data.
  • British Israelism – True or False? – The Hebrew Roots Two House/Ephraimite doctrine has its roots in British/Anglo Israelism, just with an Hebraic twist.  ESN does a great job of sorting out the beliefs/errors of this particular stream of thought.

C

  • Can You Be Deceived?  Why People are Duped and How Not To Be
  • Can You Explain Ezekiel’s Temple?   – “There are numerous cults and sects out there who teach that Ezekiel was writing about a coming “millenium” (that is, a thousand year reign of Christ on earth), in which Old Covenant law will be fully restored, this to include a new temple at Jerusalem, a restored priesthood, with new daily sacrifices etc., everything that looked forwards to Christ having been restored. We really have to say right here and now that to adopt that particular explanation is to pretty much ignore about 90% of New Testament teaching”  Another great article from UK Apologetics.
  • Confession and the Lord’s Prayer  – Is forgiveness a once-and-for-all thing or do we need to keep asking for forgiveness?  Audio teaching with study notes, about 11 minutes long.
  • Confessions of A Former Sabbath Keeper
  • Covenants of God With Man  – A really good outline of covenants found in the Scriptures, with a great side-by-side comparison of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.

Christmas Articles

 

D

  • Defining Spiritual Abuse: An Index - From Under Much Grace.  A great resource.
  • Dispensational Theology, Covenant Theology, and Christocentric Theology  – Excerpt: “We must not revere theological systems. The systematization of ideologies into well-defined theologies produces additional “­isms” which capture men’s imaginations and cause them to interpret Scripture and their relationship with God through a colored lens, an imperfect “grid.” Ideological reasonings must not become idolatrous objects of reverence. Theological constructions must not become deified as “gods” to be worshipped and defended with vitriolic vehemency. Those who have received the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ by faith can and must remain one in the “unity of love” despite different theological reasonings. This can be accomplished by allowing Jesus Christ to be the center of our thinking, our theology and our lives.”  Highly Recommended.

 

E

Articles regarding The Two House/Ephraimite Doctrine

Exit and Support Network Articles

Many, many doctrines found in the Hebrew Roots Movement/Law ‘keeping’ sects come straight from the Worldwide Church of God, aka ‘Armstrongism’.  While the Hebrew Roots/Messianic ‘style’ and structure vary from the WCG,  you will find familiar issues addressed at Exit Support Network’s ministry website.  Highly recommended.  Will also post in the Good Links section.  Specific links of interest follow (in no particular order):

Exhortation – Re-Invigorating the Christian Ministry of Exhortation – What exhortation is and is not.  Great teaching.

F 

  • Fallacies – Common logical fallacies that you may encounter in your own writing or the writing of others.  The handout provides definitions, examples, and tips on avoiding these fallacies.
  • A List of Fallacious Arguments  –  Another list of logical fallacies with more in-depth descriptions and examples.  Good to study as a means for avoiding logical fallacies yourself in the course of debate and identifying and dealing with logical fallacies lobbed your way during debate.  *Not an endorsement of the site itself.  The author does a particularly good job of listing fallacies and giving good examples of how they’re used.
  • False Spiritual Warfare Teachings:  How the Church Becomes Pagan - Some in the HRM are teaching a version of shamanism.  This is a must read if you’re being told you have ‘unclean spirits’ attached to you.

G

H

Gobs of good information is available in the following series, but please read with discernment.  Please note that I’m not fond of the author’s “expose’ style” and tendency to find fault with so many across the board.  That said, the author does offer a lot of very well-researched information unavailable anywhere else regarding the HRM.  Therefore I do find value in referring you, the reader, to the information regarding the HRM at the following site with the aforementioned caveat:

I

  • Identifying and Responding to False Teachers
  • I’m a Better Christian Than You (by The Holier Than Thou Committee)
  • The Impeccability of Christ  – Could Jesus sin?  Or did He avoid sin by keeping Torah Law?  Law-keepers like to say that Jesus was our example because He kept Torah (which He did), but is that why He avoided sinning, or is it because He is God in the flesh and cannot sin?  It’s actually an important distinction to make, because Torah folk like to say we should ‘walk as Jesus walked’, in their paradigm meaning that if you walk by Torah Law you can avoid sin, but only God in the flesh could do that (hearing echoes of ‘and you shall be like God’ – the Big Lie from the serpent in Gen. 3:5), not because of Torah, but because of His Godhood and an inability to sin.  “God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all!” (1 John 1:5)  For a short study on how we are to walk as Jesus walked click HERE and see 1 John 4:13-21.

J

L

M

N

O

  • Old Testament Believers and New Testament Christians – Addresses the issue of how OT saints were ‘saved’ vs. how NT saints are saved, i.e. what salvation meant and how it was obtained before and after the actual work of Christ on the timeline.  It clarifies several points that we see Law keepers bring up in debate over and over again as they misapply the phrase from Scripture, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” and couple that with the claim that the Church (ekklesia, Body of Christ) also existed in the Old Testament.  It did not, and this article clarifies the difference between OT believers and NT Christians.  Excellent study.  Highly recommended.

P

  • (The) Perversion of Repentance 
  • Predestination – This is a really good, common sense teaching on what election and predestination mean Biblically, and takes away confusion (and a tendency toward elitism!!) about the issue.  Audio teaching with study notes, about 23 minutes long.  Highly recommended (This teaching is not currently available, but hopefully will be in the near future).
  • The Prodigal – Law and Grace Exemplified – The HRM has several weird twists on this parable.  This article puts it in proper perspective on a number of levels.

 

R

Reading Skills

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  • Religion Mythbusters  – One of my favorite songs when I was growing up was Don Fransisco’s “He’s Alive” and was blessed and strengthened by it.  I did not know that he has a website until recently, and have found it to also be a big blessing.  This link goes to but one of the pages, including free downloads of Don’s music.  Enjoy!
  • Repentance - Teaching on 1 John 1:9 – 1 John 1:9 is a staple verse in Law ‘keeping’ sects about how when we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us.  Who was John talking to in that passage?  If God is faithful to forgive us for our sins, why would we keep asking Him to do something He has already done? Audio teaching with study notes, about 41 minutes long (This teaching is not currently available, but hopefully will be in the near future).

 

S

Sabbath Articles

Sacred Names

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T

  • “Two House Theology” or Ephraimite Doctrine articles found under letter “E” above.
  • The Torah of Messiah - From Messianic Good News.  Effectively differentiates between the Law of Moses and the Law of Messiah (Christ), showing how one can live under only one of those covenants after the Cross.

W

Z

  • Article regarding the issue of Zechariah 14  –  Those in the HRM will use Zech. 14 to teach that we will be offering sacrifices in the Millennium, and that we must keep the Law now to ‘practice’ for the coming age.
  • JGIG’s Take on Zechariah 14  –  A response to a commenter.  I’m not an expert on prophecy – this is just the way I see it.

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Other articles of interest:

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.

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