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    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 Forrest 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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Law Keepers – Part 3 – Thoughts on the Sabbath

Following is Part 3 of my journey into the land of the “Law Keepers”.  The topic of the post below regards the Sabbath, though the point I was really trying to emphasize was this fact:  Where the Law cannot translate into all cultures, the Gospel can.  The following was posted on an online mom’s forum to which I subscribe, in an ongoing discourse regarding Torah observance for Christians.

Where “About Law Keepers – Part 1” chronicles my introduction to the concept of Torah observance for Christians, “Law Keepers – Part 2 (What About the Blood?!)” gets to the heart of the matter – If you are a repentant, cleansed-by-the-blood-of-Jesus-Christian and think it is necessary to keep Torah, how do you view yourself positionally with God?  If the Word declares you righteous positionally before God, how then are we, as cleansed-by-the-Blood-alive-in-Christ-believers to relate to the Law?

Right up front, I want to make clear that I’m not against Sabbath-keeping.  There are many families that keep the Sabbath as a day of rest and it has been a wonderful thing in their lives.  The post below was written to those who say that God has commanded the keeping of the Sabbath for everyone, forever.  That you are in willful sin if you do not abide by the Sabbath and its rules (peripheral laws).

Here’s another chunk of some things that have been on my heart about the Law . . . . . And again, if you are observant, this is not a personal attack on you or what you are doing.  These thoughts are offered here as insight from a non-Torah observant perspective.

“The” Sabbath.   I know the quotation marks seem to be in an odd place in that sentence.  This has been a particular point of discussion in the Law thread. 

My understanding of the law regarding the Sabbath in the OT is that there was a requirement of a specific time period set aside each week, where certain things would/would not and could/could not and should/should not be done.  It was a time of rest and a time of undivided time for God.  Failing to abide by the Law regarding the Sabbath had a penalty of death. 

My understanding of the sabbath in the NT is that it’s meaning shifted from a law-based reality to a concept/principle-based reality.  Love trumped Law when Jesus healed on the Sabbath, for example.  The New Testament is full of principle-related and Holy Spirit led instruction instead of specific “do this – don’t do that” instruction.   And what about Gentiles who became Christians?  When all cultures and people groups gained access to God through the Blood of Christ and salvation from sin through Grace, the original Sabbath took on the characteristics of a distinctly Jewish tradition in the spreading light of the Gospel.

Culturally, the Law doesn’t always translate.  But the Gospel always does!  Where the Law fails, the Gospel succeeds.  The Gospel can be taken into any culture and understood.  The Ten Commandments can be taken into any culture and be understood.  In cultures that have not been exposed to Judaism (think deep dark jungles of Africa type places) they often have a rudimentary version of the Ten Commandments, the Law written on their hearts by their Creator.  But the Levitical Law is not there, and it should not it be imposed upon those outside of the tradition of Jewish Heritage. 

At an Urbana missions conference my dh had the opportunity to go to years ago, one speaker talked about how many people groups don’t know what bread is.  They have no concept of grain and leavening and the making of bread.  They don’t know what a sheep is.  Culturally they are worlds apart from the things of the Law.  They CAN understand Grace and the gift of sacrificial, substitutional death for their sins, however, and the conquering of death through the resurrection and the reconciliation to God through what Jesus did!  The Gospel takes RELATIONSHIP with God to a universal level, available to all cultures.  Keeping the Gospel connected to Torah observance restricts the Gospel’s availability culturally.  The Law says “stay separate from the world”.  Grace and the Gospel say “Go out into all the world . . .”!      

What about those who are not able to go to church on Sunday, or are not able follow the Torah in the area of the keeping of the Sabbath due to work responsibilities?  I used to work second shift for an airline.  My typical shift required me to be at work from 2:30pm till 11pm.  I was able to go to church on Sunday mornings, but due to my seniority (or lack thereof), for several years my days off were Tuesday-Wednesday, or some other mid-week two day “weekend”.  I had my day(s) of rest, though it did not always coincide with the day I was able to worship with other believers.  Amazingly enough, I discovered that fellowship with God was not restricted to “set aside” times of worship.  Some of my most intimate times with God were out on the ramp or on a jetway waiting for a flight to come in, singing praise and worship songs at the top of my lungs through the noise of jet engines and APUs (auxiliary power units – they’re really loud!).

How do Torah observers handle this?  More importantly, does God require that it be “handled”?  Should it be that one should quit one’s job to be Torah compliant?  There were no allowances made by the company that employed me for “religious scheduling”.  If every Christian left jobs that required shift work in order to become Torah compliant, where would the Light and the Salt come from in those workplaces?  What about the people we worked with that came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as a direct result of me and other believers being faithful to live out our relationship with a Living God in their presence, being available to love them into the Kingdom?  I STILL hear of fruit being borne from the years we were there, and that was over 13 years ago!  Again, the Law says, “stay separate from the world”, the Grace and the Gospel say, “Go into all the world . . .”! 

The concept of a day of rest still stands, however.  God worked six days creating the earth and all of creation and rested on the seventh day.  Because He was tired?  I think not.  He was setting an example for us.  Even BEFORE the Law.  He designed us physically to need a day of rest!  I personally do not think God cares if, in our modern day calender, it’s a Saturday, a Sunday, a Tuesday, or whatever-day!  As long as we are setting a day aside for Him. (Colossians 2:16,17)   

The point I’m trying to make is this:  Christ has made it possible for us to be set apart by the living out of the two commandments He summed up in Matthew 22:36-40.  People are not going to be so drawn to God through us because we follow the Torah faithfully . . . . they’re going to be drawn to God because we love Him and find ways to love them faithfully and in ways relevant to THEM!  It’s not the observance of the Torah, it’s the demonstration of the redeeming power and love of Jesus Christ through the Fruits of the Spirit that will bring the lost into relationship with Him.

As I researched the issue of the Sabbath, (after writing the post above) I discovered that within the Sabbath-keeping community itself there is division.  There are those that observe a simple seventh-day Sabbath (sundown Friday through sundown Saturday).  There are those that view Sunday as the NT Sabbath.  Then there are those that follow a lunar reckoning of the Sabbath.  The first time I became aware of this method was when someone from the mom’s forum recommended this site.  Check it out.  Check out this section at that site, in particular, addressing a geocentric vs. heliocentric view of the solar system (universe?).  No, seriously.   So this is one of the “more interesting” sites that mandates lunar reckoning of the Sabbath. 

In light of the divisions within the Sabbath-keeping community above, as well as those Christians who do not feel commanded to keep the Sabbath, the following Scriptures come to mind:

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.  Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize.  Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.  He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it do you still submit to its rules“Do not handle!  Do not taste!  Do not touch!”?  Colossians 2:16-21

Commentators supporting a mandatory Sabbath will make this argument about Colossians 2 . . .  The gist of that position is that Paul wasn’t telling the church at Collose to not observe the Law, but to put away the pagan practices of denying themselves any pleasure associated with eating, drinking, etc. in their observances of the biblical Sabbaths and Feasts.  Fair enough.  Culturally, in this instance, that may be what Paul was saying.  (Here comes the big but) BUT, the more encompassing point he was trying to communicate was that it is not by anything we do that earns or maintains our salvation.  That is a finished and completed work by Christ at the Cross.  Jesus + any other requirement is out of bounds.  We must be careful not to lose connection with the Head!  If, in your Christian liberty, however, you want to celebrate Feasts and the Sabbath, have at it!  Paul said don’t let anyone judge you for that!  What I must have good judgement about, however, is recognizing that God’s Law, imposed on the redeemed believer, when we are freed from the Law by the completed work of Christ at the Cross, (I know I keep saying that, but it is central to everything) is also out of bounds.

Here’s an example of where culturally the Law was the issue:  Well, um, let’s just say the whole book of Galatians =o).  This post is getting long, so let me just hit the high points:

Galatians 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.”

Galatians 3:1-5 “You foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you?  Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you:  Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?  [Paul, now echoing what he was talking about in regard to pagan practices in Colossians talks here regarding the Law] Are you so foolish?  After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?  Have you suffered so much for nothing – if it really was for nothing?  Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”

Galatians 5:1-6 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Mark my words!  I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.  You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.  But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.  [I have to break in here, because this is key: Law keepers believe that though salvation comes through faith in what Jesus did at the cross, they believe that sanctification comes by their keeping of the Law . . . that the Holy Spirit enables them to keep the Law, and that keeping the Law is where their sanctification is attained.  Paul says it is by faith, waiting on the Holy Spirit, through which our sanctification comes.  We are positionally righteous (verses on that in Part 1) before God.  We are painfully aware, however, of our day-to-day challenges with sin this side of eternity.  Therefore, we “eagerly await through the Spirit (not by performing the edicts of the Law) the righteousness for which we hope.”  How does that come about?  On to vs. 6 . . .]  “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Then Paul goes on to say to not abuse the freedom we have in Christ, and indulge in the sinful nature, but again calls us to serve one another in love, and states that the ENTIRE Law is summed up in one command:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  (Galatians 5:13-21)  Then Paul goes to the “internals” as did Jesus, and gives us this:

Galatians 5:21-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature, its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

There is so much in Galatians.  Go read it again!  Click here for it online.

I need to be done for now.  Christ’s completed work at the Cross, the new life purchased for us there, and living submitted to the Holy Spirit all have to be at the center of all that we do.  The Gospel will universally translate into any culture (Go out into all the world . . . ).  The Law cannot, nor was it ever intended to (requires isolation from the world).  New life by Grace alone, though Faith alone, in Christ alone really is an amazing thing!

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

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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.

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28 Responses

  1. I recently looked into some of these legalistic practices and posted some things out of Jewish writings that demonstrate that some of these contemporary Christians take their New Mishnah further than Orthodox Jews do today or yesterday. I haven’t seen that anyone’s called me a Kabbalist or anything, but I’m waiting…

    Good insights in all of these posts. It’s sad that we have to even consider these things, isn’t it?

    I keep asking my friends from time to time what it is that I’m completely blind about. My husband says it’s just the dishes in the sink and the ironing that I need to do! And that I can do whatever it is my heart desires, without being bound to anybody’s preconceived ideas about what that means. (As he knows my heart and trusts that I will do what pleases God and benefits our marriage.) May God be merciful with all of us as He opens our eyes and pulls away the scales.

  2. Cindy K –

    The Hebrew Roots Movement is an interesting thing. It’s funny, even as I write the “Law Keepers” posts, I find myself asking, “What if they’re right?!” It is a very seductive stream of thought – If you really love God . . . if you really want to please Him . . .

    But as I feel myself getting sucked in a little, I grab hold of the Cross and what was accomplished there, and I remember that Jesus didn’t come to perpetuate Judaism, but to establish the Body of Christ. Then love God, love your neighbor, and go out and tell the world and make disciples!

    So many issues in the Church today could be better discerned if looked through the lens of love God, love others, and make disciples of Christ – not (insert pet belief system here).

    Thanks for your comments, Cindy!

  3. These are fantastic posts.

  4. Actually, Jesus did come to perpetuate Judaism…. he was an orthodox Jew. What else would he perpetuate… Gentileism. Give me a break.

    Matthew 23….. Jesus told his disciples to follow the teachings of those ‘at the seat of Moses’….. aka…… Jewish authority…. aka Pharisees…. but do not do what they do…… Because they break the ‘law.’

    Keep in mind that there were two primary rabbinic schools of thought. The school of Shammai (which were at the seat of Moses at that time) and the school of Hillel. Shammai was harsh in his view towards gentiles and strict in his teachings of Jewish Law. Hillel was lenient and taught many of the same things that Jesus and Paul taught. Which is not surprising since Paul was a student of Gamliel, the grandson of Rabbi Hillel.

    Also, Paul endorsed ascpect of Jewish law to gentiles….. I Cor. 14:34 for example. Also, Paul speaks against sexual relations between females, when the written Torah does not. Check for yourself. Paul was teaching ‘Oral Law’.

    The whole ‘the law died at the cross’ was a teaching for gentiles to understand that they didn’t have to become ‘Jews’ to be saved. They did have to be faithful to God and keep certain commands which applied to them…..

    The Messianic movement(Hebrew Roots) confuses the issue. I agree. But, understand that Jesus came to fulfill the law not abolish.

    ….. Christians cannot have it both ways.

    If the Law was done away with and hung on the cross, then lets commit adultery, murder and gossip. It’s hung on the cross right? I mean those are also in the law.

    If this sounds angry…… it’s not. I’m emphatic, but not try to come across angry….. keep in mind too, that I am not a Christian or a Jew. I am a gentile who loves God and is looking for Messiah to rule and reign over mankind…..

    Peace to you.

  5. Hi Scott,

    Actually, Jesus predates Judaism, being God and all. But if you don’t believe that, then the rest is moot.

    Matthew 23. Hmmm. Jesus was living the Law to perfection (which He needed to do to take the death upon Himself that we deserve because we are not able to keep the Law – we are not God).

    Jesus absolutely railed on the Pharisees because not only had they missed the point of the Law, they were pulling those around them into the edicts of the Law (plus some stuff they decided to add in for good measure), while missing the point: That only by the Grace and Mercy of God can anyone be justified before God. Read the book of Hebrews. Jesus fulfilled every requirement of the Law, including death, which is the requirement of the Law in the absence of complete obedience, which, of course He did not deserve.

    As far as Paul teaching the Law to Gentiles, you’re missing the point there. You picked an interesting passage in 1 Corinthians 14:34, though. A subtle message to me, perhaps?

    Anyway, what folks who use the epistles to shore up a defense of Law-keeping for Christians (as in keeping Torah) miss, is that Paul is talking to the Church. Post-crucifixion, post-resurrection. Paul was talking to believers who had undergone a spiritual regeneration from spiritual death to spiritual life through the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit was IN these people. They had the Law of God written on hearts of flesh. When one acknowledges Jesus as Lord in their hearts and minds, they are CHANGED. They are a NEW CREATION. God works over time from the inside out, purifying hearts and minds, with the natural outflow of that being the changing in behavior to be a reflection of Christ – the perfect Law-keeper. This side of eternity we will never be able to attain complete perfection of the Law – therefore we MUST rely on the Grace and Mercy and the price that was paid FOR US at the Cross.

    You’re right. Christians cannot have it both ways. They either have to “do” the Law (completely and perfectly under the threat of death), or they have to rely on the perfect Grace and Mercy and accomplished work of Jesus at the Cross and the Resurrection to be spiritually alive. And then there are those who use their Christianity and its very real Grace as a “license” to sin. They’re trying to have it both ways to the other extreme. That is also dealt with in the epistles.

    You don’t sound angry, exactly. You sound perturbed at a Church that has large portions (usually the most vocal portions) that have lost their integrity and their connection with the Head of the Church, (no, not the Pope!) Jesus Christ. I’m encouraged that you are someone (Jew or Gentile) that loves God. That is a good thing. I would encourage you to look for Messiah to rule and reign in your heart and mind before you look for Him to rule over mankind in general.

    Grace and Peace to you, too, Scott.

  6. You don’t understand Judaism… Jews do rely upon and believe that they have a place in the world to come……. by grace. And that keeping the law is a demonstration of our love of God. Perhaps it is both. As in, a Jew cannot have one without the other. The same goes for gentiles. Except gentiles have much fewer laws to keep. Perfect observance, however, does not gaurantee you a heavenly existance. Nor does disobedience grant you a place in hell. Judaism does not teach this… Judaism teaches grace and faithfulness through God’s lovingkindness. Nothing else.

    If we didn’t have the New Testament…… then where would you find Christian theology in the old using the Hebrew texts, not our English (catholic cannonized) texts? Answer? You cannot.

    I’m only writing to you, so you can gain an understanding of folks who look at the scriptures differently and do have a place in the world to come by virtue of God’s grace. To say there is a formula for salvation is to ultimately believe that grace only exists when following a Christian formula for salvation. God saves alone. Not doctrine. Not theology. And according to the old testament…. which Jesus used…. not the Messiah. Only God can save. And it is by his grace. AKA: Lovingkindness.

    and by the way… Messiah does not rule (according in the bible Jesus used) until he is annointed with oil and is recognized by Israel and God as King. And when there is Peace in Israel and there needs to be a temple for him to rule from. When he is here, at that time he will rule in my life and bring peace to man… the Torah says ‘God is our salvation’ and not Messiah.

    I don’t believe Jesus is God. Again, I John was written as a polemic against this very doctrine. Deity of Messiah was a doctrine brought on by gnostic gentiles and jews. Jesus was an orthodox Jew….. to say otherwise is to ignore is earthly existance as a Jew. Jesus’ whole message was one of repentance. Repent from sin? And what is sin? Breaking the Law. Some translations call breaking the law ‘iniquity’. I John 3:4. Jesus taught his brothers to stop breaking the law, repent, and start keeping the law. Because the law is good and perfect (see all of Psalms 119).

    Perhaps you didn’t understand my post. Jesus did criticize the Pharisees. But, only the Shammai Pharisees. Not the Hillel Pharisees. However, a person can only know this by reading Jewish literature and history….. which obviously you have not. I encourage you to do so. Reading Jewish literature will broaden you understanding of the New Testament.

    I feel like I”m trying to convert you. I assure you that I am not. I am only trying to give you a new perspective. I fully expected you to answer as you did, because your response is what you have been trained to respond with. I know…. I used to teach and preach the same doctrinal/theological pardigm. I now reject this understanding of Christology and Theology because it does not mesh with the first century Judeo/Christian theology.

    Peace to you

  7. Jews understand Jesus better than Christians…. see the following video from Rabbi Skobac. There’s actually a bunch of them.

  8. Here’s another:

  9. Hi Scott and C.J. – I had a long response all typed out for you . . . and it went into computer la-la land. I’m using my husband’s laptop (mine fried today) and I don’t know what I hit, but my original comment here went *poof*.

    I could try to re-capture what I wrote, but it all boils down to a couple of things:

    1) This blog is not meant to debate Judaism vs. Christianity. This blog, in part, will continue to discuss the issue of Torah observance for Christians and whether or not that is or is not what God commands us to do.

    2) The issue of the deity of Jesus Christ is central to what the Bible as a whole teaches. That is my belief based on what I read in scripture. There are so many things which you will say I don’t understand and I will say that you don’t understand based on the issue of what we believe or don’t believe regarding the deity of Jesus Christ alone.

    Scott – 1 John, if it does anything, reinforces the concept of the deity of Christ. And about Christianity being a formula – no, that’s not quite right. A formula says, “If you do this, you will get this”. The Law requires complete and perfect obedience. In the absence of that, it requires death (“the law with its curse”). In your comment you said that “only God can save. And it is by His grace. AKA; Lovingkindness.” Yet you disregard the justice that God requires all throughout scripture, OT and NT. There is no formula that we can follow to satisfy the justice (death) that our shortcomings in following the Law requires. And God will not pardon our lack simply because of lovingkindness. He is a Holy God and cannot “overlook” sin because He is “nice”. He did, however, provide a way for us to be reconciled to Him, by becoming flesh, obeying the Law perfectly, and then taking the punishment of death – satisfying the requirement for justice in our place – and by His grace giving new life to those who believe He is Who He says He is and believing He did what He said He would do. And it all boils down to who do you say Jesus is. It always boils down to that one question.

    C.J. – I listened to both links of Rabbi Skobac, as well as part 3, and wished part 4 had been available, as I wanted to see where Rabbi Skobac was going to end up. In light of his belief that Jesus was not God, and that Christianity was not established by Christ, but was an invention of man after Christ was dead, what the Rabbi says makes logical sense. To take the NT scriptures that he uses make that sense, he has to take them out of context and misrepresent NT Church history (I’m not referring to Catholic church history) to come to the conclusions he does. Again, who one thinks Jesus is is central to what one believes, and scriptural interpretations will vastly vary based on who one says Jesus is/was.

    In the sidebar of this blog there is a link to http://www.livinggodministries.net/QandA.html . My purpose in referring you there is not to try to convert you, it’s just that Mr. Budjen is a lot better at saying some of the things I’m trying to communicate here than I am.

    If you have any comments directly referring to the above post, great. If you want to continue debating Judaism and Christianity, perhaps your own blog would be the place to continue? Feel free to comment here again to provide a link to your blog for those who would like to follow you there.

    Grace and blessings to you both,
    Wendy

  10. Wendy,
    I responded to your comments on my site.

    I also noticed that you mentioned that some times you wonder if “they may be right?”

    When I started the Torah Club by FFOZ with a group of Christians I was dead set on making sure our group did not go too far off the edge. I loved the HRM and the historical setting of our faith, but the Law…well that was a bit too far. I grew up as Reformed Calvinist (and still am in many ways).

    I read Galatians and Hebrews through in a single sitting more than a few times. I brought them up constantly.

    Now, some 6 years later, I have crossed over. But that has not been without a struggle and a clear understanding of the Biblical Theology.

    I truly believe that most Christians study the Bible backwards, from NT to OT to Torah, and then Torah only for kids’ stories. But the Torah is the foundation of Scriptures. Even Reformed Calvinists would believe this (if they know their doctrine).

    All I can say, since I can’t read all you have hear….LOTS of stuff….is to keep studying and seeking the truth and go where it leads WITH a community of people and not alone. I found that Tim Hegg is very VERY studious and Calvinist while still being Torah observant. He’d be a good source. And Dwight Pryor is very good while staying a little more relevant to traditional Christianity. Then there is also bereansonline.com. I think the guy is Richard Spurlock, but finding his name is a challenge. I learned a lot about Hebrews from him (as well as Daniel Lancaster).

    All of these are solid in their doctrine and can back it up very well without major holes that are found in some of the people you dispute with in your posts. Even if you don’t agree with those I mention, you would be a better believer because of them.

    Other sources for the historical premise can be found with NT Wright and Craig A. Evans. They are scholars that, if they don’t subscribe to Torah observance, do have a very strong historical understanding of Rabbinic Theology.

    Thanks for the chance to communicate on things I love the most.

    Sean Daily

    • One of the things that I learned very early on in my walk with the Lord was to stop looking at what others had to say about God’s Word and about His Son, Christ Jesus. To find His Truth, one must ask the Holy Spirit [our God Given Teacher], to open our understanding to His LIVING Word which is alive and active and good for instruction. Whenver I look for explanations from men, I just get confused … wavering back and forth … but when He teaches me something, it remains a solid foundation upon which He can build further.

      • Seeking One, from the phrasing you used I’ll assume that you’re referring to the passage found here:

        Hebrews 4:12-13
        For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

        The traditional interpretation of that passage is that it refers to the written Word of God, but just in the past year or so as I was looking at the Greek there for ‘word’, I found that ‘logos’ is the Greek used there; the same Greek word to describe Jesus Himself in John 1:1. Well, we know that the written expression of God is not Jesus Christ, but that Jesus is the full expression of God Himself, so what is this verse really telling us? It is Jesus who lays us bare and discerns our thoughts and intents. The written Word of God is a tool that the Holy Spirit uses to accomplish that end, but it is Jesus Who does the actual quickening in our spirits. The Logos and the written Word work together in unison, teaching, confirming; His Spirit and the written Word, work together to build up the Body of Christ. And in that sense I agree with what you’ve written above; when He teaches us something, it remains a solid foundation upon which He can build further.

        Thanks for your comment!

        In Christ,
        -JGIG

      • JGIG,

        Yes, this is exactly what I was referring to, and the sense of what I meant. Some years ago, the Lord caused me to find this exact verse in the Amplified Bible: It has been a true Source of faith building for me ever since:

        For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

        As you said, Jesus is the embodiment of all that God speaks … in fact, Hebrews 1:2 tells us this very same thing:

        [But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].

        and verse 3 tells us the it is Jesus who holds / maintains everything together:

        He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the [a]out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,

        I’ve been meditating upon these verses for some time, and the more I meditate and pray for His insight, the more of His awesomeness He is showing me …

        He is truly an awesome God!

        Thanks,

        Seekking One

  11. Read it again and notice how many times you said the Law separates us from the world but the Gospel sends us into the world.

    The Law made them a Light to the Nations. It did not separate them from the world. They were at the center of the world (via Maris ran right through Israel). The Law separated them from the pagan practices of the world, they lived redeemed lives by following the Law “which is your life” and that drew all peoples too them. In Jesus day (and Paul’s) the drawing of all peoples was very big. Many Gentiles longed to draw near to the One true God because at least some were “little lights.”

    So my point is, the Law did not separate them physically from the world as you say. (Note: some Oral Traditions in relationship to the Gentiles did separate, thus the dividing wall Paul speaks about, BUT this was not the intent of the Law, but rather a poor application of it. Paul declares through Messiah that this wall is shattered.)

    Also, no where in the Law does it state or infer that you needed to keep it perfectly or else lose salvation! Much of it was centered around the fact that you would not obey it perfectly. So the idea that anyone ever believed that you could earn your salvation by obey the Torah perfectly is just wrong. I think Christians dreamt this up as a theoretical idea, that should one be able to do so, they could earn their salvation, but this too is simply wrong. We are in a state of separation from a Holy God from conception, not because we have “sinned” but because we are born into a world that is “unclean” and unable therefor to approach a Holy God. We are all contaminated with death, and we all need cleansing, but a Red Heifer will not do for the World to Come, we need a Messiah who can atone for us in the Heavenly Tabernacle.

    Sean

  12. Hey there Sean,

    I’m an exhaustive editor (and alas, still miss some typos and grammar errors) and have read it again and again. The Law was to “set apart” the Israelites from the world. Even not taking into account the Oral Traditions, Israelites had a hard time keeping “clean” themselves, let alone what being in relationships with other nations entailed. There’s a really good teaching at “Pass the Toast”, called “Mr. White Suit” (http://passthetoast.wordpress.com/sermons/mr-white-suit/) which details effectively how Jews in Jesus’ day viewed living under the Law, and gives a wonderful picture of just how meaningful what Jesus did at the Cross really is.

    You said,

    “The Law made them a Light to the Nations. It did not separate them from the world. They were at the center of the world (via Maris ran right through Israel). The Law separated them from the pagan practices of the world, they lived redeemed lives by following the Law “which is your life” and that drew all peoples too them. In Jesus day (and Paul’s) the drawing of all peoples was very big. Many Gentiles longed to draw near to the One true God because at least some were “little lights.”

    As chronicled in scripture, Israelites were continually breaking the Law! They were almost always bearing the judgement of God in one way or another, under one nation after another, because of their disobedience to God’s Law. While the Law did separate them from the pagan practices around them, if they lived redeemed lives, it was because they were justified by faith, as was Abraham, not by their keeping of the Law. You said, “ . . . they lived redeemed lives by following the Law “which is your life” and that drew all peoples too them. They were NOT redeemed by the Law. If they were, of what use and what need have we of the Cross??? Of Messiah??? While a few from the “peoples” of the world may have been drawn to worship the one true God, most “peoples” despise(d) Israel and only by the sustaining hand of God has Israel time after time been preserved from destruction.

    You also wrote,

    “Also, no where in the Law does it state or infer that you needed to keep it perfectly or else lose salvation! Much of it was centered around the fact that you would not obey it perfectly. So the idea that anyone ever believed that you could earn your salvation by obey the Torah perfectly is just wrong.”

    We’re not talking about “losing salvation” when it comes to keeping the Law . . . we’re talking about “if you don’t keep it and keep it perfectly, the penalty is DEATH.” Where in scripture do you see where after the Cross it is sorted out which parts of the Law should be kept and which parts are okay to leave out now? Those passages do not exist. This is the reality that the Isrelites lived under. You either keep all of the Law, and if you don’t, the penalty for not keeping all of the Law is death. Those who understood their inability to keep the Law relied on the mercy and grace of a loving God and were justified by faith, just as Abraham was. Jesus, God Incarnate came in time, kept the Law, and took the death penalty in our place. When one believes that Jesus did what He did and chooses to follow Him, they receive the Holy Spirit, Who changes the believer from the inside out – sanctification rendered by the working of the Holy Spirit, not rendered by the keeping of the Law.

    And you wrote this,

    “We are in a state of separation from a Holy God from conception, not because we have “sinned” but because we are born into a world that is “unclean” and unable therefor to approach a Holy God. We are all contaminated with death, and we all need cleansing, but a Red Heifer will not do for the World to Come, we need a Messiah who can atone for us in the Heavenly Tabernacle.”

    Um . . . can you give some scripture to back that up, please? Where does the view come from that we are separated from God because we are “born into a world that is unclean”? Romans 3 (in part referring to Psalm 14) clearly communicates the sinful state of man is the issue at the heart of our separation from a Holy God, not our incidental birth into an “unclean world”. And “we need a Messiah who can atone for us in the Heavenly Tabernacle.”?? Again, could I see some scripture for that concept, please? The way I read it in scripture is that Jesus completed the work of redemption, justification and reconcilation for us at the Cross and that eternal life begins now. . .

    You’ve been doing some reading here at JGIG and may not have gotten to “The Hebrew Roots Movement – So What?” post yet, (https://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/the-hebrew-roots-movement-so-what/) so let me excerpt a small portion here, regarding portions of Romans chapters 3 and 4:

    ” . . .God asks us to believe something just as unlikely as Abraham was asked to believe as we look at our old, dead selves. We are asked to believe that God has the power to do what he has promised – that we believe that it is what He does that puts us in a position of fellowship with Him, not anything of ourselves. God mandates that to be acceptable before Him we must be holy. The Law is that standard against which we must be measured – it is not nullified – it is upheld! The fact remains, however, that we are inherently unable to keep the Law, that standard of holiness.

    Jesus met that standard on our behalf! Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification in the midst of our old, dead inability to meet that standard. When God looks at the repentant believer, He sees holiness because of the justification that HE brought forth for us through the work of Jesus. Though the Law is the standard by which all the measuring is done, it is not the means by which justification comes. Justification comes through the amazing grace and mercy and work of God to meet the standard of the Law on our behalf.

    So what about keeping the Law as believers? Is it not really a question of sanctification for the Law keeping believer? Isn’t that the essence of the question I posed above? I won’t pretend to have this all ironed out and nailed down perfectly. And I honestly can see both sides of the issue when it comes to simple Law keeping, barring the heretical doctrines prevalent in the Hebrew Roots Movement today.

    But I always have to come back to the Cross.

    The priesthood, sacrifices . . . death . . . all were done away with at the Cross. Yes, Jesus kept the Law. Before the Cross. The Cross was the great dividing line in history . . . there was a clear path from death to life, from the sinful state to righteousness, from condemnation to justification. And not once did Jesus or anyone else in the Bible ever say that salvation was attained or maintained by observance of any part of the Law. You can cry “point/counterpoint” all day long when it comes to Paul’s writings . . . but the end result will always consistently be: By faith, not by works we are saved. By the Holy Spirit working on us from the inside out, we are sanctified, not by how well we “keep” the Law.

    Works are a natural result of redemption in the believer’s heart. I’ll say it again – it is not by the outward performance of Law keeping that we become sanctified, it is by the completed work of Christ in our hearts that changes us intrinsically – belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing – according to the Merriam-Webster definition of intrinsically.

    What does that mean? It means that the Holy Spirit changes our nature – we belong to Him – we were purchased with a price – and that the Law keeping that takes place in the life of a believer is a natural fruit-bearing process as we grow in Christ, not of keeping this festival and that law. The fruits that we see in the Church were not designed to be the keeping of the Law . . . those fruits are designed to be seen as God remakes us from the inside out through the working of His Holy Spirit! (Romans 15:14-19, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)”

    Off to your other comment . . .

  13. Hi again Sean,

    Should have put this above my last comment . . . oh well . . .

    You wrote,

    “I also noticed that you mentioned that some times you wonder if ‘they may be right?’ “

    I don’t think I’ve written that here, though in the early stages of my exposure to and study of the HRM that thought did crawl across my mind once or twice. As I’ve said before, I always have to come back to the Cross. Here’s an excerpt from the post, “A Little Perspective Regarding Future Law Keepers Posts” (https://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/a-little-perspective-regarding-future-law-posts/):

    “I am firmly in the New Covenant camp. You can go to the Series page here at JGIG to read “Law Keepers” parts 1-5 of my journey into the land of the Law keepers posted thus far. I will say that as I was in the thick of the research of the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Names movements, I felt at times as though I was in a swift-running river, and had to hold fast to the Rock of the Gospel and the completed work of Christ at the Cross to avoid being swept into the stream. I exhort you, the reader, that if you do choose to investigate these movements in any depth, to do so prayerfully and purposefully anchor yourself firmly in the Word and the completed work that Christ did at the Cross as you go. These movements are very seductive in their appeal and Bible-believing Christians have been led astray by their false doctrines. I can’t stress enough how persuasive these movements can be.”

    You wrote,

    “When I started the Torah Club by FFOZ with a group of Christians I was dead set on making sure our group did not go too far off the edge. I loved the HRM and the historical setting of our faith, but the Law…well that was a bit too far. I grew up as Reformed Calvinist (and still am in many ways). . . . All I can say, since I can’t read all you have hear….LOTS of stuff….is to keep studying and seeking the truth and go where it leads WITH a community of people and not alone. I found that Tim Hegg is very VERY studious and Calvinist while still being Torah observant. He’d be a good source. And Dwight Pryor is very good while staying a little more relevant to traditional Christianity.”

    Sean, we could have a whole ‘nother discussion about the viability or not of Calvinism as sound doctrine (you can read a post and discussion HERE for some of my views on that subject).

    While I appreciate your heart in encouraging me to “keep studying and seeking the truth and go where it leads WITH a community of people”, please understand that I believe “communities of people” such as those associated with FFOZ to be in error according to an honest reading of both Old and New Testament scriptures. Also, to be clear, my family and I are in a good, solid Bible-believing church, so I’m not out here in “blog land” without a foundation in “real life”. I’ve had many discussions with those whose integrity I trust about the basic doctrines of the HRM, so understand that I don’t come at this as a “loner”.

    To get to the place where you are, having “crossed over” after 6 years of study, you have to admit you did not get there by studying scripture alone. Your second set of comments above give evidence of that. You have been influenced by Rabbinic teachings that have a rightful place in Judaism, not in Christianity.

    Let me be clear – Christianity’s roots are NOT in Judaism – they are in Christ. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. He is the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:12-16). Jesus Christ predates Judaism. He came to restore us from death to life – to the relationship God intended for us when He created us (mankind). Colossians 1:15-20 says:

    “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

    You also offered,

    “Other sources for the historical premise can be found with NT Wright and Craig A. Evans. They are scholars that, if they don’t subscribe to Torah observance, do have a very strong historical understanding of Rabbinic Theology.”

    I appreciate your heart, Sean, I really do, and I admire your quest for truth. I would caution you, however, to seek hard after Biblical truth, not Rabbinic Theology. Again, Rabbinic teachings have a rightful place in Judaism, they do not have a rightful place in Christianity. Jesus did not die and rise again to perpetuate Judaism.

    God established the Church – the Body of Christ – a new and living way – the New Covenant. He gave His Holy Spirit to renew our hearts and minds. He calls the Church to much loftier things than the keeping of this day or the observing of that feast or law. Again, as I asked above, where in scripture do you see where after the Cross it is sorted out which parts of the Law should be kept and which parts are okay to leave out now? Those passages do not exist. And that is what the mainstream HRM is primarily about . . .the keeping of the Law.

    You also wrote,

    “Thanks for the chance to communicate on things I love the most.”

    Sean, I do so appreciate your heart, and am thankful for your willingness to converse here. Keep pressing in to Jesus, keep your focus on Him. He will keep you. Blessings to you, brother.

    In Christ,
    Wendy

  14. Sean,

    You wrote this:
    ““We are in a state of separation from a Holy God from conception, not because we have “sinned” but because we are born into a world that is “unclean” and unable therefor to approach a Holy God. We are all contaminated with death, and we all need cleansing, but a Red Heifer will not do for the World to Come, we need a Messiah who can atone for us in the Heavenly Tabernacle.”

    Perhaps you are not aware that the red heifer ashes were for purification for cleansing of being unclean or tamei, and by the cleansing of water mixed with the heifer ashes, there was purification from sin and tamei conditions [Numbers 19 gives the example of touching a dead person]. The red heifer was never sacrificed as a blood atonement for sin.

    I find the NT refers to this concept when Paul states that we are to be cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word, which is how we are purified in Messiah who is the Living Water. What a beautiful fulfillment of this part of Torah!

    As you know, Judaism is waiting for an unblemished, unspotted red heifer. One was born a couple of years ago, but it was found to have a blemish after a few months. Judaism needs one in order to dedicate and purify the Temple that they have ready to be built. The artifacts and Temple service have all been molded of pure gold and the layout has been completed. I fear that many in HRM are preparing to take part in all of this, as well as believe the sacrificial system will be implemented once again. For myself, this is a particularly grievous part of HRM, for it discounts The Lamb of Elohiym and His once and for all blood sacrifice for all sacrifices and offerings under the old covenant. It is no wonder that many HRM followers are now cutting the book of Hebrews out of their Bibles :(

    Shalom,
    sheep wreck

  15. Hi Sean,

    I just went to Bereans Online and went to their study on Galatians. Figured I’d cut right to the chase, KWIM?

    Sean, what I see there is not Biblical Christianity. It is a mixture of lots of streams of thought, including but not limited to Kabbalah (Jewish mystical tradition which is Occult-based). In the Introduction of the study of Galatians, the following list is made:

    * Regarding the Oneness of God, we are Chassidic [Hasidic Judaism, just spelled differently . . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasidic_philosophy#The_origin_of_the_Jewish_mystical_tradition_until_Hasidism gives an overview of what that really means. Part of the “Oneness of God” concept is very New Agey in flavor. That a believer in Christ would rely on interpretations that this bunch has to offer is, in my opinion, unwise.]

    * Regarding the Messiah, we are Messianic [Indicates belief in Messiah, not in the deity of Messiah, though in the statement of faith at Bereans Online, they do say that they beleive that the Messiah is fully God and fully man.]

    * Regarding the Holy Spirit, we are mystic [“Mystic” is not a word associated with Biblical Christianity on ANY LEVEL.]

    * Regarding grace, we are Calvinist [Ya know . . . ever since I’ve become familiar with Calvinism I’ve had an uneasiness about it in regard to the HRM. Still can’t put my finger on what’s bothering me about that, but seeing it here adds to that uneasiness.]

    * Regarding the written Torah, we are as Orthodox Judaism [Orthodox Judaism absolutely and categorically DENIES the Deity and Messiahship of Jesus Christ (Yeshua). How is this CAPABLE of symbiotically co-existing with Christianity and why would we, as Christians, seek “wisdom” from these sources?]

    *Regarding our need for Messiah’s atoning work, we are Christian [So they are “Christian” in this instance, but rely on Jewish sages and mysticism to round out the rest of their theology? Is not Jesus’ work enough? How do they reconcile that concept with being “Calvinist”?]

    *Regarding the Chosen People of God, Israel, we are Zionist [Zionism has about a zillion different definitions. I’d be interested in a clarification of what exactly Richard Spurlock means when he uses the term Zionist here.]

    * Regarding the life of Torah for Gentiles, we are “One People, One Law” [Okay, so here’s a facet of the HRM I was not familiar with until now, the “One Law” movement within the HRM. Apparently even within the HRM there are differing opinions regarding “One Law” theology. Though I would not agree with most of HRM’s theology anyway, it is interesting to note the differences within the HRM. From Torah Resource (only excerpts):

    ONE LAW MOVEMENTS A Challenge to the Messianic Jewish Communities
    By Daniel Juster and Russ Resnik

    One of the glories of life in the Messianic Jewish community [notice this article is from a JEWISH perspective] is the unity of worship and service between its Jewish and Gentile members within a specifically Jewish context. In recent years, however, a trend has developed that challenges the Messianic Jewish community on this very issue. This trend involves various groups and movements that teach that all Jews and Gentiles under the new covenant are called to keep the same Torah in all regards.

    In so doing, these One Law movements not only misinterpret a great body of Scripture, but they also miss the unique calling of Jews and Gentiles within the Body of Messiah, robbing both groups of the biblical richness of their identity. They lose the new covenant vision of unity in Messiah between Jews and Gentiles and replace it with a man-made rallying cry, which One Law advocate Tim Hegg has expressed as “One people, One Messiah, One Torah.”

    Several streams teach such views, including Ephraimite groups that believe that Gentiles who have come to faith in Yeshua in some way fulfill the prophecies concerning the regathering of the Northern Tribes and their reunion with Judah. Generally, they teach that all believers are called to follow the same Torah instructions, with the exception of circumcision.

    Other groups teach that Gentiles are both called to live the same Torah as Jews (except for circumcision), without teaching that they are in any way descended from the so-called “lost tribes” of Israel. These groups see all believers as grafted into the Olive tree, and therefore called to obey the same Torah as Israel. Perhaps the best-known proponents of this view are the writers of First Fruits of Zion, including Tim Hegg.”

    I’ve looked throught the Bereans Online site and have found it to be typical of HRM sites, yet having it’s own “flavor”. The Gospel is not central there, nor is the completed work of Christ. It is focused on Judaism and looking at the New Testament through the lens of Judaism, not through the lens of the New Covenant and all that it means to us as believers in the risen Christ.

    I happened across Bereans Online in research for another post here at JGIG and remembered that you had referenced it as a place that I may be able to “learn from”. Sean, I hate to come on so strong, but this is serious stuff, here. I encourage you to carefully re-evaluate where you’re getting your theology.

    Sincerely in Christ,
    Wendy

  16. Shalom Wendy,

    You mentioned my web site, Bereans Online, and my preface to our study on the Epistle to the Galatians. You quoted it accurately, but quite out of context. You will note that in each of the issues, I say, “With regard to [state the issue], we are [state the group best identified with that issue]. Your comments then do the mix-and-and-match. For instance, the Deity of Jesus – you say that we are like Orthodox Judaism, no, in that regard we are NOT like Orthodox Judaism, we are like them in regard to the Torah.

    Regarding “mystic” we are most certainly NOT kabbalist. The “Beloved Apostle,” John’s writings are very mystical. Can you not read John 1:1-14 and not see the its depth? Many Evangelical Christian noteworthies were great mystics. Andrew Murray, Francis Schaeffer come to mind.

    Our central theme is always the Messiah and His work. Romans 10:4 is our key verse. It is right on our home page. While we most certainly will disagree on the role of the Torah in the life of the believer, you might be surprised how much you have in common with this life-long conservative Baptist (me) .

    • Hi Rick,

      I had to go back and re-familiarize myself with your website. Your “About” page kind of says it all. Talk about mix-and-match! Let’s see . . .

      Who We Are
      We are an online community of believers who endeavor to approach the Scriptures in context, with as little theological bias as possible. [I find that part very amusing.]

      Regarding the Oneness of G-d, we are Chassidic [Let the reader google Chassidic (Hasidic) Judaism and see all of the Kabbalistic and mystical elements that influence that sect.]
      Regarding Messiah, we are Messianic
      Regarding the Holy Spirit, we are mystic
      Regarding Grace, we are Calvinist
      Regarding the written Torah, we are as Orthodox Judaism
      Regarding our need for Messiah’s atoning work, we are Christian
      Regarding the Chosen People of G-d, Israel, we are Zionist
      Regarding the life of Torah for Jew and Gentiles alike, we are “One People, One Law” [Gotta Scripture to back that one up?]

      We hold that:

      There is one G-d who is above all things and in absolute control of His creation.
      G-d created the universe in six literal days. Man was created as a unique being in the image of G-d.

      Yeshua HaMashiach [Yeshua the Messiah] is the expression of the invisible G-d, fully G-d yet fully man. He came to earth, born of a virgin, suffered and died as the perfect sacrifice to redeem His people from sin, rose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. At a future time, He will return to the earth as the reigning King.

      Salvation is by grace, a free gift of G-d apart from works; salvation is through personal faith in Yeshua HaMashiach; all who follow Him are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become the children of G-d; and true salvation will be manifested by a changed life, as G-d has written His Torah upon our hearts.

      All people will be resurrected from the dead in the Last Day—the righteous to everlasting life in the World to Come and the wicked to everlasting death in the lake of fire.

      Scripture, which includes both the Hebrew TaNaKh and the Apostolic Scriptures, is without error in its original manuscripts. From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture is the supreme and final authority for faith and life, and none of it has been abolished.

      A good chunk of the above I even agree with, but Judaism (especially that Chassidic bit) nullifies any “Christianity” that you claim. I stand by my comments about Bereans Online . . .

      Bereans Online is typical of Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism sites. It mixes Christianity with Judaism and tries to come up with a “pure” or “superior” belief system, when the fact of the matter is that what you really end up with is a LOT of inconsistencies. And though you claim in your comment that Messiah is the central theme to your site, He is not. Torah is central. Your “about” page touts Scripture as your authority, yet you turn to sects of Judaism and mysticism for its interpretation.

      Mix-and-match? Yes. By me? No.

      -JGIG

  17. The commandments were written by the very hand of God.Forever.. Amen.
    All the laws and commandments can be summed up these two things ;First Love God with all your heart ,mind and soul and Love your neighbor as yourself.If you Love God you keep his commandments.God personally wrote the commandments and they are important but God desires mercy before sacrifice.And finally of course to keep everyday as holy ,as in Galatians Would be wisest.
    Jesus fulfilled everything with his power of mercy and he “sacrificed” everything for it.Eveyone wants love,its the core of all religions,even an atheist wants love,the perfect,whole,essence of life which is love was simplified by Jesus when he summed it all up and even beyond by loving his ENEMY…AND if we choose to follow this way through the perfect sacrifice of turning the cheek and understanding the only true enemy is the confusion of lies(half truths)….And in this light and spirit we can fight the oppression of hatred.Which is pride-in ourselves or others and that evil is a powerhouse and very sad.

  18. Exodus 31:17 “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a PERPETUAL covenant.

    Jesus came only for the lost sheep of Israel(Matthew 15:24)

    • Hi Debra,

      If you believe that you should keep a seventh-day Sabbath to be obedient to God, then that’s what you should do. I would never dream of advising someone to go against their conscience. To mandate seventh-day Sabbath keeping for the Body of Christ, however, is out of bounds. There are lots of articles here at JGIG that show that the Sabbath is not mandated to the Body of Christ.

      If you have found that in your Christian liberty that observing a seventh-day Sabbath is a blessing in your life, then I think that’s great. But it is your choice, it is no longer Law for the believer in Christ, for He is our Sabbath Rest.

      As for Jesus coming only for the lost sheep of Israel, at that point in His ministry, that was the case. However if you read the whole passage a gentile woman believes that Jesus is Who He says He is, has faith in Him, and He honors her request. He honors her faith. Law had nothing to do with her! Faith had everything to do with her!

      Blessings,
      -JGIG

  19. Gentiles are heirs with Israel (Ephesians 3:6).Man was not made for the Sabbath,The Sabbath was made for Man.

    Exodus 31:17 “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever;for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”

    “Israel” means those who struggle with God and prevail.

    Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath(Matthew 12:8)

    • Debra, there is this idea in the HRM/MJism that Gentiles actually become Israel when they come to faith in Jesus Christ. Much of that teaching comes from a misinterpretation and misapplication of Romans 11. Gentiles become joint heirs with their brothers and sisters in faith, whether Gentile or Jew. The Body of Christ is made up of one NEW man, under Grace and the Law of Christ, no longer under Mosaic Covenant Law.

      As for the keeping of the Sabbath, again, there are several articles here at JGIG that reflect my position on the matter. As I stated in my other comment to you, if you have found that in your Christian liberty that observing a seventh-day Sabbath is a blessing in your life, then I think that’s great. But it is your choice, it is no longer Law for the believer in Christ, for He is our Sabbath Rest.

      If you believe that you should keep a seventh-day Sabbath to be obedient to God, then that’s what you should do. I would never dream of advising someone to go against their conscience. To mandate seventh-day Sabbath keeping for the Body of Christ, however, is out of bounds.

      -JGIG

  20. First, let me say that I am learning much from your sight, as I have personally been struggling with some of these issues as well. Nor am I trying to “convince” anyone one way or the other. I have come to the conclusion that each one must prayerfully take the matter up with the Lord and then abide by whatever insight and instruction is given by and through the Holy Spirit.

    However, one thing jumped out at me as I read this article; I quote you “Culturally, the Law doesn’t always translate. But the Gospel always does! Where the Law fails, the Gospel succeeds. The Gospel can be taken into any culture and understood. The Ten Commandments can be taken into any culture and be understood. ”

    The reason this jumped out at me is because Sabbath keeping is the fourth commandment. The Bible also tells us in Genesis 2:2-3 that God blessed the seventh day and consecrated – long before the Torah ever came about. I have searched God’s Word diligently both Old and New Testaments, and have not found where he blessed / consecrated any other day. It would appear to me, based upon Genesis 2:2-3, that God meant the Sabbath day to be blessed and consecrated, ie, holy, for all peoples of all cultures since this was done prior to any nations or cultures coming into being.

    Just a thought.

    Thank you for your patience and grace; and thank you for sharing what you have been learning regarding these things. They are enlightening in many aspects, and thought provoking in others.

    • Hi Seeking One,

      Welcome to JGIG =o).

      Thanks for your kind words about JGIG, I appreciate that.

      To your question: Sabbath is a part of the Ten Commandments. The observance as detailed in Mosaic Covenant Law, however, is not given until Sinai, as part of Mosaic Covenant Law. No command to observe the Sabbath was given before that time, so the Sabbath law was not from the beginning. Different people have come to different conclusions regarding the issue of whether or not to keep a seventh-day Sabbath. If one’s conscience dictates to them that they should observe a seventh day Sabbath, then according to Romans 14, that’s what they should do. I won’t get into the issues of debate here about the Sabbath issue; there are a number of articles on the Articles Page under the letter ‘S’. Those articles do a good job of examining the issues without bringing a lot of emotion into the mix. One article in particular relates to the Law (Sabbath Law, in particular) going into all cultures. I think the link is in the OP above and is also on the Articles Page, but here’s the link again: Bible Translator’s Problem

      You wrote: “Thank you for your patience and grace; and thank you for sharing what you have been learning regarding these things. They are enlightening in many aspects, and thought provoking in others.”

      Thank you so much for that. I take your thoughts as a great complement. If I can get people to really think about what they believe and why, both by what I write here and by giving them resources and tools for further study, then I have accomplished my goal for JGIG. Thanks again.

      Every Blessing,
      JGIG

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