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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.

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

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The Hebrew Roots Movement: So What?

So what if Christians want to keep the Law?  What’s wrong with keeping the Sabbath and observing the Feasts?  Are those things wrong?  The dietary laws, purification rituals . . . after all, we are talking about the Law . . . God’s standard for righteousness here, not some weird pagan ritualistic stuff, right?

I’ve been thinking about this the past few days as I’ve been compiling an HRM glossary (coming soon) and going through (again) the Hebrew Roots Movement doctrine I’ve become familiar with in the past several months, and the question does periodically come to mind, “So what?”

Some of you may be thinking the same thing.  What is the big deal about those who want to keep the Law?  Simply celebrating the Sabbath and feasts, in my opinion, are fine.  There is much to be learned by doing such things.  It’s important to know, however, that that’s where the HRM gets its foot in the door of a lot of people’s hearts, because if you’re already doing part of the Law, shouldn’t you be doing it ALL?  In and of themselves, celebrating the Sabbath and the Feasts are not a bad thing.  But it is important to understand that they are not a required  thing.  Understanding the completed work of Jesus at the Cross and what the New Covenant is – it’s so important to understand the freedom that was purchased there at so great a cost.

There is this impression put forth in the HRM that the Hebraic model of worship and relationship with God is the be-all and end-all to religious expression.  And that it’s not just an expression, but that it is required expression – required of all believers.  That Judaism is the root of our Christian faith.  That Judaism was never intended by God to be done away with.  Folks, relationship between God and man PREDATES  Judaism.  Jesus – and God’s promises that would be fulfilled through Him – PREDATE  the Law!

I found a post regarding the HRM over at “Labarum”, a blog from a decidedly more liturgical point of view.  I’m not knocking that, by the way . . . the more I learn about the shenanigans the HRM “leaders” are pulling, the more I’m learning to appreciate liturgy and its original purpose in defining and defending the foundations of biblical truth and doctrine while holding fast to my evangelical moorings.  Here’s an excerpt from the Labarum post entitled, “Root of the Problem”:

The movement [Hebrew Roots Movement] overall also suffers from a complete misunderstanding of both God’s motivation in choosing Abraham and his sovereignty in choosing the time when the Eternal Word would become incarnate. The choosing of the Jews had far less to do with God’s preference for Hebrew as it did with His rewarding the faith of Abraham.

It also never occurs to these folks that God in His sovereign will chose a time when the Mediterranean world was under the rule of one state (the Roman Empire) whose engineering feats had made quick travel over long distances possible through its vast network of roads, the highly expressive Greek language was the common tongue for learning, and Hellenistic culture had greatly influenced much of the known world since Alexander the Great.

The Greek language is highly suited for philosophical endeavors whereas Biblical Hebrew was relatively simple by comparison. I do not believe it was a coincidence that God chose a time when the infrastructure, language, and culture of an empire allowed an easy expansion of the faith, the widespread use of a language that allowed its forceful defense, and a rich culture that allowed it to be placed in the context of the fulfillment of all that is good within mankind.

Restricting the faith to some alleged “Hebrew Roots” that define a faith other than what ever existed removes two of the great strengths of Christianity – its universality and its historicity. However sincere its proponents may be, they are assuming Christ has never been able to fully realize His purpose for the Church until they came along. And, to borrow a term from the Jews, that’s chutzpah!  [Bolding mine.]

As Christians, we need to understand that those who claim to keep the Law perpetuate practices that Jesus ended when He completed His work at the Cross.  For example, Jesus took over and performed with finality the duties of Priest and sacrifice, not just the covering of sins, (as did animal sacrifices) but the erasing  of our sins, putting us in a position of justification before God.    

Hebrews 10:11-14
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool, because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are “the holy ones.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.

Hebrews 10:26-29
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Those in the HRM will argue that we need to keep the whole Law (barring sacrifices, though some think that should be brought back as well), because if we love God and want to honor Him we will keep His commandments.  Even as redeemed, Holy Spirit filled Christians we cannot keep the Law.  Most use Hebrews 10:26-27 as a “you can lose your salvation if you keep on sinning” passage.  Law Keepers use it as a “See, if you put yourselves under the Law and obey its edicts, you will not be in danger of losing your salvation.”  What about verses 28 and 29, though?  Let’s look at it again:  

Hebrews 10:28-29
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” 

Could this be speaking to the believer who goes back to the Law?  Could this passage be intended for the Torah observant Christian?  Is the Law keeping believer treating as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him and are they insulting the Spirit of Grace?

If we could keep the Law, (which we can’t) scripture tells us how God sees the situation of our attempts at Law keeping in Romans chapters 3 and 4.  From Romans 3:21-31:

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.  Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.  Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. 

Now before any Law Keepers say, “See!  We aren’t supposed to nullify the law!  We’re supposed to uphold it!”, let’s look at Romans 4:13-25:

It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.  For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.  As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’  He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.  This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.’  The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. 

Abraham faced the fact that his body was as good as dead, and that Sara’s womb was also dead.  God asked Abraham to believe the impossible.   It was crystal clear to Abraham that in his present state, there was nothing that he could do.  He was inherently unable to carry out what God had mandated.  God said, “I have made [past tense] you a father of many nations”.  Abraham believed that God would do what He said He would do – that God had the power to do what He said He would do, and it was that faith that was credited to him as righteousness.  It wasn’t anything that Abraham did, it was what God did.  Abraham was “fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised“.

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 

I think about the High Priest, the only one who was permitted to go to meet God on behalf of the people in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle/Temple.  He had to go through much purification before entering that Holiest place.  And even then, there was no guarantee that he would survive the encounter.  That’s the Law, folks.  Through Christ, however, and His work at the Cross, the Most Holy Place was made available to all, and all have the right to enter who are cleansed (not merely covered) by the Blood of the Lamb.

It is obvious that God DID do away with some very specific, pivotal points in the Law immediately  at the sacrifice of Himself at the Cross.  More of the Law passed away as time went on.  Why was the temple not rebuilt after AD 70?  If the early Church felt it so important to the worship of God to maintain the Hebrew point of view, why didn’t they rebuild it?  Where are the stories of Christians being thrown to the lions because they were intent on rebuilding the Temple?

Could it be that the early Church recognized that the new Temple was the Church, the Body of Christ, not built with blocks of stone, but with living stones, those being the redeemed people of God, with their Cornerstone being Jesus Christ Himself?  Indeed, is this not what Paul was telling the Church in Ephesians 2:11-22?

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.  He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

If we are not obligated to keep the Law, yet some in the Church are convinced that we are, what a cunningly deceptive way for the Enemy to enslave and immobilize portions of the Church.  The idea that the Holy Spirit enables us to keep Torah seems good and right, but the goals of Christ for the Church are so much loftier than for Her to keep Torah!  Christianity goes beyond the scope of Law keeping (which focuses on what we do to please God) and makes us dependent on the Holy Spirit for the renewing of our minds and hearts and actions (which focuses on what He does in/through us – Romans 12:1-2, 1 John 1:9, Philippians 3:1-11)!  While obedience is required in either scenario, which one do you think results in the writing of the Law on the heart versus the Law which has already been written on stone?  Who gets the glory in each scenario?

Have you ever had someone (an unbeliever) come up to you (a believer) and say, “What is it with you, anyway?!  Why are you so peaceful all the time?”  I have, and it wasn’t because I was wearing tzit tzit or a head covering or turning down unclean foods or preparing for Shabbat.  It was because the Holy Spirit is ALIVE in me, and He shows!  It is nothing of myself, but the Holy Spirit that is within me.  He gets the glory.

What do I do?  I submit to Him, I stay in His Word, I pray as the Spirit leads.  I love God and I love others as I love myself.  And when someone does come up to me and asks me “what’s so different about me?” — out comes the Gospel.  How God made a way from death to life, how He loved us so much He sent His Son Jesus, God incarnate, to take the penalty of our inability to keep the Law, and how if we make Him Lord of our lives HE CHANGES US! 

The “Go out into all the world and make disciples” command becomes a natural outpouring in the life of the believer.  For some believers, that will mean that they will be called to a literal foreign mission field, ministering to people groups in the far corners of the globe.  For others, they will have Divine appointments with those they come in contact with in their daily lives.  And the Temple of the Lord under the New Covenant is built – living stone by living stone.

Conclusion

So what?  What is the big deal about Law keeping?  If keeping the Sabbath is something you feel God has asked you to do out of obedience to Him, do it.  To make it Law for everyone, however, is not supported by the New Covenant Scriptures.  We have a Sabbath rest in Jesus.  If you want to celebrate Feasts to gain a deeper understanding of the pictures they paint of God’s plan of redemption and restoration, I think that’s fine.  To do so feeling commanded by Scripture, however, is not supported by New Covenant Scriptures.  The Law and it’s Feasts and Holy days were a shadow of things to come.  We live in the reality that is Christ!  (Colossians 2:17)

If you find yourself leaving the reality that is Christ and what He completed at the Cross, then look out.  Look out for those who will say Torah observance is mandatory for every Christian.  Look out for those who will lead you through scriptural mazes to bring you to “hidden truth” or “lost doctrine”.  Beware of false teachers and prophets that will have your head so wrapped up in “new knowledge” derived from questionable sources and practices that it will be hard to ever see true Grace and Mercy again!

For me the “So what?” boils down to how God views Law keeping through the Blood sacrifice that He personally provided for us.  The Grace extended, the suffering endured, the Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension . . . those things were accomplished to give us NEW life.  The Law was given as instructions to lawless people – people bound by sin.  To behave and practice as if we were still bound by our sin when He has removed our sin as far as the east is from the west – well, are we then trampling the Son of God underfoot?  Are we treating as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified us?  Are we insulting the Spirit of grace?

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

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Other articles of interest:

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If you or someone you know is in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect and are questioning what you believe, 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.  May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.

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31 Responses

  1. Very good article, right to the point and concise. This is the best so far!
    Thanks,
    Ann

  2. Just reread your article, it is very good. One of those articles that can be read and read again. Excellent points!

  3. Excellent article, as are all of them in this series. I think you have “coined” the movement quite well and have done some extensive research, which shows.

    One point that I would differ with you on is that celebrating the feasts to gain better understanding is really opening yourself up to be led into the movement. Perhaps a knee jerk reaction, but if one looks at why those in this movement keep the feasts, it’s because they feel they are being obedient to God by going back to observing the Mosaic Law. Usually celebrating the feasts means relying on a man-made system for instruction on how to do it and that means reaching into Judaism for the answers. Unfortunately, Judaism is completely based on Rabbinic traditions which are held in higher regard that the written Word of God and denies that Jesus is the Messiah. By celebrating the feasts one is getting understanding from a system that is in opposition to those who are believers in Jesus Christ.

    Also, in order to celebrate the feasts as God commanded them, one would have to sacrifice an animal for a sin offering. I would think that would put a damper on the celebration right quick :) Personally, I see celebrating the feasts as unnecessary – one can get the full impact of the purpose of the feasts by reading the first five books of the Bible and the NT, especially the book of Hebrews.

    I would encourage people to think twice about celebrating the feasts, I feel it would do more harm spiritually than good, as I was once deeply involved in Hebrew Roots. It is a terrible thing to be deceived – I would not recommend “going there” :)

    Thanks so much for your series – I believe they are an wonderful tool for understanding the issues and concerns of being affiliated with the Hebrew Roots Movement.

  4. Thank you for the link to my Labarum blog and the favorable comments on my article “Root of the Problem”. You might find of interest some videos I am currently preparing for my Youtube site. I have begun a seven part series on the accusation – common in Hebrew Roots circles – than the name Jesus is somehow derived from the pagan Greek god Zeus. This is a complete absurdity with no basis in fact but it shows up all over the internet at HRM sites and other tangentially connected ministries within Messianic Judaism and the “Sacred Name” movement. My Youtube site is:

    http://www.youtube.com/labarum312

    Just click on the link for the playlist for Jesus and Zeus. There are two videos uploaded now. The first is an introuduction and the second looks at the Greek forms of Jesus and Zeus and shows there are no root similarites. The later videos will be on languages and alphabets, the root of the Greek name for Zeus from an Indo-European god Dyeus phter, the derivation of the Greek name for Jesus from the Hebrew Yehoshua and the Aramaic Yeshua, the evolution of the Greek forms into the current English forms, and closing remarks.

    In Christ,

    Albert McIlhenny

  5. “It’s important to know, however, that that’s where the HRM gets its foot in the door of a lot of people’s hearts, because if you’re already doing part of the Law, shouldn’t you be doing it ALL?”
    _______________________________________________________________________
    We are already commanded to do at least ‘Part of the Law’, by Jesus Himself, and He even says that on the 2 great commandments hang ALL of the Law and Prophets, and

    Deut 6:4 and Lev. 19: 18, are where Matthew 22: 37-39, Mark 12: 29-34, Luke 10: 25-37 came from.

    In Matthew 5: 18-19 He also says that those who break one of these least commandments will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.

    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    D

  6. I believe that the FULL Bible (OT and NT) is God’s Word, and is profitable as 2 Timothy says:

    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    The bottom line is that Jesus did indeed keep Torah, and as the perfect fulfillment of Torah, He would not have led anyone away from keeping Torah as an act of obedience.

    Consider this:

    Deuteronomy 13 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2013;&version=9;
    (This passage is why the Jews wanted to stone Jesus…..but the problem was not that He violated Torah, but that He violated the additions/changes to the Torah.)

    1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

    2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

    ***3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

    ***4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

    If Jesus had led people away from Torah, He would not have been the sinless sacrifice that He was.

    If Paul led people away from Torah, he needs to be discounted as a false prophet…. based on the Word of God in Deut. 13.

    Is 66 and Zech 14 both show Appointed times from Lev. 23 being celebrated in the Millennium….some with severe penalties on the people who refuse to come up to Jerusalem for the feast. Is. 66 also states that when Jesus returns, the people eating pork, and the abomination will be consumed….This is in the future, so I think I would rather be paying attention to what God says is sin and what is not rather than what people say is sin or not, and keep my accounts short with Him.

    If Jesus/Yeshua were to be walking on the earth today how many church-goers (regardless of denomination) would recognize Him as a completely Torah Obedient Jew?

    Or, perhaps, He would not fit into the various denominational paradigms and rules such as “Don’t drink, don’t dance, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls who do” to name just one?

    Aren’t those just as much fence laws as the whole Talmud? Every denomination has their own flavor and version of them; the Catholics, the Baptists, Nazarenes, Non-denominational, Pentecostal etc. I was brought up in a Baptist background, and went to a Baptist rooted college etc. what a relief it was to finally come to terms that my obedient life after salvation was already laid out in Scripture by God Himself, and did not depend on little rule books, or anything other than my Bible itself. Sin is defined in Torah, as is righteous living. I am not in any way saying that this righteous living is the means to salvation….It should grow out of having been saved.

    Jesus did not leave Torah in just an outward form, he took it right into the heart when he taught on adultery, and said that if any one look with lust, the adultery had already been committed. I John taught that if someone hates his brother he is a murderer. That goes a WHOLE lot farther into the heart of the matter than the Torah written on stone did, yet it still upholds the Torah as it was written.

    In His Service,
    D

  7. Mom 2 4, I had a few thoughts in response to your post. Forgive the length of it, but I wanted to address your points adequately.

    Mom wrote:
    “The bottom line is that Jesus did indeed keep Torah, and as the perfect fulfillment of Torah, He would not have led anyone away from keeping Torah as an act of obedience.”

    sheep: That line of thought bothers me a bit. Torah was given to teach people what was right or wrong in God’s eyes. Jesus is God in the flesh, and as God was sinless and incapable of sinning, so why would He need to keep Torah to teach Him sin? What I find puzzling as well, is that the Bible never really states that He needed to keep Torah to be the perfect sacrifice. Although Torah does point to sin, there are a lot of other ways of sinning that are referenced throughout the OT that also point to sin, not covered in Torah.

    According to Torah when one sinned, an offering of an animal was sacrificed and blood shed for sins. Knowing that Jesus was perfect would lead one to believe that He did not sacrifice for sin or need to “keep” the Law in order to remain sinless. It’s also interesting to note that the Gospels clearly show Jesus changed the Law. Many times He stated, “you have heard it said ….” and He answers that with, “BUT, I say unto you ….” and then adds something which was not in Torah, nor implied. These are all things that I think about a lot and wonder why the “Jesus kept Torah” is stressed so much as a “doctrine” of sorts.

    I agree that Jesus taught people to keep Torah before His death and resurrection, and yet always taught them something fresh and new that they had not heard before. That puzzles me, because if they were keeping Torah, why was it considered “new”? He indicated at the Last Supper that the New Covenant was taking affect in His blood. Hebrews tells us that this caused a change in the Law, and those commandments were carnal [fleshly] and were written on stony tablets. The New Covenant are laws written on our soft and pliable hearts – those laws that Jesus showed us which He called a new commandment. 1 John explains those new commandments simply as belief in Christ, and love for our brothers, reiterating what Jesus had said.

    1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
    23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
    24 And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he stays in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mom wrote:
    “ (This passage is why the Jews wanted to stone Jesus…..but the problem was not that He violated Torah, but that He violated the additions/changes to the Torah.)”

    sheep: I believe that the NT shows that the reason the Jews wanted to stone Jesus was because He claimed to be God, not because he disobeyed Torah.

    John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
    57 Then said the Jews to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?
    58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.
    59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the middle of them, and so passed by.

    John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
    30 I and my Father are one.
    31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
    32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?
    33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.

    I am not quite sure what Deut 13 has to do with Jesus keeping Torah in order to be the Sacrifice for sin. The context of the passage is leading one away from the one true God into idolatry.

    Deu 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder,
    2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them;
    3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mom wrote:
    If Paul led people away from Torah, he needs to be discounted as a false prophet…. based on the Word of God in Deut. 13.

    sheep: Paul said that everything he learned and believed he counted for dung, but for the cross of Christ. I believe he meant the religious system he was under, for it denied Christ, and because of it he persecuted believers. Paul did not keep Torah himself. One of the most important commandments is that men must go up to Jerusalem three times a year for three of the feasts. For two different periods of time, Paul never went up – once for a three year period and again for fourteen years. I have heard some say that he was living too far away for the journey, but in Acts 2, we see that men came from very long distances to attend Pentecost – one of the required feasts, so I think if he wanted to prove that he was Torah observant to new converts he would have gone out of his way to go up to Jerusalem for the required feasts.

    Paul did not teach or obey Torah in regard to tithing, and he also taught against circumcision.

    I have heard it taught that Paul sacrificed, but there are no texts in the NT that show it.

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

    Mom wrote:
    Is 66 and Zech 14 both show Appointed times from Lev. 23 being celebrated in the Millennium….some with severe penalties on the people who refuse to come up to Jerusalem for the feast. Is. 66 also states that when Jesus returns, the people eating pork, and the abomination will be consumed….This is in the future, so I think I would rather be paying attention to what God says is sin and what is not rather than what people say is sin or not, and keep my accounts short with Him.

    sheep: Would you agree that those who do not accept Jesus as Messiah [“go up to the cross”, Jerusalem/Zion is Christ/where He died and our Tabernacle as Emmanuel – God is with us/indwelt by the Holy Spirit] would encounter severe penalties for their unbelief?

    The NT teaches that the only thing that sends people to condemnation are those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and do not bear good fruit. As Jesus said, it is not what a man eats that makes him unclean, but what comes out of His heart.

    From what you have stated [keeping your accounts short with Him], I am wondering if you do not believe that Jesus paid for all sin?

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

    Mom wrote:

    If Jesus/Yeshua were to be walking on the earth today how many church-goers (regardless of denomination) would recognize Him as a completely Torah Obedient Jew?

    sheep: According to the Gospel accounts, people believed He was the Messiah because He fulfilled prophecy by the miracles and the words that He spoke. When Jesus called the disciples, they did not know who He was, yet they followed Him instantly. They did not know if He kept Torah or not. Even the Pharisees did not know who He was and said He was uneducated and unknowledgeable and yet heard Jesus teach “new doctrine”. The is very interesting. The main thing that Jesus taught was love for God and for your neighbor. He called it a new commandment, even though those words are recorded in Torah. And the people were amazed at what He taught.

    In Christ,
    sheep wrecked

  8. this really helps me understand even better the HRM thinking and beliefs. Thank you!

  9. Thank you for taking the time to write this article. I have had many questions in regards to the Hebrew Roots Movement as my aunt and uncle believe in this strongly. I never really know how to respond to them, but I think that your article will prove to be very helpful.
    Thank you.

  10. My Mother and Sister have both become obsessed with the HRM. This website is truly a blessing.

  11. It is amazing because no matter how much scripture and information I show them proving that they are involved in a false doctrine they still refuse to believe it. It’s really sad!

    • Brandon, there is a definite spiritual component to the equation – Paul tells those who put themselves back under Law that they have let themselves be ‘bewitched’. That’s pretty strong language! Prayer and continuing to gently and lovingly present the Truths of the Gospel are what we are called to do – and to love them well when and how we can.

      Grace and peace to you as you continue to stand for the Gospel,
      -JGIG

  12. Reblogged this on Daniel Lovett and commented:
    Amazing treatise on the Hebrew Roots movement. Glad I found it!

  13. Hello! I have been inspired by reading some of your posts and wrote one of my own:

    http://daniellovett.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/response-to-jim-staleys-identity-crisis-hebrew-roots-movement/

    your brother in Christ,

    Daniel Lovett

  14. I am not sure what I believe anymore, I do know that Christmas is NOT Christ’s birthday, it would be a lie to say so which is why I can’t tell people its Christ’s birthday when its not and expect them to trust I am sharing the truth/gospel. Please don’t respond and try to convince me of how you have christianized paganism is why I should embrace the lie.

    I know Easter is wrong also, my bible says three days AND three nights THAT is how we know HE is the Christ, I don’t care how you slice Friday to Monday your not going to get three days AND three nights.

    As for the HRM, I duno, there seems to be alot of fighting and discrediting each other with Scripture to back both sides, I do know that I love the Lord my God with all my heart and have done so for over 30 years, what bothers me is HOW Christians choose to witness the gospel, they are in as much or more debt than the world, they rank higher for divorce likely because the world gave up getting married, they lie, they cheat, frankly??? I honestly do not see any difference in “professing” Christians verses the world so…………………..

    If we have this Bible, and we KNOW this God, why is there no difference? Why has Christianity just gone further and further away from the truth? You can’t argue anything anymore because if you do, your not giving GRACE, we are all under grace, yep we are all sinners, and the reason to become a Christian? Maybe to escape hell, eternal punishment, separation from God maybe? I’m not sure of the newest lingo on selling the faith. Perhaps people who are embracing the HRM right or wrong are doing so because they desire to be different, to be separate from the world, this would make them very different even though the Jews missed Christ and some of the HRM could also if they convert to far to Judism.

    I could see that, I could embrace the feasts to teach my kids about God, HIS kingdom and its easy to use to teach them about what is coming. I would obey the ten commandments because they are wise and good for me, society and all who obey them. I believe Christ died for me, HE shed his blood for me, I don’t think I will get into heaven because I might choose to keep the feasts/sabath or the ten commandments but I know I won’t if I don’t believe on HIS name and WHO HE IS, HE IS THE I AM.

    Am I harsh? Yes, why because if the crap from most pulpits today, the example of the pastors and their porn rates, had been preached over 30 years ago? I know I would not have embraced this religion.

    Here’s a really wild take…….how about Satan got booted out of heaven because he wanted to be like God, how about Adam and Eve got booted out of the garden of Eden because they also wanted to be like God, how about Moses gave the ten commandments so everyone who was living in Egypt and had embraced their “gods” would know how to love and serve the one and only true God. We all apart from the blood of Christ live everyday as though we are gods, when we believe Christ is the Son of God and believe on HIS name we humble ourselves and are no longer living like self centered gods but something different. And just maybe that difference MIGHT be expressed differently than what is being offered as main stream Christianity, maybe the difference might bring more folks to the TRUTH, to believe on the name of Christ and be saved!!!

    • btw, I do not celebrate the feasts or Saturday Sabath but I can say that it does interest me, while I know we can’t obey the ten commandments perfectly, I guess I just see them as “how” God told us to try to live to be an example, I see sin as wanting to be a God, living separate from God and we do this by living opposite to the ten commandments, the commandments show God’s love to each other and to HIM, breaking them hurts people and God. I’m not into the whole Torah thing with tassels and sacrifices, those just seemed to be given to a people who did not know how to live any more except like the Egyptians.

  15. AND if sin entered the world through one man, Adam, which of Moses laws did he break? Which part of the torah did he not keep? Satan fooled Eve into eating because she wanted to be “like” God and Adam who was with her (check it out) just sinned, he wasn’t fooled like Eve, he wanted to be a god and therefore sinned, so sin is wanting to be a god. The Law is for? How not to be a god and if you don’t keep it your a god? The Torah is how not to be a god and if you don’t keep it your a god? I am being sincere here, this just not make sense to me either does keeping the law or keeping the torah redeem a relationship back with the God. Like I said initially, I just do not know what I believe anymore :(

  16. Hi L,

    Wow – that’s a lot of heart-felt honesty coming out! I hear you. There is much confusion in the Body of Christ today, mostly because she had gotten away from the simplicity of the Gospel and mixed Law with Grace.

    I don’t know how open you are, or if this was just a good place to vent, but if I may, I’d like to suggest some links that you may find helpful as you try to sort out what you believe and what you don’t believe. None of the following links have to do with trying to talk you into or out of Feast or holiday keeping, dietary law keeping or not, Sabbath keeping or not. Those are matters of personal conviction and are secondary issues.

    The goal here at JGIG is to build up believers about who they are in Christ:

    Who Jesus is
    What He came to do
    What that actually accomplished, and
    Who believers are in Him.

    When believers have a firm grasp of who they are in Christ and the scope of what that actually means, they begin to find victory over sin, walk in love, joy and peace, and sinning is reduced in their lives.

    The first resource I’d like to refer you to is the page entitled, simply, ‘The Gospel’. There you will find a series of five teachings, most less than an hour, that communicate the simple Truths of the Gospel in a very gentle, joyful, and thorough way. The titles of each part of the series are:

    •The Clear Message of Grace Part 1 – Forgiveness (appx. 50 min.)
    •The Clear Message of Grace Part 2 – Righteousness (appx. 65 min.)
    •The Clear Message of Grace Part 3 – Unbroken Access to God (appx. 40 min.)
    •The Clear Message of Grace Part 4 – No Longer Under the Law (appx. 50 min.)
    •The Clear Message of Grace Part 5 – A New Nature (appx. 50 min.)

    All are free to listen to/download and you can read more about the series and access the links here: https://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/the-gospel/

    I’ll give you just one more recommendation here, and you may have already read through it as it’s at the top of the home page at the moment, “Grace or Law? How Then Shall We Live?

    Grace and peace to you, L. I hope the above links will be helpful to you.

    Much love in Christ,
    -JGIG

  17. Here’s my 2¢. I read and understand that most of christianity
    Posted here is Pauline in essense. By that I mean that you follow Paul’s teaching rather than Jesus’ teachings.

    My question to all who believe that keeping Torah is a false doctrine is this; why did Jesus choose 12 desciples and take them under wing for three years and teach them to keep Torah, which by the way means instruction in righteousness, then one day suddenly take Paul and tell him to throw everything that he had taught while he was here out the window and teach something that he himself never taught?

    Also Paul had no witnesses to verify that Jesus had made him an special apostle. Jesus Himself said that He couldn’t witness for Himself because it took two or more witnesses bear witness of ones testimony (John 5:30-32, 8:18, Matt. 18:16).

    Now why did Jesus come, why did the Father send Him? He, Jesus said He was sent but for the lost sheep of Is real, please read Matt. 15: 22-28. James tells us that sin is transgression of the law. Please the complete 2nd chapter of James. Torah is not grevious, it justifies.

    When all that seems to be quoted here is from Paul’s epistles, sure you have an argument for not keeping Torah, which is not law. Law is a term that Paul first used. Jesus and the twelve called them the commandments of GOD. Grace is a gift of GOD. This simply means to be gracious like our Heavenly Father.

    If it is impossible to keep Torah, why then are we commanded to be perfect even as our Heavenly Father is perfect? Jesus, James and John taught this.

    You see, its easy to take scripture and use it to qualify what we believe. The problem is, what do we do with scripture that teaches what Jesus taught that is contradictory to what Paul teaches?

    • Regarding Paul’s apostleship: First, I must commend you, as one whom I assume is Torah pursuant, for rejecting Paul outright, instead of building endless theological contraptions designed to make Paul say things that he clearly does not say. Paul clearly teaches that we who are in Christ are no longer bound to, under, or in any way connected to the Law.

      Second, it has always interested me how the anti-Paul/pro-Torah stance is in agreement with the Islamic view. Here is an excellent resource addressing that point of view: The Historical Case for Paul’s Apostleship (from Answering Islam)

      Third, if you are going to reject Paul, you must also reject the whole of the New Covenant Scriptures, including the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles because the Apostles you seem to have no problem with received Paul as an Apostle. If they were wrong about that, how can you trust anything else they say?

      The rest of your comment is based on the words of the other Apostles who recognized Paul, so that leaves you in a bit of a pickle, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, I will address each point =o).

      —> You wrote, “Now why did Jesus come, why did the Father send Him? He, Jesus said He was sent but for the lost sheep of Is real, please read Matt. 15: 22-28.”

      Here’s a snippet from another post here at JGIG regarding the lost sheep of Israel:

      John 10:14-16
      14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

      That is a clear reference, before the Cross, to Gentiles being ‘other sheep’ for whom Christ also came, and a clear foreshadowing of the ‘One New Man in Christ’ concept in the statement, ‘and there shall be one flock [One New Man] and one shepherd [in Christ]. Also this, after the Cross:

      Romans 1:16-17
      16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

      God clearly was providing for salvation for all mankind, not just for Israel.

      —> You wrote, “James tells us that sin is transgression of the law.”

      Actually, it was John who said that in 1 Jn. 3:4.

      God’s commandments after the Cross are defined in that same chapter, just a few verses later:

      23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

      The only sin left for judgement is the sin of unbelief; all other transgressions were dealt with at the Cross, and as it is written in 2 Cor. 5,

      18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

      Which is the fulfillment of Psalms 32:

      1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
      whose sin is covered.

      2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
      and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

      —> You wrote, “Please the complete 2nd chapter of James. Torah is not grevious, it justifies.”

      In the interest of brevity, I’ll refer you to the following article at Escape to Reality which addresses your statement: James 2:24

      I’ll also leave you with a quote from Paul (sorry, I know you don’t recognize him as valid, but I do):

      19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (from Gal. 2)

      —> You wrote, “When all that seems to be quoted here is from Paul’s epistles, sure you have an argument for not keeping Torah, which is not law. Law is a term that Paul first used. Jesus and the twelve called them the commandments of GOD. Grace is a gift of GOD. This simply means to be gracious like our Heavenly Father.”

      The commandments come with penalties for disobedience, yes? That is Law. And Paul was not first to use ‘law’ for the commandnments. Looks like it was James.

      —> You wrote, “Grace is a gift of GOD. This simply means to be gracious like our Heavenly Father.”

      That’s so interesting that you turned Grace into something that we must ‘do’. You define it as it meaning to be gracious like our Heavenly Father. There is no support for your definition – someone (or you) made that up. Look up the Hebrew (H2580) and the Greek (G5485) to see the actual meanings of Grace. Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness (Titus 2), and the Spirit, producing His Fruit through us makes us gracious (Gal. 5, 1 Cor. 13), but it is Fruit, not our performance which makes up Grace.

      —> You wrote, “If it is impossible to keep Torah, why then are we commanded to be perfect even as our Heavenly Father is perfect? Jesus, James and John taught this.”

      You’re misreading that as a command, when God is trying to tell you who you are in Christ (Him): It says BE perfect, not DO perfect. Check out Hebrews 10:

      10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

      11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

      If righteousness came through the Law, then Christ would have no need to come. It is impossible to keep Torah – that’s one of the reasons it was given – to show mankind their inability to measure up to the perfect and holy standards of a Holy God. The only One capable of keeping Torah is Messiah. Unless you are Him, you are not able.

      —> You wrote, “You see, its easy to take scripture and use it to qualify what we believe. The problem is, what do we do with scripture that teaches what Jesus taught that is contradictory to what Paul teaches?”

      Your timing on this was interesting; I just posted on Facebook about this very thing. Since your contact is a Facebook page, I’ll link you to that post: https://www.facebook.com/248822244000/photos/a.268749839000.141513.248822244000/10152432417294001/?type=1&permPage=1

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

      • You definately made an argument that no one but Jesus could keep the law. So what do you do with Luke 1:6.. In reference to Zechariah and Elizabeth? “And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.”
        Jim

      • Zechariah and Elizabeth were only blameless and righteous under the Law until their next sin.

        In Christ, we have the very righteousness of God; there is nothing we could do to earn it, as it is a free gift in Christ by faith, and there is nothing that we can do to lose it, as it is God’s righteousness and not our own.

        See Hebrew Roots Movement – Man’s Righteousness or God’s Righteousness?

      • Thank you for your response. My comment about Zechariah and Elizabeth simply dispels the myth that Christians have been taught that no one could keep the Law but Jesus. I did not say they were sinless. The Mosaic system was put into place to make a way for the children of a Israel to approach God. I agree with you the yearly sacrifice(Day of Atonements) simply covered the sins of Israel for a year. Jesus once and for all provided the sacrifice that has satisfied the Father. Here is my problem in the realm of Christianity. You said

        “We, as believers in Christ, need to understand who we are in Him. Don’t let anyone tell you that ‘you are now Israel and as such are subject to the Laws given to Her by God through Moses’. If you are in Christ, you are now dead to the Law and alive in Christ. If you are in Christ, you are part of the Body of Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female – we believers are all one in Him!

        First of all I am not a part of the HRM, however I for a short period of time attended a Torah group home study who identified themselves as a HR’s community. They focused on the Torah to the exclusion of Jesus’ words and you can forget about Paul’s teachings on Messiah. While we loved the community fellowship for a few months, which BTW is missing in most Christian congregations, there was something missing. Could have been my Baptist upbringing but if there is no other name by which men must be saved, you did not hear it as often as you did the word TORAH. Their response was Jesus is the living Torah and by becoming obedient to the Torah, you are lifting him up. I was unable to buy in to it.

        However, the problem I have with the way most hear and equate your words above about being dead to the law, is that the Law has been done away with and that I no longer have to obey any commandments in the context of my sanctification. I may trust in Jesus for the salvation of my soul as a result of his sacrifice, but I must demonstrate that by being obedient to his commandments. Faith doesn’t absolve my responsibility to obey, it now frees me to obey not based on the letter of the Law, but the Spirit. If their are 613 Mosaic commandments it’s been said there are 1142 both positive and negative commandments of Jesus found in the NT that he will expect us to obey, not for salvation purposes but in the context of our sanctification. If we are to be a peculiar people, a people separate of this world, it won’t be accomplished by a statement of faith, it will be in the demonstration of a life of obedience to his words.

        We have laws that govern every aspect of our lives, and when they are broken, a price is exacted from us. I believe that is what is wrong with our Christian communities. Each one determining what is right in his own eyes resulting in lawlessness.

        Jeremiah 31 tells us the new covenant was to Israel and Judah. 31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

        I believe this is what happened on the day of Pentecost. God wrote his commandments as promised on the hearts of the 120 Jewish believers in that upper room. The result of the Torah upon the heart resulted in the proclamation of the gospel with POWER in which we see 3000 added to the Eklessia. So it makes sense that we now have the compulsion to obey God’s commandments from within with the newness of the Spirit and not by the letter of the law.

        Let’s lift Jesus up but require our communities of faith to obey commandments that are clearly defined. The 10 commandments have not been done away with. Jesus on several occasions gave us fuller meaning of some but never negating our responsibility to obey.

        It is only through obedience to him (obeying his commandments) can we joyfully grow in grace.

        We are not free from Law, just the curse of the Law that it brings.

        Sent from my iPad

      • Hi again, Jim. I’ve put some paragraph breaks in your comment to make it more readable; hope you don’t mind. And please, going forward, keep your comments under 500 words =o).

        You wrote, “My comment about Zechariah and Elizabeth simply dispels the myth that Christians have been taught that no one could keep the Law but Jesus. I did not say they were sinless. The Mosaic system was put into place to make a way for the children of a Israel to approach God.”

        —> Jesus didn’t just keep the Law; Jesus fulfilled the Law. He kept it perfectly, not by performance, but by His perfect, sinless nature.
        —> The Mosaic system was NOT put into place to make a way for the children of Israel to approach God. They had full access to God before the Law was given. They sinned repeatedly before the Law was put in place and God dealt patiently with them. When the Law came, so did judgment, as required by the Law. When the Law came, 3000 died. When the Spirit came, 3000 lived. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law (Gal. 5). There is no mixing of the two.

        Regarding the balance of your comment, you’re drawing false conclusions about what the Work of Christ accomplished. The Work of Christ does not provide us with the ability or power to now obey commandments, however you choose to define them, but to be indwelt by the very Life of God – His Spirit – and to be led into works that He’s prepared in advance for us to do. Any command that God cares about is fulfilled in love, for love will not murder, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc.

        The ‘commands’ to not sin in the New Covenant Scriptures are not laws, but exhortations. God DOES care about our behavior! Sinning is dumb and it hurts us and those around us. But the Scriptures don’t say that we (Christ’s disciples) will be known by our Law-keeping. The Scriptures say that we’ll be known by our love. And love fulfills all that God wants for us and from us. The really cool thing? He even provides THAT. It’s a Fruit of the Spirit. Fruit doesn’t strive to be produced, it is produced by the Vine, the Root. As we rest and abide – live – in Christ, He produces the Fruit; we bear it.

        You wrote, “Let’s lift Jesus up but require our communities of faith to obey commandments that are clearly defined. The 10 commandments have not been done away with. Jesus on several occasions gave us fuller meaning of some but never negating our responsibility to obey.
        It is only through obedience to him (obeying his commandments) can we joyfully grow in grace.
        We are not free from Law, just the curse of the Law that it brings.”

        Romans 11:6 says this: “6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

        Regarding the 10 Commandments, yes, for those in Christ, they have been done away with. Read 2 Cor. 3 for clarity on this point. And Galatians 5:18 is completely clear: If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Period. It doesn’t have a caveat regarding the 10 Commandments. That said, Galatians 5 goes on to say that in Christ we bear the Fruit of the Spirit, which is Love. Obedience to the works of love that God has prepared in advance for us to do is part of Fruit-bearing, not commandment-keeping.

        You can read more here and here about Grace, Law, and how we are to live in Christ.

      • I think I saw your take on Pleroo.. (Fulfilled)

        I read a book some time ago(30 years ago) written by Roy Blizzard. At the time he was a professor of Judeo-Christian Studies in Austin Texas. He still has a web presence and is president of Bible Scholars of Austin Texas.
        http://www.biblescholars.org/2013/05/biography-full-mountain.html

        He wrote a book, in which he advertises on his webpage, “The Difficult Words of Jesus,”. In it, he offers many instances, in which words or phrases have been understood incorrectly in the new testament.

        One is the passage in Matthew 5:17-19. His studies report that the terms ‘fulfil’ and or ‘destroy’, are Hebrew idioms found within rabbinic Judaism. Have you ever come across this?

        The word to ‘fulfil’ meaning to ‘interpret correctly’ and to ‘destroy’, was to ‘misinterpret’ the meaning of the passage ultimately destroying its meaning for the listeners which is what most of the leadership in Jesus’ day were doing.

      • Roy Blizzard’s education notwithstanding, does he ever go to the simple definition of ‘fulfilled’/plēroō?

        Again, you seem to be stuck on the Law being destroyed or done away with. The Gospel does not teach that; the Gospel teaches that the believer in Christ dies to the Law. The Law still has a purpose: To point the unrighteous to Christ. Once the Law has done that, if one comes into Christ by faith, they die to the Law (see Rom. 5, Gal. 2, Gal. 3).

        Two articles here that detail these very foundational truths are:

        —> Released/Delivered From the Law and Christ is the End of the Law – Getting Greeky About Romans 7, 10, and Ephesians 2

        —> Romans 7:1-6 and Spiritual Adultery

  18. Also, in Romans 10:4 the word ‘end’ is actually mistranlated by the translaters. We shouldn’t be surprised by that. There is more mistranslation in the NT than common folk have been made aware of. I refer to the Textus Receptus in which the greek word is ‘telous’. To mean ‘objective’, when one reads in context. There is a greek word for ‘end’, it is ‘teleo’, in which the writer chose not to use it. Could have, but didn’t. So perhaps he didn’t mean that Jesus was the end of the law, but was the objective of the Law(Torah). The Torah points to Messiah, isn’t brought to an end by Messiah. This is better in keeping with Jesus’ words of Matthew 5:17-19.

    Another misconception is that the Jews have tried to obtain thier salvation through works. Again, not true. Moses taught as did Paul’s message on circumcision of the heart. Deut 10:16 and Deut 30:6. Moses even instructed the children of Israel that one was coming that was mightier than he. It is in the Mosiac Law and the writings of the prophets in which the children of Israel were able to recognize Jesus.

    Acts says there were tens of thousands of jews who were zealous for obeying God’s commandments and held to a testimony of Jesus.

    Peter said Pauls words would be difficult to understand Therein are some things hard to understand, which those who are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    We are going to be very surprised when Jesus returns and sets up his kingdom on earth when the Sabbaths and Feasts that have been rejected by Christian thologians for centurys are restored. I’m smiling..

    • Regarding Romans 10:4 – Romans 10:1-4

      Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of >>> God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, <<< have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the >>> end G5056 – telos <<< of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

      First, to deal with Christ as the end of the Law:

      G5056 – telos
      1) end
      . . . a) termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time)
      . . . b) the end
      . . . . . 1) the last in any succession or series
      . . . . . 2) eternal
      . . . c) that by which a thing is finished, its close, issue
      . . . d) the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose
      2) toll, custom (i.e. indirect tax on goods)

      End, in this case, simply means end.

      End of the Law for those in Christ.

      A simple translation for the linguist guys.

      But the HRM has to take meaning ‘1d’ to try to force a meaning into the text. Even then, their attempt falls short, as the Law points to Christ:

      >>>>>>>>>> . . . He . . . Christ . . . <<<<<<<<

      . . . is the end (the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose) of the Law, not the Law is the end of Christ!

      The Law points to Christ, Christ does not point to the Law!

      For those in Christ, the Law is abolished, and those in Christ are released from the Law, having died to it! (see Rom. 10:4, Rom. 7:1-6, Eph. 2, Col. 2)
      You can read more about that here: Released/Delivered From the Law and Christ is the End of the Law – Getting Greeky About Romans 7, 10, and Ephesians 2

      You say that your definition is in ‘better keeping’ with Mt. 5:17-19 when it really is not, because those in Christ (Who is the end of the Law for them) are dead to the Law in Christ (see Romans 7:1-6 and also see Romans 7:1-6 and Spiritual Adultery).

      Regarding what you perceive to be a misconception by this site about Jews (or anyone else) trying to obtain their salvation through works – No. Not at all. That said, many in HRM/Law-keeping sects DO believe that if, once they ‘become aware’ that they should be keeping the Law that if they don’t, they are then in willful disobedience to God and will lose their salvation. So it becomes a matter of maintaining one’s salvation through the works of the Law if not obtaining their salvation by the works of the Law. See more here: Hebrew Roots Movement – Hebrews 10, Willful Sin, No More Sacrifice, and Judgement, Oh My!

      Regarding the passage in Acts that says there were ten of thousands who were zealous for the Law – That’s from Acts 21, where Paul relayed the fruit of the Gospel of Grace amongst the Gentiles to the elders at Jerusalem (read through Acts and the other Pauline Epistles for details).

      What was the response of the elders in Jerusalem? Well, they limited their evangelizing to Jews (“Go out into all the world?”), and no miracles or spreading of the Gospel was mentioned, just disciples who were all ‘zealous for the Law!’

      What was their fruit? Who did they end up rising up against and persecuting? Was it the pagans in Jerusalem who stood against Paul (who had just relayed the amazing things the Holy Spirit had been doing through the Gospel of Grace), or was it the religious ‘zealots for the Law’ who ended up being so violent against Paul that pagan Roman guards had to step in to rescue him?

      In short, what was the fruit of those who preached a Gospel of Grace vs. those who preached a mixture of Law and Grace and had followers who were zealous for the Law? Something to ponder . . . null

      Regarding Peter saying Paul was sometimes difficult to understand – Only if you’re attempting to mix Law with Grace. If you rest in the Gospel of Grace as it is written, Paul makes perfect sense.

      Regarding ‘surprises’ about Sabbaths and Feasts being set up by Jesus in His kingdom – Um, NO. For Jesus to do so would actually be in violation of the Law, as He is not a High Priest from the Tribe of Levi, but the Permanent, Perfect High Priest from the Tribe of Judah, placed by an oath by God and Who is a Priest FOREVER by the power of an indestructible Life. The old priesthood with its old systems is NEVER coming back. See Hebrews 4-10.

  19. We are told repeatedly to keep the commandments. God says He changes not. Jesus(Yeshuah) said if we love Him we will obey, obey what. He kept the commandments and He is our example. We are to strive to be perfect, even though we can’t be, we do this out of a heart of love He wad the perfect one making atonement for our imperfection. God said the Feasts Days are His feast days and to be kept as a perpetual honor to His plan including ths weekly

    • What are God’s commandments after the Cross?

      John defines them in the same letter telling us to keep them:

      23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (from 1 Jn. 3)

      There were commandments given by God before the Laws give through Moses at Sinai and there are commandments given after the Laws given through Moses at Sinai. Folks who focus on everything through the lens of Torah instead of the lens of the Work of Christ have a hard time seeing anything but Old Covenant Law. That is not a right focus, and will lead you into false belief.

      I hope you will read more here at JGIG; the purpose here is to always point you to Christ and
      Who He is
      What He came to do
      What that actually accomplished, and
      Who those who put their faith in Christ are in Him.

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

  20. JGIG I can’t fault you , you are solid on the Word , I too have a mother in law straying away into this spirit of the anti Christ doctrine , we need to pray for these folk , oh Lord remove the scales of deception .

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