• What JGIG Is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    To borrow from a 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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Hebrew Roots Movement – The Re-definition of Terms

Re-defining terms is one thing the Hebrew Roots Movement does very effectively.  The following is content from the introductory Glossary page as well as glossary entries A-F.  Following entries will be posted here on the home page as well as having their own pages on the sidebar for easy reference.  Some of you have seen the introduction content before . . . keep scrolling down . . . “Glossary A-F” follows in this post. 

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Glossary Introduction

Language.  Powerful stuff.  If you can control the language, define the terms, manipulate the paradigm of a thing – you exercise great power.  [par·a·digm – A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.]

An Incorrect Paradigm

An Incorrect Paradigm

As this illustration demonstrates, having an incorrect paradigm can change the picture of a thing quite a lot!  Is it any wonder that those in the Hebrew Roots Movement have claimed the area of language as their primary pillar of “expertise” as they purpose to lure Christians away from the canon of Scripture to a more “enlightened” way of reading/interpreting Scripture and discerning doctrine?  It’s a seductive way to change a Christian’s paradigm, and ends up in a set of beliefs and practices that is not supported by Scripture.  It turns Christianity as inside out as the above illustration turns the concept of the solar system inside out.  The picture is recognizable, but is totally false and unworkable when measured by reality. 

I’m no linguist, but I’m no dim bulb, either, and it’s been amazing, disturbing, and somewhat amusing to discover how those in the HRM have determined to re-define terms and doctrines as well as pseudo re-translate the New Testament. 

I’ve written this before but it’s worth repeating here –   One of the things that is really important to 260px-planting_seedsbe aware of regarding this and other heretical movements is that they engage in the re-definition of terms.  Once that is accomplished, those re-defined terms become fields in which seeds of questionable doctrine can be cultivated.  And it’s the perfect set up for the same thing cults do: Convince you that what you know isn’t true, or is “incomplete”, then come in with fresh revelation based on previously “hidden” information.

At HRM websites and in HRM teaching materials a consistent technique is employed to bring the reader to where the writer wishes them to go:  Faulty definitions, examples, analogies and reasonings are constructed, then those same faulty definitions, examples, analogies and reasonings are built upon as FACT to take the reader to the next doctrinal place the writer wishes the reader to go.  I have seen the same technique over and over in articles on HRM websites from all points on the spectrum.  A good example of this can be found HERE, where the author takes on both the Trinity and the full Deity of Christ.  Please, read any Hebrew Roots materials with caution. 

Following are some terms that I’ve become familiar with in the HRM.  Some terms are simply defined outright, others will be defined outright as well as include the Hebrew Roots definition in an attempt to explain HRM doctrine in certain areas.  To understand the “re-definitions” and terminology in which the Hebrew Roots Mindset engages is key to sorting through the subtle and not so subtle doctrinal errors and concepts they espouse.

Following are glossary pages A-F (available now), G-L , and M-Z (coming soon).  Those designations may change over time, but will be clearly re-labeled and linked to as necessary.  The goal is easy navigation!  

Compiling this Glossary has proven to be very challenging and time consuming.  It’s length has resulted in a formatting challenge, hence the necessity for nested pages.  As entries are completed, they’ll be added to the appropriate page, so be sure to check back every now and then. 

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

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Glossary A-F 

 

Biblical Feasts From Zechariah Ministries: The first three feasts . . . Pesach (Passover), Unleavened Bread and First Fruits, fall in March and April. The fourth one, Pentecost (Shavu’ot), occurs in Late May or early June.  The last three feasts, Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Sukkot take place in September and October.  All of the appointed times of the Lord are listed in the twenty third chapter of Leviticus and follow the Jewish lunar calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon. Each month in a lunar calendar begins with a new moon.

Hebrew Roots adherants believe that keeping the Feasts and Sabbaths given to Israel is mandatory for all Christians today.  Much time and effort is exerted in learning and observing them.  While some HRMers limit their observances to Feasts and Sabbaths, others believe it mandatory to obey all of the Mosaic Law given to Israel.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of those in the Hebrew Roots Movement are not Jewish.  It is not a matter of Jewish Christians carrying on their Jewish heritage, traditions, and customs in conjunction with their faith in Christ.  This is a group of Christians who have ostensibly come to the Cross, yet turn around and choose to go back to the Law, ignoring the truths of the completed work of Jesus Christ at the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Ascension and rejecting God’s gift of the New Covenant.  (An excellent audio teaching working its way point by point through the scriptural truths of the New Covenant can be found HERE.)

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British Israelism (Anglo Israelism) – From WikipediaBritish Israelism (sometimes called Anglo-Israelism) is the belief that that many early Britons, Europeans and/or their royal families were direct lineal descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, but rarely the Tribe of Judah.

This belief has been accorded little scientific proof or significance; its significance stems largely from its cultural significance as a concept, and as an idea historically accepted and propounded. Proponents assert that national favor with God is based on a nation’s status as an Israelite nation while individual salvation remains based on a personal relationship with God.

Due to the amorphous nature of this idea over the years, there has rarely been a central head, recognized leadership, or organizational structure to the movement. This has led to a diverse set of professions and beliefs ancillary to the genealogical claims.  [See entire article HERE.] 

See also Ephaimites as well as Two House Theology below and notice the similarities in those movements with British Israelism.  There really is nothing new under the sun.

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Christianity – orthodox (small ‘o’ – conforming to established Biblical doctrine – not conforming to the traditions of men):  Generally means a focus on the essential or core issues of the Christian faith based on the authority of the Scriptures alone These include: the authority and infallibility of the Bible, the nature of God, the sinful and fallen state of humanity, and salvation by grace through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation.  Where I would have not long ago characterized myself as an evangelical Christian, that label has become so varient in the past few years I find “orthodox with a small ‘o’” to be a more accurate description of the Christian core beliefs to which I adhere.  The Statement of Faith page here at JGIG reflects what I believe to be a faithful representation of those essential or core issues of the Christian faith.

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church (vs. Church) – In HRM teaching, the church (small “c”) is the paganized Catholic church.  Most of what’s wrong in Christendom today, according to the HRM, has its origins in paganism and/or the Catholic church.  While I would agree that there are significant problems with Catholic doctrine and practices as well as some problems in the Church (Body of Christ) at large, I find that the Hebrew Roots Movement strays at least as far from the Christianity of the Bible with its reliance on extra-biblical sources for structuring its belief system as does either Catholicism or wayward Christianity. 

HRM teaching says that they are striving to return to the way the early believers worshipped, yet they at the very least twist and at the worst totally disregard the wealth of teaching and instruction contained in the Epistles of the New Testament that gave direction and correction to the fledgling Church (Body of Christ) in the first century.  One reason they give for this is that they don’t consider those letters to be part of the Scriptures that the early believers used, that they certainly were not used by Jesus, and that they were not (are not?) considered Scripture at the time (now?).  

The HRM solution?  They distort, ignore, or outright discard those teachings which they cannot adequately manipulate into their theology (see “Hebrew Roots Movement – Messin’ With the Word” ). They ignore the fact that the early letters written to the fledgling Church were faithfully copied and passed from congregation to congregation as Scripture.

From Bible.org – “The Holy Canon of Scripture” – “. . . (1) In the Apostolic Era. Since the books were inspired when they were written, they were already canonical and possessed authority as being a part of God’s Word. The responsibility of the church was simply to attest to the fact of their inspiration. This process began immediately with the writers recognizing that their own writings were the Word of God (Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 4:15). But they also recognized that other writings of the New Testament were Scripture and on a par with the Old Testament. In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul quoted Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7 and referred to both passages as Scripture. Peter likewise attested to Paul’s writings as Scripture in 2 Peter 3:15-16. Furthermore, the New Testament epistles were being read and circulated among the churches as authoritative revelation from God (cf. Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27).[Bolding mine.]

I found this quote in a book review HERE, but this sentence is applicable to what I see in the Hebrew Roots Movement as well: “Once the Church is decontextualized, the inferred meanings of the texts of the New Testament are removed and new meanings assigned.” 

One of the more aberrant definitions of the Church that I’ve seen, according to Avi Ben Mordechai:  “The ‘Church’ is supposed to be a body of Torah Obedient Holy Ones, reflecting in their lives WRITTEN TORAH truth, evident through the life of all Israel.  See 1Timothy 3:14-15.”  (Source Avi Ben Mordechai – Live on Galatians, slide 75)  Okay, so the Church isn’t the Body of Christ?

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”  (Ephesians 5:23)  “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24). 

You have to do some fancy footwork through Scripture to come up with Avi’s definition.  Avi Ben Mordechai’s misuse and twisting of scripture is some of the most seductive I’ve seen.  His mis-definition of the Church is just the tip of the iceburg.  Avi Ben Mordechai also denies the Deity of Christ outright without apology.  He leads his students step by step, bit by bit, into absolute heresy. 

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Deity (or not) of Christ (Yeshua) THE foundational truth of the Christian faith is the deity of Jesus Christ – that He is fully God and fully man.  He is the incarnation of God in the flesh . . . the Second Adam . . . He who lived a perfect life to the standard of holiness as measured by the Law, and died in our place, in order to provide the payment for our sin and provide our justification before God.

4youAn immediate mark of a cult is the denial of the deity of Jesus Christ.  Cults will praise the works, teachings and character of Jesus all day and night long . . . but they draw the line at His God-hood.  Why is that?  If they can strip Him of His divinity, they can nullify the work of the Cross. 

Some in the Hebrew Roots Movement are quite forthcoming with the deniel of the Deity of Christ.  While others say  they believe in the deity of Christ (Yeshua), when you read through their teachings, you find that their writings do not support that belief.  There are still others in the Law keeping community who do believe that Jesus is God, yet when you take their doctrine to its eventual end, they remove the power of God from the Messiah.  In their belief system what Jesus did is not enough – it is not complete.  They in effect remove the Godly characteristic of omnipotence from Messiah, since their belief system is a “Jesus + Law” equation.  They will deny that salvation requires works, but insist that Torah compliance is mandatory for the born-again believer.  Just one of the many contradictions and inconsistencies in the Hebrew Roots Movement. 

From Torah of Messiah’s article titled, “Antichrist”:  “I am fully persuaded that the anti-Law “God in the flesh” Christ being promoted by Christianity and, to a lesser extent, the God in the flesh Messiah being promoted by counterfeit Messianism is precisely what the spirit of antichrist is since it presents a completely different Christ “IN PLACE OF” the True Messiah! That Christ is, indeed, THE antichrist!” 

This is an obvious example of a twisted, NON-Biblical view of Jesus Christ.

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Ephraimites (“Joes”) – In a nutshell, from “The Ephraimite Error: A Short Summary” [links to entire article and other articles available below]:

A movement alternately known as the “Ephraimite,” “Restoration of Israel,” “Two-Covenant Israel,” or “Two House” movement has recently gained ground in some areas among ardent Christian Zionists. Proponents of this movement contend that members of the “born-again” segment of the Christian church are, in fact, actual blood descendants of the ancient Israelites who were exiled in the Assyrian invasion of Israel in 722 B.C.E.

There is a great deal of disagreement and uncertainty about this “doctrine” within the Hebrew Roots Movement itself.  From Hebrew Roots site TNN Online: 

The Scriptures record that the Northern Kingdom of Israel, also known as Ephraim, was taken by into captivity by Assyria. Although some did join with the Southern Kingdom of Judah, many more were also assimilated into the nations and forgot their heritage as a part of the people of Israel. All of Israel is to be restored prior to the return of the Messiah.  Might scattered Ephraim include many non-Jewish Believers who are today being drawn into the Messianic movement? How does this affect our view of the Scriptures? What are some issues that frequently crop up relating to who this “Ephraim” is?

For a pretty thorough overview of the concept of Ephraimites in the Hebrew Roots Movement see The Ephraimite Error: A Short Summary” from a Jewish perspective, as well as the Hebrew Roots response to that article (from TNN Online), “The ‘Ephraimite Error’: Critical Errors”.  Also at TNN Online: “Christian Problems with the Two Houses of Israel”  Also see this article, “Ephraimites or Ephra-I-am-nots?”.  There’s a fascinating discussion about Ephraimites at the Jews for Jesus Message Board HERE.  Several posts there describe a similar doctrine found in the Mormon and Worldwide Church of God belief systems, relayed from first-hand experience.  Some excerpts: 

“What is not so apparent about the Ephraimite movement is that it is racist in nature. It is an attempt at identification theft. That is to say, unlike replacement theology, which postulates that the church is the successor to Israel, the Ephraimite people believe that they are descendants from the ten tribes. They will twist their genealogies hoping to wring out their Jewish ancestor, as though that might somehow help them be closer to the greatest Jew that ever lived, Jesus Christ. They overlook the fact that Calvary is a new start for everyone, Jew or Gentile.” 

And this:  “I was a Mormon for many years. When I was young I received a patriarcle blessing that says I was from the tribe of Ephraim. Most Mormons are told this when they get their blessings.”   

And this:  “My husband and I couldn’t agree with you more. We were saved out of the Worldwide church of God. We were heavily indoctrinated in the belief that the lost 10 tribes were scattered all over the “white” populated countries. There were elaborate “proofs” pinpointed, from “Jacob’s Stone” in England to folktales in Ireland. Mr. Armstrong divided the Word incorrectly, using a combustible combination of gnosticism and prooftexting.

I first became aware of the “ephraimite” movement through the Hebraic Roots Network. I was astounded that British Israelitism was merely repackaged as the “Two House” theology. Unfortunately, as with everything, there is a little truth with the error, making it all the more difficult to discern.   . . . Context of any Scripture being examined must never be ignored.

One last thought….in Romans 11, Paul specifically talks of gentiles being grafted in by faith, where Jews were broken off by disbelief. One purpose…? To make the Jew jealous. If Paul meant that “Israel” was being grafted in to make the “Jew” jealous, he certainly would have written so. God writes in the Tenach that He would make those who were not His people His….referring to the gentiles.

Another last thought….racism. Currently, there are 58 million, yes, million, House Church Christians in China….so….they aren’t “white”…so where would they fit???? 3 million Black Christians in the Sudan have been martyred to date by Moslims….again, where would they fit into British Israelitism. An estimated 100,000 Christians imprisoned in concentration camps in North Korea…..and on and on we go…..”

two-house-tree

Two House/Ephraimite Error

That last paragraph in the last post I included from the discussion at the Jews for Jesus Message Board addresses a key issue which the Hebrew Root Movement consistently gets wrong scripturally:  The issue of God taking Jew and Gentile and making them ONE in Christ, with Christ being the Root and source of our faith.  Neither Jew nor Gentile being “turned into” the other, but each being counted as joint heirs in Christ.  The Gospel is God’s provision for redemption for everybody.  Take notice of this diagram from a Hebrew Roots site . . . Where are the Gentiles? 

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Forever [This entry has been edited.  Thanks to a friend for a bit of guidance in the language area.]  This may seem like a rather odd word to include in a glossary – after all, everybody  knows what forever means, right?  Not so fast.  “Forever” is a word used in the HRM to convince Christians under the New Covenant that the Mosaic Law, the “Instructions”, the Old Covenant, endure as a “forever” Covenant.  That the Law did not “pass away”.  That the Law was not “nailed to the Cross”.  Forever to most of us means from a point in time, whether it be from now or from some point in the past, to an intangible distance in the future (or past, regarding the eternal nature of God) . . . infinity. 

Those in the Hebrew Roots Movement count on people thinking of that general definition when it comes to the word “forever” to sway them to believe this:  That the verses referring God’s commandments (the Old Covenant) being “forever” binding prove that Christians (even though God has provided a New and superior Covenant, not dependent upon the actions of man Hebrews chapters 8-10) should be Torah observant.  Let’s dig a little deeper into what the Hebrew concept of “forever” really means, since, after all, we’re supposed to be thinking with a Hebraic mindset  . . .

 
 

 

Hebrew Word for forever – From Crosswalk.com,  (source Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon) – olam – עולם:  

Strongs H5769 –

long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world

  1. ancient time, long time (of past)
  2. (of future)
    1. for ever, always
    2. continuous existence, perpetual
    3. everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity 

Olam can mean forever, but doesn’t always mean forever.  Its meaning is conditional, depending on the nature of that which is being described. 

From Christian-thinktank.com : Olam thus seems to mean ‘indefinitely, with reference to the nature of the thing being so described.’ If the nature is God, then olam means ‘truly eternal’. If the nature is  a human, then it means ‘as long as he lives’. If the nature is a relationship, then it means as long as the conditions upon which the relationship is based still hold.  And this: And, since we know the Mosaic covenant was a conditional one, it could easily have been understood after the model of many others in the OT/Tanaak: “eternal, as long as the agreed upon conditions are met”.  [Though I don’t agree with everything in the article cited, the two statements above give a good description of the conditional nature of the word “olam”.]

We know that while God held up His end of the bargain concerning the Old Covenant, Israel failed again and again when it came to their end of the bargain (rebellion and idolatry).  God, in His Grace and Mercy, not only sustained Israel, but provided a New Covenant . . . the terms of which are not dependent on Israel (man), but dependent upon Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, Who perfectly held up His (both) end(s) of the bargain.  This is a New Covenant, offered first to Israel, then to all mankind, fulfilling the promise of redemption given to Adam and Eve in the Garden (Romans 1:16)

Even from a Hebrew Roots site, Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings, we get this incomplete meaning of “olam”: The Hebrew word olam means in the far distance. When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This concept is the olam. [An incomplete concept of “olam” – remember the definition is conditional, depending upon that which is being described.] The word olam is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive. This word is frequently translated as eternity or forever but in the English language it is misunderstood to mean a continual span of time that never ends. In the Hebrew mind it is [can smokiesbe] simply what is at or beyond the horizon, a very distant time. A common phrase in the Hebrew is “l’olam va’ed” and is usually translated as “forever and ever” but in the Hebrew it means “to the distant horizon and again” meaning “a very distant time and even further” and is used to express the idea of a very ancient or future time.

So in the  Hebraic mindset, forever  does  not  necessarily  mean from a point in time to infinity.  In fact, the concept of “olam”, when speaking of the Israelites’ failure in regard to the terms of the Old Covenant, flows beautifully into the truths of the New Covenant.  

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27 Responses

  1. It is refreshing to see people refuting this doctrines of demons movement!! I was stuck in it for 2 years until a God sent a God fearing woman into my path that exposed my DEADness. I wanted what she had — LIFE abundantly walking by faith and not by sight. I surrendered to JESUS and I have not been the same since.

    I was kicked off one of the Yah sites because of my use of “JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” So sad to see the deception. I feel like we are in Acts again — dealing with the Judiazers. But Acts 15 is very clear — !

    http://sharinglightinthemidstofdarkness.blogspot.com/

  2. do you think paul thought of his letters of instructions to specific groups of people as scripture,. not to mention we only have half of the conversation they where having.

    • David –

      Galatians 1:11-12
      11I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

      Yeah, I think he did.

      – JGIG

  3. how do you get peter calling pauls writting scripture in 2 peter 15-16. He dons not seem to be saying pauls writting is such by the comparison but just like the scripture man mangle it.

    • Hi David,

      2 Peter 3:15-16:
      15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

      Peter is putting Paul’s writings here on par with the Scriptures they had at the time.

      – JGIG

  4. Well That realy does’t prove that he thought of his letters as scripture.It shows he had been given revelation and helps us see his letters as scriptures but I still doubt he saw all his writtings as scripture.

  5. Do you realy think of covenants as not forever. Through out the world people from all places have always see covenants as binding forever or until the terms have eighter been broken, or terms in it fullfilled. The Torah has no terms of that nature. But it does say this Deut 29:1-30:6 realy read this with care it shows how long lasting this covenant is, it shows how G-d will restore Israel to himself, Israel is never down away with, they only undergo the curse of the Covenant until they relize in their hearts He is G-d. There is such a wealth of these types of prophey in the bible. One day we will see a restored Israel With Jesus as the head, Israel is the bride of Christ. And through Jesus we enter as wild branches the Olive tree that is the apple of His eye.

    • Hi David,
      Are you referring to the ‘forever’ entry on the Glossary? If so, it’s not what I think, it’s the Hebraic way of viewing the concept of ‘forever’. And forever does not always = eternity.

      Your view of the Old Covenant is not supported by New Covenant Scriptures. God has provided for the restoration of ALL people through the Gospel. Israel was/is a tool in the plans of God, but it is not Israel who has Jesus as her head, it is the Body of Christ, who encompasses all tribes and nations who believe on Him. Jesus and the redemption He provides for mankind is the central theme of the Scriptures. Israel is a part of that, not the centerpiece. When you replace Jesus and His finished work with anything else, you engage in idolatry.

      – JGIG

  6. well as for the work of Christ. I belive it is salvation for all men and His work gives us the gift of life. And in christianty you find that Faith with out works is dead faith; James makes that statement. Our gift of freedom is not a license to sin. 1 john 3:4 “sin is lawlessness” or stright translation Anti- law. What law do you think he reffering to? For that matter our price is paid By the work of Christ, now we need to live worthy. I belive the way to live worthy is to live the Torah as best as I can. It (Written Law of Moses)cannot impart rightouness. Only Yeshua Messiah imparts rightouness.

    • Hi again, David,

      I’m glad to see you’re working your way through Joyfully Growing In Grace.

      Never do I say here at JGIG that it’s okay to sin. It’s not. And as believers having faith in Jesus Christ and belonging to Him, you are right on one point: Faith without works is dead. If you go to James and read it through, however, the edicts and regulations of the Law are not stressed – indeed they are not even mentioned. Love is the emphasis of the book of James. He exhorts believers to actually walk out their love, not merely talk a good game. He talks about faith and deeds, faith and fruit, but NEVER edicts and regulations.

      Why do you think that is?

      IF the edicts and regulations of the Law were still central to the Body of Christ, and James here is writing to primarily Jewish believers, why does he not stress Sabbath and Feast keeping, edicts and regulations?

      He does address murder and oath taking, treating one another with respect and controlling our tongues, loving those around us in tangible ways. It all boils down to Love God and Love others.

      -JGIG

  7. Do you understand the concept of the oral law?
    through out the Apstolic writtings the Oral law is denounced such as the works of the law or the tridations of the fathers. In scriptures such as Ephesians 2:15 “which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” Paul is talking about the oral law not the written law of Moses. The written Law of Moses is the shadow of Messiah(christ). Colossians 2:16-17 16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day– 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.( the word mere is added and is not in the original Greek texts. This verse shows that Christ is the written word come in the fleash. John 1:14 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. So the Torah is the word of G-d in the flesh or better yet the revealed charerter of G-d. And if the shadow is the Law of Moses how does it not contane grace. Shadows are the likness of something. Or better yet the outline of them. How do you understand that the Law is a pattern of that which is in Heaven. Exodus 25:9 “According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it. This verse alludes that the temple and all things relating to it are desined after that which is in Heaven. The Law of Moses is the pattern of Messiah(Christ).

  8. How does the law stand in our way? It is the breaking of it which is sin, not the keeping of it. And I will agree keeping it as a means to salivation is useless it can’t impart righteousness. It is not wrong or evil though because it is not opposed to the promises of G-d (Gal3:21). Since the law is not opposed to the promises of G-d. How can it stand in our way? It is the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us that stands in our way((Col 2:14 ). Christ paid the debt we owed to the law for breaking it (1john 3:4 defines sin). As a point of logic, if the law was done away with there is no sin anymore for anyone. Christ set us free from the debt we owe the law for breaking it. The law is still a standard of rightiouness. Addressing your comment on Eph 2:14; the written Torah has no decree for a wall of separation between Jew and Gentile only the Oral law has such a command. In Torah Gentiles in the land have the right to partake in sacrifice and temple services except for the Passover lamb, the gentile would need to be circumcised to partake of the Passover.So the logic you are using does not work,Paul can not be talking about the written law.

    • Hi David,

      Do you notice the acrobatics you have to do to come to a position of mandated Law-keeping for the Body of Christ? How does the Law stand in our way? Because we cannot keep it. We are human. The Law does not change. It’s requirements do not change. It’s penalties do not change. Our ralationship to the Law, however, DOES change, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, for HE CHANGES US.

      You might want to take a look at the post, The Hebrew Roots Movement: So What? , as it hashes out the issues which you raise in our relationship to the Law.

      If you read all of Ephesians 2, as a whole, Oral Law is not referred to nor implied. It just is not there. And there is no implication that we, as the Body of Christ, all come under the Law that was just described as being nailed to the Cross with its commandments and regulations. As for the dividing wall, there was a distinction culturally between Jews and Gentiles. Paul makes clear that through the Cross – well, Paul says it best:

      14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by 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, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

      19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

      It always amazes me how those in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism sects take clear passages and then turn them completely on their head to mean something they clearly do not mean. Couple the above Scripture with Galatians 3:26-29 and the point Paul is making becomes even more clear:

      26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      And there is example after example in the New Testament Scriptures where it is clear that life in Christ was different than it was before Christ. Jesus Christ is central, not the Law.

  9. Eph 2 is not about the written law. the written law has no command keeping the gentile from sacrificing or partaking in the temple service,it encourges them to do so,but if a gentile wants to partake of passover he will need to get circumised. only the oral law forbids gentiles from entering the temple unless they undergo a conversion proess to become “jewish” So your reading of Eph 2 is base in false understandings of the written code.

  10. My journey thru the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Sabbatarian Movement

    I became a Christian about 9 yrs ago. I was saved in a charismatic church not too far from where I lived at the time (Georgia). It was a miricle that I became a Christian; I couldn”t stand Christians, and laughed at people when they tried to share there faith with me. After I got saved I moved to Texas where I was studying the Bible like crazy, reading it day and night, trying understand what happened to me. I was reading the Book of Romans and had read where Yeshua (Jesus) was Jewish. I”ve probably read that verse a hundred times, but it didn”t hit me until then. WOW, Jesus was Jewish, he went to the synagugue, read from the Torah, ate His Last Supper, or Passover, with His disciples. I was in awe, and wanted to learn more about Jesus jewishness. I was good friends with an older Christian woman, and was telling all that I had read in my studies in the Book of Romans. I told her I wanted to go to a synagugue, to see how Jewish people worship. She said there was a messianic congregation in town, and that would be a good place to start. So, I started going to some of the services there. While I was there I heard from different people how the traditional Christian holidays (Easter, Christmas) were in fact pagan!! And that if Christians celebrated them, it was an abomination to God. I thought to myself “I don”t want to dishonor God” so I started researching the orgins of the Easter and Christmas. I went to my local library and read everything I could on the subjects, and was convinced I could no longer celebrate them. I stopped celebrating the traditional holidays, and was told that Christians had to “keep the feasts”, the Feasts of the Lord found in Lev 23. I started keeping the Feasts. Then the issue of Sunday versus Saturday came up; I was told by various people within the messianic congregation that Saturday was the correct day, not Sunday. I researched at the public libraray where the early church meet on Saturday, and I started worshippng on Saturday. So, I started reading materials by the Seventh day Adventists, and Garner Ted Armstrong and the Sabbatarians. Then I was told that eating ham was wrong, and should eat only clean meats (found in Lev 11), and stopped eating ham, and ham products, immediatly. I thought that I had arrived, I knew what I was doing was right, and that those who didn”t beleive like me were wrong. I unfortunatly was boastful and proud, and would convince others than they too should do as is I did.

    But, thru my pride I had alot of sin in my life; anger, lust, bitterness, unforgiveness that had crept in and I hadn”t repented of. I felt I had the truth, and that those who didn”t “keep the law” were were wrong.

    I had started going to the various meetings, and would hear statemenst like “I don”t know who this “jesus” is, but know who Yeshua is”. Some people started refering to Jesus as “Yahshua”, and called “Yahweh”, and wouldn”t say “Lord” “God” or “Jesus”, fearing that if they did, they were cursing at God.

    I started to slowly have doubts about the theology of the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Sabbatarian movement. A good friend said he had a book that he wanted to give me. My friend gave me a book called “Messianic Judaism is not Christianity; A Loving Call to Unity” by Stan Telchin. In the book, Stan Telchin discuss problems with the Messianic movement, and its inefficiantcy in sharing Yeshua with the Jewish people. I read the book with an open mind and found Telchin’s arguements to be quite correct. The theology of the Messianic movement was very flawed, and didn”t look at the Bible in its whole context. I also at that time received a copy of Lamplighter magazine; they had done a expose, so to speak, on the Seventh Day Adventist. I read that as well with an open mind, and found that David Reagan was right on his assessment of the SDA. They where in fact a cult, and from sermons/teachings that I received from or what I heard, that anyone who didn”t “keep the Sabbath” had the mark of the beast and were not saved.

    It was then that I started having doubts on whether we as beleivers had to “keep the law”. So, I was constantly praying about it, and was reading the Bible to see what did it have to say on the subject. It was thru the Holy Spirit’s leading that I read Galations, Romans, Hebrews again, and read what The Bible, and not man, had to say. I was shocked when in Galations it says that the Torah/Law was a “tutor/schoolmaster to bring us to Christ”. I then pulled my Strong’s Concordance out and look up that word. The word “tutor is “pedigugue” which in Roman culture it was a role that a slave had, and its only goal was to bring children to school and back (loose paraphrase, sorry).

    It was then that I started to see things in a different light. If we as beleivers are under a New Covenant, then the conditions of the Old Covenant don”t apply in the same context; we are to following Jesus” teachings as way of life and practice; that we have a new way, that Jesus said that the Torah/Law was fullfilled in (a) loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, (b) loving our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22:36-40) the way of the Spirit (Romans 7:6), that we are letter of Christ, the Law written on our hearts (2Cor 3:3), we are under a new covenant; the old covenant is obselete (Heb 8). I saw the Law of God in a whole new light; we are to love God’s Law, for its holy, just, and good. But, our love for the Torah cannot escape the fact that mankind has sinned against God, that ALL have broken the Law, and are found guily of sin, and have to give an account of what we have done (Romans 2-3).
    But, thru Jesus the Messiah, I am set free from sin, and longer under the chains of sin and death. While we do have our flesh to deal with, the Bible says we are to deny ourselves and follow the the great Rabbi from Nazereth, and only then, will we have fullfillment in life.

    I know that God is merciful, and he is starting what only He can finish in me (Phil 1:6). I praise God that he has mercy on me, despite my pride and sin. Looking back, I realize that the LORD had his hand on me the whole time, and was guilding me when I didn”t see the whole picture. I can only thank him for that.

    While I was coming out of Sabbatarian beleifs, I was struggling with guilt. “I would constantly think “Is God mad at me?” and struggled with the idea that I wasn”t keeping the Sabbath, and was sinning against God. It was very strange not to be “keeping the sabbath” after yrs of doing so. It was a HUGE blessing in transistioning from cultic, legalistic beleifs to awalk rooted in the Word, and faith in Jesus.

    As of 3yrs ago, I left the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Sabbatarian beliefs behind, and it was the best thing I ever did!!!!

    In Jesus
    David Niles
    Romans 7:1-6

    • Sir, when you are under a schoolmaster, you learn how to think and operate advantageously. Upon graduating, do you then disregard everything that you learned? Is none of it useful any longer? Then what was the point of ever learning it to begin with?

      • David Niles’ comment was from nearly five years ago, and if he’s still around to respond, great, but if not, I’ll give it a go:

        Let’s refer to what Scripture has to say about it, shall we?

        23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, >>> we are no longer under a guardian, <<< 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (from Gal. 3)

        David signs his comment with the reference to Romans 7:1-6:

        Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

        4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

        The Scriptures are clear: Those in Christ have nothing more to do with the Law, indeed we have died to it!

        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)

        Note that we die to the Law SO THAT we might live for God! Munch on that truth for a while . . .

  11. To respond to your comment: I would like to point out our ability to keep the law perfectly has nothing to do with it standing in our way, again Scripture states the law has no opposition to the promises of G-d, Gal 3:21. Your statement that the law is against us is false. The text says it is not possible for the law to be against the promises of G-d. I do have one question; if the law is so bad and it has been done away with. How do you define sin? Without the law sin doesn’t exist. And if keeping it is bad, then why not steal, lie and covet. But I am sure you will say that the moral parts of it are still valid. But that as well is not plausible; if it has been done away with it all would go. And if it is gone there are no ten commandments. There is also no ability to convict any one of sin.
    To this false understanding you have; that the Law of Moses is somehow against gentiles, also a false understanding. The written law has no command to keep gentiles out of the Temples inner courts. The only law that does so is also the reason for the hatred of gentiles. This law also mandates the division between Jew and gentile; it is called the oral law. So it is impossible that in EPH 2:15 the Law of Moses is being referred to because it has no command to keep the gentile from the inner courts of the Temple. It doesn’t need to be implied because it alone has the laws that keep the gentile from the inner courts of the Temple. Why not prove that Paul is talking about the written law? Provide some text that shows the written laws dislike of gentiles or its commands to keep gentiles from the inner courts of the Temple.

    • Hi David,

      You wrote:

      I would like to point out our ability to keep the law perfectly has nothing to do with it standing in our way, again Scripture states the law has no opposition to the promises of G-d, Gal 3:21.

      That you use Galatians 3 to support your point is almost funny, as the entire chapter (and book) stands squarely against your belief system!

      Galatians 3
      1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

      6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

      10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

      15Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

      19What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.

      21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

      23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

      26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      David, where have I ever said the Law was bad? You’re building an argument on a false premise.

      You wrote:

      The written law has no command to keep gentiles out of the Temples inner courts.

      Um . . . there is no Temple anymore, David. Why do you think that is?

  12. So let’s say you are right; the law is gone. Why did Paul go to the temple with four others to purify them?( Acts 21:20-27)The Vow was likely a vow of a nazirite it includes sacrifice of animals to complete. And in verse 24 it states this is done by Paul so people can know he keeps the law and is not teaching against it. And from your point of view this action on Paul’s part makes him two faced. Or from acts 3:1 Peter and John are going to the temple for prayer, the morning prayers included a continual burnt offering, or better yet prayer becomes a part of the command to offer the continual burnt offering. I thought these men knew the law was outdated. Paul does not have any excuse for his actions; he makes himself a hypocrite if he was in fact teaching against the law and a liar. Yes I know this is not keeping with the theme of the blog but it is the last comment I will make in this conversation.

    • Hi David,

      Are we going to go point by point through HRM doctrine? If you want to see my positions on the points you’ve raised you can save us both some time and go to CARM and read my posts there. I’m JGIG there as well.

      To your points:

      I never said the Law is gone. The Bible teaches us that the Law leads us to Christ, so it has a purpose, but for the believer once they have been brought to Christ the Law is done with them. Romans 10:1-4 says,

      1Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

      As for Paul and the Nazarite vow, that vow was never completed. Divine intervention? Perhaps. For the Law was passing away.

      Are you really going to try to build a case for Law keeping for the Body of Christ based on Acts 3? Peter and John never made it into the Temple, and actually ended up preaching Christ to those OUTSIDE the Temple after healing the man crippled from birth. How on earth do you make the leap to the Law being in effect for believers today from that? The book of Acts is an account of the history of the early Church. There was a transition time from life under the Old Covenant to life under the New Covenant for the believer in Christ. You’re basing doctrine on history. And a twisted reading of it at that, with unreasonable leaps in logic to doctrine which is simply NOT THERE.

      The book of Hebrews was written to help those devout to the Law to understand their place in Christ in the New Covenant.

      The book of Romans communicates to the believer his/her relationship to the Law before believing on Christ and after believing on Christ.

      The book of Galatians encourages believers in Christ to continue on IN HIM and to NOT GO BACK to the Law. Plain readings of the Scriptures written to the Body of Christ reveal that believers are no longer subject to the Law with its edicts and regulations, but under the Law of Christ. If you love God and love others, you are not in violation of any part of the Law. Galatians 5:16-25 says,

      16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
      19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

      22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

      My prayer is that you would begin to grasp these truths.

      In Jesus,
      -JGIG

  13. Deuteronomy 13 describes Paul – as the Church twists him, per 2 Peter 3:16 & Proverbs 18:2.

    • Hi Yosef,

      Well you came out of the box swinging, didn’t you?! Using Deuteronomy 13 to call the Church’s version of Paul a false prophet and Proverbs 18:2 talking about opinion over truth . . .

      Well, you are welcome to your opinion =o).

      As for 2 Peter 3:16, one needs to take the passage, not just the verse:

      14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

      17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

      You think that the Body of Christ twists Paul’s teachings, and I think that those in the HRM/MJism and related Law ‘keeping’ sects twists Paul’s teachings.

      Let the reader and God judge between us.

      -JGIG

  14. My kids are all totally sold out into this cult. Please give me some ideas how to set them free. They will not listen to any reason and have totally started living in it and all it’s leagalism. Help!

    • Only the Gospel will set them free . . . What I tell family members and friends of those caught up in Hebrew Roots sects is that the good news is that you don’t have to have the HRM all figured out; you just need to be grounded in the simplicity of the Gospel – Who Jesus is, what He came to accomplish, and who we are in Christ – THAT is the best way to stand in the face of false HRM (or any other) teachings. While it’s helpful to have a handle on some of the key issues common in the HRM, being grounded in the Gospel is the main thing. If you read through the testimonies on the Testimonies Page, you’ll see that it’s when those who were in Law-keeping sects came to grips with the simple Truths of the Gospel that they got free. There are some helpful resources HERE, as well. I highly recommend Aaron Budjen’s teachings on the New Covenant; he comes to the issue as a Hebrew Christian who came to Christ as he was studying to become a Rabbi. You can go directly to his radio archives HERE All of his stuff can be downloaded for free.

      Beyond that, be faithful to share the Truths of the Gospel with them, love them well, and pray pray pray.

      Grace and peace,
      -JGIG

  15. When did Yeshua decide he was no longer Jew? To whom was Yeshua referring when he sent his disciples into the world to The Lost Sheep of Israel? How could he be referring to anyone other than Israel as opposed to Judaea?
    Has Ezekiel 37:15—-> been fulfilled? No! Therefore Joseph, Ephraim and the tribes aligned with him are STILL LOST. Therefore at some point they must awaken to their identity!
    HRM as you refer to Messianic believers, is almost totally restricted to the Anglophone world.
    How do you think it would appear when the amnestic Joes begin to awaken? Would it not at least resemble HRM?

    • There are no ‘Lost Tribes’ today. From THE TWO HOUSE OR EPHRAIMITE MOVEMENT

      A. Were the ten tribes “lost?”
      1. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Hezekiah, who came to the throne of Judah probably in 715 BC, could still appeal to the tribes Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, Asher and Zebulun.

      The Assyrian captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel, the home of the ten northern tribes, took place in 721 B.C.E. Thus, Hezekiah appealed to these tribes identified by name six years after they were “lost”.

      2. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity. (Luke 2:36)

      This is 700 years after Assyria destroyed the northern Kingdom of Israel; yet, the specific tribal identity of this woman, the northern tribe of Asher, is stated unequivocally.

      3. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah were scattered, in great part, to the same geographical area. They would have mixed and returned together under Ezra and Nehemiah:

      And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy…. (Ezra 6:16, KJV)

      Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that [were] in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, [even] unto them. (Ezra 5:1)

      According to Ezra, Israel and Judah were joined together in the return from the captivity.

      Obviously, no tribe of Israel was lost; not one of the ten northern tribes, nor either of the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

      The ‘Joes’ begin to awaken? Really? Got Scripture for that ‘awakening’?

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