• 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 – Believers are Grafted Into and Become Israel? Um . . . No.

There is a belief in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic/Netzarim movements that when one believes on Yeshua (Jesus Christ) that they become grafted into the ‘tree of Israel’, actually becoming Israel, obligating those believers to observe Israel’s Mosaic Covenant Law.  There are also those who think that if one believes on Messiah, it’s actually because God has drawn them as a member of the ‘Lost 10 Tribes of Israel’ and that they have been part of natural Israel all along, they just haven’t realized it yet!  (See “Ephraimites” on the Glossary A-F page for more information and resources regarding this belief.)

Law ‘keepers’ use passages in Romans 11 and Ephesians 2 along with a smattering of Old Testament verses regarding the sojourner with Israel to support the view that all believers actually become Israel by being grafted into the olive tree and that believers, by becoming part of the “commonwealth of Israel” actually change into Israel.  These same people will go on to lament about how Christians are the ones who believe in replacement theology!

Someone on a forum posted this question about the issue (this thread has already been culled at Tree of Liberty’s Seminary Forum, so no link is available):

Originally Posted by Munkh:
I hear this term used a lot on TOL and just wanted to ask for clarification what others believe it means?

The reason I ask is because I often see it being referred to [as] Gentiles being grafted into Israel (Wild olives of Romans 11) and so becoming Israel but when you look at actual grafting, the grafted in branch does not become the same as the root in other words you can graft an Orange branch onto a Lemon tree and it still produces Oranges not lemons.  It does get its sustenance from the Lemon tree roots and is supported by the roots but it is still an orange branch not a lemon.

So by that kind of poor example I have a hard time understanding how I as a Gentile become an Israelite or Jew simply because I was grafted in. I get my spiritual nourishment from the same source but I am still a Gentile.

I can find nothing in Romans 11 to lead me to believe otherwise so please help my confusion.

“Munkh” was quite right in his/her assessment of what Romans 11 says in light of the realities of actual grafting practices.

Let’s look at the grafting metaphor in Romans 11 coupled with actual olive tree grafting:

Romans 11:11-24
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!

13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap of the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.  19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted.  But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

Back to the Scripture in a moment, but if you please, read through this article on olive tree grafting, The Road Back to Tradition Begins With a Graft .   The article is an agrarian one, not a religious one, so there is no bias in the article’s grafting perspective.  It’s a short article with enlightening photos, and well worth the read.

What I want you to notice is how when the grafting process on an olive tree is started, the olive tree is cut down to almost nothing. There is basically only root stock left. The writer of the article describes it as “a brutal process, if you’re a tree”.  Other resources available about olive tree grafting tell how resilient the olive tree is, and how, after grafting, it can actually be a stronger tree and bear more fruit as a result.

So back to the Scripture, and please do look at the article on grafting, as you’ll get a visual to go along with the Scripture which really describes a much more radical process than those of us unfamiliar with grafting may have in mind.  Paul differentiates the Root from the branches, and as such, based on what I now know about grafting, the branches are the Body of Christ, made up of both Jews and Gentiles, and Christ is the Root.  “You do not support the root, BUT THE ROOT SUPPORTS YOU.”  

Does Israel support us?

No,  Jesus does!

What happened to the branches?

“‘Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.’  20Granted.  But THEY WERE BROKEN OFF BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF, and you stand BY FAITH.  Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.  21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.”

When an olive tree is prepped for grafting, all of the branches are cut off. After the Cross, unbelieving Israel was cut off.  Those who believed then and believe now were/are grafted back in, along with believing Gentiles.  All were/are grafted in by faith, and nowhere is there any indication that the wild branches become natural branches.  

Do they all share in the life that comes from the Root?  

Yes.  

Do they maintain their identity?  

Ethnically, yes.

As believers in Christ we become one tree, Jew and Gentile both grafted in by faith to the Root through Whom we receive life.  Our primary identity is that we are in Christ!  As a believer, I am in Christ first and foremost – I identify as a Christian who happens to be a Gentile, not a Gentile who happens to be a Christian. 

It is at this point where I expect the HRM/MJer to chime in, “Yes!  And you know that the tree is Israel, right?  And if Gentiles are grafted into Israel, then Gentiles are subject to the same Law as Israel!”   I’ll give them one point:  Jews and Gentiles grafted into the Root are all subject to the same Law, but it isn’t Mosaic Covenant Law, it is the Law of Christ!

As if anticipating ‘the tree is Israel’ argument, Paul, in Romans chapter 9 says this:

Romans 9:1-8
1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel.  Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.  5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

6 It is not as though God’s word had failed.  For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.  7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children.  On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.

Note that it is Abraham’s offspring, not Jacob’s offspring that Scripture identifies as the children of the promise.  Abraham’s seed was not identified as Israel; Jacob’s seed was the first to be identified as Israel.  The promise is given to everyone, Israelites and Gentiles alike!  This, later in the Romans 9 passage (I did not include the entire chapter for brevity’s sake):

Romans 9:30-33
30 What then shall we say?  That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.  They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Back to Romans 11:20:

But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith.

After the Cross, one is part of the tree not because of ethnicity; one is part of the tree because of faith.

Flesh vs. Spirit

Obedience/disobedience to the Law resulted in blessings/curses – for the flesh.  Obey the Law – live.  Disobey the Law – die.   The Law, however, could never impart spiritual life; only the Crucified, Risen, God-incarnate-Christ can do that.  The Law could only guarantee a natural, physical life to those who walked in obedience to its edicts and regulations, and a swift physical punishment/death for those who rebelled, either for them or for a sacrifice offered in their stead, depending on the offense.  

Galatians 3:21-29
21 Is 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. 22 But 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.

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

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

Romans 7:1-6
1 Do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to men who know the law—that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.  But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Some in the HRM will retort, “But the Law is spiritual!  Keep reading in Romans 7!”  Okay, let’s do that:

Romans 7:14-25
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Paul leaves us rather hopeless at the end of Romans 7!  Even though the Law is spiritual, we are still flesh, and if Paul can’t get a handle on sin, what hope have we?!  He gives us a hint where he’s going in Romans 7:25, and thankfully, Paul continued writing in Romans chapter 8:

Romans 8:1-16
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Paul does such a powerful job of showing us our utter hopelessness in the flesh, and the great gift of being in Christ – But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.   We are dead to Law (Romans 7:1) but alive in His Spirit!  We are grafted into the Life-giving Root, Jesus!

After the Cross, the Law is NOT done away with; it continues to point to Christ.  Instead of being that which foreshadowed Messiah in the observances which it required, the Law now serves as confirmation giving witness to Who Christ is and His fulfillment of the Law’s types and shadows!  The Law’s types and shadows now reveal the Reality of He Who has come, that is Jesus Christ the long-awaited Messiah (Colossians 2:17)!  This is what the Bereans were searching the Scriptures about; to see if what Paul told them about Jesus Christ being the Messiah was true.  As a system of relationship with God, however, Mosaic Covenant Law has become obsolete.  It has been replaced as a practical and functioning covenant by the New Covenant:

Galatians 3:19a
19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.

Hebrews 8:13
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

After the Cross several things happened (not an exhaustive list):

  1. The purpose of the Law was fulfilled when the Seed came and did the work of Redemption promised at the Fall and that promise reinforced to Abraham’s seed.
  2. The Law, as a functioning religious system, became obsolete because of the complete work of Christ.  Primary evidence proving that the two covenants cannot operate at the same time is that the Old Covenant had a sacrificial system, CLEARLY made obsolete by the once-and-for-all sacrifice of The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10) .
  3. Unbelieving Israel was cut off (Romans 11:20).  The ONLY way to be grafted back into the Life-giving Root is by FAITH in the Messiah, for both the Jew and the Gentile.

Grafted in by Faith.  Clothed in Christ.  One Body in Christ.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, according to the promise not according to flesh.  We are to abide in the Vine, Jesus (John 15).  One building, made up of living stones, whose Cornerstone is Christ.   All abstract, spiritual concepts, removed from the flesh and bound together by faith and trust in the Crucified and Risen Christ Who gives us LIFE by His Spirit.

One’s ethnicity (flesh) does not change because one is grafted into the tree – natural branches grafted back in and wild branches grafted in live together as one tree drawing spiritual Life from the same Source, The Root, Who is Christ.  Note that in the natural world, grafted branches continue to produce the fruit of the stock from which they were cut, receiving life from the root into which they’ve been grafted – their individual identity does not change, though they receive life from the same root, natural and wild branches alike.  The overall identity of the Tree is one in Christ, however, even though the branches consist of both natural and wild branches.  The believing Jew/Israelite and the believing Gentile are grafted in together, becoming ONE TREE by faith in Christ, who gives them ALL spiritual LIFE. 

A quote from the tree-grafting article, “Yeah. It’s not a hybrid; it changes the whole identity of the tree.”  [Bolding mine.]  Several metaphors are used to describe those in Christ being the people of God, and they cover a lot of bases, showing that the ground is level at the foot of the Cross.  Whether Jew, Gentile, male, female, slave or free, we are all one in Christ.  Whether natural branches or wild, we all receive Life from the Root, Who is Jesus.  We are living stones, carefully placed by the Master Builder, built into a spiritual house, joined together by the Chief Cornerstone:

1 Peter 2:4-5
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:1-2
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Before Christ’s work at the Cross, the people of God had an identity of Israel, and in Romans 11 they are represented by an olive tree.  After Christ’s work at the Cross, God’s people have a whole new identity in Christ.  Another metaphor used in the New Testament is that we are One Body, with many parts: 

1 Corinthians 12:12-14
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 

Romans 12:3-8
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Over  and over references to who we are in Christ hammer home that regardless of our ethnicity or position or gender, we are one in Christ!  I, and every other person who is in Christ remains who God created us to be in the flesh while simultaneously becoming a New Creation and a part of His Body by His Spirit.  Does that make all who are in Christ Jews/Israel?  No, for the Scripture says there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.  Okay . . . I’m female, and I’m in Christ.  Do I cease to be female in the physical? Of course not!  I’m also a Gentile, and I’m in Christ.  Do I cease to be a Gentile?  No.  Being in Christ does not mean our ethnicity/gender/social standing (caste, position, whatever) changes, but we do become members of the Body of Christ, and as such, are one IN HIM.  [It is important to note here that the terms ‘Jew’ and ‘Israel’ are used interchangeably in Scripture.]

The Two House/Ephraimite Error

The Two House/Ephraimite Error

As mentioned at the top of this post, there are some who think they actually are Israel/Jews/Ephraim who are in the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Netzarim streams of thought.  There are some who think they heard that some great-grand parent might have been Jewish and they proudly take on that identity.  Some actually shell out  $$$ to have their DNA tested.  Others ‘just have a feeling’ that they are part of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel (that aren’t really lost, by the way).  One person who has come out of the HRM told me that some in the Hebrew Roots Movement claim to have had a mystical experience similar to the Mormon ‘burning in the bosom’ after which they ‘just know’  they are part of Ephraim (the Lost 10 Tribes).

The Bible, however, doesn’t teach that those who believe on Messiah become Israel, or that they are drawn to the Cross just because they are Israel.  All of the metaphors used in the Scriptures written to the Body of Christ confirm that God makes everyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His work at the Cross a New Creation, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or position (See also the entry Ephraimite on the Glossary A-F Page for more information on the ‘Two House Doctrine/Ephraimite Error.)

Conclusions
Tree grafting is not rocket science.  
Save for the chain saws and tape, grafting has remained pretty much the same since it was first tried, and the metaphor that Paul used nearly 2000 years ago holds up as well today as it did then.  There are natural branches and wild branches, each retaining their identities, all drawing their life from the same Root.  As seen above, many other metaphors are used to make the same basic point.

Those in the HRM will try to take behaviors expected of the sojourner with physical Israel under the Law in the Old Testament and apply those expectations to Jews and Gentiles alike in the spiritual Body of Christ.  That is an inappropriate application.  Israel and Her sojourners were under Mosaic Covenant Law, given until the Seed should come.  The Body of Christ rests in the Gospel – the Seed has come, He did the work of the Cross, and we have died with Him and received Life from the Resurrected Christ.  All, whether Jew or Gentile, come to relationship with Him through faith – heirs according to the Promise given to all mankind.

Promises given to all mankind and depicted in the flesh of Israel via the Law give way to the spiritual realities fulfilled in Christ.

Am I saying that Israel is ‘replaced’ by the Church (Body of Christ)?  No.  After the Cross, however, those who are a part of Israel must be saved just as the Gentile; through faith and trust in Jesus Christ Who died, Rose on the third day, and Ascended into Heaven and sits at the Right Hand of the Father. 

What of natural/national Israel?  I’m content to leave that up to God.  I believe that He has further plans for Her according to His Word.  There are lots of different opinions about how the last events will play out, but none of that has bearing on the salvation of the individual soul before God and who we are in Christ.

Do I boast over the natural branches?  No.  The offer of salvation comes to the Jew first and then the Gentile.  There is special honor, in my opinion, for Israel, as She is the vehicle God chose to facilitate the coming of Messiah.  Israel has endured much for Her chosen status.  The balance of Romans 11 says:

Romans 11:25-36
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Now some will take that to mean that every individual in Israel will be saved as per God’s promise in this passage.  Yet Scripture tells us that Jesus is the only Way to the Father.  Some surmise that a representative number of Israel will be saved, thus fulfilling the promise.  Like with many prophecies, we often don’t know how they will come about until God fulfills them and then we say, “Oh!  That’s what He meant by that Scripture!”  So I’m content to wait to see how God will fulfill His promises to Israel.

As those in Christ we are grafted into the Root, abide in the Vine, become part of the Body of Christ.  In Christ, we live in a spiritual reality in spite of our ‘fleshy’ existence.  The Scriptures are clear:  We are a New Creation in Christ, One Body, many parts, each with talents and giftings and callings which God desires us to use to spread the Gospel of Christ to every tribe, tongue and nation.  He does not require that we become ethnically someone we were not created to be to in order to partake in His Kingdom, because flesh will not inherit the Kingdom of God:

1 Corinthians 15:50-58
50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Amen!

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!

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  • Note: I also posted the above post on a forum I was invited to this past winter.   Interesting responses and a good primer in how those who are Torah pursuant think.  You can find the thread HERE.

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If you’re someone in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect 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 other testimonies on the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.  May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.

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Other articles of interest:

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76 Responses

  1. Awesome study!!! Thanks, JGIG

    Love in Christ,
    Herb

    • Awesome, yes, thank you, thank you, and all praise to God Who has revealed all this to you and therefore us. You’ve been given a great gift of explaining!

  2. Another great post. Lots of meat to feast on. Praying many will sit down and find life giving nourishment here~

  3. Would you say there are any ceremonial aspects of Gods law that we should keep today? Or none.

  4. […] of our identity as being Israel instead of “in Christ” as the One New Man.  See this article about who we are grafted into. The paradigm and premise drawn by the HRM is at complete odds with the true witness of Christ […]

  5. the writer of this article obviously doesn’t know anything about judaism or torah. paul is using the olive tree as a point of reference. people obviously are plants. in the ancient aramaic targums, each area where it says god, or YHWH, is the aramaic for ha dabar, or the word. the concept that the word of god is messiah is a jewish teaching. if jesus is in fact the word of god, then he is in fact the torah. the torah is our function. it’s like the operating manual for being human. torah is different then the covenant. the covenant is in fact a marriage contract. so if hashem takes non jews as his bride, it’s foolish to think he’d allow them to bring their foreign ways into his house. i don’t think that is what paul ment. i think he was simply trying to help non jews understand who the hebrew god is. unfortunately, untaught christians are now perpetrating that one can break any commandment he wants, and will not be judged. if you want to believe that then fine. but we’ll all be judged according to our works. Ezekiel 24:14, Rom. 2:6-8, Rom. 2:13, Heb. 10:26-27, Jas. 2:14, Jas. 2:17, Jas. 2:18-20, Jas. 2:24.

    • Hi Jeremiah,

      Welcome to JGIG.

      You lost me at “people are obviously plants.” Then you launched into how you think that the Torah is God. You say that Messiah is Torah, therefore, since Jesus is God incarnate and Jesus is Torah, in your view, Torah must be God. Nope. Torah is a partial expression of God; Torah is not eternal. Torah is not deity in any way, shape, or form. Unless of course you do not believe that Jesus is God incarnate; then what you believe is not Biblical Christianity in the first place. What you believe is certainly your choice, but mixing Kabbalistic Judaism with Christianity (or with Judaism for that matter!) is contradictory on many levels. For those wishing to check the definition for dabar, click HERE and also its root, HERE and notice that its definition is in no way Torah. Same with the word logos, used in John 1:1. Click HERE for its meaning.

      Remember that all Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking,correcting, and training in righteousness, not just Torah:

      2 Timothy 3:10-17
      10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

      While Torah is indeed part of God’s Word, it is not the sum total of God’s Word. There are the Prophets and the Writings, as well as the New Testament. And much of the New Testament was available at the time of the infant Church (Body of Christ):

      2 Peter 3:14-18
      14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear 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. 16 He 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.

      17 Therefore, 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. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

      Paul’s and the other Apostles’ letters were copied and passed around in the early Church (this is one of the reasons we have so much manuscript evidence for the New Testament) and were recognized as inspired by the Holy Spirit and recognized as Scripture. Jesus said this:

      John 16:12-15
      12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

      As for the rest of your post, you ignore the Promise made to mankind at the Fall of a Redeemer, and the Promise to Abraham, long before Israel ever existed (Israel being named with Jacob). God is not the God of the Jews/Israel only:

      Romans 3:21-31
      21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 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— 26 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.

      27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

      And how do we uphold the Law? By using it properly:

      1 Timothy 1:8-11
      8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

      And who are we in Christ?

      2 Corinthians 5:16-21
      16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 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 men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

      You seem to be under the impression that one who is in Christ and is not under Mosaic Covenant Law is just running around thinking that they can sin willy nilly. This of course is not true, as anyone who spends time reading the New Testament can testify:

      Galatians 5:13-26
      13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

      16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For 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. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

      19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and 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.

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

      God has given the Body of Christ LOTS of instructions about how we should live! Some are found in Torah, some not. The precepts of God stand for the believer in Christ; commandments found in Mosaic Covenant Law that were binding on Israel are not a part of what God expects of the Body of Christ. The Law points to Christ; the Law does not point to the Law. Gentiles are not expected to become Israel, Israel is not expected to become Gentile; we are all grafted into He who gives us LIFE – Jesus Christ!

      And THAT, my friend, is what the post on which you commented is all about!

      Every blessing,
      -JGIG

  6. “Contrary to nature.” To understand this we must first understand the natural law which governs grafting. In natural grafting the fruit is always according to the nature of the scion, and not according to the root or stock. In spiritual grafting we are grafted into Christ, and, “contrary to nature,” we bear the fruit of the Spirit, or the fruit of the true vine, Jesus Christ. Christ says, “I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16); and Paul says, “If the root (Christ) be holy, so are the branches (His people).” Again Christ says, “I am the root.” Rev. 22:16.

  7. Lots of good theology in this article, and I’d like to add my own two cents. Being grafted in the tree doesn’t mean we have Hebrew roots, because the tree isn’t Israel. The other, natural branches are the Hebrew people. The branches are NOT the tree, but rather extensions of it, drawing life from it. Our foundation, our identity, our source of life is NOT Israel, or the Hebrew people, or any covenant, but rather Yeshua the Messiah Himself, the transcendent creator God incarnate in the flesh, who gave His life to redeem us, and rose again to be our King of Kings. Any attempt to replace Him with any other source of identity or life is harlotry, just as if a bride sought her identity and life in another man besides her husband.

    And on that note, there is an often mis-interpreted verse in Acts, “they were first CALLED Christians in Antioch.” CALLED there doesn’t mean that’s what pagans or Judaism called them, but rather it’s a very special Greek word meaning, basically, designated by oracle, in other words, prophetic revelation. It was God who called them Christians, because they followed the Messiah according to the spirit. Judaism, not willing to acknowledge that Yeshua was the Messiah, called the burgeoning movement “Nazarenes.”

  8. too bad you didn’t reference Ezekiel 37 in this article..

    Ezekiel 37
    16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. 18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? 19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

    Acts 1,6
    When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

    and than read Romans 11 again.

    • Romans 11 doesn’t deal with only Israel; Romans 11 deals with bringing all who place their faith in Christ into Him, becoming one in Him. It’s not an either Jesus brought restoration to Israel or Jesus brought redemption to mankind; it’s a both/and equation: In Christ we are all brought back into relationship with God through Christ.

      Acts 1:6-8
      6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

      7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

      The disciples had no idea of the true scope of what the Work of Christ had accomplished; they would receive full knowledge about that later, through the Holy Spirit which Christ promises to them in verse 5, and also here:

      John 16:12-15
      12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

      And then Scripture like this, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

      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.”

      Now go and read Romans 11 again =o).

  9. I have read all this with interest.
    Can someone help me understand 3 things:

    1. Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.

    Does this mean ‘we should not relax even the least commandment’?

    2. Isa 2:3 (or Mic 4:2) And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go out the Law, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.

    Does this mean ‘ the Law will be in effect and shall go out from Zion’ during the last days?

    3. Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
    Mat 19:17 And He said to him, Why do you call Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.
    Joh 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
    1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
    1Jn 2:4 He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    Rev12:17 And the dragon was enraged over the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    Does this mean we should keep the commandments?

    There’s 613 commandments in the torah and 1 new one in the new testament.
    There’s 10 key commandments (called the covenant?)
    And there are 2 ultimate commandments on which the law and prophets hang.

    Please help me understand this.

    • Hi ‘Still Don’t Get It’,

      If you try to look at the Scriptures through a Law lens, the questions you raise will always be there.

      If you look at the Scriptures through a Grace lens (both in the Old and New Testaments), those questions will be answered.

      It all boils down to these basic issues:

      Who Jesus is
      What He came to do
      What that actually accomplished, and
      Who those who believe in Christ are in Him.

      A couple of posts here at JGIG that may be helpful to you are:

      —> The Law of Christ – Defined and Defended – This post answers specifically what commands in the Greek means before vs. after the Work of the Cross.

      —> Grace or Law? How Then, Shall We Live? – Are you in the Old Covenant or in the New Covenant? In First Adam or Last Adam? After salvation, how does the Bible tell us we must live? Is our relationship with Him to be a commandment/performance-based relationship, or a He-produces-the-Fruit-we-bear-it-based relationship? There are also four really good audio teachings at the end of that post (free to listen to or download) that help to clarify the differences in living in the Old Covenant vs. the New Covenant.

      The last part of your comment reads:
      “Does this mean we should keep the commandments?

      There’s 613 commandments in the torah and 1 new one in the new testament.
      There’s 10 key commandments (called the covenant?)
      And there are 2 ultimate commandments on which the law and prophets hang.

      Please help me understand this.”

      We are told plainly in Romans 6 and 7 and Galatians 2:20 that those in Christ have died with Him and to the Law, being no longer under the Law, as death releases one from the Law. Now for the paradox: Though we have died with Christ, we also are made alive in Him (here we see the importance of not only the death of Christ, but also the Resurrection of and in Christ) Eph. 2.

      So that sets up our position in Christ: having died to the Law in order to be joined to another (Christ, Who gives us New Life), so that we may bear FRUIT unto God (Rom 7:4).

      Here’s where it gets really cool:

      You’re right, there are 613 (give or take, that’s a rabbinic count) commandments (laws) in Torah.
      We have died to the Law in order to be joined to another (Christ) so that we may bear FRUIT unto God.

      There are the 10 Commandments, which, after the Work of Christ are called “the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones” according to 2 Cor. 3.
      They are part of the 613 – which, if we are in Christ, we have died to (again, Rom. 7).

      There are the two ultimate commandments (love God, love others), on which all the others hang.
      Yes; again, part of the Old Covenant, which, if we are in Christ, we have died to – why? In order to be joined to Christ so that we may bear FRUIT unto God.

      We also see clearly in Gal. 5:18 that if we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the Law.

      Hang in there, we’re coming full circle here in a minute =).

      You’ll see the following if you go to the posts linked to above, but I’ll also post it here. A Torah observant woman wrote this to me a while back, and it kind of encapsulates what you’re getting at:

      Andrea wrote,
      “But I can’t love because it is a command – Because I am under grace [and not under law]. Do see how you guys make absolutely NO SENSE?!”

      Andrea was referring to the quoting of this passage:

      1 John 3:21-24
      21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

      It’s a great question! If we’re not under Law, but after the Cross God commands us to love – sometimes referred to as the Law of Christ – what’s up with that?!

      Here’s the really cool thing:

      Love is a Fruit of the Spirit as well as a command. (Galatians 5:22-23)

      Though love is a command, it’s also a fruit. (Note in Romans 7 that we died to the Law so that we could be joined to another so that we may what? Keep the Law? No – so that we may BEAR FRUIT unto God!)

      Looking at Galatians 5:22-23 (which is on the heels of 5:18 that says that if we’re led by the Spirit we’re not under the Law), it says this:
      22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

      Do fruit-producing plants strive to produce fruit? No . . . the branches bear fruit because they are attached to the vine/tree/plant which nourishes them (John 15). Fruit is the by-product of LIFE, and it takes time for fruit to be produced. If you are in Christ and are led by His Spirit, love will be a fruit produced in you. If you are alive in Christ, abiding in Him, allowing His Holy Spirit to live through you, love is an unavoidable by-product of that relationship, fulfilling God’s command to love!

      Commanding the one in Christ to love is like commanding a person who has life in them to breathe because it’s a law. If a person has life in them, they automatically breathe – it’s something that we just DO.

      If we are in Christ, loving others is something that we just DO.

      To command those in Christ to love is a ridiculously-unfair-in-our-favor-win-win-deal!

      Here’s the other really cool thing:

      We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

      By resting in the love of Christ and letting Him live His Life through us, bearing His Fruits, God’s command to love is obeyed (John 15:12, 1 John 3:23) and the Law is fulfilled (Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:14).

      That is Grace.

      And because of Grace and being led by the Spirit, when we love, we are not murdering, stealing, committing adultery, worshipping other gods, bearing false witness . . . do you see where this is going?

      Can you begin to see how Jesus is our Sabbath Rest?

      Now look at Romans 13:8-10:
      8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

      Everything that God cares about is fulfilled by Love. Love is the primary Fruit (the other Fruits flow out of and are products of Love) that HE produces through us via the Fruits of the Spirit. And Love fulfills the Law.

      Christ in us fulfills the Law. It’s all about Him. We surrender to Him. We let Him live His Life through us. And He teaches us how, patiently, by His Grace:

      Titus 2:11-15
      11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
      15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

      I hope that helps!

      Grace and Peace to you,
      -JGIG

    • “These commandments” doesn’t refer to the Law. In the context, that would’ve been “those commandments.” Yeshua was about to preach “the Sermon on the Mount,” and “these” refers to what He was about to say.

      Also, there’s a bit of equivocation going on there in the HRM reasoning. While it is true that all the Law is composed of commandments, it is not true that all Biblical commandments compose the Law. Of course you should keep God’s commandments–but in the context of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and bearing such fruit, which is the essence of the Kingdom, “commandments” can hardly be limited to mere scriptural directives.

      • Lon – Let’s take it a bit further: What are the commandments after the Cross?

        Believe on the One God has sent and love one another (1 John 3:23-24). Believe . . . have faith in Christ . . . become a New Creation in Him (2 Cor. 5:16-21). Then what? New life in Him (Eph. 2), sealed with His Holy Spirit.

        Then?

        Commandment-keeping empowered by the Holy Spirit? That’s a major hook found in Law-keeping sects. Now that you’re saved, there are things that you must do, but God will help you out with keeping those commandments found in the ministry of death (2 Cor. 3).

        Is that what we’re taught in the New Covenant Scriptures?

        No – we are taught that love fulfills the Law (Rom. 13:8-10). Every thing that God cares about is fulfilled by love. All of the New Testament commands/exhortations? All fulfilled by love.

        But even that comes from Him!

        We love because He first loved us (1 Jn.4) and love is a Fruit of the Spirit as well as a command (Gal. 5:22-23)

        So even that which we are commanded in the New Covenant is a Fruit that we bear not a performance of commands.

        I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I elaborate on the above here: Grace or Law? How Then, Shall We Live?

      • JGIG, you said: “What are the commandments after the Cross?” You site 1 John 3:23-24. NOT A NEW commandment, because 2 John 1:5

        “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote A NEW COMMANDMENT unto thee, but that WHICH WE HAD FROM THE BEGINNING, that we LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”

        Yeshua brought NOTHING NEW in so called New Testament( by the way terminology that was invented by Marcion in 2AD).

        In fact, Yeshua endlessly quotes Torah and the prophets. Moreover, He rettariate His Father’s words when He verbalizes Two greatest commands: First.Deuteronomy 6:5;

        “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

        AND, the second greatest;

        Leviticus 19:18;

        “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

        ON THESE TWO H A N G ALL of The Torah and the prophets. There are no 613 commandments<<<A purely man made tradition. There are those which apply to me as a woman, there are those which applied to Yeshua as to a man and in His case He kept them perfectly. Therefore, Yeshua fill fulled His obligation when it came to LOVE OUR FATHER by obliging To What Father asked from him as from a man in Torah to do. Quite simple. "If YOU LOVE ME. KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS". Remember, We are obedient BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED, not because WE WANT TO BE SAVED. Yeshua serves as A MEDIATOR and IF we err He testifies for us in the Heavenly Realm before The Father.

        From the very beginning ONE WOULD GET SAVED( JUSTIFIED) BY FAITH AND FAITH ALONE, because Habbakuk 2:4;

        … "Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."

        You are correct LOVE FULL FILLS THE LAW. You have to remember, numerous instructions that Heavenly Father tells us to follow are not listed in so called New Testament. And IF I claim to Love Heavenly Father and commit incest, which has not been listed in so called New Testament, would it be ok for me to sleep with my Father? If tattooing my body, which is an abomination in Heavenly Father;s eyes, does it make it ok for me to riddle my body with tattoos? Would you run the red light AFTER BEING GIVEN MERCY aka GRACE( a removal of the transgression) AGAIN? Think about that.One cannot to claim Heavenly Father and continue to transgress His Holiness as 1 John 3:4 states what is the transgression of TORAH, LAWLESSNESS. IT IS SIN! Simple! You transgress Torah(aka The Law), you commit sin. So called Grace is not a ticket of continuing in willful rebellion. One must know the DEFINITION OF SIN, in Order to know what to repent of and turn away from it.

      • Hi Irina, welcome to JGIG =o).

        By all means, if you feel the urge to sleep with your father, ‘riddle your body with tattoos’, run red lights or walk in continual rebellion, then the Law is certainly for you! You should keep on consuming large portions of the milk of the Word (the Law) before you can move on to the meat of the Word, teachings in walking in the righteousness of Christ – His gift to you in the New Birth.

        Is it the Law that constrains you from doing such things? Or is it Christ in you and His Grace that teaches you to say no to ungodliness?

        It’s interesting that those who say we who are in Christ are still bound to Old Covenant Law come out with the more ‘vile’ sins (bestiality is one I hear a lot, too) for shock value and what’s really interesting is that those acts are things that never enter my mind until someone like you brings them up. My mind NEVER goes there. Why? Because those things are foreign to who I am in Christ. You give God very little credit for the work that He faithfully does on the inside of His adopted.

        As for the definition of sin, 1 John 3:4 uses the Greek word, ‘anomia’, which means general law/commandments, not ‘anomos’, which means Old Covenant Law specifically, so you’ve been misinformed on that count. You can watch a short video about that here: http://youtu.be/yDo_mJ76o4Q

        So when we see John defining God’s commandments in 1 John 3:23-24, it makes perfect sense that ‘anomia’ is used, because what John wrote is this:

        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.

        That echoes what Jesus said in John 13:

        34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

        Note that “by this” – Love – “all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Not, “All people will know you are my disciples by how well you keep the Old Covenant commandments.”

        No, we’re to walk in love, and love fulfills everything that God cares about. Love does no harm to one’s neighbor and love goes beyond doing no harm to laying down one’s life for others.

        That’s way more in line with walking as Christ walked. It’s not all about Law, it’s all about love:

        All of 1 John 4 is awesome, but this part talks about who we are in Christ:

        17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

      • Question: Can a born again blood bought redeemed Christian who has put all of their faith in their redemption by Christ’s sacrifice EVER SIN AGAIN? And IF a Christian CAN sin after being saved, there must be a commandment or law that was sinned against, is there not? Or else it would not be considered SIN.

        Jesus HIMSELF said that he did not come to abolish the LAW, so why are you so determined to denounce what HE SAID? He “fulfilled” the REQUIREMENTS (I repeat, REQUIREMENTS) of the Law which CALLED FOR A BLOOD SACRIFICE to cancel the debt of SIN against God. The DEBT WAS PAID, but the LAW WAS NOT ABOLISHED. By following THE LAW (the Ten Love Commandments) it is a guideline on how God wants us to conduct our lives, not only BEFORE redemption through Christ, but AFTER redemption as well.

        Another topic to think about…..GRACE DOES NOT SAVE YOU, YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST DOES. God’s gift of Grace does NO BENEFIT until a person accepts that gift BY FAITH. Neither does obeying the Law (Ten Commandments) SAVE YOU, only the sacrifice of blood that Jesus gave in our place. Obeying God’s 10 commandments (which existed even before they were written on stone for Moses) was NEVER meant for salvation, otherwise Christ’s sacrifice was not needed. They are merely a GUIDELINE (or Law) or EXPECTATION by God on how He wants or expects us to live. If we find it HARD to accept that we are not supposed to MURDER, COVET, GIVE FALSE WITNESS, HONOR OUR PARENTS, OR EVEN FOLLOW THE SABBATH REST ON THE SEVENTH DAY, then God would say that we DON’T LOVE HIM.

        God’s Plan of Redemption is very simple….believe on Christ with our Faith that He paid the debt for our SINS, and THEN REPENT OR TURN FROM SIN (which is breaking God’s commandments or laws). The word LAW seems to be a big hangup with a LOT of Christians these days, which does show that prophesy is being fulfilled in the end days. As in the Days of Noah, lawlessness (iniquity or sin) abounds.

        Mark 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath (the 4th COMMANDMENT). >Christ’s words, not mine.<

        HOW CAN JESUS BE LORD OF THE SABBATH IF THE LAWS HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED?

      • What are the wages of sin?

        Have they changed?

        No, the penalty for sin is still death.

        What is the penalty for transgressing the Sabbath? Murder? Adultery?

        Death.

        Has the Law changed?

        According to you, no, the Law is still in place.

        I’m not hung up on the Law; I have a complete understanding of its purpose, requirements, and penalties.

        The Law brought me to the end of myself, and I received the complete forgiveness of God in Christ, His Righteousness, and New Life in Him.

        I died to the Law in Christ, and am no longer bound to it, in order to be joined to Another in order to bear Fruit unto God (Rom. 7:4-6).

        Christ is the Perfect and Permanent High Priest of the New Covenant. Strive in the Old in your flesh if you wish; I choose to live in the New in Christ and His Spirit.

    • The Torah (law/instructions) will be in effect during the millinial reign. If someone teaches only based on Paul, you should stay away from them. However, everything Paul says lines up with Torah and the Prophets but Paul preachers do not know this. Peter tells us that those who are unlearned (in torah/Word of the Father) will twist Paul’s writings to their own destruction. Every letter Paul wrote was to a specific set of people (Romans was to Romans, Galatians to people of Galatia, etc. Not Christians). He was talking to former gentiles who were now following Messiah and living the way of the Father’s instructions. We are to follow Messiah, not man. Paul was just a man who followed Messiah. Paul kept all the feast days, the Sabbath (Saturday), and even did the Nazarite vow with former gentiles AFTER Messiah had died. So obviously ‘all that’ was not done away with. No one will understand anything in the ‘new testament’ if they do not know the ‘old’. The renew covenant is only for the house of Israel and the house of Judah. If anyone still claiming to be a gentile then the ‘new’ covenant isn’t for them. Also, if they aren’t interested in obeying the Father’s instructions, the millinial reign isn’t going to be some place they’ll want to be. When New Jerusalem comes down, it’s coming down with 12 gates for the 12 tribes. There will be no thirteenth gate for the gentile Christians. Revelation tells us that blessed are those who keep the Commandments and have the testimony of Yeshua. Revelation also tells us that those who conquer the beast sing the song of Moses. Our Messiah quotes Torah and the Prophets continually. So do the Apostles and Paul. If Yeshua is your Messiah follow Him as He obeyed the Father. Daniel tells us the one who changes times and laws is the anti-messiah. We are also told in Deuteronomy not to add or take away from the Father’s Word. Yet, here they are, doing exactly that. By their own admission, Yeshua Messiah is the anti-messiah and Paul is a false prophet. I suggest everyone find the 2 to 3 biblical witnesses for EVERY verse you base your doctrine off of. Please don’t bother a reply back to me if it’s a rebuttal of Paul verses. Just giving me verses by Paul will do no good. Paul is not my Messiah.

      Thank you and YaH bless.

      Remember, Noah was saved by grace, so grace isn’t new. Ruth was a gentile who became Israel, so that isn’t new either. Only those who do as Abraham did are of his seed. Abraham obeyed all of the Father’s commands, laws, and precepts. That’s what Abraham did.

      • So much of this boils down to Who do you say Jesus is, and not just whether or not you believe He is God, but what is His position, now, after His Work of the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Ascension?

        You claim that the Law will be kept in a Millennial Reign.

        From what tribe does the priesthood come from for the Old Covenant?

        Scripture tells us:

        5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. (from 1 Tim. 2)

        Who is that Mediator?

        From which tribe is He? Judah, yes?

        Does the Law speak of any priest of the Old Covenant being from that tribe?

        If Christ cannot legally mediate the Old Covenant, what must we conclude?

        Remember, there is only ONE God and ONE Mediator.

        Who is it? Will He ever mediate the Old Covenant? Will Levites ever be established as priests again?

        What does God tell us? What has He sworn as an oath?

        11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

        “You are a priest forever,
        in the order of Melchizedek.”

        18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

        20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

        “The Lord has sworn
        and will not change his mind:
        ‘You are a priest forever.’”

        22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. (from Heb. 7)

        Preach keeping the Old Covenant all you want, but it’s never coming back – ever. If it did, then God would be breaking His oath making Christ a Perfect High Priest forever. I don’t think He’s going to do that, do you?

  10. Hello, first of all, I should clarify that I am not good at writing in English, I’m Mexican and I found your site and would like to know more about the Christian defense against this false teaching of the alleged Hebrew roots, so would like to know more internet sites where he could extend this defense and if possible that his teachings can be translated into Spanish, there are many Spanish-speaking people being deceived by false teachers as Jim Staley and Daniel Hernandez and I think one of his website in Spanish would be helpful. I would love to understand more about Israel and the church and the correct way to interpret Romans 11. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you.

    • No need to apologize for your English – you are far better at English than I am at Spanish .

      I’m not aware of any sites similar to mine that are in Spanish, nor do I have the ability or means to get JGIG translated into Spanish. I’m ‘JGIG’, a homeschooling wife and mom of seven. We have no money, and my WordPress blog is free for me to produce as is the FB page. The original intent for JGIG was for homeschooling moms to examine the HRM that had crossed so many of our paths. The audience has evidently grown!

      Google provides a rough translation of most sites – and it’s just that – a rough translation. For me, if I pull up a ste that is not in English, Google offers a ‘Translate this Page’ link at the top of the page.

      I can encourage you in this: Read everything through the lens of the finished Work of Christ and His High Priesthood. It’s all about Him and who we are in Him, whether Jew or Gentile.

      Another site that I highly recommend that may be a bit easier to read is Escape to Reality. His articles are generally shorter than mine and he effectively communicates New Covenant Truths. In being solid on what’s true you’ll be able to sort out what’s not true.

      I hope some of that helps. I’ve been asked about translating into a couple of different languages, but just don’t have the means.

      A note about HRM sites being available in Spanish: There are those who believe that descendants from Spain (Sephardic Jews) are part of the ‘lost tribes’ and some think they have ‘identified’ where some of these tribes are. 119 Ministries (one of the larger HRM ministries) even relocated to Costa Rica. Their public statement was that it was because the cost of living is lower there (and it may be), but I’ve learned from other HRM sources that they believe they’ve ‘located’ members of the ‘lost tribes’ in Costa Rica, so that may also be a reason they went there. So for them, they view the Hispanic/Latino world as a ‘mission’ field of sorts, but it’s not to bring the Lost to Christ, but to put Christians under Torah.

      Thanks for your note – no inconvenience at all =o).

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

  11. The Law only applies to the living, the dead are exempt (Rom 7). But

    “Does Israel support us? No, Jesus does!”

    That is wrong. Because in the context of Rom 11, the root there is not Jesus but the Jewish nation. Some where broken off but not all (Rom 11:1). After all Jesus is a Jew, Paul is a Jew, the apostles, etc.

    • I have to ask:

      Where does your Eternal Life come from?

      Does Israel provide you with Eternal Life or does Christ?

      In the context of Romans 11, the Root is Christ and the branches are Israel. Branches, whether natural (Israel), or Wild (Gentile), are grafted in by faith. Grafted into what or Who? Into Christ, for He is where Life comes from:

      9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (from Rom. 5)

      Regarding Romans 7 and the Law and the living and the dead, you might find this article interesting: Released/Delivered From the Law and Christ is the End of the Law – Getting Greeky About Romans 7, 10, and Ephesians 2

    • Jewish refers to either those descended from the tribe of Judah, or to those who lived in the Roman province of Judea. Even so, the root is NOT the nation of Israel, but only a REMNANT of the nation (“…not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, and not all of Abraham’s children are his true descendants…” Romans 9:6,7…”And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved” v.27) This remnant “supports” the Tree ONLY in the sense that the Apostles and Prophets are the FOUNDATION (They gave us the Scriptures and the Messiah…”to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the FLESH, comes the Messiah” Romans 9:4,5), but the Spirit is the nourishing sap that flows through the Tree and gives it Life according to the SPIRIT.
      “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Romans 2:28,29 Philippians 3:3.)

      It is not Israel that give life to the Tree, but Christ.

      “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision… but Christ is ALL, and in ALL” (Colossians 3:11).

      Since His Spirit flows through the entire Tree, Christ is not ONLY the root, or the stump, but He is the ENTIRE Tree. He is all and in all. Without His Spirit, the entire Tree would be dead.

      God and the Lamb are the Temple, with Israel (the Apostles and Prophets) as the foundation, and all believes as Living Stones. In the same way He is the Olive tree, with faithful Israel as the root and all believers as Branches.

  12. I can really understand this point of view. It appears at first glance well thought out. However, the book of Romans is actually talking to the “ethnos” (translated Gentiles) who were primarily the northern tribes of Israel, dispersed after God divorced them for idolatry. We know this because Paul quotes Hosea (when he said God would call those His people who were not His – that is in Hosea 2). His main point is that the rock of offence is the idea that a person cannot be righteous enough to earn their salvation. The foundation has to be faith! That does not negate good works though and aiming toward attaining less sin in our lives. Sin is defined in the New Testament (not just the old) as breaking the law. We shouldn’t “sin all the more” because we are under grace! surely not!B it we shouldn’t also make the law our crutch. In addition the scripture from Hebrews quotes about the old covenant becoming obsolete is an incorrect translation – I checked the Greek myself of bibke hub. It refers to the levitical priestly system becoming obsolete because of the new Melchizedek priesthood (which isn’t really new at all, it was foreshadowed in the OT, nothing in the NT is pulled out of thin air, there must be an established scriptural basis for it).

    • Hi Gem, welcome to JGIG =o).

      Ethnos is not the Northern tribes of Israel; ethnos is the nations; non-Israelites. You can learn more about that here, with a detailed examination of both the Hebrew and the Greek words for Goyim/Gentile.

      As for sinning less, you can read more about that in the post, Grace or Law? How Then, Shall We Live? Law actually stirs up sin, while Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness.

      As for the assertion that Hebrews 8:13 is an incorrect translation, no, it clearly states that the Old Covenant is obsolete in Christ. Covenant is the main subject of the chapter; the translators put the word covenant in vs. 13 for clarity; it does not change the meaning of the chapter/verse. The obsolescence of the Old Covenant is established in chapter 7, where it is made very clear that with the New, Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood of Christ, there must be a change of the Law. New Priesthood; New Covenant. And the Perfect, Permanent Priesthood of Christ is not a manifestation of the Melchizedek priesthood, but a New Priesthood out of the Line of Judah, and is permanent (in the order of the Melchizedek priesthood) on the basis of an indestructible Life. The Melchizedek priesthood foreshadowed Christ’s High Priesthood; Christ’s Perfect High Priesthood was not the ‘new’ Melchizedek priesthood.

      Back to the post about who/what believers are grafted into – we are grafted into the Root, Who is Christ, Who gives us New Life, not into the branches, Israel, who cannot give life.

  13. I heard an audio program that someone who is born again become a slave to Christ because he become their master. So the unsaved are a slave to sin. And the saved are a slave to Christ. You cannot serve two master. So you cannot be a slave to sin and a slave to Christ at the same time. Some say that Romans seven describes the unsaved person. And some say it describes the battle of the flesh and spirit it in the saved person. Romans 6:22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. You cannot be a slave to sin and a slave to God at the same time. You can’t serve both. You serve who you obey. Romans 6:16
    Don’t you know that if you offer to be someone’s slave, you must obey that master? Either your master is sin, or your master is obedience. Letting sin be your master leads to death. Letting obedience be your master leads to God’s approval.
    GOD’S WORD® Translation

    • Todd – A really interesting study is how in Christ we become the adopted of God, and are considered co-heirs with Christ, not merely servants/slaves. Do we serve God? Yes – but it is from a position of adoption, not of slavery.

      15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (from John 15)

      5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (from Eph. 1)

      14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (from Rom. 8)

      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. (from Gal. 3)

      10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. (from Heb. 2)

      We serve in our Father’s household, for His Glory and pleasure \o/!

  14. God never changes. He is the same from the beginning to the end. His love never changed since creation. His grace never changed since creation. This is His nature. So when He said six days work shall be done, but the seventh is the Sabbath. Read it in Exodus 31:12-18. Well, man changed that but God doesn’t change what He has sanctified. Some argue that Christ is the Sabbath, but I never read that anywhere. Have you found it in scripture? It seems that our loving Father who cares for His children was looking out for the best wellbeing of our lives and health knowing the rest we need physically and spiritually. But man changed the sabbath against what God already gave us. What about food we eat? Unclean meat is unclean even when cooked according to studies. The Ebola virus we are fighting right now came from eating fruit bats and God forbid eating bats. God knows what He is doing to give us His laws and instructions to help us in this godless world just like the Israelites and Gentiles (take Ruth for example) who were surrounded by heathens. We become the body of Christ by being grafted in to the tree, but we do not support the root. The root supports us and we must fear that. Why do we paint grace on everything such as making sabbath any day we want (Sundays in this case) and eat any unclean meat we want (ham on Easter dinner???). This disturbs me because knowing what our Heavenly Father has done for us, sacrificially sending His Jesus on our behalf of our salvation and here we go our way praying grace on everything.

    • Beckie, you wrote, “We become the body of Christ by being grafted in to the tree, but we do not support the root. The root supports us and we must fear that.”

      Beckie, the tree is a metaphor, we aren’t actually grafted into a tree, we’re grafted into Christ. We become a part of His Body; we receive our life from Him just as a tree receives its life from the root. There is no fear in that, just rest and abiding and the bearing of the Fruit produced by the Life flowing from the Root.

      You’re right about God never changing. He has demonstrably changed how He relates to people, however, from the Garden, to the Flood, to Abraham, to Mt. Sinai, to the Cross. The New Covenant is the Covenant by which God relates to all people now, through Christ, the Perfect, Permanent, High Priest of that Covenant.

      You wrote, “This disturbs me because knowing what our Heavenly Father has done for us, sacrificially sending His Jesus on our behalf of our salvation and here we go our way praying grace on everything.”

      What do you think Grace is, Beckie? What about Grace disturbs you so?

  15. Not all Israelite is Jews, so how does that work.

    • By the time Paul wrote the letter to the Romans, all the tribes of Israel were commonly known as ‘Jews’. In the Roman Empire, the Romans did not differentiate the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin from any of the other Tribes – they just considered them all Jews. Recognizing this reality, and writing the letter to Roman Christians, who were Jews and Gentiles, it was understood in their time and culture.

      Scroll down to the “Are ‘Israel’ and ‘Jew’ Always Different?” section of this article to see what I’m talking about.

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

  16. i would disagree that we engrafted in to isreals olive tree . all though this was true of gentiles during the acts period while isreals national reconcilliation was still in view , in order to provoke the olive tree ( isreal nationally). when isreal were set aside all beit temporarely gentiles used to be engrafted in. isreal are still in their lo ammi period .god is reconcilling not through isreal but by the church which is his body. in romans the jew was first . it is not so today . in phillipians paul declares that all his jewish credentials including being of the stock of isreal of no value (dung).

    • It needs to be remembered that metaphors do have their limits, and they are often overstretched by folks trying to prove a theological position. The olive tree in Romans 11 is one of those metaphors. When we enter into Christ by faith, HE’S the One we’re grafted into, not an ‘olive tree’. The olive tree is a picture used to communicate the concept that we receive Life from the Root and that Jews and Gentiles alike become one in Christ, by faith.

      I like how Ephesians 3 says it:

      For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

      7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

      There’s no ‘replacement theology’ there, just a truth communicated that in Christ, we are all co-heirs in Christ and that now, through the Church (the Body of Christ), “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

      • I agree that

        Galatians 3:27-29

        27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

        28 There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

        29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      • Amen like your comment .

    • I disagree with your disagreement

      Galatians 3:27-29

      27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

      28 There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

      29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  17. In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul was writing to new believers in Jesus Christ living in Rome, and one of the topics he addresses has to do with the unique relationship born again Gentiles have with the Jews. In doing this, he compared Israel to an olive tree and explained to the Gentile Christians that they had been adopted into the family tree of Israel. Using the grafting principle, Paul explained the adoption as being like branches taken from wild olive trees and grafted into a cultivated olive tree. The result of the engrafting means that they now became a full part of the olive tree of Israel. They are no longer Gentiles in the strict sense, but are the “one new man.”

    Paul warns the Gentiles not to become arrogant towards the natural branches, but, as engrafted branches, remember from where they received their new life. He also, points out how some of the natural branches have been removed from the tree because of their unbelief. Yet, he also leaves room for the possibility of them being grafted back into the olive tree.

    The olive tree represents Israel. All through the history of Israel when it appeared everyone was worshiping idols, God had a remnant of true believers who followed Him. It is this remnant of Israel that is the olive tree Israel.

    Abraham’s physical descendants became the nation of Israel who God was in covenant with. There are those from among this nation who have not kept the covenant, and those who have believed and obeyed God. Those who had faith looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, as listed in Hebrews chapter eleven. These were the true Israel who were both born of the physical line of Jacob and who had saving faith. Paul reminds us in Romans 9:6-13 that the true Israelite was not born of the flesh alone. “For not all who are descendants from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children…but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abrahams’s offspring…” In verse 27 Paul quotes Isaiah, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved.”

    The Bible tells us there are three classes of people on the earth: Jews, Gentiles and the Church of God (I Cor. 10:32). The Jews are the natural descendants of Abraham and have not believed in Jesus as their Messiah. The Gentiles are all the other non-Jews who have not trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Church of God is made up of all the Jews and Gentiles who have put their faith in Jesus Christ and received the gift of eternal life. It is the Church of God that is the remnant and the olive tree Israel Paul speaks of.

    Gentiles make up the “wild olive tree.” At the moment the Gentile believes in Jesus Christ as his Savior, he is grafted into the olive tree, the Israel of God. The illustration gives the picture of a branch being cut off from the “wild olive tree” and then “grafted in” where a branch had been broken off from the cultivated olive tree. The branch from the “wild olive tree” now becomes one with the cultivated olive tree being nourished by the sap from the root of the tree. What a good way to describe how a believing Gentile joins in with the believing Jew to be the Israel of God.

    All that has been promised and given to Israel has been extended to the Gentiles through the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. That means we are joint heirs of God’s blessings promised to Abraham (Gal. 3:14,29). Believing Gentiles, “which in time past were not a people,” are now included in the people of God as a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (Ex. 19:5,6; I Peter 2:9,10). WE HAVE NOT REPLACED ISRAEL as the people of God, but rather are “fellow citizens” of the “commonwealth of Israel” with the same rights and privileges to be enjoyed (Eph. 2:12, 19).

    Jesus Christ is the life source, and He is the root. Isaiah prophetically spoke of Jesus Christ saying, “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground…” (Isa. 53:2). Jesus said of Himself “ …I am the root, and the offspring of David, the bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). Jesus Christ is the root out of which the olive tree of Israel grows and is sustained with eternal life. He is the Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Without Him, there is no Word of God, New Covenant and eternal life.

    As a result of our faith in the Messiah of Israel, we enter into and become a part of the Israel of God. Because of Jesus Christ we “are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people” (Eph. 2:19). It also means we are not on the outside looking in, but are included, as offspring of Abraham, in all the covenant blessings promised to us (Gal. 3:14). Being “grafted in” means we can enjoy our new identity as the “one new man” with Messianic Jews, and together be a light to the nations.

  18. Once Gentiles are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, we leave our past culture and kingdom and adopt a new culture and kingdom, the Kingdom of God, the God of Israel. This is no different than Gentiles who came into the Messianic fellowship in the first century. As James remarked, “They are taught Moses every week in synagogue.” So, cultural conversion is part of the process. Every kingdom has a system of governance, social expectations and practices that identify its citizens as members of the kingdom. I could not be a Roman citizen without meeting the Roman Empire’s requirements. Neither can I be a citizen of the Kingdom of God without meeting God’s requirements. Because Gentiles are grafted into Israel, Torah applies to them just as it applies to all citizens of the Kingdom. But here’s the caveat. Torah only applies to those who are the direct object of any particular commandment. So, if you aren’t a Levite, no commandment to the Levites applies to you. If you aren’t in Israel, commandments for people living in the land do not apply to you. If there is no Temple, then commandments that require actions at the Temple cannot apply. If you are a man, you have different requirements than if you are a woman. You get the idea. All of the commandments are instructions about how to live in God’s Kingdom, but not all of the commandments are for YOU.

    Torah is not Jewish. It is God’s living instructions for all who are in His Kingdom. Following Torah does not make you Jewish. In fact, some commands of Torah don’t apply to Gentiles at all because Gentiles are not Jews. And contemporary Judaism is not the same as the Judaism of Yeshua’s time.

    The bottom line is: Yeshua’s arrival, and ultimate death on the cross did NOT abolish Torah! He said so, Himself. He kept the feasts; He ate only kosher foods; He worshipped and taught in synagogues. Everything He did was completely and thoroughly Jewish and exactly according to Scripture – and He instructed His disciples to do the same.

    *** PLEASE NOTE:

    Yeshua/Jesus is now the steward, releasing Moses of that responsibility, and thereby fulfilling the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18: 18-19.

    The Torah written on our hearts: The Torah is presented and managed (not replaced – YHWH never said He was replacing Torah!) under a new covenant which is written on our hearts via the Holy Spirit, which fulfills the prophecy of Jeremiah 31: 32. Please note that “Torah written on our hearts” means we are willing to follow YHWH’s instruction and learn and obey Torah; not that we are born with an innate knowledge about His teachings and commands which we can ignore at will.

    The priest: Instead of an Aaronic high priest, the high priest is Yeshua our Messiah; which fulfills the prophecy of Psalm 110: 1-4.

    The sacrifice: Innocent animals were sacrificed under the Mosaic covenant. But, under the new covenant, Yeshua Himself is the Sacrifice, thus fulfilling the foreshadowing of Psalm 40: 7-9.

    We need to remember, as Paul said, Yeshua/Jesus was our final SIN offering, and the only way to obtain eternal life is to believe in His shed blood on the cross. Man is NOT “saved” by works! We must keep Torah because YHWH commanded it; and we Love Him.

    • No, on so many levels. And you contradict yourself here:

      “Because Gentiles are grafted into Israel, Torah applies to them just as it applies to all citizens of the Kingdom.”
      “In fact, some commands of Torah don’t apply to Gentiles at all because Gentiles are not Jews.”

      Even with male/female/priest/agriculture, etc. laws applying to certain people in Israel, you cannot have it both ways.

      And you noted, “*** PLEASE NOTE:

      Yeshua/Jesus is now the steward, releasing Moses of that responsibility, and thereby fulfilling the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18: 18-19.”

      If Yeshua/Jesus is now the ‘steward’ (intercessor, priest) of the Law, He is doing so unlawfully, as He is not of the Tribe of Levi, but of the Tribe of Judah, and as such CANNOT administer/steward/intercede on behalf of Israel in regard to the Law. The letter to the Hebrews is abundantly clear on the matter of the superiority of the New Covenant and the Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood of Christ and the reality that for those in Christ, the Old Covenant is completely obsolete. 2 Cor. 3 tells us the same, and goes even further, telling us that in comparison to the New Covenant, the Old Covenant is the Ministry of Death. Indeed, in Christ, we die to the Law (see Released/Delivered From the Law and Christ is the End of the Law – Getting Greeky About Romans 7, 10, and Ephesians 2 and Romans 7:1-6 and Spiritual Adultery).

      And you say we are not saved by works, yet we ‘must’ keep Torah because YHWH commanded it. What happened to those who did not obey Torah completely according to the Laws written in Torah?

      • “Even with male/female/priest/agriculture, etc. laws applying to certain people in Israel, you cannot have it both ways.”

        ???

        Do you love YHWH? We keep His commandments and obey Him because we LOVE Him.

        Why do people deny the binding claims of God’s law? This scripture tells us why:

        “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).

        Paul warned Timothy that the day would come when, because of their pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:12), men would no longer choose to hear the Truth, but would seek after teachers who would speak to them the things that suited the tenor of their carnal nature (2 Timothy 4:3-4). For this reason, commandment keeping has never been popular. To those who desire a way of forgetting God which will pass for remembering him, a gospel of love that requires no obedience is readily accepted (1 Peter 2:7-8).

        Only eight people survived the flood, because only those eight did “all that the LORD commanded” (Genesis 7:1,5). Only Lot and his two daughters survived Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:16) because only they were righteous (2 Peter 2:7-8). Out of the 603,500 Hebrews who left Egypt during the Exodus, 603,498 died before they could cross the river into their promised land 40 years later. Caleb and Joshua were the only two survivors of the wilderness trek from Egypt to Cannan (Numbers 26:65). Why? Because only Caleb and Joshua “followed the Lord fully” (Numbers 32:11-12), while the others continued worshipping the gods and idols of Egypt.

        This is the reason why there were few left in Egypt, because they didn’t obey God (Deuteronomy 28:62). Because the earth transgressed the laws, the curse devoured the earth, and there were few men left. Jesus said the same about us also. “For many be called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16; 22:14), and there will be few that are saved (Luke 13:23-24), and there will be few that find eternal life (Matthew 7:14). Many people will do many wonderful works in Jesus’ name, but only a few will do the Will of the Father, and only those few will be saved (Matthew 7:21-23). As a matter of fact, Jesus had many disciples walking with him while he was here on earth, but at one point, many disciples walked with Jesus no more, and only a few were left who followed him (John 6:66).

        Physical growth is a function of time. Intellectual growth is a function of learning. Spiritual growth is neither a function of time or learning, but it is a function of obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9). Transgression of the law is always a result of a lack of faith. People do not reject the scripture because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them!

        Every man’s destiny is to be determined by deeds done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 2:23; 20:12-13; 22:12). If we reject God’s Law, God will reject us (Hosea 4:6). Remember, we don’t break God’s Law … it breaks us if we disobey it.

      • Wow. You don’t need Jesus at all! No need for Grace, the Righteousness of God, New Life. You have the commandments to follow! You’ve bought into the same lie that every other religion preaches: Your works will gain you entrance into whatever version of heaven or relationship with whatever god is in your view.

        You’ve posted lots of Scriptures out of context and substituted lack of obedience to the laws given to Moses at Sinai (which, of course, post-dates both Noah and the Exodus) for the absence of faith in God and His promises. It’s not their failure to keep laws, but their failure to trust God where they fell short and missed what God had for them.

        Why did many abandon Jesus in John 6? Because He was systematically replacing the concepts of Israel’s exodus and Old Covenant Law with HIMSELF. Jesus replaced manna with Himself – “I am the Bread of Life.” Indeed, Jesus says this: “63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.”

        “The flesh is no help at all.”

        You also plagiarized a John Bevere’s Bait Of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense. Quote all you like, but name your sources.

        You wrote, “Transgression of the law is always a result of a lack of faith.”

        Consider these Scriptures:

        6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (from Heb. 11)

        23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (from Rom. 14)

        12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. (from Gal. 3)

        The Law is formulaic; it is not of faith. Obey all of the Law, all of the time and get blessings. Disobey in any point at any time and be cursed.

        It’s totally your choice.

        I choose the Good News of the New Covenant. Where by entering into what Christ has done by faith we receive His Forgiveness, His Righteousness, and receive New Life in Him. He seals those in Him with His Holy Spirit, Who produces His Fruit in and through us. Law has nothing to do with the Fruit that is pleasing to God. In fact, Romans 7 tells us (as I wrote to you in a previous comment):

        Living works of the believer are those led by the Spirit, producing the Fruit of the Spirit. The Scriptures are clear: If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law (Gal. 5:18). Dead works are those of the Old Covenant, a covenant rendered obsolete by the Work of Christ. While it still stands to lead us to Christ, once it has done so, we die to the Law IN ORDER to be joined to Him Who has been raised from the dead SO THAT we may bear fruit unto God. Note that we MUST die to the Law IN ORDER to be joined to Christ and SO THAT we may bear fruit unto God. The Law **CANNOT** produce in us what is pleasing to God.

        Do I love God and want to be pleasing to Him? Yep. And after the Cross, this is how:

        18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (from Heb. 7)

        8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

        11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

        First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (from 1 Tim. 2)

  19. Jesus is the root:

    Isaiah 11:10 In that day the ROOT OF JESSE will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

    Isaiah called the future Messiah the “Root of Jesse”, who will stand as a banner for all nations.

    Isaiah 53:2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a ROOT out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

    Isaiah also speaks of the Messiah as growing up like a root out of dry ground.

    Matthew 13:6, 21 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no ROOT. …But since he has no ROOT, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.

    In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about plants springing up that have no root, which exemplify people who at first receive the Word but do not have a ROOT, which is Christ Himself, to anchor them.

    Mark 4:17 But since they have no ROOT, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

    Mark identifies trouble and persecution that comes because of the Word as the reason that rootless believers fall away quickly.

    Luke 8:13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no ROOT. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

    Luke goes further to tell us that they receive the Word with joy when they hear it, but still fail to have a root. And he tells us that the persecution and troubles are times of testing, but without a root, they wither and die.

    Romans 11:16-18 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the ROOT is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive ROOT, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the ROOT, but the ROOT supports you.

    In Romans 11, Paul compares the kingdom of God, with both Jewish and Gentile believers, to an olive tree. This olive tree has a “Holy ROOT” that “supports” both the Jewish and Gentile branches and nourishes them.

    Romans 15:8-12 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews [literally circumcision] on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.” Again, it says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples.” And again, Isaiah says, “The ROOT OF JESSE will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”

    This root is identified by Paul as Jesus Himself.

    Revelation 5:5, 22:6 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the ROOT of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” …”I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the ROOT and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

    The Apostle John in his great Revelation of Jesus Christ and the end times also identifies Jesus as the Root. Notice that Jesus is identified as the Root AND Offspring of David. Not only is Jesus a descendant of David, but since He created all things and is the source of everything, He is also identified as the Root of David.

  20. […] mentioning all the other erroneous doctrines like the “Two House” theology, that believers in Jesus become Israel, and the ridiculous belief by which they claim that the name Jesus comes from Zeus and only use […]

  21. Good article, however I would add: It is important WHY we try to stick with law, not IF. You said we now abide the “law” (if we do) to point to Jesus just as the law did before. And that is true – Jacob stuck to it, Paul stuck to it when he was with Jews…
    But I also think God’s law is GOOD. How often did he give laws that were only for the best of Israel. And the law also shows us which role God should play in our life and what role it plays to be set apart and holy (not in a egocentric way – but only in a way where we are “from another world”.)
    Of course the works can never mean anything to our salvation – but if we interpret them with gods perfect love, they are a gift. This also means to “transgress” the law when it is necessary for God’s loves’ sake (like Paul did – but, how fascinating – by doing so he KEPT the “real” law of God :)). The “old” laws can only be examples of handling situations, but they tell us how we should live in general :)
    I am fascinated by this tension between Paul’s and Jacob’s theology and how to merge them…
    I love the way it all comes together when centering, not marginalzing, the central LOVE topic. It’s like theologies completely contrary suddenly fit together. And it makes you aware of how undescribably great GOD is!
    I kinda find it interesting here that there is an oral Torah tradition (gone bad?!) – I think it could really be true that Moses once got an oral Torah – which in my opinion would simply be the message of LOVE, explaining every written letter and enabling Moses to REALLY lead in God’s way.

    Thanks
    Susanne

    • Hi Susanne,

      Thanks for your patience in posting this; it’s taken me some time to get caught up on some things as March and April have been crazy-busy for us, as well as some unexpected and sad events. Thanks for your kind email of understanding.

      To your comment:

      You wrote, “Good article, however I would add: It is important WHY we try to stick with law, not IF. You said we now abide the “law” (if we do) to point to Jesus just as the law did before. And that is true – Jacob stuck to it, Paul stuck to it when he was with Jews…”

      But we who are in Christ are not to ‘stick’ with Law – in Christ, we have died to the Law so that we may be joined to Christ, in order to bear fruit unto God. Do you see the progression there? We die – we MUST, SO THAT, IN ORDER (see Rom. 7:4-6, Gal. 2:19-21). Paul didn’t ‘stick with’ the Law; there were periods of many years when Paul did not keep the Law (see Acts, Galatians). Paul participated in observances with those of his heritage to further the Gospel – it was always to honor and not offend those he was with.

      It’s important to know who the Law was given for (see 1 Tim. 1:8-11). Now see who you are in Christ (see Rom. 5:16-21 and 2 Cor. 5:16-21). Now Gal. 5:18.

      You wrote, “But I also think God’s law is GOOD. How often did he give laws that were only for the best of Israel. And the law also shows us which role God should play in our life and what role it plays to be set apart and holy (not in a egocentric way – but only in a way where we are ‘from another world’.)”

      Yes, God’s Law is perfect, holy, and good. Before the Cross, its purpose was to preserve Israel and protect the bloodline so that Messiah would be recognized when He came. It also pointed out what sin was. After the Cross, 1 Tim. 1:8-11 says that the Law is good if it’s used properly – that it was given to transgressors. Who are you in Christ? (Again, see 1 Tim., Rom. 5 and 2 Cor. 5) And what is your relationship to the Law if you are in Christ? (see Rom. 7:4-6, Gal. 3, 5)

      An interesting study is to see what the Bible says the Law produces and what the power of sin is. Equally interesting is to see what the Bible says Grace produces and what Grace gives power to. You can read more about that HERE.

      The balance of your comment has to do with the Law as a lifestyle. It’s understood here at JGIG that those who pursue Torah do not do so for salvation, but as a way/guide for living after salvation. Here’s the thing: those who pursue Torah are not keeping it as it is written, and are therefore transgressing Torah. The law they are ‘keeping’ is a law of their own creation, not the Law as God gave it. The results? Something that does not point to Christ; something that does not produce good fruit.

      Oral Torah, Hebrew Roots version of Torah-keeping . . . any other sect’s method of ‘keeping’ the Law – they’re all watered-down versions of the Law as God gave it to make it seem ‘keepable’.

      You’re on the right track as far as God caring most about love; it’s the Fruit that the Bible says is produced when one is being led by the Spirit. And if one is led by the Spirit, one is not under the Law (see Gal. 5).

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

      • Hello again,
        I think the term “law” is where we got mixed up. I meant something different than you I guess.
        Law for me is not law to abide because it is law – That is not even what god has meant it to be. Law is Torah http://biblehub.com/hebrew/8451.htm which means direction/instruction/teaching! It hurts me when I see how my brothers and sisters neglect this great gift of god by making it once again what Jesus and esp. Paul taught us not to make it: a condemning law. It is a condemning law when we think a “non-keeper” will be condemned. But if we know that it has no effect to our salvation, and still use it as a guideline (always with the holy spirit interpreting it!!!), we use it “in the proper way”.  It is then to us a great gift of God. Acting upon the law, the word itself is not and never the sin. The sin is when we think we can make ourselves good by abiding it. Today there is threat of another sin: The sin of thinking “OT=law=past=unimportant/condemning”. We tear out a part of a whole and call it less good and less relevant. But then we would have to call all the bible law=past=unimportant/condemning, because after all, the bible is still a written book. You know that it is not that way, that it is a book filled with spirit and LIVING message. But this does not only prove valid for the NT!!

        John 1: God was the word and the word was with God. Nothing was made without it. As we know this talks about Jesus and it goes on saying it also is the light and the life. God=Word=Jesus=Light=Life.
        God is present/acts in many different ways. And the word also is (which is only logical, because it is God’s self-expression to us). Please don’t tell me John was using the term “word” as a metaphor for Jesus. What he was doing is: He was trying to say what is impossible to grasp by the mind but can only be revealed to believers: That Jesus is the word become flesh and that Jesus is one with the father without being the father and that God is one person containing all of this hard-to-grasp stuff.
        So, the “word” comes in many forms and is a message not “only” of salvation, but of so many different things. E.g.:
        Message in order to…
        – clear up the issue of salvation
        – help us in our daily lives, with our problems
        – live the morally/ethical “right” way – which is only possible if we know and act upon God’s principles (since he has created everything including the ways things go)
        – let us get in touch with God
        – show us who or what we are or the creation is
        – give us a glance of how or what God is
        – give god honor [e.g. by scripture praising him, but also by scripture leaving us speechless in awe]
        Forms:
        – Jesus teaching and saving us
        – Prophecies
        – Holy Spirit teaching us or leaving us plain speechless in awe
        – God interacting with his creation
        All of these interact with each other and it would be fatal if we left out on one of these aspects. We ARE still in a world with evil, even if evil doesn’t reign us and does not have more power than God lets it have. This limited power can still “distract” us from God though. And so we will not always have every aspect of the above perfectly in mind. But: We should strive to have every aspect in mind to at least a certain extent. Why? Because otherwise we would miss so much of God’s blessing to us!! How sad would that be.
        Human words are very limited, but basically what I want to show up with the listing and writing above: We have salvation by Jesus, not by anything else, yes, I believe that too. Nothing can make me better in Gods eyes, yes I believe that too (even if it still is hard for me to grasp). But that is only one message. It is maybe the most existential and important message. But God has given us so much more to know. And by dividing the bible into a “importance-hierarchy” we are not doing the right thing, as we are not doing the right thing by (in our minds) dividing Jesus apart from the father. They are all ONE. So, the OT, as it is still perfect and intact, still has to tell us a lot. And by that I do not only mean the “what would this mean for us today”-kinda things. Yes, those too, but also: [for example when reading Exodus 19+20] “Geesh, the first things he tells them is all simply to protect the weak… and this seems to be so important to him that he would use his power and authority (v.16) only to make the people aware of the importance. Every littlest person is of so much value of him!??!!!!!!”

        So it is not only stories we can relate to and learn from – it is also personal love letters and prophecies he gives to us.
        And what about, for example, the ritual washing? Now, of course it has no effect to our salvation. But let’s imagine we were not in a culture/time where we know washing is important – Acting upon most of today’s Christian theology, we wouldn’t wash ourselves, because “we are free from the law”. We would put a word of God into a drawer and call that drawer “only to show sin – not needed anymore” or maybe we would call it “only relevant as a metaphor”. But by doing that we would ignore that God said it also to prevent us from getting sick. See the problem?
        I have the impression today’s Christianity puts a lot of things in this drawer without noticing that God never wanted such a drawer. Creating such a drawer neglects that God and his word are endless, timeless and unexplainably versatile. Verbalized “laws” in the bible are not what saves us, that is Jesus only. And I do not want to proclaim that they should be thought about like you think about a condemning law. That is over for us who died to the sin. What I want to say is only: Those words, (“laws” as they are called, but no longer are) have much more to say than just being metaphors. (see above listing)

        I hope I could somehow express myself…
        – Susanne

      • I debated whether or not to let this comment through, not because of content, but because of length. It clocks in at around 1100 words, and I’ve asked that comments here be kept to 500 words or less, just to keep the conversation moving. That said, your comment demonstrates that you are attempting to keep a law of your own creation, not the Law as God gave it. I posted a comment in reply to another commenter on another thread that applies here, as well. It’s long, too, ha =o):

        Hi CarolAnn,

        Thanks for your comment – you say you are so blessed and happy to be under the Law. We have only your word on that, but I must ask . . .

        Tell us, how was Jerusalem for the Spring Feasts? I hear it’s lovely there this time of year! Are you planning on heading back for the Fall Feasts? Does your Torah community sacrifice animals at the appointed times (it was being done by Israel before the Temple was built in 1 Kings 3), and stoning Sabbath-breakers and others who commit sins which bring the death penalty (see Deut. 17:2-7)? If you’re not doing those things, you are not obeying the Law as God gave it, but ‘keeping’ a law of your own creation.

        There are bunches more commandments in the Old Covenant that apply to you that you’re not keeping. How do I know? Because no one before you ever has. If righteousness could come by the Law, why would Christ need to come (see Gal. 2:19-21)? The Law was set aside, for it made nothing perfect, and a better hope was introduced by which we draw near to God (see Hebrews 7).

        God’s Law requires 100% obedience, 100% of the time (see Exodus 23:13, Deuteronomy 8:1, Deuteronomy 12:27-28, Jeremiah 7:21-26, Joshua 1:6-9, Gal. 3:10, and James 2:10).

        If you were trying to keep God’s Law as He gave it, and not some law of your own or the ‘sound’-teacher-you’ve-studied-under’s creation, you would be identifying with those who have shared their testimonies here. They came to the ends of themselves because they recognized that they could not keep the Law as God gave it, and the Law did its job: it pointed them to CHRIST.

        I hope you forgive what you will be sure to perceive as a harsh tone. I’m merely echoing what Paul says in frustration when he penned, “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?!” in Galatians 3.

        To the specifics in your comment: Galatians 4 tells us that “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law . . .” Jesus taught the Law to those under the Law because the Work of the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and His Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood had not yet been accomplished.

        Jesus did proclaim the New Covenant, however, even while magnifying the Law (making it even harder to keep – bringing heart motives over mere fleshly obedience into the picture). The disciples, after His Resurrection, taught the Gospel, the Good News, of Christ: They proclaimed His Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood everywhere they went. They told people to believe and love. A simple reading of the New Covenant Scriptures will verify this. And the prophets point to the Work of and New Covenant of Christ. Reading those Scriptures for what they actually say and reading them through the lens of the Work of Christ leads one to Him and resting in Him, abiding in Him – and bearing the Fruit that His Spirit produces. The New Covenant is all about resting; abiding; bearing Fruit, not about carnal obedience to edicts and regulations. Are there exhortations for moral living in the New Covenant Scriptures? Absolutely, but they are not LAW. Law carries with it condemnation if it is disobeyed; there is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (from Rom. 8). 2 Cor. 5 says that in Christ, God is not counting our sins against us. Under the Old Covenant, He absolutely did.

        When Christ said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”, He wasn’t talking about the commandments given at Sinai. He defined what He was talking about when He said, “A new commandment I give to you: Love one another as I have loved you.” (See John 13-16)

        Then Jesus went on to ratify the New Covenant with His Own Blood, and became the Perfect, Permanent High Priest of that same New Covenant. To live according to the Old Covenant is to live with no High Priest representing you on matters of the Law; Jesus is of the wrong tribe for that, and it would be a violation of the very Law you claim to keep for Jesus to mediate that same Law. This is why Galatians and James tell you that to live by the Law is to live under a curse; there is no more sacrifice for you under the Law – it is an obsolete way by which to relate to God – before OR after salvation. Thankfully, if you are truly in Christ, you have died to the Law, even if you don’t realize it! (See Rom. 7:4-6)
        ___________________________

        So while all Scripture is useful for teaching and instruction, it must all be viewed through the lens of the Work of Christ and His Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood. Be careful that if you choose to follow Torah Law that you observe it as God gave it, not a law of your own creation. And then let the Law do its job and lead you to Christ, His Work, and who you are in Him . . . \o/

        Grace and peace to you,
        -JGIG

    • Jesus is a Priest in the order of Melchzadek, not Aaron. The Mechizadekian prieshood is an eternal priesthood, one that existed before Aaron. Abraham, the father of our faith gave tithes to Him, as did Levi. The Aaronis priesthood was a temorary priesthood put in place intil the Seed should come. It was a type and shadow of a greater priesthood, as were its laws and ordinances. When there is a change of prieshood there must also be a change of law, as per the writer of Hebrews. The Mosaic under under which the Aaronic Priesthood served has been done away with, replaced by a greater Law. God never meant for us to live by a list of rules. He meant for us to live by a relationship, as Husband and Wife. What kind of Husband gives His Wife a list of rule to obey? Rules are for children, and those who put themselves under the Law are immature babes.

      If Lawkeepers truly understood the nature and sinfulness of sin, they would realize that their petty offerings of the Law are a mockery of the cross of Christ. He paid an infinite debt that we could and cannot pay. It is sheer pride and arrogance to think that the obedience of the flesh is pleasing to God. He wants our love, but more than that He wants us to live in His love and grace. He who is forgiven much, loves much. He who is forgiven little, loves little. We love Him to the depth that we understand our sinfulness. The Law condemns Harlots. Grace turns Harlots into Brides.

      The Law came through Moses. Grace and Truth came through Christ. “Choose this day whom you will serve.”

      “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when Moses is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day a veil covers their hearts.”

      It is human nature to want to justify ourselves. It is the epitome of pride. Grace is abhorrent to our sinfull nature. “How dare anyone say that I have nothing to offer God.” I would venture to say that what we see today in the Lawkeeping movement is nothing less than the “falling away,” mentioned by Paul. They have fallen away from grace, and have therefore fallen away from the One through Whom grace has come. Interestingly, many Lawkeepers reject the writings of Paul. They refuse to come into the Light for fear their fig leaves will be exposed. Blindness in part has indeed happened to Israel.

  22. The purpose of the Law was to show us our utter sinfulness and depravity, our inability to obey. It reveals to sinfulness of the human heart. We are not only sinful, but before Christ we were dead in sin. And here is the irony in Lawkeeping…attempting to obey the Law in order to please God actually reveals a heart full of sinful pride, the very heart of all sin. That was the problem in the Garden. The Tree of Life represents Christ. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents the Law, for it is through the Law that we gain a knowledge of good and evil.

    Those who believe they can somehow attain righteousness through the Law are like Eve, who believed she could become like God by eating its fruit. But in the very act of eating, of trusting in the Law, she was disobeying God. The Law can only reveal sin. It can never change our hearts, nor can it produce the fruit that God requires. We become like God, not by trying to act like Him through the works of the Law, but by abiding in His love and grace. His love and grace creates in us a new heart.

    How many are angry at their brother? How many have lust? How many, when reviled and persecuted, when all manner of evil is said against them, would be willing to die on a cross for their persecutors? We fall so far short of this love and holiness, which is the glory of God, yet many think that resting and worshiping of a particular day equates to loving God with this same king of love. How blind we are!

    The Law was given to show us the depth of our sin, for the very purpose of showing us the depth of the love of God, that we may love Him in return. And we only love God to the degree that we realize we can never live up to His Law. The Law was given, not that we should obey it, but that we should understand grace.

    At the end of Paul’s life, he said, “Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” As he had grown in his understanding of Jesus, he came to see himself in comparison to Him, and came to understand that all his works were nothing. All He could do was rest in the grace of God, and in His love. Jesus came to do the works of the Law in order that we may have rest.

  23. Hi again,

    it is true what you say, and I am thankful for your service toour siblings, to all people, and to God’s church. I’d really enjoy to write back and forth some e-mails with you because I see that you proclaim the true word and so it is good to exchange views. (Well I could understand if you’re too busy to answer though, with all this service you do…)
    That being said I only want to make clear something in this time hopefully really short words :)
    I do not attempt to follow along the rules and commandments of the so-called Mosaic law (Which I guess you are talking about in all this? I am not really sure since you did not even accept the translation of the word torah). But may I not read it and see what God’s word is showing me gracefully?
    I can’t help but I always notice this special bias: New testament=Grace and good vs. old testament=bad and dooming. Follow that through: That would mean Jesus is bad, since the oh-so-evil old testament prophecized him and he even IS the word. That is what is really distracting/upsetting me – Jesus and thereby God is being slandered.
    I see the danger of a new, very ungodly law: the prohibition of calling the WHOLE of God’s word GOOD, for TODAY’s days as much as “back in those days”.
    Thinking of God’s word as good and valid for TODAY does NOT equal refusing Jesus.
    Calling the law a legal basis for salvation is refusing Jesus.
    Holding the word up as true and good itself is CONFIRMING Jesus as the legal basis defining the relationship between believer and God. Saying the word is obsolete is refusing Jesus, God’s works, everything.
    Some interesting questions (just openly throwing them in for everyone’s personal “inquiry”, I do know my answers – and they are certainly not “keep the law to be saved”):
    – How can we think of one part of God’s word as actual “in act” while we call the other part obsolete?
    – How can God and his word be eternal if his world would somehow be able to become “obsolete”??!
    – Is there any law we still need to keep? (really interesting question I think ;))
    – Is the written bible (as a book) God’s word or is it “only” the written form of God himself actually SPEAKING? If second, was e.g. the Mosaic law enact before it was given, or what exactly was it at all??
    – Was Jesus there when God said “I AM who I AM”? Was Jesus there when the Mosaic law was given?

    God (and therefore also Jesus) is “I AM”, the always existent, always being. That’s the view in which such questions have to be answered.

    Added by Susanne as an addendum in a separate comment – putting it here to maintain continuity:
    Sorry, I just read a part of my statement that was a little unclear: I wrote “But may I not read it and see what God’s word is showing me gracefully?”. I just want to make clear that this includes then acting according to what God has shown me. Because we cannot just read the bible as some “study word” and then go away and forget about it in daily life.

    • Aw, thanks, Susanne. It has been unusually busy for our family this Spring! And it may take me a while sometimes, but I do respond to comments here eventually, either here or via email, if appropriate.

      When talking about Torah, definition is indeed important. Here is the Strong’s definition for Torah:

      Strong’s H8451 – towrah

      1.law, direction, instruction
      . . . 1.instruction, direction (human or divine)
      . . . . . 1.body of prophetic teaching
      . . . . . 2.instruction in Messianic age
      . . . . . 3.body of priestly direction or instruction
      . . . . . 4.body of legal directives

      2.law
      . . . 1.law of the burnt offering
      . . . 2.of special law, codes of law

      3.custom, manner
      4.the Deuteronomic or Mosaic Law

      There is no getting around that Torah, though it gives a good amount of history, also contains the Law given to Moses at Sinai. And while that Law does give instructions, those instructions also come in a package deal with very detailed consequences for disobedience to those instructions, some as severe as death, depending on the offense. If one reads the Torah as it is written, this is clear.

      The gift of Torah is that it protected Israel and kept Her separate from the world so that Messiah would be recognized when He came:

      19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
      23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (from Gal. 3)

      You wrote, “Paul taught us not to make it: a condemning law. It is a condemning law when we think a ‘non-keeper’ will be condemned. But if we know that it has no effect to our salvation, and still use it as a guideline (always with the holy spirit interpreting it!!!), we use it ‘in the proper way’.”

      About a ‘non-keeper’ being condemned? Both Paul and James say the same thing:

      10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (from Gal. 3)

      10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (from James 2)

      Some like to say that if you try to keep the Law for salvation – that’s what Paul and James were talking about, but it’s not – Paul is stating that if you rely on Law for anything, you are cursed unless you do everything in the Law. And James makes clear that to keep any of the Law, you must keep it all, or you keep none of it.

      So both Paul and James make clear that unless one keeps all of the Law, they are cursed (as the Law states clearly in Ex. 23:13, Deut. 5:28-33, 8:1, 12:27-28). The Law itself, as written by God, condemns the ‘non-keeper’. This is clear in the Scriptures.

      As for the ‘proper’ use of the Law, Scripture is clear who the Law was given for – the unrighteous (1 Tim. 1:8-11), not the righteous (Rom. 5:19-21, 2 Cor. 5:17,21). Are you in Adam (unrighteous), or are you in Christ (righteous)? Who you’re ‘in’ determines if you’re under the Law or not.

      You wrote, “John 1: God was the word and the word was with God. Nothing was made without it. As we know this talks about Jesus and it goes on saying it also is the light and the life. God=Word=Jesus=Light=Life.
      God is present/acts in many different ways. And the word also is (which is only logical, because it is God’s self-expression to us). Please don’t tell me John was using the term “word” as a metaphor for Jesus. What he was doing is: He was trying to say what is impossible to grasp by the mind but can only be revealed to believers: That Jesus is the word become flesh and that Jesus is one with the father without being the father and that God is one person containing all of this hard-to-grasp stuff.”

      No need to think of the ‘Word’ as a metaphor, one just needs to go to the language that John uses for ‘Word’ in his writings, and that is not ‘graphe’, meaning ‘written word’, or ‘Scripture’, but ‘logos’, which means the full expression of God (echoed in Col. 2:9, Heb. 1:3)

      Also, read John 2:22 – 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture (G1124 – graphē) , and the word (G3056 – logos) which Jesus had said.

      Why does John differentiate the Scripture and the Word which Jesus had said – and with the understanding that Jesus is the full representation of God?

      As for your statement that Jesus is one with the Father without being the Father – are you denying the Deity of Christ? If so, then we are in complete disagreement on that point.

      The next part of your comment is formulary in content – a recipe of sorts for ‘spiritual success’, but is a complicated mixture of Jesus + bits and pieces of Law (which are part of a whole not intended to be picked apart). What you propose has no Scriptural support in the New Covenant Scriptures – we who are in Christ are dead to the Law (see Rom. 7:4-6, Gal. 2:19-21), and unless one keeps all of the Laws that apply to them completely, they put themselves under a curse. READ the Law as it is written. God says “Be careful to keep ALL of the Law.” “Obey EVERYTHING I have told you to do.” There are no caveats there. And the letter to the Hebrews – those who lived and breathed the Law – and God tells them this:

      18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (from Heb. 7)

      So going back to the Law for ethics or a self-improvement program is FRUITLESS, for the Law NEVER MADE and MAKES NOTHING perfect! Why on earth, when you have Christ and His Spirit living inside of you, would you go back to Law?!

      18 If you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law. (from Gal. 5)

      Conversely, if you are under the Law, you are not led by the Spirit – uh oh.

      Which should you choose?

      You cannot have both.

      And to say that there is no moral or ethical direction in the New Covenant Scriptures apart from Law of the OT is simply not true; the NT is FULL of moral and ethical guidance and exhortations – but they are not law – they are a lot of common sense.

      And common sense and The Law overlap in a lot of places like with instructions about hygiene and the safety of others, agriculture and care for livestock, etc. ALL Scripture is useful for teaching! But we are not bound to the edicts, regulations, and many of the restrictions of the Law as it was given to Israel.

      Okay – this is getting long. I’m happy to continue the conversation, but please keep your comments under 500 words and take one or two issues at a time to discuss or it becomes a little hard for the reader to follow =o).

      A few things I’d like you to consider studying:

      –> Are you in Adam or are you in Christ?
      –> What do the New Covenant Scriptures have to say about those who are in Christ?
      –> The Law was given to the unrighteous (1 Tim. 1:8-11). If you are in Christ, are you righteous? If so, then is the Law for you or not for you according to what the Scriptures say?
      –> According to the Torah writings themselves, how much of the Law are you supposed to keep in order to avoid curses and obtain blessings? Go to the Scriptures themselves to see the Law as it is written.

      I hear your heart – I do – I do understand that you love God and desire to be pleasing to Him and show Him your love for Him. My goal is to keep pointing you to Jesus, to who He says you are in Him and what that means for daily living according to the Scriptures, rightly divided (ever wonder why that phrase is even IN the Bible?!).

      Grace and peace,
      -JGIG

  24. Thanks for your answer – I am gonna answer via mail (I just can’t keep short and don’t feel a need to add something to the public discussion, but still have some “need to talk” ;)) :)

  25. WOW U REALLY GRABBING AT STRAWS IN EVERY SINGLE POINT U ATTEMPTED TO MAKE HERE….///IM SRY U WASTED SO MUCH PRECIOUS TIME TO RUN FROM TRUTH ON THIS BELOVED…SMH U INDEED R IN GREAT ND OF PRAYER WITH THE PRIDEFUL SHAMEFUL AND STUBBORN ACTION TAKEN HERE

    • Hi Crystal,

      Actually, I grabbed at Scripture.

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

    • Can U be more specific, Crystal? Which Scripture did U not like?

    • Crystal,
      When Gentiles are grafted into Israel, they become “sharers in the Promise” given to Abraham, NOT sharers in the Law given to Moses. The Promise given to Abraham was Christ. The Law “does not set aside the Promise.” The Law was given to Israel “until the Seed should come.” After that, faith makes us righteous.
      The Law, in fact, is made for the unrighteous and the Lawbreaker. It is the very source of sin, because those who trust in it believe in their own ability to please God through it. God is ONLY please with our TOTAL dependence on Him.
      In the Bible “eating” is a symbol of trust, of taking something into oneself and making is a part of them. Jesus said that, unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we have no part of Him. This is not a literal eating and drinking, but a complete trust and dependance. That is the meaning of “feeding of the Word.” The Word is real food and real meat.
      In the midst of the Garden there were two trees, and in the center was God. One tree, the Tree of Life, symbolized the New Covenant. The other tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil, symbollized the Law, for the Law gives us a knowledge of good and evil. Adam was commanded not to eat from this second tree. He was not to put his trust in it. Though it gave a knowledge of good and evil, it had no ability to make him righteous.
      The Law is one. James tells us that to break the Law at one point is to break the entire Law. You will never please God theough the Law because no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to keep every command. Slip at just one point and you are guilty and condemned.
      Why not try trusting in Jesus, rather than in the Law? His flesh is real food.
      There was another Garden. In the midst of the Garden stood three crosses. In the middle, the Savior hung. On one side was a man that claimed he had done nothing wrong. He was one who believed that he kept the Law. On the other side was a man who cried, “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

      The very fact that a person believes he can please God through the Law, is sin itself…the sin of pride and trust in the ability of man. The Law blinds us to our inability, and our need for grace. We have NOTHING to offer God. NOTHING. Our petty works are meaningless to God. What pleases Him is TOTAL trust and dependence on Him. He is a Father who desires to give us all things.

      “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high Mountain, and showed me that great City, the Holy Jerusalem…and he showed me a pure river of the water of life, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street, on either side of the river, there was the Tree of Life…”

      There will be no Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the City. The City is made up of only those who have been made righteous by faith. I’m sorry that you amd so many others will no be there to share in the blessing of that City.

  26. I loved every bit of your article and so well explained. Awesome!

  27. Grace and peace, sister. I read the article on grafting. I think it’s important to note that “The goal of the grafting was to turn their carolea olive plants back to Sicily’s native verdese variety”. They had no interest in leaving any native branches behind. Romans 11:17 says “If *some* of the branches have been broken off…” If grafting always necessitated cutting off all the branches to the root, then when Israel comes to belief in the future, the entire current body of believers would have to cut off to graft them back in – “And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?” (and yes, I realize metaphors can only be taken so far ;)

    • The flaw in your reasoning comes at the end of your own comment, Kate – metaphors can only be taken so far =o). Christ, the Root, has no end – there is no need to take away anyone in order to add anyone – He is not finite, but infinite in His capacity to graft in all who are willing \o/.

  28. Is there anywhere in the Old Testament to back this article? Paul says all scripture should be used to verify.

    I’ve found several contradictions in Paul’s writings toward his own writings and toward prophets and apostles.

    I also can’t find anywhere in the gospels where Jesus did any teachings in line with this article.

    I’m really confused with Acts 15:20 -21, can you maybe align that chapter with this article too?

    I’ve also found the words endure forever and ever lasting a lot through the bible when it refers to the law along with all the prophets telling the people to go back to the law.

    The new covenant in Jeremiah says its for the house of Israel. If we aren’t Israel as Gentiles grafted in, does it mean this isn’t for us?

    There was also several laws I found that Abraham lived by and wasn’t sure if we need to be just obedient to those? Thank you

    • Wesley, the New Covenant is New for Israel and the ONLY covenant for Gentiles! And Gentiles don’t need to become Israel in order to come into the New Covenant – they simply enter in by faith in Christ, just as Israel must. That is the mystery of the Gospel:

      6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

      7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

      10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (from Eph. 3)

      • We don’t need to become Israel? So tell me. When the promises was giving to Avraham of his descendents of who Elohim was talking about? According to the Scripture when Elohim refers to (nations) he refers to gentiles not Jewish.

        So if Elohim told him that the descendents of Avraham will comes from nations (gentiles) what makes you and me as a believer?

      • Gentiles. Unless you’re of Hebrew descent.

        Your point?

        Descendants of Abraham were both Hebrews and Gentiles – Abraham was a Gentile, remember? Israel was not named until Jacob (see Scripture and Abraham’s Family Tree).

        That does not change that the New Covenant is New for Israel and the ONLY covenant for Gentiles.

        -JGIG

  29. Thank you so much for your teachings. So many have only half understandings (myself included). After reading many articles and the arguments back, I now understand my whole acceptance in Christ (without becoming “Israel/Jewish which I believe the Holy Spirit showed me comes from the hurt of bandonment and rejections in my life- so if I could just be more Jewish or obey the laws I will be accepted more…). I sort of understood it before but the HRM etc quest/arguments would cloud my understanding. Thank you, thank you to the many writers who also get it. Thank you for your wonderful grasp of scripture! I was in full time children’s ministry with little time to study and now am so inspired to know truth myself but deeply thank you for your sharing of obvious long and deep study. Thank you for loving Jesus so much that you teach this way!Blessings in His love!

  30. Do you charge God with favoritism, thinking God somehow holds a “special honor for Israel”?

    Or does He treat everyone the same, not showing any partiality or favoritism?

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