• What JGIG Is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    To borrow from a Forest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

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

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    Do you find it frustrating when you're directed to a link that does not exist? Me too! My apologies for any broken links you may find here.

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Believers in the Hebrew Roots Movement: Are They Lost?

I’ve seen the issue titled above come up time after time, from anxious family members and friends of precious believers who have been sucked into the Hebrew Roots Movement, and from heresy hunters who use fear every bit as much as those they strive to refute as they try to retrieve the deceived back into Biblical Christianity.

Here’s how I see it:
The HRM draws both believers and unbelievers into its web.  The Enemy accomplishes keeping the unbeliever away from the Gospel, and he keeps the believer from a fruitful relationship with God in Christ as he keeps them from bringing the Lost to Christ – they are far too busy ‘setting themselves apart’ via Law-keeping and trying to get other believers to be Torah observant for a variety of reasons.

Those in the Conditional Security camp may cringe when I say this, but one of the big ‘hooks’ that those in Law-keeping sects use to get folks into Law-keeping and keep them there is that if you don’t keep the Law, you’re in willful rebellion against God by not keeping His commandments and you are either Lost

  1. not really saved, or
  2. will lose your salvation.

Conditional Security types who believe that one in Christ can somehow lose their salvation open the door to that very subtle deception and unwittingly feed into it.

I firmly believe that believers who get hoodwinked into Law-keeping sects do not lose their salvation, but are neutralized in the Body – sterilized if you will – and will not ‘reproduce’, bringing the Lost into the Body.  Their fruit is mixed, which makes evaluating what they believe on the core issues of the faith important.

I say their fruit is mixed because I’ve interacted with Torah folk who are, up front anyway, loving and joyful.  When you begin to consistently disagree with them regarding believers’ relationship to the Law, however, they become impatient, critical, and controlling.  Their intentions may initially be noble, but the flesh takes over and bears its fruit, produced by the Law under which they’ve placed themselves.  We then begin to see things like idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, and envy.  A few of you Torah folk balking at the idolatry and sorcery charges?  Check out where some of your doctrines come from.

There are some from the HRM who convert to Judaism outright.  And there arises a real sticky wicket:  Are we in a position to judge the heart regarding the salvation/eternal security of one who goes so far as to do something as drastic as that?

Here’s a question worth considering: Are they, by their actions carried out under deception, rejecting the True Christ Jesus in/from/through Whom, in the past, they may have been saved and received eternal life, or are they rejecting the Enemy’s portrayal of a false Messiah cleverly crafted and spun in Law-keeping sects’ doctrines? 

If they were truly saved in their past, what will happen to them

no effectSee – I’m thinking we preach the Gospel regardless – to bring the deceived back to have Christ – the REAL Christ – be of full effect again in their lives, and if they were never saved to begin with, to bring them to Christ for the first time!

That’s the beauty of the Gospel: The Gospel corrects error and brings LIFE, so no matter the ailment, the Gospel is the Cure!

Are we seeing Torah folks’ lives from the perspective of God, Who sees not only where they are, but where they’ve been and where they’re going?  A deeply deceived person will believe and do really dumb stuff.  I’m of the mind and heart to preach the Gospel full preach and let God work out who is saved and who is not – with the understanding that I have but a snapshot of most people’s lives – especially on the internet!

So let this be an exhortation/encouragement for those of you who interact with friends and loved ones who are in the Hebrew Roots Movement and other false belief systems.  Don’t take the responsibility of sorting out ‘who’s saved and who isn’t’ on your own shoulders.  It’s not your deal.  Examine fruit?  Absolutely.  Call out error?  You bet.  Tell someone who may very well be saved but walking in error that they’re going to hell?  No.

gospel-changes-everythingInstead, build them up in who they are in Christ; speak the simple Truths of the Gospel to them – lovingly and clearly to counter the falsehoods with which the Enemy seeks to muddy the waters as he drops the dirt of false doctrines into our streams of faith.  If they’re already saved, the Gospel will correct the error they’re in if they’re willing.  If they’re not already saved, communicating the Gospel to them will give them the opportunity to be reconciled to God in Christ.

Regardless, results are God’s business, not ours.  We are called to speak Truth in Love, not to manipulate in order to get results.

Again, the Gospel corrects error and brings Life – think of how the Apostles dealt with error in the Apostolic writings.  Sometimes they came at error head-on (absolutely appropriate on core issues), but mostly they just preached the Gospel of Grace and told believers who they are in Christ because of that Gospel (Who Jesus is, What He came to do, What that actually accomplished, and who believers are in Him).  Some plant, some water, but God makes those seeds grow!  If you’re not sure how to communicate the Gospel in an effective way, this is a good place to start, especially to those who are in Law-keeping sects:  The Gospel

There are lots of good resources out there, many of which can be found here.  I also encourage you to check out this site, as the author there has a really good way of relating the Gospel in real terms to real people living real lives.  Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page here at JGIG, for accounts of how God has brought those folks out of the Hebrew Roots Movement.

All that to say:  Our focus needs to be on the Gospel.  Understand the Gospel and the errors in false teachings will become very obvious.  Understand the Gospel and speak Grace and Truth into the lives of your friends and family members.  If/when the Torah folk in your lives reject the Jesus/Yeshua we love, try not to take it personally; they’ve been deceived by teachers bringing them a different jesus/yeshua and a false gospel.  Just love them well, pray, pray, pray, lift the emotion of it all Heavenward, giving it to God at His Throne of Grace, and leave the rest to Him.

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Other articles of interest:

A clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE.  For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

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39 Responses

  1. Good article, I’ve never heard of the HRM. The Law was the Old Covenant that God had with the Jews. The death and resurrection of Jesus was the end of that covenant whereas we’re saved by faith now the Law. Hmmm, sounds like the HMS folks should really just covert to Judaism.

    • Hi Outlaw Monk – Some sadly do convert to Judaism. The Hebrew Roots Movement is an odd duck, though – lots of different ‘flavors’ out there. If you’re interested in getting an overview of the HRM, I suggest starting with the series, ‘How I Became Aware of the Hebrew Roots Movement’ available under the ‘About‘ tab at the top of JGIG, along with the ‘articles of interest’ at the ends of those posts. Welcome to JGIG!

  2. Thank you for this article. Many families are being torn apart by this sect. Even the Christian families are frustrated and horrified that a saved loved one would convert. to this false teaching.
    Thank you for the focus you bring to this issue.
    It gives me (the Aunt) a role to play (pray, pray, pray) and also frees the parents to just keep teaching the Truth and let God have His way with their child.

    • You’re welcome, Suzy. My prayers go out to you and other families affected by false teachings. Thanks for your comment =o).

      Grace and peace,
      -JGIG

  3. Actually, there are a lot of us in the Messianic Jewish/Hebrew Roots movement who do *not* believe that Christians are in willful, high-handed rebellion if they don’t keep Torah the way we do (they don’t keep the Sabbath, or they eat unclean meats, etc.), because that is their understanding of the scriptures.

    There are actually a *lot* of us who do believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and not by *any* works of the Law — and thus we accept Christians (those who hold to the biblical gospel message) as our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Posts such as the one above (and others I’ve seen on this site) might describe certain individuals in our movement, but by no means does the above characterize everyone (or even a majority) in this movement.

    • If that’s true, then why do you write comments such as this: “Shouldn’t we obey God’s commandments by the power of the holy spirit? Your answer seems to be “No” — that we keep some *other* set of commandments. But where are these commandments written? Are we only to keep the commands of the New Testament as many say? That doesn’t make any sense though, since the NT hadn’t even been compiled during Jesus’ time. Plus, if the NT contradicts the Tanakh, we have a big problem on our hands.
      “Take the 7th day Sabbath for example. God clearly commanded it for his people (it’s the 4th commandment after all). Are we to keep the 10 commandments or not? And if not, which commandments are we to keep? You seem to want to uphold grace (which is commendable), but do away with the law. But how does repentance make any sense of there is no law — no standard — to turn away from?”

      Tell me, do you hold to the One Law position like Tim Hegg or to the Divine Invitation position like FFOZ? Or do you have your own, middle-of-the-road version? Whichever you hold to, they are not the way in which we are to relate to God after the Cross.

      Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6)
      What is not of faith is sin. (Rom. 14:23)
      The Law is not of faith. (Gal. 3:12)
      Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. (Heb, 10:22)

      Some more about faith: Faith is a Rest

      • Nothing in my comment contradicts the fact that we are justified by faith alone, through grace alone. The Law has no power to save us. But once a person comes to faith, how then are they to live holy (set apart) lives unto God? Certainly, not by lawlessness (Matthew 7:23). So what law, then, are believers to follow?

      • Not via Law:

        Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6)

        What is not of faith is sin. (Rom. 14:23)

        The Law is not of faith. (Gal. 3:12)

        These are the commands of God after the Cross:

        1 John 3:19-24
        19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 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.

        Those who preach Law-keeping for whatever reason (to learn more about or to be pleasing to God, to maintain one’s right standing before God, to be ‘set apart’ from the world – and the rest of the Body – , to get blessings, etc.) are not following New Covenant teachings and are operating under a covenantal system for which there is no high priesthood.

        What you practice is classic Galatianism:

        Galatians 3:1-14
        O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

        7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

        10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

        The New Covenant Scriptures could not be more clear:

        Galatians 5:1-6
        For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

        2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

        You say the Law has no power to save us; I submit to you that the Law does have power in the life of the believer, however, and that is to make Christ of no effect in your life as stated in the passage directly above. You live a Christless Christianity, relying on your own abilities to ‘keep’ a law no one save God in the flesh could keep before you. You receive Christ and then say ‘Thank you very much, I’ll take it from here; I’ll show you how good I can be!’, and then proceed to live under a Law which was given to stir up sin, bears fruit unto death, and is the power of sin (Rom 7, 1 Cor 15:56).

        You ask, “But once a person comes to faith, how then are they to live holy (set apart) lives unto God?”

        It’s not your actions that set you apart to God; it’s the Work of Christ which sets you apart to God:

        Hebrews 10:10
        10 By that will we have been sanctified [set apart]through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

        We now, in Christ, are to walk by the Spirit (which produces His Fruit through us), not by the flesh, which is what the Law addresses (which produces sinning, death, and fruit unto death):

        Galatians 5:13-26
        13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

        16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

        22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

        25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

        Rob, you are a perfect example of the mixed fruit I describe in the post above; you say you were justified by faith alone through grace alone, yet you seek to be perfected by works of the flesh:

        Galatians 3:1-3
        O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

        Surrendering to the Spirit and letting Him do His Work in and through you is not living lawlessly, it is living by the Spirit. And:

        Galatians 5:18
        18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

        You can not be led by the Spirit AND be under the Law, for that contradicts the Work and High Priesthood of Christ!

      • “What you practice is classic Galatianism.”

        Actually, no. Obeying the commandments of our creator, out of love for God, and thankfulness for what Jesus has done for us, is *not* Galatianism. Galatianism is keeping God’s commandments *for salvation* — remember, the circumcision party repeatedly taught that circumcision is what saves us, and Paul clearly spoke against that (see Galatians 2:15-21).

        And do you really believe that God’s law, in and of itself, is a “yoke of slavery”? Do not steal? Do not murder? Do not bear false witness? Love the Lord your God with all your heart/soul/mind? Doesn’t sound like a “yoke of slavery” to me! (And again, you’re tearing Galatians 5 from its context. Paul is clearly speaking about keeping commandments *in order to be saved*.)

        “You receive Christ and then say ‘Thank you very much, I’ll take it from here; I’ll show you how good I can be!’, and then proceed to live under a Law which was given to stir up sin, bears fruit unto death, and is the power of sin.”

        Wow, that was a pretty harsh accusation! I rely on the grace of God every single day, actually, and I fully realize that obeying God’s commandments do not save me — that salvation was purchased on my behalf through the blood of Christ, through no effort/work on by behalf, what so ever.

        And you side-stepped my original question. Again. When I ask you, “once a person is saved, which commandments do they follow?” your answer is: “We now, in Christ, are to walk by the Spirit (which produces His Fruit through us), not by the flesh.” So you believe that we simply follow the “spirit that is within us” — so according to that theology, if a believer feels the urge to steal, or murder, or lie, they are free to follow that spirit? If not, why not?

      • Galatians does not deal with salvation and the Law; it deals with believers who had begun with Christ and were convinced to go back under Law by Judaizers:

        Galatians 3:1-3 is the heart of the letter:

        “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

        It is clear that these were believers in Christ, not prospective converts.

        You wrote, “And do you really believe that God’s law, in and of itself, is a “yoke of slavery”? Do not steal? Do not murder? Do not bear false witness? Love the Lord your God with all your heart/soul/mind? Doesn’t sound like a “yoke of slavery” to me! (And again, you’re tearing Galatians 5 from its context. Paul is clearly speaking about keeping commandments *in order to be saved*.)”

        In comparison with the New Covenant of Grace? Absolutely. Acts 15 makes it clear as does 2 Corinthians 3:

        Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

        4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

        7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

        12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

        You wrote, “Wow, that was a pretty harsh accusation! I rely on the grace of God every single day, actually, and I fully realize that obeying God’s commandments do not save me — that salvation was purchased on my behalf through the blood of Christ, through no effort/work on by behalf, what so ever.”

        In reality you mix Law and Grace every single day, which makes me ask you the same question that Paul asked the Galatians: “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

        You wrote, “And you side-stepped my original question. Again. When I ask you, “once a person is saved, which commandments do they follow?” your answer is: “We now, in Christ, are to walk by the Spirit (which produces His Fruit through us), not by the flesh.” So you believe that we simply follow the “spirit that is within us” — so according to that theology, if a believer feels the urge to steal, or murder, or lie, they are free to follow that spirit? If not, why not?”

        I did not side-step your original question here, you just did not like or could not accept the answer.

        Rob, on a side note, my apologies for not getting this and other comments approved sooner; I’ve been super busy getting our school year up and running and we had an out-of-town trip that we were preparing for last weekend as well. My time online had to be spent over on the JGIG facebook page, a somewhat more ‘live’ venue. Sometimes this page takes an unfortunate back seat, as comments can be held in moderation until I can get to them. Beg pardon for the delay.

        -JGIG

      • Rob Roy writes “So you believe that we simply follow the “spirit that is within us” — so according to that theology, if a believer feels the urge to steal, or murder, or lie, they are free to follow that spirit? If not, why not?”
        I’d like to respond to that very familiar question because the question itself reveals that you don’t understand that we are a new creation. The Holy Spirit within a born-again believer is not a “feeling” or an “urge.” Those are common to all humans.
        Being led by the Holy Spirit is best described by Matt on Sep 15, 2013.

        Love in Christ,
        Herb

      • I’ve found that HRMers have a very hard time understanding the concept of the New Creation. I often ask them, “Do you want to murder steal and commit adultery? Is it the Law that restrains you from doing those things? Or is it the Holy Spirit working in you changing your desires?”

      • Herb, my understanding of being a new creation is that God renews our hearts and our minds, enabling us to love God, learn, and keep his instructions (Jeremiah 31:31) — this is what it means when God promises to write his Law/Torah/Instructions on our hearts.

        So Matt is absolutely right — “Being led by the Spirit and obedient to the Instructions of the Father go hand-in-hand when the law is written on your heart.” Out of thankfulness for the Grace and mercy shown to us by Jesus Christ, we humbly bow the knee, and submit to God’s instructions out of love and thanksgiving for what He has done on our behalf. The question, then, is what these “instructions” consist of.

        Unfortunately, what JGIG is teaching is that the instructions that the Father has given (to include the 10 commandments, right JGIG?) have been abolished, in favor of Jesus’ new Law — even though this contradicts Matthew 5:17-19, Romans 3:31, Romans 7:12, 1 John 5:3, Revelation 12:17, 14:12.

        Thus the Father has a radically different Will than the Son, and the Son has a radically different Will than the Father. The Father desires that you follow the Father’s Law, and the Son desires that you Follow the Son’s Law, and not the Father’s Law. Is God divided? Or are the Father and the Son ONE, and thus their instructions for believers ONE?

      • Your understanding of the New Creation is flawed, Rob. Jesus didn’t come to do the Work of the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, send us His Holy Spirit and serve as our Perfect High Priest to make law-breakers in to law-keepers, He came to make spiritually dead people into spiritually alive people!

        God’s Solution to Man’s Problem – Life! is an excellent teaching that clearly communicates the concept of Life being the gift of God.

        And the law that is written on the believer’s heart is not Torah, but the commandments of God after the Cross: Believe on the One He has sent and love one another (Jn 6:28-29, 1 Jn 3:23).

        Our God is not divided; He is One; He clearly gives different commands throughout history, or you’d be builing a ark in your backyard or hunting Philistines, yes?

      • Rob Roy, on September 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm said: Herb, my understanding of being a new creation is that God…

        On Sep 23 I said, The Holy Spirit within a born-again believer is not a “feeling” or an “urge.”Neither is the Holy Spirit an “understanding.”

        Love in Christ,
        Herb

      • Being led by the Spirit and obedient to the Instructions of the Father go hand-in-hand when the law is written on your heart.

      • God’s commands after the Cross:

        1 John 3:23
        23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

        Those are the Laws written on believers’ hearts, not Torah.

  4. I thought my comment would have been approved by now….

  5. One of the interesting things about the HRM is that it has a problem with the concept of “Born Again.” If we have died and risen with Christ, how is it we are subject to the Law? Many in the movement lose sight of this, and even doubt their born-again-ness.

    • That’s an interesting point, Lon. I posted a thread on CARM once asking the Torah folks what the New Creation meant to them, and not one of them could give an answer. Deflection and distractions abounded. The one thread I recall has long since been culled by CARM, but it was an interesting study indeed. I kept trying to bring the conversation back around to what it means to be a New Creation, and they just could not grasp it.

      • Easy, being born again is an inward event that has an outward expression. You can not say you love someone and then do nothing. Hebrew is an action based system not thought based. If you have a spouse what do you different anything vs adam on the street?

        If I recall Jesus said in John 14:15 ““If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” The word commandments is the Greek strong, “1785”. If you look at what 1785 refers to, it is Mosaic Law. Same strong is used in Matthew 15:3 “He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”

        Also that is why he said, In Matthew 22-23 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.” Lawlessness is Greek Strong, “458”. And it means lawlessness; the utter disregard for God’s law (His written and living Word).

      • You say it’s easy and then you speak nothing of the New Creation, but of commandment keeping.

        Commandment keeping does not produce love in a person, cowbOy77. It increases sinning, is the power of sin, and produces fruit unto death, not the Fruit of the Spirit, which is love. (Rom. 7, 1 Cor. 15:56, Gal. 5)

      • please tell me biblical exegis, that says grace allows his Body to profane his Sabbaths given to Israel whom He came for, (we are grafted in) to celebrate pagan holidays in his name. thank you. biblical exegis please,. thank you, shalom

      • Steve, it’s your opinion that folks are doing those things. Believers in Christ enter into THE Sabbath Rest, Who is Christ Himself. It’s not a matter of keeping days, but of abiding in His Rest. There is no profanity there.

        As for holidays, again, if you feel led to celebrate or not certain holidays, you should do so according to your conscience in compliance with Romans 14. Note that this site does not try to convince believers one way or the other, but does provide articles and sites that examine the claims made by Law-keeping sects about holidays. You can find those articles on the Articles Page.

  6. @”however, they become impatient, critical, and controlling. ”
    Haha……That is such an unfair generalization….. Generally believers of all denominations are no different.

    I am seeing a lot of talking past one another going on, especially in articles that attempt to blast any movement that is not Protestant.

    • Hi Tomm R,

      Not a generalization at all . . . experience from many, many encounters with Torah folk. And it’s not uncommon.

      Talking past each other? No, just pointing to the Living Christ, His Finished Work, Perfect High Priesthood, and His Grace, by which we can all enter into Him by faith. What folks choose to do with that is up to them.

      Grace and peace,
      -JGIG

  7. can someone please use biblical exegis, on how Yeshua can come here to fulfill the law perfectly, declaring not one yot or jittle will be abolished, yet change dietary law, before he can fulllfill it, and be a perfect sacrifice. oh, yes, and pass the false prophet test of Deuteronomy 13? thank you, scriptural exegis please. please start with mark 7, since it is agreed peter wrote it, yet, 20-30 years later in acts 10 he was perplexed by the vision of 4 footed animals, and please tell me where in acts 10:28 does he interpret the vision as all foods being clean? thank you.

    • I don’t think that Yeshua changed the dietary laws, I think He pointed out it’s not what goes into a man physically that makes him unclean, but what comes out of his heart.

      The dietary laws were a big part of keeping Israel set apart from the world. A really good teaching series about the dietary laws from a Hebrew Christian can be found here:

      The Dietary Laws 1
      The Dietary Laws 2

      Steve, if you have a conviction to keep dietary laws, then that’s what you should do according to Romans 14. I pray that you’ll listen to the above teachings to get an understanding of the scope and purpose of the dietary laws. The teacher came to Christ as he was studying to become a rabbi, so he knows his stuff =o).

      As for Scripture that tells us how Yeshua came to fulfill the Law perfectly, well that’s in Matthew 5. And Romans 7 tells us how, in Christ and His completed Work we as believers die to the Law. You can read more about that here: Released/Delivered From the Law and Christ is the End of the Law – Getting Greeky About Romans 7, 10, and Ephesians 2

  8. You are so far off base you haven’t got a clue. Who said your teaching is right? I have listened to both, and since I have found my true roots I have a much closer walk with my Heavenly Father. Listening to Jim Staley has helped open my eyes to the truth. As for the OT being for the Jews… Adam and Eve were not Jews, Abraham was not a Jew, Noah was not a Jew. In fact there were no Jews until Jacob had his 12 son’s….Judah. The house of Judah were the Jews. The House of Israel were Hebrews. I guess that shows how much you know. Hebrew means Crossed over. Abraham was a Gentile. And “the law” is not in the Hebrew…. the word is Torah. So what you have written is untruth. You don’t know what you are talking about. I feel sorry for you and the people that follow you. Their blood is on your hands.

    • Hi Pamela, welcome to JGIG.

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion about this and any other site. Regarding Jim Staley, please consider reading, “Gateways into the Hebrew Roots Movement – An Examination of ‘Identity Crisis’ and Related Teachings of Jim Staley“.

      You wrote, “As for the OT being for the Jews… Adam and Eve were not Jews, Abraham was not a Jew, Noah was not a Jew. In fact there were no Jews until Jacob had his 12 son’s….Judah. The house of Judah were the Jews. The House of Israel were Hebrews. I guess that shows how much you know. Hebrew means Crossed over. Abraham was a Gentile.”

      Yep, that’s pretty accurate. You may want to read more here at JGIG; we actually agree on that stuff. You can read more about that here: Hebrew Roots Movement – Believers are Grafted Into and Become Israel? Um . . . No.

      You also wrote, “And “the law” is not in the Hebrew…. the word is Torah. So what you have written is untruth. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

      Torah is the first five books of the Bible which contains history, commandments, covenants, statutes, and yes, the Covenant given to Israel at Sinai, commonly known as the Law. That’s just Biblical fact; not sure why that’s a point of contention for you. Torah’s most common meaning is Law:

      H8451
      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

      If you think that is untruth, then you’ll have to take it up with a Hebrew dictionary.

      You also wrote, “You don’t know what you are talking about. I feel sorry for you and the people that follow you. Their blood is on your hands.”

      I’m content to let God and the reader judge between us. I’m confident in the simple Truths of the Gospel: Who Christ is, what He came to accomplish, what that actually means, and who we are in Him.

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

    • Not all Hebrews are Jews but most certainly all Jews(not to be confused with Judaism) are or were indeed Hebrews. The first mention of Hebrew was Gen 14:13 in reference to Abram. Therefore all under him were Hebrews. Ishmael?

      I’m also fairly certain the term “Jew” was not regularly used until after the Babylonian exile.

      I find it interesting saying Abraham was a Gentile. But God made His covenant first with Abram who’s descendants(some of them) then became Hebrews/Israel. Funny the Jews began from a Gentile! ;)

      • Yeah, that’s one of the ironic things about the “Hebrew Roots Movement” as a title. Not only do WE not have “Hebrew Roots,” the Hebrews don’t have “Hebrew Roots.” Again, it’s a misunderstanding of our source of identity. The HRM wishes to find that source in Hebraic-ness of some kind, to some degree, while biblically, our source of identity is God. He is the One who adopts us, and gives us the power to become His children, to those who believe in His name. Some look to Peter as the rock on which the church is built, some the apostles and prophets, some to Paul, some to John the Baptist, but there is only ONE root, ONE foundation, and there is no other that any man can lay (1st Cor 3:11). The HRM claim that He came to reveal the Torah to us, but HE claimed that He came to reveal the Father. I think I know which party to lay stock in.

      • Hebrew Roots are the Modern Judaizer heretics Paul anathemized in Galatians One. All their peddlers are liars and frauds, be it Staley or Rood. Paul said Judaizers are LIARS and that they don’t know what they are talking about-Titus 1 and 1Tim 1

    • Hello Pamela, I am not a follower of any movement. I follow the Word of God and my Lord Jesus. I have the Holy Spirit who is my helper. I read your post and you came over as an unloving and judgemental Christian. You say “their blood is on your hands.” What did you mean by “their”. If you are referring to the Bride who does not follow man or movements please correct your thinking. Pamela, the enemy has crept in and I see so many Christians fight over who is wrong and who is right. The apostasy has begun and so few Christians have picked up on this serious matter. Use that energy you have by leading a lost soul to the lord. Time is so short and it worries me that so many christians are spitting nails on who is wrong and who is right. I dare so I am neither as I and my household serve the Lord and we don’t get involved in church Politics. Pamela, you are called to love your brethren. Take care.

      • FYI watchingandwaiting but many HRMers do not consider themselves Christian. At least in the same sense as most do. Matter of fact my one experience with a very close person who was an HRMer did not like the term Christian. It was as though they were disgusted with them.

  9. Sorry if I am mistaken on somethings and please correct me if I am in error since I haven’t been a Christian until recently. But what unsettles me is that people say that the Old Testament is not what us as Christians should follow since now we are in Christ. That the Holy Spirit and the New Testament are now what we should be following and studying more than the old.

    Jesus quotes the Old Testament and followed the Old Testament laws perfectly as we cannot do. How then would it be right to teach people that once you received Christ we are not accountable to follow the laws of the Old Testament as well when that is what Jesus did perfectly.

    The law of God does not contradict grace. His grace is what allows us to joyfully walk in the law as Jesus did and strive to set aside the sins we commit as they are revealed to us by the word of God and the Holy Spirit. When you are first convicted from the sin in your life you repented and turned away from the sins you knew of and and were saved through your faith in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t end there. I know I have been saved but also know that I’m not perfect and am constantly finding and turning from sin as His word reveals them to me through studying it.

    That is what the apostles had a meeting about in Acts 15. The conclusion of which was

    Acts 15:19-21
    Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood. For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues.

    I don’t think they included the part about Moses for no reason, they just taught them of the heftier sins like idol worship and the others in that verse to start them off as beleivers but later it was up to them to listen to the teachings of Moses as well to further learn and live out the truth, just as I feel the need to read Moses word and learn the WHOLE truth not just the New Testament.
    Jesus says it himself in Mathew 23.

    Mathew 23:2-3
    “The Scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.

    What the Scribes and Pharisees did was the man made traditions that they were burdening people with and not following the law of Moses they were teaching. And in Acts 15 when the Apostles and elders spoke of not troubling the people turning to God with all the Old Testament laws didn’t mean they were getting rid of them but they understood it would take time to learn the whole truth as they started walking with the Lord.

    Psalms 119:44-45
    So I will keep your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek your precepts.

    1 John 5:2-3
    By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

    • Hi truth seeker,

      You wrote, “Sorry if I am mistaken on somethings and please correct me if I am in error since I haven’t been a Christian until recently. But what unsettles me is that people say that the Old Testament is not what us as Christians should follow since now we are in Christ. That the Holy Spirit and the New Testament are now what we should be following and studying more than the old.”

      Welcome to the family of God – the adopted, entering into the Promise by faith in Christ – that’s awesome! Your unsettledness may come from teaching you may be receiving; did Christ offer unsettledness or rest? All Scripture is useful for teaching – yet one must also learn to rightly divide the Word of Truth. The New Covenant in Christ makes the Old Covenant obsolete as a belief system. We can still learn things from it, but it is not to be our way of life; we have died to the Old (see Released/Delivered From the Law and Christ is the End of the Law – Getting Greeky About Romans 7, 10, and Ephesians 2).

      New Covenant Scriptures tell us this:

      And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (from Heb. 12)
      6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (from Col. 2)

      As a new believer I would encourage you to go through the New Covenant Scriptures (everything written after the Resurrection/Pentecost) and note how many times you see the phrases, ‘in Christ’, ‘because of Christ’, ‘through Christ’, etc. Our life, our actions, our identity is all wrapped up in who we are in Christ, not by our performance of feasts, days, and dietary laws. Those things identified Israel and kept her separate from the world so that Messiah would be recognized when He came.

      He came!

      And we are told this: 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. 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, “Jesus quotes the Old Testament and followed the Old Testament laws perfectly as we cannot do. How then would it be right to teach people that once you received Christ we are not accountable to follow the laws of the Old Testament as well when that is what Jesus did perfectly.”

      Well for one thing, those in Christ are NEVER commanded to keep the Old Covenant. You cannot find it anywhere in the New Covenant Scriptures. Those who advocate Old Covenant Law-keeping for believers in Christ define ‘commandments’ (every time they see it anywhere in Scripture) to be the commandments that God gave through Moses at Sinai. If you look for how the commandments are defined internally in the New Covenant Scriptures, however, you will find that God’s commandments after the Cross are these: Believe on the One He has sent and love one another (1 Jn. 3:23-24). That’s it. And if you think you are going against God’s Law by going with that simplified ‘list’, consider the following: If you are loving one another, are you murdering, stealing, committing adultery, coveting, bearing false witness, etc.? And in the New Covenant, love for God (the first four commandments) becomes a response to God’s love for us: 19 We love because he first loved us. (from 1 Jn. 4)

      Did Christ preach the Law to those born under the Law? Yes (Gal. 4). Did Christ prophesy and point to the New Covenant in His own Blood? Yes (Jn. 6:28-29, Luke 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:25).

      If God intended for us to continue on in the Old Covenant Law-keeping, why did He ordain that Christ would be of the Tribe of Judah, which had nothing to do with the priesthood in the Old Covenant? Yet we are told that Jesus is our Perfect, Permanent High Priest by an oath from God and the power of an indestructible life (see Hebrews 7)!

      I really like this quote from Andrew Farley (http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30334305):

      That quote comes from the link above and is part of his series on Romans, which, by the way, I highly recommend if you’re a new believer. You can find that series on the Media Page here at JGIG or here: Romans: The Gift of Righteousness

      You wrote, “The law of God does not contradict grace. His grace is what allows us to joyfully walk in the law as Jesus did and strive to set aside the sins we commit as they are revealed to us by the word of God and the Holy Spirit.”

      The trouble is with the statement above is that you cannot find that concept in the Scriptures. The Law requires what the Law requires. Jesus walked sinlessly in the Law because He is without sin.

      And it is not we who ‘set our sins aside’, it was Christ who took away the sins of the world – that is an important point of which one should have a proper view. Do the New Covenant Scriptures tell us that sinning is dumb and destructive and we should not engage in sinning? Of course! But if you’re using the Law as your measuring stick, you are subject to death if you do not keep it as it was given by God. Thankfully, we’re not under that Old Covenant of death engraved on stones, but in the superior New Covenant, built on better promises and mediated by a Perfect, Permanent High Priest, Christ (2 Cor. 3, Heb. 7-10).

      You also wrote, “When you are first convicted from the sin in your life you repented and turned away from the sins you knew of and and were saved through your faith in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t end there. I know I have been saved but also know that I’m not perfect and am constantly finding and turning from sin as His word reveals them to me through studying it.”

      Turning from sinning in your life is always a good call =o). But that’s not what enabled you to get saved in the first place and is not what keeps you saved. What got you saved was when you believed that Jesus did the Work of the Cross and the Resurrection; that He made full payment for your sins and lives forever to intercede for you when you sin again (and we all do from time to time, yes?).

      A reduction in sinning in the life of the believer comes through being taught by Grace, not through being taught by Law: 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. (from Tit. 2)

      Trying to be taught by Law actually stirs up sinning according to Rom. 5, 7, and 1 Cor. 15:56. So if a reduction in sinning is your goal, Grace, not Law, is the way to go. More about that here: Grace or Law? How Then, Shall We Live?

      About Acts 15: Acts 15 was not an introduction to Moses, but an agreement on Gentile behavior so that they would not offend the Jews with whom they were fellowshipping:

      The actual letter to be distributed throughout the Gentile Body of Christ read as follows:

      29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. (from Acts 15)

      Note the Farewell and the period following. There were no further instructions to the Gentiles to learn Moses – in fact, the emphasis for all believers was to be built up in who they were in Christ, not to teach Law to them.

      Regarding 1 John 5:2-3, how does John define what the commandments of God are in the letter itself?

      1 Jn. 3:23-24 – 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.

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

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