• 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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Gateways into the Hebrew Roots Movement – An Examination of ‘Identity Crisis’ and Related Teachings of Jim Staley

One popular and widely shared teaching from Jim Staley is ‘Identity Crisis’, considered to be one of the ‘gateway’ videos that gets folks more interested in the Hebraic Roots of their faith.  This page will address that teaching specifically as well as some other related teachings from Jim Staley.

Since I receive so many emails and private messages asking about the Hebrew Roots Movement teacher Jim Staley and Passion For Truth Ministries, I’ve put this page together so that folks can send out a link to an examination of ‘Identity Crisis’ and other related Staley teachings.  A link to this page will also appear on the Articles Page here at JGIG.

There are a lot of teachings produced by Passion For Truth’s Jim Staley and there is no way logistically to evaluate them all.  A more practical approach is to take a few key teachings and find out how they fare when placed alongside the simple Truths of the Gospel as portrayed in the whole of the Scriptures:

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

Another gateway teaching by Jim Staley that draws believers into the Hebrew Roots Movement, ‘Truth or Tradition’, will not be addressed here, since there are other resources which well address the issues raised in that video.

Two such excellent resources are Exit and Support Network and Ralph Woodrow’s ‘The Babylon Connection?‘, both of which do a good job sorting out truth from fiction regarding holidays. The Articles Page here at JGIG also has holiday-related articles listed under the letters “C” and “E” (which also has Two House/Ephraimite Doctrine articles).  As you navigate through that page (for which there is also a tab with a direct link at the top of this page) the articles are clearly titled.

Another reason I’ll not be dealing with the holiday issue here is that it really is a secondary disputable issue; I have no desire to convince folks to observe or not observe seasons or days, but am content, in the spirit of Romans 14, to leave their practices in such matters to their consciences.  The resources above are offered to help believers sort out the issues.Identity Crisis in Christ

Jim Staley’s ‘Identity Crisis’ teaching, however, is not a teaching regarding secondary disputable matters, but goes to the very core of the Gospel and is a teaching that twists the Truths of who believers are in Christ.

A relative sent me Jim Staley’s ‘Identity Crisis’ video link on YouTube many months ago, saying that the Lord woke them one night and felt that the Lord was prompting them to send it to me.  They had no idea that I’d ever heard of Jim Staley or that I was very familiar with his teachings.  Following is a detailed response to the teaching as well as some of some of Staley’s related teachings, edited and expanded for this venue.

Public Evaluation of Public Teachings

One more thing I’ll address here: Many who follow Jim Staley and Passion For Truth Ministries will take issue with this page.  They will write to me or on their own sites or on their Facebook pages about how I ‘should have gone to Jim personally if I have a problem with him’.

Folks, this is not an issue where I feel that Jim Staley has personally sinned against me.  He is a preacher/teacher out there claiming very publicly that he has Truth.  Jim Staley aggressively markets his brand of Law-keeping world-wide, and there are thousands of PFT DVDs and CDs that get passed around in the Body as well as PFT having a strong presence on YouTube and other online audio/video outlets.  Passion For Truth Ministries also has a strong presence on Facebook.

The search terms ‘Jim Staley Cult’, ‘Jim Staley false teacher’, ‘Jim Staley heresy’ and similar phrases are the most used search terms after this site’s name that bring people to JGIG, sending them to the Identifying False Teaching article, where a commenter asks about Jim Staley specifically.  As much as I hate to put the spotlight on any one teacher, it has become evident to me that the time has long since come for a few of Staley’s core teachings to be examined here at JGIG.

The comments function on this page has been turned off.  This page is for educational purposes and is published on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.  For those of you who think that’s unfair, note that Passion For Truth has not allowed comments on their videos for, as of this writing, about a year.  You will, however, find a contact form at the bottom of this page where you can give feedback that will be sent to my email.

This page has information that anyone can check out for themselves.  I provide links to each of the teachings in question as well as many time stamps and transcriptions for specific issues raised.  I encourage folks to watch the teachings referenced in total to get a feel for context and tone.  I have no interest in it seeming like I’m trying to railroad someone by taking their words out of context.

Note that in the past, once he becomes aware of scrutiny regarding his teaching materials, Jim Staley has been known to have his staff edit out clips that have been addressed, take down and repost videos under different URLs so that original links will no longer work, or mark certain videos as ‘private’.

Edited to add 5/6/14:  Passion For Truth’s YouTube page has marked the ‘Identity Crisis’ video as ‘Private’.  I just noticed it today; don’t know how long ago it was removed from public view.  To access another copy of the video you can click on this link for a YouTube search for the video.  The complete video is still available HERE at this writing, but note that the time stamps included in the article below may be a little ‘off’.  Also note that the video now linked to may still be removed by Staley claiming copyright infringement. 

Edited to add 11/30/14 – The above link to Identity Crisis was removed as predicted, but you can, at this writing, still find it HERE, with its addendum, and HERE, and HERE, both without the addendum.  5/11/15 – Scratch that.  Jim Staley has had those videos removed.  As of this writing, try HERE for the complete video; HERE for the teaching in parts.

Edited to add 6/27/14:  Jim Staley says the following in this video, in which he speaks of an ‘Identity Crisis’ teaching he’s been working on for some time.  That would be a NEW ‘Identity Crisis’ teaching because they removed the old one.  Hmmmm . . . Jim Staley, starting at time stamp 3:47:

“. . . and um, and I had a big breakthrough this last week, actually, uh, a few hours ago, early in the morning.  I’m still working on ‘Identity Crisis’ and God keeps messin’ with me on it.  But I’m gonna be excited, every week the staff says, “Are you gonna teach ‘Identity Crisis’ this week?”  They got a really neat backdrop that they’ve prepared and they’ve rolled it on and off stage multiple times, but, uh, I’m, I am not going to do anything the Lord has not commissioned me to do.  And so, uh, I, praise – this is the most frustrating thing that I’ve ever studied, period.  Hands down.  Uh, and the Lord is finally, I think, giving me some direction on how to proceed, so, uh, pray for me . . . praying that we have air-conditioning next week because it’s going to be a 12-hour teaching so here we go . . . ” 

It will be interesting to see what it looks like and how he tries to change/parse what he’s already taught.  I’ll be looking for it!

Added 4/21/15 – Well, PFT finally published their updated version of ‘Identity Crisis’ on 2/8/15.  It’s available HERE and is 174 minutes long (just shy of 3 hours!).  Nothing really new, just a lot more words, and Jim Staley did leave several things from the original teaching out.  I did make some notes as I went through the teaching (honestly, I can’t remember if I got much past the 2-hour mark with my notes – it’s not nearly as engaging as his original swing at the Two House Doctrine).  If I have time at some point I’ll put those notes on a page at JGIG and link to them from this page.  I won’t add the notes here, as this page is already ridiculously long. 

For those of you wondering, the article below still refutes what PFT and other Hebrew Roots teachers teach about the Ephraimite/Two House Doctrine.  Many of the common arguments are addressed below, along with issues that are Jim Staley/Passion For Truth specific.   After watching the ‘new and improved Identity Crisis’ I didn’t feel a need to rework what’s been written below.  The following article will give you a good working knowledge of the errors of not only the Ephaimite/Two House doctrine, but also other basic Hebrew Roots errors.
-JGIG

Other folks concerned about the teachings of Jim Staley have taken to YouTube, using clips of Staley’s teachings and evaluating them in video form.  Staley has had many of those videos successfully removed claiming copyright infringement.  Videos that remain are those that post ‘fair use‘ laws in their introductions.

All that to say this:  Jim Staley seems to not like being challenged.  I note these things here so that if you as readers click on a link that does not work or go to a time stamp that does not say what’s transcribed in the article below, consider the possibility that the URL/content may have been altered by PFT.

Let me be clear:  I have no beef with Jim Staley personally.  This page is about examining his teachings and theology, seeing how they measure up when placed alongside contextual Scripture and proper interpretive practices and the simple Truths of the Gospel.

For those of you who are aware of other issues with Jim Staley and are wondering if those issues will be addressed here:  No, they will not.  This page is only about examining Jim Staley’s teachings.  At the end of the page there are some ‘More Concerns’ regarding the origins of PFT Ministries and his leadership style.

May God grant you wisdom and discernment as you read the following:

Examining Jim Staley’s ‘Identity Crisis’

My relative wrote that the Lord woke them and put on their heart to send the ‘Identity Crisis’ video to me.  That may be significant, because I have some real concerns about the content of the teaching.  After watching several other of Jim Staley’s teachings, I also have some real concerns about him as a pastor/teacher.  Perhaps God’s prompting was to give them some fresh eyes with which to look at Jim Staley’s teachings.

This page is ridiculously long, but examines the ‘Identity Crisis’ teaching thoroughly and includes several things from other Staley teachings that are related to the theology presented in ‘Identity Crisis’.  I’ve included subject headings to help break up the text, so that you can read the text and then navigate back through if you wish to re-read certain portions or refer to them again.

Be sure to check out the many embedded links contained within the text of this page.  There’s a lot of additional information there.  There is also a free audio download of an evaluation of ‘Identity Crisis’ by Chris Rosebrough at the end of this page.  His work and this page are complimentary in that we cover some of the same ground, but a lot of different ground, as well.  The only major disagreement I have with Chris is where he says that believers are grafted into Israel.  We are grafted into Christ, Who is the Root, as stated in Hebrew Roots Movement – Believers are Grafted Into and Become Israel?  Um . . . No.  Chris comes to the table from the Lutheran stream of faith, and any denominational disagreements I may have with him are outweighed by his excellent evaluation of the errors found in ‘Identity Crisis’.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Hyperbole, ‘Recalibration’, and an Absence of the Cross

In the first several minutes of the video Staley creates a need for what he’s selling, just as any good salesman will do.  The Church is in CRISIS!  And Passion For Truth Ministries and Jim Staley have the answers the Church needs!

About 5 minutes in to the ‘Identity Crisis‘ video, which you can find HERE, Staley says this:

“By the end of this weekend . . . we want to encourage you to do one thing. Look up at the signs. ‘Cause they’re on their way. And if you will just open your mind this weekend and especially during this message I will promise you the Holy Spirit will begin to move in your heart and begin hyperboleto recalibrate the language on the sign because one of ’em just might say ‘one way’ and all your life you thought it meant to go the other way.

Okay? So bear with me as we walk through this because some of you are going to be astounded and even shocked, maybe even, with some of the feedback we get is be blown away at this message and I wanna say that this is not my message, it is right out of the Scriptures.”

When I see repeated hyperbole, my discernment piques, because if I have to be sold a perspective, as opposed to something being clearly taught from contextual portions of Scripture, there is probably an agenda afoot.

The term, ‘recalibrate the language’ is also an interesting term . . . what does that mean, exactly?  Why would the language need to be ‘recalibrated’?  Another way to say ‘recalibrate the language’ is to ‘redefine terms’, something that false teachers do with some skill.

Staley tries to redefine the term ‘Gentiles’ throughout his teaching – and as a result poses at best, an elitist, and at worst, a racist and skewed view of Scripture and the Gospel, which in turn skews who the Body of Christ is and what Her mission is.

Another thing I found interesting was his dismissal of the work of Christ.  Staley states at around minute 16:

“As I began to read the front of the Book I began to discover that every single story found in the Bible is about me and my Messiah and and when He comes back and I just need to listen and I need to hear.”

I listened to that and thought, “What about the Cross and what Messiah did there?” It’s not just about you and Messiah and His return; there’s a lot of in-between stuff there – a Body of Christ and how she is to live and walk and minister the Gospel to the world until He comes back!

And then this statement:

“Ladies and Gentlemen we started out in the Garden – we started out in Canaan, the Promised Land, the Enemy came he snatched us away we’ve been in Egypt for 6000 years but at some point, very soon, I believe, the Messiah is going to come back, Yeshua, the same Yehoshua, Yeshua who led them in the Promised Land so many years ago will LEAD US AGAIN into the Promised Land can I get an amen from that?”

We’ve been in Egypt for 6000 years?  Really?  What about the Cross?  The Resurrection?  The gift of the forgiveness of sins, the gift of righteousness, and the New Life – Eternal Life – gifted to those who have put their faith and trust in Christ?  He does not even acknowledge the event of the work of the Cross and Redemption.  As for the Yehoshua/Yeshua usage, Joshua was a type/shadow; Christ Jesus is the Reality.  They are not the same person, and regarding the Promised Land, we see this from the book of Joshua:

Joshua 24:11-13
11 “‘Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow.  So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’

The picture of Joshua leading them into the Promised Land was a picture of Grace:  through no labor of our own Christ Jesus provides for our forgiveness, redemption, and LIFE with full sonship and benefits as heirs to the King:

Ephesians 1:2-23
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons 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.  7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. 

Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 2:2-9
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 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 God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable 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.

Who does Jim Staley say the Gentiles are?

Jim Staley teaches that Gentiles are ‘out of covenant Israelites’ – or the ‘lost’ tribes of Israel.  He uses a progression based on false premises in his Identity Crisis video that he teaches in his Galatians series.  I’ll address the linguistic games that Staley plays in ‘recalibrating’ the definition of Gentile below in the context of his ‘Identity Crisis’ teaching, but for now let’s get an overview of who Jim Staley says Gentiles are and what he says the mystery of the Gospel is.

The first 17 minutes of Staley’s Understanding Galatians Part 1 video highlights his view regarding who is who ethnically, and who was saved in the early Body of Christ:

From around minute 14:

“You see like I said in the very beginning if we’re going to understand the Scriptures you must define them, by the Scriptures.  And the only Scriptures available to them at the time were the Tanakh, the Old Testament that we call the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures.  And the ONLY people who are called the ‘elect’, in all of the Scriptures, is Israel.  And the only people that were elect, that were scattered, and divorced, is the Northern Kingdom. 

So what we’re finding out here, in the book of 1 Peter [he is using a passage in 1 Peter to ‘prove’ that the gentiles in Galatia are not really Gentiles] it’s a very big hint, that the people in Galatia, are most likely, none other than, the Northern Ten Tribes, who were divorced from the Covenant, and who became Gentiles.”

‘Became’ Gentiles? Staley completely ignores the reality of ethnicity (bloodline, which Old Covenant Law was very careful to guard so that Messiah would be recognized when He came), and states that the people of Galatia were ‘most likely, none other than, the Northern Ten Tribes’, but states emphatically in ‘Identity Crisis’ around minute 27 that the Northern tribes never came back – remained ‘lost’.

That’s not a minor contradiction, and the reality is that while many in the Northern Tribes were assimilated into the peoples of the world – that was part of God’s judgement upon them for their idolatry – many did come back.  This article gives a short and common sense view of the matter; this article a longer viewpoint from a Messianic Jewish Rabbi.

What is the ‘mystery’ of the Gospel?

Here is Staley continuing in the Galatians video:

“And so there are two sets of Gentiles, ladies and gentlemen, there is the Gentiles that are true pagan Gentiles who are Gentiles, the word Gentile means ‘out of Covenant’ – they’re out-of-covenant-never-were-Israelites, and then there what we just found out in Ezekiel, the Israelite Gentiles, the Israelite who became Gentile.

“So both of them are out of covenant.  Now this is another important piece of information that’s really important for you to understand is that in the First Century the House of Judah, the Jews of the day, which were called Israel because there was nobody left, uh, but the House of Judah, they couldn’t stands, uh, the Israelite Gentiles because they were out of covenant and they were pa- they were to them they were dogs and wild beasts and four-footed animals.  And they had laws and decrees that kept the, the, any Gentile, pagan or not, from ever being a part of the covenant.

“So this is a big mystery – how is YHWH going to solve this?  Well He solved it by sending the Bridegroom, His Son, Yeshua the Messiah, to die for His Bride, and now you have the Apostle Paul, Rabbi Shaul, is, is going around, from city to city and guess where he ends up?  He ends up in the synagogues, and he ends up on the street corners, and he says, ‘I have Good News . . . the mystery . . . has been solved.'”

And then this:

“Has it ever made sense to you, how thousands and thousands – in Ephesus alone, 100,000 believers, supposedly pagan Gentiles, some Jewish Rabbi walks into town and says, ‘Hey, there’s another Jewish Rabbi who died for your sins and if you stop what you’re doing and repent and come and follow Him you’ll be saved.’ 

“And these Gentiles who hate the Jews just up in arms just accept this Jewish Rabbi Messiah – I don’t think so.  It makes a lot more sense that these, quote, “Israelite” pa- uh, Gentiles, knew exactly who their lineage was, and they knew exactly what he was talking about and it became really good news because now, no longer, were they separate and scattered from Impontious [?], Galatia, and out of covenant, they had the way to come back to the covenant! 

“And that’s what they’re gonna do, they’re coming back to the covenant through the Good News, the Good News is the curse has been broken, you are not, you’re no longer an adulteress, and you can come back to the covenant.”

The Good News according to Staley is that God died so that Israel would be able to be freed from Her sin of adultery so that God could remarry Her (more about this below in the Romans 7:1-6 section).  He infers that Israel embraced the message of Paul, or at least Staley’s version of what Paul was preaching.

While some Jews (speaking inclusively of all the Tribes of Israel) did embrace what Paul taught, the fact is that most kicked Paul and other Apostles out of synagogues far and wide, ran them out of town after town, and had them repeatedly arrested for preaching Christ and Him Crucified!

In fact, Staley misrepresents who Christ is by characterizing Messiah as just ‘another Jewish Rabbi’, misrepresents the Gospel, and then mocks them both. 

The concept that God sent the Bridegroom to die for His Bride (Israel), freeing her from just the ‘law of adultery’ as the solution to the ‘mystery’ of the Gospel is also taught in ‘Identity Crisis’, and I’ll address it in the context of that video below.  But first, let’s look at what the Scriptures say the mystery of the Gospel is:

Ephesians 3:1-6
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.

The mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and partakers in the promise in Christ through the Gospel.  We can see why defining just who Gentiles are AND what the Gospel is becomes important . . .

Now consider this passage:

Galatians 3:26-29
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

The Scriptures say that the mystery is that Gentiles, by faith, partake in the promises of God, and are sons – heirs in Christ.  There is no distinction in ethnicity, but all partake in the promise by faith in Christ.  This is a core issue in the Gospel.  It levels the ground at the Cross not only in relation to sin but also in relation to ethnicity.  Let’s look at it again, changing the order of the following verses for clarity:

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


What, or Who, Makes Us Holy?

Notice how Staley has attempted to shift the paradigm of the letter of Galatians – ‘recalibrating’ it so that in his version it appears that the believers there are not really Gentiles (non-Jews/non-Israelites), but are ‘Israelites brought back into covenant’ – and by that he means the Old Covenant.  Here is where he attempts to bring believers back under Old Covenant practices (implying that the Law is the ‘fix’ that the Church needs) – the very thing that Paul clearly preached against in his letter to the Galatians.

Back to ‘Identity Crisis’.  At about minute 31, Staley goes straight to the Millennium . . . He skips over the Cross AGAIN. He talks about how Yeshua must purify His bride before He can take her to His chamber:

“That’s why Israel had to go back to the wilderness for 40 years . . . they left Egypt, but they still had a lot of Egypt inside of them.  It’s time that the Father begin to explain to all of us that we still got Egypt inside of us and it’s time to get it out.”

Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because they lacked faith that God would deliver to them the Promised Land regardless of the obstacles.  Disbelief kept Her out.  Israel didn’t wander in the wilderness to get better at Law keeping (purifying Herself); She wandered in the wilderness because of unbelief.

As for Staley’s implying that ‘we’, those in Christ, “still got Egypt inside of us”, on what Scriptures does he base that assertion?  What about the Cross?  What did Jesus accomplish there?  Who lives in us – Egypt or the Holy Spirit?  He says we have to be purified by coming back to the Law and at that point we become worthy to be Yeshua’s bride.

Yet in Hebrews we see that

Hebrews 10:8-14
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

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

The Law does not make us holy, the work of Christ Jesus does.  Staley teaches that we have to be worthy to be Messiah’s bride – this is true, but that worthiness is found in Christ Himself in His provision of the New Covenant, a covenant which depends on the work of Messiah, not on our performance of the Law:

Hebrews 7:18-28
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.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

The issue of the Perfect High Priesthood is a whole other issue.  Click here for some food for thought on that topic.

What the ‘Blood of Yeshua’ Means to Jim Staley (nothing):

Another teaching series by Jim Staley (Parts 1 and 2 of ‘The Great Deception’), contain this clip of Staley mocking the believer’s right as the adopted of God to approach His Throne (bear with me as this is related to Staley’s characterization of the Gospel and who believers are in Christ).  At about 1:29 Staley states, and please do listen to the clip, as his tone is of note:

“You want to touch the Face of God? According to the Torah, you have to be clean! And we’re not talking physical! It’s spiritual. And if we’ve been deceived into thinking, (and here Staley uses a mocking tone) ‘Oh, I can just waltz into the throne of grace ’cause I have the Blood of Yeshua on my heart.’ . . . Try that one! Let’s see how it works for ya.

“You don’t come before your King . . . unclean. You come with clean hands, and a pure heart. And unfortunately the Bible says that we deceive ourselves . . . by thinking we’re okay.”

Jim Staley says that Christ’s Blood does not cleanse, it does not purify, it does not make holy.  So the Blood of Yeshua means nothing according to Jim Staley.

The Scriptures say that Because of the Work of Christ we are cleansed and purified – made clean – by Christ’s Blood:

Hebrews 10:11-14
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

And because of the Work of Christ, we can approach the throne of grace with confidence:

Ephesians 3:7-12
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 God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make throne of graceplain 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 which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jim Staley is teaching in direct opposition to what the Scriptures clearly proclaim.

Planting Seeds of Doubt About the New Testament’s Authority:

Back to ‘Identity Crisis’.  At around minute 31:30, Staley is stating that in New Testament times most of the northern tribes still knew who they were and lived in the Land.

At minute 27, he just told us that the Northern tribes were lost and never came back.

He continues,

” . . . still, MILLIONS of them lived right there outside of Israel.”

Now he begins to cast doubt on the authority of the New Testament:

Between minutes 32 and 35, Staley makes a number of amazing statements (speaking very rapidly), from depicting Christ Jesus as a senile shepherd who is doing nothing but trying to locate lost sheep every day (“This is ALL He does, everyday”) to an interesting set of comments regarding the defining of Biblical terms.  Here are some excerpts:

“All Scripture cannot mean the New Testament! Now I believe the New Testament is Scripture BUT that’s not what he was talking to! He was referring to what . . . to the Tanakh – the Old Testament.”

The doublemindedness of the first two phrases in that paragraph notwithstanding, Staley attempts to render the New Testament Scriptures as not a part of all Scripture (even though he says he believes that the NT is Scripture) because it “did not exist in the first century”.

While it is understood that it was proven through the Tanakh to those that had ears to hear that Jesus was the Christ – the Messiah, apostolic writings were, at the time of the Early Body of Christ, also recognized as Scripture by the Body of Christ:

2 Peter 3:15-16
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.

Staley continues around minute 33-34 (and please re-listen to that portion in context because he really diminishes the New Testament Scriptures to the point of irrelevance):

“So if we’re going to define any Bible words, guess what?  You need to get rid of the New Testament for a moment and define it by the only dictionary that exists at that time, which is your Hebrew Scriptures.” 

‘Get rid of the New Testament for a moment’?!  Why would a teacher feel a need to make such a statement?

Let’s turn it ’round:  what would you think about a teacher that said we must ‘get rid of’ the Old Testament for a moment?

Staley quotes, badly, 2 Timothy 3:16, “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” as a proof-text for his assertion, stating that the only Scriptures that they had at the time was the Tanakh (Old Testament).  He also characterizes the Tanakh as a dictionary by which New Testament terms should be defined.  The Tanakh is not a dictionary, it’s Scripture.  It was written in Hebrew, and as English speakers, we need a Hebrew dictionary to understand more fully the meanings of certain passages.  The New Covenant Scriptures, however, were written in Greek.  To say that we must use the Tanakh — Scriptures written in Hebrew — as a dictionary for the New Covenant Scriptures which were written in Greek really makes no sense.

2 Timothy was written in approx. AD 64-68 (some sources narrow its writing to around AD 66-67).  We see above that Peter, speaking with the authority as an apostle, wrote that Paul’s writings were being distorted, as were the ‘other Scriptures’, indicating that Paul’s writings were recognized to be Scripture at the time.  The approximate date of the writing of 2 Peter?  AD 65-68, so it was recognized – in the same time frame that 2 Timothy was written – that Apostolic writings that were being produced were considered as authoritative in the first century via authority given directly by Christ:

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.

Galatians 1:1, 11-12
Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia:11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus
Christ.

And where did Christ’s authority come from?

Matthew 17:1-8
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. The transfiguration

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Note in the Matthew 17 passage above that Moses (representing the Law) and Elijah (representing the Prophets) had disappeared – Christ alone stood before them, the Reality to which the Law and the Prophets point.

Who is Jim Staley to override God-given apostolic authority and historical reality?  (See this short video for more.)

Is the Gospel just for one ethnic group of people or for all mankind?

Another issue which Staley seems to ignore is that the Old Testament widely in use in the first century was the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament.

Hellenization of the known world had resulted in Koine (common, not classical) Greek being very widely used, even into the Roman Empire era, as it was the primary language of trade, politics, and culture.  Aramaic was likely the conversational language of the day among Jews, but Greek was widely known and used out of necessity.  Paul, educated by Gamaliel, quoted from the Septuagint in his writings, indicating that it was in use at the time and considered to be a valid translation of the Scriptures.  Israel, in that day, was Greek-speaking (indeed for several hundred years), hence the need for the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures which was started around 300 BCE and was well in use by the first century.

So Jim Staley is trying force the point about going back to the Hebrew language when we can see that Israel at the time was widely using a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

The point I’m trying to make is that the Word of God is the Word of God whether it be in Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, English, Spanish, Japanese, Hindi, or any other language.  The concepts, lessons, and truths that God wishes to communicate to us can be made in any language and He was doing so in Greek for a few hundred years by the time the first century rolled around.

commenter on Facebook makes this astute observation:

“Also, what was the first act in the life of the Church, at Pentecost? 

“Translation. 

“The Holy Spirit miraculously translated the Gospel message into the common languages of the various Jews that were there in Jerusalem.  God didn’t try to make them learn Hebrew to hear the Gospel, He translated the Gospel into something they could understand.”

When in doubt about what a passage means, one can go back to the original language which the writer used and look up the definition of a word or phrase to gain better understanding, taking great care to keep context in clear view, as context often determines the meaning of a word where more than one meaning exists for that word.  But ‘getting rid of the New Testament’ is not required – in fact, God may (I think I can confidently say He does) have a very big problem with that idea.   (A good outline for further study: Evidence For Early Existence Of The New Testament)

So this idea of having to go back to Hebrew definitions of Hebrew Scriptures regarding the Greek New Testament texts is a bunch of hooey.  The Hebrews of the time were already well versed in the Greek translation of the Tanakh because they were speaking Greek and had been for at least a couple hundred years!  So for the New Testament to be written in Greek and for the Hebrews of the time to understand the Greek definitions of the Greek words used in the Greek text only makes sense.

True to his ethnocentric gospel, Staley continues to assert that Jesus came only for the lost sheep of Israel.  The following Scriptures come to mind:

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

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

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

God clearly was providing for salvation for all mankind, not just for Israel.  For Jim Staley to teach that Yeshua came only for the lost sheep of Israel leaves out a large portion of mankind and denies the promise of redemption to all mankind given to Adam after the fall – there was no Israel at that point – God’s promise was to all mankind.  Staley has to redefine the word Gentile to reach his conclusions, which clearly go against Scripture.

Does God make additional promises to Israel as well?  Yes . . . and Christ Jesus is the fulfillment of them all, to Israel and Gentile alike:

2 Corinthians 1:20-22
20 
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Linguistic Gymnastics a.k.a. ‘Recalibrating the Language’

Back to the definition of the word Gentile:  Jim Staley teaches that Gentile really means ‘out of covenant Israelite’, yet even in the Old Testament Hebrew – throwing out the New Testament for a moment as Staley wishes to do  –  ‘out of covenant Israelite’ is not the definition of the word:

Strong’s H1471 – gowy

1) nation, people

a) nation, people

1) usually of non-Hebrew people

2) of descendants of Abraham

3) of Israel

b) of swarm of locusts, other animals (fig.)

Context determines meaning when more than one meaning is listed, and H1471 is translated as nation, heathen, people, or Gentile in the OT, depending on the context where H1471 appears.

Not once is it ever translated as or does it mean ‘out of covenant Israel’.

Jim Staley is simply making that up.

Around minute 44:45, Staley states that pagan Gentiles are not really pagan Gentiles, but are really Israel, they just don’t know it yet.

Yet at around minute 32, Staley stated that in NT times most of the northern tribes still knew who they were and lived in the Land.

cow meowAnd in his ‘Understanding Galatians’ video, he differentiates between pagan Gentiles and ‘out of covenant Israelite Gentiles’, indicating two different types of Gentiles.  Yet Staley states that pagan Gentiles are not really pagan Gentiles, they are really Israel?

Identity crisis, indeed!

He further states that it wasn’t really Gentiles who were getting saved when Paul was preaching the Gospel, but that the lost tribes of Israel were the ones getting saved!  Staley is basing his assertion on the false premise that ‘Gentile’ means ‘out of covenant Israelite’, an assertion completely unsupported by both the Hebrew and the Greek definitions of the word! (Again, see G1484 and G1672 along with H1471 as seen above.)

This verse also comes to mind:

John 7:35
Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

Who are the ‘dispersed’?  And if they are the ‘out of covenant Israelites’, as Staley has shown us earlier, then why does John differentiate the dispersed from the Gentiles if the dispersed are the Gentiles (out of covenant Israelites) as Staley asserts?  His spin on this verse and on the John 7 and 10 passages above is necessarily creative.

In minutes 44-45 Staley mocks the reach of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, claiming that pagan Gentiles have no need for the Gospel because “they have plenty of gods” and then he sets out to redefine the Gospel itself, saying,

“. . . and all of a sudden they instantly bow to this message of the Gospel?  [Note the mocking tone here.]  Or was the Good News a little bit different than we thought?  We’ll find out . . . 

He covers a lot of ground quickly over the next few minutes, but doesn’t clarify what he thinks the Gospel really is in ‘Identity Crisis’ quite yet.

One Tree ➞ Two Different Trees?

Around minute 48, Staley takes this Scripture:

Jeremiah 11:16
The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, [one tree]

fair, [and] of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it,

and the branches of it are broken. [from the one tree]

. . . and tells us that when that one olive tree’s branches are broken, that it actually becomes two different trees, one a cultivated olive tree, and the other a wild olive tree, trying to force a tie-in of this passage to Romans 11.

Have you ever known of a single tree that produces both wild and cultivated branches?  It doesn’t happen; we know this because everything produces after its own kind (Genesis 1:11).  Yet Staley is claiming that the one single olive tree spoken of in Jeremiah 11 has produced both cultivated and wild olive trees.

Then Staley takes that false, impossible, concept and attempts to force it into Romans 11, asserting that the wild olive tree is not the Gentiles, but is really the “Lost 10 tribes” of Israel, broken off from Jeremiah’s olive tree.  Oy.

So to recap, God says in Jeremiah that the olive tree has been burned and the branches broken.  Jim Staley says that the branches broken from the olive tree have become two trees; one cultivated, one wild, and that those are the two trees referred to in Romans 11 – both the cultivated and wild olive trees being Israel.  Paul specifically addresses Gentiles as the wild olive tree . . . which is why it is so important for Jim Staley to ‘recalibrate the language’ so that Gentiles are no longer Gentiles, but ‘out of covenant Israel’.  Except for the ‘pagan’ Gentiles.  I guess they don’t have a tree.

From there on out, Staley (rein)forces the assertion of the concept that Gentiles are not really Gentiles, they’re dispersed Israel . . . building on the previous premises that we have determined to be false.

But didn’t we already have the Law – did the Law ever make anything perfect (Hebrews 7:19)?

Around minute 52, Staley quotes 1 John 3:4 where it says that sin is the transgression of the law, and adds this:

“We have a problem if we get rid of the Law, and everyone does whatever is right in their own eyes.  And that’s where we are today.”

So Law is the solution to ‘where we are today’?  If that’s the case, then Christ Jesus had no reason to come – no reason to do the work of the Cross, the Resurrection, or the Ascension.  No need to send the Holy Spirit to give us New Life, to turn us into New Creations, to lead us.

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

Mankind already had the Law.  Scripture says that the Law was given to increase sinning, not to reduce sinning:

Romans 5:20-21
20The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What else does Scripture have to say?

1 Tim 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 theirLaw-Perfect-300x210 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.

What do the Scriptures say about those who are 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.

What does Scripture say teaches (instructs) those in Christ?

Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12
It [grace] 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 glorious appearing 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.

Regarding the requirements of God and the Law:

John 6:28-29
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

And then Jesus went on to replace types and shadows of God’s provision for Israel under Moses with Himself – the result? Vs. 66 says, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”  So we can see that Law was not intended as the solution to mankind’s behavior problems, belief in Christ is. 

Belief in Christ  New Life  Bearing the Fruit that the Spirit Produces  Love  which fulfills the commands of God after the Cross and in turn fulfills the Law:

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.

Romans 13:8-14
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Galatians 3:19-29
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. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.

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.

One New Man?

Around minute 53 Staley redefines the ‘One New Man’ concept.  His concept of the one new man is the reunited tribes of Israel being brought ‘back into covenant’ (Old Covenant), not all nations and tribes being united in Christ (New Covenant).  Only lost tribes and the never lost tribes of Israel are included in his version of the ‘one new man’.

At 53:21 he tries to make you believe that Ephesians 2:15 doesn’t say what it clearly says.  The word abolished in that verse is

G2673 – katargeō,

1.  to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative

1.  to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
2.  to deprive of force, influence, power

2.  to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish

1.  to cease, to pass away, be done away
2.  to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one
3.  to terminate all intercourse with one

It’s the same Greek word that is used in Romans 7:6 where it says we have been released or delivered, depending on the translation, from the Law.

Staley says this at 53:43:

“Remember what I said if you do away with the Law you do away with the definition of sin and how can God – a, a holy and just God throw anyone into the lake of fire on judgement day for breaking something that doesn’t exist?!  That’s not fair at all.”

God won’t send anyone to the lake of fire for breaking commandments, but for the sin of unbelief:

John 3:16-18
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

What are the commands of God after the Cross:

1 John 3:23
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.

It’s not violating Old Covenant Laws that will send anyone to the lake of fire; if that were the case NO ONE would escape, because we all fall short.  It is the sin of unbelief in the One He has sent that will ‘earn’ the lake of fire.  2 Corinthians 5:19 says that in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. The sin issue was dealt with at the Cross – for everyone – for all time.  We just need to receive the gift that God provided by believing in the One that God sent.

Back to Staley’s concept of the One New Man:  What if you don’t have any blood flowing in your veins from one of the 12 tribes of Israel? According to what we’ve heard so far, you’re out of luck as far as redemption and relationship with God is concerned if you are not of Israel.  If you are not of Israel, you are not of the elect, Law or no Law, and he builds upon that premise for the next several minutes.

At around minute 57:28, Staley verbalizes (kind of) the obvious question:

“Jim, are you really saying that Jesus only came for the uh . . . uh . . . ? I know that some of you are thinking that right now, so I won’t even ask you to raise your hand. But we’ll walk through this – watch this as it comes together as we finish…”

The Misuse of Romans 7:1-6

Staley doesn’t answer the question, but goes into how God divorces and then makes it so that He can remarry Israel.

Around 1:00 he takes Romans 7:4 and actually says that Israel died to Law, but died only to the law of adultery, so that She could be married to another.  Romans 7:4 actually says,

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. 

Those in Christ do not die to single law, but to THE Law, as Romans 7:4 clearly states. 

Did you die just to the Law regarding adultery?  If the law of adultery died, like the husband did in the scenario presented in verses 1-3, that might make sense, as the rest of the Law could remain intact, but the Scripture does not say that the law of adultery died, it says that those in Christ died.  When someone dies, they die to all laws.  So dying to a single law makes no sense in light of Romans 7:6, which says this:

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.

The written code, as we know, is the Ten Commandments and the other 600+ specific commands documented by God in Torah.

In Romans 7:4-6, the Law doesn’t die, WE do!

To what?

To the Law.

Why?

To be able to be joined to Another.

To Whom?

To Christ!

Hang on to your hats for this one:  If you go back to the Law (which you have died to and been released from in order to be joined to Christ), you commit spiritual adultery (see part 4 on this page).

Whether you view the Law as a husband, as in the example in verses 1-3, as a Schoolmaster/Tutor/Guardian, as in Galatians 3:21-28, or anything else, you cannot be joined to both the Law and to Christ!

. . . 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.

Which brings me to a few rhetorical questions:  If you are now dead to just the Law of adultery, does it now matter if you commit adultery?  Is adultery no longer a part of the jots and tittles, none of which were supposed to pass away?  If you believe that you died just to the law of adultery, what is the ‘written code’ spoken of by Paul — just the Law of adultery?  Or maybe the passage is referring to the Oral Traditions?  No, that can’t be it, because the Oral Traditions include all of the Law plus other stuff.  Silly?  Perhaps, but you get the point.

Torah folk that I’ve talked with tell me that if we interpret Romans 7:4 to mean the whole Law then it must be okay to go out and murder, steal, commit adultery, etc.  Yet, if we go with that logic and couple it with the HRM interpretation of Romans 7:4-6 (which is standard in the HRM beyond Staley’s teaching), then it must be okay to commit adultery since that’s a law you’ve died to, yes?

Well I certainly don’t believe that!  Why?  Because I died with Christ:

Galatians 2:20-21
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

The Scriptures tell us clearly that those in Christ have died to the Law — all of it. 

In the New Covenant, Grace teaches us and the Spirit leads us (Titus 2:11-14, Galatians 5:18-26).  If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under Law (Galatians 5:18), which coincides to being dead to the Law.  Not only that, but what does Romans 7:5, which is sandwiched in between verses 4 and 6, say?

Romans 7:5
5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

I like the idea of being dead to that which arouses our sinful passions!  Because as one in Christ, I’m not looking for license to sin, rather for how to sin less and less.  The Law does not show us how to accomplish that.  The Scriptures say that in us, the Law actually stirs up sinful passions rather than to tamp down sinful passions (Romans 5:20, Romans 7:5-11, 1 Corinthians 15:56).

Living in Grace and by the Spirit does not leave us in a vacuum, floating about with no compass to guide us!  Notice in Galatians 5:21 where it says, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”

So how does righteousness come?  Grace.  (See Hebrew Roots Movement – Man’s Righteousness or God’s Righteousness? and Grace or Law?  How Then, Shall We Live?, and also Parts 2 and 5 on this page for more on this topic.)

We also know from the Scriptures that the Fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22-23) and that love, which does no harm to its neighbor fulfills the Law (Romans 13:8-10) because someone loving others is not murdering, stealing, committing adultery, bearing false witness, etc.

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.

So we see that in the New Covenant, Grace teaches us and the Spirit leads us (Titus 2:11-14, Galatians 5:18-26).  The Fruit of that is Love, which fulfills the Law (Romans 13:8-10).  These are foundational Truths to the Gospel that bear repeating in the face of false teaching.

Who are you?  An heir by faith according to Promise or an heir according to tribal affiliation?

Back to Identity Crisis.  Between 1:00 and 1:02 Staley states that Yeshua came to free Israel from the ‘Law of Adultery’ and I do understand the concept here and agree that the death of God (Yeshua) did free Him to remarry Israel . . . BUT it’s not just about joining only to Israel — and it’s not just the Law concerning adultery that believers die to.  It’s the entire Law that we ALL die to so that we can ALL — Israel and ‘un-recalibrated’ Gentiles — be joined to Christ as discussed above.

The work of Christ Jesus at the Cross was to provide for the redemption of all mankind – all who are willing to receive — a fulfillment of the promise given after the Fall, the fulfillment of promises made to Abraham and his seed (long before Israel ever existed), and the promises made to Israel.

2 Corinthians 1:20
20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Staley makes an elitist and some might say racist appeal, limiting the ‘pool’ of those who are eligible for salvation to the members of the tribes of Israel.  Remember above, when he says this:

“Jim, are you really saying that Jesus only came for the uh . . . uh . . . ? I know
that some of you are thinking that right now, so I won’t even ask you to raise
your hand. But we’ll walk through this – watch this as it comes together as we finish … “

Note that he didn’t finish that first sentence . . .

To take the edge off that, Staley states at around 1:03 that

“You Are Israel!”

And how, exactly, do you know this?  Because you’ve ‘crossed over’ from death to life.  True, those in Christ have done so through faith, but that does not make us Israel, it makes us heirs according to the promise made to Abraham.

Israel did not exist until Jacob.

The promise in which we (all believers of all ethnicities) partake predates Israel.

Galatians 3:29
29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

We are heirs according to the promise given long before Israel ever existed, through Abraham, not heirs according to being a part of Israel.

In this same section of video Staley sheds some light on his lack of proper respect and honor for, and his failure to recognize the centrality of Yeshua in God’s Plan (between 1:01 and 1:02:

” . . . He [God] told them [Israel] to be a light unto the nations; they wouldn’t do it, all twelve of ’em got all messed up and it was all a [mumbles something] a secret meeting of the saints club [ ??? ].  They weren’t a light to the nations so He said to Himself,

‘I’ve got a master genius plan, because I’m God, I’m gonna divorce you, I’m gonna scatter you into all the nations, and then you’re gonna get saved by this guy named Yeshua  [this guy???], you’re not even gonna know who you are, and you’re gonna be a light to the nations anyway! 

And then at the end of the time I’m going to call out your name and Messiah’s gonna rise up from the dead [At the end of time? Jesus is not Risen NOW?] , free you from the law of adultery, and bring you home!’ 

That is the mystery that was solved in the New Testament.” 

There are at least three problems with that theory, not including the doozy that Jesus has ALREADY risen from the dead:

1.  The prophecies about Israel being a light unto the nations are Messianic prophecies. See Isaiah 42:1-7 and 49:5-6, noting that God addresses restoring the tribes of Jacob and the tribes He preserved. Then Godmakes Him (Messiah) a light unto the Gentiles, who, incidentally, are listed there as a third group.Israel was the instrument through which Messiah would come, but Messiah is the Light, not Israel Herself.  In John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I Am

2.  God didn’t divorce Israel because she wouldn’t be a light to the nations, He divorced Israel because of rebellion and idolatry (other gods):

Jeremiah 3:6-10
6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. 9 Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and
committed adultery with stone and wood. 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord.

3.  God ‘re-marrying’ Israel is not the mystery spoken of in the New Covenant Scriptures:

Ephesians 3:1-6
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.

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.

The mystery of the Gospel is that Gentiles get to share in the promise through faith — that means the New Covenant promises made in Jeremiah 31 as well as the promises made to Abraham.  No matter what promises God has made, they are YES in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20)!

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

And to clarify, the terms Jew, Israel(ite), and Hebrew were interchangeable by Paul’s time.  From Exit and Support Network:

The Apostle Paul was addressed in three ways:

      • As a Hebrew (Phil. 3:5).
      • As an Israelite (2 Cor. 11:22).
      • As a Jew (Acts 21:39; 22:3).

Obviously, Paul recognized no such distinctions as invented by this theory. All terms interchange.

Saul was of the Tribe of Benjamin, so he was a ‘Southern-triber’, a Jew.  By the first century, he was referred to as a Jew, an Israelite, and/or a Hebrew, so obviously the terms were interchangeable.  He never was referred to as an ‘out of covenant Israelite Gentile’, however.  Oh but wait, he was of the Tribe of Benjamin, which raises another question . . .

According to Staley’s teaching, did the Southern Kingdom Jews even need to come to Yeshua?

According to Jim Staley’s teaching, Saul, of the Tribe of Benjamin, of the Southern Kingdom, was already in covenant with God . . . so why would Saul, or anyone of the Southern Kingdom Tribes, need to come to God through Christ?

Oh boy . . . that opens a whole other can of worms, doesn’t it?!

The short and obvious answer, of course, is that in Christ, the Old Covenant had become obsolete.

Saul, like everyone else after the Cross, needed to believe on the One God sent (John 6:28-29, 1 John 3:23-24), bringing him into relationship with God on the basis of the Work of Christ which fulfilled and rendered the Old Covenant obsolete (Hebrews 8), and fulfilled the promise of and enacted the New Covenant, complete with a new, permanent, Perfect High Priesthood.

Based on that reality, Paul does not tell Israel (or anyone else) that they can come back into covenant (which to Staley means the laws given at Sinai), he tells them this instead:

2 Corinthians 3:4-6
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. 

Now consider going back and re-reading Romans 7 and Galatians 5 along with 2 Corinthians 3 to see how it all ties together.  Then go to this post and examine the Scriptures there, regarding who we become in Christ in the New Covenant.

Some serious and recurring contradictions in ‘Identity Crisis’:

Contradictions of note from above:

  • At around minute 26-27, Staley states that Israel, the Northern kingdom, never came back.
  • Around minute 32, Staley stated that in NT times most of the northern tribes still knew who they were and lived in the Land.
  • Yet at around  minute 45, Staley states that pagan Gentiles are not really pagan Gentiles, but are really Israel, they just don’t know it yet.
  • And in his ‘Understanding Galatians’ video, he differentiates between pagan Gentiles and ‘out of covenant Israelite Gentiles’, but in Identity Crisis he states that pagan Gentiles are not really pagan Gentiles . . . (see point above).

To belabor the point, there is no real linguistic or Scriptural support for what Jim Staley is teaching about who Gentiles really are.

  • Staley makes up a definition for the word Gentile which does not appear in any Hebrew or Greek dictionary.
  • Building on the false premise he attempts to establish above, Staley claims that the mystery of the Gospel is that the Northern Tribes (the re-calibrated Gentiles, the out-of-covenant Israelites) could be brought back into covenant (Old Covenant, though he does in one spot on the video give lip service to ‘a’ new covenant, but not THE New Covenant) by “believing on this guy, Yeshua”.
  • If the Northern Tribes were ‘out of covenant Israel’, would that have made the Southern Tribes ‘in covenant Israel’?  And if being ‘in covenant’ was God’s requirement, why did the Southern Tribes need Yeshua?  If Staley’s teaching is going to hold water, they would not need Yeshua – they were already in covenant.  Staley does not address this conundrum at any point in his teaching.

Here’s what I see the Scriptures saying the mystery is and that the Gospel of Christ brings all into relationship with God (heirs), no matter their ethnicity (ethnos):

Ephesians 3:1-6
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.

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.

Now if Israel is the Northern tribes, aka ‘out of covenant Israelites/Gentiles’, then why is Paul mentioning Israel and Gentiles here?  He’s speaking to the Body of Christ at Ephesus – and clearly saying that the mystery of the Gospel is that through the Gospel all mankind can be heirs together with Israel – one Body – One New Man as he describes in the letter to the Ephesians.

Now for a huge contradiction around 1:04:

[Jim, asking himself the question]Are you saying, Jim, that the only people that can be saved are only the descendants of the 12 tribes?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.”

Jim Staley just spent the last HOUR telling us the exact opposite.

Staley then goes on to talk about how the Egyptians who were ‘smart’ put themselves under the Law with Israel so that they could be ‘one people’, and that we can do that, too.  A few issues arise with that assertion beyond a total re-write of the Gospel:

  1. The Law had not yet been given when Israel left Egypt.
  2. How does putting oneself under Law make one an Israelite?  Sojourner, yes.  Israelite, no.
  3. The text (Exodus 12) does not support Staley’s assertion – first, the text does not say that Moses went to God saying, “All these Egyptians are following us”, and second, the text has to do with the memorial of Passover, not with the entirety of the Law itself, not yet given at Sinai (look up and read the text itself and then listen to Staley’s embellishment of it to fit his theology).
  4. Note that he said that ‘we could do that too’.  NO mention of Christ or His Work, just us putting ourselves under Law.  This is NOT the Gospel.

The Totten Reference:

Staley also makes mention of “Prof. C.A.L. Totten (1851-1908) of Yale University” citing the quote as “One of the most amazing quotes that you have ever seen and that I have ever seen” (again with the hyperbole).  Totten was a proponent of British Israelism, which over time has morphed into beliefs ranging from the Two House/Ephraimite theology (basically British Israelism with a Hebrew Roots twist and is what Staley is teaching here), to the distinctly more racist Christian Identity Movement.

Both ends of the spectrum like to quote Totten:

“His name still surfaces from time to time in Christian Identity literature . . . usually as ‘Prof. Totten of Yale’.  While Identity writers disdain intellectuals and academics [note that Staley does this, as well], they seem pathetically grateful for any instance in which the halo of academic prestige shines on their ideas.  In Totten’s case, however, the tie to Yale was tenuous indeed.

“In 1868, the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale was designated Connecticut’s land-grant college.  While that carried financial benefits for the institution, it also obligated Sheffield to provide military instruction for its students.  Yale was able to secure a waiver of the drill requirements and was obliged only to provide senior students with a mandatory course of lectures in ‘military science’.  These proved unproductive, and in 1877,  Sheffield adopted a slightly different plan in cooperation with the United States Engineering School, whose officers were to provide six lectures each year on strategy, ordnance, fortification, and similar topics.  One of the early officers detailed to this position of professor of military science and tactics was a lieutenant in the artillery named Charles Totten, who held the post from 1889 until 1892.

“Totten’s course appears to have been more successful than earlier military training programs at Yale, but his affiliation with the university was not substantially different from that of Reserve Officer’s Training Corps later on.” 

So in reality, Totten was not at Yale as a theologian, but a giver of 24 lectures over 4 years at Yale regarding military science.

Totten has no designation after his name indicating that he was ever a true professor at all, let alone a designation that gives him credibility as a theologian. 

Billing him as a ‘Yale Professor’ gives Totten and his views acedemic weight and authority that he does not in reality have.  Not to diminish the man and his accomplishments, but C.A.L. Totten was neither a theologian nor a professor. 

Yet the theological quote from Totten, whose modern-day designation would have been the equivalent of a Yale R.O.T.C. instructor, isOne of the most amazing quotes that you have ever seen and that I have ever seen” according to Staley.  Here is the quote as seen in the ‘Identity Crisis’ video:

“I can never be too thankful to the Almighty that in my youth he used the late Professor Wilson to show me the difference between the two houses. The very understanding of this difference is the KEY by which almost the entire Bible becomes intelligible, and I cannot state too strongly that the man who has not yet seen that (the house of) Israel of the Scripture is totally distinct from the Jewish people, is yet in the very infancy, the mere alphabet of Biblical study, and that to this day the meaning of seven-eighths of the Bible is shut to his understanding.”—Professor C.A.L. Totten (1851-1908) of Yale University

And I hate to beat a dead horse, but John Wilson was not a professor either.

So we have Jim Staley quoting a ‘professor’ (Totten) who was not a professor who referred to another professor (Wilson) who was also not a professor.  Jim Staley is just preaching an updated version of British Israelism with a full Hebraic twist and a recalibrated definition of Gentile, referring to professors who really aren’t professors to give his claims credibility.

Around 1:07:

“Gotcha. We’re so gullible, I just, gee I’m tellin’ you. You’ve been sittin’ in church your whole lives and we’ve been sittin’ everywhere our whole lives and we’re so gullible. I love it. We’re sheep. Ya know sheep are the dumbest animals on the planet earth. According to, uh, all the scientists.”

He’s right.  We are gullible.  That’s why it’s so important to measure everything according to what the Scriptures actually say.

What’s it all about?

In the remaining few minutes of ‘identity Crisis’ Staley talks about how everything is about Israel.

Everything. He actually says, “It’s ALL about Israel”, from the Garden all the way to the end.

Israel was not in the Garden.  Israel was not until way down the line starting at Jacob.

Jesus isIt IS all about JESUS, though!  The Bible is all about how God has a plan for the redemption of mankind . . . how He sent Jesus to cleanse us from all of our sins, reconciling us to God by His Blood, providing the Gift of His Righteousness and sealing us with His Holy Spirit, giving us New Life.  It’s all about how every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord \o/ !

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

It is in Christ that we become the very righteousness of God.  In Christ, the veil has been torn.  In Christ, in His Blood, the New Covenant was FULLY ratified, with Christ placed by God’s oath and the power of an indestructible Life into a Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood, rendering the Old Covenant forever obsolete (Hebrews chapters 7-10).

Israel certainly is a part of that plan – but She certainly is not the center of it.  Christ Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, not Israel.  Staley takes Scriptures and tries to force meanings into them that are not there to ‘make it all’ about Israel, when Scripture doesn’t center on Israel, but on Christ.

Around 1:07:

“Folks, we have one God.  His Name is Yahweh.  We have one Covenant.  One Law.  One Messiah.  His Name is Yeshua.  And we have one people . . . and that’s you . . . your name is Israel, don’t forget it, that’s who you are, so say it with me – One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, With Liberties and Justice, FOR ALL.  Thank you ladies and gentlemen.”

One Covenant?  Yes, but not the one Jim Staley preaches:

Hebrews 8:7
7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

Those in Christ (those who have crossed over from death to life) are called Israel?

Ephesians 1:22-23
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for
the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 3:2-6
 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 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.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13,27
 12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Questions Addressed in the Addendum

After some scrutiny started coming out about ‘Identity Crisis’, the video was pulled down and then reposted under a different URL with the ten minute addendum that we see in the video today.  I was struck by the back-tracking and circular reasoning in the addendum.  Selected questions that Staley addresses are below:

By Blood or by Grafting-in?  And into What or Whom?

Q.  “Are you saying that my bloodline has to be from one of the 12 tribes of Israel in order to be saved?”

A.  “And, and, first of all, I wanna make it very clear that absolutely not.  It is impossible to find out which bloodline you are from the Northern Kingdom because the only bloodline that you can trace, trace, and which is, it’s even difficult on that is the tribe of Judah, the house of Judah.  And so it’s important for you to know that salvation has nothing to do with your bloodline, has nothing to do, uh, with whether or not you’re a native-born Israelite in heritage, or you are not uh, a, an Israelite whatsoever.  Uh, we are all a mixed breed of people from all around the world and, uh, Paul talks about being grafted into the olive tree Israel, that is a spiritual grafting us back in.  Uh, and so I want you to understand from the very beginning, that we’re not talking about bloodline only, we’re talking about a spiritual grafting in and becoming the children of the Promise.  Now, from His perspective, He knows where everybody fits in and He knows everybody’s bloodline and, and apparently sometime in the book of Revelation during the Great Tribulation, Twelve Thousand from each tribe will begin to move themselves forward in that part of history.  And so, He knows that bloodline, we don’t, so it’s not important uh, for us, at this time. 

But he just spent a whole teaching telling us that we’re Israel!  But now it doesn’t matter?  First of all, the spiritual grafting in is not into Israel, but into the Root, Who is Christ.  We are grafted into the Promise by faith, just as Abraham was, making us co-heirs with him.  A thorough examination of this issue can be read in the article, Hebrew Roots Movement – Believers are Grafted Into and Become Israel?  Um . . . No.

One common argument is that the olive tree is always Israel, and so we must be grafted into Israel.  Not so.  The wild branches are from an olive tree, as well, and they’re Gentiles.  A fig tree is also used to represent Israel.  As with other false doctrines, metaphors are stretched beyond the Author’s intent to force a meaning into the text.

Back to bloodline:  If Staley truly thinks that bloodline is not important, then what was most (over an hour) of the Identity Crisis teaching about?  In his answer to the question above, why so much focus on not being able to trace bloodlines?  What if you could?

I did a simple search using the keywords, ‘Israelite DNA’.  There were lots of results, the third one being an article entitled, “Can DNA Testing Confirm Jewish or 10-Israel Ancestry?” from a popular Hebrew Roots website.  An excerpt:

“Have you ever wondered if you have Jewish or 10-Israel Ancestry?  Many people from non-Jewish families ask, ‘Am I Jewish?’, ‘Am I Hebrew?’, or ‘Were my ancestors of the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel?  Believe it or not you can actually have your DNA tested by . . . to help confirm if you have Israelite ancestors.

“If you’re a male and your goal is to simply determine which Y-DNA Halogroup you belong to for deep-ancestry purposes (such as Hebrew Identity questions),
the  . . .  test is highly recommended as a place to start.”

Apparently this is an issue that Hebrew Roots folks do think is important, to the point of being willing to shell out $$$ to find out if they might have Israelite DNA!

1 Corinthians 15:50
50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

There does seem to be a preoccupation with the flesh within this mindset, yet Staley tries to back-track significantly in the answer to the first question in the post-teaching remarks, saying that it’s a ‘spiritual ingrafting’ that he’s really talking about.  If that’s the case, why the segment in Identity Crisis regarding Jeremiah 11?  He goes out of his way to make sure that both the cultivated and wild olive trees were originally Israel.  If bloodline is not significant in his theology, why force that meaning from Jeremiah 11?  Why go to all the trouble of re-defining Gentile to try to make Gentiles ‘out of covenant Israelites’?

The contradictions continue to pile up.  What is this preoccupation with the flesh?

Romans 8:1-8
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 

5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Galatians 5:16-18
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Next question:

Q.  “What about Replacement Theology?  Jim, isn’t this Replacement Theology?”

A.  “Not at all, au contraire, absolutely the opposite of Replacement Theology . . . “

This is another contradiction.  Jim Staley is teaching that we must become Israel, and that as Israel, we are subject to Old Covenant Law.  He preaches a physical lost-ten-tribes version, and then when called on it, he backtracks and preaches a ‘we’re grafted into Israel’ version, while maintaining that he’s not preaching a type of replacement theology.  Folks, the Two House/Ephraimite doctrine is replacement theology on steroids.  Instead of taking Israel and replacing it with the Church, the Two House/Ephraimite/British Israelism stream of thought takes Gentiles and attempts to actually turn them into Israel!

From his teaching and a stating of made-up facts that are not in Scripture, specifically that “Israel is called to go out and recruit the rest of the world to come in and be a part of the covenant”, and by this he means the Laws given to Israel at Sinai through Moses, Jim Staley is absolutely teaching a form of replacement theology.

And Israel was never commanded to go out and ‘recruit’ the world into ‘the covenant’.  Exactly the opposite is true – the Old Covenant was by design a covenant of exclusion and isolation in order to protect the bloodline of not only Israel as a whole, but also of Her tribal designations, so that Messiah would be recognized when He came.  ‘Recruiting’ was never mandated under the Old Covenant; it would have been counter-productive to the goal of protecting Israel’s bloodlines.

This became important later, when Jesus became the High Priest of the New Covenant.  The priesthood of the Old Covenant were of the Tribe of Levi; Christ is of the Tribe of Judah.  New priesthood; new law (Hebrews 7:12).  It is not legal for Christ to administrate the Old Covenant – and many in Law-keeping sects believe that He intercedes on their behalf when they fall short in the keeping of the commandments of the Old Covenant.  He is not, indeed cannot be, a High Priest for the covenant given at Sinai, but of the New Covenant, ratified in His Own Blood, at the Cross:

High Priesthood

In light of the following passage, all of the banter about ethnicity and who’s who is folly and a huge distraction:

Galatians 3:26-29
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

The nature (and mystery) of the Gospel is redemption in Christ Jesus to all tribes and nations through faith.  That is the New Covenant.

Next question:

Q.  “What do I do now that I know that I’m a Hebrew?”

A.  “And so when you begin to realize why you have such a powerful, uh, surge in your heart for Israel and the Jewish people is because you are their Northern brother, you’re brothers.  And what do you do now that you know that you’re a Hebrew?  Well first of all Hebrew, the word, Hebrew, means ‘crossed over’, so hopefully that will spark and make a little bit of sense to you as to why you feel some of the feelings that you do, for some of you, after you’ve watched this video . . . . “

Staley goes on to assert that if we’re Hebrews (Israel), if only by grafting (backing away from his bloodline teaching from earlier in the video), then we need to be under Her covenant.  This issue is addressed at length in the Hebrew Roots Movement – Believers are Grafted Into and Become Israel?  Um . . . No. article here at JGIG.

It needs to be understood that Staley is preaching that you, as a newly discovered Hebrew/Israelite, should come back into the Old Covenant, when we who are in Christ are in the New Covenant.  He then goes on to talk about flesh versus spirit, claiming that if we’re in the spirit, we can keep Torah/Law in the power of Yeshua – yet we never see that asserted or commanded in the New Testament after Pentecost.

And the Scriptures clearly say this (sorry to repeat, but it is so very clear):

Galatians 5:16-18
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

(See also Romans 8, above.)

Here’s the irony: The whole of ‘Identity Crisis’ has to do with flesh

Jim Staley preaches a different jesus and a different gospel; a jesus who is merely “this guy named Yeshua” or “another Jewish rabbi” and a gospel that is identity and works centered.  The passion that Jim Staley describes is for Israel, and for self-achieved righteousness, not for Christ.

I do not recognize the jesus/yeshua Jim Staley preaches.  The Jesus/Yeshua I recognize is not just ‘some guy’ or just ‘another Jewish Rabbi’.  The Jesus/Yeshua I know is God in the Flesh, the Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Perfect, Permanent High Priest of the New Covenant, Redeemer of all who will receive Him \o/ !

Other Concerns

This section addresses concerns raised after watching several of Jim Staley’s other videos.  Some issues from his Galatians series as well as the ‘Great Deception’ videos are raised above, but the following are testimony videos which give us a window into Jim Staley’s leadership style, how he stewards over people, and how he views himself.

Testimony Examples

When I think testimony, I think I’m going to hear a story about what God has done in someone’s life and see glory go to Him.  That tends not to be the case in Passion For Truth testimonies, as the following will demonstrate:

In one testimony, Staley actually tells a believer that the Holy Spirit had departed from him and took his tzitzit away from him because the man ‘was not worthy to wear them’.  Then, after the believer came ‘back into covenant’, Staley gifted the believer with Staley’s personal tzitzits.  The emotional and spiritual abuse and manipulation in that five minute video is stunning.

In another testimony, I saw a complete disregard for the Law as it was given by God in the ‘performing’ of a Nazarite vow.

Another testimony tells of the restoration of a marriage.  Timestamps and quotes are below:

  • 12:51 – Jim tells God that if God would allow him (Staley) to speak His Word (God’s) into the man’s life that he (Staley) believed that we (he and God) could have a miracle on their hands.  Note who seems to be the initiator and the one in control of the situation.
  • 16:12 – Jim says, “His system works.  If we would just submit to the system!  It works.  It works.  100% of the time.”  God does not call us to a ‘system’; He calls us to Himself in Christ.  Jim goes on to mix some New Covenant lingo (he is New, God doesn’t remember his past . . . ), but it’s not because of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life restoring the man/marriage, Jim claims that if we obey the ‘system’, in this case Old Covenant practices, we can be made new.  That is a complete denial of the Cross.
  • 16:52 – Jim casts the blame of the man’s sin on the wife (her body language is of note in the video).
  • 17:56 – Jim tells us that one of the rules that he had for this married couple was that they must live apart – “This is one of the rules I had . . . ”  It was not because abuse, but because they were “unclean” (as determined by Jim Staley in his ‘priestly roll and authority’  and “had not yet been mikvahed in His Word (Torah) long enough” .
  • 18:21 – Jim tries to commend the husband for his obedience, not obedience to Jim, but to the Holy Spirit, Who Jim claims told them to live apart (for over a year) . . . and sell all their stuff (more on that below).
  • 18:56 – Jim says how the couple’s story is representative of the whole House of Israel coming back to God, chaste and cleansed of Her sins.  No mention of receiving the Work of Christ, His gifts of forgiveness, righteousness, and New Life in Christ.  No — this is a self-effort-follow-the-system-get-YOURSELF-cleaned-up-so-you-might-be-ready-for-the-Bridegroom scenario.  It is NOT the Gospel.
  • 19:07 – Jim says that we (presumably believers) are separated from our Bridegroom right now.  Yet all throughout the New Covenant Scriptures we are told how Christ is in us and we are in Christ.  One that comes to mind particularly is Colossians 3:3-4, “3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”  The Bride/Bridegroom metaphor found in the Scriptures is an oft-abused and conflated metaphor in false belief systems.  Any righteousness that we have is Christ’s; it is a gift freely given, received by faith, along with forgiveness and New Life.  He makes us worthy to be His.
  • 19:19 – Jim lays out the conditions that he says ‘Abba’ had laid out for them to ‘get remarried’ (the couple was not divorced):  Jim told them that ‘Abba said’ they must sell EVERYTHING.  The husband’s “Corvette . . . , motor cycle, truck, their house, it was sell everything . . . it was like a country song.  “I let them keep the dog.” [He let them keep their own dog?!] But no, seriously, there was a reason behind that . . . and I don’t know if you knew it at the time (gesturing to the couple), but it was because all of those items were unclean – it was leprosy.  And according to the Torah, everything that had sin involved with it was unclean; it had to be gone.  It had to be burned.  Well we can’t burn a motorcycle, well, you could, but, it’s better stewardship to sell it.  I even think I told you to give the money away for one of ’em.  Gave the motor cycle away . . . ” 
  • 20:33 – Jim says this:  “He [the husband] was very steadfast.  He did EVERYTHING.  It was like he was transplanted/transported back 3000 years ago and he did everything that the priest [Staley] said to do, and guess what?  I stand, just today, exactly where the Torah requires me [as a Levite priest] to do.  Every seven days the leper would come in and the priest would say whether he has leprosy or not, and so I want to say, before you guys both, I declare you clean. You are now free.”

So Jesus didn’t set these folks ‘free’. 

In Passion-For-Truth-Land, pretending they were in an Old Covenant Temple, with Jim Staley pretending that he’s a Levite Priest (is he even Jewish? or of the Tribe of Levi?), declaring that they’re clean based on their actions according to Jim Staley’s directions is what supposedly made them free. 

That is just so many shades of wrong, I don’t even know where to start.  The manipulation and control and the misrepresentation of Who God is and how He now relates to us IN CHRIST is stunning.

Some of you may say, “But look at the fruit!”  Let’s do that.  As I’ve said before, the fruit in the lives of those in Law-keeping sects is mixed.  Is the marriage restored?  Presumably, as a ‘wedding testimony’ of the couple is posted on the PFT YouTube channel.  The condition of the marriage and the hearts of the couple will be proven over time.  For now, they’ve been manipulated and controlled into an outcome.  My prayer is that God’s Grace and Mercy will prevail in their hearts and their marriage.

Covenant Requirements and Oversight for PFT Members

Then there is this issue, which friends/family members of folks who are a part of PFT have written to me about in the past.  I tried to get confirmation/denial of the signing of covenants for PFT members on a forum where the bookkeeper at PFT was posting, but he would not answer the question.  Apparently it’s become a big enough issue that PFT needed to address it publicly.

As you watch this short 14 minute video, ask yourself if there is any New Testament pattern for what Jim Staley is doing at PFT, which includes Sanhedren-type and Beit Din trial/discipline platforms.

Note how Staley tries to both minimize the importance of signing a contract and maximize the importance of being ‘in covenant’ and submitting to PFT’s leadership:

Q&A: Is It Necessary to Sign a Covenant to Be Apart of the PFT Family?

The video sounds kinda okay at the beginning, except for the fact that leadership is directing people to tie themselves to the Old Covenant system, a covenant of Law and the flesh by the signing of a contract, not the New Covenant system of Grace and the Spirit based on receiving New Life in Christ.  But things really start to deteriorate starting around minute six.  It’s about control, folks.  Around nine-and-a-half minutes in, the gloves come off:

9:35(Jim Staley speaking) Yeah, yeah, as a matter of fact to even go further, this is how the, the law of extrapolation works:  If it’s true here, it will always be true.  Okay?  And so if what we’re saying is true, that this is the Biblical way which not only does, does history tell us this is how that the first century synagogue and the first century congregations worked, uh, but, but this is, this is beautiful. 

Note that Staley is setting up His leadership and PFT as the Biblical standard.

Because if what we’re saying is true, between the two of us (gesturing to Julian Jackson), if we extrapolate this out to every single teacher in this movement, and every single, and I mean EVERY, on every level, from people who are circuit teachers, down to local congregations to the smallest home group, if everyone had this idea that, hey, we have each others’ backs, you’re not going to leave a congregation unbiblically without going through the Biblical protocol and badmouth that spiritual authority whether you like ’em or not, whether you think they’re biased or not is irrelevant – you skip the system and everybody sent them back and said,

“Shut up on Facebook already, we don’t want to hear it, you did not go through the Biblical protocol, you better go back to your elders ’cause you’re out of Biblical line!”   

If everyone held the line, the Enemy would be shut.  There’d be no way for the Enemy to cross.  The problem is, is that God’s people have been not taught the Biblical protocol, and so it very much, the line is broken and so the people who leave congregations through the wrong way they have their story of what happened, but they conveniently leave out, as they do, so many facts, and the biggest one is they skipped the entire Beit Din process!  And so, and their excuse is, “Well we don’t want to go through it because it’s biased.”

Well wait a minute, when you were here, you thought it was great!  And you didn’t think that it was bias.  

And truly, it doesn’t matter what you think!  [note uncomfortable silence in the audience]  Amen?  

Because God said so.  [Again, Staley is placing his leadership and PFT as the Biblical standard.]  It doesn’t matter what you think about the leadership . . . you go through it, and you smile, and if you, your intent the entire time is to leave because you do not like the deodorant that I use or the cologne that I wear, then that’s fine, but . . . you went through the Biblical process. 

It’s not about honoring men, ladies and gentlemen, it’s about honoring YHWH and His system [as determined by Jim Staley] and if we don’t just keep the system . . . 

  . . . yes you’re gonna have good elders, you’re gonna have elders that are not so good in all different kind of congregations, but you’re honoring YHWH because He says in His Word, He’s the One Who put all authority, structures into place.  He puts them in place and He created the structure if we just submit to the system, you will see that it works – for your benefit.  . . . So we all bear one another’s sins and we all bear one another’s burdens and we’re not perfect, but at the end of the day He is, and this is the system that He put together.

Staley and Jackson then continue on about how rogue or silly leadership is kept in check by this ‘system’.  They say that they (Staley and Jackson and others) have a ‘mini-Sanhedrin‘.  Folks, click on the links for Beit Din and Sanhedrin to see what those things actually are.  Staley and Jackson are making a mockery of them.  And they are NOT operating as the early Body of Christ did.

Read through the New Covenant Scriptures to see how church leadership was to be structured.  There were no Beit Dins or Sanhedrin assemblies; there were pastors, teachers, elders, deacons.  There were not instances where leadership was striving to keep people IN a congregation (beyond building them up in who they are in Christ and His Body), but a few where folks were put OUT of a congregation.

What Staley is describing is a system by which to keep people IN their particular fellowship and under the control of leadership. 

Jim Staley’s system is not about freedom and liberty and about being Spirit-led, resulting in the maturity and natural growth of a fruitful congregation; it is about control and containment.

No, the ‘system’ which Jim Staley is promulgating is not from first century Christianity; he’s making up a hybrid religious system and claiming that as the Biblical standard.

As we saw earlier, in the testimony accounts above, Staley fancies himself a Levite priest in a mythical PFT temple where he can declare whether or not someone has the Holy Spirit or whether they are free of ‘leprosy’ (sin).  He believes, or would like us to believe, that he is an oracle of God and speaks with the authority of YHWH.  If you cross him, you’re crossing YHWH, and you will be held accountable.

The ‘Great Deception’

In the ‘Great Deception‘ videos, where we hear this quote from Jim Staley:

“You want to touch the Face of God? According to the Torah, you have to be clean! And we’re not talking physical! It’s spiritual. And if we’ve been deceived into thinking, (and here Staley uses a mocking tone) ‘Oh, I can just waltz into the throne of grace ’cause I have the Blood of Yeshua on my heart.’ . . . Try that one! Let’s see how it works for ya.

“You don’t come before your King . . . unclean. You come with clean hands, and a pure heart. And unfortunately the Bible says that we deceive ourselves . . . by thinking we’re okay.”

I saw everything from yet other distortions of the Gospel to junk science to the claim that we have no ability to think evil thoughts to church-bashing to the subtle teaching of Lurianic Kabbalah in ‘The Great Deception’ videos.  I could write a whole other page at least as long as this one about those two videos, but probably won’t, as I think this page should give folks sufficient cause to look elsewhere for Biblically sound teaching.

Jim Staley’s Testimony About How PFT Got Started

Though I have not located a video where Jim Staley gives his testimony about receiving Christ, Jim’s testimony of how Passion For Truth Ministries began can be found HERE

Seat belts are advised from here forward:

  • 7:30 – Staley details verbally that God told him to leave his local church, a place that he describes as one that he and his wife loved.  Note that the vision was one of division and that according to Staley, that ‘God’ was telling Jim that he would be going in a direction that his local body would not accept or receive.  Jim Staley removed himself and his family out from any accountability by folks who knew him – something he now preaches against when it comes to people being accountable to the ministry that he has set up.  Then he claims that the pastor sent them on their way with his blessing – before they had a chance to accept or not accept the direction Staley would go theologically.  I encourage you to both watch the video and read the account on the PFT website HERE.
  • 11:50 – Staley says that he received a phone call from a guy he’d never met before, who said, “Hey I want to invite you to a Bible study; I know your mom – and I think you might be interested in what we’re doing.”

A little context on Jim Staley’s mom – an excerpt from her essential oils website:

Everything that ‘is’ has an energy force. And every energy force has a vibration.

When your immune sysem [sic] is in perfect condition and balance, your molecules, cells, tissues and organs are in perfect harmony. But when disease and illness are present many times it may look as if it is a chemical imalance [sic], but it also is an electromagnetic imbalance. When your body begins to heal, it means that the frequency of the cells is coming back to a state of equilibriu [sic].

Therapeutic grade essential oils produce coherenet [sic] frequencies that bring health and healing to our boides [sic]. Synthetic oils do not! The energy within these essential oils, as within all of Yah’s creation has the ‘breath of life’ within them.

. . . Understanding and utilizing this information about the ‘energy’ that Yahweh has put into the universe can ehlp [sic] you lift your emotions, increase your vibration for healing, and literally trasnform [sic] your life.

The inhalation, ingestion or application of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils can and does help to modify or balance our state of being.

Clinical research shows that essential oils, which contain the life force energy of plants, have the highest frequency of any substance known to man and can create an environment which is hostile to disease, bacteria and viruses. This study even included foot or herbs!

Alrighty then.

Please understand that I do not doubt and do endorse the legitimate use of herbs and essential oils for medicinal use for many ailments.  We’re a family of nine with several pets and use herbs, oils, and extracts all the time for different things.

What we see Pam Staley saying above, however, goes beyond the simple, practical use of the natural things that God has provided for us and attaches mystical powers/properties to those things, and that, in my opinion, is where she crosses the line into New Agey, mystical thought and practice.  The point I’m trying to make here is that a guy who knows Staley’s mom invited Staley to a Bible study – the connection being Staley’s mom – who looks at things through a mystical lens.  This was the environment where Staley was going to get further revelation, and that’s an important point.

Back to Jim Staley – he goes on to say in the video that his whole spiritual paradigm basically gets reset – that everything he thought he knew, he didn’t know.  He, in essence puts on a new set of lenses to learn the ‘hidden’ things the Church has missed for the last 1900 years.

Staley goes on about that experience for a bit and then has a guest speak on the video for a bit.  The following account of how Passion For Truth Ministries was started begins on the video HERE.

  • 28:22 – Staley states that he wants to share some more of the ‘history of Jim Staley’, where he details another supernatural experience that he had.  The disturbing thing about that vision/dream follows – I’ll just transcribe what he relays below:
  • 28:53“Our entire ministry began on our couch, back in about 2005 . . . “ and he relays the first part of his experience.
  • 30:00 – Staley details a dream he was having where he and ‘Yeshua’ were ‘communicating’ without words, and how ‘Yeshua’ was showing him an ancient foundation in ruins, made of stone, which Staley interpreted as ‘Yeshua’s house, His Temple’. Note that that interpretation is in direct contradiction to many Scriptures that state that the Temple is no longer one made of stone, but of those who put their faith and trust in Christ, living stones, not rocks making up a physical temple.

Here’s what the Scriptures actually say about the Temple after the Work of Christ:

Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s 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.

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.

Ephesians 3:10-11
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 which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A good rule of thumb is that if a dream/vision contradicts clear Scripture, then it should be rejected, not have an entire ministry built upon it. 

Not to mention that Staley is admittedly uneducated and claims that God ‘downloaded’ knowledge to him.  I’m hearing echoes of Joseph Smith there.

  • 31:23 – Staley begins to detail what happened when he woke up from his dream/vision and his wife’s reaction to an entity that she saw standing over him in their bedroom:
  • 31:46“It was a bit of a shock, and she was a bit shocked and she said, ‘Jim, what happened last night?’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ and she said, ( . . . detail of her sleeping position . . .) ‘I woke up on my right side, which it’s impossible for me to sleep on my right side, and there was a man standing over the top of you in the middle of the night. And she said, ‘It scared me so bad that I prayed that it would go away. I opened my eyes later and it was gone.'”

She said she hardly got any sleep the rest of the night.

“But she was 100% sure . . .” and Staley does not finish the sentence detailing what she said, but finishes with this: “Right at that moment I connected the two; that this was not a dream, that this was a vision – this is what happened in the New Testament and it happened to many men, uh, throughout time, uh, where an angel was bringing a message.”

So this ‘angel’ that supposedly gave Jim this ‘vision’ . . . was it an angel or was it ‘Yeshua’ like Jim said was communicating with him without words while detailing the dream/vision?  Or was it an unclean spirit?

If it was an angel or even ‘Yeshua’ Himself, why would Cheryl Staley be ‘scared so bad’ that she felt a need to ‘pray that it would go away’ and that when she did pray, it DID go away?  Would not an actual angel from God or Yeshua Himself come with glory, peace, and love and NOT instill FEAR in her, or at the very least identify themselves as sent from God and assure her not to be afraid like so many angel visitations detailed in the Scriptures have done in the past?

Would an angel from God or Yeshua Himself show Jim Staley ‘Yeshua’s house in ruins’, when Scripture clearly teaches that the Temple is now a spiritual one?

Then this gem:

  • 32:30 Jim states that he ‘didn’t have a clue’ about what the vision meant until later that afternoon when he read Romans 3 and he finally ‘understood’ it. Here’s Jim’s account:
  • 32:40“It was as if I, He had put a chip in my brain to understand Paul because there wasn’t enough time for me to go to college, there wasn’t enough time for me to learn Hebrew, there wasn’t enough time for me to dig into all of the culture and nuances of a rabbi, rabbi Shaul, studying under Gamaliel and knowing the entire Torah. He gave, He began to download to me understanding and I began to read through the book of Romans and it was if, I, I was there, in, in the church of Rome and I began to understand what he meant; light bulbs began to go on, and that’s when I began to teach – for six months, I taught verse by verse on the, uh, book of Romans.And that was the foundation – the beginning of understanding of this thing we call the B’rit Chadashah, the New Testament, and how the Torah fits into it because we’re not under the, a CURSE, we’re not under a, we’re not under the Law, we’re under Grace, we’re not under the curse of the Law, and that’s the foundation behind the book of Romans.”

Wow. So God downloaded instant knowledge and insight to Jim Staley, through a vision depicting a foundation of rocks in ruins that Staley interpreted as God’s Temple that He wants to restore, a vision brought by an entity that his wife instinctively prayed AGAINST and told to LEAVE. A vision that goes against the picture of the Temple of God in Christ as clearly taught in Scripture.

I don’t really need to say any more about it . . . the above words of Staley himself tell us all we need to know about how he interprets Scripture and the lack of scholarship and discernment with which he approaches the winds of doctrine that blow his way.

According to Jim, God has ‘downloaded’ into him all of the revelation which he shares with the masses, giving him UNIQUE vision and insight from which to teach. Never mind that the foundational vision of his ministry that started on his couch contradicts Scripture . . . and ‘God’ put a spiritual chip in Staley’s brain . . .

Conclusion:

Having cast a wide net and looked carefully at several of the teachings that Jim Staley has out there, I reject his teachings. 

I exhort you to go back through these and any other teachings that you may have listened to from Jim Staley and other HRM teachers and carefully measure them against contextual Scriptures, carefully defining Biblical terms as they are actually defined in the Hebrew (for OT passages) and the Greek (for NT passages), keeping in mind context and keeping in sight at all times the Work of Christ and what the Scriptures say about who we are in Christ.

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

Grace and peace,
-JGIG

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Related, off-site articles:

These off-site resources are offered with the understanding that the value of these resources outweigh any disagreements I may have with those sources.  Lots of good information below; as always, read/listen with discernment.

If you or someone you know is in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect and are questioning what you believe, a clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE.  For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.  May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.

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Other related articles available at JGIG:

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