The Roots of the Hebrew Roots Movement
A Hebrew Roots' man and his family wrote to disagree with this article below. Read their arguments and my scriptural refutation. Is it obvious now how unscriptural the Hebrew Roots Movement is? Go to the article here: Hebrew Roots Heresy
Let's be clear right from the beginning:
1.The word of God is the FINAL authority, regardless of how many people voice opinions to the contrary; and regardless of how qualified the 'experts' are who "interpret" it in their own way - rabbis, theologians, Phd's, pastors - and even wives - included.
2. You don't "love" people by lying to them. You love people by following the Lord Jesus Christ and telling them the truth - regardless of the personal cost.
3. If your sect of the Hebrew Roots Movement (now don't get upset over the word "sect"; I'm not insulting you; just find a dictionary and follow along - the movement has many divisions); if your sect of the Hebrew Roots Movement has leaders who don't believe some of these things - or who don't practice some of these things - then please contact me and help me to understand your sect of the Movement better. But keep in mind that a wolf is still a wolf (Acts 20:29) - even if yours happens to be a different colour.
4. Having said that, you need to understand that most people in the Hebrew Roots Movement are simply deceived; not evil. Some of the key doctrines are evil; and that is what I rise up to oppose. I do not believe that the majority of the people in the Movement are evil.
5. In fact, many people have joined the Hebrew Roots Movement in the first place because they have a sincere love for the Jewish people and want to "do" exactly what the Lord requires of us. That is a wonderful thing. But we shall all be held accountable for what we "hear" - take heed what ye "hear" (Mark 4:24) - and must prove the doctrines before receiving and propagating them. We are commanded to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (I Thess 5:21). We are commanded to study (II Tim 2:15). We are commanded to continue in his word (John 8:31-32). And we have an active enemy opposing us along the way - there are many false doctrines and false teachers in these last days - just as Jesus warned (Matt 24:4, 5, 11, 24, 26). So, don't just assume that you and your friends already have the 'truth', without hearing the evidence against it first (Prov 18:13).
6. Okay; here is an "accusation" to which many in the Hebrew Roots Movement will object:
"Leaders and members of the Hebrew Roots Movement, alike, employ the same disengaging conversational tactics that members of cults employ (Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Moonies, etc) to avoid having to challenge their own beliefs - leading those of us who DO think, to conclude that they are willingly ignorant, or grievously brainwashed. (Specifically, they ask questions and don't stick around to hear the answers; and/or they refuse to answer questions that are sincerely posed to them, but which expose the obvious conclusion that their beliefs are erroneous.)"
7. With that statement, I will already have lost those of you who have fully given yourselves over to the false teachings of Hebrew Roots. But for those of you who are still with me - and for whom there still remains hope - I would like to provide some real-life examples to support that statement, as follows:
a. Okay, for eight months now you have said that I am an idiot, out-to-lunch, a Pharisee, a teacher of false doctrine, an ungodly man, and a heretick - among other things - because you claim that I have broken "the Torah" by not keeping the "Sabbath" and by not keeping "the Feasts of the Lord".
b. Yes, I have heard your claims that these feasts are the "Feasts of the LORD" and are not "Jewish" feasts. In the OLD TESTAMENT that is true - they are the "Feasts of the LORD". But, your teachers are wrong in exclusively saying that. They ignore the NEW testament to say that - which is ultimately one of their goals. They are Judaizers who are trying to bind me to keeping their Old Testament laws by saying that these feasts are the "Feasts of the LORD" - and by suggesting that I had therefore better keep those feasts, as commanded.
c. But that is only true in the OLD Testament. In the NEW Testament, the Apostle John referred to them as the Feasts of the "Jews" - John 5:1; 6:4; and 7:2; and they are never called the "Feasts of the LORD" in the New Testament. So, don't condemn me with their judaizing doctrines that say otherwise; and don't sidetrack this discussion - as you almost always do - just like the Jehovah's Witnesses do when the fruits of reason begin to close in on their beloved doctrines. Here are some of my questions:
"Why do you and your teachers and your friends accuse me of these things and then go your own way to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord and to blow your shofars in various 'synagogues', etc across Canada, when the same Torah "portion" that you accuse me of breaking commands your teachers and friends to celebrate those feasts in JERUSALEM, where God chose to put his name - and NOT over here in Canada?
Have you read Acts chapter 2 lately? Verse 5 says that "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven" - because it was the feast of Pentecost, one of the Feasts of the Lord wherein the men were required to appear before the Lord. Jesus, himself, went to Jerusalem to keep the feasts - read John chapter 7 for one example of that. In fact, note what he said to the Jews about the law of Moses while he was there, "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?"... and "Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision;... and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?" (John 7:19-23) Jesus continually exposed the hypocrisy of those who tried to bind others to the "Torah", the law of Moses, and yet were hypocrites themselves.
(For the reader who wants to know why we don't have to keep the "Torah" anymore - not that anyone has ever been able to keep it before - as Jesus said himself - the answer is that Jesus fulfilled the law, and those of us who are in him have fulfilled the law by faith in him. Our works would fail; and would have failed. Jesus was the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. We don't have to sacrifice lambs at Passover anymore. Hebrew Roots adherents are inconsistent and hypocritical about keeping the Torah. They are strict in citing laws in the Torah in order to bind those of us who now have liberty in Christ, and they give themselves freedom to re-define the meaning of laws or even to ignore them as being superceded when they themselves do not wish to be bound. This is the core characteristic of the Pharisees and Judaizers of biblical times - hypocrisy.)
d. By this, are your teachers not just as hypocritical as the Pharisees who commanded the people to keep the law, but didn't keep it themselves? Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:20).
e. Why is it that you call me "a Pharisee" for simply believing what the King James Bible says - and living by it - as we have done together for many years now; but you can't - or won't - believe any text as a final authority (NAME it for me, if you disagree)?
f. There is something seriously wrong with your reasoning. You know full well that you now take an eclectic approach to manuscript authority. And - because of the ungodly counsel of your Hebrew Roots teachers - you now trust in the corrupted Greek manuscripts from Alexandria - via Westcott and Hort and the enlightened Hebrew Roots leadership - and also in the corrupted Hebrew ones via three God haters: Hitler's theologian, Gerhard Kittel, his father, Rudolf Kittel and Wilheim Gesenius; and above all of that, you can't or won't objectively research the ROOTS of the Hebrew "Roots" Movement historically or scripturally? Consider, for example (in a very brief nutshell) that:
1) Rabbis and Synagogues were established by the children of Israel when they were in captivity in Babylon! (Think about those words: CAPTIVITY....... BABYLON). They had no temple, and no longer maintained priesthood duties, so they substituted synagogues for the temple and appointed Rabbis to teach them "the Torah" (the law).
2) But, the Rabbis didn't simply teach the Torah. They "interpreted" it - they added their own thoughts to it (i.e. they changed the word of God to suit themselves.) The result of that was a multitude of oral "traditions" (search and study this word in the King James Bible). These "traditions" were eventually written down and supplanted the law. That is what Midrash, Mishnah, Haggadah, Halakah, and Talmud are. All of them are the teachings of men. None of them are God's word. But they form the foundation for the doctrines of the Hebrew Roots Movement, and provide much of the 'interesting knowledge' (Gnosticism) that is so appealing to those caught up in the movement.
3) One leader of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Jim Staley, strongly advises his followers not to condemn their past (Jim Staley - The End of the Age Part 1- Understanding Prophecy - Part I) - because the Lord can work all things together for good - and specifically advises them not to view Egypt and Babylon as necessarily bad places, even though the children of Israel (who represent "us" by typology) were in captivity in those places. This teaching may seem reasonable on the surface; but God's view of Egypt and Babylon is clear from any serious study of the bible - neither is a good place. So, why might Staley (unknowingly?) favour leniency for those places? Perhaps it is because his 'bible' manuscripts come from Alexandria, Egypt; and many of his doctrines come from Babylon (The Talmudic writings of the Rabbis and of their descendants, the Pharisees).
4) At the time of Jesus, there were primarily four sects (there's that word again) - or "denominations" - of religious "Jews" amongst the leadership. The Pharisees and the Sadducees are both well known from scripture. The Herodians believed in a political solution to the practice of religion and therefore promoted the Herods. The Essenes were the people who buried the Dead-Sea scrolls that were found in Cumran in about 1947. All of these sects had serious doctrinal problems. The Pharisees were the only sect to survive. The Pharisees were the lineage of Rabbis (meaning masters or teachers) who developed the man-made laws and traditions during the BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY. These are among those who reject the word of God by adding to it and taking away from it (Deut 4:2; Prov 30:6; Rev 22:18-19). That is why Jesus spent a great deal of his ministry refuting the Pharisees and their doctrines. The Pharisees claimed to love the law and to obey it; but they were hypocrites.
5) So, how is it that you label me as a Pharisee - when I consistently oppose the Pharisees' version of the Torah, as "interpreted" in their writings - the Midrash, Mishnah, Haggadah, Halakah, and Talmud? And how do you escape the label of Pharisee yourself - when you are the one insisting that I follow the "Torah" as interpreted in these writings of the Pharisees? Is this not a perfect example of calling good evil and evil good - (Is 5:20)?
g. For over two years now, (and most vigorously in the past eight months), you have accused me of not keeping the "Sabbath". (More recently, you have focused on the fact that I don't keep "The Feasts of the Lord" as your teachers insist that I must.) The exact same problem arose in the early church, as recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Acts. The whole passage is well worth reading, but I have highlighted key parts of it to emphasize the error you have adopted. (Keep in mind that the thrust of the Hebrew Roots Movement - and particularly of its accusations against me - is that I am not strictly abiding by the law of Moses - as recorded in the "Torah".)
1 And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
h. So, the PHARISEES wanted the new Gentile Christians (You love to say that I have a GREEK - or Gentile - mindset - as if I am intellectually stunted; and fall short of the elitist levels of your enlightened Hebrew Roots 'friends' - don't you?); they wanted the new Gentile Christians from Paul's ministry to learn the "Torah" of Moses and to strictly adhere to it - despite the fact that none of those Pharisees - nor even Peter and the other Apostles - had been able to keep it.
i. You seem to forget - or to ignore the fact - that the Apostle Paul refuted and buried the doctrines of the Hebrew Roots Movement long before your friends conned you into believing their myths. (The Hebrew Roots Movement is designed to Judaize all believers. I mean, a person can't even proclaim faith in "The Lord Jesus Christ" without having a Judaizer 'correct' him and say that the Lord's name is Yashua, or some such thing. Really.... was the King James Bible always wrong about that? Is the King James Bible NOT the scriptures for us in English? Is the King James Bible NOT the preserved word of God? If the King James Bible was wrong for the last 400 years - and all of those people saved by reading it were wrong, then where has God been all of this time? We'll get in to the issue of manuscripts; but be thinking about the fact that your friends do not have the scriptures. They have corrupted scriptures and falsified scriptures that were fabricated on myths.)
j. So, what did the Apostle Paul say? Do we have to keep the "Torah", the law of Moses, as given to the children of Israel? NO:
1) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:20)
2) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Rom 3:28)
3) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.(Gal 2:16)
4) But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Gal 3:11)
k. So, what was the purpose of the law then, the "Torah" of Moses?
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Gal 3:24)
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Gal 3:25)
l. We are NO LONGER UNDER A SCHOOLMASTER (the law). We went from the law TO CHRIST. All of these people who are taking you from CHRIST back to the law are wrong - at the very least (and I'm being as kind as possible in saying it that way.)
m. You are in great danger - all of you, because:
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Gal 5:4)
n. You're NOT justified by the law? Well, then why is my rejection of the "Torah" at the heart of everything you say? Why am I a "heretick" and "ungodly" because I reject "Torah"? You are deceived (Matt 24:4,5, 11, 24) by Judaizing Pharisees..
o. The verses that I just quoted rip the heart right out of the Hebrew Roots Movement.
8. And then, Paul turns to those of us who have been assaulted by Hebrew Roots Movement wolves/judaizers and comforts us with the fact that Christ fulfilled the law. He defeated the judaizing enslavement to the law. He defeated the doctrines of the Hebrew Roots Movement before any of your Hebrew Roots leaders and friends knew about the Hebrew Roots Movement. He blotted out "the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross"
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days (Col 2:16).
9. LET NO MAN THEREFORE JUDGE YOU....in respect of an holyday (FEAST DAYS),... or of the SABBATH DAYS. You can't ask for anything more clear than that. All of these verses are perfectly clear - and completed refute the core teachings of the Hebrew Roots Movement. The legalistic, Pharisaical, Judaizing insistence upon keeping the Sabbaths, and the Feasts of the Lord, and the Torah - the "law" - were blotted out by the Lord on the cross, and were confirmed as irrelevant by the Apostle Paul.
10. That is the final word from the FINAL authority. Will you accept it? Or will you trust in man - who re-defines words and allegorizes and adds and subtracts and substitutes and changes the preserved word of God until it says what you want it to say?
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48)
(This website is dedicated to the LORD JESUS CHRIST and to all of his sheep in families that have been been scattered by the grievous wolves - Acts 20:29) The body of Christ, the church, is under attack.
BLOW THE SHOFAR - SOUND THE ALARM!!