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Frequently Asked Questions About Hebrew Roots

 

Hebrew Roots FAQ's and Myths

 

It has been over ten years since I first encountered and researched the Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Roots movements. I was new to the internet, new to many  individuals, ministries and organizations. At the time I felt that I must have been living in a bubble, as I attempted to understand the many and diverse opinions and teachings. Having been sent some information on two Messianic organizations, I embarked on a journey which has resulted over the last ten years in receiving hate filled correspondences, being called an anti-semite by those who are not even Jewish and similar. The most rewarding moments have been helping those out of what in some cases has been a cult, horrific or totally lacking scholarship, and heresy that is winding it's way throughout Christian and Messianic organizations and individuals who have stood for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Having received many queries for help in refuting Hebrew Roots by pastors, concerned family members and others, I have decided to present a generic refutation of Hebrew Roots and many of its wayward beliefs and teachings. Many of the beliefs are quite literally built upon sand. Many thanks to those who have contributed thoughts and comments: HT, SW, Rose.

Basic Doctrinal Issues

Myth. Christians don't know that Jesus was Jewish

A. It is unclear which Bible, or whose teaching those within Hebrew Roots were reading, but my Bible contains 66 books. In the NT Matthew 1 shows the lineage of Christ. The OT contains prophecies of The Messiah, which matches those things in the NT, which confirmed Christ as the awaited Messiah. Instead of seeing those doctrines, many are getting caught up in focusing on 'race' instead of the fact that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. He fulfilled prophecy concerning the Jewish lineage, but since He created all mankind, to suggest He is confined to be Jewish is not understanding that He has all the attributes of God.

Jesus was of the order of Melchisedec--neither having beginning or end. Certainly the Priesthood He came from was never spoken of, or came from humanity. [Heb.7] He is God manifest in the flesh. He had no earthly father. He is the fulfillment of all prophecy concerning the Messiah and He is the Spirit of Prophecy. He sits at the Right Hand of the Father, making intercession for us. He layed down His own life, because He was God manifest in the flesh. God could have chosen any other group of people to have the seed come through. But He chose the Children of Israel for His purposes.

Scripture:

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name...12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;...10  And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Exodus 19:1-9 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. 3. And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. 9. And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

It says the people of Israel were chosen by God to be a treasure to Him, "if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation."

It says they would be a people specifically treasured by God above other peoples. IF they obeyed Him and kept His covenant. The people agreed. We see this reiterated in Deuteronomy 26:17-19 and other places where the people agree to follow God and keep His commandments. We also see how many fell into unbelief. We then see the parallel of being called out as God's people in Christ, with the coming of the New Covenant and Christ fulfilling it. Now Jews and Gentiles are called:

1 Peter 2:2-10 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Focus on the earthly aspect shows a lack of focus on the Spiritual. The need for Him to be Jewish rather than knowing Who He IS. That He is the Bread of Life, Living Water....causes such minded to focus on the flesh rather than the Spirit.

This is who He is:

Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

For many in the HR movement, as the foundations of beliefs are dismembered, come to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ and validity of the New Testament, even as they focus on the flesh and race. The partition was taken down between Jews and Gentiles. We are now all one in Christ for all those who believe. Race no longer matters. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, if we stay rooted in Him.

Myth. We need to go back to OUR Jewish Roots

A. Many state and believe that this means that because Jesus was a Jew and followed Torah we must also. The Gentiles, who make a large part of the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movements are not Jewish. Therefore one cannot 'go back' to something that was not ours in the first place. There are Jews worldwide who find it an affront for Gentiles pretending to be Jewish, pretending to participate in what they feel are Jewish traditions and practices. In it is perhaps the ultimate anti-semitism, because the behaviors not only offend actual Jews, but Gentiles are known to be claiming to be the real Jews. That leaves those who are actual Jews as being imposters according to some within Hebrew Roots. We see then, that we have the doctrine of Jesus was Jewish being corrupted into being those within Hebrew Roots are the 'real Jews' and they are the ones having the only truth.

Christianity and Judaism are almost entirely different in beliefs, and those who do not understand that have become a stumbling block to Jews. Those within Judaism reject Jesus Christ, the New Testament and reinterpret prophecies and other Scriptures with that in mind, aside from the incorporation of the Talmud and Kabbalah by many.  Judaism today is rabbinic Judaism. We cannot dismiss those facts. There are practicing Jews who have stated that those within Hebrew Roots and Messianics are straddling a fence with one foot in Judaism and one foot in Christianity. They urge that individuals make a choice on which they are actually going to follow, because it cannot be both.

We are followers of Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh. And He brought a New Covenant that was unique.

Hebrews 3:1 Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house.
4 For every house is built by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses truly was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Myth. Christians are pagan and are lost unless they turn to Hebrew roots. I've had many say that they 'were just like I am' ? years ago and given time they hope I will repent and come to the correct understanding, aka Hebrew Roots.

A.  Aside from there being absolutely no Scripture to support this thinking, this belief is foundational for many in Hebrew Roots. The truth is, Christian belong to Jesus Christ and are saved by God's grace --and it is not of themselves--it is a free gift from God. Salvation is not based on "returning to Hebrew Roots", Jewish Roots or anything other than Believing Jesus Christ is the author of eternal life, and receiving that gift.. The accusation of Christians being pagan is false from that perspective. It needs to be understood that many in Hebrew Roots reject the person of Jesus Christ as pagan also. That is why they reject His name, believing it to be the name of a pagan god or other nonsense.

Are there things under the banner of "Christian" that are not of God, not Scriptural, not proven as true? Obviously. There is also a merging of New Age and occult teachings and beliefs--also under the banner of Christian---but it is not of Christ. That does not mean that what Hebrew Roots offers is Scriptural, and factually sound. On the contrary much of what is promoted is un-Scriptural, based on feelings, opinion, conjecture, bogus "facts", and perverting and twisting the Word of God. And when that isn't good enough, some write their own versions of "scripture" to indoctrinate their followers even further. Accuracy is tossed aside in order to claim and promote their gnostic knowledge.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Myth. It is impossible to understand the Bible unless one uses a "Hebraic" mindset. Christians have a Greek mindset or western gentile mindset and therefore can't understand the true meaning of the Bible.

A. Our understanding of Scripture is not dependant on anyone but the Holy Spirit. Since the majority of the New Testament is written for declaring Christ to all mankind and learning about Him, it would be foolish at best to suggest that Gentiles must think like someone else. The NT was written so that both Jews and Gentiles could understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, first and foremost, and the need of salvation. God offered salvation to all mankind, which was what the prophets wrote about and waited for.

1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Matthew 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Romans 16:25  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

Hebrews 11:13; 1Peter 1:10-11, Luke 24:44

Jeremiah 23:5-6   5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

2Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

1John 2:20-21   20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

If we can't understand the Scriptures or know it, we cannot wield it---it is spiritually discerned. And it doesn't say it requires thinking with a Hebraic mindset.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Myth. The church has "lost its roots for the last 2000 years" and needs to get grafted "back" into the "olive tree" which is Israel, under the teaching of Hebrew Roots 'scholars'.

A. Many in Hebrew Roots teach that the church has "lost its roots for the last 2000 years" and needs to get grafted "back" into the "olive tree", which according to some is Israel or Judaism. Others also claim that the true doctrine of the apostles has been lost and they, as self proclaimed leadership, are going to get people back to the original doctrine that, according to them, has been missing since the apostles lived. This is found not only in Hebrew Roots proponents as well as some mainline Christian groups.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

Many also advocate the doctrine that we are grafted into Israel and therefore must keep Torah, (meaning the Law of Moses) which is actually promoting a dual covenant. What is really being said is that by keeping Torah, one is saved. Although Messianics state categorically that keeping Torah is not a salvation issue, it IS. Because they also drive home the fact that those who do not follow Torah are not the bride of Christ.

Romans 11:16-21 speaks of the Root, which is Jesus Christ, and the natural and grafted in branches. Without a Root, there is no tree and no branches. The firstfruit and root is Christ. The passage warns of being caught up in pride. Or thinking that because one is of Christ, and many Jewish people were cut off because of rejection of Jesus Christ, that made the grafted in branch better or more important than others. Pride is not to be found in any of God's people, which is why the warning of God having not spared those Jews who were 'natural branches.' We are saved by grace because of His love for us.

Jesus said very clearly, 

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

The Jewish people were given a great honor to have been given "the oracles of God." They were  privileged to have had communion with God as His chosen people. The documentation of their struggles, obedience and disobedience is recorded to be appreciated and learned from. They were also privileged to have had prophecies throughout time, that revealed the coming of the Messiah which culminated in the truth of Jesus Christ, who is God come in the flesh. All those who have accepted Him are part of the Body of Christ, regardless of heritage, because Almighty God declared it. Those who reject Him, struggle with the concept of who He is. [Matthew 21:42-45; Isaiah 8:14; 28:16; Psalm 118:22]

All Jews and non-Jews must accept Jesus as Messiah by faith, or they are not part of the 'tree.' Our focus is to be Jesus Christ, giving Him the honor and the glory.  Paul wrote that we are to be "rooted and built up" in Christ. Colossians 2:6-7. It's about Jesus Christ and obedience to Him and where He has the preeminence. Col 1:18; Gal 6:14-16; 1 Peter 4:10

Myth. False prophets merely make mistakes because they are human, and the passages referring to them don't apply, therefore they can continue in leadership and as prophets, regardless of how often they predict and are proven wrong.

A. Does the Holy Spirit give lies or false prophecy to those who are called as God's prophets? Many have declared and published they are prophets or declaring what God has told them and often refer to their "calling" as a prophet to stand in the gap and "deliver this new light" or similar. If that were true, there would not be record of failure after failure pertaining to so many who give predictions, prophesies and interpretations. Nor would a true prophet of God change the Word of God, which can be proven time and again is taking place in the Hebrew Roots and many other circles.

1Corinthians 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

We know that Scripturally, God's prophets did not have recurring failures for the various prophecies and did not attempt to issue a disclaimer that they weren't really speaking for God--after they already had stated that was their purpose. True prophets of God, as shown in the scriptures, also did not rely on man's information in relation to the accuracy of their prophecy, as they had a direct connection to God through the Holy Spirit. God views false prophets and false teachers in a very negative and serious manner, and so should we. In fact, we're to have nothing to do with them, and they should be marked and avoided by all believers.

Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Our Lord was quite clear about several things, including false prophets and false teachers and date setting. We are called to "Watch" because Jesus Himself said we would not know when the time is, but we would be able to tell by events taking place as described in the Scriptures, that the time is near. All who obediently watch, stay focused on Christ and obedient to the Word of God will know and it is not relegated to a false prophet to tell anyone anything.

Further, since those within Hebrew Roots and many Messianics make a point that they are "keeping Torah", which in their interpretation means keeping the Mosaic law, although they only pick and choose things they can try to keep. It is more than a little hypocritical to claim keeping it, and then ignore what God has to say about false prophets:

Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder,
:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them;
:3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 You shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and join to him.
5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way which the LORD your God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put the evil away from the middle of you.

Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him

Myth. Jesus was killed on an execution stake, and not a cross.

A. Is the term "execution stake" or “torture stake” an accurate rendering of the Greek word stauros, which appears in the New Testament texts?  Many groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and The Way International, both who deny the Divinity of Christ, as well as some Hebrew roots teachers, use the term "stake". The Complete Jewish Bible, a translation used by many Messianics also uses the term stake in place of  the more commonly translated cross. Many have said that they do not use the word "cross" because it is a pagan symbol that was brought into the early church by Constantine.

The problem with this errant teaching, is that inscriptions of crosses have been found in archaeological excavations that pre-date Constantine in early Jewish Christian tombs, both on the walls, and also written on the burial ossuaries. Although the Greek word found in some passages of the New Testament is stauros (G4716), which can mean stake, there is another word xulon (G3586) used in such passages as Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29, and Galatians 3:13 which quotes from Deuteronomy 21:23 (H6086) which is often translated as "tree". Historical reports and archaeological evidence pertaining to first century execution by the Romans does not support "stake" as a valid translation. The stauros was a vertical pole that was permanently installed at the crucifixion site, and the ones being crucified were forced to carry the cross beam up the hill to the site as a form of punishment. Once they reached the site, they were nailed to the crossbeam, and then hoisted up onto the vertical pole (stauros), where their feet were then nailed. As an aside, the latin crucify comes from the verb cruxi figo (spelling) - to fasten to a cross.

Further, Jesus was crucified by pagan Romans. It should be no surprise that the method was also pagan in origin. That was simply how they did things at that time.

Myth. Christians don't understand the 'three days and three nights' passages concerning Christ. While it is not a salvation issue it certainly is argued and there are some passages which can answer the dilemma.

A. Three days and three nights is not that difficult to comprehend. To the Jews of the time, a day was any part of time between sunrise and sunset. A night was anytime between sunset and sunrise. Therefore a partial day equals one day. Biblically, 3 days and 3 nights does not mean three 24 hour time frames.

Esther 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast you for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish...5:1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel...

Jesus said He would be in the heart of the earth - that is not necessarily the tomb or grave and could have encompassed the Thursday night when He was betrayed, arrested, beaten. Notice that they were going to secure the tomb UNTIL the third day:

Matthew 27:63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
64 Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say to the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said to them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Myth:  Hebrew Idioms, Hebraic Idioms, Hebrew Mindset, and a Hebraic Mindset are Necessary for Understanding the Scriptures.

A. There are many within Hebrew Roots who posit that one cannot understand the Scriptures unless one understands the "hidden Hebrew idioms" claimed to have come from the "original Hebrew manuscripts", of which there are none. The claim is that the Scriptures were originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic, (which is false) and the Greeks messed everything up. This concept is to undermine trust in the Scriptures, which for many who believe it, eventually leads to rejecting them and Christ. Some will state that while reading the Hebrew idioms that are glaringly obvious throughout the NT, many statements appear to be mixed up and that we Christians then skim over passages that seem to contradict themselves. Not to those in Hebrew Roots though.

Many Christians would therefore in their "innocence" skip the hard parts and focus on the familiar parts we (according to Hebrew Roots proponents) would easily understand. Many claim that Christians are never encouraged to study and search for the "deeper and truer" meaning of the Scriptures. Which they claim they alone have come to understand. They neglect to mention that they gain their sudden understanding by utilizing the kabbalist interpretation of multiple layers of meanings called PaRDeS, to find this 'hidden wisdom'; or they use the other rabbinic writings of the Talmud or kabbalah's Zohar....all of which are written by those who reject Jesus Christ and the New Testament. And who believe their writings interpreting the OT, are more important than the Scriptures themselves. This is the Hebrew mindset that Hebrew Roots proponents are sourcing and wanting Christians to align with.

If a child can understand these things, we know it isn't as complicated as some would like us to believe.

Scriptures remind us:

2Timothy  2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

1 Timothy 6:3-4 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

2 Corinthians 2:15-17 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16. To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17. For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:20-21 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

We know that God gives us understanding. We also know that those who cannot understand the Scriptures, are unable to because of not having the Spirit of God indwelling.

1Corinthiana 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Colossians 1:26-28 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27. To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28. Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

When Jesus instructed the disciples, He opened their understanding.

Luke 24:44-45 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

We have the promise of the Holy Spirit indwelling and teaching us. The truth of the Scriptures is only hidden to those who do not know Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:26-27 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Colossians 2:2-10 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Ephesians 1:17-20 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Myth: Zechariah 8:23 states that 10 men will take hold of a Jew, which means that the gentiles will return to the "ancient paths" and keep Torah by grabbing hold of a Messianic person who understands that we must keep the Law/Torah; and who has the "Hebraic mind-set" in order to correctly understand the Scriptures. The Messianics are really (Gentiles in most cases claiming to be) Jews who are Israelites of the House of Israel aka Ephraimites, who are actually part of the "lost" tribes and are Torah observant.

A. The Scripture being used is:

Zechariah 8:20-23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. 22. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.

Zechariah 8:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

The Hebraic mindset has taken Zechariah 8:23, which is a prophecy about Jesus Christ, and called it their own. Jesus said the law and the prophets spoke of Him.

If one views Zechariah 8:20-23 in the light of a prophecy fulfilled in Christ, it changes the response totally. People of all nations heard Christ and followed Him, believing that, just as the prophecy, 'that God was with' Him. He was 'a Jew', to fulfill the prophecies concerning Himself.

People did take hold of the skirt of a Jew, spiritually because of the Holy Spirit opening their understanding of who Christ is. God then used the apostles witness to proclaim Him to all nations, to Jews and Gentiles alike.

What Messianics believe the Zechariah prophecy means is that by 10 gentiles taking hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, is for them to get understanding of Torah from a Jew, because their focus is the Mosaic Law. That is why they go to Judaism for the Jewish writings (Talmud, kabbalah's Zohar, etc) and rabbinic understandings directly from 'a Jew'. These teachings are elevated above the actual Scriptures. Many teach that unless one goes to the Jewish sages and their writings (the wisdom of the sages), one will not be able to comprehend the Scriptures.

We are reminded that our understanding of the Scriptures comes from the Holy Spirit.

1 John 2:26-27 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

What is ignored is that traditional aka rabbinic Judaism totally rejects Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies and those same writings being accessed speak of those things. Their interpretations of Scripture are entirely different because of awaiting a Messiah, and many other foundational doctrines which are different under the New Covenant.

Titus 1:14-16 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Part of the what Hebrew Roots proponents do is present themselves as having the correct doctrines of "the faith once delivered to the saints." They then attempt to dismantle all beliefs as being in error unless it agrees with their 'correct' Hebraic doctrines.

Psalms 11:2-3 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. 3. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Individuals who become convinced that we don't have the faith /doctrine once delivered to the saints are being told that these people do---and that the Jewish root is what we need to turn to. Many are taught that everything they have believed concerning Jesus Christ, the New Testament and even interpretation of the Old Testament is incorrect. By doing this, they set up the need for the 'sages' to fill the void of truth. That is the only way to get believers to go into the beliefs they have pulled from Judaism.

They need people to think that there is something in Judaism that they have been missing, and they must go to Judaism for the answers. As some put it, 'we' have lost our Jewish mooring.' Those who enter these beliefs and come out testify that it made them lose their mooring in Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:14-16 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

For people to follow into these they must first accept that they must put aside what they know as believers up until then. The Scriptures tell us that God has given those who belong to Christ the Holy Spirit who teaches all the things, freely given by God.

1 Corinthians 2:5-16 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Hebrew Roots are claiming gnostic doctrine and hidden meanings and interpretations that they alone are privy to.

2 Timothy 3:5-9 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

In Zechariah 8:20-21, we see the prophecy of everyone going to Jerusalem to pray and seek the Lord. They come from all over. And it is followed by the ten men taking hold of the skirt of the Jew, and saying they will go with him.

We can see how this is being fulfilled in particular ways.

For many, Jerusalem is the epicenter of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many Christians make pilgrimages etc all because of Jesus. Islam has it's pilgrimages there also. Jerusalem viewed as a holy city worldwide, is not due to specific efforts of rabbinic Judaism.

The world would not be calling it holy, nor would people know of God, other than those in Judaism, if not for Jesus. Thus fulfilling more prophecies.

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

Isaiah 49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

Isaiah 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Hebrew Roots believe that if the Jews and Gentiles come together, two houses united all keeping Torah together, that will usher in Christ in the physical land of course, which is why the push to make aliyah and the 2nd Exodus taught by many. We have all manner of Christians and Messianics going to Jerusalem to attempt to bring in the return of Christ somehow.

These beliefs are actually a variation of the Jews thinking that if they keep Torah well enough Messiah will come, or, if all Jews would keep one Shabbat, the Messiah will come.

The whole grabbing onto the skirt of the Jew is being played out in ecumenical ventures joining Christians and Jews because of the focus on the physical Jerusalem instead of seeing it as God does..

Many are claiming the land --because of being the true Israelites....that Israel was promised and historically have had possession of according to the Scriptures.

Yet spiritually for Christians, we know God views Jerusalem as spiritual Sodom and Egypt.

Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

On the one hand it is the draw for the flesh, because people miss what the Scriptures say about physical Jerusalem and spiritual Jerusalem. Then they think that verse 23 means to go to an actual Jew, or in the Messianic or Hebrew roots doctrine--one of them, and follow what they have to say as being of God.

John 4:20-26 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Galatians 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But
he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For
this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But
Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now
we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for
the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

For Christians our focus is not to be on this world--but the country yet to come. Jesus said that His Kingdom was not of this world.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

1Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Philippians 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

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Note: "Strong's" for Hebrew and Greek Word definitions from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong

"Thayers" >  Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

"BDB" >Brown-Driver-Brigg's Hebrew Definitions

 

05/10/2012

 

All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated

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