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Mainstreaming The  Hebrew Roots "Fringe"


Jude 1

4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was suggested to this writer in August 2003, that Brad Young, Marvin Wilson, Dwight Pryor, Richard Booker and Ron Moseley were all writers that could not be compared to people in the fringe Hebrew Roots camp like kabbalists James Trimm and Avi ben Mordechai, Marshall Koniuchowsky and so on. That these people are more "orthodox" than the fringe element and it would be wrong to clump them in the same questionable doctrine camps of the "fringe". 

I wasn't immediately familiar with those listed, except Dwight Pryor, who is a founding director with the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.  From the Seek God article; Jacob Prasch and  The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research:

...The J.S.S.R is not a resource a true believer could confidently embrace for learning Biblical truth.  The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, is a "consortium of Jewish and Christian scholars." Jesus Christ is identified by the JSSR as being "like other Jewish sages of that time".

From their website:

" The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research,  a consortium of Jewish and Christian scholars, was chartered in 1985 as an Israeli non-profit scientific and educational organization dedicated to understanding better the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and to rethinking the Synoptic Problem.  Examining the Synoptic Gospels within the context of the language, land and culture in which Jesus lived, this Jewish-Christian collaboration is unique and unprecedented historically...Christian scholars fluent in Hebrew and living in Israel are collaborating with Jewish scholars to examine Jesus' sayings from a Jewish and Hebraic perspective.  The result of this research confirm that Jesus was an organic part of the diverse social and religious landscape of Second Temple-period Judaism.  He, like other Jewish sages of his time, taught in Hebrew and used specialized methods to teach foundational Jewish theological concepts..." bolding added

...A book published in 1984 by David Bivin (Director of the JSSR) and Roy Blizzard has formed the basis of much Hebrew Roots' doctrine. The following excerpts from Understanding The Difficult Words Of Jesus represent the JSSR viewpoint on the lack of originality of the Greek New Testament: 

"...Our reasons for writing this book are not only to show that the original gospel was communicated in the Hebrew language; but to show that the entire New Testament can only be understood from a Hebrew perspective. 2.

"It cannot be overemphasized, that the key to an understanding of the New Testament is a fluent knowledge of Hebrew and an intimate acquaintance with Jewish history, culture, and Rabbinic Literature."

....The contributors were not only from the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research (JSSR) but had to be personal friends of David Forbes

“Many of the contributors are well-known, names such as David Bivin, Walter Riggans and Dwight Pryor, but new writers are also included. The criteria for selecting the authors were twofold, namely that they had something relevant and important to contribute and that they were friends and colleagues of David.” 26

Jacob Prasch recommends Dwight Pryor... Dwight Pryor is with the J.S.S.R. "Dwight is President and Founder of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, established in Austin, Texas, in 1984. He also is a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research in Israel." ..."

Dr. Brad Young, mentioned above, is also one of the founding scholars of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Studies, who works closely on Gospel research with Prof. David Flusser and Dr. Robert L. Lindsey. He is a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Theology at Oral Roberts University serving as Associate Professor of Judaic-Christian Studies. According to his website promotion, his seminars attract Catholics and mainline Protestants, evangelicals and Charismatics.

Jews for Jesus wrote an article about the Hebraic Roots movement, in the section "Frequently Asked Questions" and stated the following. In it we find mention of the writers, Roy Blizzard & David Bivin, Brad Young and Robert Lindsay, [bolding added]

"...The Hebraic Roots or Jewish Roots movement can be described as a movement of organizations, often closely networked, that hold in common an emphasis on recovering the "original" Jewishness of Christianity through any or all of the following: studying the Bible in its Jewish context; observing the Torah; keeping the Sabbath and festivals; avoiding the "paganism" of Christianity; affirming the existence of original Hebrew language gospels and denigrating the Greek text. Usually this is all grouped under the rubric of "studying the Hebraic roots of Christianity" or something similar. Much impetus has been given by the work of scholars and writers such as Roy Blizzard & David Bivin; Brad Young; Robert Lindsay, all of whom have written over the past years in support of the existence of original Hebrew-language gospels (taught pre-eminently by the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research in Israel). [bolding added]

...The "Hebraic Roots" movement seems to be growing in influence among Christians, perhaps because most organizations in the movement now have an Internet presence..." 1

This writer was also told in August 2003, that the Restoration Foundation was a source of what Hebrew Roots is really about. 

 "One good example of what really qualifies as the "Hebrew Roots" movement is - Restore! Magazine" and "(Actually most of the folks who teach at real Hebrew Roots conferences, like the one in Arkansas this week, and Cleveland, TN in a few weeks (Restore!), you do not even know their views.)". 

That statement about knowing "their views" was a very wrong assumption. While I may not have specifically written about all connected to that particular organization, that does not mean that they do not fit the profile of what has been written in the various articles, or that organizations they specifically recommend or endorse or are connected to, have not been written about. But, this writer will very pointedly see what precisely the 'real' Hebrew Roots movement is about, based on these required resources.

Again referencing the Jews for Jesus article, we read that all is not 'good,' as was portrayed to me concerning, for example, the highly recommended Restoration Foundation

"... There is little or no emphasis on evangelism among most if not all of the Hebraic Roots groups, but rather an emphasis on "restoring" for Christians the Judaic / Hebraic heritage of the early church. Some, such as John Garr's Restoration Foundation [], explicitly have promotion of interfaith dialogue as one of its goals.

There is a certain fuzziness to the boundaries of the Hebraic Roots network that makes it hard to pin down a general theological orientation. For instance, the Restoration Foundation links to The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry [], Netivyah [], and a host of Hebraic Roots organizations,...

"Hebraic / Jewish Roots Christian Ministries" includes groups as disparate as First Fruits of Zion [], Marvin Wilson, []; Bridges for Peace [], a homeschooling site, and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews [] and its ministry On Wings of Eagles. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, director of that organization, has gone on record as being an adamant opponent of Jewish evangelism. []

It is difficult to characterize the movement as holding to any one set of doctrines. Some Hebraic Roots organizations offer a statement of faith that is evangelical in Christology and soteriology, although also adding points concerning law-keeping or festival observance. Some espouse the "Two-House Theory" [] that the Church is Ephraim, and there is affiliation and overlap between both movements. For instance, Edward Chumney, who has written in support of the Two-House Theory, is news director for "Restore!" magazine published by the Restoration Foundation..." 2

A closer look at the Restoration Foundation that this writer was told was  supposed to reveal the best and correct views of the Hebrew Roots movement, reveals the following. 

Regarding their Magazine, Restore! which has Eddie Chumney as News Director:

"Restore! is published by Restoration Foundation as a service to those in the Christian and Jewish communities who envision the restoration of Christianity's Judaic heritage and the eradication of Christian Judaeophobia and anti-Semitism." 3

According to their website, The Mission of the Restoration Foundation is:

Returning the Church to the Faith of Abraham Completed by Jesus Christ. ...

Empowering Believers to Become More Like Jesus, their Jewish Lord. We help believers to become more Christ-like by embracing the Judaic world view and ethics which Jesus taught.

Showing the Interrelationship between Judaism and Christianity. We seek to restore the church to its Biblical roots which Jesus himself firmly planted in the soil of Judaism.

Turning Christians Back to a Love for Israel and the Jewish people. We endeavor to restore the church to love for the land and people of Israel... 

Opening New Opportunities for Inter-faith Dialogue and Cooperation. We seek personal dialogue between Jews and Christians so that all who practice Biblical ethics may work together.

Removing Historical Anti-Semitism and Judaeophobia from the Church. We endeavor to eradicate hostile attitudes and actions towards Jews and Judaism from the fabric of Christendom.

Encouraging Believers Everywhere to Claim Their Judaic Heritage. We promote the restoration of all believers to their rightful heritage in the Judaism of the first century church..." 4

Perhaps the question should be asked--will this inter-faith dialogue bring about a love for Christians or those who have Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord? This writer sees no Biblical removal of persecution or hatred towards those who Love Jesus Christ, via dialogue with those who reject Jesus Christ. See: Persecution Free Christianity

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

1 John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

What precisely is needing to be restored, because, quite frankly, the "original faith" is not missing, nor has it ever been. Not if one understands the 'faith' is about the person of Jesus Christ. 

2 Corinthians 4:3 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.

The Restoration Foundations prefaces their Recommended Websites and Ministry Connections with the following statement and then includes the following links, although all have not been listed here. [hotlinks removed]

The following are links to organizations that share some or all of Restoration Foundation's vision for restoring Christianity's Hebrew foundations and support the international Jewish community and the nation of Israel...

Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies, David Bivin, First Fruits of Zion, Glory of Yahshuah; 

Gordon College /Dr. Marvin Wilson-Author: Our Father Abraham; HaKesher (the connection)- An excellent connection! ; Heart of Wisdom- Homeschool Information ;  Howard Morgan Ministry; 

Institute for Hebraic-Christian Studies Houston, TX [R Booker]  International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem ; [ICEJ]

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews -The site prominently features our ON WINGS OF EAGLES ministry, which raises awareness and financial support among Christians for the emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel in fulfullment of prophecy of the "second exodus" from the land of the north. [IFCJ]

Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research ~ ("a consortium of Jewish and Christian scholars who are examining the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) within the context of the language, land and culture in which Jesus lived.")

Malachi's Torah Scroll ~ Torah study >

Messianic Bible Institute - Yeshiva ; Messianic Music

Messianic Israel Ministries "The reunion and full restoration of the two houses: This is the hope of Messianic Israel.... Batya & Angus Wooten - House of David"

Project Genesis ~ Torah on the Information Superhighway

Sound of the Trumpet Ministries/Institute For Hebraic Christian Studies /...." 5

So, in this highly recommended resource that this writer was told reveals the "true" Hebrew Roots movement, we have the promotion of David Bivin, the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, which views Jesus Christ as a Jewish sage--all of which I've written about, and the following. 

Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies--discussed below; HaKesher, the ministry of Robert Lindsay, one of the individuals who helped promote the erroneous "original Hebrew gospels" view; 

The Wootens Two House theology, also written about in the MJAA's "Ephraimite Error"; 

Project Genesis--which I've written about-see--Kabbalah Connections.... 

 "... Project Genesis, which is linked to many "countermissionary" organizations whose stated goals are to bring people out of Christianity or the "church". Many of the organizations and their leadership publicly denounce Jesus Christ. Then there are the many groups connected to Bridges for Peace and many other "reconciliation" organizations. 

See also-The Bible & The Talmud  and also Kabbalah Initiation  > "Transition from Talmud to Kabbalah "The connection between the Talmudic teachings and the Kabbalah is confirmed in the "Hypertext Halacha" of Project Genesis, which is disseminated by Orthodox Jews, and also linked to such Hebrew Roots sites...."

For The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and Rabbi Eckstein--See--Apostles, Prophets & The International Fellowship of Christians & Jews

Restoration Foundation promotes, Malachi's Torah Scroll ~ Torah study > >>> which is David Hargis's written about extensively in the Seek God articles.

Messianic Bible Institute - Yeshiva > >>> David Hargis's Yeshiva---See: MBI Yeshiva & The Hargis Clan ... Messianic Music > > David Hargis again.

The promotion of, Sound of the Trumpet Ministries/Institute For Hebraic Christian Studies / (6)  takes you to Eddie Chumney's website, which states and promotes the following ideals and individuals, many of which are specifically mentioned as recommended sources

SOUNDS OF THE TRUMPET, INC  "Richard Booker is President of Sounds of the Trumpet Inc. and the Founder/Director and resident professor of IHCS. Richard has written many books on the Jewish Roots of Christianity >The Institute for Hebraic-Christian Studies (IHCS)> 

International Board

Randall Bane, Dr. Ron Moseley, Dwight Pryor, Jay Rawlings, Hal Michael Utterback, Clarence Wagner, Dr. Marvin Wilson, Dr. Brad Young..." 7

Restoration Foundation promotes Marvin Wilson--see Jacob Prasch & The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research; First Fruits of Zion--to be discussed; and so on. 

Glory of Yahshua promoted by Restoration Foundation shows the link Glory of Yahshuah to be >, which is also found listed under the Sacred Name movement.  

"Unlocking the Door to the Temple of Truth  A 2-Page Site advertising a Book. Makes no mention of the Father's Name, but calls the Son 'Yahshuah'." 8

The website is no longer available but Jeff Weiss uses the onetruth15 as his email. However, "UNLOCKING  THE DOOR TO THE TEMPLE OF TRUTH" was a book written by Weiss in 1998, and is sold for $15 from his current website, forthegoym, which is merely one of his websites. 9 He is also the author of "The Truth of Reformation." Another of his websites is For the Glory of Yahshua Ministries. 10

Glory of Yahshuah Ministries
PO Box 22096
Hilton Head Island, SC 29925
Tele: (843) 342-2777
Leader: Rabbi Jeffrey L. Weiss 

Glory of Yahshua Ministries, recommended by the Restoration Foundation is the ministry of Jeff Weiss, part of Two House Theology, promoter and friend of Michael Rood, and speaker at Marshall Koniuchowsky's Two House events. He makes the claim on his website--as do so many others- that his ministry is to teach the "Manna" that has been apparently hidden from the church. His ministry is supposedly doing what others don't, that is, "teaching and preaching the entire Word of God (Elohim) as it was intended to be taught." 

For More on Jeff Weiss see: MJAA Executives & The Hebrew Roots Fringe; The Rev. Michael John Rood

For an in-depth discussion from a reader about the various Names, please see: WHAT'S IN A NAME Yahshua, Yehoshua, Y'shua, Yeshua, Iesous, Iesus, or Jesus?

Jeff Weiss is the 'rabbi' that had the picture of his dog on his website, draped with the tallit [prayer shawl], with the fringes touching the floor, until the Michael Rood articles were posted on the Seek God web site. Then those pictures were pulled.


And these are some of the resources which this writer was told are representative of "real" Hebrew Roots, and which I was uninformed about. 

God forbid that this is what mainstream Messianism is about!

Many, while acquiring Jewish trappings and traditions, don't understand the Jewish religion enough to understand what the issue was when this writer asked on one Messianic forum-again in August 2003-, the following. 

How do Jews who are practicing Judaism, view those who are attempting to emulate their traditions? Do they view Messianics as Jews? 

What about the many "gentile" Messianics attempting to add "Jewish flavor" to their beliefs? Do they resent or mock them? Do they desire to become a part of the emulation? 

Aren't we to do things that edify, and avoid doing things that can be a stumbling block or keep people from Christ?

Do Messianics see the picture that had been flown on 'Rabbi' Jeff Weiss's website, draping a tallit [prayer shawl] over his dog, with the fringes lying on the floor, and know that this is an affront to those in the Jewish religion? Weiss is an associate of Rood and Koniuchowsky and part of the 2house movement.

The question was asked because one former Messianic had mentioned that they had seen the picture on Weiss's website and thought it cute. It's not. It's a total insult to Jewish traditions, which many Messianics are making a pretense of embracing. 

The prayer shawl holds the tassels. The tassels or fringes, according to the command given by God in Numbers 15:37-41, were to be a reminder to Israel of God's commandments, but those who accept Christ are not required to wear them. No real rabbi would have the fringes touch the floor, and this writer would likely not be wrong in suggesting that no 'real' rabbi would put his prayer shawl on his dog. There is no excuse for "Rabbi" Jeff Weiss's use of the tallit in this manner.

There's nothing new or different at Restoration Foundation than what has already been analyzed in the various Seek God articles. Just a few more names that are different.

The Jews for Jesus article continues with a link to Eddie Chumney's second site, which is the URL this writer was originally given as a good source to learn about Hebrew Roots, and states:

 Similarly, the Hebraic Roots Of Christianity Global Network > >website links to materials on the Two-House Theory. On the other hand "Restore!" published an article that seems traditionally evangelical, by a retired official of the Reformed Churches in America...." 11

This writer was also told another positive resource to educate myself about Hebrew Roots was, "....And we can get an additional overview of what are really "Hebrew Roots" folks at Quite a diverse group.." 

Brad Young, Marvin Wilson, Dwight Pryor, Richard Booker [mentioned in Restoration links and above] and Ron Moseley are all recommended as essentially good Hebrew Roots writers--what would be acceptable to "mainstream" Messianism.

Again quoting from the Jews for Jesus article, we see that the recommended is actually the American Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, which was promoted in the Restoration Foundation links, and includes the names already mentioned in this article:

"One teaching institution that is part of this movement is the American Institute of Middle Eastern Studies (formerly called the Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies) headed by Ron Moseley. Faculty include Roy Blizzard, Marv Wilson, and Brad Young, among others. According to the Christian Research Institute >, Blizzard comes "precariously close to rejecting the inerrancy of Scripture" and appears to hold "to an aberrant, if not heretical, view of the Trinity."... one organization within this network is HaKesher >, > the ministry of Robert Lindsay, one of the scholars who helped promulgate the "original Hebrew gospels" view. Also cited as teachers with this ministry are Joseph Frankovic, David Bivin, and Brad Young. Some of these are connected with Oral Roberts University. 

In Mishkan 17-18 (1992/1993)> target=

Michael L. Brown responded to the Roy Blizzard/David Bivin/Robert Lindsay views of the New Testament with a serious "discommendation" of the book Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus by Blizzard and Bivin, and with a stern word of warning concerning the overall approach of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research to biblical reliability. [bolding added]

The Hebraic Roots movement presents itself as an educational movement. ... But it is evident that this is much more than book study. ... it is a call to a Torah-observant and/or festival observant lifestyle as essential in the life of a Christian or as bringing the Christian into greater conformity with Jesus. It teaches a "return" to or a "restoration" of so-called "original" first-century Jewish practices and understandings and a rejection of much else as non-Jewish. Some organizations such as Brad Young's Gospel Research Foundation >, may be more strictly educational in nature, and have sponsored conferences, one of which was held at Oral Roberts University, Our Lady of Sorrow Convent, and Temple Israel in Tulsa and included the participation of local rabbis and cantors.

... Awareness Ministries > raises plenty of questions: "Feast day celebrations must not be limited to serving as mediums for worship and praise. We have discovered and aggressively teach that within these Biblical Memorial days such as Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles is expressed every spiritual lesson that is needed to bring the Church to the knowledge of the full counsel of God." ...."12

The resources this writer was told were good are all filled with the things which have been written about in the Seek God Hebrew Roots articles. From the Jerusalem School to Bivin and so on. The articles are not wrong or particularly outdated. Certain groups or individuals were merely not specifically included. Nor were all of these organizations which were initially researched included, as the goal of the 1999 series was to discover what Hebrew Roots was about and to show the pervasiveness of the teachings. The articles also showed an overview of the diversity of the movement, which Messianics or Hebrew Roots proponents themselves point out.

For more on the ecumenical aspects please see: Paths of The One World Religion > Introduction: Lausanne & LCJE ; EJECCT:  Ecumenical Jews, Evangelicals, Charismatics  &  Catholics Together ; Hashivenu and FULLER; Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism; Dark Angels; Unite, Whether Biblically Obedient or Not; EJECCT: Part 2 ; Apostles, Prophets & The International Fellowship of Christians & Jews; Evangelicals & Catholics Together


MJAA & The Hebrew Roots Fringe


The Jews for Jesus article about the Hebraic Roots movement lists what they see as the major problems of the  movement.

Key problems in the movement, beyond the most obvious one of advocating mandatory law-keeping, include:

  • The movement's network includes both those who appear sound in Christology, soteriology, and their view of Scripture; and those whose doctrine has been called into question in one or more of these areas.
  • The movement similarly shows little awareness that plenty of material has already been written on the Jewishness of the New Testament. Most any good commentary will give that kind of background information. But the movement acts as if they alone have unlocked the key to the Jewish understanding, and thus a small number of teachers and writers create the material for the movement. Rather than be content with explicating the Jewish backgrounds as a way to understand the Biblical text, many wish to make first-century observances mandatory for the body of believers. The irony is that Christians simply cannot keep the law as it was kept in the first-century, nor can they observe the festivals either as they were done in 30 AD nor as they were done in 1000 BC. As a result, much of the stipulated lifestyle must be conformed to later Jewish/rabbinic tradition. The result is something quite removed from "original first-century" Jewish practices.
  • The movement rejects anything that is allegedly "Greco-Roman," forgetting that the first-century church also grew up in such a context…with no call by the apostles for the Greco-Roman believers to "recover" their Jewish roots.
  • The movement shows little understanding that the gospel can function among various cultures. ... They confuse gospel content with culture.
  • The movement shows little interest in evangelism of Jewish people. ...." 13

The concerns stated by Jews for Jesus are no different than what has been written about by this writer. Those same concerns are also found within the MJAA writings themselves, although they and Jews for Jesus have missed the influx of the talmud and kabbalah into many lives. Many view the talmud as acceptable writings. They also have failed to note that many Messianics are moving away from the reality of Jesus Christ to a rejection of Him completely, and also a rejection of the New Testament. Others are becoming immersed in the kabbalah and other un-Biblical teachings. There is truly nothing new. 

Acts 15:24 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:

Many are teaching that one must also utilize "PaRDes as a tool for Torah study," with the qualifier, "that this would be within normative rabbinic Judaism (and should be in ours), not necessarily just Kaballah, that is why the rule for being 40 years of age and extensively schooled in Torah was the original prerequisite for understanding Sod." and in order to understand the meaning of the Scriptures.

It needs to be understood that Pardes is an acronym for the understanding of Scriptures via kabbalistic means. It's noteworthy that an article published in the final print edition of the Jerusalem Perspective, written by David Bivin of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research (JSSR) and who is so popular within the Hebrew Roots movement, is not accepted by many within the Hebrew Roots or Messianic movements or Christians embracing these teachings, because of their not understanding or denying the source of kabbalah or Pardes:

“... students of the Kabbalah speak of Pardes ...which is an acronym derived from the initial letter of each of the four terms (p-r-d-s)....According to the late Professor Gershom Scholem, pioneer researcher in the field of Kabbalah, Moses ben Shem Tov of Leon was the first known writer to mention the acronym Pardes. He did so about 1290 in a composition called Sefer Pardes. Moses ben Shem Tov also wrote The Zohar, which became the most influential work of the Spanish Kabbalists...The Kabbalists were mystics par excellence, and they pursued vigorously Scripture's concealed meanings. They aspired to an elevated spiritual awareness by gaining access to concealed knowledge through scrutinizing each letter of the biblical text and through ecstatic ascents into heaven...Their longing for esoteric knowledge may be traced back in part to earlier Gnostic speculations. Such speculations left their imprints on the Kabbalah...The acronym Pardes belongs exclusively to the domain of the Kabbalah.”
Quoted from an article titled:
“Medieval Jargon on First-century Lips”
Author: David Bivin
Jerusalem Perspective
Page 33
July-September 1999 #56

A book published in 1984 by David Bivin (Director of the JSSR) and Roy Blizzard has formed the basis of much Hebrew Roots' doctrine. The following excerpts from Understanding The Difficult Words Of Jesus represent the JSSR viewpoint on the lack of originality of the Greek New Testament: 

"...Our reasons for writing this book are not only to show that the original gospel was communicated in the Hebrew language; but to show that the entire New Testament can only be understood from a Hebrew perspective. 2.

"It cannot be overemphasised, that the key to an understanding of the New Testament is a fluent knowledge of Hebrew and an intimate acquaintance with Jewish history, culture, and Rabbinic Literature."

Jesus Christ is identified by the JSSR as being "like other Jewish sages of that time". Please see  Jacob Prasch & The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research for more on the JSSR

What is missing at times is in-depth knowledge of what people or organizations are about. Again quoting from the Messianic forum comments directed at myself in August 2003:

Quote ---SIDENOTE on YATI and FFOZ
Moshe the K[oniuchowsky] (YATI) and FFOZ have their own dynamics as well (the YATI folks even once put up the really "anti-Talmud" literature on their email forum, taking it verbatim from the identity anti-semites.. We do note that YATI is, however, giving Avi a teaching forum these days... YATI has never been a paragon of doctrinal consistency, the recent embrace of the *Greek* LXX being another case in point). 

Your Arms To Israel (YATI) leader, Marshall Moshe Koniuchowsky, also promotes James Trimm and works with Michael Rood, Eddie Chumney, Jeff Weis, etc... and FFOZ aka First Fruits of Zion, was also promoted by Michael Rood from his web site. Brian Samtur relates the 2002 Hodu Highlights and speakers, showing these people together again.
“HODU HALLELU 2002 HIGHLIGHTS with Michael Rood, Rav Weiss, Rav Moshe Koniuchowsky, We Are Yisrael Worship, John Stembridge, Charles Zechman, and more..."
But lets look at who connects to FFOZ. ...MessiahNet/Perfect Word Ministries, which is connected with MJAA. From my 1999 article---

"MessiahNet is an online community of Jewish and non-Jewish believers in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). Our new outreach program WWYD?(tm) [What would Yeshua do?] is also off the ground! . . . We are excited to see our community take hold of the vision of sharing the name of Yeshua..."17

Supporters of these sites include "prophet" Rick Joyner of "Morningstar" Ministries, who recently, alongside Rabbi Robert Cohen, laid out a prophetic vision for the Messianic Jewish Movement. SEE: Joint Prophecies of Rick Joyner & Rabbi Cohen...

17.Monday, August 02, 1999 1:19 AM; Subject: MessiahNet eNewsletter - August 1999; Kevin Geoffrey...

Who is Kevin Goeffrey? 

"Perfect Word Ministries was founded in 1996 by Kevin Geoffrey who works side-by-side with his co-webarchitect and graphic designer wife, Esther. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Kevin and Esther are under the mentorship and ministry of Messianic Rabbi Robert Cohen of Beth Jacob Messianic Congregation in Jacksonville, Florida. "

"Perfect Word is also under the spiritual covering of its Advisors:

Messianic Rabbi Robert Cohen
Beth Jacob Messianic Congregation, Jacksonville, FL
Pastor David M. Elian
Family Life Christian Fellowship, Jacksonville, FL
Worship Evangelist Michael Hohman
Kingdom Keys Ministries, Jacksonville, FL
(affiliated with Paul Wilbur Ministries)
Boaz Michael
Director, First Fruits of Zion, Jerusalem, Israel [FFOZ]

"On January 3, 1998, Perfect Word Ministries launched Stage Two of the ministry in the form of MessiahNet -- the premier network for the Body of Messiah and home of the popular MessiahNet Daily Devotional. The Geoffreys have been in full-time ministry since 1997,...."

Boaz Michael, director of FFOZ, is none other than Christopher Detwiler, son of Michael Detwiler, one of James Trimm's former vice presidents of SANJ, who had been on his Beit Din. FFOZ was planning to launch "Ascend Magazine", "written with mainstream Christianity as the target audience."  14 

The Detwilers were not born Jewish, but had a "conversion" in Colorado by a "questionable " rabbi.  Kathryn Kern, having researched James Trimm and his associates, wrote this:

...I received an email that Michael Detwiler, James' Av and vice-president of SANJ, was also not Jewish but had bought a false conversion from a rabbi named Lerer, in Denver. I called several of the synagogues in Denver to try and locate the rabbi. It turned out that Rabbi Nathan Lerer was not even a legitimate rabbi. I spoke with Nathan Lerer. Yes he did the conversions of Michael Detwiler, his family, including Christopher Detwiler, who also goes by the name of Boaz Detwiler and Boaz Michael, of FFOZ, and of Ralph Messer. I also spoke with Ralph Messer. The first time I asked about Nathan Lerer, in reference to Michael Detwiler, he said that he did not know him. Then after I spoke with Nathan Lerer, Messer admitted that he knew him and that they had undergone a conversion of sorts, but that he did not consider it legit, but more like an anointing. It was done in a swimming pool. No test was given. Michael Detwiler first stated that they had not undergone a conversion, then when he knew that I had spoken with Lerer, admitted, but said that it was legit and they had a
long test to take. When I asked about the denying Messiah aspect of a formal conversion, he said that Lerer did not ask and they did not deny. Lerer said that he did know and they were making formal conversion. 

Lerer made numerous conversions to Goy who now claim to be Jewish and act as if they always were, lording it over others and setting up their own organizations, marketing their "Jewishness", publishing their version of Torah. Detwiler paid several thousand dollars for his. Messer now calls himself Rabbi and has even issued a get, from what I last heard. I don't know how many more have been issued. How do you think this looks to the Jewish community? Does this make them want to accept this Messiah that these liars, deceivers and thieves speak of with their agendas and marketing of the Jewish heritage? 

I know that some from Jews for Judaism participate at this forum. I
have spoken with Moshe Shulman several times when he heard that I had proof that Trimm was not Jewish. Where I may not agree with his position concerning Messiah, he did not lie to me or present himself as anything other than what he was, nor was he attacking. I had also spoken with Mark Powers of Jews for Judaism. Mark never lied to me, nor was he attacking. In fact we had some great conversations. I enjoyed his questions and comments concerning if there was a Messiah. And if you read this Mark, I am still researching some of the subjects we spoke about. These two men conducted themselves uprightly in their dealings with me. Yet James Trimm and Michael Detwiler did lie to me, and did attack me. Michael later wrote a letter and called to ask my forgiveness. Ralph Messer also lied to me. 

Tell me how that looks for the Messianic community when these three men, who are not Jewish, but claiming to be and have major organizations behave so poorly. It is not Jews for Judaism you need to worry about. And just because they are from Jews for Judaism, would not negate the fact that they were the first to investigate Nathan Lerer for false conversions. Their information in the matter is correct. They were simply trying to protect their community and rightly so. I wish the Messianic community protected themselves as zealously. I verified all their accounts. That was all that Vicky was referring to, not all Messianics. 

Just as you may not agree with Vicky theologically, does not negate the validity of her research concerning Trimm and Hargis. Vicky did not come to this forum with her views about Hebraic Roots and such. Her website was posted by members here, just for the Trimm/Hargis research. You could probably read through a number of real Messianic leaders websites and find things that you don't agree with. Unfortunately there is no standard in the Messianic community and as such there are a wide range of views out there. This is a problem with no easy solution.  All I can say is that despite not being Jewish and not being a Christian anymore, I have felt a need to protect the Messianic, the Jewish and Christian community from James Trimm and all, who seek to deceive and steal. ..." end quote.

We are reminded.

Matthew 7:18-20 

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Proverbs 14:25 

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

It's noteworthy that Ralph Messer, who underwent the Jewish 'conversion', is one of the distributors for the ISR Scriptures which many of those in 'hebrew roots' cling to. 15. It is mentioned in the articles: Tom Mitchell, Michael Rood & James Trimm & The WAY, and so on. Messer's writings are part of the Two House organization MIM of the Wooten's, is often found speaking with Eddie Chumney, Monte Judah, Avi ben Mordechai and so on. He is the director of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash, and runs the website

Revelation 3:

8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Next Section: MJAA Executives & The Hebrew Roots Fringe

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2. Ibid




6. >






12. Ibid

13. Ibid



Copyright . All articles are the sole property of and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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