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Beware of The Hebrew Roots Movement

By Edited Sep 5, 2015 1 2

          I have been a Born Again Christian since I was in elementary school, but I had never heard of the [1] Movement until last year during 2013. These people started popping up on my social networking sites after I had accumulated quite a few "Christian" friends. Time has passed on and many of them have unfriended me, blocked me and vice versa. I have since looked into this movement and even spoken with members still in it and I have come to discover many of the dangers and false doctrines that they believe and follow. This article seeks to expose the lies and to help genuine followers of Christ to be prepared to defend their faith better against these wolves.

(Romans 16:17 - Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. KJV)

I am not writing this information to outdo anything previously written. If you would like to examine the history of this movement closer, I suggest other sites that do provide you with terminology and facts in more precise detail. I merely plan to expose the actions, some of the beliefs and behaviors that I have personally experienced from members of this group (also known as Messianics and other terms). I plan to do so using scripture as well. When in doubt, back it up with the Word of God, amen?

 

THE ANCESTRY

In my experience with several members of the Hebrew Roots Movement on social networking sites, they have made it perfectly clear that they are in fact Jewish by blood and have undergone the necessary blood tests to back it up. At first I didn't find this overly strange because some people just want to look into their family's history in order to get a better perspective of where they came from. But you can imagine my amazement when I started meeting more and more of them who had all told me the same thing. "My father was such and such a blood type which makes him come from the Jewish tribe of Benjamin." Alright, as cool or interesting as that might be, what relevance to being a follower of Christ does that really have? I'll give you the short answer, "Nothing."

One follower told me that it's important for every believer to find out if they are Jewish, because in the New Jerusalem there are only 12 gates (one for each tribe of Israel) and if you are a Gentile then there's a different place designated for you. My thoughts to that were, "So what? God made us who we are - whether Jew or Gentile - and He knows what He is doing. That doesn't concern me." Somehow these people think that although the Jews are God's chosen nation (which I believe they are), this doesn't render them any more "Christian" or "Saved" than I am. The Bible clearly tells us that God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11), so what is this big fuss about being Jewish all about?

(Before I make my next point, let me clearly state that I am not a racist nor do I despise Israel or her people. I do pray for Israel as the Word of God tells us to, and to my knowledge I have never favored one person or another based upon their ethnic backgrounds. In fact, I am a North American who is married to an Asian and have lived and worked in other Asian countries as well. I have friends from all over the world from most every background imaginable. I love God's creation and His diversity of people).

Now, let's get back to the topic at hand. One of the first things I think about when someone wants to boast about their Jewish roots is, "Was it not the Jews who denied Jesus Christ and had him executed in cold blood?" That's not exactly something to be proud about and it certainly wasn't Israel's finest moment was it? Let's talk about faith for a moment. In Matthew 8:20 we find Jesus Himself marveling at the faith of a Gentile. In fact, His exact words to the Jewish people were, "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."


That is pretty impressive for a Gentile now isn't it? Please keep in mind, I use these examples as a defense of the Gentiles and not to be used as an attack on the Jews. But I think the point may have already been gotten across, as we cannot boast in our cultural backgrounds as a means to promote our own personal agendas as they pertain to Christ. Bottom line, God loves us exactly the same, whether we are a Jew or a Gentile, amen!

 

THE SABBATH

You should be warned right now that this subject is one of the biggest causes for argument among those in the Hebrew Roots Movement. Now, let me speak as quickly as I can on this issue but still get my point across, if I may. God had absolutely designated the 7th day for rest - according to Genesis in the Torah. Later in the 10 Commandments it was given to Moses for the Jews as the 4th Commandment. The Jews were to honor the [2] and keep it holy. We can't deny this without making up our own beliefs, as it's right there in scripture.

With that being said, the problem arises when we have people today telling us that we must keep the 7th day Sabbath (most of them claim it as Friday night until Saturday night). Now, many Christians say that this commandment was just given to the Jews and so we Gentiles don't need to obey it. However, there's a much better explanation for this than playing the Gentile card. Hebrew Rooters absolutely love and adhere to Matthew 5:18 - "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

They use this verse when you try to explain to them that we no longer need to observe the Sabbath day. But it will be absolutely vital for you to understand that they like to ignore the last four words of that verse (till all be fulfilled). They also love to use John 14:15 - "If you love me keep my commandments." Let me save you lots of time and aggravation right now by explaining how these verses are being used wrongly or under false assumptions.

Matthew 5:18 - First of all, this verse tells us that nothing big nor small shall pass from the law until all is fulfilled. That means after something gets "fulfilled" or "finished" then the law will be altered or changed in some way to make it complete. Instead of using the word "changed" however, let's just say "finished" or "completed." Now, there will be those in Hebrew Roots that believe the Law of Moses can never be changed and there are others who think it can be, but that it hasn't happened yet for whatever reason. 

The Sabbath was the 7th day that the Jews were to use to honor and "rest" (this word is important for later). They were allowed to eat - if you recall the Jews in the desert collecting mana doubly on the 6th day so they wouldn't have to work on the 7th. Later it would be the Pharisees who made up their own bi-laws for the Sabbath day, which said nobody could eat, heal, carry items so far, etc. Jesus broke these laws when he ate with His disciples on the Sabbath. As for not working, He healed many on the Sabbath and talked about how shepherds would lose a sheep and go find it whether it was the Sabbath or not. Whether that really constitutes as work or not is actually irrelevant. When Jesus was questioned by the Pharisees about eating on the Sabbath, He told them in Matthew 12:8 - "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath day."

If He is Lord of the Sabbath day then what does that mean? Let's look for the answer in Matthew 11:28 - "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Here we have that word "rest" again as well as the verse saying Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. So please tell me, what were the Jews doing for the first six days of the week? They were laboring. What were the Jews doing on the Sabbath day? They were resting. This then indicates from Matthew 11:28 and 12:8 that what Jesus is actually telling them is that He is the new Sabbath and rest that has come to mankind. But the Hebrew Rooters will say that the law can't be changed, correct? But what they do not understand is that Jesus came to expand upon and fulfill the law and not destroy it or even necessarily make it a new law.

As an illustration, imagine I was constructing a house but it wasn't completely built yet. Let's then say the house was built enough that I could live sufficiently inside of it. Now, is my house complete? No. Are there leaks or small issues with my non-completed house? Yes, because it hasn't been completed yet. How can I fix those small problems then? By completing the house. If I complete my house, no matter how long it takes me or how I choose to finish it, does that mean it's not the same house? No, it is the same house although it has been expanded upon in order to be completed. This is exactly the same with Christ coming to fulfill (and not do away with) the Law of Moses. Was the Law of Moses perfect in its entirety? Absolutely not! It says in Hebrews 8:7 - For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

The Bible is perfectly clear that the Law of Moses under the Old Covenant was by no means perfect or the finished product - something needed to complete it. That job was left to Jesus Christ when He died on Calvary and yelled out with His dying words, "It is finished!" Hallelujah! He fulfilled the Law of Moses by being our dying sacrifice and becoming our Sabbath and rest! Isn't that fantastic? Praise the Lord on high!

(Now, for a further look at how Christ slowly fulfilled the Law of Moses, look at what He said of marriage, divorce and adultery and expanded upon those further. As well, He preached that we no longer had to stone people for their sin - such as the woman caught in adultery - as we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God).

 John 14:15 - Obviously now that we have cleared up this Sabbath issue, this verse in the context of what the Hebrew Rooters are using it in is completely irrelevant. It is absolutely true that if we love Jesus that we will obey His commandments. The thing is, observing every Saturday to do what we can do every day anyway, is not one of them

 

DIETARY LAWS

If you are thinking about joining the Hebrew Roots Movement then you'd better be prepared to give up pork, shellfish, even catfish and a huge number of others foods - as they are forbidden in the Torah according to the Law of Moses. The first question I asked myself when I heard that all Christians should abstain from these types of foods was, "Why would it be a sin to eat a pork chop or a little bacon on the side with my eggs?" The answer is that it's not a sin at all. I was actually fooled once into believing this lie and stopped eating bacon for three months. That is three months of my life that I can never get back either.

So just why is it that those in Hebrew Roots say it's a sin to eat these foods? Basically, they believe that the dietary laws from the Torah have never been changed. They will confess that the sacrificial laws of killing bulls and goats is done away with, but not for food. Solving this issue is incredible simple - if you know your Bible of course. The Apostle Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament, and in many books , such as [3], he talks about the law and how we are no longer under it, but grace. Those in Hebrew Roots stay away from Galatians if they can, being as there is very little value to their cause found in there. Isn't it nice how people pick and choose scriptures and books to fit their lies? It happens all the time. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:27 - If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

So basically what Paul is saying here is, if a non-believer invites you to their home and you feel its necessary for you to go (perhaps you want to witness to them), then you should eat whatever food they make and give you. It cannot be a sin to eat that food because then that would ruin your testimony. Some might say that God would just excuse that particular instance because the believer had no choice. That's utterly ridiculous. Could you imagine a Christian going into a home and the man of the house offered up one of his daughters to a believer to fornicate with her? Is God going to overlook that as well? It's foolishness. As for the sake of food, it almost sounds like Paul doesn't think certain foods are healthy, but they still are not a sin to eat. I would agree with this completely. Pork and shellfish are not healthy foods to eat, but neither is it a sin to eat them. You put in your mouth what you want and I will do the same.

Earlier in the Gospels, Christ Himself said nearly the same thing and Paul only backed it up later. Luke 10:8 - "And into whatsoever city yet enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you." Now, some will say, "But the disciples were only preaching to Jews in Israel and the Jews were obeying the Law of Moses in their diet." You know, this sounds good but it's a horrible assumption at best. The Roman empire had control of Israel during the time when Christ was on earth in the flesh. Can we honestly say that there were no other Gentiles that owned houses, heard the preaching about the kingdom or cooked any food for people? Why would Jesus even bring it up? Besides, He told the Jews concerning food in Matthew 15:17-18 - "Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out in the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart; and they defile the man." If that doesn't make sense, I suggest reading the passage to get the correct context.

Let's look at this from another angle now. Were you aware that before the Law of Moses, God permitted Noah to eat all of the animals if he chose to? He was however told to avoid eating blood  - which I would also advise even until this day. You can read about that in Genesis 9:1-4. Now, if you think about this for a moment, when did God give the new dietary laws to Moses? It was while he and the Israelites were in the desert. What significance do you think was behind these new laws for eating or avoiding certain foods? Did you know that eating certain meats, if not cooked right, can make you sick? Pigs - like shellfish - are the garbage eaters of God's creation. One is on land and the other is in the ocean. If you ate those foods raw, you just might die or get parasites at best. I'm willing to wager that God knew this, and He also knew that the Jews wouldn't cook these foods right while they were living 40 years in the desert. Sometimes we just need to use common sense. Point being, after the flood, all meat was permissible to eat. Then for a time it wasn't, then God allowed it to go back to the way it was right after the flood. When you eat anything, I just recommend praying and sanctifying your food first before you eat it. End of story.

(You should not use the example of Peter in the book of Acts where he was told to eat the unclean foods he saw that came down from heaven with the sheet. This example was used to explain that Gentiles could receive salvation as well as the Jews. Some say it was for food, but to avoid more arguing with people in Hebrew Roots, I don't recommend this example).

 

SACRED NAMES

Now we come to one of the more ridiculous aspects of this movement. I have had people tell me that because I prayed under the name of "Jesus Christ" that I'm not really saved because I did not use the Hebrew names (such as [4] ). This is so utterly foolish for reasons I don't even want to get into. Do we even have to mention how many cultures and languages there are or have been in the last 2000 years? Can you imagine someone illiterate praying to the God of Abraham for salvation but because they got the Hebrew name wrong (or didn't even know it) that God wouldn't save them? Stupid! Need I say any more? Is it more respectful to use Christ's Hebrew name? I don't know, maybe you should ask Him if you're so inclined. But opening up this door will only lead to you having to learn Hebrew for everything. I've heard some of it and it becomes too cultic with no end in sight. Spare yourself the trouble and just say no. And by the way, I have seen demons tremble and get cast out of people in the name of Jesus Christ. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, there is power in the name of Jesus!

 

BEARDS AND ACCESSORIES

I think you can pretty much see where I'm going with this. Nonetheless, I'll bring them up anyway - if not for education sake then a good laugh at least. There are Jews (modern-day Pharisees as I like to call some of them) who say that men must grow their beards and not shave them certain ways - lest you be sinning or disobedient to God according to the Torah. As well, some say you must wear your [5], tallit and tzit tzit at certain times or else you'll pay the consequences. Again, complete foolishness as though the Lord Jesus Christ cared about outward appearances (so long as they are in moderate dress of course). Having a beard or not having one, wearing your own culture's clothes or Jewish ones, it doesn't matter to God in the slightest. Don't be deceived. God looks at the heart and not the ragged clothes of the poor man.

On the subject of circumcision, the Bible says when we are saved then it is our hearts that have the circumcision and not our bodies. Romans 2:29 - But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. You see, we become spiritual Jews on the inside, not outside when we have come to Jesus Christ as savior and Lord.  I'm sure every Gentile out there right now that has not undergone circumcision can breathe a sigh of relief after reading this.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again for us all. The Bible tells us that it is through grace that we are saved through faith and not of works, lest anyone should boast. Believe me, in the Hebrew Roots Movement, it's all about boasting. On social networking you will see them boasting their obedience to the Sabbath day, how they refrain from certain foods and have esoteric knowledge that nobody else seems to have. Apparently the rest of us have been getting it all wrong for the last 2000 years, except for the small sect of Jews who are leading the way for us all. If left up to those in Hebrew Roots, every Jew or Gentile would be dressing like them, speaking like them and worshiping like them. But I'm pretty sure that if God wanted the entire planet to be Jewish, He would have made us that way.

I can tell you plain and simple that many of the beliefs in Hebrew Roots are doctrines of devils. There are many [6] in this movement and in the people. There are spirits of pride, racism, prejudice, spirits that would have men treat women as property (as many Jews did in Christ's time) and many other ungodly spirits. Perhaps the most dangerous demons in these people are the religious spirits. They are the same spirit that the Pharisees had and ultimately killed Christ in the end. I know men in this movement who have personally exercised their Jewish right to marry a woman just by word of mouth and not under the law of the land. Some even think that this gives them the right to have more than one wife at a time. If you do not believe the truth in the scriptures of what I have mentioned, watch the fruit of these people. You will see the pride and religious actions of the people that will not lead you to God, but rather the opposite way.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I ask you to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves. Do not let anyone deceive you, read your Bible as often as you can and test every spirit. May God bless you and remember, beware!

 

 

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Comments

Sep 23, 2014 11:19am
JadeDragon
I agree that the Hebrew Roots people get a lot of things wrong, but on the 7th day Sabbath issue I suggest taking a second look. The seventh day Sabbath was instituted at Creation (see Gen 1-3). It was for everyone, not just the Hebrews.

It is one of the 10 Commandments with the unique lead in "Remember". Some say the Remember is because God knew we would forget it. No one advocates that the other 9 Commandments were done away with by Jesus.

The Sabbath is not like the ceremonial laws and festivals that pointed Jesus and were fulfilled.

Jesus kept the Sabbath, as did the apostles. There is NO record in the Bible of a change in worship day to Sunday. History shows that it was Constantine that made the change for political reasons.

A number of Christian denominations keep the Biblical 7th Day Sabbath today, chiefly the Seventh-day Adventists, but also the True Jesus Church, Seventh-day Baptists, remnants of the Worldwide Church of God, and others.

Anyway great article otherwise, I enjoyed it
Oct 8, 2014 6:03pm
demon_killer
I appreciate your comment, and I have heard what others have said about the Sabbath. The trouble is, many people don't understand the New Covenant and all that it entails. If you see how Christ nor Paul ever talked about the Sabbath as something for everyone to follow. Basically it ended at the cross of Christ, "It is finished!" Christ and Paul observed the Sabbath, but the first Gentile churches were never bound to it and since then it's pretty much abolished by all except those who think their works can do anything for God.

There is nothing you or anyone else can do on a Saturday to make God love or appreciate you more. We're in Christ - as He is now our Sabbath and we rest in Him. Unless you can grasp this, you'll be stuck in the bondage of observing a day that means absolutely nothing now.

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Bibliography

  1. Wikipedia "Hebrew Roots." Hebrew Roots - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 23/09/2014 <Web >
  2. Wikipedia "Sabbath." Sabbath. 23/09/2014 <Web >
  3. Jack Zavada "Galatians." Introduction to the Book of Galatians. 23/09/2014 <Web >
  4. Dezina Web "Yeshua Mashiach." Yeshua Hamashiach. 23/09/2014 <Web >
  5. Lorne Rozovsky "The Kippah (Skullcap)." The Kippah (Skullcap) - Mitzvahs & Traditions. 23/09/2014 <Web >
  6. Wikipedia "Demon." Demon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 23/09/2014 <Web >

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