Hebrew Roots, Unhelpful Fruits

by Reed DePace

I first was compelled to examine the Hebrew Roots Movement (more broadly, Messianic Christianity) because of a beloved Christian father in my circles who had a relative drifting into the movement. This relative has a sincere faith, spending a part of life working for a reformed ministry of some renown. Circumstances in life led this relative to some understandable and rightly placed disillusionment with some reformed churches. In response to these hardships the relative sadly and unwisely in my view latched onto a Messianic congregation/ministry. Hence, in order to help this Christian father, I did some research on this movement.

I’ve concluded that MOST of the folks involved with what Lane has aptly titled the Hebrew Roots Movement are dissatisfied Protestants looking for THE explanation/interpretation that will bring to life the full realization of the promises for the Christian Life taught in the Scriptures. Rightly NOT satisfied with the experience of ordinary Evan-jellyfish Christianity that makes a great blasting trumpet sound but has no extraordinary follow through, these folks, motivated by a sincere desire to believe Christ, are looking for the answer somewhere other than the tradition they’ve come out of.

Thus they follow in a long line of similar seekers of the fulfillment of what Calvin called “Golden Jewish Dreams.” They are the descendants of the Anabaptists, the various movements into spiritualism, mysticism and pietism. They are the next heirs of the higher life movement, the Pentecostals, and late born cousins of Dispensationalism and prosperity gospel preachers. Like all such movements, they claim a “New” understanding of the gospel that is also recovery of the gospel as taught in the Early Church.

And, in a manner they do not suspect, they are indeed right. They do have ancient roots and they are the latest new version of an old error. These folks yet again, in the end, propose a relationship with God that is synergistic for its fulfillment. For them it is not Jesus + fundamentalism, or Jesus + sacerdotalism, or Jesus + mysticism, or Jesus + signs and wonders, or Jesus + prosperity. No, for them it is Jesus + a modern expression of the oldest form of fundamentalism known in the Church. They are indeed a new expression of the old Judaizers. Like some of the early profession-making Pharisees (the party of James), these folks in the end teach a Jesus + Talmudic-Torah-observance, a Jesus + the necessity of some sort of a Jewish informed lifestyle.

They don’t realize that they are making (at least) two tragic mistakes. First, like most imbalanced Jesus + something else movements, they have an over-realized eschatology. They are expecting the experience of things now that are reserved for the eternal state. Specifically they are expecting a fleshly experience of what is only a spiritual experience of the Christian life now. They mistakenly think that fleshly practices in some way secure the dramatically powerful experience of the Spirit’s work in day to day life. In this they are no better than the forms of Evan-jellyfish they left behind. Missing that the ordinary experience of the Christian life is one marked by fleshly suffering and weakness this side of eternity, they are pursuing just another expression of the “Kingdom NOW” lie so common in the Church today.

Second, these Hebrew Roots Movement folks unwisely are adopting practices and habits, accouterments of a “Jewish” lifestyle that actually are derived from a heretical source. These folks do not seem to realize that with the destruction of the Temple the practice of a Jewish form of Christianity ceased to be an option. The core of OT worship was the sacrifices; all of Leviticus, the key book in terms of Jewish life and worship (i.e., life = worship, worship is life), is built around the sacrifices. They were essential to the maintenance of even the smallest component of the law of cleanliness, etc.. Without sacrifice one CANNOT rightly practice any of the OT worship system.

And when the Temple was destroyed – that was it. All that was left was the Pharisaical/Rabbinical traditions. All that was left was the ethical teaching of the rabbis (the Talmudic tradition) coupled with the imitative worship practices, the “616” applicatory traditions of the Pharisees. Outside the book of Acts we actually do not have any Church exclusive sources of what first century Jewish Christianity was like. All we have are sources that at best seek to interpret what Jewish Christianity must have been like based on similarities with second and later century Diaspora Judaism. It is amazing that Messianic Christians think they are practicing a purer form of Christianity. In reality, they are practicing a form contaminated by unbelieving Jews who maintained their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah.

These modern day “Jewish” Christians fail to grapple with what Jesus said:

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” (Mar 7:6-8 ESV)

Quite simply, those who would restore a Jewish form of Christianity are actually restoring the Pharisaical form at best, something condemned by Jesus and done away with at his express command (e.g., Acts 10, 15, the books of Galatians and Hebrews in total). All the practices adopted in Messianic congregations have as their source Rabbinic Judaism, that branch of Judaism that refused to repent of their rejection of the Messiah when in A.D. 70 God removed the earthly temple and left standing only the true spiritual temple, the Church of Christ.

Looking for the transformative power of the Christian life, these sincere but misguided folks ignore the warning of the Spirit who is the source of this transformation:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, (1Ti 4:1-3)

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations– “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)– according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Col 2:20-23)

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. (Tit 3:9)

The Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Christianity, while well intentioned, is yet another deflection from the simple, pure gospel of Jesus Christ. It is based on the heresy of rabbinic Judaism, NOT first century Jewish Christianity. It in the end, like all forms of Jesus + me Christianity, teaches a defective gospel.

For more information, and helpful “inside” critiques of the movement, see the following resources:

Stan is a Jewish believer in Christ, former pastor, and lately a missionary with Jews for Jesus. Raised in American Judaism, he speaks from first-hand knowledge of the Messianic Christian movement. One interesting tidbit he shares: upwards of 80% of the members of Messianic congregations are NOT Jewish by birth. Instead they are Gentiles, mostly disaffected evangelicals attracted to the Hebrew Roots Movement by a promise of a restoration of “authentic” Christianity.

Baruch is a born and raised Israeli Jew. He grew up actually Jewish, served his mandatory term in the Israeli army, and lived a thoroughly Jewish life before being converted. And after conversion, he continued to live a Jewish lifestyle – but one that does not involve the restoration of rabbinic Judaism in the Church seen in Messianic Christianity. A reformed pastor, he has a long-term credible missionary-pastoral-writing ministry based in Israel. If anyone can speak with credibility to the non-Christian aspects of the Hebrew Roots Movement, it is Baruch.

In the end, I conclude on a sad but hopeful note. The sadness is that these folks have saddled themselves with the old law-slavery that Jesus lamented: 

And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” (Luke 11:46)

The hope is that it was to just such a people Jesus called out with this promise: 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-1)

===============================================

NOTE: significant in the misunderstandings of these folks is the role of the Levitical regulations. It is these that make up the bulk of the “Jewishness” that Messianic Christians strive to adopt in their worship and life.

Consequently, both to understand where these folks get off track and in order to help them, getting a handle on how Leviticus works is important. Consider the following sources:

For some really deep background and seminal thinking on the nature of clean/unclean, holy/common themes in Leviticus, one ignores Mary Douglas to their own hurt: The Forbidden Animals in Leviticus and Leviticus As Literature. While you may not agree with all she says, her insights are very helpful in rightly interpreting the meaning of these concepts.

For some thinking on the role of the Mosaic law in the Church/Christian life, see:

As well, one will find great help, simple and sound investigations of the Scripture via the Westminster Confession of Faith. See Chapter 19, Of the Law of God,  especially paragraph three (scroll down to page 83).

Reed DePace

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58 Comments

  1. michael said,

    May 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    “… In reality, they are practicing a form contaminated by unbelieving Jews who maintained their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. …”. HA!

    The import is there!

    What are you waiting for Reed, launch with this message, go out, share this with the people, start some good trouble like the Apostles in the book of Acts!

  2. Justin said,

    May 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I agree with this post, having followed the disillusionment/latching on process described above pretty closely. Thanks for this article.

  3. Didymus Martin said,

    May 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    @ Reed
    I applaud you for your well researched study of another “works oriented”
    cultic movement.

    It saddens me to see sincere Chrisians lead astray by “apologetically based” para-church ministries with their “Johnny -come-lately” prophets
    who claim that the American version of Christianity needs to “learn how to count” [the Prophecy of Jonah] or in need of a “Rood” awakeninhg [a Messianic Jew Prophet who left his pastorate at a dispensational denomination] to fuel another messianic movement.

  4. Pete Rambo said,

    May 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Reed,

    Shalom, and blessings in the name of Yeshua the Messiah.

    I have watched the previous post with some interest since I was at least partly the subject. Thank you for the opportunity to share what I am seeing in Scripture.

    It is a bit distressing that you and the previous author paint with such broad brushes… apparently unaware that like the divided mainstream church, there are many stripes and differences in the Hebrew roots movement. Rather than broad innuendo, it might better serve your purpose to address specific perceived error.

    In that light, I’d like to speak to several of your statements.

    You speak broadly of the error of traditions of men, and for that I commend you. Indeed, Messiah did take the religious leaders of His day to task for teaching as the commandments of God, the traditions of men. You then make the rather grave error of lumping the commandments of God with the traditions of men.

    So you know more about me, I believe the whole Bible is true. I am washed in the atoning sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua, and by the power of His Spirit, I walk as He walked. (I John 2:3-7) I eat clean (Lev. 11), keep the Sabbath (just wrote a piece on my blog about this), wear tzitzits (Numbers 15:37-41), and celebrate the Feasts of Yahweh (Lev. 23). Those are all commandments of Yahweh. Minus the tzitzits, all are specifically prophesied for the future kingdom. (Is. 66:17 & 22-23; Zech. 14:16-19; etc…) In fact, if you plan to be in the kingdom, you might want to check several passages out:

    Ezekiel 37:24-28 says One Shepherd, one Law, one land, in covenant, forever.
    Jeremiah 31:31-34 says the covenant is with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, Torah will be written on their heart (that is the covenant) and the sign of fulfillment is that nobody teaches… (not yet fulfilled…)

    What does adoption and/or grafting in really mean? Eph. 2:8-22 and 4:1-6 Members of the commonwealth of Israel. (Please note, ‘dogma’ in v. 15 is NOT the Torah, and v. 16, it was the ‘enmity’ that was ‘put to death’, not the Torah…) If we are grafted in/adopted, then there are ‘house rules.’ We are called to live by those rules.

    Bottomline: You confuse the Commandments of God with the traditions of men.

    You close with,

    The hope is that it was to just such a people Jesus called out with this promise: 
    “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-1)
    You are correct, He calls to you and to me with these words. So, what IS His yoke? It isn’t nothingness, or some squishy gospel of ‘love’ and ‘grace.’ He provides a clue as to what He is talking about: ‘You will find rest for your souls.’ He’s quoting… Tanakh. Let’s look at context.

    Jeremiah 6:16-19
    “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.’ But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ ‘And I set a watchmen over you saying, ‘listen to the sound of the trumpet.’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ ‘Therefore hear, O nations, and know O congregation what is among them. Hear O earth; behold I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their plans, because they have not listened to My words, and as for my Torah they have rejected it also.’”

    Notice: Rest for your souls is equated with the ‘ancient paths.’

    The religious leaders of Yeshua’s day preferred their traditions and He was doing what EVERY prophet did. He was calling His people back to the covenant. Back to Torah. Back to the ancient paths.

    Over and over we are told in Scripture that Torah is life, peace, blessings, etc. The church teaches the opposite. Who do I believe?

    The Tanakh and the NT teach the Torah is liberty and perfect. The church teaches it is bondage and done away with. Who do I believe?

    I choose Scripture over the doctrines and traditions of men. I walk as Messiah walked. He bought me, I am His obedient child.

    Sorry the post was this long, but lays a foundation. Thanks. Pete Rambo

  5. CD-Host said,

    May 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Reed –

    Excellent post! Agree with what you wrote. Though there is a considerable number of people from 1/2 Jewish backgrounds or intermarried to Jews in these movements. They aren’t Jewish but often they are looking for a compromise.

    One area of disagreement, though which doesn’t effect the thrust of your argument. would be your tying “Jewish Christianity” to the temple / ceremonial system. I’d argue that Jewish Christianity was part of a broader anti-Temple rejectionist movement (Tzaddok) that formed during the anti Seleucid revolt and Hasmonean dynasty (2nd century BCE).

    P.S. I think where you wrote 616 you mean 613.

  6. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    May 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

    @Church Discipline,

    My Completed Jewish friend told me that to be Jewish, your mother must be Jewish .

  7. Reed Here said,

    May 30, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Pete, Grace and Mercy through Jesus our Messiah to you as well.

    (I am tempted to make a point by writing that in the original Greek, but I’ll assume your use of Anglicized Hebrew is an expression of faith, and not as it clearly is for some in your neck of the woods, an affectation through which they judge themselves more spiritually mature than others who just use the word “Jesus.”)

    Respectfully and with well wishes to, I’d ask you to read again Lane’s original post and mine here. There are no innuendos. We’re both being pretty straightforward, although hopefully in a respectful manner with our differences. So, I’d ask you to reconsider that criticism of my (our) post(s).

    With the same desire you show for understanding and real shalom to exist between us, I’d ask you to also consider retracting the “broad brush” criticism. I paint with a broad brush when I observe that, by way of example, that ALL men are susceptible to the same selfish, weak laziness that marked Adam’s first sin. This brush slaps across at least 50% of the race of mankind. And, as I think you will agree, that does not mean my application of the brush is sloppy. In fact, I’ve used a carefulness that has not resulted in even one potential error. I’ve not said anything to which any man can rightly object.

    All that to observe that I disagree with your broad brush criticism. You personally may NOT carry ALL the characteristics that I say are seen in Messianic Christianity (some of your biblical arguments do demonstrate that you share at least some of the characteristics). But then my criticisms were not absolute either universally or generally. To complain that I am tarring some individuals, or even some congregations within the movement when I’ve not said that these things are seen in ALL without discrimination is to read what I said in an inaccurate and unkind manner.

    I can appreciate you heard the slap of my brush and maybe even felt a few drips land on your skin. Debate the merits of my criticism. Where I am right, help your fellow Messianic-minded Christians to appreciate the validity of the criticism. Where I am wrong, show me. And where we just misunderstand, then ask some questions and work towards resolution.

    I take it that this is what you do in the latter half of your comment, and so I’ll close here with a simple request that you reconsider your “fairness” objections. Stick with your particular objections and I am with you.

  8. Reed Here said,

    May 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Pete, to address at least one of your substantive objections, it will help us both to identify that at the core of our differences we have a dramatically different conviction about how the Bible is to be interpreted. That is not to say anything offensive about either of us or our positions. It is to hopefully find a place of agreement from which we might pursue some understanding leading to iron-sharpening-iron. Sound good?

    If so, let me just ask about your maintenance of the Feasts in Lev. 23. I want to ask you to only answer a series questions at this point, so I understand both what and why you celebrate these. Is this list correct?

    • Passover, Lv 23:5,
    • Feast of Unleavened Bread, Lv 23,
    • Feast of Firstfruits, Lv 23:9-14,
    • Feast of Pentecost/Weeks, Lv 23:15-21,
    • Feast of Trumpets, Lv 23:23-25,
    • Day of Atonement, Lv 23:26-32), and
    • Feast of Booths/Tabernacles, Lv 23:33-44

    If so, here are some what questions for clarification of your practice:

    1. Do you maintain all the provisions for these feasts, as presented in Lv 23 and other passages that provide specifications for these feasts?
    2. Do you do so explicitly, without variation in the slightest detail noted in the Scriptures for celebrating these feasts?
    3. Do you add any provisions to these celebrations not expressly noted in Scripture?
    4. If so, what is the source of these added provisions?
    5. Do you leave out any biblically noted provisions in your celebration these feasts?
    6. If so, on what basis do you leave these elements out?

    In your reply you can simply respond this way “Q1:” and then answer the question corresponding to the number listed. I.e., no need to repeat the question.

    Please answer these and then take a look at my next comment and answer the why questions there in a separate response. Thanks.

  9. Reed Here said,

    May 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Pete, regarding why you celebrate these feasts, please answer:

    1. Why do you celebrate these feasts?
    2. Do you believe they are necessary to receive salvation from Yeshua ha’mashiach in the first place?
    3. Do you believe they are necessary to maintain salvation after initial salvation?
    4. Do you believe they are necessary to increase salvation after initial salvation?
    5. Do you believe they are necessary to secure final salvation at death and/or at the final judgment?
    6. Do you believe that a person can be truly saved by Yeshua ha’mashiach if they do not celebrate these feasts?
    7. If not, do you believe that a person can lose their salvation if they do not celebrate these feasts?
    8. If a person can be truly saved without celebrating these feasts, then what does a person lose by not celebrating them?
    9. Does it make a person a better follower of Yeshua ha’mashiach by celebrating these feasts?
    10. If so, how? What does a person get who celebrates these feasts that a person who does not celebrate them does not get?

    Finally, if these questions have not provided you sufficient ground to fully explain the significance, relevance, importance, value and/or necessity for a saved person to celebrate these feasts, what else would you want me to know?

    Please answer the questions in these two posts (nos. 7 & 8) and I promise I will with respect and good will consider your answers and follow up with you. Thanks!

  10. Reed Here said,

    May 30, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    CD-Host: your one quibble may or may not be historically accurate. I can agree at least that the dynamic you mention is present. I think, however, in fairness to what we read of the motivation of the Pharisee party within the Apostolic Church, their opposition did not mean opposition to participation in the Temple/sacrificial worship system. That is, like Paul, they did continue to offer sacrifices, and in general seek to abide by the Mosaic prescriptions in their lives.

    My point may be better appreciated by considering it from this angle. When the Temple was destroyed (and the priesthood), there was no way for any Jew to be Torah-faithful at that point without recourse to fundamental alterations in how Torah was understood to apply to daily life. Rabbinic, Talmud based Jewish life provided the vehicle for the adjustment. It was, as it were, all that was left after the Romans were done.

    The problem is, as any straightforward reading of the Torah shows, you can’t keep Torah WITHOUT a Temple. Plain and simple. What was left in the practice of Diaspora Jews WAS NOT AND NEVER could be Torah faithful.

    One wonders then, how Messianic Jews, let alone Messianic Gentiles, can comfortably import into their worship of Adonai (let’s be consistent and NOT, at least, use the Tetragrammaton ;-) ) additions that are informed by an unbelieving source? I’ve no concern for any ethnic maintenance of Jewish culture. I’ve enjoyed pretending to like gefilte fish with some Jewish friends. Yet I’d as soon add their unbelieving worship practices to the Church as I would Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu worship practices.

  11. Pete Rambo said,

    May 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you Reed. I am open to dialog.

    We have celebrated and hosted a large Passover/Pesach gathering in our home each of the last two years. We have used a Messianic Hagadah each year, of which I’d be happy to provide a copy… I think I have five different ones in my files. Some longer and more detailed than others… We’ve used a short version to keep children involved.

    [As a side note, the very first Passover I celebrated some years ago was led by an OPC Minister, was in the Fellowship hall of the PCA church I was an elder in... the church Lane now pastors. Further, members of that congregation have participated in both of the recent Passovers we have hosted and been blessed accordingly...]

    The focus of the evening is two-fold. It is a memorial dinner to the physical exodus out of Egypt by the mighty Hand of Yahweh, and a memorial to our spiritual release from bondage that believers in Messiah have through His perfect atoning sacrifice. Both are acts of grace, under the blood before baptism and the giving of expectations/ rules for righteousness.

    Contrary to popular misconceptions, no lamb was sacrificed (Incidentally, only the first observance allowed the lamb to be sacrificed at the home, ALL future observances, per Torah, the lamb was to be brought to the Tabernacle/Temple). I avoid the ‘traditional/Talmudic’ elements on the seder plate keeping only to those commanded in Scripture per Ex. 12… Unleavened bread, bitter herbs, lamb etc. (We did have an uncut/unbroken shank bone to talk about Ps. 22 and the fact that none of the bones of the Perfect Lamb were broken.)

    Every possible connection with Messiah is made. He is Pre-eminent in the two foci.

    How did my family make the move to the Feasts? I started digging into the origins of Christmas and Easter traditions… (he Puritans in this country would fine or imprison practitioners of christmas…) As I came to recognize the pagan syncretism… evergreen trees, gifts, the calendar dates, eggs, sunrise, etc… all predated Yeshua and were merely co-opted by the 3rd century bishops to aid Constantine in maintaining power… Anyway, my research, combined with a growing conviction that the syncretism did not make Abba happy, led us to cast off those holidays after MUCH prayer and wrestling.

    Left with a huge hole in our ‘traditions’ I asked the Father, ‘what now? You took these away, but … what?’ He led us to a complete retooling of our understanding of the Feasts.

    1. They are the Feasts of Yahweh. Not the “Feasts of the Jews.”
    2. They are HIS appointed times. Not mine.
    3. He states at least four times in Lev. 23 they are a ‘perpetual statute.’
    4. They are terrific days and benchmarks through the year to celebrate and focus on different aspects of our life in Messiah!! Children need manipulatives. We are children and these are so handy in teaching and growing our family in faith and understanding.
    5. The feasts are prophesied in some aspect in the millennial kingdom… Zech 14:16-19 as well as Is. 66:22-23

    Back to Pesach. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 5:8 to ‘keep the feast…’ He tells us to imitate him as he imitates Messiah (1 Cor. 11:1). Basically follow his halakah. His example is keeping the feasts (Acts 20:6 &16) as well as the whole Law (Acts 21:21-26; 24:14 & 17; 25:7-8, 11;28:17-18).

    I understand that the feasts are not done away with. Some picture the first coming of Messiah. The Fall feasts picture the second coming of Messiah. In them we have his birth (Sukkot), death (Pesach), burial/perfection (Unleavened), Resurrection (First Fruits); giving of the Torah and the Spirit (Shavuot/Pentecost); Last Trumpet/Second Coming (Rosh Hashanah); Judgment (Yom Kippur); Marriage Supper/Tabernacling (Sukkot) and New Heavens and New earth (eight day Sabbath after Sukkot.)

    This has gotten long, but lays a foundation. I hope it helps allay fears of my ‘heretical’ position of simply trusting that Scripture means what it says when it says it.

    Shalom to you.

  12. Pete Rambo said,

    May 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Sorry, appears I jumped the gun, but answered many of your questions. I’ll get the rest in a while. Tied up right now.

    Thanks.

  13. Reed Here said,

    May 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Pete, thanks, but your response is a bit too much detail and editorializing. I’ve intentionally sought to word my questions to make back and forth between us efficient. Might you go back to comment no. 7 and just answer those questions first? Then might you do the same for the questions in comment no. 8? Please be as succinct and tight in your responses as you can. I promise to allow you to further clarify as needed. It will greatly help me track with you. Thanks.

  14. May 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Hello Reed,
    Greetings in the name of our savior and Lord Yeshua!!
    I would like to make the observation that lumping everyone who chooses to see the entire Word(s) of YHVH as applicable to believers today into the camp of Judiazers is like claiming all Christians are Roman Catholic. From the outside, one might assume such seeing that they share common days of worship, holidays, similar governmental structure, liturgy and such but as we all know there are some very stark and profound differences. I very much do subscribe to searching the scriptures from a Hebraic perspective (it is, after all written from that perspective, by people of that perspective to people either natural born into or adopted into that perspective) but in no wise use any form of Talmudic thought as the lens for my understanding the truth of the Word of YHVH. It’s my understanding that the Holy Spirit is in charge of that department according to John 14:26.
    It is interesting to note the verse cited in Mark the 7th chapter sees the Judiazers at odds with the Law of Moses and not, at least from Yeshua’s point of view, teaching such. The text would indicate Yeshua was speaking against the Judiazers (those preaching their traditions) and saying they had abandoned the Law of Moses. Wouldn’t it be just the least bit logical that He was calling people back to an understanding and adherence to the Torah as well? He did, after all, according to His own words (John 12:49,50, John 14:24) speak the words of His Father (the same one who’s “breathed words” are recorded within the Mosaic Law). I would submit, we have the very same thing going on today with those, who find parts of it (Torah) objectionable or unpalatable, finding a teacher that agrees with their presupposition and adopting that “man breathed” viewpoint as the lens of their understanding. Isn’t this the very essence what Paul is speakng out about in 1 Timothy 4th chapter. A Hebrew faith in Yeshua is, after all, what the early church believed (see Rev. 1:9. 12:17 and 14:12). Reform theology would come along centuries later in response to the heresies already forming that would manifest itself in the whole Roman Catholic system.. Paul says the same thing in 2 Timothy the 3rd chapter and qualifies Scripture as that which is “God breathed”. Where do we see the actual Words breathed by YHVH Himself? It’s the Tanakh from which Paul was specifically referring. It’s also , among other things, to be “the source” of “sound doctrine” he instructs Titus to teach in Titus 2:1 and what Paul Himself testifies he believes in Acts 24:14-16 and references in 2 Tim. 3:10. There is no way anything breathed by YHVH should be confused with doctrines of demons mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:1. From my perspective, once again in history, the Holy Spirit is calling out for the people of YHVH to abandon the traditions of men (whether Jewish or Gentile in origin) and return to His ways. Not as a means “for “salvation, (which is only available through the blood of Yeshua) but as “now adopted children” of His house, an expression of their submission to His ways and relationship with YHVH which is clearly stated in the bible as “the” expression of our love for Him.

    1Jn 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves him who has been born of Him.
    1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and keep His commandments.
    1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.
    1Jn 5:4 For everything that has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.

    Peace

  15. Reed Here said,

    May 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks Travis. See my response to Pete Rambo in no. 6. Respectfully, I offer the same challenge to your “broad brush” complaint to me here.

    As to interpretation of Scripture, yes the HS is in charge. And, respectfully, how can you say you do not use any Talmudic influences in your interpretation of Scripture when you observe that you are “searching the Scriptures from a Hebraic perspective”? Tell the historical sources of this Hebraic perspective. Show me where they are informed by sources from the Church, not the unbelieving apostate Jewish community.

    Or, sincerely, let me suggest you don’t try. It will be a waste of your time and mine. The historical fact is that the Hebraic perspective you attempt to bring is necessarily and inexorably informed by rabbinic Judaism.

    Not sure why you’d want to deny this. It is what it is.

  16. CD-Host said,

    May 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    @Thomas

    My Completed Jewish friend told me that to be Jewish, your mother must be Jewish .

    Yes, except for Reform where it is either parent + identification.

    I was using “1/2 Jewish” in the American sense of either parent + other less common options (i.e. after divorce step father is jewish and spends lots of times with kids as acting as father…)

  17. Pete Rambo said,

    May 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Reed,

    I have included your original post to help readers not have to scroll back and forth. In places, I have reduced your typing to the salient question/point.

    R: If so, let me just ask about your maintenance of the Feasts in Lev. 23. I want to ask you to only answer a series questions at this point, so I understand both what and why you celebrate these. Is this list correct?
    • Passover, Lv 23:5,
    • Feast of Unleavened Bread, Lv 23,
    • Feast of Firstfruits, Lv 23:9-14,
    • Feast of Pentecost/Weeks, Lv 23:15-21,
    • Feast of Trumpets, Lv 23:23-25,
    • Day of Atonement, Lv 23:26-32), and
    • Feast of Booths/Tabernacles, Lv 23:33-44
    P: Yes, with a few other verses helping to form the actual ‘working out’ of the celebrations. Please note also, that Sabbath, the weekly Sabbath is listed among the Feasts of Yahweh/holy convocations in Lev. 23.
    R: If so, here are some what questions for clarification of your practice: (My answers follow the questions)

    1. Do you maintain all the provisions for these feasts, as presented in Lv 23 and other passages that provide specifications for these feasts? Yes, to the best of my abilities, based on understanding of Torah as I learn. There is NO sacrifice involved in any feast. That would be a grave violation of Torah requirements.

    2. Do you do so explicitly, without variation in the slightest detail noted in the Scriptures for celebrating these feasts? Generally speaking, yes. Understand, I try to do so according to my understanding of the calendar, though there is some division and disagreement among the brothers. Yeshua will straighten that out upon His return. Items dealing with the Temple are set aside in the manner I think the Jews did while in exile to Babylon. Further, I am not able to go to Jerusalem for the pilgrim feasts, but the time may come when my family is blessed with that opportunity.

    3. Do you add any provisions to these celebrations not expressly noted in Scripture? Again, generally speaking, no. Not that I can think of off the top of my head. The day or days, are focused on Scripture, fellowship, worship, discussion/midrashing… Fun.

    4. If so, what is the source of these added provisions?

    5. Do you leave out any biblically noted provisions in your celebration these feasts? Sacrifice would be the major one. Can’t think of any other off the top of my head.

    6. If so, on what basis do you leave these elements out? Now this is an interesting question that requires some explanation. Withhold judgment.

    The Torah answer for not offering sacrifice is simple. Multiple places (Lev. 17:5-9 is one good example) we are told that sacrifice is to be made ONLY at the tabernacle/Temple and only by the Levitical Preisthood. As such there is NO circumstance that presently allows or encourages sacrifice.

    It is interesting to note, though, that Paul offered sacrifice in the Temple by fulfilling Nazarite vows. Acts 21:19-26 and 24:17. Further, Hebrews 8:4 clearly says that at least at the time of the writing, there were still some sacrifices the author viewed as being ‘offered according to the Law.’ Still further, Ezekiel 43 and 44 seem to point to some form of offering in the Millennial Temple.

    Certainly, I believe as Hebrews teaches, that Yeshua is the perfect atonment sacrifice forever, however, the sacrificial system was much more complex with other offerings (peace, Nazarite, etc) that seem in view in Ezekiel.

    So, Reformed tradition assumes no sacrifice in the future, but this does not satisfy some prophetic passages without spiritualizing everything and thereby violating the most basic and literal meaning of the text. At this point I am learning to rest in the fact that I do not have all the answers I once thought I did. And, I’ll let Yeshua sort out the future when that time comes.

    All that to say this: There is no place for sacrifice in the current celebration of feasts. I’m not interested or have any desire for such, but recognize that just maybe, there will something of the sort in the future.

    R: Pete, regarding why you celebrate these feasts, please answer:

    1. Why do you celebrate these feasts? Simple obedience to the whole Word of God. “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘Yahweh’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations- My appointed times are these…. …it is to be a perpetual statue in all your dwelling places throughout your generations….’” Yeshua celebrated and I am to walk as he walked. Paul’s example was also that of celebrating the Feasts. Some attribute this to ‘Jewish tradition’ or ‘Jewish feasts’ but that denies the clear giving and expectation of the original command. They are the Feasts of Yahweh. His appointed times.

    2. Do you believe they are necessary to receive salvation from Yeshua ha’mashiach in the first place? No.

    3. Do you believe they are necessary to maintain salvation after initial salvation? Not to ‘maintain’ salvation, however, willful disobedience to this command or any other will have consequences. Yahweh promises blessings for obedience.

    4. Do you believe they are necessary to increase salvation after initial salvation? Like all commandments, I think they lead to greater sanctification.

    5. Do you believe they are necessary to secure final salvation at death and/or at the final judgment? No, not in the sense that my security is in Messiah alone, however, rewards are tied to obedience to the commandments. Matthew 5:19 indicates both those who annul and those who teach will be in the kingdom, but there is a marked difference in ‘least’ v. ‘great.’ Ez. 44:9-14 seems to support his for the Millennial Temple.

    6. Do you believe that a person can be truly saved by Yeshua ha’mashiach if they do not celebrate these feasts? Yes, however, I believe that I am no longer ignorant of the fullness of what my Messiah desires, what His ‘house rules’ are. As such, I am accountable for disobedience.

    7. If not, do you believe that a person can lose their salvation if they do not celebrate these feasts? We may not lose salvation, but we do lose reward.

    8. If a person can be truly saved without celebrating these feasts, then what does a person lose by not celebrating them? Reward and blessing. Also a loss of understanding of many Scriptures as well as many blessed learning and teaching opportunities.

    9. Does it make a person a better follower of Yeshua ha’mashiach by celebrating these feasts? Absolutely! The Father offers no wasted instructions. His commands are for our good. The Feasts are terrific blessings, times of refreshment where He promises to meet with us according to HIS calendar. When we unilaterally declare them ‘abrogated’ we are judging His Word according to our traditions.

    10. If so, how? What does a person get who celebrates these feasts that a person who does not celebrate them does not get? Freedom (Ps 119:45; James 1:25; 2:12), joy, peace (Prov. 3:1-2), life (Pro. 6:23) etc. My experience is that everything the Torah promises is true!

    Deu. 29:29-30:20. Read and ponder the magnitude of actually believing those verses… particularly the ‘if-then’ statements. I used to profess the Whole Word of God is truth. Jesus is the Word made flesh. We are to be molded into His image and walk as He walked… then I’d offer all these caveats for why this verse, that verse or some other passage don’t apply to us…

    I have experienced a monumental paradigm shift!! Yahweh’s plan from the beginning is the plan He still is on today and He will complete it. Prophecy will be fulfilled literally and the tent of David will be restored. Not two people, but one. Not two kingdoms, but one. We are, by faith, the scattered House of Israel that he is awakening and bringing home. Just as Ruth, when we come by faith, we receive a people, a destiny, a land, and an inheritance. Feasts are one part of that.

    Yeshua didn’t come to start a new religion and the apostles didn’t teach a new religion. He and they taught Torah, Yahweh’s loving instructions that are not too difficult (Deu 30:11; I John 5:2-3; Matthew 11:28-30), will last until heaven and earth pass away (Deu 30:19; Jer. 31:35-37; Matthew 5:17-19), are the definition of righteousness (Deu. 6:24-25; I Jo. 3:4).

    Observing the feasts is not moralism or legalism. It is simple trusting obedience, embracing that my Father knows better.

    I pray this help you better understand my perspective and observance.

    Shalom.

  18. May 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Hello Reed,
    While I understand you are a busy person with probably more important things than engaging in, what may turn out to be, basically an unfruitful dialog between us. I, for the sake of those watching this thread, do want to address your questions and comments so there may be no misunderstanding.

    You asked…..
    “And, respectfully, how can you say you do not use any Talmudic influences in your interpretation of Scripture when you observe that you are “searching the Scriptures from a Hebraic perspective”?”

    It’s quite simple actually. Please consider (as I wrote before) the very text from Genesis to Revelation is of it’s very essence Hebrew. It was written by Hebrew authors, from a culturally Hebrew perspective and to people who were either Hebrew by birth or those “grafted in” and as such is Hebrew in every way. The text was Hebrew long before there was any formal oral tradition or written Talmud.

    What I’m referring to is simply doing my very best to ignore, or put away any cultural bias I may have that is simply not part of anything written in the text and as such clouds my understanding. I know this is a terrifying prospect from those who have been trained in a particular method to understand the text but also please understand this is the very essence of what was wrong in Yeshua’s days here, with the oral traditions being the “lens” from which people of that day understood the text. The very same thing is happening today.

    It also created the framework for the arrogance seen in the bible exhibited by the Pharisees and Scribes that stimulates the offense today of anything “Jewish”. Once again, we have the same thing occurring today.

    One must always remember, Paul did not write to 21st century American believers. To not keep in mind who the writers were (Hebrew), who they were writing to (Hebrew people) and about what (mostly issues concerning Torah and it’s contrast between the traditions of men being taught as doctrine, at least in the NT) is simply taking the text out of context.

    As far as the Hebraic perspective based in the rabbinic tradition you seem to be fixed on, please humor me to explain where I personally (I cannot speak for any others than myself) am coming from.

    If there is any Rabbinic influence in my understanding of scripture it’s through the only Rabbi to be recorded of teaching Moses perfectly and in it’s fullness, that being none other than, Rabbi Yeshua. He is, after all Hebrew (a Jew, by the way) and a Rabbi. The other authors I consult are much older than anything modern and simply are the doctrines taught by the apostles. Both Yeshua and the apostles taught from Torah, plain and simple, and as stated, far too many times to miss, would, in fact, be false prophets if they taught contrary to it, according to a provision in Torah Deut 13:1-5.

    Some today say these “pesky rules and regulations” have been replaced, or set aside (abrogated) by the “Big 2” (which ironically are specifically stated in the Law of Moses) but one would only have to read the text from which it is spoken to understand that Yeshua neither partitioned the Torah nor abrogated such in any way. In fact “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” is simply the summation of the first 4 of the decalogue and “Love your neighbor as yourself” being the summation of the last 6. The decalogue itself being a summation of the whole Law. It’s on this foundation of Love that the entire immovable truth of Torah stands. It is, itself, Truth (Psalm 119:142) and in itself neutral. It’s purpose is simple, and that being, to expose the heart of mankind (Hebrews 4:13,13). We all, from the garden of Eden to the mark of the Beast, are faced with a single, simple choice and that is, either from a heart of love obey the words breathed (logos) by YHVH, of which He said we shall live (Deut 8:3), or choose our own way which has always, without exception, has been warned against in the past (Deut 18:18-20, Numbers 15:39&40) and in the future (Isaiah 66th chapter) and involved death(Proverbs 14:12, 16:26). It’s so simple that all, from theologians to chicken farmers, can understand it.

    The question is, are we going try to approach YHVH by our own prescription and as such suffer the demise we see recorded in scripture of all who do? Will we create some intellectual platform on which to stand and pontificate to “ad nauseum” and as such make the people of YHVH hesitant to even be led by the Holy Spirit and search the scriptures for themselves unless it’s through the lens of our own making? Isn’t this the very essence of the Nicolaitans we see hated by our Savior in Rev. 2:6&15? What if, this thing is so simple even a child can understand it? What if, the whole crux of the matter is whether we will abandon our own identity (whether Jewish or Gentile) and as dear children, exhausted and dead from the ways of the world (whether religious or not), recognize the error of our own ways and fall headlong into the arms of the Father of all us prodigals and be reinstated into sonship into His house and once again live by His house rules. Isn’t this the very definition of redemption? Is this not the very gospel Yeshua and all the apostles preached that is as old as time itself? I believe so. I’m sure you do as well. All of this, is, by the way, very Hebraic at it’s core.

    The essentials of what is being referred to as “The Hebrew Roots Movement” is this very thing. Not some innate need to become overtly Jewish (which seems to be so offensive to many), but the desire to identify with being Hebrew (one who’s crossed over). So many only look at the externals and as such find it easy to gravitate to texts written in offense rather than look into something honestly and speaking to people firsthand. Do we (those whom you call a cult, The HRM folks) do our best to keep the commandments, feast days and observances? Of course we do!! It’s how YHVH says we love Him!! Are we perfect at it? Of course not!! I know I’m still learning much. Thankfully the blood of Yeshua adopted us into the family and because of His ascension we have an advocate with the Father when we do fail (and all of us do) and the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth. Do we believe we are somehow saved by works alone? Not at all, it would be a violation of everything written in scripture. Do we believe it’s important to do what Abba says? I think we would all agree it is. He is, after all, the Creator of all things and the breath we breath is simply borrowed from Him. The question, once again, is, will we obey from a heart of love or look for a “technicality” that allows us to have our own way but identify with Him (which is, at least in my mind, passive (well, maybe not so passive) disobedience). He knows the difference and He knows if His Spirit and Love abides in us. How to we know if it does?

    1Jn 2:3 And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments.
    1Jn 2:4 He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    1Jn 2:5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.
    1Jn 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.
    1Jn 2:7 Brothers, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the Word which you have heard from the beginning.
    1Jn 2:8 Again, I write a new commandment to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light now shines.

    Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints. Here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

    If this makes me part of a cult, so be it. I’m sure both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church thought the Puritans were a cult as well in their day because they rejected the blending they saw in the holidays observed by the former. It’s my understanding they even hoped to establish another Israel by coming to this country. Some things never change.

    Shalom

  19. CD-Host said,

    May 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    @travis

    Paul did not write to 21st century American believers. To not keep in mind who the writers were (Hebrew), who they were writing to (Hebrew people) and about what (mostly issues concerning Torah and it’s contrast between the traditions of men being taught as doctrine, at least in the NT) is simply taking the text out of context.

    There were no Hebrew speaking people in the 1st century. As far as what the recipients of Paul’s letters spoke, we know rather well. He authored them in Greek not Aramaic. You seem to be using “Hebrew people” to mean something like Jew. But that’s not even true since Paul is clearly dealing with mixed congregations.

    Paul’s context is not generally intra-Jewish in the Aramaic sense which is why his letters can form the basis of Protestantism. His context is Hellenistic Jews. Colossians certainly isn’t even understandable outside of Hellenism and the debates about Jesus as an aeon. Similarly Ephesians which reproduces most of the text. The two Corinthian epistles are clearly dealing with “heresies” that emerged in the Hellenistic Jewish community. Romans has very little of it that concerns Judea, etc…

    So no, your argument falls apart here. Paul is not writing to that narrow of an audience.

  20. Reed Here said,

    May 31, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Pete: Just a few followups.

    But ALL the feasts (notwithstanding your calling the Sabbath a Feast) REQUIRE sacrifice. In fact they require ritual that can ONLY be performed in the presence of a duly ordained Aaronic priest at the Tabernacle/Temple.

    At best all you are celebrating is the fellowship customs that developed around the feasts. These, to be sure, developed NOT in the Church but in unbelieving Judaism.

    If you were to merely celebrate these as social/cultural custom, they would be fine. But, as you clearly include these as in some manner essential to the practice of Christian life and worship, you are then beholden to ALL of God’s stipulations about these feasts:

    You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. (Dt 4:2 ESV)

    Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (Dt 12:32)

    Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them. And all the people shall say, Amen. (Dt 27:26)

    For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (Gal 3:10)

    For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. (Jas 2:10)

    And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Rev 22:19)

    Even if I were to agree with your (spurious) interpretation of why you are obeying God by celebrating the feasts without sacrifice, by your own words you still fall prey to the condemnation of these verses. The clear teaching here is that a person who wants to live under the Mosaic law must keep, apply consistently ALL the provisions, details, etc. of each and every part of the law. By your own admission, however, you only celebrate these feasts as best you can. Where in Torah does God teach “as best I can” is the sufficient standard?

    I’ll leave off discussing the dispensationalesque expectation of a millennial temple with reinstituted bloody sacrifices. I’ll simply point out one must go through some heavy duty Scripture-twisting to mis- read the book of Hebrews and its emphasis (to Jewish Christians in particular) that Jesus’s once for all sacrifice has once for all done away with the ongoing application of the ceremonial law of Moses.

  21. Reed Here said,

    May 31, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Pete: Just a one follow-up to your why answers.

    It seems pretty clear that you have a version of Jesus + works going on here. Admittedly you limit this to rewards/loss. Yet your language is strikingly clear in stating that adherence to the Mosaic ceremonial laws is necessary for a full obedience that earns Christ’s favor.

    Yes, I expect you might in hindsight try to adjust what you mean by the necessity of the Mosaic ceremonial laws. Yet as you’ve answered it is very clear that you understand one’s obedience to be necessary in a meritorious manner, even if only in sanctification and glorification.

    This is decidedly against the Scriptures teaching.

    Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (Rom 7:4 ESV)

    Paul prayed that those who would return Christians back under the burden of the Mosaic ceremonial law would emasculate themselves. (Gal 5:12) Clearly what you say has been a source of new blessing is a return to an old and condemned slavery.

    Paul also warned:

    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2Ti 4:3-4)

    This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. (Tit 1:13-14)

    I know these are hard words Pete and I really cringe with the anticipation of the potential offense with which you may receive these words. But please, know that my choice of seriousness here is only determined by the seriousness with which the Scriptures warns you and I away from a works-righteousness you have adapted.

    If you are open at all to criticism of your position, I urge you to consider the resource by Baruch Maoz above. He may even be willing to engage with you privately.

  22. Tom said,

    May 31, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Re: # 17

    > There is NO sacrifice involved in any feast. That would be a grave violation of Torah requirements.

    Peter,

    With all due respect, if you do not observe these old covenant feasts days according the precise stipulations given, how is what you do not merely the traditions of men? Where exactly has God authorized you to observe them according to your tradition?

    As Reed has correctly observed, “Without sacrifice one CANNOT rightly practice any of the OT worship system.” The apostles and early church understood this fundamental fact. The modern Hebrew restorationist movement fails on this very point.

  23. May 31, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    @ CD Host,

    You said “There were no Hebrew speaking people in the 1st century.”
    Not according to the biblical text. Please note:

    Act 21:40 And he allowing him, standing on the stairs, Paul signaled with his hand to the people. And much silence taking place, he spoke in the Hebrew dialect, saying:
    Act 22:1 Men, brothers and fathers! Hear my defense now to you.
    Act 22:2 And hearing that he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, they all the more kept silence. And he said,
    Act 22:3 I am truly a man, a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the exactness of the Law of the fathers, being a zealous one of God, as you all are today.

    Also note Yeshua spoke the same:
    Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?

    Here’s an interesting article explaining as well:
    http://www.torahclass.com/archived-articles/412-did-the-messiah-speak-aramaic-or-hebrew-part-2-by-eaknapp

    Paul claims Yeshua spoke in Hebrew to him on the road to Damascus:
    Act 26:14 And all of us falling to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.

    John references “the Hebrew tongue” in Revelation 9:11 and 16:16.

    According to the text, Hebrew (both as a language and culture) was still very much alive and well in the day.

  24. RJS said,

    June 1, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Just to flag up Introduction to Messianic Judaism edited by David J. Rudolph and Joel Willitts. http://www.thinkivp.com/9780310330639

  25. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 1, 2013 at 9:35 am

    @traviswhughey
    It is worth noting that, as did our Lord Jesus, the Hebrew Language is the only language that “died” and experienced a full resurrection.

  26. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Randy Neuman is a contributor to DA Carson’s,”TheGosbel Coalition”.

    He has a healthy perspective as a Messianic Jew, as cited here:

    http://www.randydavidnewman.com/journey-with-the-messiah/

  27. CD-Host said,

    June 1, 2013 at 10:14 am

    @travis #23

    The word there in Greek is the word for Aramaic. The KJV translation tradition has it being translated as “Hebrew dialect” but Aramaic is what they mean, in the same way that you could consider French to be a “Latin dialect”. Even in Nehemiah 8:8 you can see that the Jews no longer speak Hebrew well enough to understand the torah.

    Moreover this isn’t really debatable. We see Aramaic in Danial, in Ezra. We have inscriptions from that region starting around 1000 BCE showing the transition to Aramaic. The Targums, the dominant old testament in Jesus day in Judea are in Aramaic.

    The article you quote is besides the point. If I quote Shakespeare with “the lady doth protest too much” that doesn’t mean in everyday speech I’m rejecting the last few hundred years and still consider “doth” to be the 3rd person singular for “do”.

    I’m not going to get into what language Jesus spoke since that’s a theological debate. But if we are talking what language was native to 1st century Palestine then the answer is Aramaic. Hebrew was at that point a ceremonial language used by a select educated group. Not much different to its status up until 100 years ago.

  28. Reed Here said,

    June 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Folks: here is a recent FB comment from Baruch Maoz, Jewish Christian. Well worth considering.

    The Messianic Movement and its offshoot, the Hebrew Roots Movement, are misguided. Our roots are in the Scriptures, not in Hebraic traditions, and our focus must be on Christ, not on ethnic or cultural identity. Nor do the ceremonial aspects of the Law hold sway now that Messiah has come. See my book COME LET US REASON TOGETHER – THE UNITY OF JEWS AND GENTILES IN CHRIST (P&R). There is not a single “Messianic” distinctive that can aid our obedience to or love for God our Savior.

    I am Jewish (not was) and am grateful to be such. I celebrate the feasts and enjoy my Jewish culture. But, once I walk into the context of a Christian fellowship, I am neither Jewish nor Gentile, male or female, a slave or a freeman: I am in Christ as are all my fellow believers. My ethnic, cultural, linguistic identities are all submerged in Him. He is and should be our All in All. A good friend of mine, a Nigerian, put it this way:

    After not having seen him for some years and knowing how precious his national and tribal customs are to him, I was (pleasantly) surprised to learn that he did not attend a “black” church. When I asked him why, he put in into a nutshell for me: “Baruch, when I go to church, I do not look for culture; I look for Christ.”

    Amen!!

  29. Reed Here said,

    June 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Travis, CD-Host: as well Travis, surely you are not saying that the NT was written in Hebrew? It was written in Greek. As well, most of the OT quotes used in the NT come from the Greek version of the OT, the Septuagint.

  30. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    @ Reed here

    Aramaic. Hebrew, or even Arabaic….. machts nichts
    at least to the descendents of Shem or Abraham it would not matter.

    I would suspect if the truth could be known that Jewish tax collectors and Gallilean fishermen were not Hellenized and spoke and dreamed in either Aramaic or Hebrew and as such the Holy Spirit would inspire them in their native tongue. The Hebrew tongue was the Temple and Synagogue language and Aramaic was the street language… I doubt that the Jewish writers of the NT, except for Saul/ Paul would dictate to scribes in Greek…. but a Greek translation is ok for me as Christ quoted so much of the OT from the Septuagent.

  31. CD-Host said,

    June 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    @Reed #29

    I’m not sure what you are asking exactly I can’t parse the sentence. Travis was arguing that early Christians spoke Hebrew conversationally. As far as the NT being authored in Greek originally, and the majority of quotes coming from the LXX I fully agree with you.

  32. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    With the NT in Greek being considered the original autograph by subscribers of the WCF…Maybe the Septuagent quotes of the OT found in the NT would just have “kept everything kosher” for the team of scribes writing the NT [at least for the Tyndal bible through to the Geneva Bible] with the Great Bible coming from the Vulgate.

  33. Pete Rambo said,

    June 2, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Reed,

    Thank you for your response.

    When I received the list of questions, I correctly smelled an ambush. In an effort to be honest and succinct, I failed to bring forward a most important point from my previous ‘overly editorialized’ explanation of what we did for Pesach.

    If you will go back and read, you will see that I clearly articulated Messiah’s sacrifice and connection with the feast, and actually list further His connection with the other feasts. He is always celebrated and, as I stated in that post, pre-emminent.

    Most Protestants unfairly assume that I either ‘do sacrifices’ or will eventually head that direction, so in an effort to alleviate that concern, I overly focused on the absence of sacrifice to the exclusion of the fact that Messiah is pictured, remembered and worshiped at each of the feasts. Because He is our High Priest and we are the temple, I would consider those ‘requirements’ fulfilled. I do stand by the explanatory comments on Ezekiel 40-48 (esp. 43 & 44) as Messiah is in view in that passage of yet unfulfilled prophecy. Note, I said ‘MAYBE there will be something of the sort in the future.’

    Your response however, reveals a significantly larger reason for my departure from the Reformed tradition.

    Besides accusing me of works ‘righteousness’ despite my multiple affirmations of salvation by grace through faith (you are only hearing what you want to hear), you rip multiple verses out of context to accuse me of the very thing the church is guilty of.

    You quote: Ya’acov 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at one point, he has become guilty of all.” You use this verse as well as Deut. 4:2 to demonstrate that I am ‘taking away from law of God.’ The context of Ya’acov is teaching something totally different. Ya’acov is speaking to believers who are committing the sin of partiality. Believers. He is doing exactly what Yeshua did in Matthew 5:21ff and raising the standard so that they understand that all acts of ‘loving their neighbor’ are equated with the second tablet of the Decalog. V.12 “speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” There, he just said it, ‘the standard is the law of liberty’ (Ya’acov 1:22-25; Ps. 119:44-45), supported by v.8 quoting Lev. 19:18.

    Ya’acov isn’t teaching against ‘works righteousness,’ he is saying, ‘it is not enough to keep just the big ones,’ or ‘just some of them,’ but ‘we have to walk in righteousness in all of them!’ (Lest you misunderstand Ya’acov: Faith and works go hand in hand and he is defining works as righteousness according to Torah.)

    You quote Rev. 22:19 without noticing that in Rev. 22:14 it says, ‘Blessed are they that DO His commandments so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life…’ Which leads me to my main point: What is the definition of ‘His commandments’ right here? Are His commandments different than the Father’s? Are these commandments different than the commandments given to Moses?

    ‘Everything I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” Deu. 12:32. Your quote.

    Let me save you a bucket of ink and go ahead and tell you, the Reformed tradition teaches an error called the Three-Fold Division of the Law. They take away from the Law of God, contrary to clear Scripture.

    Yeshua was asked by some smarty pants young lawyer, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment of the Law?’ (Matt 22:35-40)

    He is asking Yeshua to divide the Law! Here is the golden opportunity for the Lawgiver (Ya’acov 4:12) to parse it out!! Guess what? We learn two very important things:

    1. The rabbinic mindset is that the Law can’t be parsed, thus the trap in the question.
    2. Yeshua’s mindset is that ALL the Law AND the prophets hang together.

    Yes, there are weightier matters, evidenced by Yeshua (Matt. 23:23), but throughout the whole Bible, unless the context is very specific, the law is always addressed as a whole.

    Dividing the law, as the Reformed tradition teaches, does several very dangerous things:

    1. It makes Yeshua a liar. (Matthew 5:17-19)
    2. It presents a false Messiah to the Jews who are commanded (Deut. 13) to reject any who teach against the Torah.
    3. It opens the door for any yahoo that want’s to divide the law to their own deviant proclivities… See my blog post ‘Reading my emails… Part 3′ for more on this and the three-fold error..
    4. It redefines myriad verses with a hermeneutic NOT intended by the Author. Examples: Ps. 1:2-3; 19:7-11; 119, etc…
    5. It makes all adherents guilty of ‘taking away’ from the commandments.

    Yes, there are some laws tied to the land, and to the priesthood, etc… They aren’t done away with any more than they were done away with when Judah went to Babylon. They are simply suspended, which brings me back to the original topic of feasts.

    I quoted Deuteronomy 30:1-4ff…And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:

    Even among the nations, when we return and obey His voice, then the blessings follow. Reed, that obedience is doing everything we CAN do, not just the things we want to do. My children do not get to negotiate with me over which of my rules they follow. Neither do we get to negotiate with Abba Yahweh. In Yeshua, the feasts CAN be LAWFULLY kept.

    As to your point that any violation of the command constitutes adding or subtracting, I would encourage you to read Numbers 9:6-14 and note, these men weren’t looking for an excuse to NOT celebrate. They were asking for guidance in HOW to celebrate, knowing that their circumstance prevented them from the normal practice. That is a marked difference over the church that prefers excuses to NOT celebrate.

    Shalom.

  34. Pete Rambo said,

    June 2, 2013 at 9:35 am

    @ Thomas, #26.

    I want to thank you for that article. I love those stories of intersection. Describes in a small way what I have experienced. A blessing.

    Thanks.

  35. Pete Rambo said,

    June 2, 2013 at 9:58 am

    @ Reed, #28.

    One thing for you to be aware of as you look for Jewish support to your perception of Gentile freedom ‘from’ the law, is that there is a significant push within Messianic Judaism to claim as Jewish ‘tradition’ many things that are commanded by Scripture.

    There are some sources I will not give much credence too based on the fact that they label the feasts, Sabbath-keeping, tzitziot, and clean eating as ‘Jewish Tradition’ and therefore not binding on Gentiles. I would agree there are MANY ‘traditions’ that are not binding on ANYONE, but those do not include any of the Words of Yahweh. Scripture is not tradition.

    (Kosher would be a Jewish tradition, where ‘clean,’ a very simple Lev. 11 concept, is the Word of Yahweh!)

    I do not know if Baruch Maoz falls in that camp, but as you cherry-pick sources for your position, know that some are not respected because they have their own bias carefully woven in… not unlike the syncretism in much of the church’s traditions.

    Here’s a good read from one source identifying this ‘camp’ and where they are off the track… I agree with and appreciate much of what Avram Yehoshua writes here: http://www.seedofabraham.net/gmesjud.html

    Incidentally, he has an excellent book, Lifting the Veil, that is quality scholarship with mainstream sources explaining Acts 15:20-21. It is on Amazon. Excellent read.

    Hope these help you in your research.

  36. CD-Host said,

    June 2, 2013 at 10:38 am

    @Thomas

    I doubt that the Jewish writers of the NT, except for Saul/ Paul would dictate to scribes in Greek…. but a Greek translation is ok for me as Christ quoted so much of the OT from the Septuagent.

    There are ways of detecting translation, at least literal translation from originals. For example prepositional usage is highly language dependent. Do you “go under the bridge” or “go through the bridge”? Verb choices can be language dependent do you “make a party” or a “take a party”? Etc… There are very few places where the Greek of the New Testament appears to have Aramaic structures.

    Most obviously the best evidence for its Greek origin is what you mentioned, in places where the LXX (Greek) and the MT (Hebrew & Aramaic) disagree the NT usually sides with the Greek. Why would that happen if the book weren’t directed at Hellenists? The most classic example is Matthew 1:23 / Isaiah 7:14. Almah is entirely about age it has no hint of sex, it could be used for a young woman who was a prostitution. Isaiah uses betulah: 23:4, 23:12, 37:22, 47:1 and 62:5 when he wants to speak of a woman who hasn’t had sex. Yet Matthew freely uses virgin because in the LXX parthenos is used and that does have sexual content. You wouldn’t see that sort of thing ever if Matthew was originally written for a Aramaic audience. In that case he would have followed the Targum (which used a cognate of the Hebrew).

    Matthew of the 4 gospels is the worst in terms of both some historical and some literary evidence pointing to earlier Hebrew / Aramaic input. Luke is beautiful well written well constructed Greek. John has wordplay and Greek philosophy that doesn’t even make sense outside a Hellenistic context. Mark’s entire structure indicates someone writing in a non-native tongue….

    I think the people who know me here know I’m rather a biblical skeptic. But I can stand totally with any fundamentalist in denying any hint that the NT books are translations from some other books. The form we see today is more or less the form in which they were composed.

    Finally of course the biggest problem is that there is no hint of a Christian tradition among the Aramaic population of Judea. Certainly proto-Christianity existed among them as documents like 11Q13 show but we don’t see Christianity in a fully developed form among Aramaic speakers. Christianity emerged as a sect of Hellenistic Judaism.

  37. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

    @CD
    Thank-you for your excellent discourse in defense of the Greek original autographs.
    I find it is interesting that Luke, as a Greek trained physician, used the the imprecise Greek terms for describing the incarnation. Even though the Koine Greek had terms for “womb” that was common to the untrained but Luke delved into a lower vernacular to describe the concepton of Jesus in the “stomach” of Mary rather then in the womb. Any ideas why a trained Hellenist as Luke, would write lower then the common? I could only imagine that the less precise wording actually better defined the true mystery of the incarnation and in my opinion lead one to suspect that Christ in all reality was not of Mary’s substance as the WCF claims, thus not in need of the Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception. I believe Christ was as much in substance the Last Adam as the First Adam, created without the blemish of original sin. i know my post somewhat skirts the thread.

  38. CD-Host said,

    June 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    @Thomas –

    I find it is interesting that Luke, as a Greek trained physician, used the the imprecise Greek terms for describing the incarnation. Even though the Koine Greek had terms for “womb” that was common to the untrained but Luke delved into a lower vernacular to describe the concepton of Jesus in the “stomach” of Mary rather then in the womb. Any ideas why a trained Hellenist as Luke, would write lower then the common?

    I think this is more a product of English than a product of the New Testament. There isn’t any good smooth English word for “lower abdominal organs” or “interior organs”. Those are the kinds of terms which create the translations problems.

    Just to pick another example that’s incarnational but really just a translation issue John 1:13. A faithful formal translation in English would have “not from fetoplacental circulation” but tone wise you would never use fetoplacental circulation in a poem. So I think something like, “children not born from the womb of a mother” is needed. But that’s not anything about John’s gospel it is just a result of English.

    So I don’t attach any deep meaning to Luke’s choice.

    I believe Christ was as much in substance the Last Adam as the First Adam, created without the blemish of original sin. i know my post somewhat skirts the thread.

    Well if you want the Jewish meaning of “First adam” I wrote a post about it: http://church-discipline.blogspot.com/2012/03/thoughts-about-adam-god.html

    The original context was about a Mormon issue but the background discussion might be something you would like since it is very much part of ancient Jewish theology.

  39. Thomas "Didymus" martin said,

    June 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    @ CD

    I see in John 1:13 as you note .. it is not correctly translated as “not of blood.” It reads ouk ex haimaton, that is, “not out of bloods.” The word is plural. Which could be explained by the maternal-fetal circulation isolated by the placenta. I would venture one further, No placenta, No umbilical cord, and No umbilicus. Totally separate circulations. I could support this possibility by my study of the radiographic imaging of the one crucified in the Shroud of Turin. There is no evidence of an umbilicus on the person that the Shroud image bears …Could the Shroud bear the image of the First or Last Adam or as the Manichean would say, Both……Smoke that in your pipe for a little while

    It was good to see Augustine finally at age 29 gave up the Manichean heresy. After reading some of Sirach and Baruch it is difficult for me to believe that Martin Luther was not speaking tongue-in-cheek when he said the Apocrypha was profitable and good to read…;-)

  40. June 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Hey Reed,
    Concerning comment #29. I am not saying at all that many of the manuscripts we have are not written in Greek. It was, after all, the predominant language of the day. The point I’m making is, Hebrew (as a culture, worldview and language), was, in fact very much alive and well in the day as seen in the passages cited. Thanks for helping me make that distinction.

  41. CD-Host said,

    June 3, 2013 at 9:17 am

    @Thomas #39

    No placenta, No umbilical cord, and No umbilicus. Totally separate circulations.

    Well the Jesus of that hypothesis doesn’t need to eat. That’s a spiritual being in the appearance of a human and not human, a form of docetism. I don’t find that shocking. I would argue that was the mainstream belief during the 1st century was docetism. Not a docetism with an earthly birth of a non-human being, but still I think it was the norm. You can find evidence all over the bible for that theology in almost every epistle of the New Testament and Revelations.

    But, adopt that theology and you are now denying Trinitarianism, in particular the human nature of Christ. I’ll leave the Reformed guys to talk about why the hypostatic union is vital for their theology of justification, but it is. If you have grown to disbelieve mainstream Protestantism enough that you are interested in what 1st century Christianity is all about you will absolutely see it confirming those sorts of notions. I’m not sure where you want to go from here though. Messianic Judaism is fairly mainstream Protestant theologically with a few distinctives and a few distinctive practices: Pentecostals with yamukas. What you are talking about now is a much bigger step.

  42. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

    @CD

    I think your analysis of my hypothesis of a possible ..no placenta… no umbilicus theory hardly constitutes the denial of Jesus the Man exsisting in hypotasis with Jesus in the Triune Godhead.

    If God can form the the first Adam from the dust of the earth and place Him as a full adult on earth, then the Holy Spirit can place in Mary’s fertile womb a complete human child which would make Mary the First Gestational Surrogate. Medicine has been capable since the late 1980′s of creating gestational surrogates. Of course these man-made gestational surrogates created by medicine contain the common human that grows from the usual placental apparatus. To say that Mary as a gestational surrogate from which the God-Man grew required such a placental apparatus is restricting the work of the Holy Spirit in conception of Jesus simply to the imagination of man and his limited understanding. The incarnation of Jesus Christ is totally unique and supernatural event in the history of creation so it will remain a mystery to mans’ understanding [per Ecc 11:5] as well as His death [giving up the ghost] and His resurrection.until we arrive in the new heaven and new earth.

    Sometimes we must think “outside the box” to fully appreciate the capabilities of a God who is not bound by space-time and man who barely understands spcial revelation beyond soterology and general revelation beyound the current understanding of science.

  43. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 3, 2013 at 11:08 am

    @ CD

    also in ,
    Hebrews 7:3 , just as Melchezidek had no father, mother or geneology
    so is the Son of Man of the same Kohen order

    and finally in Hebrews 6:1-3, we can go from drinking milk to eating meat.

  44. CD-Host said,

    June 3, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Thomas #42 –

    The issue isn’t the surrogate. The issue is: does Jesus need to eat? If in the womb he isn’t pulling nutrients from Mary then he isn’t undergoing a human development. I’d argue the whole point of the baked fish in Luke 24:41-2 is specifically to refute this notion in even the risen Christ.

    I’m not diminishing the work of the Holy Spirit. Clearly a non-incarnational theology where Jesus appears material is within the power of the Holy Spirit. But it is a theology that has been rejected by orthodoxy.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think the orthodox position is completely incoherent when it comes to the hypostatic union, but that is orthodoxy and rejecting it is a very big deal.

  45. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    @CD

    So, in order to be human and conform to orthodoxy Jesus must have a belly button. The Orthodoxy of which faith or deomination,…the Oriental, or Greek orthodox or say the orthodox Jews or maybe the Orthodox Presbyterians over the Evangelical presbyterian. Define “Orthodoxy”

    A well respected and well known PCA pastor [Keller] calls himself “Orthodox” rather then “evangelical ” but yet he has been in support of the BiblioLogos position of Theistic Evolution…of which I say destroys the need of the Proto-evangellium by negating the exsistence of a historical Adam . Is this the orthodoxy you speak about?

    As a final analysis, the osmotic fluids and nutrients in an amniotic fluid filled gestational sac… Could…. sustain a growing child without the need of the placenta, if God so desired. This has also been replicated with non-human embryos multiple times.

  46. Thomas "Didymus" Martin said,

    June 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    @ CD #38

    >>>>>I think this is more a product of English than a product of the New Testament. There isn’t any good smooth English word for “lower abdominal organs” or “interior organs”. Those are the kinds of terms which create the translations problems……So I don’t attach any deep meaning to Luke’s choice.<<<<<

    My point was the Greek words, specifically nouns that Luke used.
    All Greek physicians, such as Luke, at least since the time of Aristotle would use the transliteration of hysteri for uterus the anatomic womb when speaking to medical collegues. But speaking to a patient or laity a physician would transliterate mitra for womb or koillas for cavity. But Luke in chp1 verse 31 said sullepse en gastri which would be translated as "you will concieve in your stomach", Clearly the words used by a lowly Greek “child” describing their mothers gravid state. So nothing at all to do with "smooth English",

  47. June 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Thomas, would love to connect with you off thread sometime if you want.

  48. didymusmartin said,

    June 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    @traviswhughey
    Sounds great. just opened a blog at WordPress

  49. Reed Here said,

    June 4, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Pete, no. 35: “cherry-pick”?!?!

    That’s your response, to accuse me of blindness, of not listening to your position, of merely seeking people to support my own position, of an arrogance equal to that of the Pharisees who supported Jesus’ crucifixion as they “cherry-picked” their sources to support their disagreement with Jesus’ reading of the Torah!?!

    Well, I appreciate your openness Pete. At least you admit your prejudice.

    You have no idea whether or not I have listened to your position, what I’ve read, studied, etc.. You demonstrate a shallow understanding of core doctrines from the reformed perspective, and yet throw out your PCA “credentials” as if that proves you rightly understand what you critique?! And I am guilty of cherry-picking?!

    Thanks, but I’m not interested in such hypocritical judgment. You make think I’m coming off a bit strong, even hard, but consider what you’ve said about a brother you do not even know. You’ve judged me with wicked standard equal to any good Judaizer of whom Paul wished they would emasculate themselves so that their kind of self-righteousness would not be passed on.

    You profess adherence to the jot and tittle, and then work your way around the clear meaning of such passages as Acts 10 and 15, and the books of Galatians and Hebrews. I’ve contemplated softening this, but I just in good conscience do so. You’ve not found something better, but something much, much worse. Jesus frees us from the yoke you have bound to your back. Repent brother. You are not carrying his burden, wearing his yoke.

  50. didymusmartin said,

    June 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I advise caution for any man to stand in the shoes of Christ and judge the heart of another man….. by calling him a sorcerer and guilty of the sin of Judas [a lover of money]

    …such is and was the sin of the Pharisees.

    . remember, there but by the Grace of God go I

    ….correction with kindness….2 Corthians 5 ….as Ambassadors of Christ

  51. greenbaggins said,

    June 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Just a small point. Pete was ARP, not PCA.

  52. Reed Here said,

    June 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Didymusmartin: indeed. I’m more than confident Pete can back away from his Pharisaical behavior with a repentance that encourages brotherly love.

    And if he doesn’t, if he follows in the footsteps of others who are obviously Judaizers in the Messianic Christianity movement, then reminding him of Paul’s imprecatory prayer of emasculation for such is a blessing, to both him and those who would be attracted to such.

    I’m all for interaction and identifying both where and why differences of opinion exist between those who call on Christ. Yet when one resorts to the judgmentalism that Pete has offered, then I am sadly comfortable that hard words are called for.

  53. didymusmartin said,

    June 5, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Mea Maximus Culpa, my Rt REv Reed,

    ….polemics and an old single malt Scotch keeps me toasty in the winter
    but …come now…this is June ..
    ..I can hardly stand my sweat soaked boxers.
    ..where are those Irenics when you need them…:-}

  54. Reed Here said,

    June 5, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Pete, no. 33: no trap and I take offense at the accusation brother. You need to stop being judgmental.

    Your exegesis of the Deuteronomy passages is decidedly selective. Both passages are comprehensive, encompassing ALL the law that God gave through Moses. As well you seem to have missed James 3:10 in your selectivity. Throw in Galatians 3:10 for good measure.

    Your ref. to Rev 22:14 begs the question. If you are wrong regarding the continuance of the feasts then it does not follow.

    You appear to be cherry picking, I understood your explanation of Jesus as the sacrifice of the feasts. My observation is that this does not rest on anything Scripture states. No where does it teach that Jesus’ sacrifice abrogated the sacrifices but not also the worship festivities around those sacrifices. If you insist on maintaining one part of the OT worship provisions you must maintain all of them.

    E.g., I assume you would require faithful Christians to circumcise their boys. That is, after all, the entry requirement for celebrating the feasts. Even Paul did not bring baptized but non-circumcised Christians into the feasts.

    Pete, it is hard to see how you are not guilty of cherry-picking. You deny the 3-fold division of the law approach and yet you yourself use an implicit approach that likewise chooses which part of the law to maintain and which to pass by. And you do so without clear expression in Scripture, while offering convoluted obfuscations of passages that clearly deny your position. At least the 3-fold approach is straightforward and easily understandable.

    As to works righteousness, I’d be much more amendable if you offered your position as a voluntary one. I might then disagree with your choice but I’d not deny it to you. Yet since you make keeping even some parts of the OT worship a requirement of faith in Christ, since you go beyond the express limits of Acts 15, then it is hard too see how you are not guilty of demanding what God does not.

  55. Reed Here said,

    June 5, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Pete, no. 35: follow up on your use of the word tradition. So you claim to NOT do anything in your feast celebrations that are traditions men? So, based on your insistence that we keep ALL God’s word, and only God’s word, I’d love to see the detailed list of every single thing you do in your feasts – and the explicit Scripture references commanding each.

  56. Reed Here said,

    June 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    crickets …

  57. June 10, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Robert, S.,
    Paul is simply stating to not allow the Judiazers to bully up on them concerning how they observe the things laid out in Scripture (they are, in fact in Colassae and not in Israel keeping the feasts and such). These are the same guys Yeshua dealt with in Mark 7th chapter and who taught their traditions (over-extension of the Law) as the Law itself. Notice in Mark 7:6-13 these guys were teaching traditions of men but Yeshua quotes from the Law (called the Law of Moses, a misnomer as it is the very words of YHVH Himself spoken by Moses) to expose their lie since, according to scripture, the Law is, in fact, truth (Psalm 119:142).

    What most don’t understand about Col. 2:16,17 is the fact that the Colossians are in fact observing the dietary instructions (meat and drink (remember in Mark 7 these judiazers say food is unclean if one doesn’t wash their hands), holy days (feast days), New moons (YHVH’s determination of the calendar) and Sabbaths (whether weekly or high). It is interesting to note, they were doing this outside Jerusalem as were the believers in Corinth of which Paul wrote to “keep” the feast (notice he used the word “we”) in 1 Cor. 5:7,8. The honest truth is, according to Torah we are commanded by YHVH Himself to keep the Feast wherever we are, at the appointed (by YHVH see Numbers 9:10) times. I believe long journey would include out of country.

    Now, you make this statement:

    “All the HRM is about is jewish moralizing and a disrespect of and disbelief in Christ.”

    With all due respect, How Dare You!!! From what do you make such a statement other than your own opinion or conversations among people who you agree with (see 2 Cor. 10:12)? What is your proof?!! I simply will not tolerate anyone who says I ( I do not consider myself to have any other label than in “The Way” but you lump me into the HRM) have a disbelief in Yeshua!! Are you serious?!! I understand your position since you believe the Law has been done away with and as such you are free to bear false witness (as did many in the first century against those who kept the commandments and had the faith of Yeshua, many of which were in fact judiazers) even in the face of the truth. But this is spoken about in Ephesians 4:25 and obviously was a problem in the first century as well. No one in the HRM movement rejects Yeshua in any way shape of form!! They, as do I, and I sincerely hope you as well, in fact believe Yeshua is YHVH in the flesh, our passover Lamb who paid in full, with His blood, the price of redemption to bring us back into fellowship with YHVH, that He rose from the dead three full days and nights as HE said and is seated at the right Hand of YHVH awaiting the word from YHVH to come back to rule on earth. Where we differ mainly in you is we believe we’ve been freed from the “curse” of the Law, not the Law(truth) itself and it is in fact the Torah (Law) that shows us how to love YHVH with everything and Love ones neighbor as oneself. We reject the traditions of men (Christmas, Easter, Lent, etc…) observed today in the modern church, all of which are of Roman Catholic in origin and not mentioned in scripture anywhere, also of which the early reformers flatly rejected. We choose to observe, to the best of our ability, all that we see commanded by the very breath of YHVH Himself, of which the Feast Days are only a part. Maybe our observance is, in your eyes, imperfect, but (as Paul told the believers in Colossae not to be worried about) I will not be bullied about by those who would judge me in such. At the end of the day, we will all be judged by our works according to scripture (Revelations 20:12,13) . If my charges are that I kept the Sabbath, observed the Feast Days, ate what YHVH said was food and was holy as He is holy, that I rejected the traditions of men and held fast to His spoken words even in the face of my accusers, that I gave all in the love of YHVH and loving my fellow man (please google my name to find out a bit about me) and that I built no other kingdom than His, so be it. Guilty as charged!!

  58. June 10, 2013 at 11:56 am

    My apologies to the moderator, this last post should have been on another thread.


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