This was not written by me but with all the Hebrew Roots and Torah keepers out there I thought I would share this as I have personally come accross a lot of Hebrew Roots people. Yes I had permision to share.
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Tim. 3:13-17
How does God want to be loved?
How does God want to be obeyed?
I recently took about a nine-day break from Facebook and spent much of that time in prayer and study of Scripture. For a long time I’ve carried a heavy burden for those who are turning to keeping of the Torah and following the Hebrew Roots Movement, and a portion of this time was to pray for people specifically, these times we are in, and for God’s will.
So I wanted to share some thoughts and then, unless God asks me otherwise, will walk away from any sort of ongoing public conversation about this. I want to be known by my love & gentleness (Phil. 4:5, John 13:35) not as someone who is always talking about the dangers and deception of the Hebrew Roots Movement. This is not my longterm calling, but I cannot deny that those who have become seduced by it have weighed so heavy on my heart.
Over the last several days the Lord has tenderly shown some things to me and given me much peace. This is not “about me,” but about how He has relieved much of the burden and shown me some things to focus on.
We are in the last days. This is obvious to anyone who is a serious lover of Scripture and who sees all that is happening in the world. The Bible tells us that evil men & seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. I cannot stop the deception. I can pray and plant seeds, but God is the One who grants repentance. God is the One who opens eyes. God gives the increase….all glory to the Most High!
What I can do, however, is love. And this is what has been placed on my heart so clearly: that no matter what…I must love. Love is what brings me to my knees in tears and prayer on behalf of a deceived brother or sister, and love also lifts my face with hope and peace knowing that God is still on the throne.
This article is a little more cobbled-together than those I normally write, so please bear with me. It’s mostly a series of thoughts and points that have shaped my own journey through this and I’ve divided it into two main parts. First, a few thoughts.
#1: Anyone who teaches that the body of Christ must keep the Torah, whether for salvation OR for godly obedience OR for the love of God does not understand the whole of Scripture, or the purpose of the law, or the fulfillment of it. I’ve shared more about this elsewhere, and others have gone to even greater lengths, so I won’t go into this here.
#2: Like many groups, this movement / teaching is made up of saved and unsaved people.
#3: Both the saved & the unsaved need prayer, but these remarks are geared towards those who are truly born again. (Only God knows the heart.)
#4: Who am I? I too have been deceived before. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived…” (Titus 3:2) It is by the mercy of God who has changed my heart, opened my eyes, and delivered me from deception that I have been set free. I have so much compassion and tenderness for those long to please and obey God & get drawn down the wrong path as they seek to do so. But God. But God is faithful!!!! Please know I am not claiming any sort of spiritual superiority. My urgency and grief over this has been unsought and unexpected and I’ve done the only thing I know to do with it…PRAY and seek the Lord and try to plant seeds and love.
#5: Within the HRM are believers who say that they do not follow Torah to be saved, but follow the Torah because they love God and want to be obedient to Him.
#6: Both Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to God. God rejected Cain’s. Why? The answer to this will help make clear why seeking to follow the Torah out of “obedience” or “love for God” is unwise.
#7: Following the Torah is walking in the flesh. It concerns ordinances and things that pertain to the flesh. (Romans 8 applies here.) Instead, as believers, we are to walk in the Spirit. If truly walking in the Spirit, and following the Spirit, leads someone to observe a particular practice contained in the official Torah that was given to Israel before the cross, that is between them and God. (However, this would then be “following the Spirit” and not “following the Torah.” Huge difference.) Depending on what it was, I would only begin to take serious issue if that person began to lay (overtly or subtly, through plain statements or vague hints) this burden upon others and teach that true obedience or love or faith meant doing or practicing this thing.
#8: Romans 14:21-23 goes both ways. “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
Part 1: How does God want to be loved?
How does God want to be loved? Does this matter? Does the bigger picture matter? What about God’s instructions before the statutes He gave to Moses for Israel pre-cross, and His instructions to the Church after the cross?
Scripture tells us that sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (see Rom. 5:13) In order to have righteousness imputed to sinners, first they had to be a sinner. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) Before one can become saved, they must be in a legal condition that needs saving. The law was necessary to first condemn…therefore, the whole purpose of the law was to bring us to Christ.
So now, if you are in Christ, it’s time to put away childish things!
“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” Gal. 4:1-10
“To redeem them that were under the law.”
To redeem means to “buy” or to “purchase.”
- Someone is a slave.
- A buyer comes along and purchases that slave.
- Then the buyer sets the slave free.
- The free slave loves the buyer so much and to “prove” it, returns to his former slave owner???? And teaches other free folks that this is how to love and obey their Redeemer? And teaches others to follow the slave lifestyle, do slave things, and convince them this is how to truly love the One who bought them for a price? Would this not be the most offensive response to the buyer?
Does God want you to love him with the thing that was used to impute sin upon you?
Or does He want you to love Him with everything His blood redeemed? Your heart, mind, soul and strength?
Does how God want to be obeyed matter? Can the body of Christ stand before God and say “I follow the Torah because I love you” and yet God has not asked this of you? Which sacrifice does God want you to bring to Him? Which sacrifice will He reject?
This is what God has asked of us today: “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” 1 John 3:23
He wants us to labor to enter His rest. We are to abide in the Vine. Torah-keeping is not abiding in the Vine. Torah-keeping is twisting the Vine. It is turning the grace of God into an opportunity for the flesh….and the deception is subtle.
“Is that which is good become death to me?” No. Christ is end of law for righteousness for everyone who believes. (see Rom. 10:7) “It is finished,” He said on the cross. It is fulfilled! The veil in the temple was torn!
Torah-keeping is stitching up the veil. Torah-keeping is stitching up the veil and claiming to do so out of love for God.
GOD is the One who tore that veil!
Does it please God to bring these very things to Him in the name of Love? Is it not mocking His Son? Only the High Priest could go behind the veil into the Holy of Holies…and that once a year, on the Day of Atonement. When Jesus, the Son of God and our High Priest, died, the veil in the temple tore from top to bottom.
You are the temple of the living God. The Spirit of God dwells in you. A temple is a dwelling place. Does a temple keep fleshly laws?
Love fulfills the law.
Does the Holy Spirit guide you to use something you are free from to bring as a “love offering?” Before, you were a slave. Now you are a son. Why do you live as a slave and try to bring the trappings of your slave life in the name of love for God? Why do you set your mind on things of the flesh?
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1 Pet. 1:3.
“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Col. 2:18-23
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Rom. 8:5-7
Part 2: How does God want us (me) to love?
This has and continues to be a subject of deep prayer. I truly believe that many who teach Christians to follow the Torah are wolves in sheep’s clothing. How does love handle this? Love does not want anyone deceived. So what happens when a sheep is deceived by the wolf and begins speaking the words, spreading the doctrine, of a wolf?
There are other sheep to consider. And there is the deceived sheep. Both equally precious in the eyes of the good Shepherd, who leaves the 99 to go after the 1.
I am a fellow sheep. I cannot convince anyone to turn away from the shadow of things to come, as given through the Torah, and turn to the Substance which is found in Christ.
Only the Holy Spirit can do this.
I can, however, love. And as I’ve wrestled through the urgency and grief I’ve encountered over those who are following Hebrew Roots, I am also seeking love. How do I love? What does love look like? How does love move forward? How can I humbly keep God’s command to love one another? How does love behave around deception? When does love let go? How does love hold edifying conversations regarding doctrines that lead away from the simplicity of Christ? When does love try to warn a brother or sister, and when does love walk away, trusting that the Lord’s got them in His hands? What is the practical outworking of love?
I don’t know that I’ve got this down perfectly but here is where I’m at with it right now.
- Pray & plant seeds as the Lord leads.
- Obey…which means I am to love.
- Rinse and repeat.
Pray & plant seeds: as led by the Lord, I can pray for those He puts on my heart and for those who are being drawn to this movement. The deception is strong and it is real. Especially for those who dearly want to love and serve God. This is why I believe it is so damaging.
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” 2 Cor. 3:14-16
“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Tim. 2:23-26
Trust: The Lord knows those who are His. He loves them, and He is faithful. He knows what He is doing in the hearts of His children who are caught in this movement. In His wisdom, God used the law as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. God knows what He is doing, and if one of His children has gone back to school for a time, that tutor will bring him back again. Seventy times seven times.
“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” 2 Tim. 2:16-21
Obey / love: I have been saved by the precious blood of the Lamb and my calling is to love God and love one another. I will answer to God for how I love. In the meantime, I do not want to add to the noise. (1 Cor. 13) I want my words to be with grace, seasoned with salt. I want to speak and live with love. I’m still figuring this out and it gets messy sometimes.
“Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” Rom. 14: 3-14
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” Titus 3:2-11
If God puts someone on my heart for a season (whether in the HRM or anything else), I will lift that soul up in prayer with tears and all the yearning of my heart. If God opens the door for a gentle, loving, and fruit-producing conversation, I will plant seeds as led by the Holy Spirit. But in the meantime, I am going to focus on learning how to love God and how to love others, and what that looks like. My prayer is to walk in the Spirit and to be the grace that I long to see.
A passage that has been such a lifesaver for me is Romans 8:31-32 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Saint, God is FOR YOU. Whether you are in the Torah-following movement or not. If you have trusted the blood of Christ alone for salvation, you are a child of God.
- Love God.
- Love one another.
- Walk in the Spirit. He will lead you to the good works you are to do in His name. He will lead you in the simplicity and liberty that is in Christ Jesus. He will teach you what you need to know.
Everything else is His. And He makes everything beautiful in His time.