Apologetics Hebrew Roots Theology
R. L. Solberg  

The Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement

There is a theological movement called Torahism—you might know it as Torah-observant Christianity or the Hebrew Roots Movement. Torahism1 teaches that all Christians should be “keeping Torah,” by which they mean we should be keeping the Law of Moses (aka the “Old Testament law”). The New Testament teaches that keeping these Mosaic traditions are permitted for Christians, but they are not required. So naturally, people have asked why I spend so much time mounting arguments against this lesser-known belief system.

What’s the big deal with the Hebrew Roots Movement and other groups that want to practice some Old Testament traditions? Don’t you say all the time that those things are “permitted but not required?” How is it hurting anyone if some Christians want to keep the Saturday Sabbath, celebrate Passover, or not eat pork? 

These are fair questions. Although the motivation behind Torahism may include some noble ambitions—such as wanting to better understand the Christian faith in its original cultural context and wanting to do our best to live in obedience to God—the theology itself contains some dangerous ideas. Let me share with you some real stories about how these teachings can affect families, friendships, and even churches as we examine what I see as the three biggest dangers of this belief system.

1 “Torahism” is an umbrella term for Torah-observant Christianity but not necessarily what they call themselves. The term is in no way intended in a derogatory sense. It is merely a convention for describing a belief system and its adherents. When I refer to someone as a “Torahist,” it is no different than referring to them as a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.

Salvation v. Obedience

Before we get to the reasons and the stories, it’s important to clarify what Torahism is and isn’t. The defining element in the theology of Torahism is the teaching that the Torah—specifically the Law of Moses—must be kept by all who profess faith in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile.2 A minority of Torahists teach that “keeping Torah” is a matter of salvation. Most, however, agree with mainstream Christianity that salvation comes only through grace by faith in Jesus (Eph 2:8-9). They believe that “keeping Torah” isn’t what saves us but is how we show our love for God. It is the way we are commanded to live our lives as Christians. In other words, they view Torah-keeping as a matter of obedience, not salvation.

But here’s the catch. All Torahists—even those who profess salvation through Christ alone—teach that not keeping Torah is sinful. They view disobedience of the Law of Moses (such as not observing Saturday Sabbath, kosher food laws, annual feasts, circumcision, etc.) as living in sin and lawlessness. And there are even some Hebrew Roots teachers, such as Steve Moutria of Torah Family, who believe that “walking in obedience to the Torah keeps you in your salvation.” So despite the claim that keeping the Mosaic Law is not a requirement for salvation, Torahism considers it, at a minimum, a confirming sign of a truly-saved Christian. And in some cases, a direct issue of salvation.

Anyone who teaches that all believers in Jesus are required to keep the Mosaic Law—whether as a matter of salvation or obedience—is teaching Torahism. With that, let’s move on to the three most significant dangers of this belief system.

2 Although a legitimate case could be made that Jewish followers of Jesus have a different relationship to the Torah than do Gentiles, neither are required to keep it as a matter of salvation or righteousness.

1. Torahism is Unbiblical

Despite what these groups teach, the Bible does not support a Hebrew Roots worldview. We will look at a few specific examples of this below. (And I have many videos, blogs, and books that go into greater detail on the issue.) That said, there is a challenge in recognizing and resisting Torahism’s theology. If a Christian group were to teach, for example, that adultery or greed was okay, we could point to numerous verses in the Bible that directly contradict their teachings. In the case of Torahism, however, there is no single verse that specifically says, “Christians are not required to keep Torah.” At the same, no verse says explicitly, “Christians are required to keep Torah.”  

The relationship of Christians to the Law of Moses is something that we have to dig into Scripture to understand. God wants us to eat His Word, to ingest it every day because through reading His Word, we get to know His heart. It’s about having a real relationship with our heavenly Father. And His Word—the Bible—is how He most often speaks to us. But God doesn’t always give us a nice, tidy list of directions and instructions. I don’t know about you, but I’m a list guy. (Ask my wife!) If God gave me a to-do list, I would be off to the races working on the list and forgetting all about spending time with God. Instead, our heavenly Father wants us to pull up a chair and sit with Him daily. He wants us to spend time with Him, so He can feed us His truth.

The more we get to know the truth of the Word, the easier it is to spot counterfeit teachings. This is what we find in many of the claims of our Hebrew Roots friends. These teachers claim Torahism is biblical, and I’m sure many of them believe it. But the proof is in the pudding. And at the end of the day, the Bible teaches that Christians are not required to keep the Law of Moses, not as a matter of salvation or righteousness. Let’s look at the Scriptural data.

In Exodus 19 and following, we learn that the Law of Moses was given as part of the Covenant at Mount Sinai. It was given to “the house of Jacob” (Ex 19:3). In Scripture, the phrase “the house of” is a way of referring to the family or physical descendants of someone. So even though there may have been a “mixed multitude” (Ex 12:38) traveling with Israel when they were rescued out of Egypt, the covenant God made at Mount Sinai was solely with the “house” or descendants of Jacob, who was also named Israel (Gen 32:28). These were the Jews. No other nation or people group was part of the covenant. In fact, many of the Mosaic laws were given specifically to set the Jewish people apart from the Gentile nations around them. God uniquely chose the Israelites, telling them “you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation ” (Exodus 19:5).

The New Testament later reveals that under Jesus and the New Covenant, things changed. For one thing, it was revealed that the Law of Moses was given as a guardian until Christ came. And now that He has come, God’s people are no longer under that Law (Gal 3:24-25). It’s also revealed that the nature of the People of God has changed. Under the Sinai covenant, the People of God were the Jews (aka the nation of Israel, the House of Jacob). They were designated through ethnicity and lineage. Under the New Covenant, however:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

-Galatians 3:28-29

That’s right. Believers in Jesus—both Jews and Gentiles—are now considered Abraham’s offspring and the heirs of God’s promises. (I’ll unpack this a bit more below. But spoiler alert: this has nothing to do with the erroneous concept of “replacement theology,” which teaches that the Church has replaced Israel.) And since Jews and Gentiles who are in Christ are now one people, the laws previously given to set Israel apart from the Gentiles are no longer needed.

2. Torahism is Divisive

The second big danger is that Torahism often causes division in the body of Christ. I’ve seen it damage marriages, friendships, families, and even churches. Torah-observant Christians often make keeping the Law of Moses a test of fellowship. Because they view these Mosaic traditions as required of Christians, not optional, they often look down on Christians who don’t keep the Saturday Sabbath or the kosher food laws or celebrate Easter or Christmas. Those Christians are often reprimanded as lawless sinners. Not every Torah-keeper adopts a divisive or arrogant attitude, of course. But if you’ve got a Hebrew Roots person in your life, you know what I’m talking about.

Although many Hebrew Roots believers profess with their lips that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone, I’ve yet to come across any Torah-keeper willing to take the peacemaking attitude that says, “Hey, we can agree to disagree on this issue and still be brothers and sisters in Christ.” The majority of Torah-observant Christians I have interacted with take a prideful and judgmental attitude toward Christians who don’t “keep Torah.” In fact, that’s how I stumbled across this movement in the first place. A few years back, an old friend from church began publicly accusing me of partaking in pagan rituals. Why? Because I celebrate Christmas. (The conversation that grew out of that encounter eventually turned into my book, Torahism.)

To be fair, no belief system, including Torahism, should be judged by those who abuse it. There are no Torah-observant tenets that require its adherents to cause division in their families and communities. But there is a virulent strain of distrust—sometimes even outright rebellion—against the mainstream Christian church in many Torah-observant communities. Romans 14 addresses the in-fighting in the Roman church on the issue of kosher food. Paul admonished his readers that “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit . . . so then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom 14:17, 19). And when we look at the common fruits of Torahism, we find the opposite of what Paul taught. Rather than peace and mutual upbuilding, Torahism tends to cause disunity in the body of Christ. And it has done needless damage to families, friendships, and churches. 

Often the average Christian senses something is wrong with the idea of Torah-observant Christianity but has a hard time articulating exactly why it’s wrong. So the mainstream Christian and the Torah-observant Christian end up talking past one another, quarreling and arguing without any resolution. The old friend I mentioned who took me to task over Christmas is a perfect example. He and his wife were causing so much turmoil in their family and neighborhood that the people who loved them were at their wit’s end and didn’t know what to do.  

In another instance, a woman from Minneapolis reached out to me because her husband has been thinking about leaving the family to move to Israel. He believes it is part of his duty as a believer to make the three annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem required in the Torah. I sat with him for almost two hours and found him to be a soft-spoken, intelligent man who knows his Bible. But he was unwilling or unable to see that those Mosaic traditions are not required of Christians under the New Covenant. I remember him being really upset that he was being “forced” by mainstream Christianity to worship God on Sunday rather than the true Saturday Sabbath.

And interestingly, like every Hebrew Roots believer I’ve ever encountered, he is not Jewish. He is a Gentile, which means he has never been under the Law of Moses, including the Sabbath requirements. And here he is, ready to walk away from his wife and kids in service to Torahism. That’s scary stuff.  

But that’s not all. Let me share a few other stories with you. These are actual comments I’ve received:

  1. A man from Kansas wrote, “Thank you so much for your biblical and logical teaching in your book and on YouTube. With one of my best friends falling into the Hebrew Roots Movement (I partially blame 119 Ministries), I have been struggling to find answers to the questions he raises.” This man later told me that this friend ended up causing so much disruption and arguing within their church small group that they finally had to ask him to leave. (Which he wanted to do anyway because he thought they were all deceived.)
  2. A man from Tennessee wrote, “I like your videos. My son married a girl recently that her family had been strongly involved in the Hebrew Roots Movement. So, I am researching for myself. I do not believe in the movement myself, nor does my son but, we have to get along with the in-laws. They are starting to come out of it but cling to some of the food laws and feast ideas.”
  3. A pastor from Connecticut wrote: “My elder brother just sent me this link [to a Hebrew Roots article]. Is this what your book on Torahism is about and do you deal with this subject? I want to learn more just in case my brother is going down a wrong path. By the way, I’ve been a pastor for over 32 years and have an M.Div . . . Please, any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.”
  4. A woman from Mexico wrote, “I’ve recently come across this movement you mentioned in your book. I’ve dealt with harsh comments and teachings towards Christians… I’ve been a Baptist all my life, and I am concerned about this situation . . . My husband isn’t a Christian, yet; he’s friends with a gentleman who is involved in Hebrew Roots, they’ve known each other even longer than my husband and I have. I’d love to get your book. Is it available from Mexico?”
  5. An author from Spain wrote, “I just recently bought and read your book Torahism (great job, BTW). I would be interested in chatting with you about the Hebrew Roots Movement. We have this problem in Spain, too.” He and I ended up having a video chat, and he explained to me how the Hebrew Roots teachings are growing, especially among the Gypsy population in Spain, who identify themselves with the lost tribes of Israel. He told me that four prominent Christian leaders in Spain had recently stepped down from their positions in the church to pursue Torahism.

(You’ll find more examples in the comments section below.)

Torahism is real, and it seems to be growing. Thankfully it’s nowhere near as big as other Christian cults, like Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormonism. At least not yet. And one of the reasons I do what I do is to help make sure Torahism never gets that big.  

3. Torahism Undermines Jesus

The third big danger is that the theological concept at the foundation of Torahism undermines both the Gospel of Jesus and the sufficiency of His work in making us right with God. For one thing, by trying to point Christians toward Moses, these teachings can take our focus off of Jesus. By emphasizing a works-based lifestyle, Hebrew Roots’ teachings deemphasize the “abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness” (Rom 5:17) that is ours through Jesus. But the danger of Torahism is even bigger than what it does to our focus.

The theology of Torahism contradicts and undermines the accomplishments of Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection. Here are seven biblical examples that show how the teachings of Torahism are incompatible with the work of Jesus:

Under the Law of Moses / Old CovenantUnder Jesus / New Covenant
Continual animal sacrifices are required for sin. (Ex 29:10-14, 35-37, 30:10; Lev 4:1-5:13; Num 6:10-14)We learn “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb 10:4). They were only a reminder of sin. Jesus, however, was our atoning sacrifice (1 John 2:1), which was given once for all (Heb 10:10). If Jesus was our sacrifice once for all, why would we need to continue with the repeated sacrifices required under the Law of Moses?
All priests must come from the tribe of Levi. (Ex 29:1-8; Deut 18:1-8; Num 18)Jesus is now our High Priest (Heb 4:14-15), and he came from the tribe of Judah (Heb 7:14), not Levi. We’re further taught that “when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well” (Heb 7:12).   How can the Law of Moses still be in effect if our high priest is not from the tribe of Levi?
God told the Jewish nation of Israel, “you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Ex 19:6)All believers in Jesus—whether Jew or Gentile—are described as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9)   Contrary to the Law of Moses, every believer in Jesus—whether Jew or Gentile—now qualifies as a member of God’s chosen people.
God’s presence or spirit resides in the temple in the most holy place, behind a veil where only the high priest can enter once a year (Exodus 26, 30:10)The moment Jesus died on the cross, God tore down that temple veil, symbolizing that we now have direct access to God (Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38). We, the body of Christ, are now God’s temple (1 Cor 316-17, 6:14-20; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Pet 2:5). If believers in Jesus are now the temple of God’s spirit, how does it make sense to keep a Law that requires a physical Temple where the most holy place is veiled off and only accessible by priests? Are we to sew back together the temple veil that God ripped apart?
Kosher food laws were given to set Israel apart from the Gentile nations around her. (Leviticus 11)All food is now clean. (Acts 10:9-16, Mark 7:1-23, Rom 11:11-24, 14:1-15:13). In Mark 7 Jesus said to His disciplines, “Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)” (Mark 7:18b-19). How does it make sense to require the keeping of kosher food regulations when Jesus and the apostles taught us that all food is clean?
Israel was required to circumcise all males at eight days old. (Lev 12:3).For those who place their faith in Jesus, “neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (Gal 5:6. See also: Acts 15:1-29; Gal 6:15; 1 Cor 7:19; Col 2:11) How does it make sense for Christians to keep the Mosaic requirements for circumcision when the NT tells us that now, under Jesus, circumcision counts for nothing?
No commandments shall be added to or taken away from the Law of Moses. (Deut 4:2, 12:32)Jesus gave us new commands not found in the Torah (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 13:34). For example, nowhere in the Torah will we find anything like this command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I (Jesus) have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20). If the Law of Moses is still in effect, how could Jesus give us new commandments?

I mentioned earlier that we don’t have a verse we can look at that directly teaches that “Christians are not required to keep the law of Moses.” However, you can see how the bulk of evidence in the NT teaches this very point. Not only that, we have a verse we can point to that reveals that the Sinai Covenant, the old covenant, has ended. The book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus is our High Priest and that the New Covenant is a better covenant. And, “In speaking of a new covenant, [God] makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb 8:13).

This text was written in the first century when most of the apostles were still alive. And a few years later, in the year AD 70, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. From that day until now, it has been impossible for anyone to live a truly Torah-observant lifestyle. The temple is gone, the priesthood is gone, the sacrifices have ended. In other words, the old covenant has become obsolete and vanished.

Wrap it Up, Solberg

Look, I get it. This idea that Christians ought to keep the Law of Moses can sound appealing, even beautiful. It seeks to connect us to our spiritual roots in ancient Israel and give us a framework to live out our faith today. This is what draws people into Torahism. But the bottom line is that Torah-observant Christianity is flat-out unbiblical. And anyone who spreads this false teaching is well advised to soberly reconsider what they’re doing. There are many ways to acknowledge and honor the true Jewish roots of the Christian faith without resorting to unbiblical teachings.

The three biggest dangers of Torahism are that their teachings (1.) are unbiblical, (2.) cause division and disunity, and (3.) undermine the work and sufficiency of Jesus. These false Hebrew Roots teachings put an unnecessary burden on believers. They add requirements to living out the Christian faith that were never intended. This is a dangerous stumbling block that promotes the false idea that putting one’s faith in Jesus commits them to keeping all sorts of regulations—about food and days and so on—that aren’t actually required of Christians.

In the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul spends chapters three and four making his case that believers in Jesus have been liberated from the law. I’ll close with his summary of that argument: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1).

Shalom


60 thoughts on “The Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement

  1. Marc W. Richardson

    Acts chapter 11, God specifically abrogates the dietary laws. Acts chapter 15, the (Jewish) Apostles, circumcision is done away with as a requirement for gentile believers. See esp. v5 and v9. Our hearts are purified by faith, not the keeping of the law. The summary of the Council of Jerusalem is found in vv19-20.

  2. Anonymous

    The Great Commission in the Old Testament
    Psa 67:2

    That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

  3. Aaron

    I’m just going to ask you five things. Do you know what the Talmud is? If not then that’s the oral traditions brought over from Babylon that Nehemiah helped to institute and the Jews kept adding onto it and haven’t truly followed the ways of the Torah since; they’ve followed a way that makes it impossible to obey the ways of the Torah.
    Second, have you actually studied who the Apostle Paul was teaching the entire to truth to? 90-99% were pagans that had never ever read the original scriptures before hence they’d have been doing the pagan festivals and new moon celebrations that were part of their traditions that the modern church participates in to this day. I’ve done some research on this and encourage anyone attacking this movement which is prophesied to happen in Deuteronomy, the prophets, and Psalms to study out what Easter and Christmas really are. Not attacking here just challenging to verify if you really believe the entire Bible or if you made up a New Testament God because you don’t like the Old Testament one.
    Third; who does the Apostle Paul say the converts become once accepting Messiah Yeshua/Jesus? Israelites was what he called them; Christian didn’t become official until Constantine made it so and killed off the true church/congregation as much as he could. History will bear this out look up the councils of Nicea and Laodicea and the rest of the history of the early church, look up Polycarp and study him.
    Fourth; how many tribes of Israel were there at Mount Sinai and were there ”foreigners”, like maybe a mixed multitude, there accepting the covenant with them?
    Five: How long does God say His feast days and statutes last? You’ll have to read the Old Testament for this one and in detail.

    You see I know there are overzealous Torah observant followers and I know people like you who don’t have the truth in you and just want to attack them are going to continue to pop up; I’m cool with that because the Word says it will happen. The truth is people waking up to the entire Bible freak out and see the truth and see the lies the church us perpetrated on them and make a total 180 change back to the ways of God. We know the Torah doesn’t get us through the door but if you read Paul’s letters in context, understand history, and take the racism the church has injected into the front of their Bibles and remove it you will see the truth. I read you article and I agree there are crazy Torah followers but there’s also the ones who understand scripture and have their eyes opened to the Truth and simply follow the Word as written including listening and obeying the Prophet like Moses who was/us Yeshua/Jesus the of Nazareth. I grew up in a Baptist church then swapped to the Pentecostal church and actually read my Bible and study history with it; if you ever want to have a discussion about this I’ll gladly have one.

    1. R. L. Solberg

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Aaron! I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. I agree with you that there are overzealous Torah-observant Christians and there are others who are more reasonable about it. But no matter where a Christ-follower lands on the Torah-observant spectrum, if believe they are required to keep Torah, they are missing the mark. Let me take a stab at answering your five questions:

      1. Yes, I know what the Talmud is.
      2. Yes, I’ve studied who Paul was teaching to, and it was not “90-99% pagans.” Paul did often preach to the gentiles, but just as often (perhaps more often) he was speaking to his fellow Jews. We know this based on the different books he wrote in the NT. When he was speaking to pagans, he would use their own beliefs as the basis for his preaching (Acts 17). And when speaking to a Jewish audience his preaching was based on their shared faith and the Tanakh (Acts 22; 1 Cor 9:19-23; Phil 3:4-11). Just look at how many times in the NT we’re told that Paul went into the synagogue to teach. “As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures” (Acts 17:2)
      3. Where does Paul refer to gentile converts to faith in Yeshua as “Israelites?” I know in Rom 11 he talks about the Gentiles being “grafted in” to the people of God. And in Gal 3 he says anyone who puts their faith in Yeshua—Jew or Gentile—is “Abraham’s seed.” And he also teaches that for those in Christ, there is no Jew or Gentile (Gal 3:28-29; Eph 2:11-12), we are all one.
      4. There were twelve tribes of Israel at Sinai. And since Ex 12:38 tells us that a multitude of non-Jews left Egypt with Israel, it’s reasonable to suggest they were still with Israel when they got to Mount Sinai. Perhaps this is why God addressed His covenant solely to the Jews in attendance: “say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel…” (Ex 19:3, see also Lev 26:46).
      5. God said the feats and commandments given under the Sinia covenant were to last forever, always, to a thousand generations, etc. So, I’m curious: how do you reconcile that with the many NT teachings that the Law of Moses is no longer in effect (Acts 10, 15, Gal 3, Eph 2, Col 2, etc.) and the Sinai Covenant has become obsolete (Heb 8)? For example, “But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom 7:6).

      I have another question for you. What do you mean by “the racism the church has injected into the front of their Bibles”? Also, BTW, you might enjoy my book Divergence: Examining Jewish-Christian Relations in the Early Church. In it, I take a scholarly look at the theology of the Christian church across the first three centuries of the faith. And one of the issues I examine is anti-Semitism in the early church. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!
      Shalom,
      Rob

      1. Anonymous

        Yeshua did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, He came to fulfill it. Salvation is a divine act, consecration is a human endeavor through the Ruach haKodesh who sanctifies us, convicts us, and leads us in truth to live in holiness, apart from the heathens, so that we don’t stray away from Hashem’s Word. His Law is pure, His commandments give life. There is absolutely no difference nowadays between so-called “Christians” and heathens. You wear the same clothes, you speak the same way, listen to the same music, eat the same foods, entertain the same vane thoughts, full of tattoos, and so many other things. This is not how Hashem wants us to live. If you are saved, then you should live accordingly, otherwise there is no difference, and His love does not abide in you. Our body is the temple of the Ruach haKodesh. Hashem’s Word does not change, and the Scriptures are filled with Hashem’s commandments from beginning to end, the first one being, “Let there be Light.” We are to live in the Light and not darkness. Hashem’s Law is a light unto our path, a lamp unto our feet. And if we are listening to the Ruach haKodesh, the Torah continually brings us to the knowledge that we are insufficient on our own, and salvation is only through the blood of Yeshua. All praise be to Adonai!

        1. Ric Joyner

          Anonymous, how did Jesus fulfill the law and the prophets?

  4. David Morales

    This is taken from the article.

    Premise 1:
    “The law was given to the Jewish people to set them apart from the Gentile nations around them. Because the Jews were Abraham’s offspring to whom God had given a promise”

    Premise 2:
    “Believers in Jesus—both Jews and Gentiles—are considered Abraham’s offspring and the heirs of God’s promises.”

    Conclusion:
    The law was given to us, because we are Abraham’s offspring. To set us appart from the gentiles!

    1. R. L. Solberg

      Haha! Thanks, David. This an excellent example of the absurd conclusions we can come to when we establish our premises with no regard for context. Best, Rob

      1. eltantillo

        It would be of much more blessing to point out how the context changes the premises and therefore the conclusion, than simply pointing it out. It is useless for me to say that “your comment is the perfect example of someone who has no arguments”, just because it lacks them, if I do not indicate what those arguments could be. One is a criticism with no desire to help, the other seeks to help the one who has the error.

        I am very open to correct my mistakes, but we all need to be told what they are, no one goes through life with a clear conscience doing things they know are wrong.

  5. stilllifeadventures906435745

    Four long years, I have lived under a husband, that first found “Torah” through a person, who also sarcastically said something of this nature, “Flat Earth, is a salvation issue you stupid deceived Roman rooted followers of the Son of Zeus, Christians.”, Rob Skiba (RIP)…His, (my husband’s) entry into the torah movement went from Rob Skiba’s FE, to and introduction to, Justin Best, a YouTuber, who has since become apostate through his false teachings against Paul…He moved on from Justin to find another, very sarcastic and condescending guy out of Colorado, named, Sean (Kingdom in Context)…thousands of hours of YouTube under their tutelage…and absolutely no sharpening…just sitting under teaching…NOT ONE TIME did I not hear slander come from the mouths of these people, against the Church, The Bride of Christ and others that did not agree…this rubbed off on my husband…

    James 4:11
    Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

    Proverbs 10:18
    He who conceals hatred has lying lips,
    And he who spreads slander is a fool.

    Colossians 3:8
    But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

    Slanderous behavior in a very public place, I might add…

    My husband also found a “fellowship” here in MO in the city of Nixa, led by Adam Fink (Parable of the Vineyard)…I attended two Sabboth meetings this past summer, to “check things out”, because a couple of women he met from Passover, had been contacting him through FB and texts without my knowledge and the conversations were inappropriate for a woman unmarried, talking with a man who is married. When this issue was brought up to the fellowship leadership, there was no reprimand to any party, and they actually swept the issue under the rug…We also have two young girls 9 &10 who I was trying to protect…There are also issues of Polygamy within this group as well…as of July, the leadership had not “decided” if the first wife had the right to leave her husband, who had taken a second wife without her “giving’ the woman to him…the second “wife” was pregnant at the time by her husband…

    The last and only second, Shabbat, I attended in June 2021, the elders, appointed by Adam and only Adam, stood up during Shabbat and told the group, “NO ONE was allowed to invite anyone new into the group, without them first being ‘vetted’ and cleared by the eldership” (there are 6 elders for less than 100 people) My husband and I were the “first” asked to meet with them, as I was not a Torah observant member (wasn’t/won’t be)….

    This group is currently in the works for the purchase of “compound land” in Ava, MO, to start a living together fellowship and “invited” my husband, who is in real estate to help with that transaction…

    Sadly, through the extreme abuses: mentally, physically, and spiritually, against me, I cannot fight anymore the constant condemnation ..our marriage is coming to an end…(God does have the final say and I’m in hope for restoration)

    They, HRM, can never say, “it’s not a salvation issue”, because in this house, through the teachings of: Justin Best, Rob Skiba, Adam Fink, 119 Ministries, and Sean (KIC), I have been told/screamed at by my husband, that I will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven. Because I am not following my husband into Torah, I am an unbelieving, lawless, unsubmitted wife, who has “uncovered herself” and because I do not believe the cosmology of Flat Earth Theory, I cannot even understand truth…That’s a big arrow from the evil one to my heart and psyche…because, if I cannot understand truth, I cannot even know Jesus, because He IS THE TRUTH!!!…and it has been stated more than a hundred times about me for the past four years…THIS IS THE LEGACY of HRM/TORAH OBSERVANCE…

    This movement, with my husband’s help, has destroyed not only me and my immediate family, but also the relationship with his dad, mom, grandpa, grandma, older daughters, sister, nieces, nephews, FIL, MIL, B&SILs, and almost all of his friendships…(The irony with all those relationships that he broke by abuse, they/We/I, still love him. Us Christians who are in a Roman rooted religion, still love him)…and furthermore, this is not the unity the Apostles taught The Bride of Christ to adhere, too, this is the “stupid arguments” & “false teachings” we were told to stay away from…

    1 Corinthians 1:10
    I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

    Ephesians 4:1-6
    I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

    Philippians 1:27
    Only let your manner of life be worthy[a] of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…

    If the movement is of The Spirit and led by The Spirit, it will show the fruits…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
    Against such things there is no law.
    Galatians 5:22-23

    1. R. L. Solberg

      It breaks my heart to hear your story Thank you so much for sharing it. A lot of people wonder what the big deal is with the Hebrew Roots/Torah-observant movements. They don’t see the danger in it. You’ve just explained it better than I ever could. Blessings, Rob

      1. Cheryl

        My prayer for this dear sister is that Jesus will bring healing to her. Her sharing this story gives me greater motivation to help my pastor move away from hrm. I am truly sorry and pray that the Lord will reknit your heart and bring joy to you.

  6. Lisa

    My life is falling apart because of this movement. Huge mistakes were made and some of which were made because I wasn’t let in until too late.

    My family, marriage, job, home…have all been effected. I cried on the side of the road for months wishing I could make this make sense.

    My breaking point was when my niece who is three quietly told me while picking wild blackberries that apple pie is evil.

    It’s just too much. I hope your book will help with this. My family has been very shaken with all of this. I pulled away and now my in-laws think I am lawless, sinful and evil. They even tried to separate my husband and I saying I am mentally unstable.

    1. R. L. Solberg

      It breaks my heart to hear this, Lisa. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Sadly, you’re not alone. I hear from many people whose families are being damaged by these Torah-observant heresies. But I can also say “you are not alone” in another far more beautiful sense. God sees you and He is with you, even in the midst of the mess. I have also heard from a number of people who have come out of the Hebrew Roots cult and their families have been restored.

      I know you didn’t ask for my advice, but I would encourage you in this time to lean into God and pray for your family. I don’t think we can fully appreciate the power and radical nature of Jesus’ command “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” until we’re enduring persecution ourselves. This passage came to mind for you:

      “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-21)

      Blessings, Rob

    2. Ida

      Lisa, I totally understand all that you have written…I am sorry you are facing it as well. Just today, I asked my husband to read from a real translation of scripture (he was reading the paraphrased version, “The Living Bible” to my girls. Simply asked he read from a non-paraphrased version a d he called me a unruly I submitted wife who just won’t let him lead. Then went on to tell me I’m lawless…six months ago, he would have skewered anyone who read anything other than KJV…there just isn’t any rhyme or reason to it all. We were forced to watch and hour long conversation glorifying, Matthew Janzen, and his Torah teaching and told it was scripture for the Sabbath…so frustrating…prayers for you and your family. Hold Strong in Your Faith!!!

  7. Jay

    I’m sorry you have met such ugly people when you encounter this movement. Let’s get to the root of the divide. There is plenty of scripture to back up Shabbat is a holy day and suppose to be observed. There is no scripture evidence of SUNday worship. The other great issue is Christmas and Easter. These are not observed by the messiah or his apostles. However the feast day were and should be celebrated by all believers. There is evidence that Christmas and Easter have pagan roots. The feast days roots or written right in the Bible. It’s even debated on when the birth of our messiah was. He never mentioned he celebrating his birthday or said anything about his birthday. It is irrelevant to scripture. I’m not saying your evil or condemned for celebrating it. It’s just not scriptural backed up. The movement is similar to the Protestant movement. We just want to get back to what scripture says. Love you and bless you as a fellow believer in the messiah.

    1. Anonymous

      The First century church commonly gathered on the first day of the week, Sunday. John 20:19. Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection on the first day of the week, Sunday. Acts 20:7, they were gathered together on the first day of the week to break bread and Paul talked to them. First Corinthians16:2, Paul instructed the Corinthians On the first day of the week that when they gather to put aside something to be given to those and need.

      1. Smiley

        Just because they Gathered on the first day of the week , doesnt mean that Sabbath was changed to this day. You can worship or teach Any day But the difference is that God himself set this seventh day apart as holy and He said to remember it. He knew we would forget and do our own thing.

        1. darla723

          The reason they gathered was to on the first day for the same reason we do today , to celebrate the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ(Yeshua) an to break bred the primary purpose of the gathering was the Lord’s Supper. and in Acts they were first called Christians see Hebrews 4:8-10 tells us that Christ and His finished work is our Sabbath, our rest..:When did they start calling them Christians?
          The first recorded use of the term (or its cognates in other languages) is in the New Testament, in Acts 11 after Barnabas brought Saul (Paul) to Antioch where they taught the disciples for about a year, the text says that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). I believe that Christ would not be celebrating his resurrection since he still walked here and to think he would makes no sense in logical reasoning as he had not died. Christ fulfilled the feasts in being the passover( The Lamb perfect) He takes away the sins of the world. He fulfilled the some of the other feasts of unleaven bread, first fruits( he was the first fruits from the dead to be resurrection…he fulfilled Penecostal ( the church was born the descending of the Holy Spirit (fire)) so he will fulfilled the remaining feasts. The church celebrates these feasts therefore in a new way so perhaps Torah people are missing this I believe. The ones I have encounter on FB and listened to the videos they gave I encounter may scriptures verse from Holy Spirit that this is a false teaching especially on Matthew 5:17-18( missing the point where it says till all is fulfilled(the word fulfilled means to fill out, expand, or complete. it does not mean to bring to and end.1. Jesus fulfills the law in several ways: He obeyed it perfectly and taught its correct meaning( v. 19,20) 2. he will one day fulfill all of the Old Testament types and prophecies;and 3. He provides a wya of salvation that meets all all the requirements of the law(Rom. 3;21,31). I pickup an arrogant attitude of condemning other Christians in Christ from their teachings. There is a reason for the New Covenant ( as Hebrews teaches why )….this from a friend on the Christmas date and it will help to see that Christ’s Birth may by Dec. 25….Many people wrongly assume that Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) “was born on the feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles)”, which is a direct contradiction of all of the collective proofs. A wide variety of credible, ancient biblical and historical evidences collectively and conclusively prove 100% beyond all reasonable doubt that Yeshua was born on the sacred festival of Hanukkah, when the biblical lunar-solar calendar date 25 Kislev 3757 overlapped the solar Julian calendar date December 25th, 5 B.C. Those who believe in the Sukkot birth date myth ignorantly quote Yochanan (John) 1:14 as alleged “proof”, while not even realizing that the Greek verb, “skenoo” simply means, “to dwell ; encamp, etc.”, and is a common word which contextually applies to all human beings, etc., who live in dwellings. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with the feast of Tabernacles, which is a fall harvest that is celebrated as Hebrews gather in Jerusalem. Joseph and Miriam (Mary) were descendants of the tribe of Judah, and did not travel to Jerusalem, but instead, went from the Galilean town of Nazareth to Bethlehem, because it was the city of David, for the Romans demanded that all twelve tribes of Israel return to their original ancestral hometowns for the census.
          We know from Scripture that Yeshua was born at the time of the first Roman census (Luke 2:1-2) when Quirinius was Governor of Syria. A review of Roman documents describe this time frame as late in the year of 5 B.C. (3757). The year of the Crucifixion is confirmed by several historians due to the darkness that occurred from noon until 3:00 PM on 14 Nisan 3790 (April 5th, 30 A.D.) during the festival of Passover (Pesach). The historians Phlegon, Thallus, Africanus and Tertullian all mention this three hour period of darkness, that does not have a scientific explanation. It was neither a lunar or solar eclipse for many reasons. Eclipses do not last three hours and cannot happen during the full moon of Passover. This was a supernatural act of Yahweh.
          For example Thallus, a Samaritan historian who wrote around 52 AD, and Phlegon, a Greek historian, both recorded the darkness. Thallus tried to explain away the darkness as an eclipse. Julius Africanus (AD 160-240) researched the topic of the darkness and wrote the following: “Upon the whole world there came a most fearful darkness. Many rocks were split in two by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. It seems very unreasonable to me that Thallus, in the third book of his histories, would try to explain away this darkness as an eclipse of the sun.”
          The Hebrews celebrate their Passover on the 14th day according to the moon. But an eclipse of the sun can only take place when the moon crosses the sun. How then could an eclipse have occurred when the moon is directly opposite the sun? Scientifically it is impossible to have a full moon on the same day that there is an eclipse of the sun. The Roman historian Phlegon is mentioned by Origen who describes a darkening of the sun in the eighteenth year of Tiberius on 14 Nisan-Passover which would be 30 A.D. (3790). According to the context of the Gospel Scriptures, Yeshua (Jesus) was 33 years old when He died. If you calculate 33 years backwards from 30 A.D. (3790), it is 5 B.C. (3757), when He was born.
          If anyone wants to conduct accurate ancient Hebrew biblical lunar-solar calendar date conversions to the solar Roman Julian calendar dates, then I highly-recommend this site.
          [If the links are not clickable, then please copy-and-paste them into a new internet window/page to visit the websites]
          Here is the date conversion data from the Hebrew calendar year 3757 (Roman Julian year 5 B.C.):
          http://www.cgsf.org/dbeattie/calendar/?hebrew=3757
          This is the date conversion data from the Hebrew calendar year 3790 (Roman Julian year 30 A.D.):
          http://www.cgsf.org/dbeattie/calendar/?hebrew=3790
          This site has an accurate calendar date duration calculator :
          https://keisan.casio.com/exec/system/1247118517
          Chag Chanukah sameach (Happy Hanukkah 🕎 festival). Yeshua (Jesus) is the Reason For The Season. HalleluYah!!! 🙌 Many credible biblical, historical and archaeological evidences confirm in unison that our Savior was born on the sacred festival of Hanukkah, when the biblical lunar-solar calendar date 25 Kislev 3757 overlapped the solar Julian calendar date December 25th, 5 B.C. It is unfortunate that we are told many speculative untruths in opposition to the factual birth date of Yeshua haMashiach (Iesous Christos / Jesus the Anointed One) by non-credible sources who ignorantly spread misinformation propaganda. The purpose of this article is to expose and conclusively refute and disprove those myths.
          “Historical Proof Of The Birth Of Yeshua (Jesus) The Messiah On Hanukkah (25 Kislev 3757 / December 25, 5 B.C.)”
          http://insightfromourheavenlyabbaslight.blogspot.com/
          May be an image of ‎text that says ‘‎世ש העולם! אור הוא ישוע Yeshua is the Light of the world!‎’‎Shalom

    2. Lorrie Kinlaw

      Christ is our sabbath rest. We are to present our bodies, a living sacrifice. All days are His and holy.
      Run from this cultic teaching. Truth…You were never under Torah and you can’t keep it. Israel could not keep it and they had the temple in Jerusalem; the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system.
      Paul’s messages were given to him by the risen Lord! Please keep reading the Scripture. The truth was progressively revealed. Take into account historical context and audience relevance.
      Most importantly, Christ fulfilled Scripture!!

      1. Ric Joyner

        Lorrie well said. Part of the prob in HBR is the anti church sentiment and lack of proper biblical study methods. Wrong input equals bad output. Thanks!

      2. eltantillo

        Christ is our justice as well, does that mean we no longer have to do justice?

  8. Natalie

    I have a son and his family involved with HRM and have tried and continues to try and convert my husband and I. I read a lot and came across your site and am very appreciative of clarifying a number of things. I pray for my son and his family continuously but after listening to the many comments my heart breaks, not only for them but my son and his family also I guess I need to step up my praying. Thank you once again for your insight into the scriptures.

    1. R. L. Solberg

      Thank you, Natalie. It means a lot to me that my work has been helpful to you. I’m sorry for what you’re going through! I know how frustrating it is. Jesus taught us that persistent prayer is powerful. And how much more, I imagine, the prayers of a mother. “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8a) We can trust that, even when things are frustrating or feel hopeless or stalled out, God is working out His will in His perfect timing. Blessings, Rob

      1. Carol Simonton

        Hi Rob,

        I came across across a guy on tictok who is a Torah observer. At first it seemed interesting but then I noticed he separated himself from “Christians”. Then I noticed the snarky remarks to those who disagreed with him. On one of his videos, he was telling Christian’s that Heaven was closed, in an insulting and condescending manner. It was very upsetting. Apparently Matthew 5:17-20 is one of the NT scriptures they hold fast to. I can see why it is compelling for them. Can you explain this scripture for me? It does appear to be Torah-leaning.

        Thank you for your help,
        Carol

  9. Timothy Grady

    Thanks for clarifying these issues .

    John 3:16 alone refutes all attempts to “come in some other way”.

    If anything else were a NECESSARY condition of Everlasting Life than simple childlike faith in Jesus for it , then it would NECESSARILY have to be in John 3:16 – and in every conceivable Evangelistic/Justification before God/Everlasting Life passage .

    Yet , this is precisely what we do not find .

    1. Jay

      Read past John 3:16 until John 3:21. These verses are all connected and continue the train of thought. I’ll post John 3:20-21

      Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

      What is light defined as in the Bible?

      Proverbs 6:23
      For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

      What about whoever loves by the truth?

      Psalm 119:142
      Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth

      Just using scripture to define scripture. I only showing Bible truth.

      Revelation 14:12 – Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

      Both commandments and faith are important

      Revelation 22:14 – Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

      What did Messiah say himself?

      Matthew 5:17-18 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

      He said he didn’t come to abolish the law or the prophets. He even goes on to further explain that until heaven and earth disappear then nothing from the law will disappear. We are still awaiting his second coming. Not everything had been accomplished. I come only in love and show only what the Bible says. Please just look at both sides of the argument before jumping to conclusions.

      1. R. L. Solberg

        Amen, Jay! And what’s interesting is the way we keep God’s commandments under the New Covenant is not the same way they were kept under Moses. For example, under Moses, we kept God’s commandments by bringing our animal sacrifices to the temple. Under the New Covenant, we obey Him by presenting our bodies “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship.” (Rom 12:). “For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom 13:8b).

        And when you read Matt 5:17-18, don’t forget to read what Yeshua said about that statement after He was resurrected in Luke 24:44-48. Jesus fulfilled the law and His disciples were witnesses to it!

        Shalom,
        Rob

        1. Jay

          Thank you for your reply brother. I am not going to turn you to see the fullness of the scripture but hopefully I can show to others that are viewing that there is scripture that shows these law are eternal. We serve an eternal God and he gives us eternal commands to follow him. He does not change.

          Malachi 3:6
          “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

          Psalm 119:160
          All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

          Exodus 31:16
          Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.

          The word fulfill is used out of context a lot and we can look at the original meaning in Greek. Fulfil below has other meanings and even if you use it to mean finish, its a period or task. He completed his tasks, he made full the prophecy that was written about him for his first coming.

          Strong’s G4137 – plēroō
          πληρόω plēróō, play-ro’-o; from G4134; to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:—accomplish, × after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.

          Below is a few examples of prophecies not completed including Abraham possessing the law for an everlasting possession, resurrected bodies to live forever, law will be in us and everyone will know the true God. Also remove wicked, detestable things and all its abominations.

          Genesis 17:7-8
          7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

          Isa 66:22-23
          For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
          And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

          Psalm 37:28
          For the Lord loves the just
          and will not forsake his faithful ones.
          Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
          the offspring of the wicked will perish.

          Isaiah 26:19
          Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.

          Jeremiah 31:31-34
          “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

          Psalm 40:8
          I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

          Proverbs 25:5
          Take away the wicked from before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness.

          Ezekiel 11:17-20
          17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ 18 And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

          His laws he gave us are eternal laws and are perfect at converting the soul to righteous. I am a testimony to this and here to show that his laws are a blessing!

          Psalm 19:7
          7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

          8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

          Love you all as brothers or sisters in Messiah.

          1. R. L. Solberg

            Thanks, Jay. You and I agree that the Law of God is eternal, that we serve an eternal God who does not change, and that He gives us eternal commands to follow him. The Law God gave through Moses was holy, righteous, and good, (Rom 7:12), but it was not intended to last forever (Gal 3:24-25). The unchanging, eternal Law of God was expressed differently under Moses than under Yeshua. Here’s a short video I made that explains what I mean: The Unchanging Law of God.

            Do you disagree that some things have changed under the New Covenant because of the work of Christ? I don’t imagine you sacrifice animals to atone for your sin, do you? If you follow Messiah, you know that He fulfilled those commandments by becoming our sacrifice once for all.

            “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Heb 10:11-13).

            Blessings,
            Rob

          2. Jay

            Brother I am not your enemy nor is anyone else that professes the Messiah. We are wrestle against wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12). What I am putting forward is that there was a great awakening and a second awakening in our history. History cannot fully explain it but the awakening pointed out that the churches were not following the scripture. I grew up and was raised Catholic. I decided to go to Christian non denominational as an adult. The Protestant movements started in the 1500 created many different denominations. However these denominations all are about the same now. They lost their identity and why they protested in the first place. I believe we are in a current awakening and seeing that our churches don’t teach what the Bible says. Just like the great awakening it is starting many different “denominations” within the movement however people are trying to return to what the Bible says.

            The Messiah is our high priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). The problem was never the laws or instructions, it was people. The priest kept getting corrupted and would sacrifice to false gods. Christ was prophesied to be our high priest (Zechariah 6:12-13) which puts us under a new priesthood. The commandments for priest and what priest were suppose to do has been fulfilled by Messiah. So no there is no sacrifice like you pointed out.

            However Leviticus 23 feast and sabbath are not under the priesthood and still apply to us. “And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the LORD, who had set them apart to be holy” (Ezekiel 20:12). By worshipping on the sabbath we are saying that we worship the God that created heaven and earth in 7 days.

            There is Antichrist spirits in this world (1 John 4:3). The enemy has been at work for 2000 years and his goal is to separate us from the Most High. Evolution, age of the earth, SUNday worship, “holidays”, distractions from reading the Bible, and many other ways the enemy attacks us. Polls show 11 percent of Americans read the Bible daily. If you look at the origins of the “holidays” celebrated today in our society it is disturbing. There are few that enter into the kingdom and there is unsound teaching (Matthew 7:22), (Matthew 7:13), (2 Timothy 4:3). Christ was at odds with the priests and teachers at his time. However he did say to do what is taught by Moses (Matthew 23:2). He kept referring to Moses and even stood beside Moses (Matthew 8:4) (John 5:46) (Matthew 17:1-3). I just pray that people seek out the truth through the Bible and awaken that we might be getting mislead by “religions”. There is a lukewarm church shown to us in scripture called Church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22). There was a council of laodicea (ad 336) transferred the sabbath from saturday to sunday. There is also a church in Smyrna there are people that claim they are jews but are not (Revelation 2:8-9). This is not my own words, it’s written in scripture. I just believe that we should do Bible studies with small groups of people because Christ will be with them (Matthew 18:20).

            Once again I am not your enemy or any other professing Christian. I just am pointing out things that are written in the Bible but not practiced. I love God and want to do everything I can to show that I obey him. I might be overshooting and overachieving but I fear God (Proverbs 1:7). I fear “the One who can destroy both soul and body” (Matthew 10:28).

            I bless you.

          3. R. L. Solberg

            Absolutely, Jay. I do not consider you an enemy. I agree with you about the state of biblical literacy in the modern church. And I share your desire to live a life that is pleasing to God.

            It’s important to note that the feasts given in Leviticus 23 were given to Israel as a nation. They were not given to the Gentiles. The Egyptians were never expected to keep Sukkot. The Babylonians were not required to observe Pesach. The Assyrians were not commanded to celebrate Yom Kippur. And no Gentile nation was ever expected to keep Shabbat. Unlike the moral commandments about murder, adultery, child sacrifice, greed, and so on, the Gentile nations were never judged for not keeping the feasts or Shabbat.

            Christians began gathering on Sunday (the Lord’s Day) very early on. We have glimpses of it in the NT and direct attestations in the writings of the early church, in documents like the Didache, which is dated to the 1st century and may even have been written while some of the apostles were still alive. As holy as the given times were in the Torah, the timing of the events of Christ are no less divine. It is no accident that Yeshua was resurrected on the first day of the week and that the church was born on the first day of the week when the Spirit came at Pentecost. These are of great relevance to the Christ-follower. During the early years of the church, the believers did maintain some of the Jewish traditions, such as the hours of prayer (Acts 3:1), and Saturday Shabbat. In fact, in the early decades, many Jewish believers in Yeshua kept Sabbath on the last day of the week and gathered with the rest of the church on the first day of the week. The gentile followers of Jesus who were never under the Mosaic Sabbath requirements felt no necessity to observe that custom. And as time went on, they moved away from the Mosaic calendar and developed their own pattern of worship as the Spirit taught them.

            (Also, just an aside, if we want to make a point of the pagan origin of the name of SUNday, we need to also acknowledge the pagan origin of SATURNday.)

            Blessings,
            Rob

          4. Jay

            Brother I keep showing you scripture after scripture. The Bible including the New Testament never say the Sabbath changed. Yeshua was gone from the cave on Sunday. Meaning he already Arose on the Sabbath. Even if it was Sunday he never said this would change the Sabbath day. Once again Malachi 3:6
            “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

            Same thing with your video you sent. The Bible never said the principles is the Law of God. Bible never says that my underline principles won’t change but my laws will. I keep showing you Bible verse after Bible verse. You are giving me your interpretations and documentation by early church that was already falling away from the Bible.

            Leviticus 24:22 says “You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.” This was always open for anyone that wanted to follow the one true God. The other nations didn’t follow the Laws but that doesn’t mean that they were commanded not to.

            Deuteronomy 30 shows a prophecy that we would return to his commands and obey him. “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 30:1-2)

            Yeshua preached the kingdom more than anything else while he walked on this earth. When he was first starting his ministry Jesus said this, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43) We are waiting for the glorious day that his kingdom will come. Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15). This is one is the “gospels” the good news!

            What will we do when his kingdom comes? We observe the feast days.

            Zechariah 14:16 tells us “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

            The kingdom is called Jerusalem, Zion, or Israel. They are all the same thing talked about throughout the Bible. Galatians 3:28
            Tells us that “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” If you are wanting to be part of his kingdom you are an Israelite. A kingdom has laws and they are given to us. Ezekiel 37:15-23 tells us about this one nation that will be ruled by 1 king. Romans 11:11-24 explains to us that we are grafted into Israel.

            Saturday is based off of a pagan god of the Romans. But Sabbath being created by God came first at creation. It being written down in the Bible came first before Rome was even an empire. Almost every other language has its name based off the sabbath. Let’s take Spanish for example “sábado”. This just shows how twisted our whole culture has become like I’ve been saying. We refer the planets after pagan gods. We celebrate pagan holidays. We worship on a pagan day of SUNday. People are just wanting to do what the Bible says not what the world teaches.

          5. R. L. Solberg

            Brother, Jay!

            You wrote, “Yeshua was gone from the cave on Sunday. Meaning he already arose on the Sabbath.” I agree with you that Scripture clearly indicates the tomb was discovered empty early on a Sunday morning. But it offers no reason to think Jesus had actually been raised from the dead the previous day. In fact, that idea seems highly unlikely because if Yeshua rose on Shabbat but wasn’t discovered until the next day it would introduce a great deal of confusion. Jesus told His disciples,

            The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. (Luke 9:22)

            When Yeshua spoke of being raised “on the third day,” was He referring to the day He would actually rise, or the day His disciples would learn that He had risen? If Jesus was raised on Shabbat, and that was the third day, then His followers did not learn of it until the fourth day. And the New Testament says nothing about a fourth day. In fact, the apostle Peter said,

            They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. (Acts 10:39-41)

            Alternately, if the “third day” was intended to refer to the day Yeshua would be discovered alive, then He was actually resurrected on the second day. And the New Testament says nothing about a second day, either. In fact, it says,

            From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. (Matthew 16:21)

            Shalom,
            Rob

  10. Gideon

    I think we often get lost in a world of labels, separation, selfish groups and forget that Ephesians 4:1-6 tells us that there is only “One body, One Faith, One Lord and One God”. There is no such thing as a Gentile Body, a Jewish Body, a Babylonian Body — but One Body.
    You mention Egyptians and Babylonians as markers for gentiles, but we often forget that anyone who wanted to pledge their allegiance and faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, did so by JOINING His people (One body, One Faith, One Lord, One God).
    God called Abraham out of a pagan world of gentiles and from his seed created a nation to be a light to the nations. Abraham the father of our Faith (Galatians 3/ Romans 4) is part of that One Body. Moses is part of One Body. Ruth is part of that One Body. David is part of that One Body. Daniel is part of that One Body. John the Immerser is part of that One Body. The repentant thief on the cross is part of that One Body. Paul is part of that One Body. Gentile believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are part of that One Body.

    Most of the arguments in the above articles and many of the comments, come as a result of a man-made dichotomy created within that One Body— Gentile and Jewish. We will always go around in circles of man-made inventions until we first agree with the Scriptures that there is One body, One People, One Faith, One Lord, One Kingdom, One King and One God.
    Once that is firmly established, we can easily discuss what the Instructions given to His Body/People/Kingdom are and how we apply them.

  11. Anonymous

    Excellent article, I grew up in this movement but left early on, it never sat right with me. The attitudes and division that you describe is down to a t of what I saw. The way verses are twisted to divide families breaks my heart. Like you have said not everyone does this, but it is very prevalent.

    I still have family heavily rooted in this movement too and constantly pray the awake from this.

    One fundamental issue I have with the movement is the picking and choosing on what is fulfilled and what isn’t.

    Some will wear tassels (Tzitzit) many won’t saying the outpouring of the spirit fulfilled this. Essentially no one ( I hope ) is sacrificing animals to keep the feast days even though if they want to keep them according to the old testament this is a requirement. So really they choose convenient things to be fulfilled and others impose with an iron fist.

    I could ramble on for way too long with stories, but in short this article was nice to find this morning, easily articulates many of the pitfalls. I pray more come away from the burden of man and carry God’s light yoke.

  12. Brigitte Rosales

    How do you reconcile the Zechariah 14 prophecy that we’re all going to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? Should we at least do that?

  13. Angela G.

    Great article! Hebrew roots is a slippery slope because once you start with one aspect, it’s a slide into full legalism and all the pride or despair that comes from following or not following faithfully. I wrote a blog a couple years ago that compares it to my friends’ hobby of dumpster diving at grocery stores. https://nolongerlukewarm.com/2019/12/01/hebrew-roots-movement-an-analogy-of-priorities/

    1. IMS

      Excellently thought out and biblically precise!

      1. Angela G.

        Thank you! To God be the glory. God bless you!

        1. R. L. Solberg

          Thank you, Angela!

          1. Sad wife

            This so articulates my experience. I sit here wanting to cry….my husband started out with not celebrating Christmas, worshipping on Saturday, etc. He now treats me with contempt, has denied the Trinity, and our family has suffered so much! I don’t want to lump everyone into the same category, but I am very suspicious of people who talk of keeping Torah. I think it is the tip of the iceberg. Btw I stopped putting up a tree, etc.and have tried to be respectful, but I experience no unity in our marriage. It has been very sad for my children and I. But praise Yahweh I have had to dig into Scripture like never before and am more rooted in truth. God is good and this will end in glorifying Him.

          2. Lorrie

            I’m so sorry, Angela. It is a slippery slope.
            I pray he realizes that he cannot keep the law and ceremonies as prescribed in the covenant made to Israel. That”s the key. It was never made for you and me.
            Lifting your husband and your family in prayer. Continue to be grace filled and forgiving. That will overcome the legalism of the movement.

  14. Brad

    It seems to me Scripture says that those who believe in Yeshua are grafted in to Israel and become partakers with them in the covenan promises and responsibilities.

    Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

    Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    1. Ric Joyner

      Brad, how far into the Hebrew Roots are you? When talking about Hebrew Roots most people in these groups respond the way you do with similar talking points. If you are not far into it I would encourage you to get Professor Solberg’s book. I was drawn into this as Gentile in Messianic Judaism and because we were committed to studying the bible to live a praiseworthy life to God, He was able to avoid this trap and false presentation of the Gospel. Hope you do well. Professor Solberg’s book is a must read and at least get it so you can get another point of view. May the Lord bless you as you learn to live praiseworthy to Him.

      1. Brad Snyder

        Thanks Rick for your concern. I don’t actually consider my self as part of the Hebrew Roots Movement or any other movement or religion. I consider religion to be a man made thing. I have been reading and studying the Word of Yahweh since 2009. When asked what religion I am, which happens frequently, I usually reply ” I am a follower of the way”. Since Yeshua is The Way then that means I follow his teaching and example. So what he did, said, and taught is my guideline. I have not encountered any of his words that would lead me to believe I should live by any other guidelines than what he used which was his Father’s commands.

        As far as the Hebrew Roots I have learned a lot about the problems inherent in the translations from Hebrew and Greek to English so any argument that relies solely on English wording I find lacking.

        I hope you and yours are blessed and continue in Yahweh’s graces.

        1. Ric Joyner

          Blessings to you as well. Brad but how would a follower of the way live their life out in a practical day to day? To your point religion is indeed void if the Holy Spirit’s regeneration power is not present in the believer. To your other point we do have manuscripts from Greek or Hebrew are pretty defined today especially with 25,000 manuscripts that can be cross referenced. We know minute details of changes and thus can assess if a translation is off. NASB95, ESV, KJV are all outstanding. But I am interested if you are attempting to keep Torah as part of your daily life and would interested in how you do that since there is no temple? Thank you Brad for engaging.

          1. Brad Snyder

            Well Rick in answer to your question about keeping Torah in my daily walk. According to some counts there are 613 commandments in scripture. I don’t know personally because I have never tried to count myself. Also as you pointed out there are some that cannot be kept because of no physical temple in existence. There were always many commandments that did not apply to people like me. I can’t keep commands for women. Or Levites. Or shop keepers. Or soldiers. But there are also many that are across the board and timeless. Those I do my best to keep. The first ten given at Mt Sinia for example. But others as well that infource the broad ideas of how we are to treat our fellow humans. I keep the Sabbath. I observe the Scriptural feast days to the best of my ability. With Yeshua as our High Priest and our lives ,Or how we live I should say, as our sacrifices then the physical temple is not really a hindrance to keeping Torah as Yeshua Messiah taught. True Torah keeping is from the heart as a way of life not checking off lists as the Pharasees tried to make it.

            I count many blessings in my life because I do my best to keep the parts of Torah that I can . Then I thank Yahweh every day for the blessing of his son and sacrifice for us. I ask Abba to please apply that sacrifice to me and my sin.

            If the commandments were no longer in effect then we could not sin. In 1John it says sin is breaking the commandments. 1John says we decieve ourselves if we think we don’t sin. So if we need a sacrifice for our sin and Yeshua is that sacrifice then sin is still possible which would mean the commandments are still in effect.

            As a way of living our best life nothing compares to following Yahweh’s Word. So that is what I attempt to do and thank him for his mercy in the times I fall short. Which is quite often.

  15. Ric Joyner

    Brad, thanks for responding. I have a few questions. Do not feel as though I am demanding for you to answer these are survey only. How long have you been in the attempt to keep Torah? Do you believe it is a requirement for all Christians? If so do you believe the “church” has failed in this area? And if so is their salvation in peril as some HR believe? Are you Jewish? Assuming no and if not how do you know how to keep Shabbos? Some Torah keepers go to Judaism to learn how do you? Thanks Brad

  16. Brad Snyder

    Well Rick let me see if I can answer your questions. I have been trying to live my life according to scriptural precepts sense Sept 2009. I believe Scripture tells us Yahweh expects everyone who says they are his to keep his commandments. Exo 20 6, Deut 7 9, John 14 5, John 15 10, 1John 2 3&4, Rev 12 17, 14 12, and 22 14. Yes the “church” has gone after traditions and not the Word of Yahweh. Salvation is something only Yahweh gives or takes away. I have no authority to say. I think Scripture is clear though that there are rewards for those who do keep the commandments. At the end of this earth when we stand before the judgment seat we are judged on our works even if our name is in the book of life. There has to be a standard for righteous judgment to occur. I don’t believe we will be judged according to religion but according to the standards set for us in the Word. What exactly will be the results of that judging I don’t know. If we are already saved what else is there. I do see a number of references in Scripture to rewards. Psa 19 11, 58 11, Mat 5 12, 16 27, 2John 1 8, Rev 22 12.

    No I am not Jewish. 😊 At least not that I know of. It is hard to believe that each of us does not have some Hebrew blood in him. Being the Israelites were scattered around the world 2500 years ago the odds are we have an ancestor from at least one of the tribes. The term Jew or Jewish refers to the people living in the land of Judea during biblical times. That term does not cover all the tribes as well as Hebrew or Israelite.

    In Yeshua’s ministry he makes quite a few references to how to keep Sabbath as well as many other Scriptures. One thing he never did was dispute the timing that was being used. So by knowing how the day was marked in the first century we can use the same timing today. Many of the rituals that are used by Sabbath keepers are man-made traditions and not of the Father. There are a number of very good descriptions in Scripture about how to act on His day.

    I personally try to plan my week around the Sabbath so I do not need to do anything I could have done any other day to set the day apart. Then I rest, and spend time in the Word, and if the opertunity presents itself I fellowship with others. The main thing is to make the day different that all the others in honor of Yahweh having set it apart at creation.

    I hope I have helped you understand my personal way of keeping faith with Yahweh and showing him I am his. Otherwise I just seek to be a servant until he comes and sets up his government here on earth.

    Blessings my friend and brother in Yahweh

  17. Ric Joyner

    Brad thank you so much for this. One last question. What biblical study training do you have or are willing to share? The reason I ask this is I was saved and then immediately became entangled in the Charismatic movement. For nearly 18 or more years I went to churches and not one of them taught me biblical study principles. There are proper methodologies that are crucial to approach God’s word. Any method chosen should start with a focus that Christ is the center of the entire word of God, Is God and went to the cross willingly and as God was sinless. This allowed Him to say it is finished for all the world’s sin if people believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus today we approach God’s word from this perspective: It is His world, His rules and He does things with different groups of people throughout time. This is evident in all of scripture. Knowing this causes us to want to study the word of God to live praiseworthy to God finding His plans and purposes. This concept was given to me by Dr. Baruch Korman of loveisrael.org. It changed our lives. As we study scripture to live a praiseworthy life it caused us to question everything we were taught including Charismatic and Messianic Judaism as well as other thought programs. We realized we were just pewsitters being indoctrinated and we let it happen. We keep what is Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us the rest. This is what led us away from messianic Judaism (nothing against the Jewish people even those saved) and even Hebrew Roots. But if you are willing to share your biblical training background I would be grateful. Again if you don’t wish to I totally understand.

  18. Brad Snyder

    Rick I kinda have to smile at the thought that I have a biblical training program of some sort. I have looked at a few but usually find them to be designed to lead a person to the same conclusions as the author. Which I often see things differently. Mostly I have just read and read and then read some more. Reading Scripture cover to cover at least once each year for most of my changed life. While doing that I began to see connections so I started taking notes and that became a book I call “My Little Book Of Scripture Verses By Subject Matter”. It is something I use for my own reference. I also made a Scriprure comparison book for myself that compares as many as 8 different versions of the Bible side by side. I think I have 4 or 5 books of Scripture represented in it. I did a small book of misstranslations or What I call bad word choices in scripture also for my reference. I currently use NASB study Bible but have gone through it at least three times cover to cover changing things like “The Lord” to Yahweh and “God ” to Elohim. I do this just because I like the way it reads and I feel it’s more accurate. I have written in many of my own verse links over the several years I have been using it. All of these things and others that I do or have done grew out of my reading and answering questions put to me by others. I have always said I learn more from those who disagree with me than those who agree. Some of my best study/research was to prove my own opinions right and often had the opposite effect. 🤪 I love to talk Scripture any time anywhere with anybody but I won’t argue. Been there done that and it’s not something I am proud of in my past. If someone has a different viewpoint than me I wanna hear it. But I will challenge them to shoe me in Scripture. With the resources I have created for myself I can quickly show where I get my beliefs from and then we can compare. Father Yahweh has taken a life long reading habit and guided me to use it for his purposes and for my growth in his word. All that being said I have no planned study habits other than read and share thoughts with people who also read The Word.

    If you would like to share more maybe we should do so in a different manner than this comment section. I don’t want to bother others who may now be getting as much out of this as we seem to be.

    If you wish my email is snidlywiplash54@gmail.com

    Hopefully others will respect that this is for the benefit of Scripture discussion and not flood me with spam.

    Blessings.

  19. Ric Joyner

    Brad thanks for your email. I will send an email as a test so you can see what we are doing. All of my info is on there. A bible study program is not what I am talking about. There are several scientific, or proper approaches to scripture that are helpful in studying scripture. Most people “study” the bible by a “devotional” approach. Dr. Korman shows that understanding, grammar, culture and who it is written to and why is very important. The types of study that exist currently are: Inductive bible study: Observe, Interpret, Apply. (Dallas Theo Seminary pushes this). The Jewish sages (as opposed to the rabbis) used PARDES exegesis. You will need to look it up or perhaps you already have seen it. Baruch does not like this. Exegesis is taking out of the text versus eisegesis, putting our ideas into the text. Most HBR people and charismatics are here. They insert their own pre-set thoughts into the text. There is then the Literal Historical Grammatical approach with dispensation thrown in which is another approach of “rightly dividing the word” as Paul said. All of these approaches have benefits but are missing a beginning method. A heart approach. That is looking in scripture for how to respond to God’s plans and purposes to live praiseworthy to him. Much error has come from eisegesis and a lack of knowledge of biblical study approaches. That is our ministry at biblestudycompany.com which is free to use. I also love talking about this stuff.

  20. Brad Snyder

    Sounds good I will see you on email. It’s been a pleasure and look forward to more discussion.

  21. Michelle Hand

    As a Torah observant Christian myself, I just want to thank you for handling this topic with so much thought and respect. I’ve read/watched a few people rebutting our movement and they’re not a whole lot kinder about it than we’re (sadly) often known to be. I do disagree with your first point, and I’ve done my study and research, but I don’t really want to argue about it. Your second and third points are sadly 99% accurate in most cases. It’s something I’ve been pondering a lot lately. Our movement is very passionate about truth, and that’s something I’ve enjoyed – getting to dig deep into scripture with people without being told it’s wrong to want to understand obscure passages and search out answers to questions. But, as you obviously know, we get out of balance and in our pursuit of truth often forget to love our neighbor. Jesus told the Pharisees that they tithed mint and dill and cumin and forgot the weightier matters of the law – justice and mercy. That’s convicting. I love the Torah community, but we need to get better about that.

    I think one of the problems is that, because the Torah movement is exploding so quickly, many of the people you’re going to interact with might still be in their first couple years of studying the law. They (we) haven’t all learned maturity and balance and simple communication skills to avoid being total jerks to those around us.

    Another issue is that people in general don’t often question their beliefs as long as they’ve got a smooth relationship with their church. So many of us who have come to the conclusion that the law applies today have done so by reading and studying on our own after being somewhat disillusioned by bad experiences in the mainstream church. Those that haven’t forgiven and made peace with the past might take out their anger via the Torah on mainstream Christians. That’s obviously not right or fair.

    For whatever it’s worth, I’m trying to live above this stereotype. My family is trying. Our Torah observant congregation is struggling but also trying, with varying levels of success depending on the individual and situation.

    As a side note, I do know of situations where the hurt and divisiveness is coming from the other side (though admittedly, that’s not as common). I’ve interacted with Torah observant Christians who wanted to stay in their mainstream churches to serve and not cause division but were asked to leave. In my personal experience, I’ve had people close to me continue to attack my beliefs after I asked that we simply agree to disagree and move forward. It doesn’t sound like you’re that type, but just something I wanted to put out there for you to be aware of.

    I would love to see mainstream and Torah keeping congregations and individuals able to work through the disagreement and live in peace. At the end of the day, yes, I think keeping the Sabbath that God set up is important – but I also recognize that there are absolutely things that Torah keepers can learn from other Christians, that you all are doing much better than we are. Thanks for the reminder, and again, I appreciate the respectful tone you took in doing so.

  22. Ric Joyner

    Michelle this is well written and very thoughtful. I was almost snared into this movement because so many Torah Keepers go to Messianic Jewish synagogues that are mostly gentiles anyway. But that is for another story. What I think is wrong with the Torah keeping groups is the huge mistake in bible study methods. The word Torah is instruction which is the number one point brought up by them. But if so why don’t they follow the Apostles and Jesus instructions? Why do they need to bring the Torah for the land into the mix? This is truly perplexing. But why do TKs assume that the word Torah (First 5 books of Moses) applies to us under the beginnings of the new covenant? The word Torah cannot be imported from the Old Testament to the New Testament for many many reasons. And this is where the flaw starts. What do I mean? First Christ said, as the same God Who stood on Mt Sinai about the 10 statements was standing on Mt of Beatitudes teaching a whole different way to see the Torah. (compare ex 20 beginning to Matthew 5 beginning) Christ went after the root of sin which starts in the heart not what we do. The doing is an action out of the heart. Jesus told us if we love Him we will keep his commandments. Here is where the TKs make another big mistake by importing the Torah from the OT into the NT. Jesus and the disciples gave us new commands which some scholars say are 1000-1500 GREEK IMPERATIVES. Here is an example. With Christ, Peter, James and John on the MT of transfiguration Jesus revealed Who He was. But Moses and Elijah were there. A cloud descended (can we presume a parallel from Ex 20?) and God the Father said “this is my beloved son LISTEN TO HIM”. That is a Greek imperative that is a command. Just like the Torah. That is pretty clear that we were to leave the Law of Moses and the Prophets (we can still learn spiritual lessons from them) to the Laws that Christ and the Apostles gave us in the Greek Imperatives (acts 2:42) and NOW LISTEN TO HIM. This is a giant misunderstanding and I believe the enemy uses this misstep and uses people who love God to arrive at an error that can affect someone’s salvation. Here is how. How many Torah groups are doing the great commission (Matthew 28:16-18)? How many are preaching salvation as Christ showed Paul in acts 26:16-18? But they are preaching to keep the law of Moses which Galatians forbids. But we are to observe all that “I command you” because to keep the law of Moses requires a temple and there isn’t one. HE LIVES IN US. If we studied the Greek Imperatives that the Christ and the Apostles give us we will be doing this all of our life AND DOING GOD’s WILL from Mt Transfiguration. The love for God’s word is fantastic in the TK groups but I wish they had teachers that could teach proper biblical study methods on how to live praiseworthy to God instead of the same talking points which is very frustrating. TKs/HRs tend to think all Christians are dumb to the word of God and the weird part is they miss so much of what they should know. If we were to keep the law of Moses why did Christ come for the Jews and for Gentiles? That is basic logic. That is why keeping Torah nullifies the gospel. Can we see that Paul said let people be accursed that teach this? Strong language. Let us love Christ under the Law of Christ and obey His commandments He gave us by His apostles (Acts 2:42) May you be blessed and your post was outstanding. No condemnation from me anywhere. Ps didn’t Jesus say you can’t poor new wine into old wine skins? BTW I have studied HR, TKs and Judaism extensively. One of my closets friends is Dr. Baruch Korman of loveisrael.org and he agrees with me. We died to the law as Paul said in Romans.

    1. Jay

      I challenge you and anyone else that reads this comment. Look read the article and read the comments. This article is a direct attack at peoples Faith. Check peoples fruits in these comments. Many of us have come on to just defend our Faith. The article claims that people in our movement are the divisive ones. I agree with Michelle that there are those among us that are unfruitful. I would gander that most are babes in the Faith that haven’t learned to walk it out fully yet. We are all on a walk with Jesus and we all have things to work on.

      Michelle Just came to say that we all have things to learn and can learn from eachother. Again I agree with Michelle that there are many of us that are still in the churches. It’s not us that are wanting to separate from the body of Christians. It’s the Christian’s that are pushing us out. I’ve been called many things by Christians but mostly told I am not a Christian. Because I don’t celebrate Christmas and want to uphold the Old Testament Laws this somehow makes me a non-Christian.

      Michelle was saying that we can come together with what we have in common. We have so much more in common than our differences.

      Your words:
      “Can we see that Paul said let people be accursed that teach this? Strong language.”

      Comments like this are unfruitful. If you believe we are accursed by God then let us be accursed. How does throwing unfruitful words and condemning us do any good?Shouldnt we pray for others and help them along and not just tell them they are accursed? What was the conclusion of Paul being tried?

      Acts 5:38-39
      38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
      39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

      These are wise words instead of throwing strong language around.

      Your words:
      “No condemnation from me anywhere. Ps didn’t Jesus say you can’t poor new wine into old wine skins? ”

      You say a comment like this after calling us accursed. How can you claim no condemnation? See what some Christian’s don’t see is that you are attacking someone else’s faith. You spent the whole comment speaking against the Torah which we uphold. It’s like if someone came out to you and directly spoke against Jesus. If they were saying Jesus was fake and it’s all lies. Laugh at us because we still believe in the Bible and that Rome made it all up to control us. See all of us Christian’s would take offense to this also and want to help instruct them on our faith.

      Your words:
      “Here is how. How many Torah groups are doing the great commission (Matthew 28:16-18)? How many are preaching salvation as Christ showed Paul in acts 26:16-18? But they are preaching to keep the law of Moses which Galatians forbids.”

      Your making this claim after lumping us in Messianic Jews. Wouldn’t Jews knowing our Savior be a indication that our movement is doing the great commission? Your making a general claim that can be applied to all Christian’s. How many Christian’s are preaching salvation? How many are going out and outreaching to those that are not Christians? Sure there are street preachers that do this but there are street preachers that are doing this also in our movement. Sure we don’t have a church or building. But just putting a building up is not what was commissioned. This is a passive way to reach out. There are those of us that are doing missions and reaching out to other nations. This is a false claim, we teach about all of our Faith. Jesus is still and always will be the foundation of our Faith.

      I will tell you my own experience. I came to Torah Observant through reading the Bible myself. I am in no way claiming Christian’s don’t read their Bible either, just telling my story. When I started asking questions and seeking answers did others start separating themselves from me. By my own family was my faith attack. I kept defending myself and my stance with the Bible. But anytime I defended myself my family saw it as I was attacking them. For instance I don’t eat pork and consider it unclean. Then verses were thrown and me. I replied with verses then was told I am condemning them to Hell. I can do the same thing with you now. I can counter your points with the Bible but you would consider it as an attack against your believes and faith. Even though you started throwing the Sword around first after Michelle had a beautiful comment. But I digress on all of this.

      I just challenge anyone reading this to do your own research. Test all things. See both sides of the arguments. Ric I know you said you did your own research and have come to your own conclusion. That is all we are asking is that everyone study both sides of the argument before dismissing it. Don’t rely on Ric studies or mine. Walk your own salvation out with fear and trembling.

      Love and bless you all.

    2. Michelle Hand

      Ric, Thank you for your response. I’ll admit this isn’t the ideal forum to debate the specifics of these doctrines. If you’d like to continue the conversation in more detail feel free to look up myself and my husband Erik Hand on Facebook. We can set up a group chat that would be easier to monitor (I don’t check my email much).

      In this forum I won’t argue doctrine, although I’m more than happy to dig into the chapter and verse specifics in a group chat. But I will address some of the differences between TO and mainstream Christianity that came up in your comment, because I think they are relevant to the issue of unity and might benefit others reading this as well.

      I think these types of conversations are easier to have and unity easier to maintain when we try to understand where one another is coming from. What you call a mistake in Bible study methods (and truthfully, I would’ve agreed with you a few years ago) is not a mistake in the sense that we haven’t thought it through. We (I’ll take the risk of speaking for the movement, based on the majority of people I’ve interacted with, although there is a huge amount of diversity in it) simply look at it like this: books should be read from back to front and not the other way around. I spent almost 33 years in mainstream churches and did 6 years of traveling ministry with my family where we interacted with almost every denomination and non denomination. Maybe there are exceptions, but in my experience, new believers were taught to start with John or Romans, not Genesis. That’s reading back to front and is bound to result in misunderstandings. Keep in mind that Jesus and Paul probably would’ve had most or all of the Torah memorized as would most of Jesus’ audience and some of Paul’s. That’s a lot of important context that’s often being missed on our end.

      Most TO Christians I know do not believe the new covenant is yet fully in play – and when it is, it will be a renewal of the Mosaic covenant. So for the sake of productive discussion it may be helpful to keep that in mind.

      We believe that Jesus interpreted the existing Torah rather than adding to it. Love your neighbor and love God, for example, weren’t new, and He gave insight into how to walk that out. He was the living Word of God, after all. As such we do uphold the teachings of the New Testament (although some of us prefer not to call it that, as we don’t believe Jesus took a radical departure from what His Father had been saying for thousands of years – and couldn’t, because God doesn’t change).

      I’m not sure if you’re conflating us with non-messianic Judaism in your point about listening to Jesus, because we do listen to Jesus. Including the part where He said heaven and earth would pass away before the law did. We do view His teachings from a different vantage point than mainstream believers, however.

      How many TO Christians are fulfilling the great commission? Probably not enough. Which is one of the things we can look to you in the mainstream church as an example and learn from.

      However, one thing the mainstream church could possibly learn from us would be taking the time to ask: what are you winning people to? It depends on the individual/group/denomination for sure, but a mistake I’ve seen far too often in mainstream is that parts of the truth will be sacrificed in the name of “reaching people”. Maybe that’s a lopsided accusation, as the ones who are doing this the most are the huge mega churches, and there are a lot of tiny mainstream churches around the world that refuse to compromise on the truth, as they know it to be. As a result, fewer people are interested, no matter what creative methods are used for outreach. And these churches may in a sense be accused of failing the Great commission too, but are they? Likewise, most TO people I know can be accused of a lot of things, but being silent about our beliefs is usually not one of them. Are we effective? Not always, and as I’ve readily confessed, that is at times our fault. But the other half of that is that we live in a world that is increasingly disinterested in biblical truth. But that doesn’t stop many of us from trying to be the hands and feet of our Messiah in this world.

      If that point surprises you (because of the stereotype that we’re all aggressive and rude), it might be because the more mature members of our movement may not immediately make it known that they are TO. The man who introduced my family to the scriptural support for keeping Torah, we knew for at least a year before he even mentioned it – and it was my husband who asked; the guy didn’t bring it up. I mean after spending time around him it was obvious something was different, but he is so involved in inner city outreach and music ministry and organizing almost all of the urban Christian musicians in our city that there was so much more to talk about than just that. So you might not know right away that you’re interacting with a mature TO believer. It’s possible you would first notice them for their integrity and service and find out they were TO after getting to know them.

      As you pointed out, the TO movement does have a love for God’s word, and I think that’s something mainstream Christians could learn from us – even if you don’t agree with our doctrine. When I attended mainstream churches I had so much hunger to learn, and I quickly learned that most people’s interest didn’t go much past the gospel and the Great Commission – meaning, they had little interest in taking anyone deeper than the surface. I would ask questions after services and usually people would give me a sound bite, something I’d already heard in a sermon usually, and it wouldn’t address my question directly at all. Or they would tell me to focus on the central points of the gospel and not worry about it. But what if we’re not getting the full picture of the gospel because we’re ignoring some of the things that God has said? Every word of scripture is inspired and profitable for training in righteousness, but we’re ignoring 75% of it because we think it’s not about the gospel? It’s all about the gospel. So that thought isn’t necessarily directed at you, I don’t know you nor your Bible study habits. But it’s just something I observed in mainstream church that I think could be improved upon. I’ve been so refreshed to find people in the Torah movement who can say, “I don’t know, but I’d love to study that with you to find out.”

      I agree with your point about wineskins. However, I would point out He didn’t say to forget wineskins entirely and just let the wine take its own shape. That would ruin the wine. You get a new wineskin which matures along with the wine and eventually will have something very similar to the original wineskin. That might horrify many in mainstream. I remember when I was in it I had very little respect for the law. We were taught to think of the law as almost a dirty word. When we read passages like Psalm 119 which extol God’s law, as the pastor was paraphrasing they would inevitably say “word” in place of “law”. Which gave me the mental image that somehow David was actually extolling the gospels and epistles, but that’s an anachronism. Keep in mind – even if you continue to believe the law doesn’t apply today – those are still things that God said at one point in time. They’re His words, just as much as anything in John or Romans. All of the OT prophets spent a lot of time exhorting people to repent and keep the law. And when they didn’t, God responded by exiling them from the land. So at least at that time you’d have to admit God’s law mattered to Him greatly. So even if mainstream believers don’t see it as relevant today, they ought to speak of it with the same honor they would give to the rest of scripture. “Law” isn’t a dirty word.

      Blessings to you. I probably won’t be checking this frequently, so like I said, if you would like to continue the discussion, especially about doctrinal specifics, feel free to look up Erik and Michelle Hand on Facebook (separate profiles).

      1. Ric Joyner

        Hi Erik and Michelle,
        I totally agree with you on talking… not on writing. The back to front reading is always appropriate in any book. The Bible however is a library of 66 books and 37-40 authors over 1500 years depending on the scholar. It is amazing that each book tells us theology and doctrine.

        In my length of time in and around MJ and HBR I saw errors of the teachers after I learned to study properly. Now studying properly doesn’t make me an expert or that I can’t still impose my pov onto the text. Reading into the text is an issue in HBR and other groups.

        Every Christian church I have been in is very open to Jewish things and understand the root of our faith in Christ. They may not practice Judaism because that essentially is MJ and HBR.

        All of us will need to decide why Christ came? Was it to put gentiles anew under the OLD COV that israel could not keep or have we died with Christ by faith as Paul said in Romans? And did Christ give us new commands called Greek imperatives that will truly show Him we love Him? He did and as like Moses, He Himself gave us these new instructions in the Gospels and through His Apostles. If we were to keep the law of Moses why did He need to die for our sin? We are to study the entire bible and the Christian churches I attended do just that but not with a Jewish context. But they are open. I will see about connecting with you guys for a convo! Thanks for the invite.

        1. Geneva Wilkerson

          Hi! Great article! But…😇I’m always seeing teachers skirt issues around “ avoiding Torah observance in order to remain genuine in the faith”. one of those issues is Biblical traditions. If we are left to our own devices we must assimilate with whatever believers we fellowship with in order to be part of a body. Do you realize how much corruption is in the modern church today? I always considered God somewhat schizophrenic when it came to trusting in Him, especially when i was told by honorable and anointed non Torah based teachers & preachers, to dump the traditions OF the old testament. I have often said in the past, that whatever Biblical traditions you forsake will be replaced by something else. God had a good idea about maintaining the family unit and taking care of widows and orphans. BIBLICAL TRADITIONS! with helpful Jewish guides😇

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