by Peter Ditzel
The seventh-day Sabbath and Old Testament feast days are kept: This is the seventh of the “7 Distinctive Core Differences” on ourfathersfestival.net: “The 7th Day Sabbath and the Creators [sic] (Torah) holy days which picture/foreshadow the 1st and 2nd comings of the Messiah and the Master Plan of Salvation for mankind are observed.”
Response: Why, if God intended the keeping of a Sabbath day or a holy day, does the New Testament contain not a single instruction, admonition, or chastisement concerning the keeping or breaking of one of these days? This is especially odd considering that Paul’s letters are largely written to Gentiles, who would have had no knowledge of these days. And why does the letter to the Gentiles that we have already examined in Acts 15 not tell the Gentiles to keep these days? How can Paul say the following, in Romans 14:5-6, if keeping Sabbaths and holy days is important? “One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn’t eat, to the Lord he doesn’t eat, and gives God thanks.” The Bible says that the Sabbaths were only shadows, but Jesus Christ is the body or substance (Colossians 2:16–17). He cast the shadows, but now that we have Him, the reality, we have no need to return to the shadows. We have our rest in Him. Jesus is God’s rest that we enter by faith. I thoroughly explain all of this in “What Is the Christian Sabbath?” and “Questions from Seventh Day Keepers.”
I want to say one more thing concerning this subject. Homeschool magazines and Christian book catalogs and websites advertise several books that authors have designed to teach you and your family how to celebrate the Old Testament holy days and festivals. While, as Christians, we can look into the Old Testament to see the types and shadows contained in it, there is absolutely no reason for us to keep these defunct days, even merely as a homeschool unit study. We are not to go back into those shadows. To do so is a dangerous practice. Shadows, by definition, are dark places but God has called us “out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). We are not to return to the shadows. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “You observe days, months, seasons, and years. I am afraid for you, that I might have wasted my labor for you” (Galatians 4:10-11). Paul was genuinely concerned about people who return to day keeping, and so am I.
The Two-House Theory/Two-House Theology/Ephraimites: Hebraic Roots teachers differ over this theory, and some do not accept it at all. But basically, according to this theory, there is a distinction between Jews and Israelites. The Jews are descended from the house of Judah that consists of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin of the southern kingdom of Judah (notice, for example, 1 Kings 12:21). But Assyria captured the house of Israel, the people of the northern kingdom made up of the remaining ten tribes (2 Kings 17:3-6), and they never returned to their land. They became lost to history. They are the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” According to some advocates of this theory, these tribes wandered and spread the bloodline of Israel throughout the world. But most who teach this idea say that the ten tribes went to northern Europe (with particular emphasis on Britain). From Europe, the bloodline extended to America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and other nations with large populations of northern Europeans.
Those who teach this idea say that God is today still dealing only with Israelites (the house of Judah and the house of Israel). If you are willing to submit to Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ), then you are of the bloodline of Israel. Some teachers allow for believers who are obviously not of Israelite blood by putting them into the category of strangers who attach themselves to Israel (see Exodus 12:49). But, by and large, believers are Israelites. And, being Israelites, they are to obey all the law. If you have an hour and twenty minutes to waste, you can hear Jim Staley preach this nonsense here.
Response: Many of you will have recognized the Two-House Theory as a rehash of Anglo- or British-Israelism, a belief that Herbert Armstrong made very popular. In my article, “The United States and Britain in Fantasy,” I knock this idea on the head by showing from the Bible that Jesus and His apostles considered the house of Israel and the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” to be the Jews that they spoke to in Palestine. The house of Israel being “lost” refers to their spiritual condition, not to geographic disorientation. If you want the details, please read the article.
The promulgators of this bunkum seem not to realize how sharply they contradict Scripture: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:28-29). This passage is saying that Jews and Greeks are all one in Christ Jesus. Contrary to the Hebrew Roots teaching, there is no distinction. Once one is a Christian, being a physical Jew means nothing. And please notice that this verse does not say that if you are Abraham’s seed, then you are Christ’s. It says that if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, the spiritual descendents of Abraham by faith.
“Neither, because they are Abraham’s seed, are they all children. But, ‘In Isaac will your seed be called.’ That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as a seed” (Romans 9:7-8).
Colossians 3:10-11 tells us that we “have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:10-11). By saying that there is no line of distinction between Christians, this directly opposes the Two-House teaching that only Israelites can be Christians. To be an Israelite or to be a Gentile means nothing.
Dietary Restrictions: Craig D. Whatley, in his conclusion to his article, “How Important Is It To Obey God in What We Eat?“, says, “God is serious about what we eat…. Therefore, since we love Him and understand that our body is the temple of God, then we should strive with daily diligence to keep our bodies undefiled. A big part of that is living by his dietary instructions given in Torah – i.e., not consuming unclean animals.”
Response: In Mark 7:15, Jesus said, “There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man.” Paul wrote, “If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, ‘Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch’ (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men?” (Colossians 2:20-22). When we become Christians, such externals pass away. We are no more bound to the law than a woman is bound to her dead husband (Romans 7:1-4), and notice this from Romans 7:6: “But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held.” This does not mean that the law is sin (verse 7), but it does mean that we are not under it. For more information about dietary restrictions, read “The Real Poison of Biblical Dietary Laws and Health Secrets.”
Some of the other teachings and practices of Hebraic Roots are addressed in the Armstrongism section of this website.
The Hebraic Roots Hall of Shame
The following is a partial list of Hebraic Roots ministries and leaders. I list them so that you will beware of them.
Michael Bugg http://hebrewroot.com/ (CAUTION: My antivirus program says this site is infected)
Eddie Chumney http://www.hebroots.com/
Bill Cloud http://www.billcloud.com
Rico Cortes http://wisdomintorah.com/
Sheila Crawford http://www.shofarministries.net/index.html
Baruch Ben Daniel http://www.mashiyach.com/
Hanok ben Isaak http://jewsandjoes.com/
Joe Good http://hatikva.org/
“John and Steve” http://119ministries.com/
“John and Steve” http://hebrewrootscult.com/ (apparently intended to snag those searching “Hebrew roots cult”)
Monte Judah http://lionlamb.net/v3/
Hebrew Nation Radio at http://hebrewnationradio.com/
Hebraic Roots Network http://hebraicrootsnetwork.com/
Tim Kelley http://amiyisrael.org/
Daniel Klutstein http://www.tikvatyisrael.com/
Lee Miller http://houseofdavidfellowship.com
Avi Ben Mordechai http://www.m7000.com/
Michael Rood. http://aroodawakening.tv/
Brad Scott http://www.wildbranch.org/
Season of Our Joy http://season-of-our-joy.com/
Jim Staley http://www.passionfortruth.com/
Jim Staley http://abouthebrewroots.com/ (secondary site)
Dean & Susan Wheelock http://www.hebrewroots.net/
Hebraic Roots, by teaching that we begin with faith but must now obey the law, teaches exactly what Paul, in Galatians 3:3, warns against: “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh?” One of the biggest problems the apostles had to deal with was Judaizing. The Judaizers were Jews who claimed to be Christians but who insisted that Christians must keep the law of Moses. And this is what the Hebraic Roots teachers are—modern Judaizers.
Paul said, “For if I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a law-breaker. For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. I don’t make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:18-21). To say that we must keep Torah is to preach what the Judaizers who troubled the Galatians preached. It is another gospel:
I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different “good news”; and there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the Good News of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed. As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed.
Anyone today who tries to follow the Old Covenant law is living in the shadows. Because he doesn’t see what has been abolished, he has a veil over is face. Only when he turns from the law to Jesus Christ ALONE will that veil be removed.
For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn’t look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away. But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Christ it passes away. But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. But whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:11-18
But shun foolish questionings, genealogies, strife, and disputes about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. Avoid a factious man after a first and second warning; knowing that such a one is perverted, and sins, being self-condemned.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse.
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