The Hebrew Roots Movement
A Different Gospel
I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from the One who called you by the grace of Messiah, to a different gospel. Not that there is another, but only some who are confusing you and want to distort the Good News of Messiah. But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should announce any gospel to you other than what we have proclaimed to you, let that person be cursed! As we have said before, so I now repeat: if anyone proclaims a gospel to you other than what you have received, let that person be under a curse (Galatians 1:6-9)! The Hebrew Roots Movement is a different gospel.
1. They are lone wolves: The leaders of this organization are all alike. Either you can’t find out much about them, or if you do, their training/education is very, very shady. They are lone wolves because they are not in association with other Jewish believers. There are two messianic Jewish associations in America; the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) and the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IMACS). These organizations join together for common goals, missions, fellowship. Some things you can accomplish with an association that you can’t accomplish individually. But these guys are never in association with other believers. Why don’t they associate with other messianic associations? They left us, but they didn’t really belong to us. If they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they left us so it became clear that none of them belonged to us (First John 2:19).
2. They are accountable to no one: Because they are not in any messianic Jewish associations, or rabbi of a messianic synagogue, they are not held accountable for the things they say or do. This leads to abuse, bad doctrine or worse. If they have a board of directors, they are hand-picked by the lone wolf. Instead of being servant leaders, they become dictators. Nobody around them wants to challenge them. They develop feelings of superiority, arrogance, and invincibility.
3. They teach false doctrine: As a result of their inadequate training, they don’t have a well-rounded view of the Scriptures. Yeshua said it this way: You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures (Matthew 22:29). For example, they deny the Trinity and seem to know Yeshua only in the flesh. They usually have a one major hobbyhorse doctrine that dominates their teaching. Many times, they try to build an entire doctrine around one verse of Scripture that they misinterpret.
For example, they teach that it is possible to follow the Torah perfectly for salvation by using this scripture: Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so that we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). On the basis of this one scripture he claims it is possible to perfectly follow the 613 prohibitions and commandments of the Torah.
But what this passage is actually saying it that the Torah was not incomprehensible (too difficult) or inaccessible (beyond your reach). Though the Torah had a heavenly origin God clearly revealed it to Isra’el so there was no need for anyone to ascend into heaven to get it nor did anyone need to travel across the ocean to get it. Nor did Isra’el need a special interpreter of the Torah before they understood what to do. The Torah was already written down and Isra’el had been familiar with its demands in the wilderness. So, Moses could say that the word is very near you. They could speak it (it is in your mouth) and they knew it (it is in your heart).
Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 30:14 in Romans 10:6-8 was based on the fact that Messiah fulfilled the Torah and is the only Person to have lived perfectly by it (Romans 10:4-5). Just as the Torah was a gracious revelation of God’s righteousness, so Messiah, who perfectly embodied all that is in the Torah, was graciously given by the Father. This word about Messiah is therefore readily available (near you in Romans 10:8) so no one needs bring Messiah from heaven or bring Him back from the dead for He has already become incarnate and ascended back to heaven.
Christ is the culmination of the Torah so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes (Romans 10:4).
Now if the ministry that brought death [the Torah], which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, temporary though it was, will not the ministry of the [Holy] Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation [the Torah] was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious [the Torah] has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory [of Messiah]. And if the transitory [Torah] came with glory, how much greater is the glory [of Messiah] which lasts (Second Corinthians 3:7-11).
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness [the Torah], which stood against us and condemned us (see 5. The Torah as a Guardian below); He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:13-13).
As far as “returning” to the Torah as a means of salvation, “return” to what? Condemnation? Death? Yeshua said: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). For salvation, there is rest in Messiah and only condemnation and death in the Torah. If salvation could be found in the Torah why did God say that He would make a new covenant with the people of Isra’el and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors. I will put My Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The new Covenant is faith in Messiah, His death and resurrection, not faith in the Torah. Yeshua has completed the Torah (see the commentary on Exodus, to see link click Du – Do Not Think That I Have Come to Abolish the Torah).
They also teach replacement theology, where the Christian Church has replaced Isra’el in God’s plan. They believe that Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Isra’el
4. They preach a different gospel: When Paul started churches in Galatia, Corinth, etc. he usually stayed a couple of years and then left to start another church. But as soon as he left, Jews called Judaizers swooped in and tried to pervert the gospel (see Ag – Who Were the Judaizers?). They wanted to add the impossible burden of following the 613 commandments (365 prohibitions and 248 commandments) to faith in Christ, as if His shed blood isn’t enough to save us! Galatians 1:6-9 sums up what Paul said about adding Torah observance for salvation. They appear to be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong.
5. The Torah as a guardian: Therefore, the Torah [became] our guardian to lead us to Messiah, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that [Messiah] faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian (Galatians 3:24-25). In the ancient world a guardian was a slave himself and given authority over the son of his master to guard him from evil, both physical and moral. He had total authority over the son until the son reached adulthood. He was responsible for disciplining and training the son. So, the authority of the guardian lasted only as long as the child was a minor. Once the child reached adulthood, his authority ceased to exist.
What does he teach? What was the Torah supposed to teach? The standard of being able to follow the 613 prohibitions and commandments perfectly is impossible. Futile. Out of the question. But because the Torah was an impossible standard, the Pharisees pulled God’s high holy standard down into the mud and came up with the Oral Law (see my commentary on The Life of Christ Ei – The Oral Law), things that they could do. Thus, when Messiah came offering salvation by faith alone, Isra’el missed Him. Isra’el rejected Messiah because of His rejection of the Oral Law. For that they killed Him. What should the Israelites have learned from their guardian, the Torah? If the Torah can save you, why was Christ’s death necessary? If Yeshua said: No one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:5-14), how can the Torah save anyone?
6. The Torah is important today, but not for salvation (see my commentary on Dg – The Completion of the Torah): Salvation = faith + (nothing). Before the cross and after the cross salvation only comes through faith (see my commentary on The Life of Christ Bw – What God Does for Us at the Moment of Faith): The Torah gives us wisdom, insight into godly living, practical advice of our personal, family and professional lives. The Israelites left Egypt by faith, THEN they received instruction on how to live at Mount Sinai. The 613 commandments of Moshe are our blueprint for living (see the commentary on Exodus Dh – Moses and the Torah). It is truly a lamp to our feet (Psalm 119:105) . . . but it is not for salvation. How did the righteous of the TaNaKh deal with their sin before Messiah? How are they supposed to deal with their sin today (First John 1:9)?
7. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing and hypocrites. The Jews view Torah as a unit. You break one of the 613 commandments of Moses; you break them all. If they are going to be Torah observant then they need to obey Leviticus 1:1 to 7:38 and offer the proper sacrifices for sin (see my commentary on Exodus Fb – The Five Offerings of the Tabernacle: Christ, Our Sacrificial Offering). So, in reality, they’re just big hypocrites because they don’t really follow the Torah completely either, they cherry-pick, which cannot you do because the Torah is a complete unit.
About Michael Rood: In the videos he makes he comes out dressed like, I don’t know what, a Sadducee? A Pharisee? Whatever he is, he’s not a rabbi. Yet he passes himself off as one, like Lex Meyer below. Hebrew Roots movement means going back to slavery. As far as Christmas, Halloween, the fourth of July, or Groundhog Day, the Bible doesn’t mention any of them. The Torah doesn’t mention any of them. Now the Torah does mention sorcery. So, if you’re practicing sorcery on Halloween, yeah, you shouldn’t do that. As far as Christmas being a pagan holiday, you know, you could probably pick any day of the year and it was probably a pagan holiday at some point in history. So if you want to live in your closet I wouldn’t press the issue. I will say this, parents who don’t let their kids participate (within reason of course) in things that other kids are having fun with GROW UP RESENTING GOD. It doesn’t draw them closer to God – it drives them away from Him. It accomplishes the very thing they are trying to avoid.
About Lex Meyer: Why isn’t he a rabbi? Why doesn’t he lead a messianic congregation? Why can’t you find out anything about him? The Hebrew roots movement is a back to bondage movement. Look up the Gnostics. They believed there were two groups of people. The “in crowd” and the “ignorant.” The Gnostics were, of course, the smart ones, the ones with all the knowledge. The special ones. The especially blessed ones. In short, they were arrogant. Lex Meyer seems to be of that ilk. “Sure, I have no formal training, I went into my basement and studied really hard for four months and God gave me special insight. I am so smart that no Christians will debate me. Why? Because I have superior knowledge” (stop me if this sounds familiar)!
Dear Awesome Father, Praise you that You have given us Your Word so we can know the truth and stay away from those who preach another gospel. Praise You that we do not have to worry about have we done enough good works to get into heaven. The answer is no, we have not done enough good deeds – because no amount of good works could get us into a holy perfect heaven. Only by being “in Messiah” (Ephesians 1:3,4,6-7,9,11 NIV) by having His righteousness, can we be holy enough to enter heaven.
Praise you that You conquered death! The founder of ALL other religions is dead. But as believers in Yeshua, we have the full assurance that death has been defeated! “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (First Corinthians 15: 54c, 57 NIV).
Praise You that having believed we are marked in Him with a seal, the promised Ruach ha-Kodesh, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13c-14 NIV).We love You and want to bless and serve You! In the name of Your Son and the power of His resurrection, Amen