An Open Letter in response to Tim Chaffey's:

"Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement"

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We highly encourage you to read Tim Chaffey's full article here.

We reach out to Tim with love and respect for Answers In Genesis and pray that he will take our response into serious consideration. As always, we reach out with peace and truth in submission to our Almighty Creator as we strive to walk in the example of our Messiah Yeshua.

 

Chaffey, Tim. "Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement." AnswersInGenesis.com. Answers In Genesis, 17 Mar. 2018. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

Tim Chaffey,

Reply to Tim Chaffey, Answers In Genesis

Thank you for writing your recent article. You’ve compiled a detailed position that has aligned with much of what I’ve heard against the Hebrew Roots Movement and other Torah observant believers. Many of the things you wrote parallel with what I was taught at seminary. I hear your fears and discontent and applaud you for speaking out to those who you believe are preaching a “salvation by works” message. You’re right to do so, as Apostle Paul was clear: we should rebuke any and all of those who would give a false gospel especially one that teaches a “salvation by works” model. The Scriptures are clear: For by grace we are saved through faith, not of our own doing: we are saved by the free gift of God through His Son our Messiah! And praise the Most High that he gave such a free gift as everyone has fallen short and sinned in a manner deserving death! However, I feel that you have misunderstood and misrepresented what the majority of the Hebrew Roots Community espouse. I’m not used to articles from Answers In Genesis that have the sole purpose to rebuke what many should consider as devout believers in Messiah. Therefore, I am reaching out to you in hopes that you will reconsider your position.

 

Again, I hear you and echo the responsibility to rebuke those who would teach a different gospel other than what we were given through the Holy Scriptures. But I warn you that you have twisted the words of the HRM to have them say that they teach a “salvation by works” gospel. The HRM gives reproof with fervor towards anyone that would teach such a thing. There are no doubt people out there that may categorize themselves as Hebrew Roots who may blatantly teach a “salvation by works” gospel, but that is not the premise of the HRM. As there are 40,000+ denominations many HRM choose to remain “non-denominational” just as you prefer. There are outliers in every denomination who trail off from the group. Hopefully, I can bring to light some points for your consideration. I have hope based on the example we both witnessed in Apostle Paul. Where he once vehemently persecuted believers to the point of death because of his zeal for the Most High, I also hope that you too would be willing to humble yourself if sound information came across your desk. I have a great respect for Answers In Genesis and have been thoroughly blessed by much of that ministry. I by no means have all the answers and have much to learn as a child of Almighty God. I read your article with an open mind and pray you do the same with the points I lay before you as we allow iron to sharpen iron. May we all seek the Father through fear and trembling in the hopes to follow His Son’s perfect example.

 

I must agree, the Hebrew Roots Movement has influenced hundreds of thousands of Christians—and no doubt will they continue to do so. I would also agree that there are dangers associated with the HRM but would say that it is more dangerous subscribing to any of the 40,000+ denominations. Every denomination or congregation is susceptible to fallacy and error and each group has those who proliferate such. That is why we must all point to the one true leader—Yeshua our Messiah (Jesus Christ). That is what I see commonly from the HRM: Yeshua is clearly defined as the leader. He must be. That is what Scripture proclaims: Yeshua is the way the truth and the life that only through him we may come to the Father. He is the head of all true believers. Of course, most denominations would profess such a belief. Otherwise, they are easily dismissed. However, it is everyone’s responsibility to discern through a delicate reading of the Holy Scripture to ensure they are following the true Son of יהוה—our Almighty Creator. That is where the Hebrew Roots Movement and modern Christianity vary: each differs in their perspective of who the Messiah is according to Scripture. This is where I will strive to focus much of my reply as I believe we are all required to test our idea of who the Messiah is and what he looks like to ensure we are clinging to the real truth, light, and life. Simply put, it is our obligation to ensure we are following the Messiah of Holy Scripture.

 

It is foolish, disrespectful, and defaming to claim that the HRM purports a “salvation by works” gospel just as much as it would be for anyone to project that label on your or Answer In Genesis’ doctrine. In fact, one is being a false witness when they do so. The majority of HRM proponents clearly and unequivocally state that salvation is only through the shed blood of Messiah as a free gift of Elohim (God) and that salvation cannot be earned. You make the same declaration in your article. However, you also encourage your audience to make a life change of which anyone could easily twist or distort as a “salvation by works model.” You, calling yourself a Gentile-believer, point to Acts 15 as the basis for a new believer’s “regulations.” One could easily misrepresent your perspective to state that believers must keep the “four regulations” of Acts 15—abstain from pagan false sacrifices, from blood, things strangled, and sexual immorality—in order to partake in the promised salvation. The reality is that both you, Answers In Genesis, as well as the majority of the Hebrew Roots Movement all visibly proclaim that salvation is a means only attained through the belief in the Messiah recorded in Scripture. Each of you echo and declare obedience to the truth recorded in Ephesians 2:8-9. Again, all of you make it crystal clear as to your doctrine on salvation. It is misleading and slanderous to convey either party otherwise. These are real differences that set each of you apart: a divergent perspective on the Law of Moses, who the Messiah is according to Holy Scripture, and the fruit of salvation. These are the areas that typically differentiate each denomination or congregation from one another in the first place. Naturally, anyone who truly touts a “salvation by works doctrine” is easily dismissed by sincere believers who even have a minuscule exposure to Scripture.  Again, proliferating an idea that the Hebrew Roots Movement teaches a “salvation by works gospel” is a defamation of character, foolish, slanderous, and misleading to say the least. Hopefully, you will one day see that it is the very stumbling block that causes sincere believers in Messiah to neglect the whole truth. The testimony of a false witness is very displeasing to our heavenly Father—which is why it’s one of the 10 Commandments.

 

What is the Law of Moses?

 

There is no doubt that you have strong feelings about your perspective. I hear much of my old self in portions of your writing as I was taught a very similar outlook in seminary. Unfortunately, we both received misinformation regarding the Law of Moses that has been passed down generation to generation since the time of the Apostles. For some reason, Christianity has erroneously latched on to the idea that the Law of Moses is Jewish. This mistakenly and devastatingly declares all that the Appointed Times, the Sabbath, and other instructions are only relevant to the Jews. This error I do not understand, as I was plainly taught that it was given to all twelve tribes of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai. I learned this very truth at seminary! Yet, still, it was mistakenly hammered home that those things were only Jewish. However, Scripture is clear: The Law of Moses was given to all of Israelnot just the Jews. The Laws of Moses are the instructions for Israel.

 

Without wasting time to make this more evident, we must direct our attention to a more significant fact about what the Law of Moses truly is. This reality will help one understand that the Torah is more relevant to them than they ever imagined. This is something I highly encourage believers to really send home: The Law of Moses is the Law of Almighty God. More importantly, the Law of Moses is the very image of Almighty God. Let me say that again: The Law of Moses, of which many trample, disregard, and allow the adversary to twist to their destruction, is the revealed image of our sinless and perfect Creator— יהוה. It is the self-revelation of the image of our heavenly Father. The Law of Moses outlines YHVH’s ways. Simply put, the Law of Moses details specifically the ways of our Creator and His likeness. I cannot emphasize this enough: The Law of Moses is the image of יהוה:

 

So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.  Deuteronomy 8:6 ESV

 

Only be careful to observe the commandment and the Law that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.  Joshua 22:5 ESV

 

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Let the LORD set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and no longer be stubborn. Deuteronomy 10:12-16 ESV

Who is our Messiah?

 

Scripture after Scripture has been overlooked: The Law of Moses is the image of our Heavenly Father. In whose image was mankind created? The image of the Most High and Creator of all things! And you know what? Too many have bought the twisted truth of the adversary; that the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross. It’s a warped truth by being correct only because our Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) was nailed to the cross. Scripture makes it clear that Yeshua is the Word made flesh. The only established and deemed Word and Scripture at the time being the Tanakh or “Old Testament”. The Tanakh encompasses the Torah, Writings, and Prophets. Yeshua was the Torah—the Law of Moses—the image of יהוה our Creatorin the flesh.

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. John 1:1-3 ESV

 

 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 ESV

 

 

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Genesis 1:26 ESV

 

So yes, the Law of Moses was nailed to the crossbut it was not done away with. That’s like saying that our Messiah is done away with and that the image of our Creator is done away with. It is literally blasphemy! Our Creator’s image does not change (Malachi 3:6). Remember, we were made in the image of our Maker. YHVH’s image is revealed through the Torah. The image of יהוה is the Law of Moses. Yeshua our Messiah bore that image perfectly, being sinless throughout his existence even before he came to earth. Our Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Yeshua kept the Law of Moses perfectly, being the Word made flesh, and reflected the image of יהוה. If you have seen Yeshua you’ve seen the Father (John 14:9)! When Yeshua returns, Scripture tells us that he will bear the very same image he did before—the Torah in the flesh.

 

In order to follow the true Messiah, we must know who he truly is. If the Law of Moses is what Scripture defines as the image of יהוה our Creator and John 14:9 stands firm as truth, one can only conclude that the Law of Moses is the image and likeness of Yeshua our true Messiah. That makes a lot more sense when we remember that Yeshua is sinless and the Bible defines the Torah as the image of sinlessness, light, life, and righteousness. We only know what sin is by the Torah!

 

What shall we say? That the Law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the Law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. Romans 7:7-13 ESV

 

Who is our Messiah? The Torah in the flesh—the sinless image and life in the flesh!

 

Yeshua said, to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV

 

Connect this image back to the source. The Laws of Moses are the ways of יהוה and Yeshua, the path that leads to life and good!

 

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of יהוה your God that I command you today, by loving יהוה your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and יהוה your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over to the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving יהוה your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days Deuteronomy 30:15-20 

 

Scripture after Scripture proclaims the image of יהוה and His Son our Messiah. Yeshua is the life and the image of the Father—the Word and Law in the flesh. He is our sinless and unblemished sacrifice and atonement for our sins. Through Yeshua we may have eternal life. He is the way, the truth, and the life and our only way to the Father. That is synonymous with saying that the Torah is the way the truth and the life! Deuteronomy 30:15-20 just made that crystal clear from the mouth of יהוה Himself. But it is the blood of the lamb, Yeshua our Messiah, that cleanses those who believe from the punishment of death deserved by their sin. Again, Ephesians 2:8-9 is clear: salvation is a free gift by grace through our faith not a result of works, so that no one may boast. And every single Apostle commands believers to walk in the ways of our Messiah—to imitate him. This is the same command we’ve been given from the beginning: Be Holy as our heavenly Father is Holy. Yeshua lived that out for us perfectly so we can cling to his coattails as we strive to be obedient children just like our amazing Messiah! And when we stumble, he is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). As we grow in Messiah, he advocates and covers our shortcomings as we purify ourselves as he is pure (1 John 3:3).

The Fruit of Salvation

 

So, what does the Torah have to do with believers today? It is the fruit of our salvation! Just as James makes clear: our faith is proven by our works. Without works, faith is dead.

 

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-27 ESV

 

James is literally saying that a faith without works will not save someone! Is James teaching a “salvation by works” gospel? By no means! He is pointing to the necessary fruit of salvation! Those that truly believe will bear good fruit! We will know them by their fruit—their good works. A person who truly believes in Messiah will act on that belief. True belief is always coupled with action on every occasion. James says that foolish people will say they have faith while he has works, yet he reminds them that even the demons believe but lack works:

 

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? James 2:18-20 ESV

 

James literally calls a person foolish who believes they are saved by their faith apart from good works. What are good works? Walking in the image of יהוה and His perfect son by being obedient children to His Torah—the Law of Moses—our Father’s perfect instructions.

 

You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you… Deuteronomy 6:17-19 ESV

 

James points to Abraham to declare that his faith, his belief in יהוה, was justified by his works! He declares that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone—in the sense that one does not have real faith unless they bear good fruit (James 2:24)! Again, one must wonder, is James teaching a salvation by works gospel? By no means! He is eluding to the fruit that Yeshua constantly spoke about his followers bearing.

 

Repeatedly we are called to test others by their fruit and that we will know everyone by their fruit. Luke 13 includes an exceptional parable that shows the importance of believers, represented by the fig tree, bearing good fruit. If it does not bear good fruit—good works that are defined by the Torah and image of Yeshua—it will be cut down! Yeshua is the one who tends to the fig tree, putting good manure around us to help us grow in spirit and truth. Yet, if we do not bear good fruit but are diseased, we will be thrown into the fire! It is our choice to either listen to the Holy Spirit that guides us to walk in holiness and Godliness, or continue to live according to what is right in our own eyes.

 

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20 ESV

 

To conclude this portion of my reply, these three points are vital for a believer to grasp to guarantee that we are worshipping and obeying the truth recorded in the Holy Bible. We must first realign our understanding of the Law of Moses in the way that Scripture unequivocally defines it: The Law of Moses is the Law of יהוה and His perfect image. Second, one must understand that Yeshua is the Law of Moses in the flesh. Remember, sin is lawlessness—the Law always being the Law of Moses. Yeshua was sinless, keeping the Law of Moses perfectly, proving that he embodies the exact image of his Father. Finally, since Scripture is clear that salvation cannot be earned by works (as all are deserving of death and cannot bribe the Judge) then the good works James speaks of are the fruit of salvation and one’s true belief. That is why James called the Law of Moses the Law of Liberty—it is the freedom we have in Messiah. Simply put, keeping the Law of Moses, walking in the image of יהוה by following in the footsteps of our Messiah, is the fruit of our belief and salvation. If one continues to blaspheme the Law of Moses they are blaspheming the image of the One True Creator and His perfect Son. I urge you to take this presentation to heart. I will leave you with a few points to ponder and finish with a major warning that all need to hear.

Key Points

 

  • The Law of Moses is not solely Jewish and it is misleading to frame it as such. The Torah is as much Jewish as it belongs to the Levites, Benjaminites, Gadites, and the rest of the tribes. We must abandon our unfounded and misguided understanding that the Torah—which includes the Appointed Times and Feasts, Holy Sabbath established at Creation, and the rest of the perfect instruction—is "Jewish." It was given to all Israel to be observed forever (Deuteronomy 13:16). Apostle Paul, and the whole of Scripture echoes that there is one Law for Jew and Gentile—and that Gentiles who become believers are grafted into Israel (Romans 11:11-31). There is no such thing as a Gentile-believer, as believers are grafted into covenant with יהוה to be considered native Israel (Numbers 15:16, Romans 10:12).

    • One who continues to believe and teach that the Law of Moses is Jewish consequently teaches themselves that it is irrelevant. They will never realize that the Law of Moses is the very image of our Creator and His son our Messiah. The Law of Moses is not solely Jewish but instead belongs to all who wish to be children of יהוה and strive to walk in the image He created them to be. Since the beginning, there has been only one Law—one set of instructions for all those who wish to be children of יהוה (Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:16).

  • The Torah is the Law of YHVH (2 Kings 10:41, Psalm 19:7). The Law of Moses is the revealed image of our Creator and His perfect Son. Believers must strive to walk in the image of our Messiah if they desire to heed the instruction of the Apostles. Are they not our teachers who echo the truth of Scripture in order to guide us when we are but babes to the truth?

  • Be reminded of what the definition of sin is: sin is lawlessness. Sin is the breaking of the Law of Moses.

    • Did the definition of sin change? What about being altered at or after the cross? Impossible! Sin is the opposite of the image and ways of יהוה, which cannot and will not ever change (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8).

      • That is the gravity of the awesomeness of our Elohim—he never changes and his plan and promises are firm!

      • There is not one single piece of scripture that redefines sin or proposes that the definition of sin is altered. Sin is the breaking of the Law of Moses. Sin is living contrary to the Law of יהוה.

      • If one continues to live in sin, continuing to break the Law given by יהוה through Moses, that person is living contrary to יהוה. Thus, they are living contrary to the sinless image they were created in (Leviticus 26:27-28). And they are living contrary to Yeshua our Messiah!

    • Should believers continue in sin so that grace may abound?

      • What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1-2 ESV

      • Sin still is and always will be lawlessness—the breaking of the Law of Moses.

  • Yeshua directly commanded his people to keep the Torah in Matthew 23:1-5.

    • Then Yeshua said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long... Matthew 23:1-5 ESV

      • Yeshua is literally commanding the crowd and his disciples—commanding everyone—to keep the Torah. When the Pharisees and scribes sit on Moses’ seat, reading from his authority and reading from the Torah, "do what they say.” But when they move from Moses’ seat and authority, do not do what they do because they themselves do not keep the Law of Moses. They preach the Law of Moses—which was read regularly to the congregations on Shabbat—but do not practice it themselves. Instead, they keep their man-made traditions and the oral law of the Pharisees(Talmud). The Talmud is the yoke and burden hard to bear. Not the Torah. The Torah cannot be the burden hard to bear because our Creator himself says that it is not difficult (Deuteronomy 30:11).

      • This is an explicit command from our Messiah Yeshua himself that we are to keep the Law of Moses. We are to observe the authority and instructions given by יהוה through Moses.

  • Remember, יהוה began to give all His instructions from His own mouth, but the people shuddered in tremendous fear begging Moses to instead speak on His behalf (Exodus 20:18-21). Every single command that came from the mouth of Moses is directly from our perfect Creator. Again, one must turn from foolishness and remember that the Law of Moses is from the very mouth of our Creator for all who desire to be called His children.

  • To imply that the Torah instructs one to build an ark, even when you recognize that the command was specifically given to Noah, is like calling Yeshua a sinner because he did not build an ark. It may be the silliest and most foolish argument to attempt to discredit the HRM and those who strive to keep Torah under the grace and salvation of Messiah. It’s borderline blasphemy as it indirectly calls Yeshua a sinner if it were to be true.

  • Many fail to discredit the HRM by saying they pick and choose which Torah to keep and which not to keep. This is folly. One example, as mentioned in your article, is the many commands that require a Levitical Priesthood in order to properly adhere to those commands. The fact that they require Levitical Priests to lawfully administer them means that when one abstains from attempting to keep those commands, they are actually keeping those instructions honorably. For instance, if one attempted to offer a sacrifice with their congregation, they would be violating the Torah because the Levitical Priesthood themselves must administer sacrifices specifically at the Temple. This would be the same if someone attempted to offer their own sacrifice when the Levitical Priesthood was established. Unfortunately, the problem in this perspective is rooted in the misunderstanding that the Law of Moses is too difficult to keep. One’s presuppositions hinder them from realizing that one actually keeps the Law of Moses by abstaining when they do not have all the required means to carry it out. This perspective ignores that part of the commands which include Levitical requirements are actually a connected condition of those commands and must be obeyed as a unit.

  • It is blasphemy to say that the Law of Moses is too difficult to keep, as our Heavenly Father said that it is not too difficult and that we can do it. John echoes this and gives instruction that keeping the Law of Moses—as the fruit of one’s belief and salvation—is actually how we show love to our heavenly Father.

    • For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 ESV

    • For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 ESV

  • Your misinterpretation of Genesis 9:3 forgets that the author of Genesis was most likely Moses—which makes a clear connection to other pieces of the Torah. You know, besides the fact that Genesis is a part of Torah. That of which we must all read and determine which commands apply to each of us. Some only apply to women, some only to men. Some only apply to the Levitical Priesthood, and some apply to all. Surely if יהוה believed that a whole nation can learn and obey all his instructions, each of us can read and keep them ourselves when a tangible copy is so readily available. Remember, He said they are not too difficult (Deuteronomy 30:11).

    • “HRM proponents have argued that since the Flood account distinguishes between clean and unclean animals (Genesis 7:8), then it follows that God was simply telling Noah that he could now eat clean animals; thus it is just like the Levitical restrictions. A problem with this claim is that Genesis 9:3 makes no mention of the distinction between clean and unclean animals, so they are reading such an idea into the text rather than getting it from the text. In fact, the text specifically states twice that man was now permitted to eat “every” moving thing, and it mentions no restrictions.” - Tim Chaffey

      • Your assessment defies logic as you’re literally stating that one could eat vultures, poisonous tree frogs, and other “moving things” that would kill them.

      • The error is in the neglect that the Scripture clearly states that restrictions were made just as the instructions were given concerning which plants were permitted as food. There were instructions as to which plants were deemed food just as יהוה no doubt gave instructions on which animals were food. Hence, the author provides such definition later in the Torah (Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14). Otherwise, Noah too could eat Poison Ivy, Water Hemlock, Deadly Nightshade, and so on, all of which would be harmful or deadly. This was not an explicit command to Noah that he could eat anything—both plant or animal—that’s ludicrous. Is our Elohim one of confusion? No way!

        • Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Genesis 9:3

      • Your perspective blasphemes the very image of our unchanging Creator and proliferates an idea that He changes, which contradicts his revealed image (Malachi 3:6). Remember, the Law of Moses is the image of our Creator.

      • The breadcrumbs are in the Scriptures if one desires to find them, begging the Father to give them eyes to see and ears to hear.

        • Where is the Scripture that instructs Cain and Able on acceptable sacrifices? There are none. Can one just assume they went by their own ideas to present sacrifices pleasing to Elohim? Of course not. They are the same sacrificial instructions recorded in Leviticus. Cain’s sacrifice was not pleasing because he offered the wrong type for that specific instance.

  • What is repentance in the eyes of Messiah?

    • It was the gospel he constantly preached:

      • Now after John was arrested, Yeshua came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-16

      • When Yeshua sent out his disciples, he sent them with the message of repentance (Mark 7:12).

      • Repentance from what? From all sin—all lawlessness. Yeshua links the same repentance of those who listened to Jonah at Nineveh (Luke 11:29-32). This is immediately followed with instruction for one to bear light and remove the darkness—Yeshua literally saying have no part dark (Luke 11:33-36)! Light is the image of יהוה, which we know is the Law of Moses, and darkness always represents sin.

      • Everywhere you look our Messiah was proclaiming a repentance from sin which only means to turn back to the Law and image of God.

      • Yeshua calls believers to “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). The fruit must resemble Yeshua’s image, the Father’s image, and be pleasing to Him.

  • The shadow that you reject belongs to Messiah. The shadow of things to come connects to the substance which is Messiah. Think about it this way: If our Messiah was walking directly towards the Father, who is the Light, the Messiah’s shadow would cast directly behind him. Those who recognize that the only way they can come to the Father is through Messiah will be clinging to his shadow as they walk directly behind him—not straying to the right or to the left. Anyone who belittles, disregards, or dismisses the shadow of Messiah forgets that it is connected to the substance which is Messiah himself. They stray off the narrow path. Believers who truly walk in the footsteps of Messiah will be walking directly in his shadow. Again, when they stumble along the way, Yeshua advocates for them. This allows them to dust themselves off and continue towards the Father as they walk like Messiah. Don’t forsake his shadow. If you get rid of our Messiah’s shadow you lose his substance. 

 

There are so many more areas of misunderstanding in your article that could be highlighted and realigned correctly to Scripture. But there is an abundance of excellent resources and ministries that detail all your misinterpretations with a solid foundation in Scripture. Just as I will encourage others to read your article and test it, I highly encourage the same people to go out and test the various teachings of the Hebrew Roots Movement. No doubt will such a process sharpen iron and grow one in their knowledge of the faith. One should study and consider both sides of the coin, testing each to Scripture, only holding on to what is true. I would also encourage you to rethink your positions in light of the most important reality that I’ve mentioned: The Law of Moses is the Law of Elohim—the perfect image and ways of our Creator and our Messiah. Please, do not harden your heart but ask the Father to give you eyes to see and ears to hear.

Warning

 

Apostle Paul is the go-to teacher in one’s attempt to discredit the Hebrew Roots Movement and others who strive to observe the Torah after accepting the free gift of salvation through Messiah Yeshua. However, those that disregard the Law of Moses overlook the authoritative warning given by Apostle Peter. He cautioned believers as they waited patiently for the Messiah’s return. Peter’s warning is pure: that our beloved Paul was being misunderstood and his words twisted to destruction. He warned that some were using Paul to deceive people to forsake the Law of Moses and turn away from the image and example of our Messiah—which is our stability! Listen carefully to Peter’s warning:

 

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

 

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and Godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

 

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this before hand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua Messiah. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:8-18

 

Peter instructs believers to be diligent to be found by Yeshua without spot or blemish. The only way one can be found without spot or blemish is if they are not committing sin. Scripture is clear from the beginning, sin is lawlessness. Sin is the breaking of the Law of Moses. Peter is reminding his audience of believers to keep the Law of Moses perfectly so that they may be found pure as Yeshua is pure. To make it even more transparent he warns believers to take care so that they are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose the stability they have in Messiah! This is a clear-cut message and everyone reading this is without excuse. Peter knows Paul better than we ever will. He knows that Paul does not contradict himself and that he speaks consistent truth in all his letters.

 

Peter recognizes that Paul is hard to understand, easy to misinterpret, and is even twisted to lead people away from the Law of Moses and Messiah. We see in Acts 21 that Paul has a false reputation in Jerusalem and takes a Nazarite vow—paying to have sacrifices offered post-resurrection—to prove that he continued to keep and teach the Law of Moses. More importantly, Paul gives his testimony in Acts 22 about the arresting light of Yeshua blinding him and being directed to Damascus. There, he is met by Ananias, a devout believer who was instructed directly by Messiah to restore Paul’s sight. Apostle Paul describes Ananias as a devout man of the Law (Acts 22:12). Make no mistake, just as Paul lived and taught Torah, other devout believers of his time were keeping and teaching the Law of Moses. This is just a glimpse of who Paul truly is: a disciple of Yeshua who lived and taught believers to keep the Law of Moses under the salvation of Messiah. As he recounts in Acts 22, Paul was a devout man of the Law of Moses being zealous for the Most High for all of his days. He was so devout that he persecuted believers unto death! Paul did so because he was fed a misrepresentation and a false image of Yeshua. No doubt influenced by his peers (Pharisees) and fellow Jews by the same false testimonies we see today: that Yeshua broke the Law of Moses and taught others to follow suit. He persecuted those who claimed faith in Yeshua because he was misled to believe that Yeshua taught changes to the Law of Moses by adding and taking away from the perfect instructions delivered from the mouth of Almighty Elohim. He was given a false image of the Messiah which caused him to purge what he was described as evil from his midst. He was honoring יהוה by keeping Deuteronomy 13. Paul knew that anyone who taught a “new way” or taught one to stray from the Law of Moses in the slightest, that that person was leading people after a false god. He also knew that יהוה would allow such things as he tested to see if those who said they believed truly loved Him.

 

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 ESV

 

It was not until he saw the Messiah for who he truly is: The Law of Moses in the flesh and exact image of Almighty God! It wasn’t the miracle that opened his eyes, but that the erroneous image given to him by false witnesses was wiped away. He saw the true sinless Messiah who kept the Law of Moses perfectly and taught others to do the same. No doubt did our Messiah purposefully send a devout believer who kept the Law of Moses—who was without spot or blemish—to be the one to give Paul eyes to see. The first thing Paul witnessed when his eyes were open was a true professing follower of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach who lived out the Law of Moses for all to see! Paul finally saw true believers for who they really are: obedient children of יהוה who strive to keep his Law—His instructions—in order to be found without spot or blemish because they love the Father. No wonder Paul clearly proclaimed that one does not forsake the Law of Moses because of a true faith in Messiah, but on the contrary, decreed that believers are to uphold the Law of Moses (Romans 3:31)! Anyone who doesn’t see that Yeshua is the Law of Moses in the flesh is just as blind as Apostle Paul before his eyes were opened. Ask the Father for eyes to see and ears to hear!

 

Paul would have never accepted a Messiah that taught a change in the Law of Moses or suggested that it was less important in the lives of believers—no matter what miracle took place. He of all people knew that the Law of Moses depicts the image of our Creator. He of all people knew that nobody—even one professing Messiahship—can add or take away one of the least of the commands in the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 12:32). Paul knew that anyone who taught contrary to the Law of Moses was a false teacher and he lived out the command to purge such evil from his midst (Deuteronomy 13).

Every single Apostle kept the Law of Moses and taught others to do the same. They were imperfect men who struggled, no doubt, but were advocated by Yeshua as he sits at the right hand of Almighty God. Yet, throughout Scripture we see them keep, preach, and teach the Law of Moses as they command believers to live lives of holiness and Godliness. They all call us to be Holy as יהוה is Holy and walk as Messiah walked. The Apostles remembered the words of the Messiah himself when he gave the most commanding sermon ever proclaimed:

 

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. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-20 ESV

 

Do not think Yeshua came to destroy, end, put an end to, or fulfill to its end, the Law or the Prophets—but to pléroó (fully embody and fully preach) the Law and Prophets. Not even a letter let alone a single word of the Law of Moses will pass until heaven and earth pass away and all is accomplished at Yeshua’s second coming. Just as we read in 2 Peter 3, we are all still waiting for that new heaven and new earth where only righteousness dwells. One can erroneously argue till they are blue in the face that when Yeshua said fulfill he meant completed, end, or finished. However, even if one blindly looks past the two instances where he said that he did not come to abolish or destroy the Law—which would mean to put to an end or fulfill to completion—they cannot look past the fact that heaven and earth has yet to pass away and all has yet to be accomplished.  Yeshua makes it clear: The Law of Moses stands until heaven and earth pass away and all is accomplished. Anyone who relaxes the least of the Torah are considered least in the kingdom, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever preaches and teaches the Law of Moses is called great by יהוה and pleases Him.

 

Remember, the Law of Moses is the image of the Most High and Creator of all things. Our Messiah Yeshua kept the Law of Moses perfectly and taught others to do the same wherever he went. Those who keep and teach the Law of Moses are called great in the kingdom of heaven.

 

We must all ask ourselves:

 

Are we following the true Messiah recorded in Scripture?

 

Have we misunderstood Apostle Paul and twisted his words to our own destruction?

 

Do we know the Messiah and does he know us?

 

We cannot afford to hear these chilling words:

 

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

 

Not everyone who “believes” and calls the Messiah their Master and Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. Even some of those who call Messiah their Lord with all the passion they have in their being—even prophesying in his name, casting demons out in his name, and doing many mighty works in his name—will not be guaranteed passage into heaven. No. Yeshua declares that only those who do the will of יהוה his Father will enter the kingdom of heaven! What is the will of the Father? Keep his Instructions. Walk in the image of Messiah Yeshua. Be loving and obedient children. Unless one turns—repents from sin—and becomes an obedient child to the instructions of יהוה (Law of Moses), they will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4 ESV

 

The will of the Father has always been and remains to be the instructions recorded in the Law of Moses. Always. He has always wanted us to repent and turn away completely from our sin—so much so that he gave us His perfect Son as our example and atonement. May we all humble ourselves before the Most High in fervent prayer and fasting as we plead with him to give us eyes to see and ears to hear what He has to say. May we all be led to repent of our sins and follow in the footsteps of our Messiah. Accept the free gift of salvation through his blood and atonement as our perfect and unblemished sacrifice. And may we spend the rest of our lives striving to walk in his perfect example as we love the Father for the free gift that we never deserved. The best way to love our Father is to be obedient. Do we love our Father if we continue in sin?

 

Repent. The kingdom of יהוה is at hand.

Sean Esposito

Sabbath Day Ministries

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