Hebraic Roots Movement - Part II
The Hebraic Roots Movement (HRM) also encompasses Messianic Judaism. Both are, in fact, one and the same, just packaged differently to deceive more people. Messianic Judaism is merely a stepping-stone for the HRM. The entire movement resembles the Judaizers of Paul’s day. Many Jews who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah are attempting to mesh grace with Judaism under the old covenant. To accomplish this, they view it a necessity to perform the works of the law as well as the ordinance such as the Sabbath and other holy days by combining them with Christianity.
Last month we discussed a prominent error of the HRM—the use of extra-biblical books as primary and cooperative sources of inspiration to better comprehend God’s Word as revealed in the New Testament. The HRM and many Messianic Jews teach that the original Gospels were written in Hebrew or possibly Aramaic and that the Greek New Testament is a mere translation—and in some cases a mistranslation—of the Hebrew or Aramaic originals. Some have even gone so far as to conclude that Paul’s writings (where he addressed the heresy they teach) were rewritten by Rome and are not authentic. Although they cannot prove this, it is enough to cast doubt in their adherents and, thereby, justify themselves in their error.
Another serious problem in the HRM is that they believe only Jewish converts or rabbis can read and interpret the Hebrew texts, which they say are the authentic and correct New Testament. This means the Greek New Testament in the King James Version can be eliminated, and in would come the Judaic version translated by its priests and rabbis.
The HRM casts doubt on the faith once delivered to the church by challenging the very Scriptures we have been given by the Lord. Teachers of the HRM claim that Christians cannot fully understand the Scripture until they understand the Torah first. But the opposite is true. The Old Testament with all its types and shadows is revealed by the New Testament. Jesus instituted a new and better covenant with those who believed on Him. It is almost blasphemous to add back dead ordinances to the all-sufficient finished work of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.
The Bible makes it clear that the Old Testament was not sufficient, and a second one was necessary. Hebrews 8:7 says, “For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”
The second covenant would be called a “new”: “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15).
Not only was it new, but also referred to as better: “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament” (Heb. 7:22).
The HRM fails to comprehend the finished work of Calvary and justification by faith:
The HRM teachers, along with many Messianic Jews, strive to remain in the law and seek to spy out the true believer’s liberty in Jesus Christ and place him again into a yoke of bondage. They have marginally succeeded through twisting and perverting the Scriptures. We need to understand that if a believer does not appropriate faith in the proper object of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, that believer will not walk in victory and will remain a slave to the sin nature. The law, when observed as a means of righteousness, arouses the sin nature in the believer and the result is habitual failure. The believer becomes dominated by the sin nature and Christ will have “become of no affect unto to you, whosoever of you are justified by the law” (Gal. 5:4).
- “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4).
- “The law and the prophets were until John…” (Luke 16:16).
- “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
- “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24).
The law was never designed by God as a means to righteousness. The law could only expose man’s sinfulness. The sacrificial system was given alongside of the law to enable God to have fellowship with Israel (mankind) and cover sin until Jesus Christ would come and take sin away. Man’s willpower was and is insufficient to fulfill God’s law. Romans 8:3-4 says, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
The motto of the Hebraic Roots Teaching Institute says, “You need to struggle.” They explain the struggle as, “My wrestling is a struggle to discover what God expects of me.” They then define struggle as, “Believers on this HRTI site are encouraged to constantly challenge, question, argue against, as well as view alternative views and explanations of the Word.” In other words, we are to “wrestle with the Word” to get to the truth. Jews worldwide believe that you need to wrestle with the Word and constantly challenge dogma, theology, and views, or else you will never get to the truth. It becomes obvious to see the route the HRM teaching takes the unsuspecting believer. Their teaching is to open your mind and then redefine God’s Word with their legalized interpretation. They replace grace with legalism.
Next month, I will address the most troubling aspect of the HRM. I believe it may be your initiation into new age mysticism. Sadly, many Messianic Jews are being deceived and not told that they have to leave the “doing” of the law and today’s modern twisted and perverted Judaism, which, by the way, does not resemble the Old Testament at all.