Heart of Wisdom Publications:

Concern Over Hebrew Ways?

knee-jerkA lot of Christians investigating Heart of Wisdom show concern about our focus on the Hebrew people and methods. Why?

Well, it is somewhat normal to react this way– It’s the same as the wrath of a mother bear protecting her baby out of love. We don’t want anything to take away from the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. Any hint of needing to add some kind of work makes those who love Christ and appreciate His sacrifice respond with a knee-jerk reaction –they are being loyal to our Messiah.

I had a similar reaction. For me the desire to protect my belief led me to deeper study and eventual realization that Jesus was a Hebrew and I could know more about Him by studying the customs of the Hebrews in Bible times.

After much study I learned about the dramatic turn from our Hebrew roots in the early church and how deeply man’s tacked-on traditions and Anti-semitism have affected mainline denominations today. Years of misunderstanding make people afraid to learn simple truths about God.

False Assumptions

I didn’t know I was seeing through years of mistranslation until I spent a lot of time studying and praying (please don’t take this as pride in studying—there is no other way to explain it) and working through ASSUMPTIONS from years of teaching. Once you put things into the Hebraic context and read Scripture with new eyes it all falls into place.

Always remember it is not a way to earn salvation or to be better than someone else. The concern that the Hebrews have to earn salvation is a false assumption. (Read a free excerpt from Assumptions That Affect Our Lives)

Quite the opposite–we don’t do ANY thing to earn salvation. Understanding the Hebrew language (how they use verbs for example) showed me it’s not even OUR faith that saves us. In the passages we interpret “faith” as “OUR faith” it is actually “God’s faith” or God’s faithfulness to provide a sacrifice or Jesus’ faithfulness to death on the cross that provides for our salvation.

The deeper I get into the Bible in this way the more I appreciate what God has done for us. I can say that this study has only brought me to a deeper appreciation and desire to be like Christ—never to rely on customs.

Those who have had been blessed to study and learn need to be very careful to never appear as if learning these things would ever take away from the perfect holy sacrifice.

Do You React With Opinion or Study?

I used to react to anything I had not studied with my strong OPINION. I have been humbled with this approach. We must all react to different views by studying what God’s Word says (hermeneutically) before reacting with personal opinion. In Romans 14, Paul is instructing and rebuking weaker believers to keep views to themselves, not to use them as a standard by which to judge others, and to truly study the matter so he will be “fully persuaded” (Paul is actually and presently teaching them so they can be fully persuaded and not remain ignorant, see Romans 14: 22, 3, 5).

No one wants to believe they are “weak,” but we ALL are weak in some areas. I certainly am–I am weak in MANY areas that I have not fully studied yet (such as the return of Christ). Someone else may be strong in this area and weak in others. If you haven’t fully studied the subject, pray about it. Don’t rely on pulpit teaching or opinion. Be a Berean–study and pray and then you can defend your belief.

Which brings us full circle to the main goal of Heart of Wisdom methods–for parents and children to learn to study God’s word for themselves and not rely on man’s teachings–a Hebrew method of teaching your children!.

Fruit Test

A quick way to judge any new teaching (actually, in this case, very old) is to ask “Does it focus on love?” —because Jesus taught that His ways can be summed up in two commands –loving God and loving others.

Walk Softly and Keep Your Eyes on Christ!

If you have been studying the Hebrew roots it is important to remember to use spiritual discernment when talking to Christians that are not aware of our rich heritage. Walk softly. Don’t get defensive –stay humble. If you must disagree do it in a sincere loving manner in prayer. Dr John Garr, author of Restoring Our Lost Legacy: Christianity’s Hebrew Heritage wisely said,

Restoring Our Lost Legacy: Christianity's Hebrew Heritage

“We whom God is using to advance the radical restoration of taking the church back to its Jewish roots must ever remember that ours is not an elitist, exclusive, judgmental society. We must keep our eyes focused on the ever-moving Cloud of Glory; however, we must build bridges behind us while reaching out to new horizons of faith and truth.

Flexibility adds to our strength. It is never a sign of weakness to reach out to someone else in love and affirmation, even if we do not understand all they believe. Let us continue to work at Hebraic restoration, but let us also mirror the spirit of Christ who came into the world not to condemn but to save.”

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

 

 

9 comments

  1. Kathrine

    Thank you for your article. I have been trying to understand my Hebrew roots for some time as it relates to my Christian heritage. It never made sense to me to depart from the Jewish faith, if that is what Jewish was. My question for you is, what do you do about Sabbath? Do you honor the Sabbath on Saturdays? If you have a job that requires work on Saturday, because that’s our cultural norm, would you switch to Sundays? Wouldn’t that set a negative example to non-Christians by forgoing our Church times on Sundays and working? Wouldn’t they say, “I thought you Christians didn’t want to work on Sunday because it’s your Holy day of worship” or something like that? How do you/would you transisition?

  2. Thank you for posting this! I found your site searching for some homeschool stuff and was pleasently suprised to see your articles on Hebrew ways. We have just began studying all of this and the whole Word has opened up to us like never before! I am so thankful to see others do the same.

  3. anna

    Hi!
    We always focus on faith, there are no works. However, if you do a study, you will see that faith equals obedience. For instance: Heb 8:11 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed;” Acts 15:32 “And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” And Heb 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

    Please note all the “obey” references. Then, do a study on the Sabbath. It will blow you away to see just how important that Sabbath is to our Lord.

    Remember the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jer 6:16 “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the OLD PATHS, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” In the kingdom, “he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Just what do we think his paths and his laws are? We find in Ezekiel 43-46, his laws for the future are the same as they were in the past. We better practice now! God Bless

  4. Thank you for your diligence in studying the Word and taking the steps to share it through Heart of Wisdom! As many believers (Christians) are studying the Hebraic roots of the faith, we are realizing that Grace does not do away with the Torah. And I agree with you that mis-translations have led the “church” astray from the truth of the scriptures. The church celebrates holidays which are all pagan and we have been led down a path that takes us far away from the scriptures Yeshua taught. My prayer is for the non-Jewish believers to deeply study the scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to instruct and guide them and to lay aside their opinions about what they have previously been taught or what is “expected”. There is a wealth of truth to be mined in the Word! Blessings!

  5. Annabelle Kopf

    I have always been a “grace” Christian: “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” Eph 2:8; and I have always been a “once saved, always saved” believer! But my family has been feeling a pull towards the feasts of the Lord and other things people say are only for Israel and not for us, that we are “under grace” and all these things have been “abolished.” So we have been feeling a bit lost, not sure how all these things fit together, but trusting that the Lord would lead us into His truth more fully, and that He would protect us from every false way. Praise the Lord, He has been so faithful to direct us to 119 Ministries! It has been a bridge to connect all these things together perfectly! It is radically awesome, and I encourage everyone to check it out and “test” all these things to see if it is so! Be blessed and encouraged in your walk with the Savior!
    http://119ministries.com/about-us-contact-us

  6. Stephanie

    Thank you SO much for this truth spoken in love! We’re also just beginning on this journey of study about this amazing Way that we’ve wandered away from and so appreciate the Spirit by which you are speaking/writing as the Lord guides you and your family. Blessings!

  7. Steve

    I enjoyed your article on the Hebrew roots of the Gospel. However some of your links appear to be open. For instance: “assumptions that affect our lives” and “Hebrew ways”.

    Thanks

    Steve

  8. I was delighted to find your site. My family started studying and celebrating The Feasts of the Lord over 16 years ago– and we’re still learning.

    I was in college and my grandpa asked when Easter was, and when my mom looked at the calendar and told him, he said that wasn’t right and said it should be the first Sunday after the 4th full moon (he was a farmer and that’s always when he started his gardens). So, she counted the full moons from Jan on, and sure enough, that week was Passover, and Easter was 2 weeks off, which made no sense, b/c the Bible tells us the Last Supper was a Passover seder.

    Well, Mom looked up Easter in an old set of Encyclopedias she had and read all about its pagan roots. We had certainly never heard that at church!! So she looked up Christmas, and sure enough… same thing.

    Then we went to the Bible which tells us that God’s Feasts are a picture of things to come. From that year on, we have never celebrated Easter or Christmas. I know there are MANY Christians who do both the Feasts and “traditional Christian” holidays, but we just felt very strongly that God was convicting our hearts about this and that we shouldn’t be putting up a tree

    (Jeremiah 10 – Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. 2 This is what the Lord says:

    “Do not learn the ways of the nations
    or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
    3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
    4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter…”)

    or otherwise celebrating the holidays we had grown up with.

    We don’t do the Feasts because we think we have to, but because God created them. However, Christmas and Easter, are based on the pagan traditions of man. (Isaiah 55:8 – For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.”).

    I don’t think you can “baptize” a pagan holiday and call it Christian. God’s people tried to integrate pagan practices into their worship of Him over and over again (Read 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, and all of the prophets, to see our Lord’s opinion of and reaction to that).

    People actually get mad at us when we tell them that our 5 and almost 3 year old children don’t do egg hunts, etc. It is hard, apparently, for me to be passionate about something w/o coming across as condescending, so I usually avoid the subject altogether. My husband never shies away from telling others our beliefs, and people tend not to get as defensive. They even ask for more information, and he provides it. So far, none of them have done anything so drastic and stop celebrating Christmas or Easter, but several have started studying the Feasts and are acknowledging that our Savior is in fact a Hebrew.

    For what it’s worth, we still go to church on Sunday. I love worshiping with other believers, and the awesome children’s program there, but I don’t pretend that God changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Our pastor recently went to an intense study-trip to Israel and has has been sharing some wonderful insights in his sermons. He’s been impressed how even the seeing the geography of the Holy Land gives you a better understanding of the Scriptures. I don’t see him proposing that we abandon “traditional Christian” holidays for the Feasts anytime soon though. :-/

    There is a small Messianic group in my town, made up of a dozen or so Jewish and Gentile believers, who gather on Friday nights for a Sabbath dinner, and Sat. morning for Bible study, and we enjoy that too, and pray that others will join us as God leads them.

  9. Sunelle Doll

    Hi,
    We live in George (Garden Route) SA and we homeshool our only son (who is now 16). We follow an “informal” approach. We bought your “Adam to Messiah” a few years ago and have done sections of it. Thank you – our son now has a fairly good idea of what came first and how history works in relation to Israel and the Bible (and have even started doing his own researh).

    Someone blessed us with your purple “Biblical feasts” book and we in return gave it to a friend who traditionally comes from the “coloured” side of South Africa and still lives in an area which was in the “Apartheid” years called a “township” (Only now we are allowed to freely visit her family and they us – we would for instance visit to share a meal at the start of Shabbat or do home school things together) I have to tell you that this friend has made the “purple feast book” as we call it, the centre of her homeschooling for her 3 children. Her whole approach is “first scripture and a knowledge of the appointed times and then other accademics”. She uses the library to learn about things related to a feast we are moving towards. Her children have blossomed since she’s taken them out of school, where they had to be in classes of 40 to 50 children at a time and a shortage of teachers.

    There have many “Hebrew roots friendly” people in our town. One of the nice things about that in a country with our history is that those interested are now all Hebrew instead of belonging to a certain “race”. We feel the liberty of Yeshua in that!

    I haven’t been to your website for a while and it is really very beautiful – what a stunning place to refer our “new moms” to! Thanks for all the effort

    Sunelle

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