A Voice in the
"And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my motherís womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles..." (Gal1:14-16)
On a daily basis I read the mailings and/or news sources of about a half-dozen different entities. Some are Christian, some are secular, and some make -claims- to being Christian, but are not. One of these: I visit the website daily of an Israeli man who lives in Israel. While, from his writings and 'visions' I have come to recognize that he is charismatic, I visit anyway, because there is a certain perspective of current events in Israel that a resident gives, which the liberal left-media does not convey; which the media, in fact, tries to squelch. This man, a charismatic, seems to also be a messianic Hebrew-roots "christian". I give as much detail as this, as background, only because this is another example of things we've observed in the past; and for me to describe the source may help the reader recognize the source when they see it, -wherever- they may see it. Beyond these 'descriptive' things, I'm not going to name the man, nor his website; because this commentary is not about this particular individual, but about a dangerous false doctrine into which many are being sucked.
The other day, one of his daily writings, posted at his site, contained the following statement: "Christianity is a branch of Judaism; in fact you are called wild olive branches. And if you kill the root the branches will die as well." In his context "root" meant "Israel".
Having been growled at by him in the past over the simple matter of trying to be subscribed to his e-mailing list, I have typically not written to him. But this false doctrine needed to be addressed; which I did with Scripture. In typical 'charismatic' fashion, his reply barked at me (personally); not addressing the doctrine/topic I had written about. So when I chided him from Scripture regarding his barking, in typical 'hebrew-roots' fashion, he turned a 'curse' upon me (the individual). He never did address the 'doctrine'. It's pretty much wolves that growl and bark, isn't it.
Before we address the -doctrine- here, just a reminder: If 'they' attack -you- 'personally', it must mean that you addressed them with the Scriptures. Charismania, Hebrew-roots, or whatever else the false doctrine may be... If you "give a defense" (1Pet3:15) from the Scriptures (Ac17:2), they will not have an answer they can give. But because their heart remains hardened against God, they have a need to lash out. How will they do that? If they cannot refute the message, they lash out against the messenger. That's what this man did, and it's what you will experience. Just stick to God's Word! Jesus exhorted about when they speak evil against you, to "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for in this manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Mt5:12)
So... what's wrong with his statement? Didn't the Church spring out of "Judaism"? Were not the 12 apostles Jews? Was it not Jews who condemned Jesus before Pilate, and asked for His crucifixion? Was not the first Church located in Jerusalem? Did not the Holy Spirit come and indwell Jews first? All these questions, except for one, can be answered in the affirmative. Yes, the apostles were Jews, and those first indwelt by the Holy Spirit were Jews. BUT... the Church did -NOT- spring out of Judaism. Yes, it began in "Israel", but was not a (if-you-will) "by-product" of Judaism; the next-logical-step in the 'development' of the 'religion' (sans Jesus Christ) of Judaism.
What was/is Judaism? Jesus condemned it, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by reason of your tradition?" (Mt15:3) They had their washings of cups, pitchers, and ceremonial ways they held their fists under running water. (Mk7:3-4) They had what they called the "sabbath day's journey". (Ac1:12) Today they have something called a "Seder"; something that was not so-named by Moses. God gave through Moses the "Passover". And that first passover was not a nice "order" or "arrangement" (which is what 'seder' means), because they were to "eat it in haste", with their sandals on their feet, their staff in their hand. (Ex12:11) Their 'seder' includes an 'egg'. Please, anybody, tell me where Moses instructed to have the pagan 'easter egg' connected with Passover. One of the final acts of defiance of the remnant of Judah, before going down to Egypt, was their insistance in worshipping the Queen of Heaven (that's where the easter egg comes from). (Jer44:17) But that 'egg' is part of modern-day Judaism's Seder. Judaism includes their going to a certain stone wall, and bobbing their heads back and forth, which they call "prayer". There are even some who take "prayer requests", and then, call it their "ministry" to take these prayers which they have transfered onto pieces of paper, tucking them into the cracks of this wall. Later, apparently, when the wall gets full of these pieces of paper, there are others who come along, collect the paper, and "burn them before God" as a sort of 'prayer offering'. Anybody (who holds to these traditions), please show me where -any- of this is commanded in the Scriptures. -This-, however, constitutes some of the obvious basics of "Judaism". Writing prayers on pieces of paper and offering them like that is a -pagan- practice. I grew up seeing something similar in Japan, where they would write their prayers on paper, and place the papers in their shrines, offered to their ancestors, along with their offerings of rice cakes, etc.
No! Christianity did -NOT- spring out of Judaism! Israel, in unbelief, worshipped in the traditions of Judaism, and God dispersed them to the four corners of the earth in exile for this idolatry. Yes, you read correctly: Judaism is idolatry! And even to this day, in unbelief, all those years of exile have not taught them anything, as they continue in their heathen, pagan rituals. As Jesus condemned Judaism of His day, He quotes from the O.T. prophet, "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they revere Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Mt15:7-9, Is29:13)
The first Christian martyr, Stephen, was martyred by those practicing Judaism, as he condemns them, "You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always oppose the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they, who received the Law by the command of angels and did not keep it, killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers." (Ac7:51-53) And just as they did then, those who hold to Judaism today do the same, they "stop their ears" against the Truth and lash out against the messengers of Truth (Ac7:57) as they also blank out "G-d" and "L-rd".
Notice Paul's testimony by which we opened this commentary: Paul was raised in Judaism, and was among those cheering-on those who stoned Stephen. He was a strict pharisee. (Php3:5) How much more "Judaist" can one be, than to be a phraisee! Even after he was saved, he kept the Mosaic ordinances, even vowing vows. (Ac18:18, 21:23)
But notice how he describes his 'Christianity': He had "advanced in Judaism" -BUT- "God revealed...His Son" in him. And regarding all his past, the heights to which he had advanced in Judaism, he says, "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss because of Christ. But no, rather, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Php3:7-11)
If you wish to hold to Judaism, you cannot be saved.
What?? you say? Notice how Paul states it, "You have become cut off from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by Law (in context, the law associated with Judaism; because by contrast the Law of God, His "statutes and judgments", is that by which, "if a man does, he shall live by them" Lev18:5); YOU HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE." (Gal5:4)
In Christ we have been set free: "For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom8:2)
The world speaks of Jerusalem being sacred to three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Thing is, none of these three, the way the world views them, is of God. Judaism is the reason for which Israel was dispersed for 2000 years. So-called "christianity" today is pagan; it is not the same entity first called "Christian" (Ac11:26). And Islam comes from the "son of the bondwoman". (Gal4:30, Gen21:10)
This is why we live during a momentous time in history, where 'soon' Christ will be returning to defeat all of satan's world governments and religions, to restore to Jerusalem the true "Israel of God" (Gal6:16), to where He will come "with the saints" (1Th3:13, Zec14:5), from where He will rule the nations "with a rod of iron". (Ps2:9, Rev12:5)
If you trust in Judaism, you are not saved. True salvation comes -only- through Jesus Christ. Judaism rejects Jesus Christ; even to this day they do not acknowledge that Isaiah 53 has taken place and was fulfilled 2000 years ago; it is a 'banned' chapter to them. Salvation also does not come through "Jewish myths", which rather, "turn away from the truth." (Tit1:14)
Remember: Israel (Judaism) is not the "root". Jesus said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches..." (Jn15:1-8) (Jesus said this to 'Jewish' men, calling them "branches"; not the "root") Jesus, Himself, is the 'root' and primary 'trunk'. When people of the so-called "Hebrew roots" religion quote from Romans ch11, they should also remember to keep it in perseptive with John ch15. Both Jew -and- Gentile are united -to- God -through- Jesus Christ. (Eph2:11-18) Israel is not the 'rock'. The "Rock" Israel followed in the wilderness was "Christ". (1Cor10:4)
"...let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead....This is the Stone which was counted as nothing by you builders, which has become the Head of the Corner. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men that is required for us to be saved." (~Ac4:10-12)