Yeshua told us many would come. Will we know them?
Messianics & The HRM
Shalom Mishpacha and welcome. I pray that the Father opens our hearts and minds to surrender so that we can learn to more closely mirror the Messiah Yeshua who loves us with an everlasting love.
Over the last few weeks, we have been unpacking a very heated and controversial topic. It is spoken about in the Bible and it is certainly one of the most important things to study, especially in these last days, so that when confronted with it we will see it for what it is. We have been digging into False Christs and wolves.
This week I wanted to do something a bit different. I understand that the subheading of this post might catch some people off guard. Seeing that I am a self-professed Torah Pursuant follower myself, I’m sure it’s a bit strange that I might be calling out those in the Torah Community as False Christs and wolves. There is a very simple reason for this. There are many wolves here. And it is our job to call them out when we see them, both for the sake of the sanctity of the Kingdom and for its sheep. We are called to care for the sheep and that means fighting wolves.
First and foremost it should be noted that because the umbrella of those who consider themselves to be “Torah Observant/Pursuant”, “Hebrew Roots”, or “Non-Jewish Messianics” is so large and varied, it has always been difficult to establish one cohesive statement of faith for the entirety of this part of the body. There are many subcategories of those who identify as “Torah Observant” and for the most part, we have much that we can agree on. The response to what makes a person decide to follow Torah is just about the most common thread that we all have among us. We all agree unequivocally that the reason that we ended up in the Torah camp was that we actually sat down and read our Bibles. Start to finish. What we found was that the “church system” has been lying to people for almost 2000 years -either through spiritual abuse or gross negligence- but lying nonetheless. We found out a lot about the mother church (Catholics) and her daughters (protestants), and we found out a lot about Messiah and His actual teachings. We found out that striving to uphold the Torah has always been the mark of YHVH’s people. We were called out of Babylon, we fled, and most of us never looked back. Though we do all have a strikingly similar origin story- and this has been worldwide- there are some wildly different points of doctrine within this community that are absolutely unbiblical and that is where problems arise.
Some of these errors are holdovers from other denominations that refuse to go away, and some of these errors simply surface through a lack of discernment and faulty study. Still, what has become known to most as “The Hebrew Roots Movement”, as sincere as it may be for many of us, harbors evil men- the ones Paul says have crept in among us. This is where confusion can and does set in. Sadly, I have seen many people either almost or outright walk away from Torah- and thus YHVH- because of the high level of confusion that can be found inside the gates of the HRM (Hebrew Roots Movement). Why so much confusion? I thought YHVH said that He is not the author of confusion??
He isn’t. But the devil is.
What better way to deceive those who are giving everything to follow the Lord with all their hearts than to attack us at our most vulnerable? You see, with the HRM, there is no safety net. We are a worldwide community of believers that have come out of a corrupt church system- stripped of almost everything, most likely alone, and a little bewildered. And then we are led by the Spirit into the wilderness. We are told to go. So we go. We follow the spirit, and just like Yeshua, we are tested in the wilderness by the enemy. This is all by design- and it is a fiery furnace. The scriptures do tell us that we will be refined by fire, but so few of us really envisioned how it would all play out. Even if we did, we were most likely wrong. The sad fact about this whole community is that because of the independence of it and its lack of standardization, it is almost impossible to pastor all of the spiritually unresolved people we have. To add insult to injury, almost everyone in this movement seems to consider themselves to be a preacher or a teacher, and while most of them have good intentions, most of them are not in a position to shepherd folks. The results are naturally disastrous.
Here in the HRM there is an abundance of the spiritually prideful and blind leading the spiritually prideful and blind. With all the Biblical knowledge so many of us attain, there is still an overwhelming number of those who learn nothing and with all these “teachers” that have Napoleon-ed themselves into positions of superficial power, there is a great multitude of vulnerable sheep that are simply prey to those who seem stronger. That isn’t to say that all of the people who lead in this group are bad. I have met and learned from some truly great men and women, fought in prayer alongside them, and sat in the small hours of the morning as watchmen protecting this flock that we call our family. There are some real giants of faith in this movement, and they can be seen moving in and out of the battlegrounds of spiritual war, Bible in hand, full armor of YHVH, ready to rebuke the enemy. It is because of and for those men and women that I am here today. And it is because of and for the sheep that I fight with them in search of the truth. For those of us who truly love YHVH will truly love His law and His people. The ones that have crept in, however, will have different fruit. Brothers and Sisters, we need to be vigilant and sober-minded so that we don’t dine at the table of the enemy, and we need to stay focused so that we can discern the weightier matters of Torah in spirit and truth.
There are many false doctrines and needless ideologies that have permeated the HRM, most of which are not salvational issues, though they do serve to either sow discord among the brethren or as a distraction to keep our minds where they don’t belong. These would be things like The Flat Earth Camp, The Anti-Vaccination Camp, The Conspiracy Camp, and The Calendar Debate Camp. These things are totally irrelevant and not discussed within the pages of scripture- but they have captured the attention of a very large number of Torah folk without the possibility of release. Some of these people have gotten in ill-fought wars over these topics- and many have lost both friends and potential allies over them. Not only is this contrary to what we are taught in scripture but it only serves to overwhelm those who are new to Torah, and further divide the ones that aren’t.
Moving on, there are a large number of those who follow Torah who seem to use every extra-Biblical book they can get their hands on. These people usually have seemingly very articulate arguments, but what I have noticed most about them is that with some careful exegesis and study in literary history, a lot of these books don’t hold up, so the people that are nearly basing their doctrine off of them have sometimes far deviated from the path of scripture. This can be very dangerous for obvious reasons but also because it can certainly lead people astray. The Apocrypha can be a little like the gateway drug and if you are not discerning you can lose the truth that you already have. This is the meaning in Matthew 25: 29- For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. We need to use great caution with these sorts of things. I have known Brothers who, in the span of a few short years have gotten carried away with their own desires for these books and after having the truth they gradually began teaching a different gospel. Like the 10 Virgins earlier in that same chapter in Matthew, they were followers who had run out of oil (the Truth of Torah and Love) and were shut out. Remember that ALL the virgins knew the Messiah, but only the wise went into the wedding.
To be sure, these can lead to being a salvational issue so they need to be called out- but we must speak the truth in love to our brothers and sisters who have strayed- they may not be aware of their own deception. Just like those who are blinded by the church system they call home, it will do us no good if all we do is reprimand them for believing in something. We need to come alongside them, meet them where they are, and help them to see. That is only something that can be done in the spirit, so be cautious and prayerful.
Another group of beliefs that are a matter of salvation are the ideas about the nature of Yeshua. Those in the Torah Community are, no doubt, familiar with the Shema which states that YHVH is ONE. Many do not believe in the “Catholic trinitarian” view (three completely different persons)- and with good reason- but some folks use this as a proof that Yeshua is not YHVH. This has no scriptural basis. In fact, we know from scripture that Yeshua IS YHVH. This is certainly a salvational issue and one that needs prompt address. Those who do not believe that Yeshua is YHVH manifested in the flesh, according to John, have the spirit of Antichrist! Naturally, for new believers trying to learn about the true nature of things, this can be devastating. Some believe that Yeshua is not divine, was only given agency by YHVH, and He was not the Firstfruits. Some even believe that Yeshua and the angel Micheal are one and the same. These are obviously not based in scripture, but there is a portion of the HRM that hold tenaciously to these views, to their own destruction.
There are many claims that will quickly dissipate in the light of sound theology, but are used to justify nearly every wind of doctrine that Paul warned us about. Just to list a handful, there is a good number of people that strongly believe that women cannot preach, wear pants, or make-up, and they have to wear a head scarf. There are those who believe that literally everyone is called to be a preacher, that the Apocryphal Books carry the same authority as scripture, and that everyone in the mainstream Church is condemned. There are the sacred-namers, the BHI, the ones who have nearly converted to Orthodox Judaism and everything in between. To be sure there are many false Christs within the Torah Movement and what seems to connect all of them is pride. Remember that we are told to test the spirits and look at the fruit. You may have to look closely, but you will see the common thread of pride running through all of these if you look closely enough- and what inherently follows pride is a lack of genuine love. This is not the spirit of Yeshua. Anything that keeps you focused on ” myths and endless genealogies” (1 Tim 1:4) is a tactic of the enemy and should be regarded as such. These are surely perilous times brothers and sisters, and we are to use our gifts, our talents, and most importantly our love to lead others and grow with them. We must understand that we, as Torah Pursuant Christians, have a beautifully difficult job. We are called to be a shelter for those who are vulnerable and need mentorship, and we are also meant to help others escape Spiritual Egypt. Pride hinders. Losing Focus will pull us away. These things combined can turn us into a False Christ.
Please use caution and keep yourselves humbled before YHVH, who will lead you into all truth if you let Him.