The Hebrew Roots Cult

The Hebrew Roots Cult ~ by Jim Pruitt

4/1/2006

Titus 1:10-11, 13-14 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach…For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.

What an insidious and devious Enemy we have! The ability to take devout men and women of God who are zealous for good works and twist their desires so as to put them back into bondage to the Law illustrates the truly evil nature of Satan.

I had the recent misfortune of encountering a cult which is growing in influence within Christianity. It is not to be confused with Messianic Judaism or simply seeking to explore the Jewish culture within which most of the Bible was written. Although there are many organizations which are promoting this general view and their specific doctrines often vary, it is generally known as the Hebrew Roots Movement.

Why Haven’t I Heard About This?

As a rule, this spreading wave of false doctrine is not being addressed by the church. This is due to several reasons:

  • There is a fear of appearing anti-Semitic
  • The depth of the movement’s doctrinal heresies is not generally known
  • There is within the church in general a reluctance to address false doctrine
  • The movement usually hides their beliefs and presents itself as simply seeking to educate Christians concerning their Jewish heritage. As they become acclimated to the Jewish orientation the more aberrant doctrines are slowly introduced.

The influence of this movement is working its way into our churches and our seminaries. The longer we refuse to address it directly and publicly the greater the damage will be to our brothers and sisters and to the core doctrines of our faith. If it is not the responsibility of the clergy to correct issues of doctrine, then whose responsibility is it?

A Few Symptoms

Allow me to delineate some of their more common symptomatic doctrinal heresies:

  • All Christians should adhere to a kosher diet
  • The Sabbath can only be observed on Saturdays
  • The Jewish festivals and holidays should still be observed today

I addressed in a previous article why these are not sound doctrinal stances so I will not reiterate them here.

The Cause

The root of their symptomatic heresies is hermeneutic (having to do with the methodology used to interpret scripture) in nature. The Protestant Reformers used a grammatical-literal hermeneutic when interpreting scripture. In other words, it means what it says unless there is a significant reason to believe otherwise. This movement uses a grammatical-historical hermeneutic with a twist. Their underlying assumptions when approaching any scripture are:

  • Whatever God has ever commanded of those who seek Him (i.e., the Jews, their ancestors, their descendents, and Christians) is still in effect today (including the Levitical law)
  • Gentile followers of Christ were “grafted into” the Jews which they interpret to mean that Gentiles must assume Jewish customs if they really want to mature and please God

Based on those unquestionable assumptions, they then decide how they can best interpret a given scripture to support those beliefs.

The farther down this rabbit hole they go, the more bizarre their doctrines become. Many see the New Testament as inferior to the Old (or a conspiracy by the Catholic church). More still say that Paul’s teachings are contrary to Christ (since they have trouble with his obvious statements against their beliefs) and, therefore, reject his epistles as scripture. Some say that the only reason we aren’t still sacrificing animals and stoning people for their sins is because there is no Temple and no Sanhedrin. But when they are restored then these will resume. Others go so far as to eventually reject Jesus as the Messiah and simply say that He was just a Rabbi. The inevitable outcome of following this train of thought is to put people back into bondage to the Law.

The Truth

These heresies are so fundamentally and obviously wrong that I hesitate to even address them. However, it is apparently not obvious to the adherents of this cult so I will briefly spell out a few.

We (as Gentile believers) were not grafted into the Law and Judaism but into the faith of Abraham which preceded the Law and Jewish customs (Romans 4, Romans 11:17-24, Galatians 3:15-18). The law was given because of transgressions and to be our tutor to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:19,24,25). Jesus fulfilled all of the requirements of the law (Matthew 5:17-20) for all time (John 19:30, Romans 5:12-21). We were “made to die to the Law through the body of Christ” so that we might be joined to Him (Romans 7:1-6, Galatians 2:19,21) because Christ is “the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). You mature in Christ and please Him by the same means by which you were saved…by faith…not by following the Law.

Galatians 3:1-4 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain?

No where in the Bible do we find Gentile believers being instructed to follow Levitical laws or Jewish customs. In fact, just the opposite (see my previous article). However, we do find several examples where Jewish Christians are reprimanded for trying to convince Gentile Christians to follow the Law (Acts 15, Galatians, Romans 14, Titus 1).

Those in the Hebrew Roots cult have stumbled over the Great Stumbling Block (1 Corinthians 1:23,24, Galatians 5:11). This heresy goes all the way back to the first century but like a bad penny it keeps turning up every few centuries. Beware of those who come to you professing to educate you about your Hebrew roots in order to “make you a better Christian” or to “restore your Biblical Hebrew heritage.” Question them closely concerning these heresies to prevent them from being introduced into your churches and families (as they have been introduced into mine).

Below are some websites with more information concerning the Hebrew Roots Movement as well as relevant scriptures for you to consider. Test the spirits, my brothers and sisters and refute unsound doctrine (Titus 1:9).

Jews for Jesus warn of the dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement
http://www.jfjonline.org/witness/faq_bt_hebraicroots.htm
http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/havurah/4_1/jewishroots

Critical explorations of the Hebrew Roots Movement
http://www.seekgod.ca/topichr.htm
http://watch.pair.com/HRM.html

Galatians 3:28,29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

Romans 2:17-21 But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?

1 Timothy 1:3, 6-10 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines…For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching

2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

HL – http://www.cyshift.com/hebrew_roots.html

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28 thoughts on “The Hebrew Roots Cult

  1. I HAD interaction with various members of this group for a while and found that yes , they appear to be benigh but the end result of their teaching does indeed lead many completely away from Yeshua/Jesus and straight into Judiasm. They dispute the book of Hebrews and other many of Paul’s books. Within their group, they have different denominations, just like Christianity, but they all hold to the same basic doctrines. They also say that when Yeshua comes back in the rebuilt Temple, He will be take part in/ support animal sacrifices. Whenever someone tries to show them that they are wrong, many of them get very angry and/or abusive. They call themselves Messianic ISRAELITES and a lot of them want to go back to their rightful land which they believe is Israel. Because it is difficult to obtain citizenship in Israel, many of them are willing to renounce Yeshua in order to gain citizenship! They twist Scripture like nobody’s buisness. I first found out about them because I wanted somewhere to fellowship on Shabbat here in Trinidad.

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    • cherylramjattan

      Thank you for your comment and sharing. Here is a link where you may find some Biblical and edifying teachings too, reading and audio , the resources are many. http://www.gty.org/

      Praying for you that you may find true Biblical fellowship there in Trinidad.

      Yours in Christ

      Elmarie

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  2. What hebrew roots is all about is finding out the roots of our faith. It isn’t in any way leading people away from the messiah but learning who He is, what He came to do and why, and doing what He told us to do. Judiasm is a man made religious system developed by the Pharisees and religious leaders of the day. Rabbis do not really teach obedience to the Torah (first five books of the bible) but to the talmud and other rabbinic writings. They feel that they have the authority to make takanot, which is law that changes biblical law. In Deut. 4:2, God commands that no one is to add to nor take away from the word which He commanded. This is repeated Rev. 22:18-19.
    We are far removed from the land, language, and culture and in order to understand the scripture, we must understand where we came from. To understand what Yeshua (Jesus’ name in hebrew given by the angel Gabriel) taught we must have an understanding of the Torah and the feasts of the Lord.
    I would recommend watching the following series of teachings beginning with this video. (Link removed not safe)
    Watch the entire series before making any judgments and search the scriptures.
    You can also go to (Link removed not safe) and go to the teachings section for some good teachings.

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      • The article has been published on the blog, Torah Observance – Opposing God, Following Blind Men. May the grace of God be with all those who are being misled by the doctrines of blind men.

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    • The roots of our faith are in Jesus Christ alone, the Son of God, not in the Hebrew culture, traditions or historical laws. We cannot do what God told us to do, which is why we needed the Saviour to fulfill the Law as written in the Torah, on our behalf. By trying to be obedient to the laws of the Torah, we fail in observing what we are told in the Word of God. The law can only convict us, observing the law cannot set us free from our sins which lead to death, or bring about our salvation. Our own attempts at being obedient to the Torah are useless.

      To understand what Jesus (Yeshua) taught, we need to be spiritually regenerated by the grace of God, through faith. If we do not have the Word in us, we are spiritually dead and unable to understand what He taught. We do not need an understanding of geographical or historic fact to understand the Word of God, we need God.

      How do you propose we try understand the Torah without God? The Hebrews (Israelites) themselves failed to understand the Torah and the Will of God, they failed to recognize the Saviour because they did not have faith. They did not have the Lord. No man made methods, knowledge, system, ritual, teaching, understanding or feasts can undo or add to what Jesus Christ already finished doing. He paid for our sins, because we cannot. You need to believe that simple truth, because that is the Word of God.

      Much Grace to you.

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      • So what about when we are told not to sin. What is sin? 1 John states that sin is the transgression of the law. Yeshua taught the torah and the observance of the torah. If you don’t know anything about what God commanded, don’t know about God’s times and seasons (feasts, sabbaths, etc.) then you can’t possibly understand the gospels or anything that Messiah taught. Zachariah and Elisabeth, the parents of John the babtist, were described as being blameless in all the things concerning the law (torah). This would seem to indicate that it is possible to keep the torah as it was given by God to Moses not adding to it and not taking away from it which we are forbidden to do according to Deut. 4 and Rev. 22.
        If we are to follow the messiah and do what he did, then we have to follow torah because that is what he taught and did. You also have to understand that not every command applies to everyone. Some commands apply only to priests, some only to men, some only to women, etc. It is Yeshua’s blood that forgives our sins and brings us under the covenant. However, do you think it is now ok to murder, commit adultery, or to worship idols? Of course not. These are all things that are found in the torah, however. So to say that we don’t have to know or keep what God has commanded is basically saying that it is ok do those things. If sin is sin and we know from scripture what sin is, then why would we willingly sin? I would hope you wouldn’t. But, since sin is the trangression of the torah, what will you do? I hope you would choose to walk in obedience.

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      • mjames619

        Here is the article I told you about, Torah Observance – Opposing God, Following Blind Men you can find it here : https://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2012/04/29/torah-observance-opposing-god-following-blind-men/

        Joh_14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

        The heart of the Gospel is this , 2Co_5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

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      • mjames619

        Your last comment has not been approved. This blog is not the place to try and promote false doctrine and sell the deceptive demonic teachings of any cult. You have made it clear and we do now understand that you do not believe the Word of God, and that is your own choice. Thank you for your efforts in trying to convince us of your personal convictions. As you have indicated, you do not need salvation, as you seem quite sure you can outsmart God and break into heaven by your own self-righteous means. You are free to make your own choices, you are entitled to follow any false god you choose to make for yourself, but you are not free to trample the Saviour Jesus Christ, to ridicule the teachings of the Bible or to persecute Christians in this space.

        Like

      • how refreshing Grant !!!
        Thanks for a direct and simple summary – and AMEN !!!
        Jesus is our source, He is our Life. If we are justified by any other means, we have fallen from grace – Gal 5:4
        God meant for His Son to become our everything and reconcile us back to a FATHER, who loved us when we were sinners. The law is the ministry of death, Jesus is Life, Hope, righteousness, love, liberty, redemption, salvation, holiness and a 1000 more – all at the cross where the law was nailed to the cross.

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  3. Following the laws of the Father does not justify you or lead to salvation, but not following the laws is disobedience to the Father. Yeshua is the Messiah, and brought salvation to us, and we should be like him and follow his ways. The messiah is jewish and followed Torah and the laws in it, but did not follow the rules of men. You are not saved by acts, but you are not saved by faith with disobedience to YHVH either, it takes both

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    • randy

      The Messiah wrote the laws and the Messiah provided the means by which we are set free from the consequences of us breaking those laws. You are saved by faith alone. You are not saved by faith plus anything, which includes obedience to the law. You cannot be obedient to all the law, you do not have that ability. If you break the law, you are guilty of sin and sin leads to death. There is nothing you can do about sin.

      We are all infected with sin (Romans 3:23). We are born with sin (Psalm 51:5), and we all personally choose to sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). Sin is what makes us unsaved. Sin is what separates us from God. Sin is what has us on the path to eternal destruction.

      Because of our sin, we all deserve death (Romans 6:23). Because the just penalty for sin is infinite and eternal, only God could pay the penalty, because only He is infinite and eternal. But God, in His divine nature, could not die. So God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. God took on human flesh, lived among us, and taught us.

      When the people rejected Him and His message, and sought to kill Him, He willingly sacrificed Himself for us, allowing Himself to be crucified (John 10:15). Because Jesus Christ was human, He could die; and because Jesus Christ was God, His death had an eternal and infinite value. Jesus’ death on the cross was the perfect and complete payment for our sin (1 John 2:2). He took the consequences we deserved. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead demonstrated that His death was indeed the perfectly sufficient sacrifice for sin.

      So, Randy, the crux of the matter is this: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it, don’t try to add to it by trying to prove your obedience.

      Salvation leads us to want to be obedient to Him. Being obedient to Him does not lead us to salvation. The Word of God is clear: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”. It does not say “Believe in the Lord Jesus and be obedient to the law, and you will be saved”. It does not take both as you have stated.

      You correctly state that He did not follow the rules of men and that we should follow His ways. So, why would you want to follow the rules of men? Our obedience can never equal or add to the complete work of atonement performed by the Saviour, and to claim that our obedience can play a role, is to claim that our efforts can impress an omnipotent God.

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      • And how do you know what is sin unless you know the law? How can you repent if you don’t know what you did wrong? How can you walk in the path of the messiah if you don’t know what that path was? That path was Torah based and obedience to the laws of Moses. Yeshua was a good jewish boy.

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      • randy

        You say

        Yeshua was a good jewish boy.

        You are out right blasphemous , Jesus Christ was God. Your Picture of our beloved Saviour Jesus is pretty distorted with all your legalistic laws it is sickly man made traditions. Your next unbiblical comment will be deleted.

        Mat 16:15 He (Jesus) said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
        Mat 16:16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
        Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
        Mat 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
        Mat 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Emphasis added)

        Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
        Joh 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
        Joh 14:8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
        Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
        Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
        Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

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      • randy
        Your last comments has not been approved. This blog is not the place to try and promote false doctrine and sell the deceptive demonic teachings of any cult. You have made it clear and we do now understand that you do not believe the Word of God, and that is your own choice. Thank you for your efforts in trying to convince us of your personal convictions. As you have indicated, you do not need salvation, as you seem quite sure you can outsmart God and break into heaven by your own self-righteous means. You are free to make your own choices, you are entitled to follow any false god you choose to make for yourself, but you are not free to trample the Saviour Jesus Christ, to ridicule the teachings of the Bible or to persecute Christians in this space.

        Like

  4. randy

    Read my previous comment again. It answers all your questions here.

    Knowledge of what sin is does not save. Repentance does not save. Walking in the path of the Messiah does not save. Obedience to the laws of Moses does not save.

    I repeat again : So, Randy, the crux of the matter is this: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it, don’t try to add to it by trying to prove your obedience.

    Like

  5. An email received from a reader (Full Permission received to post here)

    Greetings, In Jesus

    I read with interest your article on the HRM cult on the Love Of His Truth Ministries site. Thank you for your article. Many are being duped by these teachers, one is Michael Rood. Now on Christian TV, Rood continues to dupe man believers. Below is my letter of concern to a pastor in NC, whose has one of the leaders in his church associates and speaks with Michael Rood. This is a total lack of discernment. This pastor/leader is a messianic Believer who serves as the messianic pastor at Steel Creek Church in Charlotte, NC. Below the pastors email, is my email of concern to a Christian TV Network. I give a link to a scholar who has done his research on Rood.

    Today more than ever, we need to be alert to the teachings of those who will draw many into their folds with false doctrine. Sadly, these false teachers are all over the place in the Christian church. I know of a well known 8 time Dove Award Winner, author of many, many well known Gospel songs, who now thinks it’s his job to write books, make tapes, speaks and attack the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Trinity. This artist BLASPHEMOUS materials are on many cult sites, and he associates with the anti-deity of Christ–anti-Trinitarian-anti-hell Atlanta Bible College, in GA. I am speaking about Joel Hemphill , of the Hemphills’ Joel has duped many Christians, cause he is well known. I used to sing one of his most well known songs in SS “He’s Still Working On Me” Some of his BLASPHEMOUS materials are on the following cult site: http://21stcr.org Another well known Gospel artist is also listed on this site. How one can mock the deity of Jesus, and the Holy trinity, and still have your music played on Christian stations, and perform in Christian churches is a real shame!

    May God Help Us,
    Blessings,
    James

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  6. The Jewish Roots movement has many false prophets, and false doctrines, it seems to continually dream up new twist to Scripture. Much of this comes from an “elite” attitude expressed very clearly by many involved in this movement that the Gentiles need to come through them to “get it right ” today. It seem that they are of the opinion that no one had it right until they came along. As Scripture says, pride goes before a fall.

    Like others who have posted on this site my encounters with Messianic Jews for the most part has shown them to be openly hostile, and threatening when opposed with sound Scripture, and not agreed with. I have had them deliberately lie about my Scriptural position, and then openly post comments blessing each other for that slander in a demonic glee.

    So much of this is just modern day Judaizing which the Apostle Paul opposed in his day. And much of it is connected to the charismatic movement.

    The law written in the heart of every true believer gives them the desire to do what is right is God’s eyes, thus is the law written in the heart by the Holy Spirit. In case there is any doubt as to just what that consist of, the Law is given as a reference to God’s lawful requirements. Paul consistently corrected the Church in this manner throughout his epistles. Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Build yourself up in the Spirit, think on things honest, of good report, pure. lovely, etc.

    The more people in the Jewish Messianic Roots movement try to prove their elitism the weirder their twisting of Scripture is through the use of unscriptural sources such as the Midrash, etc.. Now we have Jacob Prasch’s “intra mid trib” theory where the atmosphere has to be removed before the Translation of the Saints can occur ! Another Messianic has Daniel’s ” Time, Times, and a half time equaling 2 1/2 years not 3 1/2 years. The Bible has dire warnings to those who twist Scripture. People only deceive others to their own hurt, and end up being the most deceived.

    God Bless in Jesus Christ
    David E. Kaus

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  7. Would you be willing to discuss this topic on TV for all to see with a few of these Hebrew Roots Leaders?

    I am a pastor who for years taught that we are free from the Law. I taught western Christianity.
    But as I was learning the language our Bible is written in I was shocked to see the HUGE difference there was.

    With me understanding both party’s sides,
    I see why each believe what they do. If you are left to only read the Bible in English, you would call the Torah legalism if you heard it preached to you that way.
    But the Bible, including Paul and the book of Romans & Galatians being the biggest evidence that the Torah is not legalism. You just need to look past the English and American Jesus the church has made up.

    Again, I don’t mean that to be mean.
    But I believe those who put this article together have gravely misunderstood the Hebrew Roots Movement and found a few whacko’s to try to make their point.

    That’s like saying Rob Bell paints a clear doctrine for church in the west. It’s simply one man and wouldn’t be fair.

    The Hebrew Roots movement as a whole believes salvation Only comes through Faith in Yeshua. That’s it.
    Then if that salvation is true, then we will fall in love with Him and produce fruit. We will have a new desire to sin no more.

    Everyone agrees with that.
    All we have to do is define sin.

    Hebrew Roots proves in the New Testament that sin is breaking the Torah.
    Christ actively and fully covers any sacrifical laws and any High Priest Duties.

    I would like to invite you to talk about this on TV.

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    • Pastor Jason Jones

      Thank you for commenting and for the invitation. There is neither a sound reason for me to appear on TV, nor to advertise my viewpoint or my ministry, or to debate this subject in the media. The only message worthy of bringing to the people would be the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which in its perfect simplicity, entirely refutes the beliefs of the HRM.

      Like

  8. Pingback: The Hebrew Roots Cult - Jim Pruitt - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums

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