Hyper Hebrew Roots movement – 6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

These are false teachers that need to be avoided at all costs.    However some pastors and Christian organisations still work with them not realising their background.

Jono Vandor – “Truth2U”

It may seem obvious this guy should be avoided, but he pops up in some of my friend’s Facebook likes which concerns me.

jono vandor false teacher smaller

Jono is an Australian blogger and radio host for the last 5 years initially as a bible study for Christians to learn about Jewish roots, in 2010, this was quoted on a forum:-

“TRUTH2U is a new radio program gaining listenership around the globe.

It broadcasts out of a little country town, the cherry capital of Australia, Young NSW. (GMT+11, Sunday mornings 11-12)

It runs for one hour and is hosted by me, jono vandor.

The aim of TRUTH2U is to expose the pagan (!) and elevated traditions of man in professing Christianity while upholding Torah and the reality of Scripture. Primarily, TRUTH2U seeks to serve YHWH and those set-apart to Him by broadcasting the truth of His Son, Yahshua Messiah.”

Since then the direction has changed completely to being against Yeshua and against the gospel and teach Christians about Judaism. This guy uses lots of material from people like Michael Skobac, Tovia Singer and Ira Michaelson from Jews for Judaism.   This is a group specifically to stop Jewish people knowing about Jesus, truth2u aboutbut a bunch of 50 something Rabbis aren’t going to appeal to today’s youth, that why they need a middle man like Jono who can make it sound appealing to Christians look from today’s blogging/podcast generation.    Actually Jews for Judaism aka Outreach Judaism also want to target ordinary Christians who are attracted to Orthodox Judaism.

These online presentations and Israel tour visits are slickly presented as a Jewish/Christian social thing, but its clear they want to present you with an exit from the gospel with some false teaching.

Nehemiah Gordon

Nehemiah is not a believer but a Karaite Jew.   Hes been interviewed in a few Christian TV channels.  As he writes about Yeshua he must be a good guy?   Or almost getting there??

hebrew Yeshua book

This book is effectively telling Christians about the sacred name idea I wrote earlier, its a way to get Christians out of their normal church and regular thinking into odd sound teaching which leads them to dropping Yeshua.

Disturbingly pick at random any of the people who are a member of this group, there is a disturbing trend of these people tend to be ex-Christians wanting to be Jewish and seeking strict religious structure.   Gordon is often a guest on the spiritual babiesTruth2U and Spiritualbabies blogs.

He works with an American pastor a lot, this is mainly because the two charge $7.99 a month biblical history subscription to a Christian audience so not surprisingly my warnings to this pastor I emailed fell on deaf ears.

Jason “SpiritualBabies”

Sounds like a cult?    You are correct.    Jason and Lyn are an Irish couple who run a business doing graphics and illustration work.   This was initially used for the message of the gospel, then for a more Hebraic slant as it got Christians to take Jewish practices.   Now its specifically against the gospel.

Like Jono, these people are huge fans of Tovia Singer, and they work together with Jono and some other people to point people towards Tovia’s theology.

Pathways Radio 

This is a channel run by ex-believers which yet again promote anti-Yeshua teacher Rabbi Tovia Singer.   It proclaims itself as ‘idolfree’ but actually it has some talks on witchcraft!!!

From this appalling site:- “There is nothing more offensive to the Jewish people, and the Jewish faith, than organizations that target Jews with vile, disgusting perversions of scripture in order to trick, manipulate, and convert a holy people into pagan religion.

The Christian church considers the Jews as prime targets for this onslaught of lies.  The church has incorporated assimilation tactics into its repitiore. These tactics include additional Christian denominations called: Messianic Judaism, Nazarene (Netzari) Judaism, Hebrew Roots, and other alternative names.  Their principle objective is to trick the Jewish person into seeing Jesus….”

From a book from a member of the ‘Pathways radio’ cult;

“….In this book, the reader will witness how AJ and his family journeyed through the following: Christianity Atheism Born-again Christianity Messianic Judaism Hebrew roots Nazarene Judaism Finally, reality (!!!!) Each dramatic step, each oddity, and even the colorful characters met along the way are described in every way! AJ Ostrander was an energetic and passionate evangelical preacher in the church for ten years….”

Bottom line; the Hyper Hebrew Roots movement pulls people away from the church and Christian friends and family and gradually into progressively more weird teaching, excluding the love and salvation of Christ, into apostasy.

2 Peter 2 : 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

There is a consistent pattern that many of the believers were following Yeshua up until a few years ago, but were telling ordinary Christians to keep Torah and keep kosher and urged them that Jewish practices were mandatory for everyone.     Then these people denied Jesus altogether.

Ephesians 5 : 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

Am I indulging in slander, Lashon Hara (or Lashing Horror) towards these people?   I have chatted to some people who are believers who got into this stuff.  Some to the bad stuff (Staley/Rood Crowd in part 2 below) and some truly appalling stuff like these men.

Please, please, this is not about encouraging antisemitism or bashing Judaism in any way, this is exposing half a dozen oddball religious groups pretending to be education for Christians pointing them towards denying Yeshua using the same old teaching from Singer/Skobac.   I have a huge respect for Judaism, but not when its twisting Christian and Jewish scriptures as used by these phonies.

If I can save one person from this total garbage then these blog posts will be worth it.

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

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Hyper Hebrew Roots movement – 4. Sacred names

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

NB, I’m a Christian who loves Israel and Jewish people.   These posts aren’t criticism of actual Jewish people or Israel or believers in Yeshua/Jesus, only of Christians that may go a bit over the top or get confused over names and language differences.   Please see first article to get better idea of what this is about.

How people say most common names for God

Traditional Jews: God is written as יהוה (Yod Hey Vav Hey) phonetically pronounced Yahweh or Jahovah.   However traditional Jews will never pronounce this, only pronounce this as Adonai. (Lord)  Therefore if Christians pronounce this in public this may offend or seem insensitive to observant Jews. God may also written as G-d, traditional Jews will leave one letter missed out, in a way deemed respectful of not writing his name in full. Elohim, El Shaddai, Eloheunu are allHebrew names for God.   In fact anything with -im on the end is a plural (aha! you can spot the trinity!) You will often see words with Yah or El.   This words are found inside a few popular names. Hashem literally ‘His name’

Ways of writing Jesus

Correct: Jesus or Yeshua or ישוע (Yod Shin Vav Ayen)

Not right: Other names used by the HHRM, that are not really right; Yahshua, Yahoshua, Ioshua, etc Allah this is the Muslim word for God, and used by Arab Christians, and also Christians in Malta. (they have an Arabic derived language)   I prefer not using these for regular western Christians, this is another theological hot potato for another day.

Definitely wrong:-
Yeshu/ישו (insult)  This is a Hebrew abbreviation for “may his name by blotted out” used by those against Yeshua.
Issa (used by Muslims who describe Jesus as only a prophet in the Koran)

Arab believers: Correct word for Jesus in Arabic for Arab believers is Yesu

If believers in Jesus/Yeshua someone tells you can ONLY use a certain name and gets finicky about it, they may have issues with legalism. Often HHRM people will tell you can only use THEIR own definition of a name only, and anything else is wrong or ‘Pagan’. I once went to a Messianic congregation in UK, there was a man who was Jamaican who was dressed as a Jew who was speaking, he told us that anyone who used the word Jesus was actually referring to the Greek God Zeus.   This was the worse teaching I have heard so I walked out.    This was a total embarrassment as this was a congregation of mostly non Jews trying to do Jewish customs in a clumsy insensitive way, in a part of the city with a lot of ultra Orthodox Jews close by.  This was such a cringeworthy painful experience that would no way impress anyone in this community.

What they forget is the gospel was spread to all nations, so Jesus died for all people and all races, so his name is going to be written differently as the gospel is translated to every language, tribe and tongue.   Today, because of the internet and more affordable travel, its feasible to bring the message of Jesus to every single part of the world.

Philippians 2 : 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Here’s another example.   My name is Jonathan.   I’m not Jewish.   My name is extremely popular among Jews especially in Israel, and ordinary British chaps like me born in the mid 1970s. Actually name is Jonathan is really which is pronounced Yahnatan which is written יונתן (yntn) My name comes from Yah Natan = God’s gift/given.

Over the years this has got changed on its way to a language like English. Yah has become Jah which has become ‘Jo’ I think “J” only pronounced “Jer” in English, French and Arabic.    In German, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch and Hebrew its pronounced as a Y.

“natan” has become Nathan (another boy’s name) There is two different types of Ts in Hebrew that look like ט and like ת – so when one is Latinised its written as a “TH”. So among religious hipsters thinking they have the most authentic way of doing religion, please look down on me as I’ve got a Hebrew name that’s been interfered with over a few centuries.   Oh well. 🙂 I get annoyed if people call me Jonathon, Johnathan or something else, but that just me 🙂

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

Hyper Hebrew Roots movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping kosher & eating

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

NB, I’m a Christian who loves Israel and Jewish people.   These posts aren’t criticism of actual Jewish people or Israel or believers in Yeshua/Jesus, only of Christians that may go a bit over the top or get confused of the roles of Jewish diets and holiday practices.

In the Hyper Hebrew Roots Movement (HHRM) folks may often tell you that Christmas and Easter are Pagan and should be avoided.

Well yes, they are mostly true, over years lots of things have distorted and changed the defining times which we remember Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.   I like Christmas and Easter as I don’t have to work and I can see family.  More importantly its a time to remember Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.   These are times which are unlikely to be their authentic weeks but its not really a big deal.  Fussing and wanting people to change is simply daft.

If you want to keep the biblical feasts then great!  If you want to do Christmas and Easter great! if you want to do everything, even better!

video-friday_im_in_love

To keep overly religious people happy. The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love will now be known as Yom Shishi I’m in love.

Valentine’s day, Halloween, Lag B’Omer are all Pagan too.  The days of the week are named after pagan gods!   Therefore paganism is everywhere.   Should we call them something different?

Let’s face it, you are not going to change the minds of 99.99% of Christians who celebrate Christmas and Easter, or worship on a Sunday.

If you feel uncomfortable about Christmas and Easter, don’t be a jerk forcing everyone not to celebrate it, unless you actually want to go to work that day.

Want to celebrate Jewish holidays?

Purim, Hanukkah, Feast of Trumpets, Shavuot, Yom Kippur are great ways to get together, gain an understanding of Jewish history and their meaning, as well as build friendships with Jewish people, whether they are secular, religious or believers.

What does the bible say about holidays?

Romans 14 : 14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

What does the bible say about eating practices in the New Covenant?

Colossians 2 : 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Therefore for believers in Yeshua/Jesus;

  • If you eat all things including pork and shellfish you are ok
  • If you don’t feel comfortable eating those things you are ok
  • Being vegetarian is ok
  • Abstaining from alcohol, which is common among more conservative American and African believers is ok, but not wrong for believers who do it in moderation.

Forcing other people to do it your way isn’t ok.  Doing something to upset your brother who doesn’t have the same diet as you is definitely not ok.

Something I see in the HHRM movement is people forcing other people to engage in special (not talking about kosher) diets.   Eating healthy is great, but telling people they have to do juicing and buying more expensive organic stuff is ultimately part someone’s artificial religious rules forced upon someone else.   I once visited a friend’s bible study who were so into this stuff, they told me I couldn’t come unless I did 2 hours ‘training’ on their special diet practices.  Hmm.

Acts 15 :15 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” (!) 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” (!)

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

What do today’s Israeli Messianic Jewish believers do regarding when to go to congregation?   Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

Today’s congregations of Jewish believers in Jesus in Israel aren’t really called synagogues (which is actually a Greek word, the Hebrew word for Jewish house of worship is a Beit Ha’Knesset, house of meeting places)   but usually a kehilat assembly or just church.   These building are usually plain in appearance, such as a converted office or factory.   When I traveled up to the Galilee in northern Israel, I had the opportunity to fellowship in congregations with local believers up there.

King of Kings Jerusalem meet every Friday for Hebrew speaking believers and Sunday for English speaking believers.   Christ church in Old City of Jerusalem, have at least 4 services over the weekend for Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and English believers.   All other congregations can greatly vary being Friday, Saturday or Sunday.   Often it’s just practical logistics in terms of having enough seats, and multiple services need to be over several sessions.   Of course some of these are home churches too.

In addition to that, among the relatively tiny (15,000-20,000) body of Jewish believers in Israel, there is an inner niche group for Russian and Ethiopian believers too.    Often Arab believers can be part of some of the larger congregations too.

Congregations are shared because there are not enough seats, so multiple fellowships are done over several slots.

More scripture warning against legalism

Romans 16: 17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

Related:

The Christmas tree is a pagan decorated idol myth:-
http://midwestapologetics.org/blog/?p=1389 

Defending Christmas
http://extraordinaryintelligence.com/defending-christ-the-king-refuting-the-pagan-roots-lie/

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM