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The Hebrew Roots
of
The Christian Faith

Our-Hebrew-Roots

“…much of what is called Christianity today is not the Christianity of the New Testament; it is distinctly different…. Jesus is not the fountainhead of modern Christianity. He is scarcely thought about.

Oswald Chambers 1874 – 1917; author of My Utmost For His Highest p. 586

 

The Hebrew Roots of The Christian Faith

We enthusiastically embrace Jesus / Yeshua and the freedom that we have through Him.  We also concur completely with President George Washington as he wrote to Moses Seixas, Warden of Kahal Kadosh Yeshuat Israel, the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, as G. Washington said; “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid”.

The Terms “Israel” and “Hebrew” are not synonymous with “Jew”
Note that George Washington didn’t address his letter to the “Jews” of __________.  Be assured that when George Washington wrote the words above, he understood the “stock of Abraham” to be the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was not addressing “Jews” or the geographic body politic in the Middle East that didn’t yet exist.

In no way are we antisemitic.  However just for clarification, the geographical body politic located in the Middle East today is not Biblical Israel and the word “Jew/Jewish” should not be considered synonymous with the term “Israel” or “Hebrew”.

The word “Jew” is an abbreviation for the Tribe of Judah
It is important to note that Originally, the word “Jew” was primarily utilized as a shortened version of the word “Judah”.  Likewise, it is also important to realize that the tribe of Judah is only one of the twelve tribes that comprise Biblical Israel; there are eleven others. Unfortunately, what began as an abbreviated form to identify only one small portion of the people of Israel has now taken on many meanings.

Today the word “Jew/Jewish” can refer to a person’s ethnicity, promoters of the “new world order”, a religious preference or many other inferences. Of course, these terms can also be applied to the religious system that is based upon the Talmud and other man-made religious laws and traditions.

The term “Jew” does not properly identify God’s people in the Bible

To understand “Israel” in the  Bible, it is critically important to note that the terms “Hebrew” and Biblical “Israel” are not synonymous with the (mostly secular) body politic currently operating in the Middle East (the land of Biblical Israel) or the terms “Jew” / “Jewish”.

Biblical Israel is a term that identifies God’s people all throughout the Bible (Mt. 15:24, Luke 1:68, Gal. 6:16, Rev. 21:12).

Abraham (known as the Father of our Faith) was not Jewish but he was a Hebrew of Israel. King David (who wrote most of the Psalms in the Bible), and Yeshua (Jesus) Himself, were also of Israel. In their case, they were specifically from the tribe of Judah; but they were definitely not “Jews” in the modern sense of the word.  As a matter of fact, Jesus was constantly rebuking the Jewish Pharisees.  But again, they were both clearly a part of Biblical Israel.

No, we are not Jewish
We make no attempt to be “Jewish”.  We wholly and enthusiastically embrace Jesus as the Christ who was Himself of Israel.  We also embrace the Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith as recorded by Moses, the Prophets, the Writings of the “Old Testament” (Tanach), the Gospels and all of the “New Testament”.  If you have eyes to see, the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith are readily expressed ALL through the Bible and so we joyfully embrace ALL of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the definition of “Christian” is “follower of Christ”.  Not that long ago in American History, The Ten Commandments which Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) taught, along with the rest of the Bible, were vigorously expounded upon among Christians. Though you may not hear this at the corner church these days, what we purpose is not new.

Returning to the Roots of our faith
The Biblical roots of Christianity grew from an everlasting covenant that Yahweh God made with Abraham. Today, as always, Believers enter into andThe Messianic Seal of the Jerusalem Church sacred names become part of that same covenant through faith in Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah).

Apostle Paul, who had previously been a Jewish Rabbi, wrote these words to fellow Believers in Rome, “Do not boast against the branches (Israel). But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root (root =Israel and the Hebrew origins of our faith), but the root supports you (Yahweh God’s people)” (Romans 11:18).

Also: Galatians 3:7
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

As followers of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ), the more we know and learn about who we are, the better we can know, unite with and serve God.  The more we know God the more healing we experience; the more productive, fruitful and blessed we are in our daily lives.

A Fuller, Clearer Understanding of the Bible
When we read the Bible through Hebrew / Hebraic eyes (of which it was written), our understanding becomes much richer and deeper. A clearer perspective evolves to include things that we never before even knew existed. The impurities float to the top and the good stuff is left remaining. 

It is critically important to note that embracing the Hebrew roots of the Bible does not negate the New Testament; rather it enhances it.

Exciting Insights About Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah and His teachings
When one is born into, or even just resides in a nation, they should expect to adopt that nation’s language, customs, and culture. In these ways you are able to function and communicate with others of the same nationality i.e.; your neighbors, employer, customers, and others with a common purpose.  In fact, in some countries today if a person does not do these things they are sentenced to prison, or death, or both.

Abraham along with King David, Jesus / Yeshua, and His early followers were primarily Hebrews of the nation of Israel. Therefore, the more we understand and embrace the Bible from the perspective of those who lived, breathed and penned it, the more we will understand Yahweh, the God of the Bible and Yeshua the Messiah. Remember; Biblical Israel is not synonymous with the geographical/political Israel that we see on the news today.

Interesting facts about (Jesus the Christ) Yeshua the Messiah; He

  • Read, studied and taught the Hebrew Scriptures / “Old Testament”. The “New Testament” had not yet been written. Please note that we wholeheartedly embrace ALL of the Bile, Gen. – Rev., as the inspired Word of God)
  • Probably spoke the Hebrew language of the Hebrew Bible.
  • Wore His clothing in accordance with the Bible
  • Ate foods as instructed in the Bible
  • Kept the Sabbath as instructed in the Bible (The Fourth Commandment)
  • Celebrated the Biblical Holidays
  • Didn’t celebrate pagan holidays (especially Halloween)
  • Didn’t belong to a state licensed church
  • Lived His life committed to the Ten Commandments and the Torah (Pentateuch)
  • and instructed everyone else to do the same

Hbrew Roots of the Christian Fith, Hebraic, Shofar, Home Groups, House, Cell Group, True FaithIn these ways, as Yeshua / Jesus was unquestionably a Hebrew of Israel, we readily embrace and hold fast to the attributes of Yeshua the Messiah as expressed in the Hebrew Roots of our faith. Likewise, we also appreciate the Spirit, Truth, and commitment of the disciples and Apostles that were commissioned by Yeshua as recorded in the Bible from Matthew to Revelation. For more information regarding what we believe please click here.

Clarification of Paul’s Writings
Apostle Paul is probably the most misunderstood person in the Bible. Both Christians and Jews think that Paul was an “anti-Law” Jew who created his own religion and called it Christianity. But when we understand that Apostle Paul was a Hebrew of the Biblical nation of Israel and that He approached Yeshua the Messiah, The Ten Commandments, and the “Law”, also known as the Torah or Pentateuch (as well as the rest of the Hebrew Bible), from that perspective, then we are able to see Apostle Paul and his writings from an entirely new light. Suddenly the confusion slips away.

From a Western worldview, “the Law” (Torah) is erroneously understood as a legalistic system of rules which Israel had to keep in order to be “saved”. The Western world view of “Grace” has come to be understood as freedom from “the Law”. As these understandings have evolved, “the law” of Judaism and the “grace” of Christianity have been placed in opposition to one another.

These are modern world views but this is not what Yeshua, Apostle Paul, or the others who embraced the first century Christianity taught and lived; This is evident by their writings. But unfortunately, things have become muddled.


A Better understanding of Yeshua
As we embrace Jesus as the Christ, an exciting benefit of understanding Biblical (not political) Israel and the Hebraic roots of our faith is that we are enabled to understand Yeshua the Messiah better and we are then subsequently able to know and unite with Him more.

A quick, objective view of the Bible will reveal that generally speaking, the Bible is a God-breathed book, penned by Hebrews of Israel, to all of God’s people. But it was also lovingly given to the entire world so that ALL could accept the Salvation offered through redemption by Yeshua as the Messiah.

What may seem strange today, was accepted as common yesterday
Today, the Catholic and Babylonian influences, along with apostasy, have had a tremendous impact/influence upon the Christian Church. Though what I have discussed in this article may seem like a bit of a stretch today; in days past the relationship between the Hebrew Roots of our faith and Yeshua the Messiah was not so difficult to see.

For example, in early America, the Sabbath was strictly practiced, there were few or no commercial holidays to confuse things, The Ten Commandments were closely adhered to and the entire Bible was America’s textbook and governing document for individual citizenship, church governance and even a basis for which to operate the civil government. Just The New England Primer alone is glaring evidence of these things.

As a part of America’s Godly heritage, we concur completely with George Washington.  As President Washington wrote to Moses Seixas, Warden of Kahal Kadosh Yeshuat Israel, the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, he said; “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid”.

At Together Fellowship, we lovingly embrace the Hebrew Yeshua as our Messiah including all of the Bible with the New Testament. And in accordance with the Bible, we accept all who accept the ways of Yahweh God, regardless of their skin color or nation of origin. You can read our statement of faith here.

There is always room to know more about our Savior and Messiah
In the book of Luke, Chapter 24, after His resurrection Yeshua came upon two of His followers walking along a road. These were people who had known Him and listened to His teachings. But we see something interesting in verses 25 and 26. Here Yeshua says“… ‘0 foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ (Messiah) to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself ”.

In verses 31-32 Luke went on to say “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him… And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road; and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”.

No matter how long we have known Yeshua or study His teachings (which were all based upon the Ten Commandments) He can still have our eyes opened to things that we didn’t see before.  It is then that our hearts burn within us.  Join us as we meet the Hebrew Messiah; Yeshua.

Dr. Rayphe

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