15:27 04Sep14 Susan St Clair -
Very well written, Dan, and a much needed teaching.
15:41 04Sep14 Rev. Dr. Nicholas A. Marziani -
I might add that early Gentile Christians freely adopted many
elements of Temple worship (even beyond the synagogues) for their
liturgies, certainly countering the lie that the historic,
sub-apostolic churches "went pagan" as they developed a more
ornate, even "Oriental" style of Eucharistic celebration. Jewish
Roots are implicit in Catholic and Orthodox churches, exposing
error number three, which Dr. Juster very capably discusses in
his article, for what it is.
-- Dr Juster replies: Dr Marziani's remarks are, indeed, entirely accurate
16:41 04Sep14 Wayne Talbot -
Whilst I agree with you that Gentiles are not required to keep
the whole Law as are the Jews, the tragedy of the way this view
is espoused is that Christians then interpret this to mean that
they are required to keep none. In my own studies of the 613
Mitzvot, I have found over 200 that ought to be observed by
everyone. The other point, and the most significant to my mind,
is that if we consider these more from the positive view of
guidance and teaching than as coercive commandments, then the
obvious question is this: why would you not want to observe them?
Sadly, the coercive view that we hear from some Protestants is
interpreted as "should not" rather than "need not". I would be
most interested to read from anyone, because I have never found
such an exposition, which commandments Gentiles can simply ignore
other than the obvious ones such as relating to the priesthood
etc. My point is: why would we not encourage everyone to take
advantage of all the teachings of God? When the word were spoken
to Moses, there were no Jews: there were people of all cultures
and races who accepted the covenant that was offered. If God
considered His teachings and guidance useful for them to know and
love Him, why would He think otherwise for the rest of us? I
would like to see more effort devoted to showing the value of the
Law to all people, but from the perspective of it being a
desirable way to live. Forget the negative coercive connotation,
focus on loving God by keeping His commandments. Incidentally, I
have yet to read any treatise by either Jews or Christians on
which laws should be kept, but have performed my own analysis
which I try to live by.
-- Dr Juster replies: These are very good points and we are serious about applying the
law correctly to gentiles. This is why we have a project on
interpreting and applying the law for all. You can see the
project on the Tikkun America website at
17:04 04Sep14 Aimee Hennen -
The movement you describe is calling itself the "Hebrew Roots"
movement. It is a Hebrew nation without the Hebrews. One of the
leaders is a guy in St. Louis. It is nothing more than a
resurrected "Worldwide Church of God" teaching with a new name.
It is gaining ground and is very confusing to people. World Net
Daily sponsored a debate between him and a pastor about
Sabbath-keeping, asking if it is obligatory for gentile
Christians. They have a large Sukkot gathering in Branson,
Missouri, which is a continuation of the old Worldwide Church of
God practice. They believe that the British people are the 10
"lost tribes". Very deceptive group.
They have a video called "Identity" in which they state that
Gentiles are descendants of Ephraim, using Genesis 48:19 and
saying that the words "he shall become a multitude of nations"
means that Ephraimites are the Gentile people. Bad theology and
I am glad you are addressing this concern. It is very worrisome.
17:34 04Sep14 Pastor Jan Barendse -
Thank you, brother Dan, for this clear and straight forward
clarification on a subject that divides the Body of Jeshua among
believers from the Nations and the Jews.
18:53 04Sep14 Art -
We appreciate your article and some of the things you point out.
For the past 10 years, my wife and I (raised in the church and in
ministry for many years) have researched, read, gone to
conferences, listened to speakers online, etc. regarding the
Hebrew Roots of our Christian faith. We had several close
friends who left the church because they believed they had been
lied to about many aspects of Christianity. It was very
difficult and hurtful, but we knew we had the same Holy Spirit
and wanted to "know and understand". Through all of our reading,
etc - we always asked the LORD to teach us and give us
discernment. We listened to and read your books, Asher Intrater,
Eitan Shishkoff, Rico Cortez, Brad Scott, Jim Staley, etc, ...
Messianic Jews and Hebrew Roots "teachers". It has been a
journey, but one that we believe was Spirit-led. We've set
some things aside and embraced some things we believe the LORD
has had us follow. For instance, it's important that we
attend a church that stands with Israel and explains the
appointed times of the LORD. But we also try to honor the
Sabbath (7th day) by setting the day aside for family and parsha
study. We don't do this because we think we have to, but
because GOD has told us to "remember it to keep it holy". After
much conviction, we have stopped "celebrating" Christmas and
Easter, since we were very immersed in the busy, spending, etc.
of Christmas and egg decorating of Easter. Knowing the roots of
the celebrations, caused us to seek the LORD about what He would
have us do. Most of our adult children do not celebrate either
holiday in celebration of Yeshua - only for fun! We will always
celebrate Yeshua's birth, death and resurrection in our
living. With regard to following Torah/law ... recognizing we
can't keep it all, it is evident that much of it reveals how
the Father would have his people live - obedience to Him;
sexually and relationally. What has been very difficult in the
church, is the attitude that "we don't have to do this or
that because it's legalism". Legalism (man made rules) and
having a passion to live as GOD desires His people to live are
total opposites. If Yeshua only did and said what the Father
told Him, and we are to live as He lived ... and we are grafted
in ... why wouldn't we desire to follow His ways (where we
can). Has the church gone so far from the truth and started
calling that which YHVH called evil, good because we've been
so arrogant about "the law being done away with".
Our question has been - how did the early "church" live - both
Jew and Gentile (before the Temple was destroyed). Did the
Gentiles celebrate the feasts? Did they live according to the
ways GOD gave to Moses? Understanding they weren't to be
forced to be circumcised or celebrate the feasts, but could they
because GOD gave these commands/statutes to His people? Just
-- Dr Juster replies: I appreciate your well thought out position and think you are
properly moderate. I do think that Resurrection Sunday is often
the right day and I would distinguish it from Christmas. The
Jewish people probably had a solar calendar before the Rabbis
gained full control. Christmas is more questionable, though
there are some who argue for it as the right day of his birth
(John Fischer on the basis of the second century father
Hippolytus). I am quite tolerant to both conclusions and think
that a practice should be evaluated according to the meaning of
its use, and I would hate to lose the carols and biblical
meanings that are part of the traditions of Christianity, but it
is not an easy issue.
19:22 04Sep14 Claire Coleshill -
Thank you for sharing this. I agree to all that you have said. I
have friends who have got far into this doctrine and leave
congregations because they feel their pastors don't
appreciate the "truth" of what they believe. The Sunday worship
is the one which comes up the most. Unfortunately there are some
Messianic or so called Messianic "bishops" who propagate this
message. Please keep telling the truth.
-- Dr Juster replies: It is interesting to note that most who push these directions are
not actually themselves Jewish!
19:39 04Sep14 Ratna -
While agreeing with you in certain points, could you explain to
me why today's church has thrown the OT out and saying grace
in YESHUA has given them the licence to do whatever they want,
there is no obedience to YESHUA'S commandments. Look at the
mega-churches in the US and also countries affiliated to them,
they are corporations and entertainment centres, they have no
fear of God. Psalms says there must be fear for The Lord and He
must be held with great honour. I am not old fashioned but I
love worship but worship is not disco, but must have a balance.
I am a born again believer, today Christmas, Easter and PENTECOST
days are more ritualistic and commercialised even in the church.
Our prayers are that the church get back to the old path where
the good way is to the Messianic Jews as well as the worldwide
gentile Messianic believers, because in YESHUA we are all one,
the replacement theology is rampant in the western church and
commandments of YESHUA are violated and a social liberal doctrine
is preached to tickle the ears of the listener. Did not The Lord
say so? What is your opinion. I am not judging, but it breaks my
heart to see and hear the way they crucify our Lord over and over
again, making a mockery if Him Who gave His life for us.
-- Dr Juster replies: I greatly appreciate your comments. You probably realize that I
have written much on this in times past and the need to be
obedient to the law through the power of grace is crucial.
Indeed, I really believe that unless we understand that grace
enables obedience, we produce something much less than Biblical
21:30 04Sep14 Kathleen -
Thank you for this concise article. I've been in the
Messianic movement for about a year, and had heard there are
erroneous teachings in some places but not given any details. The
Lord has kept me safe from the errors, but I do appreciate this
helpful teaching. Forewarned is forearmed.
23:07 04Sep14 Becky Ray -
Thank you for your article ... I totally agree with you and I
pray that many others in the movement will agree also. We are
commanded to love one another and not cause division!
08:57 05Sep14 Cheryl -
I see and understand what you are saying - but I, as a Gentile
believer, grafted in - desire to know and follow the ways spelled
out in Scripture. Is this, then, an offense to the Jew? My
family's desire is to see all Israel saved, but we
don't know how to walk in a way that "provokes to jealousy".
I don't think any of the tribes were ever "lost" so that
thought never made any sense. Will we not be as the LORD wrote,
and keep the feasts of the LORD forever, as He says they are
"His" - and that is what should be followed... Help us out here,
as we desire to follow, but have been thrown out on both sides
... the Greek and the Jew.
09:08 05Sep14 David Craig -
Thank you for this article. Because of the very errors that you
had mentioned I had reached the place that I wanted nothing to do
with the people claiming to be messianic Jews. I never was a
Christian until I was 30 years old. In college I had some very
good Jewish friends who loved me though I was a Gentile and crazy
in my sin life. I have been saved since 1977 and been minister
since 1979 and in 2010 have become friends with two messianic
Jews. Thank you for clearing away the clutter that hides the
10:04 05Sep14 Jay Axtell -
This article sums it up nicely. Quite helpful as a succinct piece
to help set the record strait. Blessings!
15:37 05Sep14 Marguerite -
Thank you for the reminder, I love the Jews and I have a deep
respect because they received the Torah and passed it on to us,
and Yeshua is Jewish and obeyed by passing onto us the love of
justice of his Father. I was touched by the Divine power that
removes all my religion and labels. I like the messianic studies.
For me, messianism is related to me the Jews.
16:35 05Sep14 Mary -
Thanks for the enlightenment on this all important issues wherein
our faith both as Jew and gentile believers is embedded. The LORD
bless you and energize you to pen down all that He has divinely
downloaded into your heart. I pray for a wider distribution of
your teachings. With the right knowledge, and truth of the word,
unity of believers will be greatly enhanced. This will serve as
an answer to Yeshua's prayer in John 17:20,21a "I do not
pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me
through their word: that they all may be one." It's a
wonderful experience to celebrate the feasts of the LORD
(Lev.23:2), but there is liberty in Christ; Romans 14:5,6a. The
LORD looks at our hearts and motives. The believers who celebrate
Easter and Christmas as holy days do no sin and their celebration
need not be condemned.
However all should be alert and sensitive to the Holy Spirit as
they celebrate to avoid the traps of the enemy, sadly associated
with, especially Christmas. Indeed some of the churches'
traditional activities are at times at a tangent to the theme of
Christ's incarnation. Two years ago I was about to reply to
a well wisher in the same vein of the text that I had just read:
"merry christmas", when this thought crossed my mind, "did Christ
come to make us merry?" I felt a strong no, and refrained from
using it. I instead sought out how best to convey the message
that Christ was born as a fulfillment of the promise in Gen
00:01 06Sep14 Lea -
It seems like when a good thing happens (Jewish people returning
to their Messiah), there are always those that take things to
extreme, like these extreme Hebrew Roots people. We used to
correspond with someone until he begin to talk about everyone
being part of the Lost Tribes or some such nonsense. I believe if
you want to celebrate Christmas and Easter, that's for the
individual to decide, and we shouldn't judge them. We do
not, because of all the pagan aspects to them, and the history
behind how they began to be practiced. As for Sunday worship, the
Sabbath was begun before the law, and I don't believe it has
changed. And the Catholic Church admits in their own history that
they changed the day. But again, to each his own. We need to be
more accepting of each other, and major on the majors, and the
Orthodox Christian doctrines that we all agree on. When Yeshua
comes back, He will sort it all out.
03:12 06Jun14 Jonathan Moore -
This is great. We loved it. I will add that as we've
discussed in the past, the fringe erroneous theological groups
seem from my vantage point to be gaining ground faster than
Messianic Jews. I think it is incumbent on American Messianic
Judaism to get in front of this as you are saying to do in this
article. Let's keep taking this forward!
03:14 06Jun14 Patrick Sims -
I hope that this comment is published, though it is against some
of your beliefs as stated in the article. Should gentiles follow
the Torah? Like Jewish believers, they should follow what
pertains to them. There is one law, not only in Numbers, which
you cited, but in Exodus 12:49 and James 4:11,12 among others.
How about Galatians and Ephesians, where it is emphasized that
there is no longer Jew nor Greek? Salvation is freely available
to all through Yeshua. Why then would we want to follow the law?
Because Yeshua is the Torah, and the Torah is not just rules, but
a guide to living and serving Yahweh. While we are no longer
under the sentence of death for our failure to keep the whole
law, that does not excuse us from trying. Mt. 7:21-23 The Feasts:
Yahweh has never given permission for any feasts but those he
commanded. As the sin of the golden calf was mixing idol worship
with worship of Yahweh, so too is observing pagan feasts in his
name. (Deut. 12:29-32)
-- Dr Juster replies: I never said that Gentiles were to not keep the Law but only that
they keep the law as it rightly applies to them. I do not think
there is any evidence that Jesus rose on Saturday afternoon.
Most Messianic Jews were clear that the resurrection is a new
creation and fits the 8th or 1st day while the day of rest,
Sabbath, was a day in the tomb. But I do agree on the importance
of the right application of the Torah, just not Jewish life.
I think that Passover and First fruits is usually rightly
celebrated by Christians on Good Friday and Sunday Resurrection
day, and Shavuot or Pentecost, rightly 50 days later. These are
bible rooted feasts and the date studies here in Jerusalem say
these dates are often right (not always) and more than the
rabbinic dates. As for Christmas, well that is not in the Bible
but Hanukah is not either as a command, but referenced in John 10
and of course form the books of the Maccabees.
08:05 06Jun14 Walton Humphrey -
I think the whole issue about observing the law and staff should
narrow down to the work of the Holy Spirit. I believe that if
anyone is really a "good" believer and is in a relationship with
the Holy Spirit, then we would not be in so much division because
he is one in all. Before Jesus went to heaven, he said the Holy
Spirit will teach us all things and that's why according to
Paul, a Christian doesn't walk by sight but by the spirit, I
believe and know that if you hearken to the Holy Spirit and read
the word of God (A mirror of the new created man, you cannot walk
in displease of God), besides that observation of "do this, do
that" won't get us to heaven, let's walk in love
because it's the command that the Lord gave us. Paul said
what one believer does as an honor to the Lord should not make
you think they are wrong (like observing a certain day as special
to "you"). We can achieve this through our walk in love and
relation to the Holy Spirit. In saying this, I am not saying you
can sin as you want, but the point is, if you walk with the Holy
Spirit you would be able to distinguish what is pleasing to the
Lord and what isn't pleasing, remember a believer is born of
God and has a new nature that can't be controlled by satan.
-- Dr Juster replies: This is pretty good theology!
08:30 06Jun14 Hannah Briscoe -
Thank you for writing and sharing with us who are far away. My
heart and prayers are with you and thankful for all you do and
11:27 06Jun14 Judi Curl -
Great article, Dan, and these mistaken teachings have caused a
lot of problems and heartache, as you said. You mentioned that
Gentiles are not called to keep the whole Law, as the Jews are,
but isn't that precisely why Yeshua came and gave His life?
No one can keep the whole Law, especially since the Temple has
been destroyed and one cannot make sacrifices. Even if the
Temple were rebuilt, no one can keep the Law perfectly because we
all sin at times. Yeshua became our sacrificial atonement for
Yom Kippur. We don't throw out God's commandments, and
"live as we please", but we are justified by His blood, not our
own righteousness. Just wanting to make that clear, because I
think there is a lot of confusion about this in the Messianic
movement where most people sincerely want to "please God".
-- Webmaster replies: Actually, that's a really common misconception - that no-one
can keep the Law - but the gospels are quite clear that in not
only could but was done. Zechariah and Elizabeth "were both
righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments
and statutes of the Lord" (Luke 1:6). It's not a matter of
ability but choice.
-- Dr Juster replies: This is exactly right. So with a full understanding of the New
Covenant we live out of the Torah written on our hearts of
Yeshua. A life of obedience, holiness and universal ethics as
shown in Torah and his teachings is the way of life, but not a
way of striving to earn salvation. However, for Jews, the law
written on our hearts includes the Jewish way of live and the
patterns from Torah that fit the New Covenant.
12:01 06Jun14 Kal -
G-d gave us the Torah and the New Testament. If you remove the
Old Testament then the New Testament has no ground or foundation.
My point is this: G-d is the same back then and the same now, he
did not say "O you follow all the commandments until I change My
mind"; the logs will remain the same as was back then and no, I
do not see anywhere in the Bible that it has a gray area which
open for discussion, so let's do what G-d asked of us only.
12:09 06Sep14 Jeannine Loomis -
Thank you so much for clarifying these important points. I will
share with the community of believers here in Sonora, California.
I also look forward to learning more from you about covenantal
fulfillment in Jew and Gentile and what this looks like in
honoring The Lord, His people and those who were not His people
who will be grafted in through Yeshua. Thank you for your
12:33 06Jun14 Solomon Jale -
These errors you've highlighted are just some. One of the
main objections is that Jewish Roots teaching are too close to
the teachings of Kabbalah-embracing theology of the Green
Movement which is godless, fabianistic socialism which is
communism in disguise. "No such thing as a god" they espouse and
are fools according to biblical scriptures
16:18 06Sep14 Rev Marvin Talley -
Keep these and more coming; these are great reading and we need
to be aware of things.
17:25 06Sep14 Mordechai Eitant -
I agree with you on the first two errors but on error #3 I only
can agree one element of it that I can't agree. When I first
became a Messianic believer I was pastoring a church in Northern
Michigan. When I listened to a Messianic rabbi teach about the
feast days and the 7th day sabbath/Shabatt it I took notice. I
for once in 30 plus years of attending worship on Sun-day I felt
that I had been betrayed by the church. After I started
researching and finding out more about the pagan things the
christian church has allowed to come in I am more convinced of
this. It is not the reason they worship; i.e. the birth of
Yeshua/Christmas; the resurection/Easter, but it is the basis of
which these holidays are based on. Dec 25 is the birthday of the
Roman god Mithra and Easter is in celebration of the fertility
goddess Estra or Ester. It is the mixing of truth/torah with
false/pagan is what I believe is displeasing to G-d. It is true
that we should not try and convince others about this but rather
show this in an act of love and explain it to them in a way they
can understand and let the Ruach ha Kodesh convince them of the
-- Dr Juster replies: Let's look at some what-ifs.
What if Yeshua really rose on the First day of the week
17:37 06Sep14 DaCosta -
There is this law that men must not wear womens clothing and
that women must not wear man's clothing. Is it applicable to the
-- Dr Juster replies: Yes, I certainly think so, because that is a category of law we
call universal. There is law that is for Jewish calling and
especially connected to life in the Land and laws that connect to
Gods creation order and also to how society is to be ordered in
justice and then laws of basic ethics. This law reflects God's
desire to see sexes distinguished and not confused. This is what
I mean by applying the law rightly.'
18:47 06Sep14 Timi -
I agree with you completely.
01:02 07Sep16 Martin Ezimano -
This article is so timely. For some time now, there has been a
concerted revisionism in the "Body of Christ" that makes so much
of the laws and tenets of Judaism whilst muting that "liberty
wherewith Christ hath set us free". Being a gentile, I get
mightily impressed when I see and hear people who should know
teaching about and advertising the benefits of the tallit (the
prayer shawl), the mezuzzah -- hope I got the correct spellings
-- and many other Jewish religious paraphernalia but I find
myself still wondering: are all these shows, ceremonies and
externalities still necessary in the Christian dispensation? For
instance, is tithe-payment a Christian requirement or a Jewish
relic? Would sincerely welcome more expositions on these issues.
-- Dr Juster replies: Good questions! I think none of these things are required or
important for Christians, but they should know what they are.
For Jews, if they do keep such laws, they are reminders for
obedience, and with regard to the Mezuzah to enter and leave our
houses with the reminder that the love for God is the center of
our lives. This is part of Jewish culture and appropriate as the
Spirit leads us to be part of our people. However, even here in
Israel it is not so simple. Most all affix a mezuzah to their
doors, but few Messianic Jews wear visible fringes since this
would identify them as Orthodox Rabbinic Jews!
21:00 07Sep14 Michael Basilio -
Anyone who sets aside the Torah and teaches others accordingly
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
13:24 08Sep14 Chantal Michard -
I agree there has been much confusion I ran away from. All the
points are true. I always said to Christian friends: ok you want
to celebrate shabbat, the feasts or only shabbat; ok,
You don't want. Don't make a theory with and don't
push others. Good to read in french because I am french!
00:40 09Sep14 Merja Pikkarainen -
Thanks for a good writing! There has been a debate close to this
in our national church magazine Kotimaa in Finland. One of our
priests claimed thet Jews have their own path to God, the law,
and they wouldn't need Jesus to be saved. He received some
answers to that claim, on the basis of prophets and Torah, that
Jesus is the Messiah and savior of all nations, including the
chosen people, through which He incarnated. Biblical teaching is
deeply needed, indeed!
-- Indeed yes! It is needed. Election and Jewish calling do not
mean automatic salvation without Yeshua. replies:
01:41 09Sep14 Philip B. Bean -
I appreciate you're dealing with some of these difficult
issues and I salute your perspective. Sadly, this has become a
critical necessity in our movement today. I still often refer
the paper you produced with Kay Silberling on the Ephriamite
error. What we are seeing is is the total embezzlement of the
Jewish identity and culture (read Yiddishkeit), most of which is
trans-biblical anyway, while simultaneously invalidating the
Jew's legitimacy as Israel, all the while exhibiting a total
indifference and often visceral hostility toward the Jewish
people themselves. Perhaps stronly worde and I believe it cuts
to the heart of the matter but please don't let this
diminish from my appreciation for all your efforts at keeping the
movement on track.
04:09 09Sep14 Giorgio -
At last I have read something that I have seen in New Testament
when it comes to the Apostles meeting and Galatians.
09:03 09Sep14 Christine Walker -
As someone who has personally been very hurt by this other type
of teaching, and one who now leads a mainstream Messianic
Kehilat, we distinguish it using the term Hebrew Roots or
Hebraic Roots movement. In my experience, the teaching is
"Messy-Antic" and has very little to do with the true Jewish
Roots of the Faith and in some cases, even our Messiah. In our
region, it has definitely become a cancer. And you are right
on ... Pastors in our area are turned off to ANYTHING having to
do with Roots teaching... even if its solid. I do not see a
Shepherd's heart or humility in the leaders of this
movement, but instead divisiveness, creating a crisis of faith
in those who follow them. I have personally challenged several
people who have walked into our Congregation with these
opposing views to show me in Scriptural context why they believe
what they do. And each time, they can't. It breaks my
heart to see believers get sucked into the Hebrew roots movement
without having a solid biblical foundation.
As for the role of Gentiles following Torah; The Word of God is
the Word of God. Gentiles may not have to follow the whole Law
... but they can certainly learn from it and glean understanding.
If we don't understand God's order and requirements for
the Priesthood, how can we Spiritually translate that to our walk
with Messiah when Kefa speaks of being a Holy Nation and a Royal
Priesthood. Isaiah speaks of special blessings for Gentiles who
keep Shabbat, and the Prophetic and Spiritual significance of
keeping the Moedim are innumerable. I think one of the key's
is to study everything in connection to Yeshua, HIS teaching, and
our relationship with HIM both on a personal and Community basis.
I know for myself, it wasn't until I began studying and
walking out Torah did I truly understand God's amazing Grace
and I found freedom in my walk with Yeshua that I had been so
desperately searching for.
-- Dr Juster replies: This is such a great and balanced response to the article.
09:49 09Sep14 Galit Katz -
I completely agree and am glad that you have written about this!
This subject has been on my heart since I made a return to Israel
as a Messianic believer who was born and raised as a "Christian"
in the Nations!
11:54 09Sep14 Pixelwings - the
Holy Spirit helps us confess our sins, cleanses us by the blood
of Christ and restores our fellowship with the brethren. We know
we are walking in the light of Christ if we are walking in
fellowship with the body of Christ and the love of Christ. We
fulfill all the law if we love one another. Jesus said that all
the law is summed up in the first two commandments. Love God with
ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as
yourself. This is where those who try to follow the dictates of
the law fail like the Pharisees did. They try to make the outside
of the cup is clean but inside it's dirty. Their hearts
aren't changed by the life of Christ inside. They cannot see
that what comes out of their hearts is unloving and therefore
un-Godly because God is love and if we love God the commandments
are inside our hearts not simply on plaques on our walls.')
Great article! I think we all get locked on to legalism, forms and
ceremony, traditions and forget "Who" they are all for. As you
state in your conclusion, we must avoid things that cause
unnecessary division in the body of Christ. If Christ is our
life and we find our life in Him, we will walk in love because
His love is in us and when we sin (because we arent perfect
-- Dr Juster replies: Actually, though love rightly defined keeps the whole law, we
still need the law for those who claim love as a way to sin.
This is false love. If you loved me, you would not deny me a
divorce from the wrong woman to marry my true soul mate, my
secretary. No real love does deny him this, but false indulgence
gives in. This is why Yeshua teaches obedience to the Torah from
the place of a transformed heart in Matthew 5. It is not the
adultery or the murder, but the adulterous or murderous heart!
15:01 01Sep14 MLG -
I am currently leading three different ministries and in each, I
emphasize our Biblical roots. I say Biblical roots because if I
say Hebrew or Jewish roots, it throws up a red flag for many
people. I fellowship with both churches and messianic
congregations and find those who are extreme and those who are
balanced on both sides. I have been in Messianic groups who were
so hostile to the church that they call it the harlot of Babylon.
Interestingly, if you ask them where they were born again, it was
always in the church. Many of them are also proudly
non-evangelistic, taking on that characteristic of Judaism. None
that I have visited agree on all points of how to carry out their
faith, much as the church also has done since the beginning. I
have also fellowshipped with churches that are so Biblically
illiterate that if you mention the feasts, they literally have no
clue of what you are talking about, nor can they even cite all
ten of the ten commandments or less even the four basic
requirements for the Gentile believers. In all of the groups,
there are sincere believers who are just seeking the truth, so
when we come down to the basics, love for God and one another and
salvation through the atoning blood of Yeshua has to be the
catalyst that holds the body of Messiah together. When we
celebrate the feasts, we do so out of love for and a hunger to
know Messiah better. When someone says that we are to disregard
the feasts because we now have the reality in Yeshua, I would
just like to remind them that only half of the feasts are
fulfilled. The fall feasts (Not including the blood sacrifices)
are yet to come and are still types and shadows yet to be
fulfilled. May Messiah come speedily and in our days.
-- Dr Juster replies: I have experienced the same problems. It is sad to see some of
this. As you noted, the Feasts still all point to more to come
in the future. They are not required of everyone, but we can at
least teach the meanings. It is sad to not be able to use the
term Jewish roots since the Gospel came through Jews and the New
Covenant Scriptures were written by Jews. Biblical roots, as you
indicate, really is what we mean by Jewish roots too!
17:32 14Sep14 Marvin Sampson -
May I agree 100 percent with Dan Juster. I have just left a
church which practices these errors, and a few more, if I might
add. Currently, I drive to ESC in Frederick with some of my
13:11 30Sep14 Maryke -
More reason why we need a JEWISH Messianic authority that is
visible and involved in establishing and nurturing Messianic
communities ... as was the case with the apostolic leadership and
Shaul in the early church (call it a Jewish Messianic Sanhedrin
or a synod if you like). Those same challenges still exists and
always will, without a modern day "model" to guide us along as a
recognised, legitimate and unified body, the Messianic movement
will always remain questionable, fraud and not achieve it's
purpose in portraying what "engrafted" truly means. We are all
looking forward to the day when "engrafting" will be truthfully
expressed in community. At the moment it remains an ideology open
for much interpretation and subsequently, error as you rightly
-- We hope that as the movement grows to unity, we will speak with
one voice to these matters. replies:
12:57 25Nov14 Peggy -
My opinions align most closely with those spoken by Wayne Talbot.
Well said, Wayne. But my deepest heart concern is the 17th
Chapter of John where Jesus is pouring His heart out about unity
in the faith "... that we would be one, as He and the Father are
one ..." With that in mind, we should have no trouble
understanding our relationship to His covenant with all believers
08:30 27Nov14 David -
Interesting stuff here. However, how are we supposed to be one,
as Yeshua/Jesus prayed that we would be, having no wall between
Jew and Gentile? Jesus and the apostles and the early church
celebrated the Jewish feasts, including the Sabbath. Jesus is
best understood in light of Jewish law and prophecies. Yet, since
the 3rd and 4th century Church councils, when the Gentile
Christians decided (Jewish) theological matters, we have been
stumbling so far from the original church that our Christianity
would look very pagan indeed to the early church. I understand
your main points, but if we take our "Christian" glasses off and
re-read the Gospels and the NT we well see a very Jewish Jesus
and Paul, who both observe the Torah and the Jewish feasts.
-- Dr Juster replies: Yes. Of course they did. But they also maintained the distinction
from Hillel that Gentiles are only responsible for universal
05:31 28Nov14 Joelle -
This is an excellent article and one that I am totally in
agreement with. I grew up in a Jewish Orthodox community and
didn't know anything about Yeshua till in my 20s. My
husband (also Jewish) took almost 10 years more before he became
a believer. To us, continuing in the feasts is natural and also
has so much more meaning. We love sharing them with our gentile
believing friends and pray that they too may want to share in the
same joy in their own homes since they have now been enlightened
to their true meanings. We never force anyone to practice
anything, but as you have said in your article, there is so much
false teaching out there that we find ourselves constantly coming
up against those who are "knee deep" in some sort of Hebrew roots
movement that is actually taking them away from the beauty of
Torah. It is so simple ... Before we had hearts of stone, now we
have hearts of flesh. Torah is now written on our hearts, how
much more simpler can it be? I hope you will write more about
09:32 08Nov15 Jim Keith -
One of my favorite Messianic teachers stressed not to "throw out
the baby with the bathwater": good advice from any starting
point. I agree that "Biblical Roots" is where we should be seeking
truth. There are enormous erorrs from the extremes also within
Protestant and Catholic traditions. I was given great advice from
another favorite Messianic teacher: "look to the Gospels for
clarity." What, and how, did Yeshua say and do? Let us all seek
YHWH's truth and not others' opinions.
-- Dr Juster replies: Very good advice from a wise teacher!
19:05 06Jun16 Juan Vega -
I agree with your article 100%. I know someone who believes in
all three of theses errors and is always asking for Christians
for debates concerning this.
21:44 24Aug16 Judyth Nelson -
Thank you for sharing this great article! Not being Jewish I
sensed a real feeling of freedom while reading this, like a
light went on. As new believers I heard teachings that made me
sense I was less of a believer because I was not Jewish. Though
I have studied the feasts in the Bible I have never celebrated
them, and honestly had no real way to do it anyway. I will now
more heartily celebrate the holidays that we already do since
reading this. When we were first believers I would tell my
children that the lights on the tree stood for Jesus the Light
of the World. Unscriptural, certainly but a good way to lift
Jesus up before our kids. God Bless you and thank you. Liberty
is a wonderful thing!
-- Dr Juster replies: Understand and appreciate the meaning of the Biblical Feasts, but
enjoy and practice your heritage as a Christian!
01:20 25Aug16 W. T. Leaver -
"And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister
to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants,
everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds
fast my covenant -- these I will bring to my holy mountain, and
make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and
their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall
be called a house of prayer for all peoples" (Isa 56:6-7, ESV).
Right, clearly God does not want gentiles to observe his
-- Dr Juster replies: The directions in the book of Acts relates to this Age. Acts 15
relieves Gentiles of this responsibility. In the Millennial Age
it will be exactly as you quote from Scripture. But Gentiles are
not required to do the Millennial pattern now. So all nations
will keep the Feast of Sukkot. Won't that be wonderful!
09:27 25Aug16 W. T. Leaver -
In Acts 15, the expectation was that gentiles would begin by
following four instructions which were lifted straight out of
Torah, with the remainder to be learned in synagogue. There was
absolutely no reason to add "For from ancient generations Moses
has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read
every Sabbath in the synagogues." otherwise. If Torah was not
applicable to gentiles, as the modern "church" suggests, the
consensus would have been more along the lines of "Leave those
gentiles alone, they have the holy spirit to guide them."
-- Dr Juster replies: I am very familiar with this argument. There is a UMJC paper by
Russ Resnik and that lays the reasons why I do not accept this
argument, though I am familiar with it. In the mainstream MJ
movement this is called the error of the One Law teaching. We do
not read Acts 15 in the way that it is presented here.
21:16 14Dec16 -
I'm quite surprised at your comments regarding Christians
having to keep the whole law. There is NO dispute here, Pastor.
Ephesians 2:11-17 makes it quite clear: Jews and Greeks
(Gentiles, aliens, sojourners, nations) are now 1 new man and are
part of the Commonwealth of Israel. And therefore under
God's laws, ALL God's laws. Observing the Sabbath, the
feasts and abstaining from certain unclean foods.
-- Dr Juster replies: This is just not what the Bible teaches about the application of
law in the New Covenant. This interpretation has been rejected
by the main stream Messianic Jewish movement in the U. S.,
Israel, Ukarine, and Germany. It is rejected by the Union of
Messianic Jewish Congregation in the U. S. and the Messianic
Jewish Alliance, and Tikkun. It is rejected by all scholars who
are credentialed and whose work is vetted by peers. It is put
forth in the highly acclaimed works by David Rudolph (PhD,
Cambridge) and Markus Bochmuel formerly of Cambridge, in his
Jewish Law in Gentile Churches, and all the PhDs I know in the
movement. So maybe you missed something here. Being part of the
commonwealth does not mean all the applications of the law are
the same. This is not the same for the Commonwealth of Britain,
regarding Canada or Australia.
09:17 05Jan17 Janet B -
Thank you so much for putting into words what has been on my
heart. I have a dear friend who has fallen into these teachings
and tries very hard to pull the rest of us in. She does not
understand how we can know the Bible and about the festivals, etc
and still choose to worship in church and celebrate Christmas and
Easter along with honoring the festivals from a Messianic point
of view. I'm praying that God will open her eyes to the real
14:20 04Jul17 Geri H Gustin -
I found this article interesting and informative, a help to
dispell confusion in the Messianic body of believers and in the
Church. We all need to be clear on what is what and who is who,
and not mix them where they are not miscible. Thanks to Dr.
Juster for clarifying the muddied waters. We owe a debt of
gratitude to clear-thinking teachers.