What I Wish that you knew in your heart… ( 7 simple things) — Pastor Bill Randles Blog

What I Wish that you knew in your heart… ( 7 simple things) — Pastor Bill Randles Blog

What would I say , if I was given a chance to totally communicate freely with everyone I have ever loved; My brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, acquaintances, former church members, even my enemies ? What would I say if I was given a chance to before I die to put into the barest form, what […]

What I Wish that you knew in your heart… ( 7 simple things) — Pastor Bill Randles Blog

What Does it Mean To Be Justified by God?

What Does it Mean To Be Justified by God?

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38-39)

Justification! It is a big word, and very often people miss its true meaning. What is it to be justified? It is to be cleared of all blame, to be freed from every charge. It is the sentence of the court in favor of the prisoner. The prisoner stands there, charged with certain things; the evidence is all heard, and the jury brings in a verdict of “Not guilty.” The man is justified.

Notice a most remarkable thing in these two verses. We have two things here, which God does for the believing sinner that no man could do for anyone else. You could not both forgive a man and justify him at the same time. If you forgive him, he cannot be justified. He must be guilty, and therefore, there is something to forgive. On the other hand, if you justify him, then you do not need to forgive him. Suppose, for instance, one had been charged with a certain crime, and after everything had been heard, the jury says, “Not guilty,” and the judge pronounces him free. As that man comes out of the courtroom, a friend says to him, “It was kind of the judge to forgive you, wasn’t it?”

The man replies, “He did not forgive me; I did not require his forgiveness. I was justified; I was proven not guilty and did not need to be forgiven.”

OUR RIGHTEOUS GOD IS INCAPABLE OF ERROR

Of course, human judges may sometimes make a mistake. You have heard the story of the man who was arrested, charged with stealing a gold watch and chain. After all the evidence of the complaining witness had been heard, the judge looked down at the prisoner and announced, “The sentence of this court is acquittal.”

The man leaned forward and said, “What was that you said, judge?”

“I said, the sentence of the court is acquittal.”

The man looked puzzled and said to the judge, “Judge, I just don’t understand what that means.”

“Well,” the judge explained, “I mean you are acquitted.”

“Well, judge, does that mean I gotta give the watch back?”

You see, the man was guilty, and the judge himself had been deceived.

But God will never be deceived. Nobody can ever put anything over on Him. He knows every sin that you and I have ever been guilty of—sins in thought, sins in word, and sins in deed; and then in addition to all of these, failure to do the things we know we ought to do can be just as truly sin as to commit overt acts of evil. And God knows all about it, and “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

But God undertakes both to forgive the sin and to justify the sinner—to clear him of every charge when he puts his trust in His blessed Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. You could not do that for anyone, but God can, and He does it because the Lord Jesus Christ in infinite grace condescended to take our place, to bear the judgment that our sins deserved, so that when we come to God, confessing our sins, over against all that sin and over against all that wickedness stands the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And on the basis of that, God says, “I forgive this man and accept him before My presence as though he had never sinned at all. I count him as righteous and justify him fully and completely.” That is the meaning of justification.

JUSTIFICATION OFFERS A NEW STANDING

You who have just recently come to trust the Savior, I wonder if you have entered into that. I wonder if you realize that the moment you trusted the Savior, that instant God gave you a new standing before Him. You stand before Him now as if you had never sinned at all. You say, “Well, I can’t forget my sins. They come up before me when I lie down at night; they come before me when I kneel to pray; and they are before me even in the daytime. There are so many things that I wish had never happened, and I sometimes wonder, since they come crowding in upon my mind as they do, whether they are really forgiven.”

Let me assure you, if you have really trusted Christ, they are not only forgiven, but forgotten. God says, “Your sins and iniquities will I remember no more,” and if God has forgotten them, then you and I may well say, “I too will seek to forget, and say with Paul, ‘Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’” (Philippians 3:13-14).

God Himself is the author of our justification. We read in the Epistle to the Romans, chapter 8, and really in one sense I am beginning at the wrong end; I am beginning where God leaves off here in the Epistle to the Romans, but I am beginning where I think you and I as sinners need to begin. In Romans 8, we read that it is God Himself who justifies. Take verse 33:

Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

We are justified by God, the source of it. It is He who has taken up this question, who has gone into it fully and completely, and He says, “Now I am satisfied to acknowledge as righteous the man who trusts My blessed Son.”

A TRULY WICKED AND VILE SINNER

Some years ago a friend of mine was preaching in a certain place, and somebody came to him one day and said, “Could you come and see a woman who is very sick? We are afraid she is dying. She is troubled about her soul and doesn’t seem to understand the way.” Of course he gladly went as any of us would under such circumstances. As he entered the room and sat down beside the bed, the woman said, “Tell me what is necessary in order that my soul may be saved and my sins forgiven.” He told her the old, old story, the story of the Cross. He told her how “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He told her how, hanging on that cross in those awful hours of darkness, our blessed Lord Jesus, as the substitute for sinners, drank the cup of wrath that we deserved and made full satisfaction for iniquity; and now God can justify everyone who believes in Him, whom He raised from the dead.

When he finished, she said, “Oh yes, I know, I understand all that, but I don’t see how I can know that my sins are forgiven.” So again, very patiently, he went over the same story, but tried to present it in a little different light. He told her that the Lord Jesus was the one great sacrifice for sin, that He offered Himself for our sins, that He was made sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. And when he finished, she said, “Yes, I understand that, but is that all that is required?”

The evangelist sprang from his seat. He was a very fiery man by nature, and sometimes the fire came out even after he became a Christian. He said in a tone that shook the room, “You wicked woman!”

And she, lying there so sick, was almost terrified and said to him, “Oh, sir, why do you talk to me like that?”

“You wicked woman, you vile woman! You ask me what is necessary in order that you may be saved. I tell you how God has bankrupted Heaven to save your guilty soul. I tell you how He has sent His own blessed Son to give His life for you. I tell you how He was forsaken of God upon that Tree, and you have the insolence to look up into the very face of God and say, ‘Is that all?’ What more would you want? It is all that God Himself could do.”

She burst into tears and exclaimed, “Oh, sir, I understand. I did not realize what I was saying. Oh, I thank God for what He has done. It is enough! If it is enough for God, it surely is enough for me!”

EVEN THE WICKED MAY BE JUSTIFIED

Oh, that is it! The Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself. He loved me, and gave Himself for me.

God sent Him. God saw you and me in our deep, deep need, and He sent Him to die for us, and now it is God who justifies the ungodly. God justifies the godly, the good, the pure, the true, and the noble! No, God justifies poor, lost, guilty sinners when they “believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25). It is our faith in the Word of God and the work of Christ that is counted for righteousness. Read Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” The basis of it all is given in Romans 5:9, where we read, beginning with verse 8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

We who believe are now justified. It is not that we may, as some people put it, have a good hope of salvation, that we may hope that we shall be justified at last, that we may hope that in the day of judgment everything will be all right; but we are now justified—every believer in Christ.

Oh, so many of our hymns were written by people who hadn’t full assurance of salvation, and they express so often the desire that they may be cleansed and justified. How many real believers sing, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow!” And yet everyone who has truly trusted the Lord Jesus Christ is already washed, made white by the blood of the Lord Jesus, justified by God.

WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR JUSTIFICATION?

His blood! It is because of what He did. It is because of the blood He shed—the shedding of His precious blood; it is the giving up of His life. It is His life for ours—His holy, spotless life over against our sinful, wicked lives. The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me.

Somebody might say, “Well, I just do not understand what you mean. You talk about being justified by blood. In what sense could one be justified or cleansed by blood?” Let me give you an illustration. Out in the state of Washington, at the time of the first World War, four or five convicts in some way or another got over the wall of the penitentiary and escaped. After several weeks, they were all captured except one who was never located, at least not until the circumstances which I am going to mention.

He was able to get away, and eventually under an assumed name he joined the Army. After a period of training, he was sent across to France. One day, however, some other soldiers were added to the number, and one of them looked at this man and said, “I remember him. I knew him back in the state of Washington years ago. That’s so-and-so. He is not going by his right name. I remember when he was condemned to the penitentiary for burglary.”

He went to the officer in charge and told him what he knew about the man. The officer in turn wrote to the War department and asked, “What am I to do with this man? He is an escaped convict.” Washington sent word back to arrest him and return him to America as a prisoner. But in the meantime something had happened which made that impossible.

THE VALUE OF A MAN’S BLOOD

One night a number of men were wanted for a very, very dangerous duty, and the Captain said, “I am not going to ask any man to do the thing that I am going to tell you about, but I hope some of you will volunteer. I want some men to crawl out in the dark across No Man’s Land and find out what the foe is planning to do. It is a very dangerous undertaking—you may not get back—so I am not going to appoint anyone, but will ask for volunteers.”

Four men stepped right out, and among them was this convict. Under cover of darkness, they crawled out over No Man’s Land. There were shells falling all around them, but three of them got through safely. The fourth man, the convict, apparently had got clear through to the enemy and secured the information and was coming back, when a shell fell and burst so near him that he was killed. They brought his mangled body in, and when the officer received the word from Washington to return that man a prisoner to this country, the officer wrote back, “He has washed out his crimes in his own blood.” He had given himself, he had given his life, and the giving of his life had washed out his crime against the government, though of course this did not touch the question of his sin against God.

JUSTIFICATION IS FREELY GIVEN
The Lord Jesus Christ was absolutely without offense. He was the holy Son of God, but He looked upon us poor sinners in our deep need, and He took our place in judgment. He went to the Cross, and He bore what our sins deserved. He poured out His life in the shedding of His precious blood, and when we receive Him, we can say that He has washed out our sins in His precious blood. He had no sins of His own for which to die. He was there for our sins.

Oh, why was He there as the Bearer of sin,
If on Jesus thy guilt was not laid?
Oh, why from His side flowed the sin-cleansing blood,
If His dying thy debt has not paid?

He took your place. Have you trusted Him? Do you believe God’s sure promise? If you have, you are justified by His blood.

“Well,” you say, “on what principle does God thus justify? The Epistle to the Romans, chapter 3 and verse 24, tells us:

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

God justifies men by grace, not because of merit. You and I had no merit. Everything was against us. Demerit was ours, and no merit did we have to plead. But now God says in grace, “I am ready to take up that man and save him, if he will but receive and confess My Son as his Lord.” It is so hard for people to understand this. Men always seem to get the idea that they must do something in order to merit God’s favor. It would not be grace if it were merited. Grace is unmerited favor, and it is favor to those who have merited the very opposite. That is grace.

GRACE TO THE UNDESERVING
Suppose, just to use a very hackneyed illustration, that my sons were still school boys and there is a rowdy, regular bully in the neighborhood, and he falls upon one or the other of them and knocks him down and steals his books and his lunch basket, and then when I go out to talk to him, this bully turns on me and strikes me and stones my house, breaking my best plate-glass window. I have every reason to be thoroughly provoked with him. I would have a perfect right, you know, to go to the police and have him arrested and charged with assault and battery, and one thing or another. But suppose, instead of that, I wait, and on some cold winter day, I happen to see that young rowdy, and, as I am watching, I see him fall in the snow, and I run out after him. I learn that he has had no one to care for him. He is an orphan and has no father or mother to look after him, and I find he staggered and fell because of lack of food, he was so weak. When he sees me coming, he staggers to his feet and tries to run away. But he cannot get away because I have hold of his arm. He looks up at me and pleads, “I’ll never do it again, if you will let me go.”

But I say, “You won’t get away.” I bring him into my own home, warm him up, feed him, and give him a suit of clothes belonging to one of my sons. I take care of him and show him every kindness. He can’t understand it, but his heart is won. This is grace. He merited the very opposite, did he not?

Grace is favor shown to the undeserving. If people deserved it, it would not be favor; and so you cannot deserve God’s salvation. Often when I say to somebody, “I hope you are on your way to Heaven,” I receive the reply, “Well, I am doing my best to get there.” It is not a question of doing your best. It is a question of receiving the grace of God as manifested in Christ Jesus.

HOW DO YOU MAKE IT YOUR OWN?
In what way is salvation applied to you individually? We read in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Justified by faith!

Faith is believing God and asking no questions. It is taking God at His Word. God says, “I am satisfied with the work which My Son has done. Because of that work, I raised Him from the dead and now offer to justify any poor sinner who comes to Me in My Son’s name and trusts in Him.” If you have come, you have a right to say: “Being justified by faith, I have peace with God [everything settled between me and God] through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Have you said it? If not, say it now. “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8).

The resurrection of Christ, you know, is the declaration, the seal of it all. In the previous verses, at the end of the fourth chapter of Romans, we read, beginning with verse 22: “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” That is, when Abraham believed God, it [his faith] was imputed to him for righteousness. And then we read:

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:23-25)

That is justification by His resurrection. Why? Because His resurrection tells of God’s satisfaction in the work that His Son has done. When He hung upon that Cross, He was bearing our sins, He was taking our place, dying there in the sinner’s stead. Now, if He had never come out of that tomb, it would show that redemption was never accomplished. If that tomb remained sealed and the body of Jesus remained in it, then it would show that it was all a farce, and I would not dare to trust Him as my Savior at all. But see, it is the third day, and His resurrection is the divine declaration that all who believe on Him and rely on Him are justified from all things.

ISN’T THERE ANOTHER SIDE OF ALL THIS?
But I know that some of you have been saying in your hearts, or thinking subconsciously at least, “Yes, but there is another side to it. Doesn’t the Bible say somewhere that faith without works is dead?” Yes, it does, for we read, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).

“Well,” someone asks, “does not that contradict what you have been telling us?”

Not at all. You need to see exactly what it is that various writers of the Epistles are dwelling on. The apostle Paul (and practically all of our references have been from his writings), is telling how poor sinners may be justified before God. But now we turn over to the Epistle of James to find out how we who have professed to believe in Christ may be justified before men.

Suppose I say to my companions in the world, “I have just come to Christ, and I am justified from all things.” They have a right to look at me, at my life, to see for themselves whether there is any change in my life. You see, in order to be justified before them, in order to be justified before men, I have to manifest by my good works the fact that I have received a new and a divine nature. Let me read it to you.

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (James 2:14)

That is, what kind of faith? A faith that has no works? Where there is real faith in Christ, one’s work will be different. His life will never again be what it used to be. Everything will be changed.

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (James 2:15-17)

REAL FAITH IS MANIFESTED BY YOUR WORKS

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:18)

I cannot show my faith without works, but I can show my faith by my works. If I put my faith in Christ and have trusted Him as my Savior, I have been justified before God, justified freely, justified for nothing, justified without cost, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Now as I live for the One who has justified me, as I devote my redeemed life to the glory of the One who has saved me, my confession is justified before men. Men who get to know me will say, “That man is real; that man is genuine; he lives what he professes.” Do they say that of you? Does your life testify to the reality of the faith that you profess? If you have trusted Christ, you are complete in Him, you are justified freely by His grace. Now by a life devoted to His interests, you are to prove to those around you the reality of that faith of which you speak. ~ by Harry Ironside

Can you be a "Christian Freemason?"

In the last year I have come across a growing number of people bearing the name Christian and at the same time accepting active freemasonry within the same breath. My hope with this blog is to provide the reader with intelligent, organized, and biblical information in order to measure the teachings of freemasonry against the […]

Bethel Church : New Age & Islamic Mysticism

Bethel / Hillsong Church & New Age/ Islamic Mysticism practices- this is not Christianity. Isaiah 2:6 “For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with eastern ways; They are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they are pleased with the children of foreigners.” Watch video here

What Does it Mean To Be Justified by God?

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38-39) Justification! It is a big word, and very often […]

Hebrew roots movement…biblical Christianity or modern day Judaizers?

Hebrew roots movement…biblical Christianity or modern day Judaizers?

“The premise of the Hebrew Roots movement is the belief that the Church has veered far from the true teachings and Hebrew concepts of the Bible. The movement maintains that Christianity has been indoctrinated with the culture and beliefs of Greek and Roman philosophy and that ultimately biblical Christianity, taught in churches today, has been corrupted with a pagan imitation of the New Testament gospels.

Those of the Hebrew Roots belief hold to the teaching that Christ’s death on the cross did not end the Mosaic Covenant, but instead renewed it, expanded its message, and wrote it on the hearts of His true followers. They teach that the understanding of the New Testament can only come from a Hebrew perspective and that the teachings of the Apostle Paul are not understood clearly or taught correctly by Christian pastors today. Many affirm the existence of an original Hebrew-language New Testament and, in some cases, denigrate the existing New Testament text written in Greek. This becomes a subtle attack on the reliability of the text of our Bible. If the Greek text is unreliable and has been corrupted, as is charged by some, the Church no longer has a standard of truth.

Although there are many different and diverse Hebrew Roots assemblies with variations in their teachings, they all adhere to a common emphasis on recovering the “original” Jewishness of Christianity. Their assumption is that the Church has lost its Jewish roots and is unaware that Jesus and His disciples were Jews living in obedience to the Torah. For the most part, those involved advocate the need for every believer to walk a Torah-observant life. This means that the ordinances of the Mosaic Covenant must be a central focus in the lifestyle of believers today as it was with the Old Testament Jews of Israel. Keeping the Torah includes keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (Saturday), celebrating the Jewish feasts and festivals, keeping the dietary laws, avoiding the “paganism” of Christianity (Christmas, Easter, etc.), and learning to understand the Scriptures from a Hebrew mindset. They teach that Gentile Christians have been grafted into Israel, and this is one reason every born-again believer in Jesus the Messiah is to participate in these observances. It is expressed that doing this is not required out of legalistic bondage, but out of a heart of love and obedience. However, they teach that to live a life that pleases God, this Torah-observant walk must be part of that life.

The Hebrew Roots assemblies are often made up of a majority of Gentiles, including Gentile rabbis. Usually they prefer to be identified as “Messianic Christians.” Many have come to the conclusion that God has “called” them to be Jewish and have accepted the theological position that the Torah (Old Testament law) is equally binding on Gentiles and Jews alike. They often wear articles of traditional Jewish clothing, practice Davidic dancing, and incorporate Hebrew names and phrases into their writing and conversations. Most reject the use of the name “Jesus” in favor of Yeshua or YHWH, claiming that these are the “true” names that God desires for Himself. In most cases, they elevate the Torah as the foundational teaching for the Church, which brings about the demotion of the New Testament, causing it to become secondary in importance and only to be understood in light of the Old Testament. The idea that the New Testament is faulty and relevant only in light of the Old Testament has also brought the doctrine of the Trinity under attack by many advocates of the Hebrew Roots beliefs.

As opposed to what the Hebrew Roots movement claims, the New Testament teachings of the Apostle Paul are perfectly clear and self-explanatory. Colossians 2:16,17 says, “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Romans 14:5 states, “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.” Scripture clearly indicates that these issues are a matter of personal choice. These verses and many others give clear evidence that the Mosaic Covenant laws and ordinances have ended. Continuing to teach that the Old Covenant is still in effect in spite of what the New Testament teaches, or twisting the New Testament to agree with the Hebrew Roots beliefs, is false teaching.

There are aspects of the Hebrew Roots teachings that certainly can be beneficial. Seeking to explore the Jewish culture and perspective, within which most of the Bible was written, opens and enriches our understanding of the Scriptures, adding insight and depth to many of the passages, parables and idioms. There is nothing wrong with Gentiles and Jews joining together in celebrating the feasts and enjoying a Messianic style of worship. Taking part in these events and learning the way in which the Jews understood the teachings of our Lord can be a tool, giving us greater effectiveness in reaching the unbelieving Jew with the gospel. It is good for Gentiles, in the body of the Messiah, to identify in our fellowship with Israel. However, to identify with Israel is different from identifying “as” Israel.

Gentile believers are not grafted into the Judaism of the Mosaic Covenant; they are grafted into the seed and faith of Abraham, which preceded the Law and Jewish customs. They are fellow citizens with the saints (Ephesians 2:19), but they are not Jews. Paul explains this clearly when he tells those who were circumcised (the Jews) “not to seek to be uncircumcised” and those who were uncircumcised (the Gentiles) “not to become circumcised” (1 Corinthians 7:18). There is no need for either group to feel they must become what they are not. Instead, God has made Jews and Gentiles into “one new man” in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:15). This “new man” is referring to the Church, the body of Christ, which is made up of neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:27-29). It’s important for Jews and Gentiles to remain authentic in their own identity. In this way a clear picture of the unity of the body of Christ can be seen as Jews and Gentiles are united by one Lord, one faith, one baptism. If Gentiles are grafted into Israel, becoming Jews, the purpose and picture of both Jew and Gentile, coming together as one new man, is lost. God never intended Gentiles to become one in Israel, but one in Christ.

The influence of this movement is working its way into our churches and seminaries. It’s dangerous in its implication that keeping the Old Covenant law is walking a “higher path” and is the only way to please God and receive His blessings. Nowhere in the Bible do we find Gentile believers being instructed to follow Levitical laws or Jewish customs; in fact, the opposite is taught. Romans 7:6 says, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Christ, in keeping perfectly every ordinance of the Mosaic Law, completely fulfilled it. Just as making the final payment on a home fulfills that contract and ends one’s obligation to it, so also Christ has made the final payment and has fulfilled the law, bringing it to an end for us all.

It is God Himself who has created a world of people with different cultures, languages and traditions. God is glorified when we accept one another in love and come together in unity as “one” in Christ Jesus. It’s important to understand that there is no superiority in being born Jewish or Gentile. We who are followers of Christ, comprised of many different cultures and lifestyles, are all of value and greatly loved because we’ve entered into the family of God.

A more recent addition to our list of “haters” are proponents of what is generally known as the Hebrew Roots Movement. What does the Hebrew Roots Movement believe? Essentially, their goal is to restore the Jewishness of Christianity. Those in the Hebrew Roots Movement argue that Christianity has strayed way too far from its Jewish roots. There is definitely some truth to this argument. For instance, western Christianity has no problem observing holidays the Bible does not mention, but virtually ignores the Jewish holidays the Bible does mention. But, the Hebrew Roots Movement is not just about the Jewish holidays. The ultimate goal of many in the Hebrew Roots Movement is to put Christians under the bondage of the Old Covenant law, with strict adherence to all of the commands, other than the sacrificial system.

The Hebrew Roots Movement is a perfect illustration of Solomon’s statement that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). In the early centuries of Christianity there was a sect known as Ebionism which taught the necessity of keeping the Jewish law. However, this false doctrine goes back even further. Requiring Gentiles to obey the old covenant law after they became Christians was soundly refuted at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. Essentially, the Hebrew Roots Movement are the Judaizers that the Apostle Paul thoroughly refuted in the Epistle to the Galatians:

Galatians 2:16, “Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”
Galatians 3:11, “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.'”
Galatians 5:12, “As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!”

The mistake of the Hebrew Roots Movement is the same mistake of the Judaizers. They fail to understand that Jesus fulfilled the Law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15). In place of the Old Testament law, we are under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). If we obey those two commands, we will be fulfilling all that Christ requires of us: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40).


We have freedom in Christ! That freedom includes the ability to choose whether or not one observes the Jewish holidays. That freedom even includes the choice whether to observe the Old Testament dietary laws and other regulations. A Christian has the freedom to live his/her life essentially as an observant Jew if that is what he/she believes is God’s desire. But, there is no requirement for Christians (New Covenant believers) to live in bondage to Old Covenant regulations. Jesus fulfilled the Law, all of it, not just some of it. What Jesus’ death means for the sacrificial system, it also means for the rest of the Law. Jesus died to free us from sin and its penalty. Jesus did not die to transform us into Jews and place us in bondage to the covenant that God made exclusively with the nation of Israel.

The advocates of the Hebrew Roots Movement can be very aggressive in their arguments, hence their inclusion on our list of GotQuestions.org haters. Their arguments can sound very biblical, and sadly, they are increasingly successful in their proselytization. It is a good thing to be reminded of the Jewish roots of Christianity. It is beneficial to understand the Jewish holidays and how Jesus fulfills each of them. But, if you run across someone who claims to be “restoring the Jewishness of Christianity,” be very careful. Should any of their arguments concern you, read the Book of Galatians.”

~ excerpts from GOTquestions.org

A large online Hebrew Roots Movement is called 119 ministries.

What is 119 Ministries?

Please note: the information below is based on our general assessment of 119 Ministries. As with any active organization, current events may drastically change both perceptions and interpretations. The information below is fair and accurate, to the best of our knowledge, as of the time this article was written.

119 Ministries is a Hebrew Roots organization primarily operating through their website. The group’s name is a reference to Psalm 119, which speaks in depth about following God’s Law. 119 Ministries is extremely active on social media and the internet, with smartphone apps and an extensive library of online teachings. DVDs, books, and videos are available as tools to promote their theology.

119 Ministries is associated with the Hebrew Roots movement, which claims Jesus did not do away with many of the Old Testament restrictions on diet, ceremonial purity, and so forth. This is a view long rejected by the majority of Christian theologians. Most Hebrew Roots teachers accept generally correct views of salvation, sin, Christ, and the Bible. However, they often reject the Trinity, and the strained approach they’re forced to use on the New Testament presents some additional problems. The general, clear sense of Scripture is that Christ’s “fulfillment” of the Law meant the end of those minute legalisms.

119 Ministries would claim that supposedly clear statements in books such as Galatians have been misinterpreted. And yet, that conclusion only results from assuming what one is trying to prove. The catch phrase for 119 Ministries seems to be “test everything,” which underscores the group’s apologetics-flavored approach to promoting their beliefs. Yet, unless a person is pre-determined toward their conclusions, the Hebrew Roots-related information they provide doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

Another problem with 119 Ministries, as with many Hebrew Roots organizations, is the tendency to focus outrageous levels of time and attention on minutiae. For example, the exact day or lunar cycle of a particular festival. Or speculations about blood moons or whether a calendar day should start at sunrise or sunset. Legalistic gnat-straining like this (Titus 3:9) is exactly the kind of bureaucracy we were meant to be freed from. At the same time, that style of convenient legalism is comforting, since it makes our spirituality seem like a matter of obeying a list, rather than having a moment-to-moment, perpetual sense of obeying God’s will in our lives.

Ironically, despite the claim to uphold the entire Old Testament Law as binding on believers today, most Hebrew Roots interpretations allow for behaviors that Old Testament Jews would have considered blatantly in error, such as having a clean-shaven face or wearing clothes of mixed cloth. 119 Ministries is no different, as in one teaching they dismiss explicit Torah commands not to cut one’s hair (Leviticus 19:27) as merely references to pagan practices. At the same time, they insist that foods like pork and shellfish are still “unclean,” despite overt statements such as Mark 7:19.

There are many things to test, question, and doubt within the teachings of 119 Ministries. Those involved in the Hebrew Roots movement are generally well-meaning, and their primary message regarding salvation is essentially true. However, their approach to Scripture is extremely prejudiced and can’t really be sustained, except in the minds of those who prefer to believe it to begin with.”

multiple sources cited

Philia Ministries (see video below) is another online ministry part of the Hebrew Roots Movement. While they are a more mild version of 119 ministries– they are promoting a “softer” (law keeping) adherence to festivals, law, and customs.

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The gospel of accommodation……….

The gospel of accommodation……….

The gospel of accommodation is to change, appease, pacify the masses with a message that sounds close enough to the truth perhaps close enough to get into heaven. Why do we do this? Because the true message of the cross confronts us convicts us and demands an answer…. “Choose this day whom you will serve.” No matter how hard we try we cannot escape the nagging “knowing” that the big bang theory is a bust and mass annihilation into nothing when we die is nothing more than a delusion or that “being the best we can be” will somehow cut it. God has already fully made a way, one that cannot be meddled with and if it is, it is another Gospel. The only way to be reconciled to God is through receiving the full payment for our sins by Jesus Christ. His work and His work alone has cleansed us of all sin, once we add to this with works, law keeping etc., that becomes another gospel and WE are telling God what Christ did wasn’t enough and “we know” how to get ourselves to heaven. In other words, “we don’t need your help God!” THAT is what we are saying when we reject Christ and when we decide “we” know how to reconcile ourselves to a Holy God.

I recently met a middle aged man who was wearing what looked like a wedding band yet said he was neither married nor a widower. So I asked what was up with the ring? He replied its a “God prayer ring” to which I replied, what does that mean? He shrugged his shoulders as if to say he doesn’t even know what it means and proceeded to stumble out what seemed to be a regurgitation of what he has been told it means. He mentioned God and prayer yet couldn’t tell me how I could “get to God.” I asked him so where do we go when we die? Once again he shrugged his shoulders as if to say “I don’t know” and I said well you believe in “God” so I assume you must believe in heaven and hell”….at which time he became uncomfortable and replied with (waving me away) “nahhhh we just go somewhere but I don’t believe in hell or heaven and all that stuff.” And he didn’t want to hear the true Gospel. This man, like all of us, will stand before God and will be without excuse when the final Judgement is executed. You see it is not God who sends people to hell it is our choice to reject the True Christ, The Messiah, The Anointed One — we cannot blame God. He has made a Way but we reject it. This man is like most people I meet they have accepted a version of Jesus, a gospel of accommodation to suit themselves in this life. Whatever someone needs to do or believe to make this life as comfortable as possible, even if that means exchanging the truth for a lie. When someone comes along with the True Gospel they do not want to hear it. They say as it is written “who say to the seers, Do not see,” and to the prophets, Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions…”

What must I do to be saved?

What must I do to be saved?

Today is the Day for Salvation, tomorrow is not guaranteed, do not let your hearts be hardened.

Paul declares that “the gospel of Christ…is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom:1:16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

So believing “the gospel of Christ” gives salvation. But is believing the gospel the only way to be saved—and if so, what is the gospel? Peter declared, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts:4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

No answer is given to the question, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…” (Heb:2:3) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

There is no escape except in Christ: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn:14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Berean Call

Saved in a cult and being a spiritual whistle-blower.

Saved in a cult and being a spiritual whistle-blower.

Before I jump into a heavy topic like spiritual abuse I want to be sure to clarify that these blogs are written with the hope that things mentioned (much of which is personal experience not just a random railing against people) would cause people to draw closer to Christ and for people who are not saved, that they would truly begin to ponder their eternities. I am just as wretched as the one who is an enemy of God. Apart from Christ we are all at enmity with God. I am no better of a person than someone who chooses to remain separated from God. I want to make sure this is well understood by the reader as I understand some of my blogs can appear quite harsh at times. The biblical model of Christ Himself and the Apostle Pauls words and actions were very harsh and they did not mince words when it came to the purity of the gospel and contending for the faith against wolves and false teaching. I do not speak these things as if I am “holier than thou” no very much the opposite and very much the reason I need Jesus daily in my life. If someone says they have no sin they are a liar and the truth is not in them. I write about my journey in Christ in real time, raw occurrences, and real experiences. Nevertheless these instances only serve to draw me closer to Christ and cause me to see the reality of my dependence on Him, and Him alone.

If people are fortunate enough to have access to an uncompromised bible believing/teaching church I would say praise the LORD as this is quite the rarity. It’s becoming more rare as the days go on. I want to be clear when I say compromise — I am not speaking of peripheral issues, like music tastes or the curriculum, the color of church walls, to tithe or not to tithe, to have a church membership list or not, to how many elders should a church have or not, etc. I am speaking about essential fundamental teachings that if these essentials are compromised, then you are believing a different gospel that cannot and will not save you. Some examples of a different gospel (s) can be found here, here, here, and here. The Gospel of Salvation is the only one that can save your soul and can be found here.

Now onto the topic of spiritual abuse. When you find yourself speaking up and standing for truth within your “own” just know you will be shunned. Also know, you are not alone. Spiritual abuse is real and it is not new it’s just wearing new more sophisticated masks. Remember the prophets own people killed them. Spiritual abuse is much like a sexual predator they don’t come right out and scream hey—- rather they will groom you. The “love bombing” and “flattery” will pour into your life that is until you speak up about serious doctrinal issues.

Love bombing and flattery” are probably the top two tactics used by people (people in spiritual leadership positions) other tactics such as withholding attention, affection, and outright threatening / intimidation generally occur after a person begins to ask too many questions. The retaliation against the “spiritual whistle-blower” with things of spiritual nature mimics the same within the secular world. This is very much like a grooming process that a sexual predator uses. So why are people who bear the name of Christ doing such things? Well, according to scripture we are to crucify our flesh and much of this is fleshly prideful behavior and sinful works of the flesh according to scripture. Then, as I’ve mentioned before we will talk about “heaven and God” but we are reluctant, afraid, or even unaware of the very real spiritual warfare and enemy we have. The very one Jesus Christ defeated. The very one who is after our souls of every human life. The father of lies who will do anything and everything to convince you Jesus Christ isn’t real, and should you realize Jesus is real, satan will surely try to find a way to have you believe in another jesus, or attempt to keep a true believer paralyzed and inoperative.  

Leaders will threaten the sheep that God will kill you and your family or strike you with sickness if you speak up about false teaching. One of the most misused scripture with spiritual abuse is “touch not Gods anointed!”

See my blog here about: “Exposing Error, is it worthwhile?”

Questionnaire- here: now obviously no man made “formula” can determine what is or isn’t happening in your life. These are just pieces to consider if you are experiencing these things — and if you are I urge you to seek the Lord in prayer and measure your experiences to the Word of God.

I truly thank the Lord for protecting me through my stumbling in and out of cults and cultic atmospheres. Already just using that word cult — raises the hair on the back of most peoples necks. And I get it, I really do, and I also “get” that cults are real they existed in biblical times and exist now. In the day and hour in which we live this is not the time to become ostriches. This is not the time to put blinders on and just “wait for it to all work out.” No…. No…..No…. to the church, WAKE UP!

I actually responded to Christ while in a cult church. This church was small, in a small farm town everyone knew everyone– and everyone knew the “pastors” of this church. The church was eventually shut down and on the news while the pastors had a stand off with the police. Harems of women at the married pastors house, allegations of suspected child abuse, and more. I want to pause here and say, so I responded to Christ while (unknowingly) in a cult church so am I not saved? Do I have to find some “real” pastor or “man of God” or a “prophet or apostle” to get “resaved”? Like I have to do a “redo” of calling out to Christ because the leaders were false teachers?

The answer to all of the above is a resounding no. Why? Because Salvation is not contingent upon a third party, a person, a pastor, church attendance, works, a “holy persons” presence etc. Salvation is a gift from God to be received. No man can give it to you, no man can help you earn it, no man can take what God has given away because salvation does not come from man or the law it is a gift from God alone.

I also was on the fray of WOF/NAR movements not realizing that this is a different gospel (s). I was attending a church and while this concept of reading the bible is becoming a foreign one, I was reading the Word of God as I was attending. I was being a good obedient Christian and “doing whatever I was told” not questioning it. I was even tithing out of fear because I was told God would curse me and I would be excluded from things if I didn’t. SO….I didn’t want to be cursed by God!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will stop here and this hot button topic would take a whole series of blogs to speak about tithing but I will leave this short video here to help some folks who may be tithing under compulsion which is definitively not what God wants. God does not need money. As time went on, and I was praying and reading scripture on my own, I was realizing that what I was hearing from the pulpit was not what I was reading in scripture and it was a perversion of Scripture. And by the Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit just nagged me with discomfort about this church and the teachings. It was not merely a “different way of worshiping” or “minor peripheral issues” no this was a completely different Jesus. Only later while journeying through another abhorrent system would I understand “it” to have a name. Needless to say I left that church and never returned. I would like to pause here as well and say to the “pastors” out there who are so quick to paint everyone with a broad brush in the sense of “church hoppers” a derogatory label as I (and others who dare leave a church for another one) would come to have. Perhaps just perhaps a sheep is searching other pasture because they have spotted wolves in the one they came from, as scripture describes it would be. Pastors ought to be focused on protecting the flock of God, that is after all what a shepherd does, unless of course he is a hireling as Jesus describes.

I then found myself at a quaint church and decided to go to a mid week service. I remember walking in and discreetly sitting in the middle outer row. I heard the words “please open to Romans 5:1 we are talking about justification tonight.” I wanted to leap out of the chair I was so excited! I was so….so…. so ….excited to FINALLY hear the Gospel and about Jesus! I thought this is it …..finally I have found a Christ centered church! My whole being by this point literally ached to hear about the one who died for me! I hadn’t heard about Jesus from the pulpit in such a long time. I wanted to get involved with things and be a part of the family of God that I had finally found. I really wanted to be a part of ministries that helped spread the Gospel. I am by no means an evangelist, I do share my testimony and speak to people one on one when the Lord gives me the opportunity. I wanted (and still desire) to see people saved and coming to Christ. In my new found emotional excitement, I somewhere along the way stopped discerning and testing all things and it took a little while to realize Jesus was no longer being mentioned. He was being sprinkled on and around things like a condiment but that same nagging from the Holy Spirit started again. Especially after I brought a friend to a Sunday service and he pointed out “The pastor hasn’t mentioned Jesus, is it always that way?” It was that moment that my broken antenna was quickly restored and I once again started paying attention beyond what the eyes can see. I was praying and asking for wisdom and discernment, and well, the Lord opened my eyes. The altruistic ministries were very sweet and random acts of kindness are sweet too. The leaving Jesus out was “good” for the false unity of ecumenism if you want to toss out everything God has said and follow the false peace that is coming by way of false unity as scripture accurately predicts in the end times. I was faced with a choice of following Christ or man. We ALL are faced with that choice and most choose to follow man and the tradition of the elders.

The random acts of kindness make us feel good, the feeding the homeless makes us feel like we did a good deed. All the while God calls these self righteous acts “filthy rags” and anyone with access to the internet can look up what God means by a filthy rag it’s quite descriptive and for people with weak stomachs even more so. People within a works based mode of salvation will say and partially quote from the book James “faith without works is dead!” Once again, the context of James needs to be read and also God tells us exactly what good works are in James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

Now, it’s a beautiful thing to house a widow or feed an orphanage of children. SO LONG as we are also feeding them spiritual food. It is a “filthy rag” to send a person to hell with a full belly. Widows are without a bridegroom and orphans are without a father. Jesus is described according to scripture as our bridegroom and we are according to scripture by the spirit of adoption no longer orphans. The point is (everyone) widows and orphans need to hear the Gospel, more than they need a hot plate of macaroni and cheese. They need the eternal Bread of Life more than a buttered dinner roll. We cannot rely on our altruistic methods to save us as sweet and kind as these works are, they are not what save you and a hot meal won’t save an orphan. This is what’s called the social gospel and it is a gospel that cannot save. It is a gospel that offers false assurance of salvation.

God is explicitly clear about exposing false teachers and He is equally clear when a person knows the truth but continues to partake in unfruitful works of darkness. The choice one needs to make is choose this day whom you will serve. I choose to serve the Lord and continue to pray for those I have come across who are leading Gods people astray. I also pray for the sheep to hear Gods voice THE Good Shepherd and not listen to a stranger.  

Many folks will look upon exposing false teaching unfavorably. Interestingly enough usually the people who frown upon a blog like this are the very false teachers this blog speaks of. They will call me a “heresy hunter” or a “witch hunt” when in fact all I am doing is talking about my own life and it just so happens false teaching has been all I have encountered. Or other people have skipped a huge portion of Scripture and the travails of the Apostle Paul, the book of Jude, and Christ Himself which speaks of  false prophets and the commanding by God to expose such falsities, mark and avoid such people teaching such heresies, and the command from God to divide from those who persist in unrepentant false teaching. Then the next group would be unbelievers people who passively sit by committing spiritual suicide by “not making any decision” ….no decision is a decision, and unlike The Shacks theology —this is reality and all roads do not lead to heaven.

You see over many years Jesus has been reduced to a “pot smokin’ sandle wearing hippie” where “ all ya need is love dude!” and everything will just all work out. Or Jesus is reduced to a perpetual baby when actually He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. And when He returns, and He is coming, He is not a baby, He is The King– there is no other. And every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. We truly have fashioned gods after our own liking, the question is to examine yourself to see if you’re in the Faith. This examination of being in the Faith (once and for all delivered to the saints) is also a large part of James (“faith without works is dead”) tongue and cheek meaning are you in the Faith to begin with. Are you?

The masks we wear and the outward condition.

The masks we wear and the outward condition.

While we all have a different journey (and story) to the Lord there is only one way to be reconciled back to God. My outward condition was open for all to see clearly that I needed help and my inward condition was equally corrupt I was decaying from the inside out.  I was reaching the end of myself and I would end up on my knees crying out to this Jesus I had heard of so many times.

I knew I just couldn’t keep working my way through life anymore. I was exhausted, hungry, and lost. This time, the exhaustion, hunger, and wandering wasn’t physical.  I had tried everything I knew to “get better” and nothing worked.  This time, I called out to Him for real, meaning it and desiring Him to save me from this life I had lived.  Knowing that He alone a gift of grace from God, received by faith and faith alone to be justified by Jesus Christ and be reconciled back to my Creator, my Heavenly Father, a gift none of us deserve. I would eventually come to respond to Jesus Christ but my journey to Him was still a long road to travel.  It wasn’t God who was distant from me; I kept my distance from Him. He is not hard to find. He is a very present help in times of trouble. I just thought I could figure this all out on my own.

We think we can try hard enough, and have enough “fortitude” and “push through” in our own strength.  I would come to know and understand, apart from Him, I can do nothing. Apart from Him I would continue to find myself in valleys and going around mountains of destruction over and over again. Everything man and the world had to offer had failed to “change” me. All the psychology, psychiatrists, mental tests, and human science modalities had proven over and over again to bear no fruitfulness in my life.  If there had been any change it was very temporary never able to sustain real transformation.  To date, these same modalities would not be what finally did bring about a true everlasting change.

To realize that I can do nothing to earn, keep, or work for salvation is both a relief and humbling at the same time. To recognize that I was (we all are) born spiritually dead and in sin and the only way to God is to be spiritually reborn (John 3:3).  Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Many people struggle through religion, rituals, tradition, self-atonement, works of the Law, and none of those things will reconcile a person back to God.  Jesus Christ had many things to say regarding the “Law keepers” of His day.  Jesus says Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead peoples bones and all uncleanliness.” I knew I needed help the only help that can truly change a person is found in Jesus Christ alone and his finished work on the cross. Sadly, many people and religion have a form of holiness, morality, and altruism, but none of it has the power to save a soul.

What is the Gospel?


Trusting God Through It All