What Happens When the Church Cuts Off Its Jewish Roots

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Dr. Brown looks at some of the painful chapters of Church history and examines how a religious faith that began as a Jewish movement ended up persecuting Jews.

 

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: I appeal to you my Gentile brothers and sisters in Jesus. Without you, I would have never had come to faith. You shared the gospel with me, you witnessed to me, you prayed for me. Show that same love to Jewish people today. Share the good news of Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah with them.

 

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Other Resources:

Israel and the Jewish People: Myth and Fact (an Interview with Ron Cantor)

Focus on Israel and the Religious Jewish Community

Jewish Roots Online Class with Dr. Brown: This class will open your eyes to God’s eternal purposes for Israel; give you a deeper burden for the salvation of the Jewish people; open up the Jewish background to the New Testament; show the prophetic importance of the biblical calendar; and address major, Jewish-related doctrinal errors today.

68 Comments
  1. Jonathan,

    The law of the spirit of life in Y’Shua Messiah and the law of sin and death, are cause and effect laws. The law/Torah of YHWH is the same till heaven and earth pass away. It is the same whether it is written on stone or on our hearts. Those that are truly walking in the Spirit fulfill the law by obeying it. The Spirit that inspired the law is the Spirit that empowers us to keep it. The carnal minded man will not subject himself to YHWH’s law. It is a false dichotomy to insist that there is a different law of the spirit and law of the flesh. The only law that Jeremiah 31 intends is the one already known as YHWH’s law. It is no longer just on stone, but now to be written on our hearts. The new covenant puts the very same law of YHWH on our hearts that was upon stone if we continue to walk in the New covenant and walk in the Spirit.

    The oldness of the letters on stone were outward impositions upon sinful mankind. The newness of the Spirit is loving to obey what YHWH has commanded coming from the inside of a regenerate son of YHWH. Same exact law, just different motivations.

    Shalom

  2. Jonathan,

    You wrote:
    “We have to understand that the New Testament speaks of two contrasting sets of laws; the law of Moses and the law of the Spirit. Sometimes the passage declares which law it is speaking of. Sometimes it does not and we must understand it by the context.”

    I agree that context is everything, but there are not two contrasting sets of laws. I have never found anything in the NT that contradicts the OT. This false dichotomy is at the heart of antisemitism and cutting off of the roots of the faith.

    Revelation 15
    3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

    We are to be singing both the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. They do not contradict. They are sung to the same tune. They are in perfect harmony. YHWH’s law is still just and true. There is no other justice system that comes close. YHWH’s mercy and grace have always been marvelous.

    When we sing a one verse song of the Lamb or the song of Moses we are in error. Without the Lamb lyrics, we have dry statements of right and wrong. Without the Mosaic lyrics, we have every man doing what is right in his own eyes and only a sentimental sappy love song.

    Revelation 14
    12 Here is the endurance of the saints, who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus.”

    It takes both to endure to the end, but many will not endure.

    Matthew 24
    11 many false prophets will rise up and lead multitudes astray;
    12 and because of the prevalent disregard of god’s law the love of the great majority will grow cold;
    13 but those who stand firm to the end shall be saved.
    (Wey)

    False prophets that divide the law from the gospel cause much harm.

    Jeremiah 5
    30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
    31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

    We are being tested.

    Deuteronomy 13
    3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
    4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
    5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

    But we have a promise that in the last days a remnant will begin to keep YHWH’s law in the lands into which they have been scattered.

    Deuteronomy 30
    1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
    2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
    3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
    4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
    5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
    6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
    7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
    8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.

    You see, circumcision of the heart is an old concept. It means that we have true faith in our hearts that produces obedience to YHWH’s instructions. There is no proof of circumcision of heart and YHWH’s law being written upon our hearts without the outward evidence of obeying YHWH’s Torah.

    Shalom

  3. Jonathan,

    You wrote:
    “And actually my point about a woman’s time of separation is that she is basically not supposed to be around anyone or anything for about ¼ of her life. Is that being followed today?”

    I think that both your understanding of the laws of nida (Woman’s uncleanness)and your math is lacking.

    There are about 25 years of a woman’s life that she menstruates. During this time, especially at the beginning and end, the cycles are intermittent. Also Pregnancy stops the cycle. Nursing the baby usually causes less menstruation episodes. For sake of argument, lets assume 20 years of full time menstruation minus 6 pregnancies of 3/4 of a year minus 6 nursing times of 1/2 a year which equals only 13.5 years out of a 65 year life. So the unclean time for our hypothetical woman is only .25 x 13.5 + a total of 1 year of separation time after the 6 births / 65 which equals only 6.7% of her life.

    As far as her being totally segregated during these unclean times, I am at a loss to find this to be stated in scripture. Even if a woman was to separate from all social contacts for 6.7% of her life, it could be made up for by simply spending 1 1/2 hours of extra socializing a day. This would add up to about 24.5 days per year. I guess if she were to use the 12 new moon days and 7 annual feast days that we are commanded to rest on and the 11 total days in the middle of the weeks of unleavened bread and tabernacles to socialize for about 18 hours a day she could also just about catch up.

    I can see that you have issues against YHWH’s commandments that are personal and that you are arguing from a subjective position of resistance to the wisdom and righteousness of YHWH’s perfect law.

    Maybe there is good reason for what YHWH has commanded and maybe our ideas about the subject are not well thought out. Maybe His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. It is fornication to share the marriage bed with our wives according to the scripture that Paul told Timothy to use for doctrine and instruction in righteousness.

    Maybe we should dwell with our wives according to knowledge that our prayers be not hindered by making ourselves unclean. (1 Pet. 3:7) Maybe there is good reason that it is good for a man not to touch a woman. (1 Cor. 7:1) Maybe there is a lust for uncleanness that includes marital fornication and not possessing our wives in sanctification and honor. (1 Thes. 4:2-8)

    Shalom

  4. To conclude my response to your post # 37, I agree with you that 1 Corinthians 9 is in the context of preaching. I agree that he was preaching to these different groups he mentioned. I also do not believe Paul could have been deceitful or have been sinning in doing the things he was talking about. That is precisely why I believe he was not being deceitful or being sinful to say “To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.” Again we see a differentiation made between two sets of law. Although he could approach the Gentiles as without law, it was still under the caveat of still being under the law of Christ. (As a side-note, he could become as weak to gain the weak by identifying with the weakness of the flesh in people’s lives; he could identify as being “the chiefest of sinners.) Missionaries will do this when they minister to different cultures. They will immerse themselves and identify with the culture of those they are reaching; but only to the extent that they do not sin in doing so. So there does have to be a valid way to become as without law to them that are without law without it being sin. It is also not sin to observe the Mosaic law even though I do not believe it is binding upon the New Covenant believer. Some Messianic congregations do so because they believe the Mosaic law is still binding. Others do so simply to identify with and reach the Jews; following the example of 1 Corinthians 9:20. I do not know for sure whether Paul observed the Mosaic law after his encounter with Christ I also do not know if he did, for which reason that would be. In both cases, the information would be inconclusive. We can note the specific accusations against Paul in Acts 21:21 and I believe they were not true. While I believe Paul taught that the Mosaic law was no longer binding, I don’t believe he taught that people were not allowed to observe it. I believe that is the charge the vow was meant to combat. If Paul fulfilled the vow (thereby keeping the law), it would show that he was not in opposition to the Mosaic law, which I believe it is clear that he was not. Was verse 24 attempting to show that Paul always observed the law or that he was willing to observe the law in this instance to prove he was not opposed to observing the law? Again, I would say the evidence based on this passage alone is inconclusive.

    As for the instance of Peter when Paul admonished him, I would agree that Peter dissimulated and that he stopped eating with non-Jewish believers. But that was not my question. I asked what is was that Paul meant when he said that Peter was living “after the manner of Gentiles”? Here is the verse, Galatians 2:14, “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compel you the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” So there are actually two points to bring from this. 1. In what way was Peter living “after the manner of the Gentiles”? 2. In what way was Peter compelling the “Gentiles to live as do the Jews”? It seems that Peter was not disassociating with the Gentiles simply because they were not Gentiles but because they weren’t living like the Jews. Paul seems to be condemning Peter’s stance on this, does he not?

    As for Peter’s vision, I don’t know that we can say that it happened 10 years after the resurrection. Where is that information given? But regardless, my point was that God will not give someone a direct command, even in a vision, that is immoral. If you disagree, then I would like to know where we can find another example of this. Again I will say, I don’t believe God would instead present a sheet of foreign gods and tell Peter to worship them or show a sheet of prostitutes and tell Peter to go in to them. I don’t believe it is even possible God would say these things even as symbolism of something else because the example itself is a sinful command. Therefore, I don’t believe God would tell Peter to eat “unclean” animals if it were morally wrong. (This paragraph also speaks to the quote you included from Dr. Brown’s book. The command was given, whether it symbolized something else or not is not the issue. God does not give immoral commands.)

    Where your example of Revelations 18 differs from Peter’s vision is that Revelations 18 does not involve a direct command from God to do something. You are right that birds represent evil spirits in Scripture as it does in Mark4:30-32. So you are correct that the birds in Revelations 18 are symbolism and not actual birds. Another way of understanding this is that it describes the birds as “hateful”. Since animals do not have a moral capability they do not have the ability to hate. So it is clear this passage is not speaking of actual birds. The evil spirits are indeed unclean. This says nothing of actual birds.

    I will attempt to answer your most recent posts, but I wanted to finish responding to the previous post first.

  5. As for your post # 49, I would agree with your conclusion. But I don’t see how that can be the case if all of the Mosaic law is in effect today. As I said, the laws about stoning did not say it was to be executed by civil governments but by the “elders of the city” and according to the verses I mentioned (Titus 1:5 and Acts 20:17). There still should be elders of the city and therefore no reason to not obey this law if it is still in effect today.

    You say in post # 50 that, “It is a false dichotomy to insist that there is a different law of the spirit and law of the flesh.” But I disagree, look at Galatians 4:23-26, “But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Notice the contrast again between those born after the flesh (Sinai) and those that are born after the promise (which is free).

    You also say “This false dichotomy is at the heart of antisemitism and cutting off of the roots of the faith.” Again, I would disagree. I have stated that I do not believe we are bound to keep the Mosaic law but that we are free to do so. I believe the Mosaic law is good and is not abolished but rather fulfilled. I believe the Mosaic law is still accomplishing its purpose as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. I believe the Jewish people are a people that God loves that we should continue to love and reach out to with the Gospel and will again be restored to the olive tree. I believe God still has a purpose and a plan for a national Israel. Please explain how these beliefs are anti-semitic or will lead to anti-semitism.

    I do not believe the Song of Moses refers to the Mosaic law but rather to a specific song recorded in Deuteronomy 32 (see verse 44).

    And to respond to post # 52, my point has not necessarily been whether this law has benefits to it but more specifically about whether it along with the other ones I mentioned are actually being followed by those who say the Mosaic law is still in effect. I am simply questioning the consistency of reasoning about this. As I said earlier, if the Mosaic law is still binding on the believer, you can’t pick and choose which to follow. I am not saying that they can’t be followed or that there may be benefits to following them. I am merely questioning them being binding on a believer that they must follow the Mosaic law. I am still unconvinced that Scripture states that and believe that it states that the Mosaic law is not binding on the New Covenant believer.

  6. Folks, there are many other threads where you can discuss whether believers today are obligated to observe the Torah (where our good friend Bo has weighed in frequently), so if you want to focus on that (rather than what happens to the Church when it cuts off its Jewish roots), please go to one of those threads and let others here know which thread that is. God bless!

  7. @Jonathan,

    You believe Believers should do their best to obey God right? If there was no grape juice to have communion, does that mean you don’t eat the bread? If giving money (tithing) to Church was punishable by death by the government, does that mean you don’t fellowship with Christians?

    If you believe every principle of God is valid and stands, then you do your utmost to live them out.

    As for the death penalty, that is only for the courts to do. Like in texas.

  8. One more reminder in case this was missed: Folks, there are many other threads where you can discuss whether believers today are obligated to observe the Torah (where our good friend Bo has weighed in frequently), so if you want to focus on that (rather than what happens to the Church when it cuts off its Jewish roots), please go to one of those threads and let others here know which thread that is. God bless!

  9. With all due respect, I hold that the observance of the Torah lifestyle/culture IS the Jewish roots which have been cut off.

    How did the Christian Church go from:

    “For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week… the Egyptians in the neighborhood of Alexandria, and the inhabitants of Thebes, hold their religious assemblies on the Sabbath.”
    source: Socrates Scholasticus Church History V (4th century)

    Even early Christianity in Ireland (before Catholicism stomped it out) observed the weekly Sabbath, and there are plenty of other historical quotes that document that all non-Roman Catholic Churches kept the Sabbath, until Rome stopped them with the death penalty.

    and

    “They of Syria, Cilicia {Turkey} and Mesopotamia differed from us (Roman Catholics) and kept the [Passover] feast at the same season as the Jews.”
    source: The Synodal letter of Athanasius to the Bishops of Africa. He lived 296-373 CE.

    “Many bishops of Asia and the East, who with the Jews celebrated the Passover, on the fourteenth day of the new moon.”
    source: Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men XXXV

    As soon as the Jewish leadership was kicked out of Israel, Gentile bishops with no continuity, legitimacy or true apostolic succession, took over and not surprisingly, didn’t keep the Passover on the 14th of Nisan.

    “Theophilus, {who died about 190} bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, the city formerly called Turris Stratonis, in the reign of the emperor Severus wrote, in conjunction with other bishops, a synodical letter of great utility against those who celebrated the Passover with the Jews on the fourteenth day of the month.”
    source: Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men Chapter XLIII

    While the Jerusalem Church had moved north and continued doing what they had always done.

    And if we take this last quote to be true, this was the Apostles position:

    “Don’t count [i.e. calculate the date] yourselves, but celebrate when your brothers of the circumcision do; celebrate with them.”
    source: Didascalia Apostolorum as quoted in The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis (book two – on the schism of the Audians)

    This is the Jewish roots which have been cut off and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

  10. To answer the question posed in this particular show’s title,and to go full circle back to my first post,my short reply would be as follows :

    Instead of a new COVENANT,you end up with a new RELIGION.

    There is a plesant Calvinist man in my town ; a while ago,I told him about Michael (billing Michael as a Jewish Bible teacher) – my intention being to direct him to a better understanding of Israel. But he expressed no interest in hearing from a Jewish disciple of Messiah ; he has been led to believe Jewish people are just another people these days. (As I say,he is a pleasant man,he shows no animosity to Jewish people,but just views them as one other ethnic group).

    I am currently over 75% through Michael’s book ‘Go And Sin No More’ (if the remainder is as good as the rest,the sooner it gets into ebook form the better),a book that reveals a strong grasp of Scripture’s call to holiness. But what makes Michael’s teaching contribution so important,is his contention that Israel’s salvation actually paves the way for Messiah’s return.

    Israel are not just another ethnic group,they are God’s covenant people. Although there may be many pleasant sincere Calvinists like the man in our town,in failing to recognize the special place of Israel in history (and His story),they may fail to scripturally provoke Jewish people to jealousy for Jesus – who is THEIR Messiah. Therefore,such mistaught people fail to play their individual part in lovingly stirring up Jews in their locality (to jealousy,not anger).

  11. You know, it is sort of inappropriate to keep commenting on the same subject in this thread after Dr. Brown asked us not to. It is his site.

    As far as moving the subject to a more appropriate thread,if anyone knows where that would be you can redirect it. I tried looking up a few different words or phrases that might lead me to the right discussion thread, but I didn’t run across anything.

    Bo, Dr. Brown indicated you might know an appropriate thread, any ideas?

  12. I think some people have taken over the online discussion by veering onto their pet topics.( We all have pet topics, by the way.)

    I have come to see that Israel models for us the blessings and obligations that come when we are in an intimate relationship with the Father. It’s as if Israel is one big enormous visual aid — “See what happens when you walk with God? Wouldn’t you like some of that?”

    That’s why I like the concept of helping Jews to feel the same way under the new testament. “See what happens when Messiah Jesus Godman washes you clean? Wouldn’t you like some of that?”

    I think I am summarising Dr Brown properly here, having heard a few programmes on the topic of Israel.

  13. Dr. Brown,

    Thanks once again for making forums available to those that disagree with you. I was trying to discuss Torah observance in light of cutting off our roots. Looks like we will be going over to a proper thread now.

    Also I took advantage of your offer for The Real Kosher Jesus 2 pack. I am expecting good things, but please don’t be surprised if I take issue with a few things that you wrote in it.

    Shalom

  14. Anthea,I like what you say there.

    If have imagined the ‘provoke to jealousy’ thing as a children’s birthday party,where the child having a birthday throws a tantrum and says ‘I do not want ANY strawberry ice cream’. The other children at the party accept gladly,and when the birthday child sees the relish and enjoyment the other children are having eating HIS ice cream,he then bursts into tears,and is provoked to jealousy – he now wants ice cream too !

    I like books that are objective and ‘Galatianesque’ in nature : Paul’s letters to the Galatians,Thessalonians and Corinthians were evoked by problems and errors in the locale ; in those letters Paul addressed the various problems,and sought to detoxify the local Body of seriously detrimental error. Both Michael L Brown and David Pawson in particular,write such books.

    If anyone would like to stock their personal library with excellent teaching on Israel,do get the following two books (Both are available in ebook and paperback,so do download a free sample onto your Kindle or computer,tablet or smartphone if you have a Kindle App ; even if you have both books already,perhaps consider downloading free samples to your smartphone anyway,so that when you are out ‘n’ about,if you get talking to someone about Israel,you could let them read the free sample on your phone for a minute or two,in the hope that they then buy the book for themselves.) ; one book is by Michael,one by David.

    http://www.amazon.com/Defending-Christian-Zionism-ebook/dp/B0052AUCY2/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

    http://www.amazon.com/Our-Hands-Are-Stained-Blood/dp/1560430680/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

  15. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that generally speaking the Churches that kept the Passover on the fourteenth of Nisan also believed that:

    “there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth.”

    While the Churches that kept Easter believed that Christ’s kingdom was a spiritual one and didn’t believe in the one thousand year reign of the Jew Yeshua from Zion, Jerusalem, in Israel.

    Just think about that for a minute. Why would patriotic Roman Catholics want Yeshua to free them from Constantine? with his changing times and laws, when they had no problem with that? You only need Yeshua to change the governments if you think there’s something wrong with them.

    While the Churches in Turkey keeping the Torah were waiting for Yeshua to free them from the oppressive governments and set up the kingdom of God on earth from Egypt to Assyria.

    Just something to think about.

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