Why Knowing Hebrew Roots is Essential to Your Christian Faith
We are living in one of the most exciting times of human history. One only has to read the newspaper or listen to the news daily to see prophecies being fulfilled. At the same time Christians around the world are engaging in the quest to restore the foundations of their faith that is the Hebraic faith of Yeshua (Jesus). The movement to restore the Hebraic Roots of Christianity is exploding. This re-awakening is occurring independently in the lives of believers through-out the world. It is bringing the restoration of the knowledge, practice and study of the biblical, Hebraic roots of Christianity into the faith. This renewed interest in the Hebraic roots of Christianity is one of the greatest and most universal works that the Holy Spirit is producing in the church in this generation. This is influencing the way growing numbers of Christians throughout the world are thinking and acting about their families, their community life, their church relationships and most importantly their relationship with God. The Church is rising up in power and glory that we have not seen from the first century. Jesus is preparing His bride. The Holy Spirit of God is restoring the covenant roots of His Church.
Studying the Scriptures in their Hebraic Context not only brings new meanings and deeper understanding, but bridges the gap between Yeshua (Jesus) and where we are today. Realizing this, we should set out to understand a culture that no longer exists and is rarely taught in the world today. We should study Israel’s geography, culture, language, family lifestyles, history, Jewish idioms, poetry, customs politics and much more. Then our understanding of the Bible is enriched. The perplexing phrases, puzzling actions the sometimes difficult to understand words of Yeshua (Jesus), the unconventional feasts and the parables come alive with deeper meaning and understanding. We learn about the pattern of worship the LORD wants His people to follow, and the prophetic nature of the feasts of the LORD. We learn many things that has made the words of Yeshua (Jesus) more meaningful and clear. As a result we will change our worship patterns and lifestyles to become more biblical – the way it was intended. Our whole objective should be to bring us into a closer relationship with our Saviour by learning as much about Him as we can through the people and time period in which He lived. It binds the old and New testaments together and further shows the relevance of the Bible to today’s modern problems and lifestyles.
Exciting New Insights about the teachings of Jesus
While Christians have a good understanding of the Divinity of Jesus, few Know Jesus the man. Every Culture makes Jesus over into their own image. Western Christians get upset when they discover Jesus is not a European. Religious groups gets upset when they discover Jesus was not a member of their denomination. It must be remembered Jesus is a Jew, born into a Jewish family (Matthew 1:1-16) in the Jewish village of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1) in the land of Israel. His heritage is Hebraic and he kept all the Torah of God.
Read the Hebrew Scriptures (Luke 4:16,17)
Spoke Hebrew (Matthew 27:46)
Wore Jewish clothing (Mark 5:27,28 – Tallith)
Ate only Biblically Kosher food
Kept the Jewish Shabbat
Celebrated the Lord’s feasts (John 5:1)
Followed Jewish Customs (Luke 2:41,42 – Bar Mitzvah) and
Lived His entire life as a Torah observant Jew.
Jesus followers were Jewish. The New Testament tells us that they attended synagogues (Acts 13:14) and kept the feasts. They recognized Jesus as the Jewish King and Messiah, wrote the Jewish New Testament and lived Torah observant life styles (Acts 21:20). Jesus and His early followers were deeply rooted in the rich Hebraic soil of their ancestors. They thought, taught and lived out of this soil. God then planted Christianity in this soil.
Therefore, Christians must return to this soil in order to be Biblically nourished.
Clarification of Paul’s Writings
Paul is one of the most misunderstood persons in history. Both Jews and Christians believe that Paul was an “anti-law” Jew who established a Gentile brand of Christianity which was different from its ancient Jewish faith. Both learn otherwise when Paul’s writings are studied from his Hebraic/Jewish roots. The greatest misunderstanding of Paul’s writings relates to his views on Law versus Grace.” For Centuries the gentile Church has taught that “In the first Testament the Jews were saved by obeying the Law (Torah) and in the “New” Testament Christians are saved by grace through faith.” From the Western Gentile view the Law was understood as a legalistic system of rules which Jews had to keep in order to be saved. “Grace” has been understood by Gentile Christians as “freedom from the Law.” The Result? Judaism had its Law and Christianity has its Grace. The view placed each in opposition to each other. This is a Western Gentile Christian view. It is not Paul’s view nor is it what he intended to be understood from his writings.
The Hebrew word for “Law” is Torah. “Torah” means: to teach, instruct, guide and direct. Torah is the Instruction for the way people are to walk with God. Torah does not mean: “a legalistic set of rules.” The consequence for misunderstanding the True meaning of “Law” (Torah), has been a disaster for the Church. Christianity has become a “lawless” religion in which people believe they can confess a creed and live as they please.
They do not realize the entire New Testament is the Living Torah teaching them how to walk with God in order to live an abundant Christian life!
A Better Follower of Jesus
An exciting benefit of studying Christianity’s Hebraic/ Jewish root is to be a better follower of Jesus. Jesus said to two of His followers “… O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophet have spoken! Ought not the Christ (Messiah) to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself”. (Luke 24:25-26). Luke recorded this story and went on to say,
“then their eyes were opened and they knew Him. ….And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us while
He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scripture to us?” (Luke 24:31-32)
When Christians learn their Hebraic/Jewish root, the Spirit of the living God will open their spiritual eyes to know Jesus more clearly and more intimately. Then, God’s Word will burn within their hearts with a fresh fire that cannot be quenched.