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Friday, November 8, 2019

The Name of God and the Hebrew Roots and Messianic Movements

Let me be sure to say, as I usually do, that questioning a particular teaching does not mean I necessarily condemn everything someone may teach. In this case, Alan Horvath may have some profitable material. I used to follow his YouTube page (although I didn't really watch many of his videos) because he was recommended to me. I've linked his videos in his name above so you are free to judge for yourself.

That said, he falls for the "Yeheshua" error which we have looked at in previous studies. Those posts are linked below. The second is also about Alan Horvath, but I wanted to revisit the topic as this trend, along with the dangerous Hebrew Roots and Messianic movements, is gaining traction within Christendom. I'll take a slightly different tack this time.

The use of "God" and the Dangers of Earthly Practices

Gentiles were strangers to the promises and covenants and we were never under the Law. It is only in this dispensation of the Mystery,wholly independent of Israel, that we have our own blessings and hopes.
Remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands, that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. -Eph 1:11-13

Our epistles are all in Greek. As we have seen, Paul uses the Greek "Theos" to refer both to pagan false gods and to the one, true God. We also noted that the same pronouns are used in scripture to refer to both the true God and to Satan. But God understands, as we do, how pronouns are used. Horvath and other fear-mongers want to scare you into thinking you are actually worshiping Satan if you don't use the "right" words (and Hebrew words at that).

Using Jewish titles doesn't mean God hears you. Don't be enslaved to fear by Horvath's unbiblical teaching. In Matthew 15:22, a gentile woman calls out to Jesus, "Lord, Son of David" (κυριε υιε δαυιδ). She is ignored despit using a true and accurate title of the Lord Jesus. In Matthew 20:31-32, when two Jews cry out "Son of David!" our Lord responds. We need to understand the difference.

Further, the crowds that called for him to be crucified worshiped Him as "Son of David" as He entered Jerusalem. One day worshiping him as the rightful heir of the throne only to reject him and hand him over to be killed shortly after.

We must look at the the heart and the intent of the user. In the case of the gentile woman, to her He is not the "Son of David." That was a title to be used by Jews, not gentiles. But when she drops it and only uses "Lord," she is heard. He is Lord of all. The Lord knows the heart. 

You can use the "right" name all you want, but it (a) won't make a difference if you have not been reconciled to God by faith or (b) you use a title, although Biblical, which does not pertain to you. In 2 Cor 4:4, Satan is referred to as a "theos" (god) just as the true God is referred to as "theos," including the great verse on the full deity of Christ as Creator (John 1:1). Do we thus conclude Jesus is Satan? Nonsense.

The Church Which Is His Body Is Not Israel

Israel has her own promises and hope, and these will surely come to pass in ages to come. However, their hope differs from the hope of the present calling.

This slavery to the use of Hebrew terms is not only unbiblical (you can find none of these in even the Jewish epistles), it also moves free believers into slavery to Jewish practices. These practices are holy and good in their place. They were given to Israel for a purpose, yet that burden was never placed on Gentiles. Even under the dual gospels in the Acts age, Gentiles were excused from the weightier matters of the Law (Acts 15).

In the current dispensation, earthly ordinances and practices are not only wrong, they are condemned. When scripture  warns us against minding "the things of the world," included in that warning are ordinances related to the earthly kingdom.

We have no ordinances in this dispensation. What we call "the Lord's Supper" is the Jewish Passover. Water Baptism (cleansing) has no place in this age. This is not just a question of liberty, but of obedience and hope.

If we believe we are pleasing God by participating in earthly ordinances, we risk missing our hope and calling in the "far above the heavens." Israel will have a new temple one day (Ezek), but we look for a future where the heavenly Holy of Holies is, with Christ, far above all heavens.

Enemies of the Cross of Christ Who Mind Earthly Things

The "enemies of the cross of Christ" who "mind earthly things" are Christians. They do not understand our citizenship is not earthly. The "cross of Christ" speaks of suffering for his name here and "earthly things" pertains to ordinances and practices connected to the earthly promises to Israel. These are not "enemies of Christ," but they are enemies of the truths of this dispensation. Thes are like those who abandoned Paul (2 Tim). They are Christians, but of the world because they do not understand, or they reject, the dispensation of the Mystery revealed through Paul.

We need fresh eyes to read the following passages. The context is fellow believers, yet these are almost exclusively presented as attacks from outside the family of faith. When you have your eyes enlightened to this truth, you will start to see how Christendom has many believers enslaved to earthly practices and dangerously close to losing all rewards.
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ... -Phil 3:18-20
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain... -2 Tim 1:12-16
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the [i]handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. -Col 2