Hebrew Roots Cult & Hebrews Ch. 9
The "Hebrew Roots" or "Hebraic Roots" movement is a dangerous offshoot of Christianity that seems to be growing lately. Even on various "Christian" social media pages I see people wanting to go back under the law and focus on the Torah or Tanakh (Pentateuch & Old Testament), even though we are living in New Testament times.
This is a very easy false teaching to refute, but people have a desire to put themselves under the bondage of the law in order to feel like their works and attempted obedience to the law will somehow add to their salvation. This idea isn't new; it was around in the first century A.D. which is why there is so much material in the New Testament specifically refuting this idea.
The entire book of Galatians was written for the express purpose of rebuking judaizers and I did a podcast about that you can listen to here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2NFsqCkJ4CgIEjScsPNOj2?si=ezdAU26DTd6xScU5Wt4zPA&dl_branch=1
This distinction between the Old Covenant and New Covenant (covenant & testament are the same word in the Greek) is made quite clear. Let's look at part of Hebrews chapter 9:
1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
Starting at verse one, we see there was a first covenant (implying a second), and gives us a couple quick details about this one that is now made obsolete. It had ordinances (or regulations) regarding service in this worldly sanctuary. Worldly here refers to earthly in contrast with heavenly.
The next several verses describe this tabernacle; now read verses 7-9
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
"The second" refers to the second part of the temple, the Holy of Holies, in which the High Priest could only enter in once a year. In the old covenant, people could not freely enter into God's presence. See Leviticus 16 for the detailed requirements for this ritual.
8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Adam Clarke explains it succinctly: "That full access to God was not the common privilege of the people, while the Mosaic economy subsisted. That the apostle means that it is only by Christ that any man and every man can approach God, is evident from Hebrews 10:19-22."
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Could this not be more clear?? The tabernacle with its rituals and sacrifices was a figure for the time then present.
Colossians 2 makes a similar point: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." That's a powerful statement and powerful refutation of the Hebraic Roots cult. Read those verses again, then read the whole chapter of Colossians 2.
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
So the old law, with its food restrictions, washings (Leviticus 13), and carnal ordinances (δικαιωματα σαρκος) which refers to all rites and ceremonies that pertain to the flesh or body, were only given for a time. The "time of reformation" is obviously speaking of the first coming of Christ who came and fulfilled the law.
John Gill writes that these ceremonies and rituals were given to the nation of Israel, "but were not to continue any longer than the time of the Gospel, here called 'the time of reformation', or of 'correction', and emendation; in which, things that were faulty and deficient are amended and perfected, and in which burdensome rites and ceremonies are removed, and better ordinances introduced: or rather of direction: in which saints are directed to Christ, the sum and substance of all types, shadows, and sacrifices, and in whom alone perfection is."
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Christ replaced the old tabernacle and the old laws! We have no need to go back to the old covenant which Jesus replaced.
John 1:17 says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."