DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?
AN ARTICLE THAT ATTEMPTS TO ANSWER THE QUESTION…
“IS THE WORLD-WIDE HEBREW ROOTS / MESSIANIC MOVEMENT A COUNTERFEIT / HERETICAL MOVEMENT?”
IN A WORD – YES! … and NO!!
(Disclaimer – All generalizations, theories and conclusions are the uniquely held perspective of the author and are presented herein for your prayerful consideration… I hope you’ll endure with me till the end and that you will be greatly edified in your faith.)
Please allow me a moment or two and let me explain my seeming contradictory answer…
Yes, I firmly believe that the Hebrew Roots / Messianic movement was / is the work of the Spirit of YHWH in these very last days and was bequeathed to the body of Messiah as a wondrous blessing straight from Heaven’s throne. However, I also firmly believe that when left as an end unto itself, the Hebrew Roots Movement is 100% heretical and most of its adherents / advocates are somewhat deceived!
I am writing this article with the hopes of conveying three very profound, paradigm-altering ideas to every reader.
1. 1. The Set-apart Spirit of YHWH has seemingly been diligently working over the last 500 years to completely restore a fully functional Tabernacle on earth, in preparation for the return of the one true Messiah, Yahoshua (Jesus).
It is my personal belief that the born-again, spirit-filled body of Messiah is the Tabernacle where His Spirit dwells today, as this is what the Scripture teaches. (1Cor. 3:16-17) It is also my personal belief that the living Tabernacle was complete and fully functional during the first century, from the time of Acts 2 forward. Moreover, just like the first Tabernacle (and later the Temple) suffered great deterioration over the first 530 years, so did the assemblies of the one true faith over the first five centuries A.D.
Note: From the time of the destruction of the first temple, the temple at Yarushalayim was never completely restored as there was no Ark of the Covenant.
2. 2. Our overall lack of understanding concerning the fullness of the restoration work of the Spirit in these last days has been the primary catalyst for the many thousands of schisms that presently defines the world-wide assemblies of those who adhere to the one true faith of the Scriptures.
3. 3. The correct understanding of the restoration work of the Spirit will hopefully comfort and encourage all the saints of every sect and denomination. It is my hope that it will help every believer to make the needed transition for His entire elect bride to be able to work in full cooperation with what the Spirit is doing, in order to prepare us to receive the Groom of Heaven with the honour that He alone deserves.
What exactly is heresy anyways? I believe that heresy is best defined as the over-emphasis of any one particular truth. For example: If my nose was 30% larger than average; one might say that I have a heretical nose. If the size of my nose was greatly disproportionate to the rest of my face, most people would unintentionally focus more on my nose than on any other part of my face. As a direct result, when we parted company, the majority would remember my nose and probably forget the rest of my facial features.
WHO AM I?
Since around 2001, I am a born-again, spirit-filled believer in the Messiah of Yisrael who has been on an amazing and miraculous journey, as I sought to prayerfully answer the ageless question, “What is truth?”, from the authority of the full counsel of the Scriptures alone (Genesis – Revelation, per John 8:31-32), and the leading and guiding of the Spirit (John 14:26), with an upright heart (2Thes. 2:10).
WHAT I DISCOVERED
Once I committed to embark upon this perilous journey I was shocked and many times downright appalled by much of what I “discovered” along the way. I do not believe it to be an understatement at all when I say that much of the history of the church is very dark and foreboding. The quagmire we grew up referring to as the history of the church is nowhere near as black and white, or straightforward, as we like to pretend it to be. The more accurate narratives reveal that much of our history and heritage is downright wicked and dare I say – even Satanic?
ALMOST A CASUALTY
I am just one of many millions all over the world who have very recently been specifically called out to ask and answer the question, “What is truth?” Unfortunately, most of us who have answered the call have allowed ourselves to become somewhat embittered and hardened along the way. When the multitude of lies (which we fully believed to be the truth previously) were exposed (seemingly all at once), and we began to realize that the majority of the faith that we were practicing was born out of ancient traditions of paganism and not from the authority of the Scriptures, we quickly became disillusioned with all of Christendom.
If not for the tender mercies of YHWH, I would have been swallowed up by my own wicked and deceitful heart a long, long time ago. Like the overwhelming majority of the saints who have gone before me over the last 500+ years, I was so focused on the revelation before me that I was left completely blinded to the progressive revelation that had already been given to the generation(s) which preceded me. It is for this very same reason that most of the Messianic movement has become completely heretical.
Without proper historical context, the primary emphasis of each additional movement of the Spirit, left unto itself, also became (will become) heretical. Sadly, many of their proponents were / are.
A BRIEF GLIMPSE AT THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
30 A.D. ~ THE LIVING TABERNACLE IS COMPLETELY FUNCTIONAL AND RESTORED
325-1500 A.D. ~ THE UNIVERSAL ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH – Salvation by the prescribed works of the church – The one true faith seemingly died.
AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE LAST SEVEN WORLD-WIDE MOVEMENTS OF THE SPIRIT
1525-1530 A.D. ~ THE BIRTH PANGS OF PROTESTANTISM – Justification by favour through faith – Emphasis on salvation – John Wycliffe, Jon Hus, John Calvin and Martin Luther
1765-1770 A.D. ~ Sanctification – Emphasis on personal holiness – George Whitfield, John and Charles Wesley
1885-1890 A.D. ~ Pentecostalism – Emphasis on the power of the indwelling Spirit
1945-1950 A.D. ~ Charismatic Movement – Emphasis on lay-leadership / discipleship
1980-1985 A.D. ~ Renewal Movement – Emphasis on worship, personal and cooperate
1995-2000 A.D. ~ Restoration – Emphasis on returning to the Hebrew roots of the faith
2007-2013 A.D. ~ Purification – Emphasis on preparing the bride for the return of the Heavenly Groom
Whether you agree with my identification of these seven distinct movements or not, I’d like you to carefully / prayerfully consider the following analysis and working thesis.
As a generalization…
Each world-wide movement was preceded by five years of forceful preaching by a small eclectic band – emphasizing that which was revealed by the Spirit before it really took off.
Each subsequent world-wide movement was rejected by the entrenched, seminary educated, professional clergy-man as being mostly false and even of the devil.
E.g. The Universal Roman Catholic Church flatly rejected as heretics those who would soon become known as Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. 240 years later, many adherents of the established protestant church would then flatly reject as heretics those who would soon become known as Wesleyans, Methodists, etc.
This pattern has continued on with each subsequent movement that has followed.
As an unintended result…
Each “new” movement was mostly carried forward by lay men with little to no formal education or training. These men were characterized by their heavy reliance on the Word and the Spirit and thus they preached that which was revealed with tremendous power.
Each “new” movement was revealed in approximately half the time as the movement before it. E.g. Whereas 240 years elapsed between the first and second movement, only 120 years elapsed between the second and third movements.
Each “new” movement was preferred by those who proclaimed it, to the partial or full exclusion of the movements which had preceded them. To the heralders of each revealed movement of the Spirit, the “new” was surely better and preferred over the movement(s) before them. E.g. Most of the adherents of the Hebrew roots / Messianic movement no longer actively share their faith with a lost and dying world and could not even tell you the last time they purposely did so. Seemingly, they have altogether forgotten the altar of justification and what the first all-important movement was all about! It is for this reason, more than any other, I assert that the movement is mostly heretical.
MAKE ME A SANCTUARY, THAT I MAY DWELL IN THEIR MIDST. ~ Exodus 25:8
A careful examination of the seven world-wide movements of the Spirit seemingly reveals that each one corresponds with the seven implements of the tabernacle.
Directly behind the first veil of the tabernacle (which was idiomatically known as “The Way”) we will “discover”…
The Bronze Altar – Justification
The Brazen Laver – Sanctification
Directly behind the second veil of the tabernacle (which was idiomatically known as “The Truth”) we will “discover”…
The Seven Branched Menorah – Pentecostal Movement
The Table of Shew Bread – Charismatic Movement
The Altar of Incense – Renewal Movement
The Hand-held Censer – Restoration Movement
Note: The hand-held censer was only implemented on the Day of Atonement
Directly behind the third veil of the tabernacle (which was idiomatically known as “The Life”) we will “discover”…
The Ark of the Covenant – Purification Movement
If my analysis and working thesis of the seven movements of the Set-apart Spirit are proven correct, then I would like to propose the following, as a meaningful word of encouragement to the world-wide body and bride of the Messiah.
Yahoshua haMashiach, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, is coming very soon. He is coming to receive His pure, spotless virgin bride and bring her into the wedding chamber which He has prepared for her. (John 14:2-3)
In a type and shadow picture, the high priest of Yisrael (which I personally believe represents the royal-priesthood of believers in this working thesis) enters into the most set-apart place on one exclusive day of the year – Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). On this one particular day only, the high-priest of Yisrael is invited to come behind the “life” veil and experience a “face to face”, intimate encounter with the living Elohim of Heaven and Earth.
In order for the high-priest to enter into the “wedding chamber”, he must first take off all of his royal priestly attire and strip down to his linen shirt and breeches and nothing else. Like a timid virgin bride wearing delicate lingerie on her honey-moon, the barefoot high-priest enters into the one place that no else in all of Yisrael was able to enter into.
It is my personal belief that the primary work of the Spirit of YHWH during these last few years, before the Messiah returns, is the purification of the bride. This movement will be characterized by YHWH stripping away EVERYTHING from the elect-bride of His favour – that is not worthy of Him. Just like the high-priest of Yisrael, it is His preference that we surrender everything to Him willingly and freely.
However, if we are the elect bride of His favour and we do not surrender all freely to Him, by the unction of His Spirit, then we better best believe that He will take away from us whatever it is that we are holding onto. While the primary emphasis of the last movement of the Spirit is the purification of the mature-warrior bride of His desire, His intent from the beginning was that we would build Him a sanctuary.
Are you presently going through a season of purification / fiery trials? Does it seem as though just about everything is being taken away from you? Have you recently felt that the only person in the pages of the Scriptures you could possibly relate to is Job? Yes?!! Then… REJOICE! REJOICE! It very well could be that you are being purified from every desire of your flesh and every offering of this world, so that your only remaining all-consuming desire will be to enter into His presence at the time He returns for His bride.
Is there anything at all that presently has your heart and affection(s) that you know YHWH Elohim is calling you to surrender completely to Him? It is YHWH’s desire that you would freely give up anything / everything that would keep you from being 100% unashamed at His appearing. It is my prayer that you would do so today!
“Look out, brothers, lest there be in any of you a wicked heart of unbelief in falling away from the living Elohim, but encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened by the deceivableness of sin. For we have become partakers of Messiah if we hold fast the beginning of our trust firm to the end, while it is said, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” ~ Hebrews 3:12-15
Your servant and His,
Robert Arthur McDuffie ~ Gal. 6:14
For your edification, here is the same teaching in video format. Please note that the original presentation was recorded while we were ministering on the mission field of South Africa. While the invitation to come to South Africa for a boot camp is not currently offered, we do openly accept invitations to travel to your area and present the boot camp teachings in your area.
Note: Much gratitude of heart to Dr Gerrit Nel, founder of Hebrew People, for the powerful insights he shared on the seven moves of the Spirit in relation to the Tabernacle in the wilderness. The insights he shared at NG Kerk at Florida, South Africa, in early 2013, served as the foundation for this paper. http://hebrewpeople.com/