The Cult of Moses (HRM)


Staff member
The Cult of Moses (HRM)
By Pete Garcia

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:36

Recently, I had become engaged in a rather heated conversation on Facebook about whether we as Christians should go back to keeping the Mosaic Law. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Moses. However, there seems to be a growing desire amongst those who avidly support Israel, to want to reconnect back to the roots of our common faith. While perhaps well intended, it is problematic given the slippery nature of legalism and our new relationship in Christ.

Christians attempting to add the Mosiac Law back into our post-Calvary, new covenant faith is like the newly liberated Hebrews creating a golden calf after having just been delivered from their bondage in Egypt. It is nonsensical and dangerous. It is a form of idolatry that begins to turn one’s attention from Jesus Christ, back to keeping the Law. Again, I believe that some in these groups have good, but misguided intentions in their efforts to grow closer to God; but they risk the narrow gate for a system that can neither save nor sanctify.

The Movement​

Not as widely known or as structured as the Emergent Church movement (which openly advocates licentiousness, ecumenicalism, and apostasy); the Hebrew Roots is more of a grassroots movement. To me, they are on the opposite end of the spectrum in their zealousness to the Law, as the Emergent groups are to antinomianism. In other words, they are the outer extremes on the same measuring stick. It’s as if we have our modern-day church age equivalent of the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

Although they profess salvation is by grace through faith, they claim by keeping the commandments in the Torah, a Christian demonstrates their real love for and faith in Jehovah. But it’s hard to lump this movement in altogether because some go to more extremes than others in terms of their legalism. For instance, in the Sacred Name group, if you claimed that your salvation is in Jesus Christ, you are not really saved because you are really following a false god since ‘Jesus’ (Iēsous), which they claim is a Greek variation of the name Zeus…a false god. They are further divided over whether its Jehoshua, Yeshua, Yahshua, etc.

While the numerous factions and sects vary in terms of their willingness to follow the tenets of the Torah, at a minimum, they generally agree the Trinity is not biblical, keeping the kosher dietary restrictions, the Feasts as laid out in Leviticus 23, and observing the Saturday Sabbath.

The Problem​

Now, this reintroduction of keeping Mosaic laws is not a new argument by any stretch of the imagination. There have been attempts to reinsert the law since the beginning of the Church Age; an attempt to ‘blur the lines’ so to speak between identifying Christianity with Jewishness. The Apostles and the early church elders dealt with this as it pertained to circumcision in the 1st-century church:

And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” – Acts 15:1

Seeing as the New Testament was still in the process of being written, Peter, filled with and sealed by the Holy Spirit, asked the question…

“Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” – Acts 15:10

Good question indeed. But later, we see the slippery slope of legalism appealing to the flesh, seep in and even Peter and Barnabas are caught up in what Paul called’ hypocrisy. For this, Paul rebuked them to their faces for being hypocritical about keeping the kosher dietary restrictions in certain company (Gal. 2:11-13). Paul, who, being a Jew of the Tribe of Benjamin, trained by Gamaliel, was zealous for the law, and early persecutor of the Church, recognized the futility of attempting to keep the Law as a means to demonstrate our own righteousness.

“We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” – Galatians 2:15-16

The main problem these Hebrew Roots groups and those like them have is that instead of the New Testament superseding the Old, the Old Testament is the foundation by which the New Testament has to be measured. It is for this same reason that I believe Michael the Archangel contended with Satan over the body of Moses. Had Satan got a hold of the body, he would have enshrined it in some idolatrous manner, which he would have later used to cause the Jews to further stumble and turn their affections more to a lifeless body than to the God who gave Moses the Law. Even the pole with the bronze serpent was worshipped and it was just a stick, imagine what they would have done with Moses or his tomb.

For these Hebrew Roots-type groups, the Law trumps everything, and they disregard further revelation by Jesus and the Apostles if it conflicts with what the Mosaic Law states. They ignore the fact that the Bible only has one author, and that it is God the Holy Spirit who moved men to write what they wrote.

Rightly Dividing​

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

Dispensationalists are unique amongst the Christian evangelicals in that we have long held a strong bond and support for the nation of Israel. We understand their role in God’s over-arching plan for the Ages as well as our own. We can differentiate between the church and Israel by rightly dividing the Word. It’s not merely a matter of opinion, but for one to have a consistent and accurate understanding of the Bible, you have to know what applies to whom. The Hebrew Roots movement is just Replacement theology in reverse.

Instead of replacing Israel with the Church, they have replaced the Church with Israel. One big problem they have is that there is no consistency in how they interpret the Bible. When pressed, they do not agree that we should still be stoning rebellious children or those who are caught in adultery but with the same breath mandate that the Sabbath and the Feast must be observed. So who gave them the authority to decide which rules to follow and which NOT to follow? Jews under the Mosaic Law didn’t get the luxury of picking and choosing which laws to keep, and which to ignore. They had to obey them all. James gives some sober warning to those who would place themselves back under that burdensome yoke. It was burdensome because one had to obey ALL of the Law, not just parts and pieces.

The Sacrifice​

Israel has three different components to its identity: ethnic, political, and spiritual. As a Dispensationalist, I recognize these three components. I understand that the Law was given to Israel at Mt. Sinai as a nation; to separate them from the pagan peoples in they lived amongst. But the Law, which sits at 613 separate commandments from God, served another and more meaningful purpose, which was to point the Israelites as a schoolmaster, to the need for a Savior. There was absolutely NO WAY that they could keep those laws, which is why in God’s grace a sacrificial system was emplaced to temporarily atone for the sins of the people.

The Law in the Old Testament revolves around the Ten Commandments. Any violation of these commandments had to be rectified by a sacrificial system in order to atone for sins; otherwise, there would be absolutely no hope for the nation. So really, the sacrificial system of bulls, sheep, and goats made it possible for them to meek out an existence under such a cumbersome yoke.

The fact that Christ Himself did away with the need for such a sacrificial system, speaks volumes about the necessity for the rest of the Law, on which everything hinged for there to be a way to make restitution.

How these groups skirt the most fundamental of issues is that they still claim salvation comes by grace through faith. They point to Revelation 12:17 for an example that links both the commandments and faith together. But to do this, one has to do great damage to the identities of who is who in this passage. The caveat in their salvation by ‘grace through faith’ is that one can only demonstrate ‘true’ salvation by keeping the Law because in so doing, one is demonstrating their love for God through obedience. Ironically, this is very similar to what the Mormons (LDS) teach in 2 Nephi 25:23 that you are “saved by grace through faith,” BUT only “after all, you can do.”

This obviously conflicts with many New Testament passages such as Philippians 1:6; Galatians 3:3, Hebrews 10:10-14. Even John the Baptist (whom Jesus called the greatest of the prophets), states that our salvation comes through our belief in Jesus Christ, not in obedience to the Law or through any kind of works.

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” – John 3:36

Clearly, the New Testament teaches that keeping the Law does not save a man, nor is he made more righteous or sanctified by keeping the Law. Only through faith in Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, can one obtain the ‘Righteousness of God’.

Israel & the Church​

The church is distinct from Israel. The church does not replace or continue Israel, and is never referred to as Israel…”In the book of Acts, both Israel and the church exist simultaneously. The term Israel is used twenty times and ekklesia (church) nineteen times, yet the two groups are always kept distinct.” (Source)

Dr. Andy Woods has done the yeoman’s work on compiling twenty clear distinctions between Israel and the church. For brevity’s sake, I’ll just list the top five that I see, but you can read all twenty in the link below #5.

1. Israel gave birth to Christ (Revelation 12:1-5)

– Christ gave birth to the Church (Matthew 16:18)

2. Israel had a priesthood coming from the tribe of Levi and the line of Aaron.

– The Church has no priesthood because it IS the priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6)

3. Israel is a nation with borders and a capital (Psalm 147:20) and is always portrayed as an independent nation among the other nations of the earth.

– The Church is not a nation (Romans 10:19) but is composed of people from ALL nations (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:6, 15). The Church is a pilgrim in this world system (1 Peter 2:11)

4. Christ rescues Israel at the end of the Tribulation upon their national conversion (Matthew 23:37-39)

– Christ rescues the Church before the Tribulation at the Rapture (John 14:1-3, Revelation 4:1-2)

5. Israel was a direct party to the Biblical covenants (Jeremiah 31:31-32)

– The Church was not party to these covenants since they were not in existence when they were made.

Note: For the complete list click here

The first person called a Hebrew in the Bible was Abraham. (Gen 14:13). Abraham is the Father of the Jewish nation, and through him, came Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and the rest of the 12 Tribes of Israel. Seeing as he was the first person to be identified as a Hebrew, and Abraham’s father was a pagan (Josh 24:2), should lead one to believe, that he indeed was the first.

Christians by the very definition could not exist until Christ lived and died (Hebrews 9:17). The moment He died on the cross, the temple veil was torn in two, signifying that the Dispensation of the Law had come to a pause and that a new one was to begin. Understanding Daniel 9:26, we know that the Law was not completely done away with, but will find it’s fulfillment in the final seven years of Daniel’s 70 Week prophecy when after the removal of the Church at the Rapture, God turns His attention back to the Jews and the nation of Israel.


Legalism is an extremely dangerous and slippery slope and always leads people to measure other people’s righteousness on their own. Don’t believe me? Ask the Pharisees who condemned Christ to the cross. Their hearts were hardened and condemned because they held sincere convictions that they were absolutely right in their cause. As Christians, our righteousness doesn’t come from our own behavior, but from Christ’s. Christ called us to spread the Gospel, not the Law of Moses and the Apostle Paul clearly lays out what the Gospel is, and he also clearly states those that preach ‘another’ gospel will be accursed.

We do share a common faith because out of the Old Testament, came the New. The Old Testament’s example after example points to the coming of Jesus Christ in what is known as Typology. The Old Testament is so rich in typology because it was meant to show us, Jesus. On the road to Emmaus, a resurrected Jesus points this out in detail to his disciples who had still not grasped it.

But it’s not only about ‘rightly dividing’ the word, but we also need to let the word divide us, and so doing, let the Holy Spirit guide and direct us, break us and rebuild us, to truly become the people that God has called us to be. Not doers of rules and regulations, but a people who are in this world, but not of this world. Our hearts and minds, fixed on the things above, not on things of this life. The Law was a shadow of the things to come and this world is drawing to a close, so we need to be busy about sharing the Gospel to a lost and dying world, not seeing how righteous we think we can make ourselves. That’s not our job…that’s Gods.

I’m Ready

Active Member
I think my sister believes this; she can never really explain it without me getting really confused. She acts like she knows the Bible so well but I just want to ask her if she’s actually read the NT and if she truly knows Jesus. Her pride gets in the way before I can even get to that question. It saddens me because I love her…please pray for her!

seated with Christ

Well-Known Member
I was just speaking of Moses yesterday, I was talking about rebuking the devil saying that we humans have no authority to rebuke Satan. I said that not even the Archangel Michael had the authority to rebuke him when he was contending for the body of Moses, but Michael said, "the Lord rebuke you", I said that Jesus Christ has the only authority to rebuke him.

Satan wanted Moses corpse to give to his human to make a carved image of him then to worship at his tomb and graven image.


Well-Known Member
Legalism is rooted in self-righteousness. Whether its apostate Israel or reprobate gentiles, it always comes down to pride and the belief that we can be "good" and sufficient on our own without God who created us.

I was reading the beginnings of the church in the Book of Acts and in the first few chapters, the earliest persecutors of the church were the apostate Jews. Stephen narrated how Israel failed time and time again until it culminated in them rejecting the Messiah. They were so enraged they covered their ears and stoned him outside of the city.

But now, 2,000 years later, Israel is on the brink of rediscovering Yahweh. They will look on the One they pierced and realize Jesus is the Messiah they have been waiting for all along. And they will stop relying on their own "righteousness" and look on the Lord on the cross for salvation.


Well-Known Member
Satan uses a genuine desire to be as close to Jesus as possible to seduce Christians into the Hebrew Roots Movement. Old Splitfoot is able to do this because many (most today?) Christians are not taught the truths of the rituals of the old Testament and how they were all fulfilled in Christ. The rituals were given to ancient Israel to point them to Messiah and to reveal Him to them when He came. Their purpose was complete at that point. Nowadays, Christians fall into the trap of rabbinical Judaism when they try to repeat the rituals in a misguided attempt to be more like Jesus. Sadly, they miss the real way to become more like Him ... and it does not stem from rituals. It arises out of obedience to the truths of God's Word, not to Levitical laws and rabbinical traditions. Let us remember that rabbinic Judaism arose from those who rejected Christ when He came the first time. :ohno


Longing for Home
The rituals were given to ancient Israel to point them to Messiah and to reveal Him to them when He came. Their purpose was complete at that point. Nowadays, Christians fall into the trap of rabbinical Judaism when they try to repeat the rituals in a misguided attempt to be more like Jesus. Sadly, they miss the real way to become more like Him ... and it does not stem from rituals. It arises out of obedience to the truths of God's Word, not to Levitical laws and rabbinical traditions. Let us remember that rabbinic Judaism arose from those who rejected Christ when He came the first time.
:scoregoodAdrian, I've been teaching a weekly Bible study for several months, and I've been trying to make this point since we began studying John. You said it so extremely well, and I may need to print it off to give to them. Excellent!!


Well-Known Member
The Hebrew Roots Movement is nothing new. Paul fought against the same attitude in his day as there were Hebrew Christians who were trying to force new Gentile Christian converts to be circumcised as well as follow other Old Testament legal practices in order to be part of the Body of Christ. To paraphrase Paul, that was nonsense; He pointed out that Jesus set us free from following the law, as no man could ever truly earn salvation that way. There is only one way to obtain righteousness before God, and that is through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. We follow Jesus Christ, not a checklist filled with laws and traditions.


Well-Known Member
I had several conversations with my dad about this. He believed in the Hebrew Roots Movement, and even told me that he was concerned that I wasn't saved because I believed in Jesus. My dad was a brilliant man, but very deceived. He did not believe in the Trinity, he believed that Jesus was just a chosen man created by God to be a sacrifice for us. According to him, only the Old Testament was right, and anytime I brought up a Scripture from the New Testament he said that it was flawed. He believed that God's Word was infallible, but the Bible was full of errors. He started to learn Hebrew just so that he could have a "head start" in heaven. He went to synagogue on Saturday and had a Jewish Bible. The funny thing is, this was not how he believed when I was growing up. He basically turned his back on almost everything that he taught me as a child.
But what I need to know is, was he truly saved? He passed away two years ago, and my mom is firmly convinced that he was saved. But if he did not believe in the deity of Jesus, could he truly have been saved? It scares me to pieces.
One good result from this whole thing is that it motivated me to look back and figure out why I believe what I believe. It also got me started truly studying the Bible and eschatology.


Well-Known Member
I am sorry I cannot answer your question. The only person who knows whether your father was surely saved is God. Well, Him and your father right now. What I can say for sure is this: God is good, and good all the time. I know you love your dad, well so does God. You can absolutely trust Him to have done what is exactly just and fair and right. Comfort yourself with that thought. It is true.