Pastor David B. Curtis

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The Hebrew Roots Movement - Part 2

Acts 15:1-19

Delivered 05/18/14

We began talking last week about the Hebrew Roots Movement. I said, I am NOT part of this movement. I'd like to continue on with this subject again this morning. If you haven't heard last weeks message please watch it first. Last week I quoted Menachem Kaiser, I think he captured the essence of the movement when he said, "Hebrew Roots, is a movement of—for lack of a better term—Torah-observant Gentiles."

We ended last week talking about what is wrong with the Hebrew Roots Movement, I want to expand on that subject. The underlying assumption of the HRM when approaching any Scripture seems to be: Whatever Yahweh has ever commanded of His people Israel is still in effect today, including the Mosaic Law. Gentile followers of Christ were "grafted into" the Jews, which they interpret to mean that Gentiles must assume Jewish customs if they really want to mature and please Yahweh.

There is a Hebrew Roots group out of Newport Beach, California called, "Last Trumpet Org Ministires"; their website says this: This ministry is Torah observant of non-rabbinic practices. Helping people in these last days to get into the "life" boat called being "Torah observant of Lord Yeshua" of non-rabbinic practices and not of the false apostle Paul. Their web site goes on to say:

The primary purpose of this ministry:

1. To show the need for everyone to be Torah observant of Lord Yeshua, of non rabbinic practices and to keep ALL the Sabbaths of the Lord. Leviticus 23. The Lord will only remember His children by those who keep His Sabbaths! All those Sunday Christians of Paul will get left behind. The foolish virgins of Matthew 25.

Here is another excerpt from the Last Trumpet website:

"Pastor Mark Biltz and I are both in agreement that the foolish virgins of Matthew 25 are ALL the Sunday churches. It's very obvious if you know your Scriptures and understand Torah terminology. The Sunday churches, meet on Sunday, they do not meet on the appointed Saturday Sabbath, they don't keep the appointed Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23), they teach people away from the need for "being Torah observant," (the instructions of God) , claiming they are not under the Law any more.

If you have never heard of Mark Biltz, he is the one who came up with the Four Blood Moons teaching. Hagee took Biltz's teaching and popularized it.

In my opinion, the relationship between the Mosaic Law and the believer is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the Bible. How many believers are still in bondage to the Law? For example, most believers think that they are under a divine mandate to give a Tithe to their church. There is no New Testament mandate to tithe. Tithing was given to Israel, which was a theocracy. Tithing to Israel was taxation, it was to run the government. Israel was to tithe twenty three percent of their income, not ten percent.

The Jewish New Testament Commentary, speaking of Ephesians 2:11-22, says this:

These verses, often misused by Christians against Messianic Jews, are actually part of the charter for Messianic Judaism. They are fundamental to understanding both the nature of the Torah, which still exists and is binding on believers, and the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in the Messianic Community

Just like the HRM The Jewish New Testament Commentary says we must keep Torah. "Hebrew Roots Movement "and "Messianic Churches" are two different groups. But some in the "Messianic Churches lean toward the more exclusive teachings of the "Hebrew Roots Movement." If Torah is binding on believers, then we all have to go to Jerusalem three times a year:

"Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord Yahweh, the God of Israel. Exodus 34:23 NASB

And when in Jerusalem they must offer sacrifices. How many among the HRM does this? This is Torah. And you had to be circumcised or you couldn't partake of Passover, according to Exodus 12:48.

This is a big problem with the HRM, they think we have to observe Torah. We don't, we Gentiles never did have to.

The issue of what Gentile believers needed to do is not a new question in our day, the apostles themselves dealt with this issue on more than one occasion. Acts 15 gives us clear insight on Gentiles in the church. Since some in the HRM reject the teaching of Paul, in this text we get the view of the leaders in the Jerusalem Church.

The context of Acts 15 is that the Church at Antioch, which was primarily Gentile, and the Church at Jerusalem, which was Jewish, had come together to debate the Doctrine of Soteriology. How is a person saved? And what is a Gentile believer's obligation to the Torah?:

And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Acts 15:1 NASB

Here we see that men from Judea are teaching that Yahweh requires circumcision. Are they right? How do you know? A question that we all must be able to answer is: What must I do to be saved? This is a critical issue. We can be wrong on a lot of things, but we don't want to be wrong here. If you talk to ten different people on how a man is saved, you'll get ten different responses. People will say, "You must: believe, repent, confess, commit, be baptized, join the church." According to some, you even have to have a Futuristic Eschatology in order to be saved. R.C. Sproul Jr. said, "Preterism is a 'fatal-damnable heresy.'" Which means if your eschatology is wrong, you cannot be saved, you're under Yahweh's wrath.

In out text it was the "Judaizers" who were saying you can't be saved unless you are circumcised. The Judaizers were a group of people who went around in the first century promoting Judaism. This is very similar to what some in the HRM are doing today.

News had reached Judea of the many Gentiles who had become Christians and had not been circumcised. This had horrified many Jewish believers, especially many Pharisees who were believers, for they considered that it was not possible to be within Yahweh's salvation without being circumcised and keeping the whole Law of Moses. They were pushing Judaism on the believers. They were saying that in order to be a Christian, you must first come through the door of Judaism. You must be circumcised and keep the Law. They were saying, "Yes, you must trust in Christ, but you also must keep the Law."

Where do you suppose the Judaizers got their theology from? They got it from the Hebrew Scriptures, what Christianity mistakenly calls "The Old Testament." The problem was this misunderstood the Scripture. In Isaiah there are many promises of restored Israel, which speak of the Church. But the Judaizers saw these passages at strictly physical. In chapter 52, which is a prediction of the New Jerusalem, Isaiah writes:

Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city. For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no more come into you. 2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. Isaiah 52:1-2 NASB

I think we could understand that this could be taken to mean that only those physically circumcised could enter the Kingdom. In this chapter we also have the promise of the calling of the Gentiles into the restored Kingdom.

So I think you can see how the Judaizers may have thought that Isaiah said that when the Kingdom is established, Jerusalem will be the center, and the uncircumcised will not enter this Jerusalem. So they taught that you must be circumcised to be saved. So lying behind the Judaizer's theology was the promise of the restoration of Israel. So really, the Judaizer's theology is, at its core, an issue of the nature of the restoration of Israel. This is true for the HRM also. They saw it as physical, but this is speaking of a spiritual Kingdom and a spiritual circumcision. Look at what Jeremiah says:

"Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My wrath go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds." Jeremiah 4:4 NASB

Here Yahweh is talking to men who have been physically circumcised and says, "Circumcise... your heart." This spiritual aspect is seen in:

"Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised- Jeremiah 9:25 NASB

How can they be circumcised and yet be uncircumcised? They were physically circumcised, but not spiritually circumcised. Circumcision is that which is of the heart. They missed the reality and clung to the sign.

So what does this mean to us? We don't know of any Judaizers. Well we might not think we know any, but they're still around. I see the HRM as modern day Judaizers in that they are trying to put believers under the Torah. They are trying to turn Gentiles into Torah-observant Jews.

Back in Paul's day this introduced an issue which split the church at Antioch wide open. They were really saying: "In order to become a Christian, you must first become a Jew." Their "Gospel" might be stated: "Christianity is Jewish. To be saved, one must believe in Yeshua of Nazareth as the Christ, but in order to be a part of this covenant community, Israel, one must become a proselyte, which is entered into by circumcision, which obligates the individual to keep the Law of Moses."

To these "Judaizers" salvation meant identifying not only with Christ, but with the nation Israel. It meant placing oneself under the Mosaic Covenant and keeping the Laws of Moses, as defined by Judaism. It is the same with the HRM.

So this is not an obscure issue that we don't have to consider, this is something we must understand because this teaching is everywhere today. Notice Paul and Barnabas' response to this teaching:

And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. Acts 15:2 NASB

There was an uproar in the Church at Antioch, because the apostles felt this was false teaching, and they didn't hesitate to speak up about it.

Paul and Barnabas saw to the heart of the question and stood firm against these new teachers, disagreeing with the men and challenging the basis of their teaching and questioning their arguments. But it was finally agreed by the whole church that what was necessary was to go to the apostles and the mother church in Jerusalem and discover their minds on the subject:

Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren. Acts 15:3 NASB

And so, Paul and Barnabas and a few others made their way to the city of Jerusalem under the official auspices of the Church at Antioch; and, along the way, they stopped in little gatherings of Gentile believers and Jewish believers, and they told them of the things that had been happening among the Gentiles:

And when they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. Acts 15:4 NASB

Whether this is an official church council or simply a consultation between two sister churches is up for debate. What is clear is that the apostles of the Lord reached a decision:

But certain ones of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed, stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses." Acts 15:5 NASB

So the circumcision party began to argue their case. They included among them Pharisees who had come to believe in Yeshua the Christ, but considered that the tenets of the Pharisees had to be maintained. The Pharisees were renowned for their high regard for the Law and their scrupulous observance of the Law. They argued that all who responded to Christ and became Christians had necessarily to be circumcised so as to enter into the covenant, and must then observe the whole Law of Moses. This would involve among other things: Temple worship and the offering of sacrifices when in Jerusalem, the payment of the Temple tax, separation from Gentiles who did not observe the Laws of cleanliness wherever they were, regular washings in order to maintain cleanliness, avoiding all that could render unclean according to Jewish principles, abstaining from the eating of blood and of various meats, strict observance of the Sabbath by not working, and a following of the multitude of Laws that governed the daily living of every Jew. It seems to me that the HRM picks and chooses which Laws to obey.

And the apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. Acts 15:6 NASB

It is evident that the leaders of the church in Jerusalem had not taken a position and had not dealt with this matter, because it is only at this time that they meet to determine what their position would be. Why had they not had to deal with this issue? It is because there were no Gentile Christians in the Jerusalem Church, or the question would have been settled before:

And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. Acts 15:7 NASB

"And after there had been much debate"—this would have been amazing to see! Christians serious enough about the truth to debate for it! These people believed truth was important. When is the last time that you debated with someone about Scripture? It seems that we want to talk and argue about everything except what is really important, Yahweh's Word.

"Peter stood up and said"—this was after the matters in dispute had been fully debated; and now the apostles, like judges, after hearing counsel on both sides, proceed to give judgment on the case.

Peter reminded all present of his own experience with Cornelius and his fellow-Gentiles many years before, and of how Yahweh had chosen him to take to these Gentiles the Good News with the result that they had believed.

Even before Peter finished his sermon at Cornelius' house, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they began speaking in unlearned foreign languages, just as the Jews had done at the Day of Pentecost. It happened right after Peter had said:

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." Acts 10:43 NASB

It is very important to note that the ONLY thing that Peter tells these Gentiles that they must do is BELIEVE!

"And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Acts 15:8-9 NASB

What had been especially significant was that Yahweh, Who knows the heart of all men, had borne witness to the fact that even while they were uncircumcised, he had cleansed their hearts by faith, for He had given to them His own Holy Spirit in precisely the same way and with the same signs as He had previously done to the Jews who believed.

"Made no distinction between us and them"—Peter makes an important observation. It comes straight from his vision of the clean and unclean animals from which Yahweh taught him this principle: Yahweh has shown to me that I should not call any man common or unclean (Acts 10:28). Those of the sect of the Pharisees who believed thought that the Gentiles were inherently "common" (in the sense of "unholy") or "unclean," and had to be made holy and clean by submitting to the Law of Moses.

Peter's argument is that Yahweh would not give His Holy Spirit to those who were unclean (uncircumcised) in their hearts. The fact that He sent the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles the instant that they believed, apart from their being circumcised, shows that salvation is by faith alone, not by faith plus circumcision or some other act of keeping the Law.

If Yahweh testified to their salvation, based solely upon their faith, how could anyone require anything more of Gentile Christians? Furthermore, Yahweh did not make any distinctions between these new Gentile saints and those who came to faith who were Jews. How could this Council make any distinctions in the Gospel, which was proclaimed to Gentiles?

If the salvation of those Gentiles in the home of Cornelius set not only a precedent but a pattern, then simple faith in Christ alone was all that was necessary for a Gentile to be saved:

"Now therefore why do you put Yahweh to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? Acts 15:10 NASB

What does he mean by "testing" Yahweh? It was to question the judgment of Yahweh. Yahweh knows the hearts. He knew that in Cornelius' house those individuals had been cleansed from their sins, for He had done that. And then, to insist that they must be circumcised in order to be saved—when Yahweh has indicated His approval of them by giving them the Holy Spirit—that is to tempt Yahweh.

I'd like for you to notice that term that is used for being under the Mosaic Law—it is a yoke. In Paul's statement in Galatians 5, verse 1, where speaking to the Galatian Christians, he said:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NASB

So, both Peter and Paul speak of being under the Law of Moses as being under the yoke of bondage. "Taking on the yoke" was in fact precisely what Jewish proselytes were described as doing when they ritually bathed themselves and were circumcised.

Then Peter says this:

"But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Yeshua, in the same way as they also are." Acts 15:11 NASB

But, he says, "We believe…" This is "We"—we, apostles, we apostles and elders: "We believe that through the grace of the Lord Yeshua, we shall be saved, even as they." In other words, Paul, Barnabas, and I and others agree, salvation is through grace. If we are saved through what we do, we're not saved by grace.

You would have expected, "They are saved in the same way as we are." But, rather, Peter is saying, "We religious Jews are saved in the same way as these pagan Gentiles are, namely, through the grace of the Lord Yeshua."

Peter reached his conclusion, and that apparently satisfied the multitude, for we read in verse 12:

And all the multitude kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. Acts 15:12 NASB

So, after Peter had settled the previous question and there was silence, Paul and Barnabas rose and gave details of the way that Yahweh was working among the Gentiles. And then, after they finished, there was a second time of silence, for we read in verse 13:

And after they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, "Brethren, listen to me. Acts 15:13 NASB

Now, James speaks. This James is obviously not the Apostle James, because his martyrdom is recorded back in Acts 12:2. This is the half-brother of Yeshua (Matthew 13:15). He didn't believe in Yeshua until after the resurrection. He was known as "James the Just." James had become a very important man in the Church at Jerusalem. His words certainly had to carry special weight:

Simeon has related how Yahweh first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. Acts 15:14 NASB

This use of Peter's Hebrew name "Simeon" was both tactful and fully understandable. Tactful because it linked Peter firmly with his Jewish background. It would make clear that in the end, Peter was essentially Jewish.

James then refers to Peter's description of his evangelisation of Cornelius and his fellow-Gentiles. Everyone knew about this, and how through it, Yahweh had undoubtedly taken from among the Gentiles "a people for His name." In the light of all the facts (11:1-18), this was really not open to dispute.

The Greek word for "Gentiles" is ethnos. The Greek word for "people" in this passage is laos. The Jews considered themselves the laos of Yahweh, and never among the ethnos. Luke uses laos consistently in Acts to refer to the Jews as the people of Yahweh (4:10; 10:42; 13:17; 26:17, 23; 28:17; contrast 18:10). For them, ethnos and laos were contrasting words. So, it would be challenging for them to hear that Yahweh at first visited the Gentiles (ethnos) to take out of them a people (laos). By using phrasing that closely echoes Yahweh's choosing of Israel, James heightens the radical nature of the new thing Yahweh has done (Ex 19:5; Deut 7:6).

"And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, Acts 15:15 NASB

What is it that the Prophets agree with? "With this" refers back to what he just said in verse 14—the calling of the Gentiles. Notice that James uses the plural for Prophets indicating that the thing that he illustrates from Amos is something he could have illustrated from other places as well.

James judges this new work of Yahweh by the way any work said to be of Yahweh should be judged. He goes to the Scriptures! And he quotes from Amos.

Amos is speaking to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Amos was written just prior to the ten Northern Tribes being carried off in captivity by Assyria. This happened in 721 B.C. Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, and Amos are all contemporaries. The 10 Northern Tribes had turned from Yahweh and Yahweh was going to judge them. So the book of Amos is a warning of coming discipline concerning the nation Israel:

Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel. 2 She has fallen, she will not rise again— The virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is none to raise her up. Amos 5:1-2 NASB

Notice what Yahweh says here of Israel, "She will not rise again." That sounds pretty permanent. But next Yahweh promises that there will be a remnant:

For thus says the Lord Yahweh, "The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong Will have ten left to the house of Israel." Amos 5:3 NASB

This is speaking of a remnant that will be left out of Israel. We also see this in:

Unless the LORD of hosts Had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah. Isaiah 1:9 NASB
For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. Isaiah 10:22 NASB

From a nationalistic view, as a physical people, Israel was to fall and not rise again. But Yahweh said He would save a remnant. We see this in our text in Amos:

"Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?" declares the LORD. "Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? 8 "Behold, the eyes of the Lord Yahweh are on the sinful kingdom, And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob," Declares the LORD. 9 "For behold, I am commanding, And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations As grain is shaken in a sieve, But not a kernel will fall to the ground. 10 "All the sinners of My people will die by the sword, Those who say, 'The calamity will not overtake or confront us.' Amos 9:7-10 NASB

These verses proclaim the coming disciplinary judgment upon Israel; but yet, within them there is a bit of hope because He says He will not destroy from off the face of the earth, "I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob." But, now, in verse 11, there comes the prophecy of hope in the light of that, and this is what James quotes in:

'AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT, 17 IN ORDER THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,' 18 SAYS THE LORD, WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM OF OLD. Acts 15:16-18 NASB

James draws on this text, which speaks of Yahweh's judgment and destruction of Israel, which is not complete, and which is not permanent. He promised to return and to restore Israel, rebuilding it as in the days of old (Amos 9:11). But the restoration of the kingdom to Israel is not an exclusive blessing, only for the Jews. It will be, Yahweh promises through Amos, a restoration which will enable the Gentiles to seek the Lord and worship Him.

As you study the promises of Gentile salvation through the Hebrew Scriptures, you'll find that they are connected to the restoration of Israel. Many prophecies that speak of Israel's restoration speak also of the promise of Gentile salvation, they go together:

Historically, the Tabernacle of David was the tent where the Ark of Yahweh was housed during the latter part of David's reign. The Ark of the Covenant was originally housed in the Tabernacle of Moses (also called the Tabernacle of the Congregation). In the year 1050 B.C., David brought the Ark to Jerusalem and placed it in a tent, the Tabernacle of David (2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 13-16). The Ark stayed in David's Tabernacle for 40 years until it was moved into the Temple built and dedicated by David's son Solomon in 1010 B.C. (2 Chronicles 5-7).

I think that the expression, "The Tabernacle of David" is a reference to the Davidic Covenant, and the promises that Yahweh gave to David; that someone from his seed would sit upon a throne and rule and reign in the Kingdom of Yahweh. David was a king, and had a promise from Yahweh, that his "throne should be established forever":

...Moreover, I tell you that the LORD will build a house for you. "And it shall come about when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. "He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. "I will be his father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. "But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever." 1 Chronicles 17:10-14 NASB

So Yahweh promised David that there should not fail him a man on the throne of Israel. This promise Yahweh confirmed with an oath, saying:

"I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, 4 I will establish your seed forever, And build up your throne to all generations." Selah. Psalms 89:3-4 NASB

According to the apparent meaning of this promise, it had long since failed; for it had been many generations since a descendant of David had occupied his throne. It was during this period, in which the royal house of David was in ruins, that Amos uttered the prophesy":

'AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT, Acts 15:16 NASB

When the birth of Yeshua was announced to Mary, the angel said:

"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord Yahweh will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." Luke 1:32-33 NASB

Thus, the promise of the Tabernacle of David being rebuilt, when properly understood, is seen to refer neither to a continuous line of Jewish kings descended from David, nor to a reconstruction of the Jewish nation, but to the perpetual reign of Yeshua in the Church, His holy habitation.

The Tabernacle of David, pitched in "Zion," the city of David, became the dwelling place of Yahweh. I see the Tabernacle of David as a prophetic symbol of Yahweh's dwelling place. Notice what Peter writes:

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Yahweh through Yeshua Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture: "BEHOLD I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." 1 Peter 2:5-6 NASB

Peter's citation from Isaiah establishes two very important facts: first, that Yahweh's eternal habitation was being built, not in the natural world, but in the spiritual world; and second, that the "Zion" of prophecy, which Yahweh has chosen as the place of His eternal abode, is the heavenly Zion, to which we "are come" (Heb. 12:22). These two facts help us in interpreting Acts 15:16. The tabernacle that David built for the ark was in Zion, the city of David; and the name "Zion" designates a spiritual locality, the place of Yahweh's eternal dwelling, thus it would naturally follow that the expression "Tabernacle of David" has also a spiritual meaning. The "Tabernacle of David," spoken of by Amos, is used as a prophetic symbol of that "habitation of Yahweh":

This is James argument: The salvation of the Gentiles agrees with what Amos said. What Peter has done, taking the Gospel to the Gentiles is the fulfillment of what Amos said. Amos said that the Tabernacle of David would be restored "in order that" the Gentiles may seek after Yahweh. The Gentiles were now being saved. So what does that tell you about the Tabernacle of David? It was at that time being restored. The Gentiles could not call on Yahweh until the remnant, Amos 5:3, was being brought in. The Gentiles could not be saved until the Tabernacle of David was restored. Since the Gentiles were being saved, the Tabernacle of David was being restored. This passage speaks of the restoration of Israel. It is not something that is to happen in our future, it happened in the first century. Those in the HRM think they are still under Torah because they don't understand that Israel's restoration was not to be physical, but spiritual.

Who was the promise of Amos 9:11, "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David" made to? Amos was writing to Israel, the 10 Northern tribes. And yet James is saying that this prophecy is being fulfilled in the Church. I believe that the Bible teaches the essential continuity of Israel and the Church. The elect of all the ages are seen as one people—true Israel, with one Savior, one destiny.

This view has been called "Replacement Theology"—it is said that the Church replaced Israel. But a much better term would be "Fulfillment Theology"—the promises of Yahweh made to Old Covenant Israel are "fulfilled" in the Church of Yeshua Christ, which is true Israel. Christianity is the fulfillment of Yahweh's promises to Israel, because we are true Israel. And our sacrifices and our house is spiritual. The HRM wants to return to the physical aspect of the Old Covenant. We believers are in the New Covenant, which is the spiritual Kingdom of Yahweh.

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