The Real “Roots” of Jim Staley’s other Gospel

In Staley’s commentary on the book of Romans, he tries to embed in the listeners mind the false concept that the word “faith” literally means to perform or to do the torah. He calls this idea “foundational” to his teaching of the Gospel, that in order to have righteousness, you must perform the works of the Old Testament law. He repeatedly remarks that the ONLY way to understand God’s real plan of salvation, you must understand it from the Hebrew perspective. In his idea, the “Greco-Roman” (his words) understanding of just believing to be saved is not the true Hebrew concept, so that in order to be really righteous before God , you must keep the Torah (the law of Moses).
During this teaching, he mentions something that you will never see in the Scriptures; The White Fire and the Black Fire.
“I would encourage each and every one of you to stop and think about this whole concept of “works” versus “faith”. They are not different concepts, they are one and the same. In the Greek mindset they are totally different. Works is different than faith. In the Hebrew mindset, the word “believe” means to “trust and obey.” It’s not and mental and intellectual concept like in the Greek perspective, where I say I believe in the color red or I believe in this person, it’s an intellectual concept, it’s very metaphorical and ambiguous. But in the Hebrew, Hebrew is concrete. It says when I believe something, that means I do it….Believing in yahwey is doing what He said. And I’m going to suggest that over the last 2000 years we’ve divorced the white fire from the black fire. OR should I say, the black fire, the written word, the instruction manual, we’ve kind of thrown away the map to be led by the spirit. And thats like taking all the words of the page off and now we have, what? A blank page.” – Jim Staley podcast, Romans, Part 1 beginning at 37:10
There is no doubt that Jim Staley falls under the category of “deceiving, and being deceived”, II Timothy 3:13. Whether aware of it or not, the root of the concept of “white fire and black fire” come straight from the Zohar, the guidebook of Jewish Mysticism, or kabbalah.
From the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale website, we are given a glimpse into the “mystical” nature of the black and white fires.
“On the simplest level, black fire refers to the letters of Torah, the actual words, which are written in the scroll. The white refers to the spaces between the letters. Together the black letters and white spaces between them constitute the “whole” of the Torah.
On yet another level, the black letters represent thoughts which are intellectual in nature, whether p’shat or d’rash. The white spaces, on the other hand, represent that which goes beyond the world of the intellect. The black letters are limited, limiting and fixed. The white spaces catapult us into the realm of the limitless and the ever-changing, ever-growing. They are the story, the song, the silence. Sometimes I wonder which speaks more powerfully, the black, rationalistic letters or the white, mystical spaces between them.” – http://www.hir.org/a_weekly_gallery/8.16.02-weekly.html

The following quotes come from http://www.ravkooktorah.com – a collection of the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. Here is a brief biography of Rabbi Kook, from their website.

“Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) – the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel – was a mystic and a philosopher, a preeminent Talmudic scholar and a Lurian Cabbalist, an original thinker and a saintly tzaddik.”

As you can see, Rabbi Kook was a follower and teacher of the Kabbalah. Here is what Kook says concerning the White Fire – Black Fire.
“What are these black and white fires?
Black Ink on White Parchment
When we think about a Torah scroll, we usually only consider the letters themselves, written in black ink. Yet, the Talmud (Menachot 29a) rules that every letter in a Torah scroll must be completely surrounded by parchment. This requirement is called mukaf gevil. In other words, the white parchment around the letters is an integral part of the Torah; without it, the Torah scroll is disqualified. In fact, the white space is a higher form of Torah. It is analogous to the white fire of Sinai — a sublime, hidden Torah that cannot be read in the usual manner.
There is a delicate balance between black and white in the Torah.” – http://www.ravkooktorah.org/VAYIK64.htm

According to this, the idea of white and black fire are symbolized by the black ink on the white paper that the Torah was written on. This matches perfectly Jim Staley’s usage of it. According to Kook’s teaching, the White and Black fires are equal to the eastern concept of the yin-yang, the good and evil, light and darkness forces that, when unified, bring the world or a persons life, or their philosophy in to “balance” or harmony. The symbol of the yin-yang teaches that there is good in all evil and evil in all good. Consider this idea as you read the next quote, taken from http://www.ohr.edu, a Hebraic education website, the title of the page is called, Ask The Rabbi.

“Dear Rabbi, We are preparing a tour of Jewish artists for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This is a world class museum with very little on Jewish art or artists. One artist mentions “black fire white fire” as the inspiration for one of his paintings. He says it is from the Zohar. Can you please give me some references or some other information on this? I can not find it. Thank You.
Dear Ron Cohen,
In the Zohar we find a statement that the Torah was written with “black fire upon white fire.” One explanation of “black fire and white fire” is that black fire denotes Divine Mercy while white fire is Divine Justice. The Maharsha explains that to appreciate G-d one must recognize the fact that both mercy and judgment are Divine attributes.
Interestingly, the concept of colored fire recurs in Midrashic literature. According to the Midrash, G-d showed Moshe the menorah made out of white, green, red and black fire.” – http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/194/Q3/

As you can clearly see now, the white and black fire concept comes directly from the Zohar, the guidebook to everything that God told the Israelites NOT to learn from the heathen around them. It is clear now that the source of the Torah observant “gospel” that Staley preaches does NOT come from the Scriptures, it’s root is the Kabbalah, which is Jewish witchcraft. This precisely why the Apostle Paul asked the Galatians who had bewitched them.
Now, without getting bogged down in all the details, (the Kabbalah is very difficult to understand, probably because it is a mystery religion), I will try to shed simple light on the next quotation, from http://www.torah.org, another Hebraic educational website.

“The Zohar HaKadosh alludes to this unique reality when it says that the Torah was written with “black fire upon white fire” (Zohar 3:132a), the white fire being the light of Chesed and the black fire being the light of Gevurah.” – http://www.torah.org/learning/perceptions/5764/netzavim.html

In this article, the chesed and the gevurah are part of the sephiroth, or the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah. It is taught that following the path of the sephiroth is the key to godhood. Chesed represents good and gevurah represents evil. Both are present on the Tree of Life. But by this, we now understand that the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah, is none other than the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the tree forbidden to be partaken of in Genesis 2 and 3. As then, the Serpent is still subtly enticing people to forsake the Tree of Life, the real Gospel of faith according to the Scriptures, and choose the mingled tree of a works based false gospel, that will only lead to death.
The foundation of Jim Staley’s new gospel is that just like the white and black fire must both be present, so Torah keeping (the works of the law) must not be divorced from salvation. The gospel that Jim Staley preaches is the gospel of Jewish witchcraft that the Apostle Paul cursed in Galatians.
(Galatians 1:8-9) “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. {9} As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
It is both interesting and revealing that by Jim Staley’s own admission, he received this gospel from an encounter with a “Jesus” figure, whom his wife saw standing over him while he slept. (Jim Staley – Passion for Truth Visioncast http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw1xboHLFkk

For more information on Jim Staley and his connection with the Kabbalah, see my Live broadcast at the link below.

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19 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Dear Pastor Mike,
    I would like to thank you for your clarification about the hebrew roots movement and Jim Staley. I have found him thru a German website and was attracted by his teachings. He speaks very convincing and seems to be very charismatic.
    Only a intuition helped me to find your website and teachings, which are based on scriptures. You opened my eyes for that deception. Thank you!
    I like your attitude and way of bringing light into the common themes like New Age, Illuminati and the spirits of satan.
    Please continue with your valuable work and be blessed!

    Kind Regards

    Ole

    • Hi Tim – The ‘New Perspective on Paul’ (NPP) is a stream of thought based primarily on the work of three theologians, N.T. Wright, E.P. Sanders, and James Dunn that deals with the justification by faith issue in Paul’s writings. In its simplest form the NPP seeks to redefine ‘faith’ as ‘faithfulness’, in effect making salvation not by faith IN Christ and His Work, but based on our ‘faithfulness’ to the ‘faith’. There’s a progressive re-defining of ‘pistis’ (G4102) disregarding context where it appears and in essence turns faith in Christ alone into ‘faithfulness to the faith’, then morphing ‘faithfulness’ into ‘obedience’ . . . to what? Old Covenant commandments – a continuation of ‘a Judaism’ that the NPP views early Christianity to have been. The NPP is embraced by many in Messianic Judaism (not to be confused with Hebrew Christians) and the more cerebral elements in the Hebrew Roots Movement. Here’s a link that will give you a good overview of the NPP and it’s primary ‘thinkers’: More on the ‘New Perspective’ – A Consideration and Critique of ‘The New Perspective on Paul’ (NPP) Movement
      http://www.ukapologetics.net/08/NPP3.htm

      I’ll include another link in a separate comment so this doesn’t get marked as spam.

  2. The “new perspective on Paul” is a false gospel, they teach works for salvation, which leads to hell (Galatians 1:6-9). The true Paul the apostle, said that our works cannot be a part of Jesus’ salvation (Romans 4:5).

  3. Tim –
    Here’s an additional short article giving a bit of the history of the NPP:
    Beware of ‘The New Perspective On Paul’ (NPP)
    http://www.ukapologetics.net/1NPP.html

    Note to readers: Since the OP deals primarily with Jim Staley, I’ll note here that though I have not heard Staley mention the NPP or N.T. Wright, it’s my opinion that he gleans some of his terminology from the NPP, such as saying things like believers ‘come back into covenant with Israel’, which, in the Law-keeping paradigm means to come back under Old Covenant laws. The ‘covenant community’ (again, from the NPP view being ‘a Judaism’, not the New Covenant) concept in the NPP feeds into Jim Staley’s twisted theology.

  4. Regarding the OP:

    Jim Staley says, “In the Hebrew mindset, the word ‘believe’ means to ‘trust and obey.’ It’s not and mental and intellectual concept like in the Greek perspective, where I say I believe in the color red or I believe in this person, it’s an intellectual concept, it’s very metaphorical and ambiguous. But in the Hebrew, Hebrew is concrete. It says when I believe something, that means I do it….Believing in yahwey is doing what He said.”

    This is an important point regarding, believe it or not, Greek Primacy of the New Testament.

    Many HRMers reject Greek Primacy of the New Testament, citing either Aramaic Primacy and embracing the AENT by Gabriel Roth (Staley used to sell the AENT on the PFT site, but there was some sort of falling out between the two regarding the Two House Doctrine, from what I understand), or believing that the New Testament that we have is a corrupted translation from what they say is the ‘original’ Hebrew into Greek. They then go on to apply *selected Hebrew meanings* to *selected Greek words*, which often *changes the meanings* of *selected passages”, of course steering folks to a Law-keeping paradigm.

    Staley is correct about one thing: Hebrew is more of a concrete language; Greek is more of an abstract language.

    Watch this:

    Hebrew language tends to be concrete
    ——> Law makes sense Grace makes sense <——

    Hence the push to get people to think with an 'Hebraic' mindset – it steers folks away from the concept of Grace and the New Creation in Christ that God makes us and steers folks toward the concept of them having to maintain righteousness through the works of the Law.

    In the HRM, great emphasis is put on the 'Hellenization' of the Church/Body of Christ, with the assertion that the early Church was much more 'Jewish' than we think it was, but because of Hellenization we have 'lost' the essence of how the Early Church worshipped and lived their daily lives. More can be read about this issue here: Hebrew Roots Movement – The Issue of “Hellenization” – http://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/hebrew-roots-movement-the-issue-of-hellenization/

    • Oh I don’t know what happened there! After ‘Watch this’ above, it should read:

      Hebrew language tends to be concrete
      ——> Law makes sense Grace makes sense <——

      Admin, if you can edit that, I'd greatly appreciate it!

      • Grrr….. it still didn’t come through. I’ll try formatting it a different way:

        Hebrew language tends to be concrete —–> Law makes sense.

        Greek language tends to be abstract/conceptual —–> Grace makes sense.

        Again, admin, if you can edit, I’d greatly appreciate it =o).

  5. Greetings Pastor Mike Hoggard,

    I have personally met Jim Staley about 4 years ago and am appalled at the fact his movement has grown so large. Our conversation started with the issue of me worshiping on Sunday instead of Saturday, in direct violation of the Sabbath commandment. I explained to him that Jesus is our Sabbath rest and we (Christ followers) have the freedom to worship him on any day. I then explained why most of us worship on Sunday. Sunday had become the Lord’s Day. Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, He visited many people after his Resurrection on Sunday, the Day of Pentecost was Sunday, and the first church met on Sunday, thus we worship on Sunday. He then indicated that Sunday was a pagan day in honor of Sol (our star). I laughed and said all the days of the week are pagan names, so are our months, but I am not worshiping the sun god, I am worshiping the Son of God. Well then it went down hill from there and he went into this Hebrew roots stuff, which I did not understand. The more he spoke, the more the Holy Spirit burned in me that Jim was some kind of nut. (I know that is not nice, but its true. However I should say he is lost, and we should pray for him that the truth will win out.) Jim and I did pass many emails back and forth discussing the Sabbath day, but he was convinced that the Bible was mistranslated and he must use the Aramaic version to truly understand. I personally do not use the KJV due to the older English words; I prefer the NIV or NAS for my studies. I also like the Hebrew Bible, but cannot stand “The Message.” I believe it is a much-watered down version and looses a lot in translation. To put this all in a nutshell, Jim Staley is technically a Judaizer.

    There were a few things you did mention that I need some clarity, because I might have misunderstood you. Acts 4:18 You had said. “And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach the name of Jesus.” The verse says; “And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach IN the name of Jesus.” You had left out the word “IN” when reciting the verse. The Jewish leaders did not stop Peter and John from speaking because they did not like the name Jesus. They wanted them not to speak about what Jesus taught nor state the authority of what and who Jesus was. The Jewish Sanhedrin did not believe Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God. They definitely did not believe in the resurrection. Therefore that is the reason for wanting to silence these Disciples of Christ. Are you saying that the Jews had a problem with the name Jesus?

    I do have a question too. Do you believe that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people and the Church has replaced them.

    Thanks for your site and responding to Jim Staley’s false teachings. I am glad some one is finally addressing this movement. May God bless you and your family.

    In Christ Ed

    • Hi Ed,

      Yes it’s good that more and more folks are getting up to speed on the Hebrew Roots Movement. Joyfully Growing in Grace is one such site, as well. I just published a pretty comprehensive evaluation of one of Jim Staley’s signature teachings, ‘Identity Crisis’. On that page I also address related teachings and also evaluate a few testimonies posted on the PFT YouTube channel as well as Staley’s ‘testimony’ about how Passion For Truth Ministries got started. The goal is to show where Staley deviates from the core issues of the Gospel and to equip believers with the simple Truths of the Gospel so that they can both discern false teaching and refute it.

      There is a complete Statement of Faith page under the ‘About’ tab at the top of JGIG so you can get a feel for where I’m coming from theologically, as well as an ‘About’ page which has my testimony. Also under that tab is a link to a series of posts about how I became aware of the Hebrew Roots Movement.

      For anyone interested in the ‘Identity Crisis’ critique, here’s the link: http://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/gateways-into-the-hebrew-roots-movement-an-examination-of-identity-crisis-and-related-teachings-of-jim-staley/

      Grace and peace,
      -JGIG

      • You are not looking at the scriptures as a whole. You cannot ignore the very words of Jesus. God does not change. He cannot change! He would never contradict His on words. God back to the history of the church and see how it all came about. The mixing of paganism and Christianity. I am in this walk by the conviction of God. He led me. The study of His word, understanding who it was written to and also considering the time and where it was written will reveal more than the church has taught us. 1 John 2:3-6. Blessings!

  6. Everything is not always as it appears. Anyone that teaches that the Revelation was fulfilled in AD. 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem, when John on the isle of Patmos did not even receive inspiration of it until AD. 90, they do err not knowing the scriptures. And no, we who are of British decent are not the real Jewish nation, that is Armstrongism, not Bible. Thank you for your frank warning about these Yaweh heretics. J. Stephen Crane

  7. Pastor Hoggard,
    I just got thru listening to the last parts of your “the Hebrew Roots of the Four Blood Moons” Pastor Mike online – THANK YOU for the timely WARNINGS!

    Question: How much is ‘pastor’ John Haggee involved with, or part of ‘the Hebrew roots’ movement? I ask specifically because of his teaching that the Jews have ‘another covenant’ by which they can be ‘saved’ – which is a LIE (Eph 2:8-10 | Rom 10:9-10). I used to watch him occasionally – but was very uncomfortable while doing so – thank THE ONLY WISE GOD for His warning those that are truly converted, born again, blood bought CHRIStians – true believers in the LORD Jesus the Christ!!!

    Comment: Please DO NOT USE the Kabbalistic hand sign. I was very uncomfortable while you were doing it on your program, and looked away.
    It seems to me similar to taking The Holy Name of The LORD in vain – illustrating how of how some blasphemer used it.

    We are in very dangerous times, and all of us need to remember ‘there but for the Grace of GOD go I’.
    “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:15-16 – KJV)

  8. My mother is a follower of. the Hebrew roots cult and it’s. teaching. Are there any resources that can be used to help her see this false teaching for what it is? Please email me. I need help.

  9. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker
    who had been doing a litrle research on this.
    And he actually ordered me breakfast simmply because I stumbled upon it
    for him… lol. So aolow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for thhe meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time too talk aboout this issue here on your
    site.

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