Frequently Asked Questions
What is your spiritual background?
At the urging of my then-new-wife, Beth (a staunch southern Baptist girl), a certain book called “88 Reasons,” and the ever-present Spirit of God, I decided to return (“run” might be a better word) to my Heavenly Father and . . . a Pentecostal church. It was in that central Florida church that I first heard about the feasts of Israel, specifically the Feast of Tabernacles. That is where the search for my Hebraic roots began.
How did you get interested in Hebraic roots?
Do you keep the Sabbaths and Feast Days described in the Old Testament?
Do you keep the dietary laws?
When you consider that man’s downfall came about because he ate something that God said, “Don’t eat” it seems clear to me that when God says “Don’t eat something” He really means it. Consequently, my family has chosen to abstain from “foods” the Bible describes as unclean – pork, shellfish etc. (This does not mean that we are rabbinically kosher – i.e., I eat cheeseburgers). We don’t abstain from these unclean things because we believe it to be a salvation issue, but because we believe it to be an obedience issue – “If you love me, keep my commandments.”On the other hand, what good is a diseased or dead vessel? The Father tells us what is good and not good for food because He wants His people to live an abundant and healthy life. Knowing that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, should we willingly and knowingly contaminate the temple? That being said, I do not believe it is my place to judge those who don’t see things this way. I leave that to the Father for only He knows the heart of man.
What about the Jewish Customs? Do you observe these?
It is extremely important to distinguish between commandment and custom. For instance, we are commanded to “remember” the Sabbath and “keep” it holy. In an effort to do just that, certain traditions came into existence that have become synonymous with keeping the Sabbath; for instance, kindling lights.Some might argue that one must kindle lights. I vehemently disagree because kindling lights on the eve of Sabbath is a custom. The commandment is to keep the Sabbath set apart from the rest of the week. However, if I kindle lights because I consider it to be a useful custom in keeping the commandment, there is nothing wrong with that.Hence, there are some customs I like and observe but with the understanding that they are custom and that is all. The most important thing is to keep the commandment whether or not you employ traditions derived from Judaism.
Does your family support you in this belief?
Do you lead a congregation?
In February 2019, Beth and I decided that the time had come for us to organize a fellowship in the Cleveland TN area. Jacob’s Tent was born out of this decision. She and I currently shepherd the congregation with the assistance of our oldest son, Brandon and others. You can get more information at www.jacobstent.org.
When are you going to lead a trip to Israel?
Currently, we have no plans to go to Israel. So much is going on right now that we don’t feel it is prudent to squeeze an international trip into our plans. Keep checking back with us to see if something develops.
I wrote to you and didn’t hear back from you. Why not?
First of all let me say, “Mom, I’m sorry. I will call you later today – promise!” To the rest of you, let me say that there is really no good excuse but let me take a stab at giving you one anyway.On average we receive hundreds of emails and letters every month, many of them asking questions that require detailed answers. As it stands now, I could spend all week just answering correspondence.When I am in town, most of my time is spent catching up on paper work, getting new teaching materials ready or various other duties. During that “at home” time, I also have to catch up with my wife and four kids. Unfortunately, this leaves little time for answering mail. I wish it were different but for now that is how things are.That being said, let me assure you that I do read them all. Furthermore, don’t stop writing because we love to hear from you. If you don’t get a response please do not assume that we don’t care – we do. Continue to be patient with us and maybe one day this challenge can be overcome as well.