These are non-Jews who have no intention of converting to Judaism yet follow laws, customs, beliefs, and practices commonly associated with Judaism. And while they do believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the messiah—though in these circles he goes exclusively by his Hebrew name, Yeshua—they are emphatically not Christian. They do not celebrate Christmas or Easter. They do celebrate Passover and Sukkot. They do not display, either in their homes or as jewelry, crosses or other traditional Christian symbols.Some of these people might be more accurately described under the label "Armstrong Roots Movement", tallit-wearing William Dankenbring, a former Plain Truth writer, being just one example. Dankenbring claims:
Those who ridicules [sic] and ignore God’s commandment of wearing “tassels” on one’s clothing, and using the “prayer shawl,” may think they are clever and righteous in God’s sight, believing this commandment was ONLY for Israel, and has been superceded by the “New Covenant.” But alas, they are sadly mistaken. The New Covenant does not abolish God’s Law. Rather, it writes these precepts into our very HEARTS and minds, so that we will NEVER forget them (Heb.8:10).There are clear historical linkages between the Adventists, WCG and the Sacred Names Movement. While some like to emphasise the differences between the HRM and similar groups (such as Messianic Judaism), it's intriguing that these movements seem to find their American heartland in many of the same places COG sects thrive. That's got to be more than a coincidence.
While the majority of Christian denominations subscribe to some version of replacement theology—that the church has replaced Israel, that the New Covenant has replaced the Old—a few have embraced certain aspects of the Torah. More than two centuries ago, a group of Russians who came to be known as the Subbotniks began observing the Torah, switching their weekly day of prayer to Saturday and adopting various Jewish practices like circumcision; some members of the group, whose descendants still live in the former Soviet Union, converted. A number of contemporary Christian sects observe the Sabbath, most notably Seventh-day Adventists, who also do not eat pork, shellfish, or other foods proscribed by the Bible, and do not observe Christmas, Easter, or other “pagan” holidays. The Worldwide Church of God, founded by Herbert Armstrong in 1934, was a radio ministry whose followers observed Saturday Sabbaths, most of the Jewish festivals, and many of the laws of kashrut. (It was later known as Grace Communion International.) Followers of the Sacred Name Movement, a Seventh-day break-off, call God “Yahweh,” and Jesus “Yeshua.”Which isn't to say that the vast majority of Church of God believers and alumni would find an event like that described at the Dallas Sheraton anything but downright weird. As, obviously, do real Jews.