Cristo La Verdad

Christ the Truth - John 14:6

Who or What is the Olive Tree in Romans 11 ?, Pt.3

 

There is one final chapter that should be examined, the second “go to” portion of scripture usually used to defend the viewpoint of Israel being the olive tree: Ephesians 2.

 

Ephesians 2

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called the “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” in the flesh by human hands, were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were formerly far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. vv.11 – 13

 

Let’s begin with the main portion that is used in regards to Romans 11. Here we see that the Gentiles were “alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise.” However, now “you who were formerly far away have been brought near.” Then, you take a look at verse 19:

 

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

 

With that it would seem  “you are no longer strangers and foreigners” but rather the Gentiles have become “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Israel, right? I would completely disagree, and I believe Ephesians 2 is quite clear in what it’s trying to say. Context is key, and so I want to start from the start of the chapter:

 

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the age of this world and according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among them we all also once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. vv.1 -3

 

The first half of chapter 2 has a very specific topic. We are all sinners, dead in our trespasses, children of wrath who only desired to do what was in our lustful hearts.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. vv.4 – 7

Then comes along our merciful God who loved us, and made us alive with Christ. He brings about all these blessings, grace, and kindness in Christ. Paul then explains in verses 8 – 10 how this salvation is by grace, through faith, and not of works. Now (“therefore”, i.e. based off of these contrasts) we once again reach verses 11 – 13 which I see completely differently. Yes, the Gentiles have the following characteristics:

were in the flesh – the Gentiles were of the world. They did not know God nor his commandments and so lived according to their flesh.
called the uncircumcision – Unlike the Jews, the Gentiles did not circumcise themselves.
were apart from Christ  – again, they did not know God
were alienated from the citizenship of Israel – Israel was a nation set apart, chosen for God. Every other nation (Gentile) would therefore be alienated from the citizenship of that holy nation.
were strangers to the covenants of promise – since they were not of Israel, the Gentiles did not have any “fathers” with which God had made any sort of covenants with like the Jews did with Abraham.
were without hope and God – with no promises, no God, and seemingly no way to escape their sinful ways, the Gentiles had no hope of salvation…

…that is, until Christ provided a way. Now in Christ the Gentiles have been brought near by the blood of Christ. The key here, however, is that the Gentiles are brought near to Christ, not Israel.

The Gentiles were dead but now are made alive, with Christ
They walked according to the world but will now be seated in the heavenly places, in Christ
They were without hope but will now be shown the riches of his grace and kindness, in Christ
They were formerly far away from Christ, but now through His blood are brought near to Him.

Is the pattern not sufficiently clear? Continuing on from verse 19:
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the entire building, tightly framed together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God through the Spirit. vv.19 – 22

It’s almost amusing how, though now a more architecturally oriented vocabulary, the image here is almost exactly like that of Romans. We have this building (tree), where the Gentiles and Jews (branches) are being built together (Gentiles are now “also” being built together with them, similar to grafting) and we have a foundation (which, if we accept the theory previously, can be somewhat likened to the covenant with Abraham) which all ultimately is centered on the chief cornerstone (or root), Jesus Christ.

 

 

Conclusion

There are a ton of rabbit trails that we can go down on with this study. For example, although I think Ephesians 2:14 – 18 add even more to the “not Israel, but one in Christ” idea, it also leads down to a whole different subject. We could dive more into that “true” Israel, into Abraham’s promises, etc. There’s the whole “Replacement Theology” idea which I will not touch (but will say I disagree with completely, and feel Romans 11 shows sufficiently that there is a plan for the rest of Israel after he’s done his work with all the branches). However, I think I’ve concisely summed up the very specific topic at hand: who or what are the Gentiles grafted into. My conclusion is Christ, not Israel the nation, not true/spiritual Israel, just Christ himself. If that were not the case, then I would ask:

Can we derive life/sustenance from anything or anyone but Christ?
Why is it automatically assumed that the “saints and members of the household of God” are Israel when “household of God” is never used to describe Israel and Paul always uses “saints” (hagios) to simply describe believers? Why can’t it simply be “a body of believers” (which Israel could be, but is not the sole or whole of it)?
If physical Israel is clearly not the root, why assume the “true” or “spiritual” Israel is, when they too are simply branches? How can wild branches be grafted onto other branches?
Is it against Scripture to believe that God doesn’t see us as Jew, Gentile, Greek, slave, free, or any sort of “kind” besides that of one who believes in His Son and one who doesn’t?
Why can’t we be “one in Christ”? Why do we have to be one in “Israel”?
If 1 Corinthians 12 says we were “baptized by one Spirit into one body,” and Ephesians 1 says “…the church, which is his body,” wouldn’t that mean the collection of believers (Jews/Gentiles) mentioned later on in chapter 2, those who are one in Christ, be the church? I constantly see mention of the church/body of Christ as the group of believers, when is “Israel” used (post-Christ) in reference to the joined group of believing Gentiles and Jews?
Is “true/spiritual” Israel something more than the believing “subset” of physical Israel and how would you prove that?

Those are just a few of the things I would need absolutely clear understanding of (with Scripture to back it up, of course) if I were to even consider the idea that we are not grafted into Christ, but I feel I’ve provided enough evidence to at least show a solid, Biblical basis for where I stand.

Who or What is the Olive Tree in Romans 11 ?, Pt.2

“Grafting”

Written & illustrated by Brian R. Franco, used with permission

Jeremiah 11

Kindled Tree
The Lord called your name, “A green olive tree, fair in fruit and form.” With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire upon it, and its branches are broken. v16

Jeremiah 11:16 is the verse that is probably most known as a reference to Israel being an olive tree. I would completely agree, especially considering the context:

The Lord said to me: A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words. And they have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers. Therefore thus says the Lord, Surely, I will bring calamity upon them which they will not be able to escape. And though they cry to Me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they offer incense. But they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah. And according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense to Baal. Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them. For I will not hear them in the time that they cry to Me because of their trouble.

What right has My beloved in My house, seeing that she has done many lewd deeds? Can the sacrificial meat take away from you your disaster, so that you can rejoice while doing evil?

The Lord called your name, “A green olive tree, fair in fruit and form.” With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire upon it, and its branches are broken. vv. 9 – 16

Over and over again we see Judah and Jerusalem, Israel being mentioned, leading up to the olive tree picture. However, this tree shows a very different image to the one in Romans:

With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire upon it, and its branches are broken. For the Lord of Hosts, who planted you, has pronounced disaster against you, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal. vv.16b – 17

Although similar in that, once again, Israel has rebelled against God and is being broken off, this tree has disaster pronounced against it and has been kindled by fire. I can’t imagine God bringing His Son into the world along with the gift of salvation, only to graft Gentiles into a doomed burning/burnt tree. You can’t simply take the “tree is Israel” part without also taking the “kindle with fire and doomed” part as well. However, this does seem to conflict with verse 16, so how can these facts be reconciled?

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Who or What is the Olive Tree in Romans 11?, Pt.1

 

‘Replacement Theology” teaches God has no more plans for Israel & the church has  ‘replaced’ them, but this is a doctrine that’s proved wrong by many bible passages one of them found in Romans 11 which tells us that God is not yet done with Israel, even they had rejected Him.

But on the opposite side of the coin we have another kind of ‘Replacement Theology’ were some teach that in order to be saved the ‘church’ needs to be part of Israel, (in other words the church is replaced by Israel). As one of their main points they use Romans 11, which they interpret that gentile believers are grafted into ‘Israel’, and for that reason have to become like them. But this is also wrong, to see it more clearly I’m sharing this next article that contains some nice illustrations:

 

“Grafting”

Written & illustrated by Brian R. Franco, used with permission

 

Preface
In Romans 11, Paul begins speaking to the Gentiles about their salvation, using the imagery of an olive tree and branches to explain the new life they are able to receive (and lose) with their belief (or lack thereof). The question, however, arises of “who or what is this olive tree the Gentiles are grafted into?” I’m going to present and attempt to defend the idea that Christ is the olive tree/root Gentiles are really grafted into. I’m going to do this by analyzing certain chapters, across the whole of Scripture, while explaining my understanding (with a fair amount of illustration to help visualize the ideas) of everything and how it ties together to form the basis for what I believe and why.

Romans 11

Defining Israel
The starting point for this exposition is Romans 11, which starts off as follows (I’ll be using the MEV translation for the most part, unless otherwise stated):

I say then, has God rejected His people? God forbid! For I also am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah? How he pleads with God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed Your prophets and destroyed Your altars. I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what is the divine reply to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So then at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. But if it is by works, then is it no longer by grace; otherwise work would no longer be work. What then? Israel has not obtained what it was seeking. But the elect obtained it, and the rest were hardened. vv.1 – 7

Paul had just finished explaining (in chapter 10) how the Gospel has come to save all mankind. Jew or Greek, it didn’t matter; those who call upon the name of the Lord would be saved. The end of the chapter quotes Isaiah 65:2 and points out that the nation of Israel was a “disobedient and contrary people.”

Paul clarifies, however, that this does not mean a complete abandonment of God’s people. Of course, as a self-identifying Israelite (a physical descendant of the tribe of Benjamin), Paul is not trying to say that the gift of salvation has been taken away from his brothers, as he himself was graciously revealed the truth, which we all know had a profound impact on his life.

He draws a parallel with how even Elijah thought he was the “only one” of his people that was still following the Lord, which God corrected by revealing that 7,000 other men had still not fallen to idolatry. Likewise, God’s grace has allowed some of His people (Israel) to “obtain” what they sought (as did Paul) while the rest suffered a greater consequence for their rejection of the Messiah:

As it is written: “God has given them a spirit of slumber, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, to this very day. And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they may not see, and always bow down their backs.” vv.8 – 10

However, God does not allow His people to become blind out of malice, pleasure, or without cause. There was a bigger picture here, a plan:

I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid! But through their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression means riches for the world, and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness mean? For I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I may make my kinsmen jealous and may save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? vv.11 – 15

The plan was to expand the gift of salvation from a limited group of people (Israel) to the world (v12). A fortunate side-effect this may have on some, is to spark a jealousy among the Jews, which would hopefully draw them back to their God and save them (v14).

Before continuing, I find it necessary to establish something from Paul’s intro, before continuing forward with the actual “tree portion” of the chapter. I think the context of Chapter 10’s ending and Chapter 11’s beginning gives us a picture of something Paul mentions back in Chapter 9 (verse 6), “For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.”  There is a clear issue with Israel in that not everyone who is a physical Israelite is automatically a “child of the promise” (9:8), only a subset of these Israelites (the remnant) seem to partake in the blessings from their Father Abraham.

If the first portion of the dough (firstfruit) is holy, the batch is also holy. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and became a partaker with them of the root and richness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. If you boast, remember you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. You will say then, “The branches were broken off, so that I might be grafted in.” This is correct. They were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God—severity toward those who fell, but goodness toward you, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. vv. 16 – 22

We get one final bit of imagery before we start with the the tree, and it’s simply to show a sort of inheriting property that occurs here. Paul compares a portion of dough with its batch and parallels it to the root and its branches. The root, being holy, would naturally produce holy branches. It’s an interesting and undeniable property, despite the fact that this has no bearing on whether that branch remains holy, and possibly broken off (should it lose its holiness, I’d imagine). …

Editor’s Quote: The first piece of the dough (firstfruits) describes Jesus (1 Cor. 15:23.). The “lump” or “batch” refers to the believers.

 

The Olive Tree
Now we start with the plant-based metaphors. We must immediately establish the elements Paul conjures up here. First off, a root. This root is holy. We switch over to a new element, leaving the root still somewhat undefined. We have some branches, and they too are holy. However, these branches have apparently been broken off, and then Paul makes the connection with the Gentiles (his current targeted audience, v13) to being wild olive shoots who are apparently a distinct set of branches as well who were grafted in among the other (unbroken) branches. We can deduce from the earlier portion of the chapter that Paul is referencing the Jews as the other (original, natural,  later on) branches. He warns the Gentiles not to boast against the Jews, because they (as branches) do not sustain the root, but vice versa. Although not directly stated, it seems quite clear that no branch sustains the root, the root sustains all the branches.

Paul goes back to what he had stated before about God’s people, Israel, receiving a sort of blindness to allow the Gentiles to rise. He parallels this by saying “the branches were broken off so that I [Gentiles] may be grafted in.” Now we must remember that it’s not as if God broke off all the branches to graft in the wild shoots. We are left with 3 types of branches:
The natural branch that remains, the natural branch that was broken off, and the wild branch that is grafted in among the first, partaking from the same root (which we’ve established, sustains all the branches). We can visualize this as so:

Now, I’ve summarized the characteristics of the elements in this chapter’s imagery to clarify some things. A natural question arises in that, being “natural” branches, wouldn’t they technically be the “same thing” as the root (i.e. why wouldn’t they be colored the same in the illustration above)? After all, a plum tree grows plum branches, and if you were going to graft a peach branch, you’d say you were grafting it into “the plum.” Similarly, it’s possible to conclude that, seeing as how Israel is the one branching out of the root, that the root is also Israel. However, I think it’s clear that the branches and root are completely different.

Root vs. Branches
For starters, we have the characteristics from the illustration above. The root:

1. Is holy (v16),

2. Is rich (v18),

3. Sustains (v18), and unlike the branches,

4. doesn’t seem to  be breakable.

Admittedly, the first characteristic is shared. However, it’s important to point out the cause and effect here (which we’ll recall is stated in v16): the only reason the branches are holy, is because the root is holy. The branches don’t obtain any sort of holiness on their own; they derive it from the root. The root, as far as we can tell, simply is holy by nature. The root provides its richness to the branches and sustains them. The branches cannot sustain themselves or the root. Considering that the (natural) branches are Israel (be it the whole nation of which most is cut off, or the remaining “true” subset known as the remnant), then it wouldn’t make sense that Israel is sustaining itself. Not only that, but we can see that the branches can be (and are) removed for their unbelief. If, hypothetically, you were to remove all the natural branches, then that would mean none of Israel would be partaking in the richness and life of the root (which continues to provide these elements). Of course, that is not the case here, but the differences between Israel (branches) and the root are too much to consider them one and the same.

I believe Romans 9-11 paints a clear picture: the nation of Israel rejected God. Through his grace and mercy, God doesn’t flat out cut off all of Israel from the promises He made but rather allows a (temporary) blindness to come upon (most of) them so that He can continue his plan of bringing salvation to the world. The illustration Paul paints in chapter 11 should solely be taken from this context. It’s a way to visualize God’s chosen people being removed from this gift (which was originally given to them) because of their rejection of the Messiah, and God bringing in the rest of the world (Gentiles) to experience the richness of life that the root provides, should they follow Christ. Israel (physical or “true/spiritual”) does not provide life, nor salvation. I feel like this is sufficiently clear simply from the verses we can see in Romans 11. However, it’s worth analyzing other portions of Scripture to see what they say. One of the obvious go-to’s is all the way back in Jeremiah, where we see yet another olive tree.

Continues . . ( Part 2)

God will come soon & will not keep silent

 

Brothers & sisters could  you please prayerfully read &  meditate upon this Psalm  today? This are the words of  Almighty God to us that have a covenant with Him!

Psalm 50  is talking about God coming to judge His people. Judgment begins at the House of God before He judges the world.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?1 Peter 4:17.

Are we really ready for this? 

For those who like to ask for dates of when will this happen, I will say: ‘I don’t know’ it will be at God’s timing.  But this is in His Word & I believe Him. I also believe this maybe soon, in this generation. But you don’t have to believe me, or anyone, you should always ask Him everything for yourself. The Church is already  full of apostasy, full of those that know the truth but obey not the gospel of God.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance2 Peter 3:9

 

PSALM 50

The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken,
and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence:
a fire shall devour before him,
and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth,
that he may judge his people.
Gather my saints together unto me;
those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
And the heavens shall declare his righteousness:
for God is judge himself. Selah.

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A Call for Spiritual Discernment

Many say we have no right to make a judgment of another person, we all make mistakes, and I agree in great part on that, but when God says something is right or wrong,  that is not us judging & we better pay good attention. God’s Word is our final authority. We are not judging (condemning) people when we discern behavior or beliefs that are clearly unbiblical.

Unfortunately many Christians go to both extremes and some  think they should not judge at all, they think Christianity means getting along with everybody. This fear of using proper judgment may come from a simple lack of understanding of God’s will, so they start embracing ecumenism & mixing with wrong doctrines, getting little by little out of tract to finally fall into apostasy. Some others go to the other extreme and judge the wrong way, looking to condemn instead of looking to restore, or look to destroy others for their  own gain. But we shouldn’t judge according to our own perceptions,  rather we should always judge according to the Word of God.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24  (see Greek interlinear)

In order to judge rightly it is extremely important to have sound doctrine.  Besides being  necessary for salvation, sound doctrine is also necessary to stay in the right track. Sound Doctrine is very important because what we believe affects our actions & our way of living.

That’s why its so important to study a good translation of the bible (Authorized King James,  Modern English Version, New King James) on our own,  2 Tim. 2:15 and compare it with any other teaching, if we find contradictions, then there is something wrong with the other teaching.

We are living in perilous times and need to be very careful NOT to drift away or fall from grace, Gal 4:5. We are in times of the apostasy of the Church (departing from the true faith) and the Word of God tell us clearly what is the main reason for this to happen.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed ( G4337– giving attention) to seducing  (#4108=deceitful) spirits, and doctrines (G1319teachings) of devils” 1 Tim. 4:1    See also Greek

A believer can depart from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits & false teachings!

Many Christians don’t seem to understand this. Can we now understand better the words in Romans 16:17 ? this recommendation is to protect the Church & the sound doctrine, not to mark & shun people indiscriminately. I firmly believe we are in those last days the bible talks about and we are witnessing the apostasy in the Church right now.  But thanks God we can avoid apostasy by living for HIM (not just pretending), by studying diligently the Words inspired by the Holy Spirit, and avoiding the teachers that bring false doctrines (contrary to the Word of God).

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were soActs 17:11

We normally don’t see a call for spiritual discernment in the church. Could these be the main reason for the growing apostasy ? Discernment should be highly valued & sought by Christians in these end times of deception.  King Solomon requested God  for an understanding heart to govern (H8199-judge) and discernment to distinguish between good and evil, & God was pleased. 1 Kings 3:9

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. Proverb 2:6-8

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment (G144Discernment). Philip. 1:9.   (Interlinear)

In the New Testament the Greek word ‘krino’ (G2919) translated to judge, is an ambiguous word  as well as in English and it means to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose, to approve, to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong and also means to judge, to rule or to pronounce or pass judgment.  According with the bible God call us to discern, there is  a gift of ‘discernment of spirits’ (1. Cor.12:10), why does God give this if we cannot use it? Discernment is good & necessary it helps us to go in the right path but the bible call us not to judge in a way that condemns other, only God is the judge in this respect, He is All knowing & Just.

Judge (krino) not, and ye shall not be judged: condemned not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

We should be able to know when the bible is talking about discernment or judgment according to the context of the scripture. Discernment is redemptive,  is not to tear down but to build up and helps others to stay close to God & not to drift away.

The following is a very needed article by Christian author Warren Smith, about people that sadly oppose discernment in the Church.

Discernment Detractors: Calling Good Evil

By Warren B. Smith

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;
that put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
—Isaiah 5:20

In the first book of Kings, God comes to Solomon in a dream and tells him he can ask for anything that he wants:

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 
—1 Kings 3:5

Solomon asks for discernment: He wants to be able to discern the difference between what is good and bad—between good and evil. He answers God:

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 
—1 Kings 3:9

God is pleased with Solomon’s request, noting that he asked solely for discernment rather than selfish things for himself:

And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment.
 —1 Kings 3:10-11

While our Adversary furiously attempts to undermine the importance of discernment by ridiculing it, we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

 

SOME OF THE MANY ACCUSATIONS MADE BY DISCERNMENT DETRACTORS

1) If you hate deception and evil and try to expose it, you are a hater—but the Bible says:

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. 
—Proverbs 8:13

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved [exposed] are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.—Ephesians 5:11-13

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 
—John 15:18

2) If you contend for the faith, you are contentious—but the Bible says:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 
—Jude 1:3

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 
—1 Timothy 6:12

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
—Ephesians 6:11-13

3) If you sound an alarm, you are an alarmist—but the Bible says:

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand. 
—Joel 2:1

If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people. 
—Ezekiel 33:3

I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 
—1 Corinthians 4:14

4) If you try to expose heresy, you are a heresy hunter—but the Bible says:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies. —2 Peter 2:1

For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 
—1 Corinthians 11:19

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
 —Ephesians 5:11-13

5) If you critique false teachings, you have a critical spirit—but the Bible says:

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them.
—Ephesians 5:11

6) If you name the names of false teachers, you are a name caller—but the Bible names names:

Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works. 
—2 Timothy 4:14

This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 
—2 Timothy 1:15

And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred. —2 Timothy 2:17-18

7) If you exercise righteous judgment, you are considered judgmental—but the Bible says:

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 
—John 7:24

8) If you separate yourself from the things of the world, you are a separatist and into separation—but the Bible says:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 
—2 Corinthians 6:17

9) If you think the way is narrow, you are narrow-minded—but the Bible says:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 
—Matthew 7:14

10) If you think Jesus is the only way, you are exclusivistic and way off—but the Bible says:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
—John 14:6

11) If you mark them which cause divisions contrary to doctrine, you are divisive—but the Bible says:

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 
—Romans 16-17.

. . .  (snip)

ENCOURAGEMENT

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:

”—Matthew 5:11-12

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
”
—2 Timothy 3:12-17

Bold, underline & color was added. To see the entire article please go  here. Other articles by Warren Smith.

A person that makes the above accusations against discernment it is usually because they haven’t been taught sound doctrine. When it’s done by a teacher or someone in leadership who should already know well the right doctrine, then we need to be careful, because they are causing division & offenses according to the doctrine we learned from the Word of God.   Romans 16:17-18.  The Bible says to avoid them for a reason, it doesn’t say to chew the meat and spit the bones. How many babies have you seen that can eat fish with bones? Are we thinking we cannot fall?  The apostle Paul stated:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (G96– disqualified)1 Cor. 9:27.  See Greek Interlinear

 

 Related Links:

Is it right to judge?- What The Bible Says About A Godly Attitude Toward Heresy

Discernment or criticism – Pastor & missionary Roger Oakland

Is it right to expose error? E.L.Bynum, a pastor for more than 50 years

More About Those Who Divide with False Doctrine

Once saved, always saved?

Hebrew Roots, Pt. 6, Extra-biblical Sources of Judaism

Hebrew Roots & some other groups are copying many doctrines from Judaism because they say it is the root of Christianity. However they don’t seem to realize that Judaism of today is not the religion of the Israelites of the Old Testament, but a modified religion full of tradition of men & extra-biblical sources. We love Jewish people & pray for them, but we shouldn’t look into Judaism to learn how to become  better Christians, we just need to look at the inspired Word of God and not men doctrines or traditions.

One of the main sources for Judaism is the oral Torah or Talmud (Instruction) which is regarded as a higher authority than the written (biblical) Torah by many Jews. They say God gave it to Moses in Mt. Sinai. It existed in the time of Jesus as oral tradition (or traditions of the elders) – Matt.15:1-3.  After the destruction of the temple some rabbis decided to put the oral tradition in writing (around 200 A.D).

The main part of this oral law is called Mishna (study by repetition), which explains by topics how the 613 commandments are to be carried on. It is divided in six parts, each containing 7-12 tractates, 63 in total, which are divided into chapters & verses. At least 120 rabbis contributed to the Mishna for a period of 130 years. Some rabbis added commentaries, mystical studies of God called the Gemara (study) written in Aramaic, both Mishna & Gemara together make the Talmud. This book blasphemes our Lord Jesus Christ. Also it is a matter of great concern that the Talmud allows lying, oath-breaking, indirect murder & ‘marital’ sex between adults and children as young as 3 years old. See more here  & Talmud , but when people try to make others aware of these verifiable facts, then often they are accused of being anti-semitic.

The Sabbath rituals like lighting of candles, reciting the prayers & blessings, & their weekly Torah readings, are not found in the Word of God but in the Talmud & Zohar (Kabbalah).

Another of their sources is the Midrash (to search) a set of writings closely associated with the Talmud. It was written by many of the same men who contributed to the Talmud. But the Midrash is organized differently than the Talmud and  follows the layout of the Bible five books of Moses. More here.

Other important source is the Zohar (splendor) which is the foundational work of Jewish mystical philosophy known as Kabbalah (received tradition). It is written in Aramaic  in the form of a collection of allegories and legends that can be interpreted and perceived differently. Some believe the Zohar was written by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), who lived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries & it was hidden until the 11-12th century. Others believe it was written in the 11th century by others. Kabbalah doctrine appeared first in Southern France in the 12th century and spreaded to north regions of Spain in the 13th century.

After Jews were forced to leave Spain in 1492 many turned to the Zohar for hope, looking for the coming of the Messiah, leading the way to the acceptance of several false Christs (messiahs), e.g. The Chabad Lubavitch movement (which practice Lurianic Kabbalah) the largest & most influential Jewish organization in the world, which  most of them have as their messiah Rabbi Menachem Schneerson (1902-1994). They promote the conversion of non Jews to ‘Hasidic (piestist) Gentiles‘ that follow the Talmudic ‘Noahide Laws‘. They already established a Supreme  Sanhedrin or court system to enforce these laws & construct a temple. Many await the resurrection of Rabbi Schneerson their messiah to be crowned as king. Here you find what they say about our Lord Jesus, but it is gentle compared with the Talmudic verses they omitted- http://www.noahide.com/yeshu.htm – We pray for their salvation.

Rabbi Scheneerson was honored by many U.S presidents. George W. Bush hosted a delegation of Rabbis from this movement to mark the 100th birthday of the late Rebbe Menachem Schneerson as the national “Education & Sharing Day“).  Our new elected president is even more involved since his daughter & husband belong to the Chabad movement: 12, 3

The Zohar (Kabbalah) teaches that the real Torah is not any book or writing, but it is the teaching itself. For this reason most Jews call ‘Torah’ the Talmud, the Midrash, the Zohar, etc.   Kabbalah  is considered by many the soul of Judaism. All Rabbis need to study Kabbalah or Zohar in order to receive their credentials, a rabbi is not a Christian teacher nor an Old Testament expert like many may think, a rabbi must be a Jew dedicated to following the 613 commandments of the law, numbered & explained according to Talmud. Rabbis follow the Talmud, Midrash and Kabbalah interpretations, not biblical Torah. Christian shouldn’t follow any Rabbi nor call himself to be one.

Kabbalah (qabalah in Hebrew) is a philosophy and theosophy originated in Judaism, that developed among Jews in Babylonia, it’s an esoteric Jewish doctrines, an occultic system used not only in contemporary Judaism, but also by Masons, Theosophists, Luciferians and other occultic groups. Another name for Kabbalah is “Torat ha-Sod.” which means: “the teaching of the secret.” Other books of Kabbalah are, Bahir (Illumination), Raziel Ha-Malakh (Raziel the Angel), Etz Hayim (Tree of Life), etc. They also use apocryphal  books e.g. 1/ ‘Book of Jasher‘ (Mormons & Gnostics also use this book) there are 3 versions : One is a literary forgery  published in late18th century, this version have been reprinted & circulated by the Rosicrucian Order (Masons). 2/ The kabbalistic Book of Enoch given by revelation to Rabbi Ishmael around 100-130 AD, etc.  There are different versions of The Book of Enoch, like the Book of Jasher none of them are reliable,  3/ Books of Jubilee, etc. Please beware of any teacher that use them. (Rob Skiba, L.A. Marzulli, Chuck Missler, etc)

Kabbalah denies creation as a direct act of God (Gen.1) and teaches creation was a product of 10 (or 11) emanations or attributes (sephirot) that descended from God that at the end this emanations descended through various levels & took the personal form of angels, considering God and His creation to be one, this is a pantheistic idea. But the Word of God says God created all from nothing (Gen.1:1) and God is separate from His creation (Isaiah 55:8-9) & He made Himself accessible to the world through Jesus Christ (John 3:16, etc).

Kabbalah denies the Deity of Jesus Christ and the necessity of faith in Him as the only way of salvation. It teaches reincarnation, astral projection, necromancy, astrology, numerology, cooperation with demons, etc. and no need for a Redeemer, it teaches that the blood atonement of Messiah is unnecessary for salvation, it contradicts both Old and New Testament teachings.

By the seventeenth century, the songs, prayers and rituals of the Kabbalists has thoroughly infused the religious and cultural life of the Jewish people, and they remain important part of the liturgy to this day. . . So we find today that the Jewish people sing songs, recite prayers, and engage in rituals -both in synagogues services and at homes- that have their origins in Kabbalah, and yet many, if not most, worshipers are unaware they are engaging in Kabbalistic practices.   ‘The Kabbalah Handbook’, pg.2

Kabbalah resembles very closely to some beliefs held by the Greek Gnostics in that both groups believed that only a select few (elite) were given deeper understanding or knowledge (Gnosis). They like to call its teachings ‘Ancient Wisdom‘ which they symbolize as an old tree or ‘Tree of Life” with a sequence of roots or revelations that represent the underworld. (They also have the Kabbalistict ‘Tree of life’ with 10 spheres or sephirot, which has connections with the Tarot). The Tree of Life is associated with different philosophies & religions, everyone giving their own mystic interpretation, but in Kabbalah the tree has roots & some times serpents or a dragon over them. Most Wiccans use the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It is Kabbalistic Mysticism that is uniting all religions in one.

(We pray God’s protection on the viewers while we expose this occultic system, we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to reveal God’s truth and give us discerment, to be able to distinguish the Holy from the profane, the clean from the unclean, so we can be a people separated for God –2  Cor. 15-18, we pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ the son of the living God).

Tree of life from Kabbalistic sources:

Tree of Life with longevity blessing - Kabbalah Judaic Art

Tree of Life – Kabbalah Judaic Art

Logo of a Kabbalah’s web site

Tree of Life with phrase ‘ As above so below ‘ used in occultic circles

Some of the Christian Ministries that use the same Tree of Life:

The Oak Initiative of Knight of Malta pastor Rick Joyner

The Oak Initiative founded by Knight of Malta & pastor Rick Joyner

Interfaith pastor Rick Warren

Interfaith pastor Rick Warren

“Seed’ a Sci Fiction series by Rob Skiba (‘Two House  doctrine’  teacher) who recommends ‘The Schack‘.

Christian Music group Casting Crowns

Christian Music group Casting Crowns

Around the 12th century a Catholic mystic monk Ramon Llull  used kabbalah (Cabala in Latin) as a tool of conversion for Jews and from there was born what some call ‘Christian kabbalah’ (Witchcraft mixed with Christianity) which reinterpreted Kabbalistic doctrine to a Christian perspective, linking Jesus Christ, His atonement, and His resurrection to the Ten Sefirot, etc. Among the first promoters of this kind of Cabala was Pico della Mirandola a Catholic nobleman and philosopher, whose work was further developed by a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher around the 17th century.  Ignatius Loyola founded the order of the Jesuits in 1534 with Alfonso Salmeron and Diego Lainez, they were all Marrano Jews. Loyola was a crypto-Jew who was outwardly a mystic Catholic priest, and practiced Kabbalah.

The main book authors & teachers of Kabbalah since 19th century are:  Satanist Eliphas Levi, MacGregor Mathers translator of first Kabbalah into English, also founder of Golden Dawn Society and mentor of satanist Aleister Crowley, Luciferian & medium Hellen P. Blavatsky, Arthur E. Waite a Freemason and co-creator of Tarot cards, Arthur Green, also prominent a kabbalist and Chabad Lubavitch movement follower Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh,  the director of Chabad.org rabbi Tzvi Freeman, & many more.

kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh,

Yitzchak Ginsburgh said:  “If a Jew needs a kidney, is it allowed, in order to save his life, to take the kidney from a Goy (non-Jew), passing by, even if he is not guilty of anything?  In my opinion, Torah allows it. The life of a Jew is priceless. But we know that the biblical Torah doesn’t allows this, he is talking about the oral Torah of Talmud.  This Rabbi is the Kabbalah tutor for  more than 20 years of the Hebrew Root teacher Rabbi Ariel Cohen Alloro also a Hasidic Jew or Chabad Lubavitcher, who promotes interfaith unity .

Some HR & Messianic teachers are saying there is a part of Kabbalah that is good and not occultic, that we can study it, but this isn’t true. Besides everything a Christian needs to be thoroughly equipped is all written in the inspired Word of God:

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17

Most people know about the red cord bracelets & talismans associated with kabbalah, but here you will find some hand-signs made by kabbalists, so you can be aware and recognize them. Secrets ways of speaking with hands & feet is something old.

A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet,
he teacheth (H3344– cast, shoot, signals, give instructions) with his fingers; frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. Prov.6 :12-14

I found next hand gesture at various web sites that teach Kabbala. Before Leroy Nimoy (a Jew) -Dr Spock, made it popular, he says that sign is the same gesture given in Jewish Synagogues when Rabbis & elders bring out the Holy of Holies. The Vulcan Hand Gesture was a secret ancient Jewish Kabbalistic Symbol used to invoke kabbalah magic.

From an old Jewish Sinagogue, Note the hands

From an old Jewish Sinagogue, Note the hands

I cropped a Tarot card 'The Devil', see the hand. Tarot was created by kabbalist Arthur Waite.

I cropped a Tarot card “The Devil”.  See the hand. Tarot was created by kabbalist Arthur Waite.

That hand gesture is being used by many Hebrew Roots teachers. Some call it the ‘Aaronic blessing’, (an interpretation of Numbers 6:24-26 according to Talmud, mixed with the hand sign from Kabbalah). But we are in a New Covenant! There are no more Levitic priesthood, we have a perfect and new High Priest from the tribe of Judah, of the order of Melchisedech, which is forever our Lord & King, Jesus Christ the son of the living God who leaves forever, Hallelujah! -Hebrews 7:11-28, 8:1 .

I used to like a couple  of HR teachers before knowing more deeply about their doctrine, nobody is exempt of error, thanks God for His grace! but we all can learn from each others errors.

Our purpose here  is not to  attack their character or question their salvation, we are questioning only their doctrine in light of the Scriptures, because it contradicts the Word of God. There is a big difference between exposing errorEphesians 5:11 vs. making false accusations or killing peoples character. These teachers are affecting thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ with their wrong doctrines. We don’t believe in ‘Once saved always saved‘ but we believe Christians can fall from graceGalatians 5:4. that’s the reason we see the need to warn of danger, it’s done out of love for them. Most of the people following these teachers are loving Christians unaware of what is behind.

HRM teacher Mark Biltz, author of the 'Blood Moons' book. Many of his disciples have opened more recent HRM ministries

Hebrew Roots teacher Mark Biltz, author of the ‘Blood Moons’ book.

blitz

Mark Biltz founder of ‘El Shaddai Ministries’

sathand-markbiltz-collage

Mark Biltz, of ‘El Shaddai Ministries, to see the Kabbalistic menaing of El Shaddai go here

Hebrew Root Teacher Jonathan Cahn. Who says is a Levi priest. Author of book “Harbinger”.

Hebrew Root Teacher Kirt Schneider

Most Hebrew Roots teachers use resources that are only found in Apocryphal books like Enoch, or other books: Talmud, Zohar, etc, taking these unbiblical writings and giving them credit & using them as complement to enhance biblical teachings. Some of these teachers are: Jonathan Cahn (1Caution! Pray before watching, heretical Kabbalistic teachings & lies by both Cahn & B.Phillips), interfaith kabbalist Billy Phillips, Eddie Chumney, Jim Staley, Mark Biltz, James Scott Trimm, Roy Blizzard, Bill Cloud, Andrew Gabriel Roth (1) (Author of the Aramaic English New Testament ), Jose Bernal, Zen Garcia & Rob Skiba (both proponents of ‘Flat earth‘ that use the book of Enoch). Skiba a graduate of Hollywood Film Institute & actor (who doesn’t believe in the person of the Holy Spirit) credits his flat earth enlightenment to Mark Sargent, who teaches sun, moon & stars are just projections & earth was created by aliens).

There is no difference if the earth is flat or round, it’s not important for the gospel of salvation or for getting closer to God, but sadly this is creating confusion & division among many Christians. The spherical earth was accepted thousands of years before Copernicus  (16th century) or Nasa (20th century). “The ancients were well aware the world was a sphere. Pythagoras (6th century Before Christ) is generally credited with having first suggested a round Earth. (Parmenides in the 5th-century stated that the Earth is spherical)Aristotle (4th century B.C.) agreed and supported the theory with observations such as that the southern constellations rise higher in the sky when a person travels south. He also noted that during a lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow is round. Eratosthenes (3rd century B.C. , head librarian at the Library of Alexandria) built on their ideas and calculated the circumference of the Earth with remarkable accuracy at about 252,000 stadia.” Check  here. Also see Eratosthenes.

Historian  Jeffrey Burton Russell wrote  “It must first be reiterated that with extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat”. During the early Church period, the spherical view continued to be held, the idea that Christians once widely believed in a flat earth for theological reasons is a myth. There were very few exceptions (1) & were ignored by the church. It’s interesting to note that early Christian writer Basil of Caesarea, (c. 330-379) mentioned the spherical shape of the earth as an accepted fact. If the earth was really flat then why Jesus didn’t corrected them?

Book 'Zetetic Astronomy : EARTH NOT A GLOBE' written by Freemason Samuel Robotham (aka Parallax).

Book ‘Zetetic Astronomy : Earth Not a Globe’ by Freemason Sir Samuel Birley Rowbotham (aka Parallax).

 

Genesis Book by Flat Earth Proponent & Two House doctrine Rob Skiba

Genesis, book by (Flat Earth & Two House doctrine proponent) Rob Skiba

 

Sargent, Skiba & other proponents of flat earth accuse Copernicus but mainly  a ‘Masonic’ NASA (created in 1958) for the ‘lie’ that earth is a ‘globe’. But the acceptance of a spherical earth is known since the 3rd century Before Christ, (1), well before NASA was created. What none of them will tell you is that the firsts & main proponents of flat earth theory were all Masons & Kabbalists.    See image  used by many flat earth advocates, it’s  known as an Alchemical & Hermetic emblem, used to illustrate Masonic Initiation. It first appeared at work of astronomer, medium & spiritist Flammarion. Also if we check the logo of the United Nations (created in 1945)  it has 33 sections, they used a flat earth map, because it’s part of their esoteric doctrine.  And check flat earth in this book cover ‘The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic & Rosacrucian philosophy’, (1928) by Mainly P. Hall a 33o degree Mason & teacher of the occult. Illustrations made by J Augustus Knapp, who also designed a Tarot deck in collaboration with Hall.

The World Tree of Norse mythology. w/ flat earth, taught at esoteric circles, notice kabbalistic Ouroboros (serpent biting it’s tail) book by occultist Mainly P. Hall

Main flat earth proponents:

1/ Freemason ‘Sir’ Samuel Robotham (1816-84) author of book ‘Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe‘, who was a follower of the utopian socialist & Freemason  Robert Owens  (Many of Owens principles were derived from the writings of  (anti-trinitarian) Jewish, Jesuit & Freemason A. Weishaupt founder of the Order of the Illuminati (1). Owens was also an spiritualist who claimed to have had mediumistic contact with the spirits of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and others). Robotham helped organize a socialist ‘Owenite‘ commune in Indiana (but after allegations of sexual misconduct took the pseudonym ‘Parallax’). The Owenites wanted to convert America into an anti-Christian communist society.  Later he founded the Zetetic Society, that according to writings of Freemason Dr A. Prescott, confirms some Masons ‘formed themselves into debating clubs, known as Zetetic societies‘.

2/ After his death, Lady Elizabeth Blount aka ‘Zeteo’ (1850-1935) a member of the social elite of England founded ‘Universal Zetetic Society’ in 1893. She was invested as a Fellow, Society of Antiquaries (F.S.A) & as a Fellow, Royal Society of Literature (F.R.S.L), both societies’ leadership & majority of members were Freemasons. She was also known for her book ‘The origins and nature of sex ‘ that included accounts of hermaphroditism and Adam’s bisexuality (theory found in the Talmud, Midrash & Kabbalah).

3/ In the United States Robotham work was continued by mystic, spiritualist & hypnotist  William Carpenter (1830-96) & by Freemason John Alexander Dowie (1847-1907) who claimed to be Elijah, founder of Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, considered a cult, later in 1898 an elder of his church Wilbur Glenn Voliva succeeded Dowie (do to an scandal), continued with leadership & the flat earth doctrine.

4/ A later proponent was a member of the ‘Universal Zetetic Society’, evolutionist & Freemason Samuel Shenton (1903-1971) who renamed it Flat Earth Society in 1957 when became its leader.  He was succeeded by Charles K. Johnson (who renamed it ‘International Flat Earth Society’) until 2001 when he died.

5/ A well known proponent today is new Ager, yoga teacher & cross dresser   Eric Dubai (proclaimed father of the Modern Flat Earth Movement- video). Other proponents are Calvinist Edward Hendrie, & Hebrew Roots teacher Zen Garcia who teaches kabbalah e.g. pineal gland awakening (or 3rd eye). In his book ‘The Serpent Seed‘ he teaches Cain is son of Lucifer & Eve. (Serpent Seed heresy). Zen is promoted by Rob Skiba author of ‘Babylonian Rising’.  “Babylon Rising” and Canon in Crisis.  Any Christian teacher like Skiba who is fascinated with Star Wars (full of Masonic & Kabbalistic teachings), promotes the Shack, is fan of George Lucas, etc. should raise many red flags. Hollywood ( & TV) have been programming people for many years into their kabbalistic doctrines,  including their ideas on flat earth & aliens, if they can make you believe in flat earth they will make you believe in anything. Be Aware!

To me there is no doubt of the occultic roots of the ‘Flat Earth Movement’ & Hebrew Roots Movement, Christians should no be part of any of these.

Articles Related :

The Zohar & Kabbalistic Mysticism

Kabbalah is Evil

 The Shabbatean Frankists

The Conspiracy Was Strong

The Flat Earth Theory

Is Earth Actually Flat?

14 Ways the Flat Earth Theory is False

The Horizon – video

Another Bible – Another Gospel,  (Tables of Comparison)

Hanukkah

Hanukkah – An Historic Deception

Hebrew Roots Witchcraft

Hebrew Roots & The Leaven of Work Salvation

On the News:

Israel’s Law Enforcement Gearing Up to welcome Messiah – Kabbalistic  Chabad Lubavitchers (or Hasidic Jews)

Hebrew Roots Teacher Jim Staley admitted defrauding elderly investors, sentenced 7 years in jail,  in despite of prophetic words  that he will not go to jail.

An Evaluation of Pastor Jim Staley

 

Hebrew Roots, Pt.5 – Two House or Ephraimite Doctrine

The ‘Two House’ interpretation is a very popular doctrine in the Hebrew Root Movement (HR) that believes in the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, but like several of their doctrines it was made popular in America by the founder of ‘Worldwide Church of God‘ (WCG) Herbert Armstrong who vigorously promoted it.  He believed this teaching was the key to interpret bible prophecy correctly & was the ‘central plank’ of his theology. Check some of WCG doctrines.

Whosoever transgresseth (G3845 = depart) and abideth (G3306 = remain, stay, continue) not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”  2 John 1:9-11

 Hebrew Roots main doctrines are:

1/ Christians need to go back to their Hebrew Roots. And in order to understand Scriptures we need to have a Hebrew mind set. (WCG)

2/  The New Testament have errors of translation & it was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic not Greek. HR are the only ones with the right interpretation. (This may seem light, but it is not. It is an attack on the reliability of the Word of God).

3/ Our accepted canon of Scripture is corrupted some books don’t belong. e,g Books of Hebrews, etc. They have their own new bible translations. & some teachers (e.g. James Scott Trimm) accept Apocryphal books as inspired scriptures.

4/ Jesus didn’t come to establish a new religion, nor to abolish the law or the Old Covenant. (WCG)

5/ Some teachers in HR deny the Deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, etc. (WCG )

6/ We are saved by faith but still need to obey the law of God, not only 10 commandments but the 613 commandments, sabbath, feasts & dietary laws. (WCG)

7/ Jesus came only for the lost ‘house of Israel’, the Ephraimites, the 10 Lost Tribes- “Two House” doctrine.  (WCG).  Also check Two House, Ephraimites, Lost Tribes

8/ Subtle (sometimes out right) denied of the Trinity or the person of the Holy Spirit. (WCG) see Christianity Today

9/ Many but not all HR groups consider mandatory the ‘Sacred Name’. (WCG).    

10/ Use of Jewish garments,  like tallits,  the fringes or tzitzi, which according to The Kabbalah Handbook pg.369, are ritually knotted using gematria (kabbalistic numerology). See more  Attractive Deception, Pt.8

If you noticed that the Church of God, the Seventh Day Adventist & the Jehovah’s Witnesses have several doctrines in common it is not just coincidence, all of the 3 groups sprung out of the teachings of Calvinist Baptist preacher William Miller.  His predictions that Christ would return between March 1843-1844 failed, & he died 1849, the disillusioned Millerites split into : The Seventh-Day Adventists . In 1858 some Adventist that didn’t agree with Hellen White separated and became the ‘Church of God Seventh Day’, officially in 1863. And also some Adventist became part of the movement of Calvinist Charles Rusell in 1870 (later Jehovah Witnesses).

The Worldwide Church of God (WCG) was founded in 1934 by Herbert W. Amstrong. It started as a church radio service after the ‘Church of God Seventh Day’ (were he was an ordained minister) split in 1933.  During the 1950s and 1960s it expanded and the radio program was broadcast in England, Australia, the Philippines, Latin America, and Africa. Armstrong was influenced by the works of John H. Allen (1847-1930) a co-founder of Church of God (Holiness).

Their belief about the 10 Lost Tribes has its roots in the reinterpretations of several biblical texts by the Talmud & the Kabbalah.  Before Armstrong & Allen the Ten Lost Tribes theme was found among some Talmudic rabbis (e.g. kabbalist rabbi Moses ben Issac Edrehi & his book “A Book of Miracles‘ published in London in 1834).

‘The interest of the fate of the Ten Lost Tribe received a new impetus from a number of developments, among them the growth of the kabbalah and the Jewish mysticism after the 16th century, including various messianic movements of them that of Shabbetai Zvi  (1626-1676) having the strongest impact.      . . .

Moses ben Issac Edrehi (1774-1842) a Moroccan-born rabbi and kabbalist who lived for many years in Amsterdam and London and eventually immigrated to the land of Israel is the author of two works dealing with the quest for the Ten Lost Tribes’.  – The Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes

Note: Sabbatai Tzvi was a kabbalist rabbi who claimed to be the Jewish messiah.

Herbert Armstrong claimed to be an apostle, & a prophet who possessed the key to unlock & understand biblical prophecy, one of these prophecies was that the world would end in 1975.  According to Armstrong’s doctrine, ‘the true Gentile believer is to consider himself physically descended from Israel. Not just grafted into the olive tree by faith. Not just the seed of Abraham by faith in the Messiah. But, rather, they are the actual, physical descendants of Israel. And if Israel, then they must live as Israel – by the Torah

Herbert W. Armstrong stated (same as Mormon founder Joseph Smith who was also a Freemason & kabbalist):   “When the ten northern tribes of Israel were removed from the land of Israel in 722 BC, they did not get lost but migrated as a nation north and west and settled in what is today Germany, the Scandina­vian countries and England.  When England be­gan to colonize North America, these descendants of the ten tribes of Israel also populated North America, as the white Anglo-Saxon race.  Since God is only going to save the White race from hell, these white people are the only true people of God. “. He was a very well known leader of the white supremacistIdentity movement‘. He was also a Freemason 33o degree. High degree Masons are gnostics & kabbalists because that’s their core doctrine.

He didn’t believe in the Trinity or person of the Holy Spirit, not the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and  emphasized in observing  the Sabbath, the feasts, and the dietary laws. Armstrong rejected traditional holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and the celebration of birthdays, stating that all of these were of pagan origin. They had strict dress codes & discouraged the use of medicine and doctors, they were expected to place faith in God for healing. Armstrong believed that the New Covenant was still in the future.

His son Garner was the voice and face of their tv program  ‘The World Tomorrow’, but doctrinal disagreements with his father and reports of gambling & adultery led to his suspension  in 1972. His sister Dorothy confessed to her brother that their father had molested her for 10 years of her childhood. Later Herbert Armstrong confessed to incest.

When Armstrong died in 1986  his successor Joseph W. Tkach made some major doctrinal changes. They were known as “Ephraimites,”  or also known as Two House” movement. After Tkach Sr. died in 1995 his son took over & more splits and doctrinal changes occurred.

As the worldwide Church of God was melting down in the late 1990’s many Church of God members jumped ship to join the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movement. . . Quite a few COG members joined up with the ‘Passion for Truth’ group. Armstrongism1.

Note: Passion for Truth is the ministry of HR Jim Staley

One of the early Hebrew Roots teachers with clear connections to the Worldwide Church of God is: Dean Wheelock, Dean & his wife Susan publish the magazine Hebrew Roots® since 1995. Dean Wheelock became a Worldwide Church of God member in 1968, attended Ambassador College founded by Armstrong, and later attended the Church of God International from 1979-1984.   Another early HR teacher who was a WCG member is William F. Dankenbring that has a Torah observance ministry at the time of this writing.

– ‘Two House’ followers believe that the House of Judah  are the Jews and the House of Israel or Ephraimites  are some Christians = the ten lost tribes (them) & will come together (back to their land of Israel) as the one bride of Christ, so Jesus can come.

This is a misinterpretation of the Scriptures, e.g. Gen. 48:19 were Jacob blesses his 2 grandsons born in Egypt, Manasseh & Ephraim ,  ‘but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations‘. Which they interpret the word nations as gentiles. Also we find in the book of Ezekiel 37:21 were he prophesied that Israel (Ephraim) will be regathered from among the nations back to their land. But it wouldn’t make sense if the nations (goyin) are to be understood as Ephraim. The idea that ‘goy’ always means gentiles is wrong, Israel was called ‘goy kadosh’ a holy nation. Today Jews use this blessing ‘May God make you as Ephraim & Manasseh’ (Gen.48:20) and it represents to them all the Jewish people born in the exile.

Israel (Ephraim) became the Northern kingdom that was taken captive by the Assyrians  around 722 BC and got dispersed (Jeremiah 7:15-16, 23-26) some of them intermarried the Assyrians & are known as the Samaritans. But somehow according to the Two House teachers this 10 lost tribes later became Christianized & are the lost tribes in disguise.

Christians don’t deny there was a division in Israel after Solomon’s death, the Scriptures clearly speaks of the houses of Judah & Israel. But we don’t agree with their interpretation that the Northern Kingdom (Israel) would become ‘gentile believers’.  The New Testament don’t mention Ephraim except a city & there is no tribe for Ephraim in Revelation 7 (even some say is the same as Joseph). Many Christians agree that Ephraim was made greater but the blessings were conditional on their obedience to God & they fall into idolatry (Judges 1:29, Hosea 4:17, 13:1, Isaiah 28:1-3, etc) & their remnant already joined Judah (2 Chro.15:9, 11:3 &16, Ezra 6:16, 21, etc).

Most Christians including Messianic Jews believe there are not lost tribes but that all tribes were scattered abroad (James 1:1 & Acts 2:5) & the regathering of all the tribes started when Israel became a nation in 1948. And only when the times of the gentiles is fulfilled Luke 21:24, Romans 11:25 (the church is gone with Jesus) then God will deal with them again, Romans 11, but first they will accept their false Messiah or Antichrist (1 John 2:18, John 5:43, 2 Tess.2:1-10, etc) who eventually will persecute & exterminate many of them (Daniel 7:1–27, Zechariah 13:6-8, etc). then the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to them & what is left of Israel will be save.

Two House proponents also take the parable of the ‘Prodigal Son’ as a prophecy for their two house doctrine, were Judah (Jews) is represented by the oldest brother & Ephraim (Israel, 10 lost tribes, Christian gentiles) as the younger who did some time with the harlots & ate with the pigs among the gentiles.

So according to this Judah (Jews) never departed from the father’s house (although the Southern Kingdom -Judah, was taken captive by the Babylonians nearly 140 years after the Northern kingdom Israel), also apparently  they didn’t sin, it’s ok they rejected & killed the Messiah!  In other words Judaism with their rebellion, idolatry and  their unbiblical doctrinal sources (Talmud, Kabbalah etc) have always being in God’s presence; but Ephraim, or us Christians are spiritually lost & dead & we don’t have an inheritance anymore (according to the parable) & only when we go back to Jewish land we’ll be in the presence of our father? Wow!! what a lie!  Where is Jesus sacrifice left in all these nonsense?  Do they realize this would mean that Jews that rejected Jesus our Lord are saved & we Christians that accepted Him are spiritual dead & lost until we reunite with the Jews in their land?

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing . . .And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid (goat), that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. Luke 15:11-32

When Jesus said to the ‘Samaritan’ woman at the well, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of (G1537= Origin, from, OUT OF) the Jews (G1523= of Judea, Jewish nation).” John 4:22,  ( Acts 2:14. ).   Meaning HIM, Jesus Christ.

In both Old & New Testament Israel & Jews are used interchangeably (Ezra 8:35, 10:25, Neh 12:47, 4tc).  The apostle Paul calls himself both in Romans 11:1, Acts 21:39. We also see James 1:1 who wrote to the 12 tribes scattered & not to the 10 tribes or Ephraim. The proponents of Two House doctrine skip the passage when God gathers the elect from the 4 corners of the earth Matt.24, disregard that God starts dealing with Israel after the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled  & skip the rapture of the church, in other words Christians go through the period of judgment with the world. (Most Hebrew Root teachers are part of the ‘Two House Movement’ but most Messianic Jews groups reject it).

Some ‘Two House’ teachers are promoting people to move out of America (Babylon) to Israel, the second exodus.

Many in the Two House movement are seeking to make aliyah to Israel under false pretenses – purchasing conversions, or converting to Judaism falsely, by avoiding recantation of Jesus. These people are desperate to get to Israel and claim their part of the land, having persuaded themselves that they are “Ephraimites”. Another part of this is the second exodus, headed by Monte Judah out of Norman, OK, who believes he is Moses and will lead these “Ephraimites” to Israel when The Almighty directs him. There is an indication that many have sold their homes and left their jobs to join him in OK, believing in this Exodus and that they are in fact part of the lost tribes of Israel. SeekGod.ca

Hebrew Root teachers proponents of the ‘Two House’  doctrine are:

Brad Scott (Ex-Lutheran now rejects the Trinity & Divinity of Jesus).   Monte Judah (Rejects the Trinity, states God has many manifestations, Jesus is one of them, his teachings are full of Kabbalah doctrine).   Rob Skiba, (Rejects the Holy Spirit as a person).   119 Ministries, (Endorse Carmen Welker, Andrew Roth & other kabbalists, the leadership of founders Jon Sherman & Steve Moutria are several men in this list, included Jim Staley but they hide that fact now).   Jim Staley (who is now on jail, used to teach openly Talmud & Kabbalah).   Rico Cortez (promotes Kabbalist teachers e,g Rabbi Ariel Cohen Alloro etc).   Rabbi Avi Ben Mordechai (aka Bradley M. Marcus, denies the Deity of Christ and His virgin birth).  kabbalist  James Scott Trimm (aka Rabbi Yosef, author of a new bible HRV, full of Kabbalist doctrine).  Mark Biltz (Kabbalist); Eddie Chumney (Kabbalist)Andrew Gabriel Roth (translator of a different New Testament (AENT), he doesn’t believe in the trinity or virgin birth of Jesus, he’s also a kabbalist, in one of his books (Ruach Qadim) he says kabbalah is in the NT & calls Paul ‘the mystic’).  Rabbi Ralph Messer (Crowned Eddi Long  after the bishop’s many scandals); and many others.

Kabbalah is very occultic & full of doctrines of demons, we don’t recommend it to anybody. But I think it needs to be made clear that the Church’s contamination with kabbalah is not just a ‘Church of God’ or “Hebrew Root” issue, but many other teachers like Bill Johnson (NAR), Benny Hinn (WoF), etc. are doing the same, & have been introducing kabbalah & gnosticism into the church for many years. One common denominator I noticed is ‘Freemasonry’ (which is derived from Kabbalah).

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Colossians 2:6-10

“For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. Rom. 11:16

We Christians follow our Lord & King Jesus Christ and His doctrine, nor Judaism nor Israel, we are rooted & built up in Him & His words, He is Holy.

 

Related Articles:

The Doctrine of Christ

Grafting – Is Israel the Olive Tree?

The Holy Spirit is a Person

Herbert Armstrong Exposed

119 Ministries: Attracting Armstrongites Who Require the Law

A Little Identity Crisis – British Israelism

The Myth of The Lost Ten Tribes – By Museum of The Jewish People

* Attractive Deception,  by Pastor Joseph Herrin

How can we recognize a cult? Check Exposing Cults

 

Hebrew Roots, Pt. 4, Sabbath & Sacred Name

HRM completely twist Colossians 2:16 in order to proof their doctrine. If we are confused about a text or Bible verse, we should read 20 verses before and 20 verses after in order to read in context (20/20). If we are still confused, then we read the chapter before and the chapter after. In a video of a popular HRM ministry interpreting Col. 2:16 they jump back to verse 8 alone to explain vs.16, skipping the real context, unfortunately some people will accept it without checking. But there is not any proof that Gnostics were pressing Christians not to keep the Mosaic law, as HRM teaches.

Gnostics mainly attacked the Divinity of Jesus Christ & they still do today. Many founders of gnostic schools were identified as Jewish Christians by early Church Fathers. Gnostics of today that are involved in Judaism & Kabbalah still keep the Sabbath & the dietary laws, feast, etc, this is not against their teachings & it never was. Some scholars, including some Jewish scholars have postulated that there was originally a Jewish gnosticism, which influenced the early origins of gnosticism & that it was known by ‘Talmudic’ Rabbis. Also the Jewish Encyclopedia states: “There is no doubt that a Jewish gnosticism existed before a Christian or a Judeo-Christian gnosticism

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Hebrew Roots, Pt. 3 – Sabbath

We don’t put down Christians because they want to observe the sabbath (seventh day of the week) or want to eat kosher, we can understand that if they have a Jewish background. But unfortunately most of the Hebrew Root Movement (HRM), 7th Day Adventist, Church of God, etc. do condemn us evangelical Christians as pagans or unsaved for not imitating them.

All these groups argue that Sunday worship was invented by the Roman Catholic Church, that Sunday is ‘sun’-day to worship the sun god, the mark of the beast, etc. But if Sunday is the day of the sun, then Saturday is the day of Saturn, and Monday the Moon day, etc. etc. If you find the doctrines of HRM are similar with the Church of God & 7th Day Adventists and the sacred name or Holy Spirit as a force same as Jehovah’s Witnesses, its not a coincidence, all these religious groups originated from the same source, William Miller’s (Millerites) doctrines, more here ‘One Law Two Sticks‘.

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Hebrew Roots Movement, Pt. 2 – The Law

We will always find the disciples of Jesus in the New Testament preaching the “cross of Christ” and not ‘Torah (law) keeping’. Only 4 recommendations found in Acts 15 , plus the 3 commandments from Jesus about love is all that is required to Christians, but we are not without law, we now have the Law of Christ. Gal.6:2 & the doctrine (teachings) of Christ, we are in a New Covenant. The law of Christ, then, is to love God with all of our being, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and He added a new commandment to His followers to love one another as HE loved us.

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