This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Hebrew Roots

The ‘Two House’  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 (G1322=teaching, instructions) 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. (comes from 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). See more.

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, Rob Skiba, etc) accept Apocryphal books & other books (Enoch, etc) as inspired scriptures.

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

5/ Many HR teachers not all, deny the Deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, etc. (WCG )

6/ Say 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 consider mandatory the ‘Sacred Name’. (WCG).  

10/ Like Adventist & Jehovah’s Witnesses they believe that hell is annihilation (Non-existant) & not eternal punishment (WCG).

11/ Many use 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

The fact that the Church of God, the Seventh Day Adventist & the Jehovah’s Witnesses have several doctrines in common it is not just coincidence, all  3 groups sprung out of the teachings of Calvinist Baptist preacher & Freemason (see copies in English) 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 Ellen White (1) 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 called 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 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 also a kabbalist rabbi who claimed to be the 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 Joseph Smith):   “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 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 WCG 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.   He left the WCG, yet declared, “Most of what I learned from that organization, I still hold to [i.e., laws].” 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. Also Joe Kovacs is an executive editor for WorldNetDaily (WND), a major promoter of the HRM. Kovacs’s writings feature the theology of the late Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the WCG (See TBC article).

Also many HR organizations have connections, conduct meetings and seminars with a group named “Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research” that started in 1961 but became chartered on 1985 (same period as Armstrong, & propagated same doctrines but in Israel) founded  by Jewish scholar David Flusser &  interfaith pastor Robert L. Lyndsey a pioneer in the studies of Hebraic  roots, both of them & their organization are promoters of the Noahide Laws  – Brad H. Young , Oral Robert Univ. graduate, (president and founder of the Gospel Research Foundation), author of the book “Meet the Rabbis: Rabbinic Thought and the Teachings of Jesus” is another founding scholar who served as researcher to professor Flusser. A book  published in 1984 by David Bivin (Director of the JSSR) and Roy Blizzard ‘Understanding The Difficult Words Of Jesus‘ has formed the basis of much ‘Hebraic Roots’ doctrine. They say in their book, pg. 4 of 1994 edition: “It cannot be overemphasized, that the key to an understanding of the New Testament is a fluent knowledge of Hebrew and an intimate acquaintance with Jewish history, culture, and Rabbinic Literature.”

‘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 (Hebrew Roots followers), & will come together (back to their land of Israel) as the one bride of Christ, so Jesus can come.

This is a Talmudic 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 always interpret the word nations as gentiles. Also we find in the book of Ezekiel 37:21 were is prophesied that Israel (Ephraim according to them) 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.

Israel 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 now the 10 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. Many Christians agree that Ephraim was made greater but the blessings were conditional on their obedience to God but 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 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 possibly 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 as a nation, 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 believe & be save.

Two House proponents 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.

According to them 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 new 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 spiritually 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 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 HIMself, Jesus Christ.

Reformed/Calvinist theologians teach the church is Israel, but that’s not what the New Testament shows. The apostle Paul (from the tribe of Benjamin) calls himself both Jew & Israelite in Romans 11:1, Acts 21:39. Also see James 1:1 who wrote to the 12 tribes scattered & not to the 10 tribes or Ephraim scattered. 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.

HR teachers are promoting to move out of America (Babylon) to Israel:

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.

Some HR 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 the 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 in 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 the 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.  I think it needs to be made clear that the Church’s contamination with kabbalah is not just a “Hebrew Root” issue, but many other teachers like Bill Johnson (NAR), K. Copeland (WoF), Benny Hinn, 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:

Two House Answered

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



Series Navigation<< Hebrew Roots, Pt. 4, Sabbath & Sacred Name