Post Number: 56
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 12:36 am: || |
I just wanted to get back on here and say that I have found something that is so strange. I was on facebook and one of my friends became a fan of the Sabbath. No problem right? Right. On the facebook page I started to ask questions of the people on it. This one lady put up this website: http://www.followersofyah.com
I was have never seen anything like it. All you theologians out there help me on this one. I don't get it. Its almost like they want to keep everything. Am I right? Have you heard of this type of thing?
Post Number: 480
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 4:25 am: || |
This appears to be a form of the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM). The HRM doesn't have a single leader or church, but they all ascribe to similar beliefs.
1. They read in John 1:1 that the Word was God and the Word was in the beginning. Then they will go back and read Gen.1:1 and see through the Hebrew letters (through Pardes) and Gematria (the study of numbers) that the Torah was in the beginning. So they believe that Torah=Jesus and that the entire law must be kept in order to "honor" God if you really love Him. It is salvation of works+faith.
2. They believe that Hebrew is the true language of God. This leads to them believing that God would only leave His Word in Hebrew... therefore the NT must be corrupted because it is written in Greek.
3. To them, the study of Hebrew... words, the shapes of their letters, their attached numbers become most important. This leads to "additional" meanings and a "greater light" to the OT. To me, I believe that "words" become their god. They can get so focused on "words" in a passage that they lose the big picture of what was written.
Here are some really great blogs if you want to learn more. The first one listed is written by Sondra who also posts here. She has her story/testimony written there. The other two are people she knows... one who was delivered from HRM and the other who has contact with others in the HRM.
The HRM is a false movement and eventually leads the person to believe that the Torah saves them rather than Christ.
Hope this helps,
Post Number: 1538
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 5:19 am: || |
Amen, I see it the way you do! Years ago I had a friend at work who was into something similar. He finally went a bit "nuts", and did and said things we couldn't understand.
I suspected, and was probably right, that he was demon possessed.
Anyway, it was a time when God seemed to put all sorts of cultic wackos in my path. I lived a half block from a Kingdom Hall. My Adventist mother became a Mormon. And, a couple of us were leading a good friend out of Scientology. The Moonies took over one of my favorite stomping grounds. And, Jim Jones was running amuck in nearby towns. Just to add a little spice to my life, the Zodiac Killer made one of his phone calls a couple blocks from where I grew up and the "streakers" were loose on the streets.
Post Number: 4636
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 5:32 am: || |
Doc said something that really caught my attention.
He said "Once heresies have been largely forgotten, they tend to get recycled."
What Doc said reminds me of Corinthians II 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
This chapter speaks of false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. Corinthians II 11:13
As with Adventist, Mormons and JW, they just serve up old heresy warmed over and daubed with a sprinkle of this and a daub of that and their minds are corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
It just never quits coming and they all have the same symptoms claiming "We are not a man made religion."
Post Number: 841
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 7:20 am: || |
Vivian is right - these are HRM crazies. God pulled us out of that insanity which is leading people away from Christ and into Judaism or some offshoots of it. This is a false gospel and exactly what Paul was addressing in Galatians. It is truly a recycled heresy. In the six plus years we were in it - not one Christian had any idea how to tell us why we were wrong, even though many had the "feeling" we were wrong. We knew what to say to make it sound right - but it was very very wrong.
I have recently come to know through my blog a man in Israel who has a similar story as ours! He grew up in a Jewish home, then came to trust Jesus as his Messiah. Shortly after this he was approached by Torah observant Jewish believers in Christ, and came into the same bondage as we did. I never heard a story like this from the Jewish side of the fence. (Everyone we knew were really gentiles, trying to teach that Christianity was supposed to be a continuation of 1st century Judaism, we were Israelites by virtue of our belief in the Jewish Messiah, and the church as a whole was apostate.) God delivered this man as well and I am going over a paper he wrote right now - in amazement. He came into the freedom of the New Covenant as well and it is such a HUGE blessing to read this from a Jewish perspective too. He had no idea what was going on here in the states with the HRM and he has no idea how valuable his testimony is. I hope to be able to share it soon because his testimony is so powerful. He said it's not ready to publish - needs editing or something. If he allows me to share it on the blog, I will.
I get so sick of hearing - "we are not a denomination." Like that validates what they are. We thought we were not in a cult because we were not following a man or organization. We did have a leader though - just not a visible one. I know so many in the HRM who are not willing to identify with the movement itself at all - yet are under the same leader. Pray for your friends!
Post Number: 357
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 7:28 am: || |
Hey River! And we always label it "the truth"!
That's a good thought too: Keep it simple! Heresies always end up being far more complicated than just a simple walk with Christ. My pastor back in Wales once said something like: "If someone goes on and on at you, and you have no idea what they are talking about, then they will probably end up trying to split the church." The guy she was talking about ended up doing just that!
Of course, I love going into theological issues in great depth, but surely the gospel has to be simple enough for everyone to understand?
I checked out some of the stuff on that webside you posted, and it just seems weird to me. I have not come across this before (I live in a backwater in Eastern Europe), but changing even NT Biblical terms back into Hebrew just for the sake of it doesn't seem to have any point.
I read the stuff about the Nicolaitians, and it was a fascinating mixture of valid criticism of the institutional churches and hysterical paranoia about any perceived "pagan" influences on the true faith, even taking it well back into OT history.
They say they even use the Old Hebrew alphabet to write the names of God and Jesus (who they don't call God and Jesus, of course), rather than the one Hebrew is (always) written in now, because that was the "original" and therefore "more holy". Nit-picking, nicht?
In the article, it says you mustn't translate names, even into Greek, but have to use the Hebrew, and then they give Jesus a Hebrew name which he never had anyway, because his mother tongue was Aramaic!
I never got as far as the idea of having to keep the Torah, but my problem with this is always the same: how can anyone keep the whole Torah as long as there are no daily sacrifices being made in the Jerusalem temple? This is an integral part of the law! And if Jesus fulfilled the sacrifical "types" (which he did), then why keep the Torah...? It just ends up going round in circles. Don't worry about it, keep it simple!
I find this trying to be more Jewish than the Jews and feeling superior about it somewhat irritating to be honest. No point!
Jesus told the apostles to take the gospel into all the world, to every nation. And the way this could and did happen, is that it had to break away from the rigid Jewish "cultus", centred in Israel. Are we then supposed to tell people who live in the Hawaiian islands to go to Jerusalem three times a year to keep the festivals?
When it comes to religion, why is it that people often refuse just to switch on their brains!?
(I must have got out of bed with my left foot this morning - Hungarian expression).
Post Number: 358
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 7:36 am: || |
I would be interested in that testimony, when it comes available!
There are Jewish Christians (or "Messianic Jews") in Hungary to, and they have their own churches and keep their own rituals as well as believing in Jesus. It is wrong, isn't it, it's not just me...? After all, what are Paul's writings all about when he says, "In Christ there is no Jew or Greek..." and "the dividing wall is broken down..." ?
(End of rant)
Post Number: 401
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 7:47 am: || |
Wow Phil, that was quite an interesting time in your life! I think I would have taken to my bed and put a pillow over my head or something! How could your mom go from adventist to mormon?
Post Number: 1881
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 7:58 am: || |
On Doc's note of the "language" claim of HRM and its problems, Cherry Brandstater wrote up an appendix to her "Spirit" study called "What Languages Did Paul Speak?" which addresses this very thing: http://sogentlybroken.blogspot.com/2008/09/appendix-what-languages-did-paul-speak.html
Some insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the New Testament was originally written Hebrew. Since no original Hebrew copy exists, the argument is used that, "The absence of evidence is evidence of nothing." In other words, they are saying that just because we don't have it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. (Note: There are later Hebrew copies of earlier Greek texts, and there are several efforts to produce a modern Hebrew version, also based on non-Hebrew texts, since, in it's earliest form, that's all that exists.)
...Some pro-names groups go to great lengths to attempt to prove that the NT was originally written in Hebrew, even while some other pro-names groups admit that there are no original copies in Hebrew. This is one of the pro-names arguments which leads ultimately to rejection of the NT. In the article gExploding The Inspired Greek New Testament Mythh by Assemblies of Yahweh, we find the following statement: "We believe that although the original text was inspired, there is no such thing as an inspired translation. Therefore, until such time as the original documents are unearthed, we must base all doctrine on the Old Testament. We should utilize the New Testament, however, and always allow the Old Testament to interpret the New . . .The oldest manuscripts extant with the exception of some Syriac fragments are Greek . . .The first point we would like to establish is that there are no original manuscripts of any book or portion of the New Testament extant today."
...Accepting this argument puts one in the position of selectively postulating about missing versions, missing books, even missing authors or missing commandments. It also accuses God of either hiding the truth, or being unable to preserve the knowledge we need to gain salvation. This leads one to questioning the accuracy of the Bible, especially the New Testament. In fact, some have followed this reasoning, to the point of rejecting the New Testament and Christ as the Messiah.
Post Number: 843
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 8:14 am: || |
Doc this is absolutely true about the HRM:
I find this trying to be more Jewish than the Jews and feeling superior about it somewhat irritating to be honest. No point!
Most of these groups believe they are "practicing" keeping the law until all of it is restored during the millennium. They think they get the oc blessings for keeping all of it they are able to keep. There are many small details they busy themselves with. They think they have a vital role to play in bringing Christians into true obedience to God and Jews into belief of Jesus as the Messiah. They don't think Jews will be able to recognize Him if he is cloaked in the pagan church. What starts as a move to convert Jews develops into a group of people who do things that are highly offensive and insulting to Jewish people - religious or not. The focus is more on church bashing though than on Jew saving - truth be told.
All that you see as bizarre on this website, including all the nonsense with the Hebrew/Greek stuff is very prolific in the HRM - throughout the U.S. I can't believe how this is mushrooming. The woman who found my story on my blog and urged me to finish it (finishing things is my biggest challenge in life) told me nearly all info on the web about the HRM is PRO - and stories like ours were needed badly because there is so little out there to combat this growing error. Two people in our church have brothers caught up in it.
Anyway - it's all really complex, and the truth is simple. Absolutely right. Which is why I struggle with the church I'm at now. They like to make it complicated too.
When I have the info free from the man in Israel, I'll send it to you. He has not given me permission to share his contact info. I tried to leave open the door that Jewish people had a right to these things and it was just us crazy gentiles who had it all messed up. (Had no direct experience in that area) I thought maybe they were able to keep the observances and not lose sight of Christ. I have found his story to disprove my hypothesis. Amazing insight into the "real deal".
I don't think Paul ever rebuked Jewish believers for being "zealous for the law" in Jerusalem - but that was a period of transition. The temple was still standing. What people are seeking now is a morph of Judaism which is occultic and seductive. This is the bottom line.
EXCELLENT book for balance is "Christ on the Jewish Road" by Richard Wurmbrand. Probably on my top 10 list of favorite books of all time.
Post Number: 359
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 8:14 am: || |
Thanks for that Agapetos!
What did I say about "complicated"?
Post Number: 844
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 8:20 am: || |
Good excerpt Ramone -
The Hebrew NT was one thing that drove me bonkers. We encountered this near the end and it didn't make any sense to me to argue over something that didn't exist. I also cover my frustration with this on the Hebrew Roots Dialogues pages on my blog. The guy who took over the group we left finally decided the original NT was in Aramaic instead - but always with an agenda - not a gospel.
Post Number: 360
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 8:23 am: || |
I look forward to it. This stuff is a little new to me.
I know what you mean about "finishing things" ...
Post Number: 361
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 8:32 am: || |
That's another crazy thing: believing and teaching stuff there is no evidence for, because that is the way "it must have happened" (according to our theology).
The early Christians kept the Sabbath until Constantine changed it in the 4th century.
The earliest Greek manuscripts of the New Testament contained the name of Jehovah and it was removed later, though we haven't found any of them yet.
The NT was originally written in Hebrew, but we have no extant manuscripts.
The early church taught tithing and Sabbath keeping, because of the Jewish background, so it was unnecessary to mention it in the New Testament.
(I'd better shut up today, before I offend someone)
Post Number: 481
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 12:18 pm: || |
Phil... no wonder you're "fearless"!!!
Post Number: 1539
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 12:45 pm: || |
Clarification about Mom,
When Dad died, her best friend was Catholic so she became one. Later, when she moved to Las Vegas, the Mormons were nice to her so she switched to that. When my stepdad died, she moved up here with me and said she was really an evangelical Christian. She didn't like it here so she moved down to Oregon with one of her SDA sisters and apparently rejoined the SDA church. When that didn't work out very well, she moved back to Napa (my home town) and lived with my sister who was in the World Wide Church of God...well guess what...never mind. When that church split up it distroyed my sisters family and left mother who knows where. They all moved to Mississpi and she died back there in a rest home not knowing where she was. Last thing she did was to put on her robe and was headed for Oregon where she was from originally.
P.S. Dad hated Adventism but it ate him up like a cancer. And, if you only knew the story about the rest of my family, you would really understand why I am here on this forum.
Post Number: 791
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 5:16 pm: || |
Wow Phil. What a complicated web. I agree with Vivian!
Post Number: 525
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 7:36 pm: || |
Mahalo nui loa. This has been a great thread.
Earlier this month, I lost my best friends as they packed up their family and moved to Isreal. They really got caught up in the messianic movement and felt they should be there when the Lord returns.
Wierd how a lot end up as messianic Jews when leaving adventism.
Post Number: 57
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 9:47 pm: || |
Thanks guys for giving such wonderful insight into what I came into contact with. I had never heard of such a thing. Strange how it all works. I thought they were Adventists only because on the facebook page they did the same thing that Adventists do if you question the Sabbath, they attack you and belittle you until you give up. Just my thought on how they do it.
Post Number: 1884
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 11:54 pm: || |
My goodness, Phil! Your family's been through a lot!
Post Number: 4641
|Posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 4:01 am: || |
Does the Phrase "Choke at a gnat and swallow a Camel" come to mind here?
I think I'll go out and beat on a wash tub because I suspect I might have a little Indian blood.
Course the neighbors might not appreciate my efforts.
P.s. Not speaking of Phils situation, but speaking of the language situation, which brings up the question. If you say car in Hebrew, is it still a car? Or does that turn it into a truck?
I hope no one turns my Mustang into a Chevy by speaking to it in Hebrew. YaH?
(Message edited by river on April 26, 2009)
Post Number: 4642
|Posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 4:15 am: || |
Thought I better clear that up Phil, your not mixed up, you just make up your mind which way to go a little suddenly!
Come to think of it though having been raised up in a family like that might have a lot to do with your penchant for sudden reversal of direction.
Why don't you start going to Seattle then reverse direction and drop by Battleground if you get the chance.
Post Number: 1540
|Posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 10:04 am: || |
The problem with going to Seattle is, why would I want to? As for "sudden", that reminds me of a story...oops, that's really off topic.
Back to topic:
Anyway, I lived nine years near the Kingdom Hall back when I was being grounded in the true gospel message and it was a wonderful time of being grounded in my faith. At the time, I had joined the Napa Valley Evangelical Free Church and we had some very fine Bible teachers. I would come home from church "all pumped up" about Jesus and there would be the Jehovah Witness people standing in my driveway. I had a place on a long inverted "L" lot with the house over a hundred and fifty feet away in the back of another home that faced the street. So, I would pop the tail gate of my Chevy pickup and there we would "hold forth" on our respective faith. The Holy Spirit was there and always prevailed.
Years later, mother turn her Mormon bishop on me via the mail. No computer in those days. After many months of correspondence, he said something to the effect; "You really know your Bible". Shortly after that mother was sick so I went to visit her in Las Vegas and the bishop guy promised to come by and meet me. The coward never showed up. It was Thanksgiving time, so instead, a Mormon family (husband, wife and a whole bunch of kids) brought in a complete dinner. They were clearly looking after all Mother's physical needs. To me, it was an embarrassment to witness how they were doing what Christians are commanded to do but had such terrible theology.
The Zodiac Killer, early on, killed a couple of students from the Pacific Union College. That was a shock, especially since he made his phone call from downtown Napa, a couple blocks from where I had grown up.
Jim Jones and his Peoples Church, had the locals all mesmerized for awhile, but when he threw his Bible on the floor, I realized his was another false prophet. Sadly, many other didn't see that.
At the time I was in a prison visitation program. On one visit, I leaned back in my chair and bumped heads with David Hillary of the Black Panthers. Wow, Timothy Leary was across the room laughing at me. That was real spooky. Oh by the way, I toured San Quentin two times. On the first visit I was still in the Marine Corps and got to sit in the gas chamber. Didn't stay there long.
As for the Moonies, they took over an old health resort, Etna Springs, which wasn't far from Angwin and the Pacific Union College.
At Mare Island where I was trained and worked as a Shipfitter, we had lots of cults on the loose at the shipyard, especially Scientology and the fellow who promoted Hebrew words for all things religious. I only know of one person who escaped out of the trap of Scientology.
Anyway, I had my fill of all that and moved to the Puget Sound of Washington State in 1980.
Seattle reminds me to much of San Francisco (the home of Scientology and a few other wackos) which is why I would rather head south down to where River lives and pull "hookers" around trees in Meadow Glade. When I go north, I skip Seattle by taking the ferry over to Edmonds. Which reminds me, it is almost tulip time up in Skagit Valley.
(Message edited by philharris on April 26, 2009)
Post Number: 4643
|Posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 11:13 am: || |
It is getting absolutely beautiful around Battleground and I think we have finally broken free of a long, drab and cold winter.
I would love to make the drive north to visit with you soon.
I hurt my back pretty bad yesterday being my usual stupid self and lifting on the old 200 lb t.v so I could clear the way for an LCD.
Now here I sit all bunged up. I only hurt when I sit stand, lay, move,or breathe so it ain't too bad.
I will see how it goes in a the next week and can perhaps come up to have a little fellowship and see your man cave and stuff.
Donna has hooped off on her walker to Fred Meyers so if shes shopping she ain't doing too bad.
Here's hoping my old back gets unbent, I can pay the rent and be on my way off into a beautiful spring in the Pac Nor west.
P.S. I hired a man full time so if I can run my mouth, which never seems to be a problem, I can still get work done.
Post Number: 403
|Posted on Monday, April 27, 2009 - 7:16 am: || |
Take care of your back. You should go up when the tulip festival is going (if you have not been there before)as you and Donna would really enjoy it and there are some neat shops there also. That is one of the things I do miss doing since moving clear across the state.
I agree with you that Seattle has increased in the crazies. Their driving leaves a lot to be desired.
With all that you have been through you should be able to spot those cultic religions a mile away.
I know that when JW's would come to my door and I told them I was sda they would run for the hills.
Post Number: 343
|Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 2:57 am: || |
Praying for your back ... When your back hurts, everything hurts ... I had to laugh when you said it only hurts when you sit, stand, lay, move, or breath ... Ain't that the truth when your back goes out.
Anyways, praying for a speedy recovery so you can enjoy Spring.
Post Number: 9742
|Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 5:22 pm: || |
River, how's the back? I am so sorry--praying for you. (Do you think you might need to see a doctor?!)
Post Number: 4671
|Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 2:50 pm: || |
Getting better today, I worked a little bit.
I think I just ripped all the lower muscles in my lower back and hips.
I ain't much for seeing the doctor unless they haul me in on a stretcher.
It was my own fault, I just forget I am getting older and can't go lifting on 200 lbs any more.
I heal pretty fast so that helps, Thanks for the prayers. Seems like I always need them for something or other.