My experience today with detecting cults / false churches

Today, I went to the Emirates Stadium, the soccer ground owned by Arsenal football club which was hosting Just One a praise and worship event, with many young people there.   There was some great teaching by J John with worship music by Matt Redman and Hillsongs UK.

When I left the stadium I got a booklet thrusted at me which looked like this:-

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I went back to the two people who gave it to me who were two young Americans.    As it was from a group which had a Hebrew Roots-ish kind of theme and wanted to know a bit about their background.   I explained to them I have had a wide experience in doing ministry with Jewish people and living in the land of Israel.   They didn’t want to say much apart from the wanted to do church in a authentic way Jesus would of done.

My background in fellowshipping with Jewish and gentile believers in Yeshua/Jesus has taught be a lot of things in the last few years.   I’ve met some wonderful people, I’ve sometime had hostility from many traditional Christians who don’t understand biblical plans for Israel and Jewish people.   But I have also seen the extreme, as I’ve also seen people leave the faith and convert to Judaism, Noahide movement or become secular. For this reason, I understand why some pastors are nervous of Messianic and Hebrew Roots stuff getting involved with their churches.

This is from my sense of discernment and also from a few tangible things I’ve spotted in this booklet which give me cause for concern.

  1. Painting all the church as lost.   Its true there are a lot of churches have fallen away and have compromised teaching.   There are of course still plenty of great churches.   if you are looking at switching there many great churches large and small, often they might not meet in traditional church buildings but rent premises off a school or community centre, the might meet in your community but you may have walked right past not know they were there.
  2. Sacred name theology.   In this case, and I’ve seen this many times before.  They explain that you shouldn’t use the name Jesus as its Greek and you should refer to him as “Yahshua”  This is sort of true.   Jesus’ name isn’t “Yahshua” thats a kind of bogus quasi-Hebrew someone dreamed up on the internet.   Jesus’ actual name is Yeshua (written as יֵשׁוּעַ and read backwards as ah-oo-sh-y) Its perfectly ok to address our Lord and saviour as either.   My Israeli Messianic friends refer to him as Jesus or Yeshua.   Only false teachers will tell you can only speak to the son of God in Hebrew only.
  3. Totally ignoring Jesus’ death and resurrection.   This was not mentioned once in this booklet.   Christians can disagree about many different subjects, but this is a crucially important component of our faith which is key to our salvation.
  4. Live in isolation from the body of believers.   One of my Israeli believer friends who is originally from the US told me something; on nature programs on TV you will see a heard of deer and a tiger that wants a meal.   The tiger will go for the animal which has got separated from his flock as its easier.   The body of Christ is like this, if we stick with our fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus we will stay safer from strange and false teachings, than if we isolate ourselves.   Its also harder to break away from potentially abusive behaviour if you are in a small closed in religious community.
  5. Have a statement of faith.   This group doesn’t.   All churches and ministries all of this on this web site.
  6. Having “Another gospel”   Usually among false religious a ‘gospel of works’ a list of stuff you have to achieve with tick boxes needs to be checked to get you into heaven.  Paul talks about false teachers who create another way to be saved without Jesus’s death and resurrection being an atonement for sin.     Galatians 1 : 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
  7. Trying to pretend to be Jewish when you aren’t.   Real Jewish people I know find this creepy and insulting.   This religious group bases their names as being Jewish, and many of the cults and false teachers I’ve come across usually think they are long lost Jews from American Indians or something wack.   Sounds daft but I’ve seen people convinced by it.
  8. Twisting scripture to make it fit your false message.   ’nuff said.

Of course, later I’ver googled searched this group “twelvetribes.com” and found they are actually a bonafide cult which other people have done more research than me.    They do have a operation in Devon UK, but originate from the US and have spread to Canada and Europe.   They have these “Yellow Deli” cafes do great food, but provide a means to rope new converts in.   Maybe some of this stuff is obvious but this blog article exists for anyone who might get caught in it.

Just to clarify this religious group have nothing to do with the Just one, J John, Hillsong church or any ministry attending there.   This was another religious group outside targeting young people by confusing them with another gospel.

I’ve had a lot of experience in talking about Israel, Jewish people the Messianic movement to Christians, and whats genuine and what’s not.  Feel free to privately message me if I can be of any help.

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Portsmouth from a different angle…

I was flying back from Lisbon, Portugal to Gatwick after working for a brief (3) days.

I’m going home with Easyjet, the brand of the airline doesn’t really matter in this case as when I am flying I get the best experience with a seat next to a plane and have decent weather and visibility and be able to spot things from high up.  On the way over, I was with TAP (Portugese national airline) and got a luke warm cup of tea and a very small sandwich included, where as Easyjet make you pay high prices for food.

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So we are going north from continental Europe and I see this island.   I think this is Jersey.    Oh gosh I really need to watch repeats of 1980s TV detective series Bergerac now, although since reading up in Wikipedia, a lot of it was filmed in mainland UK as budgets were a bit tight.

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Now I see my home city of Portsmouth!!  This city has a distinctive shape as its effectively an island with three roads connecting it to the mainland.    Here if you look carefully you can see where Eastney (yes, the East corner bit)  meets with Hayling Island, a neighbouring protruding section of Hampshire south coast.   I think I need to move back there at some point soon.

 

 

Working and travelling in Lisbon, Portugal

I got a chance to spend 3 days in Lisbon.   I was working there installing 30 new computers for a big company.   This was my first time working abroad to carry out a project in a tight deadline, I did get one evening to see places.

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The tower of Belem is an interesting fort structure in the sea.

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This is a weird place.   Its a stadium for bull fighting.   This cruel and outdated sport is probably not popular here, but I didn’t realise the Portugese did it, I thought it was just  a Spanish thing.   It looks like an Islamic building, which it is and it isn’t.   Its design was influenced by Muslim architecture.

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DSCF0216I chatted to some staff there at my work place and to some taxi drivers.    They are eager to ask what I think of Brexit.    I would say to many non-Brits this is a little bit of a taboo subject as its got so many f my people upset and uncertain about the future.

I really like Portugal, but salaries are very low, and young professionals are leaving.  A taxi driver told me he works 6 days a week and long hours for 1000 Euros a month.    Looking at this, I was shocked to see that salaries are half of Spain.   Portugese are often mistaken for Spanish and this gets them annoyed.   I did managed to tell a waiter ‘Gracias’ instead of ‘Obrigardo’ when I finished my breakfast and he took my plate, a few seconds later I realised my error.

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Ask for a beer (ie: a non specific size) in Portugal and you will get a 200ml class.  I got a paella type (it was called something else) fish dish, which came with bread and this nice soft cheese.  Most popular local beer is called Super Bock.   Ask for a beer in Sweden and you get 400ml.   Ask for a beer in Austria and you will get 500ml.    That’s where I went next.   Portugese custards are really a must also!

My visit to the tragedy struck Grenfell high rise block

As its not far from my work I took the train to the recent Grenfell block disaster.

IMG_20170615_191952230 1024Journalism and blogging can be unpleasant and eagerly looks for tragedy as a trophy.

My motivation is to see what was happening with the community there, and to see if Christians and churches were helping out.   I also wanted to walk around and discretely pray for this area.

I was nervous with trepidation as this was a few days after it just happened, the grief was still new and folks were putting up posters of lost family members fearing the worst, after all some people left in the night clothes and may not have a phone, wallet, money and details of how to get hold of loved ones.   Getting closer to the neighbourhood you can smell the remains of this charred 1970s concrete relic.

The police and fire are still around assessing if much of the building is safe to enter.

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This church on the right tirelessly serving the community.   Several different Muslim groups are out too, as well as a van from the Chabad Lubavitch (Orthodox Jewish) movement.

The piles of donations from kind citizens took up a whole street.

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From nearby tube station as I was going home.   This line is now shut as wind is pushing debris across the track.   From here this has the closest view, as much of the streets are shut off from the public.   Once the train moved I could see a kids play area strewn with burnt fabric from the building.

People are now very angry about this and want to blame someone.  It seems logical for many to blame our current government.   I wish people would stop stirring up trouble and allow our government and charity to do their job and getting these people rehomed and the failings of the building thoroughly investigated.   Its not right for this to be manipulated for political gain.

I’ve noticed there is a great deal of similar political battles to what’s going on in the UK in Europe.  This isn’t been from the news, I got to visit a few cities in Europe for work.   I’ll write on this later.

 

Google’s Hebrew predictive text predicts Jewish Messiah?

Just added Hebrew keyboard to my phone since my Moto G4 handset rolled out Android 7.0 a few days ago.

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If you type in the Hebrew word for Jesus whilst texting, the next words are computer-predicted.

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HaNotzri (Christian) | HaMoshiach (The Messiah) | Ho (He)

Which makes me think, how does Google’s predictive algorithm work?   Is this bit of software licenced from somewhere else? Or is it self-learning from conversations from Hebrew speaking Android phone users?

Its not picking it up from me, as I am not a regular and confident Hebrew speaker.

Compared to texting with English, the left hand pic is what’s predicted instead…..

Screenshot_20170326-231046  chabad wrong messiah

The right hand picture I’ve written Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a Ukrainian/New York Rabbi often mistaken as being the Messiah by Ultra Orthodox Jews in Israel and elsewhere.   Here there aren’t any words related to Messiah, King of Kings or anything else.

Curious?   I am.

 

Do you have gifts of discernment?

If you know me or you don’t, I’m a Christian who did some volunteer work in Jerusalem Israel, serving the Jewish people, seeing and experiencing holidays and place associated with the Bible.

I’ve experienced some very odd things that are hard to explain, that come from being in a political and spiritually volatile place.   I’m now living in London UK, and after seeing some big changes happening with work, church, friends, these I am needing to seek the Lord about some complex challenges for the future.

I’ve been reading recently about the gifts of the spirit.   I’ve just read this particular article which talks about Gift of Discernment which really encouraged me.

This is one of the best things I’ve read on the subject.

http://www.enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/08/08/8-signs-you-may-have-the-spiritual-gift-of-discernment/ 

I think its crucially important for Christians who seek to understand these, or already have spiritual gifts, not to misuse them or boast about them, and of course, Christians who don’t yet grasp these biblical concepts to discard it as a fad or a peculiarity also.

1 Thessalonians 5 : 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

The Lord revealing dark secret in a London park

Firstly, I don’t pretend to have any special knowledge any talent.   The Lord reveals things to me every so often.    Not in any particular pattern or reason why I should I know.

Here is London’s is Regent park.   I often enjoy walking through here on a Sunday before I go to church.   I live in North West London and my church is the centre of the big city.

I needed to be praying and fasting over some critical decisions in my own life right now.   I went walking in London on Saturday through some of my favourite places, but I felt the Lord directed me to somewhere different.

This extra park is called Primrose Hill.   At the top of here are some pretty great views of London, and its assorted collection of building furniture like Tower Bridge, Telecom Tower, The Gherkin, Big Ben etc.  Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures and all I have is Google’s images from a grey and cloudy day.

Behind where I was standing, I walked past some trees in a slightly odd circular shape.   It was here that Lord told me to pray over this area as it has some kind of connection with Witchcraft.    I prayed over the area, not for me to have any authority over this, as I don’t.   I am new to intercessory prayer and pastors who do this recommend not to be boastful in the way pray over places with sources of some kind of stronghold.   Like I said, I am in no way trying to be expert on this.   I also felt I should research why the Lord is tell me this stuff.    I know absolutely nothing about this park.

The next day, I spent some time with Google on Primrose hill, trying to figure out if this has any meaning.   Straight away I notice some things.   Some of these links are connected directly to Witchcraft and Wicca sites, so I want to be mindful not to be too interested in some of these finer detail.

This web site from the Royal Parks mentions this:-
At one time this was a place where duels were fought and prize-fights took place. The hill has always had a somewhat lively reputation, with Mother Shipton making threatening prophesies about what would happen if the city sprawl was allowed to encroach on its boundaries.

I agree that ancient park land should not be built on, these places should not spoilt in the name a constant need for home taking away our green places.   I know well that Pagan culture is attracted to nature and wildlife, actually here there was some construction going on in the park, but just renew seating and a bit of landscaping.

Who is Mother Shipton?

Wikipedia; Ursula Southeil 1488–1561, A prophetess (A witch)

In particular she is thought to have predicted the invention of the motor car “A Carriage without a horse shall go; Disaster fill the world with woe..”

Connection with my home city of Portsmouth.

Meanwhile I realised this name sounded familiar.   About 80 miles away, my home city in Portsmouth named a pub after this witch:-

A bit more research, shows this to be one of UK’s worst pubs for violence, see this link http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/dont-count-me-inn-1596870

Seeing as Primrose park had a murder and this pub is used for brawls, I’m willing to guess that this witch brought a curse of violence on places associated with her.

I know people formerly associated with witchcraft, occult, seances and fortune telling who left this and came to Christ.    I know that history has shown us that otherworld stuff is real and is dangerous.   Often people are introduced to this today through Goth/Grunge culture and heavy metal music.   Unhealthy interest in the occult has separated a close friend of mine from truth of the Gospel he once had.

What have I learned from this?   When I managed to spend a day seeking the Lord, he has given me words of knowledge on places I have not been before, without a reason why.   I write this to learn and share with others and so the Lord get give me more understanding of powers and principalities and how to pray over them.

 

Jerusalem terror attack and UN

Just been watching with horror at the reports of four people killed today in Jerusalem.

This is really close to my flat I lived at for 3 years (I lived in a different flat as well in Jerusalem for 1 year)

It will be interesting to see what the UN says about this attack.   This is because the UN’s headquarters is just another few hundereds metres away.

You can see the entrance has been designed with blocks to get cars to drive around to stop ramming attacks.     With the recent ramming attack in Germany that killed people in a similar attack.  The German government bought some special barriers from a company in Israel, as they industry leaders of anti-terror and security solutions to militaries and police forces worldwide.  A city in Spain has just approved a boycott Israel campaign.   Where they going to buy anti-terrorism solutions when they have an attack from radical Islam I wonder?

Most Israelis don’t like the UN, as they have never treated Israel fairly.   The idea of a impartial body to act to arbitrate disagreements between nations is sensible plan in theory, but the UN has always failed on this, as it issues more sanctions on Israel, a not perfect country, but a place that has democracy and freedom, then on countries like Iran, Saudia Arabia, North Korea, China, Cuba etc, which don’t have any these things.

After the massive changes in 2016 with Brexit and Donald Trump, which some people were up in arms and still are, I think they next big change in 2017 will be the collapse of the UN. With the UN forcing Israel’s hand to create Islamic dystopia nation called “Palestine” run by Fatah and/or Hamas, Israel plans to defund the UN and Donald Trump’s US administration may do the same.   As the US give 25% of the UN their money, that will cause the UN to teeter over bankruptcy.   At that point it will be rescued using the funds of an Islamic nation but only it’s terms.

The only way there will be peace in the middle east is through Christ, and for Israel to be restored as the bible foretells.

 

 

 

Canada 1. St Johns New Foundland

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St John’s sits in the extreme north east corner of Canada

I took a trip to Canada in August to see a close friend of mine I was with whilst in Israel.

I booked my flight later than I should of and the best deal I could get to go from London to Winnipeg required two stop overs.   One in St John’s New Foundland and one Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This is the longest flight I have done, and the first time I have been to North American continent in 15 years, with multiple stops travelling westwards you are going backwards across time zones.

St John’s is the capital of New Foundland and Labrador, the cluster of small provinces (Canada’s way of equivalent of individual states) on the east coast, along with New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are called the Maritimes.

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Shipping is quite a big thing here.   This is a small capital city but a lot of young people, and good selection of interesting antique shops and bars and restaurants.

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I think it was still something like 8 in the morning and there was this weird fog shrouding the city in a mystery which was quite fun.   The taxi driver took me to Signal Hill which I was advised by friends this was a good place to explore as I had 7 hours free before my next flight.

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I got a cuddle with this lovely huge dog!   A Newfoundland dog was here with his owner enjoying the park.

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Poutine!   Canada’s own fast food.   A kind of mix of cheese and gravy served with chips.   I would of got some but I already had lunch here.

Everyone I met here, even the airport security was super friendly.   I had a great chat with the Bangladeshi taxi driver who took me from the airport to the main city.   He was driving part time and also at university.   Canada is great place for new immigrants, there is enough space and work to fit in so many new people.   The other taxi driver that took me back was a local guy with a very thick accent which sounded almost Irish.   Its quite clear that the folks of St John’s have strong Irish and Scottish descent.

Trip to Turkey 28. Flight home from Adana

I took a train from Tarsus to Adana to head home.   This still required (I think with any flight in Turkey) a change at Istanbul.

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There was this vintage train outside of Tarsus station.   Many years ago, trains went from Israel to Lebanon through Syria into Turkey.

These flags were not out when I went.   The station in Adana is quite a big grand looking place in a modern looking city, it looks a bit like the large Moroccan city of Cassablanca when I went in 2015.

Not much more than 200km from Syria!   If I did my journey the opposite way round, flying to Adana, I know people going off to join ISIS tend to enter Syria or Iraq from south east Turkey, I’m certain I’d get flagged up and put on some kind of list or something.

I didn’t really get a chance to look around Adana.  Its a really big city and this was my final destination before taking a plane home.   I took one stop to buy a small pizza from a bakery.  The two men there were friendly but they didn’t speak English at all.   Neither did my taxi driver I waved down.   Most of the folks I was speaking to required gestures to make myself understood.

Overall
Turkey has been a popular place for holidays, but really Istanbul and Ankara, as its warm and quite cheap.  Turkish people are friendly and hospitable.    Just before I did this trip terrorism reared its ugly head, and I wasn’t swayed as going to smaller towns.   It does seem Turkey has taken a turn for the worse with more unrest, restrictions on the internet and putting journalists in jail.   Would I go again?   if troubles quieten down maybe, if I haven’t lived in the middle east before I would not of been I think.   I am really glad I did this trip when when I did in April 2016.

The end

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