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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Beware of the cult of the Black Hebrew Israelites

There’s a lot of cults on London where I live.

I’ve seen the Hari Krishnas, The Moonies, Falong Gong, Scientologists, evangelical Islamists telling us we need Shariah law and also one or two self style Messiah figures, around the streets of London.

In Israel, the Falong Gong, Hari Krishnas and Scientologists are there too, and a few other weird ones.

So when some folks tell me all religion is the same and there is a select bad bunch of a few, I tend to roll my eyes and shake my head.   Its no surprise that Paul spoke about it a lot, as did Peter, and Jesus said himself, there would be false Messiahs, false prophets and false religions would deceive people.   In this particular time and age stuff like this is increasing.  The Black Hebrew Israelites are some of the very worst groups I think around.   They are racist and stir up hate.

I first so these folks actually in Oxford Street in London.   They might seems like a limited fringe group, but they seem extremely active on the internet and they seem to be growing.  Among forums and Facebook groups, they seem to pop up quite often.

On the surface, BHI appear to be just some young black men who love the bible and have an interest in Israel and Jewish people and practices.

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‘Teaching material’put in front of these men.   Not my foot, a few people watching seemed quite astonished by them.

 

The group of 5 young black men preaching in Oxford Street had a cartoon showing that Jesus was a black man, and that traditional Christianity is worshiping an imposter.

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I didn’t get a closer picture of these guys for obvious reasons.  They are bigger then me and crazy.

I’m trying to help and encourage a friend who has got into very similar teaching to this.  Let me tell you this.   I am going to no mince words here, this teaching is a lie from the pit of hell that breaks families, churches and communities.   If you ever see folks from this teaching in your congregation or bible study remove them straight away and pray for protection on you and your family.

When you delve into their teaching they think that they are a lost tribe of Israel, or, and heard this quite a few times that ordinary Ashkenazi (white European Jews) are imposters, and that they should be the ones living in Jerusalem.  They also read out a passage from Revelation 3:9 to reinforce this.    They are driven by extreme arrogance and pride, I think they could easily turn nasty.

Some of these people are frequent speakers in London, one of these is close to Stratford station and some are in cult/weirdo-magnet ‘Speaker’s Corner’ in Hyde Park.

There are real black Jews of course.  BHI is nothing to do with them.    I’ve met many of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel, and be to some bars and restaurants owned by them.  They are kind and gentle people.

Is the bogus “Emerging Church” movement coming near you?

Years ago, I heard about these two American pastors who were at an event in Bethlehem, the “Christ at the Checkpoint” event , which was a new strategy to sway Christian evangelicals from support of Israel, to Palestinian fulfillment theology, a theory of making another Islamic state run by the two different groups who hate each other, Hamas and Fatah would make an extra new nation that would some how make peace between Jews and Arabs.   The organisers were Arab Christians who hold onto this idea, even though their Islamic government would keep them as poorly treated minorities, where as Arab Muslims and Christians living in Israel have freedom of speech and live in a democracy. (although plenty of room for improvement)   There is no mention of the Jewish/Arab victims of Islamic terror at this event.

These two American evangelicals were a well known pastor called Tony Campolo who is in his 80s and his dreadlocked head scarfed companion Shane Claybourne.   Something immediately didn’t seem right in my spirit about these two even way before I could see what side they were coming from.

Fast forward to 2016.  This is a hard blog post to write.   I was shocked to see Shane Claiborne was speaking in two different churches I really respect, one of these in Portsmouth, where I am from. 😦   He is also due to headline a popular Christian festival also.

In the past, there has been several fads in Christian teaching, some that are particularly appealing to Christian youth.   This is the “Emergent church” movement.

Looking at Campolo’s Red Letter Christians web site is basically a classic example of this movement.   There is no statement of faith, and is keen to support New Age themed ideas on spirituality, unbiblical acceptance of homosexuality and general void of sound biblical teachings.   It frequently often bangs on about being “ordinary radicals” and “New Monastic” (whatever that means)

The most popular figure of the Emergent Church movement is Rob Bell who was kicked out of his church for his Universalism, and denial of the existence of hell.  Yet he has sold 2 million books and still has a blog and pod cast on his weirdo ideas.   The Zimzim of love anyone?    You really want your Christian youth into this garbage??

The Emergent church is liberal sugar coated drivel that doesn’t feed Christians with knowledge of the bible and you should steer clear of it.   We need to show love to people caught in ways of the world by preaching the gospel out of kindness, and relying on God to change them and turn away from sin.

This web site exposes some of the dangerous false teaching by the Emergent Church and its main people such as Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, Brian McClaren and more.   I think its interesting all of Paul’s books have a section to warn about false teachers, particular in latter times.

http://www.submergingchurch.com/

not emergentThis book was recommended to me by a friend which I’d like to get hold of soon “Why we are not emergent” by by Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Were-Not-Emergent-Freedom-ebook/dp/B00125L8DK/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458332803&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=why+we+are+not+emergent

In all honesty, I don’t like thinking of people of groups to bash on my blog. I’d rather look for things to provide joy and encouragement to others and myself.  I’d love to share with you things that have helped young Christians grow with their walk with Lord and help them be passionate for Christ in another post soon.

1 Timothy 4 : 1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

1 Timothy 4 : 6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,a you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.

 

 

Hyper Hebrew Roots movement – 6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

These are false teachers that need to be avoided at all costs.    However some pastors and Christian organisations still work with them not realising their background.

Jono Vandor – “Truth2U”

It may seem obvious this guy should be avoided, but he pops up in some of my friend’s Facebook likes which concerns me.

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Jono is an Australian blogger and radio host for the last 5 years initially as a bible study for Christians to learn about Jewish roots, in 2010, this was quoted on a forum:-

“TRUTH2U is a new radio program gaining listenership around the globe.

It broadcasts out of a little country town, the cherry capital of Australia, Young NSW. (GMT+11, Sunday mornings 11-12)

It runs for one hour and is hosted by me, jono vandor.

The aim of TRUTH2U is to expose the pagan (!) and elevated traditions of man in professing Christianity while upholding Torah and the reality of Scripture. Primarily, TRUTH2U seeks to serve YHWH and those set-apart to Him by broadcasting the truth of His Son, Yahshua Messiah.”

Since then the direction has changed completely to being against Yeshua and against the gospel and teach Christians about Judaism. This guy uses lots of material from people like Michael Skobac, Tovia Singer and Ira Michaelson from Jews for Judaism.   This is a group specifically to stop Jewish people knowing about Jesus, truth2u aboutbut a bunch of 50 something Rabbis aren’t going to appeal to today’s youth, that why they need a middle man like Jono who can make it sound appealing to Christians look from today’s blogging/podcast generation.    Actually Jews for Judaism aka Outreach Judaism also want to target ordinary Christians who are attracted to Orthodox Judaism.

These online presentations and Israel tour visits are slickly presented as a Jewish/Christian social thing, but its clear they want to present you with an exit from the gospel with some false teaching.

Nehemiah Gordon

Nehemiah is not a believer but a Karaite Jew.   Hes been interviewed in a few Christian TV channels.  As he writes about Yeshua he must be a good guy?   Or almost getting there??

hebrew Yeshua book

This book is effectively telling Christians about the sacred name idea I wrote earlier, its a way to get Christians out of their normal church and regular thinking into odd sound teaching which leads them to dropping Yeshua.

Disturbingly pick at random any of the people who are a member of this group, there is a disturbing trend of these people tend to be ex-Christians wanting to be Jewish and seeking strict religious structure.   Gordon is often a guest on the spiritual babiesTruth2U and Spiritualbabies blogs.

He works with an American pastor a lot, this is mainly because the two charge $7.99 a month biblical history subscription to a Christian audience so not surprisingly my warnings to this pastor I emailed fell on deaf ears.

Jason “SpiritualBabies”

Sounds like a cult?    You are correct.    Jason and Lyn are an Irish couple who run a business doing graphics and illustration work.   This was initially used for the message of the gospel, then for a more Hebraic slant as it got Christians to take Jewish practices.   Now its specifically against the gospel.

Like Jono, these people are huge fans of Tovia Singer, and they work together with Jono and some other people to point people towards Tovia’s theology.

Pathways Radio 

This is a channel run by ex-believers which yet again promote anti-Yeshua teacher Rabbi Tovia Singer.   It proclaims itself as ‘idolfree’ but actually it has some talks on witchcraft!!!

From this appalling site:- “There is nothing more offensive to the Jewish people, and the Jewish faith, than organizations that target Jews with vile, disgusting perversions of scripture in order to trick, manipulate, and convert a holy people into pagan religion.

The Christian church considers the Jews as prime targets for this onslaught of lies.  The church has incorporated assimilation tactics into its repitiore. These tactics include additional Christian denominations called: Messianic Judaism, Nazarene (Netzari) Judaism, Hebrew Roots, and other alternative names.  Their principle objective is to trick the Jewish person into seeing Jesus….”

From a book from a member of the ‘Pathways radio’ cult;

“….In this book, the reader will witness how AJ and his family journeyed through the following: Christianity Atheism Born-again Christianity Messianic Judaism Hebrew roots Nazarene Judaism Finally, reality (!!!!) Each dramatic step, each oddity, and even the colorful characters met along the way are described in every way! AJ Ostrander was an energetic and passionate evangelical preacher in the church for ten years….”

Bottom line; the Hyper Hebrew Roots movement pulls people away from the church and Christian friends and family and gradually into progressively more weird teaching, excluding the love and salvation of Christ, into apostasy.

2 Peter 2 : 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

There is a consistent pattern that many of the believers were following Yeshua up until a few years ago, but were telling ordinary Christians to keep Torah and keep kosher and urged them that Jewish practices were mandatory for everyone.     Then these people denied Jesus altogether.

Ephesians 5 : 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

Am I indulging in slander, Lashon Hara (or Lashing Horror) towards these people?   I have chatted to some people who are believers who got into this stuff.  Some to the bad stuff (Staley/Rood Crowd in part 2 below) and some truly appalling stuff like these men.

Please, please, this is not about encouraging antisemitism or bashing Judaism in any way, this is exposing half a dozen oddball religious groups pretending to be education for Christians pointing them towards denying Yeshua using the same old teaching from Singer/Skobac.   I have a huge respect for Judaism, but not when its twisting Christian and Jewish scriptures as used by these phonies.

If I can save one person from this total garbage then these blog posts will be worth it.

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM