If you’re familiar with this group you’ll know that they claim to be the “true Hebrew Israelites”, perhaps you’ve seen them on the street corner yelling out random Bible verses mostly from the Old Testament. And if you listen closely at some point you’ll hear verses that aren’t so familiar, that’s because they are reading verses from the Apocrypha. At his point you might be wondering what is the Apocrypha?
Unfortunately, most Christians are unaware of the teachings from this cult because they aren’t interested in learning on how to defend their faith from these groups, and sadly there are people falling victim to this racist cult which is only concerned with the colour of their skin. It’s my intention to bring some light to the body of Christ. Black Hebrew Israelites use the books of the Apocrypha in conjunction with the Bible to prove that Blacks are the “real Jews”. They are especially well versed when it comes to the Old Testament scriptures and deceive people into thinking they are Israelites. The Lord Jesus Christ said:
The Apocrypha is comprised of the following books: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees.
The word “Apocrypha” means “hidden, concealed, obscure” and the Black Hebrew Israelites believe these books are on the same level of inspired scripture, even though these books are not inspired scripture and riddled with contradicting doctrines such as necromancy, divination, witchcraft and sorcery. Clearly the Bible is against such teachings found in (Leviticus 19:31; 1 Samuel 28:10-20; Isaiah 8:19; Jeremiah 27:9; Malachi 3:5; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15).
Let’s look at some of the teachings from the Apocrypha and how that contradicts the Word of God.
The Apocrypha Endorses Magic
Tobit 6:7-9 “Then the young man questioned the angel and said to him, ‘Brother Azariah, what medicinal value is there in the fish’s heart and liver, and in the gall?’ He replied, ‘As for the fish’s heart and liver, you must burn them to make a smoke in the presence of a man or woman afflicted by a demon or evil spirit, and every affliction will flee away and never remain with that person any longer. And as for the gall, anoint a person’s eyes where white films have appeared on them; blow upon them, upon the white films, and the eyes will be healed.’”
In Tobit we have a story which takes place in Ninevah, Tobit is wanted by the ruling authorities because of burying Jewish bodies (Tobit 1:17-19). Tobias (Tobit’s son) is to be married to a young woman named Sara. Tobit becomes blind from bird feces falling into his eyes (Tobit 2:10). Then an angel by the name of Raphael helps Tobit to concoct a magic spell to help heal his father’s eyes, as well as drive away a devil from his soon to be bride Sara.
Every child of God recognises that magic is an abomination to Yahweh and should not be practiced. In the OT God tells the nation of Israel in the book of Leviticus “Regard not them that have familiar spirits” if the children of Israel did they would “be defiled by them” (Leviticus 19:31). In the book of 2 Kings we have the account of Hezekiah’s son Manasseh king who did “evil in the sight of the LORD”, he brought back the idolatress high places of worship which his father Hezekiah had destroyed. It says that he “wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.” (2 Kings 21:6).
Praying for the dead
The book of 2 Maccabees is a historical account the first book covers the Maccabean Revolt the book is dated to 100 BC. A Jewish elder by the name of Mattathias leads a campaign against Antiochus Epiphanes IV. The problem with this book is that it promotes prayers for the dead, this teaching meshes with the teachings of the Roman Catholic church promoting the concept of purgatory.
A teaching which is alien to scripture, additionally reading the verse again we see that 2 Maccabees 12:46 also teaches a person who is dead can be loosed from sins. The Bible never tells us that we can pray away someone’s sins, in-fact we see the opposite found in the book of Hebrews.
Once a person dies they are subjected to judgement, its this writers hope that the individual has Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Otherwise they will face God not as their Saviour but as their judge at the Great White Throne found in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The Apocrypha gives the false notion that a person can change their standing before God after death, this simply is not the case and therefore we must reject this as the word of God.
Views of the body and soul from a Neoplatonism perspective
Definition of Neoplatonism: Platonism modified in later antiquity to accord with Aristotelian, post-Aristotelian, and eastern conceptions that conceives of the world as an emanation from an ultimate indivisible being with whom the soul is capable of being reunited in trance or ecstasy.
The view found in The Wisdom of Solomon is that the soul preexisted before before the body came into existence. This cannot be true because our souls had a beginning we are not eternal, only after the soul was created will it live on forever in either of one of two places, heaven or hell.
The thought of a preexistent soul is a foreign concept neither found in the Old Testament or the New. When God created Adam He formed him out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils making him a living soul (Genesis 2:7). It was at that time that man became a living soul and not before, we are not an “emanation” from God as Neoplatonism teaches.
Salvation by works
In Tobit these two particular verses of giving alms teach a works based salvation by giving alms “Because that alms do deliver from death” (Tobit 4:10). This is in clear contradiction to what we know from the Scriptures.
The Bible clearly teaches that we are powerless to save ourselves from death or to purge away our sins. In Romans we’re told that the law cannot save us but shows us that we’re sinners.
The Bible also says that the law was powerless to save us in Romans chapter 8, we read:
It’s only through the sinless Lamb of God that we can have our sins purged and we delivered from death through the second birth. This is what the Lord Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:1-8. John the Baptist when he saw Christ exclaimed that it was through Him sins would be put away.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
As shown the Black Hebrew Israelites not only twist the scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16) but they also incorporate erroneous books into their teaching and claim the Apocrypha is the word of God. This can’t be true as we know there are no contradictions in the Bible, therefore, we must reject the teachings of the Apocrypha and Black Hebrew Israelites.
We will continue to dive into other teachings from the different camps of the Black Hebrew Israelites, Lord willing, as their doctrines change from camp to camp. And it’s not my intention to use any straw-man arguments when identifying certain teachings, as I acknowledge that not all Black Hebrew Israelites have the same beliefs.