Christian Vs Hebrew Israelites (Isa 13, 14, 44; Jer 27, 28; Dan 5; 1 Ch 9)

The Black Hebrew Israelites always claim that God is only concerned with Israel and not non-Israelites. They even go as far as to say the word Gentile refers to Israelites who somehow don’t know they are an Israelite and have been living in places in the Bible like Ethiopia, Phenice, Cyprus, Antioch, Seleucia etc. But the Bible is very clear in making distinctions between Israelites and Gentiles.

Passages such as Acts 11 after Peter preached the Gospel to Cornelius a Roman Centurion we’re told that God granted eternal life to the Gentiles in the same way He has given to the Israelites, shows a distinction these Gentiles are not Israelites who were living in these places. That’s not to say there weren’t Jews in other lands but God’s word keeps us from confusion in every occasion when it refers to Jews in another land we read words like synagogue and proceeding are indicators of what land Pisidia in the case of Acts 13:14.

The BHI will refer to Isaiah 14:1-2 and claim that Israelites are going to posses non-Israelites as slaves in the future. Is that what the Bible says, that Israelites will have non-Israelites as slaves or did this already take place? That’s what I’m going to demonstrate here.

Isaiah 14:1-2

Isaiah 14:1-2 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.

This is the jumping off text the BHI use for their argument that they will be given slaves. If we read the verse in isolation it does seem to say that Israel will possess non-Israelites as servants, but we must ask the question is did this already take place?

In the Bible we’re told that Israel suffered 3 major captivities, Egypt, Assyrian and Babylonian. The previous chapter in the same book Isaiah gives us the context to Isaiah 14:1-2.

Isaiah 13:17-19

Isaiah 13:17-19 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and [as for] gold, they shall not delight in it. [Their] bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Isaiah 13:17-19 says that the LORD “will stir up the Medes against them”, who is “them” in this verse? If we continue on it tells us who the Medes are stirred up against “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,”. We learn that the Medes otherwise known as the Medo-Persia kingdom were stirred up against Babylon and that kingdom will be likened to when “God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah”. We’ll see how this comes together in the book of Daniel. Continuing on the prophet Jeremiah made a prophecy concerning the children of Israel going into captivity.

Jeremiah 27:6

Jeremiah 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.

Here we have the prophet Jeremiah telling us that the LORD gave the lands to “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon”. Also, 2 verses down God says that any nation which rebels against God’s will which is that these nations would put themself under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and if they refused they would be punished. How will God punish them? The LORD says that nation will be punished “with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence” until they have been consumed.

Remember king Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan Gentile who ruled over a Gentile nation called Babylon.

Jeremiah 28:13-14

Jeremiah 28:13-14 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

Hananiah makes a false prophecy saying the Babylonian captivity will only last for 2 years and the people rejected Jeremiah as he had told them previously the captivity would last for 70 years. Unfortunately, the people harkened to the false prophecy of Hananiah and suffered for it and Israel went into Babylonian captivity.

Daniel 5:25-31

Daniel 5:25-31 And this [is] the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This [is] the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and [put] a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, [being] about threescore and two years old.

Daniel gives the account of what happened when Israel was in the land of Babylon, in chapter 5 Belshazzar a descendant of king Nebuchadnezzar made a feast. While they feasted Belshazzar commanded that they bring the golden and silver vessels of worship which were used in the temple by the priest of Israel. The golden and silver vessels were then defiled by Belshazzar as they poured wine into the cups and drank out of them, and while committing idolatry as they “praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone”.

The finger of God writes on the wall “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” and in fear Belshazzar has his astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers to interpret but were unable to interpret what was written on the wall. The queen tells him of Daniel, that he has a gift for interpreting dreams as he has done before for his father Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel is brought before the king and predicts doom for Babylon because of this abomination he committed in desecrating the the golden and silver vessels of the house of God.

Daniel tells Belshazzar his kingdom has come to an end and that the kingdom of Babylon is given to the Medes and Persians. Darius the Median took the kingdom and ruled Babylon once Belshazzar was slain that very night. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah 13:17-19 in which the LORD said He “will stir up the Medes against them” and overthrew them (Babylon) like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Isaiah 44:25-28

Isaiah 44:25-28 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise [men] backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

Here’s where it all comes together after the 70 years of captivity king Cyrus a Gentile was raised up by the LORD as a shepherd and by a decree made by Cyrus, the Israelites were allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and city. Not all of Israel chose to return to Jerusalem, Daniel stood behind in Babylon as well as others, only a remnant went back to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the temple.

But not only Israelites returned to Jerusalem, Gentile nations, non-Israelites, would assist returning with them to live in the land. Israel’s former overlords would become bondservants to help in the rebuilding of the city and temple this is recorded for us in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

1 Chronicles 9:1

1 Chronicles 9:1 So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they [were] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, [who] were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.

The verse here in 1 Chronicles 9 tells us all Israel was “reckoned by genealogies”, those who returned came back in subsequent waves. Here in 1 Chronicles we’re told that “ the first inhabitants” were “the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims”. In Jerusalem we have “Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh” which returned.

Here’s the knock out remember Israel would “possess” servants and handmaids, in Ezra 2 we’re given a long list of the rest of the people who returned but in verses 65 it says “Beside their servants and their maids”. and if we read further down to verse 70 it makes a clear distinction that these servants are Gentiles from the time when Cyrus back in Daniel gave the decree for the Israelites to return to their land and rebuild it.

Ezra 2:70 So the priests, and the Levites, and [some] of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

And those particular servants and handmaids spoken of in Isaiah 14:1-2 at the beginning of this article are these Gentiles here in Ezra 2:65 who cleaved to the house of Israel and helped in rebuilding the temple and walls of Jerusalem. The BHI would try to argue that this is a future event but as we can see through the plain reading of the text this event has already taken place.

Conclusion

This is the deception of the BHI doctrine, they pull a verses out of context and run with it making an erroneous doctrine out of it claiming they will be able to own non-Israelite people as slaves in the kingdom. The BHI is a man made movement which started on 125th Street Harlem, otherwise known as 1West which is in reference to the address where the movement began.

It’s very unfortunate that there are many people who have been deceived into believing that God cares about a persons ethnicity. And if you’re not born in a specific ethnicity then you’re either part of His chosen people or and if not your condemned; this is obviously not the God of the Bible we serve. God is not concerned about what group of people you’re born into. What He does care about is if we’ve placed our faith in the Son of God Jesus Christ.

Next time we’ll take a look at the history of this cult and the different camps which came out of the BHI movement, until then stay in the word of God and be blessed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dialoging with Black Hebrew Israelites

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:

Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

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

2 Maccabees 12:46 “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”

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.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

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

Wisdom of Solomon 9:15 “A perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind”

The Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20 “As a child I was naturally gifted, and a good soul fell to my lot; or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body”

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

Tobit 4:10 “Because that alms do deliver from death, and suffereth not to come into darkness.”

Tobit 12:9-10 “For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies”

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.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.

The Bible also says that the law was powerless to save us in Romans chapter 8, we read:

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

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.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

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;

Conclusion

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.

Answering Sicarii “Blacks & Latinos are the true Hebrews?”

Like all Black Hebrew Israelites, Sicarii believes Black people as well as Spanish and Indian people are the “true Hebrews.” Recently Sicarii visited Spanish Harlem in order to “wake people up to who they truly are”, claiming they are the “real Israelites.” Where do they get this idea from? Well, like all cults they use Bible verses out of context in order to indoctrinate others.

They claim minorities such as blacks, West Indians, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans & Panamanians, native American Indians, Seminole Indians, Colombians, Uruguayans, Mexicans, Argentinians and Chileans. Are from the 12 tribes spoken of in the Bible who have disobeyed the LORD and are suffering the curses spoken of in Deuteronomy 28 (we’ll dive more deeply at a later article), they say it refers to the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Sicarii and other Black Hebrew Israelite camps use eisegesis to read themselves into a text found in scripture instead of using exegesis. For the purposes of this article it would be best to define what these 2 words mean to get a clearer understanding.

Eisegesis Definition: the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas. First Known Use of eisegesis was in 1892.

Exegesis Definition: Exposition, Explanation especially : an explanation or critical interpretation of a text.

A tactic you’ll find executed by Sicarii is they’ll have 1 or 2 others reading portions of scripture while a 3rd members adds his eisegesis into the text to prove a point. The paring up of 1 main person (the speaker) will have 1 to 2 others by his side reading scriptures one after another in order to disorient the individual they are looking to indoctrinate.

While never reading verses in their entire context, it’s important to know when interpreting scripture to read a few verses before and after the text in question to get the full understanding of what’s being said; especially when you’re engaging BHI.

Preferably it’s better to understand the entire chapter and book to have fuller knowledge of what the author is telling us. This can be done in 2 ways, (1) is narrowing down to the text you’re focusing on. A visual of this is knowing the theme/background of the book for instance Galatians.

The theme of Galatians is Paul is confronting men who were spreading false doctrine saying a person must believe in Christ and be circumcised. Did you catch that? These men were coming unto the assembly of believers and told them they must believe on Christ plus keep the law in order to have salvation, this would be a false Gospel. The message was a mixture of Christianity and Judaism, this is exactly what the Black Hebrew Israelites teach.

(2) We look at the surrounding text in the book for this example lets take Galatians 2:4 which says:

Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Isolating the above text gives us a small understanding of what’s happening and cults love to do that in order to confuse you. Reading the surrounding text gives us more context to Galatians 2:4.

Galatians 2:1 Tells us Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem and took Titus with them. Galatians 2:2 tells us Paul went there by revelation and preached the gospel most likely there was a mix of Jews and Gentiles. Galatians 2:3 Paul tells us Titus a Greek, was not compelled to be circumcised: Galatians 2:4 And false believers came in spying our freedom in Jesus Christ to bring us into bondage (the Law). Galatians 2:5 Paul and Barnabas opposed those false believers that the truth of the gospel might continue with the believers in Galatia.

Then we can focus on the text being discussed which is Galatians 2:4 and it makes perfect sense being that we took the time to look at the context of that particular verse. (1) Theme of book (2) surrounding text (3) text in question. In a perfect world we would have the time to do this always, but when debating with the BHI we don’t have the time really to dive that deep.

The best thing to do is to look at the first 1-2 verses before Galatians 2:4 and the verse after to get a quick understanding of the context. Never allow them to isolate a verse as they will try to chain verses together which have no basis to be paired together.

As in Galatians 2:4 Sicarii takes it further saying you must be of a certain “nationality” to have salvation. This is the reason you’ll hear the BHI ask “what’s your nationality?” depending on your answer is how they will treat you. BHI believe only certain people are in God’s favor and all others cannot be saved. For instance anyone of German descent is from “Esau” and they believe that God hates Esau and will quote this verse.

Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

From the verse above they claim it’s ok to hate others because God “hates Esau.” This of course doesn’t mean God actually hated Esau in fact God blessed Esau. God preferred Jacob over Esau as Esau was not in the lineage of Christ. How can we know this to be true? The Bible has no contradictions and we can gain better understanding of how words such as “hate” were used back then.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the One all believers should want to model after and we read from the Lord Himself in Luke 14:26 which says:

Luke 14:26 If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Here we see that Christ is saying if you prefer your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters and your own life above Jesus Christ then you can’t be a follower of Christ. The love a believer has for the Lord must supersede and be first in our life. Now the question is was Christ telling us to actually hate our families and friends? Of course not because Jesus Christ is without sin, and to hate someone is sin.

1 John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Unless the Black Hebrew Israelites are ready to charge Jesus Christ with sin which I’m sure they don’t then their argument fails. If they are willing to say that God actually hates “Esau” would contradict His own word and Holy character and being.

If the Lord tells us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35) then how can anyone think Christ would tell us to hate those closest to us but love our enemies? The Lord tells us to love all people, but He must be our first love, and that’s all Romans 9:13 is saying. Sicarii would take this verse to mean to hate others who are not minorities i.e. blacks and latinos. This is a gross misinterpretation of the scriptures.

Another belief Sicarii holds is that the Bible is only for Hebrew Israelites. They deny Gentiles are non-Jews found in the Bible by saying those who identified as Gentiles were in actuality Hebrews living in other lands and when the word Gentile us used it means “a gentile state of mind” in other words lost Jews. This is how they try to get around verses which clearly teach a distinction between Jews and non-Jews.

There are 2 words used in the Bible to describe an individual who is not from the nation of Israel. As mentioned earlier (1) Gentile and the other (2) nations, here are the definition for both.

Nations
גּוֹי gôwy, go’-ee; rarely (shortened) גֹּי gôy; apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence, a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts:—Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

Outline of Biblical Usage
masculine noun:
I. nation, people
A. nation, people
i. usually of non-Hebrew people
ii. of descendants of Abraham
iii. of Israel
B. of swarm of locusts, other animals (fig.)
proper masculine noun
C. Goyim? = “nations”

Gentiles
Ἕλλην Héllēn, hel’-lane; from G1671; a Hellen (Grecian) or inhabitant of Hellas; by extension a Greek-speaking person, especially a non-Jew:—Gentile, Greek.

Outline of Biblical Usage
I. a Greek either by nationality, whether a native of the main land or of the Greek islands or colonies
II. in a wider sense the name embraces all nations not Jews that made the language, customs, and learning of the Greeks their own; the primary reference is to a difference of religion and worship

One way around the objection that only Hebrews can be saved is by pointing them to Acts chapter 10. We have the account of Cornelius who was a centurion (Act 10:1) during the time Jerusalem was under the rulership of Ceasar and the Roman empire.

Cornelius is spoken of as being “devout man, and one that feared God with all his house” this is evidence that Cornelius obviously had some kind of belief in God. He didn’t know who God was at this point and time but he prayed to God always (Act 10:2). He had a vision an angel visited him and told him his prayers “come up for a memorial before God.”

Act 10:3, 4 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

Cornelius is told by the angel Simon Peter is in Joppa send for him (Acts 10:5) and he will tell you want to do (Acts 10:6). Cornelius sent men to bring Peter from Joppa and now Peter after receiving his own vision in Joppa is told by the Spirit to come to Cornelius (Acts 10:17, 10:19). When Peter comes into the house of Cornelius, he’s told about the vision Cornelius received and that he was visited by an angel.

Peter starts to preach the Gospel to Cornelius and everyone that was there from Cornelius’ household, and something extraordinary happens. Just like in Acts chapter 2 the Holy Spirit indwelt the believers in the upper room and they spoke in touges. So did Cornelius and all they of his household. Now remember Cornelius is a Roman centurion, there’s no chance that any Jew could be part of the Roman army as the Romans hated the Jews.

This plus many other verses prove that salvation is not only for the Hebrews but also for Gentile believers in Jesus Christ. I’ll leave you with a few more verses from the Old Testament which prove God wants to save both Jews and Gentiles. The word stranger(s) is another word which refers to non-jewish people.

Strangers (non-Jews) are to be treated as one born among the Hebrews. How are they keeping the commandments of God when the LORD says to “love him (the stranger) as thyself” is Sicarii loving the stranger as themselves?

Leviticus 19:33, 34 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. [But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.

Hebrews are called to love the stranger who lives among them, but so called “Black Hebrew Israelites” hate white people (non-minorities). But God Himself says that He loves the stranger and gives the stranger food and clothes. Therefore, God commanded the Hebrews to “love ye therefore the stranger” because the Hebrews are to be reminded when they were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 10:17-19 For the LORD your God [is] God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

The LORD tell the Israelites to give a fair portion of the inheritance to the strangers and themselves, these strangers are once again living among the Israelites.

Ezekiel 47:22, 23 And it shall come to pass, [that] ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, [that] in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give [him] his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.

In this passage of Isaiah the LORD is saying Egypt are His people and Assyria are the work of the LORD’s hands and Israel is His inheritance. Three sets of people are shown favor by the LORD.

Isaiah 19:23-25 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, [even] a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed [be] Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.

In the following scripture we see how God makes provision for the Gentiles (stranger) saying He (LORD) gave the Lord Jesus as a covenant to be “a light of the Gentiles.” Christ fulfilled this prophecy in the Gospel of Luke 2:32 “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Also in the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus said “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)

Isaiah 42:6, 7 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Again the Lord Jesus is spoken of as the One who would gather Jacob (Israel) again to God. Even though Israel is not gathered Christ would still be glorious in the sight of God. This is the same glorious One will be a “light to the Gentiles” because Christ is the LORD’s salvation for all people not only Israelites.

Isaiah 49:5-7 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb [to be] his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, [and] his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, [and] the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

It’s clear Christ died for all (2 Corinthians 5:14, 5:15) which means the Lord Jesus died for both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). Christ is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (1 Timothy 4:10). Thanks for reading and look out for the next article concerning the so called “Black Hebrew Israelites” and their faith plus works doctrine in other words keeping the commandments for salvation.

Refuting the Black Hebrew Israelites (IUIC)

Last Wednesday as I went out to preach the Gospel in the open air a gentleman walking by stopped to listen to what was being said. After some time he asked a few questions, the questioned asked was “can a homosexual who eats pork be a Christian” ? As always I gave him a biblical answer saying “practising homosexuals cannot be Christian, and dietary laws only apply to Jews in the Old Testament; I’m a gentile” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Romans 1:26-27).

He then asked if a person should follow the 613 commandments given in the Law of Moses. It was at this time I realised what I was dealing with, I asked him “are you a Black Hebrew Israelite?”. After a little hesitation, he admitted to being a BHI. I truthfully told him he cannot have salvation by trying to keep the Law.

Black Hebrew Israelites History

The origins of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement began with Frank Cherry and William Saunders Crowdy, both men claimed they had revelations in which “God” revealed to them that African Americans are descendants of the Hebrews in the Christian Bible; Cherry also embraced anti-semitism, claimed that the earth is square, and predicted that Jesus would return in the year 2000. Cherry worked on ships and railroads in the South before running a religious congregation. He taught that God, Jesus, Adam, and Eve were Black.

Crowdy claimed to have had several visions in which he was told “that Blacks were descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel.” He created the “Church of God and Saints of Christ” and is regarded as a founder of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. Setting up congregations in Kansas in 1896. In these early days he was arrested 22 times. After setting up another congregation in Topeka, he spread his beliefs in Sedalia, Missouri, Chicago, and several cities in New York, establishing an Elder-in-Charge in each city before moving to the next. In 1903, he bought 40 acres of land in Suffolk, Virginia, calling it “Canaan Land”.

During the following decades, many more Black Hebrew congregations were established, with some holding no connection to Christianity. After World War I, another Black Hebrew congregation was set up in Harlem by Wentworth Arthur Matthew, called the “Commandment Keepers of the Living God.” Selecting elements of Judaism and adopting. In 1930 he moved the congregation to Brooklyn, where he later founded the Israelite Rabbinical Seminary, where Black Hebrew rabbis have been educated/ordained.

Black Hebrew Israelites Camps

While the “Black Hebrew Israelites” all believe similar teachings they can differ between camps. It’s my endeavor to touch upon each specific congregation and their beliefs in the future, Lord willing. For the purposes of this post we will be looking into the Israel United In Christ (IUIC) congregation. All “Black Hebrew Israelites” believe that the 12 tribes spoken of in the Bible refers to them, more specifically they do not believe that the Jews which are in Jerusalem are the true Jews.

Beliefs

IUIC and other congregations teach the tribes consist of “Afrocentric peoples”, when these groups hit the streets to preach what they believe you’ll see a chart which breaks down the “12 tribes of Israel” according to them, here’s how it’s listed.

  • JUDAH – Blacks/Negroes (American Blacks).
  • BENJAMIN – West Indians (Jamaica, and the West Indies).
  • LEVI & SIMEON LEVI – Haitians.
  • EPHRAIM & MANESSAH – Puerto Ricans/Cubans.
  • GAD – North American Indians.
  • REUBEN – Seminole and Muskogee Indians.
  • ZEBULON – Mayans.
  • ASHUR – Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, Paraguay, Uruguay & Ecuador.
  • NAPTHALI – Argentina and Chile.
  • DAN – Trinidad,Tobago, Bahamas & Virgin Islands.
  • ISSACHAR – Mexicans.

According to them, the true Hebrews are people from the Caribbean, American Blacks and Native Americans. They believe this because they try to tie in the Transatlantic slave trade with the scattered Jews mentioned in the Bible, thereby proclaiming they’re persecuted and held captive in lands such as America. They view Jewish people located in Jerusalem as not authentic Israelites, yet some of those Jews can trace their lineage back, through historical documentation (scrolls) of the names of each male belonging to at least the tribes of Judah and Levi.

Make no mistake “Black Hebrew Israelites” are a cult (just like the Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians or Mormons) they use the Trans Atlantic slave trade as a way to lure unsuspecting people indoctrinating them through emotions. A majority of the members of IUIC and other BHI groups are disenchanted by how they are treated in terms of socio-economic factors, and understandably so. They feel betrayed by the communities they’re a part of and the challenges they face.

The Person of Jesus Christ

For the “Black Hebrew Israelite” skin colour is everything to them, their doctrines are soaked in racist beliefs, and because of this, they teach that Jesus Christ was a black man. If you’ve ever come across BHI you’ll notice the signs they carry one of them has a picture of a black man with white hair and beard. They get this teaching from two sets of scriptures, one from the book of Revelation and the other from the book of Daniel.

Revelation 1:13-15 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

Daniel 10:5-6 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins [were] girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also [was] like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

It’s easy to see how someone who’s in the flesh would think these verses describe Jesus Christ as being “black”. We must keep in mind that the Messiah is a Jew, our Lord told us that “…salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22). The Lord Jesus was the seed of king David according to the flesh (Romans 1:3) and born of a Jewish virgin woman (Matthew 1:1-16, Luke 1:31). Therefore, we must deduce that Jesus was indeed a Jew.

As for His exact appearance being from Bethlehem, He could have somewhat brown coloured skin, but He’s certainly not a black man. Additionally, both sets of scriptures presented for Revelation 1:13-15 and Daniel 10:5-6 are visions of the glorified Christ after His earthly ministry. Shown in His divine glory, as Creator and King of kings and Lord of lords.

a. His head and hair were white like wool: The white hair speaks of old age, wisdom and timelessness. The phrase white as snow also emphasizes the idea of purity (Isaiah 1:18).

i. The white hair and head also connect Jesus with the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9). The name of Ancient of Days belongs to God the Father, yet it also applies to Christ in that He is eternal and equal with the Father as to his Divine nature.

ii. This was not only a symbol but evidence of his glory.

b. His eyes like a flame of fire: Fire is often associated with judgment in the Scriptures (Matthew 5:22, 2 Peter 3:7). Jesus eyes could search into the hearts of man, penetrating judgment (Revelation 2:23).

c. His feet were like fine brass: The Lord Jesus took the judgment we all deserve upon Himself, these feet like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace speaks of refinement and purity. (Luke 12:50)

i. Brass is a metal connected with judgment and sacrifice. Israel’s altar of sacrifice was made of brass (Exodus 27:1-6), and it was called the “brazen altar.”

ii. Brass is also a strong metal, the strongest known in the ancient world. Therefore feet… like fine brass are His steadfastness, stability and permanence, He being able to endure all things

iii. Everything in this vision speaks of strength, majesty, authority and righteousness. None of this is about “race” as these groups are hung up on because they run off of hatred and racism.

Repentance

According to the IUIC website under “Learn The Truth/How Do I Repent” here’s what they say about “who” can repent “Repentance is for the Israelites first and foremost for blessings to come upon the Earth.” They then go on to cite different scriptures some of them having nothing to do with repentance, such as Revelation 7:1-4.

IUIC says in reference to the Revelation verse “This proves the angels are even holding back the final destruction until 144,000 Israelites are sealed with the understanding that they are Israelites and the keeping of God’s laws in Christ.” What the Black Hebrew Israelites fail to understand that 144,000 while yes they are Israelites they were chosen to preach the Gospel during the Great Tribulation.

They go as far as to place the nation of Israel on the same level as Christ Himself! Here’s what they say “Everything must begin with Christ and the Nation of Israel. In the end, the nations will be obedient to the Most High’s laws under Christ and the nation of Israel” Notice they include the nation of Israel on the same level as Jesus Christ.

To argue their views they cite Psalms 149:1-9, Isaiah 14:1-4, Isaiah 60:9-16, Revelation 21:24 but we must understand the context of these verses.

Psalms 149:1-9 There are two portions to this particular Psalm, the first half deals with the saints singing praise to God (vv. 1–6a) the second half speaks of the reign of the saints (vv. 6b–9). The time in question is when the Lord Jesus returns to earth and ushers in the millennial kingdom.

Isaiah 14:1-4 The LORD showing His mercy restores Israel to their own land. Gentile nations will assists in the return and live peacefully with God’s people. Israel’s former overlords will be her servants. Notice in that verse it says “The strangers shall be joined with them” God has always had in His plan for all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) not only Jews. As for being “servants” we can’t forget that the Lord Jesus being our greatest example also came to serve during His earthly ministry (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, John 13:1-7) and we’re told to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).

Isaiah 60:9-16 Reflects a time in which Israel’s people will return to the land in flocks bringing their wealth with them in ships. Foreigners will help as construction workers and kings as servants of God. Israel will no longer have to worry about persecution for they will no longer be hated but recognized as “The city of the Holy One”.

Revelation 21:24 Gentile nations will enjoy its beauty (New Jerusalem), and the kings of the earth will come with their tribute the Lord Himself. They will pay homage to the King Himself and that’s Jesus Christ not the “Black Hebrew Israelites”.

IUIC goes unto to say “Ultimately everyone will be obedient to the Laws of the Most High taught to them by the Israelites.” When they mention “Laws” they’re referring to the Old Testament Law. One thing all cults have in common is that they focus on trying to keep the Law.

God’s word is clear “no flesh will be justified” by the Law (Romans 3:20) that our works cannot justify us, “justification” only comes by “faith in Christ” alone (Galatians 2:16) because all our “righteousnesses are filthy rags” before a Holy God (Isaiah 64:6). God’s word even says what’s the purpose of the Law and that’s to bring the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), that the Law is a “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” for justification (Galatians 3:24), that the Law brings death.

Romans 7:5-11 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me].

The book of Hebrews says for those who are saved the commandment/Law is done away, cancelled or disannulled (Hebrews 7:18-19). The believer in Christ who has trusted in Him never needs to fear because there’s no condemnation for the believer in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

This statement here by the IUIC is really funny and I’ll tell you why. “The Most High is letting Israel know if they return back unto him, it must be done in sincerity and truth (by keeping His Laws in Christ), and not as a hypocrite. An example of these hypocrites are those who know the commandments of God but yet keep the traditions of men. Wherefore Brothers and Sisters it is imperative we repent and humble ourselves to the scriptures.” According to IUIC we must keep the Old Testament Laws which would place a person under a condemnation which is not funny at all. But what is that they say “it is imperative we repent and humble ourselves to the scriptures”.

If you’ve done any digging around or come across Black Hebrew Israelites you will quickly realise that they are anything but “humble“. They are quick to curse and humiliate people walking by on the streets, even making people kiss their boots if at all possible. This is definitely not how the man or woman of God should behave. This is another cult which uses emotionalism and racism in order to gain more members with those who sympathise.

Conclusion

How are we as believers to deal with cults such as these? The best way is to share the true Gospel found in the scriptures (John 3:15-18, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). They need to understand that Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6) and that salvation is a free gift freely given by God to the sinner (Ephesians 2:8-9). Whenever we share the pure unadulterated Gospel all the false gospel preached by this cult will vanish away because there’s only one Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

As I continue to look into the inner workings and beliefs of this strange and unique cult I’ll write more on them, Lord willing. This was sort of an introductory as to what some of their beliefs are. In the meantime let us remember the words of our Lord on the cross when He said “it is finished” (John 19:30) nothing more needs to be done.