Depression: What is it? A Spiritual Perspective

All too often I hear of people experiencing depression. Depression is a debilitating affliction and it causes people to feel like there is no purpose to life. I experienced a bit of this at various points in my life before I was saved by Jesus Christ. I did not experience clinical depression, but I felt it at times and saw it first-hand in people around me to understand just how its effects can be heart-wrenching and crippling to the human life. When one suffers from depression, he or she wonders, why am I alive? What is the point? Why even do groceries, garden, or anything at all? There is no joy, no purpose, no fulfillment…only a dark black void with seemingly no escape. A feeling of despair within one’s soul. Everything feels numb and it is difficult to enjoy life or feel appreciation for anything. Some people have such severe depression that they take their own lives, a grave mistake because there is no rest after death for those who do not trust in Christ.

This pondering of what is the purpose to life is part of my testimony, because these questions about my existence led me to the one true God. I needed to know why I was here, breathing and living.

Now that I have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, I have a perspective on depression that I believe doctors are missing and they will never get, because they focus on simply the physical and psychological and nothing more. But they are sorely mistaken, because there is so much more. In fact, doctors only treat the mere surface of something so much deeper that only God can cure. What is more than the physical or the psychological?

The spiritual.

People get depressed because they do not feel there is purpose to life. They feel alone, they feel joyless, they feel like there is no point so why even try. The reason people feel these things is because they do not have a reconciled relationship with their Creator. This is, and will always be, the root cause of deep unending severe depression. They are a living being that has been created by God, yet they are trying to live their life completely set apart from Him. It isn’t going to happen, and there is absolutely no cure for depression except that they surrender their life to Jesus Christ, trusting in Him and being born-again.

Once this happens, your loneliness dissipates. You have a purpose in your existence you never knew before. You experience a love that fills your heart and soul, whereas before you trusted in Him, all you knew is brokenness and rejection. You feel accepted, loved, cared for for the first time in your life. It doesn’t mean you weren’t feeling loved before or were devoid of it, but no love on this earth between humans can compare to the love and closeness of God Himself. Nothing.

Humans can only love with broken love because humans are all broken, imperfect people. When you are made a child of God, you are perfectly loved by a perfect God and He fills every single void you have in your heart and spirit. It is incredible what happens when you become a child of God.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Reading this truth for children of God, one can’t help but be filled with joy as they set their heart on these spiritual truths from above. For those who inherit salvation, depression vanishes as you start a new life as a child of God. You realize that your time on earth is short, and you are destined for Heaven for all eternity. Things on this earth no longer matter, so your depression lifts. When someone is depressed, it’s because the things in this physical realm matter too much and things of this world were never supposed to take precedence over God in our lives. You realize that you have abundant purpose. That this beautiful, glorious God created you, your personality, your eyes, your nose, every detail of your body inside and out. You realize that God has loved you before you were ever conceived in your mother’s womb, that you are not a mistake and you didn’t appear here by random chance, and He has set out to save you in an extravagant way by enduring torture and dying on the cross for you, shedding his blood for you. 

When you realize these very special truths, your heart lights up and depression is gone. Because you are filled. You are filled with the presence of God by His Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t mean that a born-again believer will not walk through rough times: dry times, testing times, disparaging times, or even bouts or seasons of depression. Even the people of God in scripture went through times of depression, including a man after God’s own heart, King David Himself. But that depression is a different kind of depression, and is not lasting and only for a season as God works in your life.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42)

This Psalm written by David speaks multitudes regarding depression and how to handle it for a believer. David was so obviously depressed in this Psalm, as he writes, “my tears have been my meat day and night”. As we can see, David was not immune to times of depression either, but his own resolution is what we are to do with that depression. As we read on in Psalm 42, we can see how this man after God’s own heart deals with his hopelessness and sadness: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

As King David teaches us, there is nothing wrong with crying and feeling depressed or times of despair and hopelessness. They will come. Even for a child of God. And we must walk through it, no matter the difficulty. What God puts in our path or allows in our life is always to grow us, refine us, teach us, sanctify us, and prepare us for glory.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17-18)

However, in the sufferings we experience, we are to take these feelings and bring them to God and even through the despair. We are to hope in Him, recognizing that He is taking care of us even through the storm we may face. King David, though saddened, was hopeful at the end of this Psalm because he set his eyes on the only one who can give our hearts hope: God.

By personal experience, I can notice my own feelings and times I may feel sad or hopeless in a moment or in a season in my walk with God, and they are always times when I am most distant from Him. Of course, if you are born-again, you are never distant from Him but sometimes He may make Himself “seem” distant in order to teach us what David learned, and that is to set our eyes on Him, continue to have faith in Him, and hope in Him during these stormy seasons. As we seek Him and set our hearts on things above, our depression lifts. When we focus on things of the earth, we are bound to get depressed, sad, or feel despair because there is no hope on this earth but only in God alone. David was depressed because he was focused on his earthly trials and the mountains he had to face. The moment he set his eyes on God in heaven, hope and encouragement filled his heart. This is true for all believers.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

God does put His children through the fire of testing, that we may be refined and sanctified. It hurts during the process, but the outcome is so precious in God’s eyes. He burns away things that are not meant to stay, and what’s revealed is true fruit. I’ve experienced this in my walk with God.

Who (believers) are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1: 5-9)

There can be much superficial advice regarding depression that may work for a moment, but if you do not have a reconciled relationship with God, depression will always come back and will never leave, nor will your suffering be used for your ultimate good – truths that believers can hold onto.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:28)

It is imperative to spend your one life on this earth to know the God who created you. Denying Him will not only have detrimental effects in this world, keeping you purposeless, and with no hope, but if one does not trust in Christ, the suffering will also be in the world to come.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28).

Trust in Christ to receive salvation, purpose, love, joy, acceptance, car, protection, security, and everything you could ever possibly need. Without Him, there is no hope for the human soul.

Jesus Christ is God (Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:8-12)

God created the heavens and the earth, the creation account is found in the very first verse in our Bibles (Genesis 1:1). The LORD wanted to be certain that we would understand this right at the offset. Bearing this in mind among those who believe in God’s word (Christians), we would agree that only the Almighty God created everything. As it relates to Jesus Christ let us see what the Bible has to say in regards to creation.

See the last post: Jesus Christ is God (Psalms, Jeremiah, Revelation)

Psalm 102

The Psalmist king David started prayer a to God in Psalm 102:1 the opening heading says“[[A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.]]” notice it says the prayer is to the LORD, this is in reference to Almighty God. David then says “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.”

We establish from the beginning that it’s a prayer to God in worship. Going down we read in (v25) “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands” God created the earth and heavens just as we see in (Genesis 1:1).

David then tells us that God is unchanging or immutable (v26) and he compares that attribute of the Almighty God to creation itself “They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:” God outlives all of His creation for He alone is eternal.

The man after God’s own heart David once again lets us know the LORD remains forever the same (v27) “But thou [art] the same, and thy years shall have no end”.

Hebrews 1

As we read in the New Testament the book of Hebrews actually quotes the same set of scriptures and applies them to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:10 “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:”. Here we have the writer to the Hebrews attributing the creation of the earth and heavens from Psalms 102:25 to Christ.

Continuing on (v11) states “They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;” as we can see Jesus Christ remains while creation will wax old or decay. This speaks once again of the unchanging or immutable Almighty God we serve.

We then finish up with (v12) “And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” The Lord Jesus Christ is the Almighty God just as the scripture say in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”.

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

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As Christians, our goal in life is to become less and less and have the fragrance of Christ exude from us more and more. It’s not about us, it’s about Him. We’re to walk in this world viewing it with the mind of Christ; we are not to view Christ from the standpoint of the world. As we grow in our faith and abide in Him, He will become greater in us and we will exude Jesus more. Our time on earth is extremely short, and it’s easy to get caught up in selfishness and comfort. But when we get back to perspective and realize that we really only have a few short years on this earth, and those years are meant to spent living for God, loving and serving and following Him, it makes helps us not think about ourselves so much.

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30).

Before we come to Christ, our lives are centered on ourselves – our needs, our desires, our comforts. And we tend to more often than not put ourselves first. However, when a person trusts in Christ and gives their entire life to Him, that person is made new by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through regeneration, our hearts, our minds, our spirits are transformed. We are not working to be close to God and be different than we used to be, instead we now have God permanently indwelling us and He’s the one who makes us different. Thus begins a life of transformation, from the inside out. Where we were once selfish, we become selfless. Where we once put ourselves first, we put Christ first. And when we put Christ first, we put others first.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Slowly but steadily, the dry and wretched things of this world come off of us as we are renewed by the Spirit of God daily. As we have our eyes look on Him, our eyes are looking toward ourselves less. Our hearts focus upward to God, and less inward to ourselves.

This is the purpose of human existence. For, God is the One who created you, and He created you for a reason. And that reason isn’t to make yourself greater, but to glorify God and to make Him greater in this world. You were not created to live for yourself; you were created to know God and be known by God, and live for Him.

How does one live for Him? By trusting in what Jesus Christ did on the cross, (that He shed His blood for your sins), being forgiven of your sins, being justified of your debt that you owed God, and regenerated by His Holy Spirit. Without His Spirit, you will be striving your whole life to please God in vain, because unless you are covered by His blood, there is no forgiveness. All you need to to is put your faith in Him, and you will be made new and clean, from the very depth of your soul.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

Through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43b)

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)

Trust in the Lord of lords and King of kings and fulfill your soul’s purpose. ❤

Answering Jehovah Witnesses Objections

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe in Jesus?

All cults (Christadelphians, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Baháʼí, Hare Krishna, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam) reject Jesus Christ is God, the Bible calls them antichrist (1 John 2:18, 22, 1 John 4:3, 2 John 1:7). According to the Watchtower they believe that ‘Jehovah’ is Almighty God and Jesus Christ was the first being created by ‘Jehovah’. In-fact Jehovah Witnesses are taught from the Watchtower to believe Jesus is Michael the archangel. The following is a statement from their FAQ in regards to who Jesus is.

Yes. We believe in Jesus, who said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We have faith that Jesus came to earth from heaven and gave his perfect human life as a ransom sacrifice. (Matthew 20:28) His death and resurrection make it possible for those exercising faith in him to gain everlasting life. (John 3:16) We also believe that Jesus is now ruling as King of God’s heavenly Kingdom, which will soon bring peace to the entire earth. (Revelation 11:15) However, we take Jesus at his word when he said: “The Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) So we do not worship Jesus, as we do not believe that he is Almighty God. – Watchtower

What does the Bible really teach about Jesus?

The Bible teaches that God alone is the creator, an angel doesn’t have the power God alone possesses because God created the angels also. When you examine the Jehovah Witnesses theology you’ll see how there are many problems.

1 They say Jesus was created by Jehovah and through Jesus Jehovah made everything else. If that were so then why does God tell us otherwise?

Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

Reading carefully we see that Isaiah 44:24 says that God created the heavens and earth by Himself. This proves that God didn’t use an “agent” to create “all other things” as the Watchtower teaches. Yet we see that Jesus created all things in the book of John chapter 1 reads (speaking of Jesus Christ).

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The Conclusion

The verse in John says “and without him was not any thing made that was made”. Nothing was made without Jesus Christ making it. Therefore, the Jehovah Witnesses have a contradiction because they say Jesus Christ is not God yet they say Jesus helped God in creation. But clearly the Bible says only God created all things alone.

Read it and make the decision for yourself who you think is correct, the Watchtower or God’s Word the Bible. Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in Jesus at least not the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

Jesus Christ is God (Psalms, Jeremiah, Revelation)

In this article we’ll take a look at how God has the ability to see what no one else can. If you’ve ever asked someone if they’re living a life for God you may hear this phrase “God knows my heart”. And He sure does know our heart, He created us and knows every last detail concerning His creation. See previous post Jesus Christ is God (Galatians Chapter 1)

If only God knows a persons heart, then what does the scriptures say concerning the Lord Jesus Christ; does Jesus have the ability to know our heart? That’s what we’re going to establish looking at the text of scripture.

The Psalmist David wrote that God tries our hearts, God knows our motives and with His divine eyes can see right into our hearts.

Psalm 7:9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

The Psalmist goes unto say in Psalm 26 “Examine me”, just like an x-ray the LORD knows the inner dwellings of your heart.

Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed the LORD will judge righteously and will test or try the reins of our heart.

Jeremiah 11:20 But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.

Again Jeremiah tells us the LORD searches the hearts of men but not only will He search our heart, He will also give us according to our ways. This means God knows if a person is wicked and not saved. If that person dies without salvation the LORD will give the individual what they deserve which is eternal judgement in the lake of fire.

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

The LORD will try every man and woman there’s nothing that’s hidden from God He sees it all.

Jeremiah 20:12 But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, [and] seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.

The last verse is from the apostle John here the context is speaking of Jesus Christ and the second coming of Christ. Jesus says “I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts:”. Wait hold on one minute, we read that only God can “search the reins and hearts” and now we see that the Lord Jesus can do the same.

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

We are forced to believe the only logical conclusion is that Jesus Christ is God. No one else besides God can see into the heart of man. There you have it Jesus Christ is God because He can do the same as the Father. And if you haven’t trusted Christ for salvation do so now. Because tomorrow is not guaranteed. One day Jesus Christ is going to search your heart and if you’re found outside of Christ then hell awaits. Therefore give your life to Jesus Christ today and you’ll be given eternal life.

The Law of Moses

There are faiths in the world which adhere to “keeping the Law”, exactly what does that mean? When asked the question do you keep the Law, the individual is asking do you keep the Law of Moses which was given at Mt. Sinai. You can find details to this in the book of Exodus chapter 20 in which God gives the children of Israel commandments to observe.

It’s worth mentioning that while most recognise this as “The Ten Commandments” in actuality there are 613 commandments God gave at Mt. Sinai, the Ten Commandments are a condensed version of all the 613 commandments.

An important question to ask is are Christians are required to keep the Law? To clear up any confusion in regards to the topic at hand, I will be straight forward in saying, New Testament Christians we are not required to “keep the Law” allow me to explain.

The Purpose Of The Law

Believers do not disregard the Law as “not important” the Law is important and serves its purposes. For instance the Law is Holy and good (Romans 7:12) it shows forth God’s moral character of perfection. The God we serve is a thrice Holy God (Isaiah 6:3). The first 5 commandments gives us clear understanding of who God is and our relationship to God Himself (Exodus 20:3-11). The remaining 5 addresses our relationship with our fellow man (Exodus 20:12-17).

Another purpose the Law serves is to show us our sin, like a mirror it reflects ourselves back at us. God commands us to never lie and we can all agree that we’ve all lied at some time in our lives. If we had to think about how many lies we’ve told during the course of our lives it would be too many to remember. We’re told that the Law was not made for the righteous but for ungodly sinners.

1 Timothy 1:9-10 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

The Law exposes sin and makes sin exceeding sinful (Romans 7:13) and death comes through the transgression of the Law. The book of Romans is great to read concerning how the Law applies to our transgression of the Law.

The final purpose the Law serves as a tutor or schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). By seeing ourselves through the Law and the fact that we can’t keep it because none of us are perfect an alarm should go off in our head. Our conscience should be screaming “I’m in trouble with God!”, this would show you the need for a Saviour. The Law is there as a reminder to the children of Israel also to show them the need for a Christ.

Law vs Grace

Believer, take heed if you ever come across someone who tells you that you must keep the Law of Moses or any strict rule keeping for salvation know this is false. There are cults who teach you must believe and adhere to “keeping the Law”. Groups who teach these things either up front or subtly are Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Islam, Christadelphians, Black Hebrew Israelites etc.

They won’t admit it but they all depend on a works based salvation, it’s Jesus plus their good deeds. The Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). These groups look to gain God’s favor by working for it and the Bible is clear that there’s nothing you can do to merit salvation (Isaiah 64:6).

Legalism

The term legalism is similar in that it’s still “works based” even though you may not be referring to “The Law of Moses” as a basis but the individual is still depending on themselves to do certain things in order to remain in right standing with God. This is also called strict rule keeping.

A group that comes to mind is a cult based in Australia (Exclusive Brethren), all men must wear white shirts with white buttons. Another rule they have is a member’s home must not share the same drainage or their home cannot touch and unbelievers house (adjoining walls).

The Seventh Day Adventist cult also falls into this “rule keeping” they have strict dietary rules such as vegetarian diets and keeping the Sabbath. Here’s a quote from the SDA website concerning proper health in the eyes of the Advent movement.

“Exercise and avoidance of harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol and mind-altering substances lead to clear minds and wise choices. A well-balanced vegetarian diet that avoids the consumption of meat coupled with intake of legumes, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, along with a source of vitamin B12, will promote vigorous health.” – SDA

Notice in the above statement “A well-balanced vegetarian diet that avoids the consumption of meat” Adventist are to avoid meat, this is a perfect picture legalism and any group you come across who do such things should be avoided.

Christ the End of the Law

The Lord Jesus said in the synoptic Gospels while giving the sermon on the mount in direct reference to the Law, He said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17). The Law condemns sin and is used to stop every mouth or person who would seek to exalt themselves; proclaiming a person guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

We see the importance of the Law that it’s Holy and good, it exposes sin and causes sinners to come to a knowledge of themselves that they would repent and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. The Lord Jesus rescued us (believers), He lived a perfect life under the Law fulfilling all the requirements of God which you and I could never do; redeeming us that we may be adopted into the family of God (Galatians 4:4–5).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the believers ark in the same way Noah and his family were saved when they entered the ark by faith (Hebrews 11:7) before the world was flooded for its ungodliness (2 Peter 2:5). The Law should move you to fear that you also would take refuge in the ark which is Christ Jesus.

Believers Relationship To The Law

Therefore, anyone who’s saved in Christ is not condemned under the Law (Romans 8:1) through Christ we establish the Law (Romans 3:31) while not being affected by the Law. As Christ has “abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances;” (Ephesians 2:15). The unbeliever is not as fortunate because they are still condemned by the Law not being saved.

When a person comes to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ it’s never because of what they can do for God, it’s what God has done for you. Salvation is given freely by God’s grace to the one that does not work (Romans 4:4-5). If you really don’t understand how a person is saved without works/the Law my recommendation to you is to really study the book of Romans and Galatians.

Romans deals with how the Law condemns all sin making everyone guilty before God and in need of Jesus Christ, while Galatians teaches that we cannot mix our works with the saving grace of God. God does all the saving, that said in the post will be focusing on the Law of Christ in contradistinction to this post; Lord willing. God bless.

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.