Recently, I bumped into a friend whom I had "let drop" out of my life. As someone who hates confrontations, that is my besetting sin. This particular friend was a positive thinking/positive speaking Christian. I have nothing against such Christians. In fact, I tend to go around speaking positively all the time and trusting the Lord for everything especially the healing of my 12 year old son – diagnosed as incurable by doctors who stepped out of their place by telling me there was no hope for such a severely disabled child. Obviously, they don't know my Lord and Saviour, the conqueror of death, sin and disease -- Jesus Christ.
But back to this friend. This particular friend was not what I would call a balanced Christian. She would jump at me if I said something she considered unpositive And when at last she snapped at me when I mentioned that God had appointed Peter to die for the faith, I simply let her disappear from my life. That's how we still water runs deep silent-type Christians always handle strong- willed big-mouth Christians.
Well then I was returning from my dentist on the other side of town and decided to drop by to see this friend. (Okay, okay, the Lord kept nagging me to do it.) So I dropped by at her house after 3 years of forgetting to call her and send her greeting cards. To my complete jaw-dropping surprise, she had become a Black Israelite! I don't think I can explain my surprise. Jaw-dropping amazement might give you a clue. But if you had asked me which full-gospel church-going friend of mine would end up in a cult, I certainly would not have named this person.
I had heard about this particular teaching. Like the Jamaican-based Rastafarians cult, this cult claims that African-Americans are the true Jews. Here then is my first confession of spiritual laziness. I know that we're supposed to study to show ourselves approved, and to study to know an answer. And I knew that I really should one of these days read some Christian literature on the Bahai, the Black Muslims, and the Black Israelites as I had done with the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Christian homosexuality, etc. But hey, I was busy. And life being full of Stuff, I didn't think I would ever be called upon to try to bring a friend out of the folds of the Black Israelites. After all, when I meet someone who is deluded by some social, political, or religious point, I generally avoid them. It's not my nature to butt heads against brick walls. Ah silly me! My friend told me that she was still a believer in Yeshua but that she was serving him as a fulfilled Black Israelite, a True Jew. She had been "led" to this new religion by the "Spirit of the Lord" and by the author's book in which he uses Deuteronomy chapter 28 to show that the prophesied sorrows
were really the same as those that fell on Africans who disobeyed God. I might have let it all go but these Black Israelites can be very nasty anti-Semitic people when the bud flowers into full fruit.
But Christ and the apostles warn us against angels or men bringing new gospels, new apostles and new Christs as found in Seventh Day Adventistism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They also warn us in Galations and elsewhere not to be entangled again in the old rituals, since we have found the new freedom in Christ. We are also told that either one is under the law or in Christ (as generally agreed upon by the major Christian denominations and the Creeds). We are also told that if a person is in Christ, there is no longer Jew or non-Jew. So, it doesn’t matter if certain west-African tribes are the real Jews or not, what matters is the high calling of Jesus Christ. (No, I don't believe we African-Americans are the true Jews.) I asked her to really read the Book of Galatians prayerfully and to remember that many seducing spirits are in the world. I asked her to remember that Mohammed of Islam, Joseph Smith of the mormons, Russell of the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses and others all started out on a true path. And they either felt a burning in the heart or had a vision or something that showed them the way. The wrong way. I reminded her that I have a friend, a gay priest, who accepted his homosexuality because the Lord supposedly told him to. I told her that St John tells us to question and challenge all prophets, visions, new gospels. And that if she found herself reading other material more than the Bible and fixating more on her race or rituals than on God, then she should be sure that she is being pulled away from a personal relationship with God. I challenged her to sit in her living room for a good week and sing hymns to Jesus about the power of his blood.
The need for African-Americans to find a home or to find ourselves in the Bible or in God’s special grace is a need born of the wreckage that has happened to African-Americans. We are a
great and wonderful people. But we are also appointed to our own greatness, just as the Jews are, just as all different tribes of the earth are. So, we really shouldn’t try to usurp the gifts and calling of another nation.
I'm still unequipped --and uninclined-- to battle this out with her. Perhaps we have to really love people with the love of God to try to get them off the wrong path. Perhaps we should love arguing and confronting. Perhaps we should love God's word above all else. (At least I have that going for me!) but I'm not trying to get my former friend on the path. However, this is what I've discovered so far about the Black Israelites:
If Black Israelites will read their Bibles and history books, they will stop saying that the fearful curses prophesied in Deuteronomy --taken away by slave ships, serving Gods of stones, etc-- only match African Americans. They will realize that those propheices of curses find their fulfillment in history as well as in Biblical history. For instance, the fulfillment of many of the curses in Deuteronomy 28 are found fulfilled in II Chronicles 29:9, Judges 6:1-6, II Kings 17:4, 6; 24-29:12, 14; 25:7, 11; Daniel 3:6, 6:11, 12, Lamentations 1:5, Joel 1:4, Hosea 8:13 Outside of the Bible, they will find its fulfillment in Hadrian's proclamations, the slave ships of Roman Emperors Titus and Hadrian and in the histories of the Middle Ages. The main point is that many deceivers are gone out in these last days who can deceive the very elect if possible. Believers let us equip ourselves. Take it from me, it's far easier to shoot down a deceiving spirit if one has ammunition.
For more on interpreting the Bible properly please read my article on Bible reading which can be found on this site (Click on my name above. Then scroll down to the bottom past my list of writings and click on NEXT for the second page of my writings.)
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First, I didn't say that none of the Israelites were black. It is possible many of the Jews were black. But the fact that Jeremiah says "Can an Ethiopian change his skin?" "The woman in the song of solomon says, "I am black but beautiful" and Moses got into trouble with his sister because he married an Ethopian woman would only show taht the majority of Israelites were not black.
Second, if I speak about the Black Israelites, I am not speaking against Black Jews such as the Ethiopian Jews who recently returned to Egypt. I am speaking about a particular sect with particularly racist ideas. I have found the black israelites to be very anti-semitic. That's all. And the more I read about them the more concerned and nervous I get about their aggression against Jewish people. That's all. -C
Carole, this is an interesting piece. Im so sorry to hear that your friend has been led astray by the world. A couple of years ago, a prophet of God, that I respect highly, mentioned that in the last days, the black man and woman would be the one to lead the world in evangelism, that he and she would come into the Light in such a way that there would be absolutely no doubt about Who was involved. Would it be any wonder that the enemy would do anything to try and derail that person before they had done what the Lord has appointed them to do? Carole, I think I feel about as unequipped as anyone I know. Frankly, this article hit me where it hurts too. As for getting your friend out of what she is in, all you can do is encourage her and pray. The rest has to be up to the Lord. Normally, because everyone wants to say this but it means nothing, I dont usually say this....I do understand about this. My daughter is not walking the Lord's path right now. Yet, there is one thing I hold onto. She was given to the Lord as a child, raised in a Christian home, heard the Word of God, and once believed. Because of that, God has authority in her life. He will prevail. We have scripture to agree with this. Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." While this may sound like it just involves children agewise, it includes any person who is a child of God. Thank you for this article. I have a lot to think about today because of it.