Be Very Alert! No 181

(Apologies for the week’s delay in posting this)

Be Very Alert! – By Val Hollard (NZ)

On Watch at the Door.                                                    No 181, October 7, 2014

HEBREW ROOTS MOVEMENT

A short while ago I was at a meeting with a young man present who was obviously deeply involved in the Hebrew Roots movement. He was insistent that we should be observing the Sabbath, even twisting Matthew 24:20 to support his argument. If you read this section of Matthew 24, it is obviously speaking to Jews who live in Judea and Samaria at the time they see the Abomination of Desolation set up in a coming temple. They are told to pray that their flight will not be on a Sabbath. At this moment, hundreds of Orthodox Jews live in these areas and they do not travel on a Sabbath. In fact, public transport in Israel shuts down then. Travelling on a Sabbath would be contrary to their religion. Matthew 24:20 is not an argument for Christians to keep the Sabbath. In fact, the apostle Paul tells the Colossians not to let anyone judge them with regard to a Sabbath day. (Col 2:16-17) Our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the Sabbath Law for us and we now find our rest in Him.

This young man also told us that the church was present with Moses in the wilderness. This in effect would make the church and Israel the same thing. This is a false interpretation of Scripture. Israel is a nation that God chose in order that the gentile nations could learn about Him and His ways through them, and also to bring us the Saviour of the world at the proper time. The church on the other hand is made up of believing individuals, both Jew and Gentile, made one by the unity of the Spirit. Jesus announced the establishment of His church at Caesarea Philippi (Matt 16:17-18) and it came into full existence at Pentecost. In Acts 15, James says that after God has taken from the Gentiles a people for Himself (in the Rapture and Resurrection), He will restore Israel as a nation again. The church composed of believing Jews and Gentiles is a separate entity from the Jewish nation.

In Romans 11, it is again made clear that Gentiles are only grafted in to Israel. They are not the root. And when the full number of Gentiles has come in God will then turn back to Israel and purge the Jewish nation of their sins.

There are some teachings that can be warning signs of the Hebrew Roots Movement: Saturday is the only acceptable day for fellowship, not Sunday; the Feasts of the Lord and Jewish holidays must be observed today; and Christians must adhere to a kosher diet. In fact, they teach that whatever God has ever commanded of His people in the Old Testament is still in effect today, including the Laws of Moses. Their idea of “grafted in” is interpreted to mean that Gentiles must assume Jewish customs if they want to please God.

Many place more importance on the Old Testament than the New and will often totally ignore Paul’s teachings. In Acts 15 it is made very clear how Gentile believers should be treated as much dispute had arisen on this same topic. Paul and Barnabas and some others were sent up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. At Jerusalem, some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.” (Acts 15:5) Doesn’t this sound like the Hebrew Roots Movement today?

Peter also spoke up and asked why they were trying to test God by putting on the necks of disciples a yoke that neither they nor their fathers could carry. That is certainly true today as it would be impossible for most Christians throughout the world to keep all the 613 laws of Moses! Most would even find it impossible to keep Saturday as a holy day, especially if trying to live out one’s faith in a Muslim country. Finally, James said that it was his judgment that Gentiles should need only to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. (Acts 15:20) Paul even challenged Peter, “How is it then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?” (Gal 2:14) We are not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Christ Jesus who fulfilled the law for us as there was no way we could keep it.

Believers are no longer under the Law of Moses. Paul tells the Romans that the law is our schoolmaster. It shows us that we can never keep it. This should throw us at the feet of Jesus and His mercy. We gain access to Jesus through faith, not by works and obeying the law. Believers are now controlled by the Spirit of God who is within them. If we live by the Spirit, we will not follow our sinful nature. If we try and follow laws without the Spirit and by our own efforts, that is a works religion.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, Jesus made it even more difficult for us to keep the Law. For example, adultery has now become even looking lustfully at a woman, and murder has become even getting angry with a brother. We can be thankful that Jesus came to fulfil the law for us as we obviously haven’t a hope in the world of keeping it ourselves.

There are, however, some good reasons why the body of Christ should rediscover the Hebrew roots of its faith as the roots of Christianity penetrate deep into Jewish culture. The destiny of the church is bound up with God’s prophetic plan for the future of Israel and the Jews. There is much we can learn from studying the Feasts of the Lord and their prophetic nature without feeling obliged to keep the Feasts ourselves. We also need to understand Scripture in its original Jewish context and to understand the Jewish methods of interpretation, typology and allegory for a better understanding of the New Testament. And, of course, there is much we can learn from the mistakes that Israel made. (Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 10:11; 2 Tim 3:16-17)

Nevertheless, there is nothing in Scripture to suggest that believers in Jesus must be placed under OT Law. Observing Jewish externals and rituals cannot be used as a means to sanctification. That is a bondage from which Christ has set us free.

MUSLIM SEX SLAVES

Muslims are encouraged to live the way Muhammad did. He captured slaves in battle, had sex with them, and traded them. He instructed his men to do the same. The Qur’an and Hadith actually devote many passages to this topic, approving of it. Sex slavery is approved of in Islam. Lately, this dreadful practice is being heard about more frequently.

British women jihadis are said to have joined the Islamic State’s women’s police force, a group that was set up to catch male spies in burkas and to run brothels of captured infidel women to help populate the caliphate. Thousands of Iraqi women have been taken hostage in these brothels. As many as 3,000 women and girls have been taken captive from the Yazidi tribe alone. British women who have reached top positions in the Islamic State are allowing the terrorists to use these women as they please because they are non-Muslim. Young Muslim women from Australia, Malaysia and the UK go to Syria and Iraq for “sex jihad” to provide “sexual comfort” and maintain the morale of jihadists of the Islamic State.

In the UK, Muslim rape gangs have targeted girls in Rotherham. The lives of 1,400 girls have been destroyed because those who knew what was happening were too afraid to speak up as they might be called racist or Islamophobic. Rape gangs have also targeted girls in Sheffield. There may be many more girls all over Britain who have been victimised in this way.

In Nigeria, the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram has taken hundreds of women and girls hostage, saying that many would be sold as sex slaves or married to terrorists. Some have escaped and lived to tell about their horrific ordeals, often being gang-raped many times a day. The effects of being used as sex tools usually damage a woman’s life permanently, leaving them anxious, unable to mix with others, and if they were married beforehand it often results in a divorce. Some are left to cope with pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Social and family relationships are all affected. Hundreds of thousands of these rapes are happening annually and in many countries. These terrorists are simply being obedient to the Qur’an, their holy book.

And why would people who call themselves Christian want to embrace Islam in any way? The latest example of this idiocy is from Catholic Cardinal McCarrick. Here is the report: “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself to the audience at a meeting arranged by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. That praise of the Islamic deity is an important phrase in Islam, is found more than 100 times in the Koran, and is akin to the Catholic prayer, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” McCarrick next claimed that “Catholic social teaching is based on the dignity of the human person… [and] as you study the holy Koran, as you study Islam, basically, this is what Muhammad the prophet, peace be upon him, has been teaching.” Oh my!

THE PALE HORSE

One could be forgiven for thinking that the pale horse of Revelation 6:8 is beginning to leap out of its stall ahead of time. “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” We are not there yet, but are certainly seeing signs of what could happen and perhaps soon.

It wasn’t that long ago when articles about beheadings of people in the West never appeared in the press, or worse, in videos on the internet. Just recently in Oklahoma the first Islamic beheading in the US occurred. A short while earlier, a woman in Britain was savagely decapitated by a Muslim inspired by the ISIS beheadings of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. There is now fear that more beheadings will follow, especially as the US now has an unsecured southern border and over 40,000 unidentified people have come into the country.

A computer laptop seized by pro-Western rebels has revealed plans by ISIS to use biological weapons to kill millions in the US and Europe in the near future. Instructions are given on how to use as a weapon the bubonic plague and other diseases. An Islamic fatwa says this is an acceptable way to kill unbelievers.

Some West African countries are collapsing under the Ebola plague. There is an extreme shortage of hospital beds in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. More than 80% of Ebola patients are sent back home where they can continue to spread the disease. I suspect that the WHO hasn’t a clue how many have actually died from Ebola and how many are suffering. One strategy being used to try and stop the spread is to quarantine large areas, causing food prices to skyrocket. Liberia is on the brink of a complete societal breakdown. The US is also experiencing its first Ebola case diagnosed in the US. Contacts are now being sought.

There are many who believe that people are destroying the planet and would like to see the earth’s population reduced enormously. Noted American author and philosopher Sam Keen has said, “Cut the population by 90 percent and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.” And at the 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science evolutionary ecologist Dr. Eric R. Pianka was given a standing ovation after he advocated the extermination of 90 percent of the earth’s population by an airborne Ebola virus. He warned that the earth would not survive unless five billion human beings were exterminated. Ebola was his preferred method of extermination. At the end of his address, the audience burst into applause, “a loud, vigorous and enthusiastic applause.”

Is it not amazing to see highly-educated people actually believing that what is prophesied in Revelation 6:8 would be good for the planet! We are near the end!

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